Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring into Love: Linore's story


Welcome Linore Rose Burkard to the blog today! She's kicking off our "Spring into Love" series with a feature about her novel Before the Season Ends! It's a Regency Inspirational Romance. Here's the cover photo for her book:


Isn't that a lovely cover?

Read on for details! :)


~*~
Author bio: Linore Rose Burkard wrote a trilogy of genuine regency romances for the Christian market before there were any regencies for the Christian market. 

Published with Harvest House, her books opened up the genre for the CBA. She also writes YA Suspense/Apocalyptic fiction as L.R. Burkard.

Linore grew up in NYC and graduated magna cum laude from CUNY with a bachelor's degree in English Literature.

Married with five children, she still homeschools her youngest daughter, preferably with coffee in one hand and an iPad in the other. Her latest 
PULSE EFFEX SERIES, takes readers into a "chilling possible future for America."

~*~
Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Before the Season Ends by Linore Burkard:

Chesterton, Hertfordshire: England - 1813


Something would have to be done about Ariana. 

All winter Miss Ariana Forsythe, aged nineteen, had been going about the house sighing.

"Mr. Hathaway is my lot in life!"

She spoke as though the prospect of that life was a great burden to bear, but one which she had properly reconciled herself to. When her declarations met with exasperation or reproach from her family--for no one else was convinced Mr. Hathaway, the rector, was her lot--she usually responded in a perplexed manner. Hadn't they understood for an age that her calling was to wed a man of the cloth? Was there another man of God, other than their rector, available to her? No. It only stood to reason, therefore, that Mr. Hathaway was her lot in life. Their cold reception to the thought of the marriage was unfathomable.

When she was seventeen, (a perfectly respectable marrying age) she had romantic hopes about a young and brilliant assistant to the rector, one Mr. Stresham. It was shortly after meeting him, in fact, that she had formed the opinion the Almighty was calling her to marry a man of God. Mr. Stresham even had the approval of her parents. But the man took a situation in another parish without asking Ariana to accompany him as his wife. She was disappointed, but not one to give up easily, continued to speak of "the calling," waiting in hope for another Mr. Stresham of sorts. But no man came. And now she had reached the conclusion that Mr. Hathaway--Mr. Hathaway, the rector, (approaching the age of sixty!) would have to do. 

Her parents, Charles and Julia Forsythe, were sitting in their comfortably furnished morning room, Julia with a cup of tea before her, and Charles with his newspaper. A steady warmth was emanating from the hearth.

"What shall we do about Ariana?" Mrs. Forsythe, being an observant mama, had been growing in her conviction that the situation called for some action.

"What do you suggest, my dear?" Her husband reluctantly folded his paper; he knew his wife wanted a discussion of the matter and that he would get precious little reading done until she had got it. 

She held up a folded piece of foolscap: the annual letter from Agatha Bentley, Charles's sister, asking for Alberta, the eldest Forsythe daughter, for the season in London. It had arrived the day before. 

Aunt Bentley was a childless wealthy widow and a hopeless socialite. For the past three years she had written annually to tell her brother and his wife why they ought to let her sponsor their eldest daughter for a London season. She owned a house in Mayfair (could anything be more respectable than that?) and knew a great deal of the big-wigs in society. She had, in fact, that most important of commodities which the Forsythes completely lacked: connexions. And as Charles's family were her only living relatives, she was prepared--even anxious--to serve as chaperon for her niece.

Much to the lady's frustration, Julia and Charles had annually extinguished her hopes, replying to her letters graciously but with the inevitable, "We cannot countenance a separation from our child at this time," and so on. Charles was unflinching on this point, never doubting his girls would reap a greater benefit by remaining beneath his own roof. They knew full well, moreover, that Aunt Agatha could not hope, with all her money and connexions to find as suitable a husband for their offspring as was possible right in Chesterton. 

Why not? For the profound reason that Aunt Bentley had no religion whatsoever.
And yet, due to the distressing state of affairs with Ariana, Julia wished to consider her latest offer. With the letter waving in her hand she said, "I think we ought to oblige your sister this year. She must be lonely, poor thing, and besides removing Ariana from the parish, a visit to the city could prove beneficial for her education."

Ariana's father silently considered the matter. His eldest daughter Alberta was as good as wed, having recently accepted an offer of marriage--to no one's surprise--from John Norledge. Ariana, his second eldest, had been irksome in regard to the rector, but to pack her off to London? Surely the situation was not so dire as to warrant such a move. 

"I think there is nothing else for it," Mrs. Forsythe said emphatically. "Ariana is determined about Mr. Hathaway and, even though we can forbid her to speak to the man, she will pine and sigh and like as not drive me to distraction!"

Taking a pipe out of his waistcoat pocket (though he never smoked), Mr. Forsythe absently rubbed the polished wood in his fingers. 

"I recall other fanciful notions of our daughter's," he said finally, "and they slipped away in time. Recall, if you will, when she was above certain her destiny was to be a missionary--to America. That desire faded. She fancies this, she fancies that; soon she will fancy another thing entirely, and we shan't hear another word about the 'wonderful rector' again."


Mrs. Forsythe's countenance, still attractive in her forties, became fretful.

"I grant that she has had strong...affections before. But this time, my dear, it is a complicated affection for in this case it is the heart of the ah, affected, which we must consider. It has ideas of its own." 

"Of its own?"

Mrs. Forsythe looked about the room to be certain no one else had entered. The servants were so practiced at coming and going quietly, their presence might not be marked. But no, there was only the two of them. She lowered her voice anyway. 

"The rector! I do not think he intends to lose her! What could delight him more than a young, healthy wife who might fill his table with offspring?"

~*~
Review of Linore's book on Amazon.com:

Definitely Worth Reading
By Kindle Customer

This review is from: Before the Season Ends (A Regency Inspirational Romance Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

I discovered this book because, periodically, I download most of the books on the "Top 100 Free" list and give them what I call the "20-page rule," meaning if the book doesn't catch my interest in 20 pages, I don't bother finishing it. I really enjoy (clean) historical romances and Christian/Inspirational Fiction, and this fell into both categories neatly. I was pleasantly surprised by the book and was definitely hooked before I had read 20 pages. At first I was doubtful that I would like the main character, Ariana Forsythe (is that a romance novel name or what?), and thought she might be kind of wishy-washy or prone to tears, which bores me. However, my first impression was unfounded, and she really grew on me until I was emotionally invested in her story.

I would describe this novel as what may result if Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and Janette Oke collaborated on a project, so if you like any or all of these authors, you'll really enjoy this book. I don't want to give the whole plot away, but I will say that parts of it reminded me of "Pride and Prejudice," because of the characters' making snap judgments about one another without having all the facts and Phillip's tendency to come off as rude and arrogant, among other things. I was also reminded of "The Corinthian," by Georgette Heyer (one of my favorite books ever!) because of the humor in this book and Phillip's ability to be fastidious about his dress and appearance without coming off as anything but masculine. I would even say, to a lesser degree, that I was reminded of "Jane Eyre," by Charlotte Bronte, because Phillip has some dark events in his past that the reader is largely unaware of until late in the story, which have colored his personality, and Ariana is sort of a "balm to his spirit."

I don't mean to say that this novel has been done before, though. These slight similarities are just another feature to enjoy to the reader who has also appreciated the books I've mentioned. The plot is original and surprising, in a genre where you pretty much know how everything is going to end, but read it anyway. Just when I thought there would be no more twists, there's one or two more, and I really liked that.

Last but not least, as a Christian, I truly appreciated the way in which the author handled the matters of faith. Ariana's faith is genuine, and she is quick to recognize the (vast!) difference between fashionable religious lip-service and a real relationship with God. This and the all-important matter of salvation and forgiveness are included in such a way as to never sound preachy or out of place in the story. I will definitely read the sequel!

~*~
Enter the book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

4 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday to one of my favorite authors! Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, ChappyDebbie! Hugs back!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What an amazing review! This book seems like a delectable read! I hope I get the chance to snag it! Loved learning about Linore, thanks Alexis!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is quite the review! I haven't read this genre for a while, although I used to devour them. I must admit that I'm intrigued and would like to venture a try into this genre again because of this beginning and the review.

    ReplyDelete