Friday, March 18, 2016

Welcome Lynnette Bonner and Book Giveaway!

I don't often recommend a book or an author here on my blog. Why? Well, honestly, I've had a hard time finding books I really really enjoy. I don't want to pass something mediocre onto my readers. I want you to trust my judgement.  Well, it so happens that the other day I was asked if I would read the first installment of Lynnette Bonner's new series, The Sonnets of the Spice Isle.  Since it was short, I agreed. WOW, was I blown away!

On the Wings of a Whisper

Stone Town, Zanzibar, Early 1866

RyAnne Hunter is determined to stop her father from leaving for the continent of Africa, where he plans to start a mission station. And she only has until morning. Tonight at the Harcourts’ Annual Ball will be her last chance to change his mind. She must succeed! Papa’s health, and her future, depend on her success. But, as if her task isn’t difficult enough, now the insufferable Captain Dawson has agreed to guide Papa’s expedition!

After spending six months at sea, Captain Trent Dawson only wants to think about rest and relaxation. However, when he’s recruited by a British naval officer to help put an end to a slave smuggling ring, the perfect opportunity presents itself in Dr. Hunter, who needs a guide to the Interior. Now if he can just help the doctor without spending too much time with the man’s troublesome and flighty youngest daughter.

A thrilling historical romance from the time of missionary explorer David Livingstone.

Here's my endorsement!

What a pleasant surprise! On the Wings of a Whisper is one of those rare books that kept me up late at night. It has everything I love in a story: a dashing hero, romance, intrigue, high-seas adventure, not to mention excellent characters and a riveting plot. Rarely have I been so caught up in a story. I can't wait for the next installment!
MaryLu Tyndall, best-selling author of The Legacy of the King's Pirates series.

Please welcome Lynnette Bonner as she explains the background to this new exciting series

 

 The Sonnets of the Spice Isle series is especially near and dear to my heart because I was born and raised in the area where the story takes place in East Africa. And long before I knew I would ever become a writer I took a trip to the island of Zanzibar with a group of my friends.
We flew out of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and landed at the small Zanzibar airport on an oven-esque day common to equatorial climes. Our plane stopped several hundred yards from the main terminal of the airport and we all gathered our carry-ons, sweat dripping from every pore, and started hoofing our way to what would hopefully be a room with some air conditioning. About a quarter of the way to the terminal, I felt something sticky beneath my feet, and I suddenly realized that it was so hot the tarmac was sticking to my shoes. I turned to look behind us, and there in the superheated tar of the runway, our footprints could clearly be seen leading back to the plane.

We stayed in a little bed-and-breakfast tucked into the back of a narrow alley, where they served us fried plantains in cinnamon sauce for breakfast. And for one blissful week we explored just about every nook and cranny of the island. We walked down streets so narrow that you could literally stretch your arms wide and almost touch the walls on both sides. We reveled at the intricacies of beautifully carved arched oak doorways studded with bronze spikes. We haggled in the markets for souvenirs to keep as mementos of the trip. And we stood on gritty white beaches with waters so turquoise-and-vivid-blue, a picture of it would be believed to be photo-shopped. Zanzibar is known the world over as the “spice isle,” and we toured plantations that grew just about every spice you could imagine—pepper, cloves, nutmeg & mace, cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla.

And everywhere—everywhere—there remained the evidence of the years the island spent under the bondage of slavery. There were the Stone Town homes of both Dr. David Livingstone (a man who worked tirelessly to try and bring an end to slavery during his day), and of the famous and very wealthy slave trader Tippu Tip. There were the old Anglican church with its monument of slaves in chains, the slave caves, and the Mangapwani Slave Chamber where slaves
were held underground until such a time as they could be smuggled off the island (in the later years when that had become illegal) or taken into Zanzibar Town and sold at the slave market.

The contrast of the beauty of the place juxtaposed against the ugliness of slavery stayed with me. And this story has been growing for many years. So I’m very excited to finally see it coming out into the light!
If you enjoy exotic locales, dashing heroes, and daring heroines I think you’ll enjoy this series. A free copy, in the digital format of the winner’s choice, will be given to one commenter on today’s post. The drawing will be held on Friday, March 25th. So, if you’d like to enter the drawing, please comment and tell us about the most exotic place you ever visited—even if it was just your local city park.

More about Lynnette!


Born and raised in Malawi, Africa. Lynnette Bonner spent the first years of her life reveling in warm equatorial sunshine and the late evening duets of cicadas and hyenas. The year she turned eight she was off to Rift Valley Academy, a boarding school in Kenya where she spent many joy-filled years, and graduated in 1990.

That fall, she traded to a new duet--one of traffic and rain--when she moved to Kirkland, Washington to attend Northwest University. It was there that she met her husband and a few years later they moved to the small town of Pierce, Idaho.

During the time they lived in Idaho, while studying the history of their little town, Lynnette was inspired to begin the Shepherd's Heart Series with Rocky Mountain Oasis.
Marty and Lynnette have four children, and currently live in Washington where Marty pastors a church.

Thank you so much, Lynnette, for joining us today and for writing such a FABULOUS book!! 
Readers, please leave a comment for Lynnette. Tell us about the most exotic place you have visited, and be entered to win an Ecopy of On the Wings of a Whisper!! 


Have a great weekend!


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54 comments:

  1. That sounds like an awesome book! Thanks a lot for sharing!I would love to get into the atmosphere of that African island, I'm always up for a literary adventure.:) As far as traveling, well I can't say much because there isn't much to tell..lol. Since it's expensive and such, I didn't have too much experience in this area. Any great book carries me to an exotic place, no matter where that place might be and Lynnette's series sounds just like that to me.:) The perfect getaway.:)

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    1. I totally understand about the expenses of travel. I've wanted to take my hubby back to Africa with me for years, but we haven't been able to because you know what else is expensive? Raising 4 kids! haha. Thanks for reading and commenting! Wishing you all the best!

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  2. MaryLu, thank you for hosting this giveaway! Lynnette, I am so excited about this new installment!
    The most exotic place I've ever been was Nicaragua.

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    1. Oh! Central and South America are places I would LOVE to visit. I bet Nicaragua had a lot of poverty but a lot of beautiful scenery too.

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  3. My brother's family is serving as missionaries in Malawi right now. :) I haven't visited them there, but the most exotic place I've been is Guatemala. My parents and younger brother were there for 2 years while I was in college, and I got to go for a 3 week visit. Other than that, all exotic places I visit are through books. :)

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    1. How cool! What city do they live in? I have a friend who lives in Belize, right next door to Guatemala. And my aunt is from Panama - and boy can she cook! Makes me hungry just thinking about it! :)

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  4. Sounds great! Not sure I've visited anywhere very exotic, Cancun Mexico maybe? The other neat older city that I visited was Victoria, B.C. Canada.

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    1. My husband and I went to Victoria on our honeymoon. Beautiful place, isn't it?

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  5. Well... I went to New Zealand last year! And I totally fell in love. It's the most beautiful country! And some parts of it seem so ancient and primeval (because of how separate it was from the rest of the world for so long).

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    1. Oh, New Zealand is another place I would love to travel to. I think most of the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings movies were filmed there. I'm sure it is an absolutely beautiful place!

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  6. I've read On the Wings of a Whisper and I was enchanted. I'm Lynnette's mom, but that isn't why I felt enchanted. I grew up in what was then called The Belgian Congo. Arrived there two weeks before my 6th birthday in 1946. My enchantment with this story is not only an intriguing tale but especially Lynnette's descriptions of Africa and lifestyle there. THESE took me home again. (If my name happens to be drawn, you may draw again. I already cherish my own copy of this very special novella.)

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    1. :) Love you, Mom. If I'm a good writer it is largely due to your influence! <3

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  7. Zanzibar?! What a unique setting.
    My husband and I honeymooned on the island of Qamea, Fiji. We flew from Anchorage to LA - to Nada - took a puddle jumper to Taveuni - then a small boat to Qamea. Hours of flying, but so worth it! Because it was so close to Christmas, there were only 8 guests on the entire island. It's the closest I've ever come to feeling like royalty. :)

    I'd love to get lost in the Lynnette's story. I've added it to my goodreads tbr.

    @AmandaGeaney

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    1. Sounds like it was a wonderful trip, Amanda. What fun!

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  8. Hmm...I can't think of anywhere "exotic" that I've been to in person, but I LOVE watching the BBC Earth and Oceans videos. They're so fascinating and the scenery is beautiful! This book sounds really neat; thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

    Callie

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    1. I'll have to check out that BBC show, Callie. Sounds interesting!

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  9. Well I haven't been anywhere exotic I don't think. But I have been to Grand Caymen Island & Cancun in Mexico. Oh yea I've been to Canada which was a beautiful place even tho not exotic.
    I would love to win and get to read this book. Thanks for the opportunity!

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    1. Both those first two sound exotic to me! I haven't been to either, but would love you. (Can all of you tell that I love to travel? :) )

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    2. haha! I'm sure I would love YOU also, Brenda, but I meant to say "...but I would love to." :)

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  10. I don't know if it would be considered exotic, but I have been to Tanzania. I went there is 2004 with a group of people from our church on a missions. We worked with a missionary family there.

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    1. Then you will probably recognize much of the scenery descriptions in part 2 of this serial, Heather. How neat that you got to go there and help people out for a bit. :)

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  11. Love the title -" On the Wings of a Whisper"--I have read the interviews by MaryLu and others and I could almost smell the fragrance of the spices and vanilla . I am more than curios about your book. I have just put it on my wish list or a must read list.
    I love to read, travel and spend time with my family. I am a wanna be writer and although I am not published I have written a novel before I became a Christian but--- it would have to be cleaned up -naughty girl that I was! I had started another but as my Mom came down Alzheimer's and I had the care of her for four years . I should pick it up but have in the back of my mind maybe a book of devotions for women who are caregivers.
    Sorry I am a talker , on the phone, kind of shy in person , and on the computer. .
    Thank you MaryLu for introducing me to a new author. Blessings to you both.

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    1. Elsie, Devotions for caregivers sounds like a great book! And don't give up on your novels. After I wrote my first novel I took about eight years off to homeschool my kids. But when I got back to writing I was the better for it. How kind of you to spend this season caring for your mother, I'm sure it means a lot to her!

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  12. I've never been to any place I would call exotic. I have a friend who's been a missionary in Indonesia and Africa and has traveled the world, so I tell her she does the traveling for both of us. I listen to her stories and read books with exotic locales.

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    1. :) That's the best way to travel the world - to tell others the Good News!

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  13. The closest I have ever been to exotic was visiting the Rain Forest when we took
    a side trip in Puerto Rico. It was a spot that past through a small village opening
    up to a beautiful white sand beach with all types of native trees and flowers. This
    Was many, many moon ago.
    Carol Smith. penelope223@yahoo.com

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  15. I absolutely love settings in Africa and I have watched Mogambo with Clark Gable more times than I can count. LOL! I guess the most exotic place I have visited is Mexico several times, and that didn't really seem all that exotic to me. I love everything I have read by Lynnette Bonner and am very anxious to read this one!

    dianalflowers(at)aol(dot)com

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  16. I would so love to win and read this book. It sounds amazing. I have never heard of this author before, but I have always wanted to go to Africa.

    amylsmithAT bledsoe DOTnet

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  17. The most exotic place I have visited is Hawaii. I went there to visit my son when he was stationed there.

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    1. Many people who have been to both Hawaii and the country I was born and raised in, Malawi, say they are very similar. Hawaii is another place on my "want to visit" list. :)

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  18. I have lived in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and the USA. I have seen many exotic places but I think the best was Cartagana Columbia where we spent our honeymoon.
    This book sounds wonderful! Please enter my name :)
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. Sounds like you've had a lot of adventure in your day, Betti! What fun!

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  19. The most Exotic place I have ever been was Epcot at Disney in Florida on My Honeymoon Thanks for sharing with us Looks like a great book I'd Love to win a copy of it iamabho (at) gmail . com

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  20. I have to say The Great Barrier Reef, QLD. Stunning!!

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Oh! Sounds lovely! I'm always a bit terrified of swimming in open water. :) Because I'm the youngest of 4 I ended up watching Jaws at a young impressionable age. Does anyone else hear THAT music the minute you get out of a boat or step off the beach? haha

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  21. Gulf Shores, Alabama has beautiful white sand beaches. This book sounds great!

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  22. The most exotic place I've been to was Bogot√°, Colombia. My husband and I went there to adopt our son A!berto. This was in 1975. I have lost many of my pictures but I remember carts pulled by donkeys. The drivers were crazy. There was much poverty everywhere.

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    1. How awesome about your son! My sister's son is adopted from Turkey, so I have a special place in my heart for families who adopt.

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  23. I live in Washington like Lynette Bonner. I was born and raised here and love it! My husband and I moved to Quebec when our kids were young for his job, but returned when his 5 year commitment was over. Quebec isn't very exotic. Instead it is very European. While there we traveled to Puerto Rico - My husband's birthplace. I would have to say that P.R. was the most exotic place I have visited. I'm more of a homebody. I love being nestled in between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascades and enjoy all that this area has to offer.

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    1. When our kids were young we moved to Idaho for several years. It was beautiful over there, but I remember the day that we drove back over here with the moving van... Crossing the pass and coming down the other side was such a great feeling. My first glimpse of Mt. Rainier gave me that, "Ah! I'm home!" feeling. Like you, I love the PNW!

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  24. Well, having served in the Army when I was young, you would think I went to at least one exotic place, but the most exotic I can think of is the hills outside of Ft. Bliss, El Paso, Texas. While they were/are lovely, I would have loved to have gone overseas to a more exotic place like Europe or Asia. Even a little closer to home in South America would have been nice. Thanks for the Giveaway and good luck everyone.

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  25. Lovely post, MaryLu! Appreciate you :)

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  26. Thanks for another great book to read, MaryLu! I haven't been to many truly exotic places. Probably the Dominican Republic is the most exotic. It was beautiful and warm! I hope to someday see more exotic places!

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  27. I love reading about exotic places! Back in the 1980's I visited Hawaii. This series sounds incredible! MaryLu, thank you for the recommendation!

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  28. I am not sure that this qualifies as exotic, but it is Easter and I am thinking back to a place in Israel,within the walls of Jerusalem. It is called The Garden Tomb, a beautiful place for tourists to envision the glory of Easter!
    Janice
    pjrcmoore@windstream.net

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