Hey y’all! I have a new book that NEEDS to go on your MUST read list. Giver of Wonders by Roseanna M. White. Until this book, I had not read any of her writing. I’ve wanted to. I’ve heard good things and I have several of her books on my To Be Read list. Giver of Wonders was an incredible introduction to her writing for me! I will definitely be reading more by her. Check out the synopsis of the book, some thoughts from the author, and then I’ll share my thoughts about this book. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end.
Click here to purchase your copy.
About the Book
A miracle once saved her life ~ will another give her a future?
Cyprus was little more than a child when a fall left her paralyzed…and when the boy known as the wonder-worker healed her. Ever since, she has wondered why the Lord spared her, what he has in store for her. But her pagan father thinks she was spared solely so she could be introduced to the wealthy wonder-worker, Nikolaos.
Nikolaos has never questioned that his call in life is to dedicate himself to the church and to God. Never, that is, until he and his cousin Petros meet the compelling Cyprus Visibullis. For years he struggles with the feelings she inspires…and with the sure knowledge that Petros loves her too.
Petros knows he will never be good enough for Cyprus’s father to consider him as a match for his favorite daughter not as long as Nikolaos is there. But when tragedy strikes the Visibullis family, he will do anything to save his beloved. Unfortunately, his beloved is determined to do anything to save her sisters ~ even at the cost of herself.
As the festival of lights bathes their Greek city in beauty, Cyprus, Petros, and Nikolaos celebrate the miracle of their Savior s birth together one last time. And in remembrance of their Lord’s greatest gift, one of them will make the ultimate sacrifice for the others…and a centuries-long tradition will be born.
About the Author
Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two small children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
Guest Post from Roseanna White
I was fed up with Christmas.
Or, no. I was fed up with the Christmas the world kept shoving at me. The one that was all about presentes. I’d always enjoyed gift giving and receiving, but I began to wonder: What was it I really valued—my Savior . . . or the stuff? We all say the right thing when this question is brought up. But we also all talk about “giving people Christmas” who can’t afford it. About how disappointed our kids might be if they wake to few packages under the tree. And you know, that belies our claims that it’s all about Jesus, doesn’t it?
And of course, when one thinks of gifts at Christmas, a jolly old elf springs to mind. So I started thinking that if I wanted my kids to understand the meaning of Christmas, it might be time to pull the plug on the embodiment of the commercialism: Santa Claus.
But I’m a historical novelist, and I believe in looking at the real history before making decisions. So one morning before our homeschool day began, I sat down and did some online research about Saint Nicholas. About the traditions he began that persist to this day. Who was he, before the Victorians turned him into the figure we know today as Santa?
I read. And I was awed.
Within fifteen minutes, I realized that St. Nick wasn’t the problem with Christmas. This was a man who was committed, above all, to honoring Jesus. Who believed in giving anonymously, so that all the glory went to God. Who performed miracles. Who healed and shepherded a flock under persecution.
St. Nicholas was a man who deserves my honor and respect. Who should be my inspiration for what Christmas is really about, not my scapegoat.
Nicholas gave generously—and in secret. It wasn’t until after his death that the stories started making their rounds about the many times he quietly gave of his wealth. But for centuries afterward, whenever someone wanted to give a gift anonymously, they would sign it from St. Nicholas—it was like saying, “This is because God loves you.”
Why are we giving? Is it to give God glory . . . or to please ourselves and our families? Would you still give if you got no credit for it? If no one even knew it was from you?
That day I read about St. Nicholas, I also decided I’d write a book with him as one of the main characters. A novel that brings one of our traditions—gifts coming down chimneys, stockings stuffed with goodies—to life. And so, we have Giver of Wonders.
Is it a Christmas story? It is. But not like the others out there. Is it about Santa Claus? It is, but not the version you see all over your TV. Is it about giving? It is. But not about presents wrapped and put under the tree. It’s about sacrifice. And it’s about Jesus. And it’s about what He really asks of us, and what He really did for us. And what we’re willing to give for love of Him.
Because that, my friends, is Christmas.
My Thoughts on Giver of Wonders
Giver of Wonders captured my attention and drew me into the stories of each of the three main characters from the very start. Immediately within meeting Cyrpus, Petros, and Nik, I felt that I knew them. Ms. White was quick to show their commonalities, the things that drew them together as well as some of their very distinguishing characteristics such as Cyprus’s rashness and impatience, Petros’ joy and humor in life, and Nik’s solid calling. And she demonstrated rather than tell. The side characters are equally well done. I felt as though I were taken back to that very time as I read. It was such a thought provoking thing to really consider what life might have been like for Christians then, to see them as real people and not just as faceless members of history. The true natures and characters of the players in the story are revealed through the struggles they face. There are characters that made me stop and say, “I want to trust God like that.” And yet others that made me see that I would not want to follow the path they had chosen. I couldn’t help but think, “Who am I in this story?” Someone in this story is probably going through the feelings you yourself are having or have had at some point and I think you will identify with the characters on multiple levels.
I love it when the author makes me FEEL every emotion, every detail as I read and that is, without a doubt, accomplished in this book. You will feel what the characters feel—their devastation, desperation, anger, determination, joy, their struggles with their faith as God works to draw them near and strengthen them. Cyprus’ own struggle with wondering about God’s purpose for her struck close to home. How often do we feel like Cyprus—unsure of the Lord’s purpose for us, unsure if what we are doing has “enough” purpose or is noble or good enough, feeling like there must be something greater to be done and that what we are doing maybe isn’t enough?
Every aspect of this book drew me in, from the characters to the emotions to the setting to the spot on truths exhibited. It’s hard to even describe how wonderfully done this book is and the impact it had on me as I read. It is filled to overflowing with rich, Biblical truths woven into the story. It’s as if it’s really many stories, many aspects all incredibly painted into an intricate masterpiece. It’s not just a story of faith or romance or struggle or hope or truth. It’s all those threads interwoven to make a beautiful yet strong piece.
It’s the story:
~of those times in our lives when we face hardship that God has allowed for His ultimate will and glory to be accomplished. You know—those circumstances where you wonder, “God, what are You doing here? What good could possibly ever come from this?” But then, He does something magnificent. He makes the ugly, the broken in our lives beautiful through the very hardship that seemed at one time like it might be impossible to overcome.
~of sacrifice, of loving others above yourself.
~of surrender, of letting go, of giving yourself up to His plan as He guides, of knowing that He will provide, of obedience in the midst of trial and struggle and adversity.
~of seeking God’s will above your own, of trusting Him to come through for you.
~of when He is truly your only hope and you must rely on Him as you never have before.
~of how He speaks to us, guides us, uses us to minister to others.
~of choosing to forgive and to love even when you’ve been hurt, of not allowing hurt and bitterness to fester and hinder.
~of overcoming through the work and power of the Holy One, of allowing Him to guide you in each step taken, of learning to hear His voice.
~that demonstrates the mighty hand of God at work even long ago to put into action things that would answer the needs you would have in the future.
“O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.” ~Isaiah 25:1
Giver of Wonders is an engaging and thought provoking book. It’s one of those books that I feel like I will need to read many times in order to soak up the many depths and layers and richness and truths in it. In it, you’ll find a book that will cause you to stop and wonder over the Giver of Wonders and the beautiful Biblical truths woven in will resonate as you read. Every inch of this book points to the Giver of Wonders and the precious work of His hands that He does for us, in us, and through us. I am thankful and blessed to have had the chance to read this book.
P.S.-I highly recommend checking out the Author’s Note at the end of the book.
December 6: Neverending Stories
December 6: Blossoms and Blessings
December 7: Moments Dipped in Ink
December 7: A Greater Yes
December 8: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses
December 8: Book by Book
December 9: Stuff & Nonsense
December 9: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
December 10: Blogging With Carol
December 10: Giveaway Lady
December 11: New Horizon Reviews
December 11: A Simple Life, really?!
December 12: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
December 12: Genesis 5020
December 13: Daysong Reflections
December 13: Inklings and Notions
December 14: A Reader’s Brain
December 14: Pause for Tales
December 15: Redeemed Hope Dweller
December 15: simple harvest reads
December 16: Baker Kella
December 16: For The Love of Books
December 17: Bibliophile Reviews
December 17: Reader’s Cozy Corner
December 18: Henry Happens
December 18: Bigreadersite
December 19: History, Hope, Laughter & Happily-ever-after
December 19: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a stocking full of wonder! Click on the stocking below to enter. Be sure to comment on this blog post to claim nine extra entries in the giveaway!
**I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own.