I stop watches.
If I had to claim a superpower, this would be it. The phenomenon actually runs in my family. Both my mother and my older sister have this ability/curse as well. I can get a brand new watch that is running just fine. The next day, the battery will be dead. I’ll get a new battery and it works great for another day and then dead.
Wind-up watches would actually be a good choice for me if I could remember to wind them. My sister found that a leather band makes a difference for her. I just got out of the habit of wearing a watch years ago. Before everyone carried a cell phone with them.
The funny thing is, at that time, if you didn’t wear a watch, people kinda freaked out. “How can you not wear a watch? You won’t know what time it is.” One year at Christmas, three people gave me watches! But I never had a problem, you see, because everyone else had a watch, so I could always ask someone for the time. . .
An Hour Unspent
Series: Shadows Over England #3
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date September 4, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance, Suspense
Setting: England World War I Era - 1914 - 1918
Written for: Adults
Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.
Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.
As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.
I would like to thank Celebrate Lit, Netgalley for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
It is masterful the way that the author took the theme of clocks and threaded it throughout the entire story. From Mr. Manning’s profession to the dare given to Barclay by his sister, to the way that Lina looked at her inability to feel, to the realization Barclay had about God, and so very much more. There were even references to Alice in Wonderland where, of course, a major theme was the white rabbit looking at his watch, “I’m late!” I can’t remember another book I’ve read that has done such an incredible job at doing this.
I wasn’t far into the book when I realized there were others that had come before it that told the story of two of Barclay’s sisters. Though it was clear a familiarity of their stories wasn’t essential to understanding this one, I was very tempted to set this aside to read them immediately. If only I had time! But I will be picking them up to read. I’m hooked!
I was touched by Evelina’s heartbreak and struggles with understanding her worth. And I adored Barclay, with his street-wise ways and heart of gold. I loved the way he had taken in an entire house of orphans and didn’t think it unusual. He was simply amazing. His deep love for others became so evident when he told his story to the four-year-old orphan, Clover, to set her at ease so she would be willing to go home with him, despite the fact that Lina was there to hear some of the sordid details she had previously been unaware of.
The intrigue and mystery were very interesting as was the deeper look into clocks and the history of an item we don’t even think twice about today. The spiritual lessons were insightful and powerful. And, of course, the romance was sweet and lovely.
I can’t recommend reading this book strongly enough!
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Guest Post from Roseanna
Last year, as I finished up the writing of An Hour Unspent, my great-grandmother passed away at the age of 103. As I sat at her funeral service and listened to the heartfelt memorial raised up to her by her kids and grandkids, I realized anew that this woman had been a matriarch in the truest sense of the word. She’d taught my family for generations how to love the Lord and each other, how to serve the Lord and each other, and how to trust the Lord and each other. Grandma Seward was, in so many ways, the one who instilled in me my idea of what family really is.
That idea—that it’s those knit together by love more than blood, and that faith is the strongest foundation—is what I built my unusual family of thieves upon in the Shadows Over England series. And strange as it is to liken my twenty-something reformed-thief hero to my 103-year-old-grandmother, Barclay Pearce is very much to his family what Maxine Seward was to mine.
The founder. The caregiver. The leader.
I knew as I began the series that I would write about Barclay in book three, and as I got to know him better throughout the series, I grew so excited to share his story! This is a man who led his family first into and then out of a life a crime, always for the right reasons—so he could provide for the children under his care. All he ever wanted to do was give them what he himself had lost. To show them love. To prove to them that they were worth any sacrifice.
It was truly a blessing for me to get to write the story in which Barclay found someone to come alongside him, to appreciate and learn to understand him. To finally share what started him down this path. I loved the idea that only a reformed thief could steal the time another family needed to overcome their own trials.
There are many historical items in the book that were such fun to explore—watchmaking of the era, the suffrage movement in England, technological advancements of the war—but at the heart, this isn’t a story about any of those.
It’s a story about how far people should go for love. I hope you enjoy Barclay’s story as much as I did!
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Real World Bible Study, November 2
Madeline Clark, November 2
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D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 4
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Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 11
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To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a signed book, a London mug, and a 48-pack Twinings tea sampler!!Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d570/an-hour-unspent-celebration-tour-giveaway