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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Book Review and Giveaway: Lessons on Love By: Kathleen L. Maher, Susanne Dietze, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Rita Gerlach,

Hey Guys! Today I am thrilled to bring new friend Kathleen L. Maher to the blog today. We are celebrating the release of: Lessons on Love By: Kathleen Maher, Susanne Dietze, Carrie Fancett Pagels, and Rita Gerlach.

Hi, Connie! Thank you so much for having me, Kathleen L. Maher, on your blog. I’m excited to talk about Lessons on Love, Barbour’s new Schoolteacher historical romance collection. I wanted to give your readers an exclusive look at this brand-new release, with the opportunity to win a signed print copy of their very own!
My novella, “Something Old, Something New”, tells the story of a young Jewish woman Gilda Jacobs, whose father has recently passed away. Her papa, Eliezer Jacobs, was revered in the town for founding his school and maintaining academic excellence. Gilda desires to take his place and teach, but the townspeople, particularly the mayor, has other ideas. He wants his nephew, Joshua Blake, to take over the school. Josh, on the other hand, just wants to preach the gospel, since he was mentored by the great revivalist Charles Finney. Old traditions meet new in this historical tale with many twists, turns and sparks!

Set in 1840, “Something Old, Something New” showcases a unique time in New York state history, with the newly built Erie Canal, the Hudson River still unspoiled by industrialization, and the old Dutch colonists mingling with various influences, including Jewish settlers. This was the era that Washington Irving wrote his classics such as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip van Winkle. And the Common Schools –the first public schools—were just getting started across the expanding new Republic.
School teachers were a vital resource to our newly independent country. They held communities together and their curriculum brought unity throughout regions to make the next generation not only literate, but good citizens as well. Lady teachers were thought to have the right moral influence on young minds, and strict conditions were placed into their teaching contracts. Women who chose the noble vocation of teaching for these Common schools were forbidden to consort with men other than their brothers or father. They had dress codes, conduct codes, curfews, and even had to agree where to live. 

Four schoolteachers find more than they bargained for in their contracts. Class is in session on the four R’s: reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmatic, and romance!
The other three stories depict charming scenarios of school teachers and their chances at romance from early in America’s history. Here are the descriptions of each:
Love in Any Language  by Susanne Dietze
Kansas, 1870
Mary Clarence teaches English to the children of Swedish immigrants, but when her favorite students’ widowed father, Kristofer Nilsson, is accused of robbery, she’s determined to clear his name.
In Desperate Straits  by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Mackinac Island, Michigan, 1894
Desperate for work, Margaret Hadley dresses as a young man to secure a dray driver’s position. When soldiers at the fort threaten her, Mackinac Island’s newest teacher, Jesse Huntington, intervenes.
A Song in the Night  by Rita Gerlach
Virginia, 1904
Karin Wiles longs to share the uplifting power of music with children. But when she seeks to improve a poorly run school and include orphans, Nathaniel Archer delivers harsh words of opposition from the school board.

CONTEST: I am offering a signed print copy of Lessons on Love to one lucky commenter. To enter, answer this question. Have you ever had a job that demanded you to act or dress in a way that you found challenging? Could you imagine living up to these teacher contracts?
For extra entries, share this blog post on your social media: FB, Twitter, Pinterest, or (the cover of the book) on Instagram, etc. Be creative! The more shares, the more entries. ***US only***

Thank you for having me as your guest on this lovely blog, Connie.  I look forward to interacting with your readers!

Author bio:

"Where every underdog has his day."
Kathleen L. Maher’s first crush was Peter Rabbit, and she’s loved conflicted heroes ever since. She has two novellas in BARBOUR BOOKS' collections: Victorian Christmas Brides and Lessons on Love. Winner 2012 ACFW Genesis Award. Author of Sons of the Shenandoah Series: The Abolitionist's Daughter and The Chaplain's Daughter. 
Kathleen and her husband live in an old farmhouse in upstate NY with their children and a small menagerie.
Connect with me at:
Facebook author page:

Kathleen, Thank You so much for the information! I am thrilled to have been able to have read this wonderful collection. 

My Thoughts on the Book

I am going to concentrate on Kathleen's story. I have read several books by Kathleen and she always writes such wonderful, historical stories. She always does such great and careful research. The author has a way of drawing you in within the first few pages. In this story, we meet Gilda. A Jewish woman who has recently lost her father. Her father was the teacher of the school, and she desires to take over that role after his passing. However, the mayor, has other thoughts. The mayor wants his nephew to come on board. One of the things that I loved about this book is that we see a beautiful blend of cultures. Gilda's Jewish culture, and Joshua's Christian faith. How will this work out? Will the town accept Gilda or will they want Joshua. Will Joshua and Gilda get past their differences? You will have to read to find out. 

I received a copy of this book through the author, all thoughts are my own. 


CONTEST: I am offering a signed print copy of Lessons on Love to one lucky commenter. To enter, answer this question. Have you ever had a job that demanded you to act or dress in a way that you found challenging? Could you imagine living up to these teacher contracts?
For extra entries, share this blog post on your social media: FB, Twitter, Pinterest, or (the cover of the book) on Instagram, etc. Be creative! The more shares, the more entries. ***US only***


  1. Thank you so much for having me as your guest this week Connie. Your review blessed me. Thank you for your kind words. It will be fun chatting with your readers.

  2. Thanks so much for the giveaway. I’m trying to win for my friend. I shared on Twitter and FB. When I worked almost everyone dressed for Halloween. I don’t like Halloween so I’m like just dressed in my regular uniform. Also at my job everyone wore uniforms and of course they come with pants and I don’t wear pants. I go to the director and tell her I will wear skirts with my uniform top. She didn’t have a problem with that. Thank the Lord I didn’t have to argue with her.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Brenda! Congrats! you are the randomly selected winner!

      Please email me at: within 48 hours to claim your prize! Congrats

  3. Thankfully I have not had any jobs where the dress code posed any challenges. As a former teacher myself, I can’t imagine having such controlling rules like the ones placed upon those female teachers in the 19th and early 20th centuries

    1. I don't think I would have lasted with all the rules! Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Hi Betsy. Thank you for your service in teaching! I have great respect for you who help train the next generation. My son teaches, and it’s a tough game. Thanks for joining the conversation. Good luck in the drawing.

  4. Hi Brenda. Thank you for those shares! That’s sweet of you for being so thoughtful for your friend.
    I can totally sympathize with your predicament. Halloween can be a sticky subject. I’m glad you have an understanding boss.

  5. As a librarian, I was asked to dress appropriately and over the years, our attire changed. I wore dresses and skirts in the beginning of my career but when I retired, dress slacks were the normal attire. If we were working in the stacks or getting ready for our annual book sale and during Summer Reading, jeans were permitted. I had heard about schoolteachers and their contracts during the early 20th century and I believe that those contracts would have been hard to obey!

    1. I also shared this blog post on Twitter & Facebook!

    2. What an interesting job that must have been. I’ve always wondered how libraries made the transition from card catalogs to internet. I miss the cards.

  6. I was the receptionist in a law firm. I was told to "tone down" my personality. The atmosphere was too reserved for me!

    Shared on Facebook and Pinterest

    1. I can’t even imagine. Of course, I get chatty when nervous so I never would have been hired in the first place. 😄 I have to say that’s an unexpected job requirement.

  7. Random dot org has helped me select a winner, but before I share the name, I would like to sincerely thank each of you for coming by and joining the conversation and celebrating my new release. I’m deeply grateful to Connie for hosting me and for her lovely review.

    So now without further ado, the winner of the signed copy of Lessons on Love is Brenda! Congratulations Brenda. I will be contacting you shortly to gather mailing information.
    Thanks again everyone!

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