About the Book
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.
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About the Author
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
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!
An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M. White is the third book in Shadows Over England series. Barclay Pearce has given up a life of crime and now uses his talents to help his country win the war. Barclay’s latest assignment is clockmaker, Cecil Manning who has an invention that would give England’s flying men an edge over Germany’s pilots. On the way to the Manning residence, Barclay saves a woman from a mugging. The woman turns out to be Evelina Manning, the clockmaker’s daughter. Barclay is intrigued by the independent woman and perplexed by the identity of her mugger. Evelina is shocked when her fiancé, Basil ends their engagement three weeks before the wedding and learns that he has enlisted in the army. Basil tells Evelina that she lacks warmth and the last thing he wants is a marriage like their parents. Evelina never thought that standing up for a woman’s right to vote and for safe working conditions would drive away Basil. She dreads telling her mother about the broken engagement. Barclay works with Mr. Manning on his invention in the evenings and makes a point of arriving early to spend time the clockmaker’s fiery daughter. It seems that someone else is interested in Mr. Manning’s device, and they will go to great lengths to acquire it. Barclay will need to dig deep into his bag of tricks if he is to complete this assignment and keep the Manning family safe.
An Hour Unspent is an intriguing novel. It begins in May of 1915 when England is at war with Germany. I recommend reading the books in Shadows Over England series in order. Each book builds upon the previous one and it will provide you a better understanding about the family and its members. The characters from A Name Unknown and A Song Unheard appear in this installment along with the rest of Barclay’s family. I enjoyed getting to know more about Barclay who is the head of his family. He has given up a life of crime, has become a Christian and is reading the Bible. When he is asked to acquire an item, he has a moral dilemma. There is only one way to get it and it is not legal. Barclay’s faith continues to grow as does his character. Barclay is issued a new challenge to steal an hour from Big Ben and the solution is unique (and practical). Barclay decides to follow the mysterious Mr. V one evening. Readers get to know a little more about enigmatic man. I thought An Hour Unspent was well-written and researched. The author captured the time-period with the character’s speech, clothing, items available, conveyances, books, music and the environment (descriptions of Poplar, the buildings). Ms. White provides detailed descriptions that brings the scenes to life. I wish, though, that the pace had been a little peppier (it drags along sometimes). Unique historical events are included in the story and it was fascinating to learn the origins of Rolex. Wrist watches were considered a newfangled idea that would not catch on. The mystery is captivating with its many twists and turns. I was happy the author provided an epilogue. An Hour Unspent combines a thought out plot along with great characters, drama, suspense, humor, romance, friendship, family, and faith.
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 (list below) for nine extra entries into the giveaway. Click the here to enter and Good Luck! Thank you for stopping by today. Tomorrow I am featuring Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott. The first book in A Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series. I hope you have a peaceful day. Take care and Happy Reading!
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