Character Spotlight: Roseanna M. White’s Peter & Rosemary (with giveaway)

By special demand…ahem…request of Rachel McMillan and Courtney Clark!

A Name UnknownMeet a writer and a thief in

Roseanna M. White’s

Edwardian novel

A Name Unknown

Bethany House


The Story

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family’s German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered. 

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors’ scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he’s more than his name?

Introducing Peter & Rosemary

Brief physical description

When Rosemary first met Peter, she noted, of course, his blond hair, blue eyes, and slenderness, his average height…and the cleft in his chin that her little sister would have swooned over. He was, she supposed, handsome enough—but it wasn’t what one paid attention to in his company. More noteworthy was his stutter, and the odd fact that he seemed completely at ease with himself despite it.

Peter was no slouch in the observation department either. He saw at once that Rosemary was far too thin—well beyond fashionable—with sharp shoulder blades always ready to rise in defence. But there was something fetching about her dark curls and challenging eyes. She had the normal sort of beauty that it took a few minutes to notice, and the sort of spunky, forceful personally that eclipsed it.


I have my picks for pictures on my Pinterest boardRebecca Hall and Josh Pence. The model BHP chose for the cover was absolutely perfect for Rosemary!

Strengths and weaknesses

Rosemary is a Cockney girl—from the roughest neighbourhoods of London, she’s emerged with a fighting spirit. She’ll fight for those she loves, and she’ll do whatever she must to protect them. Which may lead her occasionally into arguments and even physical fights that any well-bred young lady would steer clear of.

Peter’s deep strength comes entirely from his faith. Having lived all his life with a stutter that keeps him from communicating easily, he’s become a bit of a recluse…but one with a heart that yearns to touch the world through the written word and to quietly do good wherever the Lord leads. He’s occasionally oblivious to the world around him and doesn’t always see the other side of an argument. But once he does, he recognizes right and follows it.

Quirk (if any)

Rosemary lapses into her native Cockney accent, rather than the educated one she’s learned, in moments of high emotion. And as a thief, she’s constantly casing the world around her. She doesn’t just notice a person’s hair and eye color, she notes the quality of their watch and the bulge of their handbag and whether there are any electro-magnetic alarms on their windows and doors.

Peter gets so fully caught up in his writing that it often takes five to ten minutes for a knock at his office door to stir him. And let’s not get into the family trait he’s inherited for hoarding books. And magazines. And books. And newspapers. And books. And letters. And did I mention books?

Your inspiration for the character

Peter was actually inspired by King George V, who was king of England in 1914 when the story takes place; the king had “a difficult time expressing himself in speech” and so wrote letters to his wife that, from all accounts, kept them thoroughly in love. I wanted a hero like that, and one with a deep-seated faith that would be his rock in the storm. Because already I had a storm in mind—that also like the king, he was of German heritage in a time when being German was viewed with suspicion and fear.

Rosemary was partly inspired by a story my best friend was then working on, about a girl whose mother was a thief. I was intrigued by the idea of a main character who was herself a thief…but who had a noble side the world might not readily see. Rosemary isn’t just defined by what she does, she’s defined by why she does it—the family of orphans she’s taken in and protected over the years. That part of the inspiration came largely from my own family, who will do anything for each other, whether the members were born a part of said family or not. It isn’t blood that makes a family, after all. It’s love.

Background to the story

My stories often begin with characters, so my inspiration for them led largely to the plot. In addition, I’d learned that King George actually had his last name changed during the war, as a visible sign of his loyalty to England (new Windsor surname) rather than Germany (Saxe-Coburg had been his surname before). What if, I asked myself, another man of German descent considered doing the same thing? And what if he was a friend of the king, and that made people even more suspicious of his motives? And what if a mysterious someone in fact hired a thief to steal evidence that he was disloyal to England?

I love playing what-if games. =)

Thanks Roseanna!

Relz Reviewz Extras
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Visit Roseanna’s website and blog
Buy at Amazon: A Name Unknown or Koorong

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47 Responses to Character Spotlight: Roseanna M. White’s Peter & Rosemary (with giveaway)

  1. Books!!! If only I had enough shelves…..

  2. I’m not too much of a hoarder/collector. I do like crosses and my husband says I can’t get anymore. 😂 I guess that counts. Lol.

  3. I collect baskets, hearts, Angels and Americana items . And if course books!
    Absolutely loved A Name Unknown! Roseanna is one of my very favorite authors. Can’t wait for the next one!
    Run – don’t walk – to get this book and read it!

  4. I collect books, too. I love antique things, so I’ve got quite a few pieces of furniture and other objects that I’ve acquired over the years.


  6. I LOVE THIS!!!!! Yes to book hoarding and love being the family bond!!! :) And I’m happy to learn the inspiration behind Peter and Rosemary. :)

  7. Here’s to books! Thank you!

  8. Beverly Duell-Moore

    Ummm! I don’t Twitter or Tweet!

  9. I collect books and keychains!

  10. I would very much enjoy reading this book, too. Sounds intriguing!

  11. Books yes! I hit up book fairs as much as possible! I don’t need any more books but can’t seem to help myself! Haha

  12. Books of course! Also vintage aprons and vintage Fisher Price toys :)

  13. I definitely hoard books! My shelves are full, I have donated to our church library, and I still buy books, books, and more books!!! 😉

  14. I also hoard books! I only keep my favorites that I intend to re-read and I’m still constantly running out of shelf space. Then too, there is my Kindle which has a TBR list in the hundreds. When I was younger my parents actually had to ground me from reading as it was the only punishment that really affected me.

  15. I definitely hoard books. And jewelry making supplies. And yarn. So. Much. Yarn. Oh, and Tolkien-related things because I’m a total Middle Earth fan.

  16. I collect books & hearts. I love the cover of this book – the model really looks like she’s up to no good. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

  17. I collect books and magazines

  18. Like most everybody else here, books!

  19. What a fun inside look at these characters! I can’t wait to read the book!

  20. I collect books, cookbooks, and keychains. :)

  21. Books! Fiction and cookbooks.

  22. I guess you could say I hoard fabric. since I quilt and sew a lot I am always on the look out for fabrics to use.

  23. I am not really a hoarder. But I do collect lots of books. I love reading!

  24. I do collect books and have way more than I have shelf space for. :) I also like to collect Christmas ornaments and bird related things.

  25. I definitely collect books! Reading is one of my passions. And I have two college age daughters who also love to read so that further fuels my ‘collecting’ :)

    Thanks for the opportunity of this giveaway!

  26. Hi Rel,
    Most recently it has been books, but before that it was socks. Cute socks because I used to work in the grade school here, but this year I’m at the high school so I think I need to grow up a bit! hehehe! NOT!

  27. I try not to actually hoard anything. I guess you could say I collect books, since I have so many. I will also collect lighthouses and Cherished Teddies figurines, but I try to only get ones I really like or have a special meaning.

  28. Mine is books! And maybe Christmas decorations!

  29. Book, and more books. I’m trying to talk my husband into building bookshelves across one wall in the extra bedroom for my books. We will see!

  30. I’ve definitely got more books than can fit on any of my shelves (and I love it!) but I also used to collect beanie bears or pressed pennies from anyplace I went.

  31. Same thing – books!

    Let me put it this way: my name is Alaina and I’m a book-aholic. 😀

  32. Of course I collect books, purses, and fabric!

  33. I can’t say I collect or hoard anything — but doesn’t everyone in denial say that? Haha, so I’ll just testify that my family thinks I have quite a bit of books and paper for book ideas 😉

  34. When I was really little, I used to hoard gum wrappers. Kind of crazy, right? All of my children are hoarders and I can’t really reprimand them since I am just like them! I do love books, pens, and stationery. A bit more sophisticated than gum wrappers, but the house is busting at the seams!

  35. Well, books of course!

  36. Ha, I hoard mainly books….and teacups. Really, you can’t have a book without tea or vice versa, so one must have plenty of both in stock! 😉

  37. This book sounds awesome! Can’t wait to read it!!

  38. I would say it had to be books, I have several stacks and don’t want to part with any.

  39. Yes, I’m a book collector! I can’t part with ones from my favorite authors.

  40. I’m a book hoarder too. I love my books and have filled my shelves.

  41. Books and school supplies/craft supplies…

  42. The main thing I collect is books! I also collect different types of teas and tea cups.light house things,wooden things,Americana,nail polish,Shopkins,holiday decorations like snowmen and pumpkin decorations.

  43. Books of course, although I have started going through them and am trying to thin them out a bit. I also have a ton of papers and things that I need to figure out what to do with. I am talking reports I did in Elementary school and things like that. I have to admit, it was interesting seeing a report I did when I was ly oldest’s age vs what he does in school now!

  44. I definitely hoard books. Me and my sister share books and even though I give books to her after I read them, I still have a lot of books. I think calling them a collection of books sounds better than hoarding.

  45. Books and school supplies. Mostly books. :)

  46. I used to collect quilts but now am focusing more on old decorative glassware. I do have my shelves of books, too! Thanks for the information!

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