Archive for Reviews

(giveaway) Buried Secrets by Rachel J Good

Buried Secrets FB Cover

This story just grabs you and you will be wanting to cheer Emma on to recovery and on to a life of new happy memories! Emma made some mistakes during her Rumschpringe and the loss of her memory has caused so many changes to her families lives and a new life for her with so many things she just doesn’t understand the why’s of.  If you like Amish stories.. this one will surprise you with all the twists and turns..  I really liked this story of secrets, family, faith and recovery. 

Scroll down for the giveaway details..

About the Book     Buried Secrets_Good

Buried Secrets by  Rachel J. Good  

 Genre: Amish Romance  Click here to purchase your copy.

Overcome the past and any other obstacles that stand in the way of the future God has planned for you.

Three years after the accident that almost claimed her life, Emma Esh has recovered physically but has no memory of the year before the accident. When she moves to a new community to help her sister Lydia and brother-in-law, Caleb, prepare for the birth of twins, she falls for their neighbor Samuel.

But the twins’ premature birth, a visit from the Englischer Emma once dated, and the sudden return of her memory threaten Emma’s romance. After the secrets of her past are revealed, will love be able to overcome all obstacles?

About the Author

rachel-photo-web-1   Inspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – Sisters & Friends series, Love & Promises series, and two books in the Hearts of Amish Country series – as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books and the contemporary novella, Angels Unaware, part of the Hope Chapel series. Rachel also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. She loves reading (of course!), traveling, and spending time with her five children and three grandchildren. Visit her at her website, Facebook, author page, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads. You also can sign up for her quarterly newsletter  here.

Guest Post from Rachel J. Good

Readers who have read Change of Heart, the first book in the Sisters & Friends series, will remember Emma as the wild teen who defied her family. Her older sister, Lydia, tried to prevent Emma from making mistakes during Rumschpringe, the Amish running-around time. Throughout most of the story, Lydia and Emma were at odds with each other, but in the end, the family needed to forgive Emma and show her God’s love.

In Book 2, Buried Secrets, Emma has no memory of her rebellion, so she’s devastated when she finally does remember. Then she must confront her past, learn to forgive herself, and also ask for and accept God’s forgiveness. Sometimes when we’ve done things we’re ashamed of, we struggle to believe that God can forgive what we’ve done. But God’s mercy has no limits. Emma needs to open her heart to that truth. As she does, she discovers an important lesson: Some mistakes in the past can never be undone, but God can forgive anything.

Authors often write about themes that are close to their hearts, and I’m no exception. Many times, after I write a novel, I look back and see how God directed me to tell a story containing lessons I needed to learn. In Change of Heart, Lydia discovers that judging other people or suggesting ways they can improve their lives can be a form of self-righteousness. God used my young daughter to point that out to me, but it’s a lesson that bears repeating. And as I finished the novel, I clearly saw it as a reminder not only to Lydia, but also to me.

Emma’s story also blessed me by reminding me how deep and wide God’s love is for each of us. No matter how we’ve failed, He never stops loving us, and His forgiveness is only a prayer away.

I also hope to remind readers that “all things work together for good for those that love God.” So often we expect hardship when we do God’s will, but He has promised to give us the desires of our hearts. Lydia learned in Change of Heart that God’s will was so much better than anything she could have planned, and Emma, too, comes to realize that, by trusting God to direct her life, she is blessed many times over.

Has God ever given you a desire of your heart? To enter the giveaway, share one of God’s blessings in your life. And let’s rejoice together at the many wonderful things He has done for each of us.

Book Excerpt

Emma concentrated on the plants beside her. Gardening soothed her, made her feel whole again. The spring sunshine warmed the ground and sent comforting rays through her cloak as she bent over the soft, moist earth. She lifted a seedling from its pot and inhaled the savory tomato-y aroma. Then she pinched off the lower leaves, set it in the hole, and gently bent the stem before covering it with soil.

Whoosh. A heavy weight slammed her backwards, smashing her head against the ground. Gasping, desperate to suck some air into her crushed lungs, Emma opened her eyes to find a furry face inches from her own. A huge mouth opened, revealing pointy white teeth. Then a wet pink tongue scraped across her cheek.

“Bolt,” a deep male voice commanded. “Off.”

A handsome stranger, black bangs hanging in front of his eyes, bent over her, his hand outstretched. “Ach, I’m so sorry. She slipped out the door again.” He clamped his other hand on the Irish setter’s collar and pulled the dog off Emma, leaving muddy paw prints across her skirt.

Still dazed, Emma lay where she’d fallen, gazing up at him, unsure whether the rapid pattering of her pulse was from her recent fright or from looking into the greenest eyes she’d ever seen.

“Are you all right?” Worry crinkled his brow.

“I–I’ll be fine.” Ignoring the hand he’d extended, she tried to sit.

The stranger dropped to one knee beside her. “Don’t get up if you’re hurt. Is there someone I can fetch?”

“I don’t need help.” Heat flooded Emma’s cheeks when her words came out sharply. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “Please forgive me.” Then pinching her lips together, she steeled herself to sit without assistance.

“There’s nothing to forgive. I’m the one who let my dog escape.” The words were barely out of his mouth when the Irish setter twisted free and bounded off, crushing the rows of seedlings Emma had just planted.

“Oh, no!” The stranger dashed off after the dog, swerving to avoid the tomato plants the setter had crushed. Gasping for air, he made a desperate tackle, landing a few feet beyond the garden, the dog wriggling under him. With a firm grip on the Irish setter’s collar, he stood, the front of his shirt, galluses, and black pants splattered with dog hair and dirt.

Emma suppressed the urge to giggle at his sheepish expression, the clod of mud clinging to his forehead, and the panting dog struggling to jerk free of his hold.

He pinched his lips together as he studied the mess. “I’m so sorry. Let me put Bolt in the house. Then I’ll help clean up.”

“Bolt?” Had he called the dog that earlier? Emma had been too distracted to pay attention. Now she couldn’t hold in her mirth.

Rather than taking offense, the stranger glanced down with a rueful expression, then joined in her laughter. “Jah,” he said between hearty chuckles. “Short for Lightning Bolt. She zigs and zags so fast I can’t catch her sometimes.” He waved a hand toward the disaster in the garden. “Like she did here. And now look at me.”

Emma did, and her laughter ended in a sharp intake of breath. And then his eyes met hers, and she stopped breathing altogether.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading Buried Secrets as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Rachel

Visit the tour page and follow  the tour   “HERE”

GIVEAWAY:  255bc4a1-a8ba-47d5-b14b-7e1308ca7799

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a full box of Whoopie Pies freshly baked for you from a bakery in Amish country, along with copies of Angels Unaware, the brand new Amish Words and Proverbs Coloring Book and Amish Quilts Coloring Book #1 (Large Print Edition), an autographed copy of Change of Heart, and an Amish cookbook!!   Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!   Click  https://promosimple.com/ps/b160 to enter.

I was gifted a copy to participated in this CelebrateLit Book Tour.

Susan Page Davis

 

The Priority Unit

 A mysterious computer program being designed under a cloak of mystery. Multiple programmers each with one key component and no access to the rest of the program! I was drawn right into the middle of this mystery when the main programmer disappears without a trace. If you like lots of action, a mystery with interesting twists and turns, you will enjoy helping Harvey figure out this deadly mystery!

 

ABOUT THE BOOK: A missing man.
A mysterious computer program –
Even the people constructing it don’t know what it will do.
On the worst night of Harvey Larson’s life, his partner is killed and his wife, Carrie, walks out on him. Ten years later, the Portland, Maine police detective has learned to cope with his grief and depression. When he and the Priority Unit investigate the disappearance of software designer Nick Dunham, he meets a young woman who will change his life. Jennifer Wainthrop was the last person to admit seeing Dunham alive.
Harvey and his partner, Eddie Thibodeau, stay a step ahead of a bomber and put together the clues that tell the truth: Dunham’s kidnapping and the bombings are one case, and Jennifer is caught in the middle. News that Carrie has committed suicide may plunge Harvey back into despair. Harvey turns to God for help untangling his complicated life. He finds strength in his faith as he attempts to save Jennifer from the same grim fate that claimed Nick. But Jennifer must depend on her own wits and God alone when the killer gets too close.

 

Echo Canyon

 

I enjoyed this story of young Iris and learning about the hard life this young Mormon woman would have lived. Settling in Utah in the 1800’s was a lot of hard work for Iris when she was placed into a family she didn’t know because a husband had been chosen for her. Hard work and trying to fit in where she didn’t want to be.. I was totally rooting for her to run to the shelter offered by the Sherman’s.  Wild horses, the Army, the struggles of settling the wildness of Utah and the faith it took to survive made for a great backdrop for a little romance and a wild race to the end.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Iris Perkins is told she will be married soon to a man she despises. A chance visit by two brothers and a beautiful woman from the other side of Echo Canyon gives her hope. For Edward Sherman, venturing into Utah with his brother to buy horses is risky. He only wants to find the livestock they need and get back to Fort Bridger, until he meets a frightened young woman in need. He’ll do anything he can to save Iris, even race against the man determined to marry her.

The Saboteur

 

This Police investigation soon had Debra into the mix of things when she took a job as the Sergeants secretary. Mystery, sabotage from inside and a touch of romance kept me turning the pages as each mishap just added more intrigue to the story!  Fast paced and lots of twists and turns made this one I was asking,  who?  who? Right to the end!

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:  Debra Griffin takes a job at the local police station as secretary to the detective sergeant, Michael Van Sant. Michael is trying to learn who wants to sabotage his unit, and Debra is soon caught up in his hush-hush investigation—while she tries not to fall head over heels for her boss. But danger is nearer than she thinks. When she confronts the saboteur, Mike and his detectives race against the clock. But is one of the men he trusted trying to get Debra out of the way and bring them down?

**I was gifted copies by the author and my review is voluntary..

giveaway) Life After E.L.E. by JC Morrow

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Life After E.L.E. (The Frozen World Book 1)

30 years after a collision of a moon and the earth we find a few left behind in the caves struggling to survive. Full of action, suspense and a world turned cold.. I didn’t like how passionate the kisses became but I really enjoyed the story line and wow.. the ending!

 

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Life After E.L.E.  by  JC Marrows is a  Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian story..

Extinction Level Event: An event where all species on the planet can become extinct.
If you manage to survive . . . What then?
When a rogue moon was discovered on a collision course with the Earth, we thought we had a solid plan.
To survive. . . to rebuild. . . to go on.
30 Years later… those who managed to survive, emerged from the caves to find a frozen world.
A world where rule number one in the compound is to be inside the gates before sunset. . . or die.
Eve watched the gates close – with her father on the outside – so that should be the easiest thing in the world for her to remember.
But life is not always simple.
Life does not always go as planned.
Now Eve is in a race against time, discovery, and danger around every corner – to find a truth that has been hidden. . . for years.
A truth Eve’s father died to protect her from.

About the Author

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JC Morrows – author of the Bestselling Young Adult Dystopian series: Order of the MoonStone and the NEW Frozen Earth series (Post-Apocalyptic with a Dystopian edge) – spends her days writing, arguing with her evil computer, juggling two kids, and wishing someone would invent a coffee IV.
A storyteller in the truest sense of the word, JC has been telling stories in one form or another her entire life and once her mother convinced her to write them down, she simply couldn’t stop.
And… as a true believer, she gives God all of the glory for her talent and ability!
”And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” Habakkuk 2:2

Guest Post from JC Marrows

Life After E.L.E. is one of those stories that I never saw coming. A lot of people might even say it was never meant to be. . .

But GOD had other plans!

It was one of those spur-of-the-moment ideas… the kind that usually doesn’t amount to much for me. Over the last twenty years I have started hundreds – yes, you read that right – of stories on the spur-of-the-moment. Until 2011, none of them amounted to anything more than a few chapters. In 2013, I was working on an entirely different series – the first I’d had any measure of true success with – when my mother challenged me to participate in NaNoWriMo [National Novel Writing Month – where you write 50,000 words in 30 days].

I sat down on November 1st with absolutely nothing on the page and only a vague idea of what I wanted to write about. And, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t expect much. I did not expect to reach the goal and I certainly never expected that the book would be published three years later (albeit after quite a bit of editing and rewriting)

What’s more is that there is more to this story.

Last November, one of the stops on Marissa Meyer’s Heartless tour was Nashville, and of course my daughter and I had to go see her… and buy her new book! While there, I gave Marissa an early copy of Life After E.L.E. after thanking her for being such an inspiration to me.

Not only did she seem genuinely excited – she made a point to have me autograph it! (cue absolute and utter shock – followed by inner Happy Dancing)!

Why so excited you ask? Well… there are some authors who think you’re not a ”real” author when you write your story during NaNoWriMo and knowing Marissa’s story was about the only thing that kept me going that year. You can’t get much more REAL than New York Times Bestseller – which Marissa hit with her very first book. She was a tremendous inspiration to me then – and continues to be now. I am truly blessed to have met her!

And I count myself truly blessed that the right people enjoy the story enough that it has been published. I look forward to sharing part two with readers at the end of this year. And then I have another story to get out there!

Click “HERE” to follow the book tour..  click “HERE”  to purchase a copy

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To celebrate her tour, JC Morrows is giving away a themed basket including the book and swag and some specially chosen surprises!!  Click  to   enter “HERE”

Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

I was gifted a copy to participate in this Celebrate Lit Book Tour..

More Than A Marriage by Amy Lillard

More Than a Marriage by Amy Lillard

More Than A Marriage by Amy Lillard

 This is a more modern Amish story and I liked it! This young couple has found that a job outside of the Amish community and the cell phone that the husband needs to check in with his boss causes a rift in their marriage.. I enjoyed the true to life situations in this Amish romance.

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:    In the close-knit Amish community of Wells Landing, Oklahoma, a women’s quilting circle welcomes a new member who is struggling to keep her marriage together—or let it go . . .

Quiet and unassuming Tess Smiley is new to Wells Landing. She is also newly married to Jacob Smiley. But already she is finding that married life isn’t the gentle union of contented devotion she had envisioned. Rather, the old-fashioned qualities that had endeared her to Jacob have become a source of inner confusion. As his father did with his wife, Jacob has begun treating Tess like a servant, taking her for granted, no longer surprising her with little presents. And once he began his job at the Englisch shed company, he has become more interested in his company smartphone than in spending time with Tess . . .

Jacob can’t see what Tess is upset about and continues his boorish ways, ignoring her pleas to attend marriage classes. Tess loves Jacob with all her heart, but it’s her heart that tells her she must take a stand. With surprising determination, she asks for help from her new community and is welcomed into the home of her friend Clara Rose and her husband Obie. Only then does Jacob begin to see how deeply his behavior has hurt Tess. But is he too late? He may be contrite, but he will need to show much more than that to win her love all over again . . .

I requested a copy from NetGalley and my review is voluntary.

The Story Travelers Bible (children’s)

 

Three musical notes chime from the minibus. “Please climb aboard,” a pleasant voice says. 

This is a fun way to learn stories from the Bible. We climb aboard the bus and travel along with Lana, Munch and Griffin as they travel through the Holy Land. The pages are fully illustrated in bold colors and the stories are told in a simpler fun way. There are think about it bars, other side bars with memory verses and references to where in the Bible to look for scripture to learn more about the story. In the story of Noah’s Ark,  Noah had the exact measurements for the ark and they are given in one of the ‘think about it bars’ found throughout,  interesting facts there for any age.  Great information and the stories are made to understand and remember.  I really like this book and I’m finding I like it as a nice study tool for teaching my Grandchildren the wonderful stories of the Bible..

About the Book

Join Lana, Munch, and Griffin on the adventure of a lifetime as they travel through the Holy Land and learn about the stories, cultures, people, and places of the Bible. High-quality illustrations, engaging sidebars, and scripture passages draw kids into the narrative. The Story Travelers Bible teaches kids that the Bible is more than just a bunch of tales told by parents and Sunday school teachers, but the Bible documents God’s work in and for His people from the beginning of time. The Story Travelers Bible will take kids on a ride through 85 Bible stories.

About the Author

Tracey Madder Tracey Madder began her career in the entertainment industry as a model, actress, and photographer. She has a BA in communication from the University of Pittsburgh and has also worked in marketing and sales. Tracey is the owner of Super Faith, LLC and Bus Stop Bible, LLC, companies that create faith-based products for children. She is also the author of a children’s Bible storybook and the Super Faith Blog, a Christian blog for families that inspires grown-ups and kids to “Be Super,” promoting character building and virtue. However, Tracey is most proud of her title of stay-at-home mom. Married to her high-school sweetheart, Tracey and her husband have four children. Tracey Madder began her career in the entertainment industry as a model, actress, and photographer. She has a BA in communication from the University of Pittsburgh and has also worked in marketing and sales. Tracey is the owner of Super Faith, LLC and Bus Stop Bible, LLC, companies that create faith-based products for children. She is also the author of a children’s Bible storybook and the Super Faith Blog, a Christian blog for families that inspires grown-ups and kids to “Be Super,” promoting character building and virtue. However, Tracey is most proud of her title of stay-at-home mom. Married to her high-school sweetheart, Tracey and her husband have four children.

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.  My review is voluntary.

*giveaway.. Shine Like the Dawn

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This starts with a terrible event.. Margaret’s family drowns on the way to a family day picnic! Then William’s father dies, now both young people are put into the role of family caretakers. These two were friends at one time and now have to find a way to trust and move on from their past. I like Historical fiction and  with all the ups and downs, betrayals, murder, mystery and a touch of romance, it’s everything I enjoy in a good book!

Scroll down for the giveaway.  Click here to purchase.

 shinelikethedawnfinal2  Shine Like the Dawn  by Carrie Turansky   Genre: Historical

In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible tragedy reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. But Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart and she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.

When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son Nathaniel, who is Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.

Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will their search for the truth about her parents’ death draw them closer or will it leave them both with broken hearts?

About the Author

cturansky-2CARRIE TURANSKY is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas. She has been the winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award, and a finalist for the Inspirational Readers Choice Award and the Maggie Award of Excellence. A prolific writer of contemporary and historical romance, women’s fiction, short stories, articles, and devotionals, Carrie lives in central New Jersey with her husband Scott. They have five adult children and four grandchildren.

Guest Post from Carrie Turansky

Hats, Glorious Hats!     MaggieinHat

By Carrie Turansky

One fun part of my research for Shine Like the Dawn was learning about hat making in the early 1900s. My heroine, Maggie Lounsbury is a milliner who designs women’s hats. She learned this skill from her grandmother who owns a small shop in the village of Heatherton. Maggie has an artistic eye and she enjoys making stylish hats, but she doesn’t like the overdone designs some of their customers request, so that creates some humorous conflict in the story.

Hats in the Edwardian era were large and often covered with feathers, flowers, lace, netting, berries and bows. The “bird nests,” as Coco Chanel called them, were held on with large hat pins stuck through piles of hair on the crown. These hats were called Gainsborough or Picture hats because of the way they framed a lady’s face. They often featured huge dried flower arrangements and sometimes included real leaves and twigs! No doubt the Garden hat was a fitting name.
1907 The Merry Window hat became very popular after the leading lady in the play by that same name wore a hat that was even taller and wider than usual. Some people complained these hats were too big and obtrusive in public places like the theater or picture shows. But English women loved them and wore them to all kinds of events.

The popularity of using large feathers and stuffed birds on hats caused concern for the welfare of birds. Many protective laws took effect and milliners had to use more ribbon and tulle and only large ostrich feathers to decorate hats. Those ostrich feathers came from birds that were raised on farms and their feathers were collected as they fell out naturally.   6ca0c7f3f38874b8095d6884c2fd52f6
The movement toward smaller hats began around 1913 when hats still had high crowns but smaller brims. Straw boaters, small top hats, and mini versions of picture hats were very common.

Motion pictures had the greatest influence on Edwardian hat fashion. After the release of The Three Musketeers many ladies wanted to wear tricorne and bicorne shaped hats. They were still very large but now had shapes other than just round. Hat brims were folded up on the side, at an angle, or all around to create drama. Veils disappeared in the early 1900s only to come back again as a long scarf that wrapped over the hat and under the chin for the new sport called motoring.

I’ve had fun dressing Edwardian style for book launch tea parties and other book events. It made me feel very special to wear these lovely hats. What do you think of Edwardian Hats? Would you like to wear one?

Thanks to friends at the Vintage Dancer website for some of this information.

Stop by Carrie’s Facebook author page and view her live videos February 21 – 25, 3:00 pm Eastern. She’ll be talking about the story behind Shine Like the Dawn and giving away a fun prize each day to one person who leaves a comment. Even if you can’t catch the live video you can still enter for 24 hours after it’s posted. She is also hosting a book launch celebration and giveaway on her blog February 25 – March 6.
Like to my Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/authorcarrieturansky/
Link to my Book Launch Blog Post: http://carrieturansky.com/index.php/blog/

You can follow the book tour  “HERE”

GIVEAWAY

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To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away all 4 books: Shine Like the Dawn, The Governess of Highland Hall, The Daughter of Highland Hall, and A Refuge at Highland Hall.!
Click the promo link to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b0fb

Eagle Harbor Series Box Set 1 – 3

Eagle Harbor Series Box Set 1-3: Historical Christian Romance by [Rawlings, Naomi]  Love’s Unfading Light is about Tressa and Mac’s story, both of them feel guilty for something they didn’t do, but they feel responsible for a family members actions and are blamed for it by many of the town citizens. The author really made me feel how these two were being treated and yes, small towns know everyone and always seem to have leaders, good and bad. This book had a very real feel for the town and characters. I enjoyed how Mac treated Tressa and the gentle romance that developed between them..
Love’s Every Whisper is a continuing saga from Eagle Harbor, on the southern shore of stormy Lake Superior! Mystery, suspense, rescues in stormy waters and the quest to protect and win a ladies heart. We know that Elijah knows how to save drowning sailors, but I really enjoyed finding out how he would save Victoria from the biggest mistake of her life! Lots of action and romance too!
Love’s Sure Dawn is the continuing story of Eagle Harbor and the Cummings family. This family has it’s up’s and downs and with faith and love the family became so real. Rebekah and Gilbert certainly went the long way around to see and find what they both really wanted. I love Christian romance, small towns, and historical places that come alive on the page, so I certainly enjoyed Love’s Sure Dawn. I highly recommend all of the Eagle Harbor books & can’t wait for the next one in the series it’s definitely one of my favorite family drama series!

 

(Giveaway) The Amish Wanderer

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Bethany had a lot to deal with at her young age.. This is a story that kept me thinking about it for quite awhile.  This story had a lot of sadness in it and my heart ached for what this young lady was going through.  The author really deals with some hard issues and I had not read an Amish story before that had dealt with topics such as mental illness and abuse. This is a different type Amish story but was one I had trouble putting down..

Click here to purchase your copy.

 About the Book:   Amish Wanderer    By Laura V. Hilton

Genre: Amish Romance              Release Date: February 14  amishwanderer

Bethany Weiss is ready to leave town. Tongues haven’t stopped clacking in Jamesport, MO, since her daed, the bishop, was admitted to a mental hospital after hurting their small Amish community. But her sharpest wounds Bethany hides from prying eyes, quietly biding her time until she can take a chance at a new life—away from Jamesport and away from God.

Silas Beiler was kicked out of his own home. Dogged by a rough childhood and a family who blames him for each new disaster, he begins hitchhiking across the country, sleeping in barns where he can, working for food when possible—headed for Pennsylvania in the hope of some stability.

When Bethany spies a man asleep in the hayloft, she first fears the return of an unwelcome suitor. But when it is Silas who turns and speaks, the memories flood back: a happy summer six years ago full of lemonade, long walks, and budding courtship. Now, however, those months of bliss seem naïve and idyllic. Was their old love strong enough to overcome new pain? Or will hurt and rejection continue to haunt their path?

About the Author   Laura V. Hilton
Amish fiction lovers responded positively and immediately to Laura V. Hilton’s debut novel, Patchwork Dreams, when she burst on the scene in 2009 with her unique series, The Amish of Seymour, set in the tiny town of Seymour, in Webster County, Missouri. Fans of the genre immediately recognized Hilton’s insider knowledge, not only of the Webster County community, but Amish culture in general. Her natural speech and writing patterns, she says, are uniquely “Amish,” acquired from her Amish maternal grandparents. The Amish of Seymour, includes Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. Her second series, The Amish of Webster County, is comprised of Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love. A stand-alone title, A White Christmas in Webster County, was released in September 2014. The Amish of Jamesport includes The Snow Globe, The Postcard and The Birdhouse. In spring 2016 she released The Amish Firefighter with the setting in Jamesport, MO, the same as for The Amish Wanderer.  laurahilton_icrs2016

Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.

Guest Post
I didn’t intentionally set out to write an Amish story loosely based on a true story. If fact, when people asked me if I would write my maternal grandparents’ story, I told them no.
But when time came to write Bethany’s story, all I knew was a short paragraph blurb about it. Bethany and her once-upon-a-time boyfriend Silas who left that particular Amish district and her before their relationship became serious. I didn’t know their backstories, really, and had no idea how the story would proceed. And since I don’t plot, I spend a lot of time praying about the story, because really, I want to write what He says to write. He knows who He wants it to reach.
So I sat down to pray about it. And God gave me a verse. Which is unusual at the beginning of the story. Usually, for me, it’s at the middle when God reveals His theme for the book. But this time, it was at the beginning. The verse is:
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)

And the verses caused more prayer. What am I supposed to do with it?
I was driving to Melbourne (Arkansas, not Australia) to pay property taxes and get my vehicle tags renewed, listening to the radio as we (my three daughters and I) drove down Larkin Road (that’s not the real name, just what everyone calls it—we have a lot of those around here: Day Road, Moko Road, etc—because there are ghost towns on these roads so they are called by the name of the ghost town). A song came on the radio and I don’t remember the name of it, or even who the singer was, but when I arrived in Melbourne, I had the opening line to my story.  The sky is falling and I’m searching for somewhere to hide.
I’m sure the people at the county clerk’s office might have been a little concerned about the state of my mental health when they saw the words scribbled at the top of my bill. I did get a strange look. I didn’t offer an explanation. And they didn’t ask.
When I got home, I started writing and paying close attention to Bethany’s mental clues (and Silas’s) to figure out what their stories were. And how they tied into the verse God had given me.
And then, without even realizing it until it hit, I knew who’s story I was writing.
My grandmother’s. My grandfather’s.
Except they are different. My grandmother wasn’t date raped. It was a member of her own family. And she wasn’t in love with my grandfather. She just discovered he was leaving the Amish and she wanted—needed—to escape.
Neither were Christians at the time. My grandfather was saved on his death bed. My grandmother’s youngest child was a teenager when she was saved. My mother, her sister, and all their girlfriends went to a tent meeting for a United Brethren Church and my grandmother attended one of the meetings with her daughters and was saved as a result. And their testimonies ultimately led to the salvation of my uncle and my grandfather.
Both of my grandparents had a lot of issues to work through as to why God allowed the bad things in their lives to happen. That they eventually came to Christ is a miracle but I’m glad they did, as I was raised in a Christian home.
Why does God allow bad things to happen to people? The short, pat answer is: because sin entered the world. Yes, God could stop them. But what if He uses the bad thing to refine a person’s faith, to draw them closer to Him as a result?
How a person reacts to the bad things directly ties in to how they affect them. In my story, Silas chose to trust God even though he feared for his life. No, he didn’t like what had happened, but even though he didn’t see how, he trusted God was working behind the scenes to bring Silas to where he needed to be, spiritually and physically. On the other hand, Bethany believed God had rejected her. Pushed her away and didn’t care about her. If He didn’t care for her, why should she care about Him? So she went into a stand-off with God.
The lessons ultimately learned, for both my grandparents and my characters, brought them to their knees before the living and holy God who was, and is, and is to come. And I trust God will use this story to help a reader out there who might be questioning something terrible that happened in their life.
You might not see how now and may not know why until eternity, but God has this. Keep praying. Keep trusting. Keep believing.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)

Follow the BLOG TOUR  “HERE”

Giveaway  81ec43c2-e132-4066-a8e3-6e2657c98802

 

To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away  Amish Wanderer, Patchwork Dreams (Amish of Seymour #1), Snow Globe (Amish of Jamesport #1),  a 10 x 17” canvas banner: “Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly” (Micah 6:8), and
Abba Scripture Candle (3” natural, clean-burning wax, scented) – “With God All Things Are Possible”! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b0d8

(giveaway) When We Last Spoke

This was an entertaining read.. Sister’s left to live with grandparents who teach them what family should be all about. The references to Elvis were a fun family memory for the girls and the memories they made..  It certainly was a story pointing to the things that matter most—family, friends, love and forgiveness.

Please leave a comment and your email address is a safe format to enter the giveaway of a copy of When We Last Spoke and a preview DVD..

 When We Last Spoke by [Henna, Marci] ABOUT:   When We Last Spoke (from the back cover):

“Humor, heartbreak, and triumph are served with whipped cream and lots of local nuts in this heartwarming tale of family, friendship, and forgiveness in Fireside, Texas.

Meet Juliet Cranbourne, local radio personality and owner of a whimsical kitchen gadget store, and her sister Evangeline, a fruit tree geneticist who works for Oregon State University.

When a rift due to their orphaned past affects their sisterhood, Juliet convinces Evangeline to come home for Christmas and choose headstones to honor grandparents Walt

(a tenderhearted, good looking rancher) and Ruby (a blue-ribbon fiddler, fabulous cook, and expert in the art of making family feel loved). As they cruise through Fireside in Ruby’s

Thunderbird, Juliet hopes that healing memories will somehow smooth rough roads ahead.

Does the tremendous love that marked Walt and Ruby’s lives still have the power to renew their sisterhood and help them find their place in the world?”

Page count: 232  Softcover  Retail price: $11.38

Plus the introduction DVD for the film based upon When We Last Spoke that is now in development.

About the author: 

Marci Henna was born in Austin, Texas and lived as a child in Kenya, East Africa with the Wakamba tribe where her parents managed a medical research station. She later moved to the Hill Country ranch which has been in the family since the 1800’s and currently lives in Austin.

Social Corner: 

FaceBook     Twitter     GoodReads     FiresideTexas.com

Buy: Softcover   or  Kindle

Check out the    Trailer on YouTube

***** Marci will be giving away a FREE Kindle version from Feb. 20-24 on Amazon. *****

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

#WhenWeLastSpoke    #FlyBy

 

Giveaway/Celebrate Lit book tour.. The NewComer by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Celebrate Lit Publicity Group

 

This is a story of how the early German Amish community began a new life in the New World. The characters each had events that kept me interested and wondering how they were going to make this new beginning work. A mischievous eight-year boy, Indians and even Ben Franklin appeared which made for an interesting story of family, hardships and faith. From the excitement of a new land to conquer, to the harsh realities of life I enjoyed the trip back into past.

The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher

 About the Book

In 1737, Anna Konig and her fellow church members stagger off a small wooden ship after ten weeks at sea, eager to start a new life in the vibrant but raw Pennsylvania frontier. On the docks of Port Philadelphia waits bishop Jacob Bauer, founder of the settlement and father to ship carpenter Bairn. It’s a time of new beginnings for the reunited Bauer family, and for Anna and Bairn’s shipboard romance to blossom.
But this perfect moment cannot last. As Bairn grasps the reality of what it means to be Amish in the New World–isolated, rigid with expectations, under the thumb of his domineering father–his enthusiasm evaporates. When a sea captain offers the chance to cross the ocean one more time, Bairn grabs it. Just one more crossing, he promises Anna. But will she wait for him?
When Henrik Newman joins the church just as it makes its way to the frontier, Anna is torn. He seems to be everything Bairn is not–bold, devoted, and delighted to vie for her heart. And the most dramatic difference? He is here; Bairn is not.
Far from the frontier, an unexpected turn of events weaves together the lives of Bairn, Anna, and Henrik. Wsuzanne6hen a secret is revealed, which true love will emerge?
About the Author  
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher
Pennsylvania of 1737, the setting for The Newcomer, is like a foreign country. Parts of it might seem familiar—the same hills and creeks and blue sky, but we’d hardly recognize the settlers. People like Anna, or Bairn, or the mysterious Newcomer. We wouldn’t be able to understand their language, their customs and traditions. Their world was that different from our modern one.
The first group of Amish immigrants (first written about in Anna’s Crossing and followed up in The Newcomer) settled northwest of Philadelphia, then a vast wilderness, and relied on each other for safety, security, building projects, and church. In nearby Germantown, settlers were tradesmen, so they clustered houses together in small knots. The Amish farmers took out land warrants for sizeable properties and lived considerable distances from each other.
In The Newcomer, Anna cooked food in a cauldron over a large hearth. One-pot meals can trace their beginnings to open-hearth cooking when ingredients for a meal went into a large kettle suspended over the fire. Traditional dishes—ham and beans, pork and sauerkraut—used sturdy, available, and simple ingredients that improved with long, slow cooking. The dishes could be easily expanded when the need arose to set a few more places at the table. And it did, often. Large families and unannounced company inspired Amish cooks to find ways to “stretch the stew.”

Noodles (including dumplings and rivvels) could be tossed into a simmering broth to make a meal stretch. Most farms had a flock of chickens, so eggs were easily at hand. Today, homemade noodles are still a favorite dish.

Another “stew stretcher” was cornmeal mush, originally eaten as a bread substitute. Early German settlers who made their home in eastern Pennsylvania roasted the yellow field corn in a bake oven before it was shelled and ground at the mill. The roasting process gave a nutty rich flavor to the cornmeal. Mush is still part of the diet the Old Order Amish—cooked and fried, baked, added into scrapple, smothered in ketchup. Dress it up and you’ve got polenta.

Now here’s one thing we do have in common with 1737 Pennsylvania immigrants…a love of good food and a shortage of time! Here’s one of my favorite one-pot recipes—probably not the kind of stew Anna might have made for ship carpenter Bairn or the mysterious Newcomer (ah, which man one stole her heart?)…but definitely delicious. Enjoy!

Lentil Chili
Here’s one of my favorite “stew stretchers.”  You can expand it even more by serving over rice.
Ingredients:
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
10 c. water
1 lb. dry lentils
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt (season to your taste)
½ tsp. pepper
2 c. salsa (your favorite variety)
29 oz. canned tomatoes, crushed

Follow the Book tour HERE.

**  Giveaway

1e65427e-33ac-4955-a6ee-529c217f6bb1

Click to here to Purchase  your copy.

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a Kindle! Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra  entries!   Click this link to enter.. https://promosimple.com/ps/b0d1

 

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