Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Found In You by Emily Seay

It's been a super hectic season.  There are multiple activities going on, extra commitments, and the kids seem to be flying around on a sugar buzz despite the fact that I'm not giving them anything out of the ordinary.  We needed some things to calm us down.

When I look for something calming for everyone to enjoy I reach for some music.  I wanted something a little different that didn't involve a red nosed reindeer or snow (we live in Virginia, it's 70 degrees and I feel like I'm being mocked by old man winter).

So when a FB friend's daughter put out a new CD I took a chance and went to ITunes to pick up a copy.
It's a new album and small.  There are only six songs, but it's well worth it to consider purchasing it. 

Emily is a new artist but she isn't new to singing and songwriting.  She comes from a very talented family and the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree.  I had two cranky and fussy kids on the start of the car ride, I popped in the CD and in a few minutes they had fallen under her musical spell.  To learn more about Emily's journey and about her click here

The songs themselves are lovely.  Not just because they quiet down overstimulated kids but because of the message they convey.  They are full of beauty, promise and praise.  To hear one of these songs click here

My personal favorite is Come Unto Me.  During these seasons of changes it is good to be reminded of the One who is always there for us and that He is holding us in the palm of His mighty hand.  I needed that reminder.  

I'm very excited to be following Ms. Seay's journey and can't wait to see what she plans on doing next.  So download your copy from Itunes or CDBaby and enjoy some beautiful and uplifting music! Happy Listening!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Titus Returns by Amy Lillard (Wells Landing book 5)

What's better than a good book?  It's a good book in a series that you get to go back to and visit again!  I just can't get enough of Wells Landing.  I love a good series and Amy Lillard knocks another one out of the park with book five.

From the back: In Wells Landing, Oklahoma’s warm and welcoming Amish community, there’s always hope for a new beginning—and a second chance…

Five tumultuous years have changed Titus Lambert in every way. Back then, Titus was preparing to marry his longtime sweetheart, Mandy Yoder. Then came the unthinkable—a tragic car wreck that left Titus serving time for vehicular manslaughter.

Titus isn’t sure he belongs in this peaceful place anymore, but he must make amends. When he goes to visit the Kings, whose son, Alvin, died that terrible night, he’s shocked to see that their farm has fallen into disrepair. Alvin’s sister, Abbie, resents Titus’s reappearance, but there’s no denying she needs his help. Honest toil—and their evolving friendship—slowly help his soul to heal. But with his feelings for Mandy still strong, Titus must choose between two very different futures, and find the strength and faith to claim the surprising gift of a fresh start.

Wow.  Just wow.  This series gets better and better with every book.  Amy brings her characters to life and you become immersed in the story.  Titus is a really strong personality and even though he's Amish Amy shows that even the Amish have to grapple with the same issues we face.  He feels as though he doesn't belong in either world and can't forgive himself for the damage that was done.  

From despair to hope and the promise of a fresh beginning, this is a great coming home novel.  It will grab you by the heart and engage you from the start.  So pick up your copy and find out if Titus can give himself the fresh start he desperately needs!  Happy Reading! 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Amish Christmas Kitchen by Kelly Long, Jennifer Beckstrand, and Lisa Jones Baker

To purchase your copy click here.

Merry Christmas everyone!!  I hope that you are enjoying a wonderful day.  We have been up since before dawn and the kids and dog have wrapping paper everywhere and we will be sitting down to a nice big turkey dinner if we aren't too full from eating cookies and candy.  I love to cook and the kitchen really is the heart of our home (and the reason I will never be a size two). 

This Celebrate Lit tour takes us on some yummy stops!  While there are three really "gut" Christmas stories in this book and you will want to take some time to read Baking Love on Ice Mountain and The Special Christmas Cookie this tour focuses on The Christmas Bakery on Huckleberry Hill by Jennifer Beckstrand.  Like the yummy center in my cookies this gem is sandwiched in the middle. 

From the back: When shy Katie Rose Gingerich’s dat sends her to Huckleberry Hill to secure a marriage proposal, she never expects to long for carefree Titus Helmuth—or to hope that he might want to spend every Christmas with her . . .

This is my first Jennifer Beckstrand book and it won't be my last.  This story sparkled with humor! Anna and Felty were wonderful and kept me in stitches wondering what they would be up to next. From matchmaking to Christmas goats (yes goats) you never knew what they would do next. Titus and Katie were beautiful characters and I loved to watch the way their relationship developed through the story.  Adam..... well, he was a jerk.  But he was the reason Katie was sent to Huckleberry Hill away from her family.  So who will win Katie's heart and hand?  Will Christmas goats become a new tradition?  Pull up a chair in your kitchen and maybe have a piece of Chocolate Wonder as you dive into this humorous and endearing story. 

Pick up your copy of The Amish Christmas Kitchen and make sure you enter the giveaway to win a copy of Huckleberry Christmas!   Merry Christmas and Happy Reading from our family to yours!  

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away three copies of Huckleberry Christmas. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 extra entries in the giveaway! Enter here.

About the Author

Jennifer Beckstrand is the bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer was nominated for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award and the 2015 RITA® Award, and Huckleberry Hill won the 2014 LIME Award for Inspirational fiction. Both Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Christmas appeared in list of top ten inspirational books for 2014.

Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a background in editing. She and her husband have been married for thirty years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and four adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

Guest Post from Jennifer Beckstrand

What do you get when you combine Anna and Felty’s earnest grandson, Titus, with a pretty girl who’s practically engaged to someone else, a sleigh full of Christmas bakery orders, and two mischievous Christmas goats?

A wild, wacky, and wunderbarr Christmas, that’s what.

Anna and Felty Helmuth are determined to make this the most romantic Christmas ever on Huckleberry Hill, but have they bitten off more than they can chew trying to match their slightly scatterbrained grandson Titus with timid Katie Rose Gingerich? Titus tends to be a little thick in the head when it comes to love, and Katie Rose is too shy to open her mouth. It might take every potholder Anna can knit plus a determined goat and a little Christmas magic to bring Titus and Katie Rose together.

Titus would do anything for his Mammi Anna, even eat her very bad cooking and learn how to knit, but why does he have to be the one to care for Mammi’s new goat? Goats give him the willies. But when Titus meets the pretty girl staying with his grandparents for Christmas, he doesn’t mind the goat so much. The more he sees of Katie Rose’s gentle ways and loving spirit, the more he wishes he were the kind of boy she would bake a pie for. Can he convince her to love him without offending her boyfriend? And will Mammi notice if he gets rid of her goat?

After I wrote Huckleberry Hearts, I just knew there had to be someone special out there for Titus Helmuth, Anna and Felty’s lovable grandson. Christmas is the perfect setting for “A Christmas Bakery on Huckleberry Hill” because Titus is one character who seems to have the spirit of Christmas in his heart all year long. When Katie Rose is homesick, Titus does his best to make her feel welcome and comfortable on Huckleberry Hill. He delivers her Christmas goodies, writes poetry for her, and sings Christmas songs. When he finally realizes he loves her, he’s going to have to use both Christmas goats and every trick in the book to convince her to marry him. It’s a fun, heartwarming, wonderful-gute Christmas romance.

“A Christmas Bakery on Huckleberry Hill” is in The Amish Christmas Kitchen novella collection, and it will definitely get you in the Christmas spirit. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

Blog Stops

December 15: Daysong Reflections

December 15: cherylbbookblog

December 16: Karen Sue Hadley

December 16: Jeanette’s Thoughts

December 17: Quiet Quilter

December 17: Moments Dipped in Ink

December 18: The Power of Words

December 18:  A Greater Yes

December 19: Christian Bookaholic

December 19: Lighthouse Academy

December 20: Neverending Stories


December 21: Reading Is My SuperPower

December 21: Autism Mom

December 22: Bigreadersite

December 22: Splashes of Joy

December 23: Blossoms and Blessings

December 24: A Baker’s Perspective

December 25: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog

December 26: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

December 26: Southern Gal Loves to Read

December 27: Bibliophile Reviews

December 27: Donna’s BookShelf

December 28: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Saturday, December 17, 2016

An Amish Family Christmas: A Charmed Amish Life Christmas Novel (Book 4) by Shelley Shepard Gray

It's getting to be my favorite season in Virginia, winter!  The temperatures are dropping, Jack Frost makes patterns on my car, baking goes into full gear over here, and I wait for the first snowfall of the season.

I have to abandon my front porch swing but I just cozy up to my fireplace in my favorite armchair with a hot cup of tea and grab a book or two (or more).  My stack was growing so I had plenty to choose from.

My son gifted me a bunch of lovely books for my birthday and I was excited to see this beauty in the pile!
My son picked it out because he know I liked snow and "those people who have horses and buggies". He did a pretty good job.  This is book four in the Charmed Life Amish Series and the first book I've read in it.  

From the back: In Shelley Shepard Gray’s fourth book in her Charmed Amish Life series, an unlikely Amish romance reveals that Christmas is a time for family, miracles—and love. 

Ever since his father died in a tragic fire, Levi Kinsinger has felt adrift. Newly returned to Charm, Ohio, Levi is trying to fit into his old life, only to discover he seems to have outgrown it.

But when Julia, his young widowed neighbor, asks for his help with a Christmas project, Levi finds a sense of purpose for the first time in months. She and her daughter are new to Charm and could use a friend, a job Levi takes personally. Soon enough, friendship grows into attraction, but Levi can’t help having doubts. There’s something about Julia that doesn’t ring quite true…

Like Levi, Julia Kemps has survived her fair share of hardships—but only by hiding the truth of her past. Being an unmarried mother in an Amish community was unthinkable. Feeling hopeless, Julia did the only thing she could do: she moved to a new town and pretended to be a widow. But meeting Levi, she’s hopeful for the first time. Little by little, she begins to imagine telling him her darkest secret, and eventually…perhaps even sharing her life with him.

Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together…in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.

This was a "gut" read!  I was a little leery about starting out with book four but this was a fantastic stand alone.  It also takes a different path than your traditional Amish book, something that I really appreciate.  

Levi is overcome with grief and hides a part of himself away.  You can feel his pain in the story.  Julia is on the run from a real creep.  She's changed her identity to protect herself and her little girl Penny. Like Levi, she has a great deal of pain inside of her.  Will Julia and Levi be able to leave the past behind and focus on what God wants for their future?  

This was a very emotional read.  The characters were really well written and Shelly Shepard Gray showed that even the Amish face problems.  It's a truly lovely story that has a fantastic ending that you don't want to miss (I'm not telling;) ).  The only regret I had was that I didn't read the other books first, but I plan on correcting that problem.  

So pick up your copy of An Amish Family Christmas and enjoy a wonderful Christmas story!  Happy Reading!