Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston (Book four An Amish Heirloom Novel)

I'm on board with Celebrate Lit and Amy Clipston!

To purchase the book click here.

I truly have enjoyed this series.  I've had the privilege of watching Amy Clipston's career unfold and her writing style develop over the years.  She's hitting her stride in her newest book.
From the back:  In the final installment of the Amish Heirloom series, the Fisher sisters learn the mystery behind their parents’ marriage—and about the sibling who has never been spoken of.

Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past.

But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades?

Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it's a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it's past time to share it.

After being led around the mulberry (or would it be raspberry?) bush we are finally given answers to the mysteries and objects in the first three books.  This is not a stand alone book.  You need to read the other three in the series first to fully follow along with the story line.

Mattie has secrets about her past and in this four hankie book ( I was sobbing on page 8 and was warned by other readers to keep tissues handy) we learn of heartache, brokeness, and pain.  Will Mattie ever be able to fully let the past go and rely on God to allow happiness and healing to take place?

Leroy loves Mattie and steps in quickly to care for her as tragedy after tragedy unfolds.  He pushes past her walls and hangs on tight.  Will he be able to convince Mattie that she is everything he needs?

This was a great ending to a really good series.  It left me guessing up until the end.  The ending was a bit rushed after a great climax but overall it was a fantastic read.  So pick up your copy of The Beloved Hope Chest, enter the giveaway below, and follow the tour!  Happy Reading!

About the Author



AMY CLIPSTON is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. She has sold more than 1 million books, and her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and three spoiled rotten cats. Visit her online at amyclipston.comFacebook: AmyClipstonBooks and Twitter: @AmyClipston


Guest post from Amy Clipston

I am thrilled to share the The Beloved Hope Chest, which is the final installment of my Amish Home series.

In The Beloved Hope Chest, the Fisher sisters learn the mystery behind their parents’ marriage—and about the sibling who has never been spoken of. Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past. But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades? Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it’s a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it’s past time to share it.

This book is very close to my heart since it is the last in my Amish Heirloom series. I’ve grown to love the Fisher family, and writing Mattie and Leroy’s story was bittersweet. This is a very emotional story, and I poured my heart and soul into it. I hope you enjoy this book since it reveals all of the mysteries that have been placed throughout the series.

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away a copy of An Amish Home and an handpicked Amish goodie chosen by Amy to two winners! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! Enter here.

Blog Stops

May 9: A Reader’s Brain

May 9: Buy, Borrow, Skip

May 9: Lighthouse Academy

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May 10: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog

May 10: A Simple Life, really?!

May 11: Donna’s BookShelf

May 11: Bibliophile Reviews

May 12: Reading Is My SuperPower

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May 13: Karen Sue Hadley

May 14: A Baker’s Perspective

May 14: The Power of Words

May 15: Christian Bookaholic

May 15: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

May 16: A Simply Enchanted Life

May 16: A Greater Yes

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May 18: Blossoms and Blessings

May 18: Splashes of Joy

May 19: Pause for Tales

May 19: Book by Book

May 20: Moments Dipped in Ink

May 20: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

May 21: Inklings and notions

May 21: Bigreadersite

May 22: 2014 and Beyond!

May 22: Reader’s Cozy Corner

Monday, May 8, 2017

Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

I'm on tour again!  So hop aboard and join me on the ride!

To purchase the book click here

I enjoy getting to know new to me writers through their books.  When I saw this book the beautiful cover grabbed me and the blurb from it piqued my interest so I knew I had to sign up for the tour!
From the back:  Miss Permilia Griswold may have been given the opportunity of a debut into New York high society, but no one warned her she wasn't guaranteed to "take." After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, she's finally putting her status on the fringes of society to good use by penning anonymous society gossip columns under the pseudonym "Miss Quill."

Mr. Asher Rutherford has managed to maintain his status as a reputable gentleman of society despite opening his own department store. While pretending it's simply a lark to fill his time, he has quite legitimate reasons for needing to make his store the most successful in the country.
When Permilia overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Rutherford, she's determined to find and warn the man. Disgruntled at a first meeting that goes quite poorly and results in Asher not believing her, she decides to take matters into her own hands, never realizing she'll end up at risk as well.

As Asher and Permilia are forced to work together and spend time away from the spotlight of society, perhaps there's more going on behind the scenes than they ever could have anticipated. . . .

As I said, Jen Turano is a new to me author.  This was just a fun read.  Permilia was a quirky character that I truly enjoyed getting to know.  She was definitely not your typical female of that time period!  She was fun and I saw lots of personal growth in her character as the story progressed. 

Asher is everything Permilla isn't.  Their humorous arguments, their personalities, a touch of mystery, lots of laughs, and a nod to the Cinderella story kept me coming back for more.  I love it when book couples are made for each other, and these two are.  I can't wait for book two!  

So pick up your copy of Behind the Scenes and join us on tour!  Also, enter the giveaway below! Happy Reading!

About the Author

Jen Turano, author of nine books and two novellas, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.

 Interview With Jen Turano

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you personally?
Amusing things happen to me all the time, but I think my favorite was back in college when I was a lifeguard. You see, there’s a lifeguard code – You will be cool at all times, especially when you’re sitting in a lifeguard chair, twirling your whistle exactly so, and, you know…looking cool. So, there I was, in my black lifeguard bathing suit – swinging my whistle. It was an unusually hot day, so I’d angled my umbrella exactly right as I watched the diving-board section. Now, I know this might come as a surprise, but being a lifeguard at the neighborhood pool isn’t exactly thrilling. It’s rare that anything exciting happens, and that particular day was no exception…until a large gust of wind came out of nowhere and the umbrella took it upon itself to close – right over me. And because it was now really gusty, the umbrella then lifted up, taking me with it right off the chair and into the depths of the deep end of the pool. From all accounts, it was quite the sight. First, there I was, swinging my whistle and looking groovy. Then all you could see were my legs flailing about as the umbrella covered the rest of me, and then…I was plummeting toward the pool, hit the water with the umbrella over me, and promptly sank. Obviously I managed to get out of the umbrella, but in the process, part of my bathing suit came off, and…well, that’s a story for another day.



What is your favorite book from your childhood?
“Andrew Henry’s Meadow.” It was actually my little brother’s book, gotten from one of those book of the month clubs, but I loved it. I recently found a copy on an e-site and ordered it, and it’s just as delightful today as it was back in my childhood.



Who does the cooking and cleaning in your house when you are on a deadline?
I don’t actually cook much even when I’m not on deadline, so that’s not really an issue. Al and I do a lot of salads or throw some chicken on the grill. We also have a lot of grocery stores that have wonderful deli and gourmet foods, so we get a lot of things there. As for cleaning, I’m one of those neurotic people who can’t work without everything being in place, so I do a lot of tidying up before I go to bed. And, because I do some of my best thinking when I clean, I’ve been known to abandon my writing when I get stuck and pick up a mop or cleaning rag, which means my house is rarely a disaster since I need to get unstuck a lot.



Where is your favorite place to write?
I do the majority of my writing in my office, although I will occasionally take a pad of paper and a pen outside to handwrite when I get bored of my office or it’s a really nice day and I don’t feel like being trapped inside. It’s not that my office is my favorite place to write, it’s more that my writing is my job and I’m more focused on that writing when I approach it as such.



What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I really like when characters and new story ideas begin to fester. That normally happens when I’m in the midst of another series. By the time I’m done with whatever series I’m working on, the next series is pretty firmly set in my mind, which means I can jump right in as I wait for edits on recently completed work. My absolute favorite part of writing, though, is when I turn in the very final edit on a book and don’t see it again until it comes out in print. Although, I must admit, I’ve never, not once, read one of my books after it has gone to print. Seems rather pointless since I do always know how the book is going to end.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card and the four books: After a Fashion, In Good Company, Playing the Part, Behind the Scenes!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! Enter here.


Blog Stops

April 27: Reading Is My SuperPower

April 27: The Scribbler

April 27: Genesis 5020

April 27: These Splendid Sentences

April 28: Back Porch Reads

April 28: Smiling Book Reviews

April 28: Fiction, Faith, and Fun

April 28: Just the Write Escape

April 29: Bookworm Mama

April 29: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

April 29: Books. Books. AND More Books.

April 29: Karen Sue Hadley

April 30: Lighthouse Academy

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April 30: Bigreadersite

April 30: Lane Hill House

May 1: Faithfully Bookish

May 1: Counting Pinecones

May 1: Blogging With Carol

May 1: Moments Dipped in Ink

May 2: inklings and notions

May 2: Blossoms and Blessings

May 2: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

May 2: Neverending Stories

May 3: For The Love of Books

May 3: Singing Librarian Books

May 3: Book by Book

May 3: Pause for Tales

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May 6: A Greater Yes

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May 6: Splashes of Joy

May 6: Just Commonly

May 7: A Simple Life, really?!

May 7: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

May 7: Daysong Reflections

May 7: The Power of Words

May 8: Ashley’s Bookshelf

May 8: Eat, Read,Teach, Blog

May 8: Giveaway Lady

May 8: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

May 9: Bibliophile Reviews

May 9: History, Mystery & Faith

May 9: I Hope You Dance

May 9: Simpleharvestreads

May 10: His Grace is Sufficient

May 10: History, Hope, Laughter & Happily-ever-after

May 10: Raining Butterfly Kisses

May 10: Reader’s Cozy Corner

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A Love so True by Melissa Jagears (Teaville Moral Society)

With our weather bouncing up and down like a yo yo here I wanted to escape!  So escape I did and I headed to Teaville to meet some new characters and find a more temperate climate!

This book is part of a series but can be read as a standalone.  From the back:  "Jagears' first book in the Teaville Moral Society series has well-written characters, in addition to being an engaging and heartfelt read."--RT Book Reviews on A Heart Most Certain

Evelyn Wisely loves working at the local orphanage, but her heart can't ignore the women of Teaville who are also in need. Her boss is willing to help build a shelter for them, but only if she gains the cooperation and financial support of other local businessmen.

While David Kingsman plans to stay in Teaville just long enough to get his father's business back on solid ground, he's intrigued by Evelyn's cause and finds himself more invested with each passing day.

Will their plans and partnership fall apart when confronted with all that is stacked against them, or can they trust in God's plan despite it all?

Evelyn not only talks the talk but walks the walk.  Working to help women in need she meets roadblock after roadblock but her drive and fire to love and serve all keeps her going.  But what secret is she hiding from those who want to love and help her?

David is trying hard to please his father but whatever he does never seems enough.  He loves the Lord and is trying to help Evelyn and win her heart and hand.  Will he be able to work past her walls that she has built up?

Full of emotions heartache, anger, bitterness, and sorrow.  There is also acceptance, forgiveness, and redemption in this story.  So pick up your copy today and enjoy a trip to Teaville.  Happy Reading!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Rachel's Dream by Lisa Jones Baker (Hope Chest of Dreams 3)

I was excited to see this beauty in my mailbox last week!



Rachel's Dream is book three in the Hope Chest of Dreams series.  I've had the privilege of peeking into the lives of three women and hearing their stories.  From the back: Patience, faith—and the hopes and dreams within their hand-carved hope chests—help to bring three young Amish women, one by one, the blessed futures their hearts desire…

Rachel Kauffman and Jarred Zimmerman seem to have nothing in common. She’s the outgoing youngest of a large, close-knit Amish clan, and longs to raise a brood of her own near those she loves. Estranged from his family by tragedy, Jarred is a young veterinarian who trusts the animals he heals far more than he trusts people. However, when Rachel’s beloved horse falls ill, Jarred’s struggles to save him show Rachel he’s a man who cares deeply. And the respect he feels for her gentle warmhearted ways soon becomes an irresistible bond…

When Rachel tries to help Jarred reunite with his parents, it is an unexpected blessing—with one complication. If he takes this chance to put his past to rest, it could separate him and Rachel for good. Now, with prayer, love—and her hope chest’s small miracles—Jarred and Rachel must find the courage to reconcile their wishes into a joyous life together.

"You can't control your past, but with God's help, you can own your future." Rachel Kauffman

But the past continues to haunt Jarred Zimmerman as he tries to move towards the future.  He's a vet with a special touch and Rachel is a young Amish woman with spunk and optimism.  Can two very different people find the courage to put the past in the past and embrace God's plan for their future? 

This was a sweet book.  It was a nice easy read and really tied up the the last part of the series well.  I enjoyed "visiting" with Old Sam and some of the characters from her previous books.  I wish I could have seen a little more of them as I'd love to know how their lives have changed since their stories ended (hint hint... maybe a fourth book?).  I enjoyed seeing Jarred and Rachel's story unfold.  

These are great books to start off your summer reading!  So pick up your copy of Rachel's Dream (and the first two books if you haven't read them) and enjoy meeting Rachel and Jarred!  Happy Reading!  


Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Farmer's Market Mishap by Wanda and Jean Brunstetter

We had a wonderful family vacation this past week.  Time to get away and do some extra reading!  I was able to hike into the mountains of Virginia and do some much needed catch up on my piles. While I sat by a happy brooke I picked up my copy of Wanda and Jean Brunstetter's book.

The Farmer's Market Mishap (coming out June 1st), is the sequel to The Lopsided Christmas Cake. From the back:  New York Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter and Daughter-in-Law, Jean, Weave a Lighthearted Romance from Indiana’s Amish Country

Living alone for the first time in her life is lonely for Elma Hochstetler, whose twin sister Thelma recently married. Though they share the running of a general store, more and more of Thelma’s time is taken up by her growing family. Elma has dated some, but she wonders if she is just too picky to find love.

Through a mishap at the farmers’ market, Elma meets Ben Wagler and instantly likes him. But there is a problem. He lives in Grabill—50 miles away! But Elma has tried long-distance dating before, and it won’t work for her.  Besides the store needs her. Her sister needs her. Elma feels love will forever remain beyond her grasp.

Elma has a habit of putting others before her own needs. Can she learn to take a risk at following the desires of her heart?

How did Thelma meet her husband?  Find out in The Lopsided Christmas Cake.

This book was so much fun to read!  We meet up again with Thelma and Elma.  Thelma is settled down and married.  She's also expecting, but that doesn't seem to stop her from trying to play matchmaker!  She's determined to match her twin, Elma with her old beau.  

Ben and Elma meet at a farmer's market. With a matchmaking mom, a wayward dog, and a slightly forgetful and accident prone store employee you have lots of laughter and a few tears.  Will Ben and Elma be able to see what's in front of them?  Will family make their relationship impossible?  

I won't say, but when this book comes out you need to grab it.  This was another fantastic read!  I'm hopeful there will be another book in the series.  So grab your copy (and try a yummy recipe from the back!) and enjoy your trip to the market!  Happy Reading! 



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Witch (The Restoration Trilogy Book 3) by Denise Weimer

Click here to purchase your copy

I'm on board with Celebrate Lit again!  It's always so much fun to "meet" new to me writers and bring them to you.  Today I'm pleased to introduce you to Denise Weimer and the third book in her Restoration Trilogy series, Witch.  


From the back:  The Restoration Trilogy: When Jennifer Rushmore accepts a brooding bachelor’s job offer to act as coordinator for the restoration of his family’s historic doctor’s house (WHITE), apothecary (WIDOW) and log cabin (WITCH) in a rural Georgia community, little does she know it’s her own heart that will undergo the greatest renovation. Three stories. Three centuries. Three lessons on the healing of the heart. And one buried mystery that threatens their redemption.

WITCH, Book Three: Having restored Michael Johnson’s ancestors’ house and apothecary shop and begun applying the lessons of family and forgiveness unearthed from the past, Jennifer Rushmore expects to complete her first preservation job with the simple relocation of a log home. But as her crew reconstructs the 1787 cabin, home to the first Dunham doctor, attacks on those involved throw suspicion on neighbors and friends alike. And while Jennifer has trusted God and Michael with the pain of her past, it appears Michael’s been keeping his own secrets. Will she use a dream job offer from Savannah as an escape, or will a haunting tale from a Colonial diary convince her to rely on the faithfulness of his love?

With two time periods skillfully woven together you will follow the lives of Jennifer and Verity. Both have stories to tell.  

This isn't a scary book. It combines small town life, dashes of humor, suspense, and learning to let go and let God take charge.  This was a really good story with characters that were strong.(Verity was my personal favorite).  You will find yourself trying to guess who is trying to make sure restoration doesn't happen?  Will Jennifer choose to leave her small town life and further her career?  What happens to Verity and her family?  Will there be a restoration?  

I would recommend reading books one and two to get the most out of this book.  This was a really great read and I enjoyed Denise's books!  So pick up your copy today and enter the giveaway down below!  Happy Reading! 
About the Author



DENISE WEIMER holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. A former magazine writer, she is the author of romantic novella REDEEMING GRACE, The Georgia Gold Series (SAUTEE SHADOWS, THE GRAY DIVIDE, THE CRIMSON BLOOM, and BRIGHT AS GOLD – winner of the 2015 John Esten Cooke Award for outstanding Southern literature) and The Restoration Trilogy (WHITE, WIDOW and WITCH). Denise is a wife and swim mom of two daughters who always pauses for old houses, coffee and chocolate!

Guest post from Denise Weimer

The first thing I want to tell you about Witch is … it’s not scary! Hang with me, and I’ll share more about the title.

The Restoration Trilogy mixes a unique tonic … the budding of a romance and friendships in a humorous, small-town community, a splash of suspense, and spiritual and emotional healing. When Jennifer Rushmore accepts a brooding bachelor’s job offer to act as coordinator for the restoration of his family’s historic doctor’s house (White), apothecary (Widow) and log cabin (Witch) in a rural Georgia community, little does she know it’s her own heart that will undergo the greatest renovation. Three stories. Three centuries. Three lessons on the healing of the heart. And one buried mystery that threatens their redemption.

Having restored Michael Johnson’s ancestors’ house and apothecary shop and begun applying the lessons of family and forgiveness unearthed from the past, Jennifer expects to complete her first preservation job with the simple relocation of a log home. But as her crew reconstructs the 1787 cabin, home to the first Dunham doctor, attacks on those involved throw suspicion on neighbors and friends alike. And while Jennifer has trusted God and Michael with the pain of her past, it appears Michael’s been keeping his own secrets. Will she use a dream job offer from Savannah as an escape, or will a haunting tale from a Colonial diary convince her to rely on the faithfulness of his love?

The restoration my parents did on a real life doctor’s house and apothecary shop inspired this series. As I watched them work and learn about the historical line of doctors associated with their property, I realized how much a physical restoration project can mirror the spiritual work God wants to do in each of us. And that’s exactly what happens with Michael and Jennifer, who both conceal areas of brokenness from their pasts. As they come together to restore his family buildings, the stories they uncover about his ancestors reveal truths they need to apply in their own lives:

Family connection from the 1920s story of Georgia Pearl as they restore the house (White)
Forgiveness from the 1860s story of Charlotte as they restore the apothecary (Widow)
Faithfulness from the 1780s story of Verity as they restore the log cabin (Witch)
The title of each novel – and the cover – reflects that struggle of the historical heroine. Eventually each, as well as Michael and Jennifer, learn that only God, the Master Renovator and the Great Physician, can heal their broken places.

So here’s your prescription, should you choose to accept it by entering into this grand prize giveaway!

Grand Prize Gift Basket From Durham Apothecary & Museum: Take from a homemade tea pocket one of the selection of special teas. While brewing thy favorite tea, dispense liberally from the tea cookie tin onto a china plate. Prop up thy feet and commence thy reading journey through a print copy of White, Widow AND Witch! After a goodly time of rest and reflection, take up thy quill (ahem, I mean set of decorative pens) and record pearls of wisdom in thy new journal. When they husband and children begin to grumble, rise with fresh vigor to prepare a meal from Farmer’s Almanac Colonial Cookbook.

Second place prize: an e-book copy of Witch (or any other one book of The Restoration Trilogy)
Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Denise is giving away:

A Grand Prize Gift Basket From Durham Apothecary & Museum: Take from a homemade tea pocket one of the selection of special teas. While brewing thy favorite tea, dispense liberally from the tea cookie tin onto a china plate. Prop up thy feet and commence thy reading journey through a print copy of White, Widow AND Witch! After a goodly time of rest and reflection, take up thy quill (ahem, I mean set of decorative pens) and record pearls of wisdom in thy new journal. When thy husband and children begin to grumble, rise with fresh vigor to prepare a meal from Farmer’s Almanac Colonial Cookbook.

Second place prize: an e-book copy of Witch (or any other one book of The Restoration Trilogy)

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

Blog Stops

April 18: Inklings and notions

April 19: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog

April 20: Blossoms and Blessings

April 21: Blogging With Carol

April 21: A Greater Yes

April 22: Jeanette’s Thoughts

April 23: A Baker’s Perspective

April 24: Christian Bookaholic

April 25: Ashley’s Bookshelf

April 25: Singing Librarian Books

April 26: Artistic Nobody

April 27: A Room without Books is Empty

April 28: Pause for Tales

April 29: Bigreadersite

April 29: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

April 30: Tell Tale Book Reviews

April 30: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

May 1: For The Love of Books

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Patriot and the Loyalist (Hearts at War #2) by Angela K. Couch

It's spring, sort of.  With the weather bouncing up and down here it's a good time to stay inside, curl up with some hot tea and homemade brownies, and a good book.

From one of my favorite historical writers, Angela K. Couch, the second book in her Hearts at War series was a great read.  From the back:  Completing his three years in the Continental Army, Daniel Reid still has no desire to return home—not after losing the woman he loves to a British Captain—so he volunteers to ride south through enemy lines and deliver a message to Colonel Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. With his temper needing a release and a dark haired beauty finding her way into his broken heart, Daniel decides to join the Swamp Fox’s efforts against the British. Little does he know the British still have the upper hand.

Lydia Reynolds has learned that love comes at a price, and she refuses to pay. Better to close her heart to everything and everyone. When her brother-in-law won't grant her passage to England, where she hopes to hide from her pain, New Englander, Daniel Reid, becomes her only hope—if she can induce him to give her information about the notorious Swamp Fox and his troops. When the British grow impatient and Daniel evades her questions, Lydia must decide how far to take her charade. The poor man, already gutted by love, hasn’t grown as wise as she. Or so she supposes…

Until the truth is known, the muskets are loaded…and it is time to decide where true loyalties lie.

I'm picky about historical fiction.  My dad taught history and my husband is a history buff.  I'm happy to say that The Patriot and the Loyalist stayed very true to the time period.  The characters were strong and well developed.  Lydia is a strong and determined woman and Daniel is noble.  These two seem an unlikely pair but at the skilled hands of Ms. Couch, the impossible may be possible.

The book was full of twists, turns, and surprises kept me guessing!  The series keeps getting better and better.  I'm already stoked for the third book.

I would recommend that you read The Scarlett Coat before you pick up this one.  Even though this book can stand alone, this is a really great series and it sets a nice tone for the series.  So pick up your copy and find out what will happen when two sides clash!  Happy Reading!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Marrying Jonah (A Wells Landing Romance) by Amy Lillard

Spring is in the air and I'm back in one of my favorite fictional communities, Wells Landing.  By now I feel like I know everyone pretty well and it's a second home.

From the back:  Life isn’t always as simple as it seems for the Amish community of Wells Landing, Oklahoma. Neither is love. . .

Everyone in town knows that Sarah Yoder is enamored with Jonah Miller, even though he’s been with his girlfriend, Lorie, for years. But all that changes when Lorie runs off with another man. Inconsolable, his faith in love shattered, Jonah resists everyone’s attempts to ease his pain—until the unexpected happens one night.

Jonah is filled with confusion. Sarah is not the woman he yearns for, yet he asks for her hand in marriage, if only out of honor. Still, he worries, can they live in harmony if their vows are built on a lie? As Sarah seeks spiritual advice, Jonah tries to look toward the future—and finally begins to see her for who she really is: A beautiful, strong-willed woman whose heart is pure and belief is true. But will it be too late for him to prove that he wants to be her husband?

Every book that comes out in this series is better than the last.  I have truly enjoyed my time in Wells Landing and every character shines.  This story was wonderful from start to finish.  Love isn't easy, even if you are Amish.  

Jonah can't move on from his heartache of loosing Lori.  Sarah has loved Jonah forever and her stubbornness won't let her entertain thoughts of another.  One night things change for both of them.  

This book made me tear up more than once.  These two have so much going against them you wonder if they will be able to figure out the beautiful things that God can bring together out of brokeness.   These two have so much to learn.  Can they learn it in time or will they loose it all? 

I truly enjoyed this series and even though the book can stand alone if you haven't read the others you miss some of the background and storylines.  So pick up your copy of Marrying Jonah and visit the community of Wells Landing where there is a story on every corner and a community of faith and fun.  Happy Reading!  

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Gems of Wisdom: The Treasure of Experience (Grace Under Pressure Radio series Book 1) by Angela Breidenbach

I'm often on the hunt for devotionals and books that help challenge me to grow spiritually.

I found a hidden treasure in this beautiful book.  From the back:  Gems of Wisdom: The Treasure of Experience, helping women cope with the past while they gain courage, confidence, and candor. Rereleasing as the first book in the new Grace Under Pressure Radio series that supports becoming a woman of courage, confidence, and candor! Updated material and new cover, (originally published as Gems of Wisdom: For A Treasure-Filled Life) you'll embark on a treasure hunt for God's unique gems of wisdom. Be empowered, learn to influence through your own life lessons, and preserve important relationships. Gems of Wisdom invites the reader on a treasure hunt to find important life concepts represented by the beautiful stones God created. Excellent for Bible study and book clubs. 

I really love Angela's fiction books so when I saw this for free for my Kindle I decided to grab it.

I'm so glad I did. Packed with practical advice, beautiful stories woven with wisdom and good advice for dealing with the hardships we face in life. This book takes you from being reactive in situations to proactive. I felt encouraged as I read through topics that aren't always talked about in society. This book doesn't shy away from some tough issues. It helps you work through them and not let pirates steal the beautiful gemstones.

I plan on getting a hardback copy of the book so I can go through it again and do the journaling with it. This is a good book to go over more than once because there is so much richness and depth in it that you honestly need more than one read through.

Pick up your copy (free if you have Prime Unlimited!) and enjoy a wonderful book!  Happy Reading! 


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray

We've been having terrible storms down here so I was in the mood for something to match the weather.  Something not typical with a twist of suspense.

Boom!  I had just the right book.  From the back:  New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray begins a new series—The Amish of Hart County—with this suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker.

After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she'll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.

For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he's misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.

Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.

Secrets have a way of haunting us.  Ms.  Grey weaves an Amish thriller packed full of secrets, suspense, twists and turns.  You feel Hannah's fear and tension as a stalker makes her life miserable. What links would you go to to protect your child?  Would you move and try to hide your secrets?

This book often left me with chills running up my spine and kept me drawn in turning page after page.  Will the family ever find peace?  Can Hannah turn to God after all that has happened to her? Can secrets stay hidden or will everything be brought to the light?

Pick up your copy of Her Secret and visit Hart County for a suspenseful and fast paced read!  Happy Reading!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Once Upon A Book Club

Sometimes people try to reinvent the wheel and it falls flat.  Sometimes it is a smashing success.

In a new service I discovered thanks to my book loving friends, Once Upon A Book Club,  a monthly book club takes the wheel and rolls with it!

The idea is to fully immerse you in the author's world.  You receive a pretty box:

In that box you find the book of the month (This month's book was From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon) and other goodies wrapped up to go along with the story.  

This is so cute!  In typical me fashion I had to pull everything out right away, shake packages and see if I could guess what was in there.  
Everything was boxed up so prettily and I couldn't tell what was in a single box.  So because I was so excited to unwrap stuff and the book looked so inviting, I started reading right away.  

This was amazing.  The book itself was powerful and could have stood alone. Originally I was going to review the book and the service together but both are so outstanding that I felt that each needed the limelight of an individual post.  I looked forward to getting to each page so I could open each package.  

I want to say that there was a lot of thought that went into each individual present.  I found that even though you can open each gift when you get to the post it note (I did that with the first one) it's so much better if you read the whole page first and even the next page.  I found myself reflecting more on the item and thinking about that part of the story. 

So I am putting a spoiler in here.  If you haven't read to wear the first post it note is DON'T PEEK!
 Wow!  The first gift and all the other ones just blew me away.  I repeat, someone put an amazing amount of thought into these gifts.  As I sat looking at Eva's purse and passport I was transported to her side as she was being brought in for questioning.  Her fear became mine.

From start to finish this was such an immersive experience for me.  I loved it all.  Plus, there is a bonus online community and book discussion.  I'm excited to take part in it!

So if you are looking for an amazing new way to jump into a good book I would strongly recommend signing up!  You can see their website here!  March's book box will be shipping out soon and  I can't wait to see what I get!  So pick up your subscription and plan on being transported and immersed in a good book!  Happy Subscribing!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Annie's Recipe (Book two in The Hope Chest of Dreams Series) by Lisa Jones Baker

I love it when I get to discover new writers and I love getting to share them with you!  With spring happening in February in Virginia and temperatures in the 70s I'm back in my favorite reading spot, the front porch swing with my glass of sweet tea enjoying some good books.

From the back:  Three young Amish women, each gifted with a hand-carved hope chest, find that one by one, with patience and faith, their most blessed dreams for the future can come true…

Annie Mast and Levi Miller were best friends until his father was shunned by the church. Now, ten years later, Levi has returned to Arthur, Illinois, for a brief visit, and he and Annie discover their bond is as strong as ever. Spending as much time together as possible, Annie finds herself dreaming of a future with Levi. And Levi is soon dreaming of building a home on a beautiful local hillside—to live in with Annie. Yet their longings are unlikely to become reality…

Levi is part of the English world, and while Annie cannot see herself there, she knows she must reveal her heart’s truth to him. And Levi, strongly reminded of his Amish roots, knows he must heal the bitterness of the past. And together, with love on their side, they just may find their way to an answered prayer…

"She wanted to spend her life with one man.  And that very individual was the one person off-limits to her." 

Lisa Jones Baker writes a sweet and gentle novel about star crossed lovers Annie and Levi.  Levi's father was shunned and Levi feels bitter and betrayed.  Annie questions the church's practice of shunning throughout the story and tries to come to grips with her growing attraction to Levi and what to do about it.  

Annie confides in her diary and Sam, an elderly Amish gentlemen who carves special hope chests. Will Annie find a recipe for love or heartache?  Will Levi let go of past hurts and come to embrace a simpler lifestyle?  Will they trust in the creator's will for their ultimate good? 

If you are looking for a sweet and gentle read this is your book.  I truly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of Lisa Jones Baker's books.  So pick up your copy of Annie's Recipe today and enjoy a great book.  Happy Reading!  

Friday, February 24, 2017

Amish Weddings (Neighbors of Lancaster County Book 3) by Leslie Gould

I have gotten to read a lot of new to me authors recently and I've really enjoyed it.

Amish Weddings is book three in Neighbors of Lancaster County.  From the back:  Gregarious Rose Lehman, who's always the life of the Amish youth singings, is determined to marry the bishop's son, Reuben Byler--until the handsome Army buddy of her future brother-in-law shows up in Lancaster County. In comparison to Trevor, Reuben seems downright boring. Trevor shares Rose's sense of fun and adventure, and her easygoing disposition.

When her sister Lila's buggy is rear-ended and Lila is horribly injured, Rose finds herself with more freedom than she's ever experienced. Everyone is so concerned about Lila that no one realizes Rose is sneaking out with Trevor. Except for Reuben. But in his usual passive way, he doesn't confront her, nor does he address the situation with her Dat or anyone else in the district. Rose appreciates Reuben's discretion, but she also resents it. Part of her relishes the freedom she's found with Trevor, but the other part of her wishes Reuben would "fight" for her, as much as any Amish man would. Too late, she realizes the foolish choice she's made. Has she ruined her best chance at love, or is there another path to happiness she just hasn't seen yet?

I walked into a book that already had a lot happening.  I'm no stranger to coming into the middle or end of a series but I really wish I would have read the other two books first.  It was easy to pick up but I feel as if I would have had a richer understanding of characters and some of the story lines.  So I'm going to be reading the first two books soon.  

Rose is ready to marry Reuben but he's taking his time.  She's getting frustrated and impatient when a smooth talking Englisher shows up.  Trevor is a flirt and brings trouble with a capital T to the story line.  Rose is torn between doing what's right or having fun.  Will Rose make the right choice or will her path in in heartbreak? 

There are many other twists and turns.  Between a near fatal auto accident, two lovers being kept apart by the church, and a fiancee converting to the Amish faith this is a fast paced action packed story that keeps you turning page after page to see what happens next.  I really enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more.  

So pick up your copy of Amish Weddings and get ready to hold on to your bonnet!  Happy reading! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Amish Wanderer by Laura V. Hilton

To purchase your copy click here.

Hop aboard!  It's time for another Celebrate Lit tour!  This tour takes us to Jamesport, MO the home of Bethany Wade in the book The Amish Wanderer.  
From the back: Desperate for a Ticket Out
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.

Searching for a Home

Silas Beiler was kicked out of his own family's 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.

A Memory of Lemonade

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. Will their old love overcome new pain? Or will hurt and rejection continue to haunt their path?

This book was intense.  Laura Hilton delivered an action packed read that I totally did not expect. This book was powerful.   Packed full of suspense and twists and turns that I didn't see coming I just could not put it down.  There were parts in the story that took my breath away.  

The book deals with real life issues and the characters come to life in the story.  Ms. Hilton takes on some very difficult topics and weaves them into a tapestry of grief, pain, salvation, and hope.  This story was wonderful and so different from the books I normally read.  I will definitely be picking up more of her books!

So pick up your copy of The Amish Wander and get ready for an action packed and emotional read! Follow the tour stops and enter to win some awesome goodies!  Happy Reading! 


About the Author


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.

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 from Laura Hilton

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)

Giveaway

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! Enter here


Blog Stops

February 14: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

February 14: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

February 14: inklings and notions

February 15: A Rup Life

February 15: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

February 15: Lane Hill House

February 16: Daysong Reflections

February 16: A Simple Life, really?!

February 16: Blogging With Carol

February 17: Reading Is My SuperPower

February 17: Bigreadersite

February 17: Rockin’ My Mom Jeans

February 18: Rhonda’s Doings

February 18: Jeanette’s Thoughts

February 19: A Greater Yes

February 19: A Holland Reads

February 20: Connie’s History Classroom

February 20: Blossoms and Blessings

February 21: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog

February 21: Mom Is Forever

February 22: A Baker’s Perspective

February 22: Splashes of Joy

February 23: Moments Dipped in Ink

February 23: Carpe Diem

February 24: Pause for Tales

February 24: Quiet Quilter

February 25: For The Love of Books

February 25: Donna’s BookShelf

February 26: Christian Bookaholic

February 26: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

February 27: Giveaway Lady

February 27: Autism Mom