Sunday, August 20, 2017

A God of all Seasons by T.H. Meyer and Amy Breitman

Hop on board!  It's time for another tour from Celebrate Lit!


To purchase the book click here
Want to see more?  Watch the trailer here.

I'm a huge fiction fan but sometimes I want something with a little more depth that challenges me to grow.  When A God of all Seasons came up it caught my eye and I was excited to have a chance to review it. 
From the back: If you were able to recognize God in every hard and sacred season, how might it encourage your faith to grow? 

A God of All Seasons speaks to the heart when faith feels stuck as if gripped by the tendrils of an icy winter or one that lumbers to recover from a long reprieve, like returning from a summer sabbatical.

Through powerful and poignant storytelling, Amy and Tammy guide you on a journey that will lift your eyes toward God's ever-abiding presence through each season’s challenge. Discover hidden gifts of comforting grace and the sweetness of mercy as you meditate on a God who:

*gives you a new name
*never forsakes you
*delivers you
*redeems you
*rescues you from the pit

Learn to perceive God's companionship even when you don’t sense His nearness and unearth, not only a God who created the seasons, but one who also walks with you through them.

I love devotionals and have roughly 3 bookshelves full.  I may have a problem.  But I've always found that along with my daily Bible reading I enjoy a good devotional to go along with it.  Over the years as my life has changed and I've gone through many different seasons I've become a tad more picky about what devotionals I pick up. I don't want a fluffy, everything is a rainbow sort of book.  I want a book that makes me stop and think.  That asks questions and challenges my growth.  That maybe even makes me a bit uncomfortable.

A God of All Seasons did a good job with that.  Divided into seasons the authors delve into stories from those times in their lives.  Both honest and truthful, these women share the good and not so good stories from their lives.  I found myself really drawn to several of them.  Amy's story of The Peacemaker resonated in my soul.

The stories are wonderful and the questions that are asked at the end invite reflection and meditation on what you read.  My big regret is that as this is a review I had to read through it so I could get it up on time.  Now that my review is up I plan on going back and slowly reading through the book so I can give it the proper time and attention it deserves.

So pick up your copy of A God of all Seasons today!  Join the tour and enter the giveaway!  Happy Reading!

About the Authors



After living in Asia and Europe, T.H. Meyer’s family planted roots on their Texas farm in 2008 where they live among fields of Rye and Bermuda. Tammy is a writer and creative strategist who also moonlights as a social media specialist. She’s the mother to three children and author of, A Life of Creative Purpose: Embrace Uniqueness, Explore Boldness, Encourage Faith and Social Media Strategies: Discovering Powerful Tools of the Trade without Losing Your Soul for Christian entrepreneurs maneuvering the daunting and soul-sucking world of online marketing.

Join Tammy on her website: The Art of Fear Not: An Adventurous Life of Faith http://www.tammy-h-meyer.com/.

Or stay in touch with her at:

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hendricksmeyer/pins/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tammy.h.meyer/ for personal photos and thoughts from home.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tammy.hendricksmeyer

Or Twitter: https://twitter.com/tammy_h_meyer/lists & find out what’s on her Twitter “Lists.”

Amy’s (Amy Breitmann) bio: Amy weaves together ministry and writing alongside her husband and two children in Augusta, GA. She is a writer, speaker, and founder of “The Lydia Project,” a national ministry for women facing cancer and is a storyteller for ViBella Jewelry, an international company that employs artisans in Haiti and Mexico. Her published works include pieces in Chicken Soup of the Soul, Mosaic: Sojourners of Faith, and Guideposts Magazine.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, T.H. Meyer is giving away a Kindle Fire!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!   To enter click here.


Blog Stops

August 10: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

August 11: A Baker’s Perspective

August 12: Just Jo’Anne

August 13: Avid Reader Book Reviews

August 13: Splashes of Joy

August 13: Rockin’ My Mom Jeans

August 14: A Reader’s Brain

August 15: autism mom

August 16: Captive Dreams Window

August 16: autismchristianmom

August 17: Karen Sue Hadley

August 18: Moments Dipped in Ink

August 19: Bigreadersite

August 20: Eat,Read,Teach,Blog

August 21: Margaret Kazmierczak

August 22: Breaking Ordinary

August 23: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

August 23: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Blessing (Amish Cooking Class Book 2) by Wanda Brunstetter

I love to cook and to read.  Putting the two together is a recipe for success!

Wanda's books always hold a special place in my heart and I was so excited to get the second book in her series!  From the back:  Return to the Troyer farm where, despite stressful changes occurring in their lives, Joel and Heidi once again open their Ohio home up to those seeking to learn about Amish cooking. This time a teenager helping her divorced dad cook for the family, a caterer needing new recipes, a food critic, a hunter looking to impress his buddies, a wife given the class as an unwanted gift, and a mailman lured in by the aroma of good cooking gather around Heidi s table. More than good food is exchanged, though, as friendships form, a romance blossoms, and hearts are healed.

Wanda is a very detail oriented writer who also puts her characters in situations that you don't necessarily find in Amish stories. That makes her books unique and I love to take my time and read through them.  This book follows up on the Troyer family.   I suggest reading book one, The Seekers first.

I found myself really wrapped un in the characters and drawn in to the story.  I just ached for Nicole and her situation.  Heidi also goes some very turbulent waters that left me in tears.  The cooking classes bring together another unique group that have their own stories to tell.  With a heaping helping of love, a pinch of faith, and a dash of forgiveness this class bakes up some surprises!

You will also see some great recipes in the back and it's a good thing because I was pretty hungry during the book!  Having food allergies I will say that I am able to adapt most of the recipes to fit our family.  That's a bonus.

So pick up your copy of The Blessing and enjoy!  Happy Reading!

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Sunday, July 23, 2017

An Amish Summer by Shelley Shepard Gray, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Irvine

It's been so hot here in Virginia.  Every day is code orange and my beloved porch swing seems to be a memory.  On a good note, since it's too hot to do much more than turn a page lots of reading has been happening!

I was so excited to get this in the mail a few days ago!  I love novella collections and was waiting not so patiently for this one.

From the back: A new novella collection of sweet, summer romances from some of our favorite Amish authors!

A Reunion in Pinecraft by Shelley Shepard Gray

When sisters Sharon and Sherilyn Kramer attend a wedding in Shipshewana, one of them returns with a new penpal while the other returns to her job at the bakery. After sending weekly letters back and forth, Sherry and Graham Holland arrange a reunion in Pinecraft. Upon Graham’s arrival, however, he realizes he’s been writing to the wrong sister. He decides to use the reunion as a way to get to know both sisters, but can he sort through the confusion in time to turn the worst vacation ever into something truly wonderful?

Summer Storms by Amy Clipston

Ariana is counting down the days until her wedding to Jesse. They have been friends longer than Arianna can remember, and that friendship turned into love over the past couple of years. But when Arianna’s brother Tobias, who happens to be Jesse’s best friend, gets them both into trouble, Arianna’s father puts an end to her engagement to Jesse. Some summer storms pass quickly, but Arianna is afraid the damage from this one may be too much to repair.

Lakeside Love by Kathleen Fuller

Esther has always lived in the shadow of her beautiful younger sister Sarah. Even the boy she has known—and loved—her entire life, Judah, only has eyes for Sarah. But when a handsome young Englischer comes to live with the family for a summer, everything begins to change.

One Sweet Kiss by Kelly Irvin

Everybody in little Bee County, Texas, can see the obvious: Jacob King and Martha Byler are meant to be together. Everyone, that is, but Martha. Ever since her mother died when Martha was a young girl, she has taken over the role of caregiver to her large family. And reckless Jacob, who has had a little too much fun on his rumspringa, only seems to add to the list of people to manage. But one summer changes everything, and these two may just find a way to meet in the middle and share one sweet kiss.

He didn't know what to think.  And he didn't know what to do.  He'd written to the wrong sister and hadn't even been brave enough to come out and tell either of them.  A Reunion In Pinecraft

Shelley Shepard Gray knows how to write a novella!  It's hard to cram in a full story line in a very short book but she more than delivers.  This is a beautiful and funny story about how a case of mistaken identities lead to a very interesting summer vacation.  Poor Graham was just plain lost trying to figure out what to do.   In a story full of humor, a little heart ache, twists and turns and a Romeo who can't figure out which Juliet to court will Graham be able to trust God and know what to do?  Or will all end in heartache?  This was a great start to the book and the ending caught me by surprise.

In our second story Amy Clipston brings in some Summer Storms.  This story had dark undertones and shows that the Amish don't always live the perfect life.  With a cruel and hard father and her brother resorting to alcohol to escape his problems Arianna is banned from her being with her fiancee.  I felt that Arianna really let herself be pushed around in the story. What will happen to a family with so much turmoil?  Will Arianna be able to be with the love of her life?  With Amy hitting her stride as a writer I really enjoy reading her books.

As Rhett and Sarah started discussing quilt patterns, Judah contemplated jumping out of the buggy.....Meanwhile Judah would bang his head against a tree or walk into some thorn bushes. Either would be preferable to a quilt discussion.  Lakeside Love

Kathleen Fuller brings a fun and light story to the party.  This was a perfect follow up after Amy's story and some much needed comic relief.  Esther is a beautiful character inside and out.  Everyone sees it but Judah.  I felt in all the stories I really connected with Esther the most.  She feels like she lives in the shadows and just isn't good enough.  By putting her trust in God and the visit of a pretty cool Yankee Esther sees that she has more value than she realizes.  Will Judah see that as well or will he be stuck listening to quilt conversations?

In the last story, One Sweet Kiss we head to Texas with Jacob and Martha.  While I love quirky this story line was a little over the top for me.  It also had three love story lines that I sometimes got a little lost following.  Will Martha be able to see what everyone else does?

Altogether the book was a wonderful read, so pick up your copy today and enjoy some summertime fun!  Happy Reading!

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Crazy About Alaska (Book 3 An Alaska Dream Romance)

Hop on board!  It's time for another tour from Celebrate Lit!

To purchase click here.

It's summer, a million degrees in Virginia.  So I'm virtually traveling to cooler climates.  First stop is Alaska! 



In Shannon Brown's third installment of her series we meet Holly and catch up with the rest of her family.  From the back: Two men are interested. She picked the wrong man once. Will she choose the right one now? 

As a single mother and a real estate agent, Holly works hard. Climb a roof? Check. Work with her former, difficult professor? Maybe. She wants a husband who can love her and her twin girls. When other men run because she has kids, they become her secret. 
College professor Adam enjoys his work, his dog . . . and his secret life. After his home burns, he needs to find a house in a hurry. Oh-so-appealing former student Holly is perfect for the job—and his heart. Adam has to win her before the other man does. When secrets are revealed, will love grow or die?
Crazy About Alaska is the third book in the sweet and clean Alaska Dream Romance series. If you like wild destinations, adorable kids, and happy endings, then you’ll love Shannon L. Brown’s final book in this heartwarming series. 
Buy Crazy About Alaska to wrap-up—or begin—the series today!

This was a new author and series to me.  First, you need to start at the beginning.  This is not a good stand alone.  Having read this without the other two books first I felt very lost in multiple places. There were story lines that I should have read to have a better understanding of this book (I'm now in book 2 and having lots of AH-HA moments!)  I'm pretty good at connecting the dots but I think you will get more out of the third book if I read the first two.  So before you pick this one up read the first two!

Holly was a fun person to read about.  She was spunky, witty, and a girl after my own heart.  She's the kind of girl you want to be friends with and have her bake pie for you!  I enjoyed the light humor throughout the book as well.  

The books starts out strong but lags in the middle.  It picks up at the end of the book and ends strong. I wish there was a little more conflict between the two males vying for Holly's heart.  Holly's boyfriend at the beginning of the book had all the charm of an Alaskan iceberg headed right at you. 

This book (after you read the other two) is a nice easy summer read.  So check out Crazy About Alaska! Also sign up for the giveaway below! Happy Reading! 

About the Author


Writing books that are fun and touch your heart

Even though Shannon L. Brown always loved to read, she didn’t plan to be a writer. She earned two degrees from the University of Alaska, one in journalism/public communications, but didn’t become a journalist.

Years passed. Shannon felt pulled into a writing life, testing her wings with a novel and moving on to articles. Shannon is now an award-winning journalist who has sold hundreds of articles to local, national, and regional publications.

Shannon was born and raised in Alaska so she enjoyed writing the books in the Alaska Dream Romance series. “The Feather Chase” was her first published book and began the Crime-Solving Cousins Mystery series. The eight-to-twelve-year-olds in your life will enjoy this contemporary twist on a Nancy Drew-type mystery.

Shannon lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her professor husband and adorable calico cat.

Guest Post from Shannon Brown

Open Doors

When a character opens the door and steps from her world into mine, writing about her is easier. Holly Harris in Crazy About Alaska is a real estate agent, and I was once one. I’ve driven clients around and shown them houses only to have them go a different direction. My husband and I bought a new house a few years ago, so I have tales to tell from that experience too. (Readers may think the purple shower is made up. Think again.) I chose to bring a college professor into her life as a love interest. I’m married to one.

Some of myself always finds its way into a story. Sometimes, it’s just something I might like to do. Holly’s sister Jemma rehabs furniture in Falling for Alaska, book one in the series. The idea for her business came while I was watching HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. Taking trash and making it beautiful sounds like something I’d like to try. Jemma also dislikes coffee and drinks tea. (Here I am again.) But she is not exactly me. She’s cooking challenged, and I’m a good cook.

Does the story become about the author when she inserts herself into it? Reality is only a fun fraction of the book. Holly has two men vying for her affections. That never happened. (It might have been fun if it had!) She also has five-year-old twins. I never experienced that.

By far the most challenging of the sisters in the series was Bree in book two, Loving Alaska. She’s a doctor, and my knowledge of the medical profession comes from sitting on the exam table, not from doing the exam. I spoke with doctors I knew and brought her to life. But Bree isn’t all made up either. She despises being in nature, especially camping. I’ve camped on a frozen river, beside a lake after canoeing or boating in, and many more places, but I’m with Bree and hotels are greatly preferred. There I am in the story again.

Reading the books I’ve written helps you know who I am. I’m a woman with a big imagination who enjoys bringing stories to life. Oh, and that slightly sarcastic sense of humor you may notice with Jemma and Holly? That might be from me as well.

Giveaway

To celebrate this tour, Shannon Brown is giving away a grand prize of a book lovers gift basket – a basket filled with book-related things!!  Click here.

Blog Stops

July 20: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog

July 20: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

July 21: A Baker’s Perspective

July 21: Reading Is My SuperPower

July 22: Artistic Nobody

July 22: Just Commonly

July 23: Live.Love.Read.

July 23: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

July 24: Carpe Diem

July 24: autism mom

July 25: Redeemed Hope Dweller

July 25: Baker Kella

July 26: A Rup Life

July 26: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

July 27: Karen Sue Hadley

July 27: Quiet Quilter

July 28: Pause for Tales

July 28: Have A Wonderful Day

July 29: Remembrancy

July 29: Cafinated Reads

July 30: Zerina Blossom’s Books

July 31: History, Mystery & Faith

August 1: Kat’s Corner Books

August 1: For the Love of Books

August 2: Avid Reader Book Reviews

August 2: Ashley’s Bookshelf

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Amish Princess by Patrick E. Craig (The Paradise Chronicles Volume 2)

I've been gone for two days.  These past two days I've slipped back in time 1700s and lived in a time when Native Americans and settlers were fighting over land, our country was declaring independence, and a family braved a journey to a new land for religious freedom.

In book two we meet Opatuhwe and the Hersberger twins, Jonathan and Joshua.  From the back: Opahtuhwe, the White Deer, is the beautiful daughter of Wingenund, the most powerful chief of the Delaware tribe. She is revered by her people a true Indian princess. Everything changes when the murderous Delaware renegade known as Scar brings three Amish prisoners to the Delaware camp. Jonathan and Joshua Hershberger are twin brothers that Scar has determined to adopt and teach the Indian way. The third prisoner is Jonas Hershberger, their father, who has been made a slave because he would not defend his family. White Deer is drawn to Jonathan but his hatred of the Indians makes him push her away. Joshua's gentle heart and steadfast refusal to abandon the Amish faith lead White Deer to a life-changing decision and rejection by her people. In the end, White Deer must choose between the ways of her people and her new-found faith. And complicating it all is her love for the man who can only hate her.

There is rarely a book I can't review.  But once in awhile one comes along that really gets me.  It speaks to me on multiple levels and I don't feel as if I have adequate words to say how much the story meant to me.  

This is one such book.  It honestly just blew me away.  I started the book yesterday and finished it today.  I woke up at 1am wondering about Opahtuhwe's fate.  

This story is set in a pivotal time in our nation's history.  Mr. Craig knows his history.  You can always tell when an author spends time researching.  This story takes us on an amazing journey through time. 

Opahtuhwe or White Deer is her people's princess.  Well loved and a natural leader her life is unexpectedly changed when two strangers come into her camp. 

Watching the violent death of their mother and sisters at the hands of the Lenape Joshua, Jonathan, and their father are taken prisoner.  Jonathan is adopted by the Lenape but anger consumes him.  He vows revenge.  Joshua and his father refuse to fight back so they are forced to become slaves.  

It is your daughter who will see both faces of the white man-the way of life and the way of death

White Deer is shaken as she becomes the object of love by one brother and hatred by the other.  As the story progresses and she follows the prophecy laid out for her before she was born her struggles and the pain she has to endure with her choices grip at the reader's heart.  As she adopts a new culture, takes a new name, and finds the living God you can't help but be inspired by her bravery.  

Jonathan lets his anger consume him and turns his back on his Amish roots.  Will he ever find peace or will his anger cost him the things he loves the most? 

Joshua seeks the will of the Lord and follows the ways of his faith.  Can he free himself from a love that isn't returned?  What will following his faith cost him? 

This book was amazing.  The story does have some violent parts in it.  It has sadness, but also victory.  This book reflects real life and the characters come full circle.  With a rich backdrop of history, beautiful characters, and lots of twists and turns this is a book you don't want to miss. 

So pick up your copy of The Amish Princess and be prepared to be lost in a truly awesome book! Happy Reading!   

Sunday, July 2, 2017

His Guilt by Shelley Shepard Gray (The Amish of Hart County #2)

It's hard to reinvent the wheel, but sometimes a new idea comes along that makes you take a second look at it!

In His Guilt by Shelley Shepard Gray we are taken on a wild buggy ride in the second installment of The Amish of Hart County.

From the back:  New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray delivers the next novel in her Amish of Hart County series—a suspenseful tale of an Amish man who will risk all to protect the woman he loves.

Mark Fisher has returned home to Hart County, determined to put the past behind him. Two years ago, after being wrongly accused of assault, he left the Amish community, though never forgot his home. When the one person who had helped him through his rough times asks for help, Mark returns. But it is pretty Waneta Cain who makes him want to stay...

Neeta is one of the few people in Hart County who doesn’t believe Mark is guilty of hurting anyone. However, his worldliness and tough exterior do make her uneasy. As she begins to see the real man behind all the gossip and prejudice, she wonders if he is the man for her.

Just when Mark starts to believe a new life is possible, a close friend of Neeta’s is attacked. Once again, everyone in the community seems to believe he is guilty.  But what hurts most is Neeta’s sudden wariness around him. When another woman is hurt, a woman who is close to both Neeta and himself, Mark fears he knows the real culprit. And time is running out. Will Mark be able to find him before Neeta becomes his next victim?

I really enjoy Amish fiction but when an author does something different with the story I take notice. Ms. Gray takes your typical girl meets guy, bakes for him, they go on a buggy ride, everyone is happy, and turns it upside down with twists and suspense.

The romance was still there and I love a good love story.  Neeta and Mark were a good pairing and they showed lots of growth and development in the story.  The elements of suspense were woven in very well and even though I figured out who done it pretty quickly, I enjoyed being pulled along for the wild ride.

This is the second book in the series and even though it can stand alone I recommend reading the first one, Her Secret to get a better pulse on Hart County.  So pick up your copy of His Guilt on July 4th and slip into Hart County where mystery awaits you.  Happy Reading!

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Return to Huckleberry Hill by Jennifer Beckstrand

I'm on tour and get to return to some really fun fictional characters!  So hop on board as we make a Return to Huckleberry Hill with Celebrate Lit!

To purchase the book click here.

I alway love a fun and light book and in Jennifer Beckstrand's newest book she delivers a great read with a lot of humor.  

From the back:  When it comes to matchmaking, Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin’s unstoppable octogenarians Anna and Felty Helmuth never seem to run out of opportunities—or grandchildren…

Reuben Helmuth is plenty bitter. John King, his best friend—or so he thought—is engaged to the girl Reuben loved. Humiliated, Reuben flees from Ohio to his grandparents’ home on Huckleberry Hill, where he knows he’ll find comfort. He’s enjoying wallowing in his misery—until John’s sister, Fern, shows up. She won’t stop pestering Reuben about forgiveness—or trying to help him find love again. Yet Fern’s efforts only reawaken Reuben’s long-buried feelings—for her…

With her brother too ashamed to face Reuben, it’s fallen to Fern to help mend fences. But as she and the Helmuths do all they can—even organizing a knitting club event filled with eligible girls—it may take one more challenge to inspire Reuben to forget his heartache, recognize his own blunders, and embrace the true love that’s right in front of him…

First I want Anna and Felty to adopt me, please!!  These two always leave a smile on my face.  Fern's sweet disposition and caring really shines through in the book.  Reuben took a little more time for me to warm up to in the story and he had some serious life lessons he needed to learn!

One thing I've always liked about Jennifer's books is that there are many lessons tucked into the humor.  Dealing with snobby behavior, pride, and forgiveness gives the reader a chance to see the human side of the Amish and maybe take a closer look at how they handle these situations.

So pick up your copy of Return to Huckleberry Hill by Jennifer Beckstrand, join the tour, and enter to win a prize!  Happy Reading!

About the Author


Jennifer Beckstrand is the award winning Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hillseries and The Honeybee Sisters series for Kensington Books. 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 and the Honeybee sisters’ aendi Bitsy. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a passion for Jane Austen and Shakespeare. She and her husband have been married for thirty-two years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and soon-to-be six adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

Guest post from Jennifer Beckstrand
My family. I have five sisters and no brothers. I think my mom made every dress in this photo, including her own.

Anna Helmuth is starting a knitting club, but that’s not all she’s got up her sleeve.

In Return to Huckleberry Hill, Anna Helmuth and Fern King decide to start a knitting club in order to introduce Anna’s grandson Reuben to some girls from Bonduel, Wisconsin. Anna is a very good knitter, with years of practice making baby blankets, scarves, mittens, and potholders. One of Anna’s scarves actually saved someone’s life, and her potholders have helped her make many a match.

When I was a young teenager, I learned how to knit and crochet. My mom taught me how to sew and quilt, and I made several of my own dresses in high school. I never learned to love sewing, but it was an invaluable skill that I am so grateful to have. Now that I’m a little older, I love putting together simple quilts for baby gifts and making quilts for the local children’s hospital. There is nothing like a homemade gift to say, “I care about you.”

I have a friend who is a wonderful cook. Making a delicious, beautiful meal is how she tells her family she loves them. I don’t consider myself a great cook, but I still take pride in putting something nutritious and satisfying on the table for my family.

It seems to me that some of the “home arts” that our mothers and grandmothers practiced are dying out. Who knows how to tat anymore? Or embroider? Some of these arts have died because of expediency. Who doesn’t think today’s stocking choices are more comfortable and practical than knitted wool ones? Others have died out because so few people want to learn.

What about you? Do you still practice any of the home arts that your grandmother did? What do you want to pass on to the next generation?

Giveaway 
To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a $15 Amazon gift card to three lucky 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 23: cherylbbookblog

May 23: Lighthouse Academy

May 24: Reading Is My SuperPower

May 24: A Greater Yes

May 25: Just Commonly

May 25: God’s Little Bookworm

May 26: Have A Wonderful Day

May 26: Edits and Reviews by Leslie McKee

May 26: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

May 27: Faithful Acres Body Soul Spirit

May 27: A Bakers Perspective

May 28: Christian Bookaholic

May 28: The Power of Words

May 29: Karen Sue Hadley

May 29: Daysong Reflections

May 29: Inklings and notions

May 30: Quiet Quilter

May 30: my site/autism mom

May 30: Donna’s Bookshelf

May 31: Bibliophile Reviews

May 31: Bigreadersite

June 1: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

June 1: Southern Gal Loves to Read

June 2: Pause for Tales

June 2: Blossoms and Blessings

June 2: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

June 3: Moments Dipped in Ink

June 3: Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting

June 4: A Room without Books is Empty

June 4: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

June 4: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog

June 5: His Grace Is Sufficient

June 5: Jeanette’s Thoughts

June 5: A Simple Life, really?!

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Amish Brides by by Jennifer Beckstrand, Molly Jebber and, Amy Lillard

I on tour with Celebrate Lit!  Hop on board!

To purchase the book click here.

This book is a trio of Amish women looking to snag the perfect mate.  
From the back: Under bright blue skies, wedding bells ring—fulfilling sweet dreams, impossible wishes, and joyous new beginnings . . .

THE RELUCTANT GROOM
Jennifer Beckstrand
Spirited Suvie Newswenger has three marriage proposals—but not from the man she truly loves. No matter how lonely widower Aaron Beachy is, he seems determined to stay that way forever. Now, with help from his matchmaking great-grandparents, Suvie will do whatever it takes to rekindle Aaron’s hope—and spark happiness for a lifetime.

JOSHUA’S BRIDE
Molly Jebber
Madeline Lehman fears her fiancĂ©’s family will never accept her because of her rebellious sister. She’s postponed her wedding to Joshua Stutzman until they see the truth. But when Maddie adopts her sister’s abandoned baby, can she and Joshua find a way to unite their families through forgiveness as well as love?

A SUMMER WEDDING IN PARADISE
Amy Lillard
Reba Schmucker longs to be a bride. And she knows her mischievous nieces just wanted to help when they “chose” Abel Weaver for her. But he’s the last man in the world she’d ever marry. There’s no way her independence and his stubbornness could ever get along—unless a sudden crisis somehow leads to understanding . . . and love.

This book had three short stories by three really good writers.

In The Reluctant Groom I see my two favorite matchmakers Anna and Felty.  I really want them to adopt me.  The part where Anna is in her pink dress when all other proper elder Amish women wear black and grey had me grinning.  Jennifer brings them to life and gives them so much personality.

I didn't feel as connected to Aaron and Suvie.  There was a lot of extra description of how sad he was and how happy she was.  I just didn't enjoy them as much as other characters that Anna and Felty had matched.  The story still had lots of funny parts and I really adore Anna and Felty.

In Joshua's Bride we see the themes of forgiveness, love, and family.  I enjoyed meeting new characters in the story and seeing complex family relationships.

I did have a bit of a hard time with this story as well.  While the idea was a good one I almost feel as if the story reflected a more contemporary times than the Amish past.  It also had a lot of extra description thrown into the mix that maybe could have been condensed.

In A Summer Wedding in Paradise we meet spunky Reba.  She was truly a delight to get to know. Amy's story moved at a fast easy pace and had fun subplots that kept me engaged and turning pages. The nieces in the story were adorable as well and this was just a fun read.

So pick up your copy of Amish Brides, join the tour, and stick around for a giveaway!  Happy Reading.
About the Author

Molly Jebber’s books have been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today’s HEA, and Romantic Times has given them a near excellent rating. She’s on RWA’s Honor Roll. She’s a speaker for Women’s Christian Connection, and she offers presentations on writing, publishing, Amish lifestyle and traditions. She has received widespread media coverage, including live interviews, across the United States for her books and speaking engagements.
She’s just signed a new contract for four more Amish books! She loves interacting with her readers. She loves God, her husband, family and friends. She has a hard time saying no to cupcakes, swimming, nine holes of golf, and walks on the beach. Coconut, oatmeal, and onions, on the other hand, are not hard to say no to!
Guest Post from Molly Jebber

Do you remember picking out your bride’s dress? The cake? Food? Location? The invitations? Weddings are fun, no matter how simple or extravagant. The marked event fills your heart with joy sharing in the special day with the bride and groom. I remember the day I married Ed, my best friend and soulmate. We planned the details together, and we still talk about what a heartwarming memory it is for us. I’m sure if you and I met for a girl’s chat, we’d enjoy hearing each other’s account of when we exchanged vows with our sweethearts.

Amish brides may not have the flowers, rings, and fancy food and cake, but they have their traditions and share in the excitement like we do. I enjoyed writing “Joshua’s Bride”. I hope you enjoy it to.

Giveaway
To celebrate her tour, Molly is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!  Enter here.

Blog Stops

June 1: Quiet Quilter

June 1: Lighthouse Academy

June 2: cherylbbookblog

June 2: Reading Is My SuperPower

June 3: my site/autism mom

June 3: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog

June 4: Avid Reader Book Reviews

June 4: Blossoms and Blessings

June 5: Bibliophile Reviews

June 5: Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting

June 6: God’s Little Bookworm

June 6: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

June 7: A Greater Yes

June 7: Donna’s BookShelf

June 8: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

June 8: Jeanette’s Thoughts

June 9: Smiling Book Reviews

June 9: Splashes of Joy

June 10: A Baker’s Perspective

June 11: Christian Bookaholic

June 12: Karen Sue Hadley

June 13: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

June 13: Bigreadersite

June 14: A Simply Enchanted Life

June 14: Southern Gal Loves to Read

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

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

May 10: Captive Dreams Window

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

May 12: Have A Wonderful Day

May 13: Just Commonly

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

May 17: Faithful Acres Body Soul Spirit

May 17: Quiet Quilter

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

April 30: Radiant Light

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

May 4: A Baker’s Perspective

May 4: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

May 4: cherylbbookblog

May 4: Rachel Scott McDaniel

May 5: With a Joyful Noise

May 5: Baker Kella

May 5: A Reader’s Brain

May 5: Southern Gal Loves to Read

May 6: A Greater Yes

May 6: Christian Bookaholic

May 6: Connie’s History Classroom

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