Monday, November 13, 2017

Kappy King and the Puppy Kaper by Amy Lillard

We've had a glorious autumn and I've made use of my beloved front porch swing on a regular basis.  I was digging through my stack of books to read and this one literally fell on my foot!  

Isn't the cover adorable?  I know the old adage, but honestly I do look at cover art.  This one really grabbed my attention from my love of Amish books to my love of puppies.  

From the back: Content to be unmarried and plain-spoken, Kathryn “Kappy” King is an odd-woman-out in the Amish community of Blue Sky, Pennsylvania. But she’s skilled at making the special kapps local women need to cover their hair. And she might be the only one who can unearth the danger hiding in this peaceful valley . . .

When Kappy's neighbor, Ruth Peachey, turns up dead in her yard, everyone in Blue Sky believes it’s a tragic accident. Until the Englisch police find the gentle dog breeder was deliberately struck down—and arrest her mentally-challenged son, Jimmy, for the crime . . . 

Jimmy’s sister, Edie, returns to Blue Sky clear his name, yet no one will speak to a shunned former Amish woman, much less give her information. Determined to help, Kappy starts digging for the truth among her seemingly-innocent neighbors. But suddenly a series of suspicious “accidents” threatens Edie and the Peachey farm—property Edie is determined to protect for her brother’s future. 

Now, as danger looms large in the small community, Kappy must bait a trap for a killer snapping hard at her heels. And Edie must decide whether to make a home once more in the town she thought she’d left behind . . .

This was just a fun book and a great start to a new series!  With humor, mystery, and strong fictional characters that Amy Lillard is known for this book is sure to appeal to a broad audience.  

Kappy, who is quirky, shines as a leading character in the book.  I really adored her and wished that I had a grandma Kappy in my life.  When Jimmy is arrested his sister, who is shunned, tries to help him.  Will Jimmy be cleared of the crime?  Will Edie stay?  Will Kappy accept a proposal of her own?  

Pick up your copy of Kappy King and the Puppy Caper to find out!  The book comes out on the 26th of December.  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, November 12, 2017

The Christmas Admirer by Laura V. Hilton

To purchase click here.

I'm back on board with Celebrate Lit and it's time for Christmas! I could read Christmas stories year round so I was super excited to get a chance to read The Christmas Admirer by Laura Hilton.  

From the back:  Benaiah Troyer has loved Susanna King for as long as he can remember, but when his parents died in an accident a year ago, he broke up with her—for her own good. After all, he was now the sole caregiver for his three younger sisters. What woman would want to put up with that? Still, against his better judgment, he can’t help leaving her a gift now and then, anonymously addressing her name in big block print, just to catch a smile. Roses one month, maple syrup candy another; and maybe this time, something special for Christmas. 

Susanna has never gotten over losing Benaiah, but now the clock is ticking. Her father is selling his glass-blowing business, remarrying in January, and moving to Iowa with his bossy wife-to-be. Angry and frustrated, Susanna realizes she’s left with three options: one, go with Daed to his new home with a new mom; two, stay in Jamesport, Missouri, as an old maid; or, three, the best yet, flush out her mysterious secret admirer. But how could she be with anyone else when her heart is still with Benaiah?

With a little bit of a Nancy Drew like mystery, a dash of Cinderella, and a little Christmas magic and wonder come together you get a delightful story.  Laura Hilton's work is new to me and I enjoyed getting to know the characters.  She has a lovely way of writing that draws you into the story and makes it hard to put down. 

The book moves along well and you spend time wondering who the secret admirer is.  I also love the scriptures interlaced in the story.   It was a hard book to put down and the recipes at the end are the icing on the cake (or gingerbread).

So pick up your copy of The Christmas Admirer, join the tour, and enter to win a prize package.  Happy Reading!

About the Author

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

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 V. Hilton

Glass Blowing and The Christmas Admirer

Right before my youngest son joined the Coast Guard we went on a short mini-vacation to Springfield, Missouri, actually going farther north almost to Kansas City to see another Amish community near there in Osceola. There is a cheese factory there and my son wanted to try some of their cheeses – such as a ghost pepper cheese. Too spicy for me.

But upon the return to Springfield, Steve read about a glass blowers shop in the downtown area. We found the address and went to visit it. It is owned by an older gentleman and his son. They had a display area set up where people could see their wares and buy them and then a work area where the son mostly worked, and talked about how the fire needed to be so hot, and showed us how he worked and made things. As we watched, he made a lovely flower, a lily, in different colors of glass, green, white, pinks.

It was fascinating.

And I got to thinking what if…

So I did some more research. Asked questions. Probably drove them nuts. But when Whitaker House indicated they’d be interested in a Christmas novel, I proposed one about a glass blower.

The story is set in Jamesport, Missouri, and while completely stand alone, it does have some continuing characters from other books I’ve written set in Jamesport. If you are interested, the books set there are:

Amish Books set in Jamesport, Missouri:

The Snow Globe

The Postcard

The Birdhouse

The Amish Firefighter

The Amish Wanderer

The Kissing Bridge (part of Springs of Love collection)

The Christmas Admirer

Gingerbread Wishes (part of A Plain Thanksgiving collection–November 2018)

Love by the Numbers (February 2018)

glassblowing-experience04I haven’t read any books about an Amish glass blower, but that’s not to say they aren’t out there. I haven’t read all the Amish books available. Jamesport is an area that is more tourist-oriented than the books set in Seymour / Webster County Missouri. They give buggy tours, have bed and breakfasts, open their homes for visitors to eat supper with them, and have businesses.

All Amish districts are different and the rules vary depending on the bishop and preachers. Some are more liberal and some more conservative. Some keep themselves distant and don’t welcome attention from non-Amish and some embrace it. While Jamesport is not as touristy as some districts in Lancaster Pennsylvania or in Ohio, it is much more so than others.



3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed), chopped
1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 medium apple, chopped
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, mix the first six ingredients until blended. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
In a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Just before serving, fold cream and walnuts into cranberry mixture.Makes 16 servings.


For on top of turkey sandwiches as Becca requested


4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed), chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup water or orange juice


In colander, rinse cranberries. In sauce pan, add water or orange juice and sugar, boil until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries and return to a boil. Lower to simmer and cook about 10 minutes or until most of the cranberries had burst. Let cool.



6 cups all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1 T ground ginger
1 t ground nutmeg
1 t ground cloves
1 t ground cinnamon
1 cup shortening, melted slightly
1 cup molasses
1 cup brown sugar
½ c water
1 egg
1 t vanilla

Shift together flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Set aside.

In mixing bowl, mix shortening, molasses, brown sugar, water, egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until they are absorbed. Divide dough into three pieces, pat down until about 1 ½ inch thickness, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for three hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness. Cut in desired shapes. Place cookies about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes in preheated oven. Cool on wire racks. When cool, decorate as desired.

Blog Stops

ASC Book Reviews, November 9

Books n Baubles, November 9

Janices book review, November 9

Avid Reader Book Reviews, November 10

Have A Wonderful Day, November 10

A Greater Yes, November 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 11

God’s Little Bookworm, November 11

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 11

Eat, Read, Teach, Blog, November 12

A Holland Reads, November 12

Simple Harvest Reads, November 12

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 13

Beck To Basics, November 13

Carpe Diem, November 13

Christian Bookaholic, November 14

Blossoms and Blessings, November 14

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, November 15

Reader’s cozy corner, November 15

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, November 15

Baker Kella, November 16

Quiet Quilter, November 16

Karen Sue Hadley, November 16

Pause for Tales, November 17

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 17

Pursuing Stacie, November 17

For The Love of Books, November 18

Blogging With Carol, November 18

Pink Granny’s Journey, November 18

Bigreadersite, November 19

Vicky Sluiter, November 19

SusanLovesBooks, November 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 20

Moments Dipped in Ink, November 20

New Horizon Reviews, November 20

The Fizzy Pop Collection, November 21

A Simply Enchanted Life, November 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 21

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 22

Daysong Reflections, November 22

Splashes of Joy, November 22


In honor of her tour, Laura is giving away

Grand Prize Package: The Christmas Admirer, “Unto Us a Child is Born” painting on decorative serving plate by Donna White, The Hearthside Collection, Inc., and commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).

1st Place Package: The Christmas Admirer and The Very First Christmas by Juliet David with interactive illustrations by Pauline Siewert (children’s book).

2nd Place Package: The Christmas Admirer and “The Woman Who Honors The Lord Shall Be Praised” myrrh-scented candle from abba Jerusalem!

To enter click here

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, September 3, 2017

The Beloved Christmas Quilt by Wanda, Jean and Richelle Brunstetter

It's never too early in the year to start reading Christmas stories.  I pretty much read them year round.

What happens when three generations get together and write a story of a quilt handed down to three generations.  Pure magic.  From the back: One Quilt Binds Three Generations of Amish Women
Enjoy the gift of a brand new romance from New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, along with stories by her daughter-in-law, Jean and granddaughter, Richelle.

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me. Psalm 31:3
The scripture embroidered on the back of a beloved quilt brings hope to three generations of Pennsylvania Amish women at Christmastime.

Luella’s Promise
By Wanda E. Brunstetter
Luella Ebersol has been caregiver for a dying woman and her young son. When Dena Lapp gives Luella her favorite quilt, she makes Luella promise to pass it down to her daughter. But Luella isn’t sure she will ever marry if she can’t find someone with maturity and faith like Dena’s husband Atlee Zook.

Karen’s Gift
By Jean Brunstetter
Karen Allgyer and her husband moved to a slow-paced village to raise their children, but Karen longs for the closeness of family to help her through the challenges of managing three girls with one on the way. When life’s pressures rise, will Karen cave to her fears?

Roseanna’s Groom
By Richelle Lynn Brunstetter
When the unexpected happens on the day of her wedding, Roseanna Allgyer can’t help blaming herself, despite not understanding why. Then an old friend returns to town, and she battles feeling for him—afraid of being hurt again.

Wow.  Just wow.  This book was a pleasure to read.  When you put three very talented women together and weave a story about a family, a special quilt, and Christmas you have magic.

In Luella's Promise we start our journey.  Luella is so sweet and wonderful.  Her family made me batty at times meddling in life and choices she was making but her nature and faith in God working things out for the good shone through.  It was a real tearjerker and you will need kleenex by your side.  Daryl stole the show in the scenes he was in.  Wanda has a special gift for portraying little ones. Atlee's loss early in the book was hard and a reminder that just because you are Amish doesn't mean that everything is a happy buggy ride. This was a good story to kick off the book.

In Karen's Gift Jean takes up the tale and we meet the next generation.  This is the story that resonated most with me.  Karen's story echoes the rhythm of my life.  A place far away from the family and a child with special needs is born.  Karen and Mike struggled, as does any couple, as they try to adjust to something they didn't plan.  Both feel like they are right and they have to make some hard choices.  I loved watching them grow closer together and their faith deepen as their world was shaken.

Then we finish up with Roseanna's Groom.  Richelle finishes up the beautiful book with another lovely story.  Roseanna and her groom to be both have a bad case of the wedding jitters.  But then her groom to be hightails it and leaves her.  What's a girl to do?  I loved the close bond that Roseanna shares with her sisters and how her mother really watched over her through everything.  The story had some unexpected surprises and I was really happy with how it turned out.

This book was a delight to read and a must have for Amish fiction and Brunstetter fans.  So pick up your copy today!  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, 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

Or stay in touch with her at:


Instagram: for personal photos and thoughts from home.


Or Twitter: & 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.


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.


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?

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: 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.*