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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hutterite Diaries by Linda Maendel






What would it be like to share all your possessions and live in Christian community? In Hutterite Diaries, Linda Maendel offers a rare glimpse into the daily routines and communal faith of her people, the Hutterian Brethren. From stories of working together to bring in the fall potato harvest to laugh-out-loud tales of sisterly love laced with revenge, Maendel invites readers into her Bruderhof, or colony, nestled on the prairie of western Canada. Here children and adults work, play, eat, and worship together, crafting a community of goods and living out an alternative to the individualism and consumerism of mainstream society. Because few outsiders know anything about the Hutterites, a Plain Christian group related to the Amish and Mennonites, this book offer a rare-glimpse into Hutterite life.

Few outsiders know anything about the Hutterites, a Plain Christian group related to the Amish and Mennonites. Maendel’s story, Hutterite Diaries, invites readers into deeper understanding of this community of faith, calling us to take seriously the example of Jesus and the early church in our daily living. Hear straight from plain Christians as they write about their daily lives and deeply rooted faith in the Plainspoken series.

About The Author 



Linda Maendel is a Hutterite author, blogger, and educator who lives in Elm River Colony outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Find out more about Linda at http://www.hutt-writevoice.blogspot.com.




My Review



This book is an enlightening in-depth look at the Hutterites, while there is a lot of books about the Amish, and some about the Mennonites not much is known about the Hutterites. These churches all come the Anabaptists and evolved in different directions. We also touch on where their faith was practiced and evolved out of. How they were persecuted for their beliefs and how they came to the US and Canada
The way the villages are set up made me think of the Amana Colonies, where they were separate, but together. The author told about their weddings, where the couple is married at the groom’s village, and how a parade comes out to meet the guest coming from the bride’s home.
The story the author presents is very enlightening and gives you a real look at this communal living, each family has their own home and some personal possessions, but the meals are taken together with men on one side of the room and woman on the other. There are lots of other interesting facts, including their clothing.
The author shares a lot of her own personal experiences, along with her family. Come along for a memorable read of a little know sect of Christians, the book is a fast page-turner.

I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.

A Heart's Danger (A Journey of the Heart, #3) by Colleen Coble






On the brink of war with the Sioux, a young woman risks everything to expose the betrayal threatening the man she loves.

Christmas is coming, and the air at Fort Laramie has turned cold . . . but relations with the Sioux have turned colder. As tensions between soldiers and natives approach a tipping point, Ben Croftner and Jessica DuBois prepare a trap for Rand Campbell.

Bitter from rejection and backfired plans, Croftner has enlisted the help of Rand's new fiancee to keep Rand from ever returning to Sarah Montgomery . . . for whom his heart clearly still yearns.

Sarah is simply trying to move on with her life at Fort Laramie, but doing so under the watchful eyes of both Campbell--the man whose love she craves--and Croftner--the man whose lies have cost her everything. Will Rand fall victim to the conspiracy and go through with his wedding? Or will he declare his love for Sarah and make good on the promises that brought her into the rugged western territories?




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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of A Heart’s Danger
  • A pound of Colleen’s favorite coffee, Captain Davy’s Coffee Roaster Costa Rican
  • A copy of A Heart’s Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart’s Obsession
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 31st. Winner will be announced June 1st on Colleen’s website.
heartsdanger-enterbanner



About The Author 


Colleen Coble is a USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written several romantic suspense novels including “Tidewater Inn,” “Rosemary Cottage,” and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series.

Find out more about Colleen at http://www.colleencoble.com/.


My Review

This is third book in this series, and be ready for action, from the first page to the end. There are kidnappings, murder, and Indian Wars. Our old friend, sarcastic comment, Ben Croftner is at it again, and this time he has some help.
We rejoin Sarah, Rand, Joel, Amanda and Jacob as they go about their lives at Ft Laramie in our Western Territory of Wyoming. As the story restarts Sarah is trying to go on with her life, now that Rand is engaged to Jessica, and there seems to be a new love interest here.
With all that happens here, and there is a lot, will Ben finally make Sarah his wife? Will Jessica get her way in all that she wants? The questions are about to be answered and more!
I received this book through Litfuse Blogger Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.





Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy







When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril.
   Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance.
   Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.



About The Author





SARAH McCOY is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of the novels THE MAPMAKER'S CHILDREN, THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER, THE TIME IT SNOWED IN PUERTO RICO, and "The Branch of Hazel," a novella in GRAND CENTRAL.

The Baker's Daughter was praised as "a beautiful heart-breaking gem of a novel" by Tatiana de Rosnay and "a thoughtful reading experience indeed" by Chris Bohjalian. The Baker's Daughter was a Doubleday/Literary Guild Book Club selection and a Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Historical Fiction in 2012.

Sarah has taught writing at Old Dominion University and at the University of Texas at El Paso. The daughter of an army officer, her family was stationed in Germany during her childhood. She currently lives with her husband, an army physician, and their dog, Gilly, in El Paso, Texas.


For more information on Sarah and her writing, visit her website: http://sarahmccoy.com/



My Review
 
Although this is a fictional account you will feel like your actually living history, especially with the account of Sarah Brown. She is an actual person, daughter of the Under Ground Railroad and abolitionist John Brown. I felt I was a part of this history, and walked in Sarah’s shoes, her ups and downs and a lot of heart ache. A talent that she uses for the good of humanity, and the risks she takes with her own life. The author has done such a wonderful job, and I loved how she crossed the enemy lines in her disguise.
The stories are tied together in an unusual way, finding a piece of Sarah’s work in a root cellar, and infertility binds the past and the present. The present being a young couple doing everything possible to have a child of their own, and the heartbreak of infertility.
We wind back and forth between the past and the present, Eden and her quest, and follow their lives as they come to terms to what has been their lot in life. How they accept what is given to the makes this book a compelling read.
I greatly enjoyed this book, and want to read more by Sarah McCoy and I loved her author notes at the end of this book.

I received this book through Blogging For Books and was not required to give a positive review.


Pump Up Your Book Presents: Loss Angeles Short Stories by Mathieu Cailler

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About the Book:

Title: Loss Angeles 
Author: Mathieu Cailler 
Publisher: Short Story America Press
Pages: 217
Genre: Short Stories
Format: Hardcover





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Set in the glamorous city of Los Angeles, California, LOSS ANGELES skips the shine and celebrity the city is known for and instead dives deeply into the lives of ordinary Angelenos. In each of the fifteen stories in this collection, author Mathieu Cailler examines the private lives of a diverse mix of characters. This collection of stories showcases the rawness of real life, the complexity of navigating personal challenges and internal conflicts, and the ever present possibility of encountering unexpected compassion and empathy.
The stories in LOSS ANGELES uncover the reality that the interiors of people’s lives often have huge holes in them. In the collection, a quiet divorced man, who is still deeply in love with his ex-wife, finally speaks up when his son’s soon-to-be stepfather becomes enraged over a broken birthday gift. A young man visiting his parents for the first time in nine years delays his presence at his family’s Thanksgiving dinner to see an old friend who was influential in his early life. Cailler also goes beyond loss and grief to reveal hidden human kindness in the stories of a widower, who steps out of his melancholy to save the life of a stranger, and an aging bachelor, who becomes a father figure for a wayward young woman.
In “Over the Bridge,” Ella is a teenager learning to manage her grief over the death of her mother and the new life she and her seven-year-old brother have with their father, with whom the children have not lived with since their parents’ divorce. While Ella is receiving weekly counseling at school, she continues to struggle with the changes in her life. When the counselor instructs Ella to write a letter to her father explaining the uncertainty and distance she feels in regard to her relationship with him, Ella complies and writes with the type of honesty that one allows when there is no plan to share what is written. But when Ella finds herself in a frightening situation with a boy at a party after consuming drugs and alcohol, the letter becomes the catalyst for a change in perspective for her father.
“Hit and Stay” is the story of a young married man making the long drive home from an out-of-town business trip. Penn is troubled as he drives his SUV through back roads to avoid the highway traffic. The quiet drive in the warm cocoon of the truck affords Penn the opportunity to reflect on the one-night stand he had with a new employee. As he contemplates how or if he will confess his mistake to his wife, Kimberly, Penn reviews his life with the woman he was once passionately in love with who has grown distant since the death of her mother. During the drive, Penn has an unfortunate accident that breaks the delicate hold he has on his volatile emotional state.
The conflict between familial violence and love is the foundation of “Dark Timber.” Clevie and his older brother, Roy, reluctantly accompany their father on a hunting expedition. Their father, an alcoholic recently released from prison after serving time for beating the boys’ mother, is determined to teach his sons how to hunt for their own food.
The relationship between father and sons is strained. Roy has personal experience with his father’s violent temper, but young Clevie remains hopeful that life with their father will improve. Neither boy is interested in hunting. Clevie is the most reluctant to fire on innocent animals. However, when their father comes face-to-face with a menacing predator, both boys instinctively respond to his pleas for help.
LOSS ANGELES is a throwback to eclectic short story collections of past years and is only bound by the theme of loss in a very general sense,” Cailler says. “The stories are by turns fragile, tender, and always memorable. The characters in this book are as diverse as the city itself… they all have a story to share, and it was my job to do just that. I don’t believe in being predestined while writing; therefore, some of the stories end with a bit of hope while others reach their coda in a disconcerting fashion.”
Exposing emotions was Cailler’s focus when writing the collection. “I want the reader to relate to the feelings and sentiments expressed in the book. I think loss is the greatest bond we possess as humans, and there isn’t a single person around who hasn’t experienced it. We’ve all lost something dear to us, something profound,” the author says. “I think if a reader comes away from LOSS ANGELES feeling more connected to others and/or him or herself, I’ll have done my job. Whenever I write, I think of Plato’s words: ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.’ That’s something that I hope will resonate with the reader.”

For More Information

Book Excerpt:
 
Penn continued to drive through the night. Snow and gales of wind assailed his SUV as he barreled towards home, his foot steady on the gas, his hands positioned firmly at ten and two. Heat billowed from the vents on the dashboard and moved loose strands of hair on his face. He didn’t want to replay the scenario—the quiet L.A. hotel room, the closed drapes, the underwear on the floor, the moaning, the taste of her lips—but the SUV’s quiet cabin was a hotbed for reflection.
His headlights brushed a green highway sign, indicating that there were eighty-nine miles left on his journey home to Lake Tahoe. With the winter weather, it might take Penn more than two hours, but that was all right. How would he look at Kimberly after what he’d done?
“Don’t marry young,” people had told him a few years ago when he’d passed around the idea of proposing. “You haven’t tested the waters.” Cliché after cliché came at him, and while the marriage advice was stale and up there with “enjoy each day like it’s your last” and “don’t let anyone tell you something’s impossible,” it wasn’t amiss.
Becky had been with the company for a couple months now; there’d been some mild flirting, but Penn just thought that was the way she was, and he flirted back from time to time, knowing that it was just a game. Becky saw the wedding band on his finger; she could put two and two together.
But on this recent trip, Penn and Becky had found themselves at the hotel bar, overlooking the glimmering L.A skyline. There was a meeting early in the morning, and most of the company’s employees had gone to bed. She approached Penn and slid onto the chair next to his. They drank, and their eyes held one another in the empty bar. The piano man played his versions of “So What” and “Stardust,” songs that made people more attractive and made conversations more interesting. The right strap of Becky’s blue dress kept slipping off her freckled shoulder, and she left her smooth skin exposed longer than normal before bringing the strap back up. Her breasts were pressed up and together, and when she crossed her legs, one of her black heels dangled a few inches from her foot, making it seem as though she was already undressing. Penn remembered the way she reached over and touched his right hand.
The worst part was that Penn had only slept with Becky because of the confidence Kimberly had given him. Many times she’d reaffirmed his self-esteem, telling him he was worthy of love, that he was better-looking than he imagined, and that he deserved the best.
Penn believed the burden would be lightened if he told Kimberly, but at the same time, he thought the words might destroy her, and that’s not what he wanted. It’d taken cheating for him to know how much he loved her, but who would believe a line like that?
The tapping of a snare drum leaked out from the speakers, accompanied by the beat of an upright bass and the trill of a clarinet. He lowered the window and let the cold air flow into the sweltering cabin.
Was there a perfect scenario? Penn thought. He let his mind wander. When he got home maybe Kimberly would be crying.
What’s wrong? Penn would say.
I did something terrible, Kimberly would answer.
Kimberly would go on to tell Penn that she’d slept with someone else, that she was sorry, and that it didn’t mean anything. After that, he’d say the same thing. Two wrongs, one right. But even thinking about her sleeping with someone else made him sick. That wasn’t at all what he wanted.
High school sweethearts turned lovers turned husband and wife turned roommates—that’s what they were. Penn found it more and more difficult to make her laugh. Where there’d been kisses, there were now smiles. Where there’d been heat, there was now platitude. Where there’d been love, there was now familiarity.




About Author Mathieu Cailler

 
Mathieu Cailler
Mathieu Cailler is a writer of prose and poetry. His work has been widely published in national and international literary journals. Before becoming a full-time writer, Cailler was an elementary school teacher in inner-city Los Angeles. “I came to writing in a rather circuitous way. I always penned jokes for stand-up comedy appearances but later realized it wasn’t just comedy that applealed to me, but all writing.” A graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts, Cailler was awarded the Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction and a Shakespeare Award for Poetry. His chapbook, Clotheslines, was recently published by Red Bird Press. LOSS ANGELES is Cailler’s first full-length book.
For More Information
  • Visit Mathieu Cailler’s website.
  • Connect with Mathieu on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Find out more about Mathieu at Goodreads.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Pump Up Your Book Presents A Twist of Fortune Book Publicity Tour & Book Excerpt

A Twist of Fortune banner



A Twist of Fortune 3



Title: A Twist of Fortune (Book 4 of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series)
Author: Mike Martin
Publisher: Booklocker
Pages: 278
Genre: Mystery
Format: Paperback
A Twist of Fortune is the fourth book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series and it continues the adventures of Sgt. Windflower as he tries to solve crime and experience the joy and the sadness of life in a small maritime community. Follow along as he feels the sometimes bitter taste of an east coast winter and the unique culinary delights of this part of the world.
  Available at Amazon.
About The Author



Mike MartinMike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a longtime freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.
The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. The Body on the T was the second book, Beneath the Surface is the third installment and A Twist of Fortune is the newest book in the series.
He is a member of Ottawa Independent Writers, Capital Crime Writers, the Crime Writers of Canada and the Newfoundland Writers’ Guild.


More books by Mike Martin




Excerpt #17:

Windflower took the job of patrolling the still open parts of the highway. He left Grand Bank and drove slowly southwest towards Fortune. The highway had just been cleared and despite the poor visibility he didn’t have any trouble travelling along this portion of the route. He passed the snowplow operator just before Fortune and waved him goodnight. That was one job he didn’t want, that’s for sure. When he reached the wharf in Fortune he turned around and headed back up the highway until he met Tizzard and Fortier near Grand Beach where they were erecting the last of their wooden barriers. He flashed his lights as acknowledgement and turned back towards the detachment.
So far so good. But it was still early and a lot could happen between now and whenever the storm decided to move on.


Thanks for reading the first few chapters of A Twist of Fortune by Mike Martin and please buy his book to read more! 

 Here is a like to the past 16 Excerpts! Enjoy Pump Up Your Book

 
 


Friday, May 22, 2015

In Firefly Valley (Texas Crossroads, #2) by Amanda Cabot







Marisa St. George is devastated when she is a victim of downsizing and has no choice but to return to the small Texas town where she grew up. Though it's a giant step backward, she accepts a position as business manager at the struggling Rainbow's End resort. The only silver lining is Blake Kendall, a new guest who is making her believe in love at first sight. But will her dreams of happily-ever-after be turned upside down when she discovers who he really is?


About The Author



Amanda Cabot


Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of the Texas Dreams series, Christmas Roses, Summer of Promise, and Waiting for Spring. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers Best. She lives in Wyoming. Find out more at www.amandacabot.com.



My Review

We are back at Bluebonnet Lake and the Firefly Valley for another visit through the eyes and mind of Author Amanda Cabot. Like the previous book this one holds your attention to the end, in fact there is a lot of action up the final page.
We actually have two romance stories in this book, one of a young mother of a seven year old. She has lost her husband and high school sweetheart, and her daughter wants siblings and a new daddy. Might be to soon, but a child doesn’t have that concept.
The other is Marisa St. George, she is reluctantly moving back to her hometown, having just lost her dream job. Arriving at the same time is Blake Kendall, looking for anything that will help him relieve his writer’s block. He is a well know successful author, writing under a pseudonym, but it seems his secret is in jeopardy.
There are some tough subjects dealt with here, like alcoholism and bullying and one of the hardest things forgiveness. Not only do you have to forgive others their mistakes when they have asked for forgiveness, but you have to be able to forgive yourself.
We get a picturesque view of this beautiful valley and hills, and enjoy it from different venues, boat, bikes, and car. The story line is amazing, and you will be waiting for something to go wrong, ah you are about to find out! I really hated for this enjoyable book to end!

I received this book through Revell Reads Blogger Tour, and was not required to give a positive review


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Called to Be Amish: My Journey from Head Majorette to the Old Order by Marlene C. Miller

Called to be Amish



Fewer than one hundred outsiders have joined the Old–Order Amish—and stayed—since 1950. Marlene C. Miller is one of them.
In this rare memoir, Marlene recounts her unhappy and abusive childhood, how she throws herself into cheerleading and marching band, and how she falls in love with Johnny, the gentle young Amish man who helps her lace her ice skates.
Against the wishes of both sets of parents, Marlene and Johnny get married and begin a family. Follow the author on this unusual journey to find out how God’s love called her out of bitterness and depression and into the warm embrace of her new Amish community.
Accompany her as she dons an Amish dress and prayer covering and gets baptized. Learn how she endures the strain of ten children, a hundred-acre farm, and accidents and tragedy, and find out how she comes close to walking away from it all. Turning Amish has proven to be anything but plain and simple for this former majorette. But nearly fifty years later, Marlene is still living out God’s call as an Old Order Amish woman.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

About The Author

Marlene C. Miller joined the Amish as an adult and has been a member of the Old Order Amish for almost 50 years. She and her husband of 48 years live on a farm in Ohio surrounded by their nine children, more than 40 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Find out more about Marlene at http://www.mennomedia.org.


My Review



I have read many Amish books and have often thought their way of life would be ideal, I may not have thought of joining, but wondered how it would be. This book is a real story of someone who really did join Old Order, and it is noted that since 1950 fewer than 100 people have actually committed and joined.
The story features a young woman, Marlene Bailey, receiving a dreaded call on her wedding day that her future husband was having cold feet and their wasn’t going to be a wedding. Johnny Miller not only jilted her, but she was in a family way.
As you can tell by looking at the book, there is a marriage, later on, but Johnny is Amish, and Marlene has not gone very often to church. I loved how Marlene did find God and she found love and peace in knowing him. We follow this couple and their trials and the revelation God makes to Marlene about joining the Amish Church.
Don’t know how this woman did all that she did with ten children, a husband who worked and worked and gabbed a few hours sleep on weekends, and she did the farm chores. She had babies to take care of. You are going to marvel at both of these people.
I loved this biography of Marlene, and her life is shared with us from 1962 to the present day. You are really going to love being completely absorbed in Amish life, we are with them through both the highs and the very lows. A must read from those who love to read Amish fiction.

I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.