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Monday, August 21, 2017

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents: To Kill A Hummingbird by J. R. Ripley & Giveaway


To Kill a Hummingbird (A Bird Lover's Mystery) by J.R. Ripley



To Kill a Hummingbird (A Bird Lover's Mystery) Cozy Mystery 4th in Series Lyrical Underground (July 11, 2017) Print Length: 247 pages ASIN: B01MPVNVR5


 


For Amy Simms, owner of Birds & Bees, nothing is more important than impressing her old professor, but this odd bird is about to fall to earth . . .
When her favorite ornithology professor comes calling, Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms hangs six hummingbird feeders around the shop to welcome Professor Livingston with a flock of his favorite flying creatures. But Amy soon finds that the sugar water in the feeders brings more than a swarm of hummingbirds. It also attracts murder.
Professor Livingston is just as friendly as Amy remembers, but something seems to be troubling him. When Amy pays him a visit that night, she finds the professor slumped over a table with a pair of scissors buried in his neck. And standing over his body is Rose Smith, the local bookseller, who claims she killed him. But while the police believe they have a bird in hand, Amy thinks the real killer may still be in the bush . . .

 

 

About The Author


gmeganckauthorphoto (1)


J.R. Ripley is the pen name of Glenn Meganck, the critically acclaimed author of the Tony Kozol mystery series. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, he has chaired the Edgar committee for Best Original Paperback novel and served on the Best Short Story Committee. As a member of the International Association of Crime Writers, he has served on the Hammett Award committee for Best Novel. When not writing books, Glenn is writing songs, often singing them to the consternation of his audience and neighbors, or involved in one of his many passions, none of which have involved any of the dead bodies that seem to keep cropping up in his mysteries. For more information about him, visit glennmeganck.com.



Author Links

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS  
August 21 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW  
August 21 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT  
August 21 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT  
August 21 – Carole's Book Corner – SPOTLIGHT  
August 21 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
August 22 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT  
August 22 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT  
August 22 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT  
August 22 – Valerie's Musings – SPOTLIGHT 
August 23 – A Blue Million Books – SPOTLIGHT
August 23 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT  
August 23 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT  
August 23 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT  
August 24 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT  
August 24 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT  
August 24 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT  
August 24 – Deal Sharing Aunt – SPOTLIGHT   
August 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT  
August 25 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT  
August 25 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW  
August 25 – The Book's the Thing – SPOTLIGHT  


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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall






After three months ofdraus in da Welt, Ariana has returned to Summer Grove, the Old Order Amish community where she was raised for twenty years, and life with her Brenneman family. Skylar Nash, the Englisch-raised young woman is working in Ariana s cafe while getting to know her birth family and their Plain way of life. Skylar's time in Summer Grove has changed her outlook, just as Ariana has grown to see her personal faith in God in a different light than the manner she was taught while growing up. Both women will have to make decisions about their paths and Ariana must decide what role her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, will play in her life.
Gathering the Threadsis the third and final novel in the Amish of Summer Grove series."






About The Author 











Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author who has written a dozen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy’s been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as the second most popular author of Amish fiction, following Beverly Lewis.
She is also a veteran homeschool mom who no longer holds that position. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.
She’s won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings’ Best Books of the Year. She’s been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.
Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Though she didn’t realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and cape dresses. Her parents didn’t allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy’s house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them—afraid that if they didn’t, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann’s because her family didn’t own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults’ disapproval and the obstacles in each other’s lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy’s family moved to another region of the US.
As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities—from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.
Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest.
- See more at: http://www.cindywoodsmall.com/about-cindy/biography/#sthash.2dhH1m2k.dpuf
Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author who has written a dozen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy’s been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as the second most popular author of Amish fiction, following Beverly Lewis.
She is also a veteran homeschool mom who no longer holds that position. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.
She’s won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings’ Best Books of the Year. She’s been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.
Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Though she didn’t realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and cape dresses. Her parents didn’t allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy’s house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them—afraid that if they didn’t, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann’s because her family didn’t own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults’ disapproval and the obstacles in each other’s lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy’s family moved to another region of the US.
As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities—from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.
Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest.
- See more at: http://www.cindywoodsmall.com/about-cindy/biography/#sthash.2dhH1m2k.dpuf
Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author who has written a dozen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy’s been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as the second most popular author of Amish fiction, following Beverly Lewis.
She is also a veteran homeschool mom who no longer holds that position. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.
She’s won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings’ Best Books of the Year. She’s been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.
Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Though she didn’t realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and cape dresses. Her parents didn’t allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy’s house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them—afraid that if they didn’t, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann’s because her family didn’t own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults’ disapproval and the obstacles in each other’s lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy’s family moved to another region of the US.
As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities—from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.
Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest.
- See more at: http://www.cindywoodsmall.com/about-cindy/biography/#sthash.2dhH1m2k.dpuf
Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times, CBA, ECPA, and USA Today best-selling author who has written a dozen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal,and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as the second most popular author of Amish fiction, following Beverly Lewis.
She's a veteran homeschool mom who no longer holds that position. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.
She's won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer's Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader's Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings' Best Books of the Year. She's been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.
Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Though she didn't realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and cape dresses. Her parents didn't allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy's house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them--afraid that if they didn't, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann's because her family didn't own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults' disapproval and the obstacles in each other's lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy's family moved to another region of the US.
As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities--from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.
Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest.
If you'd like more information or to contact her, you can go to her website: http://www.cindywoodsmall.com or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/authorcindywoodsmall


My Review



Gathering Threads is the dynamic conclusion to The Amish of Summer Grove series, and what a read and journey you are about to embark on as you turn that first page.
Now this book can be read by itself, there is so much information provided to bring you up to date, but don’t deprive yourself, the first two books are tremendous and you don’t want to pass them up, and yes I have read them.
Ariana, Abram, and Skylar, the Trips, or triplets, or torn apart twins because of circumstances way beyond their control. With this book both Ariana and Skylar are living with Brenneman’s, of course with their twin Abram, and find sibling rivalry at its best.
This book is about closure, and forgiveness, and putting your feet on the right path, and yes the author has given us all of this. There is heartbreak, and then there is love and compassion, above all the Love of God.
Ariana never wanted to go into the English world, but she did and has now returned to her roots, but you can see Gods plan written here, especially in the form of her atheist father Daniel. Then we see broken Skylar, and she is now drug free, but trying to find her place in her Amish family, and Abram, the kind, sweet, young man, who finds himself in love, but of course there are problems to overcome.
We are also reunited with Berta and feel her pain and anguish, trying to live faith, but yearning for her family. There is so much injustice in this small community, and your heart will break for this strong woman, and you will love her son Quill, whose reputation in this area of Amish is not good, and yet he has a heart of gold and is there for his fellow men.
There is a wonderful Epilogue at the end of this book, and I would love to continue here and receive more updates, but it is time to say goodbye, and you will be missed!
I received this book through the Publisher Waterbrook, and was not required to give a positive review.

Maureen's Musings: The Promise of a Letter (Amish Letter #2) by Kathl...

Maureen's Musings: The Promise of a Letter (Amish Letter #2) by Kathl...: A letter brings him back to his Amish family. It will take someone truly extraordinary to make him stay. Roman is on the verge of...

The Promise of a Letter (Amish Letter #2) by Kathleen Fuller






A letter brings him back to his Amish family. It will take someone truly extraordinary to make him stay.

Roman is on the verge of leaving the Amish ways. Feeling confined by the strict rules, he longs to do something more with his life. But when things don't go as planned, Roman's prospects outside of the community dwindle. Upon learning that his beloved grandmother has died and left a letter urging him to reconcile with his brother in Birch Creek, Roman decides to return home. But he doesn't plan to stay for long.

Leanna Chupp has always made her own way in her small community of Birch Creek. Though some may call her unconventional--strange, even--Leanna is happy. Her unique outlook on life has meant she's never had many suitors pursuing courtship, which Leanna doesn't mind. She is content being single.

But when Roman and Leanna find themselves working together again, everything changes. Though neither fit squarely within the strictures of the Amish faith, their differences could be the very thing to help them form a deeper connection to their community and to each other. The question remains: will this strengthening bond be enough to make Roman stay for good?


Amazon 


About The Author




Best-selling author of Amish fiction. Also a wife, mother, crafter, coffee addict, football fan, and chocolate aficionado.

Website  

My Review




his is the second book in The Amish Novels Series, and just as good as the first, in fact the people we learned to love are right here.
I adore it when a book continues with the folks we lived with in the first book, and this one will warm your heart. Phoebe and Jalon are now married and expecting a baby, and Leanna is working for Daniel, fixing motors, she is not a girly girl.
We catch up with Daniel and Barbara, and your heart will break for them. A very sad happening is a catalyst for bringing Roman back to Birch Creek, Ohio, and a reunion with Leanna, and if you are familiar, they were like oil and water.
Be ready to be absorbed into the Amish life in this community, whether you are sitting down for dinner, or playing in the yard with the children, and living their faith. The community has their share of gossips and like everywhere; they spread their damage by words, and we see how all are affected.
We are all called on by our faith to offer forgiveness, and as shown here it is not always easy, but satisfying when offered. Will Leanna and Daniel and Barbara be able to live their faith and forgive Roman?
Once you turn the first page you will be compelled to keep reading, and now I can’t wait for the next book in this series, Ivy’s!
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.

The Return (Amish Beginnings #3) by Suzanne Woods Fisher







Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family's rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans, but then she never had to. Not until the night when she's taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. During her captivity, Betsy faces brutality and hardship, but also unexpected kindness. She draws strength from native Caleb, who encourages her to find God in all circumstances. She finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the intense new feelings this compelling man awakens within her.
Handsome and complex, Hans is greatly anguished by Betsy's captivity and turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. Eagerly, Tessa responds, overlooking troubling signs of Hans's hunger for revenge. When Betsy is finally restored to the Amish, have things gone too far between Hans and Tessa?
Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.


Amazon

About The Author





Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling, award winning author of fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books, host of the radio-show-turned-blog Amish Wisdom, a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine.

Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain. A theme in her books (her life!) is that you don’t have to “go Amish” to incorporate the principles of simple living.

Suzanne lives in California with her family and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To her way of thinking, you just can't life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.

Suzanne can be found on-line at: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com



My Review




As I turned the final page of this three-book sage, I reflected on how things had changed and how the people we have come to know and love have matured and some have died, and others are just beginning their lives.
What a journey the author has brought us on, and one that will linger for a long time, but alas it is saying goodbye, but with love at new lives starting and hope for the future. As sad as some of the things that happen in this story, and the fact that they are based on truth, if we could only change history, but we hope we learn from events, but somehow some things keep getting repeated.
There are a few chuckles here, and some past perceptions are no longer viable, and we sure get to see some of the changes that have happened in the people that we have come to know.
These books are not the ordinary Amish stories, of romance and mystery, but a look into how they arrived in American, and where they settled, and how they were able to cling to their beliefs and survive here.
I will miss this family, as I feel I have become a part of, and can see the future in where we left off. I thank the author for the wonderful journey and a glimpse into the past.
I received this book through Revell Publishing Book Bloggers tour, and was not required to give a positive review. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Beginning (The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls #1) by M.J. Thomas, Graham Howells






The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series follows siblings Peter and Mary and their dog, Hank, as they discover ancient scrolls that transport them back to key moments in biblical history.

In the first adventure in the series, Peter and Mary find themselves witnesses to the creation of the world just as God is speaking it into existence. Can they unlock the mystery of the scrolls before they get trapped in history forever? Children will discover the answer as the two characters ride rhinos, meet the angel Michael, and talk to a certain snake in the Garden of Eden. Riveting text and engaging illustrations bring this beloved Bible story to riotous life.


Amazon



  • Age Range: 8 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Series: Secret of the Hidden Scrolls (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: WorthyKids/Ideals (August 8, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824956842
My Review





Just finished the first book in this series, and have to say that it kept the attention of our fourth, soon to be fifth grader. He loved it, and he said it reminded him of another book series he had read, but this was just as good.
A great lesson on what God created, and the evil one, along with Michael, your in for a great, but true adventure.
Now he can’t wait to start on the second book, in fact he has!
I received this book from Worthy Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review.

Hold the Light by April McGowan






To an artist, the light is everything. So what is Amber supposed to do when facing blindness?

Amber spent her life adapting first to being abandoned by her birth mother as a toddler, and then to the death of her adoptive father in her teen years. Now she's moved past all that, loving life as an independent woman: she has a job as an art instructor and the perfect apartment.

But when a routine eye appointment reveals she's losing her sight, life comes to a halt. Pressures come at her from all sides. Her mother, her boss, her boyfriend and her closest friend, Shannon, all have ideas about what's best for her.

Even after her blindness counselor, Ethan, befriends her and opens her eyes to new opportunities and the possibility of a deeper relationship, one haunting question remains: How could the God she loved all her life turn everything upside down again?


Amazon


About The Author




April McGowan loves to write healing fiction. She and her husband, two children, and her mews, Spookers, live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. April is a member of Oregon Christian Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers. When she's not writing, reading down her book list, homeschooling her two children, or playing board games, you might find her at her drum kit, imagining she's on a world tour. Hey, it could happen.

Website  


My Review

 
This poor girl ends up having to come to terms with a lot in her young life, and now she is facing blindness. Horrible under any circumstance, but she is an artist and a teacher, and very talented!
When we meet Amber she has just gotten diagnosed, and has to face reality, and we soon meet who is there for her. We also learn early on that she was adopted, and then another bombshell is quickly dropped, and more for her to come to terms with.
There is one amazing friend in Shannon, she is more than a sister of the heart to Amber, and her boyfriend Justin is a keeper. Not all around her are as they appear and one turns out to be a stalker, now he is a scary dude.
Follow along as she received a lot of heartache and amazing blessings, but not all is gloom when little Mocha comes into her life, and then there is Ethan; is he the one, or another heartache?
We are with this brilliant artist as she comes to terms with blindness, and her journey of faith. I couldn’t put this one down until the last page was turned.
I received this book through Whitefire Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review.