Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Joyful (Return to Sugarcreek #3) by Shelley Shepard Gray

A young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series.
Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm’s needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.
When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious—and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth’s heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.
Elizabeth wants to refuse—to stay far away from the man who hurt her—but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she’s older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong.
Randal, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her—or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth—or risk losing his chance at love forever.
Joyful includes a P.S. section with a letter from the author, discussion questions, and a teaser from her next book.

About The Author

Shelley Shepard Gray lives in southern Ohio with my husband, two teenagers, and two dogs. My days are filled with busy activities like most any other mom and housewife. But I also love to write books.

Each morning, after my kids go off to school, I sit at my desk, look out my window, and dream of other places. The hours fly by as I make up people and places and drink way too much coffee.

Writing for Avon Inspire has truly been a dream come true. Being able to spend my days in my make-believe world of the Brenneman Bed and Breakfast is a true blessing. I have enjoyed getting to know more about the Amish culture and tapping into my faith as I show each character’s progression toward a personal relationship with our Lord.

Before becoming a full time writer, I taught elementary school in Texas, Arizona, and Colorado. A job transfer to Ohio led my husband to encourage me to finally give writing a try. After all, I had notebooks full of made up stories.

I’ll never forget that first book I typed in our unfinished basement. It was exciting to make up a story, but also very scary. I was also so embarrassed, sure someone would come out of the woodwork and point out that I wasn’t a ‘real’ writer. But I persevered, and sold my third manuscript.

Things have changed a bit. Now I have a real office of my own. (think old guest bedroom!) My walls are painted pink, and more than a couple of book covers decorate my walls. But my days are still the same. I wake up, dream about other people, and do my best to type out stories.

My Review: 

I just finished the third book in Joyful: Return to Sugarcreek, Book Three, I loved the book, but didn’t want the series to end.
This is the story of Elizabeth Nolt and Randall Beiler, and how he breaks her heart. I felt he was really tactless in how he handled the breakup. He sure didn’t seem to have his head screwed on right, as he wasn’t at all thinking, especially seeing what his other members had done previously.
We also have Judith and Ben, who are still caring for little James, and growing in their love for him. Will their hearts be broken, will Kendra change her mind and let her sister’s raise her baby.
Then there is Pippa who is enjoying managing the restaurant, but after her divorce, skeptical about having a relationship with Bud. Can she overcome her disappointments and begin to accept Bud’s attention?
Through all of these relationships you see people struggling with using their own will and not listening to God. When they begin to yield to God, things don’t always happen the way they want, but it is the way it should be.
How I enjoyed this great read, and will miss these people that I have come to love, and be involved in their lives. Made me want to move to Sugarcreek, and in particular live among the Amish. I can’t wait for the new series to start! Thank you Shelly Shephard Gray!

I received this book through Edelwiss and the Publisher Harper Collins, and was not required to give a positive review.

The River by Beverly Lewis

She looked once more at the dreaded river. Since Anna's death, it had been such a barrier...a place and a moment she could not seem to move past.

A line I can't move beyond...

The River

Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents' landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn't entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.

Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can't undo.

About The Author: 

Beverly Marie Jones (Lewis) was born in the heart of Amish country—Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At the tender age of nine, she began writing short stories and poetry. Prior to that, she made up lyrics to the "little fingers" piano pieces she learned, at the age of five.
"My mother saved everything I wrote, even the stories I dreamed up during my grade school years," Beverly says. One such tale is semi-autobiographical, about a young girl whose parents can no longer afford to give her piano lessons. The manuscript was 77 pages long and titled "She Shall Have Music," penned under the shade of a lone willow tree. "Reading, writing, and playing piano have been top three on my list of favorite things," she says.
Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Beverly's tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."
A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and spending time with their family. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."

My Review:

Tilly has tried to put her past behind her, she is happy now living with her husband and twin daughters. She still lives rather plain, but does live in the English world. She has one member of her Amish family living English near her, and enjoys Ruth and her new life.
Tilly was the black sheep of her Amish family; she blamed herself for the death of her baby sister Anna. When the note comes that the family is holding an anniversary party for her parents, she doesn’t want to go. Ruth also has decided they will not attend.
Then comes a call to Ruth about their Dad’s health, and their decisions are reevaluated, and both go home to face the family. Can’t even imagine, you feel almost split in two. Leaving behind your safe life, and wanting to see your family, but knowing how they feel about your leaving.
This is the story of secrets, forgiving, and a loving relationship with God. How life changes and feelings are soothed when we submit to God’s will, not our own. A very hard, fulfilling way to live, with God in the center, but will all be able to accept what he wants?
A different Amish story here, things are not always as they appear, and not just Tilly blames herself, others also feel responsible, and all need forgiveness. Will this family ever find peace, a locked room, a stolen cap, and an old love?
This is a great page-turner of a read, I wanted to find the answers to the clues that were offered, and what a surprise. Also the title of the book, and the effect that the River has on this story. Enjoy!

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.


Pump Up Your Book Presents Adelita’s Secret Virtual Book Publicity Tour

Adelita's Secret banner

Pump Up Your Book is pleased to bring you Christopher Cloud’s Adelita’s Secret virtual book tour September 2-26, 2014.



Title: Adelita’s Secret
Author: Christopher Cloud
Publisher: Create Space Independent Publishing Platform
Genre: young adult fantasy romance
Format: paperback copy, kindle,
Lost in a superficial world of materialism and social status—and ashamed of her Latino heritage—seventeen-year-old Adelita NoĆ© is loved by two men, two men separated by a hundred years and vastly different stations in life. One man owns little more than the shirt on his back. The other, a poet at heart, is heir to a vast fortune. Their love for Adelita serves as the backdrop for the Latino girl’s quest to better understand herself and her Mexican roots.
For More Information:
Title is available at Amazon kindle,  or paperback
Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads


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Author Christopher Cloud
Christopher  Cloud began writing fiction full time after a long career in journalism and public relations. Voices of the Locusts is his fourth novel. A multi-genre author, Chris Cloud’s choice of novels to write is determined not by genre, but by the weight of the story. Cloud graduated from the University of Missouri in 1967 with a degree in journalism. He has worked as a reporter, editor, and columnist at newspapers in Texas, California, and Missouri. He was employed by a Fortune 100 company as a public relations executive, and later operated his own public relations agency. Cloud attended high school in Japan, and much of his Voices of the Locusts is based on personal experience. Cloud lives in Joplin, Missouri.

Visit Christopher Cloud’s website
Visit Cloud’s blog
More books by Christopher Cloud


Tuesday, September 2
Spotlight at Musings By Maureen
Wednesday, September 3
Thursday, September 4
Guest Post at My Devotional Thoughts
Tuesday, September 9
Thursday, September 11
Monday, September 15
Guest Post at Thoughts in Progress
Wednesday, September 17
Thursday, September 18
Interview at The Hot Author Report
Tuesday, September 23
Spotlight and Giveaway at Book Hounds
Wednesday, September 24
Guest Post and Giveaway at Sizzling Book Blog
Thursday, September 25
Guest Post and Giveaway at Lori’s Reading Corner

Monday, September 1, 2014

Honor (Quaker Brides, #1) by Lyn Cote

When unexpected circumstances leave Honor Penworthy destitute after the death of her grandfather, she is forced to leave her Maryland plantation--and the slaves she hoped to free--and seek refuge with a distant relative. With no marketable skills, her survival hinges on a marriage arranged through the Quaker community to local glass artisan Samuel Cathwell. Samuel is drawn to Honor, but he has been unwilling to open his heart to anyone since scarlet fever took his hearing as a child.A move west brings the promise of a fresh start, but nothing in Honor's genteel upbringing has prepared her for the rigors of frontier life with Samuel. Nevertheless, her tenacity and passion sweep her into important winds of change, and she becomes increasingly--though secretly--involved in the Underground Railroad. Samuel suspects Honor is hiding something, but will uncovering the truth confirm his worst fears or truly bring them together as man and wife?Set against the backdrop of dramatic and pivotal moments in American history, the Quaker Brides series chronicles the lives of three brave heroines, fighting to uphold their principles of freedom while navigating the terrain of faith, family, and the heart.

About The Author: 

Lyn grew up loving books. Her favorite night of the week was Friday night, when the Bookmobile came to her neighborhood in Illinois. She’d spend those two hours chatting with the driver of the Bookmobile and the librarian and making the big decision of the week — which books to check out! In those distant days, children were limited in how many books they could check out. Lyn could only take home six a week — and there were so many to choose from. Her favorites were Cotton in my Sack by Lois Lenski, The Little House series and the One of a Kind Family series. Later, she discovered Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances!
This love of books led to a desire to write. Lyn won prizes in high school and college for her poetry and, not surprisingly, Lyn became a history and English teacher. When she became a mother, she gave up teaching, and while raising a son and a daughter, she began working on her first novel. Then she wrote her second and third. Long years of rejection followed — as it does for most writers. Finally in 1997, Lyn got "the call." Her first book, Never Alone, was chosen to appear in the first year of the new Love Inspired line. Lyn has written many articles on writing and the emerging Christian Booksellers Assoc. (CBA) fiction market. In 2006, Lyn's book, Chloe, is a finalist for the RWA's RITA, the highest award in the romance genre in the inspirational category.
Now, Lyn spends her days writing books that show the power of divine as well as human love. Her nest is empty and she and her real life hero, her husband, have more and more time to spend together in their home on a lake in the lovely northwoods. And books are still dear to her heart.

My Review:

Honor the name of the book and main character was a story I never wanted to end, and became absorbed in the time before the Civil War. Being a woman during this time, was really not having an identity, and being black was being subhuman.
We observe Christians interpreting the bible to fit their needs and owning slaves, the cruelty they displayed towards their fellow man was atrocious. Of course, not all Christians felt this way, thank God, and thus we have Honor, and her Quaker religion, as she personally fights the injustices of slavery.
She is forced to give up everything, and end up penny less, but could hold her head high by maintaining her beliefs. We learn about some very deep and dark secrets, and I felt she was better off leaving Maryland, but she was raised to do nothing but be a lady, a not marketable skill.
We travel with her to the Quaker community in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and it takes weeks to get there, of course we are in the early 1800’s. Loved the family who takes her and her maid Royale in, and felt it was not by chance, but by God’s hand. A life changing stop for her, she meets her future husband. What you think, just met and gets married, life has strange twists and turns.
We find both Samuel with his deafness, and Honor with her loss of all she knew, fighting their demons. Will they both be able to accept their marriage as more than a convenience? Will they be able to make a difference in the world as far as slavery and the brutality that came with it? As I said I didn’t want this book to end and cannot wait for the next book in this series. A must read!

I received this book through Edelweiss and the Publisher Tyndale House, and was not required to give a positive review. 

Wonderful Lonesome (Amish Turns of Time, #1) by Olivia Newport

In a struggling Amish settlement on the harsh Colorado plain, Abbie Weaver refuses to concede defeat to hail, drought, and coyotes, even as families begin to give up and return east. The biggest challenge of all is the lack of a spiritual shepherd and regular worship. When Abbie discovers the root of a spiritual divide that runs through the settlement, she faces her own decisions about what she believes. She must choose between a quiet love in her cherished church, passion with a man determined to leave the church, or imagining her life with neither.

 About The Author:

Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and two twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

My Review: 

Talk about hardships, these Amish settlers suffered the whole time they were in Colorado. From draughts to hail damaging their crop, they were left with nothing, and no new settlers or a Bishop to help form their church. Of course, the people are the church, but they had no leadership here, only scraping for survival, and death of their loved ones.
Abbie Weaver believes in this settlement with all her heart and being, she wills it to survive, and prays constantly for this Amish community. She tries to make everyone there see the potential of the area, and wants them not to give up. Wilhelm loves Abbie, but he loves God more, and is really struggling with not having preaching. While Abbie, is trying to get everyone to stay and telling them that once more Amish settlers come they will have preaching.
There are a lot of twist and turns here, and heartbreaking happenings, along with some romance and new babies, both human and animal. Can this community survive, we see some surprising people leave, but will more come?
Will Abbie be able to accept the changes that happen here, both good and bad, and whom will she choose with two suitors? This is one page turning read, and you will feel like you are a member here of this community. A few real surprises here, and you may not like the way things turn out, but will Abbie be able to accept these changes?
I received this book through Net Galley and Barbour Publishing Inc., and was not required to give a positive review.

Friday, August 29, 2014

FETCH by Adam Glendon Sidwell—Book Review/Giveaway

Fetch Blog Tour 


Fetch by Adam Glendon Sidwell   Book Summary:

A story for anyone who's ever been loved by a dog or given one a home.

At least nine sunsets away, there is a place where dogs can do what they want. But they are not all the same, and when a special one has the courage to fly, he finds something unexpected beyond the tenth horizon.  

Purchase your copy

Author Adam Glendon Sidwell:
In between books, Adam Glendon Sidwell uses the power of computers to make monsters, robots and zombies come to life for blockbuster movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, King Kong, Pacific Rim, Transformers and Tron. After spending countless hours in front of a keyboard meticulously adjusting tentacles, calibrating hydraulics, and brushing monkey fur, he is delighted at the prospect of modifying his creations with the flick of a few deftly placed adjectives. He really enjoyed writing 81,854 less words in his new picture book FETCH than he wrote in his first EVERTASTER novel, and hopes that you will like the ones he picked. Besides, FETCH has pictures.

Adam has also been rightfully accused of writing the upcoming novel CHUM.


Praise for the book:

“If you need & want a book for younger children that does not involve zombies, monsters, or overdone "superhero's", and just want a good old fashioned great story, perfect illustrations, and a captivating experience, then "Fetch" should be ordered quickly.”—Carol Anne Merrill Miller

“Simple, yet engaging, storyline appeals to readers of all ages and the illustrations glue your eyes to pages!” –Doodles

“The art work enchanted, enthralled, and grabbed me in ways paintings can and often do.” –Kindle Customer


Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 9/13/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.

Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Review:

Just read Fetch with my boys, who are dog lovers, and they were hysterically laughing at some of the antics displayed. They wanted me to quickly turn the pages, and each pointed to show the other one what the dog he saw was doing. Then we had to go back slowly over each page for them to devour again.
The drawings are delightful, and the boys had a hard time agreeing to disagree which activity they liked the best. If you want to have a great dialogue with your little one, this is the book for you. So I asked them “where do the dogs come from?” You will love their answers after reading this sweet, colorful, and eye catching little book.
Don’t miss out on this great sharing experience with your child, you won’t be disappointed!

I received this book from Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Blog Tour, and was not required to give a positive review. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pump Up Your Book Presents The Banana Bunch Book Virtual Book Publicity Tour

Pump Up Your Book is pleased to bring you Dawn Carroll’s The Banana Bunch Book book blitz August 4 – August 29!
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PUYB Inside the Book

Banana Bunch 2

Title: The Banana Bunch
Author: Dawn Carroll
Publisher: Amolibros
Pages: 120
Genre: Children’s Book
Format: Ebook/Paperback
Purchase at AMAZON
The monkeys have a human friend called Sheila.
Sheila is in hospital – and she hates the hospital food.
The monkeys decide that something simply has to be done…
When their first attempt at delivering bananas to Sheila is thwarted the monkeys decide to form The Banana Bunch, a secret society dedicated to the delivery of delicious, health-giving bananas to Sheila and all the other unwell people at the hospital. Banana delivery proves, however, a little trickier than they had expected…


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PUYB Meet the Author

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Dawn Carroll was born in London, to a family who loved to read – and who also moved house with great regularity. One of the first tasks on arrival at each new home would be to find the nearest lending library, with the result that Dawn grew up with a great love of books. Encouraged by family and teachers, Dawn also started to write short stories.
In adulthood, Dawn’s busy life as a hospital doctor left little time for leisure writing. Indeed, The Banana Bunch stories would probably never have been written had Dawn not, one fateful day, discovered that falling from even a very small tightrope can have devastating consequences… but that’s another story!
Unable to return to her chosen profession, things seemed very black for a while. And then The Banana Bunch monkeys bounced into Dawn’s world….
Since then the monkeys (and Dawn) have been having a great time – telling the stories of their adventures in print and online, and also travelling far and wide to source new story ideas and to meet new friends.

Find out more about Dawn and the Banana Bunch at