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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Huckleberry Harvest (The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill #5) by Jennifer Beckstrand







Anna and Felty Helmuth’s zest for matchmaking is unstoppable—and with grown-up grandchild number three on her way to their home in lovely Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, what better reason to put their talents to work once more?...

When Mandy Helmuth hears that her best friend Kristina’s heart has been broken, she decides to visit her grandparents and cheer her up. Mandy never liked Noah Mischler anyway, with his rough exterior and outspoken ways. Unfortunately, she can’t avoid him—especially after he saves her life…

If he weren’t helping Felty with home repairs, Noah would be more than happy to stay away from uppity Mandy Helmuth. Of course, then he wouldn’t have been able to rescue her—and she wouldn’t have had the chance to discover the real Noah beneath the tough persona—the one she falls in love with.




About The Author:

I grew up with a steady diet of William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. After all that literary immersion, I naturally decided to get a degree in mathematics, which came in handy when one of my six children needed help with homework. After my fourth daughter was born, I started writing. By juggling diaper changes, soccer games, music lessons, laundry, and two more children, I finished my first manuscript—a Western—in just under fourteen years.

I have always been fascinated by the Amish way of life and now write Inspirational Amish Romance. I am drawn to the strong faith of the Plain people and admire the importance they put on enduring family ties. I have visited and studied Amish communities in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin where I met with a bishop and a minister as well as several Amish mamms, dats, and children. It has always impressed me at what salt-of-the-earth people they are. My interactions with these kind people have been some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have a dear Amish friend with whom I correspond in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She helps me keep my facts straight and gives me inspiration for my stories.

My goal is to write uplifting, inspiring stories with happy endings and hopeful messages. If my books make readers want to give themselves a big hug or jump up and down for joy, I’ve done my job. I am a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers and am represented by Mary Sue Seymour of The Seymour Agency.

There are three Amish romances in the Forever After in Apple Lake Series (Summerside/Guideposts). Kate’s Song, Rebecca’s Rose, and Miriam’s Quilt are all now available.

The series, The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill, is about an elderly Amish couple who try to find suitable mates for their grandchildren. What could be more fun than throwing two young people together to see if sparks ignite? No one would ever suspect two octogenarian Amish folks of mischief.


Purchase 

website



My Review
I received my copy of Huckleberry Harvest a little while ago, I didn’t open it right away, it was like a piece of candy that you absolutely love, but savor and save for a few days. I knew what I was going to find once I open the pages, and sure was not disappointed, just didn’t want it to end.
This is Granddaughter Mandy’s story, and Annie and Felty are at it again, of course. Annie has away with cooking, that would bring tears to the eyes of any cast iron stomach, but she is so delightful that people suffer through what she offers, and try to find ways not to eat. She does do a wonderful job with her knitting, and she soon has the boys lining up for one of her potholders, and a she has a very special job available. Marry her Granddaughter!
You can guess how delightful this book is, and I found it so very heart-warming, although it does deal with some tough subjects, such as alcoholism, and the trial it puts on families.
As the book opens we find Mandy chewing out an Amish man whom she thinks hurt her dearest friend to the core. How could this Noah Mischler have led on Kristina and then broken her heart, well she sure gives him a piece of her mind. Then we turn around and who appears at he Grandparent’s kitchen, you got it, and we soon are rooting for Noah, and are aghast at the antics a grown woman would go to try and win his favor.
Page-turner to the end, and not a book that I wanted to end, the characters here are like family, and I wanted to stay in their comfortable embrace. Am so glad that there is another grandchild that needs a spouse and so there is another book to come in November called Huckleberry Hearts.

I received this book from the Author for my honest review, and was not required to give a positive review.
 


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?




heartsdanger-400
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

Loss Angeles banner


About the Book:

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





Loss Angeles 2




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.


 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Presents: Veils and Vengeance Cover Reveal & Giveaway

Veils and Vengeance
 




Veils and Vengeance by Rachelle J. Christensen When wedding planner, Adrielle Pyper, goes to Hawaii to orchestrate a destination wedding, she isn't prepared for what she finds. After the trauma of her previous event, the beautiful isle of Kauai is the perfect place for Adri to unwind and do what she does best – plan. She even lets herself indulge in the attention of the groom’s handsome brother. But just when everything seems to be perfect, an afternoon snorkeling trip turns to murder when Adri discovers the body of a young woman. Shaken, but unable to let it go, Adri’s sleuthing leads her into more danger than she could imagine. When a number of “accidents” threaten her own life, it soon becomes apparent that someone will do anything to keep Adri from interfering with their vengeance.



 add to goodreads      




rachelleAuthor Rachelle J. Christensen Rachelle J. Christensen is a mother of five who writes mystery/suspense and solves the case of the missing shoe on a daily basis. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology and a minor in music. She enjoys singing and songwriting, playing the piano, running, motivational speaking, and, of course, reading. Rachelle is the award-winning author of six books, including Wrong Number, Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things, and What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know. Her novella, Silver Cascade Secrets, was included in the Rone Award-winning Timeless Romance Anthology, Fall Collection.







$25 Cover Reveal Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/15/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com 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.



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Monday, May 18, 2015

Second Chances: An Amish Retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion by Sarah Price





At twenty-five years of age, Anna Eicher has never married. When she was seventeen, her parents convinced her to break off her courtship with Freman Whittmore, the youngest son in the Whittmore family and her best friend. Afterward, a distraught Freman moved away from Lancaster County.

Eight years later Freman has returned to visit his sister, who is renting the Eichers’ house for the winter. Now the owner of the largest dairy farm in his church district, Freman has neither married—nor forgiven Anna.

Although he begins courting someone else, Anna hopes to convince him that she has never stopped loving him. Will Freman be persuaded to forgive Anna and open his heart again?




About The Author


The Preiss family emigrated from Europe in 1705, settling in Pennsylvania as the area's first wave of Mennonite families. Sarah Price has always respected and honored her ancestors through exploration and research about her family history and their religion. At nineteen, she befriended an Amish family and lived on their farm throughout the years.
As a masterful storyteller, Sarah Price prides herself on presenting an authentic Amish experience for her readers. Many of her stories are based on actual people she has met and her own experiences living among the Amish over the years. Sarah now resides in Morris County, New Jersey with her family.
While she started out as an Indie author, she signed on with Realms, an imprint of Charisma House and Waterfall Press, an imprint of Brilliance Publishing. Her first book, First Impressions: An Amish Adaptation of Pride and Prejudice was released in May 2014.

Get the latest news about Sarah Price on Facebook, Twitter, and sarahpriceauthor.com.


My Review
 

A moving love story once told by Jane Austin and now by master storyteller Sarah Price. One in old time England, and the other in the American Amish Community, the same and yet very different telling of the same story.
From the beginning of the retold story we meet Anna Eicher, and we feel the heartbreak that she is feeling when she gives her love Freeman Whittemore his walking papers. Not because she doesn’t love him, but because her family disapproves, mainly her father.
Eight years go by and we find Anna not really living a life of her own, she has never married and now more or less living as a maid for her sister Mary. This girl needs a backbone, and is severely lacking in her own life.
Enter Freeman visiting now from Indiana, and seems to be looking for a wife, he also has never married. Circumstances seem to put Anna and Freeman together, but he is interested in Mary’s sister-in-law Leah.
All of a sudden there seems to be several men interested in Anna, and I wondered if she will end up in Lancaster PA? Or with the pushy distant cousin who seems to be interested.
We get an in-depth look at Amish family life, and the submissiveness of the children to their parents, but at what cost? I don’t agree with some of the actions of these characters toward the youngsters, and thank goodness others are looking out for them.
Will there ever be any happiness for Anna, or will she be stuck as Mary’s helper, and you will wonder what Mary will ever do without her. Will Freeman ever settle down and have his own life as a family man. These and other questions are answered, and we have an epilogue at the end, which I love. Enjoy!
I received this book from the Author, and was not required to give a positive review.



Amish Promises by Leslie Gould






Journey Down a Quiet Lane in Lancaster County Where Love and Heartache and Friendship and Healing Meet
When Joel and Shani Beck arrive at their new home, they're looking for peace. Shani is thrilled to have Joel back from Iraq, but he needs time to heal, and the quiet of Lancaster seems just the place. They can't imagine any trouble with their Amish neighbors, the Lehmans, but things get off to a rocky start when their son is involved in an accident that injures one of the Lehman boys.

Eve Lehman has run her brother's household ever since the death of his wife, but Tim's a stern patriarch. Despite his protests, she's drawn to the new neighbor, Shani, and the two begin to form a strong friendship forged on faith and family. Things seem like they've quieted down until Joel's single and handsome army friend Charlie catches Eve's attention--a man unlike any Eve has ever met. Suddenly life for both families becomes more complicated than any of them could have ever imagined.


About The Author


Leslie Gould


Leslie Gould is the author of the bestselling Courtships of Lancaster County series and coauthor, with Mindy Starns Clark, of the #1 bestselling The Amish Midwife. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University and has taught fiction writing at Multnomah University as an adjunct professor. She resides with her family in Portland, Oregon.











My Review

Amish Promises is a story of living ones faith, even if it doesn’t bring a lot of happiness, and marrying another just to fulfill a desire for family, even without love. How many have been caught in this situation? For the main character in this book, Eve, she has made promises to always take care of deceased friends children, and because of her upbringing, she has vowed to never marry a man who is Amish. Because she is Amish this leaves her in never land.
I have always heard that the Amish don’t mind dealing with the English in business, but want their home life and their children to be kept separate and apart. In other words to socially unconnected.
This story deals with English neighbors and their interaction with their Amish neighbors. It also deals with war and PTSD, and the effects of this on the family and friends. Put this all together and we have an amazing read, one that will really have you thinking and wanting to have some input, but of course you can’t.
I thorough enjoyed this book, and it kept me turning the pages to find out what could possibly happen next, and their sure is a lot of action, whether it is a fire, ice storm, death, baby arriving, injury, etc. You won’t want to put this one down, the story is well written, and the characters have great depth. Enjoy!

I received this book through Bethany House Publisher’s Bloggers Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

As Love Blooms (The Gregory Sisters #3) by Lorna Seilstad







Tessa Gregory is nothing if not tenacious. Denied a position as a horticulturalist at prestigious Como Park in Saint Paul, she is not above a little benevolent deception in order to get the park superintendent to change his mind and hire her. She plans to infiltrate the world of wealthy and influential people in hopes of drumming up financial support for a world-class conservatory. But before she can put those plans into action, she meets Reese King, a handsome gardener at Como Park--and a major distraction. Still, Reese might be the key to achieving her dream. But is his goal to help her . . . or to capture her heart?

Against a lush backdrop of early twentieth century Saint Paul, Minnesota, Lorna Seilstad weaves a sweet and sassy story that is sure to please. Tessa's young romance opens like a rose, stealing readers' hearts and filling their senses with the intoxicating fragrance of dreams come true.





 



About Lorna Seilstad:
A history buff, antique collector, and freelance graphic designer, Lorna Seilstad is the author of Making Waves, A Great Catch, and The Ride of Her Life. A former high school English and journalism teacher, she has won several online writing contests and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Lorna lives in Council Bluffs, Iowa, with her husband. 
Find out more at www.lornaseilstad.com.


My Review


The third and final book in the Gregory Sister’s series, and I really hate for it to end. We are reunited with the whole family, and it is growing! Aunt Sam is being pursued, the sister’s are back, Charlotte, Hannah, and now we have Tessa ‘s story.
This one is also action packed and we are still trying to achieve woman’s rights, it is 1913 after all. Spunky Tessa is surely following in her sister’s footsteps, without even realizing it. She has decided she wants to enter into the horticulturist field and work at the prestigious Como Park in Saint Paul, MN.
When she is rejected for being a woman, a no no for sure, she is even willing to put on pants to work in the gardens. What an adventure she is about to partake in, and maybe a bit of romance, and you will wonder who is smitten here.
Page-turner her for sure, and I am sad to have this series end, loved being back in this time period. If you have not yet read the first two books in this series, be sure to do so, you won’t regret it.
I received this book through the Publisher Revell’s Blogger Tour, and was not required to give a positive review. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Write Now Literary Virtual Blog Tours Presents: His Ultimate Desire Book Blast and Contest













A past packed with memories… When Marisol Chesapeake returns to Indigo Falls, North Carolina, her ex is the last person she expects to see. The second their paths cross, sparks fly out of control. There’s no denying the attraction that still lingers, but there’s no way she can allow herself to act on it. No matter how badly she needs his strong, protective arms around her. A future filled with possibilities… Kincaid Tinsdale has spent the last few years away from Indigo Falls, and the hurtful memories there. But now he’s back, and so is the woman he’s dreamt about for the past ten years. The second his eyes settle on his ex, it awakens a hunger only she can satisfy. There’s just one problem. By the looks of it, Marisol wants nothing to do with him. But looks can be deceiving. A present that will determine everything… She’s not searching for love—especially his. He’s not giving up. Will the flame that once blazed between them be reignited? Or will she simply remain his ultimate desire?



Author Joy Avery is giving away One His Ultimate Desire Goodie Bag.
 Enter content below. 
Book Title: His Ultimate Desire, Book 2 in the Indigo Falls series 
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction 
  ASIN: B00W8MUYRC 
Publication Date: April 17, 2015


 About The Author
 joy_avery1 Joy Avery is a contemporary romance author who loves watching her imaginary friends fall in love. In addition to HIS ULTIMATE DESIRE, she's the author of SMOKE IN THE CITI, HIS UNTIL SUNRISE, and CUPID'S ERROR: a novella. Joy is a member of Romance Writers of America and Heart of Carolina Romance Writers. When not crafting her next love story, she enjoys reading, spending time with the family, playing with her two dogs, and cake decorating.




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Contest Giveaway: Author is giving away One (1) His Ultimate Desire Goodie Bag.
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Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author Joy Avery and is hosted and managed by Paulette from Write Now Literary Book Tours. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Paulette @ pharperjohnson@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

No Place to Hide (Hidden Identity, #3) by Lynette Eason








She'll defend her friend until the bitter end--but is she in over her head?
It's not every day you see your childhood friend and onetime crush on national news. Jackie Sellers just wishes it were under different circumstances. She can't believe that Ian Lockwood is wanted in connection with a terrorist plot, and she's determined to find him and help him clear his name. Unfortunately, she's not the only one looking for him. The FBI wants him captured. The bad guys want him dead. Ian just wants to stay alive long enough to prove his innocence and prevent a catastrophe.

Lynette Eason delivers nonstop action as Jackie and Ian travel a dangerous road--one that may lead straight to destruction.


Praise for the series

"For any reader looking for 'edge-of-your-seat' thrills, this series is the perfect gift."--Suspense Magazine
"Fans of Eason's and readers of Christian suspense will definitely want to check out this new series. I, for one, cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment."--Fiction Addict
"An exciting new series with action and thrilling chase scenes."--RT Book Reviews


About The Author



Lynette Eason


Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series and the Deadly Reunions series, as well as No One to Trust, Nowhere to Turn, and No Place to Hide in the Hidden Identity series. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and she lives in South Carolina. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.



My Review
Jackie Sellers will do anything for those she loves and that being said, she would give the ultimate, her life. The book opens early on with her doing just that, but is she helping a friend or a terrorist?
The disregard for human life for some of the characters here is terrible, don’t sneeze at the wrong time, or worse make a snide remark, you’re a goner. Pretty soon Ian Lockwood and Jackie are on the run from the good and the bad guys. Every one is a suspect, and evil waits for no one and no one is apt to be alive at the end.
Unfortunately, this story could be a non-fiction read, as there are terrorists infiltrating the world, and they look like everyone else and are not the ones you would suspect to bringing injustice into the world.
A read that you won’t be able to put down once you open the cover, it will put your heart in your throat, and at times you want that clock to move faster and at others to slow down. The characters are well developed here, and there are a lot of twists and turns and surprises. A really good and suspenseful read!

I received this book through the Revell Book Bloggers Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Presents: KING ARTHUR'S SISTER IN WASHINGTON'S COURT OFFERS LAUGHS, LOVE, AND A CANDID LOOK AT AMERICA & Giveaway

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King Arthur's Sister in Washington's Court by Kim Iverson Headlee 
  Morgan le Fay, 6th-century Queen of Gore and the only major character not killed off by Mark Twain in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, vows revenge upon the Yankee Hank Morgan. She casts a spell to take her to 1879 Connecticut so she may waylay Sir Boss before he can travel back in time to destroy her world. But the spell misses by 300 miles and 200 years, landing her in the Washington, D.C., of 2079, replete with flying limousines, hovering office buildings, virtual-reality television, and sundry other technological marvels.   Whatever is a time-displaced queen of magic and minions to do? Why, rebuild her kingdom, of course—two kingdoms, in fact: as Campaign Boss for the reelection of American President Malory Beckham Hinton, and as owner of the London Knights world-champion baseball franchise.   Written as though by the old master himself, King Arthur’s Sister in Washington’s Court by Mark Twain as channeled by Kim Iverson Headlee offers laughs, love, and a candid look at American society, popular culture, politics, baseball...and the human heart.





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Author Biography


 Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet. Kim is a Seattle native and a direct descendent of twentieth-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim's novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband's ancestor, the seventh-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia. For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon's Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her imprint Pendragon Cove Press.




  Praise for the Book “Packed with politics, pop culture, sports, business, time travel, magic, deceit, humor and love, this story will keep you enthralled right up to the end. Whether you have ever read an Arthurian romance before or not, give this one a try. I am sure you will love it as much as I did.” ~ Dottie of Romance Junkies   “KASIWC is irresistible, passionate, and intriguing. Definitely check out this amazing new Arthurian Romance!” ~ Jill of Arthurian Romances   “It’s like Ms. Headlee has the touch of Twain in her.” ~ Darlene of Mousiey Books


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 $25 Blog Tour Giveaway Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 5/25/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com 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 readinglight.com.
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Book Excerpt


“Grief? Is that how you view our relationship? Naught but grief?”

“No, of course not, but—”

“Indeed. Then how do you view it?”

He rolled his eyes. “You know how I feel about you—privately, that is. I just don’t appreciate my judgment being questioned on the job all the time. Believe it or not, Boss, I do want what’s best for the team, and I do know what the team needs; but I can’t deliver it to you under these conditions—it’s like I’m bound and gagged. I can’t operate like that. Either free me to do my job for the Knights or free me to do it elsewhere.” His gaze turned soft and sad. “Please.”

Oh, God, he used that magic word on me—me, mistress of magic, and I stood helpless to resist its effect. The rage that had built within my breast throughout his speech seeped from me like helium from a balloon, leaving the skin inflated but with no volition to rise from the floor. Quietly I said:

“Very well, Sandy Carter, if your job means more to you than I do, then you are fired.”

Again.

Alas.