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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Amish Christmas Sleigh by Kelly Long, Amy Lillard, Molly Jebber






Through the snowy night, silver bells ring cheerfully, heralding a season of secret gifts, unexpected chances, and love's sweetest journeys . . .
 
A SLEIGH RIDE ON ICE MOUNTAIN
Kelly Long
For solitary toy-maker Sebastian Christner, hiring Kate Zook as his new housekeeper is simply the right thing to do. Now she can support her special-needs brother. But one taste of her independent spirit is showing him undreamed-of holiday joy—and making him long to give her a home for always . . .
 
A MAMM FOR CHRISTMAS
Amy Lillard
Bernice Yoder has far too much to do to entertain holiday dreams. Even if she can help Jess Schmucker outwit his three mischievous young daughters, it's impossible to imagine the handsome widower can see her as anything but a scolding schoolteacher. He never guesses how a magical Christmas Eve will open his eyes to love or how Der Herr will awaken their faith and hope.
 
AN UNEXPECTED CHRISTMAS BLESSING
Molly Jebber
As much as Charity Lantz's children need a father, the young widow isn’t sure her new neighbor Luke Fisher can ever be the right choice. They’re having more disagreements than snowflakes in December. Besides, he's never given a sign he wants to be more than friends. Can Gott show them a way past their misunderstandings to a forever love?


About The Authors

 


Kelly Long was born and raised in North Central Pennsylvania. There was an Amish hitching post at the small grocery store in her town. She loves to write Amish romance and is the author of novel, Sarah's Garden, the novella Amish Christmas Expanded Edition with some other great Amish authors, Amish Love with Beth Wiseman and Kathy Fuller, and Lilly's Wedding Quilt--the sequel to Sarah's Garden. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and children. 







Amy Lillard is a wife, mother, and bona fide Southern belle. Published author, expert corn bread maker, and Squirrel Princess.
I live in Tulsa, though I was born in Mississippi. I moved to the Sooner State when I was seventeen and met my soul mate and best friend not long after. I’ve retained a little of my Mississippi accent though most people think I’m from Texas. (?)  Rob and I have been married for over twenty years and have a son–a mom proclaimed prodigy, of course!
I love homemade tacos, shoes, and romance novels–not necessarily in that order. I’m a big fan of country music, a staunch proponent of saving the Oxford comma, and I’m shamefully obsessed with all things Harry Potter.
I  believe that God is love. I guess that’s why I adore romances.
I have always been intrigued with the Amish culture, their gentle ways and slower-paced lifestyle. (And I love, love, love the fact that they stay married for their lifetime.) But until recently I never thought to blend this interest with my penchant for romance. Okay, okay, I’m a bit old-fashioned and even enjoy the gender roles that are present in this culture.  I love to cook and take care of my family. Yes, that’s me June Cleaver with a laptop.
I dislike people trying to convince me to read the Twlight series (I’ll get to it or I won’t, either way I’m good with it), gratuitous violence, and strawberry ice cream. (I know I’m alone on this last one, and again, I’m good with it.)
Favorite movies–(besides HP) French Kiss, Maid of Honor, A Lot Like Love, Just Married, and Sweet Home Alabama. Oh, and Miss Congeniality, Sabrina (both versions) and a 1940′s movie called Dear Ruth. If you haven’t seen it, you should! A-dorable. Anything with Doris Day and most all of Marilyn’s and Audrey’s.





Molly Jebber
I said to my loving husband, Ed, “I’ve always wanted to write a book. A story that readers would get lost in for a while.” He said, “Do it!” My daughter, Misty, brother, Mitch, and Mom, Sue said, “Take Ed’s advice, do it!” So I did. The road wasn’t easy, but the education, Amish research, and ride along the way to getting published taught me to take my favorite verse to heart.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13 KJV
Why Amish Inspirational Romance?
I love their dedication to serve God. I visited Amish Country in Ohio many times. They work hard and have such a close knit friendship with each other. It’s heartwarming and uplifting. At the same time, they face hardships and difficult problems just like we do.
God answered my prayers and gave me the best mentor, author, and friend, Patricia Campbell, to hone my skills. I’m blessed to have Dawn Dowdle as my agent, and John S. from Kensington as my editor.
I’m thank for you, the reader, for being interested in my book! I’d love to hear from you.
Join my newsletterLike my facebook author page, or send me an email.


My Review
 
 
As you probably figured out a sleigh is each a focus in each of these novellas and that is the tie in of the stories.
The first story by Kelly Long returns us to Ice Mountain, and familiar characters, that I have come to know in other books. This story focus on a young Amish woman Kate Zook whose parents had been killed in a buggy accident, and her young brother injured so he is unable to walk. She has the chance of a lifetime when Sebastian Christner, a handsome bachelor and woodworker, offers her a job of maid, and an apprenticeship to her brother.
There are secrets here, and most are kept by Sebastian, how will Kate react when she finds out? Can there be a relationship between the two? An enjoyable quick read!
I found the second book An Unexpected Christmas Blessing, a really cute and delightful read. They have been without a mother for three years and want their father to remarry, and wait until you see the lengths they go to. They decide whom they want and are rather upset when their Dad decides on someone else.
You have to read this in one sitting, it is so cute and quite funny in places, and I wanted to keep on reading when it ended!
The third book An Unexpected Christmas Blessing was one I really enjoyed, a man running from his past and shame, and a widow and children hurting from the lost of their husband and dad.
What a blessing Luke immediately makes in their lives and is quickly accepted by the children, they are longing for a father. There is also another lonely widower with six children her longing for a new mom, and being without one is disastrous in their lives.
I did have some questions about the community and their acceptance of divorce and remarriage, also the verbal praying. While questioning these practices, I did enjoy the story.
You won’t regret picking up this delightful quick read!
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Kensington, and was not required to give a positive review.
 
 




Pump Up Your Book Presents: Circle Dance Blog Tour










Title: Circle Dance
Author: Lynne Constantine & Valerie Constantine
Publisher: Bookbaby
Pages: 261
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Format: Paperback/Kindle/Audible/Nook
Young, smart and beautiful with everything figured out – or so they thought. Born into a prosperous Greek American family, sisters Nicole and Theodora have achieved the perfect balance between the old world rich in Greek tradition and the freedom of life in America.

Nicole’s world spins out of control when she falls for a married senator who shares her heritage and her dreams. The decisions she makes will affect the happiness of those closest to her and will define the woman she is to become.

As Theodora struggles to succeed at her marriage, she seeks the wisdom and council of her beloved Greek grandmother who has been happily married for over half a century. Ultimately she must come to terms with the reality of her own life and take responsibility for the role she has played in deceiving herself.

As the dramatic plot unfolds, the two young women must confront deceit and betrayal and their own shortcomings—while they struggle to preserve the values they cherish.

Set in Baltimore, Annapolis and the tiny island of Ikaria, Greece, Circle Dance provides a view into the lives of a dynamic family that has successfully achieved the American dream without abandoning the customs and traditions handed down through their Greek heritage.

For More Information




About the Authors



Lynne Constantine is a coffee drinking, twitter addicted, fiction writer always working on her next book. She is the co-author of CIRCLE DANCE, a family saga written with her sister, as well as the author of several short stories. She is the managing partner of a social media consulting firm & gives talks on the role of social media in publishing. She is a contributing editor to The Big Thrill magazine published by International Thriller Writers (ITW). She likes to run her plots by Tucker, her golden retriever, who rarely disagrees with her.
She recently finished her first thriller, and a second book with her sister. Lynne is now working on a third women’s fiction collaboration with her sister. In her spare time the loves going to the beach, spending time with her family, and reading, reading, reading.
For More Information




 

Valerie Constantine was born in Baltimore, Maryland.  She has always loved books and spent too many nights reading by the light of her bedside lamp until 3 a.m.  (Those were the days when she was able to stay up that late.)  She graduated from Nancy Drew to Shakespeare and went on to study at the University of Maryland where she received a degree in English Literature. She is a contributing editor to The Big Thrill magazine and has also worked with St. John’s College as chair of their Meet The Authors Program. She is an active community volunteer working with a Washington, D.C. organization that fights human trafficking and also as president of Assistance League of the Chesapeake, a philanthropic organization that helps and supports children in need. In her spare time she reads, kayaks and travels.  Valerie lives in Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and Zorba, their brilliant King Charles Cavalier.
For More Information



Book Excerpt:
A black casket, shiny and ornate, sat upon the altar, and pallbearers in dark suits quietly led the mourners to their seats as the church continued to fill.  The chanter’s hypnotic singing droned on.  It was a muggy one hundred and five degrees, but inside the dark sanctuary, cut off and remote from the outside world, it was cool and still.  The air in the Annunciation Cathedral was heavily mingled with the sweet scent of carnations and the burning sting of incense.  Rays of sunlight, muted by tall stained glass windows, cast uneven shadows on the walls of the church.  From the huge pipe organ flowed the somber strains of a Byzantine lament.
            "Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison.”  In automatic response, Sophia Zaharis, seated in the front pew, crossed herself.  He was too young, she thought sadly, her eyes never leaving the coffin.  An accident, they said—unexpected, tragic.  She reflected on another funeral, which had taken place more than sixty years ago on the small island of Ikaria in Greece where she grew up.  She could still see the smiling face of her father as he held her little brother’s hand and waved to them from the fishing boat.  She unconsciously reached into the small pocket on the inside of her purse and fingered the frayed and worn photograph.  Her father had been just thirty-six years old; her brother, with dark curls spilling over his collar and smiling eyes, a mere seven.  And then the accident.  She shuddered, flooded with feelings of grief and pain that were undiminished with time.  It was a blow from which her mother never recovered and Sophia understood that she, too, was affected by the double loss in ways more profound than she knew.  She had married Andreas and left Greece a few short years later to come to America.  Perhaps that was the hardest thing of all—to leave her mother an ocean away, alone and mourning.  There is something wrong in the order of nature when a parent buries a child, even if that child is an adult, she thought, lifting her eyes to the casket once again. 
            Andreas, as if reading her mind, put his arm around her shoulder, holding her close to his side, and she felt a warm suffusion of gratitude move through her body.  She was thankful for this kind, strong man who had never let her down, whose love she trusted implicitly.  They had begun a new life in America and the years had been good to them, long years filled with memorable times and children of their own.  Today, however, they were paying their last respects to a man whose life was cut short.  He would miss so much.  She thought about all the family milestones and celebrations still to come.  If it were up to her, no sorrow would ever touch her children, but no matter how hard she tried to protect them, in the end, all she could do was be there to comfort them, just as her mother had been there for her.
            The Greek Orthodox priest appeared from behind the lattice-carved wooden screen dressed in his vestments, and, carrying a large gold-encrusted Bible, turned to face the congregation. She still couldn't believe he was dead.  So much had happened in one short year.  She closed her eyes and thought back to that perfect last summer in Ikaria.

 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Plain Fame by Sarah Price



Amanda Beiler is on her way home to her small Amish community in Lititz, Pennsylvania from Ohio and, while changing trains in Manhattan, finds herself in the hospital. Unbeknownst to her, her benefactor during her brief stay in New York City is a famous singer which causes too much interest in their relationship from the paparazzi. When he decides to ride back with her to Lititz, the course of both their lives change. Can fame survive among the Amish?

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





 An innocent walk across a New York City street, with her focus on where she is going and not on where she is, changes her life forever. She is hurt, broken leg, and ends up in a hospital, and the man who feels responsible for the car hitting her, his driver was the one who hit her, comes to her rescue and visits and takes care of this young Amish woman alone in the big city, and ends up driving her home to her Pennsylvania Amish Community.
What they don’t seem to understand, as they don’t listen to rap music is that he is a famous individual. He takes to the quiet life as her parents have allowed him to stay in their grandparent’s home, the Dawdi House and he is quickly absorbed in their culture.
Once he is discovered staying in this quiet community things can never be the same until he leaves. Then it is found out that our Amanda, the young Amish woman, is now the focus of the press.
Will life ever return to the way the Amish want to live, we they continue to be photographed and harassed? You are about to find out once you pick up this quick and interesting, and a bit different book. Love that I have another book in this series to delve into, and I can’t wait!
I received this book from the Author Sarah Price, and was not required to give a positive review.


 

The Christmas Cradle by Charlotte Hubbard






For the peaceful town of Willow Ridge, November presents an early holiday surprise. Stranded in the snow, 18-year-old Lena Esh and her boyfriend Josiah Witmer need more than a place to stay for the night. Lena defied her strict family and their judgmental beliefs to run away with Josiah and have his baby. But she's starting to wonder if he can prove as responsible as he is passionate. And she isn't sure how—or if—they can ever find a place to truly call home.

Expecting their own miracle baby, Miriam and Ben Hooley rally the town to help the young couple, and Lena draws strength from their unexpected support. Though trouble may come calling, in this season of joyous rebirth, a little child will lead them. And two couples will see their dreams of forever family come true . 



About The Author



I’ve called Missouri home for most of my life, and most folks don’t realize that several Old Older Amish and Mennonite communities make their home here, as well. The rolling pastureland, woods, and small towns along county highways make a wonderful setting for Plain populations—and for stories about them, too! While Jamesport, Missouri is the largest Old Order Amish settlement west of the Mississippi River, other communities have also found the affordable farm land ideal for raising crops, livestock, and running the small family-owned businesses that support their families.
I recently moved to Minnesota when my husband got a wonderful new job, so now he and I and our border collie, Ramona, are exploring our new state and making new friends.
 
Visit her website at www.CharlotteHubbard.com


My Review




Oh how I loved being back with these wonderful people, and never wanted to leave, the love and concern they show each other, and their fellow man is so heart warming. On the downside, we are leaving here, as this is the last book in this series.
This story focus on the Christmas season and how a couple of stranger’s wander on a snowy night into Ben’s stable, and their world is about to change. God knew what he was doing when he place them with the Hooley’s rather than with the devil himself Hiram Knepp.
Ben and Miriam are now expecting a child, a real unexpected blessing, and the visitors are also expecting very soon. There are a lot of obstacles put in Lena and Josiah’s path, will the find the right road? You can feel the tension between these two, but will Ben and Miriam have a calming effect on them?
Loved how Miriam shared the beautiful handmade cradle Ben made for their baby, it has a wonderfully made humming bird inserted in the top. They also open their home, and business to help them, will this be enough to help and encourage this couple.
Come and enjoy a reunion with the people we have come to love, even though it is hard to say goodbye, you are going to love you final visit here. Enjoy!
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Kensington, and was not required to give a positive review.




Pump Up You Book Tours Presents: Yell and Shout Cry and Pout: A Kid’s Guide to Feelings by Peggy Kruger Tietz







Title: Yell and Shout Cry and Pout: A Kid’s Guide to Feelings
Author: Peggy Kruger Tietz
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 40
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Format: Paperback/Kindle/Nook
Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout: A Kid's Guide to Feelings is an essential guidebook for adults in steering children through the confusing behaviors that emotions evoke.  When you understand the purpose of emotions, behavior becomes understandable.  Each of the eight emotions is clearly defined thorough vignettes and illustrations, keeping both adult and child captivated, thus creating an opportune time for discussion. By recognizing that all humans experience these emotions throughout their lives, the book provides a true sense of comfort. Emotions are not to be shunned, but rather embraced and explained to provide a positive development environment for all children.

For More Information

  • Yell and Shout Cry and Pout is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.


About The Author







Dr. Peggy Kruger Tietz is a licensed psychologist and maintains a private practice in Austin, Texas.  She sees a wide range of children with normal developmental problems as well as children who have experienced trauma.  Her Ph.D is in developmental psychology from Bryn Mawr College.  Before entering private practice Dr. Tietz treated children in multiple settings, such as family service agencies and foster care.  Dr. Tietz, trained at the Family Institute of Philadelphia, and then taught there.   She specializes in seeing children individually, as well as, with their families.   She has advanced training in Play Therapy as well as being a certified practitioner of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, for children and adults).   She has conducted workshops on parenting, sibling relationships, and emotional literacy. 
For More Information
  


Book Excerpt:
Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout: A Kid's Guide to Feelings is an essential guidebook for adults in steering children through the confusing behaviors that emotions evoke.  When you understand the purpose of emotions, behavior becomes understandable.  Each of the eight emotions is clearly defined thorough vignettes and illustrations, keeping both adult and child captivated, thus creating an opportune time for discussion. By recognizing that all humans experience these emotions throughout their lives, the book provides a true sense of comfort. Emotions are not to be shunned, but rather embraced and explained to provide a positive development environment for all children.

 





Monday, September 28, 2015

A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn (Amish Brides of Pinecraft #3) by Shelley Shepard Gray






In the third book in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray's Amish Brides of Pinecraft series, a wedding brings together two young widowed parents . . . and gives them a second chance at love

Emma Keim was heartbroken when her husband, Sanford, passed away, leaving her to raise three young daughters alone. Though several years have passed, her relatives have made it no secret that they expect Emma to remain a widow, mourning Sanford indefinitely. But when she meets Jay Hilty—a handsome widower with three young sons of his own—Emma is delighted to have a new friend who understands her struggles. Still, she is dismayed that her family is so opposed to their friendship—and the idea of it ever becoming anything more. She honors her husband's memory every day, but is she destined to be alone forever?

Emma's gentleness with Jay's boys stirs something in his heart that's been quiet for far too long. But when his oldest son becomes engaged to a local woman, suddenly Jay, Emma, and their children are swept up in wedding preparations. Witnessing his son's joy, Jay wonders if it's time for him to move forward, too, and find happiness again.

Once again, love has come to Pinecraft. But can these two parties of four become a happy, healthy family of eight?




About The Author 


Shelley Shepard Gray




Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.
Find out more about Shelley at http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com.


My Review 





I loved this book and got so involved in the lives here in Pinecraft Florida, a real renewal in relationships with promises of more to come. Yeah, there is another book coming real soon, October 13, 2015, A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft, only problem it is the end of this series.
We first met Tricia when she arrived unannounced at the Orange Blossom Inn, her Aunt Beverly is the manager there, and we find out about the hard time she had that made her leave her Ohio home and travel to Florida. She finds a new friend and some romance in a new arrival in the community Ben Heity, and although they are young, we watch the sparks fly. Will they each end up going their own way, or can they forge a new life together?
There is also Ben’s Dad Jay, he has been widowed and raising his three boys alone, and made a bold move and left his Amish community in Ohio and is starting a new farm in Florida. Fate or rather God has placed in his path a widow with three girls, and a sassy, destructible, and loveable beagle, which does his part to bring these two souls together.
Your in for a rollercoaster ride here, there are tears and some hearty laughs to be had, and the words fly off the pages, a real page-turner, and everything seemed so real, I had wanted a piece of that beautiful wedding cake!
I received this book from the Publisher Avon Inspired, and was not required to give a positive review.



Ties that Bind (The Amish of Summer Grove #1) by Cindy Woodsmall






Ariana’s comfortable Old Order Amish world is about to unravel. Will holding tightly to the cords of family keep them together—or simply tear them apart?

Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her family’s ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach.

Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.
*
Despite how things look, Quill’s goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the café—because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever.

Ties That Bind is the first 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
 

Another great read by Cindy Woodsmall, I quickly got caught up in this story, and there are a lot of twists and turns, and when we are finished you won’t have all of the answers.
Quill wanted to be Amish, unlike his older brothers who left the faith, but a dark happening compelled him to honor his father and he left with a young Amish woman. You will be shocked when you find out why, but that is only part of the story.
The book begins with three babies being born in an Amish birthing place, with a fire raging inside. Fast-forward twenty years, and the world that all of them have know is about to be shattered.
I really had mixed feelings on how this should all end, these people are now really adults and yet the Amish remain loyal to their families, but what about the English child? Her life doesn’t appear so rosy, and I wanted her to go to her roots, but what is the cost of straightening out an old error.
Can’t wait for the next book to get some answers here, and although what I want to happen probably won’t, we will just have to wait.
I received this book through Blogging For Books, and was not required go give a positive review.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pump Up Your Book Presents The Maze Virtual Book Publicity Tour











Title: The Maze
Author: Jason Brannon
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Pages: 186
Genre: Christian Suspense/Fantasy
Format: Paperback/Kindle/Audiobook
A near death experience transports Jamie Burroughs into The Maze, a realm built by angels and demons and filled with traps and riddles for those haunted by their mistakes.

For Jamie, The Maze becomes a terrifying journey through a world of darkness where his soul and the lives of those he loves hangs in the balance. With his family in danger and his soul in peril, Jamie is forced to reevaluate the kind of man he truly is as he struggles to escape The Maze before its too late.
Praise for Jason Brannon
“Jason Brannon shows us a place of reckoning and judgments, of creatures that wait to ensnare us. The Maze is a novel of damnation and deliverance, of corridors fortified with death and spirituality. I found a bit of myself in The Maze." ~ Steven Lloyd, author of The Wooden Box
“From his style, you’d think Jason Brannon was the dark double of Ray Bradbury. He cares more about character and realism than most writers I’ve read and his plots flow like well-orchestrated music. Indeed, Brannon’s writing has a classical feel, reminiscent of the best traditional work in the genre, even when he’s going for gut-wrenching terror and torture in-extremis." ~ Michael Arnzen, International Horror Guild Award winning author of Grave Markings (Dell Abyss)
“Brannon’s work reminds me of the glory days of The Twilight Zone, when it was in black and white and carried bylines like Beaumont and Matheson. Often surreal, sometimes disturbing and sometimes enlightening, there’s real substance in his tales that few of his contemporaries can match.” ~ Mike Oliveri, Bram Stoker Award winning author of “Deadliest of the Species”

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About The Author 







Jason Brannon is the author of The Maze and The Tears of Nero. His fiction features flawed characters trapped in impossible situations that test and try their faith. He currently lives in Amory, MS. 
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Book Excerpt:
The maze was complex and mysterious, and like snowflakes, no two mazes were identical.  Each labyrinth was built from the blueprint of a man's life and tailored to fit his soul.  Sins and virtues alike were included in the architecture.  Yet, in this case, the transgressions were far more plentiful. 
            The cobblestone steps lay covered in thick tangles of thorny vines. The air stank of decay and decadence; the hallways were encrusted with black ice and sin. Angels roamed the hallways with hammers and chisels, feverishly writing on the walls. Some carved instructions for the tortured soul who would soon find himself trapped inside. Others planted clues for his escape. Demons skulked in the darker places and searched for hiding places to deploy traps. Others sharpened weapons.
Only two outcomes awaited the man who would soon be imprisoned within the walls of the maze. The angels hoped for redemption. The demons hoped for death.
Men had stumbled in the darkness of the maze before and given up their souls willingly in order to escape. Others solved the puzzles within, realized the true potential of this place, and became new creatures. Transformation was the key to freedom from this particular prison. However, some never figured that out and stumbled in darkness forever.
Asterion had a special role to play. Inside these twisting, turning passageways, he was the law. Neither angel nor demon had a stronghold here. The decision to escape the maze or wander in darkness belonged entirely to the lost soul. The choice couldn't be forced. The demons, however, always looked for an advantage. Often times they cheated, going outside the maze to find a way to gain the upper hand. The moment the minotaur heard flute song, he knew what they had done. 
They had called for reinforcements, and The Piper had finally arrived.   
Asterion watched as imps hefted pickaxes, pushed carts filled with rock, raised new walls, set snares, and consulted the blueprint for the labyrinth to make sure all of the appropriate sins would be included in the architecture. Conviction or destruction of the heart depended on that more than anything else. As they worked, Asterion heard them snickering to themselves. The demons thought they were clever calling in The Piper.  What the demons didn't realize was that the angels snickered too.  Prayers were being offered up by the faithful, and their prayers were being heard. 
The war had begun.  


 
 
 

Book Trailer: