Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Celebrate Lit Presents: Identity Theft by Alana Terry

Identity theft FB banner

About the Book

Book: Identity Theft

Author: Alana Terry

Genre: Christian fiction, mystery/suspense
Release date: March 15, 2019
Identity TheftShe imagined Alaska would be the perfect place to hide. She found out it’s the most dangerous place to be found …
Lacy has a secret. A secret nobody knows — not even her fiancé.
A secret that would cost her life … and so much more.
So it’s a good thing she’s tucked away in the very heart of rural Alaska, where for once in her life she is finally safe.
But can she stay that way for long?
Suspenseful, thrilling, and impossible to put down, Identity Theft is an unforgettable novel by bestselling Christian author Alana Terry.
Buy your copy today … but be prepared to stay up late!

About the Author

alana terryAlana is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.

More from Alana

What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you think about Alaska? Are you a city soul or do you prefer the country? I’m pretty happy in small-town Alaska, but I’m afraid that wasn’t always the case.
Have you ever lived in a town with 400 residents? Even with all the wide-open spaces, it’s enough to make some personalities feel claustrophobic.
I thought of our move to rural living as our big adventure. (Because what’s more adventurous than feeding chickens and milking goats at negative 40 degrees?) Then I read my first draft of Identity Theft and realized the adjustment wasn’t going as smoothly as I hoped. It was more autobiographical than I had realized!
However, I learned to love rural Alaska, and that’s the main reason I wanted to write my Alaskan Refuge Christian Suspense Novel series – so I could share some of my favorite parts with you.
Identity Theft is the first of three stand-alone novels, all filled with adventure, suspense and thrills, and all set against the backdrop of Alaska. I hope as you settle in to read, you will begin to experience a little of what I’ve grown to love living in this spectacular state.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, July 25
EmpowerMoms, July 25
Splashes of Joy, July 28
The Becca Files, July 30
Quiet Quilter, July 31
Mary Hake, August 2
CarpeDiem, August 3
Moments, August 5
Henry Happens, August 6
Livin’ Lit, August 6
A Readers Brian, August 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Alana is giving away a $30 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e546/identity-theft-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Review


Talk about being bored with your life, and being careful what you wish for, will it be safe, or living on the edge?
The author gives us a young woman who has been living in a small town in Alaska, with a bit of emphasis on the size and abundance of mosquitos, and has been placed in witness protection.
We begin with a man who is head over heels for our girl, but can she continue to live in the safe world?
You will never see all that is coming here, the author places on a roller coaster, and where we end you end up may be over a cliff!
I sure didn’t see the ending this story has, wow! Talk about surprises!
This one will keep you on your toes!

I received this book through Celebrate Lit, and was not required to give a positive review.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

A Family for Gracie (Amish of Pontotoc #3) by Amy Lillard






For the Amish of Pontotoc, Mississippi, faith and family are everything--even when they pose the greatest challenge . . .

Gracie Glick is known for being the helpful one, always available for a relative in need. But now that she's longing for a home and family of her own, it's time to help herself. With few eligible men in Pontotoc, Gracie's choices, and her time, are limited. So she takes a bold leap of faith: she proposes to Matthew Byler, a handsome, recently widowed, father of five. It's not until after they're married that Gracie learns Matthew doesn't want more children . . .

With his grief still fresh, and his children needing care while he tends to his farm, Gracie is the answer to Matthew's prayers. But a marriage in name only suits him fine. And when he finally tells Gracie the dismaying reason why, they must decide whether to continue
together--or apart. It's a choice that will force them both to look deeper into their hearts than ever before .


Amazon


About The Author



I'm 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, nail polish, 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.
 


Website 


My Review




This is the third book in this series, and I am happy to be back with the Glick family, and continuing on with their lives. Yes, this book can be read alone, and the author gives us lots of information to keep us up to date, but you will quickly want to pick up the past two books!
This is Gracie’s story, a woman who always ready to give the extra hand to help those in need, and she sure goes the extra mile in this story.
Matthew Byler is now a struggling widower with five children, and boy is he having a hard time, he has a newborn daughter and four rambunctious boys, and never a dull moment. With his close family so far away, he is struggling to keep it together with the farm and needy children, even with some help from the community.
Enter our Gracie, with her heart so big, but wow, I can’t even imagine doing what she wants to do.
Will this ever work out? Can someone slip into another shoes so quickly, and can Andrew move on and live his faith?
We find answers here, and boy will some of the happenings are really going to surprise you!
Is Tillie coming home? Will we get another book? Sure, hope so, I love being with the Pontotoc Amish!

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

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The String (Deadly Games, #1) by Caleb Breakey






Welcome to the string, a game of impossible decisions and deadly consequences. Let's go over the ground rules.

Rule #1: Participation is mandatory.
Rule #2: If anyone refuses to play, all threats will come to pass.
Game on.

Get ready for a deadly social experiment as a sociopath known as The Conductor delivers disturbing threats and twisted moral dilemmas to unsuspecting students and staff.

As a powerful instinct for self-preservation sweeps through the campus, one man has a grave decision to make. Will university cop Markus Haas play the game to protect those he loves? Or will he break the string and incite massive chaos--and even death?

In the great suspense tradition of Ted Dekker and Steven James, Caleb Breakey's explosive debut novel will have you turning pages into the night.

Amazon


About The Author





Caleb Breakey and his wife spent their wedding money on 52 books about writing fiction. Then, for years, he spent his days off penning stories for 16 hours straight. He loves fiction because they teach without a lecture, inspire without a speech, and entertain without any props.


Along with being an ECPA Award finalist and a winner of the prestigious Genesis Contest for fiction writers, Caleb is also the Founder of Sermon To Book and Speak It To Book, the premier ghostwriting agencies for faith-filled thought leaders.

Caleb writes in the beautiful Pacific Northwest alongside his wife, Brittney, and enjoys visits from two mischievous mini huskies and a smiley Shiba Inu.
 
 
 
My Review
 
 
This is a mind-blowing read, and once a few pages are turned your hooked, and even when the last page is turned, you realize that more is about to happen.
How would you like to receive this memo?
Rule #1: Participation is mandatory.
Rule #2: If anyone refuses to play, all threats will come to pass.
Game on.
Yes, this is how it begins, and you can’t even imagine how it is played out. Most I never saw coming, and surprises abound here, and don’t rule anyone out.
Most of all who will survive to the end? A lot don’t make it, and they tried playing by the rules, the rules of a sociopath, and evil is sure raising its ugly head here.

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

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Jesus Who Surprises: Opening Our Eyes to His Presence in All of Life and Scripture by Dee Brestin






oin beloved Bible teacher and best-selling author Dee Brestin in discovering the surprising places Jesus shows up in the Old Testament and the unexpected ways He speaks into our lives today.

Offering a fascinating perspective on the historic, poetic, and prophetic books of the Old Testament, Brestin draws on her deep understanding of the full scope of the Bible to explore the timeless story of God's quest to rescue each of us. She combines rich teaching, memorable storytelling, and an in-depth Bible study component to create a resource that shows readers how the story began (the books of Moses), how to live in the story (the poetic books), and how the story will end (the prophets).


Amazon 


About The Author





Dee Brestin (http://www.deebrestin.com) is excited about seeing lives changed. Her most recent book is Idol Lies where she tells how the Lord set her free of manipulating people and healed her relationships. Her book The Friendships of Women has sold over a million copies and was recently released in a 20th Anniversary Edition. Falling in Love with Jesus has sold over 400,000 copies. Dee has written twenty Bible studies, the first of which, Proverbs and Parables, has been in print for over thirty years. A graduate of Northwestern University, Dee has studied with Covenant Seminary. She is the mother of five grown children and lives in Wisconsin.


My Review




I am enjoying reading this book, and love filling out the study each day as I ponder each of selected readings.
At end of each study I surprised myself as I recalled several ways I saw God today, then think I don’t know why I’m surprised, He is everywhere!
Now I did this study alone, but it is set up for use with a group, and I just skipped over that part. Each chapter begins with words from the author, and each study is divided into five days, beginning with the get acquainted group study, which you can skip.
I will be continuing on and growing using this book! Thank you Dee Brestin.
I received this book through the Publisher Waterbrook, and was not required to give a positive review. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Light from Distant Stars by Shawn Smucker






When Cohen Marah steps over the body of his dead father on a cold spring morning, he steps into a labyrinth of memory. In the week that follows, he must confront his traumatic past, a violent present, and the most frightening question of all-did he kill his father?

Amazon


About The Author








I think everyone’s looking for a place in the world – not a physical location as much as an emotional one. Just a tiny bit of space to set up shop, to exist.
Life hinted at where that space would be for me when I was a small boy and books picked me up and carried me away. If you came looking for me in the mid-80s you would have found me sitting on a large porch attached to a ramshackle farmhouse, reading about Narnia or the Shire, brushing away the flies, constantly saying, “Okay, mom, just one more chapter.”
But then, normal life, with all of its misleading promises and plastic desires, got in the way. I wandered. Geographically, I went to a hot city in Florida, an old village in England, and then back to Virginia. Emotionally, I traveled even further. Finally, after ten years of searching, I found stories again. Or maybe they found me.
Now I live in that place I was always trying to find. I wake up beside my beautiful wife, Maile. I make breakfast for my six children. I spend the rest of the day capturing stories, doing what Steinbeck called the impossible: trying to explain the inexplicable. Trying to transplant stories from my mind to yours.

Website


My Review






This is such a deep story, and filled with emotions, and aching for a child/man, and all the while wondering if he did kill his father?
It did take me a bit to get into this book, but I’m sure glad that I did, a read that soon had me page-turning.
The main character Cohen deals with the ultimate child abuse, his to some extent, but others that his heart cannot take, and we relive this with him.
A book that you need to take your time with, there is death and rebirth here, and salvation. A story that will give you chills, and keep you warm at the same time, and at the end, you know that life continues.

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



Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Window on the Bay by Debbie Macomber






When a single mom becomes an empty nester, she spreads her wings to rediscover herself--and her passions--in this heartwarming novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber.

Jenna Boltz's life is at a crossroads. After a messy divorce from her surgeon husband nearly twenty years ago, she raised her two children on her own, juggling motherhood with her beloved job as a Seattle intensive-care nurse. Now that Paul and Allie have gone to college and moved out, Jenna can't help but wonder what her future holds.

Her best friend, Maureen, is excited for Jenna's newfound independence. Now is the perfect time to finally book the trip to Paris they've been dreaming of since their college days. But when it comes to life's other great adventure--dating--Jenna still isn't sure she's ready to let love in . . . until an unexpected encounter begins to change her mind.

When Jenna's elderly mother breaks her hip, Dr. Rowan Lancaster saves the day. Despite his silent, stoic exterior, Rowan is immediately smitten with Jenna. And even though Jenna is hesitant about becoming involved with another surgeon, she has to admit that she's more than a little intrigued. But when Jenna's children approach her with shocking news, she realizes that she needs to have faith in love and embrace the unexpected--before the life she has always dreamed of passes her by.


Amazon


About The Author






Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide. In her novels, Macomber brings to life compelling relationships that embrace family and enduring friendships, uplifting her readers with stories of connection and hope. Macomber’s novels have spent over 1,000 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Thirteen of these novels hit the number one spot.

In 2019, Macomber’s all-new hardcover publications include Window on the Bay (July) and A Mrs. Miracle Christmas (October). Macomber is also releasing a new journal titled Be a Blessing: A Journal for Cultivating Kindness, Joy, and Inspiration (April). In addition to fiction, Macomber has also published three bestselling cookbooks, most recently Debbie Macomber's Table in 2018, an adult coloring book, numerous inspirational and nonfiction works, and two acclaimed children’s books.

Celebrated as “the official storyteller of Christmas”, Macomber’s annual Christmas books are beloved and five have been crafted into original Hallmark Channel movies. Macomber is also the author of the bestselling Cedar Cove Series which the Hallmark Channel chose as the basis for its first dramatic scripted television series. Debuting in 2013, Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove was a ratings favorite for three seasons.

She serves on the Guideposts National Advisory Cabinet, is a YFC National Ambassador, and is World Vision’s international spokesperson for their Knit for Kids charity initiative. A devoted grandmother, Debbie and Wayne live in Port Orchard, Washington, the town which inspired the Cedar Cove series.
 


Website


My Review





I look forward to books by this author, and this one sure didn’t disappoint.
Two young women meet in college and form a bond and lifelong friendship, they also have plans to travel to Paris in spring time, but life’s challenges seem to have gotten in the way.
Fast forward twenty plus years and our girls are now empty nesters and both have been long divorced. They have dated through the years, but have been scared and so far, neither have found the right guy, and they have a traffic light signal for their appraisals of these possible romances.
Now with plans to finally go to Paris, we get to see how things work out, and there are possible romances in these woman’s lives.
I also love that we are given an epilogue, although I wish I could continue in their lives!

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



Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Celebrate Lit Presents: The Cabin by Erin Unger

The Cabin FB Banner

About the Book

Book: The Cabin
Author: Erin Unger

Genre: Romantic suspense
Release date: June 14, 2019
The CabinLeah Kettridge’s writing career is over before the first book lands on the shelf, when a famous author has claimed she’s stolen his work. If it wasn’t for a story brainstorming luncheon with her sister, he’d have never overheard her conversation about the novel she was writing. Who will she ever trust again if not her most favorite writer? And what about the one fabulous date they had before she knew what a traitor he was?
Keenan Brinner has it all. He’s a best-selling author who’s only headed toward more greatness. And he must be the most gorgeous guy Leah’s ever seen. But he’s also a liar and a cheat.
When they end up at the same cabin to write, emotions explode. But an unexpected snowstorm traps them deep in the mountains. Is he bent on destroying her in more ways than one? How will love find them amidst all their anger and distrust?

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Ering UngerErin Unger was raised in the hills of Virginia, exploring abandoned houses and reading the scariest books she could find. After marrying so young it would make a great romance novel, she has enjoyed an exciting life with her hubby. But her fast-paced life sometimes rivals the suspense in her books thanks to all her mostly grown children and a couple grandkids. Her next novel, Fateful Fall, releases August 9, 2019.

More from Erin

Glittery snow. The perfect cabin in the mountains. And sworn enemies trapped together. How could anything go wrong?
Welcome to the cabin where writers like to go to get away from the noise and bother of life to write. I hope you don’t mind the two guests already here. They’re stuck together after one stole the other’s novel. But the famous one has firsts rights to the work. Who’d dare believe he’d be the perpetrator of the crime? Or is it the newbie writer who longed to be known for more than her graphic designs who plagiarized?
Stay and enjoy a mug of instant coffee and some potted meat. And make sure to bring in your warmest blanket, since this eclectic home has lost power in the storm.
You’ll also find a complementary cordless phone with no connection for your accommodations.
Enjoy your stay! And take a moment to check out our amenities folder laden with an expert below.

Read an excerpt from The Cabin

Betrayal is such a benign looking word on paper. In real life it could kill a person. Like me. I was dying on the inside as I flipped from one page to the next of the bestselling novel in my hands. And all because of Keenan Brennan—the hottest bestselling author I knew and dated some time ago. Yet some part of me kept praying it wasn’t true as I pressed into the sofa cushion and continued to read.
It just couldn’t be.
But the book with the startlingly dark cover said it all.
“No, no, no.”
Hot tears stung my cheeks as I ripped the well-designed cover off the book and then launched it across the living room. It smashed against the refurbished brick wall and landed with its pages bent. Good. It deserved a worse fate than just bent pages.
How? When had he stolen my book idea?
I face-planted my palm against my forehead. “At the restaurant.”
Why didn’t I keep my big fat mouth shut and tell my sister Aeris the storyline in the privacy of my home? Tears stung my eyes. Who’d have guessed my lowdown almost boyfriend would stoop so low. He didn’t need my work.
I stared across the room, not focusing on the heap of a good—terrible—book. Well it was on the NYT bestselling list. Not bad for a nobody writer like myself. And since it was my story—not his—then I allowed myself a moment of self-satisfaction.
My gaze dropped to the torn book. I had to take another look. Couldn’t it be a coincidence? Maybe the rest of it was different. In a scramble, I grabbed it up and found the page I last read.
By chapter forty there was no doubt.

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, June 29
Remembrancy, July 7
Moments, July 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Erin is giving away a themed basket that includes a copy of The Cabin!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e50d/the-cabin-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Review




If you have a problem with someone can you imagine your worst nightmare of being stranded with that person? Well you are about to embark on that journey as you turn the first pages of this book.
What an imagination this author has, and while at this cabin stranded, you begin to wonder of either of these characters will survive to the end?
How will they tolerate each other, and the lengths Leah goes to avoid or get away from Keenan, and she keeps getting hurt!
Talk about eaves dropping? Concept, yes, but what a coincidence. Just keep reading here, you will never see all that is coming!

I received this book through Celebrate Lit, and was not required to give a positive review.


Friday, July 5, 2019

Thimbles and Threads: 4 Love Stories Are Quilted into Broken Lives by Mary Davis, Grace Hitchcock, Suzanne Norquist , Liz Tolsma






Love Stitched into Four Women’s Lives
Enjoy four historical romances that celebrate the arts of sewing and quilting. When four women put needle and thread to fabric, will their talents lead to love?

Bygones by Mary Davis
Texas, 1884
Drawn to the new orphan boy in town, Tilly Rockford soon became the unfortunate victim of a lot of Orion Dunbar’s mischievous deeds in school. Can Tilly figure out how to truly forgive the one who made her childhood unbearable? Now she doesn’t even know she holds his heart. Can this deviant orphan-train boy turned man make up for the misdeeds of his youth and win Tilly’s heart before another man steals her away?

The Bridal Shop by Grace Hitchcock
Charleston, South Carolina, June 1886
Alice Turner, the owner of one of Charleston’s finest bridal shops, is determined never to be dependent on a man for anything after the disgrace of her father’s prison time. When her best friend requests Alice to be her maid of honor, she reluctantly sets aside her feelings on marriage and dons a stylish bridesmaid’s gown, never intending to catch the eye of the handsome groomsman. Will he be able to convince her to open her heart again and finish the quilt once intended for her father?

Mending Sarah’s Heart by Suzanne Norquist
Rockledge, Colorado, 1884
Sarah doesn’t need anyone, especially her dead husband’s partner. With four brothers to mentor her boys and income as a seamstress, she seeks a quiet life. If only the Emporium of Fashion would stop stealing her customers and the local hoodlums would leave her sons alone. When she rejects her husband’s share of the mine, his partner Jack seeks to serve her through other means. But will his efforts only push her further away?

Binding Up Wounds by Liz Tolsma
Regent, Wisconsin, 1865
Melissa Bainbridge is a quirky designer of rag dolls who raises raccoons and never really fit into the small farming town. When Lance Witherspoon arrives in town to thank her for the Sanitary Commission quilt she made that saved his life, she is shocked to learn Lance is a Confederate. Can she and Lance confront the town’s prejudices – along with their own?


Amazon




Author:
Mary Davis; Grace Hitchcock; Suzanne Norquist; Liz Tolsma
ISBN:
9781643520513
BISAC Category:
FICTION / Christian/Romance
Page Count:
448
 
 
My Review




Four novellas to get lost in, whether you have just a few minutes or more time, you can read one, or maybe another in one sitting. Each have a bit of romance, and as you can see by the title each has quilting or sewing involved.
These are all set in different locations and a time after the Civil War, and so there is a historical point to each, along with some talented women.
I enjoyed this read, and no I couldn’t sit down and read just one, so now I want more!

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




Celebrate Lit Presents: Lulu's Cafe by T. I. Lowe

Luus Cafe FB Banner

About the Book

Book: LuLu’s Cafe
Author: T.I. Lowe

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release date: June 4, 2019
LuLu's Cafe
When a damaged young woman is given a chance to reclaim her life in a small South Carolina town, she must reckon with the dark secrets she left behind in order to accept the love she deserves.
On the run from a violent past, Leah Allen arrived in tiny Rivertown, South Carolina, battered and broken, but ready to reinvent herself. By a stroke of fate, Leah is drawn to the Southern hospitality of a small café, looking for a warm meal but finding so much more. Lulu, the owner, offers her a job, a place to stay and a new lease on life. Through Lulu’s tenacious warmth and generosity, Leah quickly finds herself embraced by the quaint community as she tries to put herself back together. Given she’s accustomed to cruelty, the kindness is overwhelming.
Soon Leah meets Crowley Mason, the most eligible bachelor in town. A lawyer and friend of Lulu’s, Crowley is wary of Leah’s sudden, mysterious arrival. Despite his reserve, something sparks between them that can’t be denied. But after all she’s been through, can Leah allow herself to truly love and be loved, especially when her first urge is to run?
Exploring the resiliency of both the heart and the spirit, Lulu’s Café gorgeously illustrates how old scars can finally heal no matter how deep they seem.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

TI Lowe
T. I. Lowe is a native of coastal South Carolina. She attended Coastal Carolina University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she majored in psychology but excelled in creative writing. Go figure. Writing was always a dream, and she finally took a leap of faith in 2014 and independently published her first novel, Lulu’s Café, which quickly became a bestseller. Now the author of ten published novels with hundreds of thousands of copies sold, she knows she’s just getting started and has many more stories to tell. A wife and mother who’s active in her church community, she resides near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with her family.

Read an excerpt of LuLu’s Cafe

The building was a two-story redbrick structure with expansive windows along the first floor’s front and sides. Each set of massive windows was shaded with sprawling royal-blue awnings, which were decorated with vibrantly painted sunflowers and whimsical white letters spelling out Lulu’s Café across the remaining space. It looked inviting from the outside. Peering into the window, Leah could see that the café was bustling with customers. Outside the café, the sidewalk was lined with wrought-iron tables and chairs. Every table was occupied with customers chatting as they sipped steaming mugs of coffee.
The sign for the store hours indicated that, Monday through Saturday, the café opened at six each morning and closed at two each afternoon, and it was closed on Sundays. Leah found the hours a bit odd. Most restaurants served dinner and were open on Sundays too, or so she thought. She reminded herself that she was in a new environment and that the customs from the West Coast probably wouldn’t apply here.
The café had its fall decorations on display as well. Large planter boxes overflowed with giant yellow and orange mums. One had a wooden sign sticking out from the middle declaring, Happy Fall, Y’all.
Leah was beginning to think the place was too happy and, more importantly, too busy for her liking, when she spotted a vacant four-person table right inside the door. She made her way in and slipped into the chair closest to the window. She deliberately faced away from the entrance, hoping not to draw much attention. Once she was situated, she noticed that the back of the café was made up of a large butcher-block counter that housed a bakery case full of treats on the right. The remainder of the counter was lined with half a dozen stools, with customers perched on each one. Leah noted approvingly that the tables and chairs were a variety of mismatched shapes and sizes stained in the same mahogany tint. She liked the relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere.
Leah watched a petite lady behind the counter serving up coffee and laughs. Her stomach began to rumble at the fragrant smells whirling around her, so she turned her attention to the menu resting on the table. Turkey sausage, turkey bacon, egg-white omelets, whole grain breads and cereal, fresh fruit . . .
Leah blinked at the odd menu. She gazed around at the customers enjoying their healthy meals. Her heart had been set on a stack of pancakes and greasy bacon. She studied the bakery case but found no donuts hiding.
“Humph.” She went back to studying the menu.
“I didn’t keep you waiting too long, did I?” A Southern drawl interrupted Leah’s thoughts.
Leah looked up to find the petite lady with a perfectly coiffed silver bob smiling at her. She was so short that she was nearly eye level with a seated Leah. Her clear gray eyes seemed to bubble with hospitality. Leah instantly liked the woman and gave her a slight smile, being careful not to stretch her bottom lip.
“Well, you gonna keep giving me that sweet smile or are you gonna order something?” the lady asked in a teasing voice.
Leah pointed at the bright-orange cursive L embroidered thickly on one of the lady’s apron pockets. “Please tell me you’re Lulu.”
“Of course I’m Lulu. Why do you ask?” Lulu smoothed her ruffled apron, which swam in a variety of rich blue swirls.
“You match the happiness of the place perfectly,” Leah said.
“Well, that’s the nicest thing someone has said to me today. What can I get you?”
“Coffee and whatever you recommend.”
Lulu gave her a wink and strolled back to the kitchen.

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, July 3
Remembrancy, July 9
Pause for Tales, July 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, T.I. Lowe is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of LuLu’s Cafe!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e4f3/lulu-s-cafe-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Review


Right from the first page you wonder if this young woman will survive to the end, I can’t even imagine such abuse, and yet it happened.
We walk with this young woman and her journey to find God, and on the way, we experience what her life was growing up in foster homes and then in a marriage from Hell.
Would you ever be able to trust again? The author has written a wonderful story of her journey, and the people that are placed in her path.
There is heart ache, love, compassion, a few chuckles, and a compelling page turner, you cannot leave this one!


I received this book through the Celebrate Lit, and was not required to give a positive review.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

CelebrateLit Presents: Married to a Stranger by Laura V. Hilton

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About the Book

Book: Married to a Stranger

Author: Laura V. Hilton

Genre: Christian Amish Romance Fiction
Release date: July 2, 2019
Married to a strangerHe marries her out of need. She marries him to escape. What does love have to do with it?
When her father falsely accuses a stranger of dishonoring her, Bethel Eicher finds herself promised in marriage to a man she’s never met. Not exactly a dream come true, but since she has spent several years caring for her handicapped mother, she’s already considered an old maid at twenty-five—and she longs to escape her lonely life as permanent caregiver.
When newly-called Amish preacher Gideon Kaiser learns he’s been accused of a dishonorable act, he’s horrified. But his wife died in childbirth and his baby needs a mother, so he figures marrying a woman he’s never met could be beneficial.
How can Bethel and Gideon possibly make their marriage work—especially when the truth behind the accusations is revealed?

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Laura pictureA member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Laura V. Hilton is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with more than a thousand reviews published on the Internet.
Laura’s first series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Seymour, includes Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. In 2012, A Harvest of Hearts received a Laurel Award, placing first in the Amish Genre Clash. Her second series, The Amish of Webster County, consists of Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love, followed by a stand-alone title, A White Christmas in Webster County. Laura’s last series, The Amish of Jamesport, includes The Snow Globe, The Postcard, and The Birdhouse. Prior to Married to a Stranger, Laura published Firestorm, Love by the Numbers, The Amish Firefighter, and The Amish Wanderer.
Previously, Laura published two novels with Treble Heart Books, Hot Chocolate and Shadows of the Past, as well as several devotionals.
A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Laura earned a business degree from Ozarka Technical College. She and her husband, Steve, have five children and make their home in Arkansas. To learn more about Laura, read her reviews, and find out about her upcoming releases, readers may visit her blog at http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/.

Read an Excerpt 

He marries her out of need. She marries him to escape. What does love have to do with it?
He’s falsely accused of dishonoring her. She longs to escape her father’s household. Can they make their forced, arranged marriage work?
“Gideon, choose love. Not loss.” Lizzie gave a quiet sigh and then her eyes rolled back in her head.
“It’s a lie.” Bethel straightened. “Whoever he described has never touched me. Nobody has.”
Either he marry the woman who’d accused him of sexually assaulting her—a woman he had nein recollection of ever meeting, not to mention the fact that he had never touched any woman besides his beloved frau—or his name would be dragged through the mud for a sin he hadn’t committed, a sin for which he’d be forced to kneel and confess.
It wouldn’t do any gut to ask der Herr for this stranger—what was his name, anyway?—to be nice to her, because it seemed apparent Gott hadn’t heard one word of her endless prayers over the last few days. Either that, or He callously chose to disregard her requests.
It was probably the only wedding nacht in history during which the groom had hidden in the basement and raged, huddled upon and beneath a pile of blankets for warmth—warmth that never seemed to reach his core—before he cried himself into a fitful sleep.
At least, with this situation being handled directly between Gideon and both their fathers, with nein preacher or bishop involvement, none of the potentially damaging dirty laundry was hung out to dry.
The condemning stares from Gideon’s family members seemed to bore into Bethel’s back the entire time she prepared their breakfast and then washed the dishes.
She should’ve packed her bags and run away instead of going through with the wedding. Which was probably what her sister had done, kum to think of it.
He could see the hurt and bewilderment lingering in her eyes, as if she still didn’t fully realize how she’d gotten here, or why her father had chosen to believe an old widower over his own dochter.
Bethel’s first time changing Elam’s diaper didn’t go as badly as she’d feared. Lying on the changing table in his bedroom, the boppli waved his feet in the air and blew bubbles at her, completely winning her heart.

Blog Stops

Emily Yager, July 3
EmpowerMoms, July 5
Bigreadersite, July 6
Mary Hake, July 8
Moments, July 11
Pause for Tales,  July 14

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away a grand prize of a $20 Starbucks Card and a surprise book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.  https://promosimple.com/ps/e594/married-to-a-stranger-celebration-tour-giveaway






I was intrigued by the title of this book, and the author worked her magic as she wove this very different Amish read.
Never in my imagination could I even conceive walking and being married to someone I had never met, yes, I know it happens, but this is basically what this couple faced.
What a tale we have here, and more surprises come, and with some unanswered questions, I’m hoping for another book in this series, and they are all really great reads, the previous characters are reintroduced here, but you won’t be lost!
There are a lot of twists here in the family dynamics, and sometimes thoughts are expressed when they should have been kept to themselves, just like a lot of people do.

I received this book through CelebrateLit, and was not required to give a positive review.

Christmas in Winter Hill by Melody Carlson

Krista Galloway is not a fan of Christmas. After her rough childhood in multiple foster homes, the holiday season just brings too m...