Saturday, March 31, 2012

Litefuse Blog Tour: Gabby's Stick-to-It-Day by Sheila Walsh

Gabby's Stick-to-It-Day

Gabby is a little guardian angel with a big job to do! Watching over Sophie is hard work, but Gabby knows that God wants her to stick to it.

Gabby, God’s Little Angel, flies to the rescue as Sophie attempts to help others but has a little trouble sticking with things. Sophie tries to be helpful by washing the family dog for her mom, but she gives up when she’s the one who ends up all wet. She then tries to be kind by reading to her little brother, but he has plans of his own, which include a splash of cereal right in Sophie’s face! When Sophie is ready to quit once again, it’s up to Gabby to encourage her to keep trying and to teach her what the Bible says about perseverance: “We must not become tired of doing good. We will receive our harvest of eternal life at the right time if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NCV)

About Sheila:
Sheila Walsh is a Bible teacher, speaker, singer, and best-selling author with more than 4 million books sold. Sheila Walsh is the creator of the award-winning Gigi, God's Little Princess® brand, which has sold over 1.5 million units and won two National Retailer's Choice Awards. As a featured speaker with Women of Faith®, Sheila has reached more than 3.5 million women by artistically combining honesty, vulnerability and humor with God's Word. She resides in Dallas with her husband Barry and son Christian.

Visit for more information about Sheila, her other books or Women of Faith.

Link to buy the book:

Gabby's back ... and she's brought a Kindle Fire Giveaway with her!

Meet Gabby for yourself here. || Read what people are saying here.

Enter today - Sheila and her publisher, Thomas Nelson, have put together a prize package worth over $200!

One lucky winner will receive:

  • A brand new KINDLE Fire with Wi-Fi
  • Gabby, God’s Little Angel 
  • Gabby's Stick-to-It-Day
But wait! There’s more …

The winner will be announced on the Gabby Landing page on 4/2/12. In the meantime, enter to win the Kindle Fire then head over to the Tommy Nelson site and download the Gabby coloring sheets, watch Sheila's Gabby video, sign up for news about upcoming Gabby and Thomas Nelson products, and much more.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

My Review:

This is a darling read to share with your children. I shared this with my 4 and 6 year old and they were delighted with the story...they wouldn't leave things half way!!
The drawings and the glitter cover really drew them in, and the use of a dog put them over the top! The kids were enchanted with the fact that they might have Guardian Angels! As the story revolves around Sophie and her Angel Gabby, and how Gabby helped save the day!
Don't miss this one, the story is great and a learning lesson, and the graphics are adorable.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Three Book Giveaway: The Heart's Frontier, Sunrise On The Battery, and Blue Moon Promise

I have these three new books up for grabs for one lucky person!

The Heart's Frontier
by Lori Copeland, Virginia Smith

An exciting new Amish-meets-Wild West adventure from bestselling authors Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith weaves an entertaining and romantic tale for devoted fans and new readers.

Kansas,1881—On a trip to visit relatives, Emma Switzer’s Amish family is robbed of all their possessions, leaving them destitute and stranded on the prairie. Walking into the nearest trading settlement, they pray to the Lord for someone to help. When a man lands in the dust at her feet, Emma looks down at him and thinks, The Lord might have cleaned him up first.

Luke Carson, heading up his first cattle drive, is not planning on being the answer to anyone’s prayers, but it looks as though God has something else in mind for this kind and gentle man. Plain and rugged—do the two mix? And what happens when a dedicated Amish woman and a stubborn trail boss prove to be each other’s match?

Sunrise on the Battery
by Beth Webb Hart

At last, Mary Lynn and Jackson Scoville are living the life they've dreamed of. Two self-described "small town bumpkins" from Round O, South Carolina, they made a small fortune selling the little gems of lowcountry real estate Jackson inherited and now they are living in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina, carefully working their way up the social ladder in hopes of meeting their ultimate goal: to give their three daughters the life they themselves never had.

But the long-forgotten God of Mary Lynn's childhood seems to be trying to get her attention in clear and unusual ways. So clear and strange she can no longer deny it. When Mary Lynn prays for Jackson to open his mind and heart to God, her prayers are answered beyond her wildest imaginings. Now Jackson's dramatic conversion (which includes street witnessing, giving away a lot of money, and inviting poor, desperate and marginalized people into their home) is threatening their social status as well as their family mission statement. Is she willing to go along with him?

What would it be like to go "all out" for God? Jackson, a sharp and focused Type A man, is unafraid and willing to go all the way. Mary Lynn has her doubts.

Blue Moon Promise
by Colleen Coble

Lucy Marsh's worldly resources are running out, but she's fiercely determined to care for her younger brother and sister. When she discovers that their father's recent death was no accident, Lucy is eager to leave town. She accepts a proxy marriage she believes will provide safe refuge. But trouble follows her to Texas where her new husband is surprised to suddenly have a wife and children to care for.

Nate Stanton always hoped he'd marry someday, but running the family ranch meant he had no time for romance. When his father deposits Lucy Marsh-a city girl-on his doorstep, with two siblings in the bargain, he expects ranch life will send her running on the first train out of town. But Lucy is made of tougher stuff than Nate imagined. When danger moves in, Nate finds he'd give anything to protect Lucy and the children he's grown to love. Even if it means giving up his ranch.

Blue Moon Promise is a story of hope, romance, and suspense . . . immersing the reader in a rich historical tale set under Texas stars.

There will be one winner of all three books...PLEASE ALLOW RAFFLECOPTER TO LOAD...Only way to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Win My Little Pony Friendship Express Train and "The Friendship Express" DVD

All aboard the MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP EXPRESS TRAIN! It rolls along—around the bends and can take Pinkie Pie wherever they want her to go! With this motorized 7 piece train set, all fans of My Little Pony can put their Pinkie Pie pony figure on the road with this complete Friendship Express Train set!
The DVD features 5 pony-riffic episodes as well as bonus features such as Meet the Ponies, sing-a-longs and coloring sheets. It will also include an episode from the new Pound Puppies series. In The Friendship Express, currently airing on THE HUB, the benevolent Princess Celestia selects unicorn Twilight Sparkle for a very important assignment - to learn about the most important magic of all: friendship.

Blue Moon Bay by Lisa Wingate

Blue Moon BayBlue Moon Bay by Lisa Wingate

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the story line in this book. Heather Hampton, returns to Moses Lake TX on business, and ends up fighting her demons and finding acceptance and forgiveness. The characters seemed so real, and my favorite was Ruth and her stories.
Heather reunites with her brother Clay, her Mom and her loveable Uncles, and likeable Blaine. Then there are the members of a small community, and the way she thinks they are talking about her. You will be wondering where all of this is going to lead, there are a lot of twists and turns, and an unexpected ending.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review.

View all my reviews

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Perfect Pet for Peyton: A 5 Love Languages Discovery Book by Gary D. Chapman, Rick Osborne

About A Perfect Pet for Peyton
This wonderfully imaginative children’s hardcover book by bestselling authors Gary Chapman and Rick Osborne, featuring four-color illustrations (with hidden details!) by Wilson Williams, Jr., will help children learn the importance of love. Based on Gary’s highly successful The 5 Love Languages®, A Perfect Pet for Peyton tells an entertaining and playful story of five children who each, with the help of Mr. Chapman and the unique pets at his special emporium, discover their own personal love language. Children and parents alike will experience firsthand the power of the love languages as they cuddle up and spend precious time together reading this book over and over again.

A Perfect Pet for Peyton and The 5 Love Languages of Children

A Perfect Pet for Peyton:
5 Love Languages of Children:
The 5 Love Languages:

My Review:

The boys and I, ages 4 and 6, spent a really fun time reading and enjoying this great book. They loved that the twins were a boy and a girl...Peyton and Penny, and were celebrating their birthday!
Besides the delightful story there are so many interactive pictures for them to participate with! One of the first fun activities was to find a very small insect in each of the big pictures. For their party they are going with their friends to Mr Chapman's Perfect Pet Emporium. The boys both decided they wanted their next parties there!
We have been through this book a few times now, and it has become a real favorite! They also like it when we get to end and get to the Quiz!! There they are introduced to the Five Love Languages for Kids..we talk about Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Physical Touch, and Acts of Service.

I really recommend this book for a good quality time with your children!

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “

I also have one copy of this awesome book to giveaway. PLEASE ALLOW THE RAFFLECOPTER TO LOAD in order to enter!!

Litefuse Blog Tour: Song of My Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Sadie Wagner has always been devoted to her family. So when her stepfather is injured and can't work, she decides to leave home and accept a position as a clerk at the mercantile in Goldtree, Kansas. Goldtree also offers the opportunity to use her God-given singing talent--though the promised opera house is far different from what she imagined. With her family needing every cent she can provide, Sadie will do anything to keep her job.

McKane comes to Goldtree at the request of the town council. The town has been plagued by bootlegging operations, and Thad believes he can find the culprit.

After he earns enough money doing sheriff work, he wants to use it to pay for his training to become a minister.

Thad is immediately attracted to the beautiful singer who performs in Asa Baxter's unusual opera house, but when he hears her practicing bawdy tunes, he begins to wonder if she's far less innocent than she seems. And when Sadie appears to be part of the very crimes he's come to investigate, is there any hope the love blossoming between them will survive? Purchase a copy here.

Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of twenty novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and nine grandchildren.

She invites you to visit her Web site at for more information.

Kim's Nook Tablet Giveaway and Book Chat Party

Celebrate with Kim by entering to win a Nook Tablet and connecting with her at the Book Chat Party on 3/29!

One "songbird" winner will receive:

A Nook Tablet
Song of My Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/28/12. Winner will be announced at Kim's Book Chat Facebook Party on 3/29. Kim will be hosting an evening of chat, fun trivia and more! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and much more!

So grab your copy of Song of My Heart and join Kim and friends on the evening of March 29th for an evening of fun.

My Review:

This is a really sweet story, with some really enjoyable characters.
When Sadie Wagner's Dad is injured and unable to take care of his family, she moves for Indiana to Kansas. Her Cousin Sid had written that he was able to procure her work, at the mercantile, and singing [which Sadie is thrilled about].
Also moving to Goldtree, KS is Thad McKane, he has been recruited to be the Sheriff. The Mayor wants to kept it quiet, but he has fears of bootlegging going on.
I enjoyed the way Thad is drawn to the sweet girl. He has a rival in Sadie's cousin Sid, he wants her to think of him as something more than a Cousin, which he is, but not really. You will also the colorful characters of Melva and Shelva, and their not so nice brother Asa. There is a lot of Forgiveness to be sought from God, but they need to forgive themselves and others first. There are some twists and and turns in this quick read, hard to put down, story. Enjoy!

I received this book from Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.

Kregel Blog Tour: Simon and the Easter Miracle by Mary Joslin, Anna Luraschi (Illustrator)

About the Book: The gospels tell of Simon of Cyrene--"a man coming in from the country"--who was ordered to carry Jesus' cross. Over the centuries, his story has been woven into a Polish folktale. In the tradition of The Three Trees this folk tale gives a fresh perspective on the Easter story. When Simon the farmer brings his wares to market, little does he expect how he will be involved in the events of that very special day, nor how his items--bread, eggs, and wine--will become important symbols of Jesus' passion and resurrection, remembered throughout the ages.

Mary Joslin

Short Biography: Mary Joslin, published exclusively by Lion, is known for her children's books on belief and spirituality. Her books, which include The Story of the Cross and On That Christmas Night, have sold more than 200,000 copies.

My Review:

This is a sharing of a well known Bible passage. Where Simon is on his way to market, and see's a man carrying his cross. The Roman soldiers make him take this man's cross and carry it to the crucifixion site. When he returns to the goods that he had brought to Market, he finds them all broken and scattered. He returns home dejected.
While sharing this with our 4 and 6 year old, they became a bit lost in the story. As an adult I was familiar with this it, and although the books is beautifully illustrated, it is missing something.
With Parental discussion you will be able to bring the full impact of this Easter story down to the Child's understanding.

I was provided with a copy of this book by Kregal, and was not required to give a positive review.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Litefuse Blog Tour: Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings

She's Finally Found a Place to Call Home... How Far Will She Go to Save It?

With nothing to their names, young widow Rosa Garner and her mother-in-law return to their Texas family ranch. Only now the county is demanding back taxes and the women have just three months to pay.

Though facing eviction, Rosa falls in love with the countryside and the wonderful extended family who want only her best. They welcome her vivacious spirit and try to help her navigate puzzling American customs. She can't help but stand out, though, and her beauty captures attention.

Where some offer help with dangerous strings attached, only one man seems honorable. But when Weston Garner, still grieving his own lost love, is unprepared to give his heart, Rosa must decide to what lengths she will go to save her future. Read an excerpt.

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She has worked at The Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City with her husband and four children. Meet Regina here.

Learn more about Regina by visiting her website,

Celebrate with Regina by entering to win a Kindle Fire and coming to her Author Chat Party on 3/27!

Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings | Kindle Fire Giveaway, Author Chat Party and Blog Tour
Welcome to the launch for debut author Regina Jennings' first novel, Sixty Acres and a Bride.

Regina has teamed up with her publisher, Bethany House, to host a fantastic Kindle Fire Giveaway and an Author Chat Facebook Party (where you could win some beautiful silver jewelry)! Details below.

Critics agree Sixty Acres and a Bride is a winner:

“Jennings’s debut novel will have historical romance fans flocking to her tale… a lovely picture of God’s provision, forgiveness, and love.” -- Publishers Weekly

“Jennings’ characters are well defined and thoughtfully planned out. Her historical details are rich and hearty.” – 4 Stars, Romantic Times Book Reviews

"A fresh voice in Christian historical romance makes her debut with this lovely Texas twist on the biblical story of Ruth and Boaz." --Library Journal
{More about Regina Jennings}

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She has worked at The Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City with her husband and four children. Meet Regina here.

Learn more about Regina by visiting her website,

Celebrate with Regina by entering to win a Kindle Fire and coming to her Author Chat Party on 3/27!

One fortunate winner will receive:

A Kindle Fire
Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/26/12. Winner will be announced at Regina's Author Chat Facebook Party on 3/27. Regina will be hosting an evening of chat, fun trivia and more! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and some beautiful silver jewerly!

So grab your copy of Sixty Acres and a Bride and join Regina and friends on the evening of March 27th for an evening of fun.

My Review:

Regina has woven a delightful tale in this book. You will want to get lost in the lives of Rosa and Wes.
There is the dilemma of Rosa and her Mother-in-law Louise, trying to earn money enough to pay the taxes and keep their small 60 acres ranch. Rosa is a busy beaver and supposedly still in morning for her husband, they had been married a month, and her father-in-law who were killed in a mine collapse in Mexico.
You will Love the characters of Aunt Mary, and Uncle George and family. They welcome young Rosa with open arms...she married a Garner and she is now family. When she comes to town she puts a lot of people noses out of joint, including the gossipers at Church.
Loved when Louise sends Rosa in a last ditch attempt to save the Ranch to Wes...with reminding her of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz. This passage will end up haunting her. The Lord knew what he was doing, of course!
A really great fast read, enjoy!

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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Montana Morning by Jill Limber

In the Montana Territory town of Dennison, the law allows a woman to save a man from hanging if she agrees to marry him. Battered and nearly unconscious with a noose around his neck, Katherine Holman decides Wes Merrick is perfect husband material. Under the terms of her father’s will, due to a youthful indiscretion, she must be married to inherit. She expects her ‘husband’ to leave as soon as the deed is in her name. She wasn’t prepared for the fact that the man she has chosen turns out to be an honorable sort who decides to stick around and hold up his end of the bargain.

About Jill Limber
A multi-published author and former RWA President, Jill Limber’s latest books are Montana Morning, A Heart That Dares and The Right Track. As a child, some of Jill’s tales got her in trouble, but now she gets paid for them. Residing in San Diego with her husband and a trio of dogs and one very ancient cat, Jill’s favorite pastime is to gather friends and family for good food, conversation and plenty of laughter.

You can visit her website at

My Review:

The day Katherine Holman goes into town, and makes up her mind to marry a man about to be hanged, is a turning point in every ones lives. Her Father had made keeping the Ranch an almost impossible feat. She had to marry a Man with a knowledge of Ranching in order to keep her home.
She comes into town just as they are hanging five men for rustling. Looking the men over she makes her choice of the man that is unconscious...there was a little know law on the books. A man about to be hung could be rescued, as long as they didn't know each other. They also must marry....a very unusual law, and I'm sure was taken off the books immediately after this incident happened.
When horrible things start happening at the Ranch, you will wonder if it is the rescued man, Wes Merrick who she has nursed to recovery. Or who else would be doing these things to her.
We meet darling Hannah a precocious daughter of Katherine. Also there is sweet Consuela, who acts like a mother to Katherine.
A very enjoyable story, but there is some explicit sex described.

I received this book from the Author Jill Limber, and was not required to give a positive review.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dark is the Sky by Jessica Chambers

Twelve years earlier, Olivia and Joel Cameron invited the family to spend the weekend at their new country home. Olivia hoped to provide them all with a much-needed escape from their anxiety over the recession crippling the nation; instead, the visit ended in tragedy when Scott, Joel’s wild and outrageously sexy youngest brother, was found dead. The repercussions tore the family apart.

Now, Olivia’s sister Violet has persuaded her to host a reunion. She claims it’s time they finally put the past behind them and laid their ghosts to rest. However, some wounds run too deep to heal, and some secrets are too destructive to remain hidden. Still grieving for the man she loved, Violet is determined to uncover the truth behind his death—a truth she believes lies within her own family.

As the web of deceit and hostility begins to unravel, family ties are tested to the limit, and no one will emerge unscathed.

Jessica Chambers has been inventing stories even before she was old enough to hold a pen. She has a passion for writing contemporary novels packed with emotion, complex relationships and often a touch of mystery.

Visually impaired from birth, Jessica currently lives with her family and Staffordshire bull terrier in the English town of Windsor. In addition to devouring fiction of all genres, she loves watching TV quiz shows and admits to being extremely competitive when it comes to a game of Trivial Pursuit.

Her latest book is Dark is the Sky.

You can visit her website at

Join Jessica Chambers, author of the women’s fiction, Dark is the Sky (All Things That Matter Press), as she virtually tours the blogosphere March 5 – April 20 2012 on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!

on Facebook


And Goodreads

You can also find out more about me and my books, including excerpts and news on upcoming releases, by visiting my website:

or my blog:

Dark is the Sky is available in paperback:


And Nook:

My Review:

Jessica Chambers pulls you right into the inner parts of a dysfunctional family. We begin with Olivia overhearing what she thinks is her husband having an affair....and the beginning of a three day visit from the core of her husbands family. It has been 12 years since that New Year's reunion and the family is as pulled apart as it was then, if not more so.
We are reunited with Olivia's Sister Violet, and her husband Joel, and daughter Lottie. Violet has convinced her sister to bring the Cameron Family together, for what purpose we find out later! Even though this family has seemed to move on from the events that happened on that Summer weekend, things have never been the same.
This book will hold you until the end, and you will never guess how it all ends!

I received this book from the Author Jessica Chambers, and was not required to give a positive review.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Poetry and Peonies by Deborah Carney

Poetry and PeoniesPoetry and Peonies by Deborah Carney

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is mainly a picture book, with small poetry captions underneath some of the photos. Even our four year old loved looking at these gorgeous photos.
The Forward of this book tells about the three hundred tree peonies that were sent from the Japanese town of Yatsuka-Cho in Shimane Prefecture to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden “to bring peace of mind to people in the United States” after the events of September 11, 2001.
The book is not very long, but be prepared for unlimited beauty, they will fill you with awe! With a picture of a beautiful reddish and white peony there is this quote at the bottom that says it all, The kiss of the sun for pardon, The song of the birds for mirth, One is nearer God's heart in a garden. Than anywhere else on earth. ~ Dorothy Frances Gurney, "Garden Thoughts"
This is a book that will make you feel good, and a cheer up book to give to friends.

I received this book from the Author Deborah Chaney and was not required to give a positive review.

Book is available at Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Deborah Carney

A freelance photographer for over 30 years, covering events, weddings and cat shows, in addition to macro and general photography. Her cat photographs were published by T.H.F. publications in two of their cat breed books, one about American Shorthairs and the other featuring the Sacred Cat of Burma.

Deborah Carney has been involved in online marketing since 1997, with a variety of web projects. Currently an award winning affiliate program manager, internet consultant, blogger and podcaster. Carney started the popular ABCs series of podcasts to teach people how to make money online. The series includes Affiliate ABCs, Blogging ABCs, Merchant ABCs and Podcasting ABCs with more coming. Carney has also spoken at several affiliate industry events and has a long history of public speaking and writing on disability rights and issues relating to children with disabilities.

Currently Deborah is transcribing the many informative podcasts she has produced with industry experts and will be compiling those into eBooks to give people interested in internet marketing good, real, actionable information on the industry, as opposed to the scammers that sell Make Money Online books that have mostly fluff for content.

Additionally, as a prolific photographer with an eye for details, she will be publishing a number of books that are photo based with information about the photographs in them. The ability for these photos to now be able to be enjoyed in color on Kindle apps and the Kindle Fire has inspired her to create a multitude of books on a large variety of subjects.

Deborah's son Daniel was a prolific writer and passed away at the age of 21, Deborah is in the process of releasing his writing first as eBooks, then in print. The first is a book of essays, next will be a novel, followed by novels from his screenplays that he wrote. He was a student at the prestigious NYU Film Writing program and several of his plays and film scripts won awards.

I hope you will join us on our adventure through self publishing.

First Wild Card Tours: The Heart's Frontier by Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card authors are:

and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (March 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Karri | Marketing Assistant | Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***


Lori Copeland is the author of more than 90 titles, both historical and contemporary fiction. With more than 3 million copies of her books in print, she has developed a loyal following among her rapidly growing fans in the inspirational market. She has been honored with the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award, The Holt Medallion, and Walden Books' Best Seller award. In 2000, Lori was inducted into the Missouri Writers Hall of Fame. She lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband, Lance, and their three children and five grandchildren.

Visit the author's website.

Virginia Smith is the author of more than a dozen inspirational novels and more than fifty articles and short stories. An avid reader with eclectic tastes in fiction, Ginny writes in a variety of styles, from lighthearted relationship stories to breath-snatching suspense.

Visit the author's website.


An exciting new Amish-meets-Wild West adventure from bestselling authors Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith weaves an entertaining and romantic tale for devoted fans and new readers.

Kansas,1881—On a trip to visit relatives, Emma Switzer’s Amish family is robbed of all their possessions, leaving them destitute and stranded on the prairie. Walking into the nearest trading settlement, they pray to the Lord for someone to help. When a man lands in the dust at her feet, Emma looks down at him and thinks, The Lord might have cleaned him up first.

Luke Carson, heading up his first cattle drive, is not planning on being the answer to anyone’s prayers, but it looks as though God has something else in mind for this kind and gentle man. Plain and rugged—do the two mix? And what happens when a dedicated Amish woman and a stubborn trail boss prove to be each other’s match?

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99

Paperback: 320 pages

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (March 1, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0736947523

ISBN-13: 978-0736947527


Apple Grove, Kansas
July 1881

Nearly the entire Amish district of Apple Grove had turned out to help this morning, all twenty families. Or perhaps they were here merely to wish Emma Switzer well as she set off for her new home in Troyer, fifty miles away.
From her vantage point on the porch of the house, Emma’s grandmother kept watch over the loading of the gigantic buffet hutch onto the specially reinforced wagon. Her sharp voice sliced through the peaceful morning air.
“Forty years I’ve had that hutch from my dearly departed husband and not a scratch on it. Jonas, see that you use care!”
If Maummi’s expression weren’t so fierce, Emma would have laughed at the long-suffering look Papa turned toward his mother. But the force with which Maummi’s fingers dug into the flesh on Emma’s arm warned that a chuckle would be most ill-suited at the moment. Besides, the men straining to heft the heavy hutch from the front porch of their home into the wagon didn’t need further distractions. Their faces strained bright red above their beards, and more than one drop of sweat trickled from beneath the broad brim of their identical straw hats.
Emma glanced at the watchers lined up like sparrows on a fence post. She caught sight of her best friend, Katie Beachy, amid the sea of dark dresses and white kapps. Katie smiled and smoothed her skirt with a shy gesture. The black fabric looked a little darker and crisper than that of those standing around her, which meant she’d worn her new dress to bid Emma farewell, an honor usually reserved for singings or services or weddings. The garment looked well on her. Emma had helped sew the seams at their last frolic. Of course, Katie’s early morning appearance in a new dress probably had less to do with honoring Emma than with the presence of Samuel Miller, the handsome son of the district bishop. With a glance toward Samuel, whose arms bulged against the weight of holding up one end of the hutch, she returned Katie’s smile with a conspiratorial wink.
Emma’s gaze slid over other faces in the crowd and snagged on a pair of eyes fixed on her. Amos Beiler didn’t bother to turn away but kept his gaze boldly on her face. Nor did he bother to hide his expression, one of longing and lingering hurt. He held infant Joseph in his arms, and a young daughter clutched each of his trouser-clad legs. A wave of guilt washed through Emma, and she hastily turned back toward the wagon.
From his vantage point up in the wagon bed, Papa held one end of a thick rope looped around the top of the hutch, the other end held by John Yoder. The front edge of the heavy heirloom had been lifted into the wagon with much grunting and groaning, while the rear still rested on the smooth wooden planks of the porch. Two men steadied the oxen heads, and the rest, like Samuel, had gathered around the back end of the hutch. A protective layer of thick quilts lined the wagon bed.
Papa gave the word. “Lift!”
The men moved in silent unity. Bending their knees, their hands grasped for purchase around the bottom edges. As one they drew in a breath, and at Papa’s nod raised in unison. Emma’s own breath caught in her chest, her muscles straining in silent sympathy with the men. The hutch rose until its rear end was level with its front, and the men stepped forward. The thick quilts dangling beneath scooted onto the wagon as planned, a protective barrier from damage caused by wood against wood.
The hutch suddenly dipped and slid swiftly to the front. Emma gasped. Apparently the speed caught Papa and John Yoder by surprise too, for the rope around the top went slack. Papa lunged to reach for the nearest corner, and his foot slipped. The wagon creaked and sank lower on its wheels as the hutch settled into place. At the same moment Papa went down on one knee with a loud, “Ummph.”
Ach! Maummi pulled away from Emma and rushed forward. Her heart pounding against her rib cage, Emma followed. Men were already checking on Papa, but Maummi leaped into the wagon bed with a jump that belied her sixty years, the strings of her kapp flying behind her. She applied bony elbows to push her way around the hutch to her son’s side.
She came to a halt above him, hands on her hips, and looked down. “Are you hurt?”
Emma reached the side of the wagon in time to see Papa wince and shake his head. “No. A bruise is all.”
“Good.” She left him lying there and turned worried eyes toward her beloved hutch. With a gentle touch, she ran loving fingers over the smooth surface and knelt to investigate the corners.
A mock-stern voice behind Emma held the hint of a chuckle. “Trappings only, Marta Switzer. Care you more for a scratch on wood than an injury to your son?”
Emma turned to see Bishop Miller approach. He spared a smile for her as he drew near enough to lean his arms across the wooden side of the wagon and watch the activity inside. Samuel helped Papa to his feet and handed him the broad-brimmed hat that had fallen off. Emma breathed a sigh of relief when he took a ginger step to try out his leg and smiled at the absence of pain.
“My son is fine.” Maummi waved a hand in his direction, as though in proof. “And so is my hutch. Though my heart may not say the same, such a fright I’ve had.” She placed the hand lightly on her chest, drew a shuddering breath, and wavered on her feet.
Concern for her grandmother propelled Emma toward the back of the wagon. As she climbed up, she called into the house, “Rebecca, bring a cool cloth for Maummi’s head.”
The men backed away while Katie and several other women converged on the wagon to help Emma lift Maummi down and over to the rocking chair that rested in the shade of the porch, ready to be loaded when the time came. Maummi allowed herself to be lowered onto the chair, and then she wilted against the back, her head lolling sideways and arms dangling. A disapproving buzz rumbled among the watching women, but Emma ignored them. Though she knew full well that most of the weakness was feigned for the sake of the bishop and other onlookers, she also knew Maummi’s heart tended to beat unevenly in her chest whenever she exerted herself. It was yet another reason why she ought to stay behind in Apple Grove, but Maummi insisted her place was with Emma, her oldest granddaughter. What she really meant was that she intended to inspect every eligible young Amish man in Troyer and handpick her future grandson-in-law.
Aunt Gerda had written to say she anticipated that her only daughter would marry soon, and she would appreciate having Emma come to help her around the house. She’d also mentioned the abundance of marriageable young men in Troyer, with a suggestion that twenty-year-old Emma was of an age that the news might be welcome. Rebecca had immediately volunteered to go in Emma’s place. Though Papa appeared to consider the idea, he decided to send Emma because she was the oldest and therefore would be in need of a husband soonest. Maummi insisted on going along in order to “Keep an eye on this hoard of men Gerda will parade before our Emma.”
As far as Emma was concerned, they should just send Maummi on alone and leave her in Apple Grove to wait for her future husband to be delivered to her doorstep.
Rebecca appeared from inside the house with a dripping cloth in hand. A strand of wavy dark hair had escaped its pins and fluttered freely beside the strings of her kapp. At barely thirteen, her rosy cheeks and smooth, high forehead reminded Emma so sharply of their mother that at times her heart ached.
Rebecca looked at Maummi’s dramatic posture and rolled her eyes. She had little patience with Maummi’s feigned heart episodes, and she was young enough that she had yet to learn proper restraint in concealing her emotions. Emma awarded her sister with a stern look and held out a hand for the cloth.
With a contrite bob of her head, Rebecca handed it over and dropped to her knees beside the rocking chair. “Are you all right, Maummi?”
Ach, I’m fine. I don’t think it’s my time. Yet.”
Emma wrung the excess water from the cloth before draping it across the back of Maummi’s neck.
Danki.” The elderly woman realized that the men had stopped working in order to watch her, and she waved her hand in a shooing motion. “Place those quilts over my hutch before you load anything else! Mind, Jonas, no scratches.”
Papa shook his head, though a smile tugged at his lips. “Ja, I remember.”
The gray head turned toward Emma. “Granddaughter, see they take proper care.”
“I will, Maummi.”
Katie joined Emma to oversee the wrapping of the hutch. When Samuel Miller offered a strong arm to help Katie up into the wagon, Emma hid a smile. No doubt she would receive a letter at her new home soon, informing her that a wedding date had been published. Because Samuel was the bishop’s son, there was no fear he would not receive the Zeungis, the letter of good standing. Rebecca would be thrilled at the news of a proper wedding in tiny Apple Grove.
But Emma would be far away in Troyer, and she would miss her friend’s big day.
Why must I live there when everything I love is here?
She draped a thick quilt over her end of the hutch and sidled away while Papa secured a rope around it. The faces of her friends and family looked on. They filled the area between the house and the barn. She loved every one in her own way. Yes, even Amos Beiler. She sought him out among the crowd and smiled at the two little girls who hovered near his side. Poor, lonely Amos. He was a good father to his motherless family. No doubt he’d make a fine husband, and if she married him she wouldn’t have to move to Troyer. The thought tempted her once again, as it often had over the past several weeks since Papa announced his decision that she would live with Aunt Gerda for a while.
But she knew that if she agreed to become Amos’s wife that she would be settling. True, she would gain a prosperous farm and a nice house and a trio of well-behaved children, with the promise of more to come. But the fact remained that though there was much to respect about Amos, she didn’t love him. The thought of seeing that moon-shaped face and slightly cross-eyed stare over the table for breakfast, dinner, and supper sent a shiver rippling across her shoulders. Not to mention sharing a marriage bed with him. It was enough to make her throw her apron over her face and run screaming across Papa’s cornfield.
He deserves a wife who loves him, she told herself for the hundredth time. Her conscience thus soothed, Emma turned away from his mournful stare.
“That trunk goes in the front,” Maummi shouted from her chair on the porch. “Emma, show them where.”
Emma shrank against the gigantic hutch to give the men room to settle the trunk containing all of her belongings. An oiled canvas tarp had been secured over the top to repel any rain they might meet over the next week. Inside, resting on her dresses, aprons, bonnets, and kapps, was a bundle more precious to her than anything else in the wagon: a quilt, expertly and lovingly stitched, nestled within a heavy canvas pouch. Mama had made it with her own hands for Emma’s hope chest. The last stitch was bitten off just hours before she closed her eyes and stepped into the arms of her Lord.
Oh, Mama, if you were here you could convince Papa to let me stay home. I know you could. And now, without you, what will happen to me?
Yet, even in the midst of the dreary thought, a spark of hope flickered in the darkness in Emma’s heart. The future yawned before her like the endless Kansas prairie. Wasn’t there beauty to be found in the tall, blowing grasses of the open plain? Weren’t there cool streams and shady trees to offer respite from the heat of the day? Maybe Troyer would turn out to be an oasis.
Maummi’s sharp tone cut through her musing. She jerked upright. Her grandmother appeared to have recovered from her heart episode. From the vantage point of her chair, she oversaw every movement with a critical eye.
“Yes, ma’am?”
“Mind what I said about that loading, girl. The food carton goes on last. We won’t want to search for provisions when we stop at night on the trail.”
An approving murmur rose from the women at the wisdom of an organized wagon.
“Yes, ma’am.” Emma exchanged a quick grin with Katie and then directed the man carrying a carton of canned goods and trail provisions to set his burden aside for now.
A little while later, after everything had been loaded and secured under an oiled canvas, the men stood around to admire their handiwork. Samuel even crawled beneath the wagon to check the support struts, and he pronounced everything to be “in apple-pie order.”
Emma felt a pluck on her arm. She turned to find Katie at her elbow.
“This is a gift for you.” Her friend pushed a small package into her hands. “It’s only a soft cloth and some fancy-colored threads. I was fixing to stitch you a design, but you’re so much better at fine sewing than I am that I figured you could make something prettier by yourself.” She ducked her head. “Think kindly of me when you do.”
Warmed by her friend’s gesture, Emma pulled her into an embrace. “I will. And I expect a letter from you soon.” She let Katie see her glance slide over to Samuel and back with a grin. “Especially when you have something exciting to report.”
A becoming blush colored the girl’s cheeks. “I will.”
Emma was still going down the line, awarding each woman a farewell hug, when Bishop Miller stepped up to the front of the wagon and motioned for attention.
“It’s time now to bid Jonas Switzer Godspeed and fair weather for his travels.” A kind smile curved his lips when he looked to Maummi and then to Emma. “And our prayers go with our sisters Marta and Emma as they make a new home in Troyer.”
He bowed his head and closed his eyes, a sign for everyone in the Apple Grove district to follow suit. Emma obeyed, fixing her thoughts on the blue skies overhead and the Almighty’s throne beyond. Silence descended, interrupted only by the snorts of oxen and a happy bird in the tall, leafy tree that gave shade to the porch.
What will I find in Troyer? A new home, as the bishop says? A fine Amish husband, as Papa wishes? I pray it be so. And I pray he will be the second son of his father so that he will come home with me to Apple Grove and take over Papa’s farm when the time comes.
A female sniffled behind her. Not Katie, but Rebecca. A twist inside Emma’s rib cage nearly sent tears to her eyes. Oh, how she would miss her sister when Rebecca left Troyer to return home with Papa. She vowed to make the most of their time together on the trail between here and there.
Bishop Miller ended the prayer with a blessing in High German, his hand on the head of the closest oxen. When the last word fell on the quiet crowd, Maummi’s voice sliced through the cool morning air. “Now that we’re seen off proper, someone help me up. We’ll be gone before the sun moves another inch across the sky.”
Though she’d proved earlier that she could make the leap herself at need, Maummi allowed Papa and the bishop to lift her into the wagon. She took her seat in her rocking chair, which was wedged between the covered hutch and one high side of the wagon bed. With a protective pat on the hutch, she settled her sewing basket at her feet and pulled a piece of mending onto her lap. No idle hands for Maummi. By the time they made Troyer, she’d have all the mending done, and the darning too, and a good start on a new quilt.
Emma spared one more embrace for Katie, steadfastly ignored Amos’s mournful stare, and allowed the bishop to help her up onto the bench seat. She scooted over to the far end to make room for Papa, and then Rebecca was lifted up to sit on the other side of him. A snug fit, but they would be okay for the six-day journey to Troyer. Emma settled her black dress and smoothed her apron.
“Now, Jonas, mind you what I said.” Maummi’s voice from behind their heads sounded a bit shrill in the quiet morning. “You cut a wide path around Hays. I’ll not have my granddaughters witness the ufrooish of those wild Englischers.”
On the other side of Papa, Rebecca heaved a loud sigh. Emma hid her grin. No doubt Rebecca would love to witness the rowdy riots of wild cowboy Englischers in the infamous railroad town of Hays.
Papa mumbled something under his breath that sounded like “This will be the longest journey of my life,” but aloud he said, “Ja, Mader.
With a flick of the rope, he urged the oxen forward. The wagon creaked and pitched as it rolled on its gigantic wheels. Emma grabbed the side of the bench with one hand and lifted her other hand in a final farewell as her home fell away behind her.

My Review:

I enjoy reading Amish stories. This one is as different as East meets West, or Amish meets the Old Wild West!
We are on the trail in Kansas, from one Amish Community to another, when the very unexpected happens. The family is robbed of their belonging, and left with nothing, but their lives. Emma Switzer's Father Jonas, Sister Rebecca, and Grandmother are traveling to Troyer, KS. Hoping that Emma will be able to find a husband, as there are a lot more Amish men available.
After they are left on the trail, they pray for God's help, and are provided with assistance from Luke Carson. He is on a cattle drive, and anxious to get to Hayes Ks with his animals.
You are going to love Grandmother Switzer...wait until you see what she does on the wagon ride!! To funny!!
This story has some really sweet moments, and some tense and terrifying times. I really enjoyed this, and hope you do to.

I received this book from the publisher, Harvest House, and was not required to give a positive review.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Special Delivery by Kathi Macais Interview & Giveaway

In book two of the “Freedom” series, readers find Mara fighting against her attraction to Bible college student Jonathan Flannery, even while wrestling with risking her own precarious safety to become involved in the rescue of another girl who is pregnant and desperately wants to escape her captors and save her own life, as well as her child’s.

Halfway around the world in a brothel in Thailand, a young girl named Lawan is rescued with the promise of being reunited with her little sister who was adopted by an interracial couple in the States, friends of Jonathan’s family. Special Delivery cover

Meanwhile, Jefe—Mara’s uncle, who held her as a sex slave in his brothel in San Diego for years—seeks revenge for Mara’s testimony that put him behind bars for life. Will his underworld connections be successful in kidnapping and killing the girl who believes she has finally won her freedom?

Welcome Kathi Macias

What a pleasure to have Kathi Macias here on my blog today. I have had the privilege of reading several of them.

Do you have a recollection as to what made you want to be a writer?
To be honest, I can’t remember ever wanting to do anything else. I’ve loved words since I first discovered them, long before I started school. I’ve always been an avid reader, and when I ran out of things to read, I started writing my own stories. When I was about fourteen, I told my then boyfriend/now husband that I was going to be a writer one day. He often reminds me of that.

Who has influenced you the most in your writing?

In my younger days, it would have to be a man named Bob Ferris, my English and Creative Writing teacher in high school. He always encouraged me to pursue this as a profession, even when everyone else was saying, “Get a real job.” Now my husband is no doubt my biggest supporter. (Trust me, when you dive into this writing thing full time, you actually do need someone with a “real” job to keep a roof over your head!) As for writers who influenced me, there are many. Alan Paton, author of Cry the Beloved Country, is the first who comes to mind, as I realized when I read that phenomenal, life-changing book that I wanted to do more than entertain my readers (though I hope I do that in the process). But I wanted my writing to challenge and confront—and change. As a result, my topics are seldom easy reads, but I know I’m being faithful to my calling.

What encouraged you to tackle such a tough problem as Sex Slavery. So many turn a blind eye to this horrible problem.
Again, authors like Alan Paton, who wrote about the deplorable situation in South Africa prior to the downfall of Apartheid, were my inspiration. My previous series was about the persecuted Church around the world (another tough topic), and as I was finishing those four books, my publisher asked if I’d consider doing a series on human trafficking. I knew about and cared about the topic, but it wasn’t until she challenged me that I truly began to research it. What I learned convinced me that I could not walk away. Victims of all ages, races, and genders—literally, millions of them—cried out to me from around the world. I have always asked God to let me be a voice for the voiceless, and this was another open door—so I walked through it.

If you could interview another Author, who would that be, and what would you ask them?
If he were still alive, it would be Alan Paton, hands down. Or C.S. Lewis—but then he’s gone on to glory too, hasn’t he? There are so many wonderful authors today, but three in particular come to mind, probably because they write books with similar passions as my own: Jeanette Windle, Lisa Harris, and Kay Marshall Strom. Thankfully I’ve actually had the opportunity to talk with and get to know them over the years, and I consider myself privileged to have done so.

What is on your plate as far as future books?
Book three of this Freedom (human trafficking) series, The Deliverer, is done and in production for a Fall 2012 release, as is my Christmas 2012 novel, Unexpected Christmas Hero, dealing with homelessness in the US. I also have a book releasing in 2013 titled Last Chance for Justice, part of the multi-author Bloomfield series, and I have just signed to write a three-book fiction series called “Patches of Courage.” The first book, titled The Moses Quilt, is based on the amazing life of Harriet Tubman, and it is scheduled for release in early 2013. So things are buzzing around here! And, of course, I have tons of traveling/speaking/teaching going on during the next couple of years, so never a dull moment!

How do you like to spend your time when your not writing or touring?

Those times are few and far between, but my hubby and I love to jump in his Corvette (used to be his Harley, but we’re great grandparents now, so we’re opting for comfort) and explore the back roads and oceans and mountains of this amazing country. We also enjoy spending time with our many grandchildren (and yes, now great grandchildren) whenever possible.

My Review:

This is the second book in the Freedom series, and though you can read this one alone, I think it helps and you don't want to miss, to read the first one!
Kathi once again has me wanting to hide under the covers, I want to help these Children get out of these situations so badly. The book is a fairly quick read, and you will be glad it is, as it is a real page turner. I had my heart in my stomach, and could not put this book down.
The book is mainly Mara and Lawan's stories, who we met in Deliver Me From Evil. There is so much Evil in this world, and it is still touching these girls. Mara has tried to move on with her life, she is working as a waitress, and spots a girl with a man, and she just knows what is going on. You can see God using Mara, and he brings the people who rescued her back into her life.
What happens to little Lawan is amazing...but thinking of all those little girls as Slaves is so very upsetting. Especially when it is based on fact! The Golden Triangle indeed! UGH!
I loved that Kathi included an Epilogue...I enjoy it when a book has this. You will enjoy this book as I have, and it is a real mind opener!

I received this book from New Hope Publishers, and was not required to give a positive review.

PLEASE ALLOW RAFFLECOPTER TO LOAD.....It is the only way to enter!


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