What I’m Reading: God’s Blessing Day by Day: a Daily Devotional for Kids

 

 

God’s Blessing Day by Day is a trustworthy devotional compiled by renowned pastors and church leaders. Edited by Johnny Hunt, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, this devotional is the perfect way to introduce your children and grandchildren to a legacy of faith.

One of the greatest gifts – and greatest challenges – of raising children is introducing them to the ways of God. As parents and grandparents, we want to impart our faith to the children we love so dearly, and it can feel more difficult than ever in the fast-moving, instant-access culture in which we find ourselves.

God’s Blessing Day by Day,compiled by Johnny Hunt and more than 50 pastors and church leaders, is the perfect way to build faith through gratitude.

This easy-to-understand, child-friendly devotional is the perfect way to engage your family. Each devotion is written on topics children care about and includes great prayers and takeaways that will spark conversation as the timeless Word of God instructs and inspires your children.

Impart a deeper connection with the Lord in your children, help them establish healthy habits of devotion and prayer, and equip them with the tools they need to grow their faith.

 

This book is an absolute GEM!

The devotionals are written in such a way that very young children could easily understand the message within, but not so childishly that  an older child would not enjoy it. For example, my 12 years old daughter loves it.

Even though we just received it, she has already read several days worth to “catch up” on the week and I read through it as well (though it wasn’t easy to get her to part with it long enough for me to do so)

I highly recommend this devotional. It’s well-written, interesting, beautiful and compact enough that children will have no trouble carrying it with them.

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2018

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What I’m Reading: Belle by Cameron Dokey

 

 

The story of Beauty and the Beast finds new life in this magical and imaginative retelling that’s filled with romance and adventure.

By the time her sixteenth birthday comes around, Belle feels more convinced than ever that she is being called by the wrong name. Unlike her older sisters Celeste and April, whose names suit them perfectly, Belle knows that she is not beautiful. She begs to be called by her given name, Annabelle—or even Anna for short—but to no avail. Her solace is her wood-carving hobby, and she longs to find the Heartwood tree: Legend has it that, when carved by the right hands, it can reveal the face of one’s true love.

One day, during a fierce storm, Belle’s father stumbles upon the fabled tree—only to become ensnarled by it and come face-to-face with a terrifying and lonely Beast, who will set him free on one condition: that Belle carves the Heartwood. Belle agrees, never dreaming that she and the Beast have the same wish: to be seen not with the eyes of the mind, but of the heart.

 

There is nothing I like more than an intriguing fairy tale retelling that is fresh and original… even though the story holds more similarities to the original story than the most frequently told story these days.

One of the best parts about a retelling is how much more involved you get with the main characters. In the original fairy tales, the story focused on the middle and the end. With a retelling, you can explore the beginning.

Belle does that and it’s wonderful. We have a chance to become very attached to Belle and her family, get a look into who she really is and what makes her tick. It makes the middle of the story that much more exciting and intense.

I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of the books in this series, and I’m glad to discover that I’ve not started in the middle since most of the books seem to be stand-alones.

If you haven’t read them, you should check them out HERE.

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2018

What I’m Reading: Am I Enough by Grace Valentine

 

Have you had enough?

Young women today are constantly told they are not enough for this world—not pretty enough, not smart enough, not exciting enough, not spiritual enough, and just plain not good enough. The barrage is constant. The consequences are real. The damage often feels permanent.

As a young woman herself, Grace Valentine has felt the pressure of trying to survive in a toxic culture, let alone thrive. But she’s had enough. With an engaging combination of honesty and humor, Grace uses her story to confront the lies the world tells us every day—lies such as:

You are beautiful because a guy told you so,
Love must be earned,
You should forget your past,
You will never be enough, and more.

Am I Enough? is a line in the sand. It’s a declaration that we will never be enough for this world because we were not created for this world. Instead, Grace reminds us that we were created by Someone better for something better. We can choose the One who has chosen us—the One who says: “You are enough for Me, My child. Come as you are.”

 

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about this book, is that it could have been so much more.

The author had an opportunity to present positive ideas and affirmation and yet, the majority of the book reads as judgement.

Don’t get me wrong… The writing is humorous. The stories are well told. But the underlying message is judgment, not affirmation.

In 221 pages, the author had ample opportunities to tell the reader that it does not matter whether the world thinks they’re beautiful or not, they are beautiful because God made them in his image.

But she didn’t.

Instead she spent the 221 pages, in the guise of helpful advice, telling young girls that they are not as good a Christian as they should be if they focus too much on their looks or on their abilities.

I do not get the feeling that message was the author’s intention. I feel as if the true message was perhaps lost in translation. Perhaps the author conveyed this message better on her blog. I suppose I’ll have to read it to see.

As for the book, I don’t plan to pass it on to anyone, but you never know… I might run across someone who needs it…

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2018

What I’m Reading: The Orphan’s Wish by Melanie Dickerson

Hagenheim novel #8! Who else is excited!


From the streets to an orphanage in a faraway kingdom, Aladdin has grown up alone. Until he meets Kirstyn.

With a father who is the duke of Hagenheim and a mother who is the patroness of the orphanage where Aladdin lives, Kirstyn is a member of the most powerful family in the land . . . and way out of his league. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion for taking walks in the forest, and their childhood friendship grows along with them.

Through his scrappy skills, intelligence, and hard work, Aladdin earns a position serving in the duke’s house. But he knows it isn’t enough to grant him his one desire: Kirstyn’s hand in marriage. If he hopes to change his station in life and feel worthy of marrying Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim to seek his fortune.

But once Aladdin leaves, no one is around to protect Kirstyn, and the greedy men desperate to take advantage of her father’s wealth take notice. Now, more than Aladdin’s background stands in the way of the future he’s worked so hard to obtain. His only hope is to rescue Kirstyn and somehow manage to win her hand as well.

 

I fell in love with Melanie’s books years ago in an intriguing twist of fate that can only be described as a situation where truth is stranger than fiction.

This is just a mother in a long Line of amazing fairy tales written without magic or any actual fairies.

REAL people live out AMAZING adventures in these true-to-life Historical Happily Ever Afters!

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2018

What I’m Reading: Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

Book 1 of the Waterfire Saga! YAY!


Serafina, daughter of Isabella, Queen of Miromara, has been raised with the expectation – and burden – that she will someday become ruler of the oldest civilization of the merfolk.

On the eve of the Dokimí ceremony, which will determine if she is worthy of the crown, Sera is haunted by a strange dream that foretells the return of an ancient evil. But her nightmare is forgotten the next day as she diligently practices her songspell; eagerly anticipates a reunion with her best friend, Neela; and anxiously worries about Mahdi, the crown prince of Matali, and whether his feelings toward her and their future betrothal have changed. Most of all, she worries about not living up to her mother’s hopes.

The Dokimí proceeds, a dazzling display of majesty and might, until a shocking turn of events interrupts it: an assassin’s arrow wounds Isabella. The realm falls into chaos, and Serafina’s darkest premonitions are confirmed. Now she and Neela must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the mer nations. Their search will lead them to other mermaid heriones scattered across the six seas. Together they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood as they uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world’s very existence.

 

Walking around Book Market a few weeks ago at my mother’s book signing led to [as usual] book buying! By the way, I’ll be at the Book Market for a Book Signing of my own on July 21st!

And I’ll likely find more books then to buy! No big surprise there! Me walking into a book store nearly always leads to me leaving with a stack/bag/arm/box-full of new books to stack. . . and read. . . and photograph. . . and then find a place for on one of the many shelves and bookcases in our home.

At any rate. . .

This series caught my eye because it had a Mermaid on the cover!

So, of course, it caught my attention and my daughter Macy‘s too!

Then we discovered that it was a 4-book series! WHAT!

Well, obviously we had to have all of them! Book Market had book 1 and book 3, but not 2 or 4. TRAGEDY! And thus began a three store journey to find ALL of the books! Spoiler alert: we found them all! YAY US!

Now to read them all! YES! the fun begins!

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2018

What I’m Reading: Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

A new and exciting novel from Nadine Brandes


Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

 

I am sad to say, I didn’t even hear the door when the UPS man arrived yesterday, but I am sure everyone in the house heard my shriek of excitement when I opened the box and found this book that I have been waiting for – for what feels like FOREVER!

It’s here! It’s here! It’s FINALLY HERE! And it’s SOOOOO pretty!

Seriously, the cover image above does NOT even begin to do justice to the breathtaking cover!

And THIS is why some of my books are steme-themed. I LOVE the historical aspects; balls and intrigue, fancy clothes and cool masks. Awesome to find other authors who enjoy the same elements I do in Fantasy fiction!

An exciting premise! A daring adventure! An intriguing story!

If you enjoy Nadine Brandes’ books, don’t miss this one!

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2018

What I’m Reading: The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy

Mary Connealy has such a way with cowboy fiction! She is one of two authors who I read. . . and enjoy. . . every book!


She’s the only witness to a wagon train attack. Keeping her safe, though, means his world is about to be turned upside down.

When Trace Riley finds the smoldering ruins of a small wagon train, he recognizes an attack by the same group who left him as sole survivor years ago. Living off the wilderness since then, he’s finally carved out a home and started a herd–while serving as a self-appointed guardian of the trail. He’d hoped the days of driving off dangerous men were over, but the latest attack shows otherwise.

Deborah Harkness saved her younger sister and two toddlers during the attack, and now finds herself at the mercy of her rescuer. Trace becomes an accidental guardian when he offers the only shelter for miles around and agrees to take them in until they can safely continue their journey. His simple bachelor existence never anticipated kids and women in the picture and their arrival is unsettling–yet enticing.

Trace and Deborah find themselves drawing ever closer as they work together to bring justice to the trail and help the group survive the winter–but every day closer to spring means a day closer to leaving the mountains forever.

 

This book unwittingly reminds me of one of my first favorite books; a book my mother read to us as children and one I have read many times as a teen, and later as an adult – so, of course, The Accidental Guardian will likely also hold a special place in my heart for years to come.

Mary has a talent for pulling her readers into the character’s skin, making you feel what they are feeling; both good and bad, which always makes for a story that is nearly impossible to put down!

I am already looking forward to book 2 in this series!

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2018

Peach Cobbler Mystery by Naomi Miller | Book 6 in the Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series

WOW! Everything about this book is DELICIOUS! From the cover to the colors to the name to the AMAZING story within! I recommend you start at the beginning of the series, but I also highly recommend you DO NOT STOP READING until you get to this one! And hopefully, Naomi will release her next book SOON!

 

Things are changing in Abbott Creek. . .

Between babies and budding romances, busy schedules and unexpected gossip, the small town and its residents may never be the same.

Everyone at the Sweet Shop Bakery and the Irish Blessings cafe is worrying over Bella and her baby – and busily trying to convince her to take it easy.

Katie is not the only person in town with some big decisions ahead of her. And the busy summer season is kicked off with a big surprise for everyone.

Don’t miss the revelation everyone has been waiting for – in Peach Cobbler Mystery; the sixth cozy mystery of Naomi Miller‘s Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series.

 

OH MY WORD!

OK… I’m going to try to do this without any spoilers, but it’s NOT going to be easy.

Naomi Miller handles what could have been a horrific and tense event with grace and acceptance, and in such a way that even a young girl could read the story with no problem – and I definitely think young girls should read this story. The message within is one that every young woman needs to be mindful of in this crazy world we live in today!

 

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Feature ©JCMorrows 2018

Chocolate Truffle Mystery by Naomi Miller | Book 5 in the Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series

WOW! Everything about this book is DELICIOUS! From the cover to the colors to the name to the AMAZING story within! I recommend you start at the beginning of the series, but I also highly recommend you DO NOT STOP READING until you get to this one! And hopefully, Naomi will release her next book SOON!

 

 

Katie Chupp is not the only person in Abbott Creek looking forward to the most romantic holiday of the year. . .

But Valentine’s Day will not be all hearts and flowers. There are secrets to be kept, feelings to be explored, and difficult decisions to be made — and each one has something to do with the heart.

Will those secrets come between friends? Will the happy couples in Abbott Creek get to celebrate. . . together? With the demand for sweet treats fierce this year. will the Sweet Shop’s baker find time for romance?

And will one young woman be able to live with the choice she must make on the most romantic day of the year?

 

Book 5 of the Sweet Shop Mysteries series

 

 

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Feature ©JCMorrows 2018

What I’m reading: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

OK… I finished with Marissa Meyer’s ASTONISHING Lunar Chronicles and I had to go back and reread her NEW triumph (that I’m still hoping someone talks her into expanding into a series) Heartless!

 

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

In her first stand-alone teen novel, the New York Times-bestselling author dazzles us with a prequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

 

Feature © JCMorrows 2018

What I’m Reading: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Continuing on my feature of Marissa Meyer’s incomparable Lunar Chronicles, this week’s feature is book 4: Winter! WAH!!! It’s over. . .

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

 

It’s available in Paperback now so I can finally complete my collection! I’ve been waiting forever because I LOVE having all of my books matching (of course, I’ve had the eBook all this time so I could read it!)!

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2018

What I’m Reading: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Continuing on my feature of Marissa Meyer’s incomparable Lunar Chronicles, this week’s feature is Fairest: the story of that most wretched of all evil queens!

 

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

 

I detest stories that try to excuse a villain’s abhorrent behavior–and I was thrilled to find that this is not one of those and that is all I’m going to say because I simply refuse to chance spoiling it for anyone!

But trust me… READ IT!

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2018

What I’m Reading: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Continuing on my feature of Marissa Meyer’s incomparable Lunar Chronicles, this week’s feature is book 3: Cress! HELLO Thorne!!!

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

 

Thorne reminds me of the clever and inventive reluctant hero from a certain NEW movie about the long haired fairy tale Princess. . . and I am not the only one!

Oh my, Captain Thorne! Who doesn’t love a devious scoundrel!

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2018

What I’m reading: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Last week I featured book 1 of the Lunar Chronicles series. This week, I want to talk about book 2.

 

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

 

Too often, a sequel just does not live up to the original. Not so with Scarlet. This is an exceptional second installment! BRAVO Marissa!

 

Feature © JCMorrows 2018

NEW feature | What I’m reading: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Welcome to week one of this fun NEW feature!

This week I am thrilled to present a personal favorite: CINDER

I read this book for the first time about eighteen months ago. I missed the boat when the book released initially, but I finally caved and read book 1. Thankfully, books 2 and 3 were already out at that point and I didn’t have to wait very long for book 4.

A forbidden romance.

A deadly plague.

Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget. 

I highly recommend this story for anyone who enjoys fairy tales, fantasy romance, steampunk, technopunk or dieselpunk, futuristic cities, or cyborgs

 

Review © JCMorrows 2018

NOMINATE Naomi Miller’s NEW release for an INSPY!

Nominations for the INSPY awards are officially open and I hope you’ll all join me in nominating Naomi Miller’s NEWest book: Pumpkin Pie Mystery for the award!  

 

 

Naomi Miller writes cozy mysteries like NO OTHER AUTHOR I KNOW! Her stories focus on the importance of grace, forgiveness and faith! 

 

In the small town of Abbott Creek, mystery is as much a part of daily life as The Sweet Shop’s Pumpkin pies.

Katie Chupp spends her days at The Sweet Shop. . . baking for the upcoming holidays and enjoying the changing seasons.

Thanksgiving is approaching and the residents of Abbott Creek are preparing to give thanks for their blessings.

But between fielding questions from every person in town who is desperate to find out where Mrs. Simpkins has gone, to finding extra help for the busy holiday season, Katie’s blessings this year are being outweighed by her problems.

When a stranger comes to town looking for work, will it be an answer to Katie’s prayers or spell trouble at The Sweet Shop?

 

Nominate Pumpkin Pie Mystery for the INSPYs! – Tweet this!

I hope you’ll join me in nominating this wonderful debut novel. I feel it deserves to win!  http://inspys.com/?page_id=1183 

 

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CONNECT with Naomi on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and her website: NaomiMillerAuthor.com

You can also check out the Author Spotlight I did for the books back in November: Blueberry Cupcake Mystery | Christmas Cookie Mystery
Lemon Tart Mystery | Pumpkin Pie Mystery

©JCMorrows 2018

Pumpkin Pie Mystery by Naomi Miller | Book 4 in the Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series

 

 

In the small town of Abbott Creek, mystery is as much a part of daily life as The Sweet Shop’s Pumpkin pies.

Katie Chupp spends her days at The Sweet Shop. . . baking for the upcoming holidays and enjoying the changing seasons.

Thanksgiving is approaching and the residents of Abbott Creek are preparing to give thanks for their blessings.

But between fielding questions from every person in town who is desperate to find out where Mrs. Simpkins has gone, to finding extra help for the busy holiday season, Katie’s blessings this year are being outweighed by her problems.

When a stranger comes to town looking for work, will it be an answer to Katie’s prayers or spell trouble at The Sweet Shop?

 

 

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©JCMorrows 2017

Lemon Tart Mystery by Naomi Miller | Book 3 in the Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series

 

Lemon Tart Mystery Front Cover B

 

 

Amelia Simpkins may be a great cook, and have a head for business, but sweet treats are out of her league and the owner of the Irish Blessings Cafe says it’s because she adds the tart to the Sweet Shop’s new dessert that Katie Chupp insists is only filled with lemony goodness.

The two shop owners’ constant bickering sends sparks flying through Abbott Creek’s usual calm… and when Andrew’s cafe suffers from some rather unusual pest problems, the town starts taking sides.

This is one mystery Katie wants no part of. But working for Mrs. Simpkins may put her in the middle – whether she intends to take sides . . . or not.

 

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©JCMorrows 2017

Christmas Cookie Mystery by Naomi Miller | Book 2 in the Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series

 

Christmas Cookie Mystery Front Cover B

 

It’s Christmas time in Abbott Creek, and who would expect a mystery… or even two… to pop up and interrupt Katie while she tries to keep up with the Holiday rush?

With a winter chill settling in and Christmas right around the corner, no one would expect a mystery, but a mystery does indeed appear…

Katie Chupp is spending her days catering to the holiday rush, but she soon finds herself in the midst of a secret project that attracts more attention than she wants.

And when one local family finds a very unexpected surprise at their door, this is one mystery that may never be solved… even by Katie.

 

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©JCMorrows 2017

Blueberry Cupcake Mystery by Naomi Miller | Book 1 in the Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series

 


In the small town of Abbott Creek, mystery is as much a part of daily life as The Sweet Shop’s sugar cookies.

Katie Chupp spends her days at The Sweet Shop, taking care of customers and baking delicious treats . . . not exactly a profession where one expects to be thrown into the midst of mysteries and mayhem.

But when the bakery is broken into, someone has to find the thief . . . besides finding another place to do the baking and get the orders to the customers.

Is this a random theft, or is the thief trying to ruin the town’s Independence Day celebration?

 

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©JCMorrows 2017

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Naomi Miller

Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series

In the small town of Abbott Creek, mystery is as much a part of daily life as The Sweet Shop’s sugar cookies.

Blueberry Cupcake Mystery Front Cover N Christmas Cookie Mystery Front Cover B Lemon Tart Mystery Front Cover B 

Blueberry Cupcake Mystery released in Spring of 2016 to rave reviews.  Christmas Cookie Mystery released just in time for the Holiday season in 2016.  Readers are already devouring Lemon Tart Mystery; which just released this  past summer and readers so far have been delighted with Pumpkin Pie Mystery.

Naomi Miller is working to finish the next book in her Sweet Shop Mystery series. I know I’m excited!

INTRODUCING A Mother for Leah by Rachel L Miller

Will Leah Fisher find love because of a buggy accident? Don’t miss this Sweet Amish Romance about loss, life and new love!

 

A Mother for Leah is not the typical romance novel you find on store shelves these days. It is a sweet, heartwarming story of loss, love, healing and forgiveness. If you long for simpler times and uncomplicated plots, this is a book you will enjoy.

The story will play on your emotions and the characters will take hold of your heartstrings. And–fair warning–you’ll pick up the book and not want to put it down until you’ve read every page.

ENJOY!

 

Enter to WIN a Favorite Reads Prize pack!

Giveaway will run August 15th – 30th. One winner will be chosen! Click the image below to enter. The winners will be announced August 31st on the author’s BLOG!

 


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Will Leah Fisher find love because of a buggy accident?

Could love soften her heart so that she is able to see her answered prayers in Naomi Yoder or will she drive a wedge between her father and the only woman he has shown interest in since Elisabeth Fisher’s death?

Leah Fisher lost her mother ten years ago. She is rapidly approaching womanhood and the lack is becoming more difficult every day.

Will she be able to recognize love when it’s right in front of her?

Could love be the key to Leah opening her heart, making room for the woman her father intends to marry… or will she stubbornly cling to the memory of her own mother?

Will Leah be able to let go of her own ideas and realize that God truly does know best for her or will she allow love to slip through her fingers, destroying Samuel Fisher and Naomi Yoder’s happiness at the same time?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel L Miller writes sweet Amish romance with a focus on faith, family and friendship.

She feels very strongly that God has led her to live a simpler lifestyle – thus her deep kinship with the plain people. She enjoys spending time with her family and doing fun, simple things like swimming, making sun tea, sitting outside watching the sunrise or listening to rain fall on the tin roof.

Rachel enjoys writing Amish fiction and hopes that the purity of her stories will allow God’s message to shine through more clearly. She also writes Contemporary Inspirational Romance – and with all of her stories she focuses on presenting romance the way God intended it to be.

Readers can connect with Rachel on FacebookPinterestTwitterInstagramGoodreads and her website: rlmauthor.com

 

AUTHOR Q&A

Author Q & A – Rachel L Miller author

1. The big question that everyone wants to know: is Rachel L Miller your real name or are you just using it as a pen name to sound more Amish?

Yes, Rachel Miller is my real name. Technically speaking, the L makes my name a pen name because I don’t use it in everyday life, but my middle initial does begin with an L. And before you ask… No, I’m not telling what my middle name is.

2. How did you begin writing Amish-themed stories?

My mother challenged me to write Amish fiction.

3. Do you think you could become Amish?

Much of my current lifestyle is nearly as plain as an Amish life. The only real difficulties for me would be giving up my computer since I need it to write. It would also be somewhat difficult to let my readers know about things if I could not use the internet.

4. Have you visited many Amish communities?

I have visited several communities in several states and I look forward to visiting more.

5. What is is you love so much about the plain folks?

There are so many things. I love how moral they are, how kind the people are, how close-knit the communities.

6. Is there another genre you write or have considered writing?

I also write Fantasy under a pen name.

7. When do you typically write?

Typically, I get up hours before everyone else. Since moving, I’ve not been able to get back into that routine, but I am working on it.

8. What is something you must have when writing?

COFFEE! Music!

9. What do you think of the current trends in Christian fiction?

I appreciate how broad a range of subjects is becoming accepted into Christian fiction, but I do worry a bit about the more edgy fiction that is making its way into the genre. I worry that some fiction is not clean enough, inspirational enough or uplifting enough to the genre justice. (that’s just my own personal opinion)

10. What can you tell me about your next project?

I am working on the next book in the Windy Gap series and I am very excited about it. I can hardly wait to share more with loyal fans and readers!


  

BEHIND THE SCENES:

10 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT A Mother for Leah
      THE INFO BELOW CONTAINS SPOILERS!

1. The prologue for A Mother for Leah did not exist in the rough draft. It was added later—then removed at the request of an interested agent, then added back in at the request of the agent Rachel signed with.

2. Initially, Leah was a very unlikeable character. Fortunately, with edits (and the addition of a secondary romance), Leah became the charming, sweet girl we see in the final story.

3. The name of Leah’s father’s love interest changed four times before the author settled on Naomi.

4. A Mother for Leah is book 1 in a series. At the moment, there are three books proposed and contracted.

5. There is a companion series proposed, though it has not been finalized at this time.

6. A Mother for Leah takes place in upstate New York and, though Windy Gap is a fictional community that the author created, there are “real” Amish settlements in the area that inspired this novel and several others.

7. Leah is mentioned briefly in Naomi Miller‘s Lemon Tart Mystery – book 3 of her Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series. And yes, before you ask, a crossover has been discussed with the authors

8. The shop in Windy Gap named Sew Sweet is not a misspelling. It is an intentional play on words because the neighboring shops “Sew Sweet” and “SewNice” are owned by quirky sisters who thought it was a clever marketing ploy that customers would enjoy.

9. A Mother for Leah was written during Rachel’s very first NaNoWriMo session. (Yes, she won)

10. Rachel was introduced to Amish fiction (as a reader) and to the idea of writing Amish fiction—by her mother

 


BOOK REVIEW | Unblemished by Sara Ella

“A breathtaking fantasy set in an extraordinary fairy-tale world, with deceptive twists and an addictively adorable cast who are illusory to the end. Just when I thought I’d figured each out, Sara Ella sent me for another ride. A wholly original story, Unblemished begins as a sweet melody and quickly becomes an anthem of the heart. And I’m singing my soul out. Fans of Once Upon a Time and Julie Kagawa, brace yourselves.” —Mary Weber, award-winning author of the Storm Siren Trilogy

Eliyana can’t bear to look at her own reflection. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world exists where her blemish could become her strength?

Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a birthmark covering half her face, she just hopes to graduate high school unscathed. That is, until Joshua hops a fence and changes her perspective. No one, aside from her mother, has ever treated her like he does: normal. Maybe even beautiful. Because of Joshua, Eliyana finally begins to believe she could be loved.

But one night her mother doesn’t come home, and that’s when everything gets weird. Now Joshua is her new, and rather reluctant, legal Guardian. Add a hooded stalker and a Central Park battle to the mix and you’ve gone from weird to otherworldly.

Eliyana soon finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than she’s ever known. A world enslaved by a powerful and vile man. And Eliyana holds the answer to defeating him. How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she can’t even save herself?

“Lyrically written and achingly romantic—Unblemished will tug your heartstrings!” —Melissa Landers, author of Alienated, Invaded, and Starflight

“Self-worth and destiny collide in this twisty-turny fantasy full of surprise and heart. Propelled into a world she knows nothing about, Eliyana learns that the birthmark she despises is not quite the superficial curse she thought it was—it’s worse, and the mark comes with a heavy responsibility. Can she face her reflection long enough to be the hero her new friends need? With charm and wit, author Sara Ella delivers Unblemished, a magical story with a compelling message and a unique take on the perils of Central Park.” —Shannon Dittemore, author of the Angel Eyes trilogy

Unblemished is an enchanting, beautifully written adventure with a pitch-perfect blend of fantasy, realism, and romance. Move this one to the top of your TBR pile and clear your schedule—you won’t want to put it down!” —Lorie Langdon, author of the Amazon bestselling DOON series

Unblemished had me from the first chapter—mystery, romance, and mind-blowing twists and turns that I SO did not see coming! The worlds Sara Ella builds are complex and seamless; the characters she creates are beautifully flawed. Readers are sure to love this book and finish it, as I did, begging for more!” —Krista McGee, author of the ANOMALY trilogy


– MY THOUGHTS –

An intriguing concept and a fascinating cover (though I’m not certain the nature of the story truly comes across through the cover image) and a story our teenagers desperately need in this world that is obsessed with body image.

Weight, looks, fashion and style are things which should not define a person, and yet, the very people who extol the phrase “Never judge a book by its cover” certainly do – in so many more ways than one.

I am unsure if this topic was Sara’s aim or simply a by-product of the storyline, but I applaud her for staying true to such a delicate subject!

BRAVO!

Book Review | Life is Better at the Beach: Inspirational Rules for Living Each Day Like You’re at the Beach

You can almost believe you’re really there!

 

Take long walks.

Watch the sunset.

Shoes are optional.

The beautiful four-color book of inspirational photos, Bible verses, quotations, and short writings invites you to escape the buzz of the everyday and into the tranquility that the beach offers. Each section of this book will cover a “beach rule” and encouraging thoughts on how you can incorporate that mind-set or behavior into your daily life.

Much of Jesus’ ministry happened along the seashore, where He told His followers about the peace and rest His Father offered them and modeled the best way to live. In the same way, this book transports you to a favorite beach locale and helps you apply rules for beach living to everyday life—rules to slow down, to notice the beauty in the little things, and to incorporate rest into even the most stressful times.

Full of serene images, inspiring quotations, and restful Bible verses, this book will be a natural addition to your coffee table or desk, as well as a lovely gift for that beach-loving friend.

For as the waters fill the sea, the earth will be filled with an awareness of the glory of the Lord. —Habakkuk 2:14 NLT


This is an exceptional book – either to give as a gift or to buy for yourself. It is full of wonderful advice, insightful life tips, and beautiful imagery!

Reading through the book, it’s easy to imagine hearing the waves crashing outside your window… or the call of gulls as they glide over the ocean water.

I have the e-version of this book and while I highly recommend snagging the hardback edition as well, it is exceedingly handy to have a copy on my iPad. I get to take this wonderful volume everywhere with me – and there are unexpected stresses everywhere. It is a delight to have this book with me when I’m on the go!

Review © JCMorrows 2016

 

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received the book free in exchange for an honest review.

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Book Review | The Courtship Basket by Amy Clipston

OK . . .

I am LOVING this new series by Amy Clipston.

It seems everywhere I look lately, there’s another story about something that spans time . . . family . . . even strangers – to bring people together.

Amy Clipston has a singular talent for writing a wide array of exceptional romance stories . . . from the forbidden to the sweet & simple.

The Courtship Basket is one such romance. Our story focuses on a special basket that brings a happy ever after to at least one couple – maybe more . . .

 

I can’t wait to read her next book!

I received this book free for an honest review.

Review ©JCMorrows 2016

More about “The Courtship Basket” from Goodreads:

Years ago, a picnic basket brought two hearts together. For Rachel and Mike, history may be about to repeat itself.

Rachel Fisher is devastated when the young man she’s loved for years leaves her to date her best friend. Her heart is broken, and she has all but given up on love. Rachel is determined to keep her mind off the pain, and she starts teaching at an Amish school for children with learning disabilities.

Since his father became ill, Mike Lantz has been overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing for his family and caring for his six-year-old brother, John. When John joins Rachel’s class and she learns that his mother is deceased and his father sick, she desperately wants to help the family, even with something as simple as a meal.

With her parents’ old picnic basket, Rachel begins sending food to the Lantz family. As the weeks go by, John’s grades start to improve, and the attraction grows between Rachel and Mike. They can’t deny that their friendship is growing toward something more, but both of them are hesitant to risk a more serious relationship. The last thing Rachel wants is another heartbreak, and Mike is worried about providing for his loved ones. Will the two be able to reconcile their past hurts with new hope for the future?

You can learn more about Amy Clipston and her novels HERE!

Enjoy it!

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below. I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

God Bless You!