ANCHOR IN THE STORM BY SARAH SUNDIN | BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY

Another FANTASTIC Giveaway brought to you by Litfuse! 

Watch for my review – COMING SOON!

In a time of sacrifice, what price can one put on true love? Pharmacist Lillian Avery and Ensign Archer Vandenberg are about to find out in Sarah Sundin’s new book, Anchor in the Storm. During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves—and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions Lillian has been filling? As the danger rises on both land and sea, the two must work together to answer that question. But can Arch ever earn Lillian’s trust and affection?

Celebrate the release of Sarah’s Anchor in the Storm by entering to win her All Hands on Deck Prize Pack!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A signed copy of Anchor in the Storm
  • Nautical tote bag lined with anchor fabric
  • Anchor necklace made from copper reclaimed from the USS Constitution in Boston during restoration
  • 365 Devotions for Hope by Karen Whiting
  • Shine: Nautical Inspirational Adult Coloring Book
  • “Hope Anchors the Soul” journal
  • Set of two nautical tea towels

LF AIS full group 2

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on June 8th. The winner will be announced June 9th on Sarah’s blog.

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{MORE ABOUT ANCHOR IN THE STORM}

Anchor in the Storm emailjpgAnchor in the Storm (Revell, May 2016)

One plucky female pharmacist + one high-society naval officer = romance—and danger

For plucky Lillian Avery, America’s entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The challenges of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg’s attentions only annoy–even if he is her brother’s best friend.

During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves–and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions for sedatives Lillian has filled? The two work together to answer that question, but can Arch ever earn Lillian’s trust and affection?

Sarah Sundin brings World War II to life, offering readers an intense experience they won’t soon forget.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

 

{MORE ABOUT SARAH SUNDIN}

Sarah SundinSarah Sundin is the author of eight historical novels, including “Anchor in the Storm.” Her novel “Through Waters Deep” was named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years,” and her novella “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in “Where Treetops Glisten” was a finalist for the 2015 Carol Award. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school.

Find out more about Sarah at http://www.sarahsundin.com/.

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Be careful little fingers what you type…

During her Bible Study picnic this morning, my daughter was singing the children’s song that inspired my post title.

 

I would just like to take this opportunity to remind reviewers everywhere how important it is to be careful what you put in your reviews.

Yes, we know you are excited about the book!

No, we know most of you would NEVER spoil a book for readers on purpose!

However… when writing up your review, it is always a good idea to have the book handy. A good rule of thumb is this: if it’s not in the back cover blurb, don’t reveal it in your review.

There are times when authors will also reveal bonus scenes – especially in a series or a long-awaited release – but again… that is up to the author, not the reviewer.

And if the author reveals bonus info, it’s fair game. You can even quote the author and link back to their post. They’ll love that because it’s like double exposure.

 

If you’ve read many of my reviews, you’ll know I once had a book spoiled for me.

If that reviewer had mentioned they had spoilers in their review, I NEVER would have read it… and it was all I could do to finish the book.I was glad I did because there was so much more to the story than what was revealed in the review but it was not the same.

… and the experience has had two unfortunate side effects:

1 – I don’t read reviews anymore until AFTER I’ve read the book. This means I don’t find new books to read often – unless it’s from a person I trust not to spoil it for me.

2 – I don’t often share others reviews – which is sad because there are some really great ones out there – but since it bothers me to even read reviews until after I’ve read the book, and I don’t usually NEED to read them by that time, I miss out on the good with the bad.

 

So be careful reviewers; what you type…

 

GOD BLESS!

© JCMorrows 2015

A natural reviewer…?

Yup… I once dated one of those guys.

At least he was nice enough to wait until we left the theater before he started picking the movie to pieces.

 

The irony…

Now, years later… I find myself doing the exact same thing.

Why? Because I finally got why he did it.

 

There are some really fantastic movies out there – and it is absolutely possible to watch them and turn off the critic in your head and just… enjoy.

But when the credits roll, you start thinking. And when you think, you realize there are things that happened during the movie that essentially make the presumption that you – as the watcher – are an idiot.

And so you analyze and you point out the obvious flaws and you pick it to pieces… all the whole hoping that people you watched it with, “get it” too.

 

And I could go on… and on… and on…

But I won’t. I’ll stop right there and say this – I believe this is one thing that makes me a natural book reviewer.

And you know exactly what I mean…

There is a very thick line of difference between those of us who are natural reviewers and those of us who just review books.

Those who are natural reviewers can spin a tale about the wonders that take place between the pages – without giving away important plot points or telling the read how the story ends!

We don’t just analyze the tale – we pour our heart and soul into the words we pen (or type in most cases) about the beloved books we read day after day – time and time again!

We don’t just tell you what we did or did not like about it – we regale you with descriptions of our own experience with the story, the characters, the setting, the wondrous ending.

We let you in to our own hearts and minds and souls so that you can see how the book touched us and why.

Some of us even write our reviews as a bit of a story in itself. We seek to entertain as much as the writer of the book we are imploring you to give a chance!

 

 

Book Reviewer… Influencer… Street Team… Where do I fit and what do I do?

Anyone who follows my book blog, knows that I review books… A LOT of books! I LOVE to read and I love to share my thoughts on these books with my followers.

Along this journey, I have been blessed to join several different street teams.

Recently I was forced to leave one of those street teams (on my own… NOT by the author). And, given some drama that has trickled through blogger circles of late, I felt the need to make mention of something that tends to be misunderstood…

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A REVIEWER is someone who reads books and then posts reviews on sites like Christianbook.com​, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc…

Some of these reviewers are sent books by publishers or promotional companies or the authors themselves.

Along with this “gifted” book comes the requirement that the reviewer gives an HONEST review… not just a positive one.

 

shutterstock_143336716An INFLUENCER is someone who is part of a selected group of people who are chosen to help launch a book. Most authors ask the members to post reviews but they require them to be positive. In the case that a reviewer can not post a positive review, they are asked to post none at all – or at least to wait until a month or so after the book has released.

But the main job of an influencer is to help get the word out about a book’s release. They are responsible for splashing notifications across social media, requesting the book at local libraries and passing out promotional materials like bookmarks and pens.

2b82cdeA STREET TEAM is a combination of the two above.

The street team members’ job extends beyond a book’s release. They notify their followers and friends about sales on the author’s books, special giveaways and more. They also hand out promotional materials (when the author has them to pass out), and they are usually required to read the author’s books and review them.

Typically, an honest yet positive review is no problem in these groups because the members are generally fans of the author’s work. However, most authors do not require a positive review – simply an honest one… in order to have lots of reviews up – to encourage sales.

If a street team requires a positive review, this should always be made clear before the reviewers join. However, lately there has been a bit of drama that has made this point a bit murky.

There are street teams out there that are run, not by the author but by a fan or by the author’s assistant. When the case is a fan running the team, there may be some issues because the fan has their own ideas about the author’s work and if a member’s review does not line up with their own opinion, they may find it difficult to be unbiased.

 

My caution is this:

Reviewers – be careful about what street teams you join. DO not join simply because the author is high-profile. Join the street team of an author you admire, one you will have no problem promoting!

And be sure to read all of the requirements BEFORE you join!

 

Authors – be cautious about how you run your team (or who you choose to run the team for you). Any drama that goes on will not be laid at the feet of that person on social media. It will be attributed to your team and YOUR name.

Also… you should be extremely careful about setting boundaries about reviews. 5 stars on Amazon is great but word of mouth still carries a tremendous amount of weight and if a reviewer is unhappy, they will most likely tell almost everyone they know about it.

I would also suggest you watch what works and what doesn’t with your friends’ street teams. Learn by example and never hesitate to make suggestions to friends about their own teams. Just because you see where something doesn’t work, does not mean they do.

 

Of course it has to be said… some authors do not deal well with bad reviews. But think of it this way… Is it more important to have ALL good reviews or to have a large number of reviews? Whether the reviews are bad or good, having a large number means that a large number of people have read the book.

And… I speak from experience when I say that I have NEVER allowed a negative review to sway me from reading a book that interested me. I have also read more than a few books that received nothing but glowing reviews – which I did not enjoy.

Think about it…

God Bless!

 

© JCMorrows 2015

Because, amazingly enough, I can’t do it all…

I know. It was a shock to me too.

Oh well. I never said I was wonder woman.

 

Anyway… to that end, I am doing something a little bit crazy. I am merging my blogs. When all is said and done, I plan to have only five to keep track of – instead of 11. YEESH!

It will probably take a few weeks to accomplish and after that, I plan to keep the old ones active for a couple months before I shut them off but then I will just delete them.

I’m tired and I really need to slim down my tasks.

 

So – this is what I will be left with to keep track of.

Amish Fiction Author

Windy Gap Wishes

Inspirational Authors

 

J.C.s BookShelf

JC Morrows

 

Have a great day and God Bless!

© Rachel L. Miller (JC Morrows) 2013-2015

Adventures in Amy Clipston’s Bakery Bunch

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I just LOVE Amy’s book! She is such a talented author!

OK… Are you wondering yet – What exactly a Bakery Bunch is…?

Well, The Bakery Bunch is what Amy Clipston has named her street team.

Do you promote your favorite authors?Tweet this!

As a member of Amy’s Bakery Bunch – I sometimes get to read her new books early, I get advance news of special things coming up, I get notified every time her books or eBooks are on sale, and I get to tell everyone that I’m part of a special group hand-picked by Amy herself! (not to mention the cool swag that comes along with it – free books, bookmarks to go in the books, cute luggage tags, great pens, an awesome cup and this terrific bag that has the added bonus of being my absolute favorite color!)

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Yup… see that book – it’s an Advance Reading Copy! AWESOME!

One of the fun ideas Amy and her fearless sidekick Jamie have come up with was this post. All across the web, Bakery Bunchers are posting pics of their awesome swag, how they are using it in their everyday lives and how they are passing it on to other fans of Amy’s AWESOME books!

This is a picture of what I am including in my current giveaway - which ends tomorrow!
This is a picture of what I included in a recent giveaway!

Along this journey we get to visit bookstores (and is there one of us who can visit a bookstore without buying more FANTASTIC books?)

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Shameless plug: You can find Amy’s books at your local Lifeway… (Yes, that IS one of Amy’s bookmarks you see in the book… wonder who could have done that… hmmm)

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I don’t know about you but I LOVE bookmarks!Tweet this!

Some of us also visited local libraries to pass out swag which is kind of like a trial bookstore – Yes it’s a cold day… it’s January.

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And hey… Amy is even helping to save the planet – one plastic bag at a time!Tweet this!

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My daughter had to get in on the act for this one… she just LOVES pushing that shopping cart!

And hey – these awesome tumblers come in handy!

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Reusable cups help save the Earth too! Plus they look cool!Tweet this!

OK… OK… I had to make this one a little different – I don’t travel much.

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Isn’t Amy just the greatest! I know I think so!

Do you take your favorite authors with you when you travel?Tweet this!

© JC Morrows 2015

 

If you would like to check out some of the other Bakery Buncher posts, click the links below… these are in no order other than how I’ve found them posted in our group.

The Power of Words

Give Me Today

Donna’s BookShelf

Quiet Quilter’s Blog

Cindy’s Book Reviews

A Simply Enchanted Life

Eat Read Teach Blog

Books For Christian Girls – running a Giveaway until 1-20!

Raindrops & Rainbows

Kristi’s Book Review

Zac Weikal.com

These are the only ones I know about so far. I will add more as they are posted.

HAVE FUN!

Happy Reading!

God Bless!

 

My top ten Authors – well… kinda

All over the net, readers/bloggers are listing their favorite authors of 2014 and I decided to jump on the bandwagon.

Of course I couldn’t narrow down my list to just ten authors. Actually I couldn’t even narrow my list to 20. I had to do it by genre – and I couldn’t get my favorites list in the Amish genre smaller than twelve… well, the others either. There are just too many AWESOME authors out there! Can you really blame me?

Can you narrow your favorite author list down to just ten?Tweet this!

 

So… here’s my personal list of the TOP TEN 12 FAVORITE AMISH FICTION AUTHORS:

Jennifer Beckstrand   Suzanne Woods Fisher   Vannetta Chapman   Cindy Woodsmall   Amy Clipston   Ruth Reid   Rosalind Lauer   Marta Perry   Shelley Shepard Gray   Beverly Lewis   Serena Miller   Lynette Sowell

 

Who are your favorite Amish Fiction authors?Tweet this!

 

I did actually manage to get the list down to ten – No I didn’t. I can’t do it. Even 12 isn’t enough for HISTORICAL FICTION.

Melanie Dickerson   Jamie Carie

Sarah Sundin   Rachel Muller   Sarah Loudin Thomas   Tricia Goyer   Cara Putman

Tracie Peterson   Mary Ellis   Mary Conneally   Janette Oke   Judith Miller

 

Are your favorite Historical fiction authors – inspirational or mainstream?Tweet this!

 

The INSPIRATIONAL FICTION AUTHOR list was a bit easier since I don’t read a lot of inspirational that isn’t Amish or Historical but only a bit because there are still so many:

Philip Gulley

Rachel Hauck   Betsy St. Amant   Robin Jones Gunn   Judy Baer

Vannetta Chapman   Barbara Cameron

Dan Walsh   Melody Carlson   Max Lucado

Nadine Brandes   CJ Darlington

 

Who started you out with Christian /Inspirational fiction?Tweet this!

 

Judy Baer started me out reading Christian fiction – who was your first?Tweet this!

 

Yesh… see how I snuck a few of my favorites into other genres – those of you who read as much as I do, know there are several authors who write in multiple genres. A couple of them landed in multiple categories because I just couldn’t help myself but it came in handy to be able to sneak in a few who I REALLY wanted to put in the Amish fiction list but just couldn’t do it.

 

If your favorite author switched genres, would you follow?Tweet this!

 

How many genres does your favorite author write in?Tweet this!

 

WHEW!

What am I gonna do next year…

 

Well, I guess I’ll have the top 20 in each genre.

 

© JC Morrows 2015

Yes, I have been annoyingly silent… But I have a good reason!

 

I spent my weekend driving… and sitting… and writing furiously, trying to get down every word my brilliant role-model said.

Yes I spent the weekend at a Writer’s conference!

WHOO!

 

Not only did I get the chance to listen to one of my absolute FAVORITE authors share tips and ideas about writing… I got to talk with her – in person!

And yes… it was almost too much for me. It took all of my composure not to go fan-girl and just squeal with delight.

Melanie Dickerson is the author of my absolute favorite fairy tale series of ALL TIME! And for the record, no matter how great the other 3 are – my current favorite is The Fairest Beauty Of course that may change when I read The Princess Spy in November or “The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest”  in 2015… which is releasing from Thomas Nelson not Zondervan.

And I’m excited to have discovered another exciting new author! I plan to read Jane Nickerson‘s work as soon as I can get my hands on it! They were sold out of her books in the bookstore… sad

I’m not going to say that I learned much from the other 2 speakers but well… I didn’t learn much. They spoke well and the topics were interesting but I have no interest in writing for magazines or newspapers.

 

For now, I am editing my MS with everything I learned in mind! Exciting!

 

And I haven’t stopped reviewing… give me a few days to catch up on everything and I’ll have a new review up for you.

Promise!

 

JC

Author Spotlight: Jennifer Beckstrand | Author of delightfully charming Amish Romances | Don’t miss this chance to win her new book!

Who has read Jennifer Beckstrand’s new book Huckleberry Hill  the first book in Jennifer’s the Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series yet? What about the second book in the series, which was just released – Huckleberry Summer…?

Want to know some of the back-story behind the series?

Keep reading!

 

But first… details on the giveaway!

 

All you have to do is reply to this post. On Thursday, July 3rd we (my son) will pick a winner and notify them ASAP!

Rules – I know, I know, but we’ve got to have some…

  • One entry per person!
  • No spam please.
  • The contest begins TODAY and will run until Thursday, July 3rd at midnight CDT!
  • My contest is not run by rafflecopter or random.org or any other site. The form above will e-mail me when someone enters and I will be drawing the winner’s name out of a hat (actually my son has that pleasure this time around).
  • The winner will be notified by e-mail and announced here on my blog, on Facebook and on Twitter.

 

PLEASE share the contest! Post it on Facebook. Tweet about it. Re-blog this post. Send them this way. (not really a rule – just a request, and it does not affect your chances of winning. It’s just MUCH appreciated!)

 

And read her books – whether you win or not. They’re wonderful!

 

 

Now…

For the spotlight!

Jennifer Beckstrand was the second author I interviewed so she gets to go next in my NEW AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT! And don’t miss my SURPRISE AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT coming in two days!

 

A bit about Jennifer Beckstrand via her WEBSITE:


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

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

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

 

 

 

And here is my interview with Jennifer Beckstrand: This interview focuses on Jennifer’s NEWEST book: “Huckleberry Summer” – the 2nd book in her Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series.

 

Is there any particular inspiration behind the Huckleberry Hill series for you?

We all want our children and grandchildren to be happy. I love the idea of two Amish grandparents making matches for their grandchildren and giving them a chance at a happily ever after. Anna Helmuth, the adorable and tenacious grandmother in Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Summer, is a little bit like my mother. She’s such a delightful character to write because she’s without guile, and she is always doing something surprising and funny.

 

Are any of the characters modeled after real people you know? Family/ friends?

Besides my mom, there aren’t many characters in the Huckleberry Hill series modeled after people I know. I definitely take personality traits from my friends and family and use them to craft three-dimensional characters. The one character from Huckleberry Summer based off someone in real life is Aden Helmuth’s dog, Pilot. Pilot is based on my neighbor’s dog of the same name. They are both goldendoodles, they both have unruly fur, and they are both puppies at heart. Both Pilots are irresistibly lovable. Lily Eicher doesn’t like dogs, but she can’t help falling in love with Pilot, and his master. 🙂

 

You recently wrote that you were finishing up edits on book 5 in the series. Will that be the last one or are there more planned?

So far there are six books in the works in the Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series. Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Summer have been released. Huckleberry Christmas comes out in October. Huckleberry Christmas is about a character in Huckleberry Summer who deserves his own love story. Three more books come out in 2015: Huckleberry Spring, Huckleberry Harvest, and Huckleberry Hearts. I’m so excited for all of them. After that, Anna and Felty Helmuth have a lot of grandchildren. They might just be matchmaking well into their nineties.

 

Do you already have another series planned/ in the works/ pitched? If yes, Would you tell us a little about it?

I have about a dozen ideas for books in my head, including a Western historical series, a cozy mystery, and a romantic fantasy. I’m not sure where my writing will take me next. I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT JENNIFER’S

 

WEBSITE                FACEBOOK               TWITTER

 

FOR NEWS, UPDATES AND OTHER OPPORTUNITIES TO WIN!

 

 

I’m going to do Jennifer’s most recent releases a little differently because there are two fairly new books in the same series – so I’m just going to highlight both.

 

The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill

 

The Helmuths’ thirteen children are grown and moved away. Anna and Felty Helmuth, full of vinegar and spice, are looking to stir up a little excitement. What could be more fun than throwing two young people together to see if sparks ignite? And who would ever suspect two elderly Amish folks of mischief? With a little help from the Helmuths, Huckleberry Hill could turn out to be the most romantic spot in Wisconsin.

 

 

Huckleberry Hill – Book 1

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Lia Shetler is resigned to being a spinster. She’s too tall and sturdy to ever be marriageable–so says her overbearing dat. Instead, she’s helping her pretty, spoiled sister Rachel secure the perfect husband–the Helmuth’s grandson, Moses Zimmerman. But the more Lia sees of Moses’s gently teasing ways and quiet understanding, the more she wishes he could be hers alone.

Moses knew his grandparents couldn’t resist trying to find him a wife. But he never expected it would be the graceful, sensible Lia–a woman who is tall enough to look him in the eye and honest enough to make him question a promise holding him to his past. Now both will need the kind of miracles only faith and courage can bring to finally reach for a lifetime of happiness.

 

 

 

 

 

Huckleberry Summer – Book 2

Huckleberry Summer

 

Cautious to a fault, Lily Eicher strives to live up to her dat’s high standards. She’s certainly not the kind of proper Amish girl who would make time for someone as impetuous as the Helmuths’ grandson, Aden–even if his lively spirit and caring ways are showing her just how wonderful following her heart can be. . .

Recklessly doing the right thing got Aden into big trouble. A fresh start at his grandparents’ is just what he needs. And shy, pretty Lily is turning his world upside down and making him want to prove he can do good within the rules. But now both must find enough faith and understanding to risk pursuing their dreams–together. . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND the following titles are COMING SOON!

 

Huckleberry Christmas–Book 3

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Young widow Beth Hostetler has come to Huckleberry Hill to start afresh and make her own way without the interference of her late husband’s family. In addition to a feisty toddler, Beth has dresses to sew, cows to milk, and great-grandparents to care for. She doesn’t have the time or the inclination to entertain thoughts of a husband, even if every widower and bachelor in Wisconsin seeks her hand. Her first marriage to a harsh, demanding man was hard enough. She is perfectly happy being alone, not answering to anyone but God. Tyler Yoder is no different than the rest. With his infuriating sense of duty, he sees Beth as a woman in need of rescuing. His offer of marriage doesn’t tempt her in the least, but his handsome face and kind heart just might. Will this be the Christmas that she finally finds love?

After having been burned by love once, Tyler Yoder has given up on the whole idea of romance. He simply wants a godly wife with whom he can share companionship and the load of daily living. Beth Hostetler comes along at just the right time. She’s a hard worker, an excellent mother, and a beauty, to boot. And, with a son to raise, she needs a man’s protection. But when Beth spurns Tyler’s marriage proposal and offers to help him find a proper Amish wife, Tyler realizes where his affections really lie. Will he be able to convince Beth that love is at the heart of his persistence? And will she accept his heart for Christmas?

 

A Perfect Amish Christmas

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A collection of short novellas from three of your favorite Amish authors to get you in the Christmas spirit. Available in October!

Anna and Felty Helmuth’s grandson, Gideon, plans to spend Christmas on a beach in sunny Mexico. But Anna is quite sure he’d rather be with them, snowshoeing, ice fishing—falling in love. And she knows the perfect girl. Not only is Dottie Schrock an excellent quilter and baker, she’s having a party. There’s just one complication—Gideon is not invited. Dottie has her reasons, but Anna trusts that the spirit of Christmas—and true love-will change her mind, and her future …

 

 

 

THANK YOU for joining me for this special AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!

 

HAPPY READING! 

And

GOD BLESS!

Don’t forget to check back or follow my blog to see new reviews –
there’s a new one up almost every day!

A Look Back | Author Spotlight: Beverly Lewis | Often referred to as the “Mother” of Amish fiction.

Recently I found a better way to conduct my author interviews and, to be fair to everyone I have already interviewed, I am going to re-post them in the same format. Since Beverly Lewis is the first author I interviewed, she gets to go first here too.

 

Fair Warning: The interview was given to accompany my review of The Last Bride –  so, if you have not yet read the book, you may find information below that you consider to be spoilers.

 

A bit about Beverly via her WEBSITE:

Home/ About/ Beverly’s Story

 

bev-homepageBeverly Marie Jones (Lewis) was born in the heart of Amish country—Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At the tender age of nine, she began writing short stories and poetry. Prior to that, she made up lyrics to the “little fingers” piano pieces she learned, at the age of five.

“My mother saved everything I wrote, even the stories I dreamed up during my grade school years,” Beverly says. One such tale is semi-autobiographical, about a young girl whose parents can no longer afford to give her piano lessons. The manuscript was 77 pages long and titled “She Shall Have Music,” penned under the shade of a lone willow tree. “Reading, writing, and playing piano have been top three on my list of favorite things,” she says.

Not until her own children were well into middle school did Beverly seek to publish her work, first in magazines such as Highlights for Children, Dolphin Log, and Guideposts for Kids. Her first book followed in 1993—Mountain Bikes and Garbanzo Beans—presently retitled Big Bad Beans (book #22 in the popular Cul-de-Sac Kids series of chapter books—see list of Bev’s children’s books).

  Read more…  

 

 

So here is my interview:

 

1- Is there any particular inspiration from your own life for ‘The Last Bride”?

The concept of close inner-marriage among a closed community has captured my interest–and my heart, especially more so lately with many Amish and Mennonited children being born with unique genetic disorders…some fatal.

 

2- Are you planning more books in the “Home to Hickory Hollow” series or are you moving on to a new series?

The Last Bride if the fifth and final book in this “stand-alone” approach to a beloved and popular series. I just finished the edit for The River, which debuts on September 2, this fall–it is a true stand-alone with no connections to any other character or series. I’m crazy about this story. My readers will love Tilly and Ruth’s story–I promise. 🙂

Also, Child of Mine, a novel I’ve co-written with my husband, David Lewis (best-selling author of Coming Home).releases soon, on June 3rd. If you loved Sanctuary, our first co-written novel, 12 years ago, you will love Child of Mine.

 

3- Is there anything you can tell us about your next project or is it still hush hush?

The River (my fall ’14 novel) is set in a most heavenly farmland setting in Lancaster County Amish country–”Eden Valley.” I fell in love with this area when I was a young girl growing up nearby…and more recently, while I was visiting there, following the Amish schoolhouse shootings in the fall of ’06. It’s the story of two young Amish women–one courting age, the other married–who left their Plain roots but have returned for their parents’ landmark wedding anniversary celebration. There are serious family secrets to resolve, and several understandings to overcome. And the coming to grips with the younger sister’s first love, who still seems to care for her, even though she has gone “fancy.” I can hardly wait for my readers to take Tilly and Ruth’s story journey with me!

 

4- Do you still regularly attend conferences? If yes, is it for your own benefit or only to share your advice and experience with others?

I attend as keynote speaker or teacher, yes. Going to writers’ conferences is invaluable and I heartily recommend to anyone wishing to be published traditionally. Or simply to glean and hone their craft of writing.

 

5- Is there a piece of advice you have for new or aspiring writers?

Read the best literature. Write your heart. Don’t be hesitant to revise, rework, and re-do. Writers are re-writers, if they want to be published. Have a teachable spirit when you do land your contract and start working with editors. Think of yourself as the pencil and the editor as the eraser. Truly. Sometimes what/s on the page just isn’t working. And, oh, did I mention–the best writers are voracious readers?! Also, go to the local bookstore and visualize where your book will land on the shelf, once you’re published.

 

I hope you have enjoyed my review and Beverly’s interview.

THANK YOU Beverly for taking time out of what I’m certain is a very busy schedule to answer my questions. Your advice is especially inspiring to me and I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity.

I pray God continues to bless your writing and I look forward to many more books in the future!

 

 

 

Beverly’s most recent release is: CHILD OF MINE – a standalone novel she has written with her husband, David Lewis. (a book that I will also be reviewing soon – I know…shameless plug)

Home/ Books/ Standalone /Child of Mine

 

Child of Mine

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Flight instructor Jack Livingston has been raising his eight-year-old adopted niece, Natalie, since the accident that took her parents’ lives. When he travels, Natalie is tenderly cared for by her Amish nanny, Laura Mast, who loves the little girl as her own.

Eight excruciating years ago, Kelly Maines’s baby was kidnapped. Determined to find her child, Kelly has tirelessly pursued every lead to its bitter end. And now, with the clock ticking, one last clue from a private investigator ignites a tiny flame of hope: Just a few miles away lives a young girl who matches the profile. 

Can this be, at long last, Kelly’s beloved daughter?

 

 

And don’t miss her Home to Hickory Hollow  series.

Home/Books/Home to Hickory Hollow

Home to Hickory Hollow

The Fiddler

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Amelia “Amy” DeVries, a 24-year-old violinist, is disillusioned with life and love after the collapse of her long-running romance. Weary of endless rehearsals and performances, Amy sets out on a road trip through the Pennsylvania mountains. She leaves her cell phone behind so life’s demands can’t intrude on her solitude. She doesn’t know, nor care, where she will end up.

When her car breaks down deep in the mountains, Amy realizes the flaw in her “no cell phone” plan. She abandons her car and walks the winding roads, searching for help. Following the smell of woodsmoke and the sound of music, she finds a rustic log cabin. There she meets a young Amishman–and through him a community–that will change her life forever.

Read More…

The Bridesmaid

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Twenty-four-year-old Joanna Kurtz is so far proving the adage “always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” Yet despite appearances, she has a beau who is secretly courting her from afar.

Eben Troyer hopes to make Joanna his bride–if he can ever leave his parents’ farm in Shipshewana, Indiana. Yet Eben’s hopes to build a life with Joanna hinge on his brother’s return from the English world. Will her hidden passion for writing and his responsibilities to his family keep them forever apart?

Read More…

The Guardian

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When Jodi Winfield comes to Lancaster to house-sit, the last thing she expects to find is a disheveled little girl alone on the side of the road. The young teacher is mystified when she learns there have been no reports of a missing child, and the girl herself is no help, since she can’t speak English. It’s as if the child appeared out of nowhere.

Then Jodi turns her attention to Hickory Hollow–and the cloistered world of the Old Order Amish–in search of answers.

Read More…

The Secret Keeper

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Jennifer Burns shocks her family and friends when she bids farewell to her modern life in favor of the Old Order Amish world, settling in with Samuel and Rebecca Lapp.
The people of Hickory Hollow are curious about the beautiful young seeker among them–one handsome Amishman in particular–and Jenny faces many challenges in the Proving time the brethren set for her…challenges of the heart, as well as the spirit.

Read More…

 

The Last Bride

fiddler

Of her Old Order parents’ five daughters, Tessie Miller is the last to marry. She has her heart set on Amishman Marcus King, but Tessie’s father opposes the match.

Impetuously, Tessie and Marcus elope to the English world, then return to Hickory Hollow to live as singles, trusting they’ll convince the Millers to give their love a chance over time. But when the unthinkable happens, Tessie faces the almost-certain censure of the People. Will she find a reason for hope in spite of her desperate plight?

Read More…

 

 

THANK YOU for joining me for this special AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!

I plan to post each author I have previously interviewed and a
SPECIAL NEW one! After that, I will post at least one a month.

And don’t forget to check back or follow my blog to see new reviews –
there’s a new one up almost every day!

GIVEAWAY (CLOSED) | “A Season of Change” by Lynette Sowell


The giveaway has ended. 

THANK YOU to everyone who entered and GOD BLESS!

“A Season of Change” by Lynette Sowell released on the 20th of May.

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Now for those pesky rules –

  • One entry per person!
  • No spam please.
  • The contest ended June 9th at midnight CDT!
  • My contest is not run by rafflecopter or random.org or any other site. The form above will e-mail me when someone enters and I will be drawing the winner’s name out of a hat (actually my daughter has informed me that she wants to do the drawing part).
  • The winner was notified by e-mail and announced here on my blog, on Facebook and on Twitter.

 

And read the book – whether you win or not. It’s wonderful!

 

A Season of ChangeA bit more about the book from Abingdon Press:

An Amish widower finds love in unexpected places.

Amish widower Jacob Miller believes it was a mistake to visit the Amish village of Pinecraft for winter vacation, especially after his daughter is struck by a car. Stranded in Sarasota until his daughter recovers, Jacob grows increasingly wary of events that unfold in his unfamiliar surroundings—including the strange curiosity of Englischer Natalie Bennett.

Natalie never thought her circus career as an aerial silks artist would end with a blown-out knee at the age of 25. She also never knew her late mother had a secret—that she was once Amish.

When Natalie meets the Millers at the Sarasota hospital, she is attracted to their warm hospitality and simple ways—and soon wonders if they can help her find her mother’s family. As Jacob and Natalie fall in love, their worlds collide. Will their differences tear them apart? Or will their love be strong enough to blend their clashing cultures?

Click HERE for more info from Abingdon Press.

Click HERE for more info from Christianbook.

HERE for more from GoodReads. HERE for Amazon.

And click HERE for Lynette Sowel’s blog!

 

HAPPY READING! 

And

GOD BLESS!

The Next book is HERE from Shelley Shepard Gray! Read below to find out how you can WIN a copy!

Shelley Shepard Gray took us back to Sugarcreek with Hopeful and now she is continuing this new series with Thankful and I don’t know about you but I’m excited!

In ThankfulNew York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray captures the beauty, devotion, and warmth of Amish life in this engaging tale of family, commitment, trust, and love set in the beloved community of Sugarcreek.

Click the link below to enter!

You have a chance to win the first two books in Shelley’s Return to Sugarcreek series, Hopeful and Thankful.

Thankful by Shelley Shepard Gray | Book Giveaway and Blog Tour

And check back later this week for my review!

 

Thankful

{More about Thankful}

Thankful, Book Two in the Return to Sugarcreek series

New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray captures the beauty, devotion, and warmth of Amish life in this engaging tale of family, commitment, trust, and love set in the beloved community of Sugarcreek.

Christina Kempf has always known that God chose Aden Reese to be her husband. As children, he was there to save her when she fell through the ice, and he’s been by her side ever since. After his parents died in a car accident ten years ago, the Kempfs raised Aden as one of their own, and everyone sees Aden and Christina as brother and sister. But Christina has never given up hope that Aden will one day ask her to be his wife.

Aden always planned to court Christina. But losing his mother and father changed everything—except his love for her. Her parents generously welcomed him into their home and treated him like a son. He can’t betray their kindness by admitting his feelings for the girl who is like a sister . . . yet so much more.

Pressured by her parents to court, Christina begins to accept the attentions of Sugarcreek’s young men, and now, Aden must make a choice. Will he stand by and watch the love of his life slip away? Or will he risk losing the love and trust of the family he holds dear to tell Christina how he truly feels?

Thankful includes a P.S. section with additional insights from the author, background material, suggestions for further reading, and more.

Learn more and purchase a copy here.

 

Shelley Shepard Gray

{More About Shelley Shepard Gray}

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

Find out more about Shelley at http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com.

 

 

Join Serena Miller for a Facebook Viewing Party of “Love Finds You in Sugarcreek”!

UPTV LFYSC.300x250.C.R3Guideposts Books is excited to announce the premiere of a new film based on the book Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio (Summerside Press) by Serena Miller. The movie, produced by Mission Pictures International and filmed last fall in the actual town of Sugarcreek, will premiere on Sunday, June 1, 2014, at 7:00 PM EDT on Up TV (formerly the Gospel Music Channel).Visit the movie website for more information.

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Serena and Guideposts will be celebrating with a Facebook viewing partyJoin Serena and readers on Facebook while you tune in to watch Love Finds You in Sugarcreek to share your thoughts about the movie, chat with other viewers, and win fun prizes. Just use hashtag #LFYSugarcreek to join the discussion on June 1st.

Check your local listing for UpTV (http://up.viewerlink.tv) to find out when it airs in your timezone.

 

Excited? Help us spread the word! Just share this link and information on your social media along with the hashtag #LFYSugarcreek! Plus, we’ll be tracking the hashtag and giving away Amazon & Starbucks cards to people at random who help to promote all throughout the month of May. Winners announced at the Love Finds You in Sugarcreek viewing party on June 1st.

 

“This is so exciting for Serena Miller and Guideposts! We are thrilled that Up TV has chosen Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio to make into a movie,” said Lenore Lelah Person, vice president and editorial director of Guideposts Books and Inspirational Media. “With Serena’s wonderful story and a beautiful backdrop in Ohio Amish country, fans of the story and the series will enjoy seeing it on screen. For more information read the media release.

love_finds_you_sugarcreek

 

For those who are not familiar with the Love Finds You™ series, this will be a great opportunity to introduce them to these uplifting and engaging romances.” Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio is one of more than 50 releases in the popular Love Finds You™ series uniquely titled after actual American towns with unusual but intriguing names and combines travel, romance and faith in one package. The series includes both historical and contemporary releases, and each fictional story draws on compelling history or the unique character of a real place. Stories center on romances kindled in small towns, old loves lost and found again on the high plains, and new loves discovered at exciting vacation getaways. Mission Pictures has purchased the movie rights to the entire series and plans to produce additional films based on the series in the future.

LFY SUGAR CREEK cover_72dpi-1

{More about Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio}

Guideposts Books is excited to announce the premiere of a new film based on the book Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio (Summerside Press) by Serena Miller. 

A mysterious outsider casts a long shadow on Ohio’s Amish country. Policewoman Rachel Troyer has always looked after her three elderly Amish aunts, proprietors of a farmhouse inn near Sugarcreek, Ohio. The idyllic town is popular with tourists, who come to sample its famous Amish goods. But one thing is clear to Rachel – Joe Matthews is no tourist. When the bearded stranger lands on her aunts’ doorstep, begging shelter for himself and his young son, Rachel is suspicious.

Will she be able to uncover Joe’s secrets despite her aunts’ – and her own – growing affection for him?

Serena Miller

{More About Serena Miller}

Prior to writing novels, Serena Miller wrote for many periodicals, including Woman’s World, Guideposts, Billy Graham’s Decision Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Focus on the Family, Christian Woman, and The Detroit Free Press Magazine. She has spent many years partnering with her husband in full-time ministry and lives on a farm in southern Ohio near a thriving Amish community.

Find out more about Serena at http://serenabmiller.com.

A GIVEAWAY! (CLOSED) | “The Last Bride” by Beverly Lewis |And a BONUS!

"The Last Bride" by Beverly Lewis

Good Morning!

 

How many of you have read “The Last Bride” by Beverly Lewis? ALL OF YOU, I hope…

OK maybe ALL is a bit optimistic…

I haven’t even read all of the books in The Home to Hickory Hollow series yet. But I’m working on them.

Next week I will be reviewing “The Last Bride”.

I will also be posting a special interview with Beverly Lewis!

She has graciously agreed to answer a few questions to which I’m certain we would ALL love to know the answers.

 

The contest has ended.

THANK YOU to everyone who entered. God Bless!

 

While we’re all waiting, here is a bit more about “The Last Bride” from Bethany House:

Of her Old Order parents’ five daughters, Tessie Miller is the last to marry. She has her heart set on Amishman Marcus King, but Tessie’s father opposes the match.

Impetuously, Tessie and Marcus elope to the English world, then return to Hickory Hollow to live as singles, trusting they’ll convince the Millers to give their love a chance over time. But when the unthinkable happens, Tessie faces the almost-certain censure of the People. Will she find a reason for hope in spite of her desperate plight?

Look for my book review in 1 week! And check back for the winner as well!

HAPPY READING!

and

GOD BLESS!

A Chance to win! LOOK HERE!

Welcome to the campaign launch for Tracie Peterson’s 100th book! A Sensible Arrangement launches Tracie’s new Texas-based series, Lone Star Brides, that’s sure to please. As a special treat, devoted fans will be able to catch a glimpse of several popular characters from previous series.

Tracie is celebrating by giving away an iPad Mini and hosting a LIVE webcast event on 4/29.

sensible-400-click

One winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini
  • A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 29th. Winner will be announced at the A Sensible Arrangement Live Webcast Event on April 29th. Connect with Tracie for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Tracie will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, fun prizes, and gift certificates throughout the even

While we’re waiting for the party, here’s a bit more about the book and the author!

ASA Peterson

A Lone Star Brides book.

Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past.
Answering an advertisement for a “Lone Star bride,” she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn’t know.

Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her.
Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed. Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.

When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake’s yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty’s dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.

What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways… and dreams and secrets collide?

Tracie Peterson
Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana, and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. Visit Tracie’s Web site at http://www.traciepeterson.com.

Find out more about Tracie at http://www.traciepeterson.com.

 

And don’t forget to come back and
read my review of the book!

 

HAPPY READING

and

GOD BLESS!

Another Chance to Win!

 

Come help us celebrate the release of another fantastic
Quilts of Love release!

 

Don’t miss this month’s Quilts of Love book, Maybelle in Stitches, by Joyce Magnin. Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it.

Joyce is celebrating the release with a $200 Modcloth giveaway. Enter today for a chance to spruce up your spring wardrobe!

Just click the picture below.

qol-maybelle-400-click

One winner will receive:

  • A $200 Modcloth gift card
  • Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron
  • A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare
  • Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin

 

And while you’re waiting, a bit more about the book:

Maybelle in Stitches

Maybelle In Stitches | A Quilts of Love book.

Maybelle Kazinzki can’t sew. She was after all, the only girl in the seventh grade Home Economics class to sew the zipper in the neck hole of the A-Line dress they were supposed to make. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house she gets the crazy idea to finish it—somehow, come heck or high water. She thinks it will help fill the lonely nights while her husband, Holden, is serving overseas during World War II.

Her recently departed mother’s quilt is made from scraps of material Maybelle traces back to her mother’s childhood, her grandmother’s childhood and her own childhood. She tries to add one of Holden’s stripes to it but the sewing is not going well and neither is her life. After receiving some harsh news, Maybelle’s faith falters and she puts the quilt away and stops trusting God. But God is faithful- no matter what. And it’ll take a group of neighborhood women armed with quilting needles to help Maybelle believe that.

 

And a bit more about the author:

Joyce Magnin
Joyce Magnin is the author of the Bright’s Pond novels, including the award-winning The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow. A member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship, Joyce is a frequent workshop leader and the organizer of the StoryCrafters fiction group. She lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Find out more about Joyce at http://www.quiltsoflovebooks.com/products/31/Maybelle-in-Stitches.

 

 

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

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

We Have A Winner

Envelope Winner

Sorry it took me so long to post the winner. My “picker” went to bed early last night
so I had to wait for her to get out of bed this morning. 🙂

May I have the envelope please…

And the winner is –

 

Barb Wagner

 

CONGRATULATIONS!

You have won a copy of Denise Hunter’s The Convenient Groom

ENJOY!

I will e-mail you shortly with further info.

 

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

 

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

…Yes! And I am very happy about it!

Yesterday I reviewed a book that I really didn’t enjoy. Actually I’ve read more than a few books lately that I have not really enjoyed.

WHY?

That is the question.

Five years ago, I read the Twilight series. Yes, I did. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I wish now that I could find a way to get some of the books I’ve read in the past out of my head but I chose to put them in there so I will just have to live with it all.

I used to be a huge fan of Nora Roberts and the covers of her books bother me so much now, I won’t even pick them up.

However, God has worked so much in my heart that I can’t even stand the thought of reading those books anymore. I am not the woman I was five years ago. I’m not even the woman I was two years ago. I am a whole new creation in GOD and… HE IS STILL WORKING ON ME!

He has put a love of ALL THINGS GOOD, WHOLESOME AND TRUE into my heart! He has filled it with compassion and forgiveness and LOVE! He has forgiven me and uplifted me and held me up through all of life’s storms!

And this is why I enjoy Amish fiction so much. Because it’s ALL ABOUT HIM!

THANK YOU MOM!

I shudder to think of what I would be reading right now if it were not for you.

YES, there are a few Amish fiction books that discuss harsh realities. YES, there are disturbing things like drugs or inappropriate relationships sometimes in Amish fiction books but in Amish fiction (OK OK… MOST Amish fiction), these things are not swept under the rug. They are not dismissed with excuses or explained away with nonsense about it not being someone’s fault or worse… blamed on someone else entirely. They are presented for exactly what they are – S I N!

This is what is missing from MOST “Christian” fiction. They spend two-thirds of the book talking about sex and drugs and blaming everybody else for their problems and then in the last two or three chapters, the person “gets religion” and it’s all OK.

I’m not trying to pass judgment. And if you’re going to pick a book like this over something like the twilight series or one of these new Amish horror novels or some crazy science fiction that talks about evolution like it’s real, then by all means – pick the “Christian” fiction. It’s better than what the world is handing out.

I’m simply saying – it’s not for me.

And I am so thankful to GOD for it! GOD and Mom. And I’m thankful to GOD for Mom! She is my light in a very dark and disturbing world. She is my rock in the quicksand of lies that so many people toss around freely. She is my life-raft in the turbulent seas of life. She is such a tremendous blessing to me and I don’t know what I would do without her!

And a big shout out to all of the GREAT writers of Amish fiction out there! You know who you are – the ones who are writing to uplift the world and not just to see those $$$!

GOD BLESS YOU and THANK GOD for you too!

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

Enter to WIN! And a Facebook chat party! Don’t miss it!

New from Quilts of Love: A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare | Kindle HDX Giveaway and “Spring Fling” Facebook Party

Don’t miss this month’s Quilts of Love book, A Star Without Stars, by Linda S. Clare. “Authentic characters with realistic challenges pull us right into the Native American world of the 1950s. A memorable story with substance and hope.” —Melody Carlson

Linda is celebrating the release with a Kindle HDX giveaway and joining her fellow Quilts of Love authors, Barbara Cameron and Joyce Magnin, for a Facebook “Spring Fling” party on April 1st.

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One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron
  • A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare
  • Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin

More about A Sky Without Stars

ASWS

A Sky Without Stars | A Quilts of Love Book

In 1951, Frankie Chasing Bear is a Lakota caught between cultures. She wants to raise her son Harold to revere his Lakota heritage, but she knows he will need to become as a white man to succeed. After his father’s killed in a barroom brawl, Harold and Frankie move to Arizona, where she begins a Lakota Star pattern quilt for Harold with tribal wisdom sung, sewn and prayed into it.

She distrusts Christians, as her own parents were forced to convert at an Indian School, until she meets BIA agent Nick Vandergriff, a half-Lakota who’s also caught between cultures. Nick must convince Frankie that white men and Christians aren’t all bad as he tries to win her heart in order to put the stars back into her sky.

DON’T MISS OUT ON A MINUTE!

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

Irony and it’s anchor in God’s plan for my life.

Three things I have found lately that are equally ironic and incredible.

Dare to BELIEVEOne: I checked out a book from the library and was absolutely shocked when I got it home and started reading.

Now I know what you’re thinking… why didn’t I just read the back to see if I was interested.

Well, I’ll tell you.

Before that book, I never really needed to worry about something as gross as “vampires” with an “AMISH” fiction book.

Granted there have been Amish fiction novels I have not cared much for – but the back of those books did not give me even a hint that I would feel that way.

So I didn’t think to look. I saw the “Inspirational” sticker on the spine and I saw Amish characters on the cover so I drew the natural conclusions… And before you think I’m a dummy – the picture on the cover did not give me any real hints that there was anything about vampires inside. I figured the slightly sinister look was advertising a suspense story or a murder mystery.

I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG!

Suffice to say, I DID NOT read the book. Right back to the library it went.

Really! Did I miss something? Since when did “Amish” become synonymous with “vampire”!? Does no one stop to think before writing…much less marketing or publishing such a thing?

Yes I know it’s fiction.
Yes I know it’s not real.
What I don’t know is how anyone who genuinely loves or lives for God, could think such a thing is even a little bit appropriate!

Anyway, on to number…

Two: I was scrolling through my reviews on Amazon and I noticed that someone had clicked one of my reviews (Minding Molly) as not helpful. Well of course I was immediately curious. Amazon doesn’t tell you who didn’t like it or why but I did notice that there were several other reviews (that were along the same lines as mine) that were also marked that way. So I’m guessing someone went through and picked out several reviews that were not flowery and gushing and clicked that they were unhelpful.

Oh well, right…

Maybe if you’re someone who is completely unaffected by other people’s opinions…

I, however, am not. I work very hard on my reviews. And, in the small number of reviews I have given, in which I didn’t love the book, I still try to be positive. I point out what the writer did well, talk about any good points and then state that – while I didn’t care for the book,  someone else might.

And while I still don’t appreciate the action, I suppose I understand the irony.

I didn’t like the book. They clearly didn’t like my review.

and now for…

Three: I applied to review books for a certain publicity company awhile back (I’m not going to name them). We went back and forth with e-mails for a long time and then I finally broke through that glass ceiling – I got an invite to join. I was required to agree to their terms, which I happily did. I e-mailed my agreement and waited. …and waited. …and waited.

And… nothing.

I e-mailed a couple of times since, trying to see what happened and trying not to take the implied rejection personally. I mean, why would a person invite you to review for them and then never get back to you once you’ve accepted?

Weird – right?

Today I wandered over to their website and checked out all the books I’ve been missing all this time. And do you know what I found?

I really haven’t been missing anything. In fact, there are quite a few books that I personally object to – strongly.

Remember the library book I talked about – this one was so much worse! With the library book, I couldn’t tell just how nasty the book was from looking at the cover (although I’m starting to think that might have been better – to know, going in, what it’s all about) and at least it made some attempt to paint the evil as actual evil. The book I found on this site not only had a nasty cover, it was blatantly flying in the face of the evil…painting it very much in the “they can’t help it” light.

My first thought:

These are Christian books… REALLY!

I know the Christian genre has expanded quite a bit lately to include a selection of fantasy and sci-fi but there is still supposed to be a line… right? Somewhere there is supposed to be a line between what the world likes and what glorifies God – am I right? Or has all that just gone the way of the “old-fashioned” hymns in church?

Anyway, this leads right into the part of this post that talks about how God orchestrated all of these things to keep me on the path that he intends for me.

With the book – He is reminding me to be careful of what I bring into my life and my home.

With the comment – He is telling me that I must give my disappointments to Him. He will be my comforter and He will give me the strength I need to get past things like that.

And with the website – He is telling me that I need to be very careful about who I associate with and I need to be especially careful about who I “Promote”. By writing reviews for them and adding my expertise to their site – I am, in essence, saying that I approve of the material there.

Now I review for multiple companies and there are books on each one that I’m not terribly fond of but this one is a very different story. There are books on their list of titles that are so far beyond appropriate for Christian readers, it would be a horrendous idea for me to endorse them and it would most likely destroy my witness.

So I’m very much better off without them!

On that note, I’m also going to be looking a bit closer at the other companies I review for. And, as much as I’ll hate to miss out on good books, I certainly don’t want to promote the nasty ones.

THANK YOU GOD!

Thank you for protecting me from myself, and others around me who care nothing for my eternal soul. Thank you for loving me enough to put up with my mistakes and waiting oh so patiently for me to come to my senses. And Thank you for forgiving all the terrible things I do – that I shouldn’t.

Now a question for you…

Is there anything in your life that falls into one of the categories above? Or another…

Could God be trying to get your attention with something seemingly small?

Are you listening?

“Be what you wish others to become.”
– Amish Proverb

GOD BLESS!

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

CONTEST | Real Women: Leading with Proverbs 31 Values

Real Women Leading: With Proverbs 31 Values is a must-have leadership resource for today’s Christian woman. Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder have successfully learned to navigate the marketplace by cultivating biblical truth, credible relationship development, and practical application into everyday life through ten foundational principles.

Lisa and Dawn are celebrating the release of their book with an iPad Mini giveaway and a Facebook “Leading with Values” author chat event on March 20th.

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One winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini
  • Real Women Leading by Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder

Real Women Leading Cover

{MORE ABOUT REAL WOMEN LEADING}

With Proverbs 31 values.

Today’s marketplace is not always a “values-friendly” environment. Business leaders Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder show you that you can live and thrive in a “valueless” workplace when you live by biblical values and principles.

Real Women: Leading with Proverbs 31 Values is a must-have leadership resource for today’s Christian woman. Written by women in the marketplace, Real Women cultivates biblical truth, credible relationship development, and practical application into everyday life through ten foundational principles. Once women embrace these ten principles, they will soon discover the multiple attributes of the Proverbs 31 woman in today’s marketplace and learn practical ways to implement the wisdom from that timeless Scripture passage.

Women will be encouraged to develop their God-given gifts and talents in the marketplace as they live out the principles that invite others to embrace the equality-inspiring values they live by. Knowing that we are not the end users of the gospel message, the Proverbs 31 leader will find the initiative to inspire the upcoming generation to view womanhood as a gift and continue the learning process that will impact generations to come.

Learn more and purchase a copy here.

Don’t miss out on the book or the chat party! What a great time for some fun and fellowship!

Lisa Troyer Dawn Yoder

{MORE ABOUT LISA TROYER DAWN YODER}

**Lisa Troyer** Sometimes referred to by friends as the “singing executive,” wife, mom, radio personality, recording artist, speaker, and author. Her Circle of Friends women’s outreach, formed over a decade ago, is growing in all directions. Lisa uses her gift of encouragement, her influence, and her resources to open doors for women to discover their significance and belonging. She and her family currently live in Ohio.

**Dawn Yoder** is passionate about developing people to discover their strengths and reach their leadership potential. As CEO of a 500-plus employee company, she seeks to bring values and principle-based thinking into all aspects of society through a round table environment. Dawn is a member of the John Maxwell coaching team, an international trainer, a speaker with the Circle of Friends ministry, a contributing writer, a songwriter, and a frequent worship leader. She and her husband, Jeff, have been married for more than 20 years and have four children.

Find out more about Lisa Troyer at http://www.newhopedigital.com/2013/09/real-women-leading/.

CONTEST CRAZE Post 3 | Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck | $200 “Princess” Giveaway, Blog Tour, and Facebook Party!

See, you got a day in-between these last two contests.

Welcome to the latest offering from Rachel Hauck, Princess Ever After, in her Royal Wedding series. USA Today had this to say about the book: “Injected with a beautifully sublime faith thread, Princess Ever After has a little something extra to offer by way of complex modern characters, a bit of political intrigue, a couple of sweet twists on the ‘stepsisters/stepmother’ plot thread, and a tummy-tingling romance.”

Rachel is celebrating her “swoon”-worthy romance with a fun $200 “Princess” prize package giveaway and a Facebook “Princess” party on March 6th. Grab your tiaras and RSVP today! princessever-400-click

One winner will receive:

  • A $200 Visa cash card (buy your very own “princess ever after” gown or tanks of gas for your “royal” ride)
  • Princess Ever After, Once Upon a Prince, and The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

 

 

Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck{More about Princess Ever After}

A Royal Wedding Book

Regina Beswick was born to be a princess.

But she’s content to be a small-town girl, running a classic auto restoration shop, unaware a secret destiny awaits her. One that will leap from the pages of her grandmother’s hand-painted book of fairytales.

Tanner Burkhardt is the stoic Minister of Culture for the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg. When he is tasked to retrieve the long-lost princess, he must overcome his fear of failure in order to secure his nation’s future—and his own.

Yet lurking in the political shadows is a fierce opponent with sinister plans to abolish the throne forever. Overwhelmed with opposition, Regina must decide if she’s destined to restore old cars or an ancient nation. Together—with a little divine intervention—Regina and Tanner discover the truth of her heritage and the healing power of true love.

Purchase a copy and learn more at Rachel’s website.

See ya there!

GOD BLESS and HAPPY READING!

CONTEST CRAZE Post 1 | Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan | iPad Giveaway, Facebook Party, and Blog Tour

Do you have your copy of “Where Courage Calls” yet?

No, would you like to win one?

Cause I know of a good contest!

Janette and Laurel are celebrating with an iPad Mini giveaway and a Facebook author chat party on March 4th.

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One winner will receive:

That’s exciting isn’t it! I know I’d enter…if I didn’t already have my copy that is. But I do and I have a great tablet I love so I’ll leave it to you all. It’s only fair.

And while you wait for the party and my review (COMING SOON), take a look at this:

WhereCourageCalls

{More about Where Courage Calls}

Her courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected…

Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the social outings her father’s wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada. Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her father, Beth resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way.

But the conditions in Coal Valley are even worse than she’d feared. A recent mining accident has left the town grieving and at the mercy of the mining company. The children have had very little prior education, and many of the locals don’t even speak English. There isn’t even a proper schoolhouse. In addition, Beth’s heart is torn between two young men–both Mounties, one a lifelong friend and the other a kind, quiet man who comes to her aid more than once.

Despite the many challenges, Beth is determined to make a difference in the rustic frontier town. But when her sister visits from the East, reminding her of all the luxuries she’s had to give up, will Beth decide to return to her privileged life as soon as the school year is over?

Purchase a copy and read an excerpt here.

Hope to see you there! And make sure you come back here soon to check out my review!

GOD BLESS YOU!

The links are up for the contest for “The Calling”! YAY!

Actually I think they were up last night but I didn’t find out until this morning. Sorry.

You can click HERE to see information about “The Calling”, to read an excerpt and to find out more about the blog tour schedule!

And you can click HERE or on the picture below to learn more about the contest and to enter!

You don’t want to miss out on this!

Suzanne is celebrating the release of The Calling by giving away TWO iPads, TWO Kindles, and TWO Nooks! 

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Two grand prize winners will receive:

  • An iPad
  • The Letters and The Calling by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Four second place winners will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX or a Nook HD—winner’s choice!
  • The Letters and The Calling by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I know I would enter if I didn’t already have both books and an e-reader.

As it is, I’ll leave the chances to win open to everyone else.

So HAPPY READING and GOD BLESS!

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

“The Calling” CONTEST Sponsored by Litfuse!

The contest begins TODAY and runs until February 8th!

Don’t miss it!

Litfuse is running a contest to go along with the blog tour of “The Calling” by Suzanne Woods Fisher!

I LOVE contests, don’t you?

I had hoped to have links for you today to get more information about this contest but it appears the holiday has thrown everything out of whack.

I will post links as soon as I have them but I wanted you to know that the contest officially starts today.

You can click HERE to go to the Litfuse tour page and once “The Calling” is clickable, it should lead you to info about the tour.

You can click HERE for more reviews from GoodReads.

And you can click HERE for more info and extras from the Baker Publishing Group.

I will be posting my review for “The Letters” – book 1 in the series before I post my review for “The Calling” a few days later.

Watch for them.

And check out the contest!

We have bloggers reviewing the book until the 4th of February! That’s a good long blog tour!

God Bless You!