Friday, February 24, 2017

Another Great Book From Laura Hilton! Make sure that you enter her giveaway!

"The Amish Wanderer"
   By Laura V. Hilton

Synopsis:


Book: Amish Wanderer
Author: Laura V. Hilton
Genre: Amish Romance
Release Date: February 14
Bethany Weiss is ready to leave town. Tongues haven’t stopped clacking in Jamesport, MO, since her daed, the bishop, was admitted to a mental hospital after hurting their small Amish community. But her sharpest wounds Bethany hides from prying eyes, quietly biding her time until she can take a chance at a new life—away from Jamesport and away from God.

Silas Beiler was kicked out of his own home. Dogged by a rough childhood and a family who blames him for each new disaster, he begins hitchhiking across the country, sleeping in barns where he can, working for food when possible—headed for Pennsylvania in the hope of some stability.

When Bethany spies a man asleep in the hayloft, she first fears the return of an unwelcome suitor. But when it is Silas who turns and speaks, the memories flood back: a happy summer six years ago full of lemonade, long walks, and budding courtship. Now, however, those months of bliss seem naïve and idyllic. Was their old love strong enough to overcome new pain? Or will hurt and rejection continue to haunt their path?

My Thoughts:

Laura V. Hilton writes in a unique style that is all her own! Her newest novel, "The Amish Wanderer" grabs your attention on the first page and draws you deep within the story of two young people who are struggling with life's challenges. This is a book that you simply can't put down until you finish it! It is intense and deals with real life issues that you just don't expect in the Amish community. It exhibits Laura's deep understanding of the Amish lifestyle. Yes, they are the Plain People, with great faith and forgiveness, but they DO experience problems that are present in everyone's lives. 

Both of the main characters, Silas and Bethany, were so well and realistically described, that I was easily and quickly drawn into their lives. I felt their pains and desires right alongside them . The battles of living a Christian life is felt deep within as they experience love, faith and forgiveness. 

The plot moves quickly with totally unexpected twists and turns. There was such a powerful message that was underlying the entire adventure, that I found myself tensing up with my heart pounding as I travelled this young couple's journey through a difficult time . The author dealt with some sensitive, rather difficult manners with dignity and grace. The reader definitely will feel the grief, pain, as well as the hope that salvation brings.

This is definitely a five star book!! Don't miss this adventure!! This novel will live on in your thoughts long after you have finished reading it!!


This book was received as a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Link to purchase book



About the Author: 


Amish fiction lovers responded positively and immediately to Laura V. Hilton’s debut novel, Patchwork Dreams, when she burst on the scene in 2009 with her unique series, The Amish of Seymour, set in the tiny town of Seymour, in Webster County, Missouri. Fans of the genre immediately recognized Hilton’s insider knowledge, not only of the Webster County community, but Amish culture in general. Her natural speech and writing patterns, she says, are uniquely “Amish,” acquired from her Amish maternal grandparents. The Amish of Seymour, includes Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. Her second series, The Amish of Webster County, is comprised of Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love. A stand-alone title, A White Christmas in Webster County, was released in September 2014. The Amish of Jamesport includes The Snow Globe, The Postcard and The Birdhouse. In spring 2016 she released The Amish Firefighter with the setting in Jamesport, MO, the same as for The Amish Wanderer.
Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.






Guest Post from Laura Hilton
I didn’t intentionally set out to write an Amish story loosely based on a true story. If fact, when people asked me if I would write my maternal grandparents’ story, I told them no.

But when time came to write Bethany’s story, all I knew was a short paragraph blurb about it. Bethany and her once-upon-a-time boyfriend Silas who left that particular Amish district and her before their relationship became serious. I didn’t know their backstories, really, and had no idea how the story would proceed. And since I don’t plot, I spend a lot of time praying about the story, because really, I want to write what He says to write. He knows who He wants it to reach.

So I sat down to pray about it. And God gave me a verse. Which is unusual at the beginning of the story. Usually, for me, it’s at the middle when God reveals His theme for the book. But this time, it was at the beginning. The verse is:
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)
And the verses caused more prayer. What am I supposed to do with it?

I was driving to Melbourne (Arkansas, not Australia) to pay property taxes and get my vehicle tags renewed, listening to the radio as we (my three daughters and I) drove down Larkin Road (that’s not the real name, just what everyone calls it—we have a lot of those around here: Day Road, Moko Road, etc—because there are ghost towns on these roads so they are called by the name of the ghost town). A song came on the radio and I don’t remember the name of it, or even who the singer was, but when I arrived in Melbourne, I had the opening line to my story.

The sky is falling and I’m searching for somewhere to hide.

I’m sure the people at the county clerk’s office might have been a little concerned about the state of my mental health when they saw the words scribbled at the top of my bill. I did get a strange look. I didn’t offer an explanation. And they didn’t ask.

When I got home, I started writing and paying close attention to Bethany’s mental clues (and Silas’s) to figure out what their stories were. And how they tied into the verse God had given me.

And then, without even realizing it until it hit, I knew who’s story I was writing.

My grandmother’s. My grandfather’s.

Except they are different. My grandmother wasn’t date raped. It was a member of her own family. And she wasn’t in love with my grandfather. She just discovered he was leaving the Amish and she wanted—needed—to escape.

Neither were Christians at the time. My grandfather was saved on his death bed. My grandmother’s youngest child was a teenager when she was saved. My mother, her sister, and all their girlfriends went to a tent meeting for a United Brethren Church and my grandmother attended one of the meetings with her daughters and was saved as a result. And their testimonies ultimately led to the salvation of my uncle and my grandfather.

Both of my grandparents had a lot of issues to work through as to why God allowed the bad things in their lives to happen. That they eventually came to Christ is a miracle but I’m glad they did, as I was raised in a Christian home.

Why does God allow bad things to happen to people? The short, pat answer is: because sin entered the world. Yes, God could stop them. But what if He uses the bad thing to refine a person’s faith, to draw them closer to Him as a result?

How a person reacts to the bad things directly ties in to how they affect them. In my story, Silas chose to trust God even though he feared for his life. No, he didn’t like what had happened, but even though he didn’t see how, he trusted God was working behind the scenes to bring Silas to where he needed to be, spiritually and physically. On the other hand, Bethany believed God had rejected her. Pushed her away and didn’t care about her. If He didn’t care for her, why should she care about Him? So she went into a stand-off with God.

The lessons ultimately learned, for both my grandparents and my characters, brought them to their knees before the living and holy God who was, and is, and is to come. And I trust God will use this story to help a reader out there who might be questioning something terrible that happened in their life.

You might not see how now and may not know why until eternity, but God has this. Keep praying. Keep trusting. Keep believing.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)

Blog Stops

February 14: inklings and notions
February 15: A Rup Life
February 15: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
February 15: Lane Hill House
February 16: Daysong Reflections
February 16: Blogging With Carol
February 17: Bigreadersite
February 17: Rockin’ My Mom Jeans
February 18: Rhonda’s Doings
February 18: Jeanette’s Thoughts
February 19: A Greater Yes
February 19: A Holland Reads
February 20: Blossoms and Blessings
February 21: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog
February 21: Mom Is Forever
February 22: Splashes of Joy
February 23: Moments Dipped in Ink
February 23: Carpe Diem
February 24: Pause for Tales
February 24: Quiet Quilter
February 25: For The Love of Books
February 25: Donna’s BookShelf
February 26: Christian Bookaholic
February 27: Giveaway Lady
February 27: Autism Mom

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away  Amish Wanderer, Patchwork Dreams (Amish of Seymour #1), Snow Globe (Amish of Jamesport #1),
a 10 x 17” canvas banner: “Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly” (Micah 6:8), and
Abba Scripture Candle (3” natural, clean-burning wax, scented) – “With God All Things Are Possible”! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b0d8

Friday, February 10, 2017

Suzanne Woods Fisher Writes Another Fantastic Book! Enter the giveaway! You could win a KIndle Fire!

        "The Newcomer"   
   By Suzanne Woods Fisher

Synopsis:


In 1737, Anna Konig and her fellow church members stagger off a small wooden ship after ten weeks at sea, eager to start a new life in the vibrant but raw Pennsylvania frontier. On the docks of Port Philadelphia waits bishop Jacob Bauer, founder of the settlement and father to ship carpenter Bairn. It’s a time of new beginnings for the reunited Bauer family, and for Anna and Bairn’s shipboard romance to blossom.
But this perfect moment cannot last. As Bairn grasps the reality of what it means to be Amish in the New World–isolated, rigid with expectations, under the thumb of his domineering father–his enthusiasm evaporates. When a sea captain offers the chance to cross the ocean one more time, Bairn grabs it. Just one more crossing, he promises Anna. But will she wait for him?
When Henrik Newman joins the church just as it makes its way to the frontier, Anna is torn. He seems to be everything Bairn is not–bold, devoted, and delighted to vie for her heart. And the most dramatic difference? He is here; Bairn is not.
Far from the frontier, an unexpected turn of events weaves together the lives of Bairn, Anna, and Henrik. When a secret is revealed, which true love will emerge?
My Thoughts:
I have loved all of Suzanne Woods Fisher's books, so was not surprised in the least , that this new one had everything that I believe a great novel should have! "The Newcomer" is the second in a series of three, entitled "Amish Beginnings". It is fabulous sequel to "Anna's Crossings", book one.

The setting was described in such a realistic, detailed way , that I felt that I was living in this strange land, speaking a language very different from most other residents. The time frame of the 1700's was fitting for the newcomers. The rules and laws seem to be very different from what they are used to, making them fearful of what will happen next. 

The characters are practical people who strive to make new lives for themselves under the most difficult circumstances. At once, I was able to identify with their problems, challenges and fears. Their uncertainty in this new land was felt deeply within as they encountered problems that seemed insurmountable. Losing their leader unexpectedly , was an experience that threw them into a complete panic. One of my favorite characters was a young lad named Felix,  a most adventuresome boy, who constantly seemed to find trouble, while at the same time , discovered important and valuable information. All of the characters were described in such detail that they became my friends, as I walked alongside them in their rocky journey. 

Although I am not a great fan of historical fiction, Suzanne writes in such a way that I learn as I enjoy the plot. There are constantly unexpected twists and turns that keep the reader engaged from beginning to end of the novel. The plot progresses steadily and quickly. I must say, that I NEVER was prepared for the next bump in the road as these immigrants fought to find a home in this strange, new country.

This author has never failed in writing a book that amazes me! She keeps a reader totally enthralled from beginning to end of the book. 

Definitely a five star book! I am impatiently waiting for the concluding book in this series!


Link to purchase book
This book was a gift. The opinions expressed are honest and my own.
About the Author:  

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.


Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

Pennsylvania of 1737, the setting for The Newcomer, is like a foreign country. Parts of it might seem familiar—the same hills and creeks and blue sky, but we’d hardly recognize the settlers. People like Anna, or Bairn, or the mysterious Newcomer. We wouldn’t be able to understand their language, their customs and traditions. Their world was that different from our modern one.
The first group of Amish immigrants (first written about in Anna’s Crossing and followed up in The Newcomer) settled northwest of Philadelphia, then a vast wilderness, and relied on each other for safety, security, building projects, and church. In nearby Germantown, settlers were tradesmen, so they clustered houses together in small knots. The Amish farmers took out land warrants for sizeable properties and lived considerable distances from each other.
In The Newcomer, Anna cooked food in a cauldron over a large hearth. One-pot meals can trace their beginnings to open-hearth cooking when ingredients for a meal went into a large kettle suspended over the fire. Traditional dishes—ham and beans, pork and sauerkraut—used sturdy, available, and simple ingredients that improved with long, slow cooking. The dishes could be easily expanded when the need arose to set a few more places at the table. And it did, often. Large families and unannounced company inspired Amish cooks to find ways to “stretch the stew.”
Noodles (including dumplings and rivvels) could be tossed into a simmering broth to make a meal stretch. Most farms had a flock of chickens, so eggs were easily at hand. Today, homemade noodles are still a favorite dish.
Another “stew stretcher” was cornmeal mush, originally eaten as a bread substitute. Early German settlers who made their home in eastern Pennsylvania roasted the yellow field corn in a bake oven before it was shelled and ground at the mill. The roasting process gave a nutty rich flavor to the cornmeal. Mush is still part of the diet the Old Order Amish—cooked and fried, baked, added into scrapple, smothered in ketchup. Dress it up and you’ve got polenta.
Now here’s one thing we do have in common with 1737 Pennsylvania immigrants…a love of good food and a shortage of time! Here’s one of my favorite one-pot recipes—probably not the kind of stew Anna might have made for ship carpenter Bairn or the mysterious Newcomer (ah, which man one stole her heart?)…but definitely delicious. Enjoy!
Lentil Chili
Here’s one of my favorite “stew stretchers.” You can expand it even more by serving over rice.
Ingredients:
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
10 c. water
1 lb. dry lentils
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt (season to your taste)
½ tsp. pepper
2 c. salsa (your favorite variety)
29 oz. canned tomatoes, crushed

Blog Stops

February 7: cherylbbookblog
February 7: Moments Dipped in Ink
February 7: inklings and notions
February 8: Just Commonly
February 8: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
February 8: Ashley’s Bookshelf
February 9: A Reader’s Brain
February 9: Genesis 5020
February 10: Lane Hill House
February 10: Blogging With Carol
February 10: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog
February 11: Quiet Quilter
February 11: Daysong Reflections
February 12: Christian Bookaholic
February 12: Jeanette’s Thoughts
February 13: Karen Sue Hadley
February 13: Just the Write Escape
February 14: Rhonda’s Doings
February 14: Bigreadersite
February 15: Blossoms and Blessings
February 16: Bibliophile Reviews
February 16: Book by Book
February 17: Pause for Tales
February 17: A Holland Reads
February 18: A Greater Yes
February 18: The Power of Words
February 19: Lighthouse Academy
February 20: By The Book
February 20: Giveaway Lady

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a Kindle! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!https://promosimple.com/ps/b0d1

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Another Great Book from Molly Jebber!! Be sure to enter the giveaway!

"Two Suitors for Anna"
     By Molly Jebber

Synopsis:

In 1903 Ohio, a young Amish woman must choose between the life she has long planned for and a new, very different future…Since Anna Plank moved to Berlin, Ohio, with her widowed mamm and two schweschders, she’s found a real sense of belonging. As soon as her beloved Noah Schwartz proposes, they’ll begin a new chapter here together. But Noah has a surprise for Anna: once they’re married, he wants them to travel and live in other communities. Anna, who loves her home and her job at the quilt shop, is distraught when he takes her hesitation as rejection—and leaves.

Daniel Bontrager’s arrival adds to Anna’s confusion. Since taking over his late brother’s farm, the handsome roofer has offered friendship and gentle attentions. Yet the pull of first love is strong and deep, especially when Noah returns. Through each revelation, Anna must search her faith for guidance, knowing she is choosing not just a husband, but a life to nurture and to share…

Praise for Molly Jebber’s Change of Heart

“Endearing characters and a delightful story make this a keeper for fans of Amish romance.” --Emma Miller 

“This is a wonderfully written historical romance with Amish and Englisch characters who are loveable and considerate of others. The storyline is believable and heartwarming. Jebber is a talented author.” –RT Book Reviews

My Thoughts:

After being introduced to Anna in the second book of Molly Jebber's "Keepsake Pocket Quilt" series, "Grace's Forgiveness", I knew that I would LOVE a tale that centred on this interesting, lovable young woman. This book was no disappointment. Once started, I had great difficulty putting it down. I just had to read one more page....and one more and ......

The setting is perfect for this Amish tale. The adventure takes place in one of my favorite places to visit, Berlin, Ohio. It is a charming town, full of Amish character. Molly's talent in describing the scenes and characters in a vivid, picturesque manner is evident throughout this book. I found myself imagining that I was there alongside Anna, Noah and  Daniel. 

The characters were described in  realistic detail so that the reader can easily identify with them . I found myself wanting to give Anna a big hug at some times, a good shake at others!! The feeling of frustration with some silly decisions that Anna made left me shaking my head!  She became my friend as did all the characters who had a role in this story. The only way to conquer some of their challenges was to trust God and pray to make the right choices. This was the underlying theme that ran through this book. God has the answers in good times and bad, but we have to trust Him and take time to listen to Him. 

The plot keeps the reader engaged from the first page of the book to the last. The tale moves  quickly with just enough unexpected twists and turns to keep us guessing. Just when you think you have figured out what Anna will do, there is another roadblock! I must  admit this book kept me up VERY late one night. I just had to find out how the story ended.

This heartwarming novel is definitely a five star read!!! I am eagerly awaiting the next book by this talented author. 

This book was received as a gift. The opinions expressed are honest and my own.

About the Author:



Molly Jebber’s books have been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today’s HEA, and Romantic Times has given them a near excellent rating. She’s on RWA’s Honor Roll. She’s a speaker for Women’s Christian Connection, and she offers presentations on writing, publishing, Amish lifestyle and traditions. She has received widespread media coverage, including live interviews, across the United States for her books and speaking engagements.
She’s just signed a new contract for four more Amish books! She loves interacting with her readers. She loves God, her husband, family and friends. She has a hard time saying no to cupcakes, swimming, nine holes of golf, and walks on the beach. Coconut, oatmeal, and onions, on the other hand, are not hard to say no to!


Click here to purchase your copy.


Guest Post from Molly Jebber

What prompted Two Suitors for Anna?
Have you had to choose between two men you love? Or maybe a friend?  I gave Anna this dilemma and added to her turmoil by throwing in a bundle of twists and turns to the story.
Noah proposes to Anna, and he takes her rejection as hesitation and leaves town. Daniel moves to Berlin and offers her friendship which is blossoming into something more, when Noah returns and asks her forgiveness and another chance. I hope you enjoy it!

Blog Stops

January 31: cherylbbookblog
January 31: Giveaway Lady
January 31: Bibliophile Reviews
February 1: A Greater Yes
February 2: Lane Hill House
February 2: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
February 3: Just Commonly
February 3: Moments Dipped in Ink
February 4: Jeanette’s Thoughts
February 4: Bigreadersite
February 5: Quiet Quilter
February 6: Ashley’s Bookshelf
February 7: Pause for Tales
February 8: Splashes of Joy
February 9: Christian Bookaholic
February 9: Eat, Read, Teach Blog
February 10: inklings and notions
February 11: Carpe Diem
February 12: Donna’s BookShelf
February 13: autism mom
February 14: A Holland Reads

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Molly is giving away a Kindle Fire HD. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/af95