Sunday, March 17, 2019

A Magnificent Brand New Series from Popular Author, Beth Wiseman!! "Hearts in Harmony"!

"Hearts in Harmony"   
   By Beth Wiseman

Synopsis:


They both love music. Will God deny what brings them such joy? 
Musical prodigy Levi Shetler hasn’t touched a piano since he secretly played one years ago. His strict Amish community forbids instruments or the singing of any music not in their approved songbook. Levi asks God often why music tempts him when playing an instrument isn’t allowed in his world. 
One person knows Levi’s talents: Mary Hershberger, the girl who promised years ago to keep his secret. Mary comes from a more liberal district than Levi, but she’s facing family troubles of her own. The mutual care for an aging Englischer, Adeline, reunites Mary and Levi as young adults. They realize that, despite their differences, they have a shared love of music—and a shared confusion about whether their talents are God-given gifts or temptations luring them into the Englisch world. 
The couple realizes they must compromise or part ways, but a tragic accident shakes their decision. Both Mary and Levi will need to reconcile what they love with what their hearts say is right—because even as their passion for music brings them together, it could be what tears them apart. 
The first novel in the new Amish Journeys series by bestselling author Beth Wiseman, Hearts in Harmony explores how far the heart will travel for the melody of love.


My Thoughts:

Beth Wiseman, who just happens to top my list of favorite authors, has once again written an amazing, heart warming novel, a fabulous start to a new series entitled "Amish Journeys". I always approach a new series with some trepidation.... will this new creation meet my high expectations?! After all, every one of Beth's books has been a winner in my opinion, so how can another possibly be as powerful and interesting as her last? NO WORRIES! "Hearts in Harmony" was NO disappointment. After reading the first page, I was on my way travelling to Amish country in Indiana and walking alongside the lovable characters as they took their roller coaster ride through life.

 It is known that the Plain People have just as many trials and obstacles as we do, however, this story brings to light some particular problems that I myself have never really thought about. How many of us have thought about the music that plays a very large part of our church service? Music is very much discouraged and forbidden in this Plain life. Yes, the Amish do sing, but do not have musical instruments, nor is an individual encouraged to ever play one. That would be much too worldly and prideful. Beth tackles this subject in a unique, respectful manner. 

Make sure to have a box of tissues nearby as you will have need of them from the first chapter to the last. The two main characters are brought together in an unusual way, both sensitive, caring individuals who are faced with some difficult decisions, should they do  what they love even though it is deeply frowned upon in their faith? All of the characters in this novel are so easy to love. The reader is so caught up in their quests to be happy in the darkest hour that you feel very deep emotions and thoughts. 

The setting was perfect, far from the close knit Amish community. This added more confusion to do what was right , would anyone know if rules were broken? The relationships that developed amongst the many characters was highly emotional and touching. There are underlying messages that are intricately woven into this story of faith, forgiveness, and loving self and others regardless of the circumstances. 

The plot was intense, full of unexpected twists and turns, making it very difficult for the reader to put down. Just when you think the characters have found a sense of completeness and peace, a boulder is put in the path! One that seems impossible to get past.

 If you are tired of the usual Amish fiction genre, this is the perfect book to grab your attention. Beth Wiseman does a superior job of bringing some humour into the highly emotional, intense moments. This book will remain with you long after you have finished reading it.

 Definitely worthy of five stars. Now, the biggest problem is waiting for Book Two in this series!!!



This book was provided by the author and NetGalley. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own. A positive review was not required.


About the Author:


Beth Wiseman is the best-selling author of the Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan series. Having sold two million books, her novels have held spots on the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) Bestseller List and the CBA (Christian Book Association) Bestseller List. She was the recipient of the prestigious Carol Award in 2011 and 2013. She is a three-time winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and an INSPY Award winner. In 2013 she took home the coveted Holt Medallion. Her first book in the Land of Canaan series--Seek Me With All Your Heart--was selected as the 2011 Women of Faith Book of the Year. Beth is contracted with HarperCollins Christian Publishing into the year 2018, and she has published thirteen novels and thirteen novellas to date.

As a former newspaper reporter, Beth was honored by her peers with eleven journalism awards, including first place news writing for The Texas Press Association. She has been a humor columnist for The 1960 Sun in Houston and published articles in various publications. However, writing novels is where her heart is. She left her job as a journalist in 2008 to write novels fulltime.

Beth has a deep affection for the Amish and their simpler way of life, and while she plans to continue writing Amish love stories, she is also branching out into other areas. Her first non-Amish, contemporary--Need You Now--released in April 2012 and landed on the CBA Bestseller List. She enjoyed writing the story based in a town near where she lives, and she chose another small Texas town for her next non-Amish contemporary--The House that Love Built--which is based in Smithville, the same quaint town where movies such as Hope Floats and Tree of Life were filmed. Beth continued to spread her wings when she released The Promise in October 2014. Inspired by actual events, The Promise follows Beth's characters all the way to Pakistan. Beth was involved in the real-life rescue when her friend was held captive in Pakistan. Beth is currently working on book #2 in her new Amish Secrets series, tentatively titled Jacob's Ladder. Book #1--Her Brother's Keeper--recently released and was chosen as a Top Pick by RT Reviews Magazine.

Beth and her husband are empty nesters enjoying the country life in Texas. When she's not writing, she loves to travel, paint, and enjoy time with friends and family. You can find Beth at Fans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook where she interacts with readers and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bethwiseman.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Another MUST READ Novel from Popular Author, Suzanne Woods Fisher! Don't forget to enter the giveaway!!

                          "Mending Fences"
                       By Suzanne Woods Fisher



About the Book:


Genre: Christian fiction, Amish, Mennonite 
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.
Luke Schrock is a new and improved man after a stint in rehab, though everyone in Stoney Ridge only remembers the old Luke. They might have forgiven him, but nobody trusts him. He has been allowed to live at Windmill Farm under two conditions. First, he must make a sincere apology to each person he’s hurt. Second, he must ask each victim of mischief to describe the damage he caused.
Simple, Luke thinks. Offering apologies is easy. But discovering the lasting effects his careless actions have caused isn’t so simple. It’s gut-wrenching.
And his list keeps growing. Izzy Miller, beautiful and frustratingly aloof, also boards at Windmill Farm, and Luke’s clumsy efforts to befriend her only insult and annoy her. Eager to impress, Luke sets out to prove himself to her by locating her mother. When he does, her identity sends shock waves through Stoney Ridge.
“A funny, heartwarming story of friendship, love, and the possibility of happily ever after.”—Amy Clipston, bestselling author of Seat by the Hearth
“Suzanne Woods Fisher has written a sweet and poignant story you won’t want put down. Definitely a must read!”—Kathleen Fuller, bestselling author of the Amish of Birch Creek series
 My Thoughts:

Another masterpiece from the master storyteller, Suzanne Woods Fisher!! This author is a true wordsmith who never disappoints!!! I was captivated from the first page of the book to the last!! Of course, this is no surprise , as this is the case with every book this author creates!! This novel will not allow itself to be put down, at least that was my excuse, when I read long into the night! 

This book is the first in Suzanne's new series, "The Deacon's Family". I loved revisiting Stoney Ridge and my many friends who I have met in some previous stories. New characters appear and draw the reader immediately into their lives. An Amish "Bad Boy" is a an example of the unique problems that this author addresses with understanding and grace. Who would ever dream of a young man from the Plain People having a problem with addiction. We tend to think of this peaceful community being exempt from problems of the world. The reality is that they are no different from you and I!! The problems and aftereffects of addiction, abandonment, dealing with a troubled past filled with grief are described in such depth that the reader feels the pain and confusion alongside the characters. The theme of dealing with these by learning to trust in God's love and forgiving  and healing power is present throughout . How does one learn to trust , self and others??  Can a relationship develop between two hurting people both attempting to recover from such a painful past??  

The book is not without humor. Just when you need a moment to process the serious challenges, the author uses her talent to"touch your funny bone". And it is done is a way unique to Suzanne!! 

The plot moves rapidly with unexpected twists and turns at every corner. I must admit that I was glued to my chair. I could NOT put this book down. 

My favorite quote from the book says it all, "Every saint has a past and every sinner has  a future." What a deep thought! And, how true it is!! God works in the lives of every single person!! We, as humans, often reject His plans! What  a mistake that is!

This is definitely a five star book!! Now, comes the anticipation and wait for the next in this fabulous series!!

Suzanne, can you write a bit faster, please?????

This book was received from the author and CelebrateLit. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.


Click here to purchase your copy.
About the Author:
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @suzannewfisher.
Suzanne Woods Fisher has a specialty: she writes about real people living in faith-based communities. With over 750,000 copies of books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than twenty-five books, ranging from children's books ('The Adventures of Lily Lapp' series) to novels ("The Choice") to non-fiction books ("Amish Peace: Simple Living for a Complicated World"). 

When Suzanne isn't writing, she's probably playing with puppies. She's been involved with Guide Dogs for the Blind for over fifteen years. Raising puppies, she says, is like eating a potato chip. You just can't stop at one. 

Readers are invited to stop by Suzanne's website at: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

More from Suzanne

A Friend in Need

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” –Walter Winchell
Luke Schrock was nearly friendless. He returned to Stoney Ridge in Mending Fences after a stint in rehab only because his bishop, David Stoltzfus, strongly encouraged him. And everybody knows you didn’t say no to your bishop.
But nobody else in town wanted anything to do with Luke. They forgave him for the trouble he’d caused in his last downward spiral, the one that went too far. The one that even scared Luke. Forgiving him was the easy part. The Amish of Stoney Ridge were intentional forgivers. It was their trust—that’s what he would have to earn. Trust was a fragile thing. Once broken, it wasn’t easily mended.
Somehow, David was still able to look past the behavior to see the best of Luke Schrock. He didn’t stop there. He found a family who was willing to take Luke in, and he spent hours with him—at times as a mentor, at times as a father figure, but mostly as a friend.
A loyal friend can have a powerful impact. Consider those friends in the town of Capernaum, who carried their paralyzed friend to Jesus for healing—so determined to get to Him that they dragged his stretcher up onto a roof, broke through the roof tiles, and lowered him down. Can you imagine being in the crowd, listening to Jesus, as straw and tile pieces and branches and bugs started to drop down from the ceiling? A shocking display…of devoted friendship. And what a miraculous outcome for that paralyzed man!*
I won’t tell you how Luke’s story ends—only that he works hard to find ways to make amends to those he hurt, to regain trust. Especially the hard-to-earn trust of a brown-eyed beauty named Izzy.
Do you have a real friend like David Stoltzfus, who walks in when the rest of the world has walked out? Or maybe the better question, for you, for me, is to ask ourselves if we are friends to others like David Stoltzfus was to Luke Schrock. I know I want to be.
*This miracle is reported in three gospels: Mark 2:1-12, Matthew 9:1-8, Luke 5:17-26.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, March 4
Quiet Quilter, March 5
CarpeDiem, March 5
Among the Reads, March 6
BigreadersiteMarch 8
Splashes of JoyMarch 10
EmpowerMoms, March 10
Vicky Sluiter, March 13
Mary Hake, March 15
Pause for Tales, March 16
Hallie Reads, March 17
The Becca Files, March 18

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of an Amazon Kindle!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/de7d/mending-fences-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Great Author to Keep Your Eyes On! Make sure that you enter the giveaway!


                     "Fatal Homecoming"
                       By Stacey Weeks

About the Book:
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release date: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Write Integrity Press

It was murder. She was sure. And that assurance could cost her life.
Undercover RCMP officer Rick Chandler poses as a detective in the small town of Chenaniah River. He is investigating the possibility of a corrupt police force when Jessie returns to bury her brother, and she refuses to believe evidence that point to her deceased brother’s involvement in drug trafficking. Soon, the same person that murdered her brother targets her. Can Rick help Jessie dodge bullets, escape fires, and exonerate her brother before the attacks escalate?

Jessie Berns has returned to her hometown to find answers about her brother’s suspicious death. With the help of an old friend, Detective Rick Chandler, they pursue a truth that someone is willing to do anything to keep hidden—even kill again. They uncover decades-old secrets that expose hidden sins and threaten the lifestyles of high-powered people in their small town.
As they close in on the devious mastermind manipulating the community, it becomes frighteningly clear to Rick that Jessie is not the one calling the shots in her amateur investigation. She is the killer’s new target.
 Click here to purchase your copy!
My Thoughts:

If you are looking for a great read, encompassing Christian values, that will keep you spell bound from beginning to end, this is the book for you! It has a riveting plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat , with your heart pounding!! My attention was grabbed on the first page and I just could not put this book down. This book is packed full of suspense.

Although Stacey Weeks is a new author to me, she is now on my list of favorite authors and I will be eagerly watching for her next creation!! Her characters are engaging, so vividly described that the reader easily identifies with them, feeling every fear, worry and challenge.

The plot was well developed with so many unexpected twists and turns that the reader is kept in constant turmoil. Just when you feel that you have figured things out, another situation arises. Family relationships are a major part of this tale. Estrangements from loved ones cause so much confusion and hurt. Throughout the many dangers a strong Christian message prevails. Forgiveness of the past and present, of both others and self, is only possible through a relationship with God. Healing is available but only with faith and trust.

A great novel packed full of romance and suspense! Don't miss it!

.This book was provided by the author and CelebrateLit. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

About the Author

Stacey Weeks: My primary ministry in life crowds around my dining room table like a ravenous herd every night. My husband and children are both my greatest blessing and greatest ministry opportunity. Caring for them is a privilege bestowed upon me as wife and mother.
I believe God simultaneously called Kevin and me into ministry. Kevin’s calling was clear – he is a pastor. I, on the other hand, took years to recognize the specific areas in which I was equipped and called serve. I believe that God has called me to meet Kevin’s needs, to meet the needs of our children, and to serve Him personally.

Guest Post from Stacey Weeks

A Pile of Stones
Often, the things I am studying in the bible make their way into my novels. At the time of writing Fatal Homecoming, I was reading the book of Joshua.
In Joshua chapter four, Joshua describes the pile of stones the Israelites built as a memorial to God. Those stones were evidence of the Lord’s provision for them. The monument was a reminder to future generations that God had delivered his people.
In Fatal Homecoming, Jessie needs to remember God’s provision. She wears a unique pendant passed down through the women of her family. Her necklace is comprised of river stones that represent the rocks from Joshua. They are to remind that God always meets His children in their moment of need.
Shortly after writing this necklace into Fatal Homecoming crisis struck a good friend of mine. As our church gathered around a suffering family to love and support them in their time of need, I decided to make a real pendant of stones to give to my friend to remind her and to remind me that God meets every need in His time and in His way.
The pendant of stones can be strung on a necklace or keychain. It is more than words on paper and more than a pile of rocks strung on a string. It was a reference point. They mark where God gave me a story to share so that others may know and believe.
If you are the lucky winner of this pendant of stones, I pray that every time you look at it, touch it, and feel the weight of it around your neck that you will remember to believe that your God is good. Always.

Stacey has also gifted all the blog readers with a short story to download. Enjoy!
Click here to download



Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, February 14
Blogging With Carol, February 15
Multifarious, February 16
Mary Hake, February 16
Bibliophile Reviews, February 17
Bukwurmzzz, February 17
Maureen’s Musings, February 18
Bibliophile Reviews, February 18
All-of-a-kind Mom, February 19
Texas Book-aholic, February 19
Ashley’s Bookshelf, February 20
Quiet Quilter, February 21
Inklings and Notions, February 21
Daysong Reflections, February 22
As He Leads is Joy, February 23
Simple Harvest Reads, February 23 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Spoken from the Heart, February 24
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 24
EmpowerMoms, February 25
Bigreadersite , February 26

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Stacey is giving away a grand prize of a beautiful handmade necklace (May vary from picture)!!
Be sure to enter the giveaway for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/da8a/fatal-homecoming-celebration-tour-giveaway


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

What's More Delicious Than Brunch?? Why,... a fantastic book entitled, "Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe"! Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

                                                 
               

About the Book

Title: Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe
Author: Carla Laureano
Genre: Christian Romance
Release date: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Tyndale
Baker and pastry chef Melody Johansson has always believed in finding the positive in every situation, but seven years after she moved to Denver, she can’t deny that she’s stuck in a rut. One relationship after another has ended in disaster, and her classical French training is being wasted on her night job in a mediocre chain bakery. Then the charming and handsome private pilot Justin Keller lands on the doorstep of her workplace in a snowstorm, and Melody feels like it’s a sign that her luck is finally turning around.
Justin is intrigued by the lively bohemian baker, but the last thing he’s looking for is a relationship. His own romantic failures have proven that the demands of his job are incompatible with meaningful connections, and he’s already pledged his life savings to a new business venture across the country—an island air charter in Florida with his sister and brother-in-law.
Against their better judgment, Melody and Justin find themselves drawn together by their unconventional career choices and shared love of adventure. But when an unexpected windfall provides Melody with the chance to open her dream bakery-café in Denver with her best friend, chef Rachel Bishop, she’s faced with an impossible choice: stay and put down roots with the people and place she’s come to call home . . . or give it all up for the man she loves.        

   Click here to purchase your copy.

   My Thoughts:

This is truly a most scrumptious book, no other words to describe it!!! The title gives a big clue to the deliciousness found between the front and back cover . After reading "The Saturday Night Supper Club"  by this author, I was prepared for a tasty read and indeed, it was!! As the main character is a chef, what else would you expect?? There were lots of detailed descriptions of every dessert that Melody made, causing me to have a strong desire to jump in the car and find the nearest bakery!

The underlying themes in this novel, family problems, healing broken relationships, attempting to find forgiveness and learning to forgive self and others are situations with which we can all identify. Learning to trust again is so very difficult. Melody is so vividly and realistically described that the reader finds themselves feeling her every emotion. Justin is the man of whom every woman dreams. Will a relationship develop when there are so many complications and challenges ??? 

The plot moves at a steady pace and keeps the reader engrossed from beginning to end. There are just enough twists and turns to keep one reading beyond bedtime!  This is a truly captivating tale that you should not miss. Entertaining, makes one think of deeper thoughts of forgiveness , as well as putting the greatest desire within , for tasty treats!! 
This author has an exceptional talent of describing so well that the reader can not only see a delectable baked book, but almost taste it, as well. 

I am eagerly awaiting the next book from the talented Carla Laureano!


This book was received from CelebrateLit and the author. The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest and my own.


About the Author

Carla LaureanoCarla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.

Guest Post from Carla

“Confessions of An Erstwhile Baker”

Like most females, baking is encoded somewhere deep down in my DNA. Call it nature or call it nurture, but at the earliest age, I figured out that the cute boy in my English class would talk to me if it involved chocolate chip cookies. Got my heart broken or had a friend betray me? I grabbed the mixing bowl and went for the brownies (even better if they’re served à la mode.) My friend was having a birthday? I made a cake drowned in pounds of buttercream.
I quickly graduated from the boxed mixes to the real thing when I got married and had a kitchen large enough to roll out dough. I would comb magazines for the best recipes and spend my weekends trying them out. I quickly became known for bringing beautifully iced Christmas cookies and delicious homemade cakes to work.
Then my husband and I moved our young family from Los Angeles to Denver, a relocation that was about 1000 miles northeast and 5000 feet up. Suddenly, every recipe I’d perfected in the previous eight years failed. Cookies burned to crisps, cakes fell, and don’t get me started on candy making. Gradually, I adapted my recipes (my beloved never-fail Toll House recipe took eight tries to get right) and even became an avid artisan bread-baker.
Then disaster. Or at least, what a baker would consider a disaster. After developing chronic health problems, I discovered that among other things, I was sensitive to gluten. The horror! In order to heal, I turned to the paleo diet, which eliminates all grains (there goes most gluten free recipes) and all processed sugars (there goes everything else). I’ve tried baking paleo-style, and while I can now make cakes that even my gluten-fiend family enjoy, it’s just not the same.
So what’s a once-obsessive baker do when she can’t eat her creations? She bakes for other people and goes on faith that they actually taste good… considering she can’t taste them herself.
It struck me that there was a spiritual lesson in that, and an obvious tie to Brunch at Bittersweet Café, which deals in large part with Melody’s faith journey. There are times when we have no idea if things are working out the way they’re supposed to, in which case we just have to trust the “recipe” and the input of friends and family who love us. Sometimes our instincts tell us when we’re off track, and sometimes we need that outside nudge from our “taste-testers” to put us back on course.
In any case, what Melody and I have in common is that we both bake to show our love for the people around us. And the process of baking my favorites, even knowing that I can’t enjoy them myself, can still be a selfless way to show people they’re important to me.
Fortunately, macarons, which happen to be made with almond flour, are still on the menu.

Blog Stops

Quiet QuilterFebruary 12
Among the Reads, February 12
Lighthouse Academy, February 12
By The Book, February 12
The Power of Words, February 13
As He Leads is Joy, February 13
Cultivating Us, February 13
Blossoms and BlessingsFebruary 13
Fiction Aficionado, February 14
The Lit Addict, February 14
All-of-a-kind Mom, February 15
100 Pages per Hour, February 15
Splashes of JoyFebruary 15
Bibliophile Reviews, February 16
Texas Book-aholic, February 16
C Jane Read, February 17
Moments, February 17
Back Porch Reads, February 17
Cordially Barbara, February 18
Genesis 5020, February 18
Simple Harvest Reads, February 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Livin’ Lit, February 19
Kat’s Corner Books, February 19
Life with the Tribe, February 19
Remembrancy, February 20
Vicky Sluiter, February 20
2014 and Beyond!, February 21
Daysong Reflections, February 21
Inklings and Notions, February 21
Pause for Tales, February 21
Cafinated Reads, February 22
Ashley’s Bookshelf, February 22
Two Girls and a Book, February 23
For the love of booksFebruary 23
God is Love, February 24
Book by Book, February 24
Janices book reviews, February 24
Lukewarm Tea, February 25
Carpe Diem, February 25
Bigreadersite, February 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away a grand prize package of a macron baking mat, a macron book, and a paperback copy of Brunch at Bittersweet Café!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/db0f/brunch-at-bittersweet-cafe-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Magnificent Brand New Series from Popular Author, Beth Wiseman!! "Hearts in Harmony"!

"Hearts in Harmony"       By Beth Wiseman Synopsis: They both love music. Will God deny what brings them such joy?   M...