25 Book Reviews

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Just Imagine! You wake up, not knowing who you are or where you live!! Enter the Author's Giveaway!

"None So Blind"

About the Book:

Author: Chautona Havig
Release date: September 29, 2013
Genre: Contemporary
Dani and Ella Weeks–two women who share one thing in common. The same life, the same family, and the same body.
When Dani wakes with no knowledge of who or where she is–no memories of her life at all–David and Dani Weeks discover that “til death do us part” takes on an entirely unexpected meaning. Practically speaking, Dani died. But she didn’t.
What’s a gal to do?
In a desperate attempt to separate the old life from the new, Dani insists on a new name, a twist of her old one–Ella.
Ella’s doctors can’t explain what happened. Her children can’t understand why she doesn’t know them. David, her husband, finds himself torn between admiration for the “new” version of his wife and missing the woman he’s known for over fifteen years.
Will Ella ever regain her memory? Why does their pastor suspect it’s one great hoax?
Click here to purchase your copy.
My Thoughts:

Having had read some of Chautona's other novels, I was looking forward to this new one, which seemed to be very different from her usual creations. I certainly was NOT disappointed!! This author has a very special talent enabling her to portray faith, always in a positive light, in all of her main characters! Yes, some of them falter, as any other person does, in the difficult journey that life takes us on, however, there is always hope at the end of tunnel. 

Chautona outdid herself in this novel! Her characters were so realistic and well described that I immediately found myself living with Ella , experiencing her every pain and confused thought. What a horrible fear she must have felt! She went to bed one day, awoke another, not knowing who or where she was!!! Who were these strangers who seemed to know her, even when she did not know herself??  I absolutely loved the way the author portrayed a positive faith by the characters, even when in their darkest moments.  Ella was a unique individual who had strength beyond measure. I so admired her. She managed to bring happiness to others even while she faltered with her own life. Honestly, can you imagine living in a situation having had no memories of the past?? 
All of the characters were lovable in their own way. They had unbelievable struggles that took faith and time to overcome.

The plot moves steadily towards a happy ending. Does Ella regain her memory??? That, I can not tell you! However, this very strange situation this family finds themselves in , becomes the most positive , valuable experience that each has ever had . There were a few twists and turns, but I was kept busy just guessing what Ella would attempt to do with her life  next!!

The underlying theme of forgiveness, second chances and the acceptance of change comes through loud and clear. We all need to have the faith that this family exhibits! 

Was this book different from the usual that this author creates? Definitely, yes! But in a great way!! Don't miss this novel!  A great read!

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

About the Author

media-headshot-smChautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert with her husbnd and five of her nine children. Through her novels, she hopes to encourage Christians in their walk with Jesus.

Guest post from Chautona Havig

“Who are you, again?”
“I’m Joe’s, daughter. Vyonie.” My sister pointed to me. “This is Chautona.”
For some odd reason, the niece she spent the least amount of time with, Aunt Doris remembered—somewhat. But she didn’t remember Vyonie from what I could tell. She smiled at me, that amazing, sweet smile I’d never forget. She asked how I was. I always thought that Mrs. Sanderson—mother of John, Alicia, and Carl on the TV show, Little House on the Prairie—looked and sounded like Aunt Doris. Of course, that memory of me didn’t last. A minute or two later, she gave me a big smile and asked if she knew me.
It gave me a picture of what it must have been like for my character, Ella Weeks—to wake up every day with these children there—children who knew her, but she didn’t remember. The hurt she caused every time she had to struggle to admit she didn’t know something she probably should—again. So, I thought I’d ask her to tell us about it.
Ella: People often assume that the worst part of losing my memory are the memories that disappeared, too. But it’s not. A much as I’d love to remember my wedding day, my daughter’s first steps, my son’s first words, or that moment I realized I was pregnant with my third, those are blessings that I don’t think about often. No, what hurts most is seeing the pain in my children’s eyes when they need me to remember something and I can’t. For me, not remembering their first day of kindergarten is an inconvenience. For them, it’s a further reminder that if they didn’t tell me, I wouldn’t know them. That without them pushing themselves into my life, I wouldn’t care about them any more than any other human in my path. I do now, of course, but not at first. I hate that they heard David say once, “…she doesn’t know me. She doesn’t trust me. She doesn’t know our children. She tries, but she could walk out of our lives tomorrow and never miss us.”
Living so close to it every day, I missed those little bits of pain that I inflicted without meaning to, but when I went with our Bible study to a nursing home and visited with the residents, then I saw it. Women with tears running down their cheeks as loved ones patted their hands and tried to comfort. I heard one man offer to find a woman’s father. She squeezed him close and whispered, “It’s okay, Daddy. I love you. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
The man promised to try to find her father in the meantime.
Those people there—most of them didn’t realize they didn’t remember someone important. They didn’t struggle to remember this or that. Their dementia had gotten bad enough that their lives had gone from constant frustration to, by comparison, blissful oblivion.
And their families withered with each forgotten face, name, moment.
That’s what my “episode” did for my family. It caused them pain that just resurfaced every time something new happened. Pain that I didn’t know I inflicted. And since that visit, I have a greater compassion and awareness of just how amazing and powerful memories are.
I also have a greater appreciation for those beautiful words in Isaiah when the Lord promised… “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.”
You see, there’s a lifetime of the sins that Jesus died for buried somewhere in my brain—or, at least at one time there was. I know that those sins were in there, because the ones I committed yesterday are there today. The ones I’ve already confessed and been forgiven for—I beat myself up for the next morning. A week later. A month. But the Lord has wiped them clean. I just keep smearing them back out there again as if to say, “But You don’t get how BAD I was.” Yeah. The arrogance, right? Because an almighty, holy God can’t possibly understand how sinful a sinner that He had to DIE to save from those sins… is. The arrogance? That’s an understatement.
But all those years before that horrible morning… gone. Maybe I stole something. I don’t know. It was forgiven, wiped clean, and then wiped from my memory. I can’t rehash it with the Lord over and over. I can’t drag it back up like a wife who won’t let her husband forget the one time he forgot her birthday. I can’t use it as a whip to beat myself up with. And I think there’s something beautiful in that.
Do I wish I could stop hurting my family with my blank past? Of course. But am I also grateful for a living picture of the fresh start the Lord gives His people at salvation? Definitely. I hope I never take it for granted again.

Blog Stops

June 15: Genesis 5020
June 15: Lane Hill House
June 16: The Scribbler
June 17: Back Porch Reads
June 18: Carpe Diem
June 19: Quiet Quilter
June 20: Mommynificent
June 22: Pursuing Stacie
June 22: Remembrancy
June 23: Pause for Tales
June 24: Bigreadersite
June 25: Lots of Helpers
June 28: Just Jo’Anne
June 28: Henry Happens


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize that includes:
1 $25 Amazon Gift Card
1 Paperback Copy of None So Blind
1 Paperback Copy of Will Not See
1 Lampwork Necklace
1 Cool denim mini-backpack (to hold your stuff!)
1 Custom Travel Mug (with quote from book)
1 FREE eBook code to share with a friend!
Check out this cool video from Chautona: https://youtu.be/5K_cTjlg4S8
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ba35

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Charlotte Hubbard allows us once again to visit Promise Lodge! A refuge for all!!

"Weddings at Promise Lodge"
    By Charlotte Hubbard


Founded by the three Bender sisters, the Amish community of Promise Lodge is thriving—and growing. In fact, residents are thrilled to welcome a charismatic new arrival—one who may not just strengthen their faith, but put it to the test . . .

When Christine Bender meets widowed Bishop Monroe Burkholder, it’s love at first sight. But Preacher Amos finds him too good to be true, and is determined to find out what’s behind his sudden, unannounced arrival. Still, the colony needs a new bishop, and everyone is excited to have a younger, more progressive leader. As for Christine, Monroe returns her affection, but her bubble is soon burst with the arrival of a young woman half his age . . .

Leola Duff claims Monroe “ruined” her and she now intends to make an honest man of him. But throughout the process of discovering the truth, Christine never doubts that Monroe is the fine man she believes him to be—and never wavers in her faith that all will work out as it should. And when Monroe is forced to confess the truth before the entire congregation, he can only pray that open hearts and minds will prevail, allowing him a future at Promise Lodge—with Christine . . .

My Thoughts:

Charlotte Hubbard has once again written a true winner in Amish fiction. When this book arrived in my mailbox, I eagerly ripped open the parcel , so that I could once again reconnect with all of my friends at Promise Lodge, plus possibly meet some new ones. This is a continuation of a series taking place in a place that I would love to visit, a lodge in peaceful surroundings, filled with loving friends. Anyone is welcome, as long as they stick to Christian values. This is not to say, that this is a place without its problems and challenges!! We all realise that even the most beautiful environments have their share of problems!. 

The characters in this book are believable and so realistically described that they  pull you into their lives from the very first page. The  reader walks alongside them as they encounter problems, endure many struggles,  but overcome their hardships through their love of their Lord and His ability to heal. Second chances and new beginnings are the underlying theme throughout this tale. 

The plot moves quickly and steadily keeping one totally engaged, with the frequent twists and unexpected turns . As I read, I was never quite sure what new challenges would appear just as everyone's lives were taking a turn for the better. 

Of course, who doesn't love a story about weddings??? This is the season! If you love the Amish genre as I do, don't miss this book! It is a sweet romance that will leave you examining your own faith , long after finishing the book. 

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

To be released on June 27th.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

"Amish Brides" is the perfect read for a summer's day!! Be sure to enter author, Molly Jebber's Giveaway!

         "Amish Brides"

  By Jennifer Beckstrand
       Molly Jebber
       Amy Lillard

A Collection of three novellas!

Genre: Amish
Release Date: May 30, 2017

Jennifer Beckstrand 

Spirited Suvie Newswenger has three marriage proposals—but not from the man she truly loves. No matter how lonely widower Aaron Beachy is, he seems determined to stay that way forever. Now, with help from his matchmaking great-grandparents, Suvie will do whatever it takes to rekindle Aaron’s hope—and spark happiness for a lifetime.

By Molly Jebber

Madeline Lehman fears her fiancé’s family will never accept her because of her rebellious sister. She’s postponed her wedding to Joshua Stutzman until they see the truth. But when Maddie adopts her sister’s abandoned baby, can she and Joshua find a way to unite their families through forgiveness as well as love?

        By  Amy Lillard

Reba Schmucker longs to be a bride. And she knows her mischievous nieces just wanted to help when they “chose” Abel Weaver for her. But he’s the last man in the world she’d ever marry. There’s no way her independence and his stubbornness could ever get along—unless a sudden crisis somehow leads to understanding . . . and love.

By Jennifer Beckstrand

Spirited Suvie Newswenger has three marriage proposals—but not from the man she truly loves. No matter how lonely widower Aaron Beachy is, he seems determined to stay that way forever. Now, with help from his matchmaking great-grandparents, Suvie will do whatever it takes to rekindle Aaron’s hope—and spark happiness for a lifetime.

My Thoughts:

I have to admit that one of my favorite genres to read is Amish fiction. So ... whenever I get the chance to read a brand new book being released, I am excited and can hardly wait to get started. 

As one of my recent reads was Jennifer Beckstrand's book, Return to Huckleberry Hill, I was delighted to once again meet my good friends, Felty and Annie, a quirky, dear old couple who greatest wish is to have everyone of their grandchildren, as well as great grandchildren,  to find a love like they have themselves had for years and years. Jennifer's unique style of writing enables the reader to truly love these humorous characters and giggle along with them as they achieve their goal.  It is a sweet love story that engages you from beginning to end. 
Molly Jebber's novella, "Joshua's Bride", was also an enjoyable read. This author has the underlying theme of  the importance of friendship , love within the family and community and the hardest battle of all, forgiveness. The characters were well described in a realistic way that made them easy to identify with. They may live a peaceful community , however they are humans and like you and I have daily challenges. The plot moved slowly but steadily towards a goal. I did feel , at times,  that it was a bit lengthier than necessary, but at the same time, I had time to think about what I was reading. 

Amy Lillard's novella, "A Summer Wedding in Paradise", drew my attention immediately , as we have an annual vacation in this tiny town in PA. Amy's storyline was quick paced and not only had a main plot but a few minor subplots to keep the reader's attention.  The characters were so well described that you find yourself walking alongside them as they encounter their problems and find ways to solve them . The addition of the three nieces was clearly  a great idea. Their adorable and somewhat unconventional matchmaking ideas just had to make you smile, as well as feel some of Reba's frustration. 

This collection of novellas was so much fun to read. Each author used their special talents to draw you into the stories within an Amish Community. 
A great book to take along to the beach!!!

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

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Authors:

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!

Amy Lillard won the 2013 Carol Award for her first Amish romance Saving Gideon. She was also a Maggie Awards finalist. Born and bred in Mississippi, she now lives with her husband and son in Oklahoma. Visit her at amywritesromance.com.

Jennifer Beckstrand is the award winning Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series and The Honeybee Sisters series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer was nominated for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award and the 2015 RITA® Award, and Huckleberry Hill won the 2014 LIME Award for Inspirational fiction. Both Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Christmas appeared in Examiner.com list of top ten inspirational books for 2014. 

Her much-anticipated Amish series, The Honeybee Sisters, was released summer of 2016 and has created a lot of romantic buzz. Sweet as Honey received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and Sweet as Honey and A Bee in her Bonnet were both awarded Top Picks from RT Book Reviews. Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth and the Honeybee sisters’ aendi Bitsy. 

Guest Post from Molly Jebber

Do you remember picking out your bride’s dress? The cake? Food? Location? The invitations? Weddings are fun, no matter how simple or extravagant. The marked event fills your heart with joy sharing in the special day with the bride and groom. I remember the day I married Ed, my best friend and soulmate. We planned the details together, and we still talk about what a heartwarming memory it is for us. I’m sure if you and I met for a girl’s chat, we’d enjoy hearing each other’s account of when we exchanged vows with our sweethearts.
Amish brides may not have the flowers, rings, and fancy food and cake, but they have their traditions and share in the excitement like we do. I enjoyed writing “Joshua’s Bride”. I hope you enjoy it too.

Blog Stops

June 1: Quiet Quilter
June 2: cherylbbookblog
June 7: A Greater Yes
June 9: Splashes of Joy
June 12: Karen Sue Hadley
June 13: Bigreadersite


To celebrate her tour, Molly is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra   entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b3a7

Another Fantastic Read by One of My Favorite Authors, Vannetta Chapman!

An Amish Proposal for Christmas  By Vannetta Chapman Synopsis: Her deepest Christmas wish will bring more than she imagined…in this novel by...