25 Book Reviews

Sunday, October 22, 2017

An Easy, Fun Filled Read! Enter the Author's Giveaway!

"A Semi-Sweet Summer"
      By Jan Elder
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 18, 2017
Cassidy Cooper never wanted to set foot in Crystal Falls again. Ten years earlier, she’d given her heart to a boy who’d, in turn, humiliated her deeply. Now, back in town as the sole beneficiary of her sister’s estate, she’s determined to make her sister’s dream of an upscale chocolate truffle shop, come true.
Hunter Gray is very intrigued by his new neighbor. His escape artist cow, Marigold, engineers an introduction…but it’s not quite the first impression he was hoping for. Baffled by the nagging suspicion he’s seen this woman before, he plots to win Cassidy’s heart at every opportunity.
With the object of her unrequited love living within shouting distance, Cassidy prays for strength to forgive and forget. And Hunter? He just wants to get back to his own dream to grow his farm and get to know the pretty girl next door. If she’ll let him.
My Thoughts:

This novella is  a sweet, easy to read book, all about keeping and restoring relationships. The past is to be exactly that, what happened in times past should stay there, it is never too late to fix up a problem. God provides us with the power and desire to do so.

 The plot was well developed with romance , also including a bit of mystery. The conflict between the two main characters was at times sweet and funny, at other times, just exasperating!  Dealing with problems without God's help is always a path to failure and Cassidy and Hunter both had to learn to function within God's plan. The characters are realistically described, having some special little quirks that added some humor to situations. I experienced serious moments as well as lots of giggles as I read about the problem with a very important cow! 

Overall, this was a delightful read that stressed letting God heal the past and form the future. 
This book was received as a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.
Click here to purchase your copy of Jan's wonderful book
About the Author:

JAN ELDER is an inspirational romance writer with a passion for telling stories other women can relate to on a deep level. She strives to write the kind of book that will strengthen the reader’s faith, introducing the reader to a loving and forgiving Lord who walks beside us in our daily lives, while also providing an entertaining and engrossing love story.
Happily married for fourteen years to loving (and supportive) husband, Steve, the two live in central Maryland along with Jamie (a chubby black and white tuxedo cat), and Shu-Shu (a willowy tortoiseshell cat). On the weekends, Jan and Steve comb the nearby countryside in search of the perfect ice cream flavor.

Guest Post from Jan Elder

How did you come up with your premise? Is there a story behind your book? How did the story evolve?
When I first parked myself in front of my laptop, preparing to write A Semi-Sweet Summer, I was waxing nostalgic. Shortly before that, I joined a Facebook group, people from a church I had attended when I was a teenager. Memories flooded through me and a myriad of feelings, some quite strong, rose up to assault me. There were a great many pleasant remembrances, but what I recall the most about being in those “stuck in the middle” years was that there was a great deal of anxiety, the sensation of being so very different—certainly not part of the “in” crowd.
A large part of this book harkens back to my teenage years, my thoughts swinging to a boy I had the biggest crush on in high school. He was three and a half years older (I still remember his birthday) and he was definitely in the “elite” segment of our church youth group—the cool kids I so longed to be a part of. Sorry to say, I followed him around like a puppy, learned all of his favorite foods, chosen hobbies, etc. I try not to think I actually stalked him, but I was very aware of his presence, and searched for ways to be near him.
In A Semi-Sweet Summer, I tried to transfer some of that raging angst into fodder for Cassidy’s discomfort in finding her unrequited love living right next door. Cassidy never really fit in, hardly that enviable cheerleader, not a person that anyone would notice. Rather, she sees herself as sort of an ugly duckling. Now she’s back ten years later and it’s a tough situation. By this time, my characters have grown and changed from the people they were in high school. They are well on their way to the path God has set before them. And by the end, they are very different—kinder, gentler folks who have learned a bit more of what it means to truly love.
I like to think that God can use our experiences to help others through similar situations. Maybe this novel will provide some hope or closure for those who have been in the same boat, and spur them on to get past the pain. And hey, who doesn’t love a good story about baked goods, happy cows, and chocolate truffles?
As for me? The funny thing is, my husband has the same first name as my first love. He even has the same color hair, the same easy grin as that other guy. I guess one could say I am attracted to a certain type. But oh, my sweetheart is so much better. My guy is the man God had waiting for me. The other was only a pale imitation, just practice for the real thing.

Blog Stops

ASC Book Reviews, October 12
Remembrancy, October 16
A Greater YesOctober 19
Carpe Diem, October 19
autism momOctober 20
Quiet Quilter, October 23
Karen Sue HadleyOctober 24
Reading Is My SuperPower, October 25 (Interview)


To celebrate her tour, Jan is giving away a 12 piece box of Godiva Chocolates and a Kindle Fire HD Tablet with Alexa (Valued at over $100)!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c1fd

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Let's Get Into the Christmas Spirit!!!

"An Amish Christmas Love"

Four Novellas By  :  Beth Wiseman
                                 Amy Clipston
                                 Ruth Reid
                                Kelly Irvin


Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman
Three generations of Stoltzfus women are all living under the same roof. At twenty-five, Naomi has never been married, and both her mother, Barbara, and her grandmother, Ruth, have recently been widowed. Each nursing broken or lonely hearts, they also each have potential suitors. When a storm on Christmas Eve forces the three couples to take shelter in the basement of the Stotlzfus homestead, secrets are revealed, hearts are opened, and all three potential grooms drop to their knees for very different reasons—a proposal, a prayer, and an epiphany.
The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston
Emma Bontrager is spending her first Christmas alone after her husband of 45 years, Henry, passed away in July. Although the Amish don’t normally allow animals in their homes, a big, fat, orange barn cat keeps coming into Emma’s house. She shoos the cat away, but it continues to appear in her house, settling on Henry’s favorite wingchair. But the cat isn’t the only Christmas visitor: a group of young people help bring the Christmas spirit to Emma, reminding her that love and hope abide.
Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin
As a young man enjoying his rumspringa, David Byler gave his heart to an Englisch girl, but he eventually realized he couldn’t give up his Plain faith and family for her, so he let her go. He’s found a new love in his Bee County Plain community, Molly Shrock. Molly has been patient, waiting for the man she loves to love her back. Just as he is ready to propose, David makes a startling discovery: Bobbie McGregor, his Englisch love, is back. Will Molly’s prayers for a Christmas love be answered?
Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid
When a misdirected GPS sends Ellie Whetstone to the wrong address, she inadvertently finds herself breaking into the home of Amish man, Ezra Mast. Ellie hopes to fix up the house left by her aenti and sell it quickly, but a series of run-ins with Ezra and his young daughter have her questioning whether a hasty sale is the right move. Could this new place with its slower pace be the right home for Ellie?

My Thoughts:

What could be better to get into the Christmas spirit than by reading stories by some of my favourite authors of the Amish genre???  All of these novellas have a  clear message for us, one of true love during such a meaningful season, as well as being easy to read and relaxing. 

"Winter Kisses" by Beth Wiseman is the story that I will address. This was such an enjoyable read, as it included faith and love, at the same time, using humor to touch the funny bone. The characters are quirky, well described and so realistic. I easily pictured each in my mind as I read. Ruth was one feisty, full of energy character who gets in her share of trouble with her confrontational nature. But love for her family is apparent and still present in all situations. A variety of emotions went through me as I read this sweet story as secrets are revealed . Love prevails!!!

A great novella that was much too short !! I just wanted it to go on and on!!!

Great reading for the Christmas season which will soon be upon us. 

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

Charlotte Hubbard Writes Another Awesome Book!

   "A Simple Wish"
By Charlotte Hubbard


The Amish residents of Willow Ridge share their talents at the Simple Gifts crafts shop—and share the blessings of faith, hard work, and love with their community—even when family secrets bring unexpected challenges . . .

Making rugs for Simple Gifts has taught Loretta Riehl that an unassuming pattern can reveal surprising depth. People, too, have a way of defying first impressions. Drew Detweiler came to Willow Ridge under a cloud, but the handsome craftsman has gained the community’s respect for his upholstery skills and commitment to making amends for his mistakes. As her new brother-in-law’s twin, he’s joining the family for dinners and Sunday visits at the Riehl house, and Loretta can’t deny enjoying his attentions.

If only her dat were willing to let a little joy into his life. Cornelius Riehl grows more stern with each passing day, and Drew suspects there’s more to his moods than missing Loretta’s late mamm. Hoping to fulfill Loretta’s wish to live in a peaceful, happy home again, Drew sets out to learn the truth. It’s a journey that will bring to light painful realities—but also the chance to forge a new, honest, and loving future together…

My Thoughts:

This author has become one of my favourites when it comes to the Amish fiction genre. Every book is unique and goes far beyond the ordinary stereotype of what we normally think of in this genre. Charlotte always manages to tackle sensitive subjects, (those not usually dealt with when writing of the Plain People), with understanding and grace. 

 This book is the second in the Simple Gift series. It can be read as a stand alone and enjoyed as such, however, I found that after having read the first, this novel was like coming home to visit my friends, Loretta and Drew. The familiarity with the setting and characters spurred me on!! I was immediately caught up in their lives and could not put this book down !!

The characters are so vividly and realistically described that the reader can feel their every hurt, challenge, worry, joy! I must say that Cornelius is one character that actually scared me! I worried constantly about what this stern rather mean individual would do next to his poor daughters. The story comes to life as the characters are developed and I quickly identified with them. Would Cornelius ever allow his dear daughters to find the happiness that they deserve??  Loretta is such a strong , young lady! But, is she able to withstand the negative pressures put upon her by her father?? A developing romance finds huge roadblocks at every move. 

The plot is extremely well developed with twists and turns when you least expect them. Drew uncovers dramatic secrets that shocked me to the core, as they did  his daughters. The road to romance was a true roller coaster ride with many more dips than hills. The mystery and intense drama in this novel kept me glued to the page. 

Charlotte Hubbard, you did it again!! You kept me up long after my bedtime  reading this fabulous book!!! Definitely a five star book!!

I am anxiously awaiting the next book that this author creates!!

I received this book as a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

This book definitely makes you think deeply about the homeless! Make sure you enter the giveaway!

                              "Almond Street Mission"
                                    By June Foster


Name of book: Almond Street Mission
Author: June Foster
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 6, 2016
When Glorilyn Neilson’s nineteen-year-old brother, Tannon, goes missing without a trace, she’s frantic. Prayer and volunteering at the local homeless shelter in El Camino must fill the time until her sibling returns. But her sapphire eyes and auburn hair inadvertently cause a stir among the male population at the center. Her life changes one evening when she’s attacked by a burly vagrant intent on rape in the alley behind the building.
Jeremiah Goodman loves the Lord, but he’s homeless. When he witnesses a foul-mouthed vagrant overpowering one of the volunteers at the homeless shelter, he defends her, saving her from unwanted advances.
When Glorilyn offers him a way of escape from his impoverished lifestyle, he can’t tell her why he must live the life of a vagrant. What powerful secret keeps him on the streets?
Click here to purchase your copy.

My Thoughts:
June Foster is one of those unique authors who takes a difficult topic and addresses it with care and dignity. How many of us shy away from those dirty, homeless folks that pass by us on the street??? Isn't that the easy path?? Then , we can ignore the problem! However, that is certainly not what God wants us to do. The underlying theme throughout this book is one all of us need to heed. God loves everyone equally, regardless of how we look and where we are. Setting this example for us, He expects us to follow his lead. 
The characters are all so realistically described that I immediately became part of their lives. Caleb, Glorilyn , Tannon and Tank find themselves intertwined. Trust is a battle that each faces in their own, unique way.Don't we all strive to be accepted and loved for who we are? The author draws the reader right into this heartbreaking situation. God's love shining through us is what gets us through. I loved these characters for their acceptance and desire to improve the lives of others less fortunate.
The plot involves the problem that still and always will plague society,.... homelessness.  God is at work in every part of this story. The difficulties and heart breaking  challenges are used to bring the needy closer to accepting God's love! We are all equal in God's sight. Now, if only we follow His example.

This book was a great read. It stays with you deep in your soul long after you have finished reading it . How can each of play a part in curing these needs::

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Great Read! Enjoy a good book AND enter the author's giveaway!

About the Book:

Name of book: To Gain a Mommy
Author: Tanya Eavenson
Genre: Christian Romance
Release Date: December 10, 2016
They had a plan, but will it work?
Thirteen years ago, pediatrician Hope Michaels was the fool-hearted girl who came home from college to learn the man she loved was engaged to her twin. But now to move on with her life and accept a proposal of marriage, she must confront the one man who holds the key to the wounds of her past.Fire Captain Carl McGuire can put out any flame, except for the one Hope sparks within him. As she stirs up his life and heart, Carl knows some things never change. Even a past he’d rather keep hidden.
When a new neighbor moves in across the street who would be a perfect fit for their family, Mary and Brody form a plan to bring their dad and Hope together. But how will it work if Hope keeps pushing him away?
Click here to purchase your copy.
My Thoughts:

"To Gain a Mommy"  is a heart warming story that leaves you feeling warm, filled with joy. You are left with a definite desire to read the sequel to this great novella. 

All of the characters were realistic and so well developed that they are easy with whom to identify. I tended to walk alongside them on their somewhat rocky path of life. 

The plot moves steadily at a quick pace. There is a clear message within, reminding us that we must always deal with the past before our lives can move forward, as Hope and Carl discovered. The story is filled with real life struggles and bumps in the road, along with laughter, some sorrow but overcoming these is a faith in the Lord that alone can restore trust and happiness to all. What a great message to all of us!! 

Looking forward to Tanya's next book!!

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

About the Author:

Tanya Eavenson is a bestselling and an award-winning inspirational romance author. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book.

Guest Post from Tanya Eavenson

I’d like to thank Celebrate Lit for featuring my first novella in my Gaining Love Series, To Gain a Mommy, for this tour. I’m looking forward to visiting with you along the way!
Recently I was asked to share what inspired me to write To Gain a Mommy. Believe it or not, my inspiration came from a prayer.
Last year my employer offered me a great promotion, but the catch was I’d have little time to spend with my family. So I prayed, asking God for direction for my family, my job, and my writing.
God knows us so well. He knew I had a desire to work with other authors and to write my first novella. He also knew that without a push, I wouldn’t do it.
It all began with a simple post on my Facebook timeline. Another writer posted that she had messaged me but wanted to let me know since FB has a couple of message boxes (I had no idea!). I clicked on my messages, and there it was—the extra message box, filled. As I read through the messages, I found one asking if I’d be interested in joining a novella boxed set. Right away I knew God had answered my prayer.
Needless to say, I didn’t take the position at work and joined the boxed set. Since then, To Gain a Mommy has become an international bestseller and has been a finalist in two contests. My Gaining Love series continues to grow, with the third novella, To Gain a Bodyguard, releasing in time for Christmas. Isn’t God good!
The Lord tells us to trust in Him and that if we do, He will direct our paths. It still amazes me how the Lord works behind the scenes in our lives to give us hope and a future.
Yes, God gives us hope. He gives us a future. This is why I named my heroine in To Gain a Mommy Hope. Romans 5:5 says, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (NKJV). Although my heroine can’t see her future or what it might hold, she is reminded that God will not disappoint.
The Lord reminds us of the same in our own lives.

Blog Stops

September 19: Blogging With Carol
September 20: autism mom
September 21: Avid Reader Book Reviews
September 22: A Greater Yes
September 23: A Baker’s Perspective
September 24: Christian Bookaholic
September 25: Karen Sue Hadley
September 26: Singing Librarian Books
September 27: His Grace is Sufficient
September 28: Remebrancy
October 1: Bibliophile Reviews
October 2: Quiet Quilter
October 2: Multifarious
October 3: Vicky Sluiter
October 3: Texas Book -aholic
October 3: Artistic Nobody
October 3: All of a Kind Mom

Enter to Win a Prize!!!

In honor of her tour, Tanya is giving away a grand prize package consisting of a $5 Amazon Card and pillow cover from Redbubble! Click the link below to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c141

What Fun! A Scavenger Hunt by Author Chautona Havig! A Chance to Win a Prize!!

 "Speak Now"
By Chautona Havig

Bio: Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert. So, if her theology seems a little dry, or she gets a little long-winded, there’s an obvious reason for that. But she loves Jesus and the weather helps keep her on fire for Him! For more about why she writes, visit her website Bio page: https://chautona.com/bio/

I was given the book, "Speak Out" to read and review. The other books described below are equally as good reads!

Book Synopsis:
They met at a wedding and his children stole her heart. What started as a polite dance at the reception initiated a whirlwind romance. He admires her heart–not to mention her beauty. She feels more comfortable with him than anyone she’s ever met.

Their chemistry–so intense that they can’t risk affection. Their temptation threshold is simply too narrow to risk.

Cara has a unique talent for making anyone feel at ease. Jonathan prefers to listen rather than speak.

But some things must be spoken–never assumed.
My Thoughts:
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Chautona's novels and this one was no exception! It is just a delightful romance!  The characters were lovable, charming most of the time and the strong story line kept me engaged from the first to the last page of the book. I was particularly taken in to a loving relationship with the little girls who fell in love with Cara from the first meeting. What a wonderful little matchmaker, one of them was. The romance between Cara and Jonathon is not always smooth , as in reality. There are challenges and communication issues. Isn't that true of any relationship in life??? Can love overcome their problems?? 

 A great read!!

Featured Books

Volume1smPast Forward— A life lived intentionally. That’s how Kari Finley would describe the world she created on her farm for herself and her daughter, Willow.  But when Willow awakes one morning to find her mother with Jesus, that life changes in ways she never would have imagined.  Past Forward is a serial novel released in six volumes.

HLvol1smHearthLand— Intrigued by Willow’s lifestyle, Ralph Myner sinks most of his retirement fund into creating an intentional community.  People from all walks of life join together to “live life more deliberately.”

smalronReady or Not—When Aggie Milliken’s sister and brother-in-law die from a freak medical accident, the twenty-two-year-old recent college graduate is thrust into the role of “Auntie Mommy.”  One child would have been a challenge, but eight?  Follow her journey from inept babysitter to Mommy in the Aggie’s Inheritance series.
speaknowsmSpeak Now— When Jonathan Lyman met Cara at a wedding, he had no interest in forging a relationship.  Still grieving the loss of his wife, he didn’t know there’d be someone so perfectly suited to help soothe the pain that still gripped him and his children.  But Cara’s gentleness and adaptability proved to be exactly what the Doctor of doctors ordered.

hopecoversmDiscovering Hope— When Jay Brown overhears an epic brush-off, he and the brusher, Hope Senior, forge an unlikely friendship.  He’s an Indian immigrant.  She’s so All-American that her family dates back to the Mayflower. But through Christmas lights, epic laser tag, grief, saris, and a few hundred mistletoe sprigs, they may just form more than the friendship of a lifetime.

mfmsmManuscript for Murder—  When local celebrity, author Alexa Hartfield, finds her next novel played out as if a script for murder of local residents, she’s both grieved and incensed. With the help of a local officer, she’s on the hunt for who could have “dunnit” before the murderer kills another resident and her career.

prairiecoversmPrairie— When Jessa Davidson awakes in the place of her dreams, she finds herself thrust into a world that feels almost too good to be true. Only the new friendships she makes and the lessons the people of Prairie teach her help keep her rooted when her mind insists that none of it can be real.

confessionscoversmConfessions of a De-cluttering Junkie—  Kaye Harper has had it.  No one needs six can openers, four umbrellas per person, or a closetful of games all missing pieces.  So, with her family watching on in horror, and her feline nemesis determined to trip her up at every move, Kaye embarks on a de-cluttering mission that might just become a bit of an obsession.

cornerboothsm(1)Corner Booth—  Who knew you could lose your heart to someone you’ve never spoken to? When a strange girl stops at Dean Sager’s table and asks if she can join him to avoid a line out the restaurant door, he has no idea that this one shared meal will become a weekly ritual. But contrary to his talkative nature, Dean doesn’t say a word that day or any of the following days.  And an experiment in self-control becomes a lesson in really seeing and understanding people.

nonesoblindcoversmNone So Blind— Waking up in a house you don’t recognize and with a family hurt that you don’t remember them is hard enough.  But when it feels like you’re forced into a life you didn’t choose, things become almost unbearable.  The only think keeping Ella Weeks from running from it all is the one thing that survived her inexplicable memory loss—her faith.

jmsmJustified Means—  An organization designed to protect people where the law can’t, The Agency prides itself in a decade-long almost perfect record. But after an involuntary extraction, Keith Auger can barely stay ahead of those hunting down the woman under their protection.  It doesn’t make it easy when Erika Polowski is determined to escape from her “captors.”

notawordsmNot a Word— We all make mistakes, but Savannah Forrester had no idea that her biggest mistake has ruined the life of the only guy she’s ever really cared about. Todd “Mac” Mackenzie has allowed the town to think what he will of him to protect her reputation. But when she returns to Brant’s Corners, they both have some explaining to do.

shadowsfrontsmShadows & Secrets—  In the heart of medieval England, adventure awaits.  Philip Warden has known of “the creature” his entire life, but a chance encounter helps him discover that there’s more to a person than what you see, or don’t see, on the outside. Who knew he and the village pariah would have such great adventures together or become such close friends.

LoV1smLegends of the Vengeance— Sebastian Soranzo wants nothing more than a normal life in a village somewhere far away from the pirate ship where he lives with his father.  He can’t understand his father’s thirst for revenge and the drive to help those wronged by their governments. But when an old enemy catches up with them, Sebastian finds himself out in the Atlantic in a ship too small to make it safely to the east.

My Social Media Links:

My newsletter (sign up for news of FREE eBook offers): https://chautona.com/chautona/newsletter


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of the None So Blind Paperback, the Will Not See Paperback, a Journaling Bible (Choice of KJV or NLT), Prismacolor Pencils, and a Christian Hymns Album!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bd17

Blog Stops

September 29: The Scribbler
September 30: Just Jo’Anne
October 1: Quiet Quilter
October 5: Carpe Diem

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Featuring Chautona Havig



Grand Prize is all FOURTEEN books featuring during the scavenger hunt!*
1st - 13th place wins a copy of one of the books*

(Over $200 value)

*Books are in ebook format

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...