Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Charlotte Hubbard Celebrates the Joy and Challenges of Motherhood in Her New Novel, "A Mother's Gift"!

      "A Mothers Gift"
    By Charlotte Hubbard

Synopsis:

Charlotte Hubbard celebrates the joys and challenges of motherhood in this uplifting story, set amid the warmth and tradition of an Amish Missouri farm community.

For Leah Otto, marrying Jude Shetler is a long-held dream come true. As a young girl, she was captivated by his good looks and talent as an auctioneer. When Jude, now a widower with three children, begins to court her, Leah doesn’t hesitate. Other men may not appreciate her tomboy ways, but Jude values Leah’s practical nature and her skill with the animals she tends, and both enter the marriage with joy and optimism.

Three months later, Leah feels as if her world is coming down around her. Her twin teenage 
step-daughters, Alice and Adeline, are pushing boundaries and taking far too many risks, while five-year-old Stevie deeply misses his mother. Leah, more at ease in a barn tending her goats and chickens than in a kitchen, struggles with her housekeeping duties. 

Then a baby is abandoned on their doorstep, and Leah must search her soul. Caring for little Betsy fills her with renewed purpose and the strength to begin pulling her family together. With Jude’s steadfast support, Leah finds that what she once thought of as a happy ending may be something even better—the beginning of a life rich in love, faith, and unexpected blessings.


My Thoughts:

For those readers who are like myself and LOVE the Amish fiction genre, this book is a MUST read!! Charlotte Hubbard has become one of my favorite authors in this field. She writes with a clear knowledge of these Plain People and portrays them as they really are, filled with questions, problems, worries and times of joy, just as you and I have.  This is NOT your typical "cookie cutter" Amish story of girl meets boy, fall in love, get married..... You know what I mean! Charlotte brings us a story of the importance of faith and forgiveness within a blended family who meets many unusual and serious problems on their journey toward becoming a loving, caring, forgiving family! 

The characters are so realistically and well described that the reader easily becomes part of them, feeling every pain along this rocky road they travel. Leah became my best friend as I empathised with her problems with her twin step daughters! Oh, what quirky unique girls they are!! I felt for Leah as she fought a seemingly unending battle of trying to get these teen girls to accept her and love  her . Jude was the kind of man that we all wish to have as a husband, kind, supportive and oh so understanding. 

The plot was overflowing with unexpected twists and turns. There were surprising complications at every turn of the page. I was so engrossed within this book that  the world passed me by as I read! I have to admit that I read this book in two days!! No time for housework when I have a Charlotte Hubbard book in my hands!

This author shows us Amish life as it really is, with differing personalities and similar problems to you and I.  Leah exhibited a strength that I only wish that I had!  What love and forgiveness she maintained throughout the story !! God's love shines through and helps this family find comfort and forgiveness. 

This is definitely a five star book!!  Don't miss this superb tale!!!


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

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Fantastic New Read from Carla Laureano! Enter the author's giveaway!


           "The Saturday Night Supper Club"
                       By Carla Laureano

About the book:


Genre: Christian fiction/romance fiction
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard Award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back . . . even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.
Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t…

Click here to purchase your copy!About the Author
My Thoughts:

As Carla Laureano is an author new to me, I had no idea what to expect of her book. Would it interest me and hold my attention?? I am delighted to say that this book kept me mesmerized from beginning to end!! This novel has truly captivating powers to keep the reader engaged ! It not only tugged at my heartstrings, but educated me in the food science as I learned culinary terms  that I had never heard of before. 

The character descriptions were so realistic and vivid that I felt that I knew each one in a very personal way. They were so easy with whom to identify. Their challenges, hurts and accomplishments became part of me. I cried with them and rejoiced as well! As the main character , Rachel , cooked her way to happiness, I became knowledgeable about choosing the proper ingredients to make a creative, delicious dish. Yes, she educated me in a very unusual way!! 

The plot was intense at times and filled with unexpected twists and turns. This author created a very different storyline that stresses the need for God to be allowed to plan and carry out His wishes for our lives. We must put our trust in him. This Christian message is one that shines out throughout even the roughest, most hurtful times of life. 

This quick paced novel is definitely a five star book!! Don't miss this excellent read!

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



pic_LGb_Laureano_CarlaAbout the Author:

Carla 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 Laureano

I’ve got a confession to make: I have a cooking problem.
It started early and innocently enough, flipping through my mom’s cookbooks and marking things I wanted to try. Making cakes and muffins from a mix. Flipping frozen steak patties. Doctoring canned spaghetti sauce.
It wasn’t long before I got into the hard stuff: muffins from scratch, slow-cooked marinara, cast-iron seared and oven-finished rib eyes. Over the years, I tried to kick the habit numerous times, but every time things got tough, I found myself falling off the wagon and heading back into the kitchen. Even hosting dinner parties. Yes, dear reader, I pulled my hapless friends into my madness. To my shame, I even got some of them hooked with their own addiction.
Before I knew it, my obsessions started creeping into my day job. No longer was it enough to write contemporary romance about normal people who order take-out. No, I had to write chefs and passionate home cooks and describe the food in the books just as lovingly as I did a first kiss. And then the final straw—a book series centered entirely on food and the culinary profession, beginning with The Saturday Night Supper Club.
All joking aside, cooking really is an addiction that I haven’t been able to kick. As a writer, I spend hours locked in my own imagination, creating things out of words and ideas. And while it’s immensely fulfilling, it’s a long, painstaking process that takes months, even years, before I can release the final product into the world. While there’s a large amount of planning and analysis involved in creating a book, the work is still mostly in my head.
Which is why I find cooking to be such a relaxing creative pursuit. Dicing a pile of vegetables into perfectly uniform cubes may take the same concentration and precision, but it’s concrete and measurable. It becomes a personal challenge to do something better than last time, improving by tiny, nearly imperceptible increments. It’s the closest to meditation that my always-on brain ever experiences, clear of all thought except for my activity at the present moment.
And yet, simultaneously, food is ephemeral. Mistakes last only as long as it takes to eat them or toss them directly into the trash can, depending on the nature of the mistake. If a sauce breaks, I toss it and start over. If I burn something, I either cut off the burned part or I order takeout and try again the next day. There’s an element of experimentation and instinct and whimsy that isn’t hampered by the pursuit of perfection. Let’s face it, a mediocre chocolate chip cookie beats a perfect celery stick any day of the week.
It was natural, then, to write a chef heroine who had dedicated her entire life to the pursuit of culinary perfection and explore all the ways that food makes our lives and relationships richer. How it anchors our memories. How we nurture others by feeding them. How a simple meal becomes meaningful not because of the food, but because of the connections we form with others over the dinner table.
In the end, I guess my cooking problem isn’t that much of a problem after all. If you need me, I’ll be in the kitchen.

Blog Stops

Rachel Scott McDaniel, February 20
Just Commonly, February 20
Mommynificent, February 21
Among The Reads, February 21
A Greater Yes, February 21
Fiction Aficionado, February 22
Quiet Quilter, February 22
The Power of Words, February 23
Janices book reviews, February 24
C Jane Read, February 24
Faery Tales Are Real, February 24
All of a Kind Mom, February 25
Inklings and notions, February 25
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 25
Carpe Diem, February 26
Smiling Book Reviews, February 26
Splashes of Joy, February 27
Simple Harvest Reads, February 27 (Guest post from Mindy)
Radiant Light, February 28
Moments Dipped in Ink, February 28
Baker kella, February 28
Pause for Tales, March 1
Book by Book, March 1
Bigreadersite, March 1
amandainpa, March 4
By The Book, March 5
Pursuing Stacie, March 5

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away a grand prize of a $200 Visa Card for the winner and a friend to attend a cooking class!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c9b4

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Great Read from Author, Laura Hilton! Thank goodness for second chances! Enter the author's giveaway!


"Love By the Numbers"
By Laura V. Hilton

About the Book:

Genre: Christian Amish fiction
Release Date: February 6, 2018
After her fiancé dies in a buggy accident, Lydia Hershberger is invited to Jamesport to manage her Mennonite aunt’s gift store while her aunt and uncle are on a mission trip. While there, Lydia gets acquainted with her aentie’s best friend, Bethel Bontrager, and her grown son, Caleb. Lydia is surprised to find herself drawn to handsome clockmaker, Caleb Bontrager. But in spite of an instant flame of attraction between them, he doesn’t seem interested. In fact, pesky Caleb treats her like he doesn’t even like her.
Bright and sparkly. That’s Caleb’s first impression of Lydia. He’s always been attracted to sparkly things. In fact, his affinity for those things, and the trouble they can cause, are exactly why he’s determined to change his ways and settle down. With Lydia’s aentie gone, he is handling the books for the gift shop and is forced to spend too much time in her presence.
When God offers Lydia a second chance at love and family, will she take it? Or will the secret Caleb harbors cause her even more heartbreak?
 My Thoughts:

I must admit that the Amish genre is one of my favorites in which to immerse myself and forget reality for a while! Laura V. Hilton is quickly becoming one of my "go to" authors, for this very purpose. This new book is one that was not one of the typical Amish tale...girl meets guy, fall in love, get married, type of story. It was unique in its overall theme as well as in leaving some soul searching long after the book was finished. 

The underlying theme of second chances, overcoming one's hurts and injustices , are dealt with in a such a fashion , that the reader is left thinking of his/her own life. Just how difficult is it to forgive  and forget ???  Overcoming the past is not an easy thing to do, as this book shows us. The importance of forgiveness in order to walk in God's path is exhibited throughout this story.

The characters are so vividly and well described that I was quickly immersed in their lives. Their hurts became mine as both Lydia and Caleb became my very good friends. I do love a book that allows me to identify with the characters and this book certainly met that qualification. 

The plot was well developed and I was caught up in the story after having read the first chapter. There was unexpected conflict galore as each of the main characters had secrets in  their pasts that had to be addressed and dealt with. Until conflicts are resolved, healing cannot begin. God's grace gives us the power to have second chances. 

This was one book that I hated to put down.  I just had to know the final outcome of these dear people. This is a five star book!! I am eagerly waiting for Laura's next new creation!

This book was received as a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own. A positive review was not required.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author:

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New.
Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children.
When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.

Guest Post from Laura V. Hilton

Story Behind the Story – Love by the Numbers

Caleb was a minor character in couple of my Amish books – I think he first made a by name appearance in Amish Wanderer and Christmas Admirer. A minor character. Lydia was a very minor one-time appearance in those stories, too, a girl who happened to be in the room with Bethany and Susanna at a wedding. (This story is stand alone!) But I knew when Caleb first saw Lydia that they would end up together by the way he reacted to her presence. I wondered what their story was.
Powerful Tornado - destroying property with lightning in the background
March and April is tornado season in Arkansas (and in many other states) and in 2011 we had a bad one. I was out and about that day, driving to the county seat with my five children, and there was something in the air. It was heavy, hard to breathe, and the sky was black off to the west. I’m sure I broke speed limits racing to Melbourne, and then home again so we wouldn’t be out in the storm.
Later that afternoon, tornado sirens went off. One went over our house – even from the basement we could hear the sound of a train roaring overhead. Scary. And still thanking God it didn’t touch down. Highland, Ash Flat, and Evening Shade, Arkansas were hit hard. Buildings completely gone. When we drove out that way later in the week there were pickup trucks in the tops of trees. Other things in odd and unusual places. I always wondered how they got the treetop pickups down. I would’ve stopped to watch if I’d been out there when it was done. I did hear that some of those trucks weren’t damaged at all. Unreal. My two sons and my husband both helped with clean up and my oldest son went with a crew to Joplin, Missouri, to help with clean up there.
There has been other occasions I’ve been out in tornados. Once I was in the Walmart parking lot when a tornado went through a town west of it. We could see the funnel touching down from where we stood. It did hail when we were on our way home, praying our house was still standing. It was.
Head shot of a blue eyed Siamese cat on a green background
On a different note, in 2016 my oldest son came home with a kitten. She was the sweetest thing ever, and he named her Rosie. Sadly, I was highly allergic to her. I couldn’t even be around the children after they played with her. They’d have to go change clothes and wash their hands, otherwise I couldn’t breathe. Rosie was full Siamese, blue eyes and all, and she was so adorable. I allowed my son to keep her in the shed. I was about four chapters into the story when Rosie found some poison (I think, not sure) and died. We all cried.
Also about the time I was writing this, a very dear friend of a lot of writers died. I told my street team I was going to name a character after her, and was told a lot of writers would be. I agreed. And a lot of their books were released already. But Aenti Judith in this story is named after Judy Burgi. I still miss her and pray for her family.
One of the verses my daughter had to memorize in Sunday School was 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. ‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.’ Perfect for the faith message in Love by the Numbers! I love how God always provides the perfect verse for my characters’ faith messages. I’m pretty sure this verse is one I never memorized, and I never would of thought of it on my own, but God put it in my daughter’s lessons for Sunday School, so she had to memorize it – and thus I did too since I help my daughters learn their verses every week.
I hope you’ll enjoy the story!

Because of Him,
Laura V. Hilton

Blog Stops

Pursuing Stacie, February 13
Quiet Quilter, February 13
Red Headed Book Lady, February 13
Babs Book Bistro, February 13
Blogging With Carol, February 14
Among the Reads, February 14
Blossoms and BlessingsFebruary 15
SusanLovesBooks, February 16
Carpe Diem, February 16
Splashes of JoyFebruary 17
vickysluiter.com, February 18
A Reader’s Brain, February 19
C Jane Read, February 20
Daysong ReflectionsFebruary 20
margaret kazmierczak, February 20
Bibliophile Reviews, February 21
A Greater Yes, February 22
Texas Book-aholic, February 22
Pause for Tales, February 23
Have A Wonderful Day, February 23
cherylbbookblog, February 24
Simple Harvest Reads, February 24
Christian Bookaholic, February 25
Janices book reviews, February 25
For The Love of Books, February 26
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 26
Bigreadersite, February 26

Giveaway


In honor of the tour, Whitaker House is giving away
Grand Prize Package: Love By the Numbers, Healing Love (Amish of Webster County #1), and The Snow Globe (The Amish of Jamesport #1) by Laura Hilton; “The Angels Cry Holy” scented candle in tin with lid from Abba Jerusalem
1st Place Package: Love By the Numbers, The Snow Globe (The Amish of Jamesport #1) by Laura Hilton, and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils
2nd Place Package: Love By the Number by Laura Hilton and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils!!!
Click the link to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c