Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Book Review: Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette

About the Book:

Having escaped Egypt with the other Hebrews during the Exodus, Shira is now living in freedom at the foot of Mt. Sinai, upon which rests the fiery glowing Cloud containing the shekinah glory of God. When the people disobey Yahweh and build a golden idol, the ensuing chaos gives Shira an unexpected opportunity to learn the arts of midwifery. Although her mother wishes for her to continue in the family weaving trade, Shira's gifts shine brightest when she assists with deliveries. In defiance of her mother, Shira pursues her heart's calling to become an apprentice midwife.

When a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself bound to a man who betrayed her, the caretaker of three young children, and the target of a vengeful woman whose husband was killed by Shira's people, the Levites. As contention between the Hebrew tribes and the foreigners fans the flames of another dangerous rebellion, Shira will come face-to-face with the heartbreak of her past that she has kept hidden for so long. How can she let go of all that has defined her to accept the love she's denied herself and embrace who she truly is?

My Review:

Once again, author Connilyn Cossette brings the events of the Exodus to life through an amazing story.  The first person narrative really worked to get inside the characters' heads, and her fine-tuned word choice made the story come alive.

I really loved how the main character Shira was at a point in her life where she could identify her strengths, weaknesses, and interests, although she was real in that she didn't always recognize the unique strengths she had.  When she arrived at that place, it was a beautiful and fulfilling thing.

The most amazing thing about this story was that Yahweh was right there, and Shira could see Him working in her life.

Fans of biblical fiction should read this book.  Second in the Out From Egypt series, it does stand alone.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author:

Connilyn Cossette is the CBA-Bestselling author of the Out from Egypt Series from Bethany House Publishers. There is not much she likes better than digging into the rich, ancient world of the Bible, discovering new gems of grace that point to Jesus, and weaving them into an immersive fiction experience. Connect with her at www.ConnilynCossette.com

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Book review with a Giveaway: A God of All Seasons by TH Meyer & Amy Breitmann




Click here to purchase your copy.
About the Book

Book title: A God of All Seasons
Author: TH Meyer & Amy Breitmann
Release date: August 28, 2017
Genre: Non-fiction


What if your spiritual life landed in the grip of a wintered soul? How does one’s faith survive?

Discover the beauty and challenge of spiritual seasons as Tammy & Amy remember parts of their stories in order to draw out your own. Learn to perceive God’s companionship even when you don’t sense His nearness. And unearth, not only a God who created the seasons, but one who also walks with you through them.

Book Trailer Video: https://youtu.be/fWupS5gTRoc

My Review

I really enjoyed this devotional book.  The concept of seasons of one's spiritual life was one to mull over, in addition to each devotion.  The authors had a warmth about them as they each told their stories.  I appreciated the conversational tone that many devotions had, or in some cases, the descriptions meant to transport the reader to a certain setting.  Each devotion was followed by questions for personal reflection, which helped to center the reader on each day's topic.

I received an ARC of this book for review purposes, through Celebrate Lit.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Authors

After living in Asia and Europe, T.H. Meyer’s family planted roots on their Texas farm in 2008 where they live among fields of Rye and Bermuda. Tammy is a writer and creative strategist who also moonlights as a social media specialist. She’s the mother to three children and author of A Life of Creative Purpose: Embrace Uniqueness, Explore Boldness, Encourage Faith and Social Media Strategies: Discovering Powerful Tools of the Trade without Losing Your Soul for Christian entrepreneurs maneuvering the daunting and soul-sucking world of online marketing.

Join Tammy on her website: The Art of Fear Not: An Adventurous Life of Faith http://www.tammy-h-meyer.com/.

Or stay in touch with her at:
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hendricksmeyer/pins/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tammy.h.meyer/ for personal photos and thoughts from home.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tammy.hendricksmeyer
Or Twitter: https://twitter.com/tammy_h_meyer/lists & find out what’s on her Twitter “Lists.”

Amy’s (Amy Breitmann) bio: Amy weaves together ministry and writing alongside her husband and two children in Augusta, GA. She is a writer, speaker, and founder of “The Lydia Project,” a national ministry for women facing cancer and is a storyteller for ViBella Jewelry, an international company that employs artisans in Haiti and Mexico. Her published works include pieces in Chicken Soup of the Soul, Mosaic: Sojourners of Faith, and Guideposts Magazine.



To celebrate her tour, T.H. Meyer is giving away a Kindle Fire!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bd4e


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Book Review: Love's Faithful Promise by Susan Anne Mason


You can purchase your copy of this book here.

About the Book:

A Stirring Story of Love and Faith and America's Great Promise

When her mother suffers a stroke, medical student Deirdre O'Leary makes the difficult choice to put her career on hold to care for her. Dr. Matthew Clayborne is renowned for his amazing results with patients, but when Deirdre approaches him about helping her mother, she finds him challenging and surly. Deirdre has had enough of complicated men in her life. After her fiancé left her, she vowed never to give a man that kind of power again.

Widower Dr. Matthew Clayborne is devoted to two things: his work with wounded soldiers and his four-year-old daughter, Phoebe. He won't abandon either of these priorities to care for one older woman. However, when Phoebe suffers a health scare, they're offered respite at the Irish Meadows farm, where his daughter's weakened lungs can recover--but only if he cares for Mrs. O'Leary.

Matthew intends to hate Irish Meadows, yet he immediately feels at home, and soon both Mrs. O'Leary and Phoebe are showing improvement. But since he has no intention of leaving his life up north forever, and Deirdre has sworn off marriage in favor of her career, how will they deal with the undeniable attraction between them?

My Review:

The third book of the Courage to Dream series features grown up Deirdre and Connor O'Leary as they make their way in the world.  It was very comfortable to spend time with the O'Leary family for the wonderful conclusion to this series.  A reader could easily read this book as a stand-alone, but it was richer for me, having "known" the family.

There were many joys, sorrows, and surprises to experience throughout this book.  I highly recommend it!  Fans of historical romance will certainly enjoy reading this book.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author:

Susan lives in a suburb near Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where she works part-time as a church secretary. She is a wife and the mother of two amazing kids, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). In addition to writing, she likes to scrapbook and to research her family history online. You can connect with her on Facebook or on her website www.susanannemason.com.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Molly Jebber Scavenger Hunt Stop #1

How exciting!  My blog is the first stop in the Molly Jebber Scavenger Hunt!  Read all the way to the bottom of this post to collect the first word of the scavenger hunt.  Here's how it works:

Scavenger Hunt Stops 

Stop by each blog to collect their special word then input the sentence it creates into the giveaway for NINE extra entries! While you are at each stop, don’t forget to comment to claim your bonus entries in the giveaway (the bonus entries for a comment on a blog can be claimed multiple times but only once in a 24 hour period).

August 8:  Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses
August 9:  Quiet Quilter
August 10:  Smiling Book Reviews
August 11:  Have A Wonderful Day
August 12:  With a Joyful Noise
August 13:  Bigreadersite
August 14:  A Baker’s Perspective
August 15:  Karen Sue Hadley
August 16:  Blogging With Carol
August 17: cherylbbookblog
August 18:  Baker Kella
August 19:  His Grace is Sufficient
August 20:  The Power of Words
August 21:  Blossoms and Blessings


About Molly’s Books:
Change of Heart 

A modern new century brings a young Amish woman an unexpected new life—and a chance to discover love’s true way home...
Ohio, 1899. Soft-spoken midwife Becca Yost lived by her Amish   faith’s strict rules—until her fiancĂ© jilted her before their entire community. She’s never been away from home, but the
bustling Englischer town of Massillon, Ohio, is a welcome unexpected refuge. Especially when she goes to work for Dr. Matt Carrington, who shares her passion for healing those in need. His
outgoing spirit and gentle strength show Becca a surprising new world of choices—and irresistible love. But there is one formidable obstacle: Matt’s wealthy mother is determined her son will marry a society woman.  With her newfound resolve challenged, Becca decides that she and Matt must not be destined for each other after all. She accepts that she will have to forge a life alone—until a wrenching crisis and life-changing revelations teach her that true faith lies in all things, especially impossible second chances. . . 
You can read my review of this book here.

Grace’s Forgiveness 
A handsome newcomer with secrets shows a yearning Amish woman a chance at happiness—but their love will need all their courage to keep . . .
Grace Blauch is skilled at midwifery—and crafting quilts that help others pass on messages of enduring family love. But a disfiguring birthmark keeps the young Amish woman from a husband and home of her own—until Mark King arrives from another community. His
helpfulness and independent nature earn Grace’s respect. And he finds her outspoken ways and determination to do right irresistibly appealing. Soon Grace is planning a wedding quilt of her very 
own . . . until her father discovers that Mark’s shunned brother is hiding somewhere in town . . .
Grace can well understand why Mark took such a risk once she hears his wrenching reasons. But she fears even prayer will not convince her father to restore his blessing on their union. She wills herself to face the end of her dreams, but sudden danger and an impossible act of generosity will show her that abiding hope can inspire the most precious of miracles . . . 
Click here to read my review of this book.

Two Suitors for Anna 

In 1903 Ohio, a young Amish woman must choose between the life she has long planned for and a new, very different future...
Since Anna Plank moved to Berlin, Ohio, with her widowed mamm
and two schweschders, she’s found a real sense of belonging. As soon as her beloved Noah Schwartz proposes, they’ll begin a new chapter here together. But Noah has a surprise for Anna: once they’re married, he wants them to travel and live in other communities. Anna, who loves her home and her job at the quilt shop, is distraught when he takes her hesitation as rejection—and leaves.  Daniel Bontrager’s arrival adds to Anna’s confusion. Since taking over his late brother’s farm, the handsome roofer has offered friendship and gentle attentions. Yet the pull of first love is strong and deep, especially when Noah returns. Through each revelation, Anna must search her
faith for guidance, knowing she is choosing not just a husband, but a life to nurture and to share...
You can read my review of this book here.

About Molly: 

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! 

Guest Post from Molly: 

In TWO SUITORS FOR ANNA:
Anna and her sisters are hiding a secret. One Anna knows is wrong to keep. The love of her life wants her to leave her family behind and travel with him. Her life is in turmoil, and she isn’t sure which way to turn? What does the future hold for Anna?

Have you read CHANGE OF HEART and GRACE’S FORGIVENESS? The first two books in the Keepsake Pocket Quilt Series? They are available online and in bookstores.  I love interacting with you, and thank you for participating! 

Giveaway 


Blog Tour Prize is an Amish/English Basket!
One big item: Brand New Coach Purse!  Each day, visit the designated blog, comment, and your name is entered in the contest for a chance to win!

The word to collect from this blog is AMISH.  Thanks for stopping by, good luck, and comment below!

Go here for the giveaway.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Book review with a giveaway: The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Title:  The Return

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Release date: Sept 1, 2017
Genre: Amish

In a wild country, the true cost of love may be more than they can bear

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans—but then she never had to. Not until the night she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she’s developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances.

Greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far?

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.


My Review

Suzanne Woods Fisher has written a compelling story in this third installment of the Amish Beginnings series.  I enjoyed walking through this story with beloved (or not) characters from the previous books in the series, however, someone who picks up this book will easily be able to read it as a stand-alone.  Even in the beginning of the Amish in America, the importance of community was emphasized.  From other books I have read about this period in our country's history, I think that I would have been fearful because of the unrest with the Indians.  The calm strength of the Bauer family was inspirational.  As a history fan, I also appreciated the history within the history of this early American tale.

Fans of history, romance, and Amish will all appreciate story and the careful research that went into this book.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Revell, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

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

The Three Sisters’ Garden: Corn, Squash & Beans!

Corn was a new food to the immigrants to the New World, introduced to them by Native Americans. Soon, it became an essential part of their daily diet, in one form or another. Growing it brought yet another new discovery: companion planting in the form of the Three Sisters’ Garden.


According to Iroquois legend, corn, squash and beans were three inseparable sisters who only grew and thrived together. 18th century Native Americans wouldn’t have understood the science behind why companion planting worked, but they knew it did. Beans, like all legumes, have bacteria living on their roots that help them absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that plants can use. Corn, which requires a lot of nitrogen to grow, benefits from the legumes and provides a pole support for the beans to climb. Low growing squash leaves shade the soil and prevent weed growth. Their sharp and prickly leaves deter pests. This tradition, of planting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, became a sustainable system to provide long-term soil fertility among Native American tribes that farmed.

The wisdom of planting Three Sisters’ Garden was adopted by the immigrants, including our own Betsy Zook from The Return. Betsy learned of the technique while a captive among a tribe of Indians and later, after she had been returned to the Amish, shared her knowledge with Anna and Bairn.
Have you ever considered growing a Three Sisters’ garden? All you need is the right kind of seeds, a mound of dirt in a sunny spot, and to not forget to water. Mother Nature will do the rest.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award-winning author of novels about the Old Order Amish. Her interest in the Plain People began with her grandfather, who was raised as a Dunkard (German Baptist) on a farm in Pennsylvania. Suzanne loves to connect with readers! You can find her on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

*Images courtesy of Dream Home Improvement and Technology Exchange Lab

Blog Stops

August 1: Quiet Quilter
August 1: A Baker’s Perspective
August 1: Remembrancy
August 2: Bigreadersite
August 2: lighthouse academy
August 2: Zerina Blossom’s Books
August 3: Genesis 5020
August 3: Book by Book
August 3: Blogging With Carol
August 4: Seasons of Opportunities
August 4: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
August 4: Carpe Diem
August 5: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses
August 5: DEE’S QUILTS & BOOKS
August 5: Jeanette’s Thoughts
August 6: Red Headed Book Lady
August 6: Just the Write Escape
August 6: Locks, Hooks and Books
August 7: A Reader’s Brain
August 7: Pause for Tales
August 7: Splashes of Joy
August 8: Bibliophile Reviews
August 8: Christian Bookaholic
August 8: Live.Love.Read.
August 9: Blossoms and Blessings
August 9: Mary Hake
August 9: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)
August 10: For the Love of Books
August 10: The Fizzy Pop Collection
August 10: A Simply Enchanted Life
August 11: The Power of Words
August 11: Karen Sue Hadley
August 11: Neverending Stories
August 12: Cafinated Reads
August 12: TinaTruelove
August 12: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
August 13: God’s Little Bookworm
August 13: Southern Gal Loves to Read
August 13: Connie’s History Classroom
August 14: Vicky Sluiter
August 14: By The Book

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is doing an amazing giveaway from August 1 through 14! Check it out:
Four winners will receive one of the prizes below:

An Amish Gift Basket and a copy of The Return
Amish popcorn sampler and a copy of The Return
The Amish Beginning 3 book set series

One grand prize winner will receive:

An iPad Mini

You can enter at Suzanne’s website (http://suzannewoodsfisher.com/contests/) or on her Facebook page (http://gvwy.io/q1kb9u4)