Archive | October, 2016

#BookReviews: A Sister’s Wish + An Amish Family Christmas | Book Pack #Giveaway

20 Oct

Don’t miss books three (A Sister’s Wish) and four (An Amish Family Christmas) in Shelley Shepard Gray’s Charmed Amish Life series. In A Sister’s Wish, when Amelia gets hurt, it sets off a chain of events that forces them to consider their future together—and face their past mistakes. There’s a chance for love… but only if Simon dares to trust Amelia with the secrets of his past. In An Amish Family Christmas, Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together . . . in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.

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Enter to win a book pack (a copy of A Sister’s Wish and a copy of An Amish Family Christmas) from Shelley. Five winners will be chosen! The winners will be announced November 7th on Shelley’s blog!

 

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A Sister’s Wish

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2e2XBTQ

In Shelley Shepard Gray’s third book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a respectable young woman finds herself falling for an Amish man from the wrong side of the tracks.

Amelia Kinsinger is the perfect Amish woman—at least according to her neighbors. And while Amelia takes pride in her role as homemaker, she’s also harboring a secret: She’s been in love with bad boy Simon Hochstetler for as long as she can remember. Too bad he’s about as far from “perfect” as an Amish man could get . . . but that’s exactly why she’s so drawn to him.

Life hasn’t been kind to Simon. He ran away from an abusive home at fifteen and things went downhill from there. Eventually, Simon landed in prison. But the experience changed him. Now back in Charm as a grown man, he’s determined to make a new life for himself and not think too much about his wild past . . . unless it pertains to Amelia.

He’s loved Amelia for years. To him, she represents everything good and kind in the world. When he realizes that she returns his affections, he starts calling on her in secret, even though her older brother Lukas—who just happens to be Simon’s best friend—has made it perfectly clear that Amelia deserves better. Simon disagrees and believes he’s the only one who can truly make her happy.

But when Amelia gets hurt, it sets off a chain of events that forces them to consider their future together—and face their past mistakes. There’s a chance for love . . . but only if Simon dares to trust Amelia with the secrets of his past.

My thoughts:

I have really enjoyed The Charmed Amish Life stories, and A Sister’s Wish is my favorite of the series! Shelley Shepard Gray is a wonderful storyteller who brings Charm, Ohio, and its residents to life with vivid details and descriptions and excellent characterization.

From the moment I began reading A Sister’s Wish, I was completely captivated by Amelia and Simon’s story! I loved the complexities of the Kinsinger and Hochstetler families and their dramatic and emotional journeys. Beautifully told, this poignant story is sure to tug at your heartstrings!

For those who have not read Books 1 and 2, A Sister’s Wish can be enjoyed independently. However, I encourage you to read the series in order for a greater understanding and appreciation of the characters and their stories.

 

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An Amish Family Christmas

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2dYRwqr

In Shelley Shepard Gray’s fourth book in her Charmed Amish Life series, an unlikely Amish romance reveals that Christmas is a time for family, miracles—and love.

Ever since his father died in a tragic fire, Levi Kinsinger has felt adrift. Newly returned to Charm, Ohio, Levi is trying to fit into his old life, only to discover he seems to have outgrown it.

But when Julia, his young widowed neighbor, asks for his help with a Christmas project, Levi finds a sense of purpose for the first time in months. She and her daughter are new to Charm and could use a friend, a job Levi takes personally. Soon enough, friendship grows into attraction, but Levi can’t help having doubts. There’s something about Julia that doesn’t ring quite true . . .

Like Levi, Julia Kemps has survived her fair share of hardships—but only by hiding the truth of her past. Being an unmarried mother in an Amish community was unthinkable. Feeling hopeless, Julia did the only thing she could do: she moved to a new town and pretended to be a widow. But meeting Levi, she’s hopeful for the first time. Little by little, she begins to imagine telling him her darkest secret, and eventually . . . perhaps even sharing her life with him.

Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together . . . in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.

My thoughts:

An Amish Family Christmas is a wonderful culmination of a wonderful series! I have loved visiting the special community of Charm, Ohio and eagerly anticipated Levi Kinsinger’s story. When Levi returns to Charm, he meets a young woman, Julia, who needs his help. But with secrets to keep, will Julia let herself trust her neighbor and the help he offers?

I really enjoyed Levi and Julia’s dramatic story and their coming to terms with the pain and hardships of their pasts. I also delighted in revisiting the other members of the Kinsinger family as they gathered together in love and support of each other.

An Amish Family Christmas is the fourth and final book in The Charmed Amish Life series. If you enjoy Amish fiction and have not read this series, I encourage you to do so from beginning to end!

 

Shelley Gray

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

 

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I received a complimentary copy of A Sister’s Wish and An Amish Family Christmas. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.  Click here to read what other bloggers are saying about these books.

#BookReview: 40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood by Sarah Humphrey

18 Oct

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40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood by Sarah Humphrey

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2dPEdIC

Wouldn’t it be marvelous if mothering came with a concrete set of instructions—an easy recipe we could follow? Instead, motherhood challenges women to find their faith, their true selves, and their family through daily doses of trial and error. It is a brilliant and healing time of life that is full of joy, pain, and beauty with a small side of crisis (and humor). What mothers do not know, they learn. And through this lifelong process of learning, they nurture and care for the most precious gifts on earth: children. In a modern society where moms often have a full and busy plate, these 10 minute daily devotions focus on six key topics of motherhood:

-Self-acceptance
-Self-care
-Reconciling with grief, hope and expectations
-Generosity
-Presence
-Forgiveness

In addition to the devotions, these beautiful pages are adorned with handmade illustrations to help you refresh from long days or even occasional sleepless nights. So, grab your colors and a little quiet time for yourself while doodling at the kitchen table. You will be grateful you did!

 

My thoughts:

In 40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood, Sarah Humphrey has created a great source of refreshment and encouragement for mothers. These daily devotions focus on six topics of motherhood, and each day begins with a scripture and is followed by a short devotion and simple prayer. In addition to the devotions, handmade illustrations are included for journaling, doodling, and coloring.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is found in Day 12’s devotion. “Motherhood is hard work. Although there are books about it, there is not a manual for each of your particular children. You have been chosen to be their mother, and in the mistakes and in the joys, you are the best woman for the job.” I thoroughly enjoyed the insight and inspiration this book provided, as well as the joy it cultivated. 40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood is a lovely book and a wonderful gift to give yourself and others!

 

sarah-humphrey

Often considered a dreamer and silly heart, Sarah Humphrey uses inspiration from her most beloved career, motherhood, to fuel her passion for writing, creative movement and teaching. She has and is authoring several books and children’s books. Sarah currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and three beautiful, bouncy kids.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

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I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.  Click here to read what other bloggers are saying about 40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood.

#BookReview: High-Risk Reunion by Margaret Daley

17 Oct

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High-Risk Reunion by Margaret Daley

Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/2ecVmMj

When district attorney Tory Carson returns home after a long day in court prosecuting a gang leader, she finds her house trashed. Concerned that the vandalism is connected to the trial, the local police chief calls the Texas Rangers…and her former love Cade Morgan responds. Tory’s history with Cade—and the secret they share—makes her reluctant to let him back into her life. But Tory doesn’t want to choose between bringing down a gang leader and protecting her teenage daughter. With the threat escalating the longer she tries the case, the safest place for Tory and her daughter is at Cade’s ranch. But can Cade protect them long enough for Tory to bring the criminal to justice?

 

My thoughts:

High-Risk Reunion is an exciting tale of suspense and second chances! Danger lurks around every corner, and Texas Ranger Cade Morgan is determined to keep Tory Carson and her daughter safe. When threats and danger escalate, will he be able to offer the protection they need?

Margaret Daley kicks off this new series with action and intrigue, crafting a cast of characters I cared about and rooted for until the very end. I really enjoyed Cade and Tory’s story and look forward to continuing the Lone Star Justice series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.

Friday Freebies

14 Oct

Freebie Graphic- BuzzingAboutBooks.com

 

Island Refuge

Island Refuge by Kimberly Rose Johnson

Kindle

Her engagement off, Zoe Griffin retreats to tiny Wildflower Island in the Puget Sound. Hiding out as a cook and maid at a shabby bed-and-breakfast seems crazy for a chef who’s used to running her own five-star kitchen. And just as she starts to feel at home, her klutzy mishaps make Zoe fear her handsome new boss will fire her.

Dr. Nick Jackson is done with medicine, and owning a B&B is as far from doctoring as he can get. He needs help, but his only employee’s mistakes give him doubts. As Zoe lets her defenses down, Nick begins to see a competent and caring woman. One whose wounds are as deep as his own. But as they fall for each other, Nick and Zoe must learn the hardest lesson of all—to forgive. Only then can they heal the past and embrace the future . . . together.

 

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Angels Watching Over Me by Michael Phillips

Kindle | Nook 

Two young Southern girls, one the daughter of a plantation owner and one the daughter of a slave, barely survive the onset of the Civil War and the loss of both their families. When these tragic circumstances bring them together, they join forces to discover if they can make a life for themselves. As their preconceptions give way to experience, they gradually learn to value their contrasting and complementing strengths and skills as they face the formidable task of keeping body and soul together in the aftermath of this devastating war. But is it possible the Lord they have come to know has something bigger in mind for the plantation than either of them can imagine?

The Devoted iPad Mini Giveaway

13 Oct
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You’re invited back to Stoney Ridge for a story of dreams deferred and hopes fulfilled in The Devoted!

Bright, curious, and restless, Ruthie Stoltzfus loves her family but is stuck in a sea of indecision about her future: Should she stay Amish? Or should she leave? She’s done all she can to prepare to go–passed the GED, saved her money–but she can’t quite set her journey into motion.

Patrick Kelly is a young man on a journey of his own. He’s come to Stoney Ridge to convert to the Amish and has given himself thirty days to learn the language, drive a buggy, and adapt to “everything Plain.” Time, to Patrick, is of the essence. Every moment is to be cherished, especially the hours he spends with Ruthie, his Penn Dutch tutor.

Ruthie’s next-door neighbor and cunning ex-boyfriend, Luke Schrock, is drawn to trouble like a moth to a flame. Rebellious, headstrong, defiant, Luke will do anything to win Ruthie back–anything–and Patrick Kelly is getting in his way.

Suzanne is celebrating the release of The Devoted with a special giveaway!

One winner will receive:

  • A copy of The Devoted
  • An iPad Mini 2 16GB

Enter today, but hurry! The giveaway ends on November 2. The winner will be announced November 3 on Suzanne’s blog.  Enter to win by filling out the form when you click here, or click the graphic above to enter to win.

#BookReview: From Depths We Rise by Sarah Rodriguez

11 Oct

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From Depths We Rise by Sarah Rodriguez

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2d8Kc8H

Sarah Rodriguez experienced more loss and heartache in a short period of time than most people will endure in a lifetime. Infertility. Miscarriage. Her husband Joel’s cancer diagnosis (not once, but twice). Her husband’s death. Her two-week-old baby girl in a fight for her life. . . And still, Sarah clung to her faith. From Depths We Rise is a miraculous story of hope and overcoming. Sarah’s is a journey of beauty from ashes, of marching toward purpose out of the pain. Her awe-inspiring story will encourage you to grasp tightly to your faith and to rise above even the most daunting of circumstances.

 

My thoughts:

From Depths We Rise is an extraordinary story! Sarah Rodriguez has experienced unfathomable suffering and loss, and her journey through this heartache and pain is one of “beauty from ashes”. “What I have to share will hopefully make you laugh-it might even make you cry-but I pray it leaves you filled with hope, because even as the story ends it is really just beginning.” Sarah’s faith is inspiring and her candid story is sure to touch all who read it. Heartrending and hope-filled, From Depths We Rise is a book not soon to be forgotten!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing.  All thoughts expressed are my own.

#BookReview: The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep

10 Oct

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The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep

Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/2dKDRU1

Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a an angry duke. When the Charles Town family she’s to work for never arrives to collect her from the dock, she is forced to settle for the only reputable choice remaining to her—marriage to a man she’s never met. Trapper and tracker Samuel Heath is a hardened survivor used to getting his own way by brain or by brawn, and he’s determined to find a mother for his young daughter. But finding a wife proves to be impossible. No upstanding woman wants to marry a murderer.

 

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My thoughts:

The Captive Heart is a frontier adventure you don’t want to miss! Michelle Griep takes readers to the Carolina backcountry, and with vibrant details and descriptions, brings to life the ruggedness of the American wilderness. All of the characters are richly drawn, and I loved Samuel and Eleanor and their tumultuous journey. Drama and danger abound as these two face numerous threats, all the time fighting to survive in the face of adversity. Bringing to mind The Last of the Mohicans, I was captivated by this story and would love to read more about these memorable characters!

I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All thoughts expressed are my own.