Monday, December 10, 2018

The Winter Sister by Megan Collins


This was a pleasant surprise in the way it grabbed me from the beginning! I read A LOT, and unfortunately, many books lately haven't been grabbing my attention, or I feel my interest waning a lot of times before I finish. This wasn't the case with The Winter Sister. 

Sylvie admires her sister Persephone and has a modest, but fun childhood, thinking life is pretty good. Sylvie thinks her mother hung the moon, but Persephone has nothing but a list of complaints about their mom, always saying that their mom treats Sylvie better.  Sylvie doesn't understand why Persephone feels this way and just chalks it up to Persephone's attitude. 

Then, one day, Persephone disappears and her boyfriend, Ben is the prime suspect.  I won't go into a whole lot, to avoid spoilers, but the book then skips to when Persephone is an adult and how she copes, or really doesn't cope with what happened to her sister. And, to make matters worse, has to deal with the fallout surrounding her mother's  trouble in coming to terms with what happened so many years before. 

The book is really about what happens when secrets are kept when they shouldn't be and the havoc they can cause on lives for even years to follow. This book releases in February 2019 and I highly recommend it. I noticed this was the authors first book and I look forward to her next story. 

Thank you so much to NetGalley and to the publisher for allowing me to read an advance copy of this. I really enjoyed it. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

The Christmas Remedy by Cindy Woodmsall and Erin Woodsmall



I was so excited to get a copy of this and then I was very excited to write about it because I loved it. This comes out October 23, 2018 and while it is a novella, it will be a FANTASTIC read and gift for over the holidays. 

Holly Noelle is a young Amish woman who has gotten permission from her bishop to work in locally owned and operated Greene's Pharmacy. Holly is driven and committed to bringing knowledge about medications and overall health help to her Amish community. It is also the story of pharmacist Lyle Greene and his son Brandon who haven't always seen eye to eye AND it is also a story of Joshua Smucker who has his eye on Holly.  However, due to Holly's commitment to work and her community, she tells herself to remain focused on her goals and to forget about any relationship with Josh.  Being Amish, Holly knows that if she were to enter a relationship and move on with marriage, she would be forbidden to work outside the home. 

It's also about family and the importance of forgiveness. What better story to read this holiday season?

I wish I could do this story more justice in describing it. As I read, I always "see" the scene before me, but this was SO vivid to me. I kid you not when I said from the first page, I felt that I was IN Greene's Pharmacy. 

Get this book for yourself or a gift for someone for Christmas. I am so happy I got the opportunity to read it. 

Thank you so much to WaterBrook  and to Cindy and Erin Woodsmall for this opportunity! 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser



Hello, all! 

I was so excited to get an advance copy of Forget You Know Me coming out in 2019. The premise sounded so good. Two friends, Liza and Molly have let life come in between them and are finally making time to have a "girl's night" even though it's just through the computer.  Liza has moved away from her hometown and has a career in Chicago, while Molly has stayed home in the suburbs raising a family. 

While video chatting, Molly goes to see what one of her children want and while Liza waits, she sees a masked man entering the house. She yells at him and he shuts the computer screen down. Frantic, Liza has no idea what is happening to her friend. She contacts the local police and then finally learns that Molly is okay. However, Molly is tight lipped about the encounter and brushes Liza off about it. 

This is what the book promised the story was about but it was about so much more. Liza has a tragedy of her own that forces her to make big changes. Now, she doesn't have Molly to talk to about it since they are kind of on the outs regarding Molly's attitude about the intruder Liza saw. There are also more plots in the story and overall it all tied together nicely. 

In some ways, the story being about more was a good thing, but not when the description made it sound like the intruder part was really going to be the bulk of the story. Also, the title made me think that, too. However, there was a small surprise in the book, but even after I got to that part, I felt underwhelmed. I think the book should be marketed less of a thriller and more of just domestic or women's fiction. That way, it would tell you more of what to expect.

I know I sound let down, but I really wasn't overall. It kept my interest enough to keep going, I am very grateful to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Priscilla's Escape by Diane Craver



Hello and welcome to my stop on theCelebrate Lit book tour for Priscilla's Escape by Diane Craver. 

About the Book


Book Title: Priscilla’s Escape
Author: Diane Craver
Genre: Amish Romance, Contemporary
Release date: March 23, 2018
When faith and freedom collide, mistakes made in the past may decide the future.
Twenty-year-old Priscilla King is unsure about joining the Amish Church and wants to use her rumspringa freedom to paint beach landscapes. She’s been offered a two-month-long nanny position in Siesta Key, Florida by an author on a tight writing deadline. The opportunities presented are more than a little tempting for Priscilla, even if it means disappointing her parents and leaving her new boyfriend.
Stephen Hertzler grew up in an Amish family, but, like Priscilla, he’s undecided about joining the church. He loves Priscilla and wants to marry her, though he knows she’s not ready to decide about anything other than her summer plans. His biggest worry is that she’ll meet someone else in Florida and forget him.
When Priscilla’s parents sabotage her part-time job at a local fabric store to dissuade her from following a “worldly lifestyle” in taking the nanny position in Florida, Priscilla is distraught. She knows she would regret not taking this chance. Leaving a note, she sneaks out in disobedience of her parents’ wishes.
Free to paint, dreams she’s never fully envisioned before seem within reach…but at what price?
Click here to get your copy: Get your copy of Priscilla's Escape!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Diane grew up on a farm outside Findlay, Ohio, and she often acted out characters from her own stories in the backyard. In high school Diane would read during classes and hide a novel in front of her in a propped-up textbook. After her high school graduation, she attended Ohio State University. Then Diane became a schoolteacher and play director. She met her husband while teaching at an orphanage, and they married three years later. It took her that long to convince him she was the one for him! While raising their family in southwestern Ohio, Diane started writing nonfiction and was published. Later she decided it would be a nice escape to write fiction. Diane was blessed with five daughters and one son. 
Two daughters were born with Down syndrome and live with Diane and her husband. Their other children live close by in Ohio,  so that’s wonderful. They also have four precious grandchildren. Diane published through a variety of houses. Several years ago, she decided to self-publish her books, so requested the rights back to her previously published stories. From the beginning, she enjoyed self-publishing her Amish romances. Diane gives thanks to God daily for her many blessings. 

Guest Post from Diane

Hello, Reader Friends, 
Priscilla’s Escape is Book 3 in The Bishop’s Daughters Series. This story features Priscilla King, and she is the fourth child born to Amos and Lillian King. You may remember meeting Priscilla in my Dreams of Plain Daughters Series. After I finished writing this series, I decided to continue to write about the Amish and English characters living in Fields Corner, Ohio. They became family and real to me.
The King family have six children with only one son. That is like our Craver family because we have five daughters and one son. Through the years, our family has faced certain challenges with two daughters being born with Down syndrome. Although Priscilla doesn’t have any siblings with special needs, she feels overlooked in her family. It’s like she’s invisible to her parents, especially to her father. He doesn’t understand her passion for painting but favors Molly’s talent for quilting. Everyone needs a cheerleader in their corner at times, and Priscilla is no different. Fortunately, her new boyfriend, Stephen, listens to her dream to paint beach pictures. He even understands her desire to wait to join the church.
All families suffer some type of hardships. It does seem like some more than others. A family’s faith in God gives them hope in their daily lives. Whatever the level of the pain, staying close to God and listening to his voice, gives us the strength to survive. The King family have their share of tragedies, but their faith reminds steadfast. When Priscilla leaves their close-knit unit, they all reach out to her by letter and phone calls. Her siblings even tell their father that he needs to share his secret with Priscilla.
I hope you will enjoy reading Priscilla’s Escape. There is a lot happening in the King family, so you can catch up with your favorite romantic couples in this novel. If you love going to the beach as much as I do, I think you’ll love reading about Priscilla’s beach experiences – some are good, and others are not.
 My review
I didn't read the other two books in this series, because this is the first I've heard of it. However, while you don't really need to read the other two, because things are pretty well explained,  I wish I had read them to get more of the backstory. Some of the discussed would have been better known to me had I read the other books. 

I found myself  wanting to know how the story was going to end up for Priscilla. It also made me think about how hard it must be for some young Amish to make the decision to take baptismal instruction and dedicate their life to their faith, family and church, especially when they may have a passion in their life they may not be able to pursue once baptized. 

This was a very fast read and I found that it was a pretty different premise than usual Amish fiction. I always enjoy a good Amish story and this fit the bill. 

I enjoyed this story and really appreciate the opportunity given to me by Celebrate Lit and the publisher! All opinions are my own.

Giveaway




To celebrate her tour, Diane is giving a grand prize that includes a $25 Amazon Gift Card & The Bishop’s Daughters: A Three Book Collection – Amish Baby Snatched, A Plain Widow, and Priscilla’s Escape (paperback or eBook)!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. 
Click here to enter the giveaway: Enter to win!

Friday, September 21, 2018

The Christmas Prayer by Wanda Brunstetter and Giveaway!



About the Book: 


The Christmas Prayer
Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter
Genre: Historical Christmas Romance
Release date: September, 2018
Beloved, bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter takes readers on a journey in 1850 along the California Trail.
Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.
Cynthia Cooper is traveling with her mother and the man she has promised to marry. But as Christmas is upon them and they are hunkered down in a small cabin, she is forced to reevaluate her reasons for planning to marry fellow-traveler Walter Prentice. When a widowed father heading to a California ranch and a gold prospector both show an interest in Cynthia, she weighs her dreams for marriage alongside her responsibility to care for her mother. Can love win over her timid heart?
I really enjoyed this story. It was a light read due to the length, due to being a novella, but I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen to the characters. I was also genuinely surprised at one of the events that occurred later in the book. When you read a story like this, you feel more grounded and refreshed. 
You also tend to remember the things that are important in life. I also enjoyed the historical time setting and found myself imagining how hard it must have been to go across the country in the harsh conditions. You can't go wrong with a story like this that is based in faith in this day and age. Mrs. Brunstetter's stories always lift my spirits. 
About the Author
New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda’s stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.
Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding customs.
When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at www.wandabrunstetter.com.

Try this Exclusive Bonus Recipe Found Inside the Book!

Cynthia’s Fried Apples
Instructions:
Without peeling, quarter as many tart apples as you would like. Lay apples close together, skin side down, in frying pan with salt pork fat or butter. Cover until well steamed then uncover and brown both sides, turning and watching closely to prevent burning.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, September 18
The Avid Reader, September 18
The Power of Words, September 18
Lighthouse Academy, September 18
Just Commonly, September 19
Carpe Diem, September 19
Blossoms and Blessings, September 20
Britt Reads Fiction, September 20
Luv’N Lambert Life, September 21
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 22
Lis Loves Reading, September 22
Babs Book Bistro, September 23
Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 23
Janices book reviews, September 23
Mary Hake, September 24
Two Points of Interest, September 24
Inklings and notions, September 25
Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 25
Girls in White Dresses, September 26
Book by Book, September 26
Splashes of Joy, September 27
The Morning Chapter, September 27
The Mimosa Blossom, September 28
Pause for Tales, September 28
Have A Wonderful Day, September 28
To Everything A Season, September 29
Cafinated Reads, September 29
Bibliophile Reviews, September 29
Quiet Quilter, September 30
Texas Book-aholic, October 1
Bigreadersite, October 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Wanda is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a free copy of The Christmas Prayer with an autographed book plate inside!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d297/the-christmas-prayer-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thank you to NetGalley and to CelebrateLit for an advance copy. All opinions are my own. This book goes on sale on or around September 1st, 2018. 





Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Ours For A Season by Kim Vogel Sawyer



Happy Release Day to Kim Vogel for her new book, Ours for a Season!

The story centers around Marty and her husband, Anthony who are faithful Mennonites. Marty used to take great comfort in her faith, but she feels God has abandoned her due to the fact that a doctor has told her and Anthony that they cannot have children. This news has really made a divide between Marty and Anthony. Marty can't move past the fact that she will never become a mother. 

When Brooke, Marty's best friend from childhood, offers Anthony, a contractor, an opportunity to come and build a new project of hers located an hour away, Marty really wants to go. One, she misses her best friend and two, she feels a fresh start would be just the thing she and Anthony need to heal their marriage and to help her own devastation at not being able to have children. 

Packing up part of his crew, Anthony and Marty make the trek out to the site and set up temporary homes. When they settle, Marty learns that Brooke is facing a serious medical condition and believes that it is God's timing that they have come when they did. Brooke is alone and Marty is just the person to help take care of her. 

There are more than one ways to become a mother and while Marty's sadness is making her too blind to this fact in the beginning, opportunities arise in the story that may just make her come back to her faith and see that God always has plans to help us, not harm. 

I really enjoyed this story. I thought it had an original premise and I was vested in the characters pretty quickly wanting to find out what was going to happen. Also, I usually don't get teary eyed during books, but the way the author described some of Brooke's struggles really tugged on my heart. This was my first book by Ms. Vogel Sawyer and it won't be my last. 

Thank you to Waterbrook for the advance copy. All opinions are my own. 




Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Lies by T M Logan



What can I say about this book except, "Buy it when it comes out on 9/11/2018!"  

Joe and his young son, William are out and about when his son sees Joe's wife's car. William wants to see his mother and asks Joe if they can go "surprise" her. Joe follows his wife's car to a hotel. And that's when things start to spiral out of control. 

There is excuse after excuse given, each one sounding plausible but what is the truth and what is a lie?

Well, let me tell you. I thought I knew the ending and I didn't. I don't want to give too much away because you should take this roller coaster ride on your own. There is no filler and the book takes off right away.  But, if you want more, here's the description from Goodreads: 


When Joe Lynch stumbles across his wife driving into a hotel car park while she's supposed to be at work, he's intrigued enough to follow her in.

And when he witnesses her in an angry altercation with family friend Ben, he knows he ought to intervene.

But just as the confrontation between the two men turns violent, and Ben is knocked unconscious, Joe's young son has an asthma attack - and Joe must flee in order to help him.

When he returns, desperate to make sure Ben is OK, Joe is horrified to find that Ben has disappeared.

And that's when Joe receives the first message .




You have to read this book! It was exciting. You won't be disappointed!  Thank you to St. Martin's Press for the advance copy. I really enjoyed it. All opinions are my own.