Saturday, June 18, 2016

amishfirefighterFB

About the Book

Purchase your copy of The Amish Firefighter here
Beautiful Young Woman Banished from Home
Abigail Stutzman thought it was bad enough being dropped at the nearest bus station and sent to live several states away with some relatives she’d never even heard of, much less met. But now, just a week after her arrival in Jamesport, Missouri, she finds herself at the scene of a barn fire. An intentional barn fire. And all fingers are pointed at her. She’s desperate to prove her innocence and protect her reputation, but nobody’s making that easy to do. And God certainly doesn’t seem willing to help.
A Brave Firefighter with an Agenda of His Own
Sam Miller is in the process of turning over a new leaf. Determined to atone for the follies of his past, he is a volunteer firefighter, an EMT, and a doctor-in-training. With suspicious barn fires escalating, and the Miller family being among the victims, no one is more determined to see the perpetrators brought to justice than Sam.
A Kindled Flame Neither One Could Have Anticipated
When their paths first cross at the site of a barn burning, the emotional intensity rivals the warmth of the flames. Soon, they must decide whether this fire is one they should feed or fight. And they’ll discover that the truth can prove more dangerous than a blazing inferno.

 About the Author

Laura V. Hilton
 Hilton3Amish fiction lovers responded positively and immediately to Laura V. Hilton’s debut novel, Patchwork Dreams, when she burst on the scene in 2009 with her unique series, The Amish of Seymour, set in the tiny town of Seymour, in Webster County, Missouri. Fans of the genre immediately recognized Hilton’s insider knowledge, not only of the Webster County community, but Amish culture in general. Her natural speech and writing patterns, she says, are uniquely “Amish,” acquired from her Amish maternal grandparents. The Amish of Seymour, includes Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. Her second series, The Amish of Webster County, is comprised of Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love. A stand-alone title, A White Christmas in Webster County, was released in September 2014. The Birdhouseconcluded Laura’s 2015 series, The Amish of Jamesport, includes The Snow Globe, The Postcard and The Birdhouse. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Arkansas.
For more about Laura, her latest book, the books she’s written and those she’s reviewed:
Laura Hilton’s Website:  www.lauravhilton.blogspot.com.

Guest Post from Laura V. Hilton

Unlike some authors, I am not a planner. I have a very vague idea of the story, of the series, and as soon as the characters step forward and introduce themselves I dive in and start writing. When I first began writing this series – New Beginnings in Jamesport – I knew Sammy Miller was going to be the hero. Readers started asking for Sammy’s story as soon as they read The Postcard where Sammy was the villain. Ouch. I’d never considered writing a story about a former villain. But just as David in The Postcard was reader requested, Sammy would be.
Sammy is a very strong character and I knew he had to have a strong female lead character, one that wasn’t afraid to stand up to him and keep him under control. He is a leader, an EMT studying to be a paramedic, and a volunteer firefighter. The female lead, Abigail, is thrown into Jamesport without warning. Her step-father takes her to the bus station and sends her away and she doesn’t even know why! When she is met at the bus station by an aunt and uncle she didn’t even know existed, she is thrown into the middle of several mysteries, including barn fires set by arsonists. And she is the main suspect.
The whole New Beginnings in Jamesport series, while considered a continuation of The Amish of Jamesport series due to Sammy being the hero, is set around Amish starting over in Jamesport. The second book The Amish Wanderer is about a former resident of Jamesport hitchhiking across the country to get to his Mennonite uncle’s house in Pennsylvania. Silas is desperate to escape from his dysfunctional family for several reasons. But he cannot stay in Jamesport because someone is out to kill him. When he stumbles upon another mystery within hours of his arrival, what choice does he have but to stick around for awhile?
God gave me the verses for all three books in the Amish of Jamesport series The Amish Firefighter, The Amish Wanderer and the yet untitled third book (My books all stand alone) before I started writing them, which is unusual. He usually reveals these things slowly to me, as I need to know. The verse for The Amish Firefighter is Isaiah 43:2-4 and the verse for The Amish Wanderer is Romans 8:38-39. The third book’s verse is 2 Corinthians 4:8. It is tentatively titled The Amish Accountant, but most people think accountants are boring, and his real profession is a clockmaker. But The Amish Clockmaker has already been taken by another author. So we shall see what the wonderful Whitaker House team will come up with. It is about another young Amish woman, Lydia, who needs a “safe haven.” So her parents send her to live with her Mennonite aunt and uncle in Jamesport. It doesn’t exactly work out as planned, as the aunt and uncle leave for a foreign mission trip immediately, leaving Lydia acting manager of a gift shop and living in an all electric apartment. Before her aunt leaves, she tells Lydia’s secrets to her best friend. But did she tell all of them or some of them? And the best friend’s son, Caleb (the clockmaker) is acting as accountant for the gift shop. And what about Caleb’s carefully kept secret? When Lydia’s past catches up with her, will it destroy all she’d begun to imagine as she dreamed of starting over in Jamesport?
Next after that is The Christmas Challenge which is also set in Jamesport.
I don’t have official release dates for The Amish Wanderer or the other books yet. But as soon as I know, I’ll share.
Coming next? Who knows? I have two ideas warring for attention—but which one gets told first, I don’t know! I lean toward one, then the other. They both want to be told.
And now, I must get back to work. Thank you for visiting today and thank you so much for supporting my books. I do hope you’ll enjoy The Amish Firefighter!
Happy Reading!
Because of Him,
~ Laura ~
Review.jpg

This is another outstanding book from a very gifted author. I loved this book so much, I read it in one day. Yes it is that good. It is not the typical feel good Amish story where everyone is happy and helps out. What it is though is a very intriguing book filled with shunning, accusations, mystery and an unforgettable story . Ms. Hilton delivers a very captivating story of characters that came to life. 

Abigail has for some reason been sent to her aunt and uncles place to live. What would it feel like to one day wake up and be told you are no longer welcomed at your home? She is very confused by this, but of course obeys her family . She somehow gets mixed up with a group from the new town that seem to have trouble follow them wherever they go. Unfortunately one night while out with her friends, Abigail is somehow accused of a barn fire. There have been a rash of these devastating fires in the town and well you know the saying, Being at the wrong place at the wrong time. " How will Abigail convince a town that she just moved to that she is innocent of the fire? 

Perhaps Sam can be of some assistance to her. He is a firefighter who seems to be positive that Abigail had something to do with it. I loved how the author wrote such strong independent characters who compliment each other well. As they get to know each other, you can feel the attraction come to life with gentle words of affection and a concern for each other's well being . Are there secrets in the town that could explain why Abigail was sent there? Does Sam have a past that he doesn't want anyone to know about? Well as the saying goes, " Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive ." 

The book was outstanding and I love the Amish words and their meaning at the beginning of the book. The book captures the true meaning of forgiveness, intrigue and a bit of romance that keeps readers glued to the story. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit for an honest review.

Blog Stops

June 9: Quiet Quilter
June 12: Splashes of Joy
June 13: Babs Book Bistro
June 13: bigreadersite
June 17: A Greater Yes 
June 19: Petra’s Hope
June 21: A Holland Reads
June 22: Pause for Tales
June 22: KarensKrayons

Giveaway

The amish firefighter giveaway
To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away a basket that includes a Kindle Fire and a complete set of her books! Enter here: https://promosimple.com/ps/9bed

Friday, June 17, 2016


MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE by BETH WISEMAN

What would you do if the girl you have loved since childhood suddenly disappears one day? Kyle is shocked when his girlfriend and her family have disappeared overnight. The house is completely vacant and there are no signs that they ever existed. He is heartbroken and confused, but over time he tries to move on with his life. He still remembers the little messages she would leave for him in his medicine bottle. Will he ever get another message from her again?

Kyle now has a beautiful wife to be  named Lexie. In just a few short months they will be married and plans for the wedding have begun. One day there is a knock on Kyle's apartment door that will lead him on an adventure that will change his life forever. Who were the two men knocking on Kyle's door? Where are they taking him to in such a rush? Kyle is terrified and cannot get word to Lexie to let her know anything. Kyle has been given little detail on where he is going , but has been told he has a chance to save a little girls' life. Who is this mysterious little girl ?

The story is fast paced with intrigue that had me on the edge of my seat. I was so engrossed in the story that I read it in a very short time. The author does  an excellent job on character development and vividly describes the emotions of each character with great depth. What a great story to be reminded of God's love, healing and trust.

"When times get tough, we put our worries into a big giant bubble and blow them to God. He catches the bubbles and takes care of everything. "

I received a digital copy of  this book from the author for an honest review.

THE SENSE OF HUMOR: Let Humor Fast Track you to Healthier, Happier Living by Naz Elliot Anderson

We live in a world where everyday we hear about shootings, terrorist attacks and other emotionally charged events. When was the last time you laughed so hard your face hurt? It has been awhile for me and with all the tragedies going on around us, I find myself not laughing or being cheerful at all. The trials of the world can easily distract us and keep us in a depression.

I enjoyed the various studies the author did on laughter. I found it interesting when he talked about his friend who was a dentist. He uses humor in his practice to make the person feel more at ease and to help the appointment go smoothly. What if we adopted that concept in our everyday lives? Some of us have life threatening illnesses and with a bit of humor it could help with the stress we  are under. Some people use humor when they are nervous, or in a stressful situation. No matter when you use humor, it always makes others feel better . There are some funny moments in the book as he tells stories  that relate to everyday life. I think it is important to be able to laugh at ourselves when we do silly things. The book is a great tool for bringing  joy back into our lives .  Thank you writing a book that shows us through humor , our situations can be bearable and " laughter really is the best medicine. "

"Humor has been said to be the most underrated elixir for good health. " Humor relieves tension and reduces anger and aggression. "

I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review."

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


RED PEN REDEMPTION by LORI STANLEY ROELEVELD

I have not read a book this powerful and life changing in a very long time. I have always thought my relationship with God was good. After reading this very emotional story, I realize I have a lot of work to do. I don't think I would be as brave as Helen and challenge God like she did. Her family always prayed that she would someday know Him. One Christmas Eve , Helen will find her life unfolding before her eyes.

As the evening progressed Helen was preparing her gift to her grandson. It was a manuscript written by her  about her life. A mysterious package arrives for her and she takes it upstairs to open it. What is inside the package? Will it change the way Helen thinks about God?  As she tries to understand her gift , she boldly tells God to "edit" her story. She doesn't believe in Him and feels like her life story has nothing to be ashamed of or need to ask forgiveness for. I loved the journey the author takes us own as we glimpse into Helen's life. We see images of her growing up and being reminded of things that perhaps were not good decisions. I felt like I was on a journey through history as the author took us to the sixties. We see Helen experiencing Woodstock and watching as God shows her through scripture the things she had done that did not line up with the Word of God. I especially liked the mention of 911. That was a time of grief for  a nation and the worry that many people faced when they were frantic about the safety of  their loved ones. Helen's life was not perfect, but God is a forgiving God. The more she spent with Him that evening, the more her heart began to soften towards Him. Will Helen give her heart to Jesus?

I know that if my life story were in front  of me , I would have red markings all over the pages as Helen did.  My tears flowed as I came to end of the book. I appreciate the author writing a book filled with scriptures that touched my soul, words that healed me and hope that my relationship can grow stronger with God.

A big thank you to The BookClub Network and the author for a copy of this book and allowing me to give an honest review of an amazing book.
whisperinghorsesFB

About the Book

To purchase your copy, click here
An old fence separates a modern community from their Amish neighbors, until a little boy opens the gate and breaks down barriers between them. Main characters, Matt and Eli, find friendship, hope, and a future through a mutual need, which creates an opportunity for them to learn to understand each other. Eli and his little sisters will touch your heart by Whispering to Horses.

About the Author

thomasnyecroppedThomas Nye, author of the Amish Horses Book Series, Lives near an Amish community where he grew to know and respect his Amish neighbors. During grade school Thomas developed an interest in history and loved reading anything he could find about the 1800s. His love of farm, history, and horses all came together in real-life experiences with his Amish friends, who also happen to share his Christian faith.  He purchased draft horses from Amish farmers in his neighborhood and set out to learn the art of working with horses in harness.  After years of buying, selling, and trading work horses with Amish farmers in his community, Thomas had many wonderful memories of those experiences. His novels based on those adventures. Learn more about Thomas Nye on his website.

Guest Post from Thomas Nye

Last spring, I visited numerous Amish communities throughout the state of Indiana. My original goal was to bring awareness of my Amish Horses book series to the Amish and tourists in that region. As I traveled down quiet country roads, my heart was overwhelmed by beautiful farm scenes. Conversations with Amish families, and especially Amish children, brought a new awareness and inspiration to me. Springtime and its rich aromas flooded my senses and filled my heart with a story, Whispering to Horses.
Whispering to Horses is a very short novel which spans several generations. It is the story of two families that live side-by-side for years, and yet are strangers to each other. A fence that was installed to keep livestock apart has become a dividing line, separating Amish from their non-Amish neighbors. Years ago, when putting in the fence, an Amishman remembered his grandfather’s advice, almost prophetically, “… a gate opens the way for help in time of need.” Generations later, a gentle Amish boy named Eli, seems to have inherited his great-great-grandfather’s wisdom, as he opens the gate and communication between neighbors.
Kalona, Iowa has been my home for the past 35 years. Living in an Amish/Mennonite community, I have experienced many situations exactly like the one described in this book. It is so easy for us to look over a fence and have a disdain for people we don’t know, or understand. Sometimes, a little child can use their simple wisdom to break through our misconceptions, and soften our crusty opinions. In my hundreds of visits to Amish farms, it has been the children that have surprised me most. Even though English is their second language, Amish children speak with wisdom that has become a treasure to me, and I want to share it with you. I hope the story of Whispering to Horses opens your eyes, and brings back memories of your own childhood, when we all shared that simple wisdom.


Review.jpg

This is a new author to me  and I really enjoyed how he described things so vividly. He made the story come to life by writing with such beauty and details. I could feel the light breeze on my face and hear the horses as they worked in the fields. What magnificent horses they were so sleek and strong as they went about their daily chores.

Matt has inherited a house that he is not pleased with at all. He can't stand the smell from the farmland next door. It is an Amish family that works the land and for some reason that irritates him. His character is angry at the world it seems. His plan is to sell the house as quick as he can and get far away from the Amish family and country living. Matt is not someone I would enjoy being around with his horrible attitude . Will something happen to change his mind about moving? Will his heart soften towards the Amish family?

Eli is Matt's neighbor and really works hard everyday. Matt takes notice of this young man and his work ethic. Matt realizes that Eli could make his yard beautiful and attract buyers . Eli is hired to landscape Matt's yard and is eager to start . I loved the interaction between Matt and Eli. As their friendship developed, Matt seemed to not be as angry. The story is beautifully written and at the beginning of the book the author gives us a little history of the two houses. Long ago Matt's grandfather was friends with the Amish family that lived in the house Eli and his family now live in. They decided to put in a gate so it would be easy to get to each other if there was ever a need.
"Good fences make good neighbors, but a gate opens the way for help in time of need." Oh how I loved  that sentence. How many of us have blocked gates so we wouldn't be bothered by other? Did we miss opportunities that God had for us?

The story has so many messages throughout that I hated to see it end. Memories are wonderful to have when they remind you of a happy time and the story touched on that with such grace. There are a few surprises in the story that really blends well with the theme of the book. I hope you get a chance to read this short book and feel the warmth of a story that brings hope, contentment and peace.

I received this book from Celebrate Lit for an honest review.

Blog Stops
June 7: Quiet Quilter
June 8: ArtisticNobody
June 8: Petra’s Hope
June 12: Bigreadersite
June 14: A Greater Yes

Giveaway

whispering to horses smaller
To celebrate his tour, Thomas is giving away an entire set of his Amish Horses Series! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/9b7f

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


COLORS OF GOODBYE by SEPTEMBER VAUDREY

This is one book that will stay with me forever. It is powerful, heartbreaking, compassionate and a story that is every family's worst nightmare. There are really no words to say to a parent that would comfort  them during this time, but this book definitely made me realize how short life can be. As the saying goes, "In a blink of an eye."

Katie Vaudrey was a vibrant young woman who had just finished her freshman year at college. She was beginning her first day of her new job . She was outgoing, and loved to tell others about her love for God. One day a tragedy happened that forever changed the Vaudreys' family forever. The pain, grief, anger and depression quickly set in. Thank you September Vaudrey for sharing your story about the loss of your daughter. Your words will someday help another family as they grieve the loss of their child. Katie was taken too soon and no parent is ever ready for that. As I read the book, I felt the tears roll down my face. The unbearable pain I felt for this family was overwhelming. They say time heals all wounds, but sometimes those wounds are too deep . I am thankful I had an opportunity to read this book and be challenged to remember everyday is precious.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Bloggers Program for an honest review.

Monday, June 13, 2016

THE ENGLISH SON by WANDA E BRUNSTETTER & JEAN BRUNSTETTER

What a great start to a very promising six part story. Joel is a very determined young man. He has visions of making lots of money and marring Kristi. He has asked her to marry him, but he has not bought her an engagement ring yet. I wonder why he hasn't put a ring on her finger? Could it be the very expensive and unnecessary car he bought? He becomes very careless with his money and soon finds himself in trouble. He can't pay his subcontractors and he is hiding a few secrets from Kristi. This reminds of the scripture, "The love of money is the root of all evil."

Kristi is a very sweet young woman who is head over heels crazy for Joel. Her mom has warned her about "not being equally yoked" with Joel as he has wandered away from his faith. She seems to have hope that he will start finding his way back to God. She has noticed lately that Joel has become tense and has the weight of the world on his shoulders.

What secret has he not told Kristi about his family? When he goes to visit his family , will he feel welcomed? This is a great start to a wonderful new novella by an author that I highly admire. She writes about the Amish with such graceful words and makes their town come  to life. Her character development is so engrossing . I love Kristi and her dedication to her faith. Joel is in for  a few surprises when he thinks of a plan to get himself out of debt. The story ends on a cliffhanger which makes me anxious to get the next book in the series. It is well worth the time to read this engaging story and has a bit of the prodigal son theme  in it. I love stories like that which reminds us about forgiveness and second chances.

I received a digital copy from NetGalley for an honest review.