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Friday, July 13, 2018


I cherished every word as I read this book. The author is such an eloquent writer and brings the characters to life with her words. I loved  the significance of the porch swing in the story. My grandfather had a porch swing and every summer I couldn't wait to visit him. We would sit for hours just talking and the wisdom he shared with me I will never forget.

When certain characters would sit on the porch swing, I knew it was going to be a time of memories and unconditional love. It was a place for people to sit and share their worries and be comforted. I loved Laura right away and admired her compassion to help out when her best friend passes away. It was difficult for Laura to adjust to not having her friend around, but she was blessed to be able to help take care of the baby that was missing her mother. Laura is still grieving the loss of her own mother and the loss of her best friend is a bit much for her.

Allen is a very humble man and tries his best to take care of Mollie and still run his business. The arrangement he makes with Laura to be his nanny seems like a great idea. Laura has a lot to deal with and I wondered if she took on too much too soon. Her devotion to Mollie is special and maybe being around Mollie helped her to deal with losing her best friend.  I have to say I was quite surprised that Laura stayed overnight at Allen's house.  Is this something that the bishop would be alright with? It was sure to cause problems with her boyfriend and I loved the way Laura prayed and asked for guidance.

The story is wonderful and really made me think how important it is to be happy in a relationship. Rumors and gossip can cause misunderstandings and draw people apart. The author does a great job of exploring a relationship between Allen and Laura. Is Allen ready to love again? Will Laura decide if her boyfriend is right for her? Don't miss this beautiful story of letting go and listening to God .

I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.

There is nothing better than a book that sweeps you up and puts you smack dab in the center of the story. The author knows how to capture characters with real problems and let them unfold with emotions. I loved the characters so much that I was hoping someone would turn the book into a movie.

It's not everyday you hear about a single father but Brady is an example of not running away but stepping up to his responsibilities. He is so kind and loves his son Sam with all his heart. I loved reading about the interaction between father and son. Brady knows what it is like to be abandoned by parents and will do everything he can to make Sam feel loved and wanted.

His best friend Hope is smart, pretty and smitten with Sam. I liked how she helped Brady out by watching Sam when needed. She has a great career on the radio with hopes of one day getting the job of her dreams. Hope has carried around a fear of losing people she loves since the loss of someone special some years back. I think that holds her back from being in a serious relationship.

When there is a chance that Brady  could lose custody of Sam he asks Hope for help. I was quite surprised at what he wanted them to do, but I admired him for wanting to keep Sam. The story is filled with surprises and keeps readers glued to their seats. It's a love story like none I've ever read. How far would you go to help a friend?  Fear plays a big part in the story and I liked how the author used faith examples to help the character work through fear. Both Brady and Hope deal with abandonment issues and it causes distance between them. Can they work through their problems and give Sam a safe and loving home? Don't miss the discussion questions at the back of the book. They are good questions that make you examine your life and increase your faith.

I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Shelved Under Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

This is a mystery with lots of twists, turns, and secrets. It isn’t just a cut and dry mystery. . .
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

About the Book

Shelved Under Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (July 10, 2018)
Hardcover: 300 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315957
Digital: ASIN: B075QJHPR9
Autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford—so are some cherished memories, and a few bodies.
October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried.
The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and F murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.
That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder.

About the Author

Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director.
When not writing or reading, Victoria likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers, and is represented by Frances Black at Literary Council, NY, NY.
Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. This is her first Blue Ridge Library mystery.
Author Links:

Purchase Links:
Amazon     B&N         Books-A-Million      Indie Bound


I really enjoyed this book and was so impressed with the details the author uses about art. I learned a lot about the art world and how paintings are stored and valued. As I wander through art museums I always think about how much work goes into a painting. It was fascinating to read about how a painting can be a fake but look as real as the original.  

Amy is a wonderful character and I related to her very easily since I worked at a library for fifteen years. I loved reading about the every day chores and the patrons that frequent the library. The Friends of the Library is such an important part of libraries. It struck me as funny when a few of the ladies didn't seem to get along. We had the same problem at our library. There is always that one person who wants to be in charge and takes their authority to the extreme.

When Amy and two others discover the body of a well known artist will it be the end for the Heritage Festival?  One of the fascinating things in the book is the intricate knowledge that Amy picked up as she did research on paintings. I didn't know there was so much information to be found about the history of art. Forgeries are hard to spot in the art world unless you have a keen eye. Will Amy find something in her research that could cause her to be in danger? Amy has her hands full trying to help solve the murder while preparing for the festival. Her aunt is so funny and I would definitely hang out with her. She isn't afraid to share her opinions and is quite vocal about things in the picturesque town.

Amy and her friend Sandy find themselves deep in the investigation as danger lurks nearby. I loved the twists and turns and the author really surprised me when secrets about characters started to emerge. The writing is very good and there is not a moment where action doesn't play a key element in the story. I loved the intrigue and the story line that kept me guessing. It is a very well written mystery that shows how much research the author did about the art world. I loved the ending and was surprised at who was involved in the murder.

I received a copy of this book from The Great Escape Virtual Book Tour. The review is my own opinion.

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July 9 – The Ninja Librarian – GUEST POST
July 9 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 10 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
July 10 – Curling Up by the Fire – REVIEW
July 10 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
July 11 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
July 11 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
July 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 14 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
July 16 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
July 16 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 16 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
July 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 17 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 17 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 18 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
July 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 19 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
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Firestorm FB Banner copy

About the Book

Title: FirestormFires Storm
Author: Laura Hilton
Genre: Christian Amish
Release Date: July, 2018
Bridget Behr and her family migrate from the bustling Amish community where she grew up in Ohio to the mostly unpopulated Upper Peninsula of Michigan after a stalker breaks into their home. While her father and brother try to find work in the area, the family is forced to reside in a borrowed RV until the house and barn are rebuilt. While Bridget is hoping for a fresh start, she’s afraid to trust anyone—even Gabriel, the overly-friendly Amish man who lives nearby. Bridget thinks he’s a flirt who serial dates and doesn’t even remember the girls’ names.
Due to not enough construction work in his Florida community to keep him out of trouble, Gabriel Lapp has been sent to Michigan to work. His father is desperate for his son to settle down. When the family walks into Gabe’s home in the middle of a thunderstorm and he discovers their circumstances, he offers to help with construction. For Gabe, the beautiful girl he teasingly calls “the recluse” once he discovers she doesn’t attend youth events, confuses him like none other.
As Gabriel and Bridget grow closer, they realize there is more to a person than meets the eye. Just as Bridget is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding love, tragedy strikes. Now Bridget and her family must decide if they should move to another Amish community, or dare to fight for the future they’d hoped for in Mackinac County.

About the Author

Laura pictureLaura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with over 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.
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 Hilton

I read a series of books a year or so ago by another Amish author who had set her books in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. As a Michigan native, I was curious, and I researched, but found nothing about Upper Peninsula Amish except a notation that one had tried and failed. So I contacted the author. She told me that she’d never been there, and her research had all been hearsay, so with that lack of firsthand knowledge and no trip to the Upper Peninsula planned, no trip to see for myself would be possible. At least at that time.
Then God intervened. My son who is in the United States Coast Guard was stationed in the Upper Peninsula this past summer (2017.) He saw the Amish driving around in their buggies. And he felt like a stalker as he followed one to see where he went and drove through the area. He even sent pictures. (Shhhh.)
Yes, there are Amish in the Upper Peninsula – at least at the time this book was written.
Okay, as a Michigan native, I used some terms that may not be familiar to non-Michiganders. A Yooper is someone who lives in the Upper Peninsula. A Troll is someone from the Lower Peninsula. A pastie is kind of like a Hot Pocket, except it’s a meat pie made with root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and rutabagas. They are so good. And the straits are the area of the Great Lakes connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.
As for the wildfire, the earliest wildfire I could find any documentation on in the Upper Peninsula was in April. It is generally a snowy area — trust me. I lived near the Muskegon area and saw snow drifts in May. We sometimes had over six feet of snow on the ground at one time. So, to get the wildfire when I wanted/needed the wildfire I used artistic license. Yes, fires really happened in Michigan’s history. Just not in the month mentioned in the book.
firestorm 1
I am attaching a meme about Michigan seasons. We’ll call the fire set in “fool’s spring.” My son got married during the “third winter” this year. April 21 and there’s snow on the ground. He and his beautiful bride got married at a water fall (Tahquomenon Falls) very near where the story is set.
Firestorm 2

Thanks for reading Firestorm!!


I never liked moving when I was young. It was nice to stay in one place and feel secure. I can't imagine how Bridget must have felt when her family moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It seemed almost deserted and oh my it was freezing cold there. The author does a great job of describing the terrain and the snow that fell constantly. It was going to be a new start for the family, but who buys a house unseen? To say that the house her father bought was scary is an understatement. I could picture the house falling down at any minute. It sure isn't a welcome start for the family.

Gabe is a very good character. He tries so hard to help Bridget and her family, but her father doesn't seem to like him or trust him. I loved the part where a tradition was fulfilled in the area. All I can say is brrrr. Unfortunately for Gabe, he makes a huge mistake with Bridget that causes friction between Gabe and her father. The relationship between Gabe and Bridget's father Hosea is very entertaining. It is so hard to convince someone you are a good person, when rumors have been  spread about you that are untrue.

One of the subjects in the book is about pride. It can turn a person into one who is bitter. They become suspicious of others and can ruin relationships. I loved how the author handled the subject and showed us how people deal with it. It is so hard to say you are sorry sometimes, but walking around with a prideful spirit pushes people away.  The relationship between Gabe and Bridget is complex and I loved reading how they each struggled with their feelings for each other.

The author talks about acceptance. I have always wanted the approval and acceptance from my parents. I never received it but this passage in the story really helps. "You need Him more than you need anyone else. Gott spreads around forgiveness and grace like you used to spread jelly on toast." We are free to spread as much jelly as we want on our toast, just like God covers us with His grace and forgiveness for as long as we need it. I really enjoyed the story and reading about Bridget's family as they try to overcome loss. It is a powerful book that reminds us to forgive quickly, be quick to lend a hand, and not to judge others.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion."

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 10
The Avid Reader, July 12
Among the Reads, July 14
Pause for Tales, July 20
amandainpa, July 21
Bigreadersite, July 21


To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away
Grand prize: Firefighter Puppet 9 (Melissa & Doug), Copies of Amish Firefighter and Firestorm by Laura Hilton.
First place prize of “I Love You to the Cross & Back” Mug (Gardenfire) & Firestorm by Laura Hilton!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Monday, July 9, 2018


The Gift of Sisters

I loved the story which featured two sisters. They were different in personalities but have fallen for the same young man. Jealousy is an ugly thing that can lead to bitterness and hurt. Rachel is so envious of her sister Hannah, that I'm not sure their relationship will recover . I'm not sure that Abraham is right for either sister when he tries to force Hannah to do something she isn't comfortable with. The story is so good and shows how lies can cause a friend or family member to question a person's reputation. I loved how the author took a subject that all young women face and handled it with grace.

A New Beginning

I knew from the beginning pages that Noah was going to cause lots of problems. When he gets a taste of the English world, he forgets about his fiancee Rebecca and soon trouble follows . I was heartbroken when Noah does something to devastate Rebecca. Is he making the right choice? Has the outside world influenced him to not follow through with his commitment? I liked reading how Noah struggled with his faith . I think we all do at some point in our life. The story is a nice look at forgiveness, temptation and guilt. I liked a very special character named McKenna. She is such a loving person who so desperately wants to be loved and accepted. I cheered for her as well as Rebecca and Noah. Will Rebecca forgive Noah? Can McKenna find happiness? I loved the ending and thought the characters were easy to relate to.

A Perfect Plan

Every bride wants to have the perfect wedding. They plan everything and picture the perfect day. Priscilla is excited for her big day but things start to go wrong as the big day approaches.  It's hard for Priscilla to relax and her anxiousness overwhelms her. I liked how the author shows us how worry and doubt can cause us to lose faith in God. He has a plan for us, but sometimes it not exactly what we had envisioned. I loved finding out new traditions the Amish have. I didn't know that the newlyweds stayed with the brides parents for about two months after they marry. During that time they would visit friends and family and collect wedding presents. Priscilla and Chester will need that extra time at the brides parents' house as it seems their new house is having building problems. I could sense how hard it was on Priscilla as she continued to worry about everything. Have you wanted something so bad, you worries yourself sick?  Will Priscilla and Chester have the perfect wedding? Can Priscilla let go of her worry and trust God?

A Christmas Miracle

As a mother it can be very trying as you change diapers, do laundry, clean house and cook. Mary has five children with one of them with a heart condition. Mary and her husband are doing the best they can, but some days it is too much for them. I remember when my boys were younger. I worked full time , then came home tired knowing that I needed to give the kids baths, do laundry and make sure everyone was fed. There were days I wanted to run away and wasn't sure I could do it all. My husband was a big help, but I prayed for just one day for myself. Mary feels like she can't keep up and is starting to doubt herself. The story is filled with joy and I loved how a special couple came into Mary's life. It's hard to decide which couple made the most impact on the other, but I know they were blessed and the ending is truly an inspiration.

I received a copy of this book from the author . The review is my own opinion.

PlainHeroes FB cover

About the Book

Title: Plain Everyday Heroes
Author: Laura V. Hilton, Rachel J. Good, Thomas Nye
Genre: Christian Amish
Release Date: July 4, 2018
PPlain everyday heroes finallaying with Fire
Arie Zimmerman has been in love with Noah Behr from almost the moment they met, but after a devastating wildfire destroys the community, everything changes. Noah questions how a loving Gott could allow such things to happen. As Arie and her family struggle to rebuild their home and lives, Noah escapes to California to fight another off-season wildfire—and maybe find Gott in the process.
When Noah returns, he promises Arie the prize money if she will help him with a chili cook-off to fund the fire department. Of course, in order to spend more time with the girl he loves, he’s also willing to pitch in unloading the new furniture and animals her daed bought at an auction. He’ll even help Arie slice and dice vegetables if he can taste test the recipes.
More than just the kitchen heats up as they spend time together. But will Noah find a still missing Gott in the process and discover there’s more to life than what he initially believed?
An Unlikely Hero
Mysteries intrigue secondhand shop owner Benuel Miller. Although strangers may think a blind man would be easy to cheat, those who know Benuel realize he’s honed his other senses to pick up clues his eyes don’t see, making him a savvy business owner. When a stranger enters Benuel’s secondhand shop, the man is shocked by Benuel’s accurate assessment and unsolicited advice. Wary, he hopes Benuel won’t find out his true intentions, but the shopkeeper is already on the case.
Later, Mari and her twin sister, Frannie, stop in Benuel’s shop with Frannie’s three-year-old son, and Benuel senses trouble. His hunches have never led him astray, but is he misreading something here? He can’t help being drawn to Mari, yet is she as sweet and loving as she seems? Or is she hiding a deep, dark secret?
One explosive night when tragedy strikes, Benuel risks his life to find out the truth. Can he unmask the stranger from his shop to foil a sinister plot? And will what he discovers destroy his only chance for love?
Racing the Slow Girls
A recipe for fast-paced, comical, Amish adventure— Ingredients: Three fun-loving teenage boys on bicycles. Mix in an adorable little girl on a pony, a few spunky teenage girls, and a hint of romance. Directions: Place the characters in a beautiful setting, such as Holmes Co. Ohio. Roll in the boys on bikes. Stir up a few harsh words spoken carelessly. Add plenty of retaliation by the girls. Place in the heat of a family emergency until everyone is completely undone. Sit back and enjoy an Amish adventure with a cup of coffee.

About the Authors

Laura pictureLaura 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.
rachel goodRachel J. Good is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming—Sisters & FriendsLove & Promises, and two books in theHearts of Amish Country series—as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books and the contemporary novella, Angels Unaware, part of the Hope Chapel series. Visit Rachel at her website:

IMG_0731xThomas Nye writes novels about horses and Amish life, with a touch of romance, and a foundation of faith in Christ. He and his wife, Shari, live on her family farm where they raised five children. Their six grandchildren love to visit Karma and Karla, a team of draft horses which Thomas purchased from an Amish friend.


I love books that have stories from different authors compiled into one book. Readers get to experience the different writing styles and get to know the author's better. This collection is a wonderful book filled with wonderful characters and stories that warm your heart. A hero can be anyone who helps someone without hesitation. They are everyday heroes that put others before themselves.

Playing With Fire by Laura V. Hilton

It's hard to believe in the midst of destruction and loss, that it would be God's will for it to happen.  I loved the way the author described the fire as, "Demon-like faces in the flames mocked their efforts, dancing in glee, with a loud crackling that sounded like laughter in the forest."  Her attention to detail is superb and her gift of writing  shines through in the characters.  I sometimes have a hard time when something bad happens. 

I really enjoyed following Noah as he tried to reestablish a relationship with Arie and God. Is he wanting a relationship with God for the wrong reasons? I loved the scripture the author used to remind us to seek God with all our heart. How many of us seek Him only when we are in trouble? Do we ask for His help when we are in trouble then forget about Him when everything is good? The story is good and I loved reading about Noah and Arie's relationship. Will Noah find his way back to God?

An Unlikely Hero by Rachel J. Good

Benuel is a very interesting character. His blindness has not stopped him from living a good life. I loved that his other senses were used and was able to read people. What would you think if a blind person could tell you things about yourself even though they have never met you? Each character that comes to Benuel's store has an issue with trust. I loved how Benuel was not afraid of them and didn't mind when they tested his ability to discern things.

I loved the intrigue in the story and it kept me on my toes trying to figure the outcome of the people in the story. Frannie is scared of someone but won't tell her sister anything. Benuel is definitely someone I would want to know. He senses trouble for Frannie and doesn't hesitate to try to help. I loved when Benuel said, " How hard it must be to go through life always anticipating others would hurt you." I know that feeling so well. It is hard to feel safe and trust God when he doesn't seem to be around to protect you. The author really has done a great job of keeping readers guessing as they discover the truth behind Frannie's need to run from her home taking her the little boy  with her. The ending is very good and it took me by surprise. 

Racing the Slow Girls by Thomas Nye

This was such a fun story to read. Daniel is a great character and I liked how he took the time to help Libby with her horse. The girl is young and sweet but seems to be a bit lonely. Her older sister has troubles of her own. What would it be like to be a group that was made fun of and felt insecure about yourself? Miriam is one of the girls in the group others call the "Slow Girls."  I know how she feels wearing glasses that make you feel unattractive. Can you remember when cat glasses were all the rage? That was what my mom made me wear and I hated them so much.  Like Miriam, I felt self conscious and wanted to somehow misplace them. 

The story is filled with lessons about judging others and taking time to help those in need. It's not important to be popular, but to be kind and compassionate to everyone. When Libby is in danger will all the kids join together to help her? I loved the reference to the story in the bible about the missing sheep and how God goes after that one and leaves the ninety-nine behind.  It's a good reminder that God will not leave you nor forsake you.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Arie’s habanero chili

1 lb stew meat: venison, or beef
1/4 cup bacon bits
1/2 Onion, diced
Green pepper, diced
2 cans of habanero Rotel
1 can tomato sauce
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1/2 cup sliced jalapenos
1 TSP cayenne pepper
3 TB chili powder
2 TB beef bouillon
1 TSP paprika
1 TSP pepper
2 TB garlic
salt to taste
Saute onion and pepper, set aside. Sear stew meat in hot pan until brown. Do not over cook. Add meat and other ingredients to pot and simmer until done. Add water if necessary. Serve with cornbread. Approximately 7 servings
Recipe compliments of Michael Hilton (Laura’s son)

Blog Stops

Mary Hake, July 11
Quiet Quilter, July 13
Carpe Diem, July 16
Splashes of Joy, July 18
Bigreadersite , July 19


To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit is giving away
Grand prize: a $25 Amazon gift card
1st – 4th place: eBook copy of Plain Everyday Heroes!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!