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Saturday, December 28, 2019

Abraham FB BannerAbout the Book

Book:  Abraham
Author: Jennifer Beckstrand
Genre: Inspirational Amish Romance
Release Date: November 26, 2019
Abraham coverThings at the Petersheim house are getting too crowded for eight-year-old twins Alfie and Benji. As if things weren’t bad enough with three older brothers hogging all the bacon at breakfast and using more than their fair share of toilet paper, Mammi and Dawdi Petersheim have to move in because of Dawdi’s stroke. If Alfie and Benji have any hope of getting their own bedrooms, they have to get rid of their annoying brothers, and the only way to convince their brothers to move out is to make each of them fall in love. What could be so hard about that?
Abraham Petersheim is known as a man of few words. He’s painfully shy and doesn’t see the need to prattle on like other boys in the community do. That’s why he can’t understand his unexpected attraction to Emma Wengerd. For sure and certain she’s pretty, but she also has five or six boys buzzing around her all the time, and she seems to be constantly annoyed with Abraham and his little brothers. Emma would never be interested in someone as boring as Abraham, and he could never set his sights on someone as wunderbarr as Emma.

Click here to get your copy.

About the Author

jennifer Beckstrand 1Jennifer Beckstrand is the two-time RITA-nominated, #1 Amazon bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series, The Honeybee Sisters series, and The Petersheim Brothers series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer and Home on Huckleberry Hill were both nominated for the coveted RITA® Award from Romance Writers of America. Jennifer has written twenty-one Amish romances, a historical Western, and the nonfiction book, Big Ideas. She and her husband have been married for thirty-five years, and she has six children and eight adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

More from Jennifer

Alfie and Benji Petersheim will do just about anything to get their brother Abraham to fall in love with Emma Wengerd, even adopt a stray dog. But to catch that dog, they’re going to need Aunt Bitsy’ help. Alfie and Benji are about to get in a lot of trouble.

I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Abraham

Benji pushed his coffee cake around his plate with his finger. “Maybe we could keep that stray dog.”
Maybe they could keep the dog. Alfie’s heart started pounding. A dog could find them if they ever got lost in the woods. A dog could fetch sticks and bring Dat his slippers. A dog would eat crumbs off the floor. Mamm would never have to mop again.
Bitsy shrugged. “That’s up to your mamm.”
Alfie’s heart sank to his toes. “Mamm would never let us have a dog. She won’t even let me have a goldfish.”
“I have a pet spider,” Benji said.
Alfie popped a small bite of coffee cake into his mouth. “He’s not your pet. He just lives in the corner of the cellar and kills other spiders.”
“You tried to spray him,” Benji said, “and I saved his life. He’s my pet now.”
Bitsy nodded. “Spiders are gute pets. They feed themselves and don’t poop on the carpet.”
Benji sat very still before wrinkling his forehead like he did when he was upset. “We need to help that dog.”
Alfie wanted a dog as much as anybody, but they had to be sensible. They’d been asking Mamm for a dog ever since they could talk. “Mamm won’t let us.”
Benji started crying. “But he’s going to get gassed.”
Bitsy reached over and patted Benji’s arm. “He might not get gassed. The pound might find a nice family that wants to adopt him. People like chocolate labs. I’m told they’re cute.”
Benji caught his breath and suddenly stopped crying, as if someone had turned off a faucet. “Do girls like chocolate lamps?”
“Chocolate labs?” Bitsy folded her arms. “Well, I’m a girl and I don’t think he’s cute, but most girls love dogs. Do you remember Vernon Schmucker? Poor fellow had a face like a potato, and the girls ignored him. One night he brought a puppy to the gathering, and he was surrounded by girls all night. That’s how he met his wife.”
Benji jumped from his chair and threw his arms around Alfie, making Alfie spill milk down his new shirt. “Hey. Watch it.”
“Alfie, girls like dogs!”
Benji was a good partner, but sometimes he made no sense. “So?”
“If Emma Wengerd saw us walking our chocolate lamp down the street, she’d run out of her house to pet him.”
Alfie’s heart started pounding. Benji was the best bruder in the world. “We could bring Abraham with us.”
Benji got more and more excited with each word. “And they could talk about dogs and chickens and maybe start kissing.”
Alfie set his milk on the table. “We’ve got to catch that dog.”


I am so glad to be back with the wonderful Petersheim Brothers. The first book was about Andrew which introduces readers to this delightful new series. If you haven't read the first book I recommend you do. It will introduce you to the brothers and  get to know them better.

This book is about Abraham who is a wonderful young man. He is very shy and humble with a heart of gold. He is unsure of himself especially around girls. Abraham definitely has a self esteem problem and I hurt for him as he continued to feel unimportant around others. It is hard for Abraham to let someone know he like them because he is very shy and doesn't want to be rejected.

Emma has her own problems that made it hard for me to like her at times. She was very pretty and a big flirt. She loved the attention other young men gave her because it made her feel good about herself. It was kind of funny that Abraham and Emma both had self esteem issues. Emma also was quite prideful and could say hurtful things to people which she  did to protect herself from getting hurt.

The stars of this story for me were the twins Alfie and Benji. They just couldn't help themselves from getting in trouble. When they hatch this elaborate scheme to benefit themselves, it causes many misunderstandings and a barrel of laughs. The addition of a dog named Tintin will bring a smile to your face.  I can't imagine what it would be like  to raise these two boys. I won't spoil the story but get prepared for adventure, matchmaking, and a lesson in pride, forgiveness and faith.

I have to mention the chickens in the story. Emma raises chickens and I was fascinated by the different breeds she had. My husband raises chickens and we recently added a few to our growing hen family. There is one that is beautiful and I fell in love with it. The chicken is mostly white and looks like it has fur around his legs. I enjoyed how the author gives details about how to raise chickens and the how many different kinds there are.

I really enjoyed the story and it took me awhile to like Emma but I realized that she did things because she wanted to  be liked by everyone. Abraham is smitten with her, but will he overcome his shyness to tell her how he feels? Come join in the fun as the author takes us on a journey that will remind us that sometimes love is right in front of us if we take the time to notice.

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

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, December 28
She Lives to Read, December 29
Older & Smarter?, December 30
Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 31
SPLASHES of Joy, January 1
Book of Ruth Ann, January 2
Mary Hake, January 2
janicesbookreviews, January 3
Vicky Sluiter, January 3
Pause for Tales, January 4
Quiet Quilter, January 5
The Avid Reader, January 6
Batya’s Bits, January 10


To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving a $10 Amazon gift card to three winners!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

About the Book

Book:  Rest for the Justice Seeking Soul
Author: Susan K. Williams Smith
Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living/Devotional
Release Date: November 12, 2019
9781641233088Susan K. Williams Smith is a minister and activist who has been on the front lines of social and racial justice for many years. As she has marched shoulder-to-shoulder to resist systematic oppression, she has heard the same question over and over: “How are we going to get through this?” Rest for the Justice-Seeking Soul was birthed out of those cries.
Here is a soul-care manual for social justice-seeking believers who stand in constant vigilance against all forms of racial, class, and gender oppression. The fight for justice and equality is an exhausting daily grind—and the work is never over. That’s why it is incumbent upon all who speak and advocate for the less fortunate to practice self-care. You can’t fight when your tank is empty.
In response to the many calls and emails she has received from friends, clergy, and strangers who are in utter despair and even deep depression, she has created ninety daily devotions to provide a daily spoonful of hope and encouragement, a healing balm to “strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees”(Hebrews 12:12). Lift your gaze upward toward a better future by allowing God to restore harmony and focus in your soul and justice in your community. Our God is bigger than whoever is oppressing you. As the old hymn states, “Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”

Click here for your copy.

About the Author

9781641233088(1)Susan K. Williams Smith is an ordained minister, musician, writer, and activist living in Columbus, Ohio. She has written for the Washington Post and Huffington Post, as well as her blog, Candid Observations. She currently serves as one of the tri-chairs for the Ohio Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. She also serves as national scribe for the African American Ministers’ Leadership Council (AAMLC), and communications consultant for the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference. The founder of Crazy Faith Ministries, she is a graduate of Occidental College and Yale Divinity School, and earned a D.Min from United Theological Seminary. Her previous book, Crazy Faith: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives, was published by Judson Press.

More from Susan

In response to calls and emails from friends, clergy, and strangers who are in utter despair and even deep depression in these political times, I’ve created ninety daily devotions to provide a daily spoonful of hope and encouragement, a healing balm for justice-seeking believers and social activists.


The title of the book led me to believe that i would be reading a book that would calm my soul and give me peace. I didn't find that much in the book. The first few pages into the book I felt like the author was yelling a battle cry and to take up arms.  I know that many people have suffered from discrimination and I have always stood up for all the people. I don't see color, gender or anything, just a person that God loves.

I'm not to sure I agree with this statement; " The experience of being in the dark teaches us what we need to know and provide us with the elements needed for survival."  I was taught that we need to turn away from darkness and go to the light where God is. He is waiting  to give you hope and protection. The book is designed for a ninety day reading but I couldn't finish it.   There are many sections in the book where I didn't agree with the author .

This statement sealed it for me and knew I couldn't read anymore from this book. " And just as privileged white people do themselves and society a disservice by not acknowledging their privilege, we all  do God a disservice by not acknowledging our privilege."

Jesus doesn't see color. This book feels more like it is trying to push an agenda, rather than pushing a message for loving thy neighbor. I want us as a whole to teach the younger generation that yes there is racism still going on, but we need to all stand together to fight for that to go away. What this book has done in my opinion is start a rally against each other and not fight for the rights of all people. I cannot recommend this book and will leave it up to readers to decide if they want to pick up a copy of themselves. 

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

Blog Stops

CarpeDiem, December 20
Artistic Nobody, December 21 (Author Interview)
Just the Write Escape, December 22
Simple Harvest Reads, December 24 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, December 25
All 4 and About Books, December 26 (Author Interview)
My Devotional Thoughts, December 28 (Author Interview)
janicesbookreviews, December 29
A Reader’s Brain, December 30
Through the Fire Blogs, December 31 (Author Interview)


To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a finished copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Daybreak FB cover About the Book

Book: Daybreak
Author: Beckie Lindsey
Genre: YA Fiction
Release Date: July, 2019
Daybreak coverEvery girl has a secret she hopes the light will never find—
but the demons already have.
Krystal, Mackenzie, Tammi, and Sadie fight a spiritual battle between unseen forces of good and evil that reaches deadly proportions.
When Krystal’s relationship with lifelong friend, Bryce, turns romantic, she is faced with the most important decision of her life. No matter her choice—everything will change forever.
As the friends rally to help Krystal, they each face their own battles against the forces of darkness and within themselves.
When tension between the group and members of a rock band continue to escalate, only time will tell which bonds will grow stronger and which will break.
“The thief comes only to kill, steal, and destroy.”

About the Author

Beckie LindseyBeckie Lindsey is an award-winning author, poet, blogger, and the editor of Southern California Christian Voice, a division of One Christian Voice, a national news syndicating agency. She is a major coffeeholic and enjoys a good book with a cat on her lap. She also loves to hike and hang out with family and friends. Beckie and her husband, Scott have three adult children, two adorable cats and live in California.

More from Beckie

Why I write YA and the BFA series

I believe a teenager still exists inside each of us.

We hear a familiar tune from our “glory days” and are instantly tapping our toes. Mentally, we’re back in high school —poofy bangs, scrunchie, neon off-the-shoulder sweatshirt — and all. Oh, wait. That’s me back in the ‘80s!

Ah, yes. There is something wonderfully awful about those coming-of-age years.

From the first kiss to the first breakup, there are memories we cherish and some we don’t care to ever revisit. Being a teen can be exciting, confusing, painful, joyous, or even all of those things at once!

No matter how different your teenage experience was from mine, one thing is true for us all: these years have an enormous impact on who we become as adults. We can all sympathize with the plight of puberty and the longing for independence and acceptance. Yeah, there’s still a teenager in all of us!

These are the reasons I write YA.

My hope is to use the power of storytelling to move past barriers and open hearts to accept how much God loves and desires a personal relationship with us.

At every age, we all need the grace and love of Jesus.

In the Beauties from Ashes (BFA) series, I write about relatable characters with difficult issues and traumatic pasts to enlighten readers about the unseen spiritual battle referred to in Scripture. Each character has a secret that has left them vulnerable to the battle in an invisible realm where demonic creatures fight to keep them chained to their pasts and angels of light work to free them.

The characters and their issues are complex, just like real life. In fact, some of the topics are often considered too taboo to talk about openly. But what is left in the dark, festers and grows. It is only in the light that we can be free. In the BFA series, readers experience the character’s quest for truth, love, grace, and freedom while hopefully finding the same for themselves.


If you haven't read the first two books in the series, you should grab a copy of them. This book is one that I hope everyone will read.  The author does an amazing job of writing directly to her target audience. The subject matters in the book are tough to read but realistic. I especially like the way she demonstrates darkness vs light. 

The characters in the story are well written and I could feel their struggles as the enemy tries to find a way into their thoughts.  The author does a great job of showing how young adults deal with issues that are hard to cope with. What would you do if you were still in high school and found out your were pregnant? There are several choices a character has and abortion does come up. The struggle is real as this character decides what to do.

The mention of incest is hard for me to read but I thought the author exceeded how she presented the topic. I understand how the character who faces this felt. She didn't care if that person died because of the pain she has endured by him. I really liked how the author uses scriptures in the story and how important forgiveness is.  I loved when the pastor in the story tells Bryce, " We all make mistakes, Bryce. The important thing is what we do after." 

Feelings of shame, guilt, lust, doubt, temptation, pride, suicide, anger and many other sins are the topics that the author tackles in this gripping story. The story is hard hitting and very much needed for our youth to read. They face these problems everyday and the author does an amazing job of showing how God is there fighting for you. I love how the characters each examine their heart and have friends that surround them speaking words of faith and encouragement. The youth pastors are excellent in the story and help the teens find their way to God. 

The enemy loves chaos and confusion and it runs rampant throughout the story. I cried with the character whose mother was having a difficult time. It broke my heart to read someone had been dealing with incest and another one fighting off lust. The visual picture the author draws is priceless as we can see angels surrounding those in trouble. I loved how the author reminds us that God is always there with His arms wide open waiting to welcome us into His comfort and forgiveness. The author leaves the readers hanging at the end which sets up for another book in the series. This book is going on my top picks for 2019.

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

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, December 23
Simple Harvest Reads, December 24 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, December 25
Emily Yager, December 27
Blogging With Carol, December 30
For Him and My Family, December 31
Artistic Nobody, December 31 (Author Interview)
Remembrancy, January 1
janicesbookreviews, January 3
A Reader’s Brain, January 4


To celebrate her tour, Beckie is giving away the grand prize of a $20 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

About the Book

Book: Darling Hedgehog Goes Down A Foxhole
Author: Auralee Arkinsly
Genre: Early reader chapter book
Release Date: September 13, 2019
Darling HedgehogDarling Hedgehog learns about the animal nature of things in high humor and carefree, cute, and winning episodes. This childhood story reads a bit like Aesop’s Fables or a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, for children 4-8 or preschool and kindergarten, as a read-to-me picture book, and first grade and second grade as a chapter book.
Pictures similar to the Mercy Watson series are characterized and painted in full-color, though the pages are set up like a chapter book.
This book helps to train children in natural wisdom, analysis, and discernment. It helps to balance the teachings of acceptance of everyone and friendliness to all. There may be good purposes for everyone to exist under heaven, yet all purposes may not be good for a child. So, beware, be discrete, and flee from crafty foxes especially when they are holding your parents in the pantry.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Auralee ArkinslyAuralee Arkinsly writes in good humor about serious subjects because kids of all ages can learn a lot from laughing. She is a strong believer in right and wrong but knows that getting onto the right path can mean falling down a slippery slope. She reckons if she can save some from the bumps and bruises, then she has done her job

More from Auralee

I’m so excited to launch my children’s book, Darling Hedgehog Goes Down a Foxhole with the Celebrate Lit crew!  You are a river of hope for a new author.
So, here’s the story behind the story.
My friend and fellow author, Kathy Joy, left me a small hedgehog in a tutu as a going away gift on her guest bed after she had been visiting. I put it on the windowsill in my bedroom, and every morning, I would see it when I awoke.
I don’t know if you can relate to this experience, but I often wake up from a good night’s sleep with the gift of a problem being solved.  Sometimes, I wake up with a creative idea.  Well, one day, I awoke to find that I had the beginnings of a child’s story about where the hedgehog found her tutu.
Initially, it was a simple story about Darling Hedgehog finding a foxy friend who helps Darling find her calling.
I wrote out the story and then asked a talented neighborhood girl if she would like to draw the pictures for the tall tale. Having seen a lot of Julia’s sketches as she grew up, I thought that she might like to know what it felt like to earn money from her talents and at the same time, learn about the process of creating a book with an author to propose to a publishing company.
She agreed. Julia was in ninth grade. She was at the age where she was beginning to think about high school jobs and even to make plans for college and a career.
The same day we wrote out our contract, Julia sent me her first image of what she imagined Darling to look like. It clearly was not a mistake to hire this young artist!
When I awoke another morning, I believed God had given me another bit of advice. I needed to do better research on the nature of hedgehogs and foxes, their habitats and characteristics. The outcome caused the story to take a turn towards intrigue.  It became a fable. It became an action-adventure animal story. It became better.
A librarian encouraged us to continue with it no longer as a picture book for very small children but as an early reader chapter book for second graders learning about similes.
I hope that we can teach children to notice facts and objective truth as they are being trained for life. So, I’ve accepted that my child’s fantasy had to grow some legs of gravity and wisdom.  I’ve trusted my editors and beta readers that this is true, but I’m not above being told off.


I will say that I liked the cover of the book. It definitely will grab children's attention. I don't think I've seen a children's book about hedgehogs before. The concept of the book is good, but for me fell a little short. The author writes a story about stranger danger but missed the mark in several areas. It  didn't make sense for the hedgehog to dress up in a tutu and then most of the story try to find ways to repay Miss Fox for the gift.

Miss Fox did share some fun things she likes to do which the hedgehog thought was interesting. They get in a car and go places together which I cringed at. The conversation about eating insects was intriguing and darling seemed to want to please Miss Fox way too much.  The ending I think would scare little children. This book would be better suited for older children for parents to read and discuss together.  The book is not something I can recommend because it has many flaws in it starting with an instant admiration for Miss Fox. I didn't think the author presented stranger danger in a good way for children to understand. I read the book twice to see if I could gleam the concept but I didn't. The highlight for me was the beautiful illustrations which was done very well. 

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

Blog Stops

A Diva’s Heart, December 11
For Him and My Family, December 12
Older & Smarter?, December 13
Emily Yager, December 13
Just the Write Escape, December 14
Blogging With Carol, December 14
Bigreadersite, December 15
janicesbookreviews, December 15
Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 16
A Reader’s Brain, December 17
Remembrancy, December 19
Inklings and notions, December 19
Lighthouse Academy, December 19 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
Live.Love.Read., December 20
Sara Jane Jacobs, December 21
Maureen’s Musings, December 23
With a Joyful Noise, December 23
Texas Book-aholic, December 24


To celebrate her tour, Auralee is giving away the grand prize of a set of Darling Hedgehog greeting cards!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.