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Saturday, January 4, 2020

About the Book

Book: The Amish Marriage Bargain
Author: Marie E. Bast
Genre: Amish
Release Date: December 17, 2019
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Will a baby girl bring them together at last?
She’ll do anything for her niece…Even marry the man who broke her heart.
Nothing can keep May Bender in her Amish hometown—except caring for her baby niece. But the bishop insists that May also marry her widowed brother-in-law, Thad Hochstedler—the beau who jilted her to wed her sister. Can May risk her heart long enough to learn the real reason for Thad’s first marriage…and possibly rediscover their love?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Marie Striped Sweater Enhanced12015 Pic2
Marie E. Bast is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author. Her stories whisper words of hope and healing through complex characters and twisting plots. She enjoys writing Amish, contemporary and historical stories. Married for twenty-eight years, Marie and her husband have two grown sons and one daughter. When she’s not writing, she’s walking, golfing, gardening or spending time with her family. Visit her website at MarieBastAuthor.com or follower her on social media.

More from Marie

Did you know that until as late as the twentieth century, marriage was never based on love?
In fact, the institution of marriage predates recorded history. But in ancient biblical times, the reasons for marriage are numerous. The kings, nobility, wealthy, and aristocratic families used arranged marriages to ensure loyalty between kingdoms, which forced a united bound and ensured the integrity of their inheritance and the family wealth.
Arranged marriages, marriages of convenience, and marriage bargains were practical to keep property and kingdoms intact and in the family line. But these marriage contracts also spilled over into the commoners’ lives. In times of poverty, a daughter was only another mouth to feed and therefore a burden on the family. That fueled the arranged marriages where the groom gave the family money, animals, or some other commodity in exchange for the marriage.
Also, arranged marriages were instrumental for women over the age of 30 who were unwed. Even in the nineteenth century, many women would find that a marriage of convenience was the way to go. Often, a widower needed a mother and housekeeper for his family, and sometimes a woman without means to support herself would readily accept a marriage of convenience. Even today, some cultures still use arranged marriages.
But one of the most unique marriage of convenience is the marriage bargain, and that is the central theme to my newest book, The Amish Marriage Bargain, which releases in book form December 17, 2019, and eBook January 1, 2020. The marriage bargain is the specific negotiation of the terms of the agreement regarding a particular situation and often included land.
After her sister dies, May Bender will do anything for her niece…Even marry the man who broke her heart. But like the days of old, the bargain goes deeper than that.



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This has been such a wonderful book to read. The story line is about an arranged marriage that finds May and Thad married so May can help raise her sister's baby. I enjoyed the way the author showed May's flaws and how she tried so hard to overcome them. It is hard for May to be married to Thad since he dumped her once before to marry her sister. After April dies, Thad is in need of someone to help him with Leah and finds a way to get May to marry him. 

I can't imagine how hard it was for May to be Thad's wife after he betrayed her. The author writes an incredible story about forgiveness and takes a look at marriages that open the eyes of what unconditional love is. Thad has a secret that he can't let May know about.  I found him to be a very caring and selfless person. He has his hands full running the farm and trying to make ends meet. I loved reading about dairy farms and how much work it takes to make a profit from it. The author does a very good job of giving readers details about farming and the day to day chores that are involved. The other aspect of making a living by making cheese intrigued me. I didn't know how much work it takes to make cheese.  

What I liked most about the story was  how real the author portrayed May and Thad. They each were struggling with emotions and wanted to make things work between them. There are moments in the story that we see a glimpse of May starting to forgive Thad for what he did to her. When she overhears a conversation one day, everything in her life changes. Betrayed and deceit rear their ugly head and the enemy comes in  try to destroy a marriage. 

The story held my attention and I really didn't want it to end. The characters draw you in and I could easily relate to May and and how angry she felt. Her love for her niece is very well defined throughout the story and their bond was wonderful to read. There is one character in the story that I did not like. Thad's mother is very hard on May and several times belittles her. I was hoping that Thad would stand up to his mother and defend his wife. May is a strong woman who is willing to sacrifice her happiness to care for her niece. Will she find love along the way as she and Thad try to make their marriage work? Can forgiveness mend a heart? The faith element in the book is good and I loved the prayers that both characters said when they turn to  God in their struggles. The book is a wonderful story that places two people together where God shows them how to work together and let go of the past.

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

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, January 2
The Avid Reader, January 3
Texas Book-aholic, January 4
Vicky Sluiter, January 4
Mary Hake, January 4
Among the Reads, January 6
Betti Mace, January 6
Older & Smarter?, January 7
Batya’s Bits, January 7
janicesbookreviews, January 8
Hallie Reads, January 8
Bigreadersite, January 10
She Lives to Read, January 11
Quiet Quilter, January 12
Pause for Tales, January 12
EmpowerMoms, January 14
Splashes of Joy , January 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Marie is giving away to four winners each a $25 Amazon card will also receive a 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.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Fire Women FB bannerAbout the Book

Book: Fire Women
Author: Joanna Sanders
Genre: Non-fiction
Release Date: October, 2019

Fire Women Cover2 - BVCombining biblical instruction and discipleship, Fire Women is a testimony to the powerful benefits of submitting even the most intense desires to the authority of Jesus Christ. It’s an intimate view of a woman with almost-untamable passion and the God who delivered her to live the passionate life she truly desired.
Having been married twice, Joanna candidly reveals a stark contrast between her two marriages, as well as the impact of her choices through three decades of being burned—and nearly destroyed—by the desire of the flesh. In hopes to inspire passionate women to godly living, Joanna shares practical applications from the difficult lessons learned within an intense five-year refining period between marriages and an honest account of a landscape laid ruin by a life of sin. Written from the perspective of one fiery woman to another, readers will hear of the worth of living God’s way, the importance of dying to self, the true measure of passion in God’s eyes, and that not all flame is bad . . .

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

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Joanna Sanders is a graduate of Villanova University and Moody Theological Seminary. She’s the founder and head writer of Colossians46.com, which provides biblical content support, writing, and editing. She loves helping other authors realize God’s purpose through their stories and reflecting His glory back through their words. It has been her lifelong dream to finally write her own story. Joanna writes and edits for several Christian publications and publishers and has a heart for women’s ministry.
Most importantly, she is wife to Geoff and mom to three godly-men-in-training. Cookies, pasta, music, and the beach also play integral roles in her life.

More from Joanna

My parents named me after a song about a woman who consumed her lover in such a way that even long after she had left him, he continued to find glory in the short, but intense way she had loved him. It was like my parents knew I would love with a fierceness that could not be contained, that would subject me—and those around me—to a thousand deaths by my own hand. They knew before I was born. This has been a long journey.
I spent many years trying to figure out my intense passion, wrestling with it, even trying to extinguish it by choking out its oxygen. I didn’t realize there was indeed a healthy place for it. In fact, I felt like each time I looked around this world, I could only see that there was no place for it where it wouldn’t set flame to those around it as well.
I hadn’t viewed my intense passion so much as a gift before, especially since it got me in more and more trouble as I followed it. But now I see it as a gift. My passion is what has driven me to finish this book and, God willing, hopefully inspire you with my testimony. My passion is what gives me endurance and drive to persevere, to finish well in all areas of my walk, and to meet Him at the finish line.
If you are a passionate woman like me, join me in the journey. I can’t wait to show you how I learned, and Who I learned was able to handle my passion. The same road is waiting for you.


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The author reminded me of my teen years as she mentions Teen Beat and Tiger Beat. I couldn't wait for the new issues of these magazines to come out each month. I also hung posters on my wall of some of the celebrities highlighted in the magazines. I will expose my age with this statement but I really liked Bobby Sherman. I read everything I could about him. Then the Beatles become a favorite of mine. Those magazines I thought were full of exciting articles but little did I know that those magazines made me think I would able to attract someone like the stars featured in the magazines. It also made me think at times i wasn't good enough. 

I have to admit that I was having trouble following what the author's points were in the book at times. I did like the brief chapter about sexual purity. I do know that the Bible teaches us to not have intimate contact with someone until marriage. It is certainly been a subject that many people have had to face. The good news is that God does forgive us and will lead us back to Him.  I can't tell you how many times in my younger days I heard guys tell me, "If you love me you will have sex with me."  For me in my mixed up thinking I thought I would lose this person if I didn't give in and I had to prove I loved them so I wouldn't lose them.What a vicious circle I was trapped in and had no one to explain to me that what I was thinking was wrong.

I  did relate to the part about thinking the grass was greener on the other side. Oh how I know the hard way how false that statement is. The enemy loves to tell us we can do better than who we are with and it's okay to have wandering eyes. God designed intimacy to be pure and sacred between spouses. The enemy has distorted that by making us insecure, feeling unwanted and reminding us that it is okay to be intimate with  someone even though we aren't married to them.

 The author is bold enough to tell us the truth about sexual purity in a way that is easy to relate to. She gives us personal accounts of her struggles and doesn't hold anything back. Oh how I wish I had a book like this to read years go. I have made very bad choices but I also know that God has forgiven me.  

There are some points the author makes in the book that I didn't agree with. This is my own beliefs and I will leave it up to readers to decide for themselves. At times I felt the author repeated things and almost contradicted herself. The premise of the book is good, but I didn't like some of the judgmental ways she presented her point of view.One of the things I struggled with was the mention of older women teaching the younger women about the word of God. For me that reference means older women who are more mature in their walk with Jesus, not necessarily because of their age . There is much to be said for a younger woman who is strong in her faith to help others who are baby Christians. People get saved at different ages. 

The overall book is about sexual purity which I believe  is important to understand.  The author does give scriptures and uses people from the bible to illustrate her points.  I liked  some of her points but others I didn't agree with. I do appreciate her transparency and her ability to talk about subjects that may be uncomfortable to some. I will say that the book is from her heart and it is evident how passionate she is about the many topics she covers in the book. 

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


Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, January 3
janicesbookreviews, January 4
Artistic Nobody, January 6 (Author Interview)
Genesis 5020, January 8
For the Love of Literature, January 10 (Author Interview)
Christian Bookshelf Reviews, January 14 (Author Interview)
CarpeDiem, January 15
Emily Yager, January 16

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Joanna is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Amazon Gift Card and signed copy of Fire Women!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

AMISH COUNTRY KIDNAPPING BY MARY ALFORD

I have read several book by this author and they have always been very good. This book however is the best I have read from her. It is so intense and action packed I didn't move from my comfy place until the last word was read. It is so well written that the author had me reading as fast as I could to find out the ending.

The story centers around Rachel's sister who has been kidnapped. There seems to be no trace of her sister anywhere. The intriguing part is whoever has her sister wants Rachel as well. They will stop at nothing to get Rachel. The intensity grew as these mysterious men kept trying to get to Rachel.

I really enjoyed Noah and how determined he was to protect Rachel. His puts his life in danger as he fiercely protects her. I couldn't believe how many near tragedies happened to Noah as the men never gave up trying to get Rachel The big question is why do they want Rachel and why do they have her sister?

I thought the author did an excellent job of keeping who was after Rachel and why they were so desperate to get her a secret for most of the book. I think that is why I loved the story so much. The author didn't give anything away but kept me so involved in trying to figure out why they need both Rachel and her sister.   There is a past between Noah and Rachel that is explored a little but it is not the main focus of the story. The faith element is evident throughout the book and adds hope and trust to an exciting nail biting story. The ending is action packed and filled with a few surprises. I think I was holding my breath at times because the story is so intriguing and kept me guessing with twists at unexpected moments. I am excited to know that  the  author's next book  be  will coming out March 2020.

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




Tuesday, December 31, 2019

ADDRESS For MURDER by TONYA KAPPES

I am so glad to be back with Bernie and her friends. One of the things I love about this series is the sassy characters. Everyone knows each other and it makes for a fun and intriguing story. The author has really developed the characters more in this book and they start to grow on you.

I love how Bernie always finds time to visit while delivering the mail. In this adventure we have Carla who is obsessed with beautifying the community. It was easy to visualize her carrying around weed killer and spraying it around  town .

When one of the townspeople turn up dead, Bernie is on the job figuring out who the killer is. It may seem obvious who is guilty, but with the excellent writing skills of the author, she keeps us guessing till the end. The book is filled with laughs, twists and and intrigue. Get ready for a roller coaster ride with Bernie on the job  as amateur detective.

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


About the Books

Book:  Mistletoe Melody and Mistletoe Mission
Author: Stacey Weeks
Genre: Contemporary inspirational romance
Release Date: Book 1 (December 1, 2018) Book 2 (December 1, 2019)
MistletoeMelody_w12697_750Mistletoe Melody:
Former musician, Melody Staff, spends Christmas at a bed and breakfast in the village of Mistletoe Meadows. While everyone sings familiar carols of Christ drawing near, Melody stumbles over misplaced notes. Her recent diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis has scared off her fiancĂ© and thrust her life into a grand pause. She’s not sure her heart will ever sing again.
Quentin Oxford has endured a devastating year. His preteen daughter suffered a stroke, and they’ve grieved his wife’s sudden death, but the Lord coaxes a surprising refrain from Quentin’s heart as God rewrites his and Melody’s score into a holiday love song that will last for Christmases to come.
Mistletoe Mission: MistletoeMission_w12873_750
While her own relationships always end up doomed, Emily Colt is still determined to create happily-ever-afters through her wedding and event planning business. In hopes of expanding her business, she enters her latest project–staging the Christmas wedding of the year–into a town-wide contest. But between crossing paths with the first man to break her heart and dodging a saboteur, she doubts even career success is within her grasp.
Jilted pastor, Luca Wilson, fled to the mission field to escape a broken heart. All the hurt rushes back when he returns home to officiate his cousin’s wedding, and he finds Emily, the girl to whom he once promised forever, organizing the celebration. Despite his lost faith in love, their unforeseen reunion rekindles a spark, and Luca vows to help her save her struggling business. But to succeed, they will have to learn what it means to trust each other and believe in the God of Christmas miracles.

Click here to purchase Mistletoe Melody and here to purchase Mistletoe Mission.


About the Author

Stacey Weeks is the multi-award-winning author of Glorious Surrender (2016) and Chasing Holiness(2020), inspirational romances The Builder’s Reluctant Bride (2016), Mistletoe Melody (2018), Mistletoe Mission (Dec 2019) and inspirational romantic suspense novels In Too Deep (2017), and Fatal Homecoming (2019). Stacey lives in Ontario where she speaks at women’s conferences, teaches writing and bible study workshops, and writes about the things of the Lord. www.staceyweeks.com

More from Stacey

It is strange, sometimes, what inspires a story. At the time of writing Mistletoe Melody, the ten-year-old daughter of a good friend was on the recovery side of a massive stroke. This young girl inspired Janie, and she gave the character her contagious smile, a mischievous pre-teen sense of humor, and a fierce love for family. You don’t read all of Janie’s story in Mistletoe Melody, but perhaps you will in a later novella.
Melody was the result of my lovely twenty-something niece receiving a shocking diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. She endured painful tests, had hopes raised and dashed, and was blessed when the Lord saw fit to work through a drug trial to ease her suffering. Watching her life, her plans, and the things she assumed were a given for her future get shaken to their core sent me to the Scriptures.
Not too long before drafting Mistletoe Mission (book two set in Mistletoe Meadows), my husband and I travelled to Haiti. As our driver transported us from the airport to the compound on which we stayed for the duration of our trip, he pointed in the general direction of the beach that receives cruise ships and tourists. He said that portion of Haiti is separated from the rest and is considered by some to be the most beautiful section of Haiti. I disagree.
To be fair, I didn’t visit the cleaned-up beach just around the other side of the mountain, but I saw something most tourists do not get to see. I met the people and visited several in their homes. I witnessed the determination and hard work that life requires from them. I observed a light in their eyes, fueled by a love for Jesus. There is nothing more beautiful than a person on fire for the Lord, a person who is ready to be a light in a dark land.
Luca’s character is loosely based on the Director of Missions and Compassion at Hope Bible Church in Oakville, Ontario. He arranged our trip – my first overseas mission trip – and it changed my life. I have huge respect for the work he is doing, and I am thrilled to see how God is blessing the work.
Another real-life connection that made its way into Mistletoe Mission is a business that inspired the fictional start-up I called One Village. Little by Little is a business for mission committed to empowering Haitian parents. Little by Little sells the Morse Code bracelet featured in Mistletoe Mission. I fell in love with the concept of this business, and it was my delight to write a fictional version into the story. You can visit Little by Little’s website and order a bracelet like the one featured in the book (or maybe you’ll win the one I am giving away on this tour!). http://www.littlebylittle.ca/store/p326/morse-code-bracelet.html
Be blessed this holiday as you seek the Lord who has done and is doing great things.
Stacey

Gift From Stacey

Here are a few fun coloring items from Stacey!

Get your copy of Under the Summer Mistletoe for free here. (For Canada, click here)




Mistletoe Mission Coloring page



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Mistletoe Melody

Melody has a lot going on in her life. It made me think of how life throws us curves and God is watching to see what we do with those curves. Sometimes we can get angry at our circumstances and close ourselves off from everyone. I think Melody was trying to do that so people wouldn't find out about her diagnosis of MS. She is so afraid that Quentin will reject her that she keeps her distance from him. It is sad how she feels that she can't trust him enough to tell him how she feels or about her illness.

I did like learning about mistletoe and all the different kinds there were. I had no idea you could make tea from mistletoe. All I knew about it was when you stand under one, you are suppose to kiss the person standing under it with you. The author really did her research on mistletoe and it intrigued me to study more about it. 

Quentin is a wonderful character who is raising his daughter by himself. She has health issues as well that is hard to deal with. I was surprised at  how young his daughter was to have such intense health problems. His back story about his ex-wife helps readers understand why he is so protective of his heart. His faith has carried him through some difficult days and made him stronger to face whatever comes his way.

Their story is filled with trust, secrets and learning to let go and allow God to heal wounds. I loved how each character found their strength in faith and it makes for a great lesson in being set free from things that hold you back from God's blessings and to remember our hope is in the Lord.

Mistletoe Mission

One of the things I liked about this story was getting to know more details about the town. I would jump at the chance to visit a town like this and tour each shop. I loved that the author included characters from Mistletoe Melody in this story. Emily is determined to get her shop off the ground. All she needs is to win the contest and get a shop on Mission Main Street.

It is a bit ironic that Emily has a business dealing with weddings and event planning. After all, she is doesn't have the best track record in the marriage department. Okay maybe she doesn't have the best record in the love department either. Everything is riding on the Christmas Eve wedding she is in charge of.  Not everyone in the town wants her to win so she has to really trust God to open doors for her. 

I laughed when her ex fiance Luca shows up to perform the wedding Emily is in charge of.  I have heard that brides can be difficult,  but in this story it is the brides mother. What a handful this lady is with all her superstitions and nasty attitude. I think I would have to tell her to go away and show up only on the day of the wedding. It is hard to believe that Emily hasn't pulled her hair out with all the chaos going on. 

Emily and Luca are both having trust issues and it makes for a great story. Luca feels like he may have wandered from God a bit and it was interesting to read how he deals with it. I loved learning about Morse code bracelets. What a unique gift to give someone or get one for yourself.  The author does a great job of giving us a look into Luca's mission work. His overwhelming feeling of failure is written all over his face. 

The story is a reminder to not run away from our problems but to trust God in everything.  The ending is wonderful and I loved how Emily and Luca find a way to work together. The details of the wedding Emily has been in charge of is inspiring and shows how God knits people together . 

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


Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, December 20
Blogging With Carol , December 22
A Reader’s Brain, December 23
Emily Yager, December 24
Genesis 5020, December 26
Remembrancy, December 28
Inklings and notions, December 28
Quiet Quilter, December 29
Texas Book-aholic, December 31
janicesbookreviews, January 1
Batya’s Bits, January 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Stacey is giving away the grand prize of the winner’s choice of a Morse Code Bracelet!! (found here: http://www.littlebylittle.ca/store/p326/morse-code-bracelet.html)
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.