Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Month in Review: May

So this month it looks like I didn't do anything!

  • Backlogged reviews 0
  • Days exercised 29
  • Bible read 29
  • Clay dolls sculpted 0
  • Hats knit 0
  • Words written 160
  • Cross bookmarks tatted 0
  • Monday, May 30, 2016

    Book Tour, Review, & Giveaway: "The Quieting" by Suzanne Woods Fisher

    "The Quieting" is the 2nd book in The Bishop's Family series and starts right off where "The Imposter" (book 1) ends. "The Quieting" continues to follow David Stoltzfus and his son Jesse as in "The Imposter", but "The Quieting" also follows David's niece, Abigail Stoltzfus.

    David Stoltzfus is under a lot of stress trying to deal with the aftermath of the revelation that Freeman Glick switched the lots to become bishop. Added to that hassle, is his mother trying to fix everything that she deems needing to be fixed.

    Abigail and her sister Laura are sent to their Uncle David's house to help out. They are joined by their grandmother who has a reputation for meddling in other people's affairs. Mammi is determined to find a husband for Abigail. It isn't that Abigail doesn't want to find a husband, it's just that no one is interested in her and her tendencies to organize and expound on subjects in great detail. While in Stoney Ridge, Abigail hopes to be able to break through a wall in a genealogy project she took over for her father, hoping that getting it finished will help him to break free of his depression. When she makes an interesting discovery, it could help her uncle's problems, but will it create others?

    It would be extremely beneficial to read "The Imposter" before reading "The Quieting". While Katrina and Birdy are only mentioned as secondary characters in this book, what we learned about them in the first book is important to know for us to fully understand what is going on now. The characters (especially David) seek God and the Bible for guidance. I really enjoyed the spiritual journey that they took throughout the book. There were a couple of times that the same thought or phrase was repeated almost word for word ("balance of leadership, love, & clear communication" on pages 85 and 88 and a verse in Genesis about the waters of the firmament on pages 63 and 170) I found the book to flow well and that the characters were well developed and interesting.

    "The Quieting" is available in paperback:
    • Series: The Bishop's Family (Book 2)
    • Paperback: 352 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (May 3, 2016)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 080072321X
    • ISBN-13: 978-0800723217
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 7451 KB
    • Print Length: 353 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (May 3, 2016)
    • Publication Date: May 3, 2016
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B01AO3OPXU

    About the Author
    suzanne-croppedSuzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author whose most recent novels include Anna’s Crossing and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

    Blog Stops

    May 17: Heidi Reads…
    May 18: Just Commonly
    May 19: A Holland Reads
    May 20: Quiet Quilter
    May 21: cherylbbookblog
    May 22: Giveaway Lady
    May 23: Splashes of Joy
    May 24: Lane Hill House
    May 24: Book by Book
    May 24: Mary Hake
    May 29: Bukwurmzzz
    May 29: Bigreadersite

    Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

    Twenty years ago, my husband and I attended a large church with a dynamic senior pastor. Each Sunday, we would sit spellbound during 40 minute sermons—he was that good a preacher. And then a terrible thing came to light—this very man had been taking advantage of vulnerable women during counseling sessions. Fourteen women, it turned out, and the pastor remained unrepentant. As issues were dealt with, our entire church suffered. We were a hurting community. The sins of one affected all.
    As I plotted out ‘The Bishop’s Family,’ I wanted to borrow the theme of how a leader’s sins hurts the church community. (Now, I need to clarify that this is not a novel that addresses sexual sin. However, it does address unrepentant sin in an ordained leader.) First, I spoke to some Amish friends to see if my story idea had any merit. Was I was on the right track? To my amazement, a similar situation to my novels had occurred in one Amish friend’s church, and it resulted in a “quieting.” That’s an Amish phrase that means revoking the responsibilities of an unrepentant ordained leader. Just like it sounds–he is, essentially, “quieted.”
    In this novel, you’ll see the behind-the-scenes of Amish church leadership, and get a sense of how a community is hurting. And how it begins to heal, too.
    This series began in the Stoney Ridge, Pennsylvania community with The Imposter. More twists and turns are coming to Stoney Ridge after The Quieting—so stay tuned for The Devoted to hit bookshelves in early October. Just in time for autumn reading by a warm fireplace!
    Warmly, Suzanne


    The Quieting giveaway
    To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grab bag of Amish-made gifts worth over $100! Click to enter
    I received a free copy of this book to give my honest review and to participate in the book tour with Celebrate Lit. All thoughts and opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2016

    Book Tour, Review, & Giveaway: "Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter" by Carrie Fancett Pagels

    Even though they are nobility, Suzanne Richelieu and her family have long known they may have to make a hasty retreat if it is ever discovered that they are Huguenots. When their plans don't go as expected, Suzanne is forced to flee alone.

    Johan Rousch is sent to help his uncle, Father Vincent, get French Huguenots gathered for leaving for the colonies. When he arrives, it is just Suzanne.  Dangers on the way back make them detour and they end up back at his family's home in the Palatine.

    When the French army shows up to burn the land, Johan and Suzanne head for the colonies. When Suzanne gets gravely ill on the journey over, they get married on-board the ship. When they arrive, Suzanne doesn't remember the wedding and it appears the priest that married them might not actually be a priest. Will they be able to find their way through the trials to find their way in a new land?

    I have read other books by Carrie Fancett Pagels and have enjoyed reading all of them and "Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter" was no exception. I liked Suzanne and especially Johan. He made me think of a big teddy bear. One who wasn't scared to roar a little to protect those he loved. There was a nice inclusion of God and the characters grew in their relationships with Him. I was a little confused during the dream portion on the ship, but it made sense later why it was so confusing! I was intrigued with the things I learned through the book about Huguenots and their persecution, the fact that people paid for their passages to the colonies by offering themselves for indentured service, and the customs of the day. It was also interesting to know that the story was inspired by ancestors of Carrie Fancett Pagels, who I found some information about here

    About the Author
    Carrie headshotCarrie Fancett Pagels is a multi-published award-winning author of Christian historical romance.  Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! She resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia, which is perfect for her love of history. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time!
    Guest Post from Carrie Fancett Pagels
    Hi, I’m Carrie Fancett Pagels, so excited to see this particular book “baby”, Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter, finally being “born!” I started working on this over eight years ago!
    Roush book 1Would you believe it was a genealogical search that began this story? We had a lot of research on my father’s side of the family but not on my mother’s. Sites like Ancestry.com were getting big. One of my mother’s cousins posted the genealogy that he’d found, on one of the genealogy sharing sites and I got that information but only back to where I found two Rousch cousins marrying. I honestly didn’t want to go on after that, as it appeared they were first cousins – yikes! But after praying about it, and knowing my mom was curious, too, I went forward.colonial Patriot marchers DSCN4653While I am interested in genealogy, as a former psychologist, I’m more interested in people’s stories.  So when I discovered that the two cousins were the grandchildren of Johan Adam Rousch, who had been acknowledged because nine of his ten sons had fought in the American Revolution, I wanted to know more about him and his family and ancestors.  Since there were books already written about him, I went up to the University of Virginia Rare Books Library and read what people had to say about the real life Johan. He sounded fascinating. He was an immigrant from the Palatinate of Germany and lived in the western part of Virginia, after immigrating via Pennsylvania.
    I had joined the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) group and had been working on a novel set in the Charleston, South Carolina area, where I’d previously lived. I got so interested in Johan and his story that I began to write. But I couldn’t wrap my mind around Susanna, his real life wife who likely also came from the Palatinate, possibly on the same ship. No matter how I tried to work on her, through various writing classes I took, I couldn’t make her “real” because she just wasn’t speaking to me. I tried and I have the old scenes to prove it!
    rousch monumentWhen I write, I pray. I asked God to show me scriptures for each scene, which were included on my rough drafts (they are not there in the final novel.) I did some research, at the library, and a massive tome about the Hundred Years War was recommended to me and one on European History from that time frame. By learning of some of the reasons the Palatinate was persecuted, such as the French punishing them for taking in Protestants, I began to imagine a different sort of heroine for my story. Of course, although the story was inspired by Johan and Susanna, this book is fictional. That freed me up for God to inspire me to make this story about faith. A core tenet of the book is that we must find our own faith – we cannot “borrow” it from someone else!
    Since I was still practicing as a psychologist, as I developed Suzanne’s character I included traits that would be common in someone is the situation she was in. She’s living in an aristocratic French family, with parents who are actually of the Huguenot faith. If they are discovered there can be drastic consequences, including death. So a young lady like that may become more obsessive and compulsive as a way of dealing with that anxiety.
    I hope those who read this story will be inspired by the message of overcoming and of finding one’s own path to faith in the Lord!!!

    Blog Stops

    May 26: Just Commonly (Spotlight)
    May 27: A Greater Yes
    May 27: Cassandra M’s Place (spotlight)
    May 29: Bigreadersite
    May 29: Mary Hake
    June 4: Southern Chelle
    Kindle grand prize meme


    To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away a Kindle Fire 7, one signed copy of Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter along with Postcard & bookmark and Fleur de Lis Earrings. Click to enterKindle grand prize meme
    Carrie has also generously donated one ebook copy for one commentor on my blog, so be sure to comment so you can win this excellent book!

    "Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter" is available in Kindle editon:
    • File Size: 1535 KB
    • Print Length: 346 pages
    • Publisher: Pelican Book Group (July 1, 2016)
    • Publication Date: June 3, 2016
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B01AR4ZIDW

    and in paperback:
    • Paperback: 346 pages
    • Publisher: Pelican Book Group (July 1, 2016)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1611165547
    • ISBN-13: 978-1611165548
    • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 8 inches

    I received a pdf copy of this book in order for me to do my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2016

    School Carnival

    We had stopped going to the carnival at the school because it was getting quite expensive. Last year they didn't even have one. This year, they switched up what they did and made it cheaper and more streamlined, so we decided to try it out.