Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Month in Review - July

  • Wrote 0 words
  • Sculpted 0 babies
  • Tatted 12 crosses
  • Sewed 1 sock monkeys  
  • Knit 0 hats
  • Exercised 8 days
  • Read in the Bible 31 days
  • Wrote up 2 backlogged book reviews 
  • "Widow's Plight" by Mary Davis - Book Review

    About the Book 
    Washington State, 1893 

    When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future? Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first, but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother. Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

    My Thoughts
    Widow's Plight is Mary Davis's debut book. It kind of had the feel of a mail order bride book with her arriving on the train and not knowing anyone, but wasn't exactly like it since she wasn't expecting to marry anyone once she arrived. I liked the characters. The kids, especially, added sweet moments and things to giggle about. Aunt Henny standing up for Lily and not jumping to conclusions about her was encouraging. There was growth in the characters' lives. I look forward to reading the other books in the series.

    Mary Davis
    About the Author  
    Born and raised in Washington State, Mary now resides in Colorado with her husband of over twenty-seven years, three twenty-something kids, and four pets. She earned her college degree in elementary education and has taken an advanced course from the Institute of Children's Literature. Mary leads two critique groups, one in the local Colorado area as well as an on-line critique group. She regularly attends the ACFW conference as well as her local writing chapter in the Springs, and she has spearheaded a writing contest for youth for several years. Cascades is her fourteenth book, which contains three previously released novels.
    Mary enjoys writing contemporary and historical inspirational romance. She loves reading romance, fiction, mystery, and fantasy books, as well as playing with her cat, Buffy.

    "Widow's Plight" is available in paperback:

    • Series: The Quilting Circle (Book 1)
    • Paperback: 312 pages
    • Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink (June 13, 2018)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1943959382
    • ISBN-13: 978-1943959389
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches

    and in Kindle edition:

    • File Size: 3679 KB
    • Print Length: 312 pages
    • Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink (July 1, 2018)
    • Publication Date: July 1, 2018
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07CV4XDLH

    I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

    "Finding Christmas Joy" by Amanda Tero - Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

    It's Christmas in July! Or, for some of us, it is. If you live in the south like author Amanda Tero, you're more than ready to think of cold weather. And what better way to do it than to grab some sugar cookies and hot chocolate (trust me, after you read the story, you'll be craving them!) and settle down for a winter read?

    About the Book
    Melonie Brown just wants to get away from all of the pain and heartache that this year has brought upon her, and Starlight Lodge seems like the perfect place to do so. With no plans beyond a Christmas escape, she drives out to the lodge. Can she bottle up the peace and joy that she finds in this special place to help her face the challenges she may have in the upcoming year?

    Author’s Note
    July heat causes many of us to yearn for the chill of Christmas—at least, if you’re like me and prefer coolness over heat (and if you live in the South, where humidity and heat combat for the highest number). Sure, Christmas may be far from our minds, but it will be here before we know it!
    And when Christmas season comes around, there is just that “feeling in the air.” Christmas music plays in all of the stores, Christmas movies take center stage, and everything is decked in red and green.
    So often though, what does not take center stage is Jesus Christ—the One for Whom we even celebrate Christmas.
    It was Christmas 2017 and I had watched a few Christmas movies. They all just missed the mark. It was the “joy of the season” and the “magic of the holiday” that provided the solution to their problems. As I was thinking about it, the idea for “Finding Christmas Joy” popped into my head. I wrote the entire rough draft in one sitting, not 100% sure where all God was going to lead this idea.
    Melonie’s struggle was influenced by some events from people in my life. It is definitely something different than I’ve ever written before, involving a girl who is in a relationship (or was).
    Though not everyone is going through a break-up during the Christmas season, and though the solution to your struggle may not be salvation (if you’re already saved), I pray that the reminder that the true foundation of joy in Jesus is as much a blessing to you as it was to me.

    My Thoughts

    Finding Christmas Joy is a short story full of healing and Christmas Joy. I found Melonie's feelings and emotions to be realistic and well done. There is a very clear Gospel message given in the story on how you have to do more than believe Jesus was born and died, but have to accept him as your Savior. There is a more thorough presentation of the Gospel, complete with Bible verses, at the end of the story. It would be nice to have a follow up story to see Melonie find her true love.

    About the Author

    Amanda TeroAmanda Tero is a homeschool graduate who desires to provide God-honoring, family-friendly reading material. She has enjoyed writing since before ten years old, but it has only been since 2013 that she began seriously pursuing writing again - starting with some short stories that she wrote for her sisters as a gift. Her mom encouraged her to try selling the stories she published, and since then, she has begun actively writing short stories, novellas, and novels.

    If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!

    "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)

    Connect with Amanda
    Email: amandaterobooks@gmail.com
    Website: amandatero.com
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/amandaterobooks
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandateroauthor/
    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/truthpicsart/
    Blog: www.withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com
    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AmandaTero
    Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/amandatero


    Amanda Tero is giving away a copy of “Finding Christmas Joy” with one of her piano CD’s! You’ll be able to enjoy the music of the season as well as a story that brings you the happiness of the season. (Note: there are two giveaways: one for physical copies for residents of USA, and another for international residents)

    Blog Tour

    July 28, 2018

    July 30, 2018

    July 31, 2018

    "Finding Christmas Joy" is available in paperback:
    • Paperback: 43 pages
    • Publisher: ARTStudios (July 17, 2018)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 194293128X
    • ISBN-13: 978-1942931287
    • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.1 x 8 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 1029 KB
    • Print Length: 29 pages
    • Publication Date: July 31, 2018
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07DGKSWS5

    I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily.
    Amanda Tero is giving away a copy of
    Finding Christmas Joy
    one of her piano CD
    s! You
    ll be
    able to enjoy the music of the season as well as a story that b
    rings you the happiness of the season. (Note:
    there are two giveaways: one for physical copies for reside
    nts of USA, and another for international

    Friday, July 20, 2018

    "Plain Everyday Heroes" by Laura V. Hilton, Rachel J. Good, & Thomas Nye

    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.

    My Thoughts
    "Playing With Fire" by Laura V. Hilton is a sequel to "Firestorm". I strongly suggest reading them in order as this novella will make more sense. The beginning of the story felt a little scattered to me, but it quickly smoothed out and I was pulled into Arie and Noah's story. It was nice to get their story after meeting them in the first book. I liked the spiritual growth and message portrayed in the book. 

    "An Unlikely Hero" by Rachel J. Good: I liked Benuel and his way of reading people. I had no idea what was truly going on with the twins and little Samuel until right near the end. There was one inconsistency with what we're told about Samuel's name, but it wasn't a big thing. There weren't any big changes made in any of the characters' lives, but they did pray and seek God's guidance in situations. 

    "Racing the Slow Girls" by Thomas Nye: This story was a good reminder that first appearances and impressions aren't always a good indicator of who a person really is. I liked Daniel's interactions with Libby and how she tried to play matchmaker for her sister to get together with Daniel. I enjoyed reading the story and how it ended.

    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: www.racheljgood.com.

    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.

    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! https://promosimple.com/ps/d19d/plain-everyday-heroes-celebration-tour-giveaway

    "Plain Everyday Heroes" is available in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 4247 KB
    • Print Length: 197 pages
    • Publication Date: July 4, 2018
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07D7PF7JW

    I got a copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

    Thursday, July 19, 2018

    "This Freedom Journey" by Misty M. Beller - Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

    About the Book

    Title: This Freedom Journey
    Author: Misty M. Beller
    Genre: Christian Historical Romance
    Release Date: July 11, 2018
    This Freedom JourneyAdrien Lockman is through with the political unrest and bloodshed in his home country of France, so he sets off to the Canadian territory’s mountain frontier, in search of a place where a man can live his own life in peace. The last thing he expects to find is a woman, half-starved and half-frozen in a shack nestled among the towering peaks of the great Rocky Mountains.
    Mary Standish thought she’d finally found a place where she was accepted, trapping with her husband for the Hudson Bay Company. But when he dies after a gruesome grizzly fight, she determines to carry on their work. After all, life in these remote mountains is better than enduring the scorn and snubs of “civilized” folk. When she’s forced to face a winter harder than any she’s endured yet, her stubbornness may just be the death of her. Until a stranger appears at her ramshackle door.
    Adrien had planned to explore the mountain country all winter before he settles down to build a farm in the spring, but he can’t leave this woman to die in the elements. Even though she seems desperate for him to go. As Mary regains strength, she’s torn between wanting to save her dignity, and craving the respect of this man who’s slipped past her defenses. As the winter worsens, the truth becomes all too real—the only way they’ll survive is together.

    My Thoughts
    Having met Mary in the previous two books in the Heart of the Mountains series as Emma and Joseph's aunt, and hearing a little bit of her story in "This Wilderness Journey", it was nice to get the whole story. Since this story takes place before either of the other two books in the series, it might be best to read it first. I liked the amount of spiritual focus and how it gave the gospel and there was character growth. I look forward to reading more books by Misty M. Beller.

    About the Author

    MistyMisty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.
    She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.
    God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

    Guest Post from Misty Beller

    A Inside Look at the Cover for This Freedom Journey
    My book covers are one of my favorite parts of the creative process! With most of my books, I have the cover done early, usually as I’m first brainstorming the story. I love to have the heroine on my cover, and I work hard to make sure the woman on the front matches the heroine I’m envisioning for the story. That way I can describe her in the novel the way she looks on the cover. Sometimes I even work in the outfit she’s wearing on the cover!
    This Freedom Journey is a novella in my Heart of the Mountains series, so I wanted the cover to be similar in layout and style to the other books in that series. The setting is winter in the Canadian Rockies, so I knew Mary (the heroine) had to be bundled warmly! Funny story: Mary is mentioned in the other two books, although they’re set later in her life. When I first described her in the other books, I imagined her with amber brown eyes. When I chose the final cover for This Freedom Journey, I had to go back and change the amber brown eyes in those other manuscripts to the riveting blue on the cover. 😊

    Blog Stops

    cherylbbookblog, July 20
    Among the Reads, July 21
    Carpe Diem, July 26
    Mary Hake, July 29
    Bigreadersite , August 1


    To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
    Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/d13f/this-freedom-journey-celebration-tour-giveaway

    "This Freedom Journey" is available in paperback:
    • Series: Heart of the Mountains
    • Paperback: 158 pages
    • Publisher: Misty M. Beller Books, Inc. (May 4, 2018)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0999701258
    • ISBN-13: 978-0999701256
    • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 5077 KB
    • Print Length: 96 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Publisher: Misty M. Beller Books, Inc.; 1 edition (July 17, 2018)
    • Publication Date: July 17, 2018
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07F1CFD6G

    I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.