Guest Review from Karin Perry of Into a Silent World by Carmina Edwards

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About the Book

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Title: Into a Silent World

Author: Carmina Edwards

Genre: Biography, Memoir

Release Date: August 15, 2016

Following Amy’s adventures in A Door Cracked Open, she heads into a world which will test her faith and perseverance to the limit. Instead of settling into a simple, safe and unchanging life like she imagined, Amy is strongly drawn to a vocation with even higher requirements, prompting her to plan some seemingly impossible missions in order to reach her goal.

Click here to purchase your copy.

 Guest Review from Karin Perry

This book was unlike any I have read before in that it moves along very simply, and as a result, I found it hard to become engaged in the story.  To be fair, this is book two in a series, and I haven’t read book one. Had I read these in order, I likely would have been more invested in the main character, Amy, and her passions from the start. As it was, Amy was hard for me to connect with, but I ultimately found her to be an interesting character. While she behaves quite simplistically and in an almost immature manner for most of the book, we ultimately see that she is a fairly complex person.  As the story progresses, we find there is more to Amy than is initially seen- she takes several stands that required strength of character and a commitment to her personal beliefs,  especially near the end. It was seeing this strength and commitment that kept me reading, and yet, when the book ends, her story is clearly not done. The ending is a significant cliffhanger, and so if you read this, start with book one, and be prepared to read all three in order to get the full story! If you enjoy fast paced stories with lots of dialogue, then this likely won’t be the book for you. However, if you enjoy a slower paced story that is more focused on character development,  then I recommend you try this…after reading book one of course!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book and chose to review it.

About the Author

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I am a mother of two wonderful grown up children and currently living in the UK, after living in Sweden for three years where I wrote my first book, “A Door Cracked Open.” I was blessed to be able to spend six months in USA before returning to the UK, my home country, to work with my editor in California on the edits of this book and visit friends.

I am an avid reader and linguist, having also spent some years living in France and have been fortunate enough to have taught Swedish and French over twenty-five years and translate for businesses and manuscripts in both languages. Being unemployed the past few years, has led to me becoming homeless. However, I never give up hope. As I try to portray in my books, God has always had His hand on me. Once again, He has stepped in right at the last minute. I now have a new job in Sweden and will be moving back there. Because I feel passionately about helping the homeless, a large percentage of my royalties will go directly to them.

Guest Post from Carmina Edwards

“Into a Silent World” follows on from Amy’s story in “A Door Cracked Open.”

With a new beginning ahead of her, a long standing dream about to be realized, she was unprepared for the events which were about to unfold over the next two years.

Why would God send her to this place of “absolute conviction” and allow her to remain there for that long, if He never meant for her to be there? Amy struggles to understand and seeks His will, but determined that it was His plan, she persevered in order for her dream to be fulfilled.

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Carmina is giving away

Grand Prize:

Paperback copies of A Door Cracked Open & Into a Silent World

1st – 3rd place:

Ebook copy of A Door Cracked Open!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c3c4

 

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Guest Post from Karin Perry for To Gain a Mommy by Tanya Eavenson

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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

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Name of book: To Gain a Mommy

Author: Tanya Eavenson

Genre: Christian Romance

Release Date: December 10, 2016

They had a plan, but will it work?

Thirteen years ago, pediatrician Hope Michaels was the fool-hearted girl who came home from college to learn the man she loved was engaged to her twin. But now to move on with her life and accept a proposal of marriage, she must confront the one man who holds the key to the wounds of her past.Fire Captain Carl McGuire can put out any flame, except for the one Hope sparks within him. As she stirs up his life and heart, Carl knows some things never change. Even a past he’d rather keep hidden.

When a new neighbor moves in across the street who would be a perfect fit for their family, Mary and Brody form a plan to bring their dad and Hope together. But how will it work if Hope keeps pushing him away?

Guest Review from Karin Perry

To Gain a Mommy by Tanya Eavenson is the perfect story to read after a long, busy day! It is light hearted and quick, and yet still thought provoking. Unlike so many other novellas, it doesn’t feel rushed or forced. The author does a wonderful job developing the personality of the characters along with an interesting storyline. What really made this work for me is the timeframe she selected didn’t try to cover too much. For this reason, other than one secondary character who just seemed too good to be true, the story felt totally believable. It was as if I was given a brief glimpse of the characters’ lives…a glimpse that made me feel like I knew them well, and one that also made me hope Ms. Eavenson writes a sequel! I recommend this for anyone who wants a fun reprieve from a crazy day!

About the Author

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Tanya Eavenson is a bestselling and an award-winning inspirational romance author. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book.

Guest Post from Tanya Eavenson

I’d like to thank Celebrate Lit for featuring my first novella in my Gaining Love Series, To Gain a Mommy, for this tour. I’m looking forward to visiting with you along the way!

Recently I was asked to share what inspired me to write To Gain a Mommy. Believe it or not, my inspiration came from a prayer.

Last year my employer offered me a great promotion, but the catch was I’d have little time to spend with my family. So I prayed, asking God for direction for my family, my job, and my writing.

God knows us so well. He knew I had a desire to work with other authors and to write my first novella. He also knew that without a push, I wouldn’t do it.

It all began with a simple post on my Facebook timeline. Another writer posted that she had messaged me but wanted to let me know since FB has a couple of message boxes (I had no idea!). I clicked on my messages, and there it was—the extra message box, filled. As I read through the messages, I found one asking if I’d be interested in joining a novella boxed set. Right away I knew God had answered my prayer.

Needless to say, I didn’t take the position at work and joined the boxed set. Since then, To Gain a Mommy has become an international bestseller and has been a finalist in two contests. My Gaining Love series continues to grow, with the third novella, To Gain a Bodyguard, releasing in time for Christmas. Isn’t God good!

The Lord tells us to trust in Him and that if we do, He will direct our paths. It still amazes me how the Lord works behind the scenes in our lives to give us hope and a future.

Yes, God gives us hope. He gives us a future. This is why I named my heroine in To Gain a Mommy Hope. Romans 5:5 says, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (NKJV). Although my heroine can’t see her future or what it might hold, she is reminded that God will not disappoint.

The Lord reminds us of the same in our own lives.

 

Giveaway

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In honor of her tour, Tanya is giving away a grand prize package consisting of a $5 Amazon Card and pillow cover from Redbubble! Click the link below to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c141

Guest Review from Karin Perry for Waiting for Butterflies by Karen Sargent

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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

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Book title: Waiting for Butterflies

Author: Karen Sargent

Release date: April 4, 2017

Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction

When tragedy strikes, Maggie discovers a mother’s love never ends—not even when her life does. Longing for her family after her death, she returns home where she helplessly witnesses her family’s downward spiral in the aftermath of her passing.

Her husband is haunted by past mistakes and struggles to redeem himself. Her teenage daughter silently drowns in her own guilt, secretly believing she is responsible for her mother’s death. Only her five-year-old, full of innocence, can sense her presence.

Although limited by her family’s grief and lack of faith, Maggie is determined to keep a sacred promise and salvage her family before her second chance runs out.

A tender portrait of a mother whose love reaches beyond possible, Waiting for Butterflies will embrace your heart and not let go.

Guest Review from Karin Perry

     The idea behind Waiting for Butterflies by Karen Sargent is very interesting- exploring a mother’s love and if it could be powerful enough to overcome death itself. While this is a very different premise than those usually found within Christian fiction,  it is approached in such a way that it isn’t distracting to the story. Once I was able to wrap my mind around what is happening, that in some way God has allowed Maggie to remain present with her family in order to attempt help them and get closure herself, I was able to connect with her- her fierce love for her family and determination to do what is necessary to take care of them is something that will resonate with those of us who are moms.

This is a very emotional read, so have your Kleenex handy, but I felt the grief journey was handled in a way that allowed me as the reader to focus on the entire story, and not just the intense pain that follows such a devastating loss. As the story unfolded, I was quickly drawn into the life the characters and began rooting for them. Several times the tears in my eyes forced me to set this down, but when I got to the end, I told my husband, “this book was emotional…emotional and hard,  but so very good.”  If you are on the fence about reading this book, I encourage you to read it!

About the Author

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Karen Sargent creates characters whose imperfect faith collides with real-life conflicts, taking readers on a journey through grace and redemption to discover enduring hope. A romantic element is woven within each story. In addition to writing inspirational novels, she blogs at The MOM Journey…where moms aren’t perfect and that’s perfectly okay. Her writing has been featured in Guidepost’s Angels on Earth magazine and on ForEveryMom.com. When she is not writing, she teaches high school and college English in the beautiful Arcadia Valley where she resides with her husband and two daughters. Visit her at KarenSargentBooks.com.

Guest Post from Karen Sargent

Waiting for Butterflies: The Accidental Controversy

I didn’t intend to write myself into controversy when I wrote Waiting for Butterflies. Yes, it is Christian fiction. Yes, the main character is a “lingering spirit.” And no, ghosts aren’t biblical. Thus the controversy.

As the story idea began to stir my imagination after my mother-in-law’s unexpected death, I wondered how ghosts fit into the Christian view of the afterlife, especially since I too believe our souls go to Heaven once we die. So I asked my pastor. He referred to Hebrews 11, the “Faith Hall of Fame” that lists Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and many spiritual giants who lived by faith. That list is followed by Hebrews 12:1 which states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…” My pastor explained witnesses is translated by some to mean spectators. So maybe, maybe, this suggests those who have died can somehow still be present—emphasis on maybe.

But…this gave me just enough permission to play with the idea of a mother’s love being so strong that she could remain after her death until she was certain her family would heal. I was writing fiction after all.

When my manuscript was complete and I began submitting to agents, the response was mixed. Some replied with a simple, “This story isn’t for me.” Some warned, “This will be a hard sell to Christian publishers.” Yet others were more encouraging. Finally my story made it to the desk of an acquisition editor who emailed, “This is the one.” Waiting for Butterflies found a publishing home.

Now that my book is in the hands of readers, most are surprised to hear my topic is controversial. Like me, many believers haven’t really considered ghosts in a biblical context. But a few are adamant that the storyline contradicts their beliefs.

I know my story—just like every story—will not appeal to everyone. But I certainly didn’t set out to offend my fellow believers, and I sincerely apologize if anyone finds it offensive. However, I appreciate this perspective one skeptical reader shared in her review:

“While I was initially put off by the idea that a spirit can remain and interact, in a sense, with those still living, the author handled it with sensitivity and grace. We all have ideas about the unknown, but it is just that, unknown, and I could relate strongly to the thought of wanting to continue to influence and connect with loved ones after death in order to help them.”

I appreciate that in spite of the controversy, this reader gave Waiting for Butterflies a chance—and five stars.

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away a grand prize that includes a few of Karen’s favorite things – one of which is a Hobby Lobby 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/bef1

 

Guest Review from Lori Parrish for The Return

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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

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Book title: The Return

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Release date: Sept 1, 2017

Genre: Amish

In a wild country, the true cost of love may be more than they can bear

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans—but then she never had to. Not until the night she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she’s developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances.

Greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far?

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.

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Guest Review from Lori Parrish

This stunning book definitely desrves 5 stars!! When u first open this book it’s like everyone’s emotions just slap you in the face and before you know it you’re on the ride of a lifetime! I love this author’s style because that’s exactly what she does! Sends you spiraling into time warp. I think I enjoyed it too because it’s not your typical Amish book.
I love reading books that involves Indians! I could actually hear their war cries and it made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck! My husband had to tell me to put the book down 3 times since I had to work the next day. My but it was hard to!!
Felix good ol Felix! He made me crack up and I didn’t really see the need to grow up at all! Shoot! I’m an adult but I will never grow up lol!! It’s no fun to grow up! He’s my delightful Felix! Sometimes tho I wanted to choke him and make him see what is right in front of his face! That man has been blessed twice over!
Poor Tessa! I’ve been in her spot before.  I felt like people or certain person looking right through me like I wasn’t there!  Yes,  I’ve had my heart broken and I’ve never forgotten my first love because he had left a deep impact on me for life and not all good either!!
Jealousy hits us like a thunderbolt. Many times I’ve felt that way. Why must certain ppl always get things handed to them on a silver platter?  and others have to work for it?
I think Tessa has learned her lessons in life the hard way like I have to and still do.
I really enjoyed this story! Definitely burned the midnight oil!
Love just smacks you in the face or it can sneak up on you  where you least expect it and friendships form whether you want to or not.
God has a way of working these things out in His own timing.
I received this book for free. No monetary compensation was given.

About the Author

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Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing and The Newcomer in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, 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.

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Three Sisters’ Garden: Corn, Squash & Beans!

Corn was a new food to the immigrants to the New World, introduced to them by Native Americans. Soon, it became an essential part of their daily diet, in one form or another. Growing it brought yet another new discovery: companion planting in the form of the Three Sisters’ Garden.

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According to Iroquois legend, corn, squash and beans were three inseparable sisters who only grew and thrived together. 18th century Native Americans wouldn’t have understood the science behind why companion planting worked, but they knew it did. Beans, like all legumes, have bacteria living on their roots that help them absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that plants can use. Corn, which requires a lot of nitrogen to grow, benefits from the legumes and provides a pole support for the beans to climb. Low growing squash leaves shade the soil and prevent weed growth. Their sharp and prickly leaves deter pests. This tradition, of planting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, became a sustainable system to provide long-term soil fertility among Native American tribes that farmed.

The wisdom of planting Three Sisters’ Garden was adopted by the immigrants, including our own Betsy Zook from The Return. Betsy learned of the technique while a captive among a tribe of Indians and later, after she had been returned to the Amish, shared her knowledge with Anna and Bairn.

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Have you ever considered growing a Three Sisters’ garden? All you need is the right kind of seeds, a mound of dirt in a sunny spot, and to not forget to water. Mother Nature will do the rest.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award-winning author of novels about the Old Order Amish. Her interest in the Plain People began with her grandfather, who was raised as a Dunkard (German Baptist) on a farm in Pennsylvania. Suzanne loves to connect with readers! You can find her on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

*Images courtesy of Dream Home Improvement and Technology Exchange Lab

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is doing an amazing giveaway from August 1 through 14! Check it out:

Four winners will receive one of the prizes below:

  • An Amish Gift Basket and a copy of The Return
  • Amish popcorn sampler and a copy of The Return
  • The Amish Beginning 3 book set series

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini

You can enter at Suzanne’s website (http://suzannewoodsfisher.com/contests/) or on her Facebook page (http://gvwy.io/q1kb9u4)

Guest Review from Lori Parrish for A Name Unknown

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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

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Book title: A Name Unknown

Author: Roseanna M. White

Release date: July 4, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

She’s Out to Steal His Name.

Will He Steal Her Heart Instead?

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets—now they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary’s challenge of a lifetime comes when she’s assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

As Europe moved closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown—so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstop pretending to be a well- credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past.

When danger and suspicion continue to mount, though, and both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth—about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.

Guest Review from Lori Parrish

I very much enjoyed  this story. I love the historical settings of the novel and how Roseanna did her research. She has a certain talent for storytelling and I have a certain talent for “losing” myself in her  books. I did enjoy meeting new people and making new friends with the characters in the book.

I liked Rosemary and I didn’t. I like her because she had a way of bringing out the truth in oneself and others. “Everyone tells lies”, she said. I didn’t really like how she went about certain things and ways. I liked her because she had guts to do what needed done.

Peter is a different story. I think he is or has a mysterious side  to him.(I didn’t want to give much away). I liked how Rosemary overlooked his stuttering and “worked” with him in his library. I’ve always wanted to be a librarian. I think I would be in hog heaven with a library like Peter Holsteins. I could imagine myself getting lost in this particular library.

All in all, I thought this was a fabulous book.  I love to “time travel”.

I received this book for free. These are my own words and no compensations were received.

About the Author

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Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Guest Post from Roseanna White

It’s always a challenge to make a historical setting authentic—especially when it’s set in a region you’ve only ever read about. As I was writing A Name Unknown, I learned so much about Cornwall—all the more when I had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous Penzance region while the book was still in edits! I quickly learned that I had far too many trees in my story, and hadn’t quite captured the uniqueness of the coastal setting. I dove into rewrites with excitement and gusto, ready to make my fictional Cornwall more like the real one.

I studied the Cornish accent, Cornish foods, typical Cornish coloring in hair and eyes. I’ve now gotten rather proficient at making pasties (beef hand pies) from scratch, I’ve special-ordered ingredients to make Cornish ginger cookies called fairings, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time listening to videos of people speaking in a Cornish accent.

Delving into this rich region and its history was a blast! And I’m so excited to get to share the culture of Cornwall—and a taste of their unique flavors—with you. In a special Celebrate Lit giveaway, I’ll be offering not only a signed copy of my book, but also some homemade ginger fairings! Here’s the recipe I used . . . after special ordering the Mixed Spice (reminiscent of pumpkin pie spice) and Golden Syrup (a thick syrup with a bit of a toffee flavor) from Amazon. 😉 (I have a gram scale so did use the weight measurements rather than volume—also, English teaspoons and tablespoons are a bit bigger than American, so I heaped them, and I turned out deliciously.)

GINGER FAIRINGS RECIPE

100 grams butter, cold and diced

225 grams all-purpose flour

¼ heaping teaspoon salt

2 heaping teaspoons baking powder

2 heaping teaspoons baking soda

1 heaping teaspoon ginger

2 heaping teaspoons mixed spice

100 grams superfine (caster) sugar

4 heaping tablespoons golden syrup

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a stand mixer. Add the butter and beat until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Stir in sugar.

In a small saucepan, warm the golden syrup until it’s clarified a bit; stir into the flour mixture until a dough forms. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and put on prepared baking sheets a few inches apart.

Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden. Cool a few minutes on the trays and then transfer to a cooling rack.

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate this tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of A Name Unknown & 2 dozen cookies from Roseanna!!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bc0e

Guest Review from Lori Parrish for Crazy About Alaska

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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

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Book title: Crazy about Alaska

Author: Shannon L. Brown

Release date: June 30, 2017

Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance

Can she trust love?

Holly has her eye on a handsome state trooper. Not on her boring, oh-so-serious, former professor, Adam.

Having her toes curl when she’s near Adam must be ignored.

Holly just wants a great dad for her twin girls. She’s going to find one, write a novel to fulfill her dreams, and create a happy life.

Falling in love isn’t part of her plan.

Guest Review from Lori Parrish

As usual I got into a middle of a series without knowing it.  I’ve learned that this book 3. I’ve enjoyed this story and for someone that is greatly afraid of flying I enjoyed flying with Adam and Holly.  I felt like I was in the plane with them enjoying the sites from the air. However; in reality I’d be scared to death to look around.

I can certainly sympathize with Holly after having had my heart broke as well.  I do admire Holly for putting her kid’s first before any man. I’m glad she views them as a gift from God because there are some people out there who don’t. Holly is a woman of many talents. Isn’t it funny how we woman are multi tasked or talented?

I do admire Adam. It takes a pretty special man to accept a ready made family. Adam is a man of many talents too! It’s funny how life is. I think Adam is pretty special.

Matt only thought of himself. I can’t stand a man like that. I had a funny feeling about him from the start. There are certain things in life that doesn’t need an audience however. I would’ve been embarrassed to death had Matt done me like that. Not only that, probably three shades of red as well.

I love Holly’s kids! Twins to boot!!! I had to snicker throughout the book. Especially where there are times when all of us do jump to conclusions without hearing the story first. I do agree with Adam and Holly that there should never be any secrets in a marriage.  For if and when they do come out if often causes bitterness and resentment from one or the other. I like this story because it had a fresh feel to it. It’s not normally what I read.  It’s a page Turner for sure!! It’s also great to have staunch supporters like siblings!  I’ve never had that opportunity.  I really enjoyed the banter throughout this book. I’ve gotten a taste for Alaska in this book too. This will be a new author to add to my ever growing list!!

I received this book for free.
These are my own words and no compensations were received.

About the Author

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Writing books that are fun and touch your heart

Even though Shannon L. Brown always loved to read, she didn’t plan to be a writer. She earned two degrees from the University of Alaska, one in journalism/public communications, but didn’t become a journalist.

Years passed. Shannon felt pulled into a writing life, testing her wings with a novel and moving on to articles. Shannon is now an award-winning journalist who has sold hundreds of articles to local, national, and regional publications.

Shannon was born and raised in Alaska so she enjoyed writing the books in the Alaska Dream Romance series. “The Feather Chase” was her first published book and began the Crime-Solving Cousins Mystery series. The eight-to-twelve-year-olds in your life will enjoy this contemporary twist on a Nancy Drew-type mystery.

Shannon lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her professor husband and adorable calico cat.

Guest Post from Shannon Brown

Open Doors

When a character opens the door and steps from her world into mine, writing about her is easier. Holly Harris in Crazy About Alaska is a real estate agent, and I was once one. I’ve driven clients around and shown them houses only to have them go a different direction. My husband and I bought a new house a few years ago, so I have tales to tell from that experience too. (Readers may think the purple shower is made up. Think again.) I chose to bring a college professor into her life as a love interest. I’m married to one.

Some of myself always finds its way into a story. Sometimes, it’s just something I might like to do. Holly’s sister Jemma rehabs furniture in Falling for Alaska, book one in the series. The idea for her business came while I was watching HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. Taking trash and making it beautiful sounds like something I’d like to try. Jemma also dislikes coffee and drinks tea. (Here I am again.) But she is not exactly me. She’s cooking challenged, and I’m a good cook.

Does the story become about the author when she inserts herself into it? Reality is only a fun fraction of the book. Holly has two men vying for her affections. That never happened. (It might have been fun if it had!) She also has five-year-old twins. I never experienced that.

By far the most challenging of the sisters in the series was Bree in book two, Loving Alaska. She’s a doctor, and my knowledge of the medical profession comes from sitting on the exam table, not from doing the exam. I spoke with doctors I knew and brought her to life. But Bree isn’t all made up either. She despises being in nature, especially camping. I’ve camped on a frozen river, beside a lake after canoeing or boating in, and many more places, but I’m with Bree and hotels are greatly preferred. There I am in the story again.

Reading the books I’ve written helps you know who I am. I’m a woman with a big imagination who enjoys bringing stories to life. Oh, and that slightly sarcastic sense of humor you may notice with Jemma and Holly? That might be from me as well.

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate this tour, Shannon Brown is giving away a grand prize of a book lovers gift basket – a basket filled with book-related things!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bb35

Guest Review from Lori Parrish for Gladden the Heart

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About the Book

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Book title: Gladden the Heart

Author: Olivia Newport

Release date: July 1, 2017

Genre: Historical Amish

“When you have experienced the Holy Ghost as I have, you would see that it is difficult to turn back.”

When the lively fervor of nineteenth century revivalism endangers the staid customs of the Amish community in the lush but rugged Kishacoquillas Valley of central Pennsylvania in 1847, the Amish church must deal with a divisive question: What is a genuine spiritual experience?

The question turns personal when Susanna’s beloved cousin Noah begins preaching while under trances and even though he is not a minister he gives long sermons that attract increasing attention. Curious, she helps to keep Noah safe during his trances. At the same time Adam, Susanna’s intended, feels pressure from the bishop to speak out against the ways of revivalism.

Susanna and Adam are pushed to opposite sides of a controversy that threatens their traditional Amish faith.. Now they must grapple with whether love is possible…even if they come to different conclusions.

When Noah goes missing at a time of day when he often preaches while asleep, circumstances thrust community members with divergent opinions into a crisis that demands they recognize the humanity they share regardless of beliefs. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives?

Guest Review from Lori Parrish

I enjoyed this book very much!! I love reading the history of the Amish and how they came to this country just like the English did for various reasons. I think what drew me to this particular book was at a time when the revival meetings started. I have attended a few rivals myself and I love them. I liked how they all came together to help the one in need. I didn’t like however how some people treated an individual just because he was “different”.

I think Gladden the Heart means to accept Jesus in your heart no matter who does the preaching. Whoever accepts Jesus will have eternal life and joy will shine through  to whomever will meet up with you. I also love the friendship between Amish and English even tho the Amish want to set themselves from the world. Some people are just set in their ways no matter how much we try to help or change them.

Veronica Susanna’s mother was afraid of the influence that the preaching that went on. I’m glad for Susanna’s father who was sturdy and firm in his decision making and on whom to trust. I like nosy Timothy too. If I had a brother I’d want him to be just like Timothy. There were some things in the book that made me smile and laugh too. I also held my breath in certain places.  I didn’t want anything to happen to my favorite person!

If I had an uncle I’d want to be just like Noah. I thought Noah was cool for an Amish man. Olivia will be added to my list of favorite authors because I enjoy her stories. I wanted to add that I loved the little authors note at the end of the book. I think it’s good to know how the author gets ideas for their stories and knowing there. is truth mixed in with fiction.  This is why I love fiction.

I received this book for free. These are my own words and no compensations were received.

About the Author

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Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. She chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is. Her books include the Avenue of Dreams series set in 1890s Chicago; the Valley of Choice series, which intertwines contemporary and historical Amish stories; the historical Amish Turns of Time series; and Hidden Falls, a warm, contemporary, small-town novel.

Guest Post from Olivia Newport

Sleepy Sundays

Now don’t laugh, but my guess is that if you looked around your church on any given Sunday morning, you’d see somebody sleeping. It might be an infant or toddler whose nap time collides with the worship time resting in a parent’s arms, or it might be a senior citizen who has perfected the art of dozing in an upright position.

What you don’t expect is that the person sleeping will be the preacher.

I’ve always been interested in church history. I even read a magazine called Christian History on a regular basis and consider it pleasure reading. In my ambling through church history, I came across a notation about “sleeping preachers” in the nineteenth century in various denominations, including the Amish. The accounts suggested that individuals who were not ministers would fall unconscious, wake up to preach for lengthy periods, sleep again, and have no recollection of their actions.

Could this possibly be true? Or a giant hoax? What’s a genuine spiritual experience, and what do we do when don’t agree on how to answer that question? Let’s face it, even now, 150 years later, we still don’t quite know what to do with our varying traditions when we don’t agree on how to answer that question.

I knew I had the makings of a story. Gladden the Heart travels back to 1847 and wrestles with these questions. When a divided community faces a life-or-death situation, they must respond to a crisis that challenges them to look past their differences. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives?

Gladden the Heart is the fifth story in Olivia Newport’s Amish Turns of Time series of historical Amish novels. Olivia chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a Grand Prize that consists of:
All five books in the Amish Turns of Time series (http://www.olivianewport.com/amish-turns-of-time/)
PLUS
Bonus: All three books in the Valley of Choice series (http://www.olivianewport.com/valley-of-choice/)
PLUS
$25 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/bc59