Guest Review from Mindy Houng for Strains of Silence by Bethany Kaczmarek


About the Book


Author: Bethany Kaczmarek

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: August 1, 2017

Music was her driving passion and the truest expression of her faith, but three months before her wedding, twenty-year-old Kasia Bernolak can’t even pick up her guitar. Feeling like a fraud who will ruin her dad’s pastoral reputation, she can barely meet his eyes. When Kasia finds the strength to break off her engagement, she still doesn’t realize the dangerous truth: Blake Hamilton isn’t ready to say goodbye. And he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her.

Alexander “Zan” Maddox has seen what a domineering man can do to an unsuspecting woman, and Zan is sick of injustice. He gave up a college baseball scholarship so he could protect his sister from her abusive husband. When he rescues Kasia from her ex-fiancé, he instinctively appoints himself her personal bodyguard. Now, all he has to do is keep from falling for her himself.

Kasia and Zan become fast friends, but true healing and justice might cost more than either of them is willing to pay.

Click here to purchase your copy.

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“Only God can change you. But I know He hasn’t given up on you. Nor have any of the rest of us. You jump, and your family will meet you where you land.”
The above quote from the book is a prominent theme throughout the book. This is the first book by the author I have read and it was a difficult book to read because it dealt with profoundly emotional issues. It is a very well-written book with beautiful characters and strong storyline. It also has a solid foundation of faith running through the book, as most of the characters are Christian not afraid to voice their Christian perspective based on the Bible. The dialogue is real and down to earth and quite funny at times.
The story revolves around Kasia and Zan. Kasia is a college student, a talented musician, and a daughter of a pastor who finds herself in a relationship she does not want and breaks off her engagement. Zan is a college baseball player, trying to find ways to protect his older sister in an abusive marriage while trying to salvage his ball career and his father’s approval. Their paths cross multiple times and their friendship takes a long time with carefully measured steps to develop. They both have broken pasts and uncertain present and future but realize that dependence on God is the only certainty they can have in life. Zan’s faith journey is powerful and his friend Jayce’s real-life explanations of salvation and life with Jesus are profound, powerful, and moving.
This is definitely a find-yourself kind of journey that 20 year olds take. It is geared toward a younger generation. Unfortunately for me, these main characters are closer to my children’s ages than they are to me so I empathized more with Kasia’s parents than with Kasia or Zan. However, the book is so well-written and emotionally moving that I became invested in all the characters’ well-beings. Reading this book made me more aware of the things of this world that my children face on a daily basis and how mistaken they could be about a parent’s love and God’s love though they may have grown up in a loving Christian home. I’m reminded to pray for my children more fervently and to pray that they will know and understand God’s unending and merciful love and also understand that my love for them will not waver regardless the mistakes, falls, regrets.
I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher through Celebrate Lit Tour. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author


Bethany loves a home filled with family and friends. Word gets around that—at the Kaczmarek house—food is abundant, conversations are real, and anything is up for discussion. She and her clan are fans of laughter, indie music, sonic screwdrivers, and superheroes. Home is wherever in the world they’re all together.

Guest Post from Bethany Kaczmarek

Strains of Silence: A Novel for Anyone Who Can Say #MeToo

We’re everywhere. After years of silence, many survivors of sexual assault are raising our voices. You’ve seen the hashtag. You know someone who suffered like this—a friend, a sister, a daughter.

Maybe you know personally what it’s like to be used.

I’m thankful for the conversations the #MeToo campaign has started, proud of the brave women who are speaking out. But I know some are still quiet, nursing wounds.

I could list loads of valid reasons a victim chooses to suffer in silence.

  • People won’t believe her.
  • If she doesn’t say it out loud, it’s easier to pretend it was a nightmare.
  • He’s got authority over her—at work, at church, in the family—and it’ll cost her too much. He’s done enough damage already.
  • He’s threatened to destroy her reputation, and she believes him. One, because he’ll do it without flinching. Two, because she’s already convinced that she’s living a lie.
  • Because at church, she’s supposed to be fine, smiling, rejoicing in her suffering and pressing on. Besides, people don’t want to sit with her in her pain and listen. They’d rather offer bumper-sticker theology and trite spiritual bandages.
  • The few times she’s tried to speak up, her used-to-be friend basically made her feel like it was her fault.

The list could go on, but it’s fair to say that being honest about what happened to us makes us vulnerable all over again. The idea is understandably stressful.

But you know what? Pretending we’re fine is exhausting too. We bear a great strain when we hide our hurts, for whatever reason.

Kasia Bernolak, the heroine of my novel Strains of Silence, gets it. She’s got reasons for keeping it quiet too. But when God brings some new people into her life, she realizes she doesn’t have to be alone.

And speaking up offers a freedom, a lightness, she wants.

It’s a freedom I want for my readers.

I know. Strains of Silence sounds like a heavy book right now. The themes are heavy, no doubt. There’s no glossing over and prettying up sexual assault or domestic violence. But—just like in real life—it’s how well we surround and support the suffering that can set the tone. Kasia’s friends are real, they’re funny, they’re quirky, and they believe in her.

Besides, it’s not all dark and brooding. There’s travel—an entire summer in the mountains of Peru. There’s a lot of music—Kasia’s a singer/song-writer who loves indie artists (I’ve got a playlist on my website). There’s heritage and culture—meet her immigrant family and you’ll get a delicious taste of Poland. There’s humor—enough to keep the story light when you need it to be.

And there’s hope. Kasia’s life is absolutely full of possibility.

So are the lives of everyone who can say #MeToo.

Sometimes, it just helps to see someone else fight the battle on our own horizon. And if you can do it with a fantastic new playlist and some laughs, why not?

My hope is that Strains of Silence will lead to real discussions with reader-friends, book-club gatherings that become turning points, and the true pursuit of freedom. It’s time to throw off the burdens we wear and stand up. Raise your voice, link arms with others, and fight for hope.

Healing is within our reach.



To celebrate her tour, Bethany is giving away a grand prize of a signed book, a Polish pottery mug with two of the main character’s favorite kinds of teas, 4 of her favorite albums (Josh Garrels, Waterdeep, The Gray Havens, and Andrew Greer), a box of chocolate butter cookies, and a $50 Amazon gift card.!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


The Angel Paws Collection by Mimi Milan Spotlight



About the Book


Name of book: The Angel Paws Collection

Author: Mimi Milan

Genre: Multicultural, Contemporary Romance

Release date: December 7, 2017

Scent for Angel

To fight… or fall in love?

The only thing Tanner McKoy wants is to disappear into the backwoods of North Carolina, hopefully forgetting about his tour in Afghanistan. However, forgetting seems improbable. And disappearing is impossible when a determined grad student uses her new shelter rescues to track him down.

After a miserable breakup with her fiance, Eva Perez returns to grad school to complete her thesis and become a physical therapist. Unfortunately, that means assisting on several case studies – one of which includes a surly army veteran who refuses help. How can she win a battle with someone still stuck in combat mode?

Touched by an Angel

*Sweet Contemporary*

An explosion during a tour in Afghanistan took Rhett Marshall’s sight, but not his mind. Too bad his family can’t seem to grasp that fact. He’ll do anything to regain control over his life again… even take drastic measures like marrying a complete stranger just so he can call his own shots.

Luciana Lopez came to the United States on a student visa – which is about to expire. Unfortunately, finding an employer to petition for her so she can stay in the country has proven impossible. Could marriage to a desperate army veteran be the answer to her immigration problem?

Enjoy the second novel in the groundbreaking, heartwarming series, Angel Paws Rescue, that donates twenty percent of proceeds to help army veterans and shelter animals.

When Angel Sing

Fast food, fast cars, and fast women…

Eddie Rivera, a Chicano rock star hoping to break into the American music scene, has always lived life in the fast lane. The last thing he planned on was a country cutie with the belief that a guy “won’t buy the cow if he’s getting the milk for free.” Can a shot at her lifelong dreams and a rescue kitty help him change her mind?

From boys to battlefields, Rachel Linden may have lost her hearing but she has never lost a fight. Of course, she’s never had her dream of singing dangled in front of her either. Is there a strategy she can employ to win a war of wishes… without losing her heart?

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author


Mimi Milan is an award winning, bestselling author of both historical and contemporary romance. Currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Queens University, she spends most of her time in the suburbs of Charlotte, crafting stories her family and imaginary friends inspire.

Guest Post from Mimi Milan

I have to be honest.

I don’t know why I wrote Scent of an Angel.

The journey first began when I was asked to join a box set of sweet contemporary romances with seven other authors. Eager for a new experience (my first box set!) I immediately agreed. However, I wasn’t sure what I would write. I had never written a sweet contemporary before – only historicals. While clean and even inspirational, my stories were all full of action and suspense, too. That didn’t exactly sound like “sweet contemporary” to me. So, I set out to find stories that would draw inspiration.

At the same time, I was assigned to read The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. (Did I mention I’m now in grad school?) I couldn’t get the story out of my mind. I kept dwelling on all the pain and suffering soldiers must endure in order to keep the rest of us safe here at home. Their pain doesn’t end, either. Many return to the States with both physical disabilities and mental illnesses that most civilians couldn’t imagine living with. Right then, I knew I wanted to do something that helped the ones that made it back to us. Since the books in my first series, The Jericho Resistance, donates funds to fight against human trafficking, I liked the idea of copying the same model to help support our veterans. That’s when Tanner McKoy and Eva Perez came to life, driving the story and my mission onward.

Touched by an Angel and When Angels Sing were natural follow-ups for the Angel Paws Rescue anthology.

Today, I’m pretty fortunate. I was asked to join yet another series, The Twelve Days of Christmas Mail Order Brides. So, I’m about to finish up edits on my contribution, The Dancing Lady. I’m at my kitchen table in my nice, warm two-bedroom home with a cup of coffee and a muffin from my favorite local bakery. The children are still asleep, making the house unusually quiet. Looking out the frosted window at a yard lightly dusted with white, I feel safe and at peace. All is right in my small corner of the world. I thank God for that.

I thank Him for the veterans that make it so.



To celebrate her tour, Mimi is giving away a grand prize of The Angel Paws Collection Celebration Tour Giveaway!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


Guest Review from Karin Perry for All of You


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Book title: All of You

Author: Sarah Monzon

Release date: May 15, 2017

Genre:Dual-timeline/Contemporary Romance

Maryland, Present Day

Jacquelyn Rogers can rebuild anything…except the shambles of her past. A restorer of vintage planes, she’s worked hard to earn the reputation of being one of the guys. The last thing she needs is a former Navy pilot fighting his own inner demons stepping in to defend her from dangers she thought she’d outrun long ago. Some battles must be fought alone.

After a freak accident severs Lieutenant Michael “Finch” Carrington’s dreams, as well as two limbs, he’s left with nothing but a fragile faith and a duty-bound promise to watch out for his friend’s baby sister. A promise she insists is as unnecessary as it is unappreciated. But when she turns the tables and begins to weld together the broken parts of his life, it may be his heart that is in need of protection.

England, 1944

With the world at war yet again, Alice Galloway rejects her father’s traditional expectations and offers her piloting expertise to the Air Transport Auxiliary. She may be a woman in a man’s world, but when she overhears key intelligence, she must find the strength to transcend boundaries and her own fears. Or countless people may die.

Sometimes the past reaches forward to bring hope to the future.

Guest Review from Karin Perry

Every once in a while I read a book so good that when I finish it, I find myself immediately going back to the beginning and reading it again- just because I can’t stand for the story to be over! All of You (A Carrington Family Novel, book 2) by Sarah Monzon is one such book. While I loved the first book in this series, this one captured my interest from the start. I was immediately drawn into the world of the characters and found this book hard to put down.  The author expertly weaves together the stories and lives of the characters, blending past and present in a way that leaves the reader feeling connected to them, concerned for their future, and unable to figure out what will happen next. As a result, I found myself up late into the night to keep reading! I’ll admit, it took me longer than some to figure out the connections in the story, but once I did, it added an entirely new level to the plot. I found myself holding my breath in places, laughing in others, crying in others…while I was sorry when it was over, I have to say the ending was super satisfying! All of You by Sarah Monzon is a definite must read!

I have received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. No monetary compensation was given.

About the Author


Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.

Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, won the 2017 Selah award for contemporary romance.

Guest Post from Sarah Monzon

I’m so excited to be here today and getting this opportunity to hang out with y’all in this virtual world. If you are anything like me, you devour books faster than my son drinks orange juice (and he really loves orange juice!). Because of that, it is sometimes hard to come across a book with a unique premise or a message that you haven’t seen incorporated a thousand times before. As a writer, I always try to bring something fresh to the table.

In the first book of the Carrington Family Series, Finders Keepers, neither of my characters were Christians. What? No Christians in a Christian fiction novel? Most Christian fiction books usually have at least one or both main characters a Christians. Don’t worry, they both found their way to Jesus. With All of You, however, I wanted to take yet an even different approach.

I’ve ready lots of books where the main character is angry or upset with God for such-and-such thing that happened in his/her life (I’ve even written a character like that), but I hadn’t really read a story about a character that, no matter what life threw at him/her, he/she was going to trust in God no matter what. As a life-long Christian, this is a message I can identify with. The “If not, He is still good” resonation that is sometimes harder to hold on to in the midst of pain and struggles.

So, as with all my books, I hope the freshness of the story and the realness of my characters will inspire and uplift you as you travel along with them on their journey.

God Bless.




To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


Guest Review from Lori Parrish for The Return


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


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.



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


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 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.


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.


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

*Images courtesy of Dream Home Improvement and Technology Exchange Lab




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 ( or on her Facebook page (

Guest Review from Lori Parrish for A Name Unknown


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


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


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

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.)


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.




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!

Guest Review from Lori Parrish for Crazy About Alaska


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


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


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.




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!

Guest Review from Lori Parrish for Gladden the Heart


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About the Book


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


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.




To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a Grand Prize that consists of:
All five books in the Amish Turns of Time series (
Bonus: All three books in the Valley of Choice series (
$25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!