Buying Love Review

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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

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Will money ruin everything?

Nina Warrenton is ready for the next step in her life plan—marriage, but no one has proposed. Taking matters into her hand, she places an ad in the newspaper hoping to entice a willing stranger. But when she begins to fall for the small-town chef, she realizes how much she wants him to love her and not her money.

Dwight Williams needs fast cash to save the family restaurant. When he sees Nina’s monetary offer for a husband, he goes for it. He’s determined to save the legacy his dad left him, but can he let it go to prove his love for her?

Can Nina and Dwight find true love, once money has entered the equation?

My Two Cents

I can’t stress to you enough how much I loved this book. I will be completely honest, I am not usually a fan of books like this, but this book was so cute and funny! I found myself laughing as I read some of the interactions. The characters in this story are so realistic and most of them are quite lovable. My favorite character is definitely Dwight’s mom. She made me laugh on several occasions! Toni Shiloh did an amazing job writing this story and I am so glad I read it! I highly recommend this to everyone! I give this book five out of five stars!

Thank you to Toni Shiloh and Celebrate Lit for providing me with a free copy of this book! No monetary compensation was given for this review.

About the Author

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Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Before pursuing her dream as a writer, Toni served in the United States Air Force. It was there she met her husband. After countless moves, they ended up in Virginia, where they are raising their two boys. When she’s not typing in imagination land, Toni enjoys reading, playing video games, making jewelry, and spending time with her family. Toni is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) as well as the ACFW Virginia Chapter.

Guest Post From Toni Shiloh

Hi, Reader Friends!! I’m so excited to be here at Celebrate Lit for the kick off of my new release, Buying Love. I wrote this book last year for National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). In one month, I managed to write a little over 50,000 words. However, that’s not why this book holds a special place in my heart. No, it’s the message in the story.

Nina Warrenton has struggled with being alone in life. Thus, she decides to take matters into her own hand and places an ad for a husband, complete with a monetary offer. What seemed like an intelligent and simplistic way to get a husband, soon proves to have a multitude of complications. Not only that, but Nina has to discover who God is in her life and the body of Christ fits into that.

Y’all have you ever felt alone in a room full of people? Or felt isolated? Or maybe you’re an orphan…whatever your background, I hope that this book shows you that God loves you. He loves you so much, He’s adopted you into the body of Christ. So if you’re a believer, we’re family. As a person who always wanted a friend and lots of family, that’s music to my soul. It’s what I wanted Nina to discover and what I hope the readers discover.

Ephesians 1:4-6, “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved” (KJV).

Blog Stops

October 27: Bibliophile Reviews

October 27: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

October 28: Reading Is My SuperPower

October 29: Moments Dipped in Ink

October 30: Reviewing Novels Online

October 30: Artistic Nobody

October 31: A Baker’s Perspective

November 1: blogging it out

November 2: Christian Author: A.M. Heath

November 3: autism mom

November 3: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)

November 4: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

November 5: inklings and notions

November 6: just the write escape

November 7: Carpe Diem

November 8: Quiet Quilter

November 9: Bukwurmzzz

November 9: The Power of Words

Giveaway

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In honor of her tour, Toni is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card! Click the link below to enter; be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine bonus entries for this giveaway! https://promosimple.com/ps/a650

How to Make Victoria Sponge Review

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About the Book

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Victoria Sponge – a well-known cake? Maybe, but also a wife and mother of four children. Disorganized and chaotic, with obligations galore, sweet Victoria clings to God, her best friend who shares His amazing love with her. From tripping over a hoover left in the hallway to discovering her son’s desire to die because he is different, she journeys through her own Lent. Giving up is not an option, but saying ‘yes’ to God each day is. Tragedy and comical events follow Vicki through her week. Does Victoria Sponge rise through all the messiness that life offers or does she sink?

My Two Cents

I had the wonderful opportunity to review this book. Let me just say that it has become one of my favorite books. As I was reading this, I found myself laughing and crying alongside Victoria. Her characters are easy to relate to, and they feel so realistic (this is one feature I always look for in fiction). One of my favorite things about this book is how Victoria prays as various trials or joys come her way. She is no way perfect, but she strives look to God in everything she does. If you haven’t purchased a copy of this book yet, I highly suggest you go out and purchase a copy right now!

Thank you to Celebrate Lit and the author for providing me with a free copy of this book. I was given this book in exchange for my fair and honest review. No monetary compensation was given.

About the Author

pic-for-websiteBorn in England, Margaret Kazmierczak loves storytelling, but dyslexia made writing difficult. After marrying and birthing three children, she finally got around to it. She and husband Peter live in Dorset, United Kingdom with two daughters.

Guest Post from Margaret Kazmierczak

For those that know me cooking is not a talent that I am famous for. I follow the recipes, but for some unknown reason my cakes remain flat, albeit cleverly disguised with chocolate. My friends were, quite understandably, shocked that I appeared to have written a cookery book.

My friends let me introduce the Baker who inspired me to write, ‘How to Make Victoria Sponge’. His name is God the Father. This cook needs all the help she can get.

In 2010 God literally took me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to become vulnerable. He took away my health and job. An active middle aged woman reduced to a shell. For two years I struggled to come to terms with my condition. Then one night I prayed and asked what I was supposed to do now? The message was simple, “write a book”. Well I could think up a million and one reasons why not to write a book. I declared them one by one but God the Father was having none of it. He reminded me of WHO was commissioning me.

To say that my reading and writing skills were on a par with my cooking skills was an understatement. So I stopped questioning and listened to His answer. “I shall give you the ingredients and you provide the humour and story outline with your life experiences.” So Victoria Sponge was born. Not a cookery book per se but a recipe for a closer relationship with God the Father through story and petition.

This journey took two years, a long time to wait for a cake to rise! The proof, however, was in the tasting which for some time was bitter due to rejection. Then a sequence of events happened one after the other and ‘How to Make Victoria Sponge’ was cooked, oops, birthed. I have been blown away with the face to face reviews in England of the book. A Methodist minister used it to empower her congregation, to show them how even the simplest things in life can lead to a prayerful response.

Victoria known as Vicki, married to Bob, is a normal woman with four children. The book looks at a week in her life and compares it to Jesus’ Lent week. Many issues are explored through the pages. Vicki Sponge could be you or me and the response to each situation, a solution to your own challenges.

Without the Baker this book would end up like my cakes! The writing of it helped me to begin a new life and I hope it helps you to do so too if you read and journey through its pages.

Blog Stops

September 29: A Reader’s Brain

September 30: The Power of Words (spotlight)

October 1: History, Mystery & Faith

October 2: Bukwurmzzz

October 3: Artistic Nobody

October 4: Quiet Quilter

October 5: Daysong Reflections

October 6: Mary Hake

October 7: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

October 8: Simple Harvest Reads

October 9: Bibliophile Reviews

October 10: Petra’s Hope

October 11: His Grace is Sufficient

October 12: Onceuponatime

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Margaret is giving away a themed gift bag containing an apron, whisk, Bible, and a limited 1st edition paperback copy of How to Make Victoria Sponge! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/a416

The Bedwarmer’s Son Spotlight

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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

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What if Abel had killed Cain? But there was no jury of his peers….

In 1928 Georgia, a black man who kills a white man is automatically guilty, but the bedwarmer’s son, an ex-slave, is no normal black man. Once his lily-white lawyer lady learns the truth, everything changes. Can she save him from swinging?

Will the bedwarmer murder the one she’s been bought to serve?

From the antebellum South, come travel the dusty trails of Jim Crowe Dalton, Georgia with slave and master, saint and sinner. See if God is really big enough, if He truly cares about His children. McAdoo has done it again, this time in a brand new way. A delightful morsel for the palates of Christian readers world round.

 

About the Author

Caryl, praying her story gives God glory, loves writing for Christian genres–historical and contemporary romance, Biblical fiction, and mid-grade especially. In 2014, Simon and Schuster debuted VOW UNBROKEN, a historical Christian romance set in 1832 Texas, and Caryl followed with three additional novels. In April, LADY LUCK’S A LOSER (contemporary, mature, inspirational romance); September’s debut, HEARTS STOLEN (set in 1839-1844), book two of her historical Christian Texas Romances–a #1 Amazon Best-seller; and in November, A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS, volume one of her new Biblical fiction series, The Generations–also an Amazon #1 Best-seller.

In 2008, her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved her to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and sixteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying her story gives God glory, she hopes each one ministers His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. She and Ron live in Clarksville, Texas with two grandsons, Christian and Benjamen.

 

Guest Post from Caryl McAdoo

The Bedwarmer’s Son, my twenty-eighth title to be published, is different from any of my books to date, offering two complete love stories from two eras a generation apart.

How I came to write it is a very different story, too!

You see, I have a contemporary book in progress based loosely on the television show The Voice, but instead of the big new singer, my imagined program The Pitch is looking for the next big author! I started it in November 2013, but abandoned its 35,000 words shortly after Vow Unbroken debuted in March from Simon and Schuster.

My characters in The Pitch—three teams of authors and agents—attend writers’ conferences all over the country looking for the next great American novel with the voters being the readers across the country. For my story, I needed lots of titles, a few with skeleton story premises to make it work.

The Bedwarmer’s Son was one of those God gave me.

But it refused to be left there as just a title. The intriguing title demanded to be written.

And so, now I’m blessed that CelebrateLit is hosting a blog tour to celebrate its September release!

Though definitely a historical, this novel is not in my Texas Romance family saga series, but is a ‘companion’ book to it. My readers will remember four-year-old Charley from Hearts Stolen, book two…then him grown up and the hero of book six Just Kin. Well, in The Bedwarmer’s Son, readers meet Charley’s son and grandson, minor characters in a chapter or two.

The story opens in 1928 where the title character, William “Billy” Sinclair II is on trial for the murder of his white half-brother Jamison. Alice Parmalee, his lawyer, finds the old man’s grandson, William “Will” Robert Sinclair IV quite handsome, good-hearted and generous.

In explaining to Alice why he killed his brother, Billy goes back to the story of his mother, the ‘owned’ bedwarmer, Jasmine. Of course, every time he starts, I break into the young slave girl’s point of view, and readers find themselves back in the mid-1800’s. I love her spunk and think you will, too.

I especially love The Bedwarmer’s Son’s opening line: “He sold us right before he married that fancy lady from England, then bought us back the next Spring.” It’s set on the fictitious Three Springs plantation near Dalton, Georgia.

In my story, I used a word that in my growing up was considered on the same level as a cuss word. I would have had my mouth washed out for saying it. So conflicted, I asked for much counsel, and everyone agreed that for the story’s time period—to portray it correctly—it was necessary…but still hard for this lady.

On the other hand, I so enjoyed going back and forth between the two stories. There’s plenty of period racial tension—so common to the day—with the KKK unhappy about the pretty white attorney defending the old black man who’s guilty simply because his victim’s skin was white.

Of course, being a Christian novel, he and his grandson trust God and believe the Almighty sent Alice—an atheist who’s been taught putting any faith in an invisible being is nothing more than a fool’s errand. She’s been reared by a famous black attorney who volunteered to take Billy’s case.

At the end of the story, when Billy’s trial is over, I think readers may be cheering. I hope so.

I pray Jasmine’s and Alice’s journey will cause readers to draw closer to the Lord, while others might reconsider a few of the things they’ve been comfortable believing. That Holy Spirit will use this story to draw them deeper into their own relationship with our Awesome God.

Looking back, I can see God’s hand all over this story and its creation and cover…the whole nine yards. I can’t begin to imagine all the ways He will used it, but am convinced that use it, He will! I always say I am blessed and highly favored, and He keeps on creating the fruit of my lips!

I love story and the cover of The Bedwarmer’s Son (designed by Ruthie Madison Derby) that displays both dejection and hope, and melds the two historic periods. God has indeed blessed me and showered His favor over me. I pray it will touch your hearts.

Oh, and as an aside I spoke with Sandy Barela about over a coffee chat, I wrote Lady Luck’s A Loser back in 2001 long before The Batchelor ever hit TV. My story is a mature inspirational romance about a wealthy man inviting nine women to come live at his bed and breakfast—under the guise of hiring a manager for it—in order to choose a wife.

Hopefully if The Pitch becomes a TV reality show, I’ll get proper credit, considering this idea is published here and copyrighted in my doing it! 🙂 Laaaa!

Blog Stops

September 27: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

September 28: Karen’s Krayons

September 29: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

September 30: Simple Harvest Reads

October 1: Bibliophile Reviews

October 2: Artistic Nobody

October 3: The Power of Words

October 4: Back Porch Reads

October 5: Bigreadersite

October 6: His Grace is Sufficient

October 7: Once Upon A Time

October 8: Bukwurmzzz

October 9: Under His Wings

October 10: Mary Hake

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away all seven of her Texas Romance ebooks to a lucky winner! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/a3fd

The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook Spotlight

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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

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A collection of delicious honey recipes from the Honeybee Sisters book series, featuring quotes and recipes from Sweet as Honey, A Bee in her Bonnet, and Like a Bee to Honey–Amish romances by Jennifer Beckstrand.

Lily, Poppy, and Rose Christner, known as the Honeybee Sisters in their Amish community, are smart, inseparable, and all grown up. Orphaned when they were very young, the girls were raised by their eccentric Aunt Bitsy, who doesn’t behave like a proper Amish spinster. The Honeybee Sisters have blossomed into rare beauties, and the boys in the community have begun to take notice. But Aunt Bitsy is determined to scare off all comers with her brusque manner and her handy shotgun. None but the most worthy will make it past Bitsy’s defenses. It’s going to be a rowdy and romantic summer–harvesting honey from their many beehives and fighting off the boys right and left.

Note from Aunt Bitsy: When my girls told me they wanted to write a cookbook, I wasn’t too keen on the idea. Food attracts boys like honey attracts bees. I warned them that if they didn’t want the boys hanging around the house, they shouldn’t make the cakes and pies and cookies that are sure to bring them running. My nieces didn’t seem to be alarmed about the prospect of boys all over the place, so I suppose they’ll have to learn the hard way.

My problem is that smart, feisty, pretty girls attract boys even better than honey does. So even if my girls stopped cooking altogether, I have a sneaking suspicion that the boys would still find excuses to come over.

Some of the recipes in this book, like Honey Glazed Pretzels and Whole Wheat Bread, are very traditional Amish dishes. Others, like Salmon Tacos and Coconut Lime Chicken, are less traditional but still wunderbarr. I lived as an Englischer for twenty years before coming back to the Amish to raise my three nieces, and as a dental hygienist, I collected a lot of recipes.

Here’s my final warning: Boys are like stray cats. If you feed them, they’ll keep coming back. Buy this cookbook at your own risk.

About the Author

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Jennifer Beckstrand is the bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer was nominated for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award and the 2015 RITA® Award, and Huckleberry Hill won the 2014 LIME Award for Inspirational fiction. Both Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Christmas appeared in Examiner.com list of top ten inspirational books for 2014.

Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a background in editing. She and her husband have been married for thirty years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and four adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

Guest Post from Jennifer Beckstrand

Nothing brings family and friends together like a home-cooked meal. When I think of Amish food and cooking, I think of the way my mother used to cook and the way her mother cooked before her.

Both my parents grew up on farms, and hard work was a way of life. So were homemade meals and food that stuck to your ribs and gave you fuel for a hard day’s work in the fields. Cooking was more of an art than a burden, a way to sustain life, but also a labor of love for your family, day in and day out.

I joke with my husband that I have forgotten how to cook now that we’re empty nesters and I’d rather eat cold cereal that fire up the stove, but creating a nutritious meal for my family or baking a delicious dessert still brings me satisfaction and is a gift of the heart to my loved ones.

The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook began to take shape when I came up with the idea for a series about three sisters who keep bees and make delicious honey treats. In the Honeybee Sisters Cookbook, you’ll find some traditional Amish favorites as well as some not-so-Amish dishes—recipes that Aendi Bitsy collected from her years living with the Englisch. The pages are filled with mouth-watering photos, and I’ve included quotes from the Honeybee Sisters books. I hope you enjoy trying out the recipes as much as we enjoyed creating them for you.

My father in-law, who was also raised on a farm, passed away very recently. His mother made him a bowl of oatmeal every morning, which he hated, and it would be waiting for him after school if he didn’t eat it at breakfast. In honor of him, I would like to share a rhubarb recipe. Rhubarb was one of his favorite treats.

This recipe is authentically Amish from my friend Priscilla Stoltzfus in Pennsylvania.

Rhubarb Upside-down Cake

Mix together:

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

2 cups rhubarb, diced

Pour rhubarb mixture into an 8×8 pan.

 

Mix together:

¼ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

Add:

2 cups flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

Pour the flour mixture over rhubarb mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Turn upside-down on a plate to serve. Serve warm, if you wish.

Blog Stops

September 20: Smiling Book Reviews

September 20: Book Babble

September 21: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

September 22: Reading Is My SuperPower

September 23: Artistic Nobody

September 24: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

September 25: Bibliophile Reviews

September 26: Simple Harvest Reads

September 27: A Baker’s Perspective

September 28: Blogging With Carol

September 29: Bukwurmzzz

September 29: Donna’s BookShelf

September 30: Through the Open Window

September 30: cherylbbookblog

October 1: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog

October 2: Blossoms and Blessings

October 3: Quiet Quilter

October 3: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away one set of The Honeybee Sisters Series! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/a2ba

The Beauty Series Spotlight

Purchase your copy here.

About the Books

Beauty for Ashes

Jazz is being forced to move and her mom has given her a major task to accomplish. She has to pack up the attic. What Jazz finds in the attic changes her life in ways she never imagined, and opens her up to life altering possibilities.

Monstrous Beauty

Ethan’s father was a piece of work, to put it mildly. His father managed to become quite wealthy before he died, yet he left Ethan deeply damaged in more ways than one. Can the love and care of a strange young woman with a past of her own free him, or is he doomed to never change?

About the Author

Carol E. Keen currently resides in Alabama with her husband and family. She spends her time writing, reading, working on photography, and working with her much loved critters. She started creating stories to share with others at the age of two years old. She was published for several years in FAMA magazine (Freshwater And Marine Aquarium) as a contributing editor. She published her first book on CD, called Simply Seahorses. She is overjoyed to be publishing her fiction to share with you now. Carol currently has more books in the “works”. Please feel free to follow her for updates.

On a personal note: Carol really enjoys coffee and a good book.

Guest Post from Carol E. Keen

Can you believe it? I’m on my second tour with Celebrate Lit! Wow! I’m floored and happy and close to tears too. I have to say a HUGE thank you to Sandy and Denise for their encouragement and patience and help.

Today we are talking about my first series, The Beauty Series. The first book, Beauty For Ashes is the very first published fiction book that I have released. It started out as a contest entry. When it didn’t make the winning selection, I expanded it and had several trusted people read it. It was well received over all, and so I braved the scary world of navigation Amazon and published it.

Beauty For Ashes is based on Cinderella, and it was a challenge to write. I had always had some questions about why certain things weren’t covered in that story, so in my version, I added them. I answered my unanswered questions. I also have always felt that Cinderella had to be Christian to survive what she did and still be who she was.

My third published book is the second book in this series, and one of my favorite fairytales of all time. Monstrous Beauty is based on Beauty and the Beast. As with Beauty For Ashes, I always felt a “back story” to what drove the Beast was missing. In this version I have added all that, as well as having other answers to why “Beauty” was in this situation to start with. How would either of them relied on God to get through their situations?

I had a lot of fun writing Monstrous Beauty, and I’m looking forward to the next book I plan to write in this series.

Thank you so much for joining me on this adventure, and please feel free to ask questions!

Blessings, Carol 🙂

Blog Stops

August 11: A Baker’s Perspective

August 12: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog

August 13: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

August 14: Back Porch Reads

August 15: Pause for Tales

August 16: It’s Storytime with Van Daniker

August 17: A Greater Yes

August 17: inklings and notions

August 18: Karen’s Krayons

August 19: Blossoms and Blessings

August 20: simpleharvestreads

August 21: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

August 22: The Power of Words

August 23: Cassandra M’s Place

August 24: ArtisticNobody

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away three ebook copies of the Beauty Series with bookmark. Enter the giveaway here: https://promosimple.com/ps/a180

She Who Knows Book Spotlight

Purchase your copy of She Who Knows here.

About the Book

One girl’s journey from loneliness to love.

Isolated on a Maui mountaintop, Cassandra has only her imagination to keep her company. Shut in due to her heart condition and shut out emotionally by her father, she meets the Menehune in a dream. Their “Gift” enables her to take the first step away from her loneliness. Along the way she finds an amazing woman in the grandmother she never knew and experiences true friendship with a new classmate. Eventually she learns that to love another she must open her heart, even if it means it may break.

About the Author

In 2015, Barbara Bras left her career to pursue her dream of serving God. She believed that her first step would be to share the amazing ways God had blessed her. As she wrote of her son’s miraculous adoption and the challenging years that followed, it led to the rediscovery of her entire life, including the history of her grandparents’ remarkable survival in Armenia and her search for purpose and love. Her memoir led to her first novel, which she hopes readers will find engaging and memorable.

Guest Post from Barbara Bras

An interviewer asked what inspired me to write and publish two books within a year. It’s a long story. Unlike many authors, I didn’t always write, nor did I yearn to write. In fact, the opposite was true for me; fear of judgement discouraged me from writing. Judgement from my mother, an English teacher and a strict perfectionist who demanded excellence in everything, especially writing.

In spite of the circumstances, my love of reading led to my first profession, teaching English at the high school level. Teaching laid the foundation for my career, which ultimately resulted in twenty-five plus years in various corporate environments as an Human Resources leader. Naturally, during my career I wrote a great deal, including proposals, papers, and communications of all kinds. But never anything creative, I never even journaled.

Almost two years ago, our Pastor handed out little pieces of paper during his sermon that said, “ENOUGH”. He questioned our inane desire to accumulate things when we already have the one thing that is needful. Just as Mary choose to worship at the feet of Jesus rather than be distracted by the world, so must we choose what is most important. (Luke 10:42) It struck a nerve.

Shortly thereafter, I made the decision to leave my position of ten years. Unsure of my next move, I focused my energy on a burning desire. Ever since the Lord provided a son for us through a miraculous adoption, I believed He wanted me to share it as an encouragement to others. I had tried to write the story many times without success. I signed up for retreat that promised, “Write your book in a weekend!”

The three-day retreat required nonstop writing, first in long hand, then on the pc. Amazingly, at the end of the third day I had not only finally written the story of the miraculous adoption, I had shared the incredible disappointment and heartache of the years that followed, all captured within the context of my life and the life of my ancestors. Wrapped in God’s Grace, a Life Rediscovered had materialized. I felt a great release and I thought that would be the end of my writing.

Over the next few months as I edited the book, I followed the system of editing for 45 minutes, and writing new material for 15. What emerged during those 15 minute segments became Cassandra’s story, or She Who Knows, a Tale of the Heart. The story unfolded in front of me, inspired by the woman who supervised my student teaching in Honolulu back in 1977.

Barbara Robinson was an inspiration to me both as a teacher and as a person. As we worked together that semester, she shared many stories and took me under her wing. She told me the story of how her grandmother, a musician, had come to islands and married her seafaring grandfather. She spent a great deal of her childhood isolated in the mountains on Maui, presumably to recover from an illness. When finally allowed to return to school years later, her years of isolation and her archaic English made for a lonely life. She also believed she that she had an usual gift, which she decided was better left unused.

So what began as an effort to share my story and encourage others has developed into a love of writing and a desire to serve the Lord through my new passion.

Soli Deo Gloria. To God Alone Be the Glory!

Blog Stops

July 21: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberation

July 22: A Reader’s Brain

July 23: Mary Hake

July 24: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

July 25: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog

July 26: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

July 27: A Greater Yes

July 27: Reading Is My SuperPower (Spotlight)

July 28: A Bakers Perspective

July 29: Splashes of Joy

July 29: Artistic Nobody (Spotlight)

July 30: Cassandra M’s Place

July 31: Bukwurmzzz

August 1: Simple Harvest Reads

August 2: Carpe Diem

August 3: Pause for Tales

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away a $100 Amazon gift card, copies of She Who Knows, and Wrapped In God’s Grace. Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/9f1e

Whispering to Horses Review

About the Book

To purchase your copy, click here

An old fence separates a modern community from their Amish neighbors, until a little boy opens the gate and breaks down barriers between them. Main characters, Matt and Eli, find friendship, hope, and a future through a mutual need, which creates an opportunity for them to learn to understand each other. Eli and his little sisters will touch your heart by Whispering to Horses.

My Two Cents

Aaaaarrrgggghhhh!!!!!! I so wish this book was longer! I absolutely LOVED it! This is my first experience with Thomas Nye’s work, and let me just say, I don’t think it will be my last. I was sucked into this story from the very start. I loved his character Eli and found myself wanting to help out with Matt’s yard too. I really want to know what happens next for Matt! I highly recommend this book. I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

Thank you to Celebrate Lit and Thomas Nye for a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

Thomas Nye, author of the Amish Horses Book Series, Lives near an Amish community where he grew to know and respect his Amish neighbors. During grade school Thomas developed an interest in history and loved reading anything he could find about the 1800s. His love of farm, history, and horses all came together in real-life experiences with his Amish friends, who also happen to share his Christian faith. He purchased draft horses from Amish farmers in his neighborhood and set out to learn the art of working with horses in harness. After years of buying, selling, and trading work horses with Amish farmers in his community, Thomas had many wonderful memories of those experiences. His novels based on those adventures. Learn more about Thomas Nye on his website.

Guest Post from Thomas Nye

Last spring, I visited numerous Amish communities throughout the state of Indiana. My original goal was to bring awareness of my Amish Horses book series to the Amish and tourists in that region. As I traveled down quiet country roads, my heart was overwhelmed by beautiful farm scenes. Conversations with Amish families, and especially Amish children, brought a new awareness and inspiration to me. Springtime and its rich aromas flooded my senses and filled my heart with a story, Whispering to Horses.

Whispering to Horses is a very short novel which spans several generations. It is the story of two families that live side-by-side for years, and yet are strangers to each other. A fence that was installed to keep livestock apart has become a dividing line, separating Amish from their non-Amish neighbors. Years ago, when putting in the fence, an Amishman remembered his grandfather’s advice, almost prophetically, “… a gate opens the way for help in time of need.” Generations later, a gentle Amish boy named Eli, seems to have inherited his great-great-grandfather’s wisdom, as he opens the gate and communication between neighbors.

Kalona, Iowa has been my home for the past 35 years. Living in an Amish/Mennonite community, I have experienced many situations exactly like the one described in this book. It is so easy for us to look over a fence and have a disdain for people we don’t know, or understand. Sometimes, a little child can use their simple wisdom to break through our misconceptions, and soften our crusty opinions. In my hundreds of visits to Amish farms, it has been the children that have surprised me most. Even though English is their second language, Amish children speak with wisdom that has become a treasure to me, and I want to share it with you. I hope the story of Whispering to Horses opens your eyes, and brings back memories of your own childhood, when we all shared that simple wisdom.

Blog Stops

June 7: Quiet Quilter

June 8: ArtisticNobody

June 8: Petra’s Hope

June 9: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

June 10: Cindy’s Book Reviews

June 10: Blossoms and Blessings

June 11: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

June 12: Bigreadersite

June 13: Through The Open Window

June 14: A Greater Yes

June 14: Cassandra M’s Place

June 15: Texas Book-aholic

June 16: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

June 17: Lighthouse Academy

June 18: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

June 19: Red Headed Book Lady

June 20: Rockin’ My Mom Jeans

June 21: Simple Harvest Reads

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Thomas is giving away an entire set of his Amish Horses Series! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/9b7f

No Neutral Ground Book Review

Purchase your copy here.

About the Book

No Neutral Ground: After his father divorces his mother because of her Jewish ancestry, Rafe and the rest of his family flee Germany. As a B-17 navigator, he returns to Europe. On the ocean voyage, he meets Jennie, an artist journeying to Sweden to work with the OSS.

Flying missions against his former homeland arouses emotions that surprise Rafe. Despite being rejected, he is troubled by the destruction of Germany and his heart still cries for his father’s love.

Sweden may be neutral, but it’s full of intrigue. Jennie assists the OSS at the American legation in Sweden. She thought she’d be doing passive, behind-the-scenes work. Instead, she’s pushed into an active role to gain intelligence and frustrate the Germans.

How can Rafe and Jennie succeed in their dangerous roles when they are so conflicted?

My Two Cents

Can I just say that Terri Wangard has done it again?! I absolutely loved this book! I liked it even better than her first one. I will admit that I may or may not have a crush on her character Rafe. *blushes* Terri’s characters are so realistic and they draw you in! I love how Terri gives the readers a different perspective on Germany in World War II; not all the Germans agreed with what went on there. I highly recommend this book to you!

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!

Thank you to Celebrate Lit and Terri Wangard for a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review. No monetary compensation was given.

About the Author

Terri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days she is writing historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Her research included going for a ride in a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.

Connect with Terri:
www.terriwangard.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTerriWangard
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/terriwangard/

Blog Stops

May 3: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

May 4: A Greater Yes

May 5: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

May 5: The Editor’s Note

May 6: Daysong Reflections

May 6: Mary Hake

May 7: Bigreadersite

May 8: Inklings and Notions

May 9: Blossoms and Blessings

May 10: Bukwurmzzz

May 10: Cassandra M’s Place (spotlight)

May 11: Christian Bookaholic

May 12: Singing Librarian Books

May 13: Texas Book-aholic

May 14: Simple Harvest Reads

May 15: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

May 16: Artistic Nobody

Guest Post from Terri Wangard

I hadn’t planned on writing No Neutral Ground. Friends and Enemies (book one of the Promise For Tomorrow series) was the WWII story I’d wanted to write, inspired by family history on the German side. Finishing that, I’d started writing a contemporary story set in one of my favorite places, Green Lake, Wisconsin.

At an ACFW conference, I had an appointment to pitch Friends and Enemies with an editor. She said I’d be likelier to get a contract if I had a series. The Green Lake story got shelved.

What could I write to partner with Friends and Enemies? That stumped me. The German side of the story was my big interest, but another one? No. I had no desire to return to Nazi Germany. My ancestry is three quarters German. All of my forbearers arrived in America before 1900, but it’s still a bitter thought that their homeland spawned such evil.

Germany’s out, so that left me with the other side of Friends and Enemies—the B-17s. I’d chosen the Flying Fortress because of my timeline. In mid-1944, the only American military men in Germany were shot-down airmen. I had plenty of material I hadn’t used in Friends and Enemies, but the plot had to be different. Something other writers hadn’t touched on. Maybe…Sweden?

Who’s familiar with Sweden’s role in World War II?

If American planes got in trouble during their missions and couldn’t make it back to their bases in England, they sought sanctuary in neutral countries. Switzerland is usually the first that comes to mind. Tricia Goyer had already written The Swiss Courier which touches on internees.

But Sweden. I had even visited Sweden. In 1993, my dad and I had gone to Sweden to cover a classic boat show for our magazine, Classic Boating. During a free day, we had wandered around Stockholm and taken lots of pictures.

I started the research and discovered, hmm, there’s not much, especially if you don’t know Swedish. One book I acquired held a eureka moment. A B-17 was damaged and the pilot told the crew to bail out. The navigator hurried to the cockpit and implored him to try to make it to Sweden. He was from Germany, a former member of the Hitler Youth, and he did not want to be captured by his former countrymen. There’s my male protagonist! Rafe discovered he had Jewish ancestry and had to flee Germany. Now he’s back at war with the homeland.

I still needed a female protagonist, and Jennie proved hard to pin down. I was pulling her together throughout the writing. I enjoyed reading accounts of Betty McIntosh, who served with the OSS in the China-Burma-India theater. Why not enlist Jennie’s services with the OSS in Sweden? She’s talented but lacks confidence. Pretty soon, Jennie found her voice.

As my research continued, I made a surprising discovery. One of the photos I’d taken in Stockholm turned out to be the former home of the American legation in Sweden. Jennie’s workplace. And I had thought it was just an example of lovely architecture.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading about Rafe and Jennie in No Neutral Ground.

Giveaway

To celebrate her No Neutral Ground tour, Terri is giving away several prizes. Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/97ca

Amish Quilts Coloring Book Review

Purchase your copy here.

About the book

Feeling stressed? Why not relax with an adult coloring book? Rachel J. Good’s Amish Quilts Coloring Book takes you back to a time and place that’s calm. Immerse yourself in a world of peace as you color the 25 different quilts.

Inspired by quilts seen in Amish country, many of these designs are based on traditional patterns, but some have been reimagined or repeated multiple times to create more intricate designs to color. Each quilt is printed on only one side of the page; facing pages contain inspirational Amish proverbs. To make the quilts even more colorful and interesting, sketch fabric designs – plaids, checks, paisleys, flowers, or abstract shapes – into the larger quilt blocks, use pattern stamps, or even collage fabric scraps to the pages. And if the designs inspire you to make quilts of your own, the pages can be used as templates for quilt-making.

My Two Cents

The coloring pages I received from this book were absolutely beautiful. As I was coloring the page it felt like I was making my very own Amish quilt. I do have to say that these pages are very detailed, so they take a lot of time to color. That being said, seeing the final outcome made all the effort worth it!

Here is my quilt:

IMG_3134

About the Author

Rachel J. Good, inspirational author, writes life-changing, heartfelt novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She is the author of Amish romances in the Sisters & Friends series. She grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her novels. A former teacher and librarian, she completed her MA from Vermont College while raising five children. She is presently an MFA student in Writing and Illustration at Hollins University. In addition to having more than 2200 articles and 30 books in print or forthcoming under several pseudonyms, she also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. To buy the Amish Quilts Coloring Book: http://amzn.to/1VmIOUi. Visit Rachel at:

Website: www.racheljgood.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/racheljgoodnovels/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelJGood1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14661177.Rachel_J_Good

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/racheljgood1/

Blog Stops

May 4: Bookworm Mama

May 5: Smiling Book Reviews

May 5: Cassandra M’s Place

May 6: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

May 6: Simple Harvest Reads

May 7: Blossoms and Blessings

May 7: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

May 8: Tell Tale Book Reviews

May 9: Karen’s Krayons

May 9: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

May 10: Texas Book-aholic

May 11: Singing Librarian Books

May 12: Through the Open Window

May 12: Petra’s Hope

May 13: Lighthouse Academy

May 13: Reader’s Cozy Corner

May 14: A Greater Yes

May 14: Artistic Nobody

May 15: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

May 15: Books! Books! Books!

May 15: Raining Butterfly Kisses

May 15: Quiet Quilter

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away two autographed copies of her Amish Quilts Coloring Book! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/986f

For Richer or Poorer Review

Purchase your copy of For Richer or Poorer here

About the Book

Elizabeth Whitte finds herself on the frigid border of Minnesota and Canada as winter sets in. When her plans for finding a husband and rushing back to Kansas fall through, she has to stay and learn a few things…like how to care for others.

Robert is a Mountie in Fort Frances, Canada. When he meets Elizabeth, his first instinct is to send her home. He’s been burned by women like her in the past and knows his life isn’t suited for them. Elizabeth’s pull is strong, but he cannot leave his beloved Canada.

As Elizabeth matures in many ways, Robert must decide if sending her back to Kansas is still his best option. Could she learn to love him, and his beautiful home?

My Two Cents

This week I read For Richer or Poorer by Kari Trumbo. Let me just say, Kari Trumbo did a great job with Elizabeth. I absolutely hated her at first! By the end of the book though, I had warmed up to her character. I love the way Kari uses this character to teach forgiveness. There were a couple times were I felt I was missing something, so it might be a good idea to read the first book before reading this one. I would recommend this book to you though!

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars!

Thank you to Celebrate Lit and Kari Trumbo for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

About the Author

Kari Trumbo is a writer of Christian Historical Romance and a stay-at-home mom to four vibrant children. She does freelance developmental editing and blogging. When she isn’t writing or editing, she homeschools her children and pretends to keep up with them. Kari has written three novels in the Western Vows series and one prequel/novella; all should be released by fall of 2016. Kari loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing with the worship team, and curling up near the wood stove when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband of eighteen years, two daughters, two sons, and four cats.

Places to follow Kari:

Website Facebook Twitter Pinterest Amazon

Blog Spots

May 1: Mary Hake

May 1: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

May 2: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

May 3: A Greater Yes

May 4: Bukwurmzzzz

May 5: Simple Harvest Reads

May 6: Artistic Nobody

May 6: Cassandra M’s Place

May 7: Red Headed Book Lady

Guest Post from Kari Trumbo

Welcome to the tour, my new friends!

The Western Vows series began, believe it or not, on a dream and a challenge. I’m very close friends with another writer. We’d been friends for about seven years when she published her first book. I offered to edit it for her and tucked my own secret thoughts of writing inside. She and I are so alike, we share a birthday, look similar, have similar interests and likes, but we are not sisters, at least in the biological sense. When I’d been editing for her for three years, in secret, I wrote a manuscript. It was during the month of our shared birthdays. I told her about it and she said the best thing to do when you start writing is to set that one aside and keep going. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) camp came the very next month and she challenged me to write another, right away. I’d had a story bottled up for over three years. I accepted her challenge, set my word count, and finished the first draft of To Honor and Cherish five weeks later.

I knew the story was good, I just needed to work on it, but while I was writing the story of Meg, stubborn Lizzy started pushing her way to the forefront of my mind. That would be For Richer or Poorer. I edited book one over twenty-five times and submitted it to a few agents, all of whom gave me good advice on how to improve it. Parts that I took out of book one in editing became the background of Forsaking All Others, the prequel and Rose’s story, explaining how a Sioux couple ended up on a Kansas ranch.

Lastly, and the most difficult, was To Love and Comfort, Margot’s story. She fought me every step of the way and that story had to be started over four times before I got it right. It will be released fall of 2016. There may be more novels in the Western Vows series, I’m not willing to write the end just yet. I’m currently working on two new series, one focused on a tiny town in Montana with three other authors, the other a series based in Nebraska.

In For Richer or Poorer, I’ll take you through the taming of Elizabeth Whitte. I didn’t like her much at first, and I don’t think you will, either, but keep reading! She reminded me a bit of Scarlet O’Hara in the beginning. She rushes off to Northern Minnesota to trick a man into marrying her so she can inherit her father’s ranch. She never dreamed that there might be men out there unwilling to listen to her every demand. Life is a little harsh for her, but she soon learns that the things she teased her sister Meg about enjoying, just might make her happy, too. By the end of For Richer or Poorer, Elizabeth was one of my favorite characters and Robert is, bar none, my favorite hero so far.

I hope you enjoy their story as much as I did writing it.

~Kari

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kari is giving away two wonderful prizes! The grand prize winner will receive a Kindle Fire. The first place winner will receive a copy of each of her books. This giveaway begins April 30 and ends May 9. This giveaway is sponsored by the author and entrants release any liability to this blog and Celebrate Lit.

Click here to enter.