Title: The Amish Candy Maker
Author: Laura V. Hilton
Genre: Amish Christian Fiction
Release date: February 5, 2019
Agnes Zook finds herself on her own in a small Amish community in Mackinac County after a tragedy kills her family. Most of the Amish call her “off in den Kopf” (strange) since she’s starting her own business and forging her own way in the community instead of relying on the bishop to take care of her. Since she’s viewed as non-submissive and too-forward for an Amish woman, she’s not courted by young men in the area.
Isaac Mast is on the verge of leaving the Amish church. He’s become a sought-after auctioneer and has a thriving business, but he feels confined by the strict rules. When his brother is severely injured in a wildfire, Isaac receives a letter from his sister-in-law, begging him to come to Mackinac County to help out while his brother is hospitalized. Isaac agrees but is unsure how to manage their young children when he has weekend auctions he’s expected to attend.
Agnes may be the answer to a prayer. Sparks fly when she and Isaac meet. But could their differences help them form a deeper connection to their faith…and each other?
Click here to purchase your copy.
Laura Hilton is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with more than a thousand reviews published on the web. Her first series with Whitaker was The Amish of Seymour, comprising Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (2012 Laurel Award winner, first place in the Amish Genre Clash), and Promised to Another; and her second was The Amish of Webster County, comprising Healing Love, Awakened Love, and Surrendered Love. Her next series was The Amish of Jamesport, featuring The Post Card, Snow Globe, and The Birdhouse. Her latest books include The Amish Firefighter, The Amish Wanderer, and Love By the Numbers. Laura and her husband, Steve, live in Arkansas with their five children, whom Laura homeschools.
RECIPE FOR FUDGE À LA AGNES ZOOK
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge
Courtesy of Laura V. Hilton
1 bag (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1 bag (10 ounces) peanut butter chips
2 cans sweetened condensed milk, divided
6 tablespoons butter, divided
20 to 30 miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or six regular-size ones broken into four or five pieces each
For the chocolate layer: Line a greased 8-by-11.5-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
In a double boiler or metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, combine milk chocolate chips, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, and 4 tablespoons butter. Stir until melted and smooth.
Pour into prepared baking dish and allow to cool to room temperature, then move to the refrigerator while preparing next layer.
For the peanut butter layer: In a double boiler or metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, combine peanut butter chips, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, and 2 tablespoons butter. Stir until melted and smooth.
Pour on to the milk chocolate fudge layer and press pieces of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups into the surface. If desired, group candy pieces in a grid-like fashion for easier cutting later.
Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight or until set.
Remove from refrigerator, lift out of the pan by the edges of the parchment paper, and cut into squares, with roughly one miniature peanut butter cup or piece of a cup per square.
Store in the refrigerator.
Christian Author, J. E. Grace, February 5
My Devotional Thoughts, February 5
Carla Loves To Read, February 5
Among the Reads, February 6
Girl’s In White Dresses, February 6
Britt Reads Fiction, February 6
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 7
The Avid Reader, February 7
Random Thoughts From a Bookworm, February 7
Emily Yager, February 8
Quiet quilter, February 8
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 8
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 9
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 9
Maureen’s Musings, February 9
Bibliophile Reviews, February 10
Vicky Sluiter, February 10
Through the Fire Blogs, February 11
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 11
Daysong Reflections, February 11
Texas Book-aholic, February 12
Janices book reviews, February 12
Carpe Diem, February 13
A Baker’s Perspective, February 13
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14
SusanLovesBooks, February 14
Blossoms and Blessings, February 15
Stephanie’s Life of Perseverance, February 15
Inspiration Clothesline, February 15
Inklings and Notions, February 16
Locks, Hooks and Books, February 16
Pause for Tales, February 16
Have A Wonderful Day, February 17
For the Love of Books, February 17
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 17
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, February 18
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 18
Bigreadersite, February 18
To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away a grand prize of a large and small spatula set and a $10 Starbucks gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d9a6/the-amish-candy-maker-celebration-tour-giveaway
I haven’t read this story yet. However, every Laura Hilton story I have read, I enjoyed!
Sheriff Will Jacobs, sheriff of Stone Ridge, California, leaves the city for a job interview never dreaming he would come back to find his wife, Emma, kidnapped. He thanks God for leaving his daughter, Libby, safe and sound but knows he’ll have to leave her with others in order to track down his wife and bring her home.
Will sets out on his tracking journey with no real idea how or why Emma was kidnapped and even less idea of which way to go. He’s aided by two people he befriends and thus begins the story.
There are many twists and turns and plenty of surprises throughout the story. The introduction of each new character and setting adds to the excitement of the book.
Northbound is a western set in mid-1800s and does a good job capturing the life and times of early California, during the gold rush era; however, the book is not about the gold rush.
Griffin liberally uses the Bible to illustrate his book and establishes an intense Christian foundation that he follows from beginning to end.
The book was a pleasant read, though I had a hard time with the spelling and grammatical errors (that have apparently since been corrected). Overall, the book gives insight into a person’s ability to cling to God even in the worst of circumstances and how God never leaves us.
I was given this book by BookCrash. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
Title: Ellie’s Redemption
Author: Molly Jebber
Genre: Christian fiction, Amish
Release date: January 29, 2019
1912, Charm, Ohio
Ellie Graber is determined to restore her bad reputation in Charm, Ohio. She regrets leaving Amish life and the danger and heartache she caused her family and friends. Ellie loves working with Liza, and her best friend and cousin, Hannah, at Liza’s Amish Charm Bakery, attends church, and obeys Amish law, but the gossip about her past life won’t stop. Joel Wenger’s deep blue eyes tell her he cares for her, but she suspects his parents have warned him to stay away from her. Joel wants to trust Ellie’s changed but his sister, Maryann, who left Amish life broke their hearts. Will Joel ignore his parents and friends, face their anger and ridicule, and give her a chance?
Click here to purchase your copy!
Ellie’s Redemption by Molly Jebber deals with several matters within the Amish community in Charm, Ohio, in 1921. One she gives emphasis to is gossip. There are several verses in the Bible warning against gossiping (or talebearing). A few of those include:
Leviticus 19:16a King James Version (KJV) Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people…
Proverbs 11:13 (KJV) A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
Proverbs 20:19 (KJV) He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
Ellie Graber struggles against feelings of inadequacies and self-worth. Ellie must stand strong when gossiping causes the mother of her friend, Joel Wenger, to not give them a chance. She portrays an attitude of forgiveness and kindness, even though others are not so kind to her.
The story is sweet and simple with many obstacles that need to be overcome. The main characters are easy to relate to, and they all grow in faith, forgiveness and understanding as a result of the problems they each face.
I love when the author includes a recipe, and there is one for oatmeal cookies in the book!
Ellie’s Redemption is Book 2 of The Amish Charm Bakery Series. Because I was sometimes confused, I feel I would have enjoyed the book more if I had read the first story.
Molly Jebber writes Amish Historical Romance. Her latest release, ELLIE’S REDEMPTION, is the second book in her Amish Charm Bakery Series. Molly’s books have been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today’s HEA, and Romantic Times. Her books have received widespread media attention throughout the US. Her books are sold in print and Ebook throughout the US and United Kingdom. She’s a touring speaker for Women’s Christian Connection, other women’s organizations, and she offers presentations on writing and the Amish. She says the most rewarding part about writing stories is meeting wonderful readers who become friends through social media and at her speaking events. Please visit her website: http://www.mollyjebber.com for a full list of her books (and options stores to buy them), speaking events and recipes.
She loves God, her family, and friends. She says yes to swimming, the beach, golf, and time with her family and friends, and no to coconut, onions, and skydiving!
Ellie likes newcomer Joel, and he’s the first Amish man to show interest since her return to Charm. She’s afraid when he learns of her rebellious past and the danger she brought to her family before turning her life around, he’ll end their courtship. Joel is frustrated his sister left Amish life before his family moved to Charm. He chooses not to tell Ellie about her, until he has no choice. What does the future hold for Ellie and Joel when their secrets are revealed?
Along with the story of Ellie’s Redemption are recipes!
Here’s one just for you!
Ellie’s Surprise Cookies
1 cup shortening 2 cups rolled oats (quick cook)
1 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon soda
1 ¼ cup brown sugar ½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon cinnamon 1 ½ cups chocolate chips
2 eggs 2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt
Sift dry ingredients. Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Stir in dry ingredients. Add oatmeal, vanilla and chocolate chips. Dough will be crumbly. Spoon a teaspoon of dough at a time on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Quiet Quilter, January 29
Carpe Diem, January 29
Lighthouse Academy, January 30
Random Thoughts From a Bookworm, January 30
Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 31
Splashes of Joy, January 31
Janices book reviews, January 31
A Baker’s Perspective, February 1
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 1
Bigreadersite, February 2
Mary Hake, February 2
Maureen’s Musings, February 2
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 3
EmpowerMoms, February 3
Inklings and Notions, February 4
Captive Dreams Window, February 4
Locks, Hooks and Books, February 5
Robin is Bookish, February 5
Texas Book-aholic, February 6
My Devotional Thoughts, February 6
Christian Author, J.E.Grace, February 7
SusanLovesBooks, February 7
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 8
For the Love of Books, February 8
Henry Happens, February 9
Blossoms and Blessings, February 9
Bibliophile Reviews, February 10
Connie’s History Classroom, February 10
Vicky Sluiter, February 11
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 11
To celebrate her tour, Molly is giving away a grand prize that includes an Amish doll, a handmade lap quilt (can be used as wall hanging), an Apple Pie recipe tea towel, a Blessings journal, a handmade quilted potholder, a $10 Amazon Card, Ellie’s Redemption Print Book, a mug, a 2019 Planner, pad and pen set, and a bookmark!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/da8b/ellie-s-redemption-celebration-tour-giveaway
Title: The Lost Art of Relationship
Author: Dan Chrystal
Genre: Christian non-fiction, Christian living
Release date: October 15, 2018
Relationship is a journey of discovery—a lost art. In this generation, it has become challenging to deepen and grow personal relationships with each other. Our technology-flooded environment has left many with limited relational experience and a fear of face-to-face connection and meeting new people.
The church has done a decent job of helping people understand the need and importance of a relationship with God, but what about with each other? At the heart of every man, woman, and child is the need for connection—for relationships with people who love them for who they are.
In The Lost Art of Relationship, Dan Chrystal tackles the heart of relationship based on the time-honored instruction to “love your neighbor as you love yourself.” But what does that mean? How do we live out this odd instruction? Who is my neighbor, anyway? What makes relationships healthy, and what makes them fail? Through Dan’s personal stories and difficult life lessons, readers will come away encouraged, inspired, and motivated to love the people in their life more fully. If you desire deep and meaningful connections, now is the time to discover the lost art of relationship.
Click here to get your copy!
Dan Chrystal’s book, The Lost Art of Relationship (A Journey to Find the Lost Commandment), has, in addition to the forward and introduction, 23 chapters divided into three sections. He begins his book with questions and ends the book with questions, which are great platforms for the book.
Chrystal leads us on a journey to discover the meaning of Matthew 22: 39b King James Version (KJV), “…Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” As we follow the journey, we get glimpses of his life through personal stories illustrating his insights into building different relationships, be they friends, family, spouse, children or business associates. Each personal story leads us back to the Biblical guidelines integral to the lessons we are learning.
The book will start you on a quest to explore and examine your own relationships and give you tools to strengthen and enhance each one.
I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
Dan Chrystal has over twenty-three years of ministry and relationship experience. He serves as a pastor for Bayside Church Granite Bay, under the dynamic leadership of founding pastor, Ray Johnston. Dan is a vibrant speaker and a dedicated life, career, and couple’s coach. He holds an MBA in executive leadership from Kaplan University (now Purdue Global University) and is currently studying law at Concord Law School. His extensive ministry background has taken him all over the country, from the east coast to the west, where he has served in varying capacities, including Lead Pastor, Administrative Pastor, Associate Pastor, Worship Leader, and Youth Pastor. An avid student of relationship, Dan is passionate about helping others to love their neighbors as themselves.
“Choose a good reputation over great riches.” (Proverbs 22:1)
For two years, I experienced what many would call a “wilderness experience.” I truly felt forgotten. I had spent twenty years in various aspects of church work having met and coached hundreds of people, and I still felt like I didn’t truly understand why I was put on this earth. I have moved nine times in my adult life. Everywhere I’ve lived, I had to start over—at work, home, schools for kids, and especially in relationship with others.
The last move was different. This time I was no longer looking to connect simply for the sake of connecting. There was a purpose for connection that was brewing inside me. That purpose became the driving force of my life and remains that way today. In fact, it consumes my thought life, relationships, ministry, and every aspect of what I do, think, and say.
Connecting with others has been a part of my life wherever I have gone. This came from watching my mom over many years meet, talk to, and befriend hundreds of people. At her funeral, I had just about that many tell me “thank you” for allowing my mom to be a part of their lives—how she encouraged them and truly got to know them for who they are.
During my two-year “wilderness” period, there was a realization that over all the moves, restarts, connections, coffee appointments, coaching, lunches, and dinners with people, I was learning the essence of what I believe we are called, or actually commanded, to do by Jesus. Such a simple sentence, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” However, it is one of the most difficult things to live out every day. Let’s face it; relationships are messy. They can be downright frustrating at times, but they are a necessary part of life, and the second most important thing to God.
I am by no means an “expert” in relationship. I am and always will be a student of it. I have watched relationships thrive, survive, and some fall away. There are so many divisions that come between us, and during those two years of struggling with my purpose, it became clear—God has designed, purposed, and prepared me to help others discover what it means to love your neighbor as yourself. I am not perfect at this. As a matter of fact, I struggle—sometimes daily. That is what sparked the writing of this book. I have found there is an art to relationship. For most, it is a lost art, one that can be rediscovered. I would love it if you would join me in discovering The Lost Art of Relationship.
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 19
Carpe Diem, January 19
Robin is Bookish, January 20
The Becca Files, January 20
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 21
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 22
Creating Romance, January 22
Real World Bible Study, January 23
Mary Hake, January 24
Captive Dreams Window, January 25
Bigreadersite, January 25
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 26
margaret kazmierczak, January 26
Bibliophile Reviews, January 27
Texas Book-aholic, January 28
Just the Write Escape, January 29
A Baker’s Perspective, January 30
Janices book reviews, January 31
Book World Reviews, February 1
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 1
To celebrate his tour, Dan is giving away a grand prize of an Echo 2nd Generation Smart Speaker with Alexa!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d8d6/the-lost-art-of-relationship-celebration-tour-giveaway
Title: Flights of Fancy
Author: Jen Turano
Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Gilded Age
Release date: January 1, 2019
Publisher: Bethany House
Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.
Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.
Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.
Can I just say, I LOVE Jen Turano’s books? I have always enjoyed historical and humorous fiction. When you mix those two together…well, you get a Jen Turano book!
Flights of Fancy is Turano’s newest book, the first in her American Heiresses series. True to her typical style, there are lots of laugh out loud moments garnered from the situation Isadora “Izzie” Delafield, American heiress, finds herself in. However, not everything is “hunky-dory” in her life.
Fleeing from a precarious situation involving a dastardly Duke her mother wants her to marry, Izzie finds herself at the Glory Manor. Glory Manor is home to a menagerie of animals and people, including cows and chickens that prefer the indoors and four adorable orphans.
Between the “normal” goings on at Glory Manor, there are undercurrents of menace, too. As the characters begin to learn more about each other, they also learn more about themselves and their purpose in life.
Flights of Fancy doesn’t have as much of the Gilded Age as most of Turano’s books have; nonetheless, it is still very enjoyable. She has a way of interweaving valuable life lessons and Biblical insights into her stories that leave you thinking about your own life.
One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO.
Q & A With Jen Turano
“Flights of Fancy” is the first book in the American Heiress Series. What inspired you to write this series?
The inspiration for this entire series started off with a What If? All of my proposals for new series start off that way, and this time it was – What if Consuelo Vanderbilt had balked when her mother insisted she marry the Duke of Marlborough – and then that led to – What if she’d run away until her mother came to her senses? Just like that, an entire series was born – a bit of a different take on American heiresses because in all three books, my heiresses might decide to go a tad…rogue. We start off with Miss Isadora Delafield – who does run off to avoid marriage to a duke, then we get to meet Miss Poppy Garrison, who is an unexpected heiress but who can’t quite seem to get a handle on the expected social decorum of the day, and then the final book revolves around Miss Beatrix Waterbury – who gets banished to Chicago after she annoys her mother one too many times, and once there, well, gets up to a bit of mischief.
How do you come up with the names of your characters?
I find most of my names as I research the New York Four-Hundred, although I normally take a first name here, a last name there so I’m not stepping on any toes by writing about an actual historical figure – except for some of the main figures in New York society back then, such as Mr. Ward McAllister – who was the social arbiter of the day, or Mrs. William Astor, who was the queen of that society. What I don’t do is simply make up names, no matter how outrageous they may appear. And, no matter how I may love a certain name, if the character decides it doesn’t suit them, that’s it, it’s out and I’m back to the drawing board.
How do you picture your character? Do you use Pinterest, magazines, movies?
Odd as this may seem, I don’t use pictures for my characters. They start off in my mind as a blurry figure, and then, they develop from there – I like to keep my descriptions of them somewhat vague on the pages so that the reader can imagine them exactly the way they’d like them to be.
What are some of your favorite resources for historical research?
I’ve been building up a research library over the past few years and now have over 200 books dedicated to the Gilded Age. My favorites are – “A Season of Splendor” by Greg King, “Society as I Have Found It” by Ward McAllister, “The Gilded Age in New York – 1870-1910” by Esther Crain, and “ ‘King Lehr’ and the Gilded Age” by Elizabeth Drexel Lehr.
The setting for “Flights of Fancy” is a bit of a departure for you since it’s set in and outside of Pittsburgh. Any reason for that?
My mom was born in Pittsburgh, and unfortunately, her father, a prominent attorney back in the day, died when she was only four. I thought it would be cool to set a story in Pittsburgh, which would then allow me to really dive into some research. And get this – while I was doing that research, I found this obscure journal called “Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. In that journal was a bit about my great-grandfather, Fred, his wife, Susie, my grandfather, and his brother and sister, but I’d never heard about this brother, who apparently died quite young. One of the most fabulous research tidbits I’ve uncovered to date.
What are you working on now?
I’ve just recently turned in the content edits for the second book in this series, “Diamond in the Rough,” and I’ve also turned in a novella about the Harvey Girls that will be coming out in a novella collection in Fall, 2019. With those out of the way, I’m now starting the third and final book in the American Heiress series, Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s story, but I’m having a bit of a struggle with the hero at the moment – he was supposed to be Edward, but he doesn’t want to be an Edward – I think he wants to be Norman – but, time will tell on that one – don’t hold me to the name – it’ll depend on if he changes his mind or not – pesky characters.
You seem to enjoy adding animals in many of your stories. Will we find any animals in “Flights of Fancy?”
Since Miss Isadora Delafield ends up on a farm, I do believe you will find a few animals, such as an adorable cow by the name of Buttercup, a few goats that seem to have a great liking for laundry, and…there might be some chickens.
Thanks for stopping by today, everyone! Always enjoy visiting with all of you – in fact, that’s the best part of my job!
All the best,
~ Jen ~
The Avid Reader, January 10
Among the Reads, January 10
Through the Fire, January 10
To Everything A Season, January 10
Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 11
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 11
Blogging With Carol, January 11
Southern Gal loves to Read, January 11
Back Porch Reads, January 12
KarenSueHadley, January 12
Godly Book Reviews, January 12
Daysong Refections, January 12
Livin Lit, January 13
The Christian Fiction Girl, January 13
The Becca Files, January 13
Texas Book-aholic, January 13
Rebekah’s Quill, January 14
Blossoms and Blessings, January 14
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 14
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 15
Just the Write Escape, January 15
Stories By Gina, January 15
God’s Little Bookworm, January 16
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, January 16
Splashes of Joy, January 16
Janices book reviews, January 16
Happily Managing A Household of Boys, January 17
Mary Hake, January 17
Maureen’s Musings, January 17
Bibliophile Reviews, January 17
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 18
Baker Kella, January 18
Simple Harvest Reads, January 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 19
Captive Dreams Window, January 19
Robin is Bookish, January 19
Carpe Diem, January 19
Have A Wonderful Day, January 20
Life with the Tribe, January 20
Inklings and Notions, January 20
Rachel’s Back Talk, January 21
Inspiration Clothesline, January 21
amandainpa, January 21
A Baker’s Perspective, January 21
Locks, Hooks and Books, January 22
Pause for Tales, January 22
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 22
Raining Butterfly Kisses, January 23
Live Love Read, January 23
A Rup Life, January 23
Bigreadersite, January 23
To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a grand prize of a trunk filled with all of Jen’s full-length novels released to date!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d8d1/flights-of-fancy-celebration-tour-giveaway
I have several URGENT prayer requests that I would appreciate very much for those who pray, to include on their prayer lists.
My 31-year-old nephew has a rare condition that has already created the need for several surgeries including open heart surgery. He is now in ICU, having suffered from a stroke. He also has a blood clot on the back portion of his brain. (He is the son of my baby brother that passed away a few years ago.)
My baby sister’s husband recently had some issues and went to a doctor. They discovered he had an extremely aggressive form of kidney cancer that is larger than his kidney. He also has some lymph node involvement. He is meeting with an oncology team today for them to decide what course of action to take. Regardless of what they decide, they know the kidney has to be removed.
You may also remember, I took a break from blogging. This was due to my husband’s health. He has been having some real struggles, abnormal blood tests and extreme tiredness. He has seen several doctors, and Monday has two outpatient exploratory type procedures scheduled. These are just to try to get answers (or rule out things) as they haven’t been able to narrow down what is causing some of his issues.
You will never know how much we appreciate all the prayers. Thank you so much.
Title: Texas my Texas
Author: Caryl McAdoo
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release date: February 11, 2019
He who puts his trust in God will possess the land and inherit the blessings.
Scripture tells a husband to love his wife, but what if she loves the memory of a dead man? Lured to the Texas frontier by more free land than they could ever buy, four families struggle to carve a home and a living out of the wilderness. And though love isn’t always easy coming, like bees to sweet flowers, a neighbor and his partner swoop in hoping to steal the hearts of the clan’s two young beauties. Will their infants spoil the ointment? Wild animals, Indians on the warpath, and living hand-to-mouth never make it easy, but my oh my—Texas my Texas! What a land!
Click here to purchase your copy.
Caryl McAdoo’s newest novel, Texas My Texas, is set in one of my favorite states (I lived there longer than most places, and I love and miss it!).
Texas My Texas is also book two in the Cross Timbers Romance Family Saga, where we meet up again with the Harrell, Worley, Van Zandt and O’Neal families along with several other families. Because there are so many characters in the story (in fact, they refer to themselves as a clan), I feel it would be extremely helpful to first read book one, Gone to Texas.
Texas My Texas picks up with the “clan’s” life after they moved to Texas. The story focuses mainly on Gabrielle “Gabby” and Isabel “Izzy” Harrell. Gabrielle is the daughter of “Pap” and Isabel was his slave. She took on his last name when he freed her. Both girls, however, have something else in common-they both have a child fathered by “Junior.”
Gabrielle thought Junior loved her, and as a result, became pregnant. I had a very difficult time with Gabby. She was petty, whiny, self-centered and cared so very little for her child as to be reprehensible. Plus, all the excuses she made for Junior and her daydreams of life with him were indefensible.
Izzy became pregnant against her will when Junior forced himself on her. However, Izzy kept an upbeat, optimistic and cheerful attitude, in addition to being a great parent to both her and Gabby’s babies.
Overall, I enjoyed catching up with the clan and seeing how obstacles and heartaches were overcome. McAdoo’s writing is replete with her love for God and her fellow readers, in that she points the way to Christ and the paths to follow Him throughout her stories.
I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory which is what she lives to do. Her award-winning, best-selling novels enjoy a lion’s share of 5-Star ratings from Christian readers around the world. With thirty-eight titles, it’s obvious she loves writing almost as much as singing the new songs the Lord gives her—listen to a few at YouTube. She and high school sweetheart Ron celebrated fifty years of marriage in June 2018; they share four children and eighteen grandsugars. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.
It’s always good to give thanks. And I’m thankful for you! I appreciate you stopping by my awesome Celebrate Lit Blog Tour! I’m thankful for each of the bloggers who signed up to participate in the tour for my January release Texas My Texas, book two in my new Cross Timbers Romance Family Saga series! And I’m so thankful the Lord is blessing Celebrate Lit as Sandy Barela blesses so many Christian authors! She is deserving of all God’s best!
In Book One, Gone to Texas, I got seventeen souls to their new home in the Republic. Texas My Texas has all the same pioneers with a few new added as they establish hearth and home in the wooly, untamed Trinity River Bottoms of North Central Texas—which later in history, becomes the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. They’re settling in what now is Irving—my home for fifty-plus years.
Only a few months have passed for my characters, Book One ends in November, Book Two picks up in March 1841. In real life, it’s been just that long since Book One launched, too! It debuted in September and Book Two launching now is also four months! Isn’t that fun? Originally, I’d planned a different January title but pushed it back a couple of months to release Texas My Texas on the heels of Gone to Texas.
In this new story, the two young women—Gabrielle and Isabel Harrell—elicit the attention of suitors who come calling even in the wild west territory. Thomas Baldwin (a neighbor introduced in Gone To Texas) has an eye for Gabrielle and uses many excuses to visit, including taking his friend Monroe Humble to the clan’s little settlement to meet the lovey, hardworking Isabel.
But Gabrielle is pining hard for her love back home and deals with pretty severe melancholy—what they called depression back in those days. In Texas My Texas, readers will spend time with the characters they came to love in Gone To Texas. As always, I pray my story gives God glory! And that readers will enjoy the new even better than the old! BLESSINGS!
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 12
The Mimosa Blossom, January 12
Inklings and notions, January 13
Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis & Christ Collide, January 14
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 15
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 15
Moments, January 16
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 16
Captive Dreams Window, January 17
Robin is Bookish, January 17
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 18
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 19
Bigreadersite, January 19
My Devotional Thoughts, January 20
Bibliophile Reviews, January 20
Texas Book-aholic, January 21
Janices book reviews, January 22
Margaret Kazmierczak, January 23
Carpe Diem, January 24
A Baker’s Perspective, January 25
To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away
Grand Prize – $50 Gift Amazon Card,
1st Prize – Signed, Paperback copy of CHOICE of all my books,
2nd Prize – Signed copy of Texas my Texas,
3rd Prize – eBook copy of Texas My Texas,
4th Prize – eBook copy of CHOICE of all my books,
5th Prize $5 Amazon Gift Card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d941/texas-my-texas-celebration-tour-giveaway
I recently read Stephanie Dees’ 4 books in the Family Blessings Series, and I must say, I was impressed not only by Dees’ writing but also how she handled the characters life situations.
The books are geared more toward those over 16, and also those not new to the Christian faith.
Dees adeptly illustrates that becoming a Christian doesn’t get you a “golden ticket to a life free from sin. Mistakes will be and are made, consequences occur and lessons are learned.
I haven’t read Harlequin Inspirational books in years. However, this series intrigued me. I am glad I decided to read it. The author does a great job with interweaving a Biblical message while at the same time handling some very complex and realistic stories. We have all made mistakes in our lives, and Dees illustrates how God can take some of those mistakes and as a portion of Isaiah 61:3 says “… to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; …”
The Dad Next Door, book one in the series, introduces us to Red Hill Springs, Alabama. I enjoyed reading about a small town, full of the good and the bad that one encounters there.
The story takes three lost, broken people, Joe Sheehan and his daughter, plus Claire Conley, and shows how with help from God, friends and family things can become better and home can become home.
I ached for both Joe and Claire. Joe wants so desperately to bond with his daughter, Amelia. However, in typical hurt, bewildered and angry pre-teen fashion she pushes him away. Claire came to Red Hill Springs with such high hopes wanting to help foster children. But her inheritance is nothing like the picture she saw. Both must work hard to overcome many obstacles and the town’s preconceived ideas.
Book two in the series, A Baby for the Doctor, focuses on the siblings of the two main characters in The Dad Next Door, Jordan Conley and Ash Sheehan.
The story intertwines Jordan’s life with Claire’s when Jordan begins equine therapy for Claire’s children. Ash becomes a vital member of the team when he becomes the pediatrician for Claire’s foster children.
Equine therapy is defined as a form of therapy based on experience and observation that involves interactions between patients and horses to promote human physical and mental health.
Not far into the story, I realized Jordan was “just what the doctor ordered” (pun intended). Ash’s persona was that of someone who just stepped out of GQ magazine, hardly a candidate for a doctor to children on a farm full of horses, goats and kittens. In contrast, Jordan was not afraid to get in the mud and get dirty, mucking out stalls and playing with animals and children alike.
In Their Secret Baby Bond, we meet Wynn, Joe and Ash’s sister, when she returns home broken and lost after losing the man she loves when she tells him she is pregnant.
Wynn fell, and fell hard, for her dreams. She dreamed of being a politician’s wife and her job working for a Congressman that loved her fit the bill. That is, until she realized he didn’t love her but was only using her and wanted nothing more to do with her, and wanted her to get rid of their baby.
It wasn’t hard to feel great empathy for Wynn. How difficult it must have been for her to return home and admit not only had she been so wrong in what she thought, but she was also pregnant.
The Marriage Bargain tells the story of Juliet “Jules” Sheehan, who becomes an instant mother when her best friend, Glory, is killed in a car accident.
Cam Quinn, the girl’s uncle, returns to town with every intention of adopting his nieces, but he didn’t count on Jules being there, nor her determination to fulfill his sister’s dying wishes.
I can’t imagine what Jules and Cam went through after losing Glory. I lost my baby brother several years ago, and I’m still not fully recovered from the suddenness and sadness of losing him.
Before Glory’s death, Cam had created a new life for himself as a writer of adventure stories, traveling to distant countries for research when he was unable to continue living in Red Hill Springs. Jules was an entrepreneur with a thriving business. When there seemed no way to keep the children except for them to marry, they accepted the challenge and married.
I received this series from JustRead Tours. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
Lawman Joe Sheehan is desperate to bond with the daughter he’s just discovered he has. But as a virtual stranger to twelve-year-old Amelia, the task seems impossible. Until Claire Conley moves to town. A social worker renovating a mansion into a foster home, Claire is the first person to get through to Amelia. Falling for the single dad was not on Claire’s to-do list. But with Joe and Amelia around, the house finally starts to feel like home. Claire’s ready to fight to convince Joe that together they’ve done more than fix a house…they’ve built a family.
After becoming a foster parent to a young boy, equine therapist Jordan Conley’s life gets turned upside down. Little Levi is in need of an exceptional pediatrician, which means seeking help from Dr. Ash Sheehan — a man that, despite her heart-pounding crush, isn’t her type. Her life is horses and hay, and she can’t imagine the suit-clad doctor in a pair of cowboy boots. As a confirmed bachelor, Ash has never been nervous around women, but there’s something about Jordan that flusters him, and working closely together doesn’t help. The last thing he’s looking for is long-term romance. But the more involved he gets, the more he wishes they could stay together…always.
Wynn Sheehan planned to change the world — not return to Alabama alone and pregnant. Her life is in shambles, but at least she can help take care of Latham Grant’s ailing grandpa. Latham isn’t ready to trust the woman who eagerly left him and their small town behind. But can they ignore the spark rekindled by unexpected Family Blessings?
Jules Sheehan will do anything to keep custody of the two orphaned girls in her care- including a marriage of convenience with their uncle. Cam Quinn crosses the globe as a travel writer, but he’s ready to settle down. Now tough, tender Jules is offering the home he’s secretly longed for. Can this marriage in name only become a family of the heart?
about the little things in life
Architecture and Travel Blog
Faith and Hand Lettering
Understanding the world
children's book reviews (and other assorted musings)
Tips to make your daily life easier!
Online Ministry Offering Spiritual Support
Who says giving up meat can't be fun?
Life as an Ambulatory Equine Veterinarian
Plant-based Food & Culture, Recipes for Your Wellness