Comfort & Joy, The Christmas Lights Collection by Alana Terry, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson and Chautona Havig on Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: Comfort & Joy

Author: The Christmas Lights Collection: Alana Terry, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance, Cozy Mystery, Suspense, Christmas

Release Date: October 16, 2018

The third-annual Christmas Lights Collection is pleased to present: Comfort & Joy–four Christmas Novellas. From contemporary romance to cozy mystery and suspense, this diverse collection celebrates the comforts and joys of Christmas.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Frost Heaves by Alana Terry, set in Alaska is a thriller. The tale is very suspenseful, sometimes heart-stoppingly so and is not your normal Christmas story (and may be too intense for some readers).

Deck the Shelves by Toni Shiloh, features one of my lifelong dreams, to own a bookstore (never mind that in today’s society books are almost obsolete, a girl can still dream, can’t she?). Throw in a swoon-worthy mechanic who is “once bitten, twice shy,” and you have a tale of romance, everyone can enjoy.

The Christmas Glory Quilt by Cathe Swanson is such a sweet romance. How many men will wait for years for the woman they love to realize he’s perfect for her? Add to this, the young woman starting a wedding planning business while overcoming dyslexia and trying to honor her heritage and you have the makings of a perfect Christmas story.

The Ghosts of New Cheltenham by Chautona Havig, has a very Dickenseque feel to it, though not so strong as to be a retelling of A Christmas Carol. An adorable well-mannered matchmaking “tween” adds interest to this mild mystery of “who’s the ghost.” But don’t let the title throw you off, the story resonates with Christian values.

A fun collection to curl up with, in your favorite chair, under your favorite blanket, sipping your favorite drink, and whisk away to different locations and lives. You won’t want to miss the “Joy” in Comfort and Joy!

I received the book from one author through  Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

About the Authors

Alana Terry: Pastor’s wife Alana Terry is a homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second. You can find her at alanaterry.com

Toni Shiloh: Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. You can find her at tonishiloh.wordpress.com

She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the president of the ACFW Virginia Chapter.

Cathe Swanson: Cathe Swanson lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 32 years, and the long Wisconsin winters are perfect for writing and reading books! Cathe enjoys writing stories with eccentric characters of all ages. Her books will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again. You can find her at catheswanson.com 

Chautona Havig: Amazon bestselling author of the Aggie books and Past Forward, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave desert where she uses story to connect readers to the Master Storyteller.

Guest Post from Chautona Havig

Why Do So Many Christians Love to Celebrate Christmas?

“We don’t celebrate Christmas because we were ordered to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. We were never commanded to celebrate His birth.”

Something about that statement didn’t sit well with me, but I was honest enough with myself to admit that it might be because I happened to love Christmas, and the idea of not celebrating it didn’t sit well with my twelve-year-old mind.

No, I didn’t go in for the Santa thing. I never had. As later my children were taught to say, Santa wasn’t “invited to our family celebration.” But still, the family, the joy, the music, the spirit of the thing moved me.

So, I did what I always did when I didn’t understand something. I asked Dad. “Why do we celebrate Christmas?”

If I recall correctly, Dad took a sip of coffee and watched me for several long seconds before he said, “What is Christmas?”

Ever the teacher, Dad had to put on his Socratic robe and make me work for it. I answered. “What we call the day Jesus was supposedly born. His birthday.”

“Okay. So, we celebrate Christ’s birthday on Christmas—on Christmas.”

“Yes.”

He gave me that slight smirk that always meant something good was coming. “And what did God do when His Son was born?”

Dad stumped me there. I blinked. “I don’t know.”

“He sent out the biggest birth announcement ever known to man—a star, angels, music.” Then Dad continued his leading questions. “He…”

I got it. “Celebrated the birth.”

“Yes.” Sometimes Dad was a man of few words.

But I couldn’t be satisfied—not yet.

“So, why do we give presents to each other if it’s Jesusbirthday? Isn’t that backward?”

“Isn’t all of Christianity backward to the fallen mind?” When I didn’t answer, he smiled again. “What does Christ say about doing things for others?”

It wasn’t word-for-word Scripture—not even close. Just as he would have prompted again, I remembered Jesus’ story of the man who was fed, clothed, and given a drink. “When you do things for others, it’s like you’re doing them for Jesus.”

Dad shrugged then. “Maybe it’s just justification for continuing a beloved tradition, but it brings me joy to give you gifts. And Christ had something to say about how fathers love to give good gifts to their children.”

That brought me back to the original question.

“What about the fact that we’re told to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus? We aren’t told to celebrate the birth. Does that make it wrong?”

This time, Dad’s jaw hardened. I saw it twitch, and prepared for a blasting. After all, I had kind of argued with him. I hadn’t meant to, but I could see how it might be taken that way.

“Chautona,” he said, “don’t ever put rules on yourself that God hasn’t. We may not be commanded to celebrate Christ’s birth, but we aren’t forbidden, either. We have God’s example to emulate, and we have this truth.” His voice gentled when he saw he’d startled me. “We would never have been able to celebrate Christ’s death if He had not been born. If that’s not a reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is.”

What does all that have to do with Christmas novellas (or “noellas” like I prefer to call them)?

Well, people ask me all the time. “Why do you write so many Christmas books? Why do these Christmas collections? Why focus so much on the birth of Jesus and the trappings of cultural Christmas when it’s inferior to the “big thing”—the Resurrection?”

Dad’s answer is mine. Because it points to it. It draws attention to it. And because Christmas is one time of year—the only time of year in which you can walk into almost any building in America and still hear praises sung to God at some point. They slip in between love songs about giving away your heart at Christmas and rocking around Christmas trees to “Jingle Bell Rock.”

And even the more “secular” versions that aren’t an outright praise to God like “Silent Night” or “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” sometimes throw in Jesus anyway because they can’t quite leave out, “Merry Christmas” in some place or another.

So maybe our Christmas books are inferior to what “Easter” books could be. Maybe they are. But if Christmas trees, caroling, and “ghost stories” keep Jesus at the forefront of someone’s mind in October, November, or December, then I think that’s a pretty cool thing.

Happy Birthday, Jesus. Thanks for coming.

Blog Stops

A Diva’s Heart, November 29

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 29

A Baker’s Perspective, November 29

Multifarious, November 30

Blossoms and Blessings, November 30

Bibliophile Reviews, December 1

Britt Reads Fiction, December 1

Vicky Sluiter, December 2

Remembrancy, December 2

Among the Reads, December 3

A Reader’s BrainDecember 3

KarenSueHadleyDecember 4

Inklings and notionsDecember 4

Quiet Quilter, December 5

Lots of Helpers, December 5

God’s Little BookwormDecember 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 6

Simple Harvest Reads, December 7 (Mindy Houng)

Captive Dreams Window, December 7

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, December 8

Mary Hake, December 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 9

Janices book reviewsDecember 9

Carpe Diem, December 10

BigreadersiteDecember 10

Kat’s Corner Books, December 11

Texas Book-aholic, December 11

Aryn The LibraryanDecember 12

Josephine’s Bookshelf, December 12

Giveaway

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To celebrate their tour, the Christmas Light Collection is giving away a grand prize of a 6-month Kindle Unlimited subscription!!

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/d62a/comfort

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The Amish Midwife’s Secret by Rachel J. Good on Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: The Amish Midwife’s Secret

Author: Rachel J. Good

Genre: Inspirational Amish Romance

Release Date: November 27, 2018

”A beautiful story of forgiveness and second chances.” -Shelley Shepard Gray, New York Times bestselling author

They won’t see eye-to-eye until they meet heart-to-heart…

Kyle Miller never planned on becoming a country doctor. But when he’s offered a medical practice in his sleepy hometown, Kyle knows he must return… and face the painful past he left behind. Except the Amish community isn’t quite ready for Kyle. Especially the pretty midwife who refuses to compromise her herbal cures and Amish traditions with his modern medicine…

The more Leah Stoltzfus works with the handsome Englisch doctor, the more she finds herself caught between the expectations of her family and her own hopes for the future. It will take one surprising revelation and one helpless baby in need of love to show Leah and Kyle that their bond may be greater than their differences… if Leah can find the courage to follow her heart.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Kyle Miller, who recently became a doctor, receives an unusual request from an old friend and doctor in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He agrees to extend a small favor. However, he never expected to be butting heads with the highly opinionated and noncertified Amish midwife, Leah Stoltzfus. The two clash over the use of modern medicine versus herbal remedies and both are thankful he’ll only be there a short time.

I enjoyed Rachel J. Good’s latest story, The Amish Midwife’s Secret. The story was well-paced and kept you turning the pages. Often, I guess a story’s ending long before I get there. However, there were so many interesting twists to this tale that I didn’t even try to guess the ending.

Good’s focus on the difficult aspects of life is compassionate and thoughtful. Her characters struggle with making hard decisions, facing shocking truths and accepting losses. I also appreciated the faith theme running throughout the book.

The Amish Midwife’s Secret is the second in the Love and Promises series, but it can be read as a standalone.

I received the book from NetGalley and Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

About the Author

Inspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. The author of several Amish romance series, she grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for many of her stories. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events.

Rachel’s Amish series include Sisters & Friends (Charisma House/Harlequin), Love & Promises (Grand Central), Hearts of Amish Country (Annie’s Book Club), and Surprised by Love as well as several anthologies—Springs of Love, Love’s Thankful Heart, Plain Everyday Heroes—and the Amish Quilts Coloring Books.

Guest Post from Rachel

The Amish and Herbal Remedies

As many of you know, my Amish novels are based on real life. I get ideas from hanging around Amish friends, hearing their stories and observing their lives. I’d never invade their privacy by telling their stories exactly as they happen, but the things I learn trigger plot ideas.

I’ve always been fascinated by the way the Amish approach healing. One thing I’ve learned is that, although they’re usually willing to visit doctors, they don’t always take the medicines that are prescribed. Instead, they often substitute herbal remedies. That, and several visits to one of my favorite Amish natural products stores gave me an idea for one of the conflicts in The Amish Midwife’s Secret.

Leah, an Amish midwife, prefers herbal remedies. Of course, that puts her in direct conflict with Kyle, the new Englisch doctor in town, who only believes in science and traditional medicine. Put the two together, and lots of sparks fly. Of course, some of those sparks are also of a romantic nature.

Leah is not only a midwife, but her family owns a natural products store. She knows the best herbs for healing. Rather than sending a small boy to the hospital for pneumonia, Leah covers the baby’s chest with a warm mixture of onions and other herbs and spices (some Amish friends prefer raw onion for congestion), and she feeds the baby fresh pineapple juice for his cough.

As a doctor, Kyle is horrified. He wants to admit the baby to a hospital at once. And he expects the old country doctor he’s replacing to back him up. Instead, Dr. Hess informs Kyle that many of the Amish go to doctors for a diagnosis but then rely on herbal treatments rather than prescriptions.

Kyle, who’s been debating about whether to stay in Amish country or move to a big-city hospital, decides to remain in Lancaster and make it his mission to prevent the Amish midwife from harming newborns and their mothers. He certainly doesn’t expect to have his eyes opened to other ways to handle illnesses. But he has to admit, Leah’s methods do seem to work. When a crisis comes, they soon discover that it takes both of them to save a baby.

~~~~~~

An extra little secret: Those of you who get my newsletter already know this, but Kyle in The Amish Midwife’s Secret appeared in two earlier books. The Midwife story stands alone, but if you want to know more about Kyle and Emma’s past, you can find it in the Sisters & Friends series, Book 1, Change of Heart, and Book 2, Buried Secrets.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, November 27

Christian Bookaholic, November 27

KarenSueHadleyNovember 27

The Avid Reader, November 28

A Baker’s Perspective, November 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 28

Genesis 5020, November 29

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 29

cherylbbookblog, November 29

Because I said so- adventures in parentingNovember 30

BigreadersiteNovember 30

Quiet Quilter, December 1

Blossoms and Blessings, December 1

Bibliophile Reviews, December 2

Britt Reads Fiction, December 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 3

Captive Dreams Window, December 3

Cafinated Reads, December 4

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd CornerDecember 4

Carpe Diem, December 4

Maureen’s Musings, December 5

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, December 5

Janices book reviewsDecember 6

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 7

For the Love of Literature, December 7

Inklings and notions, December 8

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 8

Moments, December 9

Random Thoughts From a Bookworm, December 9

Texas Book-aholic, December 9

Miss Tinas Amish Book Review, December 10

The Becca Files, December 10

Vicky Sluiter, December 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize package of two faceless Amish dolls and an autographed copy of The Amish Midwife’s Secret and Plain Everyday Heroes!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d66f/the-amish-midwife-s-secret-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wheels of Wisdom by Tim and Debbie Bishop

My Review

Tim and Debbie Bishop married late in life, for the first time, in their 50s. As one would imagine, after so many years of being single, a person becomes very set in their ways. Imagine then, taking a honeymoon tour on BICYCLES, coast to coast. WOW! I mean talk about refining by fire, right?

Wheels of Wisdom covers three cross-country bicycle tours Tim and Debbie embarked on, and we can glean their knowledge, not only of helps, hindrances and wisdom for short or long bicycle tours, but also their insight and intelligence from a Christian perspective.

There are six sections and 52 lessons in the book. The introductory page to each lesson explains the gist of the lesson and includes a takeaway area for you to write your notes. The 52 lessons are perfect for use as a devotional for the year, using one a week. Plus, they each end with an applicable Bible verse, along with questions, under the title “Personal Reflection.”

There were many little nuggets of truth and not a few ideas I have decided to follow and to implement in my own life. I enjoyed not only the truths I found within the book, but also the glimpses into Tim and Debbie’s lives as they navigated their way cross-country in all kinds of weather while encountering their odyssey’s inevitable challenges.

The entire chronicle is heart-warming, thought-provoking and inspirational. As I said earlier, there are many nuggets of truth. One kernel of truth Debbie relayed from a church marquee said, “A closed mouth collects no foot.” Another from the last lesson, spoken by someone they met, “Bless me into usefulness.” Both are great reminders for our journey through life!

Tim and Debbie alternately share their thoughts, feelings and observations in separate chapters. As readers, we come to appreciate the challenges they faced and the understanding and knowledge they impart.

I received a copy of the book from the authors. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Winner of the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award for inspiration

Looking for more out of life?

After three tours totaling over 10,000 miles, Tim and Debbie Bishop have discovered wisdom and truth from the seat of a bicycle. In Wheels of Wisdom, the authors share the life lessons they learned on the open road.

When you’re looking for enlightenment, you can find it almost anywhere, be it from watching two herons saunter across a Florida road, pedaling to a dead-end in a Kentucky tobacco field, or observing eagles flying overhead in Montana. In each lesson of this book, you’ll find practical insights, inspiration, and encouragement–along with personal reflection questions that will help you:

  • Adopt the right mind-set
  • Conquer fear, worry, and inaction
  • Overcome obstacles
  • Relish life’s journey

Certain principles are universal whether you are bicycling across America or chasing your own lifelong dream.

You may be continuing your education, connecting with new people, looking to change jobs, or simply wondering about your future. Wherever you are in life, Wheels of Wisdom will give you a fresh perspective and new motivation for your own adventure. Not only will you encounter meaningful truth as you travel vicariously to new places and meet new people, you’ll also experience some genuine “God moments” and have some fun on the way.

So, pack up your dreams and passions and come along for the ride. It’s time to learn on the open road!

Gateway to the West (Thanksgiving Books & Blessings Collection One, Book 2) by Susette Williams

My Review

Hayley Hunter, recently widowed, needs to join her brother and his family in order to survive this new country she finds herself in. With that in mind, she convinces long-time widower and trail master, Malcom Wheeler, to allow her to be the cook, at least until she can join up with her brother and family along the trail.

Susette Williams packs a lot into her 91-page novella. I was amazed at how well the characters were developed, how well the story flowed and the strength of the plot. Novellas, by virtue of their abbreviated length, are sometimes tricky. Gateway to the West includes romance, hope, tragedy, faith and fourberie.

An author needs to pack a lot of story into a very small package, and Susette excels with Gateway to the West!

Each story in the Thanksgiving Books & Blessings Collection is a stand-alone. In addition, some are novellas, and some are full-length novels.

Publisher’s Summary

Book 2: GATEWAY TO THE WEST
Missouri, 1840

Coming to America was supposed to be a new adventure for Hayley Hunter and her husband, a chance for a fresh start in a new country. She never dreamed her journey would land her alone in a strange place with nobody she knew. She joins up with a wagon train in the hopes of meeting up with her brother and his family along the trail.

Malcom Wheeler knows the hardships and heartbreak families face, but there’s usually safety in numbers, so he runs his own wagon train to try and help people determined to head out west. Taking the lady along goes against his better judgement; understanding her plight and being happy about it are two different things.

Can Malcom help Hayley find comfort by restoring a part of her past when he finds her family’s trunk that holds a journal? Is there hope for both of them to find a family of their own?

THANKSGIVING BOOKS & BLESSINGS, Collection One

• Book 1: GONE TO TEXAS By Caryl McAdoo

• Book 2: GATEWAY TO THE WEST By Susette Williams

• Book 3: TRAIL TO CLEAR CREEK By Kit Morgan

• Book 4: HEART AND HOME By P. Creeden

• Book 5: NO TURNING BACK By Lynette Sowell

• Book 6: DAUGHTER OF DEFIANCE By Heather Blanton

• Book 7: UNMISTAKABLY YOURS By Kristin Holt

• Book 8: ESTHER’S TEMPTATION By Lena Nelson Dooley

A Seat by the Hearth (An Amish Homestead Novel Book 3) by Amy Clipston

My Review

A Seat by the Hearth, by Amy Clipston, introduces us to Priscilla Allgyer along with her six-year-old son, Ethan. Priscilla, having fled her Amish roots, feels she must return to the Amish and their way of life in order to protect herself and her child.

I loved Ethan. A precocious child who loves easily, Ethan is able to leap from an Englisher (non-Amish) lifestyle to Amish with no problems or qualms and is thrilled to be learning more about horses from a grandfather he never knew he had.

I enjoyed Mark Riehl’s character, too. He came across as a flighty, flirty “playboy” type. However, deep down inside he had a heart of gold and a huge protective streak.

Clipston deals with several tough subjects in sensitive, sympathetic and insightful ways. The issue of domestic abuse is never an easy one to address, whether in fiction or real life, yet with Clipston’s portrayal, we can more fully understand Priscilla’s dilemmas. The issues of shunning, fear, trust and faith all complicate Priscilla’s life.

As with all of her books, Clipston pulls you into the story and doesn’t let go. You are left thinking about the stories, long after you have finished the books.

I received this book from Zondervan through NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

#AseatByTheHearth #NetGalley

Publisher’s Summary

Priscilla Allgyer knows she cannot leave the past behind. But can love lead her toward the promise of healing?

Priscilla Allgyer left the community to escape the expectations of Amish life. Now, years later, she is forced to return—along with her six-year-old son—to the place she thought she’d left behind forever. Though once estranged from her family, Priscilla is welcomed by her mother, but her father is cold and strict. He allows Priscilla to stay with them provided she dresses plainly, confesses her sins, and agrees to marry within the community. Once again, she feels suffocated, trapped, and alone.

As Priscilla reluctantly completes her shunning, she catches the eye of Mark Riehl, a farmer with a playboy reputation. Wary of Mark, Priscilla barely gives him the time of day—while Mark, unused to being ignored by the women of Bird-in-Hand, won’t give up the pursuit of her friendship. Priscilla desperately needs a friend in Mark, even if she doesn’t realize it—and after Priscilla’s father and the bishop catch her and Mark in a compromising situation, their relationship becomes more complicated than ever.

As affection quietly grows between them, Priscilla struggles to open her heart and reveal the painful secrets of her past. As Mark works to earn her good faith, can they both learn the hard lessons of love and trust? And can two friends discover a happiness that only God himself could have designed? The third book in the Amish Homestead series, A Seat by the Hearth invites us back to the Lancaster community where friendships are forged, and love overcomes all.

#AseatByTheHearth #NetGalley

The Light Before Day (Nantucket Legacy Book 3) by Suzanne Woods Fisher on Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: The Light Before Day

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: October 2, 2018

“Henry, this . . . fortune, this sudden wealth . . . I fear it will change our lives. And I don’t want my life to change.”

After three years on a whaling voyage, Henry Macy returns to Nantucket to news that his grandmother has passed, bequeathing her vast fortune to him and his sister, Hitty. And it was truly vast. But Lillian Coffin was no fool. The inheritance comes with a steep cost, including when each should marry and whom—a Quaker in good standing, of course. But if they relinquish the inheritance, it all goes to Tristram Macy, their father’s thieving business partner.

As Hitty and Henry seek a way to satisfy the will’s conditions, they’ll be faced with obstacles on every side—and it may be that Lillian Coffin will have the last word after all.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

Hetty and Henry Macy’s waspish and irascible grandmother left them a huge inheritance-with many stipulations-which both surprised and dismayed the twins. They didn’t want the inheritance, but the alternative to refusing was even worse than if they accepted.

The Light Before Day is well-written and exceptionally well researched, shedding light on the early Quaker religion in our burgeoning country. Fisher conveys a vivid legacy of Nantucket as shown through the eyes of many resident’s love for the island. Nonetheless, life on the island wasn’t idyllic; there was a deep undercurrent of poverty, racism and bigotry.  The novel sheds light on problems inherent in a changing and growing time, and her use of Great Mary’s journal juxtaposed with the lives of the twins helps set the tone for the book.

As I read the story, I could see the island, smell the ocean and feel its mighty strength and reflect on parts of our country’s legacy. I came to understand and appreciate the challenge intrinsic in whale hunting, and the fear of the loss of livelihood as the whale population was diminishing. I could empathize with everyone trying to make a better life for people perceived to be of a lesser value than others. Although there is a romantic aspect woven into the story, there is so much to digest and reflect on that I feel one reading doesn’t do the story justice.

The Light Before Day completes the Nantucket Legacy Series. The book could be read as a standalone. Yet, to truly appreciate the storyline, I would suggest reading the first two books in the series, Phoebe’s Light and Minding the Light.

I received the book from NetGalley and Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Phoebe’s Light and Minding the Light, as well as the Amish Beginnings, The Bishop’s Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series. She has also written several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. Fisher lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow her on Twitter @suzannewfisher and Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor.

Guest Post from Suzanne

The Mortgage Button

In each story of the ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series, there’s a reference to a mortgage button in the newel post of a stairway. Phoebe Starbuck, the main character in Phoebe’s Light, made a point to notice it in the captain’s house on Orange Street, the famous residences of sea captains. In Minding the Light, Daphne Coffin touched the mortgage button on the newel post of her horrible mother’s grand house each and every morning. Hitty and Henry Macy were well aware of the absence of their childhood home’s mortgage button—and all that its absence symbolized—in The Light Before Day.

Mortgage buttons meant something to each of those characters. It made a statement to anyone who walked into a house.

Have you ever seen a mortgage button? It’s a very Nantucket-y tradition. In fact, some say the mortgage button originated on Nantucket Island, thirty miles out to sea.

Supposedly, when a house’s mortgage was fully paid and there were no liens against the property, the homeowner drilled a hole in the newel post of the main staircase, rolled up the mortgage document, put it inside, and capped the hole with a decorative plug of scrimshaw.

Scrimshaw is a term for an American folk art developed during the 18th and 19th centuries. Whaling in New England was an industry that lifted Nantucket Island to become the world’s wealthiest port. After a whale’s oil was rendered, the ship’s captain would give his crew the sperm whale’s teeth or bones to carve during long tedious hours at sea. Whaling had its exciting moments, but they were far and few between. As a pastime, sailors carved all kinds of useful gifts to bring home to their loved ones: needles, combs, games, clothespins, busks…and mortgage buttons.

But let’s jump back to the mortgage button. Some legends say that the actual mortgage papers were ceremoniously burned and the ashes stashed inside the drilled hole before sealed with the button. However, as appealing a thought as that might be, it is most likely a myth. There’s never been any evidence of ashes or even hidden mortgages found in salvaged newel posts. Still, mortgage buttons are common among Nantucket homes, and the tradition has spread to other parts of the country. In southern states, for example, they’re called brag buttons. Whether myth or truth, today it’s more a matter of a charming nostalgic custom than a nod to your healthy (or…not so healthy) net worth.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, November 4

Just the Write Escape, November 4

Texas Book-aholic, November 5

Godly Book Reviews, November 5

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 6

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 7

Among the Reads, November 8

Blossoms and Blessings, November 8

Blogging With Carol, November 9

A Baker’s Perspective, November 9

Mary Hake, November 10

Connies history classroom, November 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 11

Carpe Diem, November 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 12

Simple Harvest Reads, November 12

Inspiration Clothesline, November 13

Janices book reviews, November 13

Captive Dreams, November 14

Bigreadersite, November 14

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 15

By The Book, November 15

Pause for Tales, November 16

Book by Book, November 16

Have A Wonderful Day, November 17

Bibliophile Reviews, November 17

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a $50 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/d773/the-light-before-day-celebration-tour-giveaway

Yesterday’s Christmas (A Season Passed Book 2) by A. M. Heath

Book Description:

During a snowstorm, Betty Tanner finds herself stuck with her estranged husband. Spending Christmas with Glenn wasn’t what she had in mind, and her mind reluctantly travels back three decades to their first Christmas together, when another snowstorm caused her to wreck her car outside the Tanner home …

1954: Stranded with the Tanners over Christmas, Betty is forced into the company of Glenn, who had spurned her for years. But as the snow falls outside, the walls between Betty and Glenn begin to crumble, revealing a side of him she never knew existed. A side she longs to know better.

Pride and bitterness can make a beast out of anyone. And the hardships they face in their relationship are of their own making. But can following Christ’s ways lead Betty and Glenn to the reconciliation they long for?

A.M. Heath invites you to spend Christmas with the Tanners in a dual-timeline novel loosely inspired by Beauty and the Beast. You’re sure to fall in love again and again.

Tour Schedule

Nov. 5: 
Alicia G. Ruggieri @ A Brighter Destiny
Spotlight

Nov. 6:
A. Kaylee Harrison @ Kaylee’s Kind of Writes
Plus Interview!

Nov. 7:
Becky Dempsey @ Blossoms and Blessings

Nov. 8: 
Raechel Lenore @ God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae

Nov. 9:
Debbie Curto @ Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
Plus Interview!

Nov. 12: 
Deana Dick @ Texas Book-aholic

Nov. 13:
Robbie Pink @ Captive Dreams Window

Nov. 15:
Alicia G. Ruggieri @ A Brighter Destiny
Plus Interview!

Nov. 16:
Faith Blum @ Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections
Spotlight and Interview

Entry link:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b7851a9012/?

 

My Review

Have you ever read a book and felt like you just stepped right into the story and became a part of it, either as a fly on the wall or as one of the characters? That is how I felt when reading A. M. Heath’s Yesterday’s Christmas.

Loosely based on Beauty and the Beast, Yesterday’s Christmas is written with a dual timeline between 1954 and 1985.

Life in 1954 wasn’t without its hardships, but young love conquered all. I laughed so hard when Betty Marshall was stranded at Glenn Tanner’s house and was forced to make breakfast for him and his grandfather. I saw my Mom and Dad, newly married in 1953, when my Mom couldn’t even boil water without burning it (though for very different reasons than Betty). I cried when Betty and Glenn were in 1985. I thought of my parents again, still married, but facing a lot of problems.

Heath has packed a lot of story and Biblical wisdom in her newest book. How many times as a wife did you feel your husband neglected you for work, or sports or any of a myriad of other reasons; and how many times as a husband did you feel your wife didn’t appreciate or understand why you worked so hard or needed to decompress with TV, or sports or whatever.

Betty had slowly but surely let anger and bitterness take over her life. However, God had a wake-up call for her; she just needed to listen and remember…” The secret to happy marriage is this: It’s never the wrong time to dance with your beautiful bride.”

Yesterday’s Christmas is book two in A Season Passed Series, but it works very well as a standalone.

I received a copy of this book from the author. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Author Bio:

Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.

Author Links:

You can visit me online on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and my blog. *Note: I’m most active on Facebook and my blog.

Whether you’re on social media or not, you can ensure that you never miss one of my sales, giveaways, or new releases by signing up for my newsletter. I’ll send you a direct link to your email anytime something big happens. http://eepurl.com/dDbVNz

Blog: https://amheathblog.wordpress.com/

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8302606.A_M_Heath

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/aheath2257/?eq=a.m.&etslf=5672

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAMHeath

Chosen People by Robert Whitlow on Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: Chosen People

Author: Robert Whitlow

Genre: Legal Drama

Release Date: November 6, 2018

Publisher: HarperCollins

Bestselling author Robert Whitlow dives deep into the legal ramifications of a tragic event half a world away and how it affects two lawyers in Atlanta from vastly different backgrounds.

When Hana Abboud walked into the conference room, she was unprepared for the images of a horrific terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem. But after watching a courageous mother sacrifice her life to save her four-year-old daughter, Hana knew she needed to help attorney Jakob Brodsky represent the family’s pursuit of justice against those who perpetrate acts of violent jihad. As an Arab Israeli lawyer trained at Hebrew University, Hana is uniquely qualified to step into the gap.
But they need a third partner, an investigator on the ground to help them unravel the snake pit of connections between the terrorists and an organization or company that can be sued in the American courts. Hana returns home to Israel and meets with investigator Hamid Hasan who quickly becomes more than a crucial part of the litigation team.

As Jakob and Hana investigate the case in the US, he is stalked on the streets of Atlanta by affiliates of a terrorist organization. Their pursuit of truth can only be resolved where it began: the streets of Jerusalem. But who can they trust? How deep does deceit go? Can two lawyers and a shadowy investigator impact the kind of violence and terror that has become common in our broken world?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Robert Whitlow is the bestselling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. He received his J.D. with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review.

Websiterobertwhitlow.com
Twitter: @whitlowwriter
Facebook: robertwhitlowbooks

Guest Post from Robert

Inside the Story

Chosen People—a title that reflects both the Biblical designation for the Jewish nation as well as converted Christians—opens during a terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem. A courageous mother sacrifices her life to save her young daughter, leaving behind a grieving husband and a motherless child.

Whitlow’s many trips to Israel and his in-depth research into the culture and laws of the Holy City are evident throughout the story. Furthermore, his experience as a lawyer gives him keen insight into the mind of his main character Hanna Abboud, an Arab Christian Israeli lawyer working in Atlanta.

“This book provides a unique perspective to this region and its peoples through the eyes of an Arab Christian who believes that the faithfulness of God and truths of the Bible are unshakable realities,” says Whitlow. “This viewpoint is rarely expressed, yet it is one that needs and deserves to be heard so that it can become part of our framework for understanding this vital part of the world and the people who live there.”

My Notes

I did not read this book. I have PTSD and feared it would trigger too many things for me. However, I can say, I have read MANY Whitlow books and have yet to be disappointed. I’m sure you will enjoy this one, too!

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, November 8

Genesis 5020, November 8

Multifarious, November 9

Real World Bible Study, November 9

The Power of Words, November 9

The Becca Files, November 10

Bibliophile Reviews, November 10

C Jane Read, November 11

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, November 11

Book by Book, November 11

Margaret Kazmierczak, November 12

By The Book, November 12

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 13

Painting with Words, November 13

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 13

Simple Harvest Reads, November 14 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Robin is Bookish, November 14

Texas Book-aholic, November 15

Moments, November 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 16

Mary Hake, November 16

Janices book reviews, November 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 18

Christian Bookaholic, November 18

Carpe Diem, November 19

Stephanie’s Life of Perseverance, November 19

A Baker’s Perspective, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 20

Bigreadersite, November 21

For The Love of Books, November 21

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, HarperCollins is giving away a grand prize of three finished Robert Whitlow books (to be chosen by the publisher)!!

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/d73a/chosen-people-celebration-tour-giveaway