Friday, February 10, 2017

Suzanne Woods Fisher Writes Another Fantastic Book! Enter the giveaway! You could win a KIndle Fire!

        "The Newcomer"   
   By Suzanne Woods Fisher

Synopsis:


In 1737, Anna Konig and her fellow church members stagger off a small wooden ship after ten weeks at sea, eager to start a new life in the vibrant but raw Pennsylvania frontier. On the docks of Port Philadelphia waits bishop Jacob Bauer, founder of the settlement and father to ship carpenter Bairn. It’s a time of new beginnings for the reunited Bauer family, and for Anna and Bairn’s shipboard romance to blossom.
But this perfect moment cannot last. As Bairn grasps the reality of what it means to be Amish in the New World–isolated, rigid with expectations, under the thumb of his domineering father–his enthusiasm evaporates. When a sea captain offers the chance to cross the ocean one more time, Bairn grabs it. Just one more crossing, he promises Anna. But will she wait for him?
When Henrik Newman joins the church just as it makes its way to the frontier, Anna is torn. He seems to be everything Bairn is not–bold, devoted, and delighted to vie for her heart. And the most dramatic difference? He is here; Bairn is not.
Far from the frontier, an unexpected turn of events weaves together the lives of Bairn, Anna, and Henrik. When a secret is revealed, which true love will emerge?
My Thoughts:
I have loved all of Suzanne Woods Fisher's books, so was not surprised in the least , that this new one had everything that I believe a great novel should have! "The Newcomer" is the second in a series of three, entitled "Amish Beginnings". It is fabulous sequel to "Anna's Crossings", book one.

The setting was described in such a realistic, detailed way , that I felt that I was living in this strange land, speaking a language very different from most other residents. The time frame of the 1700's was fitting for the newcomers. The rules and laws seem to be very different from what they are used to, making them fearful of what will happen next. 

The characters are practical people who strive to make new lives for themselves under the most difficult circumstances. At once, I was able to identify with their problems, challenges and fears. Their uncertainty in this new land was felt deeply within as they encountered problems that seemed insurmountable. Losing their leader unexpectedly , was an experience that threw them into a complete panic. One of my favorite characters was a young lad named Felix,  a most adventuresome boy, who constantly seemed to find trouble, while at the same time , discovered important and valuable information. All of the characters were described in such detail that they became my friends, as I walked alongside them in their rocky journey. 

Although I am not a great fan of historical fiction, Suzanne writes in such a way that I learn as I enjoy the plot. There are constantly unexpected twists and turns that keep the reader engaged from beginning to end of the novel. The plot progresses steadily and quickly. I must say, that I NEVER was prepared for the next bump in the road as these immigrants fought to find a home in this strange, new country.

This author has never failed in writing a book that amazes me! She keeps a reader totally enthralled from beginning to end of the book. 

Definitely a five star book! I am impatiently waiting for the concluding book in this series!


Link to purchase book
This book was a gift. The opinions expressed are honest and my own.
About the Author:  

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.


Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

Pennsylvania of 1737, the setting for The Newcomer, is like a foreign country. Parts of it might seem familiar—the same hills and creeks and blue sky, but we’d hardly recognize the settlers. People like Anna, or Bairn, or the mysterious Newcomer. We wouldn’t be able to understand their language, their customs and traditions. Their world was that different from our modern one.
The first group of Amish immigrants (first written about in Anna’s Crossing and followed up in The Newcomer) settled northwest of Philadelphia, then a vast wilderness, and relied on each other for safety, security, building projects, and church. In nearby Germantown, settlers were tradesmen, so they clustered houses together in small knots. The Amish farmers took out land warrants for sizeable properties and lived considerable distances from each other.
In The Newcomer, Anna cooked food in a cauldron over a large hearth. One-pot meals can trace their beginnings to open-hearth cooking when ingredients for a meal went into a large kettle suspended over the fire. Traditional dishes—ham and beans, pork and sauerkraut—used sturdy, available, and simple ingredients that improved with long, slow cooking. The dishes could be easily expanded when the need arose to set a few more places at the table. And it did, often. Large families and unannounced company inspired Amish cooks to find ways to “stretch the stew.”
Noodles (including dumplings and rivvels) could be tossed into a simmering broth to make a meal stretch. Most farms had a flock of chickens, so eggs were easily at hand. Today, homemade noodles are still a favorite dish.
Another “stew stretcher” was cornmeal mush, originally eaten as a bread substitute. Early German settlers who made their home in eastern Pennsylvania roasted the yellow field corn in a bake oven before it was shelled and ground at the mill. The roasting process gave a nutty rich flavor to the cornmeal. Mush is still part of the diet the Old Order Amish—cooked and fried, baked, added into scrapple, smothered in ketchup. Dress it up and you’ve got polenta.
Now here’s one thing we do have in common with 1737 Pennsylvania immigrants…a love of good food and a shortage of time! Here’s one of my favorite one-pot recipes—probably not the kind of stew Anna might have made for ship carpenter Bairn or the mysterious Newcomer (ah, which man one stole her heart?)…but definitely delicious. Enjoy!
Lentil Chili
Here’s one of my favorite “stew stretchers.” You can expand it even more by serving over rice.
Ingredients:
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
10 c. water
1 lb. dry lentils
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt (season to your taste)
½ tsp. pepper
2 c. salsa (your favorite variety)
29 oz. canned tomatoes, crushed

Blog Stops

February 7: cherylbbookblog
February 7: Moments Dipped in Ink
February 7: inklings and notions
February 8: Just Commonly
February 8: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
February 8: Ashley’s Bookshelf
February 9: A Reader’s Brain
February 9: Genesis 5020
February 10: Lane Hill House
February 10: Blogging With Carol
February 10: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog
February 11: Quiet Quilter
February 11: Daysong Reflections
February 12: Christian Bookaholic
February 12: Jeanette’s Thoughts
February 13: Karen Sue Hadley
February 13: Just the Write Escape
February 14: Rhonda’s Doings
February 14: Bigreadersite
February 15: Blossoms and Blessings
February 16: Bibliophile Reviews
February 16: Book by Book
February 17: Pause for Tales
February 17: A Holland Reads
February 18: A Greater Yes
February 18: The Power of Words
February 19: Lighthouse Academy
February 20: By The Book
February 20: Giveaway Lady

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a Kindle! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!https://promosimple.com/ps/b0d1

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Another Great Book from Molly Jebber!! Be sure to enter the giveaway!

"Two Suitors for Anna"
     By Molly Jebber

Synopsis:

In 1903 Ohio, a young Amish woman must choose between the life she has long planned for and a new, very different future…Since Anna Plank moved to Berlin, Ohio, with her widowed mamm and two schweschders, she’s found a real sense of belonging. As soon as her beloved Noah Schwartz proposes, they’ll begin a new chapter here together. But Noah has a surprise for Anna: once they’re married, he wants them to travel and live in other communities. Anna, who loves her home and her job at the quilt shop, is distraught when he takes her hesitation as rejection—and leaves.

Daniel Bontrager’s arrival adds to Anna’s confusion. Since taking over his late brother’s farm, the handsome roofer has offered friendship and gentle attentions. Yet the pull of first love is strong and deep, especially when Noah returns. Through each revelation, Anna must search her faith for guidance, knowing she is choosing not just a husband, but a life to nurture and to share…

Praise for Molly Jebber’s Change of Heart

“Endearing characters and a delightful story make this a keeper for fans of Amish romance.” --Emma Miller 

“This is a wonderfully written historical romance with Amish and Englisch characters who are loveable and considerate of others. The storyline is believable and heartwarming. Jebber is a talented author.” –RT Book Reviews

My Thoughts:

After being introduced to Anna in the second book of Molly Jebber's "Keepsake Pocket Quilt" series, "Grace's Forgiveness", I knew that I would LOVE a tale that centred on this interesting, lovable young woman. This book was no disappointment. Once started, I had great difficulty putting it down. I just had to read one more page....and one more and ......

The setting is perfect for this Amish tale. The adventure takes place in one of my favorite places to visit, Berlin, Ohio. It is a charming town, full of Amish character. Molly's talent in describing the scenes and characters in a vivid, picturesque manner is evident throughout this book. I found myself imagining that I was there alongside Anna, Noah and  Daniel. 

The characters were described in  realistic detail so that the reader can easily identify with them . I found myself wanting to give Anna a big hug at some times, a good shake at others!! The feeling of frustration with some silly decisions that Anna made left me shaking my head!  She became my friend as did all the characters who had a role in this story. The only way to conquer some of their challenges was to trust God and pray to make the right choices. This was the underlying theme that ran through this book. God has the answers in good times and bad, but we have to trust Him and take time to listen to Him. 

The plot keeps the reader engaged from the first page of the book to the last. The tale moves  quickly with just enough unexpected twists and turns to keep us guessing. Just when you think you have figured out what Anna will do, there is another roadblock! I must  admit this book kept me up VERY late one night. I just had to find out how the story ended.

This heartwarming novel is definitely a five star read!!! I am eagerly awaiting the next book by this talented author. 

This book was received as a gift. The opinions expressed are honest and my own.

About the Author:



Molly Jebber’s books have been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today’s HEA, and Romantic Times has given them a near excellent rating. She’s on RWA’s Honor Roll. She’s a speaker for Women’s Christian Connection, and she offers presentations on writing, publishing, Amish lifestyle and traditions. She has received widespread media coverage, including live interviews, across the United States for her books and speaking engagements.
She’s just signed a new contract for four more Amish books! She loves interacting with her readers. She loves God, her husband, family and friends. She has a hard time saying no to cupcakes, swimming, nine holes of golf, and walks on the beach. Coconut, oatmeal, and onions, on the other hand, are not hard to say no to!


Click here to purchase your copy.


Guest Post from Molly Jebber

What prompted Two Suitors for Anna?
Have you had to choose between two men you love? Or maybe a friend?  I gave Anna this dilemma and added to her turmoil by throwing in a bundle of twists and turns to the story.
Noah proposes to Anna, and he takes her rejection as hesitation and leaves town. Daniel moves to Berlin and offers her friendship which is blossoming into something more, when Noah returns and asks her forgiveness and another chance. I hope you enjoy it!

Blog Stops

January 31: cherylbbookblog
January 31: Giveaway Lady
January 31: Bibliophile Reviews
February 1: A Greater Yes
February 2: Lane Hill House
February 2: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
February 3: Just Commonly
February 3: Moments Dipped in Ink
February 4: Jeanette’s Thoughts
February 4: Bigreadersite
February 5: Quiet Quilter
February 6: Ashley’s Bookshelf
February 7: Pause for Tales
February 8: Splashes of Joy
February 9: Christian Bookaholic
February 9: Eat, Read, Teach Blog
February 10: inklings and notions
February 11: Carpe Diem
February 12: Donna’s BookShelf
February 13: autism mom
February 14: A Holland Reads

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Molly is giving away a Kindle Fire HD. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/af95

Thursday, February 2, 2017

An Awesome Read! Make sure you enter the Author's Giveaway!

      "Angels Unaware"
        By Rachel J. Good

Synopsis:


Sometimes God sends angels into our lives…
Chocolate chip cookies are the perfect way to make friends. At least, Mark Daniels thinks they are. He hopes to forget his painful past and start over in new neighborhood. Everyone is warm and welcoming—everyone that is, but the dragon lady next door. She rebuffs all overtures of friendship and declines Mark’s invitations to church.
Jasmine Avery doesn’t trust men, especially not handsome ones who come bearing gifts. She’s been badly hurt and has walled herself off from love. Reluctantly, she agrees to attend church with Mark on Easter Sunday, not realizing how it will change her life and her future. But soon after she discovers the secret to a happy life, her whole world turns upside-down. Will these unexpected changes prove Mark can’t be trusted either? Or can she and Mark overcome their past heartbreaks to forge a new life together?
My Thoughts:

Rachel Good is quickly earning a place on my list of authors to watch. Having enjoyed the two books in her previous series, "Sisters and Friends", I was sure that I was going to have another pleasant read. This first book, a novella, in her new series, "Hope Chapels" was certainly no disappointment. This story  clearly  exhibited a Christian theme from its title to its characters.

The characters were realistic and well described. I had no problems identifying with Jasmine and her many challenges in life. Her sense of helplessness and no hope for the future gained immediate empathy. For one to live such a lonely life immersed in the darkness of a fearful existence is a situation that any of us could experience in our rocky path of life. Mark exhibits a Christian neighbor who cares deeply for others. Not only is he a Christian in name, but is not afraid to extend and share his beliefs in the way of a helping hand. He also has experienced heartbreak and has some healing of his own to deal with. Both characters are struggling with past hurts . Can a relationship develop even though it seems as if life is against them?? Rachel Good does an excellent job of presenting Christian values in this fictional tale.

The plot moves very quickly, at times, a bit too fast. Due to being a novella, there was a lot of ground to cover and I think many details were left to our imagination. Not a bad thing, but I did wish to have a longer time to ponder as I  enjoyed the changing in the relationship of the characters and the process  as they encountered unexpected bumps in the road .

The theme of faith and forgiveness shone through the tale of two young people, both needy of something greater than themselves. 

An enjoyable read!! 


This book was received as a gift. The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest and my own.
Click here to purchase your copy.
About the Author:
Inspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness.She is also the author of the Sisters & Friends Amish series and the Amish Quilts Coloring Book. A former teacher and librarian, she has more than 2300 articles and 30 books in print or forthcoming under several pen names. Rachel also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. She loves reading (of course!), traveling, and spending time with her five children and three grandchildren.



Guest Post from Rachel J. Good

One of the important lessons in ANGELS UNAWARE is looking beyond the surface, seeing with new eyes. In the story, Mark has many opportunities to do this. When he first approaches Jasmine with a plate of chocolate chip cookies, she’s unwelcoming and prickly:

The door opened a crack. “What do you think you’re doing?”
Mark turned. The woman’s narrowed eyes and belligerent stance made him quake. He took a step back. “I…um…here…” He held out the plate of cookies.
“What’s that?”
Mark took a deep breath and regained his composure. He smiled and started his usual spiel. “Hi, I’m Mark Daniels, and I just moved into the neighborhood—”
“I know.” She didn’t sound too pleased. “That’s not what I asked. What’s that in your hands?”
“Oh, these? I baked chocolate chip cookies and thought I’d share some with you.”
“Do you know what sugar does to your system?” she demanded. “I never touch sugar.”
That explained why she was so thin. So much for cookies then. Mark wracked his brain for another offering. “A meal perhaps? I make great spaghetti and meatballs.”
She drew back. “A meat eater? It figures.”
Oh, terrific. Mark cringed at the acid in her tone. He’d just offered a meat dish to a vegetarian. So much for his diplomacy mission.

After a start like that, many people would have given up. But Mark feels led to share God’s love with this neighbor, and he tries again and again. Eventually he discovers she’s hiding some deep personal pain. His persistence brings unexpected rewards to both of them.

I wanted to write this story because we usually avoid people who criticize us or hurt our feelings. Yet, often those who are unkind are actually aching inside. And they need God’s unconditional love and forgiveness, because only God can heal their pain and suffering.

After God touches Jasmine’s heart, Mark can see her softer, kinder side. And she’s proof of that saying, “An angel resides in every heart.”

Could your grouchy neighbor or critical boss be an angel in disguise? Maybe these annoying people have been sent into our lives to help build our character or to teach us a lesson. The Bible warns us to be hospitable to everyone, because we never know when we’ll come upon an angel “unawares.”

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Heb. 13:2 KJV

Each person you meet has been sent into your life for a reason. Sometimes these angels come into our lives in unlikely disguises. We don’t always realize their purpose until much later. Looking back, though, we can see God’s hand in the encounters.

Other times, we discover – like Mark did – that we’re supposed to be angels to those who are unkind to us. We may be the only ones who have ever touched their lives with God’s light.

Who in your life needs God’s love? Can you be an angel to that person?

  Giveaway:


  • Angel bookmark
  • Battenberg lace angel pin
  • Trio of jade angels
  • Prayer angel with a “Worry” poem to remind you to pray about your problems
  • ANGELS UNAWARE ebook
  • Newest AMISH QUILTS COLORING BOOK (large print edition)

2nd – 4th Prize:
One copy of the ANGELS UNAWARE ebook
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 extra entries in the giveaway!

Blog Stops

January 25: autism mom
January 27: Moments Dipped in Ink
January 28: A Greater Yes
January 29: Carpe Diem
January 30: Petra’s Hope
February 1: Christian Bookaholic
February 2: Karen Sue Hadley
February 3: Quiet Quilter
February 4: Daysong Reflections

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Far Beyond Reason

          "Purgatory Road"
           By Samuel Parker

Synopsis:

When a day trip out of Las Vegas with his wife takes a turn for the worse, Jack is sure that he has the ability to get them home. But he drove into something far beyond reason.

Rescue comes in the form of a desert hermit, but hope fades as the couple comes to realize that the nomad has no intention of letting them leave. A chance encounter with a kidnapped runaway and her crazed abductor leads them all farther into the wilderness--and closer to the cold brutality that isolation brings.

At the edge of his sanity, Jack begins to learn that playing by another's rules may be the only way to survive.

In a voice that is as hypnotizing as a desert mirage, debut novelist Samuel Parker entices readers down a dangerous road, where the forces of good and evil are as crushing as the Mojave heat. This is suspense in its purest, most unfiltered form.

My Thoughts:

When first picking up this book, I must admit that I was a bit puzzled. It is classed as  Christian fiction, however, as I read, I was somewhat confused. There were no mention of such things in the story. 

The plot was very different from usual. It moved steadily , however, I wasn't sure where it was going! I did not immediately dislike the novel but I can't say that I loved it!! The author used his unique talents to write a gripping tale of what life would be like if we always take things for granted thus becoming totally unaware and of the needs of those around us. 

The characters were well developed but I had difficulty identifying with any of them. Jack, one of the main characters does not appear to love or care about his wife any more. Until he goes through terrifying situations, he lacks the knowledge of how much he really needs her. Only in the worse trials that you can imagine, does he realize that he needs to make changes in his life. Boots , the hermit , is very well described, so that I could easily picture him in my mind. He was present to help in his own particular fashion. Seth appeared to be the little push of Satan, that resides on your shoulder, directing people down the wrong path. 

As I completed reading the last chapter, the feeling arose that the book was not finished. It was an entertaining read and at times violent but puzzling. 
It appears that it does have a sequel , so I expect I was to be left with questions. Not a book that I would choose to read again but then again,  I can't say that I didn't enjoy parts of it.


This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and is now available at your local booksellers. The opinions expressed are honest and my own.