Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Christmas Admirer By Laura V. Hilton

I received this book from Celebrate Lit Blogger Program and Laura V. Hilton for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own. 

Book Description: 

 Benaiah Troyer has loved Susanna King for as long as he can remember, but when his parents died in an accident a year ago, he broke up with her—for her own good. After all, he was now the sole caregiver for his three younger sisters. What woman would want to put up with that? Still, against his better judgment, he can’t help leaving her a gift now and then, anonymously addressing her name in big block print, just to catch a smile. Roses one month, maple syrup candy another; and maybe this time, something special for Christmas.
Susanna has never gotten over losing Benaiah, but now the clock is ticking. Her father is selling his glass-blowing business, remarrying in January, and moving to Iowa with his bossy wife-to-be. Angry and frustrated, Susanna realizes she’s left with three options: one, go with Daed to his new home with a new mom; two, stay in Jamesport, Missouri, as an old maid; or, three, the best yet, flush out her mysterious secret admirer. But how could she be with anyone else when her heart is still with Benaiah?

My Thoughts: 

The Christmas Admirer is the latest book from Laura V. Hilton and I really enjoyed it. As a HUGE fan of Amish Fiction, I have been lucky to read and review a few book by Laura V. Hilton. I am not usually one to read holiday books but this one seemed different than the others I have seen, and I was right. Laura V. Hilton writes with authority on all things Amish, Jamesport, Missouri, glass blowing, secret admirers, grief, and responsibility to family. I find myself immersed in any book I read from Laura V. Hilton, her style of writing is great and it draws the reader in from the start until the very end. I found myself unable to put this book down. I loved the characters in this book, good or bad, they are well written and real people with real life issues. I found myself drawn in my Susanna. Her desire to please, especially her father who makes life altering decisions for her. She faces many hurts and obstacles but still has faith and believes in love. I found her story to inspiring. This book has a little bit of everything: Romance, mystery,and Christmas magic. This book is one of my favorites that will stay with me for a long time to come. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction and/or Christmas stories you will not be disappointed.  I cannot wait to read more from Laura V Hilton, she is one of my top Amish authors. I give this book 5 STARS.

Please check out more information about this book and author. And of course a great holiday giveaway.



christmas admirer facebook banner copy

About the Book

Christmas admirer

Name of book: The Christmas Admirer  
Author: Laura V Hilton  
Genre: Amish Romance  
Release Date: September 5, 2017  

Amish romance fans will love this heartwarming holiday story, perfect for gift-giving. Benaiah Troyer has loved Susanna King for as long as he can remember, but when his parents died in an accident a year ago, he broke up with her—for her own good. After all, he was now the sole caregiver for his three younger sisters. What woman would want to put up with that? Still, against his better judgment, he can’t help leaving her a gift now and then, anonymously addressing her name in big block print, just to catch a smile. Roses one month, maple syrup candy another; and maybe this time, something special for Christmas. Susanna has never gotten over losing Benaiah, but now the clock is ticking. Her father is selling his glass-blowing business, remarrying in January, and moving to Iowa with his bossy wife-to-be. Angry and frustrated, Susanna realizes she’s left with three options: one, go with Daed to his new home with a new mom; two, stay in Jamesport, Missouri, as an old maid; or, three, the best yet, flush out her mysterious secret admirer. But how could she be with anyone else when her heart is still with Benaiah?
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Laura Hilton

Amish fiction lovers responded positively and immediately to Laura V. Hilton’s debut novel, Patchwork Dreams, when she burst on the scene in 2009 with her unique series, The Amish of Seymour, set in the tiny town of Seymour, in Webster County, Missouri. Fans of the genre immediately recognized Hilton’s insider knowledge, not only of the Webster County community, but Amish culture in general. Her natural speech and writing patterns, she says, are uniquely “Amish,” acquired from her Amish maternal grandparents. The Amish of Seymour, includes Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. Her second series, The Amish of Webster County, is comprised of Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love. A stand-alone title, A White Christmas in Webster County, was released in September 2014. The Amish of Jamesport includes The Snow Globe, The Postcard and The Birdhouse. In spring 2016 she released The Amish Firefighter with the setting in Jamesport, MO, the same as for The Amish Wanderer. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.

Guest Post from Laura V. Hilton

Glass Blowing and The Christmas Admirer
hqdefault

Right before my youngest son joined the Coast Guard we went on a short mini-vacation to Springfield, Missouri, actually going farther north almost to Kansas City to see another Amish community near there in Osceola. There is a cheese factory there and my son wanted to try some of their cheeses – such as a ghost pepper cheese. Too spicy for me. But upon the return to Springfield, Steve read about a glass blowers shop in the downtown area. We found the address and went to visit it. It is owned by an older gentleman and his son. They had a display area set up where people could see their wares and buy them and then a work area where the son mostly worked, and talked about how the fire needed to be so hot, and showed us how he worked and made things. As we watched, he made a lovely flower, a lily, in different colors of glass, green, white, pinks. It was fascinating. And I got to thinking what if…

 glass-blowing-1

So I did some more research. Asked questions. Probably drove them nuts. But when Whitaker House indicated they’d be interested in a Christmas novel, I proposed one about a glass blower. The story is set in Jamesport, Missouri, and while completely stand alone, it does have some continuing characters from other books I’ve written set in Jamesport. If you are interested, the books set there are: Amish Books set in Jamesport, Missouri: The Snow Globe The Postcard The Birdhouse The Amish Firefighter The Amish Wanderer The Kissing Bridge (part of Springs of Love collection) The Christmas Admirer Gingerbread Wishes (part of A Plain Thanksgiving collection–November 2018) Love by the Numbers (February 2018)  

glassblowing-experience04

 I haven’t read any books about an Amish glass blower, but that’s not to say they aren’t out there. I haven’t read all the Amish books available. Jamesport is an area that is more tourist-oriented than the books set in Seymour / Webster County Missouri. They give buggy tours, have bed and breakfasts, open their homes for visitors to eat supper with them, and have businesses. All Amish districts are different and the rules vary depending on the bishop and preachers. Some are more liberal and some more conservative. Some keep themselves distant and don’t welcome attention from non-Amish and some embrace it. While Jamesport is not as touristy as some districts in Lancaster Pennsylvania or in Ohio, it is much more so than others.

Susanna’s Cranberry Salad

Ingredients
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed), chopped
  • 1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 medium apple, chopped
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, mix the first six ingredients until blended. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Just before serving, fold cream and walnuts into cranberry mixture.Makes 16 servings.

Susanna’s Cranberry Sauce

For on top of turkey sandwiches as Becca requested
Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed), chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water or orange juice
Directions
In colander, rinse cranberries. In sauce pan, add water or orange juice and sugar, boil until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries and return to a boil. Lower to simmer and cook about 10 minutes or until most of the cranberries had burst. Let cool.

Susanna’s “Love Portion” Gingerbread

Ingredients
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 T ground ginger
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t ground cloves
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup shortening, melted slightly
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ c water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
Directions
Shift together flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Set aside. In mixing bowl, mix shortening, molasses, brown sugar, water, egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until they are absorbed. Divide dough into three pieces, pat down until about 1 ½ inch thickness, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for three hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness. Cut in desired shapes. Place cookies about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes in preheated oven. Cool on wire racks. When cool, decorate as desired.

Blog Stops

ASC Book Reviews, November 9
Books n Baubles, November 9
Janices book review, November 9
Have A Wonderful Day, November 10
A Greater Yes, November 10
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 11
A Holland Reads, November 12
Simple Harvest Reads, November 12
Beck To Basics, November 13
Carpe Diem, November 13
Christian Bookaholic, November 14
Baker Kella, November 16
Quiet Quilter, November 16
Karen Sue Hadley, November 16
Pause for Tales, November 17
Pursuing Stacie, November 17
For The Love of Books, November 18
Blogging With Carol, November 18
Bigreadersite, November 19
Vicky Sluiter, November 19
SusanLovesBooks, November 19
Moments Dipped in Ink, November 20
New Horizon Reviews, November 20
Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 22
Daysong Reflections, November 22
Splashes of Joy, November 22

Giveaway

87ba5cd7-ce6c-4517-9c29-48214c67569a
In honor of her tour, Laura is giving away
Grand Prize Package: The Christmas Admirer, “Unto Us a Child is Born” painting on decorative serving plate by Donna White, The Hearthside Collection, Inc., and commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).
1st Place Package: The Christmas Admirer and The Very First Christmas by Juliet David with interactive illustrations by Pauline Siewert (children’s book). 2nd Place Package: The Christmas Admirer and “The Woman Who Honors The Lord Shall Be Praised” myrrh-scented candle from abba Jerusalem!
Click the link to enter!Click the link to enter!

Liar’s Winter: An Appalachian Novel By Cindy Sproles

I received this book from Kregel Publications and Cindy Sproles for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own. 


Book Description: 

 The choices you make determine who you are. Not no mark."
Lochiel Ogle was born with a red-wine birthmark—and it put her life in jeopardy from the moment she entered the world. Mountain folks called it "the mark of the devil," and for all the evil that has plagued her nineteen-year existence, Lochiel is ready to believe that is true. And the evil surely took control of the mind of the boy who stole her as an infant, bringing her home for his mother to raise.
Abused and abandoned by the only people she knows as family, Lochiel is rescued by a peddler and given the first glimpse of love she has ever known. The truth of her past is gradually revealed as is the fact that she is still hunted by a brother driven to see her dead. Unsure if there's anyone she can truly trust, Lochiel is faced with a series of choices: Will she continue to run for escape or will she face her past and accept the heartbreaking secrets it reveals? Which will truly free her?
Set in the wild and beautiful Appalachian Mountains of nineteenth-century East Tennessee, Liar's Winter is an unflinching yet inspirational exploration of prejudice and choice.

My Thoughts: 

 Liar's Winter is the latest book by Cindy Sproles and it is wonderful. I had the pleasure of reading her book, Mercy's Rain, so I was thankful for the opportunity to read this book. As a fan of Christian Historical Fiction, this book was appealing. I found myself drawn in by the the cover art and when I started reading I couldn't put it down. Cindy Sproles writes with authority on the United States especially East Tennessee during 1893, The Appalachian Mountains, superstitions, Mountain Folks, the hierarchy in this society, and the choices that have to be made in life.  I was taken in from the first page and it kept me guessing until then end, wanting more. Cindy Sproles writing style is mesmerizing, she really puts her readers right there, watching the events unfold. I found the characters in this book to well written and real to life. I think my favorite character is Lochiel. From birth to she is an adult she has to fight to live a full life. She is a survivor, who endured years of abuse and abandonment. As she is faced with her realities she needs to make the choice to survive and forgive all her past hurts. I found Lochiel an inspiration to keep fighting and to have faith. I cannot say enough good about this book and author. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed.  I cannot wait to read more from Cindy Sproles, definitely on my must read author list!! I give this book 5 STARS.


I would like to apologize to Cindy Sproles  and Kregel Publications for the extreme lateness of this review. I am sorry I didn't post this on time during the tour. No excuse for it.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey: The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey (Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace Book 3 By Carolyn Miller

I received this book for no charge from Kregel Publications for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description: 

Will a damaged reputation and desire for society's approval thwart the legacy of grace?

Tainted by scandal and forced to leave London for the quieter Brighton countryside, the Honorable Miss Clara DeLancey is a shadow of her former society self. She's lost the man she loved to another and, in a culture that has no patience for self-pity, is struggling with depression. A chance encounter brings her a healing friendship with the sisters of an injured naval captain. But Clara's society mama is appalled at the new company she's keeping.

Captain Benjamin Kemsley is not looking for a wife. But his gallant spirit won't let him ignore the penniless viscount's daughter--not when she so obviously needs assistance to keep moving forward from day to day. Can he protect his heart and still keep her safe?

When they're pushed into the highest echelons of society at the Prince Regent's Brighton Pavilion, this mismatched couple must decide if family honor is more important than their hopes. Can they right the wrongs of the past and find future happiness together--without finances, family support, or royal favor?


My Thoughts: 

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey  is the latest book in Carolyn Miller's A Legacy of Grace series and it is GREAT!! As a huge fan of Christian Historical/Regency Fiction this book and author I was excited to read it.  Carolyn Miller is an awesome writer whose books I love to read. Carolyn Miller writes with authority about England in 1815, the hierarchy, societal mores of the time, depression and the stigmas, and the Navy.  I have read the first two books in this series and each one gets better. From start to finish this book had a hold of me and left me wanting more. I find Carolyn Miller's style of writing intriguing, her ability to put the readers right there as the events unfold is unique. The characters in this book are well written and real to life. I found myself connecting with Clara. Her struggles with depression really spoke to me as I go through depression. Her ability to forgive and find love again is inspiring. Her strength and perseverance are just admirable. I am so glad I had the opportunity to read this book and series. I highly recommend this book and series to anyone who enjoys Christian Regency Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more from Carolyn Miller. She is on my must read author list. I give this book 5 STAR.

I apologize to Kregel Publications and Carolyn Miller for the lateness of this review.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Rescued Hearts: A Novel By Hope Toler Dougherty

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description: 

Children’s clothing designer Mary Wade Kimball’s soft spot for animals leads to a hostage situation when she spots a briar- entangled kitten in front of an abandoned house. Beaten, bound, and gagged by the two thugs inside, Mary Wade loses hope for escape when a third villain returns with supplies.
Discovering the kidnapped woman ratchets the complications for undercover agent Brett Davis. Weighing the difference of ruining his three months’ investigation against the woman’s safety, Brett forsakes his mission and helps her escape, the bent-on-revenge brutes following behind.
When Mary Wade’s safety is threatened once more, Brett rescues her again. This time, her personal safety isn’t the only thing in jeopardy. Her heart is endangered as well.

 My Thoughts: 

Rescued Hearts is the latest book by Hope Toler Dougherty and it is wonderful! This is the first book by Hope Toler Dougherty that I have had the pleasure of reading. As a big fan of Christian romance and suspense fiction this book really grabbed a hold of me. As I found out more about this author, I found it interesting that the other books she has written are all different Christian Fiction books. Hope Toler Dougherty writes with authority about different types of crafts including sewing and crocheting, teaching others to do these things including children, designing children's clothes, undercover procedure, and hostage situations. From the start, this book starts with a bang and keeps you guessing until the end. I found myself unable to put this book down. I enjoyed Mary Wade Kimball's style of writing, her writing is fast paced and definitely keeps you on your toes. This book has many characters, good and bad, are well written and definitely interesting. I found myself drawn to Brett's Grandma, Gigi. She is a wise woman, who adds some laughs and does what she can to help everyone. I really found this book enjoyable. I was on the edge of my seat throughout this book and I love those kinds of stories! I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys Christian Suspense/Romance fiction, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more from Hope Toler Dougherty. I give this 5 STARS. 


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Small Book About a Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace By Edward T. Welch

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description: 

Look closely at any day and we can usually find anger in both our actions and attitudes. Things spill or go missing, we get stuck in traffic, and the people we live and work with often make life even harder. We want to stay calm, but what do you do when you feel your blood pressure rise yet again? Anger is so common yet it also destroys. It leaves its mark on us it s not healthy which is one reason we hear so much about finding peace. And it leaves its mark on others. The wounds we inflict on others when we are angry the loss of intimacy, trust, security, and enjoyment in our closest relationships give us compelling reasons to look closely at our anger and think carefully about how to grow in patience and peace. If you have just gotten irritated for the umpteenth time today, you might wonder if change is possible. Can anyone grow in patience and peace? Yes. But you need a plan. Biblical counselor and psychologist Ed Welch invites readers to take a 50-day journey that unpacks anger and encourages readers to become more skillful at responding with patience to life s difficulties. Along the way, readers will be introduced to Jesus, the Prince of Peace the only one who can empower his people to grow in patience, peace, and wholeness.

My Thoughts: 

A Small Book About a Big Problem is the first book by Edward T. Welch and it is fantastic. This book deals with Anger and how instead of anger, finding patience and peace. I personally know that I was never taught how to deal with anger  and am excited to have this new perspective, a way to turn it around. Edward T. Welch is a Biblical Counselor who writes with authority on dealing with about anger, the Bible, how to deal with everyday issues that impact all of us, and how to use the scriptures to find peace. I found that with it being broken up into 50 days, taking it day by day really made it easier to implement into my life. This book may be small but in 192 pages it really packs a punch. I enjoyed the fact that this book size is a little bigger than my cell phone so it was light and compact enough to fit into my purse or bag. I have been rereading this book, finding more insight that I missed in my original reading of this book. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to read this book, it has really opened my eyes to how anger has controlled so many parts of my life. I am excited to read read more books by Edward T. Welch, his books are on my must read list. I highly recommend this book to everyone, it is something that anyone can pick up and relate to. I give this book 5 STARS.

I apologize for the lateness of my review to Edward T. Welch and Litfuse Publicity.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Bringing Maggie Home: A Novel By Kim Vogel Sawyer

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:  

Decades of Loss, an Unsolved Mystery,
and a Rift Spanning Three Generations

Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year old Hazel momentarily turns her back on her three-year old sister Maggie and the young girl disappears.

Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter Diane, who can’t understand her mother’s overprotectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother’s inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan—a cold case agent—cherishes her grandmother’s lavish attention and affection.

When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-week leave-of-absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel’s painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative prowess to solve the family mystery. 



My Thoughts: 

Bringing Maggie Home is the latest book by Kim Vogel Sawyer and it is one of her best! I have read quite a few of Kim Vogel Sawyer's books so I was very excited to have the opportunity to read and review this one. This book has one of my favorite genres, Christian Suspense/Crime Fiction. Kim Vogel Sawyer writes with authority about investigating crime, mystery, life during 1943 and on, missing children, and how one mistake can affect generations in a family. I thoroughly enjoy Kim Vogel Sawyer's style of of writing, she really puts her readers right there in the story with her vivid descriptions. Kim Vogel Sawyer is one of the few authors who can transition from past and present, from different perspectives and voices. From the first page until the last this story grabbed a hold and left me wanting more. Could not put it down!! The characters in this book are real people with struggles. The characters are well written and definitely interesting. I found myself drawn to Meghan. Her desire to help the people she loves and the ability to find the truth. She has a good heart and her faith helps her make her way in the world. She is also very patient especially when it comes to her mother.  As I read this book, the themes I read were faith, forgiveness for yourself and others, and love of family. This book brought out many emotions, I found myself smiling in some parts, frustrated in others, and crying in many others. This is a fantastic story by a very talented writer. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Suspense/Crime Fiction and/or Kim Vogel Sawyer, you will NOT be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more from Kim Vogel Sawyer, she is definitely one of my top must read authors.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Rule of Law By Randy Singer

I received this book from the author through Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own. 

Book Description:  

What did the president know? And when did she know it?
For the members of SEAL Team Six, it was a rare mission ordered by the president, monitored in real time from the Situation Room. The Houthi rebels in Yemen had captured an American journalist and a member of the Saudi royal family. Their executions were scheduled for Easter Sunday. The SEAL team would break them out.
But when the mission results in spectacular failure, the finger-pointing goes all the way to the top.
Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members?
Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know the answer. The case she files will polarize the nation and test the resiliency of the Constitution. The stakes are huge, the alliances shaky, and she will be left to wonder if the saying on the Supreme Court building still holds true.
Equal justice under law.
It makes a nice motto. But will it work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant?

My Thoughts: 

Rule of Law is Randy Singer's latest book and it is outstanding. I am a huge fan of Randy Singer and Suspense/Legal Fiction, I absolutely loved this book. Randy Singer writes with authority about our Military especially Navy Seals, the job of the President, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, hierarchy of the world, our legal system, and the laws that protect us. This book truly grabbed my attention and left me wanting more. Randy Singer's style of writing is one of my favorite, he really draws in his readers with details, immersing the reader into this world he has created. I really felt like I was there experiencing the world. The characters are unique and very realistic. Including the President being a woman. I found myself drawn in by Paige Chambers. She is driven by her personal connection to her case. She believes in the justice system and the motto Equal justice under law. She has a heart for the law and helping people find justice regardless of who is involved. This book had me holding my breath from the suspense and action. I was drawn in from the first page and could NOT put it down. I love Randy Singer's books, they do not disappoint! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Suspense/Legal Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed. I give this book 5 STARS.
I would like to apologize to Randy Singer and Litfuse Publicity for the lateness of this review.