Sunday, February 26, 2017

Amish Wanderer By Laura V. Hilton

I received this book from Celebrate Lit Blogging Program and the author for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own. 


Book Description: 

Desperate for a Ticket OutBethany Weiss is ready to leave town. Tongues haven't stopped clacking in Jamesport, MO, since her daed, the bishop, was admitted to a mental hospital after hurting their small Amish community. But her sharpest wounds Bethany hides from prying eyes, quietly biding her time until she can take a chance at a new life—away from Jamesport and away from God.

Searching for a Home
Silas Beiler was kicked out of his own family's home. Dogged by a rough childhood and a family who blames him for each new disaster, he begins hitchhiking across the country, sleeping in barns where he can, working for food when possible—headed for Pennsylvania, in the hope of some stability.

A Memory of Lemonade
When Bethany spies a man asleep in the hayloft, she first fears the return of an unwelcome suitor. But when it is Silas who turns and speaks, the memories flood back: a happy summer six years ago full of lemonade, long walks, and budding courtship. Now, however, those months of bliss seem naïve and idyllic. Will their old love overcome new pain? Or will hurt and rejection continue to haunt their path? 

My Thoughts: 

Amish Wanderer is the latest book by Laura V Hilton and it is great! I had the pleasure of reading her other book, The Amish Firefighter so I was was excited to read this one. The two books are set in Jamesport, MO. Laura V Hilton writes with authority about the Amish Faith, Amish Communities especially Jamesport MO, family dynamics including child abuse, loss of a child, putting up appearances,and mental health issues. I truly enjoy Laura V. Hilton's writing style. She grabs a hold of her readers from start to finish. Her ability to seamlessly transition between past and present is one not many can do. The characters in this book are real people, going through real life issues we all have had to. My favorite character would have to be Bethany Weiss. She finds that the sins of the father have been visited by the children. She does everything she can to help her family survive while her Father, a bishop, is in a mental hospital. Her Ex-fiancee is in county jail, looking at being bailed out. Bethany has been through abuse physically and mentally, also rape. She does what she needs to survive but can't wait to get out of Jamesport. She holds her head high as she can, grieves for her brother who died, and her father. Bethany is silently strong, loves people fiercely, and has a beautiful heart. I related to her in many ways. I also could relate to Silas given his families secrets and the one blamed for every family disaster. These two broken characters find comfort in one another.  I loved finding new characters and being able to find out what characters from the first book are doing. I loved being  a part of Sam and Abigail's wedding. I honestly could not put this book down. I found myself chuckling in parts and crying in others. I cannot say enough good about this book and this author. Each of the books are stand alone books but I did like the fact that I read The Amish Firefighter first because I felt like I wasn't missing anything. I HIGHLY recommend these books and this author to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 5+ STARS. Please check out more information about this book and the author below. 

amishwandererfbheader
 
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

amishwanderer


Book: Amish Wanderer  

Author: Laura V. Hilton  

Genre: Amish Romance  

Release Date: February 14

Bethany Weiss is ready to leave town. Tongues haven’t stopped clacking in Jamesport, MO, since her daed, the bishop, was admitted to a mental hospital after hurting their small Amish community. But her sharpest wounds Bethany hides from prying eyes, quietly biding her time until she can take a chance at a new life—away from Jamesport and away from God.

Silas Beiler was kicked out of his own home. Dogged by a rough childhood and a family who blames him for each new disaster, he begins hitchhiking across the country, sleeping in barns where he can, working for food when possible—headed for Pennsylvania in the hope of some stability.

When Bethany spies a man asleep in the hayloft, she first fears the return of an unwelcome suitor. But when it is Silas who turns and speaks, the memories flood back: a happy summer six years ago full of lemonade, long walks, and budding courtship. Now, however, those months of bliss seem naïve and idyllic. Was their old love strong enough to overcome new pain? Or will hurt and rejection continue to haunt their path?

About the Author

laurahilton_icrs2016 

Laura V. 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 Hilton

I didn’t intentionally set out to write an Amish story loosely based on a true story. If fact, when people asked me if I would write my maternal grandparents’ story, I told them no.

But when time came to write Bethany’s story, all I knew was a short paragraph blurb about it. Bethany and her once-upon-a-time boyfriend Silas who left that particular Amish district and her before their relationship became serious. I didn’t know their backstories, really, and had no idea how the story would proceed. And since I don’t plot, I spend a lot of time praying about the story, because really, I want to write what He says to write. He knows who He wants it to reach.

So I sat down to pray about it. And God gave me a verse. Which is unusual at the beginning of the story. Usually, for me, it’s at the middle when God reveals His theme for the book. But this time, it was at the beginning. The verse is:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)

And the verses caused more prayer. What am I supposed to do with it?

I was driving to Melbourne (Arkansas, not Australia) to pay property taxes and get my vehicle tags renewed, listening to the radio as we (my three daughters and I) drove down Larkin Road (that’s not the real name, just what everyone calls it—we have a lot of those around here: Day Road, Moko Road, etc—because there are ghost towns on these roads so they are called by the name of the ghost town). A song came on the radio and I don’t remember the name of it, or even who the singer was, but when I arrived in Melbourne, I had the opening line to my story.  

The sky is falling and I’m searching for somewhere to hide.

I’m sure the people at the county clerk’s office might have been a little concerned about the state of my mental health when they saw the words scribbled at the top of my bill. I did get a strange look. I didn’t offer an explanation. And they didn’t ask.

When I got home, I started writing and paying close attention to Bethany’s mental clues (and Silas’s) to figure out what their stories were. And how they tied into the verse God had given me.

And then, without even realizing it until it hit, I knew who’s story I was writing.

My grandmother’s. My grandfather’s.

Except they are different. My grandmother wasn’t date raped. It was a member of her own family. And she wasn’t in love with my grandfather. She just discovered he was leaving the Amish and she wanted—needed—to escape.

Neither were Christians at the time. My grandfather was saved on his death bed. My grandmother’s youngest child was a teenager when she was saved. My mother, her sister, and all their girlfriends went to a tent meeting for a United Brethren Church and my grandmother attended one of the meetings with her daughters and was saved as a result. And their testimonies ultimately led to the salvation of my uncle and my grandfather.

Both of my grandparents had a lot of issues to work through as to why God allowed the bad things in their lives to happen. That they eventually came to Christ is a miracle but I’m glad they did, as I was raised in a Christian home.

Why does God allow bad things to happen to people? The short, pat answer is: because sin entered the world. Yes, God could stop them. But what if He uses the bad thing to refine a person’s faith, to draw them closer to Him as a result?

How a person reacts to the bad things directly ties in to how they affect them. In my story, Silas chose to trust God even though he feared for his life. No, he didn’t like what had happened, but even though he didn’t see how, he trusted God was working behind the scenes to bring Silas to where he needed to be, spiritually and physically. On the other hand, Bethany believed God had rejected her. Pushed her away and didn’t care about her. If He didn’t care for her, why should she care about Him? So she went into a stand-off with God.

The lessons ultimately learned, for both my grandparents and my characters, brought them to their knees before the living and holy God who was, and is, and is to come. And I trust God will use this story to help a reader out there who might be questioning something terrible that happened in their life.

You might not see how now and may not know why until eternity, but God has this. Keep praying. Keep trusting. Keep believing.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)

Blog Stops

February 14: inklings and notions
February 15: A Rup Life
February 15: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
February 15: Lane Hill House
February 16: Daysong Reflections
February 16: Blogging With Carol
February 17: Bigreadersite
February 18: Rhonda’s Doings
February 18: Jeanette’s Thoughts
February 19: A Greater Yes
February 19: A Holland Reads
February 21: Mom Is Forever
February 22: Splashes of Joy
February 23: Moments Dipped in Ink
February 23: Carpe Diem
February 24: Pause for Tales
February 24: Quiet Quilter
February 25: For The Love of Books
February 25: Donna’s BookShelf
February 26: Christian Bookaholic
February 27: Giveaway Lady
February 27: Autism Mom

Giveaway

81ec43c2-e132-4066-a8e3-6e2657c98802


To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away Amish Wanderer, Patchwork Dreams (Amish of Seymour #1), Snow Globe (Amish of Jamesport #1), a 10 x 17” canvas banner: “Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly” (Micah 6:8), and Abba Scripture Candle (3” natural, clean-burning wax, scented) – “With God All Things Are Possible”! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b0d8

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Making Marriage Beautiful: Lifelong Love, Joy, and Intimacy Start with You By Dorothy Littell Greco and Christopher Greco

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: 

 What makes a marriage beautiful? Honesty? Compatibility? Physical and emotional intimacy? All of these are important, but there’s one component that determines the quality and longevity of a marriage more than anything else: a willingness to grow.

Because a wedding joins together two imperfect people, all couples experience disappointment, conflict, and pain. How husbands and wives respond to these challenges determines the kind of people they will become and the kind of marriage they will have.

Making Marriage Beautiful reveals how the pursuit of Christ results in profound transformation for both the individual and the marriage. Rather than offering clichés and formulas, Greco relies on candor, humor, and real life stories to bring encouragement and wisdom to all couples, regardless of whether they have been married four weeks or forty years.


My Thoughts: 

Making Marriage Beautiful is the latest writing by Dorothy Littell Greco and Christopher Greco and it is wonderful. This is the first time I have read anything from them and I am so thankful that I was able to read it. This couple write with authority on marriage all things about it good and bad, and biblical and practical help about marriage. This book is a fantastic read.  This is written from the heart, through her writing you feel the passion and heart they have to Christ and to helping marriages be Christ Centered, in their marriage and others. This book is not a how to, it is a beautiful story that anyone who is married can relate to. The Greco's are transparent in their own marriage struggles and triumphs. From start to finish this book is grabbed me and kept a hold. So many parts of this book I could relate to in my own marriage and see the importance of marriage being Christ Centered. This book with stay with me for a long time. I really felt my heart taking in this in book. I am going to have to read it again to make sure I didn't miss anything. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to read this beautifully written book. I hope to read more from this very special couple. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is married, you will enjoy this. I cannot say enough good about this book. I give this book 5+ STARS.

The Dog Who Was There By Ron Marasco

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 

 No one expected Barley to have an encounter with the Messiah. He was homeless, hungry, and struggling to survive in first century Jerusalem. Most surprisingly, he was a dog. But through Barley’s eyes, the story of a teacher from Galilee comes alive in a way we’ve never experienced before.
Barley’s story begins in the home of a compassionate woodcarver and his wife who find Barley as an abandoned, nearly-drowned pup. Tales of a special teacher from Galilee are reaching their tiny village, but when life suddenly changes again for Barley, he carries the lessons of forgiveness and love out of the woodcarver’s home and through the dangerous roads of Roman-occupied Judea.
On the outskirts of Jerusalem, Barley meets a homeless man and petty criminal named Samid. Together, Barley and his unlikely new master experience fresh struggles and new revelations. Soon Barley is swept up into the current of history, culminating in an unforgettable encounter with the truest master of all as he bears witness to the greatest story ever told.

My Thoughts: 

The Dog Who Was There is a beautiful story by Ron Marasco. When I read the description of this book I was drawn into the story. Ron Marasco writes with authority about the Bible, Jesus's journey, the others that followed Jesus, and the history behind all of it. I loved the fact that this story is written through the eyes of Barley, a dog who finds himself homeless and ends up encountering Jesus. I enjoyed Ron Marasco's writing style, I really felt like I was there with Barley on his journey and his version of this part of the Bible. A unique perspective that I found myself drawn in from start to finish. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Biblical Fiction. I cannot wait to see what comes next from Ron Marasco. I give this book 5 STARS. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Of Stillness and Storm By Michèle Phoenix

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: 

 
“I felt torn between two worlds. Each with its own mystery. One more captivating than the other, but the other more real and breathing.”

It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing. 
At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.
Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.

My Thoughts: 

First I want to apologize to Michèle Phoenix and Litfuse Publicity for the lateness of my review. I have no excuse. 

Of Stillness and Storm is the latest book by Michèle Phoenix and it is a great read. I have read other books by Michèle Phoenix and this one definitely piqued my interest. This book is a Christian Contemporary Fiction, not a genre I read often but I am glad I did. The book description grabbed me and the cover reeled me in.  Michèle Phoenix writes with authority on Missionary life, Nepal, family dynamics, social media and the troubles it can cause, and love. This book really opened my eyes to the struggles that missionary families go through, the side we don't see. I truly enjoyed Michèle Phoenix's style of writing. She put me right there as part of the book. The characters in this book are very real, struggling with life just as we do. I really found I connected with Lauren the most. She is doing what she can to support her husband's dream and trying hard to raise their son and help him through the life they are having in Nepal. Lauren struggles with the desire to feel love from her husband but finding it with someone else. Something that started off as two friends talking starts to be more than that. Lauren's feelings and needs are so similar to mine as in marriages that struggle. She is a normal person, feeling real feelings. I found myself part of this emotional roller coaster, examining my own feelings and struggles. I found myself laughing in parts of this book and crying in many others.  This book truly grabbed me and tugged at my heart. This is a book that will stay with me for a while and has shown me the need to pray for missionaries not just for their mission but for their families and personal lives. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction or know missionaries, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 5 STARS. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Mark of the King By Jocelyn Green

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

Book Description: 

 Sweeping historical fiction set at the edge of the continent

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.
When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on? With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

My Thoughts: 

The Mark of the King is the latest book written by Jocelyn Green and oh my goodness it's fantastic. This is the first book by Jocelyn Green I have read, have a few in my TBR pile. Time to pull them out!! The Mark of the King is a Christian Historical Fiction, one of my favorite genres which drew me to this book but the cover did it for me. Jocelyn Green writes with authority on France and America's history, midwifery, military, Indians and their tribes, trading, the fighting, and medicine of the time. I really learned a lot from this book which I love to do. I had no idea that Louisiana was a place that France sent their prisoners and undesirables to. The forced marriages and expectations of procreation was definitely eye opening. I love to learned about these things. I could not put this book down from start to finish. This book transported me to 1700's France, the ship to America, and then to the wilds of Louisiana.  I loved Jocelyn Green's writing. She puts her readers right there in the thick of it and makes flawless transitions from past to present in 1700's.  I also found the cast of characters to be wonderful, whether good or bad. Of all the characters I think the one that I loved the most was Julianne. Her story is one of tragedy and overcoming it. No matter the situation she handles herself with integrity. She learns to trust God and has faith in what she does. I find her strength and faith inspiring. On of the biggest things that struck me in this book was the theme of all people are sinners and that forgiveness is there, it really spoke to me.  This book grabbed me from from the first page, leaving me wanting to read more.  I can't say enough good about this book. I cannot wait to read the other books by Jocelyn Green I have in my TBR pile. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction will you not be disappointed. I give this book 5 STARS.








         

 https://promosimple.com/ps/afa3