Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Someone Like You

Julia Dare is a single mom and a new christian. She feels guilt about not having married Hunter Adams, Max's dad, but she knew she could never marry a man like that, not since finding God. She could thank her college sweetheart Zeke for that. Zeke had a heart for God and tried to share Christ with Julia, but she wouldn't listen. That was so long ago, now she's learning to trust God in everything and she took a leap of faith and opened Dare to Dream Events.  It's hard standing on her own two feet, especially with an ex like Hunter just waiting and expecting her to fail. She's worried Max will end up like his dad, an egomaniac who uses people, but she's determined to trust God no matter what happens. Besides if she makes too much of a fuss, Hunter may take Max away.

Zeke Monroe is a good man but he's running a sinking ship. Caliente Springs in is desperate need of a makeover and a huge influx of cash. Not for his sake necessarily, but for the 200 employees under him. He can hear his dad's voice telling him how he's disappointing God and he needs to be stronger, but frankly Zeke has had it with God.  He tried to be a good christian but that didn't work. He tried to hard and kept almost all the rules and yet he failed. He didn't need God, what he needed was to find a way to save Caliente Springs.

Proverbs 3:5-6 is a message woven through out the book. The message comes across loud and clear without being too preachy, whether it's Zeke trying to save Caliente Springs for the Travers Twins or Julia taking Dare to Dream Events to the next level. God will get you through whatever you face, but it may not be in your time or on your terms.

Someone like you by Victoria Bylin has quickly become one of my favorite books. The colorful characters and heartfelt message will hook you from the beginning. The story keeps a steady pace and has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end. The book wasn't all serious it had funny parts too especially where ladybug was concerned. I'll let you read the book to figure out who that is :)

You can grab a here:  Someone Like You by Victoria Bylin

*I was given a copy of Someone Like You from Bethany House Publishers for an honest review. The views and opinions stated above are my own.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Hold Me Close

About the Book

Louis Lestarjette, a Frenchman, arrives in Charles Town, South Carolina, in 1772 without purpose or plans. He encounters a society on the brink of revolution and is forced to make decisions that include finding meaning and direction in his carefree life. Who can he trust in his endeavors to prosper? Will he be able to stay neutral in a battle for independence? When decisive events confront him, will he stay or leave? Running from God and commitment is a constant option.
ISlizabeth Elliott, daughter of a prominent British citizen, believes God will hold her close in uncertain and changing times. Faced with making difficult decisions about her loyalties, she finds comfort in close friends, a devout sister, and her music. When the mysterious Frenchman with no commitment to God or Charles Town enters her life, her role in the political battle is challenged. Can she trust her heart in volatile situations?
Set in pre-revolution Charles Town, Hold Me Close takes the reader into the lives of immigrants, ordinary citizens, and prominent historical figures at a time in which decisions are made that will change the world.

My Thoughts:  This book isn't my typical read. I'm not a history buff by any stretch of the imagination but I do love historical romance and this one caught my eye. I loved the way Marguerite Gray describes the people and their dress. I was able to imagine myself at the various social engagements. I also loved the overall message of the book "Hold Me Close" it not only applies to the couple Louis and Elizabeth but to their relationship with God, as well as our relationship with God.  We all get lonely and scared at times but we have to remember He will hold us close and guide our steps.  It was a lovely book and I enjoyed every second of it except the ending. I really wanted to know how things ended with Louis and Elizabeth. I guess we will have to wait on the next book. 

About the Author

Marguerite Martin Gray enjoys the study of history, especially when combined with fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Recently, she received a MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. She has two grown children and currently lives with her husband and Cleo, her cat, in Abilene, Texas.

Guest Post from Marguerite Gray

I’m very happy to be a part of Celebrate Lit! Thank you for the opportunity to present my book Hold Me Close and to share a little about my journey. It has been a journey of faith, a very exciting one for me.Hold Me Close is Book One in the Revolutionary Faith series. The book’s journey is my journey.
Six years ago I finally put on paper some of the stories forming and rambling in my imagination. My grown children left me some time to let God lead me into a writing career, well part-time. My husband and I decided I could work part-time and write part-time. During this period I wrote six novels. The next part of the trek took me to American Christion Fiction Writers (ACFW). I joined and have been an active student for six years. I attended three conferences and loved every minute, even the harsh criticism and “helpful” words of encouragement. Also, I became a contributing member of several critique groups within the organization. Needless to say, Hold Me Close went through many changes before it was published. My growth in faith expanded as much as my book. I thank all who had a role in the needed transformation.
I went back to work full-time after a three year sabbatical and pondered over the future of my novels. Where did God want the books to find a home? Or did they remain my little hobby? The journey was not over for Hold Me Close. The book was published by Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan in December 2015.
Quickly, I landed far outside my comfort zone in a world of social media and personal appearances. Even though I am a teacher and stand in front of 120 students every day, there is something intimidating about audiences of professionals and my peers. Rotary Clubs, Book Clubs, Writers’ Guilds, Church Groups! What a journey….and it hasn’t stopped.
My tagline is “Entertain. Educate. Encourage.” I entertain through fiction. I educate through the historical genre. I encourage through faith journeys of my characters. It’s exciting and I hope you will enjoy the journey as much as I have.

Facebook Party

Join us at the FB Party to celebrate Marguerite Gray’s Hold Me Close. RSVP here.


To celebrate her tour, Marguerite is giving away a fun themed prize basket! Click to enter:

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Dawn of Liberty

About the Book

Liberty comes with a price. Can a fledgling nation bear the cost?

British forces advance upon a struggling colonial army. The time of decision has come. Declare independence, or give up the fight. The weight of a nation rests on Samuel Adams’ shoulders as he joins the delegates of the Second Continental Congress. Can he raise the cause of Liberty above the fear of the King’s wrath in the hearts of his countrymen?
Three riveting short stories follow Samuel Adams as he struggles through the events surrounding the Declaration of Independence and evokes the Dawn of Liberty.
Dawn of Liberty
Liberty hangs in the balance. With Pennsylvania’s vote divided, the declaration may not pass. Samuel Adams has two hours to convince the delegates to pass the document, or the lives sacrificed for freedom will be worthless.
A Shot at Freedom
“The Regulars are coming!”
Samuel Adams is awakened by Revere’s cry of alarm. A large force of British soldiers are marching on Lexington to seize him and his compatriot John Hancock. Adams and Hancock encourage the militia to make a stand against the Regulars, but should they stay and join the fight, or escape to safety?
Travail of a Nation
Samuel Adams felt the weight of the nation resting on his shoulders as he and his cousin entered the Pennsylvania State House. If the declaration did not pass today, their chances at ever truly gaining independence were all but lost. The British forces bound to arrive in New York any day would crush their revolution if it was not bolstered by a formal declaration. The “Travail Of A Nation” has begun…
My Thoughts: This is not my typical story of choice but when I read the description I was intrigued and decided to give it a try and I'm glad I did.  The way she describes the events, people and actions make you feel like you are actually there with Sam Adams and his counterparts declaring, or trying to declare, your independence from Great Britain. I really enjoyed her writing style, much better than any history book I have read and will be looking forward to reading more of her works. 

About the Author

Author of over half a dozen books, Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for travel, history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call “historical fiction at its finest”. She lives in Colorado and spends half her time volunteering in the Ozarks. Visit her online

Guest Post From Amber Schamel

On July 4th, 2016, Americans across the nation will celebrate the 240th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Besides the basic overview you got in history class, how much do you really know about the document and the men that signed it?
As an American and a history nerd, I was upset when I realized how much I didn’t know the struggle these men went through, who they really were, what they felt, and what they were putting on the line when they signed their name to that document. There are SO many inspiring stories in the signers and founding fathers, so when I began looking at which signer to feature in Dawn of Liberty, it was a tough decision to pick only one. One of the signers was terminally ill and rode unthinkable miles through the rain to be there in time to sway the vote. Most were away from their homes and families for incredible amounts of time. Some sacrificed fame and fortune.
But after looking through all of the names, I ended up with Samuel Adams. Sam is such a passionate and inspiring character, and I really related to him. He voiced his passion for freedom and independence before the idea was popular, spent countless nights writing articles and pamphlets promoting the cause, always held faith and optimism that someday the Colonies would be free from the tyranny of England. His character is so intriguing and inspiring…Yet, Sam is only known as a beer brand.
Talk about infuriating a history nerd!
Sam Adams is a patriot and a hero. The more I learned and read about him, the more I liked him. Americans should know Sam for who he really is, rather than as the icon to sell liquor. That’s why I am so excited for people to meet Sam in DAWN OF LIBERTY. These stories give folks a chance to experience the tension in Philadelphia at the time of the signing, meet some of the signers, and feel the weight of the decision placed in their hands. It is my hope that this collection of short stories will make the signers more than just portraits in a history book. By the time you finish reading it, my prayer is that you feel you know Sam and his compatriots as friends.

Blog Stops

June 23: Petra’s Hope
June 24: A Greater Yes
June 25: A Holland Reads
June 26: bigreadersite
June 30: A Northern Belle


To celebrate her tour, Amber is giving away a signed copy of The Healer’s Touch and a $15 Amazon Gift Card! Enter to win here:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Loving a Lawman

Loving a Lawman is the latest book in Amy Lillard's cattle creek series. I hate to admit I haven't read all of the others, yet, but if they are anything like this one we are all  in for a treat! This book is full of laughter and love with a hint of family drama. I was hooked from the start and was unable to put it down until I was finished.

Seth recently moved home because of his mother's cancer diagnosis. He doesn't mind that he left San Diego and settled back in his home town. It's quiet here and everyone knows their neighbors. Which can sometimes be a bad thing. Another bad thing is that Seth sees Jessie McAllen quite often. He loves her something fierce but he can't have her. She belongs to someone else, his brother Chase.

Jessie McAllen has had it with small town life. You make one mistake, just ONE, and you are branded trouble for life. Homecoming '08 she beat Sissy Callahan's car with an axe handle over Chase. That was a long time ago, but it's no surprise that when Chase shows up with a buckle bunny and then later in the night his truck gets smashed with a bat, Jessie is the one and only suspect.

Jessie is more than ready to leave Cattle Creek. She works two jobs trying to save up enough money to make her escape. When she finds herself riding home with Seth from a family birthday party she wonders what it would be like if she had fallen for him instead of Chase. Seth is honest, reliable and trustworthy, all the things Chase is not. She decides to kiss Seth just once to see what it's like.

What started out as a kiss leads to a unplanned pregnancy by the wrong brother. When she messes up she messes up big time! Jessie is still trying to figure out what to do when Seth comes barging in demanding that she marry him and they give the baby a real family. Jessie goes along with the plan because she doesn't have a better one, but she can't help but wonder why Seth wants to marry her in the first place.

Amy Lillard has the ability to write books that you can relate to. No, not everyone has found themselves in love with their brother's girl or gotten themselves in quite the fix that Jessie mangaged but we can all relate to the fact that relationships are hard. I love that Amy sprinkles humor throughout the story to keep it from being so melodramatic, not so much that you lose interest in the characters or their plight, but enough to give them more dimension and lighten the mood.

I hope you give Loving a Lawman a try as well as the rest of Amy's Cattle Creek series. You can grab a copy of Loving a Lawman here: Loving a Lawman

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Amish Firefighter

About the Book

Beautiful Young Woman Banished from Home

Abigail Stutzman thought it was bad enough being dropped at the nearest bus station and sent to live several states away 
with some relatives she’d never even heard of, much less met. But now, just a week after her arrival in Jamesport, Missouri, she finds herself at the scene of a barn fire. An intentional barn fire. And all fingers are pointed at her. She’s desperate to prove her innocence and protect her reputation, but nobody’s making that easy to do. And God certainly doesn’t seem willing to help.
A Brave Firefighter with an Agenda of His Own
Sam Miller is in the process of turning over a new leaf. Determined to atone for the follies of his past, he is a volunteer firefighter, an EMT, and a doctor-in-training. With suspicious barn fires escalating, and the Miller family being among the victims, no one is more determined to see the perpetrators brought to justice than Sam.
A Kindled Flame Neither One Could Have Anticipated
When their paths first cross at the site of a barn burning, the emotional intensity rivals the warmth of the flames. Soon, they must decide whether this fire is one they should feed or fight. And they’ll discover that the truth can prove more dangerous than a blazing inferno.
My Thoughts: 
Sam has one foot in the world and one in his Amish community. He struggles with what he feels called to do and putting God first. He's not intentionally rebellious, but he tends to put the brakes on following tradition. At first, I thought it was just Sam not wanting to follow in tradition, but really he was trying to find his own way. He was a help to the community by being a firefighter and EMT. He had the respect of the community and all were thankful for what he did to help. It wasn't that he was straddeling the fence, so to speak, he was following God's will for his life and helping his community. 
Poor Abigail. Is what I kept thinking the whole time I read the book. She felt unwanted and unloved the whole time when the exact opposite was true. Lies have a way of doing that though, we think we are protecting our loved ones and what we are really doing is pushing them away and making them feel unloved and unwanted. 
This is the first book I've read by Laura V. Hilton and I have to say she had my attention from the first page.  This book isn't your typical Amish story, but, that's not a bad thing. It has mystery and intrigue along with the humor and compassion we've come to expect from the genre.  I loved everything about the book from beginning to end.  
About the Author
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 Birdhouse concluded Laura’s 2015 series, The Amish of Jamesport, includes The Snow Globe, The Postcard and The Birdhouse. 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 Arkansas.
For more about Laura, her latest book, the books she’s written and those she’s reviewed:
Laura Hilton’s Website:

Guest Post from Laura V. Hilton

Unlike some authors, I am not a planner. I have a very vague idea of the story, of the series, and as soon as the characters step forward and introduce themselves I dive in and start writing. When I first began writing this series – New Beginnings in Jamesport – I knew Sammy Miller was going to be the hero. Readers started asking for Sammy’s story as soon as they read The Postcard where Sammy was the villain. Ouch. I’d never considered writing a story about a former villain. But just as David in The Postcard was reader requested, Sammy would be.
Sammy is a very strong character and I knew he had to have a strong female lead character, one that wasn’t afraid to stand up to him and keep him under control. He is a leader, an EMT studying to be a paramedic, and a volunteer firefighter. The female lead, Abigail, is thrown into Jamesport without warning. Her step-father takes her to the bus station and sends her away and she doesn’t even know why! When she is met at the bus station by an aunt and uncle she didn’t even know existed, she is thrown into the middle of several mysteries, including barn fires set by arsonists. And she is the main suspect.
The whole New Beginnings in Jamesport series, while considered a continuation of The Amish of Jamesportseries due to Sammy being the hero, is set around Amish starting over in Jamesport. The second bookThe Amish Wanderer is about a former resident of Jamesport hitchhiking across the country to get to his Mennonite uncle’s house in Pennsylvania. Silas is desperate to escape from his dysfunctional family for several reasons. But he cannot stay in Jamesport because someone is out to kill him. When he stumbles upon another mystery within hours of his arrival, what choice does he have but to stick around for awhile?
God gave me the verses for all three books in the Amish of Jamesport series The Amish Firefighter, The Amish Wanderer and the yet untitled third book (My books all stand alone) before I started writing them, which is unusual. He usually reveals these things slowly to me, as I need to know. The verse for The Amish Firefighter is Isaiah 43:2-4 and the verse for The Amish Wanderer is Romans 8:38-39. The third book’s verse is 2 Corinthians 4:8. It is tentatively titled The Amish Accountant, but most people think accountants are boring, and his real profession is a clockmaker. But The Amish Clockmaker has already been taken by another author. So we shall see what the wonderful Whitaker House team will come up with. It is about another young Amish woman, Lydia, who needs a “safe haven.” So her parents send her to live with her Mennonite aunt and uncle in Jamesport. It doesn’t exactly work out as planned, as the aunt and uncle leave for a foreign mission trip immediately, leaving Lydia acting manager of a gift shop and living in an all electric apartment. Before her aunt leaves, she tells Lydia’s secrets to her best friend. But did she tell all of them or some of them? And the best friend’s son, Caleb (the clockmaker) is acting as accountant for the gift shop. And what about Caleb’s carefully kept secret? When Lydia’s past catches up with her, will it destroy all she’d begun to imagine as she dreamed of starting over in Jamesport?
Next after that is The Christmas Challenge which is also set in Jamesport.
I don’t have official release dates for The Amish Wanderer or the other books yet. But as soon as I know, I’ll share.
Coming next? Who knows? I have two ideas warring for attention—but which one gets told first, I don’t know! I lean toward one, then the other. They both want to be told.
And now, I must get back to work. Thank you for visiting today and thank you so much for supporting my books. I do hope you’ll enjoy The Amish Firefighter!
Happy Reading!
Because of Him,
~ Laura ~

Blog Stops

June 9: Quiet Quilter
June 12: Splashes of Joy
June 13: Babs Book Bistro
June 13: bigreadersite
June 17: A Greater Yes
June 19: Petra’s Hope
June 21: A Holland Reads
June 22: Pause for Tales
June 22: KarensKrayons


To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away a basket that includes a Kindle Fire and a complete set of her books! Enter here:

My Mother's Quilts

My Mother's Quilts is a beautiful devotion written by Ramona Richards. It is filled with over fifty devotions that are fully illustrated. In each devotion Ramona shares a story that ties into the quilt. Each story usually involves her mother in some way. Of course, not all of them do. At the end of each devotional is a prayer starter. I really liked that it is a starter and not a fully written out prayer. They are there to help you take something that you learned from the story and turn it into a prayer to God.

The devotions are not too long, it might take up to 10 minutes to finish. The prayer time would be up to you because as I said they are prayer starters and not long drawn out prayers. The only downside that I found is the beautiful pictures make you want to quilt. If you are like me, not gifted in that area, then that can be a downer. On the plus side, you have this awesome devotional packed with beautiful pictures that you can look at anytime you want.

This is truly a beautiful devotional book, one of the most beautiful I've seen.It would make a great addition to someone's life. Who doesn't like to look at beautiful quilts?

From the back cover:
A quilt is love that serves a purpose

Inspired by thirty family heirloom quilts, each devotion depicts the enduring legacy of faith, family and tradition. Rich, personal, sometimes heartbreaking, often funny, each reading provides a lesson and encouragement from the faithful women who crafted the quilts.

Full-color photographs of each quilt show the style and artistry of each beautiful work. The quilts, sewn by several generations over more than one-hundred years, are as unique and lovely as the hands that created them. The oldest was buried during the Civil War to keep it safe and the author's mother created the newest in the last years of her life.

Quilts really are a lasting legacy. I'm honored to have some that my grandmother made before she passed away and I look forward to handing them down to my children. I love how the author took family quilts and used them as a way to share her family's faith.

You can grab a copy for yourself here: My Mother's Quilts

I received a copy of My Mother's Quilts from Flyby promotions in an exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

More Than She Dreamt

About the Book

It was more than she dreamt.  But as the romance began to bud, she felt the thorns of a heartless beauty rise to tear it apart.
Young widow, Katie Jensen, endures patiently under her oppressive uncle in desolate Arizona Territory. She tries to keep her promise to her dead aunt to be a witness and take care of her uncle but when his tirades grow worse, she gathers her two precious little ones and runs.
Making their way to an unknown land, they come to the town of White Rock, which is strangely like the place in the dreams Katie has been having. They are welcomed into the cottage of a kindly grandmother who takes in borders.
When Danny, the older woman’s grandson, comes home, he finds surprises in store: a crisis, a beautiful young woman, and her adorable children who bring laughter and life into all their weary souls.
Katie is filled with hope when an unexpected romance sparks but there is a vindictive raven-haired beauty and an old enemy conspiring to put it out—permanently.
Will God give Katie rest as she and the family pray for their enemies?
Can she stand strong in her faith when fear overwhelms her?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book!! I loved how the author wove her faith throughout the story using her heroine as the vessel. We all face trials and triumphs but it's our faith that holds us together and I think that's exactly what this book is about. Reminding us that if we cling to our faith in God, He will give us more than we ever dreamed.  I look forward to reading many more of her books in the future! 

About the Author

Sandy Faye Mauck writes Historical Romance in the light of the gospel and with the heart of her Savior.
Slip into a comfy chair with a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate and travel back to the first years after the turn of the century.
Enjoy faithful Christian characters who have come through a spiritual wilderness into a place of hope. Stories of charming romance sprinkled with humor and topped with redemption. And be sure not to put the cup too close to the edge of the table because there are enemies lurking about.
Sandy lives in her own happily-ever-after with her Bible doctrine writer husband in the west they love. They have five children and nine grandchildren. She enjoys crocheting (a different kind of yarn) and is also a professional artist.

Guest Post from Sandy Faye Mauck

Hi everyone! Sandy Faye Mauck here! Today I launch my book on Celebrate Lit!
They say to write the book that is missing from your bookshelf. So I did. I wrote a story that brought the purity of a Christian romance with a touch of humor and endearing characters who live what they believe, with real enemies and redemptive grace.
More Than She Dreamt is set at the time just after the turn of the century. Probably my favorite time travel place if I had to choose because of the interesting changes and the lovely clothing and yet there was indoor plumbing, and lights, LOL!
My greatest writing inspiration (other than my Lord), was my favorite author, Grace Livingston Hill. She could tell a story, make you feel you were there in every sense. Grace could bring romance, excitement, and enemies and then touch your heart with a truth of God’s word that would penetrate your heart. I hope to do this as I write my heart and I add humor because that is who I am.
I hope you enjoy this Celebrate Lit Blog Tour and the special personal giveaway at the end!

Blog Tour Stops

To celebrate her tour, Sandy is giving away a charming keepsake box filled with some Rose Arbor themed prizes. Enter here: