Tuesday, September 27, 2016

No Other Will Do

No Other Will Do is a Ladies of Harper Station novel by Karen Witemeyer. Prepare to be taken back in time to a world of cowboys, one horse towns and defending a lady's honor. Harper Sation is no ordinary town, it's a town full of women, NO men allowed. It's a shelter town for battered and abused women. The rule of "no men allowed" is meant to protect them, but it also makes them volunerable, this becomes crystal clear when someone starts leaving them threatening notes, get out or else!

Emma Chandler is the perfect blend of spice and nice. She's never been afraid to take on challenges, like becoming a woman banker in a world dominated by men. Being raised by her two aunts, Henrietta and Alberta, who believe in the suffrage movement. She's been raised to believe she can be or do anything she wants. She's no fool, she knows they need help to fight this bully trying to make them flee their town. But who can she get? These women are naturally scared of men. Then it hits her, Malachi Shaw.

Malachi Shaw knows what it's like to get the short end of the stick. He literally came from nothing. His mom died, his dad was a deadbeat drunk and abusive, Malachi was like any kid would be coming from those kinds of circumstances. Angry and ending up on the wrong side of the law a time or two. That is until he found himself stowed away in the Harper barn. He was only 13 years old when he met Emma Chandler, but he knew then that his life would never be the same. He is convinced that she is his angel, and even though they are grown now, they keep in touch and he's vowed to protect her at any and all costs. Not that he figures headstrong Emma will ever ask for his help, but he's offered just the same. When Malachi gets word that Emma needs help he drops everything and heads to her aid. He has no idea what awaits him, but he will protect Emma and her ladies..

Drama, intrigue, love, family, No Other Will Do has it all. You will fall in love with Harper Station and it's ladies and find yourself rooting for Malachi to find the bully and finally admit that he's in love with Emma. You will stay up all night (I know I did) devouring page after page to see how it ends. So grab yourself a copy of No Other Will do and head to Harper Station and visit Emma and the ladies. An adventure awaits!

*I received a copy of No Other Will Do from Bethany House Publishers in exchage for an honest review. The opinions expressed above are my own,

You can grab a copy here:No Other Will Do

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Wedding Shop

About the Book

Two women separated by decades. Both set out to help others find their dreams when their own have crumbled.
It’s the early 1930s, but Cora Scott is walking in stride as a career woman after having inherited her great aunt’s wedding shop in Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, where brides come from as far away as Birmingham to experience her famed bridal treatment. Meanwhile, Cora is counting down the days until her own true love returns from the river to make her hisbride. But days turn into months and months to years. All the while, Birch Good continues to woo Cora and try to show her that while he is solid and dependable, he can sweep her off her feet.
More than eighty years later, former Air Force Captain Haley Morgan has returned home to Heart’s Bend after finishing her commitment to military service. After the devastating death of her best friend, Tammy, and discovering the truth about the man she loved, Haley is searching for her place in life.
When Haley decides to reopen the romantic but abandoned wedding shop where she and Tammy played and dreamed as children, she begins a journey of courage, mystery, and love.
As Cora’s and Haley’s stories intertwine through time in the shadow of the beloved wedding shop, they both discover the power of their own dreams and the magic of everyday love.
My Thoughts: The wedding Shop is an amazing story. Well, actually it's like two stories in one. It tells Cora's story with the wedding shop along with Haley who is trying to save it and preserve tradition. I must warn you, do not start this book if you have somewhere to go or something to do. I made the mistake of starting it one night my husband was watching football and I was up well into the next morning. The story will captivate you to the point you just cannot put it down. I also think it would make an excellent  movie. If anyone knows someone to make it happen, let them know. The characters are very complex and real. I like that they aren't all pie in the sky happy that they have real struggles which, I believe, allows the readers to connect on a deeper level. I loved the Wedding Shop and felt a sense of loss when it ended. I hope you will grab a copy and give it a chance.

About the Author 

Rachel Hauck is a USA Today Bestselling author. Her book, The Wedding Dress, was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Her book Once Upon A Prince was a Christy Award finalist.
Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and two pets and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at rachelhauck.com, Facebook: rachelhauck, and Twitter: @RachelHauck

Guest Post from Rachel Hauck
Hey everyone! I’m so excited to share The Wedding Shop with you. This book is one of my favorites.
While all books are my “babies,” this one found a special place in my heart.
This standalone novel is part of the Wedding Collection – The Wedding Dress and The Wedding Chapel – and it came to life when I discovered the story of Cora Scott, a 1930s wedding shop owner.
At 30, she’s an old maid, but the best “bride’s maid” in fictional Heart’s Bend, Tennessee. But she’s in love with a charismatic, charming river boat captain.
The contemporary heroine, Haley Morgan, is a retired Air Force captain returning to Heart’s Bend to restart her life. She’s recovering from a broken heart. The handsome, dynamic, charming man she loved was nothing but trouble.
Returning home, Haley is set on keeping a childhood promise she made with her best friend—to open the old wedding shop.
The shop is legend in Heart’s Bend. Haley grew up with stories of Miss Cora and the shop, hearing the town’s mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers reminiscing about their “day in the shop,” walking down the grand staircase in their wedding gown.
But in 2016, the shop is dilapidated, neglected and in need of more money than Haley possesses.
While writing this story, I had to ask a lot of questions. Why reopen the old shop? Why not just open a new one?
Haley was a combat veteran, deployed to Afghanistan twice, why would she want to open a wedding shop?
I also investigate the meaning of the shop to the town? To Cora? To Haley?
As I developed the backstory for the characters, the shop and the town, Cora’s came to life. She fascinated me. I admired this fictional woman. She exuded ingenuity, courage, and deep, deep devotion.
On the other hand, Haley was a bit of a mystery but from the start, she saw value in something no one else did.
What if we all saw value in people or places others wanted to reject?
Isn’t that what Jesus does for us?
The heroes of the book, Birch and Cole, are just stellar guys. Princes among men. I love writing about slightly wounded but strong and tender men.
The theme of family and community populates the story. Also, how misconceptions and preconceived ideas often ruin relationships.
Booklist gave The Wedding Shop a Starred Review and called it, “Spellbinding.”
There’s a lot of fun drama in this book! I hope you enjoy spending time with Cora and Haley, the men they love and the shop they bring to life.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Connect with me at www.rachelhauck.com.

Blog Stops

September 13: History, Mystery & Faith
September 13: A Holland Reads
September 14: Giveaway Lady
September 14: Daysong Reflections
September 15: Bibliophile Reviews
September 16: Bigreadersite
September 16: The Scribbler
September 17: Books,Dreams,Life
September 17: ASC Book Reviews
September 18: Book Babble
September 18: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
September 19: Pause for Tales
September 19: Book by Book
September 20: The Power of Words
September 20: Lighthouse Academy
September 21: Proverbial Reads
September 21: Splashes of Joy
September 22: Faithfully Bookish
September 22: Singing Librarian Books
September 23: Tell Tale Book Reviews
September 24: Quiet Quilter
September 24: Reading Is My SuperPower
September 25: For The Love of Books
September 26: His Grace Is Sufficient


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away her Wedding Collection Series! Click here to enter:https://promosimple.com/ps/a366

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Young and Beardless

I have to admit my family and I love Duck Dynasty. Their message is one that the world needs to hear; faith and family. Some members of the Robertson family have written books, and while I have not read all of them , the ones I have all inspired me to deepen my faith in some way or another. Young and Beardless is no excption.

We've all seen John Luke on Duck Dynasty. He's the goofy and sometimes awkward older brother of Sadie. What you may not know is John Luke is wise beyond his years. In his book Young and Beardless, he challenges everyone, young and old alike, to live a life that makes a difference. To venture outside your comfort zone and reach those who you may not have otherwise met.

He discusses the concept of a spiritual tool box in his book. I found this to be very interesting, especially the way he puts it. He has an expandable folder, but you could really use anything, to keep scripture verses; sermon notes and along with notes from his family that have touched him some way. When life gets hard or he experieces a failed adventure he can pull out that folder and be reminded that he is loved, not only by God, but also his family. He can also see where God has helped direct his path in the past.

John Luke is a fellow book nerd and he loves to share books that have made a difference in his life. Throughout Young and Beardless he shares some of his favorites and also some highlights from each book. He also tells you what it was about that book that challenged him to live his life in a better way.

I was thoroughly suprised with Young and Beardless. Although it's listed as juvenile fiction I believe it has a message that anyone, regardless of their age, can relate to and learn from. At the end of each chapter are journaling prompts to help you put what you learn into action. While I did not complete them while reading the book (I was too into the book to put it down and journal) I plan on going back and working on the prompts and see where God leads me.

*I was given a copy of Young and Beardless by BookLook Bloggers in exhange for an honest review. The views expressed above are my own.

You can grab a copy here: Young and Beardless

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook

About the Book

A collection of delicious honey recipes from the Honeybee Sisters book series, featuring quotes and recipes from Sweet as Honey, A Bee in her Bonnet, and Like a Bee to Honey–Amish romances by Jennifer Beckstrand.
Lily, Poppy, and Rose Christner, known as the Honeybee Sisters in their Amish community, are smart, inseparable, and all grown up. Orphaned when they were very young, the girls were raised by their eccentric Aunt Bitsy, who doesn’t behave like a proper Amish spinster. The Honeybee Sisters have blossomed into rare beauties, and the boys in the community have begun to take notice. But Aunt Bitsy is determined to scare off all comers with her brusque manner and her handy shotgun. None but the most worthy will make it past Bitsy’s defenses. It’s going to be a rowdy and romantic summer–harvesting honey from their many beehives and fighting off the boys right and left.
Note from Aunt Bitsy: When my girls told me they wanted to write a cookbook, I wasn’t too keen on the idea. Food attracts boys like honey attracts bees. I warned them that if they didn’t want the boys hanging around the house, they shouldn’t make the cakes and pies and cookies that are sure to bring them running. My nieces didn’t seem to be alarmed about the prospect of boys all over the place, so I suppose they’ll have to learn the hard way.
My problem is that smart, feisty, pretty girls attract boys even better than honey does. So even if my girls stopped cooking altogether, I have a sneaking suspicion that the boys would still find excuses to come over.
Some of the recipes in this book, like Honey Glazed Pretzels and Whole Wheat Bread, are very traditional Amish dishes. Others, like Salmon Tacos and Coconut Lime Chicken, are less traditional but still wunderbarr. I lived as an Englischer for twenty years before coming back to the Amish to raise my three nieces, and as a dental hygienist, I collected a lot of recipes.
Here’s my final warning: Boys are like stray cats. If you feed them, they’ll keep coming back. Buy this cookbook at your own risk.
My Thoughts: This cookbook is a must have! Not only is it full of delicious recipies you and your family will love but also full of cute pictures and funny quotes from the honeybee sisters series. You do not have to have read the series to love the cookbook but if you haven't I highly recommend you do! I cannot wait to get my hands on some local honey (a man down the road tends bees) and start making some of these recipies. I saw several I know my kids will enjoy (and they're picky eaters!). 

About the Author

Jennifer Beckstrand is the bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer was nominated for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award and the 2015 RITA® Award, and Huckleberry Hill won the 2014 LIME Award for Inspirational fiction. Both Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Christmas appeared in Examiner.com list of top ten inspirational books for 2014.
Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a background in editing. She and her husband have been married for thirty years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and four adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

Guest Post from Jennifer Beckstrand

Nothing brings family and friends together like a home-cooked meal. When I think of Amish food and cooking, I think of the way my mother used to cook and the way her mother cooked before her.
Both my parents grew up on farms, and hard work was a way of life. So were homemade meals and food that stuck to your ribs and gave you fuel for a hard day’s work in the fields. Cooking was more of an art than a burden, a way to sustain life, but also a labor of love for your family, day in and day out.
I joke with my husband that I have forgotten how to cook now that we’re empty nesters and I’d rather eat cold cereal that fire up the stove, but creating a nutritious meal for my family or baking a delicious dessert still brings me satisfaction and is a gift of the heart to my loved ones.
The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook began to take shape when I came up with the idea for a series about three sisters who keep bees and make delicious honey treats. In the Honeybee Sisters Cookbook, you’ll find some traditional Amish favorites as well as some not-so-Amish dishes—recipes that Aendi Bitsy collected from her years living with the Englisch. The pages are filled with mouth-watering photos, and I’ve included quotes from the Honeybee Sisters books. I hope you enjoy trying out the recipes as much as we enjoyed creating them for you.
My father in-law, who was also raised on a farm, passed away very recently. His mother made him a bowl of oatmeal every morning, which he hated, and it would be waiting for him after school if he didn’t eat it at breakfast. In honor of him, I would like to share a rhubarb recipe. Rhubarb was one of his favorite treats.
This recipe is authentically Amish from my friend Priscilla Stoltzfus in Pennsylvania.
Rhubarb Upside-down Cake
Mix together:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups rhubarb, diced
Pour rhubarb mixture into an 8×8 pan.

Mix together:
¼ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
Pour the flour mixture over rhubarb mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Turn upside-down on a plate to serve. Serve warm, if you wish.

Blog Stops

September 20: Smiling Book Reviews
September 20: Book Babble
September 22: Reading Is My SuperPower
September 23: Artistic Nobody
September 24: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
September 25: Bibliophile Reviews
September 26: Simple Harvest Reads
September 27: A Baker’s Perspective
September 28: Blogging With Carol
September 29: Bukwurmzzz
September 29: Donna’s BookShelf
September 30: Through the Open Window
September 30: cherylbbookblog
October 3: Quiet Quilter


To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away one set of The Honeybee Sisters Series! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/a2ba

Monday, September 19, 2016

Love and Buggy Rides

Love and Buggy Rides is an Amish novella by Amy Clipston and is included in the book An Amish Harvest.

It is Janie Lantz's first day on the job as cashier at Lancaster Souviners and Buggy Rides. She's happy to have this job and it's the first one outside of caring for family. Her feet hurt but other than that it's been a pretty uneventful first day. That is until she's sitting outside enjoying her lunch and witnesses one of the buggies used for tour rides get rear ended by a car!

Jonathan Stoltzfus ran to Lancaster to hide from a broken heart. His ex-girl friend is marrying his friend and he just couldn't bring himself to attend the wedding. Jonathan decides to care for his grandparents for the fall harvest to ease some of the burden off his uncle. He's thrilled to be offered a job giving buggy rides to tourists at Lancaster Souviners and Buggy Rides. All is going well until a car crashes into his buggy. Nobody is seriously hurt, but Jonathan still feels that somehow the wreck was his fault.

You will fall in love with the characters of Love and Buggy Rides. Janie is a super sweet girl that tends to sell herself short. She was ridiculed in school because of her red hair and she believes herself to be unpretty. If she only knew how beautiful her kind heart makes her, perhaps she would not feel that way about herself. She has developed a crush on Jonathan, but worries what he and her parents would think if they knew. She's afraid that her father would not approve because Jonathan is 10 years older than her. Also, she would never believe Jonathan would think of her as more than a friend. Despite this she is determined to help clear Jonathan of any wrong doing in the crash.

Love and Buggy rides is a sweet romance that will have you believing in the power of true love. I hightly recommend reading Love and Buggy Rides as well as the other novellas in An Amish Harvest.

You can grab a copy here:Love and Buggy Rides

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Dawn at Emberwilde

Dawn at Emberwilde is the second book in Sarah E. Ladd's The Treasures of Surrey series. I haven't had the opportunity to read the first one yet, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It can be read as a stand alone book. Although, I plan on reading the first one since I enjoyed this one so much!

Isabel Creston is no stranger to heartbreak and hard work. Having lost her mother at a young age, then her father and step mother, she's left alone to care for her half-sister, Lizzie. She adores and loves Lizzy along with her home at Fellsworth School. She longs for a family and a place of her own, but that doesn't seem possible for a woman of her station. Fellsworth has trained her to make it on her own and she is hoping that a teaching or governess position opens up soon so she can support herself and Lizzie. Imagine her suprise when she's called into the superintendent's office-expecting to be offered a governness position, but what she gets is a whole lot more.

Isabel has a family! Not just any family, but a rich and well to do family who owns the Emberwild estate. Her long lost aunt has finally found Isabel and wants her to come at once and allow them to take care of her. She had no clue she had any family, but it must be a good thing right? A family to love and take care of her, but are things as they seem? What about Lizzie? She can't just leave her sister alone at Fellsworth School.

Dawn at Emberwilde is a lovely and enchanting tale that will keep you guessing until the end. Every family has secrets of course, but Isabel's family seems to have more than their fair share. Why does her aunt seem to insist that she keep company with Mr. Bradford? Are the tales of gypsies and ghosts in the Emberwilde forest true? Common sense says no, but then why does Mr. Galloway seem so interested in them?

I fell in love with Dawn at Emberwilde. The author does an amzing job of describing the estates as well as the characters. I could so vividly picture each scene  in my mind as I was reading. She alludes to some of the mysteries at Emberwilde, but you will remain guessing until the end. All in all, it's a fantastic read and I hope you will give Dawn at Emberwilde a try along with the reast of the Treasures of Sulley series.

You can grab a copy here:Dawn at Emberwilde

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Biggest Story

When the opportunity arose to review The Biggest Story I jumped at the chance. I'm always looking for fun and creative ways to help teach my children about Jesus. I have to say I was really impressed with The Biggest Story.

You will first notice how fun and freindly the cover is. My daughter fell in love with it the minute she saw it. She would have been perfectly content to just sit and stare a the cover for a while, but I wanted to watch the dvd. As for my two sons, well, they weren't all that impressed with a pretty cover, boys! (lol)

The dvd isn't that long, 26 minutes, to be exact, and it's divided up into 10 chapters. Each chapter being about 2-3 minutes long. You can choose to watch it a chapter at a time, then take time to discuss it, or if you're like my family you will be hooked from the beginning and watch the whole thing at one time.

It is beautifully illustrated, I loved the pops of color and how they wove everything together. It's the full story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Each chapter is told in a way that young children can understand and enjoy. My children are ages 11,10 and 5. They were all enamored with the story and illustrations, as were my husband and myself. It blew my mind how they were able to tell such a large and important story, and yet make it fun and engaging.

I plan to go back over it again with my children, a chapter at a time. Taking the time to go into a deeper discussion about each chapter, to help them understand more, and answer any questions they may have to help them understand. I beleive The Biggest Story would be a great asset for children's church or a Sunday School room. Honestly, it is so beautifully illustrated and commentated that I feel sure people of all ages can be entralled with The Biggest Story.

*I was given a copy of The Biggest Story by FlyBy Promotions in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed above are my own.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Love Potion Me, Baby!

Ever wonder what is so great about those all natural shampoos? The ones you make yourself, or the ones that cost three times what your normal run of the mill shampoo cost. Suppose if someone accidentally drank it. No harm right? I mean it is all natural, but, what if the consequences were anything but natural?

Suzanne, an out of work chemistry teacher, has a lot of time on her hands. She is desperately trying to find a job but that's not likely with budget cuts and it being this late in the year. Since she's been out of work she loves hanging out with her sister, Christy, and bringing her samples of the all-natural shampoo she has created. Sometimes they meet up where Christy works, Johnston Carmichael.

Brice Van Sant is the CEO of Johnston Carmichael and the stuff dreams are made of. Suzanne has secretly crushed on him since he came to a job fair at her high school. She has often wondered what it would be like to fall in love and marry a man like that. She knows it's far-fetched, the man doesn't even know she's alive.

A jilted lover, a bottle of blue herbal shampoo, and one nervous barista are a recipe for hilarity!!

Brice is getting the scolding of a life time over a romance gone sour by the jilted lover. While Suzanne is trying to get a cup to halve the shampoo to share with one of Christy's co-workers. Just then Brice comes over and asks for a cup of coffee. The barista makes a mistake and hands him the cup with the shampoo. He takes a drink, casually looks at Suzanne and declares himself in love with her.She knows this is crazy and probably a cruel joke of fate but he won't take no for an answer. I won't spoil the rest but you can see how hilarious this will be.

I laughed until I cried. This book has the most colorful and lively characters out there. Once I started the book I couldn't put it down. If you haven't read one of Amy Lillard's contemporary novels, may I suggest this one. I would give this one a rating of PG because there is some content that readers may be sensitive of. It's not racey but I  wanted to let you know it's in there. This book was also published in a milder form and given the name The Trouble With Millionares. The story is the same it's just some of the more sensitive parts are left out.

I really hope you will give Love Potion Me, Baby a try. You can grab a copy here: Love Potion Me, Baby!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Honeybee Sisters

About the Books

Sweet as Honey:
Smart, kind, and good-hearted, the three Christner girls are affectionately known as The Honeybee Sisters in the beloved Wisconsin Amish community where, under the care of their aunt, they’ve grown into skilled beekeepers–and lovely, sought-after young women. . .
Though she has blossomed into a beauty, Lily Christner doesn’t really believe it. Deep down, she still feels like a lonely, gawky teenager. Maybe that’s why she’s all but promised herself to Paul Glick, the one boy who never teased her in her awkward girlhood–unlike Dan Kanagy, whose creative name-calling left her in tears many a time. Now he’s back in town after two years away–and being surprisingly sweet, suspiciously attentive–and making Lily unsettlingly yet deliciously nervous. It seems Dan wants Lily’s forgiveness–and her heart. But can he convince her–not to mention her protective schwesters and aendi–that despite the past, her future lies with him?…
A Bee in Her Bonnet:
Lively, determined, and independent, Poppy Christner isn’t about to let some vandal keep making mischief on her family’s farm. She’s been outrunning boys and standing up for picked-on children ever since she was a girl–no matter how much her prideful, arrogant schoolmate Luke Bontrager insulted her. So Poppy certainly doesn’t need his interference now, especially since he’s made it plain he prefers demure, ladylike companions. In fact, if Luke doesn’t stop helping her find the culprit–and growing humble and remorseful–she’ll be forced to notice how handsome his change-of-heart is making him. And that could mean falling in love–maybe for a lifetime…
Like a Bee to Honey:
Shy, skittish Rose Christner is more comfortable tending to the beehives on the family farm and keeping her aunt’s unruly cats in line than attending social gatherings with the rest of the die youngie. A childhood trauma and secret shame keep her heart under lock and key, and Rose just can’t accept the sweet attention she’s receiving from a handsome neighbor. But the more she shies away from Josiah Yoder, the more their families sneakily plot to bring them together. And when a vandal who’s been plaguing the Honeybee Farm starts targeting Rose, Josiah’s steadfast protection—and patience—just may lead her into his waiting arms…
My Thoughts: The Honeybee Sisters series is one of my all time favorite series. I love the Amish genre to begin with but the way Jennifer Beckstrand describes the people and the sceenery, it makes you feel like you're there on the farm. It's hard to name a favorite sister but if I had to choose one I'd pick Poppy. She is fiercely loyal and sometimes that gets her in trouble. She knows she isn't like other Amish girls and she's okay with that, she's not okay with people who think that girls are some how less than boys and bullies. If there's one thing Poppy cannot stand it's a bully. I love how protective she is over her sisters. Sometimes that means defending them but others it means holding her tongue to keep from saying something she will regret. I also loved Aunt Bitsy. I loved how non conventnional she was with her dyed hair and temporary tattoos. Also the way she just spoke outloud to God whenever the notion struck her. Truthfully I could go on and on but I'd rather for you to meet the sisters for yourself! 

About the Author

Jennifer Beckstrand is the bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hillseries for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer was nominated for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award and the 2015 RITA® Award, and Huckleberry Hill won the 2014 LIME Award for Inspirational fiction. Both Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Christmas appeared in Examiner.com list of top ten inspirational books for 2014.
Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a background in editing. She and her husband have been married for thirty years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and four adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

Guest Post from Jennifer Beckstrand

Lily, Poppy, and Rose Christner are known as the Honeybee Sisters in their Wisconsin Amish community because they keep bees and sell the honey they pull from their beehives. The orphaned sisters came to live with their aunt Bitsy when they were very young. Aunt Bitsy was an Englischer for twenty years, but she is trying to raise her nieces to be gute and devout Amish girls.
Still, Aunt Bitsy is a bit eccentric and has brought some of the Englisch ways with her to the Honeybee Farm. She wears her dangly earrings when she’s in a bad mood, sports temporary tattoos just for fun, keeps a shotgun by the front door, and has a cat named Farrah Fawcett. (Bitsy simply adored “Charlie’s Angels.”)
With the honey they pull from their hives, the Honeybee schwesters make all sorts of appeditlich, delicious, things to eat. Their baking and their beauty attract boys to the Honeybee Farm, so Aunt Bitsy has to keep her shotgun handy to ward off the would-be suitors.
Many of the Honeybee Sisters’ recipes are included at the back of the three Honeybee Sister novels. Many more can be found in The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook available on Amazon and other online bookstores.
I hope you’ll fall in love with the Honeybee sisters, Aunt Bitsy, and their incomparable Bienenstich (Bee Sting) Cake—which recipe is included in both the cookbook and Sweet as Honey.
Here is a recipe the Honeybee Sisters would definitely make. My dear friend gave me some of these caramels for Christmas last year, and they are heavenly. The honey is used in place of the more-common corn syrup and gives the caramels a rich, deep flavor. My favorite thing about these caramels is the coarse sea salt that gives the caramels a salty crunch. Yummy!
Honey Vanilla Caramels
1 ½ cup sugar
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup salted butter, cut into bits
Coarse sea salt
Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a clay, enamel, glass, plastic, or stainless steel (non-reactive) pot, combine the sugar, honey, and vanilla extract. Mix everything together using a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar melts. When the sugar has melted, increase heat to medium and cook until the mixture caramelizes and is a deep amber color. Do not stir the mixture once it starts to boil. Instead, swirl it around occasionally with the pan’s handle. (This will help the caramel cook more evenly.)
While the caramel is cooking, place the heavy cream in a small saucepan on low heat. As soon as it reaches a simmer, remove pan from the heat and set aside.
When the caramel has reached a deep amber color, reduce heat to low and slowly whisk in the bits of butter. Whisk well until the butter is completely melted.
Add the warm cream and whisk until smooth.
Turn the heat back up to medium and cook until the caramel reaches a temperature of 245°. Carefully pour the hot caramel onto the parchment-lined cookie sheet. Let it rest for about 8 minutes, then sprinkle with desired amount of sea salt.
Cool completely (about three hours), before cutting into squares and wrapping with parchment paper.
(Adapted from http://www.unegaminedanslacuisine.com)
                          Blog Stops
August 25: A Reader’s Brain
August 28: The Power of Words
August 31: cherylbbookblog
August 31: Quiet Quilter
September 1: Rhonda’s Doings
September 1: Book Babble
September 2: Lighthouse Academy
September 4: Bukwurmzzz
September 5: Donna’s BookShelf
September 7: Blogging with Carol


To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away five copies of The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/a20d