Friday, May 26, 2017

Interview with Amy

It's no secret that Amy Clipston is one of my favorite authors and an all around sweet heart. So, when she took the time to sit down and do a special mother's day interview I knew I wanted to share it with all of youđź’“ After you finish reading the interview please take a moment to enter the giveaway below!

Do you get any book ideas from your sons' shenanigans? 
I  haven’t really included any of their shenanigans, but I did model a character after Zac. In my young adult book Roadside Assistance, Logan, who is Whitney’s younger brother, was inspired by Zac. Logan likes Star Wars and video games, and his room is decorated similarly to how Zac’s room used to look.
Amy, please share a special "proud mom" moment that you had with each of your boys. I'm thinking of the Scripture that "Mary kept all these things in her heart" and thought there might be something that even Matt and Zac don't know about.
This year each of my boys has moved me to tears because of their loving and giving hearts. I’m not going to use any names in order to protect their privacy.

One of my sons stood up to a bully by defending another boy who was being harassed. When the bully called the victim horrible names, my son walked up to the bully and gave him a piece of his mind. The bully was stunned silent and left the victim alone. I can’t express how proud I am that my child didn’t stand by and allow a bully to hurt another child.

My other son was a blessing to his friend when he needed help. His friend was depressed shared while they were talking online that he was thinking about hurting himself. My son texted the other boy’s mother and told her he was worried about him. When this issue came up again when my son was with his friend, he listened to his friend talk and even cried with him while offering him comfort. I had tears in my eyes when my son shared this with me.

I’m really proud of my sons for helping others in their time of need. I believe my sons will continue to be a blessing to others.
As a mother, what is your prayer for your boys?
My prayer is that they stay healthy and they find a profession they love. I also pray that if they chose to marry, they find someone who is nice and who will treat them with love and respect. I tell them repeatedly that love should never make them feel bad about themselves. I pray with all of my heart that they will be happy.
What was your most favorite book to read to your boys when they were little?
Zac absolutely loved Big Joe’s Trailer Truck by Joe Mathieu! He knew it by heart! It’s the cutest book, and I read it to Matt also. We kept it and will pass it on if they have children.

That concludes my interview with Mrs. Amy. I hope you've enjoyed reading it as much as I have writing it. I want to thank Mrs. Amy for taking the time to share a little about her family and her life. Don't forget to click the link and enter the giveaway below!
                                                              A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Return to Huckleberry Hill

About the Book

Book: Return to Huckleberry Hill
Author: Jennifer Beckstrand
Genre: Inspirational Amish Romance
Release Date: May 30, 2017
When it comes to matchmaking, Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin’s unstoppable octogenarians Anna and Felty Helmuth never seem to run out of opportunities—or grandchildren…
Reuben Helmuth is plenty bitter. John King, his best friend—or so he thought—is engaged to the girl Reuben loved. Humiliated, Reuben flees from Ohio to his grandparents’ home on Huckleberry Hill, where he knows he’ll find comfort. He’s enjoying wallowing in his misery—until John’s sister, Fern, shows up. She won’t stop pestering Reuben about forgiveness—or trying to help him find love again. Yet Fern’s efforts only reawaken Reuben’s long-buried feelings—for her…
With her brother too ashamed to face Reuben, it’s fallen to Fern to help mend fences. But as she and the Helmuths do all they can—even organizing a knitting club event filled with eligible girls—it may take one more challenge to inspire Reuben to forget his heartache, recognize his own blunders, and embrace the true love that’s right in front of him…
My Thoughts: I just love Jennifer Beckstrand novels. Her characters are full of grace, wit, and charisma.  I have truly enjoyed every book in the Huckleberry Hill series and this one was no different! There is a saying, or song lyric, that says, "You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometime, you might find, you get what you need." That was truly the case for Reuben. He has his heart set on the Bishop's daughter and when things don't go according to plan he believes his whole life is over. He refuses to see what is right in front of his face. I loved Reuben because I see some of myself in him. I'm so busy telling God my plans and my wants and desires I sometimes miss the blessings right in front of my face. Reuben has known Fern his whole life but he treats her like a kid sister. He always puts her needs before his own and whether he admits it or not he truly likes the fact she holds her own and calls him out when he is wrong. He doesn't ever think he could care for her as more than a pesky so-called sibling but is he wrong?
Fern has spent her whole life chasing Reuben and her brother John around. She had a crush on Reuben when she was younger but she now sees him as a brother. When he runs off to nurse a broken heart, Fern sees it as her mission to help him heal and bring him home. Even if that means making a bigger pest of herself than usual. As she spends more time with Reuben can her feelings turn into something more than friendship?  I really liked Fern!! She was so feisty and while all the other girls were falling all over themselves in front of Reuben, he could always count on her to keep him humble. She wasn't rude, contrary to what Reuben would have you believe, she was truly concerned for his well being and wanted him to be happy. 
I feel like the residents of Huckleberry Hill are friends. I hate when I come to the end of the book because I feel like I have to leave them and I can't wait to get back! I hope you will give Return to Huckleberry Hill a try. I know you will love it as much as I do. 
*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own. 

About the Author

Jennifer Beckstrand is the award winning Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hillseries and The Honeybee Sisters series for Kensington Books. 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 and the Honeybee sisters’ aendi Bitsy. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a passion for Jane Austen and Shakespeare. She and her husband have been married for thirty-two years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and soon-to-be six adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

Guest post from Jennifer Beckstrand

Anna Helmuth is starting a knitting club, but that’s not all she’s got up her sleeve.

In Return to Huckleberry Hill, Anna Helmuth and Fern King decide to start a knitting club in order to introduce Anna’s grandson Reuben to some girls from Bonduel, Wisconsin. Anna is a very good knitter, with years of practice making baby blankets, scarves, mittens, and potholders. One of Anna’s scarves actually saved someone’s life, and her potholders have helped her make many a match.
When I was a young teenager, I learned how to knit and crochet. My mom taught me how to sew and quilt, and I made several of my own                                                                                                    My family. I have five sisters and no brothers. I                                                                                                                               think my mom made every dress in this photo,                                                                                                                                  including her own.
dresses in high school. I never learned to love sewing, but it was an invaluable skill that I am so grateful to have. Now that I’m a little older, I love putting together simple quilts for baby gifts and making quilts for the local children’s hospital. There is nothing like a homemade gift to say, “I care about you.”
I have a friend who is a wonderful cook. Making a delicious, beautiful meal is how she tells her family she loves them. I don’t consider myself a great cook, but I still take pride in putting something nutritious and satisfying on the table for my family.
It seems to me that some of the “home arts” that our mothers and grandmothers practiced are dying out. Who knows how to tat anymore? Or embroider? Some of these arts have died because of expediency. Who doesn’t think today’s stocking choices are more comfortable and practical than knitted wool ones? Others have died out because so few people want to learn.
What about you? Do you still practice any of the home arts that your grandmother did? What do you want to pass on to the next generation?

Blog Stops

May 23: cherylbbookblog
May 24: A Greater Yes
May 25: Just Commonly
May 30: Quiet Quilter
May 31: Bigreadersite
June 2: Pause for Tales

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a $15 Amazon gift card to three lucky winners!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Ruby Glows

About the Book

Book: A Ruby Glows
Author: Kari Trumbo
Genre: Historical Christian Romance
Release Date: Jan 3, 2017
Ruby’s heart froze as she threw her dead husband over the cliff.When Beau walks into her
Can Beau convince Ruby she is beloved?
life, one glance has her running from her past. He couldn’t want someone like her. It should be easy to avoid his quiet charm.If he can convince her she’s a prize, not prey, he might have a chance. Beau’s captivated when Ruby scrambles from him whenever he gets too close. Her sweetness is an allure he can’t fight.

My Thoughts:A Ruby Glows is a beautiful tale of forgiveness and redemption. Ruby has all the reason in the world to be bitter and angry, yet she chooses to be kind instead. She's leery of others, men especially, but she is friendly enough and truly wants to fit in. She reminded me of a feral cat. You know how you're always trying to help them and you want to reassure them you're not going to hurt them but they look at you with wary eyes and run if you get to close? That's Ruby. She wants to be wanted and loved but her scars from her past keep her from truly trusting. 

I just wanted to smack Beau! I'm sure his sister, May, felt the same way. He was so clueless as to his feelings. He was in tune to Ruby and her feelings and he went out of his way to be kind and considerate to her but he was the last to realize he had fallen in love! I love how he would do everything in his power to protect Ruby and see her happy. Beau really was a good guy and I was rooting for him to figure out his feelings and share them with Ruby. 

I truly enjoyed A Ruby Glows and I hope you will too!

*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own. 

About the Author

Kari Trumbo is an inspirational romance author, blogger and proud home schooling mother to four great kids. She interacts often on reader groups on Facebook and volunteers at the local library when needed. When she isn’t writing, she is obsessively reading and expanding her skills as a wordsmith. Kari lives in her great-grandfather’s remodeled 1890-built home in central Minnesota with her husband, children, cats, and one hungry wood stove.

Guest post from Kari Trumbo

Greetings! I hope this isn’t your first introduction to Cutter’s Creek, but if it is, let me explain a bit about it. Cutter’s Creek is a series written by myself and three other Christian authors. Though there are numbers on each book, you don’t have to read them in order to get into the series, in fact, since each author writes in their own time period it might be somewhat confusing. Especially if you like a consecutive story. However, they are all stand-alone books and can be read in any order. If you like to read them in date order, you’ll want to read Kit Morgan’s books first, then Vivi Holt, Annie Boone, and finally mine, that will put them roughly in time order.
The Cutter’s Creek series has been a huge blessing to me. I’ve gotten to write with some wonderful authors and learned so much about writing a series together. So, out of my Cutter’s Creek books, why did I choose Ruby over Lily, Ivy, or Carol…well, I hate to play favorites, but Ruby is my favorite. She’s quiet, and her strength is surprising. She has a big trial, and some hurt to work through, but when you find the right person to help you through it, that’s a gift more precious than anything.
I hope you love Ruby as much as I do. Blessings, Kari

Blog Stops

May 26: A Greater Yes
May 27: Carpe Diem
May 29: Bigreadersite
May 31: Mary Hake


To celebrate her tour, Kari is giving away signed print copies of A Lily Blooms, A Penny Shines, and A Ruby Glows!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Friday, May 19, 2017

To Win Her Favor

To Win Her Favor is Tamera Alexander's latest novel in her Belle Mead series. While I enjoyed the book very much, I feel I should put a disclaimer here. Throughout the book the author makes use of the n-word as it refers to black people as well as Irish. I realize that during the time this book was set, it was perfectly acceptable to do so, however, I do not condone the use of that word nor do I use it myself. All that aside, it truly is a beautiful story and I hope you will give it a try.

Maggie Linden has lost so much to the war, her brothers, her boyfriend, and now she may be losing her home. Linden Downs is a beautiful property and in it's prime was known for breading some of the best thorough breds around. Maggie has a dream of restoring it to it's former glory, that is if her horse Bourbon Belle wins the Peyton Stakes race. Maggie loves to ride and has trained the horse since it was a foal, she knows she can do this, that Bourbon Belle can win, but when her jockey and his family run away to save their lives, Maggie isn't sure what she can do. She believes in her heart that Bourbon Belle was meant to be a champion, she just isn't sure how to go about it since society doesn't believe a woman can race and on top of all this, her jockey has moved away.

Gilbert Linden loves his daughter, Maggie, more than life itself. He knows he is terminally ill and with the farm in foreclosure and due to go up for auction in the next two weeks, he's desperate to find a way to secure not only Maggie's future but the future of Linden Downs. When he meets Cullen McGrath he believes him to be an answer to his prayers. Although he is Irish, he seems to be a man of character. Gilbert makes Cullen an offer he can't refuse, the opportunity to buy Linden Downs for less than its worth. The catch? He has to marry Maggie. At first Cullen thinks the man must be joking but after having a serious heart to heart he realizes he's serious!  Being Irish, Cullen knows that the opportunity to buy land, much less land like Linden Downs' 400 acres, is going to be few and far between. He's just not sure about marrying a woman to get it. No matter how pretty Maggie might be.

To Win Her Favor is a beautiful love story about finding true love in the face of adversity. Maggie wants to save her land and race her horse, but society makes it impossible for a woman to do either of those things. Cullen faces adversity simply because he is Irish.The minute he opens his mouth people's opinion of him changes. What was Gilbert thinking asking Maggie to marry a social pariah like Cullen?

Cullen McGrath was my favorite . Sure he's made mistakes in his past but he's a changed man. He's angry at God for the death of his wife and child, but he refuses to go back to his old ways. He just wants to buy a farm and live out the rest of his days. When he agrees to marry Maggie he does so simply as a business arrangement. He will protect her and look out for her best interest but he has no intention of falling in love again. Once was enough. He even endures snide comments and stares from the towns people. His kind aren't welcome in town, never mind that he is honest and hardworking, just being Irish is enough to make people turn and walk the other way. I liked how he could have resorted to violence, or name calling or any number of things but instead he simply walks away. He let's his actions speak louder than words. I think that's what Gilbert saw in him. A man of character who was honest, loyal and would stop at nothing to protect Maggie.

Maggie doesn't see herself as needing protecting. Being the youngest and having four older brothers, she considers herself quite capable of taking care of herself, no matter what society says. She knows she will be at the mercy of the townspeople when papa passes away, but surely that's better than marrying a stranger. But marrying a stranger is the only hope she has of keeping her land and her dreams alive. She stands strong in the face of adversity, when her jocky left town she could have quit, but, she didn't, she kept training Bourbon Belle and looking for another rider. When her father wanted her to marry a stranger she could have said no, and she almost did, instead she married the Irishman and is determined to make the marriage work. When the towns people started treating her as a pariah for being married to Cullen, she could have hung her head in shame, instead she walked proudly on his arm, although maybe not at first. Maggie has grit an it takes grit to make a marriage work when all of life's obstacles are stacked against you.

I truly enjoyed To Win Her Favor and I think you will too! I'm anxiously awaiting to see what Tamera Alexander has in store for us next!

*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.

You can grab a copy here:

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Second Chance

About the Book

Book: A Second Chance
Author: Alexis A. Goring
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: Jan 25, 2017
Newly single food critic and newspaper reporter Traci Hightower is done with dating. After the man of her dreams left her at the altar on their wedding day and ran off with the woman she thought was her best friend, Traci resolves to focus on work and resigns herself to being a bachelorette for life.
Marc Roberts is a political reporter who is known as Mr. Nice Guy, the one who always finishes last. However, Marc’s compassion and kindness are of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina Braxton who is trying to raise her two kids in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death.
Traci and Marc may be the perfect match, but they don’t know it yet. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, there is hope for a happily ever after for these two broken hearts.

My Thoughts: A Second Chance is a sweet story that will have you believing in the power of love and the gift of second chances. Nobody is perfect and sometimes it's hard to overlook someone's past but as Alexis Goring shows us, sometimes it's worth the risk. Mr. or Mrs. Right may be right around the corner but you will never know if you're focusing on the negative or past mistakes.

The story is well written and captures the reader's attention from the start. Even though the characters are flawed they are still people you will root for. I really enjoyed A Second Chance and I believe you will too. I can't wait to read what Mrs.Goring writes next.

*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.

About the Author

Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.

Guest Post from Alexis Goring

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
~Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

God has good plans for every single person living here on Earth. It’s important to remember to trust Him because no matter how bleak a situation looks, hope is always on the horizon when God’s in the picture…and the good news is that no matter what God is always in the picture.
I thought that it would be a good idea to explore the theme of Jeremiah 29:11 through a fictional story about characters who are in need of a second chance in life and love. So I create Traci and Marc and wrote their story, A Second Chance.
Traci and Marc are entry-level journalists therefore they struggle with the industry’s tough system of paying your dues and they know the conflicts firsthand about struggling to pay your bills because of that system.
But it’s not just the bills that weigh heavily on their hearts. Traci and Marc are facing battles that are unique to their individual life stories but common to people in the real world.
When the reader meets Traci, they see that she is bitter and cynical because she was left at the altar. Her fiancĂ© ran off with her Maid of Honor and left Traci with a mile-high stack of bills to pay for their wedding that never happened. So when Traci’s Mom shows up on her doorstep with an inheritance letter that stipulates Traci must be married before receiving her inheritance from her late grandfather, Traci is closer to destroying the letter and being a bachelorette for life than she is about husband hunting.
When the reader meets Marc, they see that he is smitten with Traci at first sight. But they soon learn that he has trust issues because of his previous romantic relationships with women who would dump him because he was “too nice.” However, his niceness is of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina who is struggling to raise her children in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death. Naturally, Marc wants to help his sister. So he volunteers to babysit her kids and take them out of the house so that she can meet her book deadlines. Gina is a bestselling romance novelist.
All of these main characters go on their own faith journey with God. Some resist His love at first (like Traci), some draw back because of broken trust (like Marc) and some heal slowly from pain (like Gina) but they all realize how much they need God in their life.
Faith elements are a woven lightly throughout this story but also go deep as the characters work toward wholeness and restoration.
If anything, this is a story about how the Creator of the Universe (God) loves humankind and desires to restore broken hearts, homes and lives.
I hope that you will enjoy reading this book!
God bless your heart.
Alexis A. Goring
Author of A Second Chance

Blog Stops

May 9: A Greater Yes
May 10: Quiet Quilter
May 11: Remembrancy
May 14: Carpe Diem


To celebrate her tour, Alexis is giving away four eBook copies of her book – A Second Chance!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Friday, May 5, 2017

For Love and Honor

About the Book

Book: For Love & Honor
Author: Jody Helund
Genre: Young Adult Historical
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?
Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?
As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?

My Thoughts: Jody Helund has done it again! This is such an amazing book with just the right amount of drama, intrigue and suspense. The characters are real and relate-able even if they are flawed. I was hooked from the start and couldn't put it down until I finished the last word. I hope you will give For Love and Honor a try.

*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.

About the Author

Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves fairy-tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five teen-aged children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.

Guest Post from Jody Hedlund

Is Chivalry on the Brink of Extinction?
By Jody Hedlund
With the release of Fifty Shades of Grey movie and its popularity, I can’t help but wonder about the long-term consequences that such ideology will have on how people view relationships.
Already, too many couples struggle to maintain happy, healthy relationships. In fact, it’s become almost a weekly occurrence to get news of another friend or acquaintance who is dealing with a spouse cheating or leaving.
Mutual respect, loyalty, honor, and self-sacrifice have become out-dated, forgotten, or tossed aside in place of short-term pleasure that often leaves people feeling hollow and empty.
I honestly can’t help wondering where chivalry has gone, and not just the man-doting-on-the-woman chivalry. But mutual chivalry, the kind where each person in the relationship puts the other in high esteem, uplifts them, and makes a concerted effort to protect and cherish (both emotionally and physically).
Has chivalry become antiquated in our modern society? And even if it has, should it be outdated and on the brink of extinction? Should we be making more of an effort to reclaim mutual respect in relationships?
The kind of respect that does things for someone with no thought of getting anything in return.
The kind of respect that is graciously honest about problems instead of sneaking around and being unfaithful.
The kind of respect that is willing to sacrifice and see the needs of others instead of demanding our way and our own needs be met first.
As my teenage children enter into dating relationships, I worry about the influence of movies like Fifty Shades of Grey. I worry that they’ll see dysfunction as the norm. I worry that they’ll settle for a lot less than they should in their relationships. I worry that they won’t even know the meaning of chivalry.
Of course, we’re having candid conversations about all of these issues. Of course, my husband and I attempt to model mutual respect. And of course, I’m praying my teens work on growing their own character so that they can be strong and ready for whatever they might face.
But one of the things I’ve done over the past couple of years is write a young adult (YA) series that is aimed at some of these very issues The third book, FOR LOVE & HONOR, just released this spring (and can be read as a stand-alone). Since the story is set in medieval times amidst castles, knights, and ladies, chivalry is already a huge part of that era.
More than giving readers a glimpse of chivalry, however, I hope the book sparks some discussion about what it means to have healthy, respectful relationships. The book contains reader questions at the end that youth groups, moms and daughters, or friends can use together.
It’s not just another dating book. Instead it’s a fun and entertaining story that can hopefully facilitate discussion regarding what it means to truly demonstrate chivalry in our relationships.
So what do YOU think? Is chivalry on the brink of extinction? What are some ways we can make sure that we don’t lose it?

Blog Stops

May 4: A Greater Yes
May 6: The Scribbler
May 8: Book by Book
May 9: A Path of Joy
May 11: Radiant Light
May 12: Pause for Tales
May 12: Just Commonly
May 13: Bigreadersite
May 14: God1meover
May 15: thewitsabout
May 15: Baker Kella
May 15: Remembrancy


To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away all three books in the Noble Knights Series!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!