Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sweetbriar Cottage

Sweetbriar Cottage gives us an introduction into Denise Hunter's Copper Creek Series. Although it's not your typical romance novel, it has some rough parts. I believe it is a great introduction to the series and will have you hooked from the start.

Josephine had a traumatic childhood to say the least. Raised by her alcoholic stepfather and basically ostracized by the kids in school, Josephine becomes a chameleon of sorts. She learns to be whatever people want her to be in the moment, to play the part. She has walls that she built up years ago and they serve her well, that is until Noah. Noah is able to break down her walls and see straight into her soul. She doesn't know why or how she falls for him so fast, but she does, he makes her feel safe. But, when people feel safe sometimes they do stupid things.

I like Josephine, it took me a little bit to understand why she was the way she was. I've heard that people with traumatic experiences find it hard to relate to others. It's like they assume everyone is out to get them, and I get it. What threw me for a loop though was the dialogue. Sometimes when Josephine spoke her phrases were dated, meaning they reminded me of something my grandmother would say. So in my head, I had her pictured older than what she was. It was really distracting for me at times, I had to keep reminding myself that she really isn't much older than me.

I admired Josephine because she was able to overcome so much. I don't want to spoil it for you, but let's just say what Josephine endured would break most people. Yet, she was able to make a life for herself and start her own salon in a new town. That takes gumption. Most towns aren't welcoming of new people especially those with a checkered past, yet they genuinely seem to like her and want her to succeed.

Noah is everything I expected him to be. He's a little rough around the edges, but he has a good heart. He was willing to give Josephine a chance and even love her when others warned him that she was bad news. When he loves, he does so with his whole heart and that's why it hurt so when he is betrayed. He wants nothing more than to stay on his mountain. He doesn't even want the memories that sometimes haunt him. When a routine trip to town leads to the revelation that he had not thought of, Noah is livid.  He is determined to end the marriage and move on with his life but what if God has other plans?

I truly enjoyed this book. I don't want you to get the impression it's dark and gloomy because it's not. It's just not all roses and sunshine, and life is like that. We have to take the good with the bad. This story is about redemption and hope. That when you truly love someone you love all of them, not just the easy parts. It's about learning that God is in control and not mater what your plans are He has final say. As long as we hope and trust in Him and His leading we will find our happily ever after and we will know what it is to be loved and loved unconditionally.

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

You can grab a copy here: Sweetbriar Cottage

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Return

About the Book

Book title: The Return
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Release date: Sept 1, 2017
Genre: Amish
In a wild country, the true cost of love may be more than they can bear
Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans—but then she never had to. Not until the night she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she’s developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances.
Greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far?
Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.

My Thoughts: I have never been disappointed by Suzanne Woods Fisher book and The Return is no different. She has a way of crafting stories that grab a reader and won't let go! I enjoyed the fact that even though this book is fiction it's based on a true story. The characters are flawed but have redeeming qualities and you find yourself thinking of them as real people. I truly enjoyed The Return and think you will too! I must warn you though, when you pick it up you may not put it down until the end!!

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing and The Newcomer in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Three Sisters’ Garden: Corn, Squash & Beans!
Corn was a new food to the immigrants to the New World, introduced to them by Native
Americans. Soon, it became an essential part of their daily diet, in one form or another. Growing it brought yet another new discovery: companion planting in the form of the Three Sisters’ Garden.
According to Iroquois legend, corn, squash and beans were three inseparable sisters who only grew and thrived together. 18th century Native Americans wouldn’t have understood the science behind why companion planting worked, but they knew it did. Beans, like all legumes, have bacteria living on their roots that help them absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that plants can use. Corn, which requires a lot of nitrogen to grow, benefits from the legumes and provides a pole support for the beans to climb. Low growing squash leaves shade the soil and prevent weed growth. Their sharp and prickly leaves deter pests. This tradition, of planting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, became a sustainable system to provide long-term soil fertility among Native American tribes that farmed.
The wisdom of planting Three Sisters’ Garden was adopted by the immigrants, including our own Betsy Zook from The Return. Betsy learned of the technique while a captive among a tribe of Indians and later, after she had been returned to the Amish, shared her knowledge with Anna and Bairn.
Have you ever considered growing a Three Sisters’ garden? All you need is the right kind of seeds, a mound of dirt in a sunny spot, and to not forget to water. Mother Nature will do the rest.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award-winning author of novels about the Old Order Amish. Her interest in the Plain People began with her grandfather, who was raised as a Dunkard (German Baptist) on a farm in Pennsylvania. Suzanne loves to connect with readers! You can find her on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

Blog Stops

August 1: Quiet Quilter
August 1: Remembrancy
August 2: Bigreadersite
August 2: lighthouse academy
August 3: Genesis 5020
August 3: Book by Book
August 4: Carpe Diem
August 7: A Reader’s Brain
August 7: Pause for Tales
August 7: Splashes of Joy
August 8: Live.Love.Read.
August 9: Mary Hake
August 9: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)
August 11: The Power of Words
August 11: Karen Sue Hadley
August 11: Neverending Stories
August 12: Cafinated Reads
August 12: TinaTruelove
August 14: Vicky Sluiter
August 14: By The Book


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is doing an amazing giveaway from August 1 through 14! Check it out:
Four winners will receive one of the prizes below:
An Amish Gift Basket and a copy of The Return
Amish popcorn sampler and a copy of The Return
The Amish Beginning 3 book set series
One grand prize winner will receive:
An iPad Mini
You can enter at Suzanne’s website (http://suzannewoodsfisher.com/contests/) or on her Facebook page (http://gvwy.io/q1kb9u4)