Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill

About the Book

Title: A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill
Author: Jennifer Beckstrand
Genre: Christian Amish Fiction
Release Date: December 26, 2017
Elsie Helmuth’s plain-spoken ways got her in trouble once before, so she needs to make a good impression at her new teaching job. But she’s not about to let disabled student Wally Sensenig work below his potential. And she definitely won’t put up with his hot-headed older brother sabotaging her efforts, no matter how handsome he is. . .
Sam is nearly at the end of his rope caring for his ailing, widowed mother, working their farm, and raising his siblings. He’ll admit Elsie’s ideas are bringing Wally out of his angry shell—but why does she have to be as stubborn as she is pretty? Yet as it turns out, Elsie has taught Sam something about himself as well. And he’ll do whatever it takes to make up for his mistakes—and win her heart forever.
My Thoughts: If you're looking for a light-hearted read to keep you warm this winter you have come to the right place! Jennifer Beckstrand crafts a beautiful story with characters anyone can relate to. I have to admit that of all the characters Elsie's grandmother is my favorite. Sure she's meddlesome but her heart is in the right place. I like how she never takes no for an answer but she also doesn't run people over either. We could all use someone like her in our life. 
When Elsie and Sam meet sparks fly. Elsie isn't about to take flack from anyone and Sam will go to the ends of the earth to protect his brother. You have to admire Elsie. It can't be easy to be a teacher, for one, and two, Amish women are supposed to be meek and mild, not stand their ground and argue even when they're right. 
I have enjoyed all the Huckleberry Hill series so far and this one is no different. If you haven't read the others you can start here and not be lost, and you can always go back and read the others later. I know you will love the characters and story as much as I did.
* I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.

About the Author

Jennifer Beckstrand is the RITA-nominated, award-winning Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hillseries and The Honeybee Sisters series for Kensington Books. Her much-anticipated Amish series, The Honeybee Sisters, has created a lot of romantic buzz. Sweet as Honey received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and Sweet as Honey and A Bee in her Bonnet were both awarded Top Picks from RT Book Reviews. 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-three years, and she has six children and six adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

Guest Post from Jennifer Beckstrand

I have a very special place in my heart for teachers. My dad was a high school math teacher. My mother taught second grade for over twenty years. My son-in-law taught choir in high school, and my daughter taught seventh-grade science. Another daughter taught American history labs at the university and still another daughter taught classes for a youth summer program.
Elsie Stutzman is a dedicated teacher who was dismissed from her last teaching job in Ohio and is trying to make a fresh start and a good impression in Bonduel, Wisconsin. Unfortunately one of her students, Wally Sensenig, is making things difficult for her, and Wally’s hot-headed older brother seems determined to get her fired. But Elsie is a dedicated teacher, too stubborn to back down and too steadfast to give up on anybody.
Elsie’s grandparents, Anna and Felty Helmuth, have other plans for her. They want her to fall in love with one of the local boys, but they’re finding it a little difficult to get the two young people together.
Teachers have an immense impact on our lives. We all remember a favorite elementary school teacher who inspired a love of learning or a high school teacher who encouraged us to reach for greatness. One of my favorite teachers was Mrs. Zobell, who taught ninth grade English. I distinctly remember her reading “The Outsiders” out loud to our class. She had a way of making great books and great stories come to life, and she sparked a love of reading (and writing) that I will always be grateful for. The teacher who had the most impact on my life is my dad. He helped me through Calculus in high school and inspired me to major in math in college.
I hope we will take the time this month to thank the teachers in our lives for all they do for us and all they do for our kids.
Who was one of your favorite teachers and why?

Blog Stops

Blossoms and Blessings, January 16
Mommynificent, January 17
Bibliophile Reviews, January 18
The Power of Words, January 18
Multifarious, January 19
A Greater YesJanuary 19
Texas Book-aholic, January 20
Karen Sue Hadley, January 21
Splashes of JoyJanuary 21
A Reader’s Brain, January 22
Mary Hake, January 22
SusanLovesBooks, January 23
Janices book reviewsJanuary 24
Carpe Diem, January 25
Quiet Quilter, January 26
margaret kazmierczakJanuary 26 (Interview)
cherylbbookblog, January 27
Simple Harvest Reads, January 28 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Pursuing StacieJanuary 28
Vicky Sluiter, January 29
BigreadersiteJanuary 29


To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to three winners!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Seeds of Hope

It's been said that a man and a woman can't be friends. Something always comes along and complicates things, usually one develops feelings for the other and the friendship is never the same. Miriam Troyer and Mark Byler seem to be the exception to the rule. After all she's Amish and a member of the church and Mark was born and raised English. Despite coming from different backgrounds they develop a friendship and seem to understand each other in ways no one understands, until one day Mark's world is turned upside down and nothing is as it seems to be.

Miriam Troyer is a kind and sweet-hearted girl. She teaches at the school and helps her parents with her younger siblings. She even helps take care of John Byler, Mark's grandfather, by cooking him meals and helping him with his garden. It's no wonder people can't figure out why she isn't married yet, maybe the right man just hasn't come along. Then again, maybe he has and she knows she has absolutely zero chance of being with him. Now, if she can just convince her heart of that she can find a nice Amish man to marry. Miriam didn't meant to fall for Mark, she isn't really sure when it happened, it just happened. He seems to get her in ways nobody else does and she loves their long talks when he comes to visit for the summer. She knows she needs to get over him and find someone Amish but that's easier said than done.

Mark Byler has everything a man could want. A beautiful fiance, a job as a high powered attorney, and a upscale condo. He loves his job at the firm and he's very successful at it. He works long hours and when he isn't working he's usually out with Tiffany, his fiance. Mark is celebrating a huge victory of getting his client off of a murder charge when he receives word his grandfather, John, wants him to come visit. Deciding he's earned some time off, he goes to check on his grandfather. Finding all is well, he can't wait to return to the job he loves. Mark is headed into work one day when he gets word the boss wants to see him. Due to some bad publicity Mark is put on a forced extended leave from work. With his world turned upside down, and nothing to keep him in the city, Mark decides to return to the farm to help his grandfather with the harvest. In doing so will he find all he ever wanted and more?

I absolutely loved Seeds of Hope and although it's my first book to read by Barbara Cameron it won't be the last! I loved how she made Miriam and Mark flawed yet so easy to relate to. We all know someone who gives of themselves, thinking of others and never really stopping to consider what their wants and needs are. Or perhaps you know a Mark, a good guy who works too much and tends to miss what's right in front of him. But I loved John best of all! He's a quiet guy who doesn't say much but when does it's definitely worth listening to. He loves Mark and Miriam both and wants what's best for them. He doesn't tell them what to do but offers quiet and sound advice. I love how he never pushed too hard. His desire was for Mark to come back to the Amish ways and run the family farm but he would never force that on him. He always welcomed Mark with open arms but understood and  supported the fact that it had to be Mark's decision on what to do with his life.

Seeds of Hope is a beautiful story that I believe is a must read for book lovers everywhere. Even if Amish fiction isn't your usual genre of choice I hope you will give it a try! You won't be disappointed.

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

You can grab a copy here: Seeds of Hope