Thursday, March 15, 2018

His Risk

Calvin Fisher has done things he isn't proud of but that doesn't make him a bad man. He has spent a lifetime trying to overcome the deamons of his past. When his sister in law, Waneta, calls telling him his brother has cancer and asking him to come he's willing to risk everything to be by his side. Will this one choice cost him everything he holds dear? Or will it offer him so much more?

Alice Yoder is a good girl with quite the stubborn streak. She made a few mistakes during rumspringa and it seems her parents won't let her forget it. Whether they hold her close to protect her or because they don't trust her, it hurts. She sees herself as firecely independent and wants her parents to know and trust that she's turned over a  new leaf. Her brothers try to help her as much as they can, even allowing her to house sit when their families go out of town. It's on one such occasion that she meets Calvin Fisher. The man seems strange and mysterious, oozing trouble, but, she can't help but feel drawn to him. Why does she feel such a connection to this English man? Could it be that it's because he used to be Amish, or, maybe he just needs a friend? Either way Alice can't help but be consumed with thoughts of Calvin Fisher.

Calvin knows he's had a troubled past and has to be careful not to allow his two worlds to collide. No longer is he the reckless youth, drinking and doing drugs, as most people back home think he is. He's actually a confidential informant for the DEA and has managed to infiltrate a gang, the Kings. Of course, he can't tell anyone that! As much for their safety as his, but when he meets Alice Yoder, well, he wonders if someday, somehow they could have a future together. She's unlike any woman he's ever met. She's spunky, not afraid of him or to ask questions, yet she's sensitive and innocent. Maybe they can't have a romantic relationship but surely that can be friends.

Despite his best intentions his two worlds do collide and what happens next is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

His Risk is a definite must read for book nerds everywhere! It is rare that I find a story that grips me so that I actually gasp out loud from shock. Shelly Shepard Gray has a knack for crafting stories that touch her readers and leave them wanting more. Rarely do I read mysteries, but this one is so well crafted I couldn't put it down! The ending made me cry a little and yes, even at times I found myself rooting for "the bad guy". There are a ton of  lessons that can be learned from His Risk but I think the most important may be, never judge a book by its cover. We never know the whole story behind what happened to someone that made them make the choices they made. We can't honestly say we wouldn't make the same choice, because we won't know unless we are in that situation.

His Risk is an awesome book that has everything a book lover could want: drama, intrigue, love and even a touch of "who dunnit". I believe you will love it as much as I do.  So, grab a copy and settle in for a thrill ride you won't soon forget.

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

Hear what others are saying about His Risk: His Risk

About the Author
Shelley Shepard Gray is a "New York Times" and "USA Today" bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.
Find out more about Shelley at

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Someplace Familiar

About the Book

Book Title: Someplace Familiar
Author: Teresa Tysinger
Release date: May, 2017
Artist Livy Johnson needs a fresh start. That’s what a broken heart and forgotten dreams can do to a person. On little more than a whim, she reclaims her grandmother’s old home in quaint Laurel Cove, North Carolina and vows to restore its original charm. When she literally collides with childhood friend, Jack Bowdon, Livy wonders if she’s back for an entirely different reason.
Jack can’t believe his childhood crush is back. As the owner of Bowdon’s Supplies, and once again the town’s most eligible bachelor, he offers to help Livy with repairs. Together they embark on the project – and an undeniable whirlwind romance.
But it’s not all smooth sailing. Can they survive the destructive pain of their pasts and discover God’s grace waiting to renovate their hearts?

My Thoughts: It's a really enjoyable book. The author crafts a story that grabs you from the beginning and won't let you go! You get so drawn in to the story you forget you're reading fiction, you think you're among friends. Jack and Livy's story relates to readers on many different levels and is a definite must read.  I hope you give Someplace Familiar a try. You'll be so glad you did!

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

About the Author

Teresa Tysinger is a wife and mother transplanted from North Carolina to North Texas.
When not working as the Director of Communications for a large downtown church, she writes charming southern romances inspired by grace. Her debut novel, Someplace Familiar, released this summer. She also is a contributing writer for the Fort Worth Moms Blog (part of the national City Moms Blog Network). A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Religious Communicators’ Council, and the Association for Women in Communications, Teresa has spent over a decade committed to telling stories of faith through written word. She loves coffee, caramel, and stories with happy endings.

Guest Post from Teresa Tysinger

Someplace Familiar began way back in 2014 when I participated in National Novel Writer’s Month, a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. It was an exhilarating, albeit exhausting, experience! Since then, the book was workshopped with a critique group, had large portions rewritten countless times, pitched at workshops, edited by two editors, and even renamed (original title was Good Graces). After a lot of prayer, I decided that self-publishing would give me the greatest flexibility and control while being able to maintain my responsibilities as a wife, mother, and full-time communications director. It’s been a wonderful ride!
About the Inspiration for Someplace Familiar One thing I’ve learned about myself through writing Someplace Familiar is how much I am personally drawn to setting and place. The idea for the book was born out of my desire to introduce readers to the charming small-town life found in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where I went to college. Laurel Cove, the fictional town where the story is set, is directly based on my best friend’s hometown of Burnsville, NC. The other source of inspiration comes from my great-grandmother’s tiny bungalow home in West Palm Beach, Florida. Long weekends and summer vacations spent there were full of imagination, adventure, and sweet memories. The scents of her garden, feel of the damp earth beneath my feet, slow pace matching gauzy curtains dancing in the breeze—it all is mirrored in the cottage home of Livy’s Gram in the book. The rest of the story formed around my desire to capture my childhood memories of this home that was so magical and safe for me.
About My Writing Style Here are a few ways I would describe my writing style: Sensory—I aim to provide readers with an experience that enlivens all of their senses. Relatable—It’s my hope that readers see themselves in realistic, flawed characters trying to make their way to discovering grace in a less than perfect world. Charming—Like any good southern fiction, there’s a good dose of charm in these pages.
My prayer is that Someplace Familiar will touch readers with an awareness of God’s grace even during circumstances and within relationships that feel hopeless. Restoration is possible

Blog Stops

Just Commonly, March 1
Pursuing Stacie, March 1
Among the Reads, March 2
Bigreadersite, March 2
Quiet quilter, March 3
C Jane Read, March 4
Remembrancy, March 5
Book by Book, March 7
A Greater Yes, March 10
Carpe Diem, March 13
Simple Harvest Reads, March 14 (Guest post from Mindy)


To celebrate her tour, Teresa is giving away a grand prize of a gift basket that includes a signed copy of the book, an Original Painting by Author’s Sister (artist Cyndi Browning), and a $10 Amazon Gift Card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Home for Hannah

Who says you can't go home? Home is the place where you feel loved and respected, the one place you're free to be your true self. For Hannah that's not the case, she feels restricted and judged, unable to fit in she decides to make her own way. Will she find a  place to belong or will she lose herself?

Hanna McLean left Pontotoc Mississippi 15 years ago and never looked back. She loves her family but she just isn't cut out to be Amish. Now, here she is heading back to her parents house trying to make sense of her life. Hannah had everything a girl could ask for, she had a husband, a son she adores, a nice house, money etc. but when her husband and his mistress wind up dead Hannah is left to pick up the pieces. With her assets frozen and a teenage son to care for she does the only thing she can do, return home to Pontotoc and her family. It's just a pit stop, a place for her to stay while she waits for her husband's affairs to settle and try to figure out what to do. What if, while she's waiting she finds all she's ever wanted? Could she stay?

Aaron Zook is doing the best he can. His wife recently passed and he's left caring for three children on his own. While he dreams of training horses for a living there just isn't much opportunity in Pontotoc. That's why he's considering moving to Ohio. He needs to find a way to support his family and let his heart heal. When he hears news that Hannah McLean, his first love, is returning to the community he can't help but think this could be their second chance! Determined to play it cool, Aaron only asks that they try to be friends but with three little match makers love is in the air!

I felt sorry for Hannah. All she ever wanted was a place to belong. She thought she had found this with her husband and the English world. When that falls apart she heads back home to her family. Not because she wanted to so much as she had no other choice. She has her son Brandon to think about and with no money and no job options are limited. I know it had to be hard to go back to her family and admit she was wrong. Here she is broken and needing a place to stay, they could have turned her away, instead they welcomed both her and Brandon with open arms. God's like that, no matter how far we stray when we realize it all we have to do is run home like a prodigal.

Aaron probably took Hannah's leaving the hardest. They were planning a future together and she runs off without saying a word. That stings. Of course, Aaron moved on, best he could. He met and married Lizzie and they had three beautiful children. He doesn't regret his life with Lizzie one bit but when he's alone he can't help think "what might have been". When Hannah shows back up in Pontotoc those thoughts go in to overdrive but can he risk trusting her again?

I absolutely loved A Home for Hannah! Amy Lillard crafts a story that hooks you from the get go and is full of twists and turns you can't put it down until the very end! I've read my share of Amish stories, and have loved them all, but this one holds a special place in my heart. I feel it's a story we can all relate to, wanting to fit in, no matter where we come from. I love how she weaves bits of humor and sage advice throughout her stories. if you've never read an Amy Lillard novel you are missing out! I truly believe  A Home for Hannah is a book that everyone can read and enjoy.

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

You can grab a copy here:A Home For Hannah

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Phoebe's Light

About the Book

Title: Phoebe’s Light
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Genre: Historical romance
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Marcy, a man whom she loathes.
Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way—just in time.
In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.
My Thoughts: I absolutely loved Phoebe's Light! The story is amazing and the characters are so real and life like that you forget they're fiction. I enjoyed how strong Phoebe was. It's not easy to stand up to your parents and make a life for yourself but she knew what she wanted and was willing to fight for what was right. I'm excited to see what the next adventure holds in Ms. Wood's new series. If historical fiction isn't your normal genre of choice I do hope you will give Phoebe's Light a chance. It may become your new favorite read. 
* I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own. 

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s CrossingThe Newcomer, and The Return 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 and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

A Stroll down Petticoat Row
Thirty years ago, I talked my sister into going on a trip to Nantucket Island. It’s one of those places that had always intrigued me. As a girl in the 1930s, my mother’s family vacationed in Nantucket; she even has a lightship basket to show for it. I expected the island to be interesting and beautiful, and it certainly did not disappoint. But something else happened as I walked down Centre Street one morning. This island captured my imagination in a way that’s hard to put into words. At the risk of sounding a tiny bit sun touched, I could practically see 19th century people on the roads, hear the “thee’s and thou’s” in their speech, even smell the strong scents of a bygone century—the musky perfume of rendered whale oil, the burning wood of the blacksmith, all mingled with the bracing sea air.
Centre Street has a local nickname: Petticoat Row. It comes from the 1800s, when men were at sea for long periods and women stepped into their shoes to keep businesses going. Nantucket women gained a reputation for being strong and capable. Their competence was encouraged by the Society of Friends (Quakers), the island’s dominant religion, which believed in the equality of men and women in all aspects of life. That hasn’t changed. Today, half of all Nantucket businesses are run by women.
Petticoat Row stuck in my mind, and eventually became the hook to contract a series of historical fiction with Revell Books. The ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series covers the rise and fall of Nantucket’s whaling period, when it became the wealthiest port in the world.
First up is Phoebe’s Light, releasing in February 2018, a novel about a spirited young woman who seeks her fortune only to find out she already had it.
After reading about Phoebe, I hope you’ll consider planning a trip to Nantucket (though try to go off-season. The population swells five times in the summer!). When you go, include a stop at the Petticoat Row Bakery (35 Centre Street)—the very location where Phoebe grew up, albeit a few centuries ago. Don’t leave the island without trying the Morning Glory Muffins, an island favorite. So worth the trip!

Nantucket’s Famous Morning Glory Muffins
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 ¼ cup flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup raisins
2 cup grated carrots (4 large)
1 apple, shredded
8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup pecans or walnuts
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

Sift together sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the fruit, carrots and nuts and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with oil and vanilla. Combine with dry ingredients and blend well.
Spoon batter into cupcake tins lined with muffin papers. Fill each cup to the brim. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. These muffins needs 24 hours to ripen their full flavor. They freeze extremely well.

Recipe courtesy of Pamela A. McKinstry, Sconset CafĂ©

Blog Stops

Aryn The LibraryanFebruary 15
With a Joyful Noise, February 16
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 16
A Greater Yes, February 16
ASC Book Reviews, February 17
Locks, Hooks and BooksFebruary 17
Book by Book, February 17
Texas Book-aholic, February 18
The Power of Words, February 18
Splashes of JoyFebruary 18
A Reader’s Brain, February 19
Karen Sue Hadley, February 19
Blossoms and BlessingsFebruary 19
All of a kind Mom, February 20
Baker Kella, February 21
Mommynificent, February 21
Janices book reviews, February 21
Lighthouse Academy, February 22
Readers cozy corner, February 22
Mary Hake, February 22
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 22
Pause for Tales, February 23
Have A Wonderful Day, February 23
Faery Tales Are Real, February 23
Blogging With Carol, February 24
Among the Reads, February 24
Carpe Diem, February 24
Red Headed Book Lady, February 25
Just the Write Escape, February 25
By The Book, February 26
For The Love of Books, February 26
Margaret Kazmierczak, February 26
Simple Harvest Reads, February 26 (Guest post from Mindy)
Maureen’s Musings, February 27
Bigreadersite, February 27
Bibliophile Reviews, February 28
Pursuing Stacie, February 28


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Secret Service Setup

Secret Service Setup is the second book in Jessica R. Patch's The Security Specialist series. Although it is the second book it can be read as a standalone, but trust me, the series is so good you'll want to read them both!

Jody Gallagher knows what it means to "have loved and lost", she loved Evan Novak with all her heart. Yet it wasn't enough, at the first sign of trouble he threw her under the bus to save his own skin. She lost her secret service career and her self respect.  She's not bitter about it really, well maybe a little, she lost everything and Evan lost nothing. She's just lucky her cousin Wilder believed in her and allowed her to join the Covenant Crisis team. It wasn't her dream job but she was lucky to have it and she would do anything to prove herself to Wilder and the team. Even if it means protecting the hide of the man who broke her heart and ruined her career.

Evan Novak did the one thing he swore he would never do, he became his father. He drank way too much and messed up on a job. Instead of taking the heat like a man, he let Jody take the fall. It hurt to watch everything she worked so hard far be taken away, but, the secret service was what he lived for, it was everything to him. That was before he gave his life to Jesus. He knows he's made mistakes and he will spend a lifetime making them up to Jody, if she would just talk to him!

Jody and Evan are appointed by their respective teams to protect the senator on his campaign trail. It should be easy enough but when a shooter infiltrates the rally and takes aim at Evan all bets are off. Who would want to kill Evan and why? How did they get past CCM, the secret service and the local police? With questions piling up and no answers Jody does the last thing anyone expects. She vows to protect Evan with her life, no matter the costs.

Jessica Patch has the ability to write a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and restore your faith in humanity all at the same time. I was floored when Jody volunteered to protect Evan at all costs. I mean, let's be honest, how many of us are willing to lay down our lives for our friends? Much less for someone who has already cost us everything we hold dear? That just speaks to Jody's character, she never gave it a second thought! Throughout the story Jody struggles with her relationship with God. She's mad at the things that have happened in her life and she believes God has let her down. I think too often we, or at least I am, are too quick to blame God for people's actions. I admired Jody though, because no matter how much she struggled with God and how she felt about him, she never let it stop her from being a decent human being. It's just who she was, she always thought of others before herself.

I expected Evan to be a class A jerk, I mean, who allows the love of their life to lose everything because you made a stupid mistake. At any point and time he could have spoken up and said "I was the one" but he never did. As you get into the story and learn more about Evan you can't help but feel sorry for him. He had a dad who was an alcoholic, determined to climb the ladder of success and when he hurt those he loved he gave empty apologies and promises. It's no wonder Evan has trust issues and wanted so desperately to make something of himself.  Once he came to Christ though, Evan was a different man. He wished he could go back and fix past mistakes, but he can't, all he can do is try to make things right. He's determined to live a life that means something and that's why he fights so hard with the demons of his past.

There are tons of twists and turns and gasp out loud moments in the Secret Service Setup. Ms. Patch had me guessing until the very end! Most of the time I have a pretty good idea of who's behind all the mayhem, but I was completely wrong on this one. I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed the Secret Service Setup.  Even if intrigue isn't your normal genre I hope you will give it a try. I promise you, you won't regret it!

You can grab a copy here: Secret Service Setup

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

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!