Monday, February 18, 2019

"The Amish Candy Maker " by Laura V. Hilton Book Tour And GiveAway


About the Book



Title: The Amish Candy Maker  
Author: Laura V. Hilton  
Genre: Amish Christian Fiction  
Release date: February 5, 2019  
Publisher: WhitakerHouse

Agnes Zook finds herself on her own in a small Amish community in Mackinac County after a tragedy kills her family. Most of the Amish call her “off in den Kopf” (strange) since she’s starting her own business and forging her own way in the community instead of relying on the bishop to take care of her. Since she’s viewed as non-submissive and too-forward for an Amish woman, she’s not courted by young men in the area. Isaac Mast is on the verge of leaving the Amish church. He’s become a sought-after auctioneer and has a thriving business, but he feels confined by the strict rules. When his brother is severely injured in a wild fire, Isaac receives a letter from his sister-in-law, begging him to come to Mackinac County to help out while his brother is hospitalized. Isaac agrees but is unsure how to manage their young children when he has weekend auctions he’s expected to attend. Agnes may be the answer to a prayer. Sparks fly when she and Isaac meet. But could their differences help them form a deeper connection to their faith…and each other?

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review
"The Amish Candy Maker " by Laura V. Hilton is a wonderful story about believing wrong things about oneself.  Agnes believes her father that she will never marry because her one suitor choose someone else. There is also the fact that she has started her own business, a candy shop after her family is all killed in a fire. Isaac believes he is not a good person because of an accident that happened in the past. These two meet because Isaac comes to town to take care of his brother and sister's law children.

This story shows that you can't believe what others say but you have to follow your dreams and the most important thing is to forgive yourself.

This is an Amish clean love story but the passion gets intense at time. 

This story shows that there are Amish women that aren't always soft spoken and doesn't get what the Bishop says to do.

  My favorite quote from the book is "Let prayer be the key to the day and the bolt to the nacht."  I also like the fact that the author points this out " I think maybe Gott doesn't mind you getting mad and yelling. He knows you're hurting and He wants us to feel free enough with Him to let our emotions loose. Perhaps that's the only way healing takes place. Gott takes that anger and works with it to turn it into peace with the situation and  you ultimately kum to the realization that He works all things together  for gut."

Isaac knows he wants to marry Agnes almost as soon as he meets her, but she is not so sure.

This book shows that sometimes you have to just have to forgive and be true to yourself and that sometimes things don't work out just the way you planned, sometimes it turns out better than you planned.

I received a complimentary copy from the author and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own.

About the Author



Laura Hilton is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with more than a thousand reviews published on the web. Her first series with Whitaker was The Amish of Seymour, comprising Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (2012 Laurel Award winner, first place in the Amish Genre Clash), and Promised to Another; and her second was The Amish of Webster County, comprising Healing Love, Awakened Love, and Surrendered Love. Her next series was The Amish of Jamesport, featuring The Post Card, Snow Globe, and The Birdhouse. Her latest books include The Amish Firefighter, The Amish Wanderer, and Love By the Numbers. Laura and her husband, Steve, live in Arkansas with their five children, whom Laura homeschools.

Guest Post from Laura

RECIPE FOR FUDGE À LA AGNES ZOOK Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Courtesy of Laura V. Hilton 1 bag (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips 1 bag (10 ounces) peanut butter chips 2 cans sweetened condensed milk, divided 6 tablespoons butter, divided 20 to 30 miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or six regular-size ones broken into four or five pieces each For the chocolate layer: Line a greased 8-by-11.5-inch baking dish with parchment paper. In a double boiler or metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, combine milk chocolate chips, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, and 4 tablespoons butter. Stir until melted and smooth. Pour into prepared baking dish and allow to cool to room temperature, then move to the refrigerator while preparing next layer. For the peanut butter layer: In a double boiler or metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, combine peanut butter chips, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, and 2 tablespoons butter. Stir until melted and smooth. Pour on to the milk chocolate fudge layer and press pieces of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups into the surface. If desired, group candy pieces in a grid-like fashion for easier cutting later. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight or until set. Remove from refrigerator, lift out of the pan by the edges of the parchment paper, and cut into squares, with roughly one miniature peanut butter cup or piece of a cup per square. Store in the refrigerator.

Blog Stops

Carla Loves To Read, February 5
Among the Reads, February 6
Britt Reads Fiction, February 6
The Avid Reader, February 7
Emily Yager, February 8
Quiet quilter, February 8
Maureen’s Musings, February 9
Bibliophile Reviews, February 10
Vicky Sluiter, February 10
Daysong Reflections, February 11
Texas Book-aholic, February 12
Janices book reviews, February 12
Carpe Diem, February 13
SusanLovesBooks, February 14
Inklings and Notions, February 16
Pause for Tales, February 16
Have A Wonderful DayFebruary 17
For the Love of Books, February 17
Bigreadersite, February 18

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away a grand prize of a large and small spatula set and a $10 Starbucks gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d9a6/the-amish-candy-maker-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, February 16, 2019

"Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe" by Carla Laureano Book Tour and Giveaway


About the Book



Title: Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe  
Author: Carla Laureano  
Genre: Christian Romance  
Release date: February 5, 2019  
Publisher: Tyndale

Baker and pastry chef Melody Johansson has always believed in finding the positive in every situation, but seven years after she moved to Denver, she can’t deny that she’s stuck in a rut. One relationship after another has ended in disaster, and her classical French training is being wasted on her night job in a mediocre chain bakery. Then the charming and handsome private pilot Justin Keller lands on the doorstep of her workplace in a snowstorm, and Melody feels like it’s a sign that her luck is finally turning around. Justin is intrigued by the lively bohemian baker, but the last thing he’s looking for is a relationship. His own romantic failures have proven that the demands of his job are incompatible with meaningful connections, and he’s already pledged his life savings to a new business venture across the country—an island air charter in Florida with his sister and brother-in-law. Against their better judgment, Melody and Justin find themselves drawn together by their unconventional career choices and shared love of adventure. But when an unexpected windfall provides Melody with the chance to open her dream bakery-café in Denver with her best friend, chef Rachel Bishop, she’s faced with an impossible choice: stay and put down roots with the people and place she’s come to call home . . . or give it all up for the man she loves.
 
Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review
"Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe"by Carla Laureano is a book that is about food and following your dreams. But, it is much more than that, it is a book about forgiveness and learning that sometimes what seems like the worst that can happen can actually be God's plan to bring something better in your life. This book had a couple of scenes that felt like the author was writing parts of my life story, the love between Melody and her grandmother and the misunderstanding between Melody and her mother, I wasn't raised by my grandmother but was closer to grandma. There were times I was like I want this book to not to be so sad, I was in the mood for a fun and all happy go lucky kind of book. This book was not all unhappy but had moments of sadness and lots of moments that was joyful, just like real life.

I love the title because it is exactly what the story is about. The Bittersweet Cafe was possible because of life's events in both Chef Rachel's and Melody's life that was both bitter and sweet.

There is a lot of details about preparing food and such in this book but it is not boring details and really part of the story and was making me, who doesn't like to cook or bake, thinking I want to cook and bake something to show love to my family. Melody uses her baking creations to show love to others.

One of my favorite things about this book is how Melody uses books in her pictures of food that she post on Social media. I mean who really knew books and food go hand in hand.

I want to end this review with a couple of quotes that I unlined in the book that clearly shows that fiction can remind us of real life and that isn't always a bad thing but can change our thinking if we let it. " If there one thing I've learned in the last year, ..........it's that change feels terrible at the time but can be really good in the end." and " Things happen in this world-sometimes accidents, sometimes a result of our actions -but that doesn't mean God's abandoned us. It just means that we live in a messed-up world. It's when we trust Him completely that He begins to bring good out of bad situations." I also love this next quote I am going to share because it has helped me deal with a situation in my own life that has recently occurred and I have cried lots of tears over but after reading this quote I am rethinking my attitude and position on the event, " When we let ourselves cry over things that weren't ours in the first place, its like telling God that we don't appreciate what He's actually given us."

This book is a love story but so much more.

I am anxiously awaiting the next in this series.

I was given a complimentary copy by the author and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own.


About The Author



Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.

Guest Post from Carla

“Confessions of An Erstwhile Baker” Like most females, baking is encoded somewhere deep down in my DNA. Call it nature or call it nurture, but at the earliest age, I figured out that the cute boy in my English class would talk to me if it involved chocolate chip cookies. Got my heart broken or had a friend betray me? I grabbed the mixing bowl and went for the brownies (even better if they’re served à la mode.) My friend was having a birthday? I made a cake drowned in pounds of buttercream. I quickly graduated from the boxed mixes to the real thing when I got married and had a kitchen large enough to roll out dough. I would comb magazines for the best recipes and spend my weekends trying them out. I quickly became known for bringing beautifully iced Christmas cookies and delicious homemade cakes to work. Then my husband and I moved our young family from Los Angeles to Denver, a relocation that was about 1000 miles northeast and 5000 feet up. Suddenly, every recipe I’d perfected in the previous eight years failed. Cookies burned to crisps, cakes fell, and don’t get me started on candy making. Gradually, I adapted my recipes (my beloved never-fail Toll House recipe took eight tries to get right) and even became an avid artisan bread-baker. Then disaster. Or at least, what a baker would consider a disaster. After developing chronic health problems, I discovered that among other things, I was sensitive to gluten. The horror! In order to heal, I turned to the paleo diet, which eliminates all grains (there goes most gluten free recipes) and all processed sugars (there goes everything else). I’ve tried baking paleo-style, and while I can now make cakes that even my gluten-fiend family enjoy, it’s just not the same. So what’s a once-obsessive baker do when she can’t eat her creations? She bakes for other people and goes on faith that they actually taste good… considering she can’t taste them herself. It struck me that there was a spiritual lesson in that, and an obvious tie to Brunch at Bittersweet Café, which deals in large part with Melody’s faith journey. There are times when we have no idea if things are working out the way they’re supposed to, in which case we just have to trust the “recipe” and the input of friends and family who love us. Sometimes our instincts tell us when we’re off track, and sometimes we need that outside nudge from our “taste-testers” to put us back on course. In any case, what Melody and I have in common is that we both bake to show our love for the people around us. And the process of baking my favorites, even knowing that I can’t enjoy them myself, can still be a selfless way to show people they’re important to me. Fortunately, macarons, which happen to be made with almond flour, are still on the menu.

Blog Stops

Quiet QuilterFebruary 12
Among the Reads, February 12
Lighthouse Academy, February 12
By The Book, February 12
The Power of Words, February 13
As He Leads is Joy, February 13
Cultivating Us, February 13
Blossoms and BlessingsFebruary 13
Fiction Aficionado, February 14
The Lit Addict, February 14
All-of-a-kind Mom, February 15
100 Pages per Hour, February 15
Splashes of JoyFebruary 15
Bibliophile Reviews, February 16
Texas Book-aholic, February 16
C Jane Read, February 17
Moments, February 17
Back Porch Reads, February 17
Cordially Barbara, February 18
Genesis 5020, February 18
Simple Harvest Reads, February 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Livin’ Lit, February 19
Kat’s Corner Books, February 19
Life with the Tribe, February 19
Remembrancy, February 20
Vicky Sluiter, February 20
2014 and Beyond!, February 21
Daysong Reflections, February 21
Inklings and Notions, February 21
Pause for Tales, February 21
Cafinated Reads, February 22
Ashley’s Bookshelf, February 22
Two Girls and a Book, February 23
For the love of booksFebruary 23
God is Love, February 24
Book by Book, February 24
Janices book reviews, February 24
Lukewarm Tea, February 25
Carpe Diem, February 25
Bigreadersite, February 25

Giveaway

[Insert Giveaway Picture Here]
To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away a grand prize package of a macaron baking mat, a macaron book, and a paperback copy of Brunch at Bittersweet Café!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/db0f/brunch-at-bittersweet-cafe-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, February 15, 2019

"War’s Respite" and "Love’s Kindling" by Elaine Marie Cooper

         
 Back Cover Copy, War’s Respite
In 1763, the war with the French came to a close. While most Connecticut colonists breathed in relief, others are faced with unexpected conflicts as battles of a different nature ensue at home. 
Veteran Abijah Whitney regrets leaving his pregnant wife behind when he was called away to war. The news of her death during childbirth as well as the ugly brutalities of war have left their mark. His only comfort is the knowledge that his daughter survived. But his plans for her upon his return will cause an uproar in many lives, including the aunt who raised her. 
Primrose Allan’s sole consolation after the death of her sister in childbirth is the baby girl who lived. The aunt raises the girl as her own, fearing that one day the girl’s father might return for her. But Primrose never imagined the nightmare that would ensue.
Dr. Isaac Northrup is a friend caught in the middle of the turmoil. Always desiring to bring healing, he feels helpless in the events that cause pain and heartache to others, as well as himself.
Jonas Wooding, the town’s blacksmith, is caught in the strife, made all the worse by a serious epidemic. Bound by constrictions of local law and forced to face his own grief, Jonas’s trust in God is stretched beyond endurance. 
When all seems lost, will faith endure?

                                  Back Cover Copy, Love’s Kindling


During the American Revolution in 1779, Aurinda Whitney lives with her cold and calloused father, an embittered veteran of the previous war. Aurinda’s life changed forever when her father returned for her after that war, taking her away from the only place she’d ever experienced affection. Since her father blamed Aurinda for the death of his wife in childbirth, Aurinda is convinced she is unworthy of love. 

Zadok Wooding believes he is a failure as he tends the smithy at home while others go to battle against the British. Just when he has an opportunity to become a hero, he is blinded in an accident. Now he fears he will never live up to the Biblical “mighty man of valor” for whom he was named. 

When the couple meet, they are both challenged to overcome adversity as well as their inadequacies. Unexpected secrets of their past emerge that can change their lives forever. But can they look past their present circumstances to heal—and find love? 



Author Bio


Elaine Marie Cooper has two E-book releases January 18, 2019: War’s Respite (Prequel novella) and Love’s Kindling. Paperback version of Love’s Kindling will follow. These books are the first two novels in the Dawn of America Series set in Revolutionary War Connecticut. Cooper is the award-winning author of Fields of the Fatherless and Bethany’s Calendar. Her 2016 release (Saratoga Letters) was finalist in Historical Romance in both the Selah Awards and Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She penned the three-book Deer Run Saga and has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. You can visit her website/ blog at www.elainemariecooper.com 







https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KYWXMLH/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

My Review:
These books are so good. Both of these stories have me wanting to cry tears because the emotions expressed in them were so heart filled.  These books have all the emotions a human experiences in a life time. I felt rage and sorrow and gladness and the tears actually fell while reading "Love's Kindling," I admit it could be because the scene was so much like I went through in January with my own father. But when a reader can put herself in a character's place and feel that character's pain or joy, then an author has done her job and Elaine Cooper has done that in both of these books.

I recommend both of the books to readers that like clean love stories that have the characters struggling to overcome difficulties in order to rest in their love for each other.  There are novels that have all the characters struggling with this. There is love between friends, fathers and daughters, and aunts and nieces and other relationships.

All I can really add is read these books and you will be like me and anxiously waiting for the other books in the series.

I was given a complimentary copy of both books by the author. These opinions are my own.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

"Katie Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge" by Susan Barnett Braun Book Tour and GiveAway


About the Book



Title: Katie Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge  
Author: Susan Barnett Braun  
Genre: Children’s Non-Fiction  
Release date: July 25, 2013, and updated with chapters on each of William and Kate’s children

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is known to most of the world as Kate Middleton. She was an ordinary girl on her way to an ordinary life until she met her Prince Charming. Now, she appears on television and in magazines. She wears beautiful, expensive clothing and travels all over the world. One day, she will be Queen of England. But along the way, she was bullied as a schoolgirl and she waited nearly ten years before marrying Prince William. Learn more about Kate’s road to royalty in this book! Written at Lexile level 930 (same as the Little House on the Prairie books), this book will appeal to girls eager to learn more about the most popular royal since Princess Diana. Full-color photos; timeline that places Kate’s life events into context next to world historical events

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review
"Katie Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge" by Susan Barnett Braun was fun to read. I admit I never really was interested in the Royal Family before reading this book. I knew that Princess Diana was a school teacher and that she was killed in a car crash and I seen pictures of Prince William and Kate and pictures of their children on Facebook. Now, I have to say after reading this book I am more curious about this family but at the same time, I am thinking, this family needs their privacy more. But I guess you have to pay the price of being famous.

This book is an easy read and one that I think all children, especially girls would like. I was surprised that a girl that was bullied so bad that she had to change schools could grow up and become the Duchess of Cambridge.

It was also a joy to find pictures in this book, not every book that you read has pictures. The pictures just made the book more enjoyable.

This book is a great way to become more familiar with the Royal Family of London.

I was given a complimentary copy by the author and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own.
About the Author


Susan Barnett Braun earned a BS in retail management from Indiana University and an MA in education from the University of Alabama. She taught for eight years in northeast Indiana, earning a Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Study Scholarship. Susan has had work published in Parents, Children’s Ministry, and The Secret Place. She also writes online for Fort Wayne Visitor’s Bureau and blogs at Girls in White Dresses. She is married with three wonderful young adult daughters. Susan enjoys reading, playing piano and organ, and spending her time with her family and pets (currently three rabbits and a chinchilla). She has loved the British Royal Family since Diana came onto the scene back in the 1980s.

Guest Post from Susan

Back in 1981, as a teenager, I woke early to watch Prince Charles marry Lady Diana Spencer. My fascination with the British royal family began with Diana. As a high school senior, I submitted my senior paper topic: Charles and Diana and the royal romance. My teacher was not amused — but once he read the paper, he did enjoy it and asked to keep a copy. Over the years, I’ve continued following and enjoying the British royals. When I worked as an elementary teacher, and the next generation of royals came along, I felt that there should be books about Prince William’s wife, Kate. I fondly remembered reading books about Diana when I was younger and felt that today’s girls might be fascinated by Kate in a similar way. I didn’t find many books about Kate, so I decided to write one myself. I learned much while researching Kate (or Catherine, as she prefers to be called). She’s a wonderful role model for girls today in many ways. To name just a few examples: she overcame being bullied by other girls at one of the schools she attended. And, she developed lots of patience during her nine-year courtship with Prince William. I hope you and the young people in your life will enjoy this biography of the Duchess.

Blog Stops

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of the book and a stuffed Beefeater bear!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d9a7/kate-middleton-the-duchess-of-cambridge-celebration-tour-giveaway