Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Daughter's Dream

GIVEAWAY LINK: https://promosimple.com/ps/9a93

A Daughter's Dream

by Shelley Shepard Gray 

Amish Fiction
Avon Inspired

In Shelley Shepard Gray's second book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a young teacher and farmer discover they have much in common, especially when it comes to healing old wounds from the past . . . and finding love in one another.

Rebecca Kinsinger has always dreamed of being a teacher. But when she's given the opportunity she's been waiting for at Charm Amish School, she's dismayed to discover that teaching is hard work
---work she's afraid she's not very good at.

That is, until Lilly Yoder joins the class. A thirteen-year old who's just lost her parents, Lilly is in need of someone like Rebecca. For the first time since starting her new job, Rebecca feels a sense of purpose. But when she meets Lilly's uncle, Jacob, his good looks and sweet, easy-going temperament are hard to ignore. How can she even entertain romantic thoughts of Jacob when his niece is her student?
Suddenly becoming Lily's sole caregiver, Jacob Yoder never thought he'd be a single parent---or a farmer. Having been living in Florida as a carpenter, Jacob feels more at home wielding a hammer than a backhoe. The only bright spot in his life is Rebecca Kinsinger. As Lily and Rebecca develop a bond, Jacob's fondness for the pretty teacher grows, too.

But when a fateful accident brings them together, Rebecca and Jacob must choose between duty and desire. Will they follow the path before them? Or set out to find true happiness . . . and true love?

My thoughts: A DAUGHTER'S DREAM is the 2nd book in Ms. Gray's The Charmed Amish Life series, but it easily stands alone. Fans will want to read  A Son's Vow to get the story about Luke and Darla. I am anxious to read the next book (coming in the fall of 2016) A Sister's Wish to read about Amelia and Simon. 

Jacob is new to charm, giving up all he loves and holds dear to help his parents raise his brother's daughter after a terrible accident claims lives. Lily is a gifted child, struggling in a new community, and clearly further ahead than most of her classmates. Rebecca was tired of working at the mill, she had to be a teacher, so she volunteered as a helper then decided she hated it and wanted her old job back. 

All the characters had the same voice, and Lily seemed a lot older and worldly than only thirteen. I did get a bit put out at Rebecca, threatening to fire the woman her brother hired to replace her. She didn't have the right - and she was the one who told her brother she wanted to quit and then changed her mind a short time later. 

There is some drama in the book. A naughty goat, a jealous man, an over-protective husband, two accidents at the mill, and more that will keep the pages turning, and I loved Rebecca's turtles at the pond. So sweet!!! 4 stars. 

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/20vVAye

 Meet the Author

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Todaybestselling 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.

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Monday, May 30, 2016

Interview with Connie Mann and giveaway!!

Its good to have Connie Mann visiting with us today.  Connie is offering one copy of her book to one commenter. Be sure to include your contact information in the comments. USA only. 

Connie, thank you for stopping by. What does your writing process look like?

My favorite part of the process is when I’ve done enough plotting and thinking that the characters have come alive in my head. Once I can see the story, I’m ready to pour it onto the page. The faster I can do that, the happier I am. No editing, just writing. If I make the mistake of stopping to futz and fix, I lose my momentum and excitement for the story and it feels like slogging uphill through concrete. Quick first drafts work best for me.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

I would say two things. Pick a set time of day and declare that your writing time. Let everyone in your family know and gather friends who will hold you accountable. Then show up every day at that time to get words on the page. Do this until it becomes habit and you don’t have to psyche yourself up for it every time.

Second, set small goals. Instead of trying to write say, 3,000 words in a day, decide you’ll write 500 words in one hour. Set a timer and start writing. By the time it rings, you may find you’ve done more than 500. But if not, you’ll have met your goal and can feel good about that.

Wow, I do good to get 500 words a day!  What book are you reading now?

I’m currently reading Eloisa James’ memoir, Paris in Love, and am enjoying it immensely. I’ve always longed to visit Paris and she’s made it come alive for me. When I’m in the middle of plotting a new story, I read anything but suspense, lest I inadvertently absorb elements from others’ stories. My go-to choice is often regencies. The witty banter inspires my love of words and offers the perfect mental break. 

What books have most influenced your life most?

When I discovered the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, I binge-read for months and months. I couldn’t get enough of their adventures and mentally started writing my own. But Harriet the Spy will always be one of my favorites. I wanted to BE Harriet. I also wanted to hang out with the Little Women and roam around with a dog like Lassie (we had cats growing up). I re-read Gone with the Wind at least once a year even though I wanted to smack Scarlett. But I admired her grit and Rhett Butler…? Sigh.

If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a living?

I’m a USCG-licensed boat captain and work for our local school board. I love being on the water, so if I didn’t write, I would probably captain full time, maybe even convince hubby to live on a boat. Or, I would somehow figure out how to be a full-time traveler. I love seeing new places and meeting new people. Wanderlust hits regularly, distracting me from my word counts.

Oh, yes, that sounds lovely.  Thanks for stopping by. 

Thanks so much for the opportunity to be your guest. It’s been a pleasure.

Book Blurb

Some family secrets are best left buried at sea.  

Orphaned as a child in Russia, boat captain Sasha Petrov has spent most of her life adrift, anchored only by her loving foster family. So when they beg her to return to the family marina in Safe Harbor, Florida, for Mama’s sixtieth birthday, Sasha complies, hoping to put the past behind her. But Mama has other plans: she wants her three foster daughters to find Tony, the biological son who disappeared twenty years earlier.

Sasha agrees to try, but that’s easier said than done when bad boy Jesse Claybourne shows up, reigniting an old attraction. Back in Safe Harbor on a quest of his own, Jesse gets tangled up in Sasha’s search, and soon the two are close to uncovering an old town secret that some will stop at nothing to protect.

When Jesse is violently beaten and Sasha’s dog is poisoned, they realize the past is hiding something more sinister than they ever imagined. Can they uncover the truth without destroying Sasha’s family and breaking each other’s hearts, or are they sailing against the wind?


Connie Mann is a licensed boat captain and the author of romantic suspense novels Tangled Lies (May 2016) Angel Falls and Trapped! as well as various works of shorter fiction. She has lived in seven different states but has happily called warm, sunny Florida home for more than twenty years. When she’s not dreaming up plotlines, you’ll find “Captain Connie” on Central Florida’s waterways, introducing boats full of schoolchildren to their first alligator. She is also passionate about helping women and children in developing countries follow their dreams and break the poverty cycle. In addition to boating, she and her husband enjoy spending time with their grown children and extended family and planning their next travel adventures. You can visit Connie online at www.conniemann.com.

Website:  www.conniemann.com

Amazon buy link:

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Beautiful Pretender

The Beautiful Pretender Melanie Dickerson

The Beautiful Pretender

by Melanie Dickerson 

YA Fiction
Thomas Nelson

What happens when a margrave realizes he's fallen in love with a servant?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble-born ladies from around the country to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina is only responsible for two things: making sure her deception goes undetected and avoiding being selected as the margrave's bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina's best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can't deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse---far deadlier---consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?

Note: This is the second book in the Medieval Fairy Tale series.

My thoughts; THE BEAUTIFUL PRETENDER is a good story. Avelina stands in for Dorothea, but no one must know she's merely a servant. If she falls in love with the margrave it will have terrible consequences, but what will they be?  I loved Avelina and the margrave was hero worthy. He was a bit too gruff and brawny for my taste which is what kept him from being swoon worthy. I really wanted things to work out for these two characters. There were some things I didn't like, but they are minor. Overall, liked the book and the story. I think it was based on Beauty and the Beast. 4 stars (reviewed by Jenna, my 14 year old daughter)

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1NZuPiD

 Meet the Author
Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor's degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.

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Landing page:

Inheriting the new title of margrave means Reinhart has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise? Find out in the new medieval fairy tale, The Beautiful Pretender, by Melanie Dickerson. Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?

Join Melanie in celebrating the release of The Beautiful Pretender by entering to win her Once Upon a Kindle giveaway!

beautiful pretender - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of The Beautiful Pretender

  • A Kindle Fire tablet

  • A $25 Amazon gift card

  • The choice between a Funko POP Disney Beauty or Beast doll

  • beautiful pretender - prize collage 

    Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on June 7th. The winner will be announced June 8th on Melanie's blog.

    beautiful pretender - enter banner

    Saturday, May 28, 2016

    Murder, Simply Stitched

    Murder, Simply Stitched: An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery

    Mass Market Paperback, audible, ebook

    June 3, 2014

    by Isabella Alan 

    • Series: Amish Quilt Shop Mystery (Book 2)
    • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
    • Publisher: NAL; 1st edition 
    • ISBN-13: 978-0451413642

    When Angela Braddock enters her quilts in an Amish auction, she never expects one of her neighbors to end up going, going, gone....
    Angie is finding her niche as the new owner of her late aunt’s Amish quilt shop, Running Stitch. But as the summer is winding down, so is business. To bolster support for the shop, Angie decides to sell her quilts in the Rolling Brook Amish Auction, including some of her aunt’s most prized works.

    The quilts promise to be a hit—but the gavel comes down on the lively event when Angie stumbles upon the body of township trustee Wanda Hunt behind a canning shed. The cause of death: a poisoned blueberry fry pie from Rachel Miller’s bakery table. Now Angie’s closest friend is a murder suspect. With Angie taking the lead, she and the other women of her aunt’s quilting circle set out to patch together the clues and stop a killer set on shredding the simple peace of Rolling Brook.

    Includes Quilting Tips!

    My thoughts: MURDER, SIMPLY STITCHED is the second book in Ms. Alan's Amish Quilt Mystery series. There are some references to the first book Murder, Plain and Simple, but I didn't find it necessary to have read the first book as it stands alone. 

    MURDER, SIMPLY STITCHED is written in first person, which might turn some readers off, but it didn't bother me. I enjoyed being "in Angie's head" as she tried to solve the mystery. Some of the events in the book are slap-stick comedy, some are just thrown in for shock value (I think) but it equaled a great book that I couldn't put down. I did have some suspicions who the "bad guy" was, but wasn't totally sure until it was revealed. 

    If you like cozy mysteries and Amish stories, you will love MURDER, SIMPLY STITCHED. A great book that I couldn't put down. 5 stars. .

    Friday, May 27, 2016

    Sister Eve and the Blue Nun

    Sister Eve and the Blue Nun

    by Lynne Hinton  

    Thomas Nelson

    When Sister Eve returns to the monastery, the last thing she expects there is murder.

    After solving several mysteries with her father at the Divine Private Detective Agency, Sister Eve finds herself torn between her calling as a nun and the thrill that comes with detecting. She knows she's been using her father's health as an excuse to extend her leave of absence from the monastery, but that excuse is running thin. She prays that a return visit to the monastery for a conference on the Blue Nun will help bring clarity to her calling, but when the conference speaker is murdered, Sister Eve's two worlds collide.

    Sister Eve knows the number one suspect, the victim's brother and monk in residence, couldn't possibly have committed the crime, and she's determined to find the real killer. To do so means she must track down some mysterious newly discovered writings from the Blue Nun, said to date from the 17th Century, when the sister bi-located to the New Mexico region from her home in Spain. Could these texts from long ago be the key to today's mystery? And will they offer any guidance to Sister Eve as she chooses which calling to follow?

    *This is the third Divine Private Detective Agency mystery. Book one,Sister Eve, Private Eye, and book two, A Case of the Sin City Sister, are available wherever books are sold. 

    My thoughts; SISTER EVE AND THE BLUE NUN is the first book I've read by Lynne Hinton. EVen though it is the third book in the series it did easily stand alone, and I wasn't confused at all who was who and what their role was in the story. 

    The story was somewhat contrived, with Sister Eve totally destroying the murder scene, touching everything, breaking them, leaving fingerprints -- and yet she was never considered a suspect  The story is written in narrative point of view which keeps the reader distant, unable to connect with the characters. Plus the reader sees things the characters don't see. 

    The mystery is fairly easy to figure out, though the author did throw some red herrings in there to keep the reader guessing. If you like cozy mysteries, heavy on the cozy light on the action, adventure, and adrenaline, then you might want to give SISTER EVE AND THE BLUE NUN a chance.  

    Warning for more conservative readers, it is Catholic, and the characters pray to Mary and the saints, not God. 

    Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1OJcymF

     Meet the Author

    Lynne Hinton is the New York Times best-selling author ofFriendship Cake and Pie Town. She received an undergraduate degree from UNC Greensboro and a Masters of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. She has served as a hospice chaplain and church pastor. Lynne is a regular columnist with The Charlotte Observer. She lives with her husband in Albuquerque, NM.

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    Thursday, May 26, 2016

    Book Blast: Saved by Grace

    Genre: Poetry/ Christian/Autobiography
    Book Title: Saved By Grace
    Author: Natasha C. Pointer
    ISBN-10: 1937129446
    ISBN-13: 978-1937129446

    About the Book

    Saved By Grace is an Autobiography told thru poetry about her life, the hardships she faced, but most importantly how she overcame it all through prayer, faith, and steadfastness.
    Poetry to touch the lives of others, to inspire someone, to encourage, and to bring joy in someone’s life. This book is filled with great hope for those facing life’s most challenging moments. As a storyteller, Natasha shares where she found her greatest strengths through prayer, faith and her steadfastness.

    About The Author

    Author | Motivational Speaker | Entrepreneur
    Born and raised in Fort Myers, FLNatasha C. Pointer , shares her stories of faith and encouragement through poetry. She serves in ministry at Destiny Life Ministries. Saved by Grace is her first published work and is currently working on her next book Expressions. She is the owner/founder of Mysteri Message-In-A-Bottle.


    From the day you were born,
    you were a blessing.
    You were a comfort and
    inspiration to those around you.

    You suffered enormous tragedies
    and faced many challenges.
    You suffered a great deal
    and life as you saw it was over.

    Each day seemed like an eternity—
    every moment seemed everlasting.
    You went in with your eyes closed,
    but came out with them wide open.

    You fell to your knees and asked,
    why, why me?
    Not realizing that your trials
    would prepare you for your future.
    Not knowing you were a blessed child
    and you were called for a purpose.

    Many obstacles came your way
    and the enemy tried to bring you down.
    He never wanted you to succeed,
    let alone see the light of day.

    Your cries reached up to God.
    He said, You are my child.
    No matter where you go,
    I will be with you.

    You are blessed.
    Blessed you shall be,
    and blessed you shall continue to be;
    not only to yourself, but to others.

    Contact Links
    Website: http://authornatashapoint.wix.com/kingdombusiness

    Purchase Link

    Tour hosted by WNL www.wnlbooktours.com

    Wednesday, May 25, 2016

    Someone Like You

    Enter giveaway here: https://promosimple.com/ps/9939

    Someone Like You

    by Victoria Bylin   

    Contemporary Romance
    Bethany House Publishers

    "Together With You is a gripping story of forgiveness, love, and family relationships that will captivate readers from the opening chapter."

    Single mom Julia Dare has a lot on her plate. A brand new Christian, she's busy trying to run her own business, spend time with her widowed mother, and raise her young son, Max, despite his father's less-than-ideal influence on him. When a big account from her event-planning business sends her to the Caliente Springs resort, she's shocked to come face-to-face with Zeke Monroe, the resort's general manager and her college sweetheart.

    With his faith in tatters, Zeke Monroe is determined to keep the historic Caliente Springs resort running despite financial difficulties. But when Julia walks back into his life, he can't ignore the feelings she stirs up. As they work together on an important client's dream wedding, the fate of the resort soon depends on their success. When Zeke and Julia are pushed to their limits both personally and professionally, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together?

    My thoughts: SOMEONE LIKE YOU is a totally wonderful story of faith, forgiveness and family relationships. A stand-alone, it is a story that gripped my attention from page one and didn't release me until I closed the ending pages. 

    SOMEONE LIKE YOU is not at all predictable. I figured how I thought it would end, but the author released that bombshell a third of the way in and I'm like, okay... What will be the black moment? 

    I loved Zeke. Oh my word, he is the stuff book-crushes are made of. I also loved Julia and felt for her as she tried to balance being a single mom, a career, and an overbearing, self-important jerk of an ex-boyfriend who was determined to be in his son's life. (And that is actually a good thing.) 

    The only thing I really didn't like is that the characters drank a beer or two (or stronger drinks) but it wasn't a major thing in this book. More conservative readers are fore-warned. Those who don't have a problem with it won't find it worth mentioning.  

    The characters -- including the goat -- in SOMEONE LIKE YOU became real, living, breathing people, and I was sorry to see this book end. I loved the faith message and how everything played out for the message to be heard. 

    This is the first book I've read by this author, but I will definitely be on the lookout for her other books. 5 stars. 

    Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1TPfW3k

     Meet the Author

    Victoria Bylin writes contemporary and historical romances known for their realistic, relatable characters. Her work has finaled in contests such as the Carol Awards, the RITAs, and the RT Reviewers' Choice Award. A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, Kentucky.

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