Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Excerpt from Kiss Me Once Again by Gail Kittleson

Across the room, Hank raised his head and studied them. The headline in his hands shouted, VICTORY May 8, 1945. With hardly a thought, Glenora ran to him, and he leaped up and crushed her in his arms. Then Dad was beating him on the back, and before long, the garage overflowed with exuberant men expressing their relief.
            Someone announced they’d treat everyone to a beer at Leland’s Tap or a root beer at the cafĂ©, and they all trooped out, even Dad. All except Hank. Glenora’s hand trembled so much, she couldn’t attempt to do bookwork for a while. Hank stood before the truck, but made no move to pick up his wrench.
            Finally, he crossed to the counter. “Doesn’t seem right to go back to work yet, does it?”
            She shook her head. When she leaned forward, he smoothed away her inadvertent tears and skirted the counter.
“Come here, Glenora.” The light in his eyes made her whole body tingle as he swept her off her feet. “Can’t do this right out here where the whole world can see.” 
            The restrained power of his shoulder muscles sent a hungry wave through her. Easily the strongest man in town, he might also vie for the kindest—a parade of all he’d done for her father ran through her mind. Being carried made her feel so light, so carefree. Behind one of two big pillars holding up the roof, Hank stopped in the grimy shadows.
            He took his time. Looked around. “There. This oughta do it.” He set her down like a feather, drew her close, and took her breath away. Just as she’d imagined since that night under the trellis, nothing about this man disappointed her. @GailGkittleson

 No one ever accused Glenora Carson of being a breathtaking beauty. Her tall, gangly figure and angular face are more solid midwestern stock than Hollywood glamour. But Joe liked her. He even told her, “You’re the one for me.” He gave her a locket with his picture inside, to remind her of him while he was away, serving his country on the U.S.S. Arizona.After December 7, 1941, Glenora shelves her dreams of attending college on the scholarship she was offered by Iowa State University, locks her heart away, and focuses on holding down the home front by helping out the family business – Carson’s Garage. The grease-stained overalls didn’t do much to compliment her female figure, but they cover her female heart well enough.That is, until Hank Anderson, a wounded warrior back from battle, walks into the garage and into Glenora’s life.Is an old maid’s future Glenora’s fate, or will Cupid throw a wrench in her plans? 

Gail writes from northern Iowa, where she and her husband enjoy their grandchildren and watching historical documentaries. 
The writing bug bit Gail later in life, along with a love for the World War II era. She’s hopelessly addicted. Her historical fiction 
honors Greatest Generation women who made a difference despite great odds. Her second love, teaching, leads to facilitating 
writing workshops and retreats, where she loves cheering others on in their vocation. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

An excerpt from The Amish Baker by Marie Bast

The Amish Baker by Marie E. Bast
Paperback, ebook
Mass Market Paperback 224 pages
In stores February 19, 2019 but available for Pre-order
Publisher: Love Inspired
ISBN-10: 1335479023
ISBN-13: 978-1335479020 (print)

When his son breaks one of baker
Sarah Gingerich's prized possessions,
widower Caleb Brenneman insists the boy
make amends by doing odd jobs in her bake
shop. A childless widow, Sarah can't help
falling for the boy...or his farmer father.
But Caleb is progressive New Order Amish
while Sarah holds traditional beliefs.
Though they're worlds apart, are
they a perfect match?

An excerpt from The Amish Baker:

Caleb settled on the seat and watched his sohn mosey toward the buggy. Jacob climbed in and plopped down beside his daed. Caleb shook the reins. “Giddyap, Snowball.”
“Why do we have to go to Kalona, Daed?” His lips set in a pout.
“We are going to drop off some of Mary’s pillow covers, pot holders and boppli blankets at a consignment shop.”
“Why can’t Mary go instead of me?”
“She is busy with the housework, cooking, laundry and making things to sell.”
“I don’t want to go.”
Caleb looked at the bu a moment, trying to figure out what would make Jacob happy. Most kinner would enjoy a trip to town. “You will go and help. Not another word about it.”
A few minutes later, he glanced at his sohn. Jacob held his back straight as a stick, staring straight ahead. What could he possibly do for the bu to take the stiffness and hurt out of his heart?
Caleb gave up on conversation and instead rubbernecked at his neighbors’ fields the whole three miles to Kalona. Jah, his fields looked as gut as these.
Their errands didn’t take long, as Snowball trotted them around town. Caleb hadn’t eaten much for breakfast, so a roll and cup of coffee would sure be gut right about now. He stopped the buggy one shop down from the bakery.
“Where are we going now?” Jacob looked from one side of the street to the other.
“You’ll see. It’s a surprise.” Caleb walked beside Jacob and ushered him to the Amish Sweet Delights bakery, opened the door and motioned for Jacob to enter. As his sohn passed, Caleb detected a trace of a smile.
Caleb leaned down by Jacob’s ear and whispered, “You can order anything in the case. Ask for a glass of milk, too. We’ll sit a minute and refresh ourselves.”
Two customers stood in front of them. The man at the counter was an Englischer, clean-shaven and wearing brown trousers and a matching shirt—the same kind of clothing that Caleb had seen on deliverymen. His stomach tightened as he overheard the man tell Sarah how nice she looked today.
She didn’t appear to hear him. “Who’s next?”
The woman in front of Caleb took her turn at the counter. The bakery door behind Caleb opened, and two young Amish buwe, Noah and Matthew, entered and stood in line behind them. The buwe tapped Jacob on the shoulders, letting him know they were back there. They talked and laughed, trying to coax Jacob into a conversation.
The woman in front paid, picked up her sack and left.
“We’re next, Jacob.” Caleb stepped forward as the buwe joked and teased Jacob about a girl in school. He glanced back over his shoulder. “Jacob, it is our turn to order.”
Nein, I don’t like her.” Jacob spouted the words at his friend and gave Matthew a shove. Jacob whirled back around, stepped on a broken cookie or
something on the floor and lunged forward. His arms flung out as he slid across the counter, hitting the walnut bears and sending them sailing through the air. They banged on a table, bounced off and smashed against the wall.
Jacob’s eyes widened and his mouth gaped as he stumbled back away from the counter. Caleb caught him and steadied Jacob until he regained his balance.
Everyone at the tables stopped talking and stared at the commotion. The men at the table where the broken bears lay shoved their chairs away from the pieces.
Stunned, Caleb wasn’t sure what to do. He looked from the bears to Sarah. She shrieked and ran to retrieve the fragments. Tears clouded her eyes, threatening to spill over as she hugged the pieces to her chest and walked back to the counter.
Caleb placed a hand on Jacob’s shoulder. “Jacob, you have broken them.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do that.”
Sarah laid the pieces behind the counter, straightened and looked at Jacob. “I know you didn’t. They shouldn’t have sat there. It’s my fault.”
Caleb removed his wide-brimmed straw hat from his head. “Sarah, I can take the pieces and make you a new set. They won’t match exactly, but it’ll be close and most won’t tell the difference.”
She swallowed hard and shook her head. “No, that’s not necessary. It wouldn’t be quite the same. These were the last things my husband made me before he passed away.” Her voice caught in her throat.
Caleb glanced over his shoulder at every pair of eyes in the bakery boring a hole through his back. His cheeks burned, and he sucked in a deep breath. “Jacob must pay for the damage he caused.”
Nein, Caleb, it’s not necessary.” She placed an index finger at the corner of her eye and blotted a tear that had escaped.
    “Jacob will be here early Saturday morning to help you in the shop. He can clean the tables, the chairs and the floor, and help fetch supplies. Whatever you need him to do, for as long as you need him, until he pays off the debt. He must make amends.”


Marie’s bio:

MARIE E. BAST has been writing for almost twenty years. Her first Amish book, The Amish Baker, releases February 19, 2019. Her first contemporary novel, The Perfect Client won first place in the category of contemporary in the 2015 Ignite the Flame Contest. She has contributed short stories and poetry  in book compilations: Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Very Good, Very Bad Dog, Writing So Heaven Will Be Different, and On Golden Wings of Time. She has devotionals published in The Cup Of Salvation: 8 ounces of Jesus, a Lenten Devotional and The Upper Room. Other published works include The Writer magazine, SEEK, newspaper, church bulletins, pamphlets, and numerous book reviews. Marie belongs to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Word Weavers. 

She holds a B.A., an M.B.A., and an M.A. in General Theology. Marie lives in Illinois with her husband of twenty-seven years. When she's not writing, she's walking, golfing, gardening, or spending time with her two sons and their families. She loves to bake homemade rolls and bread.

For more information about Marie E. Bast and her books, visit her at:

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Monday, February 18, 2019

Mending Fences

Mending Fences

(The Deacon's Family #1)

Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.
Luke Schrock is a new and improved man after a stint in rehab, though everyone in Stoney Ridge only remembers the old Luke. They might have forgiven him, but nobody trusts him.

Amos and Fern Lapp allow Luke to live at Windmill Farm under two conditions. First, Luke must make a sincere apology to each person he's hurt--a four-page, single-spaced list. Second, he must ask each victim of mischief to describe the damage he caused.

Simple, Luke thinks. Offering apologies is easy. But discovering the lasting effects his careless actions have caused . . . that isn't so simple. It's gut-wrenching.

And his list keeps growing. Izzy Miller, beautiful and frustratingly aloof, also boards at Windmill Farm. Luke's clumsy efforts to befriend Izzy only insult and annoy her. Eager to impress, Luke sets out to prove himself to her by locating her mother. When he does, her identity sends shock waves through Stoney Ridge.

Bestselling and award-winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher returns to her beloved Stoney Ridge for this brand-new series featuring some of her readers' favorite characters.

My thoughts; MENDING FENCES is the first book in an outstanding new series by one of my favorite Amish authors Suzanne Woods Fisher. Those who've read her books know all -- or most of the characters in this new series and I quickly fell in love with bad boy Luke and hurting Izzy and was glad to reconnect with many old favorites.  Like Bishop David. Such a wise man. And Amos. I was praying for him in this book. 

I couldn't keep from laughing out loud of some of Luke's mistakes. Drunk cats. A snake, lose in a woman's house. An escapee horse and oh, the elusive rattler. Luke certainly knew how to pick his challenges. 

There were some twists in the story I never saw coming, but this is an awesome story of hope, of forgiveness, of facing your past and finding your future. And so much more. 

Highly recommended. Must read. Book one in a series. 

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Lynne Tagawa shares her testimony

Testimony—Lynne Tagawa

Something was wrong. I knew that now. Something was really, really wrong.

I’d just recovered from an overdose of pills, taken in a kind of desperate desire to escape the life I had: the life of a successful high-school student. Successful and happy on the outside, but battling the demons of despair on the inside.

Another student called me on the phone. He talked about God, about faith. I listened.

It was really just the first tentative step on a journey of faith, a journey out of bitterness and depression into life and hope in Christ.

It wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I was born again. By then I had made a profession of faith, taken the label of “Christian,” but depression still hindered me. Nothing had changed in any fundamental way, except for this: I had a vague sense of where to go, where to look, when darkness squeezed me.

I joined a Bible study sponsored by a campus group. And when that group planned a retreat, I decided to go. It was a weekend getaway with cabins and KP duty and plenty of Bible on the menu.

Funny how it doesn’t really matter what part of the Word you’re in, the Lord can get your attention. We were studying II Timothy for the most part. What I really needed was repentance, redemption, regeneration, cleansing.

And that’s what happened. One night at bedtime I opened my Bible. I read this passage:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Rom. 12:1-2 KJV)

These verses came alive to me. I laid hold on them and obeyed them. Not in a psychological make-up-your-mind kind of way, but naturally, as if this was what I wanted all along.

I suppose today I could write about the meaning of those verses, how they fit into the context of Romans as a whole, and other details, but at the time, it was simply food for my soul. The next day I surrendered to Christ, to His will for me, and made a conscious decision to live for Him my entire life.

That was in January of 1979. I identified with Keith Green’s words in his song, “Your Love Broke Through”:

Like waking up from the longest dream, how real it seemed
Until your love broke through

That’s what it felt like: I’d been wearing chains, dreaming a dream behind a dirty veil, and then it was all removed.

And it was all of grace, God’s love freely bestowed on me through Christ.

Back cover copy TSRnew

John Russell’s heart aches from the loss of his wife, but the Shenandoah Valley frontiersman needs to marry again for his daughter’s sake. At first he believes he has found the right young woman, despite their differences in background, but his faith falters when time reveals she isn’t quite what she seemed. Can he truly love her? And what about his own failings?

Unlike her disgraced sister, Abigail Williams obeys the Commandments. At least, she thinks herself a Christian until a buckskin-clad newcomer courts her. He treats her kindly but also introduces her to a sermon by the controversial preacher, George Whitefield. Her self-righteousness is shattered, and she wonders about their relationship. If she confesses her lack of faith, will John continue to love her?

“Lynne Tagawa transports readers into the faith and hope, and sorrows and fears of 18th century colonial America. While other books feature the raw grit of frontier colonial life, this book goes deeper and reveals the heart.” —Douglas Bond, author of numerous books, including War in the Wasteland and Hostage Lands.

The Shenandoah Road is an authentic and engaging journey back to the challenges of settling in the Shenandoah Valley” —Laura Hilton, author of Firestorm (Whitaker House, 2018)

“Raw, realistic, and historically packed, this story will make you think. If you enjoy stories with deep theological themes, you will enjoy this.” —Amber Schamel, author of Solve by Christmas, winner of the 2018 Christian Indie Award

Lynne Tagawa, author of Sam Houston’s Republic and A Twisted Strand, lives in Texas with her husband.

Lynne Tagawa is married with four grown sons and four marvelous grandbabies. A biology teacher by trade, she teaches part-time, writes, and edits. She’s written a Texas history curriculum in narrative form, Sam Houston’s Republic, and two novels, A Twisted Strand and The Shenandoah Road. Lynne lives with her husband in South Texas.

Buy The Shenandoah Road: A Novel of the Great Awakening from Amazon (kindle), Grace & Truth Books, or other major booksellers.



Saturday, February 16, 2019

New Beginnings by Linda Shenton Matchett

New Beginnings

While I was growing up, my dad worked for IBM. Officially, the acronym stands for International Business Machines. Among company employees and their cynical families, it means “I’ve Been Moved.” As a result of relocating numerous times (I attended three high schools)because of Dad’s job, I’m more than a little versed on new beginnings. Fortunately, I am an extrovert, so I had less difficulty than my shy siblings with making friends and adjusting to new locations.

Interestingly, I get restless if I feel I’m in one place for too long. My husband and I have lived in our current home for seventeen years. Seventeen. Years. Waaaay more years than I’ve ever resided anywhere.In 2017, when we passed the fifteenth anniversary of buying the house, the amount of time we’d been there weighed heavily on me. I felt stagnate and stale.

I probably drove my husband crazy as I searched for ways to ease the burden of feeling trapped. New hobbies were tried and discarded. Day trips and weeklong journeys peppered the calendar. I even began job hunting and researching other areas of the country where we could move.

Over time, God helped me realize new beginnings didn’t need to encompass a relocation or a job change or any of the other life changing events that can bring excitement (or stress for some of you). That a new beginning can be experienced every morning when I awaken.

Think about it. Each day is like a do-over, a blank sheet of paper, ready to be filled with the activities, events, and opportunities presented. God has all kinds of plans (read: beginnings) for the day if I would turn my ear toward His still small voice.

Nowadays, my new beginnings are more incremental such as starting a new writing project. What is your new beginning?

“The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions
never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NASB)

Love’s Rescue:

A prostitute, a spy, and the liberation of Paris.

Sold by her parents to settle a debt, RolandeBisset is forced into prostitution. Years later, shunned by her family and most of society, it’s the only way she knows how to subsist. When the Germans overrun Paris, she decides she’s had enough of evil men controlling her life and uses her wiles to obtain information for the Allied forces. Branded a collaborator, her life hangs in the balance. Then an American spy stumbles onto her doorstep. Is redemption within her grasp?

Simon Harlow is one of an elite corps of American soldiers. Regularly chosen for dangerous covert missions, he is tasked with infiltrating Paris to ascertain the Axis’s defenses. Nearly caught by German forces moments after arriving, he owes his life to the beautiful prostitute who claims she’s been waiting for the Allies to arrive. Her lifestyle goes against everything he believes in, but will she steal his heart during his quest to liberate her city?

Inspired by the biblical story of Rahab, Love’s Rescue is a tale of faith and hope during one of history’s darkest periods.


Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent and archivist at the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library. She and her husband live in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Grit and Grace Devotions for Warrior Moms and #giveaway!!!

Grit and Grace: Devotions for Warrior Moms


My thoughts: GRIT AND GRACE: DEVOTIONS FOR WARRIOR MOMS is a book that all moms can relate to, whether they are veterans with grown children and grandchildren, or whether they are just starting out with their first newborn infant. 

The stories are personal and friendly, having something to do with giving birth or parenting, then the authors take leaps to tie it to scripture and include a prayer.  I would like there to be actual scripture references to read and meditate on to start with, but there are not, so as far as devotions go, its more of a healthy dose of "Hey, you can do this, Mom" rather than focus on actually feeding you spiritually. 

If you are looking for a friendly devotional that will allow you to spend five minutes or less getting a dose of motivation to press on, then this will be a good book to consider.  The stories are interesting, easy to read, and were a fun trip down memory lane in some cases. 
click here:

About the book

Hang in There, Mama!

For those moments when you think you’ll never live up to the Supermoms around you—when you’re elbow deep in the grind of diapers and laundry and peanut butter sandwiches—you need a good dose of Grit and Grace.

This refreshing collection of 90 daily devotions comes from two moms who’ve found themselves face-to-the-floor in need of encouragement and now offer it to you. Through humor and vulnerability, these short messages of truth remove the filters of perfection clouding your vision and bring clarity to your purpose as a mom. As you read the Scripture and prayer that accompany each day’s message, you’ll discover more fully who you are in Christ and how to raise your children to reflect His love to the world.

In giving yourself grace, you will find you have even more grace to give from the One who is present in your life right now and in every moment.

About the author

Suzanne Hadley Gosselin and Gretta Kennedy first met as roommates at Multnomah University. They are quick to admit they did not like each other when they first met due to opposite personalities. However, they worked out their differences and became best friends who roomed together for all four years of college. Two decades later, during a phone conversation, they realized God was laying on their hearts the desire to write a devotional for moms of young children to encourage and strengthen them in their role as mothers. It was then the idea for Grit & Grace: Devotions for Warrior Moms was born.

Suzanne Hadley Gosselin 
is a regular writer and editor for Focus on the Family and David C Cook and previously served as an editor for Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. Gosselin has written books for Zondervan, Harvest House and Tyndale and is the author of Expectant Parents: Preparing Together for the Journey of Parenthood.

Gosselin lives in Bakersfield, CA with her husband, Kevin, and four children. The family enjoys escaping to the ocean.

Learn more about Gosselin at She can also be found on Facebook (suzannegosselinauthor)Twitter (@gosselinsh) and Instagram (@suzannegosselin)

Gretta Kennedy is a speaker, mentor and writer with a degree in women’s ministry from Multnomah University and over 20 years of ministry experience. She passionately supports her husband, Jay, and his full-time camp ministry. They are raising their three children on Vancouver Island and report their adventures on the travel blog Traveling Islanders.

Grit & Grace is her first book.

Keep up with the Kennedy family’s adventures at and on Facebook (travelingislanders)Twitter (@traveislanders) and Instagram (@travelingislanders).

Fellow Grit & Grace Warrior Moms can connect on Facebook (gritandgracemoms)Twitter (@Gritandgracemom) and Instagram (@gritandgracemoms)

Tour schedule

Growing in grace
Inklings and Notions
A Christian Writer's World
Donna's BookShelf
Happily Managing a Household of Boys
The Livy Updater
Lighthouse Academy
My Table of Three
Mary-andering Creatively
Back Porchervations
Walking in the Light
Inspired by fiction
Our Everyday Harvest
The Perspective Conservative
Once Upon a Storyville
For him and my family
Beauty in the Binding
Linda's Lunacy
SK Bell
Texas Book-aholic
Southern & Style
Our Perfectly Imperfect Life
A Peace of Mind
Finding My Yellow
Locks, Hooks and Books
Mommy Ramblings
This Mom's Delight
The Forgiven Former Feminist
Mustard Seed Mommy
Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting