Saturday, May 31, 2014

Love's Journey Home

Author: Kelly Irvin
Publisher: Harvest House
February 2013
ISBN: 978-0736953184
Genre: Amish

It's been seven years since her husband died, but Helen Crouch is doing just fine. She's selling her jams and canned goods at the bakery and making a tidy living. But her whole world goes topsy-turvy when a new family moves to town.

Gabriel Gless has brought his children to Bliss Creek to escape the worldly influences in Indiana. Helen and Gabriel have so much in common--the loss of their beloved spouses, the experience of raising their families alone, their rock-solid faith--so why can't they seem to speak without arguing?

And that's not all that's going on in Bliss Creek this summer. In the middle of a punishing drought, the community is faced with the decision to uproot their families and establish a new settlement. As families struggle to say goodbye, each one must find the faith to follow the Lord's direction.

My thoughts:   There are about four stories intermingled in the pages of LOVE'S JOURNEY HOME and at first I found it confusing. Anna, Catherine, Helen, etal, I couldn't figure out how the stories would end up relating to each other. Ms. Irvin is a stellar writer and held my interest, but I find it jarring to go from Helen's story to Anna's story to Catherine etc without warning and that would take me out of the story for awhile as I struggled to switch gears. I do enjoy Ms. Irvin's books, and am anxious to read more. LOVE'S JOURNEY HOME. This is the third book in The Bliss Creek Amish series, but it does stand alone. Fans will want to read To Love and to Cherish and A Heart Made New in addition to LOVE'S JOURNEY HOME. Discussion questions  are included at the end of the book. $13.99. 368 pages. 

About the author:

Kelly Irvin is a Kansas native and has been writing professionally for 30 years. She and her husband, Tim, make their home in Texas. They have two children, three cats, and a tankful of fish. A public relations professional, Kelly is also the author of two romantic suspense novels and writes short stories in her spare time. To learn more about her work, visit

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Amish Bride

Authors: Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould
Publisher: Harvest House
August 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7369-3862-4
Genre: Amish

A long-lost painting… a journal with a secret code… a father’s mysterious return…

Ella Bayer and Ezra Gundy are in love and hope to marry someday, but she is a young Mennonite woman while he is an Amish man. Though both Plain, one of them will have to forsake what they believe to embrace another way of life.

Hoping some distance will cool the relationship, Ezra's family sends him to work at an Amish dairy farm in Indiana. But Ella disregards what her family wants and follows Ezra. In short order she finds a place to live, a job in a bakery, and an unexpected but budding friendship with a handsome Amish farmhand, Luke.

When a family tragedy forces Ella back to Pennsylvania, she must face all she's been running away from. And once she has made peace with those around her, she has an important decision to make: Whose Amish bride will she become--Ezra's or Luke's?

Bestselling authors Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould offer readers THE AMISH BRIDE, Book 3 in the Women of Lancaster County series, which tells the stories of young Plain women as they explore their roots, connect with family, and discover true love.

I enjoyed reading Ella's story. I found her relationship with Luke and Ezra interesting and did wonder which one she'd end up choosing. I also enjoyed Ella trying to decipher codes in her grandmother's old book. At first, Ella drove me crazy, trying to micro-manage her and Ezra's lives. I was glad when she started growing up and relying on God to guide her and not herself.  I really enjoyed this book.

The whole story was interesting, clean, and a look at Mennonites and Amish interacting and how they differ. Fans of both Amish and Mennonite fiction will enjoy THE AMISH BRIDE. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $13.99. 352 pages. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Too Rich for a Bride

Author: Mona Hodgson
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
May 2011
ISBN: 978-0307458926
Genre: Historical

With a head more suited to bookkeeping than a bridal veil, Ida’s dreams include big business—not beaus.

Ida Sinclair has joined her sisters, Kat and Nell, in the untamed mining town of Cripple Creek, Colorado for one reason: to work for the infamous but undeniably successful businesswoman, Mollie O’Bryan. Ida’s sisters may be interested in making a match for their determined older sister, but Ida only wants to build her career.

Under Mollie's tutelage, Ida learns how to play the stock market and revels in her promising accomplishments. Fighting for respect in a man's world, her ambition leaves little room for distractions. She ignores her family's reservations about Mollie O'Bryan's business practices, but no matter how she tries, she can't ignore the two men pursuing her affections—Colin Wagner, the dashing lawyer, and Tucker Raines, the traveling preacher.

Ida wants a career more than anything else, so she shrugs off the suitors and pointed “suggestions” that young ladies don’t belong in business. Will it take unexpected love—or unexpected danger—for Ida to realize where her priorities truly lie?

TOO RICH FOR A BRIDE is the second book in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series. Fans will want to read Two Brides Too Many to get the story about Ida’s sister, but the stories are stand alone.

Ida is a very strong heroine. I liked that she wasn’t willing to compromise her values in order to get what she wants, I didn’t like that she was willing to sell out in order to get a good reference. In the days before womens lib, Ida bucked the system. I found the story a bit predictable, as in I knew where it was going and who the hero would be. I had no surprises. I didn’t connect to Ida the way I would’ve liked though.

Fans of Ms. Hodgson and of historical fiction with very strong heroines will love TOO RICH FOR A BRIDE. The town it was set in sounds charming. $13.99. 320 pages,

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Swept Away

Author: Nicole O’Dell
Publisher: Barbour Books
April 2011
ISBN: 978-1616262525
Genre: young adult / scenerios

In High Stakes, seniors and best friends, Amber and Brittany, are neck and neck in a good-natured competition for a car being given away by a local business.

In Essence of Lilly, sophomore Lilly Armstrong is always looking for ways to escape the confines of her unhappy home. She “invents” youth group activities just so she can hang out with her boyfriend, Jason—the only one in Lilly’s life who makes her feel special. 

What happens when Amber and Lilly are faced with making difficult choices? Will they allow themselves to be swept away? Readers help Amber and Lilly make the difficult decisions and see how their choices create consequences with life-altering results.

Decisions, decisions! How is a girl supposed to choose? Lessons of right and wrong are put to the test in the Scenarios series, where you can test your decision-making abilities in an eye-opening, but safe, way. Each book follows a character up to the point where she has to make an important, life-changing decision—then it’s your turn to choose. Will your choices lead to a happy ending?

I haven’t read any of the scenario books up until now and I wasn’t sure what to expect. What it is a partially written story the you chose the ending. Will the girl make the right choice? Or the wrong choice? What will be the possible ending to the story?

I have a twelve year old daughter and she was interested in reading this. I wasn’t real sure about whether or not I should let her – but both stories opened up opportunities for discussion.

If you are looking for a book that will hopefully teach your tween / teen girl how to chose the right choice and show her what might happen with the wrong choice, then SWEPT AWAY would be the perfect choice. $9.99. 377 pages. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Daisies are Forever

Daisies are Forever Liz Tolsma

Book and Review
About the book:

Gisela must hold on to hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country.

Gisela Cramer is an American living in eastern Germany with her cousin Ella Reinhardt. When the Red Army invades, they must leave their home to escape to safety in Berlin.

However, Ella is a nurse and refuses to leave, sending her young daughters with Gisela. During their journey, Gisela meets Mitch Edwards, an escaped British POW. She pretends she is his wife in order to preserve his safety among other Germans, especially one wounded German soldier, Kurt, who has suspicions about Mitch's identity. Kurt also has feelings for Gisela and tries to uncover the truth about her "marriage."

Their journey to Gisela's mother in Berlin is riddled with tragedy and hardship, but they strive to keep Ella's daughters safe so they can reunite with their mother. During the journey Gisela and Mitch begin to develop feelings for one another beyond friendship. They reach Berlin, but their struggles are far from over. Gisela and Mitch must learn to live for the day and find hope in the darkest of circumstances.

In this moving, historically accurate portrayal of WWII Germany, the characters learn that, even with destruction all around them, some things last forever.

My thoughts:  I was in Ms. Tolsma's critique group when she wrote the first book in the series Snow on the Tulips, and for about half of this book. I was anxious to see how it ended as when Ms. Tolsma  and I parted ways as critique partners (since I didn't write historical) the main characters were being bombed... did they survive? I had to find out what happened.

DAISIES ARE FOREVER is everything I thought it would be and more. Gory in details at time, it accurately portrays the horrors of WWII in ways I never knew. Ms. Tolsma focuses more on the characters who are trying to survive the war being fought in their homeland than other authors who focused on Americans coming in and fighting.

If you are looking for WWII fiction, then you'll definitely want to check out Snow on the Tulips and DAISIES ARE FOREVER. 5 stars. 340 pages. $15.99 

Purchase a copy: 

About the author: 

New York Times best-selling author Liz Tolsma is the author of Daisies are ForeverSnow on the Tulips, and the contributing author of A Log Cabin Christmas. When not busy putting words to paper, Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and children, all adopted internationally.

Connect with Liz: websiteFaceobokTwitter

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Monday, May 26, 2014


shelley shepard gray thankful return to sugarcreek

Book and Review
About the book: 

Thankful, Book Two in the Return to Sugarcreek series
New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray captures the beauty, devotion, and warmth of Amish life in this engaging tale of family, commitment, trust, and love set in the beloved community of Sugarcreek.
Christina Kempf has always known that God chose Aden Reese to be her husband. As children, he was there to save her when she fell through the ice, and he's been by her side ever since. After his parents died in a car accident ten years ago, the Kempfs raised Aden as one of their own, and everyone sees Aden and Christina as brother and sister. But Christina has never given up hope that Aden will one day ask her to be his wife.
Aden always planned to court Christina. But losing his mother and father changed everything---except his love for her. Her parents generously welcomed him into their home and treated him like a son. He can't betray their kindness by admitting his feelings for the girl who is like a sister . . . yet so much more.
Pressured by her parents to court, Christina begins to accept the attentions of Sugarcreek's young men, and now, Aden must make a choice. Will he stand by and watch the love of his life slip away? Or will he risk losing the love and trust of the family he holds dear to tell Christina how he truly feels?
Thankful includes a P.S. section with additional insights from the author, background material, suggestions for further reading, and more.

My thoughts: This was a very sweet romance and a quick read. Christina and Aden are raised as siblings but felt differently for each other. There were also two other stories interwoven in the pages of Aden and Christina's romance. Jana worked at the Inn Christina works at and she's looking for mostly retiring, and Judith is wanting to adopt a baby but might ended fostering one. A very quick read, short and satisfying. 

I enjoyed getting to know Christina and Aden and as theirs was the main story, it was good. The other stories were good as well.  If you are looking for a good Amish story, then consider Shelley Shepard Gray's THANKFUL. Discussion questions, a letter from the author, a recipe, and a preview of Ms. Gray's next book is included. $12.99. 231 pages. 4.5 stars. 

Purchase a copy: 

About the author: Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Timesbestseller, a two-time USA Todaybestseller, 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.

Connect with Shelley: websiteFacebook

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

While Love Stirs

Author: Lorna Seilstad
Publisher: Revell
April 2014
ISBN: 978-0800721824
Genre: Historical

Take one lovely young woman.
Add two ambitious young men.
Stir . . . and stand back.

As a graduate of Fannie Farmer's School of Cookery, Charlotte Gregory is thrilled to have the opportunity to travel, lecture, and give cooking demonstrations on the very latest kitchen revolution--the gas stove. And she certainly doesn't mind that the gas company has hired the kindhearted Lewis Mathis to entertain at her lectures.

Lewis encourages Charlotte's work, especially her crusade to introduce fresh, appetizing, nutritious food to those convalescing in hospitals. But young hospital superintendent Dr. Joel Brooks is not convinced any changes should be made--especially by this outspoken young woman.

When Charlotte and Joel are coerced into planning a fund-raising gala for the hospital, will this combustible pair explode?

Follow the second Gregory sister as she looks for true love and makes her way in a rapidly changing world in this breezy, lighthearted love triangle that will keep you guessing. 

Readers will want to read When Love Calls, the first book in The Gregory Sisters series, though WHILE LOVE STIRS does stand alone. I didn’t care much for Charlotte, she is argumentive and insulting even when she goes to apply for work or visit her sister in the hospital. I know she has good reasons both times, but as I’m often reminded you can kill more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.

Charlotte does have training as a chef and more importantly, as a nutritionist, but that was before the times when women were allowed any sort of occupation.

Joel is a caring individual who might’ve been clueless in nutrition, and he might’ve been willing to listen easier if Charlotte was less combative.

I enjoyed Ms. Seilstad’s other historicals better than I did this one. Maybe because of Charlotte’s personality. The writing was excellent. Fans of strong heroines and historical fiction might love this book. $14.99. 352 pages.

Lorna Seilstad is the author of When Love Calls and the Lake Manawa Summers series. A former high school English and journalism teacher, she has won several online writing contests and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Lorna lives in Iowa with her husband. Learn more at

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Interview with Beverly Varnado

1.Why do you write the kind of books you do?

My friend and author,Terry Kay, who has had several of his books made into movies for Hallmark, suggests that we do not write to tell a story but to discover a story. The stories I usually discover have Southern settings and a historical thread, which is what really interests me and I hope interests my readers.

2. What is your current work in progress?

I’m currently working on a screenplay from which I will also write a novel. The title has been with me a long time and the story is a coming of age tale about the search for beauty amidst tragedy. It’s still
cooking, so I can’t say much more.

3. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

Well, I wouldn’t call writing a hobby. It’s definitely my work. My hobbies include spending time at the piano as I’ve been a musician my entire life. As an art major, watercolor is my preferred medium, and I occasionally use some of my work on my blog. I’m also an avid birdwatcher.

4. What advice would you give to a beginning author? 

I have a writer’s group I started a few years ago, and the thing that’s most apparent from my own
experience as well as others’ experience is that it’s going to take longer than you think to reach your goals. That’s why it’s important to know why you’re writing and to review those reasons often. We can’t survive on moments of inspiration. We need to be disciplined in our writing endeavors to build a body of work.

5. Tell us about Home to Currahee – a brief blurb:

All June Callaway wants is a simpler life and healing from a tragedy when she moves from Atlanta to the charming town of Toccoa near historic Currahee Mountain. However, her discovery of a mystery-laden treasure with a World War II connection makes her life even more complicated and threatens to waken a fear that would take her back down a road of heartache and grief. Colorful town characters help her along and the mountain itself bestows an unimaginable gift on her, but will she be able to push past her fear and solve the mysteries of the desk in time? Can she, as the stranger suggested, “do it afraid”?

6. While you were writing Home to Currahee, do you think it mattered where the book was set?

Definitely. The book is set in a town near Currahee Mountain
where the paratroopers trained who parachuted on D-Day. Though Home to Currahee is contemporary Southern fiction, the opening chapter is set on D-Day.

7. What impact did your research have on you personally?

Interestingly, we’ll observe the 70th those men who changed the world because of their bravery. I did the research and wrote the first draft of this book eight years ago. I interviewed Reed Pelfrey who was one of the Pathfinders who set the drop targets for the paratroopers and one of the first ones to jump that day. He has since died, and I truly count it a privilege to have been able to interview him.

8. Is there one particular message or “moral of the story” you hope readers walk away with?

Madeline L’engle said that writers “write more than we know.” I’m praying I do and that though I may intend the reader will walk away with courage to live more boldly after reading Home to Currahee, I also hope that there may be messages of grace that God intended that I didn’t even know I was writing.

9. What’s on the horizon for you?

I have another novel, Give My Love to the Chesntut Trees, the screenplay for which is under option. I’ve been told that it should go into production late 2014 or early 2015, which is very exciting.

10. Where can readers find you online?

I have blogged for several years at One Ringing Bell ( where you will find “peals of words on faith, living and writing.” You may also visit me on my website, or my Facebook author page at

The paperback and eBook are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Booksamillion, Parable, Cokesbury as well as other online retailers and in select Christian bookstores.

Southern writer, Beverly Varnado, has been featured in several Georgia publications including Southern Distinctions Magazine who recently highlighted her in an editorial of select Georgia Authors.

 She has won numerous awards for her work including being a finalist for the prestigious Kairos
Prize in Screenwriting, a finalist in screenwriting at the Gideon Media Arts Conference and a
semifinalist in Christian Writer’s Guild Operation First Novel. She currently has a screenplay
under option with Elevating Entertainment.

Beverly’s nonfiction has appeared in the Upper Room Magazine, ChristianDevotions.US, and a
Focus on the Family publication.

She lives in North Georgia with her husband, Jerry, wonderful children, Aaron and Bethany, and
their chocolate Lab, Lucy, who is outnumbered by several cats.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Pattern for Romance

Title: Pattern for Romance
Author: Carla Olson Gade
Publisher: Abingdon Press
August 2013
ISBN: 978-1426752711
Genre: Historical

Sometimes God’s pattern for our lives can lean us somewhere unexpected.

Honour Metcalf's quilting needlework is admired by a wealthy customer of the Boston Mantua-maker for whom she works. In need of increasing her earnings, she agrees to create an elaborate white work bridal quilt for the dowager's niece. A beautiful design emerges as she carefully stitches the intricate patterns and she begins to dream of fashioning a wedding quilt of her own.

When Honour is falsely accused of thievery and finds herself in a perilous position, merchant tailor Joshua Sutton comes to her aid. As he risks his relationships, reputation, and livelihood to prove her innocence, the two discover a grander plan.

PATTERN FOR ROMANCE is a tightly written story set before the Revolutionary War when things in the colonies were just beginning to get rough. Starting out with a damaging hailstorm, Honour is rescued by the bachelor of the colonies--a man who has recently been jilted by his former fiancee. 

The dialogue is rather stiff and the characters rather flat, but the story is impeccably told. Fans of pre-Revolutionary war historical romances and of Ms. Gade might find the story enchanting. A letter from the author documenting the history of the times textiles and discussion questions are included. 

PATTERN FOR ROMANCE is book eight in the Quilts of Love series. Fans of this series will want to read it as well. $12.99. 272 pages. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Spotlight: She Makes it Look Easy

Author: Marybeth Whalen
Publisher: David C. Cook
June 2011
ISBN:  978-0781403702
Genre: Contempory

The fence was more than a barrier between property lines. It was a line marking two entirely different lives...

Ariel Baxter has just moved into the neighborhood of her dreams. The chaos of domestic life and the loneliness of motherhood, however, moved with her. Then she meets her neighbor, Justine Miller. Justine ushers Ariel into a world of clutter-free houses, fresh-baked bread, homemade crafts, neighborhood playdates, and organization techniques designed to make marriage better and parenting manageable.

Soon Ariel realizes there is hope for peace, friendship, and clean kitchen counters. But when rumors start to circulate about Justine’s real home life, Ariel must choose whether to believe the best about the friend she admires or consider the possibility that “perfection” isn’t always what it seems to be.

A novel for every woman who has looked at another woman’s life and said, “I want what she has,” She Makes It Look Easy reminds us of the danger of pedestals and the beauty of authentic friendship.

$14.99. 309 pages.

order it here:

About the author:

Marybeth Whalen is the wife of Curt and mom of six children. The family lives outside Charlotte, NC. Marybeth is the author of the novels "The Mailbox," "She Makes It Look Easy," "The Guest Book" and "The Wishing Tree." She also serves as director of She Reads, an online book club focused on spotlighting the best in women's fiction. Marybeth spends most of her time in the grocery store but occasionally escapes long enough to scribble some words. She's always at work on her next novel. You can find her online at

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Fair Play

Author: DeeAnne Gist
Publisher: Howard Books
May 2014
ISBN:  978-1451692419
Genre: Historical

From the bestselling author of It Happened at the Fair comes a historical love story about a lady doctor and a Texas Ranger who meet at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Saddled with a man’s name, the captivating Billy Jack Tate makes no apologies for taking on a man’s profession. As a doctor at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, she is one step closer to having her very own medical practice—until Hunter Scott asks her to give it all up to become his wife.

Hunter is one of the elite. A Texas Ranger and World’s Fair guard specifically chosen for his height, physique, character, and skill. Hailed as the toughest man west of any place east, he has no patience for big cities and women who think they belong anywhere but home…

Despite their difference of opinion on the role of women, Hunter and Billy find a growing attraction between them—until Hunter discovers an abandoned baby in the corner of a White City exhibit. He and Billy team up to make sure this foundling isn’t left in the slums of Chicago with only the flea-riddled, garbage-infested streets for a playground. As they fight for the underprivileged children in the Nineteenth Ward, an entire Playground Movement is birthed. But when the Fair comes to an end, one of them will have to give up their dream.

Will Billy exchange her doctor’s shingle for the domesticated role of a southern wife, or will Hunter abandon the wide open spaces of home for a life in the “gray city,” a woman who insists on being the wage earner, and a group of ragamuffins who need more than a playground for breathing space?

FAIR PLAY is the continuation of Tempest in the White City. In fact, if you read this e-short, you pretty much read the first nine chapters of FAIR PLAY (with a few extra details included.)

I heard Ms. Gist is going to be leaving the CBA (Christian Book Association) market and going secular – and this book does toe the line. I love the tension she inserts in her books, but this one took it a bit over the top. And for those who like Christian books to be Christian, this one is only published by a Christian publisher. It is not even remotely Christian in how they act or think.

Notes documenting Ms. Gist’s extensive research, discussion questions, and a note from the author are included at the end.

Ms. Gist is an excellent writer, and while the first eight chapters are a repeat of a previously published work, the story is engaging, gripping, and, even though it is very thick, a quick read. Fans of Ms. Gist will love this book. Fans of historical fiction might want to consider how passionate they want the book to be before they pick it up. $15.99. 464 pages. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Book Blast: The Christian Writer 101

One winner will be chosen to win a paperback copy of The Christian Writer 101

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Book Title The Christian Writer 101 (Fourth Edition)

Genre: Instructional

About The Book

The Christian Writer 101 (Fourth Edition) is author, Nina Fitzhugh Wells' updated version of this concise guide to Christian Self-Publishing. Within the pages are step-by-step instructions for writing, publishing and promoting your Christian book. This educational manual offers all you need to make informed choices concerning your publishing focus.

As an update the third edition, it not only boasts the technical and practical pieces, it also extensively covers such topics as: 1) A Complete social media chapter, and 2) Proven marketing and promotions strategies. As well, there are foundational scriptures, wisdom winks, and motivational quotes from literary professionals to further educate and inspire you. This Concise, Precise, Advice Guide is for ALL writers, authors, and self-publishers.

About The Author

Nina Fitzhugh Wells has served in education for more than 25 years; in the book publishing business for nearly 15 years; and in the Christian counseling for 10 years. Her calling and passion is for teaching, counseling, and evangelistic outreach. “God has commissioned me to educate and inspire all people; and to offer hope and healing to the lost and hurting,” proclaims Wells, who serve diligently to help others discover, develop, and use their gifts to their highest potential.

A native of Philadelphia, PA, Nina Fitzhugh Wells is a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) student at Walden University in Baltimore, Maryland where her focus is Higher Education and Adult Learning. She earned her Master of Arts Degree in Christian Education from the Union Theological Seminary (Now Union Presbytery Seminary) in Richmond, Virginia; and did her undergraduate studies at the Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania. She is the author of seven books, including her profound autobiography: “Lost FOUNDation: From Foster Care to God’s Heir” (2009), a highly acclaimed top seller. Currently, she is penning her eighth book - a research-based study - entitled: "Emancipation Revelation: An Exploratory View at Resources and Supports for First Year College Students Who Age-Out of Foster Care," to be published in 2014.

Wells is an ordained evangelist and adult educator who serves as Education Director at Kingdom Publishing Group (KPG), a Christian book publishing and promotions company in Richmond, VA. She is credited with helping a diverse group of authors to birth nearly 300 God-inspired books out to the world. Her ministry, books, and education have afforded her many opportunities to reach and teach multitudes of people from diverse communities. She continues to be in high demand as a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, educator and Christian counselor.

In addition to publishing, teaching, and motivational speaking, Nina Fitzhugh Wells dedicates much of her time to advocating for youth who age-out of the foster care system. She is the Founder and Executive Director at “Excel HIGHER, Inc.” Through this non-profit organization, Nina works closely with local, state and federal agencies, and colleges and universities by offering resources, programming, and finishing workshops to prepare foster youth as they transition from state support to self-sufficiency. In August 2013, she began hosting a radio show entitled: Revelation For Elevation, which serves to bring awareness to the plight of youth who age-out of foster care; as well as promote advocacy.

In July 2010, Nina was inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society for Education. As well, she is a member of the Foster Care Alumni of America (FCAA), the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), and the Independent Book Publishers’ Association (IBPA). As well, she is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA).

Nina currently resides in Virginia; and is married to her best friend, Minister Leon Wells, Jr. She purposes to live each day based on the Philippians 4:8 scripture: "Finally Brethren, whatever is things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of a good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.”

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Love Finds You in Sugar Creek, Ohio

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Love Finds You in Sugarcreek Serena Miller

Book info and review

Guideposts Books is excited to announce the premiere of a new film based on the book Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio (Summerside Press) by Serena Miller. The movie, produced by Mission Pictures International and filmed last fall in the actual town of Sugarcreek, will premiere on Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:00 PM EDT on Up TV (formerly the Gospel Music Channel). Visit the movie website for more information.

The story:

Author: Serena B. Miller
Publisher: Summerside Press
July 2010
ISBN: 978-1-60936-002-3
Genre: Contemporary romance

Rachel Troyer is a police officer, but her family is Amish, and Rachel considers it her duty to look after her three elderly Amish aunts, who run a bed and breakfast near Sugarcreek. Rachel is concerned with her aunts overworking, so she talks them into closing the inn. The aunts finally agree, with the stipulation that they would take in needy strangers.

Joe Matthews straggles into town on the run with a beaten up truck and his four year old son, Bobby. Joe has a lot of secrets, and is obviously hiding something but the aunts have no hesitation in taking him in. But Rachel doesn’t trust him, even going so far as to threaten him if he didn’t divulge his secrets.

When Joe kept his mouth shut, Rachel went looking—but will she be able to find the secrets before trouble comes calling?

I didn’t connect with Rachel at all. I didn’t see anything lovable about her. And I didn’t understand Joe. Some of his decisions seemed plain stupid and weren’t explained adequately enough. Like, when his wallet was stolen—why didn’t he contact his bank and credit card companies? He could have done that much without revealing his location. My favorite character in the book was Eli, Rachel’s elderly uncle who lived on a neighboring farm. He was a dear.

That said, LOVE FINDS YOU IN SUGARCREEK, OHIO is a sweet romance set in Ohio’s Amish country. The main characters aren't Amish, so if you don’t like Amish fiction, you shouldn’t shy away from this book. There is also a bit of mystery and suspense included in the pages of this book. $12.99. 350 pages.

Get the book:

About the author: Prior to writing novels, Serena Miller wrote for many periodicals, including Woman's WorldGuideposts, Billy Graham'sDecision MagazineReader's Digest,Focus on the FamilyChristian Woman, and The Detroit Free Press Magazine. She has spent many years partnering with her husband in full-time ministry and lives on a farm in southern Ohio near a thriving Amish community.

Learn more about Serena at:

 Blog Tour Schedule


Guideposts Books is excited to announce the premiere of a new film based on the book Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio (Summerside Press) by Serena Miller. The movie, produced by Mission Pictures International and filmed last fall in the actual town of Sugarcreek, will premiere on Sunday, June 1, 2014, at 7:00 PM EDT on Up TV (formerly the Gospel Music Channel). Visit the movie website for more information.

Serena and Guideposts will be celebrating with a Facebook viewing party

Join Serena and readers on Facebook while you tune in to watch Love Finds You in Sugarcreek to share your thoughts about the movie, chat with other viewers, and win fun prizes. Just use hashtag #LFYSugarcreek to join the discussion on June 1st.

Check your local listing for UpTV ( to find out when it airs in your timezone.

Excited? Help me spread the word! Just share this link and information on your social media along with the hashtag #LFYSugarcreek! Plus, we'll be tracking the hashtag and giving away Amazon & Starbucks cards to people at random who help to promote all throughout the month of May. Winners announced at the Love Finds You in Sugarcreek viewing party on June 1st.


"This is so exciting for Serena Miller and Guideposts! We are thrilled that Up TV has chosen Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio to make into a movie,” said Lenore Lelah Person, vice president and editorial director of Guideposts Books and Inspirational Media. “With Serena’s wonderful story and a beautiful backdrop in Ohio Amish country, fans of the story and the series will enjoy seeing it on screen. For more information read the media release.

UPTV LFYSC.300x250.C.R3For those who are not familiar with the Love Finds You™ series, this will be a great opportunity to introduce them to these uplifting and engaging romances." Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio is one of more than 50 releases in the popular Love Finds You™ series uniquely titled after actual American towns with unusual but intriguing names and combines travel, romance and faith in one package. The series includes both historical and contemporary releases, and each fictional story draws on compelling history or the unique character of a real place. Stories center on romances kindled in small towns, old loves lost and found again on the high plains, and new loves discovered at exciting vacation getaways. Mission Pictures has purchased the movie rights to the entire series and plans to produce additional films based on the series in the future.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

One More Last Chance

Author: Cathleen Armstrong
Publisher: Revell
April 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2247-0
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Some things never change… and some things change you forever.

Sarah Cooley has come home to Last Chance, New Mexico, for one reason--because it doesn't change. After an engagement gone bad with a man who wanted to change everything about her, Sarah is more than ready for the town whose motto may as well be, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Chris Reed, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to spark some change in the little town. As the new owner of the Dip 'n' Dine, he's shaking things up to draw folks from all over the Southwest into his restaurant.

As it turns out, the winds of change are blowing into Last Chance--just not in the ways that Sarah or Chris might expect.

With the same evocative writing and fascinating characters that won fans for her debut novel, Cathleen Armstrong invites readers back to Last Chance for a soul-searching, romantic story of two people navigating the twists and turns of small-town life.

Okay. I have to say, I like Chris. I feel his pain, I feel his frustration. He's the outsider, trying so hard to fit in, but he doesn't want to do the same ole same ole. He wants the freedom to fly. Sarah is used to the same ole. She doesn't want change. And she is downright cruel to Chris. I didn't like her at all. At least not until halfway through the book. Grandma I liked. She had a head on her shoulders. 

Ms. Armstrong has the small town, deep south setting down pat. Change? Change! And unless you were born there and kin to everyone, you might as well forget trying to fit in. I hoped Chris would find happiness. And I wanted it to be with someone other than Sarah... but well, since she's the heroine that wouldn't work. So I wanted her to soften up and not be so cruel. 

ONE MORE LAST CHANCE is very well written. You are there, in Last Chance. The characters are real. Heartbreakingly so at times. If you want a realistic contemporary romance set in a too-stubborn small town to read, then ONE MORE LAST CHANCE is it. $13.99. 298 pages. 

While the City Sleeps (Women of Midtown)

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