Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Noble Servant

The Noble Servant 

ebook, audio, hardcover, audio CD

by Melanie Dickerson

  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson
  • Publication Date: May 9, 2017
  • ASIN: B01HAK31VW

New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson beautifully re-imagines “The Goose Girl” by the Brothers Grimm into a medieval tale of adventure, loss, and love.
“When it comes to happily-ever-afters, Melanie Dickerson is the undisputed queen of fairy-tale romance, and all I can say is—long live the queen!” —JULIE LESSMAN, award-winning author of The Daughters of BostonWinds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series
She lost everything to the scheme of an evil servant.
But she might just gain what she’s always wanted . . . if she makes it in time.
The impossible was happening. She, Magdalen of Mallin, was to marry the Duke of Wolfberg. Magdalen had dreamed about receiving a proposal ever since she met the duke two years ago. Such a marriage was the only way she could save her people from starvation. But why would a handsome, wealthy duke want to marry her, a poor baron’s daughter? It seemed too good to be true.
On the journey to Wolfberg Castle, Magdalen’s servant forces her to trade places and become her servant, threatening not only Magdalen’s life, but the lives of those she holds dear. Stripped of her identity and title in Wolfberg, where no one knows her, Magdalen is sentenced to tend geese while she watches her former handmaiden gain all Magdalen had ever dreamed of.
When a handsome shepherd befriends her, Magdalen begins to suspect he carries secrets of his own. Together, Magdalen and the shepherd uncover a sinister plot against Wolfberg and the duke. But with no resources, will they be able to find the answers, the hiding places, and the forces they need in time to save both Mallin and Wolfberg?

My thoughts: Reviewed by Jenna:  THE NOBLE SERVANT was a very good book. The beginning of the story started with adventure and I really liked that. It was a very fast-paced adventure all the way through. 

The characters were very well-written. I really liked how they expressed their feelings.  I loved the prayers they said when they got upset. 

There was a lot of distrust on both sides and they learned to get over that. The villains seemed to lack backbone, they were doing sneaky underhanded things and didn't want to directly face the main characters.   "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own." 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Interview with Varina Denman

Today we welcome Varina Denman to my blog. Varina has written this amazing book that is a must read for all women.  Varina, thanks for being here. Tell us about the book: 

Looking Glass Lies is the story of Cecily Ross, a recently divorced woman who struggles with low self-image. She returns to her childhood home on the rim of Palo Duro Canyon looking to heal from her wounds, but coming home isn’t the miracle cure she was hoping for. With the help of a support group, she gradually overcomes her pain and learns to love herself again. Looking Glass Lies captures the war women wage against themselves, and the struggle to see beauty reflected in a mirror not distorted by society’s expectations.

Why do you write the kind of books you do? 

My primary purpose is to help other women through my writing. I pray that through reading my stories, women can heal a little from their own problems, and are better for having read my words.

What is your current work in progress? 

Right now I’m researching for my next novel that tells the story of a young woman who is grieving the death of her two-year-old daughter. Neither the book or the character have a name yet, but I know this woman will have to learn a lot about herself before she’s able to truly heal from her loss.

What three things about you would surprise readers?

1.      I have a bright red refrigerator (but it’s not hooked up in my kitchen) It’s an old non-working 1950s model that I use for decoration and storage, but I love the quaintness of the piece. I’m a sucker for antiques of any kind.

2.      I eat very little sugar. Because of some kind of twisted food sensitivity, sugar makes me intolerably cranky, so I avoid it to spare my family. When I splurge, I grab a bag of granola. Ugh.

3.      When I was young, I did NOT dream of being a writer. In school, writing assignments were a chore, and I preferred mathematics and computer science. It wasn’t until I was grown (around forty years old), that I began to consider writing as a viable option.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading? 

My family and I watch movies and old TV shows a lot. We’re currently working our way through Monk.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it? 

Drafting is incredibly difficult for me. I absolutely love to outline, plot, and edit, but drafting almost kills me. Because of this, I’m easily distracted and often find myself stuck on social media when I’m supposed to be writing. To combat this problem, I unhook my internet to the entire house while I’m drafting. I give myself a time limit, then write as fast as I can so I can turn my Internet back on. This does not produce quality writing at all, but that’s all right because once the draft is finished, I can start editing … which I enjoy.

book trailer link

Share your bio: ''

Varina Denman writes stories about the unique struggles women face. Her award-winning Mended Hearts series, which revolves around church hurt, is a compelling blend of women’s fiction and inspirational romance. Her latest novel, Looking Glass Lies, released in May. A native Texan, Varina lives near Fort Worth with her husband and five mostly grown children. Connect with Varina on her website or one of the social media hangouts.

Social media and buying links
Amazon buying link:

Also, here’s the link for the Looking Glass Lies trailer

Laura, thank you so much for inviting me to your blog. I’ve enjoyed being here and sharing with your readers. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Teacher Who Couldn't Read by June Foster

Years ago as an elementary teacher, I attended a reading conference in Toronto, Ontario. I enjoyed the privilege of hearing John Corcoran when he was the keynote speaker. At the conference, I bought his book, The Teacher Who Couldn't Read and today treasure my autographed copy. It has graced my bookshelf for quite awhile, but when the idea for my novel Misty Hollow came about, I ran to my shelf, grabbed the book, and gave a victory cheer. It was the perfect reference in creating my illiterate Appalachian hero, Joel Greenfield.

Corcoran describes an unbelievable story about how he graduated high school and college and actually taught history for seventeen years. At around fourth grade, he began to fall behind and compensated for his handicap by acting out. In high school, he excelled in athletics and was admired by faculty and friends. So how did he get by as a functional illiterate?

He devised clever ways of deception including cheating and lying. With his charismatic personality, he charmed others into reading books and documents to him. Once in college, he actually passed his test out the window to another student who took the exam for him. A favorite deception was claiming he forgot his glasses at home.

While teaching high school, he utilized discussions and debates where texts were never used. He even asked a student to read the morning bulletin to the class, though at the bottom it read "Please don't let a student read this bulletin."

He eventually married and had a daughter. He would "read" her bedtime stories by looking at the pictures and making up his own version.

Corcoran doesn't place blame on the educational system but on his circumstances. Since he went to school in the 50's, educators have discovered more ways to help students with reading disorders. In his 30's, Corcoran finally finds the courage to sign up for an adult literacy class and learns to read. He now supports literacy through the John Corcoran Foundation.

In writing Joel's character, I borrowed some of Corcoran's methods of compensation. Joel uses the glasses excuse, asks others to read for him, and employs deception such as taking his Bible to church and pretending he's following along. Most valuable in writing his character were Corcoran's descriptions of his emotional journey—the shame, frustration, and fear of being exposed.

For all readers with a heart for literacy, Corcoran's book is a must read. In any case, it's a fascinating tale. Thanks, Mr. Corcoran, for sharing your story with American. Like my fictional character, Joel Greenfield, many have profited by the telling of your journey.

Molly Cambridge arrives in the tiny Appalachian town of Misty Hollow intent upon bringing literacy to the area's uneducated women, only to be met by opposition at every turn by the headstrong, unbending mayor. When she asks for use of Town Hall, he refuses her offer to teach without pay and turns her down flat saying he only allows village business conducted there.

Joel Greenfield, son is a poor dirt farmer, is illiterate. When he admits to his passion to turn the family farm into a dairy business, the obstacles are insurmountable. He couldn't even read the manual on how to use farming machinery, much less generate the necessary capital. His father’s objections further frustrate his desires.

When Joel offers Molly use of the old barn on the Greenfield property, they discover an irresistible attraction for each other. But the mayor has plans of his own to break them up, send Molly back to Nashville, and seize the Greenfield farm for himself. Can Molly and Joel overcome the hurdles to fulfilling their dreams and find their way to each other? Only God has the answers.

When two people are cultures apart, only God can bridge the gap.

June Foster's bio
An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. June's book Give Us This Day was a finalist in EPIC's eBook awards and a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards for best first book. Ryan's Father was one of three finalists in the published contemporary fiction category of the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest and Awards. Deliver Us was a finalist in COTT's Laurel Awards. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Deliver Us, and Hometown Fourth of July. Ryan's Father is published by WhiteFire Publishing. Red and the Wolf, a modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, is available from The Almond Tree series, For All Eternity, Echoes From the Past, What God Knew, and Almond Street Mission are available at June enjoys writing stories about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word. Recently June has seen publication of Christmas at Raccoon Creek, Lavender Fields Inn, Misty Hollow, and Restoration of the Heart. Visit June at

Sunday, May 28, 2017

When Tides Turn

When Tides Turn 

Waves of Freedom Book #3

E-book, hardcover, paperback 

by Sarah Sundin 

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Revell 
  • March 14, 2017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800723446

In a time of war, sometimes battles take place in the heart. 

Tess Beaumont is tired of being thought of as just a pretty face. Eager to do her part for the war effort, she joins the Navy's newly established WAVES program for women. Perhaps there she can convince people that there is more to her than meets the eye. 

Lt. Dan Avery has been using his skills in the fight against German U-boats and hoping to make admiral. The last thing he wants to see on his radar is a girl like Tess. Convinced that romance will interfere with his goals, Dan is determined to stay the course, no matter how intriguing a distraction Tess is. 

But love, like war, is unpredictable. When Dan is shipped out at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, he finds himself torn between his lifelong career goals and his desire to help the beguiling Tess root out a possible spy on shore. Could this fun-loving glamour girl really be the one?

My thoughts: Oh, my word. Ms. Sundin's books just get better and better and better. I absolutely one hundred percent fell madly in love with Dan and Tess. WHEN TIDES TURNED held me spellbound all the way through from start to finish and it was so hard to put it down to do what I had to d0. 

Dan is a bit of a stick in the mud. Steadfast. Solid. Dependable. Set on the course and no deviation. And then there is Tess.  A beautiful golden girl who totally captivated Dan, and even though he fought it he couldn't resist her. Add a touch of mystery, intrigue of sabotage of the war efforts, and false accusations against Dan from a former rival in another book, and  I had to keep reading to see what would happen, although I knew there would be a HEA. There has to be. But getting there was the fun.  

I cannot wait for Ms. Sundin's new series, releasing in Spring 2018. I can't believe I have to wait a whole year! If you like historical romance, WWII fiction, military fiction, or even espionage, don't miss WHEN TIDES TURN. A fantastic read. "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own." 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Root Beer and Roadblocks by Susan M. Baganz

Root Beer & Roadblocks 

Orchard Hill #4 

Ebook, Paperback 

February 28, 2017

by Susan M Baganz

  • Print Length: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Prism Book Group
  • ISBN-13: 978-1943104895

When God strips away all your hopes and dreams
can you trust Him to give you something better?
Johnny Marshall's cancer is back . . . and so is the girl who broke his heart seven years ago. As Johnny struggles to find the will to live and fights his second round with the disease, he finds that hope comes in small packages with an energetic little boy named David.
Having bought in to her parents' narrow view of finding a man worthy of her, years ago, Katie abandoned the one man she'd ever loved. In all the years since, no one has ever compared to Johnny. Now as a single mom of a young boy, she wonders if their reunion right on time or is it too late for a future together?
My thoughts: ROOT BEER & ROADBLOCKS is a sweet contemporary romance. Johnny is a musician, not quite as hot as your favorite singer on K-Love but still hot enough to be invited to play for a pop star in Europe. Unfortunately, he didn't take time to pray and that gig went south fast, causing all kinds of repercussions that he didn't know how to handle. It caused a mess for a lot of people. Add to that the fact that he has a re-occurrence of cancer and Johnny is ready to surrender. His life, his job, everything. Nothing could make him want to fight. 

Enter Katie. She is Johnny's one true love, and her big mistake was also the biggest blessing of her life. Johnny's son, David. They already know and love each other, but neither knows they are related. Until Katie reveals the big news to make Johnny fight for his life.  And while this does goad Johnny into some half-hearted attempts, it still isn't the motivation he needs to beat the big C. 

As someone who had cancer and survived by the grace of God, I can get how a re occurrence can cause even a one-time survivor to flounder and fall. Johnny's attitude is true to life. Katie, too, has had one hit after another and now is care-giver to the two people most responsible for ripping her life apart all those years ago. Unfortunately, the mother is still verbally abusive and they are both stellar at keeping Katie defeated. 

It will take a miracle for these two hurting people to come to the expected, predictable (in that it's a romance) end. But then getting from "boy meet girl" to "I do" is all the fun. A fun contemporary that should appeal to romance readers everywhere. "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own." 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Hello, Stars

Hello Stars 

Faithgirlz / Lena in the Spotlight #1 

Paperback, ebook 

April 25, 2017

by Alena Pitts (Author), Wynter Pitts (Contributor)

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Faithgirlz / Lena in the Spotlight
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310760597

Lena Daniels never thought she’d get the chance star in a movie. Headstrong and determined, she has her life planned out to the minute. But when her best friends, Savannah and Emma, tell her about an audition, she knows there’s nothing else in the world she’d rather do. And now that she’s gotten her wish, Lena finds that being in the spotlight is harder than it sounds. She got everything she never wanted! Her face turns up everywhere she goes, and everything in her life is flipped upside down. Lena wonders if this is a dream come true or a horrible nightmare. Even a visit from her best friends during filming turns into a disaster.

With her little sisters—Ansley, Ashton, and Amber—and her mischievous pup, Austin, constantly at her side, Lena must face the challenges of everyday life while chasing her dreams of being a model and actress on the big screen. Lena tackles tough choices, learns the value of perseverance, and keeps her hopes high. She knows her faith and family will keep her feet on the ground and her eyes on the stars.

This Faithgirlz series entitled Lena in the Spotlight, written by Alena Pitts, star of War Room and tween blogger of For Girls Like You, and co-written with her mother, editor and author, Wynter Pitts, is a reflection of Alena’s own life experiences as she reaches for the stars and keeps her faith in balance.

My thoughts: HELLO, STARS is the first book in Faithgirlz new series. It is full of drama, squealy preteens, and twists. Imagine finding out you could meet a movie star and then flubbing the video you make of yourself, but getting chosen anyway. Add rodents loose in the science classroom (and getting blamed for it) and having to move across the country to act in a movie you didn't even realize you were going to be acting in. Talk about being out of your element!

The book is full of faith, prayers, and positive vibes and lots of humor to keep tween girls interested and engaged. Pick up this book for an excellent summer reading book for your favorite tween.  "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own." 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis

The Ebb Tide 

Paperback, hardcover, audio, ebook

April 4, 2017

by Beverly Lewis

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764212505

Oh, to see the ocean, Sallie thought. And to spend the summer as a nanny. She shook her head in amazement. This seemed too good to be true, but she really must talk it over with Dat and Mamm, especially since she'd be gone so long. 

And after I promised Mamm I'd take baptism classes this summer . . .

The Ebb Tide

Sallie Riehl has dreamed of traveling at least once before settling down to join church, so she is thrilled at an unexpected summer opportunity to nanny in Cape May for a well-to-do family. However, saying even a temporary good-bye to Paradise Township means forgoing baptism another year, as well as leaving behind a would-be beau. Yet the weeks in Cape May soon prove unforgettable as Sallie meets a Mennonite young man whose friendship she quickly begins to cherish. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will she only find what her heart is longing for back home?

"Bestseller Lewis continues her streak of affecting, enjoyable Amish tales with this story of a young woman in present-day Lancaster County, Penn., who's eager to see the world. . . . Fans of Lewis's work or Amish fiction in general will relish this heartwarming story of self-discovery, friendship, and the search for God's will."--Publishers Weekly starred review

"Lewis' latest contains relatable inner conflicts, such as searching for direction and God's plan, which will likely resonate with readers. There are some twists on the typical Amish tale, especially since much of this novel takes place outside the Amish community. Tender scenes combine with strong character development, and solid spiritual wisdom is woven throughout."--RT Book Reviews

My thoughts: THE EBB TIDE is set in Cape May, NJ and without even finishing it, I was recommending it to all the Coast Guard Moms out there whose sons or daughters are or were stationed in Cape May for boot camp and/or for a time during their Coast Guard service. I honestly had no idea that there was so much to see and do in Cape May when my son graduated boot camp. Reading THE EBB TIDE  is like reading a fictional tour guide. I wished I'd had read it beforehand! 

Ms. Lewis probably broke every rule in the fiction writing guidebook. Show, don't tell. Use deep point of view. Resist the urge to explain. Etc. But being Beverly Lewis, of course, she can get away with it. The story itself is sweet romantic coming of age story. The romance itself is not center stage but couldn't be eliminated completely without ruining story, though at times it felt like it was tacked on, as in editor's notes -- you need some mention of a beau here... and so it was slapped in there, not really flawlessly. I am not implying that is what really happened. It just feels that way at times. 

I did love Kevin. He was so sweet. And Autumn. What a dear little girl.  But I mainly loved the story because of the Cape May connection. That was awesome. My son is in the United States Coast Guard and for eight very long weeks he was in Cape May. Ms. Lewis, if there is a huge, unprecedented increase in sales on this book, it is thanks in large part to the very well connected Coast Guard Moms.   "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own." 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Beginner's Bible Carry-Along Treasury / Jesus Loves Me! A Sing-Along Book

The Beginner's Bible Carry-Along Treasury 


May 2, 2017

by Zondervan

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: The Beginner's Bible
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310760306

The Beginner’s Bible® has been a favorite with young children and their parents since its release in 1989 with over 25 million products sold.                                                              
The Beginner’s Bible®, the bestselling Bible storybook of our time, is now in a special carry-along edition with over 30 stories! Children will love The Beginner’s Bible Carry-Along Treasury created especially for tiny hands to carry with them wherever they go. The carry-along edition features a smaller size, a go-anywhere handle, and an easy magnetic closure. Kids will come to know and love the key stories and characters of the Bible with this best-loved Bible storybook. Now updated with vibrant new art, The Beginner’s Bible® is the perfect starting point for children. Little ones will enjoy the fun illustrations of Noah helping the elephant onto the ark, Jonah praying inside the fish, and more, as they discover The Beginner’s Bible® just like millions of children before!

My thoughts:  THE BEGINNER'S BIBLE CARRY-ALONG TREASURY is a cut little magnetized Bible story book for babies and toddlers.  With a convenient red handle it makes it easy for little hands to carry to the person they want to have read them a story. The pictures are colorful and sure to engage a little one's attention. 

Stories include:  The Beginning, Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, Moses, Samson, Ruth and Naomi, David and Goliath, Queen Esther, Daniel and the Lions, Jonah and the Whale, and many stories about Jesus (just to mention a few.) 

This is an excellent Bible for babies and toddlers to take to church, or for Christian day cares, preschools, church nurseries, and of course family and friends to keep on hand to read to your favorite little one.  "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own." 


Jesus Loves Me (A Sing-Along Book) 

Board book, ebook

May 2, 2017

by Gynux

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Series: A Sing-Along Book
  • Board book: 20 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz; Brdbk edition 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310758945

Read or sing along with your little one’s favorite song! Jesus Loves Me pairs sweet, snuggly illustrations with the text of the familiar children’s song. This newest board book in the beloved Sing-Along series also features a padded cover perfect for little hands, and is sure to delight children and parents alike.
My thoughts:  JESUS LOVES ME! A SING-ALONG BOOK is an adorable songbook for little ones. It only has one song it (music included at the end, so it can be played on the piano or keyboard) and the words are beautifully illustrated with cuddly woodland animals such as raccoons, weasels, and bunnies (etal) some of which are familiar looking to long time Winnie the Pooh fans (Owl, Rabbit, the tree where piglet lives). 

I *loved* this book. So cute, fun, and colorful. This would be a great book for church nurseries, day cars, preschools, and family of the little one. A great way to introduce a song of childhood to your favorite baby.  "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own." 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Return to Huckleberry Hill

Return to Huckleberry Hill 

The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill

Mass Market Paperback, ebook

May 30, 2017

by Jennifer Beckstrand 

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Zebra
  • ISBN-13: 978-1420144116

When it comes to matchmaking, Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin’s unstoppable octogenarians Anna and Felty Helmuth never seem to run out of opportunities—or grandchildren...

Reuben Helmuth is plenty bitter. John King, his best friend—or so he thought—is engaged to the girl Reuben loved. Humiliated, Reuben flees from Ohio to his grandparents’ home on Huckleberry Hill, where he knows he’ll find comfort. He’s enjoying wallowing in his misery—until John’s sister, Fern, shows up. She won’t stop pestering Reuben about forgiveness—or trying to help him find love again. Yet Fern's efforts only reawaken Reuben’s long-buried feelings—for her…

With her brother too ashamed to face Reuben, it’s fallen to Fern to help mend fences. But as she and the Helmuths do all they can—even organizing a knitting club event filled with eligible girls—it may take one more challenge to inspire Reuben to forget his heartache, recognize his own blunders, and embrace the true love that’s right in front of him…

Praise for Jennifer Beckstrand and her Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series

“Beckstrand continues to bring unexpected and heart-melting plotlines to this outstanding series.” –RT Book Reviews

“Full of kind, sincere characters struggling with the best ways to stay true to themselves and their beliefs.” --Publishers Weekly

“A delightful voice in Amish romance. Sweet and funny.” --Emma Miller

1. Huckleberry Hill 2014
2. Huckleberry Summer 2014
3. Huckleberry Christmas 2014
4. Huckleberry Spring 2015
5. Huckleberry Harvest 2015
6. Huckleberry Hearts 2015
7. Return to Huckleberry Hill 2017
8. A Courtship at Huckleberry Hill 2017

My thoughts: RETURN TO HUCKLEBERRY HILL is the seventh book in this series, but it easily stands alone. I love Felty and Annie and I think they are the backbone of this series. Annie is a most creative cook, and some of her concoctions are sick-sounding at best. Felty--I really really loved how he taught his grandson a lesson about respecting his grandma in this book! 

Reuben - yeah, he had issues. And Fern was right with everything she ever thought about him. Conceited, spoiled, rude, and a whole list of other negative adjectives. But despite that, I liked him. Mostly. Except for the way he treated Fern. Standing her up, twice, not noticing or caring that she was forced to sleep in a barn and starving to death (well, he did sort of notice, but not enough, and he didn't do much about it. Just enough to keep the reader from hurling the book across the room in hopes of knocking sense into him.)

As a romantic comedy Amish writer, Ms. Beckstrand is top-notch. This book is laugh-out-loud funny in spots, and definitely engaging. I enjoyed getting to know Fern and Reuben, but my heart broke for Johnny. Ms. Beckstrand, if you are reading this review, I'd LOVE to see a book with Johnny as a hero.  "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own." 

Here is the link to the giveaway

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

 Jennifer Beckstrand is the award winning Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hillseries and The Honeybee Sisters series for Kensington Books. Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth and the Honeybee sisters’ aendi Bitsy. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a passion for Jane Austen and Shakespeare. She and her husband have been married for thirty-two years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and soon-to-be six adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

Guest post from Jennifer Beckstrand

Anna Helmuth is starting a knitting club, but that’s not all she’s got up her sleeve. In Return to Huckleberry Hill, Anna Helmuth and Fern King decide to start a knitting club in order to introduce Anna’s grandson Reuben to some girls from Bonduel, Wisconsin. Anna is a very good knitter, with years of practice making baby blankets, scarves, mittens, and potholders. One of Anna’s scarves actually saved someone’s life, and her potholders have helped her make many a match. When I was a young teenager, I learned how to knit and crochet. My mom taught me how to sew and quilt, and I made several of my own dresses in high school. I never learned to love sewing, but it was an invaluable skill that I am so grateful to have. Now that I’m a little older, I love putting together simple quilts for baby gifts and making quilts for the local children’s hospital. There is nothing like a homemade gift to say, “I care about you.” I have a friend who is a wonderful cook. Making a delicious, beautiful meal is how she tells her family she loves them. I don’t consider myself a great cook, but I still take pride in putting something nutritious and satisfying on the table for my family. It seems to me that some of the “home arts” that our mothers and grandmothers practiced are dying out. Who knows how to tat anymore? Or embroider? Some of these arts have died because of expediency. Who doesn’t think today’s stocking choices are more comfortable and practical than knitted wool ones? Others have died out because so few people want to learn. What about you? Do you still practice any of the home arts that your grandmother did? What do you want to pass on to the next generation?

Blog Stops

May 24: A Greater Yes
May 25: Just Commonly
May 30: Quiet Quilter


To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a $15 Amazon gift card to three lucky winners!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Troubled Graves (Lantern Beach Exposure Book 4) by Christy Barritt

  Troubled Gra \  (Lantern Beach Exposure Book 4) by  Christy Barritt (Autho r) Some things are best left buried . . . Gunner Mathias is try...