Monday, May 16, 2022

The Amish Twins Next Door by Vanetta Chapman

The Amish Twins

About the Book

Book: The Amish Twins Next Door

Author: Vanetta Chapman

Genre: Amish romance

Release date: April 26, 2022

TheAmishTwinsNextDoorTwo little matchmakers could change everything…in this novel by USA TODAY bestselling author Vannetta Chapman.

Falling for a pretend suitor could cause real complications…

Amish single mom Deborah Mast is determined to raise her seven-year-old twin sons her way. But when neighbor Nicholas Stoltzfus takes the rambunctious boys on as apprentices on his farm, she’ll learn the value of his help with more than just the children. And when the two little matchmakers hatch a plan of their own, Deborah could also discover how to reopen her heart…

 My Thoughts:

This was a fantastic book!  The twins stole my heart from the start.  I mean double trouble with boys :) Deborah is a single mom who has a past she isn’t proud of but she adores her sons.  Being a mom isn’t easy!

Two people, determined to stay single, pretending to date…what could go wrong?  So many funny moments and some touching ones.  Overall I just loved the book and am so glad I got a chance to read it.

5/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

2018January3VannettaChapman-5060-EditVannetta Chapman is a USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 39 full length novels, plus various novella collections. She has written for Abingdon Press, Harvest House Publishers, and Harper Collins Christian Publishing. She currently writes for the Love Inspired line of Harlequin Books. Chapman has received numerous awards including the ACFW Carol Award for best mystery (Falling to Pieces), and Christy Award finalist (Anna’s Healing).

 

More from Vannetta

When I married my husband 22 years ago, he had a 21-year-old daughter and 16-year-old twins. I was a single mom with a 10-year-old son. I was also a certified, experienced teacher. I could handle it. (Cue laughter) I had no idea what twins was like. I didn’t understand that special language they have with one another. I was perplexed by the way they could be fighting one moment and adamantly defending one another the next. Everything about twins confused me.

 

Now our children are all grown. They’re adults, and I wonder how the years have passed so quickly. The Amish Twins Next Door is my first book featuring twins, and I enjoyed every minute of writing it. I enjoyed telling a story about a mom who wonders if she will ever have a conventional family—because I was that mom. I also had way too much fun writing about a man who thought he could give parenting advice when he had no children.

 

Ultimately though, like all of my other books, The Amish Twins Next Door is a book about the over-arching grace of God and how it can carry us through all things. My hope is that you will laugh, maybe cry, and come away from the book feeling uplifted.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, May 6

Connie’s History Classroom, May 6

She Lives To Read , May 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 8

Simple Harvest Reads, May 9 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 10

Inklings and notions, May 11

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 12

For Him and My Family, May 12

Texas Book-aholic, May 13

deb’s Book Review, May 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 15

Miriam Jacob, May 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 16

Bigreadersite, May 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 18

Mary Hake, May 18

Lighthouse-Academy, May 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Vannetta is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book and a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1d72b/the-amish-twins-next-door-celebration-tour-giveaway

 


Friday, May 13, 2022

Not by Sight by Elizabeth Jacobson

 

not by sight

About the Book

Book: Not by Sight

Author: Elizabeth Jacobson

Genre: Biblical Fiction

Release date: May 16, 2022

NBS - Front Hi RezSeventeen-year-old Joseph’s life is far from perfect. He does have his father’s favor and trust, and the love of his younger brother Benjamin and sister Dinah. What he does not have is the love of his ten older brothers. Embittered by their father’s favor towards Joseph, his brothers take every opportunity to spite him. Spurred to anger by their actions and horrified by a threat made towards Benjamin, Joseph, overcome with fury, tells them of his dreams – for his dreams show a future where they will bow down to him.

Outraged, his brothers take their revenge, and Joseph is sold into Egypt as a slave. Bitterness and hate threaten to overcome him, and, in desperation, Joseph turns to the stories of his father’s God, a distant and omnipotent being whom Joseph has never dared to speak to. Slowly, Joseph begins to pick up the pieces of a shattered life. But only when those carefully gathered pieces re-break, over and over again, does Joseph truly begin to understand what it means to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

 My Thoughts:

I am very careful when it comes to Biblical fiction, but this one was done really really well and I enjoyed it greatly!  


5/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

ElizabethEricksonElizabeth Jacobson is a middle-school math teacher in sunny California who loves the Bible, fantasy, and science fiction. She got bit by the writing bug at age thirteen and has been frantically putting words on pages ever since. Her goal in writing is to share with the world the most important message anyone can express: the Love of God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Not by Sight: A novel of the patriarchs is her first novel. You can connect with her at headdeskliz.com or on Facebook or Instagram.

 

More from Elizabeth

Imagine you’re back in Sunday School, sitting down with all your friends and watching the volunteer parent who teaches the class smile over the flannelgraph. (Or, if you never went to Sunday School, just imagine yourself in a smallish room with too many little friends around you, and an adult who doesn’t want to mess this up running the class.) “Now, friends,” (s)he says, holding up a flannel image of a teenager in what looks like a rainbow bathrobe: “This is Joseph.”

Joseph is plastered to the flannelgraph, and the parent puts up a flannel group of angry men next to him. “His brothers hated him because his father gave him a beautiful coat. They threw him in a pit and sold him as a slave!”

Appreciative gasps echo from the crowd of five-year-olds – even kids know that good drama comes from torturing your characters.

“His master threw him in prison – ” (we necessarily skip why) “– but one day Pharaoh had a dream!”

Flannel Pharaoh appears, slapped on the flannelgraph, wearing a white skirt and lots of bling.

“Joseph interpreted the dream, and Pharaoh made him his second-in-command. When Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt looking for food in a famine, Joseph helped them. And you know what, friends?” The parent looks around with a grin. “Joseph never lost his faith in God! Isn’t that amazing?”

You and your friends nod solemnly. What a guy.

You probably hear this story at least once a year in Sunday School, with more detail added each time, but by the time you’re a worldly-wise sixth grader, you start to nod a little less and frown a little more.

You know the story like the back of your hand.

But it doesn’t make any sense anymore.

The truth is that this version of Joseph, whose flannel avatar has been waved in your face for years, this icon of the Sunday-School world, isn’t a person to emulate. He can’t be emulated.

Because the story of a man who faced every unthinkable hardship thrown his way with a smile on his face and praise on his lips and forgiveness in his heart is. Not. A. Story. Of. Real. Faith.

You want real faith? Look at the guy who talked to Jesus in Mark Chapter 9. “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

Translation: “I know I’m supposed to trust You, but in this moment, I don’t. Please help me out!”

Humans aren’t perfect. Why then are we shown a perfect Joseph?

Various adaptations of the Joseph story have tried their hand at mitigating the perfect Joseph problem. For the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the whole thing is played so humorously that character exploration ranks at exactly nil, and no one questions anything Joseph does. For the perennial Sunday-School favorite Joseph: King of Dreams cartoon movie, God and faith are taken mostly out of the story, so Joseph is free to be an “ordinary person” who reacts accordingly. (Do you see the problem with this last idea? I hope you do. faith ≠ superhuman).

Other adaptations have tried as well, but this fantasy and science fiction writer was one day struck with the need to try it for herself. I loved the story (remember, torturing characters = good drama, and boy does Joseph get the – extremely – short end of the stick for a good chunk of his life) and secondly, because I knew it would be a challenge.

Part of the reason for this “perfect” Joseph we so often see in Sunday School is that the Bible is not written as a novel. Most narratives in the Bible go over the events needed to comprehend the message or information in bare-bones, rapid-fire succession. No fluff involved, no discussion of motives, internal conflict, or thought processes. The Joseph account in Genesis is unique in that it is one of the longest continuous narratives in the Bible, but even it gives very little in the way of discussing these storytelling necessities.

The goal then became to come up with consistent personality traits and motivations, and logical, humanreactions to events, that would lead each player in the Joseph narrative to take the actions recorded in Genesis. I felt like an archaeologist, piecing together ancient clues that could lead me to a bigger, more complete picture of the story.

It was a wild ride, but I had an absolute blast writing it. I can’t wait to share Not by Sight: a novel of the patriarchs with you!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 5

Texas Book-aholic, May 6

Vicky Sluiter, May 7 (Author Interview)

Miriam Jacob, May 7

Inklings and notions, May 8

For Him and My Family, May 9

deb’s Book Review, May 10

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 11 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 13

For the Love of Literature, May 14 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, May 14

Connie’s History Classroom, May 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 16

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 17 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, May 18

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Elizabeth is giving away the grand prize package of a hardcover copy of Not by Sight: a novel of the patriarchs, combined with a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1d72a/not-by-sight-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Persuade Me by Joanne Markey

 

Persuade Me

About the Book

Book: Persuade Me

Author: Joanne Markey

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release date: April 5, 2022

Persuade-Me-Markey-smOne horrible misunderstanding. Two heartbroken people.

For seven long years, Anne Elliot of Kellynch Station quietly mourned the loss of her first love. Now that she’s finally over Fred for good, her sister offers the perfect escape: Uppercross.

This move, from one cattle station to another, offers new friends, new responsibilities, and now that she’s out from under her father’s domineering thumb, a whole new world of possibilities.

The sky is the limit.

Or maybe the sky is the perfect place for helicopter mustering pilot Fred Wentworth to spend his days. It took a while for him to regroup after their breakup, but now he’s back, he’s successful, and he’s put the past so far behind him he doesn’t even think about Anne more than a couple dozen times a day.

Life is good.

Or it was until he quite literally runs into the one person he hoped to never see again. After that, what’s a bloke to do other than rethink every lie he’d convinced himself was the truth?

Although they both seem willing to admit they were wrong all those years ago, when things take a bad turn, Anne is left to wonder… Is it too late for a reconciliation?

Persuade Me: Austen’s Persuasion meets the rugged Australian bush—plus dingoes.

 My Thoughts:

I absolutely LOVE Australia.  It had been my lifelong dream to go and when I finally got to go and experience it, amazing.  The author does a wonderful job describing it.  

I loved Anne from the start.  I hated how her father treated her and how he wanted her to act.  Fred was a good man and had his heart broken.   It is a second chance love story that was an absolutely wonderful read.  I enjoyed it from start to finish.

5/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

DSC_1287-571x800Originally from Australia, Joanne Markeynow lives in Ohio with her husband and seven children. When she’s not reading or writing, you might find her wandering the property with her kids in search of whatever seasonal treasure they’re trying to find.

 

More from Joanne

Can a book be partially autobiographical without actually being an autobiography?
Probably not. Persuade Me comes close though. Not in it’s entirety, but I did draw heavily on my own life when I wrote this book. Many of the situations that occur in the book were things that happened to me back in the late ‘90s when I worked on a cattle station as station cook. I also set the book in places where we lived—stations we lived or worked on. The autobiographical part ends there though.
As a retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, the family situation in Persuade Me is patterned on the Elliot family, not my own. I was easily able to imagine a family like this living in Australia though. The family pride, boasting of being descended from free settlers, knowing how long the family has been in the country to the exact generation—were all things I ran into as a kid.
Not every Australian knows how many generations of the family have lived over there (or cares to know), but in high school there was this one girl… She knew exactly how long her family had been there, and anyone who couldn’t count as many generations of Australians as she could wasn’t as Australian as her. Other people have quite plainly offered the information that their family descended from free settlers, without a single convict in the lineage. Still others can tell the exact year their first ancestor moved to Australia. All I needed was to package all of those things into one prideful being—Mr. Elliot. He doesn’t play a huge role in the story, but his influence can be felt throughout the pages.
From there it was easy to imagine him as a grazier—a station owner—who’d run into hard times. His daughter, Anne, is the heroine who has a hidden past, a broken relationship she’d rather not remember. The hero of the story can’t exactly be a ship’s captain, but there is one occupation in the bush that does bring in a lot of money—helicopter mustering—and having gotten into that line of work his personal finances have taken a drastic change for the better. I won’t spoil the story, but the rest followed in like manner.
And then came the writing… To craft a uniquely Australian book one has to use Australian terms, phrases, and spellings. And when the author has been living outside the country for 21 years, sometimes it’s hard to remember what words go with what country! We worked it all out in the end though, and if you come across a word that looks like it’s been spelled wrong—it’s the Aussie spelling, which is correct for the setting.
I hope you enjoy this contemporary retelling of Persuasion set in the Australian bush. Happy reading!

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Joanne is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1d729/persuade-me-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Light of Mine by Allen Brokken and Narrated by Stacey Bradshaw

 

Light of Mine

About the Book

Book: Light of Mine

Author: Allen Brokken

Narrator: Stacey Bradshaw

Genre: Middle grade Christian Fantasy

Release date: November 10, 2021

LightOfMine-AudioDarkness is spreading through Zoura. Beyond the borders of the heathlands, innocent animals are being turned into monsters, and good men into pawns of the Dark One. Father has vanished after joining the Mighty Mercenaries and mother has gone missing in search of him.

Alone on the farm, twelve-year-old Lauren and her brave little brothers, Aiden(9) and Ethan(5), must guard the Tower of Light that will guide both parents home. But when a hooded stranger is caught trespassing the farm, and a new bishop claims the church, confusion pervades their close-knit community. Will the children be able to recognize who is a threat to the Tower and who is there to help them protect it?

With little else but the aid of a trio of blessed pets, three holy weapons, and their growing faith, Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan find it is up to them to stop the agents of The Dark One from putting out the Light and dooming the heathlands to Darkness.

 My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this audiobook.   The narrator did a good job giving the characters voices.  I really liked the innocence of the children was so refreshing.   I liked the whole story and really did enjoy the narrators way of telling the story.  


5/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.  

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

AllenBrokken-AuthorAllen Brokken is a teacher at heart, a husband and father most of all. He’s a joyful writer by the abundant grace of God. He began writing the Towers of Light series for his own children to help him illustrate the deep truths of the Bible in an engaging and age appropriate way. He’s dedicated 15 years of his life to volunteer roles in children’s ministry and youth development. Now that his own children are off to college he’s telling stories and sharing clean humor on social media @allenbrokkenauthor, and through his blog https://www.allenbrokkenauthor.com.

 

More from Allen

When my kids were young there was really nothing better than getting out of my car at the end of a long day at work and having my three little kiddos run up to me and give hugs because Daddy’s Home!  As a Father of three young children I was very concerned about the direction society was taking.  I wasn’t sure that with how things were going that I had the knowledge or the skill to train them up in the way they should go, as the Bible directs.

Then in 2008 I took a new job that had me traveling four days a week.  It was one of the hardest times of my life, the stress of a high pressure job, the loneliness of being on the road, and uncertainty of being a young parent really brought me to the end of myself.  However, all of the travel gave me a lot of time to study the scriptures and learn from the writing of great bible teachers.

It was during this time that I began to write stories for my children.  At first I brought my children’s stuffed animals to life for silly adventures.  But then one day while we were putting together a play fort in our back yard I saw a sunrise pattern in the wood in the top of the tower.  I thought:​

 

“What if there was a Tower of Light shining God’s goodness over the children and their animals?”

 

“What if the children experienced the indwelling of the holy spirit in a real way like Sampson or David?”

 

“What if the full armor of God was physical armor they could use to defeat the darkness?”

 

As I shared my story with my children, they loved it.

 

I believe you and your children will love it too.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, May 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 3

Guild Master, May 4 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, May 5

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 6 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, May 6

Vicarious Living, May 7

Vicky Sluiter, May 8 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, May 8 (Spotlight)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 11

Artistic Nobody, May 12

Simple Harvest Reads, May 13

Blossoms and Blessings, May 14 (Author Interview)

Cats in the Cradle Blog, May 15

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Allen is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1d3be/light-of-mine-celebration-tour-giveaway