Friday, August 2, 2019

Hearts Are Rescued -- Cross My Heart

 



About the Book


Book: Cross My Heart
Author: Robin Lee Hatcher
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release date: June 25, 2019

Can two broken paths lead toward God’s redemption?

When Ashley Showalter and Ben Henning meet on Ashley’s horse rescue farm, they quickly discover how much they have in common. Both were raised by single moms. Both want to help where they see a need. And both work with horses in the Boise valley. Ben needs Ashley’s help and expertise after starting an equine therapy barn on his great-great-grandfather’s farm—and the more time they spend together, both Ashley and Ben have the feeling that there could be something more between them.

They also carry the burden of past experiences that may drive them apart if the truth is ever revealed. Ben is a recovering alcoholic with five years of sobriety behind him, while Ashley’s brother is an opioid addict residing in court-ordered rehab. Holding fast to the belief that addicts can never be cured, Ashley has promised herself she will never walk knowingly into the chaos created by addiction. Ben knows that with God, all things are possible—but will Ashley find it within herself to give love a chance? Or will her brother’s mistakes and the pain of her past jeopardize her future with Ben?

Cross My Heart threads together a contemporary love story with the heartwarming tale of Ben’s great-great-grandfather, Andrew Henning—reminding us that God’s Word is timeless and that His promises are new every morning.

Click here to grab your copy. 

My Thoughts


Sometimes it is animals that need rescuing, and sometimes it is people. In Cross My Heart, book two of her Legacy of Faith series, Robin Lee Hatcher gives us a story where there is a lot of both.

The story is based around some great characters, especially the main characters Ashley and Ben. They both have a heart for rescue horses and using them to help struggling people. But both have difficulties in their pasts that are holding them back from fully realizing their dreams and their chances at love. Their story is a beautiful one of God's love, forgiveness, and grace that give them an opportunity to be rescued from a lifetime of hurt and guilt. 

Ben -- and also Ashley -- are helped along in their journey by Ben's Grandpa Grant. He also has the benefit of lessons learned through a family Bible that had belonged to his great-great-grandfather and passed along to him by his cousin. (If you have read Who I Am with You, book one in this series, you might remember his cousin Jessica and her connection with that same Bible.)

As you can expect from Robin Lee Hatcher, this is a gentle story of real people with real struggles who learn to depend on a real God. Fans of great inspirational love stories should enjoy Cross My Heart.

Thanks to Celebrate Lit for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Author


Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 75 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Robin is an ACFW Carol Award winner and an eight-time finalist and has won two RITA Awards and been a finalist eleven times. Her numerous other awards include the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. She is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. A mother and grandmother, Robin and her husband make their home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.

For more information, visit robinleehatcher.com; Facebook: robinleehatcher; or Twitter: @robinleehatcher. 

More from Robin

MY WRITING DESK
ROBIN LEE HATCHER

I have a wonderful home office with a large screen iMac and the perfect place to keep important papers and reminders right in front of me for easy access. There is also a bed for my dog, Boo, because no office is complete without a bed to welcome the dog. Right?

I also do a lot of writing while seated in a big easy chair in the living room. It all depends upon my mood and how many reference books I might need at the time.

My office usually looks neat when I begin a book. By the time I’m writing the end, the room has become a disaster—stacks of papers demanding my attention and a layer of dust are the most obvious issues.

My office also serves as my art studio (where I do decorative planning and Bible art journaling), so every inch that isn’t taken up by writing related items is filled with art related ones—paints, washi tape, stickers, pens galore, etc.

An early riser naturally, I consider sleeping in to be anything after 6 AM. On a normal writing day, I try to get in half an hour on the treadmill first thing in the morning (and often return to it for ten minutes segments a couple other times during the day). Then I sit at my desk or in my easy chair to do my Bible study. And finally I begin writing.

I can usually create new words for about four hours or so a day. The rest of the work day is filled with editing, revising, research, and correspondence with publisher, agent, readers, and other writers. I have an active online presence which needs attention daily, as well.

I am also a late-in-life part time college student, taking my classes online, so at least a couple of days a week, you’ll find me doing assignments and taking quizzes. For some reason, I rarely use my office for that. The kitchen table seems to suit me better. Probably because it is a large table and I can really spread out.

I feel very blessed to be able to work at home. I had a full time job when I wrote my first book. In fact, I wrote nine novels over the course of nine years while still working full time. The month my ninth book released, I quit my job in order to write full time. Seventy books and almost 28 years later, I’m still at it. As I said, I am blessed.

Blog Stops

Cultivating Us, July 30
EmpowerMoms, August 2
Moments, August 3
Cultivating Us, August 3
Remembrancy, August 4
Hallie Reads, August 6
Wishful Endings, August 8
A Reader's Brain, August 9
Simple Harvest Reads, August 9

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away a 
grand prize of a copy of her book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine
extra entries into the giveaway!
Click the link below to enter.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

A Lovely Story of Forgiveness and Second Chances -- Andrew

About the Book


Book: Andrew
Author: Jennifer Beckstrand
Genre: Amish Romance
Release Date: June 25, 2019

Andrew, Abraham, and Austin Petersheim’s family business has earned them the nickname The Peanut Butter Brothers. But if their matchmaking younger siblings have their way, all three may soon bear another title: husband . . .

Handsome, hardworking, and godly, Andrew Petersheim has always been sure of his place in his Wisconsin Amish community. He’ll be a welcome catch for the local girl who finally captures his heart. Mary Coblenz certainly isn’t that girl. Two years after “jumping the fence” for the Englischer world, she’s returned, unmarried and pregnant. Yet instead of hiding in shame as others in the community expect, she’s working at the Honeybee Farm, ignoring the gossips—and winning over Andrew’s eight-year-old twin brothers . . .

For all Andrew’s certainty about right and wrong, it seems he has a lot to learn from Mary’s courage, grace, and resilience. She’s changing his notions about forgiveness and love, but will she in turn accept the challenge of starting over and choose to stay—with him?

Click here to grab your copy!

My Thoughts


What have I come to expect when I open a book with the name "Jennifer Beckstrand" on the front? I expect a fun story with some unpredictable yet lovable characters, tender moments, important life lessons, with a healthy dose of mischief mixed in for good measure. Probably there will be times that make me laugh and others that bring a few tears to my eyes. Well, that is exactly what I found in Andrew, the first book in Jennifer's Petersheim Brothers series.

If you have read the Honeybee Sisters series, you will enjoy finding Aunt Bitsy playing a big part in Andrew's and Mary's story. If you have read the Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series, you may wonder if the 8-year-old twin Petersheim brothers, Alfie and Benji, didn't somehow get some match-making training from Felty and Anna Helmuth (even though those grandparents don't show up anywhere in the story).

Andrew is a lovely story that is a delight to read for all the reasons I've mentioned. In the midst of all the fun, though, the heart of the story has to do with forgiveness, grace, second chances and love. Those themes are gently woven in through the challenges of judgmental attitudes, hurtful gossip, and difficult consequences of personal choices. The characters are skillfully developed, and following their journeys is a real joy. 

I highly recommend this awesome story to fans of Amish fiction or anyone else who enjoys a great read. Thanks to Celebrate Lit for providing a copy of the book.  I am happy to share my thoughts in this review.

About the Author


Jennifer Beckstrand is the two-time RITA-nominated, #1 Amazon bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hillseries, The Honeybee Sisters series, and The Petersheim Brothers series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer and Home on Huckleberry Hill were both nominated for the coveted RITA® Award from Romance Writers of America. Jennifer has written twenty-one Amish romances, a historical Western, Jessie and James, and the nonfiction book, Big Ideas. She and her husband have been married for thirty-four years, and she has six children and seven adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

More from Jennifer


If you enjoyed The Honeybee Sisters, you’re going to love The Petersheim Brothers, or the Peanut Butter Brothers as they’re known in their small Amish community of Bienenstock, Wisconsin. The Petersheim brothers work their small farm and make peanut butter. The idea for The Petersheim Brothers series came when two of my friends and I were creating The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook. My friend Alicia suggested I write a book about Peanut Butter Brothers, and the idea stuck.
One of my favorite characters in my Amish romances is Aunt Bitsy, the irrepressible, unconventional woman who raised the Honeybee Sisters, tried to chase off all their suitors, and then lit fireworks at their triple wedding. In Andrew, the first book in the Petersheim Brothers series, Aunt Bitsy takes in a girl who has jumped the fence and wants to come back to the Amish community to have her baby. Aunt Bitsy is still protecting her dandelions and her bees, still dyeing her hair all sorts of bright colors, and still praying to Gotte right out loud.
Andrew is about forgiveness, second chances, and learning to love. It will have you laughing and crying, and you might just fall in love with two of the most mischievous little boys in Wisconsin. Enjoy.
In honor of the Peanut Butter Brothers, I want to share one of our favorite family recipes. These bars are perfect for picnics, parties, and potlucks. They’re easy and delicious!
Peanut Butter Bars
Cream together:
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
Blend In:
2 unbeaten eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup peanut butter
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
Stir In:
2 cups flour
2 cups quick oats

Spread mixture in greased jelly-roll pan or large cookie sheet.
Bake: 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Do not overbake. Remove from oven.
Sprinkle on:
1 ¼ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Let stand five minutes.

For peanut butter mixture on top, combine:
½ cup sifted powdered sugar
¼ cup peanut butter
2 to 4 Tbs. evaporated milk

Mix well. The chocolate chips will melt on the bars. Spread melted chocolate evenly. Drizzle peanut butter mixture on top. Cool completely. Cut into bars.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, June 26
Moments, June 26
Bigreadersite, June 29
Genesis 5020, July 1
Pause for Tales, July 3
Mary Hake, July 5
Splashesofjoy, July 5
Vicky Sluiter, July 5
Quiet Quilter, July 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a grand prize of a $20 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/e57a/andrew-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, July 1, 2019

Well-Written Story of Difficult Times -- The Pink Bonnet



About the Book


Book: The Pink Bonnet  
Author: Liz Tolsma  
Genre: Christian Historical, Suspense  
Release date: June, 2019  

A Desperate Mother Searches for Her Child  

Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime Widowed in Memphis during 1932, Cecile Dowd is struggling to provide for her three-year-old daughter. Unwittingly trusting a neighbor puts little Millie Mae into the clutches of Georgia Tann, corrupt Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society director suspected of the disappearance of hundreds of children. With the help of a sympathetic lawyer, the search for Millie uncovers a deep level of corruption that threatens their very lives. 

How far will a mother go to find out what happened to her child?

Click here to purchase your copy.


My Thoughts

Liz Tolsma's The Pink Bonnet is a well-written story set in the midst of a troubling piece of American history. 

For somewhere around 25 years, Georgia Tann ran an adoption agency in Memphis, Tennessee and is suspected of kidnapping hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of children and selling them for profit for herself and for those who were involved in the corrupt schemes with her. Liz Tolsma has obviously done a great deal of research on this troublesome time and has used that information as the back-drop for a fictional story. The characters and specific details from her own imagination give a taste of what those real children and their parents might have experienced.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about these historical events. The story moves a little slowly at times and comes across a little dark because of the content. But throughout it all, there is the uplifting story of a mother's love and determination to do anything she can to bring her child back home.

Thanks to Celebrate Lit for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.


About the Author

Liz Tolsma is a popular speaker and an editor and the owner of the Write Direction Editing. An almost-native Wisconsinite, she resides in a quiet corner of the state with her husband and is the mother of three. Her son proudly serves as a U.S. Marine. They adopted all of their children internationally, and one has special needs. When she gets a few spare minutes, she enjoys reading, relaxing on the front porch, walking, working in her large perennial garden, and camping with her family.



More from Liz

A Desperate Mother Searches for Her Child

True, riveting stories of American criminal activity are explored through 6 unique stories of historical romantic suspense in the exciting new True Colors series. 

In book two, The Pink Bonnet, Widowed in Memphis during 1932, Cecile Dowd is struggling to provide for her three-year-old daughter. Unwittingly trusting a neighbor puts little Millie Mae into the clutches of Georgia Tann, corrupt Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society director suspected of the disappearance of hundreds of children. With the help of a sympathetic lawyer, the search for Millie uncovers a deep level of corruption that threatens their very lives. 

How far will a mother go to find out what happened to her child? Find out in The Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma. 

The True Crime Behind the Story 

Georgia Tann was a woman who ran an adoption agency in Memphis, Tennessee, from 1924 until 1950. It is estimated that, in that time, she kidnapped over five thousand children and sold them to the highest bidder. She even advertised the children in the newspaper, especially around the holidays. Some of the nation’s biggest celebrities adopted through Miss Tann, including Joan Crawford, Dick Powell, and June Allyson. Learn more about Georgia Tann HERE and visit www.TrueColorsCrime.com for more exclusive content.


Blog Stops


The Becca Files, June 20

Livin’ Lit, June 20









Mary Hake, June 23


Moments, June 24





Remembrancy, June 26


Emily Yager, June 26

Genesis 5020, June 27




Changed by Him, June 28

Bigreadersite, June 28




Pause for Tales, June 29

Hallie Reads, June 30








By The Book, July 2


amandainpa, July 3


Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away a grand prize that includes a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Pink Bonnet!! 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/e331/the-pink-bonnet-celebration-tour-giveaway