Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Love around the world -- Destination: Romance

Destination: Romance is an enjoyable collection of five love stories, spanning both miles and years.  Due to the limitations of space, romance happens pretty quickly in these novellas, but there is plenty of detail to pull you into each story.

The only one of the five authors I was familiar with was Kim Vogel Sawyer.  As always, her story was a delight to read.  Even though she had a much shorter format to work in than her usual full-length novel and her setting was considerably different from her usual, she still wrote about characters in a way that you could share the feelings and passion that make up their story. 

The other authors did a good job as well, sharing engaging stories in a variety of settings and time periods.  I was particularly happy to be introduced to the excellent writing of Kim's daughter in the final novella in the collection.

Thanks to Kim for providing an advance copy of this book.  I was happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Book:

From a cave in the hills of Missouri to a sandy beach in Grand Cayman, romance blooms for five heroines when they least expect it.

Bare Feet and Warm Sand
BY Kim Vogel Sawyer

Marine biologist Tamiera is determined to protect endangered sea turtles against man’s intrusion. When Joe arrives on the island of Grand Cayman with plans to build a resort near the turtles’ nesting grounds, will she be able to convince him to put the needs of God’s creatures above making money?

Sufficient Grace
BY Constance Shilling Stevens

An abandoned Cherokee burial ground keeps secrets and draws a picture of deep, enduring love for Nora, but land surveyor Donovan threatens the place that holds sweet memories for Nora’s grandfather. Will Donovan follow his boss’s orders or follow his heart?

Better Together Than Apart 
BY Rose Allen McCauley

On a K-Love cruise to Jamaica, Natalie re-connects with Ken, a boy she met six years earlier on a high school summer mission trip. Attraction stirs, but opposing goals threaten their romance. Will they listen to God’s leading for their best place of service?

A Shelter in a Weary Land
BY Julane Hiebert

A cave in the Missouri hillside was to be a shelter from pillaging Union soldiers for Charlotte and her unborn babe. But will she be safe when a wounded enemy seeks the same place of refuge?

Cotton Candy Sky
BY Kristian Libel

When a Kansas girl falls in love with the ocean, she thinks nothing could be more exhilarating than life on a beach...except maybe falling for a traveling photographer who introduces her to more adventure than she’d ever imagined. But is their connection one that can last, or will their time together simply remain a fond memory as they go their separate ways?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Love is in the Air -- Amish Brides (with a GIVEAWAY)

Amish Brides is a sweet collection of Amish love story novellas.  As is expected in the shorter format, things happen fast and the outcomes are pretty predictable.  But the stories that lead to those outcomes are delightful to read.

In The Reluctant Groom, Jennifer Beckstrand takes us on a quick visit to Huckleberry Hill and the matchmaking duo of Anna and Felty.  If you are familiar with that series, you know that fun and wisdom will show up as the Helmuths do their part (and more) to help find just the right match for one of their grandchildren.

Molly Jebber's Joshua's Bride carries a little more serious tone than the other stories.  The characters have some difficult family issues to work through, requiring each of them to evaluate their own feelings and priorities.

In a A Summer Wedding in Paradise, Amy Lillard tells the lively story of a couple who aren't quite sure what they are looking for . . . and some eager little girls who have their own ideas of how to give love a push in the right direction.

If you are a fan of Amish fiction and enjoy light, entertaining stories of love, Amish Brides would be a great choice.

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

About the Book:

THE RELUCTANT GROOM
Jennifer Beckstrand
Spirited Suvie Newswenger has three marriage proposals—but not from the man she truly loves. No matter how lonely widower Aaron Beachy is, he seems determined to stay that way forever. Now, with help from his matchmaking great-grandparents, Suvie will do whatever it takes to rekindle Aaron’s hope—and spark happiness for a lifetime.

JOSHUA’S BRIDE
Molly Jebber
Madeline Lehman fears her fiancĂ©’s family will never accept her because of her rebellious sister. She’s postponed her wedding to Joshua Stutzman until they see the truth. But when Maddie adopts her sister’s abandoned baby, can she and Joshua find a way to unite their families through forgiveness as well as love?

A SUMMER WEDDING IN PARADISE
Amy Lillard
Reba Schmucker longs to be a bride. And she knows her mischievous nieces just wanted to help when they “chose” Abel Weaver for her. But he’s the last man in the world she’d ever marry. There’s no way her independence and his stubbornness could ever get along—unless a sudden crisis somehow leads to understanding . . . and love.

About the Authors:

Jennifer Beckstrand is the RITA nominated and award-winning author of the Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series. She loves writing about the plain Amish life and the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth. She and her husband have been married for thirty-one years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and four adorable grandchildren--whom she spoils rotten. Readers can visit her website at www.jenniferbeckstrand.com.
 
Molly Jebber enjoys writing stories about Amish history and their culture. She’s a Women’s Christian Connection motivational speaker and enjoys meeting new people. She loves God, her family and friends, sunshine, swimming and traveling to the Amish communities. Creating historical Amish characters and throwing them into difficult situations and joyous times has been challenging and fun for her. Readers can visit her website at www.mollyjebber.com.
 
Amy Lillard won the 2013 Carol Award for her first Amish romance Saving Gideon. She was also a Maggie Awards finalist. Born and bred in Mississippi, she now lives with her husband and son in Oklahoma. Visit her at amywritesromance.com. 



Guest Post:

Molly Jebber is highlighted in the tour with Celebrate Lit and has shared the following guest post with her readers:

Do you remember picking out your bride’s dress? The cake? Food? Location? The invitations? Weddings are fun, no matter how simple or extravagant. The marked event fills your heart with joy sharing in the special day with the bride and groom. I remember the day I married Ed, my best friend and soulmate. We planned the details together, and we still talk about what a heartwarming memory it is for us. I’m sure if you and I met for a girl’s chat, we’d enjoy hearing each other’s account of when we exchanged vows with our sweethearts.

Amish brides may not have the flowers, rings, and fancy food and cake, but they have their traditions and share in the excitement like we do. I enjoyed writing “Joshua’s Bride”. I hope you enjoy it too.

Molly Jebber’s books have been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today’s HEA, and Romantic Times has given them a near excellent rating. She’s on RWA’s Honor Roll. She’s a speaker for Women’s Christian Connection, and she offers presentations on writing, publishing, Amish lifestyle and traditions. She has received widespread media coverage, including live interviews, across the United States for her books and speaking engagements.
 
She’s just signed a new contract for four more Amish books! She loves interacting with her readers. She loves God, her husband, family and friends. She has a hard time saying no to cupcakes, swimming, nine holes of golf, and walks on the beach. Coconut, oatmeal, and onions, on the other hand, are not hard to say no to!
To celebrate her tour, Molly is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b3a7
 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Another fun visit to Huckleberry Hill -- Return to Huckleberry Hill (with a GIVEAWAY)


You know how sometimes an idea is good the first time or two you see it, but then it gets old after it is repeated over and over?  Well . . . that is NOT what happens with Jennifer Beckstrand's Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series.  Return to Huckleberry Hill is (I think) the 7th book in this series, and the stories just keep on entertaining!

Once again Anna Helmuth is concerned about doing some matchmaking for one of her grandchildren.  Her original plans for a granddaughter get sidelined when grandson Reuben shows up from Ohio.  But never fear, Anna shifts directions quickly and the fun begins!

Anna's knitting and culinary skills are of course important parts of the story.  And who would have thought that Felty's license plate game could helpful in affairs of the heart!

Jennifer once again fills her story with a fun and quirky cast of characters.  Her creativity leads to plenty of fun and thrilling adventures for everyone involved.  I certainly hope that she continues to give us more opportunities to visit Anna and Felty on Huckleberry Hill.  Fans of fun Amish fiction should enjoy this delightful read.

Thanks to Celebrate Lit for providing a copy of this book.  I was pleased to voluntarily share my own thoughts for this review.

About the Book:

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…

Click here  to buy a copy of the book.

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 by the Author: 

Anna Helmuth is starting a knitting club, but that’s not all she’s got up her sleeve.
SCAN0129-1
My family. I have five sisters and no brothers. I think my mom made every dress in this photo, including her own.
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?


Check out reviews by other readers by visiting the Tour Page.

Giveaway

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! https://promosimple.com/ps/b3b2