Thursday, February 16, 2017

Amish Wanderer by Laura V. Hilton {Book Review and a Giveaway!}


Click here to enter the giveaway! 
While many people absolutely love Christian Amish Fiction, it is a genre that I don't read a ton...but when I find an author I enjoy, who writes with depth & detail, and includes suspense & mystery, I very much enjoy when they write a second novel! Laura V. Hinton is a writer who falls into that category for me..her book Amish Firefighter was one of the first works of Christian Amish Fiction that I read; when the opportunity came to read and review Amish Wanderer, which is the second book in the series, I signed up immediately in hopes I'd get the chance to read and review it.

Amish Wanderer did not disappoint, and I highly recommend it. But, although you could read it as a stand alone novel, I think it is best for someone to read Amish Firefighter first, as there are references to characters and situations that have potential to be confusing if you aren't already familiar with the initial storyline. Amish Wanderer begins where Amish Firefighter stopped, but it is a wonderful 2nd novel as it takes minor character Bethany Weiss and puts her front and center. Bethany is facing many tough circumstances due to things her dad and boyfriend did in the 1st novel. She wrestles with grief, shame, and even finding her 'fit' within her own family. As she seeks to find herself and find peace with God, Silas Beiler (Bethany's first crush) returns temporarily to Jamesport. As Silas wrestles with his own secrets and shameful past, Bethany and Silas begin to find strength in each other, in God, and begin to realize that other people truly care about them, too.

Amish Wanderer held my attention from start to finish, and I truly hope there will be another book added to this series!


*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.*
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Book: Amish Wanderer
Author: Laura V. Hilton
Genre: Amish Romance
Release Date: February 14
Bethany Weiss is ready to leave town. Tongues haven’t stopped clacking in Jamesport, MO, since her daed, the bishop, was admitted to a mental hospital after hurting their small Amish community. But her sharpest wounds Bethany hides from prying eyes, quietly biding her time until she can take a chance at a new life—away from Jamesport and away from God.

Silas Beiler was kicked out of his own home. Dogged by a rough childhood and a family who blames him for each new disaster, he begins hitchhiking across the country, sleeping in barns where he can, working for food when possible—headed for Pennsylvania in the hope of some stability.

When Bethany spies a man asleep in the hayloft, she first fears the return of an unwelcome suitor. But when it is Silas who turns and speaks, the memories flood back: a happy summer six years ago full of lemonade, long walks, and budding courtship. Now, however, those months of bliss seem naïve and idyllic. Was their old love strong enough to overcome new pain? Or will hurt and rejection continue to haunt their path?

About the Author

Laura V. Hilton
Amish fiction lovers responded positively and immediately to Laura V. Hilton’s debut novel, Patchwork Dreams, when she burst on the scene in 2009 with her unique series, The Amish of Seymour, set in the tiny town of Seymour, in Webster County, Missouri. Fans of the genre immediately recognized Hilton’s insider knowledge, not only of the Webster County community, but Amish culture in general. Her natural speech and writing patterns, she says, are uniquely “Amish,” acquired from her Amish maternal grandparents. The Amish of Seymour, includes Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. Her second series, The Amish of Webster County, is comprised of Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love. A stand-alone title, A White Christmas in Webster County, was released in September 2014. The Amish of Jamesport includes The Snow Globe, The Postcard and The Birdhouse. In spring 2016 she released The Amish Firefighter with the setting in Jamesport, MO, the same as for The Amish Wanderer.
Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.

Control Girl~Book Review {and Giveaway!} with Shannon Popkin

Control Girl Shannon Popkin 

If "control girl" describes you in any way, you need to get this book. If you're like me and think it sometimes describes you, I highly recommend you read it, too. While it is good for any woman, much of the writing is written with an emphasis on being married and having a husband. The way Popkin writes not only brings fantastic insight to the dangers of being a control girl, but she provides rich, biblical detail to women in the Bible in a way I have never seen before. Great resource, and I have already recommended it to several friends.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.*
~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible (January 2017, Kregel)
Tension, anger, fear, anxiety—it all begins with a heart that craves control.
Little fights with your husband and kids. Unhappiness when things don’t match your version of perfect. When your perspective of how life should go replaces God’s, you doom your quest for security, peace, and joy before it even starts.
Thankfully, there is a better way.
Join Shannon as she shares what she has discovered about her own control struggles and
about God from studying seven Control Girls in the Bible. Whether it was Eve’s desire to know instead of trust, Sarah’s inability to wait for God to move, or Rebekah’s controlling hand on her family’s future, each of these women’s stories contain warnings and lessons for us today.
Learn how you too can lay down this burden of trying to control everything and find rest in surrendering to the One who truly is in control.
Shannon PopkinLearn more and purchase a copy.

Shannon Popkin is a wife and mom, a speaker and teacher, and a leader of small group studies. She's been published by "Family Fun," "MOMsense," "Focus on the Family Magazine," and other outlets. She is a contributing blogger for True Woman.com and has blogged for several years at shannonpopkin.com. "Control Girl" is her first book.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God's Timeline {Book Review}

It is one thing to read a Christian inspirational work where the author takes her experience, discusses it, and refers to verses from the Bible to strengthen her writings. It is an entirely different level of depth that is found when an author takes experiences & people from the Bible, discusses them, humanifies the person, explains how God grew them and used them, and THEN blends in her own story after having laid down a biblical foundation. Marlo Schalesky accomplished this example of depth in her book, Waiting for Wonder.

Schalesky focuses on Sarah and the way she had to wait not just for a child, but also for the land God had promised. While Schalesky's key focus is Sarah, she also focuses on other biblical characters who learned, grew, and were used by God. The biblical characters (especially Sarah) become even more meaningful when Schalesky presents her personal experiences and relates them back to what God was teaching Sarah. It is a fantastic writing style, and I truly enjoyed this book.

**I received a copy  of the book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to give a positive review.**
~~~~~~~~~~~
Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God’s Timeline (Abingdon Press, November 2016)
What if, in this waiting, God is calling us to more?
It’s easy to believe God when a promise is new. It’s hard when the years pass and nothing changes. It’s even harder when desperation strikes, your plans backfire, and still God does not fill the emptiness. But what if, in this waiting, God is calling us to more?
Join author Marlo Schalesky on a unique, contemplative journey to reveal the wonder that is often missed when we find ourselves struggling to wait well. Walking through the life of the biblical character Sarah, one who knows what it means to wait, you will discover a glimpse of God’s character that will give you strength to keep hoping and praying for the desires of your heart.
Waiting for Wonder is a journey into the heart of God where you will wrestle with personal questions, think deeply about God’s true character, and learn to appreciate His divine work as you discover your own path to the promised land. Recapture your hope, restore your soul, and renew your vision of a wondrous Savior when you learn to live on God’s time.
Leader guide also available.
Marlo SchaleskyMarlo Schalesky is an award-winning author of ten books, including "Wrestling with Wonder: A Transformational Journey Through the Life of Mary." A regular speaker and columnist, she has also published nearly 1,000 articles in various Christian magazines, including "Focus on the Family," "Today’s Christian Woman," "In Touch," and "Marriage Partnership." Marlo lives with her husband, six young children, nine horses, two dogs, five cats, two parakeets, ten rabbits, two chinchillas, three hamsters, and a bunch of fish in a log home in Salinas, California.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Great Resource as we Pray with Purpose


Intentional prayer--it's a reminder we shouldn't need, and yet we do. Pray A to Z is a great resource for how to pray with purpose, with passion, and to pray beyond ourselves. While it gives specific prayers, it is also written in a way you can still keep your prayers very personal. It is a good book for the longtime believer, yet also a great gift to give a newer believer who doesn't have much knowledge regarding the power of prayer.

**I received a copy  of the book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to give a positive review.**
~~~~~~~

Pray A to Z: Practical Guide to Pray for Your Community (Worthy, November 2016)
Change the world one prayer at a time.
How would our community change if instead of absently saying, “I’ll pray for you,” we actually did pray–deeply, intensely, and purposefully?
Pray A to Z: A Practical Guide to Praying for Your Community will help you topically organize your prayer requests and lay the burdens of your community at the feet of our Heavenly Father.
With compassion and encouragement, Amelia Rhodes offers Bible verses and prayer prompts, organized topically for every letter of the alphabet. There are five topics per letter–three prayers of petition asking God to work in a certain area of need, and two more prayers of praise to reflect gratitude for God’s presence in the daily issues and relationships of life. Through petition and praise, your specific, focused communion with God will lighten your heart as you place the heaviness of those prayer requests where they belong–on His strong shoulders.
Whether you are praying for a friend’s adoption journey, a neighbor’s bankruptcy, or a family member’s cancer, this book will give you Bible verses, prayer prompts, and prayer starts to guide you through praying for even the most difficult issues that affect the people you know and love. Perfect for either individual or group prayer, Pray A to Z will help you experience the peace that comes from communicating with God.
Amelia Rhodes
Amelia Rhodes is a speaker and author of "Isn't It Time for a Coffee Break: Doing Life Together in an All-About-Me Kind of World." Amelia's writing has also been featured in four "Chicken Soup for the Soul" titles, devotionals for the OneHope blog Undeterred and the international devotional "Upper Room." Amelia has a growing speaking ministry and speaks regularly to women's groups on topics of spiritual growth, friendship, and community, offering practical tools for living our faith in the everyday. She lives in Lowell, Michigan.


Monday, December 19, 2016

ScriptureDoodle God’s Promises: A Six-Week Devotional Experience {Book Review}

This book is great for yourself, or perfect as a gift! I have both ScriptureDoodle's by April Knight; my 7th grade daughter oohed & aahed over them, so I gave her this one. She absolutely loves it, and it's been a true delight as a mom to look through her book and see all the ways she is learning, growing, and being creative in learning scripture! I enjoy it, too, but because so many reviews focus on adult women utilizing this book, I felt it important to focus on how much I recommend it for junior high, high schoolers, and young adult women as well.

**I received a copy  of the book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to give a positive review.**
~~~~~~~~~~

ScriptureDoodle God’s Promises: A Six-Week Devotional Experience (David C. Cook, December 2016)
ScriptureDoodle God’s PromisesSome of the most incredible stories in the Bible are of God’s promises and faithfulness to His children.
ScriptureDoodle God’s Promises refreshes believers who are feeling burned out or stuck in a rut in their relationship with God. Each of the creative worship prompts in this interactive guide includes biblical encouragement and ideas for worship through art. Artist April Knight includes creative lettering tips, color ideas, and completed examples to inspire readers to respond to promises in Scripture related to trust, faith, and the power of God’s Word in all circumstances.
This unique blend of Bible study and creative expression provides the opportunity to connect with God as Creator in a new, life-changing way.
Learn more and purchase a copy.
April Knight
April Knight is a worship artist based in Asheville, North Carolina. Knight’s work includes live worship painting and leading ScriptureDoodle workshops online and at conferences and retreats around the country and internationally. Her family of four is her greatest joy, along with serving alongside her husband at their local church.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Trust My Heart {Christian Romance Novel--Book Review}


I don't read Christian romance novels very often (or romance novels of any kind actually), but I was intrigued by the plot line as the synopsis held a little bit of mystery within the book. Trust My Heart is a very sweet read; it holds layers of nostalgia, loss, hurt & sadness--but it also holds hope. And the combination of those elements helps bring depth to the conflicts, storylines, and character development--especially main characters Grant and Jami. For more information about the book, please read the author's synopsis. It is a wonderful book, and I highly recommend it.

*I received a copy  of the book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to give a positive review.**
~~~~~~~~~~~

Trust My Heart (Waterfall Press, October 2016)
Grant McAllister arrives in Murphy, North Carolina, with one aim: to sell his inherited property and leave as quickly as possible. 
The big-city lawyer has no interest in his late, estranged grandparents or the dilapidated mansion he just acquired. After his high-profile divorce, he should be avoiding perky reporters, too. But Jami Carlisle is honest, funny, and undeniably appealing.
After breaking up with her safe-but-smothering boyfriend, Jami is determined to ace her first big assignment. A story about the McAllister estate is too intriguing to ignore—much like its handsome, commitment-phobic heir. Thanks to her digging, the pieces of Grant’s fraught family history are gradually fitting into place, but also upending all his old beliefs.
The two draw closer as they share their dreams, until misread signals and misunderstandings begin to test their trust. But in the unspoiled beauty of the Smoky Mountains, there’s healing and forgiveness to be found. And for Grant, this unplanned detour may be just what’s needed to finally guide him home…
Carol J. PostFrom medical secretary to court reporter to property manager to owner of a special-events decorating company, Carol J. Post’s résumé reads as if she hasn’t yet decided what she wants to be when she grows up. But one thing that has remained constant through the years is her love of writing. She started as a child composing poetry for family and friends, then graduated to articles for religious and children’s publications. Now she pens fun, fast-paced inspirational romance and romantic suspense stories. Her books have been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Book award and selected as an RT Top Pick. When Carol isn’t writing, she enjoys sailing, hiking, camping—almost anything outdoors. She also plays the piano and sings with her music-minister husband. Their two grown daughters and their grandkids live too far away for her liking, so she now pours all her nurturing into taking care of a fat and sassy black cat and a highly spoiled dachshund.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Great Gift Idea for Moms {40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood}


"Littles are asleep, tea is brewed, and colored pencils are ready." 
~Rockin' My Mom Jeans Facebook post, September 23, 2016

What a fun way to have some creative quiet time with God! The devotional aspect itself would've made for a sweet book for mamas, but the coloring adds the opportunity for depth, growth, and a lengthier time of solitude. 40 Day to a Joyful Motherhood would definitely make for a fantastic Christmas gift!

*I received a copy of the book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to give a positive review.**

~~~~~~~~~~~~
40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood: Devotions and Coloring Book to Nourish Mom (Abingdon Press, August 2016)
Nourishment for a mother’s soul through 40 days of devotion and . . . doodling! 
Wouldn’t it be marvelous if mothering came with a concrete set of instructions—an easy recipe we could follow? Instead, motherhood challenges women to find their faith, their true selves, and their family through daily doses of trial and error. It is a brilliant and healing time of life that is full of joy, pain, and beauty with a small side of crisis (and humor). What mothers do not know, they learn. And through this lifelong process of learning, they nurture and care for the most precious gifts on earth: children. In a modern society where moms often have a full and busy plate, these 10 minute daily devotions focus on six key topics of motherhood:
—Self-acceptance
—Self-care
—Reconciling with grief, hope and expectations
—Generosity
—Presence
—Forgiveness
In addition to the devotions, these beautiful pages are adorned with handmade illustrations to help you refresh from long days or even occasional sleepless nights. So, grab your colors and a little quiet time for yourself while doodling at the kitchen table. You will be grateful you did!