Sunday, April 30, 2017

Spotlight (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): A Plain Widow



Click here to purchase your copy.


About the Book

Book: A Plain Widow  

Author: Diane Craver  

Genre: Amish romance  

Release Date: March 10, 2017

Molly Ebersol’s life changes in a few minutes when an arsonist torches their barn. Her husband, Caleb, rushes inside the burning barn to save his horses. Although Amish firefighter, Jonathan Mast, tries to save Caleb, he fails. Suddenly Molly becomes a widow.

A month later, an anonymous person gives money to cover the lumber and food expenses for the barn raising. One late night more money is left for Molly on the porch. The fire investigator wonders if the arsonist feels guilt about Caleb’s death and is responsible for the money gifts.

During the continued investigation, it’s learned that Caleb had secrets he kept from Molly. She is crushed by what Caleb did before meeting her. How could the love of her life kept his English past from her?

Her new neighbor, Jonathan, helps her to make the difficult transition from wife to widow. Although Molly develops feelings for Jonathan, can she ever trust him to be truthful to her? She isn’t sure she can fall in love again. Her trust in relationships is shattered because of Caleb’s past actions.


About the Author

Diane grew up on a farm outside Findlay, Ohio, and she often acted out characters from her own stories in the backyard. In high school she would read during classes and hide a novel in front of her in a propped up textbook. After Diane graduated from the Ohio State University, she became a schoolteacher and play director.

She met her husband while teaching at an orphanage, and they married three years later. Diane says that it took her that long to convince him she was the one for him! While raising their family in southwestern Ohio, she started writing nonfiction and was published. Later, Diane decided it would be a nice escape to write fiction. They were blessed with five daughters and one son. Two daughters were born with Down syndrome and live at home. Their other children live close by. Diane has four adorable grandchildren. Her favorite vacation is going to the beach with the whole family.

Non-fiction articles of Diane’s have been published in Woman’s World Weekly, The Catholic Telegraph, Virtue, Down Syndrome Today, WritersWeekly.com, and other publications. Several of Diane’s books have been a reviewer’s top pick from Night Owl Reviews as well as receiving 5 star reviews and A Joyful Break (Dreams of Plain Daughters) received the CTRR Reviewer’s Recommend Award from Coffee Time Romance and More.

Diane gives thanks daily to God for all her blessings.


Guest Post from Diane Craver

Back in 2012, when I told our adult children I had written my first Amish book, they looked surprised. In the past I had written contemporary Christian romance, but I had never mentioned anything about researching the Amish faith for my future books. My great-grandfather was a Mennonite minister, but I never knew him. My mother shared stories about his faith and his strictness in raising children. With many similarities between my great-grandfather’s faith and the Amish beliefs, I was drawn to learn more about the Plain life.

Another influence came from my father. While growing up in Findlay, Ohio, my father respected and enjoyed talking with the Amish from Kenton, Ohio. As a farmer, he used both work horses (something he had in common with his Amish acquaintances) and a tractor. In my book, A PLAIN WIDOW, my character, Jonathan Mast, is from Kenton. Unfortunately, my children never knew my father, but they learned how precious he was to me from reading my book, A GIFT FOREVER.

Now several books later, I am still writing Amish fiction. I feel blessed that God directed me on this writing path. A wonderful aspect of writing in this genre is finding Amish recipes to prepare in my kitchen. One of my favorite recipes is also my character Molly’s specialty in my new release. This Amish recipe is an easy bread to make and takes around twenty minutes to prepare.  

Delicious Amish Cinnamon Bread

(Makes 2 loaves)

Batter:

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 cups buttermilk or 2 cups milk plus 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice

4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

Cinnamon/sugar mixture:

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cream together butter, 2 cups of sugar, and eggs. Add milk, flour, and baking soda. Put 1/2 of batter (or a little less) into greased loaf pans. (Basically pour 1/4 of the total batter into each pan.)

Mix in separate bowl the 2/3 cup of sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter in each pan. Add remaining batter to pans; sprinkle with last of cinnamon topping. Swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min. Or until toothpick tester is clean.

Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan.


Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Diane is giving away:

GRAND PRIZE: Diane is giving away a set of the Dream of Plain Daughters Series (4 book series) and a $20 Amazon gift card. If the winner is outside of the US, ebooks will be substituted.

RUNNER-UP: A copy of AMISH BABY SNATCHED, the first book in The Bishop’s Daughters Series and a $10 Amazon gift card.
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!



Saturday, April 29, 2017

Spotlight (+ Kindle Fire GIVEAWAY): A Spring of Weddings



 
Click here to purchase your copy.


About the Book

Book: A Spring of Weddings: A Contemporary Spring Weddings Collection  
Authors: Toni Shiloh & Melissa Wardwell,
Genre: Contemporary, Romance  
Release Date: March 30, 2017  

A Proxy Wedding

Carly James values loyalty and friendship above all, so when her best friend calls asking her to be a proxy bride, she says, ‘yes.’ How hard can it be to say ‘I do’ so that her best friend can be with the one she loves? Only, Carly never counted on the feelings that began to swirl around with the proxy groom.

Damien Nichols likes life lined up from A to Z, but when his best friend calls in a favor, disorder begins to reign. Instead of taking a quick flight to the proxy wedding, he must take a road trip with the proxy bride. Carly’s free-spirit attitude bumps heads with his meticulous approach to life. As Damien discovers the woman underneath the carefree fa├žade, his emotions become involved.

Will love become real at A Proxy Wedding?  

Hope Beyond Savannah

Lily Allman and Nikotemo (Nik) Lagatuo were the poster children for the term “opposites attract.” He was an evangelist and CEO for a non-profit from Samoa who grew up in a large loving family. She was a blond bombshell with a funky style and no family to call her own. Two of the most unlikely people meet in the most unlikely of places, but God had a plan when He brought them together. They never let their differences deter them from the love they had for each other, but when Nik’s mother comes to the States for the wedding, the idea of wedded bliss is shaken. Can prejudices be over looked, insecurities overcome, and hope for a better future be restored so that these two can have all that was promised?


About the Authors

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.  

Melissa Wardwell was born and raised in a small mid-Michigan community living there still with her Husband and three children. She enjoys taking pictures, reading, and leisurely rides with her husband on their motorcycle. All her stories revolve around women who are mothers. Single mothers, widowed mothers, young mothers, married mothers, and even women who have a mother’s heart but no children of her own.

Her hope is that each story touches your heart, gives you hope, or just gives you a moment away from the chaos of life.


Guest posts from Toni & Melissa

A Proxy Wedding
By Toni Shiloh

Spring is here! I love it because I always think of new beginnings as the flowers bud and then bloom. The trials and tribulation of the winter season are no longer on my mind. My hope that the winter season would not linger begins to become visible as new life takes shape on the bare trees. The seeds I planted in faith of God’s faithfulness sprout up in hope and promise.

When I sat down to write A Proxy Wedding, I had to imagine spring time, because the dreary, overcast skies outside my window were a constant reminder that I was in a season of sickness. One person would get sick, then the next, and the next. By the time the last person got sick, the round would start over. Visits to the doctor were made. Miserable kids were constantly whining in their discomfort.

It. Was. Rough.

It made perfect sense for me to throw my characters into a new situation. One that would make the stretch, take them out their comfort zone, and search for God’s goodness. I wanted to give them a hint of goodness and throw in a trial or two so they could make the decision that sometimes, risk is worth it. Just as we all react differently to new situations, so did my characters.

Carly was intent on making lemonade from her lemons. She tries to get the handsome broker, Damien, to see the importance of smelling roses and lingering over new adventures. Of course, Damien wasn’t partial to the frivolity. He’s so intent on becoming a success that he had no time to slow down.

In order for them to see God’s handiwork in their lives, I had to remind them that they were not products of their past. That in God, they’re a new creation with new opportunities available to them.

I hope you enjoy A Proxy Wedding. May you think of the Father’s love as you take time to stop and smell the roses.  

Hope Beyond Savannah
By Melissa Wardwell

I hope you enjoy this story of love, acceptance and new beginnings. It was a joy to write because there is much more to it than the hope of marriage. It is about the blending of two families who are from two completely different cultures. Researching the island traditions, beliefs, and customs was not only fun, but enlightening. Being able to return to my background in bridal as well as the most beautiful city in the United States was just an added bonus.

With Nik and his family being from another country, I gave you a glossary of words and phrases used so you knew what was being said. I found the language to be rather beautiful and to not include it would take away from who these people are. I also give a small explanation as to what Rock-a- billy is. Lily is a funky chick who dresses in a fun and exciting way. When I saw this couple in my head, I knew it would be quite the uncommon match. As you will soon see, they fit together quite nicely.

My point in using a bi-racial couple for this story was based on what we have been seeing in the news lately. It is unlike anything I have ever done but after talking to friends in similar relationships, I knew I had to step out on this limb. I think it is time we begin to look at people through the eyes of God and not man, then we would see how beautiful we all are. It doesn’t matter what color our skin is or what our past contains, we are all God’s creation and we are beautifully and wonderfully made.


Blog Stops

April 28: Mary Hake
April 29: The Power of Words (Spotlight)
May 5: Carpe Diem
May 7: God is Love
May 8: Autism mom


Giveaway

To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a Kindle! Enter below. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!




Sunday, April 16, 2017

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY: Cat Got Your Cash




Cat Got Your Cash
By Julie Chase
Kitty Couture #2
Crooked Lane Books, 2017


Summary

Lacy Marie Crocker’s whimsical pet couture has gained a following in New Orleans’s cozy Garden District, and word of mouth has traveled all the way to her favorite fashion designer, Annie Lane. Lacy’s thrilled when Annie schedules a private session at her home to discuss a companion line for her evening wear, but when Lacy arrives for the appointment, she enters the kitchen to two mewling Siamese cats–and one very dead Annie.

Lacy takes the kittens home to care for them until they can be properly claimed by Annie’s family or friends, but after a busy day of work, she returns home to find them missing. And when Lacy learns the cats are set to inherit Annie’s fortune, she begins to wonder if the killer was after the kittens all along. Now Lacy will stop at nothing to save the Siamese and find justice for Annie–if the killer doesn’t sink his claws into her first.

Luckily, Lacy has the help of handsome NOLA PD homicide detective Jack Oliver to help her catch the cat-napper before its too late in Cat Got Your Cash, the endearing second Kitty Couture mystery from Julie Chase.


My thoughts

I adore Julie Chase’s Kitty Couture series and it has quickly become one of my favorites. Lacy, as well as the other characters and pets in her world, have good depth and the New Orleans setting sparkles. Lacy’s cat, Penelope, is so funny! The idea of a pet boutique and organic bakery is a totally foreign concept to me, but I love Lacy’s Furry Godmother shop (and I suspect my kitties would also).

Cat Got Your Cash is an appropriate title, with the victim’s cats supposedly inheriting their owner’s fortune. This is a perfect cozy, with a good blend of crazy mystery plotting and romance. Lacy has two romantic interests, a plot vehicle I’m not particularly fond of, especially since I’m very much on “Team Jack”! Hopefully this will be resolved soon.

This story stands alone, but I recommend reading the stories in order for the best understanding. Cat Got Your Cash is a fun mystery with a nice twist at the end. I look forward to the next adventure in this series.

Recommended.

I was provided a free copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

_________________________


Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children.

Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency.

Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. Learn more about Julie at

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Purchase Links:
AmazonB&NBAM!IndieBound


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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): Called to Justice




Called to Justice
By Edith Maxwell
A Quaker Midwife Mystery #2
Midnight Ink, 2017


Summary

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is enjoying the 1888 Independence Day evening fireworks with her beau when a teenaged Quaker mill girl is found shot dead. After a former slave and fellow Quaker is accused of the murder, Rose delves into the crime, convinced of the man’s innocence.

An ill-mannered mill manager, an Irish immigrant, and the victim’s young boyfriend come under suspicion even as Rose’s future with her handsome doctor suitor becomes unsure. Rose continues to deliver babies and listen to secrets, finally figuring out one criminal – only to be threatened by the murderer, with three lives at stake. Can she rescue herself, a baby, and her elderly midwifery teacher in time?


My thoughts

Called to Justice by Edith Maxwell is an impressive and enjoyable story. It is steeped in historical detail that is not only interesting, but fascinating, and I felt transported to the small factory town of Amesbury, Massachusetts of 1888. A beautiful setting, the Quaker faith, and the birthing of babies all combine to give a feeling of authenticity, and I loved the historical references to people like John Greenleaf Whittier. Characters and plot are delightfully complex, but easily readable. I became immersed in the narrative from the very beginning.

The story unfolds through the voice of Rose, a Quaker midwife. It was easy to connect with Rose, a woman devout in her faith, independent and loyal. In murder mysteries, the protagonist’s rationale for sleuthing doesn’t always seem logical, but that’s not the case here – for a fellow Quaker and former slave is falsely accused of the crime. A romantic relationship between Rose and David adds interest, as it’s not without some trouble spots. And the mystery has a surprising twist that readers will enjoy.

I loved Called to Justice and hope for many more stories to come.

Recommended.

I was provided a free copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

_________________________


Agatha-nominated and Amazon best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries  and the Local Foods Mysteries , the Country Store Mysteries  (as Maddie Day ), and the Lauren Rousseau Mysteries  (as Tace Baker ), as well as award-winning short crime fiction.

Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats, and blogs with the other Wicked Cozy Authors.

WebsiteWicked Cozy AuthorsFacebook

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Purchase Links:
Amazon  B&N


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