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The Seamstress Book Tour & Giveaway by Celebrate Lit

Welcome to my stop on Celebrate Lit’s Book Tour for author Allison Pittman’s “The Seamstress”.  I am glad you joined us.  Today’s tour is such a treat.  Read the generous giveaway that you have a chance to win.  It’s at the very bottom.  Are you ready to get started?  Me, too!

My thoughts

Author Allison Pittman has taken a minor character from Charles Dickens’ book, “A Tale of Two Cities” and given her a tale all her own. The character now has a name, Renee, a stronger voice, and emotions that will leap off of the pages of this book and straight into your heart.  The three other main characters, Laurette, Gagnon, and Marcel all come to life with the skilled stroke of the author’s pen.

For years I have been a fan of the gifted wordsmith Pittman.  Her writing style is engaging and always draws me in.  It was the same with this book.  This book was well researched, organized, and well planned.  At first I found it a little difficult but after a couple of chapters, it flowed flawlessly.  The characters complimented each other with their positive and negative attitudes.  They were well defined and described.  My heart ached for them and I secretly hoped the author had changed Dickens’ ending, too.

Life issues of despair, hope, faith, love, redemption, treachery, war, kindness, lies, and morality are intricately woven throughout this exemplary novel.  At times it was hard to read, and yet at other times it was even harder to but down.  I was totally captivated.  My mind had no problem imagining the scenes that played out on the pages.

Even though I have read other fiction about this time period, this book taught me more than other books about the people, turmoil, surroundings, and era.  It is essential that I learn something from a novel for me to really enjoy it.  The second thing I need is a Christian message if it is classified as a Christian fiction book.  Bravo on both points for “The Seamstress.”

This is no light, fluffy read.  It portrays real life during the French Revolution and that can be brutal.  This book has stuck with me long after finishing it.  It was thought provoking and beautifully written.  I find it hard to describe such a masterpiece.

Definitely I recommend this gem of a novel.  If you are a fan of Dickens, the classics, French Revolution, or history you will swoon over this novel.  It earned a five out of five stars from me.

A copy was provided buy I was under no obligation to write a review.  These are my own, personal thoughts.

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About the Book

The seamstress cover

Title: The Seamstress

Author: Allison Pittman

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: Tyndale

A beautifully crafted story breathes life into the cameo character from the classic novel A Tale of Two Cities.

France, 1788
It is the best of times . . .

On a tranquil farm nestled in the French countryside, two orphaned cousins—Renée and Laurette—have been raised under the caring guardianship of young Émile Gagnon, the last of a once-prosperous family. No longer starving girls, Laurette and Renée now spend days tending Gagnon’s sheep, and nights in their cozy loft, whispering secrets and dreams in this time of waning innocence and peace.

It is the worst of times . . .

Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart.

It is the story that has never been told.

In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

allison PittmanAllison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a three-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series and once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike. Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website, allisonkpittman.com.

 

Guest Post from Allison

My dream of being an author began by “finishing” other author’s works, fleshing out the stories of neglected characters. When I read the final books in the Little House series, I was far more interested in Cap Garland than I was in Almonzo Wilder, and I imagined all kinds of stories in which he was the hero.

This, The Seamstress, is one of those stories that came to me in a single burst of thought. I was teaching my sophomore English class, discussing through the final scenes in A Tale of Two Cities, when the little seamstress in those final pages reached out to me. She is a nameless character, seemingly more symbolic than anything. Dickens, however, gives her an entire backstory in a single phrase: I have a cousin who lives in the country. How will she ever know what became of me? I remember pausing right then and there in front of my students and saying, “Now, there’s the story I want to write.”

Now, years later, I have.

While every word of every Charles Dickens novel is a master class in writing, what he gave to me for The Seamstress is the kind of stuff that brings life and breath to fiction. I have to convey the fact that any character on my pages—no matter how much story space he or she is allotted—has a life between them. Every man was once a child; every woman a vulnerable young girl.

So, Dickens gave me the bones of the story. A seamstress. A cousin in the country. A country ripped apart; family torn from family. I did my very best to put flesh on those bones, but no writer can ever bring the life and breath. Only a reader can do that.

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, February 9

The Lit Addict, February 9

The Power of Words, February 9

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis & Christ Collide, February 10

Lis Loves Reading, February 10

Maureen’s Musings, February 10

Carpe Diem, February 11

A Baker’s Perspective, February 11

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 12

Emily Yager, February 12

Mary Hake, February 12

Stories By Gina, February 13

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 13

The Christian Fiction Girl, February 13

Inspired by fiction, February 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14

Remembrancy, February 14

Through the Fire Blogs, February 15

Seasonsofopportunities, February 15

Inspiration Clothesline, February 15

Books, Books, and More Books, February 16

Inklings and Notions, February 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 16

Bibliophile Reviews, February 17

Texas Book-aholic, February 17

Margaret Kazmierczak, February 18

A Reader’s Brain, February 18

By The Book, February 18

Multifarious, February 19

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 19

Pause for Tales, February 19

Bigreadersite, February 20

Simple Harvest Reads, February 20

Janices book reviews, February 20

For the Love of Books, February 21

Book by Book, February 21

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 22

To Everything A Season, February 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 22

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card, a hardcover copy of The Seamstress, and this copy of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens!!

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/db0e/the-seamstress-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

 

 

 

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Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe Book Tour & Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on Celebrate Lit’s tour for “Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe”.  Today’s stop includes my review, information about the book and author, a guest post from Carla Laureano, the author, a listing of every tour stop, and information on the author’s giveaway.  Don’t miss it!  Let’s get started with my thoughts on this book.

My Review

“Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe” was a scrumptious read!  This contemporary Christian fiction was the first book I have read by author Carla Laureano, and I was thrilled to find a new author.  It is Book Two in the author’s series.  I was able to follow along fine so it cam be read as a stand alone.  However, I wish I had read Book One first.

Author Laureano has a very nice style of writing.  The story was well imagined, written, and researched.  I love reading about cooking and baking.  The romance was excellent.  I learned things about the food industry.  You know I love it when a book teaches me something.  Plus, it is highly evident this is a Christian book.  Characters mention trusting God, blessings and signs from a Him, and faith.

Her characters are relatable and realistic.  It was easy to imagine each one of them.  Melody Johansson is the main character and so likable.  She actually reminded me very much of someone I know.  I immediately became invested in her life.

It took very few pages to become captivated by this delightful novel.  I laughed, teared up, and felt the characters’ emotions.  Bravo to the author for such skilled writing.  There were times my breath caught for fear of what might happen.  I knew how I wanted the book to end, but I didn’t know if it would.

This is a great book but not for younger readers.  The author mentions some adult things such as sex before marriage, drinking wine, using the word hell, and a couple of other minor offenses.  Please keep in mind this is my opinion only.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.  It is a great getaway for lovers of contemporary fiction, foodies, and romance books.  I am looking forward to getting Book One.  Do yourself a favor, read it first.  Book two is so good you will want to read book one, too.  I rate this a 5 out of 5 stars.

A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit.  No review was required.  These are my own, honest thoughts.

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About the Book

Title: Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe

Author: Carla Laureano

Genre: Christian Romance

Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: Tyndale

Baker and pastry chef Melody Johansson has always believed in finding the positive in every situation, but seven years after she moved to Denver, she can’t deny that she’s stuck in a rut. One relationship after another has ended in disaster, and her classical French training is being wasted on her night job in a mediocre chain bakery. Then the charming and handsome private pilot Justin Keller lands on the doorstep of her workplace in a snowstorm, and Melody feels like it’s a sign that her luck is finally turning around.

Justin is intrigued by the lively bohemian baker, but the last thing he’s looking for is a relationship. His own romantic failures have proven that the demands of his job are incompatible with meaningful connections, and he’s already pledged his life savings to a new business venture across the country—an island air charter in Florida with his sister and brother-in-law.

Against their better judgment, Melody and Justin find themselves drawn together by their unconventional career choices and shared love of adventure. But when an unexpected windfall provides Melody with the chance to open her dream bakery-café in Denver with her best friend, chef Rachel Bishop, she’s faced with an impossible choice: stay and put down roots with the people and place she’s come to call home . . . or give it all up for the man she loves.

About the Author

Carla LaureanoCarla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.

Guest Post from Carla

“Confessions of An Erstwhile Baker”

Like most females, baking is encoded somewhere deep down in my DNA. Call it nature or call it nurture, but at the earliest age, I figured out that the cute boy in my English class would talk to me if it involved chocolate chip cookies. Got my heart broken or had a friend betray me? I grabbed the mixing bowl and went for the brownies (even better if they’re served à la mode.) My friend was having a birthday? I made a cake drowned in pounds of buttercream.

I quickly graduated from the boxed mixes to the real thing when I got married and had a kitchen large enough to roll out dough. I would comb magazines for the best recipes and spend my weekends trying them out. I quickly became known for bringing beautifully iced Christmas cookies and delicious homemade cakes to work.

Then my husband and I moved our young family from Los Angeles to Denver, a relocation that was about 1000 miles northeast and 5000 feet up. Suddenly, every recipe I’d perfected in the previous eight years failed. Cookies burned to crisps, cakes fell, and don’t get me started on candy making. Gradually, I adapted my recipes (my beloved never-fail Toll House recipe took eight tries to get right) and even became an avid artisan bread-baker.

Then disaster. Or at least, what a baker would consider a disaster. After developing chronic health problems, I discovered that among other things, I was sensitive to gluten. The horror! In order to heal, I turned to the paleo diet, which eliminates all grains (there goes most gluten free recipes) and all processed sugars (there goes everything else). I’ve tried baking paleo-style, and while I can now make cakes that even my gluten-fiend family enjoy, it’s just not the same.

So what’s a once-obsessive baker do when she can’t eat her creations? She bakes for other people and goes on faith that they actually taste good… considering she can’t taste them herself.

It struck me that there was a spiritual lesson in that, and an obvious tie to Brunch at Bittersweet Café, which deals in large part with Melody’s faith journey. There are times when we have no idea if things are working out the way they’re supposed to, in which case we just have to trust the “recipe” and the input of friends and family who love us. Sometimes our instincts tell us when we’re off track, and sometimes we need that outside nudge from our “taste-testers” to put us back on course.

In any case, what Melody and I have in common is that we both bake to show our love for the people around us. And the process of baking my favorites, even knowing that I can’t enjoy them myself, can still be a selfless way to show people they’re important to me.

Fortunately, macarons, which happen to be made with almond flour, are still on the menu.

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, February 12

Among the Reads, February 12

Lighthouse Academy, February 12

By The Book, February 12

The Power of Words, February 13

As He Leads is Joy, February 13

Cultivating Us, February 13

Blossoms and Blessings, February 13

Fiction Aficionado, February 14

The Lit Addict, February 14

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, February 14

This Chattanooga Mommy Saves, February 14

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 15

Just the Write Escape, February 15

100 Pages per Hour, February 15

Splashes of Joy, February 15

Bibliophile Reviews, February 16

Texas Book-aholic, February 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 16

C Jane Read, February 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 17

Moments, February 17

Back Porch Reads, February 17

Cordially Barbara, February 18

Genesis 5020, February 18

Simple Harvest Reads, February 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 18

Livin’ Lit, February 19

Kat’s Corner Books, February 19

Life with the Tribe, February 19

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 19

Through the Fire Blogs, February 20

Remembrancy, February 20

Vicky Sluiter, February 20

Living Life Free in Christ, February 20

2014 and Beyond!, February 21

Daysong Reflections, February 21

Inklings and Notions, February 21

Pause for Tales, February 21

Cafinated Reads, February 22

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 22

two points of interest, February 22

Ashley’s Bookshelf, February 22

My Devotional Thoughts, February 23

Two Girls and a Book, February 23

The Christian Fiction Girl, February 23

For the love of books, February 23

God is Love, February 24

Book by Book, February 24

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 24

Janices book reviews, February 24

Lukewarm Tea, February 25

Carpe Diem, February 25

A Baker’s Perspective, February 25

Bigreadersite, February 25

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away a grand prize package of a macron baking mat, a macron book, and a paperback copy of Brunch at Bittersweet Café!!

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/db0f/brunch-at-bittersweet-cafe-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo

The Alamo Bride by author Kathleen Y’Barbo is Book Seven in the Christian historical romance fiction series Daughters of the Mayflower.  Each book in this lovely series is tied together by heritage but may be read as a stand alone.

The first thing of notice is the beautiful cover.  It vividly says Texas and 1800’s.  If I chose books simply by cover, this one would make the cut.  It is a 256 page paperback published by Barbour Books.

For me, it was a bit of a slow read at the beginning.  It took me about a third of the book to become invested and then it morphed into a page turned.  The story has been well researched.  I learned some things about the time period and area that I did not know.  Texas was a rugged, untamed land in 1836 as were the people.

The author does a wonderful job weaving her Christian message throughout this book.  Characters mention trusting God and turning to Him.   The message of faith is clear in this book.  I did not have to search for it.  This is also a book about family.  It is refreshing to read a Christian fiction and know it is one.  While the inspiration is clear, the book is not preachy or overbearing.

The author has written well rounded characters that are relatable and vividly described. They jumped off of the pages and were easy to imagine.  Ellis, the heroine, is sassy and became someone I wanted to know.  I became invested in her story, and then I did not want to put the book down.

There were twists, turns, surprises, romance, spying, intrigue, action, and history.  Yes, that is a lot packed into one paperback book.  I enjoyed it and definitely recommend it.  Anyone that enjoys history, romance, or Texas will be thrilled to find this offering from talented author Y’Barbo.  With the fighting I would not recommend it to young readers.  It earned a 4 out of 5 stars from me.

A copy was provided by Barbour but no review was required.  These are my own, honest thoughts.

About the Book

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Will Ellis Lose All at the Alamo?
Ellis Dumont finds a man in New Orleans Grey unconscious on Dumont property in 1836. As his fevers rage, the man mutters strange things about treasures and war. Either Claiborne Gentry has lost his mind or he’s a spy for the American president—or worse, for the Mexican enemy that threatens their very lives. With the men of her family away, Ellis must stand courageous and decide who she can trust. Will she put her selfish wants ahead of the future of the republic or travel with Clay to Mission San Jose to help end the war?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo.

More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:
The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)​
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)
The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1836 Texas (February 2019)

About the Author

2B712767-6AA3-44E1-919F-FFC70C81A061Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of more than eighty novels with almost two million copies in print in the US and abroad.

A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well a Reader’s Choice Award and is the winner of the Inspirational Romance of the Year by Romantic Times magazine.

The Amish Candy Maker Book Tour & Giveaway by Celebrate Lit

Hello!  Welcome to my stop on the tour.  I am very excited about this one.  You are in for a treat with this Amish book by author Laura V. Hilton and today’s tour.  In here you will read my review, information on the book and author, a recipe from the book, get a listing of all tour stops, and have a chance to enter the giveaway at the end.  Let’s get started!

My thoughts

In a few words, The Amish Candy Maker is fantastic!  Author Laura V. Hilton has outdone herself with this novel.  It is the second in her “The Amish of Mackinac County” series, but can be read as a stand alone.  I had not read the first one yet and found myself wishing I had because this one is so good.

This is a contemporary Amish tale of Agnes Zook, the Amish Candy Maker.  It also is the story of Isaac Mast, uncle to three three young children needing his help.  Circumstances throw Agnes and Isaac together and sparks begin to fly.  Bishop Nehemiah is always close by diligently watching.

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This story has been well planned, organized, and researched.  The characters are delightful from children to grandparents.  Mixing Pennsylvania Deutsch and English made the Amish dialogue seem realistic.  The author wrote the words in such a way that they were defined in the next sentence so readers are able to learn as they read.

It took a few, well very few, pages to become invested in this story.  I loved both main characters, Agnes and Isaac.  They became fast friends of mine.  Author Hilton knows how to write a great romance.  Wow, just wow!  It is one you want to discuss with your girlfriends.

Life lessons and scripture are woven heavily throughout this story.  There is no doubt it is a Christian fiction book.  Forgiveness of others and self, judging, gossiping, and respect are all touched on.  Each one a relevant topic.  Trusting God and prayer is discussed, too.  The only thing I did not agree with in the book, and it is a personal belief, is that it is okay to get mad and yell at God.  Certainly He knows our thoughts and feelings, but I think honor and respect for Him demands we treat Him better.

I definitely recommend this page turning, captivating Amish romance.  There are twists, adventure, danger, humor, and even candy recipes at the end.  It gets 5 out of 5 stars from me.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but I was not required to write a review. These are my own, honest thoughts.

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About the Book

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Title: The Amish Candy Maker

Author: Laura V. Hilton

Genre: Amish Christian Fiction

Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: WhitakerHouse

Agnes Zook finds herself on her own in a small Amish community in Mackinac County after a tragedy kills her family. Most of the Amish call her “off in den Kopf” (strange) since she’s starting her own business and forging her own way in the community instead of relying on the bishop to take care of her. Since she’s viewed as non-submissive and too-forward for an Amish woman, she’s not courted by young men in the area.
Isaac Mast is on the verge of leaving the Amish church. He’s become a sought-after auctioneer and has a thriving business, but he feels confined by the strict rules. When his brother is severely injured in a wild fire, Isaac receives a letter from his sister-in-law, begging him to come to Mackinac County to help out while his brother is hospitalized. Isaac agrees but is unsure how to manage their young children when he has weekend auctions he’s expected to attend.
Agnes may be the answer to a prayer. Sparks fly when she and Isaac meet. But could their differences help them form a deeper connection to their faith…and each other?

 

About the Author

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Laura Hilton is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with more than a thousand reviews published on the web. Her first series with Whitaker was The Amish of Seymour, comprising Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (2012 Laurel Award winner, first place in the Amish Genre Clash), and Promised to Another; and her second was The Amish of Webster County, comprising Healing Love, Awakened Love, and Surrendered Love. Her next series was The Amish of Jamesport, featuring The Post Card, Snow Globe, and The Birdhouse. Her latest books include The Amish Firefighter, The Amish Wanderer, and Love By the Numbers. Laura and her husband, Steve, live in Arkansas with their five children, whom Laura homeschools.

Guest Post from Laura

RECIPE FOR FUDGE À LA AGNES ZOOK

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

Courtesy of Laura V. Hilton

1 bag (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips

1 bag (10 ounces) peanut butter chips

2 cans sweetened condensed milk, divided

6 tablespoons butter, divided

20 to 30 miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or six regular-size ones broken into four or five pieces each

For the chocolate layer: Line a greased 8-by-11.5-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

In a double boiler or metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, combine milk chocolate chips, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, and 4 tablespoons butter. Stir until melted and smooth.

Pour into prepared baking dish and allow to cool to room temperature, then move to the refrigerator while preparing next layer.

For the peanut butter layer: In a double boiler or metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, combine peanut butter chips, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, and 2 tablespoons butter. Stir until melted and smooth.

Pour on to the milk chocolate fudge layer and press pieces of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups into the surface. If desired, group candy pieces in a grid-like fashion for easier cutting later.

Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight or until set.

Remove from refrigerator, lift out of the pan by the edges of the parchment paper, and cut into squares, with roughly one miniature peanut butter cup or piece of a cup per square.

Store in the refrigerator.

Blog Stops

Christian Author, J. E. Grace, February 5

My Devotional Thoughts, February 5

Carla Loves To Read, February 5

Among the Reads, February 6

Girl’s In White Dresses, February 6

Britt Reads Fiction, February 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 7

The Avid Reader, February 7

Random Thoughts From a Bookworm, February 7

Emily Yager, February 8

Quiet quilter, February 8

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 8

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 9

Maureen’s Musings, February 9

Bibliophile Reviews, February 10

Vicky Sluiter, February 10

Through the Fire Blogs, February 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 11

Daysong Reflections, February 11

Texas Book-aholic, February 12

Janices book reviews, February 12

Carpe Diem, February 13

A Baker’s Perspective, February 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14

SusanLovesBooks, February 14

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 14

Blossoms and Blessings, February 15

Stephanie’s Life of Perseverance, February 15

Inspiration Clothesline, February 15

Inklings and Notions, February 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 16

Pause for Tales, February 16

Have A Wonderful Day, February 17

For the Love of Books, February 17

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 17

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, February 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 18

Bigreadersite, February 18

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away a grand prize of a large and small spatula set and a $10 Starbucks 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/d9a6/the-amish-candy-maker-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

 

Bailey, The Camp Club Girls Collection, by Linda Carlblom

Today I take a break from adulting and go back a few (quite a few) years to discuss a book I just finished that is aimed toward preteen and early teenage girls.  This book was a 4-in-1 Mystery Collection of some of Bailey’s books.  It is 386 pages so each tale is about 100 pages.

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Did I enjoy these four mysteries?  Absolutely.  If I did I can imagine how much a preteen girl would.  The young ladies in these books are diverse and have good Christian morals. Their characters are well defined making it easy to imagine and relate to each one.

The writing is very nice.  It is smooth and easy to follow.  The story flows and is interesting.  Girls will find it easy to become invested in the lives of their new friends.

Each book has a mystery to solve from a different state in our Country.  There is information provided about the area that readers might not previously know.  Learning something new from a book is great!  While the book isn’t preachy, it isn’t one you need to be concerned will lead your child or grand down a wrong path.

Girls will relate to situations, characters, and even locales in this delightful series.  They will want to solve the mysteries along with the characters.  I know that I did.

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It would be a wonderful book to start an early teen reader group.  Even a mother/grandmother reading and discussing it with their girl would open doors to many timely topics.  Unfortunately there are no discussion questions in the book.

I highly recommend it.  Grab a couple of copies and girls to start a young ladies reading group.  Plant the seeds for the love of reading and books now.  They will flourish in a garden with others.  I gave this series a 5 out of 5 stars.  If only these books had been around when I was younger!

A copy was provided by the publisher but I was not required to write a review.  These are my own, honest words.

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About the book:

GET A CLUE WITH THE CAMP CLUB GIRLS!
Join Bailey and the Camp Club Girls as they embark on a series of clue-filled adventures and crack the case in this entertaining and action-packed 4-in-1 mystery collection.

What’s the meaning of the mysterious messages beneath shaggy sheep coats at the Curly Q ranch?  The Camp Club Girls are determined to uncover the clues as they investigate a strange string of events. Will the girls discover the whereabouts of eccentric millionaire Marshall Gonzalez?

Why are wild elk running amok in Estes Park?  During a stay at the historic Stanley Hotel, Bailey and Kate encounter out-of-control stampedes that put the townsfolk and tourists in danger. Will the Camp Club Girls uncover the reason behind the unusual elk behavior before someone gets hurt?

Are the rumors surrounding a valuable turquoise mine true? When Bailey and Elizabeth travel to a Native American village in New Mexico to help out a distant cousin and her children in their pottery shop during the busy tourist season, mysterious rumors begin to stir. The Camp Club Girls have their suspicions about rightful ownership of the mine, but will they be able to prove it?

Who’s responsible for the peril at Mermaid Park?  When Bailey and Sydney are invited to spend part of the summer with Bailey’s grandmother in Florida, both girls are fascinated by the local attraction—Mermaid Park. When curious and frightening events begin to take place, will the Camp Club Girls solve the mystery and save the park before time runs out?

About the Author

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Linda McQuinn Carlblom is a Christian children’s writer and speaker who has loved kids ever since she was one. She has the uncanny knack of remembering how she felt as a child, which allows her to write with humor and empathy for her readers. Whether writing fiction or nonfiction, she writes with straightforward honesty that kids relate to. Her faith permeates everything she writes without being preachy or judgmental. If she’s not writing for kids, she loves writing to those who impact them most, their parents and teachers. After God, her top three loves are her family, reading, and cheesecake.
Learn more about Linda and her books at her website: http://www.lindacarlblom.com
An avid social media fan, she’d love to have you follow her.
Learn more about Linda and her books at her website: http://www.lindacarlblom.com
An avid social media fan, she’d love to have you follow her.
Facebook – Linda McQuinn Carlblom, Author
Twitter – LindaMcQuinnCarlblom@LindaLCarlblom
Pinterest – Linda Carlblom
LinkedIn – Linda Carlblom
Follow her blogs: Life with a Smile – http://www.lindacarlblom.com/blog/
Parenting With a Smile – http://lindamcquinncarlblom.blogspot.com/
We’re Doing Life Together – http://weredoinglifetogether.wordpress.com/
Christian Children’s Authors – http://christianchildrensauthors.com/

Ellie’s Redemption Book Tour & Giveaway

Greetings!  This is my stop on Celebrate Lit’s Book Tour for Ellie’s Redemption.  You will find my thoughts on the book, information about it and the author, an author post complete with a recipe, and a listing of all of the other tour stops.  You will want to visit those to get extra entries in the giveaway.  “To celebrate her tour, Molly is giving away a grand prize that includes an Amish doll, a handmade lap quilt (can be used as wall hanging), an Apple Pie recipe tea towel, a Blessings journal, a handmade quilted potholder, a $10 Amazon Card, Ellie’s Redemption Print Book, a mug, a 2019 Planner, pad and pen set, and a bookmark!”

My thoughts

”Ellie’s Redemption” is Book Two in author Molly Jebber’s Amish Charm Bakery Series.  If you haven’t read Book One you will be fine reading this as a stand alone.  This is a lovely tale set in Charm, Ohio in 1912.  The writing took me to the farms and shops of that quaint area within the first few pages.  I enjoyed the descriptions which were enough for me to visualize but not too much to become bored.

There is a wide array of characters in this historical Amish tale.  From mischievous young lads to cranky mothers secondary characters made this a fun book.  There were animals, too.  The main characters were well defined and rounded, complete with flaws. Some of the Amish were gossips, mean girls, brats, and no different from people in our world.  The author did a good job tackling relevant issues.

The writing style in this book was a pleasant, easy one.  At times it seemed the story was hurried, but for the most part it was well planned and organized.  I loved the bakery and goodies constantly described!

Another thing I loved were the life lessons and spiritual message.  This book speaks about forgiveness, second chances, grace, trusting God, redemption, and the power of the tongue.  It has a strong message against gossiping and for acceptance.  Bravo!

I recommend this book for Amish fiction lovers.  I would also recommend it to a teenage girl group.  The life lessons are timely and would provide for great discussions.  It gets a 4 out of 5 stars from me.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but I was under no obligation to write a review.  These are my own, honest opinions.

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About the Book

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Title: Ellie’s Redemption
Author: Molly Jebber
Genre: Christian fiction, Amish
Release date: January 29, 2019
1912, Charm, Ohio
Ellie Graber is determined to restore her bad reputation in Charm, Ohio. She regrets leaving Amish life and the danger and heartache she caused her family and friends. Ellie loves working with Liza, and her best friend and cousin, Hannah, at Liza’s Amish Charm Bakery, attends church, and obeys Amish law, but the gossip about her past life won’t stop. Joel Wenger’s deep blue eyes tell her he cares for her, but she suspects his parents have warned him to stay away from her. Joel wants to trust Ellie’s changed but his sister, Maryann, who left Amish life broke their hearts. Will Joel ignore his parents and friends, face their anger and ridicule, and give her a chance?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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Molly Jebber writes Amish Historical Romance. Her latest release, ELLIE’S REDEMPTION, is the second book in her Amish Charm Bakery Series. Molly’s books have been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today’s HEA, and Romantic Times. Her books have received widespread media attention throughout the US. Her books are sold in print and Ebook throughout the US and United Kingdom. She’s a touring speaker for Women’s Christian Connection, other women’s organizations, and she offers presentations on writing and the Amish. She says the most rewarding part about writing stories is meeting wonderful readers who become friends through social media and at her speaking events. Please visit her website: http://www.mollyjebber.com for a full list of her books (and options stores to buy them), speaking events and recipes.
She loves God, her family, and friends. She says yes to swimming, the beach, golf, and time with her family and friends, and no to coconut, onions, and skydiving!  

Guest Post from Molly

Hi Friends!
Ellie likes newcomer Joel, and he’s the first Amish man to show interest since her return to Charm. She’s afraid when he learns of her rebellious past and the danger she brought to her family before turning her life around, he’ll end their courtship. Joel is frustrated his sister left Amish life before his family moved to Charm. He chooses not to tell Ellie about her, until he has no choice. What does the future hold for Ellie and Joel when their secrets are revealed?
Along with the story of Ellie’s Redemption are recipes!
Here’s one just for you!
Ellie’s Surprise Cookies
1 cup shortening               2 cups rolled oats (quick cook)
1 cup white sugar             1 teaspoon soda
1 ¼ cup brown sugar       ½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon cinnamon     1 ½ cups chocolate chips
2 eggs                                  2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder        1 teaspoon salt
Sift dry ingredients. Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Stir in dry ingredients. Add oatmeal, vanilla and chocolate chips. Dough will be crumbly. Spoon a teaspoon of dough at a time on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, January 29
Carpe Diem, January 29
Lighthouse Academy, January 30
Bigreadersite, February 2
Mary Hake, February 2
EmpowerMoms, February 3
Robin is Bookish, February 5
Texas Book-aholic, February 6
SusanLovesBooks, February 7
Henry Happens, February 9
Bibliophile Reviews, February 10
Vicky Sluiter, February 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Molly is giving away a grand prize that includes an Amish doll, a handmade lap quilt (can be used as wall hanging), an Apple Pie recipe tea towel, a Blessings journal, a handmade quilted potholder, a $10 Amazon Card, Ellie’s Redemption Print Book, a mug, a 2019 Planner, pad and pen set, and a bookmark!!
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/da8b/ellie-s-redemption-celebration-tour-giveaway

                     

Forever Loved, Eve’s Story Book Tour & Giveaway

 

 

Welcome to my stop on the Celebrate Lit’s Book Tour for “Forever Loved, Eve’s Story”.   You will learn about the book, the author, my thoughts on the book, get dates for the other stops, and have an opportunity to enter the $25 Amazon giveaway.  Who doesn’t need a $25 card?  Let’s start with my thoughts on this book.

My Review

Author Joanna May Chee has written “A Creative Retelling” of Eve’s story.  I am a fan of biblical fiction but don’t like it when they change the story to take too many liberties.  This book is so wonderful it would be hard not to like it.  It is a paperback that has less than one hundred forty pages, so it could be a quick read.  I savored it.

Opening the book is the author’s story.  She has a quaint style of writing that I found to be pleasant,  Sentences are short but meaningful.  I felt as if the author was being transparent and sharing herself.

The beginning of Eve’s chapters talking about this being a book about a Father and Daughter caught me off guard.  I always think of Eve being Adam’s wife and often forget she was the first daughter.  This was a lovely reminder.

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Eve’s chapters are only one or two pages long, but they are powerful.  The emotions felt real.  I smiled, I warmed, I was devastated, and I cried.  This is a thought provoking book for all women.

The last section is “Your Story”.  It includes a reflection, prayers and an invitation. This is a chance to accept Jesus or perhaps deepen your relationship with Abba.  After information about the author is a sample of the accompanying Devotional Bible Study.

I highly recommend this book to all women.  Get a group, read it by yourself, or grab your best friend, just read it!  You will be so glad.  This is a God glorifying book.  It will remind you that you are a beloved daughter of the true God.  Are you smiling now?  I am.  This earned a 5 star rating.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but I was under no obligation to write a review.  These are my own honest thoughts.

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About the Book

Title: Forever Loved, Eve’s Story

Author: Joanna May Chee E6447DF2-9E05-4FDB-832B-A4914EDA9C33

Genre: Christian Inspiration for Women 

Release date: February 20, 2018

Publisher: Heartfelt Publications

Eve. First woman. The First to be tempted. First to sin.

But what if there were more to her story than that?

Forever Loved: Eve’s Story is the story of Father and daughter, as told by Eve. It is a story of preciousness and beauty, of tender love and grace. Through Eve, God reveals his Father heart of love for you, his treasured daughter. He whispers to you now, and calls you closer.

Includes:

  • My Story: The author’s personal story of encountering God as Father.
  • Eve’s Story: A beautifully creative retelling of the Bible story of Eve.
  • Your Story: Encouragement and prayers to take you deeper into God’s presence.

Experience Eve’s story anew. Discover just how loved you are!

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Author of Forever Loved Eve's Story Joanna May Chee gets excited about God! She loves to write and is often awake in the night with a million ideas for her next book or project. Joanna blogs at JoannaMayChee.coma and MumsKidsJesus.com, where it is her heart to encourage and equip women to love their families and meet with God. She is author of Forever Loved: Eve’s Story, a creative retelling of the Bible story of Eve, and a #1 Amazon UK bestseller. Joanna lives near London with her husband, 4 teens, dog and 2 cats! Facebook.com/JoannaMayChee Facebook.com/MumsKidsJesus | Pinterest.co.uk/https://mumskidsjesus.com/

Guest Post from Joanna

True or False? Eve spent time with God before meeting Adam.

True or False? Eve wasn’t called Eve until after the Fall.

Does the Bible even say?

Until recently, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you, even though I’ve been a Christian many years, and thought I knew the Bible story of Eve really well!

It was during hot, sticky, jet-lagged nights, about four years ago, on holiday overseas, that God started giving me new and wonderful insight into Eve’s life. Words literally started pouring through my head: the story of Eve, but not as I’d heard it before!

I’d always had negative connotations of Eve – the first woman to be tempted, the first to sin. But the story God revealed to me during my sleepless nights was one of preciousness and beauty. It was the story of Father and daughter, of God’s incredible love for Eve, and His equally wondrous love for me.

As Eve’s story unfolded over several nights, I wrote it down; and God gave me a book I did not ask for (but am forever grateful for): Forever Loved: Eve’s Story.

These new insights into Eve’s story have been life-changing. God has brought me deeper into His love than I could ever have imagined. (In the introduction of ‘Forever Loved: Eve’s Story’ I share something of the deep hurt and insecurity I experienced growing up – including the time I got into BIG trouble with my teacher – my cry to know God as Father, and how God’s love has brought healing and freedom.)

It’s my prayer that ‘Forever Loved: Eve’s Story’ touches the lives of women around the world, that women may come into deeper experience of God as Father, and know just how beautiful and precious they are to Him.

So, back to the True/False questions at the beginning of this post!

What do you think?

I’d love to share with you what I’ve discovered by giving you a free copy of a devotional I’ve written called ‘Treasures Hidden in the Story of Eve’.

This devotional explores some of the amazing truths God’s shown me about Eve, and the wonderful implications for us as women today (and includes extracts from ‘Forever Loved: Eve’s Story’). Download the devotional for free here.

I pray God touches you as deeply as He has me, as you explore the Bible story of Eve afresh. May you encounter the love of Father God as never before.

Joanna xx

Forever Loved Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, January 26

Real World Bible Study, January 27

Aryn the Libraryan, January 28

Robin is Bookish, January 28

My Devotional Thoughts, January 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 29

Margaret Kazmierczak, January 30

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 31

Mary Hake, January 31

Godly Book Reviews, February 1

Lights in a Dark World, February 1

Midnight Bookaholic, February 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 2

Bibliophile Reviews, February 3

One Emergent Life, February 4

Pause for Tales, February 4

Texas Book-aholic, February 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 6

Janices book reviews, February 7

Carpe Diem, February 8

Forever Loved Giveaway

$25 Amazon gift card

To celebrate her tour, Joanna is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of ‘Forever Loved: Eve’s Story’ plus $25 Amazon voucher!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops below for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d8d5/forever-loved-eve-s-story-celebration-tour-giveaway