Friday, November 20, 2020

The Noel Letters


I just got this book from the library.  I loved it!  It was perfect for this time of year as it is the week before Thanksgiving.  I couldn't help but cry as I read about Noel and her relationship with her father.  This relationship impacted her life choices.

After my Father died, I had to come to terms with our relationship.  There were conversations we didn't have.  Words that weren't said.  He died when I was in my 20s.  I graduated from college 3 months after he died.  He never knew the career I had.  He was here when my children were little.  But he didn't get to meet all of his grandchildren or his great grandchildren. But I always felt he was there with me...proud of my accomplishments.  

This book was a tearjerker for me but it had a feel good quality at the conclusion.  I highly recommend this lovely story by Richard Paul Evans.  

Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Bells of New Cheltenham

I love Christmas.  So many of us do.  The lights, the decorated trees and the music.  Christmas carols bring out the best of us.  Isn't that the reason it has become earlier and earlier when the radio starts playing them?  

Justine just happened to visit New Cheltenham. It wasn't her plan.  GOD knew what he was doing.  He was writing her story.  

I was intrigued by a paragraph near the end of the book.  It made me pause and take notice. We need to "hand the pen over to God".  I can't tell you how many times in my past that I tried to write my own story.  My life changed forever when I gave my life to Jesus.  We can't do this thing called life by ourselves.  

I give this book five stars.  I loved the story.

I received this complimentary copy from Celebrate Lit to review.  


About the Book

Book: The Bells of New Cheltenham

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian fiction, Christmas romance

Release Date: October 15, 2020

Bells of New Cheltenham-smWho knew that Christmas carols were love songs?

Justine Driscoll sure didn’t. Peace on earth? She’s heard of that. Holy and joyful? Something about that, too. But love songs sung by a bride about the birth of her bridegroom? That’s just weird stuff right there.

Weird or not, though, once Justine decides to enter a short story contest using a Christmas carol as the inspiration, she discovers love in the carols she investigates, in the story an ex-Army guy tells, and in the little tourist town of New Cheltenham.

“But what do the words mean?”

Ken Torsney is used to fighting for causes he believes in. He just never imagined he’d go from Army “warrior” to spiritual warrior in the span of one question from a stranger. Justine is like no girl he’s ever known— hungry for the gospel even as she rejects it.

He’s falling for her, and that’s bound to break his heart.

Love is in the air in New Cheltenham this Christmas. Again.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

media-headshot-smChautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

More from Chautona Havig

3 Things That Make My Christmas Heart Sing

I didn’t have a ghost of a chance.

The message popped up in my messenger at exactly the moment I sat down.  This is significant, because I get dozens of Facebook messages every day, and often, they get buried when a new one supersedes it. So, as you can see, it’s a near miracle that I ever saw the message at all.

The message offered me a spot in a collection of novellas—a Christmas collection.  Yep. Not a ghost of a chance.

Still, I tried to be responsible, you know?  After all, I had quite a few books due at the same time already.  Bookers on the RocksThe Last Gasp, my Christmas Lights Collection “noella,” and my CrossRoads Collection “noella.”  And those didn’t include anything wanted to write in spring or summer.

Then she added another layer of temptation. This collection had a theme.  That theme? Christmas carol inspired romances.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love music, Christmas, and specifically, Christmas music?

The other authors in the set had already made their carol selections.  She sent a list of those that had already been claimed.  I read them with great trepidation. See, I already had two carols I’d want to use in the story for this collection that I hadn’t even agreed to participate in yet.

No one had chosen “The Holly and the Ivy” or “The Bells on Christmas Day.”

That ghost slowly transformed into the ghost of my resistance.

All that remained was for me to come up with a story idea.  I mean, why join a collection if you can’t even decide what to do with it?

That’s when it happened.

There’s always this moment when the first idea germinates, sprouts, and pushes up through the fertile soil of my imagination.  My favorite moment.  And it hit me.  What if the theme for the collection was my story idea?  My character could enter a contest that requires a short story based on a Christmas carol.

And once I had that idea, the rest came in a whoosh!  Mitchell, from The Ghosts of New Cheltenham could be sick to death of this annual ghost storytelling contest and decide to create his own contest.  And then… well…

The Bells of New Cheltenham was born.

If you’ve not read The Ghosts of New Cheltenham, you’ll follow this “noella” just fine. It is meant to be a stand-alone.  However, if you want a richer reading experience, I recommend reading The Ghosts of New Cheltenham, followed by the companion short story, “The Ghastly Therapist” first. Both are available through Kindle Unlimited.  Additionally, if you send your receipt (or a screenshot of the final page of the eBook from Kindle Unlimited) for the Melodies of Christmas Love collection to chautona@chautona.com, I’ll send YOU the bonus short story—the one Justine Driscoll writes in this “noella.”

But I promised to tell you three things that make my heart sing at Christmas.

  1. The way people are often just a little kinder and a little more giving and understanding.
  2. The joy that seems to fill every part of life—family, friends, parties, presents, church services, reading, singing…
  3. The music that plays everywhere—and often sings of a Savior’s love.

 

What makes your heart sing at Christmas?

Blog Stops

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 9

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 9

Simple Harvest Reads, November 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 10

Texas Book-aholic, November 11

Blogging With Carol , November 11

Among the Reads, November 12

Artistic Nobody, November 12 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Inklings and notions, November 13

Batya’s Bits, November 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 14

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 15

Worthy2Read, November 15

For Him and My Family, November 16

Labor Not in Vain, November 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17

lakesidelivingsite, November 17

Aryn the Libraryan, November 18

Lots of Helpers, November 19

deb’s Book Review, November 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 20

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 20

She Lives To Read, November 21

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 22

Mary Hake, November 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10359/the-bells-of-new-cheltenham-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A Haven For Her Heart


 



Why does bad things happen to good people?  We often ask.  Does anyone have the answer?

This book yanked on my heart as I read of Olivia's plight.  Olivia went through such terrible atrocities.  But the shame and pain stayed with her even after she was physically free.  She was not completely free until she laid her burdenS down and left it with GOD.  

I loved the book even when at times it was difficult to imagine that this could happen.  Susan Anne Mason wrote this powerful story about Olivia and the people she met on her journey.  Each character really had to look at themselves and evaluate what they stood for.  Forgiving ourselves for past behaviors or decisions is difficult to do.  We can sometimes forgive others easier than giving ourselves any slack.

Fortunately, this is Book one of the Redemptions Light series.  I couldn't put it down.  I will make sure that I will get the next one.  

I received this book for free to review from Bethany House Publishers.  


An Amish Christmas Wedding

 I love Christmas stories.  I love Amish books.  And what a treat when it is a book of the Amish community during the Christmas season. I quickly picked up the book and got myself comfortable.  The authors are all familiar to me so I knew it was going to be good.

The stories included are:

Evergreen Love

Holiday of Hope

Weather in Joy

A Christmas Prayer


Each story is a gift to cherish and enjoy.  The Amish couples in the stories learned valuable lessons such as forgiveness, hope and that GOD will never forsake them.

So pick up a copy and get in the holiday spirit.


Five stars!!!!  


I received this for free from Celebrate Lit to review.

About the Book

Book: An Amish Christmas Wedding

Author: Vannetta Chapman, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin, and Amy Clipston

Genre: Amish Christmas

Release Date: October 6, 2020

An Amish Christmas WeddingFrom bestselling authors of Amish fiction come four delightful stories perfect for celebrating love, joy, and the everyday miracles Christmas brings.

Evergreen Love by Amy Clipston

Ryan Lapp had promised to marry Lorene Bontrager as soon as he was able to build them a house, but the day never came. Ryan moved away. Five years later, Lorene has settled in to her old maid role, and she’s shocked when her younger sister announces her quick engagement to Ryan’s younger brother. As they rush to plan the wedding, Lorene is constantly around the family she almost joined. Worse, she’s forced to face Ryan himself, who has returned to town. As both Ryan and Lorene examine their own feelings, they must decide if they can find grace with each other—and the young people they once were—this Christmas season. There just might still be love in their future.

Holiday of Hope by Kelly Irvin

Henry Lufkin is one of four bachelors who lived in the West Kootenai, Montana, cabins that were destroyed by wildfires. He’s the only one of them who hasn’t since married, but he likes his solitude. Then an old friend asks him to care for his son, and Henry has to share his small cabin and his life with bewildered and rebellious ten-year-old Tommy. When the child encounters trouble at school, Henry reaches out to Tommy’s teacher. Leesa Yoder never expected to find herself single and teaching sixteen young scholars, and she certainly didn’t anticipate an inexperienced bachelor telling her how to do her job. Amid the flying sparks, can Henry and Leesa see that there might be hope and love in this unexpected situation?

Wreathed in Joy by Kathleen Fuller

Mary Wengerd and Jakob Mullet have been best friends since childhood. Pressured by friends and family, they decided to date—with disastrous results. When they break up, their friendship is ruined. A year later, Mary is baking her Englisch friend’s wedding and groom cakes for a Christmas Eve wedding. Mary loves the Christmas season, and had always dreamed of marrying during that time. Now she wonders if she’ll ever marry. After she and Jakob form a tenuous new friendship, Mary breaks her arm. As he steps in to help her with the cakes, Mary is inexplicably and suddenly falling for him. But they’ve already dated, and that ended so horribly. Could it be better this time?
A Christmas Prayer by Vannetta Chapman

Widower Micah Miller runs the Amish Tour Company, offering Englischers a glimpse of a simpler life as well as tea at Rachel King’s. Rachel has never married and has recently lost her parents. When Micah comes across an abandoned and injured dog, he gives it to Rachel for company. As Rachel is charmed by the dog and shocked by news of the existence of family she never expected, her heart and mind bend toward the possibilities of change in her life—even toward the possibility of love.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Authors

vannetta-chapmanVANNETTA CHAPMAN

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She is the author of sixteen novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series, The Shipshewana Amish Mystery series, and Anna’s Healing, a 2016 Christy Award finalist. Vannetta is a Carol award winner and has also received more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She was a teacher for fifteen years and currently resides in the Texas hill country. Visit Vannetta online: VannettaChapman.com, Twitter: @VannettaChapman, Facebook: VannettaChapmanBooks.

 

kathleen-fuller (1)KATHLEEN FULLER
With over a million copies sold, Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including the Hearts of Middlefield novels, the Middlefield Family novels, the Amish of Birch Creek series, and the Amish Letters series as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at KathleenFuller.com; Instagram: kf_booksandhooks; Facebook: WriterKathleenFuller; Twitter: @TheKatJam.

 

 

kelly-irvin (2)KELLY IRVIN
Kelly Irvin is the bestselling author of the Every Amish Season and Amish of Bee County series. The Beekeeper’s Son received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, who called it a “beautifully woven masterpiece.” The two-time Carol Award finalist is a former newspaper reporter and retired public relations professional. Kelly lives in Texas with her husband, photographer Tim Irvin. They have two children, three grandchildren, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to read books by her favorite authors. Visit her online at KellyIrvin.com; Instagram: kelly_irvin; Facebook: Kelly.Irvin.Author; Twitter: @Kelly_S_Irvin.

amy-clipston (1)AMY CLIPSTON
Amy Clipston is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery, Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel, Amish Heirloom, Amish Homestead, and Amish Marketplace series. Her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan University and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats. Visit her online at AmyClipston.com; Facebook: AmyClipstonBooks; Twitter: @AmyClipston; Instagram: @amy_clipston.

 

Read an Excerpt from An Amish Christmas Wedding

Want to read an excerpt from An Amish Christmas Wedding featuring four of your favorite authors?

You can find more information about the book and the excerpt here!

Blog Stops

Through the Lens of Scripture, November 9

The Avid Reader, November 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 10

Inklings and notions, November 11

A Baker’s Perspective, November 11

Lighthouse Academy Blog, November 12 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

lakesidelivingsite, November 12

For Him and My Family, November 13

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 13

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 14

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 14

Texas Book-aholic, November 15

Simple Harvest Reads, November 15 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

deb’s Book Review, November 16

Labor Not in Vain, November 16

Older & Smarter?, November 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 17

Artistic Nobody, November 18 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 18

Splashes of Joy, November 19

EmpowerMoms, November 19

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 20

Blossoms and Blessings, November 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 21

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 21

She Lives To Read, November 22

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 22


Saturday, November 14, 2020

Truly, Madly, Deeply


 Karen Kingsbury knows how to pull on your heart strings.  This book does that and more.  She delivers a powerful message with Annalee and the Baxter family.  

This message is for everyone.  Not one person is excluded from life's ups and downs.  We all suffer somehow from loss and fear.  We all celebrate our successes and joy.  But whom should we turn to in the good and bad times?  GOD.  He has our back.  Always.

I could relate to this story as I am a retired juvenile probation officer.  Every day brought unexpected challenges and danger.  I prayed daily for the strength, wisdom, protection and the words that GOD only could provide as I went about my business.  

After I retired I worked part-time for a police department.  I saw the positive impact that was made in the community by good and honest officers.  During these times it is a difficult task.  It is sometimes a thankless job.  But I also saw the  community embrace the officers.  Families and businesses would stop and thank the officers.  Officers were well fed as often they would come in with food.

Not everyone can do this job.  It is a calling.  Tommy knew that this is what he wanted to do with his life.  

Great book.  I highly recommend it.




Thursday, November 12, 2020

Jingle All The Way by Debbie Macomber

 It is always a treat to read the new Debbie Macomber's Christmas book.  I look forward to opening the book and being transformed into the Christmas spirit no matter what time of year it is.  This year is no exception.

I found this book a little different than others.  Maybe is was the location: The Amazon.  It sure took me to a location I have never thought to go.  Everly had no interest in going there either.  But she sure was glad she went.

This story demonstrated that there are moments in time where we have to re-evaluate where we are and where do we want to be in the future.  I for one know that this is true.  Taking a risk is not easy.  Change is not easy.

Pick up your copy now and get in the Christmas mood with Everly/Daisy.  


Thanks, Debbie!  



Saturday, November 7, 2020

The Amish Christmas Gift

 This book is part of a series: Hidden Springs by Laura V. Hilton.  Levi kept a secret that was destroying everything he loved and cherished.  Elsie suffered the consequences. 


The book is a little more suggestive than most Amish books I have read.  I still enjoyed the characters and the storyline.  How could you not like Amish George or sweet Abigail?


Christmas was just around the corner.  I enjoyed the premise of the holiday season and the fun of family and friends getting to celebrate together.  When have you ever experienced a taffy pull? It made me think of a time when my Dad and Mom made homemade candy.  It became quite messy and they were in a rush to get it done.  I think I was around 12 but I can remember it as if it was yesterday.  



I received this for free to review.