Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Three Faces of Nellie

I have loved Laura Ingalls Wilder since I was a child.  My father first introduced me to her books.  I have read all of them and have the complete set on my bookshelf.

I visited DeSmet last year so it was quite interesting to read this book now.  I loved getting to know the real women behind the characters in Laura's books.  It shows how Laura used her artistic license to create Nellie Oleson.

It made me want to pick up one of her books and read it once again.  Great stories that have lived in and on through the years.

I received this ebook free from Celebrate Lit to review.


About the Book

Kindle_Cover
Book: The Three Faces of Nellie
Author: Robynne Elizabeth Miller
Genre: Non-fiction, Historical
Release Date: November, 2016
Publisher: Practical Pioneer Press
Whether you love her, hate her, or love to hate her, Nellie Oleson is one of the most recognizable literary figures of the 20th century. But Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House on the Prairie series in which Nellie appears, had a secret. . .Nellie wasn’t a real person! Instead, she was a composite character created from three girls Laura knew in childhood: Nellie Owens, Genevieve Masters, and Estella Gilbert.
The Little House character of Nellie Oleson is one-dimensional: snobbish, selfish, and thoroughly unpleasant. But what about the real women behind Laura’s creation? They were an intriguing mix of the not-so-nice and the unexpectedly redeemable. In short, they were human.
Discovering the true stories behind Nellie, Genevieve, and Estella has been a fascinating journey. All three ended up on the West Coast at one point. . .true westward movement! One was widowed twice, one ended up divorced, and one died way too young. Two only had one child, and one had three, though she outlived her youngest by a very long time. There’s even some “Nellie-like” drama in there: Embezzlement. Lying on censuses. Shady land deals.
But there are some beautiful things, too. . .like the enduring love of a husband after his young wife died. Or the rare closeness of a mother and daughter who shared their lives as adults. Or the strength of a young widowed mother who not only cared for her son, but headed out west, in true pioneer fashion, while she did so.
Laura Ingalls Wilder did a masterful job of creating the character of Nellie Oleson. But the three real-life women behind that iconic character are, in my opinion, infinitely more intriguing.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Version 2Robynne Elizabeth Miller is a speaker, writing coach, and author of multiple books, articles, and essays. Her larger projects include From the Mouth of MaPioneer MixologyThe Three Faces of Nellie, and Nonfiction, Memoir, or Fiction? Dissecting the Works of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Robynne speaks nationally at writing and historical venues and teaches at writer’s workshops and conferences. She also serves as the Board President of Inspire Christian Writers, as well as their Director of Leadership, and leads two Northern California critique groups.
She holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Westmont College and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction and Fiction from Ashland University.
She lives with her wonderful British husband and the youngest of their four cheeky children in the snowy woods of the Sierra Nevada mountains. When not writing, Robynne loves singing, felling trees, and making bacon from scratch.

Guest Post from Robynne

Nasty Nellie Oleson. One of the most iconic literary characters in literature. Whether you loved her … or hated her … or loved to hate her, she probably left a lasting impression on you. At least if you were a fan of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder like I was growing up!
As a young girl, I loved Wilder’s tales of wagons, prairies, and grand westward adventures. Strangely, growing up didn’t change my love for all things Little House one tiny bit. But I did become deeply curious about the real life people behind some of the more fascinating Little House characters.
Namely, Nellie Oleson.
As I began to research Nellie, I learned a ton of interesting things. She wasn’t one person, for example. Laura Ingalls Wilder wove three girls she knew in childhood into one composite character for her books. One of the first “Nellie’s,” Nellie Owens, did have a brother named Willy, but did you know that he went blind from two separate incidents, one in childhood and one in adulthood? And did you know that all three of the “Nellies” ended up on the west coast at one point? Talk about true westward movement! One married a man who eventually went to prison for embezzlement, one did some shady land deals, and one shouldn’t have been a “Nellie” at all.
I suppose I was hoping for a good, old-fashioned redemption story. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if the mean girl in Wilder’s stories grew up to work with orphans or rescue unwanted animals? Alas, that’s not exactly what happened. But the stories of these three women were fascinating all the same.
I hope you have as much fun discovering the real stories behind the famous Nellie Oleson as I did!

Blog Stops

Blogging With CarolDecember 6
multifarious, December 7
Carpe Diem, December 7
Bibliophile Reviews, December 8
The Morning Chapter, December 8
A Reader’s BrainDecember 10
Maureen’s Musings, December 11
Artistic Nobody, December 13
Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 14
Pause for Tales, December 15
Texas Book-aholic, December 16
Janices book reviews, December 18
margaret kazmierczak, December 18
Lots of Helpers, December 19
Bigreadersite, December 19

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Robynne is giving away a grand prize of a Little House Treasures basket that includes an authenticated piece of the original Loftus Store is De Smet, authenticated sand from Laura’s Plum Creek in Walnut Grove, a Loftus Store slate and slate pencil, chokecherry preserves from De Smet, a Christmas Tree ornament from De Smet, a corn-cob doll kit, a tin cup, maple syrup, a set of pioneer recipe books, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s actual gingerbread recipes, and other treasures from various Little House sites!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries in to the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d774/the-three-faces-of-nellie-olson-celebration-tour-giveaway







Saturday, December 8, 2018

Searching For You by Jody Hedlund

Searching for You was more than a story of sisters searching for their lost sister.  It was more than a girl searching for a safe haven.  It was more than a man searching to escape his past.  Searching For You is about our quest to allow GOD into our lives.

We  search for answers.  We look in the wrong places.  We make mistakes.  We make a mess of things.  But GOD sees through that.  He looks beyond our mistakes.  He accepts us.  He loved us.  He has plans for us.  He only asks that we open the door to him.  Allow him in.  Let him heal us.  Let him love us.....we are broken but he is the only one that can make us whole.

I loved this book.  It was Book 3 of the Orphan Train Series.  Sophie had to find her own way.  Reinhold was lost.  He was convinced that he was destined to be just like his father.  Both lives changed when Our Heavenly Father was let in.

I received this free to review as an influencer for Jody Hedlund.

I highly recommend this book as well as everything Ms. Hedlund writes.  Great story.  Inspirational.


Friday, December 7, 2018

The Amish Midwife's Secret by Rachel J. Good

Secrets kept can be beneficial in order not to harm an individual.  But sometimes it comes at a price. This is what happened to Kirk and Leah.

An interesting story that shows how the secrets impacted so many people's lives.  When is it ok to let the secrets out?

I enjoyed getting to know Leah.  She is hardworking and very dedicated.  She loves to help her family and the families she works with.  Kirk has been studying for years to be the best doctor he can be.  He didn't realize he had so much more to learn when he returned to the community he grew up in.

I received this free from Celebrate Lit to review.

About the Book

The Amish Midwifes Secret
Book: The Amish Midwife’s Secret
Author: Rachel J. Good
Genre: Inspirational Amish Romance
Release Date: November 27, 2018
“A beautiful story of forgiveness and second chances.” -Shelley Shepard Gray, New York Times bestselling author
They won’t see eye-to-eye until they meet heart-to-heart…
Kyle Miller never planned on becoming a country doctor. But when he’s offered a medical practice in his sleepy hometown, Kyle knows he must return… and face the painful past he left behind. Except the Amish community isn’t quite ready for Kyle. Especially the pretty midwife who refuses to compromise her herbal cures and Amish traditions with his modern medicine…
The more Leah Stoltzfus works with the handsome Englisch doctor, the more she finds herself caught between the expectations of her family and her own hopes for the future. It will take one surprising revelation and one helpless baby in need of love to show Leah and Kyle that their bond may be greater than their differences… if Leah can find the courage to follow her heart

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

rachel goodInspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. The author of several Amish romance series, she grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for many of her stories. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events.
Rachel’s Amish series include Sisters & Friends (Charisma House/Harlequin), Love & Promises(Grand Central), Hearts of Amish Country (Annie’s Book Club), and Surprised by Love as well as several anthologies—Springs of Love, Love’s Thankful Heart, Plain Everyday Heroes—and the Amish Quilts Coloring Books.

Guest Post from Rachel

The Amish and Herbal Remedies

As many of you know, my Amish novels are based on real life. I get ideas from hanging around Amish friends, hearing their stories and observing their lives. I’d never invade their privacy by telling their stories exactly as they happen, but the things I learn trigger plot ideas.
I’ve always been fascinated by the way the Amish approach healing. Once thing I’ve learned is that, although they’re usually willing to visit doctors, they don’t always take the medicines that are prescribed. Instead, they often substitute herbal remedies. That, and several visits to one of my favorite Amish natural products stores, gave me an idea for one of the conflicts in The Amish Midwife’s Secret.
Leah, an Amish midwife, prefers herbal remedies. Of course, that puts her in direct conflict with Kyle, the new Englisch doctor in town, who only believes in science and traditional medicine. Put the two together and lots of sparks fly. Of course, some of those sparks are also of a romantic nature.
Leah is not only a midwife, but her family owns a natural products store. She knows the best herbs for healing. Rather than sending a small boy to the hospital for pneumonia, Leah covers the baby’s chest with a warm mixture of onions and other herbs and spices (some Amish friends prefer raw onion for congestion), and she feds the baby fresh pineapple juice for his cough.
As a doctor, Kyle is horrified. He wants to admit the baby to a hospital at once. And he expects the old country doctor he’s replacing to back him up. Instead, Dr. Hess informs Kyle that many of the Amish go to doctors for a diagnosis, but then rely on herbal treatments rather than prescriptions.
Kyle, who’s been debating about whether to stay in Amish country or move to a big-city hospital, decides to remain in Lancaster and make it his mission to prevent the Amish midwife from harming newborns and their mothers. He certainly doesn’t expect to have his eyes opened to other ways to handle illnesses. But he has to admit, Leah’s methods do seem to work. When a crisis comes, they soon discover that it takes both of them to save a baby.
***
A extra little secret: Those of you who get my newsletter already know this, but Kyle in The Amish Midwife’s Secretappeared in two earlier books. The Midwife story stands alone, but if you want to know more about Kyle and Emma’s past, you can find it in the Sisters & Friends series, Book 1, Change of Heart, and Book 2, Buried Secrets.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, November 27
Christian Bookaholic, November 27
KarenSueHadleyNovember 27
The Avid Reader, November 28
Genesis 5020, November 29
cherylbbookblog, November 29
BigreadersiteNovember 30
Quiet Quilter, December 1
Bibliophile Reviews, December 2
Britt Reads Fiction, December 2
Cafinated Reads, December 4
Carpe Diem, December 4
Maureen’s Musings, December 5
Janices book reviewsDecember 6
Moments, December 9
Texas Book-aholic, December 9
The Becca Files, December 10
Vicky Sluiter, December 10

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize package of two faceless Amish dolls and an autographed copy of The Amish Midwife’s Secret and Plain Everyday Heroes!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d66f/the-amish-midwife-s-secret-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Love's Christmas Blessing

My first book of Christmas stories in 2018 and I enjoyed every minute of them.  There were two stories in this collection and both were excellent.

I was thrilled to be able to read a story by two authors I have read before.  Both deliver with these two sweet stories of love and how it can change the way you look at things.

WINTER'S TREASURES
The first story is about the love of a family and giving someone a second chance.  I loved that it was based in Michigan as that is where I live.

MISTLETOE AND MIRACLES
The second is about opening your heart to friendship and maybe just maybe something more.  At times, I could feel a few pulls of my heart strings.  Loved it!

I received this free to review from Celebrate Lit.


About the Book

Book: Love’s Christmas Blessings
Author: Laura V Hilton, Rachel J Good
Genre: Christian Fiction, Amish, Christmas
Release Date: November, 2018
Publisher: Celebrate Lit Publishing
Winter’s Treasure
Paris Kauffman believes she is about to embark on her family-tradition birthday treasure hunt, but for the first time ever, her daed is sending her to various businesses and homes in the community. Little does Paris expect that when she enters the bakery to collect her gift, the bus will drop off none other than her old crush, Aquila Stutzman, the man she’d done everything except cartwheels and handstands to get his attention. And failed. Of course, Quil doesn’t remember her.
Quil was offered employment working on his grandparents’ new tree farm in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Since he’s recovering from a broken heart when his longtime girlfriend Priscilla up and married his cousin, a move Quil never saw coming, he decides to take the job. This will give him time to separate himself from the hurt and maybe, eventually, move on.
Paris and Quil have sparks from the beginning, especially since his appearance causes a vicious rivalry between friends. But who can resist when a chance meeting beginning with donuts and coffee ends with a missing person, puppies, a skunk, and a sleigh ride—not to mention a trip the Amish young people plan to Niagara Falls. Could it also involve falling in love?
Mistletoe and Miracles
Daniel Graber has spent years caring for his aging parents. Now Daed’s in rehab with a broken hip and a bad case of irritability. He snaps at the workers and complains about doing physical therapy, so Daniel is grateful for the new aide, Fern Chupp, who uses her sweetness and charm to convince Daed to cooperate. Turns out, Daed isn’t the only one she charms.
As a widow, Fern is grateful for her new job at Fairview Rehab Center, even though it meant relocating to Ephrata, Pennsylvania, with her nine-year-old daughter, Lyddie. But Lyddie is grieving the recent death of her grandfather and dislikes leaving her Ohio home. Lyddie’s shyness also makes it difficult to make friends or recite school lessons.
When her class goes to the rehab center to interview patients, Lyddie’s too scared to do her assignment, so she runs away. During the hunt for her missing daughter, independent Fern learns to accept and appreciate Daniel’s help and support. By the time they discover Lyddie, she’s made a very unusual friend, and Fern and Daniel have developed a . Can four lonely heart create special bonds to make it a Christmas to remember?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Authors

Laura pictureLaura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with over twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write.
Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children.
When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.
rachel goodInspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. The author of several Amish romance series, she grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for many of her stories. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events.
Rachel’s Amish series include Sisters & Friends (Charisma House & Harlequin), Love & Promises (Hachette/Grand Central), Hearts of Amish Country (Annie’s Book Club), and the forthcoming Surprised by Love (Kensington). She also has several anthologies in print as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Book.
To learn more about Rachel, visit her at www.racheljgood.com.

Coconut Potato Fudge Recipe:

Ingredients:
1/2 cup plain, mashed potatoes, either instant or one medium potato, cooked
1/8 cup finely chopped (or crushed) almonds (optional)
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
give3 tablespoons butter
Instructions:
Beat powdered sugar and coconut into warm potatoes; then add the vanilla extract and almonds.
Press into a lightly-greased 8-inch square pan; set aside.
In a saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally. When melted, pour over top of the potato mixture.
Refrigerate until set and then cut into squares.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, November 11
The Avid Reader, November 11
BigreadersiteNovember 11
Among the Reads, November 12
Wishful Endings, November 12
Britt Reads Fiction, November 13
Maureen’s Musings, November 14
Quiet Quilter, November 15
Blossoms and BlessingsNovember 15
Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 16
Bibliophile Reviews, November 18
Splashes of JoyNovember 18
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 19
Mary Hake, November 19
Just the Write Escape, November 20
Moments, November 21
Bukwurmzzz, November 21
Blogging With Carol, November 22
Texas Book-aholic, November 22
Janices book reviewsNovember 23
Carpe Diem, November 24


Giveaway:

Love's Christmas Blessings Celebration Tour Giveaway

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    Nov. 10
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Grand prize of $25 Amazon gift card

1st place: Paperback copy of Love's Christmas Blessing

2-4th place: eBook copy of Love's Christmas Blessing
This promotion has not yet started.
Please check back soon.