Sunday, March 15, 2020

An Amish Picnic

This collection of stories clearly points out that each one of us is not perfect.  Everyone of us have strengths and weaknesses.  GOD loves us faults and all.  

Genesis 1:27 English Standard Version (ESV)

27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

We are GOD's creation.  He knows our pain.  He comforts us.  He hears our prayers.  We can celebrate his love for us.

This message is demonstrated in the four stories of AN AMISH PICNIC.  A picnic is a time to enjoy GOD's gift to us.  Who doesn't like a picnic?  It involves being with friends and family celebrating with delicious food. And they had some delicious food in the stories....chicken, cookies...yum!

Each character in the stories were not perfect.  They had fears.  They had disabilities.  They had flaws.  But with prayer, faith and trust in GOD'S love...anything can happen.

I loved the stories and the message I took away from them.

I received this free from Celebrate Lit to review.

About the Book

Book:  An Amish Picnic
Author: Amy Clipston, Kelly Irvin, Kathleen Fuller, and Vannetta Chapman
Genre: Amish; Christian Romance
Release Date: March 3, 2020
From bestselling authors in the Amish genre come four sweet stories about picnics and romance.
Baskets of Sunshine by Amy Clipston
Kevin Weaver has lived with his brother’s family since his parents passed away when he was young, but he craves a home and family to call his own. Freeman Kurtz owns a successful brick mason business, and Kevin takes the job as Freeman’s apprentice to pursue his own financial freedom.
Phoebe Kurtz is helping her sister with her booth at the marketplace when she notices Kevin, her father’s employee. Their friendship grows, but Kevin is convinced that the difference in their ages makes a relationship between them impossible. Amidst summer outings, Kevin and Phoebe must decide if taking a chance on love is worth the risk.
Candlelight Sweethearts by Kelly Irvin
Esther Marie Shrock loves her job at Valley Grocery Store where she’s worked for four years. Despite a stutter that has plagued her since childhood, she thrives filling orders from a steady stream of customers. Still, at 25, she and her family wonder if romance is in her future.
Jasper Cotter isn’t good with people, but he’s found himself obligated to take over day-to-day operations of the family owned grocery store—a store he doesn’t have the first clue how to run. Thrown together, Esther Marie and Jasper don’t exactly see eye to eye. One night, the store loses power, and the candles aren’t the only things shooting off sparks. Esther Marie and Jasper are suddenly forced to discover common ground when it matters most, and they might be surprised with love along the way.
Reeling in Love by Kathleen Fuller
Nina Stoll and Ira Yoder are just friends. Just friends and fishing buddies. Every Saturday afternoon, they have a picnic at their favorite fishing hole and see who can out fish the other. Until Nina starts to wonder if there’s more.
Her plans to share her feelings go awry, and circumstances seem destined to keep Nina and Ira apart. With both Nina and Ira confused and hurting, it’s going to take courage, some help from the community matchmakers, and a little bit of divine intervention for Nina and Ira to realize they’re each other’s perfect catch.
Picnics and Prospects by Vannetta Chapman
Faith Troyer is claustrophobic, and David Lapp builds tiny houses. They went on a date years ago with disastrous results. Now that they’re in their late twenties, their families and friends are beginning to wonder if either will ever find that special someone. When a picnic outing is diverted by the discovery of a package of letters dating back to the 1970s, they take it upon themselves to find answers to a mystery that causes them to rethink their past and consider their future.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Amy Clipston is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery, Hearts of amy-clipstonLancaster 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; Facebook: AmyClipstonBooks; Twitter: @AmyClipston; Instagram: @amy_clipston.
kelly-irvinKelly 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; Instagram: kelly_irvin; Facebook: Kelly.Irvin.Author; Twitter: @Kelly_S_Irvin.
With over a million copies sold, Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including the kathleen-fullerHearts 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; Instagram: kf_booksandhooks; Facebook: WriterKathleenFuller; Twitter: @TheKatJam.
Vannetta ChapmanVannetta 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:, Twitter: @VannettaChapman, Facebook: VannettaChapmanBooks.

Read an Excerpt

Read an excerpt here.

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, March 6
The Avid Reader, March 6
Bigreadersite, March 8
Quiet Quilter, March 10
Splashes of Joy, March 15
Artistic Nobody, March 18 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
EmpowerMoms, March 18
*No Giveaway for this Celebration Tour

Out of the Embers

Evelyn was confident someone was watching her.   She lived her life in fear.

Wyatt wanted to escape.  He was afraid of what would happen if he did.

GOD had a plan.  He brought Evelyn to Mesquite Springs, Texas.  

Family doesn't always mean Mom, Dad, sister and brother.  Evelyn opened her heart to Polly.  They became a family. Polly is an orphan who was in danger. Evelyn will protect her at all cost.  Wyatt was there to protect them both.

This story shows the love between members of the community and what they would do for each other.  Evelyn and Polly escaped from the embers and was saved by Wyatt and the citizens of Mesquite Springs.

I loved the story and the relationships that Evelyn developed with Wyatt and others.

I received this for free from Revell to review.

Monday, March 9, 2020

His Unexpected Amish Twins

Matthew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Hope...Her name alone represents  comfort. She is attempting to start a business that will give hope to others.  She tries to help her father even when his behavior stands in the way of making her dreams come true. But she is really put to the test when she meets two small children suffering from a major loss. 

We all need a Hope in our lives.  She is a good and loyal friend.  Micah has never met anyone like her.  He doesn't have time to court anyone.  He has just become guardian of his brother's children.  What was he going to do?  He was scared of this responsibility.  He needed to conquer his fears to live the life he dreamed of.

I loved the book.  At times, I admit it made me cry.  It demonstrates GOD's love for us.

I received this book for free from Celebrate Lit to review.

Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

About the Book

Book:  His Unexpected Amish Twins
Author: Rachel J. Good
Genre:  Amish Romance
Release Date: February 28, 2020
When Micah Miller’s brother and sister-in-law are killed in a buggy accident, he’s devastated, but he fulfills a promise to raise their seven-year-old twins, Abby and Isaac. While struggling to deal with the twins’ grief and Abby’s anger toward God, he discovers an Amish farm offering horse therapy for grief. And he’s thrilled to find the owner cares about and prays for the twins.
Hope Graber had to find a way to save the family farm after her daed’s unwise decisions. Even selling off many of the horses didn’t cover all the bills. After deciding to use the remaining horses for animal therapy, she brings on Logan Russell, an experienced trainer, to help her. Together they not only start paying off the debts, but they also make positive changes in children’s lives.
Hope loves helping each child, but she takes a special interest in the twins and determines to help them heal both emotionally and spiritually. As she gently guides Abby back to God and makes the little girl smile again, Hope also makes Micah’s life brighter. As he emerges from his depression, he longs to make them one happy family, but only God can overcome the many obstacles in their path.

Click here for your copy!

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author RACHEL J. GOOD writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her Amish novels. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events.
Rachel is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – the bestselling Love & PromisesSisters & FriendsUnexpected Amish BlessingsSurprised by Love (2021), and two books in Hearts of Amish Country – as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books. In addition, she has stories in many anthologies, including Love’s Thankful Heart,Love’s Christmas Blessings,Plain Everyday HeroesLove’s Truest Hope,and the forthcoming Amish Christmas Twins (Fall 2020) with Shelley Shepard Gray and Loree Lough.

More from Rachel

Phobias and Faith

“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14: 27b KJV)
In every book I write, I like the hero and heroine to experience character growth. I think it’s important that they change and become different. So, in His Unexpected Amish Twins, Micah faces several life-changing events. First, his life is turned upside-down when he becomes the guardian of his niece and nephew, seven-year-old twins. Although he loves the children dearly, as a young, single man, he isn’t quite ready to handle his lively, rebellious niece and his silent, withdrawn nephew, especially not when he’s grieving himself.
But with the help of horse therapist, Hope Graber, Micah puts aside his own pain to concentrate on caring for the twins. But Micah is also hiding a deep-seated phobia.
As a child, he had a terrible experience, one that scarred him for life. One that still haunts him and terrorizes him. One that may destroy his future relationship with Hope.
Getting over fear is never easy, and Micah prays for strength. But it isn’t until he’s forced to make a choice – give in to his fear or save a life – does he push past that fear.
Like Micah does, we often go through life hiding our fears. We make excuses not to do something that frightens us. When a fear turns into a phobia, it can become paralyzing.
For me, public speaking was my greatest fear. I managed to avoid it until I was asked to do a simple two-minute introduction each month for the Christian Women’s Club. I didn’t have to answer right away. They asked me to pray about it, and let them know my answer in a few days.
If they’d asked for an answer right away, I would have made an excuse. I had four small children and an ill husband. But the truth was – I was scared. Not just scared, but petrified. Petrified about even standing in front of an audience.
When I discussed this opportunity with my father, he suggested God might be giving me a chance to get over my fear because He had something greater for me to do in the future. My first thought was that it had better not have anything to do with public speaking.
Dad encouraged me to take a speech class, so I signed up for one. Eight people attended this informal course in the teacher’s living room. The first night we had to give a two-sentence introduction of ourselves. We didn’t even have to stand up.
I went last. My turn came, and my mind went blank. I couldn’t even remember my name. With prompting, the teacher got me to stumble through my name and hometown.
Our assignment for the following week was to prepare a three-minute demonstration of one of our hobbies. We could use notes and props. I mumbled through the speech, rushed out the door to my car, and vomited in the street. Yes, I was that frightened by public speaking.
I told my father I planned to quit the class, but he encouraged me to continue. And several months later, I stood in front of the women’s club. My eyes blurred, and I couldn’t see the people in front of me. I hurried through my memorized two-minute introduction clutching my note cards in case I forgot the words. I had no idea what I said, but several people mentioned that they liked it. And I went on to do it every month for two years.
And my father was right. God did train me for a future job. Wouldn’t Dad be surprised to know that, as an author, I speak in front of audiences around the country? He died before my first book was published, but I suspect he’s up in heaven cheering me on. And I could never have done it without God’s help.
Micah and I both had to learn to trust God’s promise: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1: 9 NIV)

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, March 5
Vicky Sluiter, March 12
Splashes of Joy, March 14
Bigreadersite, March 14
Artistic Nobody, March 15 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Genesis 5020, March 16
EmpowerMoms, March 17


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of the book and $25 VISA gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Jodie Wolfe's Taming Julia

Taming Julia...really?  Julia or Jules as she likes to be called has lived a life that you wouldn't call ordinary.  She has never had a placed to call home.  Drew had a home but felt that he didn't belong.  What happens when their two worlds collide?

I enjoyed the interactions between Julia and Drew. He had expectations of what a female should look and act but Jules was not typical.  She tried to conform to his expectations. He also attempted to conform to what a minister should be.

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14

A lesson learned: we are each unique and special. GOD planned it that way.  He doesn't want Julia to be just like everyone else. This is something that Drew and Julia learn as they start to develop feelings for each other.


I am a woman who has stood on the sidelines for too long.
I am a woman who wants to break out.
I am a woman who wants to step away from the shadows and into the light.
But, I'll be truthful.
I'm scared.
I don't know exactly what it looks like and frankly, I'm just taking one step and then I'm praying for the courage to take another step.
I'm determined to find hope along the way.
I would love to have you join me on this journey.
Together, I'm praying we'll be transformed and step into who we really are.

Who God called us to be.

The Runaway Bride

News Flash:  another great book by Jody Hedlund!!!  I was excited to receive this book as I did read the first book of this series.  I just broke my arm so I had all the time in the world to devour this story.

Was Arabella a runaway bride?  Or was she finally stepping up and making decisions for herself?   She was put in a terrible position by her father and his boss.  Was there anyway she could do to save herself and her father's situation?

  Arabella was reminded that she was not alone.  GOD was by her side.  He was her strength.  He gave her the courage to do what is right. She had strong women in her life that reminded her of GOD's love for her and her well being.

Peter was trying to fulfill his dreams.  He had regrets about his past.  He asked for forgiveness and GOD was with him in his weak moments.  He was reminded by Father Abe how GOD was there for him in good times and bad.

We all need spiritual advisors in our lives. 

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (vv. 9-10).
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

I loved the story.  It had romance and valuable lessons thrown in.  GOD is by our side at all times.  We must pray to him and ask for his guidance in our lives. 

Jody Hedlund:


Like many writers, I’ve been writing since my childhood days. I always loved telling stories. However, as I began my college years, I quickly realized that creative writing wasn’t a career track that would help pay the bills. For a time, God moved me into social work. I went on to get my masters and was thankful for the experiences and opportunities I had during those years of helping underprivileged people. I can see now how many of my heroines have that same passion for helping others.
While I was working all those years, I was still writing and submitting manuscripts. I took a seven year break after my twins were born. At that time I had a toddler and twin babies and so I was just slightly busy changing diapers! But I couldn’t stay away from writing forever and eventually started again. The first book I wrote after my hiatus was The Preacher’s Bride.
When I began to query The Preacher’s Bride, the manuscript was rejected by all but one agent. Even with that one busy agent, my manuscript went into the To-Be-Read slush pile where it languished. However, while waiting to garner attention, I didn’t sit around idly twirling my thumbs. I worked hard during those months and went on to write another book. I kept building my online presence and I entered a number of writing contests.
The Preacher's BrideAfter two manuscripts finaled in ACFW’s Genesis contest (one of them The Preacher’s Bride), I contacted the agent who had my manuscript to let her know. She pulled my manuscript to the top of her slush pile, read it, and offered me representation within a couple of days. She went on to land me a three-book contract within a few months’ time.
The Preacher’s Bride debuted in 2010, became a CBA bestseller, and won multiple awards. Since then, I’ve gone on to publish many more award-winning books which you can discover on my Books Page.

After the Shadows

Emily returned home with a secret.  She wanted no one to know what a mess she made.  She discovered when she came home it was too late.   Em...