Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Love by the Numbers by Lara V. Hilton

Love by the Numbers FB banner Template copy

About the Book

Love By The Numbers Cover
Title: Love by the Numbers
Author: Laura V. Hilton
Genre: Christian Amish fiction
Release Date: February 6, 2018
After her fiancĂ© dies in a buggy accident, Lydia Hershberger is invited to Jamesport to manage her Mennonite aunt’s gift store while her aunt and uncle are on a mission trip. While there, Lydia gets acquainted with her aentie’s best friend, Bethel Bontrager, and her grown son, Caleb. Lydia is surprised to find herself drawn to handsome clockmaker, Caleb Bontrager. But in spite of an instant flame of attraction between them, he doesn’t seem interested. In fact, pesky Caleb treats her like he doesn’t even like her.
Bright and sparkly. That’s Caleb’s first impression of Lydia. He’s always been attracted to sparkly things. In fact, his affinity for those things, and the trouble they can cause, are exactly why he’s determined to change his ways and settle down. With Lydia’s aentie gone, he is handling the books for the gift shop and is forced to spend too much time in her presence.
When God offers Lydia a second chance at love and family, will she take it? Or will the secret Caleb harbors cause her even more heartbreak?

Click here to purchase your copy!
My Review:

I hope it's okay to "swoon" over the overall plot of a book because this one is worthy of it. I've become a Laura V. Hilton fan. Yes, it was love at first sight, but then so much more happened before it was a real relationship. Lydia and Caleb have a realistic story and issues like forgiveness to deal with overcoming. I connected with the characters with easy and was surprised at how fast I read this book.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to the next book I get to read by Hilton. 

5 stars! 

About the Author

Laura picture (1)Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost 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 and Putting on the New.
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.

Guest Post from Laura V. Hilton

Story Behind the Story – Love by the Numbers

Caleb was a minor character in couple of my Amish books – I think he first made a by name appearance in Amish Wanderer and Christmas Admirer. A minor character. Lydia was a very minor one-time appearance in those stories, too, a girl who happened to be in the room with Bethany and Susanna at a wedding. (This story is stand alone!) But I knew when Caleb first saw Lydia that they would end up together by the way he reacted to her presence. I wondered what their story was.
Powerful Tornado - destroying property with lightning in the background
March and April is tornado season in Arkansas (and in many other states) and in 2011 we had a bad one. I was out and about that day, driving to the county seat with my five children, and there was something in the air. It was heavy, hard to breathe, and the sky was black off to the west. I’m sure I broke speed limits racing to Melbourne, and then home again so we wouldn’t be out in the storm.
Later that afternoon, tornado sirens went off. One went over our house – even from the basement we could hear the sound of a train roaring overhead. Scary. And still thanking God it didn’t touch down. Highland, Ash Flat, and Evening Shade, Arkansas were hit hard. Buildings completely gone. When we drove out that way later in the week there were pickup trucks in the tops of trees. Other things in odd and unusual places. I always wondered how they got the treetop pickups down. I would’ve stopped to watch if I’d been out there when it was done. I did hear that some of those trucks weren’t damaged at all. Unreal. My two sons and my husband both helped with clean up and my oldest son went with a crew to Joplin, Missouri, to help with clean up there.
There has been other occasions I’ve been out in tornados. Once I was in the Walmart parking lot when a tornado went through a town west of it. We could see the funnel touching down from where we stood. It did hail when we were on our way home, praying our house was still standing. It was.
Head shot of a blue eyed Siamese cat on a green background
On a different note, in 2016 my oldest son came home with a kitten. She was the sweetest thing ever, and he named her Rosie. Sadly, I was highly allergic to her. I couldn’t even be around the children after they played with her. They’d have to go change clothes and wash their hands, otherwise I couldn’t breathe. Rosie was full Siamese, blue eyes and all, and she was so adorable. I allowed my son to keep her in the shed. I was about four chapters into the story when Rosie found some poison (I think, not sure) and died. We all cried.
Also about the time I was writing this, a very dear friend of a lot of writers died. I told my street team I was going to name a character after her, and was told a lot of writers would be. I agreed. And a lot of their books were released already. But Aenti Judith in this story is named after Judy Burgi. I still miss her and pray for her family.
One of the verses my daughter had to memorize in Sunday School was 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. ‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.’ Perfect for the faith message in Love by the Numbers! I love how God always provides the perfect verse for my characters’ faith messages. I’m pretty sure this verse is one I never memorized, and I never would of thought of it on my own, but God put it in my daughter’s lessons for Sunday School, so she had to memorize it – and thus I did too since I help my daughters learn their verses every week.
I hope you’ll enjoy the story!

Because of Him,
Laura V. Hilton 

Blog Stops

Pursuing Stacie, February 13
Quiet Quilter, February 13
Red Headed Book Lady, February 13
Babs Book Bistro, February 13
Blogging With Carol, February 14
Among the Reads, February 14
Blossoms and BlessingsFebruary 15
SusanLovesBooks, February 16
Carpe Diem, February 16
Splashes of JoyFebruary 17
vickysluiter.com, February 18
A Reader’s Brain, February 19
C Jane Read, February 20
Daysong ReflectionsFebruary 20
margaret kazmierczak, February 20
Bibliophile Reviews, February 21
A Greater Yes, February 22
Texas Book-aholic, February 22
Pause for Tales, February 23
Have A Wonderful Day, February 23
cherylbbookblog, February 24
Simple Harvest Reads, February 24
Christian Bookaholic, February 25
Janices book reviews, February 25
For The Love of Books, February 26
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 26
Bigreadersite, February 26

Giveaway

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In honor of the tour, Whitaker House is giving away
Grand Prize Package: Love By the Numbers, Healing Love (Amish of Webster County #1), and The Snow Globe (The Amish of Jamesport #1) by Laura Hilton; “The Angels Cry Holy” scented candle in tin with lid from Abba Jerusalem
1st Place Package: Love By the Numbers, The Snow Globe (The Amish of Jamesport #1) by Laura Hilton, and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils
2nd Place Package: Love By the Number by Laura Hilton and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils!!!




Click the link to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c6ca

Saturday, February 10, 2018

What Dreams May Come by Alana Terry

What Dreams May Come FB banner copy

About the Book

What-Dreams-May-Come-Main-File
Title: What Dreams May Come
Author: Alana Terry
Genre: Christian Romance
Release Date: October 24, 2017
She’s got her heart set on becoming a missionary. He’s determined to recruit her for the job.
But is it possible to fall in love with someone you’ve never even met?
Susannah’s convinced that God has called her to the mission field. That’s why she’s serving him with single-minded focus in Orchard Grove, waiting for the day when she can leave her small town to take the gospel to the nations.
Is falling in love with her missionary recruiter part of God’s plan for her life or a distraction from the real goal?
Scott loves his life. Traveling the globe, offering spiritual support to missionaries around the world offers enough excitement that the loneliness hardly ever gets to him …
Until he receives an application from a young girl with a heart for the mission field as large as his own, a young girl he finds himself falling for even before they get the chance to meet face-to-face.
Unfortunately, a promise Susannah made to her family may tear her and Scott even farther apart than the miles that separate them.
Book one in an inspirational sweet romance series by award-winning Christian author Alana Terry, who has won awards from Women of Faith, The Book Club Network, Grace Awards, and several others, What Dreams May Come is based off of the author’s own experiences falling in love with (and eventually marrying) her missionary recruiter.
Click here to purchase your copy today!

My Review:

I hadn't read this author before, even though I'd seen some of Alana Terry's books here and there. This is a clean romance that was also an interesting read. It has plenty of realism and gentleness. It has the feeling of real life being altered to become a solid work of fiction. It can be a bit slow at times, but I still didn't want to put it down. I love books with more than one point of view, which this book has. I tend to like how that adds depth to the story. 

My only aggravation is that Susannah was depressed and it was touched on, and then it felt passed on over. I did like the premise. So often we do have goals, dreams, passions, things deeply rooted and dear to us, and it's often the case that everything seems to delay or fight to keep us from that very thing we seek to obtain. I had to have missed something because later I found out who's love story this is based on, and it made it all the richer for the reason. God is woven into the story in ways that are easy and real to me. 


Five Stars

About the Author

alana terryAlana is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnightsun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.

Guest Post from Alana Terry

The cat’s out of the bag! Back in 2016, I wrote What Dreams May Come, a novel that was based on the way my husband and I fell in love … fourteen months before we ever met! It wasn’t until just before Christmas that I told Scott the romance novel I’d been writing was actually our true-to-life love story, and he was even more surprised than I hoped he’d be! Watch the video to see his reaction.


Blog Stops

Bigreadersite, February 9
Blogging With Carol, February 10
Bibliophile Reviews, February 11
Purposeful Learning, February 11
C Jane Read, February 12
Maureen’s Musings, February 13
Mommynificent, February 14
Texas Book-aholic, February 14
Mary Hake, February 15
Remembrancy, February 15
A Greater Yes, February 17
Janices book reviews, February 18
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 18
Carpe Diem, February 19
margaret kazmierczak, February 19 (Interview)
Simple Harvest Reads, February 20 (Guest post from Mindy)
Pursuing Stacie, February 20
God is Love, February 21
Joy of Reading, February 21

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Alana is giving away a $50 CBD gift card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c600

Monday, February 5, 2018

This Treacherous Journey by Misty M. Beller

This Treacherous Heart FB Banner copy

About the Book

This Treacherous Journey(2)Title: This Treacherous Journey
Author: Misty M. Beller
Genre: Christian historical romance
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Widowed and with child, Emma Malcom is fleeing from the reward offered for her arrest. She’s innocent of the dirty dealings her deceased husband orchestrated, but the angry townspeople didn’t stop to listen to her defense before she narrowly escaped with her life. Now, she and her twin brother, Joseph, must battle the mountain wilderness of the Rockies to reach Canada and the clean start she craves. But when a fall from the rocky cliff leaves Joseph wounded and weak, could the strange mountain man they encounter be God’s gift to see them to safety?
Simeon Grant makes bad choices. His deceased wife and twin babies are lost to him now because of his reckless decisions, and the penance he pays by living alone in this mountain wilderness is only a small piece of what he thinks he deserves. When a city woman, heavy with child, appears on his doorstep with her injured brother, her presence resurrects the memories he’s worked so hard to forget. And when she asks for his help to travel deeper into the mountain country, he can’t help wonder why God would force him to relive the same mistakes he’s already suffered through. Or maybe taking these two to safety could be the way to redeem himself.
But when their travels prove more treacherous than he imagined, Simeon finds himself pressing the limits of his ability to keep Emma and her brother safe. Can he overcome the past that haunts him to be the man she needs? Will Emma break through the walls around Simeon’s heart before it’s too late, or will the dangers of these mountains be the end of them all?

Click here to purchase your copy!
My Review:
This is my first book by this author. The rocky mountains can be beautiful and deadly. It's so clearly shown in this story. I appreciated the realism. The terrain is difficult, but so is making a living, surviving and relationships. Simeon and Emma are lovely characters, as is Joseph. Going through hard places, dangerous trips, while with child, and we know that people did that. It's emotional, realistic, and in this book, it's outstanding as lives that fell apart undergo changes. Forgiveness, and having God's plan for your life are strong themes in this book as is healing and new hope and joy. I think anyone who loves a clean adventurous read will be as pulled into this series as I have been. 

5 Stars

About the Author 
MistyMisty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.
She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.
God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.
Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family–both immediate and extended–is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream. Learn more at www.MistyMBeller.com.
Guest post from Misty M. Beller
The Treasure of Family
I’m an old-fashioned girl. Always have been. And growing up on the family farm, with grandparents in the old farmhouse next door and cousins living all around us, I can’t imagine my life without family. Now that I’m married with three daughters of my own, I treasure my family even more—both immediate and extended!
In my books, I tend to weave the importance of family into each story somewhere, and This Treacherous Journey is no exception! I first wrote the prologue as a standalone short story, the account of the birth of the hero from another of my books (Reuben Scott from The Lady and the Mountain Call).
It was the story of a father, grieving the loss of his wife and feeling as if he has no choice but to give his newborn twins to another family to raise. I wrote this part of the story a week after my third daughter was born, and I cried buckets through the writing! The story has an even stronger emotional connection for me, because my younger brother and sister were both adopted into our family. I can’t imagine their birth parents having the courage to give them up for adoption unless they knew without a doubt it was the best choice for those sweet babies.
So, as you read This Treacherous Journey, it’s my prayer that you’ll take a moment to cherish your own family. Remember all the special moments. Spend extra time with those you love. Relish the treasures God placed in your life!

Blog Stops

Bibliophile Reviews, February 3
A Greater Yes, February 4
margaret kazmierczak, February 4 (Interview)
Kathleen Denly, February 5
Blogging With Carol, February 5
Faithfully Bookish, February 6
Books n baubles, February 6
Mommynificent, February 7
Mary Hake, February 9
Texas Book-aholic, February 11
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 11
Bigreadersite, February 12
Kat’s Corner Books, February 13
Janices book reviews, February 13
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 14
Carpe Diem, February 14
Karen Sue Hadley, February 15
Pursuing Stacie, February 16
Simple Harvest Reads, February 16 (Guest post from Mindy)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c8e4

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Her Good Girl by Elaine Stock

Her Good Girl copy

About the Book

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Title: Her Good Girl
Author: Elaine Stock
Genre: Family Life, Contemporary fiction, Coming-of-age story of a whole family
Release Date: January 22, 2018
Sometimes digging deep frees you to bloom.
Sadie Tremont’s will to survive is killing her. Almost 18, she’s battled one mysterious illness after another. Tara-Lynn, her mom, insists she’s the only one with the ultimate cure. Sadie can’t depend on her dad to help when his only interest is underground caving. Her grandmother too easily counts on God to help, but Sadie has stopped waiting for miracles. Callie, a cafĂ© owner and new friend, might help but can she be trusted?
Then there’s Sky, Sadie’s new boyfriend who offers a sliver of joy, peace, and self-respect. When he schemes that the only way for Sadie to be happy is to escape with him from her native West Virginia hills by killing Tara-Lynn, she’s trapped.
She can’t partner with Sky to hurt the mom who has hurt her for years . . . or can she?
When tragedy strikes and threaten Sadie’s dad’s life and the shaky ground the Tremont family stands on, will they pull together or give in to the weakened earth beneath their feet?
Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Author
Elaine StockElaine Stock is the author of Always With You, which released in January 2016 and has won the 2017 Christian Small Publishers Association Book of the Year Award in fiction. And You Came Along, a novella, released in December 2017. Her novels fuse romance, family drama and faith in a clean fiction style. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and contributes to the international “Happy Sis Magazine” and “InD’tale Magazine.” In addition to Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads, she hangs out on her active six-year-old blog, Everyone’s Story, dedicated to uplifting and encouraging all readers through the power of story and hope.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Elaine has now been living in upstate, rural New York with her husband for more years than her stint as a NYC gal. She enjoys long walks down country roads, visiting New England towns, and of course, a good book. 
 My Review:
As is the case with some books, the title drew me to the book to start with. With a title like this, anything could happen. Turns out this book takes another look at Munchausen's syndrome by proxy. This is an issue I have seen before and know a good bit about. It's a form of mental illness and abuse. Sadie has been through so much for so long. What does it take to change? Who do you believe? Who can you trust? 

This book is a gritty, in-depth drama showing all sides of a seriously dysfunctional family and a horrific illness. It's not a quick read, it's a serious and deep one. However, hope is not lost or left out in this book. God is still shown through certain characters and it's a story that's worth reading, for the hope that's found within. 

Five Stars. 

Guest Post from Elaine Stock 
How to Bloom Against the Odds by Elaine Stock
Show tunes warm my heart and create a happy buzz in my mind. Ever since I can recall, I adored musicals, whether live performances or movies. Throw in amazing choreography and I’m definitely a happy camper! Hmm. I’m thinking you’re probably wondering why I’m kicking off a blog tour about my novel, Her Good Girl, a coming-of-age story about a whole family against the odds, chatting about actors belting out foot-tapping songs?
her good girl pic 1
Here’s another favorite of mine: Liza Minnelli. Remember her from the movieCabaret? A few months back I ran across this quote from her: Reality is something you rise above. These words hit home, zinged my soul. Life is not about what you’re dished out, but what you do with it instead. See, I was born into a troubled family. My mother slipped deep into the prison of mental illness; my father worked 8 days a week. Throw in a few other dysfunctional barbs and… well… that was my beginning. Is it my present? Will it be my future?
In Her Good Girl, centers on Sadie, a girl on the cusp of becoming a woman. Her life revolves around her mother’s abusive Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MBP) until Sadie discovers a way out… or is it an escape to something deeper and worse by the hands of someone else?
This is what I wrote in the “Author’s Note” section of Her Good Girl:
I first became aware of Munchausen By Proxy (MBP) several years ago when I read an article about what I thought was an emotional disturbance. Research shows that this is maltreatment (abuse and/or neglect) when a person—usually a parent—seeks emotional fulfillment by inflicting an illness on another, often one’s child, and often resulting in death. Recent cases such as the 1996 arrest of Kathy Bush for making her then nine-year-old daughter, Jennifer sick; the 2014 death of five-year-old Garnett by his mother Lacy Spears, and the recent Baby Jax case of a woman, Jessica Valik, who tampered with her son’s feeding tube, are one too many. Yet, I have not written about this type of tragedy and sadness to become a sensationalist.
Stories about the complexities of families draw my attention. I strive to tell stories that inspire others that, through the love and grace of God, one can move forward, families can heal, that there is hope, and that there is no reason to go back. Goodness can, and does, happen to troubled families.
While my mother didn’t suffer from MBP, she was controlled by the terrors of paranoid schizophrenia (I touched upon this as well in Her Good Girl, although, again, it was not autobiographical). I didn’t know about my mother’s condition until I turned 18 and she was first diagnosed at that time. However, what I did know during my childhood was that this was my family’s “normal.” Yet, it still didn’t feel right.
I wanted to rise above this emotional feeling that felt like a trap.
Enter God.
Actually, God and I clicked when I was six (that’s as far back as I can remember His grasp on me). But, it wasn’t until I was baptized into the Christian faith in my early 20s did I start feeling as if I was indeed beginning to rise above my circumstances.
Without Him, my life would be empty and meaningless.
Now, I feel as if I have a future to look forward to. All my novels will not necessarily be reflective of mental illness, but I hope my readers will see in Her Good Girl that by holding God’s hands tightly a family can heal and one can move forward, can live. Or, as one of the major themes of the novel emphasizes: Sometimes digging deep frees you to bloom.
her good girl pic 2

Blog Stops

Mary Hake, February 1
Bibliophile Reviews, February 2
Blogging With Carol, February 3
A Reader’s Brain, February 5
Texas Book-aholic, February 6
Carpe Diem, February 7
Multifarious, February 9
A Greater Yes, February 10
Power of Words, February 11 (spotlight)
Janices book reviews, February 12
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 12
margaret kazmierczak, February 13 (Interview)
Simple Harvest Reads, February 13 (Guest post from Mindy)
Pursuing Stacie, February 14
Bigreadersite, February 14

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Elaine is giving away a grand prize of 1 Tote + 1 print (US only) or eBook of Her Good Girl, Always With You, and And You Came Along.
Three others will win 1 eBook of Her Good Girl each!!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c6d0