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text 2022-07-28 22:54
Book Blast and Giveaway: Love Blooms in Morning Star by Charlotte Hubbard

[Because facebook has very unfairly blocked my blog, Punya Reviews..., from being promoted on their platform, I'm using booklikes as a "gateway" of sorts so I have a link to promote. It's been over a year but I tried for the first 4 months to reach them through any means I could find but without any luck whatsoever. Doesn't look like I'll get the block removed anytime soon, if ever. More on what happened can be found here.]

 

LINK to my book blast post for Love Blooms in Morning Star on Punya Reviews...: 

https://punyareviews.blogspot.com/2022/07/book-blast-and-giveaway-love-blooms-in.html

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review 2021-05-10 03:36
A PLAIN MALICE by Amanda Flower
A Plain Malice (Appleseed Creek Mystery Series) (Volume 4) - Amanda Flower

A tour bus from Mississippi goes to the Troyer's farm so see how the Amish live. As Simon Troyer is showing how to milk a cow, two of the tourists drop dead. Now the police and the Ohio Department of Health are all over the Troyer farm. Chloe is called in by Chief Rose to take the place of the deceased tour guide so she can keep the tourists in Knox County to complete her investigation. With the chief's blessings, Chloe investigates and lets the chief know the results of her investigation.

 

I loved this book. I liked that the Chief could work with Chloe. I also liked how things are changing within the Troyer family. I love Grandfather Zook. He is not the staid buttoned-down Amish grandfather. He has a sense of humor that comes out and gets the family through some of the traumas that have befallen them and their community. He and Chloe are great together. I love Timothy and how he has to walk a fine line between his Amish upbringing and what Chloe wants, needs, and expects. He does not always succeed but he and she work it out. Some of the secondary tourists were a riot, especially Gertie and her fish jerky.

 

The story was good and I had a hard time putting it down. I did not figure out the murderer until the end. Sad!

 

I hope this is not the last book of the series. I love these characters.

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text 2021-01-07 16:19
Book Blast and Giveaway: First Light in Morning Star by Charlotte Hubbard

[Because facebook has very unfairly blocked my blog, Punya Reviews..., from being promoted on their platform, I'm using my booklikes profile as a "gateway" of sorts so I have a link to promote. I've been trying to reach them by leaving them messages through the Facebook blocks option, however not sure I'll ever be able to have this block lifted as I have no means to reach them directly. More on what happened can be found here.]

 

LINK to my book blast post for First Light in Morning Star on Punya Reviews...:

https://punyareviews.blogspot.com/2021/01/book-blast-and-giveaway-first-light-in.html

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review 2020-07-06 05:00
His Pretend Amish Bride Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book:  His Pretend Amish Bride

Author: Rachel J. Good

Genre:  Amish Romance

Release Date: June 30, 2020

In a small Amish town like Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, one solution to an indiscretion is to get married. Or perhaps, fake a respectable engagement . . .
 
Priscilla Ebersol has a fulfilling life teaching special needs children—until her boyfriend’s humiliating betrayal ruins her reputation and threatens her job. Shunned for something she didn’t do, Priscilla throws herself into a project on the benefits of camel’s milk for autism. Her research leads her to a newly opened Amish camel farm, where she discovers far more than she bargained for. . .

When a pushy Englisch company shows interest in shy, handsome Gabriel Kauffman’s camel farm, he struggles to get out of a sticky negotiation. Lovely, well-spoken Priscilla appears at the perfect moment and defends Gabe’s business so well that she is mistaken for his wife, a pretense they both secretly wish could be true. But though their bond deepens, Priscilla’s heart is still wounded, and Gabe battles with a troubling secret. And when a misunderstanding comes between them, it will take faith, honesty, and trust in God to overcome the past—and to allow their partnership to blossom into something more.


Click HERE to get 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 (September 2020) with Shelley Shepard Gray and Loree Lough. She is also the coauthor of the Prayerful Author Journey: Inspirational Yearly Planner.


More from Rachel

 

A few years ago, I passed Amish camel farm in Bird-in-Hand, PA. As an author, seeing anything new or different always piques my interest, so I went for a visit. Not only did I explore the farm and store, I bought camel’s milk to drink. I think it’s important to do in-depth research for the settings and information I include in my Amish novels.

I was fascinated to discover camels usually bond to one milker, only give a little milk each day, and are extremely expensive to buy. All of those are reasons why camel’s milk is so expensive. It costs $15 for a pint. Much pricier than cow’s milk.

And if you’re wondering how camel’s milk tastes, the best way I can think of to describe it is a slightly salty version of powdered milk. It’s more watery than cow’s milk.

Because I grew up drinking powdered milk during my early childhood years when we lived in Africa, I’d always vowed never again to drink it once we moved back to the United States. A vow I’ve kept. That was never a problem living in Pennsylvania, where there’s plenty of farmland, cow, and Amish, of course.

The camel’s milk was enough like powdered milk to make me gag. But because I want to be sure my books are authentic, I drank it. So, readers, now you know how much a I care about you.

My concern for you also extends to more than just getting factual information correct. I pray for each and every one of you as I write my stories. I hope that they will touch your heart and bring you closer to God.


My Review

 

Although it’s been several years since I’ve been there, one of my favorite day-trips is visiting Sugarcreek and Berlin, Ohio, known where I live as simply Amish Country. Something that surprised me within the last decade or so was the growing market of Amish organic and specialty products, as I did not associate these with the Amish people. I suppose that I never gave much thought to them needing gluten-free, dairy-free, or other specialty items because their lifestyle and diet seems in my mind to be healthier and relatively free of chemical ingredients. This is part of the reason that I loved “His Pretend Amish Bride” so much. It made me think and opened my eyes to the similarities between their culture and ours.

Rachel Good always writes an absorbing story that I find difficult to put down and often end up reading in a few sittings. Whether intentional or not, I think that “His Pretend Amish Bride” releases at the perfect time because it highlights how much we actually have in common with the Amish, rather than how different we are, dispelling the large-scale “us vs. them” mentality that is currently tearing our nation apart. This was the first time I had heard of camel’s milk and it being used for those with specific health conditions, particularly autism. I find this information fascinating and exciting because it is a natural alternative. I also had no idea that the Amish might own camel farms, or that such places even existed in the US, for that matter! The issues that Gabriel Kauffman faces with his camel farm due to problems with Englishers demonstrate that the Amish are not immune to being taken advantage of either. Their approach, however, to such situations and to life in general, is often much different from ours, although it shouldn’t be. We should also seek to live at peace with others and to do what is right, whether we end up benefiting from it or not, and we should learn to trust God more instead of trying to take control ourselves.

This novel offers a heartfelt glimpse at romance and special needs, also. As Priscilla tells Alyssa, the Amish aren’t perfect either and need Jesus just as much as everyone else, including us. Good points this out to readers right from chapter one with Matthew’s betrayal, but goes on to show how one can still respond out of God’s love. I loved that Priscilla works at an Amish special needs school, which is something else that I did not realize existed, and the inclusion of the hippotherapy program (which is the focus of book one in this series) toward the end of the narrative tied in nicely. All of the elements that Good incorporates blend into a beautiful story about how God uses what seems to be our darkest moments to bring our greatest joys when we trust Him and live to honor Him.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

 

Blog Stops

 

Through the Lens of Scripture, June 29

The Avid Reader, June 29

Among the Reads, June 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 30

Texas Book-aholic, July 1

Blogging With Carol, July 1

Inklings and notions, July 2

Batya’s Bits, July 2

She Lives To Read, July 3

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, July 3

Splashes of Joy, July 4

reviewingbooksplusmore, July 4

For Him and My Family, July 5

Books, Life, and Christ, July 5

For the Love of Literature, July 6

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 7

deb’s Book Review, July 7

Blossoms and Blessings, July 7

Older & Smarter?, July 8

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 8

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 8

Reading Is My SuperPower, July 9

Bigreadersite, July 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 10

Maureen’s Musings, July 10

Pause for Tales, July 11

Lighthouse Academy Blog, July 11 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Artistic Nobody, July 12 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Vicky Sluiter, July 12

 
 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of the book and $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.
 

 

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review 2020-03-08 08:00
An Amish Picnic Book 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 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.



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.



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.



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.
 

My Review

 

Comprised of four love stories from four well-known authors, “An Amish Picnic” makes for a charming book perfect for spring, summer, or any time you want to pack a novel in your basket and escape for a while. Each story contains discussion questions for group or individual reflection, and there is a very helpful glossary at the beginning of the book, which is something I’ve often wished for when reading Amish fiction. I did not realize, as the note at the end of this reference states, that the Amish people’s German dialect is not a written language, and this piqued my curiosity. It’s something that I never thought about before, and as a lover of languages, I find this fascinating.

The four different romantic journeys featured in this collection are refreshingly distinct and un-formulaic. Despite being under 100 pages each, they manage to be satisfyingly complete, which is a rarity for short stories and is the reason I typically tend to avoid them. Of the four, I particularly enjoyed three because of each one’s premise, which held elements besides romance. Amy Clipston’s “Baskets of Sunshine” for instance, deals with pursuing one’s dreams and trusting God to help accomplish them even in the face of possibly losing one’s job or, more critically, one’s heart.

“Candlelight Sweethearts” by Kelly Irvin is one of the more unique Amish stories I’ve read, as it features two characters with limitations. Esther has a very noticeable speech impediment, which causes her to stand out when she would rather carry on her work without people’s pity and frustration. Jasper, the owner’s son, winds up running the store where he and Esther both work, and through challenging circumstances they learn teamwork and the value of coming together when it’s always been easier to be  alone.

“Picnic and Prospects” is, I think, my favorite of the four stories. Vannetta Chapman writes a tale of light mystery in which one of the main characters suffers from claustrophobia. I loved the inclusion of the puppy, as well as the dated letters and how they played a role in the main couple’s rekindled relationship.

All-in-all, I enjoyed these four stories. “Reeling in Love” is, admittedly, my least favorite, not because of any deficiency on the part of author Kathleen Fuller but rather because the subject matter did not appeal to me. I have never been fishing, and the strained and problem-ridden romance trope does not interest me personally. Nevertheless, I did have fun reading each of these stories. They are ideal for springtime and each contain subtle lessons in trusting God and demonstrating our love for one another.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.


Read an Excerpt

 

Read an excerpt HERE.

Blog Stops

 

The Power of Words, March 6

Batya’s Bits, March 6

The Avid Reader, March 6

Older & Smarter?, March 7

For Him and My Family, March 7

For the Love of Literature, March 8

Bigreadersite, March 8

Texas Book-aholic, March 9

deb’s Book Review, March 9

Quiet Quilter, March 10

Through the Fire Blogs, March 10

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, March 11

Girls in White Dresses, March 11

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 11

Inklings and notions, March 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 12

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 13

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, March 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 14

The Collaborative Press, March 14

Splashes of Joy, March 15

janicesbookreviews, March 15

She Lives To Read, March 16

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 16

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, March 16

Blossoms and Blessings, March 17

Books, Life, and Chrst, March 17

Artistic Nobody, March 18 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Southern Gal Loves to Read, March 18

EmpowerMoms, March 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 19

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, March 19

 

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