Monthly Archives: January 2015

My Top Book Reads in January

Courting Emily (Book 2 of The Wells landing Series) By: Amy Lillard

Snowfall, (A Days of Redemption Christmas Novella), By: Shelley Shepard Gray

The Beekeepers Son, By: Kelly Irvin

Murder Tightly Knit (An Amish Village Mystery Book 2) Book by: Vannetta Chapman

Huckleberry Spring, By: Jennifer Beckstrand

Make sure you check out their books! 


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“Amy Lillard’s Blog Relay and Amish Giveaway”

blog relay 7

Courting Emily cover

Welcome to LEG #7 of the Courting Emily blog tour. If this is your first stop, it’s probably best to follow the link below and go back to the first blog so you don’t miss anything. Remember: one lucky winner will receive a purple-themed basket filled with some of James Riehl’s favorite things.

Now on to the next segment…

(To go back to the beginning– )

“I must apologize for yesterday.”

She seemed to deflate before his eyes, like one of the rafts they used to float down the river. “It is not necessary.” She seemed suddenly uncomfortable and started to move past him, back into the house.

“I disagree.” He caught her arm before she could leave him behind.

She looked down at his fingers against the fabric of her sleeve. He told himself to release her, but he couldn’t.

He wasn’t hurting her, just soaking in the warmth that was Emily.

“Please,” he said. “I was just surprised, is all.”

“Surprised by what?”

He shrugged his shoulders and finally convinced his fingers to turn her loose. “That there were so many people in my house.”

Making noise and bustling about like…like nothing in the world was wrong.

“You worry about him too much, you know?”

His gaze jerked up to meet hers. She eyed him without apology, the blue orbs steady. “Jah,” he finally said. But he couldn’t say more through the constriction in his throat.

Elam feels that his life is out of control. The more of it he can control the better he feels. Emily sets his world on its ear in more ways than one.

Ready for more? Join me over at Gloria Johnson’s blog.

But first, don’t forget to leave a comment here to be eligible for the drawing. Don’t know what to say? Tell me how many brothers and sisters you have. Elam and Emily both have five sisters. (I have two sisters, one brother, and an adopted sister who came to live with my family after I’d gone off to college.) Or you can just say “hey!”

Gloria’s blog:

This contest runs January 29, 2015–February 5, 2015. Any comments left after midnight EST will not be eligible for the drawing.


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Deadly Echoes, By: Nancy Mehl (Finding Sanctuary book 2)

Another book that is so well written by Nancy Mehl. I love the faith, devotion, and suspense in this book. It is a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole way through it with all the unexpected twists and turns in the story. It was very hard for me to put down this book! The story is so gripping it pulls you into the story and doesn’t want to let go of you. This is the best book yet by Nancy Mehl. So looking forward to the next book in the series. 5 stars

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An Amish Cradle, By: Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Vannetta Chapman

What an amazing collection of stories by some truly talented authors! All four of the stories touched me in one way or another. They put such heart and compassion into their stories. Their stories shined like stars they were so well written! It just amazes me that their stories that they write just seem to get better and better. Bravo ladies! 5 stars!! Be sure to get your copy today. It also makes a great gift!

In His Father’s Arms, by Beth Wiseman

A story of love and acceptance of their first born child having Down Syndrome. The need to know why God and understand his plan for them. This story brought me to tears. Bravo!

A Son for Always, by Amy Clipston

The title of this story drew me to it as I am the mother of four boys. Though two are grown and living on their own. The struggle to accept help when needed is a hard thing to do. Especially when you have done it on your own for so long.

A Heart Full of Love, by Kathleen Fuller

A story that deals with a over bearing and protective mother. She is doing what she thinks is right by trying to protect those near and dear to her from any harm.

An Unexpected Blessing, by Vannetta Chapman

This is the story dealing with a pregnancy later in life and the difficulty of an estranged estranged son. The not know where he is or how he is doing. This was also a very emotional story for me. I had the lost of a child and had another baby the following year. It was a very scary time of my life. Very well written. The feelings of this mother and father in the story were so real to me. An outstanding story!

If you would like to know more about Beth Wiseman or her books please visit her website.

If you would like to know more about Amy Clipston or her books please visit her website.

If you would like to know more about Kathleen Fuller or her books please visit her website.

If you would like to know more about Vannetta Chapman or her books please visit her website.


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New Romance from Kathryn Springer and Kindle Fire Giveaway

Dandelion Field Kathryn Springer

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Interview with Colleen Coble

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1. Did you enjoy writing as a child?

I wrote my first story in 1st grade about a horse that had twin colts. Even back then fiction is what I loved. I still do. What a dream come true to get to do what I love every day!
2. Who or what inspired you to write?

I’d always had the dream to write from the time I wrote that first story. The teacher praised it, and I thought how wonderful it would be to have a book in the library. I married at 19 and had our first child at 21. I poured myself into my children, and the little seed of a writing dream lay dormant. August 25, 1990 changed everything. The phone rang late that night and it was my middle brother telling me that the oldest of my three younger brother had been killed by lightning in a freak farm accident. In the coming months, as I emerged from the storm of grief, I realized that if I was ever going to follow the dream I believed God had put in my heart, I needed to get started. I was approaching my fortieth birthday, and time was marching on.

As part of the grieving process, my husband and I made a trip out to Wyoming to see where Randy had lived during a two-year stint. As I stood on the parade ground at Fort Laramie, the first idea took root and sprouted. The fire of grief and adversity had finally cracked open the seed that had lain dormant in my heart all those years.

Seven years later I finally made the first sale. But God taught me about faith and perseverance through those seven years. In those days I knew no other writers. It was lonely and soul-crushing at times. I’m so thankful for American Christian Fiction Writers and other authors whose friendships I treasure now after wandering so long in that wilderness.  Looking back, I’m glad it wasn’t easier. It makes me appreciate so much more the joy and privilege I have to share my novels with my readers and to hopefully make them a little thirsty for the One who holds out a cup of living water.

And the really cool thing is those early works are being released again as a serialization starting in March. The Journey of the Heart series is an apt title since that series launched the dream I carried in my heart for so many years!
3. Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
I usually write 5-6 days a week. I try to stop at dinner time, though when the deadline is looming, I sometimes have to burn the candle at both ends. I have a beautiful office with a big palladian window that looks out onto my neighborhood’s rolling hills. I sit in my recliner with my feet up and enter my dream world.
4. What are you working on at the minute?
I’m working on Mermaid Moon, book 2 in the Sunset Cove series set in Maine. The first book in that series, The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, will be out April 15, 2015.
5. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
When I really have to, I can write a book in about 3 months. But I don’t like to be under that time of crunch. 6 months is much more comfortable with all the research I do.
6. Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.
I’m always reading! I couldn’t live without books. Denise Hunter is a favorite and so is Diann Hunt (she lost her battle with ovarian cancer in Nov 2013 but her books live on.) Robin Caroll, Terri Blackstock, Dani Pettrey, Lynette Eason, Rachel Hauck, Cara Putman, Erin Healy, Hannah Alexander, Robert Whitlow. I read a LOT. 🙂 I read mostly the type of books I like to write. A new favorite suspense author is Carrie Stuart Parks. She writes about a forensic artist, and Carrie is one herself so there is real authenticity there.
7. Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
Anyone who writes in the traditional publishing space has at least one editor. I have two editors. Amanda Bostic is my inhouse editor, and Julee Schwartzburg is my freelance editor hired by HarperCollins Christian Published. I’ve been blessed to work with excellent editors who have taught me so much. Ami McConnell edited all my HCCP books, but she recently moved over as VP of Howard Publishing. She was instrumental in any success I’ve had. Erin Healy was my editor for a long time too and helped hone my fiction in more ways than I can list. A good editor is invaluable!
8. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
When I’m actively getting the bones of the story down, I shoot for 2000 words a day. Some days I’ll hit 4000-8000, but that’s when I’m racing for the ending and everything is happening quickly. 🙂
Here is my website:


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The Promise of Palm Grove: Amish Brides of Pinecraft, Book One (The Pinecraft Brides)

Shelley Shepard Gray has done it yet again. She has written another book that captures you and doesn’t let you go until the very end. The love, compassion, caring and understanding that these characters hold in this story is simple amazing. I fell in love with this story. The setting for the story is wonderful. The descriptions really brought this story to life for me. I practically felt as those I could feel that silky sand on my toes and tastes those delightful baked goods. I so loved that fact that this story had two people that weren’t very likable. That there was a lesson to learn from those two.

An excellent story! Very well written! Be sure to get your copy! It makes a great gift. 5 stars!!

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Interview with Robin Mason

  1. Who or what inspired you to write?

REM:  I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!  I’ve always had stories in my head, conversations, scenarios.  Twenty years ago, I was dealing with a lot of painful issues, and writing is what Holy Spirit gave me as a release.  I learned then I love to write!

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

REM: Oh, my, there are so many!!  I’ve had an affinity for Agatha Christie since I was 15 and played Dr. Armstrong in Ten Little Indians.  Jane Austen of course, Kristin Hannah, Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis, Nora Roberts, Frank Peretti, and in recent months I have discovered Jordyn Redwood, Jessica Dotta, Sarah Ladd, Carol Stratton, and Tessa Afshar.  To name a few.


  1. How much research do you do?

REM: A lot.  I love history and trivia, and things not commonly known.  I am OCD about getting the facts straight.  My current WIP, the sequel to Tessa, has a scene that goes back to 1800’s Appalachia.  I’m checking out all available sources to know what life was like at that time and in that area.  I end up with reams of printed material and handwritten notes to ensure that I get it right.  And calendars, too!  I have a whole file folder on my desktop of calendars, from 1950 through 2020!


  1. When did you decide to become a writer?

REM: That was rather in stages.  As I mentioned above, I first began writing in 1996.  I ended up with a fictional saga telling my story.  That may or may not ever see publication.  I poked around with some other stories, and wrote dozens of poems.  I lacked the confidence to really pursue it.  I “got” the beginning of Tessa in July of 2008, while going for a walk: “Tessa flopped onto the divan, more worn and weary in her thirty-seven years than the faded and threadbare divan in its 137 years.”  I wrote it down as soon as I got home.  I then started 4 ½ years of college, and it wasn’t until after graduation in 2013 that I got serious about finishing Tessa.  Now that I’m working at this as a career, marketing and all, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

  1. What book/s are you reading at present?

REM: More Precious Than Gold by Lynn Dean.  And Naked Determination by Gisela Hausmann, a fellow writer I met at a book signing event last fall.


  1. Do you need peace and quiet when writing or background noise?

REM:  Silence!  I get easily distracted, and I prefer to think it’s because I’m uber observant – which is a good thing for an author!  With songs, even instrumental, I get caught up in the music.  And definitely no TV!


  1. What is your favorite beverage or snack when writing?

REM:  Ice tea, unsweetened, 24/7.  Coffee in the mornings, snacks vary with mood or whim. Chocolate, of course, is standard.  But I gotta have my tea!  Occasionally, I’ll change it up and have hot tea.


  1. Do you have a special place that you like to write?

REM: I’ve a small house, so I work sitting right on the couch.  I “nest” with my notes right at hand, and reference books close by.  [not to mention a large to-be-read stack]  On my wish list is an oversized easy chair, not quite as wide as a love seat, but maybe half again as wide as a standard recliner.  Also, have an ergonomic wedge on the floor for my footsies; it helps with the strain on my back.  And yes, I get up and move around a good bit.  I love to go for walks, it’s rather my muse and communion being outdoors.


I’d love you to follow me on my blog and on Facebook, or any of my other cyber spots.  I will be upgrading my blog, and redesigning it sometime this year, so be looking for that announcement.


And of course, the link to Tessa:

tessa cover - front - 092314 moi and tessaclara bess cover - teaser

Be sure to check out Robin’s various sites. Be sure to follow Robin, so that you may keep up to date with her work.

I would like to thank you for this wonderful opportunity to have you on my blog. I has been a please to work with you and have you answer my questions. I am a book lover at heart. I always love the chance to ask authors questions and get answers. Keep up the wonderful writing.

God Bless,

Cheryl Baranski

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A Stitch in Crime Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Don’t miss the newest Quilts of Love book, “”

A Stitch in Crime “ Cathy Elliott

Thea’s first quilt show begins to fall apart at the seams. Will she be able to piece the mystery together and save the town’s investment in the quilt show before another attack happens . . . with far worse results.


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The Postcard (The Amish of Jamesport), By: Laura V. Hilton

This is book two in the Amish of Jamesport series.  I absolutely loved it! Love, compassion, anger, jealously, forgiveness all rolled into one very well written story line! Enough twists and turns that make you hunger for what would happen next. I was so captivated by the story that I was taken completely by surprise a couple of times when the unexpected happened in this story!  Looking forward to book three in the series. Be sure to pre-order you copy today! A must read book.

5 stars

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