Thursday, October 30, 2014

BECOMING BEA By LeslieJeanGould | Kindle Giveaway, Facebook Party...and book review!

Leslie Gould is back with the latest book, Becoming Bea, in her Shakespeare-inspired series, The Courtships of Lancaster County. Don't miss the other books in the series, Courting Cate (retelling of The Taming of the Shrew), Adoring Addie (inspired by Romeo and Juliet), and Minding Molly (inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

Leslie is celebrating the series with a Kindle giveaway and a Facebook party on November 11th.

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • One copy each of the entire The Courtships of Lancaster County series: Courting CateAdoring Addie, Minding Molly, and Becoming Bea.
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 11/11. Winner will be announced at Leslie's 11/11 Becoming Bea Facebook author chat party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Leslie and Amish fiction fans, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 11th!



BecomingBea_mck.inddBecoming Bea | The Courtships of Lancaster County series

Can Bea and Ben Turn Rivalry Into Romance?
Beatrice Zook knows God wants her to learn patience toward others. When assisting a family overwhelmed by triplets proves surprisingly successful, her confidence in dealing with others, both young and old, grows.

One person she’ll never be able to find peace with though is Ben Rupp. They’ve known each other forever, and Ben understands precisely how to antagonize her. What neither she nor Ben will admit is that beneath all their bickering, attraction awaits. When friends decide to try and bring the couple together, will the pair be able to find true love? Or will they damage their relationship beyond repair?
Learn more and purchase a copy at Leslie’s website.

Leslie Gould
Leslie Gould is the coauthor, with Mindy Starns Clark, of the #1 CBA bestseller “The Amish Midwife,” a 2012 Christy Award winner; ECPA bestseller “Courting Cate,” first in the Courtships of Lancaster County series; and “Beyond the Blue,” winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice for Best Inspirational Novel, 2006. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University and has taught fiction writing at Multnomah University as an adjunct professor. She and her family live in Portland, Oregon.

Find out more about Leslie at



Bea has quite the reputation, she's a bit bold, and doesn't fully realize how she comes across to others, until she learns the hard way.

A little at loose ends, and not wanting to go on a family trip she lucks out and gets a job helping care for triplets, quite the feat for her since she's not exactly used to being around babies!

It's amazing how Bea's character grows as she cares for the children and their family, and her prickly attitude comes and goes along with Ben's appearances, who also happens to work at the farm!

Friends generally have good intentions, right?  Well, good intentions sometimes don't turn out the way they're expected....there are ups and downs in this story, some humor, some scary moments and it's a fun new read on the Amish lifestyle!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Litfuse Publicity.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book Review: Quilted by Christmas

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Quilted by Christmas
Abingdon Press (October 21, 2014)
Jodie Bailey


A note from the Author: Well, I’m a regular ol’ person. Who just happens to write. A lot. Probably more than I should. I firmly believe that God created me to be a writer. From the time I learned how to string letters together into words I’ve been making up stories. Believe me… I have a very rich imagination. I used to think I was weird; now I know God just put me together that way. I can’t even watch commercials without expanding them into stories in my head. I am humbled and honored all at the same time that God looked down from heaven on me and said, “Jodie, do what you love.” Wow… how awesome is that?

I have always loved to write. I have stories that I wrote when I was in first grade. I used to sit at my grandmother’s yellow electric typewriter for hours, banging out my own little stories. When I was eleven, she bought me a typewriter of my own (It was 1984, okay?) and I would write and write on it. I wrote stories out by hand, and they ran to hundreds of pages. I got my first computer when I was eighteen, and the first thing I did was write a story on it. I wrote for school. I wrote for fun. I wrote for my friends. I’d get them on the phone and make up stories for them. (I earned the nickname “Dreamweaver” for that one. Nobody calls me that anymore, but it still stands as the coolest nickname I ever had.)


Taryn McKenna believes she’s easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree—something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle-schoolers she teaches. When Taryn’s grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project—an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that God will never leave her behind even though others have?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Quilted by Christmas, go HERE.

A wonderful read.  This is not a book overly filled with Christmas, but instead of a 'process' that ends at Christmas!

Taryn and her grandma have a very special bond, and Taryn also has quite the past, which comes to face her quite unexpectedly when her old flame Justin reappears.

This is a bittersweet story of healing, a great loss, and of learning to do what's right...there are some characters with pretty big hearts in Quilted by Christmas, a book that will warm you straight to your toes and even make you laugh a time or two...a fun cozy curl up with a blanket by the fire kind of a read!

*I have received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from CFBA

Monday, October 20, 2014

Twig Stitch, A New Twist on Reversible Knitting

Completely reversible knits!

Worked by knitting two yarns at the same time, Twigg stitch allows you to create two completely different looks in the same fabric.  Not only can you create simple reversible colorwork, but you can also create different cable patterns or even lace that is a different color on each side.

Unique and fascinating as the technique is, it's not difficult to master.  Anyone with basic knitting skills can quickly learn.  Vicki will teach you the basics of Twigg stitch:  casting on, handling yarns, increasing and deacreasing, changing colors, and knitting in the round.  She also provides a stitch dictionary of basic to more complex color patterns. textured patterns, and cables.

Ten patterns round out the book, from simple hats and mitts, demonstrating the stitch in its most basic form, to a shaped lace shawl.

Vicki TwiggVicki Twigg was born in 1960 near London, England, the daughter of an artist and an engineering designer. She learned knitting as a child and has always enjoyed experimenting with all kinds of techniques. In 2011, she challenged herself to find a two sided version of a two color rib and the result - not just a rib - turns out to have a wide range of possibilities to explore.

Vicki currently lives in Pennsylvania.

Visit her website at

Twigg Stitch: A New Twist on Reversible Knitting
By Vicki Twigg
Interweave/F+W; $27.99

The knit work in this book is beautiful and I love the idea of reversible knitting.  The patterns are beautiful as well, and the instructions are well-written and easy to follow.

The down-side to this book is that I'm left-handed, that is certainly no problem of the author's but it is a problem for me, because the instructions/pictures are hard for me to there is a larger learning curve for me in learning this technique.  Something I am going to try to master...would love to see a left-handed YouTube tutorial on this technique!

But...that aside, for those of you who are in the right handed world and want to learn a beautiful, new technique, I think you'll love this book.

Listed in the book are: Techniques, Projects, a Stitch Dictionary and Sources for supplies

**I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Tommy Semosh over at  fwmedia.


Friday, October 10, 2014

A Love Undone by Cindy Woodsmall

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Love Undone
WaterBrook Press (September 9, 2014)
Cindy Woodsmall


Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author who has written fifteen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy’s been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as one of the top three Amish fiction writers.

She’s won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings’ Best Books of the Year. She’s been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.

Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest. (Since that last line sounds sad and bare, I thought I’d add an “epilogue” of sorts. Our two oldest sons are married and live only a couple of miles from my empty nest, and below are my three adorable grandchildren! ♥)


A husband and son abandoned to forge a path alone.
A young woman who sacrificed her dreams.
How will the God of grace and hope help them find their way?

At nineteen years old, Old Order Amish Jolene Keim was on the brink of happily-ever-after when everything changed, stealing the future she expected and burdening her with an unbearable decision. For the next ten years, Jolene throws herself into family life—and then she meets Andy Fisher. The horse trainer and father to a sweet nine year-old challenges her and holds up a mirror to issues Jolene has been unwilling to face.

Andy is cautious about his deepening friendship with Jolene, but he believes she knows the truth about him – that he is a grass widower. As a man whose wife has abandoned him six years past, he is unable to divorce or remarry according to the Amish ways. Andy has wrestled with God concerning his reality, and he had found peace with the solitary future facing him…until he met Jolene.

As Andy and Jolene find themselves confronted by difficult choices, will they trust in God's guidance—or will the allure of their deepening friendship only lead to further temptation?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Love Undone, go HERE.

**I am quite sad because this book never arrived for me to review, but I wanted to take the time to share it with you anyway.  If this book is like any of Cindy's previous books I'm sure it's well worth a read!

*I am posting on behalf of CFBA


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hidden in the Stars


Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin’s mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage—two aspects Robin weaves into each of her books.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of twenty-plus years, her 3 beautiful daughters, 2 precious grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home—in the South, where else?


Following an attack that killed her mother and stole her ability to speak, 21-year-old Sophia Montgomery has no choice but to accept her estranged grandmother’s offer to return to their family home. Although detective Julian Frazier is working hard on the case, Sophia unknowingly frustrates him because her inability to speak thwarts her eyewitness evidence. The fact that Julian is undeniably attracted to Sophia doesn’t help either, so Julian hides his feelings as concern for a trauma victim and focuses instead on finding the killer.

Little do they know, the clues to solving the case may be right in front of them, displayed in Sophia’s mother’s “special” quilt design. Who will realize the secret Sophia’s unwittingly been hiding in plain sight? When the truth comes to light, will Sophia find her voice again? Or will the murderer—still at large—silence her forever?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Hidden in the Stars, go HERE.

This book is a bit different than many of the Quilts of Love books.  It takes quite a while to get to the actual quilt part of the book.  The beginning strongly focuses on Sophia and her attack, her inability to speak....there is a definite mystery in this story and it is really rather sinister.

I loved Sophia, so much is taken from her, yet she keeps her spunk.  You can feel the fear as well as the urgency to find the killers.  Of course, the love story softens everything up a bit!

Loved this story!

* I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Litfuse


Saturday, October 4, 2014

A few great knitting books to get you ready for 'knitting season'!

I don't know about you, but in the summer I'm just too busy to knit, I'm working on the lawn and in the garden, and knitting just doesn't appeal to me until it begins to cool off. October is now here, they're predicting rain mixed with snow tonight, and I'm just not's too early.

I have a new pile of yarn waiting for me, I'm working on a pair of ballet pink leg warmers for my daughter, she has developed a problem with a tendon and it helps to keep her legs warm when she's stretching for ballet. I have a pile of yarn waiting to be made into some elf slippers for a friend and another pile waiting to be turned into scarves.

What are your knitting projects? Tommy Semosh over at Interview contacted me and asked if I'd like to review these knitting books and I jumped at the chance. I love new ideas and patterns. The photos in these books are beautiful as well as inspiring, the patterns are easy to follow.

Some patterns include charts for those of you who like to knit that, not so much.  Stitch guides are also included so no having to dig around to figure out a stitch you don't often use!

My favorite is probably 3 Skeins or Less, Fresh Knitted Accessories because I like to knit up fast projects, and 3 skeins or less usually equals something fairly speedy!

Give these books try....would make a great gift basket with a few balls of yarn!

Special thanks to Tommy Semosh over at Interweave for sending me copies of these books in exchange for review!

Graphic Knits: 20 Designs in Bold, Beautiful Color by Alexis Winslow is a collection of 20 patterns featuring modern colorwork and pattern inspired by geometric motifs. Knitters discover fresh and bold projects by this gifted and up-and-coming design star for the Knitscene set. Alexis makes use of color-knitting techniques such as stripes, Fair Isle, intarsia and slipped stitches to create visually appealing garments. Featuring an oversized chunky cable scarf, shapely sweaters, fashionable cardigans and pullovers, Graphic Knits is on trend and will leave you wanting to wear Alexis’ hip designs again and again.
As a young breakout designer, Alexis Winslow is in the vanguard of a new generation of knitters. In print as well as online through her blog, she has gained a loyal following for her innovative garment construction techniques and bold graphic aesthetic. An Oklahoman native now living in Brooklyn, Alexis is also a painter, textile designer and seamstress. Her eclectic experience is reflected in her fresh, thoughtful and entertaining designs.

By Alexis Winslow
Interweave/F+W; $24.99


In Brioche Chic: 22 Fresh Knits for Women & Men knitwear designer, writer and teacher Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark offers a modern take on the brioche stitch! This clever twist on standard knitting produces a double-sided, ribbed fabric with infinite creative possibilities. By teaching a few new stitches, Mercedes empowers knitters to create striking colorwork, reversible cables, beautiful faux cable designs and more. Taking knitting to the next level, Brioche Chic includes 22 garments and accessories for women and men, including hats, scarves, cowls, mittens, pullovers, vests and cardigans. 

 Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark is a knitwear designer, writer and teacher based in Birmingham, Alabama. Known for her stylish and feminine designs, she has designed for many yarn companies, books and magazines, including Classic Elite, Malabrigo, Interweave Knits, Knitscene, Twist Collective and Knitty. She also stars in the instructional video/DVD Brioche Knitting Basics. More about Mercedes can be found at

By Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark
Interweave/F+W; $26.99


A collection of fun knitted projects—all in 3 Skeins or Less: Fresh Knitted Accessories by Tanis Gray contains 25 accessories that require no more than 1, 2 or 3 skeins of yarn. That’s right! 3 Skeins or Less is the perfect book for learning how to knit gifts for any occasion. Showcasing the creations of a variety of top designers, including Ann Weaver, Carina Spencer, Heather Zoppetti, Romi Hill and many others, projects feature stitch patterns with unconventional color combinations, unexpected pattern twists and extra sparkle. The yarns chosen are a perfect balance of luxury hand-dyes and everyday staples. 

 Tanis Gray is the former yarn editor for Soho Publishing and co-editor of Knit.1. She is also the author of Knitting Architecture (Interweave, 2013) and Cozy Knits (Interweave, 2013) and has published more than three hundred knitting designs in books and magazines worldwide. A regular guest on Knitting Daily TV, Tanis lives outside of Washington, D.C., with her green mechanical engineer husband, toddler son, and lazy pug. More about Tanis can be found at
By Tanis Gray
Interweave/F+W; $24.99


Friday, October 3, 2014

Book Review: Joyful

Joyful Return to Sugarcreek series

A young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series.

Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm’s needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.

When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious—and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth’s heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.

Elizabeth wants to refuse—to stay far away from the man who hurt her—but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she’s older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong.

Randal, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her—or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth—or risk losing his chance at love forever.

Learn more and purchase a copy at Shelley’s website.


This is book 3 in the Return to SugarCreek series, but it is a stand alone story.

This is Elizabeth's story.  Elizabeth lives with her grandmother, her mom remarried and no longer sends money, what can a girl do to make ends meet?

Randall has a lot on his shoulders as well, with both parents gone, and older siblings moved out he feels the weight of the world, wants to solve everything himself, and decides the best thing to do is no longer court Elizabeth.

You can tell neither one is happy, even less so when Randall's brother asks Elizabeth for help!  This story is full of ups and downs, hopes, fear, love and will keep you rooting for it's characters straight through to the end.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Litfuse Pulicity