Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Book Review: Swept Away

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Swept Away
Abingdon Press (November 18, 2014)
Laura V. Hilton
Cindy Loven


Award winning author Laura V. Hilton has penned many novels, including the Amish of Seymour series, the Amish of Webster County series, and the forthcoming Amish of Jamesport series. A member of ACFW, Laura is also a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites. A pastor’s wife, stay-at-home mom, and home school teacher, Laura and her family make their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.

A lifelong reader, Cindy Loven is an active church wife of a minister and mother to one son who is a home school graduate. Cindy and her family reside in Conway, Arkansas.


Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned. Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but also as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between him and his new employer’s granddaughter. Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts online researching him. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Swept Away, go HERE.

It seems as though every family has someone in it that just loves to stick his/her nose into everyone's business!  ...and this time it's grandma.  Grandma has good intentions, but as hurt as Sara Jane is, you wonder how those intentions can go anywhere but bad.

The characters in this book are very well thought out, their emotions will become yours, and you will become quite attached to Sara Jane, Drew, and yes, even grandma.

As you read through the pages you'll be amazed at how characters with so much hurt can make you laugh..but they may also make you cry.  You can almost feel the hurt as you read, this is an amazing book and it will take you straight to the heart of Appalachia as the characters and the quilt are pieced together.

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

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

CFBA: Promise to Cherish

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Promises to Cherish
Howard Books (October 7, 2014)
Elizabeth Yount


Elizabeth Byler Younts is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. She is an Air Force officer’s wife and a homeschooling mom with two young daughters. She makes her home wherever her family is stationed. Elizabeth was Amish as a child and after her parents left the church she still grew up among her Amish family and continues to speak Pennsylvania Dutch.


As World War II draws to a close, nurse Christine falls in love with roguish Amish boy Eli and must choose between a new, uncertain life in the Amish faith or face the judgment of a conservative postwar American society for her past mistakes.

It’s 1945, and Christine Freeman is a nurse at Hudson River State Hospital, where she works alongside members of a Civilian Public Service unit. Eli is one of the conscies—conscientious objectors to the war—and he is doing his best to become a man of character instead of the immature heartbreaker he used to be back home in his Amish community.

Christine and Eli are friendly, but when an old acquaintance, Jack, returns home from the war, Christine’s world is violently turned upside down. Eli, heartbroken to see his friend so hurt, offers her an escape within his Amish community. Despite her misgivings, Christine is fully embraced by Eli’s community. She slowly begins to feel valued and loved as she learns the Amish way of life.

Christine finds herself falling for Eli. But soon, the abusive Jack discovers Christine in her Amish hideaway and starts causing trouble for the quiet community. Christine can’t see herself becoming Amish, and she knows that if Eli leaves the church to be with her, he will be shunned. Will she escape Jack and possibly have to give up the one thing she holds most dear, or will she follow her heart and promise to cherish the Amish man who loves her?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Promises to Cherish , go HERE.

A fresh storyline with believable characters, and a love story....how much better can you get?  This book tops my list of 2014 favorites.

This book will take you through just about every emotion you can think of, Christine faces something truly horrid, and Eli, an Amish in the war....they grow quite fond of each other, but are from two very different worlds.

This book is REAL, I truly loved it, and now am going to have to read the first book in this series!  If you're looking for a great book to read, or one to give as a gift, this one should be on your list!

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


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Book Review: Quilted by Christmas

Quilted by ChristmasNew from Abingdon Press’ Quilts of Love series | Quilted by Christmas

A grandmother’s last wish is to communicate God’s love through an Irish chain quilt.
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?

Purchase a copy and learn more at the Quilts of Love website.

Yes, I know I've already posted a review for this book!  Sometimes I end up on two lists!!  Take it as a nudge to go out a buy this wonderful book.....this series is coming to an end :(

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


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

CFBA: Dreaming of Daisies

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dreaming on Daisies
David C. Cook (October 1, 2014)
Miralee Ferrell

Miralee and her husband, Allen, live on 11 acres in Washington State. She loves to minister to women (as a certified Lay Counselor with the AACC) or through her writing, riding her horse, working in her flower beds and playing with her dogs—her 7 lb, long-haired Chihuahua, Lacey, spends a lot of time on her lap while Miralee is writing. Miralee speak at various women’s functions and has taught at writers’ conferences. She’s been writing since 2005, and her first book released in 2007. Since then, she’s had 10 more books release, both in women’s contemporary fiction and historical romance, and she’s had the honor of being a best-selling and award-winning author.


When her father's debts, brought on by heavy drinking, threaten Leah Carlson's family ranch, she fights to save it. When handsome banker Steven Harding must decline her loan request, he determines to do what he can to help. Just as he arrives to serve as a much-needed ranch hand, Leah's family secrets—and the pain of her past—come to a head. They could destroy everything she's fought for. And they could keep her from ever opening her heart again.

This is western historical romance that offers hope and healing to the deepest wounds in a woman's past.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Dreaming on Daisies, go HERE.


As a western historical romance, this book takes on a life of it's own despite being part of a series.  I have not read any other books in this series, and I didn't have any difficulty at all getting into the story line or understanding the characters.

Leah has not had it easy since her ma passed and her brother ran away, her pa has taken to drinking...drinking to the extreme.  Leah has taken it upon herself to keep the ranch going, yet you get the feeling that deep down she yearns for more.  I think she keeps a tough front to hide her pain..and it's really quite admirable the way she deals with her lot in life.

Then of course, you have the eligible male that comes into her life, will he cause her to soften, let secrets come to face?

This is a wonderful read, entertaining and a bit different than so many historical western romances that I have read.  I did have a bit of a time getting into the story, but I am so glad that I stuck with it, it was well worth it!

...and to be fair, I haven't read this type of a book for some time which may be the reason it took a bit of time for me to get into the story line.

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


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

CFBA: Save by the Fireman

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Saved by the Fireman
Love Inspired (October 21, 2014)
Allie Pleiter


Enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and nonfiction. An avid knitter, harp player and non-reformed chocoholic, she spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools and finding new ways to avoid housework. Allie grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in speech from Northwestern University and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The "dare from a friend" to begin writing eight years ago has blossomed into a career that includes numerous public speaking engagements, two books on parenting; Becoming a Chief Home Officer and Facing Every Mom's Fears and now novels for Steeple Hill Books. She is the mother of two children and, most recently, a Havanese dog named Bella.


Building their future

Charlotte Taylor isn't good at playing it safe. Reeling from the sudden loss of her job and her beloved grandmother, Charlotte knows buying a dilapidated cottage in Gordon Falls isn't exactly practical. Especially since she just hired the one man who may love the property more than she does to help renovate it. Volunteer firefighter and part-time contractor Jesse Sykes can't stay mad at Charlotte for very long. Though she snatched up the home he'd planned on purchasing, Charlotte's dreams are big enough for both of them…if only she'd let him in. Charlotte promised she'd never fall for a first responder, but is it already too late?

Gordon Falls: Hearts ablaze in a small town

If you would like to read the first chapter of Saved by the Fireman, go HERE

This book may be small, but it packed a big punch.  After reading this book I couldn't believe that such a small book could have so much in it, that's a good thing!  I loved how well the cottage was described, I fell as if I were right beside Charlotte, helping her.

Jesse Sykes, he feels like he's never good enough, I felt like a lot of his attitude came from being unsure, and I really enjoyed how things ended for Jesse.

This book will take you from big town Chicago, to a quaint little town where the pace of life is much different, where people are different, you might just feel yourself relaxing.  Well...maybe not, Charlotte seems to keep herself surrounded in action!

The love part of the story...it wasn't an in-your face kind of a romance, you knew it was there, but there were other aspects of this book that were just as important, probably more so.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next Allie Plieter release.

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


Twitter party with Tricia Goyer!

Get in the Christmas mood...Twitter party with Tricia Goyer!!

We’re partying with Tricia Goyer next week and I want to personally invite you to join us as we begin celebrating Christmas. Who is Tricia Goyer?
Tricia Goyer has written more than thirty-five books, including both novels that delight and entertain readers and non- fiction titles that offer encouragement and hope. She has also published more than 500 articles in national publications such as Guideposts, Thriving Family, Proverbs 31, and HomeLife Magazine.

Goyer’s fiction and non-fiction books have won awards from the American Christian Fiction Writers and Mt. Hermon Writers’ Conference. She is also a two-time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee.

Tricia has authored several books on family and parenting, as well as co-written with Max Lucado and Robin Jones Gunn. She collaborated with Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges for Lead Your Family Like Jesus, published by Focus on the Family/Tyndale.

Tricia’s contemporary and historical novels feature strong women overcoming great challenges. She recreates historic wartime eras with precise detail through perseverant and comprehensive research. Tricia speaks to groups interested in these eras, with the intention of preserving and honoring the memory of the men and women who served.

She is a beloved author of Amish fiction, as well, writing the Big Sky and Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Series. Tricia is currently working on The One Year Book of Amish Peace: Hearing God’s Voice in the Simple Things and a true Amish story co-written with Ora Jay and Irene Eash (contracted to release in 2013 and 2014 respectively).

Tricia is also the visionary force behind the new website, Not Quite Amish. Inspired by the writing process of her Amish releases, she wanted to create a community where Amish and simple living experts can become contributors. Launched in the fall of 2012, the Not Quite Amish lifestyle blog features daily posts about recipes, repurposing, simple style, beautifying your home, sewing Amish proverbs, and more. In addition to having more than fifteen regular contributors, readers are also encouraged to submit ideas, questions, and posts for topics they’d like to see written about.

In addition to Not Quite Amish, Tricia also posts regularly at her personal blog and is a contributor to other family and homeschooling blogs, such as The Home Educating Family, The Better Mom, Allume and MomLife Today. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by SheKnows.com.
Don't miss this event, it's sure to be a fun one!
Grab button for Christmas with Tricia Goyer

WHAT: a Twitter party celebrating Christmas with Tricia Goyer

WHEN: Tuesday, November 11th at 7pm CST

WHERE: On Twitter.com. Use TweetChat.com to easily keep up with the party. Make sure you’re following @MeghanTucker & @TriciaGoyer and use the hashtag #GoyerChristmas to join in.

**What’s a Twitter Party? Find out more HERE**

**I am posting this as a part of Tricia Goyer's Fiction Launch Team, no compensation was given.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Knit.Purl Magazine, formerly Knit.Wear

knit.wear Magazine Changes Name to knit.purl
and debuts new cover design

While keeping the same aesthetic and mission for the content, we’ve given the magazine a new name and updated the cover

To order or view more go click link
We’re updating some older elements, and keeping the most important ones, says knit.purl editor Lisa Shroyer. With a sophisticated sensibility and a range of projects that challenge knitting convention, knit.purl celebrates authentic luxury for every day. Each issue features sleek, simple, artful handknits for the thoughtful knitter, in-depth technique articles that refine tradition, design how-tos and inspiration and much more. Lisa continues by saying, “The packaging has changed a bit, but at the end of the day, this magazine is all about clean, contemporary, intriguing knitwear.”
Our Fall/Winter 2014 knit.purl issue explores striking knit-purl combinations, big gauges, bold colorwork, tailored sweaters, cool accessories and more. Michelle Hunter introduces readers to “Navajo ply knitting,” an innovative technique that allows for quick changes between single and triple-strand knitting. Additionally, knitters get to live New York Fashion Week vicariously through the work of Jasmine Gonzalez, a budding knitwear designer. Artist and designer John Brinegar tells readers all about his new pattern collection, all inspired by acrobats, the theater and circus acts (two of these new patterns are exclusively available in knit.purl’s Fall/Winter 2014 issue.) Finally, twenty-three essential new knitting patterns for fall, including pullovers, cardigans, and accessory items to keep heads, necks and hands warm throughout the cold seasons round out this new and improved issue.
 About Interweave
Interweave is one of the nation’s largest and most rOespected arts and craft media companies, with businesses in magazine and book publishing, online media, television and video programming, directories, and events. 

Visit Interview online at www.interweave.com.

From the editors of knit.wear
Interweave/F+W; $14.99



This is a truly beautiful magazine, one that made me want to raid my yarn stash and get knitting!

Many different patterns are included, it seems as though the editors tried to include many different styles to please all readers...plus the designs are up to date, and quite beautiful.  I've gotten so tired of looking at magazines which will remain un-named that have out of date patterns in them.

Of course, the magazine has the usual advertisements, but I almost enjoyed looking at the ads as much as the patterns and stories!

At the back of the magazine there is a listing of knitting abbreviations, pictures of different stitches, and a project index, which are all very helpful, especially if you are knitting a project that has a stitch you don't normally use, it's an easy reference.

All in all, a very good magazine which I've found myself looking at quite often, kind of a feast for the eyes and the knitting soul!
*I received a complimentary copy of this magazine in exchange for review