Blog Tour & Giveaway! Stranded by Dani Pettrey

stranded

Tour Schedule

 

strandedStranded (Alaskan Courage #3)

When her friend vanishes from a cruise ship, reporter Darcy St. James isn’t satisfied with their explanation that she simply left her job of her own accord. Something isn’t lining up, and Darcy believes the only way to find the truth is to put herself in Abby’s position. Within days, Darcy learns her friend wasn’t the only person to disappear mysteriously. Last summer, a woman vanished under almost identical circumstances.
Gage McKenna has taken a summer-long stint leading adventure excursions for the passengers of various cruise lines that dock for a few days of sightseeing. He’s surprised to find Darcy working aboard one of the ships, investigating a troubling report. Something sinister is going on and the deeper they dig the more Gage fears they’ve only discovered the tip of the iceberg.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble

daniAuthor Dani Pettrey

Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of one’s faith and plenty of romance. She’s a huge fan of dark chocolate, is always in search of the best iced mocha and her dream is to one day own a little cottage on a remote stretch of beach. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters.

Website * Twitter * Facebook

 

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/10/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt

Abby’s head swam, her vision narrowing as she stumbled into her cabin. What had they slipped her and when? Nausea rum- bled in her stomach, magnified by the surging waves created by the brewing storm. How could she have been so foolish?

They must have figured out who she was and that she was close to exposing them. They were trying to silence her— though if it came down to it, she preferred death to the alternative.

She lifted the receiver and dialed Darcy’s cabin.

Please be there. Darcy had said she’d wait in her room, but the phone kept ringing until it rolled over into voice mail. This wasn’t a message for voice mail. Not if they knew who she was. Not if it could lead them to Darcy. She had to find a better way, a safer way to leave a message only Darcy would understand.

She scribbled a quick note. Now . . . where to put it? She grabbed the Gideon Bible from the nightstand, slipped the message inside, set the Bible on her bed, and headed for the door. Only Darcy would know Abby would have no reason to have a Bible on her bed. Turning, she spotted her purse next to the nightstand, grabbed it, and placed it atop the Bible. Never hurt to have a little added protection. Darcy would still recognize the significance.

As she walked around her bed, the ship heaved and she stumbled. She needed help. Wobbling with each step, she managed to grasp the doorknob, the metal cool inside her clammy palm. Her breath quickened. Cracking the door, she peered into the corridor, thankful to find it empty. Stepping into the hall, she moved toward the elevator.

Shadows arched around the bend halfway down the hall, where another corridor intersected it. She halted. Her breath hitched.

A man spoke, his words angry and heated. A second man responded. Her heart seized in her chest. It was them. They were coming.

Blog Tour – The Road Home by Patrick E. Craig

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2013)
***Special thanks to Ginger Chen for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. He spent the next 26 years as a worship leader, seminar speaker, and pastor in churches, and at retreats, seminars and conferences all across the western United States. After ministering for a number of years in music and worship to a circuit of small churches, he is now concentrating on writing and publishing both fiction and non-fiction books. Patrick and his wife Judy make their home in northern California and are the parents of two adult children and have five grandchildren.

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Author Patrick Craig continues the story of Jenny Springer, the child rescued in A Quilt for Jenna. Now an adult, Jenny begins a search for her long-last parents. As she opens doors to her past, she finds the truly surprising answer to her deepest questions.

Product Details:
List Price: $13.99
Series: Apple Creek Dreams Series
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736951075
ISBN-13: 978-0736951074

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

“Du Schlecht’r!”

“Jenny Springer! You should not say such bad words! You should be ashamed.”

Jenny’s face burned as she reached behind the quilting frame with her left hand and pushed the errant needle through the quilt to complete her stitch. The finger of her other hand, showing a tiny red drop where she had pricked herself, went into her mouth. She stared angrily at the quilt she was working on. The design was awkward, and the edges of the pattern pieces were puckered where she had attempted to sew them together.

“Oh, Mama, I will never, ever be a quilter like you. I just can’t do it.”

Her mother’s shocked expression softened somewhat, and she put her arm around the girl’s shoulder. “Quilting is a gift from God, and it’s true that you don’t yet seem to have the eye for it. But you’re gifted in so many other ways. Don’t be disheartened. Sometimes you’re a little eigensinnig und ungeduldig, and these qualities do not fit well with quilting. You must learn to still your heart and calm the stream of thoughts rushing through your head.”

Jenny reached behind her head and rubbed her neck. She took a deep breath and stuck the needle back into the pincushion with finality.

“I need to stop for a bit, Mama. This quilt is making me vereitelt!”

Even in her present state, Jenny was a lovely girl of nearly twenty. Her reddish gold hair framed a strong brow and deep violet eyes that could flash with annoyance in an instant or radiate the most loving kindness a moment later.

Jerusha Springer reached down and enfolded Jenny in her arms. “Sie sind meine geliebte dochter,” Jerusha whispered softly into the curls that refused to be controlled by the heavy hairpins and happily tumbled out from under the slightly askew black kappe on Jenny’s head. Jenny turned on her stool, and her arms crept around her mother’s waist. She held on as though she would never let go.

“Are you ever sorry that you got me instead of Jenna, Mama?” Jenny whispered.

Jerusha paused before replying. “I was given Jenna, and then I was given you, my dearest. Jenna was a wonderful little girl, and your papa and I were blessed beyond measure by having her. When she died, we didn’t know how we would ever go on with our lives. But God in His mercy sent us a wonderful child to fill the emptiness in our hearts. That child was you. Sorry? No, my darling, I will never be sorry that you came to us. There will always be a place in my heart for Jenna, but now I have you to love and hold. I couldn’t hope for a better dochter.”

Jenny clung even tighter to her mother. Her mother’s arms had always been a safe haven for her since the day Jerusha rescued her from the great snowstorm so many years ago. Jerusha had kept Jenny alive by holding the child next to her heart all through the long nights until Papa and Uncle Bobby had rescued them. That was the earliest memory Jenny had of her mother. The calm, steady beat of her mother’s heart comforted her, and it was always in this place of refuge and life that she felt the most secure. But today, even in her mother’s arms, she couldn’t still the turmoil in her heart. She pulled away from Jerusha and began to talk in a rush.

“Mama, don’t you ever wonder where I came from and who my birth mother was? Maybe I’m the daughter of criminals or murderers. Maybe there’s a bad seed in me that will come out someday. It makes me afraid sometimes.”

Jerusha stroked her daughter’s hair. “There are some things we can never know, and you must not worry or fret about them. ‘Be careful for nothing—’ ”

“I know, I know, Mama, but sometimes I do worry. I would never want to do anything that would bring shame on you or Papa. But sometimes I think that I’ll never find real peace until I know…and yet that’s impossible.”

Jenny released her grip on her mother and grabbed up a scrap of material. She wiped another drop of blood from her finger, crumpled the cloth, and threw it down.

Jerusha took a breath and then answered. “You are so standhaft in all your ways. Many times your papa and I have had to pick you up and dust you off when you went too far. But that same quality has helped you to overcome difficulties. The accomplishments in your life are proof of that.”

Jerusha reached over and softly stroked Jenny’s cheek. “You’re a gut student. No one in our community has such a grasp of the history of our people as you do. Someday you will be a teacher who can pass down to your children the things that keep the Amish separate and distinct from the world.”

Jenny looked away and shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t think I will ever have children, Mama.”

Jerusha stiffened, and a fleeting frown passed over her face. “Why not, my darling?” she asked quietly.

“I don’t think any man could put up with me, for one thing, and for another, I think I’m just too independent. I’m not sure I could ever submit to a husband ruling over me.”

Jerusha’s mouth tightened slightly. “If I were true to our ordnung, I would tell you what my grandmother told me when I was a girl, and insist that you follow it,” Jerusha said. “She used to say that marriage is not built first on love but on the needs of our community and our faith.”

“But, Mama…” Jenny said.

“Let me finish, dochter,” Jerusha said quietly. “I loved your father very much before we were married, and someday that may happen for you. You’ll meet a man whom you will love so deeply that you will gladly surrender everything of yourself into his care and protection. I used to be so bound up in my quilting that I thought there was no room in my life for love or marriage. But the first time I looked into your father’s eyes, I was lost forever.” Jerusha’s face softened, and she smiled at a secret memory.

“Why, Mama! You’re blushing,” Jenny laughed. “I can understand why you lost your heart to Papa. He’s a handsome man.”

“Did I hear someone talking about me?” Reuben Springer came into the room. His face was stern, but there was a smile behind his eyes.

“Papa!” Jenny broke free from her mother and ran to her daed.

Reuben took the girl into his arms. “This is always the best part of my day, when I come home to my girls,” he said as he kissed his daughter on the forehead. “I used to have to bend down so far to reach you. Now you’re all grown up.”

Jerusha smiled at him, a tinge of pink in her cheeks.

“I can still make you blush, eh, Mrs. Springer?” he asked.

Jerusha turned away with a reluctant smile.

A frown passed over Jenny’s face like a small dark cloud, and her father noticed it.

“What is it, dochter?”

“Jenny was asking me about her birth parents,” Jerusha said. “Not knowing about her past troubles her.”

“Jenny, you mustn’t concern yourself with things that can’t be known,” Reuben said. “When your mother found you, there was no identification or any means to discover who you were. The police found a man’s body in Jepson’s pond the next spring, but he had been in the water far too long to make a clear identification. The car was stolen in New York, so there was no way to trace the man. You must be content with the wisdom of God. He sent you to us because He knew you needed us and we needed you. That’s all we need to know.”

“But, Papa, sometimes I feel like a stranger, as if I don’t really belong here.” Jenny saw the pain in her father’s eyes and stopped. “I’m sorry, Papa. I didn’t mean it exactly that way. I don’t know why it’s so important to me to find out these things, but it is. Sometimes I think I’ll never be who I’m supposed to be until I find out who I really am. It doesn’t help that I’m so stubborn.”

“Your Mama was just as stubborn when I first met her,” Reuben said. “Even twenty-four years later, I feel the sting on my face where she slapped me the first time I kissed her.”

“Husband!” Jerusha exclaimed as her cheeks once again turned rosy pink.

Reuben smiled at his wife and then looked at Jenny. His voice took a sterner tone. “Your mama has changed over the years, and you will change too. For the good of our family, you must put these things out of your mind.”

Jenny felt a small flash of anger at her father’s words. She wanted to speak but wisely stayed silent. Then she decided to take a different approach.

“Papa, maybe if I did know, I could be more peaceful inside and not be so much trouble for you and Mama. Maybe if you helped me to find my birth parents I could be a better dochter to you and—”

Jenny’s papa stiffened at her words. “Jenny, I love you very much, but I am still the head of our home, and until you’re married and under the care of your husband, I will decide what’s best for you. There’s much in the world that you’re too young to understand. God has entrusted me with your care and safety for a good reason. The man you were with may have been your father, or he may not, but judging by what the police found in the car, he was not a good man. There were drugs and alcohol—”

“But what if he wasn’t my father and he just kidnapped me or—”

“Dochter! That’s enough! I know what’s best for you. Asking questions that can’t be answered will only cause you heartache and sorrow. I want you to put these wild ideas behind you. We will not discuss this further!”

Jenny stared at her father, and he stared back at her. She started to speak, but her mother placed her hand on Jenny’s arm and squeezed a warning. “Your father is right, Jenny. You must listen to him and obey. Now, is anyone hungry, or should we go on working on this quilt?”

Jenny took a deep breath, looked at her masterpiece, and smiled ruefully. The star design she had labored over for so many hours was crooked and wrinkled, and the colors she had chosen clashed.

“I think we’d better have dinner, Mama. I don’t think there’s anything I can do to fix this mess.”

“Well, let’s go then,” Reuben said. “I need kindling for the stove, and Jenny can go out and close in the chickens.”

“All right, Papa,” Jenny said, still stinging from Reuben’s rebuke. “Do I need to bring in any milch, Mama?”

“Yes, dear,” Jerusha said, “there’s some fresh in the cooling house.”

When Jenny had banged out the back door, Jerusha turned to Reuben. “She’s so impetuous. I worry there’ll come a time when she crashes into a predicament we can’t get her out of. But you must not be so hard on her. She’s still young.”

“I know. But young or not, her curiosity worries me,” Reuben said. “She’s headed for disappointment if she keeps searching for answers that don’t exist. I want to keep her from that as long as I can.”

Jerusha nodded. “I want her to be happy, but in my heart I’m afraid that if she does somehow find her birth parents, she’ll want to be with them more than with us. And their way would be so different from ours. The world out there is filled with danger, and I don’t know if she would be able to understand it. I’m afraid for her, Reuben.”

“I’m afraid for her too, Jerusha,” he said quietly, taking his wife in his arms. “And that’s why I want her to forget about her past. I’m trying hard not to crush her spirit, but the girl doesn’t think things through. She thinks she’s all grown up, but she still has many kindisch ways about her. There may soon come a day when she goes her own way, and the thought of what she might choose…”

Jerusha felt a momentary chill grip her heart, and she pulled herself deeper into the circle of Reuben’s arms.

Review: The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate

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Cover Rating:


Date Published: August 16, 2013
Pages: 400
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Author: Lisa Wingate
Genre: Christian Fiction, Contemporary
ISBN-10: 141438825X
ISBN-13: 978-1414388250
Book Source: I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest opinion.

Blurb:

When Iola Anne Poole, an old-timer on Hatteras Island, passes away in her bed at ninety-one, the struggling young mother in her rental cottage, Tandi Jo Reese, finds herself charged with the task of cleaning out Iola’s rambling Victorian house.

Running from a messy, dangerous past, Tandi never expects to find more than a temporary hiding place within Iola’s walls, but everything changes with the discovery of eighty-one carefully decorated prayer boxes, one for each year, spanning from Iola’s youth to her last days. Hidden in the boxes is the story of a lifetime, written on random bits of paper–the hopes and wishes, fears and thoughts of an unassuming but complex woman passing through the seasons of an extraordinary, unsung life filled with journeys of faith, observations on love, and one final lesson that could change everything for Tandi.

You can purchase it Here:
Deeper Shopping  *  Amazon  *  Barnes & Noble  *  Christianbook.com





Author Bio:

Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, inspirational speaker, and the author of twenty mainstream fiction novels, including the national bestseller, Tending Roses, now in its nineteenth printing. She is a seven-time ACFW Carol award nominee, a Christy Award nominee, an Oklahoma Book Award finalist, and a two-time Carol Award winner. Her novel, Blue Moon Bay, was a Booklist Top Ten of 2012 pick. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life.

You can find Lisa Here:
Website  *  Facebook  *  Twitter  *  Pinterest

Favorite Excerpt:

Dearest Father,

     Forgive me for not coming to this sooner, this writing to you.Time goes by in the storm-washed days, unpredictable moment to moment, a pouring in and then a washing away. The ocean is calm today, beautiful, sunlit, and placid all around. How difficult to imagine that it has rushed ashore, washed through buildings and cars, and wrestled boasts loose from their mooring lines. But what is left behind tells the tale. Trees down in the yard, mud against the pilings, and driftwood lining the nearby. On television, the news of businees destroyed and families waiting in line at the Salvation Army canteen trucks. Camping trailers prostrate in the surf, beached like the carcasses of great whales. Rubble on curbs. Houses that sit dark at night. No lights. No air. No families.
     Yet amid all this, there is the water of grace. It flows in all directions, seeping into the hidden crevices, the darkest spaces. It comes with the stranger who rows by in a kayak when the water is yet high. “Just checking. Do you need anything?” he asks. The grace water moves in meals from hand to hand, in blankets, in trucks filled with supplies, in young men wearing military uniforms, in old men carrying chain saws, in lamp oil and candles. Light passed from hand to hand.
     The water of grace. A sponge to thirsty lips. A trickle and then a flood.
     Hope.
     The rivers moves a mountain stone by stone, slowly widening it’s path, flowing over each of us, cutting into each of us, washing through the places that are hard, that would seperate us from one another, from you among us and withinus.
     After the storm, all are equal. All wanting. All needing. All in need of the water of grace from one another and from you.
     I think of these things, and the tides are multiplied. They flow over me, stronger and more potent than the tides of destruction. The debris of anger, of desperation, seeps away, little by little. A tiny stone and then another. A mountain moving. Moved by all that is right.
     There is so much good. So much grace. So much pouring into the river. A quiet water, this river of grace. Its work done in ways that do not seek attention. Yet it is there. Always there.
     A shrimp boat rests in a parking lot not far away. You have seen this, of course. Such a strange thing. I would ask your help for the shrimper. His home is lost. There is a family to feed, the humiliation of moving children to a public shelter, meals taken from a canteen truck. The starting of a new school year, the holidays just months away, and they have nothing.
     You know this man, I am certain, as you know each of us. You are always mindful.
     And then I wonder, am I to think of a way to aid this neighbor? Is this why I have seen him today? Can these tired old hands still cup the water, pour it out? This old body that creaks and groans with small efforst, can it yet serve?
     I think to myself,
What can I do?
     Then I look at this bit of paper, the one I have grabbed up because it was close at hand when I set about writing to you. I run a finger over the margins, touch the printed images. What does a lighthouse do?I ask myself. It never moves. It cannot hike up its rocky skirt and dash into the ocean to rescue the floundering ship. It cannot calm the waters or clear the shoals.
     It can only cast light into the darkness. It can only point the way.
     Yet, through one lighthouse, you guide many ships.
     Show this old lighthouse the way.

Your loving daughter,
Iola Anne



Synopsis:

Tandi Jo Reese was running. Running from a controlling husband and a dangerous past. Running from an addiction to pain killers. She’s also running from a broken past, a father who was an alcoholic and a family life that left nothing to be desired. Odd how she winds back up on Hatteras Island, the place where it all began, the place of her youth. Tandi felt drawn to the Island for reasons she couldn’t explain. Moving into the cottage house of Iola Anne Poole was just the beginning of a new life for her and her two kids. When Iola dies suddenly, Tandi is given the option of living rent free in exchange for cleaning out Iola’s stately old mansion and she quickly agrees. When she finds 81 prayer boxes in the closet of the “Blue Room” she realizes she’s not just on a mission, but a life’s journey. As the life of Iola Anne Poole unfolds, Tandi’s life begins to change. With the help of Paul Chastain, a teacher at the local school, she sets out to prove something to the people of the Island. Can she find the life she’s always wanted hidden in the pages of those old letters? Can she find true love amidst the storm?

I loved Tandi Jo’s character. She had been dealt a hard life with nothing ever turning out the way she had hoped. Memories from the past gave her the mindset that no one could ever really love her. But she was a fighter and when she got knocked down she always came up swinging. She was determined not to let the things in life beat her down. She was a strong woman that had simply made some bad choices but when Iola’s letters started taking root in her soul she was like a flower opening up to the sun. She was at her best, I think, in difficult situations and I admired her determination.

Paul Chastain was my idea of a true hero. He sat quietly on the outskirts until he was needed. But, when he was needed, he rose to the occassion. He was a very caring and sensitive man and he always seemed to know what Tandi needed the most. He never tore her down but, instead, always built her up. He was her very own champion, always rooting for her on the sidelines. I think I fell in love just a little with his character.

The Prayer Box is such a beautiful yet heart-wrenching story. A tears-rolling-down-your-face story but, at the same time, it is filled with hope, love, faith. A story that really speaks to your soul. Lisa Wingate’s descriptions are so vivid you feel like you’re a part of the story. Iola’s letters to her Heavenly Father are like poetry on a page and showcase Lisa’s God-given gift of writing. It is a story that I will read several times over. If you liked The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright you will love this book. I recommend it VERY HIGHLY!

My Rating:



**While I was given a free copy of this book for my honest opinion, I was in no way compensated for this review**

Review: Pennsylvania Patchwork by Kate Lloyd

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Cover Rating:


Series: Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy, Book 2
Date Published: June 1, 2013
Pages: 384
Publisher: David C. Cook
Author: Kate Lloyd
Genre: Christian Fiction, Amish Fiction
ISBN-10: 0781408733
ISBN-13: 978-0781408738
Book Source: The book was provided by the publisher through Bookfun.org for my honest opinion.

Blurb:

ONE HEART. TWO LOVES. ONE CHOICE.

Seattle native Holly Fisher is smitten by Lancaster County, its simplicity and her long lost relatives. In the sequel to bestselling Leaving Lancaster, Holly embraces the Amish culture, learning to slow down to see what – and who – really matters.


Meeting the family that her mother had kept hidden from her, Holly comes face to face with her real life and blood legacy. She also falls for the charming Zach, a handsome Mennonite veterinarian who is everything she’s ever wanted in a husband: confident, kind, successful, and authentic. And Zach proposes marriage. Is this too soon? Is this the right choice? Mother and Amish grandmother think she’s rushing into too much of a lifestyle change. Holly is in love with Zach and that precludes everything. Until she meets an attractive Amish man. And an old suitor shows up.

Pennyslvania Patchwork is the moving, richly told story of one woman’s heart, her faith and trust, and the choices she makes. Never easy, but one choice can change your destiny.

You can purchase it Here:
Deeper Shopping  *  Amazon  *  Barnes & Noble  *  Parable.com  *  Family Christian  *  BAM




Author Bio:

Author Kate Lloyd is a passionate observer of human relationships. A native of Baltimore, Kate spends time with family and friends in Lancaster County, PA, the inspiration for her novel Leaving Lancaster. She is a member of the Lancaster County Mennonite Historical Society. Kate and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest, the setting for Kate’s first novel, A Portrait of Marguerite. Kate studied painting and sculpture in college. She’s worked a variety of jobs, including car salesman and restaurateur.
You can find her at the links below. She loves hearing from readers!

You can find Kate Here:
Website  *  Facebook  *  Twitter

Favorite Scene:

“Nee. Don’t ya see? Zach’s putting these ideas in your head so you’ll steer clear of me. He’s afraid you’ll decide you prefer the Amish life to his.”

Holly would never become Amish,” Zach said.

“That’s not what I hear.” Armin tossed the grass away. “Nathaniel told me she wore his daughter’s dress and apron, and even figured out how to secure the pins. And he said she relies on her computer less and less.”

“We don’t have internet up at my grandma’s,” I said. But Armin was speaking the truth. And I’d neglected to put on makeup today. Not to mention, I’d all but given up driving.

“She loves riding in the buggy,” Armin said. “I can tell that. ‘Tis plain as the pout on your face, but you’re too dickkeppich—thick-headed—to see.”

“How do you know so much about my future wife?”

“You ain’t married yet, Zach…”

Synopsis:

After finding out about her Amish heritage that had long been hidden, Holly Fisher abd her mother, Esther, move from Seattle to Pennsylvania so she can get to know her “new” family and the Amish lifestyle. Once there, things aren’t quite as simple as they seem. Holly finds she loves the Amish life and takes pleasure in the simple things, eventually forgetting the lack of modern conveniences. The local Veteranarian, Zach Flemming soon sweeps her off her feet. Holly thinks she knows what her heart wants until she meets a local Amish man. Armin King makes Holly’s determination to marry Zach waver and she constantly finds herself second guessing what her heart wants. When an old friend from Seattle shows up at her door asking for her hand in marriage, Holly is shocked. Amidst her indecisions about her love life, Holly is struggling with her grandmother’s failing health and a surprise package from her deceased father. Who will Holly choose and what lifestyle will she be happy with?

I always love Amish Fiction. There is just something about the close relationship the Amish share with God and their readiness to forgive that draws me. Pennsylvania Patchwork made me experience this feeling all over again. The scenes were so descriptive I felt like I was there enjoying the Amish countryside. I must say I was rooting for one of Holly’s suitors in particular. While they all had things about them I loved and admired, one stood out among the rest for me. I won’t give out any spoilers but I am looking forward to Book three so I can follow the rest of the story. Kate Lloyd wrote a thoroughly enjoyable story that kept me turning the page to find out more. While you don’t have to read book one to follow along with what’s happening, you will want to after reading this book. If you like Amish Fiction, you’ll love Pennsylvania Patchwork.

My Rating:



**While I was given a free copy of this book for my honest opinion, I was in no way compensated for this review**

Review: Gone South by Meg Moseley

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Cover Rating:

Date Published: May 7, 2013
Pages: 352
Publisher: WaterBrook Multnomah Books
Author: Meg Moseley
Genre: Christian Fiction, Contemporary Romance
ASIN: B00A5MRFGU
Book Source: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Blurb:

The charm of the South drew her back to her family’s roots. But when the town’s old resentments turn the sweet tea bitter, can Tish find a welcome anywhere?

Leaving frosty Michigan for the Deep South was never a blip in the simple plans Tish McComb imagined for her life, dreams of marriage and family that were dashed five years earlier in a tragic accident. Now an opportunity to buy her great-great-great-grandparents’ Civil War era home beckons Tish to Noble, Alabama, a Southern town in every sense of the word. She wonders if God has given her a new dream— the old house filled with friends, her vintage percolator bubbling on the sideboard.

When Tish discovers that McCombs aren’t welcome in town, she feels like a Yankee behind enemy lines. Only local antiques dealer George Zorbas seems willing to give her a chance. What’s a lonely outcast to do but take in Noble’s resident prodigal, Melanie Hamilton, and hope that the two can find some much needed acceptance in each other.

Problem is, old habits die hard, and Mel is quite set in her destructive ways. With Melanie blocked from going home, Tish must try to manage her incorrigible houseguest as she attempts to prove her own worth in a town that seems to have forgotten that every sinner needs God-given mercy, love and forgiveness.

You can purchase it Here: Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Christianbook.com

Author Bio:

Meg Moseley is still a Californian at heart although she’s lived more than half her life in other states. Holding jobs that ranged from candle-maker to administrative assistant, Meg also contributed human-interest pieces for a suburban edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Contemporary fiction remains her real love, and she’s the author of When Sparrows Fall. She lives in Atlanta near the foothills of the Southern Appalachians with her husband.

You can find Meg Here: Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Favorite Scene:

Afraid she was about to lose it, George reached for her hand, then lost his nerve and petted Daisy’s head. “So Marian claims to have proof from the historical society. That’s the key word. Historical. Whether or not the stories are true, they’re in the past.”

“I know. I should focus on the present.” Tish Turned toward him, her face framed softly by long locks of red-brown hair. “No matter what happened here in 1870, this is my home now. Nobody’s going to scare me away.”

“You know the difference between a Yankee and a… well, a Yankee who’s bound for eternity in the lake of fire?”

“The ones who visit versus the ones who stay? Yeah, I’ve heard that old joke, but I’m staying. I don’t care what people call me. I don’t care what they think of me either.”

“No?”

“Okay, sometimes I do. Sometimes I care too much. I want very badly to be accepted, but sometimes I forget to mind my manners and I speak my mind instead. Someday, I’m afraid I’ll say things I shouldn’t say. Do things I shouldn‘t do.”

She could be direct, all right, and maybe she didn’t always think before she acted, but at least she did something. “If your heart’s right, your actions can’t be too far off. Case in point, the way you reached out to Mel.”

“You did too,” Tish said. “It’s very generous to hire her, and I don’t mean just about the wages you’ll pay. It’s… moral generosity.”

George squelched a grin. If he’d know hiring Mel would cast him in such a noble light, he might have hired her sooner.

“I see moral generosity on your side too,” he said. Even though you’re a Yankee.”

She laughed. “Careful there Mr. Zorbas. You’re skating on thin ice.”

“I know, but I grew up listening to my grandfather always preaching against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Sometimes he mentioned Yankees in the next breath, so I started to think Yankees and devils were one and the same.”

“Gee, thanks.”

He leaned closer, enjoying her cynical little smile. “But I’d be first to admit that some of ya’ll aren’t too bad. And some of ya’ll are mighty pretty.”

“And some of you southern gentlemen are mighty forward.” She moved Daisy to his knee and got to her feet.

“Forward? I only–”

“My feet are freezing. Good night, George.”

He rose too. “Tish, I–”

She’d already escaped inside, shutting the door firmly behind her. He carried the dog home, brooding over his extraordinary talent for ruining good conversations.

Main Characters:

Letitia “Tish” McComb: Tish works in the insurance field but is obssessed with antiques, such as, old clothes and costume jewelry among other things. She is very forth-right but honest and generous to a fault.

George Zorbas: George owns the town antique shop. He is a very serious person that believes in honesty and trust and he is always willing to give people a chance.

Melanie “Mel” Hamilton: Mel is a very intense 20 year-old with alot of issues. She feels things very strongly, whether good or bad. Her emotions are like a rollercoaster but she is a very loveable girl most of the time.

My Thoughts:

Tish McComb is a person that finds herself drawn to the past. She buys antique clothes and costume jewelry and feels a special connection to her great, great, great grandmother whom she was named after. When her mother decides to move to Florida, Tish agrees to drive to Florida to help her unpack. Just before leaving Michigan, she discovers the house her ancestors used to own is up for sale so she decides to stop by on her way back from Florida to see it and get a few pictures. Buying it was the last thing she intended but, once she saw it, she felt drawn to it. Tish finds herself in the middle of becoming a homeowner for the first time and, she has to admit, she’s excited. She has heard such good things about Letitia and Norman McComb but once the locals in Noble, Alabama find out who she is and turn a cold shoulder, Tish begins to wonder exactly what is fact and what is fiction. Studying the original letters of Letitia McComb, Tish hopes to prove the townspeople wrong. Suddenly her excitement of living in her ancestor’s home starts to dim in light of the treatment of the people of Noble. George Zorbas and his Uncle Calv are the only ones that give her a chance. While fighting to save the good name of the McCombs, Tish find herself falling for George but, after losing her fiancee’ 5 years ago in a tragic accident, Trish wants nothing more than to run scared. Can George break the barriers errected around her heart? Can the locals leave the past in the past? When Tish finds Mel in the park, cold and hungry, with nothing but her sleeping bag she knows what she has to do. She brings well home with her and gives her food, clothes and a place to stay. Mel has issues of her own she is trying to work through and with the help of Trish and George she is finally getting on the right track.

George Zorbas, the local antique dealer, is drawn the the new girl in town. While others are snubbing her, George gives her a chance and that means the world to Tish. When George buys a classic 1970 Chevelle to restore, he needs a garage big enough to work on it. It just so happens Tish McComb has a nice, big garage that she doesn’t use. Not only does the garage work perfectly but it also allows him to see Trish more frequently. George’s is also Mel’s older brother’s friend so when Mel needs a job and no one trusts her enough to hire her, George gives her a job ih his shop. George soon discovers that Mel has a learning disibility and it accounts for the previous accusations of stealing from her employers. While he works with Mel to get her life in order, he’s also working to get Trish to open up her heart and let him in.

Gone South took me on a journey from the first page to the last. It drew me into the character’s lives and made me feel like I was a part of the story. Each character had their own traits that made them special. When I first started reading and found out about the old letters and Trish’s special connection to her great, great, great grandmother Letitia I thought the story would eventually take me back in time. It didn’t but that’s not a bad thing. The story flowed well and Ms. Moseley managed to bring it to life scene by scene. Mel’s character was a little baffling to me at first. I kept wondering how old she was and when I found out she was almost twenty-one I couldn’t mentally connect her age to her child-like demeanor. After finding out she possibly had a learning disability it all clicked into place. I think Tish, George and Mel all complimented each other well for a perfect balance throughout the story. All-in-all, Gone South was a very sweet story with very charming characters. Kudos to Meg Moseley on a job well done!

Learning Disabilities Info:

If you are a parent or teacher of a child with a learning disability – or have learning disabilities yourself – you are not alone. Typical learning difficulties include dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia – often complicated by associated disorders such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The good news is that the Learning Disabilities Association of America is here to help. Since 1963, LDA has provided support to people with learning disabilities, their parents, teachers and other professionals. At the national, state and local levels, LDA provides cutting edge information on learning disabilities, practical solutions, and a comprehensive network of resources. These services make the Learning Disabilities Association of America the leading resource for information on learning disabilities…

Continue reading Here.

Spencerian Penmanship Info:

I was fascinated by this type of writing and wanted to learn a bit about it’s history so I went on a search and came upon a website that gives a little bit of it’s history. Here is a snippet from Design Sponge.

Even though most of us spend the majority of our day banging away at keyboards, there’s nothing quite like a handwritten note. We seem to be far removed from the time when that ornamental penmanship, now reserved for weddings, was once a common characteristic of an educated individual. But even if most of us can’t write with those elaborate flourishes, we can see have a little piece of flourish design – named for the elaborate flourishes of pen. Flourishes have become a popular design motif for everything from tattoos to pillows…

Continue Reading Here.