Amish Country Murder Celebrate Lit Tour and Giveaway

My Thoughts

Author Mary Alford has penned a contemporary Amish suspense mystery with her Amish Country Murder book.  It is the first one I have read by this author, and I found it extremely interesting.  It is one of those Amish tales that everyone will enjoy because it is  more modern day suspense.

This riveting story is about Catherine Fisher and her struggle to outrun the Dead of Night Killer.  FBI agent, Sutter Brenneman has been assigned to the case.  The serial killer is playing a deadly cat and mouse game with them, staying one step ahead all of the time.

Author Alford has done a beautiful job with this story.  It is well planned and well written.  She has included twists and turns that make it exciting and unpredictable.  The characters are believable.  All of the emotions that poor Catherine is feeling comes through the pages.

I enjoyed the life lessons of forgiveness and second chances.  The inspirational messages of faith were beautiful.  Anyone will enjoy this book.  It is a page turning mystery, suspense with a bit of sweet romance.

I definitely recommend this book.  It is a good diversion from today’s issues.  I wouldn’t let the Amish part keep you from reading it if you aren’t an Amish fan.  It is much more of a contemporary suspense.  I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book:  Amish Country Murder

Author: Mary Alford

Genre:  Amish Suspense

Release Date: March 1, 2020

An Amish woman targeted by a serial killer

Is the only living witness…

As the sole woman to escape the Dead of Night Killer, Catherine Fisher’s the key to catching him—if he doesn’t kill her first. Now it’s up to FBI agent Sutter Brenneman to protect her. But with her memory missing and all clues indicating the serial killer took her for very personal reasons, it’ll take everything Sutter has to keep her safe.

 

 

Click here for your copy!

 

 

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Mary Alford, loves giving her readers the unexpected. Her titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestselling List, Publisher’s Weekly bestselling list, and have finaled in the Daphne Du Maurier award of excellence in mystery, The Beverly, The Maggie, and The Selah Awards.

As a writer, Mary is an avid reader. She loves to cook, can’t face the day without coffee, and her three granddaughters are the apple of her eye. She and her husband live in the heart of Texas in the middle of 70 acres with two cats and one dog.

Mary is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Facebook and Twitter or any social platforms listed at www.maryalford.net.

 

 

More from Mary

 

Thank you for coming with me on this journey to the mountains of Montana, where the Amish Community of West Kootenai is nestled in the wide-open spaces of Big Sky Country, and a simple Amish way of life can be anything but. Especially when a serial killer is lurking nearby, waiting to take his next victim, and the clock is ticking.

Amish Country Murder is my second book set in the Amish Community of West Kootenai, Montana. My first book, Amish Country Kidnapping is available now at most book retailers.

As a reader, one of my favorite genres is Amish Suspense. There’s just something about a story that pits the simple and innocent Amish lifestyle with the dark and sometimes deadly world of a suspense. Good versus evil, so to speak.

When Catherine Fisher escapes the clutches of a serial killer, she can’t remember as single thing about her past before the monster took her.

FBI agent Sutter Brenneman has been working the Dead of Night Serial Killer case for a while. Catherine is his first living victim. Protecting Catherine and finding the killer before he strikes again is critical. Hiding out in Amish Country, Sutter is surrounded my memories of his own Amish past, rekindling old longings for the life lost to him. Is it possible to have it back? In the middle of a killer stalking their every move, Catherine and Sutter share many tender moments as their feelings for each other grow into love.

One of the things I love most about the Amish is their amazingly simple recipes that remind me of my childhood and the meals my mother used to prepare.

During one meal shared with an Amish couple, Catherine and Sutter enjoy sweet potato croquettes with meat loaf. Sweet potato croquettes are a simple side dish that is delicious and easy to prepare. I thought I’d share this recipe with you here.

AMISH SWEET POTATO CROQUETTES

  • 1 pt. of mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 tblsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tblsp. sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • breadcrumbs
  • marshmallows (optional)

Mash sweet potatoes very fine.  Add salt, sugar and melted butter to mashed sweet potatoes. Shape sweet potatoes into croquette rolls or patties.  Cool them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and roll in breadcrumbs.  Dip them in the slightly beaten egg white, and then into the crumbs again. Bake in a shallow, greased baking dish for 20 minutes, at a temperature of 400 degrees F.  For an even sweeter version of this dish, you can place a marshmallow in the center of each (make sure it is covered completely by the potato mixture).

I so hope you enjoy this recipe and Amish Country Murder. And stay tuned for my next Amish Suspense set in West Kootenai, coming in November of this year.

 

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, April 14

Genesis 5020, April 14

The Avid Reader, April 15

Maureen’s Musings, April 15

Betti Mace, April 16

janicesbookreviews, April 16

She Lives To Read, April 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 17

Texas Book-aholic, April 18

deb’s Book Review, April 18

Inklings and notions, April 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 19

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 20

For Him and My Family, April 21

Older & Smarter?, April 21

My Devotional Thoughts, April 22

For the Love of Literature, April 22

Artistic Nobody, April 23 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Pause for Tales, April 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 24

Hallie Reads, April 24

Because I said so and other as adventures in parenting, April 25

Emily Yager, April 25

SPLASHES of Joy, April 26

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 26

Blossoms and Blessings, April 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize package of a Lavender Spa 10-piece Gift Basket with Tote, and a print copy of Amish Country Murder!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f8df/amish-country-murder-celebration-tour-giveaway

Yours, Mine, & Forever

My Thoughts

Yours, Mine & Forever by author Joanne Markey is a Contemporary Romance novel.  As I read it I had visions of a Hallmark movie. This book certainly has everything needed for a good one!

At first I was lost and floundered around trying to get my bearings in the story.  I did a little searching and found that Yours, Mine & Forever is Book 2 in the series by author Markey.  Once I finally put the pieces together, it was smooth and captivating story.  Book 1 is Dreaming of More and is on my list of books to read.

This is the tale of Norah, a sweet, kind-hearted woman wanting to adopt. She is very close to signing the adoption papers except someone does not want the adoption to happen. Norah will not allow anyone to stand in her way of making these special kids her own.    It seems the only way this will be able to happen is if she gets married.

There are such great characters in this book.  Each have unique personalities and are believable.  The author gives just enough detail without making the book boring.  My emotions ran up and down with Norah and the kids.  I really hope to watch this in a movie one day.

The author has included life and faith lessons in this book.  Lessons on loving others, forgiveness, making good choice, and turning to God for guidance.  Trusting and having faith in God is also included.

I highly recommend this book, but I believe you would benefit by reading book one first. This would make a great book club choice.  There is a lot to discuss in it.  I rate it a 4 out of 5.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book:  Yours, Mine, & Forever

Author: Joanne Markey

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 7, 2019

Yours Mine and foreverWhoever said the course of true love never runs smooth knew their business.

Especially motherly love.

Still, with adoption success just waiting for ink and paper to appear, Norah can focus on more exciting things, like Christmas, and figuring out how this marriage thing is going to work out! However, never underestimate the craftiness of an antagonist old woman determined to get her own way—or rather, stop Norah from getting hers. If it means resorting to underhanded means to ensure she comes out on top, then so be it. All it takes is a word in the right ear, a nudge here, a wink there, and the natural course of gossip and slander will do the rest.

When the dust clears, Norah’s heart is in tatters and her fledgling relationship is in ruins… Or is it? Will her hero’s patience wear thin, and is Norah’s faith strong enough to see her through whatever comes her way?

 

Click here for your copy.

 

About the Author

Joanne MarkeyOriginally from Australia, Joanne now lives in Ohio with her husband and seven children where she spends her days writing, wrangling children, and trying to determine which phrases originated in which country because she uses them all interchangeably, thereby continually confusing herself as much as those around her.

 

More from Joanne

When people find out I’m an Aussie living in the US and that I’ve written books, they immediately assume my books are set in Australia. I’m sorry to disappoint anyone, but, no, they’re not. You see, after almost 19 years of living in the US I’ve lost touch with the culture I was raised in. Things are done differently here than they are over there, and I’ve gotten used to this life.
When I moved halfway around the world, iPads, smart phones, and the like weren’t even a thing. The internet over there (in the places I lived) was something you knew about, but not everyone was online. My family didn’t even own a computer. When you went to town you lost cell phone coverage about 20 kms out. We lived in the bush, which technically falls between the coast and the outback. Not far enough from the coast to be “outback”, but far enough there wasn’t a town worth mentioning in any direction for a good two hour drive (roughly 170km, if memory serves me correct). So yeah, we lived out bush and while it’s hard to imagine a world without the electronics we depend on so much today, the Australia I know, the life I remember, had none of them. And I’m pretty sure things have changed since then!
That’s one major issue standing between me and writing books set in Australia. Another is the language. Half the time I find it almost impossible to remember where a phrase originated. I’m not talking about the “fair dinkums” or the “g’days”, they’re easy to identify. Its the little phrases, the ones that are so ingrained in my thinking I can’t identify their origin. At least, not until every person in the room looks at me like I’ve lost my mind. I figure it out pretty quickly after that and usually have to scramble to translate to something they understand. Agreeing with someone by uttering a simple “yes” is a wee bit more effective here than the “too right!” I might use with my family.
Try adding in the whole dropping the R thing Aussies have a habit of doing, and then the clear pronunciation of the R which is pretty common among the people I know here…and yeah, it can get confusing. “Far” is a bad one. Simple word. I never stop to think about how I’m saying it, so part of the time I’ll drop the R without realizing I’ve done so. Then I’ll hear myself say “fah”, so I’ll quickly tack on the R… and it can become an issue.
Some expats might not have an issue with speech, this is just one problem I run into quite often so I ran with it in my book. Anyone who’s read the book will know who I’m talking about. Multiple languages, speech confusion especially when emotional. It’s a thing. Not everyone deals with it, but me… yeah. Sigh.
But that doesn’t mean I’ve turned my back on everything I once knew. My husband and our kids love a good damper, Aussie meat pies, and Vegemite. They turn their noses up at pavlova (where, oh, where did I go wrong?!), but little did I know when we bought some of my favorite Aussie music that it would become their favorite too. I love where I live now, but I also have a great fondness for the country I left behind, and my family too, of course. They all live over there. And this story… it originated in Australia.
I was looking for a something to write for NaNo in 2018 and my Mum had a dream to share, so she gave me the idea and I ran with it. I changed bits here and there—the setting, most of the story actually!—and finished it up mid-December of 2018. I sat on it for about six months, finally got around to sending it to an editor. And then two weeks before I hit publish, a friend heard how long it was and asked if I’d ever thought about splitting the story in two.
No, I hadn’t, but after hashing it out with my editor, we decided it was a good idea. Dreaming of More became the first half, and Yours, Mine, & Forever was born.
However, giving Dreaming an end meant I’d sort of wrapped up the main storyline I’d used in the entire 135,000 word manuscript. I needed something else because I hadn’t added the bow to the top of the package and without that, Dreaming kind of fell flat. It needed another book… So back to the editor I went and at 2am one morning we started brainstorming. Before I knew what was happening I was in the middle of rewriting the entire book. I didn’t need to follow the same storyline and because the slate had been cleared, I could add in whatever I wanted. So I did.
My friend apologized—she hadn’t meant for me to rewrite the entire book—but no apology was necessary. I loved being able to change things. New characters made it more fun and, as my youngest son would say, I got to add “all the stuffs”. The only thing I refused to change was the ending. I had to keep that because it was the one thing my Mum remembered the best from her dream. For her sake, I kept it. If you want to know what that ending is… it comes after all the other pages in the book. But if you skip over them, you’ll miss all the stuffs and they’re what make the ending worthwhile.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Joanne is giving away the grand prize package of signed copies of Dreaming of More, Yours, Mine, & Forever, and Christmas Rose!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f623/yours-mine

Texas Tears Celebrate Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on Celebrate Lit’s Book Tour for Texas Tears by author Caryl McAdoo.  You will find information on this wonderful book and exquisite author.  She has a generous giveaway so be sure to sign up.  Grand prize is $50 gift card.  There are four other prizes, too.

My Thoughts

Texas Tears is the second book in the Thanksgiving Books and Blessings Series featuring multiple authors.  It is written by award winning, best selling author Caryl McAdoo.  In this Christian Historical Western Romance, she again delivers a page turning novel.

In this story we meet Charity and Arlene, best friends.  They both are interested in  “Hart” Eberhart.  Hart has an interfering mother.  She tries to sway him in his decision about the girls.  They begin the book a bit immature and bratty, but they are still sweet.  There is also Landry from Louisiana as well as a cast of parents.

All of the characters are unique, well rounded, and realistic.  Author McAdoo has a way of bringing her people to life on the pages.  They become friends.  I wanted to have a chat with the girls and their parents.  Even Hart was someone with whom I wanted to have a conversation.

There are lovely inspirational messages in this novel.  That is one of my favorite things about McAdoo’s writing.  She writes to bring glory to God and to inspire her readers.  Messages of trusting the future to God, forgiveness, redemption, respecting parents, living in unity and peace, and being unequally yoked are just a few packed into this delightful Christian sweet romance.

It did take me a few pages to get invested in this story.  If you find that you start reading it and aren’t quite interested, please keep reading.  It turns into a fascinating story that you will not want to put down.

I highly recommend this book.  It is appropriate for teenagers and adults.  Everyone will enjoy it and glean inspiration from the messages it holds.  Caryl McAdoo is an exceptionally gifted writer, and this book is another great labor of love.  It gets a 5 out of 5 stars from me.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, but this is my honest opinion.

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About the Book

Book: Texas Tears

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: September 2, 2019

Texas TearsJust like Mexico and the U.S. wanted the Republic of Texas; best friends Charity and Arlene want the same man. Who will Texas choose? Who will the man? Will Eberhart de Priest, the object of the young ladies’ desires, follow his heart or his mother’s advice? And what of the interloper from New Orleans who knows exactly whom he loves? Can a Christian find happiness with a non-believer? Only the Lord knows the future, but He does give the desires of the heart to those who delight in Him.

 

Click here to grab your copy.

About the Author

Caryl McAdooCaryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory—what she lives to do. Her award-winning, best-selling novels enjoy a lion’s share of 5-Star ratings from Christian readers around the world. With forty-five titles, it’s obvious she loves writing almost as much as singing the new songs the Lord gives her—listen to a few at YouTube. ‘Golden husband Ron shares four children and eighteen grandsugars. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.

 

More from Caryl

TEXAS TEARS includes the vote to enter the Union or remain a Republic in 1845. Though it ended in an overwhelming approval to become a state, believe you me, tears fell all over Texas and have been falling since for some.

As a semi-closet secessionist, it wouldn’t bother me if the Texas Legislature voted tomorrow to become the Second Republic of Texas! There are plenty of true radicals living today in the Lone Star State who work diligently daily toward that end!

 

Anyway, tears also fell in the new Texas community where the four families first met in GONE TO TEXAS—the O’Neals, Van Zandts, Worleys, and Harrells—have been settling in five years. One of their own, Thomas Baldwin (introduced in book two, TEXAS MY TEXAS) represented them in the Texas Congress, going to Washington on the Brazos to vote!

Not all the tears that fell in that growing community were over the vote, but rather a man who came riding in on a magnificent black stallion. Eberhart de Vecchi was tall, handsome, and a perfect Prince Charming who swept the two young coming-of-age women there right off their high-topped shoes!

Friends their whole lives, the older, Charity O’Neal, claimed him right off, but Arlene Van Zandt the younger—only by six months and three days—who’s always given in before isn’t ready to acquiesce so quickly in this instance, smitten as she is.

 

And so, thar’s trouble in them thar hills! To thicken the sludge, enters the hard-working Landry Humble, Monroe’s (also introduced in book two TEXAS MY TEXAS) nephew. This young man, able to pick more than twice his weight in cotton in a day, knows immediately which lovely he wants.

My, my, my . . . the tears do fall in Texas, and not everyone can have a happy ending. Or can they?

Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, September 16

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 17

Moments With Mercy, September 18

Sara Jane Jacobs – Blog, September 19

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 21

KarenSueHadley, September 22

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 24

Texas Book-aholic, September 25

janicesbookreviews, September 26

Emily Yager, September 27

A Reader’s Brain, September 28

Inklings and notions, September 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/e959/texas-tears-celebration-tour-giveaway

Hadassah by Diana Wallis Taylor, Celebrate Lit Tour & Giveaway

Today my blog is a stop on the Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia Book Tour and Giveaway.  Could anyone use a $20 gift card to Starbucks and a surprise book?  Well, be certain to register at the end of the blog and daily at the other stops.  Now, let’s talk book!

My Thoughts:

I love Biblical fiction if it aligns with scripture and this one does.  “Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia,” is a 302 page paperback Biblical Fiction by author Diana Wallis Taylor.  The first thing that drew me in was the absolutely gorgeous cover.  From now on that is how I will picture Queen Esther.

Author Taylor has a style that was pleasant but did not seem consistent throughout the book.  The beginning read more like a novel for teenagers or older girls.  It was enjoyable but a little slow and stripped down.  Then after a few chapters it picked up a bit.  For me, I could not become emotionally invested in this novel.  The writing was nice, details were accurate, but it lacked feeling.

The familiar bible story of Esther has been written into an excellent fictional account.  The author did her homework and provided accurate details.  She researched Hadassah in scripture, the Persian Empire and its culture, and the Greek/Persian War.  This helped her fill in the blanks to the story.   She penned a mesmerizing love story about a beautiful Jewish girl and a pagan king.  The result was a wonderful book that made Hadassah more real while keeping true to scripture.

I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys Biblical Fiction.  After the story are pages of author notes and about the author.  There are no Discussion Questions which is a shame because this would be a great church reading group selection.  I rated it 4 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but I was under no obligation to post a review.  These are my own thoughts.

About the Book

Book: Hadassah

Author: Diana Wallis Taylor

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: July 2, 2019

HadassahOne of the great heroines of the Old Testament, Hadassah was a beautiful, graceful young woman who put her faith in God and her guardian, her cousin Mordecai.
She dreams of marrying Shamir, a tall, handsome, studious young man who is the rabbi’s son. Her heart beats faster when she hears the sound of his deep voice as he reads the Torah. And she hopes that he will visit Mordecai soon to present a betrothal request.

Then, an upheaval in King Xerxes’s palace changes everything. Queen Vashti has been banished and an edict goes out for all qualified young virgins throughout the empire to be taken to the palace as he searches for a new queen.

Fear strikes in the hearts of many, including Mordecai, as he realizes Hadassah will be taken. To hide her identity as a Jew, he tells her to go by the name of Esther. Since he works as a record-keeper at the king’s gates, he can keep tabs on how she is doing.

Hadassah: Queen Esther of Persia imagines what life was like for the woman who saved her people—and perhaps found love in the process.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Wallis-Taylor, DianaDiana Wallis Taylor was first published at the age of twelve, when she sold a poem to a church newsletter. After receiving her B.A. in Elementary Education at San Diego State University, she was an elementary school teacher for twenty-two years. Diana has also sold real estate, opened two coffeehouse/used book stores, and was a conference director for a private Christian college.
She has an extensive portfolio of published works, including a collection of poetry; an Easter cantata, written with a musical collaborator; contributions to various magazines and compilations; and several books, including Lydia, Woman of Philippi; Mary, Chosen of God; Ruth, Mother of Kings; and Halloween: Harmless Fun or Risky Business?

Learn more at www.dianawallistaylor.com.

 

Read an Excerpt

Besides the usual vendors, there were strange, sweaty men with beady eyes who were looking to get rich from the additional population.

In the wee hours of the morning, while Mordecai sat with his head in his hands, silently praying, Jerusha stopped breathing, slipping away so quietly that Hadassah thought she was still sleeping.

One day, to the people’s relief, the news was spread that the unwelcome banquet guests had been ordered back to their provinces—to prepare for war.

Instead of bowing, Hadassah smiled unabashedly and gazed directly at the king, who at that moment had turned his head.

“Do not give your name as Hadassah, but tell them it is Esther, which is a Persian name. I would have you hide your Jewish heritage for now.”

She felt their eyes silently appraising her; some with open interest, some with sympathy, and others with calculating shrewdness.

Esther asked each maid gentle, innocuous questions about her homeland, favorite foods, culture, and the like, listening attentively to their answers and making sure to speak to them by name both to let them know they were important to her and also to help her remember who was who.

“If you maidens help me to be my very best when I am called to the king’s chambers, if he honors me by selecting me as his queen, I will not forget you, who helped to put the crown on my head.”

Esther had seen some of the women pass her quarters so laden with jewelry they could hardly walk. She wanted to laugh out loud, but suppressed even a smile.

Recognition came. “Ah, the maiden in the crowd. I thought about you many times.” He moved closer. “I remember your hair, like a cloud around your face.”

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, July 4

Retrospective Spines, July 4

Hallie Reads, July 4

My Devotional Thoughts, July 5

Through the Lens of Scripture, July 5

For The Love of Books, July 5

Fiction Aficionado, July 6

The Becca Files, July 6

For Him and My Family, July 6

EmpowerMoms, July 7

Madeline Hope, July 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 7

A Baker’s Perspective, July 8

Godly Book Reviews, July 8

Moments, July 8

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, July 9

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 9

Emily Yager, July 9

Aryn the Libraryan, July 10

Purposeful Learning, July 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 10

Through the Fire Blogs, July 10

Lights in a Dark World, July 11

Mary Hake, July 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 11

Splashes of Joy, July 12

Simple Harvest Reads, July 12 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 12

Bigreadersite, July 13

Pause for Tales, July 13

Texas Book-aholic, July 13

Creating Romance, July 14

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, July 14

janicesbookreviews, July 14

Older & Smarter?, July 15

She Lives To Read, July 15

A Reader’s Brain, July 15

For the Love of Literature, July 16

Just the Write Escape, July 16

Inklings and notions, July 16

Henry Happens, July 17

Hebrews 12 Endurance, July 17

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, July 17

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Diana is giving away a grand prize of a $20 Starbucks card and a surprise book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/e5a0/hadassah-celebration-tour-giveawa