Friday, June 29, 2012

Unbridled by Tammy Hinton

About Tammy

I have to compare my many changes of address to that of a wandering gypsy. As part of an Air Force family, we lived from border to border and coast to coast. Yearning to explore Europe, we always filled out our Dream Sheet (the form to pick out the base you wanted) with a big “X” next to Britain and Germany. Uncle Sam always thought otherwise. I enjoyed a tour overseas in Japan and one in Okinawa, where I started martial arts training. I earned a black belt in Judo and later served as an instructor.

History interested me from an early age, especially American History. Years spent on Cape Cod nurtured my inquisitive mind. What kind of person decided to be an immigrant, pioneer, or explorer? What did they endure to survive? I can’t help but wonder when we’re driving in the Rocky Mountains or thru the Badlands of South Dakota, what would I have done if I was driving an ox or horse drawn covered wagon and met these obstacles?

Growing up, my mother shared an oral history of her family’s struggle in Indian Territory. As a gift to Mom, I started my ancestral research with her side. Hours spent glued to a chair looking for that mystical Indian name on the Dawes list were in vain. That name still eludes me. However, relatives found include both Rebs and Yankees, Irish immigrants, and a famous Kiowa painter. It is my desire to share their stories that prompted me to write.

After one visit to Lake Eufaula, my husband/proof reader, Herb, chose Oklahoma as our final destination. I feel I was meant to be here where my ancestors settled so long ago, where men wear boots and cowboy hats.

I earned a Bachelor of Science in Education-Composite Social Sciences from Black Hills State University, Spearfish, South Dakota. While there I received the Wenona Cook Scholarship Award presented by Friends of the Leland D. Case Library for Western Historical Studies for academic achievement.

Associations: DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), Oklahoma Genealogical Society - First Families of the Twin Territories, Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, Oklahoma Writers Federations Inc., McAlester McSherry Writers Guild.

twitter username TammyHinton

Get the latest western novels from – Featured western authors, ebook store, western book reviews and more

About Book

2012 Spur Award Finalist for Best First Novel.

When Sarah Cannon joins the pioneers in the Kiowa lands of 1870’s Indian Territory, it’s not the virgin prairie, but the challenges to her young marriage, the ruthless treachery shown the Indians, and their bloody vengeance that ultimately tests her faith and resolve.

SARAH BRYCE CANNON… struggles to conform to society’s definition of the proper wife and mother. When she can no longer watch her children suffer, she listens to her inner voice. A woman in a man’s world, she is not to be denied.

GUS CANNON…distant…unable to express his love. Ill prepared for pioneer life, he fails at every turn.

Unbridled, paints a picture of the struggles of life in the unsettled west, flavored with the regional history of Custer and the 7th Calvary’s Washita Massacre and the Battle of Anadarko. It’s through her friendship with a Kiowa woman that Sarah is made aware of what it means to be Indian in Indian Territory.

Where to buy: Amazon

My Thoughts 

Sarah Bryce Cannon struggles in Indian Territory to make a home for her family. Her husband Gus Cannon does not seem to be happy no matter where they live.  He is absent from the home most of the time trying to earn money to feed his family.  This leaves Sarah alone to figure out  how to get a shelter built for her little family. She also has to till the soil and sow seed to start their corn crop.

God has seen her needs and given her a kind  neighbor that lends her one of his sons to help her get her shelter up along with many other chores that need to been done that needs a man's strength..  She also meets a man in town that is looking for a midwife to help his wife deliver their child.  She agrees to help if in exchange she could borrow his plow to till her field. It was heart warming her neighbors concern for her well being. They were especially concerned over her husband's lack of concern.

Even though she and the young man had accomplished much her husband was angry that she had allowed a man on the farm while she was there alone. He was jealous and dominate, fearing she would leave him if he softened towards her. His behavior only made her feel as if he did not love his family and may have found someone else. At times I want to put a know on Gus's hard head.

Just when things start to look good and he will be able to stay at the farm mother nature hits and then they end up having to leave the farm due to the Kiowa raiding the town and farms.

This story will break your heart. The hardships trying to farm and care for a family were horrendous. To fear for your life on a daily basis should have broke Sarah but with God's help she got stronger.
Sarah is the definition of a heroine. The things she did to protect and provide for her family was heroic.

There is so much more I would like to share but do not want to spoil the book for you. But I will say I am sad the story ended I would have liked to spend more time with Sarah.

I highly recommend this book.

I rated this book 5 out of 5.

Disclosure I received a free copy of this book from the author. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

CHICKEN SOUP for the SOUL: HERE COMES the BRIDE by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Susan M. Heim

I Won a Copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride.
 I entered a giveaway on Chat with Vera.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride:  101 Inspirational Stories of Love, Laughter and Family

By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen,and Susan M. Heim

You will be inspired and entertained by this collection of stories from brides and their friends and families about all the aspects of being a bride, from proposal to honeymoon. These stories will make you laugh, entertain you, inspire you, and occasionally make you tear up. You’ll love these stories about:
  •  The proposal 
  •  The ring 
  •  The dress 
  •  Planning the wedding 
  •  Family drama 
  •  The wedding party 
  •  Things that went wrong! 
  •  Unconventional weddings 
  •  Mid-life love 
  •  Second changes 
  •  And the honeymoon 

Order Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride from Amazon at

Please contact Susan if you would like to purchase a personally autographed copy for yourself or someone special!

 About Susan 

Susan M. Heim is an author and editor, specializing in parenting, multiples, Christian and women’s issues. She is a longtime editor and co-author for the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series. In addition to several Chicken Soup for the Soul titles, Susan’s published work includes: It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence; Boosting Your Baby’s Brain Power; Oh, Baby! 7 Ways a Baby Will Change Your Life the First Year; and, Twice the Love: Stories of Inspiration for Families with Twins, Multiples and Singletons. Her articles have appeared in many books, websites, and magazines, including Angels on Earth and Twins Magazine. Susan discusses parenting issues and features product reviews and giveaways on her blog, “Susan Heim on Parenting,” at She is also the founder of TwinsTalk (, a website where parents share tips and advice about raising twins and multiples. Susan is the married mother of four sons, including a set of twins.

“Susan Heim is an inspirational writer and an exceptional editor who manages to tell the truth about life’s ups and downs in a way that touches the heart, uplifts the spirit and connects with readers all over the world.” —John Byrne, broadcaster and columnist for BBC Radio London/The Stage newspaper

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Guest Post - Bennett Gavrish author of Secrets to Losing Weight in College

About Bennett

Bennett Gavrish is a 24-year-old author and software developer from Massachusetts. He graduated from Boston University in 2010 with a degree in journalism. Bennett lost 120 pounds when he was in college, and this month he released a weight loss book for college students who are struggling with obesity and want to find the path to healthiness.

About the Book

Bennett Gavrish has delivered a powerful and engaging guide for college students struggling with their weight. Learn the diet strategy, exercise routine, and mental approach that Gavrish used to lose 120 pounds in 12 months.

Gavrish provides helpful tips for every part of the college experience, with plenty of laughs along the way. Discover healthy ways to tackle dining halls, grocery stores, restaurants, and parties. “Secrets to Losing Weight in College” also includes a number of nutritious suggestions for each meal of the day.

Whether you are a freshman or an alumnus, don’t wait any longer to start taking care of your body. With Gavrish’s guidance and motivation, you can do more than just reverse the Freshman 15. A happier and healthier life is within your reach.

Available now on Amazon. Just $1.99 for the Kindle version or $6.99 for the paperback edition.

Where to Buy:  Amazon
Amazon 4 star rating Permalink
Goodreads Ratings: 4.33 rating details

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Thank you for being a guest on  It's Time To Read Mamaw to share your book Secrets to Losing Weight in College with all that visit my blog.  It has been more than a pleasure!  I wish you great success with you book! 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

ANGEL EYES by Shannon Dittemore || Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Party

About Shannon

Shannon is a wife and mother. A sister. A daughter. A friend. She was raised in Northern California by her parents-pastors of their local church and constant figures of inspiration.

As a youth, Shannon traveled with an award-winning performing arts team, excelling on stage and in the classroom. As a young adult, she attended Portland Bible College, continued acting, and worked with an outreach team targeting inner-city kids in the Portland-Metropolitan area.

It was in Portland that she met her husband, Matt. They were married in 2002. Soon after, they took the reins of the youth ministry at Living Way Community Church in Roseville, California where they continue to serve in that capacity. In October of 2004, their son Justus was born, followed by their daughter Jazlyn, born in 2008.

Find out more at

Blog Tour Schedule

About Book

Once you've seen, you can't unsee. Everything changes when you've looked at the world through . . .Angel Eyes

Brielle went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She's come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can't seem to shake.

Jake's the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.

Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what's going to happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start.

A realm that only angels and demons-and Brielle-can perceive.

Where to buy:
Thomas Nelson
Barnes & Noble

Win a Nook Color from Shannon Dittemore (@ShanDitty)! "Angel Eyes" Giveaway and Facebook Party {6/26} 

Celebrate with Shannon by entering her "Angel Eyes" Giveaway and connecting with her during the Author Chat Party on 6/26! 

Find out what readers are saying here.

One "angelic" winner will receive:

  • A Brand New Nook Color
  • A copy of Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on June 25th. Winner will be announced at the "Angel Eyes" Author Chat Facebook Party on 6/26. Shannon will be hosting a book chat, testing your trivia skills and giving away some great prizes!

So grab your copy of Angel Eyes and join Shannon on the evening of the June 26th for a chance to meet Shannon and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 26th!

My Thoughts

Brielle returns home with broken dreams and a heavy heart.  Her fear and sorrow is so strong it chills her to the bone.  It seems like she will never be warm again.  She tries to avoid her friends to no avail and her father is at a loss as how to help his little girl get over her night terrors.

When she returns to school she feels as if she is being shadowed.  There is a new boy, Jake in her school and every time she turned around he was there. When he was near it was as if he radiated heat.  She not only felt warm when he was near she also felt calm and safe.  She soon discovered he was also her new next door neighbor. 

The more time Brielle spent with Jake it became clear he was gifted.  It is not just a coincidence that he sought her out he there along with others to protect her from unseen evils.

Really!  Who and what is Jake? Why does he need to protect Brielle?  What evil is it that surrounds her?

Author states."A realm that only angels and demons - and - Brielle can perceive."

This book is not the type of book I would normally read. I know my teen grandkids are going to enjoy reading this book.  I have passed many good books on to them in the past so I know there will be a debate as to who gets this book first.

I enjoyed going over the Reading Group Guide after reading the book. I would love to share more but I will let you find out for yourselves.

I highly recommend this book, especially for young adults.

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson  for this Litfuse PublicityTour review.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  It is my own opinion.

 Thomas Nelson

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Reading Habits ? A Fun Meme!

Reading Habits? 
Saw this Meme on Sarah Says Read looks interesting.  I snagged this meme after a couple of stops over at some friendly blogs and decided to do it myself. If you do the same, please link back so I can read your answers!

 Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack: 
I must admit I do like to snack on is frozen mixed fruit. Better than grabbing a carton of Blue Bell's banana pudding ice cream. Yummmy

What is your favorite drink while reading?
My favorite drip would be Chocolate Truffle Coffee. Other than that water is refreshing.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you? 
I would never mark one of my books nor turn down a corner. I have notebooks for that. Now if it is an ebook there are options for that. Plus I love cute bookmarkers.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open? 
I save my place with cute bookmarks. If I want go back to something I read I just add another bookmarker.

Fiction, non-fiction, or both?
I prefer Historical Fiction so I guess that would be both.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere? 
I would rather read to the end of a chapter but there have been times when I had to just stop where I was.

Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you? 
No but I have thought about throwing it at my dear hubby for interrupting my reading too many times.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away? 
Sometimes because it will distract me worrying over it.

What are you currently reading? 
I am currently reading THE CHAMOMILE by Susan F. Cratt. I have had it on my to read list and thought it was about time I read the book. I won it from the author. It is a really good book.

What is the last book you bought? 
The last book I bought for myself was Mary's Blessing by Lena Nelson Dooley. I read the first book in the series had to have this one.

Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one? 
If I am having a hard time getting into a book instead of throwing it I will put it aside for awhile and read something else.

Do you have a favorite time/place to read? 
I prefer to read alone. I really like reading on my nice big front porch but my allergies have gotten so bad and the cats have decided to take it over so now I sit in my living room in my favorite chair and read. I will not lay down to read unless I am ready to fall asleep.

Do you prefer series books or stand alones?
I love them both.  But I do mourn the loss of some of the books wishing for more time with the characters.

Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over? 
I have too many favorites. So no real competition there.

How do you organize your books? (by genre, title, author's last name, etc.) 
I usually organize them on my book shelf by author's last name. But then I have a shelf for the books scheduled for review in order of the review date. Then there is my Goodreads. I have them listed according to who I am reviewing for. Even a list for my personal choices and wishlist. I think the only genre I have listed is children's books, tweens and young adult. The rest are mainly christian fiction.

Well that was FUN!!  It's your turn now.  Don't forget to drop back by when you post yours on you blog and give me your link so I can read your answers.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


About Katie

Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the Midwest, where she writes stories about finding faith and falling in love. When she’s not busy plotting her next novel, she enjoys watching movies with her husband, playing make-believe with her wild-child of a son, and chatting with her girlfriends over bagels. She and her husband are in the process of adopting from the Congo.

You can find her online at her blog and on Facebook.

Wildflowers from Winter: A Devotional

He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock.
-Deuteronomy 8:15

I met a woman once who lived in Kibera, the biggest slum in subSahara Africa. She slept in a tiny shack with six kids, three of whom weren't her own. Her husband had left. She was sick with AIDS. Yet she was lit from within, beaming with the hope of Christ.

If I close my eyes right now, I can see her. And most likely, five years later, she’s no longer sick. She’s no longer living in a shack. She’s rejoicing with the One who gave her that hope.

I have a friend who struggled for three years with infertility. She and her husband were faithful and obedient to the Lord. So why wouldn’t He give them the child they yearned for? They had no idea God was using that time to lead them down a different path. A path toward adoption. A path toward their daughter.

When I think of that African woman, when I think about my friend, I picture wildflowers.

Do you know the harshest, snowiest winters produce some of the most beautiful wildflowers in the spring?

I love when truth reveals itself in nature.

Because this is truth.

God uses what the human eye sees as cold and harsh and lifeless, to bring about beautiful things. Breathtaking things.

Like a once-snowy field bursting with wildflowers.

Like an infertile woman who realizes she doesn’t have to get pregnant to be a mother.

Like a woman riddled with sickness, steeped in poverty, yet beaming with hope.

Lord Jesus, thank you for being a God who can redeem the most barren times in our lives. Thank you for being a God who brings beauty from pain. Help us to trust You, no matter our circumstance or season. Help us to trust that You are faithful and You are good.

Are you trusting God to bring water from the hard rocks in your life?

*   *   *

Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert (Chapter 1 Excerpt)

About Book

Like the winter, grief has a season. Life returns with the spring.

A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built the life she dreamed of during her teen years in a trailer park. An unexpected interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa.

Determined to pay her respects to her past while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of five hundred acres of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. When Bethany is left the land, Evan must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.

For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace that she’s not even sure exists?

Release date: May, 8 2012
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
ISBN-10: 0307730387
ISBN-13: 978-0307730381

Where to buy: 
Barnes & Noble

My Thoughts

Bethany Quinn is a fortress until disaster strikes.  That is when the memories of her tortured soul comes creeping out.  All she wants to do is push past memories back so she can continue with her successful career in Chicago as an architect.

She is no longer the penniless, pitiful little girl of her youth.  The memories she refuses to think about are as if they were yesterday. The only pleasant memory she has is of her loving grandfather, Dan and her best friend, Robin.  She has not seen them in ten years.

While Bethany is busy at work her cell phone rings and it is her mother whom she has no desire to speak with.  But the calls become persistent and so she calls her mother back.  Her mother tells her that Robin's husband was in an accident and is in a coma.  The doctor gives little if any hope.  After fighting the old memories and debating whether or not to go be with her friend she receives another call.  A man by the name of Evan Price calls with the bad news that her grandfather has had a heat attack.  Her decision has been made, she has to be with her grandfather.  While she is there she will consider visiting her old friend.

Arriving at her grandfather's farm there is a man she assumes as Evan Price standing in the doorway.  Come to find out he has been hired to help work the farm.  He looks worn out and as if he hasn't slept in days.

As the story continues it gets more stressful for Bethany and Evan. They have been thrown together and  are not too happy about the situation.  It seems they both have their own demons to deal with.  One of them has a strong relationship with God but the other does not acknowledge God at all.

If we keep sliding away from God, He sends his disciples to help nurture the seeds that had been planted in order that we can grow toward Him and away from our the demons we created in ourselves.

I want to share this from the book.
"The rational part of Robin's brain knew better. But grief had obliterated her ability to think rationally. Grief was the royal flush in a hand of poker.  It beat everything."   
Have you been there before?  I know I have.

This is a soul searching story of reconciliation, repentance, faith, hope and love.

The first part of this book is one traumatic event after another.  It even began to traumatize me.
But you have to know it was very well written. Had to be the way it had me all worked up.   When you are reading this book just be sure to have some tissues close by, you will definitely need them.

I highly recommend this book.

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

I received a free copy of this book for review from Waterbrook Press.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  It is my own opinion.

Monday, June 11, 2012

OUT AND ABOUT AT THE ZOO written & illustrated by Jo Linsdell

Image of Jo LinsdellAbout Jo

Born in Gillingham, Kent (UK) in September 1980. Married name Joanne Denise Feliciani. She uses her maiden name, Linsdell, as her pen name. Having passed 10 GCSE's, she went on to study Business Studies, History and Art A-Levels at Yateley 6th Form. She left England and moved to Rome, Italy in June 2001, where she now lives with her Italian husband and their young son. 

She has had various jobs including working in hostels, being a tour guide and teaching English as a foreign language. She now works full-time as a freelance writer. She writes regularly for various websites, newspapers and magazines. 

She has published two books in print 'Italian for tourists' and 'A guide to weddings in Italy' as well as various ebooks including; Il dolce Natale: Christmastime in Italy, Some risks are worth taking, INSIDE.OUT, La Befana, Promotional Techniques: Ways to market your books and The Patron Saint of Lovers. 

Find out more about her at her website 

Out and About at the Zoo 
Written and illustrated by Jo Linsdell

Rhyming text and colourful pictures accompany this fun day out discovering different animals at the zoo.

Release Date: 1st June 2012 

Product details:

ISBN/EAN13: 1477446591 / 9781477446591 
Page Count: 32 
Binding Type: US Trade Paper Trim Size: 6" x 9" 
Language: English 
Colour: Full Colour with Bleed 
Related Categories: Juvenile Fiction / Stories in Verse

Purchasing links: 

Contact details: 


5 Stars 

"Out and About at the Zoo by Jo Linsdell is a delightful story set in rhyme about a boy and his mum. The two spend the day at the zoo and meet many animals along the way. Your child will enjoy reading this book time and time again. The colorful illustrations make this book a joy to read. Pick up a copy of this book and share a day at the zoo memory with your little one". 

By Kate Mueller, Author of Bella's Birthday Surprise 

5 Stars 

"Out And About At The Zoo is a cute book that describes a child's memory filled trip to the zoo. Are you heading to the zoo and you would like to tell your kids what animals they will see there and what they might be doing? Then Out And About At The Zoo would be a great choice. Easy to understand and easy for children to read along with. It is filled with simple yet colorful pictures that even held my one year old's attention! Would also make a good gift for young readers who are just beginning to read!" 

By Virginia L. Jennings, Author


5+ Stars

Out and About at the Zoo is such a fun book.  I can't wait to read the rhymes in this story to my grandbabies.  I know I will be sending them their own copy of this book to read and soak up the colorful pages.

The illustrations are so cute and will definitely grab the child's attention to the bright colors and the zoo animals they are visiting in this darling book.

Here is one of my favorite pages, it teaches the child about the description of the animal and teaches colors in fun rhyming words.

 "Zebras with stripes 
of black and white 
trotted over, much to my delight."
page 14 

I see this as not just for a fun read but also for the education of  young children.  

I highly recommend this book!

I rated this book a 5+ out of 5

I received a free pdf of this book from the author for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  It is my own opinion.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Win a Nook Color from Shannon Dittemore (@ShanDitty)! "Angel Eyes" Giveaway and Facebook Party {6/26}

Celebrate with Shannon by entering her "Angel Eyes" Giveaway and connecting with her during the Author Chat Party on 6/26!

Find out what readers are saying here.

One "angelic" winner will receive:

  • A Brand New Nook Color
  • A copy of Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on June 25th. Winner will be announced at the "Angel Eyes" Author Chat Facebook Party on 6/26. Shannon will be hosting a book chat, testing your trivia skills and giving away some great prizes!

So grab your copy of Angel Eyes and join Shannon on the evening of the June 26th for a chance to meet Shannon and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Fiddler (Home to Hickory Hollow, #1) by Beverly Lewis

About Beverly

Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, is The New York Times bestselling author of more than ninety books. Her stories have been published in eleven languages worldwide. A keen interest in her mother's Plain heritage has inspired Beverly to write many Amish-related novels, beginning with The Shunning, which has sold more than one million copies and was recently made into an Original Hallmark Channel movie. In 2007 The Brethren was honored with a Christy Award. She has been interviewed by both national and international media, including Time magazine, the Associated Press, and the BBC. Beverly lives with her husband, David, in Colorado.

Visit her Web site at for more information.

The Fiddler Q & A

1. You recently reached the #2 spot on The New York Times bestseller list, your highest position ever. How do you feel about your expanding popularity? 
I am continually amazed and truly grateful for God’s hand of blessing on my work, and for the opportunity to share His love through story. So many thousands of readers write to say my books speak directly to them, that they believe my intimate writing style is for their hearts and eyes alone, like an open letter from a friend. I also think the fascination with the Amish tradition has taken on a life of its own due to a general longing for peace and a less hectic lifestyle.

2. Your new series, Home to Hickory Hollow, returns to the fictional Lancaster County setting that graced your inaugural Amish series, tHe Heritage of lancaster county. (The first milestone in what eventually became the current “bonnet fiction” craze!) What led you to make that decision? So many readers continue to express their fondness for idyllic Hickory Hollow, which I created back in 1997 with The Shunning, the first book in The Heritage of Lancaster County. The longtime interest in that place has grown tremendously in recent years, in part because of the recent Hallmark movie adaptation of The Shunning, as well as the enormously popular musical, The Confession Musical. I took a poll on my Facebook fan page and discovered that readers were just “a-hankerin’” to come back to this beloved setting where it all began. Truly, Hickory Hollow is as real to me as it is to my readers, and fans will be in for some fun surprises! Although this new series offers peeks into the lives of some of the most memorable characters from The Shunning and its sequels, the primary characters in The Fiddler are brand-new, with compelling stories of their own.

3. In what way is this series different from your previous ones? 
Home to Hickory Hollow is really a collection of books rather than a continuing saga. Each novel will be a related stand-alone that can be read in any order the reader chooses. I wanted to write a series where readers can pick up any book and know they will find a satisfying and complete story.

4. Amelia Devries, the main character from The Fiddler, isn’t your typical leading lady. What inspired her? 
In this book, my passion for music, as well as the Plain community of Lancaster County, where I grew up, come together like a patchwork quilt. Like my protagonist, Amelia Devries, I studied violin, although I was never as proficient a fiddler as she! The story begins with Amelia at a crossroads: A classically trained musician, she’s been moonlighting on the fiddle circuit and is about to be found out. She subsequently takes a wrong turn in a rainstorm…which leads her to Michael Hostetler, an Amishman from Hickory Hollow with a dilemma of his own. The juxtaposition of an “English” girl with an Amish love interest really appeals to me, and I know my readers will love it, too. Readers can get an early peek at The Fiddler via the wonderful book trailer my publisher has posted on YouTube, as well as on my website and official Facebook fan page.

5. What are some story questions that run throughout The Fiddler? Is it possible to balance the expectations of our families and communities with our own hopes? How do we find our purpose in life? What can happen when our hearts are open to others? Virtuoso or not, everyone has talents and gifts that can make a difference in this world!

6. Fans have been ecstatic about the film and stage adaptations of your books. Are more in the works? It’s been an absolute joy to see my stories fleshed out for the screen or in live theatre, with fabulous music. The filming schedule is about to be released for the movie sequel, Beverly Lewis’ The Confession, the continuation of Katie Lapp’s saga from my Heritage of Lancaster County series. I’m delighted that Michael Landon, Jr., will once again be at the helm as director and co-producer, just as he was for Beverly Lewis’ The Shunning, available now on DVD. Also, due to its enormous popularity, The Confession Musical is expanding to more locations—opening on June 7 in Sugarcreek, Ohio at the Carlisle Inn, as well as opening for its third run in Shipshewana, Indiana at the Blue Gate Theatre, and its second run in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania at the Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant and Stage. My website and Facebook fan page offer more information.

7. What are you working on next? Presently I’m writing The Bridesmaid, the second novel in my new series, Home to Hickory Hollow. That will appear on shelves September 11, 2012.Facebook fan page offer more information.

8. How can readers keep up with your work? To sign up for my free newsletter, they can visit or my Facebook fan page, My website also features my monthly blog, book excerpts, delicious Amish recipes, and news about my upcoming book tour, which kicks off April 10 at Barnes and Noble in the Har Mar Mall in Roseville, Minnesota. I will be visiting bookstores and libraries in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.Facebook fan page offer more information.

The Fiddler

About Book

Series: Home to Hickory Hollow, Book 1
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0977-2
ISBN-10: 0-7642-0977-9
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5
Number of pages: 336
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: Apr. 2012
Formats: Paperback | Hardcover | Large print

Amelia "Amy" DeVries, a 24-year-old violinist, is disillusioned with life and love after the collapse of her long-running romance. Weary of endless rehearsals and performances, Amy sets out on a road trip through the Pennsylvania mountains. She leaves her cell phone behind so life's demands can't intrude on her solitude. She doesn't know, nor care, where she will end up.

When her car breaks down deep in the mountains, Amy realizes the flaw in her "no cell phone" plan. She abandons her car and walks the winding roads, searching for help. Following the smell of woodsmoke and the sound of music, she finds a rustic log cabin. There she meets a young Amishman--and through him a community--that will change her life forever.

Where to buy:
Barnes & Noble


My Thoughts

Englisher Amelia Devries is performing the opening act for a Tim McGraw concert in Philadelphia. Amelia is a champion fiddler going by the stage name of Amy Lee. But this is her secret life. In her real life she is famous concert violinist. As she is leaving the concert her agent and family friend has found out her secret and has come to confront her. He feels this is below her and that her ailing father would be very disappointed if he every found out. She agrees to call him once she gets home to discuss a tour overseas. This is not something she wants to do in fact she is considering taking a hiatus from performing with her violin. She feels more alive around the people at the country concerts.

As she heads home it comes a downpour or as we say around here a gully washer. She can't she where she is going and makes a wrong turn. She looses control of her car and blows a tire. As she tries to get her bearings she has no idea where she is all she see is fields. When the rain slacks up a bit she sees a faint light and realizes it is a small cabin. She makes a run for the cabin fearing what or who she was fixing to face. A handsome young amishman opens the door and without hesitation invites her out of the rain  and into his cabin. He introduces himself as Michael Hosteler. From the looks of the things sitting around the room, like a laptop and an iPod, she wonders what kind of Amish has this kind of technology.

The rain does not let up and from the sounds of the storm it would be tomorrow before the flat tire could be changed. So against better judgement she decides to wait it out. They end up sharing each others life story, to an extent, they decide to play chess. As it gets late they knew they should try to get some sleep. With the privacy of a curtain between the two sleeping areas it was difficult to not be aware of the stranger on the other side of the curtain.

The next morning after they had breakfast Michael's invites Amelia to visit his Amish community and friends. She agrees to go and makes new friends then decides to stay the weekend with her new Amish friend Joanna. It is such a peaceful place and she goes out into a field and plays her fiddle, but not the country music. She plays and practices the music she plays on her solo violinist tours.

What is going through her mind? Does she plan on staying with the Amish permanently? How does the community feel about her music especially since they don't allow such instrument as the fiddle?

Are Amelia and Michael becoming more than friends? Is Michael planning on leaving the Amish since he is so hesitant to join the church? He wants to further his education and enjoys his car and his new found electronics.

The author has given us two young people pondering and drifting from the lives there families expected and raised them to live. Confused as to what God's will is for their future.

This is a lovely coming of age story. The parents are so concerned and fearful for their children's future. I read something in "River's Call by Melody Carlson" that said, to "Sometimes we have to give up the oars and let them row the boat by themselves". But that is not so easy do when we want to protect them from themselves.

I hope I left you wanting to know more about God's will for Amelia's and Michael's  future.  So go get the book you will not regret reading THE FIDDLER by BEVERLY LEWIS.

I highly recommend this book!

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In Celebration of Blogaholic Social Network 1st Anniversary: Q&A with Emily Murray the Owner of Blogaholic Social Network



JULY 10, 2011
Emily Murray is the owner and creator of a new community for bloggers: Blogaholic Social Network. The community went live on Monday, May 30th and in just a few short weeks has become an active community for all bloggers! Here is a bit more from Emily about the new network!

Tell us a little bit about Blogaholic Social Network.
BSN is a community where bloggers can get together and pretty much talk about all things blog related. There is a wide variety of groups that you can join from blog niche’s to gaining followers- groups are a lot of fun and members have created quite a few of them so far so there is something for everyone! The site also allows you to post blog posts, list your giveaways, list your blog hops, there is really so much you can do on the site!

How did Blogaholic Social Network come to be?
Well long story short it was an idea I had for quite awhile. I also do blog design and my creative mind never seems to stop running, I knew that I loved blogging and I had learned so much about blog design from other bloggers so I wanted to create a community that allowed all these wonderful resources to come together, not just blog design but all bloggers helping each other, getting to know each other, learning from each other about all aspects of blogging. There is so much that even I still want to learn and I know that I can do it here on BSN. So it came down to the push of a button to hit publish live and I paced back and forth until finally my husband said “Listen, do you want to be sitting on the front porch 30 years from now saying, I should of hit that publish button” so off I went and here we are!

What are your future hopes for the site?
Really, I just hope to continue to see so many people enjoying it and getting great use out it. I want the network to be a “go to” for all things that have to do with blogging while still having a close knit community and I also want people to be able to connect, ask their questions and get answers- there is nothing worse than being a new blogger and feeling completely lost. So hopefully the site can help new bloggers and for veteran bloggers they have so much advice that they are willing to share, it’s great how everyone just comes together! The truth of it all is that the community is the foundation of the site and they are the future of the site as well.

I can not begin to tell you how overwhelmed with happiness I was to see it all come together the site itself and the community that has built just in a few short weeks. I just hope the members of BSN know that I appreciate each and every one of them because without them the network is not a community at all.

Feel free to stop by and check us out, we would love to have you as a member!

Emily, I feel so honored that you have done this interview for the viewers of my blog. I know what a wonderful job you have done with Blogaholic it has been a great source of information for me and has a wonderful community of bloggers. Blogaholic has a wide variety of Groups including several Book Groups that I have joined. I hope it continues to grow which I know it will. Thanks again for the interview.

Okay bloggers now is a perfect time to check out
Blogaholic Social Network.

A New Literary Contest is Born

Get Ready to Spar!

Dust off those swords (in the Spirit, of course) and put on that literary armor, 
because Clash of the Titles has an announcement.

The Laurel Award is expanding, and we know you’ll be excited about it.

We are creating a NEW annual literary contest, and it’s strictly for unpublished writers!  
Also, authors will no longer need to be a previous Clash Champion in order to compete for the crown. 

Submissions for this contest open October 29, 2012
but first we must name it. That’s right! We want your help naming this exciting, new branch of Clash of the Titles. After reading about it, please take a moment to click on which name you think most fitting for this contest—The Spartan OR The Olympia. (Use survey below.)

About this new contest:

All never before published writers of Christian fiction may submit their work.
$10 Entry fee.
First two chapters will be judged.
Final scoring by a select panel of beta-readers.

Special feature on Clash of the Titles'  blog.
Tour through COTT’s Blog Alliance.
Page on our site for a full year.
Podcast interview with Author and CAG board member, Cynthia L. Simmons.
A beautiful plaque.

The outcome is in the hands of readers, not industry professionals.

You’ve written the book of your dreams, now what do readers think? Enter the arena and find out. 

Stay tuned for further dates and details by 
subscribing to our blog and “liking” our Facebook page.

Join the Survey here
Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Beauty Book: The Lily Series by Nancy Rue

About Nancy

Nancy Rue is the author of over 100 books for adults and teens, including the Christy Award-winning The Reluctant Prophet, Unexpected Dismounts and Healing Waters (with Steve Arterburn), which was the 2009 Women of Faith Novel of the Year. She travels extensively—at times on the back of a Harley—speaking to and teaching groups of women of all ages. Nancy lives on a lake in Tennessee with her Harley-ridin’ husband, Jim, and their two yellow Labs (without whom writing would be difficult).


About Book

Learn with Lily and her friends just what it means to be beautiful in God’s eyes—inside and out! 

In a society so focused on the idea that external beauty reigns supreme, it can be difficult for young girls to figure out what “true” beauty is all about. This unique and creative book for girls ages 7–11 answers the common questions girls ask during this often confusing and overwhelming stage in their lives in an inviting and conversational manner.

Filled with fun quizzes, imaginative activities, and cool illustrations, The Beauty Book offers cool, relevant information about everything from great hair styles to tattoos, from skin care to clothes, and much more. Above all, the message that God-confidence is beautiful is highlighted on each and every page.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Length   112 Pages 
Series    The Lily Series 
Publication Date   May 1, 2012
Publisher   Thomas Nelson 
ISBN-10 140031948X 
ISBN-13 9781400319480

My Thoughts

Lily has learned that we should be proud of the gifts God gave us whether it be red hair or large lips. He has made us in his image. He has given us these body to care for. Our bodies are temples of God.

The Lily series for girls 7-11 years old is not only inspiring but pure fun. This Beauty Book is a great addition to the series. It is somewhat of a activity workbook. A companion journal would be good with this book. I raised four daughters and this would be a fun book to share with girlfriends asking each other the questions from the book. They can experiment with some of the activities like styling their hair and giving each other manicures and pedicures. This book will also help girls build there self-esteem and teach them proper hygiene.

I recommend this book for young girls.

      RATED 4 OUT OF 5

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book from Booksneeze/Thomas Nelson for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.

I review for BookSneeze®

Friday, June 1, 2012


About Jessica

I write. I live in the metro Phoenix area with my husband, two children and two dogs. And I write.

All Different Kinds of Free, my award-winning historical debut novel, was published April 2011 by Bell Bridge Books.

My reporting and creative nonfiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Business Week, The Writer, Phoenix, Raising Arizona Kids and ASU Research to name a few. Many corporations, universities and nonprofit organizations also tap me to write and edit dynamic communications materials.

About Book

A free black woman in the 1830s, Margaret Morgan lived a life full of promise. 

 One frigid night in Pennsylvania, that changed forever. They tore her family apart. 

 They put her in chains. They never expected her to fight back. 

All Different Kinds of Free was inspired by a true story. It is about Margaret Morgan, who was kidnapped in 1837, along with her free children, and sold into slavery. Although she fought hard to regain her freedom, Margaret endured tremendous loss and hardship. Her ordeal led to one of the most important yet least-known Supreme Court cases of the era, Prigg v. Pennsylvania.

Text books will have you believe the story of Prigg v. Pennsylvania is important because it ended in controversy and fanned the early embers of the Civil War. This book will have you believe the story is important because it began with Margaret.

"All Different Kinds of Free draws on an obscure 1842 Supreme Court decision for a gripping story of a free black woman abducted into the horrors of bondage. Jessica McCann adds flesh and blood to dry history to recreate the savagery and sometimes even the humanity of slavery. This book tears at your heart." ~ Sandra Dallas, New York Times best-selling author of Prayers for Sale and Whiter Than Snow

"A terrific, historical novel -- well executed, emotionally engaging, illuminating an important Supreme Court case and the heart of an heroic woman." ~ Jewell Parker Rhodes, American Book Award winner and author of Douglass' Women

Visit the official website for links to research, reviews, book club discussion questions and more!

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or an Independent Bookseller near you.

My Thoughts

In 1830,
 Pennsylvania, a free family of color, Margaret Morgan, her husband Jerry and their three children were seen as an asset to there community .  Jerry employed at a local business and Margaret had her a very successful seamstress business .  Then her freedom and that of her children's were taken away.  Her former boss claiming she was a runaway slave.  They were kidnapped and sold at auction to the highest bidders. The kidnapper was charged for the crime of kidnapping but an appeal at a higher court overturned the verdict before anyone could find Margaret and her children.  This all sewed seeds of discontent which a lot of people believed eventually brought our country to Civil War. 

It was unthinkable the treatment Margaret and other slaves had to live through.  I cried over the injustice and cruelty the slaves and freed slaves had to endure.  They got less care and respect than their owner gave his livestock.  Granted not all slave owners were cruel but they still condoned slavery. 

Margaret never gave up hope that she would once again be free.

If you think you can handle the truth think again. 

You must read what the author writes about  the truth of what happened To Margaret Morgan and her family and so many other people back then !!!!! 

I abhor the fact that there are still people with such prejudice still in this world.  Will we ever be free of this ignorance of racism?  I pray to God we will!

The Holy Bible: King James Version. 2000. 

The Psalms 23

 The LORD Is My Shepherd A Psalm of David. 

 1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: 
for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
 thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: 
 and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. 

I highly recommend this book!!!

I rate this book a 5+ out of 5.

I received of free copy of this book from the Author/Bell Bridge Books for review. I was in no way compensated for this review.  It is my own opinion.