Thursday, July 12, 2018

Firestorm by Laura V. Hilton + A GIVEAWAY

About the Book

Title: Firestorm  

Author: Laura Hilton  

Genre: Christian Amish  

Release Date: July, 2018

Bridget Behr and her family migrate from the bustling Amish community where she grew up in Ohio to the mostly unpopulated Upper Peninsula of Michigan after a stalker breaks into their home. While her father and brother try to find work in the area, the family is forced to reside in a borrowed RV until the house and barn are rebuilt. While Bridget is hoping for a fresh start, she’s afraid to trust anyone—even Gabriel, the overly-friendly Amish man who lives nearby. Bridget thinks he’s a flirt who serial dates and doesn’t even remember the girls’ names. 

Due to not enough construction work in his Florida community to keep him out of trouble, Gabriel Lapp has been sent to Michigan to work. His father is desperate for his son to settle down. When the family walks into Gabe’s home in the middle of a thunderstorm and he discovers their circumstances, he offers to help with construction. For Gabe, the beautiful girl he teasingly calls “the recluse” once he discovers she doesn’t attend youth events, confuses him like none other. 

As Gabriel and Bridget grow closer, they realize there is more to a person than meets the eye. Just as Bridget is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding love, tragedy strikes. Now Bridget and her family must decide if they should move to another Amish community, or dare to fight for the future they’d hoped for in Mackinac County.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

This is an incredible Amish romance!

From the very beginning I was captivated by Bridget. She is an extremely well developed character with many facets. The fears and conflicted emotions that she has were easy to understand with the background information that is given about her life before moving to the Upper Peninsula.

The development of the rest of the main characters was just as thorough. I feel like I got to know them and the motivations for their actions too. There were so many heavy burdens that were being dealt with it seemed as if it were real life. This book is not a light escape as some are.

I loved the fact that there were strong believers. They were doing all that they could to help Bridget, Gabe and the others who were struggling, to draw closer to God and trust Him more. The journeys that Gabe and Hosea, Bridget’s daed, had to take were very realistic. They were both very understandable for men going on to be strong spiritual leaders.

This book is so wonderful that I have to give it a rating of 5 stars. I am definitely highly recommending it. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series when it comes out. I don’t even know the title for it, but it is already going on my to-be-read list.  

About the Author

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with over twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write. 

Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children. 

When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.

Guest Post from Laura Hilton

I read a series of books a year or so ago by another Amish author who had set her books in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. As a Michigan native, I was curious, and I researched, but found nothing about Upper Peninsula Amish except a notation that one had tried and failed. So I contacted the author. She told me that she’d never been there, and her research had all been hearsay, so with that lack of firsthand knowledge and no trip to the Upper Peninsula planned, no trip to see for myself would be possible. At least at that time. 

Then God intervened. My son who is in the United States Coast Guard was stationed in the Upper Peninsula this past summer (2017.) He saw the Amish driving around in their buggies. And he felt like a stalker as he followed one to see where he went and drove through the area. He even sent pictures. (Shhhh.)

Yes, there are Amish in the Upper Peninsula – at least at the time this book was written. 

Okay, as a Michigan native, I used some terms that may not be familiar to non-Michiganders. A Yooper is someone who lives in the Upper Peninsula. A Troll is someone from the Lower Peninsula. A pastie is kind of like a Hot Pocket, except it’s a meat pie made with root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and rutabagas. They are so good. And the straits are the area of the Great Lakes connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. 

As for the wildfire, the earliest wildfire I could find any documentation on in the Upper Peninsula was in April. It is generally a snowy area — trust me. I lived near the Muskegon area and saw snow drifts in May. We sometimes had over six feet of snow on the ground at one time. So, to get the wildfire when I wanted/needed the wildfire I used artistic license. Yes, fires really happened in Michigan’s history. Just not in the month mentioned in the book.  

I am attaching a meme about Michigan seasons. We’ll call the fire set in “fool’s spring.” My son got married during the “third winter” this year. April 21 and there’s snow on the ground. He and his beautiful bride got married at a water fall (Tahquomenon Falls) very near where the story is set.  

Thanks for reading Firestorm!!

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 10
The Avid Reader, July 12
Among the Reads, July 14
Pause for Tales, July 20
amandainpa, July 21
Bigreadersite, July 21


To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away

Grand prize: Firefighter Puppet 9 (Melissa & Doug), Copies of Amish Firefighter and Firestorm by Laura Hilton.

First place prize of “I Love You to the Cross & Back” Mug (Gardenfire) & Firestorm by Laura Hilton!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter 
to claim 9 extra entries! 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Brittle Diamonds by Hilary Walker

Title: Brittle Diamonds
Author: Hilary Walker
Pages: 294
Release Date: July 4, 2018
Genre: Christian Fiction
Publisher: CKN Christian Publishing
Format: eBook (also available in Paperback)
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the book:

     Father Peter is the beloved parish priest of Brotherton village.

     But when allegations of misconduct mysteriously surface against him, his parishioners are thrown into turmoil. What should they believe?

     Father Peter’s own faith starts to crumble when a close priest friend commits suicide. Then bizarre circumstances throw him together with Matt Goldworth, a non-believer.

     Matt finds himself helping a clergyman of the very Church he despises and discovering a solution to the mystery no one could have foreseen.

My review:

     A thought provoking look at life in a country town.

     This book is set in a small town in England. There is talk of fox hunts, horse shows, and other country activities. There is a wide variety of characters just like you would expect to find in any town. The way they interact with each other is expressed very well. 

     The problems that the characters face are varied and easy to understand. Some of them I was able to relate to more than others. One of them I just shook my head and thought, “What were they thinking.”

     I loved the parish priest, Father Peter. He has his own problems facing him and yet he is willing to help everyone that comes to him. As his problems loom larger and larger I was amazed at the way he handled himself and continued to encourage others around him. His faith in God and the Catholic Church was inspiring.

     It was interesting to see who rallied around him and who turned their backs on him.  The way that the truth came out was great. 

     I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

     I have decided to give this story a 5 star rating. I am recommending it. It does address a couple of deep topics that take some time to consider.

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Monday, July 2, 2018

A Rebel Heart (The Daughtry House Series #1) by Beth White

Title: A Rebel Heart (The Daughtry House Series #1)
Author: Beth White
Pages: 368
Release Date: June 5, 2018 
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Revell
Format: Paperback (also available in eBook)

About the book:

     Five years after the final shot was fired in the War Between the States, Selah Daughtry can barely manage to keep herself, her two younger sisters, and their spinster cousin fed and clothed. With their family’s Mississippi plantation swamped by debt and the Big House falling down around them, the only option seems to be giving up their ancestral land.

     Pinkerton agent and former Union cavalryman Levi Riggins is investigating a series of robberies and sabotage linked to the impoverished Daughtry plantation. Posing as a hotel management agent for the railroad, he tells Selah he’ll help her save her home, but only if it is converted into a hotel. With Selah otherwise engaged with renovations, Levi moves onto the property to “supervise” while he actually attends to his real assignment right under her nose.

     Selah isn’t sure she entirely trusts the handsome Yankee, but she’d do almost anything to save her home. What she never expected to encounter was his assault on her heart.

My review:

     This is an absolutely incredible historical romance!

     I loved this book. The characters have so much depth to them that they captivated me from the beginning. It begins with individuals on a train. A very simple setup and yet the descriptions of the surroundings, and the characters themselves, was fantastic.

     The amount of detail in the post-civil-war era was great. I’ve seen movies and read books about this period before. But this story had my attention to the point that I was emotionally invested in the different groups to a deeper extent than I believe anything else has done prior to now.

     The plot of the case that Levi is trying to solve has so many twists to it that I was caught up in trying to figure it out right along with him.

     One of my favorite aspects of this book is the deep faith in God that Selah displays. She is leaning on Him and striving to follow the teaching from the bible.

     This was the first book that I’ve read by Beth White. I look forward to the next one in this series. In the meantime I will be looking for any other books that she has already written. 

     I am definitely giving this marvelous book a rating of 5 stars. I highly recommend it.

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*