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COTT: Mary Ellis and Her New Amish Fiction Release Living In Harmony

Posted by Julie on October 22, 2012 in Book Review, COTT, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |
The Clash of the Titles Blog Alliance is proud to share great August
release with its readers.
Ink still damp from the presses, Living in Harmony by Mary Ellis, currently
sits on a store shelf near you! Want more good news? It’s the first in a
series—perfect time to jump on board.

About the book:

Living
in Harmony
is the first book in bestselling author Mary Ellis’s New
Beginnings series. It’s about fresh starts and love…and how faith in God
and His perfect plan for our lives provides us with the peace and joy we
desire.

Amy King–young, engaged, and Amish–faces difficult challenges in her life
when she suddenly loses both of her parents in a house fire. Her fiancé,
John Detweiler, persuades her and her sister Nora to leave Lancaster County
and make a new beginning with him in Harmony, Maine, where he has relatives
who can help the women in their time of need.

John’s brother Thomas and sister-in-law Sally readily open their home to
the three newcomers. Wise beyond his years, Thomas, a minister in the
district, refuses to marry Amy and John upon their arrival, suggesting
instead a period of adjustment and counseling. During this time Amy
discovers an aunt who was shunned. She wishes to reconnect with her, but
this puts a strain on her relationship with John.

Can John and Amy find a way to live in happily in Harmony before making a
lifetime commitment to one another?

For those addicted to Amish stories, you
won’t want to miss this one. To everyone else, this might be the book that
gets 
you hooked on this
wildfire genre.

Here’s what reviewer Rachel Brand of the Christian Manifesto has to say about
Living
in Harmony
:

Just when you think nothing new and original can come out of the Amish
genre, a book like this comes along and proves that you’re completely
wrong.

It’s hard to express exactly what I loved so much about Living in
Harmony. It’s not just the setting, the new community and the realistic
secondary characters that made this novel so refreshing and unique. Mary
Ellis crafted her hero and heroine as
incredibly relate-able characters, flawed human beings who prove
that even the Amish don’t have perfect relationships or marriages.

Each character had their own personality and purpose in the novel, which
means that there’s bound to be at least one character that every reader can
relate to.

If you need a little bit more realism in your Amish fiction, or just
don’t want to read a happily-ever-after romance, then Living in Harmony is
the book for you.

About the author:

Mary Ellis grew up near the Amish and fell in love with them. She has now
written nine bestselling novels set in their communities. When not writing,
she enjoys gardening, bicycling, and swimming. Before “retiring” to write
full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey
Chocolate. Her debut Christian book, A Widow’s Hope, was a finalist for the
2010 ACFW Carols and the Holt Medallion Award of Merit.

You can find Mary at these locations:

www.maryellis.net

blog:
www.maryeellis.wordpress.com


https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mary-Ellis/126995058236

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Book Review: Tricia Goyer’s Beyond Hope’s Valley

Posted by Julie on May 2, 2012 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Tricia Goyer presents the third book in her Big Sky series, Beyond Hope’s Valley. It continues Marianna Sommer’s journey where she returns to her Indiana Amish roots for her brother’s wedding, and preparing for her own wedding to Aaron Zook. Although being Aaron’s bride has been her dream since she was a little girl, returning to Indiana is a bigger adjustment than she planned on.

Marianna misses her Montana life. The rules are different in Montana and she can feel the disapproving stares in Indiana when she is friendly with the Englisch. The setting is different and she misses the lake life she grew to love in Montana. As she settles in, life becomes more unsettling. Marianna learns a lot about herself and those she loves, and has to make a choice, all the while drawing closer to a personal relationship with Christ whether her home is on the farm or a lake.

I confess, I did not read this book as thoroughly as I wanted due to the publisher shipping the books a bit late. However, what I was able to read was a smooth return to Marianna’s life and family and I absolutely related to the heart of the book. I know what it is like to have a life in two states, and both hold their appeals. But living in one brings conflict for Marianna not living in the other, and oh, how I know this. It’s hard.

There are secrets unraveled toward the end that I’m curious to know if Tricia will re-visit those characters and the issue in a future book. The secrets affect Marianna and I like how she goes about making her plans, with prayers to Jesus, and the eventual life she chooses.

If you enjoy Amish fiction with romantic themes and a transformation in faith in Christ, you’ll enjoy Beyond Hope’s Valley. I recommend you start with Beside Still Waters and continue with Along Wooded Paths to get the most out of Marianna’s story.

About the book: 

Beyond Hope’s Valley – Book Three in the Big Sky series

After an extended stay in Montana, where Amish traditions are different than in her home state, Marianna Sommer returns to Indiana for two reasons, first to help her brother and his girlfriend prepare for a baby and their wedding. Second, to plan her own wedding to Aaron Zook — a marriage she’s been dreaming about ever since childhood. And yet, although she had missed the idyllic farms and families of her upbringing, Marianna is surprised that Indiana is somehow making her long now for Montana.

As months pass, secrets that were hidden in winter’s frozen grasp thaw and take on a life of their own. The truths about a child, about a past relationship, and about God’s plans are being revealed. Walking through a valley of questions, Marianna must hold on to hope as she decides where and with whom her heart truly belongs. 

About Tricia: Tricia Goyer is the award winning author of thirty-two books including Beside Still Waters, Remembering You, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences and is the host of Living Inspired. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

More info: Living Inspired and www.triciagoyer.com.

Link to buy the book:http://ow.ly/azust 

Tricia is having a custom Amish prize pack and author chat TBA, so please stay tuned to her website.

There are other bloggers reviewing Beyond Hope’s Valley. Visit them here.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Clash of the Titles: Delia Latham Announces Amish Clash Winner

Posted by Julie on February 8, 2012 in COTT, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Writing |

*guest post by Delia Latham
It’s been an edge-of-the-seat, flashing-swords kind of Clash between Vannetta Chapman and Beth Wiseman. These gals elicited some genuine response! It is beyond clear that both authors are well loved, and that their writing touches hearts.
This was an Amish clash, and if you missed it, you’ll definitely want to check out the excerpts, as both were excellent examples of GOOD Amish fiction.
Beth Wiseman’s The Wonder of Your Love elicits a whole tangle of emotions, with a dreaded meeting between an Amish woman and her deceased husband’s Englitscher mistress.

If you missed our interview with Beth, be sure to stop by and check it out.
Vannetta Chapman’s Falling to Pieces, on the other hand, paints a poignant picture of loss and confusion after the death of a loved one, all wrapped up in a stack of gorgeous Amish quilts.

And here’sour interview with Vannetta.
I’d love to post every reader response, because I didn’t see a single negative one in the overwhelming number we received…but in the interest of space, I had to choose just a few:
Please don’t stop writing…because your gift transports me to another place, away from all the stresses of life and encourages me!

I love Amish Fiction. Both of these excerpts make me want to dive into these ladies’ lives.

Hearing an Amish story takes me back to my childhood in the mountains of Kentucky. We read by lamp, the Bible mostly. Everything we ate we grew in the garden and canned on a wood stove for winter. The outhouse was about fifty yards from the backdoor. Thanks to both of you for taking me back. God Bless.
I love the Amish Clash as I love to read Amish stories. Having been in the homes of Amish people and corresponding so many years, my home has a room with all Amish figurines and dolls. Keep writing Amish fiction.
Keep writing! We all need encouragement to live more simply like the Amish!
I was drawn into the stories immediately, and now those characters are going to be following me around all day!
We are so grateful for this feedback from our readers! It’s your involvement that gives Clash of the Titles its purpose.
So, which sword-wielding author came out on top?
As much as I’d love to name both of them (since they’re so obviously both WINNERS!), we can only have one victor per clash. That victor, this time around, was:

BETH WISEMAN


CONGRATULATIONS, BETH!
A brand new clash is now underway, and it’s the kind that will curl your toes. Head over to Clash of the Titles and vote for the best Almost Kiss!

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COTT: The Amish Clash Winner Is…

Posted by Julie on November 21, 2011 in Book Review, COTT, Julie Arduini, Writing |

Guest post by Delia Latham

The Amish are known for their quiet, unassuming manner. Their love of all things peaceful…and shunning of competitive pastimes.

Well. I’m afraid that all flew out the window in the COTT Clash featuring Amish fiction. It was a fight to the finish…. a nose-to-nose race…a no-holds-barred dash to the finish line!

Contestants were:

Suzanne Woods Fisher
(Click on the cover to read Suzanne’s Excerpt A)


and

Laura V. Hilton
(Click on the cover to read Laura’s Excerpt B)

Both authors hit the ground running with sizzling teasers that presented a definite challenge to our readers. Both were super-fantastic! Both offered a tantalizing glimpse into an amazing read.

But only one of these fabulous excerpts could take the win.

When at last the dust died down…the crowd silenced in expectation…and the winner stood revealed…

LAURA V. HILTON
held the finish line ribbon firmly in hand!
CONGRATULATIONS, LAURA!

The choice was not an easy one, as our readers made perfectly clear in their comments:

“Both of these excerpts are immediately engaging—I think I’d like to read both books!”

“Both excerpts are winners. Can’t wait to read them.”

“I enjoy the Clash of the Titles!! Each author is fantastic!! And such a great place to hear of new authors that perhaps you haven’t read before. Good luck!”

“I love to read stories of the Amish. Thank you for your hard work.”

“The authors who write Amish fiction are doing a great job keeping true to the Amish ways while holding the reader’s interest with wonderful story lines over and over again.”

Heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation to both Suzanne and Laura. I wish we could call it a tie and put both in the winner’s slot, because both authors truly are winners.

Delia Latham
Heaven’s touch in earthly tales
www.delialatham.net
Living the Write LIfe
The Bookshelf Newsletter

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Book Review: Tricia Goyer’s Along Wooded Paths

When I offer book reviews I typically start with the book and then share a little about the author. Today I’m doing things a little different. If you aren’t sure who Tricia Goyer is and you enjoy reading, you need to learn more about her and her work.

From LitFuse Group:

Tricia Goyer is the author of thirty books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer’s Conference in 2003. Tricia’s book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

I’ve followed Tricia’s work for years. I remember reading her MOPS articles. WWII books. Writing geared for marriage. Book encouragement for moms. Her latest, Along Wooded Paths, is Book 2 in her Amish Big Sky series. It really helps if you read Beside Still Waters first. Anyway, I write all I do about Tricia to show you her talent. Most authors stick to a genre and don’t waver too far from it. Few dance between fiction and non and when they do, the results aren’t often great. Tricia is a clear conduit of the Lord’s pen. She’s gifted in words I can’t even adequately communicate. The next writing project I’m half-watching for her to announce is her plan to align herself with speculative or fantasy. She’s a master in each genre she writes. I am a reader and I’m telling you, she truly has His favor and is a tremendous talent. You need to get your hands on all her books and devour them. Seriously.

That said, Along Wooded Paths treats readers to Amish life in Montana for Marianna Sommers and her family. The more Marianna adjusts to her new life in the mountains the more questions she has. Thanks to a deepening friendship with an Englischer she’s drawing closer to God through His Word. Her family grieves previous losses to the world so their concerns are constant. Tension elevates when the Amish man Marianna thought she was going to marry in Indiana arrives in her Montana town.

I enjoyed the tension and the mounting stakes Marianna faces. Each character has questions and their choices have impact that ripple not just through Montana waters, but even through previous generations.  The beautiful setting Tricia painted in Book 1 continues to be a quiet, endearing character in Along Wooded Paths. I recommend while you are following my suggestion to find Tricia Goyer’s books you make sure Beside Still Waters and Along Wooded Paths are at the top of your list.

For more about Tricia and her other books visit www.triciagoyer.com

About the book:

All she wanted was a simple Amish life . . . But now Marianna Sommer finds herself depending on Englisch neighbors. Although proud of living apart from the world, she and her newly relocated Amish family have discovered that life in the remote mountains of Montana requires working together.As Marianna begins helping those different from herself—and receiving their help—her heart contemplates two directions. She’s torn between the Amish man from Indiana whom she has long planned on marrying and the friendly Englischer who models a closer walk with God than she’s ever seen before.

Who should have young Marianna’s heart? What is God asking her to sacrifice? Her traditions? Her community? The answer is found along the wooded paths.

Read an excerpt.

More about the Facebook Party and Live Author Chat! 

Tricia is celebrating the release of Along Wooded Paths with a Fabulous Facebook party on October 18th. She’ll be giving away prizes and a sneak peak at the next book in the Big Sky series.

Then during the second half of the party she’ll be hosting a LIVE AUTHOR CHAT on her website and announcing something BIG! CLICK the button (below) to RSVP for the party – then go here to sign up for the Live Author Chat.

To purchase Along Wooded Paths click here.

Blog Tour Schedule:

10/3

Martha at Our Family’s Adventures http://homeschoolblogger.com/martha

Charlene at Quintessentially Quilly http://quilldancer.com

Julie Arduini: The Surrendered Scribe http://juliearduini.com

Mocha with Linda http://mochawithlinda.blogspot.com

Sarah at Growing For Christ http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/ohiosarah

Amy at Cajun Joie de Vivre http://amybayliss.com

Nicole at Gidget Goes Home http://language.gidgetgoeshome.com

Patricia at It’s Time To Read Mamaw http://itstimetoreadmamaw.blogspot.com/

10/4

Debra at Footprints in the Butter http://debrakb.blogspot.com/

Leila at All Meant To Shine http://allmeanttoshine.blogspot.com

SusieQTpies Scraps of Life http://cafescrapper-scrapsoflife.blogspot.com

Valentina at Carabosse’s Library http://carabosseslibrary.blogspot.com

Anne at Mommy Has to Work http://mommyhastowork.com

Amy at The 160 Acrewoods http://www.the160acrewoods.com

Reviews By Jane http://www.reviewsbyjane.blogspot.com

Aprils Lifestyle Show http://www.aprilslifestyleshow.com

10/5

Kimberly at Living On Limited Income http://loliloves2save.com

Thou Art Jules http://thouartjules.com

Trish at In So Many Words http://trishdoerrler.com

Reviews By Molly http://www.reviewsbymolly.com

Nicole at Wyoming Girl *turned* Coastie Wife http://www.wyominggirlcoastiewife.com

Kim at Window To My World http://berlysue.blogspot.com

Danielle at The Happy Wife http://juanshappywife.blogspot.com

10/6

Michele at My Blessings From Above http://koreamom.blogspot.com

Leticia at My Daily Trek http://leticiasworld.blogspot.com

Athena at Our Crazy Life http://mama2six.blogspot.com

Evangeline at Sugarpeach http://sugarpeach.wordpress.com/

Splashes Of Joy http://splashesofjoy.wordpress.com/

Karla at Quiet Quilter http://www.karla-hanns-karla.blogspot.com

Elizabeth at Count It All Joy http://texasjoy.blogspot.com

10/7

Laura at Lighthouse Academy http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com

Wendy at Minding Spot http://mindingspot.blogspot.com

Kaylea at My Scrappy Life http://www.myscrappylife.com

Celena at The Traveling Sisterhood’s BookShelf http://thetravellingsisterhood.blogspot.com/p/giveaways-reviews.html

Roxanna at The Jolly Blogger http://www.roxannajolly.com

Ruth at Thoughts from a Princess http://ruthkaup.wordpress.com/

10/8

Carlybird’s Home http://www.carlybirdshome.blogspot.com

Renee at Little Homeschool on the Prairie http://reneek-littlehomeschoolontheprairie.blogspot.com/

Shonda at The Knowlton Nest http://www.jsknowlton.blogspot.com

Whitney at Rambles of a SAHM http://ramblesahm.blogspot.com

Debora at A Book and a Cupcake http://abookandacupcake.blogspot.com

Crystal at Cinnamon Hollow http://thecinnamonhollow.com

Lydia at The Overweight Bookshelf http://overweight-bookshelf.blogspot.com

Jennifer at  A Book Lovers Dream http:// www.abookloversdream.com

10/10

Danielle at Miss Mouthy http://MissMouthy.com

Lauri at Knits, Reads and Reviews http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com

Courtney’s Chitter Chatter http://courtney-courtneyschitterchatter.blogspot.com/

Hillary at Our Homeschool Studio http://homeschoolblogger.com/hillarym

Jodie at Mom’s Pace http://www.moms-pace.com

Pam at Daysong Reflections http://daysongreflections.com

Kendra at Happily Managing a Household of Boys http://familymgrkendra.blogspot.com/

Andi @ Radiant Light http://www.frommipov.blogspot.com

10/11

Marissa at The Review Stew http://www.thereviewstew.com

Michelle at Beyond The Silver and The Gold http://beyondsilverandgold.blogspot.com/

Jill at Frugal Plus http://www.frugalplus.com/

Marg Simply Shop and Save http://www.simplyshopandsave.ca

Paula at The Phantom Paragrapher http://www.thephantomparagrapher.blogspot.com

Cara at the Law, Books & Life http://blog.caraputman.com

Tammy at TammyIsBlessed http://tammyisblessed.blogspot.com

Kristinia at Loving Heart Mommy http://www.lovingheartmommy.com

10/12

Becky at Christian Chick’s Thoughts http://christianchicksthoughts.blogspot.com

Angela All Grown Up? http://pantylesspreacherswife.wordpress.com

Tiffany at A Cozy Reader’s Corner Reviews http://acozyreaderscorner.blogspot.com

Paula at Thrifty Momma’s Brain Food http://www.thriftymommasbrainfood.blogspot.com/

Sheri at The Shades of Pink http://theshadesofpink.com

Sara at Shoopette’s Book Reviews http://shoopettesbookreviews.blogspot.com/

JHS at Colloquium http://www.jhsiess.com

Jennifer at For Such a Time as This http://www.jennifersikora.com

10/13

Kat at Reviews From The Heart http://reviewsfromtheheart.blogspot.com

Jen at Happy Little Homemaker http://www.happylittlehomemaker.com

Jacque at Good Family Reads http://familyreads.com

Susan at New Every Morning http://hismorningglory.blogspot.com

Amber at Seasons of Humility http://www.seasonsofhumility.blogspot.com

Laurel at Let’s Go on a Picnic! http://headant.com

10/14

Loni at Writing Canvas http://writingcanvas.wordpress.com/

Stacie at Simply Stacie http://www.simplystacie.net

Lisa at The Army Chap’s Wife http://www.thearmychapswife.net

Ariel at The Librarian’s Bookshelf http://thelibrariansbookshelf.blogspot.com/

Patty at Broken Teepee http://brokenteepee.com

Pat at Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna http://www.generationsandwich.blogspot.com

Lena at A Christian Writer’s World http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

This book was provided to me for review by B&H publishers and much of the information apart from my review comes from Litfuse Publicity Group.

*I have a writing page on Facebook and enjoy interacting with cyberspace friends through social media. Thank you for “liking” me and checking out my work.

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Christmas in September: Suzanne Woods Fisher and Revell Team Up For iPad Giveaway and Facebook Party

Posted by Julie on September 23, 2011 in Book Review, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

It’s Christmas in September – iPad Giveaway and Facebook Party!

 

It’s Christmas in September!
To celebrate the release of her first Christmas book, Suzanne Woods Fisher has teamed up with her publisher, Revell, to bring you the “Christmas in September” iPad Giveaway! The winner will be announced on 9/27 at the A Lancaster County Christmas Facebook Party! Details below. Tell your friends and join in the fun (9/7-9/27).
Oh and be sure to follow the blog tour here – many of the bloggers have copies of the book to giveaway! 

Suzanne and Revell will be presenting one merry winner with a Christmas Prize Pack (valued at over $600):

  • A Brand New iPad 2 with Wi-Fi
  • $25 gift certificate to iTunes
  • A copy of A Lancaster County Christmas

To enter, click one of the icons below. But, hurry the giveaway ends on 9/26.

But, wait! There’s more! The winner will be announced at the A Lancaster County Christmas Facebook Party on 9/27 at Suzanne’s author page. During the party she’ll be revealing something *BIG* – you won’t want to miss it. She’ll also be hosting a book chat, trivia contest and giving away a few early Christmas presents! Hope to see you there.

 

Enter via E-mailEnter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Litfuse Publicity Group provided information for this post.



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