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Thankful for Home and Family by Laura V. Hilton

Thankful for Home and Family by Laura V. Hilton

I signed up to write a Thanksgiving post, and then life hit. This went wrong, then that went wrong and I’m still reeling from the blows when I get an email notice—oh, I need to write a blog post. And it’s due yesterday. Guess I’d better do it.

So I’m sitting here in my living room looking around. My youngest daughter is looking up something on the desktop computer, my middle daughter is sitting on the loveseat a few feet away from me reading a book, the dog hanging out with the youngest girl. A homemade pepperoni pizza is in the oven.

My husband is downstairs in his “study” working on the sermon for one of the messages tomorrow. My youngest son has just had facetime with me. Encouraging me, discussing Christmas plans with me, and discussing his plans for Thanksgiving since we’ll be apart.

I haven’t talked to my oldest daughter today, but she plans to come home for Thanksgiving and I can’t wait to hug her. My oldest son plans to be home too, but his future is iffy. I don’t know on a daily basis where he is or what he’s doing.

My computer is open to my manuscript, due to the publisher in a little over a month, and I wonder, what am I thankful for? So much. What do I capitalize on?

The big thing is home and family. Most of my children will be home for one holiday or the other. And they have a home to come to. A wood stove for heat, chairs to sit and catch up on, a table and food.

We are blessed.

May your family and loved ones be with you (at least in spirit) this Thankgiving, and may you have plenty to give thanks to God for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

***

Gingerbread Wishes

As Thanksgiving approaches, Becca Troyer finds herself overwhelmed with an abundance of winter squash and pumpkins that she isn’t a bit thankful for. Desperately trying to sell them at a farmer’s market so she won’t have mountains to can, she’s surprised when a mime drops to his knee in front of her and proposes marriage.

Yost Miller is helping the volunteer firefighter raise funds at the city park when he notices his long-time crush Becca selling vegetables. Drawn across the grass, he spontaneously proposes marriage. But afterward, Yost isn’t sure how to proceed to show her that his feelings are real.

Just as he begins to find solid footing, confidence is yanked away, leaving him floundering. Will he lose Becca to another man? Or will this Thanksgiving be a season of blessings and wishes come true?

Thanksgiving Strangers

 Faithe Beiler believes God wants her to feed the poor at her family’s restaurant, but when she mistakes Crist Petersheim for a homeless man and gives him a free breakfast, he’s offended. Yet he can’t help being intrigued by this pretty waitress with a giving heart.

Crist blames God for the tragedies in his life, so the last thing he wants is to get involved with an Amish girl, who trusts God in all circumstances. He fears for Faithe’s safety, though, when she invites every homeless person in the neighborhood, including drug dealers and criminals, to a free Thanksgiving dinner. Street savvy, Crist risks his life to protect her from danger.

As Crist’s heart softens toward God, Faithe finds herself falling him. Then she discovers his deception, and her world is shattered. Can she ever trust him again?

The Thanksgiving Frolic

Monroe has the prettiest girl and the fastest horse— but pride goes before a fall.

Monroe’s girlfriend, Rosemary, and her family organize the Thanksgiving Frolic, a service project to help Amish folks who have fallen on hard times. Monroe wants to go along but his dad won’t let him. Furthermore, Monroe’s dad thinks Rosemary’s family should clean up their own messy farm before they try to help others. Will the contrast between Monroe’s and Rosemary’s families end their relationship for good? Rosemary’s grandpa tries to offer words of wisdom, but people don’t take him seriously. The Thanksgiving Frolic heats up to a fever pitch, before a moment of silence changes everything.

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost 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 and Putting on the New.

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.

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Laura-V.-Hilton/e/B004IRSM5Q 

visit my blogs: 

http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/  & http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com/ 

twitter:

@Laura_V_Hilton

Facebook: 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512

Pinterest: 

http://www.pinterest.com/vernetlh/

 

Purchase my books:

 Amazon   http://www.amazon.com/Laura-V.-Hilton/e/B004IRSM5Q 

CBD: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=laura+hilton&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/laura-hilton?store=allproducts&keyword=laura+hilton

Deeper Shopping http://www.deepershopping.com/index.php?query=laura+hilton&x=0&y=0&module=productsearch&_logmode=Y&querymodule=SPX

 

 

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Unexpected Blessings by Rachel J. Good

Unexpected Blessings

By Rachel J. Good

 

Last Thanksgiving was a stressful one for me because I was dealing with some family and financial struggles. I’d just heard that my publisher planned to close their fiction line, so the book series I’d recently finished writing had been cancelled. I had no idea how I’d support myself over the coming year.

After I prayed about my concerns last Thanksgiving, I gave thanks for all the good things I had—my health, good friends, supportive family members, awesome readers, a career I loved, and darling grandchildren. Most of all, I was grateful for God’s presence in my life.

One week after I prayed, my agent called (she’s one of my many blessings this year!) to tell me we had an offer for a 3-book Amish series from a major publisher. She wanted to wait until the New Year to see if any other offers came in. Meanwhile, a sweet fellow author (another blessing!) recommended me to one of her publishers, and they contracted me for 2 books in an Amish series they were developing. In January, my agent had more good news. Another publisher had made an offer on the 3-book series. After some negotiations, we went with the second offer. I’m thrilled to have the first book in that Love & Promises Amish series, THE AMISH TEACHER’S GIFT, coming out in April 2018 with Hachette/Grand Central, to be followed by two more books.

Two anthology offers soon followed from Celebrate Lit (SPRINGS OF LOVE and LOVE’S THANKFUL HEART). And we recently agreed to two more anthologies for 2018.

Then a publisher contacted me about writing 2 books in the Second Chance Ranch series for middle graders (under a pen name). TAKING CHANCES and WILD MIDNIGHT will come out in January 2018.

The second book in my Sisters & Friends Amish series, BURIED SECRETS, released in April. And then, out of the blue, another publisher contacted me, wanting to publish the books that had been dropped by my previous publisher. Within several months, I’d gone from having no book contracts to having 12 books under contract.

Yet, the blessings kept rolling in. An African friend who runs a mission in Kenya asked me about writing a picture book about her father. The story of his courage and faith touched my heart, so I’m writing this post from Kenya, where I’m researching for that book as well as helping her with mission work. If anyone had told me last Thanksgiving that I’d be returning from Africa one year later, I’m not sure I would have believed them.

 

This November I look back on all the blessings I’ve received this past year and marvel at God’s provision. I found that trusting Him, even when the situation looked bleak, led to wonderful surprises and some unexpected changes in direction.

What unexpected blessings have you received in your life?

 

Love’s Thankful Heart

Because it’s almost Thanksgiving, I thought this anthology would be fun to share. It also includes stories by Laura V. Hilton and Tom Nye. My story in the anthology is a suspense novella, THANKSGIVING STRANGERS.

Blurb for Thanksgiving Strangers

Faithe Beiler believes God wants her to feed the poor at her family’s restaurant, but when she mistakes Crist Petersheim for a homeless man and gives him a free breakfast, he’s offended. Yet he can’t help being intrigued by this pretty waitress with a giving heart.

Crist blames God for the tragedies in his life, so the last thing he wants is to get involved with an Amish girl, who trusts God in all circumstances. He fears for Faithe’s safety, though, when she invites every homeless person in the neighborhood, including drug dealers and criminals, to a free Thanksgiving dinner. Street savvy, Crist risks his life to protect her from danger.

As Crist’s heart softens toward God, Faithe finds herself falling him. Then she discovers he’s deceived her, shattering her hopes and dreams. Can she ever trust him again?

 

Biography

Inspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – Sisters & Friends series, Love & Promises series, and two books in the Hearts of Amish Country series – as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books and the contemporary novella, Angels Unaware, part of the Hope Chapel series. Rachel also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. She loves reading (of course!), traveling, and spending time with her five children and three grandchildren. Visit her at her website, Facebook, author page, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads. You also can sign up for her quarterly newsletter here.

 

 

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Rachel J. Good: Whose Face is That in the Mirror?

Whose Face Is That in the Mirror?

One day when my family was gathered around the dinner table, I complained to my husband about a bossy woman in one of my Christian women’s groups. She always criticized others and insisted her way was best.

As soon as I finished my story, my youngest daughter piped up, “She sounds like you, Mom.”

And she was right. Matthew 7:3 came to mind: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” God used my daughter’s words that day to show me that what bothers me the most in others are often my own faults.

I believe you often write what you need to learn, so in Change of Heart, Lydia is busy trying to prevent her younger sister from getting into trouble during Rumschpringe, a time when Amish teens sometimes adopt Englisch (non-Amish ways). But when Lydia confronts Emma about her rebellious behavior, she’s surprised at her sister’s response:

Emma glared at her. “Even during your Rumschpringe, you did nothing wrong. But when I started mine, you followed me around in Plain dress, showing how pious you were and how wrong I was.”

Was that how it appeared to Emma? That had never been Lydia’s intention. She tried to explain that she’d only wanted to help Emma, not make her feel guilty, but her protest only upset her sister more.

Emma clenched her fists in her lap, and bitterness dripped from her words. “Why would you need to help me?” Her voice rose. “Doesn’t helping imply that you’re better than someone else?”

A little later Emma says:

“You act humble, but inside you’re filled with pride. You compare yourself to me to make yourself feel better.”

Emma’s words cause Lydia to evaluate her own behavior. She had convinced herself she had a duty to watch over Emma, but had it only been self-righteousness and vanity?

I find that as Christians we sometimes make judgments about another person’s spirituality and may even request prayer for him or her, believing we’re doing it for that person’s benefit. But if we look deeply into the truth behind our judgments, we might see that criticizing someone else makes us feel more spiritual. Secretly we believe we’re better Christians or closer to God. Whenever that happens, we need to look into the mirror for the planks in our own eyes.

Do you have someone in your life who irritates you or rubs you the wrong way? What bothers you the most about this person? Are you perhaps guilty of that same behavior? Sometimes surrendering judgmental attitudes becomes easier when we hold a mirror up to our own lives.

BIO

 Rachel photo web (002)_editedRachel J. Good writes life-changing, heartfelt novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She is the author of Amish romances in the Sisters & Friends series. She grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her novels. A former teacher and librarian, she completed her MA from Vermont College while raising five children. She is presently an MFA student in Writing and Illustration at Hollins University. In addition to having more than 2200 articles and 30 books in print or forthcoming under several pseudonyms, she also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. Sign up for her newsletter &/or visit Rachel at www.racheljgood.com.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/racheljgoodnovels/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelJGood1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14661177.Rachel_J_Good

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/racheljgood1/

 

BLURBS

Change-of-Heart_Good_web_editedChange of Heart

Lydia Esh’s younger sister Emma is running wild during Rumschpringe, causing the family major heartaches. Although it means risking her reputation, her job as a schoolteacher, and her courtship with Jakob Zook, Lydia attends parties to watch over Emma and protect her sister’s virtue. When Emma begins a relationship with Kyle, an Englischer, Lydia teams up with Kyle’s older brother, Caleb, to keep the couple apart. As Lydia and Caleb spend time together keeping an eye on their siblings, Lydia falls for this forbidden love. Will she stay true to her faith even if it means giving up the man she loves?

Change of Heart is available in both print and e-book at Christianbooks and Amazon.

 Amish Quilts Coloring Book

Rachel J. Good offers the post, Whose Face is that in the Mirror?

Rachel Good offers the post, Whose Face is that in the Mirror?

Feeling stressed? Why not relax with an adult coloring book? Rachel J. Good’s Amish Quilts Coloring Book takes you back to a time and place that’s calm. Immerse yourself in a world of peace as you color the 25 different patterns inspired by quilts seen in Amish country. Many of these designs are based on traditional quilts, but some have been reimagined or repeated multiple times to create more intricate patterns to color. Each quilt is printed on only one side of the page; facing pages contain inspirational Amish proverbs. And if the designs inspire you to make quilts of your own, the pages can be used as templates for quilt-making.



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