Monday, March 30, 2015


It was Monday, March 24, 2014 when I first started this blog.  Here is the first blog entree on  Over time this first blog posting has been viewed 161 times and that doesn't include me checking and rechecking that it was as good as I could make it.

In the past year my blog has had 217,887 page views.  Now I am quite proud of that, as back on Friday, March 28, 2014 I noted in my calendar that I had 25 page views that day.  I was thrilled on Monday, March 31, 2014 when I had 119 page views.  As time went on, I probably averaged about 500 visitors a week UNTIL Sunday, September 14, 2014 when all the sudden I had 1,166 page views in one day!  

So what happened on September 14?  Pinterest and the internet discovered my Best Macaroni and Cheese Ever recipe.  Every time someone clicked on my Pinterest recipe, it linked them back to my blog where it originally appeared.  And because of the time of year, the pace of page views stayed up until it peaked at 6,408 page views on Thanksgiving Day.  How exciting it was to think of all those kitchens across the world making my Macaroni and Cheese recipe for their Thanksgiving dinner!

And speaking of across the world, the internet surely does bring us all closer.  As a beginner blogger I had no idea that people from other countries would pay attention to  But here is our Top 10 Countries by page view:

  1. United States of America
  2. Canada
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Germany
  5. Australia
  6. France
  7. Russia
  8. Ukraine
  9. Poland 
  10. Netherlands
Of course all of this activity is due to you, the Readers of this blog.  I don't know how most of you found, but I thank you for reading my offerings and commenting from time to time.  Wishing you and your families all the best.

Happy Easter,

Monday, March 23, 2015


The Postcard (Whitaker House) by Laura V. Hilton will leave readers clamoring for more.  The book will more than live up to the highest expectations.  The Postcard will be book two in The Amish of Jamesport series.  Each book stands on its own, no need to read book one prior to book two, although book one, The Snow Globe, is excellent as well.

Rachel Miller is a kind hearted young Amish woman from Jamesport, Missouri, with a penchant to reach out to sick and injured people she finds in the Budget newspaper.  She likes to send letters and postcards, and from that, she has established a pen pal relationship with several of them.  One in particular is David Lapp, originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but now residing in Seymour, Missouri.  David has been severely injured in a buggy accident while in Seymour and now needs a cane to walk.

The letters to David from Rachel are so filled with kindness, that when David thinks to leave Seymour, Missouri, he decides to head straight to Rachel in Jamesport.  When David and Rachel see one another for the first time, it is love at first sight.  Oh, but there are problems!  Rachel is promised to Obadiah who is away in Ohio for a cabinet making internship.  Then there is the problem that Rachel’s older brother, Sam, seriously does not like David to the extent that he causes all kinds of damage and trouble.  Additionally the Bishop in Jamesport calls David a “stray” and seems to always be looking over his shoulder, waiting for David to mess up.  Is there any way for the true love between Rachel and David to triumph?

The biblical verses and prayers contained within the pages are very inspirational and significant, such as when David is afraid and fearful, he remembers Psalm 56, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.”  David wants to begin a men’s bible study group, which is normally frowned upon in Amish circles.  David has found the passage in the bible stating, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”  He wants to spread the message that anyone can be saved by admitting their sins and confessing that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.

Laura writes some of the most delicious romantic scenes in Christian literature.  Readers can’t help but cheer on the endearing characters within the pages of The Postcard.  Laura also knows how to write a villain or two into the script.  The combination gives readers a first rate, page turning, five star hit.  The Postcard will be published April 1, 2015.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


You can win a $50 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble by clicking on the notice on the right side of this blog.  Charlotte Hubbard and GoddessFish are generously sponsoring this giveaway.  Once you click on the block to the right, it will open up a new page where, after registering, you will have several different and easy ways to enter the contest.  Good luck to you all!

Now here is an interesting exerpt from Harvest of Blessings:


Nora’s hand found the inside of Luke’s elbow. His skin felt smooth and warm beneath the short sleeve of his tan cotton shirt. His eyes were the deep green of the shaded cedar trees along the road, and the intensity of his gaze unnerved her. “Um, maybe before we get to Willow Ridge, we could . . .”

“Shall I pull over?”

Nora’s breath escaped her as she nodded. She felt like a nervous girl on her first date. Her heart hammered as Luke brought his horse to a halt on the side of the road. He just kept looking at her, waiting for her to make the first move. Nora was once again impressed by Luke’s control, because even as desire danced in his eyes, his hands remained on his lap.

When she reached for him, Luke pulled her close and kissed her for several long, lovely moments. His soft sighs mingled with hers as he explored her mouth. When she eased away, Nora knew she’d followed a path from which there was no retreat. No turning back.

“Wow,” Luke murmured as he caught his breath. “Wow.”

“You got that right,” she murmured. “This is the first time I’ve ever been kissed in a buggy—which sounds odd, considering the reason Dat sent me away. But before Borntreger took what he wanted, I’d led a very sheltered, good-girl life.”

“Maybe I can re-introduce you to Plain dating,” Luke replied as he took the lines in his hands again. “The basics between a man and a woman don’t require a car or cell phones or electricity, after all.”

Nora grinned, for it seemed they had generated their own type of electricity—and it was very different from what she’d known with Tanner Landwehr.

“Will you need a ride to pick up your painted van?”

“No, the Stutzman brothers offered to deliver it, to be sure everything drives the way it should after they’ve checked it over,” she replied. “Poor planning on my part, eh?”

Luke wrapped his hand around hers as the horse clip-clopped along the blacktop again. “The best parts about getting to know someone usually don’t follow a plan. Although I’ll confess that I accomplished everything on my agenda today. And I liked it. A lot.”

Nora smiled. Who could’ve imagined that cool, self-assured Luke Hooley would admit such a thing in a way that seemed so guileless? So sweet and open.

When the mill came into view, Luke kissed her once more, gently guiding her chin with his finger. He drove her to the front door of her house, and as Nora got out of the buggy she felt so giddy she wasn’t sure what she said to him. When she entered her front room, the fabric hangings stacked on her couch reminded her that she had a million things to do to get ready for her store’s opening, but she went straight upstairs. She changed into a cape dress and pulled her hair into a bun with a kapp over it. In the bathroom, she washed off her makeup.

Grabbing the wardrobe boxes she’d used for her move to Willow Ridge, she went to her closet and quickly took out every pencil skirt, silk blouse, and pair of tailored slacks, plus all the sundresses and suits and high-dollar shoes and purses that went with them. She bagged her jewelry and colorful scarves, and yanked her tee shirts, jeans, and shorts from her dresser drawers. Waves of emotion rolled through her as she recalled the occasions when she’d worn some of this stylish clothing, but before she lost her resolve, Nora sealed the boxes shut with packing tape. She would haul this stuff to the thrift store in Morning Star as soon as her van arrived.

She felt purged. Clean. Her English wardrobe represented a life she felt good about leaving behind, even though she’d known some shining moments and had gained a world of experience that would never leave her. But it was time to move forward, even if that meant stepping back in time to the simpler life she’d known as a girl.

Nora looked in the mirror and smiled. The woman gazing back at her belonged in Willow Ridge. No matter what her father thought of her, she had come home. To stay.

 I just swoon when I read Charlotte's writing.  Now let's learn more about our author.

Charlotte Hubbard's Bio: 
Drawing upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi, longtime Missourian Charlotte Hubbard writes of simpler times and a faith-based lifestyle in her Seasons of the Heart series. Like her heroine, Miriam Lantz Hooley, Charlotte considers it her personal mission to feed people. Faith and family, farming and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle. She’s a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and when she’s not writing, she loves to try new recipes, crochet, and sew. Charlotte now lives in Minnesota with her husband and their border collie.

Seasons of the Heart, Book 5
Zebra (February 24, 2015)
ISBN-13: 9781420133097 •• ISBN-10: 1420133098
Click on these links to buy this book now!
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Monday, March 16, 2015


Charlotte Hubbard’s Seasons of the Heart series has a delightful new addition with Harvest of Blessings (Zebra Books).  Many of the same characters that were introduced in prior books in the series are back to entertain readers as well as a few new, interesting characters as well.  For that reason, readers are recommended to read prior books in the Seasons of the Heart series before beginning Harvest of Blessings.

The story begins with former Amish Nora Landwehr, age 32, moving back to her childhood town, to try to make things right again with her family.  At age 16, Nora left in shame to live with an out of town aunt, due to being pregnant but not married.  When the baby was born, Nora left the baby girl, Millie, to be raised by her brother and sister-in-law.  Millie is now 16 years old and has no idea that Nora is her real mother.

Nora, who has lived as an Englischer the past 16 years, comes back to town in a fire red BMW convertible, wearing short shorts, and raising eyebrows.  She has many decisions and changes in life style to make.  Should she return to the Amish faith or join the more liberal Mennonite church?  How will Nora make a living in sleepy Willow Ridge, Missouri now that she spent all of her divorce settlement buying a home there?  Can her splintered family ever find the love and forgiveness needed for the togetherness she seeks?

Themes of forgiveness for ourselves as well as our enemies and others are established throughout the book.  Charlotte’s excellent use of character development from beginning to end is stellar and creates some of the most romantic scenes ever in the history of the Amish genre.  Charlotte also writes convincingly of the darker side of human nature within the storylines of Hiram Knepp and Tobias Borntreger.

Charlotte Hubbard’s beautiful, descriptive writing will draw readers into the lives of the people of the small town of Willow Ridge, Missouri, making saying goodbye at the end of the book, very difficult to do.  Harvest of Blessings was published February 24, 2015.

Monday, March 9, 2015


Shelley Shepard Gray, one of the top authors in the Amish genre, presents a new series of fun, flirty Amish romance novels set in Pinecraft, Florida beginning with The Promise of Palm Grove (Avon Inspire).  What makes this book even more delightful is the setting in Pinecraft, a real suburb of Sarasota, Florida.  Pinecraft is the vacation spot of many Amish and Mennonites from Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.  Busses regularly transport Amish and Mennonites from up North to Pinecraft, Florida during the cold winter months.  Supposedly there is a saying among the Amish, “what happens in Pinecraft, stays in Pinecraft”.  The meaning behind the quote is that rules are much relaxed in Pinecraft and your church community up North doesn’t need to know everything that you do on vacation.

The story centers on Leona and her two girlfriends, Mattie and Sara, all in their early 20’s, who have come down to Pinecraft for a two week vacation.  Leona is to be married in a couple of months to Edmond, but doubts have been piling up in Leona’s mind.  It is always Edmond’s way, he doesn’t seem to pay any attention to what Leona wants.  Edmond is dour, demanding, and doesn’t seem to have a romantic bone in his body.  Leona feels so free to be away from Edmond for a couple weeks.

The girls meet up with three Amish young men who live in Pinecraft year round.  The guys, Zack, Danny, and Jeremy are sweet, thoughtful, and kind.  Almost immediately, Leona is attracted to Zack.   After a second chance encounter, he quickly suggests that the girls allow him to be their tour guide to Siesta Key beach.  What follows that invitation turns Leona’s world upside down.

Shelley writes charmingly of the different restaurants, shops, beaches, and area attractions in Pinecraft and the surrounding Sarasota and Siesta Key area as the girls enjoy their days and nights in Florida.  Readers will be ready to book their next winter vacation to sunny Florida after reading The Promise of Palm Grove.  The new series is titled Amish Brides of Pinecraft and this first book in the series was published January 27, 2015.

Monday, March 2, 2015


Anna’s Crossing (Revell) by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an amazing new offering in the Historical Amish Romance genre.  The author has meticulously studied the real 1737 crossing of a group of Amish settlers from Germany to Port Philadelphia on the Charming Nancy and writes a fictional tale with clear eyed, heartbreaking reality.  Admittedly there are passages that are difficult to read but Suzanne keeps true to the historical times and does not sugar coat the story.

Anna’s Crossing tells the tale of Anna Konig, a pretty, young Amish girl with a kind and sweet personality, who is being sent to the New World by her grandparents.  Anna hates the idea of leaving her grandparents behind but does her best to help the others on board the overcrowded, odorous lower deck of the Charming Nancy.  Conditions decline daily on the ship but Anna keeps an optimistic outlook due to her faith in God.

The ship’s carpenter, Bairn, is captivated by Anna’s beauty and uplifting personality.  Suzanne writes of their slowly entwining feelings.  The ending of the book, will leave readers with goose bumps and tears in their eyes.  Bravo, Suzanne, very well done!

Also entertaining is the story of Felix, an eight year old Amish boy also on board the Charming Nancy.  Felix is like many eight year old boys who can’t stay still, especially while being confined  in the lower deck of a ship.  All Felix wants is to be hanging around the sailors and officers and exploring the top decks of the exciting ship.  Bairn takes Felix under his wing to keep him safe while Felix runs around where he doesn’t belong.

This books is beautifully researched and written.  It keeps true to the speech of the times but is not difficult to read.  Suzanne Woods Fisher includes in her Author Notes several interesting tidbits of information regarding the actual sailing in 1737 of the Charming Nancy.  Realizing that this was a real sailing makes the book all the more thought-provoking.  Anna’s Crossing will be published March 3, 2015.