Sunday, October 28, 2018


~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight,
Author Bio & Review

ABOUT THE BOOK {from Goodreads}:

The fifth book in the Big Book of Who series from Sports Illustrated Kids profiles extraordinary athletes who shaped the narratives of their sports. The best women athletes--past and present--including Billie Jean King, Serena Williams, Nadia Comaneci, Simone Biles, and dozens more are grouped into these categories: Superstars who reinvented what it means to be a sports celebrity, Wonder Women who transcend sports and created seismic shifts in our culture, Trail Blazers who broke barriers and paved the way for others to follow, Record Breakers who set new standards for excellence, and the Champions who showed heart and gumption as winners. All of their stories bring excellence in women's sports to readers hungry for empowering stories for kids--girls and boys alike.


I have followed the sports of ice skating, tennis, and baseball since the 1970s, and in the 1980s I began following professional golf. So when I saw this book on the new book shelf in the children's section of the local public library, I grabbed it. I'm so glad I did!

This book is well-formatted with awesome photographs of these athletes in action, a nice-sized font, text set aside in easy-to-read boxes, and a 'Fast Fact' or 'WOW Factor' for each of the 101 women athletes presented in the book. The photographs really are spectacular. Many of them are in black and white because of the era in which they were taken.

As mentioned in the blurb about the book from Goodreads at the beginning of this post, the book is divided into five sections. There is a 'Player Index' in the back matter of the book. Each athlete's name is shown as last name, first name {i.e. Lopez, Nancy} making it easy for readers to find their favorite athletes quickly.

I learned about women athletes from sports I don't follow and about the little-known-to-me sports some of them have participated in over the years. Some of the sports covered in the book include bowling, track and field, auto racing, softball, tennis, golf, ice skating, snow skiing, ice hockey, polo, soccer, and basketball.

My favorite features in the book were the ones about inspirational women who overcame tremendous obstacles to become champions in one or more sports.

  • Wilma Rudolph: This athlete won three Olympic gold medals for running in track and field events. This was an amazing feat since her left leg was paralyzed from double pneumonia and scarlet fever when she was four years old. When she was eight she began to walk using a leg brace, and she was sixteen when she qualified for the U.S. Olympic track and field team!
  • Althea Gibson: In 1950, she was the first African-American to play in the U.S. National Championships of tennis which was later renamed the U.S. Open. In 1956 and 1957 Althea won the career grand slam of tennis--French Open, Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open. In 1963, this athlete became the first African-American golfer to join the LPGA {Ladies Professional Golf Association} tour where she played in 171 tournaments through 1977.
  • Steffi Graf: I'll be honest, I was a huge Steffi Graf fan throughout her career. I learned in this book that she is the only tennis player to win Olympic gold and all four tennis major tournaments in the same year! I loved watching this woman play tennis--she was tenacious and graceful and mindful all at once.
  • Babe Didrikson Zaharias: Babe was recognized in this book as being the greatest athlete of the first half of the twentieth century because of her versatility as an athlete. She was a champion in track and field events, golf, basketball, and softball.
  • Paralympian Champions: Jessica Long and Tatyana McFadden were featured in the book as paralympian champions in swimming and wheelchair marathon/cross-country skiing, respectively. Their dedication to their sports and their accomplishments are an inspiration to all who follow sports.

I'd like to mention a unique individual who was rightfully included in this book. Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded the Special Olympics in 1962 by holding a summer camp for young people with intellectual disabilities. The movement now includes almost five million athletes--aged eight years old to adults--in 172 countries. Mrs. Shriver is included in the chapter titled, 'Trailblazers', along with Wilma Rudolph, Althea Gibson, and the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest {Junko Tabei}.
Highly-recommended for readers of any age or gender who are interested in learning the history of global sports and iconic female sports heroes!
Find the links to read more great Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from middle-grade authors and bloggers at Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' Blog. 




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Thursday, October 25, 2018


~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, Author
Bio, Author Interview & Giveaway~

When you look at me

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for When You Look at Me by Pepper Basham, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours.


when you look at me front Title: When You Look at Me
(Pleasant Gap Romance #2)
Pepper Basham
Woven Words Publications
Release Date:
October 25, 2018
Inspirational Contemporary Romance

An unexpected mother-to-be
A romance-leery composer
And a forgotten melody from the past that holds the keys to their futures

When Julia Jenkins' great aunt dies and leaves her a Victorian mansion with decades of secrets, Julia never expects to unearth a World War 2 espionage mystery. Struggling with her own past since an assault left her pregnant, her future as a solo parent leaves her dreams uncertain. The inheritance from her great aunt gives Julia the ability to take a step back into her future, but also sends her into the discovery of a love story she’d never anticipated. As she goes through her aunt's treasured possessions, Julia uncovers some oddly written piano music with a musical code she can’t decipher on her own. Not to worry, introverted Englishman and composer, Henry Wright, is thrust on the scene by a pair of homespun matchmakers who know the ‘right’ man for Julia’s wounded heart.

Henry arrives in Pleasant Gap with the task of composing the soundtrack for his best mate’s newest film. The Jenkins’ family’s southern welcome and gregarious personalities set his reticent nature on edge, but he’s inexplicably drawn to his gentle and music-loving hostess, Julia. Uncertain how to build a friendship with the wounded woman, and rather hopeless in communicating well through words, the bond of music becomes a bridge between her uncertainty and his awkwardness.

But her broken past and his families’ expectations build a wall much greater than the cultures that separate them. As they work together to solve a musical mystery from the grave, will an unlikely romance from the past inspire their hearts to trust in a God who’s written the perfect melody for their lives?  

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon


pepper basham

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes historical and contemporary romance novels with grace, humor, and culture clashes. She’s a Blue Ridge Mountain native and an anglophile who enjoys combining her two loves to create memorable stories of hope. Pepper is also a mom of five, a speech-language pathologist, and a lover of Jesus and chocolate. She resides in Asheville, North Carolina with her family.  

CONNECT: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram


Welcome to 'Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic', Pepper. As I visited your website and Amazon and Goodreads Author Pages, I was struck by your versatility as an author. You write historical and contemporary romance novels and novellas. By my count, 'When You Look at Me' is your ninth book. Congratulations!

Pepper: June, thank you so much for having me on your blog!! I HOPE it’s my 10th. That’s what I’m sharing, so I’d better go back and check to make sure 😊 I’ve loved writing these stories. They’ve been so much fun, but 'When You Look at Me' has been both a challenge and an EXTREME joy!! The situation was a delicate one in the story and the characters were both more introverted, so it was an interesting discover for me too.

June: Oops! Sorry I miscounted. Please apologize to the book I inadvertently overlooked. 😇

Please tell us how you created your setting and developed the characters for this book, 'When You Look at Me'.

Pepper: The great thing about this book is that the setting was already ‘created’ in book 1, so WYLAM spun off of the ‘world’ created in 'Just the Way You Are'. The cool thing about WYLAM is that you get to spend more time in Pleasant Gap, VA, in book 2 than you did in book 1. Pleasant Gap is kind of a spin off of two small towns in VA that I love – Hillsville, VA (in the county where I grew up) and Wytheville, VA (in a neighboring county. The characters are…mostly fictional, but the ‘heart’ of the characters can be drawn from a great many people who have influenced my life and world. I love Appalachia and truly enjoy bringing that sense of love, home, family, and music to the printed page.

June: Who is your favorite character in the story? Why is this person your favorite? Without spoiling the story, is there anyone in the story who you do not like? Why not?

Pepper: Oh dear, my favorite? I guess they’d be the two main characters (although Nate Jenkins is forever one of my faves). I love Julia’s strength and Henry’s gentleness. I love their communication through music and words. Um…I’m not sure who I didn’t like. Maybe Henry’s mom?

June: You have written in the historical and contemporary romance genres. If you were not writing in those two genres, what other fictional genre might you try? Would you ever consider writing non-fiction? If so, what subject(s) would you like to write about?

Pepper: First answer – I’d love to write in fantasy. I ADORE the storyworld and magic of fantasy stories. Second answer – YES, I’d totally be open to writing nonfiction – maybe about Autism (which is what I do in my day-job) or being a mom of a larger family (one of the BEST things God has called me to be and do, btw).

June: What or who inspired you to become an author?

Pepper: I’d say that God had always put stories in my heart for as long as I could remember, but being as storytelling is an engrained part of Appalachia, I also learned to appreciate it from the people around me, particularly my Granny Spencer. She’d tell true stories of our family history back for 6 generations or more. (You’ll get to read about one of those ‘inspired’ stories in my January release with Barbour).

June: In your bio you state that as a speech-language pathologist working with autistic students you constantly have to 'think outside the box'. As a retired teacher, I was intrigued by this comment. Will you share an example of how you 'think outside the box' when you are writing a story?

Pepper: Children and adults on the Autism spectrum process the world in a different way than the rest of us do – what they’re focus is or what they find rewarding, may look really different than someone without Autism. One of the things I appreciate the most about the adults and children I’ve met who have Autism is that they see people first – not ‘things’. They take people at face value, just as they are. It’s a beautiful reminder of how God wants us to love others.

Also, their processing the world might look different than ours in the fact that they may show their affections in a different way. They’re still very affectionate, in many cases, but it ‘looks’ different than our typical expectations. I had one kid who ‘showed’ me he cared about me by simply making eye contact. No hugs. But when he looked at me (which was a very tough thing for him to do because it was SO high sensory for him), I knew that he was doing that for ME – because he knew it was important to ME). That humbled me so much!!

June: I admire the respect and understanding you exhibit when you share about your students and their unique qualities.

As a wife, a mother of five children, and a working professional, you sound like an extremely busy woman! What are some of your hobbies and/or some of the things you enjoy doing when you want to wind down? Does your family have any special autumn traditions you'd like to share with us?

Pepper: Well, writing IS one of the things I love to do in my free time. It’s so energizing and fun. But I also really enjoying hanging out with my family. Going on drives and walks in these beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Playing the piano/singing. Visiting the Biltmore (nearby). Trying to bake.

We’ll be traveling to visit family on Thanksgiving which is always a treat for us because it’s a BIG Appalachia lunch with a bunch of wonderfully loud and fun people (30 or more, depending).

June: Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Pepper. I appreciate your taking a few moments out of your packed schedule to visit with us. Wishing you continued success in your writing endeavors! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.


wylam blog giveaway

(1) winner will receive:
  • print copy of Just The Way You Are (Pleasant Gap Romance #1)
  • print copy of When You Look at Me (Pleasant Gap Romance #2)
  • a plaque which says: Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life.... love comes along and brings you a fairy tale
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 22, 2018, and lasts through 11:59pm October 29, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. US addresses only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!





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Sunday, October 21, 2018




~Post Includes: Book Spotlight,
Author Bios, My Thoughts, Bonus
Content & Print-Copy Giveaway
{US & Canada Only}
Sponsored by Storey Publishing~

ABOUT THE BOOK {Courtesy of Storey Publishing}:
Sewing School Quilts: 15 Projects Kids Will Love to Make
160 pages; 9" x 9½"
$18.95 paper with concealed wire-o and patterns
ISBN: 978-1-61212-859-7

--Widening the Quilting Circle to the Next Generation:

Quilters are a passionate group, and now parents, grandparents, and teachers who love this timeless craft have a new tool to draw from their sewing kits. Sewing School Quilts introduces this popular sewing tradition to young makers with patterns for fun one-of-a-kind projects like a recycled T-shirt quilt.

Through easy-to-follow instructions and dynamic photos, authors Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle teach children 8 and up hand- and machine-sewing techniques to piece together their first patchwork projects and stitch their first quilt. Fifteen kid-tested and -approved projects range from the decorative to the practical, including an appli­quéd family crest wall hanging, a patchwork stuffed puppy, and an embroidered selfie quilt.

Using the same winning approach that has made the best-selling Sewing School series a hit with kids and adults alike, each project features step-by-step photographs of real kids sewing, plus encour­aging suggestions for creating unique variations that express each young crafter’s imaginative spirit and vision.


  • A contemporary kids’ guide to the timeless art of quilting, from the best-selling authors of Sewing School and Sewing School 2
  • Features step-by-step photography and text written for a grade 2 reading level
  • 15 kid-created projects include patchwork toys, practical accessories, and a variety of quilts
“The Sewing School series is the best out there for kids to learn the fundamentals in a fun, friendly way.”
—Abby Glassenberg, While She Naps

ABOUT THE AUTHORS {Courtesy of Storey Publishing}:

Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle are the authors of Sewing School and Sewing School 2. Plumley is an elementary school teacher in Memphis, Tennessee, where she inspires students to sew in the classroom, in an after-school sewing club, and at a wildly popular summer sewing camp. Lisle is cultural curator at Fourth Bluff in downtown Memphis, part of the national initiative Reimaging the Commons. They blog together at

Before I begin my review, I would like to disclose that I have had three of my original sewing designs published in two different 'One Yard Wonders' sewing books which were both published by Storey Publishing. When I read this book, 'Sewing School Quilts', which I had borrowed from the local public library earlier this month, I knew I wanted to feature it on my upcoming blog because it is just perfect for middle-graders, tweens, and teens! 

I subsequently contacted the publicist at Storey with whom I had worked on promoting the two above-mentioned books in which my projects appear. I was referred to another publicist at Storey since my contact was unavailable. I asked Sarah if Storey would be willing to sponsor a giveaway of one print copy for a US winner when I posted my feature on 'Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic'. She agreed, and here we are. A word of appreciation goes to Sarah for providing me with all of the images and media information included in this post.

There are so many things to like about this book. First of all, the binding is a cardboard, spiral-bound cover with a large envelope filled with paper patterns. This format makes the book the perfect resource for readers while they are using the books to make the projects.

Secondly, I was impressed with the warm, friendly, nurturing writing tone of the authors. While they provide lots of teaching of skills and awesome projects for young sewists, they also guide and encourage readers to develop safe practices when using scissors, sewing machines, and other tools required to make the projects. 

Thirdly, there is a good amount of quilt history sprinkled amongst the pages of the book. One page features 'A Quick History of Quilts' with a narrative about the Gee's Bend Quilters along with a photo of a colorful quilt designed and stitched by Gee's Bend quilter, Lucy Mingo. Another featured entitled 'Quilting Bee' refers to Laura Ingalls Wilder's novels and her references to pioneer-era quilters gathering together to make projects. Tips are given to young readers of today for setting up their own quilting bee.

Another valuable component of this book are the sections about fabric, batting, Math + Quilts, patterns, and how to assemble a quilt. My compliments go to these two authors for the amount of care and detail they wrote into each and every section of the book. I have been sewing since I was eight years old and quilting since the late 1990's and I am happy to say I learned a few things I did not know which I will now practice when I sew and quilt.

The fifteen projects are divided into five sections:
  •   Art Quilts
  •   Foundation Piecing
  •   Patchwork
  •   Applique
  •   Recycled
There is a detailed quilting dictionary in the back matter along with sections on machine-sewing and hand-sewing skills.

Finally, the participants in the sewing school the authors staged with learners aged eight to age sixteen included boys and girls. It was fun to see such a wide variety of ages and cultures represented in the photos of participants presented in the book.

To get a feel for the projects in this book, Storey has graciously given permission for me to share the photos and project pages for two of the projects in the book.


Excerpted from Sewing School® Quilts © by Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle. 
Photography © by J.F. Burks. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.

Excerpted from Sewing School® Quilts © by Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle. 
Photography © by J.F. Burks. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.


Excerpted from Sewing School® Quilts © by Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle. 
Photography © by J.F. Burks. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.

Excerpted from Sewing School® Quilts © by Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle. 
Photography © by J.F. Burks. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.

Highly-recommended to teachers, parents/grandparents, youth group/church/4-H/scout/youth camp leaders, and adults who are interested in learning how to quilt from the ground up, so to speak.

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated in any manner for posting this review of this book.

I borrowed this book from the children's section of the local public library.


Find the links to read more great Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from middle-grade authors and bloggers at Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' Blog.


 Storey Publishing is giving away one print copy of 'Sewing School Quilts' to a very lucky US/Canada resident, eighteen years or older. No purchase is necessary. Simple use the following Rafflecopter form to enter. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, October 19, 2018


~Post Includes:  Series Spotlight,
Author Bio, Special Guest Post by the Author--
'Seven Things You Might Not Know About 
'The Seven Trilogy' & Giveaway~
The Seven Trilogy

We are celebrating these gorgeous new covers for the Seven trilogy by Sara Davison, with a blog blitz and giveaway hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

The End Begins - final cover Title: The End Begins (Seven Trilogy #1)
Sara Davison
Ashberry Lane/WhiteFire Publishing
Romantic Suspense

One of them is a prisoner and one of them is free. The same one.

Bookstore owner Meryn O’Reilly and Army Captain Jesse Christensen are on opposite sides of a battle. When martial law is declared, Jesse and his platoon are sent to Meryn’s city to keep an eye on the Christians and make sure they are not stepping outside of the confines of the law.

Fiery and quick-tempered, Meryn chafes under the curfew and other restrictions to her freedom. Jesse is equally amused, intrigued, and terrified by her spirit, knowing she could find herself in prison if she shows defiance to the wrong soldier.

His worst fears are realized when she commits a crime he cannot protect her from. Now they both face an uncertain future, and the very real threat of losing everything, including their lives. With time running out, Jesse works feverishly to convince the authorities to show leniency to Meryn. And to convince her that love can overcome any barrier that lies between them.  

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon

The Darkness Deepens 1 (1) Title: The Darkness Deepens (Seven Trilogy #2)  
Author: Sara Davison
Publisher: Ashberry Lane/WhiteFire Publishing
Genre: Romantic Suspense

(formerly The Dragon Roars)

Their Secrets Protect Them … But Secrets are Hard to Keep

No one in the army can find out that Captain Jesse Christensen has become a believer. He and bookstore owner Meryn O’Reilly are forced to meet in secret, facing imprisonment or worse if they are found together. Their relationship deepens, but so does Lieutenant Gallagher’s hatred for the Christians in their city. As Gallagher’s power grows, it becomes clear that his connections go much further up the chain of command than anyone realized, putting all believers, especially Jesse, in extreme danger.

Meryn wants to give her heart to Jesse fully, but her past holds her back. Although circumstances conspire to keep her silent, she needs to tell him her secret. When he finds out what she has been keeping from him, nothing will stand between them anymore. Or nothing will ever be the same.  

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon

The Morning Star Rises flaming books LA Title: The Morning Star Rises (Seven Trilogy #3)  
Author: Sara Davison  
Publisher: Ashberry Lane/WhiteFire Publishing  
Genre: Romantic Suspense

In the Midst of all the Fear and Confusion, Only One Thing is Clear … This Isn’t Over Yet

Jesse Christensen is out of the army, but the real battle has just begun. Major Gallagher has taken over the city and his oppression of believers has intensified. But is Gallagher acting in a professional capacity, or is he carrying out a personal vendetta?

Meryn O’Reilly faces a dark and uncertain future after shocking revelations devastate her life. She is determined to follow God’s call, but her plans could cost her everything. She and Jesse struggle to surrender fully to a God who is always in control, even when circumstances suggest otherwise.

With the world descending into chaos around them, Meryn and Jesse face the greatest barrier to their love yet—a barrier that may prove too strong to breach.

Seven Things You Might not Know about The Seven Trilogy

1.) Are there seven books in this series? It may not be the most important fact about the series, but it is the question I am most frequently asked, so let me clarify right off the top that no, there are not seven books in the series, only three. The series title actually refers to the seven letters Jesus wrote to the churches in Revelation. While the recipients of these letters were seven actual churches at the time, most scholars agree that they also represent the church in the last days, the setting for this series.

2.) Is this an end times book? (said in the same suspicious tone of voice and with the same tilted head as the boy uses when he asks his grandfather, who is reading The Princess Bride to him, “Is this a kissing book?”) And the answer is sort of, but not the way you think. I grew up in a time when apocalyptic, end times books and movies were extremely popular. They were also, for the most part, very dark, violent, and terrifying. These books are not that. The end times, which we have likely been in for a while now, simply refers to an era during which the final stages of God’s plan to restore humanity to perfect relationship with him and set all things right—the story of the Bible from beginning to end—is unfolding right before our eyes. A time when God is firmly in control of all that is happening around us, no matter how crazy or chaotic it feels the world has become. The book of Revelation is a story of hope and the faithfulness and sovereignty of God, and so, I pray, is The Seven Trilogy.

3.) Are the events that happen in the book prophetic? I have never claimed to have the gift of prophecy, so no, not in the strictest sense of the word, at least not that I am aware of. However, I will say that when I first started outlining the book about six or seven years ago, even I thought some of what I was including was pretty far-fetched, but by the time the first book came out in 2015, a lot of readers told me that those same events felt as though they’d been ripped from current headlines in the news.

4.) So, is this a kissing book? Yeah, it kind of is. Like the Bible, The Seven Trilogy is a love story at its core. At the beginning of book one, The End Begins, the military is sent in to keep an eye on the Christians, with strict orders to not become involved with them in any way. Which is a big problem for Captain Jesse Christensen, since he is drawn to the feisty Meryn O’Reilly, a believer, the moment he meets her. Their differences in beliefs, as well as the secrets from their past they are both determined to keep, are huge barriers between them, barriers that may prove impossible to breach.

5.) If the story is set slightly in the future, does it have a sci-fi feel to it? Not at all. I rarely read sci-fi, so I wouldn’t deign to write a book in that genre. The Seven Trilogy books read like contemporary romantic suspense novels, with lots of humour, strong friend and family relationships, bad guys, good guys, action scenes, and adventure tossed in for good measure.

6.) Are the current covers the originals? No, they’re not. In fact, book two, The Darkness Deepens, is on its third cover, and its second title. The book was originally called The Dragon Roars, a reference to the dragon in Revelation, but it was often mistaken for a fantasy novel, which it definitely is not, so we changed the title to the current one and re-did the cover, which initially had a dragon on it. Ashberry Lane first published the trilogy, then, when AL became an imprint of WhiteFire Publishing, Roseanna White designed the fabulous new covers for the series.

7.) Of all the things that happen to the Christians in the series, which is the most likely to happen in real life? Given the current political and social climate in both Canada (where the story takes place) and America, I think it is entirely likely that the Bible will be deemed hate literature at some point in the not-too-distant future. It’s possible it could even be outlawed. The best feedback I have gotten on these books has come from readers who said that the series encouraged them to study the Bible more than ever, and to memorize Scripture. God’s Word, when hidden in our hearts, can never be taken away from us.

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon


Sara Davison - headshot 1

Sara Davison is the author of the romantic suspense novels The Watcher and The Seven Trilogy. She has been a finalist for eight national writing awards, including the Word Award for Best New Canadian Christian author, a Carol, and two Daphne du Maurier Awards, and is a Word and Cascade Award winner. Sara has a degree in English Literature and currently resides in Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael and their three children, all of whom she (literally) looks up to.  

CONNECT WITH SARA: website | Facebook | Twitter

the seven trilogy blitz giveaway

(1) winner will receive:
  • a set of all 3 books in The Seven Trilogy (US/CAN only)
  • $10 Amazon gift card
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 20, 2018 and lasts through 11:59pm October 27, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Follow along at JustReadTours for a full list of stops!


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I am celebrating the five-year anniversary of the release of my first book, 'A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom'. This is an inspirational holiday novella including a dash of romance and was the winner of the 2013 'Holiday Tale Contest' for Cedar Fort Publishing.

To learn more about my first book and to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win an ebook copy, please visit my post at:
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Thursday, October 18, 2018


~Post Includes: Book Spotlight,
Author Bio, Link to Excerpt ~

The simple joys of time with family 

Darla Weaver shares a year in the life of her Old Order Mennonite Family

Darla Weaver grew up the oldest of nine children in a five-bedroom farmhouse her parents still live in to this day. The house was always brimming with life and laughter, and some inevitable sadness. All the children grew up, and the five sisters eventually all had their weddings there at the house. Home held a special place in the hearts of all of them, especially the sisters, and still does to this day. No matter how busy life becomes with raising children, chores and work, everything is set aside one day a week.
Once a week Darla Weaver hitches up her spirited mare, bundles her children into the buggy, and drives six miles to the farm where she grew up. There she gathers with her four sisters and their children for a day with their mother. 

In Gathering of Sisters: A Year with My Old Order Mennonite Family (Herald Press/September 25, 2018/ISBN: 978-1-5138-0337-1/$14.99), Weaver writes about her horse-and-buggy Mennonite family and the weekly women’s gatherings that keep them connected.

“Our Tuesdays happened more by accident than by conscious planning. We never sat down and planned for Tuesdays, but after I moved six miles away to my own home, I gradually acquired the habit of going back to the old home place and spending a day each week with my family,” Weaver writes. It was a tradition that caught on and continued after all the other sisters married and started families of their own.

On warm days, the children play and fish and build houses of hay in the barn. In the winter, everyone stays close to the woodstove, with puzzles and games and crocheting. No matter the weather, the Tuesday get-togethers of this Old Order Mennonite family keep them grounded and centered in their love for God and for each other, even when raising an occasional loving but knowing eyebrow at each other.

As for the sisters, “We don’t exactly play, yet Tuesdays for us are also about relaxing. Of course, there is always work to do—just making dinner for such a group is a big job—but the day is more about relaxing, reconnecting, visiting, and sharing. We talk a lot, we laugh a lot, sometimes we cry. Tuesdays is about being sisters, daughters, moms. It’s about learning what is happening in each other’s lives. Every day is different, yet every Tuesday follows a predictable pattern that varies with the seasons.”

Over the twelve chapters of the book, Weaver shares the activities and time spent together spread over the twelve months of the year. Together the sisters cook, laugh over cooking disasters, share in the sewing, work in the gardens, swap books, work puzzles together and enjoy time as a family. She even shares some tried and true family recipes that didn’t “flop.” The rest of the week is full of laundry, and errands, and work that never ends. But Tuesday is about being sisters, daughters, and mothers.

When asked what her sisters thought about her writing Gathering of Sisters, Weaver notes their initial reactions varied. Her mom thought maybe she should change their names. One sister suggested, “Maybe you’ll have to Sunday-us-up a bit, make sure we all use our best manners when you write about us.” 

Another pointed out since she would still have to claim them as sisters she wouldn’t make them sound too odd or ornery. “I promised not to. One of my nieces, who at fourteen has graduated from eighth grade and is again spending Tuesdays with us, considered staying home for the entire next year to keep her name out of the book. But on a whole, no one really objected. Like Laverne and our children, Mom and my sisters are almost used to my compulsive scribbling. Almost.”

Gathering of Sisters is the sixth book in the Plainspoken series from Herald Press. Each book is written by Amish and Mennonite people about their daily lives and deeply rooted faith. Each book includes “A Day in the Life of the Author” and the author’s answers to FAQs about the Amish and Mennonites. 


Darla Weaver is a homemaker, gardener, writer, and Old Order Mennonite living in the hills of southern Ohio. She is the author of Water My Soul, Many Lighted Windows and Gathering of Sisters. Weaver has written for Family Life, Ladies Journal, Young Companion, and other magazines for Amish and Old Order Mennonite groups. Before her three children were born she also taught school. 

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I am celebrating the five-year anniversary of the release of my first book, 'A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom'. This is an inspirational holiday novella including a dash of romance and was the winner of the 2013 'Holiday Tale Contest' for Cedar Fort Publishing.

To learn more about my first book and to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win an ebook copy, please visit my post at:
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