Book Feature & Giveaway: A Welcome At Our Door by Amy Clipston

a welcome at our door amy clipston giveaway feature

a welcome at our door amy clipston

Synopsis:

After a devastating loss, Cindy Riehl is still searching for peace. Will she find it in the community she calls home—or will love send her down a new path?

Over the last few years, Cindy Riehl—the youngest of the Riehl children—has watched her siblings find love and happiness in Lancaster County. But as her family has settled down and grown, Cindy has continued to grieve her mother, whose death left an enormous hole in her heart. Since that haunting day, Cindy has struggled to find peace and wonders if the community is the place for her—and if her faith in God will ever feel the same as it once did.

When a handsome and kind Englisher named Drew crosses Cindy’s path one surprising day, the two of them become fast and easy friends. Drew dreams of starting a family after some losses of his own, and before long, he and Cindy discover that their feelings for each other are romantic. As they spend more time together—often in secret—Cindy is drawn further and further away from the Amish community and the family she loves. In time, she is faced with a difficult choice that threatens to upend her world.

Will Cindy find contentment and love, and will she ever find restored comfort in God and her beloved community? In this final installment of the Amish Homestead series, we return to the charming town of Bird-in-Hand for a story of healing, family, and God’s perfect provision.

  •  Series: Amish Homestead, Book 4

  • Author: Amy Clipson

  • Publisher: Zondervan

  • Release Date: May 7, 2019

  • Genre: Amish Fiction

About The Author

amy clipston

Amy Clipston is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery, Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel, Amish Heirloom, and Amish Homestead series. Her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan University and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats.

CONNECT WITH AMY: 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Giveaway Time!!

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(1) winner will receive a print copy of A Welcome At Our Door.

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight May 13, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm May 20, 2019. US only. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks 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.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | ChristianBook

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

I hope you enjoyed learning more about Amy’s new release! Good luck if you entered the giveaway!

the caffeinated bibliophile

Please Note: I am participating in this tour with JustReads Tours. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not compensated to promote this book.

Book Review: The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith

the heart of a king jill eileen smith

Synopsis:

Get swept away by a story of love, loss, and longing

King Solomon could--and did--have anything he wanted, including many women from many lands. But for all of his wealth and wisdom, did he or the women he loved ever find what they were searching for?

In this engrossing novel, find yourself whisked away to ancient Israel, where you'll meet four remarkable women: Naamah the desert princess, Abishag the shepherdess, Siti the daughter of a pharaoh, and Nicaula the queen of Sheba. As you experience the world of Solomon through his eyes and theirs, you'll grapple with whether this king's storied wisdom ultimately benefited him and those he loved . . . or betrayed them.

  • Genre: Biblical Fiction

  • Published: 4/30/2019

  • Publisher: Revell

  • Pages: 432

  • Goodreads Rating: 4.47 Stars

Praise for the Daughters of the Promised Land Series

"Smith infuses this well-known story with emotional depth and a modern sensibility not typically seen in historical novels."--Publishers Weekly on A Passionate Hope

"[A] richly descriptive and dramatic novel."--Booklist on Redeeming Grace

"Impeccable research and vivid prose."--Library Journal on The Crimson Cord


Heidi’s Rating:

5 Stars

Suggested Drink Pairings:

Tea:

Moroccan Mint Tea

Coffee:

Arabic Coffee


And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind.
— 2 Chronicles 9:23

Why I Chose This Book

When I first heard about this book I was so ecstatic to read it. Biblical fiction is one of my favorite sub genres of Christian Fiction. I also really like Jill’s writing so I was excited to read her new book.

First Initial Thoughts

The book starts out with Solomon as a prince and King David is still ruling over the land with Queen Bathsheba. Solomon really wants to become Co-Regent so that one day he can become King.

In this story there are 4 main women that he eventually marries and has children with. However, Biblical accounts state that King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. I couldn’t imagine! Keeping tabs on all the wives and children…

Naamah is the first wife Solomon takes during his reign. He marries her before King David passes away. I kind of found her to be clingy and determined to be the only wife of King Solomon. However, Solomon does not feel the same way about her. I think she knew all along that his love was unrequited but she was determined to show him that her love was all he needed.

When King David is about to die, Abishag is hired to become his wife. There she takes care of King David in his last days. Abishag is a daughter of a shepherdess. Definitely not fit to be a wife of a King but Solomon finds her attractive and slowly falls in love with her. Abishag was probably my favorite wife of his. She was obedient, devoted, and truly did love Solomon.

Just as we are introduced to Abishag we meet Siti. Siti is the daughter of a Pharaoh in Egypt. King Solomon must go to Egypt because they took over Gezer. And King Solomon wants it back. To get back Gezer he has to marry Siti. He is not happy about this because Siti does not believe in God and wants to practice her ways back in Jerusalem. I was kind of indifferent with Siti. She kind of did have an influence on Solomon however, and seemed to get whatever she asked for. She was definitely spoiled…

Towards the end we meet Queen Sheba. She rules over Sheba or what we now know as Ethopia. King Solomon wants to trade with her to obtain her exotic spices and animals. I liked Queen Sheba. She was smart, witty and knew how to rule a land. And she wasn’t afraid to. However, I didn’t like what she did to King Solomon towards the end.

Setting

The book is primarily set in Israel but we are taken to far away places such as Ethopia and Egypt. It was so interesting to learn about the land during that time and what people called the various places compared to what they call them now. Jill really did an amazing job immersing the reader into ancient Israel, its culture, and history. It definitely seemed like a magical place.

He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.
— 1 Kings 11:3

Final Thoughts

King Solomon… he was definitely what we could call a… player. I found that he would marry just about anyone to gain allegiance and lands. Whether or not he loved them. I did find him to be honorable though and he did try to keep peace over the land. I think that is why he took on so many wives because he wanted to avoid conflict. He would marry the daughters of their opponent’s land just to save bloodshed.

However, as the story went on it seemed like he further and further went away from laws of God. One particular law as we all know - is to not have in abundance. And King Solomon was the epitome of abundance. As stated above he took on so many wives and also built many palaces, owned thousands of horses, and owned many chariots. I didn’t have a feeling that he was greedy. I think he just didn’t know how to rule in terms of conflict.

What I found interesting is that I didn’t know is that Jill already wrote eBooks’s on all of the wives mentioned in this book. So I found that some were surprised that this book was kind of repetitive and re told the stories from those eBook’s. I have never read them so these stories were new to me. But I could see this being an issue with fans of Jill’s books.

What also surprised me is that I didn’t end up hating any of his wives in this story. Mostly I just found one of their traits or personality annoying but I didn’t find that I didn’t like them.

Would I Recommend?

Yes! If you have read Jill’s previous eBook’s the stories may seem familiar but I like that she put them all together and re wrote them. It’s great for those that want to save time and just want to read one book.

About The Author

jill eileen smith

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling and award-winning author of the biblical fiction series The Wives of King David, Wives of the Patriarchs, and Daughters of the Promised Land, as well as the nonfiction book When Life Doesn't Match Your Dreams. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Connect With Jill:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Purchase Links:

Amazon | B & N | Audible | Apple Books

Have you read about King Solomon in the Bible? If so, what do you think of him?

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Note: I am part of the launch team for this book. Therefore, I was sent a copy of this book from the publisher to review and promote. I was not compensated to do this however.

5 Tips on How To Read Faster

How to read faster

For those that love to read - some may take their time to savor every word they read. While others like to speed through a book so they can get into the next book faster.

Some people may feel nervous around reading a book faster because they may not understand the whole story. However, it can be done. Whether you need to read a book by a certain deadline or you have a certain reading goal here are 5 tips on reading faster:

Stop Reading In Your Head

Raise your hand if you read every word you read in your head? Yep, I am guilty of this too. And honestly, this is how I still read to this day. It is how I best understand a story. However, if you would like to start reading faster, it’s best not to actually read the words to yourself. So how do you actually not do this? Be mindful when you start doing it - and then consciously stop. You can also use your finger to read instead if that helps.

Skim The Words

We all have heard that this is what CEO and Entrepreneur’s do to read so many books in a year. Skimming a book is probably the most easiest to do out of all these tips. Skimming refers to only looking for the general or main ideas. Such as reading only the first few sentences in each paragraph. You can also scan the chapter. For example, just scan through the words looking for important information that you would need to know. By doing this alone will greatly speed up the process of reading a book.

Read Phrases

Reading phrases or specific words in a paragraph will greatly speed up the reading process. What does this exactly mean? You only read a certain amount of words in a paragraph to get a gist of what that paragraph was about. It is similar to scanning for example but slightly different.

Here is a good example:

The frog went up the tree quickly and eat some flies. Then he went down the tree and took a nap.

To read this sentence quickly - we will take the words: frog, tree, quickly, flies, nap.

From these words we can understand that the frog went up the tree quickly, eat flies, and then took a nap. And that is what the sentence is basically about.

Focus & Concentration

When you need to read fast, it’s important to be in a position that you can truly focus. That means no background noise, no distractions, and just pure concentration on that book. When there are distractions, it’s easy to stray from that book. Try reading at a time of day where you will less likely be distracted. And remember that you don’t need to read for a certain amount of time - just practicing reading faster for 20 minutes a day can help tremendously.

Write A Summary

If you are really focused on reading faster for whatever reason, try this tip. Write a summery of what you just read. It doesn’t need to be a page long or something crazy like that. Just a few sentences to summarize the story. This will help with the comprehension. This is also a great test. If you find that after reading fast for 20 minutes and you have no idea of what you just read- then it’s a sign that you may need to slow down or practice more.

This is also a great tip for kids (and even adults!) on reading comprehension. I use to have reading comprehension issues as a kid and this helped me tremendously on understanding what I was reading.

I hope these tips have helped you read faster! I think also the best tip out there as well is just to read more! When you continuously read, you get better at it. Therefore, you will notice that you start to read books faster. As they say, practice makes perfect.

Also, please be mindful that it’s OK if you read slow! Take the time you need to read that entire book. Some people have learning disabilities or reading comprehension issues and that is totally OK. Never read fast until you feel comfortable to do so.

Do you read your books fast or do you take your time? Share your tips below on reading faster!

the caffeinated bibliophile

Book Review: The Tinderbox by Beverly Lewis

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Synopsis:

With her Amish parents' twentieth anniversary approaching, eighteen-year-old Sylvia Miller stumbles across a surprise--the old brass tinderbox her clockmaker father keeps in his Lancaster County shop has been left unlocked. Against her better judgment, Sylvia opens the cherished heirloom, not realizing that what she is about to discover will splinter apart her happy life.

Sylvia's bewilderment grows when her father confronts her about snooping in the box. To her amazement, the respected convert to the Old Order reacts as if he has something to hide.

Burdened by the weight of his deception, Earnest Miller decides he must reveal the details about his past to his beloved wife, Rhoda. The long-kept secret alters everything for the close-knit family, jeopardizing Earnest and Rhoda's relationship, as well as threatening Sylvia's recent engagement to the preacher's grandson.

Can the Millers find a way forward through the turmoil to a place of forgiveness and acceptance?

  • Genre: Amish Fiction

  • Published: 4/2/2019

  • Publisher: Bethany House

  • Pages: 320

  • Goodreads Rating: 4.30 Stars


Heidi’s Rating:

4 Stars

Suggested Drink Parings:

Tea: Sweet Iced Tea

Coffee: Cinnamon Latte


I’ve marveled at Dat’s ability to accept the Old Ways so readily, considering his modern upbringing. Mamma says it’s like he was born to be Amish. Maybe so, but all the same, I wished I knew something more about his past.
— Sylvia

Why I Chose This Book

The Tinderbox is the chosen book this month for the Bethany House Blogger program. I absolutely love Beverly’s books so I was excited to read her new release.

First Initial Thoughts

Sylvia is a young woman who has a loving family and boyfriend. Everything is going right until she opens her father’s box in his shop. Her father was not always Amish. He came into the Amish community when he was in his 20s and after proving himself to the community, he married Rhoda, Sylvia’s mother. His past is unknown and he rarely talks about it with his wife and children.

Rhoda and Earnest, Sylvia’s parents are very much in love and have that kind of relationship that we look up to having in our own marriage. However, once Sylvia opens that box, the whole family and relationship are tested.

Titus is Sylvia’s boyfriend. In the beginning he proposes to Sylvia and she is beyond excited. What I found odd is that they only were courting for a few months and never kissed. While I understand that the Amish are conservative, I had no idea they were that conservative. So it was clear to me from the start, that Sylvia’s Amish community was very traditional. I didn’t really like Titus, something about him just didn’t feel right. I won’t go into much, but the actions he conveyed just seemed odd.

Setting

As always Beverly has a talent in immersing you into the Amish community. Each Amish community has different rules on whether or not they have access to technology or electricity. It was hard to tell if this book was set back in the early 20th century because no technology or electricity was mentioned. However, when they did mention “Uber” it was clear it was set in modern day time. Therefore, it’s clear that Sylvia’s Amish community does not have access to telephone, electricity, etc.

That time could turn up his swift sandy glass, to untell the days, and to redeem these hours.
— Thomas Heywood

Final Thoughts

What was inside the box, I kind of guessed from the beginning. I won’t spoil anything, but the contents inside the box really weren’t that bad. But I could see how it would cause issues within the family. I think that without Rhoda and Earnest’s love for each other, they wouldn’t have tried to make things work out. This book is about all about trusting one another and learning to forgive. Trusting in God to understand that time heals everything. I really liked how strong their family was and their willingness to forgive each other.

Also, the book just kind of… ended. Not until the author note in the back did I find out that this is part of a duo-logy. The second book in the series is set to come out this November.

I also really felt for Sylvia. At 18 you should really know better not to snoop in other people’s belongings. However, as human nature goes we are curious and must know what’s inside. I think this situation is similar to other stories in the Bible - where people are tempted to do things they really shouldn’t do. Later in their story they learn from their mistakes and receive forgiveness not only from the people around them but also Christ.

Titus also plays an important role later on in the book and Sylvia has to re think her relationship with him. I won’t say much beyond that, but I didn’t like what TItus did. I hope they both find redemption in the next book.

Would I Recommend?

Yes, most definitely. I think if you are a fan of Amish fiction and of Beverly’s books, you will throughly enjoy this one.



Would you ever move to the Amish country and become Amish? I don’t know if I could. Share in the comments!

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Note: I was sent a copy of this book from the publisher to review. All opinions are my own.