Second chances with an old flame... Hitching the Pitcher by Rebecca Connolly, Sophia Summers & Heather B. Moore (Review)

Hitching the Pitcher
(Belltown Six Pack #1)
By Rebecca Connolly, Sophia Summers & Heather B. Moore
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 151 Pages
February 5th 2019 by Mirror Press


Swoony Sports Romances

Sawyer Bennett has a secret. A risky thing, being one of the popular Belltown Six Pack, a group of six guys from the same college baseball team, all of whom got drafted and now play in the Major Leagues. Between the media frenzy over them and his bond with the guys, his secret has to stay carefully hidden if he wants it to stay that way. He needs to focus on his pitching and let everything else fall away.

Running into his former college girlfriend wasn’t supposed to happen. Falling for her again wasn’t supposed to happen. Confessing his secret to her was definitely not supposed to happen. But the harder he falls for Erica Moore, the more important his secret—and she—becomes.

Welcome to Belltown! Six baseball players meet in the college town of Belltown, Massachusettes, becoming best friends, their lives intertwining as they each get called up to the Major Leagues.

Follow Sawyer, Cole, Axel, David, Ryker, and Levi in these six swoony sports romances.

Belltown Six Pack Series:
Hitching the Pitcher
Falling for Centerfield
Charming the Shortstop
Snatching the Catcher
Flirting with First
Kissing on Third

(Affiliate links included.)
FREE on KindleUnlimited

My Review

HITCHING THE PITCHER is a fun story of a reconnecting characters who find that the romance they had in the past is still there and even stronger as they fall in love a second time. However, the same issues that tore them apart the first time are also still there and unless a certain pitcher can get his head straight, he won't be able to keep his second chance at love. A great group of characters and a romance that is sweet with plenty of fun banter opens up this pro-baseball, leading-men series.

I really loved both Sawyer and Erica! I liked that their history gives them this great foundation of friendship and that they find they still have feelings for each other. They so easily fall back into dating and are so comfortable with each other. I did want a bit more chemistry or something more with them, but it was still a relationship that worked for me. They both have some things they still needed to work through, especially Sawyer. It was a bit heartbreaking seeing him struggle and try to work everything out. Thank goodness he did. The group of guys, the Six Pack, were all so fun. I loved their camaraderie and the way they had each other's backs, but could also tease and joke around. I'm really looking forward to reading about them all in future stories.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I thoroughly enjoyed reading this! Definitely recommended to sweet romance readers!

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Have you read this one? Do you like stories with pro-sports leading men?

Find out more about the fantasy world of Adia... Kingdom Above the Cloud by Maggie Platt (Guest Post & #Giveaway) #KACPrism @PrismBookTours

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to my tour stop! Read a guest post from the author and enter the giveaway below...

Kingdom Above the Cloud
(Tales from Adia #1)
By Maggie Platt
YA Fantasy, Christian, Allegory
Paperback & ebook, 239 Pages
April 17th 2020 by Ambassador International


What if the nine Fruit of the Spirit and the Seven Deadly Sins were locked in a battle for control?

Abandoned as infants, Tovi and her twin brother were raised by an eclectic tribe of warm, kind people in a treehouse village in the valley. After her brother's sudden disappearance Tovi questions her life and her faith in an invisible King. Ignoring her best friend Silas' advice, she decides to search for her brother in the kingdom on top of the mountain.

Above the cloud, the Council of Masters receives their orders. Tovi and her brother are the objectives. King Damien has a plan and Tovi is the key. The Council of Masters want her, but will she remain unscathed?

Amidst the glamour of the kingdom above the cloud Tovi is torn between her own dark desires and unanswered questions. It starts with a snake and a crown. When the ring is complete, will her life be over?

(Affiliate links included.)

Guest Post: Introducing Adia!

Tovi lived in the land of Adia, a peaceful village nestled in a lush valley. Adians worked hard but didn’t know it, spending their days doing what they loved—building or gathering or anything that was both pleasant and occupying. They delighted in their sweat, blisters, and long days in the sun.

They lived in a sprawling network of tree-top cottages. Instead of inviting others to their homes, they would say, “Come to my tree.” Each little house had a thatched roof and open windows. Some had half doors, but the purpose was to keep small children in rather than to keep others out. Their community buildings were built in the same fashion, only much larger. “Main Street” was a cluster of trees so dense that it was hard to know which limbs belonged to which trees. Everywhere you looked there were bridges, rope ladders, and swinging vines connecting the general store, doctor’s office, cafe, meeting house, and so much more.

Kingdom Above the Cloud’s main character, Tovi Tivka, grew up in Adia. When the story begins, she is there among the treetops, wistfully yearning for more out of life and answers to her deepest questions. To get you better acquainted with this setting, here are some common questions I receive about Adia.

What do the people of Adia look like? Are they fairies? Are they tiny?

I often get questions like these because their homes are up in trees! These are totally normal-sized humans. They live in a forest of enormous trees. One of the most unique things about Adia (and the surrounding villages/kingdoms) is that the people of this world have very vibrant eye and hair colors. Some even have bold markings. Tovi Tivka has navy blue hair and brown eyes that have a little purple star on the edge of the iris.

Why do they live in the trees?

The land of Adia floods once every few years. So, rather than living on the ground where their homes will be washed out, they have adapted by living in the trees.

What does daily life look like?

They are a rustic, pioneer-like society. They hunt, gather, and garden. They make or trade for everything that they own. Few of them specialize in one thing. Instead, they go about their day doing whatever needs to be done, whether it is fixing the roof, going fishing, taking food to someone who is sick, or mending clothing. They help one another often, and there are frequent community-wide parties and celebrations.

What are some of their traditions?

Their most beloved traditions are tied to the floods mentioned a couple of questions ago. As soon as the ground becomes squishy, they know a flood is coming. This gets everyone very excited, and they hustle and bustle to prepare for their weeks (maybe months) stuck up in the canopy. After the flood rushes in, they watch the level of the water daily. On the first day when the water is noticeably receding, there is a big day of gift-giving and story-telling, when the young surround the elderly to hear tales of adventures and heroics. Then, when the ground starts producing food again (this takes many months), there is a giant feast to celebrate the harvest.

How long has Adia existed?

Adia is only about 50 years old, which is much younger than most fantasy worlds. Adia is in a valley, and the people came from a mountain that looms over them. There is a city on top of Mount Damien that is older and more established. This is where King Damien reigns with his evil ideas and manipulative games. When he was rising to power 50 years ago, there were many who resisted. When it became too dangerous to survive, those resistance fighters fled to the valley and established Adia. Tovi’s adoptive grandparents, Ganya and Avi, are two of those resistance-fighters-turned-Adia-founders.

Are there dangers in Adia?

The people there rarely experience serious accidents, and there aren’t any major animal predators. The real dangers come from Mount Damien. As King Damien plays his game and asks an Adian to be brought to him, his stealthy followers sneak into Adia to do his bidding. This introduces dangers - like greed, bitterness, manipulation, wrath, and pride - that Adia has not seen before.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about Adia! If you want to read about Tovi’s adventures (and misadventures) in Adia, check out Kingdom Above the Cloud.

About the Author

Maggie Platt is a writer, traveler, cancer survivor, and dreamer. Her greatest joys are being Auntie M to her amazing nieces and nephew and sitting with students and friends over cups of coffee and deep conversations. She works at her alma mater, Anderson University, and she lives in a cozy little cottage nearby where students come to sit on her couch just to laugh, cry, and talk about life.

Tour Schedule

Tour-Wide Giveaway

One winner will receive a signed print copy of Kingdom Above the Cloud, map of Adian, bookmark, and sticker (US only)
Ends May 6, 2020


Grab Our Button!

What did you think of the author's guest post? Would you want to go visit Adia? Will you be reading this one?

I Can't Wait for... Hood by Jenny Elder Moke (Can't-Wait Wednesday/Waiting on Wednesday) #CWW #WOW

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here, at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you're continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

What a day! Sorry for this going up a bit late. I just had to add a couple of things and was gone all day, so I'm just getting to this...

I love the story of Robin Hood and I love retellings, so obviously this is my kind of book! I love that this focuses on Robin Hood and Marian's daughter and am excited to see what this author does with this classic. It's my pick this week...

By Jenny Elder Moke
YA Historical Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 320 Pages
June 9th 2020 by Disney-Hyperion


You have the blood of kings and rebels within you, love. Let it rise to meet the call.

Isabelle of Kirklees has only ever known a quiet life inside the sheltered walls of the convent, where she lives with her mother, Marien. But after she is arrested by royal soldiers for defending innocent villagers, Isabelle becomes the target of the Wolf, King John's ruthless right hand. Desperate to keep her daughter safe, Marien helps Isabelle escape and sends her on a mission to find the one person who can help: Isabelle's father, Robin Hood.

As Isabelle races to stay out of the Wolf's clutches and find the father she's never known, she is thrust into a world of thieves and mercenaries, handsome young outlaws, new enemies with old grudges, and a king who wants her entire family dead. As she joins forces with Robin and his Merry Men in a final battle against the Wolf, will Isabelle find the strength to defy the crown and save the lives of everyone she holds dear?

In Hood, author Jenny Elder Moke reimagines the world of Robin Hood in lush, historical detail and imbues her story with more breathless action than has ever come out of Sherwood Forest before. This novel is a must-read for historical-fiction fans, adventure lovers, and reluctant readers alike!

(Affiliate links included.)

Will you be reading this one?

He's trying to save his company and have a chance at love while facing danger... Deadly by Design by Paige Edwards (Review)

I loved this author's last book (included below with a link to my review) and have been looking forward to this follow-up. It's more of a companion novel, so you don't have to have read the first book to read this one. Read my thoughts and enter the tour giveaway below...

Deadly by Design
By Paige Edwards
LDS Romantic Suspense
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 304 Pages
April 1st 2020 by Covenant Communications, Inc.


For up-and-coming Formula One engineer Jack Pressley-Coombes, there is nothing better than the smell of rubber and the roar of a race car engine. When he witnesses a crash at the first international Grand Prix of the season, Jack makes a shocking discovery: his design is on a competitor’s car.

To keep Davis Racing Ltd., his British Formula One employer, from closing its doors, Jack goes undercover for MI6 to ferret out the company saboteur. When the investigation interferes with his and Gillian Buchanan’s blossoming romance, Jack can’t extricate himself from the web of deceit. But he’s not the only one with something to hide; Gillian also carries secrets. With time running out, the evil that walks the corporate halls of Davis Racing turns in Jack’s direction and threatens all that he holds dear.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

DEADLY BY DESIGN is a fun mix of romance, family, friendship, and suspense set mostly in England. Readers will fall in love with these characters and cheer them through to the climatic end! Recommended to LDS romantic suspense fans!

I had such high expectations going into this story after reading this author's companion book, Catherine's Intrigue, which I loved. I know what this author can do, and I was so happy that I loved these characters just as much as the characters in the first book. They definitely had plenty of chemistry and were great together, but they were also fantastic on their own. I loved the friendships and the family dynamics as well.

I also had some issues with this book. For some reason the dialogue was a bit jerky in places. It just didn't always flow like I felt it should. The scenes also didn't flow from one to the other all the time, so I felt like the transitions needed a bit more work. I also had issues with the situation (the way Jack's undercover work turns out) and pieces of the suspense. I felt like they needed to be a bit more realistic and complex. I wanted more development and for it to make more sense.

In the end, was it what I wished for? Overall, I enjoyed reading this story. The story was fun with some intense moments, and the romance was swoon-worthy.

Content: Some violence pertinent to the story. Clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

Catherine's Intrigue
By Paige Edwards
LDS Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 320 Pages
March 1st 2019 by Covenant Communications, Inc.


To fulfill her mother's last request, twenty-four-year-old historic design specialist Catherine Pressley-Coombes travels to England in order to investigate an elusive family line. Armed with an illegible diary, she is determined to discover the identity of her mysterious ancestress. Distracted by an Elizabethan manor and unused to British country roads, Catherine runs her car into a ditch. Luckily, Nick Davidson, a handsome, hard-working local rides in on his tractor to save the day. As the down-to-earth manager of his family's estate, Nick also happens to be one of England's most eligible aristocrats.

Nick is certainly not the kind of man Catherine would fall for, a man dogged by media and rumor. So why does she find the English lord so irresistible? Even though she can't overlook their differing values and beliefs, as she and Nick spend time together, their attraction deepens. While she battles through romantic turmoil, Catherine is beleaguered with far more sinister concerns: a series of unexplainable misfortunes that are not mere accidents. With her heart on the line, Catherine discovers her life is in jeopardy, and she has no idea who the perpetrator is but she has a growing suspicion that the danger might be connected to whatever secrets lie hidden in her ancestor's diary.

Read my review HERE.

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author

Born and raised in Southern California, Paige Edwards is a multi-award-winning author who enjoys clean romances and thrillers. A BYU-I alumna, she went on to graduate summa cum laude from NOVA with a degree in interior design. Her husband's job transferred their family to the mid-Atlantic states where they have lived ever since. As a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and former chapter registrar, she has spent time researching applicants' genealogical credentials. When she needs a break from writing, you can find her shooing deer out of her garden, biking battlefields, or kayaking on the lake.

Please join Paige's newsletter at where you'll hear about upcoming projects, research trips, fun trivia, and deals on books by other clean and wholesome authors.

Tour-Wide Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you read either of these?

Read an excerpt from this humorous women's fiction... Best Behavior by Wendy Francis (Excerpt)

Welcome to my tour stop! Read an excerpt below...

Best Behavior
By Wendy Francis
Women's Fiction
Paperback. Audiobook & ebook, 336 Pages
May 5th 2020 by Graydon House Books


The drama is hot and the drinks are flying in Wendy Francis’s witty, warm, and quirky family drama, BEST BEHAVIOR (Graydon House; May 5, 2020; $17.99 USD). Heartfelt and relatable, Francis cleverly portrays the nuances of a less-than-perfect but more-than-loving blended family in all its messy glory.

Meredith Parker and her husband Joel have been dreading the weekend of their twins’ college graduation. Not only does it mean that Dawn and Cody are flying out of Meredith’s nest to live in Chicago and North Dakota, but it also means Meredith will have to deal with her insufferable ex-husband, Roger, his pompous parents and his new wife Lily, so young she could be the twins’ sister! But Meredith is willing to be the Jackie O. of college graduations. She can handle that for three days, can’t she?

Meanwhile, Dawn, who has spent a lifetime cleaning up after her ‘golden boy’ brother, discovers a mess even she may not be able to get Cody out of. He’s been acting weird last the few weeks of school; picking up smoking, breaking up with his girlfriend, but this... this is definitely a problem. She needs to figure out what’s going on with her twin before he really ruins his life.

(Affiliate links included.)


Chapter 1

On Thursday morning, the temperature outside is seventy-one degrees and climbing while Meredith Parker considers which of a thousand recommended places she would like to visit before she dies. Not that she’s anticipating dying anytime soon, but she needs a distraction. She figures she has already seen at least a handful—Yosemite (breathtaking, as advertised), Niagara Falls (overrated in her opinion ‒ and cold), and San Francisco (lovely, with a charming hippie vibe). It’s the exotic locales that have eluded her over the past forty-six years, places like Tahiti or Rome or the Swiss Alps. Although, come to think of it, Meredith doesn’t really care for skiing, so she can probably cross the Alps right off her list. But Rome would be nice—all that history and pasta—and wine! A cheap fare must be available on one of those best-deal websites, if she searches long enough. Yes, she’s fairly certain she can persuade her husband, Joel, that Rome should be their first-ever international destination, the new green pin on their Where Have You Been? map that hangs on the wall in the den. That is, of course, once the kids have settled into their new homes.

And with the thought of her children’s imminent departure, Meredith’s throat tightens. What’s the use? she thinks. No number of mental hijinks will make her forget the real purpose of today’s trip. She, Joel, and her mother, Carol, are tracing the familiar route up from New Haven to Boston, as they have dozens of times before, the trees beyond the window zipping by in a curtain of emerald green.

But this weekend will be different.

Because this weekend marks the twins’ college graduation, an event that seemed impossibly far away only a few years ago, even a few months ago. Tomorrow her babies, the ones she used to cradle in each arm, will accept their hard-earned diplomas and officially step out into the great wide beyond, otherwise known as Adult Life.

Last night, when she’d gone to her neighborhood book club, the room had been abuzz with excitement over the upcoming weekend. “You must be bursting with pride!” her friend Lauren exclaimed. “I can’t believe that Cody and Dawn are already graduating. It’s so exciting.” And Meredith had nodded, as if she, too, were in a state of shock over this improbable fact.

It’s true that she couldn’t be prouder of the twins, but the moment is bittersweet. Soon, Cody will be off to Bismarck, North Dakota, to teach high school history, and Dawn is headed to Chicago to work at an advertising firm. Her kids will be so far away, they might as well be moving to Bangkok. Even though she knows it’s irrational, Meredith is racked by the feeling that after this summer she might never see her children again.

Admittedly, she is at a corner, or more specifically, at a crossroads in her life. Images of a two-year-old, chubby Cody racing into her arms or of a young Dawn asking for “one more good-night tuck-in” swim through her mind. She can still feel those small arms wrapped tightly around her, the love so palpable she used to think her heart would leap from her chest to theirs. How is it possible that her babies are graduating from college this weekend?

With Lauren’s comment, Meredith had cast her gaze around the book group (who, truth be told, rarely ever discussed the book at hand) and realized with a start that the difference between her own life and that of her friends’ suddenly stretched before her like a giant yawning chasm: Meredith was about to say goodbye to her kids once and for all, while her neighbors still had years of child-raising ahead of them.

Lauren had offered her an affectionate pat on the shoulder, as if she could read Meredith’s thoughts, and handed over a generous pour of chardonnay, which Meredith accepted gratefully. Maybe, she allowed herself to consider, Lauren was right. Maybe the graduation weekend would be exciting, as pleasing as a perfectly folded fitted sheet. Tuck this person into that corner, that person over there, smooth it, smooth it, and everyone would get along swimmingly.

Given her patched-together, hybrid family, though, Meredith sincerely doubts it. Her ex-husband, Roger, will be bringing Lily, his new wife of six months. And as fine as Meredith is with the idea of Roger’s remarrying after all these years, his new marriage somehow feels forced, as if he has just purchased a new set of golf clubs that he’s eager to show off to the rest of the family.

“I know. It’s crazy, right?” Meredith had managed to get out after swallowing her wine. “The twins are officially all grown up.”

Lauren, a corporate attorney, has two young girls, six and eight, whom Meredith adores and dreams of kidnapping one day (she tells herself it wouldn’t really be kidnapping, though, since they’re all neighbors, and obviously she would do Lauren the courtesy of asking before moving the girls into her own home.). As it is, she helps out with the girls whenever she can, usually after school when Lauren works late and Meredith is already back from her shift in the NICU. The girls have her pegged for a softy and know full well that she will buy them ice cream, bake chocolate chip cookies on a whim, and watch every terrible mermaid movie that’s available for streaming. They call her “Auntie,” which makes her heart swell and break simultaneously.

Some days she wishes she and Joel had tried for their own children way back when, even though the timing was off—they didn’t meet till Meredith was in her late thirties—and there would have been a considerable age gap, more than a decade, between a new baby and the twins. But at least she would still hear young voices in the house, would have someone to ferry to ballet practice or help with a book report. As exhausting as it could be some days (that Taj Mahal built out of marshmallows for fifth grade nearly killed her), she misses the maternal responsibilities she was once counted on for, feels the lack like an unfamiliar brittleness settling into her bones.

Theoretically, she understands that the twins flew the coop four years ago when they left for college. But that was different. The kids continued to call every Sunday night, and she and Joel could drop by on the odd weekend. Luckily, both children had decided on the same college in Boston, making spur-of-the-moment visits ridiculously convenient. But traveling so far away for jobs where she might see them only once or twice a year for Thanksgiving and Christmas? She honestly doesn’t know how—or if—she can handle it.

Thankfully, no matter what faults she and her ex-husband, Roger, might have had as a couple, their kids have turned out all right—better than all right—and Meredith lets herself relax slightly with this thought now. Dawn, hands down her most difficult child during the teenage years, has blossomed into a bright young woman. Gone are the days when Meredith’s every comment would prompt an eye roll from her daughter. And despite an unfortunate hiccup with the Administrative Board last year, Dawn has managed to pull off graduating with honors. Meanwhile, Cody (Meredith’s lips part into a smile when she imagines him striding across the stage in his gown) is graduating Phi Beta Kappa. Not only that, but he set the school record for all-time rushing yards this fall, leading his football team to their best season in fifteen years. Cody has become a rock star on his small New England campus, and as his mother, Meredith can’t help but feel a bit smug. After all, she was the one who whipped up protein shake after protein shake and lugged him to hundreds of high school practices. She was the one who allowed her lovely den to be transformed into a weight room filled with smelly sneakers and barbells for four years.

If she knows one thing deep in her bones, it’s that she is a good mom, one who has raised hardworking, resilient children. She imagines holding her breath as they parade across Bolton’s commencement stage, much as she did when they took their first ungainly steps across the kitchen floor, Cody wheeling ahead in wide, determined strides and Dawn following a few paces behind, her tongue twisted into a tight coil of determination. Meredith is enormously proud of them, and, quite honestly, of herself. She didn’t abandon her kids like Roger did, when he’d seen fit to put his penis where it didn’t belong. But that was nearly ten years ago, water under the bridge—more of a tepid stream wandering through her mind these days than a charging river.

Excerpted from Best Behavior by Wendy Francis. © 2020 by Wendy Francis, used with permission by Graydon House.

About the Author

Wendy Francis is a former book editor and the author of three novels: The Summer Sail, The Summer of Good Intentions, and Three Good Things. Her essays have appeared in Good Housekeeping, The Washington Post, Yahoo Parenting, The Huffington Post, and WBUR's Cognoscenti. Born and raised in the Midwest, she now lives outside of Boston with her husband and son.

Have you read any of this author's other books? What did you think of the excerpt?

A granddaughter connects with her grandmother through a quilt as she faces her future... Pockets of Promise by Laurie Stroup Smith (Review & #Giveaway) @LStroupSmith

Welcome to my tour stop! Read my review and enter the tour giveaway below...

Pockets of Promise
(The Pocket Quilt #1)
By Laurie Stroup Smith
Amish Contemporary Romance, Christian
Paperback & ebook, 200 Pages
April 30th 2020 by Vinspire Publishing


A young Amish woman—torn between two worlds and two men—travels to Pinecraft, where she receives wisdom and guidance through secret letters tucked into the pockets of a special quilt.

Mariah Mast’s best friend Josiah Weaver has concentrated his efforts on providing for their future together, but on her eighteenth birthday, Mariah finds herself edging away from Josiah and her faith. An encounter with police, a misunderstanding of intentions, and hurt feelings compound her confusion. Her grandmother sends her to stay with an aunt in Pinecraft and gives her a pocket quilt with handwritten messages tucked inside.

Thrilled to have her help at the bed and breakfast, Aunt Birdie introduces Mariah to a group of new friends, including Luke Yoder, a young Amish man who works for his father’s construction company. Spending time with him opens up a new world for Mariah. Her grandmother’s words of wisdom offer guidance as she makes a decision that will have lasting consequences for those she loves. Will she find fulfillment in Florida? Or does her heart belong in Holmes County?

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

POCKETS OF PROMISE is a sweet coming-of-age story where one girl faces an uncertain future and must try to figure out which path is right for her. It's a story full of family, friendship, faith, and romance. Recommended to Amish and Christian romance fans.

I think most of us can relate with having to grow up and make choices that directly influence our future... such as what we really believe, what to major in for college, who to marry... I felt it was easy to relate to Mariah in this way. We are also all tempted and all test the waters a bit to see what we like or don't like. For Mariah who has always lived at home and only known one thing her entire life, she needed a bit of freedom to see if that's also what she wanted for the rest of her life. It's a big decision. I felt like this story was portrayed her journey well as she tried to figure out her heart and which life was best and right for her.

I liked all the characters in this story. Mariah's family and friends all had roles to play in her story. I did get frustrated with Josiah who came across as a bit controlling. I wanted him to discuss things more with Mariah and for there to be a stronger connection between them in the story. I felt his character could have been fleshed out more. Luke felt a bit more real because he's on the page more. Both were good men, one with his future mostly secured and one still trying to figure out his dreams. The romance was sweet and heartwarming, which I enjoyed.

I thought the letters from Mariah's grandmother were sweet and heartfelt. It was an interesting aspect of this story that added a strong faith element, but one that didn't feel preachy. I'd love to be able to share equally perfect wisdom with my own daughter. I can already see how this quilt will play a part in future stories.

In the end, was it what I wished for? Overall, I enjoyed this story. There were some areas that could have been developed more, but it was a sweet, faith-filled, romance that was a delight to read.

Content: Some references to underage drinking, but clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the author, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

While writing Amish fiction and contemporary romance, Laurie Stroup Smith strives to connect readers with friends and family through her stories while inspiring her audience to serve others. She was named a Finalist in the 2017 ACFW First Impressions Contest and a Semi-Finalist in the 2018 and 2019 ACFW Genesis Contests. She has been interviewed by Loveland Magazine.

Before writing, Laurie earned a bachelor’s degree in both athletic training and exercise science and later obtained her master’s degree in health promotion and education. She now writes full time and lives with her husband and their two daughters in Cincinnati. For a week or two each summer, they enjoy discovering new adventures along the western coast of Michigan.

Tour Schedule

April 24
April 25 and 26 No posts
April 27
April 28
April 29
April 30

Tour-Wide Giveaway

One winner will receive a signed paperback copy of Pockets of Promise, a $10 Amazon gift card, a turtle bookmark, and a handmade pocket pillow.

Visit each stop on the tour and increase your chances to win. Full tour schedule shown above. Giveaway will begin at midnight April 24, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on April 30, 2020. US mailing addresses only.

Giveaway terms and conditions can be found here.

Do you read Amish fiction? Will you be reading this one?

Kingdom above the Cloud by Maggie Platt (Tour Launch Interview & #Giveaway) #KACPrism @PrismBookTours

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Author Interview

What inspired you to write KINGDOM ABOVE THE CLOUD?

It really started with a daydream. What if there was a world full of characters who had mastered either a deadly sin or a fruit of the spirit? I started designing characters and imagining scenes, and it took on a life of its own. By the time I was done writing it, it was a deep dive into my Christian faith on a scale I never expected!

What challenged you most about writing this story?

I had never done any world building before, and I started writing the story long before I put any intentional thought into the world of Adia and surrounding lands. I just wrote what I imagined for each location, and that created a bunch of obstacles once I really got into the story. I hadn’t thought through governance, currency, trade, agriculture… none of it. Thankfully, I have some wonderful friends who are excellent world builders, and they lent a hand.

Which character do you most relate to and why?

Several characters share bits and pieces of my internal world, but the one I most closely relate to is a minor character named BiBi. She is like a self-portrait of who I was as a teenager. Fun-loving, mischievous, and seemingly having it all together, but longing for something more out of life.

What do you hope readers will take with them after they’ve read it?

My hope and prayer is that readers feel even just one step closer to God after reading this book. God, Jesus, and Christianity are not mentioned by name, but the whole story is a vulnerable look inside my faith in Christ. I hope that the words of the story point readers to Jesus and the love, hope, joy, and peace that only He can provide.

If you could sum the book up in one sentence, what would you say?

The battle for one girl’s heart and soul is raging, and she must choose between temptation and home.

What is something about you that is unique - maybe about how/where you write... or favorite snack foods or hobby?

I love to garden, and that hobby was passed down from my grandma to my mom and then to me. I recently expanded my flower beds to about four times their old size! I think I would be the happiest person in the world if I could spend all of my time digging in dirt and typing on a keyboard (after washing my muddy fingers!). I have a back patio that is surrounded by my flowers. Once they grow a little bigger, it will be the perfect place for some inspired writing.

Kingdom Above the Cloud
(Tales from Adia #1)
By Maggie Platt
YA Fantasy, Christian, Allegory
Paperback & ebook, 239 Pages
April 17th 2020 by Ambassador International

What if the nine Fruit of the Spirit and the Seven Deadly Sins were locked in a battle for control?

Abandoned as infants, Tovi and her twin brother were raised by an eclectic tribe of warm, kind people in a treehouse village in the valley. After her brother's sudden disappearance Tovi questions her life and her faith in an invisible King. Ignoring her best friend Silas' advice, she decides to search for her brother in the kingdom on top of the mountain.

Above the cloud, the Council of Masters receives their orders. Tovi and her brother are the objectives. King Damien has a plan and Tovi is the key. The Council of Masters want her, but will she remain unscathed?

Amidst the glamour of the kingdom above the cloud Tovi is torn between her own dark desires and unanswered questions. It starts with a snake and a crown. When the ring is complete, will her life be over?

(Affiliate links included.)

Tour Schedule

April 27th:
Bookworm Lisa
Rockin' Book Reviews
April 28th:
Rincón de Joss
Tell Tale Book Reviews
Jorie Loves A Story
April 29th:
Wishful Endings
Paper Ink & Lizard
April 30th:
Christy's Cozy Corners
A Baker's Perspective
Locks, Hooks and Books
May 1st:
Teatime and Books
Library Lady's Kid Lit
May 2nd:
Grand Finale

About the Author

Maggie Platt is a writer, traveler, cancer survivor, and dreamer. Her greatest joys are being Auntie M to her amazing nieces and nephew and sitting with students and friends over cups of coffee and deep conversations. She works at her alma mater, Anderson University, and she lives in a cozy little cottage nearby where students come to sit on her couch just to laugh, cry, and talk about life.

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a signed print copy of Kingdom Above the Cloud, map of Adian, bookmark, and sticker (US only)
Ends May 6, 2020


Grab Our Button!

Weekly Update #364, just another week of quarantine...

Welcome to my Weekly Update where I share what's been going on and what's coming up!

I'm linking up to The Sunday Post, hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I feel like a broken record each week because it's pretty much the same thing... four kids juggling schoolwork on the computers each day along with binge watching shows and movie marathons while I try to get anything done with constant interruptions. Lol! I am looking forward to Sunday dinner. My husband is smoking some ribs. Yum! We're all safe and healthy, so life is good. I hope yours is too!

This Week

New Books

I got some books in the mail this past week. I am glad that publishing is slowing down as I have a lot of books to read and others I'd like to read. Here are the three I got this week (already shared on Instagram):

Book Deals

I shared about these on Saturday, but also wanted to share here. I recently created two lists on my Amazon shop, one for ebook deals (including freebies) and one for YA print books that are under $7 (including a couple of good hardcover deals, like Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers). I also grabbed some of the freebies, so if you're looking for some new books, feel free to check out my store here (obviously this is an Amazon affiliate link).


I have two Onyx & Ivory book boxes I'm giving away. One giveaway is on my blog here and the other is on Instagram here. They'll both run through the end of May.

Last Week

Check out these print and ebook deals... #ebookdeals #bookdeals #sale #freebies

It's been ages since I shared my own post about free and discounted books. I thought I'd update my list on Amazon and found that there were enough YA print books on sale that it deserved its own list. I have to say I was thrilled to find a couple of these, like a hardcover of Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers for under $4!! I'll be adding another print deal list for non-YA books, but haven't gotten to it yet. Here are the two lists you can check out now (click on the images to be taken to the complete list at my Amazon store* - note that prices do change, but I'll try to update and add new books as I can):

*These are Amazon affiliate links.

eBook Freebies & Deals

YA Print Book Deals

What types of books do you normally look to grab in ebook and/or print on sale? Did you grab any of these?

Land of Twilight Trilogy by Charmayne Hafen (Tour Grand Finale & #Giveaway) #LOTPrism @PrismBookTours

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you'll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Author Interview

What inspired you to write the Land of Twilight Trilogy?

I am a child of divorce and know how difficult it can be to navigate the issues that accompany divorce. I also know that my faith in Jesus is what brought me through severely difficult times in my childhood. It is for these two reasons that I wrote this trilogy. I want kids to know they are not alone and that they have an ever-present Help to rely on and rest in.

Locks, Hooks and Books - Excerpt from Journey to Twilight

Moving to Phoenix, Arizona felt like the worst thing that could happen to Lorna. Leaving her home and friends in California was the hardest thing she’d ever done in her life.

"This story has some fun mythical characters and Twilight is an interesting place. I like the friendship that built between Sam and Lorna. I really like the illustrations. They are awesome. . . . The characters are well-developed and it's easy to feel their emotions. . . . I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a great adventure."

Hearts & Scribbles - Excerpt from Journey to Twilight

Lorna looked down and saw that the ground was as blue as a sky on a clear day. She grabbed a clump of grass and dirt. It felt like grass and dirt, but the color was all wrong. And the sky? The sky was green like the color of summer grass. Looking at the sky was a lot like looking at the world through a green glass bottle.

Remembrancy - Excerpt from Return to Twilight

Jenny turned her attention to a pack of six chocolate doughnuts sitting on the shelf in front of them. Flicking her hair from her face, she stared back at Lorna. “I dare you to put those doughnuts in your bag and walk out.”

Lorna frowned. “What do you mean…without paying?”

Splashes of Joy - Excerpt from Return to Twilight

Lorna sighed. Warm tears slid down the sides of her face. She felt lonelier than she had ever felt in her entire life. Sam knew she’d mistreated him. He was no longer her friend, and now Jenny was ignoring her, too. Ally hadn’t written or called her in over a month. She was probably loving her new town and school. She’d probably long forgotten Lorna wasting away in Phoenix. She had no one.

Wishful Endings - Excerpt from Return to Twilight

Lorna wiped her eyes with her free hand and smiled at her grandmother. “You can’t always be with me, grandma. I haven’t seen you for so long!”

Grandma Nila smiled and shook her head. “I’m not talking about me, Lorna Loon, although I will be with you as much as I can. I’m talking about the Savior. He is always with you, not just in places like this.”

Christy's Cozy Corners - Excerpt from Trouble in Twilight

Stealing a quick, concerned glance at Sam, Lorna asked, “What are you talking about, Trix? What is the Whatever?” Lorna made quote marks with her fingers.

“The Land of Twilight is dying. The Whatever has taken over and Twilight is dying!”

"It was so good from the first moment Lorna is introduced to Sam being introduced. I loved every moment of it. Ms. Hafen did a great job of spinning this tale. I am giving this novel five stars and recommend it to any parents that think that their child would love this book."

Hallie Reads - Excerpt from Trouble in Twilight

“What did you mean when you said that the Whatever is invisible to those who have no faith? Faith for what?” Lorna hung on to this question as if it where the last one she would ever get to ask. She couldn’t get it out of her mind.

"Each book is filled with lively characters that boys and girls will be able to relate to, they also go through many of these situations that our youth today are going through . . . Truly inspirational books for young kids today! I would highly recommend this whole series!"

Reading Is My SuperPower from Trouble in Twilight

“That’s Socrates! Oh my gosh! I can’t believe this.” Lorna was more excited than she’d been in days. Things were getting good. Would a mystery be revealed in the darkness?

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post...

Journey to Twilight
(Land of Twilight Trilogy #1)
By Charmayne Hafen
Middle Grade Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 113 Pages
November 1st 2019 by Capture Books

Sam and Lorna’s bike challenge becomes far more than a neighborhood race in this action-adventure fantasy for intermediate grades.

Riding over a cairn at sunset, Lorna surfaces in Twilight, where she is given three impossible tasks to complete before her heart's desire is granted.

Story Line: Avid sixth-grade mountain biker, Lorna Wilson, moves to Crestwood, Arizona, after her parents' divorce. Unpacking, Lorna seeks a way to fit into the new crowd when a girl named Ally knocks on her front door.

Splashing in the pool at Ally’s house, Lorna learns about the bike challenge created by a scar-faced neighborhood legend, Samuel Black. She hears herself boasting that she can take on Samuel Black in his own race and win. Lorna's words quickly come back to bite her.

Although none of the kids will root for the new girl, an ancient cairn opens to the Land of Twilight giving Lorna an opportunity to win anything her heart desires.

Illustrations are by award-winning artist, Brianna Osaseri.

Thematic: Time travel ages 9-12; action-adventure; Female protagonist survives parents' divorce; confidence and friendship; conflict opens to opportunity; Celtic; Jamaican; Multi-racial; coming of age fantasy for pre-teens with some paranormal, magical or mystical places and events. Intermediate grades. Book 1 in a series.

(Affiliate links included.)

Return to Twilight
(Land of Twilight Trilogy #2)
By Charmayne Hafen
Middle Grade Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 142 Pages
January 21st 2020 by Capture Books

In this second book of the Land of Twilight Trilogy, seventh-grade Lorna struggles with the meaning of friend like, how to be one, how to choose one, and how to keep one.

Lorna rejects her dad, deceives her mom, and turns her back on the ethereal Land of Twilight. She even turns on her best friend, Sam, in favor of gaining the attention of a new girl in the neighborhood, Jenny. Lorna sheds her own social norms, stealing and hiding as she pretends to enjoy her second year in challenging Crestwood, Arizona.

It has to be Sam's turn to do what true friends do.

An exciting read for readers ages 9-13 who enjoy Celtic mythology, magic, and busting the dust of the Arizona desert with your best friend.

(Affiliate links included.)

Trouble to Twilight
(Land of Twilight Trilogy #3)
By Charmayne Hafen
Middle Grade Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 129 Pages
April 1st 2020 by Capture Books

How can the most colorful world in the universe turn hapless and gray?! That's what mystifies both Sam and Lorna.

Trix falls from the Land of Twilight, showing up at the discarded camper shell in the Arizona desert where Sam and Lorna are making their secret plans.

Trix and Melvin focus on the Land of Realtime because the lives of both Lorna and Sam have interwoven with the Land of Twilight. How can the four unravel themselves?

A tragic accident forces Sam to again realize that life can change suddenly. Now he and Lorna must rethink what in life is most important to them.

History, philosophy, and faith enter the scene through interdimensional time travel. The Land of Twilight Trilogy is filled with adventure and supernatural elements for readers ages 9-12. With its relatable characters and fast-moving plot, Sam and Lorna discover their priorities. As Sam faces unbearable consequences, he learns the bonds of true friendship and personal truth are real.

Readers are given not only an interesting story filled with allegorical elements about the meaning of faith, but are also challenged to think about their own ideas of reality and meaning.

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author

Charmayne Hafen has been writing since she was nine years old when she kept a private journal documenting love and loss in her fourth-grade class. In 2016, she published her first book, The Land Of Twilight, which was selected as a winner in the category of Juvenile Fiction in the Winter 2017 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards. Using knowledge and skills acquired from her MA in counseling, Charmayne wrote The Land Of Twilight series to help kids navigate the sometimes difficult waters of divorce. Her love of Celtic mythology also influenced the book. The first book in the series has been republished under a new title called Journey To Twilight which will be available November 1, 2019. There will be two more books in the series coming out early [2020].

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive an ebook of Journey to Twilight and a $50 Amazon eGift Card
Open internationally
Ends April 30, 2020

Grab Our Button!