Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for Harvest of Blessings by Charlotte Hubbard. Please leave a comment or question for Charlotte to let her know you stopped by. You can enter her tour wide giveaway, for a $50 Amazon/B&N GC, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below. You can also follow all of the tour stops by clicking on the banner above, the more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.
Harvest of Blessings
By Charlotte Hubbard
Seasons of the Heart, Book 5
Publisher: Zebra Books (Kensington Publishing)
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Genre: Amish Romance/Inspirational Romance
Length: 368 Pages
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About the book:
The tranquil little town of Willow Ridge is facing a startling challenge. Wealthy Nora Glick Landwehr is determined to make it her home again—and put her past to rest. Cast out by her own family, Nora can’t reconcile with Old Amish ways or her strict father. But she’ll do anything to help her community embrace the future . . . and make amends to the daughter she had to give up.
She certainly has no time for her reckless new neighbor Luke Hooley. They disagree about almost everything. And how can she trust him if he always seems to believe the worst about her? Somehow, though, his unexpected support and passionate heart are helping her find her own way in faith.
And Nora will discover that even in the face of insidious lies and unyielding judgment, God creates unexpected chances for forgiveness—and love.
ExcerptAs Miriam pulled seven loaves of bread from the oven early Saturday morning, she savored the silence of the Sweet Seasons kitchen. This time before her partner Naomi Brenneman and her waitresses arrived was always her chance to think things through, and the past twenty-four hours had given her quite a lot to consider.Lord, I hope You’ll hold Nora and Lizzie and Wilma and Millie in Your healin’ hands, she prayed as she measured flour for the day’s pie crusts. And I hope You’ll open Gabe and Atlee’s hearts, as well. But Your will be done.Miriam chuckled, at herself mostly. It seemed that telling God what to do rather than asking Him was an easy habit to fall into. Her visit with Nora yesterday, followed by the unfortunate scene with Gabe in the dining room, had made her think a lot about whether some of the Old Order ways came more from men’s insistence on control than from consulting God about the right way to handle their childrens’ mistakes. In some districts, expressing such an idea out loud might be considered reason for requiring a member to repent. But that didn’t stop a lot of Plain women from wondering if things couldn’t be different. Kinder. More loving.“Miriam, when I die and go to heaven, please God, I believe it’ll smell a whole lot like your kitchen,” came a voice through her open window.Miriam laughed. “Tom Hostetler, I believe you’re beggin’ for a sample,” she called out. “My stars, I can’t think you’ve already milked your cows.”“I get up earlier when I’ve got a lot on my mind.”“Jah, I know all about that.” As the bishop walked in, Miriam gestured toward a tall stool near her work area. “And between you, me, and this countertop, my heart’s achin’ for the Glick women. Every one of them had their lives turned upside down sixteen years ago when Gabe sent Nora away, and now they’re goin’ through it again.”Tom smiled ruefully. “I knew you’d see it that way, just as I could’ve predicted Gabe’s reaction when Nora asked for his forgiveness,” he murmured. “That’s where the fish bone gets caught in my throat. She did ask. And her father flat-out refused to even give her the time of day.”“And then there was Hiram, appearin’ from outta nowhere to get right in the thick of it,” Miriam said with a grimace. She passed Tom a serrated bread knife and went to the refrigerator for a stick of butter. “Somebody’s gotta see if this bread’s fit to eat. Might as well be us.”Tom chuckled and selected the round, golden-brown loaf nearest him. “How much do ya recall from all those years ago?” he asked as he positioned the knife on the bread. “Hiram was the bishop then, and Gabe and I were preachers, with your Jesse servin’ as our deacon.”“It was all so hush-hush. Nora’d already been gone a week or so before I realized it,” Miriam replied in a far-away voice. “Wilma looked like she’d been hit by a truck, and wouldn’t—couldn’t—let on about the details Gabe forbade her to discuss. So we were left to assume that Nora was pregnant. Then, when Atlee and Lizzie suddenly had a red-headed baby—as newlyweds, without her bein’ pregnant—that pretty much told the tale.”“Gabe insisted that the less folks knew, the less they could gossip—and other girls wouldn’t follow Nora’s sinful path.” He slathered butter on a generous slice of dense, grainy bread and handed it to Miriam. “And while Hiram and Jesse and I went along with that age-old strategy, I wondered what would become of Nora . . . how she would ever join the church or reunite with her family.”He paused to close his eyes over a big bite of bread. “But I was the youngster—hadn’t been a preacher very long, so I didn’t make waves,” he went on. “Eventually the whole episode faded away, and Millie grew up as Atlee and Lizzie’s child.”“Well, our days of sweepin’ it under the rug are over. Mmmm,” Miriam murmured as she took a big bite of the warm bread. “Your fresh butter almost turns this bread into dessert, Tom.”
“Nah, it’s your way of puttin’ the ingredients together that makes it special,” the bishop insisted.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Drawing upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi, longtime Missourian Charlotte Hubbard writes of simpler times and a faith-based lifestyle in her Seasons of the Heart series. Like her heroine, Miriam Lantz Hooley, Charlotte considers it her personal mission to feed people. Faith and family, farming and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle. She’s a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and when she’s not writing, she loves to try new recipes, crochet, and sew. Charlotte now lives in Minnesota with her husband and their border collie.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/charlotte.hubbard1
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Reminding us that “home is where the heart is”, Charlotte Hubbard takes us on a journey back to Willow Ridge in Harvest of Blessings, the fifth installment in her Seasons of the Heart series. Filled with beloved characters, a prodigal daughter returning home after years away, and showcasing God’s command to forgive and love each other, Ms. Hubbard’s story will grab your attention from beginning to end. While this book can stand on its own, I recommend reading the entire series in order; both for reading enjoyment and for getting to know the inhabitants of this little town.After living among the “English” for sixteen years, Nora Glick Landwehr has decided to return to her childhood home in Willow Ridge. Determined to ask for her parent’s forgiveness, connect with the daughter she’s never known, and establish a gift store selling Amish and Mennonite wares, Nora purchases a prime piece of real-estate and moves in. While not looking for a second chance at love, Nora can’t help being attracted to one of her neighbors, Luke Hooley, and has to decide if she’s willing to risk her heart. Ms. Hubbard does a good job developing Nora’s character and I easily connected with her right away. An outwardly beautiful woman, Nora also has a lovely soul and once you get to know her story, why she had to leave her daughter behind, you can’t help rooting for her to reconnect with her family and take a chance on love.A member of the Willow Ridge community for over a year, Luke Hooley still can’t make up his mind about officially joining the church. He also refused to get serious about any of the young women in town and prefers “playing the field”. At least until he meets Nora Landwehr and becomes interested in getting to know her. The more Luke finds out about Nora, the more he’s intrigued. He even finds himself willing to visit a local Mennonite Church that Nora wants to join. Ms. Hubbard also does a good job developing Luke’s character and it was nice getting to know him better. He’s always been an interesting character and I knew there had to be more to him than the “player” he’s let others see.The secondary characters are well developed and Ms. Hubbard did a good job delivering message that love and forgiveness are forever entwined as a part of the “Golden Rule” – after all it’s impossible to truly love someone if you are not willing to forgive them. I especially enjoyed getting to see Mariam and Ben Hooley again, along with Tom and Nazareth Hostetler. And of course it wouldn’t be a book about Willow Ridge without having to deal with Hiriam Knepp, the church’s excommunicated preacher who won’t leave his old community alone.Will Nora and her parents learn to forgive each other and love each other as God expects? Will Nora and her daughter be able to connect and have a relationship? And will Nora and Luke give their budding love a chance to become the love of a lifetime? You’ll have to read Harvest of Blessings to find out. I can’t wait to see who Ms. Hubbard writes about next!My Rating: 5 out of 5 Crowns