Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Covert Amish Christmas – A Review and Giveaway

Covert Amish christmas banner

About the Book

Book: Covert Amish Christmas

Author: Mary Alford

Genre: Inspirational Amish Suspense, Christmas

Covert Amish CHristmas

Fleeing to Amish country might be the only way to survive Christmas…

Hiding in Amish country, former CIA agent Victoria Kauffman’s determined to find evidence to catch the corrupt agents who killed her partner. But when her Christmas refuge is discovered, the sole person she can trust is Amish widower Aaron Shetler. With ruthless—and dangerously powerful—enemies after them, Victoria must use all her training to make sure they live through the holidays.

Click here to get your copy!

Combing Christmas, the Amish, and suspense in this book grabbed my attention. With non-stop action, this book demanded I keep reading it. The author includes twists and turns along with intrigue and suspense.

The idea of a CIA agent taking refuge in an Amish community intrigued me. I loved how this story moved along. The book reiterated the concept I believed about the Amish helping those who might be in need.

Seeking justice for the death of her partner/love of her life drives Victoria forward. Aaron, an Amish gentleman, discovers Victoria and seeks to find her a safe place to stay. I love how Aaron’s friend Ethan also becomes part of this story.

So if you enjoy Christmas stories, suspense novels, or Amish stories, check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Mary Alford New Photo

USA Today Bestselling Author, Mary Alford, loves giving her readers the un-expected, whether it be in a rugged mountain setting or a peaceful Amish community.

Her titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestselling List, Publisher’s Weekly Bestselling List, and have been finalists in the Daphne Du Maurier award of excellence, The Beverly, The Maggie, and The Selah Awards.

Mary lives in Texas with her husband, two very spoiled cats, and a sweet rescue dog name Cody. Mary is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Face-book and Twitter or any social platforms listed at www.maryalford.net.

More from Mary

When you think about the Amish, you don’t usually associate their simple ways with spies and covert happenings, but that’s the beauty of the imagination. Anything is possible.

As I sat down to pen Covert Amish Christmas, I wanted to create a story that would bring to life the differences between the two worlds and I wanted it to have a Christmas setting to back-drop the story.

Covert Amish Christmas takes place in the breathtaking world of the Amish of Montana where mountains rise to the sky, and snowy woods create the perfect winter wonderland. Christmas is in the air. And so is danger…

I don’t know about you, but I love Christmas books so much because they allow me to return to my favorite time of the year no matter what day is written on the calendar.

And as Christmas quickly approaches, it means it’s time to bake all those delicious holiday treats we all love so much.

One of my favorites is Peppermint Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting. They are both delicious to eat and fun to give away.

So, I hope you enjoy them, and Covert Amish Christmas, and I pray this year, the Spirit of the season will remain with you all year long.

Peppermint Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

◾2 1/2 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting work surface

◾2 tsp cornstarch

◾1 1/2 tsp baking powder

◾1/2 tsp salt

◾1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

◾1/4 cup all vegetable shortening (unflavored), at room temperature

◾1 cup granulated sugar

◾1 large egg

◾1 large egg white

◾2 tsp vanilla extract

◾1/2 tsp peppermint extract

◾Crushed candy canes, for topping

Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

◾4 oz cream cheese, softened

◾4 Tbsp unsalted butter

◾1/2 tsp peppermint extract

◾2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Sift flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt into a large bowl, then whisk it just a few times, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, on medium speed, whip together butter, shortening and sugar until very pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in egg and mix until combine, then add egg white, vanilla and peppermint extract and mix until combine. With mixer running, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combine. Transfer dough to an airtight container and refrigerate 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375 during the last 10 minutes of refrigeration.

Scoop dough out about 3 Tbsp at a time and roll into a ball. Place dough ball on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle top lightly with flour, then using something flat and smooth (such as the storage container lid), press and evenly flatten dough to 1/2″ thick. Transfer flattened dough to a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet and repeat process with remaining dough (you’ll have to use 2 cookie sheets). Bake in preheated oven 9 – 11 minutes. Allow to cool 5 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting and sprinkle with crushed candy canes.

For the frosting:

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese and butter until pale and fluffy. Add peppermint extract and powdered sugar and mix until pale and fluffy.

Blessings always,

Mary Alford

Blog Stops

KarenSueHadley, December 5

lakesidelivingsite, December 5

For Him and My Family, December 6

CarpeDiem, December 6

She Lives To Read, December 7

deb’s Book Review, December 7

Inklings and notions, December 8

Genesis 5020, December 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 9

Lighthouse Academy Blog, December 9 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridway)

Betti Mace, December 10

The Avid Reader, December 10

Texas Book-aholic, December 11

Blogging With Carol, December 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 12

Mary Hake, December 12

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 13

Hallie Reads, December 13

Older & Smarter?, December 14

Artistic Nobody, December 14 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 15

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 16

Blossoms and Blessings, December 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 17

Pause for Tales, December 17

Splashes of Joy, December 18

Simple Harvest Reads, December 18 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of Covert Amish Christmas along with a gift basket containing Spa Gift Basket – Bath and Body Set with Vanilla Fragrance by Lovestee (Bath Gift Basket Includes Shower Gel, Body Lotion, Hand Lotion, Bath Salt, Eva Sponge and a Bath Puff)!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10459/covert-amish-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

The Past Ever Present Celebration Tour – A Review and Giveaway

Past ever present banner

About the Book

Book: The Past Ever Present

Author: Debra Coleman Jeter

Genre: Memoir

Release Date: August, 2020

The past cover

A fly-on-the-wall account of making a television show, and a great examination of country living in the first half of the twentieth century, The Past Ever Present revolves around the relationship between a boy and his grandfather. When Clay is cast as a regular in the TV series Christy, his grandfather Clifton serves as his on-set guardian. The series is set in a poor farm community, which is eerily similar to the one where Clifton grew up. Being on the set of the show provides a dramatic transformation for both, as Clay comes of age and Clifton comes to terms with his past.

Click here to get your copy!

Having watched the show “Christy” on television, I wanted to read this memoir. Centered on a grandfather and a grandson, this story details life on the set and when the grandfather’s past.

The way this story speaks about life on the set and the grandfather’s past made it come to life for me. It captures the insightful.and meaningful experiences of both the grandfather and the grandson. With two different time periods and perspectives of two different people, this book captured my imagination.

So if you enjoy reading books that convey messages of different time periods and different people along with their experiences, check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Jeter Glasses

Debra Coleman Jeter has published in popular magazines, including Working Woman, New Woman, Self, Home Life, SavvyChristian Woman, and American Baby. Her first novel, The Ticket, was a finalist for a Selah Award, and her most recent, Song of Sugar Sands, a finalist for a 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Award. Her short story, “Recovery,” won first prize in a competition sponsored by Christian Woman; and her book The Past Ever Present (originally published as Pshaw, It’s Me Grandson) was a finalist in the USA Book News Awards. She is a co-writer of the screenplay for Jess + Moss, a feature film which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, screened at nearly forty film festivals around the world, and captured several international awards.

As the mother of Clay Jeter and the daughter of Clifton Coleman, Debra Coleman Jeter is uniquely qualified to tell their story.

More from Debra

For those of you familiar with Catherine Marshall’s novel Christy or with the two-season CBS television series based on that novel, The Past Ever Present should feel like an old friend. For those of you not familiar with Christy, consider The Past Ever Present an introduction to something you are bound to love.

I remember the day my son Clay was invited to audition for a television show called Christy. I did not make the connection, though I had read Christy years earlier. Then he was invited for a call-back in Townsend, Tennessee. It was there we first realized Kellie Martin (star of Life Goes On) had been cast as Christy; she was there that day, and Clay recognized her. Then I had a chance to read a section of the script, and I recognized the story, to my delight.

If you haven’t read Christy, you should. It is simply wonderful. If you love it, or if you are interested in true tales about child actors (my son Clay), or about growing up during the Great Depression (my dad Cliff Coleman), I hope you’ll love The Past Ever Present. The book was a finalist in the USA Book News Awards.

Clay is cast as a regular in the series Christy, filmed in the hills of eastern Tennessee, at the age of nine. Much of the usual struggle for recognition and approval associated with the Hollywood industry finds its way to this isolated mountain community.  Because both Clay’s parents are working full time, his grandfather Clifton serves as Clay’s guardian. The television series being filmed is set in a poor farm community, much like the one where Clifton grew up. The show brings back memories for Clifton and, while Clay is working, he watches and remembers. The book highlights parallels between Clay’s antics and Clifton’s memories of his own, in addition to the parallels between the characters and their adventures in Christy and those in Clifton’s past.

Blog Stops

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 8

Inklings and notions, December 9

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 10

Blossoms and Blessings, December 11 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, December 11

For Him and My Family, December 12

deb’s Book Review, December 13

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 14

Stories By Gina, December 15 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 15

Artistic Nobody, December 16 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 17

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 18

Spoken from the Heart, December 19 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, December 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Debra is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10465/the-past-ever-present-celebration-tour-giveaway