Friday, August 31, 2018

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Fate and Fortune: Part One By Robin Daniels

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
Fate and Fortune: Part One
By Robin Daniels

This YA Contemporary Romance is the first part
in this new duology, coming September 20th 2018...


Bryce has liked Paige since they were little but has never had the guts to act on his feelings. Paige is devastated over being dumped by her long-time boyfriend and can’t seem to move on. They’re stuck in a rut, until fate decides to pull them out.

Both Paige and Bryce are talked into seeing a fortune teller at the annual Summer’s End Carnival. Neither of them buys into the mysticism, until the psychic’s predictions start coming true. Now, the most bizarre things are happening and there isn’t a clear explanation. Each of them must figure out if they’re the subject of an elaborate hoax or a bigger plan forged by destiny.

*This book is part one of two. Books should be read sequentially.


About the Author


The most important thing to know about me is that I'm basically a sixteen-year-old trapped in an adult's body. It's why I feel such a great connection to all of my characters and why I love to write romantic comedy. The kid in me just wants to be goofy. Besides being a writer; I'm a wife, mother of five, volleyball enthusiast and home decorating guru. My list of favorites includes: reading, Christmas, pedicures, dessert, steak, Arizona winters and most importantly, Diet Coke.


Cover Reveal Giveaway


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Ends September 5th

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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Review: Texas Baby Pursuits by Margaret Daley


Blurb (from Amazon):

On a kidnapper’s trail…

Lone Star Justice never fails

Minutes after his baby nephew is kidnapped, Texas Ranger Dallas Sanders traces the crime to a child trafficking ring hiding in plain sight. As he and local sheriff Rachel Young race to expose the sinister conspiracy, they’re determined to keep their relationship professional. But when Rachel’s infant daughter is also abducted, can she and Dallas rescue the children in time…and survive to have a future together?



My Review: 

Texas Baby Pursuit is the fourth book from Margaret Daley's Lone Star Justice series. I enjoyed this story and had it read in a few hours. Dallas and Rachel had great chemistry together that made me want to keep reading to find out what would happen next. I could not imagine her turmoil when her own daughter becomes among the kidnapped children. I was on the edge of my seat until the end.
I give Texas Baby Pursuit five plus stars.

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.



Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Claire's Dad by Shad Arnold



Book Details:

Book Title: Claire's Dad: How I Earned the Title by Shad Arnold
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 132 pages
Genre: Self-help, Parenting
Publisher: Pinpoint Innovation
Release date: February 1, 2018
Tour dates: Aug 20 to 31, 2018
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Like everything worthwhile in this world, the title of “dad” isn’t given—it’s earned.

Society hasn’t done a great job preparing men to raise daughters. That’s a shame, as daughters have a deep, often unacknowledged need for their fathers to take an active role in their growth.

In Claire’s Dad, author and father Shad Arnold offers an engaging look at the difference a father can make in his little girl’s life as she grows into a mature, responsible, and self-assured young woman. Using his own experiences as a touchstone, Arnold explores the principles and standards a father can model for his daughter.

The author is donating a portion of the sales of this book to aid children around the world via the Novitas Foundation.

Buy the Book:




Meet the Author:



Shad Arnold is an author, entrepreneur, inventor, strategic consultant, public speaker and humanitarian who has founded three companies and two non-profit charities. He has worked as a volunteer and advocate for children for over 30 years. He currently serves as the International Executive Director of Novitas Foundation, the charitable organization he founded in 2013, volunteering his time to raise funds and directly oversee relief and sustainable development initiatives to benefit children in need around the world. Visit www.NovitasFoundation.org or www.ShadArnold.com for more information.

Connect with the author: Website


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Ends Sept 8, 2018


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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Review: Kingdom Files: Who Was Esther? & Who Was David? by Matt Koceich


Blurb (from Amazon):

What do you know about Esther?

Was she:
. . .the beautiful Queen of Persia?
. . .the woman who hid her Jewish heritage from the king?
. . .the courageous one who risked her life to save her people?
. . .all of the above?

Journey along with Esther in a luxurious Persian palace, in the presence of a powerful king, in the very center of God’s amazing power!

This biblically accurate story of Esther, created just for the kids in your life, explores the life of the beautiful Queen of Persia, while drawing 8- to 12-year-olds into a fascinating time and place as they learn about the woman who hid her Jewish heritage from the king and ultimately risked her life to save her people. Featuring three key sections—a Fact File, an Action File, and a Power File—kids will enjoying learning about the life of Esther while coming to understand that an ancient Bible story really does apply to their lives today. Dozens of captivating line art pieces add depth and interest to every chapter.



My Review: 


Who Was Esther? is part of the children's series, Kingdom Files. I liked learning and reading about Esther. The book is easy to read for young ones to understand. There are several sections in the book called Fact File, Action File and Power File. My favorite section is the Power File. It has ten lessons to learn that is associated with Esther. Each lesson has a memory verse with it. 

I highly recommend Who Was Esther? for families who have children age 7- 12. I give it five stars. 

I received this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.




Blurb (from Amazon):

What do you know about David?

Was he:
. . .a shepherd boy turned king?
. . .a faithful harp player?
. . .a brave giant slayer?
. . .all of the above?

Journey along with David in a field of sheep, in the presence of a towering giant, in the very center of God’s amazing power!

This biblically accurate story of David, created just for the kids in your life, explores the life of this shepherd boy turned king, while drawing 8- to 12-year-olds into a fascinating time and place as they learn about this faithful harp player and courageous giant slayer. Featuring three key sections—a Fact File, an Action File, and a Power File—kids will enjoying learning about the life of David while coming to understand that an ancient Bible story really does apply to their lives today. Dozens of captivating line art pieces add depth and interest to every chapter.



My Review: 

Who Was David? is another installment from The Kingdom Files series. I enjoyed learning and reading about David. It is easy to read that helps children understand who he was. Like the other books in the series, the book has the following sections: Fact File, Action File and Power File. Again, The Power File has the power-ups to give children lessons to live by and memory verses learn. 


I highly recommend Who Was David? for all ages. I give it five plus stars. 

I received this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.



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Book Blast and Giveaway: Musing Mediterranean by Beth Daigle


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Beth Daigle will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A trip to the Mediterranean—who wouldn’t be thrilled? Beth Daigle should be doing back flips as she prepares to escape her humdrum suburban life, but travel anxiety gets the best of her. This is a trip of a lifetime, something to look forward to, yet Beth is dreading it.

The daughter of an Italian mother and Greek father, Beth has always dreamed of visiting Greece and Italy. Her Type A husband, Tony, revels in planning every detail of their two-week vacation. The plan expands to include not only Beth and Tony’s two tween daughters, but Beth’s parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew.

As her family’s excitement mounts, so does Beth’s trepidation. She experiences serious anxiety about the flight itself, plus spending two solid weeks with her extended family.

Despite her worries, Beth manages the eight-hour plane ride to Rome, and the adventure begins.

If you’ve never experienced the beauty of the Mediterranean, or even if you have, Musing Mediterranean will take you there through Beth’s eyes, page by page.

Read an Excerpt

AMALFI COAST

The moment we were all comfortably seated, we were inundated with food, in the best way possible. We didn’t order one thing; it was all brought to us. Whatever the chef was cooking was what was served, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Every plate was also a work of art: each was hand-painted, colorful, and artistic. And before we knew it, music filled the air when the owner’s niece took a microphone and asked all the patrons to join in on a sing-along.

The Italian blond beauty entertained us with her soothing voice, ethnic songs, and gregarious hospitality.

Her rousing renditions of both familiar and unfamiliar songs left us ready to sit back and enjoy the end of our memorable meal. Served family style, it was a meal that included five appetizers, five entrees, homemade wine, pear grappa, and five desserts. It was extravagant, yet unpretentious.

As desserts and limoncello came to the table, so did the owner–chef. Every bite that was served was natural and simply prepared, yet it was the most delicious food I’d ever eaten.

About the Author:
Beth Daigle is a lifelong New Englander residing north of Boston with her husband and daughters. Prior to settling into her role as a writer, Beth was a marketing professional whose favorite part of the job was writing. As a freelancer, Beth has enjoyed contributing to numerous lifestyle and home publications, yet she yearned for something more than a magazine article. Then along came Musing Mediterranean. Beth quickly became immersed in chronicling this travel event and articulating her perceptions of the places she visited, the people she met, the foods she enjoyed and the crazy moments she encountered. The idea that someone who may never travel to Greece, Italy or Turkey could appreciate this experience through Beth’s eyes became a driving force behind the story. Revealing her struggle with travel anxiety helped Beth move forward and embrace, once again, how very wonderful it is to travel the world.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine.

Beth is a creative soul who finds joy in art, home design, gardening, reading, writing, a good laugh, and an even better television show.

Website: http://www.BethDaigle.com
Blog: http://www.3OlivesandaTwist.com
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/3olivesandatwist
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/3olivesandatwist
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/olivesnatwist

Available at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1947966073?pf_rd_p=d1f45e03-8b73-4c9a-9beb-4819111bef9a&pf_rd_r=W3MJ4WHBPK1MTJC8KW6Y.

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DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW THE TOUR AND COMMENT
ON EACH STOP TO EARN MORE ENTRIES TO WIN!

August 27: 
1: Rogues Angels
2: Edgar's Books
3: fundinmental
4: This and That Book Blog
5: Welcome to My World of Dreams
6: Mixed Book Bag

August 28:
1: Fabulous and Brunette
2: Locks, Hooks and Books
3: Independent Authors
4: Readeropolis
5: Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin'
6: Musings From An Addicted Reader

August 29:
1: Author C.A.Milson
2: Straight From the Library
3: T's Stuff
4: Deal Sharing Aunt
5: Our Families Adventure
6: Sea's Nod

August 30:
1: Bookaholic review
2: The Avid Reader
3: Reviews by Crystal
4: B-Gina Review
5: BooksChatter

August 31:
1: FUONLYKNEW
2: Kimmi Love
3: Sharing Links and Wisdom
4: Wake Up Your Wild Side
5: It's Raining Books
6: Notes From a Romantic's Heart REVIEW
7: Rainy Day Reviews












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Monday, August 27, 2018

Blog Tour: Homespun: Amish and Mennonite Women in Their Own Words

Story makes the world go ‘round
The stories of Amish and Mennonite women in their own words

Harrisonburg, VA — Behind Amish romance novels, tourist spots and “reality” TV shows stand real people, with longings and loves just like the rest of us. Every Amish and Mennonite woman has a story. What would it be like to be welcomed into their homes and share those stories over a cup of coffee?



In the pages of Homespun: Amish and Mennonite Women in Their Own Words (Herald Press/ August 7, 2018/ISBN: 978-1-5138-0316-6/$15.99), Amish and Plain Mennonite women swap stories and spin yarns while the reader sits in. The book’s editor, Lorilee Craker, bestselling author of Money Secrets of the Amish, collected these personal writings and authentic perspectives on life, hospitality, home, grief, joy, and walks with God from Anabaptist women’s periodicals. Among the stories shared are essays penned by well-loved Amish and Mennonite writers such as Sherry Gore, Linda Byler, Lovina Eicher, Dorcas Smucker, and Sheila Petre.

Craker, who describes herself as a simple Mennonite girl from the prairies, grew up in Manitoba where the Mennonite community was large. Her mother’s family came from Ukraine in the 1870’s and were pioneers who homesteaded on the prairies. Her father’s family arrived in Canada after World War II when they fled Stalin and his holocaust. She knew from early on there were lots of different kinds of Mennonite stories, but she never realized there was anything “different” about the way she grew up until she arrived in Chicago for college. “Everyone seemed to think that being Amish or Old Order Mennonite and being my kind of Mennonite were one and the same. This assumption led to lots of explanations on my part about the difference between my modern Mennonite upbringing (‘like Baptist, with a German accent and special foods’) and those other related subcultures.”
Explaining the differences would eventually lead to Craker to writing her first book on the Amish where she learned for all the differences, there were many more similarities than she expected there to be. While visiting the Amish, she found a peace and gentleness that reminded her of home. As she compiled the stories for Homespun, those same feelings and many more came to the surface. “These narratives stirred different emotions in me. My heart ached for Ervina Yoder as she described what it was like for her to be the mother of a longed-for but stillborn baby. I was inspired and encouraged by Danielle Beiler’s trust in God as her provider, and I giggled at Mary Yoder’s secondhand testimony of an Amish man whose pants were just too stretchy. Other essays enthused my soul, and I came away feeling as if I had just been to church. My cup had been filled.”
As Craker searched for stories to include, several themes revealed themselves. She organized the book into sections delving into the themes and introduces each section with some of the lessons she took away from the women who wrote the stories.
·         Welcome. A deep sense of hospitality is fundamental to these women. Yet it’s not hospitality in the HGTV, your-house-needs-to-be-perfect kind of way.
·         Abide. They want to abide in an abode, if you will, that nurtures them and feeds their spirit. The writers here expound beautifully on what home means to them.
·         Testimony. Story makes the world go ’round. When we hear the stories—the testimonies—of others, we are better able to understand our own story and our place in the world.
·         Wonder. The blazing faith of early Anabaptists is evident in the openness of these writers to all things wondrous. These are true stories of miracles, phenomenal happenings that don’t make sense from a human perspective.
·         Kindred. A core value of both Mennonites and Amish is the preeminence of family—kinfolk, whether they be kindred or not. Our kin shape us in ways both known and unknown, good and bad.
·         Beloved. There is something wonderfully elemental and childlike about the devotion expressed here, devotion even in doubt. These pieces drew me closer to the One who calls all his daughters “beloved.”
Craker hopes that readers will enjoy the stories as much as she did. “You don’t have to be a simple Mennonite girl from the prairies to do so. All you need to do is open your heart and let the homespun words of these women enlarge your worldview, extend your heart, and increase your friendship with the Creator of all good and gut things.”
An interview with Lorilee Craker,
Author of Homespun

Behind Amish romance novels, tourist spots and “reality” TV shows stand real people, with longings and loves just like the rest of us. Every Amish and Mennonite woman has a story. What would it be like to be welcomed into their homes and share those stories over a cup of coffee?

In the pages of Homespun: Amish and Mennonite Women in Their Own Words (Herald Press), Amish and Plain Mennonite women swap stories and spin yarns while the reader sits in. The book’s editor, Lorilee Craker, bestselling author of Money Secrets of the Amish, collected these personal writings and authentic perspectives on life, hospitality, home, grief, joy, and walks with God from Anabaptist women’s periodicals. Among the stories shared are essays penned by well-loved Amish and Mennonite writers such as Sherry Gore, Linda Byler, Lovina Eicher, Dorcas Smucker, and Sheila Petre.

Q: You describe yourself as a simple Mennonite girl from the prairies. Can you share a little bit about your childhood?
My childhood was deeply rooted in the Mennonite culture. Growing up, I witnessed my two grandmothers with their hair in a bun and always wearing dresses or skirts. I thought this was normal! None of my grandparents spoke English—all four of them spoke German or Low German. At family gatherings we would eat Mennonite food such as borscht, varaneki (pierogies), platz (fruit strudel), and pluma moos (cold plum soup). We also ate those things in my home, so again, this was all very normal. We were also bound by similar values of faith and peace, and by stories of where we had come from.

Q: Your family’s roots in Mennonite communities run deep, but your family history is an example of the many different stories people have. Can you tell about both your mother and father’s background?
My mother’s family came over from Ukraine in the 1870’s. They were pioneers who homesteaded on the prairies, but they never lost their culture or assimilated too much into the broader community. The ties of language, food, and culture that bind them to their pioneer great-great-grandparents are startlingly durable.
My dad’s family had a completely different story. They came in the third wave of immigration from Ukraine, after World War II. They fled Stalin as refugees and experienced his holocaust. My dad lost his twin sister to starvation, so those stories were imprinted painfully on his heart.  
I knew from early on that there were lots of different kinds of Mennonite stories.

Q: Growing up in Manitoba where there was a large Mennonite population, you didn’t realize most people didn’t live the same way you did. What was the biggest adjustment for you when you moved to Chicago for college?
The biggest adjustment was that no one seemed to know what a Mennonite was, or they assumed that I should be wearing a bonnet and driving a buggy like the Amish! Everyone seemed to think that being Amish or Old Order Mennonite and being my kind of Mennonite were one and the same. This assumption led to lots of explanations on my part about the difference between my modern Mennonite upbringing (“like Baptist, with a German accent and special foods”) and those other related subcultures.
People were surprised that I wore makeup and nail polish, etc. In Winnipeg, people knew that Mennonite women were modern because they knew so many of them. That wasn’t the case in Chicago.

Q: Explaining how you were Mennonite, not Amish, eventually led to you writing your previous book, Money Secrets of the Amish. What did you learn in that process that made you feel more connected to what your roots?
As I visited Amish homes and barns in Michigan and Pennsylvania for my 2011 book, I recognized bits of their dialect, Deitsch (Pennsylvania German), from my spotty grasp of Low German. Their baby naming customs were also similar. The Amish women’s hair buns and long skirts, not to mention the tantalizing aromas of fruit strudels (Platz, to me) baking in heir ovens, reminded me of my beloved grandma Loewen. I recalled my little dynamo of an Oma (grandmother) tsk-tsk-ing me about the length of my skirt. She always had a twinkle in her eye as she chided me, but I still made sure to go for full coverage as I interviewed the Amish.  
The peace and gentleness I felt when visiting the Amish reminded me so much of visiting my Grandma’s farm. I felt oddly at home among my spiritual and cultural cousins. It was amazing to me that over 300 years had passed since our break up and we still had things in common! I came to realize were more closely tied to me and my upbringing than I had ever dreamed.

Q: What are some of the differences between Mennonite and Amish beliefs? What are the biggest similarities?
While there is a great variety of Mennonite culture, practices and lifestyles, from very old-fashioned to very modern and even progressive, the Amish are much more the same across their communities. They are extremely dedicated to living much like they did in 1693, when they split off from the Mennonites over the matter of buttons. Mennonites were okay with buttons, but tailor Jacob Amman’s followers, the Amish, thought they were worldly. To this day Amish fasten their clothes without buttons.
The similarities lie in spiritual roots of being peace-loving, set apart people with a radical faith. The most modern Mennonite in downtown Winnipeg might name their children Isaiah, Ezra, and Naomi, and the most conservative Amish will have children with those same Bible names. They have both kept some remnant of their dialect—Amish speak Pennsylvania Dutch which is really Deutsch—German. I was startled to recognize bits of the Amish dialect as being similar to my own Platt Deutsch—low German. Foods are similar sometimes, too. And food customs, like Faspa, which is a cold meal served on Sunday late afternoon so the ladies wouldn’t have to cook on Sunday.

Q: What was the inspiration behind your new book, Homespun? How did you collect the stories included in the book?
Herald Press approached me about being the general editor of a collection of writings from Amish and Mennonite women. I collected the stories from mainly two sources, Daughters of Promise magazine, a beautiful and beautifully written literary journal done by conservative Mennonite women, and Ladies Journal, a much more spare periodical by Amish women.
It was thrilling for me to discover new writers and incredible writing from mostly unknown writers! These women have a lot to say and I was fascinated by their take on modern life. To hear from women specifically appealed to me, as a feminist. Sometimes in conservative subcultures, their voices are silenced or muted. This book gives them space and grace to speak.

Q: What themes did you notice emerging as started compiling the stories? How is Homespun organized?
As I read stories for the book, a number of themes arose, so I arranged the stories by those topics and wrote a brief introduction tying them together.

Welcome. A deep sense of hospitality is fundamental to these women. Yet it’s not hospitality in the HGTV, your-house-needs-to-be-perfect kind of way. As one of the writers shares, it is easy to overthink hosting, but Jesus made it look quite simple, and his hosting style can be described in one word: love.

Abide. Hospitality is sacred and spiritual, but it doesn’t mean these writers don’t want to have an appealing home space in which to dwell. They want to abide in an abode, if you will, that nurtures them and feeds their spirit. The writers here expound beautifully on what home means to them.

Testimony. Story makes the world go round. When we hear the stories—the testimonies—of others, we are better able to understand our own story and our place in the world. These narratives stirred different emotions in me.

Wonder. The blazing faith of early Anabaptists is evident in the openness of these writers to all things wondrous. These are true stories of miracles, phenomenal happenings that don’t make sense from a human perspective. They highlight the possibility of the miraculous happening all around us, in big ways and small.

Kindred. A core value of both Mennonites and Amish is the preeminence of family—kinfolk, whether they be kindred or not. Our kin shape us in ways both known and unknown, good and bad. These essays and stories speak to the tremendous influence of family.

Beloved. These essays enthused my soul, and I came away feeling as if I had just been to church. My cup had been filled. There is something wonderfully elemental and childlike about the devotion expressed here, devotion even in doubt. These pieces drew me closer to the One who calls all his daughters “beloved.”

Q: In what ways were you challenged to rethink your concept of welcome and hospitality?
In our HGTV era, we can begin to believe that hospitality equals a perfectly renovated and decorated space. I love all that stuff, and that’s great, but these writers helped me get back to the true meaning of opening your home to others. I had just bought this table set for my patio, but all summer had hosted only one time. Why? Because of the weeds! Meanwhile, I could have blessed my guests all summer. These essays helped me get back to the idea of lengthening the table, not caring as much if things were “perfect.”

Q: The advice in the abide section varies from painting your home bright colors to reflect yourself to having plenty of white space. However, decorating tips really aren’t the point. How does the section on abide differ from hospitality?
Hospitality is about opening your home to others, while the act of dwelling is different. How do we create a nest that nurtures and shelters us? Bethany Hege’s piece called “White Space” is one of the loveliest pieces in the book and one of the most insightful things I have ever read on the topic of home d├ęcor and design. “Keep it simple but keep it significant,” she writes. Her words really challenged me to do just that. For example, I framed an 8 x 10 print which reads, “Cheap Like Borscht,” a saying known to Russian Mennonites and something my dad would always say. Every year, I make sure and buy gladioli because they were my Grandma’s favorite flowers. I hung a large photo of a field with flax and canola—the two crops my Grandpa farmed—over my fireplace. To me, I am keeping things simple but significant.

Q: All of the stories in Homespun could actually fall under the category of testimony, but how do the stories in that section stand out among the others?
“The Lord is My Rock” profoundly moved me. Ervina Yoder tells about giving birth to her stillborn son. “I go to the grocery store and no one knows I’m a mommy,” she writes. Every time I read that I get chills of sorrow. Yet her faith also gives me chills.

Q: Can you share one of the modern-day miracle stories included in the book?
Danielle Beiler’s “When You put Your Money in God’s Bank Account” is one of my favorite pieces in the book. It’s a very detailed journal, really, of God’s provision for her day to day. I love how she never ran out of gas, no matter how low her tank got. It reminds me of manna from Heaven, except in this case manna was fuel!

Q: How is the preeminence of family different among the Mennonites and Amish versus those in other communities?
I think the biggest thing is our shared experiences. We are the “peculiar people,” an ethnic subculture with no homeland (so people don’t think we are an ethnicity) with a shared history of terrible suffering (especially the Russian Mennonites, the most recent wave of immigration from Ukraine who still have family members who remember living in Stalinist Russia). Those shared experiences set us apart and make our families close knit because we understand each other in a way no one else does.
Q: What does it mean to be one of God’s beloved? How do the stories reflect that belonging?
These women have a deep, radial faith that spreads so much light. This was the hardest section from which to choose because there were so many moving pieces. “Rebuilding from the Shambles of Shame,” for example, is profound. She compares the process of rising up out of shame to restoring a crumbling old house. Often while reading these pieces I felt stirred and uplifted.

Q: What do you ultimately hope readers will gain from reading Homespun?
 I hope they will find a pocket of peace and gentle witness in their hectic, modern lives. These women have a countercultural, singular mindset that is refreshingly different. I hope our readers will see their own stories in a new, Homespun light!


About the Editor
Lorilee Craker is the editor of Homespun: Amish and Mennonite Women in Their Own Words. She describes herself as a simple Mennonite girl from the prairies and didn’t know there was anything “peculiar” about being Mennonite until she moved from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Chicago, Illinois for college. It was then that she realized most people outside of Mennonite communities assumed she had come from buggy-driving, bonnet-wearing, butter-churning folk. Everyone seemed to think that being Amish or Old Order Mennonite and being her kind of Mennonite were one and the same. The experience of explaining the differences led her to writing the book, Money Secrets of the Amish (an Audie Awards finalist which she also narrated).
A freelance journalist, blogger and speaker, Craker was an entertainment writer for The Grand Rapids Press for seventeen years.  She has been featured in many media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Time and People. She is the author of fifteen books, including Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter, and Me, My Journey to Heaven with Marv Besteman, and the New York Times bestseller Through the Story with Lynne Spears.
The proud founder of a writing day camp for middle schoolers, Craker lives in Grand Rapids, MI with her husband and their three children.

Learn more about Lorilee Craker online at
You can also find her on



My Review:

Homespun: Amish and Mennonite Women in Their Own Words is a wonderful and fascinating read. I was not sure what to expect at first but I was pleasantly surprised how the book captured my interest right from the start. I learned so many new things about the different communities involving the Amish and Mennonites. Especially, learning about how one family was emigrated from the Ukraine. I was, also, excited to see Sherry Gore as a contributor to the book. I have followed her for a long time and loved that she was part of the book.
I enjoyed reading Homespun: Amish and Mennonite Women in Their Own Words. I thought it was great and informative read. I highly recommend it for those who want to know more about and real accounts from those of the Amish and Mennonite communities. I would love to read more books like this one in the future. I give it four and a half stars.
I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.