Mary Afford in Among the Innocent

Among the Innocent

by Mary Alford

July 1-31, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Among the Innocent by Mary Alford

When Leah Miller’s entire Amish family was murdered ten years ago, the person believed responsible took his own life. Since then, Leah left the Amish and joined the police force. Now, after another Amish woman is found murdered with the same MO, it becomes clear that the wrong man may have been blamed for her family’s deaths.

As Leah and the new police chief, Dalton Cooper, work long hours struggling to fit the pieces together in order to catch the killer, they can’t help but grow closer. When secrets from both of their pasts begin to surface, an unexpected connection between them is revealed. But this is only the beginning. Could it be that the former police chief framed an innocent man to keep the biggest secret of all buried? And what will it mean for Leah–and Dalton–when the full truth comes to light?

USA Today bestselling author Mary Alford keeps you guessing as two determined souls plumb the dark depths of the past in order to forge a brighter future–together.

“Among the Innocent is no buggy ride BUT A RACE TO STOP A KILLER”
– DiAnn Mills, bestselling and award-winning author

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery

Published by: Fleming H. Revell Company

Publication Date: June 7th 2022

Number of Pages: 297

ISBN: 0800740262 (ISBN13: 9780800740269)

Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook.com | Goodreads

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK 

I have read a couple of Love Inspired books by Mary Alford and they were very good so I was excited about this one, and it didn’t disappoint. Alford is back with her heartstopping suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seats biting your nails. I was met with wonderful characters who’s development was spot on as the story unfolds. Leah lost her entire family 10 years ago and new murders in town brings up old memories she doesn’t want to think about. But she has the new sheriff to think about, Dalton, and he will hopefully take care of her. 

I felt bad for Leah, it was almost too much to go deep into her memories about her family. But it seems these new murders may be connected to her family, especially since a not was left for Leah. There are many twists and turns throughout the story that makes it more interesting to try and solve yourself. But that’s not an easy task. There’s much more to this story, which you will find when you read the book for yourself. If you love a good fast paced thriller, you really should give this one a try.

A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Read an excerpt:

Prologue

He drove by the house again. The second time today. All because of her.

The sight of his car rolling down the dirt road in front of her isolated farm filled Beth Zook with thoughts not proper for an Amish girl. A cloud of dust followed the car, instantly covering the freshly washed sheet she’d hung out to dry minutes earlier. Despite the sweltering July heat, he’d put down the window. Was it because he wanted her to see him as he eased by?

He waved when he saw her looking, and she reacted like a moth drawn to a flame. Beth had never met anyone so unpredictable before. One minute he teased, the next his eyes smoldered with such intensity that it frightened her.

Looking at his handsome face sent the butterflies in her stomach scattering. A flash of a smile revealed white teeth, perfect like everything else about him.

Beth waved back, then glanced over her shoulder. What would Mamm and her sister say if they noticed? She covered her mouth to suppress the giggle. She’d been giggling a lot lately.

Too soon . . .

Her head warned it was too soon for these emotions, yet

her heart threatened to explode from her chest each time they were together.

Heat flooded her cheeks as she recalled his kisses from the night before. She’d been so afraid her parents would wake and hear her slipping out of her bedroom window. A sense of fear and adventure had followed her each step of the way as she’d crossed the yard in the pitch-black dark of night to the old Miller barn where he’d waited for her.

At first, she’d been afraid to go there after what had happened all those years ago. Four members of the Miller family had been found dead inside that barn. Leah Miller, the oldest daughter, was the only survivor. Whispers around the community about the unspeakable evil that had transpired that night could still be heard.

When Beth told her suitor about the murders, his eyes gleamed with excitement. While he seemed to enjoy envisioning what had happened back then, the barn gave Beth the creeps. But she kept that to herself because he made her feel special. Beautiful. Important. For the first time in her life, she longed for things not found among the Plain people of St. Ignatius. A life of pretty things. Like he promised.

Last night when they’d met, he’d asked her to run away with him. Her heart had overflowed with eagerness until reality tamped down her happiness, and Beth realized she wasn’t ready to leave her home. Her family. While she remained torn between staying Amish forever and leaving with him, he’d told her he would drive by her house every day until she said yes. Part of her was thrilled—intrigued at the consuming way he watched her. The other part was scared. Beth did not understand his almost feral wildness.

She took the dust-covered sheet down and reached for the next one, pinning it to the clothesline with unsteady hands. When Mamm wasn’t watching, she’d sneak inside and rewash the soiled one. That way there wouldn’t be questions to answer. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed the car slowing.

Brake lights flashed. She picked up the next sheet and hung it. When he honked, she whirled toward the sound while praying the family wouldn’t come to investigate. He slid out and leaned against the rotting fence post near the Miller property. Many times, Beth wished she could be as daring. He did not live by the same rules as the Amish. In his world, anything was possible. She still couldn’t imagine why he wanted her. A man so handsome could have his choice of any girl, Englisch or Plain. Why her?

When he realized he had her attention, he motioned her over. Beth felt obliged to shake her head, though she’d thought about him throughout the day. Was eager to see him again. She anticipated his kisses with every beat of her heart.

She touched her hands to her burning cheeks. Such thoughts were not gut, but she couldn’t help how she felt. With him, Beth felt truly alive. The hardest part was she had no one with whom to share how she felt. Her friend Eva listened, but Beth sensed she might be jealous.

She’d almost told her older sister Colette about him last Saturday night before the biweekly church service, but she’d lost her nerve. Married and ten years older, Colette had three kinner of her own.

Besides, her sister was always so serious. She would not understand this reckless feeling.

Until her sixteenth birthday, Beth hadn’t either. She’d loved everything about the Amish way of life. Then, she’d started her rumspringa and had gotten a taste of the freedom of the Englischer world. She liked it. Before him, she’d planned to join the church and eventually marry Caleb Wagler, but not before enjoying every minute of her running around. Now, Beth was not sure she wanted to spend the rest of her life in St. Ignatius, living on a farm like her sister with a house full of kinner pulling on her apron. He offered her excitement. Adventure. Love. How could she not accept those gifts?

She hung the last of the sheets and picked her way across the patches of grass in the bare yard to where he stood. The glint in his eyes as he watched her wasn’t anything like the way Caleb looked at her.

Beth stopped a few feet away. With the fence separating them, she snuck a peek over her shoulder. “You should not be here.” She tried to sound stern but failed miserably.

Without warning, he jumped the fence. Beth giggled as he grabbed her hands and tugged her closer. “Yes, I should. You belong to me, Beth Zook.”

Her heart skipped a beat at his proclamation, and she couldn’t help imagining what their life together would be like.

Foolishness, Beth. You waste the day with all your imprudent thoughts, she could almost hear Colette saying.

“Mamm will notice I’m gone soon. You must leave now.” She tried to tug her wrists free, but he tightened his grip to the point of pain, and a flash of anger glittered in those deep dark eyes. “You are hurting me,” she murmured, tears forming. This was a side of him she hadn’t seen before. A cruel side she didn’t much like.

He let her go. Smiled. Everything became right again with the curve of his lips. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you, Beth.” The gentleness in his tone soothed her worries away. “You’re just so pretty.”

“You are such a flatterer.” She playfully swatted at his arm but secretly loved the way he spoke.

He leaned close and planted a kiss on her lips right there in broad daylight. Her legs turned to gelatin. A sigh escaped as warmth coursed through her limbs. After another stolen kiss, he released her.

“It’s true. Don’t be coy. You know you’re pretty.” His gaze skirted past her to the house. “And you deserve more than this life. Come away with me now.”

More than anything she wanted to, but when she thought about her mamm’s pained reaction to her middle daughter forsaking their faith, she couldn’t do it. “I told you, I cannot run away with you. And I have to go back to my chores.” She turned. Then, emboldened by his claims, she swung around, framed his face with her hands, and kissed him earnestly.

He chuckled at her brazenness. He snatched her hand once more. Though she secretly relished his desire to be with her so badly, she pretended differently. “Please, you must let me go. Mamm will see.”

“I don’t care.” A second passed before he finally relented. “Only if you promise to meet me tonight at our place.”

The eagerness in his eyes sent a shiver through her body. It made her hesitate. This was the man she adored. Surely, there was nothing to fear.

“I have something special planned for you,” he added with a cajoling smile when she wavered. “Something you’ll like.”

“If I can,” she whispered and pulled her hand free. They both knew she’d be there. As she ran across the scorching earth, Beth peered over her shoulder. He still stood next to the fence, grinning when he noticed her looking. She stumbled over the uneven ground. Heard him laughing.

As she stepped up on the porch, the front door opened and Mamm stood in the doorway, hands on hips. Her wrinkled brow furrowed at her daughter’s labored breathing.

Komm, help your sister prepare supper.” Her mother studied Beth with narrowed eyes. Took in her flushed face. Her nervous hands. Had Mamm ever felt this way about Daed?

“Who is that out on the road?”

Beth struggled to keep her face blank. “Someone passing by, I suppose.” With one final glance his way and a secret smile, she hurried to go inside.

Her mother cast another disapproving stare at the car as Beth entered the house.

“I have something special planned for you.”

It was hard to keep the excitement to herself. She couldn’t wait to see the mysterious surprise he had in store.

ONE

Heat rose in waves off the blacktop where Leah Miller had parked her police cruiser. Recent statistics showed that the crime rate in St. Ignatius, Montana, was at an all-time low. Today, Leah shot radar at the occasional passing vehicle to occupy her shift until something more challenging came along.

Leah looped her raven hair into a bun at the nape of her neck, seeking relief from the record-breaking hot spell the county was suffering through this July. Her uniform clung uncomfortably to her skin while her thoughts wandered to the things she planned to do when her shift ended. She’d need to check in on Kitty before heading over to have dinner with Marge.

A few years back, Leah had bought her tiny house on Pope Lane. It had taken all her savings, but it was worth it because it represented a huge milestone: putting down roots for the first time since that horrific night. She’d even brought home the stray tabby cat that hung out behind the police station. They were still adjusting to each other, since Kitty had been on her own for a while. In the six months Kitty had lived at Leah’s house, Kitty mostly stayed in the laundry room except at night, when she preferred the foot of Leah’s bed.

Since Chief Ellis Petri’s death, Leah had been spending as much time as she could with her adoptive mother, Marge. Losing Ellis had been hard on both of them, but Marge had been struggling with health issues as well.

Marge and Ellis Petri had been Leah’s rock since that night ten years ago when her world changed forever. Several years earlier, Marge and Leah’s mother had struck up an unlikely friendship, and Marge had become a frequent visitor at Leah’s home. Sometimes Ellis came along. After what happened, Leah had left the Amish community, despite her neighbors offering to take her in. To survive, she’d had to let that part of her life go. Ellis and Marge had taken her in. They’d become her world.

And now Ellis was gone.

Let it go. The past is written and done, but you’re not.

In the distance, dark clouds gathered over the Mission Mountains. A storm was on its way. Despite the sweltering heat, a cold shiver sped down Leah’s spine. Something bad was approaching. She could feel it moving in.

It’s just the time of year, she told herself. The anniversary of what happened always churned up stuff.

She’d seen plenty of terrible things in her four years on the force. Yet, at sixteen, Leah had become personally acquainted with the devastating effects tragedy had on the living. Her grief had wrapped its spindly limbs around her and took up residence in her soul. That night in the barn—the things she’d witnessed—had imprinted itself in her DNA.

The woman staring back in the rearview mirror was an older version of that frightened Amish girl whose life had changed forever with a flick of a knife. The scar on her neck was a constant reminder of how close to death she’d come and of those who hadn’t been so lucky.

Leah dragged in a deep breath and dropped her eyes from the mirror. Better to keep that door closed. Too many bad things hid behind it. For Marge’s sake, she needed to stay strong.

Leah shoved her dark aviator sunglasses into place like a defensive shield against the world. She focused on the upcoming car cresting the hilltop.

“Leah? Are you there?” Dispatcher Sugar Wallace’s voice came through the police radio, immediately drawing Leah’s attention from the approaching vehicle.

“Yes, Sugar, I’m here. What’s up?” The car spotted Leah and crawled past. Its speed registered twenty on the radar’s screen. “Henry needs your help on a call out in the Amish community.”

Leah’s stomach knotted.

“Josiah Zook called from the Mission General Store. He said his daughter Beth is missing.”

At the mention of her former neighbor, Josiah Zook, Leah was immediately transported back to that barn again. Watching as a psychopath slaughtered her entire family.

Their deaths came at the hands of a masked stranger who had entered their house, tied everyone up, and forced Mamm and Daed, her sister Ruth, and brother Elijah into the barn. Then, he’d systematically slit each of their throats in front of Leah, saving her for last. She remembered him standing over her. His hot breath whispering against her ear, “You’ll always belong to me.” Even now, the words had the power to reduce her to that terrified young girl, so certain she’d die along with her family.

“Leah? Did you hear me?” Sugar repeated.

With her heart racing, Leah struggled for calm and failed. “Sorry, yes. I know the family.” She’d been friends with Josiah’s older daughter, Colette. “I’ll head over and assist.”

“Thanks, Leah. Let’s hope the girl shows up soon. I don’t want to think about something bad happening to one of those innocent people.”

Sugar’s words fell like knives in her heart. The Amish were peaceful, God-fearing folks. Violence in the community was a rare thing, yet not unheard of. Leah was living proof. Former police chief Ellis Petri had worked hard to help her achieve closure, yet the suspected killer’s end had been just as messed up as his heinous massacre of her family. Even to this day, Leah wondered if the wrong man had died in that fire.

She whipped the cruiser out onto the road and headed toward the Amish community.

The only time she went back there was on a call, and on those occasions, she did her best to avoid her family’s homestead. Yet there would be no avoiding it today. The Zook home was a stone’s throw from where she’d grown up.

Leah couldn’t imagine what her life would have been like without Ellis and Marge. They’d become her entire world. Marge would hold her and assure her everything was going to be okay when Leah woke up in the middle of the night screaming after reliving the nightmare. Yet despite Marge’s tender loving care, it was Ellis whom Leah chose to be like. She’d joined the St. Ignatius Police Department after college because she wanted to do good for people, like Ellis.

The sparse community spread out before her. A horse and buggy passed her on the road heading to town. The Amish man waved. Leah returned his greeting. Rolling hayfields spread out toward the stunning vistas of the Mission Mountains. Overwhelming memories came pouring from her heart. Most of them good. All contaminated by that day.

Leah slowed her speed out of respect for the buggy and others that might be traveling the road. A familiar darkness pressed in. Her breaths came quick. Straight ahead, her former house appeared through the haze of summer.

Leah couldn’t take her eyes off the old place. She’d lived there until a few months after her sixteenth birthday. In her head the house was as she’d left it that night. Yet the harsh reality was it had sat vacant all those years. Its white paint had faded to gray and was peeling from too many brutal Montana winters. The barn, some distance from the house, hovered over the place like some ancient gargoyle and just as frightening.

A lump formed in her throat that she couldn’t swallow. Tears scalded her eyes. Leah’s grip tightened on the steering wheel until her knuckles turned white. She wouldn’t cry. Hadn’t since the funeral. She’d built a wall of stone around her heart no person, including Ellis and Marge, had been able to fully penetrate. It was best that way. Her past had taught her stones could break apart and thrash her heart to pieces at a second’s notice.

She shifted her attention to the Zook farm and let the past return to its tenuous resting place.

Officer Henry Landry’s patrol vehicle was parked in front of the house beside a second cruiser. As soon as Leah turned onto the drive, another vehicle captured her attention. A familiar one. Ellis’s old police SUV. A glaring reminder of more change coming.

A new chief was scheduled to take over the helm of the St. Ignatius Police Department, though no one expected him so soon. Why was Chief Cooper on this call? She leaned forward and peered through the dusty windshield at the vehicles while resisting the desire to call Sugar for answers.

The small police department was still reeling from the intentional shooting of one of their own. Chief Ellis Petri had died on a deserted stretch of mountain road almost a year earlier to the date from a point-blank gunshot wound. With no leads, Ellis’s case was dangerously close to turning cold.

Now, someone else would sit at his desk. Drive his SUV. Take his place. Leah did her best to quell her resentment. It was bad enough they’d lost Ellis in such a violent way. That he could be replaced so easily was like twisting the knife in the wound. Henry had obviously been watching for her. He stepped out onto the porch as Leah pulled up alongside his patrol car. By the time she got out, Henry was standing by her door with a flustered expression on his face. Leah often wondered if a good strong wind might blow the Barney Fife–thin officer away. “Boy, am I glad to see you. They’ve been asking for you.”

Henry pointed to the house and lowered his voice. “He’s in there too.” He wiped sweat from his forehead and cast a nervous glance back to the Zook home.

“Why’s he here anyway? I thought Cooper wasn’t coming in until later in the week.” Leah didn’t even bother to hide her disapproval.

Henry shrugged. “He was at the station when I arrived. He heard the call come in.”

“What’s he like?” The question was out before she could stop it. Gossiping about the new chief was not her finest moment. “Kind of intense,” Henry said with the same amount of anxiety that had consumed Leah since the announcement came through from the mayor. “Sam sure was mad when he didn’t get the job, though you’re the one who’s practically run the force since Ellis passed. I’d hoped you’d take over as chief.”

Henry had been on the job only a few years and had made his fair share of rookie mistakes, but Leah had liked him from the beginning and had done her best to help him whenever possible. For that, Henry seemed determined to put her on a pedestal.

“I appreciate the compliment, but I’m just an officer like you. We’ll leave the big decisions to someone with a higher pay grade than us.”

“Yeah, right,” Henry confirmed with a nod. “We’d better get inside. I can’t explain it, Leah, but I have a bad feeling about this.”

Did he mean the case or the new chief? With those uneasy words hanging between them, Leah followed Henry into the simple Amish home that belonged to people she’d once loved like a second family.

As Leah stepped foot inside the living room, it was like going back to her youth. The simple furnishings hadn’t changed much. Same threadbare sofa. Same two functional rockers near the woodstove. A chest in the corner held the quilts Miriam and her daughters had crafted. Hooks adorned the walls near the door for coats and lanterns. A scenic calendar on one wall was turned to the current month. Behind the sofa, a framed picture of the Ten Commandments had been there for as long as Leah could remember.

Back then, she and Colette Zook had done everything together. They talked about what their lives might be like in the future. A husband. A houseful of kids. Their enduring friendship foremost in every part of their lives.

Regret seeped into Leah’s heart. She’d left the community and Colette and never looked back, even though her dear friend had tried to reach out to her many times. It wasn’t right, the way she’d cut Colette out of her life. In her defense, at the time it seemed like the only way to keep from losing her mind.

“Leah, oh Leah!” Miriam Zook spotted her and immediately pushed to her feet. “I am so glad you came.” Miriam sobbed inconsolably. “Our Beth is missing. Josiah checked the entire property, but there’s no sign of her. We’re afraid something has happened.” The show of emotion was out of character for the woman, who rarely expressed her feelings.

Leah patted Miriam’s arm. “We’re going to do everything we can to find your daughter and bring her home to you.” She did her best to comfort Miriam while praying her words wouldn’t come back to haunt her.

Miriam seemed to latch on to what Leah had said as if it were a lifeline. Her dark, red-rimmed eyes searched Leah’s face. She sniffed twice and squared her shoulders.

Leah guided the woman back to the sofa, where she sank beside her husband and a young girl who appeared to be around eight. The Zooks had another child. She hadn’t realized the family had expanded. Her last contact with the family had been at the funeral.

“This is our daughter Katie.” Josiah made the introductions. Katie was a younger version of Colette. Same silver-blond hair and deep blue eyes.

Josiah placed his arm around his weeping wife. He’d aged in the ten years since Leah had last seen him. The Amish way of life was not an easy one. His hair, now almost entirely white, matched his neatly trimmed beard. The worry on his face drove home the reason they were all here. Josiah was an honest, trusting man who kept his faith in Gott and his attention on hard work. Worry wasn’t part of his subsistence. Until now.

Another man who had been seated in a rocker near the woodstove had risen when Leah entered the room. Leah’s attention latched on to the new man in charge as he came her way. Tall and fit, he was probably former military if the way he carried himself was any indication. He wore his dark hair cut short. Brown eyes captured hers as he closed the space between them. Henry’s description of the man came to mind. “Intense” seemed fitting. He extended his hand. “I’m Dalton Cooper, the new chief.

Sorry to have to make the introductions this way.” He kept his voice low enough for only her to hear. “Sam and Ethan are searching the property and surrounding area.”

Leah shook his hand and forced words out. “It’s nice to meet you, Chief Cooper.”

“Dalton,” he said with a brief smile. He glanced past her to where Henry stood in the doorway still. “Why don’t you run through what we have for Leah?”

Henry snapped to attention and opened his notepad. “The call came in around 7:15 a.m. Mr. Zook phoned from the Mission General Store to say his daughter was missing from her room. She’d gone to bed at the same time as the rest of the family the night before, but when she didn’t come down for breakfast, Mr. and Mrs. Zook checked in on her and discovered her bed was empty. That was at 6:00 a.m.”

Around the time when the morning household chores were ending. Leah looked around the familiar room, mulling over Henry’s statement.

The stale aroma of that morning’s breakfast, probably still uneaten, wafted out from the kitchen. She remembered the many times she’d spent the night here growing up. At daybreak, the family gathered around the table. A flicker of a smile touched her lips as she recalled Miriam bustling about to make sure everyone was fed and ready for the day.

“Beth is around sixteen, correct?” Leah asked Josiah. No doubt going through her rumspringa, a period when Amish youth enjoyed more freedom to go out into the world and experience what it felt like to not be Plain. Most returned to join the faith. Some did not.

Images of Leah’s own rumspringa came to mind. She and Colette had committed only small acts of defiance. Colette did her best to keep Leah on the right path, but she didn’t know about him. He’d turned Leah’s head away from the path chosen for her and she’d regretted it ever since. Calling himself John, he’d induced her to do things she wouldn’t normally have done, like slipping away in the middle of the night to meet him in her family’s barn . . .

Jah, that is correct.” Josiah’s firm response intruded into Leah’s regrets. He adjusted his glasses on his nose, brows slanted together in a familiar frown. Josiah had always been a solemn man. Leah cleared her throat and posed the question she knew would not be well received. “Is it possible Beth may have gone out after everyone fell asleep? Maybe to a friend’s? Perhaps she spent the night there?”

Miriam’s head shot up. Anger ignited in her eyes. “Nay. It is not possible. Beth is a gut girl. She would not go sneaking out of the house. She is happy with the Plain life and is going to be baptized soon. She and Caleb Wagler will marry one day. Beth would not do such a thing.” Miriam collapsed against her husband, deep sobs racking her body.

Most Amish parents did not question their children about what they did during rumspringa. It stood to reason the Zooks wouldn’t know everything going on in Beth’s life, yet Leah had obviously touched a nerve. She let the matter drop.

“Would you mind if I checked Beth’s room?” She addressed Josiah again as Miriam continued to weep. The man stared at her blankly. Josiah’s simple world had been sent into a tailspin and he was clearly struggling to understand.

Leah focused on the little girl seated beside her mother. “Do you share a room with your sister?”

Katie nodded slightly while keeping her attention on her clasped hands.

“Would you mind showing me around your room?”

<

 

 

Mary Alford

Author Bio:

Mary Alford is a USA Today bestselling author who loves giving her readers the unexpected, combining unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots that result in stories the reader can’t put down. Her titles have been finalists for several awards, including the Daphne Du Maurier, the Beverly, the Maggie, and the Selah. She and her husband live in the heart of Texas in the middle of 70 acres with two cats and one dog.

Catch Up With Mary Alford:

MaryAlford.net

Goodreads

BookBub – @MaryAlford

Twitter – @maryalford13

Facebook – @MaryAlfordAuthor

 

 

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Loves Truest Hope by Laura V. Hilton, Rachel J. Good, Mary Alford

Loves Truest Hope

by Laura V. Hilton,

Rachel J. Good,

Mary Alford

About the Book

Book: Love’s Truest Hope

Author: Laura V. Hilton, Rachel J. Good, Mary Alford

Genre: Christian Fiction, Amish

Release date: May 28, 2019

My rating: 5 stars 

 

Love's Truest Hope coverMission of Love blurb

A nontraditional Amish man called to minister to the inner-city youth. An overwhelmed Amish woman terrified of the idea. When lies and manipulators threaten to destroy her life, she’s forced outside her comfort zone. Will she learn that God’s love spreads to more than just her people?

Plain Redemption

Spring is a long way in coming to the Big Sky country of Montana, and Lyddie Hershberger is still living in the winter of her life. First her husband died a little more than a year earlier, then Lyddie lost their unborn child. Now, an accident sends her father-in-law to the hospital clinging to his life. Will the gloom of winter ever leave their West Kootenai community?

When word of his daed’s accident reaches Thomas Hershberger in Colorado, he rushes home to find all his old sins waiting for him there, along with the woman who destroyed his heart. His brother’s widow, Lyddie Hershberger.

After someone breaks into the family home while Thomas and Lyddie are at the hospital, it soon becomes apparent that his father’s accident is anything but.

As Lyddie and Thomas struggle to understand why someone wishes their family harm, old feelings of love resurface. Is it possible for Thomas to overcome the guilt he feels for his part in his brother’s death and convince Lyddie that their love can melt any heartache standing in their way?

Bid for Love

The top bidder in the Amish silent auction wins a day of yardwork from Marty and two of his friends. But why did this wealthy Englischer pay so much money when she has a professional lawn service? Marty is shocked to when she offers him money to turn her granddaughter Amish. He refuses, but when Olivia and her grandmother both end up missing, Marty is fingered for the crime. How can he ever prove his innocence when all the clues the police find point to his guilt?

 

Grab your copy here.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK 

Mission of Love by Laura V. Hilton tells the story of an Amish minister who us called outside of his comfort zone, to minister to inner-city youth. And we learn of a woman that feels she has that same calling to help. And you just imagine what the two of them have to endure? But Laura V. Hilton does what she so professionally gives her readers, and that is a lot of twists and turns in a story that will have you asking for more. I love Ms. Hilton’s books! And I have all of them too!
Bid For Love by Rachel J. Good tells of an Amish silent auction gone bad, with Marty and his two friends right in the middle of it. I love all of Rachel Good’s books, and this one didn’t disappoint. With a bit of suspense here, you will love the twists and turns here, taking you on a journey that me a little confused at times, not by the writing, but by the actions of the characters. My prayer is that you will love it as much as I do!

In Plain Redemption by Mary Alford, will spring ever arrive in Montana? Lyddie has had her share of heartaches and difficulties the past year or so and is ready for a change. But it seems that is not going to happen any time soon. Someone wishes bad upon her family and Mary Alford writes a wonderful story surrounding the lives of Lyddie and her family and community, and the journey it takes to find the love, joy and understanding underneath layers of bitter and guilt, along with redemption and forgiveness.

All three of these stories are a wonderful addition to your library. Each has it’s own characters that are skillfully created and a story that fits each so well. This is a book you must have if you love Amish fiction. I give this book 5 stars.

A copy of this book was given to me by the author or publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are totally mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

About the Authors

Laura pictureLaura V. Hilton’s Bio

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with thirty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs. Her most recent series is set in Mackinac County, Michigan, and includes Firestorm, The Amish Candymaker, and Married to a Stranger (July 2019).

Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children.

When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.

rachel goodRachel J. Good

Inspirational author Rachel J. Goodwrites life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. The bestselling author of several Amish romance series, she grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for many of her stories. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farms and attending family events. Rachel has more than 40 books in print or forthcoming for both children and adults under several pen names.

Mary AlfordMary Alford’s Bio

Mary Alford is a bestselling author of over fifteen novels who loves giving her readers the unexpected. Combining unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots that test their faith and result in novels the reader doesn’t want to put down.

 

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, June 10

Blossoms and Blessings, June 11

Maureen’s Musings, June 12

Quiet Quilter, June 12

The Avid Reader, June 13

Bigreadersite, June 14

Emily Yager, June 14

Random Thoughts From a Bookworm, June 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 16

Mary Hake, June 16

Blogging With Carol, June 17

Splashes of Joy, June 17

Through the Fire Blogs, June 18

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, June 19

A Reader’s Brain, June 19

Quiet Workings, June 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 21

Inklings and notions, June 21

Texas Book-aholic, June 22

janicesbookreviews, June 23

Giveaway

To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit is giving away a grand prize of an eBook copy of Love’s Truest Hope and a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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/e574/love-s-truest-hope-celebration-tour-giveaway

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