Blog Tour: Amish Christmas Blessings

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Denise Alicea

This blog was created by Denise in September 2008 to blog about writing, book reviews, and technology. Slowly, but surely this blog expanded to what it has become now, a central for book reviews of all kinds interviews, contests, and of course promotional venue for authors, etc

9780373719884Praise for Marta Perry

  “With her beautiful storytelling, Perry weaves a tale that expertly captures the expressions, attitudes and ways of the Pennsylvania Dutch Amish with precision and charm.”

—RT Book Reviews

Praise for Jo Ann Brown


“Brown’s latest is a faith-filled read sure to touch hearts. Readers will be pleased to find out that the storyline about the children’s origins is resolved.”

—RT Book Reviews


The Midwife’s Christmas Surprise/

A Christmas to Remember

by Marta Perry, Jo Ann Brown

Explore the Amish community this holiday season with two tales to warm your heart.


The Midwife’s Christmas Surprise by Marta Perry


Three years ago, the man Anna Zook hoped to marry left her and their Amish community for the English world. Now devoted to proving her abilities as a midwife, Anna has given up on marriage and children for herself. But when Benjamin Miller returns, now a changed man, can delivering a Christmas baby reunite these two hurting hearts?


A Christmas to Remember by Jo Ann Brown

 When a little girl leads shop owner Amos Stoltzfus to an Amish woman in distress, he rushes them to his family’s farm. “Linda” has no memory and doesn’t know if the sweet child is her daughter or even her kin. As Christmas arrives and Linda’s identity is revealed, will Amos be able to claim his holiday guests as his own?

MARTA PERRY is a Pennsylvania-based author of more than 35 novels, many of them inspirational romances. She uses her rural Pennsylvania life and her Pennsylvania Dutch heritage in writing her books, especially in her Pleasant Valley Amish series for Berkley Books and her new Amish-set suspense series for HQN Books. Marta and her husband live in a centuries-old farmhouse in a quiet central Pennsylvania valley. They have three grown children and six beautiful grandchildren, and when she’s not busy writing her next book, she’s usually trying to keep up with her gardening, baking for church events, or visiting those beautiful grandkids.

JO ANN BROWN is a lifelong storyteller and the award-winning author of numerous romantic novels. She also writes as Marianne Ellis. A former U.S. Army officer, she has taught creative writing at Brown University and is thrilled whenever one of her students publishes. She is active in adoptive family support. She currently lives in Nevada with her family, which includes one very spoiled cat.


The Midwife’s Christmas Surprise/A Christmas to Remember
by Marta Perry, Jo Ann Brown

Harlequin Love Inspired; October 18, 2016
$5.99 U.S.; 224 Pages

Bon Appétit and a Book: A delicious recipe to enjoy alongside the book with an image.

Recipe: Grandma Loveland’s Graham Cracker Pie (a Thanksgiving tradition):

For the 9 inch pie crust:

1 1/4 cups of crushed graham crackers

1/4 cup of sugar

6 tablespoons of butter

Measure the dry ingredients into a bowl. Melt butter and add to the mixture. Toss with a fork. Pour all but a couple of tablespoons of the mixture into a 9 inch pie pan and press up to the edges with fork.

Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes. Set aside.

For filling:

2 boxes of vanilla pudding (instant is okay)

Prepare as instructed on the box. When properly thickened, pour into the prepared graham cracker crust. Refrigerate.

For meringue (which I make about 3 hours before it’s to be served, so the meringue doesn’t have time to contract or sweat):

3 egg whites

6 tablespoons of sugar

½ teaspoon of vanilla

Put the egg whites in a bowl and beat until frothy. Add the sugar a little bit at a time (a tablespoon or less at a time), beating at top speed between each addition. Keep beating until the meringue is stiff (stands up even after you move the spoon). Add vanilla.

Spread across the top of the pie filling. Sprinkle with remaining graham cracker mixture.

Cook for 8-10 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned.

Remove from oven and put in the refrigerator. Serve pie chilled.

Song Playlist: A prepared playlist of songs that embodies the book’s characters and their love story.

As this is a Christmas story, and I wrote it while listening to Christmas music, the playlist is:

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

No Place Like Home for the Holidays

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

and of course…Unforgettable

How-to Tips for Aspiring Writers: Tips for those looking to get their work published/break into the industry.

Read in the genre you want to publish in…and in others as well. Sometimes reading in a different genre can help pinpoint what’s unique to your genre.

Find your writing rhythm. Do you need to write every day to keep connected to your story? If not every day, what works for you? Once you find that rhythm, stick to it.

Learn what works for you and don’t let anyone talk you out of doing it your way. For example, I don’t write from page 1 to the end. I jump around within the ms to the scenes I know and then go through it and tie all the scenes together. That process works for me. Other people say it would drive them crazy.

Be persistent and learn from rejection letters from editors. Don’t take it personally but as a challenge to get better until your work is ready for publication.

Writer’s Space: Photos and a brief description of the place where they do their writing.

I work in an office at the front of my house. It’s filled with bookcases and books. My desk is custom designed out of cabinets so it’s the proper height for me. Most of the time the top of the desk is covered with research books and papers.

Love Lessons Learned: Real life romance lessons learned from the book.

Falling in love with who you are now is more important than the person you might have been once upon a time. (This is an amnesia story, so that’s a vital aspect of the plot)

Movie Star Cast: The author picks movie stars to play the characters in a movie.

Hero: Steve Carrell (as the nice guy he was in Dan in Real Life)

Heroine: Elizabeth Banks (the toned down version, not the one from the Hunger Games)


A Thankful Thanksgiving: The author describes who and what they are thankful for in honor of the Thanksgiving.

I’m thankful for friends and family — trite but true. Both my friends and my family have supported my writing career from the beginning, and I love seeing my children following their dreams, too.




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