Thursday, September 18, 2014

Blog Tour - Made the Grade: Joyful by Shelley Shepard Gray | Review & Novels Giveaway

Today I'm turning my blog over to Shelley Shepard Gray, with a review of "Joyful," which is the 3rd & final book in her Return to Sugarcreek Series!!

ALSO -- Be sure to sign up for this tour's GIVEAWAYs (listed below)!! [Blog Tour will run from September 11 - 28, 2014 | Giveaway ends on September 28, 2014]

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Paperback - Pages: 234; Kindle Edition - File Size: 459 KB; Audiobook - Unabridged | Expected Release Date: September 2, 2014 | Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers : Avon Books : Inspire | Obtained: Litfuse Publicity Group

"Joyful" [Return to Sugarcreek Series, Book 3] by Shelley Shepard Gray

Author's Book Description : A young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series.

Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm’s needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.

When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious—and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth’s heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.

Elizabeth wants to refuse—to stay far away from the man who hurt her—but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she’s older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong.

Randal, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her—or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth—or risk losing his chance at love forever.

Joyful includes a P.S. section with a letter from the author, discussion questions, and a teaser from her next book.

My Book Review : 3.5 out of 5 stars! Since this was the first novel that I've read from Ms. Gray's Return to Sugarcreek Series, I found that it wasn't laid out like I expected--with it's three "main" stories having it's characters all knowing of each other in some way but not really going together--yet I was happy with how it all turned out.

The lead story was about Elizabeth (Lizzie/Beth) & Randall. They used to be a couple but when Randall's family starts to go their own ways, Randall takes on the mantle of head of their family which in turn makes him feel like his relationship with Elizabeth can't continue--even though they both have strong feeling for each other--so he brakes up with her. A while (the book doesn't really say) after they brake up it becomes apparent to Randall's family that they are in need of help--mostly from a female--and feel that Elizabeth would be the prefect choice (much to Randall's dismay because he still has feeling for her). Therefore, Elizabeth starting helping out/working at Randall's house, every day there brings up old feelings and put everything between them into question. For the most part, once they finally put everything onto the table, I really liked them as a couple but it took a while within the novel to get to that point. In truth, I liked Elizabeth's relationship with Randall's family more then I liked hers with him.

The next story was about Judith & Ben. They are husband and wife--both Amish--who miscarried a few months back and are now fostering a boy (James) whose mother is serving time in prison. It's all about their relationship with each other and how strong it is, how much they think of James as their own child--even though they are only to have him for a few months to a year or so--and what they'll do once/if they have to give him up. It's very sweet how they pull together through it all; I really liked them as a couple because they seemed to complete each other.

The last story was about Bud & Pippa. Who are not Amish but living within the same community. They are slowly building into a relationship after being "sort of" friends for a long time prior. I really liked the way Bud goes about to rebuild Pippa's confidence and wooing her.

Overall, I recommend this novel to anyone who likes Christian romances!

Purchase This Book and/or The Other Books From It's Series Here :

My Previous Review(s) for this Author : Hidden

Author's Novel Extras : Pinterest: JOYFUL | Joyful - Overview

Author's Series Extras : Pinterest: HOPEFUL | Pinterest: THANKFUL | Hopeful - Overview | Thankful - Overview | Hello, Again! | Baking Cranberry-Orange Bread | News, News, News | HAPPY NEW YEAR! | Another Guest Post by Mary!

Book Teaser(s) :
"Judith, tonight when James cried, you were there for him. When he needed comfort, we gave him medicine. When he's been hungry, we fed him, and when he needed to be held and loved, we've done that, too. No matter what the future brings, right now, right this minute, he needs us. And we need him, Judith. He's brought us so much joy and happiness, even for this short amount of time."
"He has, hasn't he?"
Ben nodded. ~ within Chapter 8
"So, I gather that you don't want me here? That you would like to spend as little time as possible with me?"
He grimaced. "I didn't mean what I said exactly the way you heard it."
"Yeah." He groaned as he shifted on his pile of propped-up pillows. "I'm sorry, Beth, but I'm not doing too good right now."
Hearing him call her Beth, especially when it was obvious that it had just slipped out, made much of her irritation float away. Softening her voice, she murmured, "I kind of noticed."
"Listen, when I said I didn't want you here, it wasn't because I didn't want to see you."
"Why don't you want me here?"
"Because I don't want you to see me like this." ~ within Chapter 16

For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Shelley, then please check out her website.

About the Author :

Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Giveaways!! :

Don't miss Shelley Shepard Gray's newest book in the Return to Sugarcreek Series, "Joyful." USA Today raved: "A sweet, straightforward story about how love can be tested by family, faith, and personal insecurity. Enjoyable and heartwarming."

Click the banner below for a chance to win books 1-3 in Shelley's Return to Sugarcreek Series! Winner announced on Shelley's blog on September 30th!


ALSO -- Be sure to check out Litfuse's other Blog Tour Reviews for this novel!!

Find Shelley Shepard Gray :

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