Thursday, February 6, 2014

Hopeful by Shelley Shepard Gray ~ Litfuse Blog tour with review and giveaway

Return to Sugarcreek, Book One:
In the Amish town of Sugarcreek, love comes in many forms. But will it come at all for Miriam?
Miriam Zehr has worked at the Sugarcreek Inn longer than she cares to admit. The restaurant is a favorite of town residents as well as the many tourists who come to taste the famous Amish fare. Though she always tries to have a smile for every customer, deep down Miriam knows something’s missing: a family of her own.
Miriam has never felt particularly beautiful, especially because she’s always been a bit heavier than other girls her age. When Junior, the man she’s pined for all her life, suddenly seeks her out, she’s thrilled to be noticed . . . until she realizes he’s only asking her to help get the attention of Mary Kathryn Hershberger, her pretty friend.
If Miriam helps Junior court Mary Kathryn, she’ll get to spend a lot of time with him, but she might lose him in the process. Are these few stolen moments worth a lifetime of sacrifice? Is Miriam right to even hope for the life she dreams of?

My take on this book:
A new series by Shelley Shepard Gray, boy I couldn't wait to dive into this one, and once I did I really couldn't put this book down until I finished it! I love books set in Sugarcreek, Ohio because it's a place I visit often so it's the familiar that really hooks me. With this book we get the story of Miriam Zehr and Albert (Junior) Beiler. Miriam longs to have a family of her own. Thing is she feels like the only way she will ever find a special someone is to leave Sugarcreek. When Junior Beiler seeks her out she is thrilled could it be that finally someone is interested in her?
Such a delightful beginning to a promising new series. I loved these characters, and I found Miriam so easy to connect with. Who doesn't have problems with self image, and it's wonderful to see Amish portrayed as real people with real issues. Often writers create Amish characters that seem to perfect, but Ms. Gray always makes me feel like I could be reading about anyone, Amish or English because of the realism of her characters. I couldn't help but be drawn in wondering whether Miriam would ever find love, if Junior would realize what was right within his grasp. Plenty of secondary characters keeps the plot zipping along, making for a quick yet satisfying read! Hopeful is perfect for Amish fans, but anyone looking for a great read that just happens to be about the Amish will find Ms. Gray's writing easy to connect with, written with depth, but also a touching tenderness  and there  is  a bit of mystery as well. Hopeful leaves me anxious to read the next book in the Return to Sugarcreek Series!

Shelley Shepard Gray


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.
Find out more about Shelley at

Five winners will receive:
  • Hopeful by Shelley Shepard Gray
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 23rd. All winners will be announced February 24th at Shelley’s blog.


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