Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Litfuse Publicity: Hopeful (Return to Sugarcreek Book 1) by Shelley Shepard Gray #grow4christ

on February 20, 2014

Welcome to the blog tour for Hopeful, the first book in Shelley Shepard Gray’s new series, Return to Sugarcreek. Critics have already given their thumbs up for Hopeful: “Lovable characters and a good story, full of romance and suspense . . . a must read.” (Library Journal)

Enter to win one of FIVE copies of the book. 


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.


Enter today and be sure to visit Shelley’s blog on the 24th to see if YOU won one of the books!


About the Book:

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?

You can purchase a copy by visiting Shelley Shepard Gray’s site.

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.

You can learn more by visiting her website.

My Opinion:

I’ve had the pleasure of reading Gray’s books before and the fact that she’s a fellow Ohioan and the book takes place in Sugarcreek, well I was bound to get caught up in the story.  Lately, I’ve been jumping into the middle of a series and floundering, but thankfully I read, Hopeful, which is book 1 in the new series, Return to Sugarcreek, so I can read them in order.  Miriam Zehr is the main character and she longs to be noticed by Junior, who she has her heart set on, but alas he only wants to get to know her friend and newcomer, Mary Kate – but she has secrets and wants nothing to do with Junior or any man.  While I found myself wanting to yell at Miriam to just tell Junior and refuse to help him catch another girl I knew eventually Junior would find out which woman was for him – the romance part was pretty easy to figure out.

I enjoyed the suspense in the novel – Mary Kate, who is scared and goes to work and goes straight home – knowing she has secrets keeps the pace of the novel as Miriam tries to help her.  Eventually, it’s easy to figure out what has Mary Kate so easily spooked and why she doesn’t want to really reach out to others in her community and the reader’s heart wants to reach out and help her.  While the book is short, the plot is anything but, with real characters and issues leap from the pages and makes for a quick read the book is full of details.  Miriam wants to help everyone, she is quick to help and struggles with not being able to help as much as she wants, Junior struggles to know how to raise a family he was left with when his parents died – ultimately the characters realize they need to quit relying on themselves and rely only on the Lord, only then do the characters end up where they are supposed to.

If you’d like to see what others thought about Hopeful visit the Litfuse Landing Page.


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