Monday, February 7, 2011

Blog Tour: An Unlikely Blessing (Review)

An Unlikely Blessing is a heartfelt story about a new pastor and life-long city dweller Alex Armstrong, who reluctantly accepts his first assignment, a two-point parish in the wilds of North Dakota. 

Hilltop Township, a farming community, blooms from the prairie like a wild pink rose—lovely and prickly all at once, much like the people who live there.

Unlikely.

Alex quickly finds that this lovely place is in quiet peril. Farmers are struggling to make ends meet: Jonas Owens, a faithful member of Hilltop parish, is on the brink of losing the farm. Alex believes that part of why God called him to Hilltop was to help turn things around, and steps in with ideas for saving the Owens' land. But can even God's minister help save this rural community?

There are a lot of firsts for the new single pastor....including the remarkable excitement of being a single guy among the unmarried women in the community. And, well, if you could die of hot dish overdose, Alex would be a dead man. 

Whether performing weddings, counseling his flock, or herding cattle by snowmobile, Alex soon discovers that his new church home has as much to teach him as he will teach them. Day by day, he falls more in love with the people of Hilltop Church. People may leave Hilltop, but Hilltop never leaves them.

What I Thought
I liked this story. It's simple and sweet. Someone has compared this to Jan Karon's Mitford series. I could totally see that - except the pastor is (from appearances) a protestant, second-career, single guy.

Working in a church, I can totally see some "real life" things in this first novel. I can also see some "stereotypes" of church life - including the abundance of casseroles on a single pastor.

I will say the cast of characters is quite colorful - and well, you do see a variety of people like this in a local church. Baer has captured the feel of a small church - including the "rifts" that tend to develop between people.

On a scale of one to five, with five being the highest, I give it at least a three. In all, this book is kinda like chicken soup - no big surprises, but very comforting. I'm interested to see where Judy Baer takes this series. If it's like the Mitford series, it will only get better from here.

More About The Author
Judy Baer is the author of over seventy-five books for adults and teens.

She has won the Romance Writer of America Bronze Medallion and has been a RITA finalist twice.

She lives in Elk River, Minnesota with her husband. Follow the Hilltop characters on Baer’s blog and find out more about her and her books at http://www.judykbaer.com.

Online Resources
Read the first chapter of An Unlikely Blessing online here
Follow Judy K. Baer's Blog here
Buy An Unlikely Blessing here @ Amazon.com
Follow the Blog Tour @ Litfuse here!

It's A Contest
Prolific author of more than 75 novels, Baer, is launching her new Guideposts series, Forever Hilltop, with a KINDLE giveaway! The first book in the series, An Unlikely Blessing is available now wherever fine books are sold.

Read the reviews here.

In celebration of the release of An Unlikely Blessing, Baer is giving away a KINDLE prize package worth more than $175.



One lucky winner will receive:
  • Brand New KINDLE with Wi-Fi
  • A $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com

To enter just click on one the icons below and then tell your friends! Winner will be announced on Monday, Feb. 21 on Baer's blog, http://www.judykbaer.com/wordpress

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

For more information please visit the Litfuse website, www.litfusegroup.com and click {HERE}!

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Litfuse Publicity Group. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail. 

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