Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Litfuse Publicity Blog Tour: The Memory Jar

Here's a description of the book:

"Every year, 30–40 young Amish men descend on the cozy little town of West Kootenai, Montana, arriving in the spring to live there for six months and receive ‘resident’ status for the hunting season in the fall. They arrive as bachelors, but go home with brides! Sarah Shelter has lived in West Kootenai for the last ten years and wonders if she will ever fall in love.

Since the tragic death of her best friend, she carries her memories in a jar along with the small items connected to them. For just as long, she’s also been carrying around her emotions instead of allowing them to penetrate deep into her heart. Now she’s met a kind and gentle man who may be able to break down the wall. But can Sarah risk her heart to finally achieve her dreams?"

My Rating


My Review

For a sweet falling-in-love, following-your-dreams story, this first book in the "Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors" series captures it all. While one section of the plot conveys some intrigue and suspense (on a hiking trip in the mountains), most of The Memory Jar is gently paced, often detouring into the past and focusing on internal struggles. And yet Goyer writes in an engaging way with some meaningful lines. So even though this isn't an exciting, edge-of-your-seat book, I was impressed by the sweetness that snuck up on me and the themes that resonated with me.

Sarah Shelter learned a lot from her friendship with Patty - another free-spirited Amish girl - and Patty's sudden death deeply affected Sarah. But when Jathan finally catches her attention by his heroic and gentlemanly actions, his friendship helps Sarah come to terms with her past. She examines her memories, cherishing the ways that Patty blessed her life, and finds the courage to look toward the future - a future that might just have a lot to do with a certain Amish bachelor and their shared dreams (and cupcakes!).

There are quite a few inspiring quotes in this story that stood out to me, and I loved the emphasis on following God's will for one's life and not giving up on the unique passions and purposes He gives each person. The Memory Jar seems to be one of those stories that one reader (like me) will really enjoy, and another reader will find to be "OK." Depending on where you are in life and what you're in the mood for, this book may or may not charm you. But if you like a well-written story with open-hearted Amish characters and some really sweet romance, I think you'll agree that The Memory Jar is a great start to Goyer's new series.

*With thanks to the publisher for providing me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion, to be shared during the Litfuse Publicity blog tour.*

Book Trailer


About the Author

"Tricia Goyer is the award winning author of over thirty books including Beside Still Waters, Remembering You, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences and is the host of Living Inspired. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

Find out more about Tricia at"

To Buy the Book: click HERE

Blog Tour Schedule: Check out of all the other reviews scheduled by clicking HERE.

Litfuse Contest

*Please note that the deadline for this giveaway has already passed, but you can still attend the Facebook party tonight!*

Celebrate with Tricia by entering her Amish Kindle Gift Pack Giveaway and RSVPing to her Facebook party on November 7th. (And be sure to catch the fun video trailer or try your hand at one of the simple, keepsake crafts Tricia has put together on her website.)

One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Custom-made Memory Jar Kindle Cover
  • Amish-made decorative items {Wall hanging, horse/buggy and Amish houses}
  • The Memory Jar {Be swept away by this captivating series.}
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 6th. Winner will be announced at the "Memory Jar Author Chat Party on 11/7. Connect with Tricia for an evening of book chat, Amish trivia, and a live video chat! There will also be a chance to win gift certificates, books, and other fun prizes!

So grab your copy of The Memory Jar and join Tricia on the evening of the November 7th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 7th!

Tricia's big contest may already be closed to entries, but thanks to Zondervan I have an extra copy of The Memory Jar to give away to one of you! Just enter below (and please note that this is open to U.S. residents only, as I'll be shipping the book to the winner):

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Linda said...

I don't like the Rafflecopter. Leaving a comment works for me.

Amber S. said...


Good to know! I know a lot of bloggers use Rafflecopter, and I thought I was "behind the times" by doing things the old-fashioned way - but judging by your comment and Juju's response to my tweet, leaving a comment is a good way to go. :)

Since I have one more giveaway this week, I'm planning on making that one a comment-entry only. (It's a CD giveaway that will be open to those with Canadian addresses, as well!)

Thanks for your feedback!


Marissa said...

I also don't like Rafflecopter!!

This looks like a really good book!


Amber S. said...


Thanks for letting me know! That seems to be the case for several of my readers, perhaps most if the low number of entries is any indication...

But as long as you have a US mailing address, I'll definitely include you in this drawing! I found it to be a great book. :)


Rissi said...

Hmm... funny! I feel like the *only* person to like Rafflecopter. LOL! I like it better for its versatility (variety of ways to enter said giveaway and daily chances for the participants to re-enter) and ease - I'd worry that I'd forget to enter someone if using only comment section!

I've seen this book around but have found that Amish fiction is not my cup of tea. It sounds adorable though and I like the idea of the series but being set in Amish country makes me skeptical so I've decided not to read it. For now. :)

Wishing you the BEST of luck with your giveaways, Amber!

Amber S. said...


It is interesting hearing readers' thoughts on Rafflecopter and entering giveaways! I'm not sure where I stand on the issue, as I like the look of Rafflecopter - and it seems to be easier for the host to use - but it can be very Facebook oriented, and I'm not on Facebook anymore, so... :\ I can see how it can get complicated if the host takes it too far, or it can look "scary" to someone who's not used to how it works. I don't know! I do like the Google Docs forms... I might have to try those again sometime. :)

Anyway, I appreciate your thoughts, and you're definitely not the only one who likes it! I've been seeing Rafflecopter all over the place, it seems. :)

As for the book, that's totally OK! Amish books can tend to be very similar to each other, and too slow/gentle for some readers' tastes. It's not always my thing, but I've found some that I've really enjoyed. Kelly Long's books are rather "edgy" and romantic for Amish fiction, and Cindy Woodsmall is a great writer. I also like Suzanne Woods Fisher's and Tricia Goyer's Amish books (I like the Montana setting used in parts of her books - it's unique!). :) Have you read Plain Fear: Forsaken by Leanna Ellis?? A bit more mainstream Amish with vampires - definitely different, LOL!

Thanks for your support and kind words!


Diane Estrella said...

I would give this book to my 80 year old aunt. she loves Amish fiction. :O)

Amber S. said...


Sweet! :) Thanks for entering, and good luck in the drawing!


Julie Klein said...

I have never read this book or any Amish fiction for that matter. I guess I did not feel as though I would relate to the book and never gave it a much thought before. However, I loved your review and found that I did relate in many ways to the story and the characters in it. Now, I really look forward to reading this book and have added it to my list. Thank you for a great review and also for the chance to win this great giveaway. I love to read but don't get to very often anymore. I always would read in bed but after 2 back surgeries, laying in bed on my back with a book is something I no longer am able to do. I want to get a kindle because it would be so easy to read while laying on my side. When I do finally get one, maybe this book will be my first read!! Thank you!!

Amber S. said...


Thank you so much for your sweet comment! Amish fiction isn't for everybody, and it's usually very idealist in nature, showing the supposedly wonderful, "simple" life of the Amish people. And yet, it all depends on how each individual author treats the story, you know? I like some Amish fiction for its setting, cultural information, romantic and cultural tension, and its emphasis on faith. If you enjoy Christian fiction and want to try a book with Amish characters, this one is a great place to start! :) And for a different take on Amish fiction, Still Life in Shadows by Alice Wisler is also a great book. :)

As for the Kindle, a few months ago I got the basic and cheapest one as a gift, because that's the one I wanted (nothing fancy - just something that would do its job as an e-reader!). I love it! The new Paperwhite seems to be pretty cool because you can read it in any lighting, and the Kindles with keyboards or touch-screens are probably easier to use, but if you have a light nearby I've found the plain old Kindle to be just what I wanted. :) I hope you can get one soon so that you can read more again! I'm sorry you've gone through so much with your back pain. :(

I'm glad you visited, and good luck in the drawing!


karenk said...

i enjoy amish fiction...thanks for the giveaway, amber :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Amber S. said...


Me, too! :) And you're welcome! I'm grateful to the publisher for providing me with an extra copy to give away. :) Good luck in the drawing!