“Hopeful” is a story primarily about Miriam Zehr but it includes more than one side story that feature other members of the Sugarcreek community. A common thread through each person’s story is hope though at times it seems that their circumstances are nearly hopeless. I enjoyed the way the author tied the lives of these friends and neighbors together and brought healing, hope, and love to each of them.

Miriam Zehr is one of those people everyone loves to be around because of her sunny and encouraging nature. Unfortunately Miriam does not see herself the way others view her but compares herself to other women who she believes are more attractive. Then one day a small ray of hope shines into Miriam’s life when it appears that the man she has had her eye on for years may have finally noticed her. What transpires is a story that is humorous,  heartbreaking, romantic, and even mysterious and suspense filled. Yet through it all runs the message that if one places their hope and faith in the Lord, His grace and mercy never fail.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.


HopefulIn 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?

Purchase a copy and learn more at Shelley’s website .


Shelley Shepard GrayShelley 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

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)

Shelley and her publisher are celebrating by giving away 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!