- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
The charming and often hilarious Forever Hilltop series follows the experiences of former city dweller Alex Armstrong as he settles into his new role as pastor of a Scandinavian community in rural North Dakota. Alex is sometimes baffled by his parishioners and their colorful ways, but he comes to appreciate their simple wisdom. One thing's for sure — life in Hilltop Township is never dull! This new two-in-one format features An Unlikely Blessing along with its sequel, Surprising Grace. In An Unlikely Blessing, ...
The charming and often hilarious Forever Hilltop series follows the experiences of former city dweller Alex Armstrong as he settles into his new role as pastor of a Scandinavian community in rural North Dakota. Alex is sometimes baffled by his parishioners and their colorful ways, but he comes to appreciate their simple wisdom. One thing's for sure — life in Hilltop Township is never dull! This new two-in-one format features An Unlikely Blessing along with its sequel, Surprising Grace. In An Unlikely Blessing, Alex Armstrong is a former city dweller who has just accepted his first parish assignment to a small community in the wilds of North Dakota. In Hilltop Township, Pastor Alex becomes familiar with the residents and their odd traditions, from julebukking to King Oscar's fish balls. And then there's the excitement the single pastor creates among the unmarried women in the community! Alex soon discovers that his new church home has as much to teach him as he has to teach them. In Surprising Grace, Alex Armstrong is settling into his new role as pastor of Hilltop Church, and he's even starting to understand the strange ways of the people who populate this barren stretch of North Dakota prairie. But he also finds that his flock needs help and counsel like he never imagined. In this cozy and entertaining read, Alex must choose between the woman he once loved — and the home he's come to love.
Posted December 21, 2013
Foreer Hilltop is comprised of the first two books in this series, so in some ways, it is not fair to be reviewing them together. The series in indeed charming, and since I am now a country girl, I am able to idenitify with some of the issues that come up. And indeed, Alex has to be the most charming pastor I have ever encountered!
The first in the series was nice enough but sometimes just a little bit slow. I rhink that sometimes the first book in a series can tend to be this way because it is the introduction to all these characters. I will give Judy Baer credit for assembling a motley crew that cover the entire gamut of church personalities. You would think that a little town would be boring, but that cannot be said of Hilltop!
This becomes all too clear in the second of the series. By the end of the book, Pastor Alex has more drama in his parish than a dog has fleas. I found this second book a delightful continuation, and the relationships I had begun with the characters in the first book continued even more into this second book.
The second book had everything that makes a good story: romance, love triangle, theft, mystery, and a vicious love triangle (kind of). I was quite pleased with Pastor Alex's decisions throughout the book (no spoilers from me) and his total reliance on God. And yet even the pastor wavers now and then!
In conclusion, this is a lighthearted summer read that will resonate with most. I can hardly wait to read the next book in the series!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Posted February 6, 2013
I highly recommend this book. I dont know if this two story collection is a series or not but I really grew to love the characters in this small North Dakota community and their cityborn preacher who is trying to adjust to country life. I would lo ve to read more about them all and what happens in the community...Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 7, 2012
Posted May 22, 2012
It was a warm comfy type of book.
I was slow and distracted getting started with this book. My fault. But when I finally got to sit and read the book I loved it. Did not want to put it down.
Alex Armstrong has just arrived in Hilltop Township, North Dakota. He is to be the new Pastor of not just one church but two. Unfortunately the two churches have had a split of communities. This was not what he had expected. He thought he would be moving to a tranquil community. Since he arrived it has been one thing after another. It is a beautiful area and the house provided for him was a big surprise to him.
There are definitely some very colorful characters in this novel. Some that are overly helpful and some that are in desperate need of help. Then there are those that don't wish to be bothered at all. Alex Armstrong has his hands full. It is a good thing God is with him and Hilltop Township.
Book two takes up right where book one left off. With some unexpected events. Also a hometown girl comes home to the community for harvest time and put a whole new spin on Alex's life. But will she stay or will she return to her home in the big city?
This was a long book for sure. But well worth reading. I highly recommend this book!
I received a free copy of this book from Guidposts for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
Posted May 19, 2012
Just finished the second book in the two book Book!! Surprising Grace....we continued on with Pastor Alex, and the lives of these great folks in Hilltop ND Township. I hope there is to be more, these are for the most part wonderful God loving people.
This is a continuation of An Unlikely Blessing...we will find some romance, some answers to questions, and some heartbreaks, and a loving community there to help.
Alex contacts Natalie, who broke his heart, and now we will wonder if he will leave where God had led him? Or will he find someone else? What about darling Will, and his Hoomaine Society? Will something be done about Bucky Chadwick...who is really frightening everyone. Also Dixon's sister Emmy returns for a visit. I also loved what Lydia Olson does to her brothers, who have learned to depend on her for all there meals and taking care of the home.
Enjoy this two book wonder of Love and Family...all who live here watch out for all like family.
I received this book from the Publisher Guideposts, and was not required to give a positive review.
Posted May 15, 2012
Although the welcome sign states “A Place Like Home” - Grassy Valley, North Dakota with a population of 1,254 is nothing like Alex Armstrong’s home near Chicago. However, his new life as reverend of a “two-point parish” is nothing like his past experience as a college professor either. The two parishes that he will serve are at odds with one another. Within the first chapters of book one, the reader meets such terrific characters! The thought that Americans like these can probably still be found in many small U.S. towns is heartening. I had to keep reading to hear more of their life stories as Alex meets, gets to know, and appreciates his congregation and their uniqueness. Alex’s prayer list for parishioners grows, along with his desire to help these Scandinavian farmers continue to live on land that’s been in their families for generations.
My children sometimes accuse me of being nosy. I like to hear people’s stories and appreciate optimistic, friendly, original people with wonderful family stories. Judy Baer’s rural characters stand out. Initially, some of the characters seem to be uncommunicative, quiet men; their reticent personalities made me want to hear more about them. Many readers will appreciate this peaceful, but often uplifting, funny story.
Posted May 12, 2012
"What do you think of September in Hilltop?"
"Better every day," Alex said honestly. "I never thought I'd say this, but it's one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. It's a quiet beauty. A gentle wind blowing across a field of ripe grain, or the sun sinking in the west is more beautiful than I ever imagined. Hilltop is a diamond in the rough. I even understand why the people here keep talking about the horrible winters and fifty degrees below zero wind chills."
"Why? You haven't experienced that yet."
"This place is a secret you want to keep to yourself. Peaceful, beautiful, authentic, friendly...Winchester Holmquist told me that he liked to exaggerate the weather extremes to 'keep the riffraff out.'"
The township of Hilltop in North Dakota is all that and more. A bit of Mayberry from the old Andy Griffith show, only it is the only home for the residents that live there and ones you will be delighted to meet in Forever Hilltop by Judy Baer.
In this delightful, two book set, the reader gets to experience the beauty and family that makes Hilltop unique. In An Unlikely Blessing, the town is in need of a pastor and has placed an ad, for which Alex Armstrong answers. What he comes to find out however, is that he is the only person who has ever answered the ad. Considering it a bit odd, until the residents of the town become part of his very own church family.
Knowing that the Pastor is single, it makes him the prime target for all the single ladies looking to settle down. Hot meals are a constant stream inside the church parsonage as Alex begins to understand what has divided the once blended town between two churches, All Saints and Hilltop Community. Alex is hoping and praying that God will give him the strength to unite the two and in the process show him if he truly does belong in the town of Hilltop.
In the second book, Surprising Grace, the story of Alex's life continues as the residents of the town become more real to the reader, from the organized and very talkative church secretary Gandy, to the red-haired-ten-year-old boy Will who is organizing a Hoomain Society in the shed on the church property saving every known animal from certain death; Nancy Hubbard who is converting her three story over-sized home into a Bed & Breakfast; and Tilly Tanner, one of the oldest residents in town who refuses to acknowledge she's eighty and wants everyone to remember she's only sixty-five. There are so many delightful characters we get to meet this time around in Hilltop Township that you can't help but fall in love with them all.
Along the way the rift between the town churches will begin to heal thanks to the quilting bee idea formed by the ladies in both churches. There isn't perfect peace in this township, but what you do come to realize is that when people come together to help out, the problems become much smaller and it draws people closer together. Perhaps God did have a purpose after all for Pastor Alex being the only one to answer the ad for the church.
I received this wonderful collection of Forever Hilltop by Judy Baer compliments of Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and I am hoping that there is still one more novel in this series yet to be written. It is delightful and peaceful to remember that some towns remain small but seem larger than life by the people living there and this one will simply take your breath away. I rate this one a perfect 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend this one as the perfect summer getaway read!
Posted May 7, 2012
This book drew me in immediately. It was like visiting good friends or family in a special community that you knew you'd never visited, yet it felt like home.
This book very much reminded me of the genre of Jan Karon's books. I cared about the characters and couldn't wait to pick the book up again to see what happens next. There was a little romance, a little mystery, a lot of faith, and just a great story all the way around. I loved how faith and love for your brother/sister was woven through the whole story. The way that Alex, the new pastor, handled the division between the two churches he pastors was just brilliant. Nothing is tied up neat as a bow, yet throughout you can see where if we "have love for one another", great miracles can happen. I found myself laughing out loud and crying at different times in this book because the story was so real.
Judy Baer wrote a beautiful story and I can't wait to read the next installment! She is on my "Favorite Author" list now.
If you enjoy a good story, with believable characters (and who doesn't?), be sure and read "Forever Hilltop". I highly recommend it!
*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group
Posted April 18, 2012
I so enjoyed entering the world of Hilltop, Reverend Alex, Tripod, and all the very interesting characters created by Judy Baer. I just flew through the books and can hardly wait to read more! Thank you, Judy, for bringing us this special world.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.