My review of “An Amish Christmas Gift” by Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kelly Irvin

OK… just look at the cover and tell me you don’t want to read this book!

You can’t… can you?

I knew it!

I have been anxiously awaiting this one! Chomping at the bit actually!

 

Since you just read my review for Kelly Irvin’s latest in the Amish of Bee County – I’m going to start there!

A Christmas Visitor by Kelly Irvin

And – OH the irony… NEVERMIND! Forget I said that! There’s absolutely nothing ironic about that.

On to the story.

As with the story in The Bishop’s Son, our heroine has some tough decisions ahead of her. And like most Amish stories, her well-meaning family are doing everything they can to be “supportive”.

And by supportive, I mean they want to make sure Frannie understands just how important it is that she make the “right” decision.

Reading about the blazing heat of Texas might not be what you have in mind for a Christmas book but it’s well worth the read! And it just might help warm you up on those crazy cold nights… unless you live in Texas that is.

Naomi’s Gift by Amy Clipston

I can’t help feeling a bit of a kinship with Naomi – unlucky in love… picking the wrong guy… twice… feeling like all hope is lost…

Granted, I’m not 24 anymore and I have two children of my own already, but there are so many little things about Naomi and her lot in life that remind me of myself.

I think a lot of readers will find the same true of themselves. We all have to deal with disappointments and disaster where love is concerned.

 

And now I have to apologize to Kelly and Any because, once again, Ruth has stolen the show!

An Unexpected Joy by Ruth Reid is THE BEST story in the book (in my humble opinion).

WOW!

WOW! WOW! WOW!

I picked up the story and COULD NOT put it down! Gabby Abby and Micah butt heads and rub each other the wrong way constantly.

Like the other two novellas, Abigail is certain she’s not destined for love or marriage. She has an idea that she can gain some independence at least and make some sort of happiness for herself with her own horse.

Like every other guy in the district, Micah has no patience for Abigail’s “gift of gab” but soon he – NO! I’m not going to tell you. Just trust me. Read it!

You’ll LOVE THEM ALL!

Yes! I whipped out the candy canes already! Can you think of anything else to rate these GREAT stories with…

 

More from Thomas Nelson about An Amish Christmas Gift:

Naomi’s Gift by Amy Clipston

Naomi has started to think that she isn’t meant to find love, but she might receive more than she ever hoped for this Christmas.

Twenty-four-year-old Naomi King, who has been burned twice by love, has all but given up on marriage and children. As Christmas approaches a time of family, faith, and hope for many others Naomi is more certain than ever her life will be spent as an old maid, helping with the family s quilting business and taking care of her eight siblings. Then she meets Caleb, a young widower with a 7-year-old daughter, and her world is once again turned upside-down.

An Unexpected Joy by Ruth Reid

Abigail has driven other suitors away, but can Micah find a way to show her he cares?

Abigail Kemp has managed to frighten off every bu who’s ever driven her home from a singing. Sure she will live to be an old maid, Abigail starts saving her money to buy a horse so she can at least have some independence.

Micah Zook is looking for a caregiver for his grandmother, and Abigail needs a new job. He never expected that Abigail would talk so much . . . or that his grandmother would keep finding ways to set the two of them up.

Despite Abigail’s constant chatter, she and Micah become friends until Micah makes a decision that leaves Abigail feeling betrayed. With Christmas in their midst, can Micah find a way to reconcile with Abigail and to reveal what’s on his heart?

A Christmas Visitor by Kelly Irvin

Frannie Mast returns to Bee County for Christmas, but her heart stays back in Missouri with an Englisch farm boy.

Frannie knows her parents have the best of intentions when they send her back to Bee County, Texas, to live with her aunt Abigail and her husband Mordecai. After all, she knows nothing can come of a relationship with Rocky, the handsome but Englisch farmer boy back in Missouri. It’s best to put those feelings aside, no matter how hard it is. But all bets are off when Rocky follows Frannie to Texas to plead his case. Could he be the Christmas gift to end all gifts?”

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   THOMAS NELSON

AMY’S WEBSITE   RUTH’S WEBSITE   KELLY’S WEBSITE

CHRISTIANBOOK   AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

 

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My review of “The Wishing Season” by Denise Hunter | Stop #13 of my Salute to Christmas Reads!

 

 

BONUS! Thanks to BookLook Bloggers, you get ONE MORE DAY of Christmas reviews! A Baker’s dozen…

ENJOY!

The first book I read and reviewed in the Chapel Springs series was a complete and total surprise!

Then, of course, I was hooked and had to read the next book and now I’m so excited to read this one!

The Wishing Season was another complete surprise for me!

WHAT A GREAT READ!

I love the story! I love the characters! I love the crazy roller coaster ride of an adventure that you get when you add in one contest, one determined chef and one hard-nosed contractor.

It’s not precisely what I would consider a Christmas story but it is a wonderful winter romance!

Do not miss this story!

 

 

More from Thomas Nelson about The Wishing Season:

Living side-by-side, a fledgling chef and a big-hearted contractor find a delicious attraction.

Trouble is, their chemistry could spoil their dreams.

Spirited PJ McKinley has the touch when it comes to food. Her dream of opening her own restaurant is just one building short of reality. So when a Chapel Springs resident offers her beloved ancestral home to the applicant with the best plan for the house, PJ believes it’s a contest she was meant to win.

Contractor Cole Evans is confident, professional, and swoon-worthy—but this former foster kid knows his life could have turned out very differently. When Cole discovers the contest, he believes his home for foster kids in transition has found its saving grace. All he has to do is convince the owner that an out-of-towner with a not-for-profit enterprise is good for the community.

But when the eccentric philanthropist sees PJ and Cole’s proposals, she makes an unexpected decision: the pair will share the house for a year to show what their ideas are made of. Now, with Cole and the foster kids upstairs and PJ and the restaurant below, day-to-day life has turned into out-and-out competition—with some seriously flirtatious hallway encounters on the side. Turns out in this competition, it’s not just the house on the line, it’s their hearts.

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   THOMAS NELSON   DENISE‘S WEBSITE

CHRISTIANBOOK   AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received the book free from the BookLook Bloggers program
in exchange for an honest review.

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

My review of “Clara’s Wish” by Beth Shriver | Stop #12 of my Salute to Christmas Reads!

 

 

There seems to be quite a bit of disagreement about this book… most people love it but at least two reviews I’ve read were clearly not impressed.

I think a good part of the problem with some judgments might be similar to what we see from fans of historical fiction – readers who are familiar with one specific community expect every book to be the same and that’s just not how it works.

Personally, I think the book is written as well as the last book of Beth Shriver’s I read.

No, every Amish fiction story is not the same. Life would be awfully boring if that were the case – but Beth Shriver writes an interesting story about Clara and the community she is a part of.

Clara’s Wish is a heartwarming Christmas read and a sweet story about friends coming together to give a wonderful gift to a dear friend.

 

 

More from Zondervan about Love at Mistletoe Inn:

In this Amish Christmas romance, Lizzy Ryder discovers that this holiday season could be her best friend’s last. Will she find the comfort and love she desperately needs?

Lizzy Ryder is looking for an upstanding, hard-working, God-fearing gentleman—everything that Zachariah Schrock is not!

But when Zach’s sister and Lizzy’s best friend, Clara, takes ill, they come together to give her a Christmas she’ll never forget. As Clara’s condition worsens, will they learn to lean on God and each other?

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   CHARISMA HOUSE/REALMS   BETH‘S WEBSITE

CHRISTIANBOOK   AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received the book free from the Booketeria Bloggers program
in exchange for an honest review.

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

My review of “Love at Mistletoe Inn” by Cindy Kirk | Stop #11 of my Salute to Christmas Reads!

Another Exciting Year of Weddings has begun with Love at Mistletoe Inn!

What a fun read!

My own personal experiences and beliefs aside… the plot of this story makes for a fun adventure, but it is not exactly a good model for romance.

Think about it…

Couple rushes into a marriage…

Someone freaks out, changes their mind and tries to back out…

Annulment/divorce/loss of paperwork is supposed to happen but doesn’t quite work out…

Said couple is still married… OH NO!

While it is always entertaining, it presents the same sort of outlook that causes so many problems in marriage (in my own personal opinion) – no one feels the need to take marriage as seriously as they should.

Having said that…

I’m so glad to see more than one author capitalizing on the quirky relative angle. I am finding stories much more enjoyable now where we have matchmaking grandparents or a scheming Aunt who dip their fingers into the heart of things!

The remainder of the characters are fun and interesting. Even the idea behind how Hope and John got together and then split up before the “I do”s were even done… is well developed and intriguing.

And I am glad to see that a writer who does not typically write Christian fiction can do it so well. It gives me hope for the entire romance novel industry.

 

 

More from Zondervan about Love at Mistletoe Inn:

They’ve helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

Sometimes the road to happiness is paved with youthful mistakes.

Hope Prentiss didn’t go to the Harmony High School senior prom. Instead, she and John Burke drove to Boise and got married. At eighteen. But when Hope panicked after saying “I do,” the mail-order preacher assured her he just wouldn’t send in the paperwork. No forms, no marriage, no problem. Right?

Well . . .

Now, ten years later, Hope discovers that her prom-night wedding counted—and, as fate would have it, the jilted John Burke has just ridden back into town. And he’s staying with her Aunt Verna at the inn where she and Hope host weddings. Though Hope thinks she wants an annulment, a little time with John makes her think twice . . . and emotions between the more-or-less Mr. and Mrs. Burke reach a boiling point a soon as they get a moment alone.

With annulment out the window, Hope finds herself staring in the face of a divorce. But after spending some time with John and helping plan a Christmas wedding for a mystery couple, Hope begins to wonder if she really wants a divorce … or a real wedding of her own.

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   ZONDERVAN   CINDY‘S WEBSITE

CHRISTIANBOOK   AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received the book free from the BookLook Bloggers program
in exchange for an honest review.

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

My review of “The Christmas Cat” by Melody Carlson | Stop #10 of my Salute to Christmas Reads!

 

Well this book was NOTHING like I expected.

I did not expect to fall madly in love with a quick, cute, little Christmas story but fall madly in love with The Christmas Cat – I did!

WOW!

Melody Carlson has a talent! No wonder she has so many successful books on the market today!

 

When you start reading this story, visions of Brewster’s Millions or The Bachelor (the movie from a few years ago… NOT the crazy TV show) immediately fill your mind – but this heartwarming and heart-healing story bears absolutely no resemblance to those wild and crazy adventures…

Though that’s not to say the book holds no adventure.

Who could possibly place a horde of cats with happy homes before Christmas – without a little adventure.

But there is no race other than the one our main character builds up for himself.

Garrison has felt lost for so long and just when he thinks he has finally begun to find a place to fit, doubt sets in and he flees faster that a turkey at Thanksgiving.

If you’re asking yourself how a man who is allergic to cats can find peace, home and eventually his way in life – because of cats, then you better just read the book because I’m NOT going to spoil it for you!

And thankfully, Melody has quite a few of these charming stories, so when you’re done with this one, you can go track down her others too!

 

 

More from Revell/Baker Publishing about The Christmas Cat:

He felt his face flushing as Cara opened the door. Wearing a garnet-colored knit dress and with her dark hair pinned up, she looked even prettier than he remembered. Suddenly he wished he’d thought to bring a hostess gift. Like a cat.

After years abroad, Garrison Brown finds himself at the home of his beloved grandmother who has just passed away. He must sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While he hopes to dispense with the task quickly–especially since he is severely allergic to cats–his grandmother’s instructions don’t allow for speed. She has left some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends.

Can he match the cats with the perfect new owners? And is it possible that he might meet his own match along the way?

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   REVELL/BAKER PUBLISHING   MELODY‘S WEBSITE

CHRISTIANBOOK   LIFEWAY   AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received the book free from the Revell Reads program
in exchange for an honest review.

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

My review of “Snow Angel Cove” by RaeAnne Thayne | Stop #9 of my Salute to Christmas Reads!

 

 

Oh my word. Who could ever expect a Christmas book to start with a woman and her young daughter watching as a fire destroys all of their hopes and dreams!

 

And then, when it really looks as if all hope is lost, the mother is hit by a car!

 

I’m NOT giving anything away! It’s all in the excerpt! And I’ll prove it to you.

 

More from Harlequin about Snow Angel Cove:

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne welcomes you to a small town full of big surprises that are both merry and bright…

Nothing short of a miracle can restore Eliza Hayward’s Christmas cheer. The job she pinned her dreams on has gone up in smoke—literally—and now she’s stuck in an unfamiliar, if breathtaking, small town. Precariously close to being destitute, Eliza needs a helping hand…for her sick young daughter’s sake as well as her own. But she’s not expecting her holiday hero to almost run her down with his car!

Rescuing Eliza is pure instinct for tech genius Aidan Caine. At first, putting the renovation of his lakeside guest lodge in Eliza’s hands assuages his guilt—until he sees how quickly he could fall for her. Having focused solely on his business for years, he never knew that what his life was missing was Eliza and her little girl. But is he willing to risk hoping for a yuletide romance that could lead to forever?

 

 

 

Yeah… I admit I was more than a little intrigued at how such disastrous events could actually lead to a HAPPY Christmas – so, of course, I had to read it!

And boy am I glad I did!

Now, before I go any further, I have to tell you this is NOT my normal CHRISTIAN read. But then you probably guessed that from the publisher. However, I will say – to be completely fair – Harlequin has published much more adult books.

But you should be warned – this is certainly not in the Inspirational or Christian fiction category and there is quite a bit of content that might shock a reader who is expecting the typical Christian read.

I was interested in the book because of the cover mostly… but the story itself sounded very heart-warming and sweet so that was the deciding factor.

Kensington (another notorious publisher of very adult books) puts out some of my absolute FAVORITE Amish novels so I figured it was worth taking a chance! Especially when you consider just how risqué some other Christian fiction is these days…

 

FAIR WARNING! THE FOLLOWING MAY BE CONSIDERED A SPOILER!!!

 

For the record, there is no inappropriate physical behavior. There are some seriously sizzling kisses and a very well-described desire of thoughts for more but it does not go beyond that – Thankfully.

There is also a bit of adult language but again… thankfully… no one misuses God’s name so I’m a happy camper because this is one book I will not be letting go of ANYTIME SOON! WOW!

 

OK… SPOILER OVER!

In my personal opinion, this is one of the BEST stories I’ve read this year!

The characters are terrific. The plot is believable and I am desperate for more stories to come! It is a wonderful story and an excellent beginning! Great job RaeAnne!

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   HARLEQUIN/ HQN   RAEANNE‘S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

OUR FIRST CHRISTMAS MARATHON WINNER!

Banner is linked to original post

 

 

And the winner of Jennifer Backstrand’s
“Huckleberry Christmas” & “An Amish Christmas Quilt”
                                           (a wonderful Christmas Anthology) 

is…

 

Marie Bruster


(I will be contacting you shortly via e-mail)

 

I just know you’ll ENJOY the books!

Jennifer Beckstrand is an incredibly talented author!

So are Kelly Long and Charlotte Hubbard!

GREAT reads for Christmas!

 

CONGRATULATIONS!

ENJOY!

and

GOD BLESS!

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

My review of “Forever Christmas” by Robert Tate Miller | Stop #8 of my Salute to Christmas Reads!

 

 

Funny story: When I read the synopsis for this book, it immediately made me think of a movie I saw years ago.

In fact… from the synopsis, the book sounds exactly like the movie – so of course, I was intrigued. I just had to read it!

As far as I can tell, Robert Tate Miller is the man who actually wrote the movie script, so I’m guessing he decided he wanted to offer this wonderful story to the reading world as well.

It’s more than a little odd… reading a book that came from a movie – very different from reading a book that later becomes a movie.

The expectations are very different because you already have a picture in your head of what is happening.

So… for anyone who saw the movie who reads the book, they’ll be able to visualize very well while reading.

Two somewhat unique observations…

1) From all of the other reviews I read through, it appears that I am the only reviewer who has actually seen the movie.

2) I have to wonder if Robert Tate Miller is no longer interested in writing for Hollywood since his stories are full of miracles and heartwarming Christmas and that seems to be the last thing Hollywood is interested in at the moment… even on his website, it sounds as if Robert is doing everything he can to forget he ever wrote for Hollywood – which seems like a fine idea to me.

 

 

More from Thomas Nelson about Forever Christmas:

One snowy Christmas Eve, Andrew’s life is tragically turned upside down. Then a heavenly gift provides him the opportunity to make things right.

Andrew Farmer is on the fast-track in the literary world. As an up-and-coming agent, he is constantly on the road, wooing prospective clients and making a name for himself. But all of his travels leave his wife and childhood sweetheart, Beth, home alone, wondering what has happened to their marriage.

Andrew returns from yet another last-minute trip, knowing he needs to make amends to Beth for his departure just days before Christmas, but he doesn’t expect her frosty greeting and the argument that ensues. Would they have spent their last moments together arguing had they known that just before midnight on Christmas Eve, Beth would be hit by an out-of-control taxi that would ultimately take her life? Andrew would like to believe not, but it isn’t until he meets a humble, straight-talking angel in disguise named Lionel that Andrew receives the opportunity to try again.

Lionel grants Andrew the gift of the last three days of Beth’s life to relive, but there’s a hitch: her fate cannot be changed. Only one gift will save her life, and Andrew has a mere seventy-two hours to figure out what that gift is or he’ll lose Beth forever.

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   THOMAS NELSON   ROBERT‘S WEBSITE

CHRISTIANBOOK   LIFEWAY   AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

THREE DAYS via IMDB.com

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received the book free from the BookLook Blogger program
in exchange for an honest review.

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

 

My review of “Christmas at Rose Hill Farm” by Suzanne Woods Fisher | Stop #7 of my Salute to Christmas Reads!

 

 

Suzanne Woods Fisher is, by far and away, one of my absolute favorite authors!

She wasn’t always…

The first book of hers that I read, annoyed me and I actually stopped reading it. Then I realized, after reading another, that it wasn’t the book that was annoying me – I was feeling what the character was feeling… COMPLETELY!

I get into books but I very rarely get into them quite like that!

WOW!

And Christmas at Rose Hill Farm was no exception! I was pulled into the story immediately and I LOVE it!

I feel confident that everyone who reads it will feel the same way! And they will immediately want to go out and snatch up every other book she has written.

THANKFULLY she has written quite a few. And there are more coming all the time!

I love the idea behind this story too. Before I picked up Christmas at Rose Hill Farm, I had no idea what a “Lost” Rose or  Rose Rustler even were! And Suzanne uses this wonderful story to teach us not only the meaning of those two things, but the powerful pull and strength of love – across distance and time!

GREAT Read any time of year! But especially wonderful to curl up with at Christmastime.

 

More from Thomas Nelson about Christmas at Rose Hill Farm:

Bess Riehl is preparing Rose Hill Farm for her Christmas wedding, but her groom isn’t who she thought it would be.

Billy Lapp is far away from his Amish roots working as a rose rustler for Penn State and wants nothing to do with Stoney Ridge, his family, or Bess. And that suits Bess just fine. Why should she think twice about a man who left without a word, without any explanation? It’s time she moved on with her life, and that meant saying yes to Amos Lapp, Billy’s cousin and best friend. But as Bess and Amos’s wedding day draws near, her emotions tangle into a tight knot. She loves Amos. Yet she can’t forget Billy.

When a “lost” rose is discovered at Rose Hill Farm, Billy is sent to track down its origins. Get in, identify the rose, and get out. That’s his plan. The only catch is that he’s having a hard time narrowing down the identity of the lost rose, and he can’t get those tropical blue eyes of Bess Riehl out of his mind.

As the history of the lost rose is pieced together, it reminds Bess and Billy–and Amos, too–that Christmas truly is the season of miracles.

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   BAKER PUBLISHING/REVELL   SUZANNE‘S WEBSITE

CHRISTIANBOOK   LIFEWAY   AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

 

My review of “An Amish Second Christmas” by Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid, Kathleen Fuller & Tricia Goyer | Stop #6 of my Salute to Christmas Reads!

An Amish Second Christmas White Cover

This one is going to be hard for me…

Because, honestly…
I’m not sure I can really do justice to how truly amazing these authors are!

WOW!… Just WOW!

Beth Wiseman writes a very different kind of story in this book. Even reading the synopsis, I was not prepared. It was intriguing and interesting and a story worth reading.

Kathleen Fuller has written a wonderful story about love and how it deals with boundaries.

Tricia Goyer has told us another wonderful story of the Kootenai Amish. It’s always fun to read about those wily bachelors and the women they woo – even more so when there’s pie involved!

 

Each story in this book is an amazing story and a wonderful look at how the Amish celebrate Christmas… or more specifically, Second Christmas.

But I have to say that my absolute favorite has to be
Her Christmas Pen Pal by Ruth Reid!

I was in so much trouble with my daughter AND my mother because I WOULD NOT put the book down until I had finished reading!

I laughed, I felt like crying, I gasped in shock and I cheered!

I have read Ruth Reid’s writing before but I have to say that this is by far the best thing she has ever written! And I really… really really hope everyone loves it so much and she writes a whole series on it!

Because I’m just DYING to know more about the characters!

And that is the mark of a GREAT book in my opinion. I was actually sad when I turned the last page! Of course I had two more stories to read so it was a tiny bit of a consolation but I WANTED MORE OF THAT ONE!

And now I’m chomping at the bit for Ruth’s next book to come out!

 

 

More from Thomas Nelson about An Amish Second Christmas:

Celebrate Second Christmas, a treasured, lighthearted time of community, with four Amish romances. 

“When Christmas Comes Again” by Beth Wiseman

Katherine knows the first Christmas without Elias will be hard for her and the children. But when a mysterious Englischer appears with photographs of her late husband, Katherine  begins to wonder what other blessings Christmas could have in store.

“Her Christmas Pen Pal” by Ruth Reid

Joy was expecting a wedding proposal from Henry; what she got instead was news of another woman. But when her heartfelt letter to a cousin ends up in the hands of a young cabinetmaker, an unexpected correspondence between two strangers gets interesting fast.

“A Gift for Anne Marie” by Kathleen Fuller

Anne Marie and Nathaniel have been best friends since they were kids. Now things are evolving . . . in ways everyone else predicted long ago. But when her mother suddenly decides to remarry in another state, Anne Marie’s new chapter with Nathaniel looks doomed to end before it begins.

“The Christmas Aprons” by Tricia Goyer

Vanilla crumb pie has been Esther’s mem’s calling card for decades. But when Esther finally gets her hands on the secret recipe, she discovers that vanilla crumb pie is more than just dessert . . . it’s bachelor bait.

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   THOMAS NELSON

BETH’S WEBSITE   RUTH’S WEBSITE   KATHLEEN’S WEBSITE   TRICIA’S WEBSITE

CHRISTIANBOOK   LIFEWAY   AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

 

Christmas At Holly Hill by Martha Rogers | Stop #5 of my Salute to Christmas Reads!

 

Can you go home again? is one of the classic questions that we see in books and movies alike.

And…more often than not, it is the one where we see the most interesting story lines!

Christmas At Holly Hill
is no exception to that.

I REALLY hope to see more Christmas books from Martha Rogers!

I have read many stories with this sort of theme and this is certainly among the best!

Martha has a way with words and with characters and their stories!

From the moment Clayton steps off the train, we are “with him” emotionally.

I’m not about to ruin anything for you but Martha writes the story so well – it’s impossible not to put yourself in the characters’ shoes.

Again… Well done Martha! An exceedingly well-written book.

I said it before and I’ll say it again. I LOVE finding new authors!

And I hope to see many more wonderful books by such a talented author!

 

 

A bit more about Christmas At Holly Hill:

Can Clayton Barlow prove he has changed his ways in time for Christmas? 

It is October 1898, and Clayton Barlow has just returned home after serving time in prison for his part in a bank robbery. His family welcomes him, but the townspeople are skeptical. Bored with life in the small town but determined to make a new start, he goes to work with his father, hoping to regain the town’s trust.

Clayton recognizes the schoolteacher at the Prairie Grove School as his childhood friend, Merry Lee Warner, and old feelings surface. Still, he doubts that he could ever get a woman like Merry to love him.

As the townspeople prepare for Christmas, their suspicions about Clayton lead to trouble. Will the trusting heart of an unlikely new friend be enough to restore Clayton’s relationships with his neighbors and reunite him with God and Merry?

 

You can find more about the book (and how to purchase it) by clicking the links below:

GOODREADS   CHARISMA HOUSE/REALMS   MARTHA’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   CBD   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

Martha even has her own page on WAL-MART.com! WOW!

 

I was blessed to receive a free copy of this book from the author herself.

THANK YOU Martha!

Any opinions are my own and 100% true!

Happy Reading

and

GOD BLESS!

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin | Stop #4 of my Salute to Christmas Reads!

 

Where-Treetops-Glisten

Where Treetops Glisten is a NEW favorite of mine!

WOW!

 

Tricia Goyer, Sarah Sundin and Cara Putman have presented a unique collection of wonderful stories for their readers to enjoy this Holiday season!

(Personal note… before I read this book… for some reason, I was certain her name was Cara Putnam. I dunno why…)

We follow three siblings on their journey through the Holiday season just after the start of World War II.

It is a unique look at how the Great war affected families in our beloved country.

And with three such amazing authors, it’s not a story you’ll want to miss!

It is amazing to see how Tricia, Cara and Sarah have crafted beloved stories that skate the line between fact and fiction – while reminding us of why our country is so great and why we all need to remember family!

And Tricia, Cara and Sarah have a way of showing us how, even in the midst of such confusion and tragedy, there is always room for the healing power of Love!

I never was all that fond of the WWII stories before reading Sarah Sundin’s Wings of Glory series.

But these three authors have made a FIRM READER of World War II fiction out of me!

I know I’ll be enjoying White Christmas, I’ll Be Home For Christmas and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas for years to come!

How about you?

Also, you should check out this SPECIAL INTERVIEW with all three authors on Destination Amish!

 

Here’s what WaterBrook has to say about Where Treetops Glisten :

The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime

Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories,
filled with the wonder of Christmas

Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.

In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.

Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?

In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.

The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future?

 

You can also click below to find out more about/buy the book!

GOODREADS   WATERBROOK

TRICIA’S WEBSITE   CARA’S WEBSITE   SARAH’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   CHRISTIANBOOK   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

And be sure you check out the Giveaway AND Facebook Party sponsored by LITFUSE
(Who provided this book to me for FREE in exchange for an honest review)

 

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

My review of “An Amish Christmas Quilt” by Charlotte Hubbard, Kelly Long and Jennifer Beckstrand | Stop #3 of my Salute to Christmas Reads!

 

WHAT could be better than three stories in one by three AMAZING Authors!

The answer is NOTHING!

Three terrific authors, three fantastic stories!

 

I have not read all of the stories in Charlotte Hubbard/Naomi King’s Amish series but this story makes me want to!

WOW!

GREAT writing, interesting characters, intriguing story!

What else could you ask for…

Oh yeah, ROMANCE!

I have to admit, I read some not so Christian romances years and years ago and I never would have expected to be able to truly get caught up in the romance of a book that is so very straight-laced (and if anyone fits that category, it’s the Amish)

But I’m thrilled to discover how wrong I was!

In fact, the best thing about these wonderful stories is that you get to focus entirely on the romantic aspects without getting caught up in all the worldly nonsense.

Charlotte Hubbard does this really well but she also brings in aspects that those of us who are NOT Amish deal with every day – such as step-parents and what they deal with, how a woman who has just lost her husband gets along, and the way a man can get wrapped up in a situation without even fully realizing what he had gotten into.

 

This will actually be the first story of Kelly Long’s that I’ve ever read.

Who knew the Amish could feud?

Again, Kelly introduces us to situations that are distinctly Amish but that we as English can associate with too!

Kelly pulls us right into the story about two young people in love. It’s not quite Romeo and Juliet because the Amish would never go to such lengths but the story is much the same – feuding fathers, forbidden love, sneaking about – which is actually how most communities go about courting anyway, and the like.

It’s not a story you’ll want to miss and I’m not about to spoil it for you. It’s actually really tricky to review because it’s so easy to go on about how great it is but if I get too much into that, I’m going to end up giving something away and I won’t do that. It’s too good to ruin it for you!

But I will say this, it’s WELL-WORTH reading!

And don’t miss Kelly’s next book: The Amish Bride of Ice Mountain!

 

Yes, I’ve saved the best (in my own personal opinion) for last…

Jennifer Beckstrand returns once again to Bonduel, Wisconsin, entertaining us with her colorful characters and the ridiculous things they get into!

No one writes about the Amish the way Jennifer does. No other stories makes me laugh out loud the way hers do and not one other book…or family… makes me wish more that I were actually Amish.

Anna and Felty are at it again…

We actually get a look at Anna and Felty’s daughter in this one and her affection for her wild and wacky parents is just as deep as you always imagined it would be.

And it’s not at all a surprise that Gideon’s father doesn’t quite understand his wife’s slightly odd parents and their ideas.

I always say the one I’ve just read is my new favorite and I hold steady to that… except to make one small amendment: Whichever book of Jennifer Beckstrand’s that I am reading at the moment is my absolute favorite! They’re just that good!

I can hardly wait for the next one!

 

 

More from Kensington about An Amish Christmas Quilt:

With all the warmth of a cozy quilt, three authors stitch together Amish tales of hearts joined, friendships patched, and the bright joys of Christmas tradition . . .

A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant
Charlotte Hubbard

Seth Brenneman didn’t expect his holiday would include rescuing pregnant young Mary Kauffman and her two children. . .or having unexpected feelings for the still-grieving widow. But when they must play the leads in an impromptu live Nativity pageant to help his Amish community, will their roles reveal their hearts–and work a miracle for a lifetime?

A Christmas On Ice Mountain
Kelly Long

Matthew Beider and Laurel Lapp’s secret wish to marry is a gift their feuding fathers definitely won’t accept. And trying to settle their dats’ long-standing quarrel is making their holiday anything but merry. Can rediscovering the joys and friendships of Christmas past finally turn their families’ futures bright?

A Perfect Amish Christmas
Jennifer Beckstrand

Anna and Felty Helmuth’s grandson, Gideon, plans to spend Christmas on a beach in sunny Mexico. But Anna is quite sure he’d rather be with them, snowshoeing, ice fishing–falling in love. And she knows the perfect girl. Not only is Dottie Schrock an excellent quilter and baker, she’s having a party. There’s just one complication–Gideon is not invited. Dottie has her reasons, but Anna trusts that the spirit of Christmas–and true love–will change her mind, and her future . . .

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   KENSINGTON

CHARLOTTE’S (aka Naomi King) WEBSITE   JENNIFER’S WEBSITE   KELLY’S FB PAGE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I was provided this book free through Jennifer’s street team in exchange for an HONEST review!
(not hard to be honest about how AMAZING her books are!)

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

 

LOOK BACK and a GIVEAWAY (closed now) | Huckleberry Christmas by Jennifer Beckstrand | Stop #2 on my Salute to Christmas Reads!

 

 

I reviewed this book last month but today – I am doing a look back.

And along with my look back, I’m offering a GIVEAWAY!

One Blessed winner will receive a copy of Huckleberry Christmas and a copy of An Amish Christmas Quilt!

 

Here is a little blurb from my review:

WARNING!

This book is hazardous to any other plans you may have! Once picked up, it is nearly impossible to put down.

I had plans to edit 10 pages today but as yet, I’ve not edited even one. I simply could not put downHuckleberry Christmas once I picked it up!

 

You can read the rest of it HERE.

And watch for my review of “An Amish Christmas Quilt” – COMING SOON!

 

 

The Giveaway is now closed.

THANK YOU to everyone who entered!

Check back for more giveaways this month and next!

  • Giveaway ran from 11/3 – 11/17
  • Contests are only open to residents of the U.S.
  • Only one bonus entry per person per day allowed
  • One winner was chosen by random selection on 11/17
  • Winner was announced by 11/18 and notified by e-mail
  • By entering all contests, you are agreeing to ALL Terms and Conditions

 

 

And for those who didn’t win… You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   KENSINGTON   JENNIFER’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

 

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Author Spotlight: Martha Rogers | And WATCH for my review of Christmas at Holly Hill this month!

GOOD AFTERNOON!

I recently discovered a NEW author and I am here to share a bit more about her today!

Spotlighting Martha Rogers!

 

 

 About Martha Rogers and her wonderful books

Martha Rogers is a freelance author of both fiction and non-fiction and a speaker. Her stories and articles have appeared in a number of compilations and magazines. Her first fiction novella released in 2007.

Her experiences as a public school teacher, Sunday school teacher, youth leader, First Place leader, Mom and Grandmother give Martha a unique field of ministry.

Martha is am alumni of CLASS and is available to speak at Women’s Retreats, conferences, and luncheons on topics of interest to women of all ages.

As an author, she is available to speak at writing conferences and workshops on a variety of topics of interest to writers.

You can connect with Martha through TWITTER, FACEBOOK or through her WEBSITE.

 

My interview with Martha:

– What first drew you to the Historical genre? Do you have plans to give any other genre a try in the future?

Our son lived in Tulsa, and we drove up there to visit about 3 times a year. We always stopped at the visitor’s information center for a rest stop, and they had all kinds of information about Oklahoma. I loved Texas history and wanted to know about our neighboring state. The more I read, the more interested I became in Oklahoma and her past. From that interest was born Becoming Lucy, my first historical novel.

Right now my agent is submitting a contemporary romance series, and it’s a series close to my heart perhaps because it’s set in Houston.

 

– Christmas focused stories are becoming ever more popular at the moment… will we be seeing more Christmas stories from you any time soon?

I have a contract for another Christmas book, but it won’t be out until the fall of 2016 because of a backlist of Christmas novels for my publisher. That book will be a part of my present series based in part on a lot of my family history.

 

– I’ve noticed that many published authors’ journey to publication did not “follow the rules”? Would you share a bit about how you got started? Did you journey “follow the rules” or is it one-of-a-kind?

I started in the early 1990’s seeking publication. I had several articles as well as submissions to collections published, but not a book. I followed the rules somewhat in that I went to conferences, joined a writing group and a critique group and signed with an agent. After so many series and stand alone novels were rejected, Becoming Lucy landed on the desk of an editor whose publisher had made a decision to branch out into historical novels. Mine was there, she liked it, and she bought it as well as three others in the series. It was all God’s timing and not my planning.

 

– You have done several series and also several stand-alone novels. Do you prefer one over the other? Which are you in line for next?

Actually the two that people think of as stand-alone are part of the first series. The Christmas book has two of the characters from Lucy in it and the family in it are from the town in Lucy.

 

– Can you tell us about the project you are working on right now?

I’m working on the Christmas novel, Christmas at Stoney Creek and polishing up the first novel, Faith on Trial, in the contemporary series.

Thanks for having me Rachel.

 

 

Here is a bit about Martha’s most recent release:

 

“Love Never Fails”
by Martha Rogers

At odds over their beliefs and separated by the war, Molly and Stefan must learn to depend of God.
In book three of the Homeward Journey series, Daniel and Sally Delaney’s daughter Molly finishes school and returns to her home to teach. When old friends of her parents come for a visit with their son, Stefan, Molly is attracted to the young man, but all he is interested in is talking about his position in the army. When he leaves to rejoin his regiment, Molly is both relieved and saddened. Can they overcome their differences and find love?

 

 

 

 

 

I am a firm believer that you should start at the beginning of a series…

book cover: love stays trueLOVE STRAYS TRUE
Release date: May 2013
Publisher: Realms

THE HOMEWARD JOURNEY, Book One

It is April 1865, can Sally and Manfred overcome the distance that the war has put between them and find love?

Three strong women from the South forge ahead to new territories to establish a new life and find happiness through their staunch faith. Related not only by blood but also by courage, they prove that love knows no boundaries, and when all else is gone, love will be there. Covering the themes of family, loyalty, belonging, and the journeys we take to find love, this new series by the popular author of Becoming Lucy will be sure to please her many fans.

 

AND WATCH FOR my review later this month of Martha’s Christmas Book:

 

“Christmas At Holly Hill”
BY Martha Rogers

Can Clayton Barlow prove he has changed his ways in time for Christmas? 

It is October 1898, and Clayton Barlow has just returned home after serving time in prison for his part in a bank robbery.

His family welcomes him, but the townspeople are skeptical. Bored with life in the small town but determined to make a new start, he goes to work with his father, hoping to regain the town’s trust.

Clayton recognizes the schoolteacher at the Prairie Grove School as his childhood friend, Merry Lee Warner, and old feelings surface. Still, he doubts that he could ever get a woman like Merry to love him.

As the townspeople prepare for Christmas, their suspicions about Clayton lead to trouble.

Will the trusting heart of an unlikely new friend be enough to restore Clayton’s relationships with his neighbors and reunite him with God and Merry?

 

 

I can hardly wait to see what she writes next!

 

And those are not the only books Martha has in her repertoire…

Click HERE to read more about her past works!

 

THANK YOU for joining me for this special AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!

And don’t forget to check back or follow my blog to see new reviews –
especially this month since I will be spotlighting so many
WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS STORIES!

 

 God Bless You all and Have a GREAT week!

Quilted By Christmas by Jodie Bailey | Quilts of Love #22 | Stop #1 of my Salute to Christmas Reads!

 

Quilted By Christmas is one of those books I just LOVE to read at this time of year.

It always makes – those of us who have struggled with a difficult past – feel better to know that we are NOT alone.

It holds a particularly strong attraction for me since I have been right where Taryn was… OH SO MANY TIMES…

There are very few people in this world who had a “perfect” childhood and even less who don’t at leasy know someone who had a rough time as some point in their life – so I believe almost everyone who reads this book will be able to identify with Taryn in one way or another.

 

I have also had some experience with the main conflict in this story – when your past comes back and tries to drag you back down.

Jodie handles this extremely well, giving you a look at the emotions and turmoil that go along with the experience.

And if Jodie is not drawing from personal experience in this very same matter, I certainly can’t tell!

One way or another, she is a FANTASTIC author and she has written a stellar book – not one I would have thought of as a Christmas story – but it really fits! 

And I believe it will give readers an unexpected lift this Holiday season!

 

 

Here’s what GoodReads has to say about… 

“Quilted by Christmas”: Quilts of Love Series (Quilts of Love #22) by Jodie Bailey

A grandmother’s last wish is to communicate God’s love through an Irish chain quilt.

Taryn McKenna believes she’s easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree—something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle-schoolers she teaches.

When Taryn’s grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project—an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that God will never leave her behind even though others have?

 

You can also click below to find out more about/buy the book!

GOODREADS   ABINGDON   QUILTS OF LOVE   JODIE’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   CHRISTIANBOOK   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

And be sure you check out the Giveaway sponsored by LITFUSE
(Who provided this book to me for FREE in exchange for an honest review)

 

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

They just keep getting better! | My review of “Huckleberry Christmas” | Book 3 in A WONDERFUL series from Jennifer Beckstrand!

WARNING!

This book is hazardous to any other plans you may have! Once picked up, it is nearly impossible to put down.

I had plans to edit 10 pages today but as yet, I’ve not edited even one. I simply could not put down Huckleberry Christmas once I picked it up!

And I am very glad of it!

I woke from a horrific nightmare this morning (very rare for me these days) and the matchmaking schemes of Anna and Felty were precisely what I needed to distract myself from the yuck!

It never takes more than a paragraph to find myself firmly planted in the story and never more than a page or two before I’m laughing and giggling at the antics of grandparents I truly wish were my very own!

And if those stubborn grandchildren of theirs would stop resisting Anna and Felty… well, the stories would not be nearly so interesting!

Jennifer Beckstrand certainly has found the perfect home in Bonduel, Wisconsin and I – for one – never want to leave!

Every single story is a fast-paced, fun romp through misadventure, misunderstandings and mishaps!

No one writes about Love the way Jennifer does. No one makes me laugh out loud the way she does and no one makes me wish more deeply that I were actually Amish.

Where else but in an Amish community, could you possibly find grandparents as wonderful, young women as feisty and young men as chivalrous!

Anna and Felty are the absolute best of the entire family! They are the ones who pull me into the stories and they are the ones that keep me reading! The youngsters they’re matching up are great fun and their community is so very wonderful but it’s the deep, heart-felt love that Anna and Felty have for each other that really holds me tight there in Wisconsin and makes me want to walk right into the pages!

I can hardly wait to start the next one!

 

 

More from Kensington about Huckleberry Christmas:

Now that they’ve happily married off two of their grandchildren, Anna and Felty Helmuth are ready for their next matchmaking challenge. What better way to celebrate the most heartwarming of seasons–and make Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, the place for unexpected love. . .

A difficult marriage has left the Helmuths’ widowed great-granddaughter, Beth, finished with wedlock. She’s content to live with them and make a life for herself and her toddler son. But once she turns down handsome Tyler Yoder’s proposal, it seems only fair to encourage him to find a suitable wife. Trouble is, his gentleness and generous ways are showing her how joyous a real meeting of hearts can be. . .

After a failed courtship, Tyler thought the best he could hope for in a wife was mere companionship. But spirited Beth is the one he longs to protect, and hold close. Earning her trust is the hardest thing he’s ever had to do. And soon, both will discover that forgiveness and understanding are gifts that only rekindled faith–along with the happiest of holidays–can bring.

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   KENSINGTON   JENNIFER’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I was provided this book free through Jennifer’s street team in exchange for an HONEST review!
(not hard to be honest about how AMAZING her books are!)

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

 

“The Legend of the Candy Cane” by Lori Walburg

Not at all what I was expecting…

When I read the word “hardcover”, I assumed it was a regular hardcover book but what arrived in the mail was a board book.

Imagine my surprise…

Regardless of my surprise, my children LOVE it! Even though it is simple enough for a very young child to enjoy, my children (who are 8 and 11) are enchanted with the beautiful story inside!

My daughter has claimed it for her very own. She took it OFF of my shelf and proudly carried it to her own, where she gave it a place of honor.

My son is not quite as possessive of it but he stood over her shoulder as she read and did not once have a comment about it being a “baby” book – which is his usual comment about any book his sister who is three years younger, picks up to read.

Not that I can blame him… since he is reading on a high school level already.

But I think it says a lot about how wonderful the story within!

I am actually excited! Now, instead of donating the book, we have what will become an heirloom!

Exciting!

And no… we don’t have any other board books we will be able to pass on, none of them survived my own children. I’m so very thankful they are both learning to appreciate books now – being cautious with them and cherishing their favorites.

And The Legend of the Candy Cane is clearly already a favorite!

Here is a bit more about the book from Zondervan:

One dark November night a stranger rides into a small prairie town.

Who is he? Why has he come?

The townspeople wish he were a doctor, a dressmaker, or a trader. But the children have the greatest wish of all, a deep, quiet, secret wish. Then a young girl named Lucy befriends the newcomer.

When he reveals his identity and shares with her the legend of the candy cane, she discovers fulfillment of her wishes and the answer to her town’s dreams. Now will she share what she has learned?

Warm, lavish illustrations by James Bernardin bring to life a timeless tale by Lori Walburg, a story that will help families celebrate the mystery and miracle of Christmas—for many Christmases to come.

Click HERE to visit the book page on Thomas Nelson

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   ZONDERVAN PUBLISHERS

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CBD   GOOGLE BOOKS

FAIR WARNING: Some of the above links are NOT for the Board book.
If you want the board book, just look for the cover you see above in my review…

However, this AMAZON link is a board book with an older cover.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers review program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“A December Bride” by Denise Hunter | It still works for February – the month of LOVE!

20140224-081745.jpgOK mom. I have to take back what I said… I LOVE this book!

When I started reading the book, I was sure it would end up on my “not a favorite” shelf in GoodReads.

I could NOT have been more wrong.

It’s a FANTASTIC story. And now I find myself determined to go hunt down the rest of Denise Hunter’s Chapel Springs stories.

I seriously misjudged this novella and I’m so glad I gave it a proper chance. Otherwise, I might never have discovered how wonderful is truly is!

It is possible I’m not the only one who might jump to the wrong conclusion so I’m going to give you a couple of hints that I really don’t think will kill the story.

The synopsis might give you the wrong idea – especially if you’ve ever read Zebra or Harlequin romance novels. You might expect it to be one of those things where the two characters make a shady deal about getting married and then doing a “quicky” divorce later.

It’s NOT! Thank GOD!

Granted, the reasons for the “fake” engagement are not all that altruistic or even honest but they do not drag marriage through the mud like I was afraid they would. This is truly a good, decent, Christian story. And, while I hold that courtship is still the best way to head toward a marriage – it could be said that this is about what they have. They’re “engaged” before they even kiss and there’s a minimum of physical contact because the whole thing isn’t real anyway.

A terrific story, excellent writing, real characters and great world-building! And it’s easy to get right into the story – even if you haven’t read any of the others that Denise has written. I didn’t even realize this was part of a continuing series until I got to the end and saw “other books by Denise Hunter…” – which I now have to read…of course.

5star

If you haven’t already decided to read it, here’s a brief synopsis from GoodReads:

What started as a whim turned into an accidental – and very public – engagement. Can Layla and Seth keep up the facade in Chapel Springs this holiday season – for the sake of her career . . . and his heart?

Under normal circumstances, Seth Murphy, the best friend of Layla O’Reilly’s ex-fiance would be the last person she’d marry. But the news of their upcoming (and phony) nuptials convinces a big client that Layla may be high-society enough to work for his agency, a coup that would put her fledgling home-staging business on the map.

Seth has secretly loved Layla for years, even when she was dating his best friend. Maybe she’ll never forgive him for the way he hurt her back then, but he has to try. And Layla is willing to keep up their engagement farce until she’s landed her client. For Layla, it’s the chance to save her career. But for Seth, it’s his last chance to win her heart.

For more people convincing you this is a GREAT book, click HERE to read more reviews on GoodReads.

There are even more people who have reviewed and LOVED it on Amazon HERE and you can snag the e-book while you’re there too! And if you like ChristianBook.com better, HERE is their link.

And don’t forget to visit Denise Hunter’s website HERE!

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

Disclaimer: I received the book free from the BookLook Blogger program
in exchange for an honest review.

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“Christmas in Sugarcreek” by Shelley Shepard Gray | Seasons of Sugarcreek book 4

10680698“Christmas is Sugarcreek” is the fourth book in Shelley Shepard Gray’s Seasons of Sugarcreek series.

The best thing about this book is that it could easily have been just a book that happened in the winter.

Christmas was definitely central to the story but the focus was more on the couples in the story than the holiday.

It made me feel a lot less silly about reading it in February (actually, it fits right in with the romantic theme of the month).

Here’s a bit about the story from GoodReads:

Judith Graber has always been the obedient daughter. When her older brother Josh struggled with his love life, she offered wise counsel. When her younger brother Caleb flirted with the idea of leaving their order, she firmly told him he was wrong. Over the years, she’s watched her younger siblings, helped around the house, and worked in her family’s store during her spare time. Judith feels overworked, overlooked, and underappreciated this holiday season.

But everything changes when her father hires Ben Knox.

Ben Knox is the “bad boy” of Sugarcreek. Though he’s never considered jumping the fence, he’s certainly never tried to be anything close to dutiful. Two years ago he left Sugarcreek under a cloud of shame. Rumors circulated that his rumspringa had been filled with more than the usual harmless explorations.

Now he’s back and working side by side with Judith.

As the chaos of the holiday season threatens to sap all joy, sparks fly between Ben and Judith. But Judith steels herself to ignore her infatuation. The last thing she wants to be is just one more girl who falls under Ben’s spell. Ben, on the other hand, wants Judith to realize there’s more to him than his bad reputation. When he fled Sugarcreek, he was running from a disruptive home life. Now that he’s back, he wants a fresh beginning.

Could this Christmas season bring love and a new life for the unlikeliest pair in Sugarcreek

This story flows smoothly from “Autumn’s Promise”, just like the rest of the series has. You would never know Shelley worked on several other novels in between.

I love that the story focuses on several couples (despite what the excerpt says) instead of just one. Typically a novel in a series will have the characters from previous stories in the story participating but they are not central – they’re on the sideline. In this one, several different couples share the focus of the story (I hope that doesn’t give too much away…). I just love that the story seems to spill out over every character we’ve met and brings them all into focus!

It’s a wonderful story of life and love and celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Once again Shelley has written a wonderful story and I am thrilled to be able to start “Hopeful” feeling like I know all of the characters very well.

I’ve gotten to know them so well, I feel like they’re like old friends and I can’t wait to go back and visit them – to see how they’re all doing.

So… onto “Hopeful” to find out what’s going on with our friend Miriam.

4 Stars

HERE is a link to the book page on GoodReads

and HERE is a link to Shelley’s website.

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Favorite Books of 2013!

These are in no particular order… Mostly they’re in the order I read them in…The Fiddler“The Fiddler” by Beverly Lewis

A Season for Tending“A Season for Tending” by Cindy Woodsmall
(Book 1 in the Amish Vines and Orchards Series)

Book two - The Winnowing Season“The Winnowing Season” by Cindy Woodsmall
(Book 2 in the Amish Vines and Orchards Series)

For Every Season pic“For Every Season” by Cindy Woodsmall
(Book 3 in the Amish Vines and Orchards Series)

Simple Amish Christmas“A Simple Amish Christmas” by Vannetta Chapman

5660435The Christmas Quilt” by Vannetta Chapman

20130911-212644.jpg“Hidden” by Shelley Shepard Gray

9780061474460“Wanted” by Shelley Shepard Gray

9780061474477“Forgiven” by Shelley Shepard Gray

10301098“The Christmas Singing” by Cindy Woodsmall

6275220“The Sound of Sleigh Bells” by Cindy Woodsmall

17288591“The Dawn of Christmas” by Cindy Woodsmall

Noticing a pattern yet? Lots of Christmas and Lots of Amish!

17787021“A Christmas Gift for Rose” by Tricia Goyer

A-Promise-for-Miriam-662x1024

“A Promise for Miriam” by Vannetta Chapman
(Book 1 of the Pebble Creek Amish Series)Home-for-Lydia-A-662x1024

“A Home for Lydia” by Vannetta Chapman
(Book 2 of the Pebble Creek Amish Series) 9780736946162

“A Wedding for Julia” by Vannetta Chapman
(Book 3 of the Pebble Creek Amish Series) home to pebble creek 972208_618068678227299_1189904992_n

“Home to Pebble Creek” by Vannetta Chapman
(Novella 1 of the Pebble Creek Amish Series) Christmas-at-Pebble-Creek-eBook-194x300

“Christmas at Pebble Creek” by Vannetta Chapman
(Novella 2 of the Pebble Creek Amish Series) – I’m still hoping for more in this series too!

amish-peace3D“The One Year Book of Amish Peace” by Tricia Goyer
(To be fair, I haven’t read it all yet but it’s a devotional so it’s not meant to be read like any other book. The point is, I LOVE IT!)

Now, I’m putting these down here at the bottom, even though I read them before any of the others because they’re in a totally different ball park. They have to be listed because I LOVE THEM!

And I am impatiently awaiting the next book and the coming eBooks!

Selection

“The Selection” by Kiera Cass Elite

“The Elite” by Kiera Cass Prince

“The Prince”

They have to be mentioned because I read them in 2013 and they are definitely in my favorites. I LOVE reading the Amish fiction because it is so difficult to find clean, decent books out there today. Even among Christian fiction, there are some with questionable subject material. With Amish fiction, you just don’t have to worry about that. And The Selection trilogy is the same in most ways. There is a hint of naughty here and there but it’s handled extremely well and even the descriptions of the rebel attacks are very tame (Not at all like “The Hunger Games” trilogy).

I’ve read at least double the amount of books you see here but these are, by far, my favorites! And I can’t wait to list my upcoming reading list for you. I plan to have it up tomorrow.

Until then, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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25 Posts of Christmas: Next on the reading list.

Now that I have a little spare time and I am all caught up on my books to review, I plan to read nothing but Christmas stories!

Here’s a little overview on the books in my queue.

I’m finally going to finish “GRACE” by Shelley Shepard Gray 8501404

(The synopsis from GoodReads)

It’s never too late to go home.

It’s Christmastime at the Brenneman Bed and Breakfast, and everyone is excited about closing down for the holidays.  But when two unexpected visitors appear seeking shelter, the family’s commitment to hospitality is tested.  First Levi arrives, sullen and angry…but insisting on staying for five days.  Next Melody shows up.  She’s almost nine months pregnant, but won’t say a word about why she traveled all the way from Kentucky by herself.  As the two strangers settle in, the Brennemans try to make the best of an uncomfortable situation, except for Katie, who knows a thing or two about keeping secrets.  She is determined to learn the truth about these two strangers…all while keeping her own secret safely hidden away.

All is revealed when a snowstorm traps them at the inn.

Then I’m going to read “PEACE”

17331333(A quick synopsis from GoodReads)

After a year of secrets and scandal, will this Amish community finally find peace under the bright promise of Christmas?

Beth Byler has a secret. Ever since she met Englischer Chris Ellis while helping out at the Yellow Bird Inn, she can’t stop thinking about him. She knows a relationship could never go anywhere–Chris was working undercover in Crittenden County as a DEA agent. That meant he faced danger daily and carried a gun, making him completely unsuitable for an Amish woman like herself. But she knew he felt the attraction, too. It was the reason he left so suddenly, promising never to see her again.

Then, three days before Christmas, while Beth is taking care of the inn, Chris returns. This time, he is bleeding and in need of a place to hide. Against her better judgment, Beth takes him in and tends to his wounds. She also promises to keep his presence a secret. Before long, it becomes clear that nothing between them has changed–a relationship is inevitable. But are they ready to sacrifice everything for this chance at love?

and “A Christmas for Katie”

15851936(A bit about the book from GoodReads)

Will a little Amish girl make a Christmas miracle?

It isn’t easy to be Katie Weaver. Her sister-in-law Ella is about to have a baby, making Katie an aunt for the second time … and she’s only six and a half! Plus, her favorite librarian, Miss Donovan, seems sad. She won’t even fix up the rundown nativity in front of the library in time for Christmas. Then, an old woman is attacked outside the library, and, one by one, the nativity figures start to disappear!

Luckily, there’s a new deputy in town, Connor Fields. He takes a real liking to Miss Donovan … and he promises to find the missing nativity pieces for Katie.

Now, all Katie has to do is pray that Ella’s delivery goes well and that some kind of nativity is in place for Christmas Eve. Oh, and that Miss D. falls in love with Connor. Katie knows from watching her three brothers that it makes people real happy. And that would be a Christmas miracle indeed!

Then I’m going to read “Christmas in Sugarcreek”

10680698(More about the story from GoodReads)

Judith Graber has always been the obedient daughter. When her older brother Josh struggled with his love life, she offered wise counsel. When her younger brother Caleb flirted with the idea of leaving their order, she firmly told him he was wrong. Over the years, she’s watched her younger siblings, helped around the house, and worked in her family’s store during her spare time. Judith feels overworked, overlooked, and underappreciated this holiday season.

But everything changes when her father hires Ben Knox.

Ben Knox is the “bad boy” of Sugarcreek. Though he’s never considered jumping the fence, he’s certainly never tried to be anything close to dutiful. Two years ago he left Sugarcreek under a cloud of shame. Rumors circulated that his rumspringa had been filled with more than the usual harmless explorations.

Now he’s back and working side by side with Judith.

As the chaos of the holiday season threatens to sap all joy, sparks fly between Ben and Judith. But Judith steels herself to ignore her infatuation. The last thing she wants to be is just one more girl who falls under Ben’s spell. Ben, on the other hand, wants Judith to realize there’s more to him than his bad reputation. When he fled Sugarcreek, he was running from a disruptive home life. Now that he’s back, he wants a fresh beginning.

Could this Christmas season bring love and a new life for the unlikeliest pair in Sugarcreek.

YAY! Shelley Shepard Gray OVERLOAD!

Looks like I’m in for some GREAT stories!

What are your plans for reading in the next few days? Or are you going to be running around shopping after Christmas sales and visiting relatives?

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25 Posts of Christmas: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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It’s here! Finally! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

As you open your presents and enjoy the day, make sure you take time to enjoy your family too!

Have a GREAT DAY!

And remember what today is all about!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!

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May God Bless you in this Holiday season.

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

25 Posts of Christmas Day 24: Christmas Eve!

There are hours left…only hours!

Presents are wrapped and stockings are hung. The tree is decorated and the kids are tucked into their beds, dreaming of Christmas morning!

Before you take yourself off to bed, take a peek at this;

Luke 2:1-20

King James Version (KJV)

2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

And before you go to bed, take a minute to thank God for his wonderful gift and for his wonderful love!

And kiss your sweet children. They’re the best gift most of us could hope for!

GOD BLESS YOU!1 Day til Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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25 Posts of Christmas Day 23: Volunteering

What do you do for your fellow man at this time of year?

Christmas-Volunteering-BannerEvery store we go to, there’s a brave man or woman standing outside with a bell and a little red bucket. They smile and wish us a “Merry Christmas” as we drop in our loose change – “The Salvation Army”

Churches pass out special shoeboxes for their congregations to fill up and send to children in other countries – “Operation Christmas Child”

And each town had their own special charities and projects that are going strong this time of year.

There are also a myriad of Shelters and community homes that feed thousands for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

What’s your personal volunteering opportunity?

And if you don’t volunteer, you should think and pray about it. When God commands us to give 10% of ourselves, he means more than our money! He means our time too!

So go out into the world and see what you can do to help!

2 daysMERRY CHRISTMAS!

GOD BLESS YOU!

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