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.

 

Shelley Gray joins up with 3 of her fellow Historical writers to bring us a TRUE treat!

Among the Fair Magnolias is the newest collaboration from Thomas Nelson and it is FANTASTIC!

Shelley Gray gets together with Tamera Alexander, Dorothy Love and Elizabeth Musser to bring us four wonderful Love stories – each with a touch of mystery!

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander is your typical “orphans out on their own, lost their family home, desperate to make a better life for themselves” story. Except it ins’t typical AT ALL! Tamera Alexander hooks you with the first sentence and doesn’t let go until the very last one!

An Outlaw’s Heart by Shelley Gray is a romance with more than one twist. Shelley uses her exceptional talent for romance and combines it with her flair for suspense to intrigue her readers!

A Heart So True by Dorothy Love is a story of the age old problem; Do I follow my heart or my family’s wishes?  I refuse to spoil it for you – it’s JUST TOO GOOD!

Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser involves a favorite storyline of mine! It’s always a struggle to try and decide whether you should take a chance on love, but when you have the added impossibility of forbidden love, it’s a journey that you DO NOT want to miss!

 

5star

 

And here is a bit more about the book from Thomas Nelson:

During the most turbulent decade of our nation’s history, four Southern women—their destinies forged by birth and heritage—face nearly impossible choices on their journeys in life . . . and in love.

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander

Savannah Darby would do almost anything to revisit her family home.

So when the new owner Aidan Bedford seeks to redecorate the house for his fiancée, Savannah jumps at the opportunity. But can she find the box her father supposedly hid there during the war before her assignment is completed? And before she sees yet another battle lost on the home front—this time, a battle of the heart.

An Outlaw’s Heart by Shelley Gray

Seven years ago Russell Champion was betrayed by the two most important women in his life. Now Russell returns home, but is it too late to make amends with his mother and find closure with his true love?

A Heart So True by Dorothy Love

Abigail Clayton hopes to reconcile with Dr. Wade Bennett and become his wife. But her father insists she marry her distant cousin Charles Kittridge so the plantations of the two families will be joined. With her wedding looming, Abby must choose between duty to her family and the yearnings of her own heart.

Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser

Emily Derracott loves her childhood friend Thomas McGinnis, but she cannot marry a man who doesn’t share her strong convictions about the freedmen. Besides, she harbors a secret love for someone else. But the prospect of becoming his wife is not only improbable—it is completely impossible.

Includes Recipes and Discussion Questions

 

You can find even more at the links below – including how to purchase your own copy!

GOODREADS   THOMAS NELSON

AMAZON   CHRISTIANBOOKS   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

I was blessed to receive this book free 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 “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.

 

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.

 

An advance look at “Swept Away” – a new Quilts of Love story | A collaboration between Laura V. Hilton and newcomer Cindy Loven

I love having the inside track on so many Fantastic books!20140722-131957.jpg

 

I admit, I have only read a couple of Laura V. hilton’s books and I did not know what to expect from this collaboration.

I was not disappointed!

This is a wonderful story and a terrific meeting of two clearly talented authors!

You can see little touches from each author all throughout.

In a recent interview HERE, Laura made a point of saying that Cindy took the lead with all of the quilting descriptions but they blend together so seamlessly you would never know the book wasn’t written by one author.

I’d say that counts as a triumph for this duo!

Dare we hope for a possibility of more books in the future…

I would read them!

And I am excited to see what Cindy comes up with in the near future!

 

4 Stars

 

Here is what Abingdon has to say about “Swept Away”:

Sara doesn’t think she wants love. But her grandmother has other plans.

Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned.

Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but his heart is as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between Drew and his new employer’s granddaughter.

Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts researching him online. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.

 

You can find more information about the book from these popular sites:

GOODREADS   ABINGDON   QUILTS OF LOVE   LAURA’S WEBSITE   CINDY’S BOOK BLOG

And it is available for pre-order already at the following sites:

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   BOOKSAMILLION

 

I received this book free from the authors in exchange for an honest review.

 

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

 

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

 

We need more women like this today! “Real Women: Leading With Proverbs 31 Values” by Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder

20140303-093240.jpgWOW!

Just WOW!

THEY REALLY “GET IT”!

Really… and I mean really and truly – they get this concept.

And they relate it well too!

I have to tell you, I am honestly a little surprised that two women, who are such go-getters in life, can understand this concept so very well but they do!

OH BOY THEY DO!

Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder understand the core values of the “Proverbs 31” woman better than just about anyone else in ministry I know. And BRAVO to them both for having the courage to step out in faith and presenting this book to a world that does not openly welcome this particular subject.

So often today, you hear the word “submissive” said with disgust or derision and that’s just not how it was meant to be.

And so often today, you hear people talking about the “Proverbs 31” woman being out-of-date or totally unrealistic for “today’s woman” and that just isn’t the way it’s supposed to be either.

Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder understand that. They understand the Proverbs 31 woman and who she is supposed to be. They also relate many wonderful tips and guides and suggestions for how “today’s woman” can find a way to implement God’s character and values in their own lives.

And I love that they both share so much about their own walk of faith throughout the book!

I am thrilled to have discovered this book! THANK YOU Litfuse! Without you, I might never have found it! And I plan to pass this book on and on and on – with the hopes that it will impact as many lives as possible!

And not just because they understand the subject but because the book is well written. The way the material is presented does not bring to mind your typical “teaching” book or “ministry resource”. It reads like an interesting and fun story. We walk through Lisa and Dawn’s exploration of the woman described in Proverbs 31 as they share stories, thoughts and insights about their own experiences during that exploration.

Thank you Lisa and Dawn for sharing that with the world!

Every single woman who is interested in living their life by God’s principles should read this book. For that matter, every man who wants to have a Godly wife should read this book too. It will give him a good idea of what to look for in a young woman he hopes to court.

It’s a terrific read, a valuable resource and an entertaining journey!

It’s just a GREAT book!

5star

Here is a brief synopsis for you from New Hope Publishers:

Today’s marketplace is not always a “values-friendly” environment. Business leaders Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder show you that you can live and thrive in a “valueless” workplace when you live by biblical values and principles.

Real Women Leading: With Proverbs 31 Values is a must-have leadership resource for today’s Christian woman. Written by women in the marketplace, Real Women cultivates biblical truth, credible relationship development, and practical application into everyday life through ten foundational principles. Once women embrace these ten principles, they will soon discover the multiple attributes of the Proverbs 31 woman in today’s marketplace and learn practical ways to implement the wisdom from that timeless Scripture passage.

Women will be encouraged to develop their God-given gifts and talents in the marketplace as they live out the principles that invite others to embrace the equality-inspiring values they live by. Knowing that we are not the end users of the gospel message, the Proverbs 31 leader will find the initiative to inspire the upcoming generation to view womanhood as a gift and continue the learning process that will impact generations to come.

Click HERE to visit the book page at New Hope Digital.

HERE to read reviews and more at ChristianBooks.com.

HERE for more reviews on GoodReads.

I haven’t found websites for either author yet but more info can be found on the NewHope Digital page linked above and you can click HERE for more info on the John C. Maxwell Leadership Team.

Step into An Amish Garden for Love, Faith and Family! Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia Goyer and Vannetta Chapman are exceptional!

"An Amish Garden"  Beth Wiseman, Tricia Goyer, Kathleen Fuller & Vannetta ChapmanAn Amish Miracle is the only other book I have read in this “series” so far and An Amish Miracle gave me the impression that these novels follow along with the same characters in the same community and An Amish Garden does not follow that same pattern.

Perhaps it was just An Amish Miracle that did that or perhaps the connective tissue is only meant to be a common thread and that one worked out that way. I can’t say absolutely because I’ve only read the two so far.

In Rooted in Love by Beth Wiseman, the story has taken on a bit of a soap opera style.

It’s kind of like those articles or pictures we see. You can’t look away because it’s holding your attention so fiercely.

“Rooted in Love” Beth Wiseman

Rosemary is doing her best to run her family’s household. She excels at all her tasks except one: gardening. Saul has been interested in her for years, but Rosemary has turned him down repeatedly. Saul begins helping with her family’s garden, but someone is sabotaging his efforts—and keeping a secret that could change their lives.

The synopsis is actually quite misleading but… when aren’t they really?

Rosemary is not at all what I expect from the typical Amish girl but she is well-written. You are immediately intrigued and confused by what seems to be a situation of love had and then lost. We feel for her – with all she has to do in a day and missing her mamm, I know I expected that to be the reason her relationship with Saul came to a sudden and abrupt halt.

But Miss Wiseman surprised me. It was not anything I could have seen coming. Bravo Beth. Great writing and great development. The story and the characters are exceptionally well-developed for a story that stretches a mere 83 pages.

 

4 Stars

I truly thought Amish names were mostly taken from the Bible but I suppose even some Amish feel the need to stand out and be a bit… different. We certainly see that in Flowers for Rachael by Kathleen Fuller.

Honestly it’s a bit difficult to know for certain whether this story happens in the same community as Rooted in Love or not because it is a very central story. Again you will find that the synopsis gives absolutely no clue to the actual story…

“Flowers for Rachael” Kathleen Fuller

Rachael’s garden is beautiful, but she is lonely. Gideon is in love with Rachael, but when Rachael finds her garden in shambles after a crisis, she rejects his help. Will she realize she doesn’t have to do everything on her own?

The skill Rachael displays with her garden makes me wish I were better with tending plants. One of these days I truly want a home of my own where I can have a beautiful vegetable garden. And flower beds would be great too.

Watching Rachael and Gideon circle around each other is highly entertaining. I never would have imagined such matchmaking and scheming going on in an Amish community. More and more stories now are showing us that the Amish are more like the rest of us that we ever would have thought possible.

4 Stars

 

Tricia Goyer has another hit on her hands with Seeds of Love!

Right away we’re pulled into the intriguing and interesting storyline. Tricia is one of the few authors I know of who can successfully write two different styles in one story. You’ll know what I mean when you read the story. AMAZING!

“Seeds of Love” Tricia Goyer

When a corporation shows interest in buying Sadie’s heirloom seeds, she panics. They are all she has left of her Dat and Mem. Eli believes he can help Sadie, but a misunderstanding leaves her heartbroken. Will she trust him again, and will the seeds of a new relationship take root?

Once again, the synopsis is a tad misleading but, I have to say, it’s much closer to the story than the others so far. I also have to say that, of the three I’ve reviewed so far, this is my absolute favorite! Tricia Goyer has been truly blessed. Her writing is superb and she has always been one of my favorite authors of Amish fiction. She writes with such a clear voice and you always come away from her stories feeling like her characters are good friends.

It’s also a good sign that the story brought tears to my eyes. Despite my mother’s jokes – I do not cry at the drop of a hat so it’s very telling that Seeds of Love touched my emotions so strongly.

Tricia Goyer has added an amazing story to this collection and it is a very valuable piece of the whole. If you were on the fence about buying the book, I will say this. I still feel that the book is a good value – because of this story!

5star

Saving the best for last certainly applies to Where Healing Blooms by Vannetta Chapman.

WOW! Just WOW! I have to admit that I was not exceedingly impressed with the first two stories in this compilation. They are well-written, just not precisely what I was expecting. But the last two stories overshadow any disappointment I could have possibly had overall.

“Where Healing Blooms” Vannetta Chapman

Emma discovers a run-away teen in her barn, and the bishop asks her to provide a haven for a woman and her two children. Then her mother-in-law reveals a secret about her garden. Will Emma choose loneliness or learn to accept God’s gifts?

The synopsis for Vannetta’s story is the only one I would classify as spot on. It gives you a perfect overview of the story without giving too much away.

Vannetta Chapman is an exceptional writer. I would never in my life have expected to enjoy a story about a grandmother as much as I did but I could not put this wonderful story down. If my description of Tricia’s story didn’t convince you to buy the book, please do so on account of Tricia’s and Vannetta’s! They are well worth it!

Vannetta writes with her usual flair, pulling you right into the story and into the characters’ lives like a relative coming for a visit. Her community is always well-developed, whether the story takes up 300+ pages or only 103. Every word of the story helps convey the peace and healing that every character finds in this wondrous garden. It is truly an AMAZING story and a perfect end to the book!

5star

Click HERE for the book’s page at Thomas Nelson

Click HERE to read more about this title on ChristianBook.com HERE for GoodReads

Click HERE to visit Beth Wiseman’s website

Click HERE for Kathleen Fuller’s website

Click HERE to visit Tricia Goyer’s website

Click HERE for Vannetta Chapman’s website

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.

CONTEST | Real Women: Leading with Proverbs 31 Values

Real Women Leading: With Proverbs 31 Values is a must-have leadership resource for today’s Christian woman. Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder have successfully learned to navigate the marketplace by cultivating biblical truth, credible relationship development, and practical application into everyday life through ten foundational principles.

Lisa and Dawn are celebrating the release of their book with an iPad Mini giveaway and a Facebook “Leading with Values” author chat event on March 20th.

realwomen-400-click

One winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini
  • Real Women Leading by Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder

Real Women Leading Cover

{MORE ABOUT REAL WOMEN LEADING}

With Proverbs 31 values.

Today’s marketplace is not always a “values-friendly” environment. Business leaders Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder show you that you can live and thrive in a “valueless” workplace when you live by biblical values and principles.

Real Women: Leading with Proverbs 31 Values is a must-have leadership resource for today’s Christian woman. Written by women in the marketplace, Real Women cultivates biblical truth, credible relationship development, and practical application into everyday life through ten foundational principles. Once women embrace these ten principles, they will soon discover the multiple attributes of the Proverbs 31 woman in today’s marketplace and learn practical ways to implement the wisdom from that timeless Scripture passage.

Women will be encouraged to develop their God-given gifts and talents in the marketplace as they live out the principles that invite others to embrace the equality-inspiring values they live by. Knowing that we are not the end users of the gospel message, the Proverbs 31 leader will find the initiative to inspire the upcoming generation to view womanhood as a gift and continue the learning process that will impact generations to come.

Learn more and purchase a copy here.

Don’t miss out on the book or the chat party! What a great time for some fun and fellowship!

Lisa Troyer Dawn Yoder

{MORE ABOUT LISA TROYER DAWN YODER}

**Lisa Troyer** Sometimes referred to by friends as the “singing executive,” wife, mom, radio personality, recording artist, speaker, and author. Her Circle of Friends women’s outreach, formed over a decade ago, is growing in all directions. Lisa uses her gift of encouragement, her influence, and her resources to open doors for women to discover their significance and belonging. She and her family currently live in Ohio.

**Dawn Yoder** is passionate about developing people to discover their strengths and reach their leadership potential. As CEO of a 500-plus employee company, she seeks to bring values and principle-based thinking into all aspects of society through a round table environment. Dawn is a member of the John Maxwell coaching team, an international trainer, a speaker with the Circle of Friends ministry, a contributing writer, a songwriter, and a frequent worship leader. She and her husband, Jeff, have been married for more than 20 years and have four children.

Find out more about Lisa Troyer at http://www.newhopedigital.com/2013/09/real-women-leading/.

“An Amish Miracle” anthology – WOW!

An Amish Miracle CoverThese anthologies are a GREAT idea!

Not only do you get three stories in one, you get to see the writing of three different authors – which tells you whether you like all three authors and want to buy more of their books.

In my case, the answer is “YES!” And I will be hunting up books I don’t already have from these authors!

WOW!

In the first story: Always in my Heart, we get to see the major differences between Amish marriages and Englisch marriages. What does the typical Englisch husband do when he finds out his wife has been hiding something from him for their entire marriage? Read the story to see what the typical Amish husband does.

It’s astonishing.

This is the first novel I’ve read by Mary Ellis and her writing is phenomenal. She does have an odd habit of using the Deutsch word for wife a lot instead of having her husband call her by name and this is the first book I’ve read where this was done but I don’t know everything about every Amish community so maybe this is common in some of them… Her writing is so wonderful, even with this small oddity, I could NOT put it down. GREAT Story! GREAT Writing! Read it!

The same is true of the second.

Ruth Reid’s writing – also fantastic! She draws you right into the story and you can feel the character’s emotions so clearly. It’s so hard to let go of the story, that when it’s over you almost want to cry.

This is the first book of hers I have read also and I can’t WAIT to go hunt down more of hers!

In the second book we see a different character’s story but in the same community. I LOVE when they do this! It’s so much better than having to wait for the next book in the series to come out.

I didn’t think the story of a lonely widow would appeal to me much but it really did. It was amazing. I found myself staying up far beyond my usual bedtime to read I haven’t done that in a while.

I never could have imagined that Amish girls would have to deal with weight issues. Who could have guessed? But that is indeed the main conflict of the third story in this anthology.

Beth Wiseman handles the story beautifully. I found myself feeling Becky’s pain as I read. And yet, I could feel myself feeling the pain of other characters as well and it was enlightening and heart-breaking as well. Great writing! WOW!

I found myself thinking about how this is a wonderful story to share with my daughter and even my son. Even at a young age, I feel it is important to share stories and lessons about life with our children – especially about dating and self-esteem issues.

This story also shows us that sometimes… even if God’s answer is yes, it’s not always the best thing for us.

All three of these stories are wonderfully written and beautifully flowing one into another and I can’t wait to go back and read “An Amish Gathering”, “An Amish Love”, “An Amish Wedding”, “An Amish Kitchen” and the upcoming “An Amish Garden”. I’ll probably wait to read “An Amish Christmas” until a little closer to Christmas time this year.

5star

And here is a brief synopsis about the three stories from GoodReads:

Always Beautiful by Beth Wiseman

Becky Byler is eighteen and overweight. She is overwhelmed by the embarrassment she feels when comparing herself to other girls her age. Having lost all hope, she considers taking her own life. As she stands before rushing water, unable to swim, Becky begs God for a miracle. In just several months, Becky sees her prayers answered as food and temptation lose their hold over her. She’s finally pleased with how she looks, but does she like the person she has become? And has the man she has dreamed of been right beside her all along, loving her exactly as she is?

Always His Providence by Ruth Reid

Widow Rosa Hostetler has one month to pay her delinquent taxes before the county auctions her farm. She s prepared to sell whatever is necessary to pay the lien, but she isn’t willing to request money from the community s widow fund. She’s embarrassed and refuses to admit she needs help. Rosa depends on income from selling eggs, but when that income is threatened, only a miracle can help Rosa accept the kindness of a neighbor.

Always in My Heart by Mary Ellis

Hope Bowman believes God is punishing her for giving up her firstborn son when she was a teenager. She’s hidden this secret from her husband, who is thankful for their daughters but longs for a son. Hope prays desperately, but the son God sends her isn’t a new baby but the fifteen-year-old boy she gave up years ago.

You might notice the order these are in. For some strange reason they are listed this way on the back of the book too. But they come in the opposite order inside. Weird huh…

HERE is a link to GoodReads for more info and reviews.

HERE is a link to Beth Wiseman’s website.

HERE is a link to Ruth Reid’s website.

HERE is a link to Mary Ellis’s website.

And HERE is the link to the book’s page on Thomas Nelson.

HAPPY READING!

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Reading List for 2014… so far.

Lots of fantastic books COMING SOON!

I can’t wait to get my hands on them all!

Here are just a few of the novels I’m excited about that are in the works already!

"Hopeful" by Shelley Shepard Gray
“Hopeful” by Shelley Shepard Gray

I am chomping at the bit for this one and I have to wait until April…AHHHH!

"Seasons of Tomorrow" by Cindy Woodsmall
“Seasons of Tomorrow”
by Cindy Woodsmall
"Princess Ever After" by Rachel Hauck
“Princess Ever After”
by Rachel Hauck
"A Road Unknown" by Barbara Cameron
“A Road Unknown”
by Barbara Cameron
"Where Courage Calls"  by Janette Oke
“Where Courage Calls”
by Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan
"The Last Bride" by Beverly Lewis
“The Last Bride”
by Beverly Lewis
"Murder Simply Brewed"  by Vannetta Chapman
“Murder Simply Brewed”
by Vannetta Chapman
"An Amish Garden"  Beth Wiseman, Tricia Goyer, Kathleen Fuller & Vannetta Chapman
“An Amish Garden”
Beth Wiseman, Tricia Goyer,
Kathleen Fuller & Vannetta Chapman

I’m currently reading:

"The Letters"  by Suzanne Woods Fisher
“The Letters”
by Suzanne Woods Fisher

And this is next on my list:

"The Calling"  by Suzanne Woods Fisher
“The Calling”
by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Of course there are always NEW books coming out in The Quilts of Love series so I’m watching for those!

And I plan to get caught up on the other Amish Anthologies: An Amish Blessing, An Amish Love, An Amish Kitchen and An Amish Miracle.

I’m also hoping to see news of a book being published SOON by a very dear friend…YOU know who you are!

FUN!

Anyway, that’s me… up until April anyway. There will be dozens of other announced between now and then and I’ll be chomping at the bit to get those too.

I LOVE that Amish fiction is so hot right now! It means there are so many new titles and stories available on a regular basis!

If you’re looking for more GREAT books to read, Christianbook.com is a GREAT place to look for what’s NEW and what’s COMING SOON!

HAPPY NEW YEAR

and

HAPPY READING!

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“The Amish Seamstress” by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

17177607“The Amish Seamstress” is the fourth book in The Women of Lancaster County series by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould.

I started reading the first book in this series (The Amish Midwife) some time ago and I could not make myself finish it.

Just to clarify:
at the time, I was quite frustrated by a very angry book (another that I was reading at the same time) that I quickly decided to stop reading once I became aware of the problem.

Since then, a dear friend has convinced me that this series is worth reading. Since I received this book free from Harvest House Publishers in exchange for an honest review, I decided to give the series another try.

I also thought it might be interesting to read this one first and go back to the others… to see how that works. It doesn’t always work to read books out of order. With this one, it works. But I have a feeling that the story will mean a lot more if the series is read in order. Once I go back through and read from the beginning, I’ll have a better perspective on that.

From Harvest House

Izzy Mueller is an exceptional listener and gifted caregiver. She’s also a talented seamstress. As the young woman sits with her elderly patients, she quietly sews as they share their stories. She’s content with her life until circumstances reconnect her with someone she once loved. Zed Bayer, a Mennonite, is not what her family is hoping for in a spouse, and his creative interest in filmmaking is definitely at odds with her Amish upbringing.

As Izzy is swept up again in Zed and renews her friendship with his sister, Ella, she begins to ask questions about her own life—her creative longings and historical interests, her relationships and desire for romance, and most importantly, her faith. What is the path God has for her? Can she learn from the past of both her family’s and Zed’s—or must she forge a completely different future of her own?

I imagine writing a collaboration is not an easy thing, especially since we don’t see nearly as many of them as we see single-author books. Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould have found the way to do it right. I applaud them and I hope they collaborate on more stories in the future.

There is a lot of conflict in these novels and I can see now why it was so difficult for me to get into the first one. I am a person who has seen more than her fair share of conflict and drama so I tend to do everything I can to steer clear of it. If you are this way as well, don’t let that stop you from reading these books. The end result is worth any heartache or frustration.

…don’t let that stop you from reading these books. The end result is worth any heartache or frustration.

I plan to go back and read from the beginning of this series and then review each one in order (I may even re-review this one with that new perspective once I finish them all).

“The Amish Seamstress” is most definitely a continuation of the series but there is a good amount of information about what happened in previous books so you shouldn’t be lost.

The story draws you in and you find yourself wanting to go on…

The characters are very strong and, in some cases, formidable. The story draws you in and you find yourself wanting to go on, if only to find out what happens next. I can’t wait to start at the beginning again and see how it all develops into where we are now in this fourth book.

In other words, it’s a very well written book – which means most likely that the entire series is well-written. Although that is not always the case so you should make that judgment for yourself. Start from the beginning with “The Amish Midwife” (along with me) and see what you think. Now I just have to find time to go read all four books and review them.

Now I just have to find time to go read all four books and review them.

Ah, the frantic busy-ness of fall…

If you would like to read a chapter of “The Amish Seamstress”, get more information about upcoming releases from Harvest House or just get more info about this book, click HERE to go to Harvest House. Or click HERE to go to the page on GoodReads.

Mindy Starns Clark’s website can be found HERE.

Leslie Gould’s website can be found HERE.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Harvest House Publishers book review program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.