Book Review | “Amish Sweethearts” by Leslie Gould – book 2 in the Neighbors of Lancaster County series

Be aware that this is book 2 in the series. I have not yet reviewed book 1, but I plan to go back and read it… and I recommend you do as well.

I still remember watching a movie made from one of the first Amish stories I read.

A lot of people I knew, thought it was ridiculous that the young man felt compelled to join the military…

They would probably say the same thing here.

Amish or not… when God calls you to do something, you have to make the choice between what you want and what you know God wants you to do.

That is a large part of this story.

And WELL DONE Leslie Gould!

She told the story well… blending the Amish aspects and the English aspects – as well as the military aspects – to form a well crafted story with wonderful characters.

Not a book you should miss… especially if you enjoy Amish fiction!

Of course… I always recommend you read a series in order, so you should definitely check out the first book in this series; Amish Promises.

 

Review ©JC Morrows 2016

4 Stars

More about the book:

Can These Two Friends from Opposite Worlds Find Love?

They’ve been best friends for years, but as high school ends, Zane Beck can’t help but look at his Amish neighbor, Lila Lehman, with different eyes. Her controlling father sees only one future for Lila, though, and arranges for her to be courted by an upstanding young Amish man. When Zane sees the two together, his plans for the future crumble, and he impulsively enlists in the Army, following in his father’s footsteps.

However, the passing of years and the distance between them isn’t enough to halt their now hidden feelings for each other. If being together used to be difficult, it’s now impossible, especially with the Amish opposed to war. Zane’s service takes a dramatic turn when he’s sent to Afghanistan. Being on the front line and the reality of taking a life has him questioning whether he can continue to serve or not. But all choices have consequences–both his and hers. With Lila preparing to marry another, will these one-time sweethearts ever find the life together that they both still long for?

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 I was blessed to receive a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
All opinions are entirely my own.

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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Book Review | The Wedding Chapel | Rachel Hauck

THE WEDDING CHAPEL BY RACHEL HAUCK | BLOG TOUR AND $100 GIVEAWAY

Is sixty years too long to wait for love? Two stories of romance, one in 1949 and one in the modern day, meet in Rachel Hauck’s The Wedding Chapel. When Taylor Branson takes an assignment in Heart’s Bend, the job does more than send her back to her hometown, but into a world of family secrets buried beneath the sands of time. When Taylor’s journey intersects with Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook’s, they rediscover the heartbeat of their dreams and that the love they long to hold is right in front of them. And worth every waiting moment.

Join Rachel in celebrating the release of The Wedding Chapel by entering to win a copy and a $100 cash card—perfect for finishing up your Christmas gift shopping!

wedding chapel - 400 (1)

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of The Wedding Chapel
  • A $100 cash card

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 31st. The winner will be announced January 4th onRachel’s blog.

WeddingChapel email

I cannot say enough about Rachel Hauck’s AMAZING talent!

She has been immeasurably blessed!

And I am blessed, every time I read one of her amazing books!

I LOVE everything about this book! I love the idea behind it – the wedding chapel that plays into so many different lives…

I’ve always been a sucker for time-travel stories and while this is not a sci-fi type time travel, it certainly has the same feel, since we move back and forth between the present and the past as we follow two different couples and their journey of love!

It is such an exceptional story of life… love… and connection!

Don’t miss out on this wonderful book – or any of Rachel’s others!

Review © JCMorrows 2015

{MORE ABOUT THE WEDDING CHAPEL}

The Wedding Chapel(Zondervan, November 2015)

For sixty years, a wedding chapel sat silent, waiting for love. But times have changed and the hour has come when it just might be too late.

Retired hall-of-fame football coach Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook never imagined anything would come of his labor of love—the wedding chapel he built for Collette Greer, the woman he fell for back in ‘49. But now an offer has come to turn the chapel into what it was meant to be—a place for love—and Jimmy sees no reason to hang onto his dream any longer.

Photographer Taylor Branson is trying to make a life for herself in New York. Leaving her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, she put a lot of things behind her, including her family’s abysmal marriage rate. But love surprises her when she falls head-over-heels for Jack Forester, a top ad man. Their whirlwind romance results in an elopement, and a mountain of doubt. Jack, while genuine in his love for Taylor, can never seem to overcome his own demons to find the words of his heart.

When Taylor takes an assignment in Heart’s Bend, the job does more than send her back to her hometown, but into a world of family secrets buried beneath the sands of time.

When Taylor’s journey intersects with Coach’s, they rediscover the heartbeat of their dreams and that the love they long to hold is right in front of them. And worth every waiting moment.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

{MORE ABOUT RACHEL HAUCK}

Rachel Hauck

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as “The Wedding Dress,” “Love Starts with Elle,” and “Once Upon A Prince.” She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, “Softly and Tenderly,” one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.

Find out more about Rachel at http://www.rachelhauck.com/.

 

 

A LOOK BACK at “Princess Ever After” by Rachel Hauck | Royal Weddings series #2 | Review Marathon!

"Princess Ever After" by Rachel Hauck

THIS COVER IS PERFECT! It just screams Princess! to me.

I LOVE IT!

And the story is just as perfect!

I said it before when I reviewed the book, and I’ll say it again! (and if you really want to read that review, click HERE)

Rachel Hauck is an AMAZING author!

In “Once Upon A Prince”, we read all about Suzanna giving herself over to God – to do with as He chose.

That aspect of faith is a bit more of a struggle for the characters in “Princess Ever After” but they do finally manage to “let go and let God” and the story is so much better for it!

BRAVO to Rachel Hauck for her fantastic story telling! God has truly blessed her!

The continuing story Rachel Hauck has written is definitely one of my favorite series!

The characters will grab your heart right away and will not let go! The story is so intense, you won’t want to put the book down for even a minute. And the message… well it’s absolutely amazing!

I can hardly wait to share my thoughts about the next book in the series! Oh my word! Make sure you pop back over tomorrow for my review.

And DON’T MISS any books in this terrific series!

 

Princess Ever After – not your average Fairy Tale!Tweet this!

 

Just ONE MORE DAY until How To Catch A Prince releases! Have you pre-ordered your copy yet?Tweet this!

 

Review © JCMorrows 2015

5star

While you wait, here’s a bit more about Princess Ever After from GoodReads:

Regina Beswick never dreamed of faraway places. She’s happy with her life as a classic car mechanic and owner of a restoration shop.

But an unexpected visitor and the discovery of a fairytale, drawn by her great-grandma, causes Regina to wonder if she might be destined for something more.

Tanner Burkhardt, Minister of Culture for the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg, must convince the strong-willed Southerner, Miss Beswick, that she is his country’s long-lost princess. Failure could destroy his reputation and change his nation forever.

As Regina and Tanner face the challenges before them, neither are prepared for love to invade their hearts and change every thing they believe about themselves.

However, when a royal opponent nearly destroys Regina’s future, she must lean into God and trust He has sovereignly brought her to her true and final destiny.

You can find reviews and links to purchase this fabulous series by clicking the links below!

GOODREADS   ZONDERVAN   RACHEL’S WEBSITE

Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes and Noble.
Buy from Christian Book Distributor.
Buy from iBooks.

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.

A LOOK BACK at “A March Bride” by Rachel Hauck | Royal Weddings series #1.5 | Review marathon!


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Well, I have to admit – reading over my initial review was a bit… odd.

Anyone who read it the first time around – knows that.

For anyone who has not read it, you can click HERE if you’re curious.

OK… now, having said that – I’m going to try to do the review justice again.

If you read my review yesterday, you know I came late to this wonderful series and it seems like I had to wait forever to read the next chapter in Nathaniel and Susanna’s romance!”

I was also tickled to find out that this wonderful story will be available in March of this year in a PAPER book with two other wonderful stories in the Year of Weddings series!

Now on to my review…

I am reminded yet again that Rachel Hauck is a GREAT writer! WOW!

You could not have pried the tablet out of my hand! while I was reading A March Bride

Every trial, every misstep, every twist and turn of this amazing story shows you that Rachel Hauck is in tune with precisely how God’s plans work!

We think our own stumbling blocks are just that. And sometimes… maybe… they are – because we have to stumble to look up.

Each trial you have in your own life, whether it is part of God’s plan or not, will help get you on your way to the destination God has in mind for you, and I LOVE that Rachel has that in mind when she’s writing these stories.

In fact, God is central to her novels in a way unlike most others you will read. It’s AMAZING! God has truly gifted Rachel Hauck with such an amazing gift!

The only complaint I have about this book is that there wasn’t more of it!

Whether you enjoyed Once Upon A Prince or not, A March Bride is a MUST READ! – Tweet this!

 

Now onto the next story in this amazing series!

Review © JCMorrows 2015

5star

Here’s a bit more about A March Bride from Zondervan:

Susanna has found her true prince, and their happily ever after is just around the corner. But when Nate asks her to give up something precious to her, Susanna can’t help but wonder if it’s a sign that their love is not meant to be.

Susanna Truitt (Once Upon A Prince) is three weeks from royalty. She’ll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, Susanna’s heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God’s plan for her.

Nathaniel would do anything for his bride-to-be. But he knows his position requires that she give up a lot to be with him. Her life will never be her own—right down to her very identity.

When she travels home to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, right before the wedding, Nathaniel fears she won’t return. Gathering his courage, he devises a plan to win his bride all over again, and together they seek out a kingdom to treasure above all.

A year’s worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.

 

You can find reviews and links to purchase this fabulous series by clicking the links below!

A March Bride – GOODREADS   ZONDERVAN   RACHEL’S WEBSITE

Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes and Noble.
Buy from Christian Book Distributor.
Buy from iBooks.

Spring Brides Compilation – GOODREADS   ZONDERVAN

Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes and Noble.
Buy from Christian Book Distributor.
Buy from iBooks.

 

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.

A LOOK BACK at “Once Upon A Prince” by Rachel Hauck | Royal Weddings series #1 | Review marathon!

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Yes I’ve reviewed this book before and if you’re interested, you can read that review HERE.

I can still remember how crazy I was over this series when I read Once Upon A Prince for the first time!

I was definitely in danger of turning into a giggling, gushing, fan-girl over the book… the story… the series!

It had been out for over a year before I skimmed through it at the insistence of my mother and I later kicked myself for only skimming.

Oh what I missed that first time through…

WHAT an amazing story!

WHAT a wonderful idea!

AND SO MUCH better than a silly story of magic slippers or enchanted spinning wheels.

Like so many other young girls, I grew up on fairy tales and it took me one failed marriage and several failed relationships to admit that believing in fairy tales was not such a good thing for a grown-woman but “Once Upon A Prince” is a real-life fairy tale that I can get behind.

You’re still left with a story book feel and you still end up with a happy ending (I feel no danger in revealing that because it’s not the one you’ll be expecting and… the book has been out a while now) but it really feels real through and through.

BRAVO Rachel Hauck!

And now I get to jump right into the next story… and the next until I get to Rachel’s NEWEST book in this wonderful series! SO there is a bit of a bonus for me waiting so long to really read the book. I don’t have to sit on tacks while I wait for book 2. YAY!

Don’t forget to pop back over tomorrow to read my review of the next book in the series!

Don’t miss the book that started it all – Once Upon A Prince by Rachel Hauck!Tweet this!

Review © JCMorrows 2015

5star

And just in case you need more convincing, here’s what GoodReads has to say about Once Upon A Prince:

“Once Upon a Prince, the first novel in the Royal Wedding series by bestselling author Rachel Hauck, treats you to a modern-day fairy tale.”
~ GoodReads

Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess—just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn’t going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.

The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon’s Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family’s tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna’s aid under the fabled Lover’s Oak, he is blindsided by love.

Their lives are worlds apart. He’s a royal prince. She’s a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation.

It’s the ultimate choice. His kingdom or her heart? God’s will or their own?

 

You can find reviews and links to purchase this fabulous series by clicking the links below!

GOODREADS   ZONDERVAN   RACHEL’S WEBSITE

Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes and Noble.
Buy from Christian Book Distributor.
Buy from iBooks.

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 Simple Charity” by Rosalind Lauer | Book 3 in the Lancaster Crossroads series | Stop #14 of my Salute to Christmas Reads!

OK, this book totally works in my Salute to Christmas Reads! Which is AWESOME! …mostly because the book is awesome and I want to give it as much attention as I possibly can!

 

A Simple Charity by Rosalind Lauer

WOW!

I didn’t think Rosalind Lauer could get any better! But it seems like every book of hers I read is even better than the last one!

With the first three books Rosalind wrote; A Simple Winter, A Simple Spring and A Simple Autumn – Rosalind introduced us to the wonderful community of Halfway and I didn’t get the chance to freak about it because I didn’t actually discover her wonderful books until the second series had already started.

I did start by reading the first series and then I was blessed to be able to go right into the next… until I had to wait for this one – A Simple Charity.

And now I’m freaking out because I don’t want it to end!

I’m hoping that either Rosalind has more planned for this series or else she’s going to start another series but with these same characters! They’re too amazing to let go of!

And Rosalind Lauer has a particular talent for blending the Amish community with the English community that makes her books so much more appealing. For those of us who don’t necessarily want to make such a drastic change, it’s exciting to think that we could just move into the community and live alongside the plain people.

It’s certainly on my own wish list!

Of course it’s also tricky because I have fallen completely and totally in love with THESE people and THIS community! It’s just too well-written! Rosalind makes her characters so real, I feel like I could go to Halfway and meet them all!

Oh well… I’ll just have to be content with them in my imagination.

In the meantime, you can find more about this book HERE on the book page at Random House

And here is a little sneak peek from Random House

OF ALL THE GIFTS THAT LAST,
THE GREATEST IS CHARITY.

Although she is still in her twenties, Fanny Lapp has known a lifetime of love and heartache. Twice widowed, she has a home to maintain, a renovation in the works, and a family to raise—all without a husband. Fortunately, in the Amish community, help is never far away. To ease Fanny’s burdens, the bishop sends Zed Miller to the Lapp house. Fanny is drawn to kind, handsome Zed, who suffers from sins of the past. But to everything there is a season, and Fanny cannot act on her feelings while mourning her husband.

Newly returned to his Amish roots after many years in the outside world, Zed knows he must prove himself to earn acceptance from his community. Without a second thought, he picks up a hammer and sets to work helping Fanny fulfill her dream of turning an old carriage house into a women’s childbirth center. Soon Zed finds himself a part of Fanny’s daily chores, sharing her laughter and sorrow. Knowing that time flows like a river, running slow and steady, Zed plans to wait on his love. But when their secret is discovered, how deep will the disapproval of their community run?

 

TWEETABLES:

A reminder that the greatest gifts come from the heart.Tweet this!

A Simple Charity shines like the sun with the blessings of everyday miracles.Tweet this!

 

You can find out more about the books or purchase it by clicking the links below

GOODREADS   BALLANTINE/RANDOM HOUSE   ROSALIND LAUER’S FACEBOOK

CHRISTIANBOOK   AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from Random House!

 

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.

“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.

Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas | The first novel in the Appalachian Blessings series

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WOW!

As I sit here, tears streaming down my face, I am simply amazed at how wonderful this story is. I simply can not believe this is the first novel Sarah Loudin Thomas has written.

I tend to be cautious of non-Amish fiction lately but this book gets a solid two thumbs up and 5 stars!

What a wonderful story! The depth of emotion, the strength of character, the beautiful miracles that God sends this sleepy little town. There are not enough words for how much this story has touched my heart.

Sarah Loudin Thomas is an exceptionally gifted author and I believe God has given her a little something extra special – just like her wonderful characters!

I grew up in the south (I know West Virginia isn’t exactly the “south” but it’s close enough I think) and I have lived in small towns just like Wise – yes, even in the last 30 years. There are still small towns like Wise all over the south – especially in Appalachia. Sarah’s descriptions were spot-on and her portrayal of the townspeople’s reactions rang absolutely true. I’ve never been a huge fan of history but there’s something about those mountains that has inspired me to learn as much as possible about life there. So I speak the truth when I say this sounds absolutely right.

This story will touch your heart, even while it makes you mad. And there are more than a few times it will make you laugh out loud!

It’s just all around a GREAT story!

5star

 

Here is more about “Miracle in a Dry Season” from Bethany House

In a Drought, It’s the Darkest Cloud
That Brings Hope

It’s 1954 and Perla Long’s arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.

Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor…until he meets Perla. She’s everything he’s sought in a woman, but he can’t get past the sense that she’s hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla’s unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.

 

 

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

GOODREADS   BETHANY HOUSE/BAKER PUBLISHING GROUP   SARAH’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   ITUNES   LIFEWAY   BOOKSAMILLION

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author through
Bethany House 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.

Appalachian serenade by Sarah Loudin Thomas | A Novella in the Appalachian Blessings series

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I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this novella. But let me tell you, it is more than worth the “price” – especially since it’s free!

I would happily BUY a copy of this if it ever becomes available in paperback – not that I’m unhappy with the eBook… I really enjoy having a REAL book in my hands when I’m reading!

Especially a GREAT BOOK!

If “Miracle in a Dry Season” – the next book in this series, is anywhere as well-written as “Appalachian Serenade”, I will be a very happy woman!

Sarah Loudin Thomas does not write as if this is her first (actually it might be her second, I’m not entirely certain) book!

WOW!

Her characters are vivid and colorful and there is the perfect amount of description to give you a clear picture of them.

And the story is absolutely beautiful! Sarah does a novella right! She gives us enough of a lead-in that we don’t feel like we’re being rushed through. And there are enough pages to give a decent story arc!

BRAVO Sarah!

I don’t know about you but I can not wait to read “Miracle in a Dry Season”!

 

5star

 

More about “Appalachian Serenade”:

Delilah Morrissey has always wanted to be a mother, but when she becomes a young widow, that dream now seems farther away than ever. Unable to continue to live alone in Chicago, her only option is to accept her sister’s offer to move in with her family back in West Virginia. Will Delilah have the faith to pursue a new dream–even if it means giving up the old?

In this charming novella, debut novelist Sarah Loudin Thomas introduces readers to Wise, West Virginia–a small town nestled in an Appalachian valley where the everyday miracles of life and faith play out in stories of healing, hope, and love.

 

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

GOODREADS   SARAH’S WEBSITE

SARAH’S PAGE AT BETHANY HOUSE – You can “buy” the book here too.

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

This book is free and I “purchased” it from AMAZON.

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

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

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate

An Early Review of “Caroline’s Secret” by Amy Lillard | Wells Landing Book 1

I stumbled upon Amy Lillard‘s work entirely by accident and it was equally coincidental that I ended up on her street team!

Which is how I got an early look at her new book: “Caroline’s Secret”

And let me tell you, this book is just as fantastic a read as her Clover Ridge series!

If she writes mainstream fiction anywhere near as well as she does Amish fiction… it’s a wonder she hasn’t sold a million+ copies.

The characters will immediately engage you, pulling you right into their world – and that is not always an easy thing to do.

Now granted I read an uncorrected proof because it was an early sneak peek (I LOVE being on the street team!!!) but the finished story is sure to be just as amazing once it’s all finished and fixed.

And isn’t it interesting – I think I found less mistakes in the “uncorrected proof” than I have in a lot of regular published books.

Amy Lillard has a particular talent for pulling you into her characters’ skin. It’s wonderful! You feel what the characters feels and it really makes the book REAL for you! Or it does for me… at any rate. And her skill does not end with the characters. She always writes a stellar story and she paints a beautiful picture for us too. There’s no feeling that you’re just following someone around a blank town. We see the area around our characters and that also helps make the story REAL!

Now… I get to be on pins and needles until the next book in this series is ready for us to check out. Write faster Amy. LOL!

DO NOT MISS THIS ONE! If you have not pre-ordered, go do it now! “Caroline’s Secret” releases officially on August 5th! You can pre-order from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million and iTunes! (I listed the links below for your convenience)

 

5star

 

Here is more about “Caroline’s Secret” from Kensington:

In Amy Lillard’s poignant introduction to Wells Landing, a small Amish community is home to two brave souls hoping to forget their painful pasts and rebuild their faith in the future. . .

Caroline Hostetler arrived in Oklahoma determined to forge a new life for herself and her daughter, Emma. As a single mother, she values the warmth and safety she’s found in close-knit Wells Landing. She’s even caught the eye of a handsome newcomer–a man who just may be the partner she longs for and the father Emma deserves. But the arrival of an Englisher threatens to lay bare the secrets she’s worked so hard to leave behind. . .

After losing his life-long sweetheart, Andrew Fitch moved to Wells Landing to work in his uncle’s furniture business and nurse his broken heart. Finding love again seems all but impossible–until he meets Caroline and Emma. But his plans to join their lives together may be shattered when the truth of Caroline’s past comes to light–unless, together, they can learn the true meaning of sacrifice and forgiveness. . .

 

 

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

GOODREADS   KENSINGTON   AMY LILLARD’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES   BOOKSAMILLION

 

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from the author.

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

NEW FROM QUILTS OF LOVE: A Stich and a Prayer | Kindle HDX Giveaway and “Quilting Bee” Facebook Party

Don’t miss this month’s Quilts of Love book, A Stitch and a Prayer, by Eva Gibson. A quilt becomes a labor of love for a lonely wife mysteriously separated from her young husband.

Celebrate May’s release by entering to win a Kindle HDX and RSVP for the Quilts of Love “Quilting Bee” Facebook party with the Quilts of Love authors.

 

qol-stitchprayer-400-click
One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle HDX
  • A Promise in Pieces by Emily Wierenga
  • A Stitch and a Prayer by Eva Gibson
  • Rival Hearts by Tara Randel

Enter today. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 17th.

Winner will be announced at the “Quilting Bee” Facebook party with Emily Wierenga, Loree Lough, and Tara Randel. RSVP for an evening of book chat, quilting tips and tricks, prizes, and more!

 

A Stitch and a Prayer

 

{More about A Stitch and a Prayer}

New from Quilts of Love | A Stitch and a Prayer

A quilt becomes a labor of love for a lonely wife mysteriously separated from her young husband.

After her fiancé returns from the Klondike gold rush in 1897, Florence Harms sets about building a new life in her new marriage—even though the lingering effects of illness have left her weak and vulnerable. She and her young husband, Will, work tirelessly to clear the land around their Northwest cabin, content with their modest life.

But then a stranger comes knocking and Florence suddenly senses a restlessness in Will’s spirit that she had never seen before. When he leaves her with only a note that tells her he will return before their baby’s birth, she is devastated, and the illness that stiffened her joints returns. Counting the days until Will walks back through her door, Florence busies herself with a Tree of Life quilt displaying a map of the farm they call home. Doubts claw at her heart as Florence struggles to believe Will’s promise to return to her. Will her labor of love-and faith in God—sustain her as she waits to see her beloved once again?

Learn more and purchase a copy at the Quilts of Love website.

Eva Gibson

{More About Eva Gibson}

Eva Gibson is the author of twenty books, including “The Gift of Forgiveness” and “The Three Marys.” She currently teaches “writing your life story” classes for Portland Community College and is an active member of Oregon Christian Writers. She has lived most of her life on the family farm in Wilsonville, Oregon, which is the setting for “A Stitch and a Prayer.”

Find out more about Eva at http://www.abingdonpress.com/eva_gibson.

A True Account of an Amish Wedding | AND a GREAT story! WOW!

An Amish Wedding Invitation by Serena B MillerSerena B Miller was blessed to have made some very good friends among the Amish community who helped her to research her first novel Love Finds You in Sugarcreek Ohio and she was further blessed to receive an invitation to their daughter’s upcoming wedding.

She has written a wonderful account of that day (and a few of the events leading up to that wonderful day as well).

And I must say that it reads just as beautifully as her fiction.

Although it is clearly a true account.

Not only that, Serena really shows a unique understanding of the community and their ways. The wedding day, the ceremony and the celebration that followed were nothing like Serena was expecting and she handles those unexpected revelations with grace and a sense of humor.

Through her eyes we see the intricacies and the delicate handling of what so many of us in the “world” see as nothing more than an event meant to impress.

Clearly the Amish understand that the day is about celebrating and not about impressing anyone. They see it as a time to come together and enjoy each other’s company and fellowship and Serena shows us all of that with her beautifully crafted recounting.

As far as I can tell, the story is only available as an eBook but it’s .99 on Amazon so the price can’t be beat. Anyone who can and who is even remotely interested in Amish culture, should definitely buy it and read it!

5star

Here is what GoodReads has to say about the book:

Amish fiction author Serena B. Miller takes you “behind the barn door” in this true e-short account of her experience of attending an Amish wedding.In her years of researching her Amish novels, Serena Miller has gotten to know several Amish families in Holmes County, Ohio. When she was invited to attend the wedding of one of her friend’s daughters, she expected it to be a casual affair: muck out the barn, throw a potluck together, send the bride and groom off on their honeymoon in a buggy with a Just Married sign hung on the back. But when the young bride shyly brings her a formal, professionally printed invitation, she realized everything she thought she knew about Amish weddings was wrong.

From the hand-arranged centerpieces—made from flowers the bride grew herself—to the portable kitchens the family rents to the elaborate and formally served meal, she realized that every detail of this wedding has been carefully and beautifully orchestrated by a bride and a society that cares very deeply about marriage. On the day of the wedding, Serena sits through the three-hour sermon preached entirely in German, after which the ceremony itself lasts under two minutes. She sees the grace with which the bride cooks for and serves her guests, and then stays to clean up after everyone has gone home. She is inspired by the way every member of the community seems to have some role to play in the event.

Serena, a pastor’s wife, has attended hundreds of weddings, and draws comparisons between the overblown weddings she normally attends and this “simple” wedding. She is inspired by the immensity of the vows this young couple is making—not just to each other, but to their community—and the faithfulness of the community that puts the focus on the marriage far more than the wedding itself.

Click HERE to find this eBook on Amazon. It’s only .99 and what a GREAT price!

Click HERE to visit Serena B Miller’s website

“The Rescue” by Suzanne Woods Fisher | An eBook in “The Inn At Eagle Hill” series!

The Rescue by Suzanne Woods FisherThe only complaint I have about this book was that there was not enough of it! The story was so wonderful, I was completely caught up in it and then… it was over.

sad

This is one of those stories you will wish you could go back and read for the first time all over again. It’s THAT GREAT!

I find myself so grateful that more and more authors understand that readers are simply in agony waiting for the next installment of their wonderful books. And so they give us short back-stories and side-stories to keep us from tearing our hair out while we wait for the next book to arrive at our local bookstore.

GOD BLESS THEM!

It is such a joy to open up my kindle and see that this eBook is available for reading.

And, as much as I LOVE having a hard copy of as many books as I can get my hands on, I am much happier to pay $1.99 for this short story that to have to pay $5 or even $10. Plus I didn’t have to do anything but find a Wi-Fi spot where I could download.

So, while you wait for Suzanne’s next book in The Inn At Eagle Hill  series “The Revealing”, go to Amazon and snag this wonderful eBook. I promise it will help tide you over until you get the next book in your hands!

5star

And Here is what ChristianBooks has to say about it:

Will Stoltz has returned to Stoney Ridge to start a wild bird rescue center and find Jackie Colombo, a veterinarian who stole his heart . . . then disappeared.

Yup, it’s short and sweet. But there is so much more to the story… trust me!

Click HERE for the book page on ChristianBook.com

Click HERE to buy the eBook on Amazon. It’s only $1.99. GREAT DEAL!

And click HERE for Suzanne Woods Fisher’s website!

 

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.

“Heaven – What’s it like? How do we get there?” by Stephen Elkins

18232504I have to say this first… even though the book is really good, in my opinion – I don’t like that the top of the book says

“Created by” Stephen Elkins.

So many people just toss around the words “created by:” like it’s common but no one stops to think that we are incapable of creating anything. ONLY GOD can create something from nothing.

Anything that we come up with or build comes from things that God created or talents that he blessed us with.

But that’s just a personal pet-peeve of mine. Don’t let it stop you from reading the book.

So, onto my opinion about the book:

Like many people, I have children who are not at all sure about God and Heaven and how being Saved really works.

I feel this book is a valuable resource for anyone whose children are in that camp.

It’s difficult for some of us adults to remember just how big and scary the whole idea is. We think of God and Heaven and we think about how wonderful it sounds but to a child – I can see how it could be scary instead of wonderful.

This book does a great job showing kids that Heaven is nothing to be frightened of.

And it doesn’t stop there. The first section of the book talks about Heaven and what it’s like. Then there is a section that talks about how we get there. Then it talks about how we can live like Jesus did.

Now we all know that living like Jesus alone is not what gets us to Heaven – It’s believing in him and accepting him into your heart that does it. After that of course, you will want to live like Jesus so you can show his love to everyone around you and I think this book gets that point across beautifully.

So I say, buy it! Read it with your kids! Share it with your neighbors and their children!

Share God’s love all around!

4 Stars

 

And here is a bit more about the book from Tynedale publishing:

“Heaven is exciting! Heaven is big! Heaven is safe! Heaven is forever!” Heaven: What’s It Like? How Do We Get There? is the first in a brand new children’s series titled First Steps. This series explains the foundations of the Christian faith in sensitive and simple child-friendly terms. In this first book kids will understand, through 60 rhyming stories and colorful illustrations, what heaven is all about. Children will be inspired and uplifted by the hope and promise of Heaven and their heavenly Father. This is a comforting book for children who have lost grandparents or other loved ones. In addition to learning about heaven, children will be inspired to live their earthly lives in a way that is glorifying and honoring to God.

And you can click HERE to visit the book page on Tynedale’s website

HERE for ChristianBook.com HERE for GoodReads

And click HERE to learn more about the author and his ministry!

 

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

Disclaimer: I received the book free from the Tynedale 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.

“Dancing with Fireflies” by Denise Hunter

Dancing With FirefliesDENISE HUNTER has a singular talent. The opening chapter of Dancing With Fireflies shows an incredibly tragic scene and it does it so well.

I don’t know of another author who would have been able to do what Denise Hunter did with that scene. It was written exceptionally well.

And that alone makes this a wonderful book.

Add to that, Denise’s skill with writing such loveable characters and putting them in the middle of incredibly vivid storylines makes this a book worth reading. And then reading again and again.

I fell in love with the people of Chapel Springs completely by accident when I reviewed A December Bride a while ago for the BookLook Bloggers review program.

It sounded like an interesting story but I had no idea it was attached to a series already in progress.

So A December Bride introduced me to a wonderful series and now I am tracking down the other books in that series to read.

Until then, enjoy my review and go get the book for yourself! It’s a great read!

4 Stars

A Brief synopsis from Thomas Nelson:

Jade returns home to Chapel Springs after years of protecting her fragile heart. Then along comes Daniel, making her long to dance again.

Creative and complicated, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden growing up in Chapel Springs. When she left, she thought she’d never look back. But now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.

The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years. While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right into the boisterous McKinley family. He’s loved Jade for years, but she always saw him as a big brother. Now that she’s back, his feelings are stronger than ever.

As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right. God seems far away, she’s hiding secrets from her family, and she’s strangely attracted to the man who’s always called her “squirt.” Finding her way home may prove more difficult than she imagined.

Click HERE to visit the book page on Thomas Nelson

HERE for ChristianBook.com HERE for the page on GoodReads

And HERE to visit Denise Hunter’s website.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity 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.

“Katie’s Choice” by Amy Lillard | Clover Ridge Book 2

Katie's ChoiceAnother masterful telling from Amy Lillard.

WOW!

I’ll say it again. Amy Lillard has such an amazing talent

It is amazing to see so many different perspectives in her work. In the first book of this series: Saving Gideon, we had the perspective of an outsider looking in.

In Katie’s Choice we get the added perspective of a hard-core unbeliever who also happens to be a journalist.

Amy writes with such realism, she puts you in the shoes of each character and the different perspectives are absolutely wonderful.

One of my favorite things about this genre is that the lack of things like intimacy before marriage or bad language force the story to be so much more developed than most mainstream fiction.

Mainstream fiction depends on that “hook” to sell books and Inspirational fiction actually has have a well developed plot and storyline to make it.

Amy Lillard is a prime example of that.

Her plots are well-constructed and they flow well. She doesn’t feel the need to fill the pages with overblown drama or unbelievable events. You follow along the story and it all feels perfectly real while still being highly entertaining.

I feel blessed to have found such a terrific new author and I hope to see many more books of hers in the years to come.

Now onto book 3 of the series…

5star

Click HERE for reviews and extras from B&H Publishing Group. And here is a short blurb about the book from B&H Publishing Group:

Katie Rose Fisher loved Samuel Beachy with an intensity that shook their Amish district. No one doubted they would one day marry, until Samuel turned his back on the church and joined the world of the English. Alone now in Clover Ridge, Katie Rose dedicates her life to God and the school children she teaches each day. Although she secretly longs for more, Katie knows God’s hand is at work, and she is happy. News correspondent Zane Carson never even knew Oklahoma had an Amish community until he got the chance to live among them and learn about their day-to-day activities. Their simple way of life is intriguing, but not half as much as the young teacher. Katie Rose is flattered over the attention she receives from Zane, but she has resolved to never marry. Even if she were to entertain the idea, it surely couldn’t be with an outsider like Zane. Never one prone to the restraints of organized religion, Zane finds a comfort in the rituals and blessings in the day to day righteous living of this small Amish community. He finds himself, God, and love with Katie Rose. But as Zane draws closer to Katie Rose, Samuel comes back to repent his ways and return to his place at her side. Can Zane convince Katie Rose that he is committed to adapting to her way of life, or will Samuel win her affections back for himself once again

You can also click HERE to read reviews and more on ChristianBook.com HERE to visit the book page on GoodReads And HERE to visit Amy Lillard‘s website.

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from B & H Publishing

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

“Saving Gideon” by Amy Lillard | Clover Ridge Book 1

Saving GideonI stumbled upon Miss Lillard’s work entirely by accident but boy am I glad I did!

She is a true artist – painting a vivid picture with her words, that gives you the feeling that you could just step right in.

It’s a wonderful read.

I feel it is only fair to warn you that your time may be in danger with this book. Once you pick it up, you will not want to put it down.

The story flows so flawlessly, it rushes by your eyes and you will completely lose track of how long you’ve been reading.

The idea of converting to the Amish faith has become something of a phenomenon among readers and writers alike. And it has become increasingly difficult to present a new take on the idea or a story that doesn’t sound like a mirror image of every other one already out there.

But Amy Lillard has succeeded there. Her story is definitely original. Her characters are individual and her voice is intriguing.

She has an exceptional talent for writing a view of the Amish community through the eyes of a pampered Englisher and writing the view of that same Englisher through the eyes of a somewhat surly Amish man.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story about life, loss and love.

Whether you enjoy Amish fiction or just Christian fiction, this story will appeal because there is enough of both worlds within the pages.

I can’t wait to move on to the next book in the series and I hope we have many more series from Amy Lillard to look forward to.

5star

Click HERE for reviews and extras from B&H Publishing Group.

And here is a short blurb about the book from B&H Publishing Group:

Gideon Fisher wants one thing out of life — to be left alone. This is not the Amish way, but he’s devastated after the death of his wife and son to the point of losing his faith. He buys a farm on the outskirts of the district and pulls away from his community. But when a freak spring snowstorm brings a beautiful Englisher to his farm, what choice does Gideon have but to let her in?

Dallas socialite Avery Ann Hamilton is intrigued by the Amish farmer who pulls her out of the snow and into his austere lifestyle. Poor little rich girl, Avery has just gone through (yet another) bad breakup. Every man she meets only wants her for her father’s money. All she has ever wanted is to be loved for herself. Avery soon discovers the Oklahoma Amish country is the perfect place to hide out and heal her broken heart.

But she finds a peace in those back roads that she’s never felt before. Now her life has purpose and meaning as she connects with God and those around her. And there’s something more as she begins to care for this man who needs both love and forgiveness.

Gideon never wanted to live again much less fall in love, but Avery finds her way into his heart, showing him the beauty of life and God’s greatness. Yet as the feelings between Avery and Gideon grow, can they overcome their dissimilar lifestyles, or will their sheer differences pull them apart?

You can also click HERE to read reviews and more on ChristianBook.com

HERE to visit the book page on GoodReads

And HERE to visit Amy Lillard‘s website.

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from B & H Publishing

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

“A Simple Hope” by Rosalind Lauer | Book 2 in the Lancaster series

A Simple HopeI didn’t think I was ever going to find a copy of this one.

The local library hasn’t bought a copy yet and I was itching to read it.

Fortunately, Random House is supportive of Book Bloggers/Reviewers…

Rosalind Lauer has a very special talent. It takes a very strong talent to be able to find more and more stories to tell about one particular community – especially without the feeling that the same material is being recycled.

Rosalind Lauer has managed to write 5 books, 1 eBook and another book to come about the community in Halfway. And not one of those stories have been even remotely the same.

However, there have been some marvelous crossovers. Rosalind has invited us into a true community.

And we get to know a little bit more of it with every book. I know I’m looking forward to A Simple Charity – book 3 in this current series, and I hope there will be many more to come after it!

Rosalind dealt with one theme in her first series – Faith. And it seems the theme for this series is Healing. In A Simple Faith, we see that healing is not just about the body. That theme continues in this book – A Simple Hope, beautifully. James was only a part of the story in A Simple Faith but A Simple Hope is clearly his story – His and Rachel’s.

We continue to see our favorite characters from other books and we meet new ones as well but this story is definitely about James and his family and Rachel and the talent God blessed her with.

It’s truly amazing that Rosalind can keep writing about such serious issues without falling into a soap opera-feel. But there is never any feeling of being embroiled in the kind of drama you would find in one of those. What we see here is real-life drama, plain and simple – with a wonderful twist of being found in the plain and simple Amish community.

It’s difficult to believe that Rosalind Lauer is not Amish herself.

She certainly writes with an accuracy that makes you feel as if she is, or as if she grew up Amish. It’s an incredible thing. You would never know these weren’t written by someone who is very much embedded in that faith.

And yet, they’re also written with such flair. It doesn’t take more than a few paragraphs to be completely draw in to the story.

I look forward to reading many more of Rosalind Lauer’s books. I’m already itching to get my hands on  A Simple Charitywhich is scheduled to be released in October of this year.

In the meantime, you can find more about this book HERE on the book page at Random House

And here is a little sneak peek from Random House

HOPE SHINES THROUGH
LIGHTING A PATH IN THE DARKNESS

Ever since the accident that confined him to a wheelchair, James Lapp has fought relentlessly to regain his strength. He knows he must be whole and healthy to run his family’s orchard and provide for Rachel King, the young woman he plans to marry. But when he defies his father’s wishes and seeks treatment outside their close-knit Amish community, James discovers just how long and treacherous the road to recovery will be. Unwilling to saddle a wife with his troubles, James decides he must part with the woman he loves.

Rachel won’t give up her dream of being a devoted wife to James, and it breaks her heart to watch him shut her out. Then their lives change forever when a runaway Englisher girl hides in the Lapp orchard. Rachel and James feel they must risk the disapproval of their friends and neighbors to help her. Will the young stranger bring them closer—or will the consequences of a shared secret tear them apart once and for all?

Revealing the wonder of plain, everyday blessings, A Simple Hope burns bright with the power of love to heal even the deepest wounds.

You can also click HERE to read more reviews on ChristianBook.com and HERE for GoodReads

Click HERE to visit Rosalind Lauer’s Facebook Page.

And I bet you’re still wondering how I ever got my hands on a copy of the book. Well…

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from Random House! YAY!

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“A Simple Faith” by Rosalind Lauer | Lancaster Crossroads Book 1

A Simple FaithThe first time I spotted A Simple Faith was on the bookshelf at Wal-Mart. I should have picked it up then but I couldn’t really afford to spend the $$ so I waited.

Thankfully I found a copy on sale later and I am so glad I did.

I’ve discovered a wonderful new author in Rosalind Lauer and I have four books, so far, of hers – two from her previous series and two from this one.

I’ve had to check a couple out at the library but I’m watching for sales at the local Christian Book Stores and Wal-Mart, of course.

And I will be reviewing the second book in this series soon, thanks entirely to Ballantine/Random House!

Rosalind Lauer is an exceptional author. Even having read her first series, I was not prepared for how great this book would be.

It’s a great read!

I will say that I’m a bit confused about who exactly is on the cover of the book – typically the cover of the book features the main character but none of the “main” characters of the story fit the picture we see.

Whoever is or is not depicted on the cover, the story inside is exceedingly well-written. Right away, Rosalind Lauer pulls us into this wonderfully simple world. We feel like we are right there with Elsie as she runs the store and Haley as she helps her patients.

And it’s always exciting to see crossovers. We get to see some of the characters from Rosalind’s first series make appearances in this one. It’s wonderful to meet so many new characters and see how they interact with the ones we already know and love. It’s just one more facet of Rosalind’s talent.

She takes a fresh story and winds it into the community we already feel as though we are a part of.

5star

You can find more about this book HERE on the book page at Random House/Ballantine.

And here is a little sneak peek from Random House

BLESSINGS BORN OF TRAGEDY
A LOVE TO HEAL ALL FEARS

Rushing to the scene of a tragic highway collision, nursing student Haley Donovan draws on her training to care for the passengers in the crumpled van. The experience wins her a place in Lancaster County’s tight-knit Amish society, and draws her to kindhearted psychologist Dylan Monroe. Working side by side with Dylan, who is bringing counseling services to the small town of Halfway, Haley feels an undeniable attraction between them, yet she senses that Dylan is holding back, scarred by the wounds of his past.

Elsie Lapp, the manager of Halfway’s country store, is a voice of cheer and goodwill for her customers. But Elsie’s serene world spins out of control with the terrible crash, and the young woman finds herself grappling for the simple faith that has always sustained her. Her burden is eased by Ruben Zook, a neighbor known for his snide jokes. In the aftermath of the accident, Ruben reveals a tender heart that could easily sweep her away. However, Elsie carries secrets that keep her from surrendering her heart.

Exploring the ways that faith, hope, and charity bring everyone together, A Simple Faith resonates with the sweetness, purity, and power of love.

You can also click HERE to read more reviews on ChristianBook.com and HERE for GoodReads

Click HERE to visit Rosalind Lauer’s Facebook Page.

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.

…Yes! And I am very happy about it!

Yesterday I reviewed a book that I really didn’t enjoy. Actually I’ve read more than a few books lately that I have not really enjoyed.

WHY?

That is the question.

Five years ago, I read the Twilight series. Yes, I did. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I wish now that I could find a way to get some of the books I’ve read in the past out of my head but I chose to put them in there so I will just have to live with it all.

I used to be a huge fan of Nora Roberts and the covers of her books bother me so much now, I won’t even pick them up.

However, God has worked so much in my heart that I can’t even stand the thought of reading those books anymore. I am not the woman I was five years ago. I’m not even the woman I was two years ago. I am a whole new creation in GOD and… HE IS STILL WORKING ON ME!

He has put a love of ALL THINGS GOOD, WHOLESOME AND TRUE into my heart! He has filled it with compassion and forgiveness and LOVE! He has forgiven me and uplifted me and held me up through all of life’s storms!

And this is why I enjoy Amish fiction so much. Because it’s ALL ABOUT HIM!

THANK YOU MOM!

I shudder to think of what I would be reading right now if it were not for you.

YES, there are a few Amish fiction books that discuss harsh realities. YES, there are disturbing things like drugs or inappropriate relationships sometimes in Amish fiction books but in Amish fiction (OK OK… MOST Amish fiction), these things are not swept under the rug. They are not dismissed with excuses or explained away with nonsense about it not being someone’s fault or worse… blamed on someone else entirely. They are presented for exactly what they are – S I N!

This is what is missing from MOST “Christian” fiction. They spend two-thirds of the book talking about sex and drugs and blaming everybody else for their problems and then in the last two or three chapters, the person “gets religion” and it’s all OK.

I’m not trying to pass judgment. And if you’re going to pick a book like this over something like the twilight series or one of these new Amish horror novels or some crazy science fiction that talks about evolution like it’s real, then by all means – pick the “Christian” fiction. It’s better than what the world is handing out.

I’m simply saying – it’s not for me.

And I am so thankful to GOD for it! GOD and Mom. And I’m thankful to GOD for Mom! She is my light in a very dark and disturbing world. She is my rock in the quicksand of lies that so many people toss around freely. She is my life-raft in the turbulent seas of life. She is such a tremendous blessing to me and I don’t know what I would do without her!

And a big shout out to all of the GREAT writers of Amish fiction out there! You know who you are – the ones who are writing to uplift the world and not just to see those $$$!

GOD BLESS YOU and THANK GOD for you too!

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

“A Broken Kind of Beautiful” by Katie Ganshert

A Broken Kind of BeautifulThis book really lives up to it’s name. Ivy Clark is broken and her beauty has become entirely superficial.

Katie Ganshert writes this story as if she lived it – better really because there is a stunning amount of insight that most people can not see in their own lives.

FAIR WARNING! There is a lot of reference in this book to alcohol, drugs and even sex but nothing really descriptive (too descriptive for me but most people wouldn’t bat an eyelash).

I suppose some people think it’s a necessity to see just how far a person can fall before God finds a way to bring them back up. That’s not giving anything away – you knew it had to happen.

Personally I don’t understand why this particular novel is classified as Christian fiction. It’s nice and all that Davis spends most of the book talking about trying to show Ivy about God’s love but there’s nothing Christian about Ivy until the last two chapters.

Oh well. Katie Ganshert‘s writing really pulls you into the story and even though you want to just smack Ivy through most of it (I did anyway) you can really feel her pain as she goes down this dark and disturbing road she is on.

2 Stars

Here is an overview of the book from WaterBrook Multnomah:

Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong
 
Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark. Ten years in and she’s learned a sacred truth—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line—an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white.

If only her tenuous future didn’t rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Somehow, Davis sees through the façade she works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth. Is it possible that God sees her—a woman stained and broken by the world—yet wants her still?

Below you will find some fantastic links from Blogging for Books!

You can also click HERE to check out the book page on ChristianBook.com and HERE for GoodReads

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from the Blogging for Books reviewer program by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Check out my other reviews for them HERE.

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

“Miriam’s Quilt” by Jennifer Beckstrand | Forever After in Apple Lake book # 3

Miriam's Quilt by Jennifer Beckstrand

I don’t know if there was a hidden message in the first two books of this series that I somehow missed or not but there was definitely a message in this one: Don’t judge a person without knowing their full circumstances.

Miriam’s Quilt shows us that a person is like a book in that way – they can’t truly be judged just by a look, by one meeting or one incident or one conversation.

I will say this too though, Jennifer Beckstrand seems to enjoy throwing in at least one character that we love to hate.

In the beginning of this book, I had two different candidates and then she threw in a third.

However, it soon became apparent that the first two candidates were much more a victim than a tormentor.

I would LOVE to say this does not ring true but I am very much afraid it does. There are people like this in EVERY community – Amish and English alike.

Even the characters that we loathe are written exceptionally well. The story draws us in immediately and Jennifer keeps you glued to the pages til the very end. I have flown through all three books, and that is saying something because I am a very fast reader to begin with.

Each one is a GREAT read and I highly recommend the entire series to everyone!

Now onto Jennifer’s Huckleberry Hill series!

5star

A bit more about the book from Summerside Press:

Miriam Bontrager has loved Ephraim for as long as she can remember. But when scandal rocks Miriam’s family, Ephraim decides that she is not worthy of him. Heartbroken, Miriam vows to never again trust anyone with her affections. But will she surrender her heart when a man of simple faith and gentle ways shows her how to love again?

Seth Lambright has always found Miriam pretty, but she’s also too stuck-up to pay him any notice. That is, until she comes to his stable after Ephraim’s devastating rejection. Spending time with Seth’s horses gives Miriam comfort and helps her mend, but her presence nudges Seth dangerously close to falling in love. Unable to ignore the way Miriam tugs at his heart, will he risk everything to show her that there is more to love than the pain of bitter memories?

Click HERE for more info and extras from Summerside Press

HERE for reviews and info on ChristianBook.com HERE for GoodReads

And click HERE to visit Jennifer’s website

“Rebecca’s Rose” by Jennifer Beckstrand | Forever After in Apple Lake book # 2

Rebecca's Rose by Jennifer BeckstrandRight away you can see what a talented and versatile writer Jennifer Beckstrand is.

Kate’s Song dealt with some pretty serious issues and so does Rebecca’s Rose. But the differences between the two situations is like looking at night and day.

These are no cookie cutter stories.

And full marks to Miss Beckstrand for originality and intrigue.

Originality because, unlike so many other books – I’ve not read anything else that sounds just like this one.

Intrigue because Jennifer Beckstrand is the kind of writer that dribbles information out a tidbit at a time. It keeps you guessing but it also keeps you reading and it makes for a very interesting journey.

Fair warning: there is mention of a graphic(in my own humble opinion anyway) movie early in the novel and the book deals with some pretty serious situations but, unlike other writers who leave you feeling as if you’ve read a soap opera, Jennifer Beckstrand simply leaves you feeling as if you’ve read about something that actually happened.

She shows us real life as it collides with the Amish community and she does it well!

God has blessed her with an amazing talent and, while I’m not certain some of the material will appeal to everyone, it certainly does leave you with the feeling that you’ve been reading fact and not fiction. And in my book, that’s quite an accomplishment.

Now on to book 3…

5star

A bit more about the books from SummerSide Press:

Rebecca Miller’s mother is confined to bed, so the nineteen-year-old must run the household, manage the family farm, and care for her younger siblings. Although she feels trapped at times, she is determined to fulfill a promise she made to her best friend before the girl died. Then Rebecca meets a boy with uncommon good looks and a mischievous glint in his eye who just might help her keep her vow.

Levi Cooper was born in Apple Lake and schooled in the Amish way of life until he was seven years old. After his father died in an accident, Levi’s mother married an Englischer and was consequently shunned by her Amish relatives. Forced to leave the Plain community, Levi grows up as an Englischer, scarcely thinking about the life he used to live. Haunted by painful memories and on the path to self-destruction, Levi meets an Amish girl who is looking for adventure.

Rebecca’s growing attachment to Levi could lead to the loss of everything she holds dear. Will the secret he keeps separate them forever?

Click HERE for more info and extras from SummerSide Press

HERE for ChristianBook.com HERE for GoodReads

And click HERE to visit Jennifer’s website.

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

“Kate’s Song” by Jennifer Beckstrand | Forever in Apple Lake #1

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It’s a difficult thing sometimes to be a mom who enjoys reading more than almost anything else.

Almost…

I enjoy my children above all other things on this earth.

And it has been many years since I stayed up into the wee hours because I just could not put a book down.

When you’re a mom who puts your kids ahead of everything else, there are plenty of times you don’t want to put a book down. There are many times you’re annoyed at having to put the book down and there are times you stay up late – even when you know you’re going to regret it.

But it has truly been years since I read a book I could not put down. I sat there, mesmerized, turning pages and agonizing over what was going to happen next.

Jennifer Beckstrand’s story held me in its grip with an astonishing strength.
It’s nearly impossible to believe this is her first published novel. She has a talent that equals authors with years of experience and success.

Her characters are perfectly shaped and, at the same time, expertly flawed. Her story flows seamlessly from scene to scene. Her plot is meticulously crafted and woven neatly around each aspect of the story.

She has created a uniquely wonderful adventure and I feel blessed to have been invited along for the ride.

5star

For more info and extras, click HERE to visit Summerside Press

And here is a brief synopsis about the book too:

Kate Weaver was raised in an Amish home and has always been expected to choose baptism and strict observance of the Ordnung. But Kate is blessed with a beautiful singing voice, and when another path leads her to the academy for vocal training, she struggles to understand God’s will for her life. She returns to Apple Lake, haunted by a violent encounter with a fellow student, and finds herself drawn to the peace and devotion of her Amish home. But can she give up her dreams? Or will her calling forever separate her from the people and the way of life she holds so dear? Nathaniel King has never wavered in his commitment to the community and the Old Order Amish Church into which he is baptized. He has been in love with Kate for as long as he can remember, and he is devastated when she leaves Apple Lake to attend the academy. When Kate returns, will she make his most profound hopes a reality–or will she break his heart all over again?

There are also more reviews HERE at ChristianBook.com HERE to visit the book page on GoodReads

And click HERE to visit Jennifer’s website.

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

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.