It’s RELEASE DAY! | A Look Back at “An Amish Cradle” by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller and Vannetta Chapman

YES, I am posting my review again because this book is JUST THAT Awesome!

Plus I originally posted it two weeks ago and release day is TODAY!

An Amish Cradle is another wonderful collection of fabulous stories by four amazing authors!

 

I LOVE THESE BOOKS SO MUCH!

I have every single one – yes, you read that right – every single one of the anthologies in this series of books.

 

It started as a bit of a fluke. I picked up the An Amish Christmas at our local used book store one year. And then I signed up to review one with BookLook bloggers and the rest, as they say, is history. As I am a notorious book collector, I had to have them ALL!

I enjoy SO MUCH these extra stories put together by several authors whom I just LOVE! And I especially LOVE IT when one of them is kind of a BONUS story!

As far as I can tell (I haven’t read everything Kathleen Fuller or Beth Wiseman has written), Amy Clipston’s is the only story in this collection that fits that description but that’s enough for me!

I have not rewritten the review below but I have added little thing in here and there.

 – In His Father’s Arms by Beth Wiseman – 

Down Syndrome has got to be one of the toughest subjects to write about and I applaud Beth Wiseman for, not only doing it, but doing it well! It’s always difficult to understand God’s will in these situations and I love how Beth shows us that – Amish or not – these parents have to deal with the situation as a mother and father.

Bravo Beth for showing that it’s not easy for the Amish just because of their faith.

 – A Son for Always by Amy Clipston – 

OK… I admit it. This is my favorite story in the book! And that’s really saying something because they’re all so fantastic! Carolyn and her husband Joshua are two of my favorite characters from Amy’s Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series.

I don’t know how Amy did her research for a single mom but she certainly nails it right on the head! And anyone who says that Amy went overboard with Carolyn’s emotions in this novella can not have ever been a single mother.

This story is PERFECT! Bravo Amy!

And THANK YOU for giving us this extra little bonus in what is a fantastic series!

 – A Heart Full of Love by Kathleen Fuller – 

WOW! Again – I can not imagine how Kathleen did the research for this! And to write about it so convincingly…

I refuse to ruin any of this story for you. It’s just too good to miss!

This is one of those stories that also shows how the plain folk deal with tough situations things in much the same way as we all do. Although it does come in handy that most Amish have a very strong faith!

 – An Unexpected Blessing by Vannetta Chapman – 

I LOVE that stories with older main characters are becoming more popular! I think, far too often, people forget that interesting things still happen to those of us over the age of 30.

Vannetta does such an exceptional job of writing this story!

Instead of the anxiety over not being a good mother or not knowing what she’s doing – Etta has worries of a much more seasoned wife – and yet – Vannetta does not minimalize the issues a young mother would deal with, she simply shows an aspect of life that not many other authors think to.

I hope to see many more stories like this! BRAVO Vannetta! GREAT writing!

 

BRAVO to all four authors! I can hardly wait for the next one!

If you hop over to Facebook KATHLEEN FULLER is running a giveaway.
AMY CLIPSTON is advertising her next book signing – DON’T miss that!
VANNETTA CHAPMAN has posted a great video that ties in with one of her upcoming stories.
And BETH WISEMAN has some great discussions about her travels, how to find God in our writing and the ever-popular Amish Mud Sales that will be going on soon!

Also…

VANNETTA CHAPMAN is hosting several giveaways on her website so don’t miss those!
AMY CLIPSTON is running a contest to win two of her other titles so don’t miss that!

And a member of Any’s street team is hosting a Giveaway too – ZAC WEIKAL!

 

DON’T MISS An Amish Cradle by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller and Vannetta Chapman!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Once again, Beth Wiseman brings us a wonderful story of love and real life!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Amy Clipston has gifted us with a wonderful BONUS story about two favorite characters!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Kathleen Fuller certainly doesn’t shy away from serious subjects!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Vannetta Chapman is a masterful storyteller – no matter the plot!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Review © JCMorrows 2015

 

More from Thomas Nelson about An Amish Cradle:

In His Father’s Arms by Beth Wiseman

Ruth Anne Zook is excited that she and her best friend are due with their children the same week. But when Ruth Anne’s baby is born with Down Syndrome, she and her husband struggle to understand God’s plan.

A Son for Always by Amy Clipston

Carolyn and her husband Joshua are thrilled to be pregnant with their first child. A teenager when she had her son Benjamin, Carolyn still feels obligated to work to secure Ben’s future, even though Josh adopted Ben. She struggles to realize that Josh will love and protect both of their children equally.

A Heart Full of Love by Kathleen Fuller

Ellie’s mother loves to meddle in her personal life—especially now that Ellie’s pregnant. Since Ellie is blind, her mother worries that she won’t be able to handle the baby. When Ellie gives birth to twins, her mother insists on moving in. Just as everyone reaches the breaking point, a miracle draws them closer to each other and to God.

An Unexpected Blessing by Vannetta Chapman

At 42, Etta thought her time of having children was over, but she’s pregnant again. She goes into labor during a blizzard, and complications with the delivery raise fear. Etta struggles to accept Gotte’s wille for the baby and her son, David, who moved away two years earlier in search of what he would do with his life.

 

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

GOODREADS   THOMAS NELSON   WAL-MART

BETH’S WEBSITE   AMY’S WEBSITE   KATHLEEN’S WEBSITE   VANNETTA’S WEBSITE

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

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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An Early Look at “An Amish Cradle” by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller and Vannetta Chapman

Another wonderful collection of fabulous stories by amazing authors!

 

I LOVE THESE BOOKS!

I enjoy SO MUCH these extra stories put together by several authors whom I just LOVE!

And I especially LOVE IT when one of them is kind of a BONUS story!

As far as I can tell (I haven’t read everything Kathleen Fuller or Beth Wiseman has written…), Amy Clipston’s is the only story in this collection that fits that description but that’s enough for me!

To be fair – I’m going to go in order.

In His Father’s Arms by Beth Wiseman

Down Syndrome has got to be one of the toughest subjects to write about and I applaud Beth Wiseman for, not only doing it, but doing it well!

It’s always difficult to understand God’s will in these situations and I love how Beth shows us that – Amish or not – these parents have to deal with the situation as a mother and father.

Bravo Beth for showing that it’s not easy for the Amish just because of their faith.

A Son for Always by Amy Clipston

OK… I admit it. This is my favorite story in the book! And that’s really saying something because they’re all so fantastic!

Carolyn and her husband Joshua are two of my favorite characters from Amy’s Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series.

I don’t know how Amy did her research for a single mom but she certainly nails it right on the head! And anyone who says that Amy went overboard with Carolyn’s emotions in this novella can not have ever been a single mother.

This story is PERFECT! Bravo Amy!

And THANK YOU for giving us this extra little bonus in what is a fantastic series!

A Heart Full of Love by Kathleen Fuller

WOW! Again – I can not imagine how Kathleen did the research for this! And to write about it so convincingly…

I refuse to ruin any of this story for you. It’s just too good to miss!

This is one of those stories that also shows how the plain folk deal with tough situations things in much the same way as we all do.

Although it does come in handy that most Amish have a very strong faith!

An Unexpected Blessing by Vannetta Chapman

I LOVE that stories with older main characters are becoming more popular! I think, far too often, people forget that interesting things still happen to those of us over the age of 30.

Vannetta does such an exceptional job of writing this story!

Instead of the anxiety over not being a good mother or not knowing what she’s doing – Etta has worries of a much more seasoned wife – and yet – Vannetta does not minimalize the issues a young mother would deal with, she simply shows an aspect of life that not many other authors think to.

I hope to see many more stories like this!

BRAVO Vannetta! GREAT writing!

 

BRAVO to all four authors! I can hardly wait for the next one!

DON’T MISS An Amish Cradle by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller and Vannetta Chapman!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Once again, Beth Wiseman brings us a wonderful story of love and real life!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Amy Clipston has gifted us with a wonderful BONUS story about two favorite characters!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Kathleen Fuller certainly doesn’t shy away from serious subjects!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Vannetta Chapman is a masterful storyteller – no matter the plot!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

© JCMorrows 2015

 

More from Thomas Nelson about An Amish Cradle:

In His Father’s Arms by Beth Wiseman

Ruth Anne Zook is excited that she and her best friend are due with their children the same week. But when Ruth Anne’s baby is born with Down Syndrome, she and her husband struggle to understand God’s plan.

A Son for Always by Amy Clipston

Carolyn and her husband Joshua are thrilled to be pregnant with their first child. A teenager when she had her son Benjamin, Carolyn still feels obligated to work to secure Ben’s future, even though Josh adopted Ben. She struggles to realize that Josh will love and protect both of their children equally.

A Heart Full of Love by Kathleen Fuller

Ellie’s mother loves to meddle in her personal life—especially now that Ellie’s pregnant. Since Ellie is blind, her mother worries that she won’t be able to handle the baby. When Ellie gives birth to twins, her mother insists on moving in. Just as everyone reaches the breaking point, a miracle draws them closer to each other and to God.

An Unexpected Blessing by Vannetta Chapman

At 42, Etta thought her time of having children was over, but she’s pregnant again. She goes into labor during a blizzard, and complications with the delivery raise fear. Etta struggles to accept Gotte’s wille for the baby and her son, David, who moved away two years earlier in search of what he would do with his life.

 

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

GOODREADS   THOMAS NELSON   WAL-MART

BETH’S WEBSITE   AMY’S WEBSITE   KATHLEEN’S WEBSITE   VANNETTA’S WEBSITE

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

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.

My top ten Authors – well… kinda

All over the net, readers/bloggers are listing their favorite authors of 2014 and I decided to jump on the bandwagon.

Of course I couldn’t narrow down my list to just ten authors. Actually I couldn’t even narrow my list to 20. I had to do it by genre – and I couldn’t get my favorites list in the Amish genre smaller than twelve… well, the others either. There are just too many AWESOME authors out there! Can you really blame me?

Can you narrow your favorite author list down to just ten?Tweet this!

 

So… here’s my personal list of the TOP TEN 12 FAVORITE AMISH FICTION AUTHORS:

Jennifer Beckstrand   Suzanne Woods Fisher   Vannetta Chapman   Cindy Woodsmall   Amy Clipston   Ruth Reid   Rosalind Lauer   Marta Perry   Shelley Shepard Gray   Beverly Lewis   Serena Miller   Lynette Sowell

 

Who are your favorite Amish Fiction authors?Tweet this!

 

I did actually manage to get the list down to ten – No I didn’t. I can’t do it. Even 12 isn’t enough for HISTORICAL FICTION.

Melanie Dickerson   Jamie Carie

Sarah Sundin   Rachel Muller   Sarah Loudin Thomas   Tricia Goyer   Cara Putman

Tracie Peterson   Mary Ellis   Mary Conneally   Janette Oke   Judith Miller

 

Are your favorite Historical fiction authors – inspirational or mainstream?Tweet this!

 

The INSPIRATIONAL FICTION AUTHOR list was a bit easier since I don’t read a lot of inspirational that isn’t Amish or Historical but only a bit because there are still so many:

Philip Gulley

Rachel Hauck   Betsy St. Amant   Robin Jones Gunn   Judy Baer

Vannetta Chapman   Barbara Cameron

Dan Walsh   Melody Carlson   Max Lucado

Nadine Brandes   CJ Darlington

 

Who started you out with Christian /Inspirational fiction?Tweet this!

 

Judy Baer started me out reading Christian fiction – who was your first?Tweet this!

 

Yesh… see how I snuck a few of my favorites into other genres – those of you who read as much as I do, know there are several authors who write in multiple genres. A couple of them landed in multiple categories because I just couldn’t help myself but it came in handy to be able to sneak in a few who I REALLY wanted to put in the Amish fiction list but just couldn’t do it.

 

If your favorite author switched genres, would you follow?Tweet this!

 

How many genres does your favorite author write in?Tweet this!

 

WHEW!

What am I gonna do next year…

 

Well, I guess I’ll have the top 20 in each genre.

 

© JC Morrows 2015

Who has won a copy of Hidden by Vannetta Chapman?

image

 

Nadine Brandes

CONGRATULATIONS Nadine!

And thank you for helping me to support a fellow author!

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I have!

I will be contacting you shortly to tell you how to claim your prizes!

And it’s not required but I know Vannetta would really appreciate a review after you finish her book.

 

THANK YOU!

GOD BLESS!

 

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

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

(CLOSED) Who wants to WIN a copy of HIDDEN by Vannetta Chapman?

The contest is now closed.

THANK YOU to everyone who entered.

 

Giveaway Disclaimer:

  • Giveaway ended on 10/19
  • Contest is only open to residents of the U.S.
  • Only one bonus entry per person per day (Only one entry by comment alone per person allowed for the duration of the contest)
  • One winner was chosen by random selection on 10/19
  • Winner was announced on or before 10/20 and notified by e-mail
  • By entering, you are agreeing to all Terms and Conditions

Happy Reading… and entering!

I reviewed Hidden yesterday but here’s a bit more about Hidden anyway:

HIDDEN by Vannetta Chapman
Home is where our story begins …

DANA JACOBS would rather forget the night of tragedy and violence that marred her childhood. She is now supervisor in charge of the Department of Homeland Security in Taos, New Mexico. Her team is prepared to handle any threat—biological, chemical, conventional, cyber, even nuclear. BENJAMIN MARSHALL is newly assigned to Dana’s office. Straight from a six year military deployment, he is not what Dana wants or needs.

Ben knows God has a reason for putting him in this place at this time—to help Dana. When a local school is threatened, they open a case which leads them on a chase through the Enchanted Circle and Carson National Forest, pursuing a man filled with a bitterness Dana can understand. But her anger is different. It’s justified, it remains hidden inside, and it hurts no one.

Can Dana face her own mortality? And when she does, can she truly understand what it means to forgive and to be forgiven?

 

THANK YOU!

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.

A NEW novel in a NEW genre by Vannetta Chapman! Don’t miss it!

HIDDEN by Vannetta Chapman

 

Hidden is a prime example of why Vannetta Chapman is such a fantastic author!

It doesn’t matter what she writes…

She is talented!

It won’t take more than a sentence to have you hooked. It won’t take more than a page before you’re pulled into the lives of these characters and then you simply can not put the book down.

I want so badly to tell you all about it but I can’t spoil it for you! It’s just too good!

This book is headed for the bestseller list!

And I can’t wait for book 2 now!

This is not the book you expect from Vannetta Chapman, but it is a masterful story and a true blessing!

From the wonderful depth of story, you would think Vannetta spent twenty years working with Homeland security. She even uses the slang such an agency would use and it is so flawlessly inserted, you may not even notice it at first…

This is also one of those books that you know to expect a romance at some point; there are so many natural roadblocks. It is amazing to me that Vannetta is so skilled a writer to be able to move things around and set things up… and you never see it coming… and you never know what to expect!

And you don’t have to step outside your comfort zone a bit. Even if this is not the typical genre for you, it is worth every minute of your time!

Just all-around a GREAT book!

Don’t miss it!

 

5star

 

Here is a bit more about Hidden:

Home is where our story begins …

DANA JACOBS would rather forget the night of tragedy and violence that marred her childhood. She is now supervisor in charge of the Department of Homeland Security in Taos, New Mexico. Her team is prepared to handle any threat—biological, chemical, conventional, cyber, even nuclear. BENJAMIN MARSHALL is newly assigned to Dana’s office. Straight from a six year military deployment, he is not what Dana wants or needs.

Ben knows God has a reason for putting him in this place at this time—to help Dana. When a local school is threatened, they open a case which leads them on a chase through the Enchanted Circle and Carson National Forest, pursuing a man filled with a bitterness Dana can understand. But her anger is different. It’s justified, it remains hidden inside, and it hurts no one.

Can Dana face her own mortality? And when she does, can she truly understand what it means to forgive and to be forgiven?

“A lovely romance between a complicated woman and a big hearted man, tension that builds steadily to a fever pitch, and a story of faith rediscovered make Hidden an engaging read.” ~Kelly Irvin, bestselling author of the New Hope Amish series

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

GOODREADS   SMASHWORDS   VANNETTA’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

THANK YOU!

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.

Sneaky, deceptive and far too good! | “Murder Simply Brewed” by Vannetta Chapman

This has nothing whatsoever to do with how great the story is but I always LOVE a book with a map in the front! It makes the story so much more REAL!Murder Simply Brewed by Vannetta Chapman

 

WARNING: this book may cause lack of sleep!

I was up really late because I just could not put the book down until I finished it!

(And on a side note, let me say how refreshing it is to read a mystery novel with a character named Hannah that is actually well-written! Some of you may get lost with that comment but I know some people know who I mean…)

Murder Simply Brewed is the best mystery I’ve read to date! Vannetta Chapman did a fantasy job with it and I can hardly wait for the next one!

The characters are well-written and believable. The story line moves along beautifully. The clues are just enough to keep you intrigued without being too obvious.

It won’t take you long to start worrying about your favorite characters and being more than a little annoyed with the local police over their lack of interest in what is clearly fowl play – or at least in the minds of our heroes and the reader of course.

Another side note that really has nothing to do with the story itself – I LOVE that the cover of the book shows no faces. As much as I LOVE Amish fiction, I do not like that so many of them show the faces, especially the ones that are so prominent on the cover. The Amish do not like their pictures to be taken and I think having covers that show pictures of “Amish” gives people the wrong idea. A random person who picks it up doesn’t know it’s a paid model.

And the cover for book 2 is the same way! WAY TO GO Vannetta!

Murder Tightly Knit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(I think it’s cut off a bit but we don’t mind do we…)

I admit I am more than a little impatient for this next book! And I have to wait until December… GRR.

 Oh well… Until then, Here is a bit more about Murder Simply Brewed from Zondervan:

When the coffee shop manager is murdered in Middlebury’s Amish Artisan Village, two women from different walks of life must join together to solve the mystery. Spring has arrived in Middlebury, Indiana, and Amber Wright is optimistic about the growing profit from her collection of Amish shops—until she receives a call that Ethan Gray is dead. Hurrying over to A Simple Blend, she finds a solitary hole in the front window and the store manager lying next to the espresso machine, dead from an apparent heart attack. All the money is still in his register.

When Amber hires a young Amish woman, Hannah Troyer, to take over the shop’s duties, the two women become fast friends—as well as amateur sleuths. The police believe Gray’s death is a by-product of vandalism, but Amber and Hannah aren’t convinced.

Clues that don’t add up, a neighbor who is pulled into the midst of the investigation, a town with secrets to hide, and a blossoming romance—all will combine to push Amber and Hannah into unfamiliar roles in order to reveal answers to the mysteries around them

I won’t go into all the ways the words above are misleading because that would give too much away about the book but trust me when I say that the description is not exactly spot on with what’s actually happening in the story. But then again, when aren’t there inaccuracies in a back cover blurb?

It’s a little bit tricky of them. Reviewers who mention it will tell you it’s not entirely accurate and some of them might give away the things that are not quite right but it makes you want to read the book that much more – so you can discover the differences for yourself.

5star

Click HERE for the book page on Zondervan.com

HERE for ChristianBooks.com HERE for GoodReads

And HERE for Vannetta Chapman’s website!

HAPPY READING!

And

GOD BLESS!

 

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.

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.

Favorite Books of 2013!

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

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

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

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

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

5660435The Christmas Quilt” by Vannetta Chapman

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

9780061474460“Wanted” by Shelley Shepard Gray

9780061474477“Forgiven” by Shelley Shepard Gray

10301098“The Christmas Singing” by Cindy Woodsmall

6275220“The Sound of Sleigh Bells” by Cindy Woodsmall

17288591“The Dawn of Christmas” by Cindy Woodsmall

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

17787021“A Christmas Gift for Rose” by Tricia Goyer

A-Promise-for-Miriam-662x1024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Selection

“The Selection” by Kiera Cass Elite

“The Elite” by Kiera Cass Prince

“The Prince”

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

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

Until then, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

IMG_2301

25 Posts of Christmas Day 21: Christmas at Pebble Creek

Christmas-at-Pebble-Creek-eBook-194x300
This is a free eBook/ Novella that Vannetta Chapman offers to go along with her Pebble Creek Amish series! It’s definitely worth reading, free or not! So don’t miss it!

There is another freebie eBook/Novella that goes along with the series too: “Home to Pebble Creek” and you shouldn’t miss it either!

A short Synopsis about “Christmas at Pebble Creek” from Amazon:

Another wonderful story from The Pebble Creek Amish Series by Vannetta Chapman. Fans of the series will enjoy this chance to briefly revisit Pebble Creek, and new readers will be introduced to an Amish community that is more deeply explored in the three full novels, A Promise for Miriam, A Home for Lydia, and A Wedding for Julia.

As a bonus, this free eBook also includes Amish homestyle recipes for chicken and dumplings, green beans, and fresh bread.

Heavy snow blankets the southwestern Wisconsin Amish community as nineteen-year-old Grace Miller closes the schoolhouse for Christmas break. She’s looking forward to having extra time to help the family prepare for the holiday, and she is hoping to get a few more drawings in of the beautiful, snowy Pebble Creek landscape.

Her courtship with Adam Lapp is going on six months, and Grace can’t wait to give him his present: a blue-and-brown buggy blanket she crocheted for him. Yes, this Christmas is going to be especially joyful. Yet, amid the cheer of snowshoe outings, church potlucks, and holiday festivities, Grace is given a bittersweet reminder of the Christmas story. Grief is present with celebration, and though the future is rarely certain, she is given a heartwarming glimpse that God knows our needs before we do and will provide.

One of the things I have noticed about these books is how easy it is to overlook any negatives. The wonder and joy of the stories easily outweigh any grief or heartbreak we see.

I realized when I looked back at the reviews I have written about the novels in this series that I glossed right over the grief that is as much a part of these novels as the joy. I didn’t do it on purpose. It’s just one of those things that a person does – it’s something I do anyway…

From the heartbreak that opens the first novel to the worry over loved ones that unfolds in each story to the losses we experience with and through the characters, these stories show us that the good in life is tempered with bad.

I think at least a part of the reason for this is that we must have some bad to truly appreciate any good. If there was never a reason to worry about our loved ones, could we really appreciate them the way we need to?

God, in his magnificence, knows this about us. He designed us this way and he has a reason. Sometimes his ways are hard to understand but they are the best way. It just isn’t always easy to see it in the beginning. Many times it is in retrospect that we see the beauty of God’s plans!

I think Vannetta’s novels show this beautifully. She doesn’t dangle a character in front of us, letting us become attached to them and then yank them away. She makes them beloved in a different way, a normal way and then either shows us their loss and grief or shows us others grieving for them.

They are truly beautiful!

To find this book on Amazon click HERE.
And you can get “Home to Pebble Creek” on Amazon by clicking HERE.

You can find more reviews and info by clicking HERE to go to the book page on GoodReads

And you can read more about Vannetta Chapman on her website HERE

4 Days til Christmas

Wishing you and your family a Peaceful and Joyful Christmas season this year!

MERRY
CHRISTMAS!

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

25 Posts of Christmas Day 18: Another wonderful story from Pebble Creek

9780736946162Once again I have received a book to review and it was the third book in a series.

And it too began a crazy search for the first two books.

I really like to read books in order. I can’t help it. I’m weird that way.

The first book was not difficult at all to find. It was the second book (again… it must just be me) that made itself hard to track down. But I finally found it!

And ironically, I read the eBook “Home to Pebble Creek” before I read any of the others in the series (It was FREE on Amazon. I couldn’t help myself!) but I’m going to have to go back and re-read it after having read these three books that started the series.

In a few days you’ll see my review of “Christmas in Pebble Creek” which is the second eBook Vannetta Chapman has released (Another FREEBIE) to go along with the series.

I’m sure it will be just as wonderful a story as the rest of them!

And I really hope we see more stories from Pebble Creek too!

Here are a few words from Harvest House Publishers about “A Wedding for Julia” before I share my thoughts.

A Wedding for Julia, the third book in a romantic series from popular author Vannetta Chapman, takes a last look at the Amish community of Pebble Creek and the kind, caring people there. As they face challenges from the English world, they come together to reach out to their non-Amish neighbors while still preserving their cherished Plain ways.

Julia Beechy is so stunned, she can hardly breathe. Her mother’s announcement that she must either marry or move from the family home upon her mother’s imminent death catches Julia by surprise. How can she leave the only home she has ever known? What about her dream of opening her own Plain café?

When Caleb Zook offers support, comfort, and a solution, Julia is afraid to accept it. Can she marry someone she barely knows? Is it the right thing to do? Is this God’s plan for her future?

Caleb thought his time for marrying was long past, but he feels a stirring in his heart he cannot shake for this beautiful, forlorn woman. Amid the circumstances of this life-altering decision, the people of Pebble Creek weather the worst storm to hit Wisconsin in the last hundred years. Where will Julia and Caleb be on the other side of it?

Another heartwarming story from Vannetta Chapman. She’s too good a writer to do anything but great! Once again we see the wonderful weaving in of characters from books 1 & 2 in the series – one more reason I just love series.

One thing I enjoy deeply about Vannetta’s books is how real everything and everyone is to the reader. You expect to look up and see them all around you, women knitting and children playing. You expect to hear the door open and men stomping the mud off their boots. She describes every little thing so easily and so well.

She also crafts a full-bodied story line. It really brings home that these people are just like us in so many ways. They may live under much stricter standards but their children run and shout. The ladies get together and chat while wrangling the kids. The men still gather and talk about the weather or the crops or changes in the area around them.

She makes them real for us.

How many times have we read stories about people in the English world dealing with the very same things?

…A parent pushing their child to get out into the world and get married.

…A person afraid to commit to a marriage with someone they don’t “feel that way” about.

…And I can’t even count the number of romances I’ve read where difficult situations – storms, robbery, cold of winter, the list goes on and on – have forced two people to examine their true feelings for each other.

These books are an excellent link to the Amish world, a peek into their lives and a window into their world. I find myself very glad there are two eBooks after this one. And I hope she doesn’t stop there. I hope to have more stories from Pebble Creek to read!

And here’s a bit of irony for you:
Most people would probably miss this but I’m just weird this way. On the cover of this book we see a young woman with jet black hair while the cover for the first book: “A Promise for Miriam” shows a young woman with brown hair. And yet it is Miriam who is described as having black hair. It’s mentioned several times in the first and second books. Not that it really means much – it’s just one of my little idiosyncrasies. It has no bearing whatsoever on the stories – they’re all just FANTASTIC! And I highly recommend the entire series to EVERYONE!

5star

If you would like to read more about this book click HERE to go to the page at Harvest House Publishers. You can also read a sample chapter on this page!

Or click HERE to read more reviews over at GoodReads

And you can read more about Vannetta Chapman on her website HERE

7daysWishing you and your family a Merry and Blessed Christmas this year!

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.

25 Posts of Christmas Day 18: Another wonderful story from Pebble Creek

9780736946162Once again I have received a book to review and it was the third book in a series. (I received this book free from Harvest House Publishers in exchange for an honest review)

And it too began a crazy search for the first two books.

I really like to read books in order. I can’t help it. I’m weird that way.

The first book was not difficult at all to find. It was the second book (again… it must just be me) that made itself hard to track down. But I finally found it!

And ironically, I read the eBook “Home to Pebble Creek” before I read any of the others in the series (It was FREE on Amazon. I couldn’t help myself!) but I’m going to have to go back and re-read it after having read these three books that started the series.

In a few days you’ll see my review of “Christmas in Pebble Creek” which is the second eBook Vannetta Chapman has released (Another FREEBIE) to go along with the series.

I’m sure it will be just as wonderful a story as the rest of them!

And I really hope we see more stories from Pebble Creek too!

Here are a few words from Harvest House Publishers about “A Wedding for Julia” before I share my thoughts.

A Wedding for Julia, the third book in a romantic series from popular author Vannetta Chapman, takes a last look at the Amish community of Pebble Creek and the kind, caring people there. As they face challenges from the English world, they come together to reach out to their non-Amish neighbors while still preserving their cherished Plain ways.

Julia Beechy is so stunned, she can hardly breathe. Her mother’s announcement that she must either marry or move from the family home upon her mother’s imminent death catches Julia by surprise. How can she leave the only home she has ever known? What about her dream of opening her own Plain café?

When Caleb Zook offers support, comfort, and a solution, Julia is afraid to accept it. Can she marry someone she barely knows? Is it the right thing to do? Is this God’s plan for her future?

Caleb thought his time for marrying was long past, but he feels a stirring in his heart he cannot shake for this beautiful, forlorn woman. Amid the circumstances of this life-altering decision, the people of Pebble Creek weather the worst storm to hit Wisconsin in the last hundred years. Where will Julia and Caleb be on the other side of it?

Another heartwarming story from Vannetta Chapman. She’s too good a writer to do anything but great! Once again we see the wonderful weaving in of characters from books 1 & 2 in the series – one more reason I just love series.

One thing I enjoy deeply about Vannetta’s books is how real everything and everyone is to the reader. You expect to look up and see them all around you, women knitting and children playing. You expect to hear the door open and men stomping the mud off their boots. She describes every little thing so easily and so well.

She also crafts a full-bodied story line. It really brings home that these people are just like us in so many ways. They may live under much stricter standards but their children run and shout. The ladies get together and chat while wrangling the kids. The men still gather and talk about the weather or the crops or changes in the area around them.

She makes them real for us.

How many times have we read stories about people in the English world dealing with the very same things?

…A parent pushing their child to get out into the world and get married.

…A person afraid to commit to a marriage with someone they don’t “feel that way” about.

…And I can’t even count the number of romances I’ve read where difficult situations – storms, robbery, cold of winter, the list goes on and on – have forced two people to examine their true feelings for each other.

These books are an excellent link to the Amish world, a peek into their lives and a window into their world. I find myself very glad there are two eBooks after this one. And I hope she doesn’t stop there. I hope to have more stories from Pebble Creek to read!

And here’s a bit of irony for you:
Most people would probably miss this but I’m just weird this way. On the cover of this book we see a young woman with jet black hair while the cover for the first book: “A Promise for Miriam” shows a young woman with brown hair. And yet it is Miriam who is described as having black hair. It’s mentioned several times in the first and second books. Not that it really means much – it’s just one of my little idiosyncrasies. It has no bearing whatsoever on the stories – they’re all just FANTASTIC! And I highly recommend the entire series to EVERYONE!

5star

If you would like to read more about this book click HERE to go to the page at Harvest House Publishers. You can also read a sample chapter on this page!

Or click HERE to read more reviews over at GoodReads

And you can read more about Vannetta Chapman on her website HERE

7daysWishing you and your family a Merry and Blessed Christmas this year!

GOD BLESS YOU!

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Posts of Christmas Day 12: A New Beginning in Pebble Creek

Book 2 in The Pebble Creek series is just as wonderful as the first.

Home-for-Lydia-A-662x1024In “A Home for Lydia” we get to know the people who live in the other side of the Pebble Creek community.

This side of the community is a little more liberal, a little more accepting of technology but clearly just as Amish. And ironically, there are a few ways they seem a bit more Amish.

We were introduced to this community in the first book: as Miriam’s brother lives there. So it’s not completely new to us.

We get to see a lot of the same characters. However, the main characters are mostly new.

I don’t know about you but I really enjoy continuing series. They’re my favorite kind of books. I love reading how the characters are doing in latter books and watching how they interact with new characters and difficulties. It’s why I love reading so much. Too many movies that do a continuing series ruin the whole thing in the second movie. Books aren’t that way (most of the time…I’m sure there is a series or two out there that is).

Anyway, before I get going…

A few words from Harvest House about the book:

A Home for Lydia, the second book in a new romantic series from popular author Vannetta Chapman, centers again on the Plain community of Pebble Creek and the kind, caring people there. As they face challenges to their community from the English world, they come together to reach out to their non-Amish neighbors while still preserving their cherished Plain ways.

Aaron Troyer simply wants to farm like his father and grandfather before him. But instead he finds himself overseeing the family’s small group of guest cabins nestled along the banks of Pebble Creek. That also means he must work with the cabins’ housekeeper, Lydia Fisher.

Lydia is the most outspoken Amish woman Aaron has ever met, and she has strong opinions about how the guest cabins are to be run. She also desperately needs this job. Though sparks fly between boss and employee at first, when the cabins are robbed, nothing is more important to Aaron than making sure Lydia is safe.

Together they work to make the vacation property profitable, but can they find out the identity of the culprit before more damage is done? And is Lydia’s dream of a home of her own more than just a wish and a prayer?

I will grant you, the story is not one that takes place at Christmas but the things we see in the story are equally Christmas-oriented. There are many people out in the world without a home at this time of year. And many people are losing jobs or having to find new ones at Christmas-time.

The book deals with serious emotional and relational issues that are just as present in our “Englisch” communities as they are in the Amish community.

Aaron finds himself with a lot more responsibility than he wants and he would much rather be back on the farm – not taking care of a bunch of cabins that are falling down around him. I love how we see the humanity in his behavior. Too often, we think of the Amish as “perfect” because they hold themselves to much higher standards than we do but they are just as human as everyone else.

And one of the things I enjoy most about this series is how the people in Pebble creek deal with the “Englisch” community. There was a very serious thing that reared it’s ugly head in the first book and we see it come to fruition in the second book. It’s intriguing to watch the main characters’ reaction to it and then “hear” their thoughts about it all.

All told, it’s another wonderful book in this series and I would highly recommend it to anyone! 5 STARS!

5star

If you would like to read more about this book click HERE to go to the page at Harvest House Publishers. You can also read a sample chapter!

Or click HERE to read more reviews over at GoodReads

And you can read more about Vannetta Chapman on her website HERE

13 Days til Christmas

Wishing you and your family a Merry and Blessed Christmas this year!

GOD BLESS YOU!

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

25 Posts of Christmas Day 6: Welcome to Pebble Creek

This is not advertised as a Christmas story but Christmas is a very important part of it and it’s such a Heartwarming story, I feel that it absolutely belongs here!

A-Promise-for-Miriam-662x1024Be prepared. This book starts a little rough. But it’s worth reading so don’t give up. (I should clarify that… When I say rough, I mean it’s very, very sad.)

I don’t want to ruin anything so I won’t say anymore.

This story reminds me again of why I love reading about the wonderfully simple lives the Amish live.

I don’t think there is any way we “Englisch” can truly understand the sacrifices and hardships and the joys and fulfillment that comes with their choices in life. But I really wish we could.

I wish more people could see the beauty in such a simple lifestyle.

Perhaps someday we can find our way back to such wonderful simplicity and enjoy the warmth of family and community that comes with it.

There’s just something about Vannetta Chapman’s writing that makes this such a reality for me. Her book “A Simple Amish Christmas” was the very first Amish story I read and it’s definitely what made me fall in love with the genre.

And now I feel as if I’ve been invited into the Pebble Creek community.

What an amazing story!What a beautiful community! What a wondrous outcome!

Read it! You won’t regret it!

5star

What Harvest House has to say about this book:

A Promise for Miriam, the first book in a brand-new romantic series from popular author Vannetta Chapman, introduces the Amish community of Pebble Creek and some of the kind, caring people there. As they face challenges to their community from the English world, they come together to reach out to their non-Amish neighbors while still preserving their cherished Plain ways.

Amish schoolteacher Miriam King loves her students. At 26, most women her age are married with children of their own, but she hasn’t yet met anyone who can convince her to give up the Plain school that sits along the banks of Pebble Creek. Then newcomer Gabriel Miller steps into her life, bringing his daughter, an air of mystery, and challenges Miriam has never faced before.

Will Gabe be able to let go of the past that haunts him? He thinks he just wants to be left alone, but the loving and warm community he and his daughter have moved to has other plans for him. After a near tragedy is averted, he hesitantly returns offers of help and friendship, and he discovers he can make a difference to the people of Pebble Creek—and maybe find love again.

You can find more information about this title HERE on the Harvest House website.
For more reviews and other information you can click HERE to go to GoodReads
and more about the author, Vannetta Chapman on her website HERE

19 Days til Christmas

Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

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25 Posts of Christmas Day 2: A Look Back

A look back at some of my favorite Christmas books that I’ve already snuggled up with this season:

5660435The Christmas Quilt” by Vannetta Chapman

I was thrilled to see it advertised and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

Of course, as fate would have it, the book arrived just as November got off to a start and I became a crazy person – between NaNoWriMo and reviewing the stack of other books that had piled up on my desk. However, when I picked up the book, I could not put it down. It was an amazing read and I enjoyed every second of it. The only complaint I might have is that it took so long for two young couples so much in love to conceive. (In case you can’t tell… I’m teasing) This book is an excellent continuation of the story that started in “A Simple Amish Christmas” and it shows just how wonderful a writer Vannetta Chapman is. Three years passed between the writing of one and the other but it feels like she wrote them back to back. The characters have the same voices, mannerisms and behaviors.

The characters are all just as wonderful as I remember them.

The story itself is wonderful too. It isn’t just another “we’re trying to stretch the series out” kind of sequel either. It’s really a good next step and, I think, a story anyone would enjoy.

Also, and I don’t want to give too much away here but, there are a few really interesting surprises tucked in the pages.

I really love the extra little touches Vannetta puts in, all those extra little things that give us a real glimpse into Amish life. It helps pull you right into the story. I also really enjoy how Vannetta blends the Amish lives with the “Englisch” around them. The Amish strive to remain separate but a big part of their faith is about being open and loving to all of God’s (Gotte’s) children. Vannetta writes that aspect perfectly in my opinion. She has a talent for capturing their “voice” and their feelings and emotions – a tremendous accomplishment for an “Englisch” writer. You would never know she did not grow up Amish.

A wonderful read for anyone who enjoys this genre!

5starAnd, while I recommend that you read “A Simple Amish Christmas” first, this book could easily be read first or even alone.

Speaking of “A Simple Amish Christmas”:

20130911-180102.jpgFrom the first page I was hooked. The characters are real. I have no doubt whatsoever that Amish truly act like these characters. The setting is vivid and the scenes are painted so clearly. You can almost feel the cold and smell the fresh, clean air. The story is gripping. A definite page-turner. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next!

A definite page-turner.

An amazing story! One I will read again and again for years to come! I highly recommend this book to anyone! Not just lovers of Amish fiction either! I think anyone who enjoys a good, decent romance will enjoy this story!

5starAnyone who enjoys a good, decent romance will enjoy this story!

BY Cindy Woodsmall

6275220With “The Sound of Sleigh Bells”, I was hooked from the first page!

I’m going to try really hard not to ruin anything here…

If you are someone who has ever had a rough relationship, this is something you NEED to read. If you’ve ever dealt with loss, this is something you NEED to read! And if you enjoy a good book with wonderful characters and a fantastic story, you will WANT to read this book.

It’s truly a GREAT read!

Cindy has a talent for reaching out of the story, getting a firm grip on your heart and pulling you into the story. And when you find your way back out again, you’ve had an amazing experience and you never quite look at the world in the same way again… or at least that’s the way I feel anyway.

Cindy has a talent for taking hold of your heart strings.

The beauty of Cindy Woodsmall’s writing is that she writes characters who could be anyone. One of the things we struggle with is the realization that the Amish are just like us, they just live their faith in a different way than most of us do. They’re not really very different from most religions. Every religion has their own little things they do differently than anyone else, rules, traditions, ideals and even habits.

So these characters in Cindy’s novels, they could be anyone. It’s so very easy to associate the things they go through with your aunt or your father or your next door neighbor or someone you work with. And she does this really well. 5star

She has a true talent for helping you to get into a characters head and I am so thankful for it.

10301098

What a wonderful story!

What wonderful characters!

What a wonderful continuation of the stories in Apple Ridge.

When you get started, “The Christmas Singing” may not seem like a great story for a while but trust me when I tell you that this book is worth finishing!

Cindy Woodsmall has again captured our hearts with wonderfully colorful characters in the Amish community of Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania.

The story deals with something that is very different than what we think of as the typical Amish read but then Cindy has a talent for writing those kinds of stories. Her Amish Vines and Orchards series falls into the exact same category and I could not put those books down!

The same was true of this series. The Apple Ridge community is full of wonderful people who each seem to have their own story and they all blend so well together to create a wonderful world that pulls you right in.

5starA story well worth reading!

17288591

This title was originally offered in the 3-in-1 book “Christmas in Apple Ridge” by Cindy Woodsmall but her fans loved it so much, she chose to let those of us who LOVE having lots and lots of books, have the stories in 3 separate hardbound novellas.

THANK YOU CINDY!

I don’t know about you but I have a personal fondness for hard bound books. There’s just something about a nice thick cover, a pretty dustcover that you can slip off while you’re reading and then slip back on so it looks pretty on the shelf. It may be weird but I’m OK with that.

These Apple Ridge Novellas are absolutely some of Cindy Woodsmall’s best work. Each story is written in such a way that you could quite easily read it all by itself and not miss much about what has happened in the others. And yet, if you read them in order, they flow so nicely from one to the next.

I don’t know if she has anymore in the works but I’m hoping so!

A wonderfully heart-warming read!

This story focuses on two young people who have experienced heartbreak firsthand in the worst way. It’s not something one typically associates with the Amish community. In fact, nothing about the main characters in these three novellas is something we typically associate with the Amish but they are very real and very true-to-life struggles that the Amish deal with just as often as we English do.

I have to say I was surprised at the deviousness of one particular character. I won’t spoil it for you but you’ll know who I’m talking about when you get there. It was a pleasant surprise and masterfully written. Definitely not something you would expect in the Amish community but very well-written and done in exactly the right way for the character!

The story is full of surprises!

Cindy has written all of these stories so beautifully. The characters are wonderful and the story pulls you right in. I remarked to a good friend the other day that Cindy has a particular talent for writing the Amish voice. I am one of those people who hears the characters talking in my head as I read the story. It’s probably why I remember so much about stories I’ve read, even years later. And when I “hear” Cindy’s characters, they truly sound Amish.

I would love to say it’s true of most other Amish fiction authors I read but sadly, it is not. And that’s OK. They’re still great stories or I wouldn’t read them and then go on about them here.

As you can probably guess, I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review but I already owned the first two hard-bound books in the series and I would have bought this one!

And I wholeheartedly recommend it to my friends! GREAT GREAT READ! All three books in the series are well-worth the full purchase price and 5 star reads!5star

BRAVO CINDY!

I pray that Cindy’s books bless you the way they have me and I pray God Blesses Cindy Woodsmall and her writing for many years to come!

BY Tricia Goyer:

17787021A Christmas Gift for Rose”
by Tricia Goyer

2 pages into the book and I could tell this was going to be a great story.

I love that Tricia has been so successful with her historical novels and I’m REALLY glad she branched out into Amish fiction! I LOVE that genre so much!

This book combines both so well!

I typically avoid books about war but a book about what war is doing to those left behind, well… those are fair game. And I’m really glad I picked this one to read! I love Christmas stories and this will be a welcome addition to my collection.

All of that aside, this is the first book of it’s kind that I have read. An Amish historical novel dealing with fallout from World War 2… Well, that would be hard to miss. And I’m so glad I didn’t (miss it… that is)! I will read this book again and again and recommend it to all of my friends!

It’s such a wonderful story. Don’t get me wrong, there’s conflict. There’s always conflict. But it’s not ridiculous and it’s not nonsense. There is genuine conflict and genuine resolution. The characters are very deep and the story is completely believable.

Usually when you have this many things going on in a story, it’s too much or it feels like the author is trying to pad the story but everything going on in this story fits together to make the story work.

It took so many twists and turns that I did not see coming. That’s always a good thing. Too many books these days are absolutely predictable. This one is not. It’s great!

And you can really tell Tricia did her homework for this one. She tells us just enough about certain things without it being too much and, from what I remember (granted I wasn’t great with History in school), they’re incredibly accurate.

This is a must read for anyone! Especially if you like a good heartwarming story about the Amish community. In fact, that’s one of the great things about the Amish community, I think. Take away all mention of a date and it’s usually pretty hard to tell exactly when the story takes place. They’re so unchanging.

5starClearly a FIVE star book! Great job Tricia!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

What have you read this year so far that is in the Christmas Spirit?

What are some of your favorite Christmas reads?

What Christmas stories are you planning to read this season?

I plan to read many more great Christmas stories this season and I plan to share them with you here!

23 Days til Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS! & GOD BLESS!

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Quilts of Love Tour & CONTEST | Vannetta Chapman and Lisa Carter

In honor of their new Quilts of Love releases,
The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose, authors Vannetta Chapman and Lisa Carter are gearing up to ring in the Christmas season with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a “Christmas Bee” Facebook Party on December 10th with fellow Quilts of Love author Lynette Sowell!

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One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. Winner will be announced at the “Christmas Bee” Facebook Party on December 10th. Connect with the authors from the Quilts of Love series, Vannetta Chapman, Lisa Carter, and Lynette Sowell, for an evening of book chat, quilt trivia, Christmas traditions and gifts, PLUS get an exclusive look at January’s Quilts of Love book!

So grab your copies of The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose and join Vannetta, Lisa, and Lynette on the evening of December 10th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the books, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on December 10th!

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

God Bless You!

“The Christmas Quilt” by Vannetta Chapman

This book is very exciting for me because it’s about the characters I fell in love with in the very first Amish fiction novel I ever read.

5660435I was thrilled to see it advertised and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

Of course, as fate would have it, the book arrived just as November got off to a start and I became a crazy
person – between NaNoWriMo and reviewing the stack of other books that had piled up on my desk.

However, when I picked up the book, I could not put it down. It was an amazing read and I enjoyed every
second of it.

The only complaint I might have is that it took so long for two young couples so much in love to conceive. (In case you can’t tell… I’m teasing) This book is an excellent continuation of the story that started in “A Simple Amish Christmas” and it shows just how wonderful a writer Vannetta Chapman is. Three years passed between the writing of one and the other but it feels like she wrote them back to back. The characters have the same voices, mannerisms and behaviors.

The characters are all just as wonderful as I remember them.

The story itself is wonderful too. It isn’t just another “we’re trying to stretch the series out”
kind of sequel either. It’s really a good next step and, I think, a story anyone would enjoy.

Also, and I don’t want to give too much away here but, there are a few really interesting surprises tucked in the pages.

I really love the extra little touches Vannetta puts in, all those extra little things that give us a real glimpse into Amish life. It helps pull you right into the story. I also really enjoy how Vannetta blends
the Amish lives with the “Englisch” around them. The Amish strive to remain separate but a big part of their faith is about being open and loving to all of God’s (Gotte’s) children. Vannetta writes that aspect perfectly in my opinion. She has a talent for capturing their “voice” and their feelings and emotions – a tremendous accomplishment for an “Englisch” writer. You would never know she did not grow up Amish.

A wonderful read for anyone who enjoys this genre!

And, while I recommend that you read “A Simple Amish Christmas” first, this book could easily be read first or even alone. And now I’m off to work on my NaNoNovel and read up the rest of the books in my TBR pile.

Until next time… From Litfuse:

About the book:
Annie’s life is deliciously full as the Christmas season
approaches. She helps her husband, Samuel, attend to the
community’s minor medical needs. She occasionally assists Belinda,
the local midwife, and most days, she finds herself delivering the
buggy to her brother Adam. Annie’s sister-in-law Leah is due to
deliver their first child before Christmas morning, and Annie is
determined to finish a crib quilt before the boppli arrives. With
six weeks to go, she should have no problem . . . but God may have
a different plan. Leah is rushed to the English hospital when the
infant arrives early, and Annie discovers the Christmas quilt may
hold a far greater significance than she ever
imagined.

I give it 5 stars! A GREAT READ!

Click HERE for more info from Litfuse about the blog tour for “The Christmas Quilt” Make sure you click HERE and check out the Quilts of Love website!

Click HERE for the GoodReads book page. Be careful, some of their reviews include a few too many spoilers for my taste.

You can click HERE to check out Vannetta Chapman’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.

25 Books of Christmas!

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There are so many more than 25 Books I love to read at Christmas-time but here are 25 Favorites (some old, some new & a couple that are brand New)

Most of these I’ve read already but a few of them are on my to-read list. It’s going to be a great Christmas season!

The organization is a little weird. I tried to group them by author and by sequence or time published. Hope that’s not too confusing.

I do apologize for any confusion.

I have edited this post and taken out some books I previously featured.
So I’ve redone the entire post.
They’re not in the same order but I think this could be even more fun!

I’m a little disappointed to have to do this at Christmas time but a friend of mine recently reviewed one of the books I had featured and she discovered some very bad language so I have taken them out.

I have a confession to make here. I only put in the books because I enjoyed the movies that were made from them so much. Unfortunately, it seems the books are nothing like the movies.

I will never understand why people feel the need to include nasty language or inappropriate behavior in their stories. It does NOT make them better. And it certainly does not make them Christian.

So here are my own personal favorites!

A Simple Amish Christmas”
Simple Amish Christmasby Vannetta Chapman

From GoodReads: Annie Weaver always planned to return home, but the 20-year old RN has lived in Philadelphia for three years now. As her time of rumschpringe is about to come to an abrupt end, bringing for Annie an overwhelming sense of loneliness.

She returns home and finds herself face-to-face with a budding romance with an Amish farmer and important choices to make.

The Christmas Quilt”
5660435by Vannetta Chapman

From GoodReads: Annie’s life is deliciously full as the Christmas season approaches. She helps her husband, Samuel, attend to the community’s minor medical needs. She occasionally assists Belinda, the local midwife, and most days, she finds herself delivering the buggy to her brother Adam.

Annie s sister-in-law Leah is due to deliver their first child before Christmas morning, and Annie is determined to finish a crib quilt before the “boppli” arrives. With six weeks to go, she should have no problem . . . but God may have a different plan.

Leah is rushed to the English hospital when the infant arrives early, and Annie discovers the Christmas quilt may hold a far greater significance than she ever imagined.

Christmas at Pebble Creek”
Christmas-at-Pebble-Creek-eBook-194x300by Vannetta Chapman

From Amazon: From The Pebble Creek Amish Series by Vannetta Chapman.

Fans of the series will enjoy this chance to briefly revisit Pebble Creek, and new readers will be introduced to an Amish community that is more deeply explored in the three full novels, A Promise for Miriam, A Home for Lydia, and A Wedding for Julia.

As a bonus, this free eBook also includes Amish home-style recipes for chicken and dumplings, green beans, and fresh bread.

Heavy snow blankets the southwestern Wisconsin Amish community as nineteen-year-old Grace Miller closes the schoolhouse for Christmas break. She’s looking forward to having extra time to help the family prepare for the holiday, and she is hoping to get a few more drawings in of the beautiful, snowy Pebble Creek landscape. Her courtship with Adam Lapp is going on six months, and Grace can’t wait to give him his present: a blue-and-brown buggy blanket she crocheted for him.

Yes, this Christmas is going to be especially joyful. Yet, amid the cheer of snowshoe outings, church potlucks, and holiday festivities, Grace is given a bittersweet reminder of the Christmas story. Grief is present with celebration, and though the future is rarely certain, she is given a heartwarming glimpse that God knows our needs before we do and will provide.

A Christmas Gift for Rose”
17787021by Tricia Goyer

From GoodReads: Born in the midst of the hardships of The Great Depression, Rose grew up in Berlin, Ohio, in the arms of a loving Amish family. But as she prepares to marry, she’s thrown into confusion when she learns the truth of her birth. She was born Englisch and abandoned when the family moved on in search of work.

Was she meant to be Amish or would she have been better off growing up with her own kind—Englischers? And was her intended’s gift of discovering her birth family given out of love or fear?

15851936A Christmas for Katie” by Shelley Shepard Grey

From GoodReads: Will a little Amish girl make a Christmas miracle? It isn’t easy to be Katie Weaver. Her sister-in-law Ella is about to have a baby, making Katie an aunt for the second time … and she’s only six and a half!

Plus, her favorite librarian, Miss Donovan, seems sad. She won’t even fix up the rundown nativity in front of the library in time for Christmas. Then, an old woman is attacked outside the library, and, one by one, the nativity figures start to disappear!

Luckily, there’s a new deputy in town, Connor Fields. He takes a real liking to Miss Donovan … and he promises to find the missing nativity pieces for Katie. Now, all Katie has to do is pray that Ella’s delivery goes well and that some kind of nativity is in place for Christmas Eve. Oh, and that Miss D. falls in love with Connor. Katie knows from watching her three brothers that it makes people real happy. And that would be a Christmas miracle indeed!

Christmas in Sugar Creek” by Shelley Shepard Grey 10680698

From GoodReads: Judith Graber has always been the obedient daughter. When her older brother Josh struggled with his love life, she offered wise counsel. When her younger brother Caleb flirted with the idea of leaving their order, she firmly told him he was wrong.

Over the years, she’s watched her younger siblings, helped around the house, and worked in her family’s store during her spare time. Judith feels overworked, overlooked, and underappreciated this holiday season.

But everything changes when her father hires Ben Knox. Ben Knox is the “bad boy” of Sugarcreek. Though he’s never considered jumping the fence, he’s certainly never tried to be anything close to dutiful. Two years ago he left Sugarcreek under a cloud of shame. Rumors circulated that his rumspringa had been filled with more than the usual harmless explorations. Now he’s back and working side by side with Judith. As the chaos of the holiday season threatens to sap all joy, sparks fly between Ben and Judith. But Judith steels herself to ignore her infatuation.

The last thing she wants to be is just one more girl who falls under Ben’s spell. Ben, on the other hand, wants Judith to realize there’s more to him than his bad reputation. When he fled Sugarcreek, he was running from a disruptive home life. Now that he’s back, he wants a fresh beginning. Could this Christmas season bring love and a new life for the unlikeliest pair in Sugarcreek?

8501404Grace” by Shelley Shepard Grey

From GoodReads: It’s never too late to go home. It’s Christmastime at the Brenneman Bed and Breakfast, and everyone is excited about closing down for the holidays. But when two unexpected visitors appear seeking shelter, the family’s commitment to hospitality is tested.

First Levi arrives, sullen and angry…but insisting on staying for five days. Next Melody shows up. She’s almost nine months pregnant, but won’t say a word about why she traveled all the way from Kentucky by herself.

As the two strangers settle in, the Brennemans try to make the best of an uncomfortable situation, except for Katie, who knows a thing or two about keeping secrets. She is determined to learn the truth about these two strangers…all while keeping her own secret safely hidden away. All is revealed when a snowstorm traps them at the inn.

Peace” by Shelley Shepard Grey 17331333

From GoodReads: After a year of secrets and scandal, will this Amish community finally find peace under the bright promise of Christmas? Beth Byler has a secret. Ever since she met Englischer Chris Ellis while helping out at the Yellow Bird Inn, she can’t stop thinking about him.

She knows a relationship could never go anywhere—Chris was working undercover in Crittenden County as a DEA agent. That meant he faced danger daily and carried a gun, making him completely unsuitable for an Amish woman like herself. But she knew he felt the attraction, too. It was the reason he left so suddenly, promising never to see her again.

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

The Sound of Sleigh Bells”
6275220by Cindy Woodsmall

From GoodReads: Beth Hertzler works alongside her beloved Aunt Lizzy in their dry goods store, and serving as contact of sorts between Amish craftsmen and Englischers who want to sell the Plain people’s wares. But remorse and loneliness still echo in her heart everyday as she still wears the dark garb, indicating mourning of her fiancé.

When she discovers a large, intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow, something deep inside Beth’s soul responds and she wants to help the unknown artist find homes for his work–including Lizzy’s dry goods store. But she doesn’t know if her bishop will approve of the gorgeous carving or deem it idolatry.

Lizzy sees the changes in her niece when Beth shows her the woodworking, and after Lizzy hunts down Jonah, the artist, she is all the more determined that Beth meets this man with the hands that create healing art. But it’s not that simple–will Lizzy’s elaborate plan to reintroduce her niece to love work? Will Jonah be able to offer Beth the sleigh ride she’s always dreamed of and a second chance at real love–or just more heartbreak?

The Christmas Singing” by Cindy Woodsmall10301098

From GoodReads: Mattie thought her childhood sweetheart adored her until he abruptly ended their engagement on Christmas Eve. Three years later, will learning the truth behind his rejection restore her Christmas joy – or open the door to even deeper heartbreak?

Spend Christmas with the Amish in this story of love, romance, heartache, and restoration. Experience the holidays with the Plain folk and discover the power of second chances in this touching story from the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Bridge of Peace.

Gideon Beiler has loved Mattie Eash since they were children. But when faced with unexpected circumstances, he makes up an excuse to end their engagement. He doesn’t want to lie to her, but he believes that telling Mattie the truth will be more hurtful. Brokenhearted, Mattie moves from Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania to Ohio, where she pursues her longtime dream of becoming a cake decorator.

She finds a new beau—a man offering the secure relationship Gideon has denied her. When Mattie is forced to return to Apple Ridge, she and Gideon must confront the suffering created by his dishonesty – and address the powerful emotions that continue to bind the two childhood friends.

The Dawn of Christmas”
17288591by Cindy Woodsmall

From GoodReads: This Christmas, experience learning to trust alongside the Plain folk of Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania in this heart-warming tale of second chances.

Sadie enjoys her freedom away from home and her mission trips to Peru, but after four years, her Old Order Amish family insists it’s time to come home and settle down.

Levi, a bachelor who distrusts women after a family heartbreak, also has no desire for romance. To keep their families from meddling in their lives, Sadie and Levi devise a plan—but soon discover that the walls around their hearts are breaking down. Can they let go of their prejudices, learn to trust each other, and embrace a future together?

957993Christmas in Harmony” by Philip Gulley

From GoodReads: Philip Gulley takes us to Harmony, Indiana, at Christmastime as inspiration strikes the inimitable Dale Hinshaw. Always looking for a way to increase the church’s profit margins, Hinshaw brainstorms a progressive nativity scene that will involve the whole town, complete with a map like those for the Hollywood stars.

Neither Pastor Sam Gardner nor the other members of the Harmony Friends meeting express any enthusiasm for this idea, but Dale is unstoppable. Meanwhile, Pastor Sam has his own concerns: he’s having his annual argument with his wife, and he’s worried that the four-slotted toaster he bought for her may be too lavish a gift. Amidst the bustle of the season, the citizens of Harmony experience the simple joys and sometime loneliness that often go unseen.

Sam comes to the realization that Dale, in his own misguided way, is only trying to draw meaning from the eternal story of Christmas. “In this unsettled world, it is good to have this steadiness — the Christmas Eve service, the peal of the bell. . . .There is a holiness to memory, a sense of God’s presence in these mangers of the mind. Which might explain why it is that the occasions that change the least are often the very occasions that change us the most.”

The Christmas Scrapbook” by Philip Gulley 579063

From GoodReads: It’s autumn in Harmony, and Pastor Sam Gardner has vowed to be ready for Christmas. Determined to redeem a dreadful history of gift giving, Sam enrolls in a scrapbooking class to make a Christmas gift his wife will never forget. However, Sam’s absence from their home every Wednesday night, coupled with his fishy alibi of attending a men’s group, raises her suspicions.

Meanwhile, Sam struggles in the class and must attempt to complete his project with only the help of his faithful secretary, Frank. As Christmas fast approaches and rumors of Sam’s Wednesday night absences swirl along with the snow, a series of mishaps leads to a Christmas no one will soon forget.

This is a GREAT ADVENT Guide:

The ADVENTure of Christmas
986149by Lisa Whelchel

From GoodReads: The ADVENTure of Christmas is a guide for moms concerned that their children are losing sight of Jesus in the midst of the distractions the holiday season brings. Lisa Whelchel was such a mom, but instead of abandoning the traditions of Christmas she rediscovered their original meanings, which were intended to remind people of God’s unfathomable gift. Hanging lights on the house, wrapping gifts, and decorating the tree have become opportunities to teach her children about how they relate to Jesus’ birth. With The ADVENTure of Christmas, mothers can redeem what’s been lost from the very symbols that are gentle reminders of the true meaning of Christmas.

Have you discovered that Jesus sometimes gets lost in the middle of the hustle and bustle of His birthday party? Would you like to be able to keep your children’s focus on Jesus and also join them in the wonder of the celebration?

For each of the twenty-four days preceding Christmas, The ADVENTure of Christmas serves as a fun and handy guide that describes the significance behind your favorite traditions. Hanging lights on the house, wrapping gifts, and decorating the tree will become opportunities to share how these customs relate to Jesus’ birth. The ADVENTure of Christmas recaptures the true meaning of this beloved season, giving reasons to celebrate for years to come.

Story Behind the Book

Feeling like Jesus had gotten lost in the frenzy of the holiday season, I asked the Lord to show me what I could do to teach my children the true meaning of Christmas. I was caught off-guard when He simply replied, “Don’t do anything differently. Look in the middle of the celebration and you will find Me.” He was right. There was no need to orchestrate moments to pontificate about “the commercialization of Christmas.” Instead, Jesus is beckoning us to come to the party and bring the kids. In doing so, we run into Him at the mall, the movies, even at school. He hides in the lights, the carols, and the cards. He is there when we dress the evergreen tree, when Dad dresses up in a red suit, and even when we eat turkey and dressing!

And THESE BOOKS, I have not read… but I can’t wait to have a crack at them:

Christmas Cradles”
Christmas Cradles by Kelly Longby Kelly Long

From GoodReads:

When Anna Stolis takes over for her aunt, the local midwife, Christmas night heats up with multiple deliveries, three strangers’ quilts, and unexpected help from the handsome and brooding Asa Lapp.

(Part of a Christmas Anthology with three other stories by Fantastic Authors: Amy Clipston, Barbara Cameron and Kathleen Fuller. This book is different than the one that includes the stories below)

A Choice to Forgive”
by Beth WisemanA Choice to Forgive by Beth Wiseman

From GoodReads:

After Daniel disappeared that long-ago Christmas Eve, Lydia built a life with his brother. But now she’s a widow and Daniel has reappeared, asking for forgiveness.

Can she go back to her normal life with her long-lost love as her neighbor?

A Miracle for Miriam”
A Miracle for Miriam by Kathleen Fullerby Kathleen Fuller

From GoodReads:

Seth is no longer the arrogant young man who shattered Miriam’s confidence and broker her heart.

Will he be able to show “plain” Miriam that she is truly beautiful to him?

One Child”
One Child by Barbara Cameronby Barbara Cameron

From GoodReads:

The birth of one child forever changed the world two thousand years ago.

On a snowy Christmas night in Lancaster County, another child changes the world for two very different couples.

10426868Christmas in Lancaster County”
by “Suzanne Woods Fisher

From GoodReads: Jaime and C. J. Fitzpatrick began their married life as most couples do–in love and looking forward to a bright future together. But four years later they’ve drifted apart and are almost ready to call it quits.

Mattie Riehl was hoping to give her husband Sol the Christmas gift they have both longed for–news that a baby was on the way. But as usual, she is disappointed. The holidays bring an acute awareness to Mattie that her dream of a big family isn’t likely to become a reality.

Then a winter storm raging outside blows the Fitzpatricks into the Riehl home–and into a much slower pace of life. Can these two couples from different worlds help each other understand the true meaning of love this Christmas?

With her trademark plot twists and attention to detail, Suzanne Woods Fisher offers readers a beautiful Christmas story of love, forgiveness, and what truly matters in life.

7861579Sarah’s Christmas Miracle”
by “Mary Ellis

From GoodReads: From the bestselling author of A Widow’s Hope and Never Far from Home comes a brand-new Amish novella that will add joy to the Christmas season.

Sarah Beachy has plenty to be joyous about as autumn leaves start to fall. She loves her job at the English bed-and-breakfast where she cooks and refreshes rooms between guests. She has a serious beau, and everyone expects an engagement soon. Why, then, would she jeopardize everything by suddenly deciding to take a trip to Cleveland to track down a brother who left the Order years ago?

Her family’s faith in God is put to the test as the holiest night of the year approaches and Sarah remains far away. Sarah’s mother, Elizabeth, has been missing her son for such a long time…will she lose her daughter to the English world as well? Or will the Beachy family receive an unexpected Christmas miracle?

Naomi’s Gift”
by Amy Clipston10956717

From GoodReads: Take a trip to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where you’ll meet the women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery in Lancaster County.

As each woman’s story unfolds, you will share in her heartaches, trials, joys, dreams … and secrets. You’ll discover how the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle can clash with the ‘English’ way of life—and the decisions and consequences that follow. Most importantly, you will be encouraged by the hope and faith of these women, and the importance they place on their families.

Naomi’s Gift re-introduces twenty-four-year-old Naomi King, who has been burned twice by love and 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. Naomi’s story of romantic trial and error and youthful insecurities has universal appeal. Author

Amy Clipston artfully paints a panorama of simple lives full of complex relationships, and she carefully explores cultural differences and human similarities, with inspirational results. Naomi’s Gift includes all the details of Amish life that Clipston’s fans enjoy, while delivering the compelling stories and strong characters that continue to draw legions of new readers.

A Plain & Simple Amish Christmas”
9039054by Amy Clipston

From GoodReads: In the tradition of her widely popular Kauffman Amish Bakery series, author Amy Clipston tells the tale of Anna Mae McDonough who was shunned by her family four years ago when she left her Amish community in Lancaster County, PA, to marry an -Englisher- (non Amish) man and move with him to Baltimore.

Now, eight months pregnant when her first child, she longs to return home for Christmas to reconcile with her family, especially her stern father, who is the religious leader for her former Amish church district.

So Anne Mae writes a letter to Kathryn Beiler, her brother-s wife, to enlist her help. Kathryn asks her husband, David, if she should arrange Anna Mae-s visit. David cautions her that a visit would cause too much stress in the family and instead suggests they visit Anna Mae and her husband in the spring. However, Kathryn arranges the visit anyway, believing in her heart that it-s God-s will for the family to heal.

When Anna Mae arrives in Lancaster for Christmas, she doesn’t receive the welcome she expects and her world begins to fall apart, leaving her to question her place in her family – and her faith in God.

A book filled with love, the pain of being separated from one-s family, and the determination to follow God-s will regardless of the outcome, A Plain and Simple Christmas is an inspiring page-turner that will keep you guessing what happens next-right to the very last page.

17814770Annie’s Christmas Wish”
by “Barbara Cameron

From GoodReads: Ever since her step-mom brought her a snow globe of the New York City skyline, Annie has wanted to visit the beautiful, big city. Since it’s nearing the time of Annie’s rumschpringe — the time when Amish youth experience Englisch life to make a decision whether to live in that world or become baptized into the Amish faith—the family decides a visit is a good idea.

They watch the Macy’s Christmas parade, admire the decorated store windows, skate at the Rockefeller Center rink and —  Annie’s favorite — get a glimpse of a writer’s life while visiting the New York Times building. But others aren’t as thrilled with Annie’s lure to the Big Apple. Aaron has long been attracted to Annie and is sure he’s in love. As he watches her engage in big city life, he grows concerned that she won’t want to return to their quieter life.

Will Annie follow Aaron back home? Or stay and pursue her dreams? Competing for her attention, Aaron sets out to show Annie that Christmas isn’t about the glitz and glamour, but about family, love, and the birth of Jesus

13613049A Wild Goose Chase Christmas” by “Jennifer AlLee

From GoodReads: Upon her grandmother’s death, Izzy Fontaine finds herself in possession of a Wild Goose Chase pattern quilt that supposedly leads to a great treasure. Of course, once the rest of the family finds out about the “treasure map,” they’re determined to have a go at the treasure themselves. And, if that weren’t enough, Max Logan, a local museum curator, contacts Izzy and says that Grandma Isabella promised him the quilt.

What is it about this quilt that makes everyone want it? Is Izzy on a wild goose chase of her own, or a journey that will lead her to the treasure her grandmother intended?

And of course… We cannot forget the most important Christmas book, the one that started it all, the original book of Christmas.

The Bible (I prefer the King James Version myself) bible

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Wishing you and your family a
Merry Christmas this year!

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“Home to Pebble Creek” by Vannetta Chapman

home to pebble creek 972208_618068678227299_1189904992_nVannetta Chapman was the author of the first Amish fiction book I read (A Simple Amish Christmas) and so, when I saw this, I had to snatch it up.

I also snagged “Christmas in Pebble Creek – another freebie of hers that was released recently.

I’ve been reading lots of books by different authors, trying to get a good feel for who is good and who is not so good and Vannetta is definitely one of the best!

I know it’s a freebie but that just makes it even more worth it!

Get it and read it!

And get her other books! And read them!

You won’t regret it!

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God Bless You!

A look back at my first “Amish” read! “A Simple Amish Christmas” by Vannetta Chapman

Several people over the last year have told me I need to read Amish fiction. I finally gave in and the first book I chose was Vannetta Chapman’s “A Simple Amish Christmas”. Yes I can happily read about Christmas any time of the year.

Since I never wrote a proper review for it, I’m going to do that now.

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Keep in mind, at the time I read this, I had no frame of reference

Keep in mind, at the time I read this, I had no frame of reference (other than movies I’ve watched and actual Amish I’ve encountered). Since then however, I feel I’ve gotten a pretty good feel for several other authors and their work and I feel completely justified in saying Vannetta Chapman is one of the best writers of Amish fiction in the market! I’ve actually had a difficult time finding her books in used bookstores and I can only assume it’s because people can’t bear to let them go.

Vannetta Chapman is clearly one of the best writers of Amish fiction in the market!

From the first page I was hooked. The characters are real. I have no doubt whatsoever that Amish truly act like these characters. The setting is vivid and the scenes are painted so clearly. You can almost feel the cold and smell the fresh, clean air. The story is gripping. A definite page-turner. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next!

A definite page-turner.

An amazing story! One I will read again and again for years to come! I highly recommend this book to anyone! Not just lovers of Amish fiction either! I think anyone who enjoys a good, decent romance will enjoy this story!

Anyone who enjoys a good, decent romance will enjoy this story!

Now I just have to find some more of her books to enjoy!

To read more about Vannetta Chapman and her wonderful books, check out her website HERE
And you can read more about “A Simple Amish Christmas” on GoodReads HERE

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God Bless You!

Review of “A Simple Amish Christmas” by Vannetta Chapman

Simple Amish ChristmasThis was an amazing read. My mother has been bugging me for so long to read just one Amish Fiction. She kept saying I would only need to read one and I would be hooked and she was so right! It only took 1!

The more I read, the more I loved the story. Amish novels have grown in popularity with lightning speed lately and some of them, though well-written, do not ring absolutely true. Amish ways are still such a mystery to us in so many ways but there are bits of some stories that you can be sure is not true to Amish life. This book is not that way. It is clear the author has done her research and done it well.
I look forward to reading her other novels and I hope there are more about this family. I’ll have to go and do my own research I guess.

I am so glad I picked this as my first Amish Fiction Novel!

You can find more info at Goodreads HERE!

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God Bless You!