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!


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!


Click HERE for the book’s page at Thomas Nelson

Click HERE to read more about this title on 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




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

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

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

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

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

I could NOT have been more wrong.

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

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

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

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

It’s NOT! Thank GOD!

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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.

“Captives” by Jill Williamson

Well I can officially chalk another one up to my 10 year-old son… And it really shouldn’t surprise me.

When I pulled the book out of the package, he said he didn’t think it was a good book for us.

And he was/is 100% right.

Not that it’s a bad book. It’s just not our taste – not at all.

The writing isn’t bad… a bit disjointed and lacking a certain flow that writers typically achieve as they become more seasoned but – all in all, not bad.

Personally, I don’t feel this should be marketed to teens. That’s most likely my biggest problem with the book. Yes, Mason is 17 but he is not 17 like a teen today would be. Granted most teens could do with a bit of growing up but I suppose my point is that we don’t live in a world anything like the one here so it’s not a very good example for most teens today.

Also, a chunk of the secondary characters are about as far from 17 as you can get.

I think my other problem is that this fits squarely into the dystopian fad that is so popular today and, while I am glad to see Christian writers getting into the popular markets, I have moved so far past that particular genre myself, I just can’t seem to get into it like I once could.

So please, don’t take my opinion as your only source of info.

3 Stars

Here is a little blurb about the book from Zondervan:

One choice could destroy them all.

When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many—including his fiancée, Jem—taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe.

Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Lands has protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago … and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams.

Meanwhile, their brother Mason has been granted a position inside the Safe Lands, and may be able to use his captivity to save not only the people of his village, but also possibly find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone within the Safe Lands’ walls.

Will Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Lands’ façade before it’s too late?

Click HERE for more from Zondervan about this title.

Click HERE for reviews from and HERE for reviews from GoodReads

Click HERE for the author’s website.

Decide for yourself if it’s a story for you.




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.

“A Miracle of Hope” by Ruth Reid | Amish Wonders book 1


Let me say this first. Read the book when you have quite a bit of spare time on your hands… because it is HARD to put down. Being a mom of two, I read most of it at night after they went to sleep. Because otherwise, I might have been a bit bad-tempered at some point about putting it down.

It’s that good.

There’s part of a quote from Beth Wiseman on the front cover that says “…a beautiful tale of romance, redemption and faith.” And it really is. In fact, I can’t think of a better way to say it myself.

Ruth Reid is one of those writers that will have you on the edge of your seat, nearly tearing at the pages in your hurry to find out what happens next (and this isn’t even a suspense novel…).

And you know those books with a lot of unrealistic drama thrown in… you know the ones – just when everything is going great, they throw another crazy twist at you and you find yourself going “COME ON! This can’t be realistic!” every time they hit you with another crazy twist… This isn’t one of them.

I’m not going to tell you there isn’t drama because there is. I’m just not going to tell you what. You can figure out some of it by reading the back cover blurb. But believe me when I say that first – it is NOT unrealistic and second – some of it you could NEVER have seen it coming. And that is one of the things I absolutely LOVE about this book! There are unexpected little twists all over the place. It’s so refreshing to see a book done so well – especially when using a story line that some may consider has been done to death.

But not this one. This book had a very fresh take on absolutely everything. And Ruth Reid’s ability to draw her readers in is astonishing. It was actually a little tough to handle because as I read about the freezing weather, I found myself feeling it.

Ruth describes her scenes in such wonderful detail – not painstakingly at all but so well, you don’t even realize that’s what she was doing. She weaves the descriptions into the story like the many threads of a beautiful length of yarn.

Which is one more reason I had so much difficulty putting the book down.

Typically, I laugh when I see those silly pictures on Facebook about reading when we should be doing other things or making jokes about reading one more chapter and actually reading ten – but that is exactly how this story was for me. I bargained with myself that I would read one more chapter before getting back to my other work and then I would read five before I could make myself put it down.

I’m not kidding either. I had to make myself put it down…each time.

And it’s not just wanting to know what happens next that gets me. The characters will take a firm hold on your heart strings. It took me less than a chapter to be intrigued, less than three chapters to be hooked and less than ten to be absolutely neck-deep, crazy in love with the story, the characters and the writing! WOW!

I am beyond thrilled at having the opportunity to read & review this book and I can’t wait to find more of Ruth Reid’s books to read!

Do not miss this one!


A short synopsis from Thomas Nelson:

How far can God’s mercy reach?

Lindie Wyse is pregnant out of wedlock and thinks an arranged marriage is the only way to preserve her future. Josiah Plank is certain he’ll never love again, but he needs someone to care for his eight-year-old daughter, Hannah. The two take on their arrangement tentatively at first but soon realize they are each in for more than they imagined.

Lindie experiences a breakthrough with Hannah when she recognizes Hannah’s special gifts, but a risky pregnancy and serious health issues threaten to demolish the foundation Josiah and Lindie are building. Will their growing love survive despite their struggles, or will their hearts become as cold as the northern winter?

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

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.