My year in books… via GoodReads

This is actually going to be a fraction of what I read this year. I think if I tried to put all 151 books, wordpress would probably just laugh hysterically and then shut down. LOL!

So here we go…

A Brush with Love: A January Wedding Story (A Year of Weddings Novella 2, #2)   A Woodland Miracle   A Lady at Willowgrove Hall (Whispers on the Moors, #3)   A Simple Charity (Lancaster Crossroads, #3)
Trading Secrets   The Christmas Cat   Christmas at Rose Hill Farm: An Amish Love Story   An Amish Second Christmas
An Amish Christmas Quilt   A Dream of Home (Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel, #3)   Huckleberry Christmas   The Forgiven (Keepers of the Promise #1)
Hidden   Letters from Grace   Where Treetops Glisten: Three Stories of Heartwarming Courage and Christmas Romance During World War II   The Princess Spy
Tried and True (Wild at Heart, #1)   A White Christmas in Webster County   The Ride of Your Life: What I Learned about God, Love, and Adventure by Teaching My Son to Ride a Bike   In Perfect Time (Wings of the Nightingale, #3)
Snow Globe (The Amish of Jamesport #1)   Miracle in a Dry Season (Appalachian Blessings, #1)   Appalachian Serenade (Appalachian Blessings, #.5)   Child of Mine
The Fairest Beauty   The Merchant's Daughter   The Healer's Apprentice   The Quaker and the Rebel (Civil War Heroines, #1)
Jupiter Winds   A Mother's Secret (Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel #2)   Huckleberry Summer (The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill, #2)   The Guardian Duke (Forgotten Castles #1)
A Season of Change (Seasons in Pinecraft, #1)   An Amish Wedding Invitation   Thankful (Return to Sugarcreek #2)   Seasons of Tomorrow (Amish Vines and Orchards #4)
Murder Simply Brewed (Amish Village Mystery #1)   The Captive Maiden   A Simple Faith (Lancaster Crossroads, #1)   Kate's Song (Forever After in Apple Lake, #1)
Real Women Leading: With Proverbs 31 Values   Princess Ever After (Royal Wedding, #2)   The Letters (Inn at Eagle Hill #1)   Huckleberry Hill
A Miracle of Hope (The Amish Wonders, #1)   An Amish Miracle   A Simple Winter (Seasons of Lancaster #1)   Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom

 

OK… YIKES! That is still a LOT of books!

If you want to see the entire list, click HERE!

TWEETABLES:

How many books did YOU read last year?Tweet this!

How many books are you going to read this year?Tweet this!

And here’s hoping wordpress doesn’t kill me when I hit publish. LOL!

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR and God Bless!

 

An unexpected ending – “Jenny’s Choice” by Patrick E. Craig

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I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. One of the major advantages to Amish fiction is that there’s none of the nonsense you find in “popular” fiction that sits in place of an actual plot.

There’s no inappropriate behavior or nasty language – just God… and an
honest-to-goodness plot.

Patrick E. Craig’s writing exemplifies that! And… it goes one step further. His descriptions of seemingly insignificant things that typically go unseen or unnoticed are a perfect example of God’s plans.

Many times, things that are going on right under our noses cover up tiny things that are happening at the same time – things no one notices.

These things can build up little by little or slowly and methodically move events in such a way that can change a person’s course completely, often without their knowledge or help. And most of the time, no one sees them until they’ve become huge or until they’ve effected enormous consequences.

God’s plans are often this way. He uses people or events around us to make tiny little moves in our lives or nudge us gently in the right direction.

When you start reading this book, one of the first things you see is a note from the author – Patrick E. Craig. He tells us this story was not what he meant to write and I have to say, I’m glad his plans changed. I am so glad that he went ahead with this book. It gives such insight into the lives of characters we have come to know and love as we read the first books of the series.

Having said that, I must admit that I haven’t actually read the first two books of the series. Shock I know. I always search out the first books in a series so that I can read them in order and then review them all together. Well, this time I didn’t. I wanted to see how different my view would be if I started at the end and work my way back. So that’s what I’ve done. And I plan to review books 1 and 2 at a later date – along with a recap of this story… and hopefully his next book… hint! hint!

And while I always suggest that someone begin with book 1 of a series, I found that Patrick E. Craig did a superb job of recapping the major points of books 1 and 2 in this one. And he did it in such a way that it fit right into the story without interrupting the flow a bit – in places it even added to the flow.

GREAT GREAT BOOK! Patrick E. Craig is definitely going on my list of Favorite authors!

5star

Here is a brief synopsis from Harvest House:

In the concluding novel to the Apple Creek Dreams series, Jonathan and Jenny Hershberger are happily settled in Paradise, Pennsylvania on the farm Jenny inherited from her grandfather. But when a tragic accident takes Jonathan’s life, Jenny and her young daughter, Rachel, return home to Apple Creek, Ohio to live with her adoptive parents, Reuben and Jerusha Springer.

As Jenny works through her grief and despair, she discovers she has a gift for writing. A handsome young publisher discovers her work and, after the publication of her first book, Jenny is on the verge of worldly success and possible romance.

But when a conflict arises with the elders of her church, Jenny must ask herself how far she’s willing to go to pursue her dreams.

A touching story of devotion and triumph over adversity.

Book 3 in the Apple Creek Dreams series

Click HERE to find out more about this title from Harvest House Publishers.

Click HERE to read more reviews on ChristianBook.com and HERE for the same on GoodReads.

And click HERE to visit Patrick E. Craig’s website.

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.

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.

Emma of Aurora trilogy by Jane Kirkpatrick

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Before I get into my thoughts, here’s a quick synopsis from GoodReads:

The Change and Cherish trilogy, based on the true story of Emma Wagner Giesy, now available in one volume:

A Clearing in the Wild:
When Emma’s outspoken ways and growing skepticism lead to a clash with the 1850s Bethel, Missouri colony’s beloved leader, she finds new opportunities to pursue her dreams of independence. But as she clears a pathway West to her truest and deepest self, she discovers something she never expected: a yearning for the warm embrace of community.

A Tendering in the Storm:
Determined to raise her children on her own terms, Emma suddenly finds herself alone and pregnant with her third child, struggling to keep her family secure in the remote coastal forest of the Washington Territory. As clouds of despair close in, she must decide whether to continue in her own waning strength or to humble herself and accept help from the very people she once so eagerly left behind.

A Mending at the Edge:
As a mother, daughter, sister, and estranged wife, Emma struggles to find her place inside—and outside—the confines of her religious community. Emma reaches out to others on the fringe, searching for healing and purpose. By blending her unique talents with service to others, she creates renewed hope as she weaves together the threads of family, friends, and faith.

And my first thought, when I opened the enormous box this monster arrived in was…

Holy Cow!

I know it’s a bit unoriginal but it’s the best I could come up with in that moment.

I realize this really has no bearing on the books themselves but it was the first thought associated with the book so I feel it’s worth sharing. I’ve noticed in a lot of the other reviews I’ve seen that people are excited to have all three stories in one place but I can’t help pointing out the opposite side to this. The book is enormous. For me, it’s been a bit of a hindrance. It’s difficult to read a book that is so large – in paperback. If the book were a hardbound, with a more flexible spine, I would have had a much easier time with it – which is why I read it on my e-reader.

However, I can see the appeal. It is nice to have all three books in one volume. It is nice not to have to track down three different books. And it’s nice to have only one price to pay instead of three.

My fascination with historical stories began with the Little House books. My mother read them to me as a child and I’m reading them to my children. As anyone who has read these knows, the stories are told through the eyes and voice of a child but they are true stories and Laura Ingals Wilder does a superb job of it in my opinion.

Laura Ingals Wilder and Jane Kirkpatrick have that in common. She takes the life of a woman who lived long before any of us were even born and makes her real to us. It’s a daunting enough task to write about a fictional character who lived many years ago but to write with such passion about an actual person, someone who you have never met or spoken with… that shows an incredible skill. I am not alone in my admiration and I intend to seek out more books written by Jane Kirkpatrick.

A wonderful read!

Click HERE for more information about this title from WaterBrook Multnomah and to read an excerpt of the book.

Click HERE for more info and reviews on GoodReads

Click HERE to see my review on the Blogging for Books website and help me out by rating it.

Click HERE for Jane Kirkpatrick’s website

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

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

Check out my other reviews for them HERE.

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

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. (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!

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

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

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

“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!

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

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

“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!

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!

One Year of Amish Peace: A Review!

Do you enjoy Tricia Goyer’s Amish novels?
Then you’ll LOVE “The One Year Book of Amish Peace”!

amish-peace3D

I entered Tricia Goyer’s promotion a few weeks ago and won a copy of this book. I was so excited when I got an e-mail thanking me for helping to promote Tricia’s book and telling me that I’d won!

This book is a MUST for anyone who enjoys Amish fiction! Not only does it answer questions about the Amish lifestyle and beliefs, it offers a wonderful way to connect to that peace in our own busy lives. The pages are filled with wonderful Amish Proverbs, words of wisdom, information and helpful suggestions for ways we can strengthen our relationship with God and fill our lives with his peace and love.

The pages are filled with wonderful Amish Proverbs, words of wisdom, information and helpful suggestions

In all fairness, I must tell you that I have not read the entire book. It’s a devotional so it’s not meant to be read in a week or two. I have read a single entry each day for almost three weeks now and I went according to the day on the page, so I didn’t start at the beginning. I did however, flip through the pages and read a selection of other – random days. Every one I’ve read has been amazing!

a devotional is not meant to be read in a week or two…

Also, while The book is so great – it really needs to be shared, it’s also too good to let go of so be prepared to buy extra copies. I know I will be, if anyone I know needs/wants one. And I do believe this book would make an excellent gift.

It is full of inspirational words and information but not one bit of it requires a person to live in the Amish way. (Unless of course that’s your plan… In which case it would definitely give you a lot of insight on what you would be doing/changing.) It does make you wonder though… if it wouldn’t be better in a lot of ways.

All in all, an amazing book and an excellent addition to anyone’s devotional time each day.

I give this book 10 stars and a huge round of applause! GREAT job Tricia!

A few words about the book from
Tricia’s website:
In our instantly connected world, it’s surprisingly easy to lose our connection to God. This devotional taps Amish wisdom in order to help us draw closer to God and hear his voice. In The One Year® Book of Amish Peace, you’ll get a daily taste of Amish values and wisdom. Tricia Goyer shares her fascination with the Amish in a way that will inspire and encourage believers to carve out more time in each day to listen to God and experience his presence. This daily devotional contains interesting facts about the Amish, recipes, and information about the way the Amish handle money, rear their children, and center their lives on faith in God. You’ll be inspired to slow down and find ways to simplify so that you, too, can experience God in the ordinary.” – “TriciaGoyer.com

You can find more info about the book HERE at Tynedale Press, HERE at GoodReads or HERE on Tricia’s own website.

You can also get a sneak peek at the book by clicking the link below.

The One Year® Book of Amish Peace (Sampler)

GOD Bless! And ENJOY!

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 Amish Seamstress” by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

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

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

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

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

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

From Harvest House

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ah, the frantic busy-ness of fall…

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

Mindy Starns Clark’s website can be found HERE.

Leslie Gould’s website can be found HERE.

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

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

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“A Christmas Gift For Rose” by Tricia Goyer

It’s almost that time of year!

177870212 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!

From Litfuse: “Rose turned her back on the man she loves after he assisted the Englisch during World War II—only to discover she’s an Englischer herself. 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 she is overwhelmed by self-doubt when she learns that she was born Englisch and abandoned when her family moved West in search of work. Was she meant to be Amish or would she have been better off growing up with her own kind—Englischers? When the man she loves leaves her behind, Rose is certain he left for good. Yet Rose discovers sometimes our greatest gifts are the ones we fear.”

MY THOUGHTS:

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.

Clearly a FIVE star book! Great job Tricia!

You can read more about this book HERE on GoodReads and you can read more about Tricia Goyer on her website HERE.

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.

CLICK HERE to check out the rest of the Blog Tour!

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

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Review of “Burning Sky” by Lori Benton

Difficult to believe this is Lori Benton’s first novel!

Burning Sky cover

This is not my typical choice but I certainly do not regret picking it.

Growing up, I loved the movie “Last of the Mohicans” probably more because of Daniel Day Lewis and the incredible music than anything else. But I do have Native American heritage so I hated most movies about “Indians” as most with Native blood do.

I also grew up reading the fantastic frontier novels by Janette Oke and, while this novel is less about gushy romance and more about the harsh reality, it does have a certain romance to it.

I think Lori Benton has done a fantastic job and I can’t wait to read her next novel.

Well done!

The frontier period is a difficult one to write about. SO much of what we know about that time is more legend than actual fact but I get the feeling that Lori has done her homework.

And it is so refreshing, in a world that has such a strong focus on intense sexuality, to find a wholesome romance that is clean and decent. It’s definitely a book I am comfortable passing on to my daughter.

If you’d like you can look up more reviews, get more information, read a sample chapter or just read more about the author by clicking one of the links below.

Thank you for reading my review!

God Bless!

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

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

Check out my other reviews for them HERE.

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“Chasing Hope” by Kathryn Cushman

Let me just say, this was not at all what I expected. And it’s not at all my normal read. But I was pleasantly surprised.

Chasing HopeMy review is going to be a bit incomplete because apparently titles expire when you get them through NetGalley.

I wish I had realized that before I agreed to review the book but there’s nothing I can do about it now.

And I’m not someone who says they’ll do something and then backs down over a bit of difficulty. So here we go.

Before I go into too many details, a few words from Bethany House

A Touching Story of Two Unlikely Friends.
The Power of Trust.
The Struggle of Pain.
And How, Sometimes, Following God Can Lead You to the Most Unexpected Places.

A talented runner determined to make the Olympics, Sabrina Rice had her dreams shattered by a devastating diagnosis. One forfeited scholarship and several years later, she’s forged a new vision for her future that has nothing to do with running, which she’s buried deep, intent on forgetting…

Until the day she sees Brandy Philip running across the college campus, easily outpacing security. Sabrina immediately recognizes world class potential, and it’s all the more painful that it belongs to a troublemaking teen. When a chance encounter brings the two young women together, Sabrina realizes she’s Brandy’s best hope to salvage a life about to spiral out of control forever.

The story may not have been one I would have chosen but it is a good one. It’s a story of dealing with depression and disappointment. It’s a story of dealing with a heart-breaking situation that’s rubbed in your nose (for lack of a better description).

It’s a story of hope and healing, of helping out someone who needs help only you can provide. A story of finding yourself on a different path and dealing with it.

The first book of Kathryn Cushman’s that I read was “Almost Amish” – and I wasn’t entirely sure I would like this book. Having read it, I can’t honestly say I’ll read it over and over again (especially since the document on my reader expired… I really can’t) but it’s a book I would recommend to anyone who enjoys reading an inspirational story of healing a life that has taken a turn no one but God saw coming.

HERE is the link to this book’s page on the Baker Publishing Group Website.
If you want to check out the book page on GoodReads, click HERE.
And click HERE to visit Kathryn Cuchman’s website.

Review of “Forgiven” by Shelley Shepard Gray

9780061474477Another well-written novel in this wonderful series. “Forgiven” is the third and (I thought…last) in Shelley Shepard Gray’s Sisters of the Heart series.

This book deals mostly with Winnie; sister to Jonathan Lundy and friend to Katie (Brenneman). If you read book 2: “Wanted”, you’ll know Winnie has had some difficulties finding the right man to complete her life.

Oh, if only more young people would wait on God to bring the right person into their life… I guarantee you, he has someone for all of us. We just don’t always listen to him when he tries to steer us in their direction.

Anyway, I’m not going to tell you how everything turns out. Read it and see for yourself!

And I’m so excited to discover there is a special Christmas novel that Shelley Shepard Gray has also written for this series!

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I CAN’T WAIT TO READ IT!

 

 

Shelley is definitely one of my new favorite authors!

BRAVO Shelley for tackling some very tough issues in this series and writing beautifully about each one! These are difficult things to write about and you have definitely found the way to do it right!

GREAT JOB!

Her stories draw you in and make you feel like part of them.

She is an amazing writer. Her worlds are thorough and realistic. It’s difficult to believe her characters are fictional and the stories draw you in and make you feel like you are a part of them.

Don’t miss a single one of her books!

You can find more info about this book HERE on GoodReads
The book cover for “Grace” above is also linked to GoodReads.

And you can read more about Shelley Shepard Gray and her wonderful stories on her website HERE!

Happy Reading!

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God Bless You!

Review of “Wanted” by Shelley Shepard Gray

9780061474460

“Wanted” did not start out like I expected at all. But it did not take long at all for me to be sucked in. Another fantastic book in this series. I can’t wait to read the next one! And then move on to the next series! Shelley Shepard Gray is definitely one of my new favorite authors!

I can’t wait to read the next one.

The message conveyed in this book is a tough one. Shelley Shepard Gray found the way to do it right. So many people struggle with things they’ve done in their past and the Amish are no different. I’m sure they have fewer things to be ashamed of (and of a lesser magnitude as well) than we English but regrets are very much a part of being human.

…the Amish are no different…

As I understand it, the Amish time of running around is mostly used as a tool to show the young adults enough about the English world so that they can make an informed decision before they join the church. It’s a big decision and the church does not want anyone taking it lightly. I consider that to be a very good thing. No one should make a decision of such importance without having enough information to take it seriously.

The truthful portrayal of the Amish community and faith continues in “Wanted” with the same characters and we even meet a few new ones. A lot of writers miss this when it comes to writing a series. They get so caught up in making the second or third book “as good” as the first one and they miss out on how important it is to just continue the story. Shelley Shepard Gray continues the story perfectly. It’s a great read!

It’s a GREAT read!

I managed to find “Forgiven” at a really great price just a few days ago so I’m ready to keep reading. And I’m excited to find out where the story goes next!

If you enjoy Amish fiction AT ALL, read this series! You won’t regret it!

You can find more information about “WANTED” on GoodReads HERE. And you can read more about Shelley Shepard Gray on her Website HERE.

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Review of “Hidden” by Shelley Shepard Gray

 

HiddenTo be honest, I wasn’t sure I would like “Hidden” when I started reading but it didn’t take long at all for me to be completely and totally hooked.

There is a tremendous story within those pages.

This is the kind of book I have wanted to find since I first began reading Amish fiction. So many other books I’ve read deal with someone leaving the fold or coming back to it after a long absence. This is the first book I’ve read that hinted someone might decide to leave the world behind and JOIN the Amish life.

This is the kind of book I have wanted to find since I first began reading Amish fiction.

I applaud Shelley Shepard Gray for her masterful storytelling. Aside from the powerful message – she has filled “Hidden” with a warm, loving family of engaging people and a wonderful Inn filled with all sorts of intrigue.

The Amish family portrayed in “Hidden” is as true to what I know of the Amish as they can be. They are soft-spoken, true to each other and steadfast in their beliefs. After reading so many other books full of unbelievable characters and situation, it is so refreshing to find a realistic story that is so well-written and full of such wonderful people.

Hidden is as true to what I know of the Amish as it can be.

I have already begun reading book two in this series: “Wanted” and I can’t wait to see what treasures it’s pages hold.

If you enjoy Amish fiction AT ALL, read this book! Or the whole series! You won’t regret it!

Read this book! You won’t regret it!

In the meantime, you can read more about “HIDDEN” on GoodReads HERE. And you can find more information about Shelley Shepard Gray on her Website HERE.

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Review of “For Every Season” by Cindy Woodsmall

WOW! All I can say in this moment is WOW!

WOW!

For Every Season picOK. Now that I’ve taken a breath and calmed down a little… I’d like to give you some backstory before I go on with my review.

First, you should know that I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Company in exchange for an honest review.

When I picked it, I was excited because I’ve just gotten into this genre of Amish fiction and I’ve bought a lot of books lately to that end. Book 1 of this series: “A Season for Tending” was one of them. So I thought to myself, “Wow! I can read the one I have, find the second one and I’ll be all read up by the time I get the third one.”

YAY! right?

Well, first, I couldn’t find the second book anywhere. And when I finally did, I could only find it brand new and I am a bargain hunter at heart so I did the next best thing. I checked it out from the library. Now, of course I don’t want to give it back.

I am thrilled to have found this series.

I am thrilled to have found this series. The main character struggles with an issue that is very near and dear to my heart and I enjoy, so much, reading about it. I also enjoy reading about the ways of the Amish and the ways these Amish interact with the English around them.

I applaud Cindy Woodsmall!

I tweeted today that this series is Absolutely PERFECT for anyone who’s not 100% sure about reading Amish fiction. When I started reading, I thought it was a case of how the author got the Amish wrong. That is NOT IT AT ALL! This author is too good to have gotten her facts wrong. What she has written here is a wonderful example of how we English should be able to interact with Amish and how they should be able to interact with us. That is a powerful message and I applaud Cindy Woodsmall for it! Amazing!

When I read the first book in the series, I was wrapped up in the whole “getting the Amish wrong” angle and it slowed me up. By the time I read the second book, I hadn’t gotten it yet but I no longer cared. I just knew I had to read more. In this book, I got it. I finally understood the message. And while I’m ashamed it took so long to sink into my thick head, I’m thrilled it finally got through.

A recap: The first book of this series: “A Season for Tending” peaked my interest and whetted my appetite for more. I was so into the story by the time I started book two that I rushed out to the library to snatch it up before anyone else could.

I started the second book of this series: “The Winnowing Season” with a strong sense of excitement and happiness. It quickly gave way to frustration and irritation. I’m not telling why. Read it, you’ll see.

A lot of that irritation followed me as I started “For Every Season”. It took a lot of pages for me to realize that irritation wasn’t going anywhere. And still, I could not stop reading.

I tweeted earlier that it was Cindy Woodsmall’s fault I’ve not been tweeting much the past few days.

I also tweeted today that it was Cindy Woodsmall’s fault I’ve not been tweeting much the past few days. That is very true. Her storytelling has held me captive. Despite my irritation, I could NOT put the book down. I had to keep reading! I had to find out what would happen next! And now, having finished the third book in this series, I find myself sitting on pins and needles while I wait for the fourth. Seriously Cindy, write faster please!

This book is a perfect continuation of the story Cindy started painting in “A Season for Tending”. Too many authors flounder a bit in their telling of a continuing story. They try to make books stand on their own within a series and they spend half the book rehashing the ones before. They play it safe and end up doing things that worked in previous books and don’t take the chances that need to be taken to continue the story properly.

I couldn’t put the book down.

Cindy is not guilty of any of these things. She sprinkles in bits about the first and second books in all the right places and she does it so seamlessly you don’t even realize it’s been done. And she definitely had no problem taking chances. While I read, I was annoyed, irritated and frustrated to the point that I wanted to scream. But I didn’t put the book down. I couldn’t put the book down. I had to keep reading. I had to find out where this book would take us in the continuing saga of Samuel, Jacob, Leah, Landon and Rhoda.

I’m not good at synopsis so I’m going to direct you to GoodReads where you can read more about it. HERE

And you can find more information about Cindy Woodsmall and her other novels on her WEBSITE.

But trust me when I say that this series is worth your time. It’s a fantastic read and not just for those who LOVE Amish fiction but for anyone who loves a great story!

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And…here’s a list of GREAT links provided by WaterBrook Multnomah

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

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

Check out my other reviews for them HERE.

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Review of “The Prince” by Kiera Cass

PrinceI absolutely love having the flip side of a story! You always wonder what is going on in the other person’s head. It’s awesome to find out! Hardly any author does this and I always love it when they do!

Great job Kiera! Love It!

Oh and BTW… I hardly ever buy kindle books but I could not live without this one!

Check it out on GoodReads

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God Bless You!

Review for “The Elite” by Kiera Cass

Elite

Another fantastic book for this series.
Terrific character development. I know a lot of people were mad about how this one went along but I enjoyed it.

A lot of people are annoyed with America at this point for flip-flopping but I can actually see where she’s coming from. It’s hard being a teenage girl with her heart being pulled in two different directions.

I can not wait for the third book. April is sooooo far away

 

Get more info at Goodreads!

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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!