Book Review | “Sit, Stay, Love” by Dana Mentink

What do you get when you add one abrasive professional athlete, a quirky out-of-work schoolteacher, and an overweight geriatric dog? A lesson in love—Tippy style—in Dana Mentink’s new book, Sit, Stay, Love. As Gina travels through Cal’s world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame. When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too. . . .

Join Dana in celebrating the release of Sit, Stay, Love with a blog tour and a Travels with Tippy prize pack giveaway!

sit stay love-400

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of Sit, Stay, Love
  • A $75 Visa cash card
  • A basket filled with Tippy-themed goodies
    • Travel-themed decorator box
    • Reading dog statue
    • Dog journal
    • Poems for Dog Lovers
    • Snuggle Paws fleece blanket from Animal Rescue Site
    • Pawprint scarf
    • Doxie desk pen
    • Pupmobile auto magnet

tippybasket

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on April 25th. The winner will be announced April 26th on Dana’s blog.

sit stay love-enterbanner
Sit, Stay, Love

I am not a huge fan of dogs . . . so when I say I am excited about this book, you know I REALLY AM.

First of all, who would NOT love this CUTE little dog!

And it’s not just the dog that is cute . . .

Tippy’s story is a fun, adventurous read that will leave you laughing . . . and shaking your head at this surprisingly playful still a pup at heart’s antics.

And don’t miss the second book; Fetching Sweetness  – COMING in AUGUST!

{MORE ABOUT SIT, STAY, LOVE}

Sit, Stay, Love (Harvest House, April 2016)

Take one abrasive professional athlete, a quirky out-of-work schoolteacher, and an overweight geriatric dog, and you’re ready for a lesson in love . . . Tippy style.

Pro baseball pitcher Cal Crawford is not a dog guy. When he inherits his deceased mother’s elderly dog, Tippy, he’s quick to call on a pet-sitting service.

Gina isn’t thrilled to be a dog sitter when her aspirations lie in the classroom. Furthermore, she can’t abide the unfriendly Cal, a man with all the charm of a wet towel. But with no other prospects and a deep love for all things canine, she takes the job caring for Tippy.

As Gina travels through Cal’s world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame. When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too…

Discover the charming story of Tippy, the dog who brought a family together.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Dana Mentink

{MORE ABOUT DANA MENTINK}

Dana Mentink lives in California, where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and an award winner in the Pacific Northwest Writers Literary Contest. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third and fourth grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with her husband, two daughters, a dog with social anxiety problems, a chubby box turtle, and a feisty parakeet.

Find out more about Dana at http://www.danamentink.com.

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2016

 

“The Amish Clockmaker” by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner

A decades old mystery… A murder… A border dispute…

Not exactly what you expect from an Amish novel…

Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner definitely have a HIT on their hands!

The story starts out innocently enough – with a small dispute about the boundaries of property.

But it’s not long before you will find yourself pulled into a mystery, and a mystery you would never expect from as plain and quiet a community as the Amish.

Matthew Zook has little choice but to follow the clues and try to get to the bottom of this mystery that Mindy and Susan take us on.

You won’t want to put this book down… at least until you get to the last page – and you may find yourself disappointed when you reach that last page… just because the story is over.

A MUST read!

 

Here is a brief synopsis from Harvest House

From bestselling authors Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner, The Amish Clockmaker (Book 3 in the Men of Lancaster County series) explores the men of an Amish community in Lancaster County, how their Amish beliefs play out in their unique roles, and the women who change their lives.

Newlywed Matthew Zook is expanding his family’s tack and feed store when a surprising property dispute puts the remodel on hold—and raises new questions about the location’s mysterious past.

Decades earlier, the same building housed a clock shop run by a young Amish clockmaker named Clayton Raber. Known for his hot temper, Clayton was arrested for the murder of his beloved wife, a crime almost everyone—including his own family members—believed he’d committed, even after charges were dropped. Isolated and feeling condemned by all, Clayton eventually broke from the church, left Lancaster County, and was never heard from again.

Now the only way Matthew can solve the boundary issue and save his family’s business is to track down the clockmaker. But does this put Matthew on the trail of a murderer?

A timeless novel of truth, commitment, and the power of enduring love, where secrets of the past give way to hope for the future.

In the meantime, you can click the links below to find more info on this last book:

GOODREADS   HARVEST HOUSE

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

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

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

Miriam’s Secret by Jerry Eicher | Land of Promise #1

Miriam’s Secret is the first book in Jerry’s NEW Land of Promise series.

Jerry Eicher has begun another wonderful, true to life Amish series!

As usual, it’s full of emotion and difficult choices…

When the man Miriam is hired to care for dies, she is surprised to learn that she has inherited a huge fortune, along with his family farm.

Having grown up in an Amish home and teaching in Amish schoolhouses, Jerry Eicher knows very well the ways of an Amish community. This is such a unique situation – I can’t imagine this happens often to young Amish girls.

But you can see her faith in the choices she makes…

I don’t want to give anything away, so I’m going to tread lightly here… but it’s a great story!

From the first word, this story will draw you in – and it won’t let you go until the last page. Whether it is the superb writing or the wonderful plot, you will find this book impossible to put down… and if you’re like me, you’ll be wishing the second book was available the moment you finish the first book!

Don’t miss this wonderful new series – the Land of Promise!

 

Here is a brief synopsis from Harvest House Publishers:

Bestselling author Jerry S. Eicher (more than 600,000 books sold) brings new characters and surprising challenges to lovers of Amish fiction in the Land of Promise series.

In this first book, Miriam Yoder has a secret. Her compassionate care for Amos Bland during his last days resulted in her receiving a large inheritance. When Ivan Mast indicates his intentions at romance, Miriam suspects he’s discovered her hidden wealth and has plans that aren’t inspired by his love for her.

Seeking a fresh start where no one knows her, Miriam accepts a teaching position in faraway Oklahoma where she meets Wayne Yutzy, a local greenhouse employee. His interest in her seems genuine and when he proposes, Miriam accepts. Happiness surely awaits the newly engaged couple….or does it?

Book 1 in The Land of Promise series

You can click the links below to find more info on this NEW book:

GOODREADS   JERRY EICHER’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   IBOOKS   LIFEWAY

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review.

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

Finding Love At Home by Jerry Eicher | The Beiler Sisters #3

This has been a tough series for me. As you know, I have been hesitant for some time to actually read Jerry Eicher’s books but I finally relented after receiving this book from Harvest House to review.

Finding Love at Home is the third book in the Beiler Sisters series.

I don’t think it’s too repetitive to mention how Jerry writes such amazing, true-to-life Amish stories – because he grew up in the Amish faith.

This would give him a unique perspective that most authors who write Amish fiction just can’t reach.

I have seen this perspective – the influence from such a lifestyle – in every one of his books.

It’s also possible that a man’s point-of-view would be different from a woman’s – I think this adds a realistic outlook to the harsh reality of his stories. Yet this is very easy to picture when I think of the Amish lifestyle – it’s much harsher than the soft lives most people enjoy.

But oh, how I am beginning to love reading these stories… I lose myself in them – every time!

The characters portrayed in this story are comfortable friends to me now… and although I was hoping for something different – wow, I was blindsided again – everything worked out for the best. I dare not say more, so you can enjoy the book.

Do not miss this book or the rest of the books in this series.

OK… yes, this one gets 5 stars too. I may have to go back and give the first one 5 stars too…

 

Here is a brief synopsis from Harvest House Publishers:

From bestselling Amish fiction author Jerry Eicher, here’s another charming book about life among the Plain People.

All Debbie Watson wanted to do was join the Amish and live a simpler life. But when she moved in with her Amish neighbors, the Beiler family, she had no idea the turmoil that lay ahead.

As this final book in The Beiler Sisters series opens, Debbie is poised to marry Alvin Knepp, the Amish farmer she’s loved all along. Ida Beiler is recovering from the tragic loss of her husband-to-be in a farming accident, while her younger sister, Lois, is still running away from her faith.
Debbie takes it all in stride as she brings calm to the sorrowing Beiler family while finding happiness with the young man of her dreams.

Book 3 in The Beiler Sisters series

A recap of the three books in this series:

Holding a Tender HeartSeeing Your Face AgainFinding Love At Home

In the meantime, you can click the links below to find more info on this last book:

GOODREADS   HARVEST HOUSE   JERRY EICHER’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   IBOOKS

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review.

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

Seeing Your Face Again by Jerry Eicher | The Beiler Sisters #2

Seeing Your Face Again is the second book in the Beiler Sisters series by Jerry Eicher.

Book 2 in this series is a perfect example of the point I made in my last review – the young heroine in this book is on her way to joining the church (no easy task, mind you), only to discover that the man she loves has walked away from the church, his family, and her… to pursue a life in the city.

Oh the irony…

Oh the agony…

Just one more example of how REAL Jerry Eicher’s story lines are. More often than not, life doesn’t go the way we expect.

I don’t want to give away anything so I’m going to keep this review short and to the point…

1 – This is definitely a story worth reading. And… if you’re going to read this one you should really start with the first book in the series and then read this one.

2 – I am beginning to see the appeal. No, Jerry’s books aren’t easy to read and the heart-rending turmoil is difficult to deal with but that is what makes these books so irresistible. If they were easy to read, they wouldn’t leave you with such strong feelings about them.

And it is certainly telling that Jerry Eicher can write such deep emotions and show so realistically how his characters deal with them. WOW!

And just in case you’re interested, here is the LINK to my mother’s review of this book.

OK... I give. It has to get 5 stars
OK… I give. It has to get 5 stars

Here is a brief synopsis from Harvest House Publishing:

 Debbie Watson is a new convert to the Amish faith and still learning the plain ways of the community in Snyder County, Pennsylvania. She has already attracted two suitors: the insecure but lovable farmer, Alvin Knepp, and the brash Paul Wagler who reminds Debbie of the boyfriend she happily left behind in the Englisha world. When Alvin leaves the community for the big city, Debbie is crushed. Though her heart is with Alvin, she considers Paul’s continued interest in her. Should she simply give in and marry Paul….or wait to see if Alvin comes home?

Seeing Your Face Again is another Amish fiction treat you’ll love.  With Jerry Eicher’s sales at more than half a million books, his Amish fiction fans continue to wait eagerly for his next heart-felt story, brimming with the authenticity he brings from his own Amish background.

 

Don’t forget – I have one more book to go in this series:

Holding a Tender HeartSeeing Your Face AgainFinding Love At Home

In the meantime, you can click the links below to find more info on this book:

GOODREADS   HARVEST HOUSE   JERRY EICHER’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   IBOOKS

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

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

Holding a Tender Heart by Jerry Eicher | The Beiler Sisters #1

This has been a tough series for me. I have been hesitant for some time to actually read Jerry Eicher’s books because I see what a mess they make of my mother – who doesn’t shed a single tear anymore at scenes that rip me to absolute shreds…

Well, Harvest House sent me the third book in this series to review so of course, I had to check out the first two books.

Holding a Tender Heart is the first book in the Beiler Sisters series.

Jerry Eicher grew up in the Amish faith – which gives him quite a unique perspective for his stories.

My mother said in her review:

I like that Jerry lets you see these people as real people. Even the people who are too strict, by our own standards, are clearly only doing what they feel is right in the eyes of God and their church.

And that is the absolute truth. Many Authors of Amish fiction write sweet, pretty, romantic stories. There are hardships in some of them but most of the time, they are simple things… or the hardships are things we only see in the aftermath.

But with Jerry’s books, you see the down and dirty and the absolute worst of what a trial does to the characters.

And while it does – yes, make them believable and realistic in a way that you don’t typically see in a lot of other books, it also makes the stories more difficult to read… especially if you are  very tender-hearted person.

Nevertheless, there is something different… special… extraordinary about Jerry Eicher’s novels. He has been quite blessed in his writing and his books continue to top the charts.

And I hope they continue to do so because, whether I can handle the flood of emotions they bring or not, readers love the stories that Jerry continues to bring to life through his characters and their real-life struggles.

BRAVO Jerry Eicher!

4 Stars
(It gets 4 stars ONLY because this is NOT a book I will be reading over and over again – don’t get me wrong… it’s worth 5 stars but I just can’t see myself picking it up again anytime soon)

 

Here is a brief synopsis from Harvest House Publishers:

From the pen of bestselling Amish fiction author Jerry Eicher (half a million books sold) comes a charming new series set in Snyder County, Pennsylvania.

Debbie Watson is a young Englisha girl who has grown up admiring her Amish friends, the Beiler sisters.  As she prepares to graduate from college, Debbie considers making the life-changing decision to convert to the Amish faith and lifestyle.

Soon Debbie’s presence in the community attracts the attention of two suitors: Alvin Knepp, the youngest son of a poor Amish farmer, to whom Debbie is very much attracted; and Paul Wagler, the more successful and sought-after man, whose constant attention to Debbie reminds her of her old Englishaboyfriend—whom she’d rather forget.

Jerry Eicher’s many fans and readers of Amish fiction will love this heartwarming new series from a master storyteller.

Over the next three days, I will be reviewing each book in this series:

Holding a Tender HeartSeeing Your Face AgainFinding Love At Home

In the meantime, you can click the links below to find more info on this first book:

GOODREADS   HARVEST HOUSE   JERRY EICHER’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   IBOOKS

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

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

Just in time for the holiday shopping… My review of “The Amish Blacksmith” by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner

 

Another wonderful series by two talented authors!

This series began with “The Amish Groom” … and Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner have done a marvelous job with this next installment –
“The Amish Blacksmith”.

It’s not often we get to see a series that features Men as the main character. It is a whole new take on a very popular genre and I feel like Susan and Mindy have just nailed it!

It is enlightening to see the differences in how men approach the same situations as we are usually reading about from a woman’s perspective.

But Mindy and Susan have found the way to do it right and the fans agree that this is a hit!

Don’t miss the first book in the series; “The Amish Groom” and don’t miss the next book – coming in 2015; “The Amish Clockmaker”!

And be sure to check out other books by Mindy and Susan too!

 

5star

 

Here is what Harvest House has to say about “The Amish Blacksmith”:

 

New from bestselling authors Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner, The Amish Blacksmith (Book 2 in The Men of Lancaster County series) explores the men of an Amish community in Lancaster County, how their Amish beliefs play out in their unique roles, and the women who change their lives.

Apprenticed blacksmith Jake Miller is skeptical of Priscilla Kinsinger’s innate ability to soothe troubled horses, especially when he has own ideas on how to calm them. Six years earlier, Priscilla’s mother died in an awful accident at home, and Priscilla’s grief over losing her mother was so intense that she was sent to live with relatives in Indiana. She has just returned to Lancaster County.

Not that her homecoming matters to Jake, who is interested in courting lighthearted Amanda Shetler. But Jake’s boss is Priscilla’s uncle, and when the man asks Jake to help his niece reconnect with community life, he has no choice but to do just that. Surprisingly, he finds himself slowly drawn to the beautiful but emotionally wounded Priscilla.

Jake then determines to prove to her that it’s not her fault her mother died, but what he discovers will challenge everything they both believe about the depth of love and the breadth of forgiveness.

 

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

GOODREADS   HARVEST HOUSE PUBLISHERS

MINDY’S WEBSITE   SUSAN’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   LIFEWAY   ITUNES   

 

 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review
from the Harvest House Publishers review program.

 

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

 

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

 

 

 

My review of “A Plain Man” by Mary Ellis

20140722-131948.jpgRecently I read Mary Ellis’s Civil War romance “The Quaker and the Rebel” and was immediately hooked on Civil War romances!

If I were not already a fan of Amish fiction, “A Plain Man” would make me one. It’s no wonder Mary Ellis is such a popular author!

WOW!

Mary Ellis is one of those authors that simply refuses to take the easy way – she refuses to steer clear of touchy subjects, instead meeting them head-on with wit and wisdom – showing us God’s love in a world very much in need of it!

She refuses to write simple characters, instead presenting us with REAL people – with flaws and weaknesses and real, true emotion!

And she refuses to give us an easy course, instead showing that the way of life is not always easy. Sometimes we stumble, sometimes we fall – but God is always there to pick us back up!

AMAZING!

Now, of course, I’m determined to go hunt down every single book she’s written so I can read and enjoy them all!

Some authors are content to tell a story – Mary Ellis will make you experience… EVERYTHING!

Don’t miss this book! And don’t miss her others either! Her Amish fiction is JUST as wonderful as her Civil War fiction! I know it seems a little backward that I would say it that way since she wrote Amish first… but to be fair, I started with the Civil War so…

 

5star

 

And here is what Harvest House has to say about “A Plain Man”:

 

Bestselling author Mary Ellis offers an engaging new standalone Amish romance about a prodigal seeking to find his way home.

Though Caleb Beachy lived in the Englisch world for some years, he is a Plain man at heart. When he decides to return to the Amish lifestyle, he moves back home and goes to work for his father. Soon these two strong-willed men find themselves at odds. Caleb discovers there’s more to embracing his faith and reconnecting with the community than merely driving a horse and buggy and giving up Levis.

Josie Yoder was just a girl when he left. All grown up now, she gives Caleb hope for the future. She soothes his frayed temper and is determined to remind him that while his faith may have wavered, God never left his side. Caleb is tempted to return Josie’s feelings, but the choices he made while away are a heavy burden on his conscience. Will past mistakes end up destroying their fledgling romance? Or will she be able to break through the wall around his heart?

A Plain Man is more than just a sweet romance centered in Amish beliefs. It’s the ever-fresh story of a wounded heart finding joy, health, and healing in God’s infinite grace.

 

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

GOODREADS   HARVEST HOUSE PUBLISHERS   MARY’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   LIFEWAY   ITUNES   BOOKSAMILLION

 

 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review
from the Harvest House Publishers review program.

 

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

 

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

 

 

 

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!

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway, before I get going…

A few words from Harvest House about the book:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5star

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

Or click HERE to read more reviews over at GoodReads

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

13 Days til Christmas

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

GOD BLESS YOU!

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

The Amish Canning Cookbook by Georgia Varozza

Ah the best laid plans of bloggers & reviewers…

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The last cookbook I reviewed was a bit of a disaster. I read through it & it looked good on the surface. Unfortunately it only looked good on the surface.

That is not true of this one. This book is very well-written, well put-together and it offers enough information that I believe the novice “canner” will have no need for any other resources.

“The Amish Canning Cookbook” by Georgia Varozza is a great find for our family and I believe anyone else who cans or is considering starting to can!

“PLAIN AND SIMPLE LIVING AT ITS HOMEMADE BEST”

The above quote says it all, in my opinion. For Ms. Varozza, canning isn’t just a hobby… it’s a way of life. Her book teaches that for families who choose a simpler way of life of eating whole grains and healthier foods, canning is an important asset. It creates self-reliance; from planting a garden or visiting a farmers market, to canning the food, to prepare better tasting, healthier, natural food from God’s bounty.

After the brief introduction telling why she feels canning is an important part of making her home a better place for her family. This wonderful book includes everything you need to know (or could ever want to know) about canning! The chapters include a brief history of canning, how to get started, and step-by-step guides for water-bath and pressure canning.

Then comes the huge assortment of recipes!

Butters, jams, and jellies. Pickles and sauerkraut. Tomatoes. Fruit and pie filling (I didn’t expect to find fruit and pie filling recipes, but by golly, she included them. Then comes vegetables, meat, poultry and fish recipes… along with soups, stews and other good things.

PRACTICAL ASPECTS of the Book:

I have noticed a lot of cookbooks lately that have very thin pages. Personally, my favorite cookbook pages are either plastic or in plastic sleeves but this is not always practical for a professionally published cookbook. This cookbook has very good, thick pages. These pages will not be easily ruined by cooking spills and they will not curl up in the heat of the kitchen.

Also there is space on every single page for your personal notes. This is a tremendous asset as well because every cook or canner will have little things about recipes that they change, adding or subtracting. And it is always easier to be able to look at the recipe and see your notes right there with it. (This is one of the instances where plastic pages would be impractical.)

The binding is perfect for a cookbook as well. Too many people put a regular spine binding on cookbooks but this book is spiral bound and that makes it so easy to open the book, lay it flat and see your recipe while you’re using it. It’s great!

All together, a wonderful book. Very well-done. A very smart purchase for any canner. Also it would make a great gift for anyone of your friends or in your family who can.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Harvest House Publishers in exchange for a free review. (If I had not though, I definitely would have bought it. It’s a great book! And I plan to search out her other cookbook as well.)

I give this book 5 stars and I would recommend it to everyone!

Click HERE for the Harvest House Publisher’s Page about the book,
HERE for the GoodReads page and HERE for the author’s blog.

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!

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