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.

25 Books of Christmas!

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

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

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

I do apologize for any confusion.

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

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

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

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

So here are my own personal favorites!

A Simple Amish Christmas”
Simple Amish Christmasby Vannetta Chapman

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

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

The Christmas Quilt”
5660435by Vannetta Chapman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Christmas Gift for Rose”
17787021by Tricia Goyer

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

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

15851936A Christmas for Katie” by Shelley Shepard Grey

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

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

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

Christmas in Sugar Creek” by Shelley Shepard Grey 10680698

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

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

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

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

8501404Grace” by Shelley Shepard Grey

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

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

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

Peace” by Shelley Shepard Grey 17331333

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

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

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

The Sound of Sleigh Bells”
6275220by Cindy Woodsmall

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

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

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

The Christmas Singing” by Cindy Woodsmall10301098

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

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

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

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

The Dawn of Christmas”
17288591by Cindy Woodsmall

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

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

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

957993Christmas in Harmony” by Philip Gulley

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

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

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

The Christmas Scrapbook” by Philip Gulley 579063

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

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

This is a GREAT ADVENT Guide:

The ADVENTure of Christmas
986149by Lisa Whelchel

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

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

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

Story Behind the Book

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

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

Christmas Cradles”
Christmas Cradles by Kelly Longby Kelly Long

From GoodReads:

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

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

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

From GoodReads:

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

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

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

From GoodReads:

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

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

One Child”
One Child by Barbara Cameronby Barbara Cameron

From GoodReads:

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

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

10426868Christmas in Lancaster County”
by “Suzanne Woods Fisher

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

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

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

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

7861579Sarah’s Christmas Miracle”
by “Mary Ellis

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

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

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

Naomi’s Gift”
by Amy Clipston10956717

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

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

Naomi’s Gift re-introduces twenty-four-year-old Naomi King, who has been burned twice by love and has all but given up on marriage and children. As Christmas approaches—a time of family, faith, and hope for many others—Naomi is more certain than ever her life will be spent as an old maid, helping with the family’s quilting business and taking care of her eight siblings. Then she meets Caleb, a young widower with a 7-year-old daughter, and her world is once again turned upside-down. Naomi’s story of romantic trial and error and youthful insecurities has universal appeal. Author

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

A Plain & Simple Amish Christmas”
9039054by Amy Clipston

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

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

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

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

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

17814770Annie’s Christmas Wish”
by “Barbara Cameron

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

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

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

13613049A Wild Goose Chase Christmas” by “Jennifer AlLee

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

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

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

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

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

Wishing you and your family a
Merry Christmas this year!

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Conceding a Point on Amish Fiction.

Shipshewana-indiana-amish-buggy

Just for the record, I am not backing off on my earlier post. I still feel it is extremely important that Amish fiction be AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE to true Amish ways.

However, I have had a different point of view brought to my attention.

Perhaps so many of these lovely authors wrote a good, decent, wholesome, clean novel and they hoped to get it published but they were unable to sell it as it was written.

So ask yourself… what would the next step be?

Well, if they’re anything like me, they look at the market. And when they see how popular Amish fiction is currently – they would think to themselves “How can I fit my story into that genre?” and began editing. They would learn everything they can about Amish ways, dress, beliefs and language. Then they incorporate it all into their story. (I am not saying this is what every author who wrote a “less-than-perfect Amish” novel has done but I feel very strongly that some of them have).

Think about it. How many of these stories have you read (if you’re a fan of Amish fiction) that sounded like a novel written about normal people who just dressed like the Amish and used a few of their words? They’re still good books written by terrific authors. They’re just not truly about the Amish.

I stated in a previous post that I thought writers were determined to make us believe the Amish were exactly like us but I know that they are not. They are very different from us. They are very cautious to be different – to keep themselves separate.

I no longer think writers are doing this on purpose.

The best part is that I can enjoy these novels so much more now. I can let go of any bitterness or irritation and simply enjoy a good, clean story. And it’s refreshing to find the market flooded now with so many wonderful, wholesome stories when it used to be such a trial to find even one book that was not full of nasty language and inappropriate behaviors.

And so I shall.

Thank You to Beverly Lewis, Tricia Goyer, Vanetta Chapman, Wanda Brunstetter, Shelley Shepard Gray, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Cindy Woodsmall, Beth Wiseman, Dale Cramer, Amy Clipston, Mindy Starns Clark, Leslie Gould, Jerry Eicher, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Karen Kingsbury and all of the others I either haven’t read yet or haven’t discovered yet!

GOD BLESS YOU!

 

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God Bless You!