BOOK REVIEW | “When Love Returns” by Kim Vogel Sawyer



SOOOOO long I’ve waited for this book…
It was TOTALLY worth the wait too!

And so aptly named too! WOW!

When I picked up book 1 of this series, I did not think I would enjoy reading about the old-order Mennonites as much as my beloved Amish, but the way Kim writes them…


The series is named: The Zimmerman Restoration series – and WOW! WOW! WOW! Kim could not have named it better!

Healing begins with book 1 – and with book 3, well… I don’t want to spoil it for you, but it is a MUST READ!

I can hardly wait to get my hands on another book Kim has written!

If you’re anything like me… you won’t want to put this book down.


© JCMorrows 2015


More from Water Brook about When Love Returns:

Riddled with doubt and lingering regrets, will Suzanne and Paul find strength in God to explore a second chance at love?

It wasn’t easy to move back to the Old Order Mennonite community from which quiet, responsible Suzanne Zimmerman was shamefully sent away as a pregnant teen. Returning twenty years later to take care of her mother, Suzanne and Alexa—the daughter she raised as her own—have spent months rebuilding relationships with her family.

Now with the upcoming wedding of their biological daughter, Suzanne and Paul find themselves drawn to one another once again—but with new challenges to face. They have been single parents with painful pasts. Can Paul and Suzanne find the strength to rebuild the loving relationship that was torn apart by their teen pregnancy so long ago?

Suzanne must also let go of Alexa as she heads back to Indianapolis to visit friends–and as her chance to find her birth parents. Leaving the bed-and-breakfast in Suzanne’s apprehensive hands, Alexa embarks on a journey that will certainly change her life completely. Can mother and daughter trust God to restore all things in His timing?



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


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




 I was blessed to receive a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

All opinions are entirely my own.

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

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

BOOK REVIEW | Gather Around the Amish Table by Lucy Leid | COOKBOOK

OK… I may not have what it takes to be Amish but I’m pretty sure I can handle eating like the Amish! Of course I don’t have a garden to tend or acres of land to till, plant and tend to so I may have to find some clever ways to imitate the work they do to work off all those calories… otherwise my hips may have a fit on me. LOL!


Not too many people in today’s world have the time it takes to make every single thing their family eats from scratch.

More and more often, take-out or boxed meals is the norm… yes, even in our family… but with wonderful resources like this book, at least we have the opportunity to find some new recipes we can try out when we have the time or when we make the time for it anyway.

And the recipes inside pretty much ALL look amazing!

PLUS, the awesomeness of the book does not stop there! Lucy fills the pages with wonderful tips that anyone can use in everyday life. She also sprinkles in some fantastic stories about the people of the plain communities.

In short, this book is a treasure and I am thrilled I was given the opportunity to review it. I can hardly wait to try out the recipes that fill the pages. I may even pop back in with updates for you!

Until then, here are some pretty pictures here… just to tease you – and make you want to go snag a copy so you can start testing out the recipes yourself of course!

Review © JCMorrows 2015


image   image   image


YUM… right!


Gather Around the Amish Table (MennoMedia, September 2015)

Straight from Amish kitchens to yours, this cookbook offers favorite family recipes and charming stories from Amish and Mennonite cooks.

Bake the pecan rolls that taste best after an ice-skating party, or try the hoagies that a community sold to help an Amish family with hospital bills. Discover the cocoa cupcakes with instructions to “stir by hand” that one young cook took literally, or whip up the whoopie pies that one Amish woman took to market in her horse and buggy.

These cherished recipes speak of comforting traditions, lively communities, and strong Christian faith. Gather your family around the table to sample the nourishing fare and trademark charm of the plain people. In the words of one cookbook contributor: “Bake someone happy!”

Learn more and purchase a copy.



Lucy Leid is an Old Order Mennonite wife, mother, and cook in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Find out more about Lucy at


Get your fall baking underway with an Amish baking basket giveaway from Lucy and MennoMedia!


One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 29th. The winner will be announced September 30th on the Litfuse blog.



“The Plain Choice” by Sherry Gore

“A True Story of Choosing to Live an “Amish” Life”

Notice the “” around Amish? Yeah…

I read a lot of Amish fiction. Anyone who follows my reviews knows that, but there’s something about this that doesn’t ring quite true.

It’s possible there are huge differences in Amish fiction and Amish reality – I kinda figured that one anyway…

It’s possible the publisher really doesn’t know the difference between Amish and Mennonite…

It’s also possible they’re using the word Amish because a lot of other people don’t know the difference between Amish and Mennonite…

Whatever the reason – this book is a good read. Well, it’s not always a good read. Some of the things Sherry has been through are enough to make the average person incredibly thankful for their nice, quiet, boring life.

But it is an interesting read and there is a lot of good in the life Sherry has chosen for herself.

In fact, I could easily see myself doing much of what she does.

I can’t give up my car or my phone but I wear long skirts all the time already and I love the idea of living more simply. The world has become so complicated, it’s amazing any of us are sane.

Whether you enjoy Amish fiction, Mennonite fiction or just reading about someone’s crazy, messed-up, overwhelming life – “The Plain Choice” is a good choice!

Review © JCMorrows


More about the book from Zondervan:

Raised in a broken family and emotionally overlooked, Sherry Gore grew up without a solid foundation, a prisoner of her own poor choices, and at times without hope. A series of terrible mistakes left her feeling wrecked and alone and a sudden tragedy threw Sherry into an emotional tailspin too powerful to escape.

Sherry hangs by a thread, unable to see how she can go on living, until it happens: on a morning of no particular significance, she walks into a church and BAM the truth of Jesus forgiving love shatters her world and cleaves her life in two: She goes to bed stunned; she wakes up a Christian.

Unwilling to return to the darkness of her former life, Sherry attacks her faith head on. Soon the life Sherry Gore remakes for herself and her children as she seeks to follow the teachings of the Bible features head coverings, simple dress, and a focus on Jesus Christ. Only then does she realize, in a fit of excitement, that there are others like her. They are called Amish and Mennonite, and she realizes she has found her people.

The plain choice that Sherry makes is not easy and life still brings unexpected pain and heartache – but it changes everything for her, as she becomes one of the few people on earth to have successfully joined the Amish from the outside.

She has found her place. And her story proves that one can return from the darkest depths to the purest light with the power of God.”

I was blessed to receive a copy of this free in exchange for an honest review!




“When Mercy Rains” by Kim Vogel Sawyer



This is my first book by Kim Vogel Sawyer… it WILL NOT BE my last!

I didn’t think I would enjoy reading about the old-order Mennonites as much as my beloved Amish but the way Kim writes them… I did and I’ll certainly be watching for more!

What an amazing story Kim Vogel Sawyer has written!

And no easy plot for this amazing writer… no sir.

She meets the challenge of a complex plot filled with deep issues and emotions and she does it head-on!

This is not an easy book to read. It deals with real issues and you could almost swear the people are real too. The strength of emotion is so strong, it’s difficult for me to describe – but Kim does an amazing job of it.

Don’t think it’s overdone though. I’ve read books where you find yourself wishing they’d stop with the description and just get on with the story. But Kim weaves the story right around the descriptions as if they are a tightly woven strand of DNA.

You won’t want to put this book down.


© JCMorrows 2015


More from Water Brook about When Mercy Rains:

She left, heavily weighted with secrets.
But God reveals all things, in His timing.
And He redeems them.

Suzanne Zimmerman was only seventeen and pregnant when her shamed mother quietly sent her away from their Old Order Mennonite community in Kansas. With her old home, family, and first love firmly behind her, Suzanne moved to Indiana, became a nurse, and raised a daughter, Alexa, on her own.

Now, nearly twenty years later, an unexpected letter arrives from Kansas. Her brother asks her to bring her nursing abilities home and care for their ailing mother. His request requires that Suzanne face a family that may not have forgiven her and a strict faith community. It also means seeing Paul Aldrich, her first love.

Paul, widowed with an eight-year-old son, is relieved to see Suzanne again, giving him the chance to beg her forgiveness for his past indiscretion. But when he meets Alexa, his guilt flickers in the glare of Suzanne’s prolonged secret—one that changes everything.

Suzanne had let go of any expectation for forgiveness long ago. Does she dare hope in mercy–and how will her uncovered past affect the people she loves the most?



Can you go home again – When Mercy Rains?Tweet this!

When Mercy Rains – book one in the Zimmerman Restoration trilogy by Kim Vogel Sawyer!Tweet this!


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


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




 I was blessed to receive a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

All opinions are entirely my own.

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

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

A review of “The Midwife” by Jolina Petersheim

The Midwife by Jolina PetersheimWhat can I say about The Midwife?

I can say this. It is not a easy story to read.

Jolina Petersheim deals with some very strong and serious issues in The Midwife and it will be a very difficult book for a lot of women to read.

In my own case, it’s exceptionally difficult and I’m certain that has colored every perception that grew from the reading of this intensely emotional story.

Am I saying not to read this book?

NO. I am not saying that at all.

In fact, if you enjoy intense drama and deep emotional turmoil, this is definitely the book for you.

In fact, Jolina’s writing is so exceptional, I was drawn into the story – even when I was thoroughly disgusted with several different things about it.

I know it’s probably silly but I don’t care for the cover at all. In fact, I almost didn’t request it because of the cover alone but you know the old adage – “Never judge a book by it’s cover.”

I don’t care for the back and forth way the story is told – it’s difficult to keep up with and it seems unnecessary once the “big revelation” is made (not saying anymore than that), but it continues to the last chapter. It took me almost to the end of the book to understand why it has to be this way but I don’t care for it nonetheless.

I really don’t care much for Rhoda Mummau at all. She is not at all what she is supposed to be. Yes, she is human and humans make mistakes so her character is very believable and that is another thing that shows Jolina’s skill as a writer. We don’t have to like main characters for them to be written well.

So… What did I like about the story? That one is a tough question to answer without giving too much away. There are a lot of things revealed throughout the story that gave insight into why our characters are the way they are and I LOVE that Jolina put those tidbits in. Again, it just goes to show her depth as a writer. She knows that out characters have to have flaws to be “real”. And she doesn’t hesitate to paint them in vivid detail.

I liked the ending. I wish there had been more of it but I did like where everything ended up. I was very afraid for a long time that I was going to hate the ending so it was a vindication for my pushing on to the end to see where it all went. It wasn’t a perfect little fairy tale happy ending but it fit the story very well.

I liked how Jolina brought to many different things in to affect the characters lives. Without these small details and events, it would have been far too dry. But Jolina clearly knew what she was doing and brought in enough details to fill out the story and give it life.


Here is what Tynedale has to say about The Midwife:

Since the day Rhoda Mummau was baptized into the Old Order Mennonite Church and became the head midwife of Hopen Haus, she’s been torn between the needs of the unwed mothers under her care and her desire to conceal the secrets of her past. Contact with the outside world could provide medical advantages, but remaining secluded in the community gives her the anonymity she craves.

Graduate student Beth Winslow is on a path she never would have chosen. Heartbroken after surrendering a baby to adoption, she devotes herself to her studies until she becomes pregnant again, this time as a surrogate. But when early tests indicate possible abnormalities, Beth is unprepared for the parents’ decision to end the pregnancy—and for the fierce love she feels for this unborn child. Desperate, she flees the city and seeks refuge at Hopen House.

Past and present collide when a young woman named Amelia arrives to the sweeping countryside bearing secrets of her own. As Amelia’s due date draws near, Rhoda must face her past and those she thought she had left behind in order for the healing power of love and forgiveness to set them all free.

For more from Tynedale about The Midwife, click HERE

For, click HERE   For GoodReads, click HERE

To visit Jolina Petersheim’s website, click HERE





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

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

“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



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