“A Simple Charity” by Rosalind Lauer | Book 3 in the Lancaster Crossroads series | Stop #14 of my Salute to Christmas Reads!

OK, this book totally works in my Salute to Christmas Reads! Which is AWESOME! …mostly because the book is awesome and I want to give it as much attention as I possibly can!


A Simple Charity by Rosalind Lauer


I didn’t think Rosalind Lauer could get any better! But it seems like every book of hers I read is even better than the last one!

With the first three books Rosalind wrote; A Simple Winter, A Simple Spring and A Simple Autumn – Rosalind introduced us to the wonderful community of Halfway and I didn’t get the chance to freak about it because I didn’t actually discover her wonderful books until the second series had already started.

I did start by reading the first series and then I was blessed to be able to go right into the next… until I had to wait for this one – A Simple Charity.

And now I’m freaking out because I don’t want it to end!

I’m hoping that either Rosalind has more planned for this series or else she’s going to start another series but with these same characters! They’re too amazing to let go of!

And Rosalind Lauer has a particular talent for blending the Amish community with the English community that makes her books so much more appealing. For those of us who don’t necessarily want to make such a drastic change, it’s exciting to think that we could just move into the community and live alongside the plain people.

It’s certainly on my own wish list!

Of course it’s also tricky because I have fallen completely and totally in love with THESE people and THIS community! It’s just too well-written! Rosalind makes her characters so real, I feel like I could go to Halfway and meet them all!

Oh well… I’ll just have to be content with them in my imagination.

In the meantime, you can find more about this book HERE on the book page at Random House

And here is a little sneak peek from Random House


Although she is still in her twenties, Fanny Lapp has known a lifetime of love and heartache. Twice widowed, she has a home to maintain, a renovation in the works, and a family to raise—all without a husband. Fortunately, in the Amish community, help is never far away. To ease Fanny’s burdens, the bishop sends Zed Miller to the Lapp house. Fanny is drawn to kind, handsome Zed, who suffers from sins of the past. But to everything there is a season, and Fanny cannot act on her feelings while mourning her husband.

Newly returned to his Amish roots after many years in the outside world, Zed knows he must prove himself to earn acceptance from his community. Without a second thought, he picks up a hammer and sets to work helping Fanny fulfill her dream of turning an old carriage house into a women’s childbirth center. Soon Zed finds himself a part of Fanny’s daily chores, sharing her laughter and sorrow. Knowing that time flows like a river, running slow and steady, Zed plans to wait on his love. But when their secret is discovered, how deep will the disapproval of their community run?



A reminder that the greatest gifts come from the heart.Tweet this!

A Simple Charity shines like the sun with the blessings of everyday miracles.Tweet this!


You can find out more about the books or purchase it by clicking the links below




I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from Random House!






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A look into our fabulous past! And some GREAT Recipes to boot! | “The Soda Fountain” by Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman

 This book is an absolute GEM!


Every story, every recipe, every page of wonderful history makes this book one that anyone and everyone will enjoy!

If you have ever wanted to know how to make classic soda fountain floats, sodas or sundaes – this is the book for you!

And along with it, you get pages and pages of exquisite history!

It’s absolutely wonderful!

I didn’t even know there was a BONUS history at the beginning of the book when I requested it but I really enjoyed reading about how Soda Fountains got their start, how they changed and grew with the times and sadly… how they slowly disappeared from our cities and neighborhoods. It’s wonderful to discover so much I never knew about such a fun subject!

It is also quite exciting to see that people like Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman are doing what they can to bring back this fabulous icon of American history!

And in case all of that isn’t enough… the recipes are absolutely wonderful!

Chapter 7 contains recipes for 17 different syrups. And they are ALL made with the finest ingredients – which is something I have looked high and low for. My children have allergies and it is very difficult for us to enjoy things like snow cones or flavored sodas because of the ingredients found in the syrups you find in stores… even the expensive ones. But now I have a resource that allows me to make these syrups for our own personal use with no fear of allergic reactions.

Chapter 10 gives us recipes AND ideas for more than 20 tempting sundaes and Chapter 13 includes twenty-one delectable recipes for baked goods! Who would expect baked goods in a book about ice cream! Oh these are recipes you’ll find at the Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain! And do they know how to tease your taste buds! YUM!

There are also wonderful little tips and hints sprinkled throughout the book, along with step by step instructions for making the delicious deserts and sodas – who would have known you have to brine a maraschino cherry? Gia and Peter knew! And they’ve shared so many of their secrets with us!

This is NOT just a recipe book! It is an instructional guide – right down to giving us a list of things we will need for the recipes – not just ingredients but equipment too!

WOW! What a well thought-out book!

Granted there are no recipes for ice cream, and that was a bit of a surprise to me but I suppose they have to keep something under their hat for another book… 🙂

The recipes in this book are beyond worth the sticker price – in my own personal opinion. If I had not received a free review copy, I would certainly purchase this book! In fact, it would make a great birthday gift for several of my friends!


I’m off to purchase some ingredients so we can enjoy a new recipe or two… although I think my waistline is going to insist we stick to only 1 or 2 new recipes a week.




What Random House has to say about “The Soda Fountain” :

A collection of 70 recipes celebrating the history and stories of the classic American soda fountain from one of the most-celebrated revival soda fountains in the country, Brooklyn Farmacy.

     A century ago, soda fountains on almost every Main Street in America served as the heart of the community, where folks shared sundaes, sodas, ice cream floats, and the news of the day. A quintessentially American institution, the soda fountain still speaks of a bygone era of innocence and ease. When Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain opened its doors in 2010, it launched a revival of this great American original, capturing the hearts of a new generation.

    Featuring abundant full-color photography and vintage illustrations and advertisements, The Soda Fountain explores a rich history—from the origins of seltzer in the nineteenth century, through the transformation of soda during Prohibition and the Depression years, right up to today’s fountain renaissance. Featured recipes range from classics like the Purple Cow and Cherry Lime Rickey to contemporary innovations that have made Brooklyn Farmacy famous, like The Sundae of Broken Dreams (topped with caramel sauce and broken pretzel bits) and Makin’ Whoopie! Sundae (with hot fudge and mini chocolate whoopie cakes).

     Recreating beloved treats like egg creams and milkshakes with local, seasonal, and artisanal ingredients, Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman, the sibling cofounders of Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain, teach you how to resurrect the proud American soda fountain tradition at your own kitchen counter. With its fascinating anecdotes, mouth-watering pictures and easy-to-follow steps,this nostalgic cookbook proves that the soda fountain is a culinary and cultural institution that continues to delight.


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





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


Happy Reading




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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“A Simple Hope” by Rosalind Lauer | Book 2 in the Lancaster series

A Simple HopeI didn’t think I was ever going to find a copy of this one.

The local library hasn’t bought a copy yet and I was itching to read it.

Fortunately, Random House is supportive of Book Bloggers/Reviewers…

Rosalind Lauer has a very special talent. It takes a very strong talent to be able to find more and more stories to tell about one particular community – especially without the feeling that the same material is being recycled.

Rosalind Lauer has managed to write 5 books, 1 eBook and another book to come about the community in Halfway. And not one of those stories have been even remotely the same.

However, there have been some marvelous crossovers. Rosalind has invited us into a true community.

And we get to know a little bit more of it with every book. I know I’m looking forward to A Simple Charity – book 3 in this current series, and I hope there will be many more to come after it!

Rosalind dealt with one theme in her first series – Faith. And it seems the theme for this series is Healing. In A Simple Faith, we see that healing is not just about the body. That theme continues in this book – A Simple Hope, beautifully. James was only a part of the story in A Simple Faith but A Simple Hope is clearly his story – His and Rachel’s.

We continue to see our favorite characters from other books and we meet new ones as well but this story is definitely about James and his family and Rachel and the talent God blessed her with.

It’s truly amazing that Rosalind can keep writing about such serious issues without falling into a soap opera-feel. But there is never any feeling of being embroiled in the kind of drama you would find in one of those. What we see here is real-life drama, plain and simple – with a wonderful twist of being found in the plain and simple Amish community.

It’s difficult to believe that Rosalind Lauer is not Amish herself.

She certainly writes with an accuracy that makes you feel as if she is, or as if she grew up Amish. It’s an incredible thing. You would never know these weren’t written by someone who is very much embedded in that faith.

And yet, they’re also written with such flair. It doesn’t take more than a few paragraphs to be completely draw in to the story.

I look forward to reading many more of Rosalind Lauer’s books. I’m already itching to get my hands on  A Simple Charitywhich is scheduled to be released in October of this year.

In the meantime, you can find more about this book HERE on the book page at Random House

And here is a little sneak peek from Random House


Ever since the accident that confined him to a wheelchair, James Lapp has fought relentlessly to regain his strength. He knows he must be whole and healthy to run his family’s orchard and provide for Rachel King, the young woman he plans to marry. But when he defies his father’s wishes and seeks treatment outside their close-knit Amish community, James discovers just how long and treacherous the road to recovery will be. Unwilling to saddle a wife with his troubles, James decides he must part with the woman he loves.

Rachel won’t give up her dream of being a devoted wife to James, and it breaks her heart to watch him shut her out. Then their lives change forever when a runaway Englisher girl hides in the Lapp orchard. Rachel and James feel they must risk the disapproval of their friends and neighbors to help her. Will the young stranger bring them closer—or will the consequences of a shared secret tear them apart once and for all?

Revealing the wonder of plain, everyday blessings, A Simple Hope burns bright with the power of love to heal even the deepest wounds.

You can also click HERE to read more reviews on ChristianBook.com and HERE for GoodReads

Click HERE to visit Rosalind Lauer’s Facebook Page.

And I bet you’re still wondering how I ever got my hands on a copy of the book. Well…

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from Random House! YAY!




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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“A Simple Faith” by Rosalind Lauer | Lancaster Crossroads Book 1

A Simple FaithThe first time I spotted A Simple Faith was on the bookshelf at Wal-Mart. I should have picked it up then but I couldn’t really afford to spend the $$ so I waited.

Thankfully I found a copy on sale later and I am so glad I did.

I’ve discovered a wonderful new author in Rosalind Lauer and I have four books, so far, of hers – two from her previous series and two from this one.

I’ve had to check a couple out at the library but I’m watching for sales at the local Christian Book Stores and Wal-Mart, of course.

And I will be reviewing the second book in this series soon, thanks entirely to Ballantine/Random House!

Rosalind Lauer is an exceptional author. Even having read her first series, I was not prepared for how great this book would be.

It’s a great read!

I will say that I’m a bit confused about who exactly is on the cover of the book – typically the cover of the book features the main character but none of the “main” characters of the story fit the picture we see.

Whoever is or is not depicted on the cover, the story inside is exceedingly well-written. Right away, Rosalind Lauer pulls us into this wonderfully simple world. We feel like we are right there with Elsie as she runs the store and Haley as she helps her patients.

And it’s always exciting to see crossovers. We get to see some of the characters from Rosalind’s first series make appearances in this one. It’s wonderful to meet so many new characters and see how they interact with the ones we already know and love. It’s just one more facet of Rosalind’s talent.

She takes a fresh story and winds it into the community we already feel as though we are a part of.


You can find more about this book HERE on the book page at Random House/Ballantine.

And here is a little sneak peek from Random House


Rushing to the scene of a tragic highway collision, nursing student Haley Donovan draws on her training to care for the passengers in the crumpled van. The experience wins her a place in Lancaster County’s tight-knit Amish society, and draws her to kindhearted psychologist Dylan Monroe. Working side by side with Dylan, who is bringing counseling services to the small town of Halfway, Haley feels an undeniable attraction between them, yet she senses that Dylan is holding back, scarred by the wounds of his past.

Elsie Lapp, the manager of Halfway’s country store, is a voice of cheer and goodwill for her customers. But Elsie’s serene world spins out of control with the terrible crash, and the young woman finds herself grappling for the simple faith that has always sustained her. Her burden is eased by Ruben Zook, a neighbor known for his snide jokes. In the aftermath of the accident, Ruben reveals a tender heart that could easily sweep her away. However, Elsie carries secrets that keep her from surrendering her heart.

Exploring the ways that faith, hope, and charity bring everyone together, A Simple Faith resonates with the sweetness, purity, and power of love.

You can also click HERE to read more reviews on ChristianBook.com and HERE for GoodReads

Click HERE to visit Rosalind Lauer’s Facebook Page.

Happy Reading



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