25 Book Reviews

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Book Exemplifying Our Covenant with Christ

Product Details"Covenant Child"
By Terri Blackstock

I always love the mystery and intrigue in Terri's books and this one is no exception. It seems very different from her recent creations , in theme and plot, but if possible, is even better than her other series!! IF THAT COULD BE POSSIBLE!!
Terri involves you with the characters from the opening chapter to the last page of the book. I could not put this down. Meals, housework, bed could wait, I just had to read one more page....!!! The heartache experienced by the two little girls was just unbelievable. You get so engrossed with these little ones and their problems, that you want to jump in and save them.
The twists and turns in the plot keep you guessing. I would just think I figured out how it was going to turn out, and then another event would take over !! The suspense is great!! Anyone who loves a great mystery but no blood or gore, this book is for you!

Terri states that she wrote this book to exemplify the covenant we have with Christ and illustrate it in a way that both believers and non believers would understand. She was indeed successful.  

Lizzie and Kara are twins, who have lost their  biological mother at an early age. Their father remarried and they were in the midst of being adopted by their stepmother , when a tragedy occurs. Their father is killed in an accident.
We discover that unknown to the new mom and children, the father comes from an extremely wealthy family family and his children  will inherit this eventually , although it was left to his wife in his will, with the condition that she care for his children.  Then comes the surprise, the biological mother's parents arrive on the scene and in a court fight, get custody of the girls. To Amanda's dismay, she is not even allowed to see the girls. For years , she strives to keep in touch. The girls are unaware of her undying love for them.

This story follows along the lines of the Bible story of the Prodigal Son. The girls would be welcomed home, but will they be allowed to go????

This book helps us to understand God's love for us and the grace he offers. As a result of taking the grace we receive the inheritance. A GREAT book!!

This ebook was supplied by Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Review of Book 3 of the "Women of Lancaster" series!

Product Details"The Amish Bride"
    By Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Clark

This book continues the story of the family that was involved in Books 1 and 2 of this series. Mammi plays an important role in this book, along with her granddaughter, Ella, who she expects to solve a mystery that has troubled her Mammi for years and eventually herself , as well. It involves a wooden box from Switzerland, handmade, that was carved in detail of the Home Place.  This was the farm in Indiana where Mammi and Ella's mother grew up.  
Ella has been given a journal , written by her great grandmother, that has pictures , recipes, diary entries, but the most puzzling of all are small detailed drawings and symbols. Of course, artwork such as this , is frowned upon by the Plain faith. Mammi wants Ella to discover what these symbols mean and break the code , to find the hidden secrets that she is sure are hidden within this book.

Ella  and Ezra are in love and hope to marry some day, but she is Mennonite while he is an Amish man. Both of them are Plain , but one of them will have to leave their faith and beliefs to continue their relationship.  Ezra's family sends him to Indiana  to work on a dairy farm, hoping that distance will cool the romance. However.... Ella disregards her family's wishes and follows him. The Home Place just happens to be there, so she can research as well as be with the one she loves. She finds a place to live , a job and an unexpected friendship with an Amish farmhand , Luke.  

While all of this is going on, she continues to attempt solve the mystery of the journal for her Mammi. With the help of Luke, she has a major breakthrough that will definitely shock all of the family. The element of surprise is constantly used in this book. The twists and turns in the plot keep one completely captivated. A family tragedy forces Ella back to her home in Pennsylvania where she must face all she has been running from. After making peace with those important to her, she has to make one very important decision- two men- whose bride will she become??? Luke's or Ezra's???

This book is a wonderful story of Plain woman who are struggling to find their place in life, while challenges confront them,

Wonderful development of character is present in this book. You feel as though you are living with them and are involved in every problem, while you rejoice with them when answers are found.

This ebook was provided by Net Galley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A New Kelly Irvin Book to Enjoy

Product Details
A Heart Made New
By Kelly Irvin
As I began reading this Amish novel, I thought to myself, "Oh this is the same old stuff. An Englischer gets involved with an Amish person, a person gets ill, there are challenges as the lifestyles clash." Boy , was I wrong!! This was a unique, intriguing story. The characters are so well described that you can imagine their looks and their personalities- they become very dear friends. You suffer with them in their problems and rejoice in their successes. Kelly has developed her characters in a realistic fashion, so that they could be people you would meet in the Amish community setting.
The plot was exciting and had many twists and turns. It kept you thinking throughout the book . I was unable to predict what would happen next. Kelly did a fantastic job of having more than one theme going on in the book. There were actually two stories that fit together. Very different and fantastic.
Logan, is the "bad guy" , an Englischer , who tries to rob the bakery run by the Amish , saying he has to do it to feed his family. A shot is fired and he ends up in jail, against the wishes of the Amish community whose faith says forgiveness is the answer not punishment. His girlfriend, pregnant and with a little girl arrives on the scene, homeless, with no money. That is again where the Amish pull together. Annie who was threatened at the bakery , takes it upon herself to show compassion and help this young mom.  
Meanwhile, Annie's intended, David is suffering from cancer and undergoing treatment. He is not dealing well with this challenge and his story becomes a second important part of the plot of the book. Will God change things to heal him and his relationship with Annie?
Will Logan have to go to jail? Will his girlfriend forgive him? The end of the book was a total surprise. I sincerely hope there is a sequel. I WANT to know what happens next!!

This ebook was provided by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. 

Beverly Lewis has done it again!! WOW!! What a great book!!

Product Details

               "The Fiddler"

          By Beverly Lewis

Another fantastic Amish novel from the author who gave birth to this popular genre in 1997!  "The Shunning" was her first book that hit it big and those great books have not stopped coming. The setting is always in Pennsylvania , where Beverly was born and raised, thus her background in knowledge of Amish life is  exceptional. 

"The Fiddler" takes place in Hickory Hollow, Pennsylvania, where Beverly's first novels began, however this book has brand new characters, drama and new romances.   An Englischer, Amelia Devries, takes a wrong turn in a rainstorm and ends up in a challenging situation, throwing her already confused life into turmoil. A concert violinist who likes to fiddle- quite the combination, and in total opposition to her parents' wishes. Now, Amelia encounters new difficulties and changes in her life.

Amelia meets Michael Hostetler, a devout Amishman, who lives in the exquisite little town of Hickory Hollow, an Old Order Amish community. Despite two very different backgrounds,  both of these characters are feeling the same pressures, being hemmed in by the wishes and expectations of others. They are undergoing the same feeling of  trying to attain their own goals and hopes, while it seems as it everyone important to them is opposing them.

Will this chance encounter change their path in life forever? Will  God get them through these tough times?

Beverly successfully combines drama, romance and intense feelings into a winning story of faith and accepting God's plan for their lives. The characters become part of you- you worry with them , fear for them, and rejoice in their successes.
I could not put this book down. Had it read in a day and a half!!! Now, I am eagerly waiting for Book 2 in this series.
Great, great book!!!
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

A Good Video for all of us to see- AND a good book to follow!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A New Amish Book by Mary Ellis

Living in Harmony (The New Beginnings Series)
 Living in Harmony by Mary Ellis
This is Amish fiction at its best. Mary Ellis uses a very different setting for her story. It is not the typical PA, Indiana or Ohio community. She has her characters move to Harmony, Maine, from Lancaster PA. In this move, a young couple who plans to wed, meet challenges and lifestyle changes that contrast dramatically from those in PA.  Amy and John  are not able to marry as they had planned. Amy's sister , Nora , who has moved with them , to be with John's brother and his wife, is frustrated - no rumspringa for her!! Not allowed in Maine.  The characters go through depths of despair- the girls have lost both parents in a fire and had had hopes to find happiness in Harmony. The last thing they found here was harmony and happiness. You find yourself crying and struggling with them . Mary has done a fantastic job of describing her characters. They become part of your family and you feel every emotion with them.
The plot is well developed with many twists and turns along the way. Just when I thought I had the story figured out , a new idea would appear. I could NOT put this book down.  Mary keeps you completely engrossed in her plot. Will John and Amy ever marry? A shunned aunt appears on the scene to complicate the plot . This becomes an integral part of the story. What will happen to Nora, the young sister? Will she stay in Maine, where she is extremely dissatisfied and unhappy? Can God meet all of their needs  and will they follow His plan? We are left hanging at the end of this book- Nora's future is in question. I sure hope Mary Ellis plans to continue this series. I HAVE to know what happens!!
Super book!!
EBook supplied by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Two Lives Become One

                                    "The Lion Cubs"                   The Lion Cubs By Chrissy M. Dennis 

This book caught my attention on the very first page and kept it until I had read the last page- a 400 page book that took me only three days to read- I would think that speaks for itself!  I was spellbound by this author's creation.  Chrissy has the unique ability to capably intertwine two separate lives and stories, until she brings the two main characters together to a common place. Her description of the characters has you so attached to them, that the tears flow when you discover each one's heartaches and challenges.  The plot has unexpected twists and turns that won't LET you put that book down!! The whole theme of God making us whole by helping one another shines through clearly. Only God could overcome and restore these two young women's lives.

Lexi, the fifteen year old girl has had enough of EVERYTHING! She has lost her parents, been in four foster homes in two years and been abused and abandoned. So.... she heads for the streets and becomes one of the many runaways living in abandoned tunnels below the city. Lexi thinks this is the perfect place to be forgotten, however, finds it more difficult than ever imagined.

Liz, thirty six, has been a widow for two years, when her husband passed away due to cancer. She SAYS she is managing just fine, but has thrown herself into her job- being a doctor , full force, working very long hours, in order not to deal with her grief and pain. Liz has a family who is very concerned about her, but she chooses to ignore their opinions and becomes cold toward those she loves.

One day, these two lives become intertwined with divine intervention. Very different lives but both need the same thing- someone to care about them and to care for. Only God could weave these two beings into a pair that restores both of them to a strong belief in Him and forgiveness.

Exceptional book!! Chrissy, keep writing, I am waiting for more!!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Word Alive Press and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available now from your favourite bookseller.   

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Different Take on Amish Fiction

Product Details"Double Take"

 By Melody Carlson

The back cover of this book says it all, " What do you do when your life is not all it's cracked up to be? Get a NEW ONE!"
AND that is exactly what two young , dissatisfied girls decided to do. The scene begins:  Two girls, neither one happy with their current lifestyle. The grass is always greener on the other side, as we all know and these two decide to discover what would happen if they traded places. It helped that they looked very much alike, almost like twins.  
One young lady is Amish and the other an Englischer. Now , I have your attention! What a great plot , Melody develops from this simple idea  a complicated plot with lots of twists , turns and keeps you guessing throughout the book, as to what on earth these two girls will do next and how they will cope with the many life changes that they are going through. At times you laugh, other times, you want to cry. Madison, a high school senior is completely fed up and stressed- decisions about her future at colleges, her parents' bickering and pressures from her boyfriend are pushing her over the edge.  Meanwhile, Anna wants to escape caring for younger siblings, sewing, cooking and gardening in her Amish home. She is afraid of spending her future with a man she doesn't love, doing the same chores.
The two girls meet in a small town and realize they look uncannily alike and decide to switch places for a time. Life will never be the same for either of them!!
This book certainly explains seeing life from another's point of view and leaves you feeling good. Creative writing from a very talented writer.
    "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group"                                          

Another Fantastic Read by One of My Favorite Authors, Vannetta Chapman!

An Amish Proposal for Christmas  By Vannetta Chapman Synopsis: Her deepest Christmas wish will bring more than she imagined…in this novel by...