25 Book Reviews

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Two-Time Rita Award Winner, Irene Hannon Has Written Another Fantastic Book!

"That Certain Summer"
            By Irene Hannon

I must admit that I am a great fan of Irene's books!  She is an author who always grabs my interest on the first page and keeps me enthralled to the very end. This new book is no different from the others. In the first chapter, one of the main characters, Karen introduces  a new storm in her life- she calls it a "tsunami"!!  Right there and then, I KNEW I would enjoy this book. The descriptive language that Irene comes up with gets me involved immediately and it compelled me to keep reading!! I had to know what this storm was all about!! AND a challenging and sometimes disastrous  family situation develops from there.

Karen and Val are , along with their mom , are the main characters. They are described in detail and with the book being written in a different style-  alternate chapters tell the story from each sister's point of view, it captures your attention . I felt that I could understand both of them and wanted to, at times, give them each a good shake!!  Val and Karen are not close. Karen has been the daughter who has cared for her aging mother and taken on the task of remaining with her , handling all of the responsibilities . Meanwhile, Val went off to pursue her dreams in the theatre.  We find out that actually Val has other reasons for  moving away , the BIG secret, so coming home has never been an option, until her mom has a stroke and this becomes the breaking point for Karen. She just cannot deal with this alone, so appeals to her sister for help.

The story proceeds to engage us in their struggles with the past mistakes as together they care for the ailing mother.  Then to complicate matters more, two handsome young men enter the scene. This is truly a story of learning to let go, forgive  and move on! BUT , can both of them do this???  With courage and the healing power of faith , can they find love again?? 

Irene, once again, has written a creation of hope- a true to life story of complex relationships and how to find forgiveness and love, even when at your lowest ebb.  Her plot is engaging and exciting, along with heart rending and challenging. 

Definitely worth the read! Loved this book.

"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".

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Third Book to Vannetta Chapman's Pebble Creek Amish Series!! A REAL winner!!"

Product Details

"A Wedding for Julia"
  By Vannetta Chapman

Synopsis :  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 mothers announcement that she must either marry or move from the family home upon her mothers 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 Gods 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?
(taken from Amazon)

My Thoughts:

I find it very difficult to describe this book!! ONLY, because , there was simply nothing in this work of art that I didn't love!!! Vannetta continues The Pebble Creek Series with this third book and I must say that she has ended her series with a bang!! I am one disappointed reader that this series is over, however, I DO look forward to more winning books from Vannetta! 

My attention was immediately grabbed on the very first page of the Prologue. It was rather like putting your hand in a box of your favorite donuts and knowing that any one you choose will be the BEST! I opened this book and KNEW it would be as good, if not better than previous ones! AND this book was fantastic. and met my every expectation ! My only regret was when I reached the last page, that the story was over,  and I wanted it to go on and on and on and........  

The character development was outstanding. To me, a truly great book has to allow me to identify with at least one of the characters. This book met this need in a big way. Julia's hurts, shocks, challenges , dismay, as well as her joys , became part of me. I could feel them all!! BUT, and this is the shocker, I could  do the same with her mom, and her new beau, Caleb. They became my family and friends as the plot developed. 

The plot is full of unexpected  twists and turns.  Just when you think you know how one problem is going to be solved, you encounter a surprise ! A complication, a change, certainly does not make a predictable conclusion.  I was totally entranced as I read. This book is definitely a page turner. I could not put it down. The results???? Well, a dirty house, meals late and not much sleep one night!!
Just don't expect to read a couple of chapters , then you will read the rest later. It just won't happen!! It is a compelling story of a young lady and her struggles! Will she allow God to work through her and comply with His plan??

Definitely a five star book!! You just HAVE to read it!!!

Way to go, Vannetta!! I can hardly wait for your next creation!!


About the Author: Vannetta Chapman has published more than 100 articles in Christian family magazines. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. Vannetta is a multi-award-winning member of Romance Writers of America. She was a teacher for 15 years and currently resides in the Texas Hill country. Her first two inspirational novels—A Simple Amish Christmas and Falling to Pieces—were Christian Book Distributors bestsellers.

Book was generously supplied by the author and Harvest  House Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Read the review of Kate Lloyd's Newest Amish Hit!!


"Pennsylvania Patchwork"    

       By Kate Lloyd                           

About Pennsylvania Patchwork:

Seattle native Holly Fisher is smitten by Lancaster County, its simplicity and her long lost relatives. In the sequel to bestselling Leaving Lancaster, Holly embraces the Amish culture, learning to slow down to see what --- and who --- really matters.

Meeting the family that her mother had kept hidden from her, Holly comes face to face with her real life and blood legacy. She also falls for the charming Zach, a handsome Mennonite veterinarian who is everything she's ever wanted in a husband: confident, kind, successful, and authentic. And Zach proposes marriage. Is this too soon? Is this the right choice? Mother and Amish grandmother think she's rushing into too much of a lifestyle change. Holly is in love with Zach and that precludes everything. Until she meets an attractive Amish man. And an old suitor shows up.

Pennyslvania Patchwork is the moving, richly told story of one woman's heart, her faith and trust, and the choices she makes. Never easy, but one choice can change your destiny.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/lG7GU   

This book was a delightful read, with just the right amount of suspense and intrigue to keep your attention from the first page to the last! Kate Lloyd's first book "Leaving Lancaster" , her first attempt at Amish fiction, was a joy to read, and this second one was no disappointment. I call this Amish fiction, however, the Mennonite faith as well as the Amish faith plays an important part of the story. 

The characters were realistic and believable. They become part of you, as you get to know them throughout their trials and challenges. Holly is a young lady who truly wants to marry and have her own family. This desire runs alongside her mother's - who is about to be married again. Holly , although brought up in Seattle, adapts well to life in the country. As the truth of her true Amish background , which has been such a mysterious secret, becomes known, Holly's desires seem to be coming to fulfillment, however by more than one suitor!!
You can feel her joy, her confusion and her conflict, as her mother appears to fight her every move.

I must say, my favorite character has to be Mommy Anna, a true believer in the Amish faith. I loved her spunk and sometimes rather sneaky attitude while trying to deal with problems. She was a quirky individual that truly appealed to me. She exemplifies the ability to understand and deal with the changes that have occurred over the years. Her daughter's earlier rebellion in the community is forgiven .Allthough coping with health issues, her faith remains strong. This thoughtlessness of the younger Esther is described with detail and understanding, while Kate captures the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters. Both disappointments and expectations are dealt with in a unique way.  

  The plot has just the right amount of twists and turns to keep the reader wondering what will happen. Each chapter brings new , sometimes happy, other times , upsetting , challenges. Just when you feel you have everything figured out, a new surprise is just a page away!
This is truly a story of redemption and forgiveness. Through the story of these three generations of women comes the true meaning- God forgives and has a plan for our lives. We just need to take time to listen, yes, and sometimes we need to wait to hear that  still voice!  Will Holly take the right road and follow God's plan??  

Kate Lloyd is an author to watch for. She has the ability to write Amish fiction a bit differently than the norm. The Englisch world plays an important role in her stories. This is definitely worth the read!! I can hardly wait for her next book!!

About The Author:

Author Kate Lloyd is a passionate observer of human relationships. A native of Baltimore, Kate spends time with family and friends in Lancaster County, PA, the inspiration for her novels. She is a member of the Lancaster County Mennonite Historical Society. Kate and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest. Kate studied painting and sculpture in college. She's worked a variety of jobs, including car salesman and restaurateur.

Learn more about Kate at http://www.katelloyd.net

To read more review go to:  http://litfusegroup.com/author/KLloyd

This book was provided by the author and Litfuse, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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...