25 Book Reviews

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

IT'S RELEASE DAY! Wow!! The Third book in "Amish Secrets Series" from a VERY Favorite Author, Beth Wiseman!!

"Home All Along"    

Home All Along By Beth Wiseman


Charlotte has made a home for herself in Amish Country with Daniel. But unforeseen events rock their fragile world and may move them even further away from the life they long for.
Charlotte, an Englisher, is living in Amish Country, and she has formed strong and lasting bonds with the people in her new community. She has even fallen in love with an Amish man. But just when she is considering a permanent conversion to the Amish way of life, her world crashes around her. An unexpected death and a mysterious visitor unsettle Charlotte, and she begins to question her faith and her choices.

Daniel loves Charlotte and wants to share his life with her, even it if means leaving the only world he’s ever known. But as he walks alongside of her through her struggles, his own world is turned upside down when a loved one receives a grim medical diagnosis and a prodigal relative returns home. Will Charlotte and Daniel’s relationship succumb to the many pressures around them, or will their faith and the strong community around them allow them to weather the storms of their own lives in order to build a life together?

My Thoughts:

As Beth just happens to be one of my all time favourite authors, it was no surprise , upon reading an ARC copy of this novel, that it was one of her BEST books ever!! The Amish genre is one which I always enjoy , however Beth's unique talent in putting the reader right in the middle of the action drew me into the story immediately! This is not a story typical of  other Amish fiction.There is no Englischer living among the Amish, there is no simple romance between members of the community!  This is a soul searching tale of a woman leaving her life that she has known in search of love, faith and place where she finally feels comfortable and at home. As usual, Beth writes in a style, only she can create, that compels you to read the book in one sitting!! I almost did that!!! Although this book is the third in a series, "Amish Secrets",  it can easily be read as a stand alone and thoroughly enjoyed.

The main characters, Daniel and Charlotte , are described in such a vivid, realistic fashion that you immediately feel their struggles to overcome pain, loss and sadness, as a special relationship is developing. The many struggles that these two young people overcome pulls at your emotions and make you dig deep into your own life. How does each of us deal with overcoming pain, loss and sadness?? Would we cope as Charlotte and Daniel do?? Daniel endeared himself to me with his patience and faith, helping Charlotte in her times of doubt. These dear ones definitely don't give up when the going gets tough!

The plot moves at a steady pace with enough unexpected twists and turns to keep the reader totally engrossed from start to finish. The sensitive topic of DNR is addressed in a sympathetic , kind manner. The challenges faced by a family when faced with a deadly disease are so realistic that my heart was deeply touched. The difficult decisions that they faced, became mine.My heart ached as I felt their pain.  What would I do in their position??

The underlying message of this novel comes through loud and clear! It is truly a  story of  faith , forgiveness , redemption and understanding God's will in one's life. Being accepting of God's plan, which differs from your own is not an easy decision. Long after reading this book, I was left thinking my need to have just a bit of the acceptance and resilience with which the characters battled a disease that we have all known and faced in some aspect. 

Definitely a five star book!! Don't miss it!!
The release date is September 26th!!

This book was received as a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Two Sisters Estranged!! Can they get a second chance at Life and Love??

"A Letter from Lancaster                          County"
         By Kate Lloyd


Two sisters!!   A strained relationship!!  Can God heal the hurts and bring this family back together?
This novel examines the complex relationship between two sisters who have both lived lives rather isolated from each other. So different in personalities but both hurting and so needing of God's healing powers to bring them together as a family once again.

Her mother's untimely death, a struggling marriage, a strained relationship with her sister, Rose, and regrets over what might have been haunt her. Despite being a wife and mother, she feels she has little to show for her life.

Still single, she longs for a husband and children. But Angela has all that and still isn't happy. Rose wants to be closer to her older sister, but she and Angela couldn't be more different. Both strong women, will their sibling rivalry ever end?
* * *
When a letter arrives from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Angela and Rose decide to visit Aunt Silvia, their mother's Mennonite sister, in the heart of Amish country. This vacation could provide the opportunity both sisters need to sort out their issues. And yet instead of finding a new way of connecting with each other, Angela and Rose discover surprising family secrets that add to their strife and threaten Rose's romance with a new beau.

Through it all, the two sisters must find the faith necessary to face their personal problems and allow God to restore hope and healing to their hearts and relationship as only He can.

My Thoughts:

This book is the first in Kate Lloyd's new series, "Lancaster Discoveries Series".
I have greatly enjoyed the other books she has written, so was not surprised at the enjoyment I found reading this new one. This novel is unique in that it does not fit the traditional patterns of the Amish fiction genre. Although the setting is in Amish country, the main characters are not Amish. Kate addresses a community that exhibits the contrast between English and Mennonite world. For those who are not fond of Amish Fiction, try this book. Written in a different style that only Kate can excell at, it appeals to all those who have experienced tensions within the family. That is all of us, isn't it?????

The main characters, Angela and Rose, the sisters, and their elderly aunt  are all described in such a realistic and detailed fashion , that you can immediately identify with them. These ladies are extremely different from one another. Tolerance for the wishes and beliefs are others are essential if past hurts are to be healed and happiness restored. 

The plot moves somewhat slowly but does so for a particular purpose! The depth of feelings expressed by the two woman is very intense and the reader can use that time to reflect on these issues. Only God can heal and restore. This theme is the underlying message throughout this book. Both sisters MUST find faith in order to face their problems and allow God to heal their hearts and give them a second chance.

A great book of relationships!!!

This book was received as a gift . The opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Stop Number Two on Molly Jebber's Scavenger Hunt!

Molly Jebber Scavenger Hunt, Stop #2

How exciting this is!! My blog is the second stop in Molly's Scavenger Hunt. Read all the way to the bottom of this post to collect the second word of the scavenger hunt! 

How does it work??? Just read below!

Scavenger Hunt Stops
Stop by each blog to collect their special word then input the sentence it creates into the giveaway for NINE extra entries! While you are at each stop, don’t forget to comment to claim your bonus entries in the giveaway (the bonus entries for a comment on a blog can be claimed multiple times but only once in a 24 hour period).

August 9: Quiet Quilter
August 13: Bigreadersite
August 15: Karen Sue Hadley
August 17: cherylbbookblog
August 18: Baker Kella
August 20: The Power of Words

About Molly’s Books:

Change of Heart

A modern new century brings a young Amish woman an unexpected new life—and a chance to discover love’s true way home…
Ohio, 1899. Soft-spoken midwife Becca Yost lived by her Amish faith’s strict rules—until her fiancé jilted her before their entire community. She’s never been away from home, but the bustling Englischer town of Massillon, Ohio, is a welcome unexpected refuge. Especially when she goes to work for Dr. Matt Carrington, who shares her passion for healing those in need. His outgoing spirit and gentle strength show Becca a surprising new world of choices—and irresistible love. But there is one formidable obstacle: Matt’s wealthy mother is determined her son will marry a society woman.
With her newfound resolve challenged, Becca decides that she and Matt must not be destined for each other after all. She accepts that she will have to forge a life alone—until a wrenching crisis and life-changing revelations teach her that true faith lies in all things, especially impossible second chances. . .

Grace’s Forgiveness

A handsome newcomer with secrets shows a yearning Amish woman a chance at happiness—but their love will need all their courage to keep . . .
Grace Blauch is skilled at midwifery—and crafting quilts that help others pass on messages of enduring family love. But a disfiguring birthmark keeps the young Amish woman from a husband and home of her own—until Mark King arrives from another community. His helpfulness and independent nature earn Grace’s respect. And he finds her outspoken ways and determination to do right irresistibly appealing. Soon Grace is planning a wedding quilt of her very own . . . until her father discovers that Mark’s shunned brother is hiding somewhere in town . . .
Grace can well understand why Mark took such a risk once she hears his wrenching reasons. But she fears even prayer will not convince her father to restore his blessing on their union. She wills herself to face the end of her dreams, but sudden danger and an impossible act of generosity will show her that abiding hope can inspire the most precious of miracles  . . .

Two Suitors for Anna   

In 1903 Ohio, a young Amish woman must choose between the life she has long planned for and a new, very different future…
Since Anna Plank moved to Berlin, Ohio, with her widowed mamm and two schweschders, she’s found a real sense of belonging. As soon as her beloved Noah Schwartz proposes, they’ll begin a new chapter here together. But Noah has a surprise for Anna: once they’re married, he wants them to travel and live in other communities. Anna, who loves her home and her job at the quilt shop, is distraught when he takes her hesitation as rejection—and leaves.
Daniel Bontrager’s arrival adds to Anna’s confusion. Since taking over his late brother’s farm, the handsome roofer has offered friendship and gentle attentions. Yet the pull of first love is strong and deep, especially when Noah returns. Through each revelation, Anna must search her faith for guidance, knowing she is choosing not just a husband, but a life to nurture and to share…

About Molly:
Molly Jebber’s books have been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today’s HEA, and Romantic Times has given them a near excellent rating. She’s on RWA’s Honor Roll. She’s a speaker for Women’s Christian Connection, and she offers presentations on writing, publishing, Amish lifestyle and traditions. She has received widespread media coverage, including live interviews, across the United States for her books and speaking engagements.
She’s just signed a new contract for four more Amish books! She loves interacting with her readers. She loves God, her husband, family and friends. She has a hard time saying no to cupcakes, swimming, nine holes of golf, and walks on the beach. Coconut, oatmeal, and onions, on the other hand, are not hard to say no to!

Guest Post from Molly:


Anna and her sisters are hiding a secret. One Anna knows is wrong to keep. The love of her life wants her to leave her family behind and travel with him. Her life is in turmoil, and she isn’t sure which way to turn? What does the future hold for Anna?
Have you read CHANGE OF HEART and GRACE’S FORGIVENESS? The first two books in the Keepsake Pocket Quilt Series? They are available in and online in bookstores.
I love interacting with you, and thank you for participating!

Link to purchase books:

Change of Heart:  http://amzn.to/2tOMMx8

Grace’s Forgiveness: http://amzn.to/2tOQHKl

Two Suitors for Anna: http://amzn.to/2tOBJUt


Blog Tour Prize is an Amish/English Basket!
One big item: Brand New Coach Purse!
Each day, visit the designated blog, comment, and your name is entered in the contest for a chance to win!

Go here for the giveaway.

The word to collect from this blog is AUTHOR. Good luck to all!!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A New Author ! Interesting, different style of writing!

"A Door Cracked Open"
By Carmina Edwards                  


Release date: November, 2015
Genre: Biography
Raised in a mean-spirited, poverty-stricken home in the seventies, where her quarrelsome father tries to squash her carefree spirit and her three siblings make fun of her, Amy struggles to understand what value she has. Somehow finding God in the midst of an atheist upbringing, she perseveres to grow up better than the useless person she’s assured she is.
When told at the age of sixteen that she must start working to pay her way instead of finishing school, she dares to dream of a better life, away from the squabbles and constant despair she encounters at home.
A magazine ad from a family in Sweden, looking for someone to watch their children, entices Amy’s adventurous spirit, and she soon finds herself looking through a new door in her life, cracked open to an amazing world she never dreamed possible, where people are nice to her and life is good.
“An incredible true story of perseverance in adversity, this is one account where truth truly is stranger than fiction.” ~Laurie Penner.
My Thoughts:

Whenever  I agree to read and review a book by an author that I am not familiar with, I find myself somewhat worried! What if I don't like this book?? A negative review is very difficult for me to write!! HOWEVER..... this need not to have been a concern with this novel! My attention was captured on the first page ! The biggest problem was... that I did NOT want to put this book down, until I had read the last page. It was a story of faith that remained secure in the midst of the most heartbreaking challenges. 

The characters were so vividly and realistically described, that I immediately felt part of their lives. The main character , Amy, had to learn about life, faith and family in the most difficult circumstances. Her father was a force to be reckoned with!! How she achieved in spite of her unhappy home situation was truly amazing! She took every negative circumstance and made it become a positive stepping stone to make improvements in her life. Everyone can learn a lesson from this young lady!! She kept her eyes focused on the one above! God had a plan for her life in the midst of her many trials!! It is only through Him that she learned the meaning of unconditional love. Despite a heartbreaking family life, Amy made decisions that would change the course of her future. I rejoiced with her as she found peace and satisfaction. 

The plot moves slowly but has just enough twists and turns to keep the reader totally engaged. There were many moments when I was reading, that I just had no idea of what Amy would do when encountering another life changing challenge!! 

This would be an excellent read for young adults. It shows how an individual can succeed even when the past has frightful and hurtful memories. The importance of keeping one's faith in the midst of the storm is the underlying message!
This book was received as a gift. The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest and my own. 

Click here to purchase your copy.
About the Author:

I am a mother of two wonderful grown up children and currently living in the UK, after living in Sweden for three years where I wrote my first book, “A Door Cracked Open.” I was blessed to be able to spend six months in USA before returning to the UK, my home country, to work with my editor in California on the edits of this book and visit friends.
I am an avid reader and linguist, having also spent some years living in France and have been fortunate enough to have taught Swedish and French over twenty-five years and translate for businesses and manuscripts in both languages. Being unemployed the past few years, has led to me becoming homeless. However, I never give up hope. As I try to portray in my books, God has always had His hand on me. Once again, He has stepped in right at the last minute. I now have a new job in Sweden and will be moving back there. Because I feel passionately about helping the homeless, a large percentage of my royalties will go directly to them.
Guest Post from the Author:
Something about my book.
After many friends, having seen the unusual life I have led up until now, told me that I should write a book, I finally decided to do just that. I am an ordinary person who has not suffered more than many, but have been privileged with many extra-ordinary experiences. I wrote my book in order to share with others, just how God has had His hand on me and brought me through some tough times which seemed impossible to find a way out of. My first book highlights some of this, though it isn’t until the second book, that more becomes clear and the third book will show the extreme mercy and grace He has showered me with. The story is still unfolding. My aim is to show, through my writing, that giving up is never an option. Stay true to God and He does pull us through. Trusting in Him is key and I personally, have seen Him transform some of the dreams He put onto my heart, into reality. I’d love for my books to be of some encouragement to others and have so far received several emails from readers all over the world, telling me how my story so far, has done that. One went so far as to say that she had given up, but read my book purely by chance and has picked herself up and is once again back on the road to reach her goals. The story of a scatty, spontaneous and highly sensitive girl, ridiculed all her life because of her faith and dreams, (she’s born into a completely atheist family). never gives up and some of the situations she gets herself into are pretty scary, but sometimes humorous. Yet God’s protection is seen all the way through.

Blog Stops

August 4: Quiet Quilter
August 5: Carpe Diem
August 11: Mary Hake
August 14: cherylbbookblog


To celebrate her tour, Carmina is giving away:
Grand Prize of a book themed gift basket all the way from Sweden!
A 1st – 3rd place prize of an eBook copy of A Door Cracked Open!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra To celebrate her tour, Carmina is giving away:
Grand Prize of a book themed gift basket all the way from Sweden!
A 1st – 3rd place prize of an eBook copy of A Door Cracked Open!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bd29

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Book Three of Suzanne Woods Fisher's "Amish Beginnings" Series!

           "The Return"
   By Suzanne Woods Fisher

Release date: Sept 1, 2017
Genre: Amish

In a wild country, the true cost of love may be more than they can bear
Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans—but then she never had to. Not until the night she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she’s developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances.
Greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far?
Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.
My Thoughts:

When I see that a new book is being released by this extremely, talented author, my curiosity kicks into high gear, as I KNOW that I will learn something new, while enjoying a fantastic read . This book is the third, the last in the series  entitled,  "Amish Beginnings". As historical fiction has never appealed to me, this series is certainly an exception. Every book has taught me something of which I was not previously aware. What a great teacher , Suzanne is!! I just might become a fan of this genre!

The setting of "The Return" is during a rather dark period in the history of America, in the 1700's, when the Native People and the white settlers all were struggling to make the land their's and their's alone!  Both parties were angry, thus there was a general feeling of unrest and misunderstanding, causing much unnecessary violence. 

All of the characters in this story quickly became very real to me, as they were described in such a deep, detailed, yet realistic fashion. Their pains and challenges became mine as I walked alongside them on their troubled journey. Both settlers and the Native Americans had good and bad characters. Neither was exempt from the evil and the innocent. I felt a deep empathy for both cultures as the good suffered through these difficult times. 

The plot moved steadily, filled with twists and turns that keep a reader totally engaged from the first page until the final chapter is completed. I must admit that there were times when I just had to put the book down, and savour the moment, that is, come to terms with the loss and betrayal portrayed in this book.This novel is a great example of a "Thinking Block". It made me wonder how I can use what I have learned about the history of Pennsylvania to make my life and those around me happier and more content.  Suzanne writes a story of hope, there is always hope for a better future, restoration can be made if we can only listen and wait for the Lord's plans to become clear to us. Compassion and forgiveness are an underlying theme throughout this adventure. Where would we be without it?? As the characters learned, we have to sacrifice to others in order for us to achieve the peace that we all desire. 

What a magnificent conclusion to this best selling series!! Don't miss it! Suzanne gives us all a history lesson in the most enjoyable way!!

Today is RELEASE DAY! 

Click here to purchase your copy.

This book was received as a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.
About the Author:
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing and The Newcomer in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Three Sisters’ Garden: Corn, Squash & Beans!
Corn was a new food to the immigrants to the New World, introduced to them by Native Americans. Soon, it became an essential part of their daily diet, in one form or another. Growing it brought yet another new discovery: companion planting in the form of the Three Sisters’ Garden.
ThreeSistersGarden2According to Iroquois legend, corn, squash and beans were three inseparable sisters who only grew and thrived together. 18th century Native Americans wouldn’t have understood the science behind why companion planting worked, but they knew it did. Beans, like all legumes, have bacteria living on their roots that help them absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that plants can use. Corn, which requires a lot of nitrogen to grow, benefits from the legumes and provides a pole support for the beans to climb. Low growing squash leaves shade the soil and prevent weed growth. Their sharp and prickly leaves deter pests. This tradition, of planting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, became a sustainable system to provide long-term soil fertility among Native American tribes that farmed.
The wisdom of planting Three Sisters’ Garden was adopted by the immigrants, including our own Betsy Zook from The Return. Betsy learned of the technique while a captive among a tribe of Indians and later, after she had been returned to the Amish, shared her knowledge with Anna and Bairn.
ThreeSistersGardenHave you ever considered growing a Three Sisters’ garden? All you need is the right kind of seeds, a mound of dirt in a sunny spot, and to not forget to water. Mother Nature will do the rest.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award-winning author of novels about the Old Order Amish. Her interest in the Plain People began with her grandfather, who was raised as a Dunkard (German Baptist) on a farm in Pennsylvania. Suzanne loves to connect with readers! You can find her on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

Blog Stops

August 1: Quiet Quilter
August 1: Remembrancy
August 2: Bigreadersite
August 2: lighthouse academy
August 3: Genesis 5020
August 3: Book by Book
August 4: Carpe Diem
August 7: A Reader’s Brain
August 7: Pause for Tales
August 7: Splashes of Joy
August 8: Live.Love.Read.
August 9: Mary Hake
August 9: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)
August 11: The Power of Words
August 11: Karen Sue Hadley
August 11: Neverending Stories
August 12: Cafinated Reads
August 12: TinaTruelove
August 14: Vicky Sluiter
August 14: By The Book


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is doing an amazing giveaway from August 1 through 14! Check it out:
Four winners will receive one of the prizes below:
An Amish Gift Basket and a copy of The Return
Amish popcorn sampler and a copy of The Return
The Amish Beginning 3 book set series
One grand prize winner will receive:
An iPad Mini

You can enter at Suzanne’s website (http://suzannewoodsfisher.com/contests/) or on her Facebook page (http://gvwy.io/q1kb9u4)

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...