25 Book Reviews

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Fantastic News! Charlotte Hubbard has provided us with another great read!!!

         "A Simple Christmas"
          By Charlotte Hubbard

Synopsis: (from back cover)

The rustic beauty of a country Christmas fills the Simple Gifts crafts shop, while the Amish residents of Willow Ridge pull together in uncertain times—and in the face of an unexpected homecoming.

Nora Hooley’s shop is abuzz with preparations for the holiday open house, and Rosalyn Riehl is handcrafting wreaths from evergreen boughs, pinecones, and other natural materials. The work is a welcome diversion for the only unmarried daughter of Cornelius Riehl: her gruff dat has been receiving envelopes marked Past Due, leaving dutiful Rosalyn to manage the household’s inexplicably shrinking budget. Then another distraction swaggers into Simple Gifts—blue-jeaned and leather-jacketed, with a reputation that precedes him.

Marcus Hooley hightailed it to Willow Ridge on a wing and a prayer—not that he’s the praying type. He rejected his Amish roots long ago. But behind the bad-boy attitude is a gifted horse trainer who’s counting on some bent-but-not-broken family ties to throw him a lifeline. He can’t erase his past, but a sparking attraction with strong, spirited Rosalyn holds the promise of a second chance . . . and of shedding light on shadowy secrets to build a bright tomorrow.

My Thoughts:

Charlotte has once again created a novel that kept me engrossed from beginning to end!! Never, has this author disappointed me with her creative writing style, and her ability to involve readers immediately into the lives of the dear folks of Willow Ridge, some of whom we have already encountered in the previous two books of the Simple Gifts Series, "A Simple Vow" and "A Simple 

Rosalyn is a  twenty eight year old single Amish woman who has convinced herself that she will likely never get the chance to marry and have a family. After her mother passed away, her father experienced a severe period of grief that seemed to change his whole personality and desire to stay true to the Amish faith, although he tended to do a satisfactory job of pretending to do so. He led a life that was very different from the faith of Plain People , while giving  a false impression to the community. Difficult family issues were dealt with that we don't imagine taking place in an Amish home. I quickly became totally one with Rosalyn, feeling her every desire, hurt and challenge. The "bad boy"  enters the story with a bang!  Marcus was a rebellious man who had totally rejected his Amish roots and become a true Englischer. I grew to love him as he developed in his  relationships and faith. These characters are so well described that identifying with them is not an option!

The plot was full of unexpected twists and turns. Just when I thought I had the full understanding of what was going to happen, there would be another surprising block in life's journey. Charlotte Hubbard has succeeded in writing a book that focuses on the Plain Community experiencing challenges that we have never imagined. She does this with empathy and understanding. 

DEFINITELY a five star book!! I highly recommend to all fans of the Amish genre. Those who have never enjoyed this genre would be impressed. It is a novel that differs from the norm in Amish fiction. Now, I am eagerly awaiting the next book by this fabulous author!

I received an advanced copy of this book. The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest and my own.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Another FANTASTIC Book from Popular Author, Wanda Brunstetter! Enter the author's Giveaway!

                       "The Hope Jar"
                   By Wanda Brunstetter

About the Book:

Genre: Amish Fiction
Release date: August 7, 2018
A Brand-New Series from New York Times Best Selling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter.
What happens when making an elderly Amish couple very happy means going along with a lie that gets bigger by the day?
Michelle Taylor is not who her new family in Lancaster County believes her to be. The Lapps were looking for their long-lost granddaughter when they met Michelle and she assumed the identity of Sara Murray. Once homeless and hopeless, Michelle has come to love her new Amish friends and even considers the idea of romance among them.
Finding an old blue jar in the barn that is filled with slips of paper containing thoughts, quotes, and prayers by an unknown author becomes a boost to Michelle’s budding faith— but also convicting. How can she tell the truth without hurting the ones she has truly come to love?
My Thoughts:

This is the first in a new series entitled "The Prayer Jars" by the gifted storyteller, Wanda Brunstetter. I must admit that I do love Wanda's writings, as they always reflect the Amish faith and community with clarity, making them not only realistic, but so believable. This novel brings together the Amish and Englisch world in a unique style that is evident in all of this author's books. It is indeed a story of faith and  love,  that is not without the difficulties that can occur when relationships develop in unlike worlds. 

The characters are so realistically and well described, that the reader immediately becomes drawn into their lives. Lies and deception abound , as these dear ones show us the power of hope and love. Although Michelle deceives this elderly couple, who love her as a granddaughter, she also presents them with hope, resulting in her developing  faith in God. The Lapps have encountered more than their share of pain and loss, however still have love to give, that can only be shared by their deep beliefs and power from Above . 

The plot moves steadily with just enough twists and turns to keep one totally engrossed. I could not put this book down until I read the last chapter!! As the story develops, Michelle overcomes her many hurts and challenges in life. Although she lives a life of deceit for a time, the good that comes out of it overcomes the evilness that could result. The hope jar that is present throughout the story, truly portrays how lives can be changed in surprising and unbelievable ways. 

This book is a real winner, in my opinion! Dealing with sensitive issues, combining two very different lifestyles, the forgiveness and hope that results , are subjects that will remain with me for a very long time. 

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

Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Author:
New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda’s stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.
Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.
When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren

Make your own Prayer Jar!

Want to make your own prayer jar to pass along to future generations? CLICK HERE to download a printable template you can use to write your sentiments on. Simply cut out each strip of paper when you’re finished and put them in the jar of your choice.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, August 14
The Avid Reader, August 14
Just Commonly, August 15
Genesis 5020, August 16
Mary Hake, August 16
Bigreadersite, August 16
Lighthouse Academy, August 17
Splashes of Joy, August 20
SusanLovesBooks, August 20
Cafinated Reads, August 23
Quiet quilter, August 23
Carpe Diem, August 24
Texas Book-aholic, August 26

Giveaway!! Enter to win!!

To celebrate her tour, Wanda is giving away a grand prize that includes a $25 Amazon Gift Card, jar-shaped notepad, and a copy of The Hope Jar (with an autographed book plate inside).
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d40a/the-hope-jar-celebration-tour-giveaway

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...