25 Book Reviews

Saturday, September 29, 2018

A New Christmas Read by Popular Author, Wanda Brunstetter! Enter the Giveaway!

"The Christmas Prayer"
By Wanda Brunstetter

Genre: Historical Christmas Romance
Release date: September, 2018
Beloved, bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter takes readers on a journey in 1850 along the California Trail.
Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.
Cynthia Cooper is traveling with her mother and the man she has promised to marry. But as Christmas is upon them and they are hunkered down in a small cabin, she is forced to reevaluate her reasons for planning to marry fellow-traveler Walter Prentice. When a widowed father heading to a California ranch and a gold prospector both show an interest in Cynthia, she weighs her dreams for marriage alongside her responsibility to care for her mother. Can love win over her timid heart?

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.
To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at www.wandabrunstetter.com
My Thoughts:
Wanda's new book takes us back to the year 1850, the setting in Missouri. It is based on a long journey in a covered wagon to the faraway state of California. This is a heartwarming romance dealing with strangers travelling many miles, all with their own pasts and hopes for the future. What a challenge!! The description was so vividly described, that the reader can feel the blustery , icy cold chilling their bones as they struggled toward their goal of reaching a new land.

The characters are realistically and well described, grabbing your attention, taking you alongside them on their difficult journey. the reader can easily feel every challenge, and hurt as well as each small success. Cynthia became my very good friend as she struggled to make sense of what God trying to do in her life. 

The plot moved quickly, sometimes a bit too fast for me. It lost some of my interest as I needed or simply desired more from this tale. It  would have been more to my liking if it was a longer more detailed plot. The rather abrupt ending left me wanting more. This being said, it was still a book worth reading. Wanda's style of pulling one into the character's lives makes each one of her novels unique and interesting. 

This book was a gift. The opinions expressed are honest and my own.  
Try this Exclusive Bonus Recipe Found Inside the Book!

Cynthia’s Fried Apples

Without peeling, quarter as many tart apples as you would like. Lay apples close together, skin side down, in frying pan with salt pork fat or butter. Cover until well steamed then uncover and brown both sides, turning and watching closely to prevent burning.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, September 18
The Avid Reader, September 18
The Power of Words, September 18
Lighthouse Academy, September 18
Just Commonly, September 19
Carpe Diem, September 19
Blossoms and Blessings, September 20
Britt Reads Fiction, September 20
Luv’N Lambert Life, September 21
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 22
Lis Loves Reading, September 22
Babs Book Bistro, September 23
Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 23
Janices book reviews, September 23
Mary Hake, September 24
Two Points of Interest, September 24
Inklings and notions, September 25
Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 25
Girls in White Dresses, September 26
Book by Book, September 26
Splashes of Joy, September 27
The Morning Chapter, September 27
The Mimosa Blossom, September 28
Pause for Tales, September 28
Have A Wonderful Day, September 28
To Everything A Season, September 29
Cafinated Reads, September 29
Bibliophile Reviews, September 29
Quiet Quilter, September 30
Texas Book-aholic, October 1
Bigreadersite, October 1


To celebrate her tour, Wanda is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a free copy of The Christmas Prayer with an autographed book plate inside!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d297/the-christmas-prayer-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, September 28, 2018

Diane Craver's Writes Another Winning Novel!! Don't forget to enter the author's generous giveaway!

"Priscilla's Escape"
By Diane Craver

About the Book:

Genre: Amish Romance, Contemporary
Release date: March 23, 2018
When faith and freedom collide, mistakes made in the past may decide the future.
Twenty-year-old Priscilla King is unsure about joining the Amish Church and wants to use her rumspringa freedom to paint beach landscapes. She’s been offered a two-month-long nanny position in Siesta Key, Florida by an author on a tight writing deadline. The opportunities presented are more than a little tempting for Priscilla, even if it means disappointing her parents and leaving her new boyfriend.
Stephen Hertzler grew up in an Amish family, but, like Priscilla, he’s undecided about joining the church. He loves Priscilla and wants to marry her, though he knows she’s not ready to decide about anything other than her summer plans. His biggest worry is that she’ll meet someone else in Florida and forget him.
When Priscilla’s parents sabotage her part-time job at a local fabric store to dissuade her from following a “worldly lifestyle” in taking the nanny position in Florida, Priscilla is distraught. She knows she would regret not taking this chance. Leaving a note, she sneaks out in disobedience of her parents’ wishes.
Free to paint, dreams she’s never fully envisioned before seem within reach…but at what price?
 Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author:
Diane grew up on a farm outside Findlay, Ohio, and she often acted out characters from her own stories in the backyard. In high school Diane would read during classes and hide a novel in front of her in a propped-up textbook. After her high school graduation, she attended Ohio State University. Then Diane became a schoolteacher and play director. She met her husband while teaching at an orphanage, and they married three years later. It took her that long to convince him she was the one for him! While raising their family in southwestern Ohio, Diane started writing nonfiction and was published. Later she decided it would be a nice escape to write fiction. Diane was blessed with five daughters and one son. Two daughters were born with Down syndrome and live with Diane and her husband. Their other children live close by in Ohio so that’s wonderful. They also have four precious grandchildren. Diane published through a variety of houses. Several years ago, she decided to self-publish her books, so requested the rights back to her previously published stories. From the beginning, she enjoyed self-publishing her Amish romances. Diane gives thanks to God daily for her many blessings.
My Thoughts:
Diane Craver has quickly earned a position on my list of favorite authors with her series entitled "The Bishop's Daughters". I have thoroughly enjoyed each one. I have to say that I believe that this third book,
"Priscilla's Escape" is the best yet!! When I read a series, I always am somewhat apprehensive about whether the next book will meet my expectations. This book was certainly no disappointment!!  I loved following  the King family and felt that once again I was meeting up with old friends. This book deals with issues that are extremely difficult for the Amish community. When the young people decide to go off, against parents' wishes, it is often heartbreaking and disastrous , however, in this case, it becomes an issue of healing past hurts and opening hearts to one another. 
The characters are so vividly and accurately described that the reader cannot help but become totally involved in their lives. It was a rocky path of life with many hills and valleys as Priscilla followed her heart. Both she and Stephen had to make decisions that would determine their future. I felt every hurt, challenge and fear as this young couple grew in their relationship .  Family and faith are so important, as they learned. 
The plot moves steadily with just enough twists and turns to keep the reader fully engrossed from the first to last page of the book. Many events were surprising as the tale unfolded. This is very different from the norm in the Amish fiction genre. Dealing with frowned upon talents, disobeying a parent, living in an Englisch household, all gave this story depth and feeling. The strong sense of faith and use of scripture throughout reminded one of the power of  God and His forgiveness.
I would highly recommend this book to those who love Amish fiction. It is truly a  heartwarming sweet romance!
This book was a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Guest Post from Diane
Hello, Reader Friends,

Priscilla’s Escape is Book 3 in The Bishop’s Daughters Series. This story features Priscilla King, and she is the fourth child born to Amos and Lillian King. You may remember meeting Priscilla in my Dreams of Plain Daughters Series. After I finished writing this series, I decided to continue to write about the Amish and English characters living in Fields Corner, Ohio. They became family and real to me.
The King family have six children with only one son. That is like our Craver family because we have five daughters and one son. Through the years, our family has faced certain challenges with two daughters being born with Down syndrome. Although Priscilla doesn’t have any siblings with special needs, she feels overlooked in her family. It’s like she’s invisible to her parents, especially to her father. He doesn’t understand her passion for painting but favors Molly’s talent for quilting. Everyone needs a cheerleader in their corner at times, and Priscilla is no different. Fortunately, her new boyfriend, Stephen, listens to her dream to paint beach pictures. He even understands her desire to wait to join the church.
All families suffer some type of hardships. It does seem like some more than others. A family’s faith in God gives them hope in their daily lives. Whatever the level of the pain, staying close to God and listening to his voice, gives us the strength to survive. The King family have their share of tragedies, but their faith reminds steadfast. When Priscilla leaves their close-knit unit, they all reach out to her by letter and phone calls. Her siblings even tell their father that he needs to share his secret with Priscilla.
I hope you will enjoy reading Priscilla’s Escape. There is a lot happening in the King family, so you can catch up with your favorite romantic couples in this novel. If you love going to the beach as much as I do, I think you’ll love reading about Priscilla’s beach experiences – some are good, and others are not.

Blog Stops

The Becca Files, September 22
The Avid Reader, September 22
Vicky Sluiter, September 23
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 24
Mary Hake, September 24
Splashes of JoySeptember 25
Inklings and notionsSeptember 26
Maureen’s Musings, September 27
Luv’N Lambert Life, September 27
KarenSueHadleySeptember 28
Quiet Quilter, September 29
Bibliophile Reviews, September 30
Carpe Diem, October 1
Texas Book-aholic, October 3
BigreadersiteOctober 5


To celebrate her tour, Diane is giving a grand prize that includes a $25 Amazon Gift Card & The Bishop’s Daughters: A Three Book Collection – Amish Baby Snatched, A Plain Widow, and Priscilla’s Escape (paperback or eBook)!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d35a/priscilla-s-escape-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, September 20, 2018

A New Captivating Tale by Leslie Gould!

                                 "A Simple Singing"    

        By Leslie Gould


For years Marie Bachmann thought of herself as the "good" daughter. She was the most loving to their mother, the most dedicated to their Amish way of life. But when a Mennonite farmhand, Gordon Martin, shows interest in her she can't help but be flattered--until her mother sends her off to Florida. While there, Marie begins spending time with bad-boy Eli Jacob, the bishop's son from back home. 

When Gordon shows up in Florida to volunteer in a homeless shelter, her life becomes even more complicated. At the same time her aunt begins telling her of a Civil War-era ancestor and the woman's uncommon bravery . . . a story that begins to work at Marie's heart.

Marie hopes returning home may simplify life, but Eli soon follows. As Marie grapples with whether she should court Eli or leave the church for Gordon, the story of Annie Bachmann shines a light on what God has for Marie's future.

About the Author:

Leslie Gould is the best-selling and award-winning author of thirty novels. She loves traveling, research, Shakespeare's plays, and church history. She and her husband live in Portland, Oregon and are the parents of four children. http://www.lesliegould.com/

My Thoughts:

I absolutely loved this second book in The Sisters of Lancaster County series! It can easily be read as a stand alone, however, as a fan of this author, I would never want to miss any of her new novels!!

Although this story revolves around the developing romance of Marie and Gordon , Leslie's novel has two intertwining plots. There is an easy transition between the two , one which took place during the Civil War, the other present day. I was immediately drawn into the lives of both Marie living in 2013 and Annie in 1863! Two very different historical times, but so many challenges and roadblocks in their lives were similar. The theme running throughout was that all we do and say should revolve around our faith in God. He has given us each a special talent that we need to use only to praise and glorify Him.

The characters were so realistically described, that I easily connected with them. I travelled alongside them in their rather rocky road of life. Being able to identify with a character is my goal when reading a book! I sure had no problems with this intense tale!

The plots move quickly with just enough twists and turns to keep the reader totally engaged from start to finish. 

Definitely a five star book!! Can hardly wait for the next one.

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

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...