25 Book Reviews

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Amish Genre at its Best! Enter Rachel J. Good's Giveaway!

               "The Amish Midwife's Secret"
                       By Rachel J. Good

About the Book:

Genre: Inspirational Amish Romance    
Release Date: November 27, 2018
“A beautiful story of forgiveness and second chances.” -Shelley Shepard Gray, New York Times bestselling author
They won’t see eye-to-eye until they meet heart-to-heart…
Kyle Miller never planned on becoming a country doctor. But when he’s offered a medical practice in his sleepy hometown, Kyle knows he must return… and face the painful past he left behind. Except the Amish community isn’t quite ready for Kyle. Especially the pretty midwife who refuses to compromise her herbal cures and Amish traditions with his modern medicine…
The more Leah Stoltzfus works with the handsome Englisch doctor, the more she finds herself caught between the expectations of her family and her own hopes for the future. It will take one surprising revelation and one helpless baby in need of love to show Leah and Kyle that their bond may be greater than their differences… if Leah can find the courage to follow her heart

Click here to purchase your copy!
My Thoughts: 

This is a book that will appeal to those that love the Amish genre as well as those who just love a GREAT read!! The theme throughout is one that touched me deeply, a lifelong journey of forgiveness, both of self and others, as well as the power of love and faith. Both main characters, Kyle and Leah struggle to accomplish what God has instructed, but find it a difficult task indeed. It is so easy to say that one can forget the past however NOT easy to actually accomplish it!  Rachel describes her characters in such a detailed realistic way that one quickly becomes engrossed in their lives. Their problems and challenges become those of the reader!!  These two young people are true to life- they are not perfect! They have flaws as all of us do! Their path to a happy life is rocky at times and it seems as if they can never truly find happiness. I know that feeling, all too well! 

The plot moves steadily with just enough twists and turns to keep the reader engrossed  from beginning to end of the book. Thank goodness this story flows so well and is an easy read, as the reader will certainly have difficulty putting the book down before finishing it. I  know that I did! 

Rachel is to be commended on her accurate description of the Amish lifestyle. She has certainly done her research well! Her ability to portray the Amish lifestyle in such a believable way makes her novels rich in facts and details. 

A five star book!! Don't miss it!!
This book was received from the author and Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.
About the Author:
Inspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. The author of several Amish romance series, she grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for many of her stories. Striving to be as authentic as
possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events.
Rachel’s Amish series include Sisters & Friends (Charisma House/Harlequin), Love & Promises (Grand Central), Hearts of Amish Country (Annie’s Book Club), and Surprised by Love as well as several anthologies—Springs of Love, Love’s Thankful Heart, Plain Everyday Heroes—and the Amish Quilts Coloring Books.

Guest Post from Rachel

The Amish and Herbal Remedies

As many of you know, my Amish novels are based on real life. I get ideas from hanging around Amish friends, hearing their stories and observing their lives. I’d never invade their privacy by telling their stories exactly as they happen, but the things I learn trigger plot ideas.
I’ve always been fascinated by the way the Amish approach healing. Once thing I’ve learned is that, although they’re usually willing to visit doctors, they don’t always take the medicines that are prescribed. Instead, they often substitute herbal remedies. That, and several visits to one of my favorite Amish natural products stores, gave me an idea for one of the conflicts in The Amish Midwife’s Secret.
Leah, an Amish midwife, prefers herbal remedies. Of course, that puts her in direct conflict with Kyle, the new Englisch doctor in town, who only believes in science and traditional medicine. Put the two together and lots of sparks fly. Of course, some of those sparks are also of a romantic nature.
Leah is not only a midwife, but her family owns a natural products store. She knows the best herbs for healing. Rather than sending a small boy to the hospital for pneumonia, Leah covers the baby’s chest with a warm mixture of onions and other herbs and spices (some Amish friends prefer raw onion for congestion), and she feds the baby fresh pineapple juice for his cough.
As a doctor, Kyle is horrified. He wants to admit the baby to a hospital at once. And he expects the old country doctor he’s replacing to back him up. Instead, Dr. Hess informs Kyle that many of the Amish go to doctors for a diagnosis, but then rely on herbal treatments rather than prescriptions.
Kyle, who’s been debating about whether to stay in Amish country or move to a big-city hospital, decides to remain in Lancaster and make it his mission to prevent the Amish midwife from harming newborns and their mothers. He certainly doesn’t expect to have his eyes opened to other ways to handle illnesses. But he has to admit, Leah’s methods do seem to work. When a crisis comes, they soon discover that it takes both of them to save a baby.
A extra little secret: Those of you who get my newsletter already know this, but Kyle in The Amish Midwife’s Secret appeared in two earlier books. The Midwife story stands alone, but if you want to know more about Kyle and Emma’s past, you can find it in the Sisters & Friends series, Book 1, Change of Heart, and Book 2, Buried Secrets.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, November 27
Christian Bookaholic, November 27
KarenSueHadleyNovember 27
The Avid Reader, November 28
Genesis 5020, November 29
cherylbbookblog, November 29
BigreadersiteNovember 30
Quiet Quilter, December 1
Bibliophile Reviews, December 2
Britt Reads Fiction, December 2
Cafinated Reads, December 4
Carpe Diem, December 4
Maureen’s Musings, December 5
Janices book reviewsDecember 6
Moments, December 9
Texas Book-aholic, December 9
The Becca Files, December 10
Vicky Sluiter, December 10

               Giveaway!!!!!! Enter NOW!

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize package of two faceless Amish dolls and an autographed copy of The Amish Midwife’s Secret and Plain Everyday Heroes!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d66f/the-amish-midwife-s-secret-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Perfect Christmas Read from USA Today Bestselling Author, Shelley Shepard Gray!!

         "His Promise"
    By Shelley Shepard Gray


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s latest Christmas novel in her Amish of Hart County series.
It’s set to be a white Christmas in Hart County, and Grace King is pet-sitting in a beautiful home with only a difficult dachshund for company. Just as she starts to miss the bustle of her large Amish family, Grace runs into a familiar face. Living right next door is John Michael Miller. He’s a fireman now, but five years ago, he had courted her older sister, then broke her heart. Seeing him again stirs Grace’s anger, but also reminds her of deeper feelings she’s done her best to deny.
The infatuation John Michael once saw in Grace’s eyes is long gone, though his complicated attraction to her remains. He had walked away all those years ago when he realized he was falling in love with the wrong sister. Now, as suspicious fires are set in their community, that’s not an option. Grace dismisses his warnings, and John Michael vows to keep an eye on her. But he can’t help wondering if he’s reconnected with Grace, only to risk losing her again.
Now all John Michael wants for Christmas is to keep Grace safe, in the hopes that they can one day have a future together.

My Thoughts:

I have to admit that when I see a book by Shelley Shepard Gray, I know that I am in for a treat! My husband may not always agree though!! I tend to get so engrossed in her stories that the real world is left behind, my usual tasks for the day are ignored and left unfinished!!! This book is the sixth in the Amish of Hart  County series, but can be thoroughly enjoyed as a standalone. 

This Amish genre novel differs somewhat from the norm. The Englischers are very much a part of this story and the characters certainly do not isolate themselves from them. I would consider this book to be a sweet romance full of suspense and yes, even intrigue! The plot had many surprising twists and turns. Just when it seemed as if I had a handle on what was happening , a new event would interrupt my thoughts and cause me to change my mindset as to what was going to occur next.

 Love is in the air, as is danger and fear. Although it is the Christmas season, a time of joy and thankfulness, the characters are lonely , worried and feeling great fear.  The absence of family makes one really feel the loneliness that Grace is experiencing. Can one small dachshund and a single young man feel the empty feelings???  Anyone who knows the author, realises that she has a special place in her heart for this sweet small breed of dog. Snooze is described is such detail , that I kept wanting to reach out and give him a cuddle! As usual, Shelley describes her main characters in such realistic detail, that you walk alongside them during their good times as well as their bad ones. It was so easy to identify with Grace and her trials, her times of confusing thoughts , as well as her fear for her life. God had to take charge and keep Grace and John Michael focused on what was important. Look up! Not at the past or even the present. Look to Him to carry one through tough, confusing times. 

This is  a five star book!! The best in the series and a marvellous read for the Christmas season!! Don't miss it!! I am now eagerly awaiting a new book from this author!! Don't take too long, Shelley!!!

This book was received from the author. A positive review was not required. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own. 

About the Author:

Add caption

Shelley Shepard Gray lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. A busy wife and mother of two, she spends her days writing and keeping track of her two teenagers. Her two dogs keep her company when she writes in her basement.

Shelley enjoys writing about the Amish and visits Amish communities in Adams and Holmes counties several times a year. When not spending time with her family or writing, she serves on several committees in her church.

She also bakes a lot, loves coconut cream pie, and will hardly ever pull weeds, mow the yard, or drive in the snow.

Shelley also spends a lot of time on line! Please visit her website, www.shelleyshepardgray.com to find out her latest news...or become her friend on FaceBook.

A Riveting Christmas Suspense Novel by Dana Mentink! Enter the giveaway! YOU could win a $50 Amazon gift card!!

              " Lost Christmas Memories"
                       By Dana Mentink

Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense/Christmas
Release Date: November 1, 2018
About the book:
A witness with amnesia
Can she trust this Gold Country Cowboy with her life?
Tracy Wilson witnessed a murder—but after a head injury, she can’t remember what she saw. Now someone plans to silence her for good, and only cowboy Keegan Thorn believes her. With a killer after her at Christmas, Tracy is running out of time to remember…and falling dangerously hard for the cowboy who could break her heart.
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author:

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com.

My Thoughts:     

This book is the fourth and last book in the Gold Country Cowboys series, Keegan Thom's story. For those who have read the others, you will already know what a talented writer Dana is!! It can easily be read as a standalone! 

I was immediately pulled into the action of this novel, as it starts out with a bang!! Yes , a shock but also a murder! I can only imagine how it would feel to witness a killing, and then on top of that, the body disappears and there is no proof that it took place! Add to that,  a case of amnesia and you have some real sit on the edge of your seat suspense. No one, other than a tall, blue eyed , handsome cowboy believes that the murder actually took place. The quick pace and twists and turns in this detailed, realistic plot, kept me reading long after my bedtime. I simply could not put it down!! 

The characters come to life and immediately draw you into this tale of suspense and intrigue. I walked along beside them as they made their way through a very difficult, complicated and dangerous path attempting to solve this mystery. This is a tale of hurts from the past, present and how faith can carry you through . There is hope when you allow God to supply your needs and forgive others as well as oneself! The Christmas theme that is present in the background gives the reader hope for a better life for herself, after reading what these caring people have gone through. 

If you enjoy a high level of suspense , you will find this a riveting read!! Expect the unexpected!! Action packed!! 

I am eagerly awaiting the beginning of another series from this talented author!

DISCLAIMER: This book was supplied by the author and Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own. 

Guest Post from Dana

Writing this book was bittersweet for me. It was lovely to finally be able to tell youngest Thorn brother Keegan’s story, but I sure am sorry to say goodbye to this series! It was such fun to write about these four kinsmen and the family bonds that held them together through all manner of murder and mayhem! Here at Mentink Manor, we have recently sent a bear cub away to college for the first time. It feels like I have lost a limb now that my Boo Boo is gone! Fortunately, we will enjoy having her home for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Though it won’t be a cozy country Christmas like it is for Keegan (we live in a city of 80,000 here in Northern, CA) we will be thrilled to have all our family home to celebrate together (Mama Bear, Papa Bear, two cubs, a naughty terrier, and a senior citizen box turtle!) I hope you enjoy this last installment in the Gold Country Cowboy series. I am sending along our best wishes for a blessed holiday season, from our Mentink household to yours!

Blog Stops

Christian Bookaholic, November 22
Among the Reads, November 22
Inklings and NotionsNovember 23
Blogging With Carol, November 23
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 24
Moments, November 25
Simple Harvest Reads, November 25
Genesis 5020, November 26
SusanLovesBooks, November 26
Remembrancy, November 26
Kat’s Corner Books, November 27
Pause for Tales, November 27
Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 27
Quiet quilter, November 28
Book by Book, November 29
A Rup Life, November 29
Older & Smarter?, November 30
Have A Wonderful Day, November 30
Cafinated Reads, November 30
KarenSueHadleyDecember 1
Lighthouse AcademyDecember 1
Daysong ReflectionsDecember 1
Bibliophile Reviews, December 2
Bigreadersite, December 3
Texas Book-aholic, December 4
Carpe Diem, December 4
Godly Book Reviews, December 5


To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away a grand prize of a copy of Lost Christmas Memories, a $50 Amazon gift card and this cute reading charms necklace!!
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/d626/lost-christmas-memories-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Two Talented Authors Produce a Great Christmas Read! Be sure to enter the giveaway!


            "Love's Christmas Blessings"
           By Laura Hilton and Rachel  Good

About the Book:
Genre: Christian Fiction, Amish, Christmas
Release Date: November, 2018
Publisher: Celebrate Lit Publishing
Winter’s Treasure
Paris Kauffman believes she is about to embark on her family-tradition birthday treasure hunt, but for the first time ever, her daed is sending her to various businesses and homes in the community. Little does Paris expect that when she enters the bakery to collect her gift, the bus will drop off none other than her old crush, Aquila Stutzman, the man she’d done everything except cartwheels and handstands to get his attention. And failed. Of course, Quil doesn’t remember her.
Quil was offered employment working on his grandparents’ new tree farm in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Since he’s recovering from a broken heart when his longtime girlfriend Priscilla up and married his cousin, a move Quil never saw coming, he decides to take the job. This will give him time to separate himself from the hurt and maybe, eventually, move on.
Paris and Quil have sparks from the beginning, especially since his appearance causes a vicious rivalry between friends. But who can resist when a chance meeting beginning with donuts and coffee ends with a missing person, puppies, a skunk, and a sleigh ride—not to mention a trip the Amish young people plan to Niagara Falls. Could it also involve falling in love?
Mistletoe and Miracles
Daniel Graber has spent years caring for his aging parents. Now Daed’s in rehab with a broken hip and a bad case of irritability. He snaps at the workers and complains about doing physical therapy, so Daniel is grateful for the new aide, Fern Chupp, who uses her sweetness and charm to convince Daed to cooperate. Turns out, Daed isn’t the only one she charms.
As a widow, Fern is grateful for her new job at Fairview Rehab Center, even though it meant relocating to Ephrata, Pennsylvania, with her nine-year-old daughter, Lyddie. But Lyddie is grieving the recent death of her grandfather and dislikes leaving her Ohio home. Lyddie’s shyness also makes it difficult to make friends or recite school lessons.
When her class goes to the rehab center to interview patients, Lyddie’s too scared to do her assignment, so she runs away. During the hunt for her missing daughter, independent Fern learns to accept and appreciate Daniel’s help and support. By the time they discover Lyddie, she’s made a very unusual friend, and Fern and Daniel have developed a . Can four lonely heart create special bonds to make it a Christmas to remember?

Click here to purchase your copy!
My Thoughts:
Two authors combined their talents to create a most  enjoyable book!  Both talented ladies have centred their stories around the Amish community in Lancaster County , an area well known for the Plain People, a quiet rural setting. This caught my attention immediately, as my husband and I make an annual trip to our favorite Bed and Breakfast in Paradise, in the midst of the Amish farmlands. It is a community where you easily find peace and relaxation. Although, I must say that there are exceptions, as the characters in these two novellas show us! 
Both authors describe their characters in a detailed, realistic way, making it very easy to identify with them. I must admit, I loved Paris and Quil, however Sarah put a nasty taste in my mouth!! She was the master manipulator attempting to upset the lives of others! That feeling in itself shows the strength of the character development. Even nasty people do help portray real, everyday life and problems. Paris was a sweet young lady who exhibited great self control . She was an extremely strong person. Rachel's characters were equally well described. Combine an elderly , rather nasty old man and a young, shy , rather unhappy child and you get a fantastic combination. The healing that takes place in both their lives and their families was oh so sweet!! Taking place at a Rehab Centre was unique and touching, as the residents were described in such a real way. A romance developing was just icing on the cake!! 

Both stories had plots that had just enough twists and turns to keep the reader totally engrossed in the lives of these characters who quickly became my best friends. 

This book is one that shouldn't be missed. Sweet stories of love, healing and redemption truly portray what Christmas is all about. 

This book was provided by Celebrate Lit. The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest  and my own. I was not required to give a positive review.

About the Authors:

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with over twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write.
Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children.
When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.
Inspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. The author of several Amish romance series, she grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for many of her stories. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events.
Rachel’s Amish series include Sisters & Friends (Charisma House & Harlequin), Love & Promises (Hachette/Grand Central), Hearts of Amish Country (Annie’s Book Club), and the forthcoming Surprised by Love (Kensington). She also has several anthologies in print as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Book.
To learn more about Rachel, visit her at www.racheljgood.com.

A Special Recipe:

Coconut Potato Fudge Recipe:
1/2 cup plain, mashed potatoes, either instant or one medium potato, cooked
1/8 cup finely chopped (or crushed) almonds (optional)
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
give3 tablespoons butter
Beat powdered sugar and coconut into warm potatoes; then add the vanilla extract and almonds.
Press into a lightly-greased 8-inch square pan; set aside.
In a saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally. When melted, pour over top of the potato mixture.
Refrigerate until set and then cut into squares.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, November 11
The Avid Reader, November 11
BigreadersiteNovember 11
Among the Reads, November 12
Wishful Endings, November 12
Britt Reads Fiction, November 13
Maureen’s Musings, November 14
Quiet Quilter, November 15
Blossoms and BlessingsNovember 15
Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 16
Bibliophile Reviews, November 18
Splashes of JoyNovember 18
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 19
Mary Hake, November 19
Just the Write Escape, November 20
Moments, November 21
Bukwurmzzz, November 21
Blogging With Carol, November 22
Texas Book-aholic, November 22
Janices book reviewsNovember 23
Carpe Diem, November 24


To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away
Grand prize of $25 Amazon gift card
1st place: Paperback copy of Love’s Christmas Blessings
2-4th place: eBook copy of Love’s Christmas Blessings!!

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/d8a0/love-s-christmas-blessing-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...