25 Book Reviews

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Another GREAT Book from Popular Author, Vannetta Chapman!

"A Perfect Amish Match"  

  By Vannetta Chapman


Every courting disaster has led him to her.

An Indiana Amish Brides story

After three failed relationships, Amish bachelor Noah Graber would rather disappoint his parents than try again. But when matchmaker Olivia Mae Miller agrees to provide courting lessons, Noah’s perfect match becomes clear—it’s Olivia Mae herself! With ailing grandparents at home, she hadn’t planned on love or marriage. Might a future with Noah be everything she’s been missing?

My Thoughts:

After having read so many of Vannetta Chapman's previous creations, I have very high expectations of all of her new books! Every one of them has met my qualifications for a great story. I must say that I  was not disappointed with this third book in the  series entitled  "Indiana Amish Brides"! It is another novel that drew me into the lives of some very special new friends. I walked alongside them as they travelled their somewhat rocky journey of life. 

The characters were so vividly and realistically described that I indeed fell in love with them. Olivia is such a caring young woman who has sacrificed so much to care for her grandparents, but does so with such love that you feel the strong ties. What a sweet lady! We could all take some lessons from her. Olivia's passion in life, matchmaking, is one that results in many positive relationships for others. BUT..... what about her??? She remains single, doing what she does with great success. Then along comes Noah, a fine hard working, quiet man, content to live a single life. The complications arise as Olivia takes on a new challenge. This tale is not without humor. You have to laugh as Noah attempts to follow the matchmaker's instructions. 

The plot moves steadily with just enough surprises to keep the reader engrossed from beginning to end. The subject of Alzheimer's Disease is addressed with sensitivity showing us how it can be dealt with in a positive  fashion. 

Both laughter and tears  make this a delightful, sweet romance. 

Vannetta never fails to please her readers!!!! Great read!!

This book was supplied by the author and publisher . The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest and my own. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

A Magnificent Brand New Series from Popular Author, Beth Wiseman!! "Hearts in Harmony"!

"Hearts in Harmony"   
   By Beth Wiseman


They both love music. Will God deny what brings them such joy? 
Musical prodigy Levi Shetler hasn’t touched a piano since he secretly played one years ago. His strict Amish community forbids instruments or the singing of any music not in their approved songbook. Levi asks God often why music tempts him when playing an instrument isn’t allowed in his world. 
One person knows Levi’s talents: Mary Hershberger, the girl who promised years ago to keep his secret. Mary comes from a more liberal district than Levi, but she’s facing family troubles of her own. The mutual care for an aging Englischer, Adeline, reunites Mary and Levi as young adults. They realize that, despite their differences, they have a shared love of music—and a shared confusion about whether their talents are God-given gifts or temptations luring them into the Englisch world. 
The couple realizes they must compromise or part ways, but a tragic accident shakes their decision. Both Mary and Levi will need to reconcile what they love with what their hearts say is right—because even as their passion for music brings them together, it could be what tears them apart. 
The first novel in the new Amish Journeys series by bestselling author Beth Wiseman, Hearts in Harmony explores how far the heart will travel for the melody of love.

My Thoughts:

Beth Wiseman, who just happens to top my list of favorite authors, has once again written an amazing, heart warming novel, a fabulous start to a new series entitled "Amish Journeys". I always approach a new series with some trepidation.... will this new creation meet my high expectations?! After all, every one of Beth's books has been a winner in my opinion, so how can another possibly be as powerful and interesting as her last? NO WORRIES! "Hearts in Harmony" was NO disappointment. After reading the first page, I was on my way travelling to Amish country in Indiana and walking alongside the lovable characters as they took their roller coaster ride through life.

 It is known that the Plain People have just as many trials and obstacles as we do, however, this story brings to light some particular problems that I myself have never really thought about. How many of us have thought about the music that plays a very large part of our church service? Music is very much discouraged and forbidden in this Plain life. Yes, the Amish do sing, but do not have musical instruments, nor is an individual encouraged to ever play one. That would be much too worldly and prideful. Beth tackles this subject in a unique, respectful manner. 

Make sure to have a box of tissues nearby as you will have need of them from the first chapter to the last. The two main characters are brought together in an unusual way, both sensitive, caring individuals who are faced with some difficult decisions, should they do  what they love even though it is deeply frowned upon in their faith? All of the characters in this novel are so easy to love. The reader is so caught up in their quests to be happy in the darkest hour that you feel very deep emotions and thoughts. 

The setting was perfect, far from the close knit Amish community. This added more confusion to do what was right , would anyone know if rules were broken? The relationships that developed amongst the many characters was highly emotional and touching. There are underlying messages that are intricately woven into this story of faith, forgiveness, and loving self and others regardless of the circumstances. 

The plot was intense, full of unexpected twists and turns, making it very difficult for the reader to put down. Just when you think the characters have found a sense of completeness and peace, a boulder is put in the path! One that seems impossible to get past.

 If you are tired of the usual Amish fiction genre, this is the perfect book to grab your attention. Beth Wiseman does a superior job of bringing some humour into the highly emotional, intense moments. This book will remain with you long after you have finished reading it.

 Definitely worthy of five stars. Now, the biggest problem is waiting for Book Two in this series!!!

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

About the Author:

Beth Wiseman is the best-selling author of the Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan series. Having sold two million books, her novels have held spots on the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) Bestseller List and the CBA (Christian Book Association) Bestseller List. She was the recipient of the prestigious Carol Award in 2011 and 2013. She is a three-time winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and an INSPY Award winner. In 2013 she took home the coveted Holt Medallion. Her first book in the Land of Canaan series--Seek Me With All Your Heart--was selected as the 2011 Women of Faith Book of the Year. Beth is contracted with HarperCollins Christian Publishing into the year 2018, and she has published thirteen novels and thirteen novellas to date.

As a former newspaper reporter, Beth was honored by her peers with eleven journalism awards, including first place news writing for The Texas Press Association. She has been a humor columnist for The 1960 Sun in Houston and published articles in various publications. However, writing novels is where her heart is. She left her job as a journalist in 2008 to write novels fulltime.

Beth has a deep affection for the Amish and their simpler way of life, and while she plans to continue writing Amish love stories, she is also branching out into other areas. Her first non-Amish, contemporary--Need You Now--released in April 2012 and landed on the CBA Bestseller List. She enjoyed writing the story based in a town near where she lives, and she chose another small Texas town for her next non-Amish contemporary--The House that Love Built--which is based in Smithville, the same quaint town where movies such as Hope Floats and Tree of Life were filmed. Beth continued to spread her wings when she released The Promise in October 2014. Inspired by actual events, The Promise follows Beth's characters all the way to Pakistan. Beth was involved in the real-life rescue when her friend was held captive in Pakistan. Beth is currently working on book #2 in her new Amish Secrets series, tentatively titled Jacob's Ladder. Book #1--Her Brother's Keeper--recently released and was chosen as a Top Pick by RT Reviews Magazine.

Beth and her husband are empty nesters enjoying the country life in Texas. When she's not writing, she loves to travel, paint, and enjoy time with friends and family. You can find Beth at Fans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook where she interacts with readers and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bethwiseman.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Another MUST READ Novel from Popular Author, Suzanne Woods Fisher! Don't forget to enter the giveaway!!

                          "Mending Fences"
                       By Suzanne Woods Fisher

About the Book:

Genre: Christian fiction, Amish, Mennonite 
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.
Luke Schrock is a new and improved man after a stint in rehab, though everyone in Stoney Ridge only remembers the old Luke. They might have forgiven him, but nobody trusts him. He has been allowed to live at Windmill Farm under two conditions. First, he must make a sincere apology to each person he’s hurt. Second, he must ask each victim of mischief to describe the damage he caused.
Simple, Luke thinks. Offering apologies is easy. But discovering the lasting effects his careless actions have caused isn’t so simple. It’s gut-wrenching.
And his list keeps growing. Izzy Miller, beautiful and frustratingly aloof, also boards at Windmill Farm, and Luke’s clumsy efforts to befriend her only insult and annoy her. Eager to impress, Luke sets out to prove himself to her by locating her mother. When he does, her identity sends shock waves through Stoney Ridge.
“A funny, heartwarming story of friendship, love, and the possibility of happily ever after.”—Amy Clipston, bestselling author of Seat by the Hearth
“Suzanne Woods Fisher has written a sweet and poignant story you won’t want put down. Definitely a must read!”—Kathleen Fuller, bestselling author of the Amish of Birch Creek series
 My Thoughts:

Another masterpiece from the master storyteller, Suzanne Woods Fisher!! This author is a true wordsmith who never disappoints!!! I was captivated from the first page of the book to the last!! Of course, this is no surprise , as this is the case with every book this author creates!! This novel will not allow itself to be put down, at least that was my excuse, when I read long into the night! 

This book is the first in Suzanne's new series, "The Deacon's Family". I loved revisiting Stoney Ridge and my many friends who I have met in some previous stories. New characters appear and draw the reader immediately into their lives. An Amish "Bad Boy" is a an example of the unique problems that this author addresses with understanding and grace. Who would ever dream of a young man from the Plain People having a problem with addiction. We tend to think of this peaceful community being exempt from problems of the world. The reality is that they are no different from you and I!! The problems and aftereffects of addiction, abandonment, dealing with a troubled past filled with grief are described in such depth that the reader feels the pain and confusion alongside the characters. The theme of dealing with these by learning to trust in God's love and forgiving  and healing power is present throughout . How does one learn to trust , self and others??  Can a relationship develop between two hurting people both attempting to recover from such a painful past??  

The book is not without humor. Just when you need a moment to process the serious challenges, the author uses her talent to"touch your funny bone". And it is done is a way unique to Suzanne!! 

The plot moves rapidly with unexpected twists and turns at every corner. I must admit that I was glued to my chair. I could NOT put this book down. 

My favorite quote from the book says it all, "Every saint has a past and every sinner has  a future." What a deep thought! And, how true it is!! God works in the lives of every single person!! We, as humans, often reject His plans! What  a mistake that is!

This is definitely a five star book!! Now, comes the anticipation and wait for the next in this fabulous series!!

Suzanne, can you write a bit faster, please?????

This book was received from the author and CelebrateLit. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Click here to purchase your copy.
About the Author:
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @suzannewfisher.
Suzanne Woods Fisher has a specialty: she writes about real people living in faith-based communities. With over 750,000 copies of books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than twenty-five books, ranging from children's books ('The Adventures of Lily Lapp' series) to novels ("The Choice") to non-fiction books ("Amish Peace: Simple Living for a Complicated World"). 

When Suzanne isn't writing, she's probably playing with puppies. She's been involved with Guide Dogs for the Blind for over fifteen years. Raising puppies, she says, is like eating a potato chip. You just can't stop at one. 

Readers are invited to stop by Suzanne's website at: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

More from Suzanne

A Friend in Need

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” –Walter Winchell
Luke Schrock was nearly friendless. He returned to Stoney Ridge in Mending Fences after a stint in rehab only because his bishop, David Stoltzfus, strongly encouraged him. And everybody knows you didn’t say no to your bishop.
But nobody else in town wanted anything to do with Luke. They forgave him for the trouble he’d caused in his last downward spiral, the one that went too far. The one that even scared Luke. Forgiving him was the easy part. The Amish of Stoney Ridge were intentional forgivers. It was their trust—that’s what he would have to earn. Trust was a fragile thing. Once broken, it wasn’t easily mended.
Somehow, David was still able to look past the behavior to see the best of Luke Schrock. He didn’t stop there. He found a family who was willing to take Luke in, and he spent hours with him—at times as a mentor, at times as a father figure, but mostly as a friend.
A loyal friend can have a powerful impact. Consider those friends in the town of Capernaum, who carried their paralyzed friend to Jesus for healing—so determined to get to Him that they dragged his stretcher up onto a roof, broke through the roof tiles, and lowered him down. Can you imagine being in the crowd, listening to Jesus, as straw and tile pieces and branches and bugs started to drop down from the ceiling? A shocking display…of devoted friendship. And what a miraculous outcome for that paralyzed man!*
I won’t tell you how Luke’s story ends—only that he works hard to find ways to make amends to those he hurt, to regain trust. Especially the hard-to-earn trust of a brown-eyed beauty named Izzy.
Do you have a real friend like David Stoltzfus, who walks in when the rest of the world has walked out? Or maybe the better question, for you, for me, is to ask ourselves if we are friends to others like David Stoltzfus was to Luke Schrock. I know I want to be.
*This miracle is reported in three gospels: Mark 2:1-12, Matthew 9:1-8, Luke 5:17-26.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, March 4
Quiet Quilter, March 5
CarpeDiem, March 5
Among the Reads, March 6
BigreadersiteMarch 8
Splashes of JoyMarch 10
EmpowerMoms, March 10
Vicky Sluiter, March 13
Mary Hake, March 15
Pause for Tales, March 16
Hallie Reads, March 17
The Becca Files, March 18


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of an Amazon Kindle!!
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/de7d/mending-fences-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...