Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My To Be Read Piles Keep on Growing.

So this is my nightstand.  My husband would love to have all the books nicely put away.  I am reading them as fast as I can!  But I do go to work everyday!  I hope to finish by the next millennium!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Calling by Suzanne Woods Fisher

It is funny, because I just started putting my thoughts down and looked to see what book number in the series this was, it's 2.  I haven't read 1 yet, but I just saw it on my "TBR" pile.  Wouldn't your know.  I guess I will have to go back and do some catching up!

I enjoyed the book very much but at first had a little harder time getting into the characters than I usually do. It could be exactly that I hadn't read book 1.  As it developed it became more interesting to me and enjoyable.  I have read many of Susanne's books and that includes her children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp.

Bethany Schrock had a bad courtship with an Amish man who betrays her and her family in dishonest business dealings.  As she tries to get beyond the feelings she has,  she starts to work for some elderly Amish sisters.  Their house is anything but typical Amish clean and orderly.  And Bethany finds a rather undaunting  surprise as she takes upon the job of preparing the house for future church services. 

A guest staying at the Inn, Geena, a youth pastor, manages to find a way to get Bethany's help with a project at the community soup kitchen.  Bethany is surprised that the elderly Amish sisters are involved here. 

She longs to know the reason that her mother left them when she was just small.  The fact that her father is divorced from her mother is so unlike Amish ways.  Because she has no mother, Bethany seems to really be drawn to Geena who reminds her to listen after she prays and to wait for those answers.  This is something new to Bethany, but something she has been lacking in her life, having that simple tool to get her through the hard times in life.

Bethany may not be your typical Amish woman.  She is spunky, ambitious and strong.  As she learns of secrets that have been hidden away for many years, she faces her fears and with the help of faith and prayers, she works to find the answers as to which direction her life should go.

I enjoyed the book very much.  A very good read!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Wedding For Julia by Vannetta Chapman

It has actually been a little while since I read A Wedding for Julia, but now I am trying to recall things and reading a bit of it again so that I hopefully remember things correctly.  I do remember that I really enjoyed this book and that is why I wanted to write about it on my blog.
This book is part of a series of Amish books but was actually the first book of the series that I read.  I think that I might need to take some time to read books 1 and 2 because this one was so enjoyable to read.

The main character is Julia Beechy. Her mother, Ada, tells her that she has to marry or move from the family home when she passes.  Her mother Ada insists that the house be sold and that Julia moves back to Pennsylvania where relatives are still living. But Julia has lived in Pebble Creek her whole life and had hoped to realize a dream of opening a cafe. Because of her mother’s failing health, Julia is very concerned as to what direction her future will lead her.  This causes lots of stress and worry for Julia.  She is not sure how she will go about changing this situation that her mother unexpectedly caused.

Caleb Zook, who, like Julia, is also getting older than the expected marriage age of the Amish, suggests that they marry in order to help Julia out of this predicament.  But Julia is unsure whether she could marry someone she doesn’t love even though Caleb is a helpful man, and a very hard worker.  As they get to know one another, perhaps some feelings are being kindled that surprise both of them.

A horrible tornado comes to Pebble Creek like has not been seen in this area of Wisconsin in more than one hundred years.  The Amish people must now do what Amish people seem to do very well and that is to help their friends and neighbors and pray that all survive the terrible destruction.

The characters, Caleb and Julia seem to mesh together well as they work together after the storm.  The community comes together when the need is there, also.  As I read this book, I couldn’t put it down.  I am also grateful to authors such as Vannetta Chapmann who write books of a Christian nature that have good moral values, as well as guidelines for each of us on working together and building strong family relationships.  An excellent book!  I just loved it!  It's a wonderful story and well worth reading!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Life With Lily Books by Suzanne Woods Fisher and Mary Ann Kinsinger

My granddaughter is reading the Life with Lily books and she loves them.  I have read the 3rd book in the series and agree that if I was a 9 year old girl I would be reading them as well!  She found a paragraph which she is pointing to and that applies to her life as well.

Often she and her brothers come to grandma and grandpa's house to sleep over.  We make a little "nest" as we have called it over the years by placing a pile of thick blankets on the floor next to our bed.  The kids sleep there when they come to visit.  When there is more then one grandkid, the "nest" is the coveted place to sleep and they have a little "discussion" as to who gets to sleep there.  Brecklyn was excited to read that Lily's grandparents do the exact same thing when she comes to visit.  Read the paragraph in the photo.  And guess what they call it?  A little nest!

I highly recommend these nice books for your daughters and granddaughters.  They are fun to read, even for grandmas!  And they are great ways for your girls to learn about other children, cultures and ways of life.

Sticky Icky Booger Bugs by Sherry Frith

The author, Sherry Frith writes about Cystic Fibrosis, an inherited disease which both of her two sons have.   Their daily trials and medical routines are explained and illustrated in this book so that children can understand how this disease causes difficulties for all those who have it, yet they want to be like other children and play all the games and have all the fun others have.  It is a true story of her sons' experiences in life.  I feel that this is a good book to educate children of the trials and experiences of children who have different circumstances, regardless of what they might be.  It is good for children to realize that each child is different and life may be different but can still be fulfilling regardless of their individual paths in life. 

This is my granddaughter reading the book.  She enjoyed it and felt that it was good to understand that everyone has a different road to follow.

Peace by Shelley Shepard Gray

Beth Byler is helping a friend, Frannie, at the Yellow Bird Inn during Frannie's absence.  She is shocked as she opens the door to find Chris, an Englischer, who is an undercover agent for drug enforcement.  He is bleeding and in terrible shape as he arrives at the door.  Beth takes him in and cares for him.  He was a friend that she had been quite attracted to the last time he was in Crittenden County.  He explains his dangerous situation.  Alone with him at the Inn, she faces her fears and feeling about Chris.  He is also facing feelings about his friend, Beth, a young and pretty Amish woman. 

His family, not knowing that Chris works as an undercover agent, actually thinks that he is no longer the son they raised and feelings between Chris and his parents are not good. 

After tending to his injuries as best she can, Beth and Chris spend Christmas together.  However, he has another assignment in a few days which will take him out of Beth's life as quickly as he re-entered it.

This book is pretty fast paced and quite interesting.  Although it is a Christmas book, I have to admit, I am a little late getting to read this, however, it was a fun read, no matter when you read it!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Falling to Pieces by Vannetta Chapman

This is a fun whodunit mystery taking place in the Amish town of Shipshewana.  After Callie's aunt passes, she arrives from Texas with the intent of selling her aunt's quilt shop.  After a little coaxing the Amish ladies that provided quilts for the shop, convince her to re-open the now forlorn looking shop. Deborah's family comes to help Callie restore the shop and clean the grounds. 

Deborah, one of the Amish women quilters and Callie work together to sell some of the quilts on EBay.  The editor of the local newspaper finds this as a good story to sell a few more of his papers and embellishes the story with incorrect information which gives Callie a bad start in her new business. 

Callie becomes friends with the Amish women and gains their trust.

The editor is found dead in his office and Callie finds him and somehow becomes entangled legally with this apparent crime.  More incidents happen in town and the police are looking to capture the person responsible.   Callie and Deborah play detectives, plotting together to figure out how to find the person responsible for the crimes and find themselves in a scary situation.

The story is one of trust and friendship among women of different backgrounds and how they can bond together and work together even though they have many differences.  I enjoyed the story very much and it was a fun read.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Progressive Amish "Buggy" ???

Today as I was staying home because of a cold, I saw this gem parked across the street and with my interest in all things Amish, my thought was "Now there's a progressive Amish buggy!"  What do you think?

A Miracle of Hope by Ruth Reid

I just finished A Miracle of Hope this morning.    It is a wonderful book of the love and trust in the Lord and his plan for each of us.  The characters  were wonderful and reacted as most of us would in the same situation. 

Lindie finding herself expecting a child out of wedlock faces the church congregation and her brother Eli arranges a marriage for her with his friend, Josiah, a man she has never met.  However, in her desperate situation, she enters into this marriage as an agreement that she will take care of Josiah and Hannah, his daughter and she will be provided for.  No love is part of the arrangement. 

Hannah, being deaf, causes stressful situations for Lindie when she arrives, running off and not letting anyone know where she has gone and why.  Lindie's pregnancy is difficult and causes her to have health issues.  Josiah, shows that he is a caring person and takes care of Lindie as she goes through her difficult problems. 

Lindie feels lonely and unhappy in this arranged situation and eventually makes a few friends and as time passes, both struggle with things of their past.  Both are hesitant to confide in the other.  It is hard to know whether their marriage will survive the many trials that happen. 

Hannah displays acts of faith and prayer that brings the family together, but will the struggles that they experience bring them closer as a family or tear them apart?

I really enjoyed this book.  I would love to see a series develop from this book.  I would also like to read more from this author.