Friday, May 30, 2014

Lancaster County Target by Kit Wilkinson

This was filled with suspense almost from page 1!  This Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense kept me turning the pages till I was done.  I really enjoyed this book but hoped that the ending would have been a little different than it was.  I am now hoping that this means there will be a sequel!  One can only hope, right?  I am crossing my fingers!  This book had some romance, mystery, danger, Amish, all rolled into one.  A must read.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Shepherd's Bride by Patricia Davids

This book is a part of the Love Inspired book category of Harlequin books.  And is in the Brides of Amish Country Series.

Carl King is shunned by his Amish community.  He no longer feels he will be able to fit in and be able to make restitution for doing something which is, in his eyes, an unpardonable sin.  As a shepherd, he finds refuge helping an Amish man in another community.  He is now dressed as an Englishman and while helping Joe shearing and working with his flocks.

Lizzie Barkman, appears on the scene looking for help from her grandfather, Joe, yet finding that he has no intention to forgive the mother of Lizzie, his daughter who did not abide by his requests earlier in her life.

Lizzie is hoping to find refuge for herself and sisters who were being raised by an uncle whose plans for them are not in their best interests. 

This story is a very sweet read.  She finds herself very attracted to Carl, who being under the bann is off limits. She is determined to do all she can for her family, whatever it takes.

I enjoyed reading this so much.  I hope to read many more books written by this author!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Heartland Courtship by Lyn Cote

This book released in February of this year.  I found it at Wal-Mart and being a historical kind of person, I really wanted to read it.  I am so glad I did.  This book is about a Quaker woman, Rachel Woolsey who stakes a homestead claim in Pepin, Wisconsin.  She nurses back to health a former soldier of the Civil War, Brennan Merriday, who in return helps her to proof  her claim. 

She earns her living by baking and selling her goods to the passengers of the boats that stop in her town.  She finds herself attracted to this man only to find out that he hasn't told her some things of his past which at first disturb her.  Brennan's plan is to help her with her claim and then hit the road, again but his plans get sidetracked when an unknown boy enters his life.

I really enjoyed this book and it was a really good read.  I liked Lyn Cote's style of writing as it was quite different from some of the recent books that I have read.  I hope to read many more of her books!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Chat with Vera Giveaway

Vera Godly has a give-away at this link.  She is giving away a copy of the book called "Swords".  You can enter at the link!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Christmas at Pebble Creek

This is a continuation of The Pebble Creek Series. Here we see Grace all grown up. We see her future unfold with happiness and sadness, just as the events of our own lives. The little novella was a feel good ending and you wanted it to continue and leaves you wanting to read more. I picked this up free and was really glad I did!

Love all your books, Vannetta!

And it's still a free novella!  You can  grab a copy

Home To Pebble Creek by Vannetta Chapman

This little novella was a nice intro to the series. I was able to get this free on Amazon. It led the way into the wonderful Pebble Creek series. At the end you get a little inkling of what might be forthcoming. The novella is a reminder that pride over forgiveness isn't the Lord's way. I enjoyed it very much and since it's free you might want to get yourself a copy. I am sure you will enjoy it, too!

And it's still free! 
Find it Here!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Home For Lydia by Vannetta Chapman

I love reading Vannetta's books.  And this one didn't disappoint, nor did I expect it to.  In fact, my mom read it before I did, and then I lent her another book from another author.  I asked her what she thought of the "other" book.  Her response, "I like the books your friend, Vannetta writes, much better!"

This books begins with Aaron Troyer going to Wisconsin to take care of some cabins that are in disrepair after the death of his uncle.  He comes to fix them up, make sure that the property is in good order before he returns home to Indiana.  After all, he's a farmer and he doesn't really care for this type of work. 

He comes only to find things are worse than he had expected after flooding Pebble Creek causes a lot of problems on the property.  He definitely sees that his work is cut out for him for a while.  The only employee is Lydia, who is worried about the cabins because this is her family's only source of income.  She is worried with no visitor's there will be no job for her.  With a sick father and other family members to care about she feels the pressure of heavy responsibilities falling to her. 

She and Aaron don't really see eye to eye on some of Aaron's plans to improve the cabins.  But she does her best as an employee.  Just when things are going well with the cabins, serious problems occur causing both concern and financial losses.  The community rallies around them in support, as is Amish custom, but still problems continue. 

All the while Lydia misses the home she once had that is no longer theirs due to her father's bad health.  The tiny home they live in is very small but home, none-the-less.

The community they live in is supportive and loving and the characters from other books in the series maintain strong parts in the lives of Lydia's family as well as Aaron.

I enjoyed reading about Lydia's mother saying that friendship was about more than supporting each other on Sundays.  It was about carrying each other's burdens all week long. It was about praying for one another and working beside one another.  Good motherly advice for all of us.

This book is filled with a little romance, a little suspense and mystery.
Vannetta has such a wonderful way of reminding us how much we all need one another, to be friends with, to love, to cherish.  And how important our family as well as our community is to each of us.  You will love this book! 

You can snag a copy of this book at this link.  You can also read more about Vannetta Chapman at her blog. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Caroline's Secret by Amy Lillard

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Caroline Hostetler suddenly finds herself in Wells Landing, Oklahoma.  She arrives alone with her little daughter, Emma, and is ready to start her life in a new Amish community.  She has left her Tennessee home to spare her family of the embarrassment and trials that her personal situation has placed her in. 

Andrew Fitch, having lost the woman he had planned to marry through death also arrives in Wells Landing to help his Uncle Abe as he also tries to mend his heart and find a new direction in life.  He and Caroline meet and he shares his story with Caroline, but Caroline has not yet shared her story with Andrew.  As the couple become more attached, something happens that could change the lives of these three people, Caroline, Emma and Andrew.

As Caroline returns to Tennessee, Andrew feels he has been betrayed, yet his feelings for Caroline continue.  As Caroline’s secret is told to Andrew he doesn’t know how to handle the situation and what he feels were lies.  Can he forgive Caroline or will her secret tear them totally apart?

I really enjoyed this story very much.  The secret story of Caroline is a realistic event that many families have to deal with, Amish as well.  It is interesting how the Amish cope with painful events in their lives as they too have to learn lessons of love, tolerance, faith and forgiveness, all the while relying on God to help them search for their answers.
Amy Lillard is a very talented author and I hope to read more of her books!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Kensington books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Breath of Spring by Charlotte Hubbard

Breath of Spring by Charlotte Hubbard

Charlotte Hubbard can really breathe life into her characters!  You can understand their struggles as well as their joy very clearly.  I have the previous book, Winter Wishes of this Amish series, called Seasons of the Heart,  which I hadn’t yet read.  So I felt a little unsure of who was who in the beginning, but as I continued to read, the book really drew me in with many unexpected turns.  I love how Charlotte expresses things in her book as you can actually “see” the characters expressions by the descriptions she has written.

I didn’t expect the ex-bishop father of Annie Mae to be so hard and unfeeling.  His actions showed to me a little reminder that when we get off the right paths, we can totally go in the opposite direction of where we were in life before. 
Annie Mae, at 17, faces the prospects of never marrying as she prepares to care for her younger siblings after the death of her mother and her father’s leaving their community through excommunication.  As her father’s life seems to fill with greed, Annie Mae becomes the person that her mother would have wanted her to become.  After she and Adam confide in one another, she sees him in a different light.  Both struggling with the past and secrets that keep them from being all they can be.  Annie Mae still makes some mistakes, showing her very human side, but despite this she seems to be able to learn by those mistakes and draws closer to God.

I enjoyed this book very much, especially the suspense involved and am anxious to read the earlier book and others yet to come.

You can grab your copy from this link:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Kensingtonbooks, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.


Charlotte Hubbard, author

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall

In the fourth and final book of the Amish Vines and Orchards series, we find Rhoda Byler working with Samuel King at the Orchard Bend, Maine community that they had begun with a group of Amish working together to make a new start.  

Rhoda had previously had a relationship with Jacob King, brother of Samuel. Their relationship ended and he left their small community and Rhoda stayed and continued in the canning business they had worked on together.  She and Samuel have become close and their feelings seem to be mutual but unacted upon because of the past relationship of Jacob and Rhoda. 

Leah and Landon the Englischer also a finding themselves in a relationship.  However, as more Amish move from their own home to Orchard Bend, word reaches Leah's Dat about this and he becomes totally upset, coming to Orchard Bend with the intent of making sure that the relationship doesn't continue.  Landon ends up leaving with the promise not to have any contact again for a year with Leah.  To do so could cause serious problems for the others of their community, such as shunning and other religious worries. 

As Phoebe, wife of Steven, their religious leader in Orchard Bend becomes fatally ill, all things hang in balance and threatens to end the work they have started.  With no help in the orchards, Samuel is left a lone man to work them.  How will the community come to grips with the situations at hand, continue to do the work they have built up and have peace in the community?

I really enjoyed this book.  It probably wasn't my favorite of the series, however, it was a good read and I will still recommend it to my reader friends.  I have read the entire series and enjoyed seeing their struggles, their ways of handling problems and seeing that the Amish too, as the rest of us, have their struggles within their communities as do we all.  Seeing and understanding the feelings as loved ones deal with the decisions of leaving their faith or remaining true to old traditions and ways is a realistic storyline which many people see in their own lives and situations. 

I plan to continue to follow Cindy's writings.  She has a very nice writing style.  A particular part of an example of her writing comes from this book onpage 81 as Jacob is seeing Esther's flooring that she created from a very old home. 

There's something wonderfully rich about standing on a floor where people stood a hundred or two hundred years ago, isn't there?  As if we're touching history while becoming history." 

I really enjoyed that because of my personal interest in history as a genealogist, walking in the footsteps of my ancestors as I find their former homes fills me with feelings I could never describe.

I also love how Bible verses are written into the book and the question that Leah asks herself.

"Did God hold people to those things?  Her Daed certainly had Bible verses that said He did."

This demonstrated to me that each of us may have our own personal interpretation of a particular scripture.  We may turn it or twist it to fit out personal wants and needs, and perhaps those are not the wishes of God.  We need to pray for understanding of the scriptures rather than make our own man-made interpretations.

And in closing, on page 159, "That orchard represented what the Kings always stood for: hope.  Perhaps it was time for Leah to embrace hope like that too--a hope that didn't look at what was but what could be through prayer, work, and patience."

And that is what life is for each of us, prayer, work and patience that those prayers will be answered for our own good and benefit.