Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Christmas Visitor by Linda Byler

This was last year's Christmas book by Linda Byler.  Unfortunately, last year my to be read pile was very tall and I never got around to reading it.  So this year as the holiday season is approaching, I decided it was time to read this book.
The story is about Ruth, a young widow with six children.  Her youngest still a babe in arms, finds herself lonely and in need of help for herself and family.  She hates to burden her parents of the parents of her late husband, but prefers to be self-reliant in providing the needs of those who depend on her.
She comes in contact with a Amish man who has recently purchased a very large home and feelings seem to awaken in her heart.  Yet he is engaged to marry another making it necessary to suppress those stirrings.  And in her heart she feels that it is too early to have these feelings since the death of her husband.

As time passes and money runs out, she finds boxes of surprises outside her door, exactly when it seems she has no recourse other than to ask others for help.  Who is the mystery person leaving these wonderful gifts?  Is it her best friend or someone else in their community?  Perhaps an Englischer has provided them with means to continue.

As Christmas nears, she finds out who her benefactor is and will this bring changes to her life?

This is such a basic sweet and emjoyable book. It is simply written and brings a sweet Christmas spirit.  This book is available at this link.  I hope that you will have a chance to read this book which will share with you the true meaning of Christmas.

About the author;  Linda Byler grew up Amish and is still a member of the Amish faith.  She has authored three Amish series, Lizzie Searches for Love, Sadie's Montana, and Lancaster Burning.  I have read books in each of these series and can feel the true Amish spirit coming through.  You will enjoy all her books which are all very well written.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Yuletide Bride by Michelle Ule

This was part 4 of the 12 Brides of Christmas series that I have been reading.  This part is by Michelle Ule.

It is a story set in the pioneer times of  a young man Ewan who loved to play the fiddle and he also loved Kate MacDougall.

However, Kate's father had different plans for her, that she marry Josiah Finch, the son of a well-to-do banker.  He was not in favor of having Ewan being the husband of his daughter.  Ewan did not have a promising occupation, nor money or a fitting home in which to properly provide for Kate.

Kate's father told Ewan in order to have him change his mind, it would be necessary for Ewan to earn $70.00 by the time of Kate's 18th birthday on Dec. 25th.  At this time in history, this was a large amount and definitely would be a big undertaking, but Ewan loved Kate and was determined to win her hand and the approval of her father.

The other suitor, Josiah, seemed also not to be Kate's choice for a husband and a forced or arranged marriage was not something she wanted either.  Will Ewan be able to change the mind of Kate's father or will she find herself married to Josiah against her wishes?

This was a really sweet story and I liked it alot.  I am really enjoying reading this series of books and was happy to see that the author, Michelle Ule was also a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan.  My favorite book series as I grew up in my small Minnesota town!

I received a free ebook copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given.

Here is the author's website.

Texas Wildflowers by Anita Higman

In July I was lucky to win a book called Marriage in Middlebury by Anita Higman.  It didn't arrive for quite a long while, so I found Anita on Facebook and messaged her that I hadn't received it and wondered if it had perhaps been lost in the mail.  In response, she wrote, that she wasn't sure what had happened but since it had been so long since the contest she would be sending two books, which I was happy about, for sure.  Texas Wildflowers was the second book that I received.

It was such a nice book.  It was a four-in-one collection about four sisters in the McBride family and how they met their significant other.

All four stories were written in first person, with the main character sharing her inner thoughts and I really enjoyed that.

The four Texas McBride sisters were Rosy, Lily, Violet and Heather.  Definitely fitting the Wildflower title.  Each story was unique and different than the others.  They were all sweet romances, and Christian all the way.  No need to worry about unexpected surprises.  Each story had a wonderful theme on personal improvement and striving to spread God's wisdom to help others.

I highly recommend this book and know I plan to read more from this author.

Author Anita Higman can be found at this link. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

John Muir, America's First Environmentalist by Kathryn Lasky

I won this book for my grandchildren at another blog giveaway.  The book is for young people but I read it as well and it engaged me.  I had not known of John Muir prior to reading this book and found it very interesting and I learned some interesting things.

The most interesting part to me was when John went to explore the glazier that was cracking and had many gaps that he had to jump or climb over.  These crevasses seemed to get larger and he was separated from his dog Stickeen.  It even kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened.

Coming from Scotland where he was born in 1838, and going to Wisconsin, he eventually left home from a hard to live with father.  He was the founder of the Sierra Club in 1892, a conservation group that still continues his work.

A great book for young people to learn some new and interesting facts about the world we live in.

I really recommend this.

The Gift-Wrapped Bride by Maureen Lang

This historical romance was a nice quick enjoyable read.  Sophie and her parents leave Ohio in November 1848 to bustling Chicago in their wagon.  They were settling where others of their friends and family had led the way, including Noah and her brother.

Noah was not one of Sophie's favorite boys in her memory of their past encounters.  But now he has grown up although in Sophie's opinion to still be of the same nature.

Despite others who have told her that Noah has changed and is no longer that same boy she once knew, Sophie doesn't want to be bothered.  Yet Noah sees something in Sophie that he hopes will become a part of his future.

With Christmas fast approaching, Noah's plans a Christmas pageant.  As she sees Noah working with the children, will Sophie's feelings change about Noah?  Or will she remain unforgiving?

I enjoyed it but perhaps the ending came a bit quickly in this story.

I was given an ebook copy of this story by the publisher for my honest review.

Author Maureen Lang.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Doctor's Return by Narelle Atkins

Narelle Atkins book The Doctor's Return, was the story of  Megan Bradley, a woman who enjoys traveling the world and has a hard time settling down.  She returns home to find herself sharing an office with Dr. Luke Morgan, whom she left after turning down his marriage proposal.

As they spend time together, they find that the old feelings are still there.  But is it enough for Megan or will she take the opportunity she is given to follow her career dreams and aspirations?

Luke wants to become a part in her life and hopes that he can plan his future with Megan.  But there is that chance of her finding that she is not yet settled into a life she wants to follow.  Only God's plans, prayer and love will help to make this decision.  You will need to read this book to know how things work out.

It was a quick and nice read.  It takes place in Australia and it was fun to read about life in that part of the world!

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Evergreen Bride by Pam Hillman

The Evergreen Bride was the 3rd in a series of 12 wonderful stories of Christmas Brides.  Pam Hillman weaves a lovely story of the Christmas Season.

Annabelle has plans to leave her home in Tennessee for a 2 week Christmas trip to Chicago.  The story infers as though perhaps she is hoping that by making the trip to her cousin Lucy's that there might be a chance of her meeting a new beau.

Her brother and his friend Samuel own a lumbering business together and Annabelle does not see the opportunities that are right at her very doorstep.

This is such a sweet story of Christmas and finding love. A wonderful Christmas romance.  I truly enjoyed the happy feelings that this book created for me.  I can't wait to read the rest of the series.  It is a very enjoyable read and historical romance.

You can order your copy here. And also at Christian Book found at this link.
  Pam Hillman, author

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Hidden by Vannetta Chapman

I have just finished reading this new suspense by Vannetta Chapman.  I was excited to read a new mystery suspense book and this book was all that I had hoped for.

In this book, Dana Jacobs, Vannetta's female lead character, is in charge of the Department of Homeland Security in Taos, New Mexico.  Her male lead character, Benjamin Marshall has been assigned to Dana's office.  He had just completed a 6 year deployment and is an explosive specialist.

In this book there is a chase scene that will keep you reading. There are no boring pages, rather lots of action.  You can see that the author has researched both the location and the events and procedures that occur in the book.

A few sparks of interest are apparent between the two main characters, although Dana has stated emphatically that she doesn't want to mix her work and her social life.  There is definitely something in Dana's past that keeps her from enjoying life to the fullest.  Something is hidden deep in her heart and mind that causes her to hold back in trusting and opening up to others.  Until she finds a way to open up her heart, she will not be able to find true happiness.

Ben has placed his faith and trust in God, but Dana feels that God abandoned her and she loses her faith and Ben hopes to help her find it again.

This was a great read and I am so happy to have been able to read this.  I love good Christian reads and this was clearly that.  A definite 5 star!

Vannetta Chapman's books are wonderful and you can find out more about her and her wonderful books at this link.

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review, which I have given.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Nutcracker Bride by Margaret Brownley

This was a beautiful story about Lucy Langdon who during the time of 1880, while picking walnuts hears several horses approaching at a fast pace and one of the riders throws something in her wagon.  Lucy finding something totally unexpected in the wagon, money, and lots of it, is not sure what to do about it.  The cold December day does not make reporting this incident to the local authorities easy for her, especially while having to take care of her aged grandfather. 

Her German grandfather, whom she calls “Opa” which is the German version of grandpa, tends to worry her because she isn’t sure if he will walk away or not, his mind no longer functioning as it should.  She is now concerned as to whether there are unscrupulous thieves waiting to break into her home, looking for the pouch of money left which had been left in her wagon.  She hides the pouch and later when someone approaches her home, is not sure if this is a “good guy” or a “bad guy”.
Texas Ranger Chad Prescott had been riding and searching for a band of thieves.  And was near her home and she had no idea who was making the noises that she heard.  Was it the thieves?  Her shotgun that she carried went off and she wasn’t sure whether she had killed or injured anyone as someone began yelling and banging on her door to let him in.  Who was this person and what did he want?

She finds herself fearful yet he convinces her to open her door.  It is the person she has accidentally shot.  And it becomes necessary for her to care for him. 
Lucy provides for herself and her grandfather through her baked goods.  Her house is over-filled with nutcrackers and Texas Ranger Chad Prescott is surprised to see them all, made by her German grandparents. 

I enjoyed the story of their meeting and circumstances.  It was a fun read and Book 2 in the 12 part Christmas Bride Series.  You will enjoy this read and also the nummy German Cookie recipe at the end.  Can’t wait to try it!

A Plain Man by Mary Ellis

A Plain Man is a great story of forgiving oneself, even though God and others have already forgiven you.  This story struck a chord with me, because I myself know, that the hardest person for me to forgive, is also my own self.

Caleb Beachy went on his Rumspringa years and pretty much fell away from his safe Amish background.  His sister, Sarah, somehow manages to convince him to return to the fold.  He finds it hard to fit in to his old Amish ways and the adjustment isn't as easy or natural as he would have thought.

He reconnects with Josie Yoder, but the sins of his past haunt him and he doesn't know how she will respond to the truth and should he tell her all?  With his father serving as the Bishop of their Amish congregation, this adds to his difficulties as to how to again assimilate into his old lifestyle.

Will he be able to forgive himself and will he find the peace he is looking for in his life as he carries a permanent reminder of his past on his arm.

I felt there were many feelings that were well thought through and probably something that returning Amish would truly have to deal with.  Feelings of guilt and impurity as their culture would expect of them.

Will he find a way to restore himself in the good graces of God, family and himself or will he not be able to find the pathway home?

An excellent book which I hope you will all have an opportunity to read.  Mary Ellis captures the feelings of many prodigal children, I am certain!

Author Mary Ellis.  You can find her books at this link.