Friday, November 28, 2014

The Christmas Star Bride by Amanda Cabot

I have just finished reading The Christmas Star Bride, which I believe is book 9 in the 12 part series.  The story takes place in Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory in November of 1885.

Esther Hathaway owns and runs a bakery.  She is a single middle-aged woman who has never married, although she has had someone in her past who she lost in wartimes.  She lives together with her niece, Susan, who will be getting married.  Susan's parents died as Susan was still young and was raised by Esther.

Their family tradition for the family brides was to give a gift of a Christmas Star, painted with the bride and groom.  Now that Esther was in Cheyenne, it was hard to find someone with the artistic talents she needed to complete this family tradition for Susan.  She had been searching for someone to complete this task and nearly given up all hope of finding someone when she came across an ad placed by Jeremy Snyder, an artist.

As he meets Esther, she is certain that he is capable of the request that she has made and he begins sketching Susan and her fiance in a part of the bakery.  This brings in customers who are interested onlookers and possible new clientele for Jeremy.

As the days pass Esther begins having feelings for Jeremy as does he for her.  But neither is quite confident of the feelings of the other.  This is a sweet story and a story that will bring a smile to the reader.  I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it!

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

Author Amanda Cabot

You can find a copy of this ebook at this link from
or from this link to purchase through

Pro Memoria Tom I by Jan Myrcik

I was able to receive a recently published book by Jan Myrcik who is the proprietor of a local history museum in Koszecin where a large amount of my ancestors are from.  In this book, the topics of war casualties and fatalities from Koszecin are covered.  It includes the names of many of the participants of various wars, WWI, WWII, and some others in which villagers from Koszecin took part.

I was able to find many of my relatives listed in this book of 108 pages.  The book also includes many letters from the military informing villagers of the loss of the relatives, sons, fathers and so forth who were determined missing and those that had been killed in battle.  The book is written in the Polish language and includes the above mentioned letters, many of which were in the German language.  It included photos of some of those that were killed or missing.  For the Koschentin/Koszecin researcher this book is of great interest.

Castle of the Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen family showing the bus of the touring group Slask, which is housed in Koszecin.

Slaskie Lowy by Edward Goszyk

This book was written by an author that I met while on a trip to Poland.  Edward Goszyk was suggested to me by others to be an expert on hunting, forestry and foresters of the area of my ancestor, Franz Gralla.  Franz Gralla was forest ranger in the forests of Koszecin in the late 1800's.  I had received some books from Mr. Goszyk at the time of my visit in 2007.

I was very delighted to receive a copy of his latest book about forests and hunting in the area of Silesia.

I am not quite certain where the book is available.  However, upon doing an internet search I find the following link to some information about it.  And it can be purchased at this Polish site. And also this Polish dealer.  I have not found an America dealer, but perhaps I have missed it.

This 344 page book is written in Polish and discusses the world of hunting and forestry in Silesia. It is illustrated with drawings and photographs which were very interesting to me to see.

Silesian countryside.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Festive Bride by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

Novella 9 in the 12 Brides of Christmas, this was probably my favorite so far.  It is the first book that I have read by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer.  It was a really sweet read which takes place in Southern Illinois in 1886.  I am really enjoying this 1800's time period.  It was a simpler time and family values are quite alive at this time.

Roy Gibbons is a widower in this story with two daughters who are much in want of a mother figure in their lives  They recently moved from their home in Collinsville to escape the constant memories of his deceased wife Janie.

The daughters clearly need a mother and Roy, a wife, but will he marry simply to fill that need or because he truly loves and cherishes the person?

He meets Dr. Pickens daughter who cares for his girls while one of them is ill.  A bond is formed between Alma Pickens and Roy's daughters.  It seems like a good resolution, however, Alma is not satisfied to marry simply because of convenience or need.  She has a list of requests of her own.

The story is sweet and a feel good read that I know Christian readers will enjoy.  I highly recommend this story.

I received this ebook from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given.

About the Author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

Christian author, Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, writes historical and contemporary romances. Author of Mind of Her Own, A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee and We’re Not Blended-We’re Pureed, A Survivor’s Guide to Blended Families. Once widowed and now remarried she writes with humor and experience on the difficulty of joining two families be it fictional or real life.
Visit Diana at:

You can purchase her book at the following link at Amazon and also at this link for  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Marriage in Middlebury by Anita Higman

I was lucky to win this Anita Higman book in a contest.  And  similar to the last book of Anita's that I read, this was also a very enjoyable read.

This is a story, a love story, of two people whose lives were altered by the mistakes or perhaps, shall I say, misdoings of another.  This person having been a family member.  As a result the couple ends a relationship rather than brings it to the point of marriage.

As their two lives separate for many years, an upcoming marriage of one of them brings them back into one another's lives.  Will past issues bring them together or further apart?

This is a really good read and I am sure that you will enjoy seeing how this story evolves.

Author Anita Higman

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chat with Vera: Author Anita Higman answers questions about her ne...

Chat with Vera: Author Anita Higman answers questions about her ne...: Can you tell me a little bit about your novel, A Question of Destiny?  I’d be happy to. It’s basically a rags-to-riches story with a fe...

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Christmas Tree Bride by Susan Page Davis

This is another of the 12 Brides of Christmas series.  It was a really fun read.  I really love the pioneering time period in history when people were starting to make their ways west and settle new areas.  It's probably my favorite.  This story takes place in Wyoming at the Winfield stage coach stop.
Polly Winfield and her family run a stage coach stop preparing the guests and workers, meals, shelter and the needs that they can continue their journeys.  Polly is 18 and one of the drivers, Jacob has gotten to know her.  Being that she has been away from all the comforts of home for quite a while, she finds herself missing the beautiful Christmas trees that she would enjoy each Christmas season.

This year it appears that there won't be a Christmas tree.  Polly asks her father if she could enlist one of the stage drivers to hunt for a suitable tree.  Her father agrees and Polly asks Jacob to see if he can find her one.  Christmas draws closer but so far he was unable to find one.

The stage is very late and causes Polly's father to be very concerned because of the very snowstorm and he decides to set out to see if he can locate them and help them.  Polly asks to go along and brings some food and medical supplies in case they are needed.

After struggling to find their way, they come across Jacob and the wagon which is no longer able to continue.  Polly and her father struggle to keep the injured passengers warm and the fire that Jacob started needs more wood to keep it going.  They must use some parts of the wagon and this is when Polly sees a little Christmas tree that Jacob has brought.

This is a very touching and sweet story of trials of this time period and the strong men and women of this era.  I highly recommend this story to give you that wonderful warm holiday spirit!

I received an ebook copy of this story from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given.
Author: Susan Page Davis can be found at this link.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Chat with Vera: Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putma...

Chat with Vera: Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putma...: Multnomah WaterBrook Press ISBN: 9781601426482 About the book: Discovering romance during the Christmas season is more magical due to t...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Chat with Vera: Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey (Review and G...

Chat with Vera: Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey (Review and G...: About the book:   A grandmother's last wish is to communicate God's love through an Irish chain quilt. Taryn McKenna believes...

Monday, November 10, 2014

An Amish Family Christmas by Marta Perry and Patricia Davids

I recently read this double Christmas novella book by Marta Perry and Patricia Davids.  I have read books from both of these authors and was delighted by these two stories, as well.

Heart of Christmas was Marta Perry's contribution and as all the books of Marta's that I have read, it was really enjoyable.  And a nice way to prepare for the holidays ahead.  

Susanna Miller, Amish school teacher for many years, has pretty much decided that she won't be marrying.  Toby Unger had been her beau who left her shortly before their wedding.  She had a very hard time reconciling with those feelings.  However, after years she finds that Toby's wife, mother of his two children has passed away.  His father, has also had an accident and needs Toby's help in his business.  Toby returns home to find that Susanna is the teacher of his children's Amish school.  His children, having suffered the trauma of their mother's death each face problems in adjusting, with his daughter becoming very shy and unresponsive and his son, William, becoming a troublemaker.

Toby briefs Susanna on his children's problems and she struggles to help them.  As the holidays approach, it is time to prepare for the yearly Christmas Program.  How will she cope with helping the children, seeing her former fiance and dealing with a harse school board member, Mr. Keim?

This book is very heartwarming.  I loved it!
Author Marta Perry

A Plain Holiday is Patricia David's portion of the book, and it too was a wonderful holiday read.

Sally Yoder left the Amish community during her Rumspringa time, but her heart is still with her people, her family, community and Amish ways.  She has always loved Ben Lapp, but she is a much different person, and has become strong as an individual, probably not the type of woman Ben would have in mind or find acceptable.

As a nanny for two Englischer children, grandchildren of an Amish woman who left the fold, she finds herself in her Amish community showing the children this area.  As she encounters Ben again, stirrings of her heart are still apparent and she tries to hold them back.

Ben plans a sleigh ride with the children and it is suggested that Sally go as well.  An unexpected snowstorm brings a challenge to all, and brings them under the same roof for the duration of the snowstorm.

Enjoyed this story very much!  These are absolutely wonderful authors.  Must reads for this holiday season!

Author Patricia Davids

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Mother For His Children by Jan Drexler

This is the first book that I have read which was written by Jan Drexler.  I have to say that I really enjoyed this book and it was a hard book to put down.  So I didn't!

Ruthy Mummert leaves her Amish community after she was badly hurt by her sweetheart, Elam and her best friend and neighbor Laurette.  After having been with Elam for 8 years, he begins a relationship with her best friend.  The hurt was almost more than she can bear or forgive.  She finds an opportunity to work for a widowed father in Indiana.  As she arrives there she is surprised by the fact that this man had ten children.

Because she and Levi, her new employer are living in the same home, although in a separate building, the church elders are frowning upon the situation and as a result Levi offers Ruthy a chance for a "marriage of convenience'.

As they decided to do this, and become man and wife, in word only, Elam comes and finds Ruthy in Indiana.  He convinces her to return home with him.  The story is a wonderful story of forgiveness and second chances.  You will want to read this one!
Author Jan Drexler

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Chat with Vera: The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller (Review & ...

Chat with Vera: The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller (Review & ...: ISBN: 9780784212550 About the book:  Yearning for a fresh start, Ewan McKay travels with his aunt and uncle from northern Scotland...

The Nativity Bride by Miralee Ferrell

Continuing with the 12 Brides of Christmas series, I have just finished reading The Nativity Bride by Miralee Ferrell.  This is the first thing I have read from this author and I have to say that I do enjoy her writing style very much.

In this story 16 year old Deborah is courting 18 year old Curt Warren.  They are happily together and feeling that they plan to spend the rest of their lives together.  Curt is contemplating his future and the fact that he does not want to continue to farm as his father has done throughout his life.  He feels the talent of wood working driving him in a different direction.  His father is very unhappy and Curt leaves home to apprentice in The Dalles as a woodworker despite his father's feelings and advice.

Five years pass and Deborah has had merely two letters from Curt.  She has courted others but no one fills the hole in her heart.  Curt returns after these 5 years and the feelings he once had for Deborah still remain.  But after all this time, will Deborah have feelings for him?  Deborah's mother is also a factor in their future as she has poor health and needs to be cared for by Deborah.  As Deborah helps Mr. Warren, Curt's father, go through his wife's belongings after her death, she uncovers some items that hold the keys as to whether Curt and his father will ever reconcile.  One of the items is a beautiful handmade nativity set.

This story was very uplifting and shows the importance of forgiveness in each of our lives.  I will be watching for other works by this author.

I have received a ebook from the publisher for my honest review.

The author, Miralee Ferrell

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Simple Life Devotional by Wanda E. Brunstetter

I just finished reading The Simple Life Devotional and can only say, Wanda has crafted a meaningful, wonderful and inspiring book of Devotional thoughts.  The book follows a pattern with a short story telling of some Amish experiences and then a section called "Food for Thought" containing an uplifting thought followed by a section called "Food for the body".  Food for the body includes a wonderful recipe.  Some looked so tempting I couldn't wait to try them.

The 60 devotional stories are proceeded by a scripture pertaining to the story.  The devotionals are all based on experiences of her Amish friends with each giving you an uplifting feeling.  I read every devotional and saw many that I wanted to apply to my own life.

Wanda is such a good writer and I feel really happy and blessed to have been able to read this excellent book!  I highly recommend it.
5 stars for Wanda's new book!                                                                  
Author Wanda E. Brunstetter

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Unforeseeable by Nancy Mehl

Nancy Mehl is one of my Facebook friends, an author whose books I enjoy.  I won a copy of her book Unforeseeable in a contest.  I just finished reading this fascinating book.

Callie Hoffman lives in Kingdom, Kansas.  She is Mennonite and has a past that keeps her from progressing.  The secret that she keeps in her heart and has tried to bury in her mind has caused her to have changed from the young woman she once was.

Her fiance is Levi Housler and he is also the new pastor in their congregation.  Her life seems wonderful until a murder occurs in their town.

This book was quite suspenseful and was a page turner from the beginning.  You will not want to miss this great book!  For Christian readers is also inspiring and uplifting.
Author Nancy Mehl

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Gingerbread Bride by Amy Lillard

Maddie was in love with Harlan and wanted to be sure he felt the same way.  In this historical fiction, which takes place in 1870 in the Ozarks in Alabama, an old woman convinces Maddie she has a love potion that will do the trick.

Maddie begins to feel guilty about what she has done to cause Harlan to have strong feelings about her and is convinced those feelings stem from her love potion.

This story is probably very true to the period and is a sweet story that will keep your attention.  Perhaps is was a bit too hard to convince Maddie of Harlan’s feelings than it could have been, but I enjoyed the story and Amy Lillard’s books have always been enjoyable to me.

I received an ebook copy of The Gingerbread Bride for my honest review, which I have given.

 This book is part of a 12 part series in the called The Heartland Brides.

You can find this series at various booksellers.