Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Seeing your Face Again by Jerry S. Eicher


 I won this book and I consider myself very lucky that I did.  It was a contest on Suzanne Woods Fisher's blog.  Now I will have to go back and read book 1 and then book 3.  I really enjoyed this book about an Englisha girl, Debbie, who is determined to join the Amish community.  She faces trials in her pathway to baptism.  Some of the things she experiences include the young Amish man, Alvin, whom she has feelings for, has left the community without a word and without an apparent reason.
Paul, a handsome Amish man has his cap set for Debbie and it is expected that she reciprocate his attentions to be accepted and considered to become a member of the faith.  This is not her wish and that being so, she is in a big of a difficult situation. 
Lois, the daughter in the family that she is staying with, leaves home to follow the English lifestyle.  This, of course, is not an acceptable thing to do and causes Debbie more problems, in that it is assumed that Debbie's English influence may have caused this to happen. 
Debbie hopes that her plans won't be disrupted and comes up with a plan to stay in the good graces of the Amish community.  Will this be enough or will she be asked to leave by Bishop Beiler?
A very good book.  Did notice a couple of typo type errors, but this didn't distract from the book.  I really enjoyed reading it and it was very hard to put down!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jan's Fabulous Food Storage Recipes, by Jan LeBaron

Here is a book I purchased locally at Alpine Food Storage.  But I suspect that they would send you a copy, as well.  How many of you have cans and cans of those #10 food storage items....???  I also wonder what to do with them. And if I ever needed them, how would I fix something edible?

This book has some nummy looking recipes that use your freeze dried, dehydrated and combine them with "regular" foods to make everyday dishes that you would enjoy.  There are also vegan dishes, for the meatless diet.  There are also some emergency tips.  If you have food storage and no idea what to do with it, this book is for you!

Quick and Easy Autumn by JoAnn and Vickie, published by Gooseberry Patch of Columbus, Ohio

This is another book that I was so lucky to win.  This is another wonderful recipe books full of fall-type recipes.  I absolutely love recipe books.  Not so much Kindle version here.  I love to hold the book, study it, and use it. 

The book uses fall ingredients such as pumpkin, apples, squash and other fall veggies.  I wish I had more time to cook and try new things.  A goal for retirement days!

The book has some really cute illustrations, however, no pics of finished meals.  That would have been a nice addition, to kind of see what the finished product looks like.  This is a publisher that helps you publish your own cookbook.  The recipes all give credit to the individual to whom the recipe belonged.  There are some nice looking soup recipes in here!

You can find your copy here!

The Best of Amish Friends Cookbook Collection by Wanda E. Brunstetter

This is a cookbook that I was lucky enough to win last year.  I was thrilled to hear the news and even luckier to see the beautiful book that came in the mail.

Wonderful Amish pictures adorn this book and many beautiful food photos to see the finished products that can be made. 

Wanda credits her Amish friends for their contributions to this nice recipe book.  Instructions are clear and concise.  And ingredients are such that are easily obtainable.

There are also some stories about the Plain People, as well.  I know that Wanda has lots of experience in that department.  There's even a recipe for homemade Play dough.  Your kids will love this!  Some home remedies for "what ails ya" are also included.  Nice book, beautiful pics.  A good buy!

You can find this book here!

Mennonite Community Cookbook by Mary Emma Showalter

I was lucky to find this on Amazon and was able to purchase this at this link.  This is 494 pages and was published by the Home Economics Dept. of Eastern Mennonite College in Harrisonburg, VA.  There are some wonderful recipes of German, Dutch, Swiss and Russian ethnicity.  There are some nice illustrations in the book showing some completed meals or dishes.  According to the book, many of these recipes have been passed down from generation to generation in Mennonite homes. 

The book also contains some helpful household hints to clean or for cooking.  They are also some nice stories at the beginning of each section/chapter of the book.  This is a really nice book!

Cooking with the Horse and Buggy People

This is the first time I have reviewed a recipe book.  But there's a first time for everything!  I bought this cute book in NY at Sauder's Store, near Palmyra, New York.  We ate there for lunch and had a nummy sub sandwich made by some cute Mennonite girls that worked there.

They sold lots of Amish books and this is one that I picked up.  The recipes were simple, looked quick and the ingredients were items easily purchased or things I would have readily on stock in my pantry.

Although I have only tried some of the recipes, they were all good and easy to follow.  I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good Amish recipe book.

Here is a link where it can be purchased online at Amazon.  Some used copies sold for 1 cent plus shipping.  Sounds like a deal to me!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Shamrock Case by Linda Weaver Clarke

I am so happy I read this cozy mystery.  It was right up my alley.  Why?  Because I am a genealogist by profession.  And in this book, the main character, Amelia Moore, a detective, is looking for the family of a young woman, Kate, who was adopted after the death of both of her parents.  She knows they were from Ireland and wants to find her family if possible.  Being a genealogist, I do this everyday as part of my work, also.  I have also worked on a few adoption cases and heir searches. I have also traveled abroad to do research, so I guess that makes me a bit of a detective, also!

About the book:  Amelia and her employee, Rick, head to Ireland after hired by Kate to find her family.  Amelia and Rick meet some trouble when the run into Art, the jilted ex-fiancĂ© of Kate's mother.  He is a trouble maker and causes problems throughout the story.  As Amelia and Rich search for the grandparents of Kate, they also have some down-time to tour the places on Kate's bucket list. 

This is a cute story and there are unexpected results to the search for Kate's family.  You will have to read this sweet story.  It's a fun and enjoyable read.

You can find Linda at her blog at the following link.  And you can purchase her book here.  I am sure you will enjoy this nice book! 

Kate's Song by Jennifer Beckstand

I was able to purchase this book from Jennifer at her book signing at the American Fork, Utah Library.  I was happy to be able to meet this author whose writing is so engaging to me!

About the book:

Kate Weaver has a wonderful singing voice.  She longs to develop her talents and attends an academy for more training. She realizes that she is expected to be baptized and take on the life of an Amish woman, which does not include the voice training that she so wants.  She experiences a serious trial which causes her to return home to her family.  There see reconnects with Nathaniel King.  He has loved her since grade school.   Nathaniel has been baptized and practices the Amish faith in an exemplary manner.  Gossip flows though their Amish community and it appears that some feel that Kate is not worthy of Nathaniel. 

She debates in her mind whether to return to the city and become an accomplished singer or to stay home and possibly the wife of Nathaniel.  As she comes to a realization of what God wants for her, twists and turns come into her life, making her wonder if her decision is truly the right choice.

This book was another great read by author Jennifer Beckstrand, who really seems to understand the Amish lifestyle and is a very accomplished author.  I have enjoyed all her books that I have read.  This one kept me turning pages as fast as I could.  I hated to put the book down. 

You can find her books and website at this link. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lean Forward by Laurel Griffith

Lean Forward was an interesting Devotional type book with many thoughts on how to better communicate, both with God and people in your life.  It gives some good personal examples of her family, of others and those who have had the need to rebuild or begin a new relationship with their Savior.

It is a book that can give insights to many aspects of our lives, self improvement and better understanding of others.  We can all use some reminders in our lives of what is really important.  It can be a helpful book to people from all walks of life and Christian religions. 

In Chapter 5 of her book, she poses the question, "  If you knew Jesus would visit your town tomorrow, would you cancel your tennis date to see Him?  Would you call your boss and ask for the day off, and perhaps invite her to come along, too?  Would you change your hair appointment or miss the big game?  Exactly what would you put aside to get yourself to the feet of your Savior?"

I especially liked that thought because so many of us put all the worldly things ahead of the spiritual things, which are often forgotten or postponed for other "more important" things in our lives. 

A good book of reminders for all of us.  Good job Laurel Griffith on a very thought provoking book.   Here is a link to her webpage.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Callie is the New Nancy Drew! "Material Witness" by Vannetta Chapman

 When I was a young girl, not a week went by that I didn't run to the local but tiny library in my hometown in Minnesota.  My friends and I were hooked on Nancy Drew and had to read all the books we could get our hands on!

Well, now I am hooked on Vannetta's Shipshewana Amish Mystery series.  I just read Material Witness and truly enjoyed it.  Callie is back with all the friends I have enjoyed in previous books and reminds me of those youthful days at the library, making sure I read the entire series.  I'm doing it again.

In this book, a young Amish boy, Aaron witness a murder.  From this point on the lives of the people of Shipschewana are about to change as the murderer's agenda is to find some money he is certain the Callie has in her possession. 

This book has danger, romance, love of friends and family and people from different walks of life working together for the good of the community.  It's a fun and good book and I recommend it to all, especially the "slightly" older generation of Nancy Drew fans!

Keep writing those great mysteries, Vannetta!  You have a fan! 

You can get a copy here!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Hitler Dilemma A Mormon Boy in The German Army by Carolyn Twede Frank

The Hitler Dilemma was a very interesting read.  The story taking place in Hitler's Germany during WWII brings back the memories of my own father who also was called up to be in Hitler's Jugend.  And just like the person in this book, Max Adam, my father was also a Mormon.  So I could very much relate to this story.

Although it is a novel based on true events, it is very realistic, coming from a reviewer who knows and has heard about these type of events and happenings throughout WWII on the German side of things.  They too, experienced much anguish at the hands of their wartime enemies.  The book shows the suffering, the hardships, hunger and need for faith in God to get you through the really hard times.

Max is found fighting a war that he doesn't believe in and having to be obedient to a leader that he knows to be evil.  This is the dilemma, along with the religion that keeps him going regardless of his trials.
Because of my own personal closeness of these events and knowledge of them, it made the reading of this book really hit home to me.  I hope others will take the time to read this book and realize that the Germans fighting this war did not have a choice as to whether they wanted to follow this leader or not.  They too, had to deal with a dictatorial government that they couldn't change and suffer through these times.

There were some typos and a few misspellings in the book, but other than that, it was a really great book!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

An Amish Harvest V. 1 By Samantha Jillian Bayarr

This is part 1 of An Amish Harvest.  It was a free Nook download which I downloaded to my Nook App on my computer.  It is only a 19 page read so was quite short.  I believe that there are two more parts.  I also thought that I downloaded part three through my Kindle.  But I haven't located it on my Kindle Fire.  I will check again.  I do want to see where the story goes!

Bailey Parker is told in a estate settlement that she can have the apple orchards and property of her Aunt's farm if she is able to  bring in the harvest by herself.  She is determined to do so.  The property was tended to by an Amish tenant farmer and his two children for the last five years, Hannah and Luke.

Both Hannah and Luke are most prepared to help Bailey with the harvest considering she is young and inexperienced.  She wants to do it on her own.  Of course, it is not as easy as she thinks.  An attraction between Luke and Bailey seems to be building in V. 1.  Yet Bailey feels she is to do the harvest alone, no help!  After an accident sets her back and things become somewhat desperate, will she agree to Luke's help? 

An interesting recipe for Amish Apple Fritters is included at the end of this read by Diana Montgomery. 

The story is very easy reading.  I give it 3 1/2 stars. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Miriam's Quilt by Jennifer Beckstrand

I was able to get a copy of this book at Jennifer's book signing a couple of weeks ago in American Fork, UT.  I couldn't wait to read it and was so good that I got a copy.  It was such a good read.  There hasn't been a book of Jennifer's yet that I didn't enjoy. 

Jennifer's style is very real to me.  I can understand the feelings of all her characters and the situations that they are in are also very real.

The main character is Miriam Bontrager who has been "almost" betrothed to Ephraim.  But because of some unfortunate events in the lives of Miriam's family members, she is no longer seen as "worthy" of him.  He rejects her and no longer wants anything to do with Miriam or her family.  To now marry her would be an embarrassment to him and his position as the Minister's son. 

Miriam is devastated, of course, and finds ways to keep her mind off of Ephraim.  Horses are a love of hers, and she comes regularly to see the foals at Seth's.  She also finds that quilting helps her to find meaning in her life.  She gives a quilt of special significance to Seth for being her friend through her heartbreaking time.  As her heart starts to mend, she and Seth become good friends and he does not harbor cares and concerns about her family situations, because his family also bears difficult scars.  They find their hearts healing and becoming happy, but is that enough for Miriam?

This is a wonderful book.  I give it 5 stars.  I think that this series, Forever after in Apple Lake is a must read for all Amish literature fans.

Jennifer Beckstrand is the author of three books in the Forever After in Apple Lake series about three cousins who find love in Wisconsin's Amish country.  Miriam's Quilt is the third book in the series, following Kate's Song and Rebecca's Rose.  Jennifer is a member of ACFW and active in her local RWA chapter.  She and her husband have six children and live in Utah.

You can find Jennifer's books here.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Cottage on the Corner by Shirlee McCoy

I liked the story plot of this.  A woman leaves a daughter in the care of her ex-boyfriend, Max, and tells him she is his daughter which he never knew a thing about.  He gets care-taking help from Charlotte who forms an attachment to the little girl named Zuzu.

Charlotte is the town baker or trying to become such as she sells her wares and hopes to be able to open her own shop in town.  Max is trying to find out if Zuzu is really his child or not.  Morgan, the child's mother heads to Vegas for work and seems to pay little attention to the needs of her child.  As they all work out their situations, will Max and Charlotte find each other and try to care for Zuzu as well? 

There is also a little mystery in this romance to keep the pace going and to add some nice suspense to the plot. 

Disclaimer:  language.  There is some language in this book that is used that might be a consideration for readers.

I liked the plot, but am not a big fan of  language in a book and prefer books which would not use this. 

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Another Chat With Vera Review and Giveaway

Here is a link to another blog giveaway!  Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a great book.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pride and Prejudice: Darcy Chooses: An Accident, a Chance Meeting, a Dance and Romance

Pride and Prejudice:  Darcy Chooses: An Accident, a Chance Meeting, a Dance and Romance

By Gianna Thomas
This book was a variation of Pride and Prejudice and being of a Historical and English setting made for interesting reading.  I was taken in by the book about the time of the carriage accident as Darcy found it necessary to take this form of transportation due to a break of a carriage wheel of his own carriage.  Uncomfortable while sitting across from women his doesn’t know, yet he is taken by the striking features of Lizzy Bennet as she and her friend visit and discuss a 

An accident occurs which causes more interaction between the riders of the carriage and it was necessary to find help to rescue the young women, one of whom was unconscious.  They thank Darcy who notices some unexpected feelings. 

A formal ball is being held and Darcy arranges some dances with her on her dance card.  Preparations take place and the two begin to grow much fonder of one another as time passes.

The romance takes a turn for the worse as the affections of Darcy are sought by Caroline Bingley who attempts to cause Darcy to look in her direction as the mistress of Pemberley, Darcy’s Estate.  Caroline quickly assumes the villainess role and the character Wickham, portrays another unsavory role.  With these two we find many unexpected turns and upheavals in the story and the romance appears to meet with great obstacles. 

I am aware that this is part 1 of 2 parts.  It will be very interesting to see what happens in part 2.  I look forward to reading it, as well.  It really held my attention and was a very good read. 

I received this book from the author in exchange for my review.