Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Simple Amish Christmas by Vannetta Chapman

Annie Weaver always planned to return home, but the 20-year old RN has lived in Philadelphia for three years now. As her time of rumschpringe is about to come to an abrupt end, bringing for Annie an overwhelming sense of loneliness. She returns home and finds herself face-to-face with a budding romance with an Amish farmer and Annie has several important choices to make.

My thoughts.  I have now read every one of Vannetta's books.  She is such a good author I can't wait till the next book comes out.  A Simple Amish Christmas was her debut novel.

As with every one of her books, I really enjoyed this story of Annie who ventures out and becomes a nurse.  Not exactly what the Amish are to do because they only go to school till the 8th grade.  

Although she returns to her people, she is worried how to share her events of her last years with her family and friends.  

This book was very sweet and shared good and sad events in the lives of the various characters.  You can't help but like Annie and she is a very endearing person.  It shared Amish ideals without portraying them as perfect, but rather regular people who share the same feelings we all do.  Loved this book!  

About the author:
Vannetta writes "Fiction Full of Grace".

You can find out more about Vannetta and her publications at this link.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

To Capture Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

To Capture Her Heart was a wonderful historical read!  I love historical novels and this one was a hit with me.

"It is 1653 and Heather Flower, a princess of the Montauk tribe, is enjoying her wedding feast when her groom is killed and she is kidnapped by a rival tribe and held for ransom. Though her ransom is paid by an Englishman, she is nonetheless left to die in a Connecticut forest--until she finds herself rescued by handsome Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren. Torn between her affection for Dirk and her long friendship with family friend Benjamin Horton, Heather Flower must make a difficult choice--stay true to her friend or follow her heart.

Exploring a unique slice of history, Rebecca DeMarino transports readers to the wild land that would eventually become Long Island, New York. Her attention to detail and her captivating storytelling bring the New World to vivid life."

I was lucky enough to win this book in a contest.  The historian-genealogist in me loved this book.  The sister-in-law of a native-American loved it.  It was the second book of the series called the Southold Chronicles.  The story revolves around the Horton family in the early 1600's.

Heather Flower is an Indian princess who has been kidnapped by another tribe.  Left for dead, her life is spared during the time of early Dutch settlers.  I am very aware of this time period because of my genealogical research in the New Netherlands during these years.  I found the book just fascinating and hope to be able to read more from this excellent author!  Great book!

The author, Rebecca DeMarino.  You can read more about Rebecca at this link!  Really happy that I was able to read this book!

About the author:  

Rebecca DeMarino writes love, legends and lore as a historical romance author and lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She inherited her love of baking and gardening from her mother, a love of horses, reading and writing from her dad, and the wanderlust gene from both parents. Her travels have taken her from Alaska to Nebraska and Florida, from Long Island to England and Italy, and from Washington DC to Texas, California and Guam. But usually you can find her at home, enjoying her grandchildren and baking crisp little ginger cakes. When Rebecca traveled to Horton Point, Long Island, with her mother, Helen Jean Horton Worley, in 1999, passions collided: her love of faith, family, travel, history, and writing. Rebecca's debut novel, A Place in His Heart, is a historical romance based on Mary and Barnabas Horton, Rebecca's ninth great-grandparents. Book two of The Southold Chronicles series, To Capture Her Heart, is now available for pre-order. From PUBLISHER WEEKLY ~ DeMarino's ... strong suit is recreating history and relating it to readers. 

You can find her book(s) here.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Writer off the Leash by Michelle Griep

This was my second "How-to" book that I have read.  Because this was about "Growing in the Writing Craft", I am definitely a bit worried about how I write this review!  Ha ha!  Well, I will be honest and "myself".

I myself, only write blogs, journals, how-to do genealogy materials and other "stuff", not fiction book, but I must say this book definitely gave me some new ideas for writing, regardless of "what" I am writing.

Needless to say this was a very amusing book, while going through the various teaching steps, procedures, etc.  The author does certainly have a way with words.  I found it hard to put down, which was unexpected for this type of reading material.

I may not become an expert blogger, but at least I have a book to refer to as to how to do so!
So that said, I do recommend this interesting, as well as entertaining book to all aspiring writer wannabes.  I think you will learn a lot and realize patience is definitely a key word in the writing process.  Thanks, Michelle for a most interesting read.

The author:  Michelle Griep can be found at the following  website.

She is the author of many fictional works which I hope to be lucky enough to read!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

On a Summer Night by Diane Dean White

This was the second book of author Diane Dean White that I have read.  It was a very interesting read and I enjoyed it very much.

The story starts in the 60's, a time that I can relate to, and then jumps to the present and recalls a significant incident of the past which happened to Kate and Vanessa on a trip to Florida after their high school graduations.

This book has a little of everything, romance, mystery and it was also very inspiring, using scriptural references to express feelings of the characters as well as the author's, I believe.

After Kate reveals her secret, her entire life changes and she finds herself growing in many ways.

This story of faith and inspiration is a story of people working together, family, friends and community and with forgiveness as an underlying topic.  Very good story with unexpected events to keep you reading.  I think you will enjoy this book very much, as did I!  The book also took me back to my younger growing up years.  And some of the things written about in the book brought back some memories for me.  Things were definitely different in the 60's!

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

Author Diane Dean White:

Brian's Choice by Vannetta Chapman

Brian’s Choice is a novella prequel to Vannetta's Plain and Simple Miracles collection.These are stories of love, family and Amish community in Oklahoma. 

I was lucky enough to have had a chance to read this ebook and have to say, Vannetta Chapman has a wonderful new book!  As always, she never disappoints and I totally enjoyed this quick but well-developed novella.

Brian is an "Englischer" who has a troubled past.  He moves on in his life and because of his want to begin again, and has joined the Amish faith, adapting to their beliefs and customs in hopes of a better 

As a former professor, a teaching job at the Amish school is a new turn in his life.  This story is about love and forgiveness, including  forgiveness of one's own self, which is probably the hardest forgiveness of all.  I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the series.

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

The author, Vannetta Chapman

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Southern Girl giveaway!

Chat with Vera: The Curiosity Keeper (Treasures of Surrey #1) by S...

Chat with Vera: The Curiosity Keeper (Treasures of Surrey #1) by S...: "It is not just a ruby, as you say. It is large as a quail's egg, still untouched and unpolished. And it is rumored to either ble...

Chat with Vera: Rufus Goes to School by Kim T. Griswell, Valeri Go...

Chat with Vera: Rufus Goes to School by Kim T. Griswell, Valeri Go...: ISBN: 9781454904168 Sterling Children's Books About the book:  All Rufus Leroy Williams III wants is to go to school so he can lear...

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Witnesses by Linda Byler

I had read the first two books in this  series, Lancaster Burning, quite a while ago.  I was hoping to watch for book 3 and finally spotted it at Walmart and picked it right up.

I had forgotten some of the characters, but the action began right at the beginning.  This  was a  very good book and the final book to the series.

Sarah, the main character in the book, has a tragic accident due to the many fires that have been going on.  In the hopes to help get a foal from the barm, she is seriously injured.

The injury brings many awakenings to Sarah's thoughts and to the people around her.

This is an excellent read, and I enjoyed it very much!

About the author:  Linda Byler grew up Amish and is an active memeber of the Amish church today.  She is the author of the bestselling Amish romance novel series Lizzie Searches for Love.  Byler is also well known within the Amish community as a columnist for a weekly Amish newspaper.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Generation Rising by Gerald N. Lund

It has been many years since I read Gerald N. Lund's book "The Undaunted" and his "Work and the Glory" series.  Too long of a wait.  I received this book as part of my Mother's Day gifts from my husband.  He knows I love to read and he knows that my background relates to the events that take place in this book.

Gerald Lund did a great job on this one.  It mixes historical fiction with historical fact.  I loved it.  He did a great deal of research for this one and being a German who deals with history and genealogy, it is very true to life.

Although the family that he depicted are fictional, the events that surrounded their lives was very factual and often very poignant and moving.
Hans Otto Eckhardt, a highly gifted son of a dairy farmer in Bavaria, has opportunities to receive a higher education and takes this chance to learn and experience what life has to offer.  Hans Otto is the only son of his parents as well as their last child.  His father is extremely proud of his accomplishments, but hopes that eventually Hans Otto will return to take over his dairy farm.  It was the expected thing to do.

But Hans Otto's personal road takes some very interesting, sometimes dangerous turns that his parents do not always wish for him.  The story starts in a time of peace and continues throughout the Great War.

An excellent book, one that will totally pull you in and keep you turning those pages and because it is a series, you will have to wait for Vol. 2.  I hope it won't be long!!!

Excellent book Gerald N. Lund!
Author:  Gerald N. Lund

Monday, July 6, 2015

A River of Stones by Kathryn Elizabeth Jones

I recently finished this book and have to say I really enjoyed it.  I could take myself back in time a bit to the 60's when I was in about the same age group as the character, Samantha.  However, my childhood did not have the experience that Samantha's had.  But of course, I have known many whose life did have the disruptions of divorce and realize what a space that leaves empty in a child's heart and mind.

This book shared Samantha's inner feelings, her joys, sadnesses and her mistakes.  It also depicts the friendship process of gaining, losing and keeping friends.  Something that pretty much every experiences.

I thought this was a down-to-earth book that was a fun and fast read.  I enjoyed it very much.  I enjoyed that she brought her religion into the book, because it is part of the author's life and something that she holds dear and knows that religion usually offers solace to an injured heart and soul.  As Samantha searches for life's answers, she comes of age, and she learns to cope, understand and deal with all that life has dealt her with.  A very good book!

Author: Kathryn Elizabeth Jones
Here is a link to Kathryn's author page at

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Chat with Vera Giveaway

Giveaway of a cute childrens' book!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Change of Heart by Molly Jebber

Ohio, 1899
After a fiance deserts her, Becca Yost leaves her Amish community to stay with her sister Ruth who lives in Masillon, Ohio and has left the Amish faith.

Having been a midwife, she finds a job in the office of a young doctor, Matt Carrington, an Englischer who immediately takes an interest in Becca.  Although she still dresses Amish, this doesn't bother him but seems to be a big stepping stone for his mother.  

Mrs. Carrington feels strongly that Becca is an obstacle in Matt's Career and social status.  She finds some interesting ways and means to deter her son in an attempt to have him find interests elsewhere.  

Becca and Matt work well together but eventually the efforts of Mrs. Carrington start to cause serious problems for Becca, causing her to leave Matt and her job in his office.

She is convinced their relationship won't work and returns to visit her community.  Will she return or will she remain with her Amish family, friends and religion?

This was a very good book.  I had a hard time putting it down.   I hope this author will write lots more Amish books, because I will be reading them!   If you like historical time periods, and I do, this will be an enjoyable read, which includes some "wild west" scenes that are sure to draw you right in!

Author Molly Jebber. Here is a link to her Website  Looks like she will be having a book signing and presentation soon.  You can find and purchase her book here.

Texting Mr. Right by Diane Dean White

This was a sweet romance and a quick read.  I was the winner of this nice, enjoyable  and clean read.

It is a story about Megyn and Brandon both friends that find there is more to their friendship than first thought.  He has a career.  She has a career, in different places and they find ways to communicate as is available through our modern day culture. Texting, emails, etc.

As they become serious, it is clear that neither wants to move or give up their futures.  Will love win out or how will things go for this couple?

There is reference to praying for the answers to serious questions and using these answers to guide their lives along their various paths.  This is actually something I enjoy in a book, people not afraid to share religious feelings and I find this often draws me to the author and makes me a fan!

Good book, Diane Dean White.  Hope I can read more of your work!

Author Diane Dean White.  You can read this book free currently on Kindle Unlimited.  To learn more about Diane, here is the link to her website.