January 28th, 2015

amish nanny

A Family In Need

A reclusive Amish logger, Ethan Gingerich is more comfortable around his draft horses than the orphaned niece and nephews he’s taken in. Yet he’s determined to provide the children with a good, loving home. The little ones, including a defiant eight-year-old, need a proper nanny. But when Ethan hires shy Amishwoman Clara Barkman, he never expects her temporary position to have such a lasting hold on all of them. Now this man of few words must convince Clara she’s found her forever home and family.

Brides of Amish Country: Finding true love in the land of the Plain People.

 

My Comments:  This book was very predictable, but still an enjoyable and sweet read.  Two incomplete families come together for the sake of the children – love it!

January 24th, 2015

 

miriam's secret

In this first book, Miriam Yoder has a secret. Her compassionate care for Amos Bland during his last days resulted in her receiving a large inheritance. When Ivan Mast indicates his intentions at romance, Miriam suspects he’s discovered her hidden wealth and has plans that aren’t inspired by his love for her.

Seeking a fresh start where no one knows her, Miriam accepts a teaching position in faraway Oklahoma where she meets Wayne Yutzy, a local greenhouse employee. His interest in her seems genuine and when he proposes, Miriam accepts. Happiness surely awaits the newly engaged couple….or does it?

Book one in the Land of Promise series

My Comments: Wow, this  book was so different and I couldn’t put it down. Jerry Eicher’s books ring with authenticity because he was Amish. He is also a very good writer! Unbelievable to me that someone would keep wealth such as Miriam inherited a secret. Also unbelievable to me that someone who is not family would leave such a fortune to somebody else.  But I love it!

January 17th, 2015

love without end

Chet Leonard’s life was forever changed when his seventeen year old son died and then, soon after, his wife walked out on their family. Over two years later, all he wants to do is hold onto his horse ranch and raise his remaining sons to be honorable men.

Kimberly Welch, widowed mother of Tara, a rebellious fifteen-year-old, has reached the end of her finances and nearly the end of her rope. She and Tara come to King’s Meadow to try to piece their lives back together again. Kimberly has no intention of become involved with the residents of this remote mountain community and certainly not with any man.

When 84-year-old Anna McKenna returns to King’s Meadow and to the Leonard ranch, she becomes an agent of change and healing for the two hurting families. With her help, Kimberly and Chet’s families at last discover a love without end.

My Comments: In reading this book we are following the lives of a couple of different people – Anna, Kimberly, and Chet and their respective families. The story was engaging enough although I felt it kind of dragged along in a few places. I normally really enjoy Robin Lee Hatcher, but this book was just ok. If you enjoy western type or cowboy books you may enjoy this more than I did. I usually enjoy reading about older characters and I found Kimberly’s and Chet’s predicaments interesting. I’m not really sure about the Anna story line, maybe I wasn’t reading carefully enough this time.

January 13th, 2015

An Amish Cradle

Tiny fingers,

Tiny toes,

And lives that will never be the same.

Journey with four families as their lives are about to change forever.

In His Father’s Arms by Beth Wiseman

Ruth Anne has been dreaming about motherhood her entire life. Now she is doubly excited that she and her best friend are due with their children the same week. But when Ruth Anne’s baby is born with Down’s syndrome, she and her husband struggle to understand God’s plan.

A Son for Always by Amy Clipston

Carolyn and Joshua are thrilled to be pregnant with their first child together. Carolyn was just a teenager when she had her son, Benjamin, and she still feels solely responsible to secure his future. As Joshua watches Carolyn struggle to accept his support, he knows he has to find some way to convince her that she—and Ben—will always be taken care of.

A Heart Full of Love by Kathleen Fuller

Ellie’s mother hasn’t stopped meddling in her personal life since Ellie lost her sight—and she’s taken it up a notch now that Ellie’s pregnant. When Ellie gives birth to twins, her mother insists on moving in to care for them. But when her mother’s behavior becomes unbearable, Ellie is forced to take a stand . . . and finally find out why Mamm can’t let go.

An Unexpected Blessing by Vannetta Chapman

At 42, Etta thought she was finished having children, but she’s pregnant again. After a frightening labor, Etta finally gives birth, but her constant worry over her estranged grown son, David, haunts her still. As a new mother again, Etta must hold tightly to the promise that God will watch over her children—and that one day David will return.

My Comments: This book tells four GREAT stories about pregnancy and childbearing. Loved it! I can’t say enough good about it. I love the way each story tugged at my heart and yet was so different, so unique. I couldn’t tell you which was my favorite, because I loved each story! I read this in a couple of days because it was so engaging and I just couldn’t put it down. Great authors – great writing – great book!

January 2nd, 2015

love undone

A husband and son abandoned to forge a path alone.
A young woman who sacrificed her dreams.
How will the God of grace and hope help them find their way?

At nineteen years old, Old Order Amish Jolene Keim was on the brink of happily-ever-after when everything changed, stealing the future she expected and burdening her with an unbearable decision. For the next ten years, Jolene throws herself into family life—and then she meets Andy Fisher. The horse trainer and father to a sweet nine year-old challenges her and holds up a mirror to issues Jolene has been unwilling to face.

Andy is cautious about his deepening friendship with Jolene, but he believes she knows the truth about him – that he is a grass widower. As a man whose wife has abandoned him six years past, he is unable to divorce or remarry according to the Amish ways. Andy has wrestled with God concerning his reality, and he had found peace with the solitary future facing him…until he met Jolene.

As Andy and Jolene find themselves confronted by difficult choices, will they trust in God’s guidance—or will the allure of their deepening friendship only lead to further temptation?

My Comments: This book kept me riveted. Wow – just the worst circumstance – you are 19 years old, the oldest in your family, engaged to be married and pow! your parents die in an accident leaving you to care for your five siblings. I can’t even imagine – I got married at 19! Of course it is totally different in the Amish community, but to have your fiancé leave you six months after all of this happens – WOW! Then comes on the scene – Andy, whose wife left him – no divorce, just leaves. This is unheard of in the Amish community. Talk about a difficult and an impossible situation. It is interesting to read what happens to this unlikely couple. When I think there is nothing left to explore in Amish fiction, I read a book like this and find out there IS! A Love Undone is a great read!!

January 2nd, 2015

snow angel cove

Nothing short of a miracle can restore Eliza Hayward’s Christmas cheer. The job she pinned her dreams on has gone up in smoke—literally—and now she’s stuck in an unfamiliar, if breathtaking, small town. Precariously close to being destitute, Eliza needs a hero, but she’s not expecting one who almost runs her down with his car!

Rescuing Eliza is pure instinct for tech genius Aidan Caine. At first, putting the renovation of his lakeside guest lodge in Eliza’s hands assuages his guilt—until he sees how quickly he could fall for her. Having focused solely on his business for years, he never knew what his life was missing before Eliza, but now he’s willing to risk his heart on a yuletide romance that could lead to forever.

My thoughts:  Great book and good romance for holiday reading. I liked this book so much I bought another by the same author named “The Christmas Ranch.” I need feel-good, happy books for holiday reading and this fit that category!

January 2nd, 2015

Mistletoe promise

 

About the book: Elise Dutton dreads the arrival of another holiday season. Three years earlier, her husband cheated on her with her best friend, resulting in a bitter divorce that left her alone, broken, and distrustful.

Then, one November day, a stranger approaches Elise in the mall food court. Though she recognizes the man from her building, Elise has never formally met him. Tired of spending the holidays alone, the man offers her a proposition. For the next eight weeks—until the evening of December 24—he suggests that they pretend to be a couple. He draws up a contract with four rules:

1. No deep, probing personal questions
2. No drama
3. No telling anyone the truth about the relationship
4. The contract is void on Christmas Day

The lonely Elise surprises herself by agreeing to the idea. As the charade progresses, the safety of her fake relationship begins to mend her badly broken heart. But just as she begins to find joy again, her long-held secret threatens to unravel the emerging relationship. But she might not be the only one with secrets.

My thoughts:  Great, great book! I got the listening version and listened twice on the way back and forth to work. I love Richard Paul Evans’ books. He always includes some sort of redemptive lesson and they are faith based. He writes the story in such a believable fashion – that something I could never conceive of actually seems like it could happen. This book is definitely Christmasy and feel-good. I’m glad I spend the time listening to it! I bought my granddaughters the first two books of his Michael Vey series for Christmas and I can’t wait to hear what they thought of those. I’m anxious to see if they like those books as much as I enjoy the adult books. Good writing from Mr. Evans and great reading for me!!

November 27th, 2014

 

plain killing

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  I have a special giveaway gift for you!! The publisher has given me some Advanced Copies of Plain Killing -

a great mix of Amish fiction and cozy mystery! I have two copies to give away this Thanksgiving weekend. If you are interested in a copy of this book, fill out the form below. The contest will run until Sunday evening about 6 PM PST and I will choose TWO winners via Random.org.

I haven’t even finished this book yet, but I love it so far. Here is a short synopsis:
When the Amish community of Stone Mill, Pennsylvania, refuses to discuss a murder with the police, it’s up to Rachel Mast to bridge the cultural gap and stop a killer from striking again. . .
While swimming in a local quarry, Rachel and her cousin Mary Aaron discover the body of an Amish girl, fully clothed in her white bonnet, floating face down in the water. The drowned young woman, Beth Glick, had left Stone Mill and her Old Order Amish life a year ago, causing her to be shunned by her family and her people.

But if Beth had joined the English world, why was she found dressed in Amish clothing and strangled? Rachel’s boyfriend, police detective Evan Park, is getting nowhere with questioning Beth’s family. He’s also troubled over the fate of three other Amish girls who left Stone Mill in the last two years. As someone who gave up the Plain lifestyle herself then returned to operate a B&B, Rachel is able to use her ties to the community to learn more about the missing girls. But when her search eventually leads to the dark underbelly of the secular world, Rachel finds her own life in dire jeopardy. . .

November 26th, 2014

huckleberry christmas

Now that they’ve happily married off two of their grandchildren, Anna and Felty Helmuth are ready for their next matchmaking challenge. What better way to celebrate the most heartwarming of seasons–and make Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, the place for unexpected love. . .

A difficult marriage has left the Helmuths’ widowed great-granddaughter, Beth, finished with wedlock. She’s content to live with them and make a life for herself and her toddler son. But once she turns down handsome Tyler Yoder’s proposal, it seems only fair to encourage him to find a suitable wife. Trouble is, his gentleness and generous ways are showing her how joyous a real meeting of hearts can be. . .

After a failed courtship, Tyler thought the best he could hope for in a wife was mere companionship. But spirited Beth is the one he longs to protect, and hold close. Earning her trust is the hardest thing he’s ever had to do. And soon, both will discover that forgiveness and understanding are gifts that only rekindled faith–along with the happiest of holidays–can bring.

My Comments:  I enjoyed this sweet book although for some reason it took me a while to “get into” it. I absolutely loved Annie and Felty the great grandparents of Beth. They made me laugh out loud – a funny, completely warm and fuzzy, in-love with each other and life, great-grandma and grandpa. I plan on going back to read the previous two Huckleberry books, Huckleberry Summer and Huckleberry Spring.

Tyler, who was left at the altar, is another endearing character. His father, the bishop, seemed to instill in him the qualities of a Christian gentlemen. He is a total keeper, but Beth almost never finds this out!

Sweet little Toby, Beth’s son, steals Tyler’s heart completely. One wonders who Tyler loved first, Toby or Beth. This book has suspense, romance, family relationships (both functional and dysfunctional). I loved it and there’s a little more “holiday” throughout than some Amish books.

November 23rd, 2014

river

She looked once more at the dreaded river. Since Anna’s death, it had been such a barrier . . . a place and a moment she could not seem to move past.
A line I can’t move beyond…
The River

Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents’ landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn’t entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.

Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can’t undo?

My Comments: Once again Beverly Lewis writes a GREAT Amish novel. I found the story quite engaging, even though some parts were kind of predictable–but not completely so. I didn’t completely understand the family dynamics. Both sisters in the family left the Amish and became English. Of course I’ll never completely understand the Amish, although I find their lifestyle completely fascinating. Relationships were key – daughter and father; sister and sister; brother and sister, and mother and daughter. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the story of the demise of Anna the youngest sister. I feel this could have been explored a little more deeply – maybe another time. Keep the Amish novels coming, Ms. Lewis!