Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Fruitcake Challenge by Carrie Fancett Pagels - Review of the third book in the Christmas Traditions Series




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(from Amazon.com)
When new lumberjack, Tom Jeffries, tells the camp cook, Jo Christy, that he'll marry her if she can make a fruitcake, "as good as the one my mother makes," she rises to the occasion. After all, he's the handsomest, smartest, and strongest axman her camp-boss father has ever had in his camp--and the cockiest. And she intends to bring this lumberjack down a notch or three by refusing his proposal. The fruitcake wars are on! All the shanty boys and Jo's cooking helpers chip in with their recipes but Jo finds she'll have to enlist more help--and begins corresponding with Tom's mother.

Step back in time to 1890, in beautiful Northern Michigan, near the sapphire straits of Mackinac, when the white pines were "white gold" and lumber camps were a way of life. Jo is ready to find another life outside of the camps and plans that don't include any shanty boys. But will a lumberjack keep her in the very place she's sworn to leave?


MY  REVIEW
Carrie did a great job on this short story. I don't like fruitcake, my mom loved it and used to make it, but it made for a good storyline and I liked how everyone in the camp seemed to get in on the contest in one way or another. If you want something quick and fun to read I would recommend this to you.

I was given this e-book as a gift from the author, she did not request a review be done. This review is my honest opinion of this book.

The Farmer's Bride Collection by DiAnn Mills, Kimberley Comeaux, Susan K Downs, JoAnn A Grote, Ellen Edwards Kennedy, and Debby Mayne - Review




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A Season to Sow, A Season
to Reap, a Season to Love

Homesteads fueled the expansion of America, and these farms depended on families to run them. In this collection of six down-on-the-farm stories, marriages are formed often with the future of the land in mind before romance.

One Little Prayer by Kimberley Comeaux
The Tie That Binds by Susan K Downs
A Homesteader, a Bride, and a Baby by JoAnn A Grote
The Applesauce War by Ellen  Edwards Kennedy
Sunshine Harvest by Debby Mayne
New Beginnings by DiAnn Mills

From Minnesota to Florida, New York to Kansas, and Ohio to Louisiana, heroic men and women make sacrifices in order to create a home, bring in the harvest, and secure a future for the next generation. But will love, friendship, and faith also flourish out of the land God entrusts to them?


MY  REVIEW
I enjoy these collections of short stories, such a variety and usually very good stories. It's amazing that in the 'old' days people would meet, get married within days or weeks and they were good marriages that lasted. Today if someone gets married after a year people will tell you to wait until you know your 'intended' better. Also if more people would work at their marriages, be willing to forgive each other, discuss things instead of giving up there wouldn't be so many divorces. I liked each of these stories and would recommend this book to others. Wonderful stories of couples working together.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Huckleberry Christmas by Jennifer Beckstrand - Review of the third book in The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series




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(from NetGalley.com)
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 clelbrate 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  REVIEW
OH MY! I don't know how Jennifer does it but each book just gets better. This is a beautiful story along with the humor she includes, you even get to envision eating a couple of Anna's wonderful recipes like grated carrots and bite-sized slices of dill pickles floating in a murky sea of green gelatin or rice pudding that tastes like warm milk and sugar, with occasional lumps of rice and cranberries for texture, lol.

I very highly recommend this book, this series! I am so looking forward to book four already, Huckleberry Spring, and number five, Huckleberry Harvest. The problem is I have to wait until February 2, 2015 and May 26, 2015, that just isn't fair, lol!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley  <http://www.netgalley.com/> book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, October 13, 2014

Joy on This Mountain by Vikki Kestell - Review of the third book in A Prairie Heritage series



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(from Amazon.com)
Joy on This Mountain is the blazing sequel to the breakthrough historical novel, A Rose Blooms Twice. The year is 1908. The little town of Corinth, Colorado, lies in the gateway to the majestic Rocky Mountains just west of Denver . . . just far enough from the city to avoid close scrutiny, but close enough to be accessible. Few know of the wickedness hidden in the small town, so picturesquely set in the foothills of the mighty mountains.

Joy on This Mountain follows Jan and Rose's Thoresen's daughter, Joy, as she travels to Denver and onto Corinth, uncovering a wicked travesty and risking all to rescue those trapped in its snares. The legacy of Jan and Rose has far-reaching and unexpected consequences.


MY  REVIEW
What a wonderful book this was, not only did I get to enjoy more about the Thoresen's family, mainly Joy, but Vikki also brought in the Pinkerton Agency. I have read books with the Pinkerton Agency before and really enjoyed them, by combining the two I could not put this book down. Yes, I had to finish it quickly as I 'needed' to find out what would happen and could Joy do what she set out to do. This was SOOOOO much better for me than the second book, I am looking forward to reading the fourth book in the series, The Captive Within. I would highly recommend this book.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Caroline's Secret by Amy Lillard - Review of the first book in the Wells Landing series




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In Amy Lillard's poignant introduction to Wells Landing, a small Amish community is home to two brave souls hoping to forget their painful pasts and rebuild their faith in the future...

Caroline Hostetler arrived in Oklahoma determined to forge a new life for herself and her daughter, Emma. As a single mother, she values the warmth and safety she's found in close-knit Wells Landing. She's even caught the eye of a handsome newcomer--a man who just may be the partner she longs for and the father Emma deserves. But the arrival of an Englischer threatens to lay bare the secrets she's worked so hard to leave behind...

After losing his life-long sweetheart, Andrew Fitch moved to Wells Landing to work in his uncle's furniture business and nurse his broken heart. Finding love again seems all but impossible--until he meets Caroline and Emma. But his plans to join their lives together may be shattered when the truth of Caroline's past comes to light--unless, together, they can learn the true meaning of sacrifice and forgiveness...


MY  REVIEW
What a great book, my first by Amy and I really liked it. I love the story she told. I wonder what your opinion is about lying, if you stay silent and let people believe what they think is true about you, is that lying? I have mixed feelings on that answer, so I was just wondering. I also like that Amy showed how members of one family can be so similar but when something happens that can affect a loved one, one family member can change their ideals and possibly the way they life their life and the other can't, their place in society is more important than someone's life.

I can easily recommend this book as one that will be enjoyed by many. Also, I'm looking forward to the next two books in the series, Courting Emily due out January 6, 2015 and Lorie's Heart to come out sometime in 2015. Wonderful job Amy Lillard!

Yoder Family Amish Restaruant by Becca Fisher - Review




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(from Amazon.com)
Sadie Zook is in an impossible situation. After a long search, she's finally found love. But the man she's fallen for also happens to work at the same Amish restaurant--a restaurant that has benned co-workers from dating. So Sadie and her boyfriend are forced to keep their love a secret. Can they keep from beng found out, or will everything Sadie has worked so hard fore be jeopardized?



MY  REVIEW
I did enjoy this short story that I read in one evening. It isn't very long but Becca told a good story that took me along for the ride. This is a book that I think you would enjoy if you have a few hours with nothing to do, you can go from beginning to end in no time at all and want more.

I received this e-book from the author for an honest review. The review was not required, it was my choice to leave a review of at least 20 words or not.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wild Heart on the Prairie by Vikki Kestell - Review of the second book in A Prairie Heritage series




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(from Amazon.com)
Wild Heart on the Prairie contains TWO PARTS, The separately published FREE prequel, Land of Dust and Tears, is also published as PART 1 of Wild Heart on the Prairie, Read THE CONCLUSION of Land of Dust and Tears in PART 2 of Wild Heart on the Prairie.

Wild Heart on the Prairie is the gripping prequel and companion to the breakthrough historical noel, A Rose Blooms Twice and is the foundation of the acclaimed series, A Prairie Heritage!

The Thoresen brothers, Jan (Yahn) and Karl, have left their native land of Norway and braved many perils and hardships to bring their families to America--the land of freedom and hope. Like thousands of others, Jan and his wife Elli long for the opportunity of a better life and a future for their children.

After enduring an ocean crossing and the arduous journey west, they encounter a land so vast and wide that it defies mastery. Jan finds that his struggles are not only with the land, but with a restless and unmanageable heart. Will Jan find a way to overcome this wild land or will the prairie master him?



MY  REVIEW
Even though I skipped over Part 1(I had already read the prequel) of this book I was bored with Part 2. I found it to be repetitive of A Rose Blooms Twice only more from Jan's view, which you can guess at by reading the 'first' book in the series. I found myself doing more skimming than reading of this book. This hasn't kept me from continuing on in the series though, I have already started the third book, Joy On This Mountain.