Thursday, December 12, 2013
There are three wonderful stories in this collection by Cindy Woodsmall. Two of them I'd read before, "The Sound of Sleigh Bells" and "The Christmas Singing" and one new story "The Dawn of Christmas". I reread the first two and enjoyed them just as much as I did the first time, I could not put the book down. The third story was just as enjoyable to read as the first two.
I like the fact that they were all connected, the characters knew each other. Cindy did a wonderful job of bringing the three stories together. Also, the fact that they would get out in bad snowstorms, I love that, it reminds me of my step-father, whenever there was a blizzard he JUST HAD to go someplace. We were a lot warmer though as we were in a car with a heater, except for the time we got stuck and had to walk about a mile.
Cindy draws you in and makes you feel like you are dealing with the heart tugging problems each person has to deal with. That is what keeps you reading late into the night, wanting them to realize that they are not seeing the whole story and they should listen to their heart. I think we are all guilty of that sometimes, especially when we have been stung before when the feelings are what we 'want' to feel, not what God wants for us. A definite must read!
DECK THE HALLS
by Debby MayneWilliam Tronnier has been attracted to Lillian Pickard since last Christmas when he met her at a party, William is wealthy and Lillian is penniless. Lillian thinks it strange when William offers her a ride home in his automobile, a new thing in 1926 and her parents don't like the idea at all. William is as persistent about them being together as Lillian and her parents are insistent that they don't belong together, being in two different social classes.
'TIS THE SEASON
by Trish Perry
Nikki Tronnier has taken a job in her hometown so she can fulfill her lifelong dream of purchasing her family home. Drew Cornell is working in town and finds an old home that has been on the market for over a year and makes a bid and buys the house out from under her just when she's saved enough money to make her own bid. Nikki met Drew while walking her boss's dog and Drew was walking his dog. When Nikki discovers Drew bought the house she dreamed about buying she doesn't tell him. When Drew finds out he offers to sell it to her and walk away.
These are a couple of great Christmas stories that I enjoyed. They were pretty fast reads and hard to put down, especially "Deck the Halls", I love Christian Historical's, that could be why. But picking up with one of the family members in modern day was a nice. If you are looking for some short Christmas stories I would encourage you to read these two.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Rachel King and Rachel Lawrence were born in the same hospital in Lancaster, Pennsylvania 2 days apart, both were raised in loving families, one was raised Amish and one was raised in the English world. Elle, Rachel Lawrence's nickname, was raised in Manhattan in an affluent family, she is single and has a good job. She has one brother and one sister and is very successful in her career. Rachel Yoder (King) was raised in Lancaster and has several brothers and sisters. She is a widow of three years and has a daughter Katie, 11 years old.
Rachel and Katie have moved back home with Rachel's parents since her husband passed because she couldn't handle the farm on her own. She isn't real happy living there, but life is good and she is Amish through and through. Elle is settled in her own apartment in Manhattan but gets stressed with her job, otherwise life is good for her too.
Things change drastically when both women receive a letter from a nurse who worked at the hospital they were born in. It seems she was married to a doctor who was an alcoholic and he got so he was going to work drunk, that's when the mix-up happened, he sent Rachel King home with the Lawrence's! She covered it up for her husband so he wouldn't lose his job and be ridiculed, he would never be able to get another job anyplace, and she loved him deeply. She is dying when she decides it's time the girls know the truth. Now the two have to deal with this 'mix-up' for the rest of their lives.
Just imagine how you would feel if this happened to you, not only are they raised in different areas of the country, but completely different lifestyles. How would you deal with this, would you immediately want to meet your biological parents, how would you explain this to your children if you have any (like Rachel does)? How would you feel if the other woman came to meet her parents and you felt she was treated better than you had been your whole life? Do you think you would consider the other woman and what she was feeling or just think about yourself, would you want to talk to her or would you just try to bury the whole thing and live the life you were put into?
A VERY interesting book, I like the way Cynthia tells the feelings of the two women and how they dealt with what happened. I know this has happened and I don't know how I would deal with it. Wonderful look into a difficult situation. I would suggest this book as I found it very good. I think this is the first book I've read by Cynthia and I will be looking for more.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Three novella's all taking place in the same community by three different authors, all are among my list of favorite authors. Two of the main characters are good friends, Hope Bowman and Rosa Hostetler and Becky Byler is a younger person in the community. All three stories deal with modern day circumstances and tell how the ladies deal with them. I could associate with one of the stories more than the others but they were all very touching and I really enjoyed this book. These women each show their strength and their strong faith.
I would recommend this book to those who like stories that deal with personal feelings and trying to overcome those feelings, no matter what the outcome may be. "An Amish Miracale" goes on sale December 3, 2013.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers 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.”
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Nine short, wonderful, Christmas stories written by nine authors: Lauraine Snelling, Margaret Brownley, Kathleen Fuller, Marcia Gruver, Cynthia Hickey, Vickie McDonough, Shannon McNear, Michelle Ule and Anna Urquhart.
I really enjoyed this book, these stories, and they are all quick reads. Of course there were some that touched my heart more than others as I'm sure any reader would feel that way, having different stories touch their heart. They take place in a variety of locations and even though they aren't long, they are great reads. I think there will be something special for all Christian Historical Fiction lovers in this book. I have read books by many of these authors and have found some new ones that I will be watching for. Thank you for putting this collection together.
This is the story of 18 year old Emma Girdlestone as she and her family trek across the United States to Zion, the land of milk and honey, otherwise known as Salt Lake City, Utah in 1856. The Willie Handcart Company was reluctantly leading 500 people from Iowa City to Salt Lake, the people voted to go even though the Willie Handcart Company had no carts available and they were all out of supplies because it was too late in the year to leave. Carts were quickly built, minimal supplies collected and quilts, mittens, scarves, etc. were quickly made to supply the group that wanted to head out anyway.
Lisa does a great job of detailing the problems of the people, the deaths, amputations performed on the trail, running out of food, the strong determination and faith these people had. I remember when I was in high school my step-dad, my brother and I took off in a blizzard, you have to know that my step-dad always seemed to like to do that, I think it's a man thing, and we got stuck about a mile outside of a small town, we lived 15 miles from town. We had to get out of the car and try to get to town, I can still remember how cold I got and can only imagine how these people survived, it had to be their faith.
I had never read any books about Mormon's so I thought I'd give it a try, it isn't the story I expected but I did get into it wondering what was going to happen to them as they struggled through the snow, winds, blizzards, climbing mountains and many other complications. An interesting book indeed.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Katie Detweiler is very bashful and is verbally bullied by Patsy Swartz. She manages the the bakery/deli at a local bed and breakfast and is beginning to think she'll never marry and have a family. When Abram Hilty comes to stay with his relatives in Seymour, Missouri he sees Katie and is immediately attracted to her, but so is his cousin Micah.
Abram tries everything to convince Katie that she will someday be his frau. She doesn't believe him since he has a girlfriend back home in Shipshewana, Indiana and Patsy keeps telling her that she's courting him and they are going to get married. Katie feels like he is wanting to court her because of a dare and everyone in the community is laughing at her.
Abram is keeping something secret and when Katie discovers a secret about herself her world is turned upside down. Abram is very supportive until he is ordered back to Shipshewana by the Bishops there.
I didn't think this book could be any better than "Surrendered Love" but I was wrong. Abram so reminded my of my husband when we first met, he was determined that we would be married after only knowing each other for a couple of weeks but I kept telling him no. Well we were married five months after meeting and have now been married 42 1/2 years, so he did win. We didn't have the complications that Katie and Abram had though, so that is where the story differs to begin with.
Laura may have outdone herself with this series, I loved, loved, loved it! This is one of those series that I feel you must start with the first book as the main characters, the girls, are best friends so each book is a continuance of the previous one, sort of.