Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Naomi's Gift by Amy Clipston - Review

Naomi's Gift
by Amy Clipston


This book was so good I read it in one day, which is unusual for me. I have read the first two books, A Gift of Grace and A Promise of Hope, in the Kauffman Amish Bakery series, and liked them also. I don't have the third one yet, A Place of Peace, the fourth one comes out in January, A Life of Joy, and the fifth one, A Season of Love, is scheduled for June of 2012.

Caleb and Susie, his eight year old daughter, are returning to his home town, Bird-in-Hand, PA for the holidays. He lost his wife in a buggy accident two years ago in Ohio where they lived. The only family there are his wife's cousins and they don't live close, but he has no desire to Pennsylvania.

Susie insists on stopping at a Farmer's Market to take her aenti Sadie a pie. While there she see's a beautiful quilt, her Mother loved making quilts and had promised to teach her to quilt, and gets away from her daed to admire the quilt and talk to the lady that made it. Caleb is frantically looking for Susie when he sees her talking to someone by the quilts. They will learn that her name is Naomi King and his sister, Sadie, does not like her, she has plans for him to court her friend Irene Wagler. Sadie is quite the busybody, likes to be the first to know everything, doesn't know how to keep a secret, and thinks her ways/ideas are the only/right way to do things. She thinks she should take charge of Caleb's life since their parents are gone and he has no one to look out for him. Caleb does not agree with her ant tries to tell her to 'mind her own business' gently. You'll have to read the book to see if that works.

That's all I'm going to tell you, you'll have to read the book to find out if Caleb and Susie return to their home in Ohio or make a home in Pennsylvania, if they go to Ohio do they take Naomi or Irene with them or if they stay does Caleb remarry or not. 

This book is a definite purchase and read book, you will not be disappointed.

I won this book and was not required to read it or do a review, but I am so glad I took the day to read it an hope you enjoy it too.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall - Review

The Christmas Singing
by Cindy Woodsmall

This book really captured me, it shows to what extremes people will go to protect those they love and ensure the have a wonderful life. It also shows that even though they are willing to go to those extremes, it may not be what is best for those they love or for themselves. 

Mattie was the only girl in her family and when she was 16 her Mother was diagnosed with Lupus. This grabbed my attention because my best friend has Lupus, and if you know anything about it, it can be a devastating disease which you are finally hearing more about. Gideon, Mattie's best friend since childhood and now fiance, knows what she went through when they were given the news and he didn't want to see her go through that again when he got his diagnosis of leukemia.

Gideon met Ashley, an Englischer, while he was going through treatment, she had a better chance at beating her type of leukemia than he did. When Ashley came to him and told him her diagnosis had changed and she would soon die, Gideon naturally comforted her, that's when Mattie walked in and found them in an embrace. Gideon was so shocked by Ashley's diagnosis that he broke off his engagement with Mattie letting her think he was dating Ashley. He didn't want Mattie to know about his cancer.

Mattie moved to Ohio to live with her brother James, started a business baking cakes, Mattie's Cakes, and started dating again. Soon she was seeing only one man, Sol, a very quiet man that loved hunting. Things were going well until the day her shop caught on fire. She returned to Apple Ridge, PA to spend time with her parents while the insurance stuff was getting settled and her shop was getting rebuilt. Now she would be able to bake wedding cakes for relatives that were getting married, little does she know that Gideon is the one building her cousins house where she'll be spending some of her time to do the baking. Not only does she have to spend some time with Gideon, but she sees him with another Englischer, Ashley. It looks like he hasn't changed his ways over the years.

Unbeknownst to Matttie, Gideon and Sol met while she was in the hospital recovering from slight burns and smoke inhalation, but neither one bothers to tell her that they have met. You will have to read the book to see what happens between Mattie, Sol and Gideon. There are some twists so you won't know what happens until "The Christmas Singing".

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BloggingforBooks.org <http://www.waterbrookmultnomah.com/bloggingforbooks/> 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.”

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter - Review of the second book in A Big Sky Romance series

The Accidental Bride
A Big Sky Romance
(Second book in the series)
by Denise Hunter

Shay and Travis have a history, not a good history, and Shay wants nothing to do with him when he returns to Moose Creek, Montana. She's been successful in avoiding him so far.

Every year the town has a Founders Day celebration and they pick two residents for a reenactment of the founders wedding. This year they asked Shay to represent the bride, against her better judgement she agreed to it. Shay just knew the whole town would remember the first time she was seen in town in a wedding gown, it was when her and Travis had gone to Wyoming to elope. They got to the courthouse and they thought about rings, Travis decided he wanted Shay to have a ring so he dropped her off and told her to wait right there while he ran to K Mart to get a ring. Travis headed back to K Mart, got cold feet and just kept driving and returned to his first love, the rodeo. Shay did wait, and waited, and waited some more. She finally gave up and called her parents to come and get her, they refused since she was foolish enough to elope. She finally got home by taking the bus and it seemed like everyone in town was there when she got off the bus in her wedding gown.

To prove to the town that she was over Travis she married Garrett and they had a baby girl, Olivia. Garrett eventually left Shay and Olivia for his first love, music. So now it is just the two of them, Shay and Olivia, 12 years old, they are struggling with money and about to lose Shay's family farm.

She reluctantly gets dressed in the Prudence Adams's wedding gown expecting to see Riley Raines standing in for the groom. As she makes her way to the altar at Bridal Falls, she's looking for him but can't see him for the crowd. Little does she know that Riley refused to do the job because of his jealous girlfriend Miss Teasley. Instead, there stands the one person she wants to avoid at all costs, Travis!

After the ceremony Travis gets a marriage certificate in the mail showing that he and Shay are now married. How can that be, this was just a reenactment, they didn't sign any papers, and my oh my, what is Shay going to say about this? Sparks do fly in this book, angry ones and loving ones. 

Most of us do seem to live in the past when someone mistreats us, dishonors us, etc. and it's easy to say you forgive them, the problem is forgetting so we can move on and maybe even be friends again. Are Travis and Shay able to do this? Guess you'll have to read and find out which sparks will win out.

I received this book not doing my research and didn't know that it was the second one in the series, I now have to get the first book, A Cowboy's Touch, and find out about everything that did happen in the past instead of just the highlights.

This book is highly recommended by me.

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.”

Monday, December 19, 2011

Snowflake Bride by Jillian Hart - Review of the fourth book in the Button & Bobbins series

 
Snowflake Bride
Fourth book in the Button & Bobbins series
by Jillian Hart
Ruby Ballard moved to town during her senior year and has lived a very hard life. Her Mother died when she was young and she wasn't able to attend school regularly because she stayed home a lot to take care of her Father and brother. She did get some home schooling but it wasn't enough for her to graduate with the rest of the class. Angel Falls, Montana was going to be a new start for them as they had fallen on very hard times and had to move in with her uncle for a while. Her Father had managed to save enough money for a down payment on the land and was now living his dream.
Ruby's was nicknamed Rags by Narcissa, a very rich "snob" in Angel Falls, even after Narcissa graduated she continued to make snide remarks and embarrass Ruby whenever possible. Ruby chose to ignore her and keep her feelings to herself, even her feelings about Lorenzo Davis. Lorenzo was the guy all of the girls wanted as their beau and dreamed about marrying, not only was he the handsomest man in town, but one of the richest.
Things have gotten hard for the Ballard family yet again, they are about to lose their land due to a new crop, and Rupert, Ruby's brother, has left home to find work and send money home. When Rupert loses his job, Ruby applies for a job as a maid at the Davis home. Walking to the interview, she loses the buttons on her shoes she'd gotten out of the clothes barrel at Church. As she's looking for her shoe buttons in the snow, Lorenzo, not believing his luck at seeing Ruby, pulls up and asks if she needs help. Ruby is so embarrassed but does eventually accept his offer of a ride so she can sew her buttons back onto her shoe, rather than having to do it when she arrives for the interview. Ruby gets her shoes repaired and is the first person to arrive for an interview, 20 minutes early even, thanks to Lorenzo. Selma, Lorenzo's Mother completes the interviews and sends Lorenzo to let Ruby know that she got the job and to be there Monday morning.

When Lorenzo is seen talking to Ruby, his Father tells him not to talk to her. He obeys his Father, but not completely and finds himself falling in love with Ruby. After slipping on the wet floor, Ruby ends up with a broken wrist but refuses to get it treated, she can't afford the doctor or to lose her job, and continues to work with it. Lucia, the head maid, tells on her for falling and Selma asks to talk to her alone.
Little does Ruby know that Lorenzo really likes her and has since her first day in Angel Falls. It's hard when the two of them seem attracted to each other, but she tries to push her feelings for Lorenzo away. She keeps telling herself that they live in two different worlds and she'd never be accepted into his world.
Life continues to get worse for the Ballard's, the banker comes a few days before Christmas to tell them he has to foreclose on the property but since it'll take a little bit of time they can live in the house until Christmas, now it's definite, they have to go back to her Father's brother's place to live. Ruby has to leave all of her friends, her job, and she will never see Lorenzo again.
This story will have you wanting to tell Narcissa off, pushing Ruby to accept Lorenzo's advances, and praying things change soon. Does Ruby get to keep her job, does Narcissa win Lorenzo over Ruby, and when they move will Lorenzo ever see Ruby again? I would definitely recommend this series to all Inspirational Historical Romance readers. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Calico Bride by Jillian Hart - Review of the third book in the Button & Bobbins series

Calico Bride
Third book in the Button & Bobbins series
by Jillian Hart
Lila Lawson and most of her friends have graduated, Meredith is engaged to Shane and has left town for her first teaching job, while the rest of them are still in boring Angel Falls, Montana. As she is writing to Meredith and telling her how boring her life is, excitement practically falls at her feet in the doorway of the mercantile that her Dad owns, where she works. The new deputy is injured from a gunshot wound as the thieves are high tailing it out of town after robbing the bank. She's attempting to save his life when the Dobbs, the Sheriff, comes in and pretty much tells her to let him die, he's useless. When the deputy sees the sheriff coming in he slips her a Range Rider badge and asks her to hide it for him. Eunice, Lila's step-mother comes into the store and demands that she keep track of everything that is used to tend to Shane, the Sheriff says that he will not pay for any of it, with a sense of humor Shane asks Lila to put it on his account.

Things get worse when Lila's Father is attacked while making his deliveries. He is beat, they steal his horses, and the wagon full of supplies being delivered to his customers. When he is able to go to the Sheriff and file a report, the Sheriff and Shane both refuse to take him seriously and imply that he's mistaken about what happened. Then Lorenzo's Dad, a friend of Lila's that graduated with her, loses some cattle and gets the same response from Dobbs and Shane as her Father did. 

While everyone in town now despise the Sheriff and Deputy and feel that they are part of the problem, Lila falls more and more in love with him. Lila's Dad has ordered her not to talk or have anything to do with Shane and to add up the bill for the supplies she used to tend to his wounds. She eventually quits working for her Dad and step-mother in the mercantile and takes another job which includes a room for her to live in.

When Shane takes her on a picnic, they are captured by the Cheever gang. The leader is a childhood friend of Shane's and Shane used to belong to the gang. Olly Cheever tells how many men Shane has shot and/or killed in his past.

What will she do now, she's left home, is in love with Shane but he has claimed he's a "lone wolf" and will never marry? He has left town now, and what about him being an outlaw and shooting men, how will she process that information?

I have really enjoyed this series and started the last book, Snowflake Bride, already. Jillian really did a good job of keeping me interested in this series. This book had more action than the other ones, so it moved along a little faster. 

I would recommend this book to anyone that likes Inspirational Historical Fiction, you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman - Review

Stealing Jake
by Pam Hillman

This book really surprised me, I got totally drawn in and found myself near tears several times. Pam did a wonderful job of telling the story of Livy O'Brien, homeless children, and Jake Russell. I am bad about judging a book by it's cover, and this one did not really catch my interest nor did the title, but once I started reading it I couldn't put it down.

Livy, known as "Light-Fingered Livy" in Chicago, has made a new start in Chestnut, IL thanks to widowed Mrs Brooks. They take in orphans and have lived there for some time before Livy meets deputy Jake Russell. Livy sneaks out at night to deliver food, clothes and blankets to homeless children hiding out in Shantytown, she knows the town better than most people that have been born and raised there, she studies it by day so she doesn't get caught at night. She tries to talk Luke, a homeless boy about 10 or 12 years old, to bring his friends to the orphanage but he refuses. He's looking for his little brother who was brought in a crate to work in a sweat shop making gloves. The people of Chestnut have no idea this is going on.

Jake has just recently become a deputy to help the sheriff out and get some extra money for his family in case the have a bad crop next year. He, and the three co-owners of Black Gold Mine since the cave in two years ago and all but two people died, one of the survivors was Jake, one of the killed was his Father. After the town begins experiencing break-ins and things being stolen other than food and blankets, Jake discovers that Livy is sneaking around town in the middle of the night. Before long homes start getting broken into with personal things of value being taken. Jake, as most of the towns people, are blaming Luke and his group. Livy doesn't believe it is them and tries to explain to Jake without revealing her past. He doesn't believe her as much as he wants to, they are each trying to deny the feelings that seem to be developing between the two of them. The problem is that the kids are the most obvious thieves because there is no proof of anyone else needing the things that are being stolen.

It is a mix of happy and sad times also danger and love in this story with some mystery in it to boot. I feel it is well worth the money and time to get this book and read it. Great job Pam!

I won this book in a giveaway but was not required to read or review this book, but was very glad that I did read it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Patchwork Bride by Jillian Hart - Review of the second book in the Button & Bobbins series

Patchwork Bride
Second book in the Button & Bobbins series
by Jillian Hart

This is the story of Meredith Worthington from Angel Falls, Montana. She has just returned from an East Coast finishing school that her Mother insisted she attend. Meredith does not want to live the kind of life her Mother wants for her or her four sisters. She is about to graduate and plans on taking the teaching test so she can become a teacher, but her Mother is insistent that none of her daughters will work as a commoner, it would embarrass her to have her daughter as an employee and not a wife. Meredith takes the teaching test, passes and is presented with a contract for a teaching job. Now comes the hard part, convincing her Mother that it's the right thing for her to do and she wants to do it with her blessing, she tells her Mother that she is signing the contract with or without her approval.

Meredith is finally allowed to try to drive a wagon but gets stuck when she and Minnie, her youngest sister, are on their way home. Two cowboys come along and offer to help them. She isn't sure whether she should trust them or not, but one seems to be rather nice and she really doesn't have any choice, so with their help she is soon on the road again. The two men travel along beside her since they are going the same direction. She and Shane visit along the way and she's soon impressed and finds herself liking him. When she pulls into their driveway Shane's partner looks at the directions and discovers that they are headed to the same house. Shane and Braden are the new horse trainers and Meredith's Mother doesn't want her to be friendly, after all, he's their hired help. Her opinion will soon change, but by that time Meredith's will also change and she refuses to talk to him, much to her Mother's angst.

Just who is Shane really and does Meredith win her Mother over so she can become a teacher?

I would recommend this book, I enjoyed it as much as I did the first one, which I read some time ago. So, curl up and enjoy.
 A Home For Christmas
2 short stories (e-book)
A Christmas Angel by Robin Lee Hatcher
The Sweetest Gift by Mary Connealy

Mary tells the story of Adelaide agreeing to marry her best friends widowed husband, Graham, to take care of  their toddler. She's willing to do this for Greta even though she feels Graham killed Greta. Adelaide is twenty-eight, never married and no prospects in sight. She's a librarian and loves to play the piano. Adelaide has been saving her earnings and has acquired some very valuable, original, sheet music which she hides in her things when she leaves with Graham as his bride. Graham arrives on the train, they go to lunch with her parents, to the preachers house to get married and leave on the afternoon train to return to Graham's, her, home. 

Graham wants a wife in name only, as he believes he killed his first wife, Greta, and doesn't want to kill another wife. When they arrive back home, Adelaide gets to meet Bridget, Graham and Greta's daughter, Graham's two sisters and his brother. They are not friendly at all, they are businesslike, to the point and talk in short very clipped words. In other words they speak only what needs to be said and that's it.

You will have to read the book to see what happens from here. Mary did a good job of making this a short story as you feel there is a lot that could be added if she'd wanted to, but it is great as it is done.

Robin tells the story of Jennifer and Mick, who have known each other since Jennifer was a young girl and Mick worked in her Father's store. Mick married her step-sister in a hurry and left Chicago to live in Idaho on a farm. Jennifer's family was told that Christina had died then their daughter Annie had a accident and couldn't walk. When Mick ran out of money and options to care for Annie he wrote to Christina's family asking for help. Jennifer remembers the handsome Mick from when she was 13 and wonders what he's like now. Being a nurse, Jennifer offers to go care for Annie. Her Father and Step-Mother reluctantly agree to let her go as they consider trying to make Mick send Annie to them. The problem is, they don't know the whole truth about anything. Guess you'll have to read about everything that they don't know.

Robin really kept my interest and wanting more, it was hard to stop when I'd have to get out of the car or get called back to the doctor's office. 
I would highly recommend this book with the two short stories by two excellent authors.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Wounded Heart
by Adina Senft

Amelia Beiler is left to raise her two young sons, after her husband is killed in a buggy accident less than a year ago, along with taking over running her husband's business of building pallets. She has the help of her parents with the boys, has two close friends that she spends Tuesday afternoons with quilting, and life is moving along even though she continues to miss Enoch.

When Aaron King, one of her employees, suddenly leaves without telling her, she finds herself finishing up the order that is supposed to be shipped out that day. When the transport driver arrives he learns that Enoch was killed and Amelia is running the business. He is looking for something to do after he retires and makes her an offer to buy her business. After Amelia mentions this to her parents at supper that night, the rumor is soon all over the Amish community that she is selling out to an Englischer. 

Eli Fischer, a cousin of Aaron's, comes to town so he can represent his family at three weddings. After meeting Amelia, he feels a spark but tries to ignore it. Eli also hears that she is selling out and makes her an offer. Soon there are several Amish interested in her business, some just because they don't want her to sell to an Englischer. The Bishop even gets involved by letting Amelia know his feelings about who she should sell to.

During this time Amelia is experiencing strange physical symptoms which seem to be getting worse. She gets a diagnosis of MS, the first doctor recommends medication and she will never get better and the pills will cost over $1000 a month. She goes for a second opinion and is told again that she has MS but is told about a treatment in Mexico at a total cost, travel, room & board, treatment, etc., of about $120,000. At first the Bishop and the elders say they will approve of the medication treatment but would have to think about whether she can have the treatment in Mexico and all it involves, if that is what she chooses. Then she loses a filling and goes to the dentist, arriving at the office she experiences her leg giving out on her for the first time and falls on her way into the office. The dentist helps her in more ways than one. How you say? You'll have to read the book.

Does Amelia sell her business and if so, who does she sell to? Does Amelia have MS and if so which treatment does she seek? Where does this dentist fit into the story?

I would recommend this book as a must read, it shows a true friendship between 3 women, and how they will listen to each other sometimes before family even but still keep some things to theirselves.

Monday, November 14, 2011

An Amish Wedding
3 Amish Novellas
A Perfect Secret by Kelly Long
A Perfect Match by Kathleen Fuller
A Perfect Plan by Beth Wiseman

I really enjoyed this book and could hardly put it down. It amazes me how three authors can write stories that go together, does one write first, then the second, then the last one or do they get together and plot the characters and certain 'events' that take place? These stories are about three friends and take place during the same time span.

"A Perfect Secret" is a story about Rose and Luke, lifelong friends and neighbors who are engaged. This is very intriguing since they have both joined the church and Rose thinks she knows Luke better than anyone until she goes for a walk in the woods and sees an Englischer in the dark. At first she's frightened, but when she hears him talk she knows it's Luke, but why is he dressed like an Englischer and why did he steal her blueberry pies she had sitting on the porch railing to cool, she knows he stole them because he has blueberry stains on his shirt. Is he the Robin in the Hood that has been stealing from everyone and what is he up to? Luke knows Rose when he sees her but doesn't realize that she recognizes him. When he kisses her, Rose wishes Luke would kiss her that way. Will they make it to the alter or will this 'strangeness' come between them.

"A Perfect Match" is the story of Naomi, older than most single Amish women, they are both afraid of love. Naomi tries to play matchmaker for her friend Margaret, as she did for her sister Priscilla. This matchmaking effort doesn't work as well as it did for Priscilla and her now fiance Chester. Margaret gets all tongue tied and klutzy around men, so when Naomi plans a dinner for Margaret and Zeke, Zeke thinks he's invited to have dinner with Naomi so is really disappointed but tries to make the best of the situation. Margaret gets so flustered that she runs out on the dinner without telling Zeke good by. Does Margaret learn to feel comfortable around Zeke, does Zeke fall in love with Margaret and what about Naomi, what happens to the matchmaker?

"A Perfect Plan" ties it all together as it tells about everything that can go wrong and does go wrong while one couple is planning their wedding and their future together. Priscilla and Chester begin to second guess themselves about getting married because nothing is going along with the 'perfect plan' that Priscilla has. Chester has to deal with several mishaps to do with the house he's building for them, his brother breaks his wrist while working on the roof, Chester gets accused of stealing $200 from work, and loses his job. Priscilla starts getting hiccups frequently and soon connects them as a hint that something 'bad' is going to happen, all of Chester's troubles plus some of her own. Her little sister cuts up her wedding dress that she's just about finished stitching, she needed clothes, a hammock and blanket for her doll. Rose, one of her attendants is making beet jelly and forgets to use gloves so she has purple hands, she also comes in contact with poison ivy and she's highly allergic to it so she can't stop scratching. The biggest thing is that Chester can't find the marriage license two days before their wedding and is afraid to tell Priscella. Priscilla knows something is wrong but he refuses to tell her what so they start looking at everything that has happened and wonder, are they really supposed to get married. Lot's of things can happen in two days, guess you'll have to read it to find out if they make up, if they find the marriage license and if they get married.

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.”

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Dream Unfolding by Karen Baney - Review of the first book in the Prescott Pioneers series

A Dream Unfolding
by Karen Baney
Hannah and Drew Anderson were upstanding citizens in Cincinnati, Ohio. Drew was a doctor and had all the patients he needed to make a good living for him and his wife and hopefully children the would have. Hannah loved being Drew's wife and could hardly wait to become a Mother. Until that time she kept busy helping her husband out in his practice whenever needed, even if it meant ruining meals and having to start over at the drop of a hat. They had many good friends and thought they would always be at home in Cincinnati. That is until Drew's brother caused problems, he and his brother had not spoken in a long time but when his brother and two other men robbed the bank in town and shot the banker things drastically changed. Drew takes care of the banker but when the town finds out that his brother was one of the robbers, they turn against Drew and Hannah. Their closest friends, who are supposed to join them for dinner after church, won't sit by them, they notice everyone in the congregation is sitting on the opposite side of the church, they are all alone.

Drew and Hannah each have their own thoughts about possibly moving since Drew no longer has any patients and knows he can't make a living staying there. The problem is they each have different ideas of where to go, but Drew goes ahead and starts making plans to go west to Arizona without talking about it until things are set in motion. Hannah is upset and grudgingly goes along with his plans, but with hard feelings, making for a long trip. Drew has never driven a wagon or shot a gun, both of which you need to know how to do to travel in a wagon train, Hannah has, but Drew won't let her help. Needless to say, things are pretty quiet between them on that trip west. During the long trip they can't seem to talk about their problems even though they still love each other

Will Coulter is happy with his life until his Father dies and his older brother basically kicks him off of their family property. The property is left to Reuben, they have to divide the cattle and horses along with some cash, and his sister Julia is left in Reuben's care. Reuben never cared about the ranch and Will knows he will just run it in the ground. Will worries about Julia because Reuben only cares about himself, not his wife, kids or Julia. He's afraid Reuben will 'sell' Julia into a marriage to a man not worthy of her, but there's nothing he can do. Will hires his dad's ranch foreman Ben, along with some ranch hands to travel to Arizona, but not nearly as many as he feels he needs. He picked Arizona after finding some papers in his Father's things after he died.

There are two storylines to follow and you wonder how they go together besides heading to the same state. They are headed for different towns and Karen did a good job of keeping you interested to where you don't want to put the 'Kindle' down. The wagon train and Will and his crew and stock all reach Arizona, but you will have to read the book to find out how it all 'pans' out. 

I definitely recommend this book and look forward to reading the other three in the series, A Heart Renewed and A Heart Restored are already out, and A Hope Revealed is coming soon.

The Seeker by Ann H Gabhart - Review

The Seeker
Shaker Series
by Ann H. Gabhart

Charlotte Vance had everything, she was a Southern Belle, her Father was Senator Charles Vance of Kentucky. She had lost her Mother at a young age but as she grew up she became the matriarch of Grayson, she would one day inherit Grayson, land owned by her Mother's family for many years, she was engaged to Edwin and preparing for her wedding, and loved by her Father and their slaves as she treated them kindly. Little did she know that her world would soon be falling apart. Edwin is thinking about going to live with the Shakers on Harmony Hill, a short distance from Grayson, instead of getting married in a couple of months as planned and joining the two family plantations, and her Father tells her to plan a grand gala for his return home. He not only wants guests from both North and South states when a war is about to break out over slavery, but when he comes home he introduces her to his WIFE, young enough to be her sister! She's taken aback by this as she realizes she'll no longer have the say about what goes on at Grayson. They also have in their company an artist, Adam, who was reluctantly talked into doing a protrait of the new Mrs. Vance, Selena. Adam is an artist that doesn't like doing portraits but was coerced by his sister to do this one, he does drawings for Harper's Weekly. Adam is attracted to Charlotte at first sight, but is a confirmed bachelor who soon gets in the habit is "surprising" her, he seems to appear when least expected.

The day after the party, Selena has Charlotte's Mother's portrait removed from the wall, Charlotte can tell how things are going to be with that one action. Things go quickly downhill for her, Edwin tells her he is going to spend a month at Harmony Hill with the Shakers and if things go as he thinks they will, he'll be signing over his family property to the Shakers, as Believers can't own anything personally. Selena talks about selling their slaves and getting younger ones, so Charlotte asks her Father to sign ownership of Mellie, her personal slave and best friend since childhood, so she can't be sold. Following through on her Mother's promise to her, he does so without consulting Selena. Adam is still working on the portrait of Selena, although he's having problems because he doesn't like her, and "sneaking" up on Charlotte, not on purpose it just seems that way.

Charlotte soon has to make some quick decisions as Selena is planning on sending her to Virginia to finishing school. Charlotte takes Mellie and they go to join the Shakers at Harmony Hill where Edwin is, she feels that way she's at least close to Grayson. When they get to Harmony Hill the Shakers accept them so Mellie's ownership papers are handed over and she is now a free person, no longer a slave, Shakers don't believe in slavery. This was Charlotte's plan anyway, to free Mellie since she is her childhood friend.

They have been at Harmony Hill a short time when Adam appears, not knowing they are there, he thinks Charlotte is in Virginia since Selena told him that. Selena also leads her father to believe she's in Virginia. Mellie leaves shortly after that to run North with, Nate, her fiance, he is not free yet so they have to go north. They are spotted and have to separate so he doesn't get caught. Adam sees Mellie and helps hide her, as most of the time they don't believe the former slaves when they have freedom papers. He takes her to a safe house where she meets Nate. Adam gives her money and a note to give to his sister in Boston. He figures she owes him something for doing Selena's portrait, so he tells her to give Nate and Mellie a job.

Charlotte stays on at Harmony Hill, she still has not joined as a believer when Adam appears again. The elders allow him to do drawings for his paper. When Charlotte sees him in the biting room, she acts sick so she can leave, but he sees her hand on her cap and he feels he knows the person, soon he finds out he's right. He tries writing to her at Harmony Hill, the elders read his letter and pass it on to her with permission for her to answer his letter. The elders have to approve any correspondence coming and going, they allow Adam and Charlotte to continue corresponding so they, the Shakers, can keep up on the war activities, he also includes drawings of the war.

Do Edwin and Charlotte sign papers to become Shakers, does Adam return again, did Nate and Mellie make it to Boston, does Charlotte's Father ever learn where his daughter really is and what happens to Selena? Questions you'll have to find out for yourself by reading this book.

I found that Ann let the Shakers be a little 'nicer' in this book, there was still one that was more strict than the others, but she wasn't as 'angry' it seemed. I just don't understand why they don't believe in marriage, they can't have conversations with the brothers and sisters, if a family joins they are all separated, parents are not even allowed to talk to their children or express any emotions. It is very confusing to me.

I really liked this book, the storyline was very interesting. I am looking forward to the next two in the series, The Blessed is already out and The Gifted comes out next year, 2012.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Believer by Ann H Gabhart - Review

The Believer
Shaker Series
by Ann H. Gabhart

Elizabeth's Mother has been dead a few years, her Father was very healthy, but after going to town feeling fine he comes home later that day and dies before daybreak. That leaves Elizabeth to care for her younger brother and sister. The family lived on Colton Linley's property for no charge, Colton lost his first wife and child during childbirth, his second wife took off shortly after marrying him and went back home. He gave her the chills whenever she saw him, she was very afraid of him. Colton confronts Elizabeth the morning after her Father dies, jumping in the grave as she is digging and tells her that her Father owed him money and she has to marry him to repay that debt. Colton gives her two days to grieve her Father, then he will claim her as his wife. 

Elizabeth has some quick decisions to make, after reading in her Father's Bible she finds some seeds he'd bought from the Shakers to plant in the spring. She remembered him telling her how peaceful and nice the people were when he'd seen them. She took the seeds as a sign, knowing they'd take the three of them in. Against her siblings wishes, they left in the middle of the night, trying to escape Colton so he couldn't find them. As they were leaving, Payton, her brother, said that he forgot something and ran back to the cabin, when he returned he smelled like smoke and Elizabeth and Hannah, her sister, looked back and saw their cabin on fire. He knew it was wrong but he didn't want Colton to have anything of theirs, they left with the clothes on their backs and everything else, what little it was, was in the cabin.

As they were going to the Shakers, they were found by two Shakers on their way to town, Brother Issachar and Brother Ethan. They gave them food and told them to wait and they'd pick them up on their return from town and take them to their community. This isn't the first time Brother Issachar has saved someone, he saved Brother Ethan when he was a young boy. Ethan was being raised by some people his Mother left him with until his real Dad came and kidnapped him. As they were floating down the river, Ethan waited for his Dad and two criminal buddies to fall asleep and slipped out of the rope he was tied up with and slid into the water. Brother Issachar found him and took him to the Shaker village. Brother Ethan had just recently turned 21 and signed the covenant to be a Believer, Shaker.

Hannah had the hardest time trying to be a Shaker, since Elizabeth was having a hard time she promised Hannah they would leave in the spring. That doesn't keep Elizabeth from developing feelings for Brother Ethan, which is forbidden, Hannah running away, fires being set in the village, etc. In other words, when the three Duncan's came to the village, lots of bad things started happening.

Some of the problems are because Colton does find them, he brings a group of men to kidnap Elizabeth but is stopped by the Brothers and Sisters. He continues to 'haunt' their community and even tries again to kidnap Elizabeth, but gets stopped. After Brother Issachar dies from a stab wound he got while on a trip to sell Shaker Goods, Elizabeth and Hannah decide to leave, Payton stays as he is settling in well even though he was the one most determined not to go there. Brother Ethan takes Brother Issachar's death very hard, then when Elizabeth leaves he has to decide whether to 'listen to his heart' as Brother Issachar told him, or to stay behind.

You'll have to read the book to find out what he does, if Elizabeth and Hannah find a safe place to hide from Colton, if Colton finds them and if he forces Elizabeth to marry him.

I would suggest to you to read this book. After reading this I almost feel like the Shakers are more of a cult, and they are supposed to be peaceful, but it appeared to me that there was a lot of anger in them. They separate the men from the women, they are not allowed to marry or have any kind of special feelings for anyone, not even their blood relatives whether it be parent, child, sibling spouse (which could only happen if they were married before they joined the Shakers). You can not show any emotion, such as tears. I found myself getting very upset with the older Brothers and Sisters, I just wanted to "smack them" as a good friend of mine used to say all the time.

The Outsider by Ann H Gabhart - Review

The Outsider
Shaker Series
by Ann H. Gabhart

I read this book a while back and it got me interested in reading more about the Shakers, I had heard of them but didn't know a lot about their "religion".  I found this way of life very strange.
Gabrielle was pretty much raised as a Believer, that is what they call themselves. Gabrielle always had visions which the community embraced, but she was afraid of, as they were not always happy visions. After one particular vision, they have to call in a 'worldly' doctor, he even has to stay in their community for a while. She finds herself attracted to him and he is attracted to her. Yes, eventually she has to decide weather to follow her heart or to stay in the world in which she was raised.

I would recommend this book, it is the first in the Shaker series. It will pull you to where you want to learn more about the Shakers.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sleigh Bells for Dry Creek by Janet Tronstad - Review

Sleigh Bells for Dry Creek
from the Dry Creek Series
by Janet Tronstad

I really liked this book although I haven't read the other 22 books in the series. I think I'll have to read all of them now. Janet starts out by grabbing your attention about what happened nine years ago, then once she tell you, she keeps your attention because it isn't true after all.

Wade and his Mother, Gracie return to town after she has spent nine years in prison for a murder she didn't commit. She confessed because she thought Wade did it, he is in shock when she shares this with him. Amy, his childhood sweetheart, overhears the confession Gracie makes to her son. Wade and Amy are still in love with each other even after not talking or seeing each other for all those years, but each is afraid to let the other know because they don't think the feelings are still mutual. When Amy overhears Gracie, she doesn't know what to believe, she knows in her heart Wade could not have done such a thing, but if his Mother thinks he could have murdered his Father, it puts doubts in her mind.

You will have to read the book to see if Wade killed his father, if Amy forgives him, and if Wade didn't commit the murder and if Amy doesn't forgive him what happens.

This book shows how far a Mother will go to protect her son, how you can change your life around and come to know God even in the worst of times. Once you let God in your life, faith will help you have patience to let the truth come out.

It is a quick read and very good, Janet did a great job.

This book was given to me by the author to review and give my honest opinion of the book.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons - Review

His Steadfast Love
by Golden Keyes Parsons

I think the story was an interesting one and it showed how people that loved one another could have completely different opinions and that some were willing to look at both sides of a war. It shows how hard it can be to forgive and/or forget.

The storyline seemed to move quietly along, which I think maybe contributed to me having a difficult time staying interested. I like the story it told about two families involved in the Civil War, one from the North and one from the South and how difficult it had to be for some to choose sides and even more difficult for those who could see both sides not wanting to choose who was right, but still support their loved ones serving in opposing armies. Amanda and Kent met before the war started, then Kent and Amanda's brother Daniel went to war for opposing Armies. Will Amanda and Kent's love be strong enough to last the length of the war, and if so, will her fiance and her brother be able to forgive each other for their roll in the war?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the 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 [...] : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Rose Trilogy by Beverly Lewis - Review of The Thorn, The Judgment and The Mercy

The Rose Trilogy
series by
Beverly Lewis
                                      The Thorn The JudgmentThe Mercy

I thought I'd do this review a little different, I was given The Mercy by Bethany House to give an honest review. Since it was that last book in the series, I didn't think I could do it justice unless I read the whole series so I purchased The Thorn for my Kindle and borrowed The Judgment from the public library for my Kindle. I read all three books in order and was really glad I did. Beverly has tied these three books together so well that you would miss out on so much if you don't read them all, in order. That is my opinion anyway.

Rose joined the church at a very early age even for an Amish girl, but her sister Hen (Hannah) or her best friend Nick did not. Nick is a foster son of their Bishop who is also a close family friend and neighbor. Hen married an Englischer and has one child Mattie Sue by the time she starts wanting her Plain life back, so she returns to her parents home with Mattie Sue and lives in the dawdi house. This is very upsetting to her parents because, even though her husband isn't Amish, they don't believe in divorce. Nick has never fit in with the Amish so they are all leery of him except Rose, she knows a different, much kinder Nick than the rest of the community knows.

Rose's mother Emma paralyzed from the waste down and in extreme pain most of the time due to an accident when Rose was very young and she blames herself because she didn't go with her. Pain medication disagrees with Emma, it makes her extremely ill so she goes without and suffers dearly for it. When Rose starts working for a neighbor, an Englischer, one morning a week, she discovers his secret, he has a daughter, Beth. Beth's grandfather gets ill so her father takes her to Rose's home to see if her family will care for her until he can return. Beth is the best thing to happen to Emma in a long time.

Nick and his foster brother Christian have never gotten along, it appears to me that he is jealous of Nick for some reason. The two guys go riding one day and Nick brings Christian back laying in front of him on his horse leading Christian's horse. No one believes his story about how Christian got hurt, and since he is dead, Nick leaves, going back to Philly to see if he can find his alcoholic Mother.

Rose misses Nick terribly and doesn't know what to believe, right around the time he left she becomes engaged to Silas, who is in love with someone else. Rose's dad later tells her about the talk he had with Silas's Dad, now she really thinks Silas is only marrying her to gain the family farm. She releases him from the engagement and moves on with her life. She later meets Isaac through her brother. Isaac doesn't follow the old Ordnung the way Rose does, but she continues seeing him anyway.

There is a lot more I could say, but I'm always afraid I'll give too much away. I recommend this series to anyone that likes Amish novels. Bethany House did not require that I give a positive review, just an honest review of the book.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Got my book from Bethany House Publishers today, I get to read The Mercy by Beverly Lewis and submit a review.

Monday, October 3, 2011

WINNER again! This time it's Don't Mess with Texas by Christie Craig from Frugal Plus. Thank you for hosting this giveaway! I really want to thank everyone that hosts the giveaways, it really makes my day when I can win a book. Thank you Frugal Plus!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund - Review

The Doctor's Lady
by Jody Hedlund
This book kind of kept me guessing throughout. Two people have such great plans to help people in undeveloped territories, but they want to go to different areas of the world and for completely different reasons. When Doctor Ernest shows up on a Sunday morning, where Priscilla is attending Church, with two young 'savages', the entire membership is frightened. After stating his plans, Dr Ernest and Priscilla find themselves headed toward the first of many arguments.

Priscilla can't have children due to a bad case of the mumps, so the family decides to keep it a secret between her, her parents and her doctor, Dr Baldwin. She decides never to marry and has turned down an engagement before deciding to do Christian missionary work in India. Dr Ernest wants to go to Oregon country and do mission work to teach Nez Perce natives better medical care and a better lifestyle. Priscilla has applied with the mission board and is awaiting permission to go, as Dr Ernest is getting things ready to go west as he waits for permission also. When Priscilla's letter arrives her Mother, not knowing the letter says that Priscilla will not be allowed to go to India because she isn't married, reads it aloud in front of the whole Church congregation. Dr Baldwin tries to convince Dr Ernest to marry Priscilla and take her with him, knowing but not telling him that the Mission Board has decided that he must also be married to do mission work in Oregon. He explains about Priscilla's medical problems, without Priscilla or her family's permission in hopes that it will convince him to marry her, but he refuses and leaves town.

Dr Ernest has found out he has to be married but can't find a wife, so he returns to Angelica, NY to beg Priscilla to marry him. After some arguing, she finally agrees to marry him as a business arrangement. The wedding takes place quickly and they are off, disliking each other, it makes for a long journey full of lots of bad luck. During their travels, Priscilla comes to love the two 'savages' but is still deathly afraid of other natives they meet along the way. You'll never guess who else they have to travel with, this even adds more intrigue to the trip.

I found the book interesting and I kept changing my mind about what was going to happen. It took lots of faith and strength to make this journey that is base on a true story. The "real" Priscilla and the other lady in their group are the first white women to cross The Continental Divide and travel to the far west.

I won this book from Overcoming Through Time and was not required to do a review.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Brides of Amish Country by Patricia Davids - Review of Katie's Redemption, The Doctor's Blessing, An Amish Christmas and The Farmer Next Door

BRIDES   OF   AMISH   COUNTRY
series by   Patricia Davids
Katie's Redemption,  The Doctor's Blessing,   An Amish Christmas, and   The Farmer Next Door

KATIE'S   REDEMPTION
Shunning normally happens only if someone has already joined the Amish Church, but Katies brother shunned her even though she hadn't joined the Church yet. Malachi told Katie when she left his home that he would only let her return was if she got down on her knees and begged forgiveness. Katie now finds herself homeless, penniless, and pregnant without ever being married. She's willing to get down on her knees and beg that forgiveness for the sake of her unborn child, the only problem is, the man on the other side of the door is not her brother Malachi, it is Elam Sutter, the man Malachi sold his home to and moved to Kansas. Katies past is not a happy one, starting from the age of four and having to sleep in a room in the barn some nights as punishment for even minor 'misbehavior', and her future doesn't look real good either. She struggles with her faith and trust of others.
 THE   DOCTOR'S   BLESSING
Amber loved her job as a nurse-midwife in Amish country and helping Dr Harold White in his office. Most of his patients are Amish. When Harold goes to visit his grandson Dr Phillip White in Hawaii, he hadn't even know he had a grandson until recently, they get into an argument the day before Harold is to return home and he ends up in the hospital for an extended period of time. Phillip puts his plans on hold and goes to take over his grandfathers practice for a couple of months until Harold can travel. Phillip doesn't know anything about the Amish or their ways and definitely doesn't believe in home deliveries, where does that leave Amber. She tries her best to convince him by explaining about the Amish, but he just doesn't think it's safe. By denying the Amish their 'choice' to deliver at home, he all but destroys his grandfather's practice. When Harold hears what's happening, he's fit to be tied and hopes he has a practice to return to when he's able.

AN   AMISH   CHRISTMAS
Anna told her sister Karen that there was a dead man in the ditch as Karen was taking her to school. They were running late and Karen, not seeing anything went on to school. On her return trip she stopped to look and sure enough there was an unconscious Englischer in the ditch. She calls for an ambulance, when he wakes up he doesn't remember anything. Karen and Anna talk their Father into letting him live in the Dowdy house until he remembers who he is. He seems to know a lot about horses but nothing else. Little did Karen know how long it would take him to regain his memory and the feelings she (who had already joined the Church) would soon have for an Englischer.

THE   FARMER   NEXT   DOOR
Adrian Lapp lost his wife and son, Faith Martin, his new neighbor, is a widow trying to adopt her nephew and raises Alpaca. Adrian is 'introduced' to the Alpaca first by Myrtle spitting on him, when he confronts his new neighbor, because of his attitude, Faith neglects to inform him that when the spittle dries you can brust it right off, BUT the smell lingers for quite some time. Not only does Myrtle spit on Adrain, but when the Bishops wife meets Myrtle for the first time she spits on her. Will she ever live it down, everyone Faith meets from then on asks her if she's the one that raises Alpaca and did on REALLY spit on the Bishops wife, then laughs. She does get to have her nephew come to live with her, but every time the social worker comes for her visit, he runs away and he's afraid to let her know that he loves his Aunt Faith, because everytime you love someone you, or they, get taken away. After running away the third time, the social worker takes him away. Faith is heartbroken but knows she has to tell them she'd rather live Amish than give her faith up to live as an Englischer, even if that's what it would take to adopt Kyle. It doesn't end there though.

I would give this series 5 stars, a definite series to read.

Monday, September 19, 2011

One Call Away ~A Memoir~ by Brenda Warner - Review

One Call Away
~A MEMOIR~
by Brenda Warner
I thought this book sounded interesting so I chose it from BookSneeze to review. 
What an amazing journey Brenda has been on and it captivated me throughout. When we see people in the "spotlight", people with a lot of money, we forget sometimes that they may have led a hard life before reaching that point. It is also nice to hear about someone who hasn't forgotten the hard road they tread in life to get to where they are today. Brenda Warner is an inspiration for anyone that reads this book. 
It breaks your heart when she gets that first call, and then to find out the truth about what happened, not immediately, but 24 hours later. When she talks about volunteering to 'rock' babies, it just brings tears to your eyes. All the things that happen in between makes you wish you could be at least as half as strong as she is.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone regardless of what genre they read.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

WOW, what a lucky week I've had! Monday morning I was notified that I won Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond and I was just notified tonight that I won The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund. Thank you one and all that do the giveaways, winning one can really make a persons day sometimes.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Out of Control by Mary Connealy - Review of the first book in The Kincaid Brides series

Out of Control
(The Kincaid Brides, Book 1)
by Mary Connealy
Caves are amazing. Rafe wants nothing to do with them after almost losing his younger brother in one. He does go to the cave, but never inside, until he hears someone calling for help from the mouth of the cave. He retrieves the ladder that has been buried for years, not sure it will hold him. He discovers Julia, who loves exploring caves and looking for fossils, this cave happens to be full of htem.

The two collide on this throughout the whole book. Rafe goes in the cave to try to find the person that trapped Julia in there, he takes Julia with him. She keeps getting distracted by the fossils, he gets upset because he wants to find the man out to get Julia and get out of that cave. Not only does he have to worry about Julia, there is her Father, who is near death, Audra, her step-mother who is pregnant and her half-sister.

This story has as many twists and turns and the cave has veins. It keeps you guessing throughout the whole book.

This book was sent to me by Bethany House Publishers to do a review.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Anathema by Colleen Coble - Review

Anathema
by Colleen Coble
This is an excellent book. I purchased this because it was on clearance and I thought it sounded interesting. I don't read a lot of murder/mystery type books, but since it has an Amish setting I thought it would be different, and boy was it.

Hannah, raised Amish, has joined the church and is engaged but loves an Englischer. She almost gets raped, only to be saved by Reece, then when she gets home she finds her parents murdered in their living room. She can't find it in her heart to forgive the suspected murderer, who is also found dead, and suddenly leaves with Reece and marries him. She discovers he isn't the person she thought he was.

She tries desperately to locate her Mother's quilts, which were stolen when she was murdered, ten of them worth about $2000 each. This makes Reece very mad, along with anything she does that does not put him first. She tries to talk him into having a family, but he refuses, he believes he won't be the most important thing in her life if they have kids. After five years of marriage and believing she lost the one thing she wanted most out of life, her child, due to falling down the stairs, Hannah leaves Reece, changes her name and disappears. Five years after that she receives a letter from Reece, forwarded to her by her Aunt Nora. He informs her that her baby is alive and includes a picture of a little girl that could have been Hannah at that age.

Not knowing what to believe, she returns to Indiana, to try to find out the truth. Once back home, there are more murders in her family. The detective finds it strange that the murders start up again when she comes back to town, he soon clears her, but there are plenty of other suspects that he doesn't want to accept as he investigates.

This story has quite an intricate mixture of the Amish and Englisch families involved. It does keep you guessing, you think you have it figured out, then something changes your mind, then something else happens and your almost back to your first suspicion.

I did really enjoy this book and it kept me interested enough to stay up later than I should have, a night or two reading it, lol.
YEA! Finished Anathema by Colleen Coble, which means that as soon as I write my review on here, I get to start reading Out of Control by Mary Conneally.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Got my book from Bethany House Publishers to review yesterday. As soon as I'm done reading Anathema by Colleen Coble, I will be reading Out of Control by Mary Connealy.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Love Finds You in Charm Ohio by Annalisa Daughety - Review

Love Finds You
in
Charm Ohio
by Annalisa Daughety
This was a good book, I just had a hard time getting into it because of the way it was written. Emma wasn't really confused about what she wanted just curious about the English world. Abby knew her sister had these thoughts in her head and felt she would lose her if she didn't make plans for Emma's future. When Emma went to visit Lydia Ann, her cousin in Charm, she met Kelly, an Englisher who seems to have as many, or maybe more, mixed feelings about her life than Emma does about hers. She also met Noah, Lydia Ann's deceased husband's cousin. Noah knows about living with the English and the two of them become close friends.  Soon the life Abby has planned for Emma is the life she wants for herself. Emma may lose the life she comes to want by doing a favor for her new friend Kelly. Kelly finally makes a necessary break after Emma messes up her life. I didn't have a hard time keeping the storyline straight, it just seemed like the story jumped around a lot.

Win an autographed set of Ada's House series

Here is a link for a giveaway by Cindy Woodsmall:
http://www.cindywoodsmall.com/2011/08/27/thank-you-giveaway-and-the-story-behind-the-story/comment-page-3/#comment-5252

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I am having the hardest time reading this book I started 2 days ago. It isn't a long book, not small print, is fairly interesting, but I don't like the way it's written. Hopefully I'll finish it before too long, I would like to move on to something written a little, shall we say smoother maybe, don't know how to explain it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Healing Hearts by Beth Wiseman - Review

HEALING HEARTS
Three Amish Novellas
by Beth Wiseman
What a great job Beth did on these stories! All three of them were good, I really liked "A Change of Heart" and "Healing Hearts" kept me captivated.


Lydia gets a second chance at love, with her first love, but only if she can forgive Elam and Dan of their cover-up from years ago. Engaged to Dan, he leaves her on Christmas Eve with only a note and no explanation. Elam, Dan's brother, consoles her and they end up falling in love and getting married. After 15 years and three children, Dan dies of a heart attack. Elam, lived in the Englisch world all that time and didn't hear about his brother until it was too late to return for his funeral, he then takes more time before he returns to his Amish roots. Lydia knows she will now be in close contact with Dan often, through Church and family gatherings. Can she forgive him and love him once again or will she forgive but not forget. She knows what her heart wants, she knows what her mind it telling her, that he kept a secret from her before, would he do it again. She has to depend on God and her faith to make the right decision.

My heart goes out to Leah, she is completely different from her sisters, who along with her parents just don't understand her. I was brought to tears reading this story. Leah just keeps doing what she knows she wants to do, when her Dad tries to force her to change, her whole family laughs at her when she makes a mistake.  She finally starts seeing Aaron as a way to get out of the house. Aaron's Auntie Ruth helps her Dad to see that maybe he was wrong all along about Leah. Leah's life gets turned around while being able to continue being herself. With Amish families being so close knit, it's surprised me when they laughed at Leah and everyone tried to change her, sometimes it isn't the other person that needs to change, but maybe our way of thinking is what needs to change.

A lot of  couples experience the 'empty nest' syndrome, but you don't usually hear about Amish couples going through that. Naaman does just that, goes to visit his cousin and doesn't return for about a year. When he returns, he knows it'll be hard for Levina (his wife) and his grown children to forgive him, but he asks for that forgiveness when he apologizes to them. The problem is they are having a hard time, as Naaman doesn't have a reason as to why he left, why he stayed so long and what he did during that year, other than staying with his cousin's family in Ohio. Levina finally comes around and they are like newlyweds again, then a Sheriff shows up in town looking for Naaman. I could not put this book down until I found out what he wanted Naaman for, I had my ideas, which were 'kind of' the reason, you'll have to read it to find out. Everyone in town knows the sheriff is looking for him, except Naaman. The children try to keep it from him so he won't leave again. He even loses a contract with a furniture company, where his son works, because of the rumors that are spreading.

I would recommend this book as a very good investment.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The beginning of another week, I pray this week goes better than last week ended. I should be finishing up Healing Hearts by Beth Wiseman, my daughter bought it for me last week since I had to do her a big favor, lol. I really enjoyed the first novella and this second one has brought tears to my eyes. I will be posting a review when I finish.