Monday, December 31, 2012

Shadow on the Quilt by Stephanie Grace Whitson - Review of the 2nd book in The Quilt Chronicles series

Juliana Sutton couldn't believe she found what she thought was to be Sterling's surprise for her. Little did she know that after the beautiful night they'd just shared, instead she'd discovered a devastating secret he was keeping. When she opened the locket there was an inscription, To my P.L.S.T.S., with a woman's portrait, Sterling's profile and a lock of white-blonde hair. She spends the time trying to figure out what to do while she waits for Sterling to return, she finally gives up and heads to bed when she hears the fire bells ringing in town, moments later Sterling's aunts, Theodora and Lydia appear after also hearing the bells. Aunt Theodora had tried to call Sterling at his office but didn't get an answer so the fear was that his office was on fire while he was still working. Juliana and Aunt Theodora take the buggy to town while Aunt Lydia stays home in case anyone calls or brings word while they are in town finding out where the fire is.

Fortunately the fire is not the Sutton offices but Goldie's, the local brothel. As they sit in the buggy looking for Sterling, Juliana see's them bring out blonde haired Nell Parker, one of the girls and then, and pull a sheet over her face but they didn't find Sterling. It wasn't until the next day that they found out he died in the fire. Juliana not only has the locket problem but now she has to play the proper grieving widow of Sterling Sutton.

The aunts have been working on an autographed quilt for charity when one day Juliana discovers the name Pamela Lindermann, this is one she doesn't recognize. The undertaker Marvin Lindermann doesn't have a daughter but she connects the name with the initials P.L. so she has the name removed from the quilt, but will the shadow of that name on the quilt be forever in engraved in her memory?

Stephanie did a wonderful job on this story, I found myself pulled into feeling Juliana's pain. She shows Juliana's strong feelings for her husbands aunts and how she will do anything to keep them from suffering the way she is. Juliana somehow finds the strength to move ahead with her life, but what is in store for her, you'll have to read this book on your own to find out. I think you will find yourself being pulled in too.

I read my e-books while I'm in the truck going to town or traveling, paperbacks at home, and let me tell you that I was always anxious to go somewhere and have someone else drive so I could read. I think this second book was a lot better than the first one. I really liked The Key on the Quilt too, but something about this one touched me. I don't know if there is a third one coming out but I am on the lookout for it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley <> 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 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Where Love Grows by Jerry S Eicher - Review of the 3rd book in his Fields of Home series

Susan has returned home, still not sure if she wants to stay and give Thomas another chance or if she'll return to 'the world' as Steve the hired hand calls it. Teresa, the reason she returned to her Amish home, has fallen in love and will soon be married and Teresa's son, Samuel, will have a real daedt. Teresa keeps trying to convince Susan to give Thomas his second chance, so she's been trying.

About a week before Teresa's wedding, who has become like an adopted member of the Hostetler family, Menno, Susan's dad, gets a letter referring to his past that causes him mixed feelings. The morning of the wedding he tells Anna, his wife, about it but they go on as if nothing is wrong. Although, he is thrilled with the news in the letter, it may cause problems in the Amish community.

When a stranger shows up the day of the wedding then comes again the next morning to talk to Menno, Susan is in shock! Menno and Anna go to Deacon Ray to explain the situation to him and he is not happy. Deacon Ray will need to take this information to the other ministers and decide what to do with it. The next Sunday service would be communion Sunday, the day Menno and Anna will find out if one or both will be placed under the ban.

How is all of this affecting Susan and what will she do with her life now? After seeing Thomas talking to another girl in her own house on Teresa's wedding day, they were alone on the Hostetler couch, it reminds her of why she left the first time and now with what she's found out about her father's past, she's very unsure of things. Will she want to return to Asbury Park or will she stay and work through all of her inner turmoils.

Susan has a lot of things to think about right now in her life and this book shows what strong faith and the support of loved ones can help you get through.

Very enjoyable story, this kept me interested and I read late into the night not putting the book down until I couldn't keep my eyes open. I would encourage those of you that like Amish books to read this series, a continuing story about Susan Hostetler.

I received this book from Harvest House Publishers for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

An Amish Kitchen by Beth Wiseman, Kelly Long & Amy Clipston - Review

There are three beautiful stories in this book, A Taste of Faith by Kelly Long, A Spoonful of Love by Amy Clipston and A Recipe for Hope by Beth Wiseman. Each story is about a different family in Paradise, Pennsylvania, they are all friends with the ladies meeting on Saturday afternoons at The Daily Bread for a time of fellowship and prayer.

A Taste of Faith is the story of Fern, single and living with her grandmother who raised her after her parents died. She is the one everyone goes to for treatments when they are ill or injured rather than go to an English doctor. Her grandmother was always trying to find her someone to marry but Fern had no desire for a husband, she was satisfied with her garden.

A Recipe for Hope has Hannah running her parents' bed and breakfast since her father had his first stroke. Stephen decides he has to move from his hometown, after his fiancee is killed in an accident which he blames himself for, and finds himself staying at Paradise Inn. Stephen tries to find a job with no luck so needing to keep busy he starts doing repairs around the Inn. Hannah's parents don't like the idea of a single man renting a room where their single daughter lives, even though there are always other guests there. Her parents get so upset that they even bring the Bishop in on the situation.

A Recipe for Hope finds Eve's house damaged by a storm that blew a tree onto it. She finds her family moving back to her parents house temporarily, she has never felt close to her mother and is not looking forward to living under her roof again, even for a couple of months. She knows her mother has Parkinson's Disease, but didn't realize how bad until she's living with her again, but her Mother won't go to an English doctor, she only wants to use Fern's treatments.

I was so excited to get this book and I was not disappointed. They were all wonderful stories but, Beth's contribution, A Recipe for Hope, really pulled at my heartstrings. My mother had alzheimers and some of the things Eve's mother is going through really touched home with me. All of the stories were wonderfully written.

At the back of the book there are Recipes for Herbal Medicinal Treatments, 45 Old Order Amish Recipes and A Reading Group Guide. Anyone that likes Amish stories or any of these authors really should get this and read it.

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 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, December 10, 2012

Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof - Review of the 1st book in The Cadence of Grace Series

Shy, innocent and pretty, 17 year old Lonnie Sawyer is just biding her time at home until she turns 18 in a few months so she can go live with her Aunt Sarah, her mother's sister, and make and sell soap. Living high in the Appalachian hills, they are poor and Lonnie suffers from an abusive father. Gideon O'Riley is a ladies man and known in the area for being in trouble all the time.

One evening Gideon takes Lonnie's brother up on the idea of walking Lonnie home. They make their way through the hills and when he gets her home tries to steal a kiss. Lonnie refuses, something new for Gideon, no girl has ever refused his advances. Lonnie has a change heart and decides to let him have one kiss. When he tries to go too far, she hits him and runs off to the safety of her house, praying the whole way that her father didn't see.

A couple of days later when she returns from her Aunts house she discovers that her father must have seen the kiss because he's accusing her of being soiled and demanding that Gideon marry Lonnie. She tried to tell them that nothing happened, when she asked Gideon why he didn't speak up and tell the truth, he told her that he tried. Gideon fearful of being on the wrong end of her father's gun begrudgingly goes along with the wedding and Lonnie had no choice so they were married the next day.

Lonnie moves in with Gideon's family, where the home was already overcrowded, Gideon kicks his two brothers out of his room so they aren't too happy. Gideon's mother hates the Sawyer family but his sister really likes Lonnie. His father doesn't say much as his mother seems to run the household, except when it came to making Gideon marry Lonnie. It appears as if Lonnie may have gone from one abusive home to an unhappy home where she isn't loved or wanted. She begins to wonder if she will be just as bad off as she was at home.

After a short time Gideon decides to take off for Stuart to fulfill his dream. They have little to eat, it's cold and it's taking longer than Gideon thought it would when they meet Bert. Bert brews and sells moonshine so he shares some with Gideon and they get drunk, when Bert starts making insinuating remarks about Lonnie, Gideon chases him off. The next morning he awakes with a hangover that's when Jebediah Bennett comes upon them and points his rifle at him, he doesn't know what he's gotten them into now.

This was a book that grabbed and held my interest. The farther I got into the story, the less I wanted to put it down. I think this may have been the first book I've read by Joanne and I am looking forward to reading the second one, Though My Heart Is Torn due out in April of 2013.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the <> 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.”

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Whispers in the Wind by Lauraine Snelling - Review of the 2nd book in the Wild West Wind series

Cassie Lockwood has found the land of her Father's dreams. She has brought along some friends, Chief, Micah and Runs Like a Deer. Upon locating the land she finds a family living there by the name of Engstrom. Adam Lockwood and Ivar Engstrom were co-owners of the land but when Adam won half of the Wild West Show from Jason Talbot in a poker game he moved on, with plans of returning someday. That day never came but Cassie did return to a land she never knew.

Mavis and Ivar had four children with three of them still living there with her, Ransom, Lucas and Gretchen. The children were never told that there was another name on the title of the land and they are not happy to just be finding out about it. It doesn't really bother Gretchen much because she is in love with Cassie's horse, Wind Dancer but Ransom is beside himself and Lucas, well Lucas is a ladies man so to speak and had seen Cassie in town and fell in love with her even before he knew who she was.

With both Adam and Ivar passed on the boys are afraid of what is going to happen now that they have a 'new' co-owner, does she plan on taking everything they have worked all of their lives for? Ransom has been talking about reopening the gold mine and panning for gold but Lucas wants to sell the property and move on. With Cassie showing up everything is even more up in the air, she has no interest in Lucas and wants to live on the land of her Father's dreams.

Mavis loves Cassie from the time she lays eyes on her and insists she will live on the property, she and her companions will live up the hill where the old (original) cabin was built but needs a lot of repair work done, the two women in the cabin and the two men in the Wild West Show wagon. That is until the townspeople that don't like the Indians come out making trouble.

This book was even better than the first one and it still leaves you hanging. I will say again that I love Lauraine's books and you will not go wrong if you invest in this series.

Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. 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