Tuesday, November 26, 2013

An Amish Miracle, three Amish novella's by Mary Ellis, Ruth Reid and Beth Wiseman - Review

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

A Pioneer Christmas Collection - Review

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.

The Frozen Trail by Lisa Dayley - Review

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

Awakened Love by Laura V Hilton - Review of the third book in The Amish of Webster County series

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.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Surrendered Love by Laura V Hilton - Review of the second book in The Amish of Webster County series

While Jenna Kauffman is doing the personal shopping for the homebound in her Amish community she thinks she recognizes the policeman as the boy she'd always hoped to marry and drops oranges all over the floor. Troy Troyer, better known to the Amish as Hiram Troyer, ran away as a teenager and knows he'll never return to the Amish, he would never be accepted back even if he tried to.

Jenna is co-guardian, along with her parents, to her niece Meghan. Jenna's sister left the Amish also and now she can't handle Meghan so she sent her to live with Jenna and her parents. Well as Jenna leaves the store she's confronted by two police officers, one of which is 'Troy' Troyer. It seems Meghan hasn't even been in town two weeks and is already getting in trouble, as she continues with her shenanigans, Jenna and Troy seem to be thrown together a lot.

Jenna discovers she is still interested in Troy and Troy seems to reciprocate those feelings. Things can't go any further though because he has a secret and can't bring himself to tell anyone, that's the end of it. As if his emotions aren't tearing him up enough he accidentally shoots Jenna's daed.

What  a great book! I hated to put this one down. How many times do we, as humans, do things and then regret them later and can't forgive ourselves? If we can't forgive ourselves how will anyone else forgive us, even if they are family or someone we love? We have to remember that all we have to do is ask God for forgiveness and then we need to forgive ourselves, we can do this with God's help if we just ask him.

Needless to say, I'm starting the next book, "Awakened Love", as soon as I'm done writing this review. I would encourage you to get your hands on this series, you will really enjoy it.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Hope Revealed by Karen Baney - Review of the fourth book in Prescott Pioneers series

Mary Prescott is working her fingers to the bone trying to support herself and her two children, Eddie and Beth, since her husband, Reuben Colter, left them. Every time a dead man is found she is asked to come and identify her husbands body, the problem, so far none of them have been Reuben so she continues to live in fear that he'll return.

One night after the children are sleeping she hears a knock on the door, as fear grips her, thinking it is Reuben returning, she answers to find a strange woman. This woman reveals a secret about one thing Reuben did to her that she never knew about, a new low for Reuben even. A few days later Mary is told that her father secretly left her some money so she makes a decision to move west to Will Colter's, Reuben's brother, ranch hoping if Reuben does return he won't know where to find her and the children.

It isn't long after arriving that she discovers she isn't safe at all. Mary will do anything to protect her children, even if it means not telling Will everything. When Will finds out what she's been hiding he to kick her out of his home but Hannah, his wife, won't let him do that.

I think this is the best book in the series, I found myself with tears running down my cheeks several times. Oh the things Mary had to go through in her marriage and the things she found out about her husband that she never knew, but she kept her strength and moved forward. You really do need to read the whole series, I think anyway, to get the full impact of this book. In the first three you only get a glimpse of how hard it was being married to Reuben Colter but you need that to realize just how mean a human being he really is.

I would definitely recommend this book, this series! I really enjoy Karen's writing and will be looking for more books from her.

Monday, November 4, 2013

What Once Was Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer - Review of the first book in the What Once Was Lost series

Christina Willems has been running the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor on a small farm outside of Brambleville, Kansas since her father passed on. This is the only life she has known, helping others who are less fortunate without a place to live. When the kitchen mysteriously catches fire Miss Willems finds herself taking all of the residents to town in search of temporary homes, too bad they aren't all staying in nice happy homes. She notifies the mission board that funds the home, of the fire and their needs, in hopes that they'll order the repairs done so everyone can return home.

It seems like anything that can go wrong after the fire does go wrong, and more! Tommy, the blind boy staying with Levi Johnson, gets lost. Tommy also knows a secret so not only does he feel like people don't like him because of his blindness, he's also getting bullied and is very afraid. Miss Willems and Cora live in a single room in a boarding house in exchange for cooking and serving meals for mean Mrs Beasley. Wes is sleeping in the stable, others are sleeping in close quarters too, some in good homes and others in not so good homes.

When the two representatives come to investigate the property they inform Miss Willems that they will be closing the doors and she no longer has a job. This doesn't stop her from trying to get the house repaired and the residents back home. It is taking so long that some of the residents are finding places on their own, the mission group takes some of the children to Topeka to an orphanage, it seems like she may no longer be needed if this continues, but it still doesn't stop her. Even going to jail doesn't affect her caring heart.

I had trouble with this story at first because I read the prequel and the story isn't what, rather who, I expected it to be about but I soon gained interest and by the end of the book I didn't want to put it down. Yes, I did stay up late, until I was falling asleep and had to put it down, then picked it up first thing in the morning to find out what I was wanting to know. Then there was even more that kept me interested, I had to find out what was going to happen next!

I will be watching for "Just As I Am" to come out later this month, the next book in this series which sets the stage for Kim's next novel, "Echoes of Mercy" due out in January, 2014. 

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.”

Healing Love by Laura V Hilton - Review of the first book in The Amish of Webster County series

Kristi Lapp, an Amish midwife, and Shane Zimmerman, an English veterinarian new to the area, meet when he notices her buggy turned over in a ditch. He stops to make sure no one is hurt and discovers Kristi. She's unconscious and he calls to have her transported to the hospital. Her parents are out of town so he stays with her daily until they return. When her parents return and her daed sees an attraction forming he demands that Shane stay away from Kristi.

Shane tries to stay away from Kristi but it seems circumstances keep throwing them together. Kristi has a Siberian husky, Chinook, who needs exercise daily so Shane takes over doing that since Kristi can't walk and will need a lot of therapy. Even though they are each falling for the other, there are some things that are keeping them apart, she's Amish and he's English with Amish grandparents, neither one knows if they want to 'change' or if they want to ask the other to 'change'. Next is the fact that she's a midwife, he blames a midwife for the death of his wife and baby. Finally Kristi's daed is determined to marry her off to a good Amish man, even if he's already had three wives and has many children.

I had been wanting this book for a long time, as well as the next two in the series. When I won the third book I mentioned that I was going to buy the first two and Laura was kind enough to send them to me, she really blessed me by doing so. I really enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to reading the last two, Surrendered Love and Awakened Love. I would highly recommend this series to anyone that like reading Amish books.

Oh, did I mention the fact that I was VERY surprised at the ending, I think you will be too. Wonderful job Laura!