Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Bishop's Son by Kelly Irvin - Review of the second book in The Amish of Bee County series

Leila Lantz has been in love with Jesse Glick from the day she first saw him at his father's store, but she can't make sense of his intentions. One day he wants to come courting, the next he seems to be putting distance between them.

Jesse may be the bishop's son, but his faith has been wavering of late. If he is so unsure, is it fair to give Leila false hope for a future he doubts he can provide?

Then there's Will, Jesse's cousin. He has been trying to keep his feelings for Leila a secret, but he also knows Jesse is wrestling with his faith. Would declaring his feelings for Leila be in her best interest or simply serving his own selfish desires?

Leila knows she can choose Will and be secure in her own future. But when her hearat speaks, it's Jesse's name she hears. When will God make His will known to her? could leaving everything she knows--even her own faith--be a part of God's plan?

Another great story in this series and Kelly does a wonderful job of telling it. She keeps you guessing as to which way Leila will go. Kelly also shows the deep decisions one has to struggle with in wanting to leave the Amish, even more so than an Englischer wanting to join the Amish. A very touching story I'm sure you will enjoy. After reading this story, think about everything you read and think about whether you would have made the same decisions as Jesse or Leila. I hope there will be more books to come in this series.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free BookLook Bloggers  a 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.”

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Plain Choice by Sherry Gore with Jeff Hoagland - Review

Sometimes  Faith Is the Greatest Surprise of All
As a young adult, Sherry Gore dreamed of a radio career, but instead, a series of terrible mistakes left her wrecked and alone. Then one morning she walked into a church and the truth of Jesus' forgiving love shattered her world--and put it back together again. She began to rid her life of anything that might keep her from God, but still she wanted a deeper faith. Something more.

Soon the life Sherry remade for herself and her children featured head coverings, simple dress, and a focus on jesus Christ. Only then did she realize that there were others like her: the Amish.

She Left Everything to Find All She Needed
The Plain Choice is the fascinating story of one woman's journey toward God through the Amish community. After making the rare transition into Amish life, sherry learned how to live off the land and make it, grow it, or do without it. She learned the adventure of the horse-and-buggy life and began to thrive on faith, family, and pie. And when her teenage daughter was diagnosed with a devastating illness, she learned again how bright God's light can shine when everything else seems dark.

This unusual memoir offers a riveting look at the choices we make toward or away from God--and how God pursues us in the most unexpected ways.

I started following Sherry before I knew she wasn't born Amish, so you can imagine my surprise when I learned she was not. What a shock, I know that there are some Englischer's who switch to Amish but not as many as there are leaving the Amish.

Sherry goes into much detail about her previous life, the difference between then and now is amazing. I enjoyed her story very, very much and would highly recommend it. She went from having no faith to having a very strong faith, what an influential story she has. If you, or anyone you know, is down in there life this is a good book to suggest for them to read. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Sherry, I admire you for putting it out here for us to read!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Lilacs for Juliana by Carrie Fancett Pagels - Review of the third book in The Christy Lumber Camp Series

Petite Juliana Beauchamps possesses a vivid imagination, which comes in handy as a librarian. When a handsome giant of a lumberjack comes to town and rescues her from possible tragedy, she's shaken by the event. A dashing beer baron, from Milwaukee, also pursues Juliana's attention. Meanwhile, a library trustee determines to push out the female librarians.

Set in 1891, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Book Three in The Christy Lumber Camp Series focuses on Richard "Moose" Christy, the youngest of the sons, as he prepares to manage his first lumber camp. When Yost hires Juliana to organize his personal library, and her letters from Wisconsin suggest foul play, will Richard need to save her once again? And will his secret need to be revealed to win her heart?

I am enjoying this series, I like the setting, the time period, the characters and I love lilacs so this was extra special to me. This book, as with most series, starts a little repetitive to let you know the background but then it picks up and moves right along. So many misunderstandings, we are all guilty of thinking we know what someone is thinking, why they are doing something and/or what direction they are going without asking them. This may lead to a lot of problems or a big loss on our part when we do that. A very nice quick, fun, read. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Road Home by Patrick E Craig - Review of the second book in the Apple Creek Dreams series

(copied from
Author Patrick Craig continues the story of Jenny Springer, the child rescued in "A Quilt for Jenna" with a story of reconciliation and healing. Jenny Springer is the local historian for the Amish community in Apple Creek, Ohio. As a child, Jenny was rescued from a terrible snowstorm, and when no trace of her parents could be found, the Springer family adopted her. Since then she has had a burning desire in her heart to find out who she really is. When a drifter, John Hershberger, comes to town looking for his own roots, Jenny gets serious in her search for her long-lost parents. As she opens doors to her past, she finds the truly surprising answer to her deepest questions. And as John discovers the story of his own heritage, his growing love for Jenny causes him to reexamine his lifelong atheism. In doing so he discovers his need for a real home, a family, and a relationship with God.

This book kept me pulled into the story so much more than the first one, I could hardly put it down. Patrick did a great job of making me feel as if I were experiencing the emotions of the characters yourself, I found myself cringing at times, happy at times and near tears other times.  I liked the first book but didn't care for the style it was written but knew I would read the other books in the series and am so glad I did, a huge improvement as far as I was concerned. He also makes you think about your faith and how you may be interpreting the Bible, he expresses a deep faith in this book. Ok, onto the next book, "Jenny's Choice", in a few days!!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Murder Freshly Baked by Vannetta Chapman - Review of the third book in the Amish Village Mystery series

The Amish Artisan Village of Middlebury, Indiana, might be the last place you would ever expect to find a murderer. But Amber has been managing the Village for decades and there's nothing she hasn't seen. Or so she thought.

When poetic notes begin appearing around the bakery, warning that some of the pies have been poisoned, Amber is as confused as she is concerned. Who poisons pies? And more to the point, who leaves poems of warning after they've done it? When Amber decides to help the police track down the sweet-toothed saboteur, she enlists Hannah Troyer for another round of Amish-style detective work.

Can Amber and Hannah help the police before the Poison Poet strikes? Both women will need to draw on their faith to preserve the peaceful community they've built in Middlebury . . .and to protect the girls who work in the Amish Artisan Village.

Oh my, it has come to an end! Unless Vannetta has some surprises in the future. This was a great story with threats, poisoning, and a 'surprise' murder even. This was a very enjoyable series and Vannetta shows how each person, at least those in the 'inner circle' so to speak, depend on their faith and are loyal to each other, willing to help. Even though they are Amish and Englisch, they are like family. Sorry to see this series end!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Quilt for Jenna by Patrick E Craig - Review of the first book in the Apple Creek Dreams series

(taken from
Amish + Quilts = readers delight! And in this first book in Patrick Craig's Apple Creek Dreams series, readers will follow Jerusha Springer's journey out of tragic circumstances to a new life of hope.

Jerusha has spent months making the most beautiful quilt anyone in apple Creek, Ohio, has ever seen, and she knows it's going to take first prize at the Quilt Fair in Dalton. The prize will be her ticket out of the Amish way of life--away from the memories of her dead daughter and her tormented husband. But on the way to the Fair, she get caught in the storm fo the century and Jerusha's driver crashes their car. While the driver goes for help, Jerusha is led by someone, or something, to the side of a lost little girl. By the time the storm clears, Jerusha finds there is a greater prize to be won than the money and the blue ribbons.

A beautiful story of loss....and redemption.

I have been wanting to read one of Patrick's books for quite some time and finally got it accomplished. I think the book started out rather slow and confusing for me but I did get pulled in and enjoyed the last three fourths of the book. The part that kept me 'confused' did have to be told but I guess it was done in a way I don't enjoy reading. Like I said, I did enjoy the book and I am definitely going on to read "The Road Home" and "Jenny's Choice".

Lamb to the Slaughter by Karen Ann Hopkins - Review of the first book in the Serenity's Plain Secrets series

(taken from
Some Amish communities aren't so cozy.

The death of a teenage Amish girl in a cornfield looks like an accident, but sheriff Serenity Adams suspects foul play. To solve the murder she must investigate the nearby Amish community with the help of a man who was shunned years ago.

At first glance, the case seems obvious. The poor girl was probably accidentally shot during hunting season, but when the elders of the Amish community and even the girl's parents react with uncaring subdued behavior, Serenity becomes suspicious. As she delves deeper into the secretive community that she grew up beside, she discovers a gruesome crime from the past that may very well be related to the Amish girl's shooting.

Serenity's persistence leads her to a stunning discovery that not only threatens to destroy her blossoming romance with Daniel Bachman, but may even take her life in the end.

*Some language & romantic sexual content.

Let me start out by saying that I really did like this story, Karen did a good job of hiding who was the guilty person, a VERY good job! My problem was the language, and that was partly my fault because I did not notice the asterisked comment above. I did quickly jump over 'those words' and there were not a lot, although there were three words I did not appreciate at all and one of them was used several times. I will also say that even though I did not appreciate the use of those words I do plan on reading the second book in the series, "Whispers from the Dead".

I would encourage mystery, cozy mystery, or Amish book readers to give it a try.