Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Forgotten Recipe by Amy Clipston - Review of the first book in the Amish Heirloom series

Veronica Fisher knows how lucky she is to be marrying her best friend. Seth Lapp is kind, hardworking, and handsome--but most importantly, he loves Veronica.

When an accident on the job steals Seth away from her, a heartbroken Veronica is certain she will never love--or be loved--again. Yet when she discovers a batch of forgotten recipes and opens a bake stand to sell her Mammi's raspberry pies, Veronica picks up a regular customer who gives her heart pause.

Jason Huyard was with Seth when he lost his life--a memory that haunts him still. So when he seeks out the grieving fiancee to convey his condolences, the last think he expects--or wants--is to fall in love. Nonetheless, Jason soon finds himself visiting Veronica's bake stand every week . . . and it's for more than the raspberry pies.

Now, as Veronica's heart thaws, Jason can't bring himself to tell her he was there when Seth died. Can he ever reveal where he was on the day her life derailed? Or will his secret rob them of the second chance at love they both want?

I have been enjoying Amy's books for years and this one isn't any different. Amy has written a heart wrenching story about two strangers, one loses the man she's going to marry, the other loses his best friend. She had me 'loudly' telling Jason to come on get it over with, then when he did, OH MY! Not only is this a wonderful story she leaves you hanging at the end of the book. I would recommend this as a must read so watch for it to be released on December 8, 2015.

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.”

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Streams of Mercy by Lauraine Snelling - Review of the third book in the Song of Blessing series

Anji Baard Moen, recently widowed in Norway, returns to North Dakota with her children. She quickly settles back into life in the familiar surroundings of Blessing, teaching in the high school and writing articles for the Blessing Gazette.  In the midst of an unexpected crisis, Anji is thrust into a role she never imagined. And almost without her even being aware, an old friendship begins to show signs of developing into something more.

Meanwhile, Thomsa Devlin, a minister without a post, has arrived in town. Devlin supports himself as a journeyman carpenter, and with the town growing rapidly he has no shortage of opportunities.  Establishing himself in a new community has its challenges, but as the newcomer gets to know the young widow whose house he's been working on, he thinks he may have found yet another reason to stay....

Oh yes, another wonderful story about Blessing. Full of hardships and loss but their faith will get them through, at least that is the way Ingeborg has always lived, convincing others it is true. There is one person, Clara, who I would like to know more about the back story on. By the way the book ended I am SURE, in my way of thinking/wanting anyway (lol), there will either be more books to this series, at least one more or another series. PLEASE Lauraine, you can't stop here. Yes, yes, I would gladly recommend this book, all of the books pertaining to the Bjorklund family and the town of Blessing, SD.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Harvest of Hope by Lauraine Snelling - Review of the second book in the Song of Blessing series

Just a few short weeks into her year-long training at the Blessing Hospital, Miriam Hastings is called home to Chicago, where her mother is gravely ill. With siblings to care for, Miriam pleads to be allowed to finish her training in Chicago. Her nursing supervisor grants her a brief reprieve but extracts a promise that Miriam will return to Blessing and fulfill her one-year commitment.

While in Chicago, Miriam has tried to get Trygve Knutson and Blessing out of her mind, but his lettrs make that impossible. Trygve is busy building a house, hoping he can convince Miriam to return to North Dakota and marry him. Torn between Trygve's love and her family's needs, she doesn't know what to do.

When Miriam finally returns to Blessing, she buries herself in her work. But no matter how hard she tries to put it off, she has some life-changing decisions to make about her future, her family . . . and the man sho is never far from her thoughts.

What will it take to convince her to stay?

Another great book by Lauraine. I am still enjoying this series and this book shows how the town is still being 'blessed'. Even with having to deal with catastrophe's and immigrants moving in, the town manages to keep their faith and grow. Lauraine shows how the town always pulls together to honor their name Blessing, ND.

I would highly recommend this book, this series, as a good read.

Friday, November 6, 2015

To Everything a Season by Lauraine Snelling - Review of the first book in the Song of Blessing series

Trygve Knutson is devoted to his family and his community. With his job on the construction crew, he is helping to build a future for the North Dakota town of Blessing. Though he loves his home, he sometimes dreams of other horizons---especially since meeting Miriam Hastings.

Miriam is in Blessing to get practical training to become an accredited nurse. She's been promised a position in the Chicago women's hospital that will enable her to support her siblings and her ailing mother. Although eager to return to her family, Miriam is surprised to find how much she enjoys the small town of Blessing. And her growing attachment to Trygve soon has her questioning a future she always considered set in stone.

When a family emergency calls Miriam home sooner than planned, will she find a way to return? If not, will it mean losing Trygve--and her chance at love--for good?

I have been reading about the Bjorklund's and the town of Blessing, ND as long as Lauraine has been writing about them, this is the fifth series now and I can honestly say that I enjoyed this book just as much, if not more than, I did the very first book! I don't know how else I can express my view except to say that if I have stuck with this 'family/town' that long, 16 books so far, this being the 17th with 2 more to go, they have to be amazing.

The conclusion of this book will bring tears to your eyes and I am SOOOOO glad that I have the second book already, "A Harvest of Hope", so I can start reading it immediately. Oh yes, you will want to have it on hand so you can just move right along with this story. If you have not  read any of the series connected to this one, look Lauraine's name up and start at the beginning, it will be well worth your time!

A Perfect Love Amish Collection by Melanie Schmidt - Review

(copied from
Forgiving and Learning to Love
Rebecca is going through an emotionally low period of her life wondering if she will ever find peace of mind again. When Caleb, a local Amish man, wants to court her, ghosts from her past threaten to end the relationship before it begins. Rebecca must seek to forgive someone who made her life a frightening, living hell before she can move on and look towards the future with any man. Will she find the strength to forgive and come to terms with her past memories, or will she miss an opportunity for true happiness with Caleb?

Loving and Letting, Go
Martha Stolftzfus is direct and decisive; she is just what John Beiler needs to help with his mental recovery. She's easygoing but direct, but is also quick to call John out if need be. She also knows about his past and how he stalked her friend Rebecca. Although forgiving, she is quick to intervene when it looks like he might slide back into his old, unhealthy ways.

As her friend, Rebecca Zook begins to court with another man in the community, John has second thoughts about Martha, but Martha has other ideas. She realizes that she loves John, and will do whatever it takes to get him through one of the darkest periods of his life. Will she be successful, thus setting two couples free to love and grow, or will she fail dooming both her friends and herself to a life of misery.

A Perfect Love
Ruth Lapp suffers from a congenital hip defect due to her parents being third cousins. Her mother is also guilt-ridden and takes it out on Ruth with unending abuse and vitriolic verbal attacks. In spite of this, Ruth has become an expert quilter, gifted some say, and is coming into her own in the Amish extremes to keep her daughter under her thumb. Others in the community have become aware of Mary's abuse and things are coming to a head as Ruth, Mary and Mark's lives spiral out of control.

Very good short stories about some very emotional problems that can affect family and friends. These are subjects that you don't hear about very often in Amish books. I found myself fearing for some of the characters and near tears sometimes for them as well, not only the victims but the ones with health problems that caused them to do things they knew were wrong.

My only problem is that, in my opinion anyway, is that the 'books' are not in order. I feel that "A Perfect Love" should be read first, I will not say why as maybe the author, or publisher, had a reason for putting them in this order. I would recommend this as a good read and you can decide if you want to follow my thoughts as to which one to read first or not. ENJOY!