“The Amish Groom” by Mindy Clark and Susan Meissner, book review

“The Amish Groom” by Mindy Clark and Susan Meissner, book review

Ty Anderson was raised from the age of 6 by his Amish grandparents following the death of his mother, who left the Amish community to when she was 18. Ty had grown up a military kid spending time in Europe. He had little contact with his dad, due to frequent deployments overseas during his growing up years. But when his dad calls and asks Ty to come to California to care for his 14 year old half-brother while his parents are both out of the country, Ty decides this is a chance to learn about his mother and her English life.

While in California Ty explores photography because it was something his mother enjoyed, but is forbidden in the Amish faith. He takes some lessons from a local college photography major and learns more than just how to take pictures. Through his experiences with his family and the English world, he determines that he will return to the Amish faith and marry his Amish sweetheart.

This book was easy to read and the characters were well developed. Next in the series to be released this summer.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher, Harvest House. All opinions expressed are my own.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Amish Groom

Harvest House Publishers (April 1, 2014)

by

Mindy Starns Clark
and
Susan Meissner

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Mindy Starns Clark Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of the inspirational Million Dollar Mysteries, the Smart Chick Mysteries, and three standalone mysteries, as well as the nonfiction books The House That Cleans Itself and A Pocket Guide to Amish Life. Her novels include A Penny for Your Thoughts, Don’t Take Any Wooden Nickels, A Dime a Dozen, A Quarter for a Kiss, The Buck Stops Here, The Trouble with Tulip, Blind Dates Can Be Murder, Elementary, My Dear Watkins, Whispers of the Bayou, Shadows of Lancaster County, and Under the Cajun Moon, plus other books!

Mindy is also the author of numerous plays and musicals which have been performed all over the United States. She has written textbooks, articles, short stories, and more than 75 computer software manuals. A former singer and stand-up comedian, Mindy lives with her husband and two teenage daughters near Valley Forge, PA. She enjoys speaking to churches, civic groups, and libraries across the country. Her unique blend of humor and insight make her an audience favorite.

Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker, and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include The Shape of Mercy, named by Publishers Weekly as one of the 100 Best Novels of 2008 and a Carol Award winner. She is a pastor’s wife and the mother of four young adults. When she’s not writing, Susan writes small group curriculum for her San Diego church. Visit Susan at her website: www.susanmeissner.com, on Twitter at @SusanMeissner, or at www.facebook.com/susan.meissner.

ABOUT THE BOOK

New from bestselling authors Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner, The Amish Groom (Book 1 in The Men of Lancaster County series) explores the men of an Amish community in Lancaster County, how their Amish beliefs play out in their unique roles, and the women who change their lives.

Born to an ex-Amish mother and an Englisch father, 23-year-old Tyler Anderson was raised as a military kid until the age of 6, when his mom passed away. His dad, shipping off to yet another overseas post, placed Tyler in the care of his Amish grandparents, an arrangement that was supposed to be temporary. It lasted a lifetime.

Rachel Hoeck is the young woman waiting for Tyler’s proposal. She senses that though he loves her and wishes to make a commitment to her and his Amish beliefs, part of him still wonders whether an Amish lifestyle is truly for him.
When an opportunity to connect with his father unexpectedly arises, a visit to California causes Tyler to question everything, including a future with Rachel. Will the new girl in his life, Lark, cause him to remain in the Englisch world? Or will he choose to be an Amish groom after all?

A poignant novel of hoping for romance and searching for identity, set in a beloved Amish community.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Amish Groom, go HERE.

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“Seasons of Tomorrow” by Cindy Woodsmall, book review


“Seasons of Tomorrow” Amish Vines and Orchards, book 4, by Cindy Woodsmall, book review

This fourth book in the series centers with the Amish families who moved to Orchard Bend, Maine following a tornado that damaged the King family orchard. But the new season brings some new trials and difficulties too. Rhoda seems to be more settled and is in love with Samuel. But can they work things out?

Leah is more confused about remaining Amish or leaving. She and Landon work well together and are becoming closer, but the differences in their religion is a big problem. And while Jacob has finally agreed that Rhoda is not the right person for him, he still needs to find his own way, probably away from the orchard.

But the family comes together when Phoebe becomes very ill and has to be in the hospital for a long time. Many differences are put aside for the better of the family and the Orchard.

I have read the other 3 books in this series and enjoyed this one too. While you can enjoy this book it will be more enjoyable and meaningful if you read the series in order. Easy to read and enjoy.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher, Waterbrook Press as a member of the blogging for books club. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“A Promise in Pieces” by Emily T. Wierenga, book review


“A Promise in Pieces” by Emily T. Wiernega, book review, Quilts of Love seriew

Clara served as a nurse during WWII over 50 years ago, but the memories are still in her mind. And her promise to a dying soldier to deliver one last letter changed her life. After Garath died, Clara held on to the letter with the intent to deliver to his wife, Mattie. Little did she know that meeting Mattie would change and shape her life.

The novel contains many recollections of Clara’s days of nursing in Europe during WWII and current events with her children and grandchildren. The family is taking a road trip to deliver a quilt to the National WWII museum in New Orleans, LA. But the trip is derailed when Oliver, Clara’s husband, has a stroke and must stay in the hospital a few days.

This story is a wonderful collection of memories and how we can all shape each other’s live. I recently had the opportunity to visit the WWII museum in New Orleans and was amazed at the sacrifice of Americans, at home and abroad. This is a story for anyone interested in history and family dynamics..

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Abingdon Press. All opinions expressed are my own.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Promise in Pieces

Abingdon Press (April 15, 2014)

by

Emily T. Wierenga

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word from the Author:

I’m Emily, and I’m honored and humbled to meet you, friend.

We’re all stumbling along on this journey and you can approach me about anything okay? I’m an open book, with dog-eared pages and a worn cover.

I’m mama to two boys, ages two and four, and married to a farm-boy-turned-math-teacher. We live in a small Dutch hamlet with three churches, one Co-Op and no stop lights. There are a lot of fields out here, there’s a lot of space and sky for breathing and running and writing.

We foster two boys in addition to our own two, and before I had kids, I took care of my Mum who had brain cancer. She fought back and has recovered, all glory to God, and my pastor-father still holds her hand while they go for daily walks.

I battled anorexia nervosa as a child, and then again as a newly married woman, and I write a lot about body image now and have a passion for women to learn to love themselves.

My husband and I have battled infertility and are currently trying to adopt our third child through the local Alberta government.

I hurt for the church, and believe in it, and pray for it, as I’ve grown up inside its walls and have heard its groanings.

I have a heart for Africa, particularly Uganda, and went there in January on a bloggers’ trip with World Help.

My favorite things to do are read literary novels, play guitar, snowboard, paint with oil and acrylics and hug my babies.

I am the author of two books on eating disorders, a novel releasing this spring, and a memoir coming out this summer.

I hope you’ll connect with me on FB: https://www.facebook.com/emilytwierenga, or if you prefer, Twitter: @emily_wierenga. I’d love to have a virtual glass of wine, or cup of coffee, with you.

Peace to you friends,

e.

ABOUT THE BOOK

After the end of World War II, Clara Kirkpatrick returns from the Women’s Army Corp to deliver a dying soldier’s last wishes: convey his love to his young widow, Mattie, with apologies for the missed life they had planned to share.

Struggling with her own post-war trauma, Clara thinks she’s not prepared to handle the grief of this broken family. Yet upon meeting Mattie, and receiving a baby quilt that will never cuddle the soldier’s baby, Clara vows to honor the sacrifices that family made.

Now a labor and delivery nurse in her rural hometown, Clara wraps each new babe in the gifted quilt and later stitches the child’s name into the cloth. As each new child is welcomed by the quilt, Clara begins to wonder whatever
happened to Mattie—and if her own life would ever experience the love of a newborn. Little does she know that she will have the opportunity to re-gift the special quilt—years later and carrying even greater significance than when it was first bestowed.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Promise in Pieces, go HERE.

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“Mark of Distinction” by Jessica Dotta, book review


“Mark of Distinction” Price of Privilege Trilogy #2, by Jessica Dotta

Julia Elliston has arrived in London and is now under the protection of Lord Pierson, but is she really safe? The plot continues to swirl around her, who is she, really, and who can she trust? She is thrust into the London glamour and glitz in hopes of preserving her life and inheriting the Emerald Fortune. But many want to see her fail or worse.

This is the second book in the trilogy, and it took me quite a while to get up to speed on the characters, even though I read the first book not long ago. This is one of those books that I had to make myself continue reading, rather than looking forward to reading. The writing style make the story line difficult to follow, I was never sure who was the good guys or bad guys. I kept thinking that I must have missed some important detail, and went back several pages or a chapter and reread, but did not learn anything of value. While some may enjoy this type of novel, I just did not.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Tyndale House Fiction. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“Shaken” by Kariss Lynch, book review

“Shaken” Heart of a Warrior Series, book one, by Kariss Lynch, book review

Kaylan Richards has graduated from college and has a few months until her internship begins, so she decides to go to Haiti with her best friend Sarah Beth. They have positions working in a medical clinic and helping children who live in poverty. But then the worst earthquake in the country’s history hits! And Kaylan’s world is rocked!

Navy SEAL Nick Carmichael has been a family friend for years and he serves with Kaylan’s brother, but now he did not plan on falling for Kaylan, but he did. And now he has the battle of his life in front of him, as he goes to rescue Kaylan and help her find her way back, following the earthquake.

This is the first in the Heart of a Warrior series, and has a lot of details about the SEALS program. This book had a lot of detail about Kaylan’s work in Haiti and the extreme poverty in that county. Also, these characters deal with several contemporary issues including long distance relationships, terrorism and crisis of faith. The characters are well developed and real.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher, Realms. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Purex changes laundry rules, review and sweepstakes!

Did you know there are rules in laundry? I guess if we think about it, there are rules for everything else: sports, driving, grammar, etc. so it makes sense that there are laundry rules. Basically, sort colors. But, Purex is changing all that with the new No Sort formula. This new fantastic laundry soap prevents color bleeding in the washer. No more pink undershirts and socks when you accidentally throw that new red baseball jersey in the washer.

My youngest son will be attending a month long agricultural college this summer, and doing his own laundry for the first time. While I have taught him to sort and the laundry basics, this new Purex will make him feel more confident that he will not ruin his clothes in the university washer.

Want to try it for your self? I have 3 Purex No Sort formula coupons to give away. Just enter the sweepstakes here, and leave a comment that you entered. You may enter once daily, but can only win 1 coupon (so if I draw your name more than once, it will go to the next in line). Drawing will end April 15, 2014.

Posted in Give-a-way, Home life | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

“A Broken Kind of Beautiful” by Katie Ganshert, book reivew


“A Broken Kind of Beautiful” by Katie Ganshert, book review

Ivy Clark is a famous model whose career has been derailed because she “offered suggestions” to the photographer, which is not acceptable from a model. Now as she closes in on the magic age of 25, when models are typically finished in main stream modeling, she returns to Greenbrier for her father’s funeral. And so many memories are brought to the surface, and also some options for the future.

Davis has tried to bury his photographic career after a terrible accident that leaves his sister blind. But to help his aunt promote her wedding dress business following her husband’s death, Davis agrees to photograph the model to promote a charity event with the proceeds to aid an art program for the blind.

As Ivy and Davis must interact during the photo shoot, many old feelings are rekindled and gilt is brought to the surface. In the end, both are able to experience God’s forgiveness and grace.

This novel is the newest from Katie Genshert, and explores the cut throat modeling industry. This book does expose some of the hard knocks that models must endure, including exploitation of the women by their managers. The book is well written and shares many real examples of how words can hurt or destroy others, especially when carelessly spoken. But in the end, Genshert showed that God’s love and forgiveness is what truly heals all wounds.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Waterbrook Press. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“The Kissing Bridge” by Tricia Goyer, book review


“The Kissing Bridge” by Tricia Goyer, book review

Rebecca has planned this day for years, and now it is here. The day she leaves home to start nursing school. While it seems to right to gain the skills to be able to help just one person, her Amish community says it is so wrong. What a challenge! After the child birth death of her sister, Rebecca as vowed that she wants to be able to help those in her community with their health problems. So she has gone to school on-line to get her high school diploma and EMT certification. And now she has been accepted to attend nursing school in Oregon.

On the train ride she calls her childhood friend in Montana and stops by for a visit. A visit that changes her life!

Caleb is one of the Amish bachelors who came to hunt, and has enjoyed the time in Montana away from his family and the problems there. He persuades Rebecca to go on a wagon trail trip to see the Montana sights before she heads to Oregon, and they are able to help each other learn more about each other.

This is the #3 in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher, Zondervan. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“Maybelle in Stitches” by Joyce Magnin, book review

“Maybelle in Stitches” by Joyce Magnin, Quilts of Love series, book review

World War II changed the US and the world forever. On a smaller scale, the small town where Maybelle lives, all residents have stepped up to support the war effort. With so many of the men off fighting, the women are now building the war ships. Maybelle and her best friend Doris are among the thousands of women who took very non-traditional jobs in the navel ship yard, welding seams to build war ships. Both of these women are holding down the home front while their husbands are overseas. The days are long and momentous. But Maybelle’s world is shaken when her mother dies in her sleep. As she works through the difficult task of sorting her mother’s belongings, she finds a quilt top, made from scraps of fabric from the family’s clothing. With the support of Doris and others at the Yard, Maybelle sets out to finish the quilt, that they affectionately call “The Hope.”

Throughout the months of sewing and chatting, the Yard girls support each other through the good and bad times associated with the war. More than sewing, the group learns to lean on each other and God to get through one of the most devastating times in history.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Abingdon Press. All opinions expressed are my own.

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This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Maybelle In Stitches

Abingdon Press (March 18, 2014)

by

Joyce Magnin

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A word from the Author:

I am the author of seven novels. Five adult novels and two middle grade readers. I never wanted to do anything else but write and every day I wake up astonished that I get to do what I always dreamed about. My days are filled with words and images along with the usual family stuff. I have three children, Rebekah who is married to Joshua. They have three of the most adorable boys on the planet, Lemuel, Cedar and Soren. My daughter Emily Kate is a lovely young woman anthropologist and my son Adam is fourteen and a student–he’s a genius who loves frogs and lizards and fish and plants. He amazes me.

I have never eaten a scallop. I love cream soda. Drink way too much coffee. I do not like elevators but I do enjoy needle arts and of course books. I prefer jazz over country (no offense), milk chocolate over dark, but not roller coasters although my life has often resembled a roller coaster ride.

One of my life’s desires is to meet Amy Grant so I can tell her she saved my life.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it. At first, it’s just a way to fill the lonely nights while her husband, staff sergeant Holden Kanzinzki, is away fighting in World War II.

Yet when Maybelle discovers that the quilt is made from scraps of material that can be traced back through her family heritage, the project is suddenly much more important. Then word comes that Holden is missing in action, and with little else to do, Maybelle clings to the quilt as much as to the hope that her husband is still alive. As neighborhood friends gather around Maybelle to help her through the unknown days and nights ahead, it is the quilt that becomes a symbol of her unflagging belief that Holden will return—to her, to their home, and to their quilt-covered bed.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Maybelle In Stitches, go HERE.

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