Showing posts with label Adult Amish Romance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adult Amish Romance. Show all posts

Friday, November 24, 2023

Second Chance Inn by Marlayne Giron


Genre: Adult, Amish Fiction

Source: I received an advance reading copy. The opinions expressed here are my own.

I usually read this author’s books in one to two days. However, I have been sick for almost a month. I had finished the first half of the book and got sick again. I am glad I was finally able to finish it. My husband said he knew how sick I was when I didn’t even feel like reading. I am sorry it took so long to finish this wonderful book.

Marlayne Giron is a very talented writer. In Second Chance Inn we meet Rachel Wilson and her daughter Karen. It is obvious from the start that they don’t get along and Rachel isn’t sure how to make it work. After her husband dies Rachel and her daughter move to Pennsylvania. She has bought a farmhouse belonging to an Amish widower. The idea is to turn it into a bed and breakfast so everyone who stays can have a full Amish experience. The only difference is there will be electricity and inside bathrooms.

Samuel Miller has sold the farm to Rachel after losing his family. He stays on to work with the animals and continue to be a part of his Amish community, even if he has had a falling out with God. We see the way God uses both adults to help the other heal. We see a teenager who lived in the world of social media and immediate gratification embrace the Amish lifestyle and turn from being an angry teen to very pleasant young lady. We see Karen’s attitude toward her mother completely change.  It is obvious that God is in the details here. Marlayne has obviously done a lot of research into the Amish lifestyle. Her characters are well developed and her setting puts you right in the middle of the story. I hope Marlayne continues to write in this genre. She is natural at it. I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Two Great Amish Books

The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club – Wanda E. Brunstetter
Genre: Adult, Amish Fiction
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

When we think of quilting classes we think of several things. First, we may think of the Amish who are well known for their beautiful hand-stitched quilts.  We may also think of a group of ladies, and occasionally a few men taking a class to learn how to make a quilt.  Never, until I read this book would I have thought of a group of quilters like Wanda Brunstetter has assembled in this book. This quilting class is a group of the biggest misfits I’d ever seen.

Emma Yoder is a widow and has been receiving financial assistance from her family.  She decides to offer a six week quilting class to help pay her own way.  What she gets is not necessarily what she was expecting, but what God knew she needed. 
Star Stephens hides her true self under her gothic look.  Her grandmother knew the true her and signed her up for the quilting class a couple of days before she died.  Her grandmother had always been there for her. She was the one person in her life she could count on. She decides to attend the paid for class to honor her grandmother.
Then we have Jan Sweet a tattooed biker who has lost his license for driving under the influence.  He has a lot of issues and it is his probation officer who tells him to find an outlet for his anger. He figures this is the creative outlet that will help him.
Next we have Pam and Stuart Johnson. The have signed up for the quilting class as part of their counseling. They’ve been told to find something to do together. Stuart wants to go camping, which Pam hates so she gets him to agree by telling him if he goes to the quilting club with her she will go camping.
Ruby Williams is a preacher’s wife.  She is trying to find something that doesn’t involve the church to help her de-stress.  Yes, those who work for the church need an outside life as much as those who don’t work for the church.
Finally we have Paul Ramirez.  He is a widower left with a very young baby.  His wife had started a quilt for their daughter but never got the opportunity to finish it. She was killed in an accident.  He thinks he can go to the class and have someone finish the quilt.  He decides that this is something he needs to learn how to do.
Emma quickly learns she will have her hands full. But if God wanted them there then she would help them. Through this story we see how God used her to help them stitch the remnants of their own lives back together.  Emma also has some issues.  She has a pesky neighbor named Lamar who likes her.  She does everything she can to discourage him. When she gets sick he takes over her class and she learns that there is more to him than just a pesky neighbor.

This was such a fun book to read.  Everyone who reads this book can see themselves or part of themselves in at least one of these characters.  Definitely going to recommend this book. I had to come back and add something to this review. It kept bugging me that I felt a connection to this book but couldn't think of a specific connection.  It has been a month since I first wrote this review and realized the connection. I have done quilting in class with students for several years as part of my Language Arts/History Units. A few years back I changed schools and we had to do community service projects. I was new and thought it would be great to have students sign up to make baby quilts for a local pregnancy center. I had about six students actually sign up for only one day. This was a three day event, one day for each grade level. Suddenly I had a class full of kids. Those who had not signed up for anything or were put in ISS because of behavior issues were walked to my class. Some of the teachers taught multiple grades so I knew I would have some of these kids all three days. Most of them had never even held a needle before. Since I'd already cut the fabric all they had to do was sew the blocks  together. I had a sewing machine at school so after school each afternoon I went over their stitches.  I had such an mixed group of kids and that is what reminded me of this book.  I had a couple of kids who were your tough gang members, except when they got in my class and I told them if they worked hard and finished their quilt they could give their quilt to their mom for their new sibling. I got some of the best work out of those tough kids. I had a couple of pregnant teen girls and a couple of kids who were always picked on and bullied so they figured they'd hide out in my room. I had a couple of kids who couldn't do any of the other service projects because of medical issues.  In those three days we made thirty-three baby quilts and seven kids got to take them to family members. Two of the kids had their church call me to see if I was willing to donate some to them for their needy closet.  To me this was service in action. The best story of this time was the young kid who was real tough acting, always in trouble. They had him in a behavior disorder class. He sat right next to me because he seemed to be a leader, not the good kind.  He talked to me about his family life. He came back each day and I learned a bit more and we talked about ways to handle the situations at home, a non-caring, drug addicted mom.  He was raising his younger brother. The next year when I did this project he stayed again. He was no longer in behavior classes, he was in advanced. He graduated with scholarshps to three different colleges.  Why? He said he learned how to cope with things by sitting in a class and working through things while sewing. That was the connection I had with this book and why it resonated with me and why I MUST recommend it to everyone.

Sarah’s Garden – Kelly Long
Genre: Adult, Amish Romance
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

This is a great romance.  Sarah was a shy young Amish girl content to work in her garden.  God had definitely given her a gift with it. When her sister gets pregnant it becomes Sarah’s responsibility to run their produce stand.  This is not easy considering she is very shy. It became even more difficult  she met the new community veterinarian. He was not an Amish vet. The Amish community welcomed Grant and he worked for them taking care of their animals as a service to them just like his father had taken care of the people in their community.  It isn’t long before Grant and Sarah start to fall in love.  This is not a good thing because it means Sarah will be shunned if she continues.  Her parents try to persuade her to move on to a relationship with Jacob, a young Amish man who has had feelings Sarah for years. Sarah tries to tell Grant that things will not work between them. Grant mysteriously leaves the area.  Will he return? Is there hope for them as a couple?  You must read this book to find out. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Surprise Finds After Purging My Office

Most people do Spring Cleaning in the Spring.  I have to wait until I'm out for the summer. I've been working on cleaning up my office.

My office consists of a 4 foot fold out table with various necessities on it (light, portable shelf, writing utensils, basket with paperclips, etc). To the left of my table/desk is a 3 foot space. Against that wall is a bookcase that is approximately 2 feet wide and  6 feet tall.  To the right of my table there is a 4 foot space. Against that wall is another book case that is approximately 4 feet wide by 4 feet tall.  I collect books, notebooks, etc.  I decided when school was out that I would go through my book cases and get rid of what I didn't need.  For books that meant those that everyone in the house had read and couldn't go on my shelves at school.  That process took me two days as I made sure I had also posted reviews for them on my blog.  We took three boxes of books to Goodwill.  One box was from the bookcase in my mother's bedroom.  She also purged her books.

The next item would take me almost a week.  Since I have a massive amount of notebooks of all varieties I had to go through and purge them.  I started with my composition notebooks and then moved on to my spiral notebooks.  I bring home tons of composition notebooks every year.  If students leave them in my room then I cut out the pages they wrote on and bring the rest of them home.  If there are only a few pages (which is what I hope for, because that means they actually used it the way they were supposed to in my class), then I cut the remaining pages out and put them in an envelope style folder.  These make great pages for grand kids or for note taking.

Next comes the spiral notebooks. This will eventually be followed by my binders. Yes I have a collection of them as well, thirteen to be exact.  Some of them have writing courses in them (3). Some of them have arts and craft ideas and patterns. Some have other types of writing, bits and pieces I have collected.  I purge them every year.  If I haven't used the idea or I have the same idea in multiple places I get rid of them.

While going through my spiral notebooks I started finding little gems.  I am really bad about skipping multiple pages to write a book review.  Unfortunately life gets in the way and I forget I wrote it and it goes unpublished.  I found nine unpublished reviews of books by Jerry Eicher.  So I am going to post the first three here today.  I will post three more tomorrow, and the last three on Sunday.    They weren't the only ones I found.  I will be sprinkling them through the next month along with books I continue to read.  I am continuing my reading challenge through the month of July to try to catch up on the books that authors have sent me and I got behind on.  There are other's that are not on the list.  See I also have to purge my email list.  I go through my "Books to Review" Folder and delete books I've reviewed and forgot to delete the email, and then mark down the ones I still need to review. I know my list will grow longer. If you want to see my 'Summer Reading Plans" list just go here.  Without further ado here are my review for today, his Fields of Home Series.

Genre: Adult, Amish Fiction
Source: I received copies from Harvest House to facilitate my reviews. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Missing Your Smile by Jerry Eicher
I've read several books by this author and think he is one of the best Amish Fiction Authors out there. That might be because he was raised Amish. This is why his books ring true.
In this story we have a young Amish girl, Susan Hostetler, who has decided to become English. Her reasons are simple. She was to marry Thomas Stoll, until she caught him kissing her best friend. She runs off to New Jersey where she gets a job working in a bakery and living above it.  She is trying hard to blend both of her worlds.  She is trying to stay true to her faith and the values she has learned growing up Amish, yet blend in with her new English world. She loves working for Laura and her son Robby.  Robby is good at listening to her and she is good for trying to straighten him out.  When a young unmarried pregnant girl named Teresa comes into the bakery, Susan's new life runs into her old life.  Teresa has not had the best home life and she wants her baby to have a chance in life.  To her that means she having her baby adopted by an Amish couple.  Since the only Amish person she knows it Susan, she asks for her help. Susan agrees to help her.  One of the things that irritate me was that Teresa's boyfriend wants nothing to do with her until she gets rid of the baby. I wanted to smack Teresa upside the head and scream at her, do you realize that he is a piece of garbage if he feels this way?  Susan takes Teresa back to Indiana with her.  Even though her parents are kind and caring to Teresa, that doesn't mean the rest of the community will be.  This is a well thought out book.  The conflict is real. You don't have to be Amish to have similar conflicts. The ending makes you pine for the next one in the series.

Following Your Heart

This is the second book in the series. In this book Susan takes Teresa and her son Samuel back home with her where Susan's parents welcome her.  Unfortunately not does.  The Deacon has forbid her to attend the church.  I think this more than anything else ticked me off. You want to bring people to God but you aren't part of our church so find God somewhere else.  That is how I felt about the Deacon.  I found it aggravating that Thomas would be so petty when he can't get Susan to come back to him that he would try to hook Teresa up with an older man who is willing to marry her for cleaning and cooking, not for love.  I did love the fact that the Deacon's son is attracted to Teresa, even though it goes against his dad.  Who and what will win out?  You must read this book and find out.

Where Love Grows
This is the final book in this series. What an excellent way to end the story.  Teresa has found true love and someone to be a Godly father to her son Samuel.  This fulfilled her wish to raise her son Amish.  Susan on the other hand has given Thomas another chance.  Once again he blows it. We learn he was more interested in Susan's father's farm than in Susan.  This turns out okay because Susan is being pursued by another man. The question is will Susan allow herself the luxury of letting someone else into her heart.  This book had another conflict that involved a secret that Susan's father had kept for a long time. No I'm not going to tell you what the secret is or how it is resolved.  I suggest you read this entire series from beginning to end.  Jerry writes realistic characters with realistic problems.  We see that the Amish have some of the same kinds of problems we have.  Often times we set them p on a pedestal and don't really see them as having the same faith based struggles that we do.  However, this is not true.  They struggle just like you and I do. So I highly recommend you read this series and I also recommend you come back tomorrow for another group of books by Jerry Eicher.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Keys of Heaven by Adina Senft

Genre: Adult, Amish Romance
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Although this is the second book in this series, it reads like a stand-alone.  I had not read the first book, Herb of Grace, before I read this one.  I will definitely go back and read it.  In this book Sarah Yoder, a widow and mother of two boys is making her way in the world by treating other people with herbs.  She is friends and has a fond heart for Henry Byler, with whom she share a fence.  Raised Amish, Henry Byler never joined the church and considers himself an Englisher.  He is a potter by trade. No matter how Sarah feels about Henry, she keeps her distance.

Sarah doesn't just help heal people. She offers advice in the hope of healing their heart and life.  The problem is that sometimes it becomes pure meddling and is offensive to many of her friends.  Sarah makes some comments that offends those that are closest to her and finds she must apologize to them.

The author did an excellent job of creating characters that have flaws we can all relate to.  We can see the dilemma Sarah gets herself into and may even be able to relate to some of the things she does.  I loved  when she talked about the plant from which the books title comes.  It is a hardy plant that grows in some of the harshest places.  It brightens up the spot where it grows.  It is a lesson for us that wherever God plants us we need to bloom and grow. Sometimes those tough spots we find ourself in is the exact place God needs us to help us grow to our full potential.

I've read some of this author's other books and have really enjoyed them.  I am sure you will enjoy this one as much as I have.  This book is one of two that will be given away to a lucky winner, along with an artisan bar of chocolate from Oliver and Sinclair. If you would like an opportunity to win these two books and the chocolate bar then please go here to read my post and leave a comment along with your email address.  That is all it takes to be entered to win the two books and chocolate.  I will choose a winner at 10 AM EST on Valentine's day.  Please visit that post and leave a message.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Fiddler by Beverly Lewis

Pages: 323
Genre: Amish, Romance
Source:  (Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program.)

From Goodreads:
Amelia "Amy" DeVries, a 24-year-old violinist, is disillusioned with life and love after the collapse of her long-running romance. Weary of endless rehearsals and performances, Amy sets out on a road trip through the Pennsylvania mountains. She leaves her cell phone behind so life's demands can't intrude on her solitude. She doesn't know, nor care, where she will end up.
When her car breaks down deep in the mountains, Amy realizes the flaw in her "no cell phone" plan. She abandons her car and walks the winding roads, searching for help. Following the smell of woodsmoke and the sound of music, she finds a rustic log cabin. There she meets a young Amishman--and through him a community--that will change her life forever.

My Thoughts:

I have to say that Beverly Lewis is one of my favorite authors of Amish fiction.  She has crafted a wonderful story where the characters are very believable.  Their problems are such that no matter what your background you can relate to them.  All of us have parents who have had dreams for their children.  We don’t want to disappoint our parents.  In this book Amelia’s father has a dream of her becoming a concert violinist.  Amelia loves playing the violin.  However, she really loves fiddling.  Her father would think this is beneath her talents.   The other main character is Michael.  He loves his father dearly but would love to become an architect.  That would mean not joining the church and entering college.  Neither want to disappoint their parents.  Yet, their dreams, if they followed them and their hearts would do just that.  They must each face and make hard choices.  There is a small romance in the story. Want to find out if either one of them follows their own path?  Then I suggest you go out and get this first book in the series.  You won’t be disappointed.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Wounded Heart - Adina Senft

Publisher:  FaithWords
Pages:  320
Source:  Unsure if I purchased, won it, or received it for review.  Either way the review is my own honest opinion.
Genre:  Amish, Romance

This must truly be my most unorganized year to date.  I was re-organizing items in folders on my desktop and found this review.  The reason this is so sad is because  when I went back to see if I had posted it on my blog, I realized I had not posted the review before I did my giveaway in November.  I keep finding reviews I’ve hand written or have gotten shoved into other folders on my school laptop.  So I present you with a review of a wonderful book that I read way back in October or November. 

One thing I really enjoy about Amish books is that they usually have something to do with cooking or quilting.  Quilting has been bringing people together for years.  That thread alone will be enough to tie you to this novel.  We find characters we can relate to in many ways.  Amelia Beiler is a widow who is trying to hold her life and family together.  When she starts having some tingling and numbness in her hand and arm she is forced to check with a doctor.  After checking with a third doctor where they all agree she has multiple sclerosis she has several things to consider.  She considers selling her husband’s business, yet that is what is keeping them fed.  She has no money to pay for the expensive treatment.  To add to her frustration Eli would like to start courting her.  She has to ask if it would be fair to him because of her disease.  She is joined in this story by her friends  Emma and Carrie who have problems of their own.  Quilting brings the three together where they can talk and help each other heal.  This is an excellent book.  It is actually the first I have read by this author.  It will definitely not be the last.  My mother has already asked me to find other books by the author.  She enjoyed the fact that like all Christians, their human side was allowed to show when there were occasions that faith was questioned.  I hate reading a book where everything seems perfect in the Christian’s life.  That is unrealistic.  This book rang true and is one I would definitely recommend to anyone who loves Amish Fiction.  This is the first book in a trilogy and that is another reason to read this book, there are two others to follow.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Simple Amish Christmas - Vannetta Chapman

Publisher:  Abingdon Press (Oct, 2010_
Pages:  288
Genre:  Amish Romance

Annie Weaver has returned home to Mifflin County, Pennsylvania to care for her father.  Unknown to the community, she returns as a licensed nurse.  No one, especially Samuel Yoder, the doctor caring for her father knows this.  She decides she wants to stay in Mifflin County, but will she find a way to put her medical training to use?  Will Samuel, who has fallen in love with her find a way to put his painful past behind him, forget about their age difference, and make a future for himself and Annie?
I've read a lot of Amish fiction recently and found this to be enjoyable yet lacking in some areas.  Hopefully the questions left unanswered will be answered in another book.  Either way I look forward to reading more by this author and watching her writing develop.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Man of His Word by Kathleen Fuller

Publisher: Thomas Nelson, 2009
Pages: 291
ISBN: 978-1-59554-812-2
Source: I am a book reviewer/blogger for Thomas Nelson Publishing
Rating: 5 out of 5

This was a wonderful love story. This was the story set in a simple Amish town. Moriah Byler had grown up with twins Gabriel and Levi Miller. Competetive all of their life, it is Levi that has won Moriah's heart. Unfortunately one month after their wedding, Moriah is pregnant with their first child and Levi is working outside of their small Amish Town. He has found another woman and decides to leave his wife and his Amish ways. In steps Gabriel to try to fix the situation. He tries to bring his brother back for Moriah's sake, because he himself has loved her since they were children. This is also a story of redemption and forgiveness. Like the prodigal son, Levi has decided to return to his wife and his church when he is involved in an accident.

He dies leaving Moriah a widow. There is also a second love story developing along the way. Rachel and Tobias have also grown up together. There story parallels that of Gabriel, Levi and Moriah. Rachel is seeing Christian and yet Tobias, (Moriah's brother) discovers he loves Rachel. Moriah must decide to remain alone the rest of her life or trust God and allow another man to enter her life. What will it take to make Tobias step up to the plate and make Rachel see the men in their lives for what they really are and want from her?

I don't usually read romance but this was absolutely AWESOME. I will need to find more by this author. I could actually sit and read it all day. I finished this book in a little over two hours because it was so good. This would be a great book for a reading club. it includes great discussion questions in the study guide at the end.