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

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Broken Roads: Returning to My Amish Father by Ira Wagler

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

Ira Wagler left his Amish background. This is something he did with lots of thought. For those who are not familiar with the Amish, leaving results in shunning. Essentially there is not much interaction between the family and the child who has decided to leave.  This doesn’t mean they can’t visit. The family always holds out hope that the one who left will come to their senses and return to their faith.
In this second book by Ira we get what I believe is a deeper look into his life after leaving. It begins with his reason for telling this story. On this occasion, he is preparing to go back home because his father is dying. He wasn’t the only one who left.  He is representing those siblings who left and can’t go back. He would go back to visit his family. There was always an admonishment to come. The title is very appropriate. Through the book, we see how the path he traveled through life was like a broken road. Through sharing his life with the public we see that no matter what our path looks like, no matter how broken it is, there is always hope. He shared both the good and bad decisions he made. He showed how far he strayed and how God always led him back.  This is not a book that is written in a strict chronological order. It felt more like sitting and having a conversation with the author where he shares stories as one thing connects to another.  I read this in just a couple of hours. I didn’t want to put it down.

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. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Two Amish and a Shaker

Sit back and prepare to enjoy these three books.  Although you might look at the covers and think that they are all Amish fiction, you will be suprised to learn that the last one is about the Shakers.  If you aren't familiar with them you can do do things. One look them up on the Internet and three read my review which will give you some insight.

The Missing – Beverly Lewis
Genre: Adult, Amish Fiction
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

This is the second book in the “Season’s of Grace” series. Grace Byler is dealing with so much in her life.  Her mother mysteriously left and didn’t tell anyone why.  Something had been bothering her for quite some time.  Grace is trying to help her father and around the house.  Then there is Heather, a young English woman who finally confides in Grace.  He lost her adoptive mom to cancer and now she has cancer. Her father wants her to take chemo like her mother, but she prefers to try naturopathy. She learns she was adopted from an Amish family and would like to find more. 
Grace’s father is a quiet man and confused with his wife’s behavior. Their bishop is threatening to shun her if she doesn’t return soon.  One thing Grace’s father is pretty sure of is that his in-laws know something about why Lettie left, but won’t speak of it. Grace breaks up with Henry and finds she suddenly has the attention of another young man named Yonnie.  There is even a problem with this situation. Her best friends has eyes for Yonnie and is upset with Grace.

In my opinion Grace was aptly named. She handles all of these situations with grace.  Nothing is resolved by the end of the book, yet you get a pretty good idea where this is heading and what some of the outcomes will be. Beverly Lewis has once again done an excellent job of creating a situation that will capture you and hold you until the end of the series.  I definitely recommend this book.

The Mercy – Beverly Lewis

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

If you haven’t read the first two books in this series “The Thorn” and “The Judgment” I would suggest you do.
Briefly you have Rose Kauffman who was taking care of her mother after a buggy accident.  You have her sister Hen and her five year old daughter Mattie Sue. Hen had married an Englisher and then gone back home during which time her husband began divorce proceeding that threatened her custody of her daughter. Then there was her husbands car accident.  Rosie and her boyfriend Silas have had an on again, off again relationship.  Then there is Nick, the bishops adopted son who came from the English world and seems to have left for it again after the bishop’s son Christian is killed in an accident. Does Rosie love Silas or does she love Nick? Does Silas love Rosie or does he love Rehbeka?  All of that drama and more happened in the first two books. 

In this third book in the series, Beverly Lewis has tied up all of the loose ends. Rosie’s mother is finally going to have the back surgery that will hopefully alleviate the terrible pain she has been in for years.  Rosie is still having relationship issues. She turns Silas loose, but now there is another guy in the picture named Isaac.  Then Nick returns. Because of all that went on with the Bishop’s sons, he has been “silenced”. I found it inspiring that it was the Bishop God used to reach Hen’s husband.  He had made it clear he wanted nothing to do with the Amish and their ways. After being temporarily blinded and having to stay in the Amish community, thing have changed.  So now you are wondering what exactly has changed yes?  Well this is where I tell you that once again Beverly Lewis has done an excellent job of storytelling and that you really must read the book to find out how all of these conflicts were fixed or not.  This is another highly recommended series by a great author.

The Gifted  - Ann H. Gabhart
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Imagine growing up in a world where you can see God’s beauty all around you and follow your heart.  Now imagine that world is crushed by the death of a loved one.  Jessamine Brady lived in that world with her grandmother until the age of 10. When her grandmother died the Shaker community took her in.  This is where I really had to pay attention. I’d heard of the Shakers but really didn’t know anything about them.  I thought they were like the Amish.  Boy was I wrong.  I felt their beliefs were way out there, especially their belief about remaining celibate.  Men and women were equal in all ways.  They stayed separate.  They considered marriage  and procreation a sin.  I kept wondering how a people could get so messed up.  Jessamine remembers her life outside of the Shakers.  When she and her sister find a man in the woods and bring him back because he is injured, things change.  They are immediately drawn to each other. Tristan had lost his memory. When he gets it back he tells no one hoping to find out who tried to kill him.  However, the closer he and Jessamine get the more the Shakers are ready to send him packing.  That is exactly what happens and Jessamine goes with him. Tristin’s parents have made a marriage arrangement to save their finances.  Will Tristin and Jessamine stay together? If he leaves will she stay in this world or go back to the Shaker world?  If you want these answers you will definitely need to read the book for yourself.  It was definitely a different take on religion. The author did an excellent job of presenting the history of that time period.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Three Amish Books

So I spent the weekend catching up on my Amish reads.  I've been behind on so many. When I'm having a "bad knee" day all I can do is sit or lay down and read.  My movement is restricted.  As much as I hate that, I love that I have more uninterrupted time to read.  Here are my three for today.

Amish Values for your Family by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Genre: Adult, Inspirational, Informational
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Amish values is a book that should be read by any family that is looking to improve their family dynamics. The one thing I’ve always admired about the Amish is their sense of family and what is truly important.  One thing that really stood out is how much family means to them.  They love their children, but do not spoil them the way we who are not Amish do.  For this reason they don’t grow up feeling like we, the parents owe them everything they desire. They raise their family around their faith.  God is the center of the home. The author shows us through examples and stories of Amish families. This is not a book where the author spouts off, “do this or that  to get this or that”.

I think one of the reasons I relish their lifestyle so much is because I pretty much grew up that way.  We are not and never were Amish. Yet, growing up on a farm with all of our duties were so similar to the Amish lifestyle.  I was never raised to expect anything except what God gave us. I worked hard as did all of my family.  It carried over to my own children, even though we left the farm behind many years ago.  My parents made sure that God was the center of our life. We started our morning with devotions and we ended our evening with devotions. I was well prepared for my day ahead. 

This book, with all of its examples and proverbs at the beginning of each chapter, shows that we can go back to a simpler life, yet not as structured as the Amish live, and still come out with some of the same great results.

Living in Harmony by  Mary Ellis

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

All is not harmonious in Harmony Main for the main characters in this story.  When Amy and Nora King lose their parents in a house fire, their younger siblings go to live with relatives and they go with Amy’s future husband to Harmony, Maine. John’s brother is the minister in Harmony.  He decides that Amy and John need to wait a while so that Amy can properly grieve her  parent’s death. Things are so different in Harmony.  They are a stricter community.  Amy is willing to try to fit in. Nora on the other hand has difficulty.  Their clothes are too bright so they must make new ones to fit in with the drab colors of their new community.  Where they would have had singings and buggy rides while courting, that is all banned in this community.  For Nora it mean no Rumspringa, which is also banned. I applaud Amy for trying so hard to fit in to her new community. I also applaud her trying to help Sally, the minister’s wife who doesn’t feel like she fits in with the other women.  Nora, I wanted to smack her for acting like a spoiled brat.  When John’s younger brother Elam, the rebellious one shows up, he takes Nora down that path as well.  Amy learns that she has an aunt who was shunned leaving nearby. She makes plans to meet with her and learns that is also forbidden.  Will she follow the rules or follow her heart? Will Nora ever settle down and stop causing so much trouble?  Will John and Amy finally get married? The answers to these questions are waiting for you  in the book.

I have to say the only character I really had a hard time liking was John.  He came across as too strong and almost unforgiving in some of the things he did. However, like all of her other books, I really enjoyed this and would definitely recommend it to those who love reading Amish Fiction.

Abigail’s New Hope – by Mary Ellis
Genre: Adult, Amish Fiction
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Abigail loved helping deliver babies. Since she could only go so far in school she was an unlicensed midwife who worked with the local doctor. Unfortunately the one night the doctor is needed most, he is unable to help.  Abigail goes to help a young mother deliver her baby.  She tries to get the mother to go to the hospital, but she refuses. Abigail delivers the baby, but loses the mother. 

When the authorities find out that Abigail was not licensed, she is arrested for practicing medicine without a license and several other things. To add to her pain, her father, a bishop won’t come to the jail to see her, she can’t make bail because the community won’t help.  At this point I probably would have felt betrayed by everyone.  Abigail spends her time reading her Bible and praying.  At home her sister has come to stay in her house to help Abigail’s husband with the children and the household duties.  While helping out she meets a young man who works on the farm.  Everyone thinks Isaiah is mentally not all there. In reality he is deaf and very smart.  Catherine is aware of this and attracted to him. 

This is a great story.  There are themes of love, forgiveness and finding God in the midst of your trials.  Lessons of learning that God accepts us just the way we are where we are.  Mary Ellis is great at creating such realistic stories that tug at the heartstrings yet have so many hidden messages and lessons that we all need to hear.  You could never say her stories are preachy because they are definitely not.  This is one Amish fiction author you really need to read.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Final Three Jerry Eicher Found Reviews

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

My Dearest Naomi – Jerry and Tina Eicher

I absolutely love when stories are based on real events.  When younger, Jerry and Tina were separated while he taught in a Mennonite school.  They wrote to each other almost daily.  This story is a set of letters that the two main characters Eugene Mast, an Amish school teacher, and Naomi Miller write to each other. They were engaged to be married.  Eugene finds himself separated from the woman he loves while he teaches at a Mennonite school.  The letters speak of all kind of things, such as the everyday mundane chores.  It doesn’t matter what your loved one is doing. You want to know everything that went on in their day.

If you like reading letters or diaries you will enjoy this book.  If you are looking for a straight up novel then this might not be for you.  I am one who loves diaries and memories written in a series of letters so I really enjoyed this book.  As a teacher I enjoyed reading about Eugene’s experiences teaching.  The book also has some wonderful poetry throughout. We also get a look at some of the differences between the Amish and the Mennonite.  I believe a final reason I enjoyed this book is the same reason I enjoy Amish Romance novels.  There is none of the mushy-gushy things most “romance” novels are made of.  I have never liked them.  They seem fake to me.  To me this simple life through letters shows true love.

My Amish Childhood – Jerry Eicher

I often wondered about Jerry’s life. He was raised Amish, yet he is so unlike so many I have come to know. He lived I an Amish community in Canada. His parents decided to move them to Central America, the country of Honduras.  One thing we learn is that the Amish community in Honduras wasn’t as rigid as a lot of Amish communities.  I have learned by living just a few blocks up the street from an Amish and Mennonite community in Sarasota, that they are nothing like those in Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. There were a lot of cultural differences for him to adjust to as well. When I read that his neighbors considered stealing from each other okay, I was reminded of countries like Brazil where cheating is often considered okay in the business world.

Jerry had an issue with stuttering and was bullied for it as well.  I found it quite humorous to find out he got even in many ways and never really got caught.  One thing I really enjoyed were the pictures sprinkled throughout.

Susanna’s Christmas Wish – Jerry Eicher

Life as a newlywed is tough for all newly married people. For Susanna and Herman it is tougher because she married Herman after the one man she truly loved, Matthew,  left the Amish Community.  To make life more difficult she tries to convince both herself and her new husband that they truly do love each other. Then there is the culture clash. Herman’s family doesn’t celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December.  Her family had always celebrated on the date the English celebrated. In his culture they celebrate it on the 6th of January. Since they are married he expects her to adapt to his culture since they are now one. She goes to her sister’s house to help with Thanksgiving and learns Matthew has returned. When they go for Thanksgiving he is still there and that creates more stress.  Matthew is stirring up trouble. Herman is so insecure in his marriage and then his mother gets involved.  What is Susanna to do except rely on her faith in God to get her through this touch time, and to save her marriage.  This is a wonderful novella.  It is great no matter what time of year.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Emma Raber's Daughter Series by Jerry Eicher

Katie Opens Her Heart 

This is one of those books that creates such a roller coast of emotions in the reader.  We meet Emma Raber a widow and her daughter Katie.  Emma has withdrawn since the death of her husband. The problem with this is that she is also forcing her daughter to withdraw from society. This causes Katie a lot of pain in so many ways.  She misses out on activities other girls her age participate in.  Her mother squashes all attention paid toward her by the boys.  Katie loves her mother and has always been obedient.  While working at Byler’s store she becomes friends with some of the Mennonite girls.  They invite her to some of their activities and she disobeys her mother and goes with them. Not only is she hanging out with the Mennonites she has a big time crush on Ben Stoll.  No one in her life thinks he is right for her.

Another story line running through this is that of Jesse Mast.  He is a widower with five children.  His oldest daughter Mabel has pretty much stepped into her mother’s shoes. Her dad decides he needs a wife and his kids need a mother.  He asks Emma to marry him and she turns him down.  Ruth Troyer is another widow and is trying to work her way into their lives. Jesse’s children don’t like Emma or Katie.  They’ve heard the talk about how strange they are.

Will Katie switch to the Mennonite faith? Will Jesse find a wife and mother for his kids? Will Emma ever allow herself to love again?  I suggest you read this book to find out.

Katie’s Journey to Love

In this second book in the series Jesse and Emma are married and a new issue has arisen.  While most of the children are beginning to accept Katie and her mom. Mabel, the oldest at age sixteen had taken care of things
including her father, after her mother’s death.  She feels like she is being pushed out.  She is mean and nasty to Katie and Emma.  I hated the things she said and did to Katie and Emma, but I could understand somewhat why she felt the way she did.  Even though Jesse and Emma are discouraging a relationship between Ben and Katie, she is sure they will get married one day.  She is also still going to group activities with her Mennonite friends.  They invite her to go to Europe to study her Amish roots.  She can’t afford it until someone mysteriously pays her way. Katie goes and not only does she learn so much about the Amish in Europe, we are taken on this historic trip.  Jerry has done an excellent job of sharing this historical information with the readers in a way that makes it interesting and not boring. While in Europe Katie learns that Ben has been arrested.  I recommend you read this book to see if this family can find peace in all areas of their lives.

Katie’s Forever Promise

In this final book we find Katie with two boys after her. The first is Ben. He is trying to win her back and seeks her forgiveness.  The other is a man named Norman. This is a problem since Mabel likes Norman as well.  The author showed a side of the Amish that most Amish fiction doesn’t deal with.  We see once again that the Amish face a lot of the same temptations and issues the rest of us face.  We who are not Amish have built this fa├žade for the Amish.  I think we have built it based on the fact that they set themselves apart from the rest of the world, so that must mean they don’t have the same problems.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  
I felt sorry for Ben.  It didn’t matter that he had changed. There were so many in the community that refused to forgive him or believe he had changed.  This irritated me.  When I was a child some of my relatives had an issue with something my dad had done.  It didn’t involve any of them yet they chose to judge him.  Since I was living with my relatives at the time and my parents and sisters were coming for a visit, I was told they didn’t know if they could forgive him for what he had done.  My response to them was, since they weren’t involved in the situation it wasn’t their place to forgive him, that was God’s job.  I wanted to shout this to Ben’s community.  We often forget that God is the one who is in control of ultimate forgiveness.  I liked the way he relied on God to get him through his situation.  Will Katie and Ben get together?  What about Mabel and Norman?  You didn’t really think I was going to tell you everything did you?  You really must read this entire series.

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.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Miting by Dee Yoder

Genre:  Young Adult, Adult Amish Fiction
Source:  I won a copy from LibraryThing. The opinions expressed here are my own.

I am familiar with a lot of Amish fiction.  You know the kind, all romance and sometimes mystery. There is almost always a happy ending.  I am also familiar with books that talk about people leaving the Amish lifestyle for various reasons.  My former daughter-in-laws grandmother was Amish until she was shunned.  Living in Sarasota, Florida I see everything from Mennonite to all levels of Amish.  Knowing all of this made this novel seem so dark.  Unfortunately from people I know, I understand that there are Old Order Amish that go through situations like this all the time.
A lot of young Amish kids go through a Rumspringa, where they try out the Englisher world. This is done before they decide whether they want to join the church or not.  Leah wasn’t that type of kid.  At age 17 she loved God so much she wanted to know more about him.  In her order she was only allowed to read the German Bible, which she had difficulty understanding.  She also didn’t understand why her order had certain rules that were extremely strict compared to other orders.  She learned very quickly that you didn’t voice those questions aloud.  She also learned that you didn’t read an English Bible and you didn’t question what more God had for you.  To do so in her order was considered being disobedient to her family and her bishop.  The consequence of this was to be counseled. Unfortunately this wasn’t the type of counseling we might go through. The counselor could put her in a hospital and treat her with drugs and other things against her wishes.  It didn’t matter if she was 18 or older.  They would take it so far as to keep her prisoner until the counselor would arrive.  Anyone trying to rescue her would be kept away.  In Leah’s case her boyfriend Jacob stood by her side.  Other members of the order stood guard in the barn and around the property to make sure there was no rescue attempt.

I could identify with Leah.  Their belief system reminded me of a time in Catholic history when Bibles were chained to the pulpit and people were kept illiterate so they couldn’t read the Bible for themselves. They could only believe what they were told.  When my mom became a Christian I was five years old.  She had no one to guide her in her walk so she decided to err on the side of right.  She got rid of all board games because they contained dice and since people used to shoot craps with dice then games with dice might be a sin.  Dancing became a sin.  The worst spanking I ever received was because my cousin and I were pretending to be ballerinas. Most TV shows were a sin.  I had to wear dresses most of the time because to wear pants to church was a sin.  You see where I am going with this.  Sometimes rules and regulations can become more important than God’s word. I applauded Leah for wanting to have a personal relationship with God.  This is a book I would recommend to everyone whether they like Amish fiction or not.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Let's Talk Food - One Year Anniversary of Simply Delicious Amish Cooking by Sherry Gore

One year ago Sherry Gore's book "Simply Delicious Amish Cooking" was published.  I had to wait two months to get the book. There was no sense in getting it before I was out of school.  I wanted to try out some of the recipes.  This book is a compilation of recipes from around the community of Pinecraft, Florida.  If you are not familiar with this place of Amish/Mennonites then I suggest you check out my links below.  I am lucky to live less than a mile from this wonderful place.

Bored with eating the same things over and over I decided to try some of their recipes  that were different from mine.  The first thing I tried was the recipe for Shepherd's Pie (p.115).  I am not going to tell you the ingredients. For that you need to buy the book. This recipe had a richer taste than mine and actually used different vegetables than I used. Mine usually consists of mixed vegetables, brown gravy, hamburger and onions topped with mashed potatoes.  I have to say their recipe was much tastier. 

Another favorite was the Breakfast Casserole (p. 44) which I fixed to take to a breakfast at school.  My husband was going through the cookbook and decided to fix the Taco Soup (p. 71).  We love soup and he did an awesome job with this.  Two recipes in the book surprised me.  There were two recipes that I found in the book that made me run to my own  recipe box. One of them is the Amish Oatmeal Cake (p. 192).  This recipe is identical to one passed down to me by my great-grandmother.  The only difference is the types of icing we make for the top.
My great-grandmother mixed brown sugar, nuts butter and coconut and spread it over the warm cake. Her daughter, my grandmother made a peanut butter powder sugar icing and put on top.  It was actually my favorite.  The other recipe I found in the book is a special one to me. Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake (p.194). This  is  another recipe that is identical to one passed down from my great- grandmother.  It was my father's favorite cake.  I try to make it every year for Memorial Day since my father passed away 15 years ago May 28th, just 2 days before Memorial Day. We always had it for Christmas and Thanksgiving.

There are several more recipes I am longing to try from this book. My husband and I have a Nutri-Bullet and while looking through this cookbook I found the Freezer Fruit-and-Yogurt Pops (p.231).  The recipe comes with a variety of combinations.  My husband and I are planning to mix up some of the recipes in our Nutri-Bullet and add some fresh spinach.  They will be ready when the grandkids come this summer and the grandkids will never know the difference.  They suggest using a 5 oz. paper or plastic cup with plastic spoons as the handles.  I've chosen the 3 oz. size because I believe it will be less messy for slow eaters or smaller children. I love the idea that these are fruit and yogurt pops, and in my case will have some veggies slipped in.

This is definitely a favorite recipe book. It is one of three Amish Recipe books I own.  I will try to get them reviewed in the next couple of weeks since I use them as well.  Trust me I have many to choose from, but I'm finding that I love the Amish/Mennonite recipes because they are so close to what I grew up with.

The more I learn about the Amish and Mennonite the more recipes I find that are similar.  No, we are not related to any Amish that I know of.  However, A large portion of the Amish have German ancestors as well as the fact that they pass recipes around.  I have ancestors that came from Pennsylvania and were German.  So who knows, maybe somewhere along the line they were neighbors to an Amish person and shared recipes.

I have had the privilege of meeting the author of this book. Sherry is such a down to earth person. If you want to know more about her check out my links below.

Sherry Gore
Pictures of Pinecraft from Sherry's Site
Article by NY Times about Pinecraft

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.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Perfect Square - Vannetta Chapman

Publisher:  Zondervan
Pages:  352
Source:  Won a copy from author
Genre:    Amish, Romance, Mystery, Christian

From Goodreads:
There's more to the quaint northern Indiana town of Shipshewana than Amish-made furniture, immaculate farms, and close-knit families. When a dead girl is found floating in a local pond, murder is also afoot. And Reuben Fisher is in jail as the suspect. Reuben refuses to divulge any information, even to clear himself of a crime Deborah is certain he didn't commit.

My Thoughts:
I love a murder mystery, especially if it has been taken up a notch by placing it in an Amish setting.  Callie and her friends are once again trying to solve a mystery.  Reuben has been locked up in jail as a suspect in the death of an Amish girl.  No one in the community believes Reuben could or would have done such a thing.  While Callie has her hands full with one mystery, an old Amish gentleman comes to her seeking her help.  His daughter had disappeared during the 1965 Palm Sunday tornadoes.  I remember those tornadoes and the feel of our house being lifted off of its foundation.  Now Callie must try to make the connection between the two mysteries to solve them.

I love reading books by Vannetta Chapman.  It is a great blend of Amish and English, Romance and Mystery.  The Christian aspects are not preachy.  I can’t wait until the third book in this series, Material Witness, comes out this fall.  If you want to see what Vannetta is up to go to her Facebook page.

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.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Time For Peace - Barbara Cameron Review and Giveaway

Publisher:  Abingdon Press
Pages:  288 pages
Source:  I received a copy for review from the publisher
Genre:   Adult, Amish, Christian

In "A Time For Peace", the third book in the Quilts of Lancaster County, we find issues that make us say, "Wow, even the Amish have the same trials we have".  It seems that each book in this series was better than the one before it.  I really enjoyed this one.  I guess because I could sympathize with Jenny and the secrets she learns.  This book looks at the "what-ifs and deals with how those "what-ifs" are handled.

In previous books Jenny finds herself at her Amish grandmother's house after an injury that almost killed her.  She meets up with someone that she had strong connections with in the past.  Someone she loved very much before her life took a different turn.  She and Matthew, who had lost his wife and was left with three kids,  reconnected and God led them together to form a family.

Then in the third book Jenny's grandmother becomes ill and Jenny brings her into their home, to stay in the Dawdi house so that she can look after her.  While removing things from her grandmother's house she discovers some things that hurt her deeply.  She learns of secrets that had been kept from her for years.  These secrets had she had knowledge of them earlier in life may have changed the course of her life.  Now she questions where God was in all of this and must once again look long and hard at those she loves.  She must once again lean on God to help her forgive those who hurt her.

It is so hard not to give away things that would spoil the book when you have a book as good as this one.  Barbara is one of my favorite Amish authors  so it makes it difficult not to want to shout all the good stuff to the world.  this is a definite must read.

I have been given a book for a giveaway.  To enter please leave a comment and your email address.  I will use to choose a winner on Wednesday morning.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fall From Pride – Karen Harper

Publisher:  Mira; Original Edition (July 26, 2011)
Pages:  352
Source:  Review copy from Netgalley
Genre:  Amish Mystery

From Goodreads:
Against the peaceful night sky, a barn burns…
Sarah Kauffman sought permission from her church elders to paint murals on a few of the Amish community's barns. Each was designed like an old–fashioned quilt square, representing a piece of the Amish traditions Sarah loved. The works of art were intended to draw more tourists to the Home Valley in the struggling economy. But instead, they invited a menace. One by one, each barn is set ablaze and destroyed…

The arson fires spread fear through the community— amongst Amish and Englischers alike. Now Sarah wonders if she's being punished for her pridefulness…or whether there's a more malevolent will at work.

As an outsider, arson investigator Nate MacKenzie struggles to investigate the crime scenes while adhering to Amish ways. With Sarah as his guide, he warms to the Plain People and their simple ways. As the fires rage, beliefs are challenged, a way of life is questioned and family secrets are exposed. In the aftermath of the destruction the people of the Home Valley must join together to raise their barns and their hopes for the future.

My Thoughts:
This was a good mixture of Romance and Mystery.   Sarah is a young Amish woman who loves to paint.  Her bishop allows her to do it from the standpoint it might bring in tourists.  Sarah sees it as an acceptable way to do what she loves without appearing prideful.  The barns she has painted symbols on are burning and this causes an outsider to be brought in to investigate the crimes.  Sarah now faces her feelings for a man who is not Amish.  This is another no-no.  I loved the way the author didn’t try to put the character’s in an all restrictive, “don’t talk to the Englishers”, type of story line.  I live in a community in Florida that has both Amish and Mennonites.  The postal clerk in this small community is Amish and is one of the most pleasant people I know.  For this reason I felt the book was much more on target than what is often pictured in Amish books.  The characters were well thought out.  I loved the idea of a budding, yet forbidden romance.  The ending was okay.  It was good enough to make me say, I can’t wait to see what is next in this series.  So if you are the type who loves Amish fiction with a twist of mystery then this is probably the book for you.

Disclosure of Material Connection:   I received this book free from Netgalley. 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.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Growing Up Amish - Ira Wagler

Publisher:  Tyndale House
Pages:  256
Source: I received a copy from NetGalley
Genre:  Memoir

I have always loved reading and hearing about the Amish life.  There are several reasons for this.  I grew upon a farm in Indiana.  My parents became Christians when I was five.  With no one to guide her in her walk, my mother decided it was better to err on God’s side.  Board games, dancing of any kind, and most television shows became off limits or a sin.  My books and comic books were scrutinized.  My mom’s first question whenever I told her about a new friend was, “Are they a Christian?”  I had few friends growing up because they did not fit into my mom’s “category” of what a Christian was.  I worked on the farm just as the Amish do.  When we moved to Florida I learned that what we called a garden the people down here called a truck patch or small farm.  I learned how to can and freeze fruits and vegetables.  We smoked our own meat.  In the winter we filled a concrete tub in our ‘milk house’ up with snow and put perishables in it.  It was a tough life yet one I miss.

It may be these memories that have always drawn me to Amish fiction.  I can see so many parallels.  I was thrilled to read Ira Wagler’s book Growing Up Amish.  In this book we get a look at the “real” Amish.  Not the ones so often written about in romance novels, which make the Amish come across as a people who do, or think no wrong.   We find a man who has struggled to find where he truly belongs.  He wanted to be a part of the Amish world he was born into, yet felt it was not for him.  At age 17 he left his Amish home in Iowa.  He later returns, and must admit all of his sins to the congregation before he is allowed to join the church.  He tries, but still doesn’t seem to feel as if he is where he should be.  I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to once again make a decision to leave his Amish life.  He subjected himself to this pain many times before leaving for good. 

The pain of being shunned by everyone you know is hard enough.  Their belief is if you left the church then your soul was headed for damnation.  I was happy to learn that Ira finally asked God about his situation and got an answer.  He found salvation outside of his Amish culture.  Unfortunately it is not only the Amish that are like this.  We see this in many denominations.  They become so legalistic that it seems they forget what Jesus was all about.  I thank God each and every day that his love for us is not based on a set of laws.  We see where that got people in the old testament.

This book is a great look at the Amish.  However, I believe the message I it is clear.  We all need to take a look at our lives and ask if we are where God wants us.  If not then maybe we need to talk with him to find out where he wants us to be.  I do find it funny when I think about how they try to separate themselves from the English.   When we get to heaven Go is not going to separate us, say, “You Baptist over there and You Amish over here.  We who have found salvation through Jesus blood are all God’s children and he has prepared a home for us in heaven, together.

This is a must read book for anyone who enjoys learning about the Amish.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Falling to Pieces - Vannetta Chapman

Falling to Pieces by Vanetta Chapman
Publisher: Zondervan (September 27, 2011)
Pages:  366
Source:  Netgalley
Genre:  Amish Mystery/Suspense

From Goodreads:
In this first book of a three-book series, author Vannetta Chapman brings a fresh twist to the popular Amish fiction genre. She blends the familiar components consumers love in Amish books---faith, community, simplicity, family---with an innovative who-done-it plot that keeps readers guessing right up to the last stitch in the quilt. When two women---one Amish, one English---each with different motives, join forces to organize a successful on-line quilt auction, neither expects nor wants a friendship. As different as night and day, Deborah and Callie are uneasy partners who simply want to make the best of a temporary situation. But a murder, a surprising prime suspect, a stubborn detective, and the town's reaction throw the two women together, and they form an unlikely alliance to solve a mystery and catch a killer. Set in the well-known Amish community of Shipshewana, Falling to Pieces will attract both devoted fans of the rapidly-growing Amish fiction genre, as well as those who are captivated by the Amish way of life.

My Thoughts:
Combine my love of all things Amish, quilting and fabric,  add in  a great mystery, and that is what you have in this book.  Vannetta Chapman has written a story that makes the reader feel like they are in Shipshewana, Indiana.  She has crafted very believable characters and placed them in an unlikely scenario.

Deborah  Yoder is a local Amish woman who sold her quilts through the local quilt shop.  When Daisy, the quilt shop owner dies her niece, Callie Harper inherits the quilt shop and Daisy’s Labrador, Max.  She comes to Shipshewana with the intention of selling the shop and moving on.  It is as if she is always trying to run away from her pain.  The year before, she lost her husband to cancer, and now an aunt she had not seen in several years is dead.  When Deborah brings some quilts into the shop in the hope that Callie will re-open she is disappointed to hear Callie say she plans to be there only long enough to sell the place.  Deborah leaves the quilts with Callie while she shops hoping Callie will begin to view their beauty and change her mind.  It works.  This is an unlikely partnership between an Amish woman and an English woman.

After a heated argument with the local newspaper editor over an unfavorable review of her shop, the editor is found murdered.  Of course Callie becomes the prime suspect.  Then there are several break-in around the area.  Callie and Deborah decide they can figure out who is behind the crimes.  This almost costs them their lives as they walk in on someone in the quilt shop.  They are saved by Max.  This makes them all the more determined to solve this crime.

This is not your typical Amish romance.  I think I liked that better.  I love mysteries.    The story lines demonstrate the importance of friendship and how true friendship can have a healing effect.  I am definitely looking forward to reading the next book in this series.  Since this was read as an e-book I must buy the physical copy when it comes out.  My mother won’t read e-books because she likes to pass them around  to those in her Sunday School class and she can’t wait to get her hands on this one.  I know anyone who loves quilting, the Amish or just a good mystery will love this book.  This is an author we need to watch out for.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an e-book copy from Netgalley for review.   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.

Friday, August 19, 2011

In Plain Sight - Marlayne Giron

Source:  I received a copy for review from the author
Genre:  Christian, Fiction, Paranormal
Age:  Young Adult, Adult

It was supposed to be a barn raiser like any other.  When Rebecca Esh arrived with the other women and began setting out the food, she had the distinct feeling she was being watched.  Then she saw him, the boy with the silver eyes.  She was drawn to him, yet at the same time was hesitant.  There was something different with him and it wasn’t just the eyes.  When at last they met, Seth was asked to leave.  What was it that put Rebecca’s father off?  When Rebecca finds Seth and his Twin brother Silas hiding in their barn, everything she knew about her world changed. 

I could tell you so much more about this book.  There is so much to discover.  By reading this book you will gain more knowledge about the Amish.  You will discover more about Seth and Silas.  You will witness the love grow between Rebecca and Seth.  Ask yourself this question as you read the book, What sacrifice would you make for love, and is love eternal?  This is a great book for anyone who loves Amish Romance and for those who love a little paranormal twist.  I’ve been telling everyone about this book.  I have yet   to read anything by this author that I didn’t like.  I started with her first book The Victor, followed that with Make a Wish and now a topic I love, Amish fiction with a twist.  This is an author you need to keep your eyes on.  She sprinkles tidbits of herself throughout her writing.  Check out her book trailers, websites and find out what gems wait for you with this author.

Marlayne’s trailer URL