In the aftermath of her husband’s act of adultery and abandonment, Savannah must finally face the ghosts that haunt her and discover for herself whether authentic faith, grace, and ultimate healing really do exist.
When her husband of twenty-one years leaves her, Savannah Barrington believes she’s lost almost everything she’s ever loved. With her daughter in college and her son in boarding school, Savannah retreats to her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, where hope and healing come in the form of an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, a touch of magic, and a handsome man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove she’s still worth loving.
But when her husband asks to reconcile, Savannah is faced with the hardest challenge of all: Forgiving the unforgivable. Somehow she must find freedom from the chains of their past and move forward, or face an unknown future without him.
Where Hope Begins by Catherine West is one of the most heart wrenching tales ever. I was quickly absorbing this novel and the characters were like real people to me. Their struggles, sadness, hope, and disappointment scratched at my heart. Leaving behind tiny marks. Love is so powerful it can destroy everything the main character believes in or gives her the strength to find her way through it all. It appeared that God left the woman featured in this story. Yet as I dug further, that became less true. Sometimes our paths get distorted and lost along the way. Then, they become clear again. But until we can see clearly, patience and hope is required.
Savannah lost her husband of twenty years due to common issues that most couples face. Loss, grief, and broken marriages. But what they had before their loss and grief was love for each other. And faith in God. However, that all came crashing down when they suffered and lost their way. Savannah lost her faith when her husband broke her heart. Not knowing what to do or where to go, she stumbled like a lost soul in a desert storm. Then, hope came in the form of Brock and his daughter. Together they help Savannah heal and find the strength and peace in her life once more. Overall, I loved this story. It felt realistic and was engaging from the beginning. It was easy to relate and connect with all the characters. In the end, I recommend this stunning emotional journey to all readers.
In An Amish Family, beloved author of Amish romance, Kathleen Fuller, invites readers into the lives of four Amish families.
Grace Miller and Joel King are in love. They’ve dated secretly for the past year and when he proposes marriage, Grace eagerly agrees. But when she tells her parents about the wedding, she’s shocked when her father tells her she can’t marry Joel. Can Grace get to the bottom of her father’s animosity toward Joel so they can have the happily ever after she’s always dreamed of?
A Heart Full of Love (also in An Amish Cradle)
Ellie’s mother hasn’t stopped meddling in her personal life since Ellie lost her sight—and she’s taken it up a notch now that Ellie’s pregnant. When Ellie gives birth to twins, her mother insists on moving in to care for them. But when her mother’s behavior becomes unbearable, Ellie is forced to take a stand . . . and finally find out why Mamm can’t let go.
Surprised by Love
In a desperate move to evade her match-making mother, Emily Shwartz announces that she’s already seeing someone: Reuban Coblentz. The trouble is, Reuban is barely even a friend. Seeing how desperate she is, Reuban plays along. But when the past sneaks up on them, will this temporary arrangement turn into everlasting love?
A Gift for Anne Marie (also in An Amish Second Christmas)
Anne Marie and Nathaniel have been best friends since they were kids. Now things are evolving . . . in ways everyone else predicted long ago. But when her mother suddenly decides to remarry in another state, Anne Marie’s new chapter with Nathaniel looks doomed to end before it begins.
An Amish Family by Kathleen Fuller is a wonderful anthology full of good Christian stories. Each story focuses on a lesson and they’re based on faith, love, and hope. Two of these short stories were previously published in other volumes. I enjoyed reading them all. They had a common theme and shared similar troubles. Love came in all many ways through each piece. Sweet, tender, and heartfelt…I felt a connection to all the of the characters. What I found most interesting what that in each new story, the focus on a female protagonist. Yes, there were strong male characters but it centered on the leading females. Everything they thought to what they did…moved the pages along. Overall, I found this collection engaging to read. I would recommend it to other readers.
He lost her once to a rash decision.
He will not lose her again.
On the eve of a new year, Catherine Glick is expecting her bu of five years to propose. Instead, the unexpected arrival of an old boyfriend, Elijah, sends her life spiraling out of control. When a rash decision damages her current relationship, Catherine leaves for Florida to work in her cousin’s bakery—anything to flee the source of her shame.
Elijah Graber knows he hurt Catherine when he left their Amish district six years ago. He’s determined to explain his actions, even if it means following her to Florida. Perhaps their two-day bus trip together will provide enough time for him to make his case and win her back.
Just when Elijah is starting to tear down the walls Catherine has built, their bus skids on an icy road—and amid the mayhem and tragedy that follow, Catherine disappears. Elijah’s friends urge him to prepare for the worst, but Elijah holds on to his hope in God and refuses to give up his search for Catherine. With supernatural nudging from the most unexpected places, Elijah sets out to find the love he once lost—no matter the cost.
Arms of Mercy by Ruth Reid is an emotional journey. It tugged at my heart strings all the way. Two young Amish people fell in love but things didn’t go as planned. Hurt and embarrassed, one of them runs away from their current life. Only this time, the other one isn’t going to give up…
Catherine loved Elijah until he hurt her emotionally. She has then moved on with her life. Currently romantically involved with another Amish man, Catherine has been waiting for love. What she doesn’t realize is that her heart was still with Elijah. Then, embarrassed by what happens to her next, she flees. Unexpectedly, Elijah meets her and from there the story grows complicated, heartbreaking, and sweet.
Elijah broke his love’s heart. Hoping to make mends…he finds that his love never ended for her. Just being with Catherine makes him happy. Things are going well, until tragedy strikes them both. Loss, grief, and forgiveness are major themes of this novel. I was so engaged in both characters’ lives I felt like I was there with them. They made me hope and cheer for them both. The ending was wonderful. I wasn’t disappointed with this read. Overall, I highly recommend it to all Christian readers.
In Jesus the Bridegroom, Brant Pitre once again taps into the wells of Jewish Scripture and tradition, and unlocks the secrets of what is arguably the most well-known symbol of the Christian faith: the cross of Christ. In this thrilling exploration, Pitre shows how the suffering and death of Jesus was far more than a tragic Roman execution. Instead, the Passion of Christ was the fulfillment of ancient Jewish prophecies of a wedding, when the God of the universe would wed himself to humankind in an everlasting nuptial covenant.
To be sure, most Christians are familiar with the apostle Paul’s teaching that Christ is the ‘Bridegroom’ and the Church is the ‘Bride’. But what does this really mean? And what would ever possess Paul to compare the death of Christ to the love of a husband for his wife? If you would have been at the Crucifixion, with Jesus hanging there dying, is that how you would have described it? How could a first-century Jew like Paul, who knew how brutal Roman crucifixions were, have ever compared the execution of Jesus to a wedding? And why does he refer to this as the “great mystery” (Ephesians 5:32)?
As Pitre shows, the key to unlocking this mystery can be found by going back to Jewish Scripture and tradition and seeing the entire history of salvation, from Mount Sinai to Mount Calvary, as a divine love story between Creator and creature, between God and Israel, between Christ and his bride—a story that comes to its climax on the wood of a Roman cross.
In the pages of Jesus the Bridegroom, dozens of familiar passages in the Bible—the Exodus, the Song of Songs, the Wedding at Cana, the Woman at the Well, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, and even the Second Coming at the End of Time—are suddenly transformed before our eyes. Indeed, when seen in the light of Jewish Scripture and tradition, the life of Christ is nothing less than the greatest love story ever told.
Jesus the Bridegroom by Brant Pitre is a must read for all Christian readers, especially those who are Catholic. It explains and takes readers, like myself, on a journey to following the relationship between Jesus and the church. I was impressed with the research that went into making this book. There were plenty of quoted material that went with the pages as they continued the discussion. I loved how Brant Pitre showed us, readers, the way of Jesus and the way of the Jews. History, faith, and Christian doctrine are implemented throughout this book. I enjoyed diving deeper into my faith with Brant Pitre as my guide. His words were easy to follow and made understanding the content of that historical moment in a way that was epic. I would recommend this to readers worldwide. If you’re Catholic definitely read this, if you’re another Christian faith, read it to familiarize yourself with relationship of Jesus Christ. Overall, it was educational, informative, and well-done.
Mercy McClain joined the school board to protect the children of Teaville, Kansas, from the bullying she experienced as a child. When the worst offender from her school days applies for a teaching position, she is dead set against it. Yet Aaron Firebrook claims to be a changed man. Can he earn Mercy’s trust–and her support for the challenges to come?
A Chance at Forver by Melissa Jagears is a sweet, heartfelt, and engaging tale. I was instantly taken in with the main protagonists. Their journeys were both internal and external. A you woman was tormented every day by a peer of hers. Now, years later, the meet again. This time, he has changed his name and appearance. But something about him is different.
Mercy has a difference that is visible to everyone’s eyes. Her stump of a hand puts her on edge. She feels handicapped by it. When she was a girl, a boy made fun of her daily for her stump…yet she still survived. Now grown, Mercy is still struggling with her physical appearance. It went from a physical to an emotional handicap.
Aaron was a young boy who tormented others to make himself feel better. He knew what he was doing was wrong yet he still did it. His family life was awful and he thought others should not be happy if he wasn’t. Now as a grown man, Aaron wants to apologize to all his peers and hope to make a difference in his students’ lives. But Mercy might prevent that…and his past has a way of hindering him from his future happiness.
Together Mercy and Aaron have a long way to go. Both need to learn what is stopping them from being happy. Forgiveness is not just one sided. Each protagonist has suffered pain, loss, and trauma. But with some faith, friends, and new beginnings they might just find the peace they’re looking for…
A Chance at Forver deals with bullying, handicaps, faith, and hope. Second chances are given and found here. I felt sorry for both characters and the other side characters that they influence throughout their journey. Melissa Jagears has captivated me with her novel. I could not stop reading this heart tugging story. It was powerful, educational, and inspiring. Overall, I would highly recommend this historical novel to all readers.
“Rubart will leave readers inspired . . .” –Publishers Weekly STARRED review for The Long Journey to Jake Palmer
What if You Woke up One Morning and the Darkest Parts of Yourself Were Gone?
Toren Daniels vanished eight months back, and his wife and kids have moved on–with more than a little relief. Toren was a good man but carried a raging temper that often exploded without warning. So when he shows up on their doorstep out of the blue, they’re shocked to see him alive. But more shocked to see he’s changed. Radically.
His anger is gone. He’s oddly patient. Kind. Fun. The man he always wanted to be. Toren has no clue where he’s been but knows he’s been utterly transformed. He focuses on three things: Finding out where he’s been. Finding out how it happened. And winning back his family.
But then shards of his old self start to rise from deep inside–like the man kicked out of the NFL for his fury–and Toren must face the supreme battle of his life.
In this fresh take on the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, James L. Rubart explores the war between the good and evil within each of us–and one man’s only chance to overcome the greatest divide of the soul.
The Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart is an interesting twist to the classic, Dr. Jekyll andMr. Hyde. Except in this case, the bad part of the main protagonist disappears completely. Like it was never there. Tore Daniels has had an awful temper. He has a wonderful family but sometimes his temper could be really bad…Toren goes missing. His family believes he’s dead until he suddenly pops up at the doorstep of their house. That’s where it gets really weird. Where was he, how did he go missing, and what happened to him while he was gone? These questions kept playing over and over again. His wife tries to push his buttons to see his temper fly but somehow Toren seems to hold it in way better than he ever did. His wife wonders who is this man…I found that a bit funny. The mystery is solved and it was a sweet ending. I loved these characters. There is a lot of inspirational messages on marriage, love, hope, and faith included in this book. Overall, I enjoyed it and recommend it to all.
Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love, for each other, for their God, and for his tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.
Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband’s new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah’s cruelty count for nothing? Why does God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?
Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.
A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith is a wonderful Jewish tale of love, hope, faith, and forgiveness. During this time period, the struggles were harder. Especially, when their coveted ark disappears. Yet they still remain hopeful and obedient to God. I liked how Hannah turns to prayer when life brings her curveballs. She is strong, independent, and faithful. She is an inspiration to all women. Jill Eileen Smith’s historical fiction is well-written. It engages me to follow Hannah as her life dramatically changes for good to problematic to good again. Her love of her husband and God are strong. Hannah felt sad, angry, and hurt when her husband married another women. I wanted to hug her immediately. Her pain is real. It is easy to connect with her on many levels. The title is exactly what this book is about…and I recommend this read to others.
Welcome to Thornthwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District… where homecomings and surprises await the four Holley sisters…
Esther Holley, the eldest in the family, has always had her life firmly in control until a miscarriage knocks her off course. Two months later, still emotionally spinning, she separates from her husband Will, a sheep farmer and man of few words and moves back in with her parents.
Life as a singleton thirty something living in her parents’ house is miserable, but Esther is determined to re-boot her life, including going on a few unfortunate dates. She’s shocked when tight-lipped Will shows up on her doorstep determined to woo her back. They’ve been married for seven years, but Will wants to return to the beginning, dating and getting to know each other again.
New challenges face them as they start over–and new chances too. Can Esther and Will save their marriage, especially when faced with the hardest decision of all?
A Vicarage Reunion by Kate Hewitt is a heartfelt women’s fiction story. Romance, marriage, miscarriage and family life are put to the test. A journey that sucked me in from the first page. A young married couple have been suffering silently for a long while. Until one day, the wife decides she can’t take it anymore. Losing their baby, was the last straw for Esther. Esther is a daughter of a vicar. She knew her faith should be stronger but she felt broken, sad, and unhappy. Esther decided to leave her good husband Will. Only fate has plans that neither adult saw coming. Will loves his wife and alway will love her. He felt sad, broken, and unhappy that she left him. Worried about what he did to make her leave, Will goes about trying to woo his wife back into his arms.
It was so easy to like the characters. Relating to the married couple was like breathing in air. Their personalities made them believable. Heartache, fear, and their little flaws make way for a path of discovery, renewal, and acceptance. Both Esther and Will have a lot to figure out before they can get their lives back in-order.
Overall, A Vicarage Reunion, is sweet, thoughtful, and deep. I enjoyed following the protagonists as they fell and rose. Their dilemmas were understandable. The story was clean, well-developed, and engaging. I highly recommend this title to all readers.
Ivy Yoder thought she had found the man she would marry, but she returns to her Amish community of Birch Creek with a broken heart. When a family friend asks for her help in cleaning out an attic, she’s grateful for the chance to get her mind off the betrayal.
Noah Schlabach is an Amish auctioneer and is eager to get into his aunt’s attic in search of lost treasures. He loves learning about the past, and he has created a thriving auction business for himself. When he meets Ivy, he suspects his aunt is trying to set them up, but all of that is forgotten when they come across a box of old love letters.
While Noah is more interested in potential auction items than love letters, Ivy is swept up in the story of the young couple. She’s also fighting her growing feelings for Noah—she can’t risk her heart again. But if there is one thing these young Amish people learn from the past, it’s that they must take hold of the gifts of today. With a little help from the letters, and a lot of help from God, Noah and Ivy begin to live in the present, full of love.
Words from the Heart by Kathleen Fuller is a sweet and heartfelt journey. Two young Amish adults must learn what their hearts wants and where God leads them. Heartbreak is tough but builds the character. Somethings are meant and some are not mean to be. But unless they try, they won’t know.
Ivy loved another Amish man. Yet her love wasn’t returned. Ivy felt broken. Her heart shattered. Her first love destroyed her hope for a chance at love. But God has plans for her. However, she needs to listen with both her mind and her heart.
Noah is an interesting young Amish man. He is all about finding things to auction. Auctions business is what Noah does well. He soon has Ivy helping with auction stuff, and the more time they spend together the harder it is for him to not like her. Feelings grow along with faith and respect.
Kathleen Fuller has peaked my interest with this tale from the beginning. Her characters are realistic and easy to like. I felt like I was tagging along with them. Their troubles soon grow complex but not all things in life are easy. Ivy has to reopen her heart and that’s the toughest thing to do after having it broken…overall, I recommend this Amish novel to all.
Jennie Troyer knows it’s time to remarry, and with two men pursuing her, she doesn’t have to look far. But after the pain she’s experienced, can she open her heart to love?
It’s been four years since Jennie’s husband died in a farming accident. Long enough that the elders in her Amish community think it’s time to shed her grief and remarry for the sake of her seven children. What they don’t know is it isn’t grief that’s holding her back, but rather a fear of a repeat of her abusive marriage.
Leo Graber has known–and loved–Jennie since they were children, and he’d hoped to court her when they were teenagers. But when he was fourteen, Paul’s father died suddenly in his arms. Ever since he’s been afraid of the searing pain of loss that comes from opening himself up to love. Now Jennie’s free again, and he’s fighting to have the courage not to lose her a second time.
Nathan Walker is a Mennonite book salesman who makes it a point to stop by Jennie’s farm as often as he can. He’s grown to care for her, but he knows he has no right to court her unless he resolves his own struggle with his faith. He will have to change everything about his life in order to join the Jamesport Amish community. But would he be embracing a new life or running from his old?
The path isn’t clear for any of them. These three people, drawn together by circumstances and God’s plan, must come to grips with their pasts in order to discern God’s plan for their futures and find peace beneath the summer sun.
Beneath the Summer Sun by Kelly Irvin is an interesting tale. One full of faith, hope, and love. Three protagonists have their own dilemmas to face. The question of them being able to move forward and find happiness caught my attention. Pain, loss, and fear cloud the characters as they struggle to face their issues. Clean and heartfelt, I felt like I was there with the characters.
Kelly Irvin has created a believable plot. Jennie is scared to love again after her abusive marriage. But with all of her kids, she needs a man in her life. Nathan is looking for love too, but he struggles accepting his faith. He must first find that before he can love anyone. Leo like Jennie has faced a loss. He lost his father and struggled with wanting to save others especially Jennie. But his fear of not being able to save someone he loves has him stuck in a rut.
A love mess with two Christian men chasing after one widow, made me smile. It gave a shed of lightness to Jennie’s dark marriage and to Leo’s loss. Having a third character brought out a little more in Leo. It gave me more of the push he needed to go after Jennie. Jennie is super easy to connect to…her situation made her likable. She felt real. I really liked her.
Beneath the Summer Sun was a sweet journey. A path to finding oneself and one’s heart. Having faith helped these characters face their lives in the present. Slow but steady, I think these characters will have found what they’re looking for in life. Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel.
Love is in the air in these four sweet romances!
Love and Buggy Rides (previously published in An Amish Harvest)
Janie Lantz is a cashier at Lancaster Souvenirs and Buggy Rides, where Jonathan Stoltfuz is a buggy driver. A frightening accident brings Janie and Jonathan together in a blossoming friendship, yet daunting obstacles stand between them and something deeper. Can love kindle into flames that burn away fear and regret—and lead them to a life together?
A Home for Lindsay
From Amy Clipston’s beloved Kauffman Amish Bakery series comes Lindsay Bedford’s story. Lindsay is happily looking forward to the day she becomes Matthew Glick’s wife and is excited for the plans he has for the house he will build her. So, when Matthew suddenly calls off the wedding, she is blindsided. She knows there is more to the story than what he is telling her, but will he open up and let her in on his own heartbreak?
Where the Heart Is
Tobias Smucker is back home, and it’s no secret he and his father are still not on the best of terms. But what is surprising is that his little sister’s best friend, Mariella, has been harboring her own secret feelings for Tobias. With her help, he begins to unravel a family mystery and learns that everyone has their own hidden depths, including his father.
Love Birds (previously published in An Amish Market)
While Ellie Lapp and her mother are still mourning the loss of her brother, Seth, Ellie starts working at one of the gift shops in town. Seth’s friend Lloyd is talented at carving wooden birds, but his father disapproves and expects him to take over the family farm someday. Ellie sees the beauty in Lloyd’s creations and insists Lloyd sell the birds in the gift shop where she works. As Ellie and Lloyd spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, but she accidentally betrays his trust. Will she lose any hope of a future with him?
Amish Sweethearts by Amy Clipston is a wonderful collection of four short stories. Each story has a powerful message and heartfelt connection. I enjoyed following each of these characters. Their journeys were hard and full of promise. Hope, faith, and love are major themes examined in each of these tales. Amy Clipston captured the Amish language and culture down perfectly. It was like being there physically experiencing all of the scenes firsthand.
In Love and Buggy Rides, I got to meet these characters again from a previous collection. Two young Amish adults find themselves facing their fears. An accident involving a buggy brings them together in ways they didn’t think would.
A Home for Lindsey was exciting. I got to meet with previous characters from another story. However, in this one, I got to follow along and see if there would be happy ending. Love is simple yet complicated. This tale made me laugh and fall in love with the characters. Amy Clipston never disappoints. I was intrigued.
Where the Heart Is, showed me that even though we think we know something, it turns out that there’s always more to the story than originally thought. Here, there was a lo of anger directed at a father from his son. Boundaries were explored and tested in this story. It was interesting to watch the rift between them men become less sows the pages fly by. A young woman helping the son find strength and hope. A sweet journey.
Love Birds was my most favorite. Here, two best friends lose their friendship over a misunderstanding. It takes a lot of work, patience, and forgiveness before these two can begin again. Plus, there’s the secret attraction one feels for the other. It made the plot more engaging.
Overall the Amish Sweethearts, is a clean romantic collection of novellas. Each one facing a different love issue. The struggles felt real. Amy Clipston beautifully wove these words into three-dimensional worlds. I loved the Christian feel good environment filled with sweet promises.
“This is a powerful story of grief, love, forgiveness, and holy mystery, and I loved it. Billy Coffey is a master storyteller.” —Lauren Denton, USA Today bestselling author of The Hideaway
Owen Cross grew up with two loves: one a game, the other a girl. One of his loves ruined him. Now, he’s counting on the other to save him.
Owen Cross’s father is a hard man, proud in his brokenness, who wants nothing more than for Owen to succeed where he failed. With his innate talents and his father’s firm hand guiding him, Owen goes to college with dreams of the major leagues—and an emptiness full of a girl named Micky Dullahan.
Owen loved Micky from the first time they met on the hill between their two worlds: his middle-class home and her troubled Shantytown. Years later, he leaves her for the dugouts and the autographs, but their days together follow him. When he finally returns home, he discovers that even peace comes at a cost. And that the hardest things to say are to the ones we love the most.
From bestselling author Billy Coffey comes a haunting story of small-town love, blinding ambition, and the risk of giving it all for one last chance.
“In one evening, a single baseball game, Coffey invites us into a lifetime. With lyrical prose and aching description we join Owen Cross on a journey of love, loss, faith, the unexpected—and America’s favorite pastime.” —Katherine Reay, author of Dear Mr. Knightley and The Austen Escape
Steal Away Home by Billy Coffey is an emotionally intense tale. A young man has his life ahead of him. A baseball career awaits and Owen does not hesitate to grab it. But then, he falls in love and it seems like a part of him is left behind with Micky. The one woman who grabbed his heart. Soon Owen finds himself searching for something. The past holds so much pain and memories flood as the pages are turned. I found this emotional journey entertaining. A love that was never forgotten, mistakes that haunted the character, and finding a peace within is found, here. Micky is different than Owen. She is smart, beautiful, and excluded from peopled like Owen. Yet Owen still wanted her…even after the years that divided them apart. Hurt, anger, and refusal to believe left behind a wounded woman and man. Overall, this story was heartfelt and messy. I recommend it to all.
Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that’s obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she’s made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing.
Now, Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a “scandalous” book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor doesn’t make things any easier.
With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn’t afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.
The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner is a sweet romantic comedy. A young woman who writes sexy tales is in love with her pastor. Her career seems to clash with her pastor’s lifestyle of teaching what’s right versus wrong. I laughed out loud a lot with this story. It was crazy good. The characters are believable. Each protagonist has a past that they felt uncomfortable with until they finally let it out the truth. Not that they lied to one another. But that it was embarrassing for them to say until the right moment. Even then they struggled a bit. It was so real. Heartfelt, realistic, and enjoyable. Sarah and Ben’s relationship is different but it’s a happy one. They both felt a pull to be together and went with it. They trusted their gut. There were some moments when I thought oh no, what’s going to happen next and other moments where I was like, yes! I loved the protagonists. Overall, I recommend this beautiful tale to readers everywhere.
Charlotte, an Englisher, is living in Amish Country, and she has formed strong and lasting bonds with the people in her new community. She has even fallen in love with an Amish man. But just when she is considering a permanent conversion to the Amish way of life, her world crashes around her. An unexpected death and a mysterious visitor unsettle Charlotte, and she begins to question her faith and her choices.
Daniel loves Charlotte and wants to share his life with her, even it if means leaving the only world he’s ever known. But as he walks alongside of her through her struggles, his own world is turned upside down when a loved one receives a grim medical diagnosis and a prodigal relative returns home. Will Charlotte and Daniel’s relationship succumb to the many pressures around them, or will their faith and the strong community around them allow them to weather the storms of their own lives in order to build a life together?
Home All Along by Beth Wiseman is sweet. The characters and their circumstances show what life brings and takes away. Struggles are hard to handle. A little faith, patience, and love can lead them where they should be. The entire story was believable. A young woman lost her brother. Somehow finding her way back home. Home being an Amish community. Outside influences threaten her hold on staying there. But what will be will be. I’m an active reader of Beth Wiseman’s books. Each one is heartfelt. This one, is not different. I was able to easily connect with the characters. I felt their doubts, fears, and hopes. Any story that can pull me deeply into its plot, is one worth reading. That’s exactly what Home All Along did for me. Overall, I recommend it to readers worldwide.
Celebrate the joyful hope of the Christmas season as characters find healing in the midst of heartbreak.
New from Olivia Newport!
Christmas in Blue
In the wake of a personal loss deeper than anyone realizes, Angela plans to bypass as much of the season as possible and get through her duties as the church organist by going on autopilot. Instead, she finds herself in charge of the town’s celebration. After a mysterious young man arrives, townspeople suspect he is the reason that one set of plans after another disintegrate until little is left of their traditions. Yet Angela warms to Gabe because she suspects they share a secret—his real reason for coming to town. Even when all they have to work with is a garish supply of blue Christmas decorations, Gabe helps Angela discover the hidden beauty of hope.
Christmas in Gold
After eighty years, change is nothing new for Astrid. By the time she was twenty, she survived the destructive Nazi regime, caring for her family under brutal circumstances, moving to America, and losing her husband. At forty she was widowed again and left to build a new life with her children. Now, when she faces a move into an assisted living community and meets a young woman on the brink of despair, she resolves to stir up hope through tragedy one more time.
Colors of Christmas by Olivia Newport were inspiring tales. Two wonderful novellas about finding hope, forgiveness, and joy. Both stories were realistic. Each one featured a woman going through struggles. Real life issues with characters that were easy to connect with on every level. The pacing was steady sometimes felt slow. It felt a little dry in some areas of the plot. I wish there was a bit more of an emotional rollercoaster. Overall, good stories.
Having left the Amish life for the English world, Amanda Dienner is shocked when she learns that her mother has passed and left her Lancaster County’s most popular Amish bed-and-breakfast. The catch is she has to run it herself for one year, acting as hostess. Amanda accepts the terms, but coming home to people she left behind won’t be easy.
The Proving by Beverly Lewis is a beautiful Christian tale. A young Amish woman is to return home. Her mother just passed away recently and she alone has inherited the family bed and breakfast. However, there are conditions she must follow to keep it. After being away for five years, Mandy isn’t sure where she belongs. Being back home, is an emotional journey for her. Faith, love, friendship and new beginnings are featured on these pages. I was deeply engaged from the beginning. Theending was sweet. The plot’s pace was steady. Challenges are hard but here, I got to watch as the main character pursued hers. I enjoyed the hidden messages of wisdom. Beverly Lewis is indeed a great writer. Overall, I recommended The Proving to all.
Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman
Three generations of Stoltzfus women are all living under the same roof. At twenty-five, Naomi has never been married, and both her mother, Barbara, and her grandmother, Ruth, have recently been widowed. Each nursing broken or lonely hearts, they also each have potential suitors. When a storm on Christmas Eve forces the three couples to take shelter in the basement of the Stotlzfus homestead, secrets are revealed, hearts are opened, and all three potential grooms drop to their knees for very different reasons a proposal, a prayer, and an epiphany.
The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston
Emma Bontrager is spending her first Christmas alone after her husband of 45 years, Henry, passed away in July. Although the Amish don t normally allow animals in their homes, a big, fat, orange barn cat keeps coming into Emma s house. She shoos the cat away, but it continues to appear in her house, settling on Henry s favorite wingchair. But the cat isn t the only Christmas visitor: a group of young people help bring the Christmas spirit to Emma, reminding her that love and hope abide.
Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin
As a young man enjoying his rumspringa, David Byler gave his heart to an Englisch girl, but he eventually realized he couldn t give up his Plain faith and family for her, so he let her go. He s found a new love in his Bee County Plain community, Molly Shrock. Molly has been patient, waiting for the man she loves to love her back. Just as he is ready to propose, David makes a startling discover: Bobbie McGregor, his Englisch love, is back. Will Molly s prayers for a Christmas love be answered?
Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid
When a misdirected GPS sends Ellie Whetstone to the wrong address, she inadvertently finds herself breaking into the home of Amish man, Ezra Mast. Ellie hopes to fix up the house left by her aenti and sell it quickly, but a series of run-ins with Ezra and his young daughter have her questioning whether a hasty sale is the right move. Could this new place with its slower pace be the right home for Ellie?
An Amish Christmas Love is a perfect blend of Christmas tales by four outstanding writers. Each writer has her own unique flavor that only added to this collection of novellas. In Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman, was about each woman finding courage to love for the first time or to find love again. A granddaughter finds love for the first time, a mother who lost her husband, finds a new love and the grandmother who lost her husband finds courage to love her first love after all the years. The tale was full of hope, love, and laughter. Next, was The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston. This, story was about an elderly Amish woman who lost her husband after so many years. They never were blessed with kids. Now, faced with a lonely life, the woman finds a cat to keep her company. Then, when she least expects it, she gets more company but in the human form. I thought it was sweet, heartfelt, and beautiful. Third tale, is Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin. A young Amish woman has forever loved a young Amish man from her community. However, he hasn’t always loved her. Now, just as they are engaged, fate brings an unexpected twist. A former Love enters the mix, and from there it’s emotional tug of war. The young man appears confused with both loves near him. But only he has the power to choose which destiny is right. This short novella was full of faith, choices, and forgiveness. Last but not least, the last story in this collection was Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid. Here, a young Amish boy is lead to a community where he was going to work for his Uncle…only to find out that he broke his probation agreement. His uncle takes him back and helps the young man fix his situation. Meanwhile, the young Amish woman who became friends with the young man is devasted that he left. Her heart feels heavy…but this Christmas is full of surprises. Overall, I loved each one of these tales. They were entertaining, delightful, and realistic. It was easy to love the characters. I was rooting for them all. I highly recommend An Amish Christmas Love to all.
After three months ofdraus in da Welt, Ariana has returned to Summer Grove, the Old Order Amish community where she was raised for twenty years, and life with her Brenneman family. Skylar Nash, the Englisch-raised young woman is working in Ariana s cafe while getting to know her birth family and their Plain way of life. Skylar’s time in Summer Grove has changed her outlook, just as Ariana has grown to see her personal faith in God in a different light than the manner she was taught while growing up. Both women will have to make decisions about their paths and Ariana must decide what role her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, will play in her life.
“Gathering the Threads is the third and final novel in the Amish of Summer Grove series.”
Cindy Woodsmall’s novel, Gathering the Threads, is a beautiful tale. A lot of of trouble roads ahead yet the main character has hope. She someohow braves through the rough waters. A biological family whose ways go against the Amish ways, can erect problems on Ariana’s life. Tension is everywhere. But she holds fast to her faith and shows courage throughout the pages. I was excited following this story. Fear, rebellion, and love are just a few themes highlighted here. Ariana comes back home from her English parents to the home she has always known…the Amish world. She loves being there. But things have changed. Two families will have to work through their issues and keep up their hope. If they lose it, they may be torn apart. Overall, Cindy Woodsmall has created an engaging plot. Characters that are easy to relate to and like. The writing was well-done. I recommend this book to readers everywhere.
At the heart of winter’s darkness is the joyous glow of the Christmas season. In this love-filled holiday collection, warm yourself with the peaceful light of Plain gifts.
SNOW SHINE ON ICE MOUNTAIN
When staid Naomi Gish’s mischievous father hires strapping Gray Fisher at their candle shop for the season, she’s positive the old man has an ulterior motive. She doesn’t need help–but as Gray learns the craft of candle making, Naomi learns that love is not only possible, but God’s most precious gift.
A HONEYBEE CHRISTMAS
Of all the sacrifices Bitsy Kiem made to raise her three nieces Amish, giving up her Englisch life was the only thing she missed. With the girls married now, she has a chance to kick up her heels this Christmas–unless widowed Yost Weaver can convince her that Plain love is a flame that will never go out.
THE CHRISTMAS CANDLE
Lisa Jones Baker
Blessing those in need at Christmastime is one of Lydia’s favorite traditions. But without her newly married sister’s help this year, the task seems daunting–until handsome Mennonite John King shows her that hands joined to do good may unite hearts, as well.
The Amish Christmas Candle is a great collection. Not my overall favorite. The stories are more modern living than the Amish way of living. I did enjoy how each character found happiness, hope, love, and healing.
Snow Shine on Ice Mountain by Kelly Long is a sweet yet inspiring Amish romance. Two young people who learn what love really is. Gray realizes love is peace and he’s never felt peace with any other girl except for Naomi. Naomi is a bit older than gray and very plain looking. But her heart, mind, and soul, are worthy of any man’s heart. Gray comes to realize that Naomi is the one. Naomi starts to feel like a wanted woman with Gray. But can she trust her heart to him? Kelly Long’s short story felt believable. It wasnt like other Amish tales I’ve read. Most wouldn’t allow the things that each character did without a chaperone or without some kind of consequence. However, it was sweet, engaging, and heartfelt. Gray not only finds peace but love and healing, too.
A Honeybee Christmas by Jennifer Beckstrand is another entertaining short story. I liked how one English woman left her way of life to raise her three nieces as Amish women. That took a lot of strength, determination, and power. Imagine leaving the life you have now, to live a plain simple one…I don’t think I could do it. I may enjoy it, but I would miss a lot of things. The writer brought an untraditional tale and still gave it a heart tugging feeling. I warmed up to the main characters. Overall, it was realistic and a great adventure.
The Christmas Candle by Lisa Jones Baker is the last Amish tale inside this collection. I felt the Christmas holiday sweeping over me. The pages went by quickly. Excitement rushed through me as I read every page. Filling me with a sweetness that I couldn’t let go. The main characters were enjoyable to follow. Both having faith in God. This story was more traditional in the Amish setting than the previous tales before it. I really loved this one. Giving back to the community, learning to trust, and not giving up hope are great themes found, here. Lisa Jones Baker created a piece that I fell in love with…overall, I highly recommend reading The Christmas Candle to all.
Five boys destined to become Highland lairds are fostered together as brothers. Darach, Lachlan, Callum, Gavin and Kerr fight for their clans, for each other, and for their own true loves.
When forced to choose between duty and honor…
Darach MacKenzie vowed never again to let a woman near his heart after his betrothed betrayed him. It sparked an intense feud between his clan and the Frasers. With all-out war on the wind, Darach can’t be distracted—not even by a sweet and charming lass who desperately needs his help.
This Highland Laird will find a way to have both…
When Darach rescued Caitlin MacInnes from the clutches of vile Laird Fraser, she vowed to never let men or misery rule her life again. With Darach and the MacKenzie clan, Caitlin finally feels safe. But when Laird Fraser shows up to claim what’s rightfully his, or go to war, Darach will have to use all his brawn and brains to protect Caitlin—even if it means losing his heart.
Highland Promise by Alyson McLayne is a promising read. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. The innocence of the female protagonist is amazing. Like a child but inter form a of a beautiful grown woman. Her remarks and questions kept me glued to the pages. Then, there was the other protagonist…Darach MacKenzie. He’s a sexy Scot with a heart of gold. There’s nothing that I can’t like about him. Determined, brave, smart, and strong. Plus, there’s his clan of brothers, adopted, but still bonded so tightly. Their relationship war ed me heart as well. I couldn’t get enough of these beautiful characters. Their stories had me hooked. Intriguing, heartfelt, and entertaining from beginning to end.
Highland Promise is just that. One highlander makes a promise to a bonny (pretty) lass (lady). He saved her from her tormentors. Ever since that moment she squirmed her way into his heart, mind, and soul. I laughed at Darach’s slight discomfort from the unknowing lass. She wasn’t aware of what her words nor actions did to her beautiful angel…she even called him so in front of his men. Alyson McLayne worked her magic with this book. I became addicted to the plot, the scenes, and to her characters. The emotions her words brought were good. I can’t believe it was fiction. I’m wanting to travel to Scotland one day now….overall, I highly recommend this historical romance to all.
“There were seconds, when I woke, when the world felt unshrouded. Then memory returned.”
When Jessica regains consciousness in a French hospital on the day after the Paris attacks, all she can think of is fleeing the site of the horror she survived. But Patrick, the steadfast friend who hasn’t left her side, urges her to reconsider her decision. Worn down by his insistence, she reluctantly agrees to follow through with the trip they’d planned before the tragedy.
“The pages found you,” Patrick whispered.
“Now you need to figure out what they’re trying to say.”
During a stop at a country flea market, Jessica finds a faded document concealed in an antique. As new friends help her to translate the archaic French, they uncover the story of Adeline Baillard, a young woman who lived centuries before—her faith condemned, her life endangered, her community decimated by the Huguenot persecution.
“I write for our descendants, for those who will not understand the cost of our survival.”
Determined to learn the Baillard family’s fate, Jessica retraces their flight from France to England, spurred on by a need she doesn’t understand.
Could this stranger who lived three hundred years before hold the key to Jessica’s survival?
The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix is a stunning read. The themes explored are loss, grief, and fear. As the characters go through their journey, it was hard not to relate to them. I felt as though I were in their shoes instead of my chair at home. Readers, like myself, got a taste of reality. A young woman lies through a terrifying crisis. But it leaves her with fear. The type of fear the writer wanted to portray and actually portrayed differed. The protagonist didn’t quite meet with what the writer intended. Jessica with her type of fear should have wanted her parents near her. Yet she doesn’t. It felt strange. I haven’t come across too many protagonists that keep away from their family’s comfort during a tragic event. Knowing what happened to Jessica, it just felt like she and her family weren’t connected. The parents should have come to their daughter’s aid even if she said no. But they didn’t. The romance bit of romance was good. I felt that there was some closure for the characters. Peaceful, engaging, and well-written. The intrigue of the historical past from papers found was what really caught my full attention to this book. It was exciting. Overall, The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix was an entertaining read. I recommend it to readers everywhere.
A letter brings him back to his Amish family. It will take someone truly extraordinary to make him stay.
Roman is on the verge of leaving the Amish ways. Feeling confined by the strict rules, he longs to do something more with his life. But when things don’t go as planned, Roman’s prospects outside of the community dwindle. Upon learning that his beloved grandmother has died and left a letter urging him to reconcile with his brother in Birch Creek, Roman decides to return home. But he doesn’t plan to stay for long.
Leanna Chupp has always made her own way in her small community of Birch Creek. Though some may call her unconventional–strange, even–Leanna is happy. Her unique outlook on life has meant she’s never had many suitors pursuing courtship, which Leanna doesn’t mind. She is content being single.
But when Roman and Leanna find themselves working together again, everything changes. Though neither fit squarely within the strictures of the Amish faith, their differences could be the very thing to help them form a deeper connection to their community and to each other. The question remains: will this strengthening bond be enough to make Roman stay for good?
The Promise of a Letter by Kathleen Fuller is an exciting adventure. A book with meaning and purpose. Two protagonists feel trapped, lost, and hurt. But with some time, hope, and faith they will be able to heal and move forward with happiness. The title is exactly what the story is about and shows that even the things we want are not what we may need.
Kathleen Fuller is a writer with a magical wand. I love traveling deep into her books. The characters are hard to ignore. Their life issues sucked me into their dilemmas and had me rooting for them. The book also contained a great emotional journey. I felt each characters loss, hope, faith, worry, anger, and fear. It was exciting to watch them grow.
Leanna is a young Amish woman who is nothing like the others in her community. She hated school except for a few subjects like math. Her ability to fix things is amazing. Mechanical knowledge is for men. And here, I got to watch her fulfill that role. Leanna struggled with what others said about her working as a mechanic. But still, she never gave up…and it was thanks to one man who gave her that break. Only…soon, a gossip breaks out, bringing forth doubt and fear. This causes Leanna to lose her job. I felt sorry for her. It was funny to watch her fulfill more duties suited for her gender….like canning tomatoes. Leanna is terrible at the traditional women duties. But as a mechanic, friend, daughter, and as a sister, Leanna does well.
Roman is a young Amish man. Not wanting to marry just like Leanna. He too, is interested in mechanics and engineering. In fact, he was pursuing a degree in it. But then, tragedy strikes. Causing Roman to travel home once more. He’s not happy about it. The way he left the last time, will cause for hardship between him and his older brother, Daniel. Daniel is all he has left. But Daniel doesn’t want him home nor helping him. However, Daniel is foolish and gets injured. This causes him to feel worse. With his injuries, Roman automatically takes up the challenge to help his brother. A mechanic shop should be easy…only Roman knows he needs help. Leanna…
Daniel is the older brother of Roman. He owns his own memchanic shop. Before it was just him and Roman. Until he got married…then, things changed. Roman left never saying goodbye. This hardened Daniel’s heart and made him angry. Struggling with things, Daniel is to stubborn to ask for help. His wife is pregnant and he’s afraid she loose the baby…then, there’s the nasty rumor that has him and his wife upset. He lets go of his only employee. His best employee, Leanna.
The Promise of a Letter is an outstanding read. Kathleen Fuller knows how to nab her readers’ attention immediately. Every page was full of action, suspense, tension, and drama. I loved it. A good clean Christian novel with a bit of romance. Overall, I highly recommend this to all.
Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans, but then she never had to. Not until the night when she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. During her captivity, Betsy faces brutality and hardship, but also unexpected kindness. She draws strength from native Caleb, who encourages her to find God in all circumstances. She finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the intense new feelings this compelling man awakens within her.
Handsome and complex, Hans is greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity and turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. Eagerly, Tessa responds, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. When Betsy is finally restored to the Amish, have things gone too far between Hans and Tessa?
Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.
The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an inspiring tale. It’s also full of hardships, woe, and hope. The book is based off some realistic events from the past. I enjoyed following this historical Christian piece. A group of Christians find themselves in the wilderness. A new land that is just as dangerous as it is good. Indians are nearby. In fact, one Indian will become something more to one of the protagonists. Her faith is questioned. Danger escalates and loss is felt. A massacre happens. Half Indians are slaughtered out of fear by others. Anger and fear make for trouble. One Amish man finds himself in such a predicament. Caleb is half Indian and half Mennonite. Betsy feels protective of her new friend. But Caleb is struggling with what’s happening to his kind. Betsy is hopeful thinking one day, Caleb will be ready to enter her world. But right now he’s hurt, confused, and not ready. Understanding and relating to each character inside this book was easy. I felt their emotions. Fear, anger, sadness, love, and hope. Kindness played a role throughout the troubled and terrible times. Overall, I would recommend The Return to readers everywhere. Themes of friendship, bullying, and respect are found here. It was a well-written yet engaging read.
Shay Benson adored her younger brother, Caden, and that got her into trouble. When he owed money, Shay realized she would do anything to help him avoid the men who were threatening him, and she crossed lines she never should have crossed. Now, determined to start fresh, she finds herself in search of a place to stay and wanders into a church to escape from the cold.
Pastor Drew Douglas adored his wife. But when he lost her, it was all he could do to focus on his two beautiful kids, and his flock came in a distant third. Now, as he too is thinking about a fresh start, he walks through his sanctuary and finds Shay sitting in a pew.
The pair strike up a friendship—Drew helps Shay get back on her feet, and she reignites his sense of purpose—that, over time, turns into something deeper, something soulful, spiritual, and possibly romantic. Even Drew’s two children are taken with this woman who has brought light back into their lives. Perhaps most important, Shay learns to trust again as she, in turn, proves herself trustworthy to her adopted community.
But Caden’s return to town and a disastrous secret threaten to undo the life Shay has tried so hard to rebuild. It will take the utmost courage and faith if she and Drew hope to find healing and open their hearts to a brighter future.
Any Dream Will Do by Debbie Macomber is as close to a realistic story as possible. Everything felt real. It was like reading a person’s journey from the rough life to a good one. A young woman has had trust issues due to the men in her life. With no One But a brother as family and as a friend, Shay had to learn a lot of lessons. Including, not trusting her baby brother. He relied on her and she made a bad choice because she thought it was a life or death situation. Her brother used her. Broke his promise and left Shay to deal with the consequences. Shay went to prison, lost her bank job, and is dealing with a lot of emotions. Anger, fear, and survival mode. After being released she finds no where to go. Stepping into a church, Shay’s life turns around….she meets Paster Drew.
Pastor Drew is another interesting character. He and his very young kids lost a loved one. A wife and mother. Drew was hopeless and lost until he meets Shay. He sees hope for her. Even though she can’t. She has a tough attitude but inside she’s good. Drew calls a friend and help Shay into a program for women like her. Because he helped her, Shay forms an attachment of trust, liking, and hope towards him. Drew can’t help but feel good knowing he helped her. Something about Shay also gives him hope for the future. Then there’s his kids. Both meet Shay. Shay loves them as much as they love her.
Debbie Macomber has written an inspiring tale here. I couldn’t stop reading it. The whole story made me cry, smile, and fall in love. Lost souls finding their ways after a tragedy. A little faith, hope, and love go a long way in this novel. Those who have been through a tough time can easily relate to both Shay and Drew’s issues. Struggles can make or break us at times. But it’s about continuing even when we have nothing else to lose. Overall, I recommend this contemporary to all. Any Dream Will Do is a must read.
When doing the right thing will only lead to more heartache, how do you know what you are supposed to do?
Sixteen-year-old Faith has worked full time in her parents’ Amish restaurant since she finished eighth grade. She loves her Amish community–and the recent romantic attentions of her longtime friend, Gideon. When her sister seems to be getting too friendly with Englischers, and her parents are in a buggy accident, Faith only wants to escape into her dream of joining the church and getting married.
But then a local newspaper runs a story about a child named Adriana who was kidnapped fifteen years earlier, and everything Faith has held true comes into question.
Suddenly the community Faith has known her whole life seems unreal. Can she even trust her own family? And how will she ever find home again if she no longer belongs in the world she knows best.
Abiding Mercy by Ruth Reid is amazing. The protagonist had a journey that weighed heavy on the heart and the mind. I fell into the story. The emotions were everywhere. I felt everything the main character felt. Sadness, confusion, and difficult choices ahead. Loss, faith, and hope were major themes found within the pages. It was a journey I will never forget. My heart immediately went out to Faith. She grew up in one world, finding that she was snatched from a different one. Choices will need to be made. A young woman has a lot on her plate. Loosing one set of parents only to find that they weren’t her biological ones. Abiding Mercy was well-told. I enjoyed reading every page of it. Sweet, engaging, and beautifully woven. Ruth Reid has captured my full attention with this tale. Overall, I highly recommend it to others.
Author Interview: Patricia Gachagan, Born Together
ULM: What lead you to writing your inspiring memoir, Born Together?
I have always been attracted to writing, keeping journals over many years as well as being a fan of the old-fashioned pen and paper letter writing as I travelled and lived abroad. I simply started one day to write down and express my deep feelings about the unexpected journey I had been taken on after giving birth to my son. I always wanted to write a book and before I knew it I had 20,000 words written and realised this was my opportunity as well as my motivation.
ULM: What was the journey like for you as you went through your diagnosis of multiple sclerosis?
There was an element that the whole situation was unreal and that surely it couldn’t be Multiple Sclerosis as I had only just had my baby and I was in the throes of adjusting to life as a first-time mum. It was also quite terrifying waking up in a ‘different’ body day by day, with my ability and mobility changing dramatically and I had no control over it. I was consumed by fear at the same time as experiencing joy with my wonderful baby. It was a real juxtaposition of my emotions to contend with.
ULM: What were your first thoughts when informed of your diagnosis?
I suppose it was disbelief in amongst the absolute panic as I had found out by accident, on my own with baby Elliot, at a routine doctor’s appointment. Even although I knew MS was the main contender, I was still shocked at the realisation that my worst fear had come true. My panic was not for just for me, but for how little Elliot’s life would be affected by my diagnosis. I was so scared to begin with.
ULM: How did you feel when writing about your journey in Born Together?
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process of writing Born Together. From the very first sentence, I was hooked. My writing journey unlocked many emotions, from grief and fear in the beginning to finally the relief of accepting my ‘new’ self and abilities. It very much challenged me, but I embraced those challenges fully and seized it as an opportunity to move forward with my new life.
ULM: Was the writing therapeutic for you?
Writing was very therapeutic for me and serendipitously came along at the same time as the counselling sessions I had been referred to by my GP. They very much worked together. They challenged me to the core about how I had been dealing with my diagnosis and all the changes it had brought about in my life. I had to face some hard truths and painfully let go of the ‘old’ me. It was not an easy task, but it was the beginning of a much brighter and more positive future. I am very grateful for my writing journey.
ULM: How did you find the determination to get through this difficult time for you and your family?
That was easier than anything else I had to face physically. Just one look at Elliot, just the thought of my wonderful son with his whole life ahead of him was enough to drive me forward with lethal determination that his life would not be adversely or negatively affected by me having a lifelong diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.
ULM: What advice would you give to others going through what you did?
To stay positive and learn to accept your new self and the changes to your life. That is part of a process and doesn’t happen overnight, but the sooner it does happen, the better it is for yourself and those around you. There is the need then to adapt to those changes, but to stay very much focussed on what you can do and not hold on to the past and what you can’t do anymore. Try to see it as a new beginning and not an ending and take charge of your own health. I am very pro-active in managing my MS and that has been a defining fact in my new abilities and creating a different quality of life, but still one that is enriched and fulfilling.
ULM: As a mother of a new-born with a disability, was there anyone you had for moral support? What gave you hope during these struggles?
I didn’t then, and still don’t now, see myself as someone with a disability. I see myself as ‘differently’ abled, but able nonetheless. I focus on what I can do and achieve and it is a lot. My husband, Allan, was an amazing support and tower of strength. He still is and he too is very pro-active and determined. My mum and sister have been selflessly committed to supporting me and Elliot and were around a great deal in those early days. Elliot, and the importance of his future, gave me the hope and the belief necessary that I could manage well and turn my life around from a path of ill-health and disability to one of positivity, achievement and ultimately a happy and fulfilled family life.
ULM: What’s your favourite quote to live by?
‘Do ordinary things to live an extraordinary life.’
ULM: Your memoir mentioned a new treatment. Would you recommend it to others?
This new and pioneering treatment is called Robo-Physio and is based on a ‘Spinal Approach to Health’. It is a physio therapy device which releases the stiffness in your spine. I have seen good results of this therapy, but it needs to be used on a regular basis to maintain the benefits. It helped very much with my fatigue and ability during the period I tested it, allowing me to be able to move my body better, balance better and walk better at that time. This is a private therapy, but I would certainly suggest people look in to it and consider giving it a try. It is available through Pacla Medical and you can contact them to arrange a free trial. There are no side effects which is a clear bonus and seems to make it worth trying to see if it is suitable for you individually.
ULM: What are your plans for the future?
I plan to continue writing and sharing my positive message as far and as wide as I possibly can. I plan to live as full and enriched a life, with Multiple Sclerosis, as I possibly can. I want to show others that a chronic diagnosis like mine does not have to be the end. We all have to take what we’ve got, whatever that may be, and turn it in to the very best we can.
I have introduced my MS jigsaw to help support individuals with MS and I plan to develop that further with a view to extending self-help ideas for living with MS. My MS jigsaw has many pieces, all of which can help someone with MS manage their symptoms and reach the best quality of life they can.
ULM: Where can readers find you and your memoir online?
Readers can find me at www.patriciagachagan.com for more information and to buy Born Together. It is also available through kindle and at bookstores, such as Waterstones, to order.
A Reunion in Pinecraft by Shelley Shepard Gray
When sisters Sharon and Sherilyn Kramer attend a wedding in Shipshewana, one of them returns with a new penpal while the other returns to her job at the bakery. After sending weekly letters back and forth, Sherry and Graham Holland arrange a reunion in Pinecraft. Upon Graham s arrival, however, he realizes he s been writing to the wrong sister. He decides to use the reunion as a way to get to know both sisters, but can he sort through the confusion in time to turn the worst vacation ever into something truly wonderful?
Summer Storm by Amy Clipston
Arianna is counting down the days until her wedding to Jesse. They have been friends longer than Arianna can remember, and that friendship turned into love over the past couple of years. But when Arianna s brother Isaac, who happens to be Jesse s best friend, gets them both into trouble, Arianna s father puts an end to her engagement to Jesse. Some summer storms pass quickly, but Arianna is afraid the damage from this one may be too much to repair.
Lakeside Love by Kathleen Fuller
Esther has always lived in the shadow of her beautiful younger sister Sarah. Even the boy she has known and loved her entire life, Judah, only has eyes for Sarah. But when a handsome young Englischer comes to live with the family for a summer, everything begins to change.
One Sweet Kiss by Kelly Irvin
Everybody in little Bee County, Texas, can see the obvious: Jacob King and Martha Byler are meant to be together. Everyone, that is, but Martha. Ever since her mother died when Martha was a young girl, she has taken over the role of caregiver to her large family. And reckless Jacob, who has had a little too much fun on his rumspringa, only seems to add to the list of people to manage. But one summer changes everything, and these two may just find a way to meet in the middle and share one sweet kiss.
An Amish Summer is a collection of novellas from four of my favorite Christian writers. These writers are beyond talented. When I read each novella, I felt like I was only reading five pages…the plot flew by that fast. I was deeply engaged. Entertaining from the beginning to end. The endings for each piece were beautifully done. I was surprised. Sometimes, I didn’t think certain situations were going to work out…then, to find that they did. I was hooked. I would love to write a review for each novella, but I’m afraid that I’ll give too much away.
Shelly Shepard Gray’s A Reunion in Pinecraft was a perfect summer Amish tale. Young Amish men and women met that summer. New beginnings. Tender, sweet, and messy. I loved it.
Amy Clipston’s Summer Storm was brilliant too. A young Amish man and woman loved each other for along time. This tale was a coming of age read. The young Amish man had a lot to learn. His love, patiently waited for him. Their love was inspiring.
Kathleen Fuller’s Lakeside Love was an eye opener. I found that their is much more to our outside looks than originally thought. Those of us who don’t have the good looks on our side can easily relate to the Amish sister who was deemed plain by all. Hearts of gold were found in this sweet read.
Kelly Irvin’s Sweet Kiss was a story of determination and growing up…promising. This novella showed how life can be messy but how it can also be good. Losing loved ones isn’t easy. A young Amish woman lost her mom and took over for her mother. She soon finds that she’s not needed as much as before and that sometimes there are other things God has planned for her. Like the determined yet good looking Amish man. The one willing to prove to her that he’s the only one for her. I felt so in love with these characters…
Overall, An Amish Summer was packed full of clean yet engaging stories. They were well-written. The characters were different as the sun and moon. But each one has similar issues. Issues revolving on finding the one for them. Love comes and goes. It surprises us when we least expect it to…I highly recommend this Amish collection to readers worldwide.
Jacey met the man of her dreams a year ago—and hasn’t seen him since. Finally relocating him as the pastor at her best friend’s wedding was the very last thing she expected.
A year ago, Jacey was trapped on a rooftop during a flood with perfect strangers, including a family and a man named Colin. After two days there together, she had no doubt that Colin was the man of her dreams. When they were finally rescued he tucked his phone number into her pocket. But an accident with the rescue boat left her hospitalized with amnesia and PTSD . . . and his number nowhere to be found.
Now, Jacey has still only recovered bits and pieces of her memory from that time. She clearly remembers Colin—but not his last name or any other details that would help her locate him. She’s trying to immerse herself in the joy of her best friend’s wedding . . . when she looks up at the end of the aisle only to discover Colin there in the minister’s role. Shock is an understatement.
On one hand, she’s elated to see him again. And then reality sets in. She never intended to get married or have kids. And being a minister’s wife was definitely never on her list. Was Colin not the man she thought he was? Or has the amnesia changed her more than she realized?
With the typical wit and honesty Celeste Fletcher McHale is becoming known for, it’s time for Jacey to take a fresh look at her life. Could this string of unexpected events have been setting her up for something far better than what she had planned for herself?
The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories by Celeste Fletcher McHale is an enchanting tale. Love is a powerful thing, if we leapt it into our lives. Jacey isn’t sure about love. Yet life has offered her the opportunity to take it. First, she must find courage in herself. Or else lose what could have been…
Celeste Fletcher McHale has combined fear, love, faith, and hope into a masterpiece. The outcome is phenomenal. I felt sadness, fear, and hope. The main character struggles each day and little by little she transforms into a braver woman. The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories is indeed a perfect read for all. Especially, women. Memories and feelings come out and it’s up to Jacey to decide what will come. Overall, I recommend this beautifully written novel to readers worldwide.
The stars are about to align in the newest Shaughnessy brothers romance!
WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE
Brilliant astrophysicist Dr. Owen Shaughnessy feels more connected to the cosmos than to people. He’s great with calculations, but when he leads a team of scientists to study a famous meteor shower, he doesn’t factor in his free-spirited artist assistant Brooke Matthews.
LOVE CAN DAZZLE YOU
Polar opposites in personality, the friction between them threatens to derail the project. But the beauty and mystery of the night sky draw Owen and Brooke together—and she’s going to surprise him in ways the stars never could.
A Sky Full of Stars by Samantha Chase is another brilliant masterpiece. Once again, this talented writer, has brought me to tears. Her story is full of emeotions that pulled at my heart strings. Sad, hilarious, frustrated and loved. A book that made readers feel something is a book worth reading. A Sky Full of Stars has it all.
Inside this latest novel, Samantha Chase features the brainiac brother. Dr. Own Shaughnessy. He’s hot, clever, and the sweetest man ever. But little by little, I got to view his bolder side. His personality is one that intrigued me. All his life, his family stood up for me. Telling him,,he’s normal. When everyone else said differently. As an adult a lot of that feeling of not being normal transferred over…making it harder for Dr. Owen to believe in himself. Yet, his family continued to tell him he’s perefect. I love the Shaughnessy family. Yes, they’re loud and different, but they’re loyal. They love each other.
A Sky Full of Stars is about Dr. Owen finding the courage to believe that he’s perfect the way he is. That’s he’s normal. It’s a real struggle for the man whose so talented. Then, as the plot unfolds, his world gets shaken. Enter Brooke Matthews. A girl trained for beauty pageants. Together their lives will be rocky. As in the real world nothing comes easy…these two will cry, laugh, love, and fight. I enjoyed watching them grow. Also, themes of loss, love, and courage are found on every page. Overall, I highly recommend A Sky Full of Stars to all.
There comes a time in life when we find ourselves in the desert place of burning questions. Why? Why me? But even as we shake our fist heavenward, the heart whispers another question. Who? Who are you, God? It is a question of relationship, a question we all murmur in the hardest places.
Against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert, Lynne Hartke asks her own hard questions as cancer arrives like a thief with one goal: to take it all. Hair. The contents of a stomach. A marriage. A life. As her days become a blur of doctors’ appointments, treatments, and surgeries, she wrestles with a tumble of tangled emotions, a shaken faith, and self-doubt. Cancer is now not only threatening her own life, but, in a surprising twist, the lives of both her parents as well.
Through her raw, lyrical words, Hartke invites fellow sojourners to discover that in life’s hardest places, they are not alone in their fear, they are not foolish to hope, and they are never forgotten by a loving, pursuing God. Never.
Under a Desert Sky by Lynne Hartke is an inspiring memoir of one woman’s journey with cancer. Cancer is the toughest path one finds in life. It takes hold of us, crushing us under its pressure. Sometimes, we feel like we’ve lost the battle and want to give up. However, this book, redefines hope, beauty, and faith in the hardest places. Lynne Hartke’s words grabbed my attention immediately. Her words made me cry and feel that hope never dies. Pain only makes one stronger. Beautifully written by a survivor, who went through it all. Pain, grief, and hope. Overall, I deeply recommend this memoir to all.
After a devastating winter, a spring breeze promises more than new flowers.… It promises a new chance at love.
Bess Weaver, twenty and expecting her first child, is in the kitchen making stew for her beloved mann, Caleb, one minute, and the next she’s burying him after a tragic accident. Facing life as a young widow, Bess finds comfort only in tending the garden at an Englisch-owned bed and breakfast—even as she doubts that new growth could ever come after such a long winter.
Aidan tries to repress his guilt over his best friend Caleb’s death and his long-standing feelings for Bess by working harder than ever. But as he spends time with the young son his friend left behind, he seems to be growing closer to the boy’s beautiful mother as well.
When a close-knit group of widows in her Amish community step in to help Bess find her way back to hope, she begins to wonder if Gott has a future for her after all. Will she ever believe that life can still hold joy and the possibility of love?
Upon A Spring Breeze by Kelly Irvin is a Christian tale full of tragedy, loss, and new beginnings. A young woman loses her husband and faces life as a single mother. Beth buries herself into work. Keeping busy. Aidan is facing internal struggles over his friend’s death and the growing attraction towards his friend’s wife. The child seems to be pulling the two adults closer but Aidan and Beth have to overcome their obstacles and fears before love can set in…
Kelly Irvin’s writing is easy to follow. Intriguing, clean, and charming. The charcaters are believable. Their life situations are realistic. I was able to connect with both characters. Loss, grief, love, and faith are themes commonly found on every page. Overall, I recommend Upon A Spring Breeze to all.
The deeply personal memoir of Lydia Meredith, a woman who spent almost thirty years married to a preacher—only to have her husband leave her for a MAN —and how her life becomes a testimony of tolerance and a theology of love and acceptance.
After being married to Reverend Dennis A. Meredith for almost thirty years, Lydia Meredith discovers a shocking truth: the love of her life left her for a MAN. Now, Lydia opens up for the first time about how that revelation shattered her world—and strengthened her faith.
With her life turned upside down, Lydia struggled to put the pieces of her broken heart back together and that led her to pursue understanding through an accredited theological education. She wanted a way to put her family back together and she found Jesus’ ministry and teachings were “actually” about teaching tolerance and love for people who are labeled different.
Candid, honest, and incredibly touching, Lydia Meredith shows that faith and perseverance can get you through any challenge life throws your way.
The Gay Preacher’s Wife by Lydia Meredith is a deep memoir. Inside, I followed her journey as an African American women. Just being in that category is hard enough. Then, to add to the fact her husband had lied to her for the past 30-years. Well, it was easy to sympathize with her. I can only imagine how hard that was to deal with after finding out. Having a man lineage his wife for an reason is hard on the soul and heart. Lydia Meredith’s husband left her for another man. Wow. I wouldn’t know how to handle that scenario myself, if placed in the same situation. Her journey was emotional and interesting. I believe the writer dealt with the situation in the best ways possible. I can’t judge her nor her husband. Life is complicated, messy, and hear shattering. Readers can easily connect with Lydia as her words engage them further into her life. Overall, this personal memoir took great faith and courage to share. I recommend it to others.
A cowboy romance with a heart of gold, in Home on the Range author Ruth Logan Herne returns readers to the Double S Ranch where God and family are first, but love is certain to follow the Stafford menfolk. Nick made all the wrong choices for all the wrong reasons. His father had failed at marriage and fatherhood. Nick was determined to show him up. He’d be a better husband, better father and a better ranch manager than Sam Stafford ever hoped to be. But Nick’s wife Whitney hated the ranch and she walked out on Nick and their two beautiful daughters three years ago.
For a long time Nick pretended everything was fine and when his stubborn nature is finally challenged by trouble with his young girls, he’s faced with the changes he should have made long ago. Psychologist Dr. Elsa Andreas had a thriving family therapy practice, a school commission, a good life, but tragedy pushes Elsa to walk away from her life. Three years later, she’s tucked herself in the backwoods of Gray’s Glen. When her sister encourages her to help Nick Stafford’s daughters, Elsa takes a chance. But Nick’s ex-wife comes back to town, threatening the girls’ newfound stability. Can Nick find the forgiveness and Else the courage to build their own “Home on the Range”?
Home on the Range by Ruth Logan Herne is the second novel in the Double S Ranch series. A Christian fictional piece that warms my heart immediately. Love, family, and letting go of the past are just a few themes found within the pages. I was inspired. The reality of the charcaters’ situations plus, their past keep them from moving forward. Their struggles are wonderful to watch as the story unfolds. One of the brothers featured at the Double S Ranch thought he could make for a better father than the one he had. But then, life throws him lemons. His wife leaves him and his daughters are struggling in school. Then, comes a woman who can help him and his daughters. Her magic touch and his hope may bind them closer together than they ever expected…
Home on the Range shows readers that despite the obstacles life can move on…miracles, love, and hope can exist. Heartfelt, charming, and beleivable. Ruth Logan has once again, caught my attention with her beautifully written novel. I recommend it to all.
Intriguing Glimpse into the Past by Bestselling Historical Author Judith Miller
With her penchant for seeing the best in everyone, Hope Irvine sees a world full of good people in hard places. When her father accepts a position traveling in a chapel car as an on-the-rail missionary, she is determined to join him in his efforts and put her musical skills to good use by serving the mining families of West Virginia, saving their souls, and bettering their lives.
Luke Hughes shares Hope’s love of music and her love of God, but as a poor miner he knows he can offer her no future. Still, the notes she sings resonate in his heart. When she begins to travel with a young mine manager to neighboring counties, Luke can hardly suppress his jealousy. It isn’t until he begins to suspect these missions of mercy might be the mine manager’s cover for illegal purposes, though, that Luke feels justified in speaking up. But how can he discover the truth without hurting Hope or, worse, putting her in danger?
The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller is a beautifull woven Christian tale. Here, I got to follow two charcaters as they went about God’s calling. Faith, hope, and trust are themes inside this book. Without any of these the charcaters wouldn’t have made it to where they did. Engaging, sweet, and entertaining read.
Inside, The Chapel Car Bride, there’s a young woman who travels with her father. A preacher’s daughter. Together, they go about spreading the Word and deed of God to many. Soon, they arrive to a town they turns out to need them most. There they stay giving the people hope, kindness, and faith. Hope Irvine soon is led by a man who hides his real intentions…and then, there’s Luke Hughes. A good man who is excited to see what Hope and her father have to share with his people. Luke takes an instant liking to Hope and so does the other man. Luke has to find a way to caution her without causing her to turn away from him. Proceeding to warn her off, will prove most difficult. But with a lot of prayer, faith and guidance from God, anything is possible. Even love.
Judith Miller’s latest novel, shows readers what kindness can do. Prayer helps. Times are tough and life can be hard…but with some faith, things can turn around for the best. The Chapel Car Bride offers, intrigue, suspense, and some danger too. I was fascinated with this clean Christian book. The plot was believable. The pacing apwas perfect. Overall, I recommend it to all.
Come stay awhile at Brambleberry House, a place infused with acceptance, healing and heart–as only RaeAnne Thayne can imagine it.
His Second-Chance Family
Julia Blair spent many happy summers at Cannon Beach and fell hard for sweet local boy Will Garrett. Now the for-rent sign at Brambleberry House seems like a wonderful omen for widowed Julia and her young children. She craves the warmth she once felt in Brambleberry House–and in Will’s arms. But before he can embrace his first love, he’ll have to lay down the burden of the past and open his heart again.
A Soldier’s Secret
Struggling to rebuild her business and her life, Anna Galvez knows she’s fortunate to have inherited Brambleberry House as her rock-solid base. When she finds a handsome new tenant in injured army pilot Harry Maxwell, Anna thinks her luck–in love, at least–might be changing. Until the lieutenant’s story begins to unravel…
RaeAnne Thayne is a mastermind when it comes to creating the perfect contemporary romance tales. Her latest book, Brambleberry House, contains two short novellas. Each one has its way of pulling me deep into its journey. Epic, heartfelt, and well-written. The characters are to die for…
Inside, His Second-Chance Family, I got to two old sweethearts. Traveling back to their sweet moment of being 16-years-old and in love. A brief sweet kiss from a first love. Their memory of that has stayed with them even now, as adults. One stayed and the other left. Now, many years later, fate has brought them together. Both have lost a loved one two. Their shared experience in pain, grief, loss, and love has a way of making a new path. Maybe, love and healing is in the air…
Next, is A Soldier’s Secret. Here, I got to meet a nephew of a deceased woman. His aunt gave her home to two ladies. One such lady was Anna Galvez. Her luck in love was bad. Her finance ran off with another woman and left her on their wedding day…
Now, she appears stiff as a board but there’s more to Anna than beats the human eye. With some help from a dog and the spirit of the deceased aunt…Anna and Harry might have a chance at a happily ever after. But they must overcome their fears and find courage to move forward. Love is in the air. It’s up to the charcaters to brace enoughto accept it.
Troubled hearts filled with pain, loss, and grief. RaeAnne Thayne has brought two unique tales that teach lessons of life as well as showing me that anything is possible. Love can happen when we least expect it to…overall, I highly recommend Brambleberry House to readers worldwide. The plot was enticing from the first page. Charming charcaters and tales that steal readers’ hearts.
In a small town in Idaho’s idyllic wine country where the past looms large, can two people realize their individual dreams for the future … together?
Abandoned once too often, Brooklyn Myers never intended to return to Thunder Creek, Idaho. Her hometown holds too many memories of heartache and rejection. But when her estranged husband Chad Hallston dies and leaves his family home and acreage to her and their ten-year-old daughter Alycia, it’s an opportunity to change their lives for the better—a chance Brooklyn can’t pass up, for Alycia’s sake if not her own.
Derek Johnson, Chad’s best friend since boyhood, isn’t keen on the return of Brooklyn Myers to Thunder Creek. He still blames her for leading his friend astray. And now she has ruined his chance to buy the neighboring ten acres which would have allowed him to expand his organic farm. To add insult to injury, Chad’s dying request was that Derek become the father to Alycia that Chad never was. How can he keep that promise without also spending time with the girl’s mother?
Brought together by unexpected circumstances, Derek and Brooklyn must both confront challenges to their dreams and expectations. He must overcome long held misconceptions about Brooklyn while she must learn to trust someone other than herself. And if they can do it, they just might discover that God has something better in mind than either of them ever imagined.
You’ll Think of Me by Robin Hatcher is a heartfelt yet a good Christian tale. I loved how the characters spoke to God in prayer. Life is difficult and never easy. Praying helps lift the burdens, doubts, and fears off their shoulders. Another great part of this wonderfully woven novel, was how the writer spun the characters’ past and present moments together. I thought it might make it harder to follow along. But it didn’t. It gave me more understanding into the characters.
Robin Hatcher’s leading female protagonist, Brooklyn Myers, returns back home. She came back due to her husband’s death and his will staying the house goes to both her and their daughter. Pain is easily felt as Brooklyn moves through these scenes. My heart ached for her. Death, loss, and grief will consume readers instantly like it did for me.
Next, there’s Derek Johnson, Robin Hatcher’s lead male protagonist. He was best of friends with Brooklyn Myers’ husband. He too, returns back to Thunder Creek, Idaho. Unlike Brooklyn, Derek is full of anger. Especially, at her for what she did to her husband, Chad. Then, there’s the promise from Chad about being a father to Alycia. That proves most difficult when her mom is the one woman he doesn’t want to be near. Derek also wanted to expand his land but now, he can’t…
Fate has brought both Brooklyn and Derek together. Each one is facing their own personal issues. Trust and letting go of the past will prove hard for these two characters. However, there’s hope and where there’s hope there’s a possibility. Dreams might just be on the horizon. I loved following the characters. Their emotions took over me. Engulfing me into their hearts as the pages speed by…I highly recommend this well-written tale to readers everywhere. You’ll Think of Me is right…after reading it, I’m still thinking about the plot, characters and all.
At the age of twenty-three, postmistress Grace Cristler has all but given up hope of finding a husband among the narrowing group of eligible men in her town of Fairland, Kansas. But when her uncle decides to retire from the pulpit, Grace is responsible for corresponding with the new preacher set to take his place. She can’t deny the affection growing in her heart for Reverend Rufus Dille—a man she deeply admires but has only met through his letters.
Theophil Garrison is on the run from his past. Ten years ago his outlaw cousins convinced him to take part in a train robbery, but Theo fled the scene, leaving his cousins to face imprisonment. Now they’ve finished their sentences, but the plan for vengeance has just begun. Branded a coward and running for his life, Theo has aa chance encounter that could provide him with the escape he needs.
But the young man’s desperate con might come at an enormous price for the tenderhearted Grace—and the entire town. Will Grace’s undeserved affection and God’s mercy make something beautiful from the ashes of Theo’s past?
Grace and the Preacher by Kim Sawyer is a wonderful story about forgiveness. I was hooked. The story told of a man running from his past life that soon caught up with him. An offer as a preacher for a new town gave him a chance to leave and start new. But soon, the past came tumbling down his present life. A young woman writes to the new preacher. She soon grew attached to the man in the letters. Once he comes to her town, secrets come out and betrayal will take over…it will be up to both characters to face their situations and decide the results.
Kim Sawyer’s writing is superb. The emotional attachment happens quickly. Each character faces real life issues that helped me relate easily to them. I could understand what they went through and why. Clean, intriguing, and well-written. Grace and the Preacher is a satisfying Christian historical tale. Love, sacrifice, and redemption can be found inside…I loved it. This is definitely a book that I recommend to all.
Gould’s Series Concludes in Love and Marriage
Gregarious Rose Lehman, who’s always the life of the Amish youth singings, is determined to marry the bishop’s son, Reuben Byler–until the handsome Army buddy of her future brother-in-law shows up in Lancaster County. In comparison to Trevor, Reuben seems downright boring. Trevor shares Rose’s sense of fun and adventure, and her easygoing disposition.
When her sister Lila’s buggy is rear-ended and Lila is horribly injured, Rose finds herself with more freedom than she’s ever experienced. Everyone is so concerned about Lila that no one realizes Rose is sneaking out with Trevor. Except for Reuben. But in his usual passive way, he doesn’t confront her, nor does he address the situation with her Dat or anyone else in the district. Rose appreciates Reuben’s discretion, but she also resents it. Part of her relishes the freedom she’s found with Trevor, but the other part of her wishes Reuben would “fight” for her, as much as any Amish man would. Too late, she realizes the foolish choice she’s made. Has she ruined her best chance at love, or is there another path to happiness she just hasn’t seen yet?
Amish Weddings by Leslie Gould is a must read. This engaging tale is unlike most Amish stories that I have read. It’s plot was unique. Inside, readers will find a lot of action, big families, and choices to make. The main characters have so much in common, I thought it would be a simple life for them. However, as in real life, things change. A young woman wanted marriage right away. But it didn’t happen. She felt a bit rebellious and believed in the wrong man. The one wrong man who made her pregnant. Despite her new life change, she grows as a woman. Doesn’t give up her faith and becomes kinder. Before, she only thought about a man’s riches and now, she doesn’t. All she has to do is put her faith back in God. God always helps. Blessings of all sorts happen within these pages. Beautifully written and highly realistic. I can actually see everything happening for real. Real choices and real world issues. Growing up, maturity, and love are just a few themes masterfully woven in Amish Weddings. Overall, I highly recommend Leslie Gould’s latest novel to readers worldwide. It’s sweet and emotionally entertaining.
From this bestselling small town series comes a heart-tugging love story about a single mom, her traumatized little boy, and the new attorney in town who longs to rescue and protect them.
A recently-widowed single mom is tired of being rescued. Though surrounded by friends and family, Trish is determined to blaze a path for herself and her daddy-starved little boy without outside help. Unfortunately, her attempts to run a small town bride business just doesn’t pay the piles of bills. Though the new attorney in town seems interested in both her and little Bo, the timing is all wrong. Will her current life circumstances mean leaving the hometown she loves?
When a world-weary attorney starts a new law practice in Miller’s Creek, he’s prepared for business challenges, but not for falling in love–especially with a woman and her son whose tragic life circumstances are heartbreaking. Can the new attorney romance Trish and get through the wall of stubborn hurt encasing her heart? Will Trish be forced to leave Miller’s Creek? And will they both learn to trust the Lord to take a path less traveled?
A Path Less Traveled by Cathy Bryant is amazing. It shows the human heart at its rawest moments. Trust, faith and love. Three of the toughest things to learn and earn from someone. For some, it’s easy to give. Others it’s much harder. Here, I got to watch a woman struggle with her trust issues. But with time, patience, and friends she was able to move forward to a happily ever after.
Cathy Bryant’s novel is a bestseller. I instantly understood why. After reading her women’s fiction title…I fell in love. Trisha is a a single mother. Her ability to trust is little to nothing. Her life was a huge mess. Until the day, a man walked into it. From that moment onward things got more interesting. However, Torah held the power to move forward or to stay backwards. Choices…life is full of them. Sometimes we need to jump in and risk our hearts. If we don’t try, we will never know what would have been. A Path Less Traveled was entertaining, believable, and well-written. Anyone can easily relate to Trish and her issues. I found the book inspiring, sweet, and powerful. The messages were clear. Overall, I highly recommend this read to readers everywhere.
It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing.
At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.
Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.
Of Stillness and Storm by Michele Phoenix is a stunning tale. The emotional journey is like a strong current taking readers deeper into the characters’ lives. Sad, heartbreaking, and silent. The pages bring to life one family’s struggles. They started out as one unit and then…into broken pieces. Only time will tell if they ever heal and become whole again. Michele Phoenix has created a beautiful heart wrenching masterpiece. The characters dilemmas are so real,that it’s frightening. Readers like myself will need a box of tissues nearby. A storm so powerful will drag readers into an unforgettable world. A mother’s love, a broken marriage, and an injured child are just the highlights to this story. Communication comes and goes. It left me wondering if the communication between the parents will ever connect once more like they used to…and what will happen if it doesn’t. Captivating, intense, and suspenseful. Of Stillness and Storm is indeed a wonderful novel. The title fits the tale like a glove. I couldn’t stop reading this book. I can’t wait to see what this talented writer brings next. Overall, I highly recommend it to readers worldwide.
Derek Palacio’s stunning, mythic novel marks the arrival of a fresh voice and a new chapter in the history of 21st century Cuban-American literature.
In 1980, a rural Cuban family is torn apart during the Mariel Boatlift. Uxbal Encarnación—father, husband, political insurgent—refuses to leave behind the revolutionary ideals and lush tomato farms of his sun-soaked homeland. His wife Soledad takes young Isabel and Ulises hostage and flees with them to America, leaving behind Uxbal for the promise of a better life. But instead of settling with fellow Cuban immigrants in Miami’s familiar heat, Soledad pushes further north into the stark, wintry landscape of Hartford, Connecticut. There, in the long shadow of their estranged patriarch, now just a distant memory, the exiled mother and her children begin a process of growth and transformation.
Each struggles and flourishes in their own way: Isabel, spiritually hungry and desperate for higher purpose, finds herself tethered to death and the dying in uncanny ways. Ulises is bookish and awkwardly tall, like his father, whose memory haunts and shapes the boy’s thoughts and desires. Presiding over them both is Soledad. Once consumed by her love for her husband, she begins a tempestuous new relationship with a Dutch tobacco farmer. But just as the Encarnacións begin to cultivate their strange new way of life, Cuba calls them back. Uxbal is alive, and waiting.
Breathtaking, soulful, and profound, The Mortifications is an intoxicating family saga and a timely, urgent expression of longing for one’s true homeland.
— The Millions – 2nd half of the 2016 book preview
— New York Times Book Review, 100 Notable Books of 2016
The Mortifications by Derek Palacio is a fascinating debut novel. This Cuban-American literature takes readers deep into the lives of immigrants. Human needs and wants are explored throughout the story. Home, faith, family and survival are just several themes readers can find. I found it enchanting. Derek Palacio has brilliantly created a Read that will shutter readers’ hearts everywhere. The novel provokes strong emotions and realistic attachments from readers to the characters. Each character presents his or her life to readers openly. The struggles are believable. I found that the title, The Mortifications was indeed a perfect name for this book. There were shameful moments…within the pages. However, this novel showed me the hardness the immigrants like the Cuban Americans faced while trying to create their new lives. It was a refreshing reading experience from what I usually read. The journey is worthy of reader’s attention. The Ecarnacions are a dysfunctional family that experience all the trials life brings and takes from us. Vibrant, entertaining, and bold. Overall, I recommend this writer’s novel to readers worldwide.
Evangeline is gifted with a heavenly voice, but she is trapped in a sinister betrothal until she embarks on a daring escape and meets brave Westley le Wyse. Can he help her discover the freedom to sing again?
Desperate to flee a political marriage to her cousin King Richard II’s closest advisor, Lord Shiveley—a man twice her age with shadowy motives—Evangeline runs away and joins a small band of servants journeying back to Glynval, their home village.
Pretending to be mute, she gets to know Westley le Wyse, their handsome young leader, who is intrigued by the beautiful servant girl. But when the truth comes out, it may shatter any hope that love could grow between them.
More than Evangeline’s future is at stake as she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue that threatens England’s monarchy. Should she give herself up to protect the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?
The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson is a brilliant tale full of danger, mystery, and romance. For adults who love a fairy tale this is indeed one that I would recommend to all. Melanie Dickerson’s writing is superb. Keeps readers guessing with every page. The intrigue is great. Evangeline is a unique character. Her strength lured me closer into her story. Adventure, upheaval, and and death lingering in the air. So many lives at stake…the choices made carry heavy consequences. The enemies are so life like that it’s stunning. When opening this novel, I fell deep into the fast plot and never returned. The medieval life was fascinating to watch as the scenes flew by me. The Silent Songbird is a historical yet religious story that will keep readers coming back. Never a boring moment. Suspenful, romantic, and highly entertaining…I loved reading it. The journey was an unforgettable one. The characters were bold, clever, and charming. Melanie Dickerson out did herself when writing this book.
Mary Beiler is not ready for change. She wants to hold onto the past as tightly as she can. But new roles and relationships test Mary’s boundaries as she learns that she must trust God’s plan for her life.
Eli Glick used to be a school-yard crush, but she hasn’t let herself dream of a future with him. When their paths begin weaving together, she starts to wonder if the feeling she notices towards him might be more than the memories of her childhood.
From Mary’s Prayer:
Not so bad! How was that for a compliment! she thought angrily as she stood and stepped towards the ladder. She turned to move down it, but as she placed her boot on the first rung it slid sideways several inches, and she took her foot off.
“Hang on, I’ll hold it,” he said.
He stood and walked towards her, and knelt near the top of the ladder. He held it in place as she turned again and put her foot on the top rung. This time, with his help, it was perfectly solid.
“See what happens when we work together?” he asked, and she felt a smile peek onto her lips despite her upset.
How does he do that to me? she wondered. She’d just been feeling upset and sorry for herself, and now a crack of lightheartedness found it’s way into her heart. It was as if he was bringing out her smiles –smiles that had been buried such a long time that they almost felt strange on her lips.
As she climbed down, she once again found herself uncomfortably close to the handsome man. Eli grinned at her. He was looking right into her eyes, and this made her blush. She was glad, at least, that he was no longer staring at her scars.
“You sure that we can spend this time together, and you won’t fall in love with me?”he asked in his deep voice.
Mary knew he was teasing her, but she felt her heart skip a beat at the flirtatious sound in his voice. Oh don’t flatter yourself, she thought. He’s only teasing you, just like he acts with all the girls. Besides, he likes Abby Trovey. With his face so close, and his blonde hair and good looks only inches away from her, she swallowed hard.
Will Eli Glick see past Mary’s scars and into her heart?
Will Mary learn to trust again?
Mary’s Prayer by Faye P. Baker is an Amish romance that will tug at readers’ hearts. I definitely felt a pull on mine. The story is both sad and sweet. Many obstacles to overcome like math and fear. Faye P. Baker has created the perfect atmosphere with just enough intrigue and and suspense to keep me reading all night long. I loved it. Mary is a young Amish woman moves to a new place. She lost her mom due to a fire. Mary has scars that make her feel self-conscious and the fact that her math isn’t well enough to work the cash register in her dad’s bakery…this puts her in a situation that makes her feel lost. Then, there’s good looking Eli who friends her. But she as she falls hard for him, she realizes that he likes another girl. Mary then feels completely lost and angry. Feels like God isn’t listening to her. Mary’s Prayer is a realistic telling of life and hardships that fall onto our paths and show us how we can move forward. Inspiring, well-written, and heart melting. I highly recommend this novel, to all.
“No matter where you go, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no gone is too far gone. You can always come home.”
At the age of eighteen, musician and songwriter Cooper O’Connor took everything his father held dear and drove 1,200 miles from home to Nashville, his life riding on a six-string guitar and the bold wager that he had talent. But his wager soon proved foolish.
Five years after losing everything, he falls in love with Daley Cross, an angelic voice in need of a song. But just as he realizes his love for Daley, Cooper faces a tragedy that threatens his life as well as his career. With nowhere else to go, he returns home to the remote Colorado mountains, searching for answers about his father and his faith.
When Daley shows up on his street corner twenty years later, he wonders if it’s too late to tell her the truth about his past—and if he is ready to face it himself.
A radical retelling of the prodigal son story, Long Way Gone takes us from tent revivals to the Ryman Auditorium to the tender relationship between a broken man and the father who never stopped calling him home.
Rating: 5 stars
Long Way Gone by Charles Martin is truly a phenomenal story. I couldn’t believe the writer’s talent. I kept asking myself why or how I haven’t read any of his previous books until now…absolutely amazing. The tale instantly hooks readers into the plot. It was memorizing. The heart and soul can be felt with every page. At first the tale reminded me of the biblical tale about the older son leaving and then returning home. In a way this was similar to that. The main character, Cooper O’Conner is one that readers like myself will never forget. His journey was epic. Sad, realities, and heartfelt. It makes me want to reach out to the character. The past can only hold us back from our futures if we let it. That was the theme I strongly senesed inside here as well as one of redemption and love. Then there was also, hope. The ending was heart melting. I loved reading this latest novel by Charles Martin. He definitely knows how to wrap his words around and into readers’ hearts. Overall, I recommend this coming of age read to readers worldwide.
Could God be offering Charlotte a second chance at true love?
Charlotte Dolinsky needs time to recover after breaking up with her boyfriend, Ryan. But when a surprise visitor shows up on her doorstep in Texas, she’s forced to put aside her own worries to help her Amish friends in Lancaster County. Soon she is entangled in a web of deception—and this time, she isn’t the only one keeping secrets.
Daniel Byler struggles each day in his Amish community to heal from his fiancée’s betrayal. When he discovers that a member of his family is in danger of being shunned, his pain turns to fear. His only way to help is by partnering with Charlotte, a woman he barely knows who has already deceived them all before.
Charlotte begins building a friendship with Daniel that she’ll need to lean on when more surprises surface from her past, and she once again finds herself torn between two worlds. Will Charlotte’s friends in the Amish community be able to show her the power of redemption and lead her home? And can she help young Jacob realize that God offers second chances at happiness when she isn’t even sure herself?
Rating: 5 stars
Love Bears All Things by Beth Wiseman is an Amish Secrets Novel. Beth Wiseman’s novels and short stories are amazing. Heartwarming and addictive. This novel was sweet and beautifully told. I found myself instantly lost, within its plot. The story introduces several characters. The first is Charlotte Dolinsky. She had a breakup with her boyfriend and her mom is hard to handle at times. She has secrets that she kept from someone but secrets have a way of revealing themselves sooner than later. Then there’s Daniel Byler. He feels betrayed and hurt. God soon sends him another obstacle. A family member on a dark path who is close to losing all care about him. Jacob is young has to find his path soon. These three characters are all needing a second chance and a chance at redemption. Friendship, loyalty, trust and a blossoming love are all themes inside this stunning read. I loved following the characters. Their dilemmas and faith were inspiring. When one is in need of help, others come in quick. The strong sense of community was apparent inside of Love Bears All Things. Beth Wisemans has masterfully shown readers how love can conquer all things. There were times, I wasn’t sure what would happen next but Beth Wiseman kept me intrigued with every page. A great emotional journey that softens a heart fast and leads to more reading…that what Love Bears All Things did to me. I was hooked. Suspenseful and unpredictable, I highly recommend this new novel to all.
Set in ancient Israel, Deborah Rising (HarperCollins, 2016) portrays the dramatic (and unlikely) rise of the first woman to lead a nation in recorded human history. In the tradition of The Red Tent, The Fifth Mountain, and The Mists of Avalon, this absorbing novel delivers an inspiring story of suspense and adventure in pursuit of freedom and self-determination, starring a courageous 14-year-old girl who would become the most powerful woman in biblical lore.
Before he was murdered, Deborah’s father had dreamt that his daughter would one day become the leader of the Israelites. But the social and religious mores of her time dictated that a girl must marry–even against her will–and obey her husband in all matters. When Deborah is forced to marry the violent son of the local judge, she rebels, determined to forge a path of her own.
Captivated by the notion of escaping the arranged marriage and fulfilling her late father’s dream, Deborah embarks upon an epic journey to find a mysterious elixirist, one rumored to be blessed with the ability to turn women into men. It is a journey that proves increasingly perilous–filled with wild beasts, lustful men, unscrupulous priests, and warring tribesmen. Yet Deborah manages to attract unlikely allies, including lepers, slaves, Moabite traders, and even a dead tiger, while she persists in the face of seemingly insurmountable setbacks and continues to pursue her daring quest.
Part historical novel, part adventure story, part visionary fiction, Deborah Rising is a captivating tale about a girl on the cusp of womanhood, whose unrelenting struggle to overcome discrimination, sexism, and paternalism spoke to the lives of girls and women today.
Rating: 5 stars
Deborah Rising by Avraham Azrieli is a stunning historical fantasy. One that has an epic journey that no reader could guess. It’s nothing like anything I have read. This novel brings about some historical people and their customs as well as what kind of lives they lived back then. I was constantly intrigued by the story. Each page sent me on another journey. the main journey was one that a father passed down to his youngest. After losing her parents and her older sister, the young girl sets off to fulfill her destiny. However, trouble comes her way each time. The men from her land are worshiping idols and killing innocents due to lies and greed. The lives of women are similar to those of the Indian customs. Many women are controlled by men. A paternal ruling that still survives, today. I was frightened by what the women went through constantly. Even if they followed rules by their society there was always a man or men who abused them. Sadly, many are stuck in this threatening lifestyle. Like Deborah’s older sister. One false accusation and she like many other women were stoned to death over a lie. Women were not permitted to speak on their defense. I almost wished Deborah’s sister retaliated. Imagine letting your own people stone for no reason at all. Why should the innocent be slaughtered so easily? Realistically told and captured the time period perfectly. Avraham Azrieli is indeed a talented new author. His work can be read by teens and adults. The issues presented in this novel were strong yet the material was done in a clean manner. After reading this book, I felt like I traveled back in history. The young woman’s journey was quite fascinating to follow. An adventure that is both intriguing and entertaining. Deborah Rising is a YA religious tale, that I highly recommend to readers worldwide. I believe that the issues shown in this title are ones that need to be read by all.
Finding Sarah is an emotionally captivating story of love, life and everything in between.
With her house sold from under her, Sarah finds herself moving to a small cottage in the country in order to make ends meet but soon befriends, Maggie, the matriarch of Nutt Hill, a Texan and hopeless romantic.
But when Sarah meets a new man, her idyllic new life seems set to fracture.
Two very different souls searching for peace. One entire parish watching. In a small country village, nothing stays private for long…
Rating: 5 stars
Finding Sarah by Wendy Lou Jones is a beautifully woven novel. The story opens readers’ hearts to more. Sure we all have had bad times and thought less of ourselves at certain points but that doesn’t mean we’re not worthy of love. Love, hope, and happiness are all themes found in this read. I was instantly moved and inspired by Wendy Lou Jones tale. Maybe there’s hope after all.
Divorced and rebuilding her own life, Sarah moves to a small-town. Her two boys companying her as well. Here, she manages to find a job and a new friend. Sarah soon finds herself deeply attracted to the young vicar. A man who has no trouble attracting the ladies. However, none have ever caught his attention until now…Sarah. Sarah is the kind of woman everyone likes. She always but herself last. But time is changing and she must learn to put herself first. Finding Sarah is both a good romance and a perfect read for women everywhere. I loved watching Sarah as she found the courage and the strength in finding herself and love. Fate does funny things. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to all.
Abigail Schrock knows God can make all things new, but does that include her broken heart?
It seems as if everyone is falling in love in Birch Creek, including Abigail Schrock. But when heartbreak descends on her already fragile world, she can’t help but feel that if she’d only been a little prettier, she could be on her way down the aisle. To make matters worse, Abigail’s two sisters have found love, and all Abigail can seem to find is the chocolate she has stashed away in the pantry.
Asa Bontrager has never had trouble with the ladies in his Amish community—his good looks have always gotten him far. Which is why he’s baffled by the call he’s received from God to pursue Abigail, a woman who seems determined to turn him away.
Can Abigail find the peace and joy she so desperately desires? Will she allow herself to stop running and melt into the embrace of unforeseen comfort? If she does, she may discover a love powerful enough to restore her hope in a promising future.
Rating: 5 stars
A Love Made New by Kathleen Fuller is an extraordinary novel. This story is full of wisdom, patience, and love. The emotional journeys were so strong it was hard not to be sucked into them. The characters were beyond believable. Once again, I found myself drawn into Kathleen Fuller’s writing. Her talent is evident on every page. The drama is clear and concise, maybe not to the characters but to the readers. I loved watching the characters grow up and to overcome their hurdles. One main character had her parents lost due to a fatal buggy accident. Then she returns home only to have her boyfriend tell her they’re not an item anymore and then there’s the loud whisper she overheard. Ladies were saying she was fat. All of that can diminish one’s self-esteem and courage. Until fate takes the rug under her feet and brings an unexpected blessing into her life. Then smiles break out but may or may not last. The issues are strong enough to leave readers wondering what will become of the characters. I was intrigued from beginning to end. Clean, well-written, realistic and heartwarming. Readers won’t be able to find another masterpiece like Kathleen Fuller’s, A Love Made New. An Amish romance that will keep readers laughing, crying, and turning those pages. I have fallen in love with this fictional world and the characters it presented to me. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to readers worldwide.
Faith, hope, and love remain forever in season in this collection of four richly absorbing novellas set amidst the wonder of an Amish autumn.
Under the Harvest Moon, by Beth Wiseman: When Naomi Dienner is suddenly widowed, she never expects to find love again . . . until she meets Brock Mulligan, an English family friend hired at harvest time. As a sinister presence begins to threaten Naomi, Brock seeks to prove himself trustworthy while struggling with growing feelings for Naomi and her children. Will God open Naomi’s heart—and give Brock his own second chance at love?
Love and Buggy Rides, by Amy Clipston: Janie Lantz is a cashier at Lancaster Souvenirs and Buggy Rides, where Jonathan Stoltfuz is a buggy driver. A frightening accident brings Janie and Jonathan together in a blossoming friendship, yet daunting obstacles stand between them and something deeper. Can love kindle into flames that burn away fear and regret—and lead them to a life together?
Mischief in the Autumn Air, by Vannetta Chapman When items start going above market value at his auction house, Eli Wittmer is first thrilled, and then puzzled. But when the house is broken into, Eli and his new bookkeeper, Martha Beiler track down a trail of clues. Will they solve the mystery before the fall festival ends—and discover an unexpected new love?
A Quiet Love, by Kathleen Fuller Dinah Hochstetler, quiet and bookish, longs for marriage but hides in her shyness. Amos Mullett, a simple farmer, knows he’s different but aches for a loving wife. As Dinah and Amos navigate a budding romance, will the power of love—and the blessing of God—be enough to overcome their doubters?
Rating: 5 stars
An Amish Harvest by four talented writers is an amazing book for all. Inside are four beautifully written novellas for everyone to enjoy. Clean, emotional and heart melting reads. I love reading anything Amish fictional piece because they are truly an enjoyable story of hard work, family, and inspiring faith as well as love. Yes, I read plenty of novels that are much more detailed and a lot more dirty than this collection but I highly recommend this collection of stories to readers everywhere. These are stories readers can come back to time and time again. Stories that not just give off the good feelings but also teach and inspire readers worldwide.
Under the Harvest Moon by Beth Wiseman is the first Amish romance presented to readers. Instantly, I was hooked. The story follows a young Amish woman who is married at the young age of seventeen. Her husband is well looked up to within her community and to her children. But he hits her when he’s angry. No one knew or so the wife thought. When he husband dies and she mourned his death for several months she decides it’s time to move on with her life. An Englisher comes into her life knocking her off her feet. Her children love the Englisher and want him as the daed. But, her Amish parents don’t want her to like him and she’s not ready to marry again. Will the harvest moon bring these two adults peace and love in their lives or will they only be friends? Beth Wilson’s writing has humor, faith, courage, and love. It was definitely entertaining to read it, especially when two young Amish girls tell their mom they want the Englisher as their daed right in front of him in their own tongue. Surprising the Englisher heard and understood every word they said…overall, I highly recommend reading this tale.
Love and Buggy Rides by Amy Clipston is the next story. This Amish romance was perfect. I fell in love with the main characters right away. An Amish woman sitting outside having her lunch when she witnessed the crash happening right before her. She saw what the Englisher was doing…he wasn’t paying attention and crashed into the Amish buggy that carried several people. Everyone was shaky and injured including the Amish driver. Janie told her family that she witnessed it all. Her father forbids her to tell anyone. Her daed didn’t want her involved in the Englishers’ suing business. However, a threat of suing the buggy owner and firing the buggy driver come up forcing Janie to choose between betraying her daed or doing what she knows is right. Then there’s the budding romance that is building up between Janie and Jonathan. But her parents also forbid it for two reasons. Jonathan is a decade older than her and he might be moving back to his home. Can Janie and Jonathan find what they are looking for before it’s too late? Amy Clipston writing is superb. I finished reading the story within one sitting. Overall, I highly recommend reading this enchanting novella to all.
A Quite Love by Kathleen Fuller is the third novella within this superb book. Kathleen Fuller’s tale is unlike another Amish romance tale that I have read. This one is about two kind loving Amish souls who find friendship and love in one another. Sweet, addictive, and beautifully done. An Amish man has trouble with reading and remembering some stuff. Yet his talent for drawing is out of this world. Then with a young Amish woman’s help, he learns how to read well and how to do other things as well. Together they learn and fall deeper in love. A quite love falls upon them both. Is a wedding in their future? I highly recommend for readers everywhere to read about them. This novella has tugged at my heart and made me fall in love with each of the main characters. Overall, this was a must read.
Mischief in the Autumn Air by Vannetta Chapman is the last novella in this inspiring collection. This last story was unique as well. It was an Amish historical mystery. The tale ended up reuniting Amish people and creating new beginnings. An old argument between two former Amish friends soon led to a treasure map hunt. The treasure map hunt brought together a group of Amish and led them to find hope, peace, and new love. Vannetta Chapman brought a young man back to his Amish roots and finding work, then helping an older Amish aunt to get the medical help and for two workers to find a love to last a lifetime. Truly an entertaining and suspenseful read. Clean and heart melting too. Overall, I highly recommend this novella to readers everywhere.