Sunday, July 14, 2013

Surrendered Hearts by Carrie Turansky

Surrendered HeartsSurrendered Hearts by Carrie Turansky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an amazing book. I loved it so much I couldn't put it down and read it in 2 sittings. As always Carrie Turansky wrote with vivid detail that made me feel like I was sitting right there with the characters. The story is uplifting and based on God.

The moral of the story, I'm a teacher sorry, I that God conquers all, loves us no matter what and is always there waiting for us to turn to Him with His arms wide open. God can and will turn everything to good if we just let Him. Even if we turn our backs on Him, ignore Him and deny that He loves us, He waits for us, loving us through it all.

I can totally relate to Jenn in this story. I just put a dog to sleep and she has just lost her dog in a horrible explosion. I lost everything in a horrible divorce, she lost everything in this explosion. I lost my beloved mother, she lost both her beloved parents. She turns away from God thinking He doesn't love her, how could He, He didn't answer her greatest prayer, let her parents live. Then she loses everything in an explosion, God would have stopped this if He truly loved her, right? She goes running to her brother clear across the US, not knowing if she will be accepted or not, they have always argued the most about is undying belief in God. She is met with open loving arms that try to teach her the love of God through action, she won't listen to words. Can she be lead back to God's loving arms? Will she stop denying God is love?

Yes there is a great love story with a man, but I truly feel the greatest love story and the true reason to read this book is the greatest love story for us all, God's unconditional love for us if we only let Him in.

I highly recommend this book to everyone, just don't read it at night, you won't be able to put it down and will lose sleep trying to find out what happens next with Jenn and God's love story.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Review: On Her Own by Wanda E. Brunstetter

On Her Own (Brides of Webster County, #2)On Her Own by Wanda E. Brunstetter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great amish book, kept me wondering what would happen.

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Book Review: Plain Pursuit by Beth Wiseman

Plain Pursuit (Daughters of the Promise, #2)Plain Pursuit by Beth Wiseman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I always cry at least once while reading her books. They are very thought provoking and heart touching. This book brought me to tears on several occasions. I recommend this book to everyone who wants to read a heart warming family book that opens your eyes to the struggles of Amish life and life in general.

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Review: I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris

I Kissed Dating Goodbye: A New Attitude Toward Relationships and RomanceI Kissed Dating Goodbye: A New Attitude Toward Relationships and Romance by Joshua Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book while single, it truly opened my eyes to the mistakes I made while dating in my teens and early 20's. It changed my whole outlook for dating in my 30's after my divorce. I never thought that in kissing someone I was kissing every person they had kissed, plus every person each of these people had kissed, etc. that adds up to alot of kisses to people I really didn't know and didn't want to kiss. Also every time I kiss someone I leave a little piece of myself with that person, when I finally married someone I was no longer whole, I had left all these little pieces with the other men I dated. How was I to be a good and whole wife when I had pieces of me all over the place. I made a vow, because of this book, that I was kissing dating goodbye, the next man I dated would be the man I married. With the help or eHarmoney and this book that is exactly what I did, married the next man I chose to date and kissed only him. I recommend this book to teens starting to date, 20 somethings who have already dated some people and those returning to dating after death or divorce of your spouse.

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Book Review: Though Mountains Fall by Dale Cramer

Though Mountains FallThough Mountains Fall by Dale Cramer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I LOVE Dale Cramer's writing. Though I am mad about part of the ending to this book, I will not tell why I am mad and give away the ending, I still loved it. The characters are true to life, the descriptions make you feel like you are right there, and the trials they face are real ones that anyone else put in that same time and place would face in real life. I have NEVER read a book by Dale Cramer that I did not love. I recommend all of his books and if I could, I would give this book 10 stars out of five, it is that good.

This book returns us to Mexico, to the Amish community that the Bender family started. The whole series shows the struggles of living in another country, this book has struggles as well, many of them heartbreaking, and some made me want to reach into the book and strangle the people involved. We begin this book with Miriam finally marrying Domingo and due to her marriage, making Rachel promise," to always be her sister.” The infamous El Pantera is threatening to come and reap the vengeance he feels the Benders deserve, death. Caleb Bender begs the Haciendado for money to pay the bribe to bring military protection to the valley. Who would think that the military you pay to help you with Bandits would be just as bad if not worse than the Bandits are. In the malaise that comes from fleeing from Bandits and the military fighting these bandits to help them survive, things become known that may destroy Rachel and Jake's future.

You see the everyday struggles of the Bender sisters in this trilogy and this book really has some heart breaking moments. Choices made by Miriam will definitely lead to her being shunned, you cannot be baptized Amish then marry a Catholic man. In her shunning, will she loose her whole family as she fears? Rachel must finally divulge the truth that Jake accidently murdered a man; will this end the possibility of them ever being married? Will the community in Mexico ever get a Bishop to move to Mexico? If a Bishop does move, will it hold together the struggling community and put a stop to their differences in church doctrine? Just how bad can the Mexican military’s actions become? This book tells in great detail, details that make you feel the cooling winds on your neck, Mexican dirt between your toes and intense pain of your heart breaking, the outcomes and answers to these questions. This is a must buy, borrow, win, check out acquire anyway you can legally, book.


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Book Review: To Honor and Trust Bridal Veil Island series by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller

To Honor and Trust (Bridal Veil Island, # 3)To Honor and Trust by Tracie Peterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had a hard time getting into this book. I think it was mainly due to the fact I have been reading a lot of Amish/Mennonite books lately and this is not one of those. I put the book down for a few days, came back and restarted it and I could not put it down. I loved the play between the main characters. I also liked how there was a blurring of "well to do" versus "tutor" lines. I also liked the this book was very heavy into trusting God and listening to what His will is for our lives. I also liked the goofiness of the new nanny, I knew she was not as she seems but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. She was like my crazy Aunt Brenda, who forgets a lot and can't seem to keep her stories straight, but is still lovable.

Callie is working as a tutor for her grandmothers friends the Bridgeport's, where she is treated like on of the family and not a servant. She has grown up with money until her parents sold everything and moved to Africa to be missionaries. Callie's heart has been broken by her former fiance and she is contemplating her future; stay as the Bridgeport's tutor until all the children go off to boarding school, return to the school in Boston where she formerly taught or move to Africa and be a missionary teacher with her parents. Her only choice she will never do, get married, having ones heart broken hurts too much and she will never let that happen again.

Wesley Townsend is trying to escape his families demands for him to enter the family's running of their textile mills, their relentless matchmaking to marry him off and their demand that he grow up and forget all about his medical education. Wesley volunteers and the golf pro and Bridal Veil Island and meets Callie there. He is smitten with the young lady but also does not want to come out and tell her that he is from a wealthy family.

Both of these characters have painful pasts they are trying to forget, class standings they do not want to follow, and futrues they are unsure of. What transpires in this novel is a wonderful story of healing, love and coming to terms with ones past, present and future. I highly recommend this novel to everyone, it is a good clean loves story based on Christian standards.

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Book Review: The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck: A NovelThe Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck: A Novel by Kathleen Y'Barbo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was good; it took about 50 pages and my putting the book down for a week, for me to get into it. I was extremely frustrated with the immaturity and bratty attitude of the main character Charlotte Beck. I wanted to strangle her for the way she treated her step-mom in England and her dad when she returned home to Colorado from London. The last 100 pages I became engrossed in the book and could not put down. I recommend that when reading this book hang in there, it gets better and Charlotte does mature some.
I am not going to write my usual summary of the book, there is too much to try to summarize without giving away key points. With the book, being written in two parts, to summarize any of the book would give away too many spoilers and possibly ruin the book for someone reading my review. Someone does fall in love, someone does mature, someone does move to Colorado and someone does move to London. This is the most I can say without out giving away too much. Please read the book and find out to whom and how it all happens.
Kathleen does write a riveting story that keeps you wanting to find out how it ends, it was just the immaturity of Charlotte Beck in the beginning and her treatment of her family that really frustrated me. After putting the book down for about a week, so I would not throw my nook out the window in frustration, I was finally able to lose my frustration and finish my reading. When I did finish the book I found it quite good, and the writing was on point. I could put myself into the characters shoes and envision myself as each of them, I think that is one of the reason’s I became so frustrated with Charlotte’s attitude, I put myself into her step mothers shoes and just wanted to ring her neck, ground her for a year, and shake her silly. This book is a clean love story about trusting God and giving your WHOLE life to God, not just parts. Keep this in mind and you will like this book too.


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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Book Review; An Amish Kitcen by Beth Wiseman, Kelly Long, and Amy Clipston.

An Amish KitchenAn Amish Kitchen by Beth Wiseman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I LOVED all three books in this collection. I also like how it has a ton of Amish recipes and Herbal/homeopathic remedies in the back of the book. I really like how the books are all about the same community and intertwine the same characters into each book. I was also surprised that the last book was not a traditional romance, boy and girl falling in love, it was a mother and daughter falling in love and growing closer, super sweet and heart warming.

Book 1: A Taste of Faith by Kelly Long. Fern, Deborah, Zook is living with her widowed grandmother, she took her in after her parents passsed from influenza. Esther is training Fern in the art of herbal and homeopathic healing. She knows that no man will ever love a big woman like her so she is perfectly happy to serve her community as their healer. Abram Fisher is left in charge of his siblings while his parents are off visiting his ill grandfather. He must seek Fern's services when his sister becomes ill from sun exposure. After this brief run in he can't beleive that she is single, but he will never marry, his true love is the land. He is positive to never need her services again and will only see hr in passing. Well with 5 active siblings he has to seek out Fern repeatedly, good thig they are neighbors. What transpires is a heart warming awaking of love and loss and family and community ties that bind these two together. A must read.

Book 2: A Spoonful of Love by Amy Clipston. A revisit to the Paradise Inn from previous Amish collections. Hannah is now running the Inn since her father has suffered a stroke and needs her mother's constant care. Hannah vows to stay comminted to the Inn to make it succeed. She just wishes her mother would see her as capable of running the Inn. Stephen arrives at the Inn looking to start anew. He has suffered a great loss and feels that it is all his fault. He is shocked at how much Hannah looks like is lost fiance. All Stephen wants to do is work to put his pain and sorrow out of mind. Hannah just wants to run the Inn and be left to do her best. When her brother hires Stephen to help around the Inn Hannah is thrust into seeing Stephen for the kind caring man he really is, but her mother is totally against them spending any time together and constantly makes Hannah feel she is not doing well enough to succeed at the Inn. Will Stephen find healing? Will he fall for Hannah? Will Hannah succeed with the Inn? Will her mother give her the credit she is due? Will she fall for Stephen and his kind ways? This must read will answers theses questions in a heart warming way.

Book 3: A Recipe for Hope by Beth Wiseman. What happens when a grown daughter has to move back in with her hyper critical mother? Eve must move back home when her house is destroyed in a storm. She now has 3 boys and a husband moving with her. Her boys are raised more leniently than her mother wants and she is not shy in telling her so. Eve feels her mother never really loved her, she never shows affection or even tells her she loves her. Eve has spent years avoiding her mother, and being int he same house makes it very difficult to avoid her now. Yet Eve is drawn to her mother, she suffers from Parkinson disease and Eve wants to take her to the doctor to help with the symptoms. Yet as Eve watches her mother there is more wrong with her than she thought. How can she help her mother, keep her 3 rowdy boys in line and still keep her distance? This is a wonderful book about finding love where you thought there was none. Seeing the best in others through their past difficulties and growing to love them in spite of through your past hurts. This is a well thought out book that opens your eyes to mental illness, love of family and growing older, you must read this book.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Suzanne Woods Fisher's The Lesson, another awesom book

The LessonThe Lesson by Suzanne Woods Fisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book as much as I have loved Suzanne Woods Fisher's other books. She writes clean wholesome books that are filled with so much detail you feel you are right there with the characters, all of this with the love of God shining down on the characters showing how important faith and trust in God is to our lives.

In The Lesson we finally get to read about the little rascal, now grown up, MK. She acts without thinking, draws conclusions without all the facts, yet is so lovable you can't help but root for her. We get a glimpse into what truly happened to her mother on the day she died and how intertwined a community is, even when people move away. MK is set on solving a murder and won't listen to anyone trying to stop her, especially the law. She winds up in trouble with the sheriff even getting a ride in the back of his cruiser. She also ends up cornered into filling in for the teacher she does not like and whom she ran down with her scooter. Her best friend falls in love with her but she doesn't want to marry, will she find love? Will she survive her stint as a teacher?

Into the lives of the Amish community comes a mysterious man who will not talk about his family or past. MK is determined to find out more about him, he must be up to no good. This mystery man goes to work for MK's father and she watches him and his black horse to see what he is up to, trouble MK feels. Who is really up to trouble, the mystery man or MK? Read this great book and find out what happens to this much loved family and the rascal MK.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jerry Eicher's childhood comes alive in his book My Amish Childhood.

My Amish Childhood: A True Story of Faith, Family, and the Simple LifeMy Amish Childhood: A True Story of Faith, Family, and the Simple Life by Jerry S. Eicher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book gave me great insight into many of Jerry Eicher's books, why his characters felt or acted in a certain way, it had to do with how his life was lived and his experiences. It was interesting to learn that this man who writes such great novels with words that are extremely descriptive used few words in his life. He suffers from a stuttering problem and chose to not speak rather than have people make fun of him. He also was an angry child due to the speech impediment that caused people to make fun of him or who would not wait for him to try to speak. To learn that he was caught on very few occasions while doing mean and angry things to get back at those who made fun of him, in a peace loving Amish community, is quite amazing. That he grew up in Honduras where the rules of his Amish church there were less strict than in the states gave me insight into why his Amish books vary from some of my other favorite authors. I remember the first Eicher book I read I was complaining to my husband how different the characters dressed and acted in his novel, now I know why, it was how he was raised in another country with different rules. I truly loved this book learning how his father rigged up lights in their yard to ward of thieves. I never knew that neighbors and friends of a different culture would steal from you without feeling any guilt at all. This is how life was in Honduras for Jerry Eicher. If you want to learn what it is like to live as a white Amish community member in a third world country, from first-hand experience, give this book a read.

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Book Review: The Dawn of Christmas by cindy Woodsmall

The Dawn of Christmas: A Romance from the Heart of Amish CountryThe Dawn of Christmas: A Romance from the Heart of Amish Country by Cindy Woodsmall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Dawn of Christmas is included in The Christmas in Apple Ridge collection. In this book Sadie and Levi must overcome distrust of love and the opposite sex if they are ever to have families of their own. Sadie finds her fiance Daniel in the arms of her beautiful cousin on the eve of their wedding. Daniel and Aquilla both claim it was innocent and not what Sadie believes she saw. The Brim Amish community believes Daniel and Aquilla but Sadie's father believes her and allows her to move away and heal from the devastation. Levi watched his brother suffer through his wife leaving him and his young son for no apparent reason and his friend and business partner Daniel, yes Sadie's Daniel, was jilted on the eve of his wedding, now Levi swears never to marry, women are to untrustworthy. Four years later on the 4th of July Sadie is called to Apple Ridge where her Mammi Lee lives. After fighting with her family Sadie is "grounded" to her grandmother's house while her parents are out. Levi is tired of his family trying to set him up and agrees to go to a singing, only to get them to leave him alone. He leaves early bareback on the horse he has trained, little does he know the horse is petrified of fireworks and upon hearing them goes crazy, Levi is thrown and injured. Sadie is good at listening to God, just not her parents so she heads out on her grandmas horse. On her ride she becomes disoriented and finds the injured Levi. She rescues him by calling 911 and while waiting for the ambulance they talk and strike up a friendship. How far will this friendship go? Will they ever trust each other enough for a real friendship? Will Daniel come back into Sadie's life? If he does will he be a help or a hindrance? I won't tell but the book will.

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Book Review: The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall

The Christmas Singing: A Romance from the Heart of Amish CountryThe Christmas Singing: A Romance from the Heart of Amish Country by Cindy Woodsmall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Christmas Singing another wonderful book by Cindy Woodsmall. The book is a clean read about the Amish community of Apple Ridge and two people who must find forgiveness of themselves, others and even God. Mattie an absent minded forgetful Amish woman is broken hearted over her love since childhood Gideon, who she catches with an Englisher woman on Christmas Eve which is also her birthday. She moves to Berlin, Ohio and opens up her own business Mattie Cakes. She thinks she has found happiness in her thriving business and her new beau Sol. She isn't romantically in love with Sol but he is safe and would never break her heart the way Gideon did. Gideon is hiding a deep and deadly secret from his whole Amish community, his reason for allowing Mattie to believe he was in love with an English woman and cheating on her. He tries hard to keep the secret but he always fears that the illness that took his English friend, the one Mattie caught him with, will take his life as well. When Absent minded Mattie's, cake shop burns to the ground, possibly at her own forgetful hand, she moves back home to Apple Ridge and is faced with Gideon. Will she be able to forgive herself for possibly leaving her journal on the wood stove, and forgive Gideon for breaking her heart and be able to become his friend or maybe more... Read this awesome book by Cindy Woodsmall and find out.

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Book Review: The Sound of Sleighbells by Cindy Woodsmall

The Sound of Sleigh Bells: A Romance from the Heart of Amish CountryThe Sound of Sleigh Bells: A Romance from the Heart of Amish Country by Cindy Woodsmall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Sound of Sleigh Bells is about trusting God after suffering a drastic loss, for Beth this was the loss of her fiance to death, for Jonah it is the loss of 2 fingers and full use of his leg in a sleigh accident. When they both finally meet it is the loss of trust and believing in themselves. Beth is a no nonsense business woman who sells Amish crafts in her dry goods store. She also finds other Amish and English stores to buy and sell her Amish clients goods. While on a buying trip she steps into Pete's antiques and it changes her life. She finds a hand-carved piece that speaks to her and haunts her dreams after she purchases it. she must find a way to help "the old man" sell his carvings. She sends her aunt and namesake to talk to him and try to convince Jonah and her bishop to allow her to sell his beautiful carvings. Jonah called the "old Man" by Pete because of his wisdom, carving talent and use of a cane is actually Beth's age. Jonah is talked into writing to Beth, thinking she is her older Aunt Lizzy. Lizzy talks her niece Beth into writing to the "old man" whose carvings speak to her because the carvings have brought life back into her beloved nieces life. They write to each other not knowing that they are actually the same age, Lizzy is torn by her deception and tries to get Jonah to meet Beth, hoping they will at least be friends. It all backfires and Jonah thinks Beth is in on the deception and he vows not to write her anymore, yet he is drawn. When Beth shows up at Jonah's house to convice him to sell his items she too leans of the deception. They vow to never speak again even though they both have fallen in love with their pen pal. By trusting God can Beth and Jonah find healing from their losses and love in each other or will they live their lives never knowing if they were each others true love?

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Three Great books under one cover by Cindy Woodsmall

Christmas in Apple Ridge: Three-in-One Collection: The Sound of Sleigh Bells, The Christmas Singing, NEW! The Dawn of ChristmasChristmas in Apple Ridge: Three-in-One Collection: The Sound of Sleigh Bells, The Christmas Singing, NEW! The Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Three great books written by one of my favorite authors Cindy Woodsmall. I have never read a bad book from Cindy Woodsmall and all three of the novels included in this book are 5 star stories. They follow the lives of 5 different couples, I will only write of the main 3 couples though, you must read the books to know the rest, in the fictional Amish settlement of Apple Ridge, their ups and downs and finding love in just the right mate.

The Sound of Sleigh Bells is about trusting God after suffering a drastic loss, for Beth this was the loss of her fiancĂ© to death, for Jonah it is the loss of 2 fingers and full use of his leg in a sleigh accident. When they both finally meet it is the loss of trust and believing in themselves. Beth is a no nonsense business woman who sells Amish crafts in her dry goods store. She also finds other Amish and English stores to buy and sell her Amish clients goods. While on a buying trip she steps into Pete's antiques and it changes her life. She finds a hand-carved piece that speaks to her and haunts her dreams after she purchases it. she must find a way to help "the old man" sell his carvings. She sends her aunt and namesake to talk to him and try to convince Jonah and her bishop to allow her to sell his beautiful carvings. Jonah called the "old Man" by Pete because of his wisdom, carving talent and use of a cane is actually Beth's age. Jonah is talked into writing to Beth, thinking she is her older Aunt Lizzy. Lizzy talks her niece Beth into writing to the "old man" whose carvings speak to her because the carvings have brought life back into her beloved niece’s life. They write to each other not knowing that they are actually the same age, Lizzy is torn by her deception and tries to get Jonah to meet Beth, hoping they will at least be friends. It all backfires and Jonah thinks Beth is in on the deception and he vows not to write her anymore, yet he is drawn. When Beth shows up at Jonah's house to convince him to sell his items she too leans of the deception. They vow to never speak again even though they both have fallen in love with their pen pal. By trusting God can Beth and Jonah find healing from their losses and love in each other or will they live their lives never knowing if they were each other’s true love?

The Christmas Singing is about forgiveness of yourself, others and even God. Mattie an absent minded forgetful Amish woman is broken hearted over her love since childhood Gideon, who she catches with an Englisher woman on Christmas Eve, which is also her birthday. She moves to Berlin, Ohio and opens up her own business Mattie Cakes. She thinks she has found happiness in her thriving business and her new beau Sol. She isn't romantically in love with Sol but he is safe and would never break her heart the way Gideon did. Gideon is hiding a deep and deadly secret from his whole Amish community, his reason for allowing Mattie to believe he was in love with an English woman and cheating on her. He tries hard to keep the secret but he always fears that the illness that took his English friend, the one Mattie caught him with, will take his life as well. When Absent minded Mattie's cake shop burns to the ground, possibly at her own forgetful hand, she moves back home to Apple Ridge and is faced with Gideon. Will she be able to forgive herself for possibly leaving her journal on the wood stove, and forgive Gideon for breaking her heart and be able to become his friend or maybe more... Read this awesome book by Cindy Woodsmall and find out.

Third book included in this collection is The Dawn of Christmas where Sadie and Levi must overcome distrust of love and the opposite sex if they are ever to have families of their own. Sadie finds her fiancĂ© Daniel in the arms of her beautiful cousin on the eve of their wedding. Daniel and Aquilla both claim it was innocent and not what Sadie believes she saw. The Brim Amish community believes Daniel and Aquilla but Sadie's father believes her and allows her to move away and heal from the devastation. Levi watched his brother suffer through his wife leaving him and his young son for no apparent reason and his friend and business partner Daniel, yes Sadie's Daniel, was jilted on the eve of his wedding, now Levi swears never to marry, women are to untrustworthy. Four years later on the 4th of July Sadie is called to Apple Ridge where her Mammi Lee lives. After fighting with her family Sadie is "grounded" to her grandmother’s house while her parents are out. Levi is tired of his family trying to set him up and agrees to go to a singing, only to get them to leave him alone. He leaves early bareback on the horse he has trained, little does he know the horse is petrified of fireworks and upon hearing them goes crazy, Levi is thrown and injured. Sadie is good at listening to God, just not her parents so she heads out on her grandmas horse. On her ride she becomes disoriented and finds the injured Levi. She rescues him by calling 911 and while waiting for the ambulance they talk and strike up a friendship. How far will this friendship go? Will they ever trust each other enough for a real friendship? Will Daniel come back into Sadie's life? If he does will he be a help or a hindrance? I won't tell but the book will.

Read this three book collection and you will find out what happens to these 3 main couples and a few more. I really love how the couples are not in just their main book but in all 3 books so you see how their lives are intertwined and how the Amish community supports them or hinders them. They all have a clean, family oriented story line that is safe and enjoyable for all to read. I loved these 3 stories so much I am searching to see if Cindy has written anymore books based in Apple Ridge. Join me and read all of her great books.


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Monday, January 21, 2013

Five star book, A Cowboy at Heart by Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith

A Cowboy at HeartA Cowboy at Heart by Lori Copeland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith hit a home run with this heart warming story of lost love, loosing ones house, life's difficult moments and overcoming it all. The trials of each character were real life trials that we all might encounter, even though the book takes place in 1886. The book is about trusting God to see us through all our trials and helping us overcome them in a manner pleasing to Him.

Katie is a young widow of her Amish Bishop's son. She is adamant that she will never marry again because she cannot have children. She does not want to have a man suffer through the same pain as he deceased husband. Katie is blessed as a healer and midwife and plans to live her life helping others.

Jesse is a former range cowboy and alcoholic. He believes that no woman will ever love him for the life he led, drinking his way through life. He is now sober and yearns for a home and family. He is also English living with Jonas' daughter who left the Amish faith along with his other daughter. Jesse works on their farms, he is a long time friend of Emma's Husband a former range cowboy.

Jonas is a widower with a farm he has lived on for 20 years. He wakes up one morning to see a fence running right through the middle of his hard earned and hard worked farm. A rich cattle baron has come to town to get as much land as he can and has decided that Jonas' spread has perfect access to water for his cattle. Because the Amish do not fight He has decided to take half of Jonas' land.

Jonas is in the process of trying to get his land back while remaining true to his Amish beliefs Jesse is shot in the back helping him. Katie comes to Jonas' farm to minister to Jesse's wounds and hopefully keep him alive.

Will Jonas keep his land? Will Jesse live through his grave injury and find a home and family of his own? Will Katie trust God and marry again? Will she ever be a mother? Read this wonderful heart warming book to find out. It is well worth the time to read it and the money to purchase it!

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Book Review: The Protctor by Shelley Shepard Gray

The Protector (Families of Honor, #2)The Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I judge how good a book is by how much it draws me into the story, thus said, I truly loved this book. I found myself wanting to yell at Dorothy, Hannah's not so supportive friend. I wanted to jump into the book and wring her neck. How can someone be so mean and expect you to only be friends with them, spending all of your time together? Ella is trying to step out on her own after the death of both of her parents, but Dorothy hinders her progress. Ella wants to make new friends, enjoy her new job and maybe even fall in love. Dorothy wants Ella to work with her, eat with her, worship with her, and spend all her time with her and her alone. This story could happen in any community in any state or nation. The book takes place in an Amish community where you think everything would be idyllic and stalkers would not exist, guess again... I recommend you read The Protector to find out all the trials that Ella goes through and if she ends up meeting her goals of making new friends, enjoying her new job and if she ever succeeds at love.

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Hannah's Joy by Marta Perry a must read novel

Hannah's JoyHannah's Joy by Marta Perry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Marta Perry again writes a compelling story of loss and redemption. I would give this book 6 stars if I could. I liked Hanna's Joy that much. I recommend this book to everyone who loves a heartwarming story of overcoming loss and disability to find love and happiness. I could relate to Hannah's plight in trying to give her son the best she could while struggling with where she should make her home. I could not put the book down and ended up reading in in one night, I had to know what would happen next and find out how Hannah and her son Jamie would find love and happiness in their new Mennonite/Amish community.

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Book Review: Redeeming Grace by Emma Miller

Redeeming GraceRedeeming Grace by Emma Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What would you do if someone showed up on your doorstep saying they were your deceased husband’s daughter he never knew about? This is how Grace shows up on the Yoder's doorstep. Then Hannah Yoder, mom extraordinaire welcomes the long lost daughter into their house and lives without questioning if Grace is truly who she says she is. I gave the book 4 stars because I find the 100% welcome of Grace into Hannah's life without question hard to believe. As I read the book I continued to struggle with this concept. The rest of the family was not as welcoming and for that reason I only deducted a star.

Redeeming Grace is well written and I stuck with the book because I truly liked the other 4 books in the series. Reasoning on Hannah's part for accepting Grace so quickly is well handled and explained but I still find it unbelievable. The fact that Grace struggles to open up to the family wholly because she is not perfect is truly believable and how the family accepts her not matter her past, by the end of the book, shows God's true character through this family. Grace's struggle is based on her misunderstanding in thinking that all Amish people are perfect and could never accept someone who is not. I really liked how the Yoder family showed Grace that God loves you no matter your mistakes.

Even with my questioning how Hannah accepted Grace, the book was very good and I look forward to the next book in the series to come out in May 2013. I would recommend this book to most everyone. I have to remember that there really are people out there who would welcome someone into their house as Hannah did, but in this day and age it is probably not safe, still it made for a good story line and showed how some people can love you no matter your background or parentage, a truly good lesson to learn.


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Book Review: Katie Opens Her Heart by Jerry Eicher

Katie Opens Her HeartKatie Opens Her Heart by Jerry S. Eicher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As usual I love Jerry Eicher’s writing. This is a great book and I recommend it to all my friends, family and blog followers. My only problem is I have to wait 5 months for the next book to find out what more happens to Katie.

This book is titled Katie Opens Her Heart, which I wrongly assumed would mean Katie fell in love, got married and had bopli. No that is not what happens in this book, looking at the next 2 books in the series I am thinking she doesn't get married until the third book, thus my impatience in waiting for Jerry's next books. I want to know what happens. Jerry's writing draws you in so much you can't put his books down, only now I am forced to "put it down" and wait for the next book to be published.

This is a heartwarming story mainly about Katie and her widowed mother, who are seen as odd by the Amish community because the widowed mother has never remarried after over 10 years. Mom has become somewhat of a recluse and wants to keep Katie all to herself, never dating, falling in love and marrying. I was so drawn into the book that I became angry at Katie's mom for not allowing her to grow up and meet new friends and attend youth gatherings. Poor Katie just wants to please her mother yet have the life of a Plain teenager. Katie's mom has sworn off ever falling in love again because there is too much pain in loving someone. She wants to keep Katie all to herself, not even wanting her to have a job. Katie rebels and stays at her job and makes new friends while going against her mother and attending Mennonite youth gatherings. What happens is a heartwarming story of how a mother and daughter overcome obstacles, remain close in adversity and rebellion and both open their hearts to a life outside of their own home. I won't go into what happens that is for you to find out by reading the book, someone does fall in love, and mother and daughter become closer than ever and allow other people into their lives, read the book to find out more.


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