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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