Sunday, September 23, 2018

Review: Amish Celebrations by:Beth Wiseman

 Amish Celebrations: Four Novellas
**Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
The Gift of Sisters

Hannah and Rachel are fraternal twins approaching their sixteenth birthday—a time when they will be allowed to spread their wings and enjoy their rumschpringe. The sisters couldn’t be more different: Hannah is outgoing and beautiful, while Rachel is shy and withdrawn. And when newcomer Abraham Stoltzfus arrives in Lancaster County, both women fall head over heels for him, each fighting for his affections in their own ways and driving the sisters to turn on each other. Who will Abraham choose? And will Hannah and Rachel reunite after a devastating heartbreak?

A New Beginning

Rebecca and Noah are in love and about to be baptized. But when Noah decides to enjoy one last night of his rumschpringe a few weeks before the ceremony, he does something that causes Rebecca to reconsider his proposal. As Rebecca and Noah navigate the turn in their relationship, Rebecca must learn to forgive Noah or abandon her dreams of marrying him. If Noah won’t forgive himself in time for the baptism, his guilt could cause him to run from his love for Rebecca and leave his community behind.

A Perfect Plan  (previously published in An Amish Wedding)

Priscilla King has been planning to marry Chester Lapp since she was sixteen years old, and when Chester pops the question on Priscilla’s nineteenth birthday, wedding plans begin immediately. But everything begins to fall apart as Chester works to build a house for his new bride, only to have one disaster after another occur. Can true love take this couple through the challenges that threaten their union, or will they begin to doubt that they are on the right path, the one God has chosen for them?

A Christmas Miracle

Mary is twenty-seven years old and already has five young children. Married to her husband at age eighteen, she wasn’t quite prepared for motherhood, and exhaustion and frustration are sending her into a downhill spiral as the holidays approach. Too proud and ashamed to ask for help, Mary’s situation begins to take a toll on her marriage. But when an elderly man in a red suit and his sidekick elf befriend Mary, showering her with wisdom and advice, she must choose to accept help, learn to cope with her situation, and ultimately find the true meaning of Christmas.

My Review:
 Such a sweet celebration and kinship of stories. Each story has its own unique twist and each one focuses on a celebration of some kind. Just like all of the author's previous books these are lovely and heartwarming and sure to please. Whether it's Hannah and Rachel fighting over a guy or its Mary struggling with her family and seeing a new twist on Christmas.

 Each one of the stories are perfect for this time and season and they are definite page-turners. My favorite was A Christmas Miracle. I related to Mary and her everyday struggles. She is an inspiration and delight.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Review: Through the Autumn Air by:Kelly Irvin

 Through the Autumn Air (An Every Amish Season Novel)
 **Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:

A mysterious English stranger appears in Mary Katherine Ropp’s kitchen one autumn night, heralding the beginning of a new chapter in the widow’s life.

The mother of ten, Mary Katherine is an empty-nester who lost her husband four years earlier. She misses her husband so much, she still talks to him. She pours her creative spirit into writing stories and serves as the district’s Budget newspaper scribe. An avid reader, her dream is to open a bookstore with her English friend, but the church elders want this wayward widow to work in an Amish-owned combination store.

When an English man breaks into her house looking for food, Mary Katherine doesn’t call the sheriff. She turns to her good friend, Ezekiel, who needs a cook at the restaurant he started after his wife died ten years earlier. Mary Katherine and Ezekiel set out separately to make sure their new friend isn’t caught up in the investigation, and their efforts keep bringing them together. They’re both still so in love with their long-gone spouses, so when the sparks begin to fly, they are beyond confused. Is it possible to find “The One” more than once in a lifetime?

But as Mary Katherine stands by her dear friend after the death of her husband, Mary Katherine is reminded of the terrible risk in giving her heart to someone. Can these two people, well-versed in the pain of loss, put the past behind them and trust in the hope of the future?

My Review:
 What a beautiful story of two lost souls. They devoted their lives to their now passed on spouses only to have that love reawakened in a way they never imagined. Their stories though similar seem miles apart. Time and time again things in life place them together and its not too long before God plants a tiny ember that suggests an open flame that is starting to burn.

 Mary Katherine seems so sweet and gentle in spirit my heart went out to her from the start. Ezekiel still longing for his wife continues on in her stead and cooking at their restaurant that once brought him joy now seems like a distant memory.

 The lives of these two sweet souls will definitely prick your heart.

I absolutely loved the story and the cover was perfect!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Review: Crack Yourself Up Jokes for Kids by:Sandy Silverthorne

 Crack Yourself Up Jokes for Kids
**Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
Any kid can be a comedian with a little help from award-winning author/illustrator Sandy Silverthorne's Crack Yourself Up Jokes for Kids. Perfect for kids ages 6-12, this zany collection of one-liners (Did you hear about the missing barber? Police are combing the city.), knock-knock jokes (Knock, Knock. Who's there? Pizza. Pizza who? Pizza nice guy, don't you think?), riddles (What's red and goes up and down? A tomato in an elevator.), puns, and funny lists represents some of the world's best clean humor. Add in the author's hilarious illustrations and cartoons, and kids will get hours of fun with the kind of laughs that make milk come out your nose--that is, if you're drinking milk while you read!

My Review:
 Who doesn't like a good joke? Most children love it when they can tell an adult a joke and the adult gets it. I was remembering my four year old niece the other day tell me a knock knock joke and of course I didn't get it. She laughed and laughed. A great memory.

 My son is looking forward to getting his hands on this joke book. He is a jokester and prank puller that enjoys it so much.

 Crack Yourself Up Jokes for Kids, for ages 6-12 but any age would love it and enjoy it. I was even reading some of the jokes to my own children and they loved it. Most of the jokes are pretty corny but they are good and clean.

 It contains a mixture of all types of jokes, riddles, and puns and is the perfect gift for a child that seems quiet and withdrawn. My son is very shy and jokes help him to feel better in awkward situations. With over a hundred pages of jokes, riddles, and puns your child will have a lot of down home fun.


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Review: The Patriot Bride by:Kimberley Woodhouse

 The Patriot Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #4)
 **Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
Faith Jackson and Matthew Weber are both working covertly to aid the Patriot cause. But will they be willing to sacrifice all for their fledgling country?
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Spies Work Together for the Patriot Cause
Faith Jackson is a wealthy widow, friend of George Washington, and staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. Matthew Weber is friends with both Ben Franklin and his son William, who increasingly differ in their political views; and Matthew finds himself privy to information on both sides of the conflict. When a message needs to get to a spy among the Loyalists, Faith bravely steps up and in turn meets Matthew Weber. Suddenly she believes she could love again. But someone else has his eye on the Faith she portrays in elite social circles. What will Matthew and Faith have to sacrifice for the sake of their fledgling country?

My Review:
 As always, this author never disappoints. She structures her writing ever so eloquently to fit the style of the day and it always comes out perfectly. Faith and Matthew know that they can help the Patriots but things are so uneasy and it seems almost impossible for them to achieve even an ounce of victory for the rebel cause.

 Faith and Matthew both have the same idea to help "the cause" but both are on opposing sides. Will either ever be able to help the other is the question but soon they get real close, a little too close and they start to forget just what they are for and what they are against anymore.

 I like how the author threads through the historical aspect but also the Godly aspect and she seems to be able to make it flow correctly and evenly. The story line was a brilliant one and you can never lose with this point and time in history. It has so much suspense and intrigue. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Review: A Windy Spring Day by:Wendy Dunham

 A Windy Spring Day: God Gives Us Friends When We're Afraid
 **Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
A Blustery Day in Buttercup Grove

When a big wind goes whoosh, Skunk gets scared and could sure use a friend. Braving the storm to check on his best pal, Raccoon comes over for a visit and brings a big surprise—supplies to make a kite. Skunk and Raccoon work together to get the kite made and invite everyone in Buttercup Grove over to fly it, because some things are better to do with more than just two!

The Tales of Buttercup Grove series introduces young readers, ages 3-7, to the many fun adventures of Skunk, Raccoon, and the rest of their woodland friends. Along the way, your child will learn timeless Christian values, such as sharing, compassion, kindness, encouragement, and patience, and learn a key Bible verse at the end of each story.

My Review:
 Poor skunk! He is deathly afraid of the wind as it kicks up one day. But he didn't have to be afraid or alone long. His friend Raccoon came to help sit it out with him. While they waited it out Raccoon brought some supplies and they worked on a great project that will help pass the time. Soon the two friends are immersed in this project and what a great thing that it turns out to be. So much so that they share it with all of Buttercup Grove.

 These sweet little stories all combined in a precious book just perfect for my 8 yr old. We enjoy reading together the adventures of the woodland creatures from Buttercup Grove. Along the Christian values and a Bible verse for each story these are the most precious books.

Review: The Hope Jar by:Wanda E. Brunstetter

 The Hope Jar (The Prayer Jars #1)
**Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
A Brand-New 3-Book Series from New York Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter.
What happens when making an elderly Amish couple very happy means going along with a lie that gets bigger by the day?

Michelle Taylor is not who her new family in Lancaster County believes her to be. The Lapps were looking for their long-lost granddaughter when they met Michelle and she assumed the identity of Sara Murray. Once homeless and hopeless, Michelle has come to love her new Amish friends and even considers the idea of romance among them.

Finding an old blue jar in the barn that is filled with slips of paper containing thoughts, quotes, and prayers by an unknown author becomes a boost to Michelle’s budding faith— but also convicting. How can she tell the truth without hurting the ones she has truly come to love?

My Review:
 Talking about a con artist. Michelle Taylor assumes the life and role of a girl by the name of Sara Murray. Sara being Amish proves to be a good fit for Michelle. The Amish, their lifestyle and all they have to offer seem to come at the best time for Michelle. She is trying to escape a devastating set of circumstances ones in which, there seem to be no escape or so she thought. She was able to become Sara and the Lapps believe her. But soon conviction gets the best of her and she starts contemplating telling them the truth.

 Its not long before Michelle assumes the role of Sara that some young men become interested. Thats all great and everything but what will they do when they find out they are being deceived? Michelle has a lot of explaining to do and she needs to act quickly because her whole story seems to be falling a part. The Hope Jar is based on a little jar of hope that Michelle finds. It is this jar that will set her free on so many levels.

 A great summertime read!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Review: The Edge Over There by:Shawn Smucker

 The Edge of Over There
**Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
The captivating sequel to the award-winning The Day the Angels Fell

Before the Tree of Life, everything in Abra Miller's life had been predictable. But after the Tree and the lightning and the angels, everything felt tenuous, like holding a soap bubble in the palm of her hand. She spent years looking for signs of that other world, waiting for it to break through. When it didn't, her friendship with Sam Chambers grew cold and distant, and they both wondered how any of it could actually have happened.

Four years later, 16-year-old Abra's long-delayed quest to find the next manifestation of the Tree of Life is renewed when she sees a woman walking up the road--a woman who looks exactly like Sam's dead mother. The woman directs her to New Orleans where she will find the grave of Marie Laveau, one of seven gateways between this world and Over There. As Abra enters The Edge of Over There and begins her pursuit of the Tree once more, she doesn't know whom to fear or whom to trust. But she's starting to think that some doorways should never be opened.

My Review:
 This book, the story is very different than what I typically read and review. Along with lyrical prose and Abra's flair for the dramatic this story is multi-dimensional. It has several different story-lines that meet somewhere in the middle. I liked the fact that I was sent on a wild goose chase to get down to the bottom of this character and what the Tree of Life was.

 Abra is taking an adventure and she takes us along for the ride. She is on a quest that only she alone can complete. It was jaw dropping to say the least. Now, I have to go back and read the first one because I can't get enough of this amazing story. A great read by the pool!