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A SEAT BY THE HEARTH book review

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A Seat by the Hearth
by Amy Clipston



Book Description:
Priscilla Allgyer knows she cannot leave the past behind. But can love lead her toward the promise of healing? 

Priscilla Allgyer left the community to escape the expectations of Amish life. Now, years later, she is forced to return—along with her six-year-old son—to the place she thought she’d left behind forever. Though once estranged from her family, Priscilla is welcomed by her mother, but her father is cold and strict. He allows Priscilla to stay with them provided she dresses plainly, confesses her sins, and agrees to marry within the community. Once again, she feels suffocated, trapped, and alone.

As Priscilla reluctantly completes her shunning, she catches the eye of Mark Riehl, a farmer with a playboy reputation. Wary of Mark, Priscilla barely gives him the time of day—while Mark, unused to being ignored by the women of Bird-in-Hand, won’t give up the pursuit of her friendship. Priscilla desperately needs a friend in Mark, ev…

"The Water Tower Club" Book review

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The Water Tower Club
by BK Mayo


Book Description: 

From the author of the award-winning novel "Tamara’s Child," comes a story crackling with mystery and suspense.
The day after graduating from high school, Darryl Coombs fled his hometown of Grotin, Kansas, hoping to put the memories of his nightmarish childhood behind him forever. Now, ten years later, his sister’s arrest on a charge of attempted murder has Darryl reluctantly returning to his childhood home. He is desperate to save his sister from prison, but his unwitting actions lead to deadly consequences that tear apart the fabric of a community and send him on a personal journey the end of which he could never have imagined.

MY REVIEW:  Exploring themes of dysfunctional homes and past trauma, B K Mayo takes an approach of present day combined with flashbacks to explore Darryl and his sister's past and present.  This book definitely had my attention, but the ending seemed to come out of nowhere and to be very far-fetched…

"40 Days of Christmas" Book Review

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40 Days of Christmas : Celebrating the Glory of Our Savior
by Joseph Castleberry





Book description:

Who wants Christmas just one day a year?
Celebrate for forty days!

Do you find your attention consumed by the pressures of the Christmas season—capturing the perfect Christmas card photo, finding the perfect gift, serving the perfect meal, or creating the perfect experience for your family? It’s all too easy to lose sight of what is important.

With daily Scriptures, inspirational readings, and uplifting prayers, 40 Days of Christmas is a devotional designed to help you enjoy three of the traditional church calendar seasons. Prepare your heart during Advent, rejoice in His birth at Christmas, and reveal the light of Christ on Epiphany.

Focus on the richness of God’s presence during this period of fuss and feasting as you celebrate the glory of the Savior. Every good thing you associate with Christmas flows from God’s Spirit, and the Spirit of Christmas can remain with you and your family all ye…

"A Christmas Prayer" Book Review

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AChristmas Prayer
by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Beloved, bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter takes readers on a journey in 1850 along the California Trail.

Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.

Cynthia Cooper is traveling with her mother and the man she has promised to marry. But as Christmas is upon them and they are hunkered down in a small cabin, she is forced to reevaluate her reasons for planning to marry fellow-traveler Walter Prentice. When a widowed father heading to a California ranch and a gold prospector both show an interest in Cynthia, she weighs her dreams for marriage alongside her responsibility to care for her mother. Can love win over her timid heart?


MY THOUGHTS…

"Rachel's Dream" Book Review

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Rachel's Dream(Hope Chest of Dreams #3)
by Lisa Jones Baker


Book Description:  Patience, faith--and the hopes and dreams within their hand-carved hope chests--help to bring three young Amish women, one by one, the blessed futures their hearts desire...

Rachel Kauffman and Jarred Zimmerman seem to have nothing in common. She's the outgoing youngest of a large, close-knit Amish clan, and longs to raise a brood of her own near those she loves. Estranged from his family by tragedy, Jarred is a young veterinarian who trusts the animals he heals far more than he trusts people. However, when Rachel's beloved horse falls ill, Jarred's struggles to save him show Rachel he's a man who cares deeply. And the respect he feels for her gentle warmhearted ways soon becomes an irresistible bond...

When Rachel tries to help Jarred reunite with his parents, it is an unexpected blessing--with one complication. If he takes this chance to put his past to rest, it could separate him and Rache…

"Mind Games" Book Review

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Mind Games
(Kaely Quinn Profiler #1)
by Nancy Mehl


This book is a MUST-READ!!!!!
Book Description: Kaely Quinn's talents as an FBI behavior analyst are impossible to ignore, no matter how unorthodox her methods. But when a reporter outs her as the daughter of an infamous serial killer, she's demoted to field agent and transferred to St. Louis.

When the same reporter who ruined her career claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely's, the reporter's ulterior motives bring his claim into question. But when a body is found that fits the poem's predictions, the threat is undeniable, and the FBI sends Special Agent Noah Hunter to St. Louis.

Initially resentful of the assignment, Noah is surprised at how quickly his respect for Kaely grows, despite her oddities. But with a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else--includ…

"180 Devotions for When Life is Hard" Book Review

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180 Devotions for When Life is Hard:  Encouragement for a Woman's Heart 
by Renae Brumbaugh Green

Book Description:  
Life Is Good. . . Praise God!
Life Not Going So Well? . . . Praise God! . . .


Do you find that it's easy to praise God when life is going well—the bills are paid, family members are healthy and thriving, and every day is smooth sailing—but difficult to muster up genuine praise when life isn't going so well?

With 180 Devotions for When Life Is Hard, you will discover just the comfort and encouragement your heart needs for the areas of life that truly matter to you, including family, finances, work, health, faith, and so much more. Whatever life brings your way—through every mountain and valley—you will encounter words that uplift and inspire your soul in this lovely devotional. 

MY REVIEW:   This could definitely serve as a useful tool for women who are or have been facing difficulties in their lives.  Each devotion includes the scripture, a very short devotional m…