Wednesday, February 7, 2018

"Can We Still Believe in the Rapture?" Book Review


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Can We Still Believe in the Rapture?
by Ed Hindson & Mark Hitchcock

Book Description:

Christian Fiction...
or Biblical Fact?

Today, the hope that all believers on earth will be "caught up" to heaven is being challenged in new waves of criticism. Is the rapture really taught in the Bible? Can we really expect Jesus to gather up His followers before the Antichrist is revealed?

In this well-reasoned and thorough defense, prophecy authors Mark Hitchcock and Ed Hindson examine the concept, context, and consequences of the important and long-expected event known as the rapture. Discover the answers to such questions as...


What is the rapture—and is there any historical precedent for it?
Why do some believers object to the idea of a rapture?
Does the timing of the rapture really make a difference?
As you explore what Scripture says about the end times, you'll get a grander glimpse of your glorious future and the deepest hope of every follower of Jesus.

MY REVIEW:  Revelation has long fascinated Christians and I'm not immune to that fascination.  What will happen?  When will it happen?  Will I be included?  What/who should I believe about interpretations of Revelation.  There are three trains of thought concerning the Rapture:  pretribulationalists, posttribulationalists, and midtribulationalists.  The authors analyze and explain each of these three views.  The examination of the three views can sometimes seem overwhelming to the average Christian.   I personally referred to my Bible, commentaries, and other texts about the book of Revelation.  Bible scholars, I'm sure, will have no difficulty following the authors.   I do find this book to be very helpful and highly thought provoking. There is a glossary and summary of the three views at the conclusion of the book, as well as references.   This book has obviously been greatly researched.   
          I am rating this book 4 stars and highly recommend it to readers.   
         I received an ebook of this selections from netgalley and Harvest House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to post a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Authors:
Mark Hitchcock

Mark Hitchcock is the author of more than 17 books related to end-time Bible prophecy, including the bestselling Armageddon, Oil and Terror. He earned a ThM and PhD from Dallas Theological Seminary and serves as a senior pastor of Faith Bible Church in Oklahoma, has worked as an adjunct professor at DTS, and has served as a contributing editor for the Left Behind Prophecy Club for five years. He also holds a law degree.  Connect with Mark:  Mark Hitchcock is the author of more than 17 books related to end-time Bible prophecy, including the bestselling Armageddon, Oil and Terror. He earned a ThM and PhD from Dallas Theological Seminary and serves as a senior pastor of Faith Bible Church in Oklahoma, has worked as an adjunct professor at DTS, and has served as a contributing editor for the Left Behind Prophecy Club for five years. He also holds a law degree.
Connect with Mark at his website:   


Edward E. Hindson

Ed Hindson (born Edward Hindson on December 21, 1944) is an American Christian evangelist and current host of The King Is Coming, a syndicated television broadcast shown across the United States. Hindson has written more than twenty books that deal with Bible prophecy and the imminent return of Jesus. He is a professor of Old Testament studies and Eschatology at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, and a frequent speaker on prophecy.

Hindson graduated from William Tyndale College in Farmington Hills, Michigan. He completed a D. Phil. at the University of South Africa and also holds a number of degrees such as and M.A. and Th. D. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Th.M. from Grace Theological Seminary and D. Min. from Westminster Theological Seminary.

Dr. Ed Hindson is the President of World Prophetic Ministry and Bible Teacher on The King Is Coming telecast. He is also the Assistant Chancellor and Dean of the Institute of Biblical Studies at Liberty University in Virginia. Dr. Hindson previously served as the associate pastor of the 9,000-member Rehoboth Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Besides teaching thousands of students each week, he is an active conference speaker and a prolific writer. Ed has written over 40 books, including Final Signs; Approaching Armageddon; and Is the Antichrist Alive and Well? He has served as the editor of five major Study Bibles, including the Gold Medallion Award-winning Knowing Jesus Study Bible (Zondervan) and the best-selling King James Study Bible (Thomas Nelson). He is currently co-editing the new 16-volume Twenty-First Century Biblical Commentary series on the New Testament (AMG).
Connect with Ed at his website:  

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

"Two Minutes in the Bible Through Revelation" Book Review

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Two Minutes in the Bible® Through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional

A 90-Day Devotional

by Boyd Bailey

"Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!"
Revelation 19:7


At first glance, the puzzling imagery of Revelation can seem difficult to understand. But the message of this prophetic book is one of victory and joy—God's triumph over evil and His faithfulness to those who trust in Him.

Celebrate His power and truth with this 90-day journey through the book of Revelation. Each day's quick devotion and Scripture will add real-life meaning to the message, inspiring you to joyfully share the gospel and obey God's will.

Revelation is a vessel of grace for your life, equipping you to embrace God's ultimate promise and celebrate His glory every day. Find strength in each page to humbly persevere—filled with a spirit of praise and assurance.
 

MY REVIEW:  Revelation has been one of my favorite books of the Bible since I was a teenager and stayed awake one night to read the book in its entirety. It is also one that I continue to have many questions about, even though I have participated in many Bible study groups based on Revelation since early adulthood.   It is meant to be a book of hope for Christians as revealed to John on the Island of Patmos.  The 90 devotionals in this book begin with a scripture taken from Revelation with thoughts and reflections for that reading, including one or more additional, related scripture verses.   I found this to be a very meaningful devotional to accompany my daily Bible study and prayer time.   I mistakenly assumed that the book would taken more of an educational, interpretative view on the book of Revelation, and while I was looking forward to that, it was still a helpful, and encouraging book.
        I rate this book 4 stars.  I highly recommend it to those seeking an addition to their daily Bible study and prayer time.   
        I received an ebook of this selection from netgalley and Harvest House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are my own.


About the Author:
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Boyd Bailey, the author of Wisdom Hunters devotionals, is the founder of Wisdom Hunters, Inc., an Atlanta-based ministry created to encourage Christians (a.k.a wisdom hunters) to apply God’s unchanging Truth in a changing world.

By God’s grace, Boyd has impacted wisdom hunters in over 86 countries across the globe through the Wisdom Hunters daily devotion, wisdomhunters.com devotional blog and devotional books.

For over 30 years Boyd Bailey has passionately pursued wisdom through his career in fulltime ministry, executive coaching, and mentoring.

Since becoming a Christian at the age of 19, Boyd begins each day as a wisdom hunter, diligently searching for Truth in scripture, and through God’s grace, applying it to his life.

These raw, ‘real time’ reflections from his personal time with the Lord, are now impacting over 70,000 people through the Wisdom Hunters Daily Devotion email. In addition to the daily devotion, Boyd has authored three devotional books: Infusion, a 90-day devotional, Seeking Daily the Heart of God, a 365-day devotional and Seeking God in the Psalms, a 90-day devotional along with several 30-day devotional e-Books on topics such as Wisdom for Fathers, Wisdom for Mothers, Wisdom for Graduates, and Wisdom for Marriage.

In addition to Wisdom Hunters, Boyd is the co-founder and CEO of Ministry Ventures, a faith based non-profit, where he has trained and coached over 1000 ministries in the best practices of prayer, board, ministry models, administration and fundraising. Prior to Ministry Ventures, Boyd was the National Director for Crown Financial Ministries and an Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church of Atlanta. Boyd serves on numerous boards including Ministry Ventures, Wisdom Hunters, Atlanta Mission, Souly Business and Blue Print for Life.

Boyd received his Bachelor of Arts from Jacksonville State University and his Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Seminary. He and Rita, his wife of 30 plus years, live in Roswell, Georgia and are blessed with four daughters, three sons-in-law who love Jesus, and a granddaughter and grandson. Boyd and Rita enjoy missions and investing in young couples, as well as hiking, reading, traveling, working through their bucket list, watching college football, and hanging out with their kids and grand kids when ever possible.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

"The Silken Edge" Book Review

The Silken Edge by Laci Paige

(The Silken Edge series #1)


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The relationship was over long before it ended, so when her boyfriend dumps her, Kristy craves a change in life. Kristy's best friend, Sherry, is into the BDSM scene, and on a whim and a bet, Kristy finds herself in the playroom at an exclusive club. A disguised Dom named Master Jay uses sensation play and a piece of silk to help her discover the world of kink. She finds it enjoyable and addictive, but what she doesn't know is that Master Jay is really Jake, a much younger man to whom she's strongly attracted.

For the past couple of years, Jake quietly watched Kristy in his gym. He doesn't care that she’s older than him; he wants her. When the virgin BDSM sub he’s hired to train ends up being Kristy, Jake almost falls apart. During the scene they play at the club, he fantasizes about getting her into restraints in his own playroom. But Kristy is shocked when she learns that the two men she desires are one and the same. Can Kristy who’s led a vanilla sex life, and Jake, who knows nothing but kink, find a future together?

A note from the author:
BDSM is variable; it's not black and white, it's not always deep and dark. It's whatever the participants want it to be, it's individual, and there is no "right" way to do it - as long as it's SSC (safe/sane/consensual).
I've done my research. I've been to clubs, private play parties, demonstrations, forums, workshops, conventions, and conferences on the subject of kink/BDSM.
Don't let what you think you know about the lifestyle, or what you've read in novels affect your thoughts on the subject. Be open-minded.

MY REVIEW:  Having recently read the immensely popular Fifty Shades Trilogy, I couldn't help but compare the two as I read.  This novel is actually quite tame in its portrayal of BDSM in comparison. I personally know nothing about the BDSM world, but I believe readers like me would rather read a story of couples who enjoy vanilla sex with a bit of exploration into sex toys, mild bondage, etc. The story is actually very sweet.  Jake does not have a dark past causing him to live this alternative lifestyle. He simply derives pleasure from the experience as a Dominate. He seems to have close family relations, so no dark skeletons in the closet for him. In fact, he has a twin sister who he has had a romantic relationship with his best friend and comes to live with him.  Kristy has recently been jilted by her longtime lover and is very vulnerable when she becomes involved with Jake. 

I found this book highly engaging.  I wanted to finish up my ordinary household chores to continue reading. This is an easy, sexy read. It is probably on a high-school reading level so it doesn't have "big words" that most average readers aren't familiar with.  I actually hate those books when I'm reading for "pure pleasure" or "mindless reading" as I am compelled to look up definitions for each word or I can't continue reading, so this book allows one to freely enjoy the book.  

            I am rating this book 4 stars and highly recommend it to those who enjoy a tantalizing fictional romance.  Obviously, there are sexual scenes and there is some language that might offend some readers.   
            I received an ebook of this novel from netgalley.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  
        
              
About the Author:

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Laci Paige enjoys spending time with her family more than anything in the world.  She and her husband support their children on the soccer pitch, and off.  In addition to reading and writing, Laci takes pleasure in the outdoors by way of hiking and camping.  

Thursday, January 18, 2018

"A Plain & Sweet Christmas Romance Collection" Book Review

A Plain & Sweet Christmas Romance Collection

by Jerry S. Eicher, Lauralee Bliss
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Enjoy a simple Christmas, sweetened by love, in historical communities of plain faith people. Four romances develop among the Ohio River Valley Quakers of the mid-1800s. Two Mennonite couples face influences from outside their old traditions. Two Amish couples from the early 1900s are affected by world events. And in an Amana community, childhood sweethearts are reunited. Each story also includes a recipe for a sweet traditional treat.

MY REVIEW:  Christmas traditions are so important and while the various plain religious sects celebrate in a different way, they are equally interesting.  This novella collection explores the Christmas traditions of the Amana, Quakers, Amish and Mennonites.  Add a bit of romance, a cup of tea, a warm blanket and comfy chair, and you have the makings of a few wonderful moments.  I love reading novellas as they can be read quickly and you can read a different one each day if you like.  Nine authors combine their unique writing styles to tantalize your need for romance and history.   The novellas span from 1800 to 1941.    I am an avid reader of Plain fiction so the various sects were not overly unusual to me, but I always learn new things as I read.  Recipes from each novella are an added bonus!
         Novellas in the collection:
A Crossroad to Love by Lauralee Bliss--1846, Waynesville, Ohio
Simple Gifts by Ramona K. Cecil--1880, Serenity, Indiana
A Christmas Prayer by Dianne Christner--1881, Mountain Lake, Minnesota
Treasure of the Heart by Melanie Dobson--1907, Amana, Iowa
Love is Forever by Jerry Eicher--1941, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Love's Pure Light by Olivia Newport--1910, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Pirate of My Heart by Rachael O. Phillips--1825, Rock & Cave, Illinois
Equally Yoked by Claire Sanders--1838, Southern Ohio
Abigail's Christmas Candles by Anna Schmidt--Hope, Wisconsin
       I highly recommend this novella collection of Christmas romances.  Happy reading!   I am giving this book a rating of 5 stars.
       I received an ebook of this selection from netgalley and Barbour Books in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.   I did not receive any compensation for my review.

About the Authors:

Jerry S. Eicher

Jerry Eicher’s bestselling Amish fiction (more than 210,000 in combined sales) includes The Adams County Trilogy, the Hannah’s Heart books, and the Little Valley Series. After a traditional Amish childhood, Jerry taught for two terms in Amish and Mennonite schools in Ohio and Illinois. Since then he’s been involved in church renewal, preaching, and teaching Bible studies. Jerry lives with his wife, Tina Eicher, and their four children in Virginia.   http://www.eicherjerry.com/


Lauralee Bliss

Lauralee Bliss is a published author of over twenty Christian romance novels and novellas in both historical and contemporary with nearly 600,000 sold. 
Lauralee enjoys writing books that are reminiscent of a roller coaster ride for the reader. Her desire is that readers will come away with both an entertaining story and a lesson that ministers to the heart. 

Lauralee's also an avid hiker, hiking the entire Appalachian Trail twice from Georgia to Maine and from Maine to Georgia, one of only 24 women to accomplish this feat. She makes her home in Virginia in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.   http://www.lauraleebliss.com/
Ramona K. Cecil is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance poet, and award-winning inspirational romance writer. Now empty nesters, she and her husband make their home in Indiana. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers Indiana Chapter, her work has won awards in a number of inspirational writing contests. Over eighty of her inspirational verses have been published on a wide array of items for the Christian gift market. She enjoys a speaking ministry, sharing her journey to publication while encouraging aspiring writers. When not writing, her hobbies include reading, gardening, and visiting places of historical interest.  http://www.ramonakcecil.com/

Dianne Christner
Dianne Christner - Christian Fiction Author - writes Christian romance novels. She writes both Historicals and Amish Fiction. Raised in the Mennonite church, she brings authenticity to "The Plain City Bridesmaids" series. 

She keeps a lighthearted reality blog called plaingirl romanticizing. 

Her passion is reading and connecting with other readers and writers.



Melanie Dobson

Melanie Dobson--Writing fiction is a fun excuse for Melanie to explore ghost towns and old houses, travel to unusual places, and spend hours reading dusty books and journals. She writes both contemporary and historical fiction with threads of romance and suspense. 

Melanie is the award-winning author of seventeen historical romance, time-slip, suspense, and contemporary novels including Catching the Wind, Beneath a Golden Veil, and The Silent Order. Three of her novels including Chateau of Secrets have won Carol Awards, and Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, have two daughters. After moving numerous times with Jon's work, the Dobsons have finally settled near Portland, Oregon, and they love to travel and hike in both the mountains and the cliffs above the Pacific. When Melanie isn't writing or researching, she enjoys line dancing, biking, and making up stories with her kids.

More information about her and her books is available on her website at www.melaniedobson.com.

Olivia Newport
Olivia Newport's novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. She chases joy in Colorado, where daylilies grow as tall as she is. Her husband and two twenty-something children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books.



Claire Sanders

Claire Sanders--
After many years of writing and publishing in the nonfiction world of academia, Claire turned her energy, humor, and creativity towards the production of compelling romantic fiction.  Claire writes captivating stories that fit the genres of contemporary, historical, and inspirational romance.  Claire creates heroes any woman would want to be with and heroines who overcome all obstacles to find love.  Written with wit and tenderness, her stories engage the readers’ hearts and imaginations.  Readers will find themselves anxiously turning the pages to find out what happens next.
Claire lives in the greater Houston area with her family.  When she isn’t writing, you’ll find her cooking, gardening, and dreaming of places to travel.

Image result for anna schmidt, authorAnna Schmidt is a three-time finalist for the coveted RITA award presented annually by Romance Writers of America. In addition she has been a four-time finalist for the Reviewer’s Choice Award from Romantic Times magazine—an award she has won twice. Her latest novel THE OUTLAW (Book Three of her Last Chance Cowboys series) will be published in July. Book four—THE RANCHER –will be out in January, 2018. Publisher's Weekly had high praise for Anna's WWII series--THE PEACEMAKERS--stating that Schmidt seamlessly integrates...actual events, and the courageous real-life individuals who fought against Hitler’s regime, with her fictional characters and their story, to produce a strong tale of hope and love in the face of insurmountable obstacles." The author of over thirty works of historical and contemporary fiction, Anna has worked in the corporate world for two international companies, taught at the college level and is a popular presenter of hands-on workshops. She splits her time between Wisconsin and Florida, noting that, “I am blessed to have a career that travels well!” 

Friday, January 5, 2018

"Amish Cooking Class Cookbook: Over 200 Practical Recipes for Use in Any Kitchen" Book Review

 

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Amish Cooking Class Cookbook:  Over 200 Practical Recipes for Use in Any Kitchen
Book Review

by Wanda E. Brunstetter


Amish Cooking Basic Enough for Beginners 
 
Fans of New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish romance novels are invited to go back to cooking basics with characters from the bestselling Amish Cooking Class series. Heidi Troyer, her students, and other contributors share over 200 practical recipes for use in any kitchen, along with tips to keep things running smoothly. From learning how to boil eggs and knead biscuits to building a German Pizza and an Amish Haystack feast, The Amish Cooking Class Cookbook includes something beneficial for every age and skill set. Divided into traditional cookbook categories, there is a recipe everyone will find to love.




MY REVIEW:   Oh my goodness, I think this may just be my new favorite cookbook!   I fell in love with the characters in Wanda Brunstetter's Amish Cooking Class series so it is such a sweet treat to be able to recreate their favorite recipes.   The cooking and household tips from the characters and those used in Amish homes are new and just plain awesome.  I really love the tip to soak pasta previous to cooking.  I've never heard that one!  It is plumb delicious to get to sneak a peek inside the Amish kitchen to glean from their expertise in cooking.  Bible verses are interspersed throughout the cookbook.  
      Many of the favorite Amish dishes are in the cookbook including Amish friendship bread including directions for making and storing the starter.  I can't wait to get to cooking.
      I am delighted to give this cookbook a 5 star rating.
      I received an ebook of this cookbook from netgalley and Shiloh Run Press in exchange for my honest review.


About the Author:
Wanda E. Brunstetter

New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda's stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.

Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.

When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at www.wandabrunstetter.com

Thursday, January 4, 2018

"The Beloved Christmas Quilt" Book Review

The Beloved Christmas Quilt:  Three Stories of Family, Romance, and Amish Faith

by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter, & Richelle Brunstetter

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One Quilt Binds Three Generations of Amish Women
Enjoy the gift of a brand new romance from New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, along with stories by her daughter-in-law, Jean and granddaughter, Richelle.


Book Description:  

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me. Psalm 31:3
The scripture embroidered on the back of a beloved quilt brings hope to three generations of Pennsylvania Amish women at Christmastime.
 
Luella’s Promise
By Wanda E. Brunstetter

Luella Ebersol has been caregiver for a dying woman and her young son. When Dena Lapp gives Luella her favorite quilt, she makes Luella promise to pass it down to her daughter. But Luella isn’t sure she will ever marry if she can’t find someone with maturity and faith like Dena’s husband Atlee Zook.

 

Karen’s Gift
By Jean Brunstetter

Karen Allgyer and her husband moved to a slow-paced village to raise their children, but Karen longs for the closeness of family to help her through the challenges of managing three girls with one on the way. When life’s pressures rise, will Karen cave to her fears?
 

Roseanna’s Groom
By Richelle Lynn Brunstetter

When the unexpected happens on the day of her wedding, Roseanna Allgyer can’t help blaming herself, despite not understanding why. Then an old friend returns to town, and she battles feeling for him—afraid of being hurt again.

MY REVIEW:   Wanda Brunstetter, along with her daughter-in-law and granddaughter, have created a world that spans three generations just as they represent three generations in their own family.  The three lovely stories are woven together with an Amish quilt made by Dena Lapp and as she prepares for her impending death, she gives it to Luella.  She begs a huge favor of Luella as she lays dying.  Luella promises to care for Dena's husband and young son.  She does indeed continue to work for Atlee after serving as Dena and her little boy, Daryl's caregivers while Dena needs help in her final days.  The verse Dena embroidered on the quilt, For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me. Psalm 31:3,  becomes important and encouraging to each of the young women in the three stories, Luella, Karen, and Roseanna.  
         Readers will enjoy the Christmas themed stories any time of year.  Following along with the three generations made me feel quite sentimental and will likely give readers similar feelings.   I highly recommend this book. 
         I rate this book 5 stars.
         I received an ebook of this book from netgalley and Shiloh Run Press in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Authors:
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Three generations:  Jean Brunstetter (daughter-in-law), Richelle Brunstetter (granddaughter), and Wanda Brunstetter (grandmother).  
Wanda E. Brunstetter

Wanda Brunstetter is an award-winning romance novelist who has led millions of readers to lose their heart in the Amish life. She is the author of almost 90 books with more than 10 million copies sold. Many of her books have landed on the top bestseller lists, including the New York Times, USA Today, Publisher's Weekly, CBA, ECPA, and CBD. Wanda is considered one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre, and her work has been covered by national publications, including Time Magazine and USA Today.

Wanda's fascination with the Amish culture developed when she met her husband, Richard, who grew up in a Mennonite church, and whose family has a Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. Meeting her new Mennonite sister-in-laws caused Wanda to yearn for the simpler life. In their travels, she and her husband have become close friends with many Amish people across America. Wanda's desire to explore their culture increased when she discovered that her great-great grandparents were part of the Anabaptist faith.

All of Wanda's novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Many of her books are well-read and trusted by the Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.

Wanda's primary attraction to the Amish is their desire to live a devout Christian life that strives to honor God, work hard, and maintain close family ties. Whenever she visits her Amish friends, Wanda finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties, which is in stark contrast to the chaos and busyness that plagues so many modern "Englishers." Time and time again, Wanda loses her heart in the Amish life, and she hopes her readers will, too. For more information, visit: www.WandaBrunstetter.com

Jean Brunstetter

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Jean Brunstetter is the daughter-in-law of Wanda Brunstetter.  She enjoys writing and visiting with her many Amish friends.  She lives in Washington state.  

Richelle Brunstetter
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Richelle Brunstetter lives in the Pacific Northwest and developed a desire to write when she took creative writing in high school. After enrolling in college classes, her overall experience enticed her to become a writer, and she wants to implement what she's learned into her stories. Just starting her writing career, her first published story appears in The Beloved Christmas Quilt beside her grandmother, Wanda E. Brunstetter, and her mother, Jean. Richelle enjoys traveling to different places, her favorite being Kauai, Hawaii.

Monday, November 27, 2017

"Twice Blessed" Book Review

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Twice Blessed

(Two Amish Christmas Novellas)

by Barbara Cameron

BOOK DESCRIPTION:  Two Amish fiction novellas:  

Her Sister’s Shadow
Katie and Rosie Stoltzfus work part-time in an Amish store and part-time in Two Peas in a Pod, their own business raising vegetables and fruits and canning them for sale. Although they are identical twins, their personalities are very different: while Katie has always been more outgoing and attractive to boys, Rosie has always felt in her sister’s shadow. It will take an unexpected business opportunity and one very special man to help Rosie see that she’s a unique woman of her own.


 His Brother’s Keeper
Ever since they were boys, Ben Fisher has trailed after his brother, Mark. Ben has always envied Mark because he’s always been more adventurous, but he's even more jealous now that Mark is engaged to Rachel, a woman they both love. When a terrible accident on Christmas Eve results in their mistaken identity, Ben suddenly has an opportunity to create the life he’s always wanted. While everyone believes he is his brother, who’s still in a coma, Ben finally has a chance with Rachel. But how can he realize an opportunity for real happiness if it means deceiving his kin? 

MY REVIEW:  Her Sister's Shadow:  Twins have always intrigued me.  It is so interesting in this novella that Katie and Rosie know when something is wrong with the other.  Katie is the one who is a magnet for the young men in the Amish community and Rosie has not even dated any young men yet.  So Katie is shocked when her sister takes an interest in Jacob and even more shocked when he returns the interest.  This seems rude and hurtful to me as an observer.  Obviously, since they are identical twins, Katie doesn't think looks are what is keeping Rosie from dating.  Katie thinks that she has the perky, friendly personality and that Rosie....well, doesn't.   
               I really enjoyed this novella.  It is fun, light reading.  I love reading novellas as they can be read quickly.  I sit a number of hours per week with my mother who is recovering from a massive stroke and is now in a nursing home. So quick reads suit my needs quite well at the present time.   
              While the two novellas are called Christmas novellas, I felt this novella was lacking in details that made me feel they were Christmas themed.  In an Amish Christmas novella, I expect to read of the Amish Christmas traditions which are quite different from those of the English world.  
              I highly recommend this book to readers of Amish and Christian fiction.   I am giving this novella 4 stars.
              I received a copy of this book from netgalley and Abingdon Press in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

MY REVIEW:  His Brother's Keeper:  Ben and Mark are not just identical twins; they are best friends. 
But they are facing a problem that threatens to drive them apart.  They are both in love with Rachel.  How on earth can they ever resolve this problem?  Neither of them wants to hurt the other and Rachel feels deeply for Ben, but she is engaged to Mark.   An accident allows the truth to be revealed but Rachel may not forgive Ben.  
               While I truly enjoyed this book, I had some moments of confusion when Mark and Ben were hospitalized where I did not know which was which brother.   I had to go back through the book to figure it out.  This left me feeling a bit undone as I read this novella.   
                While the two novellas are called Christmas novellas, I felt this novella was lacking in details that made me feel they were Christmas themed.  In an Amish Christmas novella, I expect to read of the Amish Christmas traditions which are quite different from those of the English world.
A bonus for readers is the Amish recipes featured at the end of the two novellas that were mentioned in the book as characters made and enjoyed the food created from the recipes.    
                I do give this novella 4 stars as it captured my attention immediately and drove me to put other things aside to read.   
                I highly recommend this book to lovers of Amish and Christian fiction.
               I received a copy of this book from  netgalley and Abingdon Press.  


About the Author:       


Barbara Cameron has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple joys of the Amish. She is the author of more than 35 fiction and nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Barbara currently resides in Edgewater, Florida. Find out more about Barbara at BarbaraCameron.com and Amishliving.com.