Monday, December 30, 2013

Review of The Maker's Diet Revolution

Review of The Maker's Diet Revolution

by Jordan Rubin


The Maker's Diet Revolution is the long awaited sequel to The Maker's Diet that Jordan Rubin’s fans are ready for. Jordan will share everything he has learned in the years since he wrote The Maker's Diet, including:

Health and Diet Tips,Why our nation's food supply is compromised,  The importance of organic foods, Choosing the best water sources, Raising healthy children, healing chronic illnesses and much more! His Popular Health Myths and Truths, Jordan Rubin is a renowned natural health expert and NYT
Best-selling author of The Maker's Diet

MY REVIEW:   Jordan Rubin has taken great care to research both scriptures from the Bible as well as other health information in this book.   I find it very interesting and hope to attempt to follow the diet for health reasons as I suffer from Ulcerative Colitis.   I do wonder though what effect it will have on my system and he does offer some alternatives for those for whom the symptoms are too problematic.   I am under the impression that I will likely need to modify my own diet somewhat due to the side effects of cleansing as I do not have a small intestine at all.  My gall bladder has been removed and this also causes problems.  My thought is that there will likely be some issues for me due to these matters that may not have been considered in the creation of the diet.   I do feel that Jordan Rubin has researched the Biblical Daniel Diet and attempted to perfect it.  I will update and let readers know how the diet works for me.   I would love to hear from others who have followed the diet.   What Mr. Rubin states makes a great deal of sense to me. He also mentions that products can be purchased from Beyond Organic, a company that he founded to provide special organic products to help people.     
I received a free copy of this book from The Book Club Network ( in exchange for my honest review.  

About the Author:
Jordan RubinJordan Rubin is one of America’s most recognized and respected natural health experts. He is the author of the New York Times best-selling book, The Maker’s Diet, as well as the author of 19 other health related titles, including his latest work Perfect Weight America. An international motivational speaker, Jordan hosts the weekly television show Extraordinary Health with Jordan Rubin that reaches more than 30 million households worldwide. He is also Founder and CEO of Garden of Life, a leading health and wellness company committed to empowering extraordinary health with whole food based supplements, functional foods, and educational resources.
Jordan’s recovery from a life-threatening illness has resonated with millions around the world and is one of the most dramatic natural healing stories ever told. His health was excellent during his childhood, but when he was 19 years old and attending Florida State University, he experienced nausea, digestive distress, and an alarming weight loss of more than 80 pounds. Eventually, he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a chronic digestive illness that affects the immune system.  Wheelchair-bound and 104 pounds, one doctor’s grim diagnosis was that it was “the worst case of Crohn’s” he had ever seen and he did not expect Jordan to live.
Fortunately, Jordan and his family were determined and sought more than 70 alternative nutritional therapies throughout the world after conventional medicine and numerous hospitalizations failed. His quest for answers concluded when he began following a diet based on the bible, history and science.
Jordan voraciously studied hundreds of Biblical and historical references about living a healthy lifestyle. He changed his diet to whole foods consumed in Biblical times:  raw, organically grown whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and fermented dairy, grass fed beef and poultry. He also added a daily regimen of probiotics teeming with beneficial bacteria called soil based organisms. After gaining 29 pounds in 40 days, Jordan knew he was finally on the right track. By his 21st birthday he was tipping the scales at more than 180 pounds, free from the devastating digestive problems that had plagued him for two years, and ready to restart his life.
Because Jordan was deeply moved by his restored health, he promised he would dedicate the rest of his life to sharing his health wisdom with the rest of the world and to transforming the health of the nation one life at a time. He and his wife, Nicki, wanted to provide others with the educational resources, functional foods and whole food supplements that spurred Jordan’s recovery, so in 2000 they founded Garden of Life, a leading whole foods nutrition company. The company’s innovative products and commitment to efficacy quickly resounded with health conscious consumers and by 2004, Garden of Life was named one of the fastest growing privately held companies by Entrepreneur Magazine and landed at #14 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing privately held companies

A Ruby Christmas

Review of A Ruby Christmas

by Jerusha Agen, Dianne E. Butts, Jennifer Fromke, Marji Laine, Fay Lamb, J. A. Marx, Ruth O'Neil, Phee Paradise, & Debbie Roome


Ruby Joy Buckner, cowgirl, has never left the Lone Star State, but at her father’s request, she takes her faithful canine companion and travels the world in search of Nativity pieces. As Ruby collects the pieces, she also collects a few unexpected surprises, including an awareness of the beauty in other cultures, and quite a menagerie of new friends, thanks in part to Yippee Ti Yi Yo who charms everyone they meet.

Ruby’s budding awareness of life outside Texas opens her eyes to a world of whimsy, and the Nativity pieces she collects are unusual. Will her father approve her eclectic collection … and the changes that travel brought to Ruby’s life?

MY REVIEW:     A Ruby Christmas is a very sweet, quick read about a father who seeks to give his daughter the trip her deceased mother had planned to take with her. Ruby Joy goes on a grand adventure as she travels with her show dog, Yippee Ti Yi Yo.   She is able to meet many people who have known and loved her mother and find treasured pieces to take back to Texas to create a new Nativity Scene with her beloved father. 
4 Stars!

Review of The Bargain

Review of The Bargain

(Plain City Peace, Book One)

by Stephanie Reed


It's 1971, and Betsie Troyer's peaceful and predictable life is about to become anything but.

When their parents flee the Amish, nineteen-year-old Betsie and her seventeen-year-old sister Sadie are distraught. Under the dubious guidance of a doting aunt, the girls struggle to keep the secret, praying their parents will return before anyone learns the truth--a truth that may end all hopes of Betsie's marriage to Charley Yoder.

Worse still, Betsie must learn a trade while she boards with a dysfunctional Englisher family: Sheila, a twelve-year-old desperately searching for a friend and in dire need of her mother; the free-spirited mother, who runs off to "find herself" on the stage; the angry father whose structured life crumbles; and Michael, a troubled college dropout nearly killed in the Kent State Massacre.

Thrust into the English world, Betsie must grapple with the realities of war and miniskirts, pot parties and police brutality, protests and desertion. Can she help the Sullivan family and find peace in her new surroundings, or must she forget the bargain she made and seek refuge back in Plain City with protective and reliable Charley?

MY REVIEW:    This book certainly held my attention. I have read many works of Amish fiction and this one was quite different as the Amish parents left their family.   I was quite surprised (shocked, actually) that Amish parents would leave their two young adult daughters and their young son to join the English world.  Betsie is forced to keep this a secret from everyone in the Amish community and her English employers.  I felt deeply for this young woman and her struggle to honor her parents, keep her Amish faith, and still do what is right. 
 I appreciated the accurate portrayal of the Kent State Massacre in the early 1970's.  Michael is dealing with PTSD due to being a part of the Kent State Massacre on the college campus.   Stephanie Reed deals with many issues in her book.   The English mom is also struggling to "find herself" and leaves her home and family too.   Many people seem to think the Amish have no problems and I like the fact that Stephanie Reed portrays them as human beings with all the same struggles and emotions that we all feel from time to time.   I will be anxiously awaiting the release of Book Two in this series.
I received a free pdf copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:

Stephanie Reed lives on the outskirts of Plain City, Ohio, site of a once-thriving Amish community. She gleans ideas for her novels from signs glimpsed along the byways of Ohio, as she did for her previous books, Across the Wide River and The Light Across the River.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Review of The Beloved Daughter

Review of The Beloved Daughter

 by Alana Terry


In a small North Korean village, a young girl struggles to survive. But it is her father's faith, not the famine of North Hamyong Province, that most threatens Chung-Cha's well-being. Is Chung-Cha's father right to be such a vocal believer? Or is he a fool to bring danger on the head of his only daughter? Chung-Cha is only a girl of twelve and is too young to answer such questions. Yet she is not too young to face a life of imprisonment and forced labor. Her crime? Being the daughter of a political traitor. The Beloved Daughter follows Chung-Cha into one of the most notorious prison camps of the contemporary free world. Will Chung-Cha survive the horrors of Camp 22? And if she does survive, will her faith remain intact? "The Beloved Daughter" is Alana Terry's debut Christian novel and was a winner in the Women of Faith writing contest.

MY REVIEW:  I am shocked to learn that this is Alana Terry's debut novel as it is so incredibly well-written.   This is a very emotional, compelling story.  I have never read an account of anyone who had been imprisoned in Korea.  I could feel the fear and anger in Chung-Cha.   She had every right to feel afraid and certainly angry also.   I also experienced my first audiobook with this story and I would rush through daily chores and duties to get back to the kindle to listen some more.   I am pleased to give a 5 Star Rating to The Beloved Daughter and will happily recommend it to my friends.  I received a copy of this book from The Book Club Network ( in exchange for my honest review.  

About the Author:
Alana Terry
When Alana isn't writing, it's likely that she's on the floor wrestling with her kids. Or playing outside with her kids. Or chauffeuring her kids. Or trying some random science experiment with her kids. But she's probably not cooking or cleaning.

Alana is a homeschooling mother of three who loves to write, hates to cook, and enjoys reading a good book almost as much as she enjoys writing one.

Alana won the Women of Faith writing contest for "The Beloved Daughter," her debut inspirational novel. "What, No Sushi?" is Alana's first book in a chapter-book series for kids published by Do Life Right, Inc.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

How I spend my time when I'm not reading.....

In case you were wondering, this is how I spend a good part of my time when I'm not reading......

Headband & legwarmer set I crocheted for gift
Baby sweater I crocheted

Boot cuffs done in turqoise and hot pink (top and below)

 Kitchen towel toppers and crochet dishcloths in cotton 

 another sweet baby set
 UVA hat in orange and blue
 Christmas/snow towels
 diaper babies 
 lovey blanket for my new grandbaby to be born around 2/4/14
 sweater and hat for my first grand daughter who will arrive near 2/4/14
 yes, I do also decorate cakes for family and friends. I am very much an amateur but it's fun .....
 Me with my lovely middle daughter who is expecting her first baby !
 A finished prayer of my favorite things to make and give.........
 my baby daughter, Amanda, and I even stopped for 9/28 to make her wedding bouquets and corsages
 my cute little niece modeling one of my cupcake hats........
 these were a popular item folks ordered for Christmas.....
isn't this precious????? love love love this pattern!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Review of Christmas at Pebble Creek

Review of Christmas at Pebble Creek

by Vannetta Chapman


This short story e-romance is an exclusive bonus from The Pebble Creek Amish Series by Vannetta Chapman. Fans of the series will enjoy this chance to briefly revisit Pebble Creek, and new readers will be introduced to an Amish community that is more deeply explored in the three full novels, A Promise for Miriam, A Home for Lydia, and A Wedding for Julia. As a bonus, this eBook also includes Amish homestyle recipes for chicken and dumplings, green beans, and fresh bread. Heavy snow blankets the southwestern Wisconsin Amish community as nineteen-year-old Grace Miller closes the schoolhouse for Christmas break. She’s looking forward to having extra time to help the family prepare for the holiday, and she is hoping to get a few more drawings in of the beautiful, snowy Pebble Creek landscape. Her courtship with Adam Lapp is going on six months, and Grace can’t wait to give him his present: a blue-and-brown buggy blanket she crocheted for him. Yes, this Christmas is going to be especially joyful. Yet, amid the cheer of snowshoe outings, church potlucks, and holiday festivities, Grace is given a bittersweet reminder of the Christmas story. Grief is present with celebration, and though the future is rarely certain, she is given a heartwarming glimpse that God knows our needs before we do and will provide.

MY REVIEW:   What a delightful Christmas story !   Little Grace, the artist, has grown up and fallen in love!   I love Pebble Creek so much that I investigated to find out if it truly exists.  It does not but it would be a terrific place to go camping.   What fun to read of Grace and Adam and their friends trying to walk in the snowshoes!   I would likely fall and get hurt as that seems to be my problem lately.   This is a quick and sweet Christmas story for readers to enjoy.   The recipes for chicken and dumplings, green beans and fresh bread are a nice bonus!  

About the Author:
Vannetta Chapman 

Vannetta Chapman writes fiction full of GRACE. She has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather's birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Her first novel, A Simple Amish Christmas, quickly became a bestseller. Chapman lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.
For more information, visit her at
webpage --
blog --
facebook --, and
pinterest --

Review of Home to Pebble Creek

Review of Home to Pebble Creek

by Vannetta Chapman


This free short story e-romance is a prequel to The Pebble Creek Amish Series by Vannetta Chapman. Fans of the series will enjoy this chance to briefly revisit Pebble Creek, and new readers will be introduced to an Amish community that is more deeply explored in the three full novels, A Promise for Miriam, A Home for Lydia, and A Wedding for Julia. When Joseph Bontrager left Pebble Creek, all of Esther Schrock’s dreams and hopes for the future went with him. Bravely picking up the pieces of her broken heart, she resumed her life teaching at the schoolhouse with Miriam King. Now, nineteen months later, Joseph has returned. Despite her initial excitement, Esther feels anger rise up instead of love. Will she be able to forgive him for leaving? Forgive him for more than a year and a half of silence without a single letter? With Miriam’s encouraging words, and despite ominous clouds on the horizon, will Esther be able to replace the bitterness in her heart with affection for Joseph once more?

MY REVIEW:  This is a wonderful story to read along with The Pebble Creek Amish Series.   I had read the books in Vannetta's series and this book filled in some of the puzzle pieces for me.  It was wonderful to read how Joseph and Esther got together as well as Miriam and Gabe and little Grace.   I fell in love with "Pebble Creek" and the cabins when I read the books in the series, so this was a very special story to me.  Thank you so much for offering this free short story, Vannetta!    It was a pleasure to read.

About the Author:
Vannetta Chapman
Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. 

Her novel, Falling to Pieces, was a 2012 ACFW Carol Award winner for best mystery. All of her books have been Christian Book Distributor bestsellers. She currently writes Amish fiction for Abingdon Press, Zondervan, and Harvest House. Chapman lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Review of The Divine Secrets of the Whoopie Pie Sisters (Whoopie Pie Sisters #2)

Review of The Divine Secrets of the Whoopie Pie Sisters

(Whoopie Pie Sisters #2)

by Sarah Price & Whoopie Pie Pam Jarrell


A new trilogy by best-selling author of Amish Christian Romances, Sarah Price, and Helping Hands Press' own Whoopie Pie Pam Jarrell. The first book immediately hit #1 in the Amish genre as well as an Amazon Top 100 within days.

In Book 2 of the series, readers will continue following the story of four Amish sisters who run Whoopie Pie Place, the best known bakery outside of Berlin, Ohio. Each sister has a secret that influences their lives and, unknowingly, impacts each other. Yet, little by little, the pressure of balancing their responsibilities of their daily lives with their individual secrets becomes harder to manage. Leah, Susan, Lydia, and Sadie need to decide whether or not to confide in each other in order to gain the support of their family. As secrets begin to be revealed, more problems ensue. Can Leah continue to hold the family together? Will Susie address her issues at home? Will Lydia admit what everyone else knows? How can Sadie maintain her balance when faced with life-changing decisions?

The Divine Secrets of the Whoopie Pie Sisters is a different type of Amish Christian story. By blending the 25 years experience of living among the Amish from Sarah Price with Pamela Jarrell's extensive 15 years experience interacting and befriending the Amish in Berlin, Ohio, Price and Jarrell team up to give the readers a new type of story that focuses not so much on romance but on friendships and the reality of day-to-day life living among the Amish. 

Book Three is scheduled to be released January 2014.

My Review:  Oh, I am just furious!  for sure and for certain, I am.....Sarah Price and Whoopie Pie Pam Jarrell left me hangin' over a BIG cliff with that ending!  I was sailing along with my reading and enjoying every tiny little word and then....boom!   they left me hangin'!     I love reading a book where some of the characters are actually friends I converse with online frequently.   It made this book seem somehow personal to me.   More secrets surface in Book 2 and it seems more secrets will be revealed and hopefully resolved in Book 3.   I can hardly wait for Book 3 so I can find out what happens to the wonderful friends and sisters at Whoopie Pie Place.  Read might be mad but you won't be sorry.
I purchased a copy of this ebook for myself with a gift card I won in a giveaway.
About the Authors:

Sarah Price's ancestors emigrated from Europe in 1705, settling in Pennsylvania as the area's first wave of Mennonite families. Sarah Price has always respected and honored her ancestors through exploration and research about her family history and their religion. At nineteen, she befriended an Amish family and lived on their farm throughout the years. 

Twenty-five years later, she now splits her time between her husband and children in the NYC Metro area and a farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where she retreats to an Amish farm to reflect and write.
Whoopie Pie Pam JarrellPamela Jarrell will tell you that she lives in a wacky, wonderful, blessed world where God is her ruler! It is her goal to love, laugh and face each moment with all the passion that she can find within. She and her husband Tom are blessed with 5 children, 3 Son-In-Laws, 5 wonderful, awesome, fantastic Grandchildren (1 more on the way) and 2 dogs. A loving, dysfunctional family surrounds her.

While battling Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma, Pam was inspired to create a Facebook group called the Whoopie Pie Book Club. For years, she had called a group of ladies in her family, by that same name. Pam and those ladies would travel semi-annually to Amish country for a retreat of reading Amish fiction, seeing the Amish sights and eating plenty of Whoopie Pies. 

Today, Pam is best known as “Whoopie Pie Pam.” 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Review of Green Fever

Review of Green Fever

Mattie & Mark Miller in Double Trouble 

by Wanda Brunstetter


Welcome to Holmes County, Ohio, where twins Mattie and Mark Miller get a case of Green Fever. When their out-of-control jealousy begins to cause big trouble at every turn, will these energetic nine-year-olds learn the value of contentment before it’s too late? You’ll fall in love with the fourth release in the Double Trouble series from bestselling author, Wanda E. Brunstetter.
Double Trouble Series:
Book 1 - What a Pair!
Book 2 - Bumpy Ride Ahead
Book 3 - Bubble Troubles
Book 4 - Green Fever

My Review:   Mattie and Mark Miller, Amish twins are so refreshing and full of mischief and fun.  In Green Fever, they are also filled with a large dose of jealousy and they are warned by their elders that it could lead to a "case of green fever".   They don't want that!    Join the fun as Mattie and Mark decide how to spend the money they have been saving. What will they decide to buy for their two-seated bike?   Watch as Mark chases and collects frogs.....more green!   This book is a light, easy read for adults as well as a wonderful entertaining way to learn valuable life lessons for young children.   After I finished this book, I gave it to my young stepgrandaughter.  I will let you know what she thinks of it after she finishes reading it too.
I received a free print copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:

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 over 60 books with more than 7 million copies sold. Many of her books have landed on the top bestseller lists, including the New York TimesPublisher’s WeeklyCBAECPA, and CBD. Wanda is considered one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre, and her work has been covered by national publications, includingTime Magazine and USA Today. Wanda’s books have been translated into four foreign languages.
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.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Review of Christmas at Harmony Hill

Review of Christmas at Harmony Hill:  A Shaker Story

by Ann H. Gabhart


It is 1864 and the nation is still torn apart by civil war when Heather Worth discovers she is with child. She has been working as a laundress with her husband's army unit, but when the army gets orders to march south to Tennessee, Gideon insists Heather go home to have their child under safer conditions. Heather agrees, but returns home to another kind of devastation--deaths in the family and a father who refuses to forgive her for marrying a Yankee. With nowhere else to turn, Heather seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill, where her great aunt Sophrena lives. There, after many peaceful years at Harmony Hill, Sophrena is having doubts about her Shaker path. Both women are in need of love and forgiveness--whether given or received. With Christmas coming, can the miracle of new life fill their hearts with unexpected joy? Ann H. Gabhart's many fans will be thrilled to return to Harmony Hill at Christmastime for this stirring story of healing and hope.

My Review:   What a precious story of forgiveness and joy!   I must agree with Heather though....I would never be a successful Shaker as I would never be able to give my children away and allow someone else to raise them.   I was also shocked to read that the Shakers do not condone marriage and force the women, men, and children to all live in separate buildings.   What joy I would miss if I did not have my children close by as they grew up.   
Ann Gabhart has depicted the fear and anguish of the Civil War as well.   Gideon and his fellow troops endured great hardship to fight for what they each believed.   Family was pitted against family as the book clearly shows with Heather's brother, Simon, and her husband, Gideon, who fight on opposite sides of the same war.   I certainly have taken a great lesson from the pages of this book on forgiveness, joy in worship, and love of family.   
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author:

Ann H. Gabhart
Ann H. Gabhart grew up on a farm in Kentucky. By the time she was ten she knew she wanted to be a writer. She's published over twenty novels. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. She still lives on a farm not far from where she grew up. She loves playing with her grandkids, walking with her dog, reading and, of course, writing. Her Shaker books, set in her fictional Shaker village of Harmony Hill in the 1800's, are popular with readers. The Outsider was a Christian Fiction Book Award Finalist in 2009. Her Heart of Hollyhill books are Small Town, America books set in the 1960's. Angel Sister, a Rosey Corner book set during the Great Depression, will be followed by Small Town Girl. Visit Ann's website or her two blogs, One Writer's Journal,, and the Hollyhill Book of the Strange, or her two blogs, One Writer's Journal,, and the Hollyhill Book of the Strange, www.hollyhillbookofthestrange.blogspo.... Giveaways several times a year.or her two blogs, One Writer's Journal,, and the Hollyhill Book of the Strange, Giveaways several times a year.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Review of Huckleberry Hill

Review of Huckleberry Hill

The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series Book 1

by Jennifer Beckstrand


In her parents’ estimation, LIA SHETLER is the most unpromising girl in her Amish community. As her dat often reminds her, she is too tall for most boys, and with her mousy brown hair and grossly scarred fingers, how can she ever hope to find a husband? With her family dismissing her as an old maid before she even reaches the ripe old age of twenty-four, her most important job is watching out for younger sister, Rachel, and seeing to it that Rachel marries well. That is until Felty and Anna Helmuth introduce Lia to their grandson, Moses, and she can’t ignore her racing pulse when he is near. Will Moses awaken the heart she locked away long ago?

At twenty-six, MOSES ZIMMERMAN, is a bit long in the tooth for a single Amish fellow. Three years ago, his fiancĂ© abandoned him and left the Church, and he promised her he’d wait for her return. But, his scheming grandparents make other plans. Moses tries to resist their meddling, but this time, their plans include someone who is tall enough to look him in the eye, someone whose soul is as beautiful as her staggeringly lovely face, and someone who might help him trade the painful past for a hopeful future.

MY REVIEW:   I finished this book laughing out loud!   I adore the humor that Lia and Moses share in their rocky relationship.  It reminds me of the story of Rachel and Leah in the Bible.    Their parents favor Rachel and treat Leah as though she has leprosy.   Leah does have a scar from a burn she received as a child, but Moses does not care about that one bit.  He sees into the heart of Lia and sees that her heart is one of pure gold.   Rachel, on the other hand, is a spoiled brat who is determined to marry Moses.   This is a delightful book.   I could not help but chuckle at Moses' grandparents in their matchmaking scheming.  Now I am anxiously awaiting the release of Huckleberry Summer in 2014.   
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.  
About The Author:
Jennifer Beckstrand

(From the author's bio on
I grew up with a steady diet of William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. After all that literary immersion, I naturally decided to get a degree in mathematics, which came in handy when one of my six children needed help with homework. After my fourth daughter was born, I started writing. By juggling diaper changes, soccer games, music lessons, laundry, and two more children, I finished my first manuscript—a Western—in just under fourteen years. (Because all my children have finally entered the public school system, I can now write a book in significantly less time.) I sent my manuscript to an agent, who asked me to try my hand at writing Amish fiction. After much research and travel, I fell in love with the people and the genre. My goal is to write uplifting, inspiring stories with happy endings and hopeful messages. If my books make readers want to give themselves a big hug or jump up and down for joy, I’ve done my job. I am a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers and am represented by Mary Sue Seymour of The Seymour Agency.

There are three Amish romances in the Forever After in Apple Lake Series (Summerside/Guideposts). Kate’s Song, Rebecca’s Rose, and Miriam’s Quilt are all now available. Kate’s Song was the #1 Romantic Religious Fiction download in the Free Kindle Store in August of 2012, and Rebecca’s Rose is in the top 50 Religious Fiction books on Miriam’s Quilt currently sits in the top 50 Romantic Religious Fiction Books on Amazon.

I recently signed with Kensington Books to write three more Amish romances. The first will be out in early 2014. These books are set in Wisconsin in a charming place called Huckleberry Hill.

The series, The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill, is about an elderly Amish couple who try to find suitable mates for their grandchildren. What could be more fun than throwing two young people together to see if sparks ignite? No one would ever suspect two octogenarian Amish folks of mischief.

I have four daughters, two sons, three sons-in-law, and one adorable grandson. I live in the foothills of the Wasatch Front with my husband and two sons still left at home.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Review of Christmas Romance, Volume 2

Review of Christmas Romance, Volume 2

by Sharon Kleve, Marilyn Conner Miles, Addison James, and Julie Kavanagh


Four Stories from your favorite holiday authors. 

Brenda’s Christmas Desire - Sharon Kleve 
Christmas approaches and Brenda has to decide if she’s going to let the past hold her prisoner for another year or if she can finally enjoy what Christmas used to mean to her—love. DEA agent, John Smith knows the significance of December fifteenth to Brenda, but when the head of the Nuevo Cartel escapes federal prison he’s forced to let her face the day without him, but not quite alone. 

Can Daisy, a golden Labrador puppy, a huge sale on decorations at the hardware store, and a gift from her aunt restore her love of Christmas? 

MY REVIEW of Brenda's Christmas Desire:  Brenda has been without Christmas joy for too long and John Smith  and Daisy, the Labrador puppy, may be just the ticket to change all that for her.  This is a sweet Christmas romance......this is a 5 Star read!!!   

Holiday Heart - Marilyn Conner Miles 
Christmas. It’s that time of the year again again and Brenda is alone, as usual. Everyone she knows is paired up except her. And now, she has to go to a wedding and pretend to be happy. 

But, even worse, her ex-boyfriend will be there. It’s been six years since they broke up and she hasn’t seen or heard from him since. How will she handle seeing him again—especially if he has another woman on his arm? 

My REVIEW of Holiday Heart:   Brenda meets up with a long lost love at a wedding and sparks start to fly!  Will they find love again or is that an impossible dream?   This is another 5-Star quick read romance !   
Christmas Glove - Addison James 
Leila Simmons must find one last Christmas present – for the wonderful man she’s been dating for the past three weeks. But what to get him? And the mall is closing early for a storm is coming. Can she find the right gift in time? Will he like it? Advice comes from an unexpected source in the nick of time. 

MY REVIEW of Christmas Glove:  Leila is searching hard for a gift for her new boyfriend when she meets a delightful elderly widow who gives her some good advice.  Will the gift make the grade or fall flat?   Read this 5-star romance to find out!

The Bodyguard - Julie Kavanagh 

Gwen is a highly successful Romance writer but runs her life with precision until she is left in the charge of Rob Denning, a driver/ bodyguard for a weekend. She is determined to continue her life in her usual manner which means what she says goes. 

He is equally determined to keep her under his control, which means he gets his way. Although Gwen is frightened by the appearance of unexpected envelopes, she is single-minded when it comes to dealing with them. Rob is tall, handsome and very stubborn, and once he sees fear in Gwen’s face, he know he must protect her. 

Rob begins to crawl beneath Gwen’s intense protection to discover her vulnerability and she, in turn, finds the perfect man in the bodyguard she hates. Gwen realizes that love can exist outside the pages of her romance novels but will Rob see beneath the bad-tempered facade Gwen uses to shield herself from the world and save her from the danger she refuses to admit to? Can they uncover enough to commence a love to last forever or will the past force them apart?

My REVIEW OF The Bodyguard:   Gwen is a cold, hard author of romance novels and she is certainly treating Rob Denning with the ice treatment !  He may just cause her to thaw. This novel does have a few curse words, just to alert readers, not that the novel was reviewed in a negative light based for that.    This is another 5-star Christmas romance!   

I enjoyed the entire volume so much that I read them all within 12 hours, and did not want to stop to do anything else but I had to do a few things to get ready for the holidays. I love the fact that you can carry these author's books along and read a little bit at a time if you like while getting the gifts wrapped, food bought, and decorations up.  I highly recommend this volume of Christmas Romance.  I purchased this book from amazon while it was on special: free!   I hope you got a copy and if you didn't, get one and curl up with a hot peppermint coffee like one of our characters likes to do.   Read to find out who!  

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Review of Danika's Journey

Review of Danika's Journey

by J. E. B. Spredemann


Danika Morales is devastated when tragedy strikes close to home. She is forced to move from her friends and beautiful home in sunny California to Amish country in rural Pennsylvania to live with her uncle. This surfer girl believes she'll never be able to adjust to a land-locked Plain lifestyle until she meets her new best friend. Still, being an outsider and of a different ethnicity, Danika faces many challenges on her journey to adulthood. Inspirational teen fiction - Approx. 100 pgs.

MY REVIEW Danika Morales has faced a great deal of loss in her young life.  Her mother passed away at birth along with the baby brother she delivered.  Her father then develops cancer and comes home to tell her that she must go to live with her mother's only brother in Pennsylvania when he passes away.  She begs him not to die and leave her and before he even has a chance to explain more to her, he takes his last breath!  She finds herself on an airplane to Pennsylvania to live with an aunt and uncle she has only seen once.   The ride home in a friend of her uncle's vehicle then ends with them picking up Uncle Phillip's horse and buggy for the final leg of the journey.  Danika thinks it is a treat that her uncle has arranged to surprise her but he informs her that it is their main source of transportation.   
All this took place in the first pages of the book.  It is a short (approx. 100 pages) work of teen fiction so  but I did feel the death of her father happening before he even finished telling her that he has arranged for her to live with her uncle to be a bit contrived.  Her Uncle Phillip and Aunt Naomi do not sit her down and explain about their Amish lifestyle and the Ordnung.   I can not imagine taking any teenager in to live with my family without giving some explanation as to household rules and expectations.   Living one day as an Englischer and the next as Amish would be a shock to anyone but particularly to someone who is unfamiliar with the Amish ways.  As you can imagine, this will lead to several misunderstandings and quite a bit of trouble.   I found the story to be quite interesting in spite of these issues and finished it one afternoon while riding in the car on a short outing.   I think this book is one that adults will enjoy reading as well as young teens.   Reading them in order is helpful in order to keep the characters in mind but I do believe that they could be read out of sequence as the author does give detailed explanations of characters and their relationships.  I appreciate the use of a scripture at the beginning of each chapter which is used in some way in the chapter. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series:  Chloe's Revelation.

I received a pdf version of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

J. E. B. Spredemann currently resides in central California and writes Christian fiction.