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Showing posts from August, 2014

Review of "Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends Christmas Cookbook"

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Review of  Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends Christmas Cookbookby Wanda E. Brunstetter
The must-have cookbook of the season is Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish Friends Christmas Cookbook—a brand new collection of holiday recipes and insights into Christmas celebrations direct from Amish homes. You’ll also enjoy the addition of scriptures and common Amish sayings. Surrounded by a beautiful lay-flat binding, this cookbook is the perfect holiday gift for yourself and friends. MY REVIEW:  What a delightful Christmas cookbook.  Wanda Brunstetter has collected many wonderful tried-and-true Christmas recipes from her many Amish friends.  She also explains the many Christmas traditions and ways of celebrating the Amish enjoy, including Old Christmas.  I think we all should celebrate Old Christmas as well.    Some of the favorite recipes shared include:   Gelatin Roll-ups (I did not even know that gelatin could be rolled up....I have to try this one), Honey Mustard Pretzels, Bacon Cheese Muffi…

Review of "Becoming Bea"

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Review of Becoming Beaby Leslie Gould Ben and Bea have always irritated each other. But when their friends push them together, can they cease bickering long enough to fall in love?
MY REVIEW:  Bea lives under the shadow of her sister, Molly, who constantly bosses her and gives her orders.  Bea just wants to get out from her that rule and become her own person.  She doesn't think she has any special talents or gifts but she is soon to discover just exactly what she does have!  When her sister plans a trip to visit the in-laws in Montana with their mamm and doesn't even ask her if she wants to go and simply assumes that she will, Molly has had it.  She goes out and finds herself a job as "mother's helper" to Nan and Bob who have just given birth to premature triplets and are in great need of help.  Ben is also working for Bob in his shop......Ben who has constantly annoyed Bea and who even courted her recently and then ran off without a word of explanation.   Ben and…

Review of "An Unforgivable Secret"

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Review of An Unforgivable Secretby J.E.B. Spredemann
Hannah has a good life. A beautiful home, a loving husband, and a wonderful Amish community are only a few of her daily blessings. But she has carried a heavy burden for years: a secret that no one must know. When tragedy strikes, her secret threatens to be revealed, jeopardizing everything she's ever loved. Will Hannah be able to face her greatest fear and find God's purpose for her life? Inspirational Christian Fiction
MY REVIEW:   This was a very engaging work of Amish fiction but I was surprised that several main characters had great difficulty in forgiving since the Amish faith is very outspoken about their forgiveness.  It does show the Amish in this book, though, to be very human and struggling with many of the same issues as Englisch.  I appreciated the way that the Bishop and elders handled the difficult issues in the book, as well.   I won't spoil the book by revealing what those issues were.  I finished this bo…

Review of "Huckleberry Christmas"

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Review of Huckleberry Christmasby Jennifer Beckstrand
Now that they've happily married off two of their grandchildren, Anna and Felty Helmuth are ready for their next matchmaking challenge. What better way to celebrate the most heartwarming of seasons--and make Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, the place for unexpected love. . . A difficult marriage has left the Helmuths' widowed great-granddaughter, Beth, finished with wedlock. She's content to live with them and make a life for herself and her toddler son. But once she turns down handsome Tyler Yoder's proposal, it seems only fair to encourage him to find a suitable wife. Trouble is, his gentleness and generous ways are showing her how joyous a real meeting of hearts can be. . .

After a failed courtship, Tyler thought the best he could hope for in a wife was mere companionship. But spirited Beth is the one he longs to protect, and hold close. Earning her trust is the hardest thing he's ever had to do. And soon, both wil…

Review of "The River"

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Review of The Riverby Beverly Lewis
She looked once more at the dreaded river. Since Anna's death, it had been such a barrier . . . a place and a moment she could not seem to move past.

A line I can't move beyond...
The River

Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents' landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn't entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.

Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can't undo?
MY REVIEW:  Beverly Lewis is such a treasure among Amish fiction authors and The River certainly lives up to the high expectations I held as I read.  Tilly and Ruth both left the Amish after the drowning death of their young sister and they are asked to return by their …

Review of "Swept Away"

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Review of Swept Away:  Quilts of Love seriesby Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven

Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don't always go as planned. Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but also as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between him and his new employer's granddaughter. Still, it doesn't take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn't what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts online researching him. What she discovers could change her life and her heart forever.
MY REVIEW:  Quilts can warm our bodies and our hearts and this book about a special quilt certainly warmed my heart.  Who doesn't adore…

Review of "Alaskan Sweethearts"

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Review of Alaskan Sweetheartsby Janet Tronstad
North to Dry Creek series---book 1----Hunter Jacobson wants no part of his grandfather's matchmaking. The lone cowboy is certain that's what the old man is doing when he trades part of their Montana ranch for Scarlett Murphy's claim to an old Alaska gold mine. Or is he running one of his legendary scams on the sweet single mom? A trip to Dry Creek, Alaska, reveals the truth&;and brings Hunter and Scarlett face-to-face with a past family feud and a vulnerable present. But surprisingly it's the future that intrigues Hunter most and ;if he can get Scarlett to make him her groom.
NORTH TO DRY CREEK: The road to Alaska is paved with love.
MY REVIEW:  I chose to read this book and review it because my nephew who is in the Army is stationed in Alaska with his family and they are enjoying all the beauties of Alaskan living.   I love watching shows about Alaska and the beautiful scenery.   The story begins in Montana and ends up …

Review of "Quilted by Christmas"

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Review of Quilted by Christmasby Jodie Bailey

A grandmother’s last wish is to communicate God’s love through an Irish chain quilt.

Taryn McKenna believes she’s easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree—something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle-schoolers she teaches.

When Taryn’s grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project—an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that God will never leav…

Review of "For They Have Sown the Wind"

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Review of For They Have Sown the Wind
by Alessandro Perissinoto and translated from Italian by Cindy Stanphill


Giacomo Musso, a thirty-five-year-old teacher, is led by love, or perhaps by chance, to incarceration in the maximum-security wing of the Novara penitentiary. He protests his innocence while holding the newspaper with a photo of the mutilated corpse of his wife. Out of desperation, Giacomo decides to tell the story of his life—that is, the series of events that inevitably led him to this cell. Their marriage was not a red-hot love affair, but rather something that grew slowly and steadily—a love meant to last. He and his wife, Shirin, decided to move back to Molini, the town in the Piedmontese mountains where Giacomo was born, when he grew homesick. Shirin wanted to move to Molini because she needed the security of Giacomo’s roots after escaping from Iran. But even in Molini, she remained a foreigner, treated first with intrusive curiosity and then with mistrust. This nonbeliev…

Review of "Wonderful Lonesome"

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Review of Wonderful Lonesomeby Olivia Newport
In a struggling Amish settlement on the harsh Colorado plain, Abbie Weaver refuses to concede defeat to hail, drought, and coyotes, even as families begin to give up and return east. The biggest challenge of all is the lack of a spiritual shepherd and regular worship. When Abbie discovers the root of a spiritual divide that runs through the settlement, she faces her own decisions about what she believes. She must choose between a quiet love in her cherished church, passion with a man determined to leave the church, or imagining her life with neither.
MY REVIEW:  Abigail, or Abbie, Weaver is quite dedicated to her Amish faith and the struggling Colorado settlement.   She is making a quilt with pieces from each family in the settlement and praying for them as she stitches.   Many begin leaving the settlement though.  They have no Amish bishop and none will even visit them.   They are all "wonderful lonesome" for the fellowship of the…

MONTHLY GIVEAWAY for August 2014

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Monthly giveaway for August 2014!!! To enter to win a print copy of Forever Amish by Kate Lloyd, tell me why you enjoy Amish fiction. You can enter here or at my facebook page, Rhonda's Doings https://www.facebook.com/rhondasdoings Winning name to be drawn on August 20, 2014. Don't forget to leave an email so that I can contact you if you win!   Good luck!

Review of "The Lady and the Officer"

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Review of The Lady and the Officerby Mary Ellis 
Bestselling author Mary Ellis (A Widow's Hope) presents The Lady and the Officer, Book 2 of her new Civil War historical romance series, which tells the stories of brave women and the men who love them.

Serving for a brief time as a nurse after the devastating battle of Gettysburg, Madeline Howard saves the life of Elliot Haywood, a colonel in the Confederate Home Guard. But even though Maddy makes her home in the South, her heart and political sympathies belong to General James Downing, a soldier from the North.

However, Colonel Haywood has never forgotten the beautiful nurse, and when he unexpectedly meets her again in Richmond, he is determined to win her. But while rubbing elbows with army officers and cavalry generals and war department officials in her aunt and uncle's palatial home, Maddy overhears plans for a Confederate attack in northern Virginia. She knows passing along this information may save the life of her beloved J…