Monday, September 29, 2014

Review of "Trading Secrets"

Review of  Trading Secrets

by Melody Carlson

20665234

Back in fifth grade, Micah Knight got an Amish pen pal, and over the years, they've exchanged many letters--and many secrets. At age seventeen, Micah finally has the chance to meet her pen pal face-to-face. The only problem is that because of confusion about her name when the pen pals were assigned, her pen pal was a boy, Zack Miller. And all this time, Micah's never told Zack that she's actually a girl! While she wants nothing more than to experience life on Zack's Amish farm, she's afraid he'll hate her for deceiving him all these years. But she makes up her mind to face the music--and that's where the fun really begins. 
Bestselling author Melody Carlson brings young adults another fascinating tale of worlds colliding, secrets being revealed, and friendships forming. Teens will love this story of miscommunication and mishaps along the way to the truth.

MY REVIEW:  This is a work of Young Adult Amish fiction, but I would recommend it to adults as well.  This was a fun, light read.   Micah and Zack have been penpals for six years and because of her name, Zack assumes she is a he.   He even chose her for that reason.   She has the chance to visit his family farm during her spring break and she goes dressed as a boy and does not reveal her secret until the family dinner that evening.  I will not spoil the book for readers by revealing what happens when she tells them that she is actually a girl.  Zack loves education and reading and spends a great deal of time reading science and history books.  I hope that there is a sequel to the book as I am curious to know what happens later with Zack and Micah.  I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to teens and adults alike.  
I received a pdf version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.  

About the Author:
Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus. 

She also writes many teen books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series. 

Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Giveaway of $5 Amazon Gift Card

Giveaway for $5 Amazon Gift Card

AND THE WINNER IS.....Sissie Prater who entered on my facebook page.  Congrats! and thanks to all who entered!

To enter, tell me what you like best about autumn.  I love the changing colors here in Virginia. 

you can enter here or at my facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/rhondasdoings?ref=bookmarks

Giveaway ends Sept. 30, 2014 at midnight.  
eGift Card design previeweGift Card design previeweGift Card design preview


Leave an email with your comment so I can contact you.  The giftcard will be delivered via email as well.   

Review of "A Love Undone"

Review of  A Love Undone: An Amish Novel of Shattered Dreams and God's Unfailing Grace

by Cindy Woodsmall

21469604

A husband and son abandoned to forge a path alone.
A young woman who sacrificed her dreams.
How will the God of grace and hope help them find their way?
 
At nineteen years old, Old Order Amish Jolene Keim was on the brink of happily-ever-after when everything changed, stealing the future she expected and burdening her with an unbearable decision. For the next ten years, Jolene throws herself into family life—and then she meets Andy Fisher. The horse trainer and father to a sweet nine year-old challenges her and holds up a mirror to issues Jolene has been unwilling to face.

Andy is cautious about his deepening friendship with Jolene, but he believes she knows the truth about him – that he is a grass widower. As a man whose wife has abandoned him six years past, he is unable to divorce or remarry according to the Amish ways. Andy has wrestled with God concerning his reality, and he had found peace with the solitary future facing him…until he met Jolene.

As Andy and Jolene find themselves confronted by difficult choices, will they trust in God's guidance—or will the allure of their deepening friendship only lead to further temptation?

MY REVIEW:  This one is sad.  I felt deep sadness for Jolene and Andy.   I also felt extreme sadness for Jolene's brother, Ray.  Jolene has to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders....raising all her younger siblings when both her parents are killed in a tragic drowning.   Andy's wife left him and his young son,Tobias.  It seems to me that he and Tobias are punished for that.  Will Jolene and Andy ever find a love ?  How can that with him still being married to Eva?  Jolene seems to do it all with a heart of thanksgiving and gratefulness.   I don't know how she does it.  I don't think I could be that gracious under the same circumstances.  I won't reveal too much as I would never want to spoil a wonderful book for readers, but this book will draw you in and tug on your heartstrings.  I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers.  Horse lovers will also find a great deal of interest in this book, as Andy and Jolene help to save many horses that have been rescued by the Humane Society.   
I received a pdf and print version of this book from the publishers and bloggingforbooks. 

About the Author:



Cindy Woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author who has written six novels, three novellas, and Plain Wisdom, a work of nonfiction coauthored with her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud. She’s been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life.

She is also a veteran homeschool mom who no longer holds that position. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.

She’s won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings’ Best Books of the Year. She’s been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.

Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Though she didn’t realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and cape dresses. Her parents didn’t allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy’s house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them—afraid that if they didn’t, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann’s because her family didn’t own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults’ disapproval and the obstacles in each other’s lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy’s family moved to another region of the US.

As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities—from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.

Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband, three sons, two daughters-in-law, a new granddaughter, and a dog named Jersey who wants to dominate the world, starting with the Woodsmall household.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review of "NIV Once A Day Bible for Women"

Review of NIV Once a Day Bible for Women





The NIV Once A Day Bible for Women combines helpful summary information before each reading with application questions after each reading to deliver the most satisfying daily reading plan ever. It includes the full text of the most read, most trusted NIV translation. The NIV Once A Day Bible - Understand and Apply Edition for Women is a must-have Bible for any woman committed to growing in her relationship with God through the spiritual discipline of daily Bible reading, reflection and application.

MY REVIEW:  This is a lovely soft-bound Bible designed for women in a beautiful shade of pink for the cover.   It is composed in the NIV, New International Version.  The NIV is one of  my personal favorites to read as it makes the Bible clear and easily understandable.  Each day is clearly marked, one through 365 for reading the Bible through in one year.   Each day's reading contains some chapters from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs.   The chapters are read in order as they appear in the Bible.   After each day's reading, there is a short "Reflection" which features one portion of the passages for the day and expounds on that particular passage more.  The print was a bit small for my personal taste.  It is an inexpensive Bible to purchase and would be a good choice for someone who does not have a great deal of money to invest in the Bible. I think it would be a nice gift for a teenage girl or a new Christian woman.  I honestly am unsure what makes it especially for women except for the cover design and color.  I would rate this Bible 3.5 stars.   
I received a copy of this Bible from booklookbloggers in exchange for my honest review.  

Review of "940 Saturdays"

Review of 940 Saturdays 

by Harley Robart, M. D. 

There are 940 Saturdays between a child’s birth and the day he or she turns 18. 

That may sound like a lot when there are adventures to plan and hours to fill. But as your child learns to walk, ride a bicycle, and drive, the years pass quickly. This beautiful package includes both a removable booklet with a thousand ideas for family activities that you and your child will love at every age, and a keepsake journal for preserving what you saw and did, thought and felt, so you can savor these memories in the years to come.


My Review:   This is a beautiful hardcover journal for parents to record 940 fun Saturday events with their child/children.  The book consists of blank pages marked with the day (as in Day One).  The pages are lined for easy recording.   There is a small pocket at the back which holds a small paperback book with ideas for activities to do for children birth thru teens.   Ages are listed with developmentally appropriate activities included.   It might have been nice to include a place for photographs ...although they can be glued or taped to the pages.  I was honestly expecting a bit more in the book on activities and was surprised to find the small book at the back but I think this would be a lovely gift for a new parent to be able to record fun things with their family.  The activities could of course take place any day of the week and it does encourage family quality time.   
I received this book from the publisher and bloggingforbooks.org.  


Review of "The Brickmaker's Bride"

Review of The Brickmaker's Bride

by Judith Miller

20665081

Yearning for a fresh start, Ewan McKay travels with his aunt and uncle from northern Scotland to West Virginia, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial assistance from his uncle Hugh. Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, but it's Ewan who gets the business up and running again. Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Besides, Ewan has resolved he'll focus on making the brickmaking operation enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters  over from Scotland.

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work may come to naught. As his plans begin to crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. She and her mother may have a way to save the brickworks, and in turn Ewan may have another shot at winning Laura's heart.

MY REVIEW:  Judith Miller has produced a 5 Star historical romance novel.  She has obviously invested a great deal of time in researching the brickmaking business of the past.  Laura, her mother, and Ewan definitely exhibit strong Christian characteristics and witness to the others around who do not exhibit these same characteristics.   They set an example of love, forgiveness, and mercy.   I was drawn into this book and felt I was riding along in the horse-drawn buggies and could envision the graceful home that Laura and her mother share and the orphanage that is in dire need of repairs.  I would highly recommend this book to those who also enjoy historical romance.   
I received a free pdf version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author:
Judith McCoy Miller

Judith McCoy Miller is an award-winning author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. Judy and her husband make their home in Topeka, Kansas.

Review of "A February Bride"

Review of A February Bride

by Betsy St. Amant 


18168277
Happily ever after guaranteed. Allie left the love of her life at the altar—to save him from a lifetime of heartbreak. When a Valentine’s Day wedding brings them back together, she struggles against her family’s destructive history. Can Allie ever realize that a marriage is so much more than a wedding dress? History repeats itself when Allie Andrews escapes the church on her wedding day—in the same dress passed down for generations and worn by all the women in her family—women with a long history of failed marriages. Allie loves Marcus, but fears she’s destined to repeat her family’s mistakes. She can’t bear to hurt Marcus worse. Marcus Hall never stopped loving Allie and can only think of one reason she left him at the altar—him. When the two are thrown together for his sister’s Valentine’s Day wedding, he discovers the truth and realizes their story might be far from over. Can Allie shuck expectation and discover who she is as a bride and in the Bride of Christ? And if she ever walks down the aisle, what dress will she wear?

MY REVIEW:  Allie is a delightful character who makes the perfect nervous bride.....as in "she's in love, but afraid to marry due to her family's curse".....Allie thinks her family is cursed.  The women in her family have been married many, many times and they all wore the same dress.  How can she doom her love, Marcus, to the CURSE?  Now, to top it all off, her best friend who happens to be Marcus's sister is marrying and she is her maid-of-honor.  So she and Marcus have to see each other a great deal after she recently ran and left him standing at the altar ALONE!  To make matters even worse, it would just have to be February and Valentine's Day with hearts and love and kisses floating all around.  This is a cute love story.   It is a quick read and I rate it 4 stars!   
I received a free pdf version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.  

About the Author:
Betsy St. Amant
Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana and is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group. Betsy is multi-published through Steeple Hill and has been published in Christian Communicator magazine and Praise Reports: Inspiring Real Life Stories of How God Answers Prayer. One of her short stories, ‘Kickboxing or Chocolate’, appears in a Tyndale compilation book, and she is also multi-published through The Wild Rose Press. She has a BA in Christian Communications and regularly freelances for her local newspaper. Betsy is a fireman’s wife, a mommy to a busy toddler, a chocolate-loving author and an avid reader who enjoys sharing the wonders of God’s grace through her stories.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review of "A Secret of the Heart"

Review of A Secret of the Heart

by J. E. B. Spredemann

23162929

Lillianna Zook and Thomas Girod had been secret friends throughout most of their Amish childhood, but they part ways when Lillianna’s family moves to a district in another state. She fears their friendship has been lost forever until a chance encounter brings them in contact once again. Lillianna learns that Thomas needs money – a lot of it – and it’s a matter of life and death. Lillianna is willing to do anything she can to help Thomas, so when an opportunity arises where she can make a lot of money in a short time, she doesn’t hesitate. But will her sacrifice be worth the trials this new opportunity presents.

MY REVIEW:  This is a heart-wrenching story of forgiveness, loyalty, and love.  Lillianna goes above and beyond to provide the money Thomas needs for his cancer treatments.   She lives with an Englisch family to act as their nanny and what she receives is a broken heart in return.   This is a 5-star book and beautifully deals with a difficult issue.   Read to discover how forgiveness heals all wounds for Lillianna and how it can do the same for you.   
I received a pdf version of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.  

About the Author:
J.E.B. Spredemann

Author interview: http://brittreadsfiction.wordpress.co

By the grace of God, J.E.B. Spredemann resides in beautiful sunny California and writes Christian fiction. We hope our books uplift you, inspire you, make you laugh, and touch your heart.

Follow us on our website: www.jebspredemann.com 

Author can be contacted via email at jebspredemann@gmail.com 

Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter for the most current updates and/or giveaways.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Review of "A January Bride"

Review of  A January Bride

by Deborah Raney

18168267

Who can work in a house that's overrun by contractors and carpenters? Not Madeleine Houser, a successful novelist who gladly accepts the help of her octogenarian friend, Ginny, to arrange for a temporary office in the charming bed and breakfast owned by Ginny's friend, Arthur. Maddie’s never met the innkeeper––but a friendship grows between them as Maddie and Arthur leave messages for each other each day. To Maddie’s alternate delight and chagrin, she seems to be falling for the inn’s owner––a man who's likely many years her senior––and who she’s never even met.

MY REVIEW:  What a delightful novella!   I love the way Deborah Raney uses humor throughout the novella.   This story is full of surprises for the characters and the readers.   I can relate to how Maddie and Arthur sort of "fell in love" with each other by writing notes each day even though they had not met in person yet.  My husband and I met online and we emailed for several weeks and talked on the phone before actually meeting for a date.  I fell in love with him and his thoughts and beliefs just like the characters in the story did.  I rate this 5 stars and am looking forward to meeting the February Bride!   
I received a free pdf version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author:
Deborah Raney

DEBORAH RANEY's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Her books have since won the RITA Award, ACFW Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers' Choice Award, Silver Angel, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. THE FACE OF THE EARTH released in May 2013 from Howard/Simon & Schuster, and SILVER BELLS released from Guideposts in October. Deb and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy small-town life in Kansas. They are new empty nesters with four children and a growing quiver of grandchildren, all of whom live much too far away.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Review of "A Light in the Wilderness"

Review of A Light in the Wilderness

by Jane Kirkpatrick

20665235

Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. They may not cause white folks to treat her like a human being, but at least they show she is free. She trusts in those words she cannot read–as she is beginning to trust in Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant cattleman who wants her to come west with him.
Nancy Hawkins is loathe to leave her settled life for the treacherous journey by wagon train, but she is so deeply in love with her husband that she knows she will follow him anywhere–even when the trek exacts a terrible cost.
Betsy is a Kalapuya Indian, the last remnant of a once proud tribe in the Willamette Valley in Oregon territory. She spends her time trying to impart the wisdom and ways of her people to her grandson. But she will soon have another person to care for.
As season turns to season, suspicion turns to friendship, and fear turns to courage, three spirited women will discover what it means to be truly free in a land that makes promises it cannot fulfill.

Based on a true story.

MY REVIEW:   It gives my heart a deep aching pain to know how women of color were treated in our country in its early years.  To think that Letitia (Tish) had no right to the land she and her "husband" owned is incredible.  She was not allowed to legally marry Davey Carson either.  The ceremony mattered to them but the law would not acknowledge it.   She worked so hard and endured a great deal as they traveled the Oregon Trail.   She helped her husband put up their cabin while caring for their newborn daughter.  She prayed the child would not be very dark-skinned.   Friends called her skin "pecan colored" and adored her.  Women also were almost forced to remarry as a matter of convenience when husbands died on the Oregon Trail.  Tish made friends with a Kalapuya Indian woman and Betsy also was treated with some mistrust.  I was simply amazed at the heartache of all those who chose to travel this journey to claim land in Oregon.   I don't blame them either as it was likely an important decision for the health and good of their families.   This book drew me in and touched my heart in an incredible way.   When I discovered it was based on a true story and read the factual account that Jane Kirkpatrick based her work of fiction on, I was amazed even further!   I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers.   Lovers of historical fiction will particularly enjoy this book.  
I received a free pdf version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. 

About the Author:
Describe the photo or the page it links to

Jane is inter-nationally recognized for her lively presentations and well-researched stories that encourage and inspire.  Her works have appeared in more than 50 publications including  Decision, Private Pilot and Daily Guideposts.  Jane is the author of 20 books including 17 historical novels. Many of her titles are based on the lives of real people or incidents set authentically in the American West.  Her first novel, A Sweetness to the Soul, won the coveted Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center.  Her works have been finalists for the Christy, Spur, Oregon Book Award, WILLA Literary Award and Reader’s Choice awards.  Several of her titles have been Book of the Month and Literary Guild selections. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Review of "A December Bride"

Review of  December Bride

by Denise Hunter


18221496

What started as a whim turned into an accidental - and very public - engagement. Can Layla and Seth keep up the facade in Chapel Springs this holiday season - for the sake of her career . . . and his heart?

Under normal circumstances, Seth Murphy, the best friend of Layla O'Reilly's ex-fiance would be the last person she'd marry. But the news of their upcoming (and phony) nuptials convinces a big client that Layla may be high-society enough to work for his agency, a coup that would put her fledgling home-staging business on the map. Seth has secretly loved Layla for years, even when she was dating his best friend. Maybe she'll never forgive him for the way he hurt her back then, but he has to try. And Layla is willing to keep up their engagement farce until she's landed her client. For Layla, it's the chance to save her career. But for Seth, it's his last chance to win her heart.

MY REVIEW:  I love a wedding and a wedding with Christmas and snow and sleighs involved is even better.   Layla is decorating Seth Murphy's historic home in hopes of getting a job from a huge influential client in the area.   Seth tries to save Layla's hurt feelings and tells Jessica that they are engaged.  And that they wedding is in just a few weeks right before Christmas!   She would make him take it back except she really wants the job and the client is impressed that she is engaged to wealthy Seth Murphy.   What's a girl to do??   She simply must plan a small intimate wedding, right, or at least pretend to do so.   
This is a really quick and sweet read.   I really enjoyed the book and couldn't help smiling the whole way through the book.   I rate this book 5 stars and am eager to read the other novellas in the series.   I am working my way through a year full of weddings and romance.  I received a free pdf version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:
Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter is the award-winning author of 20 novels, including The Accidental Bride and Convenient Groom

Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Review of "Murder Tightly Knit"

Review of Murder Tightly Knit

by Vannetta Chapman

21460471

When a local Amish man is found dead, the Middlebury Amish Artisan Village comes under suspicion. Two amateur sleuths—one Amish, one English—will have to work quickly to keep fear from dividing their community.
As fall blankets the Pumpkinvine Trail with leaves of brown, gold, and orange, a local Amish man is found dead on the path. The only clues to the murderer’s identity point in two very different directions—toward the local survivalist group and toward the Amish Village—specifically the village’s knitting shop, The Cat’s Meow. The police call in a federal investigator, and he quickly puts everyone on the suspect list. Amber Bowman and Hannah Troyer know who isn’t guilty—they know this community down to the last buggy, but can find the guilty party before someone else is in danger?
While Hannah helps Amber solve the mystery, she and Jesse Miller continue courting. But when Jesse’s prodigal brother returns to their farm, Jesse becomes distracted by family troubles. He and Hannah will have to overcome the tension in order to keep their relationship alive. And Amber and Hannah will need to work quickly to solve the murder mystery and bring harmony back to the Amish community.
MY REVIEW:  This return to Pumpkinvine Trail and another murder brings with it many questions.  Amish are suspected as well as Englisch!  I just love seeing Amber happily married to Tate in An Amish Village Mystery's book 2.  I think readers will enjoy seeing the place the homeless Veteran has in this book as well.  Amber is out to solve another murder and keep her village quiet and safe.   She may irritate a few others in the process and many will still be in danger.   
I rate this book a definite 5 stars!  I was on the edge of my seat and I never figured out who committed the crime until it was revealed in the book.  
I received a free pdf version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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.

For more information, visit her at www.VannettaChapman.com or blog with her a at http://vannettachapman.wordpress.com/. She can also be found at http://www.facebook.com/VannettaChapman

Friday, September 5, 2014

Review of "A May Bride"

Review of A May Bride

by Meg Moseley

18626241
She’s prepared for her wedding all her life … but she forgot a few things.
Ellie Martin, a country girl in Atlanta, often de-stresses from city life by tending the flower beds of a church near her apartment. She has dreamed of a traditional wedding all her life, a wedding like the one her younger sister is planning back in their hometown. Their single mom will pay for Alexa’s wedding, but Ellie started her own wedding fund years ago. She only needs to find a groom.
She bumps into a man who’s a guest at a wedding on the church grounds. She’s noticed him around the neighborhood, but today he introduces himself as Gray Whitby. They embark on a whirlwind romance, but her mother doesn’t trust freewheeling men like him. Standing up to Mom leads Ellie to stick up for Alexa too. When Ellie risks her own plans for her sister’s sake, Gray feels betrayed. Will he always play second fiddle?
Will Ellie and Gray reconcile their differences so her dream wedding can come true, or will the romance they’ve begun come crashing down.

MY REVIEW:  Being honest, I noticed this series of  a year of wedding novellas and figured that they would be predictable and not exactly top notch.  I decided to give one a try though, and I am hooked.  This is a quick read as it is a novella and it really did not seem predictable at all.   I was pleasantly surprised by the interactions between Ellie and Gray, as well as interactions with her mother.   Ellie uses gardening as a way to de-stress and sneaks to a church garden to achieve that goal.  She thinks no one will ever find her and who would be upset at someone for weeding their garden anyway?   I know I certainly would be pleasantly surprised by that!   Wonder if Ellie wants to come weed my flower garden?  I rate this novella 4 stars and I am now looking forward to reading the other novellas in the series.   
I received a free pdf version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:

Meg Moseley
Author's bio from www.megmoseley.com:
Although I’ve lived more than half my life in other states, I grew up in California and am still a California girl at heart. I love vintage bungalows, twisted oaks on rolling hills, and the rocky beaches of the Central Coast.
A few blocks away from home stood the Lutheran church where I came to faith, first through Sunday School teachers whose kindness drew me to the kindness of God, and then through confirmation classes. The Bible verses that had been drilled into my head came to life in my heart.
After moving away from home as a teenager, I worked at a variety of jobs, from candlemaker in a tourist town to administrative assistant at a Christian college. I married a wonderful man from Michigan, and we lived north of Detroit for seventeen years. That’s where we started homeschooling our three children, a journey that we finished in Georgia when our youngest graduated from high school in 2009.
My husband and I live near Atlanta, close to the foothills of the Southern Appalachians. His motorcycle often carries us to the mountains of Georgia, Tennessee, or the Carolinas. Sitting on the back of the bike, I can pray, enjoy the beautiful views, and plot new stories. Fiction makes my world go ‘round, whether I’m writing it or reading it.

Review of "A Dream of Home"

Review of A Dream of Home

(Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel #3)

by Amy Clipston

21493658

When she moves to Amish country to find peace and healing, Madeleine finds a special community and a special man who pull her out of her solitude into a new life.

Moving to Pennsylvania wasn't in Madeleine s original plans. She should still be in California and should have married her pilot fiance a year ago but death has a way of changing everything. Now the former Air Force flight nurse is living alone in Paradise, Pennsylvania, and working as a maid at the Lancaster Grand Hotel. She isn't exactly a widow . . . but she sure feels like one.

Saul Beiler isn't exactly a widower . . . but his wife is long gone. His six-year-old daughter, Emma, doesn t know that her mother fled the Amish community and married another man but she does know that her dat is lonely, and that a pretty young maedel just moved in next door. Madeline s numb heart begins to thaw as she spends more time with the innocent and ever optimistic Emma. The stronger her friendship grows with the young girl, the more intrigued Madeline grows about the humble, strong, man raising her on his own.

But even as a strange attraction pulls Saul and Madeleine across a stark cultural divide, they and everybody else have to wonder: What could they possibly have in common besides heartache? Will love allow Madeleine to finally find the home she s been dreaming of all along?

MY REVIEW:   Madeleine is a girl after my own heart as she finds crochet is one of the things she can do to relieve stress when life gets crazy for her.  She had a difficult time in losing her fiance and moves to her Amish grandparents home only to find that her neighbor, Saul, does not want to encourage a relationship between her and his family.  He is in a difficult position as well as he and Madeleine feel an attraction and he is Amish and she is not.  Madeleine also loves Saul's young daughter, Emma, and they enjoy cooking together.  They use mammi's recipe books and explore her many wonderful Amish recipes, sometimes in Madeleine's kitchen and sometimes at Saul and Emma's.    Madeleine forms many friendships among the Amish and the English in her new neighborhood and in her job at the hotel.  She begins to feel that she has truly come home in the Amish neighborhood but her heart longs for more.   Will she find it here or will she decide to sell and move back to her mother in California?   You will want to read this 5 star novel to find out how the issues are resolved for Madeleine, Saul, and Emma.   
I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.  

About the Author:
Amy Clipston
From goodreads' author bio:
I’m Amy Clipston. I am an author of Amish and Christian fiction with Zondervan Publishing. Most of my books focus on the Amish community, faith, and love. I also write romance novels and young adult inspirational stories. 

Please check out my bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery book Series, including the following books:

A Gift of Grace, April 2009
A Promise of Hope, April 2010
A Plain & Simple Christmas, September 2010
A Place of Peace, December 2010
Naomi's Gift, September 2011
A Life of Joy, February 2012
A Season of Love, June 2012
Kauffman Amish Christmas, October 2012

A Hopeful Heart, Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel Series #1, June 2013
A Mother's Secret, Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel Series #2, June 2014
A Dream of Home, Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel #3, December 2014
A Simple Prayer, Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel Book #4, June 2015.


My young adult books include:
Roadside Assistance, April 2011
Destination Unknown, sequel to Roadside Assistance, February 2014
Miles to Nowhere, April 2015
A Reckless Heart, May 2012

A Gift of Love (A Memoir), March 2014

I enjoy spending time with my family, including my hubby, my two wonderful sons, my mom, and my four spoiled-rotten cats. I love reading. 

I'm an advocate for organ and blood donation. I donated a kidney on June 14, 2011, at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Through my donation, my husband received a second kidney transplant. My husband and I matched another couple and we swapped kidneys with them. I gave a kidney to my husband's donor's wife. Feel free to email me and ask me what it was like to be a kidney donor. It was one of the most amazing experiences in my life. If you're healthy, please donate blood! Also, become an organ donor.

Visit me at www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks,Twi... at @AmyClipston or www.AmyClipston.com.