A Christmas by the Sea by Melody Carlson

christmas sea

Pages: 176 (eBook)

Publisher: Revell

Published: September 4, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Wendy and her son, Jackson, have been living in Cincinnati, OH and trying to cope with life after the death of her husband, his dad. Wendy’s grandfather passed away and left her his home in Seaside, Maine. Wendy plans on updating the home and selling it ASAP. They drive to Maine over Thanksgiving break and both fall in love with the house and town. Jackson wants to live there but Wendy sees no way to make a living and insists they must go back to Cincinnati. Will the townspeople, one in particular, change her mind and give a young boy his Christmas wish?

What a heartwarming, beautiful Christmas read. Melody Carlson writes with such love and hope that you can’t help but fall in love with Seaside. She makes the reader wish we could experience the Christmas season on the Maine coast with mornings of shelling, days filled with creating beauty within our home and evenings filled with delicious seafood meals.

I would like to see a return visit to Seaside with one of the other characters with an update to how Wendy and Jackson are doing.

I received a complimentary copy of this story from Revell through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

The Christmas Prayer by Wanda Brunstetter

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Pages: 176 (eBook)

Publisher: Barbour Publishing Inc. (Shiloh Run Press)

Published: September 1, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

In the wake of the Donner party, three wagons of strangers meet in Independence, MO to head to the land of gold, California. Eight months later December arrives and they have just reached the Sierra Nevada Mountains and have encountered a blizzard that could mean the end of the trip and themselves.

Cynthia is traveling with her fiancé and mother. As the trip has progressed she finds herself questioning if he is the man she thought he was, especially as she finds herself spending more time with the children on the trip. Christmas is approaching and the travelers are finding themselves getting bleaker and bleaker but will Santa come save them and show Cynthia the way to love?

I know whenever I pick up a Wanda Brunstetter book or novella whether Amish or not I am in for the perfect feel good read. Although I know the ending will be a happy one and love will always win the story to get to the ending is always beautiful. This is the perfect story to get you ready for the colder months and Christmas. Pick this book up for the romance reader in your life or yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

I received a copy of this story from Barbour Publishing Inc. through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

 

The Mending by Susan Lantz Simpson

mending

Pages: 288 (eBook)

Publisher: Kensington

Published: August 28, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Malinda is happy to be out of the hospital in Ohio and heading back home to Maryland. As she settles back in the swing of home life she wonders if she will ever share the joy her friend Phoebe has with her boyfriend soon to be fiancé. Malinda has Chron’s disease and feels she is a burden to everyone around her, especially her family.

Timothy has been in Malinda’s life for as long as anyone can remember as he is her older brother, Sam’s, best friend. Timothy has waited patiently for years for Malinda to grow up and be ready to accept suitors. Now that the time has come can he convince Melinda that she will never be a burden to him?

What a beautiful love story between Malinda and Timothy. The love and patience he has for Malinda would make any girl swoon, young or old, English or Amish. Both of them have a strong faith in God and the way it is portrayed is great. The author uses real life experiences to show how God is in each of our lives. The author writes with such knowledge that one would think you were reading a true story and not one of fiction.

This is the second book by Susan Lantz Simpson I have read and I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kensington Book through NetGalley and any all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Secret at Pebble Creek (Hope Chest of Dreams #4) by Lisa Jones Baker

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Pages: 256 (eBook)

Publisher: Kensington

Published: August 28, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Englisher, Jessica Beachy, has inherited her late great uncle’s Amish farm in Illinois. She makes the journey from St. Louis, MO to sell the property but one thing she did not expect was to fall in love, with the memory of her late great uncle, the property and the handsome Amish carpenter, Eli. As Eli remodels the house for Jessica to sell, he tells Jessica stories of her great uncle and the loves found at Pebble Creek. Will Eli lose his heart to Jessica?

This was my first visit to Pebble Creek and I am absolutely smitten. Lisa Jones Baker does an incredible job in making the reader feel as if Pebble Creek is a real and magical place. I am afraid of heights and would never in my right mind climb a ladder into a hay loft but she made me want to when reading about the view of Pebble Creek from Old Sam’s hayloft.

It was beautiful to read about the witnessing Eli does with Jessica. A non-believer learning about our beautiful God and coming to the realization that Jesus died for you to have eternal life with him in the kingdom of heaven is a miracle. Lisa Jones Baker did just this in a subtle but powerful way.

I would recommend this book to any fan of Christian and/or Amish romance. It is definitely safe for a young teenage girl ready to read clean romance novels. No sex, foul language or violence.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Kensington through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

The Hope Jar (The Prayer Jars #1) by Wanda Brunstetter

hope

Pages: 320 (eBook)

Publisher: Barbor Publishing Inc. (Shiloh Run Press)

Published: August 7, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A winner from one of America’s favorite Amish authors, Wanda Brunstetter.

Many years ago the Lapps daughter left her Amish community for the English world. Unbeknownst to them she was pregnant with her daughter, Sara. When Sara’s mom passes away she finds a letter in her mom’s Bible telling her of her grandparents. As she tries to set up a time to visit them an imposter has taken her place with the Lapps.

The imposter is Michelle, a young woman who is so far down on her luck that she jumps at the chance to pretend to be Sara when the Lapps mistake her for Sara at the bus station.

Can Michelle make amends with the family and community she has come to love before the real Sara comes to visit her grandparents.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book it did take me some time to get through it. Mainly because I would get so frustrated at Michelle stringing the Lapps along. The Lapps are so caring and loving and I know she truly has found herself loving them back. For the first time in her life she has felt true love and felt apart of a real family.

The idea of a hope (prayer) jar sounds like a wonderful concept. I have heard of prayer journals but not hope (prayer) jars. Imagine keeping one and many years from now someone finds it and finds the help and/or strength they need.

I am very interested to see how this series progresses.

I received a complimentary copy from Barbor Publishing Inc. through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Through the Autumn Air (An Every Amish Season #3) by Kelly Irvin

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Pages: 368 (eBook)

Publisher: Zondervan Fiction

Published: August 14, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Widowed Mary Katherine has found herself fighting her children and the church elders over leaving her home for life in the Dawdi Haas. Her children think her facilities are failing but in truth Mary Katherine lives in a world of stories, whether through books or stories she concocts in her head and writes down later when she has the time. Everyone seems to think they know what is best for her. Instead of being able to follow her dream of opening a bookstore with her best friend who happens to be English she finds herself helping Widower Ezekiel in his restaurant and her friends in the new Amish Combination Store. As things heat up in the mysterious Amish break ins, Mary Katherine and Ezekiel find their friendship heating up as the days cool down. Can Mary Katherine find a solution to make herself happy along with everyone else?

The Every Amish Season books have been a delight to read. Through the Autumn Air has been my favorite of the three published so far. I love just about any book centered around books and reading. Plus I hope I am as spunky as Mary Katherine when I am sixty. I admire how she tries to stay true to her faith but herself as well. Can we truly enjoy life if we don’t stay true to ourselves.

If you are a fan of Amish fiction and are ready to read a story with some spunk hurry and get your copy today.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Zondervan Fiction through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Shattered Mirror by Sarah Price

shattered

Pages: 265 (eBook)

Publisher: Waterfall Press

Published:  July 24, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A powerfully written, eye-opening fiction novel that could be the real story of a neighbor or ourselves.

Kelly has been fighting for years to keep her fractured family together. Meaning she has been trying to keep life as normal as she can for her two children after her divorce from their verbal abusing drunk of a dad. Unfortunately, her son, Zach, has been self-medicating with alcohol and drugs. Kelly has gotten Zach help in the past but when he OD’s in his bedroom she realizes he needs professional help. Fighting her ex-husband, close family, a school system with their heads in the sand and a society that refuses to acknowledge the epidemic killing our kids Kelly pulls strength from deep within to find the help her son needs.

I cried, screamed and cringed while reading and listening to this book. The story had me so entranced that I finished it in less than 24 hours. I found myself waking up at 3am just to read more. Sarah Price has described a situation that is killing our young at an alarming rate with so much truth and grit. Too bad every parent in America is not required to read this before their children hit their teenage years. What will it take for our nation to wake up and see the young need our help in fighting the war on drugs. This killer knows no boundaries. It affects every social and economic class.

I will be recommending this book to all my friends, teacher colleagues and anyone who will listen.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterfall Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions are entirely my own.

Her Fear (The Amish of Hart County #5) by Shelley Shepard Gray

her fear

Pages: 288 (eBook)

Publisher: Avon Inspire

Published: July 24, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I could not put this book down which was perfect for a rainy, lazy Sunday. Shelley Shepard Gray has done it again. A five star read in her The Amish of Hart County series.

Sadie finds herself in Kentucky with relatives she has never met. On top of that she is pregnant. When her aunt falls ill and the EMTs are called she meets Noah, an Amish EMT. Sparks fly instantly but he doesn’t know she is pregnant and she doesn’t know he thinks something sinister is going on at the home. Will Sadie and Noah be able to overcome all the odds against them to pursue a relationship?

Sadie’s strength and strong, unwavering belief in God is amazing. If I ever found myself in a similar situation I hope I can have comfort that God has me. I hope I can be as forgiving as Noah if the time ever presented itself.

This series is a favorite of mine as it is set in my home state so a lot of places mentioned I either know of them or have been there. Shelley does a great job in making sure each book is connected but at the same time letting them read as a stand alone novel.

I received an advanced complimentary copy from the author and the publisher, Avon Inspire. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Amish Celebrations by Beth Wiseman

celebrations

Pages: 370 (eBook)

Publisher: Zondervan Fiction

Published: July 10, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Four stories that will change you for the better. Beth Wiseman does not hesitate to discuss depression, jealously, drugs, and abuse and how all those affect friendships, relationships and marriages. I admired how she tackled the subjects that everyone across every race, religion and social class experiences.

Whether you are a fan of Amish fiction/romance, Christian fiction/romance or are just looking for a book with some meat to it this is the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan Fiction through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

The House at Saltwater Point (Lavender Tides #2) by Colleen Coble

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Pages: 352 (eBook)

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Published: July 3, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

As far as Christian Suspense goes, Colleen Coble is the best.

Ellie has never forgiven herself for her part in the death of her youngest sister and subsequently her mother so she has always “mothered and babied” her other sister Mac. When her sister goes missing and is accused of stealing cocaine Ellie takes it upon herself to prove the Coast Guard wrong. Can Ellie save her sister and her sister’s reputation as her heart falls for the man trying to find and arrest Mac?

The Lavender Tides series is the Christian suspense series to be devoured. I thought The View from Rainshadow Bay was as edge of your seat reading as you could get but The House at Saltwater Point proved me wrong. My heart was racing through most of the book as Ellie was racing to find her sister. I enjoy learning as I read and appreciated how terrorism was handled in the book.

I adore how Colleen Coble can write stories within the story and not lose the importance of any of the stories. My interest has been piqued for the Hope Beach series. I see more books being added to my TBR pile.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.