The Teacher’s Bride (Amish Brides of Birch Creek) by Kathleen Fuller

teacher

Pages: 320

Publisher: Zondervan Fiction

Published: December 4, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Christian moved to Birch Creek to accept the teaching position and in hopes, it would widen his availability to find a wife. When a sprained ankle sidelines home for a few days, he has to depend on “accident waiting to happen” Ruby to cover his class. Will Christian be able to see past Ruby’s clumsiness to find the love she has to offer?

The Teacher’s Bride has plenty of laughs to offer between Christian and Ruby. You will be laughing out loud aplenty. I think many of yes will be able to relate to how both get nervous and tongue-tied and clumsy when wanting to impress someone.

My opinion on Christian’s sister, Selah, is still out. I had to remind myself several times as I was reading that she is only 19 years old and 19-year-olds can be very selfish and self-centered. I hope her story is explored more in a future novel.

I enjoy the way Kathleen Fuller writes. It like a warm hug on a cold night; comforting and welcoming. I would have no problems giving her books to young teen girls to read as they are clean and wholesome.

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

The Christmas Remedy by Cindy and Erin Woodsmall

remedy

Pages: 208

Publisher: WaterBrook & Multnomah

Published: October 23, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Since her father’s death, Holly has been able to live a different life for being Amish. She started working at Green’s Pharmacy in town and she realized she loved being able to help her people with health questions. Her bishop has allowed her to get her GED, become a pharmacy tech and now take classes to become a licensed practicing nurse. This will allow her to answer customer questions when it comes to her deliveries of their medicines. She knows her love for her job will keep her from getting married or so she thinks. Holly did not expect to find someone like Joshua.

Joshua knows Holly from some local singings but then she disappeared. He never expected to run into her on her worst day. He runs to Greene’s Pharmacy to pick up his mother’s new diabetes medicine but when he gets there the pharmacy is closed. Holly returns from her deliveries and becomes concerned when the pharmacy is still closed. As she opens up she finds Mr. Greene laying in the floor. With Josh’s help she able to get Mr. Greene the help he needs.

What will happen to the pharmacy and can Holly control her heart when Josh is around? Will her career stop before it even began?

I could not put this book down. The idea of an Amish being able to follow her calling without having to leave the faith was a wonderful change. If you think about it what could be better. We all trust those most like us, it is human nature. Holly understands their hesitancy to take medicine and go against the belief of “it is God’s will”. Her goal is to prevent deaths that were preventable if they had just gone to the doctor and took their medicine as prescribed.

I applaud the Woodsmall’s for creating an Amish male character that is open to change and seeing the woman not just as a homemaker. Josh understands that Holly is invested in her community and is willing to give up a life with another to help keep her community healthy.

A beautifully written tale of romance and change. If you like Christian fiction pick this book up. You won’t be disappointed.

I received a complimentary copy from WaterBrook & Multnomah through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

 

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

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Pages: 352

Publisher: Random House Publishing – Ballantine

Published: October 2, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I will start my review saying I will NOT discuss the political sides of abortion or whether I think it is right or wrong.

George Goddard, an upset father, takes it upon himself to teach the women and doctor at the state’s only abortion clinic a lesson, by taking them hostage. He blames everyone there, patients and staff, for what has happened to his daughter.

After the first shot was fired, Hugh McElroy, a hostage negotiator, was one of the first one scene. What he doesn’t realize is that his fifteen year old daughter is inside with her aunt, his sister. Hugh has depend on his training and the others inside to keep his daughter safe.

Through the eyes of a nurse who is a patient, the doctor who performs the abortions, a retired professor facing a death she cannot control, the distraught father, an anti abortion protestor, a young woman who felt abortion was her only way out and a scared teenager we learn of the many different reasons humans make the decisions they do.

You can guarantee that when you pick up a Jodi Picoult book you will be made to dig deep inside yourself and think. You may not agree with the issue being discussed but you will be forced to see the issue from every side.

I was not sure if I would like the narrative structure The Spark of Life was written in but by the end I was glad it was written backward, meaning we start with the most recent hour of the hostage standoff and work our way back to how it all began. It forced me to question why and take more of the facts given into consideration.

A great book for book clubs as many discussions can arise while reading. Expect tears and heartache as you read.

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

The First Love by Beverly Lewis

first love

Pages: 304

Publisher: Bethany House

Published: September 4, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

1951: It’s a summer of change and acceptance. Maggie is learning to deal with her chronic illness and help her younger siblings accept their new stepmom. A Mennonite tent revival has set up in town and Maggie attends at the urging of her Mennonite cousins. Will the meetings bring her closer to accepting her illness and accepting her stepmom or will the meetings take her away from her Amish faith?

I knew very little about Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis until reading Maggie’s story. JRA sounds absolutely terrible not to know day to day when you wake up on how you are going to feel and if you are going to be able to move or not.

I applaud Lewis for her positive stepmom portrayal. So many times we read stories of a terrible stepmom who hates her step kids. Being a stepmom myself it made my heart sing to see the stepmom as loving and trying to keep their mom’s memory alive. Yes, there are hard times but with love and patience hard times can be overcome.

My favorite story line was Maggie’s spiritual awakening. The thirst for understanding and believing was beautiful. There were a lot of biblical stories mentioned that I was not completely familiar with and has made me interested to read more of my Bible.

Lewis has written another story that reminds you of the beauty in the world.

I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

An Amish Homecoming by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Shelley Shepard Gray and Kathleen Fuller

homecoming

Pages: 416 (eBook)

Publisher: Zondervan Fiction

Published: October 16, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Four wonderful stories on forgiveness and love.

No Place Like Home by Amy Clipston
Can Eva forgive her parents for their actions and feelings years ago for the benefit of her four year old son?
A perfect story on forgiveness: forgiving yourself and others that have wronged you.

When Love Returns by Beth Wiseman
Sarah and her daughter must return to home she fled six years ago and face those she left behind. Upon her returned, Abram has realized he never stopped loving her. Will Hurricane Harvey mend the destruction of Sarah and Abram’s lives?
This story had me in tears from almost the beginning to the end. The raw emotions and heartache of the characters came through beautifully.

The Courage to Love by Shelley Shepard Gray
Can Irene overcome her past and let people into her heart?
A story to remind us to get to know others before judging them.

What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller
Upon retuning to Birch Creek after being away 18 years, Carolyn is determined to realize her dream of opening an Amish Bakery. Will Carolyn relinquish control and let Atlee and others help her with her dream?
I found this story as a great reminder to forgive others who have hurt me in the past and to also let others help me when I need it. You are not showing weakness in needing help, you are letting others follow Jesus’ example.

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

 

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.

Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

monday

Pages: 325 (eBook)

Publisher: Sourcebooks/Landmark

Published: August 28, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A powerful, raw, heartbreaking read. One of the best books I have read this year. Get your tissues ready as you read this based on a real picture story from Kristina McMorris.

In 1931, two years after the stock market crash, Ellis Reed, a local newspaper reporter, finds himself in the Pennsylvania countryside taking pictures of things that he finds interesting. He comes upon two young boys playing in the dirt on the porch of a rundown farmhouse. As Ellis takes their picture he notices a sign: 2 CHILDREN FOR SALE. Ellis begins to question the why behind the sign. He never intended the photo to go public but once his editor sees the photo he demands a story.

Lillian, the editor’s secretary, is the reason the editor saw the photo. The mother within her is heartbroken for the children and the mother who felt this was her last resort to survive these hard economic times.

Once the photo and story hit the news waves it leads Ellis and Lillian on a journey that neither expected. Can all parties involved find their way home again?

I finished this book several days ago and found I needed time to reflect on the emotions it stirred within me. My dad was born in 1931 in Maryland and I know from the stories he has shared with me how rough it was to grow up in the Depression. I could not imagine if his parents had had to resort to putting him on the porch with a sign that said, Child for Sale. The thought of any child experiencing that brings tears to my eyes. Take a look at your child/children and reflect on how you would feel if you had to “sell” them to survive. Unfortunately most children during the Depression that were separated from their family for whatever reason did not experience a loving childhood. As told my Ms. McMorris they were put to work on a farms at a very, very young age and treated worse than some farm animals.

Sold On A Monday is a perfect historical fiction read on a subject matter from the Depression that is not very wide known to our generation. This novel will make you think about how good of a life you truly have.

Every book I have read by Ms. McMorris has been an emotional and educational read. I find she is one of the best historical fiction writers. She writes with knowledge and feeling. You will do yourself a great favor in picking up any one of her novels.

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

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

pebble

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.

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

through

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.