Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Amish Cooking class-The Blessing by Wanda Brunstetter



Return to the Troyer farm where, despite stressful changes occurring in their lives, Joel and Heidi once again open their Ohio home up to those seeking to learn about Amish cooking. This time a teenager helping her divorced dad cook for the family, a caterer needing new recipes, a food critic, a hunter looking to impress his buddies, a wife given the class as an unwanted gift, and a mailman lured in by the aroma of good cooking gather around Heidi s table. More than good food is exchanged, though, as friendships form, a romance blossoms, and hearts are healed."


I love Amish stories and I admire Heidi for holding her own. I can't imagine wanting something so bad and it's just withing reach. Heidi however:; is stronger than she looks and is a wonderful teacher in many ways and I believe if memory serves me correctly a matchmaker in the making. 
There are many new characters in this book. We meet Lisa, Bill the janitor, and a few others. All have come to learn how to cook. 
I think the one I most feel sorry for is Nicole who has to do everything around the house. There is no way not no how would I take on all that responsibility when there were two or three capable hands or bodies whatever the case may be. I'd be like hey I need a little help around here I can't do all this by myself. I"m a sister not a mother. 
There are a few things that I like about the story. There are a few dislikes I don't like for example when Kendra went back to live with her parents and changing her mind. Sometimes it's not always best and it usually ends up hurting the other party. 
I do believe that things work out some for the better but some not for the worst. 
I did have a little trouble connecting with the characters in this story but I have seen God's grace through the author who wrote this book..I do understand that these books are written from the heart of the authors who put these books out there for us reader and for that I do thank you!! 
Some ppl might not like this review but I totally understand! I wouldn't either!! 
I do wish that events that happen in books can happen in real life and sometimes I guess they do. 
I know I've been blessed 10 times fold and blessed especially by getting to read these wonderful books!! I always enjoy helping out my favorite authors!!!


Wanda E. Brunstetter              
A nationally recognized authority on the Amish community, Wanda E. Brunstetter has sold more than seven million copies of her fiction and nonfiction books. Wanda enjoys an uncommon kinship with the Amish and continues to visit their communities throughout the country. Her books have won numerous awards and topped several bestselling charts.

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander

To Wager Her Heart (Belle Meade Plantation, #3)


With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society's expectations must work together to achieve their dreams—provided that the truth doesn't tear them apart first. 

Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this venture, partly for the sake of the challenge. But mostly to clear his father's name. One man holds the key to Sy's success—General William Giles Harding of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sy Rutledge is beer and bullocks. Sy needs someone to help him maneuver his way through Nashville's society, and when he meets Alexandra Jamison, he quickly decides he's found his tutor. Only, he soon discovers that the very train accident his father is blamed for causing is what killed Alexandra Jamison's fiancee—and what has broken her heart. 

Spurning an arranged marriage by her father, Alexandra instead pursues her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen's university in the United States. But family—and Nashville society—do not approve, and she soon finds herself cast out from both. Through connections with the Harding family, Alexandra and Sy become unlikely allies. And despite her first impressions, Alexandra gradually finds herself coming to respect, and even care for this man. But how can she, when her heart is still spoken for? And when Sy's roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility and honor? 

Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win over the woman he loves. What he doesn't count on is having to wager her heart to do it. 

Set against the real history of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation and the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers ensemble, To Wager Her Heart is a stirring love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in history when both were tenuous and hard-won.


Tamera may I say that you've really made my heart sing with this one!! I have learned a lot through reading about Alexandra and Sy's story. There is one quote that really stands out. It's when Mr. White is leaving Alexandra some advice that I really took to heart. He says" It's your decision to make but remember that there are dire consequences and Alexandra soon found out what they were!!! Oh my what a brave lady!! I admired her for following her heart and stepping in the right direction!! God was working on her then and even more so through out this beautiful story!
When the Jubilee singers were singing their songs I imagined myself for being there and actually hearing them and it made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck!!! I love a good concert don't you? Especially gospel? I even closed my eyes and swayed with the singers. I think I could hear God talking to me through them!!! I learned a few more things like I never knew about Fisk University. It's truly amazing where anyone can just say hey I"m going to make this a school no matter what it used to be and be determined to do it.
The Lord is good is He not?
President Spence has such a negative impact. In a way I guess I can understand but at least if it didn't work out they had the guts to try. It's the Lord's will. I enjoyed this story so much!! It's usually the last book in the series that is the best one. I also enjoyed the noted that Tamera had in the end of the story and how she mixed fact with fiction. I think this is the real reason I love historical fiction.
I truly feel blessed when I'm allowed to read and review the author's stories! I love to help them promote their books.
Tamera AlexanderTamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling author and one of today's most popular writers in the inspirational historical fiction genre. She and her husband live in Nashville, Tennessee, not far from the Southern mansions that serve as the backdrop for six of her award-winning novels.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Letter from Lancaster County by Kate Lloyd



A Letter from Lancaster County (Lancaster Discoveries #1)

 4.18  ·   Rating Details ·  51 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Two Sisters Get a Second Chance at Life and Love

Her mother's untimely death, a struggling marriage, a strained relationship with her sister, Rose, and regrets over what might have been haunt her. Despite being a wife and mother, she feels she has little to show for her life.

Still single, she longs for a husband and children. But Angela has all that and still isn't happy. Rose wants to be closer to her older sister, but she and Angela couldn't be more different. Both strong women, will their sibling rivalry ever end?

* * *When a letter arrives from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Angela and Rose decide to visit Aunt Silvia, their mother's Mennonite sister, in the heart of Amish country. This vacation could provide the opportunity both sisters need to sort out their issues. And yet instead of finding a new way of connecting with each other, Angela and Rose discover surprising family secrets that add to their strife and threaten Rose's romance with a new beau.

Through it all, the two sisters must find the faith necessary to face their personal problems and allow God to restore hope and healing to their hearts and relationship as only He can.


writing down my thoughts for this book.
It's certainly different from anything else that Kate has written but delightful none the less. Kate is an excellent writer in anything she does.
I think Rose and Angela are lucky to get a 2nd chance at getting their relationship as sisters worked out.
Rose I kind of tend to like better because she knows what she wants and goes after it. I also like her personality. She doesn't beat around the bush like Angela tends to do.
Sylvia is pretty special in my book as is Glenn.
Glenn is a gentleman! Although I assume most Amish are.
He'd be my kind of husband if I were to do it all over again.
The Amish are a resourceful people. I think we could learn a lot from them!! I also tend to think that some Englishers as we're called do things like the Amish do.
Hands down I did enjoy this book. I had to go back and reread some things that I missed and so that I could understand it better.
I will reread this book at a later date tho. I enjoyed it that much!!
I strongly recommend this book to people who like contemporary Christian and of course Late Loyd!!!
I received this book for free. All compensations are not received. All opinions are my own
Great job Kate!!!


Author Kate Lloyd is a passionate observer of human relationships. A native of Baltimore, Kate spends time with family and friends in Lancaster County, PA, the inspiration for her best selling novels Leaving Lancaster, Pennsylvania Patchwork, and Forever Amish, the third book in the Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy. Her newest novel, A Letter from Lancaster County, releases 7-1-17.Kate and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest, the setting for Kate's first novel, A Portrait of Marguerite. Kate studied art and art history in college. She's worked a variety of jobs, including car salesman and restaurateur. For relaxation and fun, Kate enjoys walking with her camera in hand and beach-combing,

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton



Many Sparrows

 4.87  ·   Rating Details ·  15 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Many Sparrows
When settler Clare Inglesby is widowed on a mountain crossing and her young son, Jacob, captured by Shawnees, she'll do everything in her power to get him back, including cross the Ohio River and march straight into the presence of her enemies deep in Indian country. Frontiersman and adopted Shawnee, Jeremiah Ring, promises to guide Clare through the wilderness and help her recover Jacob.
Once they reach the Shawnees and discover Jeremiah's own Shawnee sister, Rain Crow, has taken
custody of Jacob--renaming him Many Sparrows--keeping his promise becomes far more complicated, the consequences more wrenching, than Jeremiah could have foreseen.


Oh my!!! The best Lori Benton book yet!!! I'm going to put this on in my list as my fave books. 
Lori has put her heart and soul into this beautiful novel. I love how she takes her time to do research for this book and brings it to life.
In the battle scene I could actually picture the scene happening. 
I hate it that that Clare has went thru so much and I learned some things along with her.
I think this story is very emotional, and definitely very powerful. 
I could hear the Indian drums a drumming and I very vividly could see the dancers 
All in all I just loved this book
I received this book for free an no compensations were received. All words expressed are my own


Lori BentonLori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God's transforming grace.

When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching 18th century history, Lori enjoys exploring the mountains with her husband.

Burning Sky, Lori's debut novel, was a finalist for the ECPA 2014 Christian Book Award, and winner of the 2014 Christy Award for First Novel, Historical, and Book of the Year.

The Christmas Admirer by Laura V. Hilton



The Christmas Admirer

 4.89  ·   Rating Details ·  9 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Benaiah Troyer has loved Susanna King for as long as he can remember, but when his parents died in an accident a year ago, he broke up with her—for her own good. After all, he was now the sole caregiver for his three younger sisters. What woman would want to put up with that? Still, against his better judgment, he can’t help leaving her a gift now and then, anonymously addressing her name in big block print, just to catch a smile. Roses one month, maple syrup candy another; and maybe this time, something special for Christmas. //

Susanna has never gotten over losing Benaiah, but now the clock is ticking. Her father is selling his glass-blowing business, remarrying in January, and moving to Iowa with his bossy wife-to-be. Angry and frustrated, Susanna realizes she’s left with three options: one, go with Daed to his new home with a new mom; two, stay in Jamesport, Missouri, as an old maid; or, three, the best yet, flush out her mysterious secret admirer. But how could she be with anyone else when her heart is still with Benaiah?


As always I enjoy any story from Laura. She has the ability to draw her readers in from the start of her books!
When I first opened the book I thought this sounds like a Cinderella story. I do love fairy tales. 
However; the more I read the more I couldn't put the book down. I read really late into the night last night because I just had to see how the story ended. 
You know, and I'm pretty guilty of this myself it's really unbelievable how Susanna and Ben couldn't see past the ends of their noses!! What Blessings they had and couldn't even see it!!! I felt like at times knocking their heads together!!!
However God does have a way of putting everything together doesn't He?
Have you ever felt you met someone and just know that person was meant for you? I did with my own husband even tho we met at Wal-Mart lol!!!
I just can't say enough about this book it's so gooooood!!!
Laura is one of my favorite authors. 
I was so happy the first time she said that I could do a review for her and hopefully I will pass this one too!!
I laughed outright in some of the scenes. I like this about Laura too. She knows how to put some humor in just the right places!!!
I also loved the banter between Susanna and Ben's family. I also loved Daadi Micahs knowledge and wisdom. Most older folks have gone thru the same problems that had when they were younger 
God can help us along the way too. All we have to do is ask
I received a complimentary copy from the author and no compensations were received. All words are my own!!! 


Laura V. HiltonAward winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as the Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard, and The Birdhouse. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press’ Quilts of Love series. Laura is contracted for another three book Amish series set in the Jamesport area, with the first book, The Amish Firefighter, planned for April 2016.

She has self-published a Christmas novella, Christmas Mittens. 

Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer and blogs for Putting on the New and Seriously Write. 

One for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn



One for Sorrow

 3.64  ·   Rating Details ·  85 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie's friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.


I absolutely adore Mary Downing Hahn. She has a great talent for writing Ghost stories. 
Wait until Helen comes was my fave but now I think I'll make this one my fave of all times. 
You know, karma comes in all shapes,sizes, and forms. Even after death it seems.
I am disappointed in Annie Browne.
I never thought she would've did what she did.
Even if I had wanted to have friends that is not what I how I would've gotten them.
I can relate to Elsie in so many ways.I hated being made fun of. As the old saying goes, sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me is so very not true.
Words and actions from others do hurt. More than some ppl realize. 
I think tho that Elsie brought some of those problems herself. 
I finished this book in two days! I almost had it finished in one. 
This is young adlit genre but the way Mary wrote it it's almost directed towards adults who love ghost stories too!!
Another reason is because it's written in first person. I can usually relate to the character much better. 
This book will make you shiver even in the bright sun!!!!
This book is a 5 star for sure!!!


Mary Downing HahnI grew up in a small shingled house down at the end of Guilford Road in College Park, Maryland. Our block was loaded with kids my age. We spent hours outdoors playing "Kick the Can" and "Mother, May I" as well as cowboy and outlaw games that usually ended in quarrels about who shot whom. In the summer, we went on day long expeditions into forbidden territory -- the woods on the other side of the train tracks, the creek that wound its way through College Park, and the experimental farm run by the University of Maryland.

In elementary school, I was known as the class artist. I loved to read and draw but I hated writing reports. Requirements such as outlines, perfect penmanship, and following directions killed my interest in putting words on paper. All those facts -- who cared what the principal products of Chile were? To me, writing reports was almost as boring as math. 

Despite my dislike of writing, I loved to make up stories. Instead of telling them in words, I told them in pictures. My stories were usually about orphans who ran away and had the sort of exciting adventures I would have enjoyed if my mother hadn't always interfered.

When I was in junior high school, I developed an interest in more complex stories. I wanted to show how people felt, what they thought, what they said. For this, I needed words. Although I wasn't sure I was smart enough, I decided to write and illustrate children's books when I grew up. Consequently, at the age of thirteen, I began my first book. Small Town Life was about a girl named Susan, as tall and skinny and freckle faced as I was. Unlike her shy, self conscious creator, however, Susan was a leader who lived the life I wanted to live -- my ideal self, in other words. Although I never finished Small Town Life, it marked the start of a lifelong interest in writing.

In high school, I kept a diary. In college, I wrote poetry and short stories and dreamed of being published in The New Yorker. Unfortunately, I didn't have the courage or the confidence to send anything there. 

By the time my first novel was published, I was 41 years old. That's how long it took me to get serious about writing. The Sara Summer took me a year to write, another year to find a publisher, and yet another year of revisions before Clarion accepted it.

Since Sara appeared in 1979, I've written an average of one book a year. If I have a plot firmly in mind when I begin, the writing goes fairly quickly. More typically, I start with a character or a situation and only a vague idea of what's going to happen. Therefore, I spend a lot of time revising and thinking things out. If I'd paid more attention to the craft of outlining back in elementary school, I might be a faster writer, but, on the other hand, if I knew everything that was going to happen in a story, I might be too bored to write it down. Writing is a journey of discovery. That's what makes it so exciting

Friday, July 21, 2017

my heart belongs on Mackinac island by Carrie fancett pagels



Moor your heart on Mackinac Island along with resident sweetheart Maude Welling, an heiress trying to prove her worth by working incognito as a maid at the Grand Hotel. Meet Ben Steffans, a journalist posing as a wealthy industrialist who has come to the island to uncover a story about impoverished men pursuing heiresses at the famed hotel. Will a growing love between Maude and Ben be scuttled when truths are revealed in this Gilded Age romance? 


I want to write some of my thoughts about this beautiful story by Carrie Fancett Pagels.
First off let me say that Mackinac Island is a beautiful place to visit. 
There are certain things that haven't changed with time. Like no cars allowed only horses, carriages, and bycicle.
The very first time I went when I was a child breath away. Every time my parents asked me where I wanted to go I said Mackinac island. 
The bridge oh my!!!! just absolutely takes your breath away!!! I cannot imagine how they ever managed to get across the straights. 
The Grand does live up to its name. We stayed there in 2005 and President Bush visited it the same time we were there but weren't dressed for dinner lol!!
As I was reading this story about Maude and Ben I was transported back to the 1800's. 
Carrie you have done a fabulous job in bringing me back to my most favorite place in the whole wide world!!!! I wish I could live there!!! 
That's my idea of Heaven.
Ben and Maude certainly had their differences but isn't it true that opposites attract?
I also felt like was a part of the great rescue and was especially intrigued by how fast the islanders came to help out those who were in distress.
I think and wish that we all took the time out to help each other out today like they did back then.
Maude is a special lady and equally determined to make things work out to her advantage. Sometimes it didn't always work!!!
Ben reminds me of the show Undercover Boss. He is determined to get to the bottom of a certain mystery. 
I enjoyed this story especially for what I call a mystery and I enjoyed watching Ben and Maude find their way. 
God has his timing of making things work to his advantage and my granny used to say there's a lid for every pot. She's so very right!!!!
I certainly hope Carrie writes more about my piece of heaven again!!
I love the Great Lakes. 
I also don't understand how men can be so stubborn about women wanting to be their equal.
And we can't leave Jack out who is famous for finding trouble!! He's lot like me and sometimes I don't have to go far to find trouble without meaning too!!
I love Jack's energy. I'd love to borrow some from him! 
I had to laugh at his " accident" tho.
He is to me, is what makes this story exciting!!!
I wanted very much to choke Greyson Luce. He had no idea how much he had lost. I kept screaming at him to wake up and see what's in front of him!!! 
I think we are all like that at times. 
Five stars for this book for sure!!!
I received a copy via Netgalley and no compensations were received. All word expressed are my own


Carrie Fancett PagelsCarrie Fancett Pagels is an ECPA bestselling and award-winning author of Christian historical romance. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn't "cure" her overactive imagination! She resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia, which is perfect for her love of history. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time!