Sunday, March 26, 2017
About the Book (back cover):
Devastated by a deadly fire that took the lives of their loved ones...
Lydia Gruber, a young Amish widow, faces an uncertain future. Without support or skills, how will she survive?
With the loss of her beloved Aunt, Jessica Holtz inherits Rose's Knit One Quilt Two Cottage. Though determined to keep the shop open, she doesn't know the first thing about knitting and quilting and begins to see her aunt's dream slip through her fingers.
Liz Cannon lost not only her dear friend Rose, but her partner in the Secret Stitches Society-dedicated to delivering anonymous gifts of hope to troubled folks. She and Jessica decide to keep the society going, choosing Lydia for their first mission.
The three women form an unlikely friendship in the aftermath of tragedy. As they walk together through triumph and heartbreak-through grief and new chances at love-they begin to discover that with friends by your side, a stitch of hope can be found anywhere.
About the Author:
Cathy Liggett is the American Christian Fiction Writers' prestigious Carol award-winning author of Beaded Hope, her debut women's fictional novel, which was also nominated Best Inspirational Novel by Romantic Time's Reviewers' Choice Awards. Besides women's fiction, she also enjoys writing sweet romances. Cathy and her husband live in southwest Ohio. Visit her website at www.cathyliggett.com
What I Thought:
I read a lot of Amish fiction, but I have never read anything by author Cathy Liggett. I found her book The Sisters of Sugarcreek to be a refreshing change from often somewhat predictable storylines. In this story, the Amish and Englisch worlds are intertwined, with two Englisch and one Amish woman becoming great friends. The themes throughout the book are kindness and faith. No matter what trials they are going through in their own lives, the Secret Sisters work to bring hope to those who are going through rough times. It was uplifting to read all the examples of women helping each other, even women who don't know each other.
The side stories of what is going on in each of the three women's lives were all interesting. While working to bring joy to others, they are each going through their own trials. The characters were fun and likeable, and easy to relate to. There are discussion questions at the back of the book. I think The Sisters of Sugarcreek would be a great book club book, and would be enjoyable for most women.
*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
About the Book
After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she’ll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.
For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he’s misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.
Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.
About the Author:
Shelley Shepard Gray is the “New York Times” and “USA Today” bestselling author of the Seasons of Sugarcreek series, the Sisters of the Heart series, and the Families of Honor series. She lives with her family in southern Ohio, where she writes full time. Before her work in the inspirational market, Gray wrote several novels as Shelley Galloway. During this time her books appeared on the Waldenbooks bestseller list, and she won “RT Book Reviews'” prestigious Reviewers’ Choice Award.
Connect with Shelley:
What I Thought:
Shelley Shepard Gray is in the top five of my favorite Amish fiction authors. Her Secret is the first book in her new series, The Amish of Hart County. I was excited to learn that there will be six books in the series. They will be stand-alone novels, connected by their location in Hart County, Kentucky.
The author is a master storyteller, and Her Secret kept me glued to the book until I was done. It is very suspenseful, and at only 247 pages is a quick read. Two new things that I enjoyed in this book were the location-I have not read about Amish in Kentucky before, and the main storyline of an Amish girl being stalked by an Englischer.
At the back of the book is the P.S. Section, which includes About the Author, About the Book, Q & A With the Amish, Questions for Discussion, and Facts About Hart County. I think it is great to have these extra resources, and I look forward to the next book in The Amish of Hart County.
Read more reviews at Litfuse. You can learn more about Her Secret and where to purchase a copy at the author's webpage.
here for the chance to win a copy of Her Secret!
*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free from Litfuse.
Sunday, March 5, 2017
About the Book:
Tragedy tore Christopher’s world apart. But Emily believes there are enough pieces left behind to stitch together a beautiful new beginning. Emily Fisher is eager to meet the new employee at her father’s shop in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania. But when Christopher Hochstetler arrives, his cold demeanor freezes her attempts at building a friendship. Longing for a fresh start, Christopher travels from Ohio to Bird-in-Hand to work at his uncle’s shop. Christopher’s heart is still wounded from memories of home, and making new friends is the last thing on his mind—he knows the pain that comes with losing those you love. When Emily is kind to him, he tries to remain distant, but he soon finds himself stealing glances at her throughout the day. When Christopher shares his tragic reasons for leaving home, Emily decides to make a quilt for him as a gesture of their friendship. Even though he is not a member of the church, she’s found someone with whom she can imagine a future. The two are quickly falling in love when a family emergency calls Christopher back to Ohio without warning.
What I Thought:
The Cherished Quilt is part of the Amish Heirloom novels by author Amy Clipston. I've read all of Ms. Clipston's Amish fiction books, and always enjoy them. The Cherished Quilt was no exception. My heart broke for Christopher, who blames himself for his brother's death. His father also blames him, which drove Chris to leave home and relocate to his Uncles home and shop in Pennsylvania. Emily and Christopher quickly begin to have feelings for each other, but Chris just can't escape the extreme guilt. Can he forgive himself so that he and Emily can have a life together?
*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Saturday, March 4, 2017
About the Book:
Rose Anna Zook has watched her two older sisters marry two Stoltzfus men and has always thought she and John, the third Stoltzfus brother, would marry, make a home together, and have children. But John has other ideas. He’s enjoying his Rumschpringe in the Englisch world a little too much and isn’t interested in returning to the Amish community—especially to marry.
Rose Anna is determined to bring her man back into the Amish fold. John is equally determined to live his life free and unencumbered. Who will win this battle of wills? Will love prevail?
About the Author:
Barbara Cameron has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple joys of the Amish. She is the best-selling author of more than 40 fiction and nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Her books have been nominated for Carol Awards and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award from RWA’s Faith, Hope, and Love chapter. Barbara resides in Jacksonville, Florida. You can learn more about her on Facebook.
What I Thought:
Home to Paradise is the final book in author Barbara Cameron's The Coming Home series. I did not read the other books in the series, but had no problem at all following the storyline and characters. It was a good standalone book. The author did a wonderful job making me feel like I truly knew the characters and the heartache Rose Anna and John were going through. The young adult Amish often struggle with the pull of the outside world, and Barbara Cameron does well in capturing this. John and Rose Anna just seem like they have to be together, as her two older sisters and his two older brothers are married. Now that I have read Home to Paradise and enjoyed it so much, I will definitely be going back to read the first two books in the series.
You can read more reviews on this book at the Litfuse Landing Page. Visit the author's website for more information and to purchase your own copy.
Home to Paradise, the final book in author Barbara Cameron's The Coming Home series, is not to be missed! Rose Anna Zook always thought she and John, one of Stoltzfus brothers, would marry, make a home together, and have children. But John, enjoying his Rumschpringe in the Englisch world, has other ideas. Rose Anna is determined to bring her man back into the Amish fold. John is equally determined to live his life free and unencumbered. Who will win this battle of wills? Will love prevail?
Join Barbara on Thursday, March 9, for a live author chat party on her Facebook page with fun prizes to be won! Click the graphic below for more details and to RSVP. Hope to see you there—bring a friend or two who loves Amish fiction!
*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I know it isn't the hot summer months yet when you need a fan 24/7, but even in cooler months it can be so nice to have the air circulating. Gone are the days of the big, bulky, heavy box fans-the Ozeri 360 Tower Fan is sleek and stylish!
Product Description (From the manufacturer):
Boasting unrivaled technology, the Ozeri 360 Tower Fan oscillates at 60, 90, 120, or 360 degrees for partial to complete air circulation with 3 whisper quiet speed settings. Utilizing advanced cylindrical motion technology with over 200 noise-reducing micro-blades, the 360 Tower Fan achieves remarkable airflow velocity while remaining impressively quiet. The 360 Tower fan offers 3 fan whisper quiet speed settings for customized airflow. It also features 3 preprogrammed airflow patterns designed to foster sleep, relaxation and comfort with up to 360 degree complete oscillation for timely relief on a sweltering summer day or for refreshing circulation all year long. The Ozeri 360 Tower Fan features an 8-hour timer that can be programmed in 30 minute increments with ease, and a multi-colored LCD that displays all fan functions and the room temperature. All of the Fan's features, including programmable timer, are easily controlled via the included extended-range remote or via the fan’s front control buttons. The 360 Tower fan features a dismountable design that only requires the hand assembly of fan base using 3 included screws, with no special tools required. Satisfaction guaranteed.
My family owns several Ozeri products, and we are very pleased with all of them. They are quality products, made to last, at a reasonable price. Our new Ozeri 360 Oscillating Tower Fan is a great addition to our home. Like I said above-it is sleek and stylish, and only weighs nine pounds. It was simple to assemble the base with the three provided screws. My husband and I both enjoy having air circulating all year round-the fact that this fan is unbelievably quiet makes it more enjoyable to do so.
There are so many great features on the Ozeri 360 Tower Fan, the entire family was excited to try out all the settings! I think the most amazing feature to everyone was the 360 degree oscillation. You can choose from 60, 90, 120, or 360 degree oscillation. Other great features are the three different airflow settings, and the 8 hour timer. The only negative feedback I have is the cord is too short for us. We live in a home built in 1974, and there are only a few electrical outlets in each room. The problem is easy to solve with an extension cord, but I really don't like the look of that. Other than that, there is nothing negative to say about the Ozeri 360 Tower Fan. It is loaded with great features, and looks stylish!
You can purchase your own Ozeri 360 Oscillating Tower Fan at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ozeri-Oscillation-Micro-Blade-Reduction-Technology/dp/B00I3RG0GA/
*Disclosure: I received a sample of this product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Monday, February 20, 2017
The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant is an adorable series for young children that entertains and teaches them important life lessons. We were introduced to this series a few years ago, and instantly fell in love with the adorable characters Ellie and Pudgy. We have collected all of the books in the series, and they are some of my grandson Daniel's (5 years old) favorites! Apparently, we aren't the only ones who love them, because these books are on the Amazon Best Sellers lists!
The latest book in the series is Ellie Camps under the Stars. Ellie and Pudgy are excited to try camping, but as with anything new, they are a bit nervous about their new adventure. They put up a tent, hike, look at stars, cook outside, and see wonderful parts of the outdoors.
As in the rest of the Ellie series, the characters have lots of fun but learn some things along the way. In this book, they learn to respect nature, and that they could hike farther than they thought! They had fun playing games, and learned about constellations too!
I love how the cute pictures and beautiful illustrations are mixed together on the bright, colorful pages. The print is easy to see, and would make a great reader for early elementary ages. There are occasional questions to ask your child, such as counting how many marshmallows Pudgy has. At the back of the book is a maze and connect the dots(stars), as well as instructions on taking pictures of your own stuffed animals.
As always, these great books spark lots of good conversation with my grandson. He has never been camping, and now he wants to go! So I think we will be planning a little camping adventure of our own this summer, and maybe even take some favorite stuffed friends to take pictures of!
Both Daniel and I highly recommend Ellie Camps Under the Stars and the rest of the series! A really exciting fact is that the author, Ellie Fair, is only 13 years old! She co-wrote the books with her Mom, Marci Fair. You can learn more about The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant on their Facebook page, and all of the books are available for purchase on Amazon.
*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.