icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: June 2017

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Grace and the Preacher

About the Book:
At the age of twenty-three, postmistress Grace Cristler has all but given up hope of finding a husband among the narrowing group of eligible men in her town of Fairland, Kansas. But when her uncle decides to retire from the pulpit, Grace is responsible for corresponding with the new preacher set to take his place. She can’t deny the affection growing in her heart for Reverend Rufus Dille—a man she deeply admires but has only met through his letters.

Theophil Garrison is on the run from his past. Ten years ago his outlaw cousins convinced him to take part in a train robbery, but Theo fled the scene, leaving his cousins to face imprisonment. Now they’ve finished their sentences, but the plan for vengeance has just begun. Branded a coward and running for his life, Theo has aa chance encounter that could provide him with the escape he needs. 

But the young man’s desperate con might come at an enormous price for the tenderhearted Grace—and the entire town. Will Grace’s undeserved affection and God’s mercy make something beautiful from the ashes of Theo’s past?

About the Author: 

 Award-winning, bestselling author Kim Vogel Sawyer is a wife, mother, gramma, chocolate-lover, cat-petter, and--most importantly--a daughter of the King! With more than 1.5 million books in print in seven different languages, Kim enjoys a full-time writing and speaking ministry. Her "gentle stories of hope" are loved by readers and reviewers alike. Kim and her retired military husband, Don, reside on the plains of Kansas, the setting for many of her novels.

What I Thought: 
I have enjoyed every book that I have read by author Kim Vogel Sawyer, and Grace and the Preacher was no exception! I was reading it during a very stressful time in my life, and it took me away and thoroughly captured my attention each time I picked it up. I enjoyed the characters; the author does a great job of making you feel like you've met them in person.

There were many lessons throughout Grace and the Preacher. Just a few are forgiveness, grace,and repentance.  Faith and God are core to the story and characters. At the end of the book are a reader's guide and questions for discussion.  I recommend this book if you are looking for a clean, heartwarming story that contains romance and suspense.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Book Review~The Ebb Tide

About the Book: 
From the back cover-Sallie Riehl has dreamed of traveling at least once before settling down to join church, so she is thrilled at an unexpected summer opportunity to nanny in Cape May for a well-to-do family. However, saying even a temporary good-bye to Paradise Township means forgoing baptism another year, as well as leaving behind a would-be beau. Yet the weeks in Cape May soon prove unforgettable as Sallie meets a Mennonite young man whose friendship she quickly begins to cherish. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will she only find what her heart is longing for back home? 

About the Author: 
Beverly Lewis penned her first story at age nine while living near Lancaster County Amish farmland, where she grew up. She welcomes her many reader-friends each day on Facebook and personally replies to fan mail. Lewis lives with her husband in Colorado near their family.
Website: www.beverlylewis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialbeverlylewis/

What I Thought: 
In my opinion, author Beverly Lewis is the best of the best when it comes to Amish fiction. She has written so many fabulous books, it amazes me each time I read her latest release. She has done it again with The Ebb Tide. It is a beautiful romance with a theme of trusting God to lead you down the path He has chosen for you in life.

I enjoyed the setting of Cape May, which was different from the farms of most Amish stories. Ms. Lewis' descriptions of the ocean made me feel like I was right there on the sand looking at the waves. I loved the character Sallie-a sweet, loving girl who wants to please her family and community, but has such a strong passion for the beauties of the world around her. Her internal struggle between the two worlds was made clear with the author's talented storytelling. I read The Ebb Tide in record time-I did not want to put it down! I highly recommend it!

Learn more about The Ebb Tide, author Beverly Lewis, and her many other titles, including purchasing information, at www.beverlylewis.com

* I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Book Review~Written in Love

About the Book: 
When a postal error creates pen pals of two young Amish people, can they put behind their past mistakes to see the bright future God has written for them?
Jalon Chupp has a past he isn’t proud to claim. He’s worked hard to overcome his youthful mistakes, and he has recommitted himself to his faith. When he receives a sweet note included in a piece of misdirected mail, he can’t help but write back. Soon, the letters he receives from Phoebe are the highlights of his days, and with a hopeful heart, he suggests they meet in person.
Phoebe, too, looks forward to every single one of Jalon’s letters. Living with her overbearing aunt, Phoebe doesn’t have too much to look forward to. But when Jalon suggests they meet, she panics—although she has shared some of the deepest longings of her heart with him, she hasn’t been entirely truthful about her past. But when Jalon shows up at her aunt’s doorstep, everything is revealed. And she can only pray he’ll forgive her for holding back the truth.
In order to reach beyond the errors of their pasts, both Phoebe and Jalon must put their faith in something—or Someone—bigger than either of them.

What I Thought: 
 Written in Love is the first book in author Kathleen Fuller's new An Amish Letters Novel series. I've enjoyed many books by Kathleen Fuller; she creates wonderful stories that keep me engaged. Written in Love is a sweet love story of two young Amish people who have gone through hard times in their lives and are searching for happiness. Chapter one starts out with letters written back and forth between Jalon and Phoebe over a two month time period. I liked how the author did this, it gave a good base to the story.  Written in Love was easy to read and hard to put down! Phoebe and Jalon had to learn to trust in God and each other. Included in the book are a glossary and discussion questions. 

*I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

An Amish Home

About the Book: 
A Cup Half Full by Beth Wiseman—Sarah Lantz always dreamed of the perfect home, the perfect husband, the perfect family. When she married Abram, she knew she was on her way to securing her perfect life. But all of that changes in one moment when an accident leaves her unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair, dashing all of her dreams. As Abram starts to transform their home, Sarah begins a transformation in her spirit, and she begins, once again, to see her cup as half full.
Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston—Down on their luck and desperate after they are evicted from their small apartment, Chace and Mia O’Conner reluctantly take Chace’s Amish boss up on his offer to rent them the daadihaus located on his property. They are certain they will never feel at home in the rustic cabin without any modern conveniences, and they start to blame each other for their seemingly hopeless situation. But with the help of their new Amish friends, Chace and Mia begin to enjoy their cozy cabin and realize that home really is where the heart is.
A Flicker of Hope by Ruth Reid—Fifteen years ago, Thomas and Noreen King were blissful newlyweds. Young, naive, and in love, life was rosy . . . for a while. Then trials and tribulations rocked their foundation, shattering them emotionally, and soon, their marriage was in shards. All hope for restoring their previously unshakable union seems lost. When fire destroys their home, Thomas and Noreen are left to sift through the rubble. As uncovered items from the remains of the house shake loose memories of the past, Thomas and Noreen begin to draw closer and a flicker of hope—and love—is reignited.
Building Faith by Kathleen Fuller—Faith Miller knows that carpentry is an unlikely hobby for a young Amish woman, but she loves the work and it keeps the memory of her grandfather alive. So when her cousin asks Faith to build the cabinets in her new home, Faith is only too happy to take on the job, even if it is the most ambitious project she has ever taken on. The only catch is that she has to work with her ex-fiance, Silas. As they work to build Martha’s kitchen, can they put the past behind them and start to build faith in one another again?

What I Thought: 
I always enjoy reading books that are collections of novellas. An Amish Home is a wonderful book with four novellas from some of my favorite Amish fiction authors. Each novella is less that 100 pages, so a quick read. Each of the novellas has a glossary, discussion questions based on the story,  and at the back of the book there are two recipes from each story.  406 pages might seem like a long book, but when broken into four short stories, it goes by quickly.

All of the stories from An Amish Home have several things in common. The stories are all based on someones home,whether the main characters or someone else. It might seem like the home is the most important thing, but as they resolve the home issue they learn a lot about themselves. The characters encounter love, faith, patience, and following God's plan for their lives.

Although I don't have a favorite of the four novellas, A Flicker of Hope really touched my heart. Noreen has ached for a child for many years, and her relationship with her husband Thomas has grown cold. When their house burns to the ground, it seems all hope is lost. The couple must face their problems, and lean on God to get through this terrible time in their lives.

*I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Book Review~Redeeming Ruth

ISBN: 1619709074 | ISBN-13: 9781619709072 | List Price: $19.95 | Format: Hardcover | Page Count: 200 

About the Book: 
Redeeming Ruth is the inspirational, true story of an abandoned baby, a devastating diagnosis, and the way God loves broken, hurting people through us--even though we may be broken and hurt, too.

When Meadow met her, Ruth was a sixteen-month-old child that some church friends were hosting from an orphanage in Uganda. She had cerebral palsy and was so weak she couldn't lift her head. Meadow had always felt a call to adopt, but was this what God meant? Part family drama, part travel adventure, and part memoir, Redeeming Ruth is a heartwarming, against-all-odds story about the most unlikely pairing of a typical American family and a physically challenged orphaned girl from Uganda. Much more than an adoption story, this book explores what happens when we sacrificially reach out and share God's love with others.

Ruth's story will inspire families considering adoption, people raising or teaching children with special needs, caregivers, and those grieving the loss of a loved one, ministering to people with disabilities, or striving to serve God despite their own wounded hearts and broken dreams.

About the Author

 Meadow Rue Merrill is an award-winning journalist who has spent the following eight years corresponding for The Boston Globe and writing for The New York Times, Harvard University, and The Boston Sunday Globe Magazine. She has regular columns with The Portland Press Herald and Down East magazine.
Connect with the author:
TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook

What I Thought: 
Adoption is near and dear to my heart, as I was adopted and my youngest son was adopted as well. We were both domestic adoptions through foster care, so very different situations than the Merrill's. I cannot imagine traveling to a foreign country to adopt your child.

Redeeming Ruth is broken down into a prologue, 21 chapters, epilogue, author's note, author's thanks, readers guide, notes, and photographs. I thought the readers guide was a wonderful resource, whether you read the book alone or as a group. For each chapter, there is a bible scripture, questions for discussion, and application. The photos were just wonderful, eight pages of full-color images that melted my heart. 

What an amazing family the Merrills are! They did what God led them to do, period. More of us need to follow His lead, even when its so incredibly hard. Once I picked Redeeming Ruth up, I couldn't put it down. I just had to know what happened to this sweet baby and her new family. You know that saying "It takes a village"? The adoption and life of Ruth is a perfect example of that. So many wonderful friends and family did so much to help this family, some even strangers! The author is so honest and raw with her feelings through the years.

After we adopted our son from foster care at three years old, so many people praised us and said how lucky he was, and we still hear that even with him being 14 years old now!  I understand why people say these things, but once you have adopted a child you know that it is the other way around. How blessed am I to have this child? He has brought such joy to my life, and I have learned so much from him. He has some severe learning disabilities and health problems (not life threatening), and he teaches us so much with his strength and determination. I'm sure that's the same way the Merrills feel-they were so blessed for their time with Ruth. Although it appeared they were doing everything for Ruth, she was giving them all so much!

Do yourself a favor and read Redeeming Ruth-it is a wonderful story of love. All personal proceeds from this book  benefit orphans and people with disabilities in Uganda. Right now, Redeeming Ruth is half off at Christian Book Distributors: http://uroomtech.christianbook.com/redeeming-everything-life-takes-love-restores/meadow-merrill/9781619709072/pd/709072  

If adoption or foster care isn't for you, there are other ways you can make a difference! In the author's notes section at the back of the book are other ways you can help.

I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew