Seasons of an Amish Garden by Amy Clipston: Book Review

seasons of an amish garden

Book Description

Enjoy a year of beautiful seasons in this new story collection, as young Amish couples manage a community garden and harvest friendships and love along the way.

Spring Is in the Air

As the young people of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, plant a garden in memory of their friend, Katie Ann begins to worry that her older brother, Ephraim, is dating her best friend. What if she somehow loses them both? But Christian, a new boy in the community, also works in the garden—and falling for him may be exactly the distraction, and lesson, that Katie Ann needs.

Home by Summer

Clara Hertzler is surprised when Jerry Petersheim, her old friend, comes to the garden to drop off his younger sister—especially because Jerry has been gone for years, and now seems to be living as an Englisher. As the friends get to know each other again, Clara pushes Jerry to examine why he abandoned his Amish beliefs. Will Clara help Jerry renew his faith in God, and will they find love beneath the summer sun?

The Fruits of Fall

Tena Speicher has come to live in Bird-in-Hand after her fiancé left her for an English woman. When a homeless veteran comes to the fruit stand one day and asks for food, Tena is not sure how to respond—but Wayne intervenes and offers to let him stay in the barn. Afraid to trust Englishers, Tena must learn, with Wayne’s help, that everyone is a child of God and deserving of kindness.

Winter Blessings

Ephraim and Mandy have dated for some time and now have plans to marry. But after a series of unexpected events and misunderstandings, they wonder if they should go their separate ways. What will happen when their friends at the Amish garden conspire to bring them back together?

Book Review:

Seasons of an Amish Garden is a collection of stories about a group of young Amish friends. Each story connects with a different young couple as they make their way through past troubles, misunderstandings, and young love to find the path God would have them take.

I enjoyed each story individually and together as a group. It’s always a pleasure to follow a group of friends as each one walks their own journey. You get to see beyond the initial flare of romance and dig deep into God’s love and the power of friendship. Each story is filled with hope, love, and the power of forgiveness.

We must all be able to look past our own feelings and take into consideration the feelings of others. That was a strong plot point that I found in each story here. Despite the circumstances that led each couple, and a strong theme of forgiveness, they each had to stop thinking about what they thought was best and look to the needs of the one they loved. They had to search out God’s will instead of their own.

Seasons of an Amish Garden challenged me to remember that life isn’t always just about what I want and what I think is best. I have to remember to seek God’s will every day and remember to think about the feelings of others. We are all God’s children and we all deserve the same amount of love and respect.

I would recommend this book for everyone. The stories are sweet and clean as you would expect from Amish fiction. The line of faith is strong and the lessons to be learned apply to everyone.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Tell Her No Lies by Kelly Irvin: Book Review

tell her no lies Cover art: A+    It’s bold, beautiful, and yet not overly done.

About the book:

Combining romance and suspense, bestselling author Kelly Irvin’s Tell Her No Lies is a high-stakes race for the truth.

“A moving and compelling tale about the power of grace and forgiveness that reminds us how we become strongest in our most broken moments.”—Library Journal review of Upon a Spring Breeze

Even the most admired families have secrets to hide . . .

Nina Fischer carries a camera wherever she goes—so she can view life through a filter. Safely. After her mother abandoned her to the streets, Nina has kept people at a distance, including her uncle, who adopted Nina and her sister. Wealthy and proud, he is a good man, a fair judge, and someone many in San Antonio admire.

But when he is murdered, and the detective assigned to the case accuses Nina of the crime, she knows she must act. She’s determined to use her journalism background to find the real killer. The two men in her life want to help, but can she trust them?  She’s known Rick since they were children, but now he’s an attorney whose political aspirations seem more important than Nina’s tragic loss. And then there’s Aaron, a news videographer; using their friendship could break the biggest story of his career.

Following the evidence leads Nina on a journey of discovery into her father’s shocking masquerade as a law-abiding, family-loving Christian. Unlocking these secrets could prove fatal, but it’s the only way Nina will ever be able to trust love again.

Combining romance and suspense, bestselling author Kelly Irvin’s Tell Her No Lies is a high-stakes race for the truth.

Book Review:“I thought you were dead,” he whispered. “I cannot live without you. You get that, right_”.png

Tell Her No Lies is the story of Nina Fischer and her journey to overcome her fear of being hurt by people she loves while searching for her father’s murderer. Abandoned by her mother at a young age, Nina finds it difficult to trust anyone.

I’m just going to jump right in on this one. It’s been a long time since a character made me mad. You, Detective King, forced me to walk away from the book and complain to my husband that your attitude was atrocious. (Of course, my husband just looks at me with this expression like, “What do you want me to do about it?”) I’m not saying you’re a bad character…that’s not it at all. I know you were doing your job, but man did I want to give you a lecture on manners. It’s like one of those times when you have a fantastic surgeon but his bedside manner makes you want to leave the hospital while dressed in your gown with your IV still in your arm because he talks like he hates your guts and would rather not ever see a person for the remainder of his life. Just get away and get away quickly.

But I also loved Detective King for his no-nonsense approach to all things murder. He was only trying to do his job and Nina had a way of complicating that process while making herself a perfect suspect.

Then, we have the love triangle between Nina, Aaron, and Rick. Because of her past, Nina has trouble trusting anyone…which is also why she doesn’t trust Detective King to solve the case and why she tries to help. In Nina’s eyes, neither man can be trusted with her heart. Aaron offers more than his own love, he offers God’s love. Rick offers a rise in social status, but he’s been there for her since she was nine. It’s hard to discount that kind of time with someone.

I won’t spoil any endings for you, or give away any plot points. I’ll just say that Tell Her No Lies will keep your head spinning with non-stop action and drama. The Christian aspect is smooth, not overwhelming, and Nina’s character growth had a nice arc that I appreciated. I would recommend this novel for anyone who enjoys an action-packed romantic suspense.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

If you’re interested in seeing more of Kelly Irvin’s work, you can check out her social media sites below.

Visit her online at KellyIrvin.com
Facebook: Kelly.Irvin.Author
Twitter: @Kelly_S_Irvin

Who I Am With You by Robin Lee Hatcher: Book Tour and Giveaway with Read With Audra

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I can always count on Robin Lee Hatcher to bring out the entire range of my emotions. Who I Am With You is no different. The spiritual arc of Jessica’s journey was beautiful. Having Ridley to lean on during a time of vulnerability gave her the chance to learn to trust again. Even though they both have people that they need to forgive, their journeys to that place of forgiveness take them on different paths.

I’ve said before that I love small-town romances. This was no exception, even though we really only see the town for a brief glimpse during a festival. Most of the book takes place between the two cabins that Ridley and Jessica call home. I think that scenario made things more intimate, it pulled you deeper into what each character was going through.

Hatcher always manages to pull the perfect Bible verses into the moment they are most needed. The use of Jessica’s great-great-grandfather’s Bible, along with his journey throughout the pages was a unique twist that I found enjoyable. It was interesting to see where the Bible started at so we can follow its journey through the series.

I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say it surprised me. There was a specific moment I was waiting for that never happened, and I was not disappointed at all. I was pleasantly surprised that Hatcher wrote it the way she did. The true change in Jessica’s faith, the choice to trust God, was highlighted by the detour.

Anyone who enjoys a prominent spiritual journey with a dash of romance, this is the book for you. Who I am With You offers hope when things seem hopeless. It is a reminder that all things are in God’s hands, even when we feel that He has given us burdens too heavy to bear.

Favorite moment: Jessica asks Ridley how he can still have faith in God. Ridley’s response: “I lost faith in people. God never lied to me, people did that.”

That’s what we have to remember. People will fail us but God never will.

About the Book:

For these two broken hearts, the first step toward love will be a huge leap of faith.

Jessica Mason isn’t looking for love when she meets Ridley Chesterfield. Instead she is still reeling from the tragic, unexpected loss of her husband and daughter—and awaiting the arrival of her unborn child. Harboring the secret of her husband’s betrayal, her pain is deeper than anyone knows.

Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs, Idaho, avoiding a political scandal and the barrage of false media headlines that have tarnished his good name. The last thing Ridley wants is a relationship—but when fate leads Ridley to form a friendship with his reclusive and pregnant neighbor, he wonders if this small-town hideout might be more of a long-term destination.

When Jessica begins to read her great-grandfather’s Bible, she finds a connection with a man she never knew. Somehow the verses he marked and the words he wrote in the margins open her heart to healing. And as Ridley and Jessica help each other forgive the people who have broken their hearts, they must decide if the past will define them or if they will choose to love again.

Who I Am with You weaves together a modern-day romance with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s story from the 1930s, reminding us that some truths can cross generations and that faith has the power to transform families forever.

Who I Am with You is the first book in Robin’s new “A Legacy of Faith” series.

About the Author:        hatcher robin lee

Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 75 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Robin is an ACFW Carol Award winner and an eight-time finalist and has won two RITA Awards and been a finalist eleven times. Her numerous other awards include the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. She is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. A mother and grandmother, Robin and her husband make their home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.

For more information, visit www.robinleehatcher.comFacebook: robinleehatcherTwitter: @robinleehatcher and Instagram @robinleehatcher.

Giveaway:

https://www.audrajennings.com/2019/01/win-copy-of-robin-lee-hatchers-who-i-am.html

hatcher tour and giveaway

 

 

 

Welcome Ada Brownell and her book: Love’s Delicate Blossom

ada_book_loves_delicate_blossom_ebook (003) I’ll leave you with Ada here in just a moment. Can I just comment on the book cover first? This book is just begging to be read! Beautifully done. And now, I’ll turn you over to Ada.

A MILLION DIED OF 1918 FLU PANDEMIC

By Ada Brownell

The advantage of growing old is that you experience history.

My mother, born in 1900, was a victim of the great influenza pandemic in 1918. She survived, but her younger brother, Bud, died.

As many writers do, I use real life tragedies and let them happen to my characters. That’s what I did in my book, Love’s Delicate Blossom.

While I grew up as the youngest of her eight children, I heard Mama talk about how using mustard plasters blistered and scarred the chests and backs of many where flu complications spiraled into pneumonia. Pneumonia is still dangerous if left untreated, but historically a dangerous killer.

People knew little about reducing fever in those days, except bathing the sick will a cool cloth, but they often piled the blankets high and that complicated things. Some pioneers and Indians, however, knew willow bark tea would help with pain and fever. It was probably years later when researchers discovered aspirin also helps decrease inflammation, but it thins the blood. Willow bark is where pharmacists get salicin to make aspirin.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the pandemic was so severe that from 1917 to 1918, life expectancy in the United States fell by about twelve years, to 36.6 years for men and 42.2 years for women. Before the flu outbreak, life expectancy wasn’t very high because of infant mortality, according to CDC.

Plus that was before the discovery of antibiotics, and many other important medical advances.

The rapid spread of a deadly strain of influenza around the world killing millions often is attributed to World War 1, a time when soldiers went from nation to nation, and few knew about prevention.

Another tragedy of the historical medical world that seldom happens in America anymore is parasites, and a student’s family in my book lost a child from this problem. The teacher, my main character, is interested in health education and prevention and with the community’s doctor addresses the problem head on.

Not too long ago I saw the death certificate of a young child who died from parasitic worms in about 1913. Why should I write about it? I imagine it still occurs in small numbers today, and if people don’t know about why they need to be clean, it could return as a risk.

The book is an historical suspense, and a reader said, “Your book set a tone and world from your grandmother’s time; the historical elements are what readers read the genre for.”

Ah, but it’s not all trouble. A thread of romance runs through the pages. Two men have their eyes on Ritah O’Casey, who is the daughter of Jenny Louise Parks from the first book in the Peaches and Dreams series, The Lady Fugitive.

Besides that, there’s humor, inspiration about love that you might have never heard before, more friction and suspense, making a great story.

Buy it at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1731156065

ada brownell

MEET ADA BROWNELL

Ada Brownell blogs and writes with Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement. She is the author of nine books, more than 350 stories and articles in Christian publications, and she spent a large chunk of her life as a journalist, mostly for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado. She and her husband L.C., have five children, one of them in heaven, eight wonderful grandchildren. and three great-grandchildren.

Her book, The Lady Fugitive, the first book in the Peaches and Dreams series was a finalist for the 2015 Laurel Award.

Amazon author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/adabrownell

Her blog: http://www.inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com

FINALLY! NEW RELEASE

Love’s Delicate Blossom, an historical suspense

By Ada Brownell

Sequel to The Lady Fugitive and Peach Blossom Rancher

Edmund Pritchett III wants to marry Ritah Irene O’Casey, but she says wait. The beautiful redhead is trying to rescue Tulip, a 14-year-old orphan kidnapped by Henry Hunter to work in his brothel, and Ritah doesn’t have much time. She has a train ticket to go to college and hopes to fulfill her dreams.

Ritah wants to become a teacher who can help widows keep their children when tragedy strikes. She also wants to teach mothers how to prevent dangerous diseases and treat health problems, in an era when few have access to a doctor and too many children die. Instead, Ritah ends up fighting for the lives of injured soldiers in a World War I Army health clinic, and finds her own life threatened by an influenza pandemic.

But Ritah finds a teaching job in Kansas, and there Joe Nichols, a handsome farmer, edges his way into her heart. But Edmund Pritchett III isn’t giving up, and neither is Henry Hunter, who is still after Tulip and about to open his brothel.

Will Ritah be able to continue to fight for women and families, understand enduring love, decide on the man she loves, and defend herself and her students when Henry Hunter bursts into the school shooting a pistol?

COMMENT FROM A READER: Your book set a tone and world from your grandmother’s time, the historical elements are what readers read the genre for.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1731156065

 

 

Thank you, Ada, for spending the morning with us. I loved your blog post and your books look like something I would love to read.

 

Gail Sattler: Author Interview

Good Morning!!

Today we have Gail Sattler back on the blog for a little Q & A. In case you missed it, Gail was here last week with some information on her new release The Other Neighbor. If you missed that post, feel free to check it out. It’s full of good things. Now on to this weeks interview!!

Where do you draw inspiration from?

No place in particular, so I guess I’d say life in general. Ideas just happen.

Do you have a favorite genre that you like to read?

I enjoy reading the same as what I write – romantic comedy. That’s why I write it. 🙂

I saw where you said you play bass. Do you have to have music when you write or do you prefer silence?

Silence. If music is on when I’m trying to write, I get distracted. Especially if the tune is hooky, because then I analyze the theory of what makes it so.

You’ve written over 40 books so far. Was there a specific moment you can recall where you knew you were meant to be a writer?

There was no moment. A friend had given me a big box of books when I was laid off from my job, so I took up a love of mine that I hadn’t had time for in years, which was reading. I was reading a  book that was really bad, I won’t say the publisher, and thought “I can do better than this.” So I started writing. I can say I did not do better, and my first attempt at writing has long since gone to that Great Delete Button In The Sky. But the bug bit me, and I couldn’t stop. I can’t say I knew I was meant to be a writer. I just did it because it was fun. I wrote a bit, then joined a writing group, then another one, learned the craft, and my first published book sold on my 40th birthday.

What would you consider your most defining moment as an author?

I was working night shift at the time. I used to get to bed around 2-3:00 a.m., then wake up at 7:00 and get the kids to school, then go back to bed and sleep until they got home. One day about noon, I was asleep, and the doorbell rang. I threw on a t-shirt and sweatpants, I wasn’t even wearing my glasses, and answered the door, expecting it was Purolator with a box of books. Nope. It was the mother of one of my kid’s friends. She’d loved a recent book and came to the door to buy a copy for her sister and have me autograph it to give as a gift. I was floored. She’d made a special trip to my house for an autographed book. That would have been my defining moment.

Here’s a look at Gail’s new book, The Other Neighbor

the other neighbor cover

 

Thank you, Gail, for spending more time with us today. I look forward to reading more about your work and even picking up a few copies for myself. If you would like to know more about Gail, you can follow her through her social media links listed below.

Visit Gail Sattler’s website at http://www.gailsattler.com

Gail Sattler’s blog – What Goes On In The Mind Of A Writer –http://www.gailsattler.com/category/new/

Facebook  – https://www.facebook.com/gail.sattler.3

Gail Sattler’s Facebook author page at https://www.facebook.com/Gail-Sattler-author-568988573496833/?modal=admin_todo_tour