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

 

 

 

Innocence Denied by Mike Garrett: Book Review

Book Information

Title: Innocence Denied

Author: Mike Garrett

ISBN: 978-1-63357-146-4

Publisher: Crosslink Publishing

innocence denied The cover was interesting on this. It all makes sense from the perspective of the book. I thought the colors were great and the scene mysterious.

Innocence Denied is an unusual story between Derrick Walton and Larissa Baxter. The goal of Innocence Denied is to highlight a story where a non-believer can be lead to Christ. Considering the content, I would recommend this book for adults. Not that the content isn’t appropriate for children, nothing specifically inappropriate happens, but some sexual references are given.

The circumstances that led Derrick and Larissa together were quite bizarre. I will admit, it took me a few chapters to accept the weirdness and move on with the story. The plot was engaging, with the entire story centering around Larissa being a murder suspect and Derrick trying to keep her from the police.

Derrick faced many challenges in showing Larissa that God loves her. I thought the book held up well with its theme of gentle guidance to God. Derrick was never pushy or overbearing. I found the reading light and easy, the words flowing well together in a way that kept me reading straight through without stopping.

Derrick proved himself to be a true believer, with his words and actions pacing the action of Larissa’s journey in a way that she could understand.

While the entire book has a charge of emotion since Larissa is a fugitive, it was the ending that really drove the nail home. I won’t give it away, just know that Derrick has intense reasons for wanting to help Larissa.

On a scale of one to ten, I give the romance in this book a one, which is exactly where it should be since the specific genre for this title is strictly Christian Fiction. Derrick does have feelings for Larissa, but it never advances beyond a rare mention.

Disclosure of Material: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Innocence Denied: Purchase Link

On Magnolia Lane by Denise Hunter: Book Review

612ecrdgghl I’m a sucker for flowers, so it’s safe to say this cover makes me swoon.

Book Blurb from Amazon:

Falling in love with Daisy was easy for Jack. But finding the courage to tell her becomes problematic when his secret feelings lead to even bigger complications.

After two years of counseling sessions with Daisy Pendleton, Pastor Jack McReady has earned a permanent spot in her life as a spiritual leader—and nothing more. Jack would never risk losing her trust by exposing the depths of his heart, but he’s hopelessly in love with her.

Daisy loves her southern small-town life and her job at her family-run flower shop, but she doesn’t have the thing she longs for most: someone to share it with. Her recent foray into online dating has been a disaster—until she meets TJ.

Jack could kill his friend Noah for using his initials and some indistinct photos to set up a profile on the dating app Daisy is using. But when he’s finally afforded the opportunity to show her a different side of himself, he’s sucked into the plan before he has time for second thoughts.

Online, Daisy shares some of her greatest fears with TJ, but in person, Jack and Daisy are spending more time together. When a devastating family secret surfaces, Daisy knows that only her trusted friend and counselor can bring her comfort. Jack wants nothing more than to be both men for Daisy, but revealing his secret will prove to be the ultimate test of Daisy’s grace.

“Move over You’ve Got Mail because in Denise Hunter’s On Magnolia Lane you’ve got an e-romance with enough RAM (romance and magic) not only to sputter your software, but to tug at your heart while touching your soul. Easily one of the top romance writers in the CBA, Hunter is a master at inspirational love stories that linger in one’s memory—and hard drive—long after the last page.” —Julie Lessman, award-winning author

My Thoughts:

On Magnolia Lane is a small-town romance between Pastor Jack and flower shop owner Daisy Pendelton. He’s loved her for years, and she hasn’t a clue. Daisy will have to find enough forgiveness in her heart to overcome a mountain of hurts. Through it all, Jack is the one thing she can count on, until he’s the one in need of forgiveness.

Poor, poor Pastor Jack. I cannot sympathize enough with his plight to win Daisy’s heart. But he knew what he was getting himself into. I appreciated that about On Magnolia Lane. Jack knew that it was a bad idea, but like so many of us, he let himself get carried away in the moment of glory.

Daisy has a tendency to put others to a higher standard, making their fall from grace that much more difficult for her to accept. When we place those we love on a pedestal, we try to make them infallible. Humans are not perfect. We try…some more than others…but we’re bound to make mistakes at some point. Forgiveness is hard to give, especially when it is needed by those we care about the most.

Small-town romances remind me of home…of a place where everyone knows everyone and your friends are people you’ve known your whole life. That is Daisy’s life as a part owner of the flower shop Oopsie Daisy. You become invested in the lives of everyone, not just your main characters, when you become immersed in the culture of small-town life.

On Magnolia Lane captured that hometown feel with a unique grasp of family, customs, and festivals.

This is one of those tropes where you know the ending almost from the beginning, but you don’t care. With so many other conflicts going on within the pages, you’re determined to see just how far the characters are willing to go in their pursuit of love and forgiveness.

Daisy is forced to face a lot of tough decisions. She has already overcome tremendous obstacles in her life: dyslexia being one. I’m going to throw in here that I was greatly encouraged to have a storyline where a main character suffers from true dyslexia and has learned to work with the limitations that have been forced upon her.

All in all, I was very pleased with this book. Genuine characters with real-world flaws, lots of drama, a steady thread of forgiveness, and soft romance all wrapped up together in a bouquet of delightfulness.

I received a copy of this book from the BookLook Bloggers Team. I was not required to leave a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.