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Monday’s Mention

Two Roads Home

Two Roads Home is book 2 of A Chicory Inn Novel Series by Deborah Raney; however, it works well as a standalone also.

Corinne Pennington is feeling out of sorts and not really sure why. Things are wonderful; she has three darling little girls, the home of her dreams and the husband of other women’s dreams.

Jesse Pennington, Corrine’s husband, is working hard and constantly travelling in order to provide for his family. When Michaela Creeve’s, a co-worker, begins to show him a little attention, it goes to Jesse’s head.  Even though his wife and other family members have warned Jesse about his flirting being taken the wrong way, he doesn’t listen; after all, he would never violate his marriage vows.

Michaela Creeve has problems no one is aware of until she threatens to sue the company for sexual harassment and names Jesse as the offender.

As the Pennington’s life spirals out of control, will they be able to turn to each other and to God for assistance and reassurance?

Deborah Raney has done a skillful job of weaving a contemporary story that has all the hurt, anger and angst one would encounter in the situation described in Two Roads Home.  The novel gives an unadulterated look at how seemingly innocent actions can be misconstrued and used to wound others.

I received this I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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Friday’s Fiction

Silver Spurs

Silver Spurs, book 2 of the Horses and Friends Series by Miralee Ferrell. Even though written for a young (pre-tween and tween) audience, it is an enjoyable book for all ages.

Kate Ferris and her family have recently moved to a farm in Oregon.  She finally has a horse, Capri, a dream come true. Now, she wants to take in boarders to earn money to take lessons.

Convincing her two best friends, Tori and Colt, to help, Kate gets the barn ready for boarders.  She had not considered that one of her least favorite people, Melissa Tolbert, would become a boarder.  However, that is exactly what happens. How will Kate handle the new, least liked, boarder?

Silver Spurs deals with many emotions, running the gamut from kindness to anger as Kate learns to lean less on herself and more on the Lord. Miralee Ferrell has done an admirable job of writing a book that all young people can glean valuable lessons from and identify with.

I received this I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 


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Friday’s fiction

A Blessing for Miriam

A Blessing for Miriam by Jerry Eicher is the second book in the Land of Promise Series.

Miriam Yoder, first introduced in Miriam’s Secret, Book One in the Land of Promise Series, has become a schoolteacher and is still living in Oklahoma.  Her life is beginning to fall into order; she is engaged to be married and has a job she loves. However, life soon interferes.

Miriam’s sister, Shirley, is in a car accident back home in Possum Valley and needs her sister’s assistance in healing. Miriam returns home to help her sister, even though she fears she may lose her fiancé, Wayne Yutzy, to a local girl who has set her sights on him.

A storm leaves devastation in its path soon after Miriam returns from Possum valley. Her Daett (Amish for Dad) comes to Oklahoma to assist in reconstruction; however, he leaves a path of destruction himself. Reeling from the repercussions of the storm’s devastation and her Daett’s attitude, Miriam has to find her path back to her faith.

Jerry Eicher has done a skillful job of portraying the life of the Amish, the devastation of the storm, the turmoil of the characters and each individual in the story. Drawn deeply into the story as you read A Blessing for Miriam, you catch yourself laughing or crying with the people, too.

I received this book from https://www.netgalley.com/ in exchange for a review.

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Tuesday’s Tale

Irish Meadows is the first book written by Susan Anne Mason and is the first book in the series, Courage To Dream.

Irish Meadows is the Long Island farm home of the O’Leary’s in 1911.  Brianna and Colleen, the two older daughters of James and Kathleen, both have different ideas and dreams for their lives than what their father envisions.

Brianna, quiet and studious, wants to seek a higher education after graduating from high school. Her father wants her to marry a rich man to ensure the prosperity of the family’s farm.

Colleen, a spirited coquette, has no problems getting married; she just wants to marry the man of her choice, not whom her father chooses.

Gill Whelan, a young man raised as the son of the O’Leary’s, is asked to complete an impossible task for James. Torn between a desire to aid his “adopted” father and his dreams, Gil struggles to find an answer to his dilemma.

Rylan Montgomery, distant cousin of Kathleen, visits the family from Ireland during his seminary training.  He helps Colleen with her spiritual journey and encourages her to assist him in caring for orphans at the local orphanage.

As Irish Meadows stands on the brink of failure, James becomes ill, forcing the family to re-evaluate their lives and dreams.

Susan Anne Mason has written a marvelous novel with her debut, Irish Meadows. The novel is striking in its narrative and imagery.  Miss Mason carries several plot lines throughout the book without leaving the reader feeling tangled up or lost in the story. She does a remarkable job of combining a story of family, history and faith together.

I received An Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from LibraryThing in exchange for a review.


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Fiction Free Friday

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The Chocolate Diaries by Karen Scalf Linamen is a book for all women who have been on this journey called life.

Karen does a wonderful job in The Chocolate Diaries of injecting her own life’s battles; such as bouts of depression along with life’s joys.

She believes in using lists to guide her and keep her on track. After one disheartening experience with her lists, she decided to always start her list with: Eat chocolate, thereby ensuring at least one thing on her list would be done every day.

At times lighthearted and at other times reflective, the book features real women with real stories and ways each coped with their situations.

Karen draws her analogies from extensive interviews with friends and family and peppers the stories throughout the book.

Each chapter has, in addition to the story, Sweet Secrets which poses the question to different women “What’s your secret to a sweeter journey on the rocky road of life?” and gives their answer, Food for Thought which asks the reader questions based on the chapter and finally at the end of the chapter is Because Real Women Don’t Need a Cookbook which highlights reader-submitted recipes.

I think this book would be great for a study group ending each session with the Food for Thought questions and then making the recipes.

Real people with real stories generously sprinkled with chocolate. Nothing is much better than that! I received this book in exchange for my review at Blogging for Books.

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Revised from Original published 5/2/2011


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Tuesday’s Tale

A Simple Prayer

A Simple Prayer (Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel) by Amy Clipston is book four of the series.  (I must have a penchant for jumping in the middle of a series, as I seem to do this frequently!)

Linda Zook becomes an orphan at age four when a buggy accident caused by icy roads claims her mother and father leaving her only relatives, an aunt and uncle, to raise her.  As she grows and after her aunt passes away, Linda becomes aware that her uncle is bitter towards her and her late father.  Reeling from his acrimoniousness, she begins to realize she has accepted his damaging remarks about her as truth.

Trying to prove her worth as an individual, Linda not only runs her uncle’s household by herself, but she also works at the Lancaster Grand Hotel and the Heart of Paradise Bed and Breakfast.

Aaron Ebersol fled his Amish community at fifteen, and after seventeen years of no answers to his letters, he returns when he discovers his mother had a stroke. Fearing his family’s reception, he decides to stay near the family farm at the Heart of Paradise B & B.

As Linda tries to prove her worth to herself and her uncle, Aaron is trying to fit in with his family. Will they be able to help each other?

A Simple Prayer reads well, as a stand-alone, even without having read the other three in the series.

Amy Clipston does a great job of immersing you into the story! As a reader, I felt for and with the character’s lives and dilemmas.

I received this I received this book from BookLook in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

Amy ClipstonAmy Clipston is the award-winning and best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series.  Her novels have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA.  Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC.  Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats.  Visit her online at Facebook: AmyClipstonBooks Twitter: @AmyClipston


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Friday’s Fiction

Reservations for two

Reservations for Two: A Novel of Fresh Flavors and New Horizons (Two Blue Doors) by Hillary Manton Lodge is book two of the Two Blue Doors Trilogy.

Juliette D’Alisa is planning the opening of her new restaurant, Two Blue Doors.  However, many things are coming between her and the opening. She and her boyfriend, Neil, are having problems with their long distance relationship; her mother’s cancer remission is riddled with serious medical problems and her Aunt Cecile’s mind wanders too much to answer Juliette’s many questions.

So, Juliette decides to take a vacation to visit family living in Provence and Rome.  While on vacation Neil joins her.

During her visit with her cousin, Sandrine, she and Juliette discover old letters written between her grandmother and aunt. Delighted to have a tangible piece of her family’s history, she uploads them onto her computer to read later. Unfortunately, the letters create more questions than answers.

Things become even more chaotic for Juliette, as the opening day for Two Blue Doors looms nearer and nearer.

The novel has wonderful recipes scattered throughout, enhancing my enjoyment of the book and making the story come even more alive.

I have not read book one in the series, but I did not feel lost.  Reservations for Two does well as a stand-alone book.

Reservations for Two tackles many problems people are facing today and gives hope to the characters in the novel.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

For more information about Hillary you can go to http://hillaryonwriting.blogspot.com/

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