The Harvest of Grace By Cindy Woodsmall

The Harvest of Grace is book three of the Ada’s House novels, but don’t let that stop you from reading this engaging book.  Author Cindy Woodsmall briefly summarizes the backstory at the beginning.  Sprinkled throughout the book are details that enable the reader to jump right into the plot and not feel lost.
The book centers around Sylvia Fisher, a nontraditional Amish woman, no great surprise as she is the oldest of nine children, all girls.  Her greatest comfort and peace come from assisting her father in running their dairy farm.
Because of a cruel decision her husband to be makes and apparent lack of understanding and collusion on her father’s part,  Sylvia feels she must leave her home.  She moves several miles from home and hires on to assist another dairy farmer, Michael Blank.
Many of Sylvia’s dreams are being fulfilled as she assumes almost total control of Michael and Dora Blank’s nearly bankrupt farm.  Until Aaron, their wayward son, returns, life is almost perfect for Sylvia.
Aaron is determined to prevail upon his mother and invalid father to give up the farm. He’s convinced a move to the city with him is in their best interest. Disregarding everyone’s wishes, he plows on with his own agenda.
As Aaron and his father clash, Sylvia is caught in the middle.  An unexpected visitor and an agonizing confession throw her life into a tailspin.  As she allows God to give her peace in her life, she learns more about His love, forgiveness and mercy for all. But most of all, she learns to trust and rest in His “harvest of grace.”
I’ve not read the other two in Ada’s House but I have read other Cindy Woodsmall books and this one, like those, is a  winner.
To read an excerpt go to:
I was provided this book free of charge by Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an unbiased opinion.
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Mea Culpa

I am so sorry I let auto correct slip by with correcting Daphene to Daphne. I promise to edit more closely next time.
I have corrected it in my blog review, unfortunately I am unable to correct it on my Amazon review.

Our Southern Breeze

Our Southern Breeze
by Daphene Jones with Andrea Taylor
ISBN 978-0-9830129-6-2
Our Southern Breeze is an amazing story of heartaches, failures, sickness, deaths and triumphs.
The first quarter (approximately) of the book deals with the early childhood of Daphene and her twin, Deborah, along with their older sister, Gretchen. The last three-quarters of the book chronicle her life and how she came to feel “her” southern breeze. Deborah’s story of hope will resonate with everyone.
Daphene and her twin, Deborah, experienced heartbreaking abuse at the hands of their father while growing up. Even though Daphene treads delicately and lightly through the abuse she and her twin suffered throughout their childhood, she still paints a harrowingly chilling and horrendous picture. Their older sister, Gretchen, was the “princess,” while the twins suffered from their father’s demons. Because of this, and secrets they couldn’t even admit to themselves, they were all three estranged as adults.
Deborah invited Daphene to a Christian conference held in 1990 that became a life changer for both sisters. While there they were approached by a person who told them they would soon encounter their summer breeze from God. The story then unfolds with God’s goodness and kindness over each twin’s life.
As you follow their inspirational journey, you sometimes forget it is a true story, as you are so drawn into Daphene and Deborah’s lives. Albeit the paths for each sister were very dissimilar, you can see God’s hand over their entire journey.
You will be uplifted, brought to tears, to your knees and left in awe of God’s mighty power.  Any reader can be stirred and moved by Daphene’s account of her and her twin’s lives.  However, some images, in the beginning, may be distressful for abuse victims.

I hadn’t read Same Kind of Different As Me, a book which chronicles parts of Deborah’s life. Because I was deeply touched on many, many levels by Our Southern Breeze, I’m looking forward to reading it, too.  Our Southern Breeze is a story that won’t soon leave your heart. Give yourself plenty of time to read and digest this book.
This book was provided for me Free by BookCrash in exchange for an unbiased opinion.

Lots of Reviews Coming Soon!

I’ve been down with various maladies lately which have one distinct advantage; I get to read, LOTS!  For that small blessing, I’m not complaining.
Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be having several exploratory surgeries which will enable me to do even more reading, if they don’t wipe me out so much that all I do is rest.
So, be prepared for many reviews, coming your way soon!

Wedding Fiasco, Win

I recently took part in a Scavenger Hunt sponsored by some of my favorite authors. The idea was to visit 23 different author blogs, and each highlighted another author and themselves. At each stop, you gathered clues to enter for the grand prize of 23 books at the end of the hunt. Along the way, you could also enter each author’s contest for freebies such as books, jewelry, etc.
Well, I won one of the contests for a free book!!! Yea, I love to read. I love writing, too but that’s a whole ‘nother story.
My winning entry got me to reminiscing about the story I entered.
Picture this: I’m 19 years old from an extremely (you have NO idea) STRICT, strict family and marrying my love who is 25.
The day of the wedding my Dad had to work and decided he would shave at the church, as he’d be picking my Mom up at home and rushing to get there. He has a very quick growing, dark beard. Unbeknownst to him, my Mom had done LOTS of visiting with her dear friends, weeping and wailing and gnashing her teeth over losing her oldest child and her chief cook and bottle washer! So, Mom picks up Dad with everything he needs to get ready at church, and off they go-ever so slowly. They ran out of gas! They barely made the church on time, and of course, Dad didn’t shave.
But it doesn’t end there.
My twin cousins, age about 5, were involved and supposed to quickly light 2 candelabras on either side of the church just prior to our walking down the aisle. As their wont at that age, they forgot a couple of candles. My Aunt, bless her heart, sitting near the back of the church stands up and starts instructing them as to which ones they had not lit. All in a VERY LOUD voice. The twins, whose lighting device by then had gone out, kept turning around and “sqinshing” up their cute little eyes and saying, “HUH? HUH?”
After several of these exchanges, someone kindly lit the candles then escorted the girls to their Mom.
But it doesn’t end there.
We continue with the ceremony, and when we kneel to say our prayers prior to the preacher giving us the vows, we hear everyone tittering. Unbeknownst to us, my 12-year-old brother had taped HELP ME! on my soon to be hubby’s shoes, which of course, everyone except us can see!
But… it doesn’t end there.
My Dad in his flustered and frustrated state forgot to raise the veil. I, thinking I was seeing stars and not veil, didn’t realize it wasn’t raised. So, when we lit our unity candle and blew out our individual candles, my veil caught on fire!!!!!! I was almost the sacrificial bride.
But, no sadly, it doesn’t end there either.
We had decided we wanted to cross over each other and present our respective new Mother’s in law with a rose to signify our accepting her, and her family, into our new family. As my now new hubby stepped behind me to give my Mom her rose, he stepped on my train. I tripped and fell face first into someone’s lap and sprawled across the entire pew.
And it doesn’t end there either.
My new hubby’s old college roommate decided to treat us with sardines and onions (which he had sneaked in) at our reception. Needless to say, the smell was less than enticing.
In addition to all of this, other major occurrences, beforehand and during, included:
1) My dress was supposed to be a muted (not matte) shiny finish.  Instead, it was matte, and when I received it, it was too late to send back or find another. This wouldn’t have been so bad except my bridesmaid dresses were supposed to be a matte finish yellow and they were a bright, SHINY yellow.
2) Our photographer never showed, called, nothing-it was like he dropped off the face of the earth (A premonition of things to come!).
3) My best friend loaned me a beautiful hat for the reception, but it was stolen between the ceremony and reception.
4) And, according to my Aunt and Uncle, the coup de grace was watching two very young, very nervous newlyweds afraid to check into the motel for their 1-night honeymoon (Hubby couldn’t get off and had to be at work the next day).
Well, there you have it-I did edit the story for my entry version!