On Tour with Celebrate Lit: Anything But Plain by Suzanne Woods Fisher with Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Anything But Plain

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Amish fiction

Release date: October 4, 2022

It’s not easy being the bishop’s daughter, especially for Lydie Stoltzfus. She’s not like other Amish girls, as much as she wishes she were. The only thing she does well is disappoint others. Leaving her family and church seems unbearable, but staying might be worse.

Knowing Lydie is “between” jobs, the local doctor asks her to fill in at the front desk for a few months. To Lydie, this is a boon. It gives her time to figure out how she’s going to say goodbye to her neighbor, Nathan Yoder–the main reason she needs to leave Stoney Ridge. Nathan claims he’s in love with her, but she knows she’s not good enough for him. If in doubt, Nathan’s father reminds her frequently.

As Dok spends time with Lydie, she recognizes symptoms of an uncommon disorder among the Amish. She offers treatment for Lydie. But will it be enough to make her stay? Or has help come too late?

Click here to get your copy!

In Anything But Plain, Suzanne Woods Fisher introduces us to a young woman who is “anything but plain” in the traditional Amish sense.

Lydia “Lydie” Stoltzfus, a young Amish girl, seems to be an accident waiting to happen. Everything she does or attempts to do, it seems, ends in failure or turns into a disaster. Her track record of failing jobs is infamous and legendary.

Nathan Yoder struggles to assist his father in managing their farm, which has deteriorated from outmoded and destructive agricultural practices.

Despite the fact that Lydie and Nathan care for one another, external factors (including Lydie) work against their relationship. Can kindhearted “Dok,” the neighborhood physician and Lydie’s relative, help?

I always enjoy reading Suzanne Woods Fisher’s books, and this one is no exception. I especially enjoyed the premise of the story. Her Amish stories are real and wholesome. Anything But Plain will deeply move you and tug mightily on your heartstrings.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit through NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a Christy finalist, a Carol Award winner, a two-time ECPA Book of the Year finalist, and the Publishers Weekly, ECPA, CBA, bestselling author of more than thirty books. Her genres include contemporary and historical romances, Amish romance, and women’s fiction. She and her husband live in a small town in California, where everyone knows everyone else, knows what they are doing and why. Most folks act a little nervous around Suzanne because they usually wind up in one of her novels. She has four grown children and enough grandchildren to keep her young. Visit Suzanne at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

More from Suzanne

Easily Distracted? 8 Strategies to Help Stay Focused

Anything but Plain is a story about a young Amish woman with undiagnosed ADHD. Lydie Stoltzfus feels like a square peg in a round hole. She just doesn’t fit in and, to make matters worse, she’s the bishop’s daughter. At this point, the only path forward she can see is to leave Stoney Ridge. Leave her church, her friends, her family, her neighbor Nathan Yoder. It’s better to leave, Lydie decides, than to keep disappointing everyone she cares about. I won’t say anymore so that I don’t spoil the story for you.

ADHD is not a common diagnosis among the Amish and many might assume it’s not a real thing. Of course, they’re mistaken. ADHD is a real thing. While I don’t have ADHD, I do have many friends and family members who have been diagnosed. It’s challenging! And something we should all take seriously. Here’s why:

Evidence is mounting that a growing dependence on digital devices could be giving all of us some ADHD-like symptoms. Have you wondered if distractibility is becoming a problem for you? Or has a spouse or child or friend remarked on how often you pick up your phone to check a text message or scroll Instagram? You might remain physically present but your mind has wandered away. For me, the answer is, regrettably, yes.

There’s a recurring phrase in Anything but Plain that comes from an old-fashioned farming term: Walking the beans. Literally, it means weeding by hand. Figuratively, it means paying attention to our priorities. To pull the weeds before they take root.

One of the takeaway lessons of this book is to “walk the beans” of technology’s role in my life. So…I’ve been working on a few strategies. When I practice, I see a difference. Life is calmer. More manageable.

So…I wanted to pass these tips along to you. (If you have little children, these might not work for you. Not when your little ones are awake, anyway.) Hopefully, you’ll find them to be useful, and maybe spark some strategies of your own.

  • Make a plan. I start the day with an index card and write down the day’s priorities. And I check off tasks as I finish them!
  • Go off-line. Create an environment that helps you stay focused. Turn your cell phone to silent. If working on the computer, close your email app. Put yourself in distraction-free mode until you’re accomplished what you need to do
  • Finish one task before moving on to the next. Even little tasks.
  • Distractibility is at its peak during transitions. Build in margin. For example, arrive a few minutes early instead of rushing in a few minutes late.
  • When distractions are high, make tasks smaller and break down your large projects into smaller tasks to help you concentrate and give you a sense of accomplishment and progress.
  • When I’m facing a big task, I’ll break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces.
  • Set a deadline for a task. Beat the clock! Use a timer.
  • Rewards! When I beat the clock, I’ll take a break from computer work and pop up to the garden, text a friend, walk the dog. Something that feels good.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, October 7

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 7

She Lives To Read, October 8

The Write Escape, October 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 9

Vicky Sluiter, October 9

lakesidelivingsite, October 10

Texas Book-aholic, October 10

Lighthouse-Academy, October 11

Simple Harvest Reads, October 11 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 12

Southern Gal Loves to Read, October 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 13

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 14

Blogging With Carol, October 14

Elly Gilbert, October 14

deb’s Book Review, October 15

For Him and My Family, October 15

Holly’s Book Corner, October 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 16

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 16

Splashes of Joy, October 16

Empowermoms, October 17

SusanLovesBooks, October 17

Mary Hake, October 17

Bigreadersite, October 18

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 18

Blossoms and Blessings, October 18

Cats in the Cradle Blog, October 19

Pause for Tales, October 19

Spoken from the Heart, October 19

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, October 20

Cover Lover Book Review, October 20

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/21e05/anything-but-plain-celebration-tour-giveaway

#CelebrateLit #NetGalley #AnythingButPlain

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Strength in the Storm by Laurel Blount

Publisher’s Summary

In this touching Amish romance, a brokenhearted woman and a steadfast man discover that the safest place to weather tragedy is in each other’s arms.

After the murder of both her parents, Emma Hochstedler returns to the small community of Johns Mill, hoping to resume her quiet existence. Reclaiming her place proves harder than expected—especially now that a movie is being made about her family’s loss. But then, an old friend offers her a lifeline that gives her new purpose.
 
Amish builder Samuel Christner is the biggest—and the strongest—man in town. In fact, the gentle giant has only one weakness—Emma. Even though she broke his heart, he won’t let his childhood sweetheart face her troubles alone. He hires Emma as a nurse for his elderly aunt…and finds himself falling for her all over again.
 
But while romance blooms, storm clouds gather. And when darkness falls, it will take all Sam’s strength—and all their love—to see them through.

After the Hochstedler family’s tragic loss, one cannot help but empathize with them. Emma Hochstedler believes the loss was her fault, and despite the fact that it wasn’t, she acts and feels as if it were.

Emma constantly tries to protect her baby sister while often neglecting her own needs. And just when she thinks the worst is behind her… well, no spoilers.

A very atypical Amish story, Strength in the Storm, by Laurel Blount, is an incredibly well-written story. The story teems with friendship, faith, hope and love, intertwined with mystery, misfortune, heartbreak and resilience.

The story is spellbinding and gripping, compelling and emotionally charged–not one to be read quickly or in a hurry.

This is the first book I’ve read by Laurel Blount, and it’s a sequel to Shelter in the Storm. Both books are about the Johns Mill Community. I did not feel lost or bewildered by Strength in the Storm. In fact, I felt quite the opposite—fully captivated and riveted from the first paragraph! I will definitely be reading more of her books.

I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley and from Berkley Publishing Group. All opinions are my own and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

Magdelena’s Choice by Molly Jebber on Tour with Celebrate Lit

Magdelena's Choice

About the Book

Book: Magdelena’s Choice

Author: Molly Jebber

Genre: AMISH HISTORICAL ROMANCE

Release date: January 25, 2022

9-10-2021 Magdelena's Choice_Jebber_final from Kensington

As the daughter of a wealthy rancher, Magdelena Beachy may not truly need her job at the Amish Charm Bakery, but she enjoys tending to customers, be they neighbors or curious Englischers. Only one thing would make life sweeter, and that’s if Toby Schlabach would court her. It’s not just his dimples and smile that warm Magdelena’s heart—she admires his kindness and values. Yet she worries their chance may slip away . . .

With his daed ill and his mother and sister depending on him, Toby can’t yet offer Magdelena the future she deserves. But even as he nears his goal, he learns her father has arranged a match with another suitor. Magdelena risks shunning if she goes against her family. Choosing a path will take courage as well as faith—in God’s plan, and in this steadfast, tender love . . .

Click here to get your copy!

Step back in time to 1914 with Magdelena’s Choice, book 5 in Molly Jebber’s Amish Charm Bakery series. It is a charming and inspirational book focusing on obedience, faith and love.

I liked the narrative, and it works well as a standalone as I didn’t even notice at first it was part of a series. Magdelena has a very difficult choice to make, a choice between following her parents and following her heart. However, being an Amish daughter, she doesn’t have much of an option but to obey her parents.

Jebber presents Magdelena and Toby’s struggles realistically, both because of their current life situations and because of Magdelena’s parents’ wishes.

Youngsters Charity Beachy and her best buddy, Peter, were a such delight to read about. I’d love to see more of them and their stories in the future, and perhaps even in their own story when they’re older!

I received this book from Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. However, my review is voluntary, and all opinions are my own.

About the Author

8-24-2019 good pic Molly purple suit

Molly Jebber is a best-selling and award-winning author of Amish Historical Romance. Molly’s books have been featured in Publisher’s Weekly Best Ten lists, USA Today’s HEA, featured in live video on Naples News, many media outlets across the U.S. You’ll find her books on most stores the first three months of their release across the U.S, UK, Canada, and more. She’s been interviewed on television, and she’s a touring speaker for Women’s Christian Connection, other women’s professional organizations, and she offers presentations on writing, agent or no agent, publishing, and marketing. She also speaks about the Amish lifestyles and traditions. She says the most rewarding part about writing stories is meeting wonderful readers who become friends through social media and at her speaking events. Please visit her website: http://www.mollyjebber.com for a full list of her books, speaking events and recipes.

She loves God, her family, and friends and Florida sunshine. She says yes to swimming, the beach, golf, and time with her family and friends, and no to coconut, onions, and skydiving!

More from Molly

Magdelena faces difficult decisions when having a difference of opinion with her parents. If she goes against them, she’ll face serious consequences.  Sometimes we have family situations that arise, and they require us to search our heart for how to deal with them. Toby also faces hardship, tragedy, and being judged wrongly by others. Toby and Magdelena are sure God has a plan for their lives, but they’re not sure if they are following his will. They pray for guidance. You’ll enjoy their friends and how they come into play in this story. We all have friends we love, and memories we make with them. They root for us. The same goes for this couple. You’ll wonder what will happen next, and just when you think things are better, something else happens. I hope you enjoy the story. Don’t forget to sign up for a chance to win the grand prize at the end of this tour!

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, January 29

Bizwings Blog, January 29

Bigreadersite, January 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 30

She Lives To Read, January 31

Texas Book-aholic, January 31

Lighthouse Academy Blog, February 1 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Inklings and notions, February 1

For Him and My Family, February 2

Simple Harvest Reads, February 2 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 3

Older & Smarter?, February 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 4

deb’s Book Review, February 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 7

SusanLovesBooks, February 7

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 8

Connie’s History Classroom, February 9

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 10 (Spotlight)

Splashes of Joy, February 10

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Molly is giving away the grand prize of a $75 Amazon gift!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/193cb/magdelena-s-choice-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Amish Menorah: and Other Stories by the Men of Amish Fiction, Willard Carpenter, Patrick E. Craig, Jerry Eicher, Thomas Nye, Murray Pura and Amos Wyse on Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book:  The Amish Menorah

Author: The Men of Amish Fiction

Genre: Amish Fiction

Release Date: May 13, 2020

Come sit and enjoy!

Six short stories by the men of Amish fiction to entertain and educate you. You’ll journey with an Amish man and the Jewish woman whose life he saves, agonize with an Amish girl in love with an Englische man, fret with two sisters both in love with the same man, pray with the family whose child is injured in a fall, work with the Amish sheriff in a western town, and laugh at the girl forced to be Amish for the summer.

Click here to get your copy!

The Amish Menorah: and Other Stories by the Men of Amish Fiction, which includes Willard Carpenter, Patrick E. Craig, Jerry Eicher, Thomas Nye, Murray Pura and Amos Wyse, is an interesting collection of novellas about the Amish.  There is a wide variance in stories, from Amish in Germany during the war to contemporary Amish. Each author’s voice is different, lending a unique flavor to the individual stories.  

I was fascinated by the story of the Amish in Nazi Germany. I’m not sure why, but I never thought of the Amish being outside of America. I realize that makes no sense because the Amish language, commonly referred to as Pennsylvania Dutch, comes from the German word for “German,” which is Deutsch!

I enjoyed all the stories, especially knowing they were all written by men. I felt this presented each novella with a more distinctive and atypical voice.

I’m really looking forward to reading more stories from the men of Amish. I hope they write more soon.

I received The Amish Menorah from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

About the Authors

Willard Carpenter

To know Wil, one would probably not think of him as an author. He is a husband, a father, a Christian, a veteran, a business owner, and a servant. He has led a life of bold and diverse experiences that immediately capture one’s attention.  Wil has an unexpected artistic and creative side—something that might be considered uncommon, given his life’s works. Wil’s greatest inner strength is his expression and creativity. His life’s works give a credit to his writing that few other fiction authors possess. This generates a vivid degree of realism above and beyond other works of fiction.

Patrick E. Craig

Amazon bestselling author Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful music career to become a pastor in 1986. In 2007 he retired to concentrate on writing and publishing fiction books. In 2013, Harvest House Publishers published his first Amish series, Apple Creek Dreams.  Patrick and his wife, Judy, live in Idaho. They have two daughters and five grandchildren. Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency.

Jerry Eicher

Jerry Eicher was born to Amish parents, and raised in an Amish settlement in Honduras, Central America. The family returned stateside in the late seventies, when Jerry was sixteen. He spent his youth with a beloved Amish youth group in Belle Center, Ohio, and was married in 1983 to Tina Schmucker, whose parents had moved to the community from Nappanee, Indiana. Jerry and Tina left the Amish to join the Mennonites after the birth of their second son. He wrote his first work in the early twenties, a fictionalized version of his childhood in Central America. His second title was an Amish love story— Sarah. Since then Jerry has published over thirty fiction titles and sold nearly a million books.

Thomas Nye

Thomas Nye writes novels about Amish life, with a touch of romance, and a foundation of faith in Christ. He and his wife, Shari, live on her family farm where they raised five children. They have seven grandchildren and a team of draft horses. Thomas walks a mail route for the US Postal Service. It keeps him close to nature and affords many quiet hours in which to dream up novels. “Over three decades of friendships with Amish neighbors has revealed a simple wisdom that inspires my writing.” To find out more about Thomas Nye and his books, visit: amishhorses.blogspot.com

Murray Pura

Murray Pura has over twenty-four novels to his credit and, in addition, has published dozens of short stories, novellas, and poems along with numerous books of non-fiction. He has worked with Baker, Barbour, Zondervan, Harvest House, MillerWords, HarperCollins, Harlequin, Harper One and Elk Lake Publishing. His fiction has won or been shortlisted for a number of literary prizes. Pura has lived in the UK, the Middle East, the USA and Canada. He now makes his home in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta.

Amos Wyse

Amos Wyse was born in the Midwest. Spending a great deal of his youth around good, hard-working farmers, those who lived near them and worked with them. When writing, he keeps those people and the life lessons they taught close by.

More from The Men of Amish

The Amish Menorah and Other Stories was born out of a happy meeting between Patrick E. Craig and Thomas Nye at an Amish writers and readers event put on by Connie Spradling Lynch in Shipshewana, Indiana in 2019. Most of these readers did not know that there were several men who wrote Amish fiction. So Patrick and Tom decided to do something about that. After the conference, invitations went out to Murray Pura, Willard Carpenter, Jerry Eicher and Amos Wyse. Deb Haggerty at Elk Lake Publishers signed on and The Amish Menorah came to be.

Patrick E. Craig

As always, the six of us male authors of Amish fiction, have the goal of writing interesting and inspiring stories about Amish life. Collectively, our purpose in putting together The Amish Menorah, was to offer a sampling of Amish novellas written by men. There are only a few of us guys and dozens of women writing Amish novels. This book is an opportunity for readers of Amish fiction to sample six of our writing styles in one setting.

Thomas Nye

The Biblical description of a Menorah is a seven-flame lampstand. We like to think of our six stories in the Amish Menorah as six flames, each shining a unique light on Amish life. Our prayer is that you, our readers, will become that seventh flame as you join us by reading The Amish Menorah.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, October 5

CarpeDiem, October 5

Inklings and notions, October 6

Batya’s Bits, October 6

Connie’s History Classroom, October 7

Lighthouse Academy Blog, October 7 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

She Lives To Read, October 8

Maureen’s Musings, October 8

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 9

Older & Smarter?, October 10

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 10

Artistic Nobody, October 11 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Mary Hake, October 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 12

SusanLovesBooks, October 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 13

Captive Dreams Window, October 13

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 14

Simple Harvest Reads, October 14 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, October 15

lakesidelivingsite, October 15

deb’s Book Review, October 16

Bigreadersite, October 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 17

Blossoms and Blessings, October 17

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 18

Vicky Sluiter, October 18

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, The Men of Amish Fiction are giving away the grand prize package of copy of The Amish Menorah and Other Stories, a copy of Samson and Amish Delilah (by Thomas Nye), and an Amish coloring book designed for Amish children and sold in Amish stores!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/101d9/the-amish-menorah-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Englisch Daughter by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

My Review

I really enjoyed The Englisch Daughter, the most current book written by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall.

I recently read several Amish stories, but unlike those romances, The Englisch Daughter deals with starker, more realistic and sobering aspects of Amish life.

Jemima and Roy Graber are Old Order Amish. However, the issues they and other members of their extended family face are real-world crises. Misunderstandings and lack of discretion create a set of circumstances like a house of cards that begins to fall due to an incident of infidelity, anger, feelings of revenge and helplessness. The family also becomes embroiled in external events that include child abuse, mental illness, deceit and life-threatening situations.

As I read the story, I could empathize with the characters as they faced each set of occurrences through the lenses of their childhood and adult life. How many times as fallen and failing humans do we jump to erroneous conclusions, or harbor anger and revenge? Or, lacking role models or love as we grew, how often we choose crazy, foolish ideas and plans.

I appreciate the honesty and realness the Woodsmalls imparted into The Englisch Daughter, and I always look forward to reading more books they have written.

I received the book from Waterbrook Multnomah. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

A marriage is tested in this Old Order Amish novel of longing for renewed love and a path for forgiveness from the best-selling author of Gathering the Threads.

Old Order Amish wife and mother Jemima has put her marriage and family ahead of herself for years. She’s set herself aside. Raising four children, she’s followed all the rules and has been patient in looking forward to her time to chase a dream of her own.

But when she finds out that her life savings for pursuing that dream is gone–and her husband, Roy, has been hiding a child with another woman–her entire world is shattered. Will she be able to listen to God and love Roy’s child? With so much at stake, how can she and Roy fix their relationship before their lives come crashing down?

#Waterbrook Multnomah #Waterbrook Press #The Englisch Daughter by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

An Amish Picnic: Four Stories by Amy Clipston, Kelly Irvin, Kathleen Fuller and Vannetta Chapman

#NetGalley #An Amish Picnic: Four Stories by Amy Clipston, Kelly Irvin, Kathleen Fuller and Vannetta Chapman

A Christmas Haven by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

A Christmas Haven, a touching Christmas story, gives us a glimpse of the Zook family, one year after the story, The Christmas Remedy.

Ivy Zook, like most young people, is struggling with who she is and who she wants to be. It is a struggle that will touch a chord in almost everyone’s life. However, her dilemma is complicated by her being Old Order Amish.

Arlan and Magda Keim, brother and sister, land in Ivy’s area when running from an even stricter Amish group. Arlan knows his sister desperately needs help, and by helping her he violated so many rules he may not ever be able to return home. He already knows Magda cannot return home.

I enjoyed how the focus of the book was more on sibling/family love vs. romantic love. Not to fear though, there is some romance, too! Arlen’s love for Magda was heartwarmingly moving. In addition, Ivy’s conflict, which will affect her sister the most, demonstrated her deep love and affection for her sister, also.

A Christmas Haven illustrates the true meaning of Christmas. As each person struggles to reconcile faith, hopes and dreams, they begin to learn life lessons in honor, forgiveness, kindness and most of all, God’s love for them.

I received the book from Waterbrook Multnomah. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

For fans of holiday romances and Amish life comes a new Christmas tale of surprising expectations and discovering miracles.

Old Order Amish Ivy Zook is wrestling with her need to shed her community’s ways so she can grow the business of her dreams: planning parties. As long as she’s stuck living without modernization, she can barely get her business on its feet. But if she leaves too soon, she’d cause trouble for her sister, Holly, who is planning her wedding to Joshua Smucker. All of their plans become twice as complicated when an old car crashes into the storefront of Greene’s Pharmacy, carrying a Swartzentruber (ultra-conservative sect) Amish man, Arlan, and his very ill sister.

The Zooks take in Arlan and Madga, tending to the woman’s illness and Arlan begins helping around the family farm. Ivy and Arlan are on different tracks, one wanting to leave her community and the other to return to his. But both young people are trying to discover what God has in store for their futures and what miracles might lie around the corner this Christmas season.

Ellie’s Redemption by Molly Jebber on Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Title: Ellie’s Redemption

Author: Molly Jebber

Genre: Christian fiction, Amish

Release date: January 29, 2019

1912, Charm, Ohio

Ellie Graber is determined to restore her bad reputation in Charm, Ohio. She regrets leaving Amish life and the danger and heartache she caused her family and friends. Ellie loves working with Liza, and her best friend and cousin, Hannah, at Liza’s Amish Charm Bakery, attends church, and obeys Amish law, but the gossip about her past life won’t stop. Joel Wenger’s deep blue eyes tell her he cares for her, but she suspects his parents have warned him to stay away from her. Joel wants to trust Ellie’s changed but his sister, Maryann, who left Amish life broke their hearts. Will Joel ignore his parents and friends, face their anger and ridicule, and give her a chance?

Click here to purchase your copy!

Ellie’s Redemption by Molly Jebber deals with several matters within the Amish community in Charm, Ohio, in 1921. One she gives emphasis to is gossip. There are several verses in the Bible warning against gossiping (or talebearing). A few of those include:

Leviticus 19:16a King James Version (KJV) Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people…

Proverbs 11:13 (KJV) A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

Proverbs 20:19 (KJV) He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.

Ellie Graber struggles against feelings of inadequacies and self-worth. Ellie must stand strong when gossiping causes the mother of her friend, Joel Wenger, to not give them a chance. She portrays an attitude of forgiveness and kindness, even though others are not so kind to her.

The story is sweet and simple with many obstacles that need to be overcome. The main characters are easy to relate to, and they all grow in faith, forgiveness and understanding as a result of the problems they each face.

I love when the author includes a recipe, and there is one for oatmeal cookies in the book!

Ellie’s Redemption is Book 2 of The Amish Charm Bakery Series. Because I was sometimes confused, I feel I would have enjoyed the book more if I had read the first story.

I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

 

About the Author

Molly Jebber writes Amish Historical Romance. Her latest release, ELLIE’S REDEMPTION, is the second book in her Amish Charm Bakery Series. Molly’s books have been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today’s HEA, and Romantic Times. Her books have received widespread media attention throughout the US. Her books are sold in print and Ebook throughout the US and United Kingdom. She’s a touring speaker for Women’s Christian Connection, other women’s organizations, and she offers presentations on writing and the Amish. She says the most rewarding part about writing stories is meeting wonderful readers who become friends through social media and at her speaking events. Please visit her website: http://www.mollyjebber.com for a full list of her books (and options stores to buy them), speaking events and recipes.

She loves God, her family, and friends. She says yes to swimming, the beach, golf, and time with her family and friends, and no to coconut, onions, and skydiving!

Guest Post from Molly

Hi Friends!

Ellie likes newcomer Joel, and he’s the first Amish man to show interest since her return to Charm. She’s afraid when he learns of her rebellious past and the danger she brought to her family before turning her life around, he’ll end their courtship. Joel is frustrated his sister left Amish life before his family moved to Charm. He chooses not to tell Ellie about her, until he has no choice. What does the future hold for Ellie and Joel when their secrets are revealed?

Along with the story of Ellie’s Redemption are recipes!

Here’s one just for you!

Ellie’s Surprise Cookies

1 cup shortening 2 cups rolled oats (quick cook)

1 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon soda

1 ¼ cup brown sugar ½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon cinnamon 1 ½ cups chocolate chips

2 eggs 2 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt

Sift dry ingredients. Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Stir in dry ingredients. Add oatmeal, vanilla and chocolate chips. Dough will be crumbly. Spoon a teaspoon of dough at a time on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, January 29

Carpe Diem, January 29

Lighthouse Academy, January 30

Random Thoughts From a Bookworm, January 30

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 31

Splashes of Joy, January 31

Janices book reviews, January 31

A Baker’s Perspective, February 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 1

Bigreadersite, February 2

Mary Hake, February 2

Maureen’s Musings, February 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 3

EmpowerMoms, February 3

Inklings and Notions, February 4

Captive Dreams Window, February 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 5

Robin is Bookish, February 5

Texas Book-aholic, February 6

My Devotional Thoughts, February 6

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, February 7

SusanLovesBooks, February 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 8

For the Love of Books, February 8

Henry Happens, February 9

Blossoms and Blessings, February 9

Bibliophile Reviews, February 10

Connie’s History Classroom, February 10

Vicky Sluiter, February 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Molly is giving away a grand prize that includes an Amish doll, a handmade lap quilt (can be used as wall hanging), an Apple Pie recipe tea towel, a Blessings journal, a handmade quilted potholder, a $10 Amazon Card, Ellie’s Redemption Print Book, a mug, a 2019 Planner, pad and pen set, and a bookmark!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/da8b/ellie-s-redemption-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Seat by the Hearth (An Amish Homestead Novel Book 3) by Amy Clipston

My Review

A Seat by the Hearth, by Amy Clipston, introduces us to Priscilla Allgyer along with her six-year-old son, Ethan. Priscilla, having fled her Amish roots, feels she must return to the Amish and their way of life in order to protect herself and her child.

I loved Ethan. A precocious child who loves easily, Ethan is able to leap from an Englisher (non-Amish) lifestyle to Amish with no problems or qualms and is thrilled to be learning more about horses from a grandfather he never knew he had.

I enjoyed Mark Riehl’s character, too. He came across as a flighty, flirty “playboy” type. However, deep down inside he had a heart of gold and a huge protective streak.

Clipston deals with several tough subjects in sensitive, sympathetic and insightful ways. The issue of domestic abuse is never an easy one to address, whether in fiction or real life, yet with Clipston’s portrayal, we can more fully understand Priscilla’s dilemmas. The issues of shunning, fear, trust and faith all complicate Priscilla’s life.

As with all of her books, Clipston pulls you into the story and doesn’t let go. You are left thinking about the stories, long after you have finished the books.

I received this book from Zondervan through NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

#AseatByTheHearth #NetGalley

Publisher’s Summary

Priscilla Allgyer knows she cannot leave the past behind. But can love lead her toward the promise of healing?

Priscilla Allgyer left the community to escape the expectations of Amish life. Now, years later, she is forced to return—along with her six-year-old son—to the place she thought she’d left behind forever. Though once estranged from her family, Priscilla is welcomed by her mother, but her father is cold and strict. He allows Priscilla to stay with them provided she dresses plainly, confesses her sins, and agrees to marry within the community. Once again, she feels suffocated, trapped, and alone.

As Priscilla reluctantly completes her shunning, she catches the eye of Mark Riehl, a farmer with a playboy reputation. Wary of Mark, Priscilla barely gives him the time of day—while Mark, unused to being ignored by the women of Bird-in-Hand, won’t give up the pursuit of her friendship. Priscilla desperately needs a friend in Mark, even if she doesn’t realize it—and after Priscilla’s father and the bishop catch her and Mark in a compromising situation, their relationship becomes more complicated than ever.

As affection quietly grows between them, Priscilla struggles to open her heart and reveal the painful secrets of her past. As Mark works to earn her good faith, can they both learn the hard lessons of love and trust? And can two friends discover a happiness that only God himself could have designed? The third book in the Amish Homestead series, A Seat by the Hearth invites us back to the Lancaster community where friendships are forged, and love overcomes all.

#AseatByTheHearth #NetGalley

The Christmas Remedy by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

My Review

The Christmas Remedy by Cindy Woodsmall, and her daughter-in-law, Erin Woodsmall, is an exceptional Amish story. Greene’s Pharmacy, in the heart of Amish communities, is the focus of their story. Englishers (non-Amish) who own Greene’s Pharmacy, understand and help work around the Amish people’s reluctance to use prescription medicine.

Holly Zook convinces her bishop to allow her to complete school past the 8th grade and work toward a pharmacist degree, to help her community, with the understanding she quit work when she marries.

Joshua Smucker, an Amish man from a neighbor community, is drawn to Holly. However, she keeps him at arm’s distance as she wants to keep her job.

I enjoyed the story for many reasons. I learned a lot about how pharmacies function, the rules they must follow and consequences for non-adherence, and I rediscovered the magic of chickens that lay a variety of different colored eggs.

The people were authentic, and their stories plausible. Though the strictness of the Amish is sometimes hard to understand, I appreciate their adherence to their beliefs. It makes their willingness to deviate in compelling cases more admirable.

Although a novella, the story encompasses plenty of territory- suspense, complicity, romance and philanthropy.

The Christmas Remedy is a heartwarming story, with lots of winter and Christmas imagery providing an enjoyable way to spend time curled up with a blanket or afghan, something hot to drink (like Dr Pepper with a small splash of lemon juice!) and a few hours to absorb the charm of Christmas.

I received the book from the authors and WaterBrook Multnomah. However, I was under no obligation to post a review. #PRHpartner

Publisher’s Summary

When an Old Order Amish woman takes a job at a small-town pharmacy struggling to survive in a world of “big box” stores, her motive is to help her Plain community. But the advent of the holiday season brings an unusual mystery to the surface–and possibly love.

Twenty-four-year-old Holly Zook lives a unique life for a young Amish woman. Years ago, her bishop allowed her to continue her education and become the lead technician for Greene’s Pharmacy, an old-timey drugstore that looks out for the Amish community–a group largely without secure healthcare plans. She knows she can’t marry and hold onto her professional job. She’s Amish, and she can only have one or the other, so she spurns love and works toward addressing treatable diseases–like the one that claimed her father’s life.

As long as Holly continues to avoid Joshua Smucker, the one man who draws her like a warm hearth in winter, she should be fine. When something unexpected threatens Greene’s Pharmacy, Holly and Joshua must work together to unravel what’s happened and find the “missing” patient before the Board of Pharmacy shuts them down. As the snows of December arrive, with Christmas in the air, will Holly succumb to the generous spirit of the season?