Plain Everyday Heroes by Laura V. Hilton, Rachel J. Good, Thomas Nye-On Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Title: Plain Everyday Heroes

Author: Laura V. Hilton, Rachel J. Good, Thomas Nye

Genre: Christian Amish

Release Date: July 4, 2018

Playing with Fire

Arie Zimmerman has been in love with Noah Behr from almost the moment they met, but after a devastating wildfire destroys the community, everything changes. Noah questions how a loving Gott could allow such things to happen. As Arie and her family struggle to rebuild their home and lives, Noah escapes to California to fight another off-season wildfire—and maybe find Gott in the process.

When Noah returns, he promises Arie the prize money if she will help him with a chili cook-off to fund the fire department. Of course, in order to spend more time with the girl he loves, he’s also willing to pitch in unloading the new furniture and animals her daed bought at an auction. He’ll even help Arie slice and dice vegetables if he can taste test the recipes.

More than just the kitchen heats up as they spend time together. But will Noah find a still missing Gott in the process and discover there’s more to life than what he initially believed?


An Unlikely Hero

Mysteries intrigue secondhand shop owner Benuel Miller. Although strangers may think a blind man would be easy to cheat, those who know Benuel realize he’s honed his other senses to pick up clues his eyes don’t see, making him a savvy business owner. When a stranger enters Benuel’s secondhand shop, the man is shocked by Benuel’s accurate assessment and unsolicited advice. Wary, he hopes Benuel won’t find out his true intentions, but the shopkeeper is already on the case.
Later, Mari and her twin sister, Frannie, stop in Benuel’s shop with Frannie’s three-year-old son, and Benuel senses trouble. His hunches have never led him astray, but is he misreading something here? He can’t help being drawn to Mari, yet is she as sweet and loving as she seems? Or is she hiding a deep, dark secret?
One explosive night when tragedy strikes, Benuel risks his life to find out the truth. Can he unmask the stranger from his shop to foil a sinister plot? And will what he discovers destroy his only chance for love?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Racing the Slow Girls

A recipe for fast-paced, comical, Amish adventure— Ingredients: Three fun-loving teenage boys on bicycles. Mix in an adorable little girl on a pony, a few spunky teenage girls, and a hint of romance. Directions: Place the characters in a beautiful setting, such as Holmes Co. Ohio. Roll in the boys on bikes. Stir up a few harsh words spoken carelessly. Add plenty of retaliation by the girls. Place in the heat of a family emergency until everyone is completely undone. Sit back and enjoy an Amish adventure with a cup of coffee.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Authors


Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New.

Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children.

When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.

Rachel J. Good is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming—Sisters & Friends, Love & Promises, and two books in the Hearts of Amish Country series—as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books and the contemporary novella, Angels Unaware, part of the Hope Chapel series. Visit Rachel at her website: www.racheljgood.com.

Thomas Nye writes novels about
horses and 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. Their six grandchildren love to visit Karma and Karla, a team of draft horses which Thomas purchased from an Amish friend.

Arie’s Habanero Chili

1 lb stew meat: venison, or beef

1/4 cup bacon bits

1/2 Onion, diced

Green pepper, diced

2 cans of habanero Rotel

1 can tomato sauce

1 can kidney beans

1 can pinto beans

1/2 cup sliced jalapenos

1 TSP cayenne pepper

3 TB chili powder

2 TB beef bouillon

1 TSP paprika

1 TSP pepper

2 TB garlic

Salt to taste

Saute onion and pepper, set aside. Sear stew meat in hot pan until brown. Do not overcook. Add meat and other ingredients to pot and simmer until done. Add water if necessary. Serve with cornbread. Approximately 7 servings

Recipe compliments of Michael Hilton (Laura’s son)

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, July 7

Among the Reads, July 7

Bibliophile Reviews, July 8

Random Thoughts From a Bookworm, July 8

Texas Book-aholic, July 9

Cherylbbookblog, July 9

proud to be an autism mom, July 10

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, July 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 11

Mary Hake, July 11

Janices book reviews, July 12

Blogging With Carol, July 12

Because I said so – Adventures in Parenting , July 13

Quiet Quilter, July 13

Reading Is My SuperPower, July 14

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 15

Carpe Diem, July 16

A Baker’s Perspective, July 17

Maureen’s MusingsJuly 18

Splashes of JoyJuly 18

Bigreadersite July 19

Luv’N Lambert LifeJuly 19

Pink Granny’s JourneyJuly 20

Blossoms and BlessingsJuly 20

Giveaway

To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit is giving away

Grand prize: a $25 Amazon gift card

1st – 4th place: eBook copy of Plain Everyday Heroes!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/d19d/plain-everyday-heroes-celebration-tour-giveaway

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The Amish Teacher’s Gift (Love and Promises Series Book 1) by Rachel J. Good and Giveaway!!

About the Book

Title: The Amish Teacher’s Gift, Book 1 of the Love & Promises Series

Author: Rachel J Good

Genre: Amish Romance

Release Date: April 24, 2018

Widower Josiah Yoder wants to be a good father. But it’s not easy with a deaf young son who doesn’t understand why his mamm isn’t coming home. At a loss, Josiah enrolls Nathan in a special-needs school and is relieved to see his son immediately comforted by his new teacher, a woman whose sweet charm and gentle smile just might be the balm they both need.

With seven siblings to care for, Ada Rupp wasn’t sure she wanted to take on teaching too. But the moment she holds Nathan in her arms, she realizes she’ll do all she can to help this lost little boy. Plus, it gives her a chance to spend more time with Josiah. Falling for a man in mourning may be against the rules, but his quiet strength is the support Ada never knew she needed. Yet with no time to court and a family secret holding her back, how can she allow herself to fall in love?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Rachel J. Good grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her Amish novels. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events. Rachel loves to travel and visit many different Amish communities.

Rachel is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – Sisters & Friends series, Love & Promises series, and two books in the Hearts of Amish Country series – as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books and the contemporary novella, Angels Unaware, part of the Hope Chapel series. In addition, she has stories in the anthologies Springs of Love and Love’s Thankful Heart.

She’d love to have you visit her website, or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and BookBub. Rachel also enjoys meeting readers and will be doing talks and book signings around the country this year. To find out more about Rachel and her books, you can sign up for her newsletter: http://bit.ly/1qwci4Q

Guest Post from Rachel J. Good

Heart-Tugging Research

Sometimes as an author, stories call to you and beg you to write them. This story first tugged at my heart after I spent time with an Amish friend’s special needs child. I thought about writing a book to show how the Amish treat each child as a gift from God. After meeting a hearing-impaired teen girl with Down’s syndrome and seeing how she was encouraged to live up to her potential, the idea grew stronger. This girl later became Martha in the book.

Then at an auction, I watched a young Down’s syndrome boy help the auctioneer by delivering the goods to the bidders. His straw hat tilted a little crookedly, but with a broad smile on his face, he carefully matched items with the correct bidder. He looked so proud of himself and proud to be able to do such an important job. I sat there at the auction and jotted notes for the novel.

Once I knew the topic of the novel, I began my research by visiting Amish schools for special needs, attending auctions to support them, and touring the Community Care Center, where Amish and Mennonite children and adults with special needs get amazing help. The young man in the wheelchair who showed us around was an awesome guide. We peeked into an exercise room, a therapy room, a craft room, several classrooms, a cafeteria, and my favorite—a multi-sensory environment. This room with dark walls lit only by a small row of twinkling Christmas lights had a ball pit (with the plastic balls like some fast food restaurants have in their play areas), a plush recliner, blankets, headphones, and a hammock. Autistic children at the center found this room a great calming atmosphere. I knew this room had to have a place in the book.

I visited a teacher who taught autistic children and learned a lot about programs, therapies, and teaching techniques. After learning the cutting edge techniques she used, I was surprised to realize that the Amish had adopted quite a few of them for their classrooms. I chose a hearing-impaired boy for the hero’s son because I had a nephew with hearing problems, so I could incorporate some of the struggles he had into the story.

I wanted this series to be about the healing power of love, so each book will deal with a different type of healing. When something touches my heart like this, I always pray it will touch the readers’ hearts too.

My Review

The Amish Teacher’s Gift is unusual in that there are few, if any, books about the Amish that focus on special needs children. An extraordinary amount of research obviously went into the subject based on the details represented from the children’s behavior to the types of equipment and methods family members and caregivers implemented to enhance their children’s lives.

Due to their mother’s death and other sad circumstances in her family, Ada Rupp, at 19, has full responsibility for her seven younger siblings, to include her brother who is deaf. In addition, she teaches a classroom of the special needs children in the community.

Josiah Yoder is still reeling from his wife’s death and can’t seem to get through to his son, who is also deaf and exhibits behavioral problems, too.

I admired Ada and her ability to manage seemingly overwhelming odds. I genuinely do not believe I could run a household with seven younger siblings, especially one without modern conveniences, and teach school all day, too. Not to mention the strict adherence to not working on Sundays and the amount of time spent in church, even if it is only every other Sunday.

My heart broke for Josiah. Not only did he lose his wife, but Nathan, his son, is inexplicably afraid of him, and everything Josiah does just seems to make the situation worse.

I noticed on Rachael J. Good’s website she had the tagline, “Heartfelt tales of faith, hope, and forgiveness.” She definitely covered those and more in The Amish Teacher’s Gift!

I received this book free through the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour and NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, May 8

Texas Book-aholic, May 8

The Avid Reader, May 9

Among the Reads, May 9

Reading Is My SuperPower, May 10

The Fizzy Pop Collection, May 10

Lighthouse Academy, May 10

Ansel book blog, May 11

Because I said so – and other adventures in parenting. , May 12

Bibliophile ReviewsMay 12

Splashes of JoyMay 12

books n baublesMay 13

A Baker’s PerspectiveMay 13

cherylbbookblogMay 14

Maureen’s MusingsMay 14

Captive Dreams WindowMay 14

Blossoms and BlessingsMay 15

Mary HakeMay 15

Janices book reviewsMay 15

D’S QUILTS & BOOKSMay 16

SusanLovesBooksMay 16

A Simply Enchanted LifeMay 17

proud to be an autism momMay 17

Jeanette’s ThoughtsMay 17

Debbie’s Dusty DeliberationsMay 18

Artistic NobodyMay 18 (Spotlight)

margaret kazmierczakMay 18 (Interview)

Quiet QuilterMay 19

Red Headed Book LadyMay 19

BigreadersiteMay 20

Christian Author, J.E.GraceMay 20

Simple Harvest ReadsMay 20 (Spotlight)

Pink Granny’s JourneyMay 21

Vicky SluiterMay 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize package of a tote, an autographed copy of The Amish Teacher’s Gift, and an autographed copy of Hearts Reunited!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

https://promosimple.com/ps/cee3/the-amish-teacher-s-gift-celebration-tour-giveaway

Room on the Porch Swing (An Amish Homestead Novel Book 2) by Amy Clipston

My Review

Oh, my! Amy Clipston gets the waterworks going in the first chapter, and it continues into the second chapter, so be sure to have your Kleenex ready. However, DON’T let this stop you from reading Room on the Porch Swing!

Clipston writes a story of tragedy with keen insights and observations. She brings just the right notes of loss, despair and healing to the novel.

I felt for each of the characters and their struggles; my heart especially broke for little baby Mollie. I cheered for some people, who exhibited kindness and compassion, and booed at others while wondering how they could be so blind, indifferent and callous.

I also relished seeing more of the individuals from A Place at Our Table, and even though Room on the Porch Swing is the second in the series, it works well as a standalone.

I have always enjoyed the books Amy Clipston writes. She doesn’t shy away from difficult, stressful situations and weaves wondrous tales of love, redemption and Biblical values without being didactic.

Room on the Porch Swing is Amy Clipston’s second novel in the Amish Homestead series.

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

(Update-I also received Room on the Porch Swing from The Fiction Guild recently.)

Publisher’s Summary

When tragedy strikes, can two young Amish people find the hope that lies on the other side?

Laura Riehl is no stranger to heartache. Less than a year after her mother’s death, Laura finds herself burying another loved one: her best friend, Savilla, who has died after a brief and sudden illness. Laura feels heartbroken and alone, but her pain is nothing compared to that of Allen, the husband Savilla has left behind. He now faces a life so different from the one he imagined—plus a baby to care for on his own.

When Laura offers to help Allen with baby Mollie, he jumps at the opportunity until a permanent solution can be found. She’d do anything to lend a hand to Allen and to honor her best friend’s memory. Rudy, Laura’s boyfriend, is initially supportive of her plan, but the more time Laura spends with Allen, the more jealous and frustrated Rudy seems to become.

As Laura and Allen face hardships together, their friendship takes a surprising yet comforting turn—and she discovers an attraction she’s never felt with Rudy. Would falling for Allen betray the people she cares about most, or would denying those feelings betray her heart? This latest installment in the Amish Homestead series returns us to Lancaster County, home of the beloved Riehls, where a family’s strength—and advice from a new friend—may help Laura find God’s direction.

Words from the Heart (An Amish Letters Novel #3) by Kathleen Fuller

My Review

Cevilla Schlabach, Noah Schlabach (Cevilla’s nephew) and Ivy Yoder are the three main characters in Kathleen Fuller’s 3rd installment of Amish Letters.

Ivy and Noah had both been hurt in the past and danced around the outskirts of friendship with each other. Cevilla had promised God she wouldn’t interfere, but she had a hard time keeping out of their budding friendship. I loved how she would look at the ceiling and sheepishly address God about keeping her nose out of their business.

I really enjoyed Cevilla; she was older, wiser, quirkier and just plain fun to get to know. However, her life had not been easy or without sacrifice. I enjoyed the way Cevilla brought Noah and Ivy together, and even though the story has a lot of depth to it, it was fun to read, too.

As with the other two books, Words from the Heart, can be a stand-alone novel. It was nice though, to be able to catch up with characters from the other two stories, Written in Love and The Promise of a Letter.

Kathleen Fuller’s stories all resonate with the love of God, healing, and restoration. She does a wonderful job of character development, leaving you eager to turn the page in order to know more about her endearing characters.

I received this book from the Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Her fingertips brushed against something else in the box of doilies. She lifted a bundle of letters, neatly tied with a thin red ribbon . . . Ivy Yoder hasn’t heard from John King in over a year. She knows it’s time to let go of the idea that they will one day marry, but she’s humiliated to be one of the oldest single women in her Amish community of Birch Creek. When quirky Cevilla Schlabach asks her to help clean out an attic, Ivy is grateful for the distraction. Noah Schlabach isn’t from Birch Creek, or even Ohio. His job as an auctioneer takes him around the country and away from a typical Amish life, but he still remains devoted to his family. So when his aging aunt asks him to help clean out her attic, he agrees. Plus, who knows what curious items he might find up there? As Noah and Ivy work side by side, they come across a different kind of treasure: a packet of letters written during the Korean War. Soon they are swept up in the story of two young people falling in love-even as they remain determined not to fall in love themselves. Words from the Heart is a moving story of lost love letters, fragile fears, and the beauty of taking another step forward.

Amish Cooking Class-The Celebration by Wanda E. Brunstetter

My Review

I enjoyed the third and final installment of the Amish Cooking Class series, The Celebration. The story was different in that Heidi Troyer, the cooking instructor, encouraged by her husband, decides to offer her cooking classes to children. This, indeed, makes sense because Heidi and Lyle are now foster parents to two adorable children, Marsha and Randy.

There are many things to like about The Celebration, and it is aptly named. However, there are many discordant notes, too. The book has a plethora of characters, necessitating LOTS of POVs which sometimes get confusing.  Five children and their parents attend the cooking class, along with Randy and Marsha. Later a family from Heidi’s neighborhood who enroll more children in the class. One child is beyond the point of being a spoiled brat, and quickly becomes tiresome, as does her mother, who seems initially to have no idea what to do! One situation really took me out of the story when Brunstetter referred to a mess a dog made in the front yard as “doggie doo-doo/doo-doo.” Heidi apologized to the child who stepped in it and explained the dog usually used the backyard as a bathroom. I felt these were strange word choices, and they didn’t seem to fit into the overall narrative.

The Celebration also uses Bible verses on the back of recipe cards as a teaching tool. I like how this was incorporated into all three stories. Also, there are recipes at the end of the book, just like the other two.

The Celebration can be a stand-alone, though I feel you will get more out of the novel if you read the series in order.

I read and reviewed the other two books in the series, The Seekers and The Blessing. https://captivedreamswindow.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/amish-cooking-class-the-seekers-by-wanda-brunstetter/

https://captivedreamswindow.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/the-blessing-book-2-of-the-amish-cooking-class-series-by-wanda-e-brunstetter/

I received this book from Barbour Publishing. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Return to Holmes County, Ohio, for Amish style cooking class.

Lyle and Heidi Troyer have taken in a brother and sister, who were orphaned when their parents were killed in a car accident. Hoping to help the children adapt and make friends, Heidi decides to hold a series of cooking classes for kids. But kids are always accompanied by an adult—and that is where the trouble arises.

Miranda Cooper is living the life of a single mom to her two kids while separated from her husband, but Trent is trying to worm his way back into her heart.

Denise McGuire’s life as a wife, mom, and real estate broker is full and spilling over.

Darren Keller, single dad and firefighter, and Ellen Blackburn, single mom and nurse, find a few things in common.

Will hearts be healed over plates of Amish food?

This is the third book in The Amish Cooking Class series.
Book #1:  The Amish Cooking Class – The Seekers
Book #2:  The Amish Cooking Class – The Blessing

Amish Sweethearts by Amy Clipston

My Review

First off, I have to say, that even though it admittedly took a while, I have now come to love novellas. I especially like when there’s a book of novellas by the same author. Having said that…

Amy Clipston’s book, Amish Sweethearts, is a book with four novellas. I appreciated the development of each story. Even though they are novellas, as a reader you won’t feel left with a lot of questions, left hanging or frustrated in a hurry up and finish pace as you reach the end. The only complaint (if you could really call it that) is I would like to know more about each character. However, I feel that way about almost every story I read, be it novella or novel.

A Home for Lindsay surprised me. There were situations depicted that I never realized were a part of the Amish community (no spoilers, so I won’t say what). I truly hurt for Matthew Glick and Lindsay Bedford, though I felt Matthew’s decision was a little impetuous. They were both thrust into a complicated, challenging situation.

I enjoyed Love and Buggy Rides because it dealt with tough issues such as obedience to your parents, plus acceptance of difficult situations just to name a couple. Throughout the story, I could relate to the struggles that Janie Lantz and Jonathan Stoltfutz faced.

In Where the Heart Is, Clipston portrays the cost of anger and poor decisions, along with their consequences for others. Tobias Smucker has a rough time, most of it caused by his own thoughtlessness. However, he is willing to do anything he can and needs to do to make the situation right.

Love Birds deals with much more profound issues. Ellie Lapp is coping with grief and loss. Lloyd Blank is dealing with frustration over his father’s behavior, and from a betrayal he would never have imagined.

Clipston’s familiarity with the Amish way of life shines through in each novella. She deftly weaves stories of love, redemption, hope and forgiveness throughout the entire book. If you are looking for something to read quickly, or you want something a little longer, you can’t go wrong with Amy Clipston’s Amish Sweethearts.

Each of the four stories brings back characters in earlier series, and two, Love and Buggy Rides and Love Birds, are also published in other anthologies.

I received this book from Fiction Guild and Amy Clipston as a member of her Bakery Bunch. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Love and Buggy Rides (previously published in An Amish Harvest)

Janie Lantz is a cashier at Lancaster Souvenirs and Buggy Rides, where Jonathan Stoltfuz is a buggy driver. A frightening accident brings Janie and Jonathan together in a blossoming friendship, yet daunting obstacles stand between them and something deeper. Can love kindle into flames that burn away fear and regret—and lead them to a life together?

A Home for Lindsay

From Amy Clipston’s beloved Kauffman Amish Bakery series comes Lindsay Bedford’s story. Lindsay is happily looking forward to the day she becomes Matthew Glick’s wife and is excited for the plans he has for the house he will build her. So, when Matthew suddenly calls off the wedding, she is blindsided. She knows there is more to the story than what he is telling her, but will he open up and let her in on his own heartbreak?

Where the Heart Is

Tobias Smucker is back home, and it’s no secret he and his father are still not on the best of terms. But what is surprising is that his little sister’s best friend, Mariella, has been harboring her own secret feelings for Tobias. With her help, he begins to unravel a family mystery and learns that everyone has their own hidden depths, including his father.

Love Birds (previously published in An Amish Market)

While Ellie Lapp and her mother are still mourning the loss of her brother, Seth, Ellie starts working at one of the gift shops in town. Seth’s friend Lloyd is talented at carving wooden birds, but his father disapproves and expects him to take over the family farm someday. Ellie sees the beauty in Lloyd’s creations and insists Lloyd sell the birds in the gift shop where she works. As Ellie and Lloyd spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, but she accidentally betrays his trust. Will she lose any hope of a future with him?

(Images from Pixabay, google and author’s books-some images i have enhanced)

A Place at Our Table (An Amish Homestead Novel) by Amy Clipston

My Review

Amy Clipston’s novel, A Place at Our Table, deals with heartbreaking family situations. Throughout the book, however, the characters seem real and relatable. I could see myself reacting in much the same way under similar circumstances.

Kayla Dienner is working hard to overcome grief from the loss of her oldest brother, who was a volunteer firefighter and died while fighting a fire. In addition, her boyfriend, for no apparent reason, broke off their relationship.

Jamie Riehl is a volunteer firefighter and workaholic. He feels responsibility for his family, and even though he has a brother and father, he takes on more and more of the farm work-leaving him exhausted because he only gets a scant few hours’ sleep a night. When tragedy strikes his family too, he takes on more of the burden of farm work and bears guilt for his part in the tragedy.

A Place at Our Table is an interesting book. Amy Clipston shows us a different side of Amish life by giving Jamie a firefighter role. However, some aspects of Kayla’s personality and character are frustrating for me. I want to see her as a sympathetic protagonist, but she comes across as overly clingy and needy. I needed to remind myself that she lost her brother to a fire and inexplicably lost her boyfriend’s love. She is reeling in pain. Then, while fighting the attraction, she finds herself falling in love with Jamie, a firefighter. He embodies both losses. It’s no wonder she petulant at times.

I’m looking forward to reading more of the Amish Homestead series. I’m excited to see who is featured and to learn more about Jamie and Kayla.

I received this book from Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Kayla Dienner has suffered her fair share of heartache, which is why she vows to protect her heart at all costs . . . until she meets Jamie Riehl.

Along with his volunteer work at the local fire department, running his Amish farm keeps Jamie Riehl busy. He barely has time to eat at the family table, never mind find someone to date. But when he meets Kayla Dienner, he is smitten.

Kayla tries hard to deny her attraction to Jamie. After all, she’s spent the last year discouraging her younger brother, Nathan, from becoming a firefighter. The death of their older brother in a fire a year ago is fresh in her mind—she can’t bear the idea of putting her heart on the line every time the sirens blare.

Then tragedy strikes, and Jamie wants to extinguish any flame between him and Kayla. Can Kayla set aside her own fears to save the love she was determined to deny?

The first book in the Amish Homestead series, A Place at Our Table invites us to a quiet community in Lancaster County where love burns brightly no matter the cost.

 

The Beloved Christmas Quilt: Three Stories of Family, Romance, and Amish Faith by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter and Richelle Brunstetter

My Review

I enjoyed how The Beloved Christmas Quilt mirrored three generations, just like the authors – grandmother, Wanda E. Brunstetter; her daughter-in-law, Jean; and granddaughter, Richelle. Each of the stories focuses on the Christmas quilt inscribed with the Bible verse, Psalm 31:3, “For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.” The quilt is initially given to the mother/grandmother and is then passed on to the eldest daughter in successive generations.

Amish stories are always fascinating to me. The traditions passed on, the values exhibited, their strong faith embraced and the non-traditional style of life preserved are inspirational. The three novellas highlight each of these qualities.

The Beloved Christmas Quilt is an enjoyable book to read. However, because it showcases three stories, the depth of development isn’t there, which tends to be a downfall for many novellas, unfortunately. There just isn’t enough time or words to truly tell a deeper story. Nonetheless, the stories focus on real-life situations and dilemmas, while using the verse on the quilt as a beacon of hope for each of the women.

I also appreciated the recipes included at the end of the stories. I can’t wait to try some of them out; they seem perfect for a Thanksgiving or Christmas treat!

I received this book from Barbour Publishing and NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Review

One Quilt Binds Three Generations of Amish Women

Enjoy the gift of a brand new romance from New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, along with stories by her daughter-in-law, Jean and granddaughter, Richelle.

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. Psalm 31:3
The scripture embroidered on the back of a beloved quilt brings hope to three generations of Pennsylvania Amish women at Christmastime.

Luella’s Promise
By Wanda E. Brunstetter
Luella Ebersol has been caregiver for a dying woman and her young son. When Dena Lapp gives Luella her favorite quilt, she makes Luella promise to pass it down to her daughter. But Luella isn’t sure she will ever marry if she can’t find someone with maturity and faith like Dena’s husband Atlee Zook.

Karen’s Gift
By Jean Brunstetter
Karen Allgyer and her husband moved to a slow-paced village to raise their children, but Karen longs for the closeness of family to help her through the challenges of managing three girls with one on the way. When life’s pressures rise, will Karen cave to her fears?

Roseanna’s Groom
By Richelle Lynn Brunstetter
When the unexpected happens on the day of her wedding, Roseanna Allgyer can’t help blaming herself, despite not understanding why. Then an old friend returns to town, and she battles feeling for him—afraid of being hurt again.

The Promise of a Letter (An Amish Letters Novel) by Kathleen Fuller

My Review

I think Leanna Chupp is my favorite character. She’s not your typical Amish which made her uniqueness even more pronounced. In fact, she’s not your typical female, especially in an Amish community. Leanna is 24, unmarried and has no plans or desire to marry; she works on machines better than most men do, abhors cooking and housekeeping (and isn’t good at either), lives alone and is six feet tall. The combination can sometimes be intimidating to the men in her community. I, like almost everyone in her community, really liked and cared about her.

As I read, I was heartbroken over the coldness of Daniel and Roman Raber’s parents, but thankful their grossmammi (grandmother) stepped in to fill the role of a loving relative. Nonetheless, neither young man felt genuinely loved, and Roman was continually running away from home, his life and God. Additionally, Barbara and Daniel’s story is so poignant that several times I was brought to tears.

Kathleen Fuller’s novel, The Promise of a Letter is a very different type of Amish fiction from most Amish stories. She deals with many issues people face, not only in the Amish community but also in the lives of non-Amish, too. The story is replete with themes of restoration, forgiveness and God’s grace. Furthermore, several tough issues are addressed- gossip, anger, bitterness and misunderstandings among family members. There are several others, but I don’t want to give any spoilers. Miss Fuller does an excellent job of showing the development and growth of her characters. It’s a pleasure to be taken along for the ride.

The Promise of a Letter is the second book in the An Amish Letters Novel series. However, it works well as a standalone.

I received this book from the Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

A letter brings him back to his Amish family. It will take someone truly extraordinary to make him stay.

Roman is on the verge of leaving the Amish ways. Feeling confined by the strict rules, he longs to do something more with his life. But when things don’t go as planned, Roman’s prospects outside of the community dwindle. Upon learning that his beloved grandmother has died and left a letter urging him to reconcile with his brother in Birch Creek, Roman decides to return home. But he doesn’t plan to stay for long.

Leanna Chupp has always made her own way in her small community of Birch Creek. Though some may call her unconventional—strange, even—Leanna is happy. Her unique outlook on life has meant she’s never had many suitors pursuing courtship, which Leanna doesn’t mind. She is content being single.

But when Roman and Leanna find themselves working together again, everything changes. Though neither fit squarely within the strictures of the Amish faith, their differences could be the very thing to help them form a deeper connection to their community and to each other. The question remains: will this strengthening bond be enough to make Roman stay for good?

An Amish Summer: Four Novellas by Shelley Shepard Gray, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller and Kelly Irvin

My Review

An Amish Summer is a wonderful collection of novellas by four well-known authors of Amish fiction. Each story focuses on difficulties encountered between prospective young couples.

They each teach a valuable lesson, and the plots vary greatly as does each lesson.

I think my favorite is One Sweet Kiss by Kelly Irvin. There is an interesting mixture of Amish on their rumspringa, Englishers, and devout Amish. The story has a very unusual twist, one you would not expect from a story about Amish. However, it makes the story more interesting and intriguing.

The individual novellas are appealing in different ways. Shelley Shepard Gray’s A Reunion in Pinecraft makes you wonder if the easily understood confusion between sisters Sharon and Sherilyn’s names can ever be straightened out. In Summer Storms, by Amy Clipston, we learn sacrifices are sometimes necessary to obey our parents, even when it seems unfair. Lakeside Love, by Kathleen Fuller, shows how outward appearances aren’t everything, and beauty only lasts for a season. In One Sweet Kiss, by Kelly Irvin, a very unusual plot gives way to a satisfying ending.

I received a copy of An Amish Summer from The Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to provide a review.

Publisher’s Summary

A Reunion in Pinecraft by Shelley Shepard Gray

When sisters Sharon and Sherilyn Kramer attend a wedding in Shipshewana, one of them returns with a new penpal while the other returns to her job at the bakery. After sending weekly letters back and forth, Sherry and Graham Holland arrange a reunion in Pinecraft. Upon Graham’s arrival, however, he realizes he’s been writing to the wrong sister. He decides to use the reunion as a way to get to know both sisters, but can he sort through the confusion in time to turn the worst vacation ever into something truly wonderful?

Summer Storms by Amy Clipston

Ariana is counting down the days until her wedding to Jesse. They have been friends longer than Arianna can remember, and that friendship turned into love over the past couple of years. But when Arianna’s brother Tobias, who happens to be Jesse’s best friend, gets them both into trouble, Arianna’s father puts an end to her engagement to Jesse. Some summer storms pass quickly, but Arianna is afraid the damage from this one may be too much to repair.

Lakeside Love by Kathleen Fuller

Esther has always lived in the shadow of her beautiful younger sister Sarah. Even the boy she has known—and loved—her entire life, Judah, only has eyes for Sarah. But when a handsome young Englischer comes to live with the family for a summer, everything begins to change.

One Sweet Kiss by Kelly Irvin

Everybody in little Bee County, Texas, can see the obvious: Jacob King and Martha Byler are meant to be together. Everyone, that is, but Martha. Ever since her mother died when Martha was a young girl, she has taken over the role of caregiver to her large family. And reckless Jacob, who has had a little too much fun on his rumspringa, only seems to add to the list of people to manage. But one summer changes everything, and these two may just find a way to meet in the middle and share one sweet kiss.