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?

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Firestorm by Laura Hilton-On Tour with Celebrate Lit (Spotlight)

About the Book

Title: Firestorm

Author: Laura Hilton

Genre: Christian Amish

Release Date: July, 2018

Bridget Behr and her family migrate from the bustling Amish community where she grew up in Ohio to the mostly unpopulated Upper Peninsula of Michigan after a stalker breaks into their home. While her father and brother try to find work in the area, the family is forced to reside in a borrowed RV until the house and barn are rebuilt. While Bridget is hoping for a fresh start, she’s afraid to trust anyone—even Gabriel, the overly-friendly Amish man who lives nearby. Bridget thinks he’s a flirt who serial dates and doesn’t even remember the girls’ names.

Due to not enough construction work in his Florida community
to keep him out of trouble, Gabriel Lapp has been sent to Michigan to work. His father is desperate for his son to settle down. When the family walks into Gabe’s home in the middle of a thunderstorm and he discovers their circumstances, he offers to help with construction. For Gabe, the beautiful girl he teasingly calls “the recluse” once he discovers she doesn’t attend youth events, confuses him like none other.

As Gabriel and Bridget grow closer, they realize there is more to a person than meets the eye. Just as Bridget is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding love, tragedy strikes. Now Bridget and her family must decide if they should move to another Amish community, or dare to fight for the future they’d hoped for in Mackinac County.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with over 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.

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.

Guest Post from Laura Hilton

I read a series of books a year or so ago by another Amish author who had set her books in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. As a Michigan native, I was curious, and I researched, but found nothing about Upper Peninsula Amish except a notation that one had tried and failed. So I contacted the author. She told me that she’d never been there, and her research had all been hearsay, so with that lack of firsthand knowledge and no trip to the Upper Peninsula planned, no trip to see for myself would be possible. At least at that time.

Then God intervened. My son who is in the United States Coast Guard was stationed in the Upper Peninsula this past summer (2017.) He saw the Amish driving around in their buggies. And he felt like a stalker as he followed one to see where he went and drove through the area. He even sent pictures. (Shhhh.)

Yes, there are Amish in the Upper Peninsula – at least at the time this book was written.

Okay, as a Michigan native, I used some terms that may not be familiar to non-Michiganders. A Yooper is someone who lives in the Upper Peninsula. A Troll is someone from the Lower Peninsula. A pastie is kind of like a Hot Pocket, except it’s a meat pie made with root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and rutabagas. They are so good. And the straits are the area of the Great Lakes connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

As for the wildfire, the earliest wildfire I could find any documentation on in the Upper Peninsula was in April. It is generally a snowy area — trust me. I lived near the Muskegon area and saw snow drifts in May. We sometimes had over six feet of snow on the ground at one time. So, to get the wildfire when I wanted/needed the wildfire I used artistic license. Yes, fires really happened in Michigan’s history. Just not in the month mentioned in the book.

I am attaching a meme about Michigan seasons. We’ll call the fire set in “fool’s spring.”

My son got married during the “third winter” this year. April 21 and there’s snow on the ground. He and his beautiful bride got married at a waterfall (Tahquamenon Falls) very near where the story is set.

Thanks for reading Firestorm!!

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 10

Blogging With Carol, July 10

Reading Is My SuperPower, July 11

Moments Dipped in Ink, July 11

The Avid Reader, July 12

Blossoms and Blessings, July 12

Texas Book-aholic, July 12

God’s Little Bookworm, July 13

Inklings and notions, July 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 13

Among the Reads, July 14

Because I said so- adventures in parenting, July 14

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, July 15

Random Thoughts From a Bookworm, July 15

A Reader’s Brain, July 16

Luv’N Lambert Life, July 16

Daysong Reflections, July 17

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 17

Janices book reviews, July 17

Inspiration Clothesline, July 18

lady ansel book blog, July 18

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 18

cherylbbookblog, July 19

Two Points of Interest, July 19

A Baker’s Perspective, July 19

Pause for Tales, July 20

Ashley’s bookshelf, July 20

amandainpa, July 21

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, July 21

Bigreadersite, July 21

proud to be an autism mom, July 22

Bibliophile Reviews, July 22

For The Love of Books, July 23

Pink Granny’s Journey, July 23

Little Homeschool on the Praire, July 23

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away:

Grand prize: Firefighter Puppet 9 (Melissa & Doug), Copies of Amish Firefighter and Firestorm by Laura Hilton.

First place prize of “I Love You to the Cross & Back” Mug (Gardenfire) & Firestorm by Laura Hilton!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cf87/firestorm-celebration-tour-giveaway

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

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)

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?

Joshua’s Mission

Josua's Mission

About Book

Joshua’s Mission is a new standalone novel in the Plain and Simple Miracles collection from popular author Vannetta Chapman. These stories of love and family and Amish community in Oklahoma tell of the miracles that can happen when lives are lived in service to God and to one another.

Joshua Kline travels from his farm in Oklahoma to offer aid to an Englisch town on the gulf coast of Texas after a category 4 hurricane has ravaged the area. He brings his brother with him, who needs a change of environment. The last thing he wants for Alton is another brush with the law. He is pleasantly surprised when he hears that Becca Troyer, the bishop’s granddaughter, plans on joining their team.

What will Joshua find when he arrives in Texas? A lack of electricity, certainly, which poses little problem for the Amish volunteers as they help restore order from destruction. But a budding romance? A call from God? And a possible healing of his relationship with Alton?

Joshua’s Mission is a story of love, forgiveness, and the grace of God that carries us through even the worst situations.

My Review

Vannetta Chapman’s, Joshua’s Mission is book two in her Plain and Simple Miracles series. It can, however, be read as a stand-alone.

Charlie Everman, a resident of Port Aransas, Texas, is helping his friend, who is like a daughter, and her children evacuate because of an impending hurricane. Charlie has promised he’ll be right behind Alice and her children, but unfortunately, stays too long helping other friends evacuate and is caught in the hurricane.

Joshua Kline is the oldest child in his family. His younger sibling, Alton, is ten years his junior. Joshua is steady, responsible and reliable – everything Alton is not. In fact, Joshua has to rescue his brother from trouble one more time and is encouraged by his family and their bishop to take Alton on a mission with him to help restore Port Aransas.

Becca Troyer, the granddaughter of the bishop, is encouraged by her family, including her grandfather, to go on a mission to help rebuild Port Aransas.

As the main characters grapple with rebuilding after the devastation of the hurricane, they also learn to trust each other and others in spite of their differences.

I haven’t read the first in the series, yet I didn’t feel lost while reading Joshua’s Mission. The story is different from most Amish stories, in that it focuses on both the Englishe (non-Amish) and the Amish in about equal measure.

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