The Amish Midwife’s Secret by Rachel J. Good on Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: The Amish Midwife’s Secret

Author: Rachel J. Good

Genre: Inspirational Amish Romance

Release Date: November 27, 2018

”A beautiful story of forgiveness and second chances.” -Shelley Shepard Gray, New York Times bestselling author

They won’t see eye-to-eye until they meet heart-to-heart…

Kyle Miller never planned on becoming a country doctor. But when he’s offered a medical practice in his sleepy hometown, Kyle knows he must return… and face the painful past he left behind. Except the Amish community isn’t quite ready for Kyle. Especially the pretty midwife who refuses to compromise her herbal cures and Amish traditions with his modern medicine…

The more Leah Stoltzfus works with the handsome Englisch doctor, the more she finds herself caught between the expectations of her family and her own hopes for the future. It will take one surprising revelation and one helpless baby in need of love to show Leah and Kyle that their bond may be greater than their differences… if Leah can find the courage to follow her heart.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Kyle Miller, who recently became a doctor, receives an unusual request from an old friend and doctor in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He agrees to extend a small favor. However, he never expected to be butting heads with the highly opinionated and noncertified Amish midwife, Leah Stoltzfus. The two clash over the use of modern medicine versus herbal remedies and both are thankful he’ll only be there a short time.

I enjoyed Rachel J. Good’s latest story, The Amish Midwife’s Secret. The story was well-paced and kept you turning the pages. Often, I guess a story’s ending long before I get there. However, there were so many interesting twists to this tale that I didn’t even try to guess the ending.

Good’s focus on the difficult aspects of life is compassionate and thoughtful. Her characters struggle with making hard decisions, facing shocking truths and accepting losses. I also appreciated the faith theme running throughout the book.

The Amish Midwife’s Secret is the second in the Love and Promises series, but it can be read as a standalone.

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

About the Author

Inspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. The author of several Amish romance series, she grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for many of her stories. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events.

Rachel’s Amish series include Sisters & Friends (Charisma House/Harlequin), Love & Promises (Grand Central), Hearts of Amish Country (Annie’s Book Club), and Surprised by Love as well as several anthologies—Springs of Love, Love’s Thankful Heart, Plain Everyday Heroes—and the Amish Quilts Coloring Books.

Guest Post from Rachel

The Amish and Herbal Remedies

As many of you know, my Amish novels are based on real life. I get ideas from hanging around Amish friends, hearing their stories and observing their lives. I’d never invade their privacy by telling their stories exactly as they happen, but the things I learn trigger plot ideas.

I’ve always been fascinated by the way the Amish approach healing. One thing I’ve learned is that, although they’re usually willing to visit doctors, they don’t always take the medicines that are prescribed. Instead, they often substitute herbal remedies. That, and several visits to one of my favorite Amish natural products stores gave me an idea for one of the conflicts in The Amish Midwife’s Secret.

Leah, an Amish midwife, prefers herbal remedies. Of course, that puts her in direct conflict with Kyle, the new Englisch doctor in town, who only believes in science and traditional medicine. Put the two together, and lots of sparks fly. Of course, some of those sparks are also of a romantic nature.

Leah is not only a midwife, but her family owns a natural products store. She knows the best herbs for healing. Rather than sending a small boy to the hospital for pneumonia, Leah covers the baby’s chest with a warm mixture of onions and other herbs and spices (some Amish friends prefer raw onion for congestion), and she feeds the baby fresh pineapple juice for his cough.

As a doctor, Kyle is horrified. He wants to admit the baby to a hospital at once. And he expects the old country doctor he’s replacing to back him up. Instead, Dr. Hess informs Kyle that many of the Amish go to doctors for a diagnosis but then rely on herbal treatments rather than prescriptions.

Kyle, who’s been debating about whether to stay in Amish country or move to a big-city hospital, decides to remain in Lancaster and make it his mission to prevent the Amish midwife from harming newborns and their mothers. He certainly doesn’t expect to have his eyes opened to other ways to handle illnesses. But he has to admit, Leah’s methods do seem to work. When a crisis comes, they soon discover that it takes both of them to save a baby.

~~~~~~

An extra little secret: Those of you who get my newsletter already know this, but Kyle in The Amish Midwife’s Secret appeared in two earlier books. The Midwife story stands alone, but if you want to know more about Kyle and Emma’s past, you can find it in the Sisters & Friends series, Book 1, Change of Heart, and Book 2, Buried Secrets.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, November 27

Christian Bookaholic, November 27

KarenSueHadleyNovember 27

The Avid Reader, November 28

A Baker’s Perspective, November 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 28

Genesis 5020, November 29

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 29

cherylbbookblog, November 29

Because I said so- adventures in parentingNovember 30

BigreadersiteNovember 30

Quiet Quilter, December 1

Blossoms and Blessings, December 1

Bibliophile Reviews, December 2

Britt Reads Fiction, December 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 3

Captive Dreams Window, December 3

Cafinated Reads, December 4

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd CornerDecember 4

Carpe Diem, December 4

Maureen’s Musings, December 5

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, December 5

Janices book reviewsDecember 6

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 7

For the Love of Literature, December 7

Inklings and notions, December 8

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 8

Moments, December 9

Random Thoughts From a Bookworm, December 9

Texas Book-aholic, December 9

Miss Tinas Amish Book Review, December 10

The Becca Files, December 10

Vicky Sluiter, December 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize package of two faceless Amish dolls and an autographed copy of The Amish Midwife’s Secret and Plain Everyday Heroes!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d66f/the-amish-midwife-s-secret-celebration-tour-giveaway

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Arms of Mercy (An Amish Mercies Novel) by Ruth Reid

My Review

Ruth Reid has written an atypical Amish story in the Arms of Mercy (book two of An Amish Mercies Novel.) However, I was not aware it was part of a series until writing my review, so obviously it can be read as a stand-alone.

Everyone expects Catherine Glick’s boyfriend of five years Zachariah Lantz, to propose to her on New Year’s Eve. However, when he doesn’t, she decides to accept her cousin’s invitation to help her in her bakery. Just one small problem-the bakery is in Florida, in addition, her old boyfriend surprises her by riding on the bus with her to Florida.

Reid writes a forceful story so full of sapience and acuity that you become immersed in it and the characters in the novel. I laughed, cried and cried some more, and was deeply edified by the many Biblical verses cited throughout the novel.

An enigmatic character lends optimism in a time of anguish and despair. God’s mercy, favor and compassion are richly illustrated.

It is hard to describe this literary work. It’s so different from what I expected and from most Amish tales that are labeled as Amish Romance. Parts of the book were challenging for me to read due to violence and several other tragic circumstances. Even though parts of the story are bleak, there is always a hint of promise.

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

Publisher’s Summary

He lost her once to a rash decision.

He will not lose her again.

On the eve of a new year, Catherine Glick is expecting her bu of five years to propose. Instead, the unexpected arrival of an old boyfriend, Elijah, sends her life spiraling out of control. When a rash decision damages her current relationship, Catherine leaves for Florida to work in her cousin’s bakery—anything to flee the source of her shame.

Elijah Graber knows he hurt Catherine when he left their Amish district six years ago. He’s determined to explain his actions, even if it means following her to Florida. Perhaps their two-day bus trip together will provide enough time for him to make his case and win her back.

Just when Elijah is starting to tear down the walls Catherine has built, their bus skids on an icy road—and amid the mayhem and tragedy that follow, Catherine disappears. Elijah’s friends urge him to prepare for the worst, but Elijah holds on to his hope in God and refuses to give up his search for Catherine. With supernatural nudging from the most unexpected places, Elijah sets out to find the love he once lost—no matter the cost.

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

Release Day for Amy Clipston’s Room on the Porch Swing!!!!

It’s RELEASE DAY for ROOM ON THE PORCH SWING!! Join Amy Clipston TONIGHT at 8 p.m. EST for a Facebook LIVE party! Amy will have a special guest! Join us!!

And Remember

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ROOM ON THE PORCH SWING (review)

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.

 

Runaway Romance by Miralee Ferrell

My Review

Miralee Ferrell’s book, Runaway Romance, is not only an interesting story about actors and actresses, but it’s going to be a movie on UP TV, too!

Ann Stanway thought life couldn’t be any better. She and the love of her life, Scott Adson, starred in the blockbuster reality show, Life with the Adsons. However, things aren’t as rosy as they seem, leaving her reeling. Hurt and confused she takes a trip to get away and ends up in a charming Amish community in Cave City, Kentucky.

The juxtaposition of a Hollywood lifestyle and an Amish way of living is striking. Ann’s turmoil over what was real and what her perception of reality was creates an intriguing dichotomy.  As she tries to navigate her way through a quagmire, some of her own making, she begins to realize her real problem is not being true to her faith.

The characters run the gamut from sweet and endearing to cruel and calculated, making you love some of them and be repulsed by others. The novel is well-written, and the characters well developed. The plot is unique and out of the ordinary, with not just romance, but a small touch of mystery, too.

I received Runaway Romance from the author. However, I was under no obligation to write a review.

Publisher’s Summary

When a reality TV star meets the reality of life, will it be her downfall or her salvation?

Ann Stanway had it all—a starring role in a reality show, an adoring boyfriend, and a sparkling future with limitless possibilities. Until the rules changed and the life she’d thought was real no longer existed. Leaving L.A. seems like her only option, and she lands in Kentucky at a quiet Amish inn—as far removed from her past as possible. Now she knows what was missing in her life–peace, true friendship and, dare she hope, a man who accepts her for who she is–or at least who he thinks she is.

Hunter Lewis is intrigued by the new woman staying at his friend’s Amish inn. Annie appears to be what she claims, but she’s secretive and won’t open up. He’s been burned by a woman before and can’t tolerate deception. But his interest in Annie is growing, and the attraction seems to be mutual—until something happens that makes Hunter question everything he’d thought was real. Dare he risk his heart, when he’s certain Annie is keeping secrets?

Can their new romance withstand the pressure, or will Ann choose to run again?