Friday, November 4, 2016

Book Review: A Sister's Wish and An Amish Family Christmas



 
A Sister's Wish
In Shelley Shepard Gray's third book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a respectable young woman finds herself falling for an Amish man from the wrong side of the tracks.

Amelia Kinsinger is the perfect Amish woman---at least according to her neighbors. And while Amelia takes pride in her role as homemaker, she's also harboring a secret: She's been in love with bad boy Simon Hochstetler for as long as she can remember. Too bad he's about as far from "perfect" as an Amish man could get . . . but that's exactly why she's so drawn to him.

Life hasn't been kind to Simon. He ran away from an abusive home at fifteen and things went downhill from there. Eventually, Simon landed in prison. But the experience changed him. Now back in Charm as a grown man, he's determined to make a new life for himself and not think too much about his wild past . . . unless it pertains to Amelia.

He's loved Amelia for years. To him, she represents everything good and kind in the world. When he realizes that she returns his affections, he starts calling on her in secret, even though her older brother Lukas---who just happens to be Simon's best friend---has made it perfectly clear that Amelia deserves better. Simon disagrees and believes he's the only one who can truly make her happy. 

But when Amelia gets hurt, it sets off a chain of events that forces them to consider their future together---and face their past mistakes. There's a chance for love . . . but only if Simon dares to trust Amelia with the secrets of his past.

MY THOUGHTS
We all know people who are sheltered, people who have been hurt, and in this story Amelia is that person.  She has a sweet disposition which is quite good because she needs it with her family!  Simon, a good family friend, but is he good enough?  Everything comes to a halt, or maybe a whirlwind is a better way to describe it when Amelia has an unfortunate accident.  Enough fun, romance and every day drama to keep your interest, a fun read!

 

An Amish Family Christmas
In Shelley Shepard Gray's fourth book in her Charmed Amish Life series, an unlikely Amish romance reveals that Christmas is a time for family, miracles---and love


Ever since his father died in a tragic fire, Levi Kinsinger has felt adrift. Newly returned to Charm, Ohio, Levi is trying to fit into his old life, only to discover he seems to have outgrown it.
But when Julia, his young widowed neighbor, asks for his help with a Christmas project, Levi finds a sense of purpose for the first time in months. She and her daughter are new to Charm and could use a friend, a job Levi takes personally. Soon enough, friendship grows into attraction, but Levi can't help having doubts. There's something about Julia that doesn't ring quite true . . .
Like Levi, Julia Kemps has survived her fair share of hardships----but only by hiding the truth of her past. Being an unmarried mother in an Amish community was unthinkable. Feeling hopeless, Julia did the only thing she could do: she moved to a new town and pretended to be a widow. But meeting Levi, she's hopeful for the first time. Little by little, she begins to imagine telling him her darkest secret, and eventually . . . perhaps even sharing her life with him.
Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together . . . in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.

MY THOUGHTS 
This book was a bit different, 'fresh' compared to many of the Amish stories I have read, I enjoyed that!  Full of plenty of excitement and adventure to keep the pages turning.  Levi, he's a bit of a curiosity, people like to talk about him, every one knows him.  The opposite can be said about Julia, some wonder about her, if she's telling the truth and there are some fun turn of events that bring mystery to the story!


*I received both books from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review 

Use this link to enter:  https://promosimple.com/ps/a725
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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Christian's Hope

Christian’s HopeChristian’s Hope (Herald Press, October 2016)

When Christian Hochstetler returns to the Amish after seven years in captivity, he finds that many things have shifted.

Captured as a child during the French and Indian War, Christian has spent much of his life among Native Americans, who cared for him and taught him their ways. Now that Christian is home, his father wants him to settle back into their predictable Amish life of farming, and Christian’s budding friendship with Orpha Rupp beckons him to stay as well.

 Yet Christian feels restless, and he misses his adoptive Native American family—who raised him as their own son. When faced with a life-altering decision, will Christian choose the Amish identity that his father desires for him? Or will he depart from his family and faith community yet again?

Christian’s Hope tells the story of the younger brother of Joseph and son of Jacob, whom readers have come to love in the first two books in the Return to Northkill series. Based on actual events and written by a descendant of the Hochstetler family, Christian’s Hope brings the sweeping epic of the Return to Northkill series to a soul-stirring end.


MY THOUGHTS
This is the 3rd book in this series, for once I'm going to recommend reading the entire series, you will enjoy the book much more. This story is based on a historical truth, and it is an Amish story unlike any I have ever read before.

When reading about Amish, you don't generally think of Amish and Native American's in the same book, this is an entirely new aspect to the Amish, and I really enjoyed this book.  I have not read the first two books, and I was able to enjoy this story, but like I mentioned, it would have been much more enjoyable had I read the previous books.

Kudos to Ervin R. Stutzman for bringing up an entirely new Amish story line!


*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review.
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Monday, May 30, 2016

A Daughter's Dream and 5 book giveaway!

A Daughter’s Dream (Avon Inspire, May 2016)

A Daughter’s DreamA young teacher and farmer discover they have much in common, especially when it comes to healing old wounds from the past . . . and finding love in one another.

Rebecca Kinsinger has always dreamed of being a teacher. But when she’s given the opportunity she’s been waiting for at Charm Amish School, she’s dismayed to discover that teaching is hard work—work she’s afraid she’s not very good at.

That is, until Lilly Yoder joins the class. A thirteen-year old who’s just lost her parents, Lilly is in need of someone like Rebecca. For the first time since starting her new job, Rebecca feels a sense of purpose. But when she meets Lilly’s uncle, Jacob, his good looks and sweet, easy-going temperament are hard to ignore. How can she even entertain romantic thoughts of Jacob when his niece is her student?
Suddenly becoming Lily’s sole caregiver, Jacob Yoder never thought he’d be a single parent—or a farmer. Having been living in Florida as a carpenter, Jacob feels more at home wielding a hammer than a backhoe. The only bright spot in his life is Rebecca Kinsinger. As Lily and Rebecca develop a bond, Jacob’s fondness for the pretty teacher grows, too.

But when a fateful accident brings them together, Rebecca and Jacob must choose between duty and desire. Will they follow the path before them? Or set out to find true happiness . . . and true love?

My Thoughts
This was a fun read, there were times I found myself chuckling....like when Rebecca took over the classroom, or as I read other circumstances she found herself in.

Rebecca lives with her brother and his wife, their parents have passed away, their dad in a terrible work accident at the factory the family owns....should Rebecca keep working there, or follow her dreams?  That is the big question in this book.

Jacob finds himself a single parent after taking guardianship of his niece.  He moves from Florida to live with his parents...raising a young teen is definitely not his strong point!

This book kept me quite entertained, it was fun, fast paced and easy to read.  As always, Shelley Shepard Gray writes an interesting story line, clean, but yet, not preachy...a great read!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Litfuse Publicity Group.


 How would you like to win 5 new books?!!!  Click HERE to enter the giveaway!



Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Book Review: Favorite Flavors of Ireland

In honor of St. Patrick's Day tomorrow, I'm reviewing a wonderful cookbook of Margaret M Johnson! 


Favorite Flavors of Ireland invites readers, cooks, and armchair travelers alike on a nostalgic tour of one of Europe’s most beloved destinations. From her first visit in 1984, Margaret Johnson has forged an indelible bond with Ireland and Irish food, and she shares this unique relationship with you in her eleventh cookbook. You’ll find recipes that have become her favorites along with a few recent discoveries that are sure to please. The book brings home all the classics—Shepherd’s Pie, Bacon and Cabbage, Seafood Chowder, Bread and Butter Pudding—and provides an insightful look into the seasonal ingredients that shape the country’s cooking. With over 100 recipes and evocative photos that transport you to the Irish countryside, this colorful collection will awaken your senses to the delicious food of this warm and welcoming land and keep those Irish eyes smilin’ all through the year.


Margaret M. Johnson is author of ten cookbooks—Christmas Flavors of Ireland; Flavors of Ireland; The Irish Pub Cookbook; Irish Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles, and Fools; The Irish Spirit; The New Irish Table; The Irish Heritage Cookbook; Tea & Crumpets; Cooking With Irish Spirits; and Ireland: Grand Places, Glorious Food.

As a food and travel writer she has contributed to publications in both the U.S. and Ireland including Intermezzo Magazine; Cooking Light; Cara, the inflight magazine of Aer Lingus; Dublin’s Food & Wine Magazine; the Irish Echo newspaper; and to online sites such as thewildgeese.com, and irishabroad.com. She frequently appears at Irish food and cultural events, and when she’s not visiting her ancestral home in Ireland, she lives in Westhampton Beach, NY.

MY THOUGHTS

Let me just say, I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy this cookbook or not, I don't especially like to cook, but I do love to bake.  I was happily surprised at the content in this book.  The book takes you through all four seasons, and not only does it have recipes, but also beautiful photos of the Irish countryside and a little blurb about each season.

Come Spring you'll find Carrot Soup w/Bacon, yes please!  Wonderful sides, and delicious desserts such as Irish Cream Coffee Cake.  Summer will have you eating Nutty Brown Bread, Fish and Chips, and Blackberry Almond Cake.  Autumn brings Peppered Pork Loin Roast , Autumn Salad with apples and walnuts, and Marmalade Puddings.  Last but not least you can cozy up in the winter with Cranberry-Oat Bran Muffins, Burren Smoken Salmon on Potato Cakes and Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Hungry yet?

I have tried a few of the recipes and so far find them to be easy to read, easy to make and very well written...as well as quite delicious!  Ingredients are listed in US measurements as well at Metric.

So glad I tried this book, would make a beautiful gift!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Alison over at Ambassador International

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Book Review: Crafter's Market 2016





Turn your passion into a business with the second edition of Crafter's Market. Both a starting point and a research tool, this guide is your go-to resource to turning your love for crafting into a career.
 

You will love this book if:

  • You are looking to start or grow your craft business
  • You need advice on how to promote your business and locations to sell your products
  • You are an artist in jewelry, fiber, quilting, or paper art
Turn your passion into a business with the second edition of Crafter’s Market. Both a starting point and a research tool, this guide is your go-to resource to turning your love for crafting into a career. Enjoy articles from craft professionals providing insight, tips, and advice into business-related subjects such as branding, packaging, social media, publishing and copyright. A bulk of this 352 page book is filled with listings--names, contact information, company descriptions, submission guidelines and more--from companies and events that provide avenues for building and growing a craft business.

Order your copy of the 2016 Crafter’s Market to learn how to successfully build and grow your art business while avoiding common mistakes new business owners face.
In the 2016 Crafter’s Market you will find: 

  • Complete, up-to-date information for 1,000 craft market resources, including craft shows, magazines, book publishers, online marketplaces and more!
  • Markets for a variety of crafts, including quilting, sewing, knitting, crochet, papercrafting and jewelry making.
  • A FREE subscription to ArtistsMarketOnline.com, the best site to help you learn how & where to sell what you create
  • And much more!

You can buy the book HERE


SKU: T8644
Author/Speaker/Editor: Edited by Kerry Bogert
Format: Paperback
ISBN 13: 9781440244841
Number Of Pages: 352


MY THOUGHTS About the book:
If you have ever wondered about making money selling your crafts and designs this is a great 'go to' book.

It begins with the basics of staying on track, getting paid and copyright info.  From there you will read interviews and articles, getting tips on everything from pinterest, pricing and craft shows.

Also included are lists of shows, fairs, online marketplaces, publishers, magazines, retreats and online communities.


You will learn a lot from this book, you will not find cozy stories of success or ideas of items to make...definitely purchase this book if you're looking to get into the bigger market, this book is not really intended for the small school/church/etc. type of shows!

**I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Bethany over at Lifestyle, Craft and Design.


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Thursday, December 24, 2015

World Vision Winner!!

I'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!  I'm finished with my baking, my cooking, almost done cleaning, have a few beds to prepare and an apron and bow tie left to sew.  Within 5 hours my family will start arriving from out of town!  YIKES.

Thanks for all of the great entries to the giveaway, I enjoyed reading what everyone would like to donate....I'll start emailing you to collect your donations after Christmas.  JUST KIDDING!

......the WINNER is:

VICKI HOWES

Congratulations Vicki!


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Thursday, December 17, 2015

World Vision...and a giveaway!

Have you heard World Vision? They have 46,000 staff members World wide and are in nearly 100 countries! They integraterating lasting solutions to the root causes of poverty and sharing God’s hope for a brighter future.

There are several ways that you can help, here are just a few.....

Soccer Balls – Every parent knows one of the best feelings in the world is seeing a child’s face light up like the Christmas tree as they discover what’s been left for them by Santa. Donors can pass that same joy along to kids across the world with their gift of soccer balls, which replace makeshift balls made of banana leaves or rolled-up trash. The global popularity of soccer makes this gift a great way to reach out with a helping hand. $16 for two balls, $32 for four, $48 for six

Fruit Trees – Even with all the sweets and treats the holiday season brings, it’s important to remember nature’s candy—and not just for the figgy pudding! Donating five, ten, or fifteen fruit trees can help a family feed itself and start a business. The seed of this gift can blossom for years as a few trees turns into groves and orchards full of good, healthy fruit. Partridges not included. $30 for five trees, $60 for ten, $90 for fifteen


Goats – World Vision offers donors a variety of livestock to choose from, and goats are their most popular option. One goat is a valuable source of milk and fertilizer for a family. The milk provides children with easy-to-digest protein and calcium, and the fertilizer helps crops flourish. A gift of two goats sets a family on a path towards success as shepherds who can start their own flock. $75 for one, $150 for two

Career Training for Girls & Women – Empower a woman with this investment in skills training, business education, and, most importantly, hope. With opportunities in weaving, jewelry-making, baking, dairy farming, and more, this gift helps create the chance for mothers and daughters to take their future into their own hands. It’s like they always say: Give a woman a fish, and you feed her for a day. Teach a woman to fish, and you can change the world. $25-$125
World Vision also has an amazing Gift Catalog where you can purchase many different ways to give, or even buy a beautiful handcrafted item!

I was given a beautiful Turquiose Necklace, bracelet and earring set to review, and one of my lucky readers can win their very own set!

The photos truly do not give this Drops of Turquoise set justice. It was made by artisans in Delhi who are now able to support their family thanks to fair trade wages. The pieces are large, yet they are not cumbersome, heavy, or overly stated.  They truly are beautiful, and I feel honored to have been chosen for a review, and to wear this beautiful set.
Approximate size: 20" long
Nickel-free.


To order from World Vision’s Gift Catalog, call 855-WV-GIFTS or use the direct link below:

http://donate.worldvision.org/ways-to-give/gift-catalog?campaign=108929254I


****************************************************************

Now...how about on to the GIVEAWAY!!!
*First, there are a few rules.
 -Separate comment for each entry, with email address so you can be notified when you win!!!
 -Winner will have 24hrs to respond, or a new winner will be chosen.
 -USA only for this one
 -The lucky winner will be sent the entire set directly from the company.

HOW TO ENTER:
#1 Visit the World Vision Site and tell me how you would donate

#2  Follow World Vision on Facebook
#3  Follow World Vision on Twitter


That's all...keeping this short, sweet and simple 'cause I know you're all busy with Christmas right around the corner.  Now, what are you waiting for, hurry up and enter so you can win yourself this fabulous gift!

Oh!  I almost forgot...the giveaway will end at Midnight on Dec. 23rd!!  I will notify the lucky winner here on my blog as well as in an email on the 24th!

GOOD LUCK!!!
**I received these items in exchange for an honest review from Wilks Communications Group
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