Monday, August 14, 2017

Review: The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling


When Signe, her husband, Rune, and their three boys arrive in Minnesota from Norway to help a relative clear his land of lumber, they dream of owning their own farm and building a life in the New World. But Uncle Einar and Aunt Gird are hard, demanding people, and Signe and her family soon find themselves worked nearly to the bone in order to repay the cost of their voyage. At this rate, they will never have land or a life of their own.

Signe tries to trust God but struggles with anger and bitterness. She has left behind the only life she knew, and while it wasn't an easy life, it wasn't as hard as what she now faces. When a new addition to the family arrives, Signe begins to see how God has been watching over them throughout their ordeal. But after all that has happened, can she still believe in the promise of a bright future?

I'm giving this book 4.5 stars

1: I really was hoping that this would be another Blessing book. Instead it's a spin-off series starring Ingeborg's cousins. And it really was so awesome. I enjoyed it a lot. (After I got over my initial sadness ;) )

2: I love how this wasn't a romance. I mean, there was some romance between Signe and Rune but they are already married so it's not typical "boy meets girl" and I enjoyed the different plot. It was really refreshing.

3: Have you ever seen such a great turn around as Gerd had? She started out as my least favorite and ended as one of my favorites. Honestly, I just loved the characters.... or at least all but one. But he was great to aim your hate at....

4: It had a great ending and definitely made me want to read more. I can't wait for more in this series. I love Lauraine Snelling's books. They are so perfect. (Usually.... I mean obviously no one is perfect but... you knew what I meant.)

5: This book had suchhhh a great cover. I kept closing it so I could touch the cover. It's soooo beautiful.



I received this book through the Bethany House blogging program

Thursday, August 10, 2017

TBR Top 5 for August

1: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
2: Julia by Catherine Marshall
3: Meet the Austins by Madeleine L'Engle
4: Thick As Thieves by Susan K Marlow
5: Shadowed by Dani Pettrey

Got any other suggestions? Comment below!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

CelebrateLit Tour: Review: The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher


In a wild country, the true cost of love may be more than they can bear
Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans—but then she never had to. Not until the night she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she’s developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances.
Greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far?
Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.



I'm giving this book 4 stars.

1: It took me a little while to get into the book, but I really did enjoy it. The story was interesting, horrifying (at parts), funny, sad, and lovable by turns. I feel like this book hit a broad range of emotions.

2: I feel like all the characters were really good. There weren't really many characters that I didn't have a strong opinion on. Even characters who weren't in it that much still felt like a real part of the story.

3: The part about the Conestoga wagon and its creation was crazy cool, but the best part was the bit about the horse, how the Conestoga breed came about. (P.S. Don't assume based on the picture of the Conestoga wagon on the front that this is a "western expansion" book. It's not. Try 1763. I somehow made that mistake.)

4: If I had to pick a favorite character, I'd pick Felix or Anna, but my favorite POV was definitely Betsy.

5: I honestly, and I know this is going to sound really ignorant, but it's not like I look this stuff up or anything, but I honestly never thought about there being Amish people in America in 1763. It never occurred to me, and while I'd read stories about that time period before, it was really unique to see things from the Plain POV.


I received this book through CelebrateLit. All opinions are my very own!



About the Author

Fisher_SuzanneWoods (1)Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing and The Newcomer in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.



Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Three Sisters’ Garden: Corn, Squash & Beans!
Corn was a new food to the immigrants to the New World, introduced to them by Native Americans. Soon, it became an essential part of their daily diet, in one form or another. Growing it brought yet another new discovery: companion planting in the form of the Three Sisters’ Garden.
ThreeSistersGarden2According to Iroquois legend, corn, squash and beans were three inseparable sisters who only grew and thrived together. 18th century Native Americans wouldn’t have understood the science behind why companion planting worked, but they knew it did. Beans, like all legumes, have bacteria living on their roots that help them absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that plants can use. Corn, which requires a lot of nitrogen to grow, benefits from the legumes and provides a pole support for the beans to climb. Low growing squash leaves shade the soil and prevent weed growth. Their sharp and prickly leaves deter pests. This tradition, of planting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, became a sustainable system to provide long-term soil fertility among Native American tribes that farmed.
The wisdom of planting Three Sisters’ Garden was adopted by the immigrants, including our own Betsy Zook from The Return. Betsy learned of the technique while a captive among a tribe of Indians and later, after she had been returned to the Amish, shared her knowledge with Anna and Bairn.
ThreeSistersGardenHave you ever considered growing a Three Sisters’ garden? All you need is the right kind of seeds, a mound of dirt in a sunny spot, and to not forget to water. Mother Nature will do the rest.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award-winning author of novels about the Old Order Amish. Her interest in the Plain People began with her grandfather, who was raised as a Dunkard (German Baptist) on a farm in Pennsylvania. Suzanne loves to connect with readers! You can find her on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

Click here to purchase your copy.

This is an incredible giveaway!

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is doing an amazing giveaway from August 1 through 14! Check it out:
Four winners will receive one of the prizes below:
An Amish Gift Basket and a copy of The Return
Amish popcorn sampler and a copy of The Return
The Amish Beginning 3 book set series
One grand prize winner will receive:
An iPad Mini
You can enter at Suzanne’s website (http://suzannewoodsfisher.com/contests/) or on her Facebook page (http://gvwy.io/q1kb9u4)



Find more great reviews of this book at these blogs!

Blog Stops

August 1: Quiet Quilter
August 1: Remembrancy
August 2: Bigreadersite
August 3: Genesis 5020
August 3: Book by Book
August 4: Carpe Diem
August 7: Pause for Tales
August 7: Splashes of Joy
(You are here) August 8: Live.Love.Read.
August 9: Mary Hake
August 9: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)
August 11: The Power of Words
August 11: Karen Sue Hadley
August 12: Cafinated Reads
August 12: TinaTruelove
August 14: Vicky Sluiter
August 14: By The Book

I'd be happy to hear from you! Sound off in the comments!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Review: Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason

The real blurb.....

Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she's made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her—and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he's not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.
In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories—and the depths of the heart—Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley's past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won't quit.

I'm giving this book 5 stars....of course.

1: When I saw this book on the list of books to sign up for.... well I jumped on it so fast. Lynette Eason is one author that I have yet to read a book that doesn't keep me hopping, there's never a slow start. I mean, I haven't read all of them, for sure, but lots of them. I love her style.

2: By the end of chapter 3 I could hardly keep going the suspense was getting to me so much, and it's not even like there were THAT many bullets flying by then. I just really wanted them to find Haley/Aileen. (That's not a spoiler, not if you find out within five chapters.) And then when she did, I was just like woah.... what? And then... yeah I didn't figure out the end.

3: To see the change in heart that slowly but surely happens in Steven through the whole book, caused mainly by Haley, his mom, and the Holy Spirit,(Not necessarily in that order) was so sweet. Haley and Steven make such a cute couple too, and the teasing is too adorable.

4: I loved that there were more than one story-line, so that while one seemingly slows down (but it doesn't actually) the others fill in so that your head is spinning with the need to keep everyone safe. For goodness sake... they had the whole team of amazing deadly lady bodyguards out, and lots of them were on Haley's family.

5: The epilogue was (again) Great! Somehow, she just knows exactly how I need it to end. I'd think she was a mind reader if I didn't know better ;)

You can't tell that she's one of my favorite authors ever, can you? Oh, and the first chapter of her next book was at the end of this one, and now I don't know what to do with myself till January ;)


I received this book through the Revell blogging program.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August Update

So.... there's so much to say. I leave for college in a few weeks. Out-of-state college, in a town that seemed so much safer before I read Lynette Eason's Women Of Justice series ;) (Just kidding....mostly!) I've been writing and writing and storing up drafts and scheduling posts for weeks so that I won't have to abandon you guys this semester. Upcoming reviews include Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason, and a new Lauraine Snelling. August 8th I have a CelebrateLit tour happening, so be sure to stop by for that! Also, just a thanks for being awesome! Y'all are the best readers. Contact me anytime, I'm always checking for messages. This was a pretty short update, but I'm scurrying around trying to pull everything together here!


Oh my goodness!!!! Guess what I just found out last night! (Yes I am writing this at a different time from the other part) I'm going to be a big sister again in March. Good-bye oldest of five.... Hello oldest of six!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Review: Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall

I'm going to use the real blurb, cause there isn't any way for me to do this without spoiling everything. (Well, technically there is, but it takes to much thought for the state of mind I'm in right now.)

After three months of draus in da Welt, Ariana has returned to Summer Grove, the Old Order Amish community where she was raised for twenty years, and life with her Brenneman family.
Skylar Nash, the Englisch-raised young woman is working in Ariana’s cafĂ© while getting to know her birth family and their Plain way of life.
Skylar’s time in Summer Grove has changed her outlook, just as Ariana has grown to see her personal faith in God in a different light than the manner she was taught while growing up.
Both women will have to make decisions about their paths— and Ariana must decide what role her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, will play in her life.
 
Gathering the Threads is the third and final novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.


I'm giving this book 5 stars.

1: I feel like each book in this series gets better than the last, and this one was the best. (And the cleanest, not that there was bad stuff in the others, it's just the use of certain terms that I wouldn't. Mostly coming from Skylar, to be fair.)

2: Honestly, I enjoy Amish stories, but the Amish confuse me. They have a lot of things right, but so many things wrong. I think this book did a really great job of showing that, while still showing everything that was good about the Amish.

3: I really wished there was more of Brandi and Cameron in this book than there was. I mean, I know the series is called "The Amish of Summer Grove" but still.... But I was super excited that Cameron seemed to get along with the Amish side of Ari's family. And Nicholas seemed to be getting to be a better man, which was great. I love how Ari started calling Brandi and Nicholas Mom and Dad, and by the end (I'm not sure if this is a SPOILER or not but whatever....) Skylar was comfortable with Isaac and Lovina and called them Daed and Mamm... well technically I don't think she actually did call her Mamm, but I like to think she did.

4: Quinn and Berta and Ari had such a chemistry among them, in different ways between the characters, but I loved how they could work together to get problems solved.

5: Can we talk about the epilogue? I mean, I know we can't cause that would be super spoiler, but I was pretty taken aback. The good thing is that she touched on everyone, so that I wasn't wondering what was going on with half the characters. But I was so sad to see it end. I wasn't ready.


(Wow, number three really got a little long winded.....)


I received this book as part of participation in Cindy's launch team.

This book is on sale August 15, which is 2 weeks away. Hopefully this review is just in time to get you excited.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Review: To Everything a Season by Lauraine Snelling

Miriam is sent to Blessing to complete her nurses training, not to be attracted to Trygve. She needs to complete her training and get back to Chicago so she can care for her Mother and five younger siblings. Ingeborg is worried about Haakan, who is very weak after his most recent spell. Elizabeth is pregnant again and Astrid is trying to figure out how to keep both her sister-in-law and the baby safe and healthy. Lots of other things happen, but you'll just have to read the book.


I'm giving this book 4 stars.

1: All the emotions, from laughing out loud, (snuckling?), to crying, (I can't see out of my now salt-covered glasses) this book hits it all.

2: Manny and Haakan and Ingeborg. Add in a little bit of irrepressible Inga, and Manny didn't have a chance. I was so happy for him.

3: I see the point of the Anglican bit, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with it does it?

4: Honestly, I don't see how Gerald and Toby Valders managed to grow up so nice being stuck with parents like that! I'm not a fan..... although Hildegunn isn't 100% awful. Just...95% ;)

5: The ending led very much into wanting the next book. I can't wait to start it. (I've already read book 4 in this series... I never get them in order *eye roll* but I think book 4 is better than book 1)