The Blessing by Wanda E. Brunstetter

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The Blessing is book two in the Amish Cooking Class series written by Wanda E. Brunstetter. When the adoption of a baby falls through, Heidi Troyer decides to have another cooking class. Just like the first class, this one has a mixture of students who bring with them personal issues.

Nicole, a teenager that is now responsible for caring for her family has been given the cooking classes by her father. Nicole is failing in school due to all the family responsibilities. Bill is taking the class to learn different things to cook for his friends when they go hunting. He also works at the school Nicole goes to and wants to do something to help her without her knowing.

Allie was given the class as a gift from her policeman husband. Allie is questioning why her husband is having to work so much. He is very seldom home and now she sees him with a female officer.

Lisa is a caterer who is taking the class to learn new things to use in her catering business. Todd is a food critic who takes the class to write an article. He attends a reception Lisa caters and criticizes her food. They develop a friendship but Lisa refuses to let it become more due to Todd not being a Christian. Lance is a widower who enjoys the smells of Heidi’s home when he delivers her mail. He has left his brother stay with him for a while. When this does not work out, Lance arranges for his brother to rent an apartment from Lisa.

With the longing to have a family Heidi and her husband start going through the process of becoming foster parents.

I am really enjoying this series. I enjoy how Heidi gives the classes to have something to do as well as to help others. I like how the author uses the characters to help each other out with the personal struggles they are going through as well as how the students react to the Bible verses Heidi writes on the recipes. I like how the author uses a variety of backgrounds for the students. The story is like having several little stories built into one. I like that some of the characters from the first story are brought back to this one. For that reason it is important to read this series in order.

The theme of Heidi and her husband wanting and not being able to have a child is emotional. Yet they move forward and are open to options for having a family.

I especially enjoy the recipes and the discussion questions at the end the book.

I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys reading about the Amish and their lifestyle.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Series: Amish Cooking Class (Book 2)

318 pages

ISBN: 9781624167454

Publisher: Shiloh Run

To learn more about this author go to: http://wandabrunstetter.com/

To watch the book trailer go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGUleFWRFlM

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Amish-Cooking-Class-Wanda-Brunstetter/dp/1624167454

https://www.christianbook.com/the-blessing-2-wanda-brunstetter/9781624167454/pd/167452

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-blessing-wanda-e-brunstetter/1125925477?ean=9781624167454

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/brunstetter-wanda/amish-cooking-class-the-blessing/7021458.html

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The Promise of Breeze Hill by Pam Hillman

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The Promise of Breeze Hills, written by Pam Hillman, is set in Natchez, Mississippi in 1791. Connor O’Shea was indentured to a master craftsman who past away. He was to continue working to pay for passage for his brothers to come to the United States. He is being auctioned off and Isabella Bartholomew has purchased his papers.

The Bartholomew plantation has been struck by bad luck. The house caught fire along with their cotton fields. Her father was severely injured in the house fire. Shortly after, Isabella’s brother was killed by highwaymen.

Isabella is now responsible for the running of the family home. With the loss of the cotton, they were not able to keep on their employees and only a few have remained. Her family does not believe in having slaves and there are not enough employees to do all the work. Connor is to repair the house in exchange of the Bartholomew’s bringing his brothers to the area. Even though Connor reports to Mr. Bartholomew, he has to work with Isabella and at times this is a struggle as they both have feeling for each other that they are trying to ignore.

Connor finds out they have a sawmill as well. With the help of a few employees, he starts cutting trees to make lumber to rebuild the house. One day Pastor Horne and his family stop by and ask to work in exchange of a place to stay, as his wife is expecting another child. The entire Horne family pitch in to help, some working at the sawmill, some on the house and some in the fields.

As the family’s mourning period comes to an end, men from the surrounding area come to visit Isabella. A neighbor, Nolan Braxton, plans to marry her to get the plantation to carry out his business.

This is a good story. I enjoyed reading about the strength and determination that Isabella had to try to save her family’s home and plantation. As well as the sacrifice Connor is making to help bring all his brothers from Ireland. Connor also gives assistance to those he meets that are in need. He also finds little things Mr. Bartholomew can do to give him something to do besides sit in his room. I appreciate the faith that the characters have. Even though the family does not have extra to spare, they take on the pastor’s family.

This story is fast paced with mystery and suspense woven through out it. The romance is not so strong that it overwhelms the story. The story is so well written it is easy to imagine the storm as well as the dangers the characters face. There a a lot of characters, but they are well introduced and easy to follow. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading early American historical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing. This is my honest review.

406 pages

ISBN: 9781496415929

Publisher: Tyndale Fiction

To learn more about the author, go to: http://www.pamhillman.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/hillman-pam/the-promise-of-breeze-hill-a-natchez-trace-novel/7006107.html

https://www.amazon.com/Promise-Breeze-Natchez-Trace-Novel/dp/1496415922/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1501528837&sr=1-1&keywords=9781496415929

https://www.christianbook.com/the-promise-of-breeze-hill/pam-hillman/9781496415929/pd/415922?product_redirect=1&Ntt=9781496415929&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCG

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-promise-of-breeze-hill-pam-hillman/1125140315?ean=9781496415929

A Very Thankful Prayer written by Bonnie Rickner Jensen and illustrated by Natalia Moore

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I’m thankful for the seasons.

And I’m thankful God made fall.

But for His love that fills the earth.

I’m thankful most of all!”

A Very Thankful Prayer is written by Bonnie Rickner Jensen and illustrated by Natalia Moore. This is a cute hard cover board book written for young children. With adorable pictures of little animals, the author tells a story in poem of the different things the animals are thankful for. The animals are thankful for their warm clothing and cozy fire. They are thankful for the apples, pumpkins and the food the farmers grow. And they are thankful for their friends to play with and their family to spend time with and share bear hugs.

I just love Bonnie Rickner Jensen’s books. They are so fun to read to the young child. I enjoy how she writes a story that is easy for the child to understand. The pictures are so cute! The pictures have a wide variety of animals in them as well as things in nature to help the little one learn.

With just 24 pages this is the perfect length to hold a young child’s attention. The book is a good size for little ones to hold and the pages are nice and stiff so little ones can help turn pages. This would be a great book for a young child to teach them about fall and Thanksgiving.

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers. This is my honest review.

Series: A Time For Prayer

24 pages

ISBN: 9780718098834

Publisher: Tommy Nelson

Bonnie Ricken Jensen is a best selling author who has won awards for her books. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio and her favorite inspirations are her grandchildren, running and sunshine.

Natalia Moore studies illustration at Swansea University in Wales. She has illustrated many children’s books and is a teacher and author.

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Thankful-Prayer-Bonnie-Rickner-Jensen/dp/0718098838

https://www.christianbook.com/a-very-thankful-prayer/bonnie-jensen/9780718098834/pd/09883X?product_redirect=1&Ntt=9780718098834&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCG

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-very-thankful-prayer-bonnie-rickner-jensen/1125150179?ean=9780718098834

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/rickner-jensen-bon/very-thankful-prayer-aug/7005873.html

Walk Beside Me by Christine Handy

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Walk Beside Me by Christine Handy is a fictional story. Part of the story is based on the author’s experience while going through cancer treatment.

Willow Adair has what so many people want. She is a former model, who’s husband is very successful in his career. They have two children and live in a wealthy area in Columbus, Ohio. They vacation in Nantucket and own a second home in Miami. But – her husband travels a lot with his job. And her teen age daughter is rebellious and going to school out of town.

Willow has struggled with her health and has a routine colon surgery. A vein is cut during the surgery and she almost died. Even after the surgery she is still very sick, until she eventually goes to a specialist out of town and learns she needs to change her diet.

Willow injures her wrist and has a simple surgery for a torn ligament. While recovering she has a blood clot and then after the cast is removed her arm starts to hurt and swells. Her doctor insists nothing is wrong. Her husband accuses her of seeing more doctors than anyone. She eventually goes to a specialist out of town who tells her, she has a really bad infection that has destroyed her wrist. She will need to have it fused.

Before she has finished the treatment for her wrist, she is diagnosed with breast cancer. She has had it and is thinking of ending her life. When her friends find out, they gather around her and schedule for someone to be with her everyday while she goes through treatment.

This is a good, inspirational story. Once I started reading it, I wanted to keep reading it to find out how Willow progressed. This is a good story of friendship and reaching out to those in need. I enjoyed the part of her friends surrounding her with prayers and encouragement constantly. I hope fellow readers learn from Willow’s mistake and seek medical care when they think something is not right.

I have to give this book a 4 due to the language. I feel the message would have come across just as well, or even better, without the swear words. I also hope people realize this is fiction and don’t shrug off their medical concerns. I do think Willow should have thought more about her husband’s feelings and kept weekends for family without friends always there.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a good story. . Having gone through a very severe injury then cancer treatments I know you have to be your own health advocate. I wish the story had more of this to help those going through health struggles.

I received a copy of this book from the author. I have written an honest review.

424 pages

ISBN: 9780692638583

Publisher: Proper Press LLC

To read more about the author go to: http://www.christinehandy.com/

This book can be purchased at:

https://www.amazon.com/Walk-Beside-Me-Christine-Handy/dp/069263858X/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/walk-beside-me-christine-handy/1123915626?ean=9780692638583

Spur of the Moment Bride by Anne Greene

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With God’s help, perhaps getting married wouldn’t prove too awful.”

Spur of the Moment Bride is a novella written by Anne Greene. This story takes place in Wyoming in 1880. Abby Hollister has earned the reputation of being a heart breaker. Her father has now told her she must marry within a month or move out and and kiss her inheritance goodbye. She saw an add for a mail order bride and has decided to take the stage coach to Laramie to check out the man before she decides if she will marry him. She has a list of qualities she is wanting, the man must be poor, had to be ugly, had to be kind and older than her.

Stage coach driver Zach Tyler takes his job very seriously and feel he is responsible for his passengers until he gets them to their destination. He feel especially protective of Abby as she is the only woman passenger in an area where women are as scarce as a bird’s nest in a cockcoo clock. When the stage gets to Laramie, the men go crazy and start fighting over who will get Abby. Zach steps in and tries to help her but gets called on a duel instead. Zach is to face the fastest draw in the area, unless Abby is married before then. And even then Abby is not safe until she is with child.

This is a great funny little story, perfect for reading in one sitting. I really enjoyed the humor in the author’s writing. The story is written so well, it was easy to imagine the dust in the stage coach and the frustration Abby must have felt with the men traveling with her. This book would be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys American historical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from the author and Book Club Network. I have chosen to write this honest review.

102 pages

ISBN: 9781544638843

Publisher: Winged Publications

You can read more about the author and books she has written as: http://www.annegreeneauthor.com/

This book can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/Spur-Moment-Bride-Anne-Greene/dp/1544638841

Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson

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Beloved Hope is book two in the Heart of the Frontier series written by Tracie Peterson. This story takes place in Oregon City in 1850. Hope Flanagan was at the mission when it was raided by Cayuse Indians. She is now to be one of the witness to testify against the prisoners standing trial.

Lieutenant Lance Kenner is planning to leave the military and return to Louisiana to take over his family’s plantation and return to his legal work. One of his last military responsibilities to to make sure the prisoners are being treated fairly and to make sure nothing goes wrong at the trial.

After the prisoners are taken back to the jail, Hope goes to the jail to kill Tomahas, the man that abused her. Lance finds her and takes her home to the farm she lives with her sister’s and brother in law. This is just the beginning of the friendship between Lance and Hope. Lance takes a job working for Hope’s uncle to raise the fund to go home to Louisiana. While Hope finds peace tending the sheep and trying to heal from the abuse from Tomahas. Hope has a friendship with Lance that allows her to share what happened to her at the mission, something only her older sister knows.

I like this book, and this series so far. The story contains issues of rape and violence, which may bother some readers. The author has used these issues to bring across the message of healing, growing in faith and returning to God. The story also focuses on forgiveness when Alex and Lance realize they are connected by an incident in Louisiana. I especially like that the author continues the story of Grace and Alex. I really like this series and feel anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction will enjoy it.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany Publishers. This is my honest review.

Series: Hear of the Frontier (Book 2)

336 pages

ISBN: 9780764213281

Publisher: Bethany House

To learn more about the author visit: http://traciepetersonbooks.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

https://bakerbookhouse.com/products/beloved-hope-9780764213281

https://www.amazon.com/Beloved-Heart-Frontier-Tracie-Peterson/dp/0764213288

https://www.christianbook.com/beloved-hope-heart-of-the-frontier/tracie-peterson/9780764213281/pd/213282

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beloved-hope-tracie-peterson/1124824727?ean=9780764213281

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/peterson-tracie/beloved-hope-heart-of-the-frontier-2-softcover/6986979.html

The Whispering of the Willows by Tonya Jewel Blessing

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The Whispers of the Willows, written by Tonya Jewel Blessing, is set in the holler in the Appalachian Mountains during the 1920’s. This is a great story that shows some of the life situations of the area.

Ahab Ashby came home from the war injured and unable to work his hog farm. He also became a cold hurtful man and takes it out on his family. His wife allows him to hurt the children and make bad choices for them. Their oldest son has teamed up with the pastor’s son making moonshine. Their second son, Ernest, is the one that is tending the farm and pigs and helping his sisters. Once a girl graduates and is able to have a family, the parents find a husband for her and she spends the rest of her life having children and working very hard. Emerald Ashby is just fifteen years old and graduating from the eighth grade. Ahab has arranged for her to marry, Charlie, the pastor’s son. The day she graduates, Charlie rapes her and leaves her pregnant. When she reports this, her parents no longer want her, so she goes to live with Aunt Ada.

Under Ada’s care and teachings, Emie is able to move on with her life and work on healing from the abuse she has suffered. When Ada teaches Emie how to do a new thing, she teaches it with lessons from the Bible. Ada teaches Emie how to make baskets that she is able to sell. Ernest continues to watch out for Emie after she moves to Ada’s. He spends his night sleeping on the porch to protect her.

This is such a good story. There are topics in the story that are hard to read, such as the rape and abuse. This is a fast paced story with so many twists and turns in the story that it was hard for me to put down. I just wanted to keep reading to see how each difficult situation would be solved. I enjoyed the use of hymns in the story. I also enjoyed reading of the strength and generosity of Aunt Ada. Her love for others is very evident by her actions. I think this story would be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys reading stories based during the early 1900’s.

The publisher has a note in the book that this book is for mothers and daughters to use as a mutual reading experience. The book combines women’s issues, the events surrounding Emie and the community. The story shows how girls are set apart from boys and how this can affect women.

I received this book through the BookCrash blogging program. I have written an honest review.

396 pages

ISBN: 9780997162547

Publisher: Capture books

To learn more about the author go to: http://www.tonyajewelblessing.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Whispering-Willows-Tonya-Jewel-Blessing/dp/0997162546

https://www.christianbook.com/the-whispering-of-the-willows/tonya-blessing/9780997162547/pd/162543?event=

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-whispering-of-the-willows-tonya-jewel-blessing/1123380625?ean=9780997162547

A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren

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Don’t for a minute think that God has forgotten about you or doesn’t have your back. And don’t base God’s love or desire to help you on your opinion of yourself. Base it on who God says he is.”

A Matter of Trust is book three in the Montana Rescue series written by Susan May Warren. This book centers on PEAK Rescue team member Gage Watson. Gage was a champion backcountry snowboarder who was forced to end his career after a fan was killed while following Gage down Outlaw Mountain. Since then he has been working as a ski patrol in Montana.

While at Outlaw Mountain Gage met a fan, Ella Blair. Ella was part of the legal team working for the dead fan’s family. Now she has come to Montana to try to talk her brother, Ollie, out of dropping out of college to be a snowboarder. Ollie has been training and studying Gage’s videos. Now he and his friend are going to snowboard Gage’s route on Heaven’s Peak. When Ella finds out she insists Gage go after them and she insists she goes with him.

Ella has brought along her friend, Brette. Brette is a freelance writer that is out to get any good story she can. While Gage and Ella are on the mountain, Brette meets the rest of the PEAK Rescue team members and realizes there are hero stories for each of them.

This is a great action packed story that is full of suspense right from the beginning and continues to the end. The story keep me reading to see if the snowboarders would be able to make the jumps without getting hurt. And if they could beat the weather conditions to safety. One of the things I enjoyed most about this story was reconnecting with the PEAK Rescue team. I also liked the theme of forgiveness in the story. Gage struggled with forgiveness when he learns more about the incident that changed his career.

This is a contemporary Christian romance story written in such a way it could be enjoyed by anyone. Written by award winning author, I think anyone who enjoys reading contemporary stories will enjoy this story. I really like reading Warren’s stories and this series does not disappoint. While this is part of a series, and would be best read in order, it is not necessary as background is given from previous stories.

I am very thankful this story was available for review from Revell Publishing. This is my honest review.

Series: Montana Rescue (Book 3)

336 pages

ISBN: 9780800727451

Publisher: Revell

To learn more about the author go to: http://www.susanmaywarren.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/a-matter-of-trust/381291

https://www.christianbook.com/a-matter-of-trust-3/susan-warren/9780800727451/pd/727457

https://www.amazon.com/Matter-Trust-Montana-Rescue/dp/0800727452

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/may-warren-susan/matter-of-trust-montana-rescue-3/6987041.html

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-matter-of-trust-susan-may-warren/1124824712?ean=9780800727451

as well as Walmart and Target.

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring by Carrie Fancett Pagels

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Do whatever you believe is right.”

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring is written by Carrie Fancett Pagels. This is a nice story that takes on Mackinac Island in 1895. Years earlier Maude’s grandmother had made the stipulation that her family companies would pass down to her family. Even if their spouses ran the businesses, they would not inherit. Maude’s mother recently died, and now the running of the inn is to pass to Maude. Maude’s father does will not allow her to run the inn unless she is married. The man Maude is suppose to marry has just returned to the island with a wife. Maude secretly takes a job at another in to prove to her father she can run the inn. Her father plans to move off the island with her brother Jack, so Jack can prepare to run in the Olympics when he is old enough.

Ben Steffan has been sent to the island to get a newspaper story. He is working undercover to write a story about men who pursue wealthy women. One of the couples he is trying to get a story on is Maude’s intended. If he is able to do this he will receive a promotion.

This is a really fun story to read. I really enjoyed reading the mischief Jack managed to get into. The story is so well written I could see Jack flying off the bike, or running around the town getting into trouble. I felt sorry for how Maude’s father had worked hard all the years to run the family businesses and now he is left having to start a new life.

The story is fast paced and has a lot of characters. The characters are introduced in a way that it is easy to follow along with them. I enjoyed reading how Maude’s father was able to reconnect with a special childhood friend and that she was able to help Maude’s father understand things he never knew about. The story I think anyone who enjoys reading Christian historical romance stories will enjoy reading this story. The story also has some mystery written into it as well.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Series: My Heart Belongs

256 pages

ISBN-13: 9781683220886

Publisher: Barbour Books

To learn more about the author go to: http://www.carriefancettpagels.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

http://www.barbourbooks.com/product/My-Heart-Belongs-on-Mackinac-Island,14733.aspx?Tab=Books

https://www.amazon.com/My-Heart-Belongs-Mackinac-Island/dp/1683220889

https://www.christianbook.com/heart-belongs-mackinac-island-maudes-mooring/carrie-pagels/9781683220886/pd/220886

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/fancett-pagels-car/my-heart-belongs-on-mackinac-island-maudes-moori/6996564.html

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-heart-belongs-on-mackinac-island-carrie-fancett-pagels/1125314619?ean=9781683220886

as well as at Target and Walmart

Night Night, Train by Amy Parker, illustrated by Virginia Allyn

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God’s creation all around-

He cares for us, big and small.

We rest peacefully knowing that

His hands hold it all.

Night Night, Train is written by Amy Parker and illustrated by Virginia Allyn. This is an adorable little bedtime story using cute animals and a train to help relax little ones. The story follows a puppy family as they get their tickets and ride the train to Sleepytown on the night night train. They get their seats and have a yummy dinner. They read their favorite book and get ready for bed before saying their prayer and going to sleep.

I really like this book. I love Amy Parker’s stories for children. The illustrator of this book has done an awesome job with adorable colorful pictures that will get even a baby’s attention. I like that the little mouse and little red train are in many pictures so little ones can look for them. It is written for ages 3 to 5, but I feel any child that likes trains will enjoy this book.

This is an adorable little book, just perfect for the young child. With cute pictures and rhyming poems, it will help relax the little one to help them fall asleep. The size of this book is the perfect size for little ones to hold and with just 20 pages, the perfect length to read to them. The soft cover and hard pages are shiny and durable to last a long time and is easy to wipe off.

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers and have chosen to write this honest review.

Series: Night Night

20 Pages

ISBN: 9780718089320

Publisher: Tommy Nelson

To learn about the author and books she has written go to: http://www.amyparkerbooks.com/home.html

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.christianbook.com/night-train-amy-parker/9780718089320/pd/089321

http://www.thomasnelson.com/night-night-train

https://www.amazon.com/Night-Train-Amy-Parker/dp/0718089324

as well as Target and Barnes and Noble.