The Celebration by Wanda E. Brunstetter


The Celebration is book 3 in the Amish Cook Class series by Wanda E. Brunstetter. Lyle and Heidi Troyer are caring for two small children and Heidi is struggling with how to get them to interact with others. She decides to have a cooking class for children. Her class is made up of children from different backgrounds and ages, both boys and girls. Some of the parent are to involved with the children at the beginning but learn to relax and let their children do the cooking themselves.

A couple of things that stand out for me in this story are the different struggles the children have. The children come from all walks of life, wealthy, poor, single parent families as well as broken families. By the end of the classes they are learning to get along with each other. I like how when the new non-Amish family in the area lost their home, the community came together to help them.

While this story has a lot of characters, they are well written and easy to follow along with. By the end of the story they are interacting with each other, not just at the class. I think anyone who enjoys reading Amish stories will enjoy this book.

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 3)

310 pages

ISBN: 9781624167461

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

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Amish Sweethearts by Amy Clipston


Amish Sweethearts is a collection of four novellas written by Amy Clipston. Each story is around one hundred pages long, just the right length to get lost in for a short while. The stories are so well written it is easy to just jump right into them.

A Home for Lindsey– Matthew Glick has been busy building a house on his sister and brother-in-law farm for he and Lindsay to live in when they get married. Despite his sister and brother-in-law knowing they are going to lose the farm, they do not tell Matthew until just weeks before they have to move. Matthew tries to buy the land his house is on from the bank, and tries to get a loan to buy land, but he is denied. He feels he has no option but to move to Ohio and work with his cousin.

Lindsay knows something is bothering Matthew, but he refuses to talk with her about it. It is not until her friend asks her about it, that she knows. When she asks Matthew, he breaks off their engagement. He feels he they cannot be married because he cannot provide a home for her.

Love and Buggy Rides – Jonathan comes to Lancaster to visit his grandparents and gets offered a job to drive buggies and give tours. One day at the end of a tour, his buggy is rear ended. Janie, a new co-worker, witnesses the accident but does not have time to speak with the police when they are investigating. Her father has now forbidden her to get involved. He has even forbidden her to date Jonathan. When she finds out Jonathan and her boss are going to be sued for something not their fault she decided to talk with her boss.

Where The Heart Is – Tobias left home during the night without letting anyone know. He traveled to visit his uncle in Florida, who helped him get the treatment he needed for alcoholism. He has finished treatment and is now home to apologize to his father, his family and his community. His sister is getting married soon and her friend Mariella is helping with the dresses and decorations. Mariella has had feeling for Tobias for years, and he is now noticing she is more to him than her sister’s friend. With Mariella’s encouragement, Tobias is able to speak with his father and find out things his father has never shared.

Love Birds – Seth Lapp was killed by an accident at work and his mother and sister, Ellie, are now left to take care of themselves. Ellie takes a part time job working at a gift shop in town. The gift shop is losing money and needs new items to sell. Lloyd is overworked with running his family farm, as his father keeps reminding him, it will be his one day. He tries to help Ellie and her mother a couple days a week with their animals. And he carves birds as a way to relax. Ellie accidentally sees his shop while she is at his home for youth group and tries to get him to sell them at the shop. Lloyd does not want anyone to know about his carvings. But she talks to her boss anyways and ruins their budding relationship.

All four of the stories are good and easy to read. I feel anyone who enjoys reading Amish fiction will enjoy reading this book.

Please note: Love and Buggy Rides was also published in An Amish Harvest. Love Birds was also published in An Amish Market.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and BookLook Bloggers, this is my honest review.

369 pages

ISBN: 9780718091156

Publisher: Zondervan

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Beneath the Summer Sun by Kelly Irvin


Beneath the Summer Sun is book 2 in An Every Amish Season series by Kelly Irvin. This is a powerful story of surviving a loss of a husband and father. Jennie was stuck in an abusive marriage. When her husband died she felt guilty, as she wanted the abuse to stop so bad. Now, a few years later, she is trying to move forward. The traveling book salesman is interested in forming a relationship with her. He is not of the Amish faith. And Leo is ready to try again with Jennie. Years earlier Leo tried to have a friendship with Jennie, but the loss of his own father was too great.

In this story we catch up with the widows of the community that were introduced in book 1. The other widows watch out for Jennie and help her when she needs them. Bess is moving forward with her life and is soon to be married.

I enjoyed reading this story. The topic of living in an abusive relationship is not easy to read. The author has done a great job of touching lightly on the subject so we know the struggles Jennie and her family go through. We especially see how her son is affected. For me it is frustrating to know others knew Jennie was living through this but nothing is done to help her. This is a great story of faith. I especially enjoyed the support the widows show for each other.

I am really enjoying reading this series and am looking forward to reading the rest of the books. I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers. This is my honest review.

Series: An Every Amish Season (book 2)

357 pages

ISBN: 9780310348085

Publisher: Zondervan

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My review for the first book in the series “Upon a Spring Breeze” can be viewed at:

A Place At Our Table by Amy Clipston


A Place at our Table, by Amy Clipston, is the first book in her new An Amish Homestead series. This book is so good. It grabbed my attention right from the beginning and held it all the way to the end. The story is so well written and the characters so well defined, it feels like you are in the room with them.

Jamie is a volunteer fireman who responds to a barn fire at Kayla’s family farm. Kayla’s brother has gone into the barn to rescue the horses but gets hurt and can’t get out. Jamie and another fireman go in to help Nathan and the horses get out. Nathan quickly looks up to Jamie. Nathan’s older brother was a fireman who lost his life in a house fire and now Nathan wants to train to be a fireman.

Kayla’s family has a barn raising and Jamie’s mother and sisters come to help feed the men. The families find themselves quickly building friendships. A very short time after the barn raising, Jamie’s mother died in a freak accident. Jamie’s family is hurting and Kayla’s family is there to help them through this painful time.

This is a fast paced story that I found very hard to put down. I enjoyed how the author wrote a heart warming story of grief. The thing that stands out most for me in this story is how Jamie’s father felt. When his wife wanted to take a vacation, he always said he could not leave the farm. After her death he speaks with Jamie and confesses, Jamie and his brother could have handled the farm fine, but he didn’t want to admit they could do it without him. Jamie’s father also reminds Jamie that there is no guarantee there will be tomorrow, don’t wait to do things he dreamed off, don’t have regrets, live his life to the fullest.

This is such a good book. I think anyone who enjoys reading Amish stories will enjoy this story. This story is about two people growing their relationship. As well as a story of family, grief and faith.

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

Series: An Amish Homestead Novel

322 pages

ISBN: 9780310349013

Publisher: Zondervan

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The Beloved Christmas Quilt by Wanda, Jean and Richelle Brunstetter


The Beloved Christmas Quilt is a collection of three novellas that followed an Amish family through three generations of women.

Luella’s Promise by Wanda E. Brunstetter is the story of Luella. Luella was caring for Dena Zook and her family. Dena knew her life was coming to an end and gave Luella a quilt that her mother made her.

Karen’s Gift by Jean Brunstetter is the story of Karen, Luella’s daughter. Karen and her husband moved away from their families. Karen struggled with not having her family near her and turned to the Bible verse on the back of the quilt her mother past on to her.

Roseanna’s Groom by Richelle Brunstetter is the story of Roseanna, Karen’s daughter. Roseanna was ready to be married when her groom ran away from the wedding and from the area. Her old boyfriend came back to town and she struggled with her feelings for the two men. She went to stay with her grandparents. Her grandmother Luella shared a bible verse with her. “For thou are my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me” – Psalm 31.3

This is a very good book that follows three generations and shows us the faith and love they each have. While marriage and the gifting of the quilt are the main themes in this story, this is also a great story of family and the struggles they each go through and how they cling to their faith. I enjoyed how the stories flowed together. Knowing the stories were written by three different authors, I was able to pick up on the slight writing difference they have. I have enjoyed Wanda’s and Jean’s writings for years and hope this is just the beginning of Richelle’s writing career.

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

397 pages

ISBN: 9781683222255

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

Wanda E. Brunstetter is an award winning author of over 90 books. Her books are researched and written to accurately show the Amish way of life.

Jean Brunstetter is Wanda’s daughter-in-law became interested in the Amish way of life after visiting her father-in-law’s family. She likes to include some of the Amish simple traditions into her life.

Richelle Brunstetter is Jean’s daughter. She became interested in writing when she took a creative writing class in high school.

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An Amish Christmas Love – Four Novellas by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid and Kelly Irvin


An Amish Christmas Love is a book containing four novellas. Each of the stories is just under 90 pages long and contain the theme of love at Christmas.

Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman is a story of a family of ladies spanning three generations. Naomi has not allowed herself to get into a relationship due to the loss her mother and grandmother had when losing their husbands. The women have rented their daadi haus to three men .

The Christmas Cat, by Amy Clipston, is a story of Emma, who lost her husband in July after 45 years of marriage. A cat has chosen her home to go to and has taken over her husband’s chair. When Emma is not able to go to a neighbor’s home for dinner, the younger members take dinner to her.

In Snow Angel, by Kelly Irvin, David and Molly have been seeing each other for a year. David has not been able to move forward with the relationship, until his Englisch ex-girlfriend comes back to town and wants him back.

And Home for Christmas, by Ruth Reid, beings Englischer Ellie back home when she inherits her aunts home. She intends to get the home sold so she can go back to her Englisch life.

These are four very good short stories. The characters are remembering past loves. The stories are the perfect length to read in an evening. I enjoyed reading them all. I think anyone who enjoys Amish stories will enjoy this book.

A couple of things that stand out to me are:

In The Christmas Cat, one of the young ladies asked Emma how she made it through their struggles. Her response was “We just kept our faith in God and believed He would get us through somehow.” Emma’s husband had a feed store that went through financial struggles. And even though they wanted children, they were not able to have them.

In Home for Christmas, Ellie is looking through her aunt’s belongings and find a letter her aunt left Ellie in her journals. Her aunt wants her to find wealth of faith and the power of God in the pages of the journal. The journal contains not only things about her aunt but also the people she was praying for.

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

378 pages

ISBN: 9780529118707

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

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The Blessing by Wanda E. Brunstetter


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

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Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall

The voices in her head grew louder. One group said money was evil and poverty was God’s will, that made people rely on Him more. Another group shouted louder than the first, saying that it was not from the Enemy.Still more voices said that being poorly due to a lack of education. A dozen more camps were heard, and Ariana was powerless to sort them out. 

Gathering of Threads is the third and final book in The Amish of Summer Grove series written by Cindy Woodsmall. I really enjoyed reading this series, I consider it one of the best. To follow the story, the series needs to be read in order. This book finishes up the story extremely well. It answers all the questions I had while reading the series. Especially those surrounding Quill leaving five years earlier and why he and his brothers could not visit their mother. It explains some of the strict Old Order Amish rules and how they affect people. It also explains the history behind why the Brenneman family has struggled financially.

After sending several months living in the English world, Ariana returns home with so many options going through her mind. It just seems like everything she does upsets her father, boyfriend or the bishop. She is not allowed to work in her restaurant or go to help Quill’s mother like she use to. While she stays at home she is able to go over the restaurant books and when she is allowed to work there, she is able to expand the business. She also re-establishes her friendship with Quill and helps him with his volunteer work.

Skylar has been with the Brenneman’s while Ariana was gone and she has been able to get off of drugs. She has found her place in the family and working in the restaurant. She manipulates situations like getting new plumbing for the family and makes trouble for Ariana. As time goes on she decides to go back to school and help others.

I really enjoyed this book. It shows how the girls were able to learn from their experiences and rise above the difficulties. One of the points that I especially liked in the book was how the community came together to help correct the wrongs the bishop had done over the years to hurt Ariana and Quill’s families. The story contains enough romance for those who enjoy romance stories, but it is not overwhelming for those who do not. It also contains some suspense to keep the interest while reading. There were many times I did not want to put the book down.

I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah as part of the Cindy Woodsmall Launch Team. This is my honest review.

Series: The Amish of Summer Grove (Book 3)

352 pages

ISBN: 9781601427038

Publisher: WaterBrook Multnomah

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Since this book is not available until August, some places you can pre-order this book are:

Fraying at the Edge by Cindy Woodsmall


Fraying at the Edge, book 2 in The Amish of Summer Grove, written by Cindy Woodsmall is a must read! Ariana and Abram Brenneman and Skylar Nash were born twenty years ago. Ariana and Skylar were accidentally switched after their births. Ariana was raised in the Old Order Amish life style and Skylar was raised in the English life style without any regards to the Christian life and split her time between the people thought to be her mother and step-father and father and step-mother.

After one of the Brenneman’s son saw Skylar and noticed the strong resemblance to his sister, the family started an investigation. When it was found out that the girls were switched at birth, Nicholas, Ariana’s biological father insisted Ariana spend a year with them. If she didn’t he was going to file charges against the persons involved in the babies’ births. Skylar was given the option to go into rehab for drug abuse or go live with her Amish biological parents.

This is such a good book. It is so sad to see how the girls have been forced to leave the lives they grew up with and are now forced into new lifestyles that they know nothing about. And how will they feel after adjusting to their new lives, will they be able to go back to the life they grew up with? This is not the ordinary “simple” story that so many Amish stories are. We are given a glimpse into the feelings that some non-Christians have toward the Amish and their life style. This book is so well written it actually feels like two stories in one. I appreciate the strong faith Ariana clings to during this difficult time. Her strength comes out when she discusses religion with Nicholas, who does not believe in God. I also appreciate the love the Brenneman family gives to Skylar during her struggles.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Series: The Amish if Summer Grove (Book 2)

352 pages

ISBN-10: 1601427018

ISBN-13: 9781601427014

Published by WaterBrook

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Ties That Bind by Cindy Woodsmall



Ties That Bind is book 1 in The Amish of Summer Grove Series written by Cindy Woodsmall. Twenty years ago three babies were born at an Amish birthing center as a fire swept through the center. As Lovina was waiting for her baby to be born she embroidered baby’s feet on the baby blankets that her baby would be wrapped in. Lovina and Isaac had twins, a boy and a girl. While the young English girl had a baby girl. It has bothered Lovina for a long time that her little girl, Ariana, was not wrapped in the blanket she embroidered for her. She questioned this but was told the blankets got mixed up.

Ariana family was poor and her dream has been to open a restaurant to help raise money to help her family. She and her twin, Abram, have been saving for years and now they have just a very short time to come up with the rest of the money.

Five years earlier Ariana’s friend quill left the area with her friend. Ariana thought they had left and gotten married, but they didn’t. Quill’s mother is ill and Quill has sneaked back to visit her. Since Ariana helps his mother, she found out Quill was back. While they were visiting, Quill suggested she have a fun raiser to get the money for the restaurant.

Ariana’s other brother Mark is building stage pieces for a school play when he sees a girl that looks just like his other sister. He tells his parents and they have Quill investigate whether this could be their daughter and if the girls could have gotten switched at birth.

This young girl is Skylar Nash. She has been raised by her mother and step-father and father and step-mother. Her father is much older than her mother and was married at the time of her birth. They had an affair when her mother was young and though he would leave his wife for her. Skylar is a very talented actor and musician who struggles with drug addiction and keeping up with her classes.

This is the beginning of a great story that takes place both in the Amish and English world. It is not the typical simple Amish story. I really like how this story shows us rules that the Amish have and how it affects them. We see a young family that is considering leaving the Amish way of life. But we also see a big loving family that work together and help each other out and prays for each other.

Anyone who enjoys reading Amish will enjoy reading this book.

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

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