Naomi’s Hope by Jan Drexler

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Naomi’s Hope, written by Jan Drexler, is book 3 in the Journey to Pleasant Prairies series. The year is 1846 and Naomi Schrock and her family have settled in an Amish community in Indiana. A few years earlier, Naomi and her family stopped at a home that had been damaged by a storm. Inside they found a little boy, Davey, who had hidden in the fireplace. He is the only one who survived. Naomi adopted Davey and is raising him with the help of her family. Every year they celebrate his birthday by allowing him to look through a box they took from the house. Inside the box are items that belonged to Davey’s family, including the title to their property.

Davey is an energetic little boy and spends time walking to their new neighbor’s place. Their new neighbor, Cap, is a single man who lost his wife and child years earlier. Davey and Cap develop a relationship and Davey wants to pretend Cap is his father. With Davey visiting Cap frequently, Naomi also spends time with Cap. Naomi doesn’t feel any one would want her and Cap is still mourning his family. They develop a friendship but Naomi does not approve of Cap’s suggestions and opinions of how she raises Davey.

A new preacher moves to the area. Shep and Cap knew each other when they were younger and Cap is not fond of Shep. Shep has left his wife with her family, saying her health was not good. She shows up at his door one day when a young girl is visiting him. When Shep does not get chosen to be a preacher for the area, he convinces the other Amish community to separate. Shep also breaks into the Schrock home, taking papers from Davey’s box. On one of his travels and he meets a family that looks like Davey. He talks them into going back with him and pretending to be Davey’s family. They will take Davey away and also get the papers for his family’s property.

I really enjoyed this story. It is a nice blend of historical fiction and Amish fiction. While this book could be a stand alone story, reading the books in order will help the reader know other characters and events. While things happen that test the people’s strength, the message of faith and hope are very evident in this story. The story gives us some incite into the Amish life and life in general at the time. While this is an Amish romance story, it is also a story of family and community coming together and helping each other out. I believe anyone who enjoys reading Amish stories will love this series.

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

Series: Journey to Pleasant Prairie (Book 3)

384 pages

ISBN: 9780800726652

Publisher: Revell

To learn more about the author and books she has written go to: http://www.jandrexler.com/

Some places you can buy this book are:

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/naomi-s-hope/375610

https://www.amazon.com/Naomis-Hope-Journey-Pleasant-Prairie/dp/0800726650

https://www.christianbook.com/naomis-hope-3-jan-drexler/9780800726652/pd/726656

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/naomis-hope-jan-drexler/1124824713?ean=9781493407217

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/drexler-jan/naomis-hope-journey-to-pleasant-prairie-3/6987038.html

The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett

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The Road to Paradise, written by Karen Barnett, is book one in the Vintage National Park series. The story takes place in 1927 at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state. Margie Lane is the daughter of a senator and is trying to get away from her former fiance, Philip. She has a deep interest in Mount Rainier and is able to secure a position as a naturalist there. She thinks she has gone somewhere Philip will not think to look for her. Margie is put in a ranger’s cabin. The first night she is unable to get a fire going to heat the cabin and she also becomes away that she is sharing the cabin with a rat.

Chief Ranger Ford Brayden is not thrilled with having Margie at the park. He hopes that she will tire of being at the park and go home. But as he works with her, he sees her true interest in the park and asks for her help to catch up on his reports.

Shortly after Margie arrives at the park, a group comes to the park and Margie is asked to help with the activities. She dresses in a rangers uniform and gives a talk. She was not prepared for Philip to be there, nor was she expecting newspaper reporters.

Philip is determined to get Margie back. He has found out some private things about her father and is using that to get her father to go along with his plan. He plans to take over the park and with Margie’s help, turn it into a tourist attraction. If her father does not go along with Philips plan, his career and family will be destroyed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I enjoyed reading about the early years and the park systems at that time. The story is so well written is it easy to imagine Margie finding the rat while being cold in her room. It is easy to feel the tension she has as she crosses the water on the log and then the enjoyment she has when she finds plants she wants to preserve to use as educational tools for others. I enjoyed the suspense written in the story with waiting to see what was going to happen with Philip’s plans. I also enjoyed the humor that is written into the story. I especially enjoyed Margie’s thought that if men were like typewriters, she never master the art of controlling one. But the things that sticks out the most to me is Margie’s feeling about Philip and Ford. Philip is a Christian but he is cold and manipulative. Ford is not a believer but he is very kind and caring.

This is the first book written by Karen Barnett that I have read. She uses her experience as a naturalist, park ranger and outdoor educator to bring this story to life. I look forward to reading the rest of this series. I feel anyone who enjoys reading about our countries early development will really enjoy this story. It has just the right amount of suspense and romance to keep the reader interested.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books and I have written an honest review.

Series: Vintage National Park (Book 1)

352 Pages

ISBN: 9780735289543

Publisher: Waterbrook Press

Some places you can buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Road-Paradise-Vintage-National-Parks/dp/0735289549

https://www.christianbook.com/the-road-to-paradise-1/karen-barnett/9780735289543/pd/289543

An Amish Summer

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An Amish Summer is a compilation of four novellas written by Shelley Shepard Gray, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller and Kelly Irvin.

A Reunion in Pinecraft by Shelly Shepard Gray is a story of two sisters with very similar names that go to a wedding in Shipshewana and meet the same man. Sharon is healing from a broken relationship, while Sherilyn loves to write letters to people. After meeting Graham at the wedding, she writes to him. They plan a vacation to Pinecraft with their friends. Graham realizes that he thought he was writing to Sharon instead of Sherilyn

Summer Storms by Amy Clipston is a story of Arianna and Jesse, who are engaged to be married. When Arianna’s brother, Tobias, gets drunk he tries to race Jesse. Jesse send Arianna home and stays to help Tobias. When Tobias and Jesse get to the home, Tobias and his father get into another argument. As a result his father decides Arianna and Jesse are not to see each other anymore and the wedding is called off.

Lakeside Love by Kathleen Fuller is a story of an Amish family who have a tourist home and shop. They also hire Judah to help on the farm. Esther has had a crush on Judah, but he only sees her younger sister Sarah. When the family takes in an Englisher, Sarah flirts with him and Judah is able to see her true side.

One Sweet Kiss by Kelly Irvin is a story of Jacob and Martha. They both lost their mothers at a young age. Martha was left to take over caring for the family. While Jacob is reckless and likes to have fun in ways Martha does not approve. Both have feelings for each other but Martha does not approve of the things Jacob does with his friends.

The stories within this book are short, easy to read stories to lose yourself in. All of the stories are romance stories that have couple who need to move past obstacles. Summer Storms and One Sweet Kiss are stories of what one must do to show their love. Jesse goes out of his way to help Arianna’s father and Jacob gives up his recklessness to show Martha he can be dependable. While in A Reunion in Pinecraft and Lakeside Love the stories show how we have to look inside of ourselves and follow God’s direction in our lives. Graham had to made the decision to make a relationship with the gal he remembered from the wedding or the one he has been writing letters to. Judah has to move past his feeling for Sarah and see who she really is.

I enjoyed reading these stories. They are the perfect length to read in an evening. I think anyone who enjoys reading stories of the young Amish will really enjoy reading this book.

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

400 pages

ISBN: 9780718078843

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

To read more about the authors go to: www.shelleyshepardgray.com, http://amyclipston.com/, http://www.kathleenfuller.com/, http://www.kellyirvin.com/

Some places you can buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Amish-Summer-Four-Novellas/dp/0718078845

https://www.christianbook.com/an-amish-summer-four-novellas/shelley-gray/9780718078843/pd/078843

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/various/amish-summer-four-novellas-4-in-1/7005793.html

http://www.thomasnelson.com/an-amish-summer

The Farmer’s Market Mishap by Wanda E. Brunstetter and Jean Brunstetter

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The Farmer’s Market Mishap, written by Wanda and Jean Brunstetter, is a sequel to The Lopsided Christmas Cake. This is also a very good stand alone story.

Elma Hochstetler and her sister Thelma inherited their grandparents home and store. Thelma has recently married and is expecting her first child. Elma is now left in charge of the store and is living in her grandparent’s home alone. Thelma is only able to help at the store a little bit and their employee is moving. Elma has hired a new employee, but she is not much help as she spends a lot of time visiting. Elma is also left to deal with having to care for the home as well. There are many things that need repair. She calls in Delbert, a friend of Thelma’s husband to do the work. Thelma has decided that Elma and Delbert should get together and has many get together inviting both of them.

Elma, Thelma and her husband take part in the farmer’s market. While Thelma and her husband are looking around, Ben visits their table and visits with Elma. This is the start of a relationship between the two. But since they live 50 miles apart, visiting each other is hard. If they were to have a future together Ben would have to leave his mother and her farm or Elma would have to leave her twin sister and the store.

This is a wonderful little story. The story is so well written that it is easy to see Elma and Delbert are not meant to be together and I kept waiting to see if Elma and Ben could figure out how to move forward. Elma is kept so busy with the story, her animals, the house and her sister. I got tired just reading all that she accomplished.

This story will be greatly enjoyed by those who enjoy reading Amish stories. It is a good clean romance with a little mystery and suspense written in it.

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

Series: Lopsided Christmas Cake (Book 2)

208 pages

ISBN: 9781634099325

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

To read more about the authors go to:http://wandabrunstetter.com/ https://www.christianbook.com/page/fiction/fiction-authors/jean-brunstetter

Some places to buy this book are:

http://www.barbourbooks.com/product/Farmers-Market-Mishap,14729.aspx?Tab=Books

https://www.christianbook.com/farmers-market-mishap-sequel-lopsided-christmas/wanda-brunstetter/9781634099325/pd/099320

https://www.amazon.com/Farmers-Market-Mishap-Lopsided-Christmas/dp/163409932X

http://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-farmers-market-mishap-wanda-e-brunstetter/1125051918?ean=9781634099325?ean=9781634099325

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/brunstetter-wanda/the-farmers-market-mishap/6996348.html

To watch the book trailer go to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuhRTRNAg7I

The Divide by Jolina Petersheim

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The Divide, by Jolina Petersheim, is the second book and conclusion of the Alliance series. This is an awesome series. It was well worth the year wait to read the second book. Just like the first book in the series, this book has a lot of depth and twists and turns. I found myself staying up very late to find out what happens. The story is very well developed. We get to know more about the main characters as well as their background. One of the things that is stressed in this series is that violence is not God’s way so it is not the Mennonite’s way. But Leora has lived a life caring for and protecting those she loves. She wonders if she will have to choose between her family or her faith.

In book one, an attack destroyed the region’s power grid and changed the life for everyone. People fled their homes in search of food and shelter. The Old Order Mennonite community became under attack and the community fled to the mountains and built a new community.

Now in the new community they find food was very scarce. People got sick and many died. Bishop Lowell is killed by someone trying to get into the community and Jabil is now the Bishop. AS spring comes the community start gardening and moving toward the future. Leora is torn between clinging to her love for Moses and a life with Jabil. She accepts Jabil’s proposal but starts having doubts about being part of the community. Her brother has left the community to join the militia.

Members of the militia have manged to get an old airplane working and have located the Agricultural Resurgence Commission’s (ARC) camp. The ARC is going around forcing the people to join their group and work for them. Those who refuse are killed. Some members of the militia decide to take down the ARC.

I think anyone who enjoys reading about the Mennonite life will enjoy this story. As well as anyone who enjoys suspense and romance stories. However, this story does have a fair amount of violence and death

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Blog Network. I have chosen to write this honest review.

Series: The Alliance (book 2)

400 pages

ISBN: 9781496402226

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers

To learn more about the author and books she has written go to: http://www.jolinapetersheim.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.tyndale.com/search?q=9781496402226&f=3

https://www.amazon.com/Divide-Alliance-Jolina-Petersheim/dp/1496402227

https://www.christianbook.com/the-divide-jolina-petersheim/9781496402226/pd/402225

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/petersheim-jolina/the-divide-softcover-jun/7004533.html

Weaver’s Needle by Robin Caroll

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Weaver’s Needle, written by Robin Caroll, is a Christian fiction story that is filled with suspense with a touch of romance. This is the first book I have read by this author and really enjoyed the story very much. The story is very well written with very well introduced characters. Landry’s faith is very strong and she relies on her relationship with God. Nickolai questions his faith and his beliefs in God. The story also touches on the religious beliefs of the Apache Indians.

While the main part of the story is about finding the map, we are also pulled into the search to find out who murderer is. We are also introduced to native culture of the area.

Bartholomew Winslet purchased the Dutchman’s Lost Gold Mine map. While taking it to safekeeping he was murdered. His wife has asked Landry Parker and Nickolai Baptiste to find the map for her. Only the person who returns to map to her will receive the $50,000 payment.

Landry is former military and a recovery specialist that is trying to keep her father’s legacy going. She needs the job for the income. Nickolai was shot while on duty as a police officer. He is now considered one of the best recovery specialist. The search for the map takes them to Weaver’s Needle in Arizona where the map is based on.

While in Arizona, Laundry and Nickolai are being targeted. The secretly start working together. The story show us how they have to put their distrust of each other aside and work together.

This is a great story, I think anyone who likes a good mystery will enjoy reading this story.

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

320 Pages

ISBN: 9781634099943

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

To learn more about this author visit her website at: http://www.robincaroll.com/

Some places you can buy this book are:

http://www.barbourbooks.com/product/Weavers-Needle,14720.aspx?Tab=Books&sj=287

https://www.amazon.com/Weavers-Needle-Robin-Caroll/dp/163409994X

https://www.christianbook.com/weavers-needle-robin-caroll/9781634099943/pd/099941

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/caroll-robin/weavers-needle-jun/6996349.html

A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd

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Things happen in life we cannot understand. We can only do our best and seek God’s guidance and move forward the best we are able.”

A Stranger at Fellsworth, by Sarah E. Ladd, is book three in A Treasures of Surrey series.

Annabelle Thorley’s parents have died and with the passing of her father, rumors of his financial status cause her fiance to break off the engagement. She is left living with her brother and sister-in-law in London. Her brother keeps reminding her of the situation and has told her she must marry a man she does not want to.

One night after a party, the man she is suppose to marry treats her badly. When she gets away from him, her brother also treats her badly. When she gets to her room she decides her only option is to run away. She has an uncle she has only seen once and decides to go to him for help. She convinces her lady’s maid to run off with her.

Earlier in the day Annabelle met Owen Locke, the gamekeeper and assistant to the owner of Bancroft Park. He is staying at her brothers home to assist his employer on the trip. Annabelle asks him to help her get to Fellsworth. Owen is from Fellsworth and friends with her uncle and helps her get to him.

Annabelle’s uncle assigns her to be a junior teacher at the school he runs. Annabelle has not worked before and finds teaching a challenge. One of her students is Owen’s daughter, Hannah. Hannah does not like it at school. One day after some girls are mean to her, Hannah tries to go home. She steps in a trap and gets hurt. Everyone at the school is looking for her and Annabelle takes a trail Hannah told her about, finds her and takes her home.

This is a very heart warming story. The author does a great job of introducing the characters and providing details of the story. I was able to envision the homes and school as well as the rough terrain and woods. And I could just feel the brown silk of Owen’s late wife’s gown. Based in England in the early 1800’s, the story shows us how the different classes of people lived. The wealthy were tutored while the poor sent their children away to a school and seldom saw them, to allow them a chance to get an education and learn a trade.

Even though this is Christian Fiction, it does not stand out and is not preachy. One of the parts of the story that stands out for me is that as a young girl, Annabelle went to church with her mother. With her mother’s passing the family no longer attended church. Now Annabelle does not have peace like Owen and questions her faith.

Being book three in the series, it is also a stand alone novel. I have not read the first two and was able to totally enjoy this book. I especially like that the story was fast moving with suspense written into the story. I would not consider this a romance novel, but there is just a touch of romance in the story as well. I feel anyone who enjoys reading historical stories based in England will truly enjoy this story.

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

Series: A Treasures of Surrey Novel (Book 3)

336 pages

ISBN: 9780718011857

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

You can read more about the author and books she has written at: http://sarahladd.com/

Some places you can buy this book are:

http://www.thomasnelson.com/a-stranger-at-fellsworth

https://www.amazon.com/Stranger-Fellsworth-Treasures-Surrey-Novel/dp/0718011856

https://www.christianbook.com/a-stranger-at-fellsworth-3/sarah-ladd/9780718011857/pd/011857

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-stranger-at-fellsworth-sarah-e-ladd/1123948844?ean=9780718011857

 

My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela’s Quandary – by Susan Page Davis

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My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela’s Quandary, written by Susan Page Davis, is a stand alone book in the My Heart Belongs series. The story takes place in the mid 1800’s in the Arizona territory.

As a young girl, Carmela Wade was traveling with her family in a wagon train when many of them got sick and died. Carmela was left an orphan. Her uncle becomes her guardian and forces her to travel around telling stories of being a survivor of an Indian kidnapping. He uncle makes her study up on Indian history to make her story more realistic. He also uses ink to put an Indian marking on her face. When Carmela does not want to do this anymore, her uncle tells her she has to. She has to do it to make the money he father supposedly owed her uncle before he died.

One day Carmela and her uncle are traveling to another city on a stagecoach when the stage is attacked. Carmela, US Marshal Freeland McKay and his prisoner are taken off the stage. Her uncle is injured and is taken with the stagecoach along with the money it is carrying. McKay is knocked out and his handcuffed prisoner forces Carmela to unlock the cuffs. The prisoner then cuffs Carmela to McKay. They are left to walk to the nearest stagecoach station to get help.

This is a quick read story to curl up with on a lazy day. It is a historical Christian romance story but it also has a lot of mystery. I admire the strength Carmela has to finally stand up to her uncle and put a stop to the lies. She also tries to help a young girl who actually was taken by the Indians and returned. Carmela is so sorry for the life she and her uncle have been living, she announces in church the wrongs they have done. This is a nice story with the theme of forgiveness at the end.

I think anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction, especially those with romance and suspense 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: My Heart Belongs

256 pages

ISBN:9781683220077

Publisher: Barbour Publishing

You can learn more about the author and books she has published at: http://susanpagedavis.com/

Some places you can buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Belongs-Superstition-Mountains-Carmela%C2%92s/dp/1683220072

https://www.christianbook.com/heart-belongs-superstition-mountains-carmelas-quandary/susan-davis/9781683220077/pd/220077

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-heart-belongs-in-the-superstition-mountains-susan-page-davis/1125317838?ean=9781683220077

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/page-davis-susan/my-heart-belongs-in-the-superstition-mountains/6919075.html

Bees in the Butterfly Garden by Maureen Lang

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Bees in the Butterfly Garden is book 1 in A Guilded Legacy Novel series written by Maureen Lang.

John Davenport took his daughter Meg to an exclusive boarding school when she was very young. She stayed at the school all the time and didn’t see her father. Unknown to her, he attending some o f her school functions.

Meg was lead to believe that her father was a wealthy businessman, but instead he was one of the most talented thieves. It is only when Meg goes home for her father’s funeral does she find out what her father really was. John did not want Meg to find out what type of man he was. But John’s girlfriend felt Meg had a right to know. John has been mentoring Ian Maquire sine he was a teenager and has trusted Ian to care for Meg.

Meg has decided she is going to follow in her father’s foot steps. She contacts a former friend, Claire Pemberton, from the school and plans to go visit for the summer and remake their garden. Under this pretense, Meg finds out where their family keeps their gold and makes a plan with Ian to steel it.

This is historical Christian romance story with a little bit of mystery mixed in. The part I especially liked in the story is how the Jesus on the cross picture covering the trap door lever attracts everyone’s attention. Despite having Christian upbringing Meg and Ian have turned away from it and now plan a life of crime. I also like the way the Pemberton family holds prayer time every morning that included their servants. As well as how the Pemberton children take advantage of their parents being gone for the summer and give temporary raises to the servants and give them a party in the park.

This is a good story to get lost in. It’s a good story to show that even bad criminals can turn their back on crimes and seek God instead.

Series: Guilded Legacy Novel (Book 1)

407 pages

ISBN: 9781414364469

Publisher: Tyndale Fiction

To read more about the author and books she has written visit: http://maureenlang.com/

Some places you can buy this book are:

https://www.tyndale.com/p/bees-in-the-butterfly-garden/9781414364469

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bees-in-the-butterfly-garden-maureen-lang/1107872875

https://www.christianbook.com/bees-the-butterfly-garden-gilded-legacy/maureen-lang/9781414364469/pd/364469?event=

https://www.amazon.com/Bees-Butterfly-Garden-Gilded-Legacy/dp/1414364466

All in Good Time by Maureen Lang

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All in Good Time is a historical Christian romance written by Maureen Lang. The story is based in the late 1800’s in Colorado. As a young man Henry Hawkins single highhandedly robbed stagecoaches. His goal was to get enough money to make a good life. He is now the most successful banker in Denver. In his employ is his uncle Tobias.

Before Dessa’s friend past away she had a dream of opening a home for prostitutes who wanted to turn their lives around. Now Dessa Caldwell wants to fulfill that dream. She has gotten donations from churches and stores but still needs a substantial amount to buy the house. She met with Tobias to get the loan. Tobias convinces Henry to give her the loan. Dessa gets the house cleaned up quickly but does not get any girls to come. The original plan was to have the girls that came to the house make items that could be sold to help pay expenses. Dessa was forced to seek out other ways to finance the home.

This is a good historical Christian romance story. The author gives the background to the characters as she introduces them to make them easy to follow. The story is slower moving and allows Henry’s faith to grow and the friendship between Henry and Dessa to develop over time.

The part of the story that I enjoyed the most is how the church and community came together to help Dessa establish Pierson House. I think anyone who enjoys reading historical romances will enjoy this story.

Series: A Guilded Legacy Novel (Book 2)

380 pages

ISBN: 9781414364476

Publisher: Tyndale Fiction

To read more about the author and books she has written visit: http://maureenlang.com/

Some places you can buy this book are:

https://www.tyndale.com/p/all-in-good-time/9781414364476

https://www.amazon.com/All-Good-Time-Gilded-Legacy/dp/1414364474

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/lang-maureen/all-in-good-time-gilded-legacy-series-2/4893435.html