Saturday, February 20, 2016

An Amish Market

It's still winter here in Virginia.  The only problem is that mother nature socked us all at once!  So while I sat in our 14 inches of snow I was able to pull up next to the fire and catch up on some reading.  

An Amish Market features four great novellas by some terrific writers.  

Love Birds by Amy Clipston

While Ellie Lapp and her mother are still mourning the loss of her brother, Seth, Ellie starts working at one of the gift shops in town. Seth’s friend Lloyd is talented at carving wooden birds, but his father disapproves and expects him to take over the family farm someday. Ellie sees the beauty in Lloyd’s creations and insists Lloyd sell the birds in the gift shop where she works. As Ellie and Lloyd spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, but she accidentally betrays his trust. Will she lose any hope of a future with him?

A Bid for Love by Kathleen Fuller
Every week, Hannah Lynne brings her home-churned butter to the local market. And every week Ezra stops by to purchase some. Hannah Lynne knows not to read too much into it—Ezra is a confirmed bachelor and barely even glances her way, despite any hope to the contrary. But when Ezra bids an exorbitant amount to win the quilt she had her heart set on, Hannah Lynne can’t stop her heart from taking over her mind. Could Ezra finally be in the market for love?

Sweeter Than Honey by Kelly Irvin
Shattering a jar of pickled beets wasn’t the impression Isabella hoped to make on her first trip to the local Combination Store of Bee County, Texas. But as embarrassed as she was by the accident, she didn’t think it warranted the frosty reaction from the handsome manager of the store, Will Glick. As she soon learns, though, Will’s heart has been broken one too many times. And now, for some reason, Isabella finds herself determined to be the one to repair that broken heart and renew his faith in love.

Love in Store by Vannetta Chapman
Stella Schrock works at the Old Mill in Nappanee, Indiana, with new employee David Stoltzfus, a recent widower. When strange happenings begin occurring around town, it appears as if someone wants to close the mill. Stella and David have to work together to solve the mystery of what is happening at the Old Amish Mill, and in the process they might just find that God has more in store for their future than they would ever have dreamed possible.

Amy Clipston starts off the book with a bang.  I loved the story and wished it was longer!  Her characters are realistic and well developed. I felt like I had know Ellie my whole life.  I was rooting for Ellie and Lloyd from the start!  The story moves at a great pace and my only complaint was I wish it was longer.  I hate it when a great story ends.  This was a fantastic read and a great follow up from The Forgotten Recipe.  

Kathleen Fuller has the second book in the novella.  A Bid For Love was a sweet story.  I enjoyed Ezra and how he bought so much butter from Hannah Lynne that it was overflowing in his mother's house. The characters were well done and easy to identify with.  Ezra and Hannah Lynn made a fantastic couple and the story tied up nicely. 

Kelly Irvin is a writer I'm not as familiar with.  I was drawn into the story from the start. I felt Isabella's embarrassment as she dropped the jar of pickled beets on the floor.  Having moved numerous times growing up I also identified with how hard it is to fit into a new place and start over again.  I really enjoyed this short story and plan on looking into more of her books. 

The final story was by Vannetta Chapman.  It was a unique ending to this great trip to the market.  There aren't many Amish mysteries out there which makes this one stand out.  The story moves quickly and kept me guessing!  This was a fantastic way to end the book! 

Overall, the book was a wonderful read.  Each story embraces the theme of Amish shops which ties them together, but each writer brought their own styles which made the stories unique and throughly enjoyable.  Grab your copy and curl up by the fire tonight!  Happy Reading!