Monday, April 25, 2016

Just Plain Sadie by Amy Lillard

My stack of books to be read was about ready to topple over!  I love it when I have that problem. Unfortunately, the solution to that problem was my son got a concussion.  I have two kids with special needs so I'm never short on Drs and therapy appointments.  But I didn't realize that I would have to slow down all our other activities as well.  Sometimes you don't realize how busy you get until you aren't that busy anymore.  So I have actively been devouring books while the kids rested in the afternoon ignoring the laundry.

I had Amy Lillard's book in my stack and decided to take my first visit to Wells Landing
From the back: The Amish of Wells Landing, Oklahoma, treasure their close-knit community, and the promise of their growing families. But one young woman is struggling to choose a future that is true to both her heart and her faith…

Everyone in Wells Landing has long expected Sadie Kauffman and Chris Flaud to marry--despite Sadie's telling them differently. While she loves Chris, it is more as a friend than a husband. Yet at twenty-two, the plainest girl in her group, Sadie is also the only one who is still single. Perhaps it's time to be practical and marry Chris--though he still has not asked. But when Sadie meets a kind, handsome Mennonite, it seems her prayers have been answered… 

With Ezra Hein, Sadie at last feels the joy she nearly gave up on. Unfortunately, others only feel shock that she would consider marrying an outsider. To complicate matters, Chris has finally begun talking to Sadie about their future. Distressed, Sadie will have to search her heart to recognize God's marvelous gifts to her--and find the courage to accept them, challenges and all…

This is my first trip to Wells Landing and I have to say I'll be back again!  The book is a part of a series but easily stood alone for me.  I was drawn into the story very quickly. 

Sadie has been friends with Chris forever.  They actually have a really great friendship.  She was hoping for more but Chris decided he wants to travel.  Across the sea!  Sadie is crushed and feels betrayed.  Then she meets Ezra and you can feel the sparks fly right from the start.  But he's a Mennonite, she's Amish, and their friends and family are both trying to keep them apart.  Who will Sadie choose?  

Amy's book was fantastic.  It kept me guessing and I had a very hard time putting it down.  Her characters are very well done (little Daniel stole my heart), the story moves at a good pace, and even though it's a part of a series the characters and back stories were well explained so I didn't feel like I missed anything.  So come pay a visit to Wells Landing!  You will be glad you did!  Happy Reading!  

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Gift of Grace by Amy Clipston

Everybody has that one special book.  It's a book that you pick up by an author you've never read before and enter a new reality.  You either really enjoy the stories and come back for more or you decide that you don't really care for them and don't pick up anymore of their books.

The first book I ever read by Amy Clipston was A Gift of Grace.  This is the first book in the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series.
From the back: Rebecca Kauffman’s tranquil Old Order Amish life is transformed when she suddenly becomes guardian to her two teenage nieces after her English sister and brother-in-law are killed in an automobile accident. Instant motherhood, after years of unsuccessful attempts to conceive a child of her own, is both a joy and a heartache. Rebecca struggles to give the teenage girls the guidance they need as well as fulfill her duties to Daniel as an Amish wife.

Rebellious Jessica is resistant to Amish ways and constantly in trouble with the community. Younger sister Lindsay is caught in the middle, and the strain between Rebecca and Daniel mounts as Jessica’s rebellion escalates. Instead of the beautiful family life she dreamed of creating for her nieces, Rebecca is frustrated by her new role and begins to question her place in the Amish community, her marriage, and her faith in God. Will she be able to reconcile differences in her home—or will the clash of cultures tear her world apart?

This book was and still is an enjoyable read.  I empathized with Rebecca as she was unable to have children of her own.  She was so excited to have a shot at motherhood with her nieces.  Both children, have come from a different culture and as you can imagine, there is a lot of struggles as two worlds collide.  The children have to adjust and so do Rebecca and Daniel.  

Jessica struggles to adapt to an unfamiliar lifestyle while Lindsay flourishes in it.  The sisters couldn't be more opposite.  The book moves at a good pace and you find yourself wondering what is going to happen next.  I won't spoil the ending if you haven't read it yet, but I will say that it wasn't what I had expected.  

This book holds a special place on my shelf and in my heart.  It's a book I took a chance on a few years ago and entered into Amy's world.  I'm so glad I did.  It's become one of my favorites and I find myself revisiting the Kauffman family often.  Pick up your copy and step into a different world! Happy reading! 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Lumberjacks' Ball by Carrie Fancett Pagels

I have had a busy busy past few weeks.  My son received a nasty concussion so we ended up at a lot more Drs appointments.  I was looking through my bookcase for something to read while we were eternally waiting when inspiration struck.

Actually it fell on my head.  While I was rummaging around The Lumberjacks' Ball fell on me.  I had tucked it into my to read pile.  It was either time to clean my bookcase or a sign that I needed to read this book.  I took it as a sign.

From the back:  A decade after surviving a brutal attack, a mercantile owner's daughter seeks to begin her life new in Michigan's upper Peninsula.  A gifted craftsman wishes to leave his lumberjack life and seeks employment at her new store.  When his presence dredges up memories she wishes to suppress, the new proprietress must learn to face her past.  Can affection grow between the cabinetmaker and the proprietress of St. Ignace's newest business?  And when danger threatens, will they survive to attend The Lumberjacks' Ball? 

This is book two of The Christy Lumber Camp Series.  I hadn't read book one, but didn't have any problems diving right into this story.  I enjoy "visiting" the past in well written stories.  The book took me to a time of lumberjacks and balls in an area of the country that I happen to really enjoy, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Her descriptions of the area were vivid and I could smell the lumber!

Rebecca Hart want to make a new and safe life for herself.  Due to a tragic incident in her past she finds it difficult to trust.  Garrett works hard to chip away at her resistance but what happens when the past comes back and threatens the present?  

I enjoyed watching romance bloom between Rebecca and Garrett.  The characters in this story were so well done and moved at a really good pace.  Both characters had to place their trust in God and follow His leading.  I plan on picking up the other books in the series to fill in some of the blanks.  

So pick up your copy today and enjoy a trip to The Lumberjacks' Ball.  Happy reading!

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Gift by Max Lucado

I've been on the run so much recently and needed a book that was uplifting and I could spread out a bit.

I'm a big Max Lucado fan.  His books are always uplifting and inspiring.  They are a great pick me up when I'm going through challenging times.  When I got this book I was at a point where a good read like this came in handy.  From the back: 

A New View on the Old Rugged Cross
Are peace, joy, and significance on your wish list?  How about redemption, forgiveness, the salvation of your soul?  Each of these descriptors bring us to the main event:  grace.  Saving grace, God’s immeasurable gift intended for all.  Regardless of accomplishments or station in life, despite sins of the past, anyone can receive the free gift of grace. 
Yet too often we take God’s incomparable gift for granted—despite the fact that God’s very Son paid for it with his body, breath, and blood. Understandably, we often find ourselves caught up in the daily routine of life, not taking time to reflect on the enormity of God’s mercy.
So here’s a suggestion:  give yourself the gift of a few moments spent in the world of God’s grace.  Read pastor Max Lucado’s unique, stirring insights into God’s role as grace-giver. Spend some time reflecting on the gift of grace, in all its magnificent meaning.  
Let grace, the gift for all people, speak to you personally through these pages.

This book is a wonderful collection of short stories that are simply delivered but have profound meaning.  I was going to read only one story a day but found myself reading many in one day.  The stories will touch your heart and satisfy your soul!  The message of God's grace and love for us came through loud and clear.  This is too beautiful of a book to hang on to.  You will want to pass it along to someone else and share the Gift!  

This book really spoke to me and I was excited to get a copy in exchange for my review.  This is another amazing read by Max Lucado and you will want to get (and pass along) your own copy! Happy Reading!