Category Archives: Amish

Naomi’s Gift (Kauffman Amish Bakery Christmas Story #2) | Amy Clipston

 


Today I am posting my review of Naomi’s Gift, the second Christmas novella in the Kauffman Amish Bakery series by Amy Clipston.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Take a trip to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where you’ll meet the women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery in Lancaster County. As each woman’s story unfolds, you will share in her heartaches, trials, joys, dreams and secrets.

You’ll discover how the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle can clash with the English way of life and the decisions and consequences that follow. Most importantly, you will be encouraged by the hope and faith of these women, and the importance they place on their families.

Naomi s Gift re-introduces twenty-four-year-old Naomi King, who has been burned twice by love and has all but given up on marriage and children. As Christmas approaches a time of family, faith, and hope for many others, Naomi is more certain than ever her life will be spent as an old maid, helping with the family’s quilting business and taking care of her eight siblings. Then she meets Caleb, a young widower with a 7-year-old daughter, and her world is once again turned upside-down.

Naomi’s story of romantic trial and error and youthful insecurities has universal appeal. Author Amy Clipston artfully paints a panorama of simple lives full of complex relationships, and she carefully explores cultural differences and human similarities, with inspirational results. Naomi’s Gift includes all the details of Amish life that Clipston’s fans enjoy, while delivering the compelling stories and strong characters that continue to draw legions of new readers.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

This special novella focuses on Naomi King.

I didn’t really notice her much until she began talking to Luke, bringing him lunch and… if she weren’t Amish, I’d say… she was flirting with disaster – ha!

But she couldn’t see that everyone thought she was behaving badly – making a spectacle of herself by flirting with Luke in front of the whole church district”

Even when Luke tried to tell her she was wasting her time, she refused to listen – even to him!

Well, no one can say she didn’t try her best to convince Luke to court her…

Then at the end, after Luke has finally convinced Naomi that her feelings will never be returned and he has feelings for Sarah, Timothy notices her… and begins thinking she might just suit him after all.

Next, she gets involved with Timothy… I think Naomi has grown up a bit and she really gets hurt by Timothy, who still loves Miriam, but thinks it’s hopeless and that he should marry Naomi.

Talk about a mess!

To be fair, Timothy often feels that he’s being unkind to not share his feelings with Naomi, but every time he tries to, something stops him. Naomi finally realizes how he feels.

So now she’s stopped trying altogether!

I like Naomi so much more in Naomi’s Gift… and when Caleb and Susie begin to care for her, I cheered!

.. . . .

And she was convinced if she stayed in Lancaster County that she’d be an old maid, never marrying and having a family of her own.

If you’re like me, you expect this story to have a happy ending – after all, it’s about Christmas!

I won’t spoil it for you, but there are a few twists and turns!

Amy does a great job showing how am Amish wife might help a friend who has left the faith, even though it means going against her husband’s wishes.

This heart-warming novella shows the faith of one and the forgiveness and acceptance she earnestly desires. If you haven’t read it, don’t wait another year until Christmas – read it anytime!

Amy Clipston has a talent for knowing what her readers want… if you don’t have them, be sure this series is on your Christmas list!

Merry Christmas!

 

 

God bless you!

Review © 2016 DJ Mynatt

 

A Plain & Simple Christmas | Amy Clipston

 

9039054
Today I am posting my review of A Plain & Simple Christmas – the first novella in the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series by Amy Clipston.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Take a trip to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where you’ll meet the women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery in Lancaster County. As each woman’s story unfolds, you will share in her heartaches, trials, joys, dreams … and secrets.

You’ll discover how the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle can clash with the ‘English’ way of life—and the decisions and consequences that follow. Most importantly, you will be encouraged by the hope and faith of these women, and the importance they place on their families.

In the tradition of her widely popular Kauffman Amish Bakery series, author Amy Clipston tells the tale of Anna Mae McDonough who was shunned by her family four years ago when she left her Amish community in Lancaster County, PA, to marry an ‘Englisher’ (non Amish) man and move with him to Baltimore. Now, eight months pregnant when her first child, she longs to return home for Christmas to reconcile with her family, especially her stern father, who is the religious leader for her former Amish church district.

So Anne Mae writes a letter to Kathryn Beiler, her brother’s wife, to enlist her help. Kathryn asks her husband, David, if she should arrange Anna Mae’s visit. David cautions her that a visit would cause too much stress in the family and instead suggests they visit Anna Mae and her husband in the spring. However, Kathryn arranges the visit anyway, believing in her heart that it’s God’s will for the family to heal.

When Anna Mae arrives in Lancaster for Christmas, the welcome she receives is nothing like what she had hoped for.

A book filled with love, the pain of being separated from one’s family, and the determination to follow God’s will regardless of the outcome, A Plain and Simple Christmas is an inspiring page-turner that will keep you guessing what happens next … right to the very last page.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

What do you do when you leave your family behind… I mean, how do you just go on with life, never having any contact with them?

This special novella introduces us to Anna Mae and her English husband Kellan McDonough.

Anna Mae knew when she left her community… and the Amish faith – and her vows – that she was leaving her family behind forever. But she was in love! And she was convinced if she stayed in Lancaster County that she’d be an old maid, never marrying and having a family of her own.

Now that Anna is expecting her first child, she is missing her family even more… but if she returns home, she will be shunned.

If you’re like me, you expect this story to have a happy ending – after all, it’s about Christmas!

I won’t spoil it for you, but there are a few twists and turns!

Amy does a great job showing how am Amish wife might help a friend who has left the faith, even though it means going against her husband’s wishes.

This heart-warming novella shows the faith of one and the forgiveness and acceptance she earnestly desires. If you haven’t read it, don’t wait another year until Christmas – read it anytime!

Amy Clipston has a talent for knowing what her readers want… if you don’t have them, be sure this series is on your Christmas list!

 

Merry Christmas!

Review © 2016 DJ Mynatt

Huckleberry Christmas | Jennifer Beckstrand

 


Huckleberry Christmas
is the third book in the Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series by Jennifer Beckstrand.

Here is the synopsis for Huckleberry Christmas:

Now that they’ve happily married off two of their grandchildren, Anna and Felty Helmuth are ready for their next matchmaking challenge.

What better way to celebrate the most heartwarming of seasons–and make Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, the place for unexpected love…

A difficult marriage has left the Helmuths’ widowed great-granddaughter, Beth, finished with wedlock. She’s content to live with them and make a life for herself and her toddler son.

But once she turns down handsome Tyler Yoder’s proposal, it seems only fair to encourage him to find a suitable wife.

Trouble is, his gentleness and generous ways are showing her how joyous a real meeting of hearts can be…

After a failed courtship, Tyler thought the best he could hope for in a wife was mere companionship. But spirited Beth is the one he longs to protect, and hold close. Earning her trust is the hardest thing he’s ever had to do.

And soon, both will discover that forgiveness and understanding are gifts that only rekindled faith — along with the happiest of holidays — can bring.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

I find it close to impossible to choose a favorite from the Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series!

Huckleberry Hill was my favorite story… until Huckleberry Summer came out and I read it… then it was my favorite — I loved it when Lily called Aden’s dog Piecrust!

Now I have a new favorite… Huckleberry Christmas!

Oh my… it is perfect!

I don’t have a clue how Jennifer’s books just keep getting better and better, but that’s my honest opinion! They just keep getting better!

Not only does Jennifer continue to amaze us with her wonderful stories with Anna and Felty, but each book adds new characters to the ones we previously met, and the surprises, along with twists and turns, keep us glued to each book (or our tablets)!

Take a woman who has been submissive for too many years, with too many others taking advantage of her, of treating her more unkindly than they probably would their horses or other animals.

Yes! It was past time for her to finally begin to stand up for herself; only did she have to just when the perfect man appeared and wanted to help!

OK, no more hints or clues… but let me assure you that you’ll love this story; it’s absolutely wonderful!

Happy Reading!

 

God bless you!

Review © DJ Mynatt 2016

Amish Friends Christmas Cookbook | Wanda Brunstetter

 

Today I’m reviewing the Amish Friends Christmas Cookbook — by Wanda E. Brunstetter.

Here is a brief synopsis:

The must-have cookbook of the season is Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish Friends Christmas Cookbook—a brand new collection of holiday recipes and insights into Christmas celebrations direct from Amish homes.

You’ll also enjoy the addition of scriptures and common Amish sayings.

Surrounded by a beautiful lay-flat binding, this cookbook is the perfect holiday gift for yourself and friends.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

The Amish Friends Christmas Cookbook is exactly what I have been wanting for Christmas… and I wanted to share it with you now — so you have more than enough time to pick out your favorite recipes to make this month!

The cookbook is broken down into groups: snacks and bites, breads and rolls, gifts from the kitchen, salads, main dishes and sides, sweets and desserts.

It has a brief history of the Amish and Mennonites, then goes on to describe an Amish Christmas, the most important holiday celebrated by the Amish church groups that do celebrations – a few very strict Old Order groups do not celebrate Christmas.

Wanda writes about the typical Amish school Christmas programs, and family traditions, including music and decorations.

But the most important tradition among the Amish is the day after Christmas, referred to as Second Christmas. This is the day for families to be with friends and extended family, and gifts are often exchanged.

Another tradition is Old Christmas… but I won’t say anything else about it… you can read about it in Wanda’s cookbook.

 

And if you’re looking for a great Christmas gift for friends… pick up a copy of Amish Friends Christmas Cookbook, a sweet addition to any cook’s library — just in time for Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

God Bless You!

 

Review © 2016 DJ Mynatt

The Dawn of Christmas | Cindy Woodsmall

 


Today I am reviewing The Dawn of Christmas — by Cindy Woodsmall.

This is the third story in the Apple Ridge series…

Here’s a brief synopsis:

Sadie enjoys her freedom away from home and her mission trips to Peru, but after four years, her Old Order Amish family insists it’s time to come home and settle down.

Levi, a bachelor who distrusts women after a family heartbreak, also has no desire for romance.

To keep their families from meddling in their lives, Sadie and Levi devise a plan—but soon discover that the walls around their hearts are breaking down.

Can they let go of their prejudices, learn to trust each other, and embrace a future together?

 

MY THOUGHTS:

I rejoiced with Sadie when she stood up for what she knew to be the truth, even when her family and friends tried to convince her otherwise. I appreciate the way her character changes and grows throughout the book. When she meets Levi, in a totally unique situation, it begins a new chance for a future filled with more than lies, deceit and loneliness. I was so glad to see that Levi appreciated Sadie for the wonderful person she is… and I love happy endings!

I appreciate how Ms. Woodsmall weaves in the characters throughout the three stories, yet making each one distinctly about new characters, as well as the ones we’ve grown to love.

I love reading Ms. Woodsmall’s novels. The people in them are more realistic than you find in many other novels (things don’t always work out the way you hope), but she does a great job tying up loose ends and creating happy endings whenever possible.

I heartily recommend The Dawn of Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

God Bless You!

 

Review © 2016 DJ Mynatt

Simple Pleasures | Marianne Jantzi

 

Today I am reviewing Simple Pleasures by Marianne Jantzi.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Young Amish homemaker Marianne Jantzi invites readers into her family’s life and Amish community.

The mother of four young children and wife of a storekeeper, Jantzi writes about her daily routines and heartfelt faith with equal measures of wit and warmth.

Sewing, cleaning, cooking, gardening, and helping to manage the store take up most hours in her day, but Jantzi finds time to pen columns for the Connection, a magazine beloved by Amish and Mennonite readers across the United States and Canada.

Never sugarcoating the frustrations of motherhood, Jantzi tells it like it is, broken washing machine and bickering children and all. But through her busy days, Yoder finds strength in simple pleasures of family, fellowship with her Amish community, and quiet time with God.

Hear straight from Amish people themselves as they write about their daily lives and deeply rooted faith in the Plainspoken series from Herald Press. Each book includes “A Day in the Life of the Author.”

 

MY THOUGHTS:

Simple Pleasures is a joy to read…

Marianne Jantzi speaks of real life – real day-to-day events, not fiction, not storytelling, but real, honest-to-goodness happenings. I could tell . . . most of the stories are too funny, too sad, or too deep – to be made up.

I confess, sometimes it sounds almost as if Marianne’s husband is telling the story. But I could be wrong (or maybe I was tired and didn’t pay good enough attention) . . . because I read the book without taking a single break. Not one. It was that good.

Warning: if you don’t like learning about how other people live, especially those who don’t live the same type of lifestyle you live, you might not enjoy this book. Then again, you just might. It’s very entertaining. Mostly because it involves small children – and children are almost always entertaining.

I learned a lot. And I’d love to visit Marianne and watch her family. They seem to have so much fun!

Marianne doesn’t hide her relationship with God – she shares it with her readers. I love this!

If you do enjoy reading about Amish life, you’ll love Simple Pleasures!

Happy Reading!

 

God Bless You!

Review © 2016 DJ Mynatt

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

 

Behind Her Smile | Rosemary Hines

 

Today I am reviewing Behind Her Smile, the 6th book in the Sandy Cove series by Rosemary Hines.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Not good enough…the words echo in Madison Baron’s mind as the darkness presses her to be thinner, more beautiful—somehow more attractive to her peers.

A junior in high school, she is facing life without her childhood love, Luke Johnson, who is off to college in the Midwest. Alone with her insecurities, Madison yearns for acceptance—until Miles that is.

Will a relationship with this new student on campus be the answer she seeks? And how will his resistance to her Christian faith affect her future?

As the two of them grow closer and closer, something happens inside of Madison, and she finds herself more insecure than ever. Gazing into the mirror at her thinning face and trendy makeup, she hopes no one sees the fear behind her smile.

The sixth book in the Sandy Cove Series, Behind Her Smile, touches hearts of young and old alike with the message of God’s redemption and love, reminding us that our true sufficiency and value come from Him and Him alone.

 
Don’t miss BEHIND HER SMILE… Sandy Cove series by Rosemary Hines. Tweet this!
 

MY THOUGHTS:

Madison Baron is heading for rough waters…

Maddie is beginning her junior year in high school; her best friend has left for college; and her parents just don’t seem to understand her.

But she’s determined to be thin – and popular, and like so many teens, she begins to make some poor choices. Hopefully her mom, her grandma, and great grandma can guide her back to safety.

I don’t want to give too much away (hopefully I haven’t done so already) but you get the picture, right?

Now there are some who might say Rosemary Hines gets a bit too preachy, but I don’t get that message at all. Rosemary writes a wonderful story, showing Christ as the answer to our problems.

I have read each book in this series and I highly recommend them. If you haven’t read them, you are missing out on a great series! If you have a Kindle, you can download the first book in the series absolutely free!

Don’t miss this exciting series!

 

God bless you!
 

Review © 2015 DJ Mynatt

 

%d bloggers like this: