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An Amish Reunion | Clipston, Wiseman, Fuller, Irwin

 

 

Today I am reviewing An Amish Reunion by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Irvin.

Here is a brief synopsis:

From bestselling authors in the Amish genre come four stories about reuniting with those you love.

Their True Home by Amy Clipston

When Marlene Bawell moved from Bird-in-Hand ten years ago, she was in the deepest of mourning for her mother. Now her family has moved back so her father can seek employment after being laid off. To help save money, Marlene works at the hardware store owned by Rudy Swarey’s father. She knew Rudy growing up and had a secret crush on him, though he never seemed to notice her. But just as a friendship between them begins to blossom, her life is once again turned upside down. Will Marlene ever have a chance to find her own true home?

A Reunion of Hearts by Beth Wiseman

Ruth and Gideon Beiler experienced one of life’s most tragic events. Unable to get past their grief, the couple abandoned their Amish faith and went in different directions, though neither could bear to formally dissolve the marriage. When their loved ones reach out to them to come home for a family reunion, Ruth has reason to believe that Gideon won’t be there. Gideon also thinks that Ruth has declined the invitation. Family and friends are rooting for them to reunite, but will it all be enough for Ruth and Gideon to get past their grief and recapture a time when they were in love and had a bright future ahead of them?

A Chance to Remember by Kathleen Fuller

Cevilla Schlabach, Birch Creek’s resident octogenarian matchmaker, is surprised when Richard, a man from her Englisch past, arrives in Birch Creek for a visit. While he and Cevilla take several walks down memory lane, they wonder what the future holds for them at this stage of life—friendship, or the possibility of something else?

Mended Hearts by Kelly Irvin

At eighteen Hannah Kauffman made a terrible mistake. Her parents and members of her Jamesport Amish community say they’ve forgiven her. But she feels their eyes following her everywhere she goes with eighteen-month-old Evie. Thaddeus, Evie’s father, escaped this fate by running away from Jamesport. Now that Thaddeus is gone, Hannah’s old friend Phillip is stepping up to be by her side. He has waited patiently for Hannah to realize just how much he cares for her.

But when Thaddeus returns after two years, Hannah can’t deny the love she feels for him. Does the fact that Phillip has waited patiently for her all this time mean that she owes him something? Can she trust either one of them? Can she trust herself? She has repented and been forgiven by the One who is most important—her heavenly Father. But is she willing to risk making more mistakes by opening herself up to love?

 

MY THOUGHTS:

I loved reading these awesome stories… by some of my favorite Amish fiction authors.

THEIR TRUE HOME — Amy Clipston

I enjoyed the reunion of Marlene Bawell and Rudy Swarey… and sweated bullets worrying about if Marlene’s father would force her to move away from Bird-in-Hand again just as she’s finally beginning to hope for a future in her beloved town. I was a bit surprised at the ending but, as usual, Amy did a great job!

A REUNION OF HEARTS — Beth Wiseman

The story of Ruth and Gideon Beiler is very sad… with several twists and turns along the way. I was more than a little thrilled to discover how they worked to overcome the past… and find a way to put their sorrow behind them.

A CHANCE TO REMEMBER — Kathleen Fuller

Cevilla Schlabach is amazing! I just love her! When she meets someone from her past, is there any chance for love to finally bloom? Chances are slim, considering she’s Amish and he’s English. Kathy came up with the best ending for this story! It’s one that I’ll enjoy reading again and again.

MENDED HEARTS — Kelly Irvin

Hannah Kauffman has paid for her past sins… but those in her community, although they forgave her, refuse to forget it — and she feels as if she’ll never overcome the shame and humiliation of it. If only Thaddeus had stayed… and married her, everything would be different now.

Of course, he would return… just when Phillip, one of the few people who remained friends with her, is ready to make her his wife! Thaddeus is determined to convince Hannah that he wants her to marry him! Oh gee, what’s a woman to do! What will she do? Who can she trust?

I won’t say anything more about it, except that I was delighted with Kelly’s solution… and the rest of the story.

Happy Reading!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2019 DJ Mynatt

Hearts in Harmony | Beth Wiseman

 

 

Today I am reviewing Hearts in Harmony, the first novel in the An Amish Journey series, by Beth Wiseman.

Here is a brief synopsis:

They both love music. Will God deny what brings them such joy?  

Musical prodigy Levi Shetler hasn’t touched a piano since he secretly played one years ago. His strict Amish community forbids instruments or the singing of any music not in their approved songbook. Levi asks God often why music tempts him when playing an instrument isn’t allowed in his world.

One person knows Levi’s talents: Mary Hershberger, the girl who promised years ago to keep his secret. Mary comes from a more liberal district than Levi, but she’s facing family troubles of her own. The mutual care for an aging Englischer, Adeline, reunites Mary and Levi as young adults. They realize that, despite their differences, they have a shared love of music—and a shared confusion about whether their talents are God-given gifts or temptations luring them into the Englisch world.

The couple realizes they must compromise or part ways, but a tragic accident shakes their decision. Both Mary and Levi will need to reconcile what they love with what their hearts say is right—because even as their passion for music brings them together, it could be what tears them apart.

The first novel in the new Amish Journeys series by bestselling author Beth Wiseman, Hearts in Harmony explores how far the heart will travel for the melody of love.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

I loved reading about Mary Hershberger and Levi Shetler… honestly, I worried a bit over how Levi would figure out how to live with his desire to play an instrument that wasn’t allowed by his church rules. And if Mary would just make things worse if she encouraged him —or supported him in his determination to continue to play.

And if I reveal what happens, I’ll spoil the story for you, so I won’t say anything more about it, except that I was delighted with Ms. Wiseman’s solution… and the rest of the story.

Don’t miss this wonderful beginning of a great series!

Happy Reading!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2019 DJ Mynatt

Jesus Calling | 50 Devotions to Grow in Your Faith

 

 

Today I am reviewing Jesus Calling… 50 Devotions to Grow in Your Faith by Sarah Young.

Here is a brief synopsis:

If you’re looking to move from knowing about God to having a personal relationship with Him, this is a wonderful devotional for you. Jesus Calling®: 50 Devotions to Grow in Your Faith brings the warmth and insight that more than 25 million people have enjoyed through Jesus Calling® in devotions curated to help you grow and nourish your faith.

The Jesus Calling®: 50 Devotions to Grow in Your Faith features 50 topical readings from Jesus Calling® gathered together in a new way and combined with relevant Scripture verses on the topics of faith and spiritual growth.

This book is part of a three-book series for teens, each focusing on a felt need. The other two books in the series focus on themes of thankfulness and dealing with busy days. These books are great for an individual study and make a great set for gift giving.

Readers around the world already love how Sarah’s words help them connect with Jesus. Now the new Jesus Calling® topical devotionals offer a way to focus even more deeply on the major felt needs in your life . . . and the lives of your friends, family, church, school, and friends.

With a beautiful, classic cover and affordable price point, these topical devotionals are a natural addition to the Sarah Young brand.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

This is such a beautiful, inspirational book. I’ve already promised it to my teenage granddaughter, who fell in love with it — just as I did — when it arrived.

Each picture is truly inspiring, along with the perfect Bible verse. And the devotions did indeed speak to my heart. I began reading it the moment I received it… and didn’t put it down until I had reached the end. This devotional will encourage and inspire everyone who reads it.

Awesome job, Ms. Young!

Happy Reading!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2019 DJ Mynatt

With Winter’s First Frost | Kelly Irvin

 

 

Today I am reviewing With Winter’s First Frost, the fourth and final book in the Every Amish Season series by Kelly Irvin.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Will the long, cold winter prove to be Laura and Zechariah’s season of renewed purpose and love sweetened with age?

Laura Kauffman has been a widow for eight years–since her husband of forty-five years passed away in his sleep on Christmas Eve. She tries to keep herself busy with her nine children, fifty-two grandchildren, and twenty-eight great-grandchildren.

But she can’t stop wondering: What does God expect her to do with her days now? Has her usefulness been expended? Why leave her to carry on alone? Those are questions she can’t answer until a friend suffers complications during childbirth and needs someone to help care for her newborn twins and three older children.

The twins’ great-grandfather, Zechariah Stutzman, a widower himself, seems to need some upkeep as well. Suddenly, Laura has her hands full, and the long winter days don’t seem so long.

Zechariah suffers from Parkinson’s disease. When his wife died of breast cancer two years earlier, his children insisted he live with one of his grandsons and their growing family because of his disease’s progression. He’s not allowed to drive, chop wood, or build fires. He feels he has outlived his usefulness. Then Laura comes along and seems determined to change that.

Both Laura and Zechariah must seek God’s will to find the purpose for this season in their lives. They have to be willing to trust and to accept that second chances for romantic love are possible–even probable–when they give control of their lives to God.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

I enjoyed reading the story of Laura and Zechariah… and how they both worked hard to be needed — and wanted — by their families. Honestly, I got a bit aggravated when Zechariah’s sons treated him like he wasn’t capable… even to moving him from one house to another without his approval or acceptance. But they were just trying to be helpful. However, it would have been MORE helpful if they had shared with him how they felt about him moving in. I know I would want to know, if it were me.

Thankfully, Laura was able to be a blessing to those around her — even to Zechariah — and although I won’t spoil the ending for you, I thought Kelly did an admirable job tying up the lose ends in the story. And I was even a bit sad to say goodbye to these wonderful characters!

Happy Reading!!!
Blessings!

Review © 2019 DJ Mynatt

  1. Upon a Spring Breeze
  2. Beneath the Summer Sun
  3. Through the Autumn Air
  4. With Winter’s First Frost

 

The Warrior Maiden | Melanie Dickerson

 

 

Today I am reviewing The Warrior Maiden, the ninth book in the Hagenheim Fairy Tale Romance series by Melanie Dickerson.

Here is a brief synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson comes a fresh reimagining of the classic Mulan tale.

Mulan isn’t afraid to pretend to be a son and assume her father’s soldier duties in war. But what happens when the handsome son of a duke discovers her secret?

Mulan is trying to resign herself to marrying the village butcher for the good of her family, but her adventurous spirit just can’t stand the thought. At the last minute, she pretends to be the son her father never had, assumes his duties as a soldier, and rides off to join the fight to protect the castle of her liege lord’s ally from the besieging Teutonic Knights.

Wolfgang and his brother Steffan leave Hagenheim with several other soldiers to help their father’s ally in Poland. When they arrive, Wolfgang is exasperated by the young soldier Mikolai who seems to either always be one step away from disaster . . . or showing Wolfgang up in embarrassing ways.

When Wolfgang discovers his former rival and reluctant friend Mikolai is actually a girl, he is determined to protect her. But battle is a dangerous place where anything can happen—and usually does.

When Mulan receives word that her mother has been accused of practicing witchcraft through her healing herbs and skills, Mulan’s only thought is of defending her. Will she be able to trust Wolfgang to help? Or will sacrificing her own life be the only way to save her mother?

 

MY THOUGHTS:

After the death of her father, Mulan chooses to take his place so she can assume his duties… and pretends to be a man! As Mikolai, the son of her father, she was expected to fight against the Teutonic Knights. Her mother would be all right and their home wouldn’t be taken from them.

At least she didn’t have to marry the smelly butcher who seems to only want her to care for himself and his mother. Wolfgang bravely joins the other soldiers to help Poland, but he doesn’t think much of the young soldier Mikolai. Of course, once Wolfgang finds out that Mikolai is really a young woman, he feels compelled to protect her at all cost!

I enjoyed reading about Mulan and Wolfgang… and you will, too.

Melanie Dickerson creates wonderful, realistic fairy tale re-tellings… Once you begin reading one of her stories, you’ll forget it’s a fairytale re-telling until the end, when you’re delightfully surprised!

Happy Reading!!!
Blessings!

Review © 2019 DJ Mynatt

 

The Teacher’s Bride | Kathleen Fuller

 

 

Today I am reviewing The Teacher’s Bride by Kathleen Fuller.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Beloved and bestselling author of Amish romance Kathleen Fuller reminds us that sometimes opposites really do attract.

“A heartwarming story of unexpected romance woven with fun and engaging characters who come to life on every page.”–Amy Clipston, bestselling author of A Seat by the Hearth

If there is one thing Christian Ropp will not allow in his classroom—or his life—it is chaos. So why is he drawn to Ruby Glick, a woman who seems to bring mayhem wherever she goes?

Christian Ropp moves to Birch Creek to accept a teaching position in the rapidly growing Amish community. He’s determined to put the rambunctious school in order as well as check another task off his list: finding a wife. Of course, that would be much easier if women were like textbooks, straightforward and logical.

When an accident puts Christian out of commission, a new community member named Ruby Glick takes over his classroom. But Ruby’s exuberant teaching style clashes with Christian’s careful methods and he worries his students will never be the same.

With a track record of catastrophe, Ruby always feels too clumsy, too distracted, too . . . much. Desperate for a chance to prove that she can do more than make mistakes in her life, she throws herself into her new teaching position. But when Christian can’t seem to stay out of her way, she finds herself slipping into old, chaotic tendencies.

What she doesn’t anticipate is that Christian’s heart is slowly catching up with his mind—and she, too, must decide whether to follow logic or love.

“Kathleen Fuller has written a sweet, oftentimes humorous, romance that reminds readers that the perfect match might be right in front of their noses.”–Kelly Irvin, bestselling author of the Every Amish Season series

“Kathleen Fuller is a master storyteller and fans will absolutely fall in love with Ruby and Christian in The Teacher’s Bride.” –Ruth Reid, bestselling author of the Amish Mercies series

“Kathy Fuller’s characters leap off the page with subtle power as she uses both wit and wisdom to entertain!”–Kelly Long, national bestselling author

“The story will captivate you from the first page to the last with Ruby, Christian, and engaging characters. You’ll laugh, gasp, and wonder what will happen next.” –Molly Jebber, Speaker and Award Winning Author of Grace’s Forgiveness and the Amish Keepsake Pocket Quilt Series

 

 

MY THOUGHTS:

Christian Ropp is hoping to court Martha Detweiler.  Ruby Glick is hoping to court Seth Yoder. Neither of them seem to have any luck when it comes to attracting Martha and Seth. On the contrary, both Christian and Ruby experience one disaster after another.

I was entertained from beginning to end, as Christian and Ruby work harder and harder to win the hearts of Martha and Seth. Of course, everything will work out the way it should… but does it work out the way they plan? You’ll have to read The Teacher’s Bride to find out!

Happy Reading!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2018 DJ Mynatt

A Seat by the Hearth | Amy Clipston

 

 

Today I am reviewing A Seat by the Hearth by Amy Clipston.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Priscilla Allgyer knows she cannot leave the past behind. But can love lead her toward the promise of healing?

Priscilla Allgyer left the community to escape the expectations of Amish life. Now, years later, she is forced to return—along with her six-year-old son—to the place she thought she’d left behind forever. Though once estranged from her family, Priscilla is welcomed by her mother, but her father is cold and strict. He allows Priscilla to stay with them provided she dresses plainly, confesses her sins, and agrees to marry within the community. Once again, she feels suffocated, trapped, and alone.

As Priscilla reluctantly completes her shunning, she catches the eye of Mark Riehl, a farmer with a playboy reputation. Wary of Mark, Priscilla barely gives him the time of day—while Mark, unused to being ignored by the women of Bird-in-Hand, won’t give up the pursuit of her friendship. Priscilla desperately needs a friend in Mark, even if she doesn’t realize it—and after Priscilla’s father and the bishop catch her and Mark in a compromising situation, their relationship becomes more complicated than ever.

As affection quietly grows between them, Priscilla struggles to open her heart and reveal the painful secrets of her past. As Mark works to earn her good faith, can they both learn the hard lessons of love and trust? And can two friends discover a happiness that only God himself could have designed? The third book in the Amish Homestead series, A Seat by the Hearth invites us back to the Lancaster community where friendships are forged and love overcomes all.

 

 

MY THOUGHTS:

I can’t recall a book written by Amy Clipston that I didn’t enjoy! And this one is no exception. It’s the third book in the Amish Homestead series and a powerful story of love, abuse and forgiveness. Although heart-breaking at times, A Seat by the Hearth is one of the author’s best stories yet!

Happy Reading!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2018 DJ Mynatt

  1. A Place at our Table
  2. Room on the Porch Swing
  3. A Seat by the Hearth

Catching Christmas | Terri Blackstock

 

 

Today I am reviewing Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock.

Here is a brief synopsis:

This Year, Christmas Comes Just in Time

As a first-year law associate, Sydney Batson knows she will be updating her resume by New Year’s if she loses her current court case. So when her grandmother gets inexplicably ill while she’s in court, Sydney arranges for a cab to get her to the clinic.

The last thing cab driver Finn Parrish wants is to be saddled with a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. But because Miss Callie reminds him of his own mother, whom he failed miserably in her last days, he can’t say no when she keeps calling him for rides. Once a successful gourmet chef, Finn’s biggest concern now is making his rent, but half the time Callie doesn’t remember to pay him. And as she starts to feel better, she leads him on wild goose chases to find a Christmas date for her granddaughter.

When Finn meets Sydney, he’s quite sure that she’s never needed help finding a date. Does Miss Callie have an ulterior motive, or is this just a mission driven by delusions? He’s willing to do whatever he can to help fulfill Callie’s Christmas wish. He just never expected to be a vital part of it.

“Terri Blackstock’s latest offering touches tender places with its quirky characters and stirring plot. Catching Christmas explores what happens when the paths of a disenchanted Taxi driver collide with that of an overworked attorney. Blackstock weaves a compelling, romantic tale that is sure to get you into the Christmas spirit!” —Denise Hunter, bestselling author of Honeysuckle Dreams

“Blackstock’s Catching Christmas is not your average romance. Darling and laugh-out-loud cute, it makes the reader think about the important things in life. I read it in one gulp and wished there was more. Highly recommended!” —Colleen Coble, USA TODAY bestselling author of the Hope Beach series and the Lavender Tides series

 

 

MY THOUGHTS:

I loved reading about Finn Parrish, a taxi driver who picks up Miss Callie, a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. This strikes close to home for me, since I’ve been a part-time caretaker for a family member with Alzheimer’s Disease. Finn, who was previously a gourmet chef, is now concerned most with paying his rent, but spends time trying to help Miss Callie, even on his days off.

When Finn meets Miss Callie’s over-worked granddaughter Sydney, he’s not quite sure what to think of her. What happens next? I’ll let you read this entertaining Christmas story for yourself and find out!

Happy Reading!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2018 DJ Mynatt

Arms of Mercy | Ruth Reid

 


Today I am reviewing Arms of Mercy, the second novel in the Amish Mercies series by Ruth Reid.

Here is a brief synopsis:

He lost her once to a rash decision.

He will not lose her again.

On the eve of a new year, Catherine Glick is expecting her bu of five years to propose. Instead, the unexpected arrival of an old boyfriend, Elijah, sends her life spiraling out of control.

When a rash decision damages her current relationship, Catherine leaves for Florida to work in her cousin’s bakery—anything to flee the source of her shame.

Elijah Graber knows he hurt Catherine when he left their Amish district six years ago. He’s determined to explain his actions, even if it means following her to Florida. Perhaps their two-day bus trip together will provide enough time for him to make his case and win her back.

Just when Elijah is starting to tear down the walls Catherine has built, their bus skids on an icy road—and amid the mayhem and tragedy that follow, Catherine disappears. Elijah’s friends urge him to prepare for the worst, but Elijah holds on to his hope in God and refuses to give up his search for Catherine. With supernatural nudging from the most unexpected places, Elijah sets out to find the love he once lost—no matter the cost.

 

 

MY THOUGHTS:

Ruth Reid has been a favorite Amish fiction author of mine since I picked up her first book and Arms of Mercy didn’t disappoint. . . on the contrary, it has become one of my favorite books!

Catherine Glick runs away from home when she makes a rash decision. Elijah Graber, her old boyfriend who recently returned to their community, feels he must follow her if he ever has hope of winning her back. I found myself caught up in their story, determined not to put it down until the very end.

The characters are lifelike and entertaining and the story definitely held my interest. If you enjoy Amish fiction, you’ll enjoy Arms of Mercy.  If you enjoy reading about miracles from above, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Arms of Mercy today, because you’re gonna love this story!

Happy Reading!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2018 DJ Mynatt

Amish Celebrations | Beth Wiseman

 


Today I am reviewing Amish Celebrations, which includes four novellas by Beth Wiseman.

Here is a brief synopsis:

The Gift of Sisters

Hannah and Elizabeth are fraternal twins approaching their sixteenth birthday—a time when they will be allowed to spread their wings and enjoy their rumschpringe. The sisters couldn’t be more different: Hannah is outgoing and beautiful, while Elizabeth is shy and withdrawn. And when newcomer Abraham Stoltzfus arrives in Lancaster County, both women fall head over heels for him, each fighting for his affections in their own ways and driving the sisters to turn on each other. Who will Abraham choose? And will Hannah and Elizabeth reunite after a devastating heartbreak?

A New Beginning

Rebecca and Noah are in love and about to be baptized. But when Noah decides to enjoy one last night of his rumschpringe a few weeks before the ceremony, he does something that causes Rebecca to reconsider his proposal. As Rebecca and Noah navigate the turn in their relationship, Rebecca must learn to forgive Noah or abandon her dreams of marrying him. If Noah won’t forgive himself in time for the baptism, his guilt could cause him to run from his love for Rebecca and leave his community behind.

A Perfect Plan  (previously published in An Amish Wedding)

Priscilla King has been planning to marry Chester Lapp since she was sixteen years old, and when Chester pops the question on Priscilla’s nineteenth birthday, wedding plans begin immediately. But everything begins to fall apart as Chester works to build a house for his new bride, only to have one disaster after another occur. Can true love take this couple through the challenges that threaten their union, or will they begin to doubt that they are on the right path, the one God has chosen for them?

A Christmas Miracle

Mary is twenty-seven years old and already has five young children. Married to her husband at age eighteen, she wasn’t quite prepared for motherhood, and exhaustion and frustration are sending her into a downhill spiral as the holidays approach. Too proud and ashamed to ask for help, Mary’s situation begins to take a toll on her marriage. But when an elderly man in a red suit and his sidekick elf befriend Mary, showering her with wisdom and advice, she must choose to accept help, learn to cope with her situation, and ultimately find the true meaning of Christmas.

 

 

MY THOUGHTS:

Amish Celebrations by Beth Wiseman is a wonderful book. . . I thoroughly enjoyed the four novellas and how the characters interact with each other.

Each story is so good that it’s nearly impossible to choose a favorite! I really felt for Hannah and Elizabeth, who had no idea what was really happening in their twins’ lives, but I think I identified mostly with Mary King and her family. My favorite time of year has always been Christmas, and this story is a special holiday tale.

I hope these stories bless you as much as they did me.

Happy Reading!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2018 DJ Mynatt

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