Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Book Review: The Winnowing Season (Book 2 of the Amish Vines and Orchards series)

9780307730046THE WINNOWING SEASON by Cindy Woodsmall
Book Description: The tornado that devastated Kings’ Orchard pushed Rhoda, Samuel, and Jacob to make a new start in Maine. Are they strong enough to withstand the challenges of establishing an Amish community—and brave enough to face the secrets that move with them?

On the eve of their departure to begin a new Old Order Amish community outside of Unity, Maine, Rhoda Byler is shocked to discover that choices made by her business partner and friend, Samuel King, have placed her and her unusual gifts directly into the path of her district’s bishop and preachers. She is furious with Samuel and is fearful that the Kings will be influenced by the way her leaders see her, and not what they know to be true—that Rhoda’s intuition is a gift from God.

Jacob King won’t be swayed by community speculation. He loves Rhoda, believes in her, and wants to build a future with her in Maine. But when the ghosts of his past come calling and require him to fulfill a great debt, can he shake their hold before it destroys what he has with Rhoda? Samuel has a secret of his own—one he’ll go to great lengths to keep hidden, even if it means alienating those closest to him. Throwing himself into rehabilitating the once-abandoned orchard, Samuel turns to a surprising new ally.

Book 2 of the Amish Vines and Orchards series asks: can the three faithfully follow God’s leading and build a new home and orchard in Maine? Or will this new beginning lead to more ruin and heartbreak?

My Thoughts: I love anything By Cindy Woodsmall so I’m a bit biased, but how can I not love her writing! She draws you in and has you hooked from page one! I really enjoyed book one of this series and anxiously awaited book two and it didn't disappoint me. It was great to read more about Jacob’s past and how it affects his relationship with Rhoda, as well as his family. I felt the confusion and heartbreak of the main characters as they dealt with the obstacles God placed in their way. I cant wait for book 3! What is in store for the King’s and Rhonda? What will Leah eventually chose? I want to know more.

Below are a few things that might interest you about the book above, the Amish Vines and Orchards series, as well as the Author herself -

Read an excerpt:

asft_lgWhat you missed in book one, A Season for Tending:
In a community where conformity flourishes, seeds of Rhoda’s odd behavior were planted long ago. Can she cultivate her relationships with the same care and tenderness that she gives her beloved garden? 
Old Order Amish Rhoda Byler’s unusual gift and her remarkable abilities to grow herbs and berries have caused many to think her odd. As rumors mount that Rhoda’s “gift” is a detriment to the community, she chooses isolation, spending her time in her fruit garden and on her thriving canning business. 
Miles away in Harvest Mills, Samuel King struggles to keep his family’s apple orchard profitable. As the eldest son, Samuel farms with his brothers, the irrepressible Jacob and brash Eli, while his longtime girlfriend Catherine remains hopeful that Samuel will marry her when he feels financially stable, 
Meanwhile, Samuel’s younger sister Leah is testing all the boundaries during her rumschpringe, and finds herself far from home in Rhoda’s garden after a night of partying gone badly. But Leah’s poor choices serve as a bridge between Rhoda and the King family when a tragic mistake in the orchard leaves Samuel searching for solutions. 
Rhoda’s expertise in canning could be the answer, but she struggles with guilt over the tragic death of her sister and doesn’t trust herself outside her garden walls. As the lines between business, love, and family begin to blur, can Rhoda finally open up to a new life? And what effect will this odd, amazing woman have on the entire King family?
My Review of book one:

fes_lgBook three, For Every Season Releasing September 17, 2013.
Find Cindy Woodsmall:

Disclosure: "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."

Monday, May 13, 2013

Book Review: Threads of Grace (A Patch of Heaven Novel)



Threads of Grace (A Patch of Heaven Novel) by Kelly Long

Book Description: Grace’s beauty almost cost her everything. This new start is all she has left.

When Grace Beiler was only a girl, she was married off to an older Amish man in order to save her family’s farm. Years later, she finds herself newly widowed and a mother to a young son. She has finally fled her sad past and plans to settle into a quiet life in Pennsylvania.

As soon as she arrives, she captures the attention of Seth Wyse, the most eligible bachelor in Pine Creek. Seth is candid about his feelings for her, and for her son Abel, but Grace is determined to protect her heart. Her determination falters when her brother-in-law reveals the troubling contents of her late husband’s will.

Seth offers Grace his hand in marriage, and thus a means of escape. But despite his having saved her from another loveless marriage, Grace is slow to trust her new husband. And as the months wear on, Seth wonders if he has made a mistake. But God is quietly at work in their hearts, and Seth and Grace soon discover that threads of grace bind them together in a tapestry rich in hope and love.

My Thoughts: Diving back into my favorite genre, here is another great Amish Fiction book. Another reviewer said it best - “What unfolds is a true love story, one of overcoming a painful past and learning to trust in each other and God.” Now most faith based fiction has a slight conflict and resolution but really doesn’t hit on the darker topics of life like Abuse. Lets face it when you think of the Amish you think of good Godly people who would never do wrong. But humans are flawed and I love that Kelly Long can bring the gritty dirty topics to light even in an Amish community. I really enjoyed her story of how Grace with Seth can overcome her abuse past and forge a true godly of loving relationship and redemption. I personally cant wait to pick up the other book in this series and Kelly Long has joined my list of favorite authors.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: The Captain's Bride (Northern Lights)

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailThe Captain's Bride (Northern Lights), By Lisa T. Bergren

Book Description: Elsa Anders's dream of marrying Peder Ramstad is about to come true. But as this independent, strong-willed woman discovers her own creative gifts—a love for travel, painting, and the sea—can she find happiness with a captain who insists upon leaving her safely on shore?
Leaving their home in Norway behind, Elsa and Peder embark on a new life in  with their closest friends, including: Kaatje Jansen, a woman seeking a new beginning for the sake of her marriage and for the child growing within her; Elsa's sister Tora, a sly young vixen who knows exactly what she wants—and exactly how to get it; and Karl Martensen, a man torn between his friendship for Peder and a forbidden, secret love for Elsa, a man tormented by emotions that threaten to ruin them all.
From the gentle hills of Bergen, Norway, to the rocky coast of Camden, Maine, and across the crashing, danger-filled waves of the open sea—experience an epic saga of perseverance and passion, faith and fidelity, in the Northern Lights series: the new historical series by Lisa Tawn Bergren.
My Thoughts: This is a really well-written romance novel. Lisa Bergren has really mastered the craft of writing historical romance with just the right touch of Christian undertone. The story draws you into the lives of each character and makes you want for more! Do yourself a favor and read all three books in the series you wont regret it - The Captain's Bride, Deep Harbor, and Midnight Sun!
“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”