Thursday, January 30, 2014

An Amish Miracle - A Book Review

An Amish Miracle is a book compiled of three Amish Novellas by three different Authors.  Included is Always In My Heart by Mary Ellis, Always His Providence by Ruth Reid and Always Beautiful by Beth Wisemen.  It was not until I began the second story that I realized that all three Novellas take place in the same Amish community and all the character's intertwine.  I absolutely loved that the authors worked together to do this and it added to the enjoyment of the stories.  Once I started reading these beautifully written stories it was hard to stop.  I love fiction books that portray a faith in God that is encouraging to read and deals with things that I can relate with and each one of these stories did exactly that.

Another thing that each short story has in common is that each main character needs and is praying for a miracle of some sort.  God provides for each of them in ways that was beyond (and better) than their thinking.

In the first story Always In My Heart, Hope Bowman believes that she is being punished by God for giving up her son for adoption when she was 16 years old.  She has kept a terrible secret from everyone including her husband.  She finally realizes she must make peace with herself, God and her family.  She tells her husband the truth of her past.  Her husband has desperately wanted a son, even though God has blessed them with 4 daughters.  He has a hard time dealing with it at first, but soon realizes that Hope was not to blame and was following her own fathers orders.  Hope has always prayed for the son she gave up, but she is also praying that God would bless her and her husband with a boy of their own.  Much to her surprise God answers her prayer when a 15 year old boy shows up on their doorstep...the son she gave up for adoption.  This is a story of faith, of forgiveness and of healing.  I enjoyed reading this novella so much and thought it was beautifully written.  The only complaint I have is that it was too short.  I felt that the end of the story was a little rushed and would of loved to have more details at the end.

Always His Providence is about Rosa Hostetler who is a widow.  Her husband died while saving his best friend Adam from a burning barn.  Before he died he asked Adam to take care of Rosa.  Rosa's late husband also left her in bad financial shape and she has one month to pay her delinquent taxes or she will lose her farm.  She is very proud and refuses to ask for help from the community or from Adam.  She depends on her income from selling eggs, but when an Englisher neighbor's dog begins to kill her chickens everything is put to the test.  The miracle that God provides for Rosa is so completely unexpected.  Such a great story about healing, learning to trust in God and not yourself or others and excepting love again.

Always Beautiful is about Becky Byler who is eighteen and overweight.  Her insecurities and low self esteem has brought her to the side of a fast flowing creek.  Becky is unable to swim and is considering taking her own life.  She prays and asks God for a make her thin.  In just a few short months Becky loses the weight and the temptation that food had over her.  She no longer compares herself to the other girls and feels she is as good as they are, she is even dating Matt, the most handsome boy in the community.  Even though she is finally pleased with the way she looks she begins to realize that she does not like the person she has become.  Through it all she has even lost her best friend Elam, who has always been the one person who always stood by her side and truly loved her for who she was.  Is it too late for Becky to make things right?  This a great story about self-image, pride and the realization that sometimes we have to learn lessons the hard way, but God's way is always the best and if we stay true to Him he works everything out for our good.

If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would.  I truly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading Amish fiction!

***This ebook was provided to me by the publisher through the booksneeze blogging for books program.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Headmistress of Rosemere - A Book Review

I have been anxiously waiting for The Headmistress of Rosemere to be released ever since I finished Book One in the Whispers on Moors series.  I absolutely loved the first book and The Headmistress of Rosemere was equally as good.  The author Sarah E. Ladd is an amazing writer and has a way of writing the gives the reader such a clear picture of the story.  I feel as if I am transported to another time within the pages of her books.  There is a great combination of romance, suspense and a little bit of action.  I never considered myself a fan of the regency era, but these regency novels are the best!  I am already counting down the days till the 3'rd book in this series comes out and if it is anything like the other two I know I will love it as well!

You don't necessarily have to read these books in order.  It will not effect the story at all.  They are both so good though, that I do recommend reading both.  Just be prepared for lack of sleep, because you will not want to stop reading!

About The Headmistress of Rosemere:

Patience Creighton is the headmistress of Rosemere.  At the age of 25 she already considers herself a spinster and is content with running the all girls school that her father started.  Since her father's death a lot has changed for Patience.  Her mother  has withdrawn into a deep depression and spends her days in bed.  Her brother, Rowden disappeared after their father's funeral and they have not heard from him in months.  Despite the difficulties within her family, Patience runs the school with ease.

William Sterling owns Rosemere and is a man who has made poor choices throughout his life.  He has gotten himself into serious financial trouble and his creditors want their money now.  One night he is assaulted by those he is in debt to and he ends up on the doorsteps of his tenant, The Rosemere School for Young Ladies.  Patience tends to his wounds and thus begins a romantic interest between the two.  Patience is very hesitant of William because of the rumors she has heard, but his kindness and charm speaks louder.

The creditors soon target the school for girls and danger ensues.  On top of that a secret from William Sterling's past comes to light, a secret that William himself didn't even know about.  And if that is not enough Rowden, her brother returns out of the blue with a new wife and is taking charge of everything.
Patience finally turns to God for guidance and everything begins to fall into place.  Will William be able to get his life straightened out and be the man that Patience deserves or will he fall back into his drinking and gambling ways?

***This book was provided to me by the publisher through booksneeze.