Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Quieting: The Bishop's Family Book 2 By Suzanne Woods Fisher

I received this book from Celebrate Lit Blogging Program and the author for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:

The Stoltzfus family faces serious problems, both in the church and at home. Everyone in the community expects minister David Stoltzfus to fix things--fast. But David doesn't work fast. He prefers to wait for God to work in individual hearts. However, even he is left wondering if the solution to their most pressing problem might be a Quieting.
When David's mother arrives, uninvited, more upheaval is in store. She has matchmaking plans for everyone in the family, including David and her eligible granddaughters--and especially for David's niece Abigail. When Abigail stumbles onto a curious connection during her genealogical research, it could help David solve one problem--but will it create another?
Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher takes fans back to Stoney Ridge, delivering the twists, turns, and romance they adore.

My Thoughts:

The Quieting is the second book in Suzanne Woods Fisher's latest series, The Bishop's Family, and it is fantastic. As a HUGE fan of Amish Fiction, Suzanne Woods Fisher is in my top 10 must read Amish Authors. I had the privilege of reading and reviewing the first book, The Imposter, so I was so excited to have the opportunity to read and review this latest book. Suzanne Woods Fisher writes with authority about all things Amish including their beliefs, their lifestyles, their jobs, and how their families are. She also writes with authority about oil wells, moss gardening, drilling, genealogy, buggy repair, running a grocery store, and the practice of quieting. Before I go any further here is the definition of a Quieting from Suzanne Woods Fisher website: A Quieting revokes the ordination of a bishop, minister or deacon so that he returns to being a church member, but not a leader. One Amish woman thought the process of Quieting most likely came from the books of Timothy in the New Testament, however there are many biblical passages in which guidance was provided to protect the young churches from false teachers and cancer-like sin.
A Quieting is not done in haste. It’s a serious, heart-wrenching step for an Amish church. In my interviews with the Amish, it was obvious that the entire church felt the impact, the pain, of this action. It reminded me of how my church felt after the awful ordeal with our unrepentant pastor.

I found myself drawn into the story right from the start and could not put it down. The book definitely had twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end. I love this series, it takes place in Stoney Ridge which is the setting for a few of Suzanne Woods Fisher's series so I LOVE reading about old friends from these previous series, learning all about how their lives have progressed. In The Quieting we meet new friends also. I have to say in this book my favorites would be Abigail Stolzfus, one of David's nieces who shows up to "help" the family and to help complete a genealogy report for her father and  Ruthie Stolzfus, one of David's daughters who takes her responsibilities seriously. I loved the interactions between Abigail and Ruthie. Abigail is a born organizer and took it upon herself to organize the Stolzfus house and tell Ruthie how to do things better so they hit heads a lot. They definitely gave some comic relief but also dealt with some heavy things between them. I definitely found myself laughing in many parts, sad in others, and holding my breath in others. I enjoy Suzanne Woods Fisher's style of writing, really makes me feel like I am right there as the events unfold.  I cannot wait to read the next book in this series, The Devoted, coming out in Fall of 2016. I HIGHLY recommend this book, series, and author to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed. I give this book 5+ STARS.


 Purchase your copy of The Quieting here.

 

About the Book

The Stoltzfus family faces serious problems, both in the church and at home. Everyone in the community expects minister David Stoltzfus to fix things–fast. But David doesn’t work fast. He prefers to wait for God to work in individual hearts. However, even he is left wondering if the solution to their most pressing problem might be a Quieting. When David’s mother arrives, uninvited, more upheaval is in store. She has matchmaking plans for everyone in the family, including David and her eligible granddaughters–and especially for David’s niece Abigail. When Abigail stumbles onto a curious connection during her genealogical research, it could help David solve one problem–but will it create another? Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher takes fans back to Stoney Ridge, delivering the twists, turns, and romance they adore.

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author whose most recent novels include Anna’s Crossing and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.  

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May 30: Quiet Quilter

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

Twenty years ago, my husband and I attended a large church with a dynamic senior pastor. Each Sunday, we would sit spellbound during 40 minute sermons—he was that good a preacher. And then a terrible thing came to light—this very man had been taking advantage of vulnerable women during counseling sessions. Fourteen women, it turned out, and the pastor remained unrepentant. As issues were dealt with, our entire church suffered. We were a hurting community. The sins of one affected all.

As I plotted out ‘The Bishop’s Family,’ I wanted to borrow the theme of how a leader’s sins hurts the church community. (Now, I need to clarify that this is not a novel that addresses sexual sin. However, it does address unrepentant sin in an ordained leader.) First, I spoke to some Amish friends to see if my story idea had any merit. Was I was on the right track? To my amazement, a similar situation to my novels had occurred in one Amish friend’s church, and it resulted in a “quieting.” That’s an Amish phrase that means revoking the responsibilities of an unrepentant ordained leader. Just like it sounds–he is, essentially, “quieted.”

In this novel, you’ll see the behind-the-scenes of Amish church leadership, and get a sense of how a community is hurting. And how it begins to heal, too.

This series began in the Stoney Ridge, Pennsylvania community with The Imposter. More twists and turns are coming to Stoney Ridge after The Quieting—so stay tuned for The Devoted to hit bookshelves in early October. Just in time for autumn reading by a warm fireplace!

Warmly, Suzanne

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grab bag of Amish-made gifts worth over $100! Click the link to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/99a8

Friday, May 20, 2016

Someone Like You By Victoria Bylin

I received this book  from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:

Single mom Julia Dare has a lot on her plate.
A brand new Christian, Julia is busy trying to run her own business, spend time with her widowed mother, and raise her young son, Max, despite his father’s less-than-ideal influence on him. When a big account from her event-planning business sends her to the Caliente Springs resort, she’s shocked to come face-to-face with Zeke Monroe, the resort’s general manager and her college sweetheart.
With his faith in tatters, Zeke Monroe is determined to keep the historic Caliente Springs resort running despite financial difficulties. But when Julia walks back into his life, he can’t ignore the feelings she stirs up. As they work together on an important client’s dream wedding, the fate of the resort soon depends on their success. When Zeke and Julia are pushed to their limits both personally and professionally, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together?

My Thoughts:

Someone Like You is the first book by Victoria Bylin that I have read and I absolutely loved it.  In high school I was majoring in Travel and Tourism and always wanted to have a resort so this book really caught my attention. Also the front cover of the book is so awesome, it really touched me and drew me to this book. Victoria Bylin writes with authority about California, event planning, running a resort, horses, single parenthood, and  finding and living in faith. I was hooked on this book from the start, I could NOT put it down. I loved the characters in this book, they are real people, with messy lives that aren't "fixed" by the end of the book. I have to say my favorite character was Ladybug. She offered comic relief throughout the story and challenged the characters in this story. I enjoyed Victoria Bylin's style of writing. I felt like I was right there at Caliente Springs part of the story. This book truly touched all of my emotions from laughing out loud to crying from sadness and joy. One of the biggest theme's in this book is faith, new found faith and finding lost faith and that really has stayed with even after finishing this book especially searching for lost faith after the loss of a parent. As I read Zeke's story and struggles it really spoke to my heart as I am dealing with the death of my own Dad. Someone Like You is one of those books that will stay with me. I truly enjoyed this book and HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more of Victoria Bylin's books. I definitely have found a new must read author! I give this book 5 STARS. 

Please check out the contest below for a chance to win a copy of Someone Like You.

https://promosimple.com/ps/9939



Friday, May 6, 2016

The Inheritance: The Secrets of the Shetlands Book One By Michael Phillips

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:

The death of the clan patriarch has thrown the tiny Shetland Islands community of Whale’s Reef into turmoil.
Everyone assumed MacGregor Tulloch’s heir to be his grand-nephew David, a local favorite, but when it is discovered that MacGregor left no will, David’s grasping cousin Hardy submits his own claim to the inheritance, an estate that controls most of the island’s land. And while Hardy doesn’t enjoy much popular support, he has the backing of a shadowy group of North Sea oil investors. The courts have frozen the estate’s assets while the competing claims are investigated, leaving many of the residents in financial limbo. The future of the island—and its traditional way of life—hangs in the balance.
Loni Ford is enjoying her rising career in a large investment firm in Washington, DC. Yet in spite of her outward success, she is privately plagued by questions of identity. Orphaned as a young child, she was raised by her paternal grandparents, and while she loves them dearly, she feels completely detached from her roots. That is until a mysterious letter arrives from a Scottish solicitor. . . .
Past and present collide in master storyteller Phillips’s dramatic new saga of loss and discovery, of grasping and grace, and of the dreams of men and women everywhere.


My Thoughts: 

The Inheritance is book one in Michael Phillips latest series, The Secrets of the Shetlands and it is a good story.  I have read some of Michael Phillips other books and have many more on my TBR pile so I was excited to have the opportunity to read and review it. Michael Phillips writes with authority about the history of The Shetlands, the culture and the hierarchy, the language and dialect of the areas, and oil companies. I found the start of the book a little slow but eventually it picked up and I found myself unable to put it down. I am glad I kept up reading the book! I loved the history of the book...to learn about the history of other places. I really enjoyed the mix of past and present in this book, Michael Phillips weaves them together seamlessly. The characters are definitely interesting and very well developed. They are real people who have secrets, troubles just like the rest of us. I found myself drawn to David Tulloch, his pride in his country and his role in his community are very honorable. His struggles are real and he works to get through them. I enjoyed Michael Phillips style of writing, I felt like I was there watching the events unfold. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction and/or books about the Shetlands, you will not be disappointed. As I stated I had a hard time in the beginning but give it a chance, you will be glad you did. I look forward to reading the next book in this series, The Cottage. I give this book 4 STARS.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Song of Silence By Cynthia Ruchti

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:

Lucy and Charlie Tuttle agree on one thing: they're committed to each other for life. Trouble is, neither of them expected life to look like this. While Charlie retired early, Lucy is devoted to a long-term career . . . until the day she has no choice.
Forced to retire from her position as music educator in a small Midwestern K-8 school, Lucy can only watch helplessly as the program her father started years ago disintegrates before her eyes. As the music fades and a chasm separates her from the passion of her heart, Lucy wonders if her faith's song has gone silent, too. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes.
When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees--and hears--everything.



My Thoughts: 

Song of Silence is the latest book by Cynthia Ruchti and it is great. I have had the pleasure of reading some of Cynthia Ruchti other books and Song of Silence I think is the best one I have read from her so far. As a HUGE music lover this book really spoke to me. I can't play any instruments and can kind of sing and I find music to be one of my languages when I cannot communicate any other way so this book felt like it was speaking to my heart. Cynthia Ruchti writes with authority on music, teaching, faith, marriage, and deafness. I found myself taken with this book from start to finish. The characters in this book are definitely complex and real people. They are imperfect people with messy lives who find themselves needing to rely on their faith and each other to handle the direction their lives are taking. I found myself drawn to Lucy as she struggled with her marriage, her faith, her music and her health. I found myself learning from Lucy's situation how faith and coming together with a spouse to help one another. I found myself smiling in some parts and definitely crying in others. Definitely needed some tissues. I truly enjoy Cynthia Ruchti's style of writing, I truly found myself feeling like I was there watching the events of this book. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction and/or music lovers, you will NOT be disappointed.  I definitely give this book 4 STARS. Please check out the contest below!


As the music fades and a chasm separates her from the passion of her heart, will Lucy's faith song go silent, too? Find out in Cynthia Ruchti's new book, Song of Silence. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes. When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees—and hears—everything.

Celebrate the release of Song of Silence with a blog tour and giveaway. Two winners will be chosen!

song of silence - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Song of Silence
  • A $150 Visa cash card
One second place winner will receive:
  • A copy of Song of Silence
  • A music-themed prize pack filled with goodies hand-picked by Cynthia
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on May 9th. The winners will be announced May 10th on Cynthia's blog.

song-of-silence-enter

A Dream of Miracles: The Amish Wonders Series Book 3 By Ruth Reid

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:

Amish widow Mattie vows never to love again . . . until a suspicious outsider with a shadowy past comes crashing into her fragile world.
Mattie Diener can barely keep it together. A young Amish widow and mother of two young children, she faces the lingering heartbreak of lost love, her son’s mysterious illness, and a torrent of accusations that threaten to undo her.
Bo Lambright is a fast-rising social services investigator whose high-society mother won’t rest until she finds his Mrs. Right. Despite Bo’s worldly success, the raw ache of a shadowy past and a series of unsettling dreams have left him reeling.
When Mattie and Bo cross paths, all signs point to disaster. Yet as they face a crucible of trials and tragedies together, longings begin to stir that seem destined only to end in more heartbreak. Is a miracle possible—not only of healing but of forbidden love? What secrets lie in Bo’s dreams? And will Mattie find the courage to face her uncertain future . . . or will she simply run away?


My Thoughts:

A Dream of Miracles is the third book in Ruth Reid's series The Amish Wonders and it is fantastic. As a HUGE fan of Amish Fiction I have read Ruth Reid's books and she is one of my must read authors for Amish Fiction. I have had the pleasure of reading the first two books in this series and I was excited to have the opportunity to read and review this latest book. Ruth Reid writes with authority on the Amish including the different orders in different states, lumber mills, medical procedure, Child protective policies and procedures, herbs, and natural remedies. From start to finish, I could NOT put this book down. This book is definitely different from the other Amish Fiction I have read. This book focuses on what happens when a mother of two Amish children ends up the focus of an investigation from Child Protective Services after her son ends up in the hospital twice. Mattie is accused of poisoning her son and then of physically abusing him. The characters in this book are great. They are real people with messy lives, trying to find their way in the world. I have to say my favorite character would have to be Bo Lambright. He is a kind man who finds himself in a messy situation having to decide whether to follow procedure or follow what he feels is the right thing. I enjoyed his interactions with the other characters and his heart for children. I also enjoyed meeting new characters in this book but learning about the fate of old friends from the previous books especially Grace and Ben from book two. This book definitely keeps you guessing until the end what will happen to the characters in this book. I truly enjoy Ruth Reid's style of writing and felt like I was right there as these events unfolded. I found myself smiling in parts and definitely crying in others. As a mom my heart broke for Mattie and her children as they had to navigate in world outside of their community. This book started with so much heartbreak and ended in so much forgiveness and happiness.  I personally enjoy Amish Fiction where the outside world and the Amish community come together. I HIGHLY recommend this book and author to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 5 STARS. Please check out the information below and the contest!



When a suspicious outsider with a shadowy past comes crashing into Amish widow Mattie’s fragile world, can she learn to love again? Find out in Ruth Reid's new book, A Dream of Miracles. When Mattie and Bo cross paths, all signs point to disaster. Yet as they face a crucible of trials and tragedies together, longings begin to stir that seem destined only to end in more heartbreak. Is a miracle possible—not only of healing but of forbidden love? What secrets lie in Bo’s dreams? And will Mattie find the courage to face her uncertain future . . . or will she simply run away?

Ruth is celebrating the release of A Dream of Miracles with a Kindle Fire HD 6 giveaway (details below) and an author chat party on May 3!

dream of miracles - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • One copy of A Dream of Miracles
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 5/3. The winner will be announced at A Dream of Miracles Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Ruth and other fans of Amish fiction, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

dream of miracles - enter banner

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 3rd!