Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wanted: Sisters of the Heart Book Review

I was excited to have the second book already in my hands when I finished the first book because it was so good and I wanted to find out what happened next.  I picked up Wanted (Sisters of the Heart) by Shelley Shepard Gray and started reading.  I couldn't stop!!!

Twenty-year-old Katie Brenneman has always quietly fancied Jonathan Lundy. So when the brokenhearted widower asks her to help him take care of his two young girls, Katie knows it will be a trying time—yet she cannot pass up a golden opportunity to get to know this man better.  Just as she's settling into her new life, a message arrives from Katie's past, threatening to expose her darkest secrets. During her Rumspringa, her running-around years, she experimented with activities forbidden in the Amish way of life. Frightened by how far she'd strayed from her values, Katie ran back home, vowing to cut all ties with the outside world. Now her transgressions are coming back to haunt her, just as Jonathan seems willing to welcome her into his heart.
Will the past destroy Katie's chances for love? Or will Katie allow herself to accept God's love, forgive her past, and receive everything she's ever wanted?

It was another great book in the series and I can't wait to get the next one from the library.  I have been trying to make it there to pick it up but since I was reading another book I was distracted.  This was very interesting and hard to put down. I loved all of the follow through from the previous book in the series.  It is always great to revisit some of those characters that we grew to love in the first book and then learn more details about them.  This book was a great insight into Katie which still featuring Anna from the first book.  Getting into their life and seeing how every decision affects them, makes you appreciate the Amish life even more so.  I loved this book as much as the first one and I hope that you do to.  If you missed the first book, please check out the review here and then read this book.  I hope that you check it out at your local library or bookstore soon!!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Metro Girl Book Review

I was excited to finally read a book of my book shelf because I was out of library books and in the middle of the move so I didn't have time to head to the library.  Metro Girl (Alex Barnaby Series #1) by Janet Evanovich was on my shelf to read and it was at the beginning of the series so I was super excited to try out a new series.  I can't wait to meet all the new characters.

Alexandra (Barney) Barnaby roars onto the Miami Beach scene in hot pursuit of her missing baby brother, "Wild" Bill. Leave it to the maverick of the family to get Barney involved with high-speed car chases, a search for sunken treasure, and Sam Hooker, a NASCAR driver who’s good at revving a woman's engine.
Engaged in a deadly race, Bill has "borrowed" Hooker's sixty-five-foot Hatteras and sailed off into the sunset...just when Hooker has plans for the boat. Hooker figures he'll attach himself to Barney and maybe run into scumbag Bill. And better yet, maybe he'll get lucky in love with Bill's sweetie pie sister.
The pedal will have to go to metal if Barney and Hooker want to be the first to cross the finish line, save Bill, Hooker's boat...and maybe the world.

I enjoyed the book even though it was super unbelievable.  I think that the best thing about these books is that it makes you totally escape your life and laugh at all the trouble that Janet Evanovich's characters get into.  I love her writing style and enjoy all the twists and turns that she brings to her characters.Even though this is even more unbelievable then the Plum series, it was very entertaining and I can't wait to read the next one in the series.  I hope that you check out this fun and entertaining story and see what you think!! 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hidden: Sisters of the Heart Book Review

I went to the library website to find a complete book series by Shelley Shepard Gray and I found one! Hidden (Sisters of the Heart, Book 1) by Shelley Shepard Gray was the first book in the series so I was super excited to reserve these books to come off reserve one each week so that I could keep them straight and read them in the right order.  The first two came in together because it took be too long to make it to the library so there was a little figuring out before I knew which one to start with!

When Anna decides it's time to leave her abusive boyfriend, she doesn't know where to turn. Rob has completely won over her parents, and the entire community, with his good looks and smooth charm. Only Anna has seen his dark side.  Desperate, she runs to the only place she's ever felt completely safe—the Amish Brenneman Bed and Breakfast, where Anna met life-long friend Katie Brenneman. The family welcomes her in, and with few questions asked allows her to stay, dressed in Plain clothing, and help around the inn.  Katie's older brother Henry is the only one who doesn't take too kindly to the intrusion. He tries to ignore Anna, knowing no good would ever come from caring for an Englisher like her. But as he gets to know Anna, he discovers her good heart and is surprised with her readiness to accept their lifestyle.
The more time Anna spends with the Amish, the more she feels she's found a true home. But how can she deny the life she left behind? And will her chance for happiness be stolen away by the man from her past?

 A great mix of Amish and real world story.  It is so interesting to see when the two worlds cross.  Anna is trying to rebuild her life with the best place that she can think of, Amish country.  Anna rebuilds her life in the Amish Bed and Breakfast by helping out and finds that she is much happier even with all of the hard work.  There are some interesting twists and turns in the book that make you want to keep reading and it was another one that was hard to put down.  There were a few times that I might have been reading instead of doing all of the other things that I had on my to do list (kind of like now when I am writing this review).  I enjoyed the writing and the story lots and can't wait to read the rest of the series.  I hope that you check out this book at your local library or bookstore.  Let me know what you think when you read it!!!

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Promise of Palm Grove Book Review

I missed the sign up for this great book and I was super sad when going through my emails because I saw the email from the publisher on this and quickly send a message.  I was super excited to be added at the last minute to review The Promise of Palm Grove: Amish Brides of Pinecraft, Book One by Shelley Shepard Gray. The book arrived within just a day or so after I sent the email so I was super excited.  I picked the date at the end of the tour because I was afraid that I would have trouble because of my late response.  I was excited that I got to read it shortly after I got it and beat the beginning of the tour dates by finishing it because I couldn't put it down.

A young Amish woman finds herself torn between the man she’s pledged to wed and the man her heart desires in this heartwarming story of chance, duty, and choice in the face of love—the first volume in the new Amish Brides of Pinecraft series.  Amish bride-to-be Leona is thrilled to be in Florida, on a mini-vacation in the pretty town of Pinecraft. Her girlfriends think she’s happy because she’s away from the stress of wedding planning. They have no idea that Leona’s real joy is in being away from her fiancĂ©.  Edmund is a good man, and will make a decent husband but Leona just isn't sure he is for her. The more time she spends with him and his overbearing ways, the less she wants to be his wife. Her friends are so excited for the wedding and their certainty makes Leona begin to doubt herself. But when a chance encounter with a wayward cat brings her face-to-face with a handsome, fun-loving Amish man named Zachary Kauffman, Leona’s faced with two vastly different futures.  Leona must decide what she is going to do next but you have to pick up the book to find out what she picks.

I loved this book!!!  I previously read Joyful from her and enjoyed it so much I tried to get a few of her other books in that series but they weren't in the library.  I thought about getting some of her other books but totally forgot since I was trying inter-library loan to get the others that never came through.  This book did remind me that I love her writing and need to get more books by this author!!  I reserved another series and can't wait to start reading it.  I am hoping that I get a chance to read a few more of her books soon but I know that you will enjoy this great writing and great characters.  The characters are so life like that you feel like you are one of their friends following around their lives and trying to resolve all the issues that they are dealing with...even though they are Amish and I am not.  The great twist on this book is that the setting is in warm and sunny Florida instead of cold and dreary Ohio or Pennsylvania where most of the Amish books are set.  This is a refreshing twist on other Amish fiction books with the warm change of pace that I know everyone will enjoy!!  I hope that you pick up this book and others by Shelley Shepard Gray and enjoy her writing as much as I did!

**I was provided a free copy of this book for my review and honest opinion through Litfuse Publishing.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 3/23ish

So the week began and I knew that I didn't have any food in the house.  We had the open house scheduled for Sunday and I was mainly focused on getting through that and not making more of a mess then I had to in the house.  We even started eating on paper plates and getting take out as of Wednesday the previous week but after three days of eating out, my family was done.  We ate dinner at my sister in laws on Saturday and a really late dinner on Sunday after the open house.  Of course, that still meant that I was totally unprepared for the week.  I decided that I was going to head to Target and grab a few things and use my $100 remaining gift card to get some special treats from the Easter Bunny and food for us to eat.  I also knew that we needed meat so I went to Wegman's to get ground beef and chicken.  I made both of those stops on Tuesday so Monday was my son's favorite to which he cheered when I told him what we were having.  I figured since I had most of the food (there was construction in front of Aldi's and I got in the wrong lane so I didn't make it there on Tuesday) that I should make a plan for the rest of the week.  Sadly, the grill is already at the other house so no grilling yet even though the weather is supposed to be better.  My son also cheered that we were back to regular plates and not paper plates because I guess that another thing that he wasn't a fan of :)

Monday- Chicken Nugget Wraps and homemade fries
Tuesday- Tacos with saffron rice
Wednesday- Salsa Sloppy Joes and leftover rice
Thursday- Chicken and chicken rice
Friday-Pasta and garlic pizza bites
Saturday- Leftovers/???
Sunday- Leftovers/???

I hope to have a fairly normal week but I think that we might have to get out of the house again for the home inspection this weekend so I don't know if we will be able to make it back in and eat but I would think that it would be over by then.  I am playing it by ear.  We will be having something with chicken but I don't know what yet.  Hope you are having a yummy week too!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Baby for Dry Creek and A Dry Creek Christmas Book Review

I got the second book in the library that had two books in one, A Baby for Dry Creek / A Dry Creek Christmas (Love Inspired Classics) by Janet Tronstad.  I was happy to get this book when it came in and ready to read this fun read.

A Baby for Dry Creek

Blushing bride Chrissy Hamilton was strong-willed, but nothing prepared her for her groom's infidelity. So she escaped to Dry Creek, where fresh air and sunshine would heal her heart, renew her faith and reach her cousin. She met thoughtful rancher Reno Redfern, she had since gone back to normal life and found out that she was pregnant.  Her ex-fiance's family is trying to take away her baby but they first want to check to see it Reno is the father from her brief trip to Dry Creek.  A lawyer letter arrives in Dry Creek and the town decided to rescue this Chrissy and bring her back to Dry Creek where she will be safe.
A Dry Creek Christmas

Good Samaritan Millie Corwin uses the spare key the Dry Creek cafĂ© to enter when the cafe is closed for the holidays. But when Brad Parker catches her, he immediately brands her a criminal. He decides that the good dead that she is up to is the opposite of what happens so he wants to get the sheriff to handle the situation but the sheriff isn't found in the middle of the night so he brings her back to the bunkhouse at the farm.  The funny story that unfolds after that is amusing and worth picking up to find out.

I love when you get to follow up with characters that  you have read about in other stories previously.  Chrissy was in another story previously and I didn't know we would ever see her again just like Millie.  They have their own story and it is great to read a story from their perspective because it gives you an even bigger understanding of the other book and stories.  I love to get to know the town and people of Dry Creek even better and this book with certainly help you do that.  The one thing that confuses me is that the person who writes the summary of the book online because it totally doesn't match the actual story so I wrote my own description because it was very different.  I guess this is the don't judge a book by its description because it was totally different but luckily I didn't read the description because I would have been confused the whole time!!  I hope that you check out this book and others in the series.  I know that you will enjoy it as much as I did!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Hope of Refuge Book Review

Awhile ago I put a book on reserve at the library with a date that it would come off at the end of February and it appeared at the beginning of March for me to read.  I didn't remember anything about it except that I know that I have read the author before.  I was excited to start on a new series with The Hope of Refuge (Ada's House Series, Book 1) by Cindy Woodsmall.

Raised in foster care and now the widowed mother of a little girl, Cara Moore struggles against poverty, fear, and a relentless stalker. When a trail of memories leads Cara and Lori out of New York City toward an Amish community, she follows every lead, eager for answers and a fresh start. She discovers that long-held secrets about her family history ripple beneath the surface of Dry Lake, Pennsylvania, and it’s no place for an outsider. But one Amish man, Ephraim Mast, dares to fulfill the command he believes that he received from God–“Be me to her”– despite how it threatens his way of life.

Ephraim’s sister Deborah also finds her dreams crumbling when the man she has pledged to build a life with begins withdrawing from Deborah and his community, including his mother, Ada Stoltzfus. Ada envisions transforming an old house to make her own life to live separately from the soon to be married couple.  While Ephraim is trying to do what he believes is right, will he be shunned and lose everything–including the guarded single mother who simply longs for a better life?  You have to pick up the book to find out.

This book was amazing.  I was fascinated by the story for Cara and how she was working hard to support her daughter and have her raised to be the best woman that she can be even though they have little means to do so.  With the idea of coming to Amish country to find out why her mother thought that would be a good place for her to be safe.  The other characters in the book were also great and I loved how the story lines came together to work into an amazing story.  How the story ends is amazing and I know that you will enjoy this great Amish novel.  I hope that you pick up this great book and check it out for yourself.