Thursday, December 1, 2016

Amish Christmas at North Star: Four Stories of Love and Family (Four Authors)

Book Description:  One night four lives entered the world by the hands of an Amish midwife, just outside North Star, Pennsylvania. 

Rebekah’s babies, as they are called, are now grown adults and in four heartwarming novellas each young person experiences a journey of discovery, love, and the wonder of Christmas.

Guiding Star by Katie Ganshert

Curiosity gets the best of Englisher Chase Wellington when he investigates the twenty-five-year-old disappearance of an Amish baby. When he finds adventurous Elle McAllister in Iowa will his discoveries upend her world? 

Mourning Star by Amanda Flower

Eden Hochstetler slips from her parents’ fudge shop to investigate the death of her friend Isaac Yoder.  Who is guilty? Isaac’s handsome great nephew Jacob, an angry Englisher, or someone else?

In the Stars by Cindy Woodsmall
Kore Detweiler has nursed his broken heart, avoiding North Star after Savilla Beiler suddenly rejected his love.  But when he is called to return home, he and Savilla must join forces to keep a family together.

Star of Grace by Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark
Andy Danner left North Star to work in construction in a new Amish settlement in Louisiana. His little brother devises a scheme to bring Andy home for Christmas, and unwittingly unleashes the power of forgiveness in an old widower’s life.

My Thoughts:  Amish Christmas at North Star features some of my favorite authors.  It was a happy day when this book came in the mail!  
North Star, Pennsylvania is a busy place with four babies being born.  These are the stories of Rebekah's Babies:
Guiding Star was the first story I had read by Katie Ganshert.  This short story is actually a mini mystery.  An Amish baby went missing twenty-five years ago and Englisher Chase Wellington decides to cure his curiosity and find out where this baby has "gone to".  An interesting little mystery.
The second mini mystery is by one of my favorite Amish mystery authors, Amanda Flower.  In Mourning Star, Eden decides she will investigate the death of her friend Issac.  I loved this mystery!
Cindy Woodsmall writes about Kore and Savilla In the Stars.  This was a nice short romance.  
Lastly, Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark penn a sweet story about love and forgiveness in Star of Grace.
Amish Christmas Star at North Star is a wonderful Christmas read for Amish fans!  A read!

*This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah*

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (October 20, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601428146
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601428141

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

Oatmeal Craisin Cookies

Yay!  It's cookie season!  

I found this yummy cookie recipe just in time for Christmas baking!


    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 cups quaker quick-cooking oats ( not instant)
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    • 3/4 cup dried cranberries ( Craisins)


  1. Preheat Oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer combine, sugar, brown sugar and butter and mix well.
  3. Add in egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Add in cinnamon, baking soda, salt and flour and mix well.
  5. Fold in by hand the oatmeal, walnuts, and dried cranberries making sure that all ingredients are uniformly distributed.
  6. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place 3-inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, just until the edges are lightly golden.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Where Treetops Glisten: Three Stories of Heartwarming Courage and Christmas Romance During World War II by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, Sarah Sundin

Book Description:  The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime

Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, 

filled with the wonder of Christmas

 Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana. 

In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help. 

Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?

In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart. 

The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future?

My Thoughts:  It's that time of the year again!  Christmas stories!!

And best yet...three stories in on book!  Three great authors pen about WWII and romance at Christmas time.  

In White Christmas Cara Putman writes about Abigail who is trying so very hard to down as she attends college and works part time at a candy shop.  But then a someone with problems bigger than hers comes along and Abigail steps in to help.  A sweet story!
In I'll Be Home for Christmas Sarah Sundin tells about Pete a fighter pilot in the war who meets the cutest most precious little girl.  This cute little girl has a widowed mother whom Pete would gladly like get together with but Pete was once a bully of sorts and the widowed mother isn't so sure about Pete.  This is what Christmas is all about!
Tricia Goyer writes about Meredith or Merry as her friends call her in Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.  Merry is a combat nurse on the from lines in the Netherlands.  Merry and her adventures were like being on the front lines...romance and all. I loved this story simply because my baby sister recently married and moved to the just hit home with me.
All three stories are novellas...short stories but they are and fun to read!  I love them all!  What a grand book! 

*This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah*

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 16, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601426488
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601426482

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Dream of Home (Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel) by Amy Clipston

Book Description:  When she moves to Amish country to find peace and healing, Madeleine finds a special community—and a special man—who pull her out of her solitude into a new life.
Moving to Pennsylvania wasn’t in Madeleine’s original plans. She should still be in California and should have married her pilot fiancĂ© a year ago—but death has a way of changing everything. Now the former Air Force flight nurse is living alone in Paradise, Pennsylvania, and working as a maid at the Lancaster Grand Hotel. She isn’t exactly a widow . . . but she sure feels like one.
Saul Beiler isn’t exactly a widower . . . but his wife is long gone. His eleven-year-old daughter, Emma, doesn’t know that her mother fled the Amish community—and married another man—but she does know that her dat is lonely, and that a pretty young maedel just moved in next door. Madeline’s numb heart begins to thaw as she spends more time with the innocent and ever optimistic Emma. The stronger her friendship grows with the young girl, the more intrigued Madeline grows about the humble, strong, man raising her on his own.
But even as a strange attraction pulls Saul and Madeleine across a stark cultural divide, they—and everybody else—have to wonder: What could they possibly have in common besides heartache? Will love allow Madeleine to finally find the home she’s been dreaming of all along?

My Thoughts:  Amy Clipston pens another great read in A Dream of Home.  This is the third book in a series. I had read book one, A Hopeful Heart but somehow missed book two, A Mother's secret.
Madeleine has moved to Pennsylvania from California to find peace and healing since the unexpected death of her fiancee. For either an Amish or Englisch person this must be quite a culture shock . . .especially for a former Air Force flight nurse . Needless to say,life in Pennsylvania is a little slower, especially since Madeleine is now a maid at the Lancaster Grand Hotel.
Then she meets Saul, who has an eleven year old daughter....just one problem Saul is single but not a widower!  Saul's wife just up and left and married another man!
This is where it gets interesting!  Saul and Madeleine are attracted to each other and Madeleine begins to grow close to Saul's daughter, Emma, BUT Saul is "divorced" and I wasn't sure how the Amish would rationalize Saul's previous marriage.  And then to boot both Saul and Madeleine seem like to skittish colts since they were both hurt in previous relationships.
Some twists and turns because life never goes quite like we think it will.
I plan on making sure I don't miss the the fourth book, A Simple Prayer.

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Series: Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (November 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031033585X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310335856

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

It's fall and apple time...oh!yea!  Here's another great Pinterest recipe!

Caramel Pecan Apple Bars
  • 1 spice cake mix
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix together cake mix, egg and butter.
  3. Pat into a parchment lined, greased 9×13″ pan.
  4. Peel and chop apples.
  5. Toss with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  6. Sprinkle chopped apples over the cake batter in the pan.
  7. Top with chopped pecans.
  8. Drizzle with sweetened condensed milk.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Home on the Range: A Novel (Double S Ranch) by Ruth Logan Herne

My Thoughts:  I read Back In the Saddle so was pleasantly surprised to receive Home on the Range!  
This story is about Nick Stafford and Dr. Elsa Andreas.  
Nick's wife has left him and he decides to go back to the ranch where his family resides.  It seems that Nick's daughters are not coping well and he needs help.
Dr. Elsa Andreas has a tragedy in her past that forced her to leave that practice and she now works in the local school.  Her sister is her biggest fan and has  a lot of faith in her abilities to help others.
When Nick returns and meets Elsa it seems that they are both licking their wounds and trying to find themselves.  Ruth Logan Herne writes a multifaceted story...quite interesting!  
This story is all about facing pride, arrogance and maybe just letting it all go to find God's will and let Him lead in the right path.
A good read!

*This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah*

  • Series: Double S Ranch
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah (October 18, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601427786
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601427786