Monday, June 18, 2018

A Simple Prayer (Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel) by Amy Clipston

Book Description:  Linda is no stranger to hardship. Now she dares to hope for a chance at love and a new beginning.
As the sole survivor of a buggy accident that left her orphaned at age four, Linda Zook was reluctantly raised by her Uncle Reuben. She longs to be worthy of someone, but the lasting trauma of her injuries and embittered upbringing have destroyed her self-worth. When Hannah Peterson asks her to work at the Heart of Paradise Bed & Breakfast, she’s finally able to realize some confidence.
Aaron Ebersol left the Amish community seventeen years ago when he could no longer bear the restrictions or the constant tension with his father. Despite years of unanswered letters to his parents and the roots he’s put down in Missouri, Aaron rushes back to the Amish community of Paradise, Pennsylvania, after receiving word of his mother’s stroke. Hesitant to get too close to the family he was once a part of, he decides to stay at the Heart of Paradise Bed & Breakfast. Talking with Linda allows him to explore his feelings about his family and his position in the Amish community.
As Linda and Aaron open up to each other, their feelings for one another turn into more than friendship, and Aaron must make a decision about his future as an Amish man.
Can Linda and Aaron forgive the family members who have deceived and forsaken them? And will Aaron be able to convince Linda that she is worthy of his love?

My Thoughts: Amy Clipston is another favorite author of mine.  A Simple Prayer is the fourth and final book in the Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel series.

In this particular series I think it's important to read the books in order.

A Simple Prayer is about Linda but Aaron is quite a main character in this story, too. Aaron comes home because his mother has had a stroke but Aaron is given quite a cold shoulder.  So, he decides to stay at the Heart of Paradise Bed & Breakfast where Linda works part time.

This is where Aaron meets Linda and they "click."  Aaron and Linda talk and open up to each other.  

They both have family issues and both wonder if they can ever have a healthy relationship with family members again. However,  Linda doesn't feel worthy of Aaron's love....

Once again Amy Clipston writes an amazing, believable, story about the Amish.   

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Series: Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (May 5, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310335884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310335887

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

 Pistachio Salad

This is MY MOST favorite "salad!"  Love this stuff!
This recipe has been around for a long time but 
I got this recipe from

1 small box of Pistachio INSTANT Pudding
1 (8 oz) container of Cool-Whip (lite is fine!)
1 (20 oz) can tidbit OR chunk pineapple (whatever you prefer)
1/2 bag of mini-marshmallows

Drain pineapple, pour pineapple juice into large bowl. Pour pudding into the juice and mix well. Fold the Cool-Whip into the pudding. Add pineapple and marshmallows and stir together gently.

Monday, June 11, 2018

An Amish Family: Four Stories by Kathleen Fuller

Book Description:  Four wonderful Amish stories . . . 

My Thoughts:  Building Trust~ Grace and Joel are madly in love.  So when Joel proposes to Grace, she excitedly tells her parents that she will be marrying Joel.  She gets an unexpected response from her father.  Her father is against her marrying Joel.
Grace is heartbroken but is determined to get to the bottom of her father's animosity towards Joel.  
An interesting story that shows that Amish father's are so much like English fathers.

A Heart Full of Love~ This story was also in An Amish Cradle. Ellie is blind, she lost her sight and now she is pregnant.  Not only is it difficult being pregnant but her mother is meddling in all of Ellie and her husband's business.  
When Ellie gives birth to twins her mother insists on coming to stay.
This short story is humorous because it shows how Amish mothers are just as concerned for their offspring as English mothers.

Surprised by Love~ This is quite a funny short story.  Poor Emily is hounded by her mother who is constantly trying to match her up with a man.
In a desperate attempt to have some sanity and try to find her own love, Emily tells her mom that she is seeing Reuban Coblentz.  The funny part is that Reuban is already seeing someone but seeing how desperate Emily is, he decides to play the part of her boyfriend.  
Oh, my!  
Such a fun story.

A Gift for Anne Marie~ This short story was also in An Amish Second Christmas.  Anne Marie and Nathaniel have been best friends since they were children.  And now it seems that their relationship is growing towards love but lo and behold, Anne Marie's mother up and marries someone from another state.  
It seems that Anne Marie and Nathaniel's love story may end before it has a beginning.

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (June 12, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785217347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785217343

The Love Letter By Rachel Hauck

Book Description:  When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.
Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.

My Thoughts:  It's been quite awhile since I've read a novel penned by Rachel Hauck.  I was excited to see this new story.
The Love Letter begins with Chloe auditioning for a part as the lead female, Esther, in a love story of two star crossed lovers during the Revolutionary War era.
As Chloe and Jesse take to the set to act in this love story their chemistry makes for a great plot.
Of course this means that the plot of this story switches back and forth from present to past.  Not too bad but a little distracting when the reader is involved in one of the couples' story.
Not everything is coming up daisies as Chloe and Jesse soon discover.
As Esther and Hamilton found that a relationship requires love and sacrifice so are Jesse and Chloe finding out that a true love requires, well more than love.
An interesting story with real to life characters.
A wonderful love story for a summer's day or a night with the stars.

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 12, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310351006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310351009

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Life Behind the Wall: Candy Bombers, Beetle Bunker, and Smuggler's Treasure Paperback by Robert Elmer

Book Description:  Cut off by the Iron Curtain This epic tale extends across generations and unfolds against the backdrop of a dangerous Cold War Berlin. This historically accurate, action-packed, three-books-in-one edition features three generations of resourceful teens living in the shadow of the Berlin Wall. Titles include: Candy Bombers: In spring 1948, teenage cousins Erich and Katarina are simply trying to survive in war-ravaged Berlin when the Soviets blockade the east side of the city, isolating its citizens---and starving them---behind the Iron Curtain. Beetle Bunker: In August 1961, Sabine discovers a forgotten underground bunker. Though she first uses it to escape her crowded home, she soon realizes her hideout could possibly take her family under the wall to West Berlin and freedom! Smuggler's Treasure: In spring 1989, life is good in West Germany, and even the Cold War seems to be thawing in the warmer weather. But as Liesl works on a class project about the history of the wall, she stumbles onto a startling secret no one will talk about.

My Thoughts:  Oh! Be.Still.My.Heart!  I could not believe my eyes when I saw this book . . . I was so excited. . . . like a kid on Christmas morning!  This is THREE books in one volume!  All three of the Life Behind the Wall books by Robert Elmer!  
I first read Candy Bombers about 10 years ago.  But I never got the next two books Beetle Bunker and Smuggler's Treasure.
I must tell you, that even though I am an adult, these are the best books ever!  
In Candy Bombers the reader is introduced to Erich and Katarina living in the city of Berlin after the Soviets blockade the east side of the city.
Then in Beetle Bunker, the reader meets Sabine who discovers an underground bunker.
And then in, Smuggler's Treasure the reader meets Liesl who lives in West Germany during the Cold War.
Sorry my book descriptions are short but I hope they are teasers for you (no spoilers) so that you will read this wonderful trilogy!
Yes, these books must be read in order because there are overlaps in each book from the previous.  And what a better way to read them in order than to have a 3-n-1 book!  
I love this trilogy!

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz; Revised edition (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031074265X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310742654