MAIL ORDER CHRISTMAS BABY BY SHERRI SHACKELFORD

christmas babySterling Blackwell was making a delivery for Wells Fargo Bank.  Heather O’Connor was a teacher from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania who had just moved to Montana.  Dillon Blackwell had fetched her from the train depot.  She was infatuated with him.  He had just signed up for the Calvary.  A two-year-old girl was just delivered at the train station for Sterling Blackwell.  She had been sent from Butte, Montana.  However, Sterling couldn’t find out who sent the child.

Join Sterling and Heather as they find out where this Christmas baby came from.  I liked seeing a marriage of convenience bloom and it was entertaining to see the interaction between Heather and Sterling.  Enjoy this good Christmas read from Harlequin romance.

 

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HEARTACHES & CHRISTMAS CAKES BY AMY MILLER

christmas cakesAutumn 1939 Bournemouth Station England. Audrey Barton ran a bakery with her husband Charlie.  Lately, they had made a lot of wedding cakes for the young couples getting married right before the war.  She hugged her brother William before he boarded the train.  William had a girlfriend Elsie that he wants to marry when he returns from the war.

June 1940- Limited goods were getting into the country and grocery rations were in effect.  Charlie was working at the bakery with Audrey. Audrey believes in keeping up morale by running a good bakery with treats to get peoples minds off the war.  Mrs. Collingham is a customer who just found out her son George was a POW in Germany.  Meanwhile, Audrey’s sister Lily whos a nurse just traveled from London to Bournemouth.

This is the first book in the Wartime Bakery series. Heartaches & Christmas Cakes is truly heartwarming and uplifting story. I look forward to reading more about the Barton family.

THE PROVING By Beverly Lewis

provingAmanda Dienner ran away from home with two other Amish women Linda and Vickie Zook.  Prior to this, she had an argument with her twin sister Arie. She soon got a job working at a floral shop.  Her dad passed away and she wrote him a long letter.  When she returned to the floral shop she found out they were laying her off due to lack of funds.  Amanda moved to the third floor of the Bradley’s house.  They were a family she had met thru church.  Amanda went home to visit since her father had passed.  She was on the farm with her mom and sisters Eilene and her twin Arie.  They prayed with Amanda that she might find a job there.  People came from far away to stay at her families bed and breakfast.

Then she went back to Kansas to finish the last week at her floral job.  She got a critical letter about her mom from her brother Jerome.  She was chosen to inherit the bed and breakfast her mom had run.  Will Amanda accept this new challenge? Can she follow the terms of her inheritance?

A CHRISTMAS JARS COLLECTORS EDITION By Jason F. Wright

christmas jarsLouise was a housekeeper. She was eating at a fast food chicken place when she noticed a newborn baby girl with a note attached to her saying that the mother had to give up the baby because of being in a physically abusive relationship with the baby’s father.  Louise had grown up working with her mom cleaning affluent families houses.  Louise had to be checked out by social workers to make sure she would be a good parent for the baby.  They concluded she’d be a good mother.  She named her baby Hope.  When Hope grew up she always wanted to be a writer.  Hope wanted very much to meet her real mom and see how much they were alike.  Louise breaks the news of a health concern while Hope is in college.   Hope finds a jar of change and large note bills by her apartment.

Hope goes home one day and finds her apartment ransacked and her belongings stolen or broken.   A while later someone rings her doorbell and she finds a jar of change and large note bills by her apartment.

Join Hope as she figures out who gave her this generous but kind gift. This was a touching Christmas story.

Jason Wright is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author.

Jason is a weekly columnist for the Deseret News and Northern Virginia Daily and articles by Jason have appeared in over 50 newspapers and magazines across the United States including The Washington Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. He is the author of The James Miracle (2004); Christmas Jars (2005); The Wednesday Letters (2007); Recovering Charles (2008), Christmas Jars Reunion (2009); Penny’s Christmas Jar Miracle (2009); The Cross Gardener (2010); The Seventeen Second Miracle (2010); The Wedding Letters (2011); and, The 13th Day of Christmas (2012).

 

THE PROMISE OF DAWN BY LAURAINE SNELLING

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The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling is the first book in her new Under Northern Skies series. It is April in 1909 when Signe Carlson and her husband, Rune receive a letter from Einar and Gerd Strand who live near Blackduck, Minnesota. The Strand’s need assistance on their farm and will pay the Carlson’s passage in exchange for work (they sign a contract). Signe, Rune and their three boys set off on the long journey to Minnesota. They arrive at the farm and the greeting is not what they expected. The farmhouse is a mess, there is no place for them to sleep, Gerd is sick (and rude), and Einar is demanding. Signe spends her days whipping the farmhouse into shape, cooking, and taking care of Gerd’s needs. Einar has Rune and Knute (their eldest child) out early every morning felling trees to clear the property and earn money. Signe knows life in Norway was hard, but they had family, friends, a home, and soft beds. Her trust in God is faltering. She struggles to understand why her family must endure such hardship. Then Signe falls from the ladder to the loft (where they sleep) late in her pregnancy causing her to go into labor. Signe loses a great deal of blood and is very weak after giving birth to a little girl. Things cannot go on as they have been for the Carlson’s. Is there a chance for a better future for the Signe and her family? Pick up The Promise of Dawn to see what happens (I do not want to spoil the story for you).

The Promise of Dawn is a well-crafted novel. It is one of those books that you start reading and do not want to put down (I stayed up very late—even for me). After I finished the book, I continued to think about it. The Promise of Dawn has rich, well-developed characters and a rugged, yet beautiful setting. Ms. Snelling’s vivid descriptions brought the book alive for me (the author has a special knack). I could picture the scenes in my head (could even imagine the smell of the stinky outhouse). I am rating The Promise of Dawn 5 out of 5 stars (I loved it). The Promise of Dawn is an emotional story (love, humor, heartbreak, anger, joy and much more). The plight of the Carlson’s will tug at your heart. I thought the book to be well-written, have a nice pace and flow, and to be very realistic. So much happens in The Promise of Dawn (I only gave a brief overview). The Christian element was handled beautifully. We see how Signe struggles with trusting God and keeping her faith. God has a plan, but Signe must be patient. There are good life lessons in The Promise of Dawn. I appreciated the mentions of Ingeborg from Red River of the North series (she is such a wonderful character). I look forward to reading the next installment in Under Northern Skies series.

THE BELOVED CHRISTMAS QUILT- By: Wanda Brunstetter

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Wanda Brunstetter is an award-winning romance novelist who has led millions of readers to lose their heart in the Amish life. She is the author of almost 90 books with more than 10 million copies sold. Many of her books have landed on the top bestseller lists, including the New York Times, USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, CBA, ECPA, and CBD. Wanda is considered one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre, and her work has been covered by national publications, including Time Magazine and USA Today.

Wanda’s fascination with the Amish culture developed when she met her husband, Richard, who grew up in a Mennonite church, and whose family has a Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. Meeting her new Mennonite sister-in-laws caused Wanda to yearn for the simpler life. In their travels, she and her husband have become close friends with many Amish people across America. Wanda’s desire to explore their culture increased when she discovered that her great-great grandparents were part of the Anabaptist faith.

Luellas Promise by Wanda Brunstetter- Luella was caring for Atlee Zook’s wife named Dena and their son Daryl who is four.  Luella felt bad for Atlee and Daryl who faced losing their wife and mother.  She kept Dena company as well as doing the cooking and cleaning for the family.  Dena has a beautiful Christmas quilt on her bed that her mother made for them.  Dena gave the quilt to Luella as an early Christmas present.  Dena asked Luella to keep working for her family after she passes.  Dena passed away then from heart problems.  Eugene wanted to court Luella.  He had been friends wither her since grade school. He even got her a Christmas gift.

Join in this story and discover who Luella will choose for her first family.  I enjoyed reading this book with my daughter.  Rating 5 out of 5 stars.

AMISH CHRISTMAS TWINS By Patricia Davids

amish christmas twinsRating 5 out of 5 stars.  USA Today Bestselling author Patricia Davids grew up on a Kansas farm with four brothers. After college, she began a wonderful career as a nurse. In 1973 Pat wrote a letter to a lonely sailor. Little did she know her talent with words would bring her love, marriage, and motherhood.

An avid reader, Pat longed to write a book but put her dream on hold as she raised a family and worked in a NICU. It wasn’t until 1996 that she began writing seriously. Today, Pat enjoys crafting emotionally satisfying romances where love and faith bring two people together forever.

John is delivering a sleigh.  He has been on a two-day journey.  An English lady named Willa and her twin daughters Megan and Lucy just got off a bus and asked him directions to her grampa Ezekials house.  Willa’s husband had been killed in a car accident.  She continued moving as Glen had always moved their family so many times before.  They were running from his parents.  Afraid for some reason they’d take their kids away.  Willa got a ride with John to her grampas farm.  He let her stay overnight and the next morning she left for her Aunt Ada’s house.  She ends up staying at John and his mom’s house.  Will Willa be able to stay hidden from the law in this Amish community? Why is she so afraid that her children will be taken away? Will she stay with John’s family or travel on to Ada’s house?

This is a well written, charming Christmas book. I especially enjoyed that there were twins in the book. #amishchristmastwins #patriciadavids #amishromance

 

51rH3WFL8hL._AC_US327_FMwebp_QL65_I rate this book as a 5 out of 5 .

The Blessing is second in the series Amish Cooking Class. I have enjoyed this series. Many lives are involved and changes happen in each individuals lives. More let downs in Heidi’s life so her husband suggest she does another cooking class to occupy her mind and time. This one has people of all kinds in it from a teenager trying to help a divorced father. A food critic and a caterer. Then we have the hunter wanting to find new things to feed his buddies. A wife was given an unwanted gift of this class. Each has something going on their lives how can the class help them and the scriptures that seem perfect for them on the back of the recipe? Can Heidi’s broken heart be mended? Wanda always writes great inspirational books. I fully enjoy the recipes given in the book also. 

#amishcookbook #wandabrunstetter

AN AMISH CHRISTMAS LOVE BY Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kelly Irvin

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  1. Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman-Naomi Stoltzfus lives in a house with her mom and grandma.  Three men are moving into their Daudi Haus for December.  One man is 70. One is in his 40’s and one man is in his twenties.  The ladies are all looking for husbands.  The men are from Pittsburgh and are working on a local construction project.  Eli, Jethro, and Wayne live at the Daudi Haus.  Jethro was the oldest man with a long gray beard. He picked up Ruth out of the snow when she fell on the way to the Daudi Haus.  Eli noticed Naomi’s beautiful eyes and smile.  Barbara and Wayne went to the barn together to get the sleigh.  Eli had something from his past he shared with Naomi.  He had felt that God would never forgive him.  Naomi shared her thoughts on God’s forgiveness with him.  Eli isn’t supposed to go out of state according to his probation.  Will the men be at Christmas dinner with Ruth, Naomi, and Barbara?
  2. THE CHRISTMAS CAT By Amy Clipston-Emma Bontrager had a cat sitting on her back porch when she came home one day.  Emma just lost her husband Henry last year.  It was Christmas now and she was preparing to bake cherry bars which were his favorite.  She remembers back to the volleyball game where she had first met him.  Henry and his dad planned to open a store in Bird in Hand where Emma lived.  Henry told Emma about a house he found and asked her to marry him. After they were married they started their business but it wasn’t doing well. So then Emma opened a store for English tourists.  Join Emma on Christmas Eve as she relives her memories with hand and shares them with some young people from her church.
  3.   SNOW ANGELS-By Kelly Irvin.  David Byler was showing a bay horse at an Amish horse auction.  He sold the horse and then met up with a gal he had a crush on named Molly who had long brown hair and brown eyes.  They were walking toward his buggy when he spotted his blonde haired blue eyed ex-girlfriend.  Her name is Bobbie and she’s back in town for Thanksgiving and to care for her dad that just had a heart attack.  David struggles between his old feelings for Bobbie and his new love Molly.
  4. #Bethwiseman #kellyirvin #amyclipston #amishchristmas

Upon a Spring Breeze By Kelly Irvin

51aDyGiD6vL (1)I have read other books from Kelly and this was another wonderful story. Bess and Caleb were friends from youth and so was their friend Aidan. Bess and Caleb married and were about to have their first child when tragedy struck and he was killed and left her with the loss of her husband and the upcoming birth of her child. They were living with his parents while they were building their home and now that was not going to happen. She was trying to get over her grief of the loss of her husband and live each day, but her mother in law wasn’t doing well with the loss and neither was Bess. What were both women to do? And Aidan tried to help by telling little Jacob about growing up with his father and mother. Will there be a light at the end of the tunnel after such a loss? I love this story, you can’t tell someone how to grieve until you have lived it yourself. And the wonderful ladies of the community who have lost their spouses are a wonderful support.