Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Forgiven - Shelley Shepard Gray

Summary from Good Reads: Tragedy strikes--a brother and sister find themselves facing a situation that will shape the rest of their lives. When a fire destroys the Lundys' barn, Winnie is injured trying to get the animals to safety. Confined to a hospital for weeks, out of touch with her loved ones who live too far away to visit by buggy, she must depend on Englisher Samuel Miller to keep her company. Though his family is part of Winnie's tight-knit Amish community, Samuel left years earlier to pursue a university education. Through conversations, and Samuel's dedication to her recovery, a friendship forms. But despite their growing attraction, Winnie knows it can never develop into something more as long as Samuel chooses to remain in the outside world. When Winnie returns home, she finds her brother, Jonathan, struggling with his own dilemma. Cigarette butts were discovered in the debris of the barn and Jonathan is determined to find out who is responsible for destroying his property and putting his family at risk. But in a community founded on grace and forgiveness, will his unwillingness to move on eat away at the trust that is the foundation of their lives?

In the middle of the night, Jonathan Lundy's barn is engulfed in flames as he rushes to rescue all his animals and save his sister Winnie.  Winnie ends up in the hospital for a short period of time with burns on her legs and a broken foot.  Since her brother was busy trying to clean up the disaster, he asked Samuel Miller to take her and visit her regularly since he lived and worked near the hospital.  Samuel left the Amish community before being baptised to continue his education and is now a college professor of agriculture.  He likes his job but has always felt like he did not fit in with the English.  A budding friendship develops while visiting Winnie in the hospital that make him question everything about his English life.  Will Winnie and Samuel join in either the English or Amish world?  Will Winnie finally find the love that she has been looking for?

This is the last book in the series of Sisters of the Heart.  I throughly enjoyed it!  I originally read Grace first and I decided to read the whole series from the beginning.  I love how each book revolved around a different person's relationship and how they all became "Sisters of the Heart."  I love Shelley Shepard Gray's writing style and her character development makes you feel like you are there with them.  I will be reading more from her in the future.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Decked the Folly - Kate Kingsbury

Summary from Good Reads: The Pennyfoot Hotel is decked out in holiday style, but when one of Cecily's candlesticks disappears, she realizes someone is lacking in Christmas spirit. Still, petty thievery seems the least of her problems when she learns a former employee has been found dead in her duck pond. He hasn't worked at the Pennyfoot in years, but his ex-wife is still their head maid-and now she heads the naughty list of suspects.

It's Christmas time at Pennyfoot.  Will this be the year with no problems?  I doubt it!  There's another holiday murder at the country club but this time it is a former employee who is the father of another's employees children.  Who has a reason to kill Ian?  Thankfully, the constable had to leave to spend time with his family for the holiday so Cecily has taken it upon herself to solve the mystery.

I read this book for my neighborhood book club.  It was very interesting to me.  We wanted to read a nice and easy book since everyone was so busy preparing for the holidays.  This is the fifth holiday Pennyfoot mystery book.  I may go back and read some more of them soon.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to take a minute to wish all my friends and readers and very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Stylish Blogger Award

I received the Stylish Blogger Award from my friend Patty.  Thanks so much!

I need to tell you 8 things about myself:

1. I quilt!  I am loving all the craft money that I am earning making quilts for people at work.
2. I enjoy reading Amish fiction on my kindle!
3. I am addicted to buying books for my kindle!  It is too easy to just click BUY ME!!!
4. I have 4 "non-human" kids.  They are: Simba - a 7 month old black lab, Ziggy - a 7 year old black cat, Munchy - a 3 year old guinea pig and Sebastian - a 2 year old bearded dragon.
5. I belong to my neighborhood's book club which meets monthly.
6. I love to make my own stamped cards!
7. I love to color with Copic markers and Prismacolor pencils on digital stamps!
8. I love spending time with my hubby.  We love snowmobiling, camping, biking and camping!

And now I get to nominate 8 people.  They are:

My reading friends from Fans of Amish Fiction group over on Good Reads:

1. Rachel
7. Eva

And of course, my closest friend ever:


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sarah's Christmas Miracle - Mary Ellis

Summary from Good Reads: From the bestselling author of A Widow’s Hope and Never Far from Home comes a brand-new Amish novella that will add joy to the Christmas season.

Sarah Beachy has plenty to be joyous about as autumn leaves start to fall. She loves her job at the English bed-and-breakfast where she cooks and refreshes rooms between guests. She has a serious beau, and everyone expects an engagement soon. Why, then, would she jeopardize everything by suddenly deciding to take a trip to Cleveland to track down a brother who left the Order years ago?

Her family’s faith in God is put to the test as the holiest night of the year approaches and Sarah remains far away. Sarah’s mother, Elizabeth, has been missing her son for such a long time…will she lose her daughter to the English world as well? Or will the Beachy family receive an unexpected Christmas miracle?

Sarah is nineteen years old, she works at an English bed and breakfast and has a wonderful beau named Adam.  There is just one thing, she has not been baptised into the Amish church so they cannot announce their engagement to the church.  Sarah is worried about getting married and starting a family.  Her oldest brother left the Amish community five years ago to become a carpenter in Cleveland, Ohio with the union and has never returned.  She sees how her mother is hurt and how it has impacted her family, especially during the holidays.  Before she gets married, she goes to find her brother to get some answers.

This is a wonderful holiday novella.  It focuses on family, forgiveness and faith.  This is the first book that I have read from Mary Ellis and I truly enjoyed it.  I am looking foward to reading more from her in the future.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Log Cabin Quilt With a Twist

I finished this quilt on Saturday afternoon.  It is a Christmas order for a co-worker for her mother.

Here is a close up of some squares:

This quilt was actually larger than I expected, 60" by 84".  I love the purple stars at the intersections too!

This quilt was a kit purchased from Connecting Threads called Summer Log Cabin Quilt kit.  If you are a quilter, be sure to check out their store.  There fabric is gorgeous and super reasonable and their Essential Thread Spools are perfect for piecing and quilting.

Personally, I don't think that I would have put these colors together in this fashion but I am so glad that they did!!!  I absolutely love this quilt!  I wish it was mine!  Hmmm, I may just use the money from this quilt to buy another kit to make for ME!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

An Amish Christmas - Patricia Davids

Summary from Good Reads: When Karen Imhoff finds a beaten man lying unconscious by the road in her Amish community, she doesn't hesitate to help. "John Doe" needs a place to stay while he regains his memory, and she has a room to rent. The handsome Englisher proves invaluable around the family farm, yet his presence wreaks havoc with her emotions. Karen has her younger siblings to care for. She can't fall for an outsider who doesn't know his own identity. But as Christmas draws closer, the simple grace of this life—and this woman—could inspire John to make Karen's dreams come true….

When Karen discovered a man left for dead on the edge of her family's Amish farm, she knew she needed to help him.  When he was released from the hospital a week later he had amnesia and could not remember anything about himself.  John Doe, as he was named, stayed with the Imhoff family while he looked for work and tried to remember his old life.  Along the way, he falls in love with Karen.  She is a strong, devout Amish woman who was responsible for caring for her 3 younger siblings since her mother and 2 older siblings dies in an accident a few years ago.

John begins to see some flashes of his past but cannot see all the details nor can he remember much more.  He later realizes who he is and why he was in Hope Springs.  Will he stay and build a new life, the Amish way, or will he return to his old life?  God has a plan for John but does it include Karen?

This is the first book that I have read from Patricia Davids.  I truly enjoyed it!  After doing some searching, I realized that this book is the third in a series called, Brides of Amish Country.  The first book is Katie's Redemption followed by The Doctor's Blessing.  Both books are from the Stepple Hill Love Inspired and are reasonably priced for the kindle at under $4 each.  I am personally going to read the first two books after I have read a few more Christmas books by the end of the year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

White Christmas Pie - Wanda E. Brunstetter

Summary from Good Reads: Step into Amish country for this bittersweet holiday romance. Here you'll meet Will Henderson, a young man tortured by his past, and Karen Yoder, a young woman looking for answers. Add a desperate father searching for his son, and you have all the ingredients for a first-class romance that will inspire and enthrall.

Karen and Will are getting married in 3 months and Will has had to face is past.  His feelings about being abandoned as a child begin to take an affect on his relationship, friends and family.  But thanks to a desperate father who had been searching for his son, they reunite to help heal some old wounds.

I truly enjoyed this book!  I loved the interactions between Will and Karen.  The jealousy towards some friends gave their relationship a challenge but they both came to realize how much they loved each other.  I loved how the story was wrapped up and the significance of the White Christmas Pie, which sounds absolutely yummy!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hump Day Inspiration #26

Happy Wednesday to everyone!  It's time for another challenge from Inktegrity.  This week's challenge is to make a holiday card using non-traditional colors.

Here's mine:

Well I know that green is a traditional color so I used a darker green, lighter green and light blue.  It's a stretch but I like these colors!  I just had to keep it somewhat traditional since it is Baby Slusser's first Christmas!

Stamps: Inktegrity - Baby Slusser
Paper: PTI Kraft, Gina K Luxury White, Always Artichoke, SU DP
Ink: Copics
Accessories: SU 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon - Always Artichoke

Monday, December 6, 2010

Squigglefly Challenge #78

Happy Monday everyone!  It's time for another (and our final) challenge from Squigglefly for my term as a design team member.  This week's challenge is a theme:


Here is my card:

Isn't this snowman just too cute??!!  It is from Brian Lock, a new Squigglefly designer.  Stop by and grab it to make for your holiday cards.

Stamps: Squigglefly - Snowman Lights, Papertrey Ink - Background Basics: Christmas, Papertrey Ink - 2010 Holiday Tags
Paper: PTI White, Gina K Luxury White, Brilliant Blue
Ink: Papertrey Ink - Enchanted Evening, Copics
Accessories: SU 1-3/4" Circle Punch, Circle Nestabilities (Classic), Cuttlebug

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Secrets Beneath - Kathleen Fuller

Summary from Book Sneeze: Rebekah Yoder loves a good mystery—that is, until she becomes a part of one.

Rebekah Yoder has always been curious . . . or nosy depending on whom you ask. When a Yankee stranger moves into the house next door, she’s fascinated. Who is this strange old man who never waves or smiles? When Bekah sees him digging holes in his back yard, she’s sure there is a case to be solved.

Unfortunately, when her cousin blabs the story to the whole school, rumors fly. Is he hiding something? Treasure? Victims? And worst of all, annoying Caleb Mullet is now determined to solve the mystery with her. What they don’t realize is there’s not just secrecy lurking next door—there’s danger. Will Bekah take her curiosity too far?

But there is more than one case to solve around Rebekah's house. Her visiting cousin is hiding secrets too. What more does an Amish girl need to keep her curious? Follow Rebekah as she finds out more than she wanted to know and learns that being curious can be good, but being nosy is something else. This book was easy to read and had a fun story to follow.  It is nice to see how Amish kids live for change from the other adult Amish stories I have read.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”