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Sunday, October 28, 2018

A Plentiful Harvest of Holiday Reads

Hello readers,

2018 brought forth a plentiful harvest of Amish romance. Now that the holidays have rolled around, most readers will be in need of a short break-away from all of the "hustle and bustle" preparations. There will be moments of rushing, moments of creating morsels of goodness, and of course hours of preparing for gatherings. During these winter months, one of the best gifts for any reader happens when they can take a short retreat... in those moments when all is quiet... grab a cup of hot cider, a quilt, and relax into your reading spot with one of these Amish novellas:

Amish Celebrations: Four Novellas 
ISBN: 9780529118738
MrsK's Review:
Beth's novellas begin with The Gift of Sisters, a story of two sisters preparing for their rumschpringe. A time in which they search for their calling, the roots of their faith, and which of the world's offerings is better suited for their lives. Hannah and Rachel are twins, think about the type of journey they could share as they embark into adulthood. For someone without a sister, this would have been a dream come true. For Hannah and Rachel it becomes a journey of trial, jealousy, and division. When a "bad boy" enters their lives, nothing seems normal. Amish families are woven with a thread of love, forgiveness, and supportive compassion. Which sister would Abraham choose? Which sister will begin the journey beyond the division? This novella brings together the hope within a family, within a faith, and within a season for celebrating life. 

A New Beginning is an inspiring novella about a young couple. Noah is close to the end of his rumschpringe and his baptism into his Amish community. Rebecca is in the midst of planning for her wedding, and like any bride-to-be she is nervous about all the things that are out of her control. When Noah follows his coworker to a party, he is tempted to embrace the life of the English. When faced with the temptations of this world, will these two young lovers willing decide to walk in accordance with their faith? Through out any marriage, a husband and wife will need forgiveness, a willingness to communicate, and a desire to support each other through the difficult choices. Hope sometimes is the only thread you can hold on to.

A Perfect Plan will bring you into a "dance" of sorts, for Priscilla has been dreaming about marrying Chester throughout her teen years. Chester might be a few years older than Priscilla, but now she is nineteen and he can begin following his heart. Sometimes in life, life happens, and then all you can do is "focus on the love in your heart." With brilliant conversation, you will enjoy the "dance" between Priscilla and Chester.

In A Christmas Miracle, you will have that Christmas moment that is special to the season. This story is about two different couples. With Bruce and Joan, you will enjoy the discovery of  friendship becoming love. Next, Mary and Gabriel have a marriage that overflows with life. They embrace life with the type of love that is deeply rooted in a marriage of faith. With in every marriage, there are those days when each member must overcome a type of fatigue that comes from a house filled with children, choices made by the older siblings, and the inevitable, last chance for a holiday filled with love. Life... it is to be cherished, celebrated, and shared!

Amish Sweethearts
ISBN: 9780718091156
MrsK's Review:
In A Home for Lindsay, Lindsay is preparing for the day she will marry Matthew, it hasn't been the best of years for her. So many changes, so many emotions, so much loss. When Matthew came into her life, Lindsay found a stability that was filled with promise. Matthew arrived in Bird-in-Hand and knew that this move would be the beginning of a new season in life. When he first met Lindsay he became intrigued with her thoughtfulness, her kindness, her intelligence, and the sweetness of her heart. As with all plans in life, there comes the moment in which obstacles seem insurmountable. For Matthew and Lindsay it might be a change of location. Giving to those you love, sometimes requires second chances. Those second chances are rooted in a faith in which you place your heart in someone's hand and you trust in God's plan. Such a beautiful reminder as to the truth for this season.

Love and Buggy Rides brings a sudden accident into a decision to provide help as needed, while acceptance turns a heart from stone into hope. Janie and Jonathan will walk through a difficult season of recovery. It is said that love creates a room with in every heart, will Jonathan open that door to Janie? Janie becomes determined to help Jonathan decide to stay in Lancaster. To stay with her! The sweetness of a novella is that it inspires a restoration of hope, so needed during a season of giving.

Where the Heart Is will bring Tobias home to his Amish community. He knows that his family deserve an explanation for why he left home. He knows the sinfulness of his disease, as well as what his father's decisions could bring upon him. Yet, he was in need of help and now it is time to trust in God and regain his life. Mariella has been a friend of Tobias' family since she was young. In fact her best friend is Ariana, Tobias' sister. For Mariella, being in love with Tobias began when she was ten. She knows the reason for his departure, and she knows her heart. Acceptance, surrender, seeking forgiveness, and making an amends are the first steps in receiving God's blessings. Tobias will need support as he reclaims his life within his community. Mariella will need patience while Tobias regains his father's trust. Then... they can begin their life together. Hope, this novella is heartwarming and overflowing with hope as it unfolds in God's timing.

Love Birds is a novella that is dear to my heart. Ellie's family is walking through the grief of her brother's death. With his death brought new worries. Lloyd was Seth's best friend. He is expected to work on his father's farm, yet Lloyd knows his joy is found in woodworking. Can Ellie support Lloyd's talent without causing a separation between a father and son? This novella only begins one of the sweetest romances I have enjoyed by this author. To describe love in bloom or to provide a statement about joy as a reader can be daunting. All I can offer you, is a recommendation for a quick moment away from all of your "to-do's"... you will find a joy... a spring in your step... and a renewal to embrace this holiday season.   

An Amish Family

ISBN: 9780785217343
MrsK's Review:
Building Trust is such a foundational life skill. Grace and Joel having been secretly dating. For Grace, having something all to herself was a treasure. For Joel, dating in secret was tiring. Marriage, the sooner the better was preferred by Joel. Devoted to his faith, Joel will, no must, get to the bottom of Grace's fathers anger towards him. What possible explanation could there be that would keep them from being married? Integrity, it is a blessing in which strongholds can tumble.

A Heart Full of Love is a novella about a mother's secret and a daughter's need for less mothering. Ellie has just given birth to twins, and of course a mother wants to be there to support her daughter. Yet, for Ellie, being a mother of twins, blind, and very ready to do life without her mother's meddling can be overwhelming even to the point of smothering. Chris can see the effects of Edna's fears on his wife. What avenue could God open for him to protect Ellie from Edna's plans?
Edna hasn't completely adjusted to her daughter's blindness. It took so long to adjust to the blindness and now, her daughter has given birth to twins. For Edna, these sweet babies will be her chance to protect them, history would not be repeated! Can Edna accept that there is only "One" in whom she can trust to watch over her loved ones? Ephraim, will need wisdom to help Ellie, the babies, and Edna. Supporting your wife through her fear can be difficult, but with faith comes a trust that will see all things through the darkness of pain.

In Surprised by Love, a sudden decision becomes a tangled web. Emily is finished with her mother's "match-making." Her move, her job, and her hobby brought satisfaction to the youngest of six children. Unattached meant time for her own life. Would an impromptu statement become a life she wasn't expecting?
Reuben knew Emily from the market where his family brought their harvest of natural herbs and foods for distribution. On that day, during one of his deliveries, Emily and her mother were in a heated discussion about her availability. Reuben just wasn't prepared for Emily's final statement to her mother, "Reuben and I are... we're going out tonight."  Could he have heard her right? Will an untruth lead to a prophetic blessing?

A Gift for Anne Marie creates an avenue of uncertainty. The type of life-changing decisions that you have no control over. Anne Marie and Nathaniel have always been best friends. Every one in the community knew they would one day get married. Yet, life can take a turn and then you realize how little control you have. Would a move for her mother's happiness create a distance that could bring an unwanted change in Anne Marie and Nathaniel's friendship? Will quiet Christmas contemplation bring forth an answer of  love?

These novella's are such an endearing retreat for any reader. Whether one of these titles is a gift for someone or a gift for yourself... this Holiday season you can take a moment to discover the worthiness of His love,
Any moment of retreat during the holidays
brings a moment of strength,  
can rekindle the joy of the season,
and can inspire our Lord's love to overflow.
These novellas are perfect...
for yourself or for a dear friend.
"I received these books from the Fiction Guild for these honest reviews."

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

This Is The Day by Tim Tebow

This Is the Day: Reclaim Your Dream. Ignite Your Passion. Live Your Purpose.
Publisher's Synopsis:
Beyond Tim Tebow's exploits as a Heisman-winning football player, he is widely known and respected for his exemplary character and personal excellence, which have made him a role model for millions. When Tim interacts with the public, he often encounters people who feel "stuck"--unable to take action on matters ranging from daily life to pursuing lifelong dreams. In response, Tim often identifies a crippling fear or lack of courage, to which he advises: "now is the time to take some risks, to quiet the voices of defeat, to step forward and make a mark, because this is the day." In this inspiring, motivational book, readers will receive the advice and encouragement to daily move from "pause" to "play" in finding deeper meaning and success. Tim illustrates the book's themes with stories from his personal life that will delight all readers, including his an update on his dream pursuit of a baseball career.
"Imagine waking up each day fueled by a whisper:
This is the day!"
MrsK's Review:
Most sports enthusiasts know the name of Tim Tebow. Most Christians know the truth behind the phrase, "Taking a Knee." What many of us might not know is the story behind Tim switching from the NFL to the NBA. When God has placed a calling on your heart, it always means that you will be given the right moment in which you must decide to follow that calling or to try life your way.

When reading an inspirational book, I have found that true wisdom can be applied to my life once I gain insight into the personal witness that is woven within the fabric of the story. I had no preconceived expectations about this book. I knew very little about Tim Tebow other than his commitment to his faith and his honor unto the Lord our God. By the sixth page of this book, I began putting aside my thoughts about his story and took up the message for my own walk of faith.

Have you considered that this is truly the day...

  • "This is the day you can overcome a bad habit or a character flaw."
  • "This is the day that can bring you a step closer to your dreams and goals."
  • "This is the day you can fight for what's right."
  • "This is the day you can change someone's life for the better."
  • "This is the day you can change your own life. Life isn't just about one day. It's about this day."
What possibilities are opened unto you when you consider these daily starters? Might you be willing to create meaningful moments with your family, your friends, or your co-workers? Could you become a giver of your time, finances, or a simple blessing like a "Thank You," from your heart? Is there a chance you could step out as a protector of people or maybe a protector of your own dreams?

I have walked by faith, taken those "leaps" of faith, bound the negative voices of others while I pursued my calling, and yes, I have discovered that "unplanned detours" are usually a confirmation that God is doing His will for me. Is your faith built upon God's word? Does He ask you to trust in His ability to strengthen you with the "grit" and boldness to step beyond the safety of your preferences?

This book is so much more than Tim's biographical witness. It is a story that mirrors the truth as it is unveiled in any believer's walk. The encouraging thread is woven in Tim's story, but the truth resonates with in your heart because we are all walking out our Lord's calling one step at a time and sometimes it takes the witness of a believer to come along side of you... to remind you... that "we can walk side by side." We can do this life, for this is the day... We can trust in God's plan!
A book of inspiration, hope, and wisdom for living life
in God's will and timing...
"This is the day that the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24
Meet the Author:
Tim Tebow   Tim Tebow is one of the most accomplished players in college football history. A two-time winner of the NCAA National Football Championship with the University of Florida, Tim is also the first-ever sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy. He then went on to become a two-time winner of the Maxwell Award for the nation’s top football player, while also winning the Davey O’Brien Award for the nation’s best college quarterback and the James E. Sullivan Award for the most outstanding amateur athlete in any sport. He is the founder of the Tim Tebow Foundation which was started to bring faith, hope, and love to those needing a brighter day in the darkest hour of need, and in April 2010, Tim was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He lives in Colorado.
"I received this book for free for this honest review."

MrsK's Reading Bio

Reading is important! No questions asked, not even a blink of the eye from any student I grew up with. On the first day of the First grade, we were given our first books. Day two we all read aloud, round robin of course. Day three we were place in our first basal, now known as a lit circle group. Books were so important, publishers designed new curriculum so that every student was reading by the end of the first week. These early readers had images that looked like what we could see in the classroom, beyond the classroom, even on the big screen. Reading is important, throughout history every generation has believed that “Reading” opens up the world for endless possibilities.

I adore the 1950’s Dick and Jane books. Actually, most reading specialists and experienced (45+) educators believe that every student learned to read with Dick and Jane. Since these books are being re-issued, I have heard many parents, grandparents, and students claim that Dick and Jane stories of repetition does teach students to read.

Early influences from my mother influenced my desire to read. I would watch her read and we would go on “secret” excursions to the library. The library became my playground. I owned every book I could carry home, of course they needed to be taken back to their home after visiting with me for a week or two. My first book that I could pull off of the library shelf and read was, Father Bear Comes Home. I only saw my dad on Sundays for a few hours. I would pull this beginning reader off of the library shelf every week. Every week I would try to read the first chapter. Every week I got further in the story. My mom would let me check it out, only if I could read it myself (She didn’t like the illustrations therefore she didn’t want to take time to read it to me). One day, I pulled the book from the shelf and when mom came to get me from the children’s corner, I realized that I had read the whole story. I ran to the check out desk and the Librarian KERCHUNKED the checkout card. My mother, brother and neighbors read. My teachers read. We all read aloud all day long in school. The Priest read aloud every day at mass, even in Latin. Everybody in the Doctor’s office read. People on the bus read. Dad’s waiting in their cars as the Mom’s and children grocery shopped, read. In fact, once you could read and write, Sunset Magazine considered you a reader and sent you mail every day.

Reading is important; I’ve spent my life reading. I’ve traveled around the world and into space through books. My favorite genre is whichever book I have open at the time. Children’s Literature is my passion. Book clubbing is one of the best past times, especially if food is involved. In fact my friends of old are in a book club and we are about to embark on a beach trip to “read” and discuss our newest selection.

My “home-run” book story has helped every student find his or her own “home-run” reads. Every year, I have shared my, Father Bear Comes Home, and every year my students have brought in their “home-run” books. That’s the “diving board” into our Lit. Studies.

In “Growing Up Digital,” Tapscott’s insights into the new generations enthusiasm for the Net reminded me of my generation’s enthusiasm for reading, movies, TV, parties and our driving permits. The Net-Generation, as Tapscott describes, “are learning, playing, communicating, working, creating communities, and enforcing a social transformation.”
N-Geners are interactive “techies” who are always looking for a way to “work it” verses the TV Generation of “Baby Boomers” who started out looking for “how it works.” Reading development is tougher today, society moves too fast to invest their “non-working” free time into a book or even “home work.” Since I stepped into my own classroom, I have seen students being told to read, being forced to read, and threatened into reading. Homework is not any longer the vehicle for students to gain their future lifestyles or careers with. Yet, the Internet does create an enthusiasm for learning. Since I have been enrolled in these courses, I have used the computers in every subject. My students are using the newest technology in the classroom because I am giving them investigative sites to use as they learn from each other and books. I agree with Tapscott, in order to bridge the gap with this up and coming generation we must “live and learn with them.”

FTC Required Disclaimer: I receive these books from the publishers. I did not receive monetary compensation for these reviews. These reviews have been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at


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