Showing posts with label Amy Clipston. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amy Clipston. Show all posts

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Review: Seasons of an Amish Garden by Amy Clipston



My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

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Synopsis

Enjoy a year of beautiful seasons in this new story collection, as young Amish couples manage a community garden and harvest friendships and love along the way.

Spring Is in the Air
As the young people of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, plant a garden in memory of their friend, Katie Ann begins to worry that her older brother, Ephraim, is dating her best friend. What if she somehow loses them both? But Christian, a new boy in the community, also works in the garden—and falling for him may be exactly the distraction, and lesson, that Katie Ann needs.

Home by Summer
Clara Hertzler is surprised when Jerry Petersheim, her old friend, comes to the garden to drop off his younger sister—especially because Jerry has been gone for years, and now seems to be living as an Englisher. As the friends get to know each other again, Clara pushes Jerry to examine why he abandoned his Amish beliefs. Will Clara help Jerry renew his faith in God, and will they find love beneath the summer sun?

The Fruits of Fall
Tena Speicher has come to live in Bird-in-Hand after her fiancé left her for an English woman. When a homeless veteran comes to the fruit stand one day and asks for food, Tena is not sure how to respond—but Wayne intervenes and offers to let him stay in the barn. Afraid to trust Englishers, Tena must learn, with Wayne’s help, that everyone is a child of God and deserving of kindness.

Winter Blessings
Ephraim and Mandy have dated for some time and now have plans to marry. But after a series of unexpected events and misunderstandings, they wonder if they should go their separate ways. What will happen when their friends at the Amish garden conspire to bring them back together?


My Review

This collection of stories is based off the novella the author wrote in An Amish Christmas Love, The Christmas Cat. A group of Amish youth are stranded at a widow's home during a storm and they enjoy getting to know her more and reminiscing about her husband. He had a special place in his heart for the local homeless shelter, so the youth decide to raise money to donate in his honor. In this book are four stories revolving around the garden and the young people who come together to take care of it. I love the concept, but some of the relationship drama seems immature and contrived. My favorite parts were with the widow, Emma, and her wisdom that she shares with her young friends.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Monday, January 6, 2020

Review: An Amish Christmas Love by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kelly Irvin, Ruth Reid


https://amzn.to/2s05sLr

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman
Three generations of Stoltzfus women are all living under the same roof. At twenty-five, Naomi has never been married, and both her mother, Barbara, and her grandmother, Ruth, have recently been widowed. Each nursing broken or lonely hearts, they also each have potential suitors. When a storm on Christmas Eve forces the three couples to take shelter in the basement of the Stotlzfus homestead, secrets are revealed, hearts are opened, and all three potential grooms drop to their knees for very different reasons a proposal, a prayer, and an epiphany.

The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston
Emma Bontrager is spending her first Christmas alone after her husband of 45 years, Henry, passed away in July. Although the Amish don't normally allow animals in their homes, a big, fat, orange barn cat keeps coming into Emma s house. She shoos the cat away, but it continues to appear in her house, settling on Henry's favorite wing chair. But the cat isn't the only Christmas visitor: a group of young people help bring the Christmas spirit to Emma, reminding her that love and hope abide.

Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin
As a young man enjoying his rumspringa, David Byler gave his heart to an Englisch girl, but he eventually realized he couldn't give up his Plain faith and family for her, so he let her go. He's found a new love in his Bee County Plain community, Molly Shrock. Molly has been patient, waiting for the man she loves to love her back. Just as he is ready to propose, David makes a startling discover: Bobbie McGregor, his Englisch love, is back. Will Molly's prayers for a Christmas love be answered?

Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid
When a misdirected GPS sends Ellie Whetstone to the wrong address, she inadvertently finds herself breaking into the home of Amish man, Ezra Mast. Ellie hopes to fix up the house left by her aenti and sell it quickly, but a series of run-ins with Ezra and his young daughter have her questioning whether a hasty sale is the right move. Could this new place with its slower pace be the right home for Ellie?


My Review

This is a lovely collection of novellas featuring a variety of themes, including love at all ages, grief, friendship, the comfort of fellowship, old flame returned, and legacies. The characters really came to life and the plot of each was unique from the others in the collection. I especially enjoy reading Christmas novellas during the busy holiday season since I can squeeze in a story at the end of a long day and they help me feel the spirit of Christmas, often reminding me of the true meaning. I'm a fan of the first two authors, Beth Wiseman and Amy Clipston, but haven't read much by the other two, Kelly Irvin and Ruth Reid. I was happy to discover that I like their writing style and am excited to read some full-length novels by both.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Saturday, July 27, 2019

Review: An Amish Homecoming by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Shelley Shepard Gray, Kathleen Fuller


https://amzn.to/2WBdrf9

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Four brand new Amish stories of coming home.

No Place Like Home by Amy Clipston
Estranged daughter Eva Dienner has been staying with her in-laws, the Riehls, since her husband was killed in a fire, but now she wants her son to meet his maternal grandparents. Upon her return, Eva finds that the man her parents always intended for her is living in their daadihaus and running the dairy farm for them for free, despite her suspicions of him taking advantage of her family. Eva knows she should put the past behind her, but is she ready to move into the future?

When Love Returns by Beth Wiseman
Hurricane Harvey forces Sarah Zook to return to the home she fled six years ago when she couldn’t face her stern parents’ reaction to her unplanned pregnancy. Upon her return, Abram King can think of nothing but the pain she caused him—until he meets Sarah’s daughter and realizes that he never really stopped loving Sarah. Sarah and Abram must find a way to face the truth of their past so they can rekindle their first love.

The Courage to Love by Shelley Shepard Gray
After the death of her Englisch husband, Irene Keim seeks a fresh start by staying with her new friends Mary Ruth and Henry Wengerd in exchange for helping them around the house. But when Mary Ruth and Henry’s son Marcus comes around, he isn’t pleased with the woman they’ve taken in and is determined to push her out. Misunderstandings abound, but both Irene and Marcus learn that people aren’t always what they seem.

What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller
Independent and headstrong, Carolyn is determined to forge ahead with the opening of her bakery, a lifelong dream, in the Birch Creek home she left ten years ago. But she’s in over her head and needs help with the cleaning, shopping, and deliveries. Carpenter Atlee Shetler is visiting Birch Creek to escape the memories of his late wife. He takes a job renovating the new bakery and finds the project—and its owner—to be much more than he bargained for. Both Carolyn and Atlee must face pains of the past if they want to have the bright future God has planned for them.


My Review

I enjoyed this collection of stories that are themed around second chances. Each story is unique from the others, and I appreciated the variety of characters and situations. When I read collections like this I'm always transported to the beautiful countryside and what seems to be a simpler lifestyle. The issues faced by the characters are universal ones and the themes of forgiveness, family, and love are applicable to all readers.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Monday, May 13, 2019

Review & Giveaway: A Welcome At Our Door by Amy Clipston

 

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for A Welcome At Our Door by Amy Clipston with JustRead Publicity Tours!
ABOUT THE BOOK
 
https://amzn.to/2YnJZ9OTitle: A Welcome At Our Door  
Series: Amish Homestead, Book 4  
Author: Amy Clipston  
Publisher: Zondervan  
Release Date: May 7, 2018
Genre: Amish Fiction

After a devastating loss, Cindy Riehl is still searching for peace. Will she find it in the community she calls home—or will love send her down a new path?

Over the last few years, Cindy Riehl—the youngest of the Riehl children—has watched her siblings find love and happiness in Lancaster County. But as her family has settled down and grown, Cindy has continued to grieve her mother, whose death left an enormous hole in her heart. Since that haunting day, Cindy has struggled to find peace and wonders if the community is the place for her—and if her faith in God will ever feel the same as it once did.

When a handsome and kind Englisher named Drew crosses Cindy’s path one surprising day, the two of them become fast and easy friends. Drew dreams of starting a family after some losses of his own, and before long, he and Cindy discover that their feelings for each other are romantic. As they spend more time together—often in secret—Cindy is drawn further and further away from the Amish community and the family she loves. In time, she is faced with a difficult choice that threatens to upend her world.

Will Cindy find contentment and love, and will she ever find restored comfort in God and her beloved community? In this final installment of the Amish Homestead series, we return to the charming town of Bird-in-Hand for a story of healing, family, and God’s perfect provision.


MY REVIEW

3 stars / I liked it

This is a sweet story of friendship, healing, and discovering one's path. Cindy has contrasting emotions about her life- she acts as though she is content, but is stuck in her grief and feels like no one can understand. Even though she is sweet and helpful, she also comes across as a bit immature and self-centered. Her quick friendship with Drew fills the void in her life, and they are very sweet together. The narrative is repetitious and the entire plot focuses on the dilemma of their relationship- they are forbidden to be friends because it would prevent Cindy from staying Amish... even though she still had not committed to baptism. The family members are two-dimensional and I wished there had been more depth explored, their feelings shown rather than told. The last part of the book was more interesting and I was curious to see how the author would choose to wrap everything up. I felt like it was overly simple and even though I enjoyed the happy ending, there were issues that I thought were not addressed.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions expressed in this review are my own)



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

Amy Clipston is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery, Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel, Amish Heirloom, and Amish Homestead series. Her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan University and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats.  

CONNECT WITH AMY: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
 



TOUR GIVEAWAY
(1) winner will receive a print copy of A Welcome At Our Door.  

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight May 13, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm May 20, 2019. US only. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.



Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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Saturday, May 5, 2018

Review: An Amish Heirloom by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin


Heidi Reads... An Amish Heirloom by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

A Legacy of Love by Amy Clipston
Local volunteer fire fighter Leon King agrees to repair his ex-girlfriend Susie Bontrager’s grandparents’ antique rocking chairs for her future home with her fiance and is forced to acknowledge that his feelings for her have not quite gone away. As Susie spends time with Leon, she begins to recognize she is marrying the wrong man for all the wrong reasons.

The Cedar Chest by Beth Wiseman
Decades after inheriting her great grandmother’s cedar chest, Emma Fisher decides to pry it open only to discover a beautiful love story in the form of letters between her great grandparents. But as Emma immerses herself in their story, family secrets are revealed, and she must decide whether to share them to preserve family history or honor her great grandparents’ decision to leave them hidden.

The Treasured Book by Kathleen Fuller
For the past two years, Shane Broyles has felt God leading him to join the Amish. He’s staying with his friends Noah and Ivy Schlabach in Birch Creek, OH, where he is reunited with Lucy Fisher, an old friend of Noah’s family. Shane and Lucy have never revealed their feelings for each other, but when they stumble upon an antique Bible at a flea market, they feel drawn to each other and to the mystery of the contents found within.

The Midwife’s Dream by Kelly Irvin
Iris Beachy serves as a midwife in her district where she longs for a family of her own. When her friend’s brother Mahon Kurtz seeks her help in delivering the baby of two young teenagers who have sought refuge in their town, they begin to see each other in a different light. Unprepared for parenthood, the young couple leave their baby girl behind in an antique crib quilt resembling the one destined for Iris when she becomes a mother. Mahon and Iris come together to take care of the baby as they try to find her parents, and they begin to see new possibilities for their future.


My Review

Another lovely collection of Amish themed stories from a group of my favorite authors in the genre! My favorite was The Midwife's Dream because it had such a sweet romance with a long-time unrequited love revealed and all the special feelings that come with realizing a friend can become something more. I also enjoyed The Treasured Book since I had read the series by the author set in Birch Creek and it was fun to see Aunt Cevilla playing matchmaker again. The Cedar Chest is bittersweet and I appreciated the wisdom of a mother gently helping her married daughter who is going through a rocky time in her marriage. A Legacy of Love is centered around a past relationship that is getting a second chance as Susie and Leon realize that their timing and communication was off before. I'd recommend this novella collection to fans of Amish fiction!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review: An Amish Summer by Shelley Shepard Gray, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin


Heidi Reads... An Amish Summer by Shelley Shepard Gray, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

A Reunion in Pinecraft by Shelley Shepard Gray
When sisters Sharon and Sherilyn Kramer attend a wedding in Shipshewana, one of them returns with a new pen pal while the other returns to her job at the bakery. After sending weekly letters back and forth, Sherry and Graham Holland arrange a reunion in Pinecraft. Upon Graham's arrival, however, he realizes he's been writing to the wrong sister. He decides to use the reunion as a way to get to know both sisters, but can he sort through the confusion in time to turn the worst vacation ever into something truly wonderful?

Summer Storm by Amy Clipston
Arianna is counting down the days until her wedding to Jesse. They have been friends longer than Arianna can remember, and that friendship turned into love over the past couple of years. But when Arianna's brother Isaac, who happens to be Jesse's best friend, gets them both into trouble, Arianna's father puts an end to her engagement to Jesse. Some summer storms pass quickly, but Arianna is afraid the damage from this one may be too much to repair.

Lakeside Love by Kathleen Fuller
Esther has always lived in the shadow of her beautiful younger sister Sarah. Even the boy she has known and loved her entire life, Judah, only has eyes for Sarah. But when a handsome young Englischer comes to live with the family for a summer, everything begins to change.

One Sweet Kiss by Kelly Irvin
Everybody in little Bee County, Texas, can see the obvious: Jacob King and Martha Byler are meant to be together. Everyone, that is, but Martha. Ever since her mother died when Martha was a young girl, she has taken over the role of caregiver to her large family. And reckless Jacob, who has had a little too much fun on his rumspringa, only seems to add to the list of people to manage. But one summer changes everything, and these two may just find a way to meet in the middle and share one sweet kiss.


My Review

I love novella collections and the opportunity to read several stories by different authors, some of them my favorites. The summer theme was fun with the settings varying from farm to the beach to camping at a lake. In the first story, A Reunion in Pinecraft, I felt as confused as the characters who was going to end up together, and it was interesting to see the direction the author took. The second story, Summer Storm, was full of angst and misunderstanding. I loved how Jesse proved himself to be devoted to Arianna and her family. My favorite of the collection was Lakeside Love. I really liked this story of unrequited love and finding peace in oneself and following God's will. Even though Jonah had blinders on for a while, I admired the genuine way he handled his shifting feelings. Even though it was a short story, there were great themes explored and I felt like it was well-balanced and contained a full arc. The last story, One Sweet Kiss, was another one I especially liked because of the matchmaking efforts Jacob and Martha undertake for two of their special needs friends. It showed their thoughtful and caring nature, and gave Martha experiences that demonstrated that Jacob could be trusted. This collection is one that will be loved by fans of Amish fiction!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Friday, May 26, 2017

Review: The Cherished Quilt by Amy Clipston


Heidi Reads... The Cherished Quilt by Amy Clipston

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Tragedy tore Christopher’s world apart. But Emily believes there are enough pieces left behind to stitch together a beautiful new beginning.

Emily Fisher is eager to meet the new employee at her father’s shop in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania. But when Christopher Hochstetler arrives, his cold demeanor freezes her attempts at building a friendship.

Longing for a fresh start, Christopher travels from Ohio to Bird-in-Hand to work at his uncle’s shop. Christopher’s heart is still wounded from memories of home, and making new friends is the last thing on his mind—he knows the pain that comes with losing those you love. When Emily is kind to him, he tries to remain distant, but he soon finds himself stealing glances at her throughout the day.

When Christopher shares his tragic reasons for leaving home, Emily decides to make a quilt for him as a gesture of their friendship. Even though he is not a member of the church, she’s found someone with whom she can imagine a future. The two are quickly falling in love when a family emergency calls Christopher back to Ohio without warning.

Emily finishes the quilt, in spite of her pain. But when Christopher receives it, will he have the courage to follow his heart?


My Review

One of the things I love about this series is how the sisters in this Amish family help men who are hurting and vulnerable. And then fall in love with them, of course ;) There is great chemistry between Emily and Chris, and even though their friendship developed quickly, it seems they have known each other longer since they understand and support each other so well. Emily is a compassionate and service-minded person, and her natural instincts are to reach out and befriend Chris even when he is stand-offish. Her special care for him is balm to his wounded spirit and she gets him to open up when nobody else could, which helps start the healing process for him. I loved the strong sense of family and acceptance from the Fishers and how they envelop Chris in their circle and home. I was taken off guard by the conflict that comes between Emily and Chris, and their friendship and budding romance is put to the test as Chris must finally face important issues on his own to resolve them. I appreciated the theme that turning to God for relief from the trials we face blesses us with peace and the feeling that all will be well.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)



Don't miss the other books in the Amish Heirloom series!

http://amzn.to/2a7Ez9w


http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.bookdepository.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis
 Veronica Fisher knows how lucky she is to be marrying her best friend. Seth Lapp is kind, hardworking, and handsome—but most importantly, he loves Veronica.

When an accident on the job steals Seth away from her, a heartbroken Veronica is certain she will never love—or be loved—again. Yet when she discovers a batch of forgotten recipes and opens a bake stand to sell her Mammi’s raspberry pies, Veronica picks up a regular customer  who gives her heart pause.

Jason Huyard was with Seth when he lost his life—a memory that haunts him still. So when he seeks out the grieving fiancée to convey his condolences, the last thing he expects—or wants—is to fall in love. Nonetheless, Jason soon finds himself visiting Veronica’s bake stand every week . . . and it’s for more than the raspberry pies.

Now, as Veronica’s heart thaws, Jason can’t bring himself to tell her he was there when Seth died. Can he ever reveal where he was on the day her life derailed? Or will his secret rob them of the second chance at love they both want?

http://amzn.to/2aVRDnA


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Synopsis

Years ago, a picnic basket brought two hearts together. For Rachel and Mike, history may be about to repeat itself.

Rachel Fisher is devastated when the young man she’s loved for years leaves her to date her best friend. Her heart is broken, and she has all but given up on love. Determined to keep her mind off the pain, she starts teaching at an Amish school for children with learning disabilities.

Since his father became ill, Mike Lantz has been overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing for his family and caring for his six-year-old brother, John. When John joins Rachel’s class and she learns that his mother is deceased and his father sick, she desperately wants to help the family, even with something as simple as a meal.

With her parents’ old picnic basket, Rachel begins sending food to the Lantz family. As the weeks go by, John’s grades start to improve, and the attraction grows between Rachel and Mike. They can’t deny that their friendship is growing toward something more, but both of them are hesitant to risk a more serious relationship.

The last thing Rachel wants is another heartbreak, and Mike is worried about providing for his loved ones. Will the two be able to reconcile their past hurts with new hope for the future?

http://amzn.to/2qajM0V

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Synopsis

In the final installment of the Amish Heirloom series, the Fisher sisters learn the mystery behind their parents’ marriage—and about the sibling who has never been spoken of.

Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past.

But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades?

Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it's a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it's past time to share it.