Tuesday, August 23, 2016

An Amish Harvest

An Amish Harvest by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller and Vannetta Chapman is a collection of fully developed novellas by these well known Christian writers.  Under the Harvest Moon is by Ms Wiseman and features Naomi Dienner who is in a marriage with an abuser husband.  When her husband meets an early death in an accident she is dealing with the guilt of the relief of not being beaten instead of the grief that everyone around her expects.  Her father has hired an older man, Brock from an English family to complete her harvest for the year.  Unexpectedly she finds herself falling in love with him and her children just want them to kiss and make a baby.  Naomi knows it is too early and she also knows her father would never allow her to get close to an Englisher.  What is a girl to do?
Love and Buggy Rides is by Amy Clipston and features Janie who has just secured a job at the local souvenir shop and on her very first day witnesses one of the Amish drivers of the wagons that they use to carry visitors through the Amish country side get rear ended by a young man that Janie sees is looking down (she thinks he was texting).  The young man blames the Amish wagon driver and threatens to sue the souvenir shop.  Janie's dad says she cannot tell the police what she saw because the Amish do not believe in letting the law of the land handle their disputes.  But how can Janie let the innocent get blamed for what the guilty have caused?
A Quiet Love by Kathleen Fuller is the story of Amos Mullett who is a farmer who is autistic but who desperately want to find a woman to marry and love.  He has always been sheltered by his family but they really won't let him grow up.  Dinah is his stepmother, Judith's niece who has reluctantly come for a visit.  Dinah's mother wants the quiet shy girl who stutters to get out more and thinks that Judith who Dinah is close to will help with that but no one expects Amos and Dinah to fall in love.
Mischief in the Autumn Air by Vannetta Chapman is the story of Eli Wittmer who is an auctioneer who is selling the household items no longer needed by an older couple who are downsizing in response to the stroke of Jacob the husband.  He has been a furniture maker and does beautiful work but still for some reason there were 3 large pieces of furniture that sold for well over what they were worth.  Eli and his bookkeeper Martha go visit the older couple to discuss this and find out that there are parts of a map drawn on hidden parts of each of the furniture pieces.  The map is in 7 parts and this is parts 4,5, and 6.  What does all this mean and how did the buyer know about this?  Could it be about Peter who left years ago after an argument with Jacob?
I liked this collection and especially enjoyed Kathleen Fuller's continuation of the Amos story.  I would recommend this book for good reading by anyone who enjoys reading the Amish love stories and those who are still living the Good Ol Days.
I received this book from Booksneeze for this review.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Jesus Talked to Me Today compiled by James Stuart Bell

Jesus Talked to Me Today compiled by James Stuart Bell is the next collection of person's memories of talking to Jesus.  These are true stories as told by the person who experienced them and all of them had Jesus speak to them as a child.  Many of these children were from a Christian background but some were not.  Some of them are remembrances of miracles which happened of healing or deliverance from an evil thing but some of them are feelings of peace that though the person was afraid of what was going to happen Jesus gave them peace and walked along side the child when it happened.  This book is not a, "I asked for healing and so I was healed" book.  For instance one child was going to her physical exam to get into nursing school and was rejected.  Jesus told her to be a teacher audibly.  She didn't want to be a teacher but she listened to the voice that she knew was Jesus. and became a teacher.  She loved being a teacher and was glad that she followed what she knew that Jesus had told her to do.  The common thread through all of these stories is the peace that floods their soul when they listen to Jesus and do as he commands them.

I loved this book because it is so encouraging to the believer.  It reminds us just how important each of us are to Jesus and not only that but that we are important to Jesus from the very beginning of our life.  The Bible tells us that Jesus loved the little children and we all know that but this is just one more reminder of our importance to Him.
I received this book from BethanyHouse for this review.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Tapestry of Secrets by Sarah Loudin Thomas

A Tapestry of Secrets by Sarah Loudin Thomas is the next novel in the Appalachian  Blessings series by this author.  The books in this series center on life in Laurel Mountain, where Ella had grown up on the family farm.  Ella had always had dreams of marrying the man of her dreams and coming back to the farm to create her artwork.  Now she had just broken up with Mark, the biggest mistake of her life, and her mother was calling her back home because her grandmother had had a stroke.  It didn't take long to figure out pack quickly and leave the apartment where her lawyer former boyfriend wouldn't leave her alone and kept wanting her to reconsider.  Ella just wants to escape.  She knows that Mark will always be trying to get ahead in his field even if he has to embellish his accomplishments to do so.  None of this is making Ella comfortable and she slowly realized that Mark is just the wrong person for her.  She wants a Christian man that she can build an equally yoked partnership and love.  She wants a family much like what she grew up in.
 Her family had taught her so much about the art of quilting and her grandma was very much a part of that.  Ella willingly moves into Perla's house and to  help her to recover from her stroke.  Grandma Perla is improving and doing so much better and Ella is finding out some of the secrets of her grandmother's past.  Ella's aunt and Perla's daughter, Sadie, had been born before Ella's grandma and grandpa married.  Sadie had never before wanted to know who her biological father was because she didn't want to hurt the memory of her father who had died 30 years ago.  Everyone in the family still grieved the loss of Casewell though it had been 30 years now--even Ella though she had not even been born when he died.  She had grown up hearing what a good man he was and she wanted her future husband to be like that. 
Ella finds out that there is a rich man buying up a lot of the land in the Laurel Mountain area surrounding Wise.  Ella had been surprised when she went to church and saw the attendance was so much less than she remembered.  Her dad had said that the church might not last much longer if something didn't change. Now she was hearing rumors that this new man was looking to maybe buy the church and the land surrounding it.  Maybe Ella hadn't been here in a long time but she felt like the church shouldn't be sold but no one else seems to care as much as Ella except Mavis the pianist at the church. Should Ella move back here?  Could she build her life in Laurel Mountain as her family had done for generations before?
I loved this story and plan to buy the rest of the series now that I know it is a series.  The reader does not have to have read the rest to enjoy reading this novel.  In fact I didn't know until I was completely through the story and reading the back of the book.  This novel holds the readers interest and I think would be good reading for woman or older girl.
I received this book from BethanyHouse for this review.

The Drawing Lesson by Mark Crilley

The Drawing Lesson by Mark Crilley is a new graphic novel centered on learning to draw.  I love that this book is done in graphic format.  David is young and has no money to buy the art book at the used book sale.  Well he has $1.19 but the seller is not interested in cutting him a break so off he goes to the park.  Who should he meet in the park but Becky.  Becky is a real artist and she is good--better than Ryan Pasternak, who can draw a Lamborghini without even looking.  Becky may not be interested in teaching David to draw but David has persuasive powers and convinces Becky that teaching David could be interesting (or at least easier than convincing David to quit pestering her).  Becky walks David and the reader step by step into drawing.  David gets better and better beginning with drawing Becky's watch and ending with working with David's drawing in the art museum and in nature.  David practices and practices his skills as daily Becky works with him on new techniques to improve his drawings.

I loved how the author teaches drawing through the graphic medium.  How intuitive of him to know that young budding artists may be more involved with pictures than words.  I love the way that David persists in convincing Becky, who any adult could see was busy with her own artistic endeavors and thought that David was a pesky little kid, to teach him to be a real artist.  Becky doesn't cut him any slack but takes David along for the artistic ride of his lifetime into the world of art.  She teaches him sketching, shading, proportions, and finally creating a whole composition.  THEN she leaves him to create on his own.  Becky sadly must move away but before she leaves she gives him a tearful hug and tells him he can do it because he is so talented. 
 I received this great book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Prince Noah and the School Pirates by Silke Schnee

Prince Noah and the School Pirates by Silke Schnee is the next book in the Prince Noah series and if you liked The Prince Who was Just Himself you will absolutely love the School Pirates.  This book takes you into the world of Prince Noah as he gets his education.  In this book all children are divided into ships to be educated onboard.  The children are divided depending on who or what they were.  There was a ship for boys, one for girls, one for children with eye patches, one for children who had only one leg and a ship for children who didn't learn so fast.  Noah was sent to the school on the sailing ship for children who didn't learn so fast.  Noah's ship was multicolored and looked different from the rest which were decorated according to who was schooled there: girls were pink, boys were on the orange one, the children who couldn't see very well had very high sides.  The children on Noah's boat learned things and also danced in class.  The girls learned to paint and sew but not to learn math.  The boys played sports and their teacher had given up on teaching boys anything but games, diving and climbing.  Each ship had learning based on what everyone thought they could learn but some of the girls wanted to learn math and the other children wanted to be able to learn other things but it had always been done like this and so it continued until the day of the big storm.  The storm carried them off  into pirate territory.  The pirates captured the boats and threw the children in the pirate ship hold. To find out how the children work together to rescue themselves and their teachers read this exciting book.

I loved this book and how it held the attention of the children to whom I read this.  This book discusses the education system still in use in Germany.  This story tells of how education could be improved with what in the U.S.A. we call mainstreaming.  The book is beautifully illustrated and the children will love looking through the pages.  The star of this book series is based on the author's son who happens to have Trisomy 21 commonly called Down Syndrome.  This book is based on what could be accomplished in Noah's life with a change in the education system.
This book was provided by Handlebar for this review.