The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck (review by Cathy)

The Wedding Shop

About the book:

Two women separated by decades. Both set out to help others find their dreams when their own have crumbled.

It’s the 1930s, and Cora is taking the reins at her family’s wedding shop in Heart’s Bend, Tennessee. Brides come from far away to be doted on by Cora and her family while they find the perfect wedding dress. Meanwhile, Cora has found her true love, Rufus, a riverboat captain. Cora counts the days until his return from the river, and she continues to wait for him as days turn into months and months turn into years. When he finally returns, she receives the shock of a lifetime: he is married to another. Nursing her heartbreak, she must find a way to continue pouring her heart into the hopes and dreams of the brides who visit her shop, all while wondering if she will ever find true love or if it has passed her by.

In present day, Haley has finished her time as a soldier, and suffering from PTSD, wants nothing to do with the heartbreak of this world. She sets off for Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, and in order to honor the memory of a fallen friend, she takes on the task of reopening an abandoned and long-forgotten wedding shop. Perhaps through helping others, she can forget the pain and disappointment in her own life.

Haley isn’t looking for love, but when her friend’s former fiancé becomes involved in the shop’s renovations, they both find that healing and restoration can perhaps happen in their lives too.

My review:

This is my absolute favorite book by Rachel Hauck.  The characters are wonderful and the storyline held my attention throughout.  Cora was my favorite character and I looked forward to when the dual time periods and story focused on her and her family.  Her love for her wedding shop and the brides to be added such style and grace in my opinion.

Haley has loved the Wedding Shop since she and her friend played in the abandoned building as children.  When she returns home to River Bend, she needs to decide what she wants to do with her life.  I liked Haley so much, but I found I liked her even more when she begins spending time with Cole, a friend from her childhood.  They had a special bond that added depth to their relationship.

Cora and Haley are from different time periods, but the two of them have a common bond which makes their stories so interesting and endearing.  They both have an inner strength and courage to make the changes needed to make their lives full and happy.  Their families play an important role in each of the women’s lives.

I loved the town of River Bend and its residents, especially Birch Good.  Birch is a steady and loyal friend to Cora and he’s such an amazing character, that he felt real to me.

I gave The Wedding Shop 5 stars and recommend this book to both young and older readers.

I received this book free from the publisher through the Book Look Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 

 

 

Plain Choice by Sarah Price (review by Kristi)

plain choice

About the book:  Amanda’s husband, Cuban pop star Alejandro, believed he was doing right by his wife when he left her on her parents’ farm in the familiar shelter of Lancaster’s Amish community. Amanda, however, has other ideas. Unwilling to sit idly by and hide from the paparazzi, she follows her husband to Europe for the start of his world tour to find out if their marriage can be saved once and for all.

When the two reunite, it’s plain to see that their love is stronger than their differences. But as they travel together, Amanda is surprised to discover that her own fame is beginning to match her husband’s. Now she must struggle to bridge her Amish upbringing and a new, unasked-for role in the public eye. As other unexpected tensions challenge their bond, can Amanda and Alejandro keep their promises and make space for her faith, his fame, and a growing love?

Kindle Edition, 338 pages                           Published March 29, 2016 by Waterfall Press

 

My review:  There comes a time when every author needs to say goodbye to the characters they have created and loved and written about. I feel like Sarah Price was way overdue to bid farewell to Alejandro and Amanda. A fifth book wasn’t really needed in the series as it didn’t add to the story or the characters.

As I’ve stated in other reviews of books in this series, I thought the premise for the story was interesting. World-famous rapper meets Amish girl in unusual circumstances, they are attracted to each other and the story proceeds from there. However, this couple’s story progresses in ways that I didn’t find believable in the other books and continued on through this one.

First, I can’t recall any other celebrity’s spouse becoming as famous as them just because they are married. This was an unusual aspect of the story but I found the way it progressed to be too far-fetched and believable. While Amanda claims to be of the Amish faith she sure didn’t act like it and too easily gave in when it came to wearing the dresses picked out for her and having her makeup done, having a personal assistant, etc.

Another thing I thought odd was the way Amanda decided that it was ok for Viper to dance the way he did with the dancers and act the way he did with her. He seemed to use her for his benefit and didn’t really seem to care for her in a way that displayed love. She seemed more like a mother figure or servant to him instead of a wife using the Bible as the reason why. This just didn’t sit well with me. Are Amish women that easily swayed? And the way he didn’t listen to her about Enrique was just too dismissive for me. I would certainly keep on my husband if his friend was making me uncomfortable

My biggest problem with these two characters was the way they treated Isadora, Alejandro’s daughter. Amanda seemed critical of the way he didn’t interact with his daughter but was willing to leave her with her own family as she went off halfway around the world to be with her beloved Alejandro/Viper and then worried about whether or not that was the right thing.

This story seemed to be too long and drawn out. A lot of the story seemed to be the day to day lives of the two while on tour in foreign countries. After awhile the story didn’t seem new or interesting but just the same old thing over and over again. I found myself bored while reading this book.

While I still enjoy Sarah Price’s writing style and applaud her for thinking outside of the box when it comes to Amish stories I think this one was way too far out of the box for me. I prefer my Amish fiction to be centered more on their strong sense of family and community and also their strong relationship with God.

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given.

 

About the author:  The author of over 30 novels, Sarah Price publishes with Realms, an imprint of Charisma House and Waterfall, an imprint of Brilliance Audio.

Her book, An Empty Cup, was #3 on Amazon Top 100 eBooks in January 2016.

Connect with Sarah Price:    Website   •   Facebook   •   Twitter

Amy Clipston Interview ( with Cathy) and Giveaway

Amy

The delightful and super talented Amy Clipston kindly agreed to answer some questions that I asked her.

Now, keep in mind that she is a wife and mother, has TWO full time jobs, has Book Signing events and she makes herself available to her many readers!   I’m beginning to suspect that she is Superwoman!

So, let’s get to know Amy!

Cathy:    I’ve enjoyed all of the novellas you’ve written and have always been curious as to how they come together. How are authors chosen to contribute to the novellas and does the publisher choose the theme of the book?

Amy:  My publisher chooses the authors and the themes. The authors then submit a synopsis to the editor, and we’re careful not to duplicate plots or character names.

Cathy:   I know you like movies and music. Do you have a playlist for when you’re writing or does music distract you when you’re writing?

Amy:  When I first was published, I needed complete quiet when I wrote. I couldn’t stand music because it would break my concentration. Now I enjoy listening to music via my ear buds while I write. The television and surrounding conversations are distracting, but music actually helps me write. I have a couple of playlists, but it depends on my mood. Sometimes I need hard rock and other times I need something more soothing, such as Daughtry or Taylor Swift. I suppose I’m a moody writer.

Cathy:   Being the movie buff that you are have you ever considered writing a screen play?

Amy:   I actually have no idea how to write a screenplay. I would have to take a class, and I don’t have time for that right now. It would be fun, though!

Cathy:   I’ve loved the Kaufmann Amish Bakery series, Hearts of the Lancaster Hotel and your latest, Amish Heirloom. I’ve thought at least one or all of them would be a great Hallmark movie. If you were given an opportunity, would you have a preference as to which one?

Amy:   I would positively love to see one of my books made into a television movie. What a thrill it would be to see it on Hallmark Channel! I would be happy if any of my books were made into a movie, but I think my favorite is The Cherished Quilt, book # 3 in my Amish Heirloom series. Of course, I’m not picky! Any of the books would make me happy as a television movie.

Cathy:    Do you prefer to write a series or a stand alone?

Amy:    I prefer writing a series because it gives me the opportunity to explore more than one character in series. I enjoy writing each character’s story through the series.
Thank you for having me on your blog!     

Thank you so much, Amy for being on our blog.  You are kind,  talented and you’ve been such a blessing to me!

Have you “liked” Amy’s authors page?   This is where she posts new book releases, contests, upcoming events and other fun things.

http://www.amyclipston.com

It’s time for a giveaway!  One lucky winner will receive one of Amy’s books and a few surprises.  To enter just leave a comment telling us your favorite Amy Clipston book.  Don’t forget to leave your full email address so  you can be contacted if you win.  Winner will be notified via email on September 4th, 2016.  Giveaway limited to residents of the US only.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like a Bee to Honey (The Honeybee Sisters #3) by Jennifer Beckstrand (review by Cathy)

Like a Bee to Honey

About the book:  Affectionately dubbed The Honeybee Sisters in their Wisconsin Amish community, the three Christner girls are devoted beekeepers who are coming-of-age—and discovering the sweet surprise of love…
 
Shy, skittish Rose Christner is more comfortable tending to the beehives on the family farm and keeping her aunt’s unruly cats in line than attending social gatherings with the rest of the die youngie. A childhood trauma and secret shame keep her heart under lock and key, and Rose just can’t accept the sweet attention she’s receiving from a handsome neighbor. But the more she shies away from Josiah Yoder, the more their families sneakily plot to bring them together. And when a vandal who’s been plaguing the Honeybee Farm starts targeting Rose, Josiah’s steadfast protection—and patience—just may lead her into his waiting arms…

 

My review: I’ve loved this series and am sad to see it end. I’m happy with the way it ended though and loved seeing Rose mature and become a strong young woman. Josiah is my absolute favorite character in the book. He’s always been so patient and tender with Rose and he’s been my favorite throughout the series.
Of course Aunt B is back and up to her usual antics. She always manages to raise a few eyebrows with her less than conservative behavior. She’s been the one person that will go to great lengths to protect the Honeybee sisters throughout their lives. She’s truly a selfless person and just a very unique character.
This has been a fun and sweet series by Jennifer Beckstrand. The Honeybee Sisters is suitable for both young and older readers.
I received a copy through Netgalley for my honest opinion which I have given.

Plain Return by Sarah Price (review by Kristi)

plain return

About the book:  Amanda Beiler, a young woman raised Amish, is determined to make her marriage to internationally beloved Cuban singer Alejandro Diaz work. Since they spend more time apart than together, she decides to join her superstar husband in the spotlight and accompany him on his South American tour.

Despite their deep love for each other, the pressures of maintaining Alejandro’s fame and the media’s constant hounding begin to take a toll on the young couple. When someone from his past makes a startling appearance during the tour, Amanda is forced to face not only the complexities of his hedonistic past—and the unexpected responsibilities that accompany it—but also her own desire to return to a simple life rooted in devotion to family and God. As Amanda’s needs start to conflict with Alejandro’s obligations, the couple must decide if their love is strong enough to save their new marriage.

Kindle Edition 284 pages                       Published October 20, 2015 by Waterfall Press

 

 

My review:  I’ve read this series from the very beginning and have alternated between ” this is too far fetched” and “could this really happen?” I thought the premise of the series was interesting – A Cuban-American superstar, Alejandro/Viper, and an Amish girl, Amanda, meeting and being attracted to each other and then falling in love. The more I read about this couple though the more conflicted I am with the entire story.

Alejandro absolutely drove me nuts in this book. He seems to be all about himself and is, well, a jerk. It seems like he only wants to use kind words and show Amanda affection when it benefits him. He also doesn’t seem to care about her feelings and beliefs as he wants to parade her around and use her to benefit him and his career. He never seems protective of her as she is always being shuffled off to security guards. He is only protective of her when she is putting his “brand” in danger. Ugh! Get over yourself Alejandro/Viper. Another thing I noticed is it’s very hard to almost impossible to see where Viper ends and Alejandro begins. If he cared one bit about Amanda he would tone down the whole “ladies man” persona.

Amanda really grows in this book. She slowly loses the naive Amish girl persona and grows into a woman who stands up for what she thinks is right. I must say I think it’s been a long time coming and I was happy to see her character become more mature and strong.

The already complicated lives of these two only get more complicated when they get to South America for Viper’s tour. I don’t want to spoil anything for you but I will say this is where we see most of Amanda’s strength and character growth. This is also where we see Alejandro begin to be at his worst.

If it sounds like I don’t like the book that is so not the case. Sarah Price has done a wonderful job of taking two very different people from two very different walks of life and showing readers what happens to them as they try to form a life together. I think she did a wonderful job of representing the life of each character and showing the readers just how opposite these two are. Her writing style makes the story flow easily and the pace of the story kept my interest from beginning to end. This book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and I can’t wait to see what happens in book five in the series. I have to find out if happiness or heartache awaits this couple.

Fans of traditional Amish fiction may not enjoy this story as it isn’t the usual storyline for the genre. I do think we will see Amanda get back to her Amish roots in the next book (or I’m hoping so anyway). Readers who don’t mind a not strictly Amish storyline should enjoy this story as it’s Amish lifestyle meets the glitter and glam of superstardom.

 

About the author:  The author of over 30 novels, Sarah Price publishes with Realms, an imprint of Charisma House and Waterfall, an imprint of Brilliance Audio.

Her book, An Empty Cup, was #3 on Amazon Top 100 eBooks in January 2016.

 

Connect with Sarah Price:    Website   •   Facebook   •   Twitter

Love Impossible by J.E.B. Spredemann

Love Impossible

About the book:

Life as Sarah once knew it no longer exists. When she is thrust into an impossible situation, she turns to God for help, but her prayers seem to go unanswered. When those closest to her offer advice, she feels she must do what is right. But there’s one problem. She can’t determine just what the right thing to do is.

As years of deceit unfold, Sarah knows she must make a choice. Will she ultimately heed the advice of her loved ones, or will she choose an entirely different path that could result in losing everyone close to her?

 

My thoughts:

This is a very unique story and kudos to J.E.B Spredemann for writing it.

I had such empathy for Sarah. Nothing in her life is what she believed it to be and she’s faced with making some very difficult and life changing decisions.

I won’t give too much away, because I want readers to find out just how conflicted Sarah is after she discovers the deceit she’s lived with for so many years. I will say, that I expected her to feel much more conflicted when faced with making decisions for herself and her families. Her strong faith was what made her choose the path that was right for her.

Jathan and Mark are two very important and different characters that added different elements to the story. At times, I found Mark to be rather frustrating, but given the unusual situation he faced, it was understandable.

This is truly a different Amish story and one that I recommend to all ages.

I received a complimentary copy from the author and have provided my honest opinion.

 

The Amish Christmas Kitchen-Kelly Long, Jennifer Beckstrand and Lisa Jones Baker (review by Cathy)

Amish Christmas Kitchen

A dash of joy brings everything together . . .

Something’s always baking in an Amish oven, and at Christmastime, all the ingredients for joy are at hand. Wrap yourself in the warmth of the Amish home—and the Plain peace of hearts joined by love. Each story includes a recipe from the author!
 
BAKING LOVE ON ICE MOUNTAIN
Kelly Long
Newly married, Clara Mast and Daniel Kauffman have little to give but love during their first Christmas season together. But generous hearts are always willing to be creative in this “Gift of the Magi” inspired story.

THE CHRISTMAS BAKERY ON HUCKLEBERRY HILL
Jennifer Beckstrand
When shy Katie Rose Gingerich’s dat sends her to Huckleberry Hill to secure a marriage proposal, she never expects to long for carefree Titus Helmuth—or to hope that he might want to spend every Christmas with her . . .

THE SPECIAL CHRISTMAS COOKIE
Lisa Jones Baker
A charity auction, an unexpected friendship, and a stubborn spirit combine in an unusual courtship. But for Emma and Jonathan, overcoming obstacles is just one of the lessons to be learned about special blessings this holiday season.

My thoughts:

Three very charming stories written by three very talented authors. I didn’t have a favorite in the collection as they were equally appealing in their own way. I will admit that as I usually do when reading about the Matchmakers and Huckleberry Hill, I did laugh at Annie and Felty and their tenacity at finding a spouse for their family members.

Overall, this was a book that I enjoyed and recommend to readers of Christian and Amish Fiction.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and have given my honest opinion.

 

 

The Witnesses by Robert Whitlow (review by Cathy)

the witnesses

About the book:

Parker House’s secret inheritance is either his greatest blessing . . . or his deadliest curse. The fresh-faced North Carolina attorney shares his German grandfather’s uncanny ability to see future events in his mind’s eye—a gift that has haunted 82-year-old Frank House through decades of trying to erase a murderous wartime past.

While Parker navigates the intrigue and politics of small-town courtroom law, Frank is forced to face his darkest regrets. Then, a big career break for Parker collides with a new love he longs to nurture and the nightmares his grandfather can no longer escape. Sudden peril threatens to shatter not only Parker’s legal prospects but also his life and the lives of those dearest to him.
Two witnesses, two paths, an uncertain future.

My review:

This was one of the most interesting books that I’ve read recently.   Strong characters, a lovely setting, the different time periods and POV. The small town of New Bern with close neighbors and strong friendships was a place that I would like to visit. 

The author wrote an incredible story of how conflicted Frank was and how he was haunted by his past.  I loved his friends Len and Mattie (Len’s wife) and could easily imagine them boating and fishing for their dinner.

Peter’s career added another layer and interest to the story.  His relationship with Frank is very touching and seemed very real.  Mr. Whitlow takes time to define his characters which made me care about them.

For readers looking for a well written interesting book then I recommend this one.

I received a copy of The Witnesses from the publisher and have given my honest opinion.

 

 

 

 

Mount Hope (The Amish Classics Series) by Sarah Price(review by Cathy) Interview with Sarah and a Giveaway

Mount Hope

About the book:

When her father can no longer provide for his large family, Fanny Price is sent away from her small Amish community in Colorado to live with her aunt’s family in Mount Hope, Ohio. Fanny immediately feels out of place at the Bontrager farm but finds a friend in her aunt’s stepson, Elijah Bontrager.

As time passes, Fanny begins to long for their friendship to blossom into something more, but her hopes are dashed when Elijah starts to court someone else. With her uncle pressuring her to marry a man who can take her off his hands, Fanny must learn to rely on God for her future.

Review:

I loved Fanny Price from the beginning. It was difficult to read about a 10-year-old being sent so far away from home to stay with family she’s never met.  It was disheartening to see the way she was received by her relatives when she arrived in Holmes County.

It was wonderful to see Fannie become the young woman she became.

The friendship she and Elijah shared was one of mutual respect and trust.

Fannie had grace, humility and compassion.  At times she was taken advantage of by family, especially her cousin Miriam, but in her infinite wisdom she allowed that to happen to remove herself from situations she was uncomfortable with.

Mount Hope has an incredible flow that is never disjointed or boring. The characters are integral, although some lacked empathy which gave an authenticity to them.

I love that Sarah doesn’t shy away from the imperfections of humanity which is what made this one my favorite books she’s written so far.  The reality of a less than perfect Amish family is much more realistic than they are portrayed in some books. This definitely deserves the 5-star rating that I gave.

I recommend this book to readers of both Amish and Christian fiction. You won’t be disappointed.

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley for an honest opinion which I have given.

About the author

Sarah Price author pic [26024]

National bestselling author Sarah Price has always respected and honored her ancestors through the exploration and research about her family’s Anabaptist history and their religion. For over twenty-five years, she has been actively involved in an Amish community in Pennsylvania. The author of over thirty novels, Sarah is finally doing what she always wanted to do: write about the religion and culture that she loves so dearly.

For more information about Sarah you can visit her blog at www.sarahpriceauthor.com or become a fan on Facebook.

An Interview with Sarah

Tell us about your new book, Mount Hope: An Amish Retelling of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.

Mount Hope is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s wonderful romance novel, Mansfield Park. The story follows Fanny Price who is born to an impoverished Amish family living in Westcliffe, Colorado. The community is small and the farming lacking in both fertility and futility. Her parents make a hard decision to send her back to Mount Hope, Ohio in order to live with extended family. But, upon arriving at the Bontragers’ farm, Fanny quickly learns that she is an outsider. Her aunt Miriam is oppressed by both her husband, Thomas, and older sister, Naomi, while her two cousins, Miriam and Julia, make their feelings of superiority known immediately. The only friendship she receives is from Elijah, Thomas’s son from a previous marriage.

Fanny grows up as part of the Bontrager household but not part of their family. She knows her place in the family hierarchy and has learned to not challenge it. Meanwhile, her feelings toward Elijah as her one friend, and only champion, begin to shift into a deeper emotion that she fears is not returned.

What were some challenges involved with retelling Jane Austen’s classic books?

One of the books, Persuasion, was not my favorite of Jane Austen’s books. It was hard to write that one for me. However, people who have read the books have said it was their favorite! Go figure.

Otherwise, I did not encounter challenges in adapting the stories to an Amish setting. Jane Austen wrote amazing romances novels that, despite being 200 years old, transcend time and location.

One thing that I noticed was that writing the six adaptations took my writing to a new level. I can see that in my current works-in-progress.

Which character from Mount Hope do you relate to most?

Ha ha ha. There is only one truly good character in the book so I have to say Fanny Price! Her two half-cousins are horrible girls…selfish, lazy, and focused on material gain. Thomas, her uncle, is pretentious. Her aunt Naomi is a bossy bully. The list goes on and on. Even Elijah gets swept away by Mary, focusing on her pretty face instead of her lack of substance.

So unless I want to admit to being selfish, lazy, materialistic, pretentious, bossy, and superficial, I have to say Fanny Price. 😉

For over thirty years you have been active in Amish communities. Can you share some of the lessons you have taken away from the friendships you have made?

The number one lesson that I have learned is that no Amish community, family, or person is the same as another. The Amish fiction books tend to make the people seems so one dimensional. But they are very multifaceted. The more I learn about the Amish, the more I realize that they are not so different from us at all.

I’ve also learned that a farmer’s wife lives a very hard life. They do not have a lot of time for themselves and they work just as hard, if not harder, than the men. Amish fiction books tend to romanticize life on a farm. But it’s not all warm sunshine and fruitful gardens, especially when the children are younger.

How much of the Amish culture and way of life do you apply in your daily life?

Not as much as I should. I don’t really watch television and I like to garden (when it’s not 110 degrees outside). I’m home schooling my daughter because I’m not a big fan of the public school system these days. And I tend to keep to myself, focusing on my family rather than climbing social ladders.

My husband works in the equestrian training business so we have three farms and over 100 horses. I could live on a farm and we are contemplating selling our house to move onto a 13-acre equestrian property. In the meantime, sometimes I like to go to our one farm which is rather isolated and get away from the modern world.

Here’s a fun fact for your readers:  I have an Amish buggy. When it’s not so hot out, I drive it around my town.  That raises some eyebrows, for sure and certain!

Mount Hope is an actual town in Ohio. Have you visited there?

I have! It’s an adorable town near Sugarcreek and Berlin, Ohio. It’s very different than the Amish communities in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania or Nappanee, Indiana or even Westcliffe, Colorado which appears in this book, too.

I believe that is one thing that readers don’t realize. The Amish are real people. There are good Amish people and there are not so good Amish people. Just because they live a pious life doesn’t mean that they are perfect. In my book, Mount Hope, readers will meet several Amish folk who are not the stereotypical Amish characters in popular fiction. But they are real people, just like the ones I’ve meet in the different Amish communities around the country.

You stay connected with your readers on a daily basis by live streaming on Facebook. Why is it important for you to do so?

I started doing live streams on August 14, 2015. Over the past year, the daily live streams have become a part of my life. I wanted to be more than just an author who simply posts “BUY MY BOOK!” memes on social media. In the 21st century, we have more access to information and communication via social media.  In general, I really like people. Just because I’ve written 40+ books doesn’t make me superior to anyone else. I really don’t care for “famous” people who behave like that.

Hey, I’m a person, just like everyone else. And the people who view my video each morning, sharing a cup of coffee with me, well…they aren’t just readers. They are friends. I’m the luckiest person in the world to have so many amazing friends on Facebook and Instagram!

Thanks for joining us Sarah! Anything else you would like to share?

Thanks for having me visit!  Readers can connect with me on Facebook and Instagram. And be certain to visit my website

GIVEAWAY:  A PRINT COPY OF THE MATCHMAKER

The MatchMaker

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog with your favorite Sarah Price book or series using your email address so that we can contact you if you are the winner. A winner will be chosen on August 30th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amish Friends Harvest Cook Book by Wanda Brunstetter (review by Cathy)

wanda's harvest cookbook

About the book:

Overloaded with garden produce, CSA shares, or farmers’ market finds?

Now you’ll know what the Amish do with these seasonal fruits and vegetables and how they preserve some of them for future use. Bring the wisdom of Amish gardeners and cooks into your own home with dozens of recipes and tips from the heart of Amish country in Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish Friends Harvest Cookbook. This well-organized book is sure to become a treasured resource.

 

My review:

The day I received this cook book, I immediately sat down and started looking through it. I was struck by how beautiful it is with vibrant photographs and wonderful sounding recipes. The Advice from Amish Gardeners chapter has several tips for strong and healthy plants that produce a good harvest. It makes me seriously consider planting a small garden.

Of course there are recipes for soups, salads, main and side dishes. What I really found informative was the section for Recipes for Preserving the Harvest which is about canning. I had no idea that The Ball canning site sometimes lists links to classes! The recipes for desserts, snacks and extras will make your mouth water!

Each of the sections starts with a beautiful photograph and bible verse. The pages have a coating so that you can wipe them down with a cloth to prevent staining them. By the way, some  photographs are by  Richard Brunstetter.  I’m anxious to make so many of these wonderful recipes.

I honestly believe that everyone should add this book to their collection. It would make a perfect gift for a new bride, a housewarming gift and Christmas will soon be here.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and have given my honest opinion.