Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

HUGE Giveaway: Gladden the Heart by Olivia Newport July 6, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:50 pm
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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: Gladden the Heart

Author: Olivia Newport

Release date: July 1, 2017

Genre: Historical Amish

“When you have experienced the Holy Ghost as I have, you would see that it is difficult to turn back.”

When the lively fervor of nineteenth century revivalism endangers the staid customs of the Amish community in the lush but rugged Kishacoquillas Valley of central Pennsylvania in 1847, the Amish church must deal with a divisive question: What is a genuine spiritual experience?

The question turns personal when Susanna’s beloved cousin Noah begins preaching while under trances and even though he is not a minister he gives long sermons that attract increasing attention. Curious, she helps to keep Noah safe during his trances. At the same time Adam, Susanna’s intended, feels pressure from the bishop to speak out against the ways of revivalism.

Susanna and Adam are pushed to opposite sides of a controversy that threatens their traditional Amish faith.. Now they must grapple with whether love is possible…even if they come to different conclusions.

When Noah goes missing at a time of day when he often preaches while asleep, circumstances thrust community members with divergent opinions into a crisis that demands they recognize the humanity they share regardless of beliefs. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives?

 

About the Author

Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. She chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is. Her books include the Avenue of Dreams series set in 1890s Chicago; the Valley of Choice series, which intertwines contemporary and historical Amish stories; the historical Amish Turns of Time series; and Hidden Falls, a warm, contemporary, small-town novel.

Guest Post from Olivia Newport

Sleepy Sundays

Now don’t laugh, but my guess is that if you looked around your church on any given Sunday morning, you’d see somebody sleeping. It might be an infant or toddler whose nap time collides with the worship time resting in a parent’s arms, or it might be a senior citizen who has perfected the art of dozing in an upright position.

What you don’t expect is that the person sleeping will be the preacher.

I’ve always been interested in church history. I even read a magazine called Christian History on a regular basis and consider it pleasure reading. In my ambling through church history, I came across a notation about “sleeping preachers” in the nineteenth century in various denominations, including the Amish. The accounts suggested that individuals who were not ministers would fall unconscious, wake up to preach for lengthy periods, sleep again, and have no recollection of their actions.

Could this possibly be true? Or a giant hoax? What’s a genuine spiritual experience, and what do we do when don’t agree on how to answer that question? Let’s face it, even now, 150 years later, we still don’t quite know what to do with our varying traditions when we don’t agree on how to answer that question.

I knew I had the makings of a story. Gladden the Heart travels back to 1847 and wrestles with these questions. When a divided community faces a life-or-death situation, they must respond to a crisis that challenges them to look past their differences. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives?

Gladden the Heart is the fifth story in Olivia Newport’s Amish Turns of Time series of historical Amish novels. Olivia chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

Blog Stops

July 4: Cafinated Reads

July 5: Book by Book

July 6: Genesis 5020

July 6: A Baker’s Perspective

July 7: Reading Is My SuperPower

July 7: Connie’s History Classroom

July 8: Daysong Reflections

July 9: God’s Little Bookworm

July 9: Inklings and Notions

July 10: A Reader’s Brain

July 10: Zerina Blossom’s Books

July 11: Bibliophile Reviews

July 11: Red Headed Book Lady

July 12: Karen Sue Hadley

July 12: Blogging With Carol

July 13: The Fizzy Pop Collection

July 14: Have A Wonderful Day

July 14: cherylbbookblog

July 15: Bigreadersite

July 15: Carpe Diem

July 16: Splashes of Joy

July 16: The Power of Words

July 17: His Grace is Sufficient

July 17: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a Grand Prize that consists of:
All five books in the Amish Turns of Time series (http://www.olivianewport.com/amish-turns-of-time/)
PLUS
Bonus: All three books in the Valley of Choice series (http://www.olivianewport.com/valley-of-choice/)
PLUS
$25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bc59

My thoughts:

Believe it or not I haven’t read anything by Olivia until this book. The premise of this book really intrigued me and I wanted to see what was going on.

First of all, Olivia can write some powerful sermons. This book is full of messages of truth from the Word.

I wanted to know why was Noah experiencing these trances or falling until the Holy Ghost. Why him? Why wouldn’t God allow him to remember this?

Susanna is a sweetheart. I did get irritated with her ignoring Adam for all the stuff that was going on with Noah, but she was trying to help Phoebe.

I also liked Adam’s steadfastness. He didn’t easily give up even when things got hard.

There are many great characters and layers in this book. Many people being effected by this changed in Noah.

Overall this was a very interesting read and I liked it.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own. 

 

Review and Giveaway: The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher February 9, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:46 pm
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the-newcomer-fb-cover-1024x379

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

the-newcomer-195x300Click to Purchase

Book: The Newcomer

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical; Amish

Release Date: January 31

In 1737, Anna Konig and her fellow church members stagger off a small wooden ship after ten weeks at sea, eager to start a new life in the vibrant but raw Pennsylvania frontier. On the docks of Port Philadelphia waits bishop Jacob Bauer, founder of the settlement and father to ship carpenter Bairn. It’s a time of new beginnings for the reunited Bauer family, and for Anna and Bairn’s shipboard romance to blossom.

But this perfect moment cannot last. As Bairn grasps the reality of what it means to be Amish in the New World–isolated, rigid with expectations, under the thumb of his domineering father–his enthusiasm evaporates. When a sea captain offers the chance to cross the ocean one more time, Bairn grabs it. Just one more crossing, he promises Anna. But will she wait for him?

When Henrik Newman joins the church just as it makes its way to the frontier, Anna is torn. He seems to be everything Bairn is not–bold, devoted, and delighted to vie for her heart. And the most dramatic difference? He is here; Bairn is not.

Far from the frontier, an unexpected turn of events weaves together the lives of Bairn, Anna, and Henrik. When a secret is revealed, which true love will emerge?

About the Author


suzanne6Suzanne Woods Fisher
is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

 

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

Pennsylvania of 1737, the setting for The Newcomer, is like a foreign country. Parts of it might seem familiar—the same hills and creeks and blue sky, but we’d hardly recognize the settlers. People like Anna, or Bairn, or the mysterious Newcomer. We wouldn’t be able to understand their language, their customs and traditions. Their world was that different from our modern one.

The first group of Amish immigrants (first written about in Anna’s Crossing and followed up in The Newcomer) settled northwest of Philadelphia, then a vast wilderness, and relied on each other for safety, security, building projects, and church. In nearby Germantown, settlers were tradesmen, so they clustered houses together in small knots. The Amish farmers took out land warrants for sizeable properties and lived considerable distances from each other.

In The Newcomer, Anna cooked food in a cauldron over a large hearth. One-pot meals can trace their beginnings to open-hearth cooking when ingredients for a meal went into a large kettle suspended over the fire. Traditional dishes—ham and beans, pork and sauerkraut—used sturdy, available, and simple ingredients that improved with long, slow cooking. The dishes could be easily expanded when the need arose to set a few more places at the table. And it did, often. Large families and unannounced company inspired Amish cooks to find ways to “stretch the stew.”

Noodles (including dumplings and rivvels) could be tossed into a simmering broth to make a meal stretch. Most farms had a flock of chickens, so eggs were easily at hand. Today, homemade noodles are still a favorite dish.

Another “stew stretcher” was cornmeal mush, originally eaten as a bread substitute. Early German settlers who made their home in eastern Pennsylvania roasted the yellow field corn in a bake oven before it was shelled and ground at the mill. The roasting process gave a nutty rich flavor to the cornmeal. Mush is still part of the diet the Old Order Amish—cooked and fried, baked, added into scrapple, smothered in ketchup. Dress it up and you’ve got polenta.

Now here’s one thing we do have in common with 1737 Pennsylvania immigrants…a love of good food and a shortage of time! Here’s one of my favorite one-pot recipes—probably not the kind of stew Anna might have made for ship carpenter Bairn or the mysterious Newcomer (ah, which man one stole her heart?)…but definitely delicious. Enjoy!

Lentil Chili

Here’s one of my favorite “stew stretchers.” You can expand it even more by serving over rice.

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced
10 c. water
1 lb. dry lentils
1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt (season to your taste)

½ tsp. pepper
2 c. salsa (your favorite variety)
29 oz. canned tomatoes, crushed

Blog Stops

February 7: cherylbbookblog

February 7: Moments Dipped in Ink

February 7: inklings and notions

February 8: Just Commonly

February 8: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

February 8: Ashley’s Bookshelf

February 9: A Reader’s Brain

February 9: Genesis 5020

February 9: A Simple Life, really?!

February 10: Lane Hill House

February 10: Blogging With Carol

February 10: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog

February 11: Quiet Quilter

February 11: Daysong Reflections

February 11: Southern Gal Loves to Read

February 12: Christian Bookaholic

February 12: Jeanette’s Thoughts

February 12: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

February 13: Karen Sue Hadley

February 13: Just the Write Escape

February 14: Rhonda’s Doings

February 14: Bigreadersite

February 14: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

February 15: Blossoms and Blessings

February 15: Connie’s History Classroom

February 16: Bibliophile Reviews

February 16: Book by Book

February 17: Pause for Tales

February 17: A Holland Reads

February 18: A Greater Yes

February 18: The Power of Words

February 19: Lighthouse Academy

February 19: A Baker’s Perspective

February 20: By The Book

February 20: Giveaway Lady

Giveaway

kindle

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a Kindle! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!https://promosimple.com/ps/b0d1

My thoughts:

Suzanne is a great author. She has written a very interesting story on so many levels.

I have read several Amish books but none set when they have come to America. I enjoyed hearing about how they settled the land and the lessons they had to learn along the way.

From the opening chapter you will wondering what is going on with Barin, where does his heart lie? Does he care enough about Anna to come back to her?

And who is this newcomer, will he steal Anna’s heart?

There is a lot of mystery surrounding the whole story and so many questions as you go.

I did not read the first book in this series and still completely enjoyed and was able to follow this book.

If you enjoy historical Amish fiction then I recommend this one.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through The Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own. 

 

The Amish Firefighter by Laura V. Hilton June 20, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:51 pm
Tags: , ,

TheAmishFirefighter

ABOUT THE BOOK:

A Beautiful Young Woman Banished from Home Abigail Stutzman thought it was bad enough being dropped at the nearest bus station and sent to live several states away with some relatives she’d never heard about, much less met. But now, just a week after her arrival in Jamesport, Missouri, she finds herself at the scene of a barn fire. An intentional barn fire. And all fingers are pointed at her. She’s desperate to prove her innocence and protect her reputation, but nobody’s making that easy to do. And God certainly doesn’t seem willing to help. A Brave Firefighter with an Agenda of His Own
Sam Miller
is in the process of turning over a new leaf. Determined to atone for the follies of his past, he is a volunteer firefighter, an EMT, and a doctor–in–training. When local barn fires escalate, everyone suspects arson. And since the Miller family are among the victims, no one is more determined to see the perpetrators brought to justice than Sam.

A Kindled Flame Neither One Could Have Anticipated
When their paths first cross, at the site of a barn burning, the emotional intensity rivals the warmth of the flames. Soon, they must decide whether this fire is one they should feed or extinguish. And they’ll discover that the truth can prove more dangerous than a blazing inferno.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Laura Hilton graduated with a business degree from Ozarka Technical College in Melbourne, Arkansas. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, she is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with more than a thousand reviews published on the Web. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Arkansas. To learn more about Laura, read her reviews, and find out about her upcoming releases, readers may visit her blog at http://lighthouse–academy.blogspot.com/. 

My thoughts:

This is the first book I have read by Laura. The book captured my interest from the first few pages. You are thrown into Abigail’s trouble right away and hope for a way out for her. I kept hoping she would get a chance to tell her side of the story otherwise she looked very guilty.

But something happened for me after the first initial chapters. I felt like things were kind of being forced to happen to the characters. I wasn’t really feeling this strong attraction between Sam and Abigail. This could just be me, of course, but it wasn’t working for me. I felt like they kept rehashing the same thoughts over and over.

Like I said the first few chapters really sucked me in but then I found myself not too interested in what was happening. As always, this is my opinion only and my perspective.

Visit Laura here.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through The Book Club Network Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 

 

Review and Giveaway: A Dream of Miracles by Ruth Reid May 26, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:10 pm
Tags: , ,

a dream

About:

Amish widow Mattie vows never to love again . . . until a suspicious outsider with a shadowy past comes crashing into her fragile world.

Mattie Diener can barely keep it together. A young Amish widow and mother of two young children, she faces the lingering heartbreak of lost love, her son’s mysterious illness, and a torrent of accusations that threaten to undo her.

Bo Lambright is a fast-rising social services investigator whose high-society mother won’t rest until she finds his Mrs. Right. Despite Bo’s worldly success, the raw ache of a shadowy past and a series of unsettling dreams have left him reeling.

When Mattie and Bo cross paths, all signs point to disaster. Yet as they face a crucible of trials and tragedies together, longings begin to stir that seem destined only to end in more heartbreak. Is a miracle possible—not only of healing but of forbidden love? What secrets lie in Bo’s dreams? And will Mattie find the courage to face her uncertain future . . . or will she simply run away?

My thoughts and giveaway:

I haven’t had the chance to read anything by Ruth but I have heard good things about her work. I can tell you it’s all true.

She has crafted a story that will grab you from the opening page and then she keeps upping the tension with each page turn.

Mattie is a hurting widow trying to do the best she can raising her children but she is overwhelmed and the odds seem stacked against her. Nothing is going right for her.

Bo is looking for something more and with his mother pulling him in one direction and his heart in another which way will he turn? I was very anxious to see how God would work in his life and ultimately pull these two unlikely people together.

A very good read, whether you like Amish fiction or not.

Visit Ruth here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

Leave a comment by June 2nd for your chance to win a copy. One winner will be chosen by random.org. (U.S. address only. I will not replace books lost or damaged in the mail.)

A copy of this book was given to me through BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for an honest review. 

 

Amish Christmas at North Star December 17, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:02 pm
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amish christmas

About This Book

One night four lives entered the world by the hands of an Amish midwife, just outside North Star, Pennsylvania.

Rebekah’s Babies, as they are called, are now grown adults and in four heartwarming novellas each young person experiences a journey of discovery, a possibility of love, and the wonder of Christmas.

Guiding Star
by Katie Ganshert

Curiosity gets the best of Englischer Chase Wellington when he investigates the twenty-five-year-old disappearance of an Amish baby. When he finds adventurous Elle McAllister in Iowa will his discoveries upend her world?

Mourning Star
by Amanda Flower

Eden Hochstetler slips from her parents’ fudge shop to investigate the death of her friend Isaac.  Who is guilty? Isaac’s handsome great nephew Jesse, an angry Englischer, or someone else?

In the Stars
by Cindy Woodsmall

Heartbroken Kore Detweiler avoids North Star after Savilla Beiler rejects his love.  But when he is unexpectedly called to return home, he and Savilla must join forces to keep a family together.

Star of Grace
by Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark

Andy Danner left North Star to join a new Amish settlement in Mississippi. His little brother devises a scheme to bring Andy home for Christmas and unwittingly unleashes the power of forgiveness in a reclusive widower’s life.

My thoughts:

This is a wonderful collection of stories by great authors.

The neat thing about this book is that all the novellas are connected by a prologue in the beginning. It begins with the birth of four babies and then we catch up with them almost twenty-five years later.

I am a fan of Katie Ganshert so I was interested in how she would write an Amish story. Well, her main characters aren’t Amish so it had the feel of her other books,which are fabulous.

The only author I had never read anything by before was Amanda Flower. I found her story to be just as good as the rest with a bit of mystery thrown in.

If you are looking for some Christmas stories this season this book is a must read.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, Books-A-Million or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 

Promises to Keep by Elizabeth Byler Younts October 19, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:09 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Promise to Keep
Howard Books (October 13, 2015)
by
Elizabeth Younts

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word from the Author:

I’m Elizabeth, a blessed child of The King. I’m a middle-born daughter, military officer’s wife, homeschooling mama, writer, closet DIYer, and, dare I say it, Downton Abbey addict. May I also mention that I love both my history and my coffee rich.

I am formerly Amish and my heritage is very dear to me and thankful to be so accepted among my still Amish family. I can still speak PA Dutch, too! You can learn more about my Amish family in my first book Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl.

My three book series with Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) is a dream come true. The series is titled The Promise of Sunrise. In this series you will live through World War 2 from an Amish perspective and experience their unique struggles as conscientious objectors during wartime. What happened if one of their members enlisted? What was it like to serve at the Civilian Public Service Camps for years with almost no compensation? How did Amish women and families cope when a son or father was drafted? I look forward to taking you back into the richness of these years of Amish history through fiction.

ABOUT THE BOOK

World War II Marine Joe Garrison returns home from war longing to be a father to his deaf daughter, Daisy, only to find that she is attached to Esther Detweiler, the Amish woman who has raised her since his wife’s death in this touching historical romance.

Orphaned as a child, Esther Detweiler is used to caring for herself and her ailing grandmother. They made the best out of a hard life and poverty without asking for help. They even take in her shunned cousin’s deaf daughter, Daisy, when her mother dies and her father goes off to war. When Esther’s grandmother dies, Daisy is all she has.

When war veteran Joe Garrison returns, all he can think about is recovering from the horrors of war and building a relationship with his seven-year-old daughter. Daisy, however, is unwilling to leave Esther, whom she loves. Joe and Daisy get to know each other again, but Joe struggles with nightmares and fatherhood is proving to be more difficult than he imagined. Esther loves Daisy and despite her Amish ways, Joe finds himself drawn to her as a woman and not just a caregiver.

As their love blossoms, Joe decides to send Daisy away to a school for the deaf which propels their lives into turmoil and a battle for love and family.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Promise to Keep, go HERE.

My thoughts:

I have always enjoyed Elizabeth’s books. She has consistently delivers an interesting story line with likable characters. Although, I will say at first I wasn’t a fan of Joe.

There is a lot going on in this story with Esther’s family and some secrets there, as well.

Daisy is a sweet little girl who will capture your heart and you will wish you could hold her and give her some love.

You will easily be drawn into the town of Sunrise and the characters lives in this engaging book.

Visit Elizabeth here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, Books-A-Million or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

 

Review and Giveaway: Ties that Bind by Cindy Woodsmall October 12, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:57 pm
Tags: , ,

ties the bind

About:

Ariana’s comfortable Old Order Amish world is about to unravel. Will holding tightly to the cords of family keep them together—or simply tear them apart?

Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her family’s ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach.

Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.
*
Despite how things look, Quill’s goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the café—because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever.

My thoughts and giveaway:

This is one of the most interesting Amish fiction books I have read in years. There are a lot of unanswered questions that will force you to keep reading to better understand what is going on.

One thing I really loved was how Cindy wrote the dialogue for the Amish. I think we (or at least me) often think they talk so different from us. But these characters sounded like any other twenty-something person. It made them more real for me.

There is a lot of mystery surrounding the past of these characters and what will happen when truth is revealed? Also, I wanted to better understand the feelings between Ariana and Quill. Was there possible romance there or was Ariana really ready to commit to Rudy?

These questions and much more made this an excellent read.

Visit Cindy here. 

For author bio click here.

For more info click here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, Books-A-Million or your favorite retailer.

Leave a comment by October 21st for your chance to win a copy. One winner will be chosen by random.org. (U.S. addresses only. I am not responsible for books lost or damaged in the mail.)

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.