Saturday, April 9, 2011

Beside Still Waters

Marianna Sommer believes she knows where her life is headed. Nineteen years old and Amish, her plan is to get baptized into the church, marry Aaron Zook, and live in the only community she's ever known.

When Marianna's family moves from Indiana to Montana she discovers life and faith will never be the same. As she builds an easy friendship with local guy, Ben Stone, Ben not only draws her heart, he also gets her thinking about what loving God and living in community is all about.

As Marianna struggles to find "home", she also encounters God in intimate ways.

Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty-six books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

To celebrate the release of the first book in the Big Sky Amish series Tricia is giving away 10 copies of Beside Still Waters and a pair of super cute antique Amish salt & pepper shakers. (photo attached)

Details at Tricia’s blog, It’s Real Life:

BONUS! Each person who enters the giveaway will receive a FABULOUS Montana Amish Calendar. Hurry, it’s only available while supplies last!

Very good book - highly recommended.


My copy of Beside Still Waters was a gift from the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my review.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Time To Love

A Time To Love is the first book in Barbara Cameron's Quilts of Lancaster County series.

This was not like any other "bonnet" book I've read before. I can't quite put my finger on what was different about it. One thing is you didn't get to meet much of the extended community. The main female character is Jenny, an "Englischer" who is a TV news corespondent who was injured while doing news reports on children in war torn countries. Back in the States she moves in with her only close relative, her father's mother, Phoebe, who is Amish. Phoebe's neighbor is a widower, Matthew, who lives with his sister Hannah and his three children. Other than that there is an elder named Josiah who appears frequently throughout the book but except for brief or fleeting mentions, there are no other Amish characters in the book.

A lot of time is spent on Jenny's doctor visits, hospitalizations and therapy.

There is a romance between Jenny and Matthew. Jenny apparently spent a couple of summers with her grandmother when she was a teen and had a bit of a "romance" with Matthew.

The characters are likable but the timeline is a bit sketchy. There are times that it seems like weeks if not months have gone by but there is no mention made of the shift in time.

And some things don't jib with other Amish inspired books I've read. For example, and this is a spoiler so read on with care, Jenny decides to join the Amish faith - but she doesn't dress in Amish clothing. The reasoning given is that she doesn't want to seem pushy. In other Amish inspired books I have read when one converts they immediately wear the clothing to show their commitment.

All in all it was a good book and I will be looking forward to the other books in the series.