Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

An Amish Christmas Gift Book Review

Three Amish Novellas

SUMMARY:                                Naomi's Gift by Amy Clipston
     Naomi has begun to believe that she isn't meant to find love, but she might receive more than she has ever hoped for this Christmas.
     Twenty-four-year-old Naomi King has all but given up on marriage and children.  As Christmas approaches, Naomi is certain that her life will be spent as an old maid, helping with the family's quilting business and taking care of her eight siblings.  Then she meets Caleb, a young widower with a 7-year-old daughter, and her world is once again turned upside-down.

An Unexpected Joy by Ruth Reid
     Abigail has driven other suitors away, but can Micah find a way to show her he cares?
     Being a caregiver for Micah Zook's grandmother is the answer to Abigail's prayers. In fact, the elderly lady keeps finding ways to set Abigail up with her grandson.  Despite Abigail's constant chatter, Micah realizes he's beginning to care for her - until he makes a decision that leaves her feeling betrayed.  With Christmas in their midst, can Micah find a way to reconcile with Abigail and to reveal the true feelings of his heart?

A Christmas Visitor by Kelly Irvin 
      Frannie Mast returns to Bee County for Christmas, but her heart stays back in Missouri with an Englisch farm boy.
     Frannie knows her parents have the best of intentions when they send her back to Bee County, Texas, to live with her aunt and her aunt's new husband, Mordecai.  After all, Frannie knows nothing can come of a relationship with Rocky, the handsome Englisch farm boy back in Missouri.  But all bets are off when Rocky follows Frannie to Texas to plead his case.  Could he be the Christmas gift to end all gifts?

REVIEW:  These Christmas novellas focus on finding the one person who God has for you, even if they do not fit everyone's mold of the "perfect" person.  In Naomi's Gift, Naomi's mom thinks Naomi is too bold and doesn't need to show interest in any man.  Caleb's sister has the perfect girl in mind for widower Caleb and tries to discourage his interest in Naomi.  I like how they did not let those around them decide their fate but let God guide them.
    An Unexpected Joy is probably my favorite one.  I LOVE how Abigail gives from her heart and how she puts everyone in front of her own wants and needs, giving up the one thing she wanted most of all to help a family member then adds to a gift she made for herself and gives it to a homeless man she had met one other time.  I like how Micah, at first turned off by Abigail's constant chatter, later finds it appealing and comforting.  He is also attracted to Abigail's huge heart and her very giving nature.
     When I first started reading A Christmas Visitor, I wasn't sure I would like it.  Rocky struck me as a stalker, when he leaves everything behind and follows Frannie from Missouri to Texas.  He faces all sorts of difficulties on the road and again when he finds the Amish community.  I kept expecting him to unleash anger onto Frannie but it never came to fruition.  I did like how Frannie was determined to stay within the Amish community and how Rocky sought help and direction from the leaders of this private society.  The timeline of their romance was also positive.  Most books have their main characters fall in love within a few weeks.  Frannie and Rocky met in Missouri and even though they never dated, they did spend a lot of time together.  She moved to Texas in August/September, with Rocky following about three weeks later. They aren't even allowed to date and their time together is severely limited until Christmas.  I like the Christmas surprise Rockey and Frannie's family had as Frannie's Christmas present.
    These three novellas are fun Christmas reads.  Check them out for yourself.

This book was provided by Fiction Guild for review without compensation.

 Amy Clipston is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series.  Her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA.  Amy holds a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College 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.  Visit her online at, on Facebook: AmyClipstonBooks or Twitter: @AmyClipston.

 Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA bestselling author of the Heaven and Earth series.  She's a full-time pharmacist who lives in Florida with her husband and three children.  When attending Farris State University School of Pharmacy in Big Rapids, Michigan, she lived on the outskirts of an Amish community and had several occasions to visit the Amish farms.  Her interest grew into love as she saw the beauty in living a simple life.

Kelly Irvin is the author of the Amish of Bee County series, the Bliss Creek Amish series, and the New Hope Amish series.  She has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.  The Kansas native is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism.  She has been writing nonfiction professionally for thirty years, including ten years as a newspaper reporter, mostly in Texas-Mexico border towns.  She has worked in public relations for the City of San Antonio for twenty years.  Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-seven years.  They have two young adult children, two cats, and a tank full of fish.  In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors.  Follow her on Twitter: @Kelly_S_Irvin or on Facebook: Kelly.Irvin.Author.

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