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?

Saturday, June 4, 2016

An Amish Market Book Review

SUMMARY:  All the color and variety of a quaint Amish shop in a charming collection of novellas by four of your favorite authors.  Feel free to come in and browse!

Love Birds by Amy Clipston
While Ellie Lapp and her mother are still mourning the loss of her brother, Seth, Ellie starts working at one of the gift shops in town.  Seth's friend Lloyd is talented at carving wooden birds, but his father disapproves and expects him to take over the family farm someday.  Ellie sees the beauty in Lloyd's creations and insists Lloyd sell the birds in the gift shop where she works.  As Ellie and Lloyd spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, but she accidentally betrays his trust.  Will she lose any hope of a future with him?

A Bid for Love by Kathleen Fuller
Every week, Hannah Lynne brings her home-churned butter to the local market.  And every week, Ezra stops by to purchase some.  Hannah Lynne knows not to read too much into it - Ezra is a confirmed bachelor and barely even glances her way, despite any hope to the contrary.  But when Ezra bids an exorbitant amount to win the quilt she had her heart set on, Hannah Lynne can't stop her heart from taking over her mind.  Could Ezra finally be in the market for love?

Sweeter Than Honey by Kelly Irvin
Shattering a jar of pickled beets wasn't the impression Isabella hoped to make on her first trip to the local Combination Store of Bee County, Texas.  But as embarrassed as she was by the accident, she didn't think it warranted the frosty reaction from the handsome manager of the store, Will Glick.  As she soon learns, though, Will's heart has been broken one too many times.  And now, for some reason, Isabella finds herself determined to be the one to repair that broken heart and renew his faith in love.
Love in Store by Vannetta Chapman
Stella Schrock works at the Old Mill in Nappanee, Indiana, with new employee David Stoltzfus, a recent widower.  When strange happenings begin occurring around town, it appears as if someone wants to close the mill.  Stella and David have to work together to solve the mystery of what is happening at the Old Amish Mill, and in the process they might just find that God has more in store for their future than they would ever have dreamed possible.

REVIEW:  My favorite of these stories is probably A Bid for Love.  The idea of Ezra buying all of Hannah Lynne's butter when he already had enough was so sweet.  I also like how he searched out the buyer of the quilt Hannah Lynn favored just to get it back for her.  There were a few times I got frustrated with the characters for their lack of communication, but if they communicated correctly, the story may not have been as good.
     My next favorite was Love Birds.  Ellie's determination to help her mother make ends meet after the death of her brother, their only source of income, is admirable.  Even though Ellie goes about getting Lloyd to sell his birds the wrong way, I like how Lloyd figures out a way to sell them without going against his father's wishes and ends up helping Ellie and her mother.
     Love in Store is a different story and was very refreshing.  I like how the main characters are older and neither are looking for a love interest.  Even though Stella was difficult, I like how she started to soften up as she spent time with  David.  The mystery they solved had me guessing whodunit until the end.  Vannetta Chapman's stories have not disappointed yet.  This one is definitely included in this impression.
      I had a harder time getting into the novella Sweeter Than Honey.  I like how Isabella is different from the other teens during their rumspringa and is not interested in trying to find out what life is like outside their Amish community.  Will's strong work ethic is admirable and his concern for the local teens and the community is deeply heartfelt.  Isabella and Will bring out the best but stretches each other beyond their comfort zones.  One thing I found a disheartening is how Will and the Amish community do not want to have anything to do with Jesse, his brother who left to follow God's leading to become a pastor.  I understand the reasoning of being not wanting those who left around for fear others in the Amish community might decide to leave, too.  But, if they are doing God's work and ministering to other believers, shouldn't that be excused?  I don't know.  It was a good story once I got into it.
      At the end, there are all kinds of cool recipes for items mentioned in the book.  I may have to try out a few.

This book was provided by Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson Publishers
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.  Find her on Facebook: Amy Clipston and on Twitter:@AmyClipston.

Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including A Man of His Word and Treasuring Emma, as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield.  Visit her website at  She is also on Twitter at @TheKatJam and Facebook: Kathleen Fuller.

Kelly Irvin is the author of The Beekeeper's Son, the critically acclaimed first novel in teh Amish of Bee County series.  Kelly is also the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and teh New Hope Amish series.  She has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.  Visit her on Twitter: @Kelly_S_Irvin or on Facebook: Kelly.Irvin.Author.

Vannetta Chapman is author of teh best-selling novel A Simple Amish Christmas.  In 2012 she was awarded a Carol Award for Falling to Pieces.  She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather's birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania.  Visit Vannetta's website:, Twitter: @VannettaChapman and Facebook: VannettaChapmanBooks.

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