Carla Loves To Read



An Amish Homecoming by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Shelley Shepard Gray, Kathleen Fuller

An Amish Homecoming4.5 Stars

Published October 16th 2018 by Zondervan

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Woman of Courage by Wanda E. Brunstetter

407185704.5 Stars

Published December 1st 2018 by Barbour Publishing, Incorporated (first published April 1st 2014)

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Jacob’s Bell: A Christmas Story by John Snyder

385089885 Stars

Published October 2nd 2018 by FaithWords

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The Christmas Secret by Wanda E. Brunstetter

The Christmas Secret4 Stars

Published October 1st 2016 by Shiloh Run Press

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A Simple Wish (Simple Gifts #2) by Charlotte Hubbard

A Simple Wish (Simple Gifts #2)5 Stars

Published September 26th 2017 by Zebra

This is the second book in the Simple Gifts series and it is Loretta’s story. Loretta is struggling to find her footing after her ex-fiancé, Will, moves to Willow Ridge. He is all apologetic for letting her father run him off and marrying Molly on the rebound. Even though he did not father her twins, they were intimate and he claims he did love her. He wants to court Loretta, but she no longer has feelings for him. And then there is Drew, who is the father, but is trying to be a better man. He deceived many in the previous story, but Edith and Asa have forgiven him and he has his sights on Loretta. Loretta wants to teach rug-making and work at Simple Gifts, not be her dad’s stay-at-home, old-maid daughter for the rest of her life. She wants a home, a husband and children. Her father, Cornelius, is still a tyrant, determined to have his way no matter what the cost. Will, knows his secret and is willing to use it to save the girls from his grip. I was cheering for Loretta to fight for her dreams while wondering at her courage, considering her background.

Fans of Amish fiction will surely fall in love with Loretta and most of the other characters in this book. I am enjoying the continuing saga of the Riehl sisters and the fortunes of Nora and The Simple Gifts store. I also enjoyed learning more about Rachel, the triplet that returned to Willow Ridge after finding about her birth family. Wyatt was another new character that brought another storyline to the book that was also very enjoyable and entertaining. I enjoyed how Charlotte Hubbard was able to weave all the various characters and their stories into an entertaining and enjoyable Christian Fiction Romance story. Once again, I listened to this book and was very happy with the narration by Susan Boyce. She does a wonderful job with her calming voice. I felt like I was in Willow Ridge experiencing this story. Well done. Continue reading “A Simple Wish (Simple Gifts #2) by Charlotte Hubbard”

A Simple Vow (Simple Gifts #1) by Charlotte Hubbard

A Simple Vow (Simple Gifts #1)5 Stars

Published May 31st 2016 by Zebra

So, I started the Simple Gifts series with the third one and loved it so much, that I went back to read the first two. I loved this series and will definitely look for more from Charlotte Hubbard. There is a wedding happening in Willow Ridge and Edith is hurrying to attend when she stumbles upon two Amish men arguing. She stops to calm them down when she hears a baby crying, actually two babies. Edith steps in to comfort the children and confront the men. The men, Will, her sister Loretta’s ex-fiancé and another man that Edith does not know, are arguing over who is the father of the babies. She later learns the handsome man is Asa Detweiler, the man who the babies’ mother, Molly, said she would always love, with her dying breath. Molly was Will’s wife, and had recently died from cancer. Will leaves the babies with Edith and heads home to sort out his life. Edith falls instantly in love with the darling babies, but what will happen when her father finds out she has taken over their care.

I love the characters, both Edith’s relatives and her friends. Everyone pitches in to provide support and give the family what they will need to raise these babies. Of course there is some romance in the story and Edith has to deal with her father Cornelius. He is the one character that I disliked immensely. He is rude, demanding, hypocritical and obnoxious. His three daughters are saints to put up with him and follow the commandment, “Honor your father and mother”. I enjoyed meeting Nora and finding out about the store, Simple Gifts. This was where the Amish Crafters were able to consign their wares and make money. Eventually Edith and her sisters would all be involved with the store in some way. Just when I thought I had everything figured out, there was a huge twist to the story. It threw Edith and Asa into a situation that they would have to deal with and see if they could overcome it to have a life together. I listened to this book and was very happy with the narration by Susan Boyce. It is calming and felt like I was right there experiencing the story. I am so glad I went back to listen to this book and look forward to the second one, A Simple Wish. Continue reading “A Simple Vow (Simple Gifts #1) by Charlotte Hubbard”

A Southern Season – Guest Post, Review & Giveaway


Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for A Southern Season: Four Stories From a Front Porch Swing by Eva Marie Everson, Claire Fullerton, Linda W. Yezak, and Ane Mulligan, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! Pull up a front porch swing and enjoy learning more about this collection from 4 great authors 🙂

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The Christmas Prayer by Wanda E. Brunstetter

The Christmas Prayer3 Stars

Published September 1st 2018 by Shiloh Run Press

This historical romance novella, The Christmas Prayer by Wanda Brunstetter, had a good plot, but just didn’t hit the mark for me. I think the idea of this story was too big for this short novella. Cynthia Cooper and her mother were traveling west to California over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Cynthia is betrothed to Walter Prentice an older man who is a bit of a stick in the mud. She is traveling with Walter and her mother as well as a few other wagons. As the trip progresses, Cynthia realizes that she does not want to marry Walter and that he doesn’t measure up to the other two men in their wagon train. One of the men, is a widowed father with two delightful children, that cause a few problems on the journey, the other a prospector traveling with his sister. When the weather turns unexpectedly, they have to hole up in a cabin they found for the winter.

The portrayal of the characters was interesting, but at the end, I wanted to see more fleshing out. I realized they were more two-dimensional than I would have liked. Even though I liked the idea of Cynthia, it was hard to get too attached to the characters. The journey was interesting, but it seemed to reach a climax, then abruptly it ended. It was a very simple story with a message of praying for guidance and support as well as being true to yourself. The publisher, Shiloh Run Press, generously provided me with a copy of this book to read. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

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A Simple Christmas (Simple Gifts #3) by Charlotte Hubbard

A Simple Christmas (Simple Gifts #3)5 Stars

Published September 25th 2018 by Zebra (Kensington)

A Simple Christmas by Charlotte Hubbard is the third book in the Simple Gifts series. This is the first one I read and had no trouble loving this story without reading the first two. Nora Hooley’s shop, Simple Gifts, is full of beautiful handcrafted Amish items including wreaths made by Rosalyn Riehl. Rosalyn works in the shop part-time, happy to escape from her miserable father. Rosalyn is the last unmarried daughter of clockmaker, Cornelius Riehl. There is suddenly a problem with money in the house, past due notices, bills not being paid and no money for groceries. Cornelius has been having problems since the death of his wife and he expects Rosalyn to take care of him. When Marcus Hooley, a horse trainer, shows up at the shop when he arrives in town, Rosalyn has feelings for this rude and handsome young man. He has been hired to work for Wyatt McKenzie. He was recommend by his cousins, but Marcus’ wild ways have gotten him fired from his last three jobs. He is hoping he will get a chance to show what he can do, but does not want to get too involved in the Plain life. Wyatt hires Marcus with certain conditions. This is Marcus’ last chance and he knows it. As he makes himself comfortable in Willow Ridge, Marcus becomes attracted to Rosalyn. There are secrets being kept about something her father has done and is supposed to confess, but his confession does not happen. He becomes more abusive to Rosalyn and is not happy when he realizes there is an attraction between Marcus and his daughter. Marcus has questions about what Cornelius is doing, and he wants to find out so he can share it with Rosalyn.

A Simple Christmas is a lovely, heartwarming Christmas and Amish story. It is an engaging novel that captured my attention from the start. It was well paced and I read it in one day. There are several twists involving Cornelius and I was eager to find out what secrets he has been keeping. I did not like Cornelius and I could not even pity him once his secrets finally came out. Rosalyn is a caring woman with a good heart, who finds it difficult to not be the dutiful daughter she has been taught to be all her life. Marcus was a wonderful character and it was great to see his growth as the story evolved. I enjoyed the setting of Willow Creek. The Amish businesses, the tourists, family and friends all make it seem like a great place to live, Amish and Englisch. One of the main Christian themes of putting our worries in God’s hands and trusting Him to handle it, is central to the story. I enjoyed A Simple Christmas and will definitely go back and read the first two in this series. The publisher, Kensington Books, generously provided me with a copy of this book. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

Continue reading “A Simple Christmas (Simple Gifts #3) by Charlotte Hubbard”

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