AMY CLIPSTON, AUTHORS, HARPERCOLLINS CHRISTIAN PUBLISHING, ZONDERVAN

The Cherished Quilt – by Amy Clipston

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The Cherished Quilt
by Amy Clipston

Zondervan. Pub Date 29 Nov 2016.
ISBN: 9780310341963. Price: $15.99


Christopher Hochstetler still reels from his brother’s death, for which his father blames him. Chris desperately needs to get away. He decides to work in his uncle’s leatherworking shop. Emily Fisher, daughter of his uncle’s partner, Emily tries to be friendly to Chris and draw him out of his shell. But his cold frosty demeanor freezes her sincere attempts to build a new friendship. Longing for a fresh start, Christopher’s freshly wounded heart still grieves from sad memories of home. Making new friends is one of the last things on his mind. Having known the bitter pain that comes when we lose a loved one, Christopher wants to guard his heart from further heartbreak. When he sees Emily’s kindness, he tries to keep aloof and distant. However he steals glances at her during the day.

Christopher Hostettler starts off wrong with Emily Fisher. When he finally tells her about his tragic reasons for leaving home, her heart opens up to him and her feelings for him undergo a sea change. When Christopher compliments Emily on the quaint beauty of an old quilt, Emily decides to make one for Christopher as a simple gesture of friendship. Emily must guard her heart, as Christopher is not baptized. When a family emergency beckons Christopher home, Emily decides to finish stitching the quilt, in spite of her heartache, to send it to him as a Christmas gift. But when Christopher receives it, will he have the courage to follow his own heart? Tragedy might have cruelly torn Christopher’s world apart but Emily fervently believes there are enough pieces left to stitch together a beautiful patchwork quilt for a brand new beginning. Lacking self confidence after facing years of criticism from his father, Emily painstakingly helps Chris to regain his confidence, overcome his grief and conquer his guilt. As his birthday approaches, Emily wants to make him something special. After hearing the story of the quilt, he left behind at home, Emily wants to make him a beautiful patchwork quilt. Emily’s mother gives her fabric from her grandmother’s trunk.

The Cherished Quilt is a well-written, easy to read, standalone novel. Amy Clipston creates very likable characters, equally challenging to understand. It was good to see how Chris changes, thanks to friendship and love. The Cherished Quilt deals with grief, forgiveness, friendship and love. Chris cares for Emily, but there is something that he keeps from her. Can they overcome Chris’ secret, the one obstacle in their path, to have a happy ending? Will Emily be left with a broken heart? Open The Cherished Quilt and step into their world to find out.

Miriam Jacob

HARPERCOLLINS CHRISTIAN PUBLISHING, THOMAS NELSON

An Amish Home – Four Novellas – by Beth Wiseman , Amy Clipston , Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid

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Publisher: Thomas Nelson, Pub Date: 07 Feb 2017

ISBN 9780529118691. PRICE $15.99 


SYNOPSIS

A Cup Half Full by Beth Wiseman—Sarah Lantz always dreamed of the perfect home, the perfect husband, the perfect family. When she married Abram, she knew she was on her way to securing her perfect life. But all of that changes in one moment when an accident leaves her unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair, dashing all of her dreams. As Abram starts to transform their home, Sarah begins a transformation in her spirit, and she begins, once again, to see her cup as half full.

Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston—Down on their luck and desperate after they are evicted from their small apartment, Chace and Mia O’Conner reluctantly take Chace’s Amish boss up on his offer to rent them the daadihaus located on his property. They are certain they will never feel at home in the rustic cabin without any modern conveniences, and they start to blame each other for their seemingly hopeless situation. But with the help of their new Amish friends, Chace and Mia begin to enjoy their cozy cabin and realize that home really is where the heart is.

A Flicker of Hope by Ruth Reid—Fifteen years ago, Thomas and Noreen King were blissful newlyweds. Young, naive, and in love, life was rosy . . . for a while. Then trials and tribulations rocked their foundation, shattering them emotionally, and soon, their marriage was in shards. All hope for restoring their previously unshakable union seems lost. When fire destroys their home, Thomas and Noreen are left to sift through the rubble. As uncovered items from the remains of the house shake loose memories of the past, Thomas and Noreen begin to draw closer and a flicker of hope—and love—is reignited.

Building Faith by Kathleen Fuller—Faith Miller knows that carpentry is an unlikely hobby for a young Amish woman, but she loves the work and it keeps the memory of her grandfather alive. So when her cousin asks Faith to build the cabinets in her new home, Faith is only too happy to take on the job, even if it is the most ambitious project she has ever taken on. The only catch is that she has to work with her ex-fiance, Silas. As they work to build Martha’s kitchen, can they put the past behind them and start to build faith in one another again?


REVIEW

‘An Amish Home’ is an anthology of four novellas with faith-inspired plot lines by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid and Kathleen Fuller. Here are four different stories by four different authors, writing in their unique style, with a wealth of Amish background knowledge. Although the four stand-alone stories are not interrelated, each story carries the common thread of redemption, forgiveness, and love. Each novella impacts our hearts by what the characters experience and how they rebuild their lives as they confront challenging choices in different ways. The choice to move on in faith is extolled. Each novella is unique, filled with hope. The stories resonate in the hearts of the readers, reflecting life with its joys and sorrows. All four novellas have heart-warming storylines with likable and lovable characters. The heart of the home and Amish family life is featured with beauty and grace. Each well-crafted story evokes heartwarming feelings of ‘Home Sweet Home.’ The characters leap off the pages into our hearts. They face different circumstances in life, but their perception of heart, home and hearth makes them appreciate their blessings, be grateful for love, and learn how to be content. The realistic issues in these novellas focus on loss, struggles, community, family, faith and love.

Four different authors write faith-filled, family stories, unique with conflicts, troubles and issues to deal with. Each heartwarming story comes with a unique take on the themes uniting them. Each author crafts a portrait of a couple in crisis in a heart-warming story of a struggle with faith and bitterness at the futility of life. These stories tug at your heart strings. Grief-stricken families agonize over their losses, as they wade through hurts to find love and happiness. God’s ways are not our ways. His grace is sufficient to carry us through the toughest times. ‘An Amish Home’ focuses on the daily struggles of life, love, faith and hope. Each author incorporates the importance of family, home and faith in God into their stories. Each inspiring page causes us to reflect upon our own lives. The themes of the four stories center on the home and family life, the hardships that couples face and the love and healing that comes from leaning on God. Each novella was well written in the authors’ own style, capturing well-researched information about the Amish.

‘An Amish Home’ will restore your faith in love and in God. The importance of faith, family and prayer are interwoven throughout all four stories. ‘An Amish Home’ is a collection of four different novellas from four different authors, each with a different story with different struggles, but with a common theme of home and family life. In each story, readers connect with the characters, to understand their struggles and relate to them. These are inspiring stories of love, faith, devotion, heartache and pain. In each story, the power to accept and overcome the challenges comes from the strength of home and family. Readers get acquainted with the struggles Amish communities face. Its authenticity relates to all, Amish or ‘Englisch’. Faith and love are the keys to unlock the door to ‘An Amish Home’ and find it truly ‘Home Sweet Home.’

Miriam Jacob

COLLEEN COBLE, HARPERCOLLINS CHRISTIAN PUBLISHING, THOMAS NELSON

Because You’re Mine – by Colleen Coble

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Publisher: Thomas Nelson,
Pub Date 10 Jan 2017.
ISBN: 9780718083809
PRICE: $12.99


Right from the outset, the happiness of Alanna Connolly, a beautiful red-haired Irish singer, is ruined by brutal tragedy, when her Irish husband, Liam is unexpectedly killed by a horrific car bomb. A stunned Alanna does not know whom to turn to for support in her bitter grief. Oblivious to her deep sorrow, her hard-hearted father-in-law, Thomas threatens to take custody of the baby she carries, but Alanna is determined to cling onto the last legacy of Liam she has left in this world. Liam loved God and they used to pray together. Alanna clung to her precious memories as she struggled desperately to come to terms with her devastating heartache, unmitigable sorrow and agonizing pain.

When their manager, Barry offers her a marriage of convenience for two reasons, to gain her U.S. citizenship, and to escape from her father-in-law’s clutches, Alanna accepts his unusual proposal. It seems like the perfect solution to her problems but it is actually only a short reprieve. Alanna’s doubts surface when she arrives at Barry’s family home.

As if Alanna’s already existing troubles were not enough, Liam’s best friend, Jesse survived the car bomb. When he takes Liam’s place in their band, it is almost more than Alanna can bear. She never really liked Jesse and now she cannot seem to get away from him. This is when dramatic events start happening, one after the other in rapid succession. that could well cost Alanna her life – or the life of her unborn child. How can she find a way out of her troubles? Read the book to solve the mystery. This is a romance with a divine touch, a suspenseful tale of love lost and found.

In a psychological fiction novel as pure escapism from reality, Colleen Coble certainly knows how to get the reader’s rapt attention. The title “Because You Are Mine” seems to give the reason for the book’s dramatic events as they unfold one after the other. This is a book worth reading by a gifted and talented author, who skillfully crafts a multifaceted plot with intricate tangles, twists and turns, filled with characters revealing the stark difference between paranoid obsession and sacrificial love.

Miriam Jacob

AUTHORS, BOOK REVIEWS, ERIC METAXAS, HARPERCOLLINS CHRISTIAN PUBLISHING, THOMAS NELSON

Seven Women And The Secret Of Their Greatness – by Eric Metaxas

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Hardcover: 256 pages, Publisher: Thomas Nelson,

Sept. 8, 2015, ISBN-13: 978-0718021832. Price: $24.99


PUBLISHERS SYNOPSIS

What Makes a Great Woman Great?

Eric Metaxas tells the captivating stories of seven women who changed the course of history.

Joan of Arc, Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Maria Skobtsova, Corrie ten Boom, Rosa Parks, and Mother Teresa — each of these world-changing figures follows the call placed on her life, doing so with remarkable feminine dignity. Teenaged Joan of Arc heard God’s command and led the French army to a mighty victory over the British. Hannah More played a crucial role in the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. Corrie ten Boom risked her life to hide Dutch Jews from the Nazis in World War II and somehow survived the horrors of a concentration camp, but her greatest feat was her forgiveness her tormentors years later. And Rosa Parks’s God-given sense of justice and unshakable dignity helped launch the twentieth century’s greatest social movement.

Eric Metaxas reveals how these seven extraordinary women achieved greatness, inspiring readers to lives guided by a call beyond themselves.


REVIEW BY MIRIAM JACOB

In “Seven Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness,” Eric Metaxas presents a unique plumbline by which to measure ourselves. These seven women, true role-models for humanity, show us precious and valuable principles to build our lives on, although we can never aspire to reach their levels of greatness. Here is faith fanned in the fiery furnace of fire, courage in the excruciating crucible of suffering, seven women with the will-power to forsake comforts at all costs, with the sheer boldness to take incalculable risks, having sacrificial compassion for others, imbibing strong convictions to live for and to die by, filled with hope and inspiration.

This should be our heart’s cry – ‘If they could do it, so can do we! Here am I, send me!’ We need to be inspired by God, breathed into by the breath of God, needing the wind of God to blow into our sails. In Seven Women, the breeze billows and blows with the strength of gale-force winds. Through these seven extraordinary women, Eric Metaxas honors all women everywhere to be encouraged in being women and doing what God leads them to do. The unusually rare accomplishments of these seven women, spanning time and transcending the limits of circumstances, have indelibly shaped the world, making it a better place to live in.

A world-class biographer, Eric Metaxas, with his indomitable genius and inimitable gift of expression, portrays true moral greatness, in the lives of these seven great women whose inspiring lives will empower you to impact the world on a large scale. Plant one flower and it will multiply to fill the world with beauty. Who can count the untold millions of people whose hearts have been impacted by the lives of these seven incredible women? As you read these brilliant portraits of exemplary courage, each painted by the Master Artist with a personal vision of God and a voluntary conviction of self-sacrifice, how can you change the world? These seven women could and did, and evil trembled in their presence.

Seven Women inspires women to try to make a difference in society. Through this amazing book, Eric Metaxas encourages the world to reconsider its view of women’s greatness. Eric celebrates these remarkable people, remarkable as women and because they were women. In this inspiring book about women who lived up to their noble missions in the world, Eric Metaxas issues an urgent call to reawaken women to their God-given destiny, imbibed with the moral and spiritual qualities of great leaders. Each of these women delivered such a bracing clarion call to the spirit of their age that very few people could stand before them or match their unique powers. Each represented such a unique profile in courage and determination in their tryst with destiny.

In Seven Women, Eric Metaxas demonstrates his unusual and incredible gift for storytelling. He carefully draws the reader into an informative and historical narrative with a personal touch. With the skillful touch of a talented author, he infuses renewed moral and spiritual insight into these women from across the centuries. People will be greatly inspired by the incredible struggles that gave these women true greatness, the crucibles that refined their characters, sharpening the iron in their souls, and the simple greatness of deep faith of limitless depths.

© Miriam Jacob