Monday, October 31, 2016

October Highlights

October has flown by! I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is in a couple more weeks and Christmas is in 54 days!!

I really love fall. :) It’s so pretty when the leaves start to change color.  
This has been a really busy month for my family and I, but also really fun. :)

--One of my brothers played flag football this season for the first time. It was really fun going to all of his different games. 

--We had a missionary friend of ours over twice this month for lunch. It was so much fun getting to see her again and catching up. :)

--I had my 1st Blogiversay on the 19th!

--Three of my friends gave me a special surprise birthday party. I ended up getting clues and going all over town on a scavenger hunt. One of the last clues took me home and in the clue it told me to pack for a night away. Then the next clue took me to my friends house, where we had a very fun night. :) I also played Scattergories for the first time. It's a new favorite game now. :)

---I beta read for the first time. It was really fun, and the book was wonderful. I plan to write a review on it once it comes out.

--My mom, grandma, and I each started making a pumpkin table runner. Mine isn’t finished yet, but I hope to finish it soon. 

--A friend of mine started watching When Calls the Heart somewhat recently and I’ve had a super fun time discussing it with her. :) I’ve been watching quite a bit of When Calls the Heart too. ;) It's just the best! :D

The books I read this month were:
Millie’s Faithful Heart by Martha Finley, adapted by Kersten Hamilton
A Dream not Imagined by Shantelle Mary Hannu 
Interrupted by Rachel Coker 
The Wish by Beverly Lewis
A Question of Honor by Jesseca Wheaton

I'm looking forward to what November brings!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

1st Blogiversary Q&A

Today is my 1st Blogiversary!! I can’t believe it’s already been a year. :) I have had a lot of fun blogging, and hope to continue having more fun. 
Thank you so much to everyone who submitted questions. I had a ton of fun answering them. :D 
Okay, now to get on with the questions and my answers! I put down who asked the question and all of the questions that they asked. 

~Katie Grace~
What is your favorite book cover? 
I have quite a few favorite book covers, but one of them is The Guardian by Beverly Lewis. 
What was the last song you listened to?  
The last song that I listened to was Hold My Heart by Tenth Avenue North.

~Blessing Counter~
How have you enjoyed blogging so far? 
I’ve really enjoyed blogging so far! It has been a lot of fun. :)
Any thing you've learned since you've entered that thing called the blogosphere? ;) 
Writing book reviews are not as easy as I thought they'd be. ;) When I started this blog, I was planning on writing quite a few book reviews, but I soon found out that I'm not too good at it, but they can still sometimes be fun. ;)
How many blogs have you found in the last year?  
Probably around 15 that I regularly look at. 
What's your favourite part about being a blogger?  
Making blogger friends! 
(now for some not-blogger-related questions) (they're also extremely random. . . ) 
Would you rather eat snake or crocodile? (or is it alligator, I don't quite remember :P) 
Umm…neither. But if I had to choose then I guess I’d go with crocodile since it's "supposed" to taste like chicken, but I don't want to find out. 
Would you prefer to never read again or never write again?  
I would prefer to never write again. I’m not really a writer so I wouldn’t mind much, but I love to read.
What is your favourite dessert?  
Chocolate chip cookies. 
What is the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?  
The Wish by Beverly Lewis and yes, I really liked it. :)
Would you prefer pink roses or red roses? 
Red roses are my favorite, although pink are super pretty too. 
Favourite book from the last year?  
Oh, that's a hard question. I've read a lot of great books this year so far, but I think I'll go with either The Wish by Beverly Lewis or The Last Ride by Susan K. Marlow.
How long did it take you to answer all my questions? ;) 
Maybe around 10 minutes. ;)

~Faith P.~
What made you want to start a blog? 
Well, around July of 2015 I started reading a couple of different blogs and started to think that it would be fun to start one. It just looked like a lot of fun. So I finally decided to last October, and I’m glad that I did.
What are your favorite type of posts to share?
Book related posts are my favorite to share. Book tags, book recommendations, pretty much anything to do with books. ;)
How many blogs do you follow (feel free to be approximate ;))?  
I follow about 13.
What's your top five favorite books of all time?
A Gown of Spanish Lace by Janette Oke, When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke, Child of Mine by David and Beverly Lewis, the Millie Keith series by Martha Finely (adapted by Kersten Hamilton), and the Circle C series by Susan K. Marlow. 
What's your favorite food?  
Homemade pizza. 
Would you mind terribly to be caught on foot in a thunderstorm a mile from home? 
Yes, I think I would, but it would be so much better if I got caught in a thunderstorm with someone with me. ;) 
What's your favorite animal?
I’m really not an animal person, but if I had to choose a favorite then I’d say kittens. They are just so adorable. 

If you could play another instrument what would it be?
Probably the piano. I did take piano lessons for a year when I was 14, but I liked the violin much better, but if I was going to choose another instrument to stick with it would most likely be piano.
If you could read five books every year, what five books would you read?
This is such a hard question! Well, if I could only read 5 books next year I guess I’d choose these 5:
The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Courageous Love by Susan K. Marlow
The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis
When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin
Salty Kisses by Robin Jones Gunn
If you could have anything in the world what would it be?
That's a good question, but I cannot think of anything.
If you could travel to 2 place in the world where would you travel?
Well, I would love to go to Pennsylvania again. My mom and I went to Lancaster County last fall and it was so much fun, I'd love to go again. I would also like to go to North Carolina one day to visit a friend of mine. 

~Kaitlyn K.~
Do you play any instruments?  
Yes, I play the violin. 
Any pet peeves?  
My biggest pet peeve is when somebody kills a bug for me, but doesn’t wash their hands. It might sound kind of strange, but it is so disgusting. 
If you're stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere and can have only one thing to help you survive, what (besides water) would you choose?  
The first thing that comes to me is a weapon of some sort so I could protect myself. 
If you were given the chance to go to one place of your choice wherever in the world, where would you go? 
Since I chose Pennsylvania and North Carolina above, I'd choose Alaska. I would love to go there. I would like to go to the Iditarod Race Headquarters and other places. :)
What's your favorite hymn? 
Be Thou My Vision and It Is Well With My Soul.
What's your favorite season and/or month? Least favorite? 
My favorite season is fall and winter. I don't really have a least favorite, but if I had to choose then I'd say spring. The thing that I don't like about spring is that's the time all of the bugs come back, but I really like the flowers and the beautiful weather. 
Cat or dog? (Please please please say dog!!;)) 
Sorry, Kaitlyn. I’m going to have to go with cats. ;)
Can you sing? 
I like to sing, although I'd never sing a solo. I really only sing at church and along with the radio when I'm alone in the car. 
What's your favorite TV show genre?  
Family friendly drama with a bit of romance. 

What's your favorite part about having a blog?
My favorite part of having a blog is making blogger friends and thinking up fun posts to do, although that part can be a bit hard sometimes.  

Why do you not like apple pie?
I don't know, I just don't really care for any kind of pie. Although I haven't tried apple pie in a long time, so I might actually like it now since I do like apple goodie.
Do you like the story of the Titanic? 
Umm…I guess so. It’s a sad story, but it is fascinating to learn about. 
How much tea do you drink a day?
Not as much as Si Robertson from Duck Dynasty, which is 2 gallons a day. (Not that I watch Duck Dynasty much, but my brothers do and they think it's hilarious.) 
Do you like animals?
Not too much. There are a lot of animals that are pretty cute, but I prefer looking them. I don't like them to get too close to me and I don't like to touch them.

If you had to write a book what genre would it be and what would it be about?
If I were to write a book it would be a modern day love story. It would be about two people who met on the beach, fell in love, and ended up having a beautiful October wedding. :) 

Well, I hope you all enjoyed this as much as I did!! Thanks again for all the questions! :D

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Series Recommendations // Amish Fiction

I hope everyone is having a great week! Today I am going to be sharing with you some Amish fiction series that I enjoy. I really like Amish fiction, especially books by Beverly Lewis. I also like Suzanne Woods Fisher and Wanda Brunstetter.
Here are a couple series that I enjoy. :)

The Heritage of Lancaster County by Beverly Lewis
In the quiet Amish community of Hickory Hollow, Pennsylvania, time has stood still while cherished traditions and heartfelt beliefs have flourished. But a secret lies buried that could shatter the tranquility its inhabitants have grown to love.
When Katie Lapp stumbles upon a satin infant gown in the dusty leather trunk of her parents’ attic, she knows it holds a story she must discover. Why else would her Amish mother, a plain and simple woman who embraces the Old Order laws, hide the beautiful baby dress in the attic?
On the eve of Katie’s wedding to widower Bishop John, startling news staggers out of her anguished parents, and nothing prepare Katie for the devastation their confession brings. Feeling betrayed, Katie watches as the only life she has ever known begins to unravel, leaving it its wake a furrow of pain…and a future of hope.

The Heritage of Lancaster County is a fun three book series. It’s a continuing story through all three books so this is a series that you’ll want to make sure you read in order. This was the first Amish fiction series that I read and I loved it!

Annie’s People by Beverly Lewis
Annie Zook, the only daughter of an Old Order Amish preacher, wants to please her parents and her Plain community, but a hidden passion stands in her way. Creating fine art is strictly forbidden by Annie’s church district. Her secret has already cost her the affection of handsome Rudy Esh. She must choose between her art and the People…the only life she knows.
Louisa Stratford, Annie’s longtime pen pal, is a modern Dendrite who shares Annie’s love of art. When Louisa escapes her own problems to go to paradise for a taste of the simple life, will she nudge Annie closer to all she has known and loved…or tempt Annie to pursue her own dreams?

Annie's People is another series that has a continuing story. I enjoyed this series quite a bit. :)

Home to Hickory Hollow by Beverly Lewis
The Fiddler : A wrong turn in a rainstorm leads Englisher Amelia Devries to Michael Hostetler—and the your Amishman’s charming Old Order community of Hickory Hollow. Despite their very different backgrounds, Amelia and Michael both feel hemmed in by the expectations of others and struggle with how to find room for their own hopes. And what first seems to be a chance encounter might just change their lives forever.
The Bridesmaid: Joanna Kurtz has made several trips to the alter, but never as bride. The young Amishwoman is a closet writer whose stories aren’t her only secret.
Eben Troyer hopes to make Joanna his bride—if he can ever leave his parents farm in Shipshewana, Indiana. Yet Eben’s hopes to build a life with Joanna hinge on his brothers’s return from the English world…
The Guardian: When Jodi Winfield comes to Lancaster to house-sit, the last thing she expects to find is a disheveled little girl alone on the side of the road. The young teacher is mystified when she learns there have been no reports of a missing child, and the girl herself is no help, since she can’t speak English. It’s as if the child appeared out of nowhere.
Then Jodi turns her attention to Hickory Hollow—and the cloistered world of the Old Order Amish—in search of answers.
The Secret Keeper: Jennifer Burns shocks everyone when she bids farewell to her modern life in favor of the Old Order Amish world, settling in with Samuel and Rebecca Lapp. 
The people of Hickory Hollow are curious about the beautiful young seeker among them—one Amishman in particular—and Jenny faces many challenges in the Proving time the brethren set for her…challenges of the heart, as well as the spirit.
The Last Bride: Of her Old Order parents’ five daughters, Tessie Miller is the last to marry. She has her heart set on Amishman Marcus King, but Tessie’s father opposes the match.
Impetuously, Tessie and Marcus elope to the English world, then return to Hickory Hollow to live as singles, trusting they’ll convince the Millers to give their love a chance. But when the unthinkable happens, Tessie faces the almost-certain censure of the People. Will she find a reason for hope in spite of her desperate plight?

Home to Hickory Hollow is an enjoyable, five book series. This series is one that you could read out of order if you wanted to. Some of the books mention characters from the previous books, but it would still be alright to read them out of order. All of these were really good, but my favorite book in this series is The Secret Keeper. :)

Indiana Cousins by Wanda E. Brunstetter
A Cousin’s Promise: When a horrific accident cripples Wayne Lambright, he finds it difficult enough to take care of himself, much less Loraine Miller, his future bride. Will he sacrifice his happiness to give her a better life? Having already been jilted once, Loraine is terrified of yet another rejection. But does she love Wayne enough to marry him, for better or worse? When her old boyfriend Jake Beechy returns from exploring the English world, he hopes Loraine will give him another chance. Will she renew their love or wed Wayne as promised? How will God work to give Loraine the desires of her heart?
A Cousin’s Prayer Katie Miller is traumatized after her boyfriend is killed in a van in which she was also a passenger. How will she find her way out of the valley of her depression? Freeman Bontrager will make any excuse to be near to Katie, hoping to win her love. But how far will he go to gain her trust. . .and her heart? What will bring this girl out of the shadows of fear, and open her heart to life—and love?
A Cousin’s Challenge: Jolene Yoder returns to Indiana to teach lip reading and sign language to the newly deaf Amish man Lonnie Hershberger. As she begins falling for Lonnie, Jolene wonders if she ll ever see signs of his love for her. Lovelorn Lonnie is fighting his attraction to Jolene, especially since she seems smitten by Jake Beechy. And Ella Miller is worried the roving Jake will end up breaking her cousin Jolene s heart, never realizing that Jake has really set his sights on her Ella! Who will end up with whom as these cousins face challenges in love and life?

The Indiana Cousin's series is a really great series. I haven't read a lot lot of Wanda Brunstetter's books, but the ones I have read I've enjoyed. I can't wait to read more books from this author!

The Bishop’s Family by Suzanne Woods Fisher   
The Imposter: Katrina Stoltzfus thought she had life and love all figured out: she was going to marry John and live happily ever after. Those plans started to crumble when her father moved the family to Stoney Ridge, then completely collapsed when John decided to marry someone else. Katrina is devastated. How could she have felt so loved, yet been so deceived?
As she struggles to face a future without him, a widow asks for her help to start a new business and Katrina quickly agrees. She needs time to heal her broken heart, to untangle her messy life, to find a purpose. What she doesn't need is attention from Andy Miller, a farm hand who arrives at the widow's farm just when help is most needed--and who always seems to say the right thing, and be in the right place, at the right time. Is Andy for real, or too good to be true? Deceived once before, Katrina is determined to keep her feelings in check. 
When a cascade of events is set in motion by some surprising information, the little Amish church is turned upside down. Soon, everyone has a stake in the outcome, and the community struggles to find the best response to an imposter in their midst. Can they forgive even the most deceitful deeds?
The Quieting: The Stoltzfus family faces serious problems, both in the church and at home. Everyone in the community expects minister David Stoltzfus to fix things--fast. But David doesn't work fast. He prefers to wait for God to work in individual hearts. However, even he is left wondering if the solution to their most pressing problem might be a Quieting.
When David's mother arrives, uninvited, more upheaval is in store. She has matchmaking plans for everyone in the family, including David and her eligible granddaughters--and especially for David's niece Abigail. When Abigail stumbles onto a curious connection during her genealogical research, it could help David solve one problem--but will it create another?
The Devoted: Bright, curious, and restless, Ruthie Stoltzfus loves her family but is stuck in a sea of indecision about her future: Should she stay Amish? Or should she leave? She's done all she can to prepare to go--passed the GED, saved her money--but she can't quite set her journey into motion.
Patrick Kelly is a young man on a journey of his own. He's come to Stoney Ridge to convert to the Amish and has given himself thirty days to learn the language, drive a buggy, and adapt to "everything Plain." Time, to Patrick, is of the essence. Every moment is to be cherished, especially the hours he spends with Ruthie, his Penn Dutch tutor.
Ruthie's next-door neighbor and cunning ex-boyfriend, Luke Schrock, is drawn to trouble like a moth to a flame. Rebellious, headstrong, defiant, Luke will do anything to win Ruthie back—anything—and Patrick Kelly is getting in his way.

The Bishop’s Family is the newest series out by Suzanne Woods Fisher. This series is a continuing story, each book is just told from someone else’s point of view. The Imposter started out a little slow and I wasn’t really too into the story, but it did get better. There were also quite a few characters so it was a little hard to keep everyone straight at first. Book 2, The Quieting, continued the story nicely. Book 3, The Devoted, is the last book in this series. I actually haven’t read it yet, it just came out last week, but I’m looking forward to it. :) 

Do you like Amish fiction? If so, who's your favorite author?

Sunday, October 2, 2016

1st Blogiversay Questionnaire

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend! :)
Guess what? In two weeks, on October 19th, is my 1st Blogivesary!! :D I have decided to do a question and answer thing. You can send me questions through the form down below. Ask me as many questions as you'd like. :) I'll stop receiving questions on Sunday the 16th and do this fun post with the answers to your questions on the 19th. :)