Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Christmas Gift for Rose by Tricia Goyer

I will admit I was a be apprehensive about reading this book. I've not read much, ok, any Amish books before, let alone a love story that focus on the Amish community and culture. I've lived most of my life in Amish country in the midwest and grew up with going to schools with several of them. I didn't know that there was such a thing as Amish love stories before. So with a skeptical heart I dug right into this book by Tricia Goyer. The book's focus is on Jonathan Fisher, a young Amish man that signed up to be a medic during the second world war and his heart's love Rose Yoder, who is struggling to find where she fits in the Amish community and her family.

What I loved about this book is it really does capture the spirit of the Amish in a true and realistic fashion. Too many times in the past in other works Amish are depicted in a cliche and stereotypical way. It was great to really see the culture and faith behind the Amish community. The author really brought this small Ohio Amish community to life. The characters stopped becoming just mere words on the page but became flesh and blood people to the reader, that were struggling to find their path and their personal belief.

Whether one is Amish or not, everyone has a time or even times in their life that they struggle with faith, with trying to find their path and just who and what we all are. It is a human struggle that is not just unique to the Amish, but to everyone. Both Jonathan and Rose have their own personal and inner struggles in trying to find just where they fit not only in the community, but in God's heart. I won't spoil anything but the author really created a very heart warming story of love, understanding and acceptance. This is the first book I've read by this author but I plan on checking out more works by her. This 'magical' book I would recommend to anyone that is wanting to see a love that is bound by not only faith in each, but in God's plan as well.

~ Darkling

Saturday, December 14, 2013

On the 12th Day of Christmas by Nikki Lynn Barrett

Book's Premise:

After being mugged, Robin Sorenson is left shaken and her spirit in humanity is broken. Worse, she's not sure how to deal with the new anxieties or who to confide in, since she's always preached to pick oneself up and move on. Yeah, she's been the go to girl when anyone's had problems. Christmas is coming, and her belief in magic and miracles has faded.

Then Jonas comes back.

Jonas Aimes made a mistake when he walked away from Robin a year earlier. A big one. He'd loved her, always had and still does, but his desire to please his aging and strict parents took precedence. Back from the overseas internship they'd struggled to get him in, he plans on winning Robin back. What he didn't count on was discovering the shell of the vivacious woman he'd loved.


Remembering her love of Christmas, Jonas pulls the holiday heartstrings. What? All is fair and love and war, right?

Twelve days, Twelve Dates.

Robin is speechless when Jonas not only refuses to leave her alone, but dares her to accept his cheesy holiday-themed challenge. Twelve dates to give him a chance to prove that he loves her and is never leaving her again.

But in the season known for miracles, can Robin find the magic needed to open her heart and faith once more ... or will she forever wonder about the ghost of the Christmas past that could have been?


"Is it him?" Cheyenne whispered from behind her.
Robin nodded and focused, taking another picture. "Yup. I'm going to send him a picture text of himself." She giggled as she punched the appropriate buttons on her phone to do the task. "I don't know how soon he'll check it."
"Can I help you ladies?" A spiky haired, scrawny man stood behind them now, eyes narrowed. Robin straightened her spine. Ah, they must look a little suspicious.
"No. Just ready to embarrass my boyfriend." She cracked a grin. Whoa. She'd said boyfriend. Well, that made the most sense to tell the guy, as he already stared at them with a frown. He probably wondered what kind of mischief they were up to.
"Is he the Santa unknowingly having his picture taken by you?" The frown on the guy's face disappeared as the corners of his lips twitched.
"Absolutely. I just sent him the picture, too." Robin stuck her phone back in her pocket, stealing another glance over at Jonas. At any time, he would pull out his phone to pretend to check the time, when he'd really be peeking at his texts. At this time, there were no kids around him, as they all had scurried off with their families. Any second now. And boom. The moment she'd been waiting for. The quick sneak into his pocket, pulling the phone out slightly. Then he snapped his head up, searching his surroundings. She tried to back up and ended up bumping into Cheyenne, which caught them both off guard. That only caused a bigger distraction and Jonas caught sight of them. He smiled and waved.
"Well, he's on to you now." The guy smirked.
"Yes, I noticed that. We'll be going now. Have a great day." Robin tugged on Cheyenne's sleeve, pulling her away. They both burst into laughter as they approached Jonas. "That was a bit embarrassing," she whispered to Cheyenne, who nodded. Heat rushed to her cheeks. Cheyenne's were red as she stifled another giggle.
"Ho ho ho!" he said cheerfully. "Santa doesn't appreciate sneaky women taking pictures of him. You two are on the naughty list this year." His eyes sparkled with laughter as he couldn't take them off of Robin.
"I'm shaking in my boots." Robin shivered for effect. She looked him up and down. "You've gained a lot of weight since I saw you last. What in the world is in your diet?" She poked at his fake pudgy belly, laughing at the way he pushed her hand away.
"Hey! Santa does not appreciate naughty girls poking at his belly, either!"
"Boy, Santa doesn't appreciate much this year, does he? Have a little cheer! No more of your grumbling," Robin cracked, elbowing Cheyenne as they both laughed.
Jonas reached into his pocket and handed her a dime. "Here, why not make a wish? Then be on your merry old way and leave Santa to his work." A gentle laugh came from his lips. Robin knew he enjoyed this just as much as she did.
"Can I wish myself off the naughty list?" Robin batted her eyelashes at him, edging closer to the well and preparing to drop the coin in.
"It doesn't work that way, young lady. Santa loves the flirting, but you're still on the list," Jonas said close to her ear. How many more times could he get another shiver out of her?
"Darn." She feigned a sad face, then dropped the coin in after thinking of a wish. "Despite your pudgy belly, you make a really hot Santa." She backed away from him with a smile.
"Santa will be calling you with details for your second date." Jonas used a deep rumbling voice.
"I'll be looking forward to it. Have a good day, Santa." Robin waved at him. Her spirits lifted as she walked away with Cheyenne. A few feet away, they looked at one another and burst into laughter.
Robin made a vow to make the best of the holidays this year.

Buy Links:


About the author:
Nikki Lynn Barrett lives in Arizona with her husband and son. She's an avid reader, a dreamer, and loves everything about books. She runs a book blog, an online used bookstore, and writes various genres of romance. Nikki can also be found outside with her camera when a storm is near, snapping photo after photo. Her dreams of becoming a writer started when she was young, when she started writing books in one subject notebooks by the fifth grade.
Follow me on Twitter: @Stormgoddess925

 ~ Darkling