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Friday, May 22, 2015

Amish Promises by Leslie Gould - My Review

Amish Promises by Leslie Gould

My Book Review


Description
When Joel and Shani Beck arrive at their new home, they're looking for peace. Shani is thrilled to have Joel back from Iraq, but he needs time to heal, and the quiet of Lancaster seems just the place. They can't imagine any trouble with their Amish neighbors, the Lehmans, but things get off to a rocky start when their son is involved in an accident that injures one of the Lehman boys. Eve Lehman has run her brother's household ever since the death of his wife, but Tim's a stern patriarch. Despite his protests, she's drawn to the new neighbor, Shani, and the two begin to form a strong friendship forged on faith and family. Things seem like they've quieted down until Joel's single and handsome army friend Charlie catches Eve's attention--a man unlike any Eve has ever met. Suddenly life for both families becomes more complicated than any of them could have ever imagined
My Review
I always enjoy Leslie Gould's books - I recently finished the The Courtships of Lancaster County Series - and love her style of writing. This book was a little different since it not only featured Amish people as main characters, but brought an 'Englischer' family into the story. Another twist I liked was the fact that the Englisch father had been in the war, bringing more complexity to the chapters where the strict Amish father next door had to deal with befriending a soldier - not something most Amish look highly upon. It brought out a lot of emotion and added a lot of interesting layers to the book.

I also liked that the book wasn't only following one storyline. It follows both families though their own struggles and emotions, while still keeping the whole story in context and interesting.
So, all in all I definitely enjoyed the book, and would happily recommend it!

You can pick up a copy of the book here on Amazon here:
Or on the Baker Publishing Website here:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Love Letters - By Beverly Lewis - an Amish Fiction Book

My review of The Love Letters by Beverly Lewis.



Synopsis
Marlena needed time to let things sink in. It was beyond her how all this could possibly work out--adding the care of an infant to her daily routine. Fortunately, it would just be until Luella returned home from the hospital and was stronger. 
No more than a couple weeks, surely.
Marlena Wenger's life takes an unexpected turn on the day she learns she must care for her estranged sister's baby. Spending the summer in Brownstown, Pennsylvania, to assist her Mennonite grandmother, and miles from Marlena's Old Order Amish beau, she feels out of her element in nearly every respect. Yet Marlena determines to do her best and stay focused on her future, even as those hopes become drastically altered.

My Review
Beverly Lewis is one of my favorite authors, and being a big fan of Amish fiction books I always enjoy her novels. Her characters are always so well described I can picture them, their mannerisms and their personalities in my mind. I really love it when a book comes alive like that!
This book was no different. Marlena is a character you want to both love and shake some sense into! Caught between joining her parents in their new found faith that brings them so much joy, and the old order Ordnung ways of her beau, it's so nice to see the way she develops through the story, becoming more of a woman, less of a girl.
The story with the baby is a wonderful one too and literally had me in tears at the end of both sadness and joy.
As always, this one was hard to put down and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The characters, settings and problems all came alive, as did the stories that intertwined them all. A really great, clean read that you can enjoy and feel okay putting on the bookshelf for your teen to pick up too :)

You can get a copy for yourself in paperback or an ebook copy on the Bethany House website here, or by visiting Amazon here

Happy Reading!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Super Simple, Super Moist Chocolate Fudge Brownies Recipe



If there is one thing in this world I cannot resist its chocolate. Oh, and coffee! Mmm, and maybe some nice, fresh date squares too - just to complete my favorites list :) But chocolate is certainly at the top. Along with chocolate comes brownies - one of my favorite desserts! And I just love those super dense boxed brownies from the grocery store - you know, the ones with all the bad kinds of ingredients ! They are sooo good!

But whenever I set out to make my own batch of brownies at home, I always find that they come out too fluffy, like a cake more than a brownie. So after trying loads of recipes over the years, I came up with one myself that I think takes the cake - or at least takes the cake out of the brownie :)



If you love those little brownies that I'm talking about, then you're going to loooove these as much as I did! They are dense, choclatey, moist...



and best of all, easy to make! Plus I have a super simple frosting recipe to go with it! Follow the recipe below and make sure to let me know how they turn out :) I've made them twice now but am trying not to make them too often - shorts season is right around the corner.

Enjoy!!

To print recipes, just right-click the images below and open in a new tab :)








Friday, August 22, 2014

Reads: The River by Beverly Lewis

The River 
by Beverly Lewis

Description
She looked once more at the dreaded river. Since Anna's death, it had been such a barrier . . . a place and a moment she could not seem to move past.
          
A line I can't move beyond...
The River 

Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents' landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn't entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.

Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can't undo?

My Review

If you've read my book reviews before, you know I *love* books by Beverly Lewis. They are always captivating, tough to put down and always have a great twist you don't see coming! The River is no different and doesn't disappoint! The story of two formerly Amish sisters got me hooked right away because you are constantly wondering what will happen next - from Tilly's troubled relationship with her  Daed to Ruth's old feelings with her former beau (who seems the equivalent of an Amish 'player' lol)
The book also gives a different look - at people who decide to leave their Amish communities in different wats - whether joining the fancy Englischer world  or an outsider group.
Another great read from Mrs. Lewis!

You can grab a copy for yourself on Amazon here, 


                                                             

Monday, June 24, 2013

Homemaking: DIY Dish Soap

Homemade cleaners are something I've been looking into more and more - especially since my daughter started crawling a few months back and is now very interested in using our spray mop! Even when my 10 year old uses the chemical detergents and cleaners I get nervous!

I found this liquid dish soap recipe today over at kitchen-apparel.com and thought I'd share it - it's simple ingredients and doesn't look like it would cost any more than store-bought varieties!


Happy Homemaking!
Debbie Jean



Monday, February 4, 2013

Easy,Cheap Homemade Rose Pasta Sauce!

One of my favorite dishes ever is a nice dish of tortellini with Rose Sauce! I first tried the wonderful, creamy stuff when my husband and I were first dating and since then cannot go a month without it at least once!
So while we've been trying to save money on groceries lately, I haven't really been able to buy any - it isn't exactly cheap unless you buy the no-name variety, which just does not taste as good!
So I decided to go ahead and try it myself one night when I was getting to the end of our grocery supply the day before our shopping day :)
And it came out really great! I was surprised, especially since I didn't have any real cheese, just cheese slices! (But you can use real cheese too!)

So here it is....

Homemade Rose Pasta Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup cheese or 3 cheese slices
  • 3 tbsp + 1 tsp margarine or butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 onion, minced or grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp basil
How-to
  1. In a fry-pan on medium heat, melt 1 tsp margarine or butter. Cook garlic and onion until soft. 
  2. Add diced or crushed tomatoes and cook until tender about 10 min. 
  3. Blend up in blender, making sure everything is completely smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a separate pan on low-medium heat, melt remaining margarine or butter. Add in flour.
  5. Quickly stir flour with butter while pouring in milk very slowly, making sure to completely dissolve the flour mixture. Add more milk if desired for a smoother consistency. (If it seems lumpy, just keep stirring - it will turn out! :)
  6. Add cheese, continue cooking until cheese is melted, then pour in blended tomato mixture.
  7. Add Basil and salt, and some pepper to taste and cook on low heat for about 5 more minutes for flavor to seep in.
That's it! Wayyyy cheaper and honestly yummier than store-bought!
I had dishes that were licked clean that night :) Can't wait to make it again!
Hope you enjoy it!

 - Debbie Jean




Friday, January 15, 2010

Daisy Necklace

Print Free Coupons


I made this necklace just last night and love it! It's fast, easy and trendy. Im also planning to make a few more with the same design idea, so I'll post them as soon as I do! :)
You can always of course add your own touches by beading the yarn before you crochet it, embroidery on the flowers might be cute, or using 2 different colors - be creative!
Hope you like this one!
Pattern is below.
Pattern copyright Debbie Jean Currier - not to be used for sale or to make for sale, thank you!



Materials
Crochet hook size F5/3.75
WW yarn (try a dainty one)


Pattern
Chain 42
*Single crochet 10 times in first chain from hook, slip stitch with first single crochet to join
chain 2, join yarn to bottom of little round you just made.
Now, to make the petals, chain 3, skip one single crochet and single crochet in the next stitch. Continue all around small round to make 5 petals. SLip stitch with first chain to join.
Now, chain 12. Single crochet in first chain from hook 10 times.
Chain 2 and join yarn to bottom of small round.
Chain 12, single crochet 10 times in first chain from hook.
Chain 2, join yarn to bottom of small round. Chain 12.*
Repeat from * to * one more time to complete necklace, then:
Chain 42, join chain to the first chain 42 you made at the beginning and you're done! :)

I really hope you liked this one!