Welcome! Shot Through the Hearth by Kate Carlisle comes out October 29. It is the seventh A Fixer-Upper Mystery. Christmas with the Shipyard Girls by Nancy Revell releases October 31. It is seventh book in The Shipyard Girls series. Spy by Danielle Steel will be out on November 26. There are so many new books coming out in the next three months.
A Christmas Haven by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall takes us to Raysburg, Pennsylvania in June. Ivy Zook is twenty-three years old and her plans are finally falling into place. Ivy has joined with her friend, Tegan to start a party planning business. But while she is Old Order Amish, she is unable to have access to the technology she needs to promote her business. She also feels confined by the numerous rules of their community. Ivy has put down a deposit on an apartment that she will share with Tegan, but now she needs to break the news to her mother. Betty Zook does not understand Ivy’s party planning dream or why she feels the desire to leave their community. Betty wants Ivy to wait until after her sister, Holly’s wedding. Holly is marrying Joshua Smucker in December and she needs permission from her new bishop to continue working at Greene’s Pharmacy. The Zook’s lives are upended when a car driven by a Swartzentruber Amish man careens into the front window of Greene’s Pharmacy. Arlan Keim was bringing his sister, Magda to get medical assistance when the car malfunctioned. Arlan and Magda move in with the Zook’s so Magda can get the care she needs. Arlan helps around the farm and with their dairy cows which Ivy appreciates. But then Arlan encourages their mother to increase the size of their herd which is the opposite of what Ivy wishes. What does the future hold for Ivy, Holly, Arlan and Magda?
A Christmas Haven by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall picks up shortly after The Christmas Remedy ends. While A Christmas Haven can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading The Christmas Remedy first. There is a cast of characters at the beginning of the book. I found the book to be well-written with developed characters and thoughtful pacing. Ivy Zook finds the rules of her community restrictive and she believes going Englisch will allow her to be free to pursue her dream of having a party planning business. Arlan Keim gives up everything to help his sister, Magda get the medical treatment she needs and save her from the future her parents have planned for her. I liked how Arlan saw Ivy’s way of life in a totally different light. Someone from the outside can give you a different perspective as Arlan did for Ivy. The story is filled with hope which I found uplifting. I like that we get to catch up with Holly and Joshua from The Christmas Remedy as well as Red Zook. There is a sweet epilogue that gives a look at Ivy, Josh, Magda, Red, Arlan, and Holly’s lives a year later. A Christmas Haven has hope, love, heartache, joy, and forgiveness. We see that you never know what God will have in store for you. You just need to be patient, pray and follow His lead. I like how Arlan and Ivy bonded over books. I was shocked to learn the Swartzentruber Amish do not read fiction. My favorite phrase from A Christmas Haven is “Who I am can’t be defined by breaking bonds with my family. It can only be defined by blooming right where He planted me.” A Christmas Haven is a fulfilling novel with party planning, an auto accident, a benevolent bishop, restrictive rules and a wonderful wedding.
A Christmas Haven is now out and can be purchased at major booksellers including Amazon (Amazon UK). The Christmas Remedy is also available through Amazon. Thank you for dropping by today. Tomorrow I am sharing an interview with Amy Clipston plus my review of Christmas in Winter Hill by Melody Carlson. May you have a harmonious day. Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader