Celebrate Christmas with the Amish with these four stories of love and romance found during the Christmas season.
A Choice to Forgive by Beth Wiseman
After Daniel disappeared that long-ago Christmas Eve, Lydia built a life with his brother. But now she's a widow and Daniel has reappeared, asking for forgiveness. Can she go back to her normal life with her long-lost love as her neighbor?
A Miracle for Miriam by Kathleen Fuller
Seth is no longer the arrogant young man who shattered Miriam's confidence and broke her heart. Will he be able to show "plain" Miriam that she is truly beautiful to him?
One Child by Barbara Cameron
The birth of one child forever changed the world two thousand years ago. On a snowy Christmas night in Lancaster County, another child changes the world for two very different couples.
Christmas Cradles by Kelly Long
When Anna Stolis takes over for her aunt, the local midwife, Christmas night heats up with multiple deliveries, three strangers' quilts, and unexpected help from the handsome and brooding Asa Lapp.
|Publisher:||Gale Cengage Learning|
|Edition description:||Large Print|
|Product dimensions:||5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
Bestselling and award-winning author Beth Wiseman has sold over two million books. She is the recipient of the coveted Holt Medallion, a two-time Carol Award winner, and has won the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award three times. Her books have been on various bestseller lists, including CBD, CBA, ECPA, and Publishers Weekly. Beth and her husband are empty nesters enjoying country life in south central Texas. Visit her online at BethWiseman.com; Facebook: AuthorBethWiseman; Twitter: @BethWiseman; Instagram: @bethwisemanauthor.
With over a million copies sold, Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including the Hearts of Middlefield novels, the Middlefield Family novels, the Amish of Birch Creek series, and the Amish Letters series as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at KathleenFuller.com; Instagram: kf_booksandhooks; Facebook: WriterKathleenFuller; Twitter: @TheKatJam.
Kelly Long is a nationally bestselling author of Amish Fiction who enjoys studying the Appalachian Amish in particular. Kelly was raised in North Central Pennsylvania, and her dad's friendship with the Amish helped shape Kelly's earliest memories of the culture. Today, she lives in Hershey, Pennsylvania, with her three children and is a great proponent of autism spectrum and mental health needs. Visit Kelly on Facebook: Fans-of-Kelly-Long and Twitter: @KellyLongAmish.
Barbara Cameron has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple joys of the Amish. She is the best-selling author of more than 40 fiction and nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Her books have been nominated for Carol Awards and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award from RWA's Faith, Hope, and Love chapter. Barbara resides in Jacksonville, Florida.
Read an Excerpt
An Amish ChristmasDecember in Lancaster County
By Beth Wiseman Kathleen Fuller Barbara Cameron Kelly Long
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2010 Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Barbara Cameron, and Kelly Long
All right reserved.
Chapter OneFive years later
Seth lived with pain every day. At one time he'd tried to blame God for what had happened, but he knew that wasn't honest. He had no one to blame but himself.
He winced as he pulled on his trousers, his movements awkward. Still, just as he did each day, he silently gave thanks to Father God. If people had said to him even six months ago that he would be grateful to feel pain, that he would praise the Lord for each twinge and ache, he would have laughed in their faces. But today, the ever-present soreness reminded him that he was lucky to be alive.
He reached for his walking stick—plain, unadorned, but stained and lacquered to a smooth, shiny finish. His older brother, Noah, had made it for him shortly after the accident. The top of the stick was straight, so he couldn't call it a cane. Neither was it overly long, like a traditional walking stick. The knob at the top reached him at hip level, giving him the perfect amount of support without being unwieldy.
When he first saw the stick, he'd wanted to throw it at his brother. Now the gift had become indispensable.
Seth turned at a loud knock at his door. "What?"
"Caleb Esh is here." His father's gruff voice penetrated the wooden door. "You ready?"
Hearing his daed's voice gave Seth pause. Considering their strained relationship, he was surprised his father had come upstairs to fetch him.
"Ya," Seth replied, reaching for his black felt hat, the one he usually wore in cold weather. He'd pick up his coat on the way out. "Tell Caleb I'll be right down." He heard the thudding of his father's work boots against the wood floorboards as Melvin Fisher left to deliver Seth's message.
Seth placed his hand on the knob of the door and started to turn it, then stopped. Before the accident he'd never been nervous about going out. But tonight was different. The Christmas sing at the Lapps' home was his first social outing in six months, a time span unheard-of for him. For the last three years, since he'd turned sixteen, going out had been a big part of his life. Not that he had wasted his time on the Amish social circuit. Frolics and singings and other gatherings had been too tame and too lame. Seth was too cool for that, choosing instead to hang with Englisch friends. When he was with them he drank. He smoked.
He learned to drive a car.
He ran his fingers over the thin ridge of scar tissue that started from his left temple and cut a straight line to the top of his jaw. The facial cut had healed faster than his leg, and far more quickly than his pride.
Shaking off the raw memories, he twisted the brass knob and opened the door. He'd learned some hard lessons that night six months ago, and they had shaped him into a new man. But he couldn't hide here forever, surrounded by his family. Not only had they accepted what had happened; they'd forgiven him too.
Perhaps not everyone would show him such mercy.
He ignored the sudden stab of low confidence and headed down the stairs, determined to renew the old acquaintances he had abandoned in favor of the outside world.
* * *
"I don't understand why you're helping me with this boring task when you could be at the Lapps', having a good time."
Miriam finished putting the plastic binding on a cookbook and looked into her older sister's weary face. The exhaustion she saw there explained why she chose to spend Sunday night helping her sister Lydia. But she would never say so aloud. Since the death of Lydia's husband two years ago, she'd had enough to fret over without worrying about how tired she looked.
"I like helping you," Miriam said, a little too brightly. "I can't think of a better way to spend my evening than with my sister and my niece and nephews."
"I'd believe you, except the kinder aren't even here right now." Lydia smirked. "The boys are spending the night with the Yoders, and Anna Marie is at the Christmas sing, where you should be."
She had heard her niece use the term on occasion, and Miriam thought it fit her current situation. Pushing up her glasses, she glanced down at the cookbook, pretending to be engrossed in the artwork on the shiny cover.
"You can ignore me all you want, Miriam, but I know the real reason you're here." Lydia picked up her mug of lukewarm coffee, took a sip, then frowned. Rising from the table in the middle of her kitchen, she walked over to the stove, opened up the percolator, and started a fresh pot.
Lydia's bait was too tempting to ignore. Miriam's gaze shot up, and she watched her sister remove the lid from the metal coffeepot.
"I already told you why I'm here," she said.
"You told me what you wanted me to hear, not the real reason." Lydia added fragrant coffee grounds to the basket, then poured water over them and put the pot on the stove. Within minutes the kitchen filled with the coffee's comforting aroma.
"There's no other reason, Lydia." Miriam reached for an unbound cookbook. "Besides, if I weren't here, how would you get all this done?"
"I'd manage, God willing." She sat back down at the table. "Not that I don't appreciate all the help you've given me. But you're spending too much time either here or at the quilt shop. You're nineteen years old, Miriam. You should be enjoying life."
"I enjoy life. I like my job, and I have my quilting." She started inserting the binder into the square holes on the left margin of the loose pages.
"But what about your friends?"
"I have plenty of friends. A lot of them are just as busy as I am."
"What about a boyfriend?" Lydia leaned forward, her gaze steady and serious.
"What about Daniel?" Miriam said, eager to switch their conversation to something else. She suspected that Daniel Smucker was the main reason for Lydia's singular focus tonight. Since her late husband's brother had returned to Paradise, her normally steadfast sister had been out of sorts.
Lydia averted her gaze, but only for a moment. "I'm not talking about me and Daniel."
"You and Daniel?" Miriam lifted a brow. "What about you and Daniel?"
"There is no 'me and Daniel'."
"But you just said–"
"Stop changing the subject." Lydia sat up straight in her chair and folded her hands on the table. "Miriam, it's time you started thinking about your future. There are several available young men in the community. Isn't there at least one you're interested in?"
At her sister's last question, Miriam's thumb slipped and slid against the sharp edge of the binder, hard enough to draw blood. She put her thumb to her mouth.
Concern suddenly etched Lydia's features. "Do you need a bandage?"
Miriam looked at her hand. The cut was tiny, negligible actually. She shook her head and rose from her chair. "I'm fine. I'll just give it a quick wash."
As she stood over the sink and lathered her hands with Lydia's homemade lavender soap, Miriam stared out of the window into the darkness of the night. A chill suddenly flowed through her, as if the cold outside air had somehow seeped through the clear glass pane and entered her body. Lydia didn't want to talk about Daniel, and Miriam certainly didn't want to talk about men, so she wished her sister would drop the topic altogether.
At nineteen Miriam was old enough to marry. Several of her schoolmates had already married or had steady beaus. But she remained single. She'd learned her lesson a long time ago. She wasn't about to open herself to ridicule again. Although she was expected to get married and raise a family, she wasn't in any hurry to do so. At least she tried to tell herself that.
Trouble was, her heart refused to cooperate. At times she had to admit she was lonely, especially when she saw other young couples together, enjoying each other's company. So she made sure not to put herself in situations where she would be reminded of what she didn't have.
"Miriam? Are you all right?"
Lydia's voice broke into her thoughts. Quickly Miriam rinsed and dried her hands, then went back to the table and delved into her work.
A few moments later Lydia placed her hand on Miriam's forearm. "That's enough. I can get the rest. You go on and have a good time."
"Lydia, I already said I'm not going."
"And I said you are. This is the last singing before Christmas, and you don't want to miss that. Go home and put on a fresh dress. I'm sure Pop won't mind dropping you off at the Lapps', and Anna Marie can bring you back home." As if to make sure Miriam would follow orders, Lydia gathered the cookbooks and binders and carried them into the next room.
Miriam frowned. The last thing she wanted to see were boys and girls flirting with each other as they played the awkward and thrilling game of courtship. Or worse, she'd be subjected to all the young people who had already found someone to love, or at least to like well enough to date.
She planted herself in the chair. She was nineteen years old, not a little girl. Her sister couldn't force her. Could she?
Lydia came back into the room, glanced at Miriam, and grimaced. "I can see this is going to be harder than I thought." She left abruptly, and returned a moment later with her black winter cloak slung over one arm. She adjusted the black bonnet on her head with the opposite hand.
"Where are you going?" Miriam asked.
"Drastic times call for drastic measures." She stood in front of Miriam, hands firmly planted on her hips. "I'll take you to the singing tonight."
"You can't. Your kind has your buggy, remember?"
"Ya, but that doesn't mean I can't drive yours. I'll drop you off, then pick you up in a couple of hours. Then you can go home to Daed and Mamm, or you can spend the night here. You know we always love having you."
A scowl tugged at Miriam's mouth. She was being coerced. "You say you love having me, but you want me to leave."
Lydia nodded, her expression resolute. "Ya, I do. Just know that I'm doing this for your own good. Now, are you coming, or do I have to physically force you?"
Miriam didn't doubt her for a minute. Although Lydia was a couple inches shorter than Miriam, when she set her mind on a goal, nothing would keep her from achieving it. Even if it meant making her younger sister do something she didn't want to do.
Trapped, Miriam slowly stood. "You said I needed a fresh dress."
"You look fine."
Miriam doubted that. "Let me at least freshen up in the bathroom before we go."
"Ya, but don't dally. The singing has already started. You're missing all the fun!"
Miriam headed for the bathroom, more than a little irritated. Why couldn't Lydia mind her own business? Entering the small room, she closed the door and turned on the battery-operated lamp on the vanity. As with all the rooms in Lydia's house, this one had also been adorned with Christmas decorations. An evergreen-scented candle burned next to the lamp, filling the small space with its fresh fragrance. A pine bough sporting a bright red bow perched above the small mirror over the sink. Nothing fancy, but a festive touch.
The light was a bit on the dim side, but she could see her reflection clearly enough. Plain, plain, plain. A stab of insecurity hit her. While she lived among a people who valued simplicity and plainness, there was such a thing as being too nondescript. She knew that firsthand.
There was nothing pretty, nothing extraordinary, nothing striking about her appearance. Her hair and eyes were the shade of brown mud while her complexion was fair, even stark. Small, wire-framed glasses with round lenses did little to enhance her features, while her chin angled to a point. Unlike her sisters, Miriam had no curves, and her dress hung loosely on her boyish frame. A sharp chin, lean hips, and a tiny bosom. No wonder men weren't falling at her feet.
She knew that inner beauty was more important than a pretty face or appealing figure. She also knew that the Lord valued the heart, not the shell that protected it. Still, that didn't keep her from secretly longing for at least one attractive physical quality. Seth Fisher's words were still true: she was a four-eyed beanpole.
Closing her eyes against the insult ricocheting in her brain, she fought the humiliation and resentment pooling in her stomach, unabated by time. Her path hadn't crossed Seth's since they left school, and that had helped—at least she hadn't been constantly reminded of how ugly he thought she was. He had turned into a wild boy and run around with a bunch of Englisch people, constantly getting into trouble. A few months ago he fell into more trouble than anyone would have thought, and that was the last she'd heard of him. While she had never wished him any harm, it would suit her just fine if she never saw him again.
Opening her eyes, she leaned over the sink and splashed some cold water on her cheeks. She mentally pushed the past away as she stood up, adjusting the hairpins affixed to her kapp. Staring into the mirror, she forced a smile. She could do this. She could do anything for a couple of hours.
Opening the door, she thought of the one good thing about attending the singing, and that put a genuine smile on her face. At least he wouldn't be there. She wouldn't have to worry about Seth Fisher ruining her night.
Chapter Two"Ach, what's with that buggy moving so slow?" Caleb tapped his foot in a rapid staccato rhythm against the floor of his buggy as he pulled on the reins. His horse slowed almost to a standstill as they pulled up to the modest white house at the end of the street.
"You sound like an Englisch driver," Seth remarked, shifting in his seat. Sitting in one position for very long still made his leg ache. The physical therapist who had helped him regain his motion said that the pain would subside, but it would take time.
Patience—another hard lesson learned.
"Ya, and they got a right to complain if they get behind someone like this," Caleb said. "We're running late as it is."
"Nee, it's not your fault. Well, it is, but I don't blame you. I blame this!" Caleb pointed as the buggy made a left turn into a driveway. "Great. He's also going to the Lapps'. It'll probably take him forever to find a place to park."
But instead of parking, the buggy pulled to a stop just as Caleb's horse drew up behind it. In addition to their large circular driveway, the Lapps had another driveway that split off from the main one, which led to the barn in the back. There was ample parking there, so Seth wasn't sure why Caleb was concerned.
The passenger door opened, and a woman stepped out wearing a black cloak, her face obscured by a bonnet. She walked around the back of the buggy and headed toward the Lapp house.
"Finally." Caleb tapped the reins on the flanks of his horse as the buggy in front of them moved, then turned around in the driveway.
In the dim light of dusk Seth could see the driver was another woman.
"Would have been easier if she had dropped her off at the road." Caleb maneuvered his buggy into an empty space by the barn. "And faster."
Seth regarded his friend. "Why are you in such a hurry?" As soon as he asked the question, he knew the answer. "That's right. Mary Lapp."
Caleb shrugged. "Maybe."
Seth knew that was all he would get out of his friend, and he was fine with that. He was glad his first outing would be here. The Lapps were a good family, Mary included. She had always been a nice girl, friendly to all and a stranger to none. If anyone would help him not feel out of place, it would be Mary. Besides Caleb, of course. He was the one Amish friend Seth had kept in touch with during his wild years, and one of the few to visit him when he came home from the hospital.
Caleb jumped out of the buggy, and envy stabbed at Seth. He swiveled in the seat as he opened the door, then slid to the edge and grabbed his walking stick. By the time Caleb had tethered his horse, Seth had just gotten out of the buggy.
"Need some help?" Caleb asked.
"Nee. I've got it." Leaning on his stick, Seth shut the door behind him and turned around. "Go ahead and go inside. Don't want to slow you down."
Seth shook his head. "I know how eager you are to see Mary—"
"I never said that."
"You didn't have to. Now, go."
Caleb hesitated again, then nodded and walked to the house, taking long strides. Again jealousy came to the fore, but Seth ignored it. He was determined to walk one day unassisted, no matter how long it took. He would accomplish that by continuing the exercises his therapist had given him, even though they were painful.
Seth hobbled along until he reached the front door. He knocked out of politeness, though he had been to the Lapps' many times as a child.
Mary's mother, Katherine, opened the door. She stood still for a moment as she looked at Seth's face, then at his walking stick, then back up until her gaze focused on his scar.
"Gut-n-Owed," Seth said, breaking the silence.
She blinked a couple times, then grinned. "Seth Fisher! I'm so glad to see you."
His earlier nervousness dimmed a little at the warm welcome. "Danki, Frau Lapp."
"Come in, come in. Everyone's downstairs. I'm sure they'll be happy you came." She stepped aside, and Seth entered through the doorway, then turned and faced her, inhaling the sweet scent of cinnamon that wafted through the room.
He knew the brighter light in the Lapps' front room made his scar more pronounced, and that was evident by the way Frau Lapp was looking at him. A mixture of pity and curiosity filled her eyes, but for only a moment.
Excerpted from An Amish Christmas by Beth Wiseman Kathleen Fuller Barbara Cameron Kelly Long Copyright © 2010 by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Barbara Cameron, and Kelly Long. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsA Miracle for Miriam....................1
A Choice to Forgive....................155
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An Amish Christmas is three novellas, all set in Paradise (town in Pennsylvania). They're interconnected (characters from one pop up in the other two) but also standalones so if for whatever reason you don't read them all at once, you can follow each one without remembering the other two. (But good luck not reading them all at once.) The three stories are all really good, but I think my favorite was A Choice to Forgive (the one by Beth Wiseman). But that in no way indicates that I didn't love A Miracle for Miriam (Kathleen Fuller) and One Child (Barbara Cameron), too. The book opens with A Miracle for Miriam, which is about a woman with incredibly low self-esteem who finds herself being courted by Seth. In school, Seth was the most popular boy and he broke Miriam's heart. But now he's older and wiser and wants to make it up to her. But can she trust him? (And, more importantly, should she?) Then there's A Choice to Forgive. Lydia is a young widow with three children. Her dead husband is the brother of her first love (Daniel), who broke her heart when he vanished on Christmas. Except now he's back and he wants to be re-baptized into the faith. He clearly still likes Lydia, but can she get over her hurt (and feeling like she's betraying her husband by wanting his brother)? And finally One Child. Sarah and her husband are still grieving the baby they lost over Christmas a year ago. Then, during a really bad blizzard, a very pregnant Englisch woman and her husband show up. They had a car accident and need somewhere to stay. Sarah has to help a woman with the only thing she wants and lacks: a baby. This book also has discussion questions and recipes. This would be an excellent stocking stuffer for a girlfriend of yours who reads. (Especially if she has a fascination with the Amish, which I think most of us do. Or is that just me?)
The first story in the collection is A Miracle for Miriam by one of my favorite authors, Kathleen Fuller. As a child, Miriam had a pretty intense case of puppy love for Seth. A cruel joke on the playground shatters her confidence but not her feelings. Years later Seth is in a terrible accident and returns to the simple life in the Amish community after withdrawing into himself for a while. He finally notices that plain little Miriam has grown up into a strong, lovely, helpful and hardworking Amish woman...can he repair the hurt feelings from long ago and start a new life with her? This was a terrific story and one of my two favorites from the book. A Choice to Forgive by Beth Wiseman is the story of Lydia who's husband of 15 years dies suddenly. To add to her sadness and confusion during a very troubling time her first love, Daniel, has returned to their Amish community after disappearing on Christmas Eve nearly 16 years before. As an added twist, Daniel is also the brother of Lydia's deceased husband. Can Lydia pick up the pieces and go on with her life, even with her lost love as her neighbor? In Barbara Cameron's terrific tale One Child a Christmas Eve birth will spell remarkable changes for two very different Lancaster County couples...what's the mystery? Why the changes? You HAVE to read this story to find out. It had me riveted and is my second favorite from this fabulous collection. Lastly, in Kelly Long's Christmas Cradles spirited and sprightly Anna Stolis takes over for her aunt in the role of midwife on Christmas night. Throughout the night more than one baby is born, several gorgeous Amish quilts take the stage and, surprise of surprises, the taciturn Asa Lapp, a man with a story of his own, helps her out. Will Christmas give these two plain folk a present they didn't bargain for? In all I give this fabulous collection 5 stars. It is very readable and brought me endless joy during an already joyous season. A definite must read and one you'll want to keep in your Christmas collection to re-read each year during the Christmas season.
Actually, I didn't know much about the Amish people and their lifestyles until I read this book. They live without electricity, without technology, TV, internet, etc. unlike the modern city people. They are against using them, but they are happy with this. In "An Amish Christmas", which consists of four novellas written by different authors, you will find love of people as the main theme, but this love is told in a God-oriented and religious way through the light of Bible. The book tells how a good man should be: humble, grateful, faithful, nice, kind, patient, valuing inner beauty... Throughout the book, these virtues are emphasized. Although the first three novellas were written by different authours, they have a common feature; the characters of the stories. The characters know each other. For example, when you read any novella, you realize that the main character is a relative or friend of the main character of the other novella. I found this very interesting. When you read the book, you'll see that the core of the book is to believe in God to endure all the pains of life in any condition. Despite being not a very exciting and escapist book (except "One Child", where I was curious to know how the woman would survive the birth at home), and although it took a long time for me to read it, I generally like the characters inside. In the book, there are some "different" words that the Amish people use, and at the beginning, you'll find a glossary for them. Also, at the end of the book, there are some delicious Amish recipes you can cook after reading this nice book. * I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
I don't think I could say this enough!!! It's WUNDERBAAR!!! These groups of stories relate so well and blend together so nicely. The three authors are outstanding in their own books but they really had it together when combining these 3 seperate stories for this one book. I love Amish stories to begin with, and I love Christmas, and I was super excited to hear about the release of this book! As with Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall, I don't want to make my review too long, else I give away too much of the book! Once I get started on talking about this book I won't stop! It is just that good! This is a must read book for all you Amish and Christmas lovers! MUST READ! It is a book that I will not get rid of! It is in my home to stay! I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars, for the ability to make me laugh, cry, and feel the movement of God through the words on the pages, but, I can not. So I will have to stick with rating this book with my normal 5 stars AND two thumbs up! Highest, highest praises to 3 amazingly talented authors for a job well done with An Amish Christmas!!! *This book was provided by Thomas Nelson Publishers for review*
As you know, Amish fiction is hit or miss with me. I don't mind Amish fiction that emphasis the way of life but I don't like reading stories where I feel as if I'm being preached at and made guilty because I don't want to live the way they do. This novella collection has none of that. I would describe this book as comfort reading. The stories, which are all connected, are written by three authors who are known for their Amish stories. I really enjoyed reading this books. What I liked best about this series was that there was no conversion to the Amish faith. It's a cliche I'm starting to abhor, that every Englischer who happens to wander in Amish land must become Amish. Thankfully none of that happens in this book. Instead what is shown is an introduction to the Amish way of life, which isn't pushy or preachy. There is also a lot of food mentioned which is always a plus.If there was any story I was iffy on, it would have to be Lydia's story. This is mainly due to her stubbornness and refusal to listen to explanations. I just felt it created unnecessary drama that the story didn't need. Other than that blip, I really had no problems as all with any of the stories. They all emphasized more on the story than trying to be Amish. Other than the obvious differences between their world and the Englisch world, I really didn't see any differences between these stories and those set in modern world.These three authors do very well with the novella situation. I don't normally like novella stories but I felt that all the stories ended well and the characters were fully developed. I liked how the stories are all connected yet each is distinctly different. The best part is that this book gives a taste of each author's style of writing and if you liked it makes you want to go and read the rest of their works. I feel that this team is good at writing together and I'll be looking forward to reading more works from them, both individual stories and more combined efforts. Amish fans will really enjoy this book and there's the added benefit of getting the reader into the Christmas spirit!
Three authors (Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Barbara Cameron) wrote three novellas on Christmastime in Lancaster Country, Amish's Paradise, Pennsylvania. Timeless themes like a returned lover, inner & outer beauty and the longing for offspring, a place and family to belong to. Seth & Miriam deal with pretty on the outside versus inner beauty. Daniel's return to his Amish roots really upset his late brother's widow Lydia. The couple face tough choices. The storyline is enriched by other personalities. David and Sarah, both struggling without one child open their home for two 'lost in Paradise' guests. Kate & Jason appear to expect a child any day (a Christmas child?). These love stories are interwoven with Amish customs, dialect (Deitsch), faith and personal struggles and choices regarding love, envy, forgiveness, child expectancy and God's plan for your life. The stories are loosely connected, but can be read apart. Fortunately a happy end makes everything ready for Christmas. As an extra guidance for group reading and authentic old order Amish recipes are added to this threefold Christmas present.
A Choice to Forgive by Beth Wiseman **** I’m going to just say it…this novella was the perfect opener to this collection. I’ve yet to read anything by this author that I haven’t absolutely fallen in love with. And with one small caveat, this novella is no exception. An unexpected, heart rending, 18 year old blast from the past walks through Lydia’s door one night just before Thanksgiving. Her first love, the man who left it all behind and broke her heart on Christmas Eve (no less) eighteen years prior is back. Back to reclaim his life in his Amish roots. Back to tear her heart into little pieces all over again. Back. She thought she had moved on, actually marrying his brother Elam and raising their three children alone after Elam’s passing two years prior. Back to remind her that her heart is not truly healed. I loved that this story occupied it’s time in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I loved that there was no need for time hops and epilogues. However, it crushed me a bit that there was the insta-love between Lydia and Daniel. I mean I get it, they had once loved each other enough to chose to be engaged. I get it, they had a deep history. But 18 years people! Eighteen years that was wrapped up in a big, ginormous, festering lie. A lie that Elam never corrected, mind you, though he’s not here to deal with the fallout. I can understand forgiving his lying cowardly self. I can understand choosing friendship and a we’ll see approach. I just couldn’t live with declarations of love so quickly. That’s my caveat. The one thing I couldn’t get behind in this otherwise amazing novella. A Miracle for Miriam by Kathleen Fuller ***** This story, oh gravy this story is what all novellas should hope to become. Added bonus points because it picks right back up where ‘A Choice to Forgive’ with the same family, the same community and a side-by story line. It’s rare to find novellas with overarching stories. Let’s add in that a horse in this book garnered it own paragraph to explain why it was named Gravy. Technically Biscuits ‘n’ Gravy but still. It’s like Kathleen knew me personally and Gravy was just her way to include me in this story, I mean if of course we don’t look at the analogy of me as a horse or the fact that she doesn’t know me. But still, it’s what I want to think right now! The author tackles some tough subjects in this novella that are done so gracefully and perfectly without trying to be more than what it was intended to be and without leaving me feeling like I missed something. There was a lot of baby steps toward healing old hurts, there was a lot of let’s see where this could take us, there was a lot of forgiveness. There wasn’t a lot of neat tied up endings without the need for after thoughts. We don’t know where Miriam and Seth ended up, for sure. And that is perfectly OK. The depth of character building and back story was so perfect that I could have kept right on reading about their lives through their own series. One Child by Barbara Cameron **** I loved that story picked right up where ‘A Miracle for Miriam’ left off. This collection is so very different than other novellas which endears me to it more. Sarah and David have featured throughout the stories as a local couple who lost their baby to miscarriage the previous Christmas Eve. They are hosting First Christmas for family and friends at their home and as their guests leave before the storm blows in they prepare to settle
"A Miracle for Miriam" by Kathleen Fuller - This was a sweet story with a strong message. Forgiveness and self-worth are the main themes throughout this story and the author does an excellent job of getting them across. The characters are well-written and you can really see the changes in them in such a short story. Overall, I enjoyed this novella and will definitely read more by Kathleen! "A Choice to Forgive" by Beth Wiseman - This book is all about forgiveness. Beth Wiseman does a fantastic job of weaving forgiveness throughout the entire story. Daniel and Lydia are great characters with a heavy past to overcome. I enjoyed the stories and the obstacles the author put in their places for them to overcome. It kept the story moving in a swift pace. Overall, it was well written story that I thoroughly enjoyed. "One Child" by Barbara Cameron - What a powerful novella that shows how God really does work in mysterious ways. David and Sarah are grieving. On Christmas night, a stranger knocks on their door seeking shelter for him and his pregnant wife. Both families, in their own ways, help comfort and support each other. This was an excellent book and I will definitely be reading more by Barbara Cameron! "Christmas Cradles" by Kelly Long - Do you believe in love at first sight? This is a heartwarming novella about second chances, overcoming shame, and accepting the gift the Lord has given. I enjoyed the sparks and attraction between Asa and Anna. The description of the storm made me want to cozy up with a blanket by the fire. I think this was my favorite story of the four. Overall, I really enjoyed this collection of novellas and I look forward to reading An Amish Second Christmas soon!
I am into everything Amish. I enjoyed these books very much. Although I was a bit confused when I started to read the second book, I soon realized that all three books are about the same family, just different pointsf view and different story lines. I found this story to be easy to read and I couldn't tear myself away. I highly recommend this book!!!
You don't need to be familiar with Amish beliefs and lifestyles to follow and enjoy the stories, which were great for Christmas. And I agree with 'M' - put the psuedo customer reviews under another heading, or preface them with 'spoiler alert'. They are rude and don't help sales at all.
I really enjoyed this collection of stories that take place in the Amish community. I was interested in the life they live and values they display. Each story exemplifies the simplicity of the Christmas message through stories of love, family and a simple life. It puts you in the Christmas Spirit for sure.
This is a cute book with 3 stories. I liked them all, but the first story seemed a little slow to me. The second story was my favorite. It was harder to put down than the other two. All in all, I enjoyed this book, but I wouldn't call it my favorite.
Inspirational. Wonderful short stories about love, forgiveness and family. These three writers, Wiseman, Fuller, and Cameron, have written three stories that contain crossover characters. You will feel the strength of their characters. I could not put this book down. I anxiously await the next books...confident that there will be more. This book will make a wonderful gift for anyone, young or young at heart. You are never too old to believe in true love. Wish the whole world was as simple as Lnacaster County.
An Amish Christmas is a collection of four Novellas by four creative authors. I was thrilled when this book arrived in time for the holidays. I was not disappointed! You are first introduced to Paradise. Paradise is a lush Amish community filled with loveable and admirable people. You will meet Miriam who battles with self confidence much like many women do. Then you will meet Seth. Seth was the classic good looking boy who knew it! Daniel was a boy who made a rash decision that affected his entire life and Lydia carries around a pain that any woman could understand. Following along with these intertwining families, you will meet Sarah and David who are still reeling from the aftermath of a heartbreaking miscarriage last year. You will see how these couples deal lovingly with those outside of their community, handle problems much like the rest of us (except with a bit more faith perhaps) and see how we can find blessings from above in the strangest circumstances. Last but not least, you will spend some time with Anna who is from a neighboring community. Anna has devoted her life to helping others and Asa has built a life out of punishing himself. After a huge snowstorm and a night filled to the brim with nearly impossible situations, you will see again the power of learning to 'let go and let God!' As with most Amish romances, you will find yourself believing in miracles and will put this book down with a renewed belief in waiting on the Lord. I am thrilled to have read this book this year and plan to keep it safe with my other yearly reading material for next year! *This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
An Amish Christmas December in Lancaster County Four Amish Christmas Novellas Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Barbara Cameron, and Kelly Long December beckons me with its Christmas lights and cold nights to read a good Christmas story. I have my favorites, and An Amish Christmas has become one of them. A collection of Christmas novellas are typically unconnected stories by different authors of the same genre. In this case, these four novellas tell the story of one December in Lancaster County. In A Miracle For Miriam by Kathleen Fuller, you learn about the deep hurt that causes Miriam to disappear into herself. Seth caused the hurt when they were both fourteen years old. Most of us remember our hurts and some of us have allowed those hurts to influence us as adults. It's a beautiful love story in which other characters from the other three novellas are introduced. A Choice to Forgive by Beth Wiseman opens with Lydia answering a knock at her door and discovering her first love, Daniel Smucker, standing confidently on her doorstep. He promised to marry her when they were young and mysteriously disappeared on Christmas. Lydia marries his brother, Elam, who happens to comfort her during her difficult heart break. She becomes a widow when he dies of a heart attack. Those feelings of love for Daniel rise again and she struggles to forgive him for running away. He tries to explain the difficult and complicated situation that sent him away, and the secret that he and his brother kept from her causes an enormous emotional struggle. One Child by Barbara Cameron addresses Sarah and David's struggle over their miscarriage. Sarah prays to Derr Herr for a child. It's the only gift she wants on Christmas. Mysterious visitors bring unexpected joy during a particularly bad blizzard. It's a story of healing, love, and friendship. Christmas Cradles by Kelly Long tells the story of Anna Stolis and Asa Mast. Anna has never been married. She has become a midwife. Asa Mast also never married. A tragedy occurred during his rumschpringe years that brought him to this point. His father is very ill, refusing to go to the hospital on Christmas. Anna has three deliveries during the night. Normally, his father, Samuel, accompanies Anna's Aunt Ruth (also a midwife), but with Aunt Ruth taking the evening off and Samuel sick, Asa joins Anna in her delivery runs. It is a love story of two insecure people who never thought they could fall in love. My favorite books let me learn about the characters even after their stories have been told. It's sad to say goodbye to characters you've come to cherish. In this book you read about a whole community. As I turned the last page of Christmas Cradles I realized I would not hear about Miriam, Seth, Lydia, or the other characters again. My book is a hard bound edition. Apparently, this is one book in a collection of books of a similar nature-An Amish Gathering, and coming in January, 2011, An Amish Love. I can't wait to read those two books. Maybe I'll learn more about these characters or fall in love with new ones. Book Provided by the Publisher For Review
Enjoy this Amish Christmas bestseller with an additional new novella from romance author Kelly Long. "Christmas Cradles" by Kelly Long -- When Anna Stolis takes over for her aunt, the local Amish midwife in Paradise, Christmas night heats up with multiple deliveries, three strangers' quilts, and the help from resourceful and strong Asa Lapp, whose job it is to get Anna through a dangerous blizzard to complete her midwifery rounds. "A Miracle for Miriam" by Kathleen Fuller: This Christmas, Miriam must decide whether to guard herself or accept the love of a man who once broke her heart. "A Choice to Forgive" by Beth Wiseman: Lydia, a widow who has given up on love, is shocked when Daniel-- a past love-- returns to the Order, and her life. "One Child" by Barbara Cameron: This snowy Lancaster Christmas Eve will see two couples' lives changed by the birth of one child. Contributer Barbara Cameron is the author of fifteen novels and three nationally televised movies (HBO), as well as a recipient of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart. I fell head-over-heels in love with "An Amish Christmas: December in Lancaster County". This is the perfect book to give or get this Christmas. The four novellas (one is actually a bonus novella) reminds the reader of the true meaning of Christmas, with their heartfelt story's of love, redemption, and God's grace. This is my third encounter with Kathleen Fuller's work, and I have to say that I have and still am enjoying her work. This book should be a must read.
An Amish Christmas a previously released title by Thomas Nelson, but the twist is they have included a bonus story in this printing. I found this book a quick easy read, that really packs alot in to each of the stories. The stories do move along at a quick pace because they are novellas, but I felt like each of the stories were satisfying, actually making me want to seek out these authors to see what else they have written. Another thing that I liked about this book was the fact that while the stories intertwine with each other, they can easily be read as stand alone stories.There is a glossary in the front of the book to help with the Amish words used, there is also a reading group guide provided with this book. I think the recipes included in the back were really an added bonus. Because of the nice binding and the fact that it is a hard back I believe it would make a great Christmas gift. Inspirational fiction stories that Amish readers will love, these stories will uplift you, and would a great read anytime of the year! Even though I was provided a copy of this book for review from Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program it doesn't alter my opinion of this book.
There are four lovely stories of four Amish ladies in this book A Miracle For Mariam by Kathleen Fuller Mariam, her heart was once broken. Her self esteem took a heavy beating. Then Seth came back. Can she accept him? Would the pain be too great? A Choice To Forgive by Beth Wiseman Lydia, a widow, opened the door and suddenly she was like strucked by the ghost of her past. Daniel who had deserted her stood there and told her that she have been baptized back into the community. Could she forgive and let him enter her life again? One Child by Barbara Cameron For any woman, having a miscarriage is one of the most painful thing ever. Sarah lost her first child a year ago. And due to circumstances beyond her control she was looped in to be the the midwife of an Englisch couple. Would Sarah be able to share the joy? Christmas Cradles by Kelly Long Anna was to takeover for a night from her Aunt Ruth who is the Amish local midwife. Guess it's Murphy's law. It happens to be the darkest night and they having the worst blizzard. And all who going to give birth, gave birth that night. Can Anna help these mothers? Two dramatic birth. And what does Asa ,who is escorting Anna around, feel? the stories in this book are easy to read. The language flows easily. I finished this in two hours. I received this complimentary book from Thomas Nelson Publisher as part of the blogger review programme. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions expressed here in are her own.