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The Amish Teacher’s Dilemma by Patricia Davids

With everything so crazy right now and everybody having to stay inside I’m sure more and more people are turning toward books as a source of entertainment and relaxation. I know I did over this past weekend. And let me tell you I found a good book to help escape from reality for a bit.

The Amish Teacher’s Dilemma by Patricia Davids was far more than I expected. It is part of a series but can be read as a stand alone. Although I plan on reading the books that came before it (should have a lot of free time on my hands). First the characters are the type of characters you can’t help but enjoy from the very beginning and the community is just amazing. I don’t know much about the Amish community but Ms. Davids’ helps the reader understand it a little more.

Ava is a new teacher moving to a new community and helping to open a new school. Willis is just trying to keep his business going while at the same time learning to adjust to raising his two brothers and sister. The four of them make some welcoming committee for the new teacher. I enjoyed every moment of them learning about each other, the good and the bad, and maybe even finding love along the way.

This was a great light read to escape from reality for just a bit. I can’t wait to read the first books and then for more, and all while learning more about the Amish Community.

Author bio & book description for THE AMISH TEACHER’S DILEMMA by Patricia Davids (Love Inspired)

About THE AMISH TEACHER’S DILEMMA: Taking a schoolteacher position in another district is just the change Amish spinster Eva Coblentz needs. And with her new neighbor, blacksmith Willis Gingrich, struggling to raise his three orphaned siblings, Eva is determined to help them heal. But when her relatives insist she come home, Eva must choose between the life she left…and the one she’s growing to love.

About PATRICIA DAVIDS: USA TODAY best-selling author Patricia Davids was born and raised in Kansas. After forty years as an NICU nurse, Pat switched careers to become an inspirational writer. She enjoys spending time with her daughter and grandchildren, traveling and playing with her dogs, who think fetch should be a twenty-four hour a day game. When not on the road or throwing a ball, Pat is happily dreaming up new stories.

Excerpt – THE AMISH TEACHER’S DILEMMA by Patricia Davids

Willis thought he had enough time to fix the new teacher’s chair, put four shoes on Jesse Crump’s buggy horse and get supper on the table by six o’clock. It was seven-thirty by the time he came in to find his family gathered around the kitchen table with a scowl on every face. Thankfully, he couldn’t see Bubble but he was sure she was scowling, too.

“I know I’m late. One of Jesse’s horses had a problem hoof and I had to make special shoes for him. I’ll fix us something to eat right away.”

He went to the refrigerator and opened the door. There wasn’t much to see. “I meant to set some hamburger out of the freezer to thaw this morning but forgot to do it.”

“You should leave yourself a note,” Harley said. He was paging through a magazine about horses. He was always reading. Willis fought down the stab of envy.

If Willis could write a note, then he’d be able to read one. He couldn’t do either. The most he could manage was to write his name. No one in New Covenant knew his shameful secret. Children as young as Maddie learned to read every day but he couldn’t. No matter how hard he’d tried. There was something wrong with him.

He hid his deficiency from everyone although it wasn’t easy. He’d been made a laughingstock by the one person he’d confided in years ago. He’d never been able to trust another person with his secret. The bitter memory wormed its way to the front of his mind.

He’d been twenty at the time and hopelessly in love with a non-Amish girl. She was the only person he had told that he couldn’t read. He hadn’t wanted to keep secrets from her. She claimed to love him, too. He had trusted her.

Later, when they were out with a bunch of her friends, she told everyone. They all laughed. He laughed, too, and pretended it didn’t matter but the hurt and shame had gone bone deep. He didn’t think anything could hurt worse than Dalene’s betrayal, but he’d been wrong. She and her friends had much more humiliation in store for him.

He pushed those memories back into the dark corner of his mind where they belonged. He had to find something to feed the children gathered at his table. “I guess I can scramble us some eggs.”

“Again?” Otto wrinkled his nose.

“Bubble says to be thankful we have chickens.” Maddie beamed a bright smile at Otto.

“Bubble can’t say anything because she isn’t real, stupid.” Otto pushed his plate away.

Willis rounded on him. “Never call your sister or anyone else stupid, Otto. You know better than that. Apologize or go to bed without supper.”

“Sorry,” Otto murmured. He didn’t sound apologetic.

A knock at the door stopped Willis from continuing the conversation. Who needed a blacksmith at this hour? He pulled open the door and took a step back. Eva Coblentz stood on his porch with a large basket over her arm.

She flashed a nervous grin. “I’m used to cooking for more than just myself and I made too much tonight. I thought perhaps you could make use of it for lunch tomorrow. It’s only chicken and dumplings.”

Willis was speechless. Maddie came to stand beside him. “Teacher, how nice to see you.”

Eva smiled at Maddie. “It’s nice to see you again, too. How is Bubble?”

Maddie stuck her tongue out at Otto. “She’s fine but kinda hungry. We haven’t had our supper yet. Willis had to give Jesse Crump special shoes so he was going to make scrambled eggs again, but Otto isn’t thankful for our chickens.”

Eva blinked her lovely green eyes. “I see.”

“Do you?” Willis couldn’t help smiling at her perplexed expression. “Then you’re ahead of me most of the time.”

Harley came to the door. “Let me help you with that.” He took the basket from her and carried it to the table. He began setting out the contents.

Otto pulled his plate back in front of him. “That smells great.”

Harley dished up his own and then passed the plastic bowls along. Willis thought his siblings were acting like starving animals. He could hardly blame them. He was going to have to learn to cook for more than himself. Normally, he didn’t care what he ate or when he ate it. That had changed when the children arrived, and change was something he didn’t handle well.

Eva folded her arms across her middle. “I will be going so you can enjoy your meal in peace. Have a wonderful night, everyone.”

He didn’t want her to go. He stepped out onto the porch and closed the door from the prying eyes of his family. “How’s your head?”

She touched it gingerly. “Better.”

“I fixed the chair. You won’t have to worry about tipping over again.”

“I appreciate that.” She turned to go.

“The school board hired me to supply and install the hardware in the new building. I’ll get the rest of the coat hooks, cabinets and drawer pulls installed tomorrow. Have you had your supper? You are welcome to join us.”

“I have eaten. Danki. Don’t forget to feed Bubble. She’s much too thin.”

Willis raked a hand through his hair. “I don’t know why Maddie makes things up.”

She gave him a soft, kind smile. “Don’t worry about it. A lot of children have imaginary friends.”

“Really?” He wanted to believe her. When she smiled he forgot his worries and his ignorance.

“Absolutely. She will outgrow her invisible friend someday soon. Until then, enjoy her imagination.”

“I reckon you have seen a lot of things like this in your teaching career.” It made him feel better to know Maddie wasn’t the only child who had a pretend companion.

“This will be my first year as a teacher. I was actually surprised that the position didn’t go to someone with more experience. Perhaps my enthusiasm won the school board over.”

“I think you were the only applicant.”

She laughed and clasped a hand over her heart. “You have returned my ego to its normal size. How can I ever thank you?”

He smiled along with her. “We are blessed to have you.”

She leaned toward him slightly. “We will have to wait until we have Bubble’s assessment of my teaching skills before jumping to any conclusions. Guten nacht, Willis Gingrich.”

“Good night, Teacher.”

She walked away into the darkness. He watched until he saw her enter her house across the way. There was something attractive about Eva Coblentz that had nothing to do with her face or her figure. She was the first woman in a long time who made him want to smile.

He went back inside the house. The children were still eating. He took his place at the head of the table, bowed his head for a silent prayer, then reached for a bread roll. It was still warm. He looked at Maddie. “What did you say to your teacher that made her bring food here tonight?”

Maddie shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know.”

“You must have said something.” He took a bite of his roll.

Maddie had a whispered conversation with the empty chair next to her. She looked up and grinned at him. “Bubble says that she told teacher you need a wife who is a good cook.”

He started coughing. Otto pounded on his back while Harley rushed to give him a glass of water. When he could catch his breath, Willis stared at Maddie in shock. “Eva thinks I’m looking for a wife?”

Maddie nodded.

Willis hung his head. Nothing could be further from the truth. There was no way he could keep his secret from a wife. Even if he found the courage to reveal his handicap to a woman again, there was still one pressing reason he had to remain single.

Amish ministers and bishops were chosen by lot from the married men of the congregation. At baptism every Amish fellow vowed to accept the responsibility of becoming a minister of the faith if he should be chosen. What kind of preacher would he make if he couldn’t readthe Word of God? The humiliation didn’t bear thinking about. He would remain a single fellow his entire life. That was God’s plan for him.

He turned his attention back to Maddie. “You were wrong to tell your teacher that I’m looking for a wife. I’m not. Now what am I supposed to do?”

Maddie lifted both hands. “Just tell her you don’t want a wife. How hard can that be?”

Reading During the Darkness

During these dark days ahead maybe I can at least make a hit to my “To Read Pile”. I am getting sick of the same old Hallmark Movies. I do have stuff I should be doing (at home) but reading sounds better. Now of course all reading will be done after I get home from work. Because for this Southern Belle there has been no altering to my daily schedule, but my evenings sure have been slaughtered.

Getting Back in the Reading Groove 

I am starting to get back into the reading groove.  I have started listening to my car reads agian and while I have not finished the book I was reading before the new year I did make some good progress on it this weekend.  I am hoping to finish it in the next day or two.  Then the dilima will be which of the many books I want to read I will actually read next.  I’m thinking about the new read with Jenna book but I am not sure.  I guess I will just know when the time comes.  

Harlequin Winter Book Tour

I’m not going to lie, when I first heard about this blog tour I was so excited. I love Holiday reads and I was going to be so good and read all of them. Well now here I sit one book read, one book started (but bearly) and the four others staring at me waiting for me to read. Life always seems to get in the way of my best laid plans.

Right now I will feature all six books and review the one I do have finished and posts reviews for the other five as I finish the books.

The Books

COWBOY CHRISTMAS REDEMPTION

Author: Maisey Yates

ISBN: 9781335009906

Publication Date: 9/24/2019

Publisher: HQN Books

 

Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Target

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo

 

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @maiseyyates

Facebook:@MaiseyYates.Author

Instagram: @maiseyyates

Goodreads

 

Author Bio: New York Times Bestselling author MaiseyYates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit. 

Book Summary:

As snowflakes fall in Gold Valley, Oregon, will this rugged cowboy finally win the woman of his dreams?

Cowboy Caleb Dalton has loved single mom Ellie Bell, and her little daughter, Amelia, for years. But since Ellie is his best friend’s widow, Caleb’s head knows Ellie will always be strictly off-limits. If only his heart got the memo. So when Caleb discovers that Ellie has a Christmas wish list—and hopes for a kiss under the mistletoe—he’s throwing his cowboy hat into the ring. If anyone’s going to be kissing Ellie and sharing this magical time with her and her daughter, it’s him.

Ellie has dreaded the holidays since losing her husband. But this year, she’s finally ready to make some changes. She never expects the biggest change to be the heart-stopping kiss she shares with Caleb. For almost five years, Caleb has been her best friend, her rock, her salvation. This Christmas, can Caleb prove he’s also the missing puzzle piece of Ellie’s and Amelia’s hearts?

Christmas from the Heart  

Sheila Roberts

On Sale Date: September 24, 2019

9780778309611, 0778309614

Trade Paperback

$16.99 USD, $21.99 CAD

Fiction / Romance / Contemporary 

304 pages

Summary:

USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts takes readers to a small, snowbound town, where a young woman fights to save her family’s charity that brings Christmas to families in need, and a stranded millionaire loses his heart and finds the true meaning of Christmas.

Sometimes you need to look beyond the big picture to see what really matters

Olivia Berg’s charity, Christmas from the Heart, has helped generations of families in need in Pine River, Washington, but this year might be the end of the road. Hightower Enterprises, one of their biggest donors since way back when Olivia’s grandmother ran the charity, has been taken over by Ebenezer Scrooge the Second, aka CFO Guy Hightower, and he’s declared there will be no more money coming to Christmas from the Heart.

Guy is simply being practical. Hightower Enterprises needs to tighten its belt, and when you don’t have money to spare, you don’t have money to share. You’d think even the pushy Olivia Berg could understand that.

With charitable donations dwindling, Olivia’s Christmas budget depends on Hightower’s contribution. She’s focused her whole life on helping this small town, even putting her love life on hold to support her mission.

When Guy’s Maserati breaks down at the edge of the Cascade foothills, he’s relieved to be rescued by a pretty young woman who drives him to the nearby town of Pine River. Until he realizes his rescuer is none other than Olivia Berg. What’s a Scrooge to do? Plug his nose and eat fruitcake and hope she doesn’t learn his true identity before he can get out of town. What could go wrong?

Author Bio:

Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her novels have been published in several languages. Her book, Angel Lane, was an Amazon Top Ten Romance pick for 2009. Her holiday perennial, On Strike for Christmas, was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network and her novel, The Nine Lives of Christmas, was made into a movie for Hallmark . You can visit Sheila on Twitter and Facebook or at her website (http://www.sheilasplace.com).

Social Links:

Author website

Facebook: @funwithsheila

Twitter: @_Sheila_Roberts

Instagram: @funwithsheila

Buy Links:

Amazon

Google Play

Barnes & Noble

Apple Books

Kobo

AN ALASKAN CHRISTMAS

Author: Jennifer Snow

ISBN: 9781335041500

Publication Date: 9/24/2019

Publisher: HQN Books

 

Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Target

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo

 

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @JenniferSnow18

Facebook: @jennifersnowbooks

Instagram: @jensnowauthor

Goodreads

Author Bio: Jennifer Snow lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband and four year old son. She is a member of the RWA, the Alberta Writers Guild, Canadian Authors Association and SheWrites.org. Her first Brookhollow book was a finalist in the Heart of Denver Aspen Gold contest and the Golden Quill Award. More information can be found at http://www.jennifersnowauthor.com.

 

 Book Summary:

In Alaska, it’s always a white Christmas—but the sparks flying between two reunited friends could turn it red-hot…

If there’s one gift Erika Sheraton does not want for Christmas, it’s a vacation. Ordered to take time off, the workaholic surgeon reluctantly trades in her scrubs for a ski suit and heads to Wild River, Alaska. Her friend Cassie owns a tour company that offers adventures to fit every visitor. But nothing compares to the adrenaline rush Erika feels on being reunited with Cassie’s brother, Reed Reynolds.

Gone is the buttoned-up girl Reed remembers. His sister’s best friend has blossomed into a strong, skilled, confident woman. She’s exactly what his search-and-rescue team needs—and everything he didn’t know he craved. The gulf between his life in Wild River and her big-city career is wide. But it’s no match for a desire powerful enough to melt two stubborn hearts…

A WEDDING IN DECEMBER 

Author: Sarah Morgan

ISBN: 9781335147271

Publication Date: 9/24/2019

Publisher: HQN Books

 

Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Target

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo

 

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @SarahMorgan_

Facebook: @AuthorSarahMorgan

Instagram: @SarahMorganWrites

Goodreads

BookBub

 

Author Bio: USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy, contemporary romance and women’s fiction, and her trademark humor and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. Described as “a magician with words” by RT Book Reviews, she has sold more than eleven million copies of her books. She was nominated three years in succession for the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America and won the award three times: once in 2012 for Doukakis’s Apprentice, in 2013 for A Night of No Return and in 2017 for Miracle on 5th Avenue. She also won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in 2012 and has made numerous appearances in their Top Pick slot. As a child, Sarah dreamed of being a writer, and although she took a few interesting detours along the way, she is now living that dream. Sarah lives near London, England, with her husband and children, and when she isn’t reading or writing, she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying.

 

Book Summary:

 

This funny, charming and heartwarming new Christmas novel is USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan at her festive best!

 

In the snowy perfection of Aspen, the White family gathers for youngest daughter Rosie’s whirlwind Christmas wedding. First to arrive are the bride’s parents, Maggie and Nick. Their daughter’s marriage is a milestone they are determined to celebrate wholeheartedly, but they are hiding a huge secret of their own: they are on the brink of divorce. After living apart for the last six months, the last thing they need is to be trapped together in an irresistibly romantic winter wonderland.

Rosie’s older sister, Katie, is also dreading the wedding. Worried that impulsive, sweet-hearted Rosie is making a mistake, Katie is determined to save her sister from herself! If only the irritatingly good-looking best man, Jordan, would stop interfering with her plans…

Bride-to-be Rosie loves her fiancé but is having serious second thoughts. Except everyone has arrived—how can she tell them she’s not sure? As the big day gets closer, and emotions run even higher, this is one White family Christmas none of them will ever forget!

Blog Tour Assets / CHRISTMAS IN SILVERSPRINGS Brenda Noval

CHRISTMAS IN SILVER SPRINGS

Author: Brenda Novak

ISBN: 9780778308256

Publication Date: October 29, 2019

Publisher: MIRA BOOKS

 

BIO: Brenda Novak, a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author, has penned over sixty novels. She is a six-time nominee for the RITA Award and has won the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Bookbuyer’s Best, and many other awards. She also runs Brenda Novak for the Cure, a charity to raise money for diabetes research (her youngest son has this disease). To date, she’s raised $2.5 million. For more about Brenda, please visit http://www.brendanovak.com.

 

BOOK SUMMARY: 

Come home to Silver Springs for the holidays, where broken hearts learn to love again…together. 

 

So much for forever. When Elle Devlin’s rockstar husband ditches her on his way to the top, she takes her two daughters to her sister’s place in Silver Springs for the holidays, hoping family can heal her broken heart. But comfort comes in unexpected packages when she crosses paths with Tobias Richardson.

 

The moment Tobias spots Elle, he recognizes a sadness he knows all too well. After spending thirteen years in prison paying for his regretful past, Tobias is ready to make amends, and maybe helping Elle is the way to do it. But offering her a shoulder to cry on ignites a powerful attraction, and a desire neither saw coming.

 

Fearing her reaction, Tobias doesn’t divulge his ex-con status, let alone the shameful details. So when Elle’s ex shows up in Silver Springs and reveals the truth in a bid to win her back, Tobias is sure he’s lost her for good. But, just maybe, this Christmas he’ll receive the forgiveness—and the love—he deserves.

 

SOCIAL:

TWITTER: @Brenda_Novak

FB: @BrendaNovakAuthor

Insta: @authorbrendanovak

Goodreads

 

BUY LINKS:

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Target

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo

COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS 

Author: RaeAnne Thayne

ISBN: 9781335504999

Publication Date: 9/24/2019

Publisher: HQN Books

 

Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Target

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo

 

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @raeannethayne

Facebook: @AuthorRaeAnneThayne

Instagram: @jensnowauthor

Goodreads

 

Author Bio: New York Times bestselling author RaeAnneThayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.

 

Book Summary:

Hearts are lighter and wishes burn a little brighter at Christmas…

Elizabeth Hamilton has been lost. Trapped in a tangle of postpartum depression and grief after the death of her beloved parents, she couldn’t quite see the way back to her husband and their two beautiful kids…until a car accident stole away her memories and changed her life. And when she finally remembered the sound of little Cassie’s laugh, the baby powder smell of Bridger and the feel of her husband’s hand in hers, Elizabeth worried that they’d moved on without her. That she’d missed too much. That perhaps she wasn’t the right mother for her kids or wife for Luke, no matter how much she loved them.

But now, seven years later, Luke finds her in a nearby town and brings Elizabeth back home to the family she loves, just in time for Christmas. And being reunited with Luke and her children is better than anything Elizabeth could have imagined. As they all trim the tree and bake cookies, making new holiday memories, Elizabeth and Luke are drawn ever closer. Can the hurt of the past seven years be healed over the course of one Christmas season and bring the Hamiltons the gift of a new beginning?

Southern Belle Reads: A Few Updates

🚙 My most recent completed car read was The Mister by E L James the author of the Fifty Shades Series.  Wow a totally different story than Fifty Shades but very good.  

📚 I really need to start my 5&10 reading again.  I have really let it slip by.  
📚 Next year I am going to try and a) catch up on and b) stay up on the Read with Jenna books (from the Today Show).  I hardly ever watch the Today Show but her book picks seem to be pretty popular and good.
📚 Right now the Goodreads Reader Choice Voting is going on.  I have to say I’m a little unhappy that Grateful American didn’t make the cut.  To me that was by far the best book of 2019.  

Christmas Reads Overload

A few weeks ago Harlequin had a great sale and I started stocking up on Christmas reads.  Plus I already had some from my twelve books of Christmas stock pile.  So the other evening I was evaluating my Christmas reads and I think I might have stocked up too good.  I think I have enough Christmas reads to last me till Valentine’s Day and maybe beyond.  Oh well might be reading a Christmas book a month again next year.