Review: the Wish

          `the Wish` is a contemporary  fictional novel, set in fictional Hill View, Arkansas. This novel is written by Beverly Lewis. Hill View, Arkansas is based on the actual city of Ozark, however there is no Amish settlement in Ozark, though the town offers many other charms.

         Leona is like an only child since her older sibling married seven years ago. So it seems her dream of wanting a sister-friend comes true when Gloria and her family move to a close-by farm.  Gloria Gingerich's father was expelled from the Old Order Amish church, which caused an upheaval and a separation of two friends for years when the father moved the family away from the People. After several years of silence Leona Speicher, Gloria's once best friend, decides to search Gloria out. Will they bond again, or will their friendship be lost? The theme of this book is based on friendship.

        My favorite part of the novel is when Gloria reached out to Leona for advice. Gloria still cherished their friendship and wanted some good, sisterly advice. Should she stay with her English family or live with the People who she dearly loves.

Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, has more than 17 million books in print. Her stories have been published in twelve languages and have regularly appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times and USA Today. Beverly and her husband, David, live in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, making music, and spending time with their family. Learn more at
  • Disclaimer:  I received `the Wish` complimentary for review.

Where to Purchase

Review: Every Season Prayers

        `Every Season Prayers` is a Christian living book written by author Scotty Smith. Scotty Smith is founding pastor of Christ Community Church (PCA) in Franklin, Tennessee. He co-authored `Unveiled Hope` with Michael Card and `Speechless and Restoring Broken Things` with music artist and author Steven Curtis Chapman. Author Scotty Smith says, "Each of the Prayers in `Every Season Prayers` was birthed out of relationships - first and foremost in response to God's incomparable, inexhaustible love for us in Jesus'.

        Each prayer begins with a verse from the Bible, followed by prayer. There are prayers for all occasions including - Praying the scriptures verse by verse, Prayers of lament, and a ten-day prayer journey. This book is the sequel to `Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith.`

         The author wrote `Every Season Prayers` with the intent to equip God's people to pray - not praying by rote but personal prayers. This is just a guide to get you started. There are exercises to help you develop your own voice in prayer.

I recommend this book to Christians who want to develop their prayer life.

Disclaimer:  I received `Every Season Prayers` complimentary for review

Where to Purchase

Review: Frontier Grit

      `Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Woman` is authored by Marianne Monson. Several pioneer women are mentioned in this book. I'm not sure if all of them were Christians, but that may be worth investigating. They were all strong-willed women. Women of today can thank them for making our paths straighter.
      Pioneer Nellie Cashman loved everything about pioneering. She was rugged, had a deep devotion to her Catholic religion, and knew what it was like to suffer through poverty and hunger. She had many chances to marry but chose to stay single so she could have opportunity and adventure.
      Aunt Clara Brown was born into slavery in the early 1800's. Clara had a vibrant relationship with her Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. No matter where she was when the spirit moved her to pray she would drop to her knees and pray. She considered her sufferings as nothing compared to what her Lord went through.
      Abigail Scott Duniway was an Oregon Trail Suffragette. It was her sole responsibility to journal the weather, mileage traveled along the Oregon Trail and anything else of interest.
      I learned that some of our ancestors found shelter in abandoned chicken coops. This story makes me wonder if we truly appreciate our modern lifestyles. Are our hopes and dreams much different than our ancestors?
      Although most of this book focuses on social life, political history is also mentioned. Abigail Duniway was the first woman registered to vote and the first female voter in Multnomah County, Oregon. Several stories of grit and determination are told throughout this book. I recommend this book to history buffs, especially those interested in women's issues.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this e-book through Net Galley for my honest review.

Questions and Answers with Beverly Lewis

1. Nearly two decades have passed since The Shunning, your first Amish novel, was published, establishing what became an extraordinarily popular new genre of fiction. What have the years since taught you?
A- Creating stories set in Amish farmland has been such a source of delight! This writing journey has taught me the importance of meticulous research and demonstrated to me just how universal some themes really are—love and loss, the need for hope, friendship, faith, and family. At its core, every book I write is about lifting the spirit and stirring the heart . . . which allows readers from all ages and walks of life to relate to my characters, however cloistered and unalike they may initially seem.

2. Can you tell us about the plot for The Wish, your newest novel? 
A-Of course! Leona Speicher got the “sister” she always dreamed of the day Gloria Gingerich and her family moved to Lancaster County. The Arkansas newcomers seem to be the answer to Leona’s prayers—until Gloria’s father is expelled from their Old Order Amish church for reasons no one will discuss. Much to Leona’s dismay, the Gingeriches suddenly pack up and disappear. Then, after a silence of several years, Gloria unexpectedly contacts Leona, who makes up her mind to go after her friend. Will Leona’s good intentions lead to her own undoing?

3. Part of the story centers around Arkansas Joe Gingerich, who relocates with his family from Arkansas to Colerain Township in Pennsylvania. What inspired the idea of an Amish family from Arkansas? 
A-Many people would be surprised to know that Amish now reside in more than thirty states—the hunt for inexpensive and plentiful farmland means that they’ve had to look well beyond the long-established Amish communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. This particular family was inspired by an autumn trip my husband and I took to the Ozarks. It’s such a picturesque area; I could easily imagine an Amish community nestled there. The Gingerich family plays a very important role in the life of my protagonist, Leona Speicher, but while Arkansas Joe’s daughter, Gloria, is everything a young woman might hope for in a friend, Joe himself may not be quite as wonderful as he appears. . . .

4. Friendship and sisterhood are both key themes in The Wish. What are some character qualities that you find invaluable in sustaining a close friendship? 
A-I’ve been blessed with some rich friendships during my life, including one with my dear sister, Barbara, who was also my college roommate and maid-of-honor in my wedding. Yes, we are very close! Every friend brings unique gifts to a relationship, but some qualities that I find particularly essential are loyalty, patience, and forgiveness. I strive to be that kind of friend myself, but as the song says, truly there is no better friend than the one we have in our Lord Jesus.

5. Your books have been published in a remarkable eleven languages, and your name is a frequent sight on bestseller lists like the New York Times. What do you think of the widespread appeal of your fiction? 
A-Honestly, I still pinch myself! Only God could have orchestrated all I’ve experienced as a writer, and I’m ever grateful for how He has blessed me. There are no words to express how touched I am by the opportunity to hear from so many wonderful readers from around the world and to be able to share God’s love for them through my books. I’m a storyteller at heart, and it’s a blessing to have such dedicated reader-friends!

6. Do you have another stand-alone novel in the works right now?
A-Oh yes! Presently I’m busy writing The Ebb Tide, which will release in April of 2017. Eager to travel beyond the borders of Lancaster County, Sallie Riehl jumps at the chance to nanny in Cape May, New Jersey, over the summer. There, she befriends Edward Kreider, a Mennonite college student who shares her interests and values her love of learning—a love that has hampered her chances with the eligible Amish farmers back home. Sallie worries what her Old Order parents will think of Ed, but when her young charge is threatened, all other concerns are cast aside.

7. How can we keep up with your latest news and current releases? 
A-There are many great ways to stay in touch via social media. To sign up for my free newsletter, readers can visit my Facebook fan page,, or my website, The website includes book trailers and excerpts, my monthly blog, fun photo galleries, authentic Amish recipes, and news about my upcoming Fall 2016 Book Tour, which will take me to library and bookstore events throughout Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi from September 7 through 17. I look forward to meeting my readers in that area because touring is something I very much enjoy—it gives me a chance to connect with my wonderful reader-friends!

Linking up with Literacy Musing Monday.