Friday, September 28, 2012

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith Audio Book Review

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn | [Betty Smith]
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith read by Kate Burton

Audible Editor Reviews

Why You Should Download This Audiobook: Betty Smith's immensely moving novel is essentially a paean to the human spirit—among most uplifting works we can think of. It's one of those stories you delight in giving to a good friend or family member who might be facing difficulty, certain that it could change the way they perceive life or give them strength to overcome a problem. It's also worth mentioning that this novel is a refreshing, plainspoken American work, a welcome change of pace if you've been lately persuing dense or complex works of literature.

Publisher's Summary

A moving coming-of-age story set in the 1900s, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn follows the lives of 11-year-old Francie Nolan, her younger brother Neely, and their parents, Irish immigrants who have settled in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Johnny Nolan is as loving and fanciful as they come, but he is also often drunk and out of work, unable to find his place in the land of opportunity. His wife Katie scrubs floors to put food on the table and clothes on her children's backs, instilling in them the values of being practical and planning ahead.
When Johnny dies, leaving Katie pregnant, Francie, smart, pensive and hoping for something better, cannot believe that life can carry on as before. But with her own determination, and that of her mother behind her, Francie is able to move toward the future of her dreams, completing her education and heading off to college, always carrying the beloved Brooklyn of her childhood in her heart.

My Take:  I have always wanted to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn ever since I saw a small clip of it on tv when I was little, but I just never got around to it.  I am glad that I finally  read it and I am also glad that I waited as I don't think it is a book that I should have read at the age I was first exposed to the movie.  There is alot of grownup issues in this book and I would highly recommend that parents decide whether their children are mature enough for it.  Although this is marketed as a young adult novel, I would consider it more of an adult novel even though the main character is a very young Francie at the beginning of the book.  That being said I really don't know how I felt about this book.  I enjoyed it while I was listening to it but I was often times reluctant to pick it back up again.  I think it might be because of the heavy subjects that were an everyday occurrence for the characters.  Don't get me wrong there were parts that were endearing and funny and the characters didn't all have a dreary life but it wasn't an easy life by any means.  I did find it frustrating with the way that Francie's mother treated her sometimes.  Katie (the mother) is a strong mother and did what she needed to do to keep her family going.  I know that this is many peoples favorite book but I don't think that I can put that label on it.  I am glad I listened to it and I think I wouldn't have finished it if I had listened instead of read it. I think it is well worth the time to read it.  
Kate Burton did an excellent job of reading this book.  Her Brooklyn accent was right on and I felt like I was in Brooklyn listening in on people's conversations.  I wasn't a fan of the music in between some of the sections,  It did nothing to add to the story and was just distracting more than anything.  

I received a copy of this audio book through Sync's summer program last year.  

soundbytes picture
Devourer of Books has a meme every Friday to link up your audio book reviews.  Head over to see what others are listening to and you may just find your next great listen.

The Trouble with Cowboys by Denise Hunter

The Trouble with Cowboys (A Big Sky Romance, #3)
The Trouble with Cowboys by Denise Hunter

About the Book: 

Only one pair of boots—and the cowboy wearing them—can get Annie out of the mess she’s in.

Annie Wilkerson is Moose Creek’s premiere horse trainer and equine columnist for Montana Living. Money is tight as she tries to put her kid-sister through college and provide for her young nephew. When Annie’s column is cancelled, she’s given first shot at a new lovelorn column—and she can’t afford to turn it down. Only problem is . . . Annie’s never been in love.

Always resourceful, she reluctantly strikes a deal with the town’s smooth-talking ladies’ man Dylan Taylor: She’ll work with his ailing horse, Braveheart, if he’ll help her answer the reader letters.

Working closely with Dylan is harder than Annie imagined, and she quickly realizes she may have misjudged him. But her unwavering conviction that cowboys are nothing but trouble has kept her heart safe for years. And she can’t risk getting hurt now.
The more Annie tries to control things, the more they fall apart. Her feelings are spinning out of control, and her sister’s antics are making life increasingly more difficult. Annie knows she needs to turn the reins over to God, but surrender has never come easily.

When Dylan reveals his feelings for her, Annie doesn’t know what to trust—her head or her heart. The trouble with this cowboy is that he might just be exactly what she needs.

Meet Denise: 

Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!
Find out more about Denise at

My Take:  This another great installment in this series but don't be afraid to read it if you haven't read the other books, this book stand well on it's own.  
All Annie has ever seen from cowboys is how they leave over and over.  So she has a wall built up already when she is forced to work with Dylan, who has issues of his own.  This is a romance but takes a refreshing approach of a romance based not on lust but on friendship.  This is a Christian romance so God has a presence in the relationship but it's not a hitting over your head with the Bible presence but more subtle.  I found the whole approach taken in the book as a nice change of pace from your run of the mill romance.  
I recommend this book if you like Christian romance books but are looking for a slight different take. 

I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse group in exchange for my honest review. 

Interested in finding out what others are saying go here.

Denise Hunter’s “The Trouble with Cowboys” Facebook Party & Kindle Fire Giveaway
To celebrate the release of The Trouble with Cowboys Denise is hosting a fun Author Chat Party on Facebook. She'll connect with readers and give away some amazing prizes - including a Kindle Fire! 
Save the Date for October 11th!

Grab your copy of Denise Hunter’s latest book and join her for an Author Chat Party on October 11th at 8:00 PM EST (that’s 7:00 Central, 6:00 MST, & 5:00 PST)! Haven’t read The Trouble with Cowboys yet? That’s okay, don’t let that stop you from coming to the party! (You may win a copy!)

During the evening she’ll be sharing the story behind the book, posting discussion questions, testing your trivia skills, and of course, there will be plenty of chatting and fun giveaways – books, gift certificates and – a Kindle Fire! She’ll also be giving you a sneak peek of her next book too!

RSVP today and then come back on the 11th … and bring your friends!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Man of Honor by Loree Lough

A Man of Honor banner


With nearly four million 4- and 5-star books in circulation, reviewers and readers alike have called best-selling author Loree Lough “a gifted storyteller whose novels touch hearts and change lives.” The 3rd novel in her popular First Responders series, A Man of Honor (Loree’s 88th published book),reaches bookstore shelves this September. Loree and her husband live in the Baltimore suburbs and love spending time at their tiny cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where she loves to show off her “i.d the critter tracks” skills. She loves to hear from readers (who can email her via and answers every letter, personally.
Visit Loree Lough’s blog:
Friend Loree Lough on Twitter:
Like Loree Lough’s Facebook page:
Purchase your copy of Loree Lough’s A Man of Honor at Abingdon Press:
Pick up your copy of Loree Lough’s A Man of Honor at Barnes & Noble:


Dusty and Grace find love together, but will it be enough to pull them through tragedy?
On a steamy spring morning, Dusty Parker—part-timepastor, part-time search and rescue team leader, and full-time administrator at a school for troubled boys—joins the search for a missing teen girl. He partners with volunteer and inner city school teacher Grace Sinclair, and what they find bonds them in ways neither could have expected.
As they begin to build a life together, a visitor from the past causes Dusty and Grace to further open their hearts and home.
But a dark and dangerous threat looms over their seemingly perfect world, and in one terrifying night…
…everything changes.

Watch the Trailer!

My Take:  Loree has created characters that will live with you long after you have finished reading the last page.  Dusty is truly a Man of Honor and Grace could be called a Woman of Honor.  They both have things they need to work on but don't we all?  This is the third in a series but it stands quite well on it's own.  This book will have your emotions all over the place so be for warned of the emotional rollercoaster that is this book.  This is a Christina book and faith is in the characters everyday lives.  It is why they do much of what they do.  I would highly recommend this whole series.

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Taming The Wind by Tracie Peterson

Taming the Wind (Land of the Lone Star, #3)
Taming The Wind by Tracie Peterson

About the Book: 

A young widow nursing the wounds of her past…

A cowboy with demons of his own…

Though grateful for the blessing of her daughter, Carissa Lowe has accepted that widowhood is her lot in life. Bound by fear and mistrust, she feels incapable of opening her heart again.

Tyler Atherton has never forgotten Carissa. When he discovers she’s living with her sister on a nearby ranch, his life becomes intertwined with the lovely widow’s. And Carissa’s daughter, Gloria, seems determined to wrap herself around his little finger. But while Tyler longs to provide a home and future for Carissa, he is haunted by an obligation he feels unable to fulfill.

Challenged by mounting hardships, can Carissa and Tyler preserve their fledgling love in a land as unforgiving and vibrant as the people who call it home?

Meet Tracie: 

Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. Visit Tracie's Web site at and her blog at

My Take:  I have enjoyed Tracie Peterson's books every since I read the series the Heirs of Montana.  I could not put those books down.  The Same can be said for this book.  Tracie's characters are very engaging and you grow to truly care about these characters as if they were dear friends.  Her characters are not cookie cutter Christian characters either.   They are flawed like everyone.  Carissa wants to cut off all emotions except toward her daughter because of the hurt she has been through.  Tyler has other things to worry about other than Carissa who he saved from her abusive husband.  The book is exciting and has you wondering what will happen next.
I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse Group in exchange for my honest opinion.

To see what others are saying about this book check out this link

Celebrate with Tracie by entering to win a Kindle Fire!

 See what people are saying about Taming the Wind.

One winner will receive:
  • A Brand New Kindle Fire with Wi-Fi
  • Five copies of Live to Give by Austin Gutwein
Hurry, the giveaway ends on 9/25/12. Just click one of the icons below to enter. The winner will be announced at Tracie’s ”Taming the Wind” Author Chat Party on 9/26Connect with Tracie, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of Taming the Wind and join Tracie on the evening of the September 26th for a chance to connect with Tracie and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

”Enter ”Enter”Enter

It's Monday What are You Reading?

It's Monday What are You Reading?  is a fun Meme hosted my Sheila over at Bookjourney.   Head over there and check out what others are reading and you may just find your next great read!!

I am actually writing this on Friday Afternoon so maybe I will be able to post it first thing Monday when I get up.

Last Week on the Blog:

First Chapter Peak of

Where Love Grows by Jerry S. Eicher

Sample Features of

NIV Rock Solid Faith Study Bible for Teens

Video and First Chapter Peak of

Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic

Review of

Mortal Fire by C. F. Dunn

Audio Book Review of
Remember by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley

This Week on the Blog

Taming the Wind (Land of the Lone Star, #3)
Taming the Wind by Tracie Peterson

A Man of Honor
Man of Honor by Loree Lough

Whispers in the Wind
Whispers in the Wind by Lauraine Snelling

The Trouble with Cowboys (A Big Sky Romance, #3)
The Trouble with Cowboys by Denise Hunter

Where the Trail Ends
Where the Trail Ends by Melanie Dobson

Queen of the Waves
Queen of the Waves by Janice Thompson

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Currently Reading

Boo Who
Boo Who by Rene Gutteridge

You Don't Know Me (Deep Haven, #6)
You Don't Know Me by Susan May Warren

Escaping the Cauldron: Exposing occult influences in everyday life
Escaping the Cauldron by Kristine McGuire


I, Michael Bennett
I, Michael Bennett by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

Virals (Virals #1)
Virals by Kathy Reichs

Accidentally Amish
Accidentally Amish by Olivia Newport

Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun (Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery #1)
Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun by Lois Winston

Coming Up 

Life with Lily
Life with Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Mustard Seeds
The Mustard Seeds by Karen Mueller Bryson

River of Mercy (The Riverhaven Years, #3)
The River of Mercy by B. J. Hoff

What's on Your Reading Horizon?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Remember by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley Audio Review

Remember by Karen Kinsbury and Gary Smalley
Read by Sandra Burr

She has locked up her heart, convinced that no one - including God - could love her. Four unlikely people - Alzheimer's patients - find the cracks in Ashley's heart and slowly help her to remember.
Then comes the nightmare of September 11, which forever changes the lives of the Baxter family, causing them to remember what is important and leading them to make decisions that are both heartbreaking and hope-filled.
Landon Blake, who has loved Ashley since he was a teenager, tries to dull the pain of her rejection by immersing himself in the rescue efforts at Ground Zero.
Tragedy and healing...hurt and forgiveness. Redemption and powerful lessons about remembering. Novelist Karen Kingsbury and relationship expert Gary Smalley have teamed up to bring you an inspiring series of stories that explore the relationship principles Gary has been teaching for more than 30 years.

My Take:
I really like the Baxter Family.  This book came up on my list right as we were remembering the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and since the main theme of this book centered around those attacks I thought it was a great time to listen to it.  Different people grieve in different ways and even if they are in the same family they react differently as is shone very well in this book.  Landon needs to go to ground zero to try and find his friend who was working that fateful day.  Luke's girlfriends father was in one of the towers.  He is racked with guilt because she was with him and ignored her father's call the night before.  The Entire nation must ask their questions and figure out where God fits into all of this. 
The narrator did a good job of reading the story.  I don't think that there were any outstanding voices or anything although she did change her voice for the different characters a bit.  Again my main complaint about this audio production is that they only have the abridged version available on Audible.  There were times during the story that I felt like I was missing something from the story.  
This book was taken from my personal library.  
soundbytes picture  Hosts SoundBytes every Friday which is a Meme Where you can share the books that you have recently listened to a give your review.  Head over to see what others are listening to. 

Mortal Fire by C. F. Dunn

Mortal Fire by C. F. Dunn

From Good
First book in a new series from an author to watch Twenty-nine-year-old, independent, and self-assured Cambridge history professor Emma D'Eresby has one obsession in life: the curious journal of a seventeenth-century Englishman, a portion of which was left to her by her late grandfather.

When an unexpected opportunity to study the journal in its entirety presents itself, Emma finds herself leaving Cambridge to take up a year-long position at a prestigious university in Maine. Anticipating a quiet year of research, Emma quickly discovers her work impeded by a range of unforeseen complications. From the start, there is the well-intentioned matchmaking of her vivacious Russian colleague, Elena Smalova, and the unexpected jailing of one of her post-graduate students. More troublesome, however, are the unsolved, brutal night attacks on women near the university and Emma's suspicion that they might be linked to the sinister English professor, Kort Staahl. But, most diverting and disconcerting of all, is Emma's growing attraction to the strikingly handsome Dr. Matthew Lyons, whose kind but deliberately distant demeanor puzzles her.

Suspense and dread mount when Kort begins to take a persistent and unsettling interest in Emma. What are Kort's intentions, and what is he capable of? And the mystery surrounding Matthew only deepens when Emma discovers a link between him and the journal. What is Matthew trying to hide?

My Take:  What a great start to a series!!  I am looking forward to reading the next book already.  This is my type of book, edge of your seat suspense and edgy.  I like Emma's one mindedness of her interest in the journal.  Poor Emma she just wants to study the journal but things keep getting in the way.  This story if full of twists and turns that makes you wonder just exactly what will happen next.  
Ever since I received this book I felt myself draw to the book because of the cover.  It is really mysterious and just adds to the intrigue of the book. 
If you like suspenseful on the edge of your seat books this may be the book for you .
I received a review copy of this books in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Unstoppable by NickVujicic video and first chapter peak

Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic (Chapter 1 Excerpt)

NIV Rock Solid Study Bible for Teens Sample Features

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card is:

Zondervan; Special edition (August 21, 2012)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***


This all-new, full-featured NIV Bible is great for teens looking to grow their faith, increase meaning in their lives, and find hope for their future. The Rock Solid Bible for Teens is a timely guide for teens grappling with big questions about the world, their future, and their faith.  Featuring the complete New International Version text, apologetics helps, hundreds of call-outs, and concrete promises for the future, the Rock Solid Bible provides firm traction for the development of beliefs and behavior rooted in the unchanging love, guidance, and promises of God.

Product Details:
List Price: $29.99

Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 1664 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; Special edition (August 21, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310723302
ISBN-13: 978-0310723301


Chapter will be placed up here soon.

Where Love Grows by Jerry Eicher First Chapter Peak

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Ginger Chen of Harvest House for sending me a review copy.***


Jerry Eicher’s bestselling Amish fiction (more than 210,000 in combined sales) includes The Adams County Trilogy, the Hannah’s Heart books, and the Little Valley Series. After a traditional Amish childhood, Jerry taught for two terms in Amish and Mennonite schools in Ohio and Illinois. Since then he’s been involved in church renewal, preaching, and teaching Bible studies. Jerry lives with his wife, Tina, and their four children in Virginia.

Visit the author's website.


In Jerry Eicher’s conclusion to his popular Fields of Home trilogy, readers will be delighted to attend the wedding of Teresa, the young Englisha girl who has come home with Susan Hostetler to learn the ways of the Amish---and in fact to become Amish herself.

Product Details:
List Price: $12.99

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736939458
ISBN-13: 978-0736939454


Susan Hostetler made her way to the barn to hitch the horse for the drive to the small farmstead where James and Teresa would live after their wedding next week. Susan smiled as she thought of Deacon Ray’s struggle to get used to the idea that his son James was marrying an Englisha girl. Nee, it had not been easy for him. Of course, Teresa was Amish now. In the months since she had arrived with Susan, Teresa had turned into a model of submission and humility. Deacon Ray shouldn’t complain even if Teresa’s baby, Samuel, had been born out of wedlock before she came to the community. Yah, in an unwed state, but wasn’t changing one’s life for the better a commendable thing to do? Of course it was.

And Teresa was now properly baptized. She knew how to cook, wash clothes, and sew with the best of the women. She even had her own quilt completed and stashed in the cedar chest upstairs awaiting the day she and James would marry. She would spread the quilt on their bed and be able to say with complete honesty that she had done much of the work. There had been help from Mamm, five of Susan’s eight sisters who lived nearby, and Susan herself. Between the work on the quilt, helping Teresa adapt to her new life, and now the plans for the upcoming wedding, the months had sped by.

Summer was waning, and it wouldn’t be long until snow would be covering the Amish farms spread among these rolling hills of southern Indiana. But now was not the time to think of snow. The rest of summer lay ahead, followed by fall, and perhaps a glorious display of Indian summer. How appropriate that would be for all of them. And Teresa deserved a wonderful stretch of gut weather, both before and following her wedding day. It would be fitting after the hard road she’d traveled after arriving in the Amish community.

Mamm hadn’t seemed worried back then by the attempt to match Yost Byler and Teresa. But Susan had been ready to panic before Yost finally decided, with Susan’s daett’s help, that marrying Teresa wasn’t a gut idea. Such a marriage would have been a disaster for Teresa and probably also for Yost. Yah, he needed a wife who had been born Amish to cook and clean for him. The gut news floating around the community was that Yost may have finally found an older widow as a potential frau.

Only a few days remained until Teresa’s wedding to James. It would take place here on the Hostetler home place, just like Daett had provided for all Susan’s sisters. How could things be more awesome than that?

Perhaps the icing on the cake was the love that was now beginning to stir afresh in Susan’s heart for her old flame, Thomas Stoll. Who could have imagined such a thing? Yah, she had loved Thomas since their school days, but that love came to a halt the day she caught Thomas kissing Eunice outside a hymn singing one Sunday night. Thomas had claimed he’d just had a “weak moment.”

After escaping into the Englisha world for a time, Susan was back now. And despite all the fuss, she and Thomas were getting together again. Of course, it hadn’t hurt that Teresa had encouraged her to restore the relationship after Thomas’s repeated apologies and continued attention. Mamm and Daett also gave their encouragement at every opportunity. But it was Teresa’s opinion that had carried the real weight. How strange that an Englisha girl should have such sway in her life. But that was how things had turned out. Teresa was now the friend closest to Susan’s heart.

Since Susan had returned from her flirtation with the Englisha world in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Thomas was the picture of repentance. Had he wanted to, he could be married to Eunice by now—or to just about any other young woman in the community. But Thomas hadn’t pursued anyone but Susan in the months since her return. The result was that Susan felt some trust returning in her heart for him. Perhaps someday soon her heart would be fully restored.

In the meantime, there was no need to rush into setting a wedding date, even with Thomas’s pleadings that they do. Yah, he loved Susan and wanted to marry her, but he also wanted to begin the work of taking over the farm from Susan’s daett. In fact, he wanted it very badly. Thomas had no background in farming since his daett was a cabinetmaker, but he was anxious to learn.

Mamm and Daett were older now and tired. They both yearned for the comfort of the dawdy haus, which would be built as soon as the matter between Thomas and Susan was settled by marriage. Until then, Daett had hired young Steve Mast to help with the farm. He’d started in the spring and was a hard worker—no doubt due to his being raised on an Amish farm over in Daviess County. During the days he worked Daett’s farm, Steve took his supper and lodging at Susan’s sister’s place. Ada and her husband, Reuben, lived just down the road a piece.

Steve was a rare find, Daett said. A real answer to their prayers. Not many Amish men were available for hiring out once they became of age at twenty-one. Either they were married, were planning to get married, or had work on their own family places.

Steve didn’t have work on his daett’s place, neither did he have a girlfriend or a prospect that anyone knew of. He was the second boy in a family of ten—six of them being boys. He wasn’t that handsome or forward about himself, a good quality for an Amish man.

Susan stopped just short of the barn and looked up at the swaying branches of the old oak where she’d once had a swing and had climbed to its highest limbs. She sighed to think she was too old for that now. But at least she was here. She was home, hopefully to stay.

It was here she had played in the front yard with her cousins and older sisters during many a summer. Here she had watched Daett harness the horses in the first light of dawn. Here she had watched him take the teams to the fields, where his tall form moved in and out of view all day. Here her heart had taken deep enough root that she was pulled back after her time in Asbury Park. Susan sighed again. Was this why she was giving in to Thomas? Was this why she was allowing him to bring her home on Sunday nights again? Was she accepting his attentions although still feeling a little uncertain about their future?

No, it was more than that. It was high time she made up her mind and settled down with a husband. Steve couldn’t work for Daett forever. And Daett was getting up in years. He and Mamm deserved to move into a dawdy haus and not work so hard. Was that how her love for Thomas would grow? Her desire to stay here in her childhood home, Thomas’s desire to farm, and Mamm and Daett’s desire to settle in a dawdy haus?

It was possible, Susan supposed. Hadn’t Mamm said love could grow anywhere? Anywhere it was allowed to, that is. Then Susan would allow it for everyone’s sake. If love came slowly for her, then so be it. She and Thomas would have a lifetime for her love to grow stronger. That it was beginning small and uncertain for her would be her secret.

As Susan reached to open the barn door, a man cleared his throat behind her. Susan jumped and whirled around.

“Umm…I have the horse ready,” Steve said. “He’s tied up in the first stall.”

Susan relaxed. “You didn’t have to do that, Steve. I would have done it.”

A hint of a smile crossed Steve’s face. “It was no trouble. Happy to do it.” He looked up at the clear sky. “It’s sure a beautiful morning.”

“Yah, it is,” Susan answered. “Well, thanks for getting Toby ready. I wasn’t expecting that. I know you’re busy with the usual chores Daett gives you.”

“Your daett is a gut man and a gut farmer.” Steve tugged the hat rim down over his eyes more. “He’s done a gut job keeping things up on the farm, even with his age.” With that, he turned to go.

Without thinking, Susan asked, “Do you have any secrets, Steve?”

He stopped and looked back over his shoulder. “Me? Secrets? I’m a pretty ordinary fellow. No secrets.”

“Really? I thought everyone had secrets.”

“Not me. I’m pretty much what you see. No secrets and no roots. I’m kind of like the dandelions in the field. I grow where Da Hah blows me.”

“So why don’t you have a girl?”

His eyes twinkled. “Maybe I haven’t found the perfect one yet.”

“Is that why you moved to a new community? To…”

“Scout the land?” He finished her sentence. “Perhaps. Do you have anyone in mind?”

“Nee,” Susan said. “And I don’t know why I even asked something like that. Maybe it’s that type of morning.”

He smiled. “I’m afraid you’ll have to look someplace other than myself for secrets. And no offense taken.”

“Thank you,” she said. “What do you think of Teresa and James?”

He raised his eyebrows. “They seem like a nice enough couple. Why do you ask?”

“Oh, no reason,” she said. “I suppose you heard about all the ruckus before they got together.”

Steve shrugged. “I don’t pay much attention to rumors. They look like they’re in love with each other. That should be gut enough for anyone.”

“I want nothing more from life,” she said, “than to settle down to a boring sameness, day after day, night after night, living in peace and love. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?”

“I don’t know about that,” he said. “I’m not much into boring. I’m surprised you are. I heard you’d been with the Englisha for a while. That’s not something a person does who’s looking for boring.”

“So now you’re paying attention to rumors?”

Steve laughed. “I didn’t really hear that much. People seem to think highly of you. And I’m sure your mamm and daett will be happy if you plan to stay. And Thomas, of course.”

“What do you think of him?”

“Thomas?” He paused for a moment. “You want me to comment on your boyfriend?”

“Yah, I’m asking you. Coming from another community, you might have an unbiased perspective.”

“What if I don’t like him? Can I continue working here?”

She laughed. “I’m not going to chase you off.”


“Come on now. Tell me the truth.”

Steve tilted his head sideways. “Thomas comes from a good family, as far as I can tell. Of course, I don’t know what secrets lie in his past. Maybe he ran off to the Englisha world for a while too. You know, something wild like that.” His eyes twinkled as he spoke the last line.

“So you think that’s a character flaw? You keep bringing it up.”

“Depends on why a person did it, I guess.”

“Let’s just say I had my reasons.”

“Fair enough,” he said.

They stood silent for a moment.

Susan finally said, “Well, I better get busy or Teresa will wonder what’s happened to me.”

“And I better get busy in the fields before your daett thinks I’ve gone lazy on him.” He turned and left.

Susan went into the barn thinking about the exchange. Steve hadn’t given away much about his past. Not that it was any of her business. But a person just couldn’t help wondering. Had some girl dumped him? He’d probably had his heart broken, and the wound was healing slowly and out of sight of the people who knew him.

She’d done much the same thing by moving to Asbury Park. True, it had been time spent among the Englisha. But Da Hah had brought good things out of the experience. That time of her life was nothing to be ashamed of.

Susan untied Toby and led him outside. Lifting the shafts of the buggy, she swung him underneath and fastened the tugs. Holding the bridle, Susan looked toward the house and waited. There was still no sign of Teresa.

Thoughts of last Sunday night buzzed through Susan’s head. Thomas hadn’t tried to kiss her yet. In a way she wished he would. It might hurry things along. But apparently Thomas wasn’t willing to rush things until she agreed to a wedding date. To his credit, he seemed to ignore the fact that Eunice still made eyes at him almost every Sunday night at the hymn singings. Mamm was right though. Susan needed to trust Thomas and believe he wouldn’t fall again just because Eunice batted her eyes at him. After all, Thomas claimed Eunice acted that way toward all the boys, which was partly true. To his credit, Thomas really didn’t want Eunice. He was choosing her—Susan. That was worth something, wasn’t it? Surely his persistence would arouse some of the old feelings she used to have for him.

And now here came Teresa, running across the yard, her face glowing with happiness. At least somebody had things figured out in this world.

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's Monday What Are You Reading?

It's Monday What Are You Reading?  is hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey.  It's a great way to share what you have recently read and what you hope to read next.  Head over and check it out , You never know you may just find your next favorite book.

Last Week on the Blog

Book Review of
When Hope Blossoms\
When Hope Blossoms by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Book Review of and contest info
With Every Letter (Wings of the Nightingale, #1)
With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin

Book Review of
Birthday Party Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #9)
Birthday Party Murder by Leslie Meier

Book Review and Contest info
Unending Devotion
Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund

This Week On the Blog

Where Love Grows (Fields Of Home #3)
Where Love Grows by Jerry Eicher

Mortal Fire (Secret of the Journal, #1)
Mortal Fire by C. F. Dunn

Remember by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley

Currently Reading

Boo Who
Boo Who by Rene Gutteridge

Fully Alive: Lighten Up and Live Again-A Journey that Will Change Your LIfe
Fully Alive By Ken Davis

Mortal Fire (Secret of the Journal, #1)
Mortal Fire by C. F. Dunn


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith  Read by Kate Burton

I, Michael Bennett
I, Michael Bennett by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge


Accidentally Amish
Accidentally Amish by Olivia Newport

Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun (Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery #1)
Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun by Lois Winston

Coming Up

Taming the Wind (Land of the Lone Star, #3)
Taming the Wind by Tracie Peterson

A Man of Honor
A Man of Honor by Loree Lough

Whispers in the Wind
Whispers in the Wind by Lauraine Snelling

What's on Your Reading Horizon?