Friday, March 24, 2017

Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the LitFuse Publications book blogger campaign. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 





ABOUT THE BOOK:

Her Secret (Avon Inspire, March 2017)
A suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker
After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she’ll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.
For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he’s misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.
Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Shelley Shepard Gray is the "New York Times" and "USA Today" bestselling author of the Seasons of Sugarcreek series, the Sisters of the Heart series, and the Families of Honor series. She lives with her family in southern Ohio, where she writes full time. Before her work in the inspirational market, Gray wrote several novels as Shelley Galloway. During this time her books appeared on the Waldenbooks bestseller list, and she won "RT Book Reviews'" prestigious Reviewers' Choice Award.


Dynamic Uno Here:  If you've been following my blog for any length of time you know that I love to read Amish fiction and that Shelley Shepard Gray is one of my favorite authors in that genre.  When the Litfuse Publicity Group posted Her Secret as an option for review, I hesitated because I wasn't sure how the suspense would play into the Amish culture.  As usual, my curiosity won out and I requested to review the book.  

The suspense did not disappoint and actually made the Amish characters more realistic because they were dealing with some heavy issues throughout the story.  

Seeing the Amish in this new perspective, made me realize that they are flesh and bone just as I am, and they have less than perfect lives as well. The suspense of someone stalking an Amish person led to a creepy factor for me.  I can only imagine the turmoil Hannah and her family went through to where they even felt they had to move to another state.  I hope no one ever really has to go through that horrible experience in their lives.

Overall, if you're looking for an Amish story with a twist of suspense, then you'll definitely want to start with this first book in The Amish of Hart County series.

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As an avid "quotation collector," I found many gems that spoke to me and tie in to my word of the year--perspective:

"Life was full of ups and downs....It was uneven and unexpected.  It was full of quiet moments..."
What a beautiful picture of the messiness of life.  There are many days that I feel the ups and downs, but it is the quiet moments that I get to think about the many blessings God has given me.

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"It made me not worry about things that don't matter."
How amazing is this quotation?  For someone to realize that you don't have to constantly worry about all of the stupid little things in life.  That in the larger scheme of things, they really don't matter.

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"Even in the midst of darkness, there is always something to be thankful for."
Amen.  While I struggle daily to remember this and have to constantly remind myself that I am blessed and that there are others who have it worse than I do, it was neat to see that even the characters in the book had to remind themselves as well.  It's a struggle we all deal with on a daily basis.

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"Faith is believing when you don't have proof.  Faith is understanding that you can't control everything and that is just as well."

Can you even think of a better word picture than this one?  As a control freak, I have to be constantly reminded that I am not in control.  That God is the one in charge and He can handle things MUCH better than I ever could.  It was refreshing to see that even the Amish have their moments where they have to be reminded to trust in God too.


I hope you enjoy reading Her Secret as much as I did.  Let me know what you think and Happy Reading!




Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Happy 2017!

It's hard to believe that another year has come and gone.  Time seems to go faster and faster every year and I feel like life is just passing me by because I'm choosing to stand still and watch rather than participate in the craziness all around me.  I think in this season of life God is giving me a new perspective and slowing down to observe is part of that process.


I'm sorry dear readers for not posting as often as I have in the past, but stopping a lot of my activities is what I needed to do in order to learn the lessons God was and is giving me.

The new year is when most people choose resolutions or a word to focus on for the year.  I've tried to do this in the past, but have usually slacked off a couple of weeks into January.  Sadly, I think most people do this as well.  While I do have goals that I'm setting for myself, I think that my word for the year will be:
 PERSPECTIVE.


In fact, I think it's rather fitting considering what God has taught me--to look at things from multiple perspectives before commenting and reacting.  I also think it's fitting because one of my favorite artists, M. C. Escher, would draw images that mess with people's perspectives to try and get them to look at things in a different light or way.

Throughout the year I will be posting on how I'm doing relating to my word, as well as my usual book reviews, favorite songs and groups, and life in general.  I hope you will continue to join me along this adventure!