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A Patchwork Christmas: Three Christmas Romances with Bonus Handcraft Patterns and Cookie Recipes

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  • Posted February 22, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by JoAnne Book provided by NetGalley for review Review

    Reviewed by JoAnne
    Book provided by NetGalley for review
    Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

    This was an anthology with three stories that all had themes of Christmas, quilts, and lost loves – as well as love found. Each took place in the late 1800′s with many references to prayers for God’s guidance for each heroine to make the right choice for themselves. There, the similarities ended, since each story told a much different tale and each author’s own voice came through in their story.

    Each story had well defined characters, plots and closure. At the back of each story there were craft patterns and recipes along with discussion questions to be either used for a book group or to just give more focus to the story just read. There was also a blurb about each of the authors. There was laughter and tears, happiness and sorrow, romances, angst, family and friends. As each story ended, I wished it could go on a little longer.

    Seams Like Love had a lot of Christian dialog as well as a lot of German sayings. It felt like an Amish storyline but the characters were actually Inspirationists and that similarity was actually written into the story. When Karla thought her life was over and that she would never find love enter an old school friend Frank. Although it took Karla a long time to realize Frank’s intentions since she kept putting roadblocks in his way it seemed she was the only one with doubts. Had nice closure but was a little too much on the Christian and German dialogue for me. The story reminded me of The Giver by Lois Lowry in that both books had the communities living in communes with others setting out their path in life.

    A Patchwork Love was actually my favorite since it was most real to me in its simplicity and Jane seemed to have the biggest heart. Watching Jane and her daughter Molly fit in with Peter and his mother Anna when they took shelter in their home was heartwarming in its sincerity. Each of them learned something from the others which added richness to their lives. The ending was unexpected but felt so right and was the closure I was hoping for.

    The Bridal Quilt was set in New York City so it didn’t have the small town feel of the other two stories. It also involved people of wealth so there was another difference. The storyline didn’t seem as believable to me especially since it was set in 1889 but it was easy to be drawn in. The love that Samuel and Ada felt for each other was tested to the limits and didn’t have much support from family and friends but luckily they were strong enough to see their feelings through on their own. This story was the only one that had an epilogue which tied up the loose ends better than I could have hoped and let me see how Ada’s life turned out without projecting but from the author’s point of view.

    I did like all three stories and I have not read books by any of these authors before. I do look forward to reading others by each of them.

    Favorite Quotes:  
    Seams Like Love by Judith Miller
    …”Are you telling me that Oskar fell in love with someone else during your year of separation, and that he’s already married to her?”

    A Patchwork Love by Stephanie Grace Whitson
    …”I only tell you because-” She lowered her voice. “The child must not be frightened if she sees. He is a good man. Only hiding inside. Like in folktale. What is seen hides truth. You understand, ja?” Jane nodded…

    The Bridal Quilt by Nancy Moser
    No place for Ada.
    Looking around the room-even though he’d grown fond of this place and enjoyed using his allowance to provide for some of its needs-he had a hard time imagining Ada here. How could he ask a princess to visit a slum?

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  • Posted December 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Sometimes it can be hard to find the time to read a really great

    Sometimes it can be hard to find the time to read a really great Christmas story because so often we are too busy that reading a large novel be difficult. In A Patchwork Christmas by Judith Miller, Nancy Moser, and Stephanie Grace Whitson, the reader will be delighted to find three beautifully written short stories that give the reader the impression of reading a full length novel. Each is different and based in the historical late 1800's. This book is perfect for those of you wanting a taste of truly something amazing and are limited on time to complete a full length novel. Each of these three Christmas romances offer the reader something beautiful to keep the warmth of finding true love at the forefront of the holiday.

    Seems Like Love by Judith Miller takes us back to Amana, Iowa to a small Amish town where we find Karla Stuke is working with her family running the town's hotel. Little did she expect to find her childhood friend, Frank Lehner to show up as a guest while working as an apothecary in training before moving to his own shoppe. Karla has found that hiding away working at the hotel keeps her from finding true love, since her own opinion of herself is quite low, considering her finace' left her for another woman. Thinking it's all based on her looks, she doesn't think that every a spark with her old friend can be ignited into anything more, but could Karla be wrong? This one is truly a fun and hopeful romance to enjoy.

    A Patchwork Love by Stephanie Grace Whitson takes us back in time to find love between a war-veteran Peter Gruber who becomes a savior and hero at some point when a train finds itself stuck in the snow. Peter and his mother offer a warm food until the train can continue and he finds a young girl, Molly is ill. Since his mother is familiar with healing they offer Molly and her mom, Jane shelter until the train can move again. Jane has also injured herself in a fall and between them both, need more than just physical healing. Like Karla from the first story, Peter feels that since he has been disfigured from his service in the war that his hopes of every finding love is lost forever. Will Jane seem something more in Peter that just his external scars?

    Finally in The Bridal Quilt by Nancy Moser, you find the classic love story of two people, Ada and Samuel that should be together but everything in their lives is keeping them apart. While they are dating, they are not yet engaged , and every single opportunity that presents itself, seems to turn out quite differently than what either of them was planning. In one case, she was hoping he was coming to ask her to marry him and finds out he only wants her help with finding gifts for the orphans instead. Even though his family wants Samuel to give up his charity efforts, Ada is all too willing to marry him, but it soon seems Samuel may never be ready to propose until another man appears in Ada's life. Will Samuel soon realize that the gift he's been searching for he been in front of him the whole time?

    I received A Patchwork Christmas by these lovely, talent authors compliments of Barbour Publishers and Net Galley for my honest opinion. In each of these stories there is a profound message of hope and acceptance to be found, no matter what the circumstances may be. Included in all of them are discussion questions and wonderful recipes that would be an added bonus to any book club. There are also some quilting patterns for Christmas Ornaments as well for those looking for something a bit more than just a Christmas romance book!!! I rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars and think this is the perfect book for those looking for great short stories with a Christmas theme.

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  • Posted October 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    An Easy Read

    Karla figures she will never marry after her fiancé breaks up with her but then her childhood friend returns and shows and interest in being more then friends. Can Karla over cover her pain to find a happy ever after?

    Jane is a widow and she is out of money and hoping a man she boards a train to visit with her daughter will be an answer to her problems but a snowstorm strands her with a man who may steal her heart instead.

    Ada is hoping to marry her beau but he suddenly changes his mind and disappears. A year later she is involved in an accident that he is injured in. Can they find their way back to each other?

    This book has three short stories. They are not connected in any way other then being around the Christmas season.

    What I liked: The first and third stories where my favorite and the first one about Karla was the one I liked the best. All three stories where well written.

    What I did not like: Was not a big fan of the story with Jane. I just felt it seemed way to much happened in a very short period of time. Also parts of the story about Ada felt kind of unbelievable as well.

    Over all this was a enjoyable short story collection and if you like historical fiction you will like these stories. It’s a easy read but each story has enough depth to keep it interesting.

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  • Posted August 24, 2012

    4 STARS This three complete stories that draw your emotions. One

    4 STARS This three complete stories that draw your emotions. One thing I
    like are at the end of the novels have reciepes,patterns and bookclub
    questions. Those extras are a nice bonus to the books. Seams Like Love
    by Judith Miller is about a religion I have never heard about called
    Inspirationists. Karla Stuke was working at her family business the
    hotel in Iowa when a new quest comes into register. It's Frank Lehner a
    old child friend of hers. He has been away to become a pharmacist. Frank
    is glad to be at home in the colonies again. Frank asks how her and her
    husband are? He had heard she was engaged but not that her fiance broke
    the engagement and married someone else. Karla has a hard time trusting
    men. Frank is glad that she is still single and asks her out that night
    to the ice skating like they used to. A Patchwork Love by Stephanie
    Grace Whitson Jame McClure is a widow with a young girl traveling by
    train to see a prosperous businessman to marry. She wants to give her
    daughter a future. She has sold her house and things to pay her husband
    debts that he left. She used the last of her money to pay for the ride
    to the train station because her 10 year old daughter Molly was not
    feeling to well. On the way into the station she fell on the ice and
    hurt her knee. As the train ride goes her daughter starts coughing. A
    porter gives a lot of kindness to her. He knows she can't afford to buy
    anything. He gets a blanket for her daughter. When a man decided he did
    not want the tea he had ordered brought it to her. When she was only one
    left in car he moved her up to a better car so her daughter would be
    more comfortable. Then the train got snuck in the snow. A man Peter
    Gruber saw the train stuck. So Peter and his mother brought hot food to
    help. When she saw Molly not feeling well said they must come home with
    them and when the whistle blew Peter would bring her back. Molly got
    worse but Mrs. Gruber has had some knowledge of healing and takes care
    of her and they stay awhile so Molly can heal and Jane's knee can too.
    Peter has so many scars on one side of his face and neck. He hides away
    from them as much as possible. He got wounded in the civil war saving
    others. His fiance left him because of how he looks now. Molly calls him
    a good monster and makes him feel better of himself they both do. The
    Bridal Quilt by Nancy Moser New York city 1889 Samuel is going out with
    his friends instead of staying with his girlfriend. Ada wants him to
    spend the time with him and hopes he will ask her to marry him soon.
    Samuel goes with his friends want to leave thier high society roots and
    go into the slums. He feels so out of place with his friends. He hears a
    little girl scream and cry he rushes to see if he can help sees her
    getting beat up and steps in. His friends tell him to come. Samuel
    brings the little girl with him. His grandfather is apalled that he
    brought her to his home. She only speaks german and plans to find her
    parents next day. He tells Ada because he breaks his date. Her
    grandmother speaks german. The little girl is a orphan and she was
    getting beaten because she would not rob anyone. She stays at a
    orphange. Samuel spends the next few weeks spending all his time and
    money to help out the home once he sees the need. Ada is stuck in her
    house because of quaratine. When Samuel's grandfather realizes where he
    is spending his time and money they have a big fight and he looses his
    inhertance, bank job and home. Samuel goes to Ada and breaks up with her
    because of his choices that she would not fit in thier. A year later her
    mother is hoping that Ada will be engaged this Christmas season. Ada and
    her brother end up in the bad part of town Samuel lives and Ada gets out
    and a little boy is going to get run over and a man rushes out and saves
    him but gets hurt. Ada's brother who is studying to be a doc. goes to
    help and Ada tells him to put him in the carrage and its Samuel. She is
    happy to see him but he does not wake up. Her mother is furious that
    Samuel is in her house. When she wants her daughter to marry Owen now.
    These are good Christmas romances and just wish they were longer. Anyone
    can read them they don't preach but thier not afraid to say prayers or
    read scriptures and do good. I was given this ebook to read in exchange
    of honest review from Netgalley. 09/01/2012 PUB Barbour Publishing, Inc

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