Celebrate Second Christmas, a treasured, lighthearted time of community, with four Amish romances.
“When Christmas Comes Again” by Beth Wiseman
Katherine knows the first Christmas without Elias will be hard for her and the children. But when a mysterious Englischer appears with photographs of her late husband, Katherine begins to wonder what other blessings Christmas could have in store.
“Her Christmas Pen Pal” by Ruth Reid
Joy was expecting a wedding proposal from Henry; what she got instead was news of another woman. But when her heartfelt letter to a cousin ends up in the hands of a young cabinetmaker, an unexpected correspondence between two strangers gets interesting fast.
“A Gift for Anne Marie” by Kathleen Fuller
Anne Marie and Nathaniel have been best friends since they were kids. Now things are evolving . . . in ways everyone else predicted long ago. But when her mother suddenly decides to remarry in another state, Anne Marie’s new chapter with Nathaniel looks doomed to end before it begins.
“The Christmas Aprons” by Tricia Goyer
Vanilla crumb pie has been Esther’s mem’s calling card for decades. But when Esther finally gets her hands on the secret recipe, she discovers that vanilla crumb pie is more than just dessert . . . it’s bachelor bait.
"Characters in each story are sweet, kind and caring. . . . Each author brings a separate writing style, creating a cozy holiday collection." —RT Book Reviews, 4 stars
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Beth Wiseman is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Daughters of the Promise, Land of Canaan, and Amish Secrets series, as well as novellas that have been included in many bestselling collections such as An Amish Year and An Amish Garden. Visit her online at BethWiseman.com; Facebook: AuthorBethWiseman; Twitter: @BethWiseman; Instagram: @bethwisemanauthor.
With over a million copies sold, Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including the Hearts of Middlefield novels, the Middlefield Family novels, the Amish of Birch Creek series, and the Amish Letters series as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at KathleenFuller.com; Instagram: kfstoryteller; Facebook: WriterKathleenFuller; Twitter: @TheKatJam.
Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA bestselling author of the Heaven on Earth, the Amish Wonders, and the Amish Mercies series. She’s a full-time pharmacist who lives in Florida with her husband and three children. When attending Ferris State University School of Pharmacy in Big Rapids, Michigan, she lived on the outskirts of an Amish community and had several occasions to visit the Amish farms. Her interest grew into love as she saw the beauty in living a simple life. Visit Ruth online at RuthReid.com; Facebook: Author-Ruth-Reid; Twitter: @AuthorRuthReid.
USA TODAY bestselling author Tricia Goyer is the author of more than 40 books, including the novelization for Moms’ Night Out. She has written over 500 articles for national publications and blogs for high traffic sites like TheBetterMom.com and MomLifeToday.com. Tricia and her husband, John, live in Little Rock, Arkansas, where Tricia coordinates a Teen MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. They have six children. Visit Tricia online at triciagoyer.com; Facebook: authortriciagoyer; Instagram: triciagoyer; Twitter: @triciagoyer.
Read an Excerpt
An Amish Second Christmas
By Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia Goyer
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2014 Elizabeth Wiseman Mackey, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia Goyer, Ruth Reid
All rights reserved.
Katherine Zook fell into step with two Englisch women who were crossing the parking lot toward the Bird-in-Hand market. Normally, she would avoid the chatty tourists, but the tall man with the shoulder-length, salt-and-pepper hair and a limp was following her again.
"It's a lovely day, isn't it?" The middle-aged woman walking next to Katherine was a little thing with short, red hair and wore a blue T-shirt with Paradise, Pennsylvania on the front. Her friend had on the same T-shirt, but it was red.
"Ya, it is." Katherine glanced at the dark clouds overhead. There wasn't anything lovely about the weather. Frigid temperatures and the snow had just begun to fall again. She picked up the pace and hoped the women would speed up too. She looked over her shoulder, glad they were gaining some distance on the stranger. She'd first seen him a week ago, loitering outside the Gordonville Bookstore, and she hadn't thought much about it. Then when she saw him at Kauffman's Fruit Farm and Market, she'd thought it was a coincidence. She'd also spotted him outside Paradiso's when she'd stopped to pick up a pizza as a treat for the children. But this was becoming more than a fluke.
Katherine could feel the women staring at her, but she kept her eyes straight ahead and hoped they weren't about to ask a string of questions. Do you have a telephone? Can I take your picture? Is this where you do your shopping? How many children do you have? Are your people Christians? And Katherine's personal favorite: Do you know where I can get an Amish pen pal?
It wasn't that she held ill will against the curious Englisch tourists, but she often wondered what their reactions would be if the situation were reversed. They'd most likely run from her or summon the police.
"Ma'am, can I ask you a quick question?" The redhead spoke loudly, as if Katherine might be hard of hearing, making it impossible to ignore her. She looked over her shoulder again, but she didn't see the man anymore. She stopped a few feet from the entrance when the two women did. "Ya. What can I help you with?"
"I-I was wondering ..." The woman blushed as her eyes darted back and forth between Katherine and the other lady. "My friend and I were wondering ..." She pulled her large, black purse up on her shoulder. "We—well ..."
Katherine waited. She was anxious to get in and out of the market, then back on the road. She'd left her two youngest kinner home alone. Linda was old enough to babysit five-year-old Gideon, but he could be a handful even for Katherine. She pulled her black coat snug, looking forward to a brief reprieve from the weather once she got inside the market.
"Do Amish women shave their legs?" the woman finally asked. Luckily, she hadn't spoken as loudly as before.
This is a first. Katherine closed her gaping mouth and tried to find the words for a response. Before she could, the other Englischer spoke up.
"And ... you know ..." The woman was a bit taller than her friend with short, gray hair that was slightly spiked on the top of her head. She raised one of her arms and with her other hand she pointed under her arm. "Do you shave here too?"
The first woman touched Katherine lightly on the arm. "We can't find the answer to that question online, and it's been an ongoing argument during our book-club gatherings." She stood taller and smiled. "We only read Amish books."
Does that fact make it okay to ask such questions? Katherine considered telling the women that they were very rude, but changed her mind. She folded her hands in front of her and glanced back and forth between the ladies.
"Only when I've planned for my husband and me to be alone. But he died six months ago, so ..." Katherine smiled and shrugged. That will give you something to tell your book club. Both of the women's eyes went round as saucers. "Have a wunderbaar day," Katherine added before she walked into the market. She looked back once to make sure neither of them had fainted. She didn't know any Amish folks who used the word wunderbaar, but the Englisch seemed to think they did, so she was happy to throw it in for good measure.
She held her laughter until she was inside the store. On most days, it was a challenge just to get out of bed in the morning, much less to find humor in anything. But as she made her way to the back of the market, she thought about Elias. Her husband would have gotten a chuckle out of Katherine's response. I miss you, Elias.
She dropped off some quilted potholders for Diana to display in her booth. Katherine tried to make several per week for her Englisch friend to sell. The market in Bird-In-Hand catered to tourists mostly, and Diana had a permanent booth. Katherine and a few other local Amish women provided Diana with items to sell. And occasionally, when Katherine had time, she and Diana would sneak away and grab lunch and then split a dessert. They both suffered from an insatiable sweet tooth. But those times were getting more infrequent since she bore the entire responsibility of caring for the family.
Making small craft items used to be more of a hobby for Katherine, but now that money was tight, Linda and Mary Carol had been putting in extra hours sewing, knitting, and crocheting. Katherine hadn't told the children that they might have to sell their house, or at least part of the fifty acres that surrounded their home. That would be a last resort because the land had been in her family for three generations. She grabbed the last thing on her list, and as she made her way to the checkout line, she caught sight of an Englisch couple walking hand in hand. She missed having someone to bounce the important decisions off of. Her oldest, Stephen, was sixteen and trying hard to assume the role of head of the household, even though it should have been a time for him to be enjoying his rumschpringe.
As she made her way toward the exit, she saw the two women from the parking lot. The ladies actually bumped into each other as they scurried to avoid Katherine, but Katherine smiled and gave a little wave before she walked out the door.
She stuffed her gloved hands into the pockets of her coat. The snow was beginning to accumulate, and the wind was biting. It was colder than usual for December. Somehow, Katherine and her children had managed to get through Thanksgiving, but this first Christmas without Elias was going to be hard.
When she felt the tears starting to build in her eyes, she forced herself to think about the two Englisch women, and it brought a smile to her face. She was going to bottle that memory and pull it out when she felt sad, which was most days.
As she hurried toward her buggy, she tipped the rim of her black bonnet to shield her face from the snow, but every few seconds, she scanned the parking lot for signs of the tall man with the gray hair. Katherine didn't see him.
She stowed her purse on the seat beside her and waited for two cars to pass before she clicked her tongue and pulled back on the reins. She said a silent prayer of thanks when the snow started to let up. John Wayne was an older horse, and like so many others that pulled buggies in Lancaster County, he hadn't fared well at the racetrack. And as a result, he was no longer any use to his owner. Elias had paid a fair price at auction, and John Wayne had been a good horse for a lot of years, but these days the winters took a toll on the animal.
Katherine could still remember when, years ago, she and Elias let Mary Carol name the animal. They'd assumed their oldest daughter must have heard the name on television—maybe at an Englisch friend's house. Katherine and Elias had limited visits to the Englisch homes when their kinner were young since the Ordnung encouraged their people to stay as separate as possible from outsiders. But in Lancaster County, it was impossible to avoid the Englisch completely. Their district relied on the Englisch tourists to supplement their income. With each new generation, there was less land available for farming. More and more, Amish men and women were working outside their homes. The women in their district enjoyed having a little extra money of their own. "Mad money" was what the Englisch called it. Katherine had no idea why. But then, the Englisch seemed to get mad about lots of things.
It was several years before Katherine found out that John Wayne was the name of some kind of gunslinger. But by then, it was too late to change it. The name had stuck.
She picked up speed to get ahead of another car in the parking lot, and she was almost to the highway when she caught sight of the strange man again. He was standing beside a blue car, staring at her. A shiver ran up her spine. As she passed by him, she allowed herself a good, long look, tempted to stop and ask him why he was following her. But that wasn't always safe with the Englisch. Katherine was wise enough to know that there were good and bad people everywhere—even in her small Amish district—but the bad seemed to settle in around the Englisch. It was just simple math. There were more of them.
When Katherine locked eyes with the stranger, he hurried into the blue car. Would he follow her? She didn't know who he was, but something about him was familiar.
She turned around several times during her trip home, double-checking that he wasn't behind her. Thirty minutes later, she pulled into her driveway. She got John Wayne settled in the barn before she hurried into the house. She called out to Linda as soon as she walked into the living room. After she hung her bonnet and coat on the rack by the door, she pulled off her gloves.
"Linda! Gideon!" She edged toward the stairs and was relieved when Linda answered. "Up here, Mamm."
"Is everything okay?" she asked from the landing.
Katherine sighed as she started up the stairs. Out of her four children, Linda was what her friend Diana described as dramatic. Since no one was crying, she assumed no one had gotten hurt, always a good thing. "I'm on my way up."
"You're not going to be happy!"
Katherine picked up the pace. I'm already not happy. What now? She opened the door to Linda's bedroom, and when no one was there, she moved down the hall to Gideon's room.
Linda threw her hands up in the air and grunted. "I don't know what you're going to do with him." Linda stormed past Katherine before she could ask her why she hadn't kept a closer eye on the five-year-old, but right now, she needed to have a talk with her youngest.
She sat down across from Gideon's bed where the boy was playing with his shoelaces. Stephen disliked having to share a room with little Gideon. He would definitely not approve of these new drawings on the walls. Their home was plain. Everywhere except this room. Stephen had begged for a few luxuries when his rumschpringe began, and Katherine had given in since he seemed to be taking his father's death the hardest. Posters of hot rods and musicians on the wall, a battery-operated radio by the bed, a pair of earbuds on the nightstand, and a magazine with a fancy automobile on the front. Katherine didn't like all these things being in the same room with Gideon, but she was choosing her battles these days.
"Gideon, we've talked about this. You cannot draw on the walls." Katherine rubbed her forehead as she eyed her son's artwork and recalled how she'd just repainted this room a month ago. Diana had told her that drawing pictures on the walls was Gideon's way of expressing his grief. Katherine hadn't been sure about that, but today's imagery proved Diana was right. However, this was not a time for scolding. "What made you draw this, Gideon? We talked about where Daed went, remember?"
Her son hung his head for a few moments before he looked up at her with his big, brown eyes. He brushed his blond bangs out of the way. His hair needed a trim but it would have to wait. Maybe Stephen could do it.
Gideon started talking to her in Deitsch, but Katherine interrupted him. "Nee, when you're at home, talk to me in Englisch." It was Gideon's first year of school, so he'd just started learning Englisch as a second language. "It's gut practice for you."
"Daed is in a box in the dirt. I saw him put there." Her son pointed to his large drawing on the wall. An outsider might not have recognized it as a coffin in the middle of a bunch of stick people, but Katherine did.
"Nee." She leaned forward until she was close enough to gently grasp Gideon's chin, lifting his eyes to hers. "Daed is in heaven with God and Jesus and your mammi and daadi." Why was Gideon so fixated on thinking his daed was in the ground? From an early age, all of her kinner had been schooled about the Lord and taught the ways of the Ordnung. "Only Daed's body was buried. Daed's soul went to heaven."
For the hundredth time, Katherine tried to explain this to her son, frustrated that the other children had accepted this as truth by the time they were Gideon's age. But maybe it had been easier for the others because they didn't have to apply it to the death of their own father.
Katherine stood up and got to the bedroom door just as Linda blew into the room carrying a box wrapped in silver paper with a purple bow. Her face was red and her teeth chattered.
"You don't have to yell." She touched her daughter's icy cheek. "Were you outside?" She nodded to the box. "And what's that?"
"I saw a man in the driveway. By the time I got outside, he was in his car driving away."
Katherine rushed to the window in time to see a blue car going down the road. She rested a hand on her chest.
Linda joined her at the window. "This was on the rocking chair on the front porch." She handed the box to Katherine and smiled. "It has your name written on it." Her daughter bounced up on her toes. "Your first Christmas present!"CHAPTER 2
Mary Carol didn't think she'd ever get tired of kissing Abraham Fisher. She just wished that she didn't feel so guilty about it. Everyone in her house—except maybe Linda—was still mourning the loss of their father. Mary Carol heard her mother crying softly in her room sometimes. Stephen wouldn't say much to anyone. And Gideon had taken to drawing all over the walls, something he'd never done before. Mary Carol missed her father so much it hurt, but she was trying to give herself permission to find happiness again. And she was doing that with Abe. She'd known him all her life, but they'd only been dating for a few months. He'd just recently gotten baptized, something she hoped was the first step in what would lead to a marriage proposal.
Abe kissed her again, then pulled away. "I can tell you're distracted."
"What?" Mary Carol twisted the tie of her kapp between her fingers and tried to still her chattering teeth. Now that she was in her rumschpringe, they were spending more time together, but this was the first time they'd come to the abandoned farmhouse off Black Horse Road. Mary Carol was afraid the structure might collapse on them, but it was much too cold to sit in the buggy. The battery-operated heater in Abe's buggy had quit working earlier in the day.
Abe reached for her hand and squeezed. "You're feeling bad about being happy."
She'd done her best not to let it show. "Sorry."
"It's okay. I can just tell when your mind goes somewhere else." Abe blew a cold fog as he spoke.
Mary Carol snuggled up against him on the couch. The blue-and-red-checkered fabric was faded, and the cushions sagged in the middle. The house had been vacant for years, but from the looks of things, they hadn't been the only ones seeking privacy and a little relief from the weather.
"I wonder who else is coming here." She pointed to an empty Coke can on a TV tray next to an old tan recliner.
Abe got up and walked to the chair. "Maybe this has been here for a long time." He lifted the can and smelled it. Mary Carol giggled.
"Do you think smelling it will tell you how old it is?" She stood up and walked toward him.
"Ya, maybe, smarty-pants." He grinned as he tossed the empty can back and forth, his teeth chattering like hers. "Let's look around."
"Not upstairs," she said quickly. "I'm already worried the second floor is going to fall in on us, or we're going to step on a loose board down here."
"Nah." Abe pushed back the rim of his straw hat. "These old farmhouses were built sturdy, probably by gut Amish folks."
Mary Carol hugged herself to keep warm as she followed Abe into the kitchen. "Nee, Mr. Porter lived here until he died, and he wasn't Amish."
Excerpted from An Amish Second Christmas by Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia Goyer. Copyright © 2014 Elizabeth Wiseman Mackey, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia Goyer, Ruth Reid. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsWhen Christmas Comes Again by Beth Wiseman, 1,
Her Christmas Pen Pal by Ruth Reid, 95,
A Gift for Anne Marie by Kathleen Fuller, 231,
The Christmas Aprons by Tricia Goyer, 323,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I will keep this review simple by saying I love this book.
Wonderful read at christmastime!
This is a wonderful collection of holiday-themed stories that Amish fiction fans will love! I enjoyed each story and the characters in them. "When Christmas Comes Again" had a bit of a mystery and I loved the healing that the family went through as they showed compassion instead of holding on to past grudges. "Her Christmas Pen Pal" was a fun twist on You've Got Mail, and the romance was great! "A Gift for Anne Marie" is sweet story of friends who become more when they realize they will be separated. There are other conflicts besides the move, including a friend of Anne Marie's who decides to pursue Nathaniel. The friendship they share is lovely, but when new feelings begin to develop confusion and hesitation enters in and disrupts the harmony they had enjoyed. I love when friends fall in love since they have a great foundation and know each other so well. It was funny to see just how well Nathaniel knew Anne Marie and her moods. "The Christmas Aprons" shows how important community is and reaching out to make friends and share our talents. The romance in this one was especially lovely since Ammon helps Esther see that she is desirable and worthy of romantic love. (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
Amish Second Christmas is a collection of four Christmas Amish romances. It has been a while since the last time I read an Amish book. As always, the stories are sweet, light and at times funny. Reading this kind of book makes me want to visit one of their communities and experience the simplicity of their life. Out of all the four stories, WHEN CHRISTMAS COMES AGAIN is my favorite. The story was like an ordinary one but the appearance of the Englischer (non-Amish person) made it an extraordinary story. The twist made my heart ache for Elias, Katherine's husband I never "met" (died in an accident). I am giving the story five stars.
4 touching Christmas stories by 4 great authors -- Each one of these stories was touching in their own way. Beth's story brought tears to my eyes, Ruth's had me chuckling, Kathleen's was stirring and Tricia's was heart warming. These were some wonderful Christmas stories from four amazing authors. You will not be disappointed if you choose to read this book.
"An Amish Second Christmas" is a collection of four stories from well-known authors of Amish fiction: Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid, Kathleen Fuller, and Tricia Goyer. If you enjoy reading Amish fiction and/or enjoy reading stories by any of these authors, then you likely won't be disappointed by this collection. Overall, I can't say that any of the stories blew me away as being particularly fantastic or engaging, but each one is well-written, allows you to easily connect with the characters and the story, and doesn't necessarily get to the end in a linear fashion. Admittedly, I started one of the stories and read it straight through in about an hour, so these are good reads for someone who doesn't have a lot of time. If you would like to start or expand your collection of Amish fiction, this collection is definitely a good addition. Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson.
When Christmas Comes Again by Beth Wiseman - Understanding that the author's intentions for this novella were to show the blessings of family, this story is wonderful. It also does a wonderful job of showing that everyone grieves differently. Each member in Katherine's family is struggling with the loss of their loved one, but God's grace and love flow over them in the form of the "mysterious Englischer" that shows up in their lives. Her Christmas Pen Pal by Ruth Reid - What a beautiful story! I absolutely LOVED the letters between Joy and her pen pal. That element added a special touch to the overall story. It also helped develop the relationship between Joy and Noah, before either character realized it.The message of the story, in my opinion, was about learning to trust the Lord with our future. Both characters had to learn to trust the Lord to overcome their fears. A Gift for Anne Marie by Kathleen Fuller - I love this kind of story (I won't say what kind it is because it might be considered a spoiler!). The relationship between Nathaniel and Anne Marie evolves and changes in ways neither one of them understand, so it was fun to watch them trying to figure it out. The message of the story is learning to trust in God's plan for your life, even when you don't think things are going the way they should. God knows what He's doing, and learning to "let go" and "let God" is sometimes hard. The Christmas Aprons by Tricia Goyer - This was a fantastic story. The character development was well thought out and presented. The story line was sweet and swift moving. My favorite part, though, was the message. Esther has to learn to overcome her self-doubt, her fear of what others might think, in order to embrace the plans that God has for her. How many of us are doing the same thing?? Overall, this collection of Christmas novellas was sweet and the messages were well written and thought out. I thoroughly enjoyed them. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookLook blogging program in exchange for my honest review.*
In When Christmas Comes Again, Kathleen and her four children are having their first Christmas without a love one. Kathleen starts to see an English man around the town. She receives a package at the door. There some photos in the box. There more to this story and quite a few twist and turns. There seems to be a mystery about this man. The man seem to know what or how some of the feeling of the family. Do they need help or will Kathleen mislead the what going on with her children? In Her Christmas Pen Pal, Joy has to deal with her boyfriend who want to see other women. She starts to write a letter to her cousin. Though it happens it sent to the wrong person. The mystery man writes back to Joy. The Cabinet maker and Joy send letter back and forth with each other. There are twist and turns in this story and has a good mystery in the story as well. Do Noah and Joy get together? This grandmother starts talking to Joy about her grandson. Will Joy find out that the woman was talking about? In A Gift for Anne Marie, Anne Marie wondering about the changes that are coming. She finds out about her mothers letters. When she does she finds out that her mother is getting re-married and they are moving. Anne Marie does not like it at all. She start to feel the changes between her and Nathaniel. Nathaniel does not like the fact that Annie Marie may be moving. Is there anything either can do about it? In The Christmas Aprons, Easter Glick is a nanny for her cousin until her cousin can deal with her baby. While here Easter receives her mother recipe that every popular. She learns what she want to to be accepted for herself and not though the pies she bakes. Will she learn about Love?
This one is going to be hard for me… Because, honestly… I’m not sure I can really do justice to how truly amazing these authors are! WOW!… Just WOW! Beth Wiseman writes a very different kind of story in this book. Even reading the synopsis, I was not prepared. It was intriguing and interesting and a story worth reading. Kathleen Fuller has written a wonderful story about love and how it deals with boundaries. Tricia Goyer has told us another wonderful story of the Kootenai Amish. It’s always fun to read about those wily bachelors and the women they woo – even more so when there’s pie involved! Each story in this book is an amazing story and a wonderful look at how the Amish celebrate Christmas… or more specifically, Second Christmas. But I have to say that my absolute favorite has to be Her Christmas Pen Pal by Ruth Reid! I was in so much trouble with my daughter AND my mother because I WOULD NOT put the book down until I had finished reading! I laughed, I felt like crying, I gasped in shock and I cheered! I have read Ruth Reid’s writing before but I have to say that this is by far the best thing she has ever written! And I really… really really hope everyone loves it so much and she writes a whole series on it! Because I’m just DYING to know more about the characters! And that is the mark of a GREAT book in my opinion. I was actually sad when I turned the last page! Of course I had two more stories to read so it was a tiny bit of a consolation but I WANTED MORE OF THAT ONE! And now I’m chomping at the bit for Ruth’s next book to come out!
An Amish Second Christmas Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid, Kathleen Fuller & Tricia Goyer Book Summary:Celebrate Second Christmas, a treasured, lighthearted time of community, with four Amish romances. “When Christmas Comes Again” by Beth Wiseman Katherine knows the first Christmas without Elias will be hard for her and the children. But when a mysterious Englischer appears with photographs of her late husband, Katherine begins to wonder what other blessings Christmas could have in store. “Her Christmas Pen Pal” by Ruth Reid Joy was expecting a wedding proposal from Henry; what she got instead was news of another woman. But when her heartfelt letter to a cousin ends up in the hands of a young cabinetmaker, an unexpected correspondence between two strangers gets interesting fast. “A Gift for Anne Marie” by Kathleen Fuller Anne Marie and Nathaniel have been best friends since they were kids. Now things are evolving . . . in ways everyone else predicted long ago. But when her mother suddenly decides to remarry in another state, Anne Marie’s new chapter with Nathaniel looks doomed to end before it begins. “The Christmas Aprons” by Tricia Goyer Vanilla crumb pie has been Esther’s mem’s calling card for decades. But when Esther finally gets her hands on the secret recipe, she discovers that vanilla crumb pie is more than just dessert . . . it’s bachelor bait. Review: I loved the cover! It was such a striking contrast of white and red. I enjoyed the entire book. out of the 4 I found only one of the stories slow to get into. I liked the characters in each book. For the most part they were fast reads and enjoyable. It was enjoyable to visit each story for Christmas and the fun of the season was present. I think that I liked ‘When Christmas Comes Again’ the best it was a moving story of family and mending broken relationships. It was not romantic in the man to woman relationship but it was full of love in restoring broken people. ‘Her Christmas pen pal’ was fun and I found Joy & Noah to be perfectly suited for each other throughout. Sadly poor Henry was not even that sympathetic to Joy’s needs or loss. ‘A Gift for Anne Marie’ was a nice sweet story with a few bumps in the road. The sweetest part was her mother finding new love after loosing her husband earlier in life. I liked the honesty of Nathaniel when it came to his changing feelings. A perfect life changing situation of friends becoming husband and wife. ‘The Christmas Aprons’ was sweet. I found Esther & Ammon to be generous people. Although Esther was a bit of a wallflower she improved in this as the story progressed I would like to thank BookLook, Net Galley and Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
“An Amish Second Christmas” by Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid, Kathleen Fuller and Tricia Goyer is four short novellas centered around the Amish Second Christmas and love. Maybe not all have that romantic love, but love none the less for the family, friends and more. Each story stirs the emotions in a different way while reminding the reader that somethings are better when we let go of what we think we want and let God in control. I would have to say that this is a must read Amish Christmas book that is for sure. Enjoy the book as much as I did. “When Christmas Comes Again” by Beth Wiseman Oh here is a short story of about 90 pages that is not really a romance but a story with a message of ministering to strangers. Things are interesting during this time for the Zook family who is experiencing their first Christmas without Elias, husband and father. Then there is an 'Englischer' who appears with some interesting stories that is for sure. There is a lot of healing that takes place over the course of this story and at times there is some humor. Actually there was quite a bit of humor, or at least I thought so, even if it was a bit embarrassing. There was one scene that involves with sitting on a hat (and that is all I am going to say about that) that I found so funny I couldn't help but laugh out loud. Part of that is all that happened but also because it was the perfect scene that show that sometimes the Amish teens deal with the same thing as non-Amish teens do. As the story progresses, which is pretty quickly, the truth is revealed and understanding along with acceptance is accomplished. Truly this is a story that could have gone in so many different directions, and some not in the best of ways either. Instead love shown through even when uncertainty was there, and acceptance was given even when weariness was there, then in the end so much more was received by simply taking the chance. “Her Christmas Pen Pal” by Ruth Reid This is a story that I had to groan, and loudly I might add, at the end of the whole story for I got so into the story that when it ended, perfectly I might add, I was wanting more. This story might be an Amish version of “You Got Mail” but at the same time there is a lot more friendship without the fighting that goes along with the movie. Joy is a woman with a lot of things happening all at once and with a mix up with the post office (like that doesn't happen) just one more thing doesn't go as she planned. Oh as the story goes on it is figured out that everything happened was planned just not her own. I actually found the interactions between Joy and the cabinetmaker interesting not to mention at times pretty humorous, considering one knows who the other is while other is still in the dark. When the truth comes out though, I couldn't help but cry because that wasn't how it was suppose to be, and my heart broke for both the cabinetmaker and Joy. Then as I said I couldn't help but groan with the way it ended for as I said it ended perfectly but I would have loved an epilogue. “A Gift for Anne Marie” by Kathleen Fuller This is a wonderful little story about almost missing the best thing that is in front of you when you are not paying enough attention, and friendship can lead some of the best futures possible. This is a story of how things almost didn't happen because comfort was reached and no one seemed to want to move out of that comfort zone. Both Anne Marie and Nathaniel have been friends since little kids, but they are too blind to what so many other people see. It is so heartbreaking to see what these two friends go through when news reaches them that she is moving out of state. Really only one of two choices is going to happen for either she is staying or she is moving. It is their struggles to figure out what is happening that makes this story so heartbreaking at times. This is a good story to remind people to never get so comfortable that they can't see something so special that is right in front of them until it is too late. “The Christmas Aprons” by Tricia Goyer If this story is not part of her 'Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors' series then it could be for it takes place in West Kootenia, Montana where the series takes place. This short story is a story of learning to value oneself for who they are and maybe finding love along the way. Esther is a woman who loves to serve others while staying in the background, and this is what makes her shine so much. She has also taken to heart some advice her mother has passed down and makes sure she listens to that advice to the best of her ability. Things are not as simple as she thinks they are when she makes a family pie to help the local community and is not informed about some vital information about that event, but as things always do, everything works out as planned. Friendships develop and something more even begins to grow. I really wish this would have have been a full length novel for I so enjoy the 'Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors' but I will take what I can get when love is in the air.
This was a fun set of novellas to read, perfect for Amish fiction fans. These are sweet stories full of love, faith, and happy endings. They are quick reads, since the stories are novellas. However, each story was fully developed with interesting characters and plots. All four stories were good and it is hard to pick a favorite. There is light romance and a compelling, mysterious stranger in Beth Wiseman’s When Christmas Comes Again. This was a very unique and interesting story to start the collection. I really enjoyed Her Christmas Pen Pal by Ruth Reid. My heart ached for Joy as she tried to understand why her boyfriend was no longer interested in her. But God can use all things for good and that is definitely evident in this sweet story that is full of miscommunications and misunderstandings! Kathleen Fuller’s novella, A Gift for Anne Marie, is probably my favorite of the four. What a heartwarming story about two friends who could be more. I really liked both of these main characters. I admired the way Anne Marie tried her hardest to be happy for others, even when her own heart was breaking. The Christmas Aprons by Tricia Goyer rounds out this novella collection beautifully. Esther has a lot of growing to do in her understanding of love and community. Ammon is just the man to teach her. This is a sweet and uplifting story. All four novellas are able to stand alone. The stories are not connected together except for the fact that they all do involve the celebration of Second Christmas. This is a very nice collection. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
When Christmas Comes Again by Beth Wiseman Katherine Zook and her four children are facing their first Christmas without a loved one, and the future seems dim.But when a mysterious "Englisch" man begins to show up in the most unlikely of places, Katherine can t help but be suspicious . . . and a bit curious. MY Review of When Christmas Comes Again: This book speaks of second chances, forgiveness, and love. I was truly touched by Katherine Zook and her children and when the identity of the mysterious Englischer is revealed, hearts will be moved. I know a great deal about learning to forgive myself and others. It is not always easy to do, but it opens our hearts to freedom. This novella had me in tears, happy tears, but tears none-the-less. It is a special 5 star Christmas novella and one that I believe readers will find special. Her Christmas Pen Pal by Ruth Reid When Joy Stolzfus' boyfriend tells her he wants to court other women, she is shocked.She pours her heart out in a letter, but it mistakenly reaches Noah Esh. The two begin writing letters back and forth, but a misunderstanding threatens to topple the relationship they're building. My Review of Her Christmas Pen Pal: This novella is so cute. I am sure that many readers have mailed packages and accidentally put a wrong number of portion of an address and when Noah receives the package of cookies Joy accidentally sent to him, things get very interesting. I had several pen pals as a young teenage girl, and was always thrilled to receive a letter or package from my special friend. This novella brought fond memories of that time for me. Reading about all the delicious treats that Joy created made me hungry to do some Christmas baking too. Readers will smile and laugh along with the characters in this 5 star novella. A Gift for Anne Marie by Kathleen Fuller Anne Marie Smucker's life is pretty perfect. Until she discovers her widowed mother is getting married and they're all moving. On top of that, Anne Marie's relationship with her friend Nathaniel has changed, and she's more confused than ever about her feelings for him. My Review of A Gift for Anne Marie: Anne Marie is naturally shocked to learn that her widowed mother is going to remarry and plans to move the entire family far away. I have had to move many times in my life and the most difficult was when we moved our young family from Virginia to Texas for seminary. I cried many tears and so I could relate to Anne Marie and her siblings' concerns and fears for moving. Leaving friends and all that is familiar is difficult. Her biggest fear is what will happen to her relationship with her boyfriend, Nathaniel. Readers will thrill at seeing how issues are resolved in this 5 star Christmas novella. The Christmas Aprons by Tricia Goyer Esther Glick bakes a Christmas pie for a fundraiser, and she soon finds herself sitting across from bachelor Ammon Schwartz. Esther receives many orders for pies, but when she breaks her wrist, she discovers what community and love are all about. My Review of The Christmas Aprons: Esther Glick is an amazing baker and people always love her homemade creations. Ammon is no exception when he wins the bid for her Vanilla Crumb pie at the bachelor auction to raise money for the fire department. Esther has a problem though, she worries about what people think of her. She does not think she fits in anywhere. I struggle with many of these same thoughts and so I could relate to Esther but it is a miserable way to live. It makes life lonely and uncertain. Read this 5 star Christmas novella to see what takes place to bring healing for Esther. I received a print copy of this book from booklookbloggers in exchange for my honest review.