02 December 2011

Introducing: Reviews by Teresa Mathews - Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio by Serena B. Miller



5 Stars *****
Beautiful Amish Story With A Twist!
Review by Teresa Mathews

Serena weaves a beautiful story of Rachel Troyer, a policewoman and Joe Matthews, a mysterious drifter. Joe arrives in town with his young son Bobby after his van breaks down. Not having enough money for the repair since someone has stolen his wallet, he needs to find a job and a place to stay. Joe is led to a small Inn that is run by Rachel’s three elderly aunts, who happen to be Amish. Rachel has her suspicions that Joe is running from something, and she wants to find out what before her trusting aunts are possibly harmed.

 Rachel’s aunts feel God has led Joe and Bobby to them for a reason, so they offer Joe a job as handyman to help fix up the Inn. The longer Joe stays the more he begins to love the peaceful and quiet life of the Amish, going so far as to think he might make his stay permanent. Rachel slowly warms up to Joe, seeing what her aunts have seen in Joe all along. Although she still has some doubts, when she finally figures out about his past, she understands the reason behind his secretive ways.

 When someone finds out about Joe’s secret and betrays him, he knows he has to leave but before he does he severs ties with Rachel, thinking she is the betrayer. But in spite of that, she helps him leave town by giving him her car and some money. After much prayer he realizes he must face his past and go back and claim his future with Rachel and her Amish family. But there is someone who doesn’t want that to happen. When terrible things start to happen to the people he cares for, he knows his past has caught up him.

 This is a wonderful story that blends the lives of the Amish and “Englishers” and keeps you turning the pages in anticipation. I truly did not want to put it down. I have always loved a good Amish read and this one did not disappoint. Serena did a marvelous job, this is one is definitely a must-read for all.

Bio: Teresa Mathews is a Christian mom from South Carolina who loves to read Christian books. We are so pleased that she has decided to join us as a contributor on Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help after the new year.  Welcome, Teresa, from Diana and Carrie!!!

GIVEAWAY:  We are giving away two of Serena's books this week.  Reader's choice and format.  Leave a comment and your email address.  Thanks for stopping by!

34 comments:

  1. Welcome Teresa! Your review has certainly made me want to read this book. I'm a big suspense and Amish story fan so when you put the two together, I'm in!

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  2. Welcome Teresa! You did a good job on this review! Looking forward to read more of them in the new year!

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  3. I enjoy reading Amish books and this sounds like a really good book to read. Thank you for the opportunity!

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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  4. Welcome to our new contributor! We are sooo happy to have you on board, Teresa. A wonderful review, and don't you just love the cover on this book? Sounds like Serena has another winner here!

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  5. Romance between an Englischer and Amish always makes an interesting read due to the two vastly different cultures!
    Thanks for the giveaway.

    writer.chicka[at]gmail.com

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  6. Thank you for all the wonderful comments, Anne, I know you will love it, I did not want to put it down.

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  7. Marian, thank you, I was very nervous, as this was my first "official" review. :) But this was a wonderful book and it made it very easy for me.

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  8. Diana, thank you gf for having my back. You are such a blessing...while I was doing my review I kept looking back at several of your reviews hoping one day mine would be at least half as good as yours. :)

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  9. WELCOME TO OTT-WGH!!! Thanks for the review, Teresa!

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  10. I really enjoy these books, and since it's an Amish mystery, that makes it "triple" good.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
    wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

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  11. Oh, Teresa, thank you for that, but as I read Carrie's reviews, I realize I still have alot to learn! I have written some pretty puny ones that were totally lacking that's for sure! lol!

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  12. I love LFY and Amish books as well as mystery so I know I have to read Teresa's book. Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  13. Thank you Carrie..it's an honor to be on here with you and Diana. And Diana I have never read a puny review from you. :)

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  14. Great review! I love the cover, and it sounds like a really good read.

    jmhochstetler[at]msn[dot]com

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  16. Welcome, Jo, and sugarpeach! That sounds like something hubby would call me. Too cute!

    MissKallie, and wfnwrn, I'm with you! Love a good Amish mystery! You are all entered in the giveaway!

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  17. Looks like a great book! Thanks for giving copies away!
    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

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  18. Waving wildly at Joan, a wonderful colonial writer! She will be up on OTT-WGH sometime in 2012! Okay, Di and I need to butt out of T's territory now. Probably need to let Serena know about her comments, too!

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  19. I butted in, Carrie, b/c T's got a houseful of boys today. Poor woman is totally outnumbered.

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  21. I just butted in because I felt like it Diana! Hey did you hear that cool news about Serena and the company that makes the pancake mix she loves? That is so cool! And wouldn't that be nice if we could share some with our readers!

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  22. WOW! Joan thank you for the sweet comment, and for taking the time to stop by.

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  23. Marissa glad you came by, we have you entered.

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  24. Carrieeee, LOL! You crack me up! I love the pancake deal!! That is so cool and I know Katie Calloway would have loved it too...she had to make tons of pancakes from scratch!

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  25. I am gonna put up a from scratch recipe if they don't give me a bunch of those yummy pancake mixes, lol! I really do have one that works great but who would want to do that if these are so fabulous?

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  26. would love to read this novel...thanks for the chane :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  27. KarenK, thanks for coming by, we have you entered. :)

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  28. there's nothing like reading a good book!!!!
    keep up the good work my friend :)

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  29. Thank you Trudy. You are right about reading a good book. Serena's is one you can get lost in. :)

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  30. Hey Teresa!! You are my new bff, girl! What a wonderful review!

    Birthing a book is a whole lot like birthing a baby. You work on it for months and agonize over the process, and when its here you hope people will tell you it's pretty and will want to hold it. I've been told I really have to get over that, but I'm still new at this and haven't learned how yet:-)

    I thought you might enjoy knowing that Anna, the aunt who had Down Syndrome, was actually based very closely on a real person. When I was researching this book among the Old Order Amish, they started telling me about this beloved aunt of theirs, an aunt who had Down Syndrome, but whom everyone loved and who had enjoyed telling her little "boo!" joke over and over. When I asked permission to put her in my story, they were delighted.

    The Amish are just people--good and bad--but there are things about their culture that I admire enormously. One of those things is how they incorporate people with disabilities into their culture--encouraging them to work productively in any way they can and making them an everyday part of their lives. The other is the existence of "daadi hauses" which is their answer to nursing homes.

    I've been inside one "daadi haus." Small, peaceful, clean. The grandfather who lives there with his wife built it with his own two hands as a younger man. He told me that it had not seemed all that strange to move into it when the time came because he had built it for just that purpose. Right next door--slightly attached--is the larger home with a daughter, son-in-law, and a lot of grandchildren. The grandmother and father are as involved in canning and haying, etc. as they feel able. They are also very much a part of their grandchildren's life. But--they have their own living quarters. When you think about the cost of a nursing, I'm impressed with how the Amish have worked out a way to care for their elderly.

    Having seen and admired this solution, my husband and I are seriously thinking about building a "daadi haus" onto our home. I figure it could be used as a guest house until it was truly needed.

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  31. Serena I will be YOUR bff any day...When I was reading LFYI Sugarcreek, Ohio, I couldn't wait to get to the ending (the suspense was killing me) but then again I didn't want it to end it was so good. :) I have had several Downs Syndrome children to come into my life at different times, I love all children but they are the most loving and precious. They have the biggest hearts.

    I have always loved reading about the Amish, some of their beliefs are a lot different than the way I was raised but I so admire them for standing by what they believe. I know I would have a hard time living without electricity. :)
    Living in SC you get a little spoiled to A/C.

    Thank you Serena for all the hard work you put into your books, but something tells me, staying with the Amish and eating their yummy foods might not have been too much of a hardship. LOL!

    Can't wait to read THE MEASURE OF KATIE CALLOWAY, maybe santa will bring it for me. :)

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  32. I am back from the parade at Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg. Was wondering if you ladies did our second drawing. Am going to go look on FB! Serena would be a great BFF I am thinking and Teresa, too!

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  33. Hi BFF Teresa!

    Just one more thing I'd like to throw in. I have another Amish suspense coming out in April--AN UNCOMMON GRACE--it is also set in the Holmes County Ohio area, and involves the Swartzentrubers--the most conservative sect of all within the Amish community.The research was tough, but worth it.

    After that one, I'll be bringing out another Amish book that I'm presently writing. It will have a widowed, Old Order Amish midwife as the heroine.I just got back last week from staying with the real article-an Amish midwife who has helped birth over 500 babies. I was inspired beyond words by her dedication and her tremendous faith. Her bishop gave rare permission for us to attend their worship services--a profound experience that I will never forget.

    Before we left, the midwife's husband said, "Sometimes we Amish are criticized for not being evangelistic. But we feel that trying to live a life dedicated to Christ is the most effective testimony we can give."

    I agree.

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  34. Hi Back BFF Serena! :)

    Can't wait for your new book in April, I had never really thought about the combination of an Amish story and suspense, but it sure worked for LFYI Sugarcreek,Oh and I know it will be great for this next one.

    As for the mid-wife, I can't imagine helping to bring 500 babies into the world. That has to be the best job ever, I have a niece that's been a nurse for years and she has worked in a lot of different settings but the OB floor is her favorite. I would want to take them all home in my pocket! :)

    I'm so glad you got to experience an Amish worship service, it doesn't matter the denomination, when we come together to worship God it brings peace to us, and there is NOTHING like it.

    Serena talking with you has truly been an honor, you are a blessing and I can feel the love of Christ in your writings.

    And in agreement with what the mid-wife's husband said, we can call ourselves Christians but if no one can see Christ in our lives, we have wasted our breath. One of my favorite sayings is, "if you talk the talk, you must walk the walk" and that certainly applies to Christians. LOL!

    TTYL BFF! :)

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