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Gathering of Sisters

The simple joys of time with family

Darla Weaver shares a year in the life of her Old Order Mennonite Family

Harrisonburg, VA — Darla Weaver grew up the oldest of nine children in a five-bedroom farmhouse her parents still live in to this day. The house was always brimming with life and laughter, and some inevitable sadness. All the children grew up, and the five sisters eventually all had their weddings there at the house. Home held a special place in the hearts of all of them, especially the sisters, and still does to this day. No matter how busy life becomes with raising children, chores and work, everything is set aside one day a week.

Once a week Darla Weaver hitches up her spirited mare, bundles her children into the buggy, and drives six miles to the farm where she grew up. There she gathers with her four sisters and their children for a day with their mother.

In Gathering of Sisters: A Year with My Old Order Mennonite Family (Herald Press/September 25, 2018/ISBN: 978-1-5138-0337-1/$14.99), Weaver writes about her horse-and-buggy Mennonite family and the weekly women’s gatherings that keep them connected.

“Our Tuesdays happened more by accident than by conscious planning. We never sat down and planned for Tuesdays, but after I moved six miles away to my own home, I gradually acquired the habit of going back to the old home place and spending a day each week with my family,” Weaver writes. It was a tradition that caught on and continued after all the other sisters married and started families of their own.

On warm days, the children play and fish and build houses of hay in the barn. In the winter, everyone stays close to the woodstove, with puzzles and games and crocheting. No matter the weather, the Tuesday get-togethers of this Old Order Mennonite family keep them grounded and centered in their love for God and for each other, even when raising an occasional loving but knowing eyebrow at each other.

As for the sisters, “We don’t exactly play, yet Tuesdays for us are also about relaxing. Of course, there is always work to do— just making dinner for such a group is a big job—but the day is more about relaxing, reconnecting, visiting, and sharing. We talk a lot, we laugh a lot, sometimes we cry. Tuesdays is about being sisters, daughters, moms. It’s about learning what is happening in each other’s lives. Every day is different, yet every Tuesday follows a predictable pattern that varies with the seasons.”

Over the twelve chapters of the book, Weaver shares the activities and time spent together spread over the twelve months of the year. Together the sisters cook, laugh over cooking disasters, share in the sewing, work in the gardens, swap books, work puzzles together and enjoy time as a family. She even shares some tried and true family recipes that didn’t “flop.” The rest of the week is full of laundry, and errands, and work that never ends. But Tuesday is about being sisters, daughters, and mothers.

When asked what her sisters thought about her writing Gathering of Sisters, Weaver notes their initial reactions varied. Her mom thought maybe she should change their names. One sister suggested, “Maybe you’ll have to Sunday-us-up a bit, make sure we all use our best manners when you write about us.” Another pointed out since she would still have to claim them as sisters she wouldn’t make them sound too odd or ornery. “I promised not to. One of my nieces, who at fourteen has graduated from eighth grade and is again spending Tuesdays with us, considered staying home for the entire next year to keep her name out of the book. But on a whole, no one really objected. Like Laverne and our children, Mom and my sisters are almost used to my compulsive scribbling. Almost.”

Gathering of Sisters is the sixth book in the Plainspoken series from Herald Press. Each book is written by Amish and Mennonite people about their daily lives and deeply rooted faith. Each book includes “A Day in the Life of the Author” and the author’s answers to FAQs about the Amish and Mennonites.

About the Author

Darla Weaver is a homemaker, gardener, writer and Old Order Mennonite living in the hills of southern Ohio. She is the author of Water My Soul, Many Lighted Windows and Gathering of Sisters. Weaver has written for Family Life, Ladies Journal, Young Companion, and other magazines for Amish and Old Order Mennonite groups. Before her three children were born she also taught school. Her hobbies are gardening and writing.

My Thoughts:

I just love reading about the lifestyles and daily happenings of the Mennonite people. I think somewhere inside I long for a simpler life myself and by visiting them through books like this, I can take away a little bit of that simpler life. Could you spend a year with a Mennonite family? I’m not sure that I could. Thankfully, we don’t have to decide. We can spend this year with them through the experiences of the author. And oh…what experiences she had! I won’t spoil it for you, but I’ll simply say- get your copy today!

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Spirit of God Illustrated Bible Tour

God’s Spirit is living among God’s people.

He always was, always is, and always will be.

These are the stories that tell about him and what he does.

The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible, written by Doris Rikkers and illustrated by Fernando Juarez, presents over 40 Bible stories from the old and new testaments that show how God’s Spirit has been with his people from the beginning of time. Keep reading to learn more about this new release from ZonderKidz!

You can also enter to win a copy of The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible and other awesome kids’ releases in a giveaway hosted by Read with Audra. Details below!

Would you like to win your own copy of

The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible?

Win a children’s book prize pack from Read with Audra!

The prize pack includes a copy of:

Spirit of God Illustrated Bible

Adventure Bible Book of Daring Deeds and Epic Creations NIV Kids Visual Study Bible

Explorer’s Bible Guide

Words to Love By

Love Letters from God

<a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8b3c91bb1/&#8221; rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”8b3c91bb1″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_jva56a3i”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

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Link for the Rafflecopter giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8b3c91bb1/?

Or https://www.audrajennings.com/2018/09/the-spirit-of-god-illustrated-bible.html

About the book:

The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible brings to life more than 40 Bible stories that help readers understand that God’s Spirit has been with us since the beginning of time and continues to be with us today. From the glory of creation through the powerful letters of Paul, God’s Spirit is living in his people. Old and New Testament stories such as Adam and Eve, Abraham, Joseph, the Baptism of Jesus, and Pentecost come alive with dramatic illustrations by Fernando Juarez and moving text by Doris Rikkers. With a cover that sparkles and shines with foil, this is a special storybook Bible that will appeal to both children and parents alike.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

If I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

If I settle on the far side of the sea,

Even there your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.

~ Psalm 139: 7–10

About the author and illustrator:

Doris Wynbeek Rikkers is a freelance writer and editor who has written many bestselling children’s books and Bibles. Although she loves the ocean, she lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, surrounded by her books, her flower gardens, and her family and friends.

Spanish artist Fernando Juarez illustrates children’s books and also works as an art supervisor at the Madrid studio Ilion Animation. The company produces 3D feature films for children. Fernando has three kids himself, and if he has any time left after work and family, you might catch him playing guitar in a rock band.

My Thoughts:

This is a beautiful and kid-friendly resource for any parent, grandparent, Sunday school teacher, child…pretty much anyone! The illustrations are just breathtaking. This would make a wonderful gift for the children in your life. It would make a great addition to any Sunday school class. Teach your children about Jesus with this very special Spirit Filled Illustrated Bible. Get your copy today!!!

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Longing for Paris


For anyone who has ever daydreamed of another life . . .

Most days, you wouldn’t trade what you have for the world. You love your husband and your kids, and you are grateful to God for your life. But there are days when you feel as though life is rolling over you in waves and you are just going through the motions. You find yourself aching for something more, something that is calling to depths of who you are, maybe for something you can’t even name.

For Sarah Mae, it was Paris, a place that is known for breathtaking beauty, inspiring art, and exquisite food. But as she searched her heart, she found there was more to her longings than she anticipated.

Join Sarah Mae in Longing for Paris, a soul-searching, light-filled journey for the woman who knows she can’t uproot her life to discover herself and her longings, but who desperately wants to uncover them so she can get unstuck and choose a life that is filled with beauty, adventure, and deep joy . . . right where she is.

MEET THE AUTHOR HERE

MY REVIEW

Does God really care about our dreams? Does He care about the things we want to achieve in life? Does He care that we want more? In Longing for Paris the answer is clear- YES YES YES!

You will enjoy Sarah’s journey from busy mom to everyday adventurer and dreamer. Join her as she learns to slow down and savor the life around her.

In the process, readers will learn lessons valuable soul lessons. Don’t miss this book! 



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Chasing Secrets


Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she’s made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her–and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he’s not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.
In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories–and the depths of the heart–Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley’s past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won’t quit.

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series, the Deadly Reunions series, and the Hidden Identity series, as well as Always Watching, Without Warning, Moving Target, and Chasing Secrets in the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of two ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award. She has a master’s degree in education from Converse College and lives in South Carolina. Learn more at http://www.lynetteeason.com.
My Thoughts:

Oh wow! I LOVE this series! Action, suspense and a hint of romance- who could ask for more?!?

You will be on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens to Haley and Steven, but things aren’t always what they seem. This book will give you adventure, excitement and will keep you guessing. 

I haven’t seen a series quite like this before, and I am a huge fan! If your looking for a quick, exciting page-turner…don’t miss it!!!
Read a SAMPLE here!

*i received a copy of this book from Revell for my honest review*

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Stepping On Cheerios & Giveaway 

Family life is beautiful and motherhood is a privilege, but it ain’t no picnic!

Being a mother isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s hard to experience a personal connection with God and community when you are caught up in the chaos of just “doing family”.

Independent and self-sufficient, author Betsy Singleton Snyder lived a full and busy life as a pastor, missionary, and wife to a husband who served in the U.S. House of Representatives. She had her first child at age 44, then at 47, she found out she was carrying triplets. Suddenly finding herself overwhelmed is an understatement.

Stepping on Cheerios is a collection of funny, warm, and charming tales from the frontlines of parenthood, written for women who are juggling to accomplish everyday feats of work, motherhood, marriage, church, and more. It’s a comical story of one woman’s realization that her crazy life is a gift and how she found the grace in it.
MY THOUGHTS- 

This book is a must have for crazy busy moms. The author shares her personal experiences, which helps readers realize that they are not the only one reeling from the many ups and downs of parenthood. This book will inspire and encourage you to take a break from the insanity and spend time with the One Who can fill you up when you’ve been running on empty. Crazy busy mom, put down the laundry basket and run to your nearest bookstore for your copy of Stepping On Cheerios today!

Get your copy here.


Betsy Singleton Snyder, author of “Stepping on Cheerios,” is a pastor, a former missionary to the arts community, writer, and blogger. She and her husband, Dr. Vic Snyder who formerly served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years, live in Arkansas with their four sons, Penn (10), and triplets Wyatt, Sullivan, and Aubrey (8).

Visit author site


Enter here

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Shelley Shepard Gray Giveaway!

Enter to win a book pack (a copy of A Sister’s Wish and a copy of An Amish Family Christmas) from Shelley. Five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced November 7th on Shelley’s blog!

🎁🎁🎁 ENTER HERE 🎁🎁🎁

In Shelley Shepard Gray’s third book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a respectable young woman finds herself falling for an Amish man from the wrong side of the tracks.

Amelia Kinsinger is the perfect Amish woman—at least according to her neighbors. And while Amelia takes pride in her role as homemaker, she’s also harboring a secret: She’s been in love with bad boy Simon Hochstetler for as long as she can remember. Too bad he’s about as far from “perfect” as an Amish man could get… but that’s exactly why she’s so drawn to him.

Life hasn’t been kind to Simon. He ran away from an abusive home at fifteen and things went downhill from there. Eventually, Simon landed in prison. But the experience changed him. Now back in Charm as a grown man, he’s determined to make a new life for himself and not think too much about his wild past…unless it pertains to Amelia.

He’s loved Amelia for years. To him, she represents everything good and kind in the world. When he realizes that she returns his affections, he starts calling on her in secret, even though her older brother Lukas—who just happens to be Simon’s best friend—has made it perfectly clear that Amelia deserves better. Simon disagrees and believes he’s the only one who can truly make her happy.

But when Amelia gets hurt, it sets off a chain of events that forces them to consider their future together—and face their past mistakes. There’s a chance for love… but only if Simon dares to trust Amelia with the secrets of his past.

GET YOUR COPY HERE

MY THOUGHTS:

I was so thrilled to be able to review Shelley’s books at JoJo’s Corner, the quality of stories she writes is too notch. I’m never disappointed when I pick up one of her books and I’m happy to say this series has kept me enthralled. I love this latest edition! Though part of a series, you will be able to enjoy this one on its own. I love Amelia and Simon’s story and I know you will too. This is a wonderful story of forgiveness and redemption. I’m sad that this series will be ending soon 😞.

In Shelley Shepard Gray’s fourth book in her Charmed Amish Life series, an unlikely Amish romance reveals that Christmas is a time for family, miracles—and love.

Ever since his father died in a tragic fire, Levi Kinsinger has felt adrift. Newly returned to Charm, Ohio, Levi is trying to fit into his old life, only to discover he seems to have outgrown it.

But when Julia, his young widowed neighbor, asks for his help with a Christmas project, Levi finds a sense of purpose for the first time in months. She and her daughter are new to Charm and could use a friend, a job Levi takes personally. Soon enough, friendship grows into attraction, but Levi can’t help having doubts. There’s something about Julia that doesn’t ring quite true…

Like Levi, Julia Kemps has survived her fair share of hardships—but only by hiding the truth of her past. Being an unmarried mother in an Amish community was unthinkable. Feeling hopeless, Julia did the only thing she could do: she moved to a new town and pretended to be a widow. But meeting Levi, she’s hopeful for the first time. Little by little, she begins to imagine telling him her darkest secret, and eventually…perhaps even sharing her life with him.

Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together…in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.

GET YOUR COPY HERE

MY THOUGHTS:

I just love Christmas stories and this one really hits the spot. This story takes place in Charm…a place I have grown to love. This is such a sweet story of Christmas, love and healing. Its a story of forgivess and reconciliation. I just love when a story makes me look at my own life and reflect on what’s good and what needs improvement and these characters caused me to do that. Don’t miss this sweet seasonal story! 

Shelley Shepard Gray is a “New York Times” and “USA Today” bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

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In My Mailbox 26

Born This Way Season 2

http://www.aetv.com/shows/born-this-way

Without Warning

https://www.amazon.com/Without-Warning-Elite-Guardians-Lynette/dp/0800723252

Blink YA 

Home

One Paris Summer

One Paris Summer

When Death Draws Near

http://www.thomasnelson.com/when-death-draws-near

Where Hope Prevails

https://www.amazon.com/Where-Hope-Prevails-Return-Canadian/dp/0764217682

The Courtship Basket

https://www.amazon.com/Courtship-Basket-Amish-Heirloom-Novel/dp/0310342015

Mrs Lee & Mrs Gray

http://www.thomasnelson.com/mrs-lee-and-mrs-gray

It Started With Goodbye

Book Brag! It Started with Goodbye

Holley Gerth- I ❤️ her!

http://holleygerth.com/

CONGRATS TO MY TARGET GIFTCARD WINNER!! Special Thank You to all who entered – be sure to check bk for more giveaways soon!!!