Saturday, September 21, 2013

For Every Season

Working hard to develop a new Amish community outside of Unity, Maine, Rhoda Byler is fully committed to rehabilitating an orchard with business partner Samuel King. But an impulsive decision has created an unexpected strain in her relationship with her beau, Samuel’s brother, Jacob, threatening plans for the orchard. Amidst mounting tension in matters of the heart and business, Rhoda finds that this fledging settlement feels like the home she has always longed for, and she begins to embrace the God-given, heightened intuition that has always felt like a burden to her. She longs for Jacob to fully be free of his past, so they can work towards the future together.
But as Rhoda uses her gift to unpack an old secret with her Englisch neighbors, it is not her beau but an unlikely ally that cheers her on. With the orchard on shaky ground and Jacob’s plans in question, Rhoda is determined to see things through to harvest. But can she trust her insight to direct her path in matters of the heart?

I have been enjoying Rhoda Byler's journey thus far and was excited that For Every Season was available through the Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review. I was expecting the conclusion of the storyline and was surprised when it ended promising another edition in 2014. Rhoda and her friends and family have been through a lot of ups and downs throughout the first two books, and it seemed like perhaps things would finally settle down for them, but things just keep coming up that throw them all into a tailspin. This book continues with that trend, keeping the reader guessing about how each character will react to the new trials. I am looking forward to the next installment of the saga.

Harriet Beamer Strikes Gold

This story of a senior citizen daring to stand up for herself will resonate with Christian fiction readers everywhere.
In Harriet Beamer Strikes Gold by Joyce Magnin, Harriet settles into a new life in Grass Valley, California, and gets caught up in another adventure when she decides to lease a gold mine. After listening to the pleas of a desperate teen whose daddy needs money right away—and happens to have a gold mine to lease—Harriet falls hook, line, and sinker into the venture. Although she is nervous about her investment, Harriet chooses to keep it a secret from her son, Henry, and his wife who have just learned they are expecting a baby. And besides, this just may be the ticket to a golden windfall.
But when Harriet’s friend Martha comes for a visit, she convinces Harriet to come clean because she is suspicious and just doesn’t buy that the operation is legit.
Harriet may never see an ounce of gold, but it is the fate of the young teen that really begins to matter. And it takes an emergency with her daughter-in-law, Prudence, for Harriet to learn where her true treasure lies.

This book sounds like so much fun, I just had to request a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson Publishing's Booksneeze Blogger program in exchange for an honest review. I anxiously awaited my copy in the mail and started it right away. It completely lost me quite quickly, however. I was looking forward to a spunky, sassy elderly character and was greeted by a sad, depressed woman that felt trapped in her life; too young for a retirement home but too old to be on her own she was living with her son and his wife in a tiny room where she couldn't even have all her stuff with her. She's resentful of her situation and her daughter-in-law and wishing for a way out. I made it four or five chapters into the book before I gave up on Harriet. She was not the spunky, gold mining character I was looking forward to meeting, and the book felt like it was getting nowhere fast.