Book Review: A Dream of Miracles

A Dream of Miracles by Ruth Reid* I Never planned to skip blogging last week but my husband had just gotten out of the hospital and among other things, blogging fell by the wayside. Lesson learned: plan ahead for the unexpected! On the upside, I did get some reading done and here is my review of A Dream of Miracles.

From Book Description

Amish widow Mattie vows never to love again . . . until a suspicious outsider with a shadowy past comes crashing into her fragile world…

Bo Lambright is a fast-rising social services investigator whose high-society mother won’t rest until she finds his Mrs. Right. Despite Bo’s worldly success, the raw ache of a shadowy past and a series of unsettling dreams have left him reeling.

When Mattie and Bo cross paths, all signs point to disaster. Yet as they face a crucible of trials and tragedies together, longings begin to stir that seem destined only to end in more heartbreak. Is a miracle possible—not only of healing but of forbidden love? What secrets lie in Bo’s dreams? And will Mattie find the courage to face her uncertain future . . . or will she simply run away?

My comments

Ruth Reid is sort of “new to me” author. I vaguely remember reading a novella or novel of hers and liking it so I decided to give this book a try.

One of the things that surprised me about A Dream of Miracles is the topic. It is very rare that a love-inspired novel focuses on the prejudices and dark side of Amish life. In fact, I don’t think that I have ever read a novel that does this. However, in this book the main character, Mattie Diener, is falsely accused of child abuse. Mattie and the Amish community is look upon as some sort of cult and many of their ways are misinterpreted and misunderstood. I think that Reid does a great job handling this topic in a way that is not condemning or patronizing to either side (“Englishers” or Amish).

Having said that, I am not a huge fan of the story. I think the book is well written but it is slow in some places and hard to get into. There are some parts of the story that have a level of suspense which kept me turning the pages, but over all, I had a hard time finishing the book.

I also had trouble making a connection with the characters in the book. Don’t get me wrong, the main characters, Mattie and Bo, are likable and certainly deal with their share of trouble; however, they were just characters in a novel and nothing more. In other books I’ve read, when I connect with the characters, they often become “real” and I am sorry the book is over. And, as happy as I am that the book ends on a good note, I was just glad it was over.

That doesn’t mean I won’t ever read a Ruth Reid novel ever again. I wish I could remember the story of hers that I read a long time ago because I remember liking it very much. I will definitely read another one of her novels.

I give A Dream of Miracles two (2) stars.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: An Amish Year by Beth Wiseman

From Book Description

“Spend a year in Amish Country with four sweet romances.”

An Amish Year by Beth Wiseman

My comments

Beth Wiseman has done it again with lovely Amish country settings, engaging story lines, and memorable characters. This particular collection of novellas include “Rooted in Love,” “A Love for Irma Rose,” Patchwork Perfect,” and “When Christmas Comes Again.” Each story is endearing and enjoyable to read. Of course, as is often the case with Beth Wiseman books, An Amish Year was hard to put down.

Also, the book includes discussion questions which is great if you are in a book club and recipes. One can never have too many recipes, right? A couple of these sound so good, like the paprika potatoes. 🙂

If you are looking for a book to read after a stressful day or something to whisk you into another world, I highly recommend you take a gander at An Amish Year. I give the book four (4) stars.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

5 Ways to Get Free Books

As a book junkie, I have been known to pay a good amount of money for books, but I also like getting them for free. Who doesn’t?! That’s why I created this list. I want to help you get your hands on some quality free books. So, here are five of my favorite ways to get them:

5 Ways to Get Free Books

Image by jarmoluk (2013) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

The Library

Through the library, a person can have access to almost any book in any genre. If your local library doesn’t have the book you want in stock, it is super simple to get the book through their inter-library system. And the library is not limited to hard cover or paperback books. Most libraries have a large collection of audio books, movies, and music to choose from. In addition, most libraries allow you to borrow digital e-books on their website. All you need is a library card, and that’s free and easy to get. The only caveat, if you can call it that, is you have to return the book after two or three weeks (unless you renew).

Friends and Family

More than likely, your family and friends know that you love to read. (If not, make it clear that you do!) Therefore, don’t be shy about asking them for books you want as a gift for birthdays, holidays, or “just because.”

One of my favorite gifts is a gift card for Barnes and Nobles, or even Amazon.com, where I can choose my own books. If this is the same for you, make sure you let your people know!

Also, when I am at a family member’s house or friend’s house and see a book I would like to read, I’ll just ask to borrow it. I’ve never had anyone say no. 🙂

Book Swaps

If you know other book lovers (be it family, friends, co-workers, etc.), consider creating a book swap group. Meeting together at someone’s house, or other suitable place, everyone brings the books they want to trade. Any books leftover can be donated to the library or other charitable organization.

If finding or creating a local book swap is not feasible, you may want to consider joining an online book swap. With Bookmooch, the user earns partial points when listing books, and full points when sending books to a fellow moocher. When books are “mooched,” the applicable points are deducted from the users account. With Bookmooch, the sender pays for postage.

Another option, similar to Booksmooch, is Paperback Swap but it is no longer free. There are three membership options, plus the sender pays postage to send the books to other members.

Online

There are tons of places online to find free books online, especially e-books. Some of my favorites include http://www.ereadergirl.com/, http://www.ereaderlove.com/, http://www.openlibrary.org, and of course, http://www.amazon.com. Just be careful, sometimes, especially on Amazon, you will come across e-books/books that are not exactly family friendly, if you know what I mean.

Also, if you have a blog, you can sign up for various blogger review programs where you can get free books in exchange for posting a review on your website. The ones I currently use are http://www.bloggingforbooks.com/ , http://www.booklookbloggers.com/, and the Bethany House Blogger Review Program. Another option is http://www.netgalley.com/ where the reader is not required to leave a review. In addition, there are other blogger review programs, and a quick search may bring up programs that fit your book preferences.

Directly from Authors

Many authors keep books on hand to give to bloggers or others who are willing to read their book in exchange for a review. I have occasionally been approached by authors who have asked me to read their books in exchange for a review on my website.

Also, if you have a favorite author, you may want to consider approaching him or her and ask for a review copy of his/her latest book (or any of his/her books) to read and review. It’s worth a try; the worst that can happen is that they say no. 🙂

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of places, particularly online, to find free books. With a little effort, you can always have an unlimited supply of books at your fingertips!

P.S. In your quest to find free books, don’t forget that buying books is important, too. Writing is an important and noble profession, and we should not hesitate to support our favorite (new and old) authors by buying their books!

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