Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Autumn Grace

Autumn Grace (Amish Seasons - Book 2) by Marianne Ellis

Publication Date: 11/05/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Trade
Genre: Inspirational Fiction
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 0425264262
ISBN-13: 978-0425264263

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Trade)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Marianne Ellis (aka. Jo Ann Brown)on the WEB: Website, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Summer Promise (2013), Autumn Grace (2013)

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Autumn Grace, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


With the change of seasons comes a change of heart—and an unexpected journey of love, compassion, and discovery . . .

The oldest of seven daughters, Ruth Schrock has grown up believing that her uncompromising father has never really approved of her independent nature. Though devoted to her community and her faith, she’s always found it difficult to follow the straight and narrow path of a deacon’s daughter. When Ruth is asked to teach in a nearby community, she jumps at the opportunity—feeling that God has given her a chance at a life of meaning.

Ruth never could have guessed that her new path would lead to Levi Yoder. Handsome Levi is a shy and quiet man. He lives alone and seems most comfortable spending time with the injured animals he rescues and cares for. Ruth and her all-embracing love of life confuse yet captivate Levi. With her school across the road from his farm, the attraction grows—but so do the conflicts. Can these two opposites find a path they can walk together into the future?


Marianne Ellis brings readers the latest inspiration romance in her Amish Seasons series, Autumn Grace. This is tender love story between a quiet, man of God and a young Amish school teacher. Readers of Amish fiction will love Ellis' attention to detail and characterizations. With strong values and a call to a simpler life, readers would think there will be no ups and downs for this couple, but that's not the case. Ellis provides an enchanting story set against the backdrop of the Amish religion that will keep readers reading long into the night.

It's no secret... I love Amish fiction! As a young girl I started out reading inspirational fiction and though I have branched out into a lot of other genre's, I still love the simple and beautiful love stories created by authors who understand that faith and love are often meant to be shared. Most of the inspirational fiction I have reviewed has come from the big names in Christian Fiction, Revell Books, Bethany House and others. Autumn Grace comes from Berkley and I was interested in seeing what they had to offer readers of this genre. I was definitely not disappointed.

Autumn Grace features a young woman named Ruth that has had a difficult time living up to the rigors of the Amish life. Her father is a deacon and a lot is expected of his children and the eyes of the community often rest on them. Ruth has a way of looking at life that is refreshing and joyful. She has a lively spirit, which is not always a good thing, when it comes to the Amish. She doesn't feel as though she fits in and is waiting for God to show her where she needs to be. I loved Ruth, she was such a breath of fresh air. Ellis does a fantastic job of showing the reader that Ruth is not doing things that are against her faith, it is just how she does things that seems to be at issue. I thought she was a wonderful character and readers will find her irresistible and infectious. 

Levi is a quiet man, shy and unassuming. I liked the fact that he lived his faith openly and tried to help his community in any way he could, including serving on the school board. His passion for wounded and sick animals was another thing that drew me to his character. He was the kind of man you wished had a good woman at his side. It was almost as if he deserved that. I thought Ellis brought the Amish lifestyle and faith to life through this character and made readers fall in love with him. An excellent hero!

When Ruth is asked to take a position as a teacher, she feels as though she has her answer. But the road to her destiny isn't an easy one. Her school is across the road from Levi's farm and he helps her as she faces the school board on one occasion. The romance that blooms between them is both confusing and joyful to Levi and exactly what God had in mind for both of them. Their road isn't easy, as they are very different and I thought Ellis really brought out that point well. Even those who are living a life of faith, don't always have it easy. It's how they weather the storm that is often different. 

I loved the good clean romance that Ellis has written here and I believe readers will find it enchanting. I have great respect for the Amish people and their faith. I often think we would all be a little better off if we were less concerned with the things of the world and more concerned about the things of heaven. Ellis portrays the Amish people well here and I think it is a testament to her writing that she is able to bring the Amish so vividly to life in her stories.

Autumn Grace is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Marianne Ellis, author of Summer Promise, is the pseudonym for two accomplished writers: JoAnn Brown and Cameron Dokey.

Jo Ann Brown has written over ninety books in the romance genre. She currently writes in The Patchwork Mysteries series for Guideposts and Thorndike, and she wrote the novelization for Thomas Kinkade’s The Christmas Cottage for Berkley.  Her interest in the Amish goes back many years when she and her family lived in Pennsylvania not far from Lancaster County.

Cameron Dokey began her writing career in 1994. Since that time she has more than thirty works of fiction to her credit including romances for readers of all ages. Her young adult works have appeared regularly on the ALA most recommended lists. Brown and Dokey also collaborated on the Candace Steele paranormal romance series for Ballantine Books.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Autumn Grace by Marianne Ellis.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, December 5th.

1. Please leave a comment describing any experiences you might have had with the Amish in your own life.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


Anonymous said...

I sure would love to win this book. Sounds like another good one. Oh my, an author with 3 names. Quite interesting. I am a subscriber of this blog and would love a chance to win. Thanks!
Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Angela Holland said...

I love going into Amish shops and buying the food and crafts they make. My mom and I have actually driven 2 hours just to go have lunch in an Amish community at one of their restaurants. Thank you for the chance to win.

Carl Scott said...

Maybe it's strange but I've never met any Amish people. I have met a few Mennonites and they seemed nice, a little quiet maybe. I really don't have any stories to tell though. Thanks for the giveaway. carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

Rita said...

I'm sorry to say I haven't had any experiences with the Amish besides reading books. The book sounds like a great read.


traveler said...

I haven't had any experiences with The Amish. Thanks for this giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

R Merr said...

As a child we use yo go to an Amish Market. Always loved it. We purchased table and chairs there that were amazingly well made.

Charlotte said...

None at all.

Nancy Luebke said...

There are a group of Amish builders that put up my husbands workshop in 3 days.

Carol N Wong said...

I used to live in Southern Indiana in a area that had a lot of Mennonites. I have read a lot of Amish literature. So when we went back to Indiana to visit Indiana, we decided to stay in Washington, Indiana and also visit Montgomery, Indiana. We visted a lot of shopa and saw so Amish furniture. But the best time was buying some jams and jellies from an Amish man. I discussed canning and making jellies with him and the way that things used to be. I could have stayed there for a much longer time. It was so good to hear his perspective.

Thought you would like to know we bought Rhurbarb Jam, Mulberry Jelly and Traffic Jam (a mix of several different kinds of jams.

If any of you ever go to Southern Indiana, there is a wonderful Amish restaruant on a lake in that area. That is where I ate the best meal of my life! I sat there and had to close my eyes as the flavors danced on my tongue!


Barbara Thompson said...

I've never had the opportunity to meet or visit the Amish, but that's at the top of my wish list. I love Amish fiction and Mary Ellis is an awesome author. I have a lot of respect for their beliefs and values they carry from generation to generation. One day my wish is to visit Amish country. I would rather visit there than any other place I know. Thank you for the chance to win this giveaway and please enter my name.
Barbara Thompson

Barbara Thompson said...

Also, I'm an email subscriber!!

Barbara Thompson

lag123 said...

I have never had any experience with the Amish community but I love to read Amish novels.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Linda Kish said...

The only experience I have had is when I was small we would travel to Lancaster, PA on road trips. I remember how beautiful the area was. I have wanted to return but living in California it's a longer trip than when I lived in New Jersey.

Amy C said...

When I was about 14, my family and I went to Lancaster, PA to the Amish community. I would love to go back!
campbellamyd at gmail dot com

Rachelle21 said...

I live in PA and have been to Lancaster several times. On one trip we went to a Quilt making place and I bought a quillow (quilt that is also a pillow). I have also been to the Two Sisters who serve Amish food.

Anita Yancey said...

I haven't really had any experiences with the Amish. But we did drive through Amish country in PA once. Thanks for having this giveaway.


Natasha said...

No experiences yet.
Thanks for the chance to win!

bn100 said...

haven't had any