Amish Fiction Book Review: An Amish Christmas Bakery: Four Stories



About the Book

Title: An Amish Christmas Bakery: Four Stories
Authors: Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin
Genre: Amish Fiction
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: October 1, 2019


Publisher's Description

“From bestselling authors in the Amish genre come four delicious stories perfect for celebrating love, joy, and the holiday season.

Cookies and Cheer by Amy Clipston
Alyssa Byler wants to build a sugar cookie nativity scene for her bakery’s Christmas window display—all she needs is the right cookie cutters. She turns to handsome blacksmith Kyle Smoker. Using Kyle’s handmade cutters, Alyssa created a striking display that brings more customers than she can handle. She soon realizes she’s been too busy to focus on the true meaning of Christmas—and too distracted to explore her feelings for Kyle. Together, they put aside the holiday rush to celebrate the season that brought them together.

Loaves of Love by Beth Wiseman
Katie Swartzentruber has been left in charge of her family’s bakery, but she soon finds herself overwhelmed with orders during the holiday season. She is tempted to move her Old Order family into the modern world by using propane ovens. Meanwhile, her childhood friend Henry Hershberger is trying to find the courage to tell Katie that he’s harbored a secret crush on Katie for years. As the demands at the bakery intensify, both Katie and Henry must find the courage to go after what’s important.

Melting Hearts by Kathleen Fuller
When her aunt Carolyn begs for help during the busy Christmas rush, Mattie Shetler eagerly packs her bags and heads to Birch Creek. She doesn’t know her uncle has also asked for help with the bakery’s new expansion from Peter Kaufman, Mattie’s sworn enemy. As the two work together, Mattie discovers not all is as it seems. With Christmas just around the corner, Mattie and Peter open their hearts for the greatest gifts of the season: forgiveness and maybe even love.

Cakes and Kisses by Kelly Irvin
Martha Ropp works hard at her family’s bakery, making cakes and pies for community celebrations. To help during the busy Christmas season, Martha’s mother hires Ambrose Hershberger to make deliveries. Martha remembers Ambrose as a gentle giant from her school days. But the more they work together, the more they want to spend time together outside of the bakery. When both are too timid to make the first move, the town matchmakers step in.”
 

Click here to purchase a copy of this book for yourself. 

My Review 


An Amish Christmas Bakery: Four Stories is a charming novella collection with delightfully festive stories written by authors Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Irvin. Set in four different Amish communities during the Christmas season, this book includes stories in which the ovens of Amish bakeries help to create a warm atmosphere where faith can grow, friendships can be nurtured, and romance can be kindled. 


Cleverly woven together through the holiday bakery settings and the themes of service, family, friendships, and Christmas traditions, these novellas are truly engaging, meaningful, and entertaining. Each of the novellas in this collection includes an endearing set of characters who strive to serve and bless others as they also search for significance, forgiveness, healing, and hope. There is an effortless cadence from one novella to the next as the four distinctive stories all highlight the importance of family, the value of friendship, the power of faith, and the importance of perseverance.

Within the pages of each novella, I sincerely enjoyed the captivating stories these authors composed. I easily became invested in the plot of each novella while experiencing authentic emotional connections to the characters within each story. Their insecurities, inclinations, determination, and faith held my interest and encouraged me story after story. 

An Amish Christmas Bakery is certainly a book with an abundance of heart, tenderness, and Christmas cheer. The novellas it contains are wholly uplifting, worthwhile, and thoughtful. I recommend this book wholeheartedly.

*I was given a copy of this book by the author/publisher through Netgalley. A review was not required. The review I have written contains opinions that are entirely my own.
 

About the Authors


"Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing "career" began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series with Zondervan, which is part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. An advocate for organ and blood donation, Amy donated a kidney in 2011 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Through her donation, her husband received a second kidney transplant. Amy and her husband matched another couple and swapped kidneys with them. Amy's memoir, A Gift of Love, will be available in early 2014. She hopes her story inspires others to become organ and blood donors. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats. You can find her on the web at www.AmyClipston.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks." --Biography from Amy Clipston's author page on Amazon.com.

Click here to visit Amy Clipston's website. 


"Beth Wiseman is the best-selling author of the Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan series. Having sold two million books, her novels have held spots on the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) Bestseller List and the CBA (Christian Book Association) Bestseller List. She was the recipient of the prestigious Carol Award in 2011 and 2013. She is a three-time winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and an INSPY Award winner. In 2013 she took home the coveted Holt Medallion. Her first book in the Land of Canaan series--Seek Me With All Your Heart--was selected as the 2011 Women of Faith Book of the Year. Beth is contracted with HarperCollins Christian Publishing into the year 2018, and she has published thirteen novels and thirteen novellas to date.

As a former newspaper reporter, Beth was honored by her peers with eleven journalism awards, including first place news writing for The Texas Press Association. She has been a humor columnist for The 1960 Sun in Houston and published articles in various publications. However, writing novels is where her heart is. She left her job as a journalist in 2008 to write novels fulltime.

Beth has a deep affection for the Amish and their simpler way of life, and while she plans to continue writing Amish love stories, she is also branching out into other areas. Her first non-Amish, contemporary--Need You Now--released in April 2012 and landed on the CBA Bestseller List. She enjoyed writing the story based in a town near where she lives, and she chose another small Texas town for her next non-Amish contemporary--The House that Love Built--which is based in Smithville, the same quaint town where movies such as Hope Floats and Tree of Life were filmed. Beth continued to spread her wings when she released The Promise in October 2014. Inspired by actual events, The Promise follows Beth's characters all the way to Pakistan. Beth was involved in the real-life rescue when her friend was held captive in Pakistan. Beth is currently working on book #2 in her new Amish Secrets series, tentatively titled Jacob's Ladder. Book #1--Her Brother's Keeper--recently released and was chosen as a Top Pick by RT Reviews Magazine.

Beth and her husband are empty nesters enjoying the country life in Texas. When she's not writing, she loves to travel, paint, and enjoy time with friends and family. You can find Beth at Fans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook where she interacts with readers and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bethwiseman." --Biography from Beth Wiseman's author page on Amazon.com.


Click here to visit Beth Wiseman's website. 


"Kathleen Fuller is a best-selling author of Amish fiction. She is also a wife, mother, crafter, coffee addict, football fan, and chocolate aficionado." --Biography from Kathleen Fuller's author page on Amazon.com.

Click here to visit Kathleen Fuller's website. 



“Best-selling novelist Kelly Irvin's latest series, The Amish of Sky Country, features an Amish community in Northwest Montana affected by wildfires that destroyed thousands of acres in the state in recent years. The first book, Mountains of Grace, debuted in August 2019, and delves into the impact on not only an Amish man and woman, but also a smoke jumper, a sheriff's deputy, and a young English woman forced to confront her past because of the fires.

Kelly also writes romantic suspense novels. Her most recent forays into this genre include Tell Her No Lies and Over the Line, both set in San Antonio and South Texas. Of Tell Her No Lies, The Library Journal says, "Irvin creates a complex web with enough twists and turns to keep even the most savvy romantic suspense readers guessing until the end. Known for her Amish novels, this two-time Carol Award finalist shows that her talents span subgenres from tranquil Amish stories to rapidly paced breathless suspense."

Kelly is also the author of the Every Amish Season series, which included four books that chronicle the lives of Amish widows who are in different seasons in their lives. These women are linked by life altering experiences that bring them together as wives, mothers, and grandmothers in the small town of Jamesport, Mo. The first book, Upon a Spring Breeze, received critical acclaim from the Library Journal: "A moving and compelling tale about the power of grace and forgiveness that reminds us how we become strongest in our most broken moments."

Kelly Irvin is also the author of The Amish of Bee County series, which includes the critically acclaimed The Beekeeper's Son. Publishers Weekly called the first book in the series a beautifully woven masterpiece and Romantic Times Magazine called Kelly a storyteller extraordinaire. It was followed by The Bishop's Son and The Saddle Maker's Son, which is an ECPA bestseller.

A two-time ACFW Carol finalist, Kelly's novellas have been included in numerous anthologies, including An Amish Summer, The Amish Christmas Gift, An Amish Market, an Amish Christmas Love, and Amish Quilt, An Amish Reunion, An Amish Picnic, and An Amish Christmas Bakery.

She also penned the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both published by Harvest House Publishers. Love Still Stands, the first book in the New Hope series, debuted in September 2012, and the follow-up, Love Redeemed, released March 1, 2014. The final book in the series, set in Branson, MO., was A Plain Love Song, released in July 2014.

The Bliss Creek Amish series, set in Kansas, includes To Love and to Cherish, A Heart Made New, and Love's Journey Home.

In the New Hope series, familiar characters from Bliss Creek move to Missouri to start a new district and a new life.

Kelly is also the author of two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine, set in San Antonio, Texas. Two more romantic suspense novels are on the horizon, with the first, Tell Her No Lies, slated for publication by Thomas Nelson Publishing in January 2019.

The Kansas native is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the ACFW San Antonio local chapter Alamo City Christian Fiction Writers, as well as Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Sisters in Crime.

A graduate of the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism, Kelly wrote nonfiction professionally for thirty years. She studied for three semesters at the University of Costa Rica, learning the Spanish language. As a journalist, she worked six years in the border towns of Laredo and El Paso, where she was exposed to culture and language that serves as fodder for her fiction writing. She has written hard news, features, entertainment pieces, restaurant critiques, editorials, and weekly columns. Writing awards include the Silver Star Award from the Texas Mental Health Association for articles pertaining to mental health and numerous awards in news, feature, and editorial writing from the Texas Press Association and Texas Press Women.

Kelly retired in 2016 from her position of 22 years as public relations manager for the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department, where her duties included writing and designing an employee newsletter, writing news releases, collaborating on marketing campaigns, coordinating ribbon-cuttings and groundbreakings, coordinating press conferences, updating the web site, and acting as a media spokesperson.

Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for more than 30 years, and they have two young adult children and three grandchildren. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories, read books by her favorite authors, and visit the babies." –Biography from Kelly Irvin’s author page on Amazon.com.


Click here to visit Kelly Irvin's website. 

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