Monday, September 3, 2012

Product Review, Giveaway and Author Interview :: The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club By Wanda Brunstetter

Anyone that knows me well knows that 1) I LOVE to read and 2) I love Amish fiction. So today I've compiled those two things with one of my favorite Amish fiction writers, Mrs. Wanda Brunstetter for a review, giveaway AND interview for you guys! Today I'll be reviewing and giveaway away a copy of the book The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club as well as share a special interview with Mrs. Brunstetter!

About The Author ::
Wanda Brunstetter is a Christian Amish fiction writer and in the past, I've had the pleasure of reading her series The Sisters of Holmes County, and White Christmas Pie which I really enjoyed! I love how clean Wanda books are, yet they are exciting and interesting! Here is a bit about Mrs. Brunstetter that I found on her "About" page on her website:
professionalbiophoto About
Wanda Brunstetter is an award-winning romance novelist who has led millions of readers to lose their heart in the Amish life. She is the author of over 60 books with more than 6 million copies sold. Many of her books have landed on the top bestseller lists, including the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, CBA, ECPA, and CBD. Wanda is considered one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre, and her work has been covered by national publications, includingTime Magazine and USA Today.

Wanda’s fascination with the Amish culture developed when she met her husband, Richard, who grew up in a Mennonite church, and whose family has a Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. Meeting her new Mennonite sister-in-laws caused Wanda to yearn for the simpler life. In their travels, she and her husband have become close friends with many Amish people across America. Wanda’s desire to explore their culture increased when she discovered that her great-great grandparents were part of the Anabaptist faith.

Wanda enjoys photography, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and visiting her Amish friends, whom she has come to know and love so well. She also enjoys every chance she gets to spend time with her family.
 
Besides writing, Wanda is a professional puppeteer and a ventriloquist. She often entertains children and adults with one of several ventriloquist figures. One of Wanda’s favorite figures is a little boy puppet dressed in Amish clothes, which she often uses when she visits Amish or English schools.

About The Book ::
Half-Stitched Amish Quilting ClubThe book I want to share with you all today, is called The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club. This is one of Wanda's newer published books that I was excited to be able to review. Here is the book description taken from ChristianBook.com:

Amish widow Emma Yoder's first quilt class brings the most unlikely people together. there's Star, a young woman yearning for stability; Pan and Stuart Johnston, a struggling couple at odds in their marriage; Paul Ramirez, a young widower hoping to find solace in finishing a quilt; Jan Sweet, a rough and tough biker doing some creative community service; and Ruby Lee Williams, a preacher's wife looking for relaxation when parish problems mount. But as these beginning quilters learn to transform scraps of material into beauty; their fragmented lives begin to take new shape with the helping hands of each other and the healing hand of God.

Here is the books trailer:


Author Interview ::
Wanda was so sweet to agree to let me interview her so here are her answers to the questions I was able to ask her. 

Giveaways of Blessing :: Hello Wanda! Welcome to Giveaways of Blessing! Could you share with us a bit about yourself and your books?

Wanda :: I'm married to Richard, and we have two grown and married children, Richard Jr., and Lorine. They each have three children, so we are blessed with six grandchildren: Jinell, Rebekah, Madolynne, Richard III, Philip, and Richelle.

 Most of the books I write are about the Amish people, whom I have come to know and love. I also write some historical novels, children's books, cookbooks, and devotionals.

Giveaways of Blessing :: Why do you enjoy writing about the Amish people and their lifestyles so much? Do you ever visit the Amish people to do research for your books?

Wanda :: I enjoy writing about the Amish because my husband I have many Amish friends, and I want my readers to know and love the Amish people as much as we do. We have Amish friends in every community I write about, and have spent a good deal of time with them, which helps with my research.

Giveaways of Blessing :: At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to write books?

Wanda :: From the time I was a young girl I knew I wanted to be a writer, but it wasn't until I became an adult and spent several years writing hundreds of stories, articles, poems, and puppet plays that I finally realized my heart's desire was to write novels.

Giveaways of Blessing :: Where do you like to go most when you write?

Wanda :: I enjoy writing outside when the weather is nice, and if I can't be outside, then I enjoy sitting by a window where I can look out at nature.

Giveaways of Blessing :: Are you currently writing any books that you could tell us a bit about? If not, could you tell us about your most recently published book?

Wanda :: I am currently working on a 6-part serial novel that will release with 6 smaller books, one each month beginning in Feb. 2013. I'm also working on Book 3 in my newest Amish-themed children's series.

Giveaways of Blessing :: What is your favorite part about writing?

Wanda :: I enjoy all phases, from plotting a book to the final stages of refining editing, but I think my favorite part is the fun of researching. With all of my books, I've spent many hours visiting in whatever setting I choose to write about, getting to know the area, as well as the people.

Giveaways of Blessing :: Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

Wanda :: One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 17:22: "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones."

Giveaways of Blessing :: When did you accept Christ as your personal Savior?

Wanda :: I became a Christian when I was a young girl, and later re-dedicated my life to Lord during my teen years. I've been serving Him in some capacity ever since.

Giveaways of Blessing :: What is one thing the average person might not know about you?

Wanda :: Many people don't know that I met and married my husband in one month, and we've now been married for 49 years.

Giveaways of Blessing :: Is there anything you'd like to share in closing?

Wanda :: I would like to invite readers to visit my website at www.wandabrunstetter.com, where I have lots of information about my books and as well as the Amish way of life.

The Product Review ::
I've read a few of Wanda's books before, and loved them all! But I think this is one of my top favorites that she has written and thoroughly enjoyed it!

This book had a nice balance of both Amish fiction and contemporary fiction. It is about a widow, Emma Yoder who loves to quilt and offers quilting classes in her home. But boy, does she get an interesting mix of people who attend her classes! :) This book was very good, and had some unexpected twists I didn't see coming! Though I knew what to expect from the book's description, there were certain parts I didn't anticipate and love them! The ending was probably my favorite part of the book as it was very interesting and kept my attention well, though the rest of the book was good too. The character that surprised me most, would probably be Jan Sweet. Don't let his name fool you though! When I read his name and put it together with the books cover image of a rough and tough biker dude with tattoos and an obviously difficult past, it intrigued me! I was even more surprised to read the rest of his story in the book and think it added a nice touch to the story and helped me see the importance of not judging a book by it's cover! Emma, well she was probably another of my favorite characters. She is just such a sweetie, someone everyone wants for a grandma, whom I loved! She had such a sweet heart for the Lord and was always seeking to help others!

One thing I liked in this story is how Emma and her class full of "half-stitched quilters" became like a close family. I loved seeing their relationships grow and how they were able to help and encourage each other in the Lord, while learning to sew. At the beginning of the book every character found themselves in a difficult place in life, and I enjoyed seeing how that played out and what happened in the end. The story had a lot of nice twists that you normally wouldn't see coming, and I really enjoyed it. 

Overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend it for those who like both contemporary and Amish fiction with a nice, cozy-feeling that appeals to both old and young alike.


The Giveaway ::
Thanks to Wanda and Barbour Publishing, I not only had the pleasure of receiving a copy of The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club to review, but also a copy to giveaway to one of your readers! 

How To Enter ::
To enter The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter entry form below. This giveaway is only open to those living in the U.S. The giveaway will end on September 14th, 2012. That day I will draw a winner and their name will be announced on the giveaway entry form below and they will also be notified by email. If you have any questions about entering just let me know in a comment! Have a great Monday!



a Rafflecopter giveaway



NOTE: I received two copies of The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club, free of charge, courtesy of Barbour Publishers and Wanda Brunstetter, for the purpose of reviewing it and hosting a giveaway for the other copy. All thoughts are my own and 100 percent true. I was not paid to do this review and giveaway, and the fact that I got a free book did not effect my opinion of the book.

39 comments:

Kara said...

I've read several of her books and they are really good!

Kara said...

Christian Fiction!

Kimberly said...

Yes I have read the books. :)

Emma said...

What ages would you recommend it for?

Vicky said...

Yes I have read her books for sure! I have a bookshelf with quite a few of her books.

Kati said...

I've read one of her books, The Shopkeeper's Daughter. I enjoyed it and I want to try another one sometime soon.

Madeline said...

I have never read any of her books, but I think I'd enjoy all of them! I do so enjoy a nice cozy Amish setting. :)

Korin said...

I think I may have read her books. (one or two)

Bethany said...

@ Emma
Well, I think the book was very appropriate, and would probably recommended it for ladies ages 13+.
Bethany

Sierra said...

I haven't read any of the author's books yet. I've had several recommended but I haven't gotten around to the pleasure of reading them. I think that I would like it, I like how calm and peaceful Amish books feel. And the Amish are such interesting people :) Thank you for the giveaway and the interview Ms. Brunstetter! Sierra
Keep growing beautiful!

Natalie said...

I've read a few of her books and I really enjoyed them =)

CountryGirl said...

I have not read any of her books, but I think I would like this one.

Eden said...

Never read any, but heard of this one! :D

Rachel said...

My favorite one of her books is the Healing!

Vicki Rodgers Lynch said...

I have read all of Wanda's books. She is a great writer as well as a great person. I would love to have a copy of her book. Thank you for the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Christian Fiction!

Jean Smith said...

I would love to win a copy of your book. I love all of your books. Thank you for the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Wanda is a blessing in my life. Her books inspire me to do more as a christian, to love my neighbour. I love Wanda's writtings and look forward to reading her latest.
regards
Carolyn
fishless@bigpond.com

peaceinchaos said...

I have read nearly all of her books and enjoy them immenseley. This particular book was great, I enjoyed how it didn't take a similar story line as other "Amish Fiction" writers. This was refreshing.

RW1010 said...

THE HALF-STITCHED AMISH QUILTING CLUB sounds like it'll be a fun read! Thanks for sharing Wanda & Bethany!
Robin in NC

Twila said...

I love Wanda Brunstetter's books and am excited to read her new book. I am also looking forward to seeing the play at Shipshewana's Blue Gate Theater in November.

pol said...

If there is still time left I would love to be in the drawing, I just finished a triolgy by Wanda and would love to read this one too, thanks for sharing
Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

WVSweetpea said...

I think I've red all of Wanda's books but this one. I can honestly say that I've enjoyed every one of them!

Brooke said...

I've not read any of her books ... yet! I love the premise of this one - and it's being made into a musical! :)

pat cowans said...

i love Wanda's books been reading them for years. yhanks for doing this/

Anonymous said...

I love every book that I have read of Wanda's...the characters just draw me in and I never want the books to end!

Valerie said...

this is the first of her books that I've heard of.
sounds interesting

Susan F. said...

I'm excited to read about this book and would love to win it. Thanks for sharing with us ladies.

Janie Martin said...

Ibwould. Love. To. Win this. Copy i have. Read bit. And.its a very good. Book. I. Recommend anyony. That. Likes. To. Read amish. Stories. Read this. One. Its a. Must. Read. This book
Now. My. Favorite. Book that wanda have. Wrote. Is LYDIA's CHARM i. Give wanda. A. Five. Stars for. This. Book. It. Was awsome. You will. Smile. Laugh cry. Be anxious. And. Get. Madnnthen. Laugh. All over again. I. Loved. It. I have. This book for. My own i. Recommend. These btwo. Books. To everyone!!!!

Rebekah and Anna said...

This looks good! I have never read of any of her books, but have heard of this one.

Emily J.

Caitlyn Santi said...

I have never read any. But this one sounds pretty interesting! Great review!!! :D

The Self-Taught Cook said...

I've read several of her books and loved every one of them.

Carole said...

I have read the Daughters of Lancaster County series and have several more of Wanda's books on my TBR shelf. This new book looks different from the norm and thoroughly enjoyable. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Carole said...

Favorite genre: Christian fiction, relationship drama

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Amada Chavez said...

I have read not read any of her books but would love to read any of her works. Especially her "Brides of Lancaster County" series.

amada_chavez[AT]yhoo[DOT]com

John 3:15-16 (Read it, Believe it, and Be Saved!!!)

Alison said...

yes,I've read quite a few of her books!

Sisters said...

Never read any of them but this one sounds really good.

Anonymous said...

We have all of her books in our church library, including the latest one.
I would love to be able to win a copy of my own.
Janet
von1janet@gmail.com

Robin said...

I have read several of Wanda's books now, and am currently reading "The Healing", and waiting to finish The Kentucky Brothers series with "The Struggle". This one looks very interesting and it is currently on my "wish list" in my Nook reader. A free copy would be awesome!