Thursday, October 15, 2015

Goddess Fish Promotions Book Review: The Christmas Cradle

The Christmas Cradle
by Charlotte Hubbard


GENRE: Amish/Inspirational Romance



For the peaceful town of Willow Ridge, November presents an early holiday surprise. Stranded in the snow, 18-year-old Lena Esh and her boyfriend Josiah Witmer need more than a place to stay for the night. Lena defied her strict family and their judgmental beliefs to run away with Josiah and have his baby. But she’s starting to wonder if he can prove as responsible as he is passionate. And she isn’t sure how—or if—they can ever find a place to truly call home.

Expecting their own miracle baby, Miriam and Ben Hooley rally the town to help the young couple, and Lena draws strength from their unexpected support. Though trouble may come calling, in this season of joyous rebirth, a little child will lead them. And two couples will see their dreams of forever family come true…



Ben cleared his throat. White frosting had run down a loaf of chocolate bread to puddle on the counter top, but he ignored the temptation to scoop it up with his fingertip. “What makes ya so sure you’ll be able to separate yourself from your child? Once it’s born, I’m guessin’ you’ll let Naomi run this place while ya take on your motherin’ duties.”

Miriam’s mouth clamped shut. Although Ben’s words were spoken gently, they had an unmistakable undercurrent. “Are ya sayin’ these things as an excited new dat—or as Preacher Ben upholdin’ the Old Order, tellin’ me to stay home after the baby’s born?” She gazed directly into her husband’s hazel eyes. “Or maybe ya think I should already be at home. Is that it?”

Ben’s lips flickered but he didn’t look away. “Bishop Tom’s been askin’ me about that—mostly because he’s concerned about your welfare and the child’s. But jah, you’re a preacher’s wife, Miriam, and there’s already been some murmurin’ about ya runnin’ this café, defyin’ Old Order ways,” he replied matter-of-factly. “And me, I’m wonderin’ how you’ll maintain a regular feedin’ schedule, and what you’ll do if the wee one’s sick, or—well, ya sure can’t be changin’ dirty diapers in this kitchen. Have ya even thought about such things? I sure have.”

Miriam suddenly needed to sit on the stool she kept close at hand. She’d known all along that their church leaders would expect her to take time off—or quit working altogether—after the baby was born. She sensed Bishop Tom was allowing her to work because she remained in the kitchen rather than carrying out orders or refilling coffee mugs, as she’d done before she married Ben at the first of the year. Amish wives were to remain modest and not to show their pregnant bodies in public.

But Tom and the others have all enjoyed eatin’ here these past several months—and where would they go if we closed up? Surely they know I run the Sweet Seasons more because I love feedin’ people than for the money. I—I’ve worked so hard to build up this business. The café has seen me through some tough times.

Was she overstepping her boundaries, thinking she could continue to work? Had she ignored her responsibilities as a wife and mother? Was Ben expressing his disappointment in her because she loved running her café even as she yearned to hold his child and raise it with him?

Are You disappointed in me, God? Have I been thinkin’ like a crazy woman, forgettin’ how You’d have me live this life You’ve blessed me with?


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Drawing upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community in Missouri, longtime Missourian Charlotte Hubbard writes of simpler times and a faith-based lifestyle in her Seasons of the Heart series. Like her heroine, Miriam Lantz Hooley, Charlotte considers it her personal mission to feed people. Faith and family, farming and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle. She’s a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and when she’s not writing, she loves to try new recipes, crochet, and sew. Charlotte now lives in Minnesota with her husband and their border collie.



Buy Link:


Review: I absolutely love the Seasons Of The Heart novels by Charlotte Hubbard. I've read nearly all of them, and this is a wonderful addition to the series and it is a Christmas book on top of it all. That's a plus for me. I adore romances with a Christmas setting.

This is the last book in the series and I'm going to be sad to see this series go, as I loved Willow Ridge and all the inhabitants.

In this book there are two couples Ben and Miriam who you will know from past books and Lena and Josiah, both couples are expecting babies, but they are at different points in their lives and relationships and find help in one another.

Lena is pregnant but not yet wed to Josiah, who is a very volatile young man. They are on their way to Higher Ground when they have trouble with their buggy in a snow storm. Hiriam is involved in their story which always brings drama to the story. He's just not a nice guy, as anyone that's read this series will know.

Josiah has done a lot of catering back in Iowa, and was going to work at Hiriam's supper club, but once in Willow Ridge he finds God has other plans for him.

Ben and Miriam help both Lena, who is struggling with Josiah's behavior and her pregnacy and Josiah grow up, while the younger two help them with some of the issues with Sweet Seasons.

The ending is really bittersweet and brings closure to everyone, knowing that all the drama that has been occurring will be at an end.

This is a beautiful uplifting story and a fabulous way to send off this grand series. If you haven't read any of these books, I urge you to do so. You won't regret it. All of them are stand alone novels, but you will see characters from other books mixing and minging.

Rating: 5 stars


Charlotte will be awarding $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Eva Millien said...

Great excerpt, thanks for sharing it and your review!

Mary Ellen Ashenfelder said...

Loving these reviews and book excerpts. This sounds like a fabulous read. Thank you.

Ree Dee said...

Since this is the last in the series, do you have another book(s) that you are working on?

CharlotteHubbard said...

Thanks so much for featuring my book on your blog today!

CharlotteHubbard said...

Ree Dee, I ALWAYS have another book in the works! Next March my new Promise Lodge series debuts with PROMISE LODGE, and then in June a spin-off series set in Willow Ridge will begin, called Simple Gifts. A SIMPLE VOW will be the first book in that series, and it features Nora Hooley and her Simple Gifts shop, and introduces the Riehl family into the Willow Ridge saga. Thanks for asking!

Victoria Alexander said...

Great post, thanks for sharing your review!

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Shannon R said...

What draws you to write this type of story?

Angel McGuffey said...

Sounds heartwarming, thx for sharing.

CharlotteHubbard said...

Shannon R., I was asked to write Amish stories by my editor, because I had written a historical faith-and-family based series for her at a different publishing house and she felt I had the right "feel" for Amish stories. I really enjoy writing about the Amish--I could never BECOME Amish, but I admire their work ethic and their simpler, less technical way of life. Thanks for asking!