Thursday, February 18, 2010

Winter's Awakening by Shelley Shepard Gray GIVEAWAY

Winter's Awakening

by Shelley Shepard Gray
Avon ISPIRE Publishing
ISBN 978-0-06-18522-0

About the Book

Joshua Graber knows his future is set. He′s expected to work at his family business, the Graber Country Store. He′s expected to marry Gretta Hershberger, who he′s been courting for several years. But when a new English family moves next door and their lovely teenage daughter, Lilly Allen, catches his eye, Joshua wonders if all the plans for his future are too set in stone.

Gretta doesn′t know what′s going on with Joshua. When they argue and later stew in silence, it feels a lot like the frosty atmosphere at her home. After promising herself to never have a marriage like her parents, she wonders if perhaps another man might be a better match. A man such as Roland Schrock. He′s steady and kind and somewhat boring. If she marries him, she won′t ever have to worry about loving him and getting hurt.

Meanwhile, Lilly is enamored with the Amish way of life, and especially her handsome neighbor Joshua. But despite being drawn to him, she has a secret that will only drive him away. Her family moved to Sugarcreek to hide her pregnancy from their community back home. Once she′s had the baby, they plan to send her off to college without anyone from their old neighborhood knowing the truth. But as Lilly becomes wrapped up in the simplicity and graciousness of the Amish people, she begins to question what′s expected of her, and whether giving up her baby, and leaving Sugarcreek, is what she truly wants.

As the coldest winter on record blows into Sugarcreek, these three young people must struggle to determine the path of their futures.

My Review

This is the first book I've read by Shelley Shepard Gray. I really enjoy Amish novels and was happy to be introduced to a new author of that genre.

We meet Joshua and Gretta, two Amish teens whom the community believes will be spending their lives together. As it is in their community, it's almost a given as to who will marry whom as the kids grow up together. But is that how it should be? Is that what they truly want? That's exactly what Joshua and Gretta come up against.

When the new neighbors are introduced to Joshua's family, he isn't sure what to think of their teenage daughter. She brings thoughts into his head that he didn't know existed and starts to look at Gretta differently. In turn, Gretta's life is turned upside down by the new revelation that maybe she and Joshua aren't meant to spend their lives together.

The new neighbors, Englischers, have their own issues to deal with. Every family has their secrets and they are in Sugarcreek to keep hidden what they know. Of course, with Joshua and his family being neighbors, it's hard not to be neighborly, especially with kids that are the same age!

I enjoyed the Winter's Awakening. To be honest, it was hard for me to get involved in the story when I kept getting caught up in the Amish words. They are used in every story about the Amish that I've read, but somehow it seemed overdone to me. That is, at the beginning. After a while, I was able to get more involved in the lives of Shelley's characters.

I liked how Gretta and Joshua grew throughout the story. They were able to come to a place where they could just be who they are. They are able to explore their feelings and options in a way they never had before and I think it's a great example for the rest of us. Does life have to be the way it is just because that's what everyone expects?

Winter's Awakening was an enjoyable novel. I was able to settle in and enjoy my time at Sugarcreek.

About the Author

Before writing for the inspirational market, Shelley wrote several novels as Shelley Galloway. During this time, her books appeared on the Waldenbooks bestseller list, and she also won the prestigious Reviewers’ Choice Award from Romantic Times magazine.

Before writing professionally, Shelley taught school for 10 years. She taught fifth and sixth grade in Arizona, Texas, and Colorado. When her family was transferred to Ohio, her husband encouraged her to finally give writing a serious try. He even found a local writers meeting for her to attend! After a lot of hard work and a lot of luck, she sold her third manuscript.

Shelley is an active member of her church. She volunteers on steering committees, helps with rummage sales, and helps out at the welcome center. She and her husband are also part of a small group that has been instrumental in guiding her faith.

When not writing, Shelley can usually be found with her family. Her two teenagers keep her busy and happy. They all also love to travel.

Find out more about Shelley Shepard Gray and her books at her website.

Win Winter's Awakening

Leave a comment telling me if you've ever bought anything Amish. I haven't bought anything Amish, but my aunt has a Mennonite store by her cabin and I enjoy going there. It's different, and just a small little grocery "store". It's built onto a house, so it's not bigger than a living room.

Giveaway is open to US residents at least 18 yrs old. You must leave a way to contact you with an email or have it available in your profile. No email/contact = No entry. Void where prohibited. Giveaway ends 3/5 at 10pm CST.

I'd like to thank Trish at TLC Book Tours for my review copy of Winter's Awakening.


Linda said...

I, too, love Amish books. Plus a new author. Would love to an opportunity to win this book. Please enter me.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Casey said...

Hmmm. Never bought anything Amish, but have bought books- does that count? LOL!

Sounds like a good book, please enter me. :)


trish said...

I didn't realize Amish have a different dialect. Interesting!

Glad the dialect didn't hamper your enjoyment of the book too much. :)

Thanks for being on the tour! Great review!

Sandee61 said...

I've been to many Amish stores, and also have been to an Amish dinner at their home. It was sooo good! We live in Amish country so have Amish friends too.
I really enjoy Shelley's books, and would love to read this one.
Please enter me in your giveaway, thank you!



ossmcalc said...

I have not purchased anything that is Amish but have always been fascinated with the Amish way of life. In September each year, a big sale is held by the Amish community near a town where a good friend of mine lives. As soon as I make it past all of my health issues and can travel again, I hope to join my friend at this sale. She says that the quilts are just beautiful.

Thank you,


Wendy said...

I have never bought anything amish (except books about the amish).
wsmarple at gmail dot com

Carole said...

I've never been to an Amish area or purchased anything, but I do enjoy reading about them. Thank you for the chance to win Shelley's book, Mimi.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

CarlybirdH said...

I used to live in Pennsylvania and my mom took a couple trips with friends to Amish country and she would bring home Amish baked goods, and they were the best. I've always wanted to and see it for myself.

I agree with you about the Amish words slowing down a story. I have read a few Amish books and that has always been one thing I have not liked.

I would like to win a copy of this book and give this new series a try! Thank you.

Cheryl said...

I love reading Amish books but I have not purchased anything Amish. Not that I wouldn't like too if given the opportunity. I would love to win this book. Please enter me in the contest. My mail address is shryackmom[@]charter[.]net

Merrie L. said...

We have Amish nearby... we buy the baked goods frequently! YUM!

Giveaway Lady said...

Please enter me in your giveaway:) Thanks so much!!

diane said...

when i lived in oklahoma we would drive to northern part of the state and go eat at their resturants. it was so good. i also bought a cookbook from them. they are the nicest people. i would love to win this book.

Edgy Inspirational Author said...

I've read all of Shelley's other books but not this one...


Julia M. Reffner said...

I purchase spices in bulk from an Amish store located about an hour away. The same herbs/spices I pay $4-5 for are often available for mere pennies at the Amish market.

Please enter me.


Edna said...

Oh I love to read about the Amish and there must be a lot of people that does also. I see more and more autors witting on this subject

Please enter me into the drawing for the book, would love to add it to my library


Emily said...

The Amish are probably my favorite subject to read about.
Please enter me!


Anonymous said...

i've purchased several handmade quilts from Lancaster, PA...would LOVE to read this wonderful book...thanks for the opportunity.


Cherie J said...

I bought an Amish Cookbook once. It had some delicious recipes and the author had wonderful descriptions of Amish life.


Katie said...

When we visited Amish country in PA, we bought some delicious barbeque sauce. I looked at the ingredients and knew what everything was!

Thanks for the great giveaway.


Emma said...

We buy the baked goods.The food is very good.Please enter me in the giveaway. augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

Madonna said...

When I lived in NC, I used to go to the Amish store and buy meats and stuff. They made incredible sandwiches. I used to buy a powdered cheese sort of like whats in mac & cheese and use it in everything. Its great in mashed potatoes. My aunt mails it to me now.

Edna said...

Please enter me, I am new on your site, So now I am following you on facebook and have just put your button on my blog.

I would love this book.
May God Bless


Unknown said...

I really enjoy Amish books. I visited a Amish community in PA many years ago when my kids were small and was fascinated. Would love to go back and visit another one again sometime. Please enter me.


Carol said...

I have been hooked on Amish books recently and just heard of this author. Haven't had the opportunity to read anything of hers yet. So, would love to win!! I find the Amish lifestyle fascinating and would love to buy an Amish quilt some day. Or even a piece of their furniture. Thanks, Mimi for a chance at winning!
choco1950 (at) (

Linda Kish said...

I'm sure as a small child we bought something when we visited Lancaster, PA but I haven't since then.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Winning Readings said...

Looks like a good book - I like the Amish ones I've read in the past. And I don't recall buying anything specifically Amish...

We posted about this giveaway at Winning Readings:

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Annette W. said...

I'm curious where your aunt lives...I live a couple miles from Lancaster Cty in PA.

I shop at an Amish grocery store for a few things, including bulk foods and apples for my applesauce. As for an Amish quilt or

derekannette at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I live in an area with many Amish families. It is enjoyable to be on the road with their horses and carriages. They make the best pies and breads. The most recent Amish purchase I made just this weekend. It is a towel holder, made of wood with a marble inside.

wismomworks (at) gmail (dot) com

Mel said...

I have bought lots of Amish cheese during a vacation in Penn. once! Thanks for the giveaway!
mjudge83 at

Michelle - Blessed Mom of 5 said...

I've never bought anything Amish, only books about them!

Julie said...

My husband installed kitchen cabinets that were made by the Amish

Katie said...

Besides from tons of Amish books, I have been to Lancaster County and purchased Amish wood carvings, a pillow with an Amish print and tons of Amish homegrown fruits and veggies as well as baked goods!

Benita said...

On vacation I bought an Amish cookbook and an Amish cap.


adge said...

I have never bought an Amish thing but I have been to their shops in the Pennsylvania area and know that they make some nice things. gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

Cheryl B said...

I have never bought anything Amish other than possibly Amish themed books. There is nothing Amish really available around where I live!


Anonymous said...

There are many Amish families where I live in New York. I have bought chicken eggs and strawberries from them before. They do have the best dairy products and fresh produce!
june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com

Merry said...

I've gotten some small quilted items and always wanted a large quilt!


Anonymous said...

I haven't purchased anything that is Amish, but love to look at the furniture stores and hope to buy some pieces sometime.

ebeandebe at gmail dot com

Kristi said...

I have never purchased anything Amish - never really had the opportunity! But I do love the Amish books that seem to be in abundance lately!

kherbrand at comcast dot net

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.