Thursday, April 16, 2009

"The Secret" Book Review and Giveaway!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Secret

(Bethany House May 1, 2009)


Beverly Lewis


Let me start out by saying that this is book #1 in this new series, and it is definitely the start of something good (but only the start). Here we have some amazing storylines that start to intersect as we go along... Grace is from a nice Amish family, living a nice Amish life when weird things start happening. Mom can't sleep at night and wanders around outside, Dad doesn't want to discuss it, Grandma seems to know more than she is letting on... but not enough. Then one night Grace's world is turned upside down. Her mother is gone and no one knows why. Can her family function without mom? Can they survive the scrutiny of the Amish community? What is the deal with Heather who is coming to stay with an Amish family? The interesting thing about "The Secret" is that even though the big secret is revealed before the book is over it definitely asks more questions than it answers. This book is not about resolution, it is about questions... so don't read it if you are not planning on reading the rest of the series! I will say that it is worth the read and Beverly Lewis is a master at crafting characters and storylines - so dive into the mystery that is the Amish community!


If you would like a chance at winning a copy of "The Secret" by Beverly Lewis then leave me a comment telling me what intrigues you most about the Amish community. Be sure to leave your email address as I will stop entering people that don't include it so I can reach you. Good luck!

Not until her own children were well into middle school did Bev seek to publish her work, first in magazines such as Highlights for Children, Dolphin Log, and Guideposts for Kids. Her first book followed in 1993—Mountain Bikes and Garbanzo Beans—presently retitled Big Bad Beans (book #22 in the popular CUL-DE-SAC KIDS series of chapter books—see list of Bev's children's books).

Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, THE HERITAGE OF LANCASTER COUNTY, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."

Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Bev's tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."

A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and playing with their three grandchildren. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."


In the seemingly ordinary Amish home of Grace Byler, secrets abound. Why does her mother weep in the night? Why does her father refuse to admit something is dreadfully wrong? Then, in one startling moment, everything Grace assumed she knew is shattered.

Her mother's disappearance leaves Grace reeling and unable to keep her betrothal promise to her long-time beau. Left to pick up the pieces of her life, Grace questions all she has been taught about love, family, and commitment.

Heather Nelson is an English grad student, stunned by a doctor's diagnosis. Surely fate would not allow her father to lose his only daughter after the death of his wife a few years before. In denial and telling no one she is terminally ill, Heather travels to Lancaster County-- the last place she and her mother had visited together.

Will Heather find healing for body and spirit? As the lives of four wounded souls begin to weave together like an Amish patchwork quilt, they each discover missing pieces of their life puzzles--and glimpse the merciful and loving hand of God.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Secret, go HERE


windycindy said...

I adore Beverly's Lewis writing style! I have been to a few Amish
Communities/Towns and have always had an interest in their lifestyle.
Also, the difference between the
Amish and Mennonite Communities
intrigues me! I love their quilts
and the colorful flower gardens in their yards in contrast to their stark color of dress. Thanks, Cindi

Sarah said...

Oh this is so exciting! I love Beverly Lewis.

mindy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mindy said...

the simplicity of their lifestyle and how in a modern society they can be "plain" thanks for the giveaway minsthins at optonline dot net

scottsgal said...

We used to visit an Amish community out in Iowa when I was in college - it's an interesting way of life and they had the best homecooked food - we always stopped into their restaurant.

msboatgal at

Mary Jo said...

The simple life that the Amish lead amazes me.

Mary Jo Robertson
rcmjrobertson (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

Kelly said...

I grew up in rural Ohio, and encountered the Amish now and then, but never really got a chance to explore their lifestyle. I absolutely adore their cooking, though!

As for what intrigues me, I always wonder how they deal with the temptations to use modern technology while being surrounded by it. Do they ever long for a car as cars pass their carriages?

krtrumpet [at] aol [dot] com

samf36 said...

I like to watch the Amish community by me harvest wheat. They all work so hard together


Sherrylinn said...

I admire the strength of the Amish people. The ability to "stick to" their lifestyles while surrounded by so much technology is amazing to me.

MJ said...

I really know nothing about the Amish community. I'd love to know their beliefs. Does the Bible tell them how to dress etc or does a leader decide that?

I'd love the book!

Sherrylinn said...

Okay, I'm a bonehead! I forgot to leave my email address:

slcremer at gmail dot com

Anna W. said...

Sounds great! Please enter me!

Anna W.
writer_weaver at yahoo dot com

cpullum said...

I like how they are family orientated and their faith is amazing. how they don't need material things to keep them happy just their religion and family!

nfmgirl said...

I'm fascinated with their isolation from the world, and yet their tight knit ties within their own community.

The book sounds fascinating. I'd love to be considered for the giveaway. Thank you!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Theresa N. said...

I love Beverly's books and find them very hard to part with when I'm finished.
Theresa N

christin said...

We have family in Central Missouri and every time we visit we take a trip out to Amish country...their simplistic lifestyle has always been very intriguing to me. This book sounds great:)
Thanks for the chance!

Anonymous said...

When I was a teenager we lived right in the middle of a large Amish community -- one of the few in the nation who believes that you don't have to be Amish to be a follower of the Lord. Because of that my father went to a men's Bible study with several Amish men and we subsequently became friends with their families. It was so neat to get to go to dinner at their house or work alongside them either at their family business or ours. Unfortunately since we moved away several years ago we've lost contact with the families, but I very much enjoyed that look into their lives... and I can say with authority that Beverly Lewis is very authentic in her portrayal of Amish lives. More than any other author I've read yet!

Something that intrigues me about them... the fact that they don't read the Old Testament in their churches. During the Bible study that my father did with them, he was surprised to find they were not familiar with stories like David and Goliath or Jonah and the whale. Wow!


Anita Yancey said...

Great review! What intrigues me about the Amish is how they can live without modern things that we take for granted like electricity and cars. I admire them, but don't think I could live that way. Sounds like a good book. Please enter me. Thanks!


Kiki said...

I'd love to be entered into this contest...I always see the Amish-themed books on the shelves of the bookstore but aren't sure if they fit enough with my lifestyle to buy...winning one would be a surefire way to see if I like them or not!

ParkingGoddessFTW at gmail dot com

rlgrady said...

I would love to read this. Even though I'm from PA,and visit Lancaster occasionally, I don't really know a lot about the Amish community.


lorf927 said...

The simple way the Amish live really intrigues me and the fact that they make great furniture. Thanks for giving me a chance to win.


The Giveaway Diva said...

oh wow that sounds like a really great book! always been interested in the amish!

kate said...

i would love to learn more about the amish! so many people do not understand them! and that is a shame!!


BUSY BEE said...

The thing that interests me most about the amish is that so many people find them amazinga and interesting!

This book sounds fantastic


ajay said...

I went to the Pennsylvania Amish area when I was a little girl and mainly remember two things: 1, the expensive leather products, and 2, how the people there seemed to glow with a simple type joy, and that is what intrigues me most about the Amish community.


Cara Putman said...

Okay, I haven't read any Beverly Lewis. Can you believe that?!? I love Kim Sawyer's Mennonite series though. What I like is when I'm surprised by the complexity of a seemingly simple life.

liane66 said...

What interests me the most about the Amish is how they keep their customs in the face of all the modern life around them.
Thanks for the giveaway!

Belinda said...

Sounds like a great read. We have a Amish community nearby but I know little about it.
1bmore @ gmail . com

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I have read several Beverly Lewis books and thoroughly enjoyed them. I find the Amish customs fascinating and I admire the closeness of the Amish community.

darbyscloset said...

What fasinates me the most is their daily life I constantly remind myself of God's presence yet "they" don't seem to need reminding, he is always with them and they are aware of that.
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

ellie said...

There was a TV show back in the 80s called Adam's Way. I was hooked on it and ever since I've been fascinated with the Amish culture. Please enter me.
eswright18 at gmail dot com

Belinda M said...

Hope I am not too late to enter. If not please enter me in the giveaway

"Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Fun:"

bison61 said...

I don't know anything about the Amish community-how do they live their lives - what do they believe

tiramisu392 (at)

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, Beverly Lewis is my favorite author. Please pick me, I really want to read this!!

Lora Lease said...

I love the way the Amish protect themselves from modern life.

Please enter me in the drawing.

TX_Jen34 said...

I don't know much about the Amish. I'd like to learn more.

Marie said...

I am fascinated about how the Amish do so well with so much less then what most of us consider necessary for our "modern" lives.

Heather said...

I'm intrigued by how they can live on so much less then we all do.

heatheranne99 at hotmail dot com

Janna said...

And the winner is...