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Spring's Renewal: Seasons of Sugarcreek, Book Two Paperback – April 10, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


“Clara is a well-crafted and relatable character. You’ll soon be as partial to Clara as the author, especially as she develops and comes out of her shell.” (Romantic Times BOOKclub)

From the Back Cover

Tim Graber arrives in Sugarcreek to help his aunt and uncle with spring planting. At first, Tim doesnÆt fit in with his many cousins and their crowded lifestyle. But when he meets Clara Slabaugh, the local school teacher, he understands why the Lord brought him to Sugarcreek. Clara is shy and quiet. Scarred from a fire when she was small, Clara has resigned herself to living alone and caring for her mother, who tells her that no man will ever see past her scars, and that Clara needs to keep teaching in order to make ends meet. Her father passed away years ago, and her mother depends on her. But the scars mean nothing to Tim. He appreciates her quiet nature and her wonderful, loving way with children. Yet Tim has a sweetheart back home in Indiana. As these two hearts struggle to determine their path, tragedy strikes, and every other worry seems insignificant in comparison. Though they now face a life they never imagined, will Tim and Clara have the faith to step out and risk everything for a chance at true love?

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Product Details

  • Series: Seasons of Sugarcreek (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061852368
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061852367
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Shelley Shepard Gray lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. A busy wife and mother of two, she spends her days writing and keeping track of her two teenagers. Her two dogs keep her company when she writes in her basement.

Shelley enjoys writing about the Amish and visits Amish communities in Adams and Holmes counties several times a year. When not spending time with her family or writing, she serves on several committees in her church.

She also bakes a lot, loves coconut cream pie, and will hardly ever pull weeds, mow the yard, or drive in the snow.

Shelley also spends a lot of time on line! Please visit her website, to find out her latest news...or become her friend on FaceBook.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Koehler on August 21, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the first book by Shelley Gray that I've read. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The characters quickly developed into "people" that I cared about and wanted to follow through the story. The main protagonists were fleshed out with sufficient depth and behaved unpredictably enough that they were credible and interesting. However, some of the more peripheral characters were fairly shallow and predictable.
One of the things I liked best was the calming effect the book had on me the a reader. It held my interest despite a lack of the gratuitous violence, terror and cruelty that so many authors build into their novels. The glue that held this book together for me was the fundamental human values shared by many of the characters -- love of family, respect for the truth, a regard for the needs of others, and a drive to become the best person they could be.
The book is obviously written from a heavily Christian perspective -- afterall, most of the characters are Amish. That particular world view does not resonate with me, but to Ms. Gray's credit, she presented it in a way that came across as honest and heartfelt, not preachy. She writes with a soft touch that will likely speak to readers of various religious persuasions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deborah VINE VOICE on April 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
I know I have said this before but I really am a fan of Amish fiction by Shelley Shepard Gray. Unlike other Amish books, her stories do not involve conflict between the Amish world and the outside world. There are no main stories about Amish teens struggling between their world and the new things they discover during their Rumspringa or drama about the church and ways of belief. Instead her books just embrace the culture and just let the characters do their own thing and just be Amish. They are always good reads and just very comforting.

In this story, we meet up with schoolteacher Clara who has the unfortunate fate of being scarred from an accident when she was young. She lives with her mother who seems to overly depend on Clara almost to the point of suffocation. There seems to be no hope for a better life and as the years go by and she gets older, Clara resigns herself to this life. Then Tim, a young man trying to find himself, arrives in their town and everything begins to change. While I found myself liking Clara immediately from the beginning, it really took me a while to bond with Tim. He just got on my nerves at first, I think it might be due to maybe the community he was from being a bit stricter. As it stood, I felt that Clara had a lot more daring in her and was more outspoken. Which is more than I could say about Tim's annoying girlfriend Ruby. Woo, what a...well let's just say there are choice words I could have said about her that aren't very nice.

The story focuses on Clara and Tim's relationship as well as their own personal lives. There's a bit of a drama scene at the end but it ties things together nicely. Also part of the story and returning from the first book in the series is pregnant teen Lilly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie VINE VOICE on April 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
Spring's Renewal is a sweet love story of finding true beauty beyond outward looks.

Clara, badly burned when she was a little girl, has tried to be satisfied with her lonely life. However, she can't help but long for someone who would love her for HER and see past her disfigured body.

Tim, visiting his aunt and uncle, is drawn to the quiet Clara, despite the fact that he has a sweetheart back home. Which woman is right for him?

Spring's Renewal is the second book in Shelley's `Seasons of Sugarcreek' series. I hadn't realized my mother in law had book 1, Winter's Awakening, until after I'd read this book.

I think Spring's Renewal was pretty self-explanatory, although after glancing at the back of Winter's Awakening, I'd like to read it to know the background behind several of the characters, mostly Lilly.

You shouldn't judge a book by its cover...but sometimes I judge the cover by the book, and I did not think the cover depicted Clara at all!

Clara has green eyes on the cover (brown in book) and she does not appear to have any burn scars. I could almost think her face was turned just enough not to have to portray the scarring, but her right hand is clearly shown.

So what? There's a part in the book that makes a big deal about Tim holding Clara's right hand and how most people avoid touching her or her scarred hand. not really a big deal in terms of the book itself, but I often notice those little things.

So, besides the cover and the few grammar/editing errors I found, I thought Spring's Renewal was a fast and easy rainy-day read and look forward to Autumn's Promise, the next book in the series.

Check out more book reviews on my blog: thecreativesideofsteph DOT blogspot DOT com
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Merrimon Crawford VINE VOICE on April 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
Tim Graber isn't all that anxious to come to Sugarcreek. After all, he has a sweetheart at home. Tim loves his aunt and uncle, however, so he plans to help them through the season and then go home to the life he planned. When he meets Clara, a teacher at the local school, Tim finds himself drawn to her. Clara Slabaugh loves her job teaching young children. With the children, Clara's self-consciousness about her appearance disappears as does the barrier between herself and others. An accident left Clara with burns on her face and arms. Clara has resigned herself to the fact that love and family will never be hers but when she meets Tim, he opens her heart in new ways. He even makes her feel pretty. Does she dare hope for the life of her dreams? Both Tim and Clara have definite plans for their lives, plans that make their futures separate. When a terrifying event comes to Sugarcreek, will their prayers open their hearts in new ways? Does God have a way of renewing their hearts so that new pathways and possibilities open to them?

SPRING'S RENEWAL, the second Amish inspirational romance in the Sugarcreek series after WINTER'S AWAKENING, has characters that will steal your heart, an exciting story with several intriguing twists, and a romance that renews one's faith. SPRING'S RENEWAL is my absolute favorite romance by this author. Clara is a superb romance heroine! A reader just wants to know her and roots for her. Clara is bright and independent but she has a sensitive heart as well. She is a wounded soul yet a woman strong in her faith. Tim is the perfect man for Clara, a man who sees her beauty inside and out. Although he makes youthful mistakes, he also has a steadiness and honesty with himself deep down. When push comes to shove, he knows when to stand up for love.
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Spring's Renewal: Seasons of Sugarcreek, Book Two
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