The Gift

Array
The Gift

The Gift: The Amish of Hart County (Avon Inspire, November 2017)

A special Christmas story about love and blessings in the next book in the Amish of Hart County series

The Schwartz family is happy to be spending Christmas on their new farm in Hart County. But when Susanna Schwartz hears gunshots that causes her buggy to overturn, and then her little sister falls through a wooden bridge into the icy creek, it becomes clear from these dangerous “accidents” that someone wants them gone.

Neil Vance has been heartbroken ever since his parents lost their family farm. He knows it’s not the Schwartz family’s fault, but he can’t help but be resentful. Until he meets Susanna. She is kind-hearted and bold, and Neil can’t stop thinking about her pretty green eyes.

Neil thinks the accidents are just that, but Susanna’s father is convinced the Vance family is responsible. Susanna refuses to believe Neil would do anything to harm her. She’s fallen in love with him and knows he is a good man. But her family is ready to pack up and move, and time is running out to uncover the truth before someone gets hurt . . . or worse.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Reviews

  • MY THOUGHTS

    We’re back in Hart County with the Schwartz family. One problem is the new Amish community isn’t accepting the Schwartz family. It’s Christmas time and this is a time to be joyous. But things turn dangerous when Susanna hears gunshots. The buggy that Susanna and her little sister are in goes into the icy creek. Too many accidents have been happening. What is going on? I thought I had it figured out but I soon found out, I was wrong. Emotions will hit you with this book. Your heart may pause. SO much is happening, shots and falling into a cave. Will this be survival or will danger win? I love Amish books. They are clean and wholesome. In this book you get the faith, family, adventure, danger, romance and accidents, well maybe, they aren’t accidents. The family are relying on their faith to see them through this. Is this a case of mere accidents or is it deliberate, someone trying to get them to leave? Will the true reason for the “accidents” come to the surface? Will love prevail? And most of all, will the faith be kept?

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group and voluntarily decided to review it.

  • This is one book that I will say that kept me guessing till the end. Shelley’s interweaves romance with mystery throughout this book.
    The Schwartz family buys the Vance farm but are unaware that others in the community think they took advantage of the Vance family. Neil Vance meets Suzanna and stays with her till help arrives after a buggy accident. Slowly little incidents start to happen that threatens the safety of the Schwartz family. Neil slowly realizes he was wrong about Suzanna and her family. When something happens that threatens the lives of both Suzanna and Neil will they realize who has been causing all of the problems. You will be shocked.

  • This is book 3 in the The Amish of Hart County series. It stood well on its own and didn’t leave me feeling like I was missing back story.  It was an intriguing read that was well written and was easy to read. The characters were well developed and relatable.  It was a fast paced read that kept me entertained throughout the read. I recommend this read.

  • The Gift” by author Shelley Shepard Gray is a wonderful Christmas story. Susanna Schwartz is just starting a new life with her family on their new farm. But, there are things happening that is scaring them all. First, Suzanna’s buggy turns over after there is the sound of a gunshot. As if that is not bad enough her little sister almost dies when she falls into a creek from a bridge. Neil Vance is a man who does not want to blame the Schwartz family for his family’s bad luck. It was not their fault that the farm they picked was his family farm. Neil has just meet Suzanna and he is very attracted to her

  • “The Gift” by Shelley Shepard Gray is a novel from the series The Amish of Hart County. The Schwartz family has just purchased a farm in Hart County, Kentucky’s cave country. Susanna Schwartz is injured in a buggy accident and comes to as a young man helps her and makes sure the authorities are called. After Susanna’s accident with the buggy, other sinister occurrences take place which seem to be part of a campaign to get the Schwartz family to move away. These “accidents” become more deadly as they continue and no one has been found to be responsible. Susanna and Neil team up to find the culprit or culprits and find more than that. Ms. Shepherd gave nothing away until the very end and I welcomed that…it kept me reading long into the night.

  • A great story that will teach us to look for Christmas joy in all things!

  • I have read a few of Mrs. Gray’s novels and been a fan of most of them. This novel is no different, it offered a lot of suspense and questionable characters on who could be the culprit. However, I felt something was missing as the novel wasn’t as exciting as her other “Hart County” novels. As the culprit became very clear midway through the novel. That isn’t to say that I won’t read her other novels.

  • Another great story by Shelley! Reading about the sisterly bond between Susanna, Amanda, and Traci made me reflect about the relationship I have with my own sisters. Shelley is one of my favorite authors because I usually end up having to pause and reflect about something in every book of hers that I read.

  • There is the expected Amish romance, with an nice dose of conflict, tension, and suspense in the story. There are lots of questions about who might be the “villain,” questions that kept me guessing throughout most of the book. The characters were interesting and kept me engaged in the story.

    I would recommend The Gift to Amish fiction fans. The books in this series are not really tied together except by location, so reading them in order is not a necessity. The story is set around Christmas time, making it very appropriate to read at this time of year, or any time at all.

  • The themes of forgiveness and trust are prevalent throughout the novel. Once forgiveness had been granted, it paved the way for Suzanne to trust Neil more resulting in a beautiful friendship between the two characters. And really, isn’t it that way in life? God forgave us (for our sins) and as long as we trust Him, we have a beautiful relationship too?
    I enjoyed reading “The Gift.” Between the “who done it” suspense and the relationships of the characters, I had to keep reading to find out what happened next!

  • This book will make you have so many emotions and wait till you try to solve the mystery of who is causing all of these mysterious accidents. The suspense of this book around the holiday season of this book is refreshing. You will not be able to put this book down! It unlike any other book I have read by Shelley.

  • As long as Shelley keeps writing Amish fiction, I’ll keep reading it… because I have LOVED each and every one of her books!

    I can only imagine how difficult it would be to move to a new home just before Christmas. A place where you don’t know anyone and everyone seems unfriendly. Shelley truly does give us a story full of love and blessings–one we’ll cherish at Christmas time.

    Whatever you do, don’t miss out on this wonderful story.

  • This is book 3 in The Hart of Amish County.
    It’s the perfect book for this time of year. You get the best of both worlds in this one book Amish and Christmas.
    Romance, a little bit of a mystery, and Amish living. You can’t go wrong.
    Now about the mystery, I can’t wait for you readers to let me know what you think about who was behind all of these accidents.
    Gray, has out done herself on this series. Now this can be read as a stand alone but I really recommend the whole series. It’s her best series to date. You won’t be sorry.
    I gave this book 5 stars. I HIGHLY recommend it.
    The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own

  • The Gift is the third book in The Amish of Hart County Series by Shelley Shepard Gray. Overall, I enjoy this book because I like the characters. I was really pulling for Neal and Susanna from the very first scene. Although one can argue predictability. And honestly, the romance was evident from the start.

    Though I liked the characters, the ending of this book was so anticlimactic. When I’m thrown a red herring, I’d like to see the real culprit brought to life in a way that takes my breath. The suspense fell short for me and I never felt any real urging to find out who was threatening the Schwartz family.

    The story ended so abruptly that it nearly felt as if the story were incomplete. The way that each of these stories have been so far is that each character has a small cameo in the next

  • THE GIFT is the third book in the Amish of Hart County series by popular author Shelley Shepard Gray, but it easily stands alone. This one is also a Christmas book, but could be read at any time of the year.

    Written in Ms. Gray’s sweet voice, the story is everything you come to expect from a Shelley Shepard Gray novel. Sweet. Innocent. Engaging.

    Sue and her family are new to Hart County, but they expected to quickly make friends and be accepted. Instead, Sue is shot at right away, and while they missed her and the buggy, they did spook her horse, causing an accident, the loss of a valuable horse and buggy, and fear. Then a fence is broken down. When their bridge is deliberately sabotaged it seems plain as day someone is trying to scare them away. But who?

    I had my suspicions who was b

  • The story is a beautiful reminder to be content with what you have. We sometimes blame others for something we are responsible for and that leads to bitterness, jealousy and unforgiveness. I loved the intrigue in the story and loved how the author gave subtle hints of who was behind the “accidents.” It was funny that I thought for sure I knew who it was. I was surprised to find out I was wrong. The story is one that will stay with me for a long time. Thank you for reminding us about the true gift of Christmas.

    “It ain’t what we have or don’t have that counts. What matters is how we follow our faith and treat others.”

    I received a copy of this book from LitFuse. The review is my own opinion.

  • The problem with books by Shelley Shepard Gray is that they end too soon, they are too quick to read, and they’re gone before you know it. The Gift is the third installment in this series, and it is no exception. I have read all three books in the series, and I loved them all. The story is immediately engaging and the characters endearing. Gray wastes no time in diving into the plot and her development is just as quick and thorough. I find myself unable to put the books down. The dialogue is believable and characters bring an interesting twist on Amish Fiction.

    Gray’s characters are relatable, sisters totally different in personalities yet bonded in friendship, neighbors struggling with change and hardship, families divided and unified. They all appear in this intriguing mystery set in Amish country. I love that the story carries Amish tradition in its setting and plot, but that unexpected parts of the culture and reality of a modern world also surface. Gray’s stories really are a fresh face to Amish fiction.

    I am already excitedly awaiting the next book and to see where Hart County and the mysteries there take us next. Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for providing me a copy in exchange for my honest review. I hope you will check out Shelley Shepard Gray and purchase your own copy of the book! Let’s book club the next one if you do. And just an inside scoop they are fabulous on audiobook too!

  • I really enjoyed this third book by Shelley. I loved the mystery, romance all wrapped into one!
    The cover of the book is really cool!
    I think that some ppl do have a hard time with changes. I’m one of those ppl.
    I just can’t say enough about this book except that it is a midnight oil burner book!
    I also enjoyed making new friends with the ppl in the story.
    I thought Shelley did such a good job in bringing the characters to life. I loved the ability she has to make you feel like you’re in the story with the ppl.
    I don’t live but an hour away from Horse Cave, Ky. I love a good book set in Kentucky.
    Susanna is the best character. I love her bc she has a brilliant mind and knows how to get things done. I love her determination to prove a point that the things that were happening were not her or her family’s imagination!
    I’m like Neil’s mom. I love Christmas! It’s my favorite time of year! I also count my many blessings even though it’s hard sometimes!
    I strongly recommend this book!
    I received this book for free! I was not required to leave a review

  • Another page turner by author Shelley Shephard Gray, I truly had a difficult time putting this book down. And while I wanted to see how it ended, I didn’t want it to end!
    Gray does a wonderful job of bringing her characters to life. You’ll feel the tension, the pain, and the mystery. Yes, mystery. Not your typical Amish story, this quickly developed into a who done it that I couldn’t figure out.
    Filled with family tension and trials there is also a sweet romance and a knight in shining armor. I highly recommend it!
    I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

  • I love returning to the Amish community of Hart County and especially enjoyed doing so at Christmas! It is a pleasure to revisit past characters, as well as meet new ones, as Gray brings another compelling story to life. A great blend of suspense and romance, I thoroughly enjoyed The Gift and look forward to continuing this intriguing series!

  • Yet another great book in this series. I don’t think Shelley Shepard Gray could write a bod book if she tried.

    This one was really intense. It was very suspenseful and certainly kept you wondering. I did have an inkling who was the suspect, but really wasn’t sure until the end.

    I really loved all the characters in this story. This is something Shelly has a gift for – character development. She just has a way with her characters as if she know them all personally and wants you to know them as well. She not only develops the main characters but the minor ones as well. I always feel as though I know everyone mentioned as though they are my neighbors. As in most of Shelly’s books there is another romance happening along side the main one – its like you are getting two stories in one.

    I loved that this had a Christmas theme. Although – they don’t get to celebrate Christmas in the traditional way (you will have to read to know what I am talking about). This is a very romantic yet suspenseful and edgy story. As always she keeps it clean and Christian based (but not preachy).

    A wonderful read that I could not put down, and as usual I am looking forward to the next one.

    I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from Litfuse ~ Thank You!
    Order yo

  • The Gift by Shelley Shepard Gray was another great book by this author. I don’t think I have ever read a book by this author that I haven’t liked. I really enjoyed the characters in this book and the setting of the book. I have a couple of the other books in this series, so I really enjoyed getting to catch up with some of the characters along with getting to meet new characters.

  • The Gift is a quick read. The story takes place around Thanksgiving and Christmas which makes it fun to grab a warm beverage and cozy up with. This book was good and I enjoyed trying to figure out who was causing all the trouble with the Schwartz family.

  • A beautifully well written story with characters you will enjoy. Romance and suspense all in one and it will keep you guessing through out. Definitely a page turner and you don’t want to miss out on this adventure it is one story you will love.

  • I am head-over-heels in love with this book! I love Amish fiction, especially this time of year. When I picked up The Gift to read one evening, I knew I’d enjoy it. (Because Shelley Shepard Gray is uh-mazing.) What I didn’t expect was reading over half the book in one sitting.

  • EmpowerMoms says:

    I have read the other books in this series and have enjoyed every single one! Very well written, good character development, and steady plot. Love the drama and suspense trying to figure out who is sabotaging the Schwartz family. Really enjoyed this romantic story and can’t wait to read book 4!

  • Shelley Shepherd Gray always writes a good book, but this one is exceptionally so. It is a beautiful Christmas story of intrigue and also reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas. We sometimes blame others for our mistakes, and that only leads to bitterness and jealously. Also what we have or don’t have isn’t important but our faith in God and how we treat others.

  • The author has created a page tuner here, and I couldn’t put it down, quickly became involved and wondered who was doing the evil acts. Yes, I guessed and guessed wrong, but you will be doing the same with this non-stop action in Amish country, and first impressions are not always right!
    I loved being back in Hart County and being updated on past friends, and love has survived! This is a new group, but they are now part of the family, and this story is going to linger with you for a long time.

  • The Gift was a great way to jump into some holiday reading, peppered with a bit of mystery and danger. It is part of a series set in Hart County, however, is definitely readable as a stand alone novel.

  • Readers who love a great suspense among their Amish novels, will want to pick this one up. This is the third novel in the Amish of Hart County and as with all of Shelley Shepard’s novel, I don’t even have to read the back cover because she involves the reader so much, they feel like they’re a part of the book. There are some bonus material at the conclusion of this novel including reader’s guide questions, insights into the story line and some delicious Amish recipes to try.

  • Shelley Shepard Gray has done an amazing job of weaving mystery and romance together. You will be hooked from the first page and won’t be able to put the book down until you finish. She creates characters that are flawed yet have redeeming qualities and you will find yourself having a hard time remembering they are fiction!

  • This series has been fun to read and while they are best read as the series you can read them and stand alone books and still be enjoyed.

  • Overall, despite some nitpicking on several cliched scenes, The Gift is still a good read. It’s not the best in the series, but it’s still worth reading.

  • A story about jealousy, pride, resentment, fear and ultimately forgiveness and peace, The Gift resonates with readers, even if the experiences are not the same. There’s a certain level of veracity to human nature that I find so poignant yet hopeful. There’s hope because of light shines the most in darkness. There’s such candor in the author’s writing that I just love. It may not be what I’d want to feel at the moment, but many times, I would think back of the message, the story, the characters, and then realize, they made an impact that lasts. And that is The Gift, and the author’s gift to her readers, at least to me. So, thank you, Shelley Shepard Gray.

  • Moments says:

    What a great story to read to get me in the mood for Christmas decorating and the Christmas season! I love the cover of this book, it is beautiful and I could also picture being on the farm and in Hart County while reading. Shelley has once again done a great job with setting the scene, creating characters that are easy to love and connect with and a nice mix of suspense and romance.

  • Shelley Shepard Gray writes with a delightful blend of warmth and grace, with just the right amount of sass thrown in for good measure. You sit down to read a chapter and, before you know it, you’ve finished the whole thing because it’s so charming! The Gift is the same way. It’s a quick read but you’ll find yourself wrapped up in the words like a soft comforting blanket.

  • This book is the perfect blend of Amish simplicity, Godly messages, strong characters, a touch of romance and pinch of suspense. I love the way this book reads as a stand alone, yet captures the complete series in one book. If you love fast paced, Amish simple life, and suspense, then this 5 star book is one you want on your forever shelf. Grab it now! Well done, Mrs. Gray!

  • Cozy, heartwarming, homey, & yet suspenseful, all in one book, it’s an excellent combination!
    Forgiveness, being neighborly, a bit of romance, and more are found in this story.

  • There is a great amount of suspense in The Gift. The Schwartz family is being targeted by someone in the community, and Susanna is determined to figure out who before life is lost. An unlikely romance between her and Neil Vance emerges during this time, and Neil has some hard facts to face about his own family. The Gift was a great balance of romance and suspense!

  • The Gift captured my attention right away with a great who done it mystery paired with a wonderful touch of romance. Taken to the countryside with vivid descriptions I fell into the Amish way of life.

  • Ms Gray does a good job of incorporating twists and turns throughout the story to keep you guessing who the guilty party is. The lovable characters developed well as the story progressed. And the story has a beautiful ending.

  • I did like the characters’ appreciation for God’s creation in nature and their emphasis on faith and family. This is not a bad book by any means; it just didn’t captivate me like some of the author’s other books. Sometimes a book and a reader just don’t mesh, and this was one of those books for me. I will continue to read her writings and look forward to what she publishes next.

  • I really liked the angle of the story where Susanna and Neil Vance-the oldest son of the family that sold the farm- become unlikely friends and reluctant love interests. Not only do we have their story but we get Susanna’s sister, Amanda and their new neighbor’s romance as well. A dark, chilling story within the Christmas season made for an interesting read this holiday season.

  • Gray hits another one out of the park with her holiday offering, The Gift!  She really keeps you on the edge of Santa’s sleigh as you try to figure out whether the incidents surrounding Susanna are accidents – or something more dangerous.

  • This is perfect for a special holiday season like Christmas day.

  • Susanna was a tough girl and I liked how she wanted to get to the truth of whoever was behind the accidents. Neil made a stupid choice early on but realized the error of his ways and changed his attitude. It would be really hard to lose your farm, especially when it was under embarrassing circumstances, but he determined to keep his priorities in order and be thankful for what he did have. This was a slightly suspenseful Christmas story you’ll definitely want to read if you like Amish stories!

  • I love how Shelley Shepard Gray develops all the characters in her books and The Gift is does just that. She makes you feel like you know the characters like they are your neighbors. I had so many favorite characters in this story that I couldn’t tell you who my favorite is. The main characters have a lot of depth and even the smaller characters have a unique personality. The author has an element of faith weaved into the story.

  • “The Gift” is a story that kept me turning the pages. It is a story that shows that people need to take responsibilities for their own actions and not blame others. I am including two quotes from the book that I think are what life is really all about, even in fiction, there is truth to be found. “ It ain’t what we have or don’t have that counts. What matters is how we follow our faith and treat others.” The second quote is “None of us ever really knows how what we do and what we say affects everyone around us. It’s easy to make someone’s day…. or ruin it with just a few short words”.

  • Enjoyed the mystery of the book and I am loving this series. Can be read as a stand alone book since does not continue. I read this book in one day, meaning it was a book hard to put down.

  • The Gift may be my favorite book in the Hart County series to date. Festive, and therefore perfect to read right now, it sets the mood for Christmas – with a bit of mystery, too. The book truly kept me guessing till the end. I wanted a few more clues earlier in the book as to the suspect’s identity and motives, but ah well. It still worked!

    A gripping read that sheds fascinating insight into Amish life – especially when a mystery pops up in the community!

  • Once again Shelley Shepard Gray has written a book about the Amish that held my attention until the very end.

  • Shelley Shepard Gray never fails to give readers a delightful read. This story has a good blend of sweet friendship turned romance and mystery/suspense. She supplies a cast of characters that readers from all walks of life can identify with despite not being Amish. And while I have shied away from reading Amish stories for some time now, Gray has drawn me back in.

  • I loved the characters in this book which were mainly from two families. I think Gray did a great job developing those characters, too.

  • As has been the case with the other books in the Hart County Series, this book was captivating, suspenseful and had me hooked from the beginning. The twists and turns kept me guessing on who could be targeting the family and in the end, I was convinced it was different than was ultimately discovered. The story shared of one family’s loss and another family’s opportunity, of pride and jealousy, of the strength that can be found in family and the importance of hope and forgiveness. I enjoyed following the story as Susanna and Neil became unlikely friends and even found their feelings for one other developing deeper.
    I look forward to reading more from Shelly Shepard Gray especially the suspenseful novels she is writing as part of her The Amish of Hart County series.

  • In this third book, we meet some new families in Hart county including the Schwartz family that have recently purchased a farm and moved to the community. They instantly begin dealing with some unwelcoming feelings from the community and some not so accidental events targeting their family. From gunshots to a burning shed, it seems that someone is making it known they do not want this family in the community. As with the other books in this series, the suspense element kept me interested and reading page after page. For those that love the romance side, never fear because Shelly also included some sweet budding romances with the story. She always has a way of developing her storyline and characters into easy and enjoyable stories.

  • I have really been enjoying this series. This is the third book in the series but they don’t have to be read in order as each book deals with mostly new characters and situations. This book deals with Neal and Susanna. Neil’s family have lost their farm and are forced to live with Neil’s uncle. They also blame Susanna’s family because her family bought the Vance’s farm. Strange things start to happen around the farm and Neil and Susanna set out to find the culprit. A very nice story with a good mystery and a bit of romance. Highly recommend if you like Amish fiction.

  • An Amish mystery in Hart County Kentucky will keep readers interested in trying to solve who is behind the incidents that threaten the Schwartz family as Christmas approaches. Interesting cast of characters. Enjoyed this one even more than the first two books in this series by Shelley Shepard Gray.

  • Shelley Shepard Gray has found a way to combine three of my favorite genres into one beautifully written story – amish fiction, clean light romance, and mystery!

  • Book by Book says:

    Shelley Shepard Gift keeps the suspense, mystery, and romance going with the third book in the Amish of Hart County series, The Gift, which is sure to please fans of the series. The characters prove lovable throughout the storyline, the romance develops sweetly, and danger and uncertainty lurk at nearly every turn of a page. Since Gray then blends all these elements with the cozy feeling of Christmastime, this book makes an excellent read for this time of year and for fans of Amish fiction. I really enjoyed it.

  • Shelley Shepard Gray is one of my favorite Amish writers. She definitely didn’t disappoint me with this book. I’m looking forward to more Amish of Hart County books.

  • More Of Him says:

    I enjoyed this book quite a lot. This author is one of my favorites and, as always, her characters are well developed and you feel like you know these people. The mystery and romance part of the book are very good, too. I think you’ll like this book as much as I did! I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

  • I really enjoyed this story. At the beginning I wondered where it was going because it took the mystery a little bit of time to develop. This was because we were learning about Susanna, the person who came to her aid, and the way many of the townspeople felt. However, all of that set up a touching story.

  • A Rup Life says:

    Shelley Shepard Gray is my favorite author of the Amish Genre and The Gift does not disappoint. This story was special because it was set around the holidays.

  • It’s a wonderful novel, and I look forward to book number four!

  • Write a Review

     characters available