Friday, May 20, 2016

Secret Sister: An Amish Christmas Tale by Sarah Price

(taken from
After years of giving of herself to her family and community, Grace Beiler, an elderly Amish woman, is facing her first Christmas since losing her husband of fifty years to his battle with cancer. As she begins to reflect upon her own life, she wonders if she has properly fulfilled her promise to be a servant of God.

With Christmas drawing near, her depression becomes stronger until she starts receiving ittle gifts in the mail and left on her doorstep. She realizes that she has a "secret sister," but has no idea who it might be, for each gift seems to relate to different, important events in her life. Just when she thinks she might have figured out who the secret sister is, a new gift arrives with a different meaning.

Who is making this Christmas one Grace will never forget?

I am going back and forth between three and four out of five stars for this book. For me the story was kind of slow but Sarah puts a lot of emotion in it. I understand the back and forth in time, I think it was needed for this story, but sometimes I get lost in that. I will say Sarah did a great job of writing and had a fantastic ending. I can recommend this as a good read and I have read, and will read more of, Sarah's books.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Want Ad Wedding by Cheryl St. John - Review of the first book in the Cowboy Creek series

When Daniel Gardner convinced the residents of his Kansas boomtown to advertise for mail-order brides, he never expected the woman he once loved to respond. But Leah Swann steps off the bride train...pregnant and widowed and in need of a husband. Drawn to protect his fragile childhood friend, Daniel proposes a marriage of convenience.

Seeing her onetime best friend waiting to meet the bride train is a wonderful shock for Leah. After her first rocky marriage, a practical partnership with Daniel sounds perfect--as long as her heart doesn't get involved. But when she starts to fall for her husband, will her plans of a fresh start be ruined...or is a real marriage to Daniel exactly what she needs?

Cheryl is just one of my favorite authors and she did not fail me with this book. I thoroughly enjoyed Leah's story and the way Cheryl tells it. I am really looking forward to the books to follow in this series both written by a couple of my favorite authors. The second is "Special Delivery Baby" by Sherri Shackelford (which I already have by the way) and "Bride by Arrangement" by Karen Kirst due out June 7, 2016. You can't lose my reading this book/series!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Montana Dawn by Caroline Fyffe - Review of the first book in the McCutcheon Family Series

(taken from
McCutcheon Family series. In the tradition of the great western romance, Montana Dawn tells the story of a woman yearning for a place to belong and a cowboy with a heart as big as the Montana skies...

A woman on the run...
Running from an abusive past, widow Faith Brown finds herself in a rickety wagon, about to give birth. With no one but her young stepson to help, Faith is both grateful to--and wary of--the handsome cowboy who comes to her aid. Her first instinct is to run, but the coming child has left her no choice but to accept the help of the gentle stranger,
A man who stands alone...
Cowboy Luke McCutcheon may come from a wealthy ranching family, but as the offspring of a Cheyenne warrior he's always felt he had to prove his worthiness to the rest of the McCutcheon brothers. When he stumbles across a lone woman about to have a child, his first intinct is to ride for help. Unwilling to leave the pretty widow, her young son, and her newborn unprotected in the Montana wilderness, he offers to take them along on his family's cattle drive.
No refuge from the past...
Faith accepts Luke's offer of shelter, but fears revealing the truth about herself. She's being hunted by a ruthless man who will stop at nothing to possess her. Although she's coming to care deeply for Luke, she can't risk the consequences of him discovering the secret of her nightmarish past. In spite of the danger drawing ever closer, Faith still dreams of a loving family and a home to call her own, if only she and Luke can stay together long enough to find their beautiful and bright...Montana Dawn.

Carolyn has written a story that takes off right from the beginning and keeps right on moving with events that make you want to read faster. I did enjoy this story and the strength Faith showed throughout as well as the extremes she would go to protect her children. I will be reading more books in this series and would recommend it as a good read.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sarah's Patchwork by Stephanie Grace Whitson - Review of the first book in the Keepsake Legacies series

(taken from
When Aunt Sarah begins to tell Lorna stories based on the fabric in a treasured crazy quilt, Lorna has no idea she is hearing true stories--the story of Aunt Sarah's life.

Abandoned by their destitute father, Sarah Biddle and her younger brother, Tom, are sent west on an orphan train. But no one wants to adopt a girl with a crippled brother in tow. Facing the unthinkable--being returned to a New York orphanage--Sarah and Tom run away when the eastbound train pauses in Lincoln, Nebraska. Not until the two come face to face with Jesse King and Augusta Hathaway (introduced to readers in the Prairie Winds Series), do Sarah and Tom begin to hope for better things.

When Sarah learns the power of true love to heal the broken heart, she is transformed. Each scrap of fabric in Sarah's patchwork quilt bears silent witness to the rich life experienced by a strong, resourceful woman who stitched "the tears of the past into a treasure for tomorrow".

I love Stephanie's books, this one included! She has weaved a very touching tale about Sarah's life, so many twists and turns. Each twist makes her stronger for the next turn. This is an older book, from 2000, and I have just 'found' as it was recently re-released in paperback and e-book format. I can recommend this as a good read. Also, I like that it takes place in Nebraska.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Basket Brigade Christmas by Judith Miller, Nancy Moser and Stephanie Grace Whitson - Review

Join Lucy, Sarah, and Zona, three compassionate women who put aside their own heartache to care for wounded heroes--each finding love along the way.

Inspired by the true story of the Basket Brigade Women of Decatur, Illinois. . .

With the country embroiled in civil war in 1862, a group of women formed the Basket Brigade and boarded trains to minister to Union soldiers transferring from overflowing hospitals in the South to northerly locations. The Basked Brigade offered fried chicken, pickled peaches, pound cake, and other dainties to men who hadn't eaten a home-cooked meal since enlisting. The women of Decatur, Illinois, served nearly two thousand meals to wounded warriors.

Three bestselling authors were blessed and inspired by the word written by teh actual women who organized and participated in relief efforts during the Civil War. They have penned their stories in honor of them.

Three very good authors have written three very good stories. I like they are based on true events and they tell how much these women dido for the injured soldiers and how much it meant to the men. Yet another highly recommended book for historical fiction readers.

The Lady and the Mountain Call by Misty M Beller - Review of the fifth book in the Mountain Dreams series

(taken from
The wild Montana mountains are no place for an aging widow to live alone with dementia. And when Cathleen Donaghue discovers the poor woman's condition, there's no way she'll walk away without helping. After all, she left her comfortable Boston home to help her brothers with their mining town medical practice because she wanted to make a difference. But the wild elements she encounters on this mission of mercy are nothing like she expected, especially the widow's mountain man son who shows up out of the blue.

Trapper Reuben Scott planned only a quick visit to his parents' homestead to check on them and tan his winter hides, but the strange woman standing at his mother's stove is a shock. And then she tells him his father has died and his mother is losing her mind. The sad news may bring an end to the life he's loved--trapping, living in the wild freedom of these mountains, working closely with the Indians--no one demanding he measure up. But he'll do anything for his family, what little he has left, that is. Even deal with the city woman who seems to connect with his confused mother.

When tragedy strikes Cathleen's family, she's forced to choose between duty and the people who need her most. And the wrong decision could quickly lead to disaster. As the danger spirals out of her control, this impassive mountain man ma be the only one with the skills to save her. But can she trust him with her heart, too?

This has been such an interesting series for me and this book especially so as it deals with dementia. My mother had alzheimer's and my mother-in-law is suffering with dementia so this hits close to home. It's amazing to read how Cathleen took care of a woman, a stranger to her, with this disease back in a time when they didn't know as much as they do today as far as complications, treatments and ways to care for people with this problem. Again, I highly recommend this book, as well as the whole series, to readers that enjoy historical fiction. Misty as done wonderful work with these stories.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Fudge-Laced Felonies by Cynthia Hickey - Review of the first book in a Summer Meadows Mystery series

(taken from
While transplanting the rosebush her church's handsome greeter, Ethan Banning, inadvertently killed, Summer and Ethan discover a hidden stash of diamonds, a rusty can full of cash, and a bloody gardening glove. This discovery sets Summer and her candy-making aunt on a search for a killer.

As Summer gets closer to the truth-not only of the theft but of her true feelings for Ethan-the diamond thief hatches a plan to hush the feisty sleuth.

This is a first cozy mystery by Cynthia for me and I really enjoyed it. She has a lot of action, twists and turns and several 'unsuspecting' suspects. Some of which are a little to close to her aunt, drawing her aunts ire at the suspect list. A fun cozy mystery I think anyone could enjoy.