Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Agent's Secret Past by Debby Giusti - Review of the sixth book in the Military Investigations series




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Eight years ago, a drifter destroyed Becca Miller's ties to her Amish community--and murdered her family. Now a special agent with Fort Rickman's criminal investigation department, Becca knows her past has caught up with her and doesn't want to relive it. She's convinced that the killer, who supposedly died years ago, is very much alive and after her. Special agent Colby Voss agrees to help her investigate. Yet the closer they get to the truth, the closer the killer gets to silencing her permanently.


MY  REVIEW
The Amish buggy on the cover caught my eye, little did I know that this was the sixth book in a series as I usually try to read a series in order. Yes, yes, I judge whether I want a book by its cover, then the title (those two kind of go hand in hand) and then the author, sometimes I read the blurb and sometimes I don't. Debby is also a new author for me and I can say that I did enjoy her writing as much as I enjoyed the story, great job!

Becca is a very strong character who doesn't want to depend on anyone but she may just have to do that. When she returns to the states as a special agent it isn't far from her hometown, when her new housing catches fire she starts seeing her nemesis, hearing her name called and becoming fearful, at least she thinks she is. I can't imagine living in that kind of fear, you will find yourself wanting to read this quickly to see if she is imagining things or if she should be in fear for her life.

So if you like Amish books and/or mysteries, I think you will enjoy this book. I also have the next book in the series, "Stranded" and yes, it also has an Amish buggy on the cover, lol.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wonderful Lonesome by Olivia Newport - Review of the first book in the Amish Turns of Time series




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(taken from Amazon.com)
In a struggling Amish settlement on the harsh Colorado plain, Abbie Weaver refuses to concede defeat to hail, drought, and coyotes. When Abbie discovers the root of her Amish church's spiritual divide, she must choose between a quiet love in her cherished church, passion with a man determined to leave the church, or imagining her life with neither.


MY  REVIEW
An interesting story about some of the first Amish moving west and finding out that most of the good things they read/heard ended up being untrue. Abbie really fell in love with the country and had faith that the church would grow, not everyone felt the same way. When some of the families make decisions that upset her, she still didn't give up, even when her family was giving up, she still held on strong to that faith. Have you ever been told that you have to change your mind and give up on something that you feel in your heart God has told you this is where you need to be, this is what you need to be doing? What did you do and what do think Abbie will do?

A good historical fiction about the Amish trying to move on and not only their physical and emotional fight but also their spiritual fight to follow God's will. It looks like this is going to be a good series. I already have the second book, "Meek and Mild" which I will be reading soon and a the third in the series "Brightest and Best" comes out in August of 2015, looking forward to that one too. I read this first book in e-book format.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Faith of Her Own by Kathleen Fuller - Review of the first book in the Middlefield Amish series




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Ever since Anna Mae's childhood friend Jeremiah left their Amish community, she's questioned her own place in the Amish world. The Amish life feels as if it's closing in on her, and with her mother trying to set her up with potential suitors, Anna Mae feels trapped in a life she's not sure she wants anymore. But she's never told anyone that she longs for a tiny taste of freedom--freedom that could be very costly.

When Jeremiah suddenly reappears in Middlefield to help his mentor, Yankee veterinarian Dr. Miller, new questions surface for Anna Mae, along with feelings she'd never full acknowledged before.

As Anna Mae and Jeremiah rekindle their friendship, old feelings take on new meaning. Yet the question still lingers: What is God's plan for her life? Should she stay, remaining loyal to her Amish family, or does God have a bigger plan--one that provides more freedom than she could imagine? The answers do not come easily, and God's plan may lead in different directions . . . for both of Anna Mae and Jeremiah.


MY  REVIEW
I have read several books by Kathleen and this has been one of the best I think. I like the plot and how she tugs at your heart with the characters feelings. Once the tugging started and I managed to hold the tears back I finished the book feeling very good about how the individuals dealt with their true feelings and the way the book ended. Anna Mae and Jeremiah are very strong characters who will do anything to accomplish what they want in their life, even if it takes years and separation from family and each other.

I would highly recommend this book and if you have not read any of Kathleen's other books or stories in one of the 'collection' type books then you have a lot of catching up to do on some good reading.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Anna's Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher - Review of the first book in the Amish Beginnings series




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On a hot day in 1737 in Rotterdam, Anna K├Ânig reluctantly sets foot on the Charming Nancy, a merchant ship that will carry her and her fellow Amish believers across the Atlantic to start a new life. As the only one in her community who can speak English, she feels compelled to go. But Anna is determined to complete this journey and return home--assuming she survives. She's heard horrific tales of ocean crossings and worse ones of what lay ahead in the New World. But fearfulness is something Anna has never known.

Ship's carpenter Bairn resents the somber people--dubbed Peculiars by the deckhands--who fill the lower deck of the Charming Nancy. All Bairn wants to do is to put his lonely past behind him, but that irksome and lovely lass Anna and her people keep intruding on him.

Delays, storms, illness, and diminishing provisions test the mettle and patience of everyone on board. When Anna is caught in a life-threatening situation, Bairn makes a discovery that shakes his entire foundation. But has the revelation come too late?

Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to the beginning of Amish life in America with this fascinating glimpse into the first ocean crossing--and the lives of two intrepid people who braved it.


MY  REVIEW
What a wonderful story, to go back to the time of the Amish coming to America and the difficulties it entailed. Suzanne has you living on that ship and when they encounter a slave ship it really pulls at your heart. Now mind you, that isn't the only thing that keeps you moving along in this book. I was surprised at how the group depended on one single woman to be the 'mediator' (translator) as well as the one to help in many other ways too. I would have thought at least one of the men would have learned English instead of depending on a woman to do the communicating with other men. I really did enjoy reading "Anna's Crossing" and would recommend it to others that enjoy Amish books.

In Suzanne's research for this series she learned a lot about the Amish history and she did a daily blog for 30 days on it. If you are interested here is her blog: http://suzannewoodsfisher.com/blog/, they start on February 2nd and go through March 2nd.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer - Review of the first book in the Full Steam Ahead series



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Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston, Texas, to find her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, Nicole's father has always focused on what she's not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.

Vowing to find a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it's too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family's greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But her father's rivals come after the dagger, forcing a change in Nicole's plans.

After a boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana nearly took his life, Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. Even if it means letting a female secretary into his secluded world.

Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grow between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to another? And when her father's rivals discover her hiding place, will she have to choose between that love and her family's legacy?


MY  REVIEW
Karen has not failed, she managed to capture me and pull me into yet another one of her stories. I have yet to find a book of Karen's that I don't like. There is a hint of humor in here, some falling in love, and some danger, what else could you ask for in a historical fiction book. I would highly recommend this book and any of Karen's other books she's written. There is a second book in this series that is already out for the Kindle, Love on the Mend, but no date for a paperback or hardback yet.

The Bride's Prerogative by Susan Page Davis - Review



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(taken from Amazon.com)
Fergus, Idaho, Becomes Home to Three Mysteries Ending in Romances
(Ladies' Shooting Club)
Enjoy all three of Susan Page Davis's Wild West novels in one jumbo book. Gert Dooley organizes target practice for the women of Fergus, Idaho, but the shooting club soon becomes an integral part of solving a murder--and bringing the sheriff and Gert together. A string of mysterious events has the women trying to restore peace while coaxing Libby Adams and the shy gunsmith together. Vashti Edwards dream job as a stage coach driver becomes especially dangerous when a band of robbers begins to attack the stagecoach line and threatens her chances with the town's blacksmith.

MY  REVIEW
I really enjoyed these stories about three headstrong women who quietly changed a town out of fear for themselves by creating the Ladies' Shooting Club against some objections by the men of the town, some of them husbands. The little bit of mystery woven in makes them even more of a fun read. Susan did a great job and I'm glad I got to read all three books together. I also liked how even though each story was mainly about a different woman, the three stories included all of the characters in all three books. Thank you Susan, I would gladly recommend this book, these books, to other historical fiction readers.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Huckleberry Spring by Jennifer Beckstrand - Review of the fourth book in The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series



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Ever since the Helmuths' grandson, Ben, abruptly broke his engagement and moved to Florida, Emma Nelson has kept busy tending her vegetable garden and raising award-winning pumpkins. She can put her heartache aside to help Ben's Mammi with her own pumpkin patch. At least until Ben shows up to lend support to his ailing Dawdi...

Gardening side by side with pretty, nurturing Emma is a sweet kind of torture for Ben. She could have her pick of suitors who can offer what he can't, and he cares too much to burden her with his secret. Leaving once more is the only option. Yet Emma's courage is daring him to accept the grace that flourishes here, and the love that has been calling him back to Huckleberry Hill...


MY  REVIEW
Oh my! This book is a little different than the rest of the series but that doesn't mean it wasn't just as good, if not better. I did not find myself chuckling throughout this story, I was more sad and trying to figure out Ben's secret. And poor Felty, Annie put him through the mill in this one, you have to almost feel sorry for him too, lol. I am so looking forward to Huckleberry Harvest coming out on May 26th that I even read the three preview pages in the back of this book, I NEVER do that! I like to be totally surprised. I had also pre-ordered Huckleberry Spring which I have never done either. I have to say, sorry if I've said it with each review in this series but, I absolutely love this series and Jennifer's writing. Please if you have not read anything by Jennifer Beckstrand start reading this series and you will be sold on her books.