Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar by Carol Guthrie Heilman - Review of the first book in The Adventures of Agnes Hopper series

(taken from Amazon.com)
Summer's steamy haze coats North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, but feisty Agnes Marie Hopper discovers the heat isn't the only thing causing her blood to boil. After a kitchen fire destroys her home, Agnes moves in with her daughter, Betty Jo. Three months later they come to an understanding: neither can tolerate living with the other. So on a sultry August morning, Betty Jo drives Agnes and her few belongings to Sweetbriar Manor, a local retirement home and former house of ill repute.

With no intention of staying, Agnes devises a scheme to sneak out of the Manor and find another place to live. Before she can make her exit, she runs into her best friend from high school, along with some other quirky characters. With a nose for trouble, Agnes learns some of the residents are being robbed over-medicated, and denied basic cable and Internet access. Armed with nothing more than seventy-one years of common sense and a knack for pushing people's buttons, Agnes sets out to expose the unscrupulous administrator, protect her new friends, and restore Sweetbriar Manor's reputation as a "rewarding and enriching" lifestyle. But the real moment of truth comes when Agnes is forced to choose between her feisty self-sacrifice that comes from caring for others.

I have not read a lot of cozy mysteries and I've never read one of Carol's books but I found this pretty entertaining. She does a good job of bringing you into the story, so much so that I found myself thinking about maybe having to go into a nursing home and so far as to even dream that I was IN the nursing home one night. Oh yeah, that was an experience, a scary one at that, haha! So, if I was dreaming about the story that must mean I will have to watch for additions to this series. Carol makes you admire Agnes for what she accomplishes in Sweetbriar.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Amish Christmas Sleigh by Kelly Long, Amy Lillard and Molly Jebber - A review of this omnibus


For solitary toy-maker Sebastian Christner, hiring Kate Zook as his new housekeeper is simply the right thing to do. Now she can support her special-needs brother. But one taste of her independent spirit is showing him undreamed-of holiday joy---and making him long to give her a home for always...

Bernice Yoder has far too much to do to entertain holiday dreams. Even if she can help Jess Schmucker outwit his three mischievous young daughters, it's impossible to imagine the handsome widower can see her as anything but a scolding schoolteacher. He never guesses how a magical Christmas Eve will open his eyes to love or how Der Herr will awaken their faith and hope.

As much as Charity Lantz's children need a father, the young widow isn't sure her new neighbor Luke Fisher can ever be the right choice. They're having more disagreements than snowflakes in December. Besides, he's never given a sign he wants to be more than friends. Can Gott show them them a way past their misunderstandings to a forever love?

Loved this book, three of my favorite authors, couldn't go wrong. I so enjoy the novellas, the short stories, and you have to enjoy Christmas stories with a sleigh involved. I can highly recommend this collection of Amish stories as very good Christmas reads. You won't disappointed.

Instant Frontier Family by Regina Scott - review of the fourth book in the Frontier Bachelors series

Maddie O'Rourke's orphaned half brother and half sister have arrived safely in Seattle---with a man they hope she'll wed! Though Michael Haggarty's not the escort she planned for, Maddie allows him to work off his passage by assisting in her bakery...and helping care for her siblings. But she'll never risk her newfound independence by marrying the strapping Irishman---or anyone else.

In New York, Michael ran afoul of a notorious gang. Traveling west was a necessity, not a choice. The longshoreman grew fond of his young charges, and now he's quickly becoming partial to their beautiful sister, too. So when danger follows him, threatening Maddie and the children, he'll do anything to protect them---and the future he hopes to build.

This is the third book in this series that I've read, I don't know how I missed "The Bride Ship" but I did, and I have enjoyed each one. I like Regina's stories and leaned some about how the Irish were treated when they arrived in this country in this book. She also shows how you should not judge people by what you "think" you know about them. If you like Christian Historical fiction this will be a must read, as the whole series is. Yes, I will get that first book in the series read, again I don't know how I missed it! I have read some of Regina's stories in several Omnibus books and thoroughly enjoyed those as well, check them out also.

I was given this book by the author as part of her review team this year in return for an honest review.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Forgotten Recipe by Amy Clipston - Review of the first book in the Amish Heirloom series

Veronica Fisher knows how lucky she is to be marrying her best friend. Seth Lapp is kind, hardworking, and handsome--but most importantly, he loves Veronica.

When an accident on the job steals Seth away from her, a heartbroken Veronica is certain she will never love--or be loved--again. Yet when she discovers a batch of forgotten recipes and opens a bake stand to sell her Mammi's raspberry pies, Veronica picks up a regular customer who gives her heart pause.

Jason Huyard was with Seth when he lost his life--a memory that haunts him still. So when he seeks out the grieving fiancee to convey his condolences, the last think he expects--or wants--is to fall in love. Nonetheless, Jason soon finds himself visiting Veronica's bake stand every week . . . and it's for more than the raspberry pies.

Now, as Veronica's heart thaws, Jason can't bring himself to tell her he was there when Seth died. Can he ever reveal where he was on the day her life derailed? Or will his secret rob them of the second chance at love they both want?

I have been enjoying Amy's books for years and this one isn't any different. Amy has written a heart wrenching story about two strangers, one loses the man she's going to marry, the other loses his best friend. She had me 'loudly' telling Jason to come on get it over with, then when he did, OH MY! Not only is this a wonderful story she leaves you hanging at the end of the book. I would recommend this as a must read so watch for it to be released on December 8, 2015.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLookBloggers.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Streams of Mercy by Lauraine Snelling - Review of the third book in the Song of Blessing series

Anji Baard Moen, recently widowed in Norway, returns to North Dakota with her children. She quickly settles back into life in the familiar surroundings of Blessing, teaching in the high school and writing articles for the Blessing Gazette.  In the midst of an unexpected crisis, Anji is thrust into a role she never imagined. And almost without her even being aware, an old friendship begins to show signs of developing into something more.

Meanwhile, Thomsa Devlin, a minister without a post, has arrived in town. Devlin supports himself as a journeyman carpenter, and with the town growing rapidly he has no shortage of opportunities.  Establishing himself in a new community has its challenges, but as the newcomer gets to know the young widow whose house he's been working on, he thinks he may have found yet another reason to stay....

Oh yes, another wonderful story about Blessing. Full of hardships and loss but their faith will get them through, at least that is the way Ingeborg has always lived, convincing others it is true. There is one person, Clara, who I would like to know more about the back story on. By the way the book ended I am SURE, in my way of thinking/wanting anyway (lol), there will either be more books to this series, at least one more or another series. PLEASE Lauraine, you can't stop here. Yes, yes, I would gladly recommend this book, all of the books pertaining to the Bjorklund family and the town of Blessing, SD.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Harvest of Hope by Lauraine Snelling - Review of the second book in the Song of Blessing series

Just a few short weeks into her year-long training at the Blessing Hospital, Miriam Hastings is called home to Chicago, where her mother is gravely ill. With siblings to care for, Miriam pleads to be allowed to finish her training in Chicago. Her nursing supervisor grants her a brief reprieve but extracts a promise that Miriam will return to Blessing and fulfill her one-year commitment.

While in Chicago, Miriam has tried to get Trygve Knutson and Blessing out of her mind, but his lettrs make that impossible. Trygve is busy building a house, hoping he can convince Miriam to return to North Dakota and marry him. Torn between Trygve's love and her family's needs, she doesn't know what to do.

When Miriam finally returns to Blessing, she buries herself in her work. But no matter how hard she tries to put it off, she has some life-changing decisions to make about her future, her family . . . and the man sho is never far from her thoughts.

What will it take to convince her to stay?

Another great book by Lauraine. I am still enjoying this series and this book shows how the town is still being 'blessed'. Even with having to deal with catastrophe's and immigrants moving in, the town manages to keep their faith and grow. Lauraine shows how the town always pulls together to honor their name Blessing, ND.

I would highly recommend this book, this series, as a good read.

Friday, November 6, 2015

To Everything a Season by Lauraine Snelling - Review of the first book in the Song of Blessing series

Trygve Knutson is devoted to his family and his community. With his job on the construction crew, he is helping to build a future for the North Dakota town of Blessing. Though he loves his home, he sometimes dreams of other horizons---especially since meeting Miriam Hastings.

Miriam is in Blessing to get practical training to become an accredited nurse. She's been promised a position in the Chicago women's hospital that will enable her to support her siblings and her ailing mother. Although eager to return to her family, Miriam is surprised to find how much she enjoys the small town of Blessing. And her growing attachment to Trygve soon has her questioning a future she always considered set in stone.

When a family emergency calls Miriam home sooner than planned, will she find a way to return? If not, will it mean losing Trygve--and her chance at love--for good?

I have been reading about the Bjorklund's and the town of Blessing, ND as long as Lauraine has been writing about them, this is the fifth series now and I can honestly say that I enjoyed this book just as much, if not more than, I did the very first book! I don't know how else I can express my view except to say that if I have stuck with this 'family/town' that long, 16 books so far, this being the 17th with 2 more to go, they have to be amazing.

The conclusion of this book will bring tears to your eyes and I am SOOOOO glad that I have the second book already, "A Harvest of Hope", so I can start reading it immediately. Oh yes, you will want to have it on hand so you can just move right along with this story. If you have not  read any of the series connected to this one, look Lauraine's name up and start at the beginning, it will be well worth your time!

A Perfect Love Amish Collection by Melanie Schmidt - Review

(copied from Amazon.com)
Forgiving and Learning to Love
Rebecca is going through an emotionally low period of her life wondering if she will ever find peace of mind again. When Caleb, a local Amish man, wants to court her, ghosts from her past threaten to end the relationship before it begins. Rebecca must seek to forgive someone who made her life a frightening, living hell before she can move on and look towards the future with any man. Will she find the strength to forgive and come to terms with her past memories, or will she miss an opportunity for true happiness with Caleb?

Loving and Letting, Go
Martha Stolftzfus is direct and decisive; she is just what John Beiler needs to help with his mental recovery. She's easygoing but direct, but is also quick to call John out if need be. She also knows about his past and how he stalked her friend Rebecca. Although forgiving, she is quick to intervene when it looks like he might slide back into his old, unhealthy ways.

As her friend, Rebecca Zook begins to court with another man in the community, John has second thoughts about Martha, but Martha has other ideas. She realizes that she loves John, and will do whatever it takes to get him through one of the darkest periods of his life. Will she be successful, thus setting two couples free to love and grow, or will she fail dooming both her friends and herself to a life of misery.

A Perfect Love
Ruth Lapp suffers from a congenital hip defect due to her parents being third cousins. Her mother is also guilt-ridden and takes it out on Ruth with unending abuse and vitriolic verbal attacks. In spite of this, Ruth has become an expert quilter, gifted some say, and is coming into her own in the Amish extremes to keep her daughter under her thumb. Others in the community have become aware of Mary's abuse and things are coming to a head as Ruth, Mary and Mark's lives spiral out of control.

Very good short stories about some very emotional problems that can affect family and friends. These are subjects that you don't hear about very often in Amish books. I found myself fearing for some of the characters and near tears sometimes for them as well, not only the victims but the ones with health problems that caused them to do things they knew were wrong.

My only problem is that, in my opinion anyway, is that the 'books' are not in order. I feel that "A Perfect Love" should be read first, I will not say why as maybe the author, or publisher, had a reason for putting them in this order. I would recommend this as a good read and you can decide if you want to follow my thoughts as to which one to read first or not. ENJOY!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Homestead Brides Collection by Mary Connealy, Darlene Franklin, Carla Olson Gade, Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, DiAnn Mills, Erica Vetsch, Becca Whitman, Kathleen Y'Barbo - Review

Promises of free land lured thousands to venture into the vast American plains. They built make=do homes and put all they had into improving the land. Very often romantic thoughts took a back burner to priorities having to do with the land.

In these nine novellas, individuals are forced to encounter romance when neighbor helps neighbor, when land ownership is debated, and when natural disaster blows them off course.

Homestead on the Range by Mary Connealy
Priceless Pearl by Darlene Franklin
Proving Up by Carla Olson Gade
Prairie Promises by Ruth Logan Herne
This Land Is Our Land by Pam Hillman
Flaming Starr by DiAnn Mills
A Palace on the Plains by Erica Vetsch
Waiting on a Promise by Becca Whitham
The Bogus Bride of Creed Creek by Kathleen Y'Barbo

Travel along through the Great Plains on romantic adventures as God helps each land prospector find someone with whom to share the dream--the work--and the love.

I love these collections books, they are short stories and the authors do such a great job of pulling you in yet the don't disappoint with them not being a full length book. Some of my favorite authors have included stories in this book and there are some new ones that have done a wonderful job and I will be looking for more of their work. Thank you ladies! ! !

Monday, October 19, 2015

Christmas Mail Order Bride by Kate Whitsby - Review of the first book in the Western Mail Order Brides

(taken from Amazon.com)

Penelope Mathers arrives in a remote western town, contracted to marry Anders West, the son of a wealthy local cattle baron. Her prospective parents-in-law pick her up at the coach stop in their buggy and drive her directly to the church, where she meets her groom for the first time at the altar. After the wedding service, Anders drives Penelope to his home, where she quickly realizes all is not as it seems, and she finds herself torn between the increasing hostility of her husband and a growing attachment to Caleb Alexander, a young stable hand working at the West Ranch. Through shared adversity and adventure, Penelope learns more about Caleb and his enigmatic world, showing her the depth and caring of a man she longs to clutch to her heart. As her relationship with her husband deteriorates with every passing day, Penelope relies more and more on her affection for Caleb as well as on her own resources to cope with the mounting tension. Just as the situation seems most hopeless, the situation comes to a shocking climax, leaving Penelope in possession of a shocking secret that will transform all their lives and open the door in unlimited possibilities.


What  great short story this is. I don't think I have read any of Kate's other books but after reading this I will read more. She does a wonderful job of making you want to get inside that story and help Penelope and oh, my what an ending. This is one book I would happily recommend to other historical fiction readers!

Jenny's Choice by Patrick E Craig - review of the thrid book in the Apple Creek Dreams series

(taken from Amazon.com)

In the concluding novel to the Apple Creek Dreams series, Johathan and Jenny Hershberger are happily settled in Paradise, Pennsylvania on the farm Jenny inherited from her grandfather. but when a tragic accident takes Johathan's life, Jenny and her young daughter, Rachel, return home to Apple Creek, Ohio to live with her adoptive parents, Reuben and Jerusha Springer.

As Jenny works through her grief and despair, she discovers she has a gift for writing. A handsome young publisher discovers her work and, after the publication of her first book, Jenny is on the verge of worldly success and possible romance.

But when a conflict arises with the elders of her church, Jenny must ask herself how far she's willing to go to pursue her dreams.

A touching story of devotion and triumph over adversity.


I started out liking this series, just not quite sure about it. After the second book I was enjoying it and now that I finished the final, I will say that the series was really good. It's not that I didn't like the story but the first book had a lot of flashbacks and I wanted to read more about what was happening 'now'. I understand that you need to know about the past sometimes so you understand what is going on and why, so it was okay.

This third book was very good and I wanted another book in the series, I was sad to see it end. When I got to looking at "The Amish Heiress" in the Paradise Chronicles series, I see that I get go on with characters in this series, thank you Patrick for letting me read on.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Bishop's Son by Kelly Irvin - Review of the second book in The Amish of Bee County series

Leila Lantz has been in love with Jesse Glick from the day she first saw him at his father's store, but she can't make sense of his intentions. One day he wants to come courting, the next he seems to be putting distance between them.

Jesse may be the bishop's son, but his faith has been wavering of late. If he is so unsure, is it fair to give Leila false hope for a future he doubts he can provide?

Then there's Will, Jesse's cousin. He has been trying to keep his feelings for Leila a secret, but he also knows Jesse is wrestling with his faith. Would declaring his feelings for Leila be in her best interest or simply serving his own selfish desires?

Leila knows she can choose Will and be secure in her own future. But when her hearat speaks, it's Jesse's name she hears. When will God make His will known to her? could leaving everything she knows--even her own faith--be a part of God's plan?

Another great story in this series and Kelly does a wonderful job of telling it. She keeps you guessing as to which way Leila will go. Kelly also shows the deep decisions one has to struggle with in wanting to leave the Amish, even more so than an Englischer wanting to join the Amish. A very touching story I'm sure you will enjoy. After reading this story, think about everything you read and think about whether you would have made the same decisions as Jesse or Leila. I hope there will be more books to come in this series.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free BookLook Bloggers  a book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Plain Choice by Sherry Gore with Jeff Hoagland - Review

Sometimes  Faith Is the Greatest Surprise of All
As a young adult, Sherry Gore dreamed of a radio career, but instead, a series of terrible mistakes left her wrecked and alone. Then one morning she walked into a church and the truth of Jesus' forgiving love shattered her world--and put it back together again. She began to rid her life of anything that might keep her from God, but still she wanted a deeper faith. Something more.

Soon the life Sherry remade for herself and her children featured head coverings, simple dress, and a focus on jesus Christ. Only then did she realize that there were others like her: the Amish.

She Left Everything to Find All She Needed
The Plain Choice is the fascinating story of one woman's journey toward God through the Amish community. After making the rare transition into Amish life, sherry learned how to live off the land and make it, grow it, or do without it. She learned the adventure of the horse-and-buggy life and began to thrive on faith, family, and pie. And when her teenage daughter was diagnosed with a devastating illness, she learned again how bright God's light can shine when everything else seems dark.

This unusual memoir offers a riveting look at the choices we make toward or away from God--and how God pursues us in the most unexpected ways.

I started following Sherry before I knew she wasn't born Amish, so you can imagine my surprise when I learned she was not. What a shock, I know that there are some Englischer's who switch to Amish but not as many as there are leaving the Amish.

Sherry goes into much detail about her previous life, the difference between then and now is amazing. I enjoyed her story very, very much and would highly recommend it. She went from having no faith to having a very strong faith, what an influential story she has. If you, or anyone you know, is down in there life this is a good book to suggest for them to read. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Sherry, I admire you for putting it out here for us to read!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Lilacs for Juliana by Carrie Fancett Pagels - Review of the third book in The Christy Lumber Camp Series

Petite Juliana Beauchamps possesses a vivid imagination, which comes in handy as a librarian. When a handsome giant of a lumberjack comes to town and rescues her from possible tragedy, she's shaken by the event. A dashing beer baron, from Milwaukee, also pursues Juliana's attention. Meanwhile, a library trustee determines to push out the female librarians.

Set in 1891, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Book Three in The Christy Lumber Camp Series focuses on Richard "Moose" Christy, the youngest of the sons, as he prepares to manage his first lumber camp. When Yost hires Juliana to organize his personal library, and her letters from Wisconsin suggest foul play, will Richard need to save her once again? And will his secret need to be revealed to win her heart?

I am enjoying this series, I like the setting, the time period, the characters and I love lilacs so this was extra special to me. This book, as with most series, starts a little repetitive to let you know the background but then it picks up and moves right along. So many misunderstandings, we are all guilty of thinking we know what someone is thinking, why they are doing something and/or what direction they are going without asking them. This may lead to a lot of problems or a big loss on our part when we do that. A very nice quick, fun, read. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Road Home by Patrick E Craig - Review of the second book in the Apple Creek Dreams series

(copied from Amazon.com)
Author Patrick Craig continues the story of Jenny Springer, the child rescued in "A Quilt for Jenna" with a story of reconciliation and healing. Jenny Springer is the local historian for the Amish community in Apple Creek, Ohio. As a child, Jenny was rescued from a terrible snowstorm, and when no trace of her parents could be found, the Springer family adopted her. Since then she has had a burning desire in her heart to find out who she really is. When a drifter, John Hershberger, comes to town looking for his own roots, Jenny gets serious in her search for her long-lost parents. As she opens doors to her past, she finds the truly surprising answer to her deepest questions. And as John discovers the story of his own heritage, his growing love for Jenny causes him to reexamine his lifelong atheism. In doing so he discovers his need for a real home, a family, and a relationship with God.

This book kept me pulled into the story so much more than the first one, I could hardly put it down. Patrick did a great job of making me feel as if I were experiencing the emotions of the characters yourself, I found myself cringing at times, happy at times and near tears other times.  I liked the first book but didn't care for the style it was written but knew I would read the other books in the series and am so glad I did, a huge improvement as far as I was concerned. He also makes you think about your faith and how you may be interpreting the Bible, he expresses a deep faith in this book. Ok, onto the next book, "Jenny's Choice", in a few days!!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Murder Freshly Baked by Vannetta Chapman - Review of the third book in the Amish Village Mystery series

The Amish Artisan Village of Middlebury, Indiana, might be the last place you would ever expect to find a murderer. But Amber has been managing the Village for decades and there's nothing she hasn't seen. Or so she thought.

When poetic notes begin appearing around the bakery, warning that some of the pies have been poisoned, Amber is as confused as she is concerned. Who poisons pies? And more to the point, who leaves poems of warning after they've done it? When Amber decides to help the police track down the sweet-toothed saboteur, she enlists Hannah Troyer for another round of Amish-style detective work.

Can Amber and Hannah help the police before the Poison Poet strikes? Both women will need to draw on their faith to preserve the peaceful community they've built in Middlebury . . .and to protect the girls who work in the Amish Artisan Village.

Oh my, it has come to an end! Unless Vannetta has some surprises in the future. This was a great story with threats, poisoning, and a 'surprise' murder even. This was a very enjoyable series and Vannetta shows how each person, at least those in the 'inner circle' so to speak, depend on their faith and are loyal to each other, willing to help. Even though they are Amish and Englisch, they are like family. Sorry to see this series end!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Quilt for Jenna by Patrick E Craig - Review of the first book in the Apple Creek Dreams series

(taken from Amazon.com)
Amish + Quilts = readers delight! And in this first book in Patrick Craig's Apple Creek Dreams series, readers will follow Jerusha Springer's journey out of tragic circumstances to a new life of hope.

Jerusha has spent months making the most beautiful quilt anyone in apple Creek, Ohio, has ever seen, and she knows it's going to take first prize at the Quilt Fair in Dalton. The prize will be her ticket out of the Amish way of life--away from the memories of her dead daughter and her tormented husband. But on the way to the Fair, she get caught in the storm fo the century and Jerusha's driver crashes their car. While the driver goes for help, Jerusha is led by someone, or something, to the side of a lost little girl. By the time the storm clears, Jerusha finds there is a greater prize to be won than the money and the blue ribbons.

A beautiful story of loss....and redemption.

I have been wanting to read one of Patrick's books for quite some time and finally got it accomplished. I think the book started out rather slow and confusing for me but I did get pulled in and enjoyed the last three fourths of the book. The part that kept me 'confused' did have to be told but I guess it was done in a way I don't enjoy reading. Like I said, I did enjoy the book and I am definitely going on to read "The Road Home" and "Jenny's Choice".

Lamb to the Slaughter by Karen Ann Hopkins - Review of the first book in the Serenity's Plain Secrets series

(taken from Amazon.com)
Some Amish communities aren't so cozy.

The death of a teenage Amish girl in a cornfield looks like an accident, but sheriff Serenity Adams suspects foul play. To solve the murder she must investigate the nearby Amish community with the help of a man who was shunned years ago.

At first glance, the case seems obvious. The poor girl was probably accidentally shot during hunting season, but when the elders of the Amish community and even the girl's parents react with uncaring subdued behavior, Serenity becomes suspicious. As she delves deeper into the secretive community that she grew up beside, she discovers a gruesome crime from the past that may very well be related to the Amish girl's shooting.

Serenity's persistence leads her to a stunning discovery that not only threatens to destroy her blossoming romance with Daniel Bachman, but may even take her life in the end.

*Some language & romantic sexual content.

Let me start out by saying that I really did like this story, Karen did a good job of hiding who was the guilty person, a VERY good job! My problem was the language, and that was partly my fault because I did not notice the asterisked comment above. I did quickly jump over 'those words' and there were not a lot, although there were three words I did not appreciate at all and one of them was used several times. I will also say that even though I did not appreciate the use of those words I do plan on reading the second book in the series, "Whispers from the Dead".

I would encourage mystery, cozy mystery, or Amish book readers to give it a try.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Innocent by Ann H Gabhart - Review of the sixth book in the Shaker series

Carlyn Kearney has spent two lonely years not knowing whether to mourn or to hope after she receives word from the Union Army that her husband is missing. When the war ends without further word, Carlyn finds herself penniless, in debt, and forced from her home. With nowhere else to go, she seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill.

The Shakers profess peace through simple living, but to Carlyn, the Shaker life seems anything but simple. When mysterious deaths disturb the peace of the village, Carlyn falls under intense scrutiny. Can a kind sheriff help her expose the true culprit?

This may be the best book in the series so far. A great story of love, faith and strength by one woman, who thinks she is alone against the world. Even a little bit of murder and mystery, so good. The one thing she encourages, through her mother, is to "pray anyway". What a good thing to remember/do, even if you think God isn't listening, if you have temporarily lost your faith, anytime you need help with anything, no matter how trivial it may seem to someone else, "PRAY ANYWAY".

This has been a very interesting series and I would encourage all to read it. I learned a lot about the Shakers, even though they seem peaceful, loving and faithful, I almost feel like there is a problem with their lifestyle and sometimes they seem mean to me. I really don't think I could be a Shaker. I'd be interested to know what others opinions are.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Paper Roses by Amanda Cabot - Review of the first book in the Texas Dreams Trilogy series

Her future stretched out like the clear blue Texas sky.

But a storm is coming.

Leaving the past behind in Philadelphia, mail-order bride Sarah Dobbs arrives in San Antonio ready to greet her groom--a man she has never met but whose letters, her paper roses, have won her heart from afar. But there is a problem--Austin Canfield is dead, and Sarah cannot go back East.

As Sarah tries to reconcile herself to a future that is drastically changed, Austin's brother Clay wants nothing more than to shake the Texas dust from his boots, but first he must find his brother's killer. And then there's Sarah.

Something is blooming out in the vast Texas landscape that neither Clay nor Sarah is ready to admit, and the promise of redemption blows like a gentle breeze through the prairie grasses.
(copied from Amazon.com)

I love the song "Paper Roses" so this title naturally pulled me to get this book, and I must say that I enjoyed the book as much as I do the song, two completely different 'stories' though. Well maybe if I do a little finagling there may be something kind of similar, let's see if you can figure it out. I am looking forward to reading the next two books in this series and I also have my eye on The Westward Winds series.

Due or Die by Jenn McKinlay - Review of the second book in A Library Lover's Mystery series

What is the original meaning of the word clue?*

Answering tricky reference questions like this one is more than enough excitement for library director Lindsey Norris. That is, until another murder is committed in her ciy hometown of Briar Creek, Connecticut, and the question of who did it must be answered before someone else is checked out--for good.

Carrie Rushton, the president of the Friends of the Library, has been accused of murdering her husband.. The evidence is stacking up against Carrie, but neither Lindsey nor the Briar Creek crafternoon club is buying it.

When a nor'easter buries the small coastal town, the police are too busy digging out the locals to investigate the murder. With the help of her crafternoon friends and an abandoned puppy they name Heathcliff, Lindsey has to solve the question of who murdered Mr. Rushton before the killer closes the book on Carrie...

*a ball of yarn or thread

I think Jenn has pulled me into this series, I am enjoying it much more than the first cozy mystery series that I tried reading. This book makes the library seem like a much more interesting place. It's not just a place to check books out and read. A fun read, would be good to read on a cold, windy,  night with some good hot chocolate.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Her Brother's Keeper by Beth Wiseman - Review of the first book in the Amish Secrets series

Charlotte Dolinsky is not above playing dress-up and telling a few lies to find out what happened to her only brother. In fact, that is exactly what she's come to Lancaster County to do. Now, calling herself Mary and slipping on a kapp, Charlotte will lie her way into the confidence of anyone who knows why Ethan had to die. Unless she gets found out first.

But when Charlotte befriends a quiet Amish man named Isaac Miller, she begins to rethink her motives. And with a little help from a friend back home, Charlotte might find out that love comes packaged in ways she couldn't have foreseen.

Isaac's been caring for his cancer-stricken father and sympathizing with his frustrated mother for three difficult years. And that means he hasn't been dating. He believes Hannah King is the woman for him, but Hannah is still grieving the loss of her fiancee, and Isaac has all he can handle on the farm. When Hannah's family plays host to a woman named Mary, their new cousin shakes things up for all of them.

As Charlotte digs deeper into the mystery of Ethan's death, she finds more than she'd bargained for in the community he once called home. But will she ever learn the truth? And what will the community--and her new family--do if they learn the truth about her?

It has been several months since I've read one of Beth's books so needless to say I really enjoyed this book. I like her writing style and with this book she threw in a little humor, heartache, love and last but not least, faith! Beth did a good job to keep my interest and curiosity with this story. I highly recommend yet another Beth Wiseman book to the Amish loving readers as well as anyone who has not tried an Amish story!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com/> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, June 29, 2015

Frontier Engagement by Regina Scott - Review of the third book in the Frontier Bachelors series

James Wallin's family is depending on him to find a schoolteacher for their frontier town. Alexandrina Fosgrave seems to be exactly what he needs to help fulfill his father's dream of building a new community. If only James could convince her to accept the position.

Alexandrina has traveled west to seek a fresh start, not to find a groom. But after she's stranded i the wilderness with James, he offers her his hand in marriage to protect her reputation. Both are afraid to fall in love, but maybe an engagement of convenience could make them reconsider...

I really enjoyed this book, this is the second book of Regina's that I've read and am looking forward to reading more. I read the second one in the series and this one picked up right where that on left off with the same characters being in this book too. I like that she did that as it's interesting to see how the 'family' (as the case may be) is moving on with their lives, I see a few more books to come, YEA! Alexandrina has quite an interesting life before meeting up with James and they share quite an experience here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. A must read! Oh, and since somehow I skipped over the first book in the series, I have to find it in my TBR pile so I can read it too! I've read the second one and really liked it too.

I was given this book by the author for an honest review. This review is my honest opinion of this book.

Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer - Review

(copied from Amazon.com)
Adelaide Proctor is a young woman with her head in the clouds, longing for a real-life storybook hero to claim as her own. But when a husband-hunting debacle leavers her humiliated, she interviews for a staid governess position on a central Texas sheep ranch and vows to leave her romantic yearnings behind.

When Gideon Westcott left his privileged life in England to make a name for himself in America's wool industry, he never expected to become a father overnight. And five-year-old Isabella hasn't uttered a word since she lost her mother. The unconventionality of the new governess concerns Gideon--and intrigues him at the same time. But he can't afford distractions. He has a ranch to run, a shearing to oversee, and a suspicious fence-cutting to investigate.

When Isabella's uncle comes to claim the child--and her inheritance--Gideon and Adelaide must work together to protect Isabella from the man's evil schemes. And soon neither can deny their growing attraction. But after so many heartbreaks, will Adelaide be willing to get her head out of the clouds and put her heart on the line?

Karen impresses me more with each book of hers that I read. I really enjoy the stories she tells and the way she tells them. "Head in the Clouds" did not fail. Who knew you cold live your life by the clouds! I have read most of her books and so look forward to reading the rest of them. If you like Christian Historical you will love her books as much as I do.

Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay - Review of the first book in the Library Lover's Mystery series

What is the only word in the English language that ends in -mt?

Answering tricky reference questions like this one is more than enough excitement for recently single librarian Lindsey Norris. That is until someone in her coy new hometown of Brian Creek, Connecticut, commits murder, and the most pressing question is whodunit...

Lindsey is just getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a vacationing New York editor brings a little buzz to the small town. It's the perfect chance for her friend Beth to sell the children's book she's written. Unfortunately, Beth's boyfriend, Rick, a famous author and local celebrity, tries to stop her. When Lindsey and Beth meet the editor, they uncover the real reason for Rick's bad attitude...

They go to confront Rick at his house on the storied and mysterious Thumb Islands, only to find him murdered. The local chief of police likes Beth for the murderer and isn't interested in looking elsewhere. Now Lindsey has to act fast before they throw the book at the wrong person...

The cozy mystery titles really make me want to read them, they are such catchy titles, but the one series I tried, I just could not get into it. I read two books but no more. My daughter gave me this book and I enjoyed it much more. I am looking forward to reading the next one in the series to see if it will pull me into the 'cozy mystery phase'. So, yes this was a positive experience for me so far, looking forward to reading "Due or Die".

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Huckleberry Harvest by Jennifer Beckstrand - Review of the fifth book in The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series

When Mandy Helmuth hears that her best friend Kristina's heart has been broken, she decides to visit her grandparents and cheer her up. Mandy never liked Noah Mischler anyway, with his rough exterior and outspoken ways. Unfortunately, she can't avoid him--especially after he saves her life...

If he weren't helping Felty with home repairs, Noah would be more than happy to stay away from uppity Mandy Helmuth. Of course, then he wouldn't have been able to rescue her--and she wouldn't have had the chance to discover the real Noah beneath the tough persona--the one she falls in love with...

I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself but I LOVE THIS SERIES! It just makes me giggle and the love that Jennifer writes about just pulls you into their life. This book probably touched me a little more as it talks about something my dad, and a lot of his family members, dealt with in his life, alcoholism, and parents seperating! My parents were divorced but I still saw my dad when we wanted to or when he wanted, or could, see my brother and me. It wasn't always a fun time! I also found myself crying at times while reading. These books are so good that I have trouble putting them down. I see the sixth book, "Huckleberry Hearts" comes out on November 24th! I think this is the only series I've ever pre-ordered books in and I've already done that twice, will probably do it again, it is on pre-order right now for paperback or the Kindle. Yes, this is another MUST read! ! !

The Beekeeper's Son by Kelly Irvin - Review of the first book in the Amish of Bee County Series

(taken from Amazon.com)
Phineas King knows better than to expect anything but shock and pity wherever he shows his face. Horribly scarred from the tragic accident that claimed his mother's life, he chooses to keep his distance from everyone, focusing his time and energy on the bees his family raises. If no one sees him, no one can judge him. So why does he start finding excuses to seek out Deborah Lantz, the beautiful new arrival in town?

Deborah can't get out of Bee County, Texas, soon enough. Once her mother and younger siblings are settled, she is on the first bus out of this dusty town. She is only waiting on the letter from Aaron, asking her to return to lush Tennessee to be his fraa. But that letter never comes. As she spends time getting to know Phineas--hoping to uncover the man beneath the scars--she begins to realize that she no longer minds that Aaron hasn't sent for her.

As both Deborah and Phineas try to come to terms with lives that haven't turned out the way they imagined, they discover that perhaps Gott's plans for them are more extraordinary than they could have dreamed. But they need to let go of their own past sorrows and disappointments to find the joy and beauty that lies just ahead for them both.

Yep, another great book by Kelly. I've had this on my Kindle for a while, really wanted it in paperback, and finally 'picked' it out of my TBR list. I felt that it would be a good story and I was right, oh how I love it when I'm right about a book! Many of us have scars, some just aren't visible, unfortunately Phineas's were visible and Kelly does a wonderful job telling the story of how the characters get over their scars and disappointments in life. I will hopefully not wait so long to read the second book in the series, "The Bishop's Son", the paperback is on pre-order right now and it is due out on September 29th but I can't find anything on the Kindle edition. Purchase/Borrow, read and enjoy this book soon if you have not done so yet.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Plain Peril by Alison Stone - Review

After her sister is found dead and her brother-in-law goes missing, Hannah Wittmer rushes back to the Amish community she abandoned to care for her young nieces. Although she makes every effort to blend in, she's still seen as an outsider--and quickly attracts the attention of a killer. She knows Sheriff Spencer Maxwell is fast on the murderer's tracks, but the Amish townspeople are as suspicious of him as they are of Hannah. As threats escalate--now targeting Hannah and the handsome sheriff--they'll follow any trail to uncover a vicious criminal. Even if that trail leads them right to their own backyard...

A great mystery and you get to enjoy both worlds, the Amish and the Englisch. Alison wrote this with more than one or two suspects so you do keep guessing until the end. You think it's this person, then another, now back to the first one and then another one pops up.

I don't remember reading any of Alison's books before but I will surely be on the lookout for them now. I see three definites that she has already written that I want! I hope others will enjoy this book as much as I did.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Lumberjacks' Ball by Carrie Fancett Pagels - Review of the second book in The Christy Lumber Camp series

A decade after surviving a brutal attack, a mercantile owner's daughter seeks to begin her life anew in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. A gifted craftsman wishes to leave his lumberjack life and seeks employment at her new store. When his presence dredges up memories she wishes to suppress, the new proprietress must learn to face her past. Can affection grow between the cabinetmaker and the proprietress of St. Ignace's newest business: And when danger threatens, will they survive to attend The Lumberjacks' Ball?

I was so glad to be able to read more about 'Janie', who now calls herself Rebecca. Carrie has told a story about one strong woman, yes she still fears her attacker, but that only makes her moving on with her life show just how strong she is. I'm really impressed with Carrie's writing and will be watching for another book in this series, hint, hint!

The first book in this series, "The Fruitcake Challenge" (a very fun read) was one of the short stories in the Christmas Traditions Series that came out in 2014

The Quilter's Son: Maddie's Quilt by Samantha Jillian Baylarr - Review of the fourth book in The Quilter's Son series

(taken from Amazon.com)
Maddie Hayes comes home early from college after being forced to leave her cheerleading scholarship behind. When Anna learns Maddie's secret, she discovers they have more in common than she originally thought. Anna and Maddie become roommates until Anna unexpectedly moves out and leaves Nathan just days before their wedding. Will Nathan be able to put his own worries aside to help Maddie through her dilemma?

Find out in this tale of lost and found love...

Oh Samantha! What a great story this was with a very interesting ending for the three characters.

This was a fantastic short series, each story was very touching. I did enjoy the short books, I could go do things in between the books and still get the series read quickly. I would recommend this series for readers who like to read books with Amish socializing a lot with the Englisch. Oh yes, the Amish characters are quite interesting in the way they live in this series too.

The Quilter's Son: Nathan's Apprentice by Samantha Jillian Bayarr - Review of the third book in The Quilter's Son series

(taken from Amazon.com)
Nathan had steered his life in one direction since his youth; toward a future with Anna as his wife. But when his desires for an alternate future threaten that, he must choose the right path.

Enter Maddie, the pretty cheerleader who accompanies Nathan on a tour of the university they had both been accepted to, and his future path seems to split off into a direction that spins out of control. Can Nathan get back on the path toward his future with Anna, or is something else in store for him?

This could be the best story so far in this series. There is quite a bit going on in this short story and was really good. Samantha is keeping me reading that is for sure.

The Quilter's Son: Lydia's Heart by Samantha Jillian Bayarr - Review of the second book in The Quilter's Son series

(taken from Amazon.com)
Lydia and Steve have made plans for their future together, until a mistake in Steve's past threatens to tear them apart. Will Lydia be able to forgive Steve and learn to trust him again? When someone else's love invades her heart, Lydia must make the right decision for her future.

Lydia and Steve's story is just as enjoyable as Liam and Lucy's, with quite a different twist. For a short story Samantha does a great job of getting everything in and makes you want to move on to the next book right away.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Quilter's Son: Liam's Choice by Samantha Jillian Bayarr - Review of the first book in The Quilter's Son series

(Taken from GoodReads)
Liam Yoder has been leading a double life ever since his dad was killed in a buggy accident.

Will a chance encounter with his mother cause him to rethink his decision to leave the Amish community behind? What about Lucy, the bakery owner he left behind when they were teenagers? Will she be able to convince Liam to change his mind?

Find out in this tale of bittersweet love...

This was a good short story by Samantha, A story of love and fear, fear of seeing his family and true love again but a need to see them. A story of guilt for leaving them behind the way he did and then the chance citing and the fear that they have moved on without him and have no desire to have anything to do with him.

I recommend this as a quick, enjoyable read, and yea, there are three more books! I'm already reading the second one!

The Gifted by Ann H Gabhart - Review of the fifth book in the Shaker series

Jessamine Brady has been in the Shaker Village for half her young life, but in spite of how she loves her sisters there, she struggles to conform to the strict rules. Instead she entertains dreams of the world outside. When Tristan Cooper seems to step out of those dreams to entice her into the forbidden realm beyond the Shaker Village, her life turns upside down.

Will Jessamine be able to survive the storm of the world? Or will she retreat back to the peace of Harmony Hill?

Yet another great story in Ann's Shaker series. Jessamine's story is kind of a heartbreaking one, she love's where she's at but she longs to see the world. She longs to see the world and finding her 'prince' yet she can't see herself leaving her 'sisters'. Her story will touch your heart as to why/how she came to the Shakers. Ann does a wonderful job of telling her story, and dragging it out, lol, you just can't get through this book fast enough to see what happens. Great job!

It's been a while since I've read the first four books and when I saw a sixth coming out I thought I better pull this from my growing TBR pile. I am looking forward to reading "The Innocent" due out on July 7, 2015. I really do enjoy this series and would highly recommend it.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl by Elizabeth Byler Younts - Review

(taken from Amazon.com)
As the oldest child in an impoverished Amish family, Lydia Lee knows little more of life beyond hard work, sacrifice and extreme hunger. Yet, even as a youndg girl she strives to be content with all God has provided.

Against the backdrop of the Great Depression, Lydia's childhood unfolds as her family struggles to survive, finding strength from their Amish faith. But, when tragedy strikes, that very faith is tested beyond what any child should have to endure. When all hope seems lost, Lydia is reminded that all things have seasons.

The spring of her life has been spent planting prayers in the soil of sadness and heartache. Will she see a summer of true love? Will there be a harvest of happiness?

I have had this book on my Kindle for quite some time because I though it sounded like one I would enjoy. The problem is I have a LOT of books, paperback and e-book, that I 'really' want to read, it's like sometimes I think I should close my eyes and pick out a book that way. I do wish I'd read this a lot sooner as it is a wonderful story that will pull at your heartstrings and find yourself wanting to help this family even though it happened a long time ago.

Lydia is such a strong little girl with unlimited faith. She goes through so much pain but always seems to have a smile and a big heart. Even when she is hurting you would not know it by looking at her or talking to her.

This is the first book of Elizabeth's that I've read, and I really liked her writing style. I will definitely be reading some more of her books and I would highly recommend this book as a great read! Thank you Elizabeth for sharing this story.

With This Kiss Historical Collection by Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, Cara Lynn James and Julie Lessman - Review of e-book

(taken from Amazon.com)
"His Beloved Bride" by Ruth Logan Herne
Phillip Dickinson's inheritance requires him to be married with a child. He's got neither on his South Dakota claim. Grace Hawthorne lost her mean-spirited husband in the blizzard of '88, and her claim shack in a spring fire. With a newborn baby, a marriage of convenience seems right and wrong. When hardship comes their way, can faith, hope and love keep them together?

"Meeting in the Middle" by Pam Hillman
Having lost his young son, widowed cotton farmer Curt Parker is determined to protect his two little girls from harm. His new neighbor, Alaina Garland, needs help to save the farm she runs alone. Can these two meet in the middle to take care of his children as well as work the fields to save their land?

"The Innkeeper's Promise" by Cara Lynn James
Lydia, an inexperienced yet determined innkeeper, tries her best to convince Dane, her absentee co-owner, to keep their failing hotel operating despite his need for a quick sale. Will their love grow strong enough for the ambitious Dane to change all his plans and stay with Lydia?

"Grace Like Rain" by Julie Lessman
Because of Blake "The Rake" McClare's notorious reputation, receptionist Patience Peabody steers clear of the lovable rogue attorney at the law firm in which they both work. Until a rare thunderstorm brings them together in a love soaked with the grace of God and sparked with a little lightning of its own.

"Closer Than Brothers" by Mary Connealy
The heroes of the Trouble in Texas series met in Andersonville Prison during the war. What they went through, what it took to survive has created a bond between them.

When one of the friends needs help, the others come a'running. They have a bond that is closer than brothers. This novella is the story of how they met in Andersonville. It's not a comedy, it's not a romance, but the fires that forged this friendship in the darkest days of the Civil War make the Trouble in Texas series bigger and better. I hope you enjoy the story.

I was anxious to read this book, these stories, as I really enjoy all of these authors and I was not disappointed at all. Each author pulled me into their stories and had me pulling for each couple to make a 'go' of their relationship. All of the main characters show a lot of determination to get through their problems and forge on. Great reading of some short stories that I think historical fiction readers will really enjoy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Meek and Mild by Olivia Newport - Review of the second book in the Amish Turns of Time series

Suddenly shun has become a serious word, for Clara Kuhn. As 1917 approaches, her Amish church's aging bishop is coming down hard on members who dally in untraditional practices--like offering Sunday school for children--and Clara's gift for telling Bible stories to little ones collides with new mandates. The young Pennsylvania Amish woman had always moved freely over the state line to visit family in the more progressive Maryland district, but now those visits are coming under scrutiny by some members of Clara's church.

On the verge of accepting Andrew Raber's marriage proposal, Clara is unsure what to make of his new hobby to rehabilitate an abandoned Model T. Just how hard can they push against the bishop's wishes?

As the chasm widens between Old Order Amish and the Marylanders, and tensions rise between longtime friends and close-knit family, Clara and Andrew must look inward to examine their own hearts and consciences and above all, seek Gottes ville--God's will.

Olivia did a wonderful job of telling Clara's story and going into how the Amish can have discourse among themselves. Not only did Clara fear being shunned by the church but she felt like she was being shunned by her family, something she didn't share with anyone and bore the hurt herself. Great book, great story, great series and great writing. Can't wait for "Brightest and Best" comes out. Don't get excited it doesn't come out until August, you still have time to read the first two books in this series!

An Amish Man of Ice Mountain by Kelly Long - Review of the second book in the Ice Mountain series

(taken from Amazon.com)
Joseph King has good reasons to work an oil rig far from his beloved Ice Mountain . . . and to mind his own business. He hopes to protect his younger brother Edward from worldly influences. And maybe he can finally forget how yielding to temptation forced him to leave home in disgrace. Still, no honorable Amish man would let Priscilla Allen and her four-year-old daughter remain homeless, living out of their car. And how can he not be drawn to the feisty waitress's bravery and hidden strength . . .

Offering Priscilla a home on Ice Mountain as his wife-in-name-only gives her a place to start again. For Joseph, it's also an unexpected chance to regain his reputation and standing in the community. But Priscilla's warmth, caring, and determination to adjust to Amish society are renewing Joseph's long-buried hope. Now as his guilt and her wrenching secrets threaten the fragile trust growing between them, they will need the riskiest of miracles to put the past to rest--and fulfill a promise only love and renewed faith can bring.

Amazing writing and such an unusual story for an Amish book. Kelly really mixes the Amish and the Englisch lives in this series. This book takes on a subject that you don't normally read about in a Amish story. There is some sexual content but nothing 'too deep'. I am enjoying this series and really looking forward to reading "The Amish Heart of Ice Mountain" when it comes out in October.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this e-book free from the publisher through the NetGalley  <http://www.netgalley.com/> book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Stranded by Debby Giusti - Review of the seventh book in the Military Investigations series

Colleen Brennan has one goal--take down her sister's killer. But chasing after evidence leaves her in the path of a tornado and stranded in an Amish community. With the killer nearby, Colleen must depend on the kindness of Special Agent Frank Gallagher. Although the army officer is recuperating from a battlefield injury, he wants to help the beautiful woman he rescued from the tornado's fury. He can tell she's hiding something important. But getting her to reveal her secrets may be his most dangerous mission ever.

This was another good read by Debby, only the second one of her books that I've read, but I have enjoyed both of them now. I was on the edge of my seat sometimes and found it hard to put the book down. I like her writing style and will try to find some more of her books, I may just have to think about reading some more of her books. If you enjoy a good mystery you will enjoy this book.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Amish Bride of Ice Mountain by Kelly Long - Review of the first book in the Ice Mountain series

(taken from Amazon.com)
Like most Mountain Amish girls, Mary King has always dreamed of her wedding day. But she never imagined that a sudden, irresistible kiss would result in marriage to the handsome Englischer professor studying her unique community. Or that doing the truly honorable thing means keeping their relationship chaste so both she and Dr. Jude Lyons can someday go their separate ways.

But when Mary accompanies her husband-in-name-only to Atlanta to meet his wealthy, overbearing family, she's tempted more than ever by Jude's kindness, humor--and vulnerability. And when a wrenching misunderstanding causes her to return heartbroken to her remote Appalacian home, she's certain she's lost the real love they have found...and the shared future she's come to want so much. But a crisis of more than faith will work surprising miracles--and show Mary that love is strong enough to make the impossible come true.

Oh my, oh my, oh my!!! This was one wonderful story and such a different take on the 'normal' Amish book. Kelly does a fantastic job and has you shaking your head and crying throughout. She just pulls you right in and you are experiencing the feelings of the characters. There is a lot going on with the families and community of this couple and how they handle things is really amazing. I highly recommend this book as an excellent read.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this e-book free from the publisher through the NetGalley  <http://www.netgalley.com/> book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Matchmaker by Sarah Price - Review of the second book in the Amish Classics series

Emma Weaver is twenty-one years old and has found a passion for playing matchmaker with her friends. Her neighbor, Gideon King, warns her about interfering in people's lives, but she disregards his advice and plans to set up Paul, the son of the bishop with her friend Hannah.

But when Paul misinterprets Emma's attention, believing she has feelings for him, he begins asking her to ride in his buggy after Sunday singings and shows up at her house for Friday evening visits. As she tries to repair the damage that's been done and mend the hearts that have been broken, she finds herself in trouble with the community. Will she learn her lesson and stop meddling in the affairs of others? Will she find a love of her own.

What a good series this is. Have you ever thought you were doing something positive for others and then mess up not only your own life but other lives as well? I really like the way Sarah tells the story and lets the reader see how Emma handles each situation. She teaches a lesson about letting 'nature' take it's course and not trying to take the 'course' in your own hands, especially when your are messing with other peoples lives. Great read Sarah! I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, "Second Chances" coming out in June of this year.

Monday, April 6, 2015

August by Kit Morgan - Review of the first book in the Prairie Grooms series

Prairie Grooms is a series, so you'll want to read these books in order to have the most fun. Kit Morgan's books are fun, whimsical, sweet stories about the old west, its people, but especially about Clear Creek. One of the wackiest little towns in the old west!

Also by Kit Morgan:
The Prairie Bride Series, beginning with 'His Prairie Princess"

The Holiday Mail Order Bride Series, beginning with 'The Christmas Mail Order Bride'

What happens when six English ladies are shipped off halfway across the world as mail order brides? EVERYTHING! Watch them go from a posh lifestyle in London to Clear Creek, a nothing of a town full of quirky characters, crazy livestock, and bumbling villains! Oh, and handsome grooms too!

Duncan Cooke, aka The Duke of Stantham, had a problem. He had a huge estate in England to manage, one not far from London, and it came with all the headaches one would expect with an estate in disarray. Including six unwed cousins, women no man would touch for fear of losing a limb, or worse. Strange things happened to all who tried to court them, so they were left unwed. But Duncan realized that his hometown of Clear Creek had exactly what he needed. MEN! And so with the help of his brother's wife Sadie, he concocted a plan to send his cousins to Clear Creek as mail order brides! He just hoped the calamity that often followed them, didn't find its way across the sea as well ...

(Taken from Amazon.com)

Yes, I will agree with the 'Back of the Book Blurb' this was a fun book and there are quirky characters, crazy livestock and bumbling villains. You will find this book very enjoyable but I think before I read the next ones in this series I might want to go back and start with the 'The Prairie Brides' series, I would suggest that you start there also. There are seven books in the first series and six in this series (The Prairie Grooms). I read this one pretty quickly and it looks like the other books are short stories also, but well worth the time. I think you will find yourself giggling as you read.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

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

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.

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.