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
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
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
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
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
"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.