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.