Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, April 24, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

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

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

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

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

Plain Danger by Debby Giusti - Review of the ninth book in the Military Investigations series

When Carrie York arrives at the house she inherited from her father in an Amish community, she's shocked to discover a soldier's body on the property. Her neighbor, army special agent Tyler Zimmerman, starts investigating the murder, and Carrie fears it's related to her father's mysterious death. Tyler doesn't trust the pretty speechwriter or the suspicious timing of her arrival--especially since her boss is responsible for his father's death. But when someone attacks Carrie, Tyler insists on protecting her. With his help, will Carrie be able to hold on to her inheritance and her life?

This is only the third book of Debby's that I've read and I really like the way she intertwines the characters lives. I have only read the three that have an Amish involvement, and I see that the next book is another one, "Plain Truth". The other books in this series, I'm sure, would also intrigue me but I have so many books on my TBR list (on my books shelves and around my desk, lol) that I have to sometimes pick and choose. There are times I close my eyes and pick, lol. Anyway I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries. Debby does a great job of keeping you guessing.