Friday, May 29, 2015

Murder Freshly Baked by Vannetta Chapman

An Amish Village Mystery.  Book 3

This was another great book from Vannetta Chapman.  As in every book that I have read which was written by her, I have been so impressed with her wonderful writing talents.

This book is a continuation from book 2.  Hannah and Amber again find themselves in a very strange situation as poetic  "Poison Pen letters" are found with freshly baked pies.  The poem indicates the pie has been laced with something that will poison the person that eats it.  Who would warn people of such a strange thing?

Amber finds mysterious emails and her cat is poisoned.  But who is behind this?  There is a little romance, mystery and  lots of  great reading to be found in this book.  I enjoyed revisiting Vannetta's Amish village.  I hope the  series will continue!

Author Vannetta Chapman has penned a great book here and I am sure you will enjoy it as well!

I received the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Secret of the Heart by J.E.B. Spredemann

I just finished "listening" to book 3 of the Amish Secrets Book series by J.E.B. Spredemann.  It was the audible version which was narrated by Lisa Larsen.  This was such a great book.  The story of Lillianna Zook and Thomas Girod takes many twists and is often a poignant and touching book.

As Lillianna's best friend married, she finds out that this same friend is facing a large trial.  She tells Lillianna and asks that she would go along with her and her husband on an Amish trip to the Grand Canyon where she crosses paths with her old love of her early years, Thomas.  Thomas has changed, yet she knows that she still has the same love for him as before.  As she finds that he is also facing a trial, she is willing to sacrifice a year of her life to help him meet and beat this trial.  What occurs changes her life forever and she is never able to be the same person she was as she faces an almost insurmountable experience with faith in God and trust that He will see her through.

This was a wonderful book and I highly recommend it to everyone!  I enjoyed it so much!

Author J.E.B. Spredemann.  You can find her books at .

Protected by Vannetta Chapman

Protected is book 2 in the Jacob's family Series.

Erin Jacobs is a young woman that lives alone and takes calls to rescue animals in unusual predicaments and also as well as rescuing "unusual" animals.

This book grabbed me from page 1 as Erin receives a mysterious call in the middle of the night.  She was to come right away on a rescue mission.  This unusual rescue mission was about to change her life completely.

You will love this wonderful book.  Vannetta Chapman really has a winner here!  This touching and poignant book shows the wonderful sides of people, their warmth and love to one another.

There are many trials that Erin needs to overcome to be able to hold on to her dream and to fulfill the wishes of the mysterious night caller.

As Erin learns to trust others with herself and those she loves, her circle of love grows and she can now learn to deal with her past, as well as her future.  You will want to read this fast, because you can't put it down!  I just loved it!

Author Vannetta Chapman.  Here is a link to find Vannetta Chapman's latest book.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ruth's Dilemma by June Belfie

Just finished this ebook by June Bryan Belfie.  It was a full-length book from the Series, The Zook Sisters of Lancaster County.  Did I like it?  Yes, very much and it is, as of this morning, still free on Amazon.  So grab it and read it.  You will enjoy this read.

Because I had it on Kindle, I was able to plug in the earphones and  listen while I drove home, and when I was on the train.

The story is about two Amish sisters, Ruth and Emma, two years apart in age, both of marriageable age, both in love with the same Amish man, Jeremiah.  Emma is much more pronounced about letting everyone know that she has her cap set on Jeremiah.  So Ruth feels she has to hold back and hide her feelings from Emma, and of course Jeremiah.

It's a good book, you'll enjoy it and it's a good Christian read.  I recommend it and at the price, you can't go wrong.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Sky So Big by Ransom Wilcox and Karl Beckstrand

This was a book different in genre than what you have usually seen me review on my blog or elsewhere.

It's western, thereby historical in nature, and enjoyable.  If you like the following, you will really enjoy this book:

Suspense, chase scenes, gunfights, Indians, wild animals, bad guys, good guys, heroes and heroines, and perhaps just a bit of romance, you will want to grab this book.

There is a lot of action in this book.  It will be a page turner and keep you guessing.  And the conflicts with Wade and Patricia might  surprise you as well.  Never a dull moment in this read.  This is the first book I have read from author Karl Beckstrand, but it looks like writing skills run in the family as I have enjoyed all of his cousin's books as well.  (Jennifer Beckstrand)

I have to say that as the scenes are presented, the wording is so well written you can completely see what he is describing.  Karl has excellent writing skills!  You will enjoy this book.  5 stars!

Author Karl Beckstrand

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Conversation with Linda Weaver Clarke and a Giveaway!

I am so lucky, two author interviews in just one week!  This is Linda Weaver Clarke and she is the mother of Serena Clarke from my previous blog post.  Like mother, like daughter.  How very awesome!  Linda graciously has taken her time to be interviewed on my blog and I am thrilled for the opportunity.  Welcome Linda!

Sunnie Reviews:  What started your interest in writing?

I have always loved writing. After writing my ancestors’ and parents’ biographies, I couldn’t stop writing. So I turned to historical romances. Since my ancestors’ stories were so vivid in my mind, I actually gave some of their exciting experiences to the main characters. So my ancestors were the inspiration for getting me started. My first historical romance, Melinda and the Wild West, actually won an award for the Reviewers Choice Award. After writing five romances, I turned to mysteries. All my stories are family friendly.

Sunnie Reviews: What is your favorite genre when you are working on a book?

Cozy mystery. I also love to mix clean romance with each of my stories and create a fun adventure. I’ve written historical romance, suspense mystery, and children’s, but cozy mystery is my favorite.

Sunnie Reviews:  Where did you get the idea for this mystery series?

I wanted to write a cozy mystery that was unlike any mystery written. I didn’t want it to be a “who-done-it” series, but something different. Amelia Moore is a detective who specializes in missing persons. With each book in this series, I try to create a story surrounding a missing person and make it intriguing at the same time.

Sunnie Reviews:  What are your main characters like?

Amelia is in her thirties and is the founder of the Moore Detective Agency. She is fun loving and spunky. Nothing will stop her from solving her case.

Rick Bonito, Amelia’s partner, is good-looking with chocolate brown hair and a light olive complexion. His dark stubble is close to his face because he hates shaving, but it doesn’t bother Amelia. She rather likes it. When he folds his arms across his chest, it is obvious that he works out at the gym. He is totally ripped. As for his personality, he loves to joke around and is quite informal.

Sunnie Reviews: What is this mystery about?

It’s about a long lost love. Julie Anderson feels a need to find the man she fell deeply in love with during her youth. When Julie went off to college to become a lawyer, she lost contact with her high school sweetheart. She now wants to know what became of Joey and why he stopped writing to her? This is an assignment that intrigues Amelia. The thought of finding a long-lost love seems quite romantic.

Sunnie Reviews: What kind of research do you usually do for your books?

I always research the area I place my characters. For example, I did a lot of research about archaeology and dinosaur tracks in Utah for this book. It helps to make the setting feel real. It’s surprising how much an author learns with research.

Sunnie Reviews:  When you aren’t writing a book, what type of book do you especially enjoy Reading?

Clean romances. They’re my favorite, especially if they have a bit of adventure added.

Sunnie Reviews: Are you working on something new?

Absolutely! I’m excited to announce this mystery series is going to be on audio. The first book, The Bali Mystery, will be out soon and I’m so excited because the reader did a great job. Diane Lehman is the reader and she portrays Amelia and Rick so perfectly. The rest of the characters were done very well, too. She had me laughing out loud in some parts that she did. It was so easy to picture everything in my mind as I listened to her.

I look forward to reading your books, Linda! I wish you lots of success, and your daughter, Serena, as well@

You may find sample chapters of my books on my website and it will take you to the links for purchase at Amazon and Smashwords. My website is

Linda has graciously offered a copy of one of her cozy mysteries in ebook format.  Thanks so Much, Linda!

Make a comment below and win a copy of a cozy mystery ebook.  Be sure and leave your email address in a safe way so that we can get in touch with you if you are the winner!  Giveaway ends May 29th.

The Isian Series by Serena Clarke

I am delighted to Introduce you to an up and coming author, Serena Clarke.  Here is some exciting news about her fantasy, Romance and Mystery Series!  I hope you will get to know Serena and grab a copy of her great books!

Magic, Fantasy, Romance, and Mystery

Fantasy has become one of the most popular genre, simply because you are taken into a completely new world… a world of magic and mystery… where almost anything can happen. In this new series by Serena Clarke, we have an enchanting kingdom and mystical creatures that reside in the forests.

The Treasure of Isian is the first book in The Isian Series. Prince Garin is a brave, proud, adventure-seeking prince. Elani is his most trusted servant and she would do anything for him. Their quest to find the mystical Treasure of Isian is immediately interrupted and they find themselves confronted by giants, elves, dragons, and a vengeful water-witch. Elani must face her greatest fears to save her prince and her kingdom. Will they be able to make a great sacrifice to save the kingdom?

“The Treasure of Isian was a stirring tale of an enchanted servant and a handsome prince,” wrote Author Charissa Stastny. “The adventures they face together as they search for the fabled treasure of Isian that will grant the bearer any wish they desire. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. The author did a wonderful job pacing the story and connecting me to the characters. Superb story that brought a smile to my face and helped me remember that sometimes, we can overlook the most valuable treasures in life if we’re not careful.”

In the second book in this series, The Alliance of Isian, Isian decides to make an alliance with their long time enemies.  Isian sends a proposal, offering their daughter to the prince, in order to ensure an alliance. Princess Gabrielle and Prince Alec must learn to work together and trust each other in order to triumph in the approaching war. With a mysterious beast attacking the kingdom, their lives in danger, and overcoming their vast cultural differences, will love grow despite their trials?

When we think of fantasy, we think of magic and mythical creatures, but it is not the same without some romance. Cheryl Larson wrote: “I am always intrigued by stories of arranged marriages and how they turn to marriages filled with love. There is plenty of action and intrigue in the storyline. I can't wait for the next book in the series!”

The Treasure of Isian and The Alliance of Isian can be found at local libraries, bookstores, and online. For more information and to read a sample chapter, visit

You can find Serena's books at this link.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

An Undeniable Secret by J.E.B. Spredemanm

Saloma is an Amish young woman who has fallen in love with an Englischer, Will Griffith.  His uncle is very much against their being together and Saloma is fearful of sharing her feelings with her mother, as well.  Is Will's uncle having these feelings because of a past relationship in his life?

As their feelings deepen, a secret from the past comes to haunt them.  It is something that can cause more than just an obstacle to their relationship, it can easily end it.  The story leaves you guessing and just when you think you have figured things out, something changes again.  Twists and turns and upheavals to cause nothing but pain.

Will they be able to find a way through prayer and faith?  You have to read this excellent book.  It is a 5 star book in my opinion, and I know that you will enjoy this intriguing story.  J.E.B. Spredemann has done it again!

You can find this book at the following link

Interview with J.E.B. Spredemann and a Book Giveaway!

I am so very excited to share an interview with J.E.B. Spredemann with you!  They are also having a giveaway for an autographed copy of Amish by Accident.  

I have just finished reading An Undeniable Secret.  It was an absolutely wonderful read and so I am especially happy to host Jennifer, Emily and Brandi on my blog today.

Welcome, Jennifer, Emily and Brandi!  Please tell us a little about the J.E.B. Spredemann brand!

First of all, Sonja, I'd like to thank you for interviewing us today! It's an honor to be featured on your blog. Our brand is ‘Different Amish Fiction’. We derived the name from our readers’ reviews – many of them stated that our books were different than any Amish fiction they’d ever read. Fortunately, they meant different in a positive sense. There are many talented authors of Amish fiction out there and I love reading their work. As a reader, I like to read stories that are not only entertaining, but carry a strong spiritual thread as well – more than just the ‘follow your heart’ cliché. We strive to write stories that are well-researched, realistic, stories that present the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and stories that our readers will be thinking about long after they’ve read our books.

Which of your books is your favorite and why? 

Oh, this one is difficult for me! Honestly, I don’t think I can pick one. Many times, it’s the book I’m presently writing, as the characters are fresh in my head and heart. I love Hannah’s story in An Unforgivable Secret and the picture of God’s wonderful redeeming grace. I love God’s providence in Amish by Accident. I love His compassion and mercy in A Secret Encounter and A Secret of the Heart. I love our younger characters in the Amish Girls Series and the struggles they grow through, and, of course, Jonathan Fisher! I love the life-affirming themes in the Amish Fairly Tales series. So, as you can see, for an author, choosing a favorite book would be akin to choosing a favorite child.

Tell us about Emily and Brandi and Jennifer. Will you be writing some more books together? 

Yes, Lord willing! We have a spin-off series planned called The Men of Amish Paradise. These books will focus on the fathers (and mothers) of some of the girls in the Amish Girls Series, and will essentially be prequels to the Amish Girls Series. (Not a teen series.) We’re thrilled to begin this series and develop the ideas we have.

Do your main characters usually revolve around someone you know or are they their “own” person? 

Both. For the most part, our characters are their own person. Some of our characters or their stories are inspired by real people or true events. For example, Jonathan Fisher is a mishmash of my hubby, my youngest son, and our imaginations. We've since discovered there are many Jonathan Fishers out there! ;)

What started you on your writing career? 

Simply stated, our love for reading and writing. It sort of happened by surprise, actually. And so the story goes...Brandi and I (Jennifer) were out grocery shopping one day. As we sometimes did, Brandi was reading aloud (being my audiobook). At one point, she stopped, turned to me, and asked, “Why don’t they have books like this for people my age?” I thought about it for a little bit, then said we would look into it. After discovering there were, indeed, very few Amish-themed books for teens, I basically said, “Why don’t we write some?” And so we did…:)

Do your books usually have an underlying message that you are trying to convey to the readers? 

Yes. The essential message in all of our books is that God loves them, He sees every detail of their lives, and He cares deeply for each and every person, no matter who they are or what they've done.

That is a really wonderful message!  You are so right about what you have said and I feel the same way as you do!  

Thanks so much for sharing some of your thoughts, today.  I think we all enjoy learning a bit more about the authors of the books we enjoy so much.  It's clear to see that your personalities shine through in each of your books!

Here are some links to connect with J.E.B. Spredemann!

J.E.B. Spredemann author page on Amazon. 

Want to sign up for the J.E.B. Spredemann monthly newsletter to be the first to hear about new releases, giveaways, and all the latest J.E.B. Spredemann news?  If so, click here!

And here is a link for the latest release, An Undeniable Secret.

Thanks so much J.E.B. Spredemann.    Wishing you all a continued success with your books!

J.E.B. Spredemann has graciously offered to give one lucky reader a signed copy of Amish by Accident!  How exciting is that!  Simply leave a comment on why you would like to read this book and be sure and leave a email contact in a safe format.  This contest ends on May 27th at 6:00 pm MDT.    Contest open to US Residents only.

Chat with Vera: Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis by Carole...

Chat with Vera: Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis by Carole...: About the book:  Captain No Beard and his crew of loyal pirates heave anchor for another adventure, this time in the icy waters of the Arc...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

First Impressions by Sarah Price

This is part 1 and I have already read and reviewed part 2.  Typical me!  I loved this book!  I enjoyed it from the first page.  Another Jane Austen Amish retelling of Pride and Prejudice and I think it was very well written.

Five single daughters in the Blank household.  They hear that Charles Beachy and a cousin will be coming from Ohio, there is a hope that these two men might be great husbands for two of their daughters.  At first it would appear that Jane and Charles are a great match, but as the story unfolds, and Charles returned to Ohio, it appears he has other plans than what Jane had been hoping.

Lizzie, however, has no desire to start a courting or any type of relationship, really with Frederick Detweiler.  He is definitely prideful and has none of the qualities she would want in a good husband.

But first impressions can be wrong or were they right, this time?  To find out you will need to read this great read and I highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys the Amish genre!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

If I left by Becca Fisher

In this story Sadie, an Amish girl, has applied to go to college and is accepted.  She is in the hopes that she can convince her sister, Hannah, to join her and stay with her in the English world.  The answer comes to Sadie from her sister and in a very short time the book ends and is continued in another volume.  It was very short.  It was fund to read and I felt bad that it ended before I was able to have read very much.  I do prefer a book with more pages, whether it continues or not.

She is an interesting author, but would prefer a real book to read rather than a short story.  But it was free at the time and so I really can't complain, can I?  I would give this 3 1/2 stars.

A Joyful Break (Dreams of Plain Daughters) by Diane Craver

A Joyful  Break was a very enjoyable Amish book.  It was written by Diane Craver whose books I've not read before.  At the time that I got it the price was free.  So that was a good deal for sure.

The story of Rachel, an Amish girl coming of age into her Rumspringe and filled with the desire to visit her no-longer Amish aunt and cousin and take a trip to the beach in Florida.  The story tells how her mother recently passed away and her feelings that if her father had allowed a phone, her mother could have gotten medical help and been spared the sad outcome of her heart attack.

Feeling the need to experience the English world, she finds the time to understand her feelings that she holds of her father.  She is also to the stage in life where she is prepared to be baptized into the church and plan a future with Samuel who waits anxiously for her return.

It was not the most in-depth type book I have read.  But it was a light and interesting story and I enjoyed it and give it 4 stars.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Graceful Amish Christmas by Becca Fisher

This was another quick read on the way to and from work as my Kindle read me the story of  Grace,  and her husband as well as her quilt shop.

Grace feels obligated to work the quilt shop that at least two generations have been working.  The stress is killing her and isn't great for her marriage, either.  Her employee, Evelyn seems to be having similar problems plus even a few more.

As her mother asks her to find a job for a family member, Beth, who has found herself without a job, Grace hesitates, yet agrees, only to find that Beth is exactly what was needed to bring the business back to where it should be.

What does Grace want for Christmas?  Read the book to find out.  This book is about overcoming problems in life and learning to appreciate those of our family.

It was a short read and I finished it in maybe 1 hour or slightly more.  It was nice but not amazing.  A pleasant read and enjoyable, but not spectacular.  I would recommend it for a quick, light read.  About 4 stars.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Matchmaker by Sarah Price

The Matchmaker is an Amish retelling of the Jane Austen version of "Emma".  It is an enjoyable Amish tale of Emma, who has decided she will not marry but is bound and determined to find the perfect match for her friend Hannah.  Although her ideas of a mate for Hannah are well-meant, no one can replace God in finding the right mate for Hannah or anyone else. 

As Emma comes to the realization that some of her best efforts are not coming to fruition, and that others have made some surprising decisions, without her help, she also finds that perhaps her decisions for herself are also not the best or as God had intended.

I really liked this book and was taken in by the friendly climate of the book and the relaxed nature of the Amish people in the book.  I would give this a 4 star rating.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Naomi's Story: A Romance in Amish Country Story by Melanie Schmidt

This is the first story I have read from this author.  I was not a full-length book, only about 9 or so chapters.  It moves quite quickly from Naomi's parents' plans of an arranged marriage, to her meeting Seth.  It was fun to read, perhaps the characters did not have enough time to truly develop, but it was nice, yet for sure a bit too short, I think.

Whoopie Pie Betrayal-Book 2 The Whoopie Pie Juggler: An Amish of Lancaster County Saga Series by Rebecca Price

My first comment on this book is that the cover of book 2 doesn't look like the cover of the book I read, which is by this author.  The title is even different.  Yet this one is the one that comes up with The Whoopie Pie Juggler Book 2 on Amazon, so I am a bit confused.  If this cover is wrong, which the title would imply, I will happily remove it.   

The Story which I read is about Hannah, who has recently come to Lancaster County and makes delicious Whoopie Pies.  She is suddenly treated rudely by the locals and has no idea why.  Turns out that Grace, another Whoopie pie baker is as good or perhaps better, and the locals wanted a contest  to raise money for the local coffers and somehow thought she had said no to the challenge, although she had known nothing about it.  

She accepts the challenge, But that isn't the end of her troubles.  It's an interesting book and I enjoyed it, although there were some parts that moved a bit slow for me.  For the most part I thought it was a fun and a bit different Amish read.  

Emma's Choice (The Zook Sisters of Lancaster County by June Bryan Belfie

This is book two in the Zook Sisters of Lancaster County Amish series.  To be honest, I am not sure if I have read book one or not.  After a while, I get just a bit confused since in Amish books the characters often have the same names.

My Kindle has been reading to me for quite some time as I travel to and from work.

Emma is found thinking that the man her sister married is the man she had envisioned as perhaps her husband.

This is an enjoyable story and I am going to try to continue the series.  I liked this one very much.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Fun Giveaway

For a great giveaway go to this link at Diana's website!