Monday, December 29, 2014

Davey's Daughter by Linda Byler Book 2 in the Lancaster Burning Series

This book has been on my TBR pile for way too long.  I decided that I wanted to read it because book 1 had left me hanging.  It was really good.

Davey's daughter continues the stories of the Amish barn burnings in Lancaster county.

Matthew is Sarah Beiler's love interest, although her family doesn't seem to be nearly as fond of him as she would like.  He decides to leave the Amish faith and become a missionary and asks her to join him.  She is ready to do this only to find out he is interested in someone else.

The barn burnings continue and Sarah befriends Ashley who is a friend who might be caught up in the problems of the community.
Sarah finds a new Amishman who captures her heart, only to find out that Matthew is returning.  How will this turn out?  To be honest I don't know!  The book is a cliffhanger and book 3 will not be out as soon as I had hoped.

I had heard it was because the author was in need of finding a new publisher when hers went out of business.  But with a quick check on Amazon, I see that it is now expected out in May of 2015.  If you want to get an email notice when it is available, go to this link.  I signed up to get the notification, because I can't wait till the next book is out.

About the Author from her book:  Linda Byler grew up Amish and is a practicing member of the Amish church today.  She is the author of two bestselling Amish romance novel series, Lizzie Searches for Love and Sadies's Montana, as well as the Lancaster Burning Series.

Friday, December 26, 2014

An Amish Buggy Ride by Sarah Price

I was lucky and won this book in a giveaway!  Yeah, lucky me.  At first I kind of imagined this as a very different book than what I was reading.  It started right off with a real grabbing sort of beginning.  Kate's brother came to pick her up, a disagreement ensued and he and another left and she walked home in the cold.  Only to find he had been in an accident.

She lives in guilt for a very long time, blaming only herself for what has happened.  Kate's parents can't seem to help her and things in her life become hard to bare until she gets to know Samuel, a kind and very understanding young Amishman. She knows that she must some how tell him of her guilt, which she knows will cause an end to their relationship.

This is a very good story.  It shows each of us that to truly forgive others, we must learn to forgive ourselves, something that can be very hard to do.  We must have trust and faith in the Lord that he loves us and will forgive us for our wrongdoing.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mistletoe Memories by Jennifer AlLee, Carla Olson Gade, Lisa Karon Richardson and Gina Welborn

This was a book that I purchased Christmas 2013 but just read this Christmas.  I guess I am a "little" slow!  But it was such a fun book to read that I am glad that it didn't stay on my "TBR" pile any longer.

This book is actually four different novellas written by four different authors, from none of which I had previously read anything.  So all new authors for me.

The novellas follow in time sequential order with the first starting in 1820 about a house know as the Graff House, which was in she location of Schooley's Mountain in New Jersey.  Steven Yost is the local carpenter who becomes very fond of Annaliese Braun and is determined to build a house for her.

The next novella takes us to 1868 and a story about giving an orphaned girl a place to stay temporarily with a woman who has claims to not want any children.
The third novella takes place in 1910 with this house serving as an orphanage.  Ready to lose the house and property due to back taxes, manager Olympia Paris fights to earn whatever it takes to pay them off, only to fall short on the due date.

The final novella dates to an unknown modern-day setting and the house serving as a transitional house for foster children.

The story was fun to read as it progressed over time, but always serving to be a place of refuge for those needing help in some way.  This was a good Christmas read and I loved how it progressed in four generations of time.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Meet Hope Kesler Review and Interview. Author of The Journey Home

Hope Kesler is a relatively new author for me and I was excited to have a chance to review her book and have her share some of thoughts with us on my blog.  Her new novella is an interestingly different take on Amish fiction, showing that real life problems also exist in the Amish community. They are not immune from them anyone than other cultures.

My review:  

Her story is about Birdie Miller, a young Amish woman who struggles to find whether the Amish lifestyle is the one she wants or the English world. She finds herself in the English world, enjoying some of its freedoms and yet not comfortable with all of them.

She receives word of her mother's buggy accident and returns to her Amish community to visit her mother.

Her father tells her ailing mother that she has returned to the Amish community to stay and is joining the church.  Birdie finds herself still at odds with her father who governs his family with a strong hand.

She meets Caleb Troyer who comes to her community and who is a hard-working and kind Amish man.  Birdie does not seem to be the typical Amish woman who meekly follows the ways of her church or her father, a deacon in the Amish faith.

In this tale of Amish life, there is conflict, love, and trial.  A little of everything.  I enjoyed the story very much and hope to see more from Hope.

I am excited to have Hope on my blog today and happy to have her share a bit of herself with all of you!

Meet Hope Kesler

Hi Hope, so happy to have you on my blog today.  Please tell me a little bit about how you started writing, and especially how you started writing Amish fiction.

I've always written, ever since I was a little girl. I’d write stories for school or for myself. I had a fantastic imagination as a child, even when it got me into trouble. When I was in grade school, I wrote a story about a deer called “Buttons.” I concluded the story with Buttons going off to mate with a doe. I thought it was a rather nice ending. But my teacher, who was a rather severe, prim woman, objected to that part, and even used words like “inappropriate” to describe my adding anything about deer mating. She was really quite worked up about it, in fact.

Perhaps I should have been embarrassed, but I was secretly delighted that something I’d written could cause such a reaction from an adult.  I realized at that moment that there is a certain Power in the written word. And I was hooked, although I never wrote about deer again.

I eventually went into journalism and worked as a staff writer for a daily paper for years, and also as a columnist. I never considered writing a romance novel, let alone an Amish one, until I moved to an area where there was a thriving Amish presence. I was so impressed by the contributions of the Amish to our local community, and so fascinated by the culture, that I began researching them. The book evolved organically out of that research. That it’s been so well received has been as much a surprise to me as to anyone else.

What are some things you would like to have your readers know about you?

That my fascination with the Amish probably stems from the fact that I’m nothing like the people I write about. I’m very much a techie; if it’s shiny and electronic I have to have it, and I panic if I can’t get an Internet connection on my phone. 

Besides writing, what are some of your other interests?

I’m a voracious reader and obsessive book collector. We recently moved to Virginia and are nearly finished turning one of the large rooms into a library, which is kind of a lifelong dream for me.  The acreage here also allows me to indulge my equestrian pursuits (we have three horses) and gives me room for my cats. We have quite a few. I can’t seem to stop rescuing them.

Will this book be a part of a series or a stand-alone book?  Will you be writing more Amish fiction in the future?

I think this may be a series. When I started this book, I wasn't prepared for how much I’d like Birdie and Caleb. They both seem to have their own growth curves, and I’d like them to continue those curves together.

How did you come up with the title for your book?

It was by trial and error. “The Journey Home” wasn't the original title. In fact, at the eleventh hour I emailed the publisher in a panic because the original title turned out to be very close to the title of another Amish book I found on Amazon. The plots were very different, but the titles were similar enough that I’d have felt wrong using it, hence the change. I think it still works, though, since Birdie’s journey really did take her to where her heart resides.

Were you inspired by reading works from other Amish fiction writers?

I was more inspired by the Amish themselves than Amish fiction. I did a lot of research about the Amish, but didn't read any Amish romance because I wanted to find my own voice and not subconsciously parrot someone else. 

It was only after I was published that I started reading Amish fiction. I've read some of Beverly Lewis' books and Wanda Brunstetter's as well. I really liked them, and have bought a bunch of books I've seen recommended on the FB pages I've joined. Now it’s just a matter of finding time to read them. They all look so good, and I love supporting other authors.
Thanks Hope!  So happy to have you on my blog!

Thank you! I’m looking forward to being featured!

You can purchase Hope's new book here at

Monday, December 22, 2014

Murder Tightly Knit by Vannetta Chapman

Vannetta Chapman's latest book was so good.  The cover is gorgeous and the book is a great "Who dun it" type of cozy mystery.

The book started off with a bang, literally, and the perpetrator was in several chapters, giving his/her feelings on why the actions taken were necessary in an effort to justify them.  But you don't know who this person is...but you are given little clues!  Maybe you can figure it out, although it took me till very close to the end to find who killed Owen Esch and WHY?

It was fun to find Hannah and Amber from the Amish Artisan Village Mystery series.  There is a wonderful combination of mystery, suspense and romance and it will keep you guessing!

I don't doubt for a minute that you too, will absolutely be enthralled by this captivating mystery!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for my review.  I received no monetary compensation.

The author, Vannetta Chapman.  You can visit her blog at the following link.

Vannetta's books are also available at Amazon and

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Fruitcake Bride by Vickie McDonough

I just finished reading the last novella in the 12 Brides of Christmas series, vol. 12.  I would like to read some more.  They were all sweet, happy reads for the Christmas Season.

I enjoyed reading this one because it reminded me that we all have inadequacies that we have to learn to overcome and fears about our own shortcomings.

The story is about a woman, Karen Briggs who as a child lost her mother to death and her father because he abandoned her.  She was left to be raised by her aunt and it was then she met Clay Parsons, who later leaves town for the seminary and to become a pastor in another community.

He later asks for her hand and for her to join him in his community and to be the "Pastor's wife".

When she arrives she finds many obstacles, among them, various parishioners, including Prudy, whose eyes are on the pastor.  She has seemed to fail at many things she tries to do to impress them and it is then that she decides she was not meant to be or cut out to be the pastor's wife.  She has to face her insecurities and those around her.  But will she ever succeed in winning them over?  It looks like a sure-fire fail as parishioners find out what is included in her fruitcake recipe!

A charming story and I truly enjoyed it, knowing we all have our demons in life!

I was given a copy of this ebook for my review which I have given.

Give yourself a reading gift for Christmas and be sure to read all 12 of the novellas in this series.  They are all great reads!

You can get them at this link. Amazon
And here for

The author:

You can read about the author Vickie McDonough at her site by clicking here.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Mysterious Doll by Linda Weaver Clark (Amelia Moore Detective Series, Book 4

The Mysterious Doll by Linda Weaver Clark is book four of the Amelia Moore Detective stories.  In this story, a porcelain doll turns up missing from a museum case.  The obvious culprit appears to be Sam, an engaged museum employee who suddenly turns up missing at the same time as the doll.

Sam's fiance hires Amelia and her partner Rick to find Sam and to prove his innocence.  Amelia and Rick are followed at every corner and try to dodge the men that always seem to be after them.  Will they be able to find Sam and prove that he was not guilty of the theft and also figure out why so many people seem to be inquiring about the doll?  Is the doll worth enough to be of such great interest to several people?  What is the real secret behind the mysterious doll?

This was a fun read and I enjoyed it very much.  I think you will enjoy the other books in this cozy mystery series, as well.  Amelia and Rick seem to be getting closer as the series continue and some romance is definitely in the air.

You can find Linda's books at available for pre-order.  Available after Jan. 31, 2015.

I was given a copy of the ebook from the author for my review, which I have given.

The Author: Linda Weaver Clark.  You can read all about Linda at her blog.

The Fruitcake Challenge by Carrie Fancett Pagels (Christmas Traditions Book 3)

I recently finished this novella written by Carrie Fancett Pagels.  I had no idea what this book would be about, except that it took place in a lumber camp in Michigan.

I loved it.  Carrie's writing style really appealed to me and as I got to know her characters, they became very interesting people to me.

Jo is a cook at the lumber camp but would like to move on into a bakery in a different setting.  She meets the new lumberjack to their camp, Tom.  He is a very interesting young man trying to earn his living as a lumberjack, although he is actually a teacher.  As he is trying to help his mother financially, he takes this job, as the money he earned teaching does not stretch far enough.

He makes a challenge that he will marry whoever can make a fruitcake that is as good as his mother's.  That's when the fun begins and fruitcake of every imaginable recipe is baked and served to the workers at the camp.  So does he find a bride and does anyone make a good enough fruitcake to please his palette?  This you will discover as you read this delightful book!

The author: Carrie Fancett Pagels
Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., tagline Hearts Overcoming Through Time, writes for the Christian market, Carrie's novella, Return to Shirley Plantations, was an Amazon Civil War best seller.  You can find her books at and Barnes and Noble.

Mail Order Brides: Montana's Bride by Susette Williams

This novella is part of a 4 part historical novella series by Susette Williams.  It was a sweet read taking place in Missouri in the year 1843.  

Mary and Montana had never met but had been writing and it was decided that she would join him in marriage, sight unseen.  As she arrives, there is first a mistaken identity and Montana is still polite even though the woman is not quite what he imagined she would be.

The couple married a few days after her arrival and then a little suspense and mystery begins.  But you will have to read the story to find out what that's all about!

I liked the story and it was a quick moving story with no dull moments.  I would love to read the rest of the series.  The other novellas in this series are Jessie's Bride, Caleb's Bride and Marshall's Bride.  

This author also writes Amish novels, my favorite genre!

I received this ebook from the author for my review, which I have given.

You can find this novella at the following link at

The author: Suzette Williams

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Snowbound Bride by Davalynn Spencer

This cute Christmas novella takes place in 1885 as Arabella Taube, a young German woman, whose name means "dove",  travels to accept a position as teacher for a man in Colorado.  As she arrives she finds she is being stalked by a man who was probably hired by her Uncle Victor to return her home so that he can make a wedding arrangement for Arabella, something she was trying hard to escape from.  As she tries to elude him, she finds her belongings on a wagon and tries to retrieve it and a growling and menacing dog does his all to keep it outside her reach.  As the man nears, she hides in the wagon to avoid being caught by him.  

Before she realizes what has happened, the wagon is heading out and she has no way to get off.  She later finds that the wagon driver is a very kindly and handsome man, Nate.  She ends up away from her destination and in the home of Nate and his mother.  She finds herself very happy to be in this situation and becoming quite fond of Nate, but doesn't know whether he feels the same way.  As the snow continues, she remains quite content to stay where she is.  But Nate doesn't feel that this city woman would be as happy in the country and also has no idea of Ara's feelings towards him.  It's a sweet story and a very fun Christmas read.

This is the first book that I have read from this author and enjoyed it very much. I hope I will be able to read more of her work in the future.

I received an e-book from the publisher for my honest review.

Author Davalynn Spencer

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Amish White Christmas Pie by Wanda E. Brunstetter

At the age of six, Will Henderson's father left him with an Amish couple saying he would be back later and that he had left his son a note in the kitchen.  Will's father never came back and there was no note to be found.

The kind Amish couple raise Will and he joins the Amish faith and lives the life of an Amish man, remembering in his heart the hurt that has never left him by having his father abandon him.  It seems to cause him much insecurity through life.  He worries as his wedding day draws closer that he will be as his father and not be a good father.

His father, Frank, is suffering too, but doesn't know how to deal with the guilt.  He has lost touch with the Amish family because they have moved.  Will he ever be able to see what has become of the son he abandoned many years earlier.

As the holidays draw near, Will gets the surprise of his life, but will it be a happy one or not?  This is a touching and heartwarming story.  This book published in 2008 is a lovely book by Wanda E. Brunstetter, who has a charming and gentle way about her writing that draws you in right away.  This is a nice book to bring in the holiday spirit.

Author Wanda E. Brunstetter

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Amish Girls Series V. 1 by J.E.B. Spredemann

I recently finished this book and was not quite certain the age group it was written for.  Probably not for my specific, older age, or for the 10-12 year old age bracket so am thinking the mid teens.

I mention this because I was intrigued by the subject matter, being very open and honest about some of the trials that exist in today's world.

In this book, v. 1, there are 4 stories which revolve about an individual Amish girl and her personal experience or trial.

In the first story, Joanna's Struggle, Joanna is at a public event and turns up missing.  As you read, you read the feelings of those looking for her, Joanna herself and the thoughts and experience of the perpetrator.  Listening to the news, we see events like this more often than we would like to hear about.  How Joanna deals with the situation is a growing experience and a look at Amish traditional values.
In the next story, Danika Morales loses her parents and goes to live with her mother's Amish brother, not knowing anything about "being Amish".  This story develops with the character in the previous story as do the remaining two stories in the book.  In this way you can see their character development as they grow older.  Danika is totally surprised about the "old-fashioned" life style she is now expected to live, having grown up till age 11 in California and living in a modern life-style.  How will she adapt or will she be able to make the adjustment?

The third story is called Chloe's Revelation.  Chloe faces some issues that are probably not so uncommon amongst teens.  Facing pressures that are not easy to deal with.  Chloe finds that forgiveness is the key.

The final story is Susanna's surprise.  And the surprise is one that changes her family and could give them great anger yet how will this family deal with the child that was taken from them without their knowledge?

These stories were well written and can give emotional support to those who have felt trials in life, whether it be illness or other trials.  Very good reading for the younger aged.  And for us older folks, as well!
Author J.E.B. Spredemann writes Christian fiction to uplift and inspire, to make you laugh and touch your heart.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Her Tycoon Hero by Narelle Atkins

A fun read by Narelle Atkins!  Cassie has changed, found that she no longer wants to be the party girl, finds religion and wants a new life.  She is now a career oriented young woman looking for career advancement in the event planning business.

She meets Ryan Mitchell, brother of someone she had hoped to keep in her past.  Sean, Ryan's brother means trouble and Cassie is trying to avoid that at all costs.  Yet her new religious faith has her wanting to help him so that he too can find a new and better life.  She and Ryan don't quite agree as it comes to Sean, or Cassie's father for that matter.

How is it possible to forgive all the things of the past?  This book is a story of forgiveness and second chances taking place in Australia.  I enjoyed Narelle's book.  It is the second book I have read from this author.  I enjoy the Christian threads that clearly come through in her writings.

Author Narelle Atkins.

You can grab thChristianBook.comis book at 

Courting Emily by Amy Lillard

As I read this book I wanted more and more to get to the end to see how things turned out, yet as I got closer and closer to the end, I equally did not want the story to end.  It was a really good book and I had a hard time putting it down.

This book takes place in Wells Landing, OK. and revolves around the life of Emily Ebersol, daughter of the Amish bishop in their community.  As with most Amish young women, she dreams of marriage with a dutiful and believing Amish man and having a family within their Amish community.

Her childhood sweetheart is the one she hopes to share these dreams with, yet suddenly he finds another interest, that of race car driving in the Enlisch world. Luke Lambright wants to share his dreams with Emily, yet this is not the life that she had imagined.

While Luke is away following his dreams, Emily's days are filled with service to another Amish family in need.  The father of this family had a serious injury making it difficult for the family to carry out their work and daily life as it had always been in the past.  This family is struggling to help their father and protect him from all things that they feel might worsen his condition.  In so doing, they became perhaps too protective for him.

Elam Riehl, oldest son of this family has always cared for Emily, yet knowing her feelings for Luke, he withholds his feelings, yet Emily finds herself having feelings for him, but feels that he has none for her.

As Luke returns to Wells Landing, Emily finds her feelings for Luke might be returning, and wonders how she should proceed with her life.  Of course, it becomes necessary for Emily to make decisions that affect many and sometimes she is not sure what decision is the right one.

This was a sweet love story which I found to be a very captivating read.  As I mentioned hard to put down.  This book will be coming out in January 2015 and I highly recommend it.