25 Book Reviews

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Barbara Cameron has generously offered to send an autographed copy of this new book to a person who leaves a comment on this review. Names will be collected and one will be chosen randomly, one week from today. Please leave your email address along with your comment and if your name is chosen, you will be contacted. Barbara will send the book to you when the title is released!!

"Heart in Hand"

By Barbara Cameron


After the wedding of her cousin Naomi, knitter Anna, a widow, finds herself missing love
and the closeness of a husband. She feels a special connection with her grandmother as they both
struggle to go on with life. Is Anna on the verge of finding happiness when she realizes John
Esh is interested in her? Love begins to warm Anna’s heart, but will  she be so afraid of losing
someone that she gives up the second chance that God has provided?

Synopsis is taken from Amazon.
My Opinions and Thoughts:

"Heart in Hand" is the third book in Barbara's newest Amish series, "Stitches in Time", following "Her Restless Heart" and "The Heart's Journey". I absolutely loved the first two, and this book was certainly no disappointment!! A great book from a great author! What more could you ask??  Inner peace and forgiveness is a theme that is throughout the story, portraying so accurately, the faith of the Amish community.

  Of course, quilting is involved in this book, as the series' title reflects, and that attracted me!!! I am a quilter who loves any stories involving quilts, fabric shops and of course, the master quilters, the Amish. 

Barbara has done her research well. She portrays the Amish in an accurate, realistic way. You can easily identify with her characters as they are ordinary people with real problems. Before I got far along in the  book, I felt as if Anna, one of the main characters, was a very close friend. Her problems, fears, challenges, all became mine. But, even though I felt as if I knew her well, there was always more hidden within this young lady, that surprised me and kept me enthralled. The qualities she possessed, at times, shocked me!!
The other characters in the book were just as believable.  Anna's cousins all were such unique individuals who kept me guessing throughout the story- What would they think of or do next????

The plot was outstanding in the depth and twists and turns. A surprise was around every corner. Just when I thought that I had it figured out- I would turn the page and be WRONG!!!  A great way to keep a reader interested. 
This book is definitely worth the read!!

A super Amish fiction!! 

This ebook was supplied by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Romantic Suspense at Its Best!!

By Irene Hannon

This book is the next in a series, entitled, " A Private Justice" and in Irene's usual style, a completely captivating adventure, full of intrigue, suspense , danger , as well as romance!  Her characters constantly struggle with complicated moral issues, causing us to ask the question, "Can the end justify the means?"   This book is more than a book of one mystery, it becomes one of intertwined plots. without losing the main focus of the story.
The reporter, Moira Harrison becomes lost on a deserted road, in the dark, in a thunderstorm. That alone , is a super start!! You wonder , why is she there, what will happen.......!!   A strange, lone figure appears in the beam of her headlights. Of course, Moira slams on the brakes to avoid hitting it. BUT , it is too late. She feels the body thump against the side of the car, before it heads into a tree at the far side of the road.
A stranger appears. He tells her that he was a witness to what happened, saw everything and he will call 911. At this point, Moira loses consciousness and when she comes to, this man has completely vanished. There is no body in the road, nor stranger helping her!!!  BUT the face of the figure she hit haunts her.  She cannot forget the terror on that face, before her car swung off the road into the tree. NO ONE will believe her. There is no evidence to support her story. However, now entering the scene , is a handsome, ex-homicide detective turned private eye. He reluctantly takes her case.
As the story proceeds, clues begin to surface and it becomes very obvious. Someone does not want this mystery solved- AND will stop at NOTHING to protect a shocking arrest.

My Thoughts:
Irene is a talented author of suspense who makes her characters ordinary, believable people.  They are totally engrossing and keep you wondering how they can possible deal with the challenges at hand. You feel their fears, uncertainties and joys when they succeed in solving the frightening mystery. The emotions are dealt with , with such detail, that you feel their every thought and action.

The plot involves twists and turns galore. It keeps you glued to your seat, unable to take your eyes off the page for fear of missing some action. The story is quick moving , with no lapses or pauses, you constantly are trying to figure out what the next move will be.  The scenes within, are described with vivid detail. You live there, you see it!! Not many authors have that ability.

Not only will you feel chills and thrills while reading, you will be unable to put this book down to go to bed. If you do, your thoughts will churn within you , until you read the ending. To top it off, there is a love story that will melt your hearts going on throughout the threats and action.   I must say , Irene Hannon has achieved what every writer desires: a book that balances suspense, action and romance. The  explosive introduction to the book doesn't let you down until you reach that last page!!

Definitely , a five star book!!

Suspense lovers, GET READING!!
I know that I am eagerly awaiting the next novel from this wonderful author.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

The End of A Series! BUT what an ending!!

      "The Lesson"
By Suzanne Woods Fisher      

Synopsis:      Centered on one of Suzanne Woods Fisher's most loved characters, this is the story fans have eagerly anticipated. The precocious M.K. is all grown up (well, almost) and ready to take on the world-with surprising results. Fisher's trademark plot twists and turns are as unexpected and satisfying as ever in this third book in the Stoney Ridge Seasons series.
In her wildest dreams, spunky and impulsive nineteen-year-old Mary Kate Lapp never imagined herself behind a schoolteacher's desk. A run-in (literally) with the schoolteacher compels her to act as a substitute teacher, just as her restless desire to see the world compels her to apply for a passport . . . just in case. The only thing of interest to M.K. in the sleepy Amish community of Stoney Ridge is the unexplained death of a sheep farmer that coincided with the arrival of a mysterious young man into the community. Frustrated that no one takes the crime seriously, she takes matters into her own hands. Unfortunately, as tends to be the case for M.K., she jumps headlong into trouble.  

My Opinions on this book:
I have been enthralled by every one of Suzanne Woods Fisher's books, and this was certainly no exception!!  I must say, I read this book  with some sadness, as this is the last in the Stoney Ridge Series. Each book has been as interesting and appealing as the last. This series was meant to go on forever. but alas, it can't. Suzanne will move us on to new adventures and happenings!!  Now, the question is  lurking in my mind, what happens to MK next?? Will she have a daughter just like her?? Oh, I do hope so!!

Suzanne's special and unique ability to develop her characters is evident throughout this story.  She has built on the first book of the series by having them age and mature. I eagerly awaited MK"s  appearance in this book and was thrilled to discover that she was the main character, the focus of the whole adventure!  MK has remained precocious throughout the stories, from a wee one to a young lady and has the ability to make you laugh , cry and even feel some fear, all in the same chapter.  You get to the point of feeling that she is part of your family or a very dear friend  and you want to rescue her when she gets into her typical MK situations- quaint, funny, sometimes dangerous!  All of the characters are appealing, each in their own way. They are ordinary people with ordinary problems and have to deal with the crisis of the day!  The Amish faith and lifestyle shines through . Although they may have problems, the way in which they are dealt with, exhibit their faith and reassurance in God and His ability to see them through.

There are so many intertwining plots, that I can't begin to describe them.  The main one is built upon in a talented , ingenious way.  This book is  a page turner. I just couldn't wait to see what twist or turn would be encountered next........ and by whom!  Amazing though it seems,  these were totally unpredictable.  Never once did I guess where the next chapter would lead.

Suzanne is to be commended on her knowledge and depth of understanding of the Plain People.  An amazing amount of research has gone into this book in order to portray the characters and adventures in such a realistic and true way.

Laughter, tears, worry, joy!! All are encompassed in this one book.  I must say that I LOVE the humor portrayed throughout the story!!!  This is one book that I guarantee you will NOT put down until you are finished. 

A five star book, to be sure!!!! Looking forward to the next series, Suzanne!!!

About the Author:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Lancaster County Secrets series and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of a new Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She is the host of internet radio show Amish Wisdom and a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. For more information, please visit www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with her on Twitter @suzannewfisher. Get Amish proverbs delivered right to your iphone or ipad! Download the Free App
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To purchase this book:  http://ow.ly/gtVkj  

This book was provided by LitFuse, in exchange for an honest and fair review.

Be sure to enter the contest- link on the sidebar, you could win one of two IPads being given away.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Fantastic New Historical Fiction by a Popular Author

"The Tutor's Daughter"
      By Julie   Klassen          

Synopsis:         Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father when his boarding school fails, accompanies him to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But soon after they arrive and begin teaching the two younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte at night, only to find the music room empty? And who begins sneaking into her bedchamber, leaving behind strange mementoes?

The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry Weston, wrestle with problems-and secrets-of their own. They both remember the studious Miss Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her...
When suspicious acts escalate, can Emma figure out which brother to blame and which to trust with her heart? 

My Views on this Book: 
Julie Klassen 's newest book, "The Tutor's Daughter" is certainly no disappointment to her followers!!  After reading another book by this author, " The Maid of Fairbourne Hall", I was sure that another one could not be as captivating and intriguing, however, I am pleased to say that I was WRONG!!  Julie has continued to develop her characters in a most unique way. They have many sides to them,  you think you have them figured out and she throws in a new characteristic.  The varied personalities within this story make it the winner that it is. Each one grows on you as you read further and you find something in each that you can identify with.  Their feelings and emotions are dealt with in such detail , that you feel each challenge, fear, excitement and joy.  The main character,  Emma, became my friend. Her fears were deep within me as the plot developed.

The plot  was totally intriguing.  It is a complicated one, full of twists and turns. You  were constantly meeting the unexpected. Julie has the suspicious acts escalate as the story develops.  Emma' s trust is continually challenged by the two brothers. Which brother should she trust and which one is out to get her??  Don't be surprised to be sitting on the edge of your seat, as this book is a real page turner!! Danger lurks around every corner !!  

The setting, on the windswept Cornwall coast, infamous for shipwrecks and superstitions,  enhances the feeling of suspense and danger.  It is the perfect place for this historical romance.

DEFINITELY  a five star book!!!   Can hardly wait for your next book, Julie!  Your talent to keep me engrossed with  my heart pounding exhibits how you have been successful in including everything that a historical romance reader looks for!!

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. 
Find out more about Julie at http://www.julieklassen.com/

Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/gI7qC    
Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/gI7qC   Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/gI7qC   Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/gI7qC   

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  This book was provided by LitFuse and Bethany House in exchange for a fair and honest review.         

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Vannetta Chapman's Debut Novel

"A Simple Amish Christmas"
By Vannetta Chapman

"An Amish Christmas" is Vannetta Chapman's debut novel. What a way to start off!! I loved the depth of the characters and although the plot is simple, it is interesting and well developed. I found that there were little twists and turns that surprised me. Vannetta has researched the life of the Amish people in detail. She is precise in her details on their way of life and commitment to their faith. I felt the challenge that her main character , Annie was experiencing and the pull of the Englischer's world vs. the life of the Plain People. It is truly a heartwarming story, where all of the characters are so real, that they become your best friends. You hurt with them , laugh with them and rejoice in their success in meeting life's battles. It is a true example of great Amish fiction. Once you start reading this book, you will not be able to put it down.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Beautiful Christmas Story

"Christmas Roses"
By Amanda Cabot

If you are searching for a meaningful , interesting, Christmas story to read, look no further.  "Christmas Roses" is a short book , so does not take long to read, but it is a lovely, pleasant book, full of the true meaning of Christmas. 

Amanda has the ability to describe her characters so well, that you feel as if they have become your best friends. You feel the hurt , joy, challenges , that each faces throughout the adventure.  They become very REAL to you,  in every way. 

The plot moves quickly, however, with time to reflect on the events of the story. Although you think you know what will happen next, there is always a surprise hiding right around the corner.  

The title has deep meaning .   It takes a short while to figure out the connection, but soon it becomes an important factor in the main character's life and the  love story as a whole.

Celia Anderson is the main character .  She certainly does not have a husband on her Christmas wish list, but is a bit shocked at feelings that encompass her, when a  traveling carpenter comes to her boarding house for lodging . She has to first admit to herself that she might remarry, IF she found the right kind of man!! The man would have to bring her roses for her Christmas gift. NOW, who can find roses at this season of the year, in this time and place?????? It would take a miracle to do so  during the harsh wintertime in  Wyoming. Is it possible??  Will it happen???
You must read to find out. 

A delightful Christmas tale!!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Another Fantastic Read by One of My Favorite Authors, Vannetta Chapman!

An Amish Proposal for Christmas  By Vannetta Chapman Synopsis: Her deepest Christmas wish will bring more than she imagined…in this novel by...