25 Book Reviews

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Fantastic Christmas Book Available!!

"An Amish Christmas Gift"
   A Collection of Novellas
     By Popular Authors:

   Amy Clipston
    Ruth Reed
    Kelly Irvin

Now Available!! Don't miss this awesome collection of stories !

Friday, October 30, 2015

A Fantastic Inspirational Suspense Novel!

    The Nikki Boyd Files
         By Lisa Harris

No one needs to push Nikki Boyd to excel on the Tennessee Missing Person Task Force. The case of her own missing sister, still unsolved after ten years, is the driving force in her work. When a Polaroid photo of a missing girl shows up at a crime scene, Nikki quickly recognizes similarities to the past. The closer she gets to the abductor, the more she feels that this case is getting personal, and that she is not the hunter at all--but actually the one being hunted.

With this explosive first book in the new Nikki Boyd Files, Lisa Harris takes readers on a fast-paced pursuit of justice that will have them holding their breath until the heart-stopping finish.

My Opinions:
I must admit that I do love a good mystery! This book met every criteria for making it a GREAT read, in my opinion. This is a first in Lisa Harris' new series, The Nikki Boyd Files, and I am now eagerly awaiting the second!!

The characters are strong and extremely well developed. I immediately was able to identify with Nikki. Her fears, challenges, questioning of life's events, became mine. I was drawn into her life  from the first page of this novel.  Empathy was felt deep within as Nikki endured the realities of life. 

The plot moves at a quick pace with unexpected twists and turns at every corner. Just when you believe you have some answers, another complication arises. You are in the  race with Nikki to find the truth.

I must say that this was a nail biting, sit on the edge of your seat type of book. Very well written!  Tough issues are handled with grace and dignity, as they are resolved in a realistic way. If you are looking for a read that will keep you up long past your bedtime, this is the one for you!!

A five star book!!! 

This book was supplied by Revell  and Graff Martin Communications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Now available from your local bookseller.

A Most Touching Christmas Story!

"An Endless Christmas"
By Cynthia Ruchti


Katie is somewhat nervously preparing to spend Christmas with her boyfriend, Micah and his family, the Binders. Little does this young lady know of a real family celebration. Her background is so different. This gathering is one that ALL family members attend and enjoy together! Katie is shocked , upon arriving at the home, at Micah's gift to her and announcement- He wishes to marry her and presents her with a ring in the presence of every one of his family! To his dismay, Katie refuses! She has information from her family past, that she feels makes her a poor choice for a wife. 

The biggest surprise comes in the form of warmth and acceptance from this kind, close family. Although she declines the proprosal, she is still treated with respect and kindness throughout the holidays. Katie has never felt such understanding and love thus doesn't quite know how to handle this.   

My Feelings: 

This is a marvellous, heartwarming book to read at the Christmas season. The importance of family, acceptance and faithfulness is the running theme throughout the tale.  Unconditional love is evident in every action of the Binder family. 

The characters are realistically described, each with his or her own flaws or quirks. I lived IN this story as I read. I could easily identify with Katie as well as other characters. The reader is left with  the true meaning of Christmas within long after the book has been read. Each Binder family member becomes very real to you. Cynthia certainly has an exceptional talent of making you know her characters and feel their every hurt, joy, challenge and heartache.  

The plot moves quickly with just enough twists and turns to keep the reader fully engrossed. This book is a quick read, simply because you can not put it down until you have finished it. We are reminded how important it is to live in the moment and make the most of it. Through every event, there is a feeling of acceptance. love and forgiveness. 

Definitely a five star book!!  The true meaning of Christmas comes through loud and clear.

This book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Great New Book By Author By Lynette Austin

"The Best Laid Wedding Plans"

By Lynette Austin

Synopisis:  Jenni Beth Beaumont left her broken heart behind when she took her dream job in Savannah. But aftr her brother's death, Jenni Beth returns home to help mend her parents' hearst as well as attempt to restore their beautiful but crumbling mansion.  New dreams develop as she sests to work replacing floors and fixing pipes to convert the family homestead into the perfect wedding destination for many future brides.  However, some folks in this small Southern town are determined to see her fail at her ambitious venture. 

Cole Bryson was once the love of Jenni's life, but this charming  bachelor , an architectectural salvager has plans of his own for the Beaumont home. These two young people encounter as they butt heads and old turmoil is brought to the surface as they have to work through painful memories before they  can set the past aside and have a second chance at their own happily ever after.

My Thoughts:

I was engrossed with this fantastic romance from the first page to the very last. 

The plot moves quickly with just enough unexpected twists and turns to keep the reader wondering and waiting for the next challenge to appear. There are challenges, hurts, tragedies and complications but they are matched with joys, the patching up of the past and a second chance to repair the damages of years gone by.   

The characters are realistic and well described. Jenni Beth became my good friend to whom I wanted to give a big hug and make things all better for her.  In order for a book to meet my criteria of a GOOD one, I must be able to identify with at least one of the characters. I had no difficulty do this! Cole, as well as the Beaumont family , appealed to my inner being as I walked their paths of heartache that life often brings. 

This is a wonderful romance also involving mystery and intrigue. Why would anyone want Jenni Beth to fail??? How far would they go to make it happen?? Can the past be forgotten and forgiven??

I highly recommend this five star book!! An excellent read.

This book was supplied by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Enjoy the following interview with one of the characters from the story.

Misty Bottoms Character Profiles

Full Name: Luanna Grace Connors
Nickname: Lu
Occupation: Waitress at Dee-Ann’s Diner
Physical description: Five-feet-four, maroon ponytail (hiding my dishwater blond hair), pale blue eyes, and ten pounds overweight.
Age: 25

Describe yourself in 100 words or less: 

This will probably come as a shock, but I love my life. I know, I know. I’m workin’ at Dee-Ann’s Diner slinging hash all day. Not exactly what a little girl dreams of doing for the rest of her life. But tired feet and all, when I go home to Les and my three kids and hear “Mama’s home,” my heart swells.

Les has trouble keeping a job, no gettin’ around that. But the man’s got a heart of gold and, well, he’s still pretty darned sexy! That’s what got us in trouble in high school. When he’s not workin’, though, I come home to a clean house, happy kids, and dinner waiting on the table. What more could I want?

What is your favorite thing about living in Misty Bottoms? Where in Misty Bottoms can you most often be found?

Misty Bottoms has heart. If one of its own needs help, the town’s there to give it. Working at the diner, I hear it all! Nothing goes on that I don’t know about, believe me. I hear the good, the bad, and the ugly, and, truthfully, the good far outweighs the bad. I like the small-town feel, the closeness. For some, it’s probably claustrophobic. For me, it’s comforting.

Where will you be most likely to find me? At work, at home, at the grocery story, or on the soccer field. The boys love that game…and they’re good at it.

When not working, how do you spend your time? 

With a seven, five, and a three-year old? Seriously? 

If money was no object and you had 3 weeks of vacation, what would you do with your time?

Rent a room and sleep. No, seriously, we’d take the kids to Disneyland and do it up big. Although I have to admit there’s a selfish part of me that would like to dump the kids on my mom and run away with Les on a Caribbean cruise. No cooking, no cleaning, no wiping kids’ noses for three weeks? Yeah, that would be nice.

Describe your dream wedding:

I’ve actually talked to Les about this. When the kids are a little older, I’d like us to renew our vows in church. The two boys can walk me down the aisle to their daddy, and my baby girl can be my maid of honor. I get kind of weepy thinking about it, actually

I want to do it in the spring, when everything is new again, with lots of tulips and some pink and white dogwood blossoms. With three kids, I think a white gown is out, but I’d like something soft and feminine in ivory. Then I’d invite everybody over to our house for a big Southern barbecue and, since we didn’t have one the first time around, I really want a cake this time. Since this is my dream wedding we’re talking about, I’d like a three-tiered cake with real flowers on top…and music and dancing. 

In the back of my closet, I have a pretty little box, and I’m putting part of my tips in it every week. This is one dream I intend to make come true. 
Buy Links

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1OQ4ram
Indie Bound: http://bit.ly/1KmbMbg

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Watch for the Release of Amy Clipston's New book!!

Being released on Dec. 8, 2015!!!
      "Amish Heirloom Book 1"

      "The Forgotten Recipe"
              By Amy Clipston

               Don't miss it!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How can a mother go on, after discovering her son does the unthinkable??

The Amish School Shooting, 
A Mother's Love,
And a Story of Remarkable Grace

    Terri Roberts 
with Jeanette Windle

This book is one that will make you think deep within you. 

On October, 2, 2006, a gunman entered an Amish one room schoolhouse, shooting ten little girls, killing five, then took his own life. This book is his mother's story. She not only lost her son but also had to deal with the fact that her precious boy had done the unbelievable. Charlie had been an honorable man, with morals and what everyone thought was a deep Christian faith. How and why would he commit this horrendous deed? 

The biggest question of all arose after the killings!! Her Amish neighbours did the unbelievable , reaching out to the family of the shooter with  comfort and forgiveness.  The media picked up on this unusual act and it made as many headlines in newspapers as did the murders themselves. In a cruel world, full of unforgiving individuals, there exists the Amish communities who forgive all! Not something that usually happens after a tragedy. Where is the anger  and resentment???

That is a question that we all ask. The answers can be found in this book, at least , from the viewpoint of the murderers family and the Amish themselves. Today, Terri, the mother, lives in harmony with the Amish and has built lasting relationships. No one could every have foreseen the empathy, forgiveness and friendship that Terri and her family have received to this day.

This is a book that makes you think about your own life. The Amish have set an example for the world with their ability to live their faith! Are we able to do half as well??  The deep meaning stays with you long after the book has been read. 

Terri has told her story in a way in which we can all identify. Any mother could experience this! None of us has control over the actions of others, even our those of our beloved children.

Definitely a book that has a purpose. We all need to think about how this tragedy and the results can change all of us. 

A five star book!

This book was supplied by Bethany House and Graff Martin Communications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Now available from your local bookseller.

A Great Mystery from Popular Author A.H. Gabhart!

"Murder at the Courthouse"
       By A.H. Gabhart

This book is the first in a new series entitled "A Hidden Springs Mystery". I have had the pleasure of reviewing and enjoying the Shaker books written by  this author, but had no idea she wrote cosy mysteries. I wondered if this would appeal to me, but it didn't take long for me to know that a talented author is just that, regardless of what she writes!! 

Michael Keane was formerly employed in a stressful position as a Columbus police officer. He is done with that kind of life and ready to relax in his new position as deputy in Hidden Springs, Kentucky,  a sleepy little town where nothing exciting ever happens. At least, that is what he thinks!! 

Well, we can all have misconceptions and this was a big one for Michael. One morning a dead body is discovered on the courthouse steps. The whole town becomes quickly involved in solving this crime. Every single resident has his or her own theory. When the sheriff insists Michael check every single one of thise harebrained theories, his discovery mystifies him. There is a mysterious killer somewhere in this quiet boring little town. Michael begins to question everything he has ever thought about Hidden Springs 

Ann has once again used her wonderful talent of bringing simple characters come to life in a town that you actually would love to visit. The characters are simple, down to earth people, described realistically , with all their little quirks and unusual qualities. Easily pictured in your mind, they become your friends and neighbors. 

The plot is one that moves slowly and steadily with the right amount of complications and surprises to keep the reader engrossed from beginning to end. Just when you think you have figured out the mystery, another twist is thrown in. You just never know who to suspect!!  Could it be a friend, a young delinquent, a sheriff , a neighbor??? You will just have to read to find out. 

This book was a very pleasant surprise. I absolutely loved it and so will you!! A great cosy read!! No blood or gore, but lots of suspense and even some giggles along the way.

Can hardly wait for Book Two in this series.

This book was supplied by Revell  and Graff Martin Communications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Now available from your local bookseller.

A Heartwarming Story of Overcoming Obstacles!

                "The Imposter"
          By Suzanne Woods Fisher

Suzanne has done it again!! She has written the first book in a new series, "The Bishop's Family", that grabs your interest immediately. When I looked at the back cover and saw this statement, "A heart once deceived should not be easily fooled again", I just knew this story was another winner!  

The main character, Katrina Stoltzfus, was confident that she had life and love figured out. Marrying John was going to produce a "happily ever after" ending to her childhood. However, as with most idealistic ideas that youth have, plans begin to crumble right before her eyes. Katrina's future seems doomed and uncertain. When a widow in the Amish community asks for help starting a new business, Katrina does not hesitate to offer to help. Her broken heart need to heal and she feels this will help her untangle her life and find a new purpose for her future. 

The one thing that she doesn't need nor want is attention from farmhand, Andy Miller, who had arrived at the widow's farm just when he was needed most. The mystery is why is he there always at the right time and in the right place?? Andy just seems too good to be true. Katrina has been deceived once! She is determined not to  go through that heartbreak again.

As I entered this Amish community, I at once felt at home, back in Stoney Ridge. the setting for some of Suzanne's previous books. A quiet farming area with the Plain People living their faith. Alas, the reader becomes quickly aware that these wonderful folk have problems just as you and I have!! They are also human and experience pain, challenges , disappointments. The loveable, true to life characters, make their way into one's heart quickly, easy to identify with. Each has their own little quirks that makes them even more believable.One does not simply read this story. One LIVES it, walks in their shoes, if only for a brief time . Every disappointment , worry, fear and yes, even joy is felt. Suzanne's knowledge and understanding of the Amish is evident in her description of situations and characters.  Her extreme sensitivity is exemplified throughout the book.

The plot is one that has the perfect blend of events, some happy, some sad, even some maddening !  The underlying theme of all of the happenings center on the hiding of wrong doings. The past is always there. Our mistakes make one who they are in the present. Lies have been told, can we really call them just half truths?? Is redemption possible?? Of course, but only if God's plan is allowed to play out in one's life. As the story unfolds, the reader is shocked by the deceit of one in a position of authority. I must say, this plot is one that kept me thinking long after I had finished reading the book. God does forgive, but only if one realizes his/her errors and changes . Can this apply to me?? Of course it can!! Are any of us perfect? NOT one!! But forgiveness is always available. Suzanne's message is loud and clear.

 I highly recommend this book to all readers, not just lovers of the Amish fiction genre. It is a very different kind of story, one full of surprises and mystery.
Definitely a five star book!!

Eagerly awaiting book two in this series!

This book was supplied by Revell  and Graff Martin Communications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Now available from your local bookseller.

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...