Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Crow's Call (Amish Greenhouse Mystery #1) by Wanda E. Brunstetter

I always like it when you take a typical genre and flip it around.  Wanda Brunstetter has been doing this for a long time with her Amish fiction.  

From the back:  Mysterious Events Plague a Greenhouse in Pennsylvania’s Amish Country

When Vernon King, his son, and son-in-law are involved in a terrible accident, three women are left to cope with their deaths, as they become the sole providers of the family they have left. The women’s only income must come from the family greenhouse, but someone seems to be trying to force them out of business.

Amy King has just lost her father and brother, and her mother needs her to help run the family’s greenhouse. It doesn’t seem fair to ask her to leave a job she loves, when there is still a sister and brother to help. But Sylvia is also grieving for her husband while left to raise three children, and Henry, just out of school, is saddled with all the jobs his father and older brother used to do. As Amy assumes her new role, she also asks Jared Riehl to put their courtship on hold. When things become even more stressful at the greenhouse, will Amy crumble under the pressure?

This was such a good book!  Brunstetter has really found her calling and every book just gets better and better.  I love how she take the day to day and turn it into such good books.  Who is causing all the trouble for the King family?  

I enjoyed reading it because of the strength of their faith and how the family works through their grief while still remembering past joys. I am interested to find out if the crow is really a symbol of foreboding or is there more going on?  Brunstetter allows the characters to struggle with life just like real people do and find hope. Enjoy this great first book in the series and be sure to keep an eye out for book two, The Mockingbird's Song.  Happy Reading!  

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Promise at Pebble Creek (Hope Chest of Dreams #6) by Lisa Jones Baker

I love a good series and am always excited to read the next book.  Hope Chest of Dreams has been amazing but like all good things it has come to the end with the last book in the series.  
From the back: Amish country girl Hannah Lapp lives for adventure—the kind found in favorite novels and the stories she secretly writes. And at her family’s popular tourist store, she’s fascinated by the different Englischers she meets. Especially when Marcus Jackson comes to town. She’s sure there’s more to the ex-city boy than his quiet, helpful ways, and she’s curious to find out just what it is . . .

Marcus fled Chicago before his brothers’ life of crime ruined his future. He’s not sure exactly why God’s plan brought him to this quaint little town. Or why his growing friendship with the bubbly, inquisitive Hannah has him trusting her with his past. But when local stores are robbed and suspicion falls on Marcus, can he and Hannah come together to prove his innocence—and make their own happy-ever-after ending?

I always love going back to Pebble Creek and revisiting friends while making new ones. The characters were well done and there was a good mystery plot as well. The storyline does a great job of addressing the issue of struggling with faith and looking to God for guidance and having faith. 

So will Marcus and Hannah be able to rely on God's answers and promises?  You will have to pick up a copy of the book and find out!  Happy reading!  

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*



Sunday, February 16, 2020

Loving Jenna by Amy Lillard

I am alway so excited when I get a book in a favorite series.  I get to go back to one of the places I wish I lived, Wells Landing.  
From the back: In this new novel set in the beloved Oklahoma Amish community of Wells Landing, three generations of women challenge themselves and each other to make a fresh start in faith, family--and love.

Jenna Burkhart is tired of being "special" and hearing about what she can't do. Even though she suffered a head injury in a childhood swimming accident, she wants a life of her own just like any Amish woman. But now that she, her mamm, and her mammi have moved to Wells Landing, she's having a hard time fitting in. . . . Until she meets Buddy Miller, a boy just like her, who gives her the confidence to reach for the impossible . . .

Like Jenna, Buddy is used to being the boy no one expects much from, the one people see as "different." Still, being around Jenna's lively, kind-hearted ways makes him strive ever-harder to become the self-sufficient Amish man she deserves. But in the face of family disapproval and their own fears, will Jenna and Buddy's courage be enough to give them a forever happiness together?

So not only is this book set in my favorite corner of the fiction world it also touches on topics near and dear to my heart.  INCLUSION and REPRESENTATION.  There are not a lot of stories that represent people of the disabilities community.  People like my children.  

This book shows that people with disabilities want what everyone else wants.  A normal life.  The main characters, Jenna and Buddy, don't want to be seen as "special".  They want to work, fall in love, and get married.  But just like real life, things don't always run smoothly.  Jenna and Buddy's mamms are having a hard time letting go.  

Overall this book touched a really special place in my heart.  Amy Lillard really did an excellent job with the characters and representing and including characters with disabilities.  It was so awesome to see them take the main stage as well.  I really hope she writes more about Jenna and Buddy.  

So take a trip back to Wells Landing and pick up Loving Jenna.  Happy Reading!  

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Thursday, January 9, 2020

City Sparrows and Who Fed Them by Ruth Nadelman Lynn

There are books hidden in plain site that no one knows about.  
Lamplighter finds books from a bygone time and brings them back to life and print.  

Join Zetta and her brother Harry in a cold, drafty garret as they learn that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without God seeing.  Follow burdened Margaret as she learns that suffering produces patience, patience produces experience, and experience produces hope. Watch as they discover together that “all things work together for good to those who love God.”


In a wretched part of town, filth and refuse add to the foul odor that pervades the air.  Zetta shivers in her threadbare rags as she tries to soothe her sick brother.  When their father was alive, they lived in the beautiful country with fields and flowers. But now mother is no help, for she has sunken into the lowest depths of drunkenness.

In such a pitiful setting, is there any hope of redemption? Who cares about this dirty child and her woes?  Zetta finds the answer in the minister’s story about a God who cares when even a sparrow falls to the ground.  How much more does He care about her?

While the reader may never know the darkness of Zetta’s world, we all experience some degree of tribulation. Rest assured that God is our refuge and strength – a very present help in time of trouble.

The story focuses on Zetta and her brother Harry as they are left to struggle with an alcoholic mother, little money, and even less hope.  Harry remembers better days with their deceased father.  

For the most part I enjoyed the story.  It's a very simple allegory of how the heavenly Father loves and cares for us.  He rescues us from poverty and rags restoring us and giving us a family.  The characters were well written and several story lines blended together really well.  

There were some parts that were not enjoyable and really ruined a nice story (spoiler alert).  Zetta and Harry's mother dies and the children were assured that it was better this way as she would have been a cripple.  Having a daughter who has Cerebral Palsy I was not real thrilled about that.  It devalued human life and ruined part of a great book.  I wish that this would have been rephrased or left out all together.  Sending a negative message about disability, no matter the era or time, is not Christian. 

Overall, this book was an OK read and as stated, does have some really good points.  you can purchase the book here.  Happy Reading!

Update:  After trying to place my review on the Lamplighter website I was contacted by Lamplighter and they stated they were going to remove the statement.  If it is taken out I have no issues fully recommending this story.  

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*


Monday, December 9, 2019

Amish Front Porch Stories by Wanda, Jean, and Richelle Brunstetter

We have been socked with snow here in Minnesota!  So it's a perfect time to get caught up on my reading.  
I was so excited to start reading this book.  From the back: Come and sit awhile as you enjoy 18 fictional short stories of love, joy, and the peace found in Amish country.


Amish Country is known for an atmosphere of peace and quiet, perfect for front-porch sitting with a good book. Join New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, her daughter-in-law, and granddaughter, as they share 18 heartwarming stories from Amish Country. These fictional short stories include journeys we can all relate to as we seek how to live led by love, joy, peace, patience, and other Fruits of the Spirit. Meet Anna, who struggles to show love to a cantankerous neighbor; Laura, who endures infertility; Nora, whose pride threatens to consume her life; and other women who walk in their faith each day. 

I just really love when family comes together and makes something spectacular.  This book and the stories in it are really special.  These stories are uplifting and based on the fruits of the spirit.  You can curl up and read these one by one or all in one sitting. 

The story that touched me the most was Laura's Choice.  After years of struggling with my own infertility I really felt Laura's heartache and how hard it is to wait and be patient.  It is hard to wait on the Lord when we want things now!  Reading this story took me back many years ago and through many emotions.  Thankfully Laura and I both had happy endings!

This was just such a good book.  Pair it with scripture and you can use this book for daily devotions.  When I get to pick at our bookclub this is the book I will be choosing!  So pick up your copy today and enjoy the beautiful stories celebrating community, faith, and love.  Happy reading.  

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Can't Judge A Book by it's Murder by Amy Lillard

There is something about a mystery book, especially when you mention it's a cozy mystery that gets everyone excited.  
Most people who know me know that I normally avoid mysteries but I am starting to come around to cozy ones.  Amy Lillard delivers and fun and entertaining read in the first of a new series: Not every murder is by the book…


As Sugar Springs gears up for its all-class high school reunion, Mississippi bookstore owner Arlo Stanley prepares to launch her largest event: a book-signing with the town’s legendary alum and bestselling author, Wally Harrison. That’s when Wally is discovered dead outside of Arlo’s front door and her best friend is questioned for the crime.

When the elderly ladies of Arlo’s Friday Night Book Club start to investigate, Arlo has no choice but to follow behind to keep them out of trouble. Yet with Wally’s reputation, the suspect list only grows longer—his betrayed wife, his disgruntled assistant, even the local man who holds a grudge from a long-ago accident.

Between running interference with the book club and otherwise keeping it all together, Arlo anxiously works to get Chloe out of jail. And amidst it all, her one-time boyfriend-turned-private-eye returns to town, just another distraction while she digs to uncover the truth around Wally’s death and just what Sugar Springs secret could have led to his murder.

This was a well written and had great flowing dialogue.  I loved the small town feel and the set of characters, there will be plenty pf chances for more books in the series. Arlo is quirky and I enjoyed her a lot more as the story went on.  

Now there were a few parts that didn't flow together as well as I would have liked, and I did figure out who did it.  But overall it was still a fun story and a good fast paced read.  I will be interested in seeing this series evolve!  

So pick up your copy of Amy Lillard's new book (releasing on the 29th this month) and enjoy a fun new read!  Happy reading!  

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Love At Pebble Creek (Hope Chest of Dreams #5) by Lisa Jones Baker

I truly love when I can go back and visit a favorite fictional place and the people who make up that world.  

So when I had a chance to review Lisa Baker's book and peek in on the people of Pebble Creek I jumped at the chance.  From the back: In Lisa Jones Baker's heartwarming series, precious hand-carved chests hold treasured dreams--and bring blessings to a new generation ...

Anna King has a talent--and a secret. Like the birth mother she never knew, Anna is gifted at sketching and longs to study and teach art one day. Unbeknownst to her beloved adoptive family, she's even entered a contest to win a full scholarship to art college. Sketching isn't a desirable vocation in her community, so Anna does her work in a remote spot by Pebble Creek and stores it in her beautiful hope chest. Only her family's farmhand, Jesse Beiler, knows her plans--and that's by accident ...

The bishop's son, Jessie is surprised to discover Anna's contest entry form. He can't imagine wanting a life beyond having his own farm and raising a family. Still, he admires Anna's spirit and promises to keep her secret, despite their differences. Yet the better he and Anna get to know each other, the more they find their personalities--and their hearts--complement one another. With Gott's guidance, can they forge the futures they desire--together?

Anna and Jessie are great characters and well written.  Being adopted (and having adopted) I can identify with Anna's feelings of not fitting in and struggling to find what world she belongs in.  With a secret laying heavy on her heart can she figure out what she needs to do? Jessie is confident and admires Anna.  But can he convince her to stay?  

With some unexpected twists and turns this enjoyable story brings us back to Pebble Creek and well written with truly enjoyable characters you will want to pick up your copy of Love at Pebble Creek to enjoy.  Happy reading!  

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*