Death Overdue (A Haunted Library Mystery) by Allison Brook

death overdue

Pages: 336

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: October 10, 2017

I rarely read books with paranormal characters but I’m pleased I gave Death Overdue a try. It was a real treat to read.

Carrie has been working at the local library and living with her aunt and uncle. As she contemplates moving on to the next exciting town, she is offered a full-time permanent position as the P and E librarian. While getting in the swing of her new job she meets Evelyn, the resident ghost librarian. Carrie’s first program is a retired police officer who discusses the case of the murdered librarian. During his presentation he keels over dead from an apparent poisoning. Will Carrie get spooked before she even has a chance at this job?

I was impressed that there was only a small love triangle and that it did not take center stage. I’m interested to see how the author builds Carrie’s romantic life. My fingers are crossed for a certain landlord.

This is a straight cozy mystery with little to no foul language, no sex scenes and no grisly, murder scenes. I’m definitely looking forward to the second book.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for an advance copy for a review based on my own honest opinion.

Home All Along (Amish Secrets #3) by Beth Wisemen

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Pages: 351

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Published: September 26, 2017

A beautiful and stunning ending to the series. Even though each book can be read as a stand alone novel, I suggest you start from the beginning so you can be immersed in the feelings of each character.

Charlotte has returned to the Amish community she has grown to love and is settling into her home and moving forward with her relationship with Daniel. So much so they have been discussing marriage. Death and sickness alter their world in a quick fashion. Will their relationship survive the turmoil?

Throughout the entire series Beth Wisemen has tackled taboo subject of mental illness. While it is an illness that is hard to admit in the English world it is more so in the Amish world. Wisemen gives you a fresh, new look at the disease. She also tackles drug addiction, child abuse, and how to know it is time to let someone go.

You will need tissues throughout the entire series but especially for the third book, Home All Along.

Series in order:
1. Her Brother’s Keeper
2. Love Bears All Things
3. Home All Along

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review in my own words.

A Simple Wish (Simple Gifts #2) by Charlotte Hubbard

simple wish

Pages: 320

Publisher: Kensington

Published: September 26, 2017

Willow Ridge is a place where one can start over with the help of the town without judgement.

Loretta and her sister Rosalyn are still living at home with their Dat after Edith gets married. Loretta wants nothing more than to find the love of her life but first she has to deal with Will, her ex-fiancé. Will, has moved to Willow Ridge to get a fresh start after the death of his wife. Can Loretta and Will put their past behind them and find love again or will a new suitor sweep her off her feet?

I enjoyed visiting Willow Ridge again and following the Reihl sisters through all the ups and downs is a true joy. Hubbard continues the mystery with the girls Dat which makes the book very meaty. I hope there is a third one coming soon.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington for an advance copy in exchange for a review in my own honest words.

Colors of Christmas by Olivia Newport

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Pages: 320

Publisher: Barbour Publishing Inc./Shiloh Run Press

Published: October 1, 2017

Two very inspiring novels of having faith during the difficult times life can throw our way. The message that the Lord will see you through trials and tribulations if you give it to me is especially needed at Christmas when so many suffer from depression and the world seems to be falling in around them.

In Colors of Christmas we meet Astrid on the day her son moves her into the Assisted Living facility after a nasty fall resulting in her breaking her foot. Astrid accepts the move but is not letting that slow her down. She befriends her physical therapist, Carly, who is going through a particular hard time. As Astrid tells her story from growing up in WWII, to moving to America as a new bride not able to speak the language and two unexpected deaths she helps Carly find the strength to overcome her situation. I would like to hope we all have a little of Astrid in us when the going gets tough.

Christmas in Blue introduces us to Angela, a middle age widow, who is dealing with the loss of her best friend, Carole. The town has decided she is the perfect replacement for Carole who was the leader of the town’s Christmas celebration, A Christmas to Remember. All Angela wants to do is lock the door for next ten days and be on the other side of Christmas. As Angela deals with one problem after another she learns how strong she really is and how a town can come together to help one through a time of grief if you let them.

This is the perfect book to read to get you in the holiday spirit while keeping the true meaning of Christmas in the forefront. I see this as a book I will be buying and handing out as presents.

Thank you to NetGalley and Barbour Publishing Inc./Shiloh Run Press for an advance copy in exchange for my review in my own, honest words.

A Simple Vow (Simple Gifts #1) by Charlotte Hubbard

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Pages: 315

Publisher: Zebra

Published: May 31, 2016

Could you see yourself taking in twin babies that are no relation to you and to care for them with limited questions asked? Edith Riehl does that very thing when she interrupts two Amish men arguing over who is the father. As Asa and Will determine to find the real father, an accident delays Asa’s leaving of Willow Ridge. During his stay he finds himself falling head over heels in love with Edith and day dreaming of being a family with her and the babies. Can Asa make his dream come true or will a deep dark secret ruin his dreams?

I am enjoying seeing writers of Amish fiction stepping outside of the box and writing more about real life problems we all face no matter if we are Amish or “Englishers”. At the beginning of this book we learn that the babies mother had relations before marriage and tricked her husband into marriage. We all know how common this story is to the “English” world but rarely hear or read about it in the Amish world. Hubbard does an excellent job of tackling this difficult story line while maintaining the strong Christian values of Amish life.

Even with the sensitive subject Hubbard is able to tell the story without explicit scenes or language. If you are a fan of Amish fiction but want more meat to the story line pick up a copy of A Simple Vow today. I think you will enjoy.

The second book in the series, A Simple Wish, comes out on September 26, 2017. I’m looking forward to seeing how this series progresses.

Side note: If you have read The Seasons of the Heart series, the Simple Gifts series is a spin-off taking place in the same town of Willow Ridge.

Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost

twelve slays of xmas

Pages: 320

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: October 10, 2017

Christmas is supposed to be filled with love and magic no matter your age but Holly has returned home to Mistletoe as a jilted bride and a murder to solve. On the eve of the Reindeer Games Holly finds the local historical society grouch dead in a sleigh on her parents Christmas tree farm which also hosts the twelve days of the Reindeer Games. Can Holly solve the murder and save the Reindeer Games all before Christmas?

Holly is a very likeable and realistic character. She has spunk when it comes to searching for clues to solve the murder and is cautious with her heart after realizing her fiancĂ© did her a favor when he called off the wedding two weeks prior to the big day. She doesn’t let that get her down and out. She throws herself into helping around the Christmas tree farm and making the Reindeer Games as successful as ever.

In interested in learning more about the Sheriff as the series goes on. He sounds like a catch but will the local newspaper photographer sometimes reporter nose his way in on the possible romance between Holly and the Sheriff?

Grab a mug of cocoa and curl up in front of the fire and let the Christmas spirit envelope you as you read the first in a new series.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for an ARC in exchange for a review based on my own honest opinion.

The Proving by Beverly Lewis

the proving

Pages: 354

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Published: September 5, 2017

Imagine a quaint little Amish B&B surrounded by beautiful butterflies and you have pictured Butterfly Meadows. Amanda Sue, Mandy as her family and friends call her, has been called back to her former Amish life to run the B&B after her mother suffered a stroke and died. The stipulation is that she must run the B&B for twelve months successfully. Mandy finds it hard to be so close to her twin sister and husband, the man Mandy thought she was going to marry. Can Mandy succeed? Will Mandy forgive her sister for the wrong she thought was done to her?

I know whenever I pick up a Beverly Lewis book I will have a sense of calm and peace as I am reading and The Proving was no exception. I enjoyed seeing Mandy grow as an adult and watching her learn the ways of her mom. Learning to pray over the guests and help them find the comfort of a quiet life to ease their troubled lives.

I think we could all learn to pray more and pray quietly. Lewis shows us where a prayerful life could lead us. It could lead us to the most unexpected but perfect place in our life.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for an ARC in exchange for a review based on my own honest opinion.

Assaulted Caramel by Amanda Flower

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Pages: 352

Publisher: Kensington

Published: August 29,2017

Grab your favorite box of chocolates and curl up in your most comfy chair. You will be craving the most ooey gooey confections you can dream of while you read about Bailey’s adventures in Holmes County, Ohio.

Bailey has fled NYC at the most critical point in her career to check on her Daadi (grandfather) after a phone call from her Maami (grandmother) stating he was not doing well. As Bailey arrives she sees her Daadi and another man exchanging words and her Daadi collapsing on the sidewalk. She learns that the other man is Tyson Colton and he wants to buy her Daadi’s building where he owns and runs Swissmen Sweets. Later that night Bailey finds Tyson dead in the kitchen of Swissmen’s with her Daadi’s prized fudge knife through his chest. Can Bailey clear her and her grandparents of the murder before she has to return NYC and claim her job as head chocolatier for JP Chocolates?

I am so excited for this new series by one of my favorite cozy authors. Her knowledge and love of the Amish shine through her writing. I can always guarantee when I read one of her books I will gain new friends. Bailey and her grandparents warm their way into your heart by the end of chapter one. You want to jump into the story and help Bailey find the killer.

I an idea of the killer’s identity but was completely taken by surprise when the killer was revealed. That right there makes it a great cozy. I will put this warning out there: grab some tissues as you will need them. I was not expecting to bawl like a baby.

The second book, Lethal Licorice, comes out on February 27,2018 and you can bet I will be reading at 12:01am when it downloads to my kindle.