The Quilting Circle by Amy Lillard

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Pages: 304

Publisher: Kensington

Published: October 31, 2017

A collection of three novellas centered around three women in a quilting circle. The stories focus on love, family and learning what makes you happy.

In More than Friendship, Clara Rose is set to marry Thomas until her best friend, Obie, throws a snag into the plans. Will Clara Rose be able to figure out where her heart belongs before it is too late?

In More than a Promise, Mariana learns she is pregnant soon after she buries her husband. She turns to her husband’s best friend, Reuben, in her time of need. Will they find love together?

In More than Marriage, Tess and Jacob have hit a rough patch. There is more arguing than sweet words of love. Will Tess leave Jacob or will she see a way to find the love in her marriage?

I enjoyed these novellas and found them short enough to read the entire book in under 24 hours. The strangest thing for me was their use of tractors to get around. That was a first. These novellas have made me curious about the Amish in Oklahoma.

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

Home for Christmas by Holly Chamberlin

home for christmas

Pages: 256

Publisher: Kensington

Published: October 31, 2017

Holly Chamberlin is fast becoming one of my authors I turn to when I want some feel good family love. Home for Christmas is the second Christmas novel I have read of hers and it was a warm, cuddly read.

It is the Christmas season in Yorktide, Maine and Nell is trying to make a season her two daughters won’t forget. Nell fears this is the last Christmas she will have her daughters before life takes them away. She turns to crafting and cooking to help her make it beautiful and fulfilling. One day while reading the local paper she sees an ad for a book reading and signing for Eric Manville, a famous writer who happens to be her one true love. Nell now needs to decide if she should see him and see if he has forgiven her or hide behind her Christmas quest of making it the best yet for her daughters.

If you love books that make your heart melt and are full of all things Christmassy then Home for Christmas is the book for you. Grab a warm blanket, a cup of tea and settle in for a winter’s read you won’t soon forget.

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

Belle by Sarah Price


Pages: 320

Publisher: Kensington

Published: October 31, 2017

Belle is an Amish retelling of the classic story of Beauty and the Beast and it lives up to its expectations.

Belle Beiler lives with her dad and two older sisters on their farm in Echo Creek. Her father is a dreamer who loves to invent things from new tools to outdoor grills. When an adventure to a neighboring town goes awry, he must tell his girls that he is broke and soon they will lose their farm. Their neighbor Adam, who is known as The Beast due to a horrific childhood accident, has offered to buy the farm. Belle hates to see her family have to uproot and move so she offers to be Adam’s housekeeper on one condition. He must let her family stay in the house. Does The Beast accept this offer or does he have a more permanent solution?

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite stories and I enjoy reading different takes on it. This was a clean read with many great messages. The message that spoke the most to me is towards the end when the bishop talks about “Just one speck of dust can blind an eye.” The sermon he gives makes the reader think about their own life and how they treat others.

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

Sarah Price does a great job in retelling classics. Below is a list of her classic retelling works:
1. Second Chances (Jane Austen’s Persuasion)
2. Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility)
3. Mount Hope (Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park)
4. Belle (Beauty and the Beast)
5. Ella (Cinderella) – to be released

These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart

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Pages: 368

Publisher: Revell

Published: September 5, 2017

A perfect historical novel to read at the start of the fall season. Educational in you learn about the Frontier Nursing program in the Kentucky Appalachian Mountains. A clean read with a bit of romance.

Francine has decided to continue her nursing and learn about catching babies by moving to the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. She also hopes this will help heal her heart as her intended has written that he has fallen for a girl overseas while fighting in Europe during WWII. As Fran learns the ways of the mountains she also learns about herself. Despite the warnings from her mentor/teacher she finds herself loving more than just nursing.

This book took ahold of my heart from the beginning and has yet to let go. I could read a series of books on Granny Em alone. We all need a Granny Em in our lives.

Ann H. Gabhart has written a beautiful tale set in a place that speaks of beauty and love.

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

Dead of Winter: A Lily Dale Mystery by Wendy Corsi Staub

dead of winter

Pages: 288

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: November 7,2017

I have been a fan of Wendy Corsi Staub for as long as I can remember and a Dead of Winter did not disappoint.

Dead of Winter is the third book in the adult Lily Dale Mystery series. I have not read the other two so at the beginning I was a little lost in trying to figure out who belonged to whom and who could do what but once I got that down pat the book took off. Bella, moved to Lily Dale with her son after her husband died. Lily Dale is a town centered around the world of mediums. Bella has a hard time believing in the world of mediums. On a cold, dark night as she is looking out her window at the lake, she sees a mysterious light and a few minutes later hears what thinks is a human scream. The next morning she finds a body wrapped in a tarp washed upon the shore in her backyard. Is the body a local? Who killed this person? Should she worry that the killer is still lurking around? Can Bella solve the crime before tragedy affects her family once again?

This was a toe-curling, gripping read. I am already looking for the first two books in the series.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for an advance copy in exchange for a review in my own words.

A Deadly Éclair by Daryl Wood Gerber

a deadly eclair

Pages: 320

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: November 7, 2017

A yummy start to a new cozy series, A French Bistro Mystery.

After the death of her husband, Mimi has opened a French restaurant and inn in the heart of Napa Valley with the help of a close friend. During her first big event, her close friend is murdered. Mimi is heartbroken and promises to find his killer. As she works with her close knit staff to keep her customers happy, she investigates the murder as well as her future love life. Will Mimi find the killer or will the killer find her first?

The scenery descriptions are great. I felt like I was in Napa Valley sitting right there with Mimi, Jo and Heather eating the delicious food Chef C prepared. I’ve learned that I need to learn more about French food. When the author gives the French name for the dish I was happy she continued with the description if what it was the diners were eating.

I will be looking for the second book in the series.

Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for a review based on my own thoughts and put in my own words.

A Pain Less Ordinary by L.V. Pires

a pain less ordinary

Pages: 239

Publisher: Pangram YA

Published: September 12,2017

A heartbreaking read. That is the only way I can describe this book. I am so glad to have read it. I started reading this book at 4am and rarely put it down until I was finished. Being a substitute teacher it made me think about some of the students I see on a regular basis and how you truly never know what is going on at home.

Becca is a high school student trying to pass her classes while raising her baby sister and trying to keep her family together. During a moment of anger she tells her mom about her step-father’s cheating and things spiral out of control quickly. Follow Becca as she tries to put her family back together again and learns how strong she really is.

You will cry, scream at the injustice of the CPS system and the cruelty kids can inflict on one another. I would definitely use this book in my high school classroom in hopes it would teach kids to have compassion and to build each other up instead of tearing each other down out of spite and meanness.

Thank you to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review based on my words.

Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber

merry and bright

Pages: 272

Publisher: Random House/Ballantine

Published: October 3, 2017

A sweet Christmas tale filled with romance, compassion and beauty.

Merry (Mary) has spent the last year working as a temp entering data for a local Boeing contractor and has not focused on her love life. For her birthday, her mom and brother decide to sign up her up on a dating website using the family dog as her picture. During the get to know you process she falls for a fellow dog lover, Jay. They agree to meet at a local coffee shop and when she shows up she realizes Jay is her rude, grouchy boss Jayson. She leaves without him seeing her. Will they continue to talk on Mix and Mingle or will Merry shut it down before giving it a chance?

I liked that Merry’s brother was “special” with Downs Syndrome. Macomber treated his character with respect. His character was a perfect fit for this romantic Christmas story.

Merry and Bright is the perfect book that can be read over a cold, snowy weekend with the Christmas tree lights twinkling as you read. It is a clean romance book suitably for teenagers and above.

Fans of Debbie Macomber looking for a sweet, romantic Christmas story will not be disappointed.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House/Ballantine for an advance copy for a review based on my own honest opinion.

The Secret, Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams

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Pages: 290

Publisher: Kensington Books

Published: October 31, 2017

I have four new friends in Nora, Hester, June and Estella. If I could I would be taking a trip to Miracle Springs, North Carolina and eating scones while reading a book after I spent the day at the spa. I found myself not finishing the last nine pages right away because I knew it would it end my visit with my friends.

I would recommend this book to everyone whether you have a read a cozy mystery or not. As the author, Ellery Adams, mentioned it is a little edgier than her other cozies and it is wonderful. You will find yourself crying with the characters, cheering them on and wishing they were real.

All four women have experienced a trauma of some sort in their lives. The trauma has made them the strong woman they are today. Nora is the local bookstore owner who has a knack for picking out the books that you need to make you feel better or help you overcome a trauma in your life. As she is getting ready to meet a gentleman from earlier in the day, Estella comes running in with news. Nora’s guest was just hit by the train. Was it a suicide or murder? The four women find themselves becoming fast friends and sharing their own secrets with each other in order to determine what happened.

There are a lot of book references throughout the book and I have found my TBR pile growing. My favorite quote of the book is Chapter 17 and is from Ray Bradbury: “You’ve got the jump off cliffs and build your wings on the way down.”

I would suggest you go ahead and put your copy of this book on hold with your favorite bookseller. Don’t plan on doing anything else when you start reading, you are not going to want to stop.

Thank you to Ellery Adams for an advanced copy in exchange for a review based on my own opinions and written in my own words.

An Amish Christmas Candle by Kelly Long, Jennifer Beckstrand and Lisa Baker Jones

an amish christmas candle

Pages: 352

Publisher: Penguin

Published: September 26, 2017

I enjoy being able to read short story compilations by different authors as it allows me to see if I will enjoy reading the author’s other works.

I did not enjoy the first story, Snow Shine on Ice Mountain by Kelly Long. First let me say, this is my own personal opinion on how the story spoke to me. Please make your own opinions when you read the story. Second, the author is a great writer and my opinion in no way reflects her great writing. I read Amish fiction as a change from novels with lots of sexual innuendos and such. For me this story was too sexually charged.

A Honeybee Christmas by Jennifer Beckstrand was my favorite. Bitsy is a real hoot. We all need a little bit of Bitsy in us. This story has sparked my interest in reading the Honeybee series.

The Christmas Candle by Lisa Jones Baker was exactly what you expect of a sweet Amish Christmas story. You will finish with a smile on your face.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington for an advanced copy to read and provide a review based on my own honest opinion.