Through the Autumn Air (An Every Amish Season #3) by Kelly Irvin

through

Pages: 368 (eBook)

Publisher: Zondervan Fiction

Published: August 14, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Widowed Mary Katherine has found herself fighting her children and the church elders over leaving her home for life in the Dawdi Haas. Her children think her facilities are failing but in truth Mary Katherine lives in a world of stories, whether through books or stories she concocts in her head and writes down later when she has the time. Everyone seems to think they know what is best for her. Instead of being able to follow her dream of opening a bookstore with her best friend who happens to be English she finds herself helping Widower Ezekiel in his restaurant and her friends in the new Amish Combination Store. As things heat up in the mysterious Amish break ins, Mary Katherine and Ezekiel find their friendship heating up as the days cool down. Can Mary Katherine find a solution to make herself happy along with everyone else?

The Every Amish Season books have been a delight to read. Through the Autumn Air has been my favorite of the three published so far. I love just about any book centered around books and reading. Plus I hope I am as spunky as Mary Katherine when I am sixty. I admire how she tries to stay true to her faith but herself as well. Can we truly enjoy life if we don’t stay true to ourselves.

If you are a fan of Amish fiction and are ready to read a story with some spunk hurry and get your copy today.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Zondervan Fiction through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Shattered Mirror by Sarah Price

shattered

Pages: 265 (eBook)

Publisher: Waterfall Press

Published:  July 24, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A powerfully written, eye-opening fiction novel that could be the real story of a neighbor or ourselves.

Kelly has been fighting for years to keep her fractured family together. Meaning she has been trying to keep life as normal as she can for her two children after her divorce from their verbal abusing drunk of a dad. Unfortunately, her son, Zach, has been self-medicating with alcohol and drugs. Kelly has gotten Zach help in the past but when he OD’s in his bedroom she realizes he needs professional help. Fighting her ex-husband, close family, a school system with their heads in the sand and a society that refuses to acknowledge the epidemic killing our kids Kelly pulls strength from deep within to find the help her son needs.

I cried, screamed and cringed while reading and listening to this book. The story had me so entranced that I finished it in less than 24 hours. I found myself waking up at 3am just to read more. Sarah Price has described a situation that is killing our young at an alarming rate with so much truth and grit. Too bad every parent in America is not required to read this before their children hit their teenage years. What will it take for our nation to wake up and see the young need our help in fighting the war on drugs. This killer knows no boundaries. It affects every social and economic class.

I will be recommending this book to all my friends, teacher colleagues and anyone who will listen.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterfall Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions are entirely my own.

Homespun by Various Authors and Edited by Lorilee Craker

homespun

Pages: 192 (eBook)

Publisher: Herald Press

Published: August 7, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A collection of Amish and Mennonite stories where the women talk about everything from home to grief. Every story is filled with the love of God in their lives.

I am a huge fan of reading Amish and Mennonite fiction so to get to read true stories from this blessed community was a treat. As I read I could not help but question my relationship with God. Was mine as strong as theirs? Do I truly have as much trust in faith as them? These were great questions to be asking myself.

I read the eBook but will be looking for a real copy of the book as I have highlights every where on my Kindle and will be reading this again at least once a year. I want to be able to write my thoughts right there next to highlights and see how I’ve grown each year. The book is very simply written but very beautifully written.

Every woman can find a little of yourself in each story and learn how to grow more in your own faith.

One of the most profound sentences for me is from Sara Nolt’s story “Overcoming Inferiority”.
“The ground is level at the foot of the cross.” Her story was talking about how she always compared herself to others and found herself lacking. Her mother-in-law, after listening to her story, said that simple statement and changed her life. I have found myself repeating those words multiple times to myself since reading them.

Whether you are a reader of non-fiction or just looking for something different to read, I highly recommend this collection of short stories. You may find yourself growing and changing as you read which I never think is bad.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Herald Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Purrder She Wrote (A Cat Café Mystery #2) by Cat Conte

purrder

Pages: 320 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: July 31, 2018

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

In the second book of the Cat Café Mystery series, Maddie has opened her cat café with her Grandpa Leo and close friend Ethan. On the opening day, a catfight between a volunteer and a customer disrupts the happy harmony. Later that day the customer is found dead with a catnip toy stuffed down her throat. As the police coming slinking around the café can Maddie find the killer before he or she gets away?

I want to start my review off with this announcement: I was not a fan of this book but please read other reviews before making a decision if this book is for you. There are plenty of reviews praising this book. I think it was just not for me, which happens. I would suggest you start the series with the first book, Cat About Town.

The mystery was good as there were a lot of red herrings to keep you guessing as to who the murderer was but there was too much going on and too many characters. I had to keep flipping back and reminding myself who was who. Especially in Maddie’s love interests. I found the love interests to be distracting to the story.

Let’s talk about Maddie’s father…a self-centered jerk! I know I am not the only one who thought this about him. He cared more about his precious job on the hospital board than two of his own daughters. I am thankful I have a dad who would have told the snobby board to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine!

If you love cats and mysteries give the Cat Cafe Mystery series a try, you may love it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Death Over Easy (A Country Store Mystery #5) by Maddie Day

death over easy

Pages: 304 (eBook)

Publisher: Kensington

Published: July 31, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Robbie, Adele, Buck and crew are back! In the next town over, the yearly Bluegrass Festival is going full force. Pan’s ‘N Pancakes is busier than ever with the opening of her bed and breakfast upstairs and all the festival goers. Unfortunately, one of the musicians is found dead in the beautiful covered bridge outside of town. Will Robbie help catch the murderer before tragedy strikes her once again?

I am so ecstatic to find this series set in Brown County, Indiana which is a scant two hours away from me. It’s fun to read about places I know and have been to when visiting Brown County. I wish I could visit Pans ‘N Pancakes the next time I am in Brown County. The dishes discussed are very appetizing to read about so I am sure they are delicious in real life. The author shares the Asian Noodle salad at the end of the book that I am excited to try.

I did appreciate the author cleaning up the language/grammar used by the locals. The story flowed much easier. A lot of the sayings used I have heard before so that was interesting to see an author use them appropriately.

Robbie and Abe’s relationship continues to progress nicely and takes a little more precedence in this book than the others. Thank you to the author for not having a love triangle for Robbie. So refreshing and enjoyable.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kensington through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Against the Claw (Lobster Shack Mystery #2) by Shari Randall

claw

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: July 31, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I’m in love with this series. Allie is moving right up there in the top five of my favorite amateur sleuths. I love her sweetness, spunkiness and doggedness to find the killer. Even a bum ankle does not slow her down.

In book two of the Lobster Shack Mystery series we join Allie, Aunt Gully, and friends as they prepare for the Fourth of July. The Lazy Mermaid has more customers than ever and Lorel, Allie’s sister, agrees for the Mermaid to cater “THE” Fourth of the July party for Stellene Lupo. Before that can happen a Jane Doe is found by Allie as she lobsters with a family friend. Can Allie find out who she is and what happened before she ends up sleeping with the fishes?

The Lobster Shack series is a pure joy to read. The description of Mystic Bay, CT is so real that you feel like you are right there with Allie. You can taste the lobster rolls, smell the salt from the ocean and feel the sand under your toes. This is a place I wish I could visit and meet Allie. She seems like a great person to have in your corner.

Her sister, Lorel, was not so frustrating this book. In the first book, Curses, Boiled Again, I did not like Lorel and was hoping she was going to be a minor character with little interaction. She was needed and added a lot to the second book.

If you are a new fan of cozies and like the beach, you should grab the first two books in the series and block out a weekend (preferably on the beach) and read, read, read. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed n the review are entirely my own.

A Love for Leah (Amish of Pontotoc #2) by Amy Lillard

leah

Pages: 352 (eBook)

Publisher: Kensington Books

Published: July 31, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Amish born but a practicing Mennonite, Leah has returned to her hometown of Pontotoc, MS to help raise her sister Hannah’s son and open her second hand store to help English and Amish alike. She does not expect to fall for newcomer Jamie, who is very set in his Amish ways. While he learns how to raise his nephew and help him overcome the effects of a devastating fire, he finds himself being frustrated and intrigued by Leah. Can they find a way to meet in the middle and follow their hearts?

A Love for Leah can be read as a stand alone novel in the series but my suggestion is to read the first novel, A Home for Hannah, first. I found myself re-reading pages to completely understand what was happening and the dynamic between Leah, Hannah and Hannah’s teenage son.

Leah is a great strong female main character. She is not afraid to voice her opinions and stand her ground. The bad side of her being so strong is she is a bit stubborn at times and cuts her nose off in spite her face. Maybe some thinking before spouting off would help her have a little more tact.

This is my first Amish book set in Mississippi and I am ready to visit again. The first book in the series has already been put on my TBR list and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Kensington Books through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

She Was the Quiet One by Michele Campbell

quiet one

Pages: 352 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: July 31, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

We all know the saying: you always have to watch out for the quiet ones. Twins Bel and Rose lost their dad when they were very young and their mom recently their freshman year of high school. Rose is the quiet, studious twin who follows all rules and Bel is the wild and adventurous one who thinks rules are meant to be broken. With no one left to take them in, the move to New Hampshire to live with their father’s mother, their grandmother. Their grandmother enrolls them in Odell, a boarding school all Enrights’ have attended for generations. On the outside, the school looks like a dream come true for anyone but on the inside bullying, sexual escapades and drugs run rampant. Bel and Rose find themselves fighting constantly and not talking to one another.

Rose and Heath are teachers at Odell who were once students themselves. They have recently been promoted to house monitors of the Enright twins dorm. Rose is uncomfortable with this new position but will support her husband in his dream to rise to the top. Weird things start occurring that Rose cannot account for and make her question how well does she know her husband and does she truly mean the vows of sticking with your husband through good time and bad.

She Was the Quiet One was a thriller that made me want to keep turning the pages even though I pinned the killer very early on. There were a few times the red herrings made me rethink my decision on who the killer was but I was not deterred. I found myself shaking my head in despair at how blind people with authority can be to what truly is happening. Thank goodness for one female cop who went with her instincts.

Rose was my least favorite main character of the book. She seemed very weak and dependent on her husband, Heath. I felt she truly believed she could not survive without him. I am not a fan of weak female characters.

The novel while predictable does make you think how sad it is what people will do to find satisfaction and be at the top of their profession. Those people do not care who they hurt in the process and see themselves above the rules, laws and morals.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison

every time

Pages: 304 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: July 24, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This is the first Beth Harbison book I have read and I was pleased with the book. I am not a huge fan of ghosts or spirits but she did it very tastefully. By the end of the book I was almost wishing my Papaw would come visit me so I could tell him I love him one more time.

Willa’s husband died three years ago of a heart attack while working at their Ocean City, Maryland beach house. This summer she has decided it is time to put the beach house up for sale. She gets there and realizes a lot of work needs to be done on the inside and outside before she can put it up for sale. Not long after she arrives her husband’s spirit visits her. At first she thinks she is cracking up but the more she visits the more she realizes he is there for a reason. As the summer progresses her son, best friend and best friend’s daughter come to help her get the house in order and help her finally deal with her husband’s death. It is a summer of change for everyone.

I am not 100% sure that Willa’s husband’s spirit actually came to visit or her. I think in her grief she wished for a connection to him and conjured him up in her subconscious when she needed the connection to him. I believe there is a bit of Willa in all of us when we lose someone close to us. We want that person to be here with us and look for any sign to show is that they are here with us.

They relationship between Willa and her son Jamie is very believable. I was impressed with how much he grew in a few weeks at the shore with his mom especially when he got rid of the psycho girlfriend. The scary idea is the psycho girlfriend was so real. Sad to say my own son had one of those for a while. I was glad to read a story where the someone was strong enough to break it off and not keep dragging the relationship out continuously.

Every Time You Go Away is a tender, heart wrenching book that will make you think about how short life is and how quickly it can change.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Her Fear (The Amish of Hart County #5) by Shelley Shepard Gray

her fear

Pages: 288 (eBook)

Publisher: Avon Inspire

Published: July 24, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I could not put this book down which was perfect for a rainy, lazy Sunday. Shelley Shepard Gray has done it again. A five star read in her The Amish of Hart County series.

Sadie finds herself in Kentucky with relatives she has never met. On top of that she is pregnant. When her aunt falls ill and the EMTs are called she meets Noah, an Amish EMT. Sparks fly instantly but he doesn’t know she is pregnant and she doesn’t know he thinks something sinister is going on at the home. Will Sadie and Noah be able to overcome all the odds against them to pursue a relationship?

Sadie’s strength and strong, unwavering belief in God is amazing. If I ever found myself in a similar situation I hope I can have comfort that God has me. I hope I can be as forgiving as Noah if the time ever presented itself.

This series is a favorite of mine as it is set in my home state so a lot of places mentioned I either know of them or have been there. Shelley does a great job in making sure each book is connected but at the same time letting them read as a stand alone novel.

I received an advanced complimentary copy from the author and the publisher, Avon Inspire. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.