Publisher: Henry & Holt Co.
Published: August 1, 2017
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Jen Dixon is not your typical Kansas City kindergarten class mom–or mom in general. Jen already has two college-age daughters by two different (probably) musicians, and it’s her second time around the class mom block with five-year-old Max–this time with a husband and father by her side. Though her best friend and PTA President see her as the-wisest-candidate for the job (or oldest), not all of the other parents agree.
From recording parents’ response times to her emails about helping in the classroom to requesting contributions of-special-brownies for curriculum night, not all of Jen’s methods win approval from the other moms. Throw in an old flame from Jen’s past, a hyper-sensitive -allergy mom,-a surprisingly sexy kindergarten teacher, and an impossible-to-please Real Housewife-wannabe, causing problems at every turn, and the job really becomes much more than she signed up for.
I’m not sure how I came across this book. It showed up in my email as an available book I put on hold with my e-library. I’m so glad I read it. It was the perfect book for a holiday weekend. Plenty of laughs.
Jen is hilarious in the emails she sends to the class parents. Coming from the educator side and the parent side it is so frustrating when the same parents volunteer and some parents are pretty much invisible.
There is a sequel to Class Mom and I’m thinking I will see what it is about.
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
Published: August 1, 2019
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
What if you have waited to find love only to be rejected when it finally comes?
Lenore Lapp is an Amish schoolteacher in her late twenties still living at home with her parents and grandparents. She thought love had passed her by until she meets Jesse Smucker, a widower with a baby daughter. She quickly falls in love with them both and accepts Jesse’s proposal of marriage, but Jesse breaks off their engagement when he realizes he can’t marry only for convenience.
Resigned to living single, Lenore throws herself into caring for her elders. While working in her grandmother’s garden, she digs up an old jar. Will Lenore find healing for her broken heart and solve long-buried family secrets by reading the note contained inside?
Let me start with that I enjoy reading Wanda Brunstetter books and I have struggled with giving this 3.5 stars. My reasoning is I felt disappointment while reading. In some ways, the prayer jar story seemed like a second thought. Almost like, oh I need to include the jars in the story. Also, the story seemed to drag along slowly. The ending was beautiful and I’m glad everything worked out.
Is it worth your time to read? Yes! Especially if you have read the previous two books in the series. You can read this as a standalone and I think you will be just fine.
I would recommend to others. My 3.5 stars are my opinion and should not be used in your decision to read the book or not. I will continue to read her books. In fact, I have three waiting in the wings.
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Shiloh Run Press, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.
Published: June 18, 2019
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
NetGalley: In the wake of his estranged wife’s murder, widower Michael Forster returns to the Amish community he’d left as a teen. He wants a fresh start for himself and his daughter, Allie, away from those who still believe he’s guilty. In River Haven, a quieter life seems possible. If only Allie’s Amish schoolteacher, Catherine Brandt, was easier to ignore.
A problem solver by nature, Cathy can tell Allie’s withdrawn demeanor isn’t due to shyness. But getting through to Allie also means breaching her father’s hardened defenses. What starts as persistence soon grows into an attraction neither Cathy nor Michael saw coming. When the past suddenly threatens both his daughter and the woman he loves, Michael must risk everything to save them.
My Review: It has been a bit since I’ve read Marta Perry and An Amish Outsider made me wonder why? I was riveted the entire time and was blown away when the killer was revealed.
An Amish Outsider is the perfect read for fans of Amish mysteries, romances, and fiction. You have a little of everything in this gem of a read.
I received a complimentary copy from Harlequin through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.
Published: May 7, 2019
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
NetGalley: The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything—everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt’s Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome’s got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter.
Cussy’s not only a book woman, however, she’s also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy’s family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she’s going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler.
Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere — even back home.
My Review: Wow, what a learning experience while reading Cussy’s story. When a book teaches me something I enjoy it even more. I knew about Pack Horse Librarians but never thought about the dangers they faced daily or the extreme weather conditions they traveled through to reach their customers. Dedication at its best.
Cussy will find a way into your heart. It’s hard to imagine what she and other “blue” people experienced. Discrimination on all points is wrong no matter who you are.
There are a few semi-violent scenes but they add feeling to the story and show what was happening at the time. Faith is strong throughout the story. A book I would share with my older, mature teenagers. The perfect book for book clubs.
I received a complimentary copy from Sourcebooks through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Published: September 18, 2018
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
NetGalley: Kurt Holland wants the best for his younger brother, which is why he moves Sam to Bridgeport, Ohio. It’s a bigger town with a well-known high school. Just the place to give his little brother more opportunities-maybe even a scholarship to college. Kurt hopes his gamble pays off since Sam’s future isn’t the only thing riding on it. Kurt’s put most of his savings into a new landscaping business there, too. But when Sam gets in trouble for fighting at school, Kurt isn’t so sure it was the right decision … until he meets Sam’s English teacher. Emily Springer is passionate about helping all of her students succeed, but there’s something about Sam Holland that makes her want to go the extra mile. When he’s caught in a fight at school, she goes to bat in his defense, and during a conference with the principal, she meets Sam’s rugged older brother-and guardian. Emily has a strict no-dating policy when it comes to her students’ parents, but Kurt isn’t technically Sam’s parent. It’s OK to bend the rules a little bit, right? In an effort to make some friends and find a place in the Bridgeport community, Kurt starts up a weekly poker game in his garage. It’s not long before everyone wants in, and they all soon discover that these Friday night poker gatherings are about more than just the game. Shelley Shepard Gray’s new Bridgeport Social Club series is about men who need a place to call home, a community in need of hope, and a group of women who are special enough to help both things happen. This first installment is genuine and heartfelt. It’s filled with hope, warmth, and the belief that love and acceptance can overcome any tough situation.
My Review: Let me start with the saying I am a huge fan of Gray’s Amish romances. I was not a fan of Take a Chance.
This was marketed as a clean romance but I would not say it was completely clean. It does discuss wanting to have sex outside of marriage and there are a lot of curse words.
My biggest problem was it felt like it was written geared to a young adult or new adult reader. I have a feeling I would have really loved this book when I was in my late teens/early twenties (not so much in my forties).
I did enjoy the fact Gray incorporated so much of Cincinnati in the book. It was nice to see a town I spent four years in represented nicely.
If you are looking for a romance that will let you read the afternoon away, Take a Chance is for you.
I received a complimentary copy from Blackstone Publishing through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.
Published: April 30, 2019
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
NetGalley: Sometimes love hurts–and sometimes it can heal in the most unexpected way.
Camden Grayson loves her challenging career, but the rest of her life could use some improvement. “Moving on” is Cam’s mantra. But there’s a difference, her two sisters insist, between one who moves on . . . and one who keeps moving.
Cam’s full-throttle life skids to a stop when her father buys a remote island off the coast of Maine. Paul Grayson has a dream to breathe new life into the island–a dream that includes reuniting his estranged daughters. Certain Dad has lost his mind, the three sisters rush to the island. To Cam’s surprise, the slow pace of island life appeals to her, along with the locals–and one in particular. Seth Walker, the scruffy island schoolteacher harbors more than a few surprises.
My review: I am a huge fan of the Amish books by Suzanne Woods Fisher and now I’m a huge fan of her contemporary works. On a Summer Tide blew me away.
Direct quote “Planning doesn’t make the wedding. And the wedding doesn’t make the marriage. The marriage is what we live with, day in and day out.” Oh, how I wish engaged couples would read this book just for that quote. It is so true! Look beyond the glitz and glam of the ceremony and reception and look toward your future. Where do you want your marriage to be in ten, twenty years?
There is religion in this beautiful work of art but it is expressed serenely and at the most appropriate moments. It makes the reader sit back and reflect before moving on.
At the end of the book is a recipe for chocolate chip cookies using rice crispy cereal that I plan on making this weekend and a discussion guide. This book has just about everything in it.
I am looking forward to reading the next installment of The Three Sisters series.
I received a complimentary copy from Revell through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Published: January 1, 2019
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The rhyming verse from Brian P. Cleary presents the fictional Clip-Clop Elementary School’s celebration of “Onomatopoeia Day.” Enthusiastic young students make their way from band room (Rattle! Boom! Twang!) to the gym (Whiff! Whack! Swish!) to the science lab (Hiss! Spurt! Ding!) and beyond. Brief back matter offers additional examples of onomatopoeias—words that imitate sounds.
One of the best educational books in print to introduce young readers to the world of Onomatopoeia. The illustrations are colorful and fit the text perfectly. I adored that the story took place in a classroom setting. I feel it will help young students to learn how fun school can be if they just look around and think about the different ways to learn. Listen to the sounds of the mechanics around you.
The ending of the book is a treasure for teachers. The author has listed to words by categories of animal noises, human noises, and mechanical noises. It would be the perfect reference/anchor chart for the classroom.
I see this as a great Christmas present for my teacher friends.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Lerner Publishing Group through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.