Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Courtship Basket by Amy Cliptson (Review)



  • Series: An Amish Heirloom Novel
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (June 28, 2016)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310342014

  • Years ago, a picnic basket brought two hearts together. For Rachel and Mike, history may be about to repeat itself.

    Rachel Fisher is devastated when the young man she’s loved for years leaves her to date her best friend. Her heart is broken, and she has all but given up on love. Determined to keep her mind off the pain, she starts teaching at an Amish school for children with learning disabilities.

    Since his father became ill, Mike Lantz has been overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing for his family and caring for his six-year-old brother, John. When John joins Rachel’s class and she learns that his mother is deceased and his father sick, she desperately wants to help the family, even with something as simple as a meal.

    With her parents’ old picnic basket, Rachel begins sending food to the Lantz family. As the weeks go by, John’s grades start to improve, and the attraction grows between Rachel and Mike. They can’t deny that their friendship is growing toward something more, but both of them are hesitant to risk a more serious relationship.

    The last thing Rachel wants is another heartbreak, and Mike is worried about providing for his loved ones. Will the two be able to reconcile their past hurts with new hope for the future?


    My Review:

    This is book two in the Amish Heirloom Series by Amy Clipston. It can stand alone although I wondered a few things that might have been answered in the first book. In this book the main story is focused on Rachel Fisher and Mike Lantz. They meet through the school for special children that Rachel starts working at after she is ditched by long time boyfriend for her best friend. Mike is trying to raise his younger brother, deal with his deathly ill dad, and run a business. His younger brother is having some issues so he moves him the special school for more attention. His first week at the new school does not go very well. Teacher Rachel broke some rules her first week by contacting Mike over the phone and in person about it. It did not go good so to make up for it she starts sending meals home with John in a basket she found at her house. She did not know it held special meaning for her parents. The way to man's heart is through his stomach is sometimes an accurate saying. Rachel ends up coming to Mike's house on Saturdays to tutor John. The whole family comes to love her. Rachel and Mike are attracted to each other but they have issues that keep getting in the way. Mike's family situation  and Rachel's past bad heartache. The book held my attention and overall I enjoyed reading it. I got mad at Rachel a few times and wanted to shake some sense into her. The ending was sad but satisfying. This was a nice Amish romance story. I look forward to reading Rachel's younger sister's story in the next book in the series. Recommended.






    Amy Clipston is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and three spoiled rotten cats. Visit her online at amyclipston.com Facebook: AmyClipstonBooks Twitter: @AmyClipston


    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    All Summer Long by Melody Carlson (Review)



  • Series: Follow Your Heart (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (June 7, 2016)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800723583



  • Tia D'Amico is thrilled to move to San Francisco to help her aunt transform an old luxury yacht into an upscale floating restaurant. What's not to love? Sunset dinner cruises, upscale wedding receptions--the possibilities are endless and far more appetizing than staying in a monotonous job in her Podunk hometown. Besides, some of her best memories are tied to San Francisco--especially the memory of Leo Parker, her crush from a long-ago sailing camp.

    When the self same Leo Parker turns out to be the yacht's captain, Tia is floating on air. But will it all come crashing down around her when she discovers his heart belongs to someone else?

    Get ready for a romantic summer in San Francisco, where the future glistens brighter than the bay at sunset.

    My Review:

    I enjoyed reading this light contemporary romance book. I read it at the beach on vacation and it fits the description of summer reading. I was a little on edge because the romance between Tia and Leo was awesome but he was still engaged to the girl who was so wrong for him. I was like please let it work out for them. It was hilarious that Tia ended up being a good friend to the girl. Tia has a good heart and feels bad for her since she does not seem to have any friends. Tia did not actively try to steal her finance. I did feel bad for the fiancée but I rooted for Tia and Leo too. The book held my attention from beginning to end. The ending was great. It is an Christian fiction book although the spiritual part is not overdone. Recommended.





    Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than 6.5 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and the contemporary romance Once Upon a Summertime. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com.


    Review copy provided by Revell in exchange for an honest review

    Friday, June 17, 2016

    Medical Judgement by Harry Kraus, MD (Review)



  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (May 17, 2016)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1630881207



  • Someone is after Dr. Sarah Gordon. They’ve stalked her and set a fire at her home. Trying to recover from the traumatic deaths of her husband and infant daughter is tough enough, but she has no idea what will come next. Her late husband’s best friend and a recovering alcoholic detective are trying to solve the mystery before it’s too late, but both appear to be vying for her affection as well. Sarah finds herself in constant fear as the process plays out.

    As the threats on her life continue to escalate, so do the questions: Who is doing this? Why are they after her? And with her only help being unreliable suitors in competition with each other, whom can she really trust?

    My Review:

    This was an okay Christian mystery/suspense book. I did not enjoy it as much as some of his previous books. This was  a medical drama only in the fact the main character Dr. Sarah Gordon is an ER doctor. The faith element is well developed. I was kept guessing until the end on who was stalking her. Dr. Gordon has two different possible love interests. One is her recently deceased husband's best friend and the other a detective. The romance could have been more developed. There was also a lot of repetition throughout the book like her husband being dead eight months. My favorite series of his is the Code Blue series.




    I'm a retired physician who is now writing. I also stay busy being a husband and grandfather, working on my golf game, and doing the hundred-and-one other things that retired people do.

    I got into non-medical writing after the death of my first wife with my book, THE TENDER SCAR: LIFE AFTER THE DEATH OF A SPOUSE. I'm gratified that it continues to help those who have lost a loved one.

    From that point, I moved into writing fiction. Thus far I've had seven novels of medical suspense published: CODE BLUE, MEDICAL ERROR, DIAGNOSIS DEATH, and LETHAL REMEDY were the first four. The second and third books listed were named finalists for the ACFW Carol Award and Romantic Times' Best Inspirational Novel respectively, and LETHAL REMEDY won the Selah Award.

    Then came STRESS TEST (also a finalist for Romantic Times' Best Inspirational Novel), HEART FAILURE, CRITICAL CONDITION, FATAL TRAUMA, and my latest, MIRACLE DRUG (which made the CBA bestseller list). I've also self-published a novella, RX MURDER, which is currently available for Kindle and in hard copy.

    You can follow me on my blog (rmabry.blogspot.com) and my web page (rmabry.com


    Review copy provided by Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.

    Sunday, June 12, 2016

    Sea Rose Lane by Irene Hannon (Review)





  • Series: Hope Harbor
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (June 7, 2016)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800727543



  • After a devastating layoff, attorney Eric Nash heads back to the town where he grew up--only to discover that his childhood home is being transformed into a bed & breakfast. Instead of plotting his next career move in peace, he's constantly distracted by noise, chaos--and BJ Stevens, the attractive but prickly blonde architect and construction chief who's invaded the house with her motley crew.

    As for BJ, her client's son might be handsome, but after a disastrous romance, dating isn't high on her agenda. Yet when they join forces to create a program for Hope Harbor seniors, might they also find healing, hope, and a new beginning themselves?

    Three-time RITA Award winner Irene Hannon takes readers back to Hope Harbor for a new season of charm, romance, and second chances.

    My Review:

    This was an enjoyable contemporary Christian romance book. It can stand alone from the first book in the Hope Harbor series. It is perfect for summer reading. Eric Nash grew up in Hope Harbor but does not return often. He is laid off from his job of big time lawyer so he heads home to see his father and decompress. He is surprised to find the house being turned into a bed and breakfast. The contractor on the house is a woman named BJ. He starts off on the wrong foot with her when he first gets to town. Their attraction is there from the beginning. BJ has her own issues from her last relationship that went really bad. She is scared to love again and does not want to leave Hope Harbor. She has fallen in love with the people, town, and lifestyle. Eric does not think he is staying for more than a few weeks. Their were some memorable secondary characters too. The characters and plot were well developed and interesting. The conclusion was satisfying. I am looking forward to reading the next Hope Harbor book. Recommended.






    Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including One Perfect Spring and Hope Harbor, as well as the Private Justice and Men of Valor series. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, two Reviewers' Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine, a Retailers' Choice Award, two Booksellers' Best Awards, and a National Readers' Choice Award. Learn more at www.irenehannon.com

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    An Amish Market by Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin, and Vanetta Chapman (Review)


  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 2, 2016)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0529118684


  • All the color and variety of a quaint Amish shop in a charming collection of novellas by four of your favorite authors. Feel free to come in and browse!

    Love Birds by Amy Clipston
    While Ellie Lapp and her mother are still mourning the loss of her brother, Seth, Ellie starts working at one of the gift shops in town. Seth’s friend Lloyd is talented at carving wooden birds, but his father disapproves and expects him to take over the family farm someday. Ellie sees the beauty in Lloyd’s creations and insists Lloyd sell the birds in the gift shop where she works. As Ellie and Lloyd spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, but she accidentally betrays his trust. Will she lose any hope of a future with him?

    A Bid for Love by Kathleen Fuller
    Every week, Hannah Lynne brings her home-churned butter to the local market. And every week Ezra stops by to purchase some. Hannah Lynne knows not to read too much into it—Ezra is a confirmed bachelor and barely even glances her way, despite any hope to the contrary. But when Ezra bids an exorbitant amount to win the quilt she had her heart set on, Hannah Lynne can’t stop her heart from taking over her mind. Could Ezra finally be in the market for love?

    Sweeter Than Honey by Kelly Irvin
    Shattering a jar of pickled beets wasn’t the impression Isabella hoped to make on her first trip to the local Combination Store of Bee County, Texas. But as embarrassed as she was by the accident, she didn’t think it warranted the frosty reaction from the handsome manager of the store, Will Glick. As she soon learns, though, Will’s heart has been broken one too many times. And now, for some reason, Isabella finds herself determined to be the one to repair that broken heart and renew his faith in love.

    Love in Store by Vannetta Chapman
    Stella Schrock works at the Old Mill in Nappanee, Indiana, with new employee David Stoltzfus, a recent widower. When strange happenings begin occurring around town, it appears as if someone wants to close the mill. Stella and David have to work together to solve the mystery of what is happening at the Old Amish Mill, and in the process they might just find that God has more in store for their future than they would ever have dreamed possible.


    My Review:

    I enjoyed reading all four novellas in this book. They were sweet Amish romance stories. Love in Store had just a little mystery/suspense in it. The characters and plot were well developed and interesting for all the stories. All the stories held my attention. My favorite was A Bid for Love. Hannah Lynne and Ezra's story appealed to me the most. Overall a good Amish collection. Recommended.




    Amy Clipston is the award-winning and best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats. Visit her online at www.amyclipston.com Facebook: AmyClipstonBooks Twitter: @AmyClipston


    Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including A Man of His Wordand Treasuring Emma, as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at www.kathleenfuller.com, Twitter: @TheKatJam, and Facebook: Kathleen Fuller.


    Kelly Irvin is the author of The Beekeeper’s Son, the critically acclaimed first novel of the Amish of Bee County series. Kelly is also the author of several Amish series including the Bliss Creek Amish series, the New Hope Amish series, and the Amish of Bee County series. She has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine. The Kansas native is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism. She has been writing nonfiction professionally for thirty years, including ten years as a newspaper reporter, mostly in Texas-Mexico border towns. She has worked in public relations for the City of San Antonio for twenty years. Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-seven years. They have two young adult children, two cats, and a tank full of fish. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors. Website: kellyirvin.com, Twitter: @Kelly_S_Irvin, Facebook: Kelly.Irvin.Author.


    Vannetta Chapman is author of the best-selling novel A Simple Amish Christmas. She has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. In 2012 she was awarded a Carol Award for Falling to Pieces. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania.  Visit Vannetta's website: www.vannettachapman.com  Twitter: @VannettaChapman  Facebook: VannettaChapmanBooks


    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.


    Wednesday, June 8, 2016

    Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin (Review)




  • Series: Waves of Freedom (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (May 3, 2016)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800723439


  • In a time of sacrifice, what price can one put on true love?
    Nothing slows Lillian Avery down--not her personal challenges and certainly not America's entry into World War II. She finally has a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The demands of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg's attentions only annoy--even if he is her brother's best friend.

    During the darkest days of the war, Arch's destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves--and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions Lillian has been filling?

    As the danger rises on both land and sea, the two must work together to answer that question. But can Arch ever earn Lillian's trust and affection?
    My Review:

    This is the second book in the Waves of Freedom series by Sarah Sundin. The characters are a continuation from the first book although the main focus switches. A few of the plot details also follow over. I do not read a heavy amount of historical fiction but I have read ALL of this author's books. I can tell how much research she has done. It does not weigh the book down though. The focus of this book is on Lillian Avery and Archer Vanderberg. Lillian has a disability but she does not let it get in her way of being a pharmacist. Archer is a rich kid and he still joins the Navy. His family did not approve of his career choice. Lillian has a large family and support system. Archer is just a little jealous of that. The sparks fly between them from the beginning. The characters and plot are well developed and held my attention. I look forward to reading book three in the series.






    Sarah Sundin is the author of Through Waters Deep, as well as Wings of the Nightingale and the Wings of Glory series. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force. Sarah lives in California. Visit www.sarahsundin.com for more information.

    Review copy provided by Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.

    Tuesday, June 7, 2016

    A Daughter's Dream by Shelley Sheppard Gray (Review)



  • Series: Charmed Amish Life
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Inspire (May 24, 2016)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062337818


  • In Shelley Shepard Gray’s second book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a young teacher and farmer discover they have much in common, especially when it comes to healing old wounds from the past…and finding love in one another.

    Rebecca Kinsinger has always dreamed of being a teacher. But when she’s given the opportunity she’s been waiting for at Charm Amish School, she’s dismayed to discover that teaching is hard work—work she’s afraid she’s not very good at.

    That is, until Lilly Yoder joins the class. A thirteen-year old who’s just lost her parents, Lilly is in need of someone like Rebecca. For the first time since starting her new job, Rebecca feels a sense of purpose. But when she meets Lilly’s uncle, Jacob, his good looks and sweet, easy-going temperament are hard to ignore. How can she even entertain romantic thoughts of Jacob when his niece is her student?

    Suddenly becoming Lily’s sole caregiver, Jacob Yoder never thought he’d be a single parent—or a farmer. Having been living in Florida as a carpenter, Jacob feels more at home wielding a hammer than a backhoe. The only bright spot in his life is Rebecca Kinsinger. As Lily and Rebecca develop a bond, Jacob’s fondness for the pretty teacher grows, too.

    But when a fateful accident brings them together, Rebecca and Jacob must choose between duty and desire. Will they follow the path before them? Or set out to find true happiness…and true love?

    My Review:

    I enjoyed reading this second book in the Charmed Amish Life series. I actually like it better than the first because the subject matter was so intense in the first. The first book is a Son's Vow. In this book the main focus is on Rebecca Kinsinger. The Kinsinger family owns and operates the lumber mill in town. She is the secretary but dreams of being a teacher. So she volunteers in the local Amish school. She meets Jacob Yoder when a new student moves to the area. They hit it off immediately. Rebecca is cautious because he is a student's father. They both know something about dreams. Jacob was a carpenter and had to quit to farm. Neither plan works out the way they thought it would. This was a sweet romance story with well developed characters and plot. The ending was good and I look forward to reading Rebecca's sister, Amelia's story. Recommended.





    Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

    Review copy provided by Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.