Category Archives: Romance

An Amish Reunion | Clipston, Wiseman, Fuller, Irwin

 

 

Today I am reviewing An Amish Reunion by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Irvin.

Here is a brief synopsis:

From bestselling authors in the Amish genre come four stories about reuniting with those you love.

Their True Home by Amy Clipston

When Marlene Bawell moved from Bird-in-Hand ten years ago, she was in the deepest of mourning for her mother. Now her family has moved back so her father can seek employment after being laid off. To help save money, Marlene works at the hardware store owned by Rudy Swarey’s father. She knew Rudy growing up and had a secret crush on him, though he never seemed to notice her. But just as a friendship between them begins to blossom, her life is once again turned upside down. Will Marlene ever have a chance to find her own true home?

A Reunion of Hearts by Beth Wiseman

Ruth and Gideon Beiler experienced one of life’s most tragic events. Unable to get past their grief, the couple abandoned their Amish faith and went in different directions, though neither could bear to formally dissolve the marriage. When their loved ones reach out to them to come home for a family reunion, Ruth has reason to believe that Gideon won’t be there. Gideon also thinks that Ruth has declined the invitation. Family and friends are rooting for them to reunite, but will it all be enough for Ruth and Gideon to get past their grief and recapture a time when they were in love and had a bright future ahead of them?

A Chance to Remember by Kathleen Fuller

Cevilla Schlabach, Birch Creek’s resident octogenarian matchmaker, is surprised when Richard, a man from her Englisch past, arrives in Birch Creek for a visit. While he and Cevilla take several walks down memory lane, they wonder what the future holds for them at this stage of life—friendship, or the possibility of something else?

Mended Hearts by Kelly Irvin

At eighteen Hannah Kauffman made a terrible mistake. Her parents and members of her Jamesport Amish community say they’ve forgiven her. But she feels their eyes following her everywhere she goes with eighteen-month-old Evie. Thaddeus, Evie’s father, escaped this fate by running away from Jamesport. Now that Thaddeus is gone, Hannah’s old friend Phillip is stepping up to be by her side. He has waited patiently for Hannah to realize just how much he cares for her.

But when Thaddeus returns after two years, Hannah can’t deny the love she feels for him. Does the fact that Phillip has waited patiently for her all this time mean that she owes him something? Can she trust either one of them? Can she trust herself? She has repented and been forgiven by the One who is most important—her heavenly Father. But is she willing to risk making more mistakes by opening herself up to love?

 

MY THOUGHTS:

I loved reading these awesome stories… by some of my favorite Amish fiction authors.

THEIR TRUE HOME — Amy Clipston

I enjoyed the reunion of Marlene Bawell and Rudy Swarey… and sweated bullets worrying about if Marlene’s father would force her to move away from Bird-in-Hand again just as she’s finally beginning to hope for a future in her beloved town. I was a bit surprised at the ending but, as usual, Amy did a great job!

A REUNION OF HEARTS — Beth Wiseman

The story of Ruth and Gideon Beiler is very sad… with several twists and turns along the way. I was more than a little thrilled to discover how they worked to overcome the past… and find a way to put their sorrow behind them.

A CHANCE TO REMEMBER — Kathleen Fuller

Cevilla Schlabach is amazing! I just love her! When she meets someone from her past, is there any chance for love to finally bloom? Chances are slim, considering she’s Amish and he’s English. Kathy came up with the best ending for this story! It’s one that I’ll enjoy reading again and again.

MENDED HEARTS — Kelly Irvin

Hannah Kauffman has paid for her past sins… but those in her community, although they forgave her, refuse to forget it — and she feels as if she’ll never overcome the shame and humiliation of it. If only Thaddeus had stayed… and married her, everything would be different now.

Of course, he would return… just when Phillip, one of the few people who remained friends with her, is ready to make her his wife! Thaddeus is determined to convince Hannah that he wants her to marry him! Oh gee, what’s a woman to do! What will she do? Who can she trust?

I won’t say anything more about it, except that I was delighted with Kelly’s solution… and the rest of the story.

Happy Reading!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2019 DJ Mynatt

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Mending Fences | Suzanne Woods Fisher

 

 

Today I am reviewing Mending Fences, the first book in The Deacon’s Family series, by Suzanne Woods Fisher.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.

Luke Schrock is a new and improved man after a stint in rehab, though everyone in Stoney Ridge only remembers the old Luke. They might have forgiven him, but nobody trusts him.

Amos and Fern Lapp allow Luke to live at Windmill Farm under two conditions. First, Luke must make a sincere apology to each person he’s hurt–a four-page, single-spaced list. Second, he must ask each victim of mischief to describe the damage he caused.

Simple, Luke thinks. Offering apologies is easy. But discovering the lasting effects his careless actions have caused . . . that isn’t so simple. It’s gut-wrenching.

And his list keeps growing. Izzy Miller, beautiful and frustratingly aloof, also boards at Windmill Farm. Luke’s clumsy efforts to befriend Izzy only insult and annoy her. Eager to impress, Luke sets out to prove himself to her by locating her mother. When he does, her identity sends shock waves through Stoney Ridge.

Bestselling and award-winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher returns to her beloved Stoney Ridge for this brand-new series featuring some of her readers’ favorite characters.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

Every saint has a past.  Every sinner has a future.

I absolutely LOVED reading about Luke Schrock. . . and how, after messing up his life with alcohol and more than his share of mistakes. Thankful for a chance to fix things, Luke returns home to Stoney Ridge — only to find out everyone isn’t eager to welcome him back.

One of his conditions of moving back is to offer his sincere apologies, which doesn’t come easily for him — especially when the people he wronged were more hurt by his actions than he would ever have expected. Gulp!

It seems like he may never get done. . . and this just may be his last chance to make things right!

If you’ve enjoyed reading stories by Suzanne Woods Fisher, I can almost guarantee that you’re gonna LOVE this series! I can’t wait for the next book in the series, which will be available later this year.

Happy Reading!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2019 DJ Mynatt

  1. Mending Fences
  2. Stitches in Time

Murder Freshly Baked | Vannetta Chapman

 

 

Today I am reviewing Murder Freshly Baked, the third novel in the Amish Village Mystery Series by Vanetta Chapman.

Here is a brief synopsis:

When delicious baked goods become lethal, it’s time to find a killer.

Kindness is a virtue
Meanness is a sin
Better watch your bakery pies
For poison I’ve slipped in

The Amish Artisan Village in Middlebury, Indiana, has been decorated with every color of balloon and flower for the Race for a Cure.

As manager of the Village, Amber Bowman is thrilled to see the turnout — and relieved to have something to distract her from the “Poison Poet” — an individual who has been sending notes containing bad poetry to warn of poisoned baked goods.

Then Ryan Duvall crosses the finish line of the race — and falls down dead, murdered in broad daylight. But who did it? And why? The police suspect Preston Johnston, but Amber refuses to believe her employee could do such a thing.

Amber once again looks to her young Amish friend Hannah Troyer to help her find the killer — and to determine if it’s the same person leaving the cryptic poems and pies.

Can they help the police before the Poison Poet strikes again? Both Amber and Hannah will need to draw on their faith as they fight to preserve the peaceful community they’ve built at the Amish Artisan Village.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

One word… AWESOME!

After reading Murder Freshly Baked, my first thought was… “I have got to read this again.”

My next thought was… “I have got to read all three books in the series again… one right after another!”

They’re that good – they’re really that good!

The characters in this series are amazing! Vannetta captures so many different personalities and puts them together in the village — including English and Amish folk working side by side — and it’s perfect!

Amber and Tate, Hannah and Jesse, Pam, and Preston — who is a particularly interesting person (ahem, I mean character). Along with a few others, they make up a good part of the characters at Amish Artisan Village. Of course, you wouldn’t think putting them together to solve a mystery would work, but it does.

This sequel is especially exciting to me… it seems to be all about “forbidden love” among an English man and several ladies — including Amish ladies. Well, things aren’t always the way they seem, but sometimes trouble just seems to follow some people — and it certainly seems like trouble, in the form of murder, seems to follow the village!

I cannot say anything more that might give something away — you’ll have to read the story for yourself. I refuse to ruin it for you! And don’t be put off because much of the action is in the first of the book — that just makes you pay attention. Believe me, it just keeps getting better and better!

If you read and enjoyed Murder Simply Brewed and Murder Tightly Knit, you’re really going to love Murder Freshly Baked.

Happy Reading!!!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2019 DJ Mynatt

  1. Murder Simply Brewed
  2. Murder Tightly Knit
  3. Murder Freshly Baked

 

Hearts in Harmony | Beth Wiseman

 

 

Today I am reviewing Hearts in Harmony, the first novel in the An Amish Journey series, by Beth Wiseman.

Here is a brief synopsis:

They both love music. Will God deny what brings them such joy?  

Musical prodigy Levi Shetler hasn’t touched a piano since he secretly played one years ago. His strict Amish community forbids instruments or the singing of any music not in their approved songbook. Levi asks God often why music tempts him when playing an instrument isn’t allowed in his world.

One person knows Levi’s talents: Mary Hershberger, the girl who promised years ago to keep his secret. Mary comes from a more liberal district than Levi, but she’s facing family troubles of her own. The mutual care for an aging Englischer, Adeline, reunites Mary and Levi as young adults. They realize that, despite their differences, they have a shared love of music—and a shared confusion about whether their talents are God-given gifts or temptations luring them into the Englisch world.

The couple realizes they must compromise or part ways, but a tragic accident shakes their decision. Both Mary and Levi will need to reconcile what they love with what their hearts say is right—because even as their passion for music brings them together, it could be what tears them apart.

The first novel in the new Amish Journeys series by bestselling author Beth Wiseman, Hearts in Harmony explores how far the heart will travel for the melody of love.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

I loved reading about Mary Hershberger and Levi Shetler… honestly, I worried a bit over how Levi would figure out how to live with his desire to play an instrument that wasn’t allowed by his church rules. And if Mary would just make things worse if she encouraged him —or supported him in his determination to continue to play.

And if I reveal what happens, I’ll spoil the story for you, so I won’t say anything more about it, except that I was delighted with Ms. Wiseman’s solution… and the rest of the story.

Don’t miss this wonderful beginning of a great series!

Happy Reading!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2019 DJ Mynatt

Murder Tightly Knit | Vannetta Chapman

 

 

Today I am reviewing Murder Tightly Knit, the second novel in the Amish Village Mystery series by Vanetta Chapman.

Here is a brief synopsis:

In a town where Amish and Englisch mingle every day, a grisly murder leads to mutual suspicion. Can Amber and Hannah find the killer before fear unravels the community . . . or he strikes again?

Even before she heard of Owen Esch’s death, Hannah Troyer knew something was amiss at The Cat’s Meow yarn shop. The store has been closing at odd times, the ever-dependable Mary isn’t always at her post . . . and an Englisch man has been seen loitering around back.

Now, as leaves of brown, gold, and orange blanket Middlebury, Indiana, Owen lies dead on the Pumpkinvine Trail. The only clues to the murderer’s identity point in two very different directions—one of them leading right to The Cat’s Meow.

The police call in a federal investigator, but Hannah and Village manager Amber Bowman are in no mood to wait for them to figure out what they already know — that no one from the Amish Village could have killed Owen Esch.

Amber and Hannah will need to work quickly to solve the murder mystery and bring harmony back to the Amish community.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

One word… AWESOME!

I don’t know how Vannetta writes such a terrific mystery, with Amish and Englisch individuals all running around, getting in each other’s way. She creates so many interesting characters, somehow making each one look suspect at one time or another!

By the second chapter, I began guessing who the murderer might be…

But this is no simple who-dun-it… oh no! The synopsis might state that Amber and Hannah believe that no one from the Amish Village could have killed Owen Esch; but the fact remains that he was murdered and as new characters are introduced, each one seems to have an agenda, perhaps even a reason to kill poor Owen.

Chapter after chapter, I studied the individuals, watching them (well, technically I was reading the story, but I tend to get caught up in the story and it’s easy to find myself smack dab in the heart of Amish territory, which in this case means Middlebury, Indiana.

Obviously, I’m not going to spill any more beans than the synopsis already has… and I’m sure you don’t want me give anything away… but believe me, this story is amazing!

If you read and enjoyed Murder Simply Brewed, you’re really gonna love Murder Tightly Knit!

WOO HOO – another Amish Village Mystery!

Happy Reading!!!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2019 DJ Mynatt

  1. Murder Simply Brewed
  2. Murder Tightly Knit
  3. Murder Freshly Baked

 

Murder Simply Brewed | Vannetta Chapman

 

 

Today I am reviewing Murder Simply Brewed, the first novel in the Amish Village Mystery Series by Vanetta Chapman.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Spring has arrived in Middlebury, Indiana, and Amber Wright can see profits in sight for her collection of Amish artisan shops—until she receives a call that Ethan Gray is dead.

Hurrying over to A Simple Blend, she finds a single hole in the front window and Mr. Gray dead from an apparent heart attack. All the money is still in his register.

Hannah Troyer takes over the shop’s duties, and she and Amber become fast friends as well as amateur sleuths. The police believe Gray’s death to be a by-product of vandalism, but Amber and Hannah aren’t so easily convinced.

Old Testament clues that don’t add up, a neighbor who is pulled into the midst of the investigation, a town with secrets to hide, and blossoming romance—all will combine to push Amber and Hannah into unfamiliar roles in order to solve a mystery and bring peace to the Amish community.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

Wow! It began so quietly… for a moment or two I thought it might not be as exciting and “mysterious” as Vannetta’s Shipshewana Amish Mystery series…

au contraire!

I have never, to my knowledge, finished a book, only to pick it up again almost immediately to read through again, but that is exactly what I did!

Murder Simply Brewed proved nearly impossible to put down… I can’t remember the last time I felt so anxious… so nervous… waiting for the killer to make their move!

The characters are amazing! Vannetta has captured so many different personalities. Putting them together to solve the mystery works perfectly. I love her idea of adding the “mystery package”. I laughed and laughed over the idea!

Honestly, I cannot say enough about how much I love Vannetta’s writing…

I have quickly learned that Vannetta’s books all belong on my “top shelf”.

A Simple Amish Christmas, the first Vannetta Chapman book is my favorite was my favorite since the day I read it… until now. Murder Simply Brewed has stolen 1st place!

Pick up your own copy today… don’t miss this fantastic read!

Happy Reading!!!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2019 DJ Mynatt

  1. Murder Simply Brewed
  2. Murder Tightly Knit
  3. Murder Freshly Baked

 

Who the Bishop Knows | Vannetta Chapman

 

 

Today I am reviewing Who the Bishop Knows, the first book in The Amish Bishop Mysteries series by Vannetta Chapman.

Here is a brief synopsis:

What You Don’t See Might Hurt You

Every year, residents of the small Amish community in Monte Vista, Colorado, look forward to the Ski Hi Stampede, the state’s oldest professional rodeo. The rodeo is always good, clean entertainment for the hardworking farmers of the San Luis Valley. But this year, the Stampede turns deadly for one Amish man. Did rodeo fans see an unfortunate accident? Or something more sinister?

Amish bishop Henry Lapp is known far and wide for his uncanny ability to draw and remember the smallest details of anything he’s seen, skills that have served him well in past investigations. He was at the rodeo that day. The problem? He didn’t see Jason Scott’s death.

With a murderer on the loose and members of his community being threatened, Henry must act fast. But can he solve a crime he didn’t see? This time around, Henry will have to rely on his keen sense of human character and observation, skills he’s honed in his role as bishop, if he hopes to crack the case.

What the Bishop Knows is a story of accepting our talents, putting one another first, and trusting that God will care for His children.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

Oh my goodness!  Another murder!

Will Bishop Henry Lapp and his lady friend, Emma Fisher, ever get the chance to go forward with their relationship? Of course, his special gift would be helpful… if only he had witnessed the murder. Unfortunately, he wasn’t in the stands where he might have seen something. Instead, he was at the hot dog counter, getting a snack for himself and Emma — and he missed the whole thing.

So then, why does he keep getting the feeling that he should use his special gift… to sit down and draw… whatever comes to mind. Even though he doesn’t think he saw anything, maybe there’ll be something that will help. At least, that’s the way his gift usually works.

I love this series by Vannetta Chapman! This is a series by Ms. Chapman that is going on my TOP SHELF! Don’t miss this exciting series… get your copies and read them for yourself.

Happy Reading!!!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2019 DJ Mynatt

  1. What the Bishop Saw
  2. When the Bishop Needs an Alibi
  3. Who the Bishop Knows

 

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