Tag Archives: Review © 2015 DJ Mynatt

Chapel Springs Cookbook | Ane Mulligan Marathon


Today I am reviewing the Chapel Springs Cookbook, a special part of the Chapel Springs series by Ane Mulligan.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Good cooks surround me, and that’s purely divine intervention. You see, my culinary expertise maxes out at Jell-O Jigglers. It’s a good thing my hubby, Joel, loves to cook.

Otherwise our kids would have gotten pretty tired of PB&J sandwiches and salad. We all have our talents, but God didn’t give me a culinary gene.

A number of Chapel Springs Revival readers asked me for my favorite recipes—which flat knocked me out given I can’t cook. But Mayor Felix Riley liked the idea, so all my friends got together and submitted their favorites.

This cookbook includes the best recipes from Chapel Springs—the dishes we all bring to town potlucks. I’ve had the good pleasure of tasting all of these at one time or another … well, except for one of Felix’s. I wouldn’t try it. But maybe you’re more adventurous.
CHAPEL SPRINGS COOKBOOK by Ane Mulligan… featuring one of the most unique recipes in town. Tweet this!



Cooks everywhere will enjoy the unique recipes found in the Chapel Springs Cookbook.

Felix Riley, Mayor of Chapel Springs, does his best to introduce “this official collection of recipes from some of Chapel Springs’ best cooks.”

My favorite recipe, so far, is the official breakfast of Chapel Springs, by none other than the mayor himself, called Slow Cooker Sausage Breakfast Casserole. This is an excellent choice for anyone wanting to take a hot dish to share at work.

Besides breakfast dishes, this handy cookbook offers appetizers, salads, soups, side dishes and holiday favorites, in addition to the main dishes and desserts.

But I would be neglecting my duty, if I didn’t warn you about the recipe submitted by the mama of Mayor Riley… think long and hard before trying it (unless you’re cooking for a mighty big crowd).

On a more serious note, l want to encourage you to read the Chapel Springs series . . . it may be just what you need to help you find the encouragement to tackle your problems!

Ane Mulligan brings Chapel Springs to life with humor, love, and lots of great characters.

For the best recipes found in Chapel Springs, buy the CHAPEL SPRINGS COOKBOOK by Ane Mulligan.Tweet this!


God bless you!

Review © 2015 DJ Mynatt



Chapel Springs Survival | Ane Mulligan Marathon


Today I am reviewing Chapel Springs Survival, the second book in the Chapel Springs series by Ane Mulligan.

Here is a brief synopsis:

A mail-order bride, a town overrun with tourists, and illegal art ~ How on earth will Claire and Chapel Springs survive?

With the success of her Operation Marriage Revival, life is good for Claire Bennett. That is until the mayor’s brother blabs a secret: Claire’s nineteen-year-old son, Wes, has married a Brazilian mail order bride – one who is eight years older than him.

When Claire tries to welcome her new daughter-in-law, she’s ridiculed, rebuffed, and rejected. Loving this girl is like hugging a prickly cactus. Will Claire and her family survive her son’s marriage?

Lydia Smith is happily living alone and running her spa; then the widow on the hill becomes a blushing bride. Along with her new marriage, she has a dream to expand her business by adding guest rooms. Things are going according to plan. That is, until her groom’s adult son moves in on everything. Will her dream survive her stepson?

From the first sighting of a country music star in Claire’s gallery, The Painted Loon, to the visit of a Hollywood diva, Chapel Springs is inundated with stargazers, causing lifelong residents to flee the area. When her best friends, Patsy and Nathan, put their house on the market, Claire is forced to do something or lose the closest thing to a sister she’s got. With her son’s future at stake and the town looking to her to solve their problems, it’s Claire who needs a guardian angel.

Chapel Springs is like coming home to the place you wish you were from…
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This book will touch your heart — and your soul — with the humor, love, and patience Claire brings to Chapel Springs. I was caught up in the story from the first sentence . . . and my emotions were engaged until the very end, when the tears began to flow once again — happy tears this time.

Claire and Patsy, our favorite characters, are back. And just when you thought things were getting better — they get worse! What can they do to help?

Don’t worry . . . Claire has lots of ideas. Unfortunately, they tend to backfire at times.

There’s something special about Chapel Springs, and the residents we’ve come to love. Ane Mulligan has created characters that are so true-to-life, I’m a bit envious of them. I’d like to have such dear friends — and you probably would, too.

Weddings, marital issues, business concerns, friendships . . . they faced these and more in the first story. Now they’re faced with different challenges, but Claire and Patsy know exactly who to go to when the going gets tough. And HE speaks to them the words they need to hear.

More than anything, I want to encourage you to read the Chapel Springs series . . . it has exactly what you need to help you find encouragement to face your problems head on!

Honestly, I didn’t expect such a wonderful ending. I love Ane’s writing, but this ending . . . well, it brings tears to my eyes just to remember how awesome it ends.

Ane Mulligan brings Chapel Springs to life with humor, love, and lots of great characters. This is an excellent series! I will definitely be reading anything written by Ane Mulligan!

A mail-order bride, a town overrun with tourists, and illegal art… how will Chapel Springs survive?
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God bless you!

Review © 2015 DJ Mynatt


Chapel Springs Revival | Ane Mulligan Marathon


Today I am reviewing Chapel Springs Revival, the first book in the Chapel Springs series by Ane Mulligan.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Everybody in the small town of Chapel Springs, Georgia, knows best friends Claire Bennett and Patsy Kowalski. It’s impossible not to, what with Claire’s zany antics and Patsy’s self-appointed mission to keep her friend out of trouble. And trouble abounds.

During an early morning discussion at Dees ‘n’ Doughs bakery with their ladies group, all Chapel Springs entrepreneurs, attention is drawn to the slackened tourist trade.

With their livelihoods threatened, they join forces to address the town’s revitalization in hopes of drawing back the tourists. No one could have guessed the real issue needing restoration is their marriages.

Claire, a pottery artist, stumbles through life with her foot in her mouth. When she became a Christian, she thought life and her marriage would be included in the new creation part. But her thighs are just as big and her husband, Joel, is as ornery as ever. She’s become nothing more than a sheet-changer, a towel-folder, a pancake-flipper. Her life is humdrum and she’s tired of being taken for granted.

Patsy has plans for her empty nest, plans that include a cruise ship. However, her husband, Nathan, continues to work long hours, and he’s not talking about slowing down. In fact, he’s not talking much at all. She’s asleep long before he comes home each night. At first she thought it was just because of tax season, but now she’s not so sure. Something other than work seems to keep him late at the office every night. With the lines of communication closed, she’ll have to find another way to reach him.

With their marriages as much in need of restoration as the town, Claire and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps and miscommunication, determined to restore warmth to Chapel Springs —and their lives. That is if they can convince their husbands and the town council, led by two curmudgeons who would prefer to see Chapel Springs left in the fifties and closed to traffic.

Chapel Springs is like coming home to the place you wish you were from…
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There’s so much to LOVE about this book! The characters are true-to-life (I’ve compared myself to several) and interesting — really interesting. And the town . . . what a wonderful, colorful, delightful place to live . . . at least after Claire, Patsy, Lacey, and the others work their magic on it.

After being declared “drab and dreary”, the ladies decide the town needs a bit of sprucing up, so they decide to get the other shop owners involved — and give Chapel Springs the revival it needs.

Weddings, marital issues, business concerns, friendships — you name it — the girls are knee-deep in it. I have a feeling they’re up to the challenge, but maybe you should read it for yourself and see.

When faced with adversity (including or marriages in need of some excitement — or at least encouragement), instead of throwing in the towels, they’re determined to find a solution.

Let me encourage you to read Chapel Springs Revival . . . it may be just what you need — to help you find the encouragement to face your problems head on!

Ane Mulligan brings Chapel Springs to life with humor, love, and lots of great characters. This is an excellent debut novel — and the first of [hopefully] many Chapel Springs stories. Stay with me for my review of the next book in the series, Chapel Springs Survival

With a friend like Claire, you’ll need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel.
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God bless you!

Review © 2015 DJ Mynatt






Today I have the very difficult task of listing my favorite books of 2015…

Of course, I have hundreds of favorite books . . . but this year, in this post, I’m only mentioning 70 favorite books that I’ve read and reviewed on my book blog this year… a modest 1/3 of the 200+ books I reviewed.

And now… here are the 70 books!

A Cunning Masquerade – JC Morrows
A Little Bit of Charm – Mary Ellis
A Perilous Assignment – JC  Morrows
A Plain Man – Mary Ellis
A Reluctant Assassin – JC Morrows
A Town Called Christmas – Ruth Logan Herne
A Treacherous Decision – JC Morrows
A Widow’s Hope – Mary Ellis
Abby Finds Her Calling – Naomi King
Always His Providence – Ruth Reid
Always In My Heart – Mary Ellis
Amanda Weds a Good Man – Naomi King
An Amish Family Reunion – Mary Ellis
An Angel By Her Side – Ruth Reid
Andi Unstoppable – Amanda Flower
Anna’s Healing – Vannetta Chapman
Appalachian Serenade – Sarah Loudin Thomas
Autumn Winds – Charlotte Hubbard
Breath of Spring – Charlotte Hubbard
Brian’s Choice – Vannetta Chapman
Brush of Angel’s Wings – Ruth Reid
Dandelion Moon – Hannah Alexander
Dandelions For Dinner – Valerie Comer
Dangerous Tidings – Dana Mentink
Emma Blooms at Last – Naomi King
Falling For the Lawman – Ruth Logan Herne
Hallowed Halls – Hannah Alexander
Harvest of Blessings – Charlotte Hubbard
Hazardous Homecoming – Dana Mentink
His Mistletoe Family – Ruth Logan Herne
Holiday Homecoming – Jean C Gordon
Huckleberry Harvest – Jennifer Beckstrand
Letters From Grace – Rachel D Muller
Living in Harmony – Mary Ellis
Longing For a Miracle – Ruth Logan Herne
Love Comes Calling – Deborah M Piccurelli
Love Comes to Paradise – Mary Ellis
Maggie’s Mission – Rachel D Muller
Miracle in a Dry Season – Sarah Loudin Thomas
Murder Freshly Baked – Vannetta Chapman
Never Far From Home – Mary Ellis
Out Of the Ashes – Sandi Rog
Plum Upside Down – Valerie Comer
Protected – Vannetta Chapman
Raspberries and Vinegar – Valerie Comer
Return to Pelican Inn – Dana Mentink
Romance By Design- Donna Reimel Robinson
Romance in Recovery – Donna Reimel Robinson
Rosemary Opens Her Heart – Naomi King
Sailing in Style – Dana Mentink
Sarah’s Christmas Miracle – Mary Ellis
Secret Refuge – Dana Mentink
Summer of Secrets – Charlotte Hubbard
Sweetened With Honey – Valerie Comer
The Birdhouse – Laura V Hilton
The Captive Maiden – Melanie Dickerson
The Christmas Cradle – Charlotte Hubbard
The Fairest Beauty – Melanie Dickerson
The God of All Tomorrows – Donna Reimel Robinson
The Healer’s Apprentice – Melanie Dickerson
The Lawman’s Holiday Wish – Ruth Logan Herne
The Postcard – Laura V Hilton
The Princess Spy – Melanie Dickerson
The Promise of An Angel – Ruth Reid
The Snow Globe – Laura V Hilton
The Way To a Man’s Heart – Mary Ellis
Where Hope Starts – Angela D Meyer
Wild Mint Tea – Valerie Comer
Winter of Wishes – Charlotte Hubbard
You CAN Write 50,000 Words in 30 Days – DJ Mynatt


Donna’s BookShelf has chosen 70 books – from the 200 books reviewed in 2015! What are your favorites? Tweet this!



Happy Reading!!!



Review © 2015 DJ Mynatt





Today I have the very difficult task of listing my favorite authors from 2015…

Of course, I have other favorite authors . . . many others . . . but this year, in this post, I’m only mentioning 20 favorite authors, whose books I’ve read and reviewed on my book blog this year…

And now… here are the 20 authors (listed alphabetically)!

Amanda Flower
Amy Clipston
Charlotte Hubbard
Cindy Woodsmall
Dana Mentink
Donna Reimel Robinson
Elizabeth Byler Younts
JC Morrows
Jean C Gordon
Jennifer Beckstrand
Laura V Hilton
Melanie Dickerson
Naomi King
Rachel Muller
Ruth Logan Herne
Ruth Reid
Sarah Loudon Thomas
Shelley Shepard Gray
Valerie Comer
Vannetta Chapman


Donna’s BookShelf . . . 20 favorite authors of 2015! Who are your favorites? Tweet this!




Happy Reading!!!



Review © 2015 DJ Mynatt

Love Finds You in the City at Christmas | Ruth Logan Herne, Anna Schmidt


Today I am reviewing Red Kettle Christmas and Manhattan Miracle, two heartwarming stories — of Christmas past and Christmas present — found in Love Finds You in the City, by Ruth Logan Herne and Anna Schmidt.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Red Kettle Christmas

It’s 1946, and police officer Mike Wolzak has inherited his family’s home . . . and the custody of his younger sister, who is in trouble with a problem he doesn’t know how to fix.

While on patrol during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Mike makes the acquaintance of a lovely Salvation Army bell ringer, Karen O’Leary, who is struggling to support herself and her young daughter.

As their paths cross during the festive holiday season in Manhattan, Karen teaches the tough World War II veteran how to support and love his family. In the process, he just might gain a new one.

Manhattan Miracle

A war-weary soldier who has served three tours in the Middle East, Max Wolzak has come home to New York City to celebrate Christmas with his family in the Manhattan brownstone where he spent much of his childhood.

There Max reconnects with Sarah Peterson, his sister’s old schoolmate who now organizes relief missions for the United Nations.

Sparks fly as the pair gets reacquainted over various holiday events, but when Max realizes that Sarah will leave for the Middle East the day after Christmas, he has a decision to make—convince her to stay, wait for her to return, or go with her to the one place to which he never thought he’d return.


Love Finds You in the City at Christmas. . . check out these heart-warming stories!Tweet this!



Red Kettle Christmas

I really enjoyed reading this story; it reads just like real life . . . it’s messy, complicated, sad (at times) — but there’s always hope. My life has been messy, complicated and sad. Most of the time, I had lots of hope – that things would work out, life would get better, and love would come.

For Mike and Mary Lynn, there’s love…

For Mike and Karen, there’s hope…

Ruth Logan Herne does a wonderful job, creating a story well worth reading — about the Salvation Army and a particular bell ringer. It was interesting to learn why people volunteer and how important it is to everyone involved.

Aha! Now I’ve got you hooked! I could add more, but that should be enough to nudge you to read this wonderful heart-warming tale. You’re gonna love it.

Manhattan Miracle

This is the first story I’ve read by Anna Schmidt, but hopefully, it won’t be the last.

This story is about the grandson of the main characters in the first story, which doesn’t happen often, but it makes for an interesting story when it does…

Anna does a wonderful job, continuing with many of the same characters, and a very similar storyline. Of course, most people love the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which is the focus in the beginning of the storyl

All of a sudden, you realize you’re hooked again, and can’t stop reading until the end, which is mostly what happened to me . . . I stopped to write my review, but before too long, I was reading again.

I was delighted to find time to delve back into the story and finish “the rest of the story“.

Don’t miss this awesome book!

Happy Reading!!!



Review © 2015 DJ Mynatt

Christmas: An Amish Second Christmas | Wiseman/Fuller/Reid/Goyer


Today I’m reviewing An Amish Second Christmas by some of my favorite authors. . . Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid and Tricia Goyer.

Here is the brief synopsis:

When Christmas Comes Again by Beth Wiseman

Katherine Zook and her four children are facing their first Christmas without a loved one, and the future seems dim.But when a mysterious “Englisch” man begins to show up in the most unlikely of places, Katherine can t help but be suspicious . . . and a bit curious.

Her Christmas Pen Pal by Ruth Reid

WhenJoy Stolzfus s boyfriend tells her he wants to court other women, she s shocked.She pours her heart out in a letter, butit mistakenly reaches Noah Esh. The two begin writing letters back and forth, but a misunderstanding threatens to topple the relationship they re building.

A Gift for Anne Marie by Kathleen Fuller

Anne Marie Smucker s life is pretty perfect. Until she discovers her widowed mother is getting married and they re all moving. On top of that, Anne Marie s relationship with her friend Nathaniel has changed, and she s more confused than ever about her feelings for him.

The Christmas Aprons by Tricia Goyer

Esther Glick bakes a Christmas pie for a fundraiser, and she soon finds herself sitting across from bachelor Ammon Schwartz. Esther receives many orders for pies, but when she breaks her wrist, she discovers what community and love are all about.”


An Amish Second Christmas . . . check out these 4 heartwarming stories!Tweet this!



WOW!… I don’t think I can do these authors justice… they’re truly amazing!

Celebrate an Amish Second Christmas… this is a treasured, lighthearted time of community, with four Amish romances!

Each story in this book is a wonderful look at how the Amish celebrate Christmas… and even more important, how they celebrate Second Christmas.

Beth Wiseman wrote a very different kind of story than I was expecting; although unexpected, it was intriguing and entertaining and definitely worth your time!

Kathleen Fuller wrote a wonderful story about love and how we should deal with the boundaries – a very pertinent subject matter.

Tricia Goyer wrote another wonderful story of the Kootenai Amish; I have read (and I own) her others; I’ve enjoyed them thoroughly and knew this one would be great! It’s always fun to read about those sneaky bachelors and the women they seek to win!

Ruth Reid wrote a wonderful story… I totally loved Noah! What a sweetheart! I was relieved when Joy learned to stand up for herself and that her brother-in-law finally listened to her. I’m hoping this story is just the beginning of a series, because I can’t wait to read more!

I was amazed at how easily I went from story to story… nothing clashed; it was a delightful read and I’m hoping to find a few more to help me celebrate the coming holidays!

If you’re looking for a great Christmas read… pick up a copy of An Amish Second Christmas… it’s not too late!

Merry Christmas!



Review © 2015 DJ Mynatt

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