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Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Welcome back to the third installment of Amish Shop Mysteries. I am so excited to share my thoughts about this book. It was quite intriguing and I could not stop reading it. We return to the bake shop where Katie and Freida work. I loved how the author described the baking procedures that Katie worked on. I could see her working the dough and adding lemons to make special desserts for customers. The aroma of peanut butter cookies filled the shop. Can you imagine walking in and smelling fresh bread hot out of the oven? 

If you have read the previous books you may remember that there was a relationship blooming between Mrs. Simpkins and Mr. O'Neal. Well maybe I assumed they were getting closer, because it seems they are not quite talking to each other. Katie and Freida notice a distance between the two and wonder what is going on. Katie thinks she needs to interfere, oh I mean help the couple out. I loved the scene when Mrs. Simpkins and Mr. O'Neal are seen in a heated conversation right outside the bake shop. What are they arguing about? How long will it take for the town to start gossiping? 

I enjoyed how the author included something from the previous book about Katie and her fear of coming into the store early by herself. She thought she had gotten over that, but something is making her feel uncomfortable. Is there something going on with Mrs. Simpkins and the bakery? 

One of my favorite parts of the book was getting to know Freida better. She is a good person, but likes to gossip a bit. She is a big help at the bakery and wants to learn as much as she can. Freida is struggling with joining the church and getting married. I loved the talks she has with Katie about her struggles. Katie is having her own doubts about joining the church as well. Her prayers are so genuine and filled with hope. The book is a wonderful story filled with surprises that caught me off guard. I loved the theme of family, friendship and faith . This is one story you don't want to miss. Make sure you try out the recipes in the book. They sound delicious. 

I received a copy of this book from the author. The review is my own opinion.


I love when an author can sweep me away to a different era and make me feel like I'm part of the story. Yes I felt like I was watching the story unfold as Maude tries to prove to her father that she is capable of running their Inn. Her father of course doesn't believe a woman can do such a huge undertaking. I loved how Maude was determined to prove him wrong no matter what she had to endure. Her father still thinks that in order to run the Inn Maude must be married. Well we can forget that for now. What does  her fiancĂ© do to let Maude know he is not interested in her anymore?

I absolutely loved Frederick Konig . He has led everyone to believe that he is a wealthy German , but what secret is he hiding? I loved the intrigue that surrounded him and his heroism in saving lives. He has shown the town that he can be trusted  and people begin to embrace him.  The description of the island is breathtaking. I can imagine the beautiful scenery and the ships as they come  to dock. As Frederick and Maude get to know each other, will they share their secrets? What does God have in store for them? Will Maude find out why her father's plans are for the Inn ? There are secrets among people who could have a devastating affect on others. I loved how the author gives us wonderful subtle hints along the way that make readers wonder what was to happen to the Inn after Maude's mother passed away.  Will the Inn stay in the family or will someone else take it over? What is in a letter that is addressed to Maude? It seems official but will she receive it, or will someone hide it for their own benefit.

The story captures the true meaning of trust, and forgiveness. You don't want to miss this enchanting visit to Mackinac Island.

"Sometimes God has to put us in a place where He can mold us ready us for something new."

I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing. The review is my own opinion.

Sunday, July 23, 2017


I think this has been one of the best books I've read from this author. She captured the hurt and shame of a young woman who carried a secret for a long time When Josie  was introduced I immediately identified with her. She is tough, has trouble with relationships and trusting others is not easy for her.

Noah is what every woman longs for. He loves unconditionally and never gives up. He works hard and his tender side really showed up in this story. I loved when Josie  went to deliver divorce papers to Noah after a mix-up determined they were still married. All Josie wanted to do was get Noah's signature and be done with another bad relationship. I could feel the tension between the two and knew they had some unfinished business.

The best part of the  entire story is when they get trapped in a snow storm and are left to rely on each other. The author does an amazing job of allowing readers to feel the cold and wet snow as her words were so vivid. I could see them shivering and hope disappearing as the day turned to night. Josie has hidden something from Noah during their marriage that has a major impact on their relationship. When Josie begins to let her guard down and tell Noah the terror she went through as a child, I cried. I knew how she felt not believing she was important and wondering where God was. Will Noah forgive Josie for the things she did in their marriage to push Noah away? Can Josie forgive herself  and allow God to heal her heart? This is one book that I will never forget. The author does a great job in telling a story about a subject that is painful . She does  it with grace and compassion and shows  how unconditional love  heals wounds. This story could have been written about me, because I lived through what Josie  endured starting at age twelve. I can assure the author that she did the story justice and helped me get closer to emotionally healing from wounds that have left me broken for years. To all the Josie's  out there, don't give up. To the Noah's out there, thank you for loving unconditionally.

I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.


I have come to really love this series. I love how the author brings strangers together for a cooking class. They all meet in an Amish home where Heidi and Lyle live. Heidi is such a sweet and compassionate person. Her heart is full of love and kindness. After a devastating loss, Lyle thinks it is time for Heidi to teach another cooking class. The description of the Amish lifestyle is very well written and shows how much the author knows about the Amish culture.

As each student was introduced, we get a little background on their life. Each one comes from different places, but they each  were seeking, acceptance, love, friendship and for some , forgiveness. I loved how each character blended well into the story. I have to say that I wanted to be in the kitchen as one of the students. I could feel how much Heidi loved to share her cooking skills . She made everyone feel welcome and had that tender touch of listening and guiding her students to overcome their obstacles. It was nice to have a few previous students visit in the story. The author has a wonderful style of writing which brings readers right into the story. After each class, Heidi gives the students a recipe card with a scripture on the back. I loved how those scriptures impacted their lives.

I don't have a favorite character because I felt they each played a key role in the overall story. Each character has something they are dealing with that centers around forgiveness and disappointment. At the end of the book the author has included discussion questions. I loved reading them and thinking about my answers to them. As an added bonus recipes are included at the end also. I know there are several I am going to try. Overall the book was very touching and I loved how the characters were able to open up and trust each other. I am looking forward to the next book in this wonderful series.

I received a copy of this book from the author. The review is my own opinion.

A Letter from Lancaster County Kate Lloyd

About the book:
Two sisters get a second chance at life and love

Angela--- Her mother's untimely death, a struggling marriage, a strained relationship with her sister, Rose, and regrets over what might have been haunt her. Despite being a wife and mother, she feels she has little to show for her life.
Rose-- Still single, she longs for a husband and children. But Angela has all that and still isn't happy. Rose wants to be closer to her older sister, but she and Angela couldn't be more different. Both strong women, will their sibling rivalry ever end?
* * *
When a letter arrives from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Angela and Rose decide to visit Aunt Silvia, their mother's Mennonite sister, in the heart of Amish country. This vacation could provide the opportunity both sisters need to sort out their issues. And yet instead of finding a new way of connecting with each other, Angela and Rose discover surprising family secrets that add to their strife and threaten Rose's romance with a new beau.
Through it all, the two sisters must find the faith necessary to face their personal problems and allow God to restore hope and healing to their hearts and relationship as only He can.

About the author:

Kate Lloyd is a bestselling novelist whose books include "A Portrait of Marguerite" and the Legacy of Lancaster trilogy. A native of Baltimore, she enjoys spending time with friends and family in rural Pennsylvania and is a member of the Lancaster County Mennonite Historical Society. She now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband.
Find out more about Kate at
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What a wonderful story of two sisters who find themselves learning to accept each other . The invitation to visit their aunt  must have surprised the sisters, but it will be a trip they will never forget. I loved how the author described the town and all the beautiful landscape. Aunt Silvia is one tough lady. She is fragile and quite ill but so wants to share memories with the girls. Right away you can see the different qualities Rose and Angela have . Rose is a sweet girl who sometimes is not sure of her abilities. She longs for a family and seems to be a bit jealous of her sister. Angela seems to have the perfect life. She has a wealthy husband and two children she adores, but both sisters are unhappy with their lives.

I loved the times that the girls spent with their aunt at her place. It was definitely a culture shock with no electricity or modern conveniences.  As the sisters start to go through things in the attic a secret is revealed. Will this secret destroy the family? Can Rose and Angela learn to forgive someone close to them ? It is a wonderful story that explores the dynamics of two sisters and their jealousy towards each other. It's funny how they each want happiness and think the other has that. The lessons in the story are good as Rose and Angela start to open up to each. Will they be able to repair their relationship? Can aunt Silvia find a doctor that can help her overcome her illness?

The book is filled with life lessons and reminded me of how we think someone else's  life looks better than our own. As the sisters start to look at their life, they find that they need to work on making themselves happy and being thankful for what they have. There are some emotional moments that really capture the essence of bonding with family. I enjoyed the ending and am looking forward to the next book in the series.

I received a copy of this book from LitFuse. The review is my own opinionLanding page:


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of A Letter from Lancaster County

  • A Kindle Fire

Another grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of A Letter from Lancaster County

  • A queen-size Amish quilt


Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on July 27. The winner will be announced July 28 on the Litfuse blog.

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