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Tuesday, October 31, 2023


Journey with the bestselling Brunstetter authors to the unique tropical Amish community in Sarasota, Florida, along with four young sisters originally from Indiana.
The Seashell Cake by Wanda E. Brunstetter
Leora Lambright is the first to leave home, seeking a warmer climate for health reasons. While on a winter holiday, roofer John Miller meets Leora in the bakery where she is enjoying expressing herself through cake decorating. They are instantly attracted to each other and spend several days bike riding, fishing, playing shuffleboard, and trying local restaurants. But when Leora makes it clear she’ll never again live up north, without explaining why. Has the romance ended before it could even blossom?
The Beach Ball by Jean Brunstetter
Violet, the youngest of the four Lambright sisters, has always been a bit wild. She moves to Florida to live with her sister as she seeks her independence and considers leaving the Amish way of life. She works as a waitress and drives her own car. Her beauty and free spirit attract a lot of male attention like Levi, who is also Amish. When she first meets Dan Hunter, it is his little red sports car that she admires first, but while dating Dan, Levi keeps trying to make Violet commit to him. Can she settle on who should have her heart and how to live out her faith?
Fragments of a Sand Dollar by Richelle Brunstetter
Francine Lambright is heartbroken that her longtime boyfriend, Matthew, is thinking of leaving the Amish faith, and they have broken up. She is ready to join the church, but her sister invites her to Florida for an extended visit before taking the pledge of faith. While shell hunting at Lido Beach, Francine meets Lucas Hayes, and they soon begin seeing each other, despite him being an Englisher. When Matthew shows up in Pinecraft unexpectedly, how will Francine’s heart respond? 
A Sarasota Sunset by Lorine Brunstetter Van Corbach
Alana Lambright has suffered a series of unfortunate accidents and emotional traumas that have left her plagued by anxiety. She turns to art for peace and healing. While on a visit to her sister in Florida, she takes up seashell artwork and accepts a job in a gift shop. James Miller, a recent college graduate, meets Alana, and, due to his own past, he is initially turned off by the fact that she is Amish. Still he invites Alana on adventurous outings. Alana tries to tamp her anxiety to try the activities but fails and feels like it pushes James away. Can they each deal with the heaviness in their pasts to embrace a future together?



I enjoyed following  Leora as she begins to settle into her new place. Having an illness that required her to move has helped a lot, yet at times she is lonely. When she was decorating  the beautiful seashell cake for a wedding I could picture how beautiful it was. Reading about the strawberry desserts  made me hungry and I started craving cookies. I sent my husband to our bakery in town to grab me two keto cookies so I could enjoy them while reading the story. 

John is a sweet man who has recently traveled to Florida. He meets Leora at the bakery. I liked how they struck up a friendship and found themselves at the beach at the same time. It was interesting to learn about the different seashells they found and how relaxing it was to sit on the beach together. 

I loved how the two began to develop feelings for each other and wondered how they would deal with a long distance relationship. The story encourages us to trust God and learn to let go of our insecurities. I did like the persistence of John and how he sacrificed to be with Leora. 


Violet comes to live with her sister Leora and brother-in-law John. She has a bit more freedom being away from her parents and wants to explore wearing English clothing and maybe drifting a little bit away from her upbringing. I like how Violet thinks through everything but still has a hint of wanting to be a little independent. When she meets a nice young Amish boy, they seem to hit it off. It’s funny how they are both going through a phase of testing out the English world. 

Levi and Violet seem to like each other and you can tell Violet is excited to go out with him. He reminds me a little bit like a bad boy trying really hard to impress girls. When he starts drinking beer in front of Violet this should be a red flag for her. Will she be attracted to this guy who lives on the edge at times? Levi doesn’t take  it well when Violet doesn’t want to see him anymore. 

When Dan comes in the scene Violet is smitten with him. He is charming and they find that they have fun together. When they first met they wear both reaching  for a beach ball. How funny that the beach ball is a hit when they go together at the beach. Everything is going well between Violet and Dan until Levi starts to pop up wherever Violet is. Will Levi realize that his actions have pushed Violet away? What happens when Violet tells Dan that she has been hiding a secret about herself? 


As we come  to Francine’s story we see her trying to get over a break up. It has been hard but she knows that she needs to move on with her life. When she is given a month off from her job, maybe she will find peace. Spending time with her sister and brother-in-law in Florida will give her a new direction. So the adventure begins as Francine steps off the bus in Florida.

Lucas is an interesting character who has a job that doesn’t pay well. When he sees Francine at the beach he is immediately intrigued by her. On their first date he seemed to be almost overexcited about being with an Amish girl on a date. His endless questions were a bit annoying  but Francine answers with a sweet spirit. Will their relationship work since one is Amish and the other is English? 

I loved this quote from the  story that says, “Whether we choose to get into situations or they are brought to us, God allows us to go through them for a purpose.” This story is a look at a young woman who is trying to decide if she should join the church and be baptized. I loved watching Francine allow God to direct her and find peace with her choice. 


Our last stop is visiting Alana who is going through an emotional time in her life. The decision to visit her sister in Florida will be a welcome change. I loved that Alana surprises Leora on her birthday. Maybe this will help Alana overcome her struggle with fear by a change of scenery. 

Alana finds a job and is ready to start her new life in Florida. As she is talking to her boss one day, they discuss praying. Patti says, “ Sometimes when we pray and ask Him for something, we expect an answer quickly or we feel like He didn’t hear our request, especially when when the answer He gave was a no.”  We need to remember that God has a plan for us. If we don’t get the answer we wanted from a prayer it may be because He has a different plan. 

When Alana meets James during  a trip with friends at a beach they start up a conversation. They both go together to look for shark teeth which I thought was interesting. Everything  is going well until Alana cuts her foot. Looks like fun is over as she needs to go get stitches on her foot.   

I really enjoyed how these two were able to be open with other and share their struggles. Alana is still having problems with fear and James needs to reconnect with his grandfather. It is nice to see how they both rely on their faith and support each other. I couldn’t wait to see if Anna would decide to stay in Florida. This has been a nice story that  reminds us to put  our trust in God and let go of the past. 

I have really enjoyed each story in this collection. Each one has shown us how to forgive, find hope, let go of the past or  start a new beginning, I didn’t have a favorite  story because each one illustrated God’s unconditional love and plan for our lives. Don’t miss the recipes after each story. They will be fun to make and enjoy. 

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

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