Mending Fences (The Deacon's Family #1) by Suzanne Woods Fisher | Amish Fiction Review

Mending Fences (The Deacon's Family #1) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Deacon's Family #1
Amish Fiction

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. He has been allowed to live at Windmill Farm under two conditions. First, he must make a sincere apology to each person he's hurt. 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 isn't so simple. It's gut-wrenching.

And his list keeps growing. Izzy Miller, beautiful and frustratingly aloof, also boards at Windmill Farm, and Luke's clumsy efforts to befriend her 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.

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My Thoughts

I love a fictional trip to the little community of Stoney Ridge. I've been reading about these characters from the beginning and always look forward to seeing what they have been up to since my last trip. When you read long series like this there are always characters that you wonder whatever happened to them. Luke Schrock is one of those people.

We first encountered Luke in The Inn at Eagle Hill series. His story continued with The Bishop's Family series. He was a mess and last we heard he was off to rehab. Well he seems to finally be finished after the third shot at it. But will he be different?

Amos and Fern Lapp have been known to take in troubled kids that need a bit of guidance. With great reluctance they agree to give Luke a place to stay in exchange for help on the farm. 

There's a new girl in town and her name's Izzy. She's a mystery to all of us but it was a joy to see her story unfold. Her character has so many layers. Just when you think you know all there is to know about her something else is revealed.

I don't think that I've ever read a book by Suzanne Woods Fisher that I didn't like. But I am going to say that this book has got to be my favorite so far. There are some things that are revealed at the end of the story that tie several previous events from previous novels together. And guess what . . . I didn't even realize that they were loose ends when I was reading those stories! You would think that after all of these books/series set in the same place with mostly the same people would become monotonous. But you would be wrong. I find them just as fascinating as I did with the first book. 

This is the beginning of a new series but it is also the continuation of a previous set of series. You can of course read this book without having read the previous books, but you would sorely miss out on some very good fiction. I say treat yourself and start at the beginning!

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Suzanne Woods Fisher
Photo Credit: © Dan Davis Photography



Disclosure Statement

I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

 

The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright | Mystery & Suspense Review

The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

Mystery & Suspense

Left at an orphanage as a child, Thea Reed vowed to find her mother someday. Now grown, her search takes her to turn-of-the-century Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin. When the clues she finds lead her to a mental asylum, Thea uses her experience as a postmortem photographer to gain access and assist groundskeeper Simeon Coyle in photographing the patients and uncovering the secrets within. However, she never expected her personal quest would reawaken the legend of Misty Wayfair, a murdered woman who allegedly haunts the area and whose appearance portends death.

A century later, Heidi Lane receives a troubling letter from her mother--who is battling dementia--compelling her to travel to Pleasant Valley for answers to her own questions of identity. When she catches sight of a ghostly woman haunting the asylum ruins in the woods, the long-standing story of Misty Wayfair returns--and with it, Heidi's fear for her own life.

As two women across time seek answers about their identities and heritage, they must overcome the threat of the mysterious curse that has them inextricably intertwined.

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My Thoughts

All of Jamie's books that I have read have an eerie feel to them and this one is no exception. The story goes back and forth between the present and turn of the century Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin. The subject matter centers around an assylum. It also includes post-mortem photography. This book really has a creepiness factor that is quite compelling. I promise you'll come away from it with a whole new appreciation for the subject matter.

What I appreciate about Jamie's writing is that while I was reading the story I kind of felt a tension that made me a bit uncomfortable. I kept thinking is she going to go down the "woo woo" trail and start in with spirits and ghosts? She doesn't. There are characters that believe in those things but the overall story doesn't promote that. It really is just a fascinating read about subjects that are interesting in a creepy way. I enjoyed it and look forward to her next book.

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Jaime Jo Wright



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I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.







The Line Between by Tosca Lee | Thriller Book Review

The Line Between by Tosca Lee

Thriller

In this frighteningly believable thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee, an extinct disease re-emerges from the melting Alaskan permafrost to cause madness in its victims. For recent apocalyptic cult escapee Wynter Roth, it’s the end she’d always been told was coming.

When Wynter Roth is turned out of New Earth, a self-contained doomsday cult on the American prairie, she emerges into a world poised on the brink of madness as a mysterious outbreak of rapid early onset dementia spreads across the nation.

As Wynter struggles to start over in a world she’s been taught to regard as evil, she finds herself face-to-face with the apocalypse she’s feared all her life—until the night her sister shows up at her doorstep with a set of medical samples. That night, Wynter learns there’s something far more sinister at play and that these samples are key to understanding the disease.

Now, as the power grid fails and the nation descends into chaos, Wynter must find a way to get the samples to a lab in Colorado. Uncertain who to trust, she takes up with former military man Chase Miller, who has his own reasons for wanting to get close to the samples in her possession, and to Wynter herself.

Filled with action, conspiracy, romance, and questions of whom—and what—to believe, The Line Between is a high-octane story of survival and love in a world on the brink of madness.

My Thoughts

The publicity on this novel calls it frighteningly believable and I am in agreement with that description. You hear about these crazy cults on the news and this story takes you inside the workings of one such sect. The story is about Wynter Roth and her survival in an apocalyptic cult. The story flashes back and forth between present day and the past. That perspective gives the story added suspense as details are revealed and things slide into place. 

It's been a while since I have read a novel that stressed me out this much. The cult leader is Magnus who is evil cloaked in kindness. When the story begins you don't realize how much danger Wynter is in. But the deeper you get into the story the stronger the sense of doom becomes. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I like Tosca Lee's gritty writing style. But if you are sensitive to the more earthy side of things you may not like this book. There is mild profanity used so be forewarned. I think I enjoy Tosca's books because her characters reflect the real life people that I encounter every day.

I have no idea if this book with have a sequel but I sure hope it does. The story itself is complete but there is still that lingering question of what happens next. Just in case anyone cares what I think . . . my vote is for a book two. 

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Tosca Lee
Photograph © Lee Steffen






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I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Mind Games (Kaely Quinn Profiler #1) by Nancy Mehl | Romantic Suspense Review

Mind Games (Kaely Quinn Profiler #1) by Nancy Mehl

Kaely Quinn Profiler #1
Romantic Suspense

FBI Behavioral Analyst Kaely Quinn's methods may be highly unorthodox, but her talent is undeniable. She's done her best to establish a new life for herself after being demoted and transferred to St. Louis when a reporter revealed she's the daughter of an infamous serial killer. But when that same reporter claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely's, it seems her old life has followed her.

When a body is found that fits the poem's morbid predictions, Kaely and her new partner, Special Agent Noah Hunter, are forced to move past his skepticism of her approach and work together to unravel the deadly riddle.

With a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely must race to catch the murderer before anyone else, including Kaely, is killed.

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My Thoughts

Nancy Mehl has definitely upped her supsense game with the release of Mind Games. I've read several of Nancy's previous novels and really enjoyed them. Something about this book just goes to the next level. I'm not sure if it's the subject matter or just the evolving skills of the writer but it captured my attention and held it like none of the others have.

With this new series we also get a new heroine. Her name is Kaely Quinn and she's an FBI Behavioral Analyst. She's also the daughter of a notorious serial killer. Obviously Kaely has chosen this career to right some wrongs but as you'll find out her motives go deeper than that. She is a character that is not only believable but likeable as well. Nancy's writing allows us to see her from both her professional side and her personal side.

I think I'm like most suspense readers in that I love to try to figure out the killer before the story reveals it. About mid-way through I knew I had it. But then there were some very believable red herrings thrown in that I fell for. I began to doubt my assumptions and waffled back and forth. The fun part is that my original guess turned out right . . . but I wouldn't have voted for that if I had to. To me that is the sign of a wonderfully written tale.

I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment that will be released later this year. If this first book is any indication, it's going to be a thrilling series. There's a little bit of romance thrown in that I look forward to seeing develop further. If romantic suspense is your interest then I recommend you pick this book up.

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Nancy Mehl
Photo Credit: Photo by: Ginger Murray Photography



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I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.




The Christmas Heirloom by Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Sarah Loudin Thomas, and Becky Wade | Christmas Book Review

The Christmas Heirloom by Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Sarah Loudin Thomas, and Becky Wade

Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter,
Sarah Loudin Thomas, and Becky Wade
Historical Romance

In Kristi Ann Hunter's "Legacy of Love," Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman's grandson, a man far above her station.

In Karen Witemeyer's "Gift of the Heart," widow Ruth Albright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love.

In Sarah Loudin Thomas's "A Shot at Love," Fleeta Brady's rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her family's brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance.

In Becky Wade's "Because of You," Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?

My Thoughts

This was the choice of my book club for our annual Christmas book. What a perfect pick! There are four short stories from four very talented writers. I felt like each story could be read in an evening. During this busy time of year that is a real bonus. While each story is a stand alone novella there is a theme that pulls all of them together. The connecting thread that weaves throughout each story is a brooch that is passed from mother to daughter.

I enjoyed each of the stories and can't say that I preferred one over the other. The continuity between the stories was very smooth and made for an overall good read.. The last two stories, A Shot At Love by Sarah Loudin Thomas and Because of You by Becky Wade, are off shoots from their current series. If you're fans of these two authors you definitely don't want to miss this book.

So far this is my favorite Christmas read of the season. If you're looking for a stocking stuffer for your favorite reader this would be a wonderful choice.






Disclosure statement

I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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