Two Steps Forward, by Suzanne Woods Fisher, a book review

This is one of the most entertaining Amish fiction books I have ever read. Woods has really brought readers a beautiful story. Jimmy and Sylvie have a lot going for them as individuals, but life, and surrounding characters make their road to romance difficult.

I enjoyed the elements of adoption, horse farming, cleaning out a barn, jumping over a creek to visit each other, and so many more charming elements. The author had so many interesting things happen and her details are very compelling.


Charlotte’s Dilemma ~ new release!

Hello, faithful blog readers! Instead of my usual book reviews done for books by other authors, this will be a post about my own novella, due for release on March 6, 2020.

This novella came about because of motivation. The motivation was the chance to have my work published in a novella collection with several authors who are with my publisher, Prism Book Group. The genre could have been anything I wanted, but of course I picked my long-held favorite — the Regency Romance.

The theme of this book has to do with injustice turning into blessing. Charlotte’s  a victim of scandal then banished, but she keeps her courage to go on. Not understanding how her current reduced situation is God’s will, she trusts and “does the next thing.”

There are several reasons to read this novella: It’s fun! Even though the victim of a scandal in society, Charlotte’s lighthearted acceptance provides smiles and chuckles. Then there’s the handsome hero, Hugh (and in true Regency mode, you don’t learn his first name until the very end of the story). Another reason to read is to immerse yourself in a clean, pure romance. And finally, if you like the Regency genre, there’s no reason not to enjoy Charlotte’s Dilemma.

Please take a look at Charlotte’s Dilemma, it’s available for pre-order on Amazon (only $3.99), Barnes & Noble, and on the Prism Book Group website. Thank you!

CharlottesDilemma_prc5483_680 nice Thank you for your interest! Susan Karsten




A Long Bridge Home, by Kelly Irvin (book review)

Another thoroughly engrossing book by Irvin. She is one of the best in her genre (Amish fiction). A Long Bridge Home is up to her usual standard of excellence and covers some new ground in the Amish trope department.


Christine and Andy are “special friends”, a term for what young people nowdays call “going out”. But in the Amish world, being special friends normally leads pretty swiftly to the marriage altar. Andy, however, has some baggage to deal with before he’s comfortable moving forward.

Unfortunately for love’s course, events intercede and put even larger impediments in love’s way.  Raging forest fires destroy their small Montana town and they are forced to move away from each other. Also, Christine runs afoul of the domineering and unloving uncle she is staying with. And, Andy’s in a car accident in which his friend and driver is killed.

Their romance is on shakey ground, but the love spark does not die out completely. It’s interesting to see how the author brings resolution. This book kept me reading until the end and I recommend it especially if you like Amish fiction.

One of the special things about the way Irvin writes about the Amish is that she doesn’t sugar-coat them as super-holy. Along the story’s path, we find that they don’t believe in assurance of salvation, something that is clearly shown in the Bible to be a true thing .  But the Amish are proud of their humility (LOL). Also, they are very hard on each other and a lot of pressure to conform keeps people in the Amish religion.

The one thing I didn’t like about this book was a preposterous element in which the heroine, Christine, goes on several jaunts with a native man. Not only is this against her religion to go about with a strange man (she was past Rumspringer, the period when she can run wild and still come back and become a member of the Amish religion), it’s just plain unbelievable that she and Raymond the native would be “friends”.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” Psalm 34:18

If you’re looking for some historical fiction, here are my own books which are available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon:

Thanks for the blog visit, and leave a comment if you’d like.

Review of An Amish Christmas Bakery (a collection of novellas)

Four of your favorite authors in one book! As a Kelly Irvin fan, I read her story first, but then moved on to the other three which were really good and enjoyable.

Each of the stories was set in an Amish bakery. It was interesting to learn little tidbits about their baking distinctives, such as baking with a wood-fired oven. I’d never heard that people were still doing that, and they say that using wood fire to bake lends a special flavor to the baked goods.

Learned a few new Amish words, such as schee, which means pretty. Krank means ill. Froh is happy. I’ve read quite a few Amish novels, but these seemed new, at least to me.

More than some other collections/books, it seemed to present every young Amish man as super-handsome in these romances. Wow, I’ve only ever seen one decent-looking Amish man. Again, that’s just me.

But, these were fun to read and well-done.



Bookmarked for Murder, by V.M. Burns

I reviewed this one back in August, but now it has been published and is available. I’ve been seeing it reviewed in some “high places” lately, so I’m happy for the author. If you like chuckling your way through enchanting cozy mysteries, this one’s for you! A rollicking road trip, followed by a puzzling mystery to be solved.

The book is set in Chicago and western Michigan, and Burns is a real up-and-coming author to be aware of. She set her book in such interesting places and has some hilarious but believable characters you will enjoy getting to know.

I’m not going to reveal much of the plot here, because I don’t want to spoil the fun, but you will meet some very intriguing characters and be kept guessing until the final pages and their satisfying wrap-up. Book is available for pre-order on Amazon.

This review is by Susan Karsten, author of:

both available on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Thanks!



Justice for Hattie Mayfair, by Irene Onorato

Justice for Hattie Mayfair, Irene Onorato’s latest release, has a special place in my “reading heart”. Knowing the author, I had a chance to read the prologue several years ago. It was super-memorable. But Irene set the manuscript aside, meanwhile publishing a series of romantic suspense novels and a couple of stand-alone novels.

She finally got back to “Hattie” as I like to call this book. And I am so glad she did. Wow, can she ever make characters come alive! Her pacing is excellent, and her heroes and heroines are delightful and interesting.


Lexi and Corbin — what a couple!  Their romance leaps off the page, the yearning of their hearts, the trials they go through, the past that threatens to get in their way. Not to mention actual danger.

This book is available on Amazon and is currently free on Kindle Unlimited, and available for regular digital and in print as well. I highly recommend it. A browse through her other books might provide more that pique your interest as well.

This has been another review from Susan Karsten, Thanks for stopping by.



Review of The Roll of the Drums, by Jan Drexler


This is an extremely moving story. Such talent and originality shown by this author. I felt like I was there, back in Civil War days Ohio. Each character is so well-written–  whether it be the hero, the misfit Amish lady who takes care of a critically ill woman, or the young daughter struggling to come to terms with her mother’s illness.

I wanted to cry when the husband…oops, I don’t want to spoil your enjoyment as you discover this one on your own. Again, this author deserves a lot of praise, for this book is something special.