An Escape for Ellie, by Susan Karsten

Here’s the back cover blurb for book #3 in the Honor’s Point series:

Escaping an impending forced marriage, Ellie runs from a loveless match. Rescued and hiding out as a lady’s companion,  she makes the best of her circumstances. When dashing Lord Dare captures her affection, Ellie can’t reveal her true feelings or identity, and is torn from her refuge by an evil abductor. Will true love arrive in time?

An Escape for Ellie is available for pre-order (use the link above). Though available only digitally at this time (due to c*vid), I’d appreciate your support with a purchase at $5.99. Even if you don’t prefer using an e-reader, it would be very nice if you’d just do it for me!

Also, you can go to Amazon and read some of it for free, and read an additional description just to see if you like it.

Thanks, everyone!


Softly Blows the Bugle, by Jan Drexler

Review by: Susan Karsten

This book is a well-crafted historical romantic suspense. Many Amish-themed books are set in today’s world, but this one takes you back to the post-bellum world of Weaver’s Creek, Ohio.

Meet Elizabeth Kaufman, relieved widow. Her husband has died in the Civil War. He was wicked, and she is emotionally scarred by the events of that marriage.

A wounded amputee soldier arrives home with her brother, at the same time, another veteran who is slick and handsome arrives in the community. Good dollops of action and mystery are woven into an engaging novel. Without giving away any more of the story, I will simply recommend this book as a good read and an excellent combination of genres: Amish fiction + romantic suspense + historical fiction.


Buy it here:

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox – a review

From the title, to the cover, to the way the story draws you immediately in, this debut novel delivers.

On top of characters I can relate to, this book contains several high-interest elements. I enjoy reading about adoption mysteries, estate sales, and inheritances – all of which are contained in this book – and I am sure many other people like to read about these situations.

I recommend this very highly.

Something Worth Doing, by Jane Kirkpatrick – a book review by Susan Karsten

Kirkpatrick has developed a successful writing career with her historic fiction, many set in the northwest of the United States. This latest book combines pioneer life, with women’s suffrage.

The first part of the book details how heroine Abigail Scott, a frontier teacher, finds love and marriage. Some interesting details in this section involve a man who wants to marry her for the bonus land it would gain for him. She’ll have none of that, and her father lets her have her way.

Don’t worry, I won’t tell too much and spoil your reading fun!

Through these pages, you will learn about primitive childbirth, experience a serious life-threatening storm, and much more.

I recommend this book.

Here’s the cover of my own latest book:

Available on Kindle Unlimited, Kindle, and in paperback, all on Amazon.

Book Review, Peace in the Valley, by Kelly Irvin

Kelly Irvin really pushes the boundaries of the Amish romance genre with this story. Nora is already set with her special friend Levi. but when a wildfire burns down their town, she becomes a refugee. She goes to a relative who has left the conservative Amish life and is part of a charismatic Amish congregation.

The relatives that give her shelter are pretty pushy with Nora, trying to get her to leave the conservative Amish ways.

So, since the romance is already established, this book is more about the conflict between two types of Amish. That makes it unique and quite interesting.


So, I think you will enjoy this, the latest in author Irvin’s excellent books revolving around the Amish and their lifestyle.

I’ve recently released a book myself:


Aveliable on Amazon! Thanks. Susan Karsten

Book Review: A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham

This was a pleasant, non-suspenseful romance. Agnes Pratt becomes a schoolteacher after fleeing from the East, and from a relationship. Why did she flee? We can tell it wasn’t anything she did wrong, nothing the man, James Harris, did wrong — so what was it?

The events of the book include a Scarlet Fever epidemic, the shock of her former love showing up in “her” town, and the attentions of a second contender for her heart.

A light, enjoyable Christian romance in a Western setting is sure to please the romance reader.

Isn’t that an attractive cover?

Thanks for reading my latest review,

Susan Karsten, author of newly-released cozy mystery:

My Latest Release: The Missing Quilt Mystery, by Susan Karsten

Hi everyone! Susan Karsten here – writing about my newest book. Often, I review the books of others here, but this time, It will be one of my own books — my first cozy mystery!

The Missing Quilt Mystery is available on Amazon, as an e-book, or in paperback. Excitingly, it can also be ordered through Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited!

The story features a main character, Jessica Turner, who is new at the real estate profession (read the book to find out why she moved back to her hometown). Out on her first listing appointment, she stumbles across…should I tell? Yes…a dead body.

The victim’s widow implores Jessica to find the killer, and Jessica becomes quite the amateur sleuth. One of the real investigators, police officer Jamison, yearns to date Jessica but can’t because that would be a conflict of interest. New in town, lawyer Ashton is also interested in Jessica and a few dates ensue…who will win fair lady?

Quilting is one of my top hobbies, so I had to work that into the story. You will enjoy wondering exactly what happens to an antique crazy quilt, and how it plays into the murder mystery.

Other things about The Missing Quilt Mystery: it’s clean, lighthearted, written from a Christian worldview but not preachy, gritty and real, and based loosely on my own hometown. I’d love to tell you more, but I don’t want to spoil any of the fun you will have as you read this book!

Thanks for all your support and I look forward to reading you reviews as well as your comments here.

Susan Karsten

On a Coastal Breeze, by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Opening this book, it’s like walking into a friend’s family home and getting all caught up. Fisher has created an excellent cast of characters for readers to enjoy.

The conflicts are pretty interesting. I don’t want to detail them here, however, because I don’t want to spoil the fun for potential readers. But I will say that the author keeps a good level of suspense, not revealing exactly what is wrong right away.

Another feature of this book is that the story takes place on an island. The island has plenty going on, and needs a lot of work for it to be the kind of destination and liveable community people will want both to visit and to settle.

This is the second book in this series, I also read the first one. Good enough to come back for more, that’s for sure! The Grayson family, with 3 daughters, has many problems, issues, romances, and interesting quirks. Enough to keep you turning pages in order to learn the outcomes.


Cooking Up a Mystery, by Gail Palotta

Image may contain: one or more people and text

Just finished this one, in time for its release, which is today! Congrats to Palotta! Laney and Eric’s romance is the primary focus of this light-hearted, enjoyable cozy mystery. We readers are happy to be along for the ride as two people (who have been burned in the past) cook up a sweet relationship.

Laney has a tea shop/restaurant and she’s super-determined to make it a success. Strange occurences begin, and her fragile peace is threatened.

Eric, incapacitated by an injury to his leg, is unable to physically help Laney, but he wants to help her, that’s for sure. He’s a kind teacher, and meeting Laney and tasting her food gives him bright spots during his confinement.

Palotta cooks up a pleasing romance/mystery, and the recipes at the end of the book are amazing! As they say in restaurants, when they set your plate in front of you, “Enjoy!”

Available on Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.

Thank you!

Susan Karsten, blog author

Everything About Us, by Lisa Lickel

Hi! Susan Karsten here…recently, I mentioned my  new release, Charlotte’s Dilemma, a novella part of a series of 8 novellas connected by a theme. The theme comes from the famous Bible passage Phillipians 4:8 that begins, Whatever is pure…, and ends, …think on these things. Thus, the series subtitle: Ponder This!

But today, we are here to read a review of Everything About Us, a delectable romance set in Wisconsin, and Los Angeles.

PonderThis_series_sm 8 books

Here’s the back cover copy:

Danny Winston, America’s newest heartthrob, thinks he can have it all—his dream business and the girl. He’s sure he can convince Shelly, the woman who made it all possible, to marry him. When things keep going wrong, Danny can’t ask her to be a partner in failure.

Shelly Colter isn’t sure she can give up her California-style life with all the glamour, for a move to quaint, rural Wisconsin. At first, she thought Danny, her leading-man protégé, was all she needed, but when things get serious, her secret might ruin everything.

When Danny and Shelly realize they have a common enemy thwarting their dreams, they can choose to fight for each other or risk losing out to fear. It’s an epic he-thinks, she-thinks, with the truth somewhere in between. Will they stop worrying everything beyond their control and rely on God first, then each other?

For this blog, I interviewed author Lisa Lickel on the topic of Everything About Us, the second volume of a planned trilogy romance between Shelly Colter, a Hollywood advertising agent on the rise, and Danny Winston, an accidental major motion picture actor. The first story, Everything About You, released in March 2016.  The third story, Everything Noel, is due out December 1, 2020, part of the holiday extravaganza from Pelican Ventures.

Lisa Lickel headshot 234kb

Lisa, is there one particular message or “moral of the story” you hope readers walk away with?

The theme “whatever is true” could be shared in so many ways. I hope readers see what happens when we think we’re protecting our loved ones by not sharing our hopes and fears with each other. Even in light fiction a parallel truth can help us see beyond ourselves.

Curious, where did the idea for Everything About Us come from?

When our editor Susan Baganz called for a second series of novellas based on another scripture verse, I naturally thought of my characters from the first series with themes from First Corinthians 13, Love Is… Their story wasn’t complete, and although we knew it ended with an engagement, we didn’t know how it got there. I wanted to fill in that gap.

Tell us about your writing process.

I still like to plot on paper, figure out what research I need to do to get started, and create a notes and research page and a character/scene/setting page to look at while I write. Sometimes I do a synopsis and base my chapters from it. When I’m actively writing I try to aim for a certain page goal or word count. I often share my work with a writing partner or group.

Interesting! Are there any similarities between you and your characters? AND/or are there any parts of the story that are true to life, or based on your experiences?

We are doing more fish farming in Wisconsin, and I based the farm Danny is trying to build on two that I researched and visited. Are Danny and Shelly like me? I suppose there’s a little insecurity and bravado in everyone, isn’t there?

Author bio:

Lisa Lickel is a writer and editor who lives with her husband in the rolling hills of western Wisconsin. A complete list of her novels: mysteries, award-winning romance and children’s books, and contemporary fiction can be found on her website. She has written newspaper features, short stories, magazine articles and radio theater. An avid book reviewer and blogger, freelance editor, and writing mentor, she loves to encourage new authors. She has two grown and married sons and oodles of grandkids. Find more at www.




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