The Preacher and the Shopkeeper, by Irene Onorato

This book starts off with a really fresh premise, and it only gets better from there. The Preacher and the Shopkeeper is a story inside the story of a town that has fallen on hard times. So hard, that the setting almost feels dystopian!  But it’s not…it’s a lovely and humorous tale of a town and a romance between two interesting characters, Ava and Brandon.

One of the hilarious things in this book is when Preacher Brandon Sparks, the hero, comes to town as a new pastor, he goes into his pulpit in the church sanctuary. While he’s getting the feel for the place, a rat appears. It sounds and reads a little gross, but it’s really funny and we quickly learn that it’s the pet…phew, of the janitor. The scene is priceless.

Then, he finds out on Sunday, that the church only has one member left. The janitor. Janitor is a bit of a sage and only one of many priceless characters you will meet in this enjoyable story.

Heroine Ava Kipling is a real pistol and her mom is another character you would love to know in real life. Full of zingers for Ava, mom is a solid rock for Ava’s tumultuous personality to turn to when things go wrong.

I won’t spoil your reading fun by telling a lot more, but the is a book that I highly recommend, and am confident that you will enjoy. The story’s pace and details are spot on, and the redeeming story line is so good!

The Preacher and the Shopkeeper

Book Review: An Amish Picnic – four stories

Four quaint stories of Amish people finding love. Each story features a picnic happening either as a pivotal element or merely one of several settings. Apparently, picnics are one of the courtship process activities that Amish people approve of and enjoy.

Amy Clipston, Kelly Irvin, Kathleen Fuller, and Vannetta Chapman each contribute a tale to this satisfying offering. Impediments daunt the couples, but true love is found by each pair. For one couple, the man’s financial fears slow things down, for another couple, the woman’s self esteem, battered by a speech impediment causes her backward grumpy suitor to walk on eggshells to win her.

Another couple gets tangled in troubles when a chubby heroine gets jealous of the slim blond beauty who shows up at a fishing date. Turns out that’s not a competitor, but the difficulties are rather funny the way the author plays it out. And finally, a women with claustrophobia and a male friend find some old letters, and the mystery behind them leads to a love story of their own.

Very satisfying book for fans of the Amish romance genre. Makes you want to picnic.

american breakfast celebration color

Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

Buttonholed, by Anita Klumpers

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

PonderThis_series_sm 8 booksThe series!

As I review Buttonholed, by Anita Klumpers, in honor of the series of eight books, I’ve developed a list of eight highlights from Buttonholed for this review (first list I’ve ever created for a book review).

List of Eight Things I Loved in Buttonholed:

  1. Literary references are fun to run across when reading fiction.
  2. Hero’s name: Bram (short for Abram), is very cool.
  3. Buttons play a role in the story and I love anything to do with textiles.
  4. Crocheted clothing is mentioned and I love clothing and see above.
  5. Heroine’s mom is an outstanding cook and homemaker (I love homemaking).
  6. Heroine’s mom does heroine’s make-up and heroine doesn’t hate it.
  7. Ice Cream (say no more, right?).
  8. Happy, non-stressful conspiracies are involved.

PonderThis_series_sm 8 books

I LOVED this book! It was sooo fun to read. So intelligent and clever that I wanted it to go on and on and on. I certainly hope author Anita Klumpers resurrects her deft handling of all things southern and writes more in this vein.

Take a romance, throw in some mystery, a family feud, some history, and star-crossed lovers, and you’ve got Buttonholed nailed. I don’t want to give away any more of the yummy, delightful details, because you will want that enjoyment, those surprises, and all that fun all for yourself. Get. This. Book.

BUYING INFO:

Buttonholed (Ponder This)
Amazon.com:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084KH396Z/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_PNAyEbWWPYAPB

Barnes and Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/buttonholed-anita-klumpers/1136387770?ean=9781522398769

PS:

Susan Karsten, blogger and author here…I’d like to add a few words about my own novella, Charlotte’s Dilemma, also in the same series.

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 it 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 on Amazon (only $3.99), Barnes & Noble, and on the Prism Book Group website. Thank you!

CharlottesDilemma_prc5483_680 nice Thank you for your inte

 

 

A Field of Forget-me-nots, by Rachel James

Hi! Susan Karsten here…Today, I’m reviewing a novella which is part of a series of 8 novellas (short novels) connected by a theme which is the famous bible passage Phillipians 4:8 that begins, Whatever is pure…, and ends, …think on these things. Thus we have the series subtitle: Ponder This! Voila.

I just finished reading A Field of Forget-me-nots, and it features a new twist on one of my favorite plots: the marriage of convenience. Well handled by Rachel James, the author, who has penned an engaging tale that satisfies the historical romance reader with her Victorian England setting, and characters you want to root for.

RJ author picAuthor, Rachel James

For your pleasure, I recently interviewed Rachel James:

Rachel, When did you first realize you wanted to write? And what’s the first thing you ever wrote?

I was a child when I knew that I wanted to write. I remember reading a story about a writer, and I knew then that I wanted to do the same, but I didn’t pursue writing until many years later. I wrote my first novel when I turned thirty. I think I realised at that point in my life that it was either start now, or forever put it off! I haven’t looked back since.

 Tell us about your family, where you grew up, and where you live now.

I was the second eldest of five children and grew up in a small seaside town in the East of England, where I lived until I got married and moved north. I currently reside in Yorkshire, and I’ve got three girls between the ages of eight and thirteen.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I think I decided on a new profession every week. I liked to imagine myself in every possible career, but could never settle on one. I look back now and realise I must have been working on character development! I’ve always loved writing though, that is my true passion and I think I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not writing?

It depends what mood I’m in. If I’ve just been writing, my brain is usually too frazzled to want to read anything, so watching movies is probably my go-to. I also love getting out of the house and exploring new historical places or going for long leisurely walks in the open countryside. But when it’s cold and rainy outside, I simply love to snuggle up by the fire with a good book and a hot cup of tea.

What is the greatest life changing moment in your life to date?

Can I have three? Becoming a Christian, meeting my husband, and having my children!

Do you have a particular scripture you view as your life’s verse?

I’ve had different Scriptures at different stages of my life. My current poignant passage at the moment would probably Psalm 23. In fact, it is my heroine’s favourite Scripture in my current work-in-progress.

Please give new writers the counsel you wish you had received when you first entered this writing journey.

Once you’ve written your first book, don’t rush to get it published! It may seem like the best thing since sliced bread, but you’re too close to it to see the flaws. Take time to invest in your craft and make your writing shine!

Tell our readers a little about your new release, “A Field of Forget-me-nots” and when it’s due to be released and where they can find a copy.

AFieldOfForgetmenots_prc5472_300

A Field of Forget-me-nots is due to be released on Friday 13 March. It is a sweet Victorian romance! Here is the blurb:

A Field of Forget-me-nots by Rachel A. James

When the patron of the Foundling School takes pity upon young orphan, Georgiana (Ana) Weston, Lady Dunston raises her as one of her own. However, years pass and Lady Dunston’s health begins to fail. With the Longworth estate entailed away, Ana is faced with an uncertain future.

Mr. Luke Renshaw still mourns the loss of his parents, and would rather travel the world than live in a place that reminds him of so much pain and loss. But responsibilities await, and when his only aunt becomes sick, he returns to Longworth. After all, it is where he will receive his inheritance.

Luke and Ana used to play together as children, though many years have passed and much has changed. The prospect of marriage without love holds little hope for their romantic ideals, and yet it seems the most sensible solution for both parties.

Buy Now:  https://www.amazon.com/Field-Forget-me-nots-Ponder-This-ebook/dp/B084JRTCLQ

Connect with Rachel

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Lucy in Love, by Kimberly M. Miller

Susan Karsten here, with Lucy in Love! A special review for a special novella.

It’s part of a series of 8 novellas (short novels) connected by a theme. The theme is from the famous bible passage Phillipians 4:8 that begins, Whatever is pure…, and ends, …think on these things. Thus we have the series subtitle: Ponder This!

lucy cover large

One of the impressive things about Lucy in Love is the way the author handles the conflict that keeps the lovers apart. What’s different is that it’s not one of those typical spats that a good talk would solve — it’s really deep, meaningful and subtle. They DO try to talk, but it’s not all that easy to get to the bottom of the problem. All the while, reader also gets to enjoy the whole charming setting, characters, and love story. oh, and not to mention, one of the handsomest heroes I’ve run across in a long time, and I do love a handsome hero.

Here’s the blurb:

Things are finally looking up for Lucy Leti. Her bakery is doing well, her friends are amazing, and her family is supportive. She’s even so close to being past the heartbreak of her broken engagement, that she can taste it.

Henry is handsome, successful, and has been secretly in love with Lucy for years. But the musician isn’t the same man Lucy knew in high school—he’s lost weight and gained confidence.

But when the couple’s first date goes terribly wrong, they’ll both need a little perspective to see things clearly.

Author Kimberly Miller:Kimberly Millerpic4

https://www.amazon.com/Lucy-Love-Ponder-Kimberly-Miller-ebook

https://www.amazon.com/Lucy-Love-Ponder-Kimberly-Miller-ebook

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.

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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