Category Archives: Book reviews

A Must Read!


Life happens and the “Eight” didn’t get together as often as they used to.  They’re together now though.  Well, seven of them are.  They’re at a funeral.  Andy’s funeral.  Not only one of their own but their leader.  The worse part, he killed himself.

This story starts out on a sad note and is filled with so many emotions.  Anger, blame, hurt, love.  Promises were made.  Promises to stay better connected with each other.  Questions, so many questions.  How could Andy have done that?  Why didn’t he reach out to any of them?  They were a close-knit group of life-long friends.  How did they not see he was troubled?

This story captures your attention from the first paragraph and keeps you wanting more.  You can’t put the book down.  You have to see how these friends, from three different cultures, help each other deal with their loss.

Follow the lives of the remaining “Eight” and watch friendships get stronger.  Some even turn to more.  See who makes sacrifices to be with the one they love.




A Strong Bond


When Andy Warner got a call from his little sister Tricia while he and his parents were in Florida, he knew exactly what to do.  He called Logan Clark.  Logan was his best friend and, along with Andy, a member of the Eight.  As children, this group, some Amish, some Mennonite, and some English, had formed a fast friendship and a deep bond.  They made a pact to always be there for each other.  Now in their twenties, that bond still held.

All the Warners where supposed to go on vacation but Tricia hadn’t wanted to go.  What she did do however, was very reckless.  She went to the family cabin in the woods and got stuck there due to a bad snow storm.  What a predicament she had gotten herself in!  The power was out.  Her phone was dying.  The only way she could charge it was to go out to the car.  It was freezing and she was alone in the middle of nowhere.  Until she wasn’t.

Pick up a copy of Gray’s newest novella.  You won’t be able to put it down!  Read Tricia’s story.  Find out who went to her rescue and what happened in the cabin.

I love Kappy and Edie!


Someone attacked Alma Miller, the Bishop’s wife and reigning pie queen, and stole her recipe box right before the annual festival.  Alma had won the pie contest every year for several years.  Would someone really harm her in order to win?  Once again, Edie makes it her business to find out and drags Kappy along for the ride.  Amy Lillard gives us another mystery that has us chuckling at the antics of these two women.

Frannie Lehman, who had been trying to beat Alma for years, was number one on the suspect list as far as Detective Jack Jones was concerned.  Especially after she won the contest.  Kappy just couldn’t believe Frannie could do such a thing and she and Edie set out to prove it.

Edie and Kappy always took Edie’s down syndrome brother Jimmy with them (unless he had to work) because Edie doesn’t think he can take care of himself.  Jimmy is grown but not in Edie’s eyes.  He shows her just how capable he is when they are trapped in a basement bakery with the killer.

Did Frannie Lehman kill the Bishop’s wife for her recipe?  Her pie tasted exactly like Alma’s and she did finally win the contest.  What did Jimmy do to get them out of the basement alive?

Read this well-written story to find the answers to the mystery.

I loved this series and highly recommend it!  Thank you, Amy Lillard, for allowing me to read them.


A Great Read!



This second book in the Love and Promises Series deals with secrets, despair, forbidden feelings, forgiveness, love and trusting God.  I loved Kyle and Leah’s story!

The title of this book is the Midwife’s Secret but, as it turns out, Leah wasn’t the only one living with a secret.  As you get into the lives of the characters, you find out Kyle has his own secret keeping him from the life he should be living.  Long before Kyle’s life changing experience, the doctor and his wife had a huge secret.  I really didn’t see that coming!!

Leah was courting Ben, whom she never seemed to have time for, and learning to be a midwife, which Ben disapproved of.  He didn’t want his wife working and expected Leah to stop once they married.

Kyle Miller was a young Englischer doctor who worked long hours during his residency.  The Mennonite doctor in Lancaster was ready to retire but needed someone to take over his practice.  He called Kyle.  Why Kyle?  Kyle remembered Dr. Hess and his wife but, why would they just hand over their business and home to him?

Read this well written story to uncover all the secrets the pages hold.  This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

The Teacher’s Bride


While uncommon, it’s not unheard of for an Amish man to be a school teacher. Christian Ropp is one of these men. He’s the teacher in Birch Creek. While comfortable in this roll, and very good with his scholars, “Chris” has a difficult time interacting with women his age. That is a big problem when you’re looking for a wife.

Ruby Glick hasn’t found her calling yet. Or a husband which is the reason she leaves her home in Lancaster to move in with her brother and his family in Birch Creek. Prospects are slim in Lancaster. Like Chris, Ruby has a problem interacting with the opposite sex. She gets so nervous she actually gets the hiccups which, of course, embarrasses her.

Chris has his eyes on Martha Detweiler. How is he ever going to get to know her if he can’t even talk to her? Ruby has chosen Seth Yoder. She can’t talk to him without erupting in hiccups. The only one Chris and Ruby seem to be comfortable talking to, beside their families, is each other. They decide to meet every Saturday to help each other out.

How does that work out for them? The title of the book is The Teacher’s Bride…. does that mean Chris, with Ruby’s help, is finally able to court Martha? I enjoyed spending time with Christian and Ruby and hope to “see” them again.

Love this series!!


This story also deals with heartache and blame but also healing.

In this second book in An Amish Homestead series, I enjoyed reading about healing and forgiveness taking root in the lives of Kayla Dienner and Jamie Riehl.

Heartache was once again coming to the Riehl home though.  Jamie’s sister Laura lost her best friend, Savilla Lambert when she suddenly became very ill one night.  By the time Savilla’s husband Allen heard her calling his name in the middle of the night and got her to the hospital, it wasn’t long before she passed away leaving behind her husband of only a couple of years and a baby girl not even one-year-old.  Allen blamed himself for not hearing Savilla’s calls sooner.  She was only twenty-two and she was gone.  They didn’t have enough time together.  Mollie wasn’t even one yet and she was motherless.  How could he have not known his wife needed him?  The blame, grief, and being a single father to a baby girl were hard on Allen.

Read Allen’s story.  How Laura stepped in to care for her best friends’ baby girl.  How she loved little Mollie.  Laura’s boyfriend Rudy was constantly accusing her of stepping into Savilla’s shoes in the Lambert household.  Did she put up with his accusations?  They’d been a couple for a long time although he never mentioned marriage.  Does Allen forgive himself and allow healing to take place?



This is a well written story of heartache, blame, grieving and learning to lean on God.

From page one you’re drawn into to the lives of the Dienner’s and the Riehl’s.  Simeon Dienner was a son, husband, and father to a baby boy.  He was also a volunteer firefighter and died in a fire.   Simeon’s younger brother Nathan was also interested in fighting fires which had sister Kayla worried she’d lose her last sibling.

Dorothy Riehl was a wife and mother.  Her son Jamie was a volunteer firefighter and worked alongside his father and brother on the farm when he wasn’t at the fire station.  Jamie was so busy, in fact, that he never got around to fixing the railing on the cellar stairs.  One day when Dorothy went down to the cellar she fell down the stairs and died.

Firefighting was a big part of this story.  The two families became close friends after a fire destroyed the Dienner’s barn and Jamie was on duty when the call went out.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and couldn’t wait to read the second one Room On The Porch Swing.