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review 2021-05-10 03:36
A PLAIN MALICE by Amanda Flower
A Plain Malice (Appleseed Creek Mystery Series) (Volume 4) - Amanda Flower

A tour bus from Mississippi goes to the Troyer's farm so see how the Amish live. As Simon Troyer is showing how to milk a cow, two of the tourists drop dead. Now the police and the Ohio Department of Health are all over the Troyer farm. Chloe is called in by Chief Rose to take the place of the deceased tour guide so she can keep the tourists in Knox County to complete her investigation. With the chief's blessings, Chloe investigates and lets the chief know the results of her investigation.

 

I loved this book. I liked that the Chief could work with Chloe. I also liked how things are changing within the Troyer family. I love Grandfather Zook. He is not the staid buttoned-down Amish grandfather. He has a sense of humor that comes out and gets the family through some of the traumas that have befallen them and their community. He and Chloe are great together. I love Timothy and how he has to walk a fine line between his Amish upbringing and what Chloe wants, needs, and expects. He does not always succeed but he and she work it out. Some of the secondary tourists were a riot, especially Gertie and her fish jerky.

 

The story was good and I had a hard time putting it down. I did not figure out the murderer until the end. Sad!

 

I hope this is not the last book of the series. I love these characters.

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review 2021-01-18 03:43
ASSAULTED CARAMEL by Amanda Flower
Assaulted Caramel (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery) - Amanda Flower

 Bailey goes to visit her grandparents when she learns that her grandfather's health is failing. While there she learns of much she did not know about them. She also discovers the body of a man who wants to buy her grandparent's candy shop. With the whole family under suspicion of murder, she needs to find out who did it before one of them ends in prison.

 

I enjoyed this book. It sets up the series well. I liked Bailey. She puts her life on hold while helping out her grandparents. I liked that being with them in the Amish community brings her to question her choices in her English life. The story was good. I did not figure out the murderer until it was explained in the end.

 

I look forward to the rest of the series.

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text 2021-01-07 16:19
Book Blast and Giveaway: First Light in Morning Star by Charlotte Hubbard

[Because facebook has very unfairly blocked my blog, Punya Reviews..., from being promoted on their platform, I'm using my booklikes profile as a "gateway" of sorts so I have a link to promote. I've been trying to reach them by leaving them messages through the Facebook blocks option, however not sure I'll ever be able to have this block lifted as I have no means to reach them directly. More on what happened can be found here.]

 

LINK to my book blast post for First Light in Morning Star on Punya Reviews...:

https://punyareviews.blogspot.com/2021/01/book-blast-and-giveaway-first-light-in.html

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review 2020-07-06 05:00
His Pretend Amish Bride Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book:  His Pretend Amish Bride

Author: Rachel J. Good

Genre:  Amish Romance

Release Date: June 30, 2020

In a small Amish town like Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, one solution to an indiscretion is to get married. Or perhaps, fake a respectable engagement . . .
 
Priscilla Ebersol has a fulfilling life teaching special needs children—until her boyfriend’s humiliating betrayal ruins her reputation and threatens her job. Shunned for something she didn’t do, Priscilla throws herself into a project on the benefits of camel’s milk for autism. Her research leads her to a newly opened Amish camel farm, where she discovers far more than she bargained for. . .

When a pushy Englisch company shows interest in shy, handsome Gabriel Kauffman’s camel farm, he struggles to get out of a sticky negotiation. Lovely, well-spoken Priscilla appears at the perfect moment and defends Gabe’s business so well that she is mistaken for his wife, a pretense they both secretly wish could be true. But though their bond deepens, Priscilla’s heart is still wounded, and Gabe battles with a troubling secret. And when a misunderstanding comes between them, it will take faith, honesty, and trust in God to overcome the past—and to allow their partnership to blossom into something more.


Click HERE to get your copy!


About the Author

 


USA Today bestselling author RACHEL J. GOOD writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her Amish novels. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events.

Rachel is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – the bestselling Love & PromisesSisters & FriendsUnexpected Amish BlessingsSurprised by Love (2021), and two books in Hearts of Amish Country – as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books. In addition, she has stories in many anthologies, including Love’s Thankful Heart, Love’s Christmas Blessings, Plain Everyday HeroesLove’s Truest Hope, and the forthcoming Amish Christmas Twins (September 2020) with Shelley Shepard Gray and Loree Lough. She is also the coauthor of the Prayerful Author Journey: Inspirational Yearly Planner.


More from Rachel

 

A few years ago, I passed Amish camel farm in Bird-in-Hand, PA. As an author, seeing anything new or different always piques my interest, so I went for a visit. Not only did I explore the farm and store, I bought camel’s milk to drink. I think it’s important to do in-depth research for the settings and information I include in my Amish novels.

I was fascinated to discover camels usually bond to one milker, only give a little milk each day, and are extremely expensive to buy. All of those are reasons why camel’s milk is so expensive. It costs $15 for a pint. Much pricier than cow’s milk.

And if you’re wondering how camel’s milk tastes, the best way I can think of to describe it is a slightly salty version of powdered milk. It’s more watery than cow’s milk.

Because I grew up drinking powdered milk during my early childhood years when we lived in Africa, I’d always vowed never again to drink it once we moved back to the United States. A vow I’ve kept. That was never a problem living in Pennsylvania, where there’s plenty of farmland, cow, and Amish, of course.

The camel’s milk was enough like powdered milk to make me gag. But because I want to be sure my books are authentic, I drank it. So, readers, now you know how much a I care about you.

My concern for you also extends to more than just getting factual information correct. I pray for each and every one of you as I write my stories. I hope that they will touch your heart and bring you closer to God.


My Review

 

Although it’s been several years since I’ve been there, one of my favorite day-trips is visiting Sugarcreek and Berlin, Ohio, known where I live as simply Amish Country. Something that surprised me within the last decade or so was the growing market of Amish organic and specialty products, as I did not associate these with the Amish people. I suppose that I never gave much thought to them needing gluten-free, dairy-free, or other specialty items because their lifestyle and diet seems in my mind to be healthier and relatively free of chemical ingredients. This is part of the reason that I loved “His Pretend Amish Bride” so much. It made me think and opened my eyes to the similarities between their culture and ours.

Rachel Good always writes an absorbing story that I find difficult to put down and often end up reading in a few sittings. Whether intentional or not, I think that “His Pretend Amish Bride” releases at the perfect time because it highlights how much we actually have in common with the Amish, rather than how different we are, dispelling the large-scale “us vs. them” mentality that is currently tearing our nation apart. This was the first time I had heard of camel’s milk and it being used for those with specific health conditions, particularly autism. I find this information fascinating and exciting because it is a natural alternative. I also had no idea that the Amish might own camel farms, or that such places even existed in the US, for that matter! The issues that Gabriel Kauffman faces with his camel farm due to problems with Englishers demonstrate that the Amish are not immune to being taken advantage of either. Their approach, however, to such situations and to life in general, is often much different from ours, although it shouldn’t be. We should also seek to live at peace with others and to do what is right, whether we end up benefiting from it or not, and we should learn to trust God more instead of trying to take control ourselves.

This novel offers a heartfelt glimpse at romance and special needs, also. As Priscilla tells Alyssa, the Amish aren’t perfect either and need Jesus just as much as everyone else, including us. Good points this out to readers right from chapter one with Matthew’s betrayal, but goes on to show how one can still respond out of God’s love. I loved that Priscilla works at an Amish special needs school, which is something else that I did not realize existed, and the inclusion of the hippotherapy program (which is the focus of book one in this series) toward the end of the narrative tied in nicely. All of the elements that Good incorporates blend into a beautiful story about how God uses what seems to be our darkest moments to bring our greatest joys when we trust Him and live to honor Him.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

 

Blog Stops

 

Through the Lens of Scripture, June 29

The Avid Reader, June 29

Among the Reads, June 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 30

Texas Book-aholic, July 1

Blogging With Carol, July 1

Inklings and notions, July 2

Batya’s Bits, July 2

She Lives To Read, July 3

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, July 3

Splashes of Joy, July 4

reviewingbooksplusmore, July 4

For Him and My Family, July 5

Books, Life, and Christ, July 5

For the Love of Literature, July 6

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 7

deb’s Book Review, July 7

Blossoms and Blessings, July 7

Older & Smarter?, July 8

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 8

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 8

Reading Is My SuperPower, July 9

Bigreadersite, July 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 10

Maureen’s Musings, July 10

Pause for Tales, July 11

Lighthouse Academy Blog, July 11 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Artistic Nobody, July 12 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Vicky Sluiter, July 12

 
 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of the book and $25 Amazon gift card!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

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review 2020-04-22 06:30
Amish Country Murder Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book:  Amish Country Murder

Author: Mary Alford

Genre:  Amish Suspense

Release Date: March 1, 2020

An Amish woman targeted by a serial killer

Is the only living witness…

As the sole woman to escape the Dead of Night Killer, Catherine Fisher’s the key to catching him—if he doesn’t kill her first. Now it’s up to FBI agent Sutter Brenneman to protect her. But with her memory missing and all clues indicating the serial killer took her for very personal reasons, it’ll take everything Sutter has to keep her safe.



Click HERE for your copy!
 

About the Author

 


USA Today Bestselling Author, Mary Alford, loves giving her readers the unexpected. Her titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestselling List, Publisher’s Weekly bestselling list, and have finaled in the Daphne Du Maurier award of excellence in mystery, The Beverly, The Maggie, and The Selah Awards.

As a writer, Mary is an avid reader. She loves to cook, can’t face the day without coffee, and her three granddaughters are the apple of her eye. She and her husband live in the heart of Texas in the middle of 70 acres with two cats and one dog.

Mary is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Facebook and Twitter or any social platforms listed at www.maryalford.net.
 

More from Mary

 

Thank you for coming with me on this journey to the mountains of Montana, where the Amish Community of West Kootenai is nestled in the wide-open spaces of Big Sky Country, and a simple Amish way of life can be anything but. Especially when a serial killer is lurking nearby, waiting to take his next victim, and the clock is ticking.

Amish Country Murder is my second book set in the Amish Community of West Kootenai, Montana. My first book, Amish Country Kidnapping is available now at most book retailers.

As a reader, one of my favorite genres is Amish Suspense. There’s just something about a story that pits the simple and innocent Amish lifestyle with the dark and sometimes deadly world of a suspense. Good versus evil, so to speak.

When Catherine Fisher escapes the clutches of a serial killer, she can’t remember as single thing about her past before the monster took her.

FBI agent Sutter Brenneman has been working the Dead of Night Serial Killer case for a while. Catherine is his first living victim. Protecting Catherine and finding the killer before he strikes again is critical. Hiding out in Amish Country, Sutter is surrounded my memories of his own Amish past, rekindling old longings for the life lost to him. Is it possible to have it back? In the middle of a killer stalking their every move, Catherine and Sutter share many tender moments as their feelings for each other grow into love.

One of the things I love most about the Amish is their amazingly simple recipes that remind me of my childhood and the meals my mother used to prepare.

During one meal shared with an Amish couple, Catherine and Sutter enjoy sweet potato croquettes with meat loaf. Sweet potato croquettes are a simple side dish that is delicious and easy to prepare. I thought I’d share this recipe with you here.

AMISH SWEET POTATO CROQUETTES

  • 1 pt. of mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 tblsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tblsp. sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • breadcrumbs
  • marshmallows (optional)

Mash sweet potatoes very fine.  Add salt, sugar and melted butter to mashed sweet potatoes. Shape sweet potatoes into croquette rolls or patties.  Cool them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and roll in breadcrumbs.  Dip them in the slightly beaten egg white, and then into the crumbs again. Bake in a shallow, greased baking dish for 20 minutes, at a temperature of 400 degrees F.  For an even sweeter version of this dish, you can place a marshmallow in the center of each (make sure it is covered completely by the potato mixture).

I so hope you enjoy this recipe and Amish Country Murder. And stay tuned for my next Amish Suspense set in West Kootenai, coming in November of this year.
 
 

My Review

 

“She was completely at her kidnapper’s mercy. And he had none.”

Wow! Of the Love Inspired Suspense titles that I’ve read, Mary Alford’s “Amish Country Murder” definitely takes the top spot! By implementing common thriller tropes in a unique manner and setting, Alford crafts an original and addictive story that you will not be able to put down. The story opens shortly before the main character escapes from the person who kidnapped her, a ruthless serial killer who has already murdered six women and has been nicknamed the Dead of Night Killer. But she won’t get away that easily, as the killer continues to pursue her despite protective measures. To complicate matters, she has amnesia and can remember only her first name, Catherine. As bits and pieces of her life begin coming back to her, Catherine finds herself in increasing danger by a killer with whom she seems to share some kind of connection, if only she could remember what it is before it’s too late.

Alford skillfully writes a page-turning suspense novel that turns the normal genre features on their head and will leave you breathless. I sympathized with Catherine’s character and was rooting for her to remember but also to stay safe. Despite being described as physically small, she is strong for having survived and fought back against the killer both during and after her captivity. I love how her faith in God plays an integral role in her identity, and how even when she does not know who she is, she still communicates with God. FBI agent Sutter Brenneman did not seem to me to fit the bill of hero immediately, but I appreciated his own tangled past and his push to move forward and to protect. The Montana setting is unique and adds to the story’s flavor. As much as I could not wait to find out the answers behind this book’s mysteries, I was sorry to see it end.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

 

Blog Stops

 

Batya’s Bits, April 14

Genesis 5020, April 14

The Avid Reader, April 15

Maureen’s Musings, April 15

Betti Mace, April 16

janicesbookreviews, April 16

She Lives To Read, April 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 17

Texas Book-aholic, April 18

deb’s Book Review, April 18

Inklings and notions, April 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 19

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 20

For Him and My Family, April 21

Older & Smarter?, April 21

My Devotional Thoughts, April 22

For the Love of Literature, April 22

Artistic Nobody, April 23 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Pause for Tales, April 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 24

Hallie Reads, April 24

Because I said so and other as adventures in parenting, April 25

Emily Yager, April 25

SPLASHES of Joy, April 26

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 26

Blossoms and Blessings, April 27

 
 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize package of a Lavender Spa 10-piece Gift Basket with Tote, and a print copy of Amish Country Murder!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

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