Monday, June 13, 2022

Review ~ Amish Friends 4 Seasons Cookbook by Wanda Brunstetter


About the Book

Fresh Recipes for Each Season of the Year
Do you strive to eat what local, fresh, and in season? Then this is the cookbook for you. Organized by the winter, spring, summer, and fall seasons, there are a bounty of recipes for various ways to use up seasonal fruits and vegetables. Sprinkled with tips for growing and harvesting, too, the well-organized book boasts contributions from Amish and Mennonites from across the United States who are fans of author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter. Encased in a lay-flat binding and presented in full color, it is a must-have cookbook for anyone who gardens, participates in a CSA, or enjoys farmers’ markets.


My Review 4.5 STARS

It being close to summer, I decided to try making the recipe that most closely resembles my favorite summertime dessert, Peach Cobbler. The recipe in Amish Friends 4 Seasons Cookbook I chose to make is entitled Peach Cream Pie (pg. 78) and let me tell you it is sooooo good! I used fresh peaches, following the recipe exactly as written which for me is unusual. I admit I am a canned peach person but the pie was sweet and tasty and had a custard-like filling that made my mouth water! I served it to our family after dinner and I must be honest and say that only two out of five of us liked it but we also are the only two that also like custard. I’m sure that’s a texture thing. ;)

I also made Baked Oatmeal (pg. 179), using the suggestion to add canned Blueberries to the bottom of the dish before putting in the oatmeal mixture. Oh. My. I will be making this again. Both recipes were easy to prepare and quite tasty. The cookbook has a spiral binding which makes it easy to fold back and not have to worry about it falling over or anything like that. Lots of pretty color photos of food dishes for all seasons of the year too!

If you’re looking for simple recipes and some down home comfort food, look no further! I’m planning on trying more of these scrumptious looking recipes as the year goes on. I also think this would be a fairly easy cookbook for a beginner cook.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Review ~ The Souls of Lost Lake by Jaime Jo Wright


About the Book

To save the innocent, they must face an insidious evil.

Wren Blythe has long enjoyed living in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, helping her father with ministry at a youth camp. But when a little girl in the area goes missing, an all-out search ensues, reviving the decades-old campfire story of Ava Coons, the murderess who is believed to still roam the forest. Joining the search, Wren stumbles upon the Coonses' cabin ruins and a sinister mystery she is determined to unearth.

In 1930, Ava Coons has spent the last several years carrying the mantle of mystery since the day she emerged from the woods as a thirteen-year-old girl, spattered with blood, dragging a logger's ax. She has accepted she will never remember what happened to her family, whose bodies were never found, and that the people of Tempter's Creek will always blame her for their violent deaths. And after a member of the town is murdered, and another goes missing, rumors spread that Ava's secret is perhaps more malicious than previously imagined.

Two women, separated by time, must confront a wickedness that not only challenges who they are but also threatens their lives, and the lives of those they love.


My Review 5 STARS 

“We’re all lost in our own ways. Some of us just hide when we shouldn’t. We hide in our grief, in our minds, in our pain…in the woods…or in a story, like Ava Coons.”

Dual time lines (or time-slip) novels are some of my favorites to read, especially when they are high caliber like The Souls of Lost Lake. The suspense is phenomenal, as always, but there is just something about this tale that grabbed hold of my imagination and will not let go. Maybe because I love “camp fire tales” and my husband and I told so many of them to our children during their growing up years that this book resonated with me as much as it did. I don’t know. I do know that for the last two weeks since I finished the book, Ava Coons still rattles around in my brain almost daily!

Wright turned up the “heebie-jeebies” with this one and provided a feast for the senses. The characters jumped off the paper, cementing themselves in my mind, because they were not going to let me get away. Excellent, excellent summer reading!!! I’d give this book 10 stars if I could!

I was provided a copy by the publisher through Netgalley. No compensation has been received.

Review ~ Among the Innocent by Mary Alford


About the Book

When Leah Miller's entire Amish family was murdered ten years ago, the person believed responsible took his own life. Since then, Leah left the Amish and joined the police force. Now, after another Amish woman is found murdered with the same MO, it becomes clear that the wrong man may have been blamed for her family's deaths.

As Leah and the new police chief, Dalton Cooper, work long hours struggling to fit the pieces together in order to catch the killer, they can't help but grow closer. When secrets from both of their pasts begin to surface, an unexpected connection between them is revealed. But this is only the beginning. Could it be that the former police chief framed an innocent man to keep the biggest secret of all buried? And what will it mean for Leah--and Dalton--when the full truth comes to light?

USA Today bestselling author Mary Alford keeps you guessing as two determined souls plumb the dark depths of the past in order to forge a brighter future--together.


My Review 4 STARS

Among the Innocent is a riveting thriller set in St Ignatius, an Amish community in MT. This novel has all the creep factors multiplied by 10. While the crimes are revolting, I couldn’t put it down.

Leah’s family was murdered in front of her but the killer let her live. Now he’s back and he wants her. But he’s going to play a little game first. The psychological aspect captured my full attention and I felt like I was solving the murders right along with Leah and Dalton. Their stories are entwined as well and that was an interesting plot twist. I liked both of these main characters a lot.

This was my first book by Alford but it won’t be my last. Fans of Amish and non-Amish suspense will enjoy this one.

I received an electronic copy of the book from the publisher through Netgalley. No compensation has been received.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Rebecca Reviews ~ The Sweet Life (Cape Cod Creamery #1) by Suzanne Woods Fisher


About the Book

Dawn Dixon can hardly believe she's on a groomless honeymoon on beautiful Cape Cod . . . with her mother. Sure, Marnie Dixon is good company, but Dawn was supposed to be here with Kevin, the love of her life (or so she thought).
Marnie Dixon needs some time away from the absolute realness of life as much as her jilted daughter does, and she's not about to let her only child suffer alone--even if Marnie herself had been doing precisely that for the past month.

Given the circumstances, maybe it was inevitable that Marnie would do something as rash as buy a run-down ice-cream shop in the town's tightly regulated historic district. After all, everything's better with ice cream.

Her exasperated daughter knows that she's the one who will have to clean up this mess. Even when her mother's impulsive real estate purchase brings Kevin back into her life, Dawn doesn't get her hopes up. Everyone knows that broken romances stay broken . . . don't they?

Welcome to a summer of sweet surprises on Cape Cod--a place where dreams just might come true.


Rebecca's Review 3.5 stars

"Dawn felt queasy, thinking of what a cliche she'd become. Jilted. Just two months before the wedding. Maybe not left at the altar, but pretty darn close."

Yet, Kevin wanted her to take their non-refundable honeymoon trip to Cape Cod and enjoy it with someone else. Dawn chose . . . her mother? Leaving her fast-track-to-the-top job behind in Boston, Dawn and her mother Marnie, headed towards the upscale hotel in Chatham that should have been paradise, but "the loss she felt over losing Kevin hurt in a way she didn't know if she could ever fully recover from". As if that wasn't enough to make Dawn want to bury herself in the sand like a crab, her polar-opposite, pie-in-the-sky mother had managed to fall in love herself, with an old historic building, formerly known as The Main Street Creamery".

As Dawn is pulled into helping her mother bring the old establishment back to life, the two of them discover that the building isn't the only thing that is being given a second chance at life in Chatham. Marnie's grief over the recent death of her husband, coupled with her recent health problems are being eclipsed by some brand new dreams of her own, and Dawn . . . . well, Dawn is rediscovering, or maybe allowing herself to discover for the first time, her amazing creativity; with of all things . . . . ice cream flavors.

But all is not going as perfectly as the mother-daughter team would like to believe. Historic buildings require a certain measure of authenticity, and Chatham's historic commission is unbending about its regulations. Dawn and Marnie need help; they need a rescuer, maybe even two.

What a charming story!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Review ~ The Little Women Devotional by Rachel Dodge

Devotional Inspiration from the Lives of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy
The Little Women Devotional offers lovely inspiration that explores the themes of faith, family, contentment, wisdom, and joy in the classic Louisa May Alcott novel, cherished by generations of readers.
Each reading corresponds with a chapter from the book and invites you to embrace God’s guiding hand in your life as His cherished daughter. This beautiful chapter-by-chapter devotional includes original artwork throughout, and each reading includes examples from the novel, scripture, life application, and prayers perfect for groups, book clubs, or personal reflection.


My Review 4 STARS
Dodge has written a darling companion devotional based on one of my most favorite classic novels, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. One of the sweetest things about this devotional is the lovely art work! Faith and family are integral in this devotional, making it one I recommend whether you are a fan of the classic novel or not.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.