Reviews by Anne Blackburne

  • Reviews by Anne Blackburne

    Time for some Amish Book Reviews!

    I’ve read a number of good Amish romances and sweet Amish mysteries lately, but I haven’t had time to review them for a few weeks. So here is a catch-up post!

    Amish Snowbirds by Barbara Cameron

    I recently read “Amish Snowbirds” by Barbara Cameron, a novella that takes place in the Sarasota, Florida area in the Amish town of Pinecraft. Lots of Amish folks head there every winter to get a break from the northern cold. I’ve now read two books set there; “Amish Snowbirds” and Wanda Brunstetter’s collection, written with three of her family members, “Sisters by the Sea”.

    I enjoyed both books a lot! But I digress. “Amish Snowbirds” deals with a young Amish woman who is running away from an unpleasant situation back home, and a young man who lives year-round in Pinecrest with his grandfather. They meet, and love blooms. But Lizzie must find the courage to tell Eli what it is that haunts her back home. Will her trust issues end their promising relationship before it really begins? By the way, now that I’ve read these two books, I’ve added Pinecraft to my bucket list places to visit! I’m hoping to get there next winter. Maybe after that I’ll set a story of my own there!


    Wife on His Doorstep, by Patricia Johns

    I just finished reading Patricia Johns’ book, “Wife on His Doorstep,” from Love Inspired. In this story, Mirium Lapp and her estranged husband, Amos, must figure out whether it is a lack of love keeping them from living together happily, or simply a lack of understanding.

    At the beginning of the story, Mirium, who was raised by her successful, businessman father to be able to run a business empire, arrives unannounced on her husband’s doorstep, in search of some documents which she needs to claim the one business left to her by her father. It seems that after spending years teaching Mirium to be a businesswoman, her father decided she shouldn’t be one after all, and left everything else to his son.

    Determined to have something of her own, she goes home, where she finds her husband caring for his dying grandmother; a woman Mirium loves dearly. She agrees to stay and help care for the elderly lady, fully understanding that matchmaking is in the plan; a plan to reunite a husband and wife who have more in common than they both think. This is a very good book — no surprise from Patricia Johns. And the ending is really satisfying!


    Agatha’s Amish B&B Series, Books One – Three, by Vanetta Chapman

    One of my favorites recently was Vanetta Chapman’s cozy mystery series set in Texas, “Agatha’s Amish B&B” stories. First up was “Dead Wrong” in which we meet Agatha and her neighbor, ex-detective Tony Vargas. The two work together, along with Agatha’s housekeeper and friend, to solve the murder of a guest. The second book, The second and third books are “Dead Broke” and “Dead Set”. This is a really good series, and for fans of Chapman who have read her other Amish mysteries, you’ll get to reconnect with an old friend – a character from a previous series! I highly recommend this series. I hope she writes more books in it. Vannetta’s sweet Amish mysteries have given me ideas about writing sweet Amish mysteries of my own! Watch for more on that in the future!


    The Courtship Basket, by Amy Clipston

    Finally, I read “The Courtship Basket” by Amy Clipston. This book is part of a series, but can be read as a stand-alone. Rachel has been dumped by her boyfriend for her best friend! A double betrayal that is twice as hard to take. Meanwhile, Mike is struggling to raise his much younger brother as their father has become too infirm to do so. They meet when Rachel becomes the child’s teacher…and the attraction is instant. But they struggle against it! A family heirloom picnic basket brings them together. I loved this story, and plan to read the other books in the series.


    In fact, Amy Clipston may just be a new favorite author for me! This is a happy thing, as we are included together with authors Mindy Steele and Amy Lillard in a collection of Christmas novellas coming out September 1 called “A Lancaster Amish Christmas“! What an honor for me! And isn’t the cover stunning? I’m nearly finished editing my story. Here’s a hint; it’s about Lucy, a young Amish woman raising her little sister, who has Down Syndrome. When she made the decision to do so, her “almost fiancée”, John Zook, dumped her like a hot brick and married someone else. That’s fine with Lucy; why would she want a man who thought she would give up her beloved sister just to get married? She’s perfectly happy on her own, thank you very much. Then along comes handsome, compassionate and accepting hardware store owner Amos Fisher. And Lucy might just be ready to consider taking another chance on love!


    So if you’re looking for a new Amish romance or mystery author, look no further. These books are all good, and I think you’ll be happy with any of them.

  • Reviews by Anne Blackburne

    Happy Release Day for “A Quilt Room Secret” by Lisa Jones Baker!

    From Barbour Publishing’s Heart of the Amish series, comes book #3 in the series, “A Quilt Room Secret“, by Lisa Jones Baker. This is the third book in the series in which my debut novel, “Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise” is book #2. Book #1, in case you missed it, is “The Flower Quilter” by Mindy Steele.

    This is a delightful book about two people who have been best friends . . . and maybe more? . . . all their lives. Except for that unfortunate period of time when one of them moved away.

    “As they took turns pushing each other on the swing that hung from a large tree, the mature—for a five-year-old—Jacob Lantz asked Trini Sutter to marry him. The nine-year-old thoughtfully responded that she’d consider his proposal when they were older.
     
    Nearly two decades later, the Amish farmer returns to the beautiful countryside of Arthur, Illinois, to take the independent owner of The Quilt Room up on her promise. Quiet, handsome Jacob is truly in love with the spirited list maker, and Trini finds herself falling in love with Jacob, but the youngest of eleven has big plans of her own.
     
    Jacob’s long-held aspirations are put to the test when he learns that Trini has been holding a secret. He prays for a turnaround of events; however, when Trini moves away from her tight-knit community, he begins to realize that his dream of them being Mr. and Mrs. most likely won’t happen. 
     
    Will Trini forfeit her own well-laid plan for the man of her dreams?”

    Don’t miss out on this wonderful story by a wonderful story-teller!

    You’ll find it wherever fine books are sold! Available now in print and e-edition.

  • Reviews by Anne Blackburne

    Coming Soon: The Quilt Room Secret by Lisa Jones Baker

    One of my sister authors in Barbour Publishing’s “Heart of the Amish” series, Lisa Jones Baker, is up next in the series with the February 1 release of “The Quilt Room Secret“.

    Here’s a little taste of what to expect!

    Trini Holds Secret Dreams for Her Future: As they took turns pushing each other on the swing that hung from a large tree, the mature–for a five-year-old–Jacob Lantz asked Trini Sutter to marry him. The nine-year-old thoughtfully responded that she’d consider his proposal when they were older. Nearly two decades later, the Amish farmer returns to the beautiful countryside of Arthur, Illinois, to take the independent owner of The Quilt Room up on her promise. Quiet, handsome Jacob is truly in love with the spirited list maker, and Trini finds herself falling in love with Jacob, but the youngest of eleven has big plans of her own. Jacob’s long-held aspirations are put to the test when he learns that Trini has been holding a secret. He prays for a turnaround of events; however, when Trini moves away from her tight-knit community, he begins to realize that his dream of them being Mr. and Mrs. most likely won’t happen. Will Trini forfeit her own well-laid plan for the man of her dreams?

    Find out by reading this wonderful book by a seasoned writer of wonderful Amish romances!

    Note: I loved this book, and think you will, too.

    The Heart of the Amish Series Also Includes:
    The Flower Quilter by Mindy Steele
    Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise by Anne Blackburne
    Courting the Amish Bishop by Mindy Steele
    Mary’s Calico Hope by Anne Blackburne

  • Reviews by Anne Blackburne

    Book Review of: The Quilt Room Secret

    The Quilt Room Secret

    by Lisa Jones Baker

    I recommend it!

    Here’s Why:

    This is Trini and Jacob’s story, and it is the story of a really long second chance at love! Jacob asked Trini to marry him when he was five and she was nine. She told him she’d consider his proposal when they were older…

    Years later, Jacob and his brothers are back in town, heirs to their beloved aunt’s property. Trini lives right next door, and is now the confident owner of a prosperous quilt shop. And Jacob wants to readdress that proposal.

    The problem is, Trini is facing a personal crisis, of faith, of destiny, of identity…

    She isn’t sure what she wants any more…
    But when that sweet boy from her past reappears as a handsome man, something about his strength and solidity draws her soul.

    Will it be enough to offset years of uncertainty? And years of planning a different life?

    Read this great book by Lisa Jones Baker to find out how Trini and Jacob find true love again after all those years. (You knew they would!)

    This is a story of family ties, and how they loosen, but don’t, in a loving family, break irrevocably. The ending left me with a heart filled with hope.

    NOTE: I especially like the fact that Trini’s two besties, Serenity and Abby, have their eyes on Jacob’s brothers. Will they have their happy-ever-afters, too?

    By the way, I received a free copy of this book, but the opinions are very much my own! Lisa is the third author in the Barbour series, “Heart of the Amish”, and I’ve read some of her other books, and enjoyed them. I enjoyed this one most of all! I hope you do, too. Remember, if you love it, please leave a review…oh, and it won’t be out until Feb. 1. But you can preorder it now! Happy reading, fellow book lovers!

  • Reviews by Anne Blackburne

    Amish Romance: A Boy’s Amish Christmas

    A Boy's Amish Christmas, by Patricia Johns

    Amish Romance: A Boy’s Amish Christmas

    by Patricia Johns

    I just finished reading Patricia Johns’ third installment in her Butternut Amish B&B series, “A Boy’s Amish Christmas“.

    I’m giving it five stars for pure enjoyment, because not only do the hero and heroine get a happy ending, but another couple does as well!

    Brett and Emeline’s story had me at the edge of my seat as I wondered how they could possibly work through their significant differences . . . he comes from a political family; she’s a journalist. You do the math!

    Add in a special little boy who has been having a tough time and needs extra love, and a fuzzy escape artist of a donkey, and you’ve got a winner!


    Meanwhile, Belinda and Eli, featured in the previous two Butternut books, come to the crisis point in their relationship…which has been puttering along for decades!

    And good old Eli the Donkey escapes again!

    This third installment in Patricia John’s Butternut Amish B&B series continues the fun; looking forward to the next!

  • Reviews by Anne Blackburne

    I Loved Mindy Steele’s new Amish Romance!

    “The Flower Quilter” is just wonderful; and it releases in just a few days!

    Mindy Steele’s new book, “The Flower Quilter“, the first book in Barbour Publishing’s new series, “The Heart of the Amish”, releases in a few days! I just finished reading it last night. And I loved it! Here’s why: Barbara Schwartz is an Amish woman who hates to sew. She always seems to have tape on her fingers, to keep the blood from needle sticks from staining the fabric she’s trying to turn into a quilt. Why does she keep sewing? Because everyone expects an Amish woman to sew and quilt, especially her family of gifted quilters!

    What would Barbara rather be doing? Gardening! Her gift is with flowers and plants of all kinds.

    It takes Melvin Bontrager, a grumpy Amish man worried about supporting his sister and niece with his landscaping business, to point out the obvious to Barbara; she is a quilter, but not with fabric – with flowers!

    That’s the Moment of Realization, when Barbara starts to believe maybe she has an important place in the world, and that her gift and work can make a difference, just as much as if she were creating her art with fabric and thread.

    Now all she has to do is convince her parents!

    Meanwhile, she and Melvin are falling in love. But can there be a future for the couple, when Barbara’s home is back in Kentucky with her large, beloved family, and Melvin has to stay in Indiana and support his sister and niece?

    Meanwhile, Melvin is secretly harboring grief and guilt over the death of his parents. Until he allows his faith to bloom and grow like the flowers he loves, he can’t offer his whole heart to Barbara.
    Of course, love will find a way. To see how, read Mindy Steele’s wonderful new book about overcoming obstacles, “The Flower Quilter”.

    This book is the first in the series in which my own very first book, “Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise”, releases in December. I’m so thrilled to be part of a series including such wonderful authors as Mindy Steele and Lisa Jones Baker. Lisa’s book comes out this winter/spring. Then we each have a second book in the series! In fact, I see that Mindy is revealing her second cover very soon! Oh, boy, this is such fun.

    Take my word for it, “The Flower Quilter” needs to be on your reading list!

  • Reviews by Anne Blackburne

    I Found a New Amish Romance Author I love!

    Canadian Author of Sweet Romance, Cozy Mysteries and Amish Romance, Patricia Johns, Didn’t Disappoint!

    The Amish Marriage Arrangement“, the third book in Patricia Johns’ “Amish Country Matches” series, was my first by this author. I was immediately captivated by Patricia’s main characters, Sarai Peachy and Arden Stoltzfus.

    The couple have a history…
    Okay, not a personal history…they were not previously romantically involved. But Sarai knew several friends who were attracted to Arden years ago when he’d lived in their town while visiting his grandfather. He’d let them believe they were special to him, and broken all their hearts, playing fast and loose with their feelings. As far as Sarai was concerned, Arden was not a man to be trusted.

    How could she know that while she’d been living with her elderly grandmother, raising chickens and helping to care for their home, the four years Arden spent in Ohio helping to establish a new Amish community had matured him?

    All she knew was that he was back to talk his grandfather into returning to Ohio with him. Sarai didn’t want that to happen, because her grandmother Ellen was sweet on the old man, and it was Sarai’s hope that the two elders would marry and care for each other, freeing her to leave Pennsylvania to travel to Indiana, where she hoped to find new adventure, and possibly the man God had been saving just for her.

    Yet she couldn’t deny the attraction she felt for the handsome young Amish man – a man she simply couldn’t bring herself to trust.

    As for Arden, he had no time for love, because he had a big secret; one that wouldn’t allow him to marry – not until he confessed his biggest regret, and paid back the man he’d wronged years ago.
    Sarai Peachy was the last woman he wanted to fall for – because the man he’d wronged was Sarai’s father. How could that have a happy ending?

    Read “The Amish Marriage Arrangement” to find out! Meanwhile, I’m off to buy the first two books in the series! Happy reading!