I love to read Amish romances and I really enjoy reading about midwives even though I would not have had a home birth.(too chicken). These three stories were fantastic. Each made me cry and laugh. I have always loved these authors. Each of these stories are very inspirational. I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this book a five out of five stars.
From bestselling authors of Amish Fiction come three sweet stories about new life, hope, and romance.
Bundles of Blessing by Amy Clipston
Lost in grief after the death of her husband, Kristina Byler gave up remarrying and found comfort and purpose in becoming a midwife. She is surprised when Aidan Smoker–her ex-boyfriend and the man she was sure she’d one day marry–moves back to the community after living in Ohio for the past eight years. They’re both certain there’s too much pain in their shared past for them to have a future, but they keep finding themselves drawn together. As Kristina helps other women bring children into the world, she starts to wonder if a family of her own might be possible after all.
A Midwife for Susie by Shelley Shepard Gray
Haunted by secret guilt after a tragic accident, Joanna Zimmerman is sure she’s left midwifery behind her. She keeps to herself, certain this is for the best. Her childhood friend Dwight Eicher knows that Joanna hasn’t been herself lately, but every time he’s tried to talk to her about what’s wrong, she’s avoided his questions. When his sister, Susie, becomes pregnant, Joanna must decide if she can find the courage to return to the job she once felt so called to. Meanwhile, both Dwight and Joanna face romantic feelings that have the potential to change their friendship forever.
Christmas Cradles by Kelly Long (Also in An Amish Christmas)
When Anna Stolis takes over for her aunt, the local midwife, Christmas night heats up with multiple deliveries, three strangers’ quilts, and unexpected help from the handsome and brooding Asa Lapp.
This was an enjoyable romantic historical mystery. This takes place in the present but we get to hear what happens in the past through a book written by Hedda Krause. Hedda was a very interesting character from the past that Dini is obsessed with. Dini knows the book that Hedda wrote forward and backward and then she meets Quin who says he has information she has never seen. There are many twists and turns and a ghost. This was a very enjoyable story and I really enjoyed the ending. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest review that I gave of my own free will.
I give this a four out of five stars.
About the Book
Book: The Lady in Residence
Author: Allison Pittman
Genre: Christian Historical
Release date: February 2021
Can a Legacy of Sadness be Broken at the Menger Hotel?
Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Pastseries. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.
Young widow Hedda Krause checks into the Menger Hotel in 1915 with a trunk full of dresses, a case full of jewels, and enough cash to pay for a two-month stay, which she hopes will be long enough to meet, charm, and attach herself to a new, rich husband. Her plans are derailed when a ghostly apparition lures her into a long, dark hallway, and Hedda returns to her room to find her precious jewelry has been stolen. She falls immediately under a cloud of suspicion with her haunting tale, but true ghost enthusiasts bring her expensive pieces of jewelry in an attempt to lure the ghost to appear again.
In 2017, Dini Blackstone is a fifth-generation magician, who performs at private parties, but she also gives ghost walk tours, narrating the more tragic historical events of San Antonio with familial affection. Above all, her favorite is the tale of Hedda Krause who, in Dini’s estimation, succeeded in perpetrating the world’s longest con, dying old and wealthy from her ghost story. But then Dini meets Quinn Carmichael, great-great-grandson of the detective who originally investigated Hedda’s case, who’s come to the Alamo City with a box full of clues that might lead to Hedda’s exoneration. Can Dini see another side of the story that is worthy of God’s grace?
Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a four-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series, once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties and most recently for the critically acclaimed The Seamstress which takes a cameo character from the Dickens’ classic A Tale of Two Cities and flourishes her to life amidst the French Revolution. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike. Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website, allisonkpittman.com.
More from Allison
From Haunting to Healing: How Stories Bring New Life to Old Ghosts
If you really think about it, every story is a ghost story. Not the floating spirits of the dearly departed kind, not bumps in the night or mysterious howling in the darkness—but the best stories come from examining a haunted heart. Memories that pursue the present.
A few years ago I took the walking tour of haunted San Antonio. It was a lark, a fun tourist-y thing to do with some visiting friends. I’m not a believer in ghosts, but I am a collector of stories. The tour opens at the Alamo—sacred ground of slain soldiers. The second stop is the Menger Hotel, listed as one of the most haunted hotels in the United States by those who measure and evaluate such things. And while the tour guide waxed on about the guests’ litany of haunted experiences (including Teddy Roosevelt raging through the lobby), my mind stuck with the story of Sallie White. Sallie White is the Menger Hotel’s most famous ghost—a chambermaid whose apparition is reported to be seen walking the halls, towels draped over her arm, or to be heard as an efficient two-rap knock on your door late at night. My mind, however, didn’t dwell on Sallie the ghost, but Sallie the woman—just a normal, hard-working, poor woman, murdered in the street by a man who claimed to love her. But for that, she would have passed into history unknown. Instead, her story is told every night as strangers gather on the very sidewalk where the crime took place.
Years after first hearing the story of Sallie white, I stayed in the Menger for a few days to gather details for The Lady in Residence. I booked what they call a “Petite” room—meaning it is a room that maintains its original structure. Read: tiny. Exposed pipes, creaky wooden floors, antique furniture—the only update, the bathroom fixtures. As it turned out, my room was directly above the place where Sallie White was murdered. One night I pressed my ear against the glass and listened to the ghost tour guide tell her story. The next morning, I stood in the exact spot with a fancy Starbucks drink, thinking about her. She lives on, not because people claim to see her walking and hear her knocking in the dead of night, but because she is a woman remembered.
So, is that beautiful? Is it ghoulish? Maybe it’s both, but when I was given the chance to write a story set in and around the Menger Hotel, I was determined to make Sallie White’s story a part of it. I didn’t want to write her story—that would have required embellishment beyond those few historic, factual tid-bits that such a woman left behind. Sallie White didn’t have correspondence to catalog or a journal to give us insight to her thoughts. Instead, I wanted to tell it to readers everywhere who might never make it to San Antonio to hear it for themselves. When you read The Lady in Residence, you are going to hear the true story of Sallie White, all of it taken from a newspaper account of the time. And then, I did what all historical writers do…I folded it into my own tale and folded that tale into another.
That’s really the joy of writing a split-time novel—being able to draw back and shoot a narrative-arrow straight through the hearts of two stories, threading them together, to bring a haunting to a place of healing.
This is the second book in this series and I think even better than the first. I really like Amara and Starsky. There is a lot of suspense and we get some romance. I enjoyed the computer stuff a lot. Amara has her first case in Homicide and it is interesting to see how she goes about solving this case. We also learn a lot more about her family. This has a lot of twists and turns. I received a copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this book a five out of five stars.
After her rescue of nearly fifty kidnapped children made international headlines, Amara Alvarez gets what she’s worked for: a transfer to San Antonio’s Homicide Division. Reality sets in quickly, though, as her first case, the suspicious death of a teenager at a crowded local water park, brings chaos to her personal life.
As the investigation moves forward and she increases the pressure on the suspects, Amara finds herself under attack by cybercriminals. Her every move is being potentially watched online, and she’s forced to resort to unconventional methods to find the killer. With few leads, she fights to keep her first murder investigation from ending up in the cold case files.
Tom Threadgill is back with another riveting page-turner featuring the detective who is willing to put everything on the line to see that justice is served and lives are protected.
This is definitely a book you are not going to want to put down. This starts with a bang and keeps you wondering all the way to the end. This has such great suspense and some romance. I loved all the characters. It was great to have some previous characters from other stories helping out. I am so looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this book a five out of five stars.
US Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powell is lucky to be alive. Three of his fellow agents have died in unusual circumstances in the past ten weeks. Luke is devastated by the loss of his friends and colleagues, and his inability to locate the killer feels like a personal failure. He’s an expert at shielding others, but now the protectors are in need of protection.FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is driven to succeed and confident in her ability to solve every case she’s assigned. She’s been put in charge of the investigation into the unprecedented attacks, and with Luke’s life in danger, the stakes have never been higher. But it’s hard to know how to fight back when you don’t know who the enemy is.As more agents are targeted, Luke and Faith will have to work together to bring a killer to justice and prevent any more names from joining their fallen brothers and sisters on the Secret Service Wall of Honor.Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn pulls out all the stops in this brand-new romantic suspense series that will have you holding your breath one minute and swooning the next.
If you love cozy mysteries you will love this book and the whole series. I love this town in Kentucky and all the crazy characters. I love the idea of a coffee shop that has animals up for adoption in them. This story is another great tale in this series. This one kept me wondering till the end who had committed the murder. I really am looking forward to reading the next book in the series to see what is going to happen in the next book. I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this book a five out of five stars.
Welcome to the Bean Hive Coffeehouse where the coffee is as hot as the gossip!
“Fabulous fun and fantastic fried food! Kappes nails small town mystery with another must-read hit. Don’t miss this one!” – Darynda Jones, New York Times Bestselling Author of Eighth Grave After Dark
Welcome to Honey Springs where the gossip flows as freely as the coffee. and The Bean Hive Coffee shop was usually the magnet to where it all occurred.
Honey Springs, Kentucky is abuzz with the opening of a new holistic health spa. There are all sorts of outsiders in town to visit and participate in the opening. A reviewer from a famous magazine is there, but he has the bad habit of writing scathing reviews of everywhere he visits. Could this be trouble for the grand opening?
Add to the mix Loretta Bebe (the town socialite) wants her granddaughter, Birdie, to work for Roxy, so what if she has a bad reputation that’s a mile long?
Things get a little frothy after the famous magazine reviewer turns up dead and the weapon is found on Birdie. Do you think Loretta is going to let anyone but Roxy Bloom use her lawyering skills to solve the murder? You’re darn-tootin’ she aint!
Grab your coffee and hold on to your hat, this southern mystery is full of red-herrings with all sorts of snorts that’ll having you wanting to stay for bit longer at the Bean Hive!
This author never disappoints me with her stories. I loved the characters. Each of the main characters has a tiny secret that we get to learn during the story. I loved that this has so much inspiration running through it. This made me laugh and cry and it was hard to put down. I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook and Multnomah for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this story a five out of five stars.
A lost ring brings together two wounded souls—a youth minister haunted by the past and a spunky church custodian—in this heartwarming romance from the bestselling author of The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow.
“Kim Vogel Sawyer is an amazing storyteller who crafts each of her stories with page-turning excitement and rich character development.”—Tracie Peterson, bestselling author of the Golden Gate Secrets series
Growing up in the foster care system, Jase Edgar always dreamed of one day starting his own family. But his fiancée’s untimely death shattered his plans. Moving to Kansas and serving as a youth minister should be a fresh start, but he can’t seem to set aside his doubts about God’s goodness long enough to embrace his new life.
Newly-appointed church custodian, Lori Fowler is battling her own challenges. Her strained relationship with her father and her struggles with overeating convince her she’s not worthy enough for love. When an Amish weaver enlists their help locating the owner of a ring found among the donated clothing she uses as fabric, Jase and Lori find themselves drawn to each other. But will they be able to release the past and move forward from this moment into a joyful future?
I loved reading about Caroline, Nella and Eliza. These are three strong women. I enjoyed how the story went from the past to the present. I loved learning about the many ways that plants can be used to make poisons. This was fascinating. It is sad that so many women felt the need to murder. This story shows how each of these women grows as the time goes on. I always enjoy reading about the late 1700’s. I received a copy of this book from Harlequin for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this book a five out of five stars.
The Lost Apothecary : A Novel
On Sale Date: March 2, 2021
About the Book:
In this addictive and spectacularly imagined debut, a female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course. Pitched as Kate Morton meets The Miniaturist, The Lost Apothecary is a bold work of historical fiction with a rebellious twist that heralds the coming of an explosive new talent.
A forgotten history. A secret network of women. A legacy of poison and revenge. Welcome to The Lost Apothecary…
Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.
Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.
With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time.
About the Author:
Sarah Penner is the debut author of The Lost Apothecary, to be translated in eleven languages worldwide. She works full-time in finance and is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She and her husband live in St. Petersburg, Florida, with their miniature dachshund, Zoe. To learn more, visit slpenner.com.
She would come at daybreak—the woman whose letter I held in my hands, the woman whose name I did not yet know.
I knew neither her age nor where she lived. I did not know her rank in society nor the dark things of which she dreamed when night fell. She could be a victim or a transgressor. A new wife or a vengeful widow. A nursemaid or a courtesan.
But despite all that I did not know, I understood this: the woman knew exactly who she wanted dead.
I lifted the blush-colored paper, illuminated by the dying f lame of a single rush wick candle. I ran my fingers over the ink of her words, imagining what despair brought the woman to seek out someone like me. Not just an apothecary, but a murderer. A master of disguise.
Her request was simple and straightforward. For my mistress’s husband, with his breakfast. Daybreak, 4 Feb. At once, I drew to mind a middle-aged housemaid, called to do the bidding of her mistress. And with an instinct perfected over the last two decades, I knew immediately the remedy most suited to this request: a chicken egg laced with nux vomica.
The preparation would take mere minutes; the poison was within reach. But for a reason yet unknown to me, something about the letter left me unsettled. It was not the subtle, woodsy odor of the parchment or the way the lower left corner curled forward slightly, as though once damp with tears. Instead, the disquiet brewed inside of me. An intuitive understanding that something must be avoided.
But what unwritten warning could reside on a single sheet of parchment, shrouded beneath pen strokes? None at all, I assured myself; this letter was no omen. My troubling thoughts were merely the result of my fatigue—the hour was late—and the persistent discomfort in my joints.
I drew my attention to my calfskin register on the table in front of me. My precious register was a record of life and death; an inventory of the many women who sought potions from here, the darkest of apothecary shops.
In the front pages of my register, the ink was soft, written with a lighter hand, void of grief and resistance. These faded, worn entries belonged to my mother. This apothecary shop for women’s maladies, situated at 3 Back Alley, was hers long before it was mine.
On occasion I read her entries—23 Mar 1767, Mrs. R. Ranford, Yarrow Milfoil 15 dr. 3x—and the words evoked memories of her: the way her hair fell against the back of her neck as she ground the yarrow stem with the pestle, or the taut, papery skin of her hand as she plucked seeds from the flower’s head. But my mother had not disguised her shop behind a false wall, and she had not slipped her remedies into vessels of dark red wine. She’d had no need to hide. The tinctures she dispensed were meant only for good: soothing the raw, tender parts of a new mother, or bringing menses upon a barren wife. Thus, she filled her register pages with the most benign of herbal remedies. They would raise no suspicion.
On my register pages, I wrote things such as nettle and hyssop and amaranth, yes, but also remedies more sinister: nightshade and hellebore and arsenic. Beneath the ink strokes of my register hid betrayal, anguish…and dark secrets.
Secrets about the vigorous young man who suffered an ailing heart on the eve of his wedding, or how it came to pass that a healthy new father fell victim to a sudden fever. My register laid it all bare: these were not weak hearts and fevers at all, but thorn apple juice and nightshade slipped into wines and pies by cunning women whose names now stained my register.
Oh, but if only the register told my own secret, the truth about how this all began. For I had documented every victim in these pages, all but one: Frederick. The sharp, black lines of his name defaced only my sullen heart, my scarred womb.
I gently closed the register, for I had no use of it tonight, and returned my attention to the letter. What worried me so? The edge of the parchment continued to catch my eye, as though something crawled beneath it. And the longer I remained at my table, the more my belly ached and my fingers trembled. In the distance, beyond the walls of the shop, the bells on a carriage sounded frighteningly similar to the chains on a constable’s belt. But I assured myself that the bailiffs would not come tonight, just as they had not come for the last two decades. My shop, like my poisons, was too cleverly disguised. No man would find this place; it was buried deep behind a cupboard wall at the base of a twisted alleyway in the darkest depths of London.
I drew my eyes to the soot-stained wall that I had not the heart, nor the strength, to scrub clean. An empty bottle on a shelf caught my reflection. My eyes, once bright green like my mother’s, now held little life within them. My cheeks, too, once flushed with vitality, were sallow and sunken. I had the appearance of a ghost, much older than my forty-one years of age.
Tenderly, I began to rub the round bone in my left wrist, swollen with heat like a stone left in the fire and forgotten. The discomfort in my joints had crawled through my body for years; it had grown so severe, I lived not a waking hour without pain. Every poison I dispensed brought a new wave of it upon me; some evenings, my fingers were so distended and stiff, I felt sure the skin would split open and expose what lay underneath.
Killing and secret-keeping had done this to me. It had begun to rot me from the inside out, and something inside meant to tear me open.
At once, the air grew stagnant, and smoke began to curl into the low stone ceiling of my hidden room. The candle was nearly spent, and soon the laudanum drops would wrap me in their heavy warmth. Night had long ago fallen, and she would arrive in just a few hours: the woman whose name I would add to my register and whose mystery I would begin to unravel, no matter the unease it brewed inside of me.
I really wasn’t too sure if I wanted to read this book at first since it is based around WWll and I was getting burned out by this era, but I am so glad I read it. I did not want to put the book down till I knew what was going to happen to Evelyn and Peter. These were fantastic characters. This was a very tough time to live in especially during and right before the war started. Evelyn was brave to be a reporter in Germany. This book was so well written. I received a copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this book a five out of five stars.
Munich, 1938. Evelyn Brand is an American foreign correspondent as determined to prove her worth in a male-dominated profession as she is to expose the growing tyranny in Nazi Germany. To do so, she must walk a thin line. If she offends the government, she could be expelled from the country–or worse. If she fails to truthfully report on major stories, she’ll never be able to give a voice to the oppressed–and wake up the folks back home.
In another part of the city, American graduate student Peter Lang is working on his PhD in German. Disillusioned with the chaos in the world due to the Great Depression, he is impressed with the prosperity and order of German society. But when the brutality of the regime hits close, he discovers a far better way to use his contacts within the Nazi party–to feed information to the shrewd reporter he can’t get off his mind.
This electric standalone novel from fan-favorite Sarah Sundin puts you right at the intersection of pulse-pounding suspense and heart-stopping romance.
I loved the suspense and the romance that happens in this book. I loved Sam and Emma. I could not figure out until almost the end who was so obsessed with Emma. The author dies a great job of leaving some clues but not quite enough to let you know who is obsessed too early. I did not want to put this book down. I received a copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this book a five out of five stars.
Natchez Trace Ranger and historian Emma Winters hoped never to see Sam Ryker again after she broke off her engagement to him. But when shots are fired at her at a historical landmark just off the Natchez Trace, she’s forced to work alongside Sam as the Natchez Trace law enforcement district ranger in the ensuing investigation. To complicate matters, Emma has acquired a delusional secret admirer who is determined to have her as his own. Sam is merely an obstruction, one which must be removed.
Sam knows that he has failed Emma in the past and he doesn’t intend to let her down again. Especially since her life is on the line. As the threads of the investigation cross and tangle with their own personal history, Sam and Emma have a chance to discover the truth, not only about the victim but about what went wrong in their relationship.
Award-winning author Patricia Bradley will have the hairs standing up on the back of your neck with this nail-biting tale of obsession, misunderstanding, and forgiveness.
This was a quick book of roller coaster suspense. There was some type of action almost every time you turned around. I really like Dulcie and Austin. There are some tough topics that are referred to in this story. Dulcie lived through some tough times as a child and still was suffering as an adult. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this book a four out of five stars.
About the Book
Book: Vanished in the Mountains
Author: Tanya Stowe
Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense
Release date: February 3, 2021
A search for missing women leads to a deadly pursuit.
When domestic violence counselor Dulcie Parker uncovers evidence of a human trafficking ring in the Four Corners area, she’s determined to stop it or die trying. With corruption all around her and killers on her trail, Deputy Sheriff Austin Turner’s the only one she can trust. But can they work together to expose the crime ring before she becomes the next victim?
Tanya Stowe is a Christian Fiction author with an unexpected edge. She is married to the love of her life, her high school sweetheart. They have four children and twenty-one grandchildren, a true adventure. She fills her books with the unusual…mysteries and exotic travel, even a murder or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a trip to foreign lands or a suspenseful journey packed with danger…be prepared for the extraordinary.
More from Tanya
When my children were very young, my husband and I took a trip to Colorado for a family reunion. After the reunion we traveled through Colorado to see the sights. We stopped in Silverton and my sister and I took my young son and daughter down the narrow-gauge railroad to Durango. Riding the swaying train down slopes covered in pine trees with the rushing white water of the Animas River below, I knew I’d write about the area someday. Many years later my husband and I took our first “kid-less” vacation in our motorhome. We stayed in a campground on the Navajo Nation next to Canyon de Chelly. We had no running water or electricity and that night, a storm blew in from the west. We watched the sky change to hues of purple and pink and then sat mesmerized as lightning strikes crossed the magnificent valley. Once again, I planted the scenes in my mind, determined to write about them one day. Little did I know both vacations would combine into one story. I hope you find my memories of the Four Corners area as unforgettable as I did! Blessings!