Tuesday, August 31, 2021

What the Cat Dragged In by Miranda James

 What the Cat Dragged In

Book Summary

Librarian Charlie Harris and his faithful feline companion, Diesel, have inherited Charlie’s grandfather’s house, along with a deadly legacy: a decades-old crime scene, in this all-new mystery in the New York Times bestselling Cat in the Stacks series.

Charlie has always believed that his grandfather had sold his house to his longtime tenant, Martin Hale. So when Martin dies, Charlie is surprised to discover the house was not left to Martin but instead belongs to Charlie. As he and Diesel check out the house he remembers fondly from his childhood, he is pleasantly surprised that it is in better condition than expected. That is, until they find a literal skeleton in a closet.

While the sheriff’s department investigates the mysterious remains, Charlie digs deeper into the past for clues to the identity of the bones and why they are there. But the cold case heats up quickly when Martin’s grandson is found dead on the farm.

As Charlie delves into his own family history, he encounters many people who might have been motivated to take a life. But Charlie and Diesel know that things are not always what they seem, and that secrets seemingly lost to time have a way of finding their way back to haunt the present.

My Thoughts

Charlie Harris and Diesel—Ramses too—are back and they have quite a conundrum.  Charlie learns that he has inherited his paternal grandfather’s farmhouse and land.  He is inspecting the attic with Diesel when he hears a thud and sees a skull.  Diesel has discovered a skeleton in a wardrobe with dirt clinging to it.  Charlie can imagine what Kanesha Berry will say.  While the deputies do their work, a storm hits the area downing trees.  Deputies find Martin Hale’s grandson, the man who had leased the farmhouse, dead under one of those trees.  Unfortunately, the tree is not what killed the man.  Charlie has his work cut out for him with this curious case.

What the Cat Dragged In by Miranda James is the 14th A Cat in the Stacks Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series.  Personally, I have loved reading this charming series from the beginning.  What the Cat Dragged In is well-written with developed characters.  Charlie Harris is a great character.  He is friendly, smart, caring, and a good family man.  He is rarely seen without his sidekick, Diesel (a Maine Coon cat).  I just love Diesel who acts like a person.  He has a darling personality and I love his chirps.  Ramses, of course, is a busy kitten.  He is getting bigger and more rambunctious.  All of the other characters that we love are back as well such as Sean, Laura, Azalea, Stewart, Haskell, Miss An’gel, and, of course, Little Charlie.  The mystery was complex and unique.  I like that there is a cold case and a current case.  There investigation into the skeleton is more interesting than the present day one.  Charlie must delve into the past to unravel this one.  We get to learn more about the Harris family.  The modern murder I found a cinch to solve.  There were some fun aspects to this case, and I just loved the reveal.  I enjoy every visit with Charlie and Diesel, and this was no exception.  Great characters, a fun whodunit, Southern charm, and humor in one engaging cozy mystery.  I am eager to read Hiss Me Deadly next spring.  What the Cat Dragged In is an engaging tale with a chirping cat, a surprising skeleton, an unanticipated inheritance, a thundering storm, a mystery murder, and historical revelations.  

What the Cat Dragged In is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other A Cat in the Stacks Mysteries here.  The next novel in A Cat in the Stack Mystery series is  Hiss Me Deadly which publishes March 29, 2022 (can pre-order now).  You should check out A Deep South Mystery series by Dean James (aka Miranda James).  Other novels out today are Her New Story by Laura Bradford, Carved in Stone by Elizabeth Camden, Be My Ghost by Carol J. Perry, The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson, and Halloween Party Murder by Leslie Meiers, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross.  Thank you for joining me today.  I am sharing my thoughts on The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson tomorrow.  I hope that you have an upbeat day.  Take care of yourself, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Her New Story by Laura Bradford

 Her New Story

Book Summary

From nationally bestselling author Laura Bradford comes a poignant, uplifting novel about a down-on-her-luck journalist whose less than ideal assignment to Pennsylvania's Amish country forces her to re-think her priorities, and her life...

Her New Story by Laura Bradford has Tess Baker, an investigative reporter for In Depth magazine, feeling less than friendly towards the world after discovering her husband of six months cheating on her with her best friend since childhood.  The only highlight in Tess’s life is the upcoming travel assignment disbursement.  Tess is hoping she will get a tropical destination.  Unfortunately, Tess had a front row spot to special moment between two celebrities and she did not even notice which lost the magazine a major coup.  Instead of a plane ticket to a tropical locale, Tess is handed a bus ticket to Pennsylvania.  Tess will spend the next month with an Amish family.  She is hoping to find a juicy story that will get her back in the good graces of her boss.  Murph, Tess’s mentor, wants Tess will find a way to go on living again and let go of the bitterness that is eating her alive.  What type of story will Tess uncover that will get her the notoriety she desires?

My Thoughts

Her New Story by Laura Bradford is a poignant story about healing, forgiveness, friendship, and hope.  I thought Her New Story was well-written with realistic characters.  Tess Baker, an investigative reporter with In Depth magazine, suffered a terrible betrayal when her husband cheated on her with her best friend.  I could feel Tess’s pain and understand her betrayal.  She has decided to trust no one but herself and to focus on work.  Tess’s new resolve is a little late after she misses a major story.  She is getting a last opportunity to prove her worth thanks to her mentor, Murph.  Blue Ball, Pennsylvania is not the destination Tess had in mind.  Tess had little knowledge of Amish before arriving in town.  Her assumptions about Amish show how little people really know about this group of people.  We get to see Tess immerse herself in the culture and learn about the truth about the Amish.  Her betrayal, though, colors her outlook.  I appreciated the epilogue at the end, but I wish it had been a tad longer.  I liked meeting Mildred, the woman Tess met on the bus on her way to Pennsylvania. It is a shame that Tess was not open to what Mildred was imparting.  I hope that Tess can be that woman someday.  I enjoyed the descriptions of the King farm and Blue Ball.  It sounds like a peaceful place that I would love to visit. Naomi King was a wise, caring woman with a large brood (Little Rueben was adorable).  Naomi had a wonderful group of friends who each taught a lesson to Tess.  I liked that we get to catch up with Danielle, Katie, Hannah, Emma and especially Miss Lottie.  I appreciated that we get Miss Lottie’s complete story.  It was interesting reading about the portable propane lamp.  I had never heard of such an item before this book.  Her New Story is a special tale with quilting quandaries, an abysmal betrayal, fine friends, a grumpy mentor, abominable muck, unanticipated assignment, and surprising results.  

Her New Story publishes Tuesday, August 31 and is is available from Amazon*.  Laura Bradford has A Plus One for Murder releasing December 7.  It is the debut of A Friend for Hire Mystery series.  I am looking forward to reading it.  You can find Laura Bradford's other novels here.  The pictures I used today show a "Dawdi Haus" attached to the main farm house and the portable propane lamp that is mentioned in Her New Story.  Thank you so much for stopping by today and reading my review.  Tomorrow I am featuring What the Cat Dragged In by Miranda James.  It is the 14th A Cat in the Stacks Mystery.  Diesel finds a gruesome discovery in the attic of a home Charlie inherits from his grandfather.  I hope that you have friendly day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Seven-Year Witch by Angela Sanders

Seven-Year Witch

Book Summary

Finding your feet in a new job isn’t always easy. That goes double for Josie Way, who’s settling in as Wilfred, Oregon’s, new librarian—and has just discovered she’s a witch. But will her fledgling powers be enough to save her from a spell of murder?

Seven-Year Witch by Angela Sanders has Josie Wray studying a lesson on curses.  The new owners of the old mill property are ready to move forward with their retreat center.  The only problem is their visionary architect with his unique ideas.  Sam returns to the Big House with a baby in tow as well as the wife he was divorcing.  When Fiona, Sam’s artistic wife, disappears and a bloody tire iron is found where she was last seen, Sam becomes the prime suspect.  Josie with help from her cat, Rodney sets out to prove Sam did not harm his wife.  The police dredge the lake and find the architect for the retreat center instead of Fiona.  Josie needs to uncover who is behind this vicious act before they strike again.

My Thoughts

Seven-Year Witch is the 2nd book in A Witch Way Library Mystery series.  It can be read as a standalone, but I believe it is best to read Bait and Witch first.  Josie Wray is a librarian who recently discovered she is a witch.  Her magical ability helps her find the right book for each patron.  The books in the grand old library talk to her.  To learn what Josie needs to know regarding her powers, her grandmother left her lesson letters.  We are introduced to quite a few town residents.  It can be hard to keep them all straight.  The residents are a quirky bunch.  The whodunit revolves around the new retreat center being built at the site of the old mill.  One of the residents believes the land is cursed which is why incidents keep happening on that property.  When Fiona, Sam’s wife disappears and the architect is found dead in the lake, Josie sets out to learn more about curses.  Sam is the interim police chief’s prime suspect and Josie wants to get him cleared as quickly as possible.  There are a handful of suspects for Josie to investigate.  This whodunit can be solved early in the book.  The guilty party is obvious from the moment of introduction.  Josie gets help from the books in solving the crime.  I love how the books talk to her. There are a couple of side stories as well.  Josie learns about curses and tries to figure out why the old mill site feels uneasy.  She is also curious about Marilyn Wilfred who created the library where Josie works and lives.  She has heard conflicting information about Marilyn and Josie wants to learn more about the library’s benefactress.  There is also a town resident who wants Rodney, Josie’s cat, to wear a cat collar with a bell on it.  Rodney objects which leads to rebellion.  I just love Rodney. I like how Josie can use him to help with her investigation.  I like the paranormal elements in the story with my favorite being the talking books.  I also love the descriptions of the beautiful building housing the library.  Seven-Year Witch is a charming paranormal cozy mystery with challenging cat collar, verbose books, an AWOL architect, a curious curse, and an affable baby boy.

Seven-Year Witch can be purchased from Amazon*.  The first novel in A Witch Way Library Mystery series is Bait and Witch (Kindle Unlimited).  You can find Angela Sanders' other novels here.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will return on Monday with Her New Story by Laura Bradford.  I hope that you have a magical day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Knot Ready for Murder by Mary Marks: Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway!


Knot Ready for Murder (A Quilting Mystery)

About Knot Ready for Murder

Knot Ready for Murder (A Quilting Mystery) 


The ninth installment in the hit Quilting Mystery series by Mary Marks finds sleuth Martha searching for her fiancé’s ex-wife.

One loose thread threatens to unravel Martha’s wedding plans: the groom-to-be married a pregnant teen to save her from scandal thirty years ago—and the marriage was never annulled. Now Crusher’s wife Hadas is coming to LA, along with his sister Fanya. But soon after she arrives, their houseguest goes missing, with her room ransacked and a chloroform-soaked cloth left behind. Could her apparent abduction be connected to her brother’s unsolved death from a hit-and-run six months ago? Martha and her quilting cohorts must find the pattern to solve the twin mysteries and determine if Crusher is still married—or now a widower . . .

About Mary Marks

Born and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary Marks earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and an M.A. in Public Administration from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In 2004 she enrolled in the UCLA Extension Writers Program. Her first novel, Forget Me Knot, was a finalist in a national writing competition in 2011. She is currently a reviewer of cozy mysteries for The New York Journal of Books at www.nyjournalofbooks.com.

Author Links

My Thoughts

Knot Ready for Murder by Mary Marks is the 9th A Quilting Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone, but you will be missing out on watching the characters meet and become friends.  We get to see characters develop over the course of the series.  I like that the protagonist as well as the other characters are mature.  I want to thank the author for giving us a main character who has fibromyalgia.  Readers get to see what someone with the disease experiences (the day-to-day pain, trouble sleeping, the severe migraines).  Martha Rose is ready to marry her fiancé, Crusher and announces it to the family at Friday’s Sabbath dinner.  Martha soon learns that she spoke too quickly when Crusher tells her that he has recently learned that he is still married.  Martha had no idea that Crusher had ever been wed. Crusher’s “wife” is on her way to California with his sister.  Martha is looking forward meeting Fanya, Crusher’s sister.  Martha soon learns that Hadas, the little “wifey”, has no intention of letting go of Crusher.  When Hadas is kidnapped from Martha’s home, she sets out to find the errant wife with help from Fanya and her friends.  If Martha wants her happily ever after, she needs to get Hadas to sign the divorce papers.  

I thought Knot Ready for Murder was well-written with steady pacing.  I always love visiting Martha Rose and the Tuesday quilting group.  They are a group of quirky characters that provide humor and energy.  I learned new information about quilting as Martha teaches Fanya how to quilt plus Jewish customs.  Judaism is a fascinating religion.  I enjoyed learning more about their traditions.  The mystery was fun.  Martha Rose was challenged in tracking down Crusher’s missing “wife”.  I had a good time joining Martha Rose, Giselle, and Fanya as they set out to locate Hadas.  Fanya was certainly a hoot.  She is an over-the-top character who is a wallpaper hanger who knows krav maga and is extremely superstitious.  Fanya’s antics had me laughing frequently.   I loved the epilogue.  It was just the ending needed.  Knot Ready for Murder was a special story and fans of A Quilting Mystery series will be delighted.  Knot Ready for Murder is an entertaining whodunit with a missing mate, a superstitious sister, a frantic fiancé, quilting quips, a disparaging detective, a frustrated FBI agent, and a woman who is eager to wed.  


I spent a restless night fretting over having to guess the reason for Fanya’s visit. My tossing and turning didn’t faze Crusher as he snored softly. Why is she bringing Hadas? Does Hadas want Crusher back after all these years? Why didn’t she get an annulment? How much of a threat will she be?

Had Crusher been totally honest with me? Even though my rational mind told me this present situation wasn’t his fault, he should have followed through with the annulment years ago. Bitter resentment crept up my gut and landed in the back of my throat. I finally fell into an exhausted sleep around three in the morning.

When I opened my eyes again, the clock read eight.

The curtains were drawn shut, but they couldn’t totally defeat the gentle morning light from creating a warm glow in the bedroom. Every muscle and joint ached with a painful flare-up. I threw aside the down comforter, rolled out of bed, and hobbled to the bathroom to take my fibromyalgia meds. The face staring back at me from the mirror looked pinched and drawn with pain. Puffy bags sat under my eyes, testifying to a night with little sleep.

I raked a wide-toothed comb through my gray curls. Oh great. Crusher’s “wife” Hadas will still be in her forties. She probably has a perfect figure, perfect hair, and a creamy complexion. How can I compete with her? She might be younger than me, but I’m not going to let her waltz in and grab my future husband. If she wants to fight, I’ll give her a run for her money.

Saturday was supposed to be a day of rest. But I knew I wouldn’t relax until the house was clean and sparkling. I wanted my home—Crusher’s home—to be above reproach. God forbid Hadas should find a reason to criticize!

By the time I shuffled into the kitchen for my first cup of coffee, I was primed for combat mode. It must’ve shown on my face because Crusher came over to me and gave me a hug. “Morning. Are you okay?”

I stuck out a defiant chin. Does he think he can drop a bombshell about his marriage and expect me to welcome his wife in our home?

Knot Ready for Murder is available from AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound.  You can find the other novels in A Quilting Mystery series here.  Time for the giveaway! You can win a print copy (U.S. Only) of Knot Ready for Murder.  You can click here or enter using the Rafflecopter form below.  Good Luck!  Thank you for joining me today.  Next time I am featuring Seven-Year Witch by Angela M. Sanders.  I hope that you have a satisfying day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

August 24 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST 

August 24 – I Read What You Write - SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT 

August 24 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW 

August 25 – Celticlady's Reviews - SPOTLIGHT 

August 25 – StoreyBook Reviews - SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT 
August 25 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – REVIEW 

August 26 – Hearts & Scribbles - SPOTLIGHT 

August 26 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW 

August 26 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT 

August 27 – The Avid Reader - REVIEW, EXCERPT 

August 28 – Reading Is My SuperPower - SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT 

August 28 – Carla Loves To Read - REVIEW

August 28 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

August 29 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 
August 29 – Author Elena Taylor's Blog - SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT 

August 30 – Christy's Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 

August 30 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

The Amish Baby Finds a Home by Barbara Cameron

 The Amish Baby Finds a Home

Book Summary

In this heartwarming Amish romance, an Amish toymaker and his sweetheart discover the greatest gifts come in the smallest packages.

Between his busy toy shop and the farm he owns with his twin brother, Gideon Troyer’s life is full. Now, the handsome Amish woodworker is ready to share it with someone special, someone like Hannah Stoltzfus, the lovely quilt shop owner a few doors down. Their friendship has already grown into something deeper. But before Gideon can tell Hannah how he really feels, she makes an unexpected discovery in his shop: a baby . . . one who shares an unmistakable Troyer family resemblance.

Hannah has never forgotten the kindness and support Gideon offered when she first opened her shop. So she’s happy to help him care for the sweet abandoned boppli until they find his family. But as they untangle the mystery surrounding the child, Hannah wonders at Gideon’s hesitation to take their relationship to the next level. He’s a natural with the baby, and Hannah can see Gideon’s ready for a familye of his own . . . but can she help him believe it? 

My Thoughts

The Amish Baby Finds a Home by Barbara Cameron is a cute Amish tale.  Twins Gideon and Eli Troyer are complete opposites.  Gideon is a toy maker who is thoughtful, patient, and thinks things through.  Eli is the more spirited twin.  He is reckless, a farmer, a charmer, and likes to have fun.  Gideon has been courting Hannah Stoltzfus and is ready to pop the question.  The sudden appearance of a baby who resembles the Troyer twins changes Gideon’s plans.  I enjoyed this sweet story.  I thought The Amish Baby Finds a Home was well written with developed, realistic characters and situations.  My favorite character was John, the charming baby found in the toy shop.  He is such a sweetie and a charmer. I appreciated the epilogue that nicely wrapped up the book.  I was drawn into this moving story, and it held my attention to the end.    While The Amish Baby Finds a Home is the second A Hearts of Lancaster County Novel, it can be read as a standalone.  The Amish Baby Finds a Home is a story that will tug at your heartstrings.  The Amish Baby Finds a Home is a heartwarming Amish tale with a charming farmer, a thoughtful toy maker, a generous quilt maker, a muddled mother, and blissful baby boy.  

The Amish Baby Finds a Home is available from Amazon*.  The first A Hearts of Lancaster County Novel is The Amish Midwife's Hope.  Barbara Cameron's next release is The Amish Farmer's Proposal which publishes April 26, 2022.  You can find Barbara Cameron's other novels here.  I hope that you enjoy The Amish Baby Finds a Home as much as I did.  Tomorrow I am a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Knot Ready for Murder by Mary Marks.  It is the 9th A Quilting Mystery.  There will be an excerpt and a giveaway.  I hope that you have a optimistic day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Murder in the Village by Lisa Cutts

 Murder in the Village

Book Summary

Meet Belinda Penshurst. Castle owner, dog lover… crime solver?

Belinda Penshurst loves her home village Little Challham, with its shady lanes, two pubs and weekly market, and she’s determined to keep it peaceful. She may live in Challham Castle but she knows almost everything that goes on under her nose. So when irritable pub landlord Tipper is found dead in his cellar, she’s perfectly placed to investigate.

Retired detective Harry Powell moved to Little Challham for a quiet life. He didn’t expect to be dragged into a murder investigation. But the police don’t seem half as enthusiastic as Belinda about the case, and there are strange things happening in the village. Particularly the number of dogs that have disappeared lately…

Is there a dognapper snaffling schnauzers and luring away Labradors? Is Belinda barking mad to be worried that her brother Marcus was arguing with Tipper on the day he died? Belinda and Harry track down the suspects: the rival landlord, the outraged barmaid, the mysterious man in the black car following dogwalkers around. But are the dogged detectives running out of time to sniff out the killer, before he starts hounding them?

A charming cozy mystery full of laughs and eccentric characters. Fans of M.C. Beaton, H.Y. Hanna and Emily Organ will love the first novel in the Belinda Penshurst series!

My Thoughts

Murder in the Village by Lisa Cutts is the first book in The Belinda Penshurst Mystery series.  I like that this cozy mystery is set in Britain.  We get that cozy English village charm.  The author provided detailed descriptions that allowed me to visualize the village, Belinda’s home, and the characters.  Our two amateur sleuths, Belinda Penshurst and Harry Powell work to solve two crimes.  They must catch a murderer and figure out who is behind the local dognapping’s.  The two run around asking questions and trying to outdo each other.  The mysteries were straightforward.  For a detective, Harry failed to question the right people with regard to the dognapping.   I felt the story got bogged down in the details.  The endless detailed descriptions made for slow reading along with the repetitive details.  I had a hard time wading through this whodunit (it is great if you are suffering from insomnia). 

I could not get into Murder in the Village (I really tried).  It did not feel that this was the first book.  The author did not provide the backstory that I wanted on our main characters especially Harry.  We are told that Harry is a retired detective inspector who has moved to Little Challham and now works for Doggie Delight delivering kibble (I want more information).  Of course, Harry may no longer be a detective, but it is hard to give up old habits.  Belinda has her finger in a number of pies in the village plus she is trying to find out what mischief her brother, Marcus is up to this time.  The last time the family almost lost their home.  She is also having trouble with her latest investment.  Belinda finds the cause of her latest problem dead which is how she gets involved in solving the crime.  The author was trying to establish a romantic relationship between our two protagonists, but it missed the mark.  Why Harry would like someone who looks down on him and sneers, I do not know.  The dialogue between them makes a person cringe. Personally, I was not a fan of either one of them.  Belinda is a bossy, forceful woman with attitude (big chip or should I say boulder on her shoulder).  Harry is a quiet man who pays attention to details.  There are times, though, when I felt he missed the mark.  The book moved at a snail’s pace (I felt like I was traveling on a glacier to get to the resolution).  The best thing about the story was the cute dogs.  Murder in the Village was not the right fit for me.  I suggest you read a sample to see if this cozy mystery suits you.  Murder in the Village is British whodunit with dognapped doggies, pub problems, a troublemaker brother, a mysterious murder, and two squabbling sleuths.  

Murder in the Village is available from Amazon*.  If you belong to Kindle Unlimited, you can borrow it for free.  The next novel in A Belinda Penshurst Mystery series is Murder in the Castle which publishes December 8.  You can find Lisa Cutts other books here.  I appreciate you stopping by today and reading my review.  Next time I am featuring The Amish Baby Finds a Home by Barbara Cameron which came out today.  It is the 2nd A Hearts of Lancaster County Novel.  I do hope that you have a peaceful day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

An Unexpected Amish Harvest by Carrie Light: Review & Excerpt

An Unexpected Amish Harvest

Book Summary

She’s struggling to forgive…

But it’s the only way to heal her heart.

When Susannah Peachy returns to her grandfather’s potato farm to help out after her grandmother’s injured, she’s not ready to face her ex-beau. But with Peter Lambright pitching in to harvest her grandfather’s crop, she can’t avoid him. For his family’s sake, Peter can’t tell Susannah why he had to leave her. But sharing his secret could make all the difference for their future…

From Love Inspired: Uplifting stories of faith, forgiveness and hope.

About the Author

Carrie Lighte enjoys traveling to Amish communities across the United States and she hopes to visit a few in Canada soon, too. When she isn't writing, reading or researching, she likes to hike, kayak and spend time at the beach.

Connect with the Author

Website: https://www.carrielighte.com/books

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarrieLighte

My Thoughts

An Unexpected Amish Harvest by Carrie Lighte is the 2nd book in The Amish of New Hope series.  It can be read as a standalone if you have not indulged in Hiding Her Amish Secret.  I thought An Unexpected Amish Harvest was well-written with realistic characters.  Susannah Peachy and Peter Lambright began courting the previous year, but then Peter broke off their courtship without providing a reason.  She wishes to avoid Peter, but it looks like it is not meant to be.  Susannah has loving grandparents who wish to protect her and ensure that she has a safe future.  That future may not be what Susannah has envisioned.  There are a couple of secondary storylines in this tale.  Miscommunication and misunderstandings abound.  There were some good life lessons in this story.  People should not be judged based on their outward appearance and things are not always the way they appear.  We need to remember that there are two sides to every story.  Forgiveness is one of the central themes.  Forgiving someone does more for the person giving it than for the person receiving it.  I like how it all came together into one heartwarming Amish tale.  I appreciated the epilogue that nicely wrapped up the story.  I am eager to read Caring for Her Amish FamilyAn Unexpected Amish Harvest is a sweet story about forgiveness, family, misapprehensions, friends, misperceptions, and love.


When Susannah stayed in New Hope last summer, she had quickly formed a close friendship with Dorcas Troyer. The two young, single women had enjoyed each other’s company again when Susannah returned to New Hope for a week at Christmastime, and they’d written to each other frequently throughout the last year.

In fact, Dorcas was the only person that Susannah had confided in when Peter asked to be her suitor the previous summer…and the only person Susannah had told about their breakup last January. She still remembered teardrops splashing onto the stationery as she wrote,

Peter wouldn’t give me any reason for ending our courtship, other than to say he doesn’t think we’re compatible, after all. But I know it’s because I’ve gained so much weight since last summer.

Her friend had written back,

I’ve known Peter for years and I can’t believe your weight is such an issue for him. Are you sure that’s why he broke up with you? Could it be that he just finds it too difficult to carry on a long-distance courtship?

Susannah highly doubted that. After she’d left New Hope the first time, Peter’s biweekly letters had been filled with proclamations of his affection for her. The couple had called each other at their respective phone shanties at three o’clock every other Sunday. Even after two hours of talking, they’d never run out of things to share and laugh about. And although they had only been able to sneak off for an hour with each other when Susannah came to New Hope last Christmas, they’d agreed their time alone together was the best part of the holiday.

That’s why it was so confusing that four days after she got home, Peter called and said he had decided to end their courtship. The change in his attitude was so abrupt it made Susannah feel as if he was an utter stranger. As if someone else had been pretending to be him on the phone and in his letters. Had been pretending to fall in love with her the way she’d been falling in love with him.

“Why?” she had cried, as bewildered as she was devastated. “I don’t understand.”

“We’re just not a gut match.”

“But why aren’t we a gut match? What has changed all of a sudden?”

“I’m sorry to hurt your feelings like this, Susannah, but I don’t want to discuss it further. Please accept my decision.”

Afterward, she went over it and over it in her mind, trying to figure out what could have possibly changed to make Peter end their relationship. The only thing she could come up with was that once he’d seen her again, he was no longer drawn to her because of how much heavier she’d gotten. Maybe that was why he’d held his tongue about his reason; he hadn’t wanted to hurt her feelings by telling her the truth. But whether he said it aloud or not, she’d been crushed to discover that Peter valued how she looked more than who she was. That he was rejecting her because of her weight gain.

Likewise, in the following months she was disappointed when certain other men accepted her because of her appearance. During the past spring and summer, she’d had no fewer than four bachelors in Dover ask to court her. Susannah would have felt honored, if it hadn’t been for the fact that they’d all known her for at least ten years and they’d never expressed an interest in her until she was slender. 

An Unexpected Amish Harvest is available from Amazon* and Harlequin.  The first novel in The Amish of New Hope series is Hiding Her Amish Secret.  The next book is Caring for Her Amish Family which publishes January 25, 2022.  You can find Carrie Lighte's other novels here.  Thank you for joining me today for the release of An Unexpected Amish Harvest.  I hope you enjoy this charming Amish tale as much as I did.  Tomorrow I am featuring Murder in the Village by Lisa Cutts.  It is the debut of A Belinda Penshurst Mystery series.  I hope you have a friendly day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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