Thursday, February 29, 2024

The Quilt Room Secret by Lisa Jones Baker


The Quilt Room Secret

About the Book

Trini Holds Secret Dreams for Her Future

Full of faith, hope, and romance, this new series takes you into the Heart of Amish country.

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?

Click here to get your co!

About the Author

Lisa Jones Baker writes Amish Inspirational fiction. She grew up near Arthur, Illinois, and became acquainted with the Plain Faith at an early age when they custom-made and installed her family’s kitchen cabinets. On weekends, she and her parents frequented the quaint Amish town, often the setting of her stories, where they purchased meat, cheese, and home-made baking spices. Now, decades later, she still loves visiting; the town and the people yet intrigue her, and she so appreciate the talent of quilt-making almost as much as she loves horse and buggy rides. But there is much more to this perplexing group than meets the eye; they are extremely disciplined, hard-working, and honest…and they don’t all think alike. For these reasons, writing about them is her passion.

Lisa was fortunate to have been raised in a loving, Christian home by two wonderful parents: a reading specialist mother who plays the piano, and a retired Junior High Principal father who’s also an avid fox hunter. She has a B.A. in French Education and is a former school teacher who loves gardening, cooking, reading, positive thinkers, and every dog she meets. Although a homebody, travel has played a large part of her life. Over three decades of working with the airline industry has landed her on five out of seven continents.

More from Lisa

Secrets fascinate me. They always have. From experience, I know that they’re difficult to keep confidential. And when the wrong person gets hold of what you don’t want out. . .There’s no telling what will happen!

List maker Trini Sutter has decided her future, even though what’s ahead comes with great risk. The owner of The Quilt Room in Arthur, Illinois, relishes being in control of her life. But what she doesn’t expect is for someone to get wind of her deep, dark secret and to leak it to her tight-knit Amish community! Now that the quilter’s confidential plan has become public, will she be able to pull it off?  Or will Gott override her “list” with the destiny He has planned for her? Find out in The Quilt Room Secret.

Short Excerpt

“Trini, look at me.”

She hesitated. Did she dare? She didn’t know what it was about Jacob that stole her voice. Her breath. Her entire being.

With one gentle motion, he placed his finger underneath her chin. He was so close, the light cinnamon on his breath lingered in the small distance between them. His clothes smelled like outdoors. She could see tiny lines around his eyes. They made him take on an even more manly appearance. His voice was barely more than a whisper. “You feel it too, don’t you?”

The last thing she wanted was any romantic complications that would interfere with her plans to leave. I must not lead Jacob on. I must not lead myself on. What I’m feeling…it’s wrong.

My Thoughts

The Quilt Room Secret by Lisa Jones Baker is the third book in The Heart of the Amish series, but it can be read as a standalone.  I enjoyed the descriptions of the beautiful quilts Trini Sutter created.  I would love to own one of her creations.  The Quilt Room Secret is a sweet story, but I found the pacing to be on the slow side.  The overly detailed descriptions and repetitious details led to the lethargic tempo.  Trini’s two friends, Serenity and Abby, were certainly taken with the other two Lantz brothers, Gabriel and Stephen. I liked that the book did not solely focus on Trini and Jacob. I did find Trini to be a conundrum. She is having a crisis of faith and identity.  She feels the rules of the Amish community to be restricting yet she is not baptized.  I do not know how Trini kept track of all her lists.  I thought the ending was rushed.  I liked the wisdom that had been handed down by the Lantz brother’s Aunt Margaret.  She touched many lives.  The Quilt Room Secret is a sweetly stitched story with a heaven-sent bequest, lengthy lists, peaceful countryside, quality quilts, and an old love note.


To celebrate her tour, Lisa is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card & print copy of the book.  Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!  Click here to enter.

The Quilt Room Secret is available from Amazon*.  You can find the first two novels in The Heart of the Amish series here.  The fourth through sixth books in The Heart of the Amish series are Courting an Amish Bishop by Mindy Steele (coming out April 1), Mary's Calico Hope by Anne Blackburne (releasing on May 15), and Serenity's Secret by Lisa Jones Baker (they are making us wait until October 1).  Thank you for stopping by today.  On March 5, I will feature Allie's Amish Family Miracle by Tracy Fredrychowski.  It is the fifth book in The Amish Women of Lawrence County series. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a print copy of the book.  Leave a comment for nine extra entries.  Good Luck!  I hope that you have an inspiring day and a relaxing weekend.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Letters of Wisdom by Wanda E. Brunstetter

 Letters of  Wisdom
Book Summary

Friendship Letters Series — Doretta Schwartz has always enjoyed writing letters and feels her letters can be a bit of a ministry to her friends. In this series, exchanging letters that contain open and honest feelings and struggles helps Doretta and two of her best friends through the darkest challenges of their lives.
Letters and Prayers Between Friends Become a Balm for Healing
Irma Miller thought having a family of her own would bring her joy and a sense of accomplishment, but she struggles with memories of the abuse she suffered as a child at the hand of her stepfather. When she becomes physically and emotionally abusive to her own children, she reaches out to her friend Doretta for prayer and wisdom. But Irma may find herself at an even darker emotional place before she will admit she needs professional help to heal the past traumas. Will Doretta’s letters of wisdom help Irma and her family, or will too much be broken to ever be repaired?
Find out in the third book of The Friendship Letters series by New York Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter.

My Thoughts

Letters of Wisdom by Wanda E. Brunstetter is the third book in The Friendship Letters series.  It can be read as a standalone, but I believe it is best to read the series in order.  This will allow you to know the characters and their backgrounds.  I thought the story was well-written with realistic, developed characters.  Irma Miller struggles to take care of her children while her husband is away auctioneering.  She has three children, and the two boys are active.  She looks forward to receiving letters from her dear friends, Doretta and Eleanor.  They send words of encouragement along with helpful books.  Irma had a pleasant childhood until her father passed away and her mother remarried.  Her stepfather was abusive, and Irma never understood why her mother did not intervene. 

We get to see how a victim of abuse can become an abuser.  Those who have suffered mental and/or physical abuse may find the story hard to read.  There were portions that I was unable to read.  Irma’s husband, LaVern, is a gem. It is obvious that he loves his wife and kids (and wants what is best for them).  I like how the abuse was addressed.  I was not aware that there were Christian counselors.   Abuse, guilt, self-worth, bitterness, resentment, and forgiveness are themes addressed in the story.  Letters of Wisdom is a character driven story.  I liked how the characters told the story.  I enjoyed catching up with the characters from the first two books.  Letters of Wisdom is an emotional tale with an overwhelmed mother, helpful letters, a hardworking husband, energetic tykes, finding forgiveness, and a gracious God.  

Letters of Wisdom will be out March 1 and can be preordered from Amazon*.  The first two books in The Friendship Letters series are Letters of Trust and Letters of Comfort.  Wanda has The Protector coming out August 1.  It is the first A Mifflin County Mysteries. You can find Wanda Brunstetter's other novels here.  Thank you for joining me today.  I am a stop on the Celebrate Lit Tour tomorrow for The Quilt Room Secret by Lisa Jones Baker.  It is the third book in The Heart of the Amish series.  I hope you will stop by to learn more about the Amish story and to enter the giveaway.  I am off to sort another closet.  I am slowly getting each closet organized.  I found a travel bag of  new Halloween t-shirts in the back of my closet along with two pair of sandals still in their boxes.  I hope that you have an uplifting day. Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

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

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Trapped in Yosemite by Dana Mentink

 Trapped in Yosemite
Book Summary

When a massive earthquake levels the region, secrets and unknown dangers are exposed…

The ground in still-icy Yosemite National Park isn’t stable, and K-9 handler Von Sharpe fears the worst. But his worries are pushed aside when he sees an SUV viciously forced off the road…with his ex-fiancĂ©e at the wheel. It’s only when Stella Rivers steps out of the vehicle that the very ground under their feet cracks and breaks with the onslaught of a terrifying earthquake. 
When her meeting with a mysterious client is ambushed, Stella witnesses the man being gunned down by a sniper and becomes a target herself. With the threat of aftershocks triggering landslides and floods, the new mom has no choice but to run to save her baby girl—even if it means teaming up with the man who has no idea he fathered her child.
Trapped in a dangerously unstable wilderness with a killer closing in, Von and Stella are running out of time to get to safety. And every fissure reveals a new secret that will shake them to their foundation…
My Thoughts

Trapped in Yosemite by Dana Mentink starts off with a bang.  I thought the author captured the setting of Yosemite National Park.  I was unable to connect with the two main characters, Stella and Von.  I did not like Stella’s deceit and her justifications.  Vonn was a tough nut to crack.  I did like seeing the characters grow (personally, emotionally, and spiritually) by the end of the story. There are a number of characters introduced.  It takes time to learn about them and keep them straight (which does not help the pacing).  The way the characters talked and acted, it made me believe that Trapped in Yosemite was part of a series (it’s not). 

After the action at the beginning, the story slowed down for a spell. I was happy that the pace picked up in the second half along with the suspense.  I did not enjoy the scenes where the two main characters evade discussing their feelings and Stella avoids telling Von about their baby (while everyone around them knows about it).  There is tension, lies, gunshots, and extreme weather.  Stella and Von work to uncover why someone wants to kill Stella. Faith is woven throughout the story.  Two of the main themes are redemption and second chances.  My favorite character in the story was Von’s dog, Bear.   Trapped in Yosemite had an uplifting and satiating ending.  

Trapped in Yosemite is available from Amazon*.  Dana Mentink has Tracking the Truth coming out on March 26.  You can find the author's other novels here.  Thank you for joining me today.  Tomorrow I will be featuring Letters of Wisdom by Wanda E. Brunstetter.  It is the final book in the Friendship Letters series.  I hope that you have gratifying day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

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

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Miracles at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard

Miracles at Promise Lodge 

Book Summary

Returning to the fan-favorite world of Promise Lodge, the small-town Missouri setting for her beloved Amish inspirational romance novels, Charlotte Hubbard charms readers with a Mother’s Day themed tale perfect for fans of Shelley Shepard Gray and Beth Wiseman!

A season of change has blessed the Amish of Missouri’s Promise Lodge, as mothers-to-be anticipate the arrival of their little miracles and one young man’s life is about to take an unexpected turn as he sheds his bad boy reputation and embraces the value of faith and hard work.

Long-time residents of Promise Lodge welcome a wave of newcomers that includes a pretty potter who’s come to help an expectant couple, and a hard-working dairy expert ready to manage the herds on the expanding Burkholder farm. Then there’s Isaac Chupp, the handsome, charming son of a notoriously unyielding Bishop from nearby Coldstream. Isaac has recklessly rebelled against his dat, and his bad boy reputation precedes him. Now he seeks a fresh start, applying for work at Dale Kraybill’s bulk store.
Proving himself reliable while Dale takes off for his wedding trip is Isaac’s bold first step. But more miraculous awakenings may come as he settles into the warm new light of the faithful community. And while Promise Lodge celebrates an abundance of newborns as summer turns to fall, Isaac discovers a kindred soul who has her own share of challenges. In helping her, he just may find his true purpose in loving selflessly, building up, and giving back . . .

My Thoughts

Miracles at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard takes us back to the quaint community of Promise Lodge.  It was great to catch up with the characters that started the community and who have moved into it since its creation.  I like that it is a community started by women (I wonder if the Amish will ever allow women to be deacons or bishops).  Isaac has come to Promise Lodge for a fresh start.  Unfortunately, members of his old community live in the area and are fully aware of his misdeeds.  Isaac has a temper as well as impulse control issues. There is one scene that I found particularly troubling with Isaac.  It can be a trigger for individuals who have been abused or assaulted.  Maria Zehr’s arrival is quite vociferous, and the timing is inopportune. Maria is a piece of work.  I would not have had the patience to deal with her.  

I like Vera.  She is a kind, forgiving young woman.  Vera is also artistic and allowed to express her creativity through her pottery.  It was good to see Dale and Irene so happy.  Jealousy and envy were two of the themes in the story.  Faith was nicely woven into the story.  It is great how the people who live in Promise Lodge help each other and are welcoming to new people (I wish all communities were like that).   I like the author’s writing style (makes the story easy to read).  There is good plot and character development.  I have read all the books in the series, so I am familiar with the characters and the setting.  New readers would not have that knowledge (it is best to read the series in order). One of my favorite phrases from the book is, “One of the best things about the Bible is the way we can read a passage again and again throughout our lives, yet those verses can take on a different meaning—often depending upon our circumstances.”  I look forward to my next visit to Promise Lodge.  

Miracles at Promise Lodge is available from Amazon*.  Miracles at Promise Lodge is Charlotte Hubbard's final novel.  The author has announced her retirement.  You can find the other novels in the Promise Lodge series here and the rest of Charlotte Hubbard's Amish tales here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I will return on Tuesday, February 27 with Trapped in Yosemite by Dana Mentink.  I hope that you have an enjoyable weekend.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

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

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

A Smoking Bun by Ellie Alexander

 A Smoking Bun

Book Summary

Another delicious installment in the Bakeshop Series set in Ashland, OR!

The mountains are calling in Ashland, Oregon, where pastry chef turned amateur sleuth, Jules Capshaw, is baking up a bevy of spiced curry buns and chai cookies for a moonlit snowshoe tour. Ramiro’s family is visiting from Spain and Jules can’t wait to take them up to her beloved Mount A with its charming and rustic lodge, backcountry trails, and star-filled skies that stretch for miles. Their winter wonderland adventure is nothing short of magical and the merry party opts to return to the slope the next day for the Downhill Dummy.

The annual competition is a favorite amongst snow lovers. Contestants strap makeshift dummies to skis and send them hurling down a death-defying ski jump in hopes of catching big air. The team at Torte is in the mix this year with their own replica of a tiered cake and a baker who closely resembles their fearless leader. It’s a fun and festive atmosphere as dummies sail past the crowd to huge cheers and applause. Until one of the dummies takes a deadly detour and lands atop Fitz Baskin.
Fitz is a guide on the mountain and his icy dealings have made for frosty relationships with everyone he encounters. Suddenly there are more suspects than snowdrifts as Jules dives into the investigation. She unearths a web of secrets and motives that threaten to shake the rustic mountain lodge to its core. Can she catch the killer before they strike again, or will the truth be buried forever under fluffy layers of fresh snow?

My Thoughts

A Smoking Bun by Ellie Alexander is the eighteenth A Bakeshop Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series.  The story was not as easy to read as the others in the series.  We are introduced to a number of new characters plus there are the regular characters (hotel staff, Ramiro’s family, ski patrol, bakery staff, contest participants, townspeople).  It can be a challenge to keep them all straight.  I found the pacing to be languid (little action, but plenty of chatting and eating). 

Moonlight Snowshoe Tour

The mystery was uncomplicated.  The victim, of course, was not well liked.  You do not get to know any of the suspects very well.  The mystery is not at the forefront of the story.  A couple of details give away the killer’s identity.  I like that we get to learn about a few of the outdoor activities available around Ashland.  Jules arranged for the family to go on a midnight snowshoe trip on Mount Ashland (I bet the stars were beautiful) with a late-night feast.  They also went skiing.  Mount Ashland’s annual downhill dummy competition is certainly different.  As usual, there is plenty of baking, cooking, eating, and drinking wine. A Smoking Bun had a cheery ending.  There was a tidbit at end regarding the obnoxious Richard Lord that had me chuckling.  A Smoking Bun is a light, upbeat tale with a visiting family, a slain skier, a snug lodge, tasty pastries, downhill dummy competition, and sunny news. 

A Smoking Bun is available from Amazon*.  Sticks and Scones is the next A Bakeshop Mystery and it will published on August 20.  You can find the other A Bakeshop Mysteries here.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will return tomorrow with Miracles at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard.  It is the last book in the Promise Lodge series and Charlotte Hubbard's swan song.  I am off to organize one of my hall closets.  It has gotten to the point that I can barely close the door.  It is time to take everything out, sort through it, and put the items back in neatly.  Wish me luck!  I hope that you have a positive day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Undercover Colorado Conspiracy by Jodie Bailey

 Undercover Colorado Conspiracy

Book Summary

An undercover mission

turns into a fight for survival

To expose a crooked adoption agency, military investigators Thalia Renner and Phillip Campbell pose as a married couple at a mountain resort. But when they become the target of unknown enemies and deadly assaults, they wonder if their cover has been blown. As they investigate, they learn the truth is far more sinister…and the consequences could cost them their lives.
My Thoughts

Undercover Colorado Conspiracy by Jodie Bailey starts off with a bang, but then the pace slows down for a while.  I liked the conspiracy in the story.   There was a twist or two along the way.  The characters were likeable.  The Christian element was present.  The main theme was letting go and letting God take control.  Undercover Colorado Conspiracy had a good ending.  

Undercover Colorado Conspiracy is available from Amazon*.  Jodie Bailey has Mountain Abduction Rescue, which is the fifth book in the Mountain Country K-9 Unit series, coming out July 23.  You can find Jodie Bailey's other novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I will return tomorrow to share my thoughts on A Smoking Bun by Ellie Alexander.  It is the latest A Bakeshop MysteryThe Last Word by Gerri Lewis, Miracles at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard, and Ill-Fated Fortune by Jennifer J. Chow are a few of the books that were released today.  I hope that you have joyful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

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