Friday, December 30, 2016

**Review** An Amish Family Christmas by Shelley Shepard Gray

An Amish Family Christmas (The Charmed Amish Life #4)

Ever since his father died in a tragic fire, Levi Kinsinger has felt adrift. Newly returned to Charm, Ohio, Levi is trying to fit into his old life, only to discover he seems to have outgrown it.

But when Julia, his young widowed neighbor, asks for his help with a Christmas project, Levi finds a sense of purpose for the first time in months. She and her daughter are new to Charm and could use a friend, a job Levi takes personally. Soon enough, friendship grows into attraction, but Levi can’t help having doubts. There’s something about Julia that doesn’t ring quite true…

Like Levi, Julia Kemps has survived her fair share of hardships—but only by hiding the truth of her past. Being an unmarried mother in an Amish community was unthinkable. Feeling hopeless, Julia did the only thing she could do: she moved to a new town and pretended to be a widow. But meeting Levi, she’s hopeful for the first time. Little by little, she begins to imagine telling him her darkest secret, and eventually…perhaps even sharing her life with him.

My thoughts:
This is the 4th book in this series, and oh so good. The author does not disappoint. This was a great wrap up to the series. Although I still need to read the first two...
I loved the sprinkle of suspense dropped throughout this book, definitely a twist I was not expecting. I loved that this book, this series, shows the Amish as humans who struggle just as we all do. I loved the grittiness, the real life struggles, the compassion, the touches of humor, and the characters. They are down to earth, fun, realistic, and full of personality. 
Through this series we have come to really know the characters and their lives. the author did a wonderful job creating these characters and the story line as well as doing a fantastic job of wrapping it all up.
I will miss the characters and the story though...

**Review** A Sister's Wish by by Shelley Shepard Gray

A Sister's Wish (The Charmed Amish Life, #3)

In Shelley Shepard Gray’s third book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a respectable young woman finds herself falling for an Amish man from the wrong side of the tracks.

Amelia Kinsinger is the perfect Amish woman—at least according to her neighbors. And while Amelia takes pride in her role as homemaker, she’s also harboring a secret: She’s been in love with bad boy Simon Hochstetler for as long as she can remember. Too bad he’s about as far from “perfect” as an Amish man could get… but that’s exactly why she’s so drawn to him.

Life hasn’t been kind to Simon. He ran away from an abusive home at fifteen and things went downhill from there. Eventually, Simon landed in prison. But the experience changed him. Now back in Charm as a grown man, he’s determined to make a new life for himself and not think too much about his wild past…unless it pertains to Amelia.

My Thoughts: 
This is actually the 3rd book in the series, so now I need to read the first two and thankfully I had the fourth book An Amish Family Christmas, so I could continue the wonderful story that I started...
I loved Amelia's character. She does not lose her spunkiness being Amish. If she were a non-fictional character, I imagine we would be good friends. I appreciated her loyalty, honesty, kindness, and sweetness. 
Simon and Amelia were made for each other, they make such a good fit. I loved that the author made Joel a hero from another mold. He isn't the typical hero you see in Amish books which made for a fun and delightful twist. Even though this book has hardship, pain, and loss, it was still soft with sweetness and a tenderness that was needed to balance the story. And the humor, too cute; really made me chuckle!

**Review** Self Serve Murder by D.E. Haggerty

Cozy mystery
Date Published: December 5, 2016

Book 3 in the Death by Cupcake series. Can be read as a standalone.

Kristie is kind with a capital K, so it’s quite the surprise when she wakes up next to a dead man with no recollection of the previous night. Even worse? She’s naked. Kristie may be a sweetheart out to save the world, but sticking her nose into an investigation of rapes across campus makes her the target of a murderer. Before she knows it, Callie is smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation with her colleagues Callie and Anna. If that’s not enough to drive a sane person up the wall, a friend has decided he’s going to keep her safe whether she wants him to or not. And, oh yeah, he’s her man and that’s that.    
Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu. You are most welcome, but you may need to serve yourself as our barista Kristie is busy trying to save the world. 
Warning: Although there are plenty of moments that will make you shake your head and laugh at the antics of the ladies of Callie’s Cakes, the subject matter – rape on college campuses – is very real and somewhat darker than your usual cozy mystery. 

My thoughts:
Even though this is a standalone book, I am really looking forward to reading the first two now :)
If I woke up naked in my own bed, not only knowing how I got there but having a dead body next to me!?!?!? I'd be freaked to say the least...
Kristie is dealing with exactly this after a big night at a frat party...
What's a girl to do? She calls up her baker friends and boss and is on her way to solve the mystery.
As she and her friends begin to try to unfold the deadly mystery...there is yet another twist to the plot...
This was such a cozy mystery to read. Well written with fun and true to life characters. This was my first read from this author and now I look forward to not only reading the first two in this series but other books by her as well. 

About the author:

I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was
penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage, every once in a while, to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I decided to follow the husband to Istanbul for a few years where I managed to churn out book after book. But ten years was too many to stay away from ‘home’. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

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**Review** Amelia's Hope by Candis Vargo

Amelia's Hope

Contemporary Romance/Women's fiction
Date Published: 11/14/16
Publisher: Fifth Ink Publishing

“Even though I was decaying, Amelia was growing. It was like some beautiful symphony the way both things were happening at once.”

Sacrificing your life for your child is one of the greatest ways a mother can show her love... For Cara Michaels, that sacrifice was made.

At ten weeks pregnant, Cara was diagnosed with a fast-acting cancer and was faced with the ultimate decision… That decision, was to forgo life-saving treatment to ensure her child would come into this world unharmed.

Cara shares with us the last months of her life as she prepared to give birth to her child, and for her husband, Joel, to parent without her.

But a husband can only handle so much before he breaks…

My Thoughts:
This is definitely a story that is emotional and may have the reader grabbing for the tissues. Cara faces news that sends her crashing to the ground when she finds out that not only does she have Acute Myeloid Leukemia, but she is also on her 10th week of pregnancy...
This makes her face the very difficult and heart wrenching decision: does she sacrifice her life by not doing chemotherapy in order to have her baby or...
This story unquestionably pulls you in...first you're excited for them as they move into their first home, then you feel empathy and compassion for Cara and her husband Joel for what they face and know what is ahead...they just can't seem to catch a break.
The author did such a wonderful job writing this story, bringing life to the characters, and bringing depth and realness to the story line. Part of what makes this story so heartbreaking is knowing this isn't so fictional for everyone...
Yes, we know the ending, Cara tells us that but, the ending may actually surprise you.

About the author:
Growing up on an old dirt road in the middle of nowhere, as a child Candis used her love for books as a way to escape reality (and her brother constantly trying to kill her--literally). She blames her love of all things Horror on being born on Friday the 13th and will always find joy in scaring her friends. 
You will find a little piece of her in every book she writes. She loves a good happy ending
but isn’t afraid to keep her stories real, even if that means telling the side of a story most people are afraid to tell.
Never caring for the norms or boundaries, Candis has written several genres from Horror to Erotica.
When she's not writing or reading, she can usually be found chasing her children around or binge watching Netflix. She currently lives in Rome, Pennsylvania with her husband and three children.


**Book Blitz** Fated Destinations ( A Romance Collection)


Title: Fated Destinations: A Romance Collection
Authors: Susan Harris, Peggy Martinez, Kendra L. Saunders, Julie Wetzel, Kelly Risser, Melissa J. Cunningham, Sandy Goldsworthy
Published: December 27th, 2016
Publisher: Crimson Tree Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Romance

~ Synopsis ~

Escape from the everyday with this set of 7 all-new travel-based romances from award-winning authors. These exciting stories span the globe (and beyond!) to tell stories of love and intrigue in exotic locations. Take a mental vacation today with the Fated Destinations box set.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Draped in Plaid by Eliza Knight **Cover Reveal**

Inside the Book:

Title: Draped in Plaid
Author: Eliza Knight
Publisher: Knight Media, LLC
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Ecopy 

The final installment in the USA Today Bestselling Highland Bound series!

When Moira goes missing, Rory will stop at nothing to get her back, even if it means traveling through multiple time periods and facing off with his worst enemies.

Logan, Emma, Shona and Ewan join Rory on his mission. Just when they think they’re safe, they are met with yet another challenge—one that will have them trembling in delirious rapture.

Once the spell is broken, only time will tell if they can truly vanquish their enemies and keep the secrets of the crown forever hidden.



Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a princess…

Growing up, I was a proficient story teller, with most of my plots encompassing princesses and princes and dreams coming true. Now as an author, some of my stories are still about royalty, knights, duels, ladies, intrigue, betrayal. History fascinates me and I try to bring history back to life in each of my stories.

My favorite time periods are medieval, renaissance and Regency eras of Europe. Growing up, I was lucky to have grandparents who lived in Paris, so many a summer was spent exploring medieval ruins and historical sites.

Enigma by Ditter Kellen **Blitz**

Paranormal Romance
Date Published:  February 2016


On Sale $2.99, Normally $5.99

Doctor Abbigail Sutherland is used to being alone. Between twelve hour shifts at the hospital and looking after her eccentric father, she has very little time for much else. Until an unexpected call one night, sends her racing to the lab where she discovers a secret that could change the world forever.

Hauke awakens after an underwater explosion, strapped to a bed and on his way to a site known as Area 51. His only hope for survival lies in Abbie Sutherland, the beautiful doctor that saved his life. Amidst a deadly virus, seemingly impossible to stop, and a corrupt Government placing a price on their heads, Hauke and Abbie run for their lives, uncovering conspiracies, deceptions, and a love that won't be denied...
Other books in the Enigma Series:

Publisher: DK Media
Published: July 2016

As a Bracadyte Princess, Naura is forbidden to visit the surface. Until an explosion near her home in Aukrabah, leaves her injured and in the arms of a land walker named Anthony Vaughn. Recognizing him as her mate, Naura will stop at nothing to be with Tony. Even if it means her life.

Anthony Vaughn doesn't exist. Having his family tortured before his eyes, and his past erased by the CIA, he no longer has a soul. The last thing he wants or needs is the responsibility of protecting the beautifully naive Naura from a ruthless Government that wants her head. Danger and seduction become a constant companion in a world of intrigue, conspiracy and a deadly epidemic that threatens to destroy them all.

Publisher: DK Media
Published: September 2016

On a mission to save his people from being destroyed, Vaulcron must team up with a human reporter known as the Great White Shark. She's beautiful, cunning, and definitely hiding something. Vaulcron will do anything for his family, even if it means breeding with the one woman who can destroy them all.

Mallory Cahill hasn't become the lead reporter of Channel Eight News by being weak. Feared by some and hated by many, she'll do anything to get the story, no matter whose toes she has to step on to achieve it. When Vaulcron, a Bracadyte prince, virtually falls into her lap, Mallory jumps at the chance to interview him. She doesn't count on falling for the gorgeous alien any more than she expects to be running for her life from the very government who had promised to protect her.

Publisher: DK Media
Published: April 2016

A legendary healer fully devoted to his people, Zaureth is one of the most powerful Bracadytes in Aukrabah. But his gifts come with enormous responsibilities and a heavy price—a vow of peace and celibacy. From the moment he meets Amy, a tiny human female born without sight, those vows are threatened. She calls forth every protective instinct he possesses, along with a desire he is powerless to deny.

Amy Brighton may have been born blind, but she doesn't need sight to know how she feels about the Bracadyte healer. Their first touch forges a connection between them too strong to resist. Now Amy must overcome a lifetime of dark uncertainty if she wants to live, and turn to the only light she will ever know. Zaureth...

Publisher: DK Media
Published: October 2016

Raised by the Cuban cartel, Nicho “Oz” Ozele learned early on that it was far better to be feared than loved. Now he’ll use everything in his formidable arsenal to stay alive. Even if it means abducting the incredibly enticing sister of his most hated enemy. Wanted by the mob and running from the deadly Incola virus, Oz turns to the only family he has left—the Bracadytes.

Taken hostage by her father's killer, Maria wants nothing more than to see Oz dead for his crimes against her family. With all she has, she fights Oz at every turn. Until one night on the open water, he risks his life to save hers, forcing Maria to choose between the need for revenge and her heart’s strongest desire.


“You really should eat better, young lady. Your mother would have my ass if she were alive to see some of the dreadful things you consume.”

 Abbie hid a smile at her father’s scolding. “I’m thirty-two years old, Henry. I doubt she would go all June Cleaver on me.”

“You shouldn’t call me Henry, you little brat. It makes me sound old and boring.”

“If the toupee fits.” They both laughed a moment before falling into a comfortable silence.

Abbie’s mother had died from cancer twenty-five years earlier, and Henry had never remarried. He hid his loneliness behind a mask of indifference and immersed himself wholly in his work. 

Being the lead epidemiologist for Winchester Industries had become Henry’s proverbial crutch, and he spent entirely too much time alone at the lab. 

Abbie worried about him constantly and planned evenings such as the one they had tonight to spend quality time together. It didn’t always work. She knew he saw her mother every time he looked into his daughter’s eyes. The exact replica of the only woman he’d ever loved. 

The trill of a phone broke the silence, and her father excused himself to take the call.

Work, no doubt, Abbie thought, taking a bite of the burger she’d just made to her liking.

He reappeared a moment later with a guilty look in his eyes. “That was the lab, honey. They need me to come in.”

“What could be so important that it can’t wait until morning?” 

He avoided her gaze. “I’m not sure, but I’ll call you later. Don’t wait up. It’s going to be a late night.” 

Something in his voice kicked her curiosity up a notch. He never could hide things well, and the whole no eye contact? Yeah, he was definitely keeping something from her.

“I’ll come with you.” She pushed her plate aside and stood.

“Nonsense. Stay and eat your heart attack on a bun. You worked a twelve-hour shift at the hospital today.”

Abbie had worked at Winchester Industries with her father for several years and often assisted him in the lab before she’d been unceremoniously laid off due to supposed budget cuts.

She knew the higher ups had purposefully kept things from her during her time working in the lab, but whatever Henry hid from her now had to be awfully big for him to outright lie to his only daughter. 

And she had no doubt he evaded the truth by the way his left eye twitched. That little trademark had always given him away. “What are you not telling me?”

He pursed his lips. “Okay, you got me. I didn’t want to have to say this, honey, but you are adopted.”

A chuckle bubbled up before she could stop it. She stood on tiptoes and gave him a quick peck on the chin. “That explains a whole hell of a lot.”

“You look so much like your mother, Abbigail. She had the same hazel eyes and dark hair. Her butt wasn’t quite as big though.”

Abbie playfully smacked him on the arm before stepping back. “I inherited the infamous booty from you, Henry.” 

She knew he didn’t like her to call him Henry any more than she appreciated him referring to her as Abbigail. They were incorrigible teases, but it was their way.

“I really do have to run, sweetie.” 

“At least let me pack up your food to take with you, or you won’t eat.” 

He nodded and began gathering his work paraphernalia while she bagged up his dinner. 

What are you up to, Henry?

Abbie followed him to the car and held the door open as he deposited his things on the passenger seat. 

“You are welcome to stay here tonight, Abbie. Jax would love the company.”

“I probably will. If I leave, I’ll feed him before I go.”

He gave her a two-finger salute and slid behind the wheel. 

Abbie stepped back as the door closed and the engine roared to life. He backed out of the drive without another glance in her direction.

She waited until his tail lights disappeared around the corner before going back inside to put food out for Jax. He followed her around with a rubber ball in his mouth, bumping into her legs. The big German shepherd had been with Henry for nearly ten years and had become part of the family.

 “You know what’s going on, don’t you, boy?” 

His tail wagged in response from the attention.

 “Wanna give me a clue? No? I didn’t think so. You are a male after all.” She snagged the ball from his jaws and tossed it across the room, grinning as he bounded after it.

 After a quick shower, Abbie brushed her teeth and strolled to her old bedroom in search of something to wear. Henry kept the room exactly as Abbie had left it before she’d gone off to college, right down to the blue pom-poms hanging from the bedpost.

 She dressed in a pair of jeans and a black tank top, pulled her long dark hair back in a ponytail, and made haste cleaning up the mess from their earlier dinner.

 Grabbing her keys, she switched off the lights and left the house.

Abbie marched to her car with determined steps. Something was up, and she’d be damned if she would remain behind to play the docile daughter while her father hid things from her.

You’re too overprotective, Henry. Just because I have breasts doesn’t mean I’m fragile. She had no doubt that if she’d been born a male the passenger seat of his car would have housed her ass when he’d left.

* * * * 

Abbie pulled into the parking lot of Winchester Industries and switched off the engine. 

Her father’s car sat in its reserved spot in front of a sign that read H. Sutherland. She grabbed the registration to her vehicle from the glove box, exited the car, and glanced up at the camera situated on the corner of the building. 

Security would be a piece of cake. She did, however, need to figure out a believable reason for being here in the first place without alerting Henry to her presence. 

The evening security guard waved from his perch behind a small, less than clean window. Smudges on the glass blurred his smile, but she couldn’t mistake the shiny gold tooth displayed so proudly from its position in the front of his mouth.

The door buzzed once, and a click told her the lock had released. She pulled it open and stepped inside.

“Hi, Willie. How are you this evening?” 

Willie had been one of her favorite night watchmen. His uniform always appeared clean, neatly creased, and he smelled nice. The badge he wore shone perfectly to match the bald spot on top of his head. He had a toothy grin for everyone and a heart of gold.

“Doing good, Miss Abbie. What brings you out here?” 

“Henry forgot an important piece of his work.” She held up the folded car registration before quickly tucking it into the pocket of her jeans. 

“I hate it when that happens. My wife is always harping at me about how forgetful I’m getting. I reckon she’s right. It’s hell getting old.”

 He glanced suspiciously at the pocket she’d tucked the paper into. “He must be working on something pretty big to bring you down here at this hour. It’s almost nine o’clock.” 

Abbie inwardly groaned. She hated like hell lying to Willie, but left with little choice, lying was exactly what she did.

“He’s working on some antimicrobial susceptibility tests, and they called him in to straighten out a mix-up in results. It could be the fact that he used the gradient diffusion method instead of—”

Willie laughed, effectively cutting her off. “Okay, Miss Abbie. You lost me back at antimicro…something.” He waved her on. “Tell him not to work too hard.”

“Have a good night, Willie. Tell that beautiful wife of yours I’m ready for more of her fried chicken.”

“I sure will.” He beamed. 

 He touched her arm as she turned to go. “Wait. Dr. Sutherland left his dinner down here when he signed in. Do you want to take it up to him on your way through? If not, I can buzz him and let him know it’s here.”

Abbie ground her teeth. If he picked up the phone, Willie would spill the beans without realizing it. The man loved to talk.

“Yes, thank you. I’ll take it.” She caught sight of a keycard peeking out from under some papers on Willie’s desk and quickly snagged it when he bent to retrieve Henry’s dinner from under the counter. She stuffed the card into her back pocket.

He straightened and handed her the bag. “Here you go, Miss. Abbie.”

“See you, Willie.” She winked at him and hurried off down the hall.

The cameras strategically placed along the corners of the ceiling made her nervous. If anyone involved in whatever Henry worked on recognized her, they would surely sound the alarm.

Abbie knew Winchester Industries pushed the limits and sometimes experimented with drugs not previously approved by the FDA. But whatever her father had rushed to the lab for had nothing to do with illegal testing. He wouldn’t have been asked to come back in for that alone. No, this was definitely something bigger. 

To increase her chances of staying under the radar, Abbie bypassed the elevator for the stairs. Taking them two at a time, she stopped at the door to the second floor. With a slight tug, it cracked open enough that she could see into the hallway. She stood there for several heartbeats, listening for any sound, and then slipped quietly into the corridor. 

Male laughter rang out up ahead, and Abbie stilled. Damn. Are they guarding the lab? 

She glanced up at a camera in the corner. Monitors were installed in every office throughout the building, along with the security hub. The longer she stood in the open, the higher her chances were of being seen.

After a moment, the voices grew faint, signaling the men had headed off in the opposite direction. She blew out a breath she’d been holding and crept silently forward.

Noticing the door to the lab was closed when she rounded the corner, she quickly fished out the keycard from her back pocket and slid it effortlessly through the vertical groove situated next to the doorjamb. The green light activated right on cue, and she cringed as a click sounded loud enough to startle a sloth.

The predictable sounds of a lab in use met her ears as she eased the door open and entered her father’s domain. He obviously hadn’t heard the lock disengage over the consistent beeps and humming of the equipment surrounding him.

Abbie took in the room with a quick glance, noticing a big pair of feet hanging off the end of a bed her father stood next to. 

Her heart began to pound as she crept farther inside. The closer she got the more confused she became. It was definitely a man lying on the bed; only, she’d never seen one that size in her lifetime. 

A sheet covered his lower body from waist to ankles, leaving his upper half bare. His chest appeared devoid of hair and stood off the bed about two feet. He was massive and had to be at least six foot ten by her estimation.

Warmth enveloped Abbie as her gaze slid to the stranger’s face. Beautiful would be a gross understatement.

 He had a smooth, strong jaw that angled up to slightly pointed ears. Pointed ears? His dark hair lay haphazardly tousled on the pillow. Full lips and a faintly crooked nose made up the rest of his face. She wondered what color his eyes were.

Without conscious thought, she inched forward on shaky legs. Why would they have him here? Is he sick? Contagious? It didn’t matter as long as she could stand there and drink him in. 

Her father must have sensed her approach. He stiffened a second before spinning around. “What are you doing here?” He seemed more nervous than angry.

“I could ask you the same thing. What’s going on, Henry?” She nodded toward the incapacitated stranger taking up far too much bed.

“You have to leave. Now.”

Anger surged. “What is that man doing here? This isn’t a hospital, so don’t bullshit me.” 

“Honey, please. You’re not supposed to be here. You need to go home. Now. I’ll explain it all in the morning.” He glanced toward to door several times as he spoke. 

“Not until you tell me the truth.”

He took a deep breath and pinned her with an impatient stare. “Fine. But then you must go.”

She raised an eyebrow.

About the Author

Bestselling Author Ditter Kellen has been in love with romance for over twenty years. To say she's addicted to reading is an understatement. Her eBook reader is an extension of her and holds many of her fantasies and secrets. It's filled with dragons, shifters, vampires, ghosts and many more jaw-dropping characters who keep her entertained on a daily basis.Ditter's love of paranormal and outrageous imagination have conspired together to bring her where she is today...sitting in front of her computer allowing them free rein. Writing is her passion, what she was born to do. I hope you will enjoy reading her stories as much as she loves spinning them. Ditter resides in Florida with her husband and many unique farm animals. She adores French fries and her phone is permanently attached to her ear.

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