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April's Books with Dienece

Updated: Apr 25


It's our second edition, and here I go again with a list of books I've read this past month. :) This time I'll add a tiny review after each one. So, without further ado and in no particular order:


Children of the Shadows by Erica Vetsch

I got so wrapped up at the end I almost missed my train stop! It's fair to say I enjoyed it. :) I also made lots and lots of notes from Erica's rich historical details for my own series.


No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky

I kinda devoured this in one day then popped onto my library website to put a hold on book 2! Set in 1909, this book is about children who were sent from England to Canada through a child emigration. It's soooo good!


Then Judgement by Caryl McAdoo

An interesting look at the death and resurrection of Christ through the eyes of the leader of the league of angels Christ could have called but didn't. Not all the theology in the book matches mine, but it was intriguing.


Unexpected Gifts by Sylvia Price

A nice introduction to an Amish series. Mentioned below in the next section.


Where Love Begins by Donna Fletcher Crow

Did you love my clergyman in Freeing Defeat? Would you like to know more about what it was like to be a circuit preacher for the Methodists? Then you should read this book! I loved the foundling clergyman afraid to let anyone in close for fear of losing them. The earthquake gowns and prison visits. The school lessons for the poor children offered at the Foundry. There was so much detail and interesting bits in this book.


A Winter by the Sea by Julie Klassen

The second book in a series about 5 sisters. It's not a fast-paced book, but it's rich in detail and relationships of all kinds. Oh, and it has a love triangle if you like that trope. ;) But I mostly loved the history woven into the story and the variety of characters you come to love.


One Wrong Turn by Dani Pettrey

This book didn't last two days. Kinda devoured it, but then Dani's writing does that. It's punchy and fast like a whirlwind with all kinds of spidery threads to pull and have fun with.


In Due Season: A Story of Colonial Williamsburg by Sandi Rebert

I loved visiting Colonial Williamsburg when I was a child, and I could picture the places and things the author wrote about in this book. I really enjoyed reading this. Might have stayed up way past my bedtime to see if it ended the way I guessed it would, and it did! :)


 

Book Mentions


We'll start book mentions with a book that hooked me. Yes, I actually signed up to this newsletter to get Hours We Regret. (It's really good, FYI. Stayed up way too late reading just a few more pages...)


I loved the relationship between the twin sisters, how God features in the story, and the tense mystery.

Hours We Regret by Chelsea Michelle

A serial killer. A dangerous road. And a cell phone going straight to voicemail…


A string of murders happening just across the state line makes residents of idyllic Maple Springs nervous. While Michelle Watson is obsessed with finding the killer’s pattern, her twin Chelsea disagrees with her involvement. Reading the victims’ stories makes Michelle face the decisions she’s been trying to ignore. Determined to live her life to the fullest, she makes an innocent choice that takes a life-threatening turn. When Michelle stops answering her phone, Chelsea can’t ignore the feeling that something is wrong. Very wrong. With friends and family, Chelsea sets out to find her sister, all while questioning if her faith is strong enough to weather the trial. Time is running out and the last thing Chelsea wants to do is file a missing person’s report for her twin.


Dying to know what happens? (I was!) Sign up here!


 

Here's another mystery you might enjoy.


Fatal Homecoming's cover and writing reminded me of Lynette Eason, and who doesn't like a story where the girl accidently hits her brother's best friend with her car in the opening pages?

A travel writer secretly investigates powerful people, putting herself in the crosshairs of a killer.


Travel writer, Jessie Berns, returns to her hometown to find answers about her brother’s suspicious death. With the help of an old friend, Detective Rick Chandler, they pursue a truth that someone is willing to do anything to keep hidden—even kill again. They uncover decades-old secrets that expose hidden sins and threaten the lifestyles of high-powered people in their small community. As they close in on the devious mastermind manipulating the town, it becomes frighteningly clear to Rick that Jessie is not the one calling the shots in her private investigation.


She is the killer’s new target.


 

Our next mention is an Amish series prequel.


I've read Unexpected Gifts, and this reader's magnet does everything a prequel to a series ought to do. It gives you a glimpse of the author's writing style, introduces you to main characters in the series, and sets up the fictional setting.


Please note that this is not a standalone, and since I wanted to know what happens next, I went and got book one, Believing in Blessings. :)


by Sylvia Price


In the heart of Hopewell, Indiana, Gabriel Miller tends to his farm, embracing the solitary life he's carved out for himself.

But three unexpected visitors, accompanied by a stranger bearing news of his cousin's untimely passing, disrupt his quiet existence.


With no one else to turn to, Gabriel takes on the responsibility of raising the orphaned children. Alone and overwhelmed, he grapples with the daunting task of managing his farm while becoming a caregiver to three young souls.


In this tale of unexpected responsibilities and unspoken desires, Anna Burkholder emerges as a beacon of hope. Stepping in to care for the children during the day, Anna, who harbors an unspoken affection for Gabriel, finds herself entangled in a situation that might just offer her a chance at capturing his attention. As Anna and Gabriel navigate the complexities of raising a family, they discover that love has a way of blossoming in the most unforeseen places.


Will their newfound roles bring them closer together, or will the weight of their responsibilities tear them apart? Join Gabriel and Anna on a journey of resilience, sacrifice, and the transformative power of love as they navigate the challenges of building an unconventional family.


Unexpected Gifts is the prequel to the Amish Hearts in Hopewell series, and in it, you will be introduced to the characters who appear throughout the series.


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