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On the night her 2 sisters died in a horrible accident Marianna Sommers was born. Raised in an Amish community in Indiana Marianna has tried her entire life to make up for the loss of her sisters.

Marianna is almost 20 and starting to think about having a home of her own. Aaron Zook has been taking an interest in her. He is building his own cabin and has dreams of one day living in it with Marianna.

Marianna’s brother Levi has left the community. He has caused embarrassment and heartache for his parents. When Uncle Ike comes to visit he talks about his life in Montana and how the Amish community there is not as strict as Indiana. Marianna’s father decides to move the family to Montana for a year to see what it is like. This causes Marianna great heartache at the thought of leaving Aaron and her brother behind. Her parents ask her to go with them for just 6 months as her mother is pregnant and needs Marianna to help with the younger children.

Marianna is determined to not like Montana. She is only there for 6 months to help her mother and then she plans to return to Aaron and her more strict Amish community. What she doesn’t count on is meeting Ben. He is not Amish, but he is a good friend to the Amish community. Hearing Ben talk about God as if he is a close friend raises all kinds of questions for Marianna. Marianna slowly learns to love the community of people, but she also realizes that she is coming to care for Ben and that cannot happen.

Meanwhile back in Indiana Aaron has tried to forget Marianna by trying to learn to love another girl. Naomi is heartbroken over Levi leaving, she too is trying to mend her broken heart. Will the two of them find comfort and love in each other’s company?

The story and characters grew on me as I progressed through the book. The second book in the series comes out in October and I am determined to get it so I can find out what happens. I am not normally an Amish fiction fan, but I did enjoy Beside Still Waters.

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I don’t know that I have ever been disappointed in a No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency book! In this installment Mma Makutsi is preparing for her wedding to Phuti Radiphuti. Mma Ramotswe is investigating the killing of some cattle. Charlie is up to his old tricks with the women, but maybe maturity is on the horizon for him. Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni is his same thoughtful caring self. And even though Botswana is changing in many ways it still brings pleasure, pride and peace to Mma Ramotswe.

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We Be Big is the story of two “sexy fat guys” that do a morning radio show in Alabama. Their story is told in alternating chapters between Rick and Bubba. They tell how they became the successful morning show stars that they are today. The premise of their success throughout their career has been to “keep it real”. They share their lives on the air. In the book they share about their successes and failures leading up to the Rick and Bubba show. On the air they have shared humor and heartache and even when it is not popular with their sponsors or bosses, they share their faith. Throughout their story they share how God has brought them every step of the way in their success. They give Him the glory.

I really enjoyed reading their story. I have never heard the Rick and Bubba show but it sounds like it would be very entertaining. There is something about them sharing their lives that draws people in. Their stories brought a smile to my face and at times tears to my eyes.

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The Morgan children, Rowan, Meg, Priscilla(Silly for short), and James are sent to live with relatives in England to escape the fever in the States. They are looking forward to exploring the house with many rooms and the countryside around them.

What they discover is a land of fairies. Shortly after arriving they find themselves in the midst of preparations for the fairy war. Every 7th year the Midsummer War takes place. The Seelie Court and the Host meet under the Green Hill to do battle. They choose one human from each side to fight to the death. The fairy queen is so beautiful that she has put a spell on Rowan who pledges to fight for her.

Meg is distraught and determined to find a way to save her brother from fighting in the war. What will be the outcome of this most interesting Midsummer War?

I enjoyed this story very much! It was entertaining and exciting to read. Meg’s desire to save her brother at any cost was heart-warming. The writing was descriptive and beautiful. And I loved the cover!!

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Way too short! But I enjoyed it. You can read this prequel in about 30 minutes or less. It helped to read this in order to understand where Viola came from and why. It doesn’t really have to be read before The Knife of Never Letting Go to understand that book though.

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Mona’s dreams of opening a coffeehouse/bookstore are about to be realized. She has just purchased an old Victorian house with every dime she has saved up for the last 10 years. Mona is stubborn and determined to do all of the work herself. She realizes after her first look at the place though that she is going to need a handyman to help her in order to get it ready for the opening of tourist season in 6 weeks.

It is not easy for Mona to hire Joe. Mona is independent and does not need any romantic entanglements in her life. Plus there has yet to be a man who meets all of her requirements. She has only found that man in Jonah, a character in her favorite author’s books. He is her ideal man and she refuses to settle for anyone less.

After she hires Joe several things happen to make her realize that someone is trying to sabotage her dream. She feels that she does not deserve to realize her dream. She feels that God could not possibly want to bless her with granting her dreams because of the deep guilt that she is carrying around.

Joe has his own secrets to keep. He has been wandering around for most of his life. He can’t afford emotionally to become attached to Mona. From the moment they meet though he is drawn to care for her. Unable to forgive the father who left him and his brother and mother when he was 15 he can’t seem to grasp that he has become just like him. Always running away from his troubles.

Joe has come to Deep Haven to visit his brother that he hasn’t seen in years. He feels guilty about that but soothes his guilt with the fact that he has paid for his brother to stay at a group home. Even when he realizes he has feelings for Mona he cannot reveal to her the true nature of his brother’s handicap. But he is keeping another secret from her that may even be more damaging than that.

For the most part I liked the characters of the book. I did get a little tired of the constant battle that both Joe and Mona had within themselves to keep their “deep dark secrets” and to deny the attraction that they felt for each other. Also there seemed to be a lot of teary eyes in this one. I’m not a fan of a character that constantly cries. It seemed like both Joe and Mona were always welling up. It got kind of old. Not only did Mona and Joe keep secrets from each other, it seemed that the author wanted to keep these secrets from the reader too. Maybe if some of Mona and Joe’s reasons for keeping secrets had been revealed sooner in the story the tears and fears would have been more understandable to the reader.  

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Welcome back to Otter Bay! This is the 3rd book in the Otter Bay series. I have read A Shore Thing but haven’t read Sweet Waters yet. In Fade To Blue we read about Suzanne’s story. She is Gage’s(from A Shore Thing) sister who came with her son Jeremiah to live with him after her husband was sent to jail and divorced her.

Suz is working for a company that restores art. She is learning how to do the tedious job of restoring a piece of art to its original beauty. She finds out quickly though that this isn’t her passion. She loves to paint murals.

Suz’s world is set on end when she runs into an old flame. Seth was her boyfriend when she decided to marry Len her ex husband. It’s a small world when she starts running into Seth everywhere she goes. He has bought a window washing company and they seem to be working on the same places. Seth is bitter about their old relationship.

When Len is set to be paroled he writes Suz a letter letting her know that he is a changed man and he wants to be involved with Jeremiah’s life. Suz is confused about her feelings for Seth and her desire to give Len a chance to prove his new life.

Throughout all of Suz’s struggles, her brother and his fiance’ Callie are there to support her and offer advice and love. Also her friend Letty whom she works with. I’m hoping that there is another installment to the Otter Bay series and that it will be Letty’s story.

I enjoyed Fade To Blue. I did get a bit frustrated with Suz lack of seeing the true colors of her ex husband. I think that she should have been more searching into the truth of her ex’s conversion. For the most part I am becoming attached to the characters that make up Otter Bay.

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