Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Found Book Review

I got the third book in the series of the Secrets of Crittenden County from my reserve shelf which was again switching back and forth between series but I was super excited to find out what happened next.  Found: The Secrets of Crittenden County, Book Three by Shelley Shepard Gray was the next in my pile to start reading.  It was great to finally get some resolution in the first Amish mystery book series that I have read!!

As the search for Perry Borntrager's killer continues, Jacob Schrock feels like his world is about to crumble. Right before Perry went missing, he and Jacob got into a fistfight. Jacob never told anyone what happened that terrible night. He's good at keeping secrets—including his love for Deborah, Perry's sister. But when Deborah takes a job at his family's store and their friendship blossoms, Jacob senses everything is about to be revealed.  Deborah has been searching for a slice of happiness ever since her brother's body was discovered. When the police start questioning Jacob, Deborah can't believe that the one person she's finally allowed in could be the one responsible for her brother's death. Will she believe what everyone seems to think is the truth . . . or listen to her heart, and hope there is still one more person who is keeping secrets in Crittenden County.

In Found, Gray’s unforgettable trilogy of what happens when a terrible crime that strikes a close knit Amish community comes full-circle, “Englisher” Detective Luke Reynolds discovers the identity of Perry Borntrager’s killer and the community must come to terms with the surprising revelation. A murder is solved and a quiet Amish community must deal with the repercussions. Amid the surprising revelations, can a new found love survive?

As with all mysteries, the best stuff happens at the end.  There is a lot of confusion and cover-up in the murder of Perry but the truth is finally revealed and you aren't going to believe the final verdict.  I hope that this was a surprise to most of the people reading because it was to me.  I don't usually try to solve mysteries which is why I think that I was never a mystery reader before.  I like to read and follow along with what the characters know and learn as they do.  I find that it is much better for me then playing detective.  I enjoyed the final book the most and I think that the other two books were necessary to lead up to the final book resolution but I know that the first two books were a lot slower moving then some of her other book series.  I hope that you check them out at your local library or bookstore and see for yourselves.  I know that you will enjoy this Amish mystery and be as surprised as I was with the ending!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 4/27

We are really aiming to move out before the end of May but I still don't have a handle on this meal planning while moving thing but picking out about 5 things from us to choose from for the week seems to be working.  We have been eating leftovers on the night that is way too busy too cook and eating out on the night that we aren't at the house with a kitchen.  Here is what I have on the list for this week:

Spaghetti or Pasta with garlic bread
Chicken Fried Rice and Chicken Egg Rolls (got a deal on the frozen ones at super doubles at HT)
Chicken Nugget Wraps with homemade fries
Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken with chicken rice (or something else with 2 chicken breasts)
Pancakes (cause I packed the waffle maker) and hash browns

We are totally out of ground beef, blue cheese, lunch meat and lots of other important things in our house.  I know that I am going to have to get some more food since we are looking like the end of May and not the end of April like we were thinking but I am still putting it off.  I really need to take a few days and cook up some things but I know that we have rolls and pancakes in the freezer and I need to add a few more meals.  I am currently only making bread today and hoping to go buy some lunch meat but the rest of the food shopping is going to have to wait until a little later in the week.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Bridge of Peace Book Review

I was at the library on the search for a few books to read without any notes of books that I was looking for because I packed my list in a box already and moved it.  The Bridge of Peace (Ada's House, Book 2)
by Cindy Woodsmall was on the shelf and I was excited to see that it was the second in the series of a book that I just read last month.  WOO HOO!!  It went home with me and I was glad to read another Cindy Woodsmall book. 

Lena Kauffman is a young Old Order Amish schoolteacher who has dealt all her life with attention raised by a noticeable birthmark on her cheek. Having learned to move past the stares and whispers, Lena channels her zest for living into her love of teaching. But tensions mount as she is challenged to work with a rebellious young man and deal with several crises at the schoolhouse that threaten her other students. Her lack of submission and use of ideas that don’t line up with the Old Ways strengthen the school board’s case as they begin to believe that Lena is behind all the trouble.

One member of the school board, Grey Graber, feels trapped by his own stifling circumstances. His wife, Elsie, has shut him out of her life, and he doesn’t know how long he can continue to live as if nothing is wrong. As the two finally come to a place of working toward a better marriage, tragedy befalls their family.  Lena and Grey have been life-long friends, but their relationship begins to crumble amidst unsettling deceptions, propelling each of them to finally face their own secrets. Can they both find a way past their losses and discover the strength to build a new bridge?

I enjoyed reading this book but I was trying to figure out from the beginning what happened in the first book.  You know you are reading too many difference Amish fiction series when you can't keep them straight!!  It was a great love story while still giving the trials and tribulations of being Amish and trying to live within the rules.  There are many lessons in the book but it really points out some differences between the Amish and English lifestyle which make you grateful to have all the great things that we have in our everyday life.

Anyway, I was sad to come to the end and find out that I didn't have the next book in the series.  I thought that I did but then I picked up the book that I got off the reserve at the library and realized that it was the next book in the other Amish fiction series that I am reading.  Boy did I set myself up for confusion.  I put the last book in this series on reserve at the library so I guess I will get it in next week so I have a little time to finish the other series and get all confused all over again.  I hope that you pick up this book and the rest of the series at your local library or bookstore.  I believe that you will greatly enjoy it!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Search Book Review

I went to the library to return the last book that I read out of the series and pick up my next book on reserve.  Luckily, I got to pick up the next book in this series too. The Search: The Secrets of Crittenden County, Book Two by Shelley Shepard Gray which I was super eager to read.  I even opened it and started reading it while I was still at the library!!

Small devout community of Crittenden County, Kentucky is rocked by the  murder of a young, black sheep neighbor when the body of Perry Borntrager is discovered in an abandoned well. In the midst of a murder investigation in the heart of Amish country, one young policeman finds his heart led astray by a young woman who’s guarding shocking secrets about the victim, and the dedicated “Englisher” homicide detective who has arrived from the outside world to investigate.  Now the small town faces the first death by mysterious circumstances in more than twenty years, and Detective Luke Reynolds is brought in to help investigate. But before he can solve the crime, he faces unexpected feelings for Frannie, the Amish owner of the local bed-and-breakfast. Though they butt heads at first, Luke finds himself drawn to Frannie's bedside when she's injured in a kitchen accident.  Soon it becomes clear that Frannie knew Perry better than she let on . . . they'd been courting when he disappeared.  Has Luke fallen for the very woman responsible for the crime? You are going to have to pick up the book and find out for yourself!

I was glad to follow up on the series since the first book left me feeling unfinished.  I was excited to find it on the shelf at the library when I went there because with so many branches of the library, it is always hard to know where the books are going to be if you don't check before you go.  I also took the time to reserve the third book in the series while I was there so that I could read it next.  I like to have resolution on a series and see it through to the end to see if it is something of interest to me.  I hope that you enjoy this series if you read it.  Give the series a chance past the first book because I don't think that you will be disappointed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Shepherds Abiding in Dry Creek Book Review

I found one more book by Janet Tronstad at the library when I was there visiting trying to use the computer before my son got out of school to do a little blogging with my "free" time after I finished painting at the new house.  Shepherds Abiding in Dry Creek (Dry Creek Series #11) (Love Inspired #421) by Janet Tronstad was the lucky winner of the extra book that I got a chance to bring home from the library.  I was excited because I don't have a lot of time to look for books or do anything super relaxing and this would help me later when I got a chance to read it!!!

Marla Gossett moved to Dry Creek, Montana from Los Angles after her husband died and she didn't have money left to support her family. She wanted a safe haven to raise her kids, far from the troubles of the past. Then an unusual theft cast suspicion on her family...and brought Deputy Sheriff Les Wilkerson into the struggling widow's life.  In Marla's young son, Les saw a lonely child in need of a guiding hand. In the plucky single mother, he saw a woman he could love. But a crisis threatened to destroy Marla's fragile trust. Unless the deputy could convince her that her family had a special place in the community...and in this bachelor's heart. You will have to pick up the book and find out all the excitement that happens in this book!!

It was a great, fast read to keep me entertained while way too many other things were going on in my life.  It was an interesting and different story with the wonderful holiday setting that these books seem to share. I love the way the town always pulls together to help others in need.  This book was a little different twist because the person didn't want to get any help.  I guess that I understand that part of it because there are many things that I wouldn't want help with either.  It is an interesting read that makes you stop and think about helping others without expecting anything in return.  The greatest part is that you get to see some of the great characters from the other books and meet a few new ones that we haven't met before.  I hope that you pick up this book and check it out for yourself.  I am still not sure what order these books go in but this seems like a little bit older book so it might go towards the top of the list.  Let me know what you think if you read it!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 4/20

I am not even writing down the menu on paper until after we eat it anymore.  Things have been super busy and everyone wants to see the house when they get off work (aka dinnertime).  We have spent many a night waiting to get back into our house and giving up to go to a restaurant.  This week is going to be super busy because I have two days with contractors and two days working.  We also have soccer practice and soccer game which makes evenings difficult.  I know that I am not going to be able to pull together the whole week but I have some chicken and ground beef in the freezer so I am planning on using those.  Here are the meals we are going to have this week:

Tacos with saffron rice
French Dip Sloppy Joes with chicken rice
Chicken Nugget Wraps with homemade fries
Spaghetti with pizza bites
Something with Chicken Breast
Leftovers or Eating out for the other nights
Dinner with Friends (don't know what we are bringing yet)

Here is hoping that I have time to make the pizza bites Sunday night before the week starts so that we can actually have some!!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Missing Book Review

I was glad that I reserved a bunch of books at the library to come off at different times because I was so busy with the move that I didn't have time to make it to the library to pick out books but I was able to grab them off the reserve shelf when they came in.  Missing: The Secrets of Crittenden County, Book One by Shelley Shepard Gray was the next one that appeared on my reserve shelf.

When the shocking death of a young man, Perry Borntrager, rocks a quiet Amish community, the dead man’s former girlfriend and his “Englisher” best friend find themselves murder suspects. The boy had been missing for months but the community thought that he left because he had changed and made some bad decisions until a young girl found his body in a well.  A police detective arrives to help the local sheriff and is greeted by mistrust because he is an outsider.  All of the people involved are keeping the truth hidden because they don't want to speak badly of the dead man but they are confusing the investigation by hiding information.  This is an interesting book of mystery and friendship but you have to pick up the book to find out what happens.

Although I loved the writing and can't wait to pick up the next book from the library, this book left a little to be desired.  I need a book to stand on it's own and I don't think that this one does.  It is a great story about looking into the death of a young Amish man who was murdered but the story doesn't get resolved or have any real plot twists.  The characters weren't really developed in this book although there were a few things revealed.  The whole basis of the resolution in this book is that Lydia and Walker are keeping secrets which they end up telling the detective by the end of the book.  I don't think that is enough intrigue to call this book a mystery or think that anything was solved.  The book just ended and nothing was solved.  Although I love books in sequence, this book should have had a little bit more resolution if we were to believe that these secrets were that important to breaking the case.  I don't know if you have checked out this book or others by this author but I think that some of her fiction work is better written and she was reaching too far to make this a mystery.  Still being a glutton for punishment, I got the next two books in the series to see what happens.  I might have a better view after reading the other books in the series.