I've waited patiently for five years for the sequel to Shadow Eyes. I can honestly say it was worth the wait. Dusty's writing is even sharper and moreI've waited patiently for five years for the sequel to Shadow Eyes. I can honestly say it was worth the wait. Dusty's writing is even sharper and more compelling than her first foray into the world of light and shadows. The age-worn tale of good versus evil, dark vs light, angels vs demons rises once again with Luminous Spirits. But it's not a worn tale as Dusty puts her own unique spin on this gritty young adult tale that is layered with more than just fighting.
Iris has had time to to learn and practice her talents but she still has room for growth. She and her friends are still kicking butt and taking names, but Iris figures she has plenty of time to figure out her enemies next move. Lucas and Donovan are evil incarnate and they need to be taken out but Iris has to figure out what the new girl in school has to do with it first. While she and the rest of the team continue to shadow hunt, Iris hones her skills as well as as do some internal soul searching and thinking.
Luminous Spirits is classified as a young adult novel but as an adult, I quite enjoyed it. Also, you don't need to read Shadow Eyes to read Luminous Spirits. It reads well as a standalone. Plenty of action, romance, supernatural elements and striking writing. There are certain scenarios and elements sown throughout that bring about a myriad of emotions, including but not limited to triumphant, forlorn and empathic. The character building and how they interact with one another are the solid foundation for this series, in my opinion. Dusty has portrayed some growth with them but leaves plenty of room for more development. If you are looking for a new series or author to try, definitely pick up Dusty's Shadow Eyes or Luminous Spirits. She has a knack for drawing you into her world and it's well worth the ride! ...more
Patch Town: Up From the Ashes is the second book in a series, but it's the first in the series I read. It reads as a standalone novel and at only onePatch Town: Up From the Ashes is the second book in a series, but it's the first in the series I read. It reads as a standalone novel and at only one hundred and five pages, a relatively quick read. Martin has had his share of troubles. He had troubles growing up, then he lost his wife to breast cancer. He's now trying to get his life together, going to church, talking to God and doing the right thing. However, the past has a way of catching up.
Someone is trying to kill him. He's nearly been hit by a speeding vehicle several times, and it's never the same vehicle. It happens so fast that he can't see who is behind the wheel. Not only is this bearing heavily upon his mind, but he's not sure how the relationship with his friend Linda is going. He thinks he is ready to move things to the next level but he's still unsure. And to make matters even worse, one of his worst nightmares is rising. His daughter Ruth may have breast cancer; the same cancer that took his wife. Martin will need to get on his knees and put all of his faith into God if he hopes to get himself and Ruth out of their current predictaments alive or have peace with the results.
A quick read that has elements of suspense, family dynamics and a splash of romance mesh together into a solid and sharp read. Parlante's talent with words draws vivid images in the reader's mind that really bring it all together. Solid writing and a great novel. ...more
It's hard to put into words the journey I took reading A Man Called Ove. I went through a myriad of emotions reading Ove's journey after his wife, SonIt's hard to put into words the journey I took reading A Man Called Ove. I went through a myriad of emotions reading Ove's journey after his wife, Sonya, passed away. All he wanted to do was die so he could join her, not knowing that there was still so much life left for him to enjoy and to give.
The characters are ecletric and the flashes into the past really give you a solid foundation for the type of man Ove is. Backman, with just a few short, simple words, had me crying, laughing, hopeful, pensive and more on so many levels that I will definitely be reading more from him.
A Man Called Ove is one of the best books I've ever read and is definitely on my top 20 list of all time. It's one you don't want to miss! I wish I could go back and get those first-time feelings of this gem all over again.
The second book in the Men of Lancaster County is about Jake. Jake is Tyler's (Book 1) uncle, but they grew up as brothers. Jake left his father's bu The second book in the Men of Lancaster County is about Jake. Jake is Tyler's (Book 1) uncle, but they grew up as brothers. Jake left his father's buggy shop because he wanted to be a farrier. He has a kinship with horses and yearns to open his own blacksmith shop one day. He's been apprenticing as a blacksmith shop and things have been going well.
Then one day the family welcomes home Priscilla. Priscilla's mom died years ago and Priscilla couldn't handle the grief so she was sent to live with relatives in another town. Now,she's back and Jake's boss has asked him and his girlfriend Amanda to make Priscilla feel welcome and get her interested in young people's activities. It's not exactly what Jake wants to do but he likes his job and he knows he must help out his community. If only Priscilla wasn't a volatile person. Rude one moment and quiet the next.
Jake is also working with horses on his downtime. He likes to find out what is wrong with them and help "cure" them. He knows they must be able to trust their owner and he works on building those relationships. But no matter how hard Jake tries, with Amanda, Priscilla, or the horses, things begin to go awry in his life.
He needs to do some praying, make some changes, and unravel a few mysteries of his own as his life journey makes many changes. A great addition to the series; I enjoy reading in the male's perspective. I thought there was way too much horse information though. I did enjoy reading how things worked but it was a bit overkill. Also, Priscilla was a bit prickly which really took a while to like her character. But all in all, a good solid story and I look forward to the next in the series. ...more
After just finishing the Women of Lancaster County, I was excited to delve into the Men of Lancaster County. I was caught off-guard right away becauseAfter just finishing the Women of Lancaster County, I was excited to delve into the Men of Lancaster County. I was caught off-guard right away because the book is told from the man's viewpoint. Uncommon, but not unheard of and frankly a nice change of pace.
Tyler was born to an Amish mother and a military father. When his mother dies when he is young, he is taken in by his Amish grandparents while his dad finished his tours in the military. After time passes, his dad has remarried and had another son. It's at this time he gives Tyler the option to return with him or continue being raised with his grandparents. Tyler is still a child but he decides to remain where he is.
Many years forward, Tyler still hasn't joined the church because he feels like he is missing something. Even though he loves Rachel, he can't commit to marrying her until he joins the church. He prays to God to give him a sign of what to do. His answer is his dad calling from California needing someone to sit with Tyler's younger brother while he is away on business.
This time gives Tyler the chance to experience life without his community. He's hoping it will give him more time to spend with his brother and maybe give him the answers he is seeking. But there are several curveballs thrown into Tyler's orderly plan and he will need to follow his heart and his faith to find what he is looking for.
A great addition to the Lancaster series. I really enjoyed seeing Tyler in the English and the Amish world and how he acted/reacted in both. The characters were all believable and the story moved along at a good pace. I look forward to reading the next installment in this series. ...more
The first book in this series, Tears of Tess, was way out of my wheelhouse. I'm not used to reading such graphic sex laced with so much horror and feaThe first book in this series, Tears of Tess, was way out of my wheelhouse. I'm not used to reading such graphic sex laced with so much horror and fear. It had a few twists and turns and ended pretty well. Tess was determined to have her revenge on her kidnappers and Q was also determined to lay them at her feet.
So, I expected to see that happenin this installment; just not in how it happened. The first part of the book is just full of sex but then the action starts to take over. For some inane reason, Tess and Q forgot to have the tracker removed from Tess so the bad guys find them first. This little twist really set the tone for the rest of the story. Tess does some really bad things as well as takes on some horrific things. Not to mention that Q just goes crazy when Tess is taken. There is a lot of feelings in this installment, from light to dark, somewhat extreme in cases. I'm not going into details because I don't want to spoil it for you but if you haven't read Pepper Winters, and you love reading good character studies, how to become a shell of a person then a sadist, you should read this series.
You can also really tell that Q and Tess love one another in their actions and that plays across wonderfully. Pepper Winters is very gifted in her writing and I'm looking forward to reading more of Tess and Q. Take a ride on the twisty side and pick up Tears of Tess before you read Quintessentially Q. The monsters lurk everywhere....more
It took me a bit to warm up to Izzy. She's a loner, which I found odd, with her being Amish. Most Amish seem to enjoy family and community. But Izzy lIt took me a bit to warm up to Izzy. She's a loner, which I found odd, with her being Amish. Most Amish seem to enjoy family and community. But Izzy likes to be left alone with her sewing and handiwork. She takes on an outside job as a caregiver but when her patient dies, Izzy flips out. She decides that it isn't for her and asks God to show her another path. She enjoys the time she spends with Zed while he's filmmaking. She used to care for his father, who died of cancer. But Zed is off to Goshen College and she feels more alone then ever. She knows she has fallen in love with Zed but knows that he being Mennonite and her Amish, as well as the fact that he thinks of her as a friend, that she should grieve for what never was and move on. She even dreams about living with her parents for the rest of her days.
Then a call comes asking for Izzy to come take care of another and though she feels she doesn't want to caretake, she knows it is close to Zed's college. She goes and renews her friendship with Zed's sister Ella, and becomes entranced in the history of the Amish with the Indians. Izzy finds her true calling and learns much of her people and herself. She finally learns to put her faith in God and what he has in store for her. This is the last installment in the Women of Lancaster County series and I'm sad to see it end. Full of history, sweet romance and memorable characters, as well as a few leaps and twists, The Women of Lancaster County is a lovely series that will remain with you long after you read the last page. ...more
I was excited to delve into the third installment of this series. Ella has been a recurring character the last few books so I was anxious to see how hI was excited to delve into the third installment of this series. Ella has been a recurring character the last few books so I was anxious to see how her story would pan out. She's a very spunky young woman who has a plan for her life. She is going to go to baking school, then marry Ezra and open a business. But not everything always works out like planned.
Her father, who left when she was three, has returned and Ella refuses to see him even though her mom and brother seem to be rebuilding a relationship to him. She has a lot of anger in her where her father is concerned. Also, Mammi has given Ella a book that is written in code. She's like Ella to try and decode it; it was her mother's and it's filled with drawings, recipes and other information. And on top of that, Ezra is to start working on a dairy farm to learn the trade and it's in Indiana. She is sure that her family wants them as far apart as possible so Ella makes it her secret mission to find housing, a job and a school near Ezra.
Ella does a lot of growing up fast. She realizes that not everything is so simple, especially when her and Ezra's families become very disappointed and angered at the two of them leaving together. Ella starts working at a bakery and makes a friend in Luke and his family but she is homesick. Ezra urges her to come home so they can marry and join the Church. But Ella still needs to decode Mammi's book and she really wants to go to baking school. Will Ella let God lead her to the right path?
This is probably my favorite installment so far in the Lancaster series. Ella is such a strong-willed woman who has many depths to her character. She experiences so many emotions and does a lot of growing up, especially with her faith. There were so many sublevel plots that really kept the story pivoting and moving forward. I'm excited to read the next in the series. This series encompasses Mennonite and Amish faith, which is interesting, but the characters are just so well developed, I just want to sit down for a spell and chat over tea....more
In this installment of The Women of Lancaster County, Ada Rupp is finally getting her wings. She found out in the first book that her life was not whaIn this installment of The Women of Lancaster County, Ada Rupp is finally getting her wings. She found out in the first book that her life was not what she had thought. Her mamm was not her biological mamm and she had a sister she knew nothing of. Now, with her disease under control, she’s restless. Her parents have always been overprotective, so when a wedding invitation arrives from her sister, she is sure her parents won’t let her go. However, they surprise her and let her.
She is overjoyed to finally be able to travel and knows that upon her return she will having a teaching position. She really wants to be a mother and wife to Will Gundy but knows that he has set his sights upon another. Nursing a bruised heart, she decides to make the most of her life. However, when she returns from the wedding, another adventure awaits.
The property in Switzerland that her biological mom lives on is slated to have the nearby waterfall turned into a hydro plant. The waterfall and caves are historical to the Amish and Mennonites. She and others must travel to Switzerland to protest the development and clear the title so that it can remain intact.
Along the way, Ada learns some independence. She endures some heartache and reaches out to God to help guide her on her path. There is so much to learn about the Anabaptists move from Switzerland to the United States and its depicted beautifully. I learned so much and I was really hoping that Ada would find peace and her happily ever after. I had a hard time putting this book down. I adore the characters and I can’t wait to read the next installment. Great book filled with romance, intrigue, family relationships, God and history....more
Alexandra “Lexie” is a nursing mid-wife in Oregon when she gets the dreaded phonecall at work. Her father, who has cancer, doesn’t have long for thisAlexandra “Lexie” is a nursing mid-wife in Oregon when she gets the dreaded phonecall at work. Her father, who has cancer, doesn’t have long for this world. She takes a leave of absence and rushes to his side. On his death bed, he tells her about a box in the closet for her, one he never opened but one that might bring her closer to finding her birth parents. After his death, she looks into the box that has a letter about property in Switzerland, 2 swatches of hair and not much else. Her dear friend Sophie makes some enquiries, and finds that a mid-wife in Pennsylvania needs some help and it might do Lexie good to take a break and to also look for her birth parents.
When she arrives at Marta’s house, against Marta’s wishes, things go awry. No one wants to give her information about her birth, and no one wants her help. Marta is going through some legal battles at the moment and when pushes against the wall, realizes she needs Lexie’s help with her Amish patients and the babies soon to come.
Along the way, Lexie meets a doctor who she starts having meals with, even though she left her fiancé James back in Oregon, telling him they were on a break. She also pokes her nose into everyone’s business to get the information she is seeking. She won’t take no for an answer, even though the Amish prefer to leave the past in the past and not discuss it.
Things eventually come to a head, with the help of someone close to Lexie and all is revealed. However, it isn’t quite what Lexie was looking for. She needs to look to God for the peace and comfort of the answers she is given. I liked most of the characters in this novel, and I found it interesting to see how different Amish settlements lived. I did not care for Lexie. While I felt for her plight, she didn’t care if she hurt people in her path to her goals. She was actually a pretty flat character except when she was angry. Then she became a full dimensional person who had some life and fire in her.
I look forward to reading the next installment in the Lancaster series. I thought the settings were great and would love to delve into some of the secondary characters’ lives. I just hope Lexie is better behaved if she makes any cameo appearances. All in all, a great story if you love reading about the Amish, prefer your fiction clean and a mystery that keeps you turning the pages long into the night. ...more