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Annie’s Recipe: Review by Susan Scott Ferrell

Annie’s Recipe – Lots of Chaff

Annies RecipeWhen I was given the opportunity to read Lisa Jones Baker’s latest novel, Annie’s Recipe, I was hopeful. I had read one of her Amish novellas earlier, and although it was not my favorite, I had high hopes that perhaps her next Amish endeavor would be better. Although there are a plethora of writers in the Amish genre, it is easy to separate the wheat from the chaff. Unfortunately, Annie’s Recipe looks to be more chaff.

I do not write this lightly. I want to be constructive in my review of this book. At the heart of the problem is that it appears the author has not done enough research on the Amish, and her writing, in general, could use some fine-tuning and editing.

Examples of Amish errors: A bridal party is overly concerned about having enough dishes and utensils (the weddings are well-planned and run like clockwork.) The characters were WAY too familiar with one another (especially since they had not seen each other in 10 years – Levi refers to Annie as “my Annie” almost right out of the gate.) Both Annie and Levi are anything but humble (a trademark in the Amish culture.) Levi boasts and Annie has no problem with it…what happened to gelassenheit? In the story, it was a surprise that Levi would be a volunteer firefighter (when the Amish, in real life, volunteer for the local fire departments all the time.) This is just a small sampling.

Examples of a need for more editing: Levi had ‘green flecks in his pupils (not his irises.) There was repeated internal and external dialogue – and by that I mean: A character would think something and then say the exact same thing. Much too repetitive. Word choice was also a problem. The characters were constantly putting their hands in the air, or drawing their hand to their chests, and pressing their lips together. I’m sure the thought was to create more “action” with these words, but it just did not happen. Most frustrating was that Annie giggled throughout – not just a couple of times, but at least 10 within the first third of the novel. It was frustrating because the character wasn’t a very comical character, and yet, with all of this giggling, it made the character seem like she was 12 instead of marrying age.

I was given Annie’s Recipe in exchange for my honest review. I had such high hopes, but was disappointed. Hopefully, Lisa Jones Baker will do more research on the Amish, and hone her craft a bit more, before writing another novel in the Amish genre.


Susan Ferrell and her husband make their home in the Atlanta Metro area. Although Susan struggles with chronic migraine headaches, she stays very busy as a stay-at-home mom to one very precocious little girl. While catching her breath, she feeds her Amishaholic tendencies by reading vast amounts of Amish literature!

Written in Love: Review by Susan Scott Ferrell

Written in Love – Please Forward!

Written in LoveAhh….It’s so lovely to get a new book written by Kathleen Fuller. It’s like a breath of fresh air! And so that is how I felt upon holding Fuller’s latest release, Written in Love, first in her Amish Letters series. Readers are in for a treat!

Written in Love tells the story of Jalon Chupp and Phoebe Bontrager. The two become pen pals due to a fluke. Each soon realizes that they need these letters – this life-line – in their lives. Yet both of them have secrets – secrets they are haunted by, secrets they fear to trust anyone with. When Jalon makes a surprise visit and shows up unannounced at Phoebe’s aunt’s door, their worlds collide. Will they be able to weather what heads their way next?

I was given Written in Love in exchange for my honest review. I thought it was fantastic. I loved the feeling that I was peeking in as notes were passed between friends! The storylines were gripping and compelling. I do wish the ending had flowed a bit better – either shorten it, or lengthen the novel as a whole – but overall I was mesmerized by Jalon, Phoebe, their friends, and family. Way to go, Kathleen Fuller!


Susan Ferrell and her husband make their home in the Atlanta Metro area. Although Susan struggles with chronic migraine headaches, she stays very busy as a stay-at-home mom to one very precocious little girl. While catching her breath, she feeds her Amishaholic tendencies by reading vast amounts of Amish literature!

An Uncommon Protector: Review by Susan Scott Ferrell

An Uncommon Protector – Really Hits the Mark

An Uncommon Protector I’ve always been a fan of Shelley Shepard Gray’s writings in the Amish genre (big surprise there!) But when she branched out to do a series set in the post-Civil War era, I wondered if I would be drawn in. What a silly notion! An Uncommon Protector, her second Lone Star Hero’s Love Story, really hits the mark!

An Uncommon Protector is a sweeping tale of a man named Thomas Baker – a former sergeant of the Confederacy. His life has been laced with tragedy, fortitude, and misfortune. His inability to keep quiet has not served him well. That’s what ends him in a cage in the middle of a Texas town, hoping to be bought as an indentured servant.

Laurel Tracey is a young southern woman trying to hold onto her family’s ranch. With most of her family gone, two ne’er do well step-siblings, and squatters on part of her land, she needs help and fast…maybe an indentured servant is the answer?

Life gets complicated for them both when the situation goes from bad to worse – Laurel’s very life has been threatened. Will Thomas become the stand-up man he’s always longed to be? Will this uncommon protector be able to protect what is most dear? Read and find out!

I was given An Uncommon Protector in exchange for my honest review. I found it to be a riveting read. The characters were charming and believable. The storyline was complex, intriguing, and draws the reader in immediately. I was thoroughly won over by An Uncommon Protector and cannot wait for the next book in this series!


Susan Ferrell and her husband make their home in the Atlanta Metro area. Although Susan struggles with chronic migraine headaches, she stays very busy as a stay-at-home mom to one very precocious little girl. While catching her breath, she feeds her Amishaholic tendencies by reading vast amounts of Amish literature!