December 6th, 2019
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Finish off the year with great December reads

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New York Times bestseller Cleo Coyle's "delightfully twisty" new Coffeehouse Mystery.

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Will an abandoned child bring them together? Or tear them apart?

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This SEAL turned sheriff realizes there’s no rule or regulation he won’t break to keep his love safe.

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He’s Hollywood’s hottest heartthrob…and her son’s secret father.

The Hawaiian Discovery

The Hawaiian Discovery, June 2018
Hawaiian #2
by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter

Shiloh Run Press
Featuring: Ellen Lambright; Rob Smith
256 pages
ISBN: 1683224477
EAN: 9781683224471
Kindle: B078X56DLM
Paperback / e-Book
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"Say goodbye to the snow and aloha to the sun!"

Fresh Fiction Review

The Hawaiian Discovery
Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter

Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted July 1, 2018

Amish | Inspirational Romance | Romance Contemporary

To paraphrase: you can take the girl away from the Amish farm, but you can't take the Amish farm away from the girl. This second in the Hawaiian romance series is a novel of contrasts. The first book was called THE HAWAIIAN QUILT which apparently brought some Amish people to Hawaii. Now the interwoven tale continues in THE HAWAIIAN DISCOVERY. From the snowy Indiana B&B she owns, Mandy Williams moves to sunny Hawaii when her husband Ken's father has a heart attack there on his organic chicken farm. After a few months she and Ken are confident enough that they are needed here to instruct the sale of their B&B.

Ellen Lambright has been running the B&B, learning to make decisions and resolve any problems. She can spend a lot of time here as she doesn't have a beau; well not unless you count her dad's helper, Ezra Bontrager. While Ellen is Amish she doesn't mind using a telephone, even a computer, and dealing with tourists. The news that the sale is on the cards, comes as a blow. She enjoys the work and would not be given a loan to buy the establishment; Amish girls are supposed to settle down with a husband and babies.

The adventure moves from one crisis to another and Ellen finds herself out in the Aloha State in her turn, giving aid to Mandy and Ken. They have one helper on the chicken farm -- Rob Smith. He never expected to meet anyone Amish out in the tropical paradise, but Ellen knows her way around a chicken run. She's not used to his brusque ways, but Rob quickly starts learning to be more thoughtful.

I found this book reads like a soap opera with scenes in varying states, insuperable financial difficulties, hospital scenes, contenders for romance, and even the odd glimpse of enjoyment of the Hawaiian beaches. I gave up trying to guess who would end up doing what as twists came frequently and new characters or backstories kept being introduced.

Wanda E. Brunstetter has written almost ninety books and has many devoted fans, so it's no surprise that she mixes it up and departs from traditional romance formulas. Discerning readers would not keep buying essentially the same book from her -- I can assure you that THE HAWAIIAN DISCOVERY is unusual in more ways than one. Jean Brunstetter got to know Amish customs through her husband's family. At the end of this lively book the authors give us a recipe for Hawaiian lemon chicken, which sounds delicious.

Learn more about The Hawaiian Discovery


Ellen Lambright mourned when her best friend, Mandy, moved from Indiana to Hawaii. But now Ellen has received the Amish church’s permission to go to Hawaii and help Mandy through challenging times. Rob Smith works on the Williams family’s organic farm, far from his past mistakes and burning regrets. When Ellen befriends Rob, the attraction is mutual, but her commitment to the Amish faith stands between them. Could a heartfelt discovery lead to forgiveness, reunion, and love? Or is Ellen’s destiny waiting for her in Indiana?

Find out in this sequel to THE HAWAIIAN QUILT from New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, writing with her daughter-in-law Jean Brunstetter.



Middlebury, Indiana

Ellen Lambright finished sweeping the kitchen floor and paused from her work to brew a cup of tea. Since the Pleasant View Bed-and-Breakfast currently had no guests, she and her friend Mandy had spent most of the day giving each of the guest rooms a thorough cleaning. While they worked, Mandy's husband, Ken, made a few repairs on the front porch.

Mandy and Ken had purchased the B&B two years ago, soon after they were married. They'd hired Ellen to help out, since she'd had previous experience working at another bed-and-breakfast in the area. Ellen enjoyed her job and was glad her friends' business had been doing well. Many tourists came to the area, looking for lodging, and information had quickly spread about their B&B. Mandy, having been raised in an Amish home, was an excellent cook. Ellen knew her way around the kitchen too. With their culinary skills, every guest woke up to a tantalizing breakfast.

As she sat at the table, sipping the soothing lavender tea, Ellen's thoughts took her back to Hawaii, where she'd had her first taste of what quickly become her favorite beverage. It seemed like yesterday when Mandy, Ellen, and their friends Sadie and Barbara went on a cruise to the Hawaiian Islands.

When Ellen and Mandy became stranded on Kauai, it turned into quite an adventure. Thanks to a caring Hawaiian couple who owned a bed-and-breakfast in the town of Kapaa, the young women were taken care of. It was during their stay on the island that Mandy fell in love with Ken, whose family owned a business raising organically grown chickens. At first, Ellen hadn't understood her friend's infatuation with Ken, but as time went on, she realized the couple had fallen in love. The most difficult part was trying to understand Mandy's decision not to join the Amish church. However, by the time Ken moved to Indiana and married Mandy, Ellen had accepted the changes.

A chilly January breeze blew outside, and Ellen rose from her seat to put a log on the fire in the adjoining room. Things had slowed down at the B&B since the holidays. But that was okay. It would give Ellen more free time to spend with her parents and siblings.

The phone rang. "Good evening," Ellen answered. "Pleasant View Bed-and-Breakfast."

"Hello. This is Vickie Williams. Is my son available?"

"Yes, he's around somewhere. Would you like me to see if I can find him?"

"Please do. It's urgent that I speak with him right away."

Ellen heard the anxiety in Vickie's voice. I hope nothing bad has happened. Just then she heard a noise in the kitchen and looked up.

"Oh, wait. Ken just came inside." Ellen held the receiver out to him. "It's your mother."

Ken reached for the phone. "Hi, Mom. How are things on sunny Kauai?" He shifted the receiver to his other ear. "What was that?"

Mandy moved closer to him.

"Oh, no!" The color drained from Ken's face as he lowered himself into a chair. "I'll book the next flight available. And don't worry, Mom. Just pray."

Ken hung up the phone and leaned forward, his face in his hands. "What's going on?" Mandy put her hands on his shoulders. "What did your mother say?"

"Dad had a heart attack. He's in the hospital being prepped for surgery." Ken looked up, slowly shaking his head. "It sounds serious. I have to go to Kauai, Mandy. My folks need me right now."

"Of course they do, and I'm going with you." Mandy's brown eyes darkened as she turned to face Ellen. "Do you think you can manage the B&B while we're gone?"

"Of course." Ellen slipped her arm around Mandy's waist. "Now that it's winter, things are likely to be slow here anyway. So don't worry. Everything will be fine. It shouldn't be difficult to run the place by myself."

Chapter 1

Two weeks later

Ellen was up by six and ready to face the day. After Mandy and Ken left for Kauai, she'd brought some of her things from home before new guests arrived. With people coming and going, someone had to be in the house at all times.

Once in the kitchen, Ellen fixed a piece of toast with apple butter and heated a cup of her favorite tea. She appreciated the door separating the kitchen from the dining room. The noise of her breakfast preparations would hopefully go unnoticed, and neither of the guests would be disturbed.

Ellen nibbled on the toast and watched the sun slowly climb into the sky. The Lord can surely create beautiful sunrises and sunsets. But I can't sit here all day, taking in the view. Ken and Mandy are depending on me, and it's time to start breakfast for the guests who arrived last evening.

After she finished eating and had put the dishes in the sink, Ellen spotted the neighbor's cat darting through the yard with a sparrow in its mouth. Poor little bird. Wish that feline would go after mice and leave our feathered friends alone.

When the cat disappeared, Ellen double-checked the menu she'd planned for the middle-aged couple who'd checked in last evening. She would serve them scrambled eggs and sausage, sliced bananas mixed with vanilla yogurt, and blueberry muffins with sweet creamy butter. There were also two kinds of juice in the refrigerator.

She glanced at the clock. I need to hurry.

After spending most of the morning and a good chunk of the afternoon scurrying to get everything done before another set of guests arrived, Ellen felt tired. She went into Ken and Mandy's room, where she'd been sleeping since they left, to freshen up before her friend Sadie Kuhns arrived.

Two boxes of Christmas decorations sat in the corner. A few days after New Year's, Ellen had helped Mandy and Ken take down the simple holiday trimmings and box them up for next year. But in the rush to get Ken and Mandy packed and to the airport, some of the boxes didn't get put away. "In one of my spare moments, I'll need to get those in the attic." Turning from the decorations, Ellen eyed the bed longingly. She wished she could take a short nap. But with Sadie coming soon, there was no time for rest.

Things hadn't slowed down as much as she'd expected, and Ellen had soon realized it would be difficult to run the place without Mandy's help. So she'd asked Sadie to help out whenever she could. Since her friend worked weekdays at the hardware store in Shipshewana, she was available most evenings and Saturdays.

Ellen smoothed a few wrinkles in the lone-star quilt covering the queen-sized bed. Mandy's mother had made it, as well as several others for the guest rooms. Most of the rooms were decorated with an Amish theme, so it was appropriate to have homemade quilts on all the beds.

Ellen glanced at the calendar on the far wall. It was hard to believe Ken and Mandy had been gone only two weeks. It seemed much longer. But it was a good thing they left when they did. Ken's father had died three days ago, and his mother and brother needed emotional support, as did Ken.

When Mandy had called the other day, she learned that Ken's brother, Dan, had taken their dad's death harder than anyone, and he could barely function. This meant most of the duties at the organic chicken farm fell on Ken's shoulders. Mandy had also mentioned that it could be a few months before they returned to Indiana. Ellen hoped they'd be back before spring. Things slowed down during the winter months, but tourists flocked to the area during the rest of the year, keeping hotels, B&B's, restaurants, and gift shops in Elkhart and LaGrange Counties very busy.

With only two guests in the house this morning, Ellen's load had been a little lighter. But this afternoon, another couple checked in, so Ellen was glad she could count on Sadie for extra help.

After changing into a clean dress and apron, Ellen stepped into the hallway. Glancing at her reflection in the entryway mirror, she saw the telltale signs of exhaustion beneath her blue eyes, in addition to worry lines creasing her forehead. Even her blond hair didn't look as shiny as usual. Truth was, Ellen wasn't sleeping well, and her energy level was at an all-time low. How much longer would it be before Mandy and Ken returned? Could Ken's brother handle the family business on his own, or would he end up hiring someone to help out?

Ellen hadn't said anything to Mandy, but she hoped Ken's mother might sell the organic farm and move to Indiana. Ellen couldn't imagine living so far from her parents and siblings. She figured it must be difficult for Ken too. Someday, when he and Mandy had children, it would be nice for the little ones if they lived close to both sets of grandparents.

Studying her reflection, Ellen tapped her chin. I wouldn't want to be separated permanently from my family or friends.

The months Ellen had spent with Mandy on Kauai had been difficult, despite the beautiful scenery surrounding them in every direction. Had it not been for the companionship of Mandy, as well as the kindness of Luana and Makaio Palu, Ellen would have given in to depression during their unexpectedly long stay. She'd always been close to her family and missed them terribly during the months she'd been gone. Ellen had developed a special bond with Luana. The generous Hawaiian woman was as beautiful on the inside as her outward appearance. Her caring, gentle spirit was exactly what Ellen needed, being so far from home.

Mr. and Mrs. Hanson stepped into the hall from their guest room, pulling Ellen out of her musings.

"We're going out to eat an early supper." Mrs. Hanson, a silver-haired woman in her midsixties, gave a rosy-cheeked smile. "Do you have any restaurant suggestions, Miss Lambright? This is our first time visiting the area, and we're not sure which establishment to choose."

"If you're looking to stay fairly close to the B&B, then I would suggest Das Dutchman Essenhaus. They have many good choices on the menu, as well as a buffet with a variety of delicious food. Of course," Ellen added, "there are several other nice places to eat as well."

"We appreciate the suggestion." Mrs. Hanson put her hand in the crook of her husband's arm. "Shall we seek out the closest restaurant, dear?"

He nodded agreeably, then called over his shoulder as they moved toward the door, "Thank you, Miss Lambright. When we get back, we'll let you know how we liked the food."

Ellen smiled as the pleasant couple stepped outside. Of course, most of the guests who came here were kind and polite. Ellen couldn't recall anyone saying anything negative during their stay at the Pleasant View Bed-and-Breakfast.

"Guess I'd better head for the kitchen and fix myself some supper." Ellen snickered as she padded down the hall to the kitchen. Since no one else was in the house, it didn't matter if she talked to herself. But she'd have to be careful not to do that when guests were present.

Soon after Ellen started washing her supper dishes, Sadie knocked and entered through the back door.

"Sorry for being late. I had some errands to run for my mamm after I got off work, and it took longer than I expected." Sadie's hazel eyes, with flecks of green, seemed to sparkle as she removed her heavy jacket and hung it over the back of a kitchen chair. Her pretty auburn hair couldn't be seen under the black outer bonnet she wore on her head.

"No problem." Ellen lifted a soapy hand. "As you can see, I haven't started the breakfast casserole I'm planning to serve to the guests tomorrow morning."

"I've eaten your delicious casserole before, and I'm sure they will enjoy it as much as I did." Sadie removed her outer bonnet, placed it on the chair, and picked up a dishcloth. "I'll dry and put the dishes away, unless there's something else you need me to do."

"I could use your help with the casserole, but let's get the dishes done first."

As Ellen and Sadie completed the task, they talked about the weather.

"It's sure nippy out there," Sadie said as she placed a plate in the cupboard. "Makes me wonder if it might snow yet this evening."

Ellen glanced out the window at the darkened sky. "I hope not. I have another set of guests coming in later, and the roads could get icy if it snows."

Sadie bumped Ellen's arm and gave a playful wink. "It is winter you know. Most people expect a little snow this time of the year."

"True." Ellen sighed. "I wonder if Mandy has been able to take a little time to enjoy the beautiful weather they're no doubt having on Kauai. I should have asked when she called the other day."

"I'm sure even though she's busy helping Ken's mother with things, she's been able to spend some time outdoors in the sun." Sadie reached for a glass to dry. "The balmy weather was the one thing I enjoyed most when we visited the Hawaiian Islands."

"Same here. Although the beautiful flowers and colorful birds made it special too." Ellen pulled the drain plug, letting the water out of the sink. "Well, that chore is done. Guess I'll set out the ingredients for the breakfast casserole." She made her way to the refrigerator and paused. "Unless you'd like to have a cup of tea before we start the preparations."

"That does sound nice. I'll put the teakettle on the stove." Sadie got the water heating, while Ellen placed two cups and some slices of banana bread on the table.

As they ate their snack and drank the tea, Sadie brought up the topic of Mandy again. "You don't suppose Ken and Mandy will decide to stay in Hawaii permanently, do you?"

Ellen shook her head. "I'm sure they have no plans of staying. If they did, Mandy would have said something when we last spoke." She reached for a piece of the moist bread and slathered it with creamy butter. "She did say Ken's mother really needs their help right now, so it could be a month or two before they return to Indiana."

Sadie raised her pale eyebrows. "That's a long time for you to run the bed-and-breakfast on your own."

Ellen pointed at Sadie. "You're here helping me, so I'm not completely on my own."

"But a lot of work will fall on you when I'm not able to be here. Have you considered hiring someone full-time? Maybe one of your sisters could help out."

"With the exception of my younger sister, they all have jobs, and Mom needs Lenore at home to help with chores." Ellen took a sip of tea and set her cup down. "Besides, so far I'm able to manage on my own. And once Mandy and Ken get back, we won't need anyone else."

"You have a point." Sadie fingered the edge of the tablecloth. "Let's hope they get back before too many people make reservations and you end up with more responsibility than you can handle. Not to mention that with me working at the hardware store all week and helping out here evenings and Saturdays, it could end up being too much for me too."

The phone rang, and Ellen excused herself and stepped into the hall to answer it. "Pleasant View Bed-and-Breakfast. Ellen Lambright speaking."

"Hello. This is Tammy Brooks, and I'd like to make a reservation. It will be for my husband and myself, as well as our little one. Do you have any vacancies for this Friday and Saturday night? We'll be attending my aunt's funeral Saturday morning, and we haven't been able to find suitable accommodations."

Ellen found it hard to believe that all the hotels and other B&Bs in the area could be booked, but she gave the woman the benefit of the doubt. The fact that the couple had a baby might be a problem, since the policy here was to rent only to adults. And she couldn't lie to the woman, because four of the six rooms were vacant this weekend.

"Umm. . .would you please hold on while I check on this?"

"Yes, of course."

Ellen set the receiver on the entryway table and rushed back to the kitchen. "There's a woman on the phone who wants to make a reservation for this Friday and Saturday night." She moved closer to Sadie. "The only problem is, they have a baby, and we're not set up to accommodate children here." Sadie rubbed the bridge of her nose. "You could borrow a crib and set it up in the parents' room."

"Jah, but what about the policy of no children?"

"Did you tell her that?"

Ellen shook her head. "She sounded desperate for a place to stay, so I thought I'd get your opinion before I responded."

"What do you think Mandy would do if she was here?"

"I'm not sure, but I believe she might make an exception."

Sadie patted Ellen's arm. "Then my advice is to follow your convictions."

"Okay, I will. After all, it's only one little child. What could it hurt to let them stay a few days?"

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