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Mattie Hatter and the Gilded Gauge

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Today's spotlight is on author
Laura Bradford


While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend's house more than thirty years ago, Laura Bradford (a.k.a. Elizabeth Lynn Casey) fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do anything else.


Today, Laura is a bestselling mystery author and an award-winning romance author of more than 16 novels. She lives in New York with her family.

I'm focusing the spotlight today on Laura's 
Amish Mystery series. 

These were the first books I read by Laura, and they are the reason I read everything I can from this author.

HEARSE AND BUGGY
Book 1 in the Amish Mystery series
Fallen Snow

Claire Weatherly has fled a high-stress lifestyle for a slower pace—in Amish country: Heavenly, Pennsylvania. She only planned a short visit but instead found herself opening an Amish specialty shop, Heavenly Treasures, and settling in.Claire loves her new home, and she’s slowly making friends among the locals, including Esther, a young Amish woman who works in the shop. So when the store’s former owner,the unlikable Walter Snow, is murdered, and the man Esther is sweet on becomes a suspect, Claire can’t help but get involved.
Newly returned Detective Jakob Fisher, who left Heavenly—and his Amish upbringing—as a teenager, is on the case. But his investigation is stalled by the fact that none of his former community will speak with him. Claire’s connections make her the perfect go-between.
As Claire investigates, she uncovers more than she wanted to know about her neighbors. And suddenly, everything she had hoped to find in this peaceful refuge is at risk . . . 

Praise for Hearse and Buggy

“The best cozy mystery debut I’ve read this year.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Harlan Coben

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5 Stars from D. Love

This was a great read that was hard to put down.”

“This mystery boasts crisp writing, a comfortable tone, engaging dialogue and a great supporting cast…”

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5 Stars from M. Lapierre

Laura Bradford creates characters with such depth it feels as if you've known them for years.”

“This is truly one of the best debut series of the year.”

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MY REVIEW

HEARSE AND BUGGY is by far one of my favorite books. The setting of Heavenly, PA makes you want to vacation there. hmmm...make that, move there!

Her characters Clair, Diane, Ester, Eli, Jakob and Benjamin are wonderful! There is so much depth to each one.

Great new insight is given into the life of the real Amish of Lancaster County, Pa and it's very clear author Bradford did her research.

No, I didn't forget the mystery part of this story. It very well written, when plenty of left turns to keep me guessing.
I don't often reread books, but I know I'll want to go back to this many times.

I have no doubt, that just like me, you'll want to rush out and buy ASSAULTED PRETZEL, the second in the delightful series. 

I'm only sorry that the highest rating is 5 stars, because I would give HEARSE AND BUGGY 10x that amount! I can hardly wait for the 3rd book in this series!

ASSAULTED PRETZEL
Book 2 in the Amish Mystery series
Claire Weatherly found the simple life she always wanted when she opened a gift shop in Heavenly, Pennsylvania—a small town in the heart of Amish country. But when murder disrupts her Heavenly home, it’s up to Claire and Detective Jakob Fisher to find the not-so-simple truth.
The quiet town of Heavenly is buzzing with excitement over the latest guests at the local inn, Sleep Heavenly. Toy manufacturer Rob Karble is in town to meet the members of the Amish community who will soon be crafting a new toy line for his company. But when word gets out that Karble intends to use the Amish designs without employing the Amish to make them, someone sends the interloper to his final reward.
No one wants to believe anyone from the Amish community could commit such an act, but as Claire and Detective Fisher have learned, no one is above sin—or suspicion.

5 Stars from Lori Caswell (Dollycas)

Amazing! Laura Bradford in an amazing author!”

Fantastic characters, a delightful setting, and a whodunit that will keep you guessing until the very end.”

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5 Stars from Avid Reader

“This is a wonderful series.”

“Characters are really well developed and story is well paced.”

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MY REVIEW

Author Laura Bradford's first Amish mystery, HEARSE AND BUGGY, was one of my favorite cozy mysteries I had ever read. Now that I have read ASSAULTED PRETZEL, it too must go to my list of favorite cozies. No, more than that, Ms. Bradford's Amish series is now on my list of favorite books, period.

Bradford's style of writing is very appealing to me. I can tell while reading her books, she really cares about these characters she has created, about this town she has given them to live in. Her knowledge and research of the Amish of Lancaster County, Pa also really shines through. ASSAULTED PRETZEL only adds to my belief in all of these things.

This book was even better than the first in the series (which was wonderful). The characters have grown. Become more fleshed out. Relationships, good, and strained are changing.

The mystery in this story had me not only second guessing myself, but third and fourth guessing myself. And when the killer was revealed, my guesses were so off base. I was completely wrong and utterly shocked! The author kept this book a true mystery until she wanted the reader to know the truth.

I am a fan for life of Amish Mystery series and author Laura Bradford.

SHUNNED AND DANGEROUS
Book 3 in the Amish Mystery series
Living in the small town of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, Claire Weatherly has come to admire the Amish for their wholesome, honest way of life. But she also knows that nothing is as simple as it seems—especially when murder disturbs the peace.

Claire has always been game for a good puzzle, so when she hears that Mose Fisher has made one of his famous corn mazes, she can’t wait to walk the paths and test her skill. But she’ll have a much more serious puzzle to solve when, deep inside the maze, she discovers the body of Amish dairy farmer Harley Zook.

It won’t be easy for Detective Jakob Fisher to investigate a murder on his own father’s farm—not after being shunned by the man  for leaving the Amish community and becoming a cop. With Mose himself as a suspect, and old family secrets cropping up, it’s up to Claire to help catch the killer before she finds herself at a dead end.

5 Stars from D. Love

Laura (Bradford) has done it again…..”

“I can’t wait to read the next book in this charismatically charming series.”

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5 Stars from K. N. Cornwell

“Once again, Laura Bradford produces another winner in the Amish mystery series.”

“Well crafted, rich prose and wonderful characters.”

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MY REVIEW

What a joy it was to be back in Heavenly, Pennsylvania with Claire, Diane, Jakob, Benjamin, Esther and friends. Each time I’m blessed enough to visit, I am lulled into a sense of peace and contentment. I truly find myself wanting to stay apart of this idyllic community. Well, until there’s another body found. Oh, who am I kidding? I’d still take my chances!

In this third installment of Laura Bradford’s Amish Mystery series, murder once again comes to Heavenly. This time it claims the life of Amish dairy farmer Harley Zook. But who would want Harley dead? And why? Ms. Bradford crafts an intricate tale of anger, greed, prejudice and revenge that gives the reader much to think about before she leads us to the conclusion and the surprising answers to these questions
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Along with the murder mystery, readers are also treated to an uplifting story of love, friendship, helpfulness and forgiveness between characters old and new to the series.

As with HEARSE AND BUGGY & ASSAULTED PRETZEL, we also get a glimpse into the world of the Amish and their traditions. It’s clear Ms. Bradford has done her research and that she has a true fondness for these people.

If you haven’t read this series yet, do yourself a favorite and start it now! If you have read the first two books in this series, SHUNNED AND DANGEROUS is exactly what you've been waiting for!

SUSPENDERED SENTENCE
Book 4 in the Amish Mystery series
The national bestselling author of Shunned and Dangerous returns to the Amish community of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, where shop owner Claire Weatherly has come to appreciate a simpler, more peaceful way of life. But dark secrets are about to complicate things—and lead to murder…

After the Stoltzfus barn catches fire, Claire is awed by the response of the community. Hundreds of Amish men gather together to raise a new barn for the family in a matter of days. But in the midst of the work, a human skeleton is unearthed. Found with the remains is half of a friendship bracelet last seen on Sadie Lehman, an Amish teen long believed to have left her strict upbringing for the allure of English ways.

Now Detective Jakob Fisher—once a member of the Amish community himself—is determined to solve the young woman’s murder. With Claire’s help, he must dig into the past and bring to light long-buried secrets—secrets that someone is willing to kill to protect…

MY REVIEW

I was blessed enough to receive an advance reader copy (ARC) of SUSPENDERED SENTENCE for review. I am so thrilled that I was! 

Ms. Bradford has an amazing talent, and is a most gifted storyteller. Her words never fail to draw me in and capture me.

With each book I read in the Amish Mystery series, I think there is no way the next one will be as good. I’m very happy to be wrong. Laura Bradford continues to improve upon an already fantastic series. SUSPENDERED SENTENCE was in a word…Wonderful!

I always feel like I have come home when reading this series. The characters are like family and friends. To say I am emotionally attached to them and what happens to them, well, that would be very true.

The mystery in SUSPENDERED SENTENCE seemed pretty cut and dry through most of the book. But when there is another mystery attached to the first, things really became more of a guessing game for me. Once the truth came out about everything, it blew me away just how intricate a story Ms. Bradford had penned.

If you like the first books in this series, you are in for a major treat with this one. If you haven’t read this series, I really encourage you to do so. 

SUSPENDERED SENTENCE
is now available for pre-order
for it's March 3, 2015 release

Learn more about author 
Laura Bradford.


Visit Laura's Facebook page and give her a Like. 
Tell her Lisa K sent you



Follow Laura on Twitter and tell her Lisa K sent you



Laura also writes the Southern Sewing Circle Mystery series under the pen name 
Elizabeth Lynn Casey 
which I will Spotlight at a later date.

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.

13 comments:

  1. Sensational Saturday to you, Lisa! You're doing it to me, again...I've held out reading Elizabeth Lynn Casey as Laura Bradford (telling myself I can't keep starting new series). Now, because of you, I feel I HAVE to!! :)

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    1. Thank you, Pat. Yes, you do have to. This is a wonderful series! One of my friend asked me for some cozy suggestions. She has never read one. I sent her HEARSE AND BUGGY. This is one of my ALL TIME favorite series!

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    2. Patricia, I'd love to have you give this series a try! And thanks for stopping by today!

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  2. Lisa, what great reviews. Another series to add to my (huge) TBR stack! And I love these titles.

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    1. Grandma, you will love this series! One of my all time favorites. I already have the shakes wanting to read another! The fifth one can't get published soon enough for me.

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    2. Grandma Cootie, I hope you enjoy the series if you give it a shot! And yes, the titles are fun!!!

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  3. I love this series! I haven't tried the sewing series yet, but I have them, and am going to start them soon.

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    1. Thank you, Dawn!! I hope you love the new one (SUSPENDERED SENTENCE) as much as Lisa did when it comes out in just 3 weeks! :)

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  4. Dawn, you'll love the Sewing Circle series. It's very different from the Amish series, except for the excellent writing and the great characters. OMG The characters are great!

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  5. I love everything Laura writes. Counting down the days to get my hands on SUSPENDERED SENTENCE.

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    1. Stacie, she is an awesome writer, isn't she?

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  6. I love this series. Such wonderful characters and a great setting. I can't wait to read it !!!!!

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    1. Hi Edel! The characters are wonderful! And I have been to Lancaster County (though sadly there is no Heavenly) and it is beautiful.

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