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The Sugarcreek Surprise

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Member Reviews

I always feel peaceful after reading one of Wanda's books.
Two hurting souls, each from a different reason find each other and help heal they hurting inside each other.
The author writes with an elegant style and always makes the reader feel good for having read her books.
I also really enjoyed the dog character that was nurtured in the story.
It's wonderful having characters from the first book in this one as well.
Beautiful character growth and spiritual growth as well.
Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Pub Date 01 Mar 2022
I was given a complimentary copy of this book.
All opinions expressed are my own.
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The Sugarcreek Surprise by Wanda E Brunstetter – A Lovely Book with Likable Characters

Wanda E Brunstetter has become one of my favorite writers and I was excited to read her newest book The Sugarcreek Surprise, the second book in the Creektown Discovery series.  

The Sugarcreek Surprise tells the story of Lisa Miller the only survivor of a tragic car accident.  She lost her parents and paternal grandparents at seven years old and has very few memories before the accident.  Lisa went to live in Ohio with her maternal grandparents.  She works as a school teacher with the young children at their Amish community’s schoolhouse.  Lisa lives a very insulated life, has very few friends, and has no desire to get married or have children.  Truth be told, Lisa is trying to protect her heart from the pain of losing someone else she loves.  Her life is about to be changed by a persistent dog Maggie and a newcomer Paul Herschberger from Pennsylvania.  

This book is about relationships.  Lisa’s relationship with her grandparents, her dog Maggie and her developing friendship with Paul who is thoughtful, kind, and caring.  Orley and Lois Troyer, from the Walnut Creek Wish, are back and befriend Paul and in turn his friend Lisa.  Orley and Lois are my favorite characters.  They are continually looking for people whom God would have them befriend.  They are mentors, prayer warriors and give wise biblical counsel.  

I liked Paul and appreciated his kind, caring, gentle, and hardworking character.  At times I struggled with Lisa and her negativity or not being open to others.  But I appreciated seeing how her grandparents and Paul responded to her.  They prayed for Lisa, gave her time and trusted the Lord to be at work in her life. 

I appreciate the Christian faith being included as part of the characters’ lives, in the form of Scripture verses, sermons, and prayers.  The Sugarcreek Surprise is not action-packed, instead, it goes deeper into people’s lives, relationships, and what motivates them.  I love that this book is clean and shows good and healthy relationships.  The characters deal with honesty, forgiveness, growth, and how to trust God and obey Him.  

I loved reading The Sugarcreek Surprise by Wanda E Brunstetter and highly recommend it.  It was a lovely book, filled with likable characters, the kind of people you would want to know.  Wanda E Brunstetter is the kind of writer that makes me want to read all her books. 

I would like to thank Barbour Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of The Sugarcreek Surprise by Wanda E Brunstetter.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
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I have bene struggling lately with Wanda B's books. Her original Amish series books were excellent but recently the books are more centered on death and seem darker - in an Amish kind of way - ha. There have been a few that I have just put down in the middle as they were more depressive than her usual sweet and innocent books. All that to say, this is completely my opinion but I think I might choose different author's for my Amish fiction moving forward.
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Fear doesn't stop death; it stops life. And worrying doesn't take away tomorrow's troubles; it takes away today's peace.

The Sugarcreek Amish community in this series is centered around a married couple the Troyers that own an antiques store. The Troyer's meet Paul Herchberger who is new to the community working with his uncle. He left Indiana because his heart broke when he found his girl friend in the arms of his best friend. Paul also meets Lisa Miller whom he recognizes as a girl that he went to school with in Indiana. However, Lisa does not recognize him. He becomes intrigued in a friendly way and his friendliness leads to something more.

Lisa after many years is still dealing with the pain of losing her parents and her home in Indiana. She now lives with her grandparents in Sugarcreek. The pain has left her with many insecurities. She loves children and knowing that she could not possibly deal with a relationship and have children of her own, she becomes the teacher. God sends two things to Lisa to help her deal with this long battle of fear, a dog and Paul. I appreciate how God does that for us as well. Animals or pets can show the heart of God and maybe where our heart is hurting. Paul's character is dealing with his own heart break but in the friendship he has with Lisa, he discovers something bigger.

Such a great story of how pain can build walls in our heart and how God uses those walls to open our selves to love.

A special thank you to Barbour Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.
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The Sugarcreek Surprise

by Wanda E. Brunstetter

I was glad I returned to Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Creektown Discoveries series to read the second book, The Sugarcreek Surprise. Part way through the first book in the series, Brunstetter found her pace and upped her style. She maintained and even improved on it in this fictional tale of two young people who have been hurt by life and are afraid of renewed suffering if they give life a second chance—outside of the protective shell each one created.

Paul is betrayed by the woman he has been courting who drops him for his best friend. Lisa has survivor’s guilt when, as a child, her parents and grandparents are in a fatal car crash, but she alone survives. Fortunately, these two are mentored by loving relatives and friends. Life is not easy for either one of them and even more surprises are thrown their way as they cautiously try to open up to others.

I enjoyed this trip to Walnut Creek and Sugarcreek, Ohio. Lisa is a school teacher and I found the differences in her classroom
and the typical Englisch classroom fascinating. School extends only through eighth grade for the Amish. Although the children are typical for their ages in mischievousness and enthusiasm, they arrive with basic manners and parental expectations for good behavior. Paul has an excellent work ethic and is skilled in carpentry. Both are committed Christians and practice their faith through Amish customs. They learn to pray more and trust God more. Witnessing how Amish practices play out in our current world is interesting. This book makes it clear that there are benefits and hardships to contemplate about both Englisch and Amish lifestyles.

I would like to extend my thanks to NetGalley and to Barbour Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Category: Christian, Romance, Women’s Fiction

Notes:  1. #2 in the Creektown Discoveries Series, but could be read as a standalone because the main characters first appear in this book.
	   2. The book ends with recipes and discussion questions

Publication: March 1, 2022—Barbour Publishing

Memorable Lines:

Even snippets from the past, which sometimes flitted through her mind, caused Lisa to feel fearful and despondent. She’d convinced herself that the only way she could be happy was to keep her focus on the present and refuse to give in to thoughts of the past.

The Lord knows each of us very well. He also knows what needs to happen for each of us at the proper time.

“Fear doesn’t stop death; it stops life. And worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace.”
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I enjoyed this book.  As always it was an easy read.  

I recommend this title for a release afternoon read.

Thank you Netgalley and Barbour for allowing me to read this title for an honest review.
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Wanda E. Brunstetter is the first Christian romance novelist I’ve read and I’ve been enjoying the writing! I even went to read the first book of the series before starting this one to get an idea of the setting! Even though I have never met anyone of the Amish church and community in real life, I felt the characters, settings and issues faced were very relatable. Sometimes the flow of the narrative felt a bit stagnant but I enjoyed the integration of bible verses and how God changes people’s hearts. I am looking forward to reading more from this series! 😊
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It is always a joy to read Ms. Brunstetter and return to a quaint Amish town. This one takes place in Sugarcreek, Ohio - a lovely setting for sure! Lisa Miller, an Amish school teacher, and Paul Herchberger, an antique enthusiast - what a wonderful storyline, setting, and easy to love characters. Love for two hurting hearts and this book has it. Amish stories will always have a special place in my life. I love the pace of them and the gentleness of the characters.
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Another sweet romance book by Wanda Brunstetter. I did read this as a stand alone even though it's the 2nd in the series. It was easy to read, had lots of laughable moments with the characters, and clean romance. 

Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read this e-arc copy.
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Another warm but thoughtful novel

I always enjoy Wanda Brunstetter's novels and this was no exception.  I like how she describes the universal human issues within the context of an 'Amish' story.  In this case, she examines survivor's guilt and, imho, a bit of ptsd.  Throw in some lack of self-confidence and we have our heroine and hero's issues.  Don't get me wrong, these books are not serious literature, but they are a very welcome, calming, relaxing break in one's busy day (or busy and stressful few years!).  Highly recommended.

Thank you to the publisher who lent me an e-arc through Netgalley.  This review is optional and my own opinion.
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The Sugarcreek Surprise by award winning author Wanda Brunstetter is a Christian Amish romance novel. It is Book 2 in the Creektown Discoveries Series. It can easily be read as a standalone book.

 This is the story of Lisa Miller, a young Amish schoolteacher. She has lived with her grandparents since both of her parents died tragically in an accident.  They have taken wonderful care of her. However, she was traumatized by her parents’ death and cannot see a future outside of the safety of their home.

It is also the story of Paul Herschberger. He has moved from Indiana to Sugarcreek, Ohio after his fiancé cheats on him. He is a relatable character and a really nice guy.

Mrs. Brunstetter has written a heartwarming, realistic story that is beautiful. It was easy to become invested in the story and lives of Lisa and Paul. There are life and spiritual lessons woven throughout this tale. Twists and turns kept it interesting. I loved it so much that I read it in one sitting. It is definitely a page turner. Readers that enjoyed Book 1 will be happy to “see” some familiar faces pop up as they read this book. 

This is one of my favorite books by the author. It has a lovely story with a heartfelt message. True to her style, the author included recipes at the end along with discussion questions. I love it when authors include those.

I highly recommend this. Any Amish fan will swoon over The Sugarcreek Surprise. Reader groups would enjoy this as a selection. It gets 5 out of 5 stars from me. A copy was provided by the publisher, but these are my honest words.
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"The Sugarcreek Surprise" by Wanda E. Brunstetter
Yes, this is a sweet clean Amish romance including tragic loss, a reminder of the power of faith, and the positive result that can be achieved through positive thoughts and actions.  There are even a couple of recipes at the end of the story… AND some discussion questions for your book group.  And, yes, I loved my time within this story.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Happy Reading ! !
NOTE: I received an ARC of this story from the publisher.
This review expresses my honest opinion.
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The Sugarcreek Surprise will not disappoint anyone reading this book. Dealing with loss of her parents Lisa has blocked out most of her past. When someone who new her from her past realizes who she is but keeps it to himself will cause problems for Lisa. No matter what life throws at us we all must lean on God to find strength.
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Sugarcreek Surprise, written by Wanda E. Brunstetter is Volume two in the Creektown Discoveries series. The story is about Lisa Miller who lost her parents in a buggy accident when she was a child.  She has been raised by her maternal grandparents and lives in Sugarcreek, Ohio.  She has shut herself from loving anyone because she doesn’t want to have to grieve if she loses anyone else that she loves.  She dedicates herself to teaching, determined never to fall in love, and she holds suiters at arm’s length.

Paul Herschberger is a young man who comes to Sugarcreek from an Amish settlement in northern Indiana after losing the love of his life to another man.  He is determined not to fall in love again, afraid of being hurt.

The two come together when he is hired by Lisa’s grandparents to remodel their kitchen.  Paul falls in love with Lisa, but she will not yield in her desire to love no one.  She feels safer that way.  However, love always finds a way.

Although I liked most of Ms. Brunstetter’s books, I found this one to be almost a play.  The book consisted mainly of dialogue and inane dialogue at that. For example, when Paul persuaded Lisa to accompany him to a restaurant, half a page was dedicated to them deciding what to eat and talking to a waitress.  I just wanted the book to be DONE.  I did read every page because I was asked to review it, but in the future, I’m not sure that I will read any more of M s. Brunstetter’s novels.
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"The Sugarcreek Surprise" tells the story of Lisa, a teacher who fears to love due to past losses and pain at losing her family in an accident. She slowly takes steps to lower her guard when she is adopted by Maggie, a stray dog. When Lisa meets and forms a friendship with newcomer Paul, she begins to trust him and spend time with him. Some bumps in their relationship cause Lisa to pull back while they both reconsider what the future might hold for them.

This is a clean and sweet novel, lacking in explicit intimacy scenes, violence, or strong language. Readers who enjoy a lot of detail in their novels, and like to read about Amish people, will find this a sweet read by a well-known author. This novel continues the Sugarcreek/Walnut Creek/Creektown series. Although some characters are found in both volume one and volume two, the novel can be read as a standalone. 

I received this novel from the publisher and from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
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I loved this book so much! It is a clean respectful Amish story. 
Lisa was in an accident when she was younger that killed her family. She was the only survivor. She went to live with her grandparents. She is now a school teacher that is afraid of letting anyone get close to her.. 
Paul girlfriend dumped him for his best friend so he leaves town to live with his Uncle and the family. Paul meets Lisa and realizes that he knew hew before her accident and chose not to tell her right away. Lisa overhears Paul tell Lisa's grandfather and she becomes very upset. There is some drama but it is so well written and flows together. I could not put this book down until i was finished.. Now I want to go back and read the first book in the series. Awesome book.
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The Sugarcreek Surprise is book two in the Creektown Discoveries series by Wanda E Brunstetter. This story focuses on Lisa and Paul. As a young girl, Lisa was the only survivor in an accident that took her parents and she was taken to live with her grandparents. She is now a teacher at the school and afraid to form a relationship, in fear of losing someone she cares for. Paul’s girlfriend left him for his best friend and he has moved to Lisa’s area to work for his uncle. As children Paul and Lisa were very good friends and Paul voiced wanting to marry her someday, but Lisa has no memory from before the accident.

This is a well written, easy to read story with caring characters that focuses on seconds chances and overcoming fear. This is a good clean story of family, faith and love. I especially enjoyed how patient and caring Paul was with Lisa. It was fun to read the advice the columnist gives to those who write to her with their problems and to see the extremes Lisa’s grandmother went to for Lisa to spend time with Paul. I enjoyed the reality of the health issues the antique store owner had and how his wife reacted to it.

I received a copy of this story from the publisher through NetGalley, this is my honest review.
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This is a Clean Amish Romance, and this is the second book in the Creektown Discoveries series. I have read and reviewed the first book in this series before picking this book up. The romance in this book moves so slow, but that is normal for an Amish Romance book. I did really love the characters in this book. The dog that shows up in this book is a great animal character, and that dog was one of mine favorite character in this book. I am so happy to get some of the characters from the first book in this book, but some of the parts with the first book's characters just felt awkward and just dropped in to put the characters in the book. Other then the weird parts with some of the first book's characters I loved this book. The story line was really good. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Barbour Fiction) or author (Wanda E. Brunstetter) via NetGalley, so I can give an honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.
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I really liked this book a lot. I feel like when people think Amish they think they have a simple life and they don't necessarily face the same things as the rest of us. In this book thats far from the truth. I really Liked Lisa and even though her faith was strong she struggled with fear of loosing those close to her she was strong and kept fighting. Paul he was a good guy with a big heart that needed healing, he too had a few things he needed to work out but with his faith in God and his willingness to ask for help he was willing to face things head on which is not always easy. I feel like my emotions were all over the place with this book you would be laughing in on page and then tears in another. I Liked that I was able to catch up with the Towers again in the book they are the sweetest couple and I was so glad to read more about them. Overall this is a clean read and I would recommend it to anyone.
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The Sugarcreek Surprise is the second book in Wanda Brunstetter's series, Creektown Discoveries. I always look forward to reading one of this author's books and was not disappointed. I like Brunstetter's style of writing, (although occasionally in this story conversations seemed a bit forced and stilted) and her honest and redemptive approach to realistic struggles that her characters encounter. The characters are down-to-earth with depth to their emotions, strengths, and foibles. Readers can easily connect with them. The Creektown Discoveries bring readers an Amish "Dear Abby". Lois receives a letter from a woman concerned about her granddaughter and the story of Lisa and Paul begins. They each have issues from the past they are struggling with. Will their faith be strong enough to overcome the obstacles to their relationship and enable them to find love?   Brunstetter portrays the emotions well, especially those related to survivor guilt. I like how the author made issues realistic and relatable. Readers who enjoy contemporary Amish romance stories will not want to miss The Sugarcreek Surprise.
I read a complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing and was not required to write a positive review. The opinions are my own.
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