About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

An Amish Surprise (Berlin Bookmobile #2) by Shelley Shepard Gray: Review, Guest Post, & Giveaway

I'm thrilled to have Shelley Shepard Gray visit my blog today! The second book in the Berlin Bookmobile Trilogy released Tuesday, May 18th, and Shelley is graciously sharing her thoughts about her newest book. Please take the time to read my thoughts, check out Shelley's  blog post, and then,  leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of An Amish Surprise. 


In the second installment of the “enjoyable and charming” ( USA TODAY ) Shelley Shepard Grays delightful Berlin Bookmobile series, librarian Sarah Anne Miller returns to Berlin to help a childless Amish couple form the family theyve always prayed for.

Miriam and Calvin Gingerich have been trying for a baby for several years, but the Lord hasn’t seen fit to bless them. Though Calvin claims he’s content with their childless state, Miriam knows he’s not, and when he starts spending more time off their farm, she worries he’s found someone else. But just as she finds herself at her lowest point, she discovers the ultimate surprise. Unable to confide in anyone who might tell Calvin—out of fear she’ll disappoint him with another miscarriage—Miriam turns to bookmobile librarian Sarah Anne Miller—and any books she may have on pregnancy and childbirth.

Calvin has been keeping a secret from his wife, but it’s not another woman. It’s a little boy. One afternoon when visiting Sarah Anne’s bookmobile, he meets Miles, a ten-year-old living with a foster family down the road. But after spending more time with the boy, Calvin learns that his foster family has no plans to adopt him. Calvin feels a connection with Miles and yearns to give the boy a home, but he’s afraid to tell Miriam, knowing she’s devastated they can’t have children of their own.

As weeks pass and Sarah Anne learns that Miles has nearly given up hope of ever finding a real home, she knows it’s time to intervene. It’s going to take some fancy footwork and a whole lot of prayer, but she knows she can help make this struggling couple into a happy family of four.


Sarah Anne Miller is a librarian but she doesn't always work in a building. Instead, she offers books, and so much more, when she drives her bookmobile around Berlin County. An Amish Surprise is the second book of The Berlin Bookmobile Series, and Sarah Anne is still taking books to her patrons who live in rural areas. She's played matchmaker before, but now, Sarah Anne gets a chance to experience romance herself, and it's a charming look at a 60-something widow getting back into the dating game. As she tries to determine if she's ready for a second chance at love, Sarah Anne continues to interact with the Amish community, and it's apparent that her weekly visits are bright spots in their lives. It's especially touching to witness the special relationship that she develops with a ten-year-old boy who dearly loves the bookmobile. Miles is in foster care, and she realizes that he is especially taken with a young Amish farmer who also frequents the bookmobile. Her intuition recognizes that young Miles and Calvin Gingerich share a special bond, but is the bond strong enough for them to become a family? Calvin's wife Miriam is against adoption...can Sarah Anne work her magic?

I love this book because it centers around a bookmobile, and this was a part of my life in my 22 1/2 years as a public librarian. Many people have never seen a bookmobile, so they are are unaware of the importance that a library on wheels can really be, but author Shelley Shepherd Gray shines a special spotlight on this valuable service. She has an unique talent for entertaining readers, touching their hearts, and pulling on their heartstrings, and it's very evident in this book. Her sensitive and tender portrayal of a young boy shuffled around in the foster care system is beautiful to read,  but she also  shares some fun, because each chapter begins with a tip from Sarah Anne Miller's Guide to Dating After Age Sixty. If you enjoy Amish fiction, and you're looking for an enjoyable read, An Amish Surprise is the book for you!

I received a complimentary advanced reader copy of this book. I was never obligated to write a favorable review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars 


Shelley Shepard Gray has published over seventy novels. She currently writes Amish romances for Harper Collins, Kensington, and Simon & Schuster and contemporary women’s fiction for Blackstone Publishing.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s degree in English literature and elementary education and later obtained her master’s degree in educational administration. She currently lives in Colorado Springs and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two young adults and she is an active member of her church.

Learn more about Shelley at her    Website     Facebook 
                                                       Twitter       Pinterest    Instagram  

An Amish Surprise by Shelley Shepard Gray 

I’ve been thinking a lot about surprises lately. I guess that’s to be expected, since An Amish Surprise, the second book in the Berlin Bookmobile Trilogy, released this week. That said, I have to admit that I’ve been getting my fair share of unexpected events this past year. 

The biggest, I guess, would be our recent pandemic. I never thought I would ever be quarantined for months-or that I would so easily adapt to ‘life at home’. Almost as big of a shock was that I began to come to appreciate things I used to take for granted. I read more, I wrote more, and my husband and I began to look forward to our daily, hour long walks. Maybe some of you can relate?

This past year also brought our family a first grandbaby. Her name is Penny and she’s a delight-and as much as she might like her grandma, she loves her mommy! I’ve been overwhelmed with a sense of pride for my daughter and the way she’s taken to motherhood. 

There have been a few other surprises over the last year-some that have been fairly difficult- but they have reminded me that the Lord is in charge and that it’s better to have faith than stress about things I cannot change. 

All this pondering brings me back to the three story lines in An Amish Surprise. Each features characters encountering a few unexpected moments in their lives…but in the end, they’re better for having gone through them. 

I must admit to feeling the same way. 

Thank you for giving the book a try! If you’d like to win a copy, please share a surprise of your own-big or small, each one counts! 



For a chance to win your own copy of An Amish Surprise, please leave a comment about one of your surprises, along with your email address in non-spammer format. Example: name(at)domain(dot)com 


  1. One of my biggest surprises came after I lost my beloved grandma in 2004. I felt like my right side was gone. We were very close. I asked God what I was supposed to do next. My answer came in the form of our 13 year old nephew who just lost his mother. Long story short. We adopted him in December of that year. He is now 30. God does have a sense of humor! I couldn't have children, but God blessed me with a teenager!

    1. Debbie, I love this story! God knew exactly what He was doing!!

  2. I forgot to add my email address for my comment-Debbie Earls. coxsaddlery@gmail.com

  3. I would love to win this book. I enjoy reading all of Shelley Shepard Gray books.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com. I got a long distance phone call from a friend.