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, March 30, 2022

The Sugarcreek Surprise (Creektown Discoveries #2) by Wanda E. Brunstetter: My Review plus Q&A with Author

The Sugarcreek Surprise

Antique Store Owners Offer Romance Advice to a Smitten Carpenter

Welcome to Sugarcreek, Ohio, where the Amish schoolteacher has a determined admirer. Tragically losing her parents as a child, Lisa Miller has grown up being afraid of loving and losing. She dedicates herself to teaching at an Amish schoolhouse and helping the grandparents who raised her, all the while avoiding the advances of newcomer Paul Herchberger. Paul enjoys antiques and meets Orley Troyer while looking for unique old milk bottles at yard sales. Orley and his wife offer prayers and advice as Paul tries to reach Lisa’s closed heart. But when secrets are revealed, will Lisa use them as an excuse to close herself off again?


Once again, Wanda E. Brunstetter provides another chance to slip away from our everyday 'English' lives to experience a simpler style of living. The Sugarcreek Surprise takes us back to Sugarcreek, Ohio, and offers a reunion with Orley and Lois Troyer, the owners of an antique store in Sugarcreek. It also introduces us to two people who both have difficulties with relationships. Lisa Miller is afraid to get too close to anyone because she's lost so many of the people she's loved, and she also suffers from memory loss because of those painful losses. Paul Herschberger suffered rejection from someone he thought he could love, and he's vowed never to let himself be hurt again. Can Orley and Lois work their magic and help these two wounded people? Better yet, is there a chance that Lisa and Paul might be able to help each other?

Brunstetter has such a unique talent for writing thought-provoking stories and creating characters that we all want to know. Orley and Lois are wonderful mentors, and the guidance that they share is advice that we all can use. Advice grounded in life experiences and built on a tremendous faith in God. This is a very compelling story, because the tragedy, loneliness, and rejection that are experienced by Lisa and Paul are issues that affect people every day. Being reminded that we need to place our total trust in God is excellent advice that we all can use! The Sugarcreek Surprise is wonderful Amish fiction, and I'm hoping that there will be more books in the Creektown Discoveries series.

I received a copy of this book from the author. There was no obligation for a positive review and these are my own thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Here are a few questions that Wanda Brunstetter answered in a FB Chat on March 3, 2022. I want to thank her for allowing me to share them with you, along with some beautiful photographs taken by her husband, Richard Brunstetter. Learn more about his work by visiting HERE

What made you decide to write Amish stories?

I have had an interest in the Amish for many years, even before I began writing. When I met an Amish family in Lancaster County, PA, via one of our Mennonite friends, I knew I needed to write about the Plain people.

Are able to speak or understand the Pennsylvania Dutch language the Amish speak?

I know a few Amish words, which I sprinkle throughout my novels, but I’m not able to speak the Pennsylvania-Dutch language fluently or enough to carry on a conversation.

How did you get your connections with your Amish friends in the communities you visit?

I make new Amish friends in every community I visit. Many of them know who I am and will approach me to strike up a conversation. Some are introduced to me through other Amish or English people who I already know.

Do you have close friends, or do you know families in every single Amish community you visit?

Yes, and I keep in touch with my Amish friends as often as possible, through phone calls, letters, and personal visits.

We have visited Amish communities in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, Montana and Florida.

What is something that surprised you about being an author, and what are some of the difficult things about being an author?

I’ve been surprised about many things, but one I truly didn’t expect was that I would be recognized, not only by my English readers, but by many Amish people whenever I’m visiting their communities.

In addition to writing fulltime, it can be difficult to schedule time for interviews, book signings, speaking engagements, responding to emails, and keeping up with my social media pages, but I enjoy interacting with my readers so I always make the time.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

Every aspect of writing has some challenges, but the most difficult part for me is writing the first draft, which requires not only scene ideas, but where to begin and end each chapter.

What communities will be in the next set of books?

My next series, which I have already begun work on, is entitled Friendship Letters, and Book 1 is set in Pennsylvania. Book 2 takes place predominately in Indiana, and Book 3 will be set in Ohio. The tie-in with the series is the letters three friends write to each other.

The faith messages in your novels are so inspiring. Do you have certain Bible Scriptures that give you comfort? Are there any devotionals that are meaningful to you in your times of searching for answers?

There are many Scriptures that offer me comfort and a sense of peace during difficult times. One of those verses is found in Psalm 46:1 – “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” A devotional I read every day for encouragement is from Our Daily Bread Ministries.

How do you keep coming up with new ideas for the storylines of your books,  and what do you use as your inspiration.

Spending time in Amish communities helps with storylines. Also, I often create scene ideas based on things that have happened to me, someone I know, or have heard about. I’ve always had a vivid imagination, so that helps too.

You have so many Amish friends. Have you ever considered living the Amish way of life? 

If I had been raised by an Amish family, I’m sure I would have remained Amish. However, living with and relying on some of our modern conveniences would it difficult to lives as an Amish person at this stage of my life.


New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda's stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.

Wanda’s fascination with the Amish culture developed when she met her husband, Richard, who grew up in a Mennonite church, and whose family has a Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. Meeting her new Mennonite sister-in-laws caused Wanda to yearn for the simpler life. In their travels, she and her husband have become close friends with many Amish people across America. Wanda’s desire to explore their culture increased when she discovered that her great-great grandparents were part of the Anabaptist faith.

All of Wanda’s novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Many of her books are well-read and trusted by the Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.

Wanda’s primary attraction to the Amish is their desire to live a devout Christian life that strives to honor God, work hard, and maintain close family ties. Whenever she visits her Amish friends, Wanda finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties, which is in stark contrast to the chaos and busyness that plagues so many modern “Englishers.” Time and time again, Wanda loses her heart in the Amish life, and she hopes her readers will, too.

To learn more about Wanda, visit her website  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest

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