Category Archives: Barbour Publishing

Review: ‘Til Grits Do Us Part by Jennifer Rogers Spinola

Title: ‘Til Grits Do Us Part by Jennifer Rogers Spinola
Southern Fried Sushi Book Three
Publisher: Barbour Books
Genre: Contemporary, Christian, Romance, Mystery
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley


Shiloh Jacobs is planning her wedding without family, without money, and without a clue—and trying to make a go of small-town Southern life. Until she stumbles on an unsolved case about a missing woman that makes her run in the opposite direction—right into the would-be killer’s web of plans. In the midst of sorting through her tragic past and strained relationships, Shiloh finds herself on the run from a madman—and hoping she can make it to her wedding alive.

The Review:

‘Til Grits Do Us Part is a wonderful ending to Jennifer Rogers Spinola’s compelling Southern Fried Sushi trilogy. Shiloh Jacobs is in the middle of planning of her wedding to Adam Carter when she begins receiving flowers and eerie messages from an unknown admirer. What, if any, is connection between Shiloh’s stalker and the unsolved disappearance of Amanda Cummings twelve years prior? Will Shiloh uncover her stalker’s identity before it is too late?

As in the previous novels of the Southern Fried Sushi trilogy, Shiloh Jacobs is a superbly developed, complex character. She continues to grieve her mother’s death and she is still dealing with her guilt at resisting her mother’s attempts to reconcile before her death. Shiloh’s relationship with God is a work in progress and her faith in Him continues to grow. She is also determined to sell her mother’s house and leave Staunton behind following her wedding to Adam.

All of the delightfully quirky but lovable secondary characters from the preceding installments make guest appearances in ‘Til Grits Do Us Part. Shiloh and fiancé Adam learn valuable lessons in the art of compromise as they occasionally butt heads as Shiloh tries to uncover her stalker’s identity. Shiloh’s close friend Kyoko remains a steadfast and loyal presence in Shiloh’s life and their interactions are quite funny. Becky proves to be invaluable to Shiloh as they plan Shiloh’s wedding on a shoestring budget.

The mystery aspect of ‘Til Grits Do Us Part is brilliantly executed. Ms. Spinola does a masterful job keeping the stalker’s identity a closely guarded secret and I was genuinely surprised when the culprit was revealed. There are also many twists and turns in the investigation into Amanda Cummings’ disappearance.

‘Til Grits Do Us Part is an entertaining and thought-provoking novel and Jennifer Rogers Spinola beautifully wraps up all of the various storylines. The ending of Shiloh’s story is absolutely perfect and I greatly enjoyed every installment in the Southern Fried Sushi series.

Read my reviews of the previous novels HERE.


Filed under 'Til Grits Do Us Part, Barbour Publishing, Christian, Contemporary, Jennifer Rogers Spinola, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Southern Fried Sushi Series

The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Title: The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda E. Brunstetter
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational, Fiction
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley


Join the club of unlikely quilters who show up for Amish widow Emma Yoder’s quilting classes. A troubled young woman, a struggling couple, a widower, a rough and tough biker, and a preacher’s wife make up the mismatched lot. But as their problems begin to bind them together like the scraps of fabric stitched together in a quilt, they learn to open up and lend a helping hand. Is this what God had in mind to heal hurting hearts and create beauty from fragments?

The Review:

Wanda E. Brunstetter’s The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club is a heartwarming story about six very different people who learn as much as about themselves as they do about quilting when they sign up for Emma Yoder’s quilting class. Emma is surprised to discover she has more to offer her students than lessons in quilting and she is about to learn a few important lessons of her own.

Emma’s six week quilting class is made up of a diverse group of people from all walks of life. Ruby Lee is a minister’s wife who is angry, depressed and suffering a crisis of faith. She signs up for the class looking for something to do outside of church activities.

Paul Ramirez is a widower raising his nine-month old daughter. He is hoping to learn how to quilt so he can finish the baby quilt his wife started before her untimely death.

The youngest pupil is the troubled Star Stephens. Without Star’s knowledge, Star’s grandmother signed her up for the class before she passed away. Star decides to attend the class as a way to feel close to her grandmother.

Stuart and Pam Johnston’s marriage is on the rocks and their marriage counselor suggested they spend more time together. While Pam is enthusiastic about the class, Stuart is much more reluctant, but agrees to go with her.

Jan Sweets is a roofer whose rough biker exterior hides his soft heart. Following his probation officer’s suggestion he find something to express his creativity, he signs up for the class when he decides he needs more in his life than just work.

And that brings us to quilting instructor Emma Yoder. A widow with grown children and several grandchildren, Emma is looking for a way to supplement her income when she comes up with the idea of teaching the quilting class. Her life experience, wisdom and abiding faith prove invaluable as the members of the class begin to open up to one another about their troubles. While Emma may know a lot about life and quilting, she will discover that there is a thing or two about love that she still needs to learn.

The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club is charming novel with an appealing cast of characters and unique storyline. Wanda E. Brunstetter beautifully weaves the Amish way of life into this compelling faith-based story. While there are few surprises in this fabulous story, there is an unexpected plot twist that makes The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club a truly delightful and standout read.


Filed under Barbour Publishing, Contemporary, Fiction, Inspirational, Rated B+, The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club, Wanda E Brunstetter

Like Sweet Potato Pie by Jennifer Rogers Spinola

Title: Like Sweet Potato Pie by Jennifer Rogers Spinola
Southern Fried Sushi Book 2
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational, Fiction
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: A+ and a Recommended Read

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley


Witness as Shiloh’s new life in Virginia crumbles around her. The house she inherited from her mother is much more than a place to live—it represents Shiloh’s changed life and what little financial security she has. But her half sister is contesting their mother’s will and the IRS is threatening to take it for back taxes. She’s also discovering God’s ideal when it comes to love and romance. When Mr. Right shows up will she recognize God’s hand or let circumstances and prejudices blind her heart to the love of her life?

The Review:

Like Sweet Potato Pie by Jennifer Rogers Spinola is a beautiful and compelling novel about faith, friendship and family. Picking up where Southern Fried Sushi left off, Shiloh Jacobs’ newfound trust in God is tested almost immediately. With her half sister Ashley demanding half of her mother’s estate and unexpected visits from people from her life in Japan, will Shiloh revert to her old ways? Or will she continue to put her trust in Jesus?

Shiloh is a wonderfully developed realistic character. Her wry sense of humor carries her through some of her more difficult times as she deals with the various financial and emotional issues in her life. She is surrounded by a circle of close knit and loving friends who have become her family. While she embraces her new Christian life, her relationship with God becomes tenuous when she is faced with adversity.

Shiloh continues to miss Japan and she is still working towards her goal of leaving Virginia. Her insistent belief that her life is not in Virginia sometimes clouds her judgment and blinds her to the possibilities that are before her. There is more of a romantic element to Like Sweet Potato Pie as Shiloh and Adam become closer and take steps to get to know one another. Miscommunications arise between them when Shiloh takes action in certain situations before she knows all of the facts.

Like Sweet Potato Pie is an engaging story with appealing characters and an engrossing plot. Jennifer Rogers Spinola brings life in the South vibrantly to life in this faith based novel. A strong sense of family and deep Christian beliefs make it a must read for anyone who enjoys Inspirational fiction.

Read my review of Southern Fried Sushi HERE


Filed under Barbour Publishing, Contemporary, Fiction, Inspirational, Jennifer Rogers Spinola, Like Sweet Potato Pie, Rated A+, Recommended Read, Southern Fried Sushi Series

Southern Fried Sushi by Jennifer Rogers Spinola

Title: Southern Fried Sushi by Jennifer Rogers Spinola
Southern Fried Sushi Series Book One
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc
Genre: Inspirational, Fiction, Contemporary
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley


Ride the rollercoaster of Shiloh Jacobs’s life as her dreams derail, sending her on a downward spiral from the heights of an AP job in Tokyo to penniless in rural Virginia. Trapped in a world so foreign to her sensibilities and surrounded by a quirky group of friends, will she break through her hardened prejudices before she loses those who want to help her? Can she find the key to what changed her estranged mother’s life so powerfully before her death that she became a different woman—and can it help Shiloh too?

The Review:

Jennifer Rogers Spinola’s debut novel Southern Fried Sushi is a delightful story about finding faith, friendship and ultimately, forgiveness. Shiloh Jacobs’ return to the States to attend her mother’s funeral and settle her estate proves to be a turning point in her life. In rural Virginia, Shiloh discovers the true meaning of Southern hospitality when perfect strangers generously and selflessly open their hearts and homes to her.

A dysfunctional and often neglectful childhood culminates in a long standing estrangement between Shiloh and her mother. Rejecting her mother’s attempts to mend their strained relationship, Shiloh maintains both an emotional and physical distance as she builds a new life as an AP reporter in Tokyo. Shiloh’s arrival in Staunton, Virginia is a tremendous culture shock for the sophisticated and career oriented young woman. She discovers her mother’s dramatic transformation from the depressed and rather flaky mom of her childhood to a woman who had finally found peace, happiness and a deep faith in God.

Confronted by the Christian beliefs and values of her newfound friends, Shiloh attempts to understand their unwavering faith in God. Her simplistic view that all prayers should be answered is challenged as she witnesses her friends’ struggles with heartbreaking losses. She learns many valuable lessons in the importance of forgiveness, and she slowly opens her heart to God and invites Him into her life.

Southern Fried Sushi is a beautifully written novel with a vibrant and colorful cast of characters. The Christian faith is exquisitely demonstrated through heartwarming friendships, people who trust God in all circumstances of their lives, and the true meaning of forgiveness.

Jennifer Rogers Spinola is a powerful new voice in Christian fiction. I am eagerly anticipating Like Sweet Potato Pie the second novel in the Shiloh Jacobs trilogy.

This review was originally posted on The Reader’s Roundtable.


Filed under Barbour Publishing, Contemporary, Fiction, Jennifer Rogers Spinola, Rated B, Southern Fried Sushi, Southern Fried Sushi Series