Friday, January 14, 2022

Book Review - Much Ado about a Latte by Kathleen Fuller


My Review

Anita works in a little diner in the small town of Maple Falls, along with her childhood crush, Tanner Castillo.  When Tanner secretly buys the diner and Anita - also secretly - buys the building next door for a coffeehouse, their friendship and potential romance changes.

I wanted to read Much Ado About a Latte because it looked like such a cozy, relaxing winter read.  I also love small town settings.

This was indeed a very enjoyable, cozy read.  The author, Kathleen Fuller, did a wonderful job at capturing life in a small town.  I especially loved the atmosphere at the Sunshine Diner.

Anita is a very likable protagonist.  She struggled with learning disabilities growing up, and has been hesitant to strike out on her own with business as a result.  When she finally gets up the courage to make a big change, it also changes the dynamic with her longtime crush, Tanner.

Tanner is charming - a good guy who is likable, kind, and frankly dreamy!  Their match seems made to be - except for the rival businesses.

I enjoyed reading Much Ado About a Latte and recommend it for other readers, especially for anyone who enjoys small town settings and cozy romance.

Book Synopsis

A coffee war is brewing in Maple Falls, where Anita and Tanner are serving up plenty of steam to keep the town buzzing.

Anita Bedford needs to face reality. It’s time to decaffeinate the dream that she and Tanner will ever be more than friends. Growing up in small-town Maple Falls, she’s had a crush on Tanner for years. But he’ll only ever see her as good, old, dependable Anita. Now she’s finally ready to make her own goals a reality. In fact, that deserted building next door to Sunshine Diner looks like a promising location to open her own café.

Tanner Castillo may know how to operate a diner, but he doesn’t know beans about love. After pouring his life savings into buying the Sunshine Diner, he needs to keep his mind on making a success of it and supporting his widowed mother, not on kissing Anita Bedford. First order of business: improve his customers’ coffee experience. Next, he should probably find out who bought the building next door.

It’s a bitter cup to swallow when ambition turns longtime friends and coworkers Anita and Tanner into rivals. Now that they own competing businesses, how could they ever compete for each other’s hearts? Or will the two of them come to see what’s obvious to the whole, quirky town of Maple Falls: potential for a full-roast romance, with an extra splash of dream?

Welcome to Maple Falls, where everyone knows your name and has thoughts on your love life.

Author Bio

With over a million copies sold, Kathleen Fuller is the USA TODAY bestselling author of several bestselling novels, including the Hearts of Middlefield novels, the Middlefield Family novels, the Amish of Birch Creek series, and the Amish Letters series as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at KathleenFuller.com; Instagram: @kf_booksandhooks; Facebook: @WriterKathleenFuller; Twitter: @TheKatJam.


Book Review - How to Stitch an American Dream: A Story of Family, Faith and the Power of Giving by Jenny Doan


My Review

How to Stitch An American Dream is Jenny Doan's biography. Jenny went from starting a small quilting shop to owning a huge quilting fabric company.  This is the story of her business, her life, and her faith.

I wanted to read this book because I enjoy sewing and needlework. I have never tried quilting but it is something that I have always been curious about and interested in.

This book surprised me pleasantly because there is so much small business inspiration here as well. I have a small online business (vintage children's books and ephemera) and found this book positively inspiring!  I especially love that Jenny founded her business in her 50's.

As a person of faith, I enjoyed reading about the ways that her faith influenced her business decisions and provided daily inspiration with the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

The details of Jenny's life were also interesting, like the anecdote she tells about learning to sew an apron with her 4-H teacher ... and developing a lifelong love of sewing.

I enjoyed this read and recommend How to Stitch an American Dream for anyone interested in quilting, inspirational memoirs, or women in small business.

Book Synopsis

Faith, family, hard work, and second chances are at the core of every great American story, and Jenny Doan’s story is just that. 

In her new memoir, How to Stitch an American Dream, readers will discover the behind-the-scenes success story of the Missouri Star Quilt Company and Jenny’s remarkable journey to overcome hardship, claim the abundance of family, and ignite the power of giving—all while revitalizing a small town along the way.

Over the last decade, the Doan family business, the Missouri Star Quilt Company in tiny Hamilton, Missouri, has grown from Jenny’s corner shop–with one quilting machine and two bolts of fabric for sale in the back–to become the largest supplier of pre-cut quilting fabric in the headquarters of Jenny’s world-famous YouTube tutorial videos.

Jenny is now giving her fans, the business world, and moms of all ages (and grandmas too!) what they’ve been asking for: the full story of her journey, from her humble beginnings as a homeschooling mom, to founding MSQC in her fifties, through the remarkable success and inspiration she’s so well-known for today. In this book, you’ll learn:

  • How she and her beloved husband, Ron, raised seven children on a shoestring budget— and had fun doing it;
  • How, after a string of bad luck, the family made a prayer-based decision to leave California behind and start over again in rural Missouri, even though they had no place to live, no jobs lined up, and no idea how they were going to make it;
  • How Jenny, Ron and their children worked side-by-side to patch together a family home out of a crumbling shell of a farmhouse;
  • And how their faith, hard work, and generosity not only carried them through the hard times, but led directly to the success of the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

Author Bio

Jenny Doan is a wife, mom of seven, and the founder of the Missouri Star Quilt Company, which in ten years has transformed from a way for Jenny to keep busy in her empty nest to a $100 million company with 450 employees.