Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis

Felicitations!  My greeting goes with the book I am featuring today.  The Walking Bread by Winnie Archer will be available on September 25 along with Treacherous is the Night by Anna Lee Huber and Forever Fudge by Nancy Coco.  There are a number of new novels coming out on September 25 (I need to find more time to read).

The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis is a dual timeline novel.  It is April in 1928 in New York City where Clara Darden works as an illustration teacher at Grand Central School of Art.  She is the only female faculty member and looked down upon because she is woman and an illustrator.  After being taken under the wing of Oliver Smith, a poet and Levon Zakarian, a brash artist, Clara’s star starts to rise.  Clara becomes the go-to illustrator for Vogue and she even designs a car.  But looming on the horizon is the great depression and a horrible accident.

Virginia Clay has been divorced almost a year and is forced to get a job in 1974 New York.  After being unsuccessful as lawyer’s secretary, Virginia is assigned to the information booth at Grand Central Terminal.  The building has deteriorated over the years and now there is a lawsuit to demolish the historical landmark to pave the way for a skyscraper.  Virginia gets lost one day and stumbles into the area that once belonged to the Grand Central School of Art.  She spies a beautiful painting hidden behind a cabinet in the storage room after an unexpected encounter.  Virginia is drawn to the work of art and decides to take it with her.  Little does she know that this one act will propel her into a mystery that goes back to 1928 and will include threatening letters. 

I found The Masterpiece to be an engaging story.  It is well-written and has steady pacing.  The POV switches between Clara and Virginia as the tale unfolds.  The transitions were smooth, and it was easy to keep track of the various characters.  Fiona Davis is a descriptive writer which brings the book alive.  I could picture Grand Central Terminal in my mind along with New York from Ms. Davis’ word imagery.  I cannot believe that people wanted to demolish this architectural masterpiece.   I felt she captured the time-periods with the language, clothing, the lifestyles and attitudes.  I could tell that the author did her research and it was interesting to learn the history of the Grand Central Terminal.  Ms. Davis created realistic characters that fit into their time periods.  I preferred Clara over Virginia.  I loved the descriptions of Clara’s artwork and how she evolved as an artist.  I liked that Virginia cared for Grand Central Terminal and was willing to do what was needed to help save the building.  The mystery was clever, and readers will be surprised at the reveal.  Fiona Davis crafted a historical novel with a complex plot that will capture readers attention and hold it until the very end.  The Masterpiece is my favorite novel by Fiona Davis and it is one of the best books I have read in quite some time.

Fiona Davis has also written The Dollhouse and The Address (I was not a fan of this book).   Thank you for reading my review today.  Tomorrow I am featuring Shattered at Sea by Cheryl Hollon as part of the Great Escapes Book Tour.  May you have a remarkable day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Christmas Prayer by Wanda E. Brunstetter plus a Giveaway!

The Christmas Prayer
by Wanda E. Brunstetter
Genre: Historical Christmas Romance
Release date: September, 2018
Beloved, bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter takes readers on a journey in 1850 along the California Trail.
Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.
Cynthia Cooper is traveling with her mother and the man she has promised to marry. But as Christmas is upon them and they are hunkered down in a small cabin, she is forced to reevaluate her reasons for planning to marry fellow-traveler Walter Prentice. When a widowed father heading to a California ranch and a gold prospector both show an interest in Cynthia, she weighs her dreams for marriage alongside her responsibility to care for her mother. Can love win over her timid heart?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author 
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 ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.
When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at

Guest Post from Wanda

A cross-country journey in 1850 leads to high mountain danger—and romance.
Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.
Cynthia Cooper is traveling with her mother and the man she has promised to marry. But as Christmas is upon them and they are hunkered down in a small cabin, she is forced to reevaluate her reasons for planning to marry fellow-traveler Walter Prentice. When a widowed father heading to a California ranch and a gold prospector both show an interest in Cynthia, she weighs her dreams for marriage alongside her responsibility to care for her mother. Can love win over her timid heart?
Find out in The Christmas Prayer from NY Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter.
Try this Exclusive Bonus Recipe Found Inside the Book!
Cynthia’s Fried Apples
Without peeling, quarter as many tart apples as you would like. Lay apples close together, skin side down, in frying pan with salt pork fat or butter. Cover until well steamed then uncover and brown both sides, turning and watching closely to prevent burning.
My Thoughts

The Christmas Prayer by Wanda E. Brunstetter takes us back to April 15, 1850.  Cynthia Cooper along with her mother, Mabel are embarking on a journey to California via wagon train.  They are going with Cynthia’s fiancĂ©, Walter Prentice.  They are late arriving in Independence, Missouri and the wagon train they were joining has already departed.  Instead, they link up with two other families and begin their long journey to California.  The other parties in the train are Cole Edwards along with his sister, Virginia as well as Jack Simpson, a widower traveling with his two young children, Alan and Amelia.  Rain, mud and wagon repairs delay their journey.  The group find themselves at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains when snow begins to fall. Thankfully, Cole finds an empty cabin where they stay while they wait for better weather.  Eight weeks later they are still in the cabin and Christmas is approaching.  The ladies try to figure out how to provide Christmas for the children with their meager supplies.  The more time Cynthia spends in Walter’s company, the less she wishes to marry him.  How else, though, can she provide for her mother since their father died leaving them penniless.  Cynthia decides to pray on the matter and leave it with God.  What choice will Cynthia make?  Will this group of intrepid travelers make it to California?

The Christmas Prayer is a well-written novel with steady pacing and smooth transitions.  The POV switches between a couple of the characters allowing readers different perspectives.  The Christmas Prayer is a short story of 176 pages.  I did feel it was a little predictable and the ending was rushed, but I appreciated the epilogue.  The paperback version is just lovely with a beautiful cover that has a metallic red border and pretty edging around each page.  Wanda Brunstetter captured the spirit of a wagon train and the feelings the people were experiencing.  It was a long, grueling journey where anything could happen.  Illness, wagon repairs, sick animals, lack of food, Indians, wild animals, and mud bogging down the wagons were just a few things that they would encounter.  The people could not ride continually because it would wear out the oxen.  The walking had to be exhausting.  I like how the author included Cynthia's journey entries.  It allows readers a peek at her thoughts and what she was feeling.  I liked the variety of characters with one of my favorites being Abe Jones.  The Christian element was light, but the point was made.  God is there for us.  Prayer and steadfast faith will help you get through the tough times.  We need to rely fully on Him; for with God, all things are possible.  The ending is happy and heartwarming.  The Christmas Prayer is a sweet, historical romance.

To celebrate her tour, Wanda is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a free copy of The Christmas Prayer with an autographed bookplate inside.  Be sure to comment on the blog stops (schedule below) for 9 extra entries into the giveaway.  Click here to enter.

Thank you for stopping by today.  I will be sharing my review of The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis.  I was surprised by this novel. I hope you will return to check it out.  I am off to do some home repairs.  The house is slowly falling apart (of course it was built in 1955).  May you have a fulfilling day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, September 18
The Avid Reader, September 18
The Power of Words, September 18
Lighthouse Academy, September 18
Just Commonly, September 19
Carpe Diem, September 19
Blossoms and Blessings, September 20
Britt Reads Fiction, September 20
Luv’N Lambert Life, September 21
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 22
Lis Loves Reading, September 22
Babs Book Bistro, September 23
Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 23
Janices book reviews, September 23
Mary Hake, September 24
Two Points of Interest, September 24
Inklings and notions, September 25
Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 25
Girls in White Dresses, September 26
Book by Book, September 26
Splashes of Joy, September 27
The Morning Chapter, September 27
The Mimosa Blossom, September 28
Pause for Tales, September 28
Have A Wonderful Day, September 28
To Everything A Season, September 29
Cafinated Reads, September 29
Bibliophile Reviews, September 29
Quiet Quilter, September 30
Texas Book-aholic, October 1
Bigreadersite, October 1

Monday, September 17, 2018

Pecan Pies and Dead Guys: The Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries

Hello!  Worldshaper by Edward Willett will be out tomorrow along with Pecan Pies and Dead Guys by Angie Fox and The Sound of Distant Thunder by Jan DrexlerDeath said the Gypsy Queen by Susan Boles is out today (the date changed a couple of times).  It is the fourth book in A Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery series.

Pecan Pies and Dead Guys by Angie Fox is the seventh book in The Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries.  Verity Long is surprised when she receives a call from her boyfriend and deputy, Ellis Wydell.  He wants her to come to a crime scene at the quarry with Frankie to see if can provide some insights.  Unfortunately, Verity is unable to provide any helpful intel.  Later that evening, Verity and Ellis are attending a barbeque hosted by Virginia Wydell, Ellis’s mother when Inspector Julien De Clercq catches up with them.  They have agreed to help Inspector De Clercq with a case that has stumped him for a century in exchange for the charges against Frankie being dropped.  Verity has three days to solve the murder that occurred on the Adair estate in 1928 before the ghostly crime scene and the suspects disappear for another year.  In the world of the living, Virginia is on a tear because Beau has decided to quit his law practice and to become an eclectic folk artist.  He says it is all thanks to Verity (oh dear) and Virginia wants Verity to fix it.  Virginia dangles a precious Long family heirloom as bait.  After a night of questioning ghostly suspects, Verity finds a pecan pie on her kitchen counter.  Lucy knocks it over before Verity can take a bite.  When another pecan pie is left in the kitchen, Verity becomes suspicious.  How did the person get into her home when all the doors were locked?  Come along to charming Sugarland, Tennessee where ghosts and murder abound along with eccentric citizens, adorable skunk and a determined sleuth.

Pecan Pies and Dead Guys is a part of The Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries and I suggest reading the series in order.  Each book builds upon the previous one in this charming Southern series.  Verity has her work cut out for her in this time.  There are two murders to solve along with the mysterious pecan pie problem and Beau’s desire to become an artist.  Beau believes he is the next Andy Warhol and his new girlfriend, Zoey Lee is encouraging him (his artwork would work well in a haunted house).  I like the variety of quirky characters with my favorite being Verity’s resident ghost, Frankie “the German” Winkelmann.  Of course, let us not forget Verity’s pet skunk, Lucy (only in Sugarland).  Pecan Pies and Dead Guys is nicely written with a fast pace.  I quickly devoured this novel.  I laughed frequently at the wacky antics in the story.  Wait until you discover what Frankie has created in Ellis’ attic.  The two mysteries were interesting with the ghostly one being more difficult to solve.  The present day murder is a cinch to figure out.  I wish the author had put a little more effort into it.  The ending is sweet and heartwarming.  We also get a clue as to what will occur in the next volume in this whimsical series.  I am giving Pecan Pies and Dead Guys 4 out of 5 stars.  I have gotten my mother hooked on this series.  When she heard I received Pecan Pies and Dead Guys, my kindle disappeared (I am thankful I have a spare one).  I heard chuckles emanating from her room for the next several hours. 

Southern Spirits is the first novel in The Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries and the ebook version is currently free on Amazon. Tomorrow I will be featuring The Christmas Prayer by Wanda Brunstetter as part of the Celebrate Lit Tour.  I am off to relax and enjoy the day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

A Wedding at Mulberry Lane: Mulberry Lane Series

Happy Sunday!  The Pint of No Return by Ellie Alexander will publish on October 2.  Be Our Ghost by Kate Kingsbury comes out on October 9 and Dear Santa by Nancy Naigle will be available on October 16.  So many delightful books to read!

A Wedding at Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke is the second book in the Mulberry Lane series.  It is January of 1941 in Spitalfields, England.  Peggy Ashley runs the Pig & Whistle pub on Mulberry Lane where she is the matriarch of the lane.  She is estranged from her husband, Laurence who is currently at an unknown location assisting the war effort.  The last thing Peggy expected was to fall for the dashing American, Captain Able Ronoscki.  Maureen Jackson has quit working in her father’s shop and enlisted as a nurse’s aide.  She is getting her required training when bombs fall on the camp killing her two new roommates.  When Gordon is sent overseas, Maureen makes him a promise regarding his daughter, Shirley.  Janet’s husband, Mike has been injured and is suffering from amnesia.  He cannot remember Janet, their little girl or their life together.  World War II continues and so must life at home on Mulberry Lane.  Journey back in time to find out what happens next to the residents in A Wedding at Mulberry Lane.  

A Wedding at Mulberry Lane is an engaging historical novel.  I suggest reading the Mulberry Lane series in order.  I thought A Wedding at Mulberry Lane was well-written with gentle pacing. There are smooth transitions as we switch from character to character.  The characters are realistic, well-developed and a nice mixture (various types of personalities).  They continue to grow as the series progresses.  We get to see how the war affects the those left at home and how they handle their new responsibilities.  They are the type of characters that you want to get to know, you care about them, and you look forward to visiting them again in the next book.  Rosie Clarke captured the time-period with the language, clothing, people’s feelings, and the events occurring at the time.  A Wedding at Mulberry Lane is an emotional novel.  There is love, heartbreak, grief, joy, and hope.  The Mulberry Lane series is one that gets better with each installment. It is one of those books that keeps you up late (because you want to find out what happens) and then are sorry when you finish it.  If you are a fan of historical novels, then I recommend A Wedding at Mulberry Lane. If you enjoy engaging novels set during World War II, I recommend A Wedding at Mulberry Lane

The first book in the Mulberry Lane series is The Girls of Mulberry Lane.  The next novel in the series is Mulberry Lane Babies.  All three books are available on Kindle Unlimited.  Thank you so much for visiting today.  I will be sharing my thoughts on Pecan Pies and Dead Guys by Angie Fox tomorrow.  I hope that you have a lovely, relaxing day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Secret at Pebble Creek: Hope Chest of Dreams

Welcome!  Premeditated Peppermint by Amanda Flower will be available on September 25 along with Assault and Beadery by Mollie Cox Bryan and A Simple Christmas by Charlotte HubbardGlitter Bomb by Laura Childs comes out on October 2 (I will be sharing my review with you on October 1).  

Secret at Pebble Creek by Lisa Jones Baker is the fourth novel in Hope Chest of Dreams series.  Jessica Beachy has come to Arthur, Illinois to fix-up the house she has inherited from her great-uncle, Sam Beachy.  Jessica was surprised by the inheritance since she had never met Sam.  She has managed to take four weeks off from work to fix up the house and get is listed for sale.  Jessica needs a carpenter to work on the house and Eli Miller was recommended.  Eli is surprised to learn that Jessica is going to sell the property because it has special meaning for his family.  Eli shares the story of how his parents fell in love on the property and the special place on the hill where they talked for hours.  While working on the home, Eli shares stories of Sam and his strong faith in God.  Jessica had not had a relationship with God and asks Eli questions. Eli is drawn is to Jessica, but, as an Englisher, she is off limits to him.  While cleaning the cottage, Jessica finds a hidden envelope.  Inside is a letter from Sam to his wife along with a key.  It seems he had made a special gift for their sixtieth wedding anniversary, but Esther passed away before the occasion.  Jessica sets out on a quest to find the handmade gift and learns so much more along the way.

Secret at Pebble Creek can be read alone.  The other characters from the series are mentioned along with Sam Beachy, the hope chest maker.  The author provided their backstories, so readers will not be lost. Jessica learns about God while fixing up the cottage.  The stories from Eli about Sam helped to teach Jessica about God and being a Christian.  Eli’s strong faith and that of those in the community played a big part.  Lisa Jones Baker has a nice writing style that makes Secret at Pebble Creek easy to read. I did feel the pace was too slow.  But part of it was a lack of solid content.  The story is very light.  The attraction between Jessica and Eli was instantaneous (of course).  The romance portion of the story was predictable.  It was obvious how this pair’s tale would play out.  The Christian element was abundant with numerous scripture passages (too many) along with discussions about God, faith, love, hope, importance of family and good friends.  I wish the author had taken the time to establish the characters (give us more background on them).  Jessica was a hard character to like.  She has trouble handling stress, frequent panic attacks and has yet to address the issue of growing up with an alcoholic father.  I did like how Jessica came to know God and develop a relationship with Him.  My rating for Secret at Pebble Creek is 3 out of 5 stars (sorry, but I found it to be ho hum).  Secret at Pebble Creek is a simple yet sweet romance novel that will appeal to a younger audience or those looking for a nice escape novel. 

The other books in the Hope Chest of Dreams series are Rebecca's Bouquet, Annie's Recipe, and Rachel's Dream.  Thank you for visiting today.  If you find my reviews helpful, please consider following my blog (upper right).  I will be sharing my review of A Wedding at Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke tomorrow.  I hope you have a joyful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Friday, September 14, 2018

A Deadly Brew: A Tourist Trap Novella

Good Day!  Worldshaper by Edward Willett comes out on September 18 along with The Sound of Distant Thunder by Jan DrexlerTangled Up in Tinsel by Tonya Kappes (which I am reading right now) is published on September 25 along with The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller by Cleo Coyle.  

A Deadly Brew by Lynn Cahoon is A Tourist Trap Novella.  Jill Gardner owns Coffee, Books and More in South Cove, California.  Halloween is approaching, and Jill has various activities planned at the store for her patrons.  This weekend, though, Jill and her boyfriend, Greg along with three other couples are going to spend the weekend inside South Cove’s “haunted” mansion.  The house has been empty for the last fifteen years since Maryanne Demerit, the last owner, disappeared without a trace.  This is the last opportunity for people to see the home before it is demolished for a new condo development. The house has been left as it was when Maryanne went missing.  That night they break out the Ouija board and get a ghostly missive.  It is just the first.  It seems that someone is sending the group messages with clues.  What will they uncover?  The group is in for a hauntingly good time while locked inside the spooky manor.

A Deadly Brew is a well-written and engaging cozy mystery.  I do not recommend reading A Deadly Brew on its own.  The series contains well-developed characters and a charming small town.  Lynn Cahoon created a ghostly short story that I found charming.  The mystery is light and can easily be solved before the solution is revealed.  However, that did not detract from my reading pleasure.  I do wish the story had been slightly longer to allow the mystery to be more developed (twenty-five pages would have made a difference).  A Deadly Brew is reminiscent of my favorite scary movie, Rose Red (starring Nancy Travis).  A Deadly Brew is short, fun cozy mystery that will put you in the mood for Halloween (I want to start decorating).  I cannot wait for the next installment in A Tourist Trap Mystery series.

Santa Puppy (A Tourist Trap Novella) will be out on November 6.  Tomorrow I Secret at Pebble Creek by Lisa Jones Baker.  It is the fourth novel in the Hope Chest of Dreams series.  Have a delightful day and Happy Reading!
am reviewing

The Avid Reader

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Fatal Flip: A Home Renovator Mystery

Fatal Flip: A Home Renovator Mystery

by M. E. Bakos

About the Book

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Cozy Cat Press (October 27, 2017)
Paperback: 220 pages
ISBN-10: 194606341X
ISBN-13: 978-1946063410
Digital ASIN: B077WRRMH6
Flipping houses can be fatal! When Katelyn finds a dead body in her first home renovation project, she seriously doubts her decision to “follow her bliss.” After getting fired from her steady job, her plan to flip houses takes a hit when she becomes a suspect. After all, possession is nine points of the law, isn’t it? Especially, when it’s a dead body.

To keep herself in pizza, peanut butter, good coffee, and her stray cat, Boots, in kitty chow she takes survival jobs as a wine sample hostess and market researcher. Meanwhile, Sheriff Don is kind of hunky, and her ex-husband, Eddy (it’s complicated) is back in her life sleeping on her sofa. How’s a girl supposed to solve dead body mysteries, make a living, and find love?

About the Author

M.E. Bakos has published several short stories in national women’s magazines. Her love of mysteries has led to writing cozies. Her first mystery short story, “Carpe Diem or Murder at the Carp Fest” appeared in the Festival of Crime, a SINC Anthology. Her second, “Perfect Storm . . . Perfect Murder” will be in Dark Side of the Loon, May 2018 also a SINC Anthology.

Her first cozy, FATAL FLIP, A Home Renovator Mystery has several home improvement tips for the reader.  Mary is a member of Twin Cities Sisters in Crime, the SINC Guppies Group, and an alumna of the University of Minnesota. She is a lifelong resident of Minnesota and resides in Minneapolis with her husband, Joe Sebesta, and their spoiled Morkie.

Purchase Links 

My Thoughts
Fatal Flip by M.E. Bakos is the first installment in A Home Renovator Mystery series.  Katelyn Baxter has become a Home Renovation Specialist (aka house flipper) after losing her job at Colossal Health (refusing to be a scapegoat for the boss and taking a demotion).  Katelyn is at the property she is renovating on Bluebird Street with her best friend and realtor, Myra Payten.  Katelyn is in the attic crawlspace when she finds a body.  Sheriff Don Williams quickly arrives on the scene and closes down her job site while the scene is processed.  Worried about finances, Katelyn takes on a job as a wine sample hostess (someone who gives out samples at grocery stores) and a market researcher at the local mall (those people with clipboards who bug you while you are trying to shop).  When a second body is found in a house nearby that Katelyn had bid on, she is moved higher on the suspect list.  As if Katelyn does not have enough to deal with, her ex-husband, Eddy shows up.  He needs a place to stay and Katelyn happens to have a spare room.  Thankfully, the police have released her house and she can get is ready for the open house.  Katelyn needs to juggle her two new jobs, her ex-husband, the hunky sheriff, the stray cat that has adopted her, her house flip and figure out who is stashing bodies in empty homes.  It should be a piece of cake!

Fatal Flip is the first book in a new series starring Katelyn Baxter.  She is hoping to turn her life around by flipping homes.  It is a shame that someone decided to stash dead bodies inside local empty houses including Katelyn’s.  Fatal Flip is a fast-paced cozy mystery with multiple moving parts.  In addition to working on remodeling her property, Katelyn must keep herself and her cat in food.  After a search for jobs, Katelyn ends up giving out wine samples and doing market research (she is actually good at it).  Then her ex-husband worms his way inside her home (through an unlocked patio door) and ends up staying in her guest room.  Let us not forget the handsome Sheriff Williams.  Katelyn cannot help but not his fine physique. But there is the pesky problem of her being a murder suspect.  The mystery is multi-layered and intriguing.   I wish the author had incorporated more of the details into the story instead of revealing much of the information at the end.  I like that all the storylines are wrapped up neatly.  The writing is a little awkward and could use some fine tuning.  I am sure we will see improvement in the next A Home Renovator Mystery.  Fatal Flip is an amusing cozy mystery that will have you in stitches.

I hope I have helped you find a new cozy mystery to read.  Please visit some of the other stops on the Great Escapes Fatal Flip Tour (see below).  There are opportunities to win a copy of Fatal Flip.  Tomorrow I am sharing my review of A Deadly Brew by Lynn Cahoon.  It is A Tourist Trap Novella.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader


September 12 – Maureen's Musings – REVIEW

September 12 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW

September 12 – Babs Book Bistro - HOME IMPROVEMENT TIP POST, GIVEAWAY

September 12 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW

September 13 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

September 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

September 13 – I'm All About Books - SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

September 14 – Book Babble – REVIEW

September 14 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 14 – Socrates' Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 14 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY  

September 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

September 15 – My Reading Journeys - REVIEW, EXCERPT POST

September 16 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW

September 16 – Ruff Drafts - HOME IMPROVEMENT TIP POST

September 16 – Brooke Blogs - SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

September 16 – Here's How It Happened – REVIEW

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Ours for a Season: New Novel by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Welcome!  Premeditated Peppermint by Amanda Flower will be available on September 25 along with Silver Anniversary Murder by Leslie Meier and Christmas Cake Murder by Joanne FlukePecan Pies and Dead Guys by Angie Fox comes out on September 18.  It is the seventh book in The Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries.  Verity and Frankie have two murders to solve, and Verity's ancestral home is on the line along with Frankie's freedom. 

Ours for a Season is the latest novel by Kim Vogel Sawyer.  Martha “Marty” Hirschler lives with her husband, Anthony in Pine Hill, Indiana.  Anthony owns Hirschler Construction and is frequently gone on construction projects for weeks at a time.  The pair have grown apart since they learned that they cannot have children of their own and adoption is not a venture they can afford.  Marty has lost her faith in God since her prayers have failed to be answered and desperately wants to get away from her family oriented community.  Marty is surprised when she gets a letter addressed to both herself and Anthony from her English friend, Brooke Spalding.  Brooke along with a group of investors have purchased land in northeast Kansas that used to be a thriving town.  Her plan is to restore the town into a resort and she wants Anthony to oversee the construction.  Brooke hopes the time away will help Marty and Anthony repair their marriage.  When Brooke is diagnosed with cancer, she needs Marty’s help to get through this difficult time.  It draws Brooke and Marty closer together along with giving Brooke an opportunity to learn about God.  Anthony becomes faced with a moral dilemma when he learns Brooke plans to have a casino on the property.  Then a runaway teenager is discovered on the grounds and the group learns the horrors of human trafficking and the difficulties teen’s experience in the foster care system.  Anthony, Marty, Brooke and their workers will face a variety of challenges while in Kansas.  Will they be able to overcome these hurdles and how will it impact their future?

Ours for a Season contains good writing, but the story is a slow starter.  I had a hard time getting into the story.  Ours for a Season improved as I got further into the book along with the pacing.  It was hard to like Marty in the beginning. Marty is depressed over her childless life.  She sees families, pregnant woman, babies and children every where she goes in her town.  Marty does not want her husband going away so often for work because she feels alone.  However, Marty does not want to be around family or friends.  When the opportunity from Brooke arrives, Marty feels it is the perfect solution (to run away where there are no children).  Anthony could have been more understanding (though it has been two years) and sympathetic to Marty’s feelings.  I began to warm up to the characters as the story progressed.  I did feel that the first part of the story was too long (it became a Marty pity party).  I liked Brooke Spalding.  She is a strong, smart female who had a dream and did everything in her power to achieve it.  However, Brooke was kind, thoughtful and never ruthless. I would have liked more on Brooke especially at the end. The point-of-view switches between Marty, Anthony and Brooke.  It can be confusing (at first), though it does allow a reader to learn what each character is thinking and feeling.  Ours for a Season has a good flow as we transition between the characters and situations.  The ending was good, but it felt rushed.  The author handled the subject of human trafficking deftly.  It is a serious problem and I liked the solution presented in the story.  My rating for Ours for a Season is 3.5 out of 5 stars.  The Christian theme is present throughout the book (having faith, power of prayer, God is in charge of our lives).  There are good spiritual insights presented and you will continue to ponder on them long after you finish Ours for a Season.

I appreciate you stopping in and reading my review today.  I will be reviewing Fatal Flip by M.E. Bakos tomorrow.  It is the first book in A Home Renovator Mystery series.  May you have a blessed day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader