Tuesday, December 6, 2022

The Sunshine Girls by Molly Fader


The Sunshine Girls

Book Summary

A cross between Firefly Lane and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, a dual-narrative about two sisters who realize their mother isn’t who they’d always thought when a legendary movie star shows up at her funeral, unraveling the sweeping story of a friendship that begins at a nursing school in Iowa in 1967 and onward as it survives decades of change, war, fame—and the secrets they kept from each other and for each other.

A moment of great change sparks the friendship of a lifetime...

1967, Iowa: Nursing school roommates BettyKay and Kitty don’t have much in common. A farmer’s daughter, BettyKay has risked her family’s disapproval to make her dreams come true away from her rural small town. Cosmopolitan Kitty has always relied on her beauty and smarts to get by, and to hide a devastating secret from the past that she can’t seem to outrun. Yet the two share a determination to prove themselves in a changing world, forging an unlikely bond on a campus unkind to women.

Before their first year is up, tragedy strikes, and the women’s paths are forced apart. But against all odds, a decades-long friendship forms, persevering through love, marriage, failure, and death, from the jungles of Vietnam to the glamorous circles of Hollywood. Until one snowy night leads their relationship to the ultimate crossroads.

Fifty years later, two estranged sisters are shocked when a famous movie star shows up at their mother's funeral. Over one rollercoaster weekend, the women must reckon with a dazzling truth about their family that will alter their lives forever…

Author Bio

MOLLY FADER is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets, The Bitter and Sweet of Cherry Season, and more than 40 romance novels under the pennames Molly O'Keefe and M. O'Keefe. She grew up outside of Chicago and now lives in Toronto.

Reunion of nursing school students

Author Links

Author Website: https://mollyfader.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/molly.fader

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/mokeefeauthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MollyOKwrites?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Eembeddedtimeline%7Ctwterm%5Escreen-name%3AMollyOKwrites%7Ctwcon%5Es2

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18435981.Molly_Fader?from_search=true&from_srp=true

My Thoughts

The Sunshine Girls by Molly Fader is a story about friendship, family, and secrets.  BettyKay and Kitty meet at nursing school.  They are as opposite as two women can be.  They become best friends who are there for each other through thick and thin.  The pair are best friends for the rest of their lives.  BettyKay and Kitty keep each other’s secrets.  The storyline alternates between 2019 and the 1960s. I thought the author captured the late 1960s especially the clothing and attitudes.  The feelings about the Vietnam War were spot on.  The point-of-view alternates between Kitty, BettyKay, Clara, and Abbie which allows us to know each women’s thoughts and feelings.  I found myself quickly drawn into the story.  I thought it contained good writing with realistic, developed characters.  The women are strong, smart, and courageous.  We get to see the women go from unsure young ladies into mature, confident women.  As the story unfolds, secrets are revealed. 

In 2019, we get to see how Abbie and Clara, BettyKay’s daughters, react to their mother’s secrets.  I admit that I enjoyed the historical timeline more than the present.  However, both are needed for the story to be complete.  The story has an ending that will leave you smiling.  We get to see how the women deal with challenging situations, difficult choices, and tricky relationships.  The book does contain foul language, intimate situations, and people taking drugs.  It was cute how the friends passed these five ugly buttons back and forth over the years.  Kitty and BettyKay came up with unique and amusing ways to pass along the buttons.  They keep trying to outdo each other.  In The Sunshine Girls we get to see how little you really know about someone close to you.  The Sunshine Girls is a story with drama, love, friendship, family, and secrets that will hold your attention until the very last page. 


The wind caught the side door as it opened, banging against the brick with a sound that made Clara and Abbie jump like they’d been caught smoking.

Ben, Abbie’s husband, stuck his head out and Abbie stepped forward. Ben was a good-looking guy in a gentle giant kind of way. Constantly rumpled, but usually smiling. He reminded Clara of a very good Labrador retriever.

She wanted to pat his head and give him a treat. And then yell at him for tracking mud across the rug.

“There you are,” he said.

“I was just getting some air,” Abbie said, with surprising defensiveness. “Is everything okay?”

“There’s…” Ben glanced over his shoulder and made a face, bewildered and somehow joyful in a way that made Clara and Abbie push off the wall. It was his mother-in-law’s funeral after all. Joy was a strange sentiment.

“What?” Clara asked.

“Well, I think you should come in and see for yourself.”

Ben held the door while Abbie and Clara walked back into the packed room. Everyone was silent now, pressed to the walls and corners in little clumps, whispering in that painfully fa­miliar way out of the corners of their mouths and behind their hands. There was a path down the center of the room right to Mom’s casket, where she lay with her arms crossed, wearing her favorite green dress and way too much blush.

Standing at the casket, was a woman. A stranger.

Everything about her screamed not from around here. She wore an elegant long black skirt and a pair of boots with low heels of rich black leather. A gray sweater (Ralph Lauren Col­lection cashmere or Clara would eat her own boots) with a black belt around her trim waist. Her hair was long and sil­very blond, the kind that appeared natural, but Clara would put money on the fact that it cost a lot and took a lot of time to keep that way.

She kind of…glittered.

“Who is that?”

“You don’t recognize her?” Ben whispered between Abbie and Clara’s shoulders, his breath smelling of coffee and cough drops.

Something about the woman did seem familiar, polished.

“Is she from the publishing company?” she asked Abbie.

“I don’t think so. They sent a cheesecake.”

“That morning show Mom did sometimes, in Des Moines? Ramona?”

“Ramona Rodriguez died, like, ten years ago.”

Clara should know this woman. But her mother’s funeral was throwing her off.

“Are you kidding me? You really don’t recognize her?” Ben asked. “It’s Kitty Devereaux.”

The Sunshine Girls is available from Amazon*, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, BookShop, and Harlequin.  You can find Molly Fader's other novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I will be sharing my thoughts on Frozen Detective by Amanda Flower.  It is the second A Piper & Porter Mystery.  I hope you have a stellar day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Bake Offed by Maya Corrigan

 Bake Offed
Book Summary

Managing a fitness club café and collaborating on recipes with her grandfather are Val Deniston’s usual specialties, only she’s about to set sail into another murder case—this time at a mystery lovers convention!

When the Deadly Desserts bake-off lives up to its name, Val and Granddad turn up the heat on a killer . . .
The Maryland Mystery Fan Fest sounds like exactly the fun getaway cafe manager Val Deniston and her grandfather could use. Granddad will even compete in a dessert competition in which contestants assume the roles of cooks to famous fictional sleuths. Playing Nero Wolfe’s gourmet cook Fritz is an exciting challenge for Granddad. A restaurant manager is playing Lord Peter Wimsey’s valet and cook Bunter. But Granddad is steamed to learn who will be playing Sherlock Holmes’s landlady, Mrs. Hudson—his nemesis Cynthia Sweet, who he believes ripped off his five-ingredient theme from his column “Codger Cook” to use in her own recipe column.
Apparently, he isn’t the only one who has a beef with his not-so-sweet competitor. When she’s found dead in her room with the teakettle whistling, it’s up to Val and her grandfather to sort through the festival goers to find out who was most definitely not a fan of Cynthia Sweet . . .
Includes delicious five-ingredient recipes!
My Thoughts

Bake Offed by Maya Corrigan is the eighth A Five-Ingredient Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series.  Val and her grandfather are fun characters.  I find Granddad to be a hoot.  He is a lively character.   You never know what he will do next (always has something up his sleeve).  Val and Granddad are attending the Maryland Mystery Fest where they are hoping to have a fun weekend.  Unfortunately, the woman in the hotel room next to Val ends up dead.  Don Myer, Val’s grandfather, is hired by the victim’s stepdaughter to investigate the crime.  The victim was not well-liked (that is putting it mildly) so there are several suspects.  Val and Granddad ask questions and search for clues.  They share their intel with Detective Roy Chesterfield.  There is a red herring or two as well as a twist.  It was a fun mystery to solve.  I like how the mysteries mentioned in the book were incorporated into the whodunit.  There is humor scattered throughout the story especially regarding a missing recipe box. I enjoyed reading Bake Offed.  I am looking forward to Val and Granddad’s next adventure.  There are five ingredient recipes at the end of the book.  Bake Offed is a sweet treat with an anomalous note, a penetrating noise, a curious crime, mystery mania, a pilfered recipe box, and a caught crook.

Bake Offed is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other books in A Five-Ingredient Mysteries here.  You can follow Maya Corrigan on Amazon and you will receive an email when she has a new book release.  Thank you for dropping by today.  I am off to work on our Christmas tree.  I enjoy taking it from an empty tree to a decorated one.  When I was a child, we were only allowed to put one ornament on the tree in the place pointed out to us (and then my mother usually adjusted it).  This might explain why I like to decorate for every holiday.  I will return on Tuesday, December 6 with The Sunshine Girls by Molly Fader.  I hope that you have a joyful weekend.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Amish Holiday Vendetta by Laura Scott

 Amish Holiday Vendetta
Book Summary

An Amish widow. An Englischer with a past.

Who’s the real target this Christmas?

Attacked in her barn just before Christmas, Amish quilter Elizabeth Walton doesn’t know why someone wants to harm her. But when gunfire narrowly misses Elizabeth and furniture maker David McKay, the 
Englischer fears his past has put them both in the crosshairs. David’s determined to protect the pretty widow…but is his presence the real danger? Or is there another motive behind the deadly threats?
My Thoughts

Amish Holiday Vendetta by Laura Scott is a page turner.  I was quickly drawn into the story.  I liked the main characters, Elizabeth Walton and David McKay.  They are characters that you will root for.  There is mystery and suspense.  I enjoyed all the action (you never knew what would happen next) which kept the story lively.  There is romance (naturally).  Elizabeth and David grow close during this challenging time in their lives.  Elizabeth is a widow who did not have a happy marriage.  The last thing Elizabeth wants is to marry again.  Elizabeth works hard making and selling her beautiful quilts as well as doing the chores around the house and taking care of her deceased husband’s mother (who likes to be waited on).  David is a woodworker who lives like the Amish (without modern amenities), but he is an Englisher.  I like that we get to catch up with the characters (Shauna and Liam) from Hiding in Plain Sight.  Amish Holiday Vendetta can be read as a standalone, but you are missing out on a captivating tale.  Elizabeth’s faith is strong while David’s faith is new.  They both trust God to get them through the difficulty.  I like that they turned to God for assistance in their time of need (instead of taking matters into their own hands).  I loved the ending which left me smiling.  The author combined mystery, suspense, and romance into one fetching tale.  Amish Holiday Vendetta is an engaging story with a demanding mother-in-law, a barn break in, perilous shots, a strongminded suitor, a caring community, and a dreadful discovery.

Amish Holiday Vendetta is available from Amazon*.  Laura Scott has Deadly Amish Abduction coming out on May 23, 2023 (I cannot wait to read it).  You can find Laura Scott's other novels here. Thank you for stopping by today.  I cannot believe it is the last day of November.  The month went by swiftly.  I need to start working on my Christmas tree.  Tomorrow I will share my thoughts on Coming Home by Shelley Shepard Gray.  It is the debut of A Woodland Park Firefighters Romances.  I hope you have a happy day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Steeped in Secrets by Laura Elliott

Steeped in Secrets
Book Summary

Flat broke and divorced, intuitive gemologist Shay Myers has changed since leaving her artsy hometown of coastal Bray Harbor sixteen years ago. But when she moves back under strange circumstances, old instincts may be the only key to spilling the tea on a deadly mystery.
Even with her life in ruins in New Mexico, Shay feels uneasy about settling into the small seaside town where she grew up on California’s Monterey Peninsula and taking over an estate bequeathed to her by Bridget Early, a woman she had barely known. Her heightened senses—an empathic gift she’s had since childhood—go into overdrive upon touring Crystals & CuriosiTEAS, Bridget’s eclectic tea and psychic shop brimming with Irish lore and Celtic symbols. They reach a boiling point when Shay looks up to discover a stranger’s body sprawled across the shop’s greenhouse roof . . .
With her new business a crime scene and questions brewing over Bridget’s so-called accidental death, Shay fears she’s also inherited the attention of a killer. The terrifying realization sets her on an impractical investigation for answers aided by her sister, an elusive pure-white German Shepherd, a strikingly handsome pub owner who speaks in a gentle brogue, and a misunderstood young woman with perceptive talents of her own. As Shay struggles to figure out her true purpose in Bray Harbor and the powerful connection she has with the tea shop, she must trust her judgment above all else to identify a ruthless murderer and save herself from becoming victim number three.
My Thoughts

Steeped in Secrets by Lauren Elliott is the debut of A Crystals & CuriosiTEAS Mysteries.  Shayleigh “Shay” Myers returns to Bray Harbor, California with her life in a disarray.  Her ex-husband cheated on Shay, swindled her out of her jewelry store, and has ruined her reputation as a gemologist.    Shay has inherited Bridget Early’s shop and beach cottage, but she does not know why Bridget left them to her.  Shay is touring the Crystals & CuriosiTEAS with the realtor when they discover a man dead on the roof of the greenhouse.  Shay does not like how Sheriff Frank Burrows is railroading the local pub owner.  She decides to do a little investigating to see what she can uncover.  Shay gets help from her sister and Bridget’s special dog named Spirit.  She also uses her empathic gifts in her quest for the truth.

I enjoyed reading Steeped in Secrets.  Shay is an interesting character.  I liked learning about Shay and her special gift.  I have a feeling we have just scratched the surface.  There is an eclectic cast of secondary characters that includes the charming Liam who owns the pub next to Shay’s shop.  I enjoyed the descriptions of Bray Harbor.  The mystery was interesting, but I wish it had not been so easy to solve.  I enjoyed following Shay as she searched for clues and asked questions.  Her special gift guides her along with Spirit, Brigit’s dog (now Shay’s dog).  Shay still has questions regarding her inheritance and her ancestry.  We will have to wait for the next book to learn more.  My one negative comment is I was not fond of the repetitive details (I got it the first time).  Steeped in Secrets was a fun book to read.  Steeped in Secrets is a spirited tale with a smarmy ex-spouse, enigmatic inheritance, an appealing pub owner, a dishonest sheriff, a mysterious dead man, and empathic capabilities.  

Steeped in Secrets is available from Amazon*.  Lauren Elliott has Dedication to Murder coming out April 25.  It is the 9th A Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery.   You can find Lauren Elliott's other novels here.  Thank you for joining me today.  Tomorrow I am sharing my thoughts on Amish Holiday Vendetta by Laura Scott.  I hope that you have a fascinating day.  I am off to work outside on my Christmas decorations.  I am doing Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree with Santa (Santa singing into a microphone, Santa playing guitar, Santa with a boombox). I also have a small snowman band to go with it as well as a snowman playing a saxophone.  I am hoping it will turn out.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Whittiers by Danielle Steel

 The Whittiers

Book Summary

Preston and Constance Whittier have built a happy life together, with a brood of six children raised in a beautiful historic Manhattan mansion. Now, with a nearly empty nest, it’s easier than ever for the Whittiers to maintain their tradition of a solo romantic “Wintermoon” ski trip.

But with this year’s trip comes tragedy, and suddenly the Whittiers’ adult children find themselves reuniting in the family home without their parents for the first time ever. The oldest, Lyle, is reaching a breaking point in his marriage and must decide whether a divorce would be best for him and his two children. Gloria’s big job on Wall Street has kept her single at thirty-nine, and growing ever more cynical. The twins, Caroline and Charlie, moved out long ago to start a fashion business that may now be faltering. Benjie, with special needs, is hit hard by the loss of his parents and needs his siblings’ help. And Annabelle, the youngest, drops out of college and starts to spin out of control.

The eldest four are forced to put aside their personal issues and their grief to keep the family together and support each other and their two youngest siblings. Selling the house, along with all the memories that live in its walls, feels like yet another devastating loss. Could there be another way, as unconventional as it seems?

The Whittiers, Danielle Steel delivers an inspiring story about the everlasting bonds of one unforgettable family.
My Thoughts

I enjoyed reading The Whittiers by Danielle Steel.  Preston and Constance Whittier go on a “wintermoon” each year.  Unfortunately, this one was their last.  We see how their six adult children cope with the loss of their parents.  I was drawn into the story.  I like the author’s writing style which is relaxed and friendly.   The story moved along at a fast clip.  There are quite a few characters to keep track of.  I found it easier as I got further into the story. I liked that the characters were not perfect.  Each character had something happening in their lives (life is messy).   Benjie is the youngest son, and he is at the high end of the autism spectrum.  The family soon learns just how much their mother did for Benjie.  The family will need to step up to fill the gap.  Benjie provides many of the uplifting and funny moments in the book.  Annabelle is the youngest child, and she was on a downward spiral before her parents’ death.  After the parent’s death, Annabelle’s life quickly spirals out of control.  The four older siblings are needed to handle the parent’s estate and help their youngest siblings.    There are many moving moments in this emotional story.  I found myself staying up late to finish The Whittiers.  It is a story that will leave you with a smile on your face.  My one negative is the repetition of backstory details.  It is a trait found in all of this author’s books, and I really wish she would discontinue doing it.  The Whittiers is a feel-good story with grief, regret, love, humor, and family.  I enjoyed seeing the family came together after such a tragic event.  The Whittiers is a touching tale with a terrible tragedy, a dreadful divorce, an unrestrained sister, dear dogs, a captivating Italian, cute kids, and a happy house.

The Whittiers is available from Amazon* along with other major retailers.  Danielle Steel will have Without a Trace coming out January 3, 2023 and Worthy Opponents on March 7, 2023.  You can find Danielle Steel's other novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I hope that you have a very Happy Thanksgiving.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

An Inheritance to Die For by Judy Moore

 An Inheritance To Die For

Book Summary

Was the death of her college roommate’s father suicide or murder?

That question takes Beck O’Rourke to Miami in this fourth standalone book in the Cozy Mysteries To Die For series.

With three successful murder investigations under her belt, Beck enters the privileged world of her spoiled freshman roommate and her fractured family to take on her first paid job as a private investigator.

Heirs stand to inherit millions from the death of Benjamin Greene. Was it more than a coincidence that he died the night before he was meeting with his lawyer to change his will?
An Inheritance To Die For brings readers back to the Beach Reads bookstore and café, a block off the ocean in quaint Manatee Beach, Florida. Returning are Beck’s spirited grandmother Miss Alice, her fiesty lifeguard sister Lizzie, town character Scratchoff McLean, and, of course, her love interest, handsome Manatee Beach Police detective Devon Mathis.

Will their romance ever get off the ground?

My Thoughts

An Inheritance To Die For by Judy Moore has Beck O’Rourke heading to Miami to help her old college roommate, Jacqueline.  Jacqueline’s father was recently found dead in his bedroom.  The death is being ruled a suicide.  Jacqueline does not agree and wants to hire Beck to uncover the truth.  Beck has just earned her PI license and is excited to work her first official case.  Beck soon learns that Jacqueline’s father died the night before he was to change his will.  Beck works through her list of suspects one by one until she identifies the guilty party.  The trick will be to stay alive long enough to prove it.  An Inheritance To Die For is the fourth novel in Cozy Mysteries To Die For series.  Each book can be read on its own (but you will be missing out on some fun stories).  I like Judy Moore’s writing style.  It reminds me of chatting with friends.  The author is descriptive which help me to visualize the scenes.  I thought Judy Moore really captured Miami.  

I enjoyed getting to know Beck.  She is friendly, clever, determined, and spunky.  Beck had her hands full with Jacqueline.  We do not get to spend much time with Miss Alice, Beck’s grandmother, nor Lizzie, Beck’s sister since Beck travels to Miami for the case.  The mystery was plotted out nicely.  There are several suspects who could have done the deed.  I like how Beck works a case.  She is methodical and does not leave someone off the suspect list because they are nice.  There are clues to help readers solve the crime.  I enjoyed the dramatic reveal.   All the details regarding the whodunit are answered.  Beck gets a chance to see Devon while in Miami.  She also has the opportunity to meet his parents.  Beck learns something that puts Devon’s style of dating in perspective.  An Inheritance To Die For is a cute cozy with a blast from the past, a curious case, a nice nanny, twin trouble, a hurtful will, fragrant flowers, and a spunky sleuth.

An Inheritance To Die For is available from Amazon*.  You can read it for free with Kindle Unlimited.  You can find the other books in Cozy Mysteries To Die For series here.  You can find the Judy Moore's other novels here.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will return on Tuesday, November 22 with The Whittiers by Danielle Steel.  I hope that you have a relaxing weekend.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Mountain Town Mischief with a Poodle by Virginia Fox

 Mountain Town Mischief with a Poodle

Book Summary

A little romance, a dab of suspense, and a whole lot of fun await you in the first book of the genre-skipping Rocky Mountain Cozies series.

What’s a big-city girl to do when she finds out her boyfriend is dealing shady business out of the apartment they share in Seattle? She grabs her big standard poodle named Rambo and runs to granny in small-town Colorado, that’s what!

The dog fits in just fine, but Jasmine’s ways of vegetarian eating and yoga are a bit different for this little mountain place. Meanwhile, the hunky sheriff—single, with a reputation as a player—won’t stop poking his nose into Jasmine’s past. Plus, he’s a bit too fond of the way she looks in yoga pants. Her boyfriend isn’t ready to let go or forget that she knows about his illegal activities. Grandma, the colorful townsfolk, and the pets who populate the town are in for some thrills, chills and romantic double plays until Jasmine sorts her life out. Grab the popcorn!

My Thoughts

Mountain Town Mischief with a Poodle by Virginia Fox is the debut of Rocky Mountain Cozies.  Jasmine is a yoga instructor who lives in Seattle.  She forgets the key to the yoga studio where she works and rushes back home to retrieve it.  She overhears her lazy boyfriend, Gavin talking to two men about a counterfeiting scheme.  The lout plans on making off with some of Jasmine’s savings account as well.  Jasmine gets caught eavesdropping and she takes off.  She does not go to the police because Jasmine spots Gavin talking to an officer (she fears corruption in the ranks of the Seattle PD).  Jasmine picks up dog, Rambo (an adorable black Standard Poodle) and drives to her grandmother’s cabin in Colorado.  She ends up on the wrong end of the neighbor’s shotgun who believes she is a burglar. Jasmine gets to meet the hunky sheriff (cue romance).  When Jasmine calls Gavin (I never said she was the sharpest knife in the drawer), she buys his phony baloney story and tells him where she is hiding out (cue trouble).  The sheriff (who is equally as smitten as Jasmine) works to protect Jasmine from the bad guys (you know where this is going). 

I do not feel this story is a cozy mystery.  It is a romance with a smidgen of suspense.  There is no mystery to solve.  Jasmine is hard to like.  She is a yoga instructor, a vegetarian (we are told this many times), and firm believer in no gas guzzling vehicles.  Jasmine comes from a well-off family, and it is obvious (her pretentious attitude).  Jasmine has a tendency of making bad decisions.   The characters lacked development.  They were one-dimensional.  I found it hard to get through the story because the point-of-view jumps around.  It was hard to keep track (it would just change without warning).  There are inconsistencies in the story.  Jasmine tells Gavin where she is and the later wonders how he knew where to find her because she did not tell him (I distinctly remember the phone call where she overshared).  My favorite character was Rambo.  There was too much romance.  Jasmine has just left her lout of boyfriend and she is falling for the sheriff the next day.   Jasmine’s grandmother, Nana wants Jasmine to open a yoga retreat at the large family log cabin.  Instead, Jasmine rents a space in town for her classes.  She could have done that at the cabin and saved herself the rent.  There is mild foul language (just a couple of words maximum).  Mountain Town Mischief with a Poodle felt more like a telenovela than a cozy mystery.

Mountain Town Mischief with a Poodle will be available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.   The book is not currently listed on either site (at the time I wrote this blog post).  I will update with links when they are available.  You can find Virginia Fox's other novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I am featuring An Inheritance to  Die For by Judy Moore.  It is the fourth book in Cozy Mysteries to Die For.  I am off to tackle my closet.  It is a mess.  I hope that you have a happy day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green

 The Blackout Book Club
Book Summary

In 1942, an impulsive promise to her brother before he goes off to the European front puts Avis Montgomery in the unlikely position of head librarian in small-town Maine. Though she has never been much of a reader, when wartime needs threaten to close the library, she invents a book club to keep its doors open. The women she convinces to attend the first meeting couldn't be more different--a wealthy spinster determined to aid the war effort, an exhausted mother looking for a fresh start, and a determined young war worker.

At first, the struggles of the home front are all the club members have in common, but over time, the books they choose become more than an escape from the hardships of life and the fear of the U-boat battles that rage just past their shores. As the women face personal challenges and band together in the face of danger, they find they have more in common than they think. But when their growing friendships are tested by secrets of the past and present, they must decide whether depending on each other is worth the cost.
My Thoughts

The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green gives us a look at life on the home front during World War II.  A diverse group of people come together to discuss books when Avis dreams up the book club to save the library from closing. The book club turns out to be so much more.  As they meet, they begin to know each other.  Friendships are formed that turn into lasting bonds.  This is a heartwarming story.  I enjoyed getting to know the characters.  I liked seeing the characters grow as they got to know each other.  The cast of characters is diverse.  I also thought the characters were realistic.  The story is told from several points of view which I found challenging in the beginning.  It became easier as I got further into the story.  The book is full of history and literature.  You can tell the author did her research.  I especially enjoyed the references to Mrs. Miniver (love that movie).  I liked that the group did not just read novels.  They enjoyed poetry, how to books, Shakespeare, fiction, and much more. 

The notes from each meeting were entertaining.  I especially enjoyed them when Ginny wrote them.  Ginny is a lively character who has spunk.  We get to see how it was at home for different types of people during the war.  Avis is a young married woman who does not want her husband to go off fighting.  Avis is not a reader, but she agreed to take her brother’s librarian job while he is off fighting.  She promised him she would do her best to keep the library open.  Louise is a spinster and the richest woman in town.  Louise owns the library.  She has kept herself apart from others because she is afraid that they will discover her secret.  Ginny is working at the foundry (which is dirty, hot work).  She would rather be out on a boat, but the war department requisitioned the family island.  Martina is married with two kids.  She also works at the foundry.  Martina hopes her no-good husband will not find her.  I was sorry when The Blackout Book Club ended.  Those who love books, will enjoy reading this story.  The Blackout Book Club is a poignant tale with a large library, daycare center conundrum, blackout curtains, war rationing, a sly spouse, lively talks, and enduring friendships.  

The Blackout Book Club is available from Amazon*.  You can find Amy Lynn Green's other creations here.  Thank you for joining me today.  Tomorrow I am sharing my thoughts on Mountain Town Mischief with a Poodle by Virgina Fox.  I hope that you have a happy day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.