Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Railway Girls by Maisie Thomas

The Railway Girls (Railway Girls 1) by [Maisie Thomas]
Good Day!  There are some delightful new books coming out in June.  Some of the new releases are The Grim Reader by Kate Carlisle, A Gilded Lady by Elizabeth Camden, Daddy's Girls by Danielle Steel, Game of Dog Bones by Laurien Berenson, A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber, Murder in the Scottish Shire by Traci Hall, Still Knife Painting by Cheryl Hollon, and The Last Curtain Call by Juliet Blackwell.  Once again, I have managed to request too many books (40 at last count).  How can you resist requesting a book that you really want to read?  I am weak!
Photographic Print: Women Rail Workers Standing at Work on Engine of Train, During WWI at Great Northern Railway : 24x18in
Female train workers during WWII
The Railway Girls by Maisie Thomas has Mabel, Joan, Dot, and other ladies volunteering to work for the railway during World War II.  Mabel is eager to escape her hometown so she can get a fresh start away from the memories and the guilt.  Joan and her sister were raised by their grandmother.  Gran praises her sister, but Joan does not live up to her grandmother’s expectations.  Joan wants to obtain a position and show what she is capable of to herself and her family.  Dot has raised two boys who are now married with children of their own.  Dot’s sons are off fighting.  She takes care of the home and her critical husband, Reg.  Dot is the mothering type and likes to be helpful.  Each of these women who are different ages and from different social classes, come together to do their bit for the war.  This group of diverse women start off as strangers, but they soon become close friends who stand by each other through thick and thin.  The Railway Girls is the first book in the Railways Girls series.  There is a great cast of characters in this historical novel.  I thought the characters were realistic and relatable.  They come from different social classes and each have a different reason for volunteering.  Dot was my favorite.  She is such a kind woman who loves her sons and their families. I could understand why she wanted to get out of her home each day.   I did feel that Dot was taken advantage of by her daughter’s in-law.  We get to follow the women through their day to day lives.  Each of them want to help the war effort and are excited to be working for the railway.  The women are assigned different jobs.  I like that we get to see the various positions people work to keep the trains running.  I could tell that the author did her research for this book.  The author took us back in time with the clothing, buildings, the various battles and war engagements, and the men’s attitudes towards women in the workplace.  Maisie Thomas’ detailed descriptions brought the scenes and characters to life.  I did wish that the pacing had been a little peppier.  The story got bogged down with the minutia of the ladies lives (a little too much detail).  I enjoyed seeing the ladies come together as a group and grow as individuals.  It was not easy living during World War II in England with bombings, rationing, and the extra work they had to take on.  The Railway Girls is an emotional story with strong women who want to support their country during trying times.
Servicewoman with a female porter, Waterloo Station, 1942. Helen Madeleine McKie
Female train porter
The Railway Girls is available from Amazon* (ebook).  Paperback version will be available September 1.  The next book in The Railway Girls series is Secrets of the Railway Girls which publishes September 17.  I appreciate you stopping by today and reading my review.  Tomorrow I am sharing Killer Chardonnay by Kate Lansing.  It is the premiere of A Colorado Wine Mystery series.  I hope that you have a stellar day.  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader
Sunset On The Train By Sally Storch
*This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert: Review & Giveaway!

No Filter

Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery

by Heather Day Gilbert

About No Filter 

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: WoodHaven Press (May 26, 2020)
Number of Pages: ~280 Pages
Digital ASIN: B085BX4N96
Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java...and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

Fed up with her go-nowhere job, newly single Macy Hatfield moves back to her small hometown in West Virginia. She joins forces with her brother Bo in his crazy new venture—the Barks & Beans Cafe, which caters to dog lovers and coffee drinkers alike.

When a golf instructor is murdered at the nearby spiritual center, Macy winds up adopting his Great Dane. Just after Macy finds a mysterious message sewn under the dog's collar, her Dane is dognapped. She launches into a relentless search for her newfound canine friend, but along the way, she digs up a cruel and confident killer.

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown...with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.
10 of the Best Dog Friendly Cafes | STYLETAILS

About Heather Day Gilbert

HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren't afraid to protect those they love. Like her amateur sleuth heroines, she enjoys reading Agatha Christie, playing video games, dogs, and coffee.
French Bulldog Latte Art

Author Links

Instagram: @heatherdaygilbert

How to Make Healthy Coffee Creamer?

My Summary

No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert has Macy Hatfield moving back to her hometown of Lewisburg, West Virginia after receiving a phone call from her brother, Bo.  The brother and sister duo are opening the Barks & Beans Café which caters to coffee and dog lovers.  They will be bringing in dogs from the local animal rescue in the hopes that customers will want to adopt them. Customers can enjoy their coffee with a tasty treat and cuddle a cute dog.   A golf instructor at the Ivy Hill Spiritual Center for Healing is murdered and his Great Dane, Coal ends up at the shelter.  It is love at first sight for Macy and Coal.  Macy finds a metal tag sewn onto the back of Coal’s collar with a message on it.  When Coal is dognapped, Macy knows the person is after the tag.  Macy and Bo set out to get Coal back.  Unfortunately, they catch the attention of the killer who is not about to let a witness live. 
Dog Great Dane Coffee Co. Tall Dark And Refined Black/White Poster No Frame #fashion #home #garden #homedcor #postersprints (ebay link)
Coal has his own ideas for the cafe!

My Thoughts

No Filter is the debut of A Barks & Beans Café Cozy Mystery series.  No Filter has two great protagonists with Macy and Bo.  I enjoyed the interactions between this brother-and-sister duo.  They get along well and have started an interesting new venture.  Bo handles the business side of the café since he has the background in coffee while Macy takes care of the dog area.  Dogs make her happy and she is thrilled to have a job where she can interact with canines all day.  Summer Adkins, owner of the local animal shelter, is another good character. There are sparks between Summer and Bo.  I liked that the author took the time to establish the characters.  The café idea is fun.  I wish there was one in my area.  It is a great way to help shelter dogs find forever homes.  There is more than meets the eye to one of our main characters.  Coal stole the show, though, in No Filter.  Coal is a sweetie, but he is protective of his new owner (a bit of a bed hog as well).  The mystery was intriguing.  There are multiple suspects, a red herring, and clues for readers to find.   I enjoyed reading No Filter and I am looking forward to reading Iced Over.  No Filter is a charming cozy mystery with a clever canine named Coal, deafening drums, a gone golfer, Brazilian beans, and a despicable dognapper.
The Barkbershop Pet Grooming Studio & Cafe by Evonil Architecture, Jakarta – Indonesia » Retail Design Blog
No Filter can be purchased from Amazon*.  The next A Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery is Iced Over which releases July 27.  Both books are available through Kindle UnlimitedThe title of the third tale in A Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery is Fair Trade.  As part of the tour, the author is hosting a giveaway.  You can click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Leave a comment on my blog for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  Heather Gilbert also writes An Exotic Pet Sitter Mystery series starring Belinda Blake. Thank you for stopping by today.  I will be back tomorrow with my review of The Railway Girls by Maisie Thomas.  It is the first novel in The Railway Girls series featuring Mabel, Joan and Dot.  I hope that you have a lively day.  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader  

Tour Participants

May 26 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

May 26 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 26 – Diane Reviews Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 27 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW


May 27 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW  

May 27 – The Book Diva's Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
dog badly in need of coffee
May 28 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

May 28 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 28 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

May 28 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

May 29 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW

May 29 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Because Every Dog Matters
May 29 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

May 29 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

May 30 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

May 30 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW

May 30 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 31 – Brianne's Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 31 – I'm Into Books – SPOTLGHT
Handsomely White Dog Costumes #dogsofinstag #DogStuffForPeople
May 31 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 1 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

June 1 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 1 – Reading Authors Network – REVIEW

June 2 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW

June 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

June 2 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
Lin Wang, Cute girl and her dog reading in bed
*This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Marshmallow Malice by Amanda Flower

Marshmallow Malice (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #5)
Retro Tea Length Wedding Dress with Polka Dot | BRIDGET – ieie Bridal
Polka dotted wedding dress
Marshmallow Malice by Amanda Flower has Bailey King wearing a frothy lavender and white polka dotted dress as maid of honor to Juliet Brody who is marrying Reverend Simon Brook.  Jethro, Juliet’s pet pig, is the ring bearer sporting a lavender polka dotted tie.  Bailey is worried that the marshmallow frosting on the wedding cake will melt in the hot July weather on the polka dotted wedding cake, but her grandmother assures her that she has it in hand.  The minister is about to pronounce them man and wife when a woman barges into the church.  She is obviously drunk and soon ousted.  The next morning, Bailey arrives early at the church where she finds the wedding crasher dead on the steps.  It looks like the honeymoon to Prince Edward Island is one hold when Reverend Brook becomes the prime suspect.  Deputy Aiden Brody wants to get this case solved quickly since Reverend Brook is his new stepfather.  Bailey with her best friend, Cass decide to do a little poking around on their own.  
Marshmallow Malice by Amanda Flower is the 5th An Amish Candy Shop Mystery.  While it can be read on its own, I do recommend reading each book in this entertaining series.  I like Amanda Flower’s engaging writing style.  I was quickly drawn into the story and I did not want to put down my book (a very pushy cat got insistent at dinner time).  I laughed often while reading Marshmallow Malice.  Jethro is one mischievous pig.  Of course, Bailey manages to get herself into some sticky situations.   I love the cast of characters in this series.  Bailey, Cass, Emily, Charlotte, Aiden, Juliet, Jethro, and even Margot.  I like that Bailey is close to her grandmother and has a wonderful group of friends.  Aiden and Bailey make a cute couple.  There are also some adorable little animals.  It is so cute how Nutmeg, the cat at the Swissmen’s Sweets, likes to play with Bailey’s rabbit, Puff.  Don’t forget Jethro who can get into trouble faster than you can say chocolate.  Harvest, Ohio is a charming small town with a mix of English and Amish shops and residents.  There are one or two bad eggs (two people at Esh’s Pretzel Shop spring to mind), but the rest of the people are friendly and welcoming.  The mystery was well-crafted.  I had a good time playing sleuth alongside Bailey and Cass.  There are good clues along with a red herring and misdirection.  Bailey had an additional worry in Marshmallow Malice.  A woman from Aiden’s past has returned to town and she seems determined to rekindle her relationship with the dashing deputy (and so does her pushy mother).  I like how Millie Fisher from An Amish Matchmaker Mystery series attended the wedding.  This was a delightful story that I finished much too quickly.  Marshmallow Malice is witty cozy mystery with hair hijinks, a playful pig, marshmallow madness, a plethora of polka dots, hot hooch, and partner problems.
This #Easter Polka Dot #Cake is a gorgeous spring cake with polka dots on both the outside AND inside of the cake! Learn how to create this cute, easy cake with surprise polka dots inside.
Marshmallow Malice is available from Amazon*.  The other novels in An Amish Candy Shop Mystery series can be found here.  I hope you enjoy this delightful story as much as I did.  Lemon Drop Dead will be the 6th An Amish Candy Shop Mystery and it will be out next year.  Amanda Flower's next release is Courting Can Be Killer.  It is the 2nd An Amish Matchmaker Mystery and releases November 24. Thank you for stopping by today and reading my review.  On Wednesday, I am featuring No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert as part of the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.  It is the debut of A Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery series.  I hope that you have a tranquil day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!    

The Avid Reader
*This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse by Kate Young: Review & Giveaway!

Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse

A Marygene Brown Mystery

by Kate Young

About Southern Sass & A Crispy Corpse

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (May 26, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721470
ISBN-13: 978-1496721471
Digital ASIN: B07W4MRDKR
On Georgia’s picturesque Peach Cove Island, a killer is serving up a two-for-one special . . .

After their mama's passing, Marygene Brown returned to Peach Cove Island to help her sister Jena Lynn run the family diner, renowned for its homemade peach desserts. But Mama is never too far away—her sassy spirit haunts the island, and more specifically Marygene. Lately Mama has been warning her that the dead will seek her out to solve their murders, an idea Marygene is far from peachy keen on.

But that prophecy appears to be coming true when she goes skinny-dipping off the island and swims right into a woman's charred corpse floating in the waves. And when Marygene and her brother Sam come upon a second burned body in a wine cellar at an event they're catering, it appears they have a double homicide on their hands. It soon turns out the victims have more in common than their charred remains, and Marygene will need to double down to find a killer who has no aversion to playing with fire. Good thing Mama has her back . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen!
 And this

About Kate Young

Kate Young writes Southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzu. When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading or cooking.
Skinny dip in the ocean. Amazing!

Author Links

No Skinny Dipping by SteveDelamare on DeviantArt
Skinny Dipping

My Thoughts

Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse by Kate Young has Marygene Brown going for an early morning swim sans bathing suit.  Unfortunately, Marygene encounters a corpse while frolicking in the ocean.  She quickly calls her father, Sheriff Eddie Carter who arrives with Deputy Alex Myers, Marygene’s beau and the reason she was taking an early morning swim.  Eddie’s new hire, Deputy Javier Reyes takes Marygene’s statement at the station which leaves a bitter taste in her mouth after the encounter.  The Peach Diner, owner by Marygene and her sister, Jena Lynn, cater Yvonne Brooks open house showcasing her renovations of Palmer house.  Marygene and her brother, Sam take extra champagne down to the cellar and find a charred corpse leaning against a wall.  Time to call Eddie again.  The two bodies have Marygene perplexed and she knows her mother has the information she needs.  Pesky rules, though, prevent Clara from giving that type of aid.  Marygene and Betsy begin asking questions and end up ruffling a few feathers.  Marygene may find herself in limbo with her mother if she is not careful.
Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse by Kate Young is the 2nd A Marygene Brown Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone because the needed background information is provided.  We return to Peach Cove Island, Georgia where deceased souls who have been murdered are drawn to Marygene Brown.  Marygene gets a help with the cases from her mama, Clara who is in limbo (she should have done more good deeds while alive).  Marygene co-owns The Peach Diner with her sister, Jena Lynn.  Marygene is a wonderful baker whose pastries are in demand by the island’s residents and tourists.  Marygene is having relationship troubles with beau, Deputy Alex Myers.  Alex was seen doing something that landed him in hot water with Marygene.  Alex wanted his cake and to eat it too (if you get my drift).   Deputy Javier Reyes is new to the force and sparks fly between him and our protagonist.  It looks like Alex has competition.  I wish less time had been devoted to Marygene’s love life.  It was a little much for me. Marygene deserves a good guy who is understanding, kind, and loyal.  There are a variety of colorful characters whose antics had me laughing.  Betsy, an employee and friend, is a hoot.  The food descriptions will have your mouth watering.  Thankfully, there are recipes at the end of the book.  I like the author’s conversational writing style which made Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse was easy to read.  The story moved along quickly.  The mystery was an enjoyable one to solve.  It was complex (love that) with a variety of clues, several suspects and misdirection.  I had a good time assembling the clues and arriving at a solution.  There is a dramatic reveal where I got to see if my deductions were correct.  There was plenty of action in this story that helped move this story along quickly toward the end.  The paranormal element is fun and enhances the series.  Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse is a capricious cozy mystery with a disdainful deputy, unabashed bathing beauty, a chill cellar, pretty pastries, a defensive dad, and crispy corpses.  
This classic, Southern Peach Pie is absolute dessert perfection! Filled with summer's juiciest, sweetest fresh peaches and made with a flaky, buttery double-crust dusted with sanding sugar, this fresh peach pie is as beautiful as it is delicious and wonderful served à la mode with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Southern Peach Pie
Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse can be purchased from AmazonB&N, Kobo, and IndieBound.  The 1st A Marygene Brown Mystery is Southern Sass and Killer Cravings.  Now for the giveaway!  As part of the tour, the author is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card!  You can click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Leave a comment for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  Kate Young's next book is On Borrowed Crime which releases October 6.  It is the debut of A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery series.  Thank you so much for dropping by today.  Tomorrow I am sharing my review of Marshmallow Malice by Amanda Flower.  It is the 5th An Amish Candy Shop Mystery.  I hope you have a fun and safe Memorial Day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

Tour Participants

May 25 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

May 25 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

May 25 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW  

May 26 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE

May 26 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW


May 27 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 27 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  

May 28 – Diane Reviews Books - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 28 – Christy's Cozy Corners - REVIEW

May 28 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

May 28 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

May 29 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW

May 29 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

May 29 – I'm Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

May 29 – T's Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

May 30 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

May 30 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 30 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 30 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

May 31 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

May 31 – Laura's Interests – SPOTLIGHT

May 31 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 31 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

June 1 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

June 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

June 1 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW

June 1 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
by Sally Storch
*This post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

All She Wrote by Tonya Kappes

All She Wrote (A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery #3)
Good Day! I hope you are having an enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend.  Murder with Clotted Cream by Karen Rose Smith as well as A Call for Kelp by Bree Baker, The Promise by Patricia Davids, and Red Sky Over Hawaii by Sara Ackerman release May 26.  Stories That Bind Us by Susie Finkbeiner and What Momma Left Behind by Cindy K. Sproles come out June 2.  Are any of these new books on your wish list?
She delivers | USPS News Link  November marks the 100th anniversary of female letter carriers in cities. Here are 6 fact's about women's contributions to mail delivery.
All She Wrote by Tonya Kappes has Bernadette Butler taking a knitting class in anticipation of the birth of her first grandchild.  While at her class at Social Knitwork, Florence Gaines enters to introduce her niece, Courtney who has just moved to town.  In fact, Courtney is Bernadette’s new neighbor.  Florence also lets it slip that she has been seeing quite a bit of Zeke Grey which causes an uproar among the Front Porch Ladies.  Bernie is delivering the mail to the Front Porch Ladies when Florence and Zeke pull up in front of Courtney’s house all dolled up.  Florence announces loudly (so the Front Porch Ladies can hear) to Courtney that she just became Mrs. Zeke Grey.  The honeymoon is short because Florence ends up dead in a pile of mulch in Courtney’s yard.  Unfortunately, Julia, Bernie’s daughter-in-law, is on the suspect list.  Bernie gets to work digging for clues so she can unearth the guilty party.  
Donna Pennington and Ardyth Hamilton, Seattle's first women mail carriers, Seattle, 1942
All She Wrote by Tonya Kappes is the 3rd A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery.  This fun tale can be read on its own if you are new to the series (but why would you want to).  It contains Tonya Kappes engaging writing style which draws a reader right in.  Bernadette Butler is a great protagonist.  I like that she is my age and starting over with her life.  The Front Porch Ladies, Vince, and Bernie’s family are other enjoyable characters.  They are likeable and realistic.  The southern setting of Sugar Creek Gap, Kentucky is charming.  I enjoy the descriptions of this cozy southern town where everybody knows your name and your business.  The mystery suited the story.  It is straightforward with a couple of suspects and a red herring.  There are good clues to aid readers in solving the whodunit.  I enjoyed the humor that is scattered throughout this appealing tale.  All She Wrote is well-written with relatable characters in a welcoming southern town.  I would expect nothing less from this author.  I look forward to Bernadette’s next adventure in Return to SenderAll She Wrote is a fetching cozy mystery with clan concerns, a plethora of packages, gossip galore, tasty treats, and murderous mulch.
Woman working as Letter carrier to free up men for the war. Women waiting for news from their husbands and sons and sweethearts.
All She Wrote publishes on May 26 and is available from Amazon*.  The other titles in A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery series are Stamped Out and Address for Murder.  Both books are available through Kindle UnlimitedReturn to Sender is the 4th A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery and it will be out on June 27.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will be a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse by Kate Young tomorrow.  It is the 2nd book in A Marygene Brown Mystery series.  I hope that you have a capricious day.  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

Problems of a Book Nerd

Woman Reading in a Garden Painting by Barbara Jaskiewicz | Saatchi Art
*This post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano: Review, Q & A with Author, and Giveaway!

About the Book

Book:  Storing Up Trouble

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: May 6, 2020

When Beatrix Waterbury’s train is disrupted by a heist, scientist Norman Nesbit comes to her aid. After another encounter, he is swept up in the havoc she always seems to attract—including the attention of the men trying to steal his research—and they’ll soon discover the curious way feelings can grow between two very different people in the midst of chaos.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author
Jen Turano, ( a USA Today bestselling author, has written four historical romance series. She is a member of ACFW and RWA and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at
State Street North Marshal Field's corner, at Washington, 1895. Chicago.
Outside Marshall Field's in 1895
More from Jen

Thank you so much for visiting me on my Celebrate Lit tour as we celebrate the release of my latest novel, “Storing Up Trouble.” I’m delighted to be here, and I reached out to my street team to help me with the questions you’ll find below. I’m hoping the answers to those questions will allow you to learn just a bit about my new book, as well as allow you to get to know me better. With that said, here we go!

Can you tell us a little about “Storing Up Trouble?”

I’d be delighted to tell you about my latest book. “Storing Up Trouble” is the third book in the “American Heiress” series, but you don’t need to read the first two books in that series (“Flights of Fancy” “Diamond in the Rough” to understand what’s going on. I’ve been writing my books more as stand alone stories, and “Storing Up Trouble” is no exception to that. With that said, this book centers around Miss Beatrix Waterbury and Mr. Norman Nesbit. Beatrix, unfortunately, has annoyed her mother to such an extent that she finds herself banished from New York and on her way to Chicago to spend time with her aunt, a lady Beatrix remembers as being a querulous sort. She, being Beatrix, a lady who lands herself in trouble at the most unexpected of times, soon finds herself a victim of a train heist. An unlikely hero in the form of Mr. Norman Nesbit, a gentleman with a brilliant mind but relatively few social graces, comes to her rescue, and from the moment they disembark from the train, they find themselves thrust into one escapade after another.
Angela Clayton Cycling Costume resize-6513 #cycling #cycling
Beatrix's aunt wore similar outfit
In “Storing Up Trouble,” is there a character you’d like to be friends with in real life, or better yet, a character you’d avoid at all costs?

I actually have an answer to both parts of that question. Miss Theodosia Robinson is a lady I would love to count as a friend because she’s loyal to a fault, and is a friend who’ll be there for you, no matter if you want to delve into an unusual scientific experiment, or take a jaunt to your local department store to do a bit of shopping. As for who I’d avoid at all cost – Mrs. George Blossom, who has a very small part in the story, but she’s a customer at Marshall Fields & Company who embraces an air of superiority over the sales girls, and I’ve never been one to enjoy people like that.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

That’s easy. Being Dominic’s mom. He was definitely a handful when he was little, which is why he’s an only child, but it’s been incredibly rewarding to watch him grow over the years. He recently graduated from college with a degree in engineering, and seeing him land a grown up job and begin to embrace the whole adulting thing makes me prouder than any book I’ve written or other job I’ve held.
Caught by Surprise (Apart From the Crowd Book #3) by [Jen Turano]
What was the inspiration behind “Storing Up Trouble?”

There were quite a few things that inspired me to write this book. I’d set another one of my books, “Caught by Surprise” in Chicago, and because of the research I did for that book, research I wasn’t able to fit into that story, I knew I wanted to revisit that city at some point. Beatrix Waterbury gave me the perfect excuse to travel back there. I wanted to take her out of her usual setting of NYC, so off she went to Chicago, on a train ride that definitely turned concerning. I had also picked up a few research books about Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison and I’ve been itching to create a character after those brilliant gentlemen. Norman Nesbit turned into that gentleman, although I have to admit that some of the science Nikola and Thomas used was way over my head. My son, the engineer, tried to explain it to me, but I believe at one point I might have been drooling, and not in the good way, but the bored way. That’s when Norman really began to develop because I thought it would be amusing to have a character who was passionate about his field of study, but most of the people he tried to share that passion with had no idea what he was talking about and always got a bit of a dazed expression in their eyes as he waxed on and on about double-electrical currents.
Los 10 inventos de Nikola Tesla que cambiaron el mundo
What fun facts did you uncover while doing research for “Storing Up Trouble” but weren’t able to fit into the story?

There was so much fodder for additional storylines just with the research I did on Marshall Field and his department store. Did you know that the main store in Chicago burned down doing the Great Fire of 1871 and…it burned down several times after that? Who knew? There was also a lot of drama surrounding Marshall and his partner for years, Mr. Levi Zeigler Leiter. They had different ideas about how the store should evolve, which resulted in Marshall forcing Levi to sell his shares of the company to him, at which point the store turned from  Field, Leiter, & Company to Marshall Fields Company. It was also interesting to learn that Mr. Fields was notorious for paying his workers low wages, but those workers accepted those wages because of the prestige that came with working at his store. If you worked at any other store, you were considered common, but to work at Marshall Fields was a feather in your cap, even if you weren’t earning as much as you could have earned at another store.
Marshall Field
What are quirky little things you keep on your desk?

At the moment, I have one little pig with googly eyes, one cow with googly eyes, and then another small pig that a reader sent me because she really liked Matilda in “A Match of Wits” and thought this little pig she found at a store was exactly what Matilda would look like.
plasticine pig with googly eyes and curly pipe cleaner tail! we made them for our Prodigal Son theme :)
Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Oddly enough, no, it never crossed my mind until Dominic was in third grade and we decided to write a book together after finishing this horrible series about this bird. That book was never meant for publication, but it did have me remembering that I had, at one point in time before I became a stay-at-home-mom, enjoyed using my brain. I started experimenting with different genres and learned everything I could about the publishing industry. It took me five years to find an agent, and then she sold “A Change of Fortune” to Bethany House, and I’ve been writing for them ever since.
A Change of Fortune (Ladies of Distinction Book #1) by [Jen Turano]
Any words of advice for aspiring writers?

I get this question a lot, and I always answer by saying “Have an honest talk with yourself about what you really want to achieve with your writing.” It’s perfectly fine to want to write because you’re interested in turning it into a career. However, with that said, a writer needs to understand that writing and publishing are two different creatures. Publishing is a daunting business, and it’ll take a lot of perseverance to find success with it. With that said, if you have raw talent and are a story teller at heart, you should write all the time and do whatever you can to learn how to improve your craft.
The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency
What are you working on next?

I’m working on a new series right now – “The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency.” The first book, “To Steal a Heart” releases in November, 2020. It’s about Miss Gabriella Goodhue, who spent her childhood living on the mean streets in Five Points. She’s currently living in a boarding house on Bleeker Street in New York City, and when a fellow resident gets unjustly accused of theft, Gabriella, along with the other ladies living in the boarding house, take it upon themselves to try and clear her name. That’s the beginning of the Bleeker Street Agency, and hopefully the ladies will enjoy much success as the series continues.

Thank you so much for stopping by today. I hope all of you get an opportunity to read “Storing Up Trouble!”

Wishing you all the best,


Marshall Field windows Photo credit: Chicago History Museum
Marshall Field & Company
My Thoughts

Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano has Beatrix Waterbury heading to Chicago after her mother has banished her from New York after a series of incidents.  On the train, Beatrix encounters Mr.  Norman Nesbit while dealing with a robbed.  Mr. Nesbit believes the bandits are after his research and the two quickly depart the train on the horses the robbers handily left tied up nearby.  Beatrix and Norman have differing views which lead to lively exchanges.  At the end of the day, Norma leaves Beatrix with her aunt who is not at all what she expected.  Beatrix has a feeling her mother is unaware of her aunt’s eccentricities or liberal views.  Norman is anxious to return to his normal life, but his thoughts keep returning to Beatrix.  That short amount of time in Beatrix’s company causes Norman to see his life and his family in a different light.  Of course, the thieves did not get what they wanted.  Lively times are ahead for Beatrix and Norman.
State street sign of marshall field's
Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano is the 3rd delightful tale in the American Heiresses series.  Each book can be read on its own, but you will be missing out if you do not read all three.  I look forward to reading Jen Turano’s novels because I am guaranteed a fun time from beginning to end.  Storing Up Trouble is a well-written story that moves along at a fast clip and includes quirky characters.  The author captured the time-period and the city of Chicago.  We get a glimpse at what life is like for ladies working at Marshall Field’s and Company as well as what suffragists endured.  I was tickled that Harry Selfridge was included in the story.  Beatrix Waterbury and Norman Nesbit are great characters.  Beatrix is an unusual woman for her era which I just loved.  Norman is like an absent-minded professor with money.  Add in Beatrix’s eccentric aunt, the women living with said aunt, Theodosia Robinson, Edgar (aka Lurch), Norman’s precocious niece, Mort, and the cats.   I laughed so often while reading Storing Up Trouble.  I enjoyed the author’s descriptions which allowed me to visualize the characters and scenes.  There was one escapade after another starting with the robbing of the train.  I could just picture Norman hanging off the horse and the cats chasing after the burglars.  The dialogue between Norman and Beatrix was amusing.  These two were meant to be together.  Storing Up Trouble has drama, action, humor, mystery, and romance.  I was sorry for this entertaining story to end.  Storing Up Trouble is a whimsical historical novel with a train theft, a bevy of bloomers, two tenacious thieves, bothersome beauty blends, working woes, the complexities of chit chat, and a problematic pistol.
Marshall Fields, c.1890s
Marshall Field's 1890s

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the the grand prize package of all three books in the American Heiresses series and a $25 Barnes & Noble eGift card.  Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click here to enter.  Good Luck!  You can pick up your copy of Storing Up Trouble from Amazon*.  The other two novels in the American Heiresses series are Flights of Fancy (available through Kindle Unlimited) and Diamond in the Rough.  Jen Turano's next novel is To Steal a Heart which is the debut of The Bleeker Street Inquiry AgencyTo Steal a Heart releases November 17.  I am eager to read it.  Thank you for joining me today.  Tomorrow I am reviewing All She Wrote by Tonya Kappes.  It is the 3rd A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery.  I hope you have a pleasing day.  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Blog Stops

Rebecca Tews, May 24
Novelscorner, May 24
Inklings and notions, May 25
Photos from 1800's to 1930's.
Simple Harvest Reads, May 27 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 28
chicago Illinois  Photograph - State Street - Chicago Illinois - C 1893 by International  Images
State Street in Chicago
Mia Reads, May 29
Betti Mace, May 30
Emily Yager, May 31
"The cars hold but six or eight persons, consequently when full half of the passengers must ride backwards-there is no water, or any other accomodations on the day cars, but they are very comfortable and much better arranged for taking a nap than our day cars. The sleeping cars are differently arranged from ours, they are in compartments for either two or four, which are all on one side of the car and can be entirely closed up, which makes them very pleasant for ladies." WSC, 1884
Hookmeinabook, June 1
Beauty in the Binding, June 3
Bicycles and Dress Reform by Les Dérailleuses / Women In Gear, via Flickr
Bicycle Costume for Women
Mary Hake, June 3
amandainpa, June 3
EmpowerMoms, June 4
Hallie Reads, June 5
Vintage Photos: Victorian Girls And Their Books, 1800s | History Daily

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