Friday, July 10, 2020

False Conclusion by Veronica Heley

False Conclusion (A Bea Abbot mystery Book 14) by [Veronica Heley]
Welcome!  South of the Buttonwood Tree by Heather Webber is out on July 21 as well as Handbook for Homicide by Lorna BarrettThe Squawking Dead by Erin Johnson releases on July 14.  It is the 7th novel in Magic Market Mysteries.  The Last of the Moon Girls by Barbara Davis publishes on August 1.  We may not be able to enjoy restaurants or the movie theater, but there are plenty of new books to read. 
Rye, East Sussex, England
False Conclusion by Veronica Heley has Bea Abbot ready to welcome Bernice, her ward, home for the summer holidays.  They have a variety of plans for the summer.  Things get off to a bumpy start when Mrs. Trescott drives Bernice home along with her niece, Evelina.  Mrs. Trescott invites Bernice to attend Evelina’s sixteenth birthday celebration as well as spend the weekend which Bernice does not want to do.  The next day, Evelina arrives in a catatonic state sent by Mrs. Trescott who wishes the girl out of the house while the police do their thing.  Evidently, Evelina found her Uncle Constant dead in his bed distressing her.  According to Bernice, Evelina is an epileptic and the medication makes the girl sleepy.  Bea questions Evelina when she rouses, and she is not happy with what she hears.  Bea decides to learn more about the Trescott family.  She suspects foul play is afoot, but she is not sure which Trescott is responsible.  
AJ Photography ๐ŸŽž on Instagram: “Honington๐Ÿ“  Honington is an English Village Honington, Warwickshire is  in the Stratford-on-Avon District of Warwickshire #honington…”
False Conclusion by Veronica Heley is the 14th A Bea Abbot Mystery (which I wish I had known before picking up this book).  I began reading False Conclusion and it felt like I was plopped down in the middle of a British dramedy.  I would not recommend False Conclusion as a standalone.  I felt like a fish out of water in the beginning, though, it did become easier as the story progressed.  There are a variety of quirky characters from Bea Abbott to Piers, her first ex-husband.  I was not a fan of any of the characters in this story.  Bernice can be kind at times, but, for the most part, she comes across as a spoiled brat.  The mystery had a variety of suspects all from the Trescott family.  If I was Evelina, I would change my last name.  Bea and her sidekicks are clever and resourceful which is handy when investigating.  I was not surprised by the identity of the guilty party.   False Conclusion was not my type of story.  I found the details to be repetitious (the same things over and over) and Bernice’s attitude was appalling (she needed a good smack).  I really did not need to know the details of each of Bernice’s fashion choices (down the shoes).  While False Conclusion was not my cup of tea, I suggest you read a sample to see if it appeals to you.  False Conclusion is a British mystery with a terrible tragedy, a portrait painter, a troubled teen, and a shrewd schemer.
open a bottle of wine and talk to them,” he told Veranda. Too funny! I wonder if they every talk back? Haha! Let’s take a tour
False Conclusion is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other novels in A Bea Abbott Mystery series here.  You can find other novels by Veronica Heley here.  Thank you for reading my review today.  I am featuring A Heartwarming Romance Collection by Wanda E. Brunstetter tomorrow.  I hope you have a fanciful day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
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Thursday, July 9, 2020

A Million Little Lies by Bette Lee Crosby

A Million Little Lies
Good Day!  Are you looking for some new books to read?  The Girls of Victory Street by Pam Howes releases on July 27 along with From Beer to Eternity by Sherry Harris and Someone's Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass. The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne by Elsa Hart publishes on August 4 and so does Piecing it All Together by Leslie GouldMums and Mayhem by Amanda Flower is out August 11.  It is so hot this summer that it is best to relax somewhere cool with a refreshing, cold beverage and read.
Dahlonega, Georgia: Small-Town Escape - Southern Living
A Million Little Lies by Bette Lee Crosby has Suzanna Duff leaving town in the middle of the night with her young daughter, Annie.  Suzanna moved in with Earl when she was pregnant after her father tossed her out.  After what happened when Earl came home drunk, Suzanna knows she needs to get Annie out of there.  A nice man takes them as far as Cousins, Georgia where she can catch a bus.  Suzanna plans on heading to New Jersey because a friend moved there three years ago.  Unfortunately, the bus had left for the day.  Annie is hungry and Suzanna notices a flyer for the memorial lunch for William Parker.  Ida Parker, the widow, grabs Suzanna’s arm and call her Darla Jean.  Ida has mistaken Suzanna for her granddaughter whom she has not seen since she was an infant.  Ida insists that they stay with her and Suzanna figures it would not hurt for one night.  Ida is lonely since her husband passed.  With the addition of Suzanna and Annie, Ida’s home comes alive and she intends to keep it that way.  Suzanna and Annie continue to live with Ida, and they become a family.  Then one day someone from Suzanna’s past arrives in town.  Suzanna has a hard choice to make.
1895 Victorian For Sale In Jasper Alabama
A Million Little Lies by Bette Lee Crosby is a heartwarming story.  It takes readers back to 1960 in a small Georgia town. I thought A Million Little Lies was well-written with realistic characters.  The characters have their good points and their foibles.  Suzanna told her first lie when she was ten years old.  It was just a white lie, but it was the beginning.  Suzanna and her daughter, Annie were living with Earl until he went too far one night while drunk.  She wants a better life for her child and Earl was not setting a good example.  Thanks to a kindly man, the pair end up in Cousins, Georgia.  Ida Parker had taken care of her husband for the last two years while the cancer took away the man she loved.  Her husband’s son, Thomas disappeared with his wife and granddaughter when he announced he was marrying Ida.  Ida misses having family.  When she spots Suzanna at her husband’s memorial, she reminds Ida of her granddaughter, Darla Jean.  A series of circumstances have Suzanna and Annie living with Ida.  A Million Little Lies is such a cute story.  It did seem that someone was watching over these three.  I was drawn right into the tale and I just kept reading until I finished it.    There is some foul language in the book that I wish had not been present.  A Million Little Lies has Southern charm, family, and wisdom.  There are good life lessons in this story with my favorite being that there is more than one type of family.   A Million Little Lies is a feel-good story that lingers with you after you finish it.  
This illustration captures the feel of newly-built 1960s suburban elementary schools.
Elementary School 1960s
A Million Little Lies is available from Amazon*.  It is available through Kindle Unlimited.  You can find Bette Lee Crosby's other novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I appreciate it.  Tomorrow I am featuring False Conclusion by Veronica Heley.  It is the 14th A Bea Abbott Mystery.  I hope you have a serene day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Flat screen televisions are decidedly minimalist compared to their forerunners. In the 1960s a television was not just a television. Frequently, it was a piece of furniture that incorporated some other fixture or object, such as a lamp, bureau or cabinet. Taken in 1969 this image depicts a woman reading a message from her combination TV-fax machine.
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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Outsider by Linda Castillo

Outsider (Kate Burkholder #12)
Welcome!  A Walk along the Beach by Debbie Macomber will be out on July 14 along with What You Wish For by Katherine CenterA Charming Deception by Tonya Kappes releases on July 30.  It is the 13th A Magical Cures Mystery.  So many books delightful new books coming out this summer!
Inside Amish life
Outsider by Linda Castillo has Adam Lengacher enjoying a sleigh ride with his three children in Painter’s Mill, Ohio when they find an abandoned vehicle with blood nearby.  Adam searches the area and finds an unconscious woman who is bleeding.  Adam takes her back to his home where she asks for Kate Burkholder, the chief of police.  When Kate arrives, she is surprised to see the woman is Gina Colorosa.  Kate and Gina shared an apartment in Columbus as well as went to the police academy together and began their careers together with Columbus Division of Police.  Kate has not seen or spoken with Gina in ten years.  Kate learns that there is a warrant out for Gina’s arrest.  Gina reported corruption within the vice unit and now they are out to eliminate her.  They have framed her for the death of a confidential informant and raided her home in an attempt to kill her.  Kate calls John Tomasetti who is her beau as well as an agent with Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.  Tomasetti is able to get little information.  Something odd is definitely going on.  They need to keep Gina under wraps until the snowstorm blows over and they can transport her to right officials.  Unfortunately, there are people who want to make sure that Gina does not talk, and they are willing to brave the heavy snowfall to accomplish it.  Will Kate be able to keep everyone safe?
Outsider by Linda Castillo is the 12th A Kate Burkholder Novel.  It can be read on its own for those new to the series, but I recommend reading this suspenseful series in order. I thought Outsider was well-written with developed characters and it moves along at a fast pace.  Outsider starts off with a bang in the prologue with Gina Colorosa, a vice unit cop from Columbus, on the run after a no-knock warrant is executed at 3 a.m. on her home.  Gina was prepared for this action and was able to escape, but she was shot in the shoulder.  Gina knows only one person whom she can trust and that is Kate Burkholder.  Adam Lengacher, an Amish widower with three children, rescues Gina and takes her into his home.  Kate is shocked when she sees Gina because it has been ten years since they parted.  Kate would not have become a police officer if not for Gina.  Gina tells Kate about corruption within the police force in Columbus.  There is suspense, action, mystery, and intrigue in Outsider.  You wonder if Gina is disclosing all the information to Kate, who is involved in the corruption, and what will happen next.  There is graphic violence in Outsider and along with an extensive amount of foul language (fair warning).  I thought Outsider was more violent than the earlier books in A Kate Burkholder series.  I like that we get to learn more about what happened to Kate after she left home, her time at the academy, and her early years on the force in Columbus.   We also discover why Kate has not spoken to Gina in ten years.  There are some cute moments in Outsider as well.  Adam’s three kids are sweet.  Sammy was my favorite.  He is a curious boy.  There was a calf who had been spurned by his mama that needed nurturing.  I like the relationship between Kate Burkholder and John Tomasetti.  They manage to balance their work and their private life.  I liked the author’s descriptive writing which brought the scenes to life.  I enjoyed the vivid word imagery of the sleigh ride especially.  I like the glimpses of Amish life which felt authentic.  Outsider is a suspenseful novel with a cute calf, a well-proportioned widower, a friend on frightful footing, substantial snowfall, corrupt cops, an auto accident, and a barrage of bullets.
Top 12 Things To Do In Pennsylvania Amish Country - Adventure Hike Travel Take a tour of The Amish Village in Strasburg. Enter through the gift shop and sign up for a guided tour of the Amish house, and then go outside to tour the stable and see the animals. I saw a baby calf only a few days old! Finish the rest of the village on your own. There’s a covered bridge, several buggies to sit on for plenty of photo ops, a blacksmith shop, one room school house, a village store
Outsider is available from Amazon* as well as other major booksellers (Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Powell's).  You can find the other novels in A Kate Burkholder series here.  Kate Burkholder's tale began with Sworn to Silence.  Thank you for joining me today.  I am heading off to do a little cleaning.  On July 9, I am featuring A Million Little Lies by Bette Lee Crosby.  I hope you have an upbeat day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Do you recognize this scene?  Which book is it from?
Louisa May Alcott's Little Women Illustrated by Rene Cloke
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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A Springtime Heart by Marta Perry

A Springtime Heart (The Promise Glen #2)
Hello!  Thank you for joining me today.  Here are a few of the new books out today:  The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs, Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook by Celia Rees, The Amish Schoolteacher by Jerry Eicher, Steadfast Mercy by Ruth Reid, Outsider by Linda Castillo, and A Springtime Heart by Marta Perry.  Which one do you want to read first?
Amish Schoolhouse in Ohio
A Springtime Heart by Marta Perry has Dorcas Beiler teaching at Orchard Hill Amish school in Promise Glen, Pennsylvania.  Seven years ago, an incident happened that had Dorcas change her ways.  Dorcas is surprised when learns that Thomas Fisher has returned to town and intends to stay.  Dorcas worries that he will reveal the secret that has been kept hidden these past seven years.  She must be on her guard and not give the community any reason to gossip.  Thomas Fisher has returned to open his own construction company and the reunite with his family.  He would like to renew his friendship with Dorcas, but she acts skittish around him.  Thomas gets an opportunity to spend more time with Dorcas when he commits to make repairs on the schoolhouse stable.  It will allow people to see his work plus Thomas will get to spend time with Dorcas.  Can they overcome the past in order to have a happy future together?
THE AMISH COOK BY GLORIA YODER Today, we as a church had an excellent time together at what we call our “annual school picnic.” For the last five weeks the three teachers and 22 students in our little
A Springtime Heart by Marta Perry is the 2nd A Promise Glen Novel.  It can be read as a standalone if you have not read A Christmas Home.  I thought A Springtime Heart was well-written with realistic characters and a lovely setting.  I enjoyed returning to Promise Glen, Pennsylvania.  I was happy to see Sarah Yoder Raber from A Christmas Home in this story. We get a chance to see how she is doing since she married and became a mother to Noah Raber’s twin boys.  I liked the characters in this story.  I thought they were realistic with their own insecurities and foibles.  There is humor sprinkled throughout mostly from the children’s antics.  There are side stories in A Springtime Heart that add complexity and depth to the book.  Dorcas’ sister-in-law, Betsy is a new mother living with her in-laws.  She has a Martha Stewart type mother (who seems to do everything and does it well) which has caused Betsy’s insecurities.  Someone is out to shut down the Orchard Hill Amish school and Dorcas wants to find a way to stop it.  She loves teaching and does not want the community to lose its school.  Gossip is spreading fast through their community.  The latest tidbit could cost Dorcas her job and reputation.  There is also a slowly blossoming romance if only one of the parties will stay in town.  I enjoyed reading A Springtime Heart.  It is a sweet and charming Amish story.  I hope we get more books set in Promise Glen.  A Springtime Heart is a pleasant Amish tale with growing gossip, shadowy secrets, blooming blossoms, required repairs, a thorny romance, and springtime zeal.
A Springtime Heart is available from Amazon*.  The first A Promise Glen Novel is A Christmas Home.  Thank you for reading my review.  Tomorrow I am reviewing Outsider by Linda Castillo.  It is the 12th A Kate Burkholder Novel.  I hope that you have a joyful day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Blue Sofa | Linda Prater
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Monday, July 6, 2020

Promises of Tomorrow by Shelley Shepard Gray

Promises of Tomorrow (Walnut Creek Series, The) by [Shelley Shepard Gray]
Welcome!  If you are looking for new Amish novels to read this summer, then check out these upcoming releases.  The Amish Schoolteacher by Jerry Eicher and Steadfast Mercy by Ruth Reid are out tomorrow, July 7.  Morning Star by Charlotte Hubbard is out July 28 along with Romancing Nadine by Amy LillardThe Mockingbird's Song by Wanda E. Brunstetter publishes on August 1 and Peace in the Valley by Kelly Irvin is out on August 4.  
Promises of Tomorrow by Shelley Shepard Gray has the Eight which now consists of Marie, John, E.A., Katie, Harley, Kendra, Nate, Logan, and Tricia spending a weekend in December in a cabin in the woods in Ohio.  It has been two years since they lost Andy Warner.  It took months for them to arrange this weekend away and the cabin that Marie rented does not match the pictures online.  The fellows are out getting wood to start a fire and return with Elizabeth “Beth” Trainor.  Beth went for a walk and ended up lost.  With the snow rapidly falling, the group insist Beth spend the night.  They can tell that something is troubling her and get Beth to open up.  It is soon apparent that God led Beth to them for a reason.
Woman walking to a hut in the snowy woods | free image by / Jack Anstey
Promises of Tomorrow by Shelley Shepard Gray is a novella that is #4.5 in The Walnut Creek Series.  I thought Promises of Tomorrow was well-written with steady pacing and developed characters.  It is best that this series be read in order otherwise you will be lost plus it will spoil the previous books for you.  The story begins with Mr. & Mrs. Warner having their annual “It’s December!” holiday party where it is Marie’s turn to share a tale about Andy.  This side story is told in small parts before each chapter.  I like how it had me laughing as it unfolded.  The Eight which has changed since the series began, all meet to share a couple’s retreat weekend before the holidays begin.  They encounter Beth Trainor who also rented a nearby cabin, but she became lost while walking.  Because of the heavy snowfall and approaching nightfall, the group gets Beth to agree to stay with them overnight.  It turns out to be what the group and Beth needed.  They get a chance to help a woman in need which in turns helps them as well.  The main themes in Promises of Tomorrow are grief and hope.  I like how the group of friends lift each other up.  There are two phrases from Promises of Tomorrow that I wanted to share.  “Everything was easier with friends” is the first one.  The second phrase was provided by Beth when she said, “That there is always, always the promise of tomorrow.” In this novella, we see that God puts us where we need to be when we need to be there.  Promises of Tomorrow is an uplifting and inspiring story.  
It may not be winter, but you can still take a ride on some of Guggisberg Swiss Inn's horses for a fun adventure! CLICK HERE for more on the Guggisberg Swiss Inn at! #Amish #Guggisberg #Horses #Ohio
Promises of Tomorrow is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other novels and novellas in The Walnut Creek Series hereTake the Lead by Shelley Shepard Gray comes out September 8.  It is the 2nd book in The Dance With Me series.  Thank you for joining me today and reading my review.  I will return tomorrow with A Springtime Heart by Marta Perry.  It is the 2nd book in The Promise Glen series.  I do hope you have a blissful day.  Take care of yourself, stay safe (wear a mask when out in public), and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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Sunday, July 5, 2020

Witch Hunt by Cate Conte: Review & Giveaway!

Witch Hunt

A Full Moon Mystery

by Cate Conte

About Witch Hunt

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496717600
ISBN-13: 978-1496717603
Digital ASIN: B083TQX2CT
Murder isn’t always crystal-clear . . . especially when the prime suspect discovers she’s a witch.

Violet Mooney owns The Full Moon crystal shop in quaint North Harbor, Connecticut. Still grieving her beloved grandmother’s recent unexpected death, she takes comfort in her fat orange cat Monty and her work. Not everyone in town is thrilled with her business, however. When disagreeable town councilwoman Carla Fernandez picks a fight over Violet’s "voodoo shop," the two have a very public confrontation. Of course, when Carla turns up dead, Violet gets little sympathy from the police as suspect #1.

But the shock of two policemen showing up at her door pales in comparison to the sudden appearance of her estranged mother Fiona and a surprise sister, Zoe. What Fiona reveals will rock her world and her sense of self—and reawaken her long-dormant mysterious power. Good thing. She’s gonna need it . . .
moonflowerspirits: “Yay today we reached 12k! Thank you so much to all my followers & customers for the continued support. ”

About Cate Conte

Cate Conte is the alter ego of Liz Mugavero. Liz is the author of A Pawsitively Organic Mystery series from Kensington Books, the first of which was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. Cate is the author of the new A Full Moon Mysteries for Kensington and writes A Cat Cafe Mystery series for Minotaur Books. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.
All About Gemstones Part VII

Author Links

Happy full moon and lunar eclipse blessings Crystals used in this grid are Celestine in the centre, Blue Kyanite, Rose Quartz, Herkimer Diamond, Tibetan Quartz, Clear Quartz, Avalonite, Rainbow Moonstone, Rodochrosite, Morganite and Kunzite ✨ #crystalgrid #crystalhealing #crystals #chakrahealing #healingcrystals #bohemian #boho

My Thoughts

Witch Hunt by Cate Conte has Violet Mooney living in North Harbor, Connecticut with her cat and she owns The Full Moon, a crystal shop.  She is picking up coffee with her best friend, Sydney when Councilwoman Carla Fernandez comes up and starts berating her about a supposed sรฉance.  After a very strange day, Violet goes home and takes a long nap.  She is awakened by two policemen pounding on her door.  Carla was found dead outside the yoga studio that Violet attends with Violet’s new scarf on the body.  Violet is taken to the police station to give her statement and she is shocked when her estranged mother, Fiona appears with her other daughter, Zoe.  Fiona reveals surprising information to Violet that she has hard time accepting as truth.  Violet avoids her mother while searching for Carla’s killer.  She does wonder if the powers her mother hinted that she has are real because they might come in handy.
Reflect. Release. Create. All while giving back.2018 is almost over + what a year. Let's celebrate the highs + the lows. The win's + the fails {they are equally as important as the wins}. Lessons learned. We will reflect on what did work, what didn't work...#heal #health #selflove
Witch Hunt is the debut of A Full Moon Mystery series.  Violet Mooney is grieving the loss of her grandmother, Abigail who died a month prior.  Violet is grateful for her friends in North Harbor now that she is without her grandmother and father.  She owns a crystal shop called The Full Moon where she provides consultations.  I have mixed feelings about Violet.  She seems awfully naรฏve for a 32 year old woman and her attitude left a lot to be desired at times. I hope we see growth in Violet’s character as the series progresses plus, she needs a new boyfriend.  As Fiona said Todd is subpar.  The mystery of who killed Carla had several suspects and a red herring.  Violet asks questions and does some snooping along with eavesdropping.  She likes to think about the case and speculate.  I did feel that the case information was repetitious.  I was able to pinpoint the killer soon after the crime, but I did not know why until much later.    I thought Witch Hunt was nicely written with steady pacing.  The magical element was interesting, and I enjoyed how Fiona left glitter everywhere.  I would like to see the magical element ramped up in the future (more witches using their power and learn more about the witchy world).  There is a lot happening in this debut novel with a murder, Violet’s boyfriend acting sketchy, Sydney acting oddly, appearance of Violet’s mom and sister, learning about new magical powers, a mysterious black cat, and a critical reporter.  Witch Hunt is a spellbinding new cozy mystery with a mystifying moggy, curative crystals, glorious glitter, a callous councilwoman, a bothersome boyfriend, a fetching friend, and mysterious magic. 
artisticlog: Where would you put something like this?
Witch Hunt can be purchased from AmazonB&N, and Kobo.  As part of the the tour, the author is hosting a giveaway.  Cate Conte is giving away five (5) ARCs (advanced reader copies) of Witch Hunt.  You can click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Leave a comment for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  Thank you for visiting today.  I hope you had a fun holiday and that you have an enchanted day.  I am featuring Promises of Tomorrow by Shelley Shepard Gray tomorrow.  It is the 7th novel in The Walnut Creek Series.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
 Blue abstract glitter trail background made of defocused lights. Blue glitter tr , #Affiliate, #glitter, #abstract, #Blue, #trail, #lights #ad

Tour Participants

June 29 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

June 29 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 29 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 30 - Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 30 - Thoughts in Progress – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 30 - The Book Decoder – REVIEW
✨Brewing up some magic in the studio today!✨Finishing a batch of #galaxy #crystal boxes for some pre orders and I’m happy to announce that…

July 1 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 1 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW

July 2 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

July 2 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 2 – Angel's Guilty Pleasures – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
Kitchen Witch interior | Philipe LaMancusa - Kitchen Witch C… | Flickr

July 3 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

July 3 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 4 – OFF

July 5 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

July 5 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒœ ๐‘ฐ๐’๐’”๐’•๐’‚ ๐˜พ๐™ง๐™ฎ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ก๐™จ ๐ŸŒ›⭐ on Instagram: “How amazing is this room?? ๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’œ๐ŸŒ™ Tag someone who would live this!! Follow @insta.crystals .  credit: @amarisland . . . . . . . #crystal…”

July 6 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW

July 6 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

July 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

July 7 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT

Elizabeth Montgomery reading The Omni-Directional Three-Dimensional Vectoring Paper Printed Omnibus for Bewitched Analysis a.k.a. The Bewitched History Book. By David L. Pierce. "Within these pages you will learn everything about America’s favorite witch, Samantha Stephens, her dreary mortal husband, Durwood, er, Darrin, and the grand host of witches, warlocks, and marvelous mortals who accompanied them on their journey as newlyweds to the parents of a little witch and warlock of their ...
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Saturday, July 4, 2020

The Last Curtain Call by Juliet Blackwell

Happy 4th of July! ~ vintage postcard board with art by Ellen H. Clapsaddle | from Moonlight & Roses via Christmas Traditions shop
Happy Fourth of July!

The Last Curtain Call (Haunted Home Renovation Mystery #8)
Welcome!  I hope everyone is having a happy and safe Fourth of July!  My mother and I (along with the fur babies) are enjoying a quiet day.  I will be grilling hamburgers for our dinner tonight.  Unfortunately, there will be no fireworks tonight because of the pandemic.  What are doing for Independence Day?
The Epic History of the Castro Theatre, a San Francisco and LGBTQ Landmark - Curbed SF
Similar to Crockett Theater in book
The Last Curtain Call by Juliet Blackwell has Mel Turner working on renovating the home Landon Demetrius purchased for them.  A renovation can make or break a couple.  Unfortunately, Landon and Mel have very different ideas when it comes this beautiful old home.  Plus, Mel discovers an unexpected occupant in a hidden closet in the attic.  Mel has a meeting with Gregory Thibodeaux regarding renovating the Crockett Theater in San Francisco.  Despite the toll time has taken on the historic building, Mel admires the Moroccan Renaissance architecture with Art Deco influences.  The one problem is the squatters that currently occupy the space.  While touring the property, Mel can smell freshly popped popcorn.  As the Mighty Wurlitzer starts rising from below the stage, a ghostly audience appears.  She then sees one of the theater’s residents draped across the organ and they are not moving.  Mel dials Inspector Annette Crawford who cannot believe that she has found another victim.  Mel, of course, begins investigating and finds some clues that lead her back to the individual currently occupying the attic of Mel’s future home.  Will Mel solve the case, or will she end up as the theater’s next victim?
The Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ
A Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ
The Last Curtain Call by Juliet Blackwell the 8th A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series, but I recommend this spirited cozy mystery series.  Melanie “Mel” Turner learned construction from her father and she now runs Turner Construction which specializes in renovating historic homes.  Mel is a smart and gutsy woman with special abilities that she inherited from her mother.  I would like to see Mel embrace her gift fully.  Mel recently became engaged to Landon Demetrius, a math professor.  There is some tension between them over the renovation and Mel’s inability to set a wedding date.  I thought The Last Curtain Call was well-written with developed characters and steady pacing.  I love the humor in the story that had me chuckling frequently.  I also enjoyed all the paranormal activity in this story.  Spooky sounds and a variety of ghosts liven up this tale.  The mystery was entertaining with a variety of suspects, active investigating, and misdirection.  Mel questions a diverse group of people in her quest to find the killer.  There are ghostly clues and suspense.  I like how everything tied together and wrapped up at the end.  It was great that the author included Lily Ivory and Oscar from A Witchcraft Mystery series (just love that series).  I cannot wait for the next A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery.  The Last Curtain Call is an enchanting cozy mystery with renovation rows, spooky specters, taboo tenants, a historic haven, and multiple murder mysteries.
Charlie Chaplin -- The Little Tramp
The Last Curtain Call can be obtained from Amazon*.  You can find the other titles in A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery series here.  You can find Juliet Blackwell's A Witchcraft Mystery series here (delightful cozy mystery series starring Lily Ivory).  Thank you for reading my review.  I hope that you have a spectacular day.  I am a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Witch Hunt by Cate Conte tomorrow.  Have a wonderful Fourth of July!  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

Vintage women reading MORE vintage: #ArtDeco #VintageReading #1920s
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Friday, July 3, 2020

Still Knife Painting by Cheryl Hollon: Review & Giveaway!

Still Knife Painting 

A Paint & Shine Mystery

by Cheryl Hollon

About Still Life Painting

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496725247
ISBN-13: 978-1496725240
Digital ASIN: B07W8VL149
Miranda Trent has set up a sweet life in a scenic corner of Appalachia—until she stumbles across the trail of a killer . . .

After inheriting her uncle’s Red River Gorge homestead in Eastern Kentucky—smack dab in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest—Miranda comes up with a perfect business plan for summer tourists: pairing outdoor painting classes with sips of local moonshine, followed by a mouthwatering sampler of the best in southern cooking.

To Miranda’s delight, Paint & Shine is a total success—until someone kills the cook. As the town’s outsider, suspicion naturally falls on Miranda. Murdering the best biscuit baker of Red River Gorge is a high crime in these parts. Miranda will have to prove her innocence before she’s moved from farmhouse to jail cell faster than she can say “white lightning” . . .
Vintage Still. This vintage still was once used to produce moonshine whiskey whi , #AFF, #produce, #vintage, #Vintage, #moonshine, #Lightning #ad
Old Fashioned Still

About Cheryl Hollon

Cheryl Hollon now writes full-time after she left an engineering career of designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind her house in St. Petersburg, Florida, Cheryl and her husband design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass, and painted glass artworks. Cheryl is the author of A Webb's Glass Shop Mystery series set in St. Petersburg, Florida. Visit her online at, on Facebook or on Twitter @CherylHollon.
Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine
Ole Smoky Moonshine 

My Thoughts

Still Knife Painting by Cheryl Hollon has classical portrait artist, Miranda making changes to her life.  Miranda Trent has inherited her uncle’s farmhouse in Kentucky where she starts Paint & Shine.  Paint & Shine involves a hike in the Daniel Boone National Forest to Lover’s Leap where they have a plein air painting class.  Miranda then transports the group to her farmhouse for a Southern meal where each course is paired with moonshine.  Her first group is a success until the cook, Mrs. Naomi Childers turns up dead in the kitchen.  When Miranda finds herself on the suspect list, she begins nosing around and asking questions. Miranda must evade the police and someone intent on burning down her farmhouse.  
Sears & Roebuck Kit House (similar to Miranda's)
Still Knife Painting is the ebut of A Paint and Shine Mystery series.  I like the premise of this new fetching cozy mystery series.  The author took the time to introduce the characters and set the stage for the series.  I enjoyed the rich descriptions of Kentucky and Miranda’s farmhouse (a Sears & Roebuck kit home).  I had mixed feelings regarding Miranda.  She was a hard worker and a determined woman who was passionate about her art and moonshine.  She is an observant person which is helpful to the investigation.  Miranda, though, could be snappish at times and a little rude.  I must give her the benefit of the doubt since Miranda is starting a new business, found a dead woman in her kitchen, experiencing financial difficulties, and found herself a suspect in Naomi’s murder.  I found myself liking her more at the end.  Miranda is a flawed individual which makes her realistic along with the other characters in this cozy mystery.  I just loved her adorable puppy, Sandy.  There is humor sprinkled throughout the story and I just loved the Barney Fife references.  The mystery was interesting with multiple suspects and subtle clues.  I was able to identify the guilty party early in the story, but I had no clue as to why.  I liked following Miranda as she asked questions and dug for clues.  Wolfe County Sheriff Richard Larson and his wife, Felicia who is the county coroner are likeable characters. I appreciated that Miranda kept Sheriff Larson up to date.  There is a rivalry between Sheriff Larson and Detective Otis E. Peterson from the Lexington Homicide Division.  We learn why these two men are at odds with each other.  There were some quirky characters like Doris Ann and Officer Gary Spenser.  I liked learning about the area as well as the traditions of the people who live there.  Southerners have their own way of doing things and gossip flows faster than syrup on hot pancakes.   I thought Still Knife Painting was well-written and it moved along at a good pace.  I was not a fan of the point-of-view switching from Miranda to other characters because it took me out of the story.  I hope we get to learn more about the uncle’s will in the next book.  The details were skimpy.  I enjoyed my time in Kentucky while reading Still Knife Painting and I look forward to returning in the next A Paint and Shine Mystery. There are moonshine cocktail recipes as well as recipes for the food Miranda served at the farmhouse at the end of the hbook. Still Knife Painting is an engaging new Southern cozy mystery with rampant rumors, plein air painting, cultural cuisine, a killer knife, a precious puppy, and merry moonshine.  
Plein Air Art Supplies: Choosing the Right Paint Box #painting #outdoors #artsupplies
Still Knife Painting can be purchased from AmazonB&N, and Kobo.  As part of the tour, the author is hosting a giveaway.  Five (5) people will win an ARC of Still Knife Painting.  To enter, please click here or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Do not forget to leave a comment for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow (for the Fourth of July) I am featuring The Last Curtain Call by Juliet Blackwell.  It is the 8th A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery.  I hope you have a cheerful day and a fun Fourth of July. Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Carry on! What to Pack for Plein Air Painting | Kathleen Dunphy - Blog
Hiking to painting site with art supplies in backpack

Tour Participants

June 29 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 30 - The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

June 30 - The Book Decoder – REVIEW 

July 1 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT

July 1 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

July 2 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

July 2 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

The Natural Arch Loop Trail is located in the Daniel Boone National Forest.

July 3 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT

July 3 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

July 4 – OFF

July 5 – Cozy Up with Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 5 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 6 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW

July 6 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
Lover's Leap
Lover's Leap

July 7 – Brianne's Book Reviews - REVIEW

July 7 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

July 8 – Thoughts in Progress – CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

July 9 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Hemlock Lodge in Stanton, KY
Hemlock Lodge

July 9 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 10 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

July 10 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 11 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

July 11 – Here's How It Happened – GUEST POST

July 12 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST 

July 12 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

July 13 – La libreria di Beppe - SPOTLIGHT
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