Thursday, April 11, 2024

Blizzard at Blue Ridge Inn by Pat Nichols


Blizzard at Blue Ridge Inn

About the Book

Three strangers stranded in a North Georgia inn confront lies from their pasts and experience the healing power of friendship.

Amanda Sullivan is desperately trying to save her crumbling second marriage. Will celebrating her ninth anniversary with her husband in Blue Ridge breathe new life into their troubled relationship?

Erica Parker suspects her husband is unfaithful. She vows to learn if her distrust is real or imagined.

Wendy Peterson can hardly wait for the birth of her baby with her wealthy husband, until a shopping spree in the quaint tourist town shatters everything.

When a once-in-a-century snowstorm blankets the country and delays their husbands’ arrivals, the perfectionist, the peacemaker, and the socializer find themselves alone at the historic Blue Ridge Inn. During two days of isolation, they overcome the differences in their ages and lifestyles to discover they have a lot in common. As the temperature rises and the snow begins to melt, a stranger delivers shocking news. Their stay at the inn is no accident.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Award-winning author, Pat Nichols is proving it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Nine years after retiring from a twenty-seven-year corporate career with an international beauty company, her love for writing resurfaced and prompted her to launch career number two as a novelist. Now she draws on her experience to write stories with tension-laced challenges and heart-warming triumphs. The Secret of Willow Inn is a 2020 Selah Award winner. Starstruck in Willow Falls is a NGCWC Georgia Peach Award winner. Her short story The Vet and Valentine Day also won a NGCWC Georgia Peach Award.

Pat is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Word Weavers International. She has been featured on WATC Television Atlanta Alive, in Southern Writer’s Magazine, and in Voyager Magazine.

More from Pat

Nestled in Chattahoochee National Forest, Southern Living Magazine named Blue Ridge, Georgia as one of 2022 South’s Best Mountain Towns. The first time my husband and I visited the town, we were impressed with the galleries, shops, Scenic Railway, and the friendly vibe. Although I was writing a series set near Savannah, the idea of Blue Ridge staring in a new series took root. When I finished writing the last book in the Butler Family series the idea had blossomed.

Another trip to the iconic town. This time to identify a setting for book one about Amanda, Erica, and Wendy, strangers who find themselves stranded in a cozy inn during a blizzard. We found the Blue Ridge Inn Bed and Breakfast. Perfect! I pressed the front-door buzzer. When I explained my mission to the woman who responded, she took my number and promised the owner would contact us. An hour later John Lavin met us on the front porch. He graciously gave us a tour and shared the 1890 Victorian home’s history.

Writing a fictional story set in a historic inn steps from the train depot and downtown Blue Ridge was inspiring. In fact, I’ve dedicated Blizzard at Blue Ridge Inn to John and guests who stay at the inn. In June, my husband and I plan to spend our anniversary in the suite reserved for Erica. We’ll ride the train and enjoy dinner at the Black Sheep restaurant, a scene in Blue Ridge series book two. By that time, book three will be finished. Then on to book four.

My Thoughts

Blizzard at Blue Ridge Inn by Pat Nichols is a charming story.  I was quickly drawn in and I was curious to see how the three ladies would handle their predicament.  I like the author’s engaging writing style.  The characters are developed and relatable.  The three women are different based on first appearances (age, clothing styles, abodes), but we soon learn they have quite a bit in common.  I enjoyed watching the relationships develop between Amanda, Erica, Wendy, Abby, and Morgan (and Dusty too). The women along with the teen girls will need to be strong if they are going to handle what lies ahead.  The twists kept coming for these ladies.  They have their work cut out for them.   I like the town of Blue Ridge, Georgia.  I look forward to meeting more of the friendly town residents in the next book.  Blizzard at Blue Ridge Inn is about trust, friendship, strength, courage, and family.  I hope the next book in the series will be out soon.  

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Pat is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!  Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click here to enter.  Good Luck!

Blizzard at Blue Ridge Inn is available from Amazon*.  You can read it for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited.  The second book in the Blue Ridge Series is The InheritanceThe Wedding is the third book in the Blue Ridge Series and it will be out on August 13.  I have a cousin who lives in Blue Ridge, Georgia.  The pictures in today's post show Blue Ridge and the surrounding mountains.   Thank you for stopping by today.  I will return on April 16 with A Twinkle of Trouble by Daryl wood Gerber.  It is the fifth A Fairy Garden Mystery. Before you depart, do not forget to enter the giveaway (can you imagine all the books you can get for $50). I hope that you have a delightful weekend.  Take care and Happy Reading!

 

 Kris

The Avid Reader

Blog Stops


The Avid Reader, April 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 12

Stories By Gina, April 13 (Author Interview)

Devoted To Hope, April 13 (Spotlight)

Texas Book-aholic, April 14

Artistic Nobody, April 15 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 16

Girls in White Dresses, April 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 18

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, April 19 (Author Interview)

Splashes of Joy, April 19

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 20

For Him and My Family, April 21

An Author’s Take, April 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 23

She Lives To Read, April 24

*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book.  I am not required to leave a review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

The Poison Pen by Paige Shelton

The Poison Pen

Book Summary

The Poison Penthe ninth installment in the Scottish Bookshop series by Paige Shelton, set in a specialty bookstore in Edinburgh called The Cracked Spine.

Edinburgh is mourning recent the death of Queen Elizabeth II when Bookseller Delaney Nichols's boss comes to her with a most unusual assignment. An old friend of his, living in an estate in the village of Roslin, has found what could be a priceless relic on her property, and Delaney is tasked with investigating. Could Jolie possibly have an item of breathtaking Scottish historical significance in her possession? But when Delaney arrives at Jolie's estate, she is greeted by a legal team with a vested interest in the property. Jolie manages to remove the interlopers, but as they're examining the priceless item, they hear a scream, and meet a much less welcome discovery: a body.
As Delaney digs deeper, she discovers Jolie's own fascinating history. Jolie's mother had long claimed that her daughter was the rightful heir to the throne, not Elizabeth II, because of an affair she claimed to have with King Edward VIII. The only evidence, however, is in the form of a purported journal that one of Edward’s secretaries kept. The puzzles become more confusing when a connection is uncovered between this far-fetched story and the murdered man. Delaney will have to read between the lines to put together the pieces...or become history herself.

My Thoughts

The Poison Pen by Paige Shelton is the ninth A Scottish Bookshop Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone as the author provides the background information needed for new readers (or those who have missed a book or two).  We get to meet an old friend of Edwin’s who is amusing and eccentric.    Jolie adds humor to the story.  It was interesting learning about Crusader swords.  I like how the author incorporates streets and buildings from Edinburgh.  Jolie’s mother claimed that her daughter was the legitimate heir to the throne.  History of the monarchy was included.  You can tell the author did her research for this installment.  I liked that Elias was more involved in this story.  Delaney finds the mystery interesting.  She searches for clues and asks questions.  Delaney digs into the past and finds some intriguing information.  Delaney will need to assemble the pieces if she is to identify the killer.  I liked the who dunit, but I did not find it a challenge to solve.  There was a detail that stuck out and it came up more than once.  I enjoyed the reveal.  I did, though, find the pacing in The Poison Pen to be too leisurely (needed more action).  The Poison Pen is a Scottish cozy with a Crusader sword, a humorous hoarder, book talk, ancestry anecdotes, and a new Treasure Trove director.  

The Poison Pen is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other eight A Scottish Bookshop Mysteries here.  You can find all of Paige Shelton's novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I am a stop on the Celebrate Lit Tour for Blizzard at Blue Ridge Inn by Pat Nichols.  It is the first book in the Blue Ridge Series. I hope that you will join me.  I am going to spend the afternoon working on one of the hall closets.  It is a mess (it is to the point where the door is getting hard to close).  I have a feeling there are many items that I no longer need stuffed inside that closet.  I am determined to get the house organized (despite my mother claiming we need each item I wish to discard).  Wish me luck!  I hope you have a cheery day. Take care and Happy Reading!


Kris

The Avid Reader

*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book.  I am not required to leave a review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

The Songbird of Hope Hill by Kim Vogel Sawyer

 The Songbird of Hope Hill
Book Summary

Driven by survival to a life at a house of ill repute, Birdie Clarkson now longs only for escape. So when Reverend Isaiah Overly and his son, Ephraim, appear and offer a better life, she jumps at the chance. Ignoring the furious raging of the madam, Birdie climbs into the back of the preacher’s wagon. 
 
The men take her to Hope Hill, the haven the reverend and his wife, Ophelia, founded so women like Birdie can be taught skills to help them rise above their pasts. Soon a resistant Birdie finds herself singing in the choir Ephraim leads at revival meetings, even though she’s certain she’s the last person who should be representing God. 
 
Reverend Overly teaches that no one is irredeemable, but even as Ephraim is falling in love with her, Birdie remains convinced that she’s past saving. After all she’s been through, can she ever believe that God’s redemption wipes every soul clean? And can Ephraim convince her that God loves her more than she can grasp—and that he does, too?

My Thoughts

The Songbird of Hope Hill by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a touching, hopeful tale. The characters’ backgrounds are complex and some of them took the whole book to unfold.  I enjoyed watching the relationships develop between the characters.  Faith is woven into the story, but I did feel it was a little heavy handed (very preachy).  The story is told from different characters’ perspectives including Birdie.  While it did allow me to understand the characters better along with their struggles, it was also confusing, and it kept me from becoming immersed in the story.  Besides trying to keep track of the characters, I was trying to remember the various subplots.  The pacing is leisurely. 

I liked that romance was not the focus of the book.  The romance was sweet, and I like that it began (and is based on) as a friendship.  The ending was hurried and tied up a little too neatly (of course, a happy ending is expected).  While there were things that I did not like, The Songbird of Hope Hill is a beautiful story.  I love that we get to see Reverend Overly and his wife, Ophelia as well as their son, Ephraim go out of their way to offer women of the evening a way out of that life.  The Overly’s treated everyone with kindness and respect.  I liked the message that none of us are without sin and that we should not judge others (especially when they are bettering themselves and putting their past behind them).  The Songbird of Hope Hill is a poignant tale with a resolute reverend, a prayed for liberation, angelic vocals, perturbing dissenters, newfound friends, and a joyful future.

The Songbird of Hope Hill is available from Amazon*.  You can find Kim Vogel Sawyer's other novels here.  Thank you for joining me today.  I hope I have helped you to find a new book to read (or add a book to your large TBR stack).  Tomorrow I am featuring The Poison Pen by Paige Shelton.  It is the ninth A Scottish Bookshop Mystery.  I am off to do some housework.  The house will not dust itself.  I tried to get the cats to use their tails to dust the furniture, but they did not cooperate. Dickens and Bucky (short for  Buckeye--she is a toirtoise and has the colors of a buckeye in her fur) have just turned fourteen (born at Easter).  They are sisters (Dickens is an orange tabby and lives up to her name).   I hope that you have a cheerful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


Kris

The Avid Reader

*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book.  I am not required to leave a review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

A Book Club's Guide to Murder and Mayhem by Bethany Barker

A Book Club's Guide 

to 

Murder & Mayhem 

Book Summary

A dead body, a large inheritance from an ex-boyfriend, a scam netting three-quarters of a million dollars, and a love attraction throw Suzie Tuft’s serene writing life into chaos.

Textbook writer, Suzie Tuft, discovers a body near her rural home and learns he was an attorney from the estate of her deceased ex-boyfriend, who bequeathed her a small fortune. Suzie’s life is thrown into chaos when she is threatened by the ex’s crazy live-in girlfriend and his unsavory friends looking to recover nearly a million dollars from a con they executed him.

Fortunately, Suzie has her book club friends to help her unravel the mystery, all while falling in love with the handsome detective investigating the murder.  

A Book Club’s Guide to Murder & Mayhem is the first book in A Suzie Tuft Mystery series in which a textbook writer recruits her book club friends to help find the killer of the victim she found near her rural home.

My Thoughts

A Book Club’s Guide to Murder and Mayhem by Bethany Barker is the debut of A Suzie Tuft Mysteries.  I found the story to be easy to read.  We get to meet Suzie Tuft along with her best friend, Jess, and her close circle of friends.  I liked Suzie’s dog, Hunter.  He is protective of Suzie as well as a sweetheart.  The characters needed to be fleshed out more, especially Suzie.  The mystery begins early in the story with Suzie discovering the victim on a walk with Hunter.  The gruff lead detective (Detective Whiteford) was annoying and his partner (Detective Pagarelli), naturally, was handsome (it was obvious that Suzie was attracted to him).  

I wish the whodunit had been more complex.  It was evident early on who was the guilty party along with the motive.  Suzie and her book club work together to discover the killer’s identity along with why Suzie’s ex-boyfriend left her the sizeable inheritance.  There is flirtation between Suzie and Detective Pagarelli and Suzie spends time thinking about the kind (and handsome) detective.  There is a repetition of key details (that Detective Pagarelli is handsome is mentioned fourteen times and that the other detective is gruff sixteen times).  A Book Club’s Guide to Murder and Mayhem is a nice story, but it did not hold my attention.  

A Book Club's Guide to Murder and Mayhem is available from Amazon*.  Thank you for visiting today.  I will return on Tuesday, April 9 with The Songbird of Hope Hill by Kim Vogel Sawyer.  I will busy the rest of the week taking care of some tests and car troubles.  I went to Walmart for an oil change.  I needed several things done to the car (I thought I would get it all taken care of at once).  They told me they could provide the oil change, but that was it.  They did not have anyone certified to put in transmission fluid.  I was surprised since their website said they offered all the services that I requested (I needed a new air filter, the right blinker bulb changed, and the back windshield wiper replaced).  Now the dreaded check engine light is on.  I will be able to get some reading done while work is being done on the car.   Thank you for listening to my rant!  I hope that you have a lovely week.  Take care and Happy Reading!

Kris

The Avid Reader

*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book.  I am not required to leave a review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Courting an Amish Bishop by Mindy Steele

 Courting an Amish Bishop
Book Summary

No One Is Ever Too Old to Love Again

Full of faith, hope, and romance, this new series takes you into the Heart of Amish country.

Simon Graber became a widower and a bishop early in life. His focus is solely on his very close-knit Old Order Amish community—not entertaining the idea of marriage, despite what many of the elders think. When sickness comes to Cherry Grove, Kentucky, Simon reaches out into the next community for help. But help is beginning to look a lot like a second chance when Stella Schmucker agrees to offer her vast herbal knowledge to the sick. Can it be that these two, who have been too busy serving others to entertain the idea of love, have met at just the perfect time for an unlikely courtship?

My Thoughts

Courting an Amish Bishop by Mindy Steele is a sweet story.  My attention was captured right away.  I enjoyed getting to know Stella Schmucker and Bishop Simon Graber.  Bishop Graber’s son, Michael added humor to the story.  It was interesting learning about the various herbs and their uses.  I can tell that the author did her research.  Those struck down with this virulent strain of flu in Cherry Grove, Kentucky certainly needed Stella and her knowledge.  I liked the fact that Stella and Simon were middle-aged (instead of a man and woman in their early twenties).       There are life and faith lessons throughout the story. Courting an Amish Bishop is the fourth book in The Heart of the Amish series, but it can be read as a standalone.  This was an enjoyable story to read.  Courting an Amish Bishop is a heartwarming Amish tale with benevolent bishop, a pervasive sickness, healing herbs, a cliffside house, a nasty storm, and a close-knit community.

Courting an Amish Bishop is availabe from Amazon*.  The next book in The Heart of the Amish series is Mary's Calico Hope by Anne Blackburne which comes out May 15, 2024.  You can find the other novels in The Heart of the Amish series here.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will sharing my thoughts on A Book Club's Guide to Murder and Mayhem by Bethany Barker tomorrow.  I hope that you have idyllic day.  Take care and Happy Reading.  


Kris

The Avid Reader

*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book.  I am not required to leave a review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

The Secret Ingredient to Murder by Terry Ambrose

 The Secret Ingredient to Murder

Book Summary

In Seaside Cove, every truffle has a dark side.


The peaceful paradise of Seaside Cove gets a rude awakening when the home of newcomers Tyler Winkle and his spirited niece, Veronica Campbell, gets turned upside down. The only thing missing? The family’s secret chocolate recipe that Tyler kept in a safe.

When a man who wanted to buy the recipe is murdered, B&B owner Rick Atwood joins forces with the police once again. Rick quickly discovers two disturbing facts. First, the case is as hard to crack as a good truffle. Second, his thirteen-year-old daughter, Alex, has launched a shadow investigation.

Out of desperation to solve the case, Police Chief Adam Cunningham asks Alex to go undercover. But that's not Rick's worst fear. He's also discovered that Veronica and Alex are bonding despite their age difference. Caught between his roles as a father and an investigator, Rick faces a tough decision: put a stop to Alex's involvement or crack the case.

My Thoughts

The Secret Ingredient to Murder by Terry Ambrose is a cute and intriguing story.  I enjoyed returning to Seaside Cove where the Atwood’s have their hands full with the B&B, Alex, and Baby Jack. I like Alex’s journal entries.  The author captures the thoughts and feelings of a thirteen-year-old girl (reminds me of my journal when I was that age only Alex is more courageous than I ever was).   Alex is an inquisitive young lady who finds herself embroiled in another mystery and, also, in some hot water.  The whodunit involves newcomers to town and a special family chocolate recipe (yum).  

Alex, of course, is on the case and so is her father, Rick (since the mayor has yet to increase the budget for the police department which would allow them to hire another deputy).   I had fun following along collecting clues along with nuggets of information.  Alex decided to try her hand at matchmaking once again.  She feels that one of the B&B guests would be the perfect match for her English teacher.  Rick and Marquetta are going to be kept on their toes with a teenage Alex.  The Secret Ingredient to Murder can be read as a standalone for those new to A Seaside Cove Bed and Breakfast MysteriesThe Secret Ingredient to Murder is an entertaining tale with a precocious youngster, a missing recipe, a shrewd adolescent, Marquetta’s appetizing culinary creations, romantic prose, and parent problems.

The Secret Ingredient to Murder is available from Amazon* (if you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read it for free).  You can find the other novels in A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mysteries here.  If you follow Terry Ambrose on Amazon, they will send you an email when he has a new book release.  I will return on April 2 with Courting an Amish Bishop by Mindy Steele. It is the fourth book in The Heart of the Amish seriesI hope that you have a joyful Easter weekend and that you receive many sweet treats.  Take care and Happy Reading!


Kris

The Avid Reader

*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book.  I am not required to leave a review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Three Fudges and a Baby by Nancy Coco

Three Fudges and a Baby

Book Summary

DID THE DOULA DO IT?

April is not only the start of “fudgie” season on picturesque Mackinac Island, it’s when Allie’s BFF Jenn Carpenter is due. Jenn wants to have her baby on the island, so she’s lined up a midwife and a doula. But she’s two weeks overdue—and if one more person tells her she looks ready to pop, she’s going to go bananas.

If there was a list of what not to expect when you’re expecting, right at the top would be coming upon your doula holding a gun over the body of her fiance. Clearly in shock, Hannah Riversbend claims not to have shot him. Jenn asks Ally to prove the doula’s innocence before her special delivery arrives. The clock is ticking as Ally races to solve the murder in time for Jenn’s bun to come out of the oven. . .

My Thoughts

Three Fudges and a Baby by Nancy Coco is the twelfth A Candy-Coated Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone for those who are new to the series or who have missed a book or two.  Tourist season is getting ready to begin on Mackinac Island and Allie has still not found an assistant to help make fudge.  Allie’s bestie, Jenn Carpenter is two weeks overdue which has Jenn and her husband, Shane on edge.  Allie’s mother decides to make a surprise visit with Allie’s ex-boyfriend.  I did not like that the mother expected Allie to drop everything to entertain her.  The mother also kept pushing the ex-boyfriend at Allie knowing that she is dating someone.  The mystery was simple.  I was able to identity the killer before the murder took place.  Allie manages to do a little sleuthing in between making fudge, helping Jenn, trying to please her mother, and walking Mal.  There is a good wrap up at the end.  

There are continuity issues in the book.  Allie gets told the same detail repeatedly, but she acts like she never heard this bit of information previously. I would expect continuity issues to be caught during editing (there are several of them).   I was glad that we finally got to know whether Jenn and Shane have a girl or boy.  Three Fudges and a Baby is a nice story, but it lacked substance.  It makes me wonder if A Candy-Coated Mysteries is winding down (it feels like it).   Three Fudges and a Baby is a lighthearted tale with an emotional friend, surprise visitors, an accused doula, a meddling mother, boyfriend brouhaha, and scrumptious fudge.

Three Fudges and a Baby is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other novel in A Candy-Coated Mystery series here and all of Nancy Coco's books here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Easter is almost here (it is early this year).  I have the ingredients for Easter dinner purchased, and I have the cutest Easter Annalee dolls for my mother's Easter basket.  She has collected the Annalee Christmas dolls for years. Now there are dolls for every holiday (even Mardi Gras). There are also dolls based on movies such as Mary Poppins and one doing Marilyn Monroe's iconic pose (in the white dress when it blows up).I will return tomorrow to feature The Secret Ingredient to Murder by Terry Ambrose.  It is the eighth A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery.  I hope that you have a relaxing day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


Kris

The Avid Reader

*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book.  I am not required to leave a review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Baby Protection Mission by Laura Scott

Baby Protection Mission 

Book Summary

When a baby is targeted,

can a K-9 team keep him safe?

When his sister is kidnapped, rancher Cade McNeal will do anything to prevent his baby nephew from being next. Now Officer Ashley Hanson and her K-9 partner are on the case, and it’s up to them to track down the assailant and keep Cade and his nephew from harm. But as the suspect list grows and the attacks escalate, will they bring a kidnapper to justice…before he strikes again?

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.

My Thoughts

Baby Protection Mission by Laura Scott starts off with a bang when Cade McNeil’s sister is kidnapped. I liked the characters in the story.  I enjoyed getting to know Abbey and Cade.  I especially liked Abbey’s K9 partner, Ozzy.  There is an abundance of action and suspense along with a touch of romance.  There are two mysteries as they search for Cade’s sister and the Rocky Mountain Killer.  While one mystery is resolved, the other will continue in Her Duty Bound Defender.  Faith is nicely woven into the story.  I liked seeing Abbey grow stronger in her faith.  I appreciated that Baby Protection Mission is a clean story (no foul language or intimate relations).  I enjoyed reading the engaging debut of Mountain Country K-9 Unit series.  I am looking forward to the next book in the series.  

Baby Protection Mission is available from Amazon*.  The next book in the Mountain Country K-9 Unit series is Her Duty Bound Defender by Sharee Stover which will be out on April 23.  You can find the list of the other books in the Mountain Country K-9 Unit series here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I am sharing my thoughts on Three Fudges and a Baby by Nancy Coco.  I hope that you have an enjoyable day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


Kris

The Avid Reader

*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book.  I am not required to leave a review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.