Tuesday, January 21, 2020

An Unlikely Amish Match by Vannetta Chapman

An Unlikely Amish Match (Indiana Amish Brides #5)
Happy Book Release Day!  Some of the new books out today are The Words I Never Wrote by Jane Thynne, The Protective One by Shelley Shepard GrayCareless Whiskers by Miranda James, Witness Protection Widow by Debra Webb, and An Unlikely Amish Match by Vannetta Chapman (paperback version out today).  Which book are you looking forward to reading? If you enjoy paranormal mysteries, Game of Bones by Erin Johnson comes out January 24.  It is the third tale in A Magic Market Mysteries.  
Amish Horses: Amish Acres in Nappanee,Indiana
An Unlikely Amish Match by Vannetta Chapman takes us on a journey to Goshen, Indiana.  Susannah Beiler is thankful that her cancer is in remission.  Her life has been on hold for the last two years while she underwent chemotherapy.  Susannah feels that no Amish man will want to marry her because she cannot have children.  She wants to move forward with her life, but she is unsure on how to do it.  Micah Fisher from Unity, Maine has been sent by his parents to live with his grandparents for the next six months.  They are hoping that he will mature and become baptized.  Micah does not understand why there must be so many rules.  He sees life a little differently and likes to have fun.  Susannah does not want Micah to break any hearts while in town and agrees to be his companion for his outings.  Micah feels that he will have little fun with Susannah along since she is a rule follower plus she is the bishop’s daughter.  As they spend time together, Susannah discovers a different side of Micah and he brings joy to her life.  Micah finds himself enjoying his time with Susannah.  But then something unexpected happens that could change Micah’s life forever.  
Inside Amish life - Photo 1 - Pictures - CBS News
An Unlikely Amish Match by Vannetta Chapman is the fifth book in the Indiana Amish Brides series.  Each book in the series can be read on its own.  I thought the characters were developed and realistic.  I like Vannetta Chapman’s engaging writing style.  I was drawn right into the story and just wanted to keep reading to the end.  Micah Fisher is twenty-five and has been spoiled by his seven older sisters.  He is a rebel with a cocky attitude.  Micah is also a hard worker and a quick learner.  Susannah told her friend that Micah is “trouble wrapped up in suspenders.”  Susannah’s cancer matured her giving her a serious personality.  She follows the rules, does her chores, watches her younger twin sisters (they are a handful) and makes beautiful quilts.  Micah and Susannah are complete opposites which leads to some humorous and playful moments.  I thought it was clever when Micah came up with a way for them to fish at night.  There are also some tender scenes that will touch your heart.  One of my favorite scenes is when Susannah tells Micah about her cancer and not being able to have children.   I like how faith is incorporated into the story.  God directs our paths and he puts certain people in our life for a reason.  His ways are not our ways.  God’s love, forgiveness and prayer are featured Christian elements.  We also see that each day is precious, and we should not waste a moment.  There is a preview of The Amish Widow’s Hope by Marta Perry at the end of the book.  I enjoyed reading An Unlikely Amish Match.  I love it when a story leaves me with a smile on my face when I finish it.  An Unlikely Amish Match is an uplifting story with lively twins, an enterprising Amishman, an earnest maidel, a stubborn grandfather, a compassionate bishop, and surprising situations. 
An Unlikely Amish Match is out in paperback today.  The ebook version releases on February 1.  The other novels in the Indiana Amish Brides series are A Widow's Hope, Amish Christmas Memories, A Perfect Amish Match, and The Amish Christmas Matchmaker.   Vannetta Chapman also writes the Cyber Division series.  The series includes Fading into the Night*, Midnight Strike and Daybreak (comes out April 6).  Thank you for stopping by today.  I am reviewing Careless Whiskers by Miranda James* next time.  It is the twelfth A Cat in the Stacks Mystery.  I hope that you have a joyful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Reading and Art: Deborah DeWit
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Monday, January 20, 2020

The Protective One by Shelley Shepard Gray

The Protective One (Walnut Creek #3)
Welcome!  Shelley Shepard Gray is a wife, mother and fulltime writer living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She also serves on several committees at her church. Her two dogs keep her company while she is writing.  Shelley likes to bake and loves coconut cream pie.  She hardly pulls weeds, mows the yard or drives in the snow.  You can find out more about Shelley and her books by visiting her website and you will also find her on Facebook.  For updates on her latest releases, follow Shelley on Amazon.
Farmhouse front porch in Indiana's Amish Country | Midwest Living
The Protective One by Shelley Shepard Gray takes readers on a journey to Walnut Creek, Ohio. Elizabeth Anne (E.A. to her friends) Schmidt is one of the Mennonite members of the Eight who works at the local sewing store, Sew and Tell.  E.A. has been feeling discontented and out-of-sorts recently.  She is dissatisfied with job and David, the man who is courting her.  E.A. has come to the decision that David is not the right man for her especially after his uncalled for remarks regarding her deceased friend, Andy and breaks off their relationship.  Unfortunately, David is not the type to go away quietly.  Will Kurtz is an Amish member of the Eight who is also dissatisfied with his life.  He has noticed the other members of their group pairing off and getting married plus his friend, John recently got a promotion at work while Will is still in the same position.  Will and E.A. encounter each other one day and realize they are both feeling the same way.  They soon find themselves getting together frequently and, as time passes, realize their feelings for each other are changing.  They will need to stand together as they are going to have a bumpy road ahead thanks to one displeased ex-suitor.  The one aspect of E.A.’s job that she enjoys is teaching people to sew.  One of her sewing student’s, Marta always seems nervous.  When E.A. sees Marta with her husband at a local restaurant, she soon discovers why.  E.A. is going to need assistance from her friends and God if she is to help Marta.  What does the future hold for E.A. and Will?  Will Marta get the protection she needs?  You will have to pick up The Protective One to learn the answers.
Ballarat Patchwork1 love the table skrt
The Protective One by Shelley Shepard Gray is the third book in The Walnut Creek Series.  Each one can be read on its own, but you will be missing out on some heartwarming stories.  Elizabeth Anne or E.A. as she prefers to be called, is such a kind, patient woman.  She is one of the Eight and one of the few remaining single members.  E.A. was Marie’s maid of honor at her recent wedding to John.  E.A. is feeling at loose ends.  She is not happy with her job at Sew & Tell and her beau, David is a little odd.  After some horrible remarks from David on the death of her friend, Andy, E.A. breaks off their relationship.  After speaking with Will Kurtz, E.A. learns that he is also feeling restless.  They start spending time together and they soon realize that their friendship is turning into something more.  Will Kurtz is an Amishman who works at the local R.V. factory.  He feels that his life is standing still while others are getting married and moving ahead in their jobs.  I like how the relationship developed between E.A. and Will.  They are cute together.  There is humor in the story especially during a scene involving David (he is an odd duck).  The Protective One also delves into the dark topics of spousal abuse and stalking.  I thought Shelley Shepard Gray did a wonderful job at addressing such difficult subjects. Her portrayal of Marta was realistic.  Marta Miner has been married for ten years to an abuser.  She has decided it is time to break free, but Marta must wait for the right moment.  Marta came up with a plan and then set about executing it.  I admired Marta for her bravery.  The ending was just wonderful.  I appreciated that we get updates on the other members of the Eight.  We get to see how the other couples are faring in their relationships.  Faith is intertwined throughout the book.  As we see, prayer can be a powerful tool.  The Protective One is a special story that will linger with you long after you finish it.  I cannot wait to read The Trustworthy OneThe Protective One is a touching novel with friendship, love, and faith.
Trip back in time: the Amish in Ohio : Travel
The Protective One releases on January 21 and is available for pre-order from Amazon*. The first two novels in The Walnut Creek Series are The Patient One and The Loyal One.  This series also includes the prequel titled Friends to the End (ebook only) and A Precious Gift (an ebook novella).   The next tales in The Walnut Creek Series is The Trustworthy One which comes out May 5 and Promises of Tomorrow (a novella) releases on July 6.  I hope you enjoy The Protective One as much as I did.  Thank you for stopping by today and reading my review.  I will be sharing An Unlikely Amish Match by Vannetta Chapman tomorrow.  It is part of the Indiana Amish Brides series by Love Inspired.  May you have an inspiring day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Virgin River by Robyn Carr

Virgin River (Virgin River, #1)
Happy Sunday!  While many people may be familiar with Virgin River by Robyn Carr, I just discovered the book in late November.  I have been trying to work it into my reading schedule ever since.  Virgin River is the first of twenty novels in A Virgin River series.  
Bodie was a booming mining town during the Gold Rush in California.
Virgin River by Robyn Carr has Melinda “Mel” Monroe is a nurse practitioner and certified midwife who is suffering from burnout at her job.  Mel also lost her husband in a convenience store robbery which has made her fearful of living in the city.  When she sees the ad where Virgin River is looking for someone with her qualifications, she quickly applies.  Mel needs peace and a fresh start.  She especially likes that the job comes with a charming cabin.  She accepts the job after speaking with Hope McCrea who is bankrolling the position.  Mel arrives in Virgin River in her fancy BMW which is ill-suited for the rough terrain and soon finds herself in a ditch.  Thankfully, Mel is rescued and shown the way to her new abode which looks nothing like the pictures.  She soon discovers that nothing is quite as Hope described.  Doc Mullins does not want her help despite being seventy and beginning to slow down.  Mel decides to leave the following morning.  She was on her way out of town when a baby is found on Doc Mullins doorstep by rugged Jack Sheridan.  Mel changes her plans so she can stay and take care of the newborn until child services arrives.  Others contrive to show Mel that Virgin River is the place for her.
Virgin River by Robyn Carr captured my attention from the very beginning.  It shows what life is like up the small mountain town of Virgin River which has about six hundred residents.  Melinda Monroe is feeling burnout from her position at a 3,000 bed hospital and is looking for a change.  The position in Virgin River seems to be what she needs, and it is confirmed after seeing the pictures sent to her by Hope McCrea.  The icing on the cake is the charming cabin that comes with position.  Mel packs expensive jeans ($100 plus per pair) along with her beautiful leather boots into her BMW and heads into the mountains.  Mel soon discovers that Hope’s pictures were not current and her clothing choices not to mention her car are not appropriate for the environment.  Mel decides that Virgin River is not for her.  Then a newborn is found on the local doctor’s front porch.  This has Mel changing her plans which she claims is just temporary.  Mel fails to tell the people in her new town that she is a widow and another reason she needed a fresh start.  I liked the variety of quirky characters in Virgin River that include Preacher (the cook at Jack’s), Hope McCrea, and Doc Mullins (crotchety local doctor with a heart of gold).  Jack Sheridan is an ex-marine who owns Jack’s the local bar and restaurant.  He is taken with Mel right away and comes up with a plan to keep her in their little town.  I thought the characters as well as the situations were realistic and developed.  I enjoyed the rustic setting.  While Virgin River is a charming romance novel, there are other storylines going on in the book.  There are numerous places to hide in the wood surrounding the town which leads to criminal activity as well as people looking to hide out or escape from the world.  I like that the author shows the good and the bad (everything is not puppy dogs and rainbows).  I could have done without the foul language and intimate situations (but that is my personal preference).  Virgin River is a well-written novel that moved along steadily.  Virgin River is the first in A Virgin River Novel and there are currently twenty in total.   I am curious to see what happens to the other characters. Virgin River is a pleasing story with a loveable newborn, a handsome ex-marine, a peevish physician, an optimistic Hope, and a woman looking for a new beginning.
Virgin River
Virgin River can be purchased through Amazon* along with most major booksellers (Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Google Play).  You can find a list of the other novels in A Virgin River series here.  Thank you for dropping by today.  I will be featuring The Protective One by Shelley Shepard Gray tomorrow.  It is the third book in The Walnut Creek series.  I hope that you have a relaxing day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
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Saturday, January 18, 2020

Moral Compass by Danielle Steel

Moral Compass
Welcome!  Wanda E. Brunstetter has a new series coming out this year with the Amish Greenhouse Mystery series.  It beings with The Crow's Call which comes out March 1 and then continues with The Mockingbird's Song on August 4.  The Protective One by Shelley Shepard Gray releases on January 21.  It is the third book in The Walnut Creek Series.  Also on January 21, An Unlikely Amish Match by Vannetta Chapman and Careless Whiskers by Miranda James (The 12th A Cat in the Stacks Mystery) come out.  
Moral Compass by Danielle Steel has a new school year beginning at Saint Ambrose Preparatory School where it is their first year as a co-ed school after one hundred and twenty years as a male only institution.  This is where the wealthy and elite send their children to get a first class education as the first step toward their successful future.  Gillian Marks, the new athletic director, creates a haunted house in the gymnasium for the students to enjoy on Halloween. While most of the students retreat to their rooms afterward, a select few decide to partake in some alcoholic treats.  Later that night, sirens are heard as they rush a female student to the hospital who was found unconscious outside suffering from alcoholic poisoning and assault.  Those students who know what happened have agreed not to divulge the details and they hope that no one saw them.  The futures of these young people are in jeopardy which causes their parents to hire high powered attorneys.  What will happen when the truth is revealed?  
30+ Halloween Indoor Decor Ideas To Make A Haunted House | CollageCab
Moral Compass by Danielle Steel is different from the authors other novels.  It delves into the serious topic of teenage drinking and a female being assaulted.  Saint Ambrose Preparatory School is admitting female students for the first time in its history.  Taylor Houghton IV, the headmaster, knows that his career is on the line so this venture must be a success.  There are no problems until Halloween arrives and some students decide to bring out alcohol they have sneaked onto campus.  Campus security receive a late night anonymous call that has them finding a female student unconscious.  She must have her stomach pumped from the vast quantities of alcohol consumed and a SAFE exam performed.  The book follows the investigation along with the trial and its outcome.  We see the consequences of making the decision to overindulge in alcohol and how it affects others.  I thought the story was well-written and it proceeded at a steady pace.  I like how the author dealt with the such terrible and relevant topic of violence against a young woman.  Moral Compass is a timely novel (what people call “ripped from the headlines”) that hopefully will allow people to see that the victim should not be blamed when they are assaulted.  The victim is not on trial nor should they be.  Moral Compass allows readers to see this sensitive issue dealt with from various points-of-view.  Moral Compass is a compelling story whose title truly fits. 
Via @TIME:  A Virginia Teen Slammed a Courtroom Door in Anger After Her Boyfriend Was Sentenced to Jail. The Judge Then Sentenced Her Too
Moral Compass is available from Amazon* plus other major booksellers (such as Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, and Chapter's).  Danielle Steel has the following books coming out over the next eight months:  The Numbers Game (March 3), The Wedding Dress (April 28), Daddy's Girls (June 9), and Royal (August 18).  Thank you for joining me today and reading my review.  I plan on reviewing Virgin River by Robyn Carr next.  It is the first A Virgin River Novel.  This series is the basis for the new Netflix series.  I hope that you have an edifying day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader
By the Firelight - reminds me of all the years I read by a fire
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Friday, January 17, 2020

Dead in Dublin by Caite Murphy: Review and Giveaway!

 Dead in Dublin

The Dublin Driver Mysteries

by Catie Murphy

About Dead in Dublin

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Kensington (December 31, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496724186
ISBN-13: 978-1496724182
Digital ASIN: B07Q3NPNFB
In Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty, murder occurs at the feet of sweet Molly Malone . . .

Ferrying tourists around Dublin for the Leprechaun Limo Service makes quite a change after years in the military. Still, Megan Malone is enjoying her life in Ireland. She likes the scenery, the easy pace, the quirky, quick-witted locals. Everything—except having one of her clients drop dead at the statue of fabled fishmonger, Molly Malone.

Most restaurant critics notch up their share of enemies. Elizabeth Darr, however, was a well-loved international star. She and her husband, Simon, had just had dinner when Elizabeth collapsed, and spoiled seafood is the first suspect. The restaurant’s owner, worried her business is doomed, begs Megan to look into it. Between her irate boss and a handsome Garda who’s both amused and annoyed by her persistence, Megan has her hands full even before she’s cajoled into taking care of two adorable Jack Russell puppies (which she is almost definitely not keeping). But if cockles and mussels aren’t to blame, can Megan find the real culprit . . .before another fishy death occurs?
8 of the World’s Most Iconic Hotels   Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin An Irish institution, the famed hotel was established in 1824 by Martin Burke. Throughout its nearly 200-year history, it has been the venue for historic events, such as the signing of the Irish Constitution in 1922, and has hosted a slew of cultural icons, including Elizabeth Taylor, Bill Clinton, Julia Roberts, and Woody Allen. From $217/night; marriott.com
Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin where Elizabeth & Simon Darr were residing

About Catie Murphy

Catie Murphy, who has written numerous award-winning fantasy and Sci-fi books under the pseudonym C. E. Murphy, began writing around age six, when she submitted three poems to a school publication. The teacher producing the magazine selected (inevitably) the one she thought was by far the worst, but also told her—a six-year-old kid—to keep writing, which she has. She has also held the usual grab-bag of jobs often seen in an authorial biography, including public library volunteer (at ages 9 and 10; it’s clear she was doomed to a career involving books), archival assistant, cannery worker, and web designer. Writing books is better. She was born and raised in Alaska, and now lives with her family in her ancestral homeland of Ireland.  You can find out more about the author my visiting her website.  
Molly Malone statue where victim collapses

My Thoughts

Dead in Dublin by Catie Murphy is the beginning of A Dublin Driver Mystery series.  Megan Malone retired from the military after twenty years and relocated to Dublin, Ireland where she works as a driver for Leprechaun Limo Service.  Megan is shocked when Elizabeth “Liz” Darr collapses at the base of the Molly Malone statue and passes away.  Liz Darr was a renowned restaurant critic and food blogger who had been traveling for the last year around Europe with her husband Simon.  Megan had been ferrying them around the last three months whenever they were in town.  When food poisoning is suspected, Megan’s friend, Fionnuala Canan comes under suspicion as the chef from Canan’s where Liz had her last meal.  Both Fionnuala and her boss, Orla Keegan ask (beg) Megan to investigate.  Detective Paul Bourke admires Megan’s tenacity, but he would rather she keep her nose out of the investigation and stick to driving.  Megan has no intention of giving up especially after the victim’s parents also ask her to get them answers.  Megan has her hands full between her driving duties, sleuthing and taking care of a Jack Russell terrier along with her two pups that were discovered in the kitchen of Canan’s.  When another death occurs at Canan’s, Megan is sure they are connected.  Can Megan steer the investigation towards the killer?  Dead in Dublin takes readers to Dublin, Ireland with her vivid descriptions of this charming city.  Megan lives just outside Dublin in an apartment in Rathmines where she must make sure her landlord and boss, Orla does not discover the mama dog and her two puppies (which Megan keeps saying she has no intention of keeping).  I appreciated the pronunciation guide at the beginning of the book for the various characters names (Niamh is pronounced Neev).  It was very helpful.  Megan is a Houston native who wanted a fresh start after retiring from a twenty year career in the military.  She enjoys ferrying people around the city, though, she is not fond of her boss, Orla Keegan.  I like that Megan is intelligent as well as friendly with a unique profession for a cozy mystery.  Detective Paul Bourke is in charge of the case, and he likes that Megan is determined (though he does wish she will quit meddling).  There is definite chemistry between them.  There are a variety of eccentric characters from Niamh O’Sullivan who is an actress and activist to Megan’s Uncle Rabbie with his varied connections.  The mystery was multifaceted and suited the Irish setting.  We follow Megan as she questions various people searching for answers.  I believe readers will enjoy this challenging whodunit.  I was surprised by the foul language present in Dead in Dublin since it is not normal for it to be present in cozy mysteries.  Dead in Dublin is a stimulating new cozy mystery with darling dogs, ineffable Irish charm, a dashing detective, a rash of rumors, and one determined driver.  
Where’s your favourite area in Dublin?  Rathmines, picture taken by @dublindailycolour  For your chance to be featured please follow…
Rathmines where Meg lives (outside Dublin)
Dead in Dublin is available at Amazon*, B&NKobo, and Kensington.  There is a preview of Death on the Green which is the second A Dublin Driver Mystery at the end of the book.  Death on the Green comes out in September 2020.  As part of the tour, there is a giveaway for three (3) print copies of Dead in Dublin (Sorry--U.S. Only).  You can enter via the Rafflecopter form below or click here.  Leave a comment for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  Thank you for dropping in today.  I appreciate it.  I am sharing my review of Moral Compass by Danielle Steel next time.  I hope that you have a jubilant day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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Jack Russell Terrier Puppy
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Library Sculpture | Ormeau Road Library | Belfast, Ireland
Statue at Ormeau Road Library in Belfast, Ireland
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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Hems & Homicides by Elizabeth Penney: Excerpt, Review and Giveaway!

Hems & Homicide 

An Apron Shop Series

by Elizabeth Penney

About Hems & Homicide 

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (December 31, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1250257948
ISBN-13: 978-1250257949
Digital ASIN: B07SBQ9Y2Z
Welcome to the first in the Apron Shop mystery series by Elizabeth Penney, set in the quaint village of Blueberry Cove, Maine where an expert seamstress turned amateur sleuth is getting measured for murder. . .

Iris Buckley is sew ready for a change. After the death of her beloved grandfather, Iris decides to stay in her Maine hometown to help out her widowed grandmother, Anne—and bring her online handmade apron designs to real-time retail life. Her and Anne’s shop, Ruffles & Bows, is set to include all the latest and vintage linen fashions, a studio for sewing groups and classes, and a friendly orange cat. The only thing that they were not planning to have on the property? A skeleton in the basement!

Anne recognizes the remains of an old friend, and when a second body shows up in the apron shop—this time their corrupt landlord, whom Anne had been feuding with for decades—she becomes a prime suspect. Now, it’s up to Iris to help clear her name. Enlisting the help of her old high-school crush Ian Stewart who, like certain fabrics, has only gotten better-looking with age and her plucky BFF Madison Morris, Iris must piece together an investigation to find out who the real killer is. . .and find a way to keep her brand-new business from being scrapped in the process.
Mail Order 2270 apron

About Elizabeth Penney

Elizabeth Penney is an author, entrepreneur, and local food advocate living in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. In addition to writing full-time, she operates a small farm. Elements that often appear in her novels include vintage summer cottages, past/present mysteries, and the arts. She is represented by the fabulous Elizabeth Bewley at Sterling Lord Literistic.

Elizabeth's writing credits include over twenty mysteries, short stories, and hundreds of business articles. A former consultant and nonprofit executive, she holds a BS and an MBA. She's also written screenplays with her musician husband.  She loves walking in the woods, kayaking on quiet ponds, trying new recipes, and feeding family and friends.
Aprons For Women Patterns | My happy sewing place...: Aprons, Aprons, Aprons

Author Links

Twitter: @liz2penney

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7877413.Elizabeth_Penney
Advance 8143 girls' aprons

My Thoughts

Hems and Homicide by Elizabeth Penney is the premiere of An Apron Shop Series.  Iris Buckley and her grandmother, Anne are opening Ribbons and Bows in Blueberry Cove, Maine.  They are going over the property with Ian Stewart, the carpenter, when Iris stumbles down the basement stairs, knocks over shelves and a skull is exposed.  Anne Buckley, Iris’s grandmother, recognizes the scarf around the skull as belonging to Star Moonshine who disappeared around July 4th in 1972.  When their landlord, Elliot Parker end up dead in the storeroom with Iris’s favorite apron tied around his neck, Anne becomes the prime suspect.  Iris with assistance from her best friend, Madison uses her knowledge gleamed from mystery novels to do a little sleuthing.  I enjoyed reading Hems and Homicide.  I love the concept of a shop featuring aprons (vintage and custom creations) along with vintage linens.  They will also have a room for sewing classes and Iris’s cat, Quincy will be in residence during the day.  The author took the time to establish the characters along with the setting.  I like Iris and Anne Buckley along with Iris’s friends.  There is a close bond between Iris and her grandmother that I thought was sweet.  They are grieving the loss of Anne’s husband, Joe who died three months earlier.  Iris wears vintage inspired clothing, loves to read, and finds petting her cat soothing.  She is attracted to Ian Stewart, their carpenter.  Iris and Ian grew up together and she had a crush on him in high school. It may be the timing is right for Iris and Ian.  We shall have to wait and see.  There are great descriptions of the town, the shops and the Buckley farm.  I would like to move to Blueberry Cove with its historic buildings and friendly (most of them) residents.  There are two mysteries in Hems and Homicide.  There is the cold case of Star Moonshine and the current death of Elliot Parker.  I thought the mysteries were clever and intriguing.  I enjoyed following the clues and solving the crimes. I thought the one manner of death to be unique.  I am eager for the next book in An Apron Shop Series.  If you like vintage clothing, charming towns, friendly character and crafty whodunits, then you will enjoy reading Hems and Homicide.  Hems and Homicide has a cold case, antique aprons, a big pig, a poisonous plant, and a gritty granddaughter.
1950s Vintage McCall Sewing Pattern 2052 Misses Cocktail or Party Apron Fits All

Excerpt from Chapter One

Bells jingled as I entered the Belgian Bean, a warm and cozy café filled with chatter and the aroma of fresh brewed coffee. The place was surprisingly busy for a cool spring morning in Blueberry Cove, Maine. Judging by the upscale outfits and unfamiliar faces, it appeared our coastal village was finally on the beaten track, even during the offseason.
DIY aprons, 1950s
My gaze skittered over the booths by the window, the line by the counter, and the tables in back. Where was Madison? Maybe I’d actually gotten here first, which would be a first—

An arm clad in fuchsia fleece shot up at the back table near the restrooms and I spotted my best friend, who was waving with a smile. Well, more like saluting wildly while bouncing up and down in her seat. But that was Madison Morris, always full of energy and enthusiasm, no matter how early the hour. Some people were morning people. Madison was one. I definitely was not.
Trying to suppress a yawn, I eyed the line of coffee carafes as I passed, tempted to pick one up and take it with me. Sophie Jacobs, another good friend and owner of the Bean, called from behind the counter, “Morning, Iris. I’ll be right with you.”

“Make it a double,” I called, grateful that fresh java would soon be on the way. Still smiling at Sophie, I edged around a chair blocking the aisle and accidentally kicked a customer’s leather messenger bag as a result.  A thin man with wire-rimmed glasses glared up at me before tugging the bag out of the way and stowing it under his chair.
“Sorry,” I said, but his attention was already on his tablet. He didn’t even glance at the Benedict Belgian he was shoveling into his mouth, a waffle topped with an egg, ham, and hollandaise sauce. Yum. Maybe I should order that.

“Can I help you?” he asked, jerking his head up again. His eyes were an icy gray, which suited his cropped dirty blond hair and light tan. Not bad looking if a little old for me, but he definitely had a stick up his—
1950s Simplicity 4092 Scallop Apron, Half Apron or Full Apron Vintage Sewing Pattern, Size Med, Bust
“No, sorry. I was just…” I waved a hand and moved on, flushing at being caught checking out his meal, like some sort of culinary creeper. After skirting a group of lively older women wearing fisherman knit sweaters and Bean boots, I finally reached the sanctuary of Madison’s table.

“What was up with Mr. Prickly back there?” Madison picked up a huge mug, holding it in both hands. The bright jacket made her golden brown skin glow, as did the matching lipstick and nail polish she wore.
“I kicked his bag. Which I feel bad about, since it’s gorgeous.” I sank into the opposite chair, arranging my full skirt under my hips. I’d sewn the ‘50s-style dress myself, a deep periwinkle blue trimmed in white at the short sleeves and neckline and topped with a vintage apron. With my black hair, blue eyes and pale complexion, periwinkle was a go-to color for me. And mid-century garment styles flattered my curvy figure, which was more Marilyn than Audrey, as in Monroe and Hepburn.

Madison crooked an index finger. “Stand up again. Are you actually wearing an apron? I know you’re opening a shop but—”
3 Vintage apron patterns
“It’s a bit much?” I obeyed and stood, even holding the frothy confection out with my fingers, the better for my friend to study it. The women seated nearby turned to look, so I spun to face them and smiled before plopping back down.

“It’s the one we used for the shop logo,” I explained. “Grammie suggested we start wearing aprons as often as possible. Free advertising.”
Princess Peggy Pop On.  Created by the Chic Manufacturing Co., Peoria, ILL.  Scraps from this garment factory were often found in quilts and recognizable when a quilt was sewn with the same print fabric in several different colors!
My paternal grandmother, Anne Buckley, and I were partners in Ruffles & Bows, a new Main Street business slated to open on Memorial Day weekend. Over the past five years, I’d built up a quite a business selling aprons and linens online, both vintage and handmade originals. But now the local economy was booming, and it was time to take advantage with a storefront. Plus Grammie needed the distraction after losing her beloved husband Joe, my Papa, three months ago.

I crossed my fingers under the table, hoping our optimistic plans would pan out. Failure is not an option. My new favorite saying.

 1950s Pretty embroidered apron over a cocktail dress
Hems & Homicide is available Amazon*, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.  As part of the tour, there is a giveaway for three (3) print copies of Hems and Homicide (Sorry, but U.S. Only).  You can enter via the Rafflecopter form below or click here.  Be sure to leave a comment for an extra entry. Good Luck!  Thank you for visiting today.  I will return tomorrow as part of the Great Escape Virtual Book Tour to feature Dead in Dublin by Catie Murphy.  It is the debut of  A Dublin Driver Mystery series.  I hope that you have a rewarding day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Tour Participants

January 13 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 13 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

January 13 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

January 13 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

January 13 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW

January 14 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

January 14 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 14 – Sneaky the Library Cat's Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

January 14 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

January 14 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

January 15 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

January 15 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

January 15 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 15 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

January 15 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW

January 16 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

January 16 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

January 16 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

January 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  

January 16 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

January 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

January 17 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

January 17 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW

January 17 – That's What She's Reading – GUEST POST

January 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

January 18 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW

January 18 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

January 18 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

January 19 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

January 19 – Lisa Ks Book Review – REVIEW

January 19 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

January 19 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Death Bee Comes Her by Nancy Coco

Death Bee Comes Her (B&N Exclusive Edition) 
Good Day!  Nancy Coco is the author of A Candy-Coated Mystery series and the new An Oregon Honeycomb Mystery series. Nancy enjoys a good mystery and is lucky enough to indulge her love of a good whodunit by writing cozy mysteries.  Her books include fun settings, quirky characters, yummy recipes, and pets of all shapes and sizes.  Nancy writes under the names of Nancy Coco, Nancy J. Parra (A Baker's Treat Mysteries, A Perfect Proposals Mysteries, A California Wine Country Mystery series)   and Nell Hampton (A Kensington Palace Chef Mystery series--Great series).  You can find out more about Nancy and her books by visiting her website.  You can also find her on Facebook under nancyjparraauthor and Facebook under nancyjcoco/.
"Honey" Сafe Podil - Picture gallery
Death Bee Comes Her by Nancy Coco takes us to Oceanview, Oregon where Wren Johnson owns Let It Bee, a unique honey boutique.  Wren and her Havana Brown cat, Everett are walking along the beach one morning when they discover Agnes Snow.  She is dead with the label of one of Wren’s lip balms in her hand.  Agnes and Wren’s Aunt Eloise have been craft rivals for many years.  Wren is at the top of Officer Jim Hampton’s suspect list when it is uncovered that the lip balm did the deed.  Wren is worried how this investigation will affect her business especially with half her inventory confiscated as evidence.  Wren needs to prove her innocence, but she needs to bee wary.   Someone is not happy with her sleuthing.  Can Wren clear her name and save her fledgling business?  
Interior design for a shop  with organic and natural products.
Death Bee Comes Her by Nancy Coco is the debut of An Oregon Honeycomb Mystery series.  I enjoyed this delightful new cozy from beginning to end.  Wren Johnson has a unique honey boutique called Let It Bee in Oceanview, Oregon.  There is an actual beehive in her store behind glass.  Wren has a variety of products in her shop from candy to lip balm to lotions.  I loved the description of her shop and could envision it in my mind.  I like Wren who owns (well, as much as you can “own” a cat) Everett, a Havana Brown cat.  She walks him about town on a leash and harness.  Wren talks to Everett and he seems to understand what Wren is saying with appropriate responses (a clever kitty).  It is adorable.  Oceanview has a weeklong festival called Halloweentown.  It is an extravaganza with everyone dressing up and handing out candy to the kids.  I enjoyed Wren’s clever costumes.  I happen to be a fan of the Halloweentown movies.  The author took the time to set the stage for this book and the series with her descriptions of the town and its residents.  The mystery was interesting, and I liked following Wren as she combed for clues.  There is plenty of action and good clues.  I like how the mystery was laid out.  While I was able to identify the evil doer easily, it did not take away from my enjoyment of this honey of a whodunit. There is an excerpt for Have Yourself a Fudgy Little Christmas from Nancy Coco’s A Candy Coated Mystery series.  Death Bee Comes Her is a charming cozy mystery with a chatty cat, healthy honey, a pestilent poison, scrumptious candy, and creative crafts.  
Jason's Observation Hive
An Observation Hive
Beecosystem indoor hive
A Beecosystem
Death Bee Comes Her is currently exclusive at Barnes & Noble (wait a year and you can get at Amazon* for your Kindle).  I look forward to the next An Oregon Honeycomb Mystery with Wren and Everett.  If you are interesting in having your own bee hive, you can have a Beecosystem installed in your home.  Find out more here.  Thank you for joining me today.  I hope I have helped you find a new author, book and series.  Tomorrow I am sharing my review of Hems and Homicide by Elizabeth Penney.  It is the debut of The Apron Shop Series    I hope you have a honey of a day (I could not resist).  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Field of Flowers #literaturelovers #bookslove #novels #reader #illustration #painting #booklovers #bookpaintings #bookart #ruralhouse #floralpainting #naturelovers
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