Wednesday, March 29, 2023

One More Time for Joy by Amy Lillard

 One More Time for Joy

Book Summary

In this uplifting inspirational romance series, award-winning author Amy Lillard unites a “Widows Club” of women who share solace, friendship, faith—and mouthwatering Whoopie Pies—in the Amish community of Paradise Valley, Missouri. Will appeal to fans of Charlotte Hubbard, Molly Jebber, Susan Lantz Simpson, and Kelly Long.

At the heart of a Missouri Amish community, a circle of caring friends—the Widows’ Club of Paradise Valley—sees each other through life’s storms, in this uplifting series from award-winning author Amy Lillard . . .
Joy Lehman has pressed on faithfully since losing her husband, raising their children and running a thriving bakery alone. Even caring for her oldest son, Johnny—seriously injured after a fall—has not shaken her fierce independence. Johnny 
will walk again, she’s sure. Until then, a meeting of the Widows’ Club at her home makes it clear that Joy must consider some costly renovations. Her brother-in-law, Uriah, is happy to provide the lumber and the labor—if Joy will accept his help.
Uriah understands family challenges—he’s a widower himself, and father to four daughters. Yet he can see that Joy’s struggle lies deeper than house repairs, in learning to accept an altered future for her son. As Uriah’s daughters begin helping in the bakery, and Joy and Uriah’s bond grows deeper, a new possibility glows bright—the unexpected happiness that lies in embracing one strong, united family, filled with support and love . . .

My Thoughts

One More Time for Joy by Amy Lillard is a sweet story. One More Time for Joy is the third book in the Paradise Valley series.  It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series.   I have enjoyed each book in this charming series.  We get to catch up with the characters from the first two stories.   I like the characters in this story.  They are kind, hardworking individuals. Joy is doing her best to raise her children on her own since the death of her husband.  Joy’s oldest son, Johnny, was injured in an accident.  He is confined to a wheelchair.  Unfortunately, Joy’s house is not set up for someone in a wheelchair.  Joy’s brother-in-law, Uriah wishes to help.  It will make life easier for Johnny and Joy.  Uriah just needs to convince Joy.  The story centers on family and faith.  Joy and Uriah are both hardworking individuals who love their kids.  Uriah is a widower with four daughters.  There is some repetition of key details especially Joy’s hope that her son will walk again.  I like that the author addresses the challenges handicapped individuals face in a home.  Uriah is a kind and patient individual.  He is going to need that patience when dealing with Joy.  The romance is sweet, and it progressed at the right pace.   I enjoyed the humor sprinkled throughout the story.  Joy learns the importance of trusting God and following His path.  One More Time for Joy is an uplifting tale with constricted doorways, delectable bread, an obliging brother-in-law, troubled daughters, an optimistic mother, and a giving God.

One More Time for Joy is available from Amazon*.  The first two books in the Paradise Valley series are Marry Me, Millie and The Amish Matchmaker (both books can be read for free if you belong to Kindle Unlimited).  The next book in the Paradise Valley series When Hattie Finds Love which will be out November 28. It looks like it will be an entertaining tale. Amy Lillard has Murder of Aspic Proportions publishing on June 27.  It is the second A Sunflower Cafe Mystery.  You can find Amy Lillard's other novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I am featuring Barbara's Amish Truth Exposed by Tracy Fredrychowski.  It is the fourth novel in The Amish Women of Lawrence County.  I hope that you have a happy day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Ladybug Landing by Mindy Steele

 Ladybug Landing
About the Book

Nelly Raber placed an ad in The Budget, hoping to help the widows and fatherless children of Miller's Creek. That was two years ago, and she has yet to live down the impulsive act that has become a yoke around her neck.

Lee Milford has worked hard for the future he has planned, but suddenly everything has gone wrong. Turning to a friend who seems to be having more trouble to him, Levi soon realizes why it's always best to put our futures in God's hands.

As summer looms to an end, one heart will be put to the test, while another might find her best match yet.

My Thoughts

Ladybug Landing by Mindy Steele takes us back to Miller’s Creek.  I enjoyed getting to know Nelly Raber and Levi Milford.  I felt bad for Nelly.  She has the best of intentions.  Unfortunately, Nelly’s kind acts usually end with her in hot water.  Nelly has an overbearing mother who is determined to marry her off.  Her parents do not understand her and are ashamed of her “antics”.  It is a good thing that Nelly has Levi for a friend.  I thought the story was well-written and engaging.  I was quickly drawn into the story.  Ladybug Landing is a touching story.  You will go through a range of emotions.  There are some moving, tender moments.  I enjoyed the humor as well (I love a book that makes me laugh).  Hazel Miller and Hank Fisher are amusing.  It seems the matchmaker needs a little nudge.  Forgiveness is one of the main themes as well as doing what will make you happy.  I love the ladybugs.  They appeared at all the right moments.  Nelly seemed to be a ladybug whisperer.  Ladybug Landing is the fourth novel in the Miller’s Creek Series.  It can be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading all the books in this inspiring series. My favorite phrase from Ladybug Landing is, “We are given this one life, and I can say with wisdom that it is better with someone who completes you than alone.”  Ladybug Landing is a story that will touch your heart.  

Ladybug Landing is available from Amazon*.  The other novels in the Millers Creek series are To Catch a Hummingbird, Butterfly Box, and Cicada Season.  You can follow Mindy Steele on Amazon and you will receive an email when she has a new book release.  Here are a few of the other books that were released today:  A Flicker of Doubt by Daryl Wood Gerber, One More Time for Joy by Amy Lillard, Once Upon a Buggy by Shelley Shepard Gray, Her Amish Country Valentine by Patricia Johns, and A Brighter Dawn by Leslie Gould.  Thank you for joining me today.  Tomorrow I am featuring One More Time for Joy by Amy Lillard.  It is the third novel in the Paradise Valley series.  I hope that you have an uplifting day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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

Thursday, March 23, 2023

A Flicker of Doubt by Daryl Wood Gerber

 A Flicker of Doubt

About a Flicker of Doubt

A Flicker of a Doubt (A Fairy Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – California
Kensington Cozies (March 28, 2023)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496741277
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496741271
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B6DBQ5CM

Fairies are trending hard, especially when it comes to fairy garden décor in Walmart and Target and on Amazon. The latest installment in the nationally bestselling Daryl Wood Gerber’s Fairy Garden mysteries is a perfect read for Laura Childs readers and all fans of whimsy and charm.

With a theater foundation tea and an art show planned at Violet Vickers’s estate, Courtney is hired to create charming fairy gardens for the event. It’s not so charming, however, when her best friend Meaghan’s ex-boyfriend turns out to be Violet’s latest artistic protégé. Even worse, not long after Meaghan locks horns with him, his body is found in her yard, bludgeoned with an objet d’murder.

There’s a gallery of suspects, from an unstable former flame to an arts and crafts teacher with a sketchy past. But when the cops focus on Meaghan’s business partner, who’s like a protective older brother to her, and discover he also has a secret financial motive, Courtney decides to draw her own conclusions. Fearing they’re missing the forest for the trees, and with some help from Fiona the sleuthing fairy, she hopes to make them see the light . . .

About Daryl Wood Gerber

Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Fairy Garden Mysteries, Cookbook Nook Mysteries, and French Bistro Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she penned the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. In addition, Daryl writes the Aspen Adams Novels of Suspense as well as stand-alone suspense. Daryl loves to cook, fairy garden, and read. She has a frisky Goldendoodle who keeps her in line. And she has been known to jump out of a perfectly good airplane and hitch-hike around Ireland alone. You can learn more on her website: httsp://

Author Links


My Thoughts

A Flicker of Doubt by Daryl Wood Gerber is a delightful tale.  We return to Carmel-by-the-Sea, California where Courtney Kelly owns Open Your Imagination, a fairy garden and tea shop.  Courtney has a charming store where she teaches people to make fairy gardens and sells the supplies.  If you are lucky, you might see Fiona, a righteous fairy.  Pixie, Courtney’s Ragdoll cat, likes to catnap in the courtyard.  This series has an enchanting cast of characters (cast list at the beginning of the book).   The characters are realistic and relatable.  I like that the fairies have human qualities and personalities (plus a touch of fancifulness).  I am enjoying following Fiona’s journey to earn her wings and get back in the fairy queen’s good graces.    Courtney comes up with creative fairy gardens.  I enjoy reading the descriptions of Courtney’s creations.  The mystery was entertaining.  There are a number of people who did not like the victim which leads to a long list of suspects including Meghan Brownie’s business partner.  Ziggy Foxx, Meghan’s business partner, is arrested for the crime.  Courtney and Meghan know Ziggy could not have done the deed.  Courtney is curious about the case from the beginning (you can tell she is ready to dig into the case).  She asks questions and searches for clues.  She gets helpful information from her friends and the fairies.   The story builds to an exciting reveal where we get all our questions answered.  A fairy portal has appeared in Courtney’s backyard and Fiona is curious about it.  We will have to wait for the next A Fairy Garden Mystery to learn what happens next.    A Flicker of Doubt is the fourth A Fairy Garden Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series, but I encourage you to read all the books in this imaginative series.  A Flicker of Doubt is a whimsical tale with flitting fairies, a returning performer, party plans, a terminated thespian, an unanticipated portal, a slew of suspects, a playful pup, and a curious Courtney. 


In the Fairy Garden Mysteries, I always feature a brownie recipe because Courtney’s best friend, Meaghan, has the last name of Brownie, so Meaghan has been making brownies all her life. Many of these brownies are served at the teas Courtney serves at her fairy garden shop on the weekends.  However, these delicious beauties are featured at the Hideaway Café, the restaurant owned by Courtney’s boyfriend, Brady. In fact, Brady says they are the most popular dessert on the menu. Meaghan absolutely demanded he share the recipe with her after she tasted them.

Fair warning: because of the nuts, they can be crumbly, but I think one of the most fun things about eating any brownie is snacking on the crumbs left on the plate, don’t you?

Cooking tip: I place the nuts in a plastic bag and use a mallet to crush them, but if you want a finer texture, pulse them in a countertop food processor. Also, you may make these in two different sized pans. For a thicker brownie, choose the smaller pan. I’ve noted the baking times.

Nutty Blond Brownies

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup white chocolate baking chips

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped and divided

 (Yield: 12-24)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease either an 8 x 11 ½-inch pan or a 13 x 9-inch pan.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla. 

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add it to the egg mixture and mix well. Mix in the white chocolate baking chips, semisweet chocolate chips, and half of the chopped nuts.

Spoon the mixture into either a greased 8 x 11 ½-inch pan or a 13 x 9-inch pan.  Spread evenly.  Sprinkle with the remaining chopped nuts.

Bake until the top begins to crack and becomes golden brown, 25–30 minutes for the smaller pan; 22–26 minutes for the larger pan. Cool on a wire rack for at least 20–30 minutes.  Cut into squares.

A Flicker of Doubt will be out on Tuesday, March 28.  You can order A Flicker of Doubt from AmazonB&NKobo, and Bookshop,  You can find the other A Fairy Garden Mysteries here.  As part of the tour, the author is hosting a giveaway.  You can win a gift card, tote bag, swag, and your pick of one of A Fairy Garden Mysteries (sorry, but US Only).  You can click HERE to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Leave a comment for an extra entry.  Good Luck!!  Thank you for joining me today.  I will return on Tuesday, March 28 with Ladybug Landing by Mindy Steele.  It is the latest book in the Miller Creek Series.  I hope that you have an enchanting weekend.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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Tour Participants

March 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 21 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – The Plain-Spoken Pen – REVIEW, AUTHOR GUEST POST

March 22 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

March 22 – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – SPOTLIGHT

March 22 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 22 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 23 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 23 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, RECIPE

March 23 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

March 24 – Books to the Ceiling – SPOTLIGHT & PODCAST

March 24 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

March 24 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

March 24 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW

March 24 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT


March 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – AUTHOR GUEST POST

March 25 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

March 25 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

March 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

March 26 – Jane Reads – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 27 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

March 27 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 27 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT

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

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

On the Golden Cliffs by Christen Krumm with Tricia Goyer

On the Golden Cliffs

On the Golden Cliffs JustRead Blog + Review Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for On the Golden Cliffs by Christen Krumm with Tricia Goyer, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the book

Title: On the Golden Cliffs
: Big Sky Amish #2
: Christen Krumm with Tricia Goyer
: Sunrise Publishing
Release Date
: March 21, 2023
: Christian Contemporary Amish Romance

One wrong post has sent influencer Lyla Taylor’s social media empire crashing to her feet. To save it, she’ll have to escape to rural Montana. Six weeks in a high-end spa won’t hurt…except, she’s not booked into a spa, but at a rustic Amish B&B. Suddenly, her roommates are racoons, and her daily activities include hanging laundry. Thanks, but no thanks. Lyla is ready to hit delete and head back to civilization.

Amishman Reuben Milner has a secret…one that could destroy his world. For now, however, he’s kept his life as a novelist under wraps, focusing on providing for his family after the tragic passing of his father. Renting the dawdi house seems the right move—until the wrong woman moves in. However, she comes with ideas to help improve their B&B, and that, along with her feisty personality, is something Reuben can’t ignore. Even if the elders want him to focus on joining the church and finding a wife. 

When going home isn’t an option, Lyla decides to help the Milners spruce up their rental. It does help distract her from her problems online. The more Lyla works on the rental with Reuben, the more she wonders if returning to her former life is worth it. However, is it the simple life that Lyla’s heart longs for—or a particular guarded Amishman with secrets of his own? And when those secrets are discovered, what will it cost them both?  

Book two in the delightful and sweet Big Sky Amish Collection.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub | IndieBound

More Books in the Series

Beyond the Gray Mountains Under the Blue Skies

About the Authors

Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer writes out of her passion for God and her love for family and others. The author of more than 70 books, she writes both historical fiction and nonfiction related to family and parenting.

This USA Today best-selling author has won a two Carol Awards and a Retailer’s Best Award. She was also an ECPA Gold-Medallion Nominee and a Christy Award Nominee and won Writer of the Year from the Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference. 

Tricia’s contemporary and historical novels feature strong women overcoming great challenges. She is a beloved author of Amish fiction, having written the Big Sky and Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series. 

Whether for fiction or nonfiction, Tricia’s writing style is vivid and heartwarming, allowing readers to take home more than engaging stories, but also messages that inspire faith and hope. Her goal is to write stories that matter. 

Connect with Tricia by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Christen Krumm is the author of the young adult romcom It Happened At Christmas. She lives with her husband and three barefoot wildings in the middle of the world, Oklahoma. She drinks way too much coffee and reads too many books, but creating stories with her Creator is her favorite.

Connect with Christen by visiting to follow her on social media, subscribe to email newsletter updates, or listen to her podcast, Exploring the Blank Page.


My Thoughts

On the Golden Cliffs by Christen Krumm with Tricia Goyer is an entertaining tale.  I like the author’s writing style.   It is friendly and welcoming.  I found myself drawn into this unusual Amish story.    I like the characters the author created for this book.  Lyla Taylor was certainly out of her element when she arrived.  Reuben Milner is one busy man.  I do not believe that Reuben could ever get through his endless to do list.  I like that the author included Reuben’s to do list showing the new additions and what he crossed off (for every item he crossed off, it seemed three were added).  I was not a fan of the excerpts from Rueben’s book.  They took me out of the story and I would have to refocus when I started the next chapter.  There was humor sprinkled throughout the story.  Some of the scenes had me laughing out loud.  Lyla’s adventures on the farm are amusing.  I liked the references to the Betsy-Tacy series which is one of my childhood favorites (I own the whole collection).  There are good life lessons in the story.  My favorite is that when we mess up, God is there for us.  He can give us hope.  I do not believe that God holds our mistakes against us either.  We are meant to learn from them, so that we do better in the future.  This phrase from On the Golden Cliffs is my favorite, “I realized that God gives us gifts and passions and it’s right to pursue them.”  On the Golden Cliffs is the second A Big Sky Amish Novel.  It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series.   I am looking forward to reading Under the Blue Skies which is the third A Big Sky Amish Novel.   On the Golden Cliffs is a unique story with a social media misstep, nocturnal callers, a hidden hidey hole, a lengthy to-do list, a persistent preacher, a precious paperback, and a life lesson learned.

Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a print copy of On the Golden Cliffs and a $10 voucher to the Sunrise Shop!

On the Golden Cliffs JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight March 20, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 27, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics. Click HERE to enter.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway

On the Golden Cliffs is available from Amazon*.  The first A Big Sky Amish Novel is Beyond the Gray Mountains.  The third A Big Sky Amish Novel is Under the Blue Skies which comes out August 8.  You can find Tricia Goyer's other novels here and Christen Krumm's here.  Thank you for joining me today.  Tomorrow I am a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for A Flicker of Doubt by Daryl Wood Gerber.  It is the fourth A Fairy Garden Mystery.  There is a giveaway!  I hope that you have a day filled with smiles.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

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

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Fields of Bounty by Lauraine Snelling

 Fields of Bounty

Book Summary

They must set aside their own plans and rely on their faith to bring their true destiny to light.

Lilac Nielsen's dream has come true: handsome young Reverend Ethan Pritchard has finally noticed her. Yet she must balance this new courtship with the pursuit of another dream--the publication of her artwork in a New York paper. She has secretly been submitting a series of drawings under a pen name, and if anyone traces the drawings back to her and finds out where Lilac and her sisters settled, the entire Nielsen family could be in danger.

As their family farm expands and Lilac's relationship with the reverend grows, it's a time of new beginnings. But when a family crisis back in Ohio shakes the Nielsen sisters, can they continue to build the new life they've begun in Nebraska? And will Lilac be prepared for what God has in store for her future?  
My Thoughts

Fields of Bounty by Lauraine Snelling takes readers back to 1857 in Salton, Nebraska to visit the Nielson sisters.  I thought Fields of Bounty was well-written with developed characters.  I have enjoyed getting to know the Nielson family.  They are a close, loving family.  I like how they are there for each other.  We have gotten to watch the main characters struggle as they establish themselves in the new town, work hard to keep expanding the town and achieve their dreams, and mature as individuals. Fields of Bounty features Lilac Nielson who catches the attention of Ethan Pritchard, their pastor.  We also get to catch up with the rest of the Nielson clan as well as some of the townspeople.  Lilac grows up in this book.  It is nice to see her mature.  I like how Lilac story ends.  I love the path the author chose for Lilac.  Lilac learns that God has a plan for her life and that dashing ahead is counterintuitive (bring her nothing but disappointment and pain).  I liked the life lessons in the story and how the author tied them to God plus provided relevant Bible passages.  Some of the ideas presented caused me to dig out my Bible.  I like how they provided deeper contemplation. 

I can tell that the author did her research for this series.  We get a glimpse at what life was like on a Nebraska farm in the 1850s.  Fields of Bounty is a feel-good story.  People do experience difficulties and heartache, but they work to overcome life’s challenges and become better human beings.  I was left with a couple of lingering questions when I finished the story.  I hope there will be more books featuring the Nielson family and the town of Salton.   Fields of Bounty is the third book in Leah's Garden.  I believe it is best to read the series in order.  It allows you to follow the Nielson family from the beginning.  There are a number of characters and new ones are introduced.  It is a challenge to keep all of them straight along with their storylines.  A list of characters at the beginning of the book would have been helpful.  I like that the author created strong, smart female characters.  They are businesswoman who are working to expand their farms and the town.   Fields of Bounty is a heartwarming tale with a hectic harvest, a patient pastor, a helpful family, a busy boarding house, and witty women.  

Fields of Bounty is available from Amazon*.  The first two books in Leah's Garden are The Seeds of Change and A Time to Bloom.  You can find Lauraine Snelling's other novels here.  Thank you for joining me today.  Tomorrow I am featuring On the Golden Cliffs by Tricia Goyer and Christen Krumm.  It is the second A Big Sky Amish Novel.  I hope that you have a joyful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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