Sunday, December 15, 2019

Tied Up with a Bow by Sheila Connolly

Tied Up with A Bow (County Cork #6.5)
Happy Sunday!  Did you know that you can find handmade gifts on Amazon?  I had no clue.  There are some lovely items.  As you can tell, I have yet to finish my shopping.  I do not know what to get my mother.  There is still time to order a gift and have it arrive on time.  On Sunday's, I feature a book that I was unable to when it was released.  Today's I am sharing my review of  Tied Up with a Bow by Sheila Connolly.  
55 Places... A Travel Bucket List
Book Blurb

Pub owner Maura Donovan is still learning the local customs of the Irish village she now calls home.  With the holidays approaching, Maura is unsure how much or how to little to decorate.  She is also puzzled by the small construction project going on across the street which is shrouded in secrecy.  The whole of WEst Cork is guessing at what it might be.  Most troubling of all, though, is the secretive young boy who shows up at the pub's door who hints that he and his mother had to leave Dublin in a rush.  Maura becomes alarmed when an unknown man show up and begins lurking around the pub.  Maura has many questions, but few answers.  She turns to her village friends for help to sort out all the mysterious happenings and maybe deliver an unexpected gift to someone in need.
Christmas in Dublin
Christmas decorations in Dublin, Ireland
My Thoughts

Tied Up with a Bow by Sheila Connolly is A County Cork Mystery Novella (#6.5).  Maura Donovan has been Leap for over a year (maybe two) now since she inherited Sullivan’s.  Christmas is approaching and a mysterious holiday project is going on across the street from the pub.  A raffle is started so people can guess on the secretive holiday undertaking.  Considering the amount of time Maura has been in this village, she should know more about the running of the pub.  The first thing Maura should have done was learn all there is to know about running the pub.  Maura seems to have other priorities (does anyone know what they are).  She also does not seem to know where anything is in the village (the school for instance).  Maura makes contradictory statements as well (in the same book and information from previous books).  I have tried to like Maura, but it seems to be a lost cause.  I wonder if she has any common sense at all.  I am tired of hearing that she cannot cook (or make a sandwich) plus seems oblivious on where the local market is located. There is a lack of consistency in the series which is unusual for this author.  Tied Up with a Bow is not a standalone story.  It is a series that is best read in order.  I wish the pacing had been livelier and repetitive information had been eliminated.  I also would have liked more holiday spirit.  I did like young Danny.  The poor kid and his mother are having a rough time.  I do like that Maura is trying to help them (in her way).  Tied Up with a Bow was just not the right book for me.  I suggest you obtain a sample of Buried in the Bog (first book in series) to see if this story suits you.  Tied Up with a Bow transports readers to Ireland for wacky wagers, a puzzling project, a dangerous due, a concerned child and Celtic Christmas customs.  
The Lucky Clover Irish Pub | Yelp.... #TheBasementBarcadeDecor
Tied Up with a Bow is available here* (Amazon UK).  I suggest you read a sample of the book to see if it entices you.  The first book in A County Cork Mystery series is Buried in a Bog.  You can find a complete list of the books in A County Cork Mystery series here on Amazon.  The next novel in A County Cork Mystery series is Fatal Roots which comes out January 7.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will return on Monday to feature Christmas with the Shipyard Girls by Nancy Revell.  It is the seventh tale in The Shipyard Girls series.    I hope that you have a day filled with happiness.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Lobke van Aar
*This post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

An Amish Wedding Feast on Ice Mountain by Kelly Long

An Amish Wedding Feast on Ice Mountain (Ice Mountain #6)
Happy Saturday!  Kelly Long is the author of The Amish of Ice Mountain series.  Kelly was born and raised in North Central Pennsylvania where there was an Amish hitching post in front of the grocery store in her town.  She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and children.  Kelly loves to write Amish romance with her books including The Amish of Ice Mountain series as well at A Patch of Heaven series.  She became a published author in 2005 with the release of Hart's Truth which is available on Kindle Unlimited.  Kelly Long is on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania: You can see by the ice and steep hills that some of the hiking will be challenging
An Amish Wedding Feast on Ice Mountain by Kelly Long has readers returning to Ice Mountain, Pennsylvania.  Beth Mast lost her beloved father when she was thirteen, and she has spent the years since taking care of her stepmother, Viola and stepsister, Rose along with the animals on the farm.  Beth gets a day off when her friend, Lucy asks her to be one of her attendants at her wedding to Jeb King.  Ransom King has just returned to Ice Mountain after being away for the last five years for an apprenticeship.  He has a sadness about him from events that happened while he was away and he recognizes kindred spirit in the shy but lovely, Beth.  Ransom and Beth are partnered together for the wedding by Lucy who would love for her friend to become a sister through marriage.  Ransom sees how Beth is treated by her stepmother and sister.  He wants to show Beth that she is deserving of happiness and love, but his own troubled past prevents him from doing so.  Then Aenti Ruth descends on the King house with her brigade of animals.  Aenti Ruth can tell that Ransom and Beth are suited.  They just need a little nudge or two.
Through the Woods Giclée - Artist Proof
An Amish Wedding Feast on Ice Mountain by Kelly Long is the sixth book in The Amish of Ice Mountain series.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to this Amish series.  It is a Cinderella type story with Beth Mast taking care of her stepmother and stepsister without so much as a please or thank you.  The stepmother, Viola is critical of Beth who is a caring and shy individual.  Rose, Beth’s stepsister, is beautiful and outgoing.  Her mother wishes her to make a good match which means keeping Beth in the shadows.  I felt bad for the way Beth was treated.  I was happy when Ransom King enters the picture and sets out to help Beth and ensure that she has some fun.  The book contains good writing and it moved along quickly.  There are sad moments along with heartwarming ones.  There is humor thanks to my favorite character, Aenti Ruth.  Aenti Ruth arrives with a passel of animals that help her with Ransom and Beth.  I like how kind she was to Beth and the special recipe she gave her.  I laughed so often at her antics.  I also like Bishop Umble.  He is such a kindly man who cares for his flock.  I loved the descriptions of Ice Mountain especially the beautiful ice cave.   I was disappointed with the amount of kissing (some steamy situations) and intimate innuendo that was present along with the forward Rose.  I like to read Amish fiction because they are clean stories (minimal kissing is fine).   I also would have liked a more complete epilogue.  This was a good ending to The Amish of Ice Mountain series.  An Amish Wedding Feast on Ice Mountain is a sweet story about love, forgiveness, grace, hope and faith.  
Winter Dancers Giclée  $70, IS: 6 x 9-5/16 ins.  #pbuckleymoss #patmoss #Mossart #patbuckleymoss #snow #art #artwork #amish #skating #skaters #children #playinginthesnow #snowdancers
An Amish Wedding Feast on Ice Mountain can be purchased here* (Amazon UK).  You can find a list of the other novels in The Amish of Ice Mountain here.  Kelly Long's next series is The Amish Mail Order Groom series.  Thank you for stopping by today and reading my review.  Since tomorrow is Sunday, I am featuring Tied Up with a Bow by Sheila Connolly.  I hope that you have a restful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!  

The Avid Reader
Winter reading / Lectura invernal by Robert Neubecker
*This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Thin Ice by Paige Shelton

Thin Ice: A Mystery by [Shelton, Paige]
Good Day! Paige Shelton is the New York Times bestselling author of A Scottish Bookshop Mystery series, A Farmers' Market Mystery series, A Country Cooking School Mystery series and A Dangerous Type Mystery series (my favorite).  Paige currently resides in Arizona.  You can find out more about Paige Shelton's books by visiting her website.  Readers can find Paige on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Benedict Brain’s photography “raises yet more questions around environmental issues” | It's Nice That
Thin Ice by Paige Shelton has Beth Rivers relocating to Benedict, Alaska.  Beth is best-selling author Elizabeth Fairchild who was held by obsessed fan, Levi Brooks for three days.  She managed to escape him, but Beth had to have brain surgery that resulted in lost memories.  With Levi still on the loose, Beth wants to be safe which means moving to this remote location.  Beth arrives in Benedict and is ill prepared for the weather.  She finds herself living in a halfway house with parolees and in a town where everyone has secrets of their own.  Beth has not even settled into her room when she learns that a local resident was found dead and foul play is suspected.  Sheriff Gril Samuels has the perfect cover for Beth plus it provides him with some needed assistance.  The local newspaper, Benedict Junction has been out of commission since the owner’s death.  Gril suggests Beth resurrect it as well consult with him on his new case.  As Beth adjusts to her new home and noses around into the death of Linda Rafferty, the memories from those three days begin resurfacing.  She hopes that her recollections will help the police locate her kidnapper so she can back home.  Beth has some challenges ahead of her.  
A bush-plane or helicopter tour offers access to Alaska's wild and remote beauty. Discover the best: from McKinley fly-overs to glacier landings.
Thin Ice by Paige Shelton is an intriguing new mystery.  Beth Rivers is her real name, but most people know her as Elizabeth Fairchild, a best selling author.  After escaping from a passionate fan, Beth decides to disappear into the Alaskan wilderness.  After a search online, Beth picks Benedict, Alaska.  Beth soon discovers that she is not the first person to have selected this remote town as a hiding place.  Beth arrives to find one of the residents has died and Sheriff Grilson Samuels suspects foul play.  Beth is given the unpaid job of running the local “newspaper” as well as being a consultant to Gril.  As Beth delves into the victim’s life, memories of the three days held captive surface.  As you can tell, there are multiple storylines in Thin Ice.  I like the unique characters that live in Benedict.  Each one of them has their own reason for being in this isolated town which means there is a lot of fodder for future books.  It will be interesting learning about each of these individuals.  I am especially curious about Donner Montgomery’s story (the park ranger).  Viola runs Benedict House (sounds like an elegant hotel) which Beth discovers is a halfway house for parolees. Viola reminds me of a female Indiana Jones with her hat and ever present gun.  I am not a fan of Beth’s mother.  She is a woman with issues of her own and the last thing Beth needs in her life.  The mystery surrounding the death of Linda Rafferty was complex along with kidnapping of Beth.  Only one of them is solved by the end of the book.  Beth was on edge throughout the story which is understandable.  The poor woman has been through a terrible ordeal and the man who caused it is still on the loose.  Beth is also in a new town where a murder just took place and the residents tend to be secretive.  I like how Donner takes the time to make sure Beth is equipped for the harsh weather and gives her rules to follow (she needs them).  I enjoyed Paige’s descriptions of the Alaskan landscape which she brought alive with her vivid word imagery.  I would also envision the characters especially Beth with her vivid scar. The only disappointment is not knowing how long we must wait for the next book in the Alaska Wild Mysteries.  Thin Ice is a suspenseful mystery novel with the cruel climate, a mysterious murder, a crazed captor, close mouthed citizens, and missing memories.
Mammoth Lakes - in the trees
Thin Ice can be purchased here* (Amazon UK). You can find other books by Paige Shelton here on Amazon.  Thank you for dropping in today.  An Amish Wedding Feast on Ice Mountain by Kelly Long is on deck for tomorrow.  It is the sixth book in The Amish of Ice Mountain series.  I hope that you have a day filled with smiles.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
kelsijosilva: Did i mention i love to draw people reading?
*This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Christmas Sweets by Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine and Leslie Meier

Christmas Sweets by [Fluke, Joanne, Levine, Laura, Meier, Leslie]
Welcome!  I am featuring Christmas Sweets by Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine and Leslie Meier today.  Joanne Fluke writes A Hannah Swensen Mystery series which has Coconut Layer Cake Murder coming out on February 25, 2020.  Leslie Meier writes A Lucy Stone Mystery series.  The first book in the series is Mistletoe Murder and is currently available on Kindle Unlimited.  The latest novel in this series is Invitation Only MurderBritish Murder will be released on February 25, 2020 and it contains two previously published A Lucy Stone Mysteries.  They are English Tea Murder and British Manor Murder.  Laura Levine writes A Jaine Austen Mystery series which began with This Pen for Hire.  The seventeenth A Jaine Austen Mystery is Death of a Gigolo.  
Excited to share this item from my #etsy shop: Cookies for Santa Sugar Cookies/ Decorated Christmas Sugar Cookies
Christmas Sweets by Joanne Fluke,Laura Levine and Leslie Meier contains three previously published short stories.  The Twelve Desserts of Christmas by Joanne Fluke has Hannah Swensen helping her sister’s friend, Julie Jansen.  Julie and fellow teacher, Matt Sherwood are stuck at Laker Academy over the holidays watching six students.  The chef left them meals but was unable to provide desserts or cookies.  They appeal to Hannah for help.  Hannah is happy to provide the desserts requested.  Soon, though, she finds herself involved in a curious mystery. 
 Curious, Funny Photos / Pictures: Cats on Christmas Trees - 19 Pics
Nightmare on Elf Street by Laura Levine has Jaine Austen being blackmailed into playing elf at Conspicuous Consumption mall.  Jaine came in for an interview as a copywriter with Molly Grover in Human Resources who just lost an elf. Jain happens to be the right size and in need of a job.  Unfortunately, Scotty Santa is not holly jolly unless flirting with a child’s pretty and wealthy mother.  He also has a penchant tequila and taking cat naps in Santa’s workshop.  One day Jaine brings her cat, Prozac into the mall for the cat whisperer photographer to capture his picture with reindeer antlers on his head for her Christmas card.  Prozac spots a corn dog, takes off and wreaks havoc in Santa Land which gives a killer the perfect opportunity to do in Scotty Santa with a sharp ornament.  When Jaine finds herself on the detective’s naughty list, she gets to work asking questions.  Jaine wants to wrap up this case before Christmas.
 Exclusive Christmas Gemstone Set - Necklace + Earrings
The Christmas Thief by Leslie Meier has Elizabeth Stone stuck in Florida at the Cavendish Hotel working as the assistant concierge.  Jonah Gruber is providing a Christmas spectacular for 600 of his closest friends.  The four day event will end with the Blingle Bells Ball where Jonah’s wife, Noelle will wear his recent gem acquisition that he purchased for the low price of $47 million dollars.  The night of the ball, the gems are discovered missing and Elizabeth is the number one suspect.  Not knowing what to do, Elizabeth calls her mother, Lucy.  The next day, Lucy Stone arrives in town along with Miss Tilley.  ‘Tis the season for investigating and Miss Tilley has a clever idea.
 Merry Christmas image with cute cat smiling in the snow.
Christmas Sweets has three entertaining cozy mysteries.  You will find yourself laughing frequently while reading them.  While these stories had been published previously, I have not read them.  I have read A Hannah Swensen Mystery series as well as A Lucy Stone Mystery series.  This was my first A Jaine Austen Mystery, but I had no problem reading Nightmare on Elf Street.  I was amazed at the trouble Jaine and her cat, Prozac could cause.  Each story is well-written and easy to read.  They are novella length so each story can be finished in one sitting.  I enjoyed spending time with Elizabeth Stone in The Christmas Thief, and I like that Lucy brought along Miss Tilley to help.  I appreciated the note from Leslie Meier at the end of the novella.  The Twelve Desserts of Christmas contains recipes for each item that Hannah created.  The mysteries are not complicated but I did not mind.  They were fun mysteries that suited each story.  I found each short story to be delightful, and I look forward to reading more books by these authors.  Christmas Sweets contains three humorous cozy mysteries with a shameful Santa, a frustrating feline, spectacular sweets, a blingy ball, starry eyed schoolteachers, and an unwise wager. 
Instagram post by Carolina Skinner • Dec 22, 2018 at 5:08pm UTC
Christmas Sweets is available here* (Amazon UK).  Christmas Sweets was just the book I needed.  My oldest dog, Wolfie just passed away and she is missed.  Wolfie was a Siberian Husky who was sixteen years old.  She was the sweetest girl.  So Christmas Sweets provided a little levity in my life.  Thank you for visiting me today.  I am reviewing Thin Ice by Paige Shelton tomorrow.  I hope that you have joyful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!  

The Avid Reader
Woman Reading Book by Christmas Tree #Reading, #Woman, #Book, #Tree
*This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Murder, She Encountered by Peg Cochran: Review & Giveaway!

Murder, She Encountered 

Murder, She Reported Series

by Peg Cochran

About Murder, She Encountered

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Alibi (December 3, 2019)
Print Length ~230 Pages
A gutsy Manhattan socialite encounters murder and corruption at the World’s Fair in this captivating historical cozy mystery for readers of Victoria Thompson, Susan Elia MacNeal, and Rhys Bowen.

New York City, 1939. A rising star at the Daily Trumpet, Elizabeth “Biz” Adams has been sent to the World’s Fair—billed as the “World of Tomorrow,” a look toward a brighter future even as the drumbeats of war grow louder—to cover a robbery. What she stumbles upon instead is a dead woman, dumped into the Aquacade’s pool with a nylon stocking wrapped around her neck.

Elizabeth snaps a photo as the police arrest Joey Dorman, a gentle young hot dog vendor who made no secret of his obsession with the murder victim. Even though she’s thrilled that her photo makes the front page, the fear and confusion evident on Joey’s face are haunting. So Elizabeth vows to prove his innocence—or his guilt—with her partner at the Daily Trumpet, Ralph Kaminsky. Meanwhile, her romance with Detective Sal Marino is heating up, and Elizabeth is more determined than ever to follow her heart.

But when Kaminsky’s efforts to expose the real killer land him in the hospital, Elizabeth is forced to continue the investigation on her own. And as she tries to narrow down the long list of suspects, she discovers a dark secret running through the Fair—a secret some would kill to protect.

Look for all of Peg Cochran’s delightful mysteries featuring Elizabeth Adams, which can be read together or separately:

About the Author

Mystery writing lets Peg indulge her curiosity under the guise of “work” (aka research). As a kid, she read the entire set of children’s encyclopedias her parents gave her and has been known to read the dictionary. She put pen to paper at age seven when she wrote plays and forced her cousins to perform them at Christmas dinner. She switched to mysteries when she discovered the perfect hiding place for a body down the street from her house.

When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, cooking, spoiling her granddaughter and checking her books’ stats on Amazon. A former Jersey girl, Peg now resides in Michigan with her husband and Westhighland white terrier, Reg. She is the author of the A Sweet Nothings Lingerie Mystery series (written as Meg London), the A Gourmet De-Lite Mystery series, A Lucille Mystery seriesA Cranberry Cove Mystery series, and A Farmer’s Daughter Mystery series.

Author Links

BookBub –
Life Savers Candy parachute ride at the 1939 World's Fair.  Photo: Peter Campbell/Corbis Via Getty Images
Kaminsky dares Biz to go on the parachute drop

My Thoughts

Murder, She Encountered by Peg Cochran has Elizabeth “Biz” Adams visiting the New York World’s Fair with veteran crime reporter, Ralph Kaminsky when a woman is murdered.  The police arrest hot dog vender, Joey Dorman for the crime but things do not add up.  Ralph and Biz dig deeper into the case in the hopes of a big story.  When Ralph ends up in the hospital with bronchitis, Biz continues to investigate.  Unfortunately, someone is not happy with Biz’ questions and decides to help her cool off.  Someone has a secret that they will kill for which is evident when a second victim turns up at the fair.  Ralph springs himself from the hospital and rejoins Biz to get to the bottom of this perplexing case.    Murder, She Encountered is the third in the Murder She Reported Series.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series.  However, I have enjoyed reading the series in order which has allowed me to get to know Ralph Kaminsky and Elizabeth “Biz” Adams.  Elizabeth comes from a well-to-family, but she chafes at the endless rules and restrictions.  Her mother, Helen does not understand Elizabeth’s desire to work.  It is a good thing that Biz’ parents do not take the Daily Trumpet, or they would lock Elizabeth in her room.  Ralph Kaminsky is a veteran crime reporter who grabs Biz whenever he goes out on a story.  He is the gruff type with a heart of gold.  You can tell that he cares for Elizabeth.  Ralph and Elizabeth make a great team.  Detective Sal Marino is Elizabeth’s beau and she is falling for the handsome detective.  She can see a future with Marino, but Elizabeth cannot say the same for her mother.  I found Murder, She Encountered to be well-written with steady pacing.  I can tell that Peg Cochran has done her research.  I enjoyed her descriptions of the World’s Fair taking place in New York in 1939.  The lingo is accurate for the time period along with the clothing and types of conveyances.  We get to see what it was like to take the subway in 1939.  There are new inventions mentioned like nylon from Dupont and air conditioning.  Elizabeth shocks her mother by going out in trousers which were made popular by Katherine Hepburn.  Mr. & Mrs. Adams went out to view The Philadelphia Story and Kay Kyser’s “Three Little Fishes” was playing on the radio (FYI—Kay Kyser is a man).  The mystery was complex and there was active investigating throughout the story.  I like how all the pieces tied together.  The author really thought out this multifaceted whodunit.  The ending has me anxious for the next Murder She Reported novel.  Murder, She Encountered is an engrossing cozy mystery with a mystifying mystery, exciting exhibits, soaring temperatures, a poorly reporter, meddlesome models, and a probing photographer. 
Queens NY The Worlds Fair April 22, 1964
Murder, She Encountered is available at Amazon*, B&N, and KoboThe other two novels in the Murder She Reported Series are Murder, She Reported and Murder, She Uncovered.  In honor of the tour, there is a giveaway for two digital copies of Murder, She Encountered.  You can click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Thank you for dropping in today.  I will be back tomorrow with my review of Christmas Sweets by Joanne Fluke, Leslie Meier, and Laura Levine.  I hope that you have a splendid day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

Tour Participants

December 2 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT

December 3 – The Book Diva's Reads – SPOTLIGHT

December 4 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

December 5 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW

December 6 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

December 6 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – The Book's the Thing – REVIEW

December 9 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT


December 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

December 11 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

December 12 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

December 13 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

December 13 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT

December 14 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

December 14 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW

December 15 – OFF

December 16 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW  

December 17 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

December 17 – Book Club Librarian - SPOTLIGHT

December 18 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

December 19 – Here's How It Happened – REVIEW

December 19 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

December 20 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW
Маргарет Митчелл и её роман«Унесёнными ветром»
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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Verse and Vengeance by Amanda Flower

Verse and Vengeance (A Magical Bookshop Mystery #4)
Greetings!  The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters* plus Verse and Vengeance by Amanda Flower are out today. Amanda Flower is a USA Today bestselling author who has also won the Agatha Award.  Amanda started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she had written to her sixth grade class and had them in stitches. Amanda knew then that she had found her calling.  Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder was an Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel.  Amanda is a former librarian who lives in northeast Ohio and recently became engaged.  Her novels include An Amish Candy Shop Mystery series, A Magical Bookshop Mystery series, An Amish Matchmaker Mystery series, An Appleseed Creek Mystery series, and A Magic Garden Mystery series. For more information on Amanda Flower and her books visit her website.  Amanda is on Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and Instagram.
EPBOT: These New Disney Windows Are Pure Magic
Verse and Vengeance by Amanda Flower has Violet Waverly participating in Tour de Cascade Spring with her beau, Chief David Rainwater.  Personally, Violet would rather read a book, but David wanted them to participate in the race together (what a girl does for love).  The race was dreamed up by Violet’s grandmother, Daisy to raise funds for the Cascade Spring Underground Railroad Museum.  Foundation issues were uncovered when construction began at the Village Hall for the museum.  Unfortunately, not everyone in town is in favor of the race or the museum.  To top it off, the pesky private investigator, Joel Redding is back in town and seems intent on following Violet.  Violet and Daisy are determined to protect the shop’s magical essence which communicates with Violet, the current Caretaker, through books.  The evening before the race, the shop keeps putting copies of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman in her path.  Violet is struggling to finish the race when screams ring out.  Joel Redding is dead with a copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass in his backpack.  Chief Rainwater discovers Redding’s bike was sabotaged and soon uncovers a string of suspects.  When Violet’s favorite student ranks at the top of Rainwater’s list, Violet dons her sleuthing cap once again.  
Bike bicycle ride to vet office tuxedo black cat in  by tascha
Verse and Vengeance by Amanda Flower is the fourth A Magical Bookshop Mystery.  There is a delightful cast of characters in this magical tale.  Violet Waverly has just finished teaching another semester at the local college as well as defending her dissertation which has earned her the right to put doctor before her name.  She is looking forward to working in the shop and spending time with her boyfriend, Chief David Rainwater.  Daisy Waverly is Violet’s grandmother and the new mayor of Cascade Springs.  Things are never dull when Daisy is around.  She came up with the idea for the Cascade Springs Underground Railroad Museum and ran short of funding when issues were discovered with the foundation of the Village Hall.  There is Emerson the tuxedo cat that manages to follow Violet around the village (a master escape artist) and Faulkner is the crow that resides in the magical birch tree and calls out unique quotes as well as dropping books into Violet’s path.  There are a variety of charming residents and shop owners plus a curmudgeon or two.  I just love the descriptions of this quant town.  There are some adorable shops and it is close to Niagara Falls.  The mystery was multifaceted with several suspects and good clues.  While I could identify the guilty party, it took longer to figure out the why. This was a unique whodunit.  I like how everything tied together.  Amanda crafted a unique mystery that tied in Walt Whitman.  I especially enjoyed how literature with the help of the essence tied into the whodunit.  Verse and Vengeance also has romance with David and Violet at the forefront, but there is also Daisy and a certain fellow who is smitten with her.  Plus, Violet’s department chair might finally work up the nerve to ask out a certain librarian.  There is humor sprinkled throughout the story that had me chuckling.  That Emerson is quite a character.  Thanks to Amanda Flower’s descriptions, I could envision that cat in Violet’s bicycle basket. Violet’s father returns which brings up old feelings of resentment and confusion.  Can Violet and her father find a way to move forward?  Verse and Vengeance can be read as a standalone for those new to the series, but why would you not want to read all the books in this enchanting series.  The ending of Verse and Vengeance is very special, and I cannot wait for the next book in this enchanting series.  Verse and Vengeance is a spellbinding tale with an enigmatic essence, perplexing poetry, a curious cat, dynamic Daisy, a pesky PI, and a flawed foundation.
indigo bridge, lincoln,ne coffee, tea, & tree
Verse and Vengeance can be picked up here (Amazon UK).  You can find the other books in A Magical Bookshop Mystery series here on Amazon*.  Amanda Flower's next book is Matchmaking Can Be Murder which comes out December 31.  It is the first book in An Amish Matchmaker Mystery series.  I am eager to read it.  Thank you for stopping by today and reading my review.  Tomorrow I am participating in the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Murder, She Encountered by Peg Cochran.  It is the third installment in the Murder She Reported Series.  I hope you will join me.  I hope that you have a joyful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Buch gesucht? For free? Dann mal kurz an der kleinen Bücherbibliothek, Ecke Kollwitzstraße/ Sredzkistraße im Prenzlauer Berg vorbeischauen. Hier stehen fünf Baumstämme, deren Aushöhlungen als kleine Büchregale dienen. Bei Gefallen kann man sich ein Buch mitnehmen bzw. im Gegenzug tauschen. // „Buchcrossing“ Tree Library, Bookexchange at Kollwitzstr. Berlin, Germany.
Little libraries in a real tree
*This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Fading Into the Night by Vannetta Chapman

Fading Into the Night (Cyber Division Book 1) by [Chapman, Vannetta]
Welcome!  Vannetta Chapman is the author of thirty published books which includes Dead Wrong, The Amish Christmas Matchmaker, and Plain and Simple Miracles series.  Vannetta currently writes for Harper Collins Christian Publishing and Harlequin/Love Inspired.  She recently signed a contract with Harlequin/Love Inspired for six additional books.  Vannetta has a BA and MA in English Literature from University of Texas at Arlington.  She currently teaches English at Central Texas College as well as writes. Vannetta Chapman has a blog plus readers can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.  
Cyber terrorist in military uniform. Masked cyber terrorist in military uniform , #spon, #military, #uniform, #Cyber, #terrorist, #Masked #ad
Fading into the Night by Vannetta Chapman has Nora Brooks heading off to Shipshewana, Indiana to thwart a cyber-attack by elusive Dash.  Nora has been chasing this terrorist for some time, but he always manages to disappear without a trace.  They were able to track him to the tourist town of Shipshewana where Nora encounters Benjamin Lapp.  Ben was surprised on his way to barn to find a woman all in black with a gun pointed at him.  Dash is a chameleon and a charming one at that, but he would have no clue how to milk a cow which eliminates Ben as the threat.  Nora was shot hunting for Dash, so Ben cleans up her wound while she explains her mission.  Ben wants to help stop the threat to his community and Nora could use the assistance.  They join forces to catch the elusive Dash and stop his threats once and for all.
'Captain America', 'Scarlet Witch' And More In New AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Stills
Fading into the Night by Vannetta Chapman is the first book in the new Cyber Division series.  It first appeared in Summer of Suspense.  Fading into the Night is a short story at only fifty-five pages, but it is a captivating.  I was instantly drawn into this suspenseful book.  It is short but packed with action.  I liked Nora who is a strong female agent who does not let a bullet wound stop her from completing her mission.  Ben Lapp was the perfect counterpart for Nora.  Shipshewana was the ideal spot for Dash to pick because the area does not have camera and most of the community lives without electricity.  He can blend while he plots his latest attack.  I appreciated the epilogue which nicely completed the story.  Fading into the Night has suspense, mystery and action.  I enjoyed this riveting tale and cannot wait to read Midnight Strike. 
My Aunt took my bro, grandparents and I to Shipshewana, Indiana to check out a massive flea market and to walk around the amish type stores. It was really clean and very touristy. I just remember all the parked horse buggies on the side of the road. lesliejuvin
Fading into the Night is available through Amazon* (Amazon UK).  Midnight Strike is the second novel in the Cyber Division series and it releases on January 3.  I hope I have helped you to find a new book to read today.  Tomorrow I will return to feature Verse and Vengeance by Amanda Flower.  It is the fourth tale in A Magical Bookshop Mystery series.  I hope that you have an inspiring day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
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Sunday, December 8, 2019

Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston

The Little Shop of Found Things (Found Things #1)
Happy Sunday!  Paula Brackston lives in a wild, mountainous area of Wales.  She has a MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and she is a visiting lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport.  Before becoming a writer, Paula tried several positions that included travel agent, secretary, English teacher, groom on a racing yard and a goat herd (poor goats).  When not writing at her desk under the stairs, Paula plays Swedish tennis with her children as well as gets walked by her dog (I have a dog like that) or hacks at the weeds in her vegetable patch.  She likes to relax with a glass of wine by the pond.  You can find a list of Paula Brackston's novels here on Amazon.
"50 Best Vintage Shops"    48 Decades  ‘Gerardine and I grew up in East Lancashire and dressed second-hand from the great stores there,’ says Wayne. ‘Decades stocks a huge range of women’s clothing and accessories from 1870-1970 and the choice is always wonderful.’   18-20 Lord Street West, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB2 1JX. 01254 693320
The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston has readers traveling across the pond to Marlborough, Wiltshire, England.  Xanthe Westlake and her mother, Flora have purchased a small antiques shop so that can have a new start away from London.  Since Xanthe was a small child she has been able to read certain antiques (psychometry).  The objects that call to her, Xanthe gets memories from them.  Xanthe attends an estate sale where a silver chatelaine calls to her intently.  She feels a connection to this piece, so she sets out to find more about the chatelaine.  One day Xanthe is in the garden and the chatelaine reacts to a small building.  When Xanthe steps through the doorway, she ends up in another era.  An injustice in the past needs to righted, and Xanthe is the only person who can fix it. 
Chatelaine: In the 18th and 19th centuries, women in charge of their estates wore a decorative clip about the waist,of long chains holding useful notions within reach.
The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston has an intriguing premise.  Xanthe Westlake can get memories from antique items that call to her.  She always gets a feeling when near a special object.  After finding a silver chatelaine at an estate sale, Xanthe finds herself in the past to correct an injustice.  I liked the idea of a woman with psychometry ability delving into the past.  Unfortunately, I had a difficult time wading through The Little Shop of Found Things.  I struggled to get through the story.  I kept hoping it was just a slow starter and that I would soon be completely engrossed.  That did not happen.  The pacing is sluggish and certain details are repeated often.  The author has an old fashioned writing style and there are overly detailed descriptions.  I was astonished that Xanthe would travel back wearing Doc Martens and no one notices the odd shoes (really).  I could not connect with Xanthe and I did try.  It took me several attempts, but I did finish the story.  I was just not the right audience for The Little Shop of Found Things.  I wanted to like this book because it is the type of story that appeals to me.  I failed to find the magic in The Little Shop of Found Things.
 Through the door and into the secret garden....
The Little Shop of Found Things* (Amazon UK) is the first book in the Found Things seriesSecrets of the Chocolate House is the second book.  While The Little Shop of Found Things was not right for me, it did appeal to many readers.  To see if it is your type of story, please read a sample and judge for yourself.  Thank you for joining me today.  I am featuring Fading into the Night by Vannetta Chapman tomorrow.  I hope that you have a relaxing day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
În grădină by Theodor Aman
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Saturday, December 7, 2019

An Amish Christmas Bakery by Amy Clipston: Excerpt and Review

About the Book

Book:  An Amish Christmas Bakery

Author: Various Authors

Genre: Amish Fiction, Romance

Release Date: October 2, 2019

From bestselling authors in the Amish genre come four delicious novellas perfect for celebrating love, joy, and the holiday season.

Cookies and Cheer by Amy Clipston  (available here)
As Christmas draws near, Alyssa Byler dreams of a window display for the bakery where she works. When she decides to design and build a sugar cookie nativity scene, all she needs is the right cookie cutters-and handsome blacksmith Kyle Smoker is the one she asks for help. Using Kyle’s handmade cutters, Alyssa creates a striking display that brings more tourists to the bakery than she can handle.

And when shoppers request handmade cookie cutters of their own, Kyle finds himself overwhelmed by the demand. As Christmas approaches, Alyssa realizes she’s been too caught up in work to focus on the true meaning of Christmas-and too distracted to explore the feelings she has for Kyle. Together, they put aside the holiday rush and spend their time celebrating the season that has brought them together.
Nativity Scene Cookie Cutters (Set 1)

Loaves of Love by Beth Wiseman (available here)

As the only girl in a family of eight, Katie Swartzentruber has been left in charge of her family’s bakery while her mother recuperates from surgery. At first, Katie doesn’t think tending to the bakery alone will be difficult. She’s worked alongside her mother for years. But Christmas is coming, and with the holiday comes a flood of patrons, both regulars and tourists. When Katie becomes overwhelmed with the orders she is receiving, she is tempted to move her Old Order family into the modern world by purchasing propane ovens to help with the workload. She finds help from an unexpected source-childhood friend Henry Hershberger, who has harbored a secret crush on Katie for years. He’s been afraid to tell her how he feels, but he’s sure that this Christmas is his moment. As the demands of the bakery only get more intense, both Katie and Henry have to decide what really matters . . . and find the courage within themselves to go after it.
Picture of Stoltzfus Bakery in Central Market, Lancaster PA
Melting Hearts by Kathleen Fuller (available here)

Mattie Shetler is an expert baker, so when her aunt Carolyn begs for help during the busy Christmas rush, Mattie eagerly packs her bags and heads to Birch Creek. What she doesn’t know is that her uncle has also asked for help with the bakery’s new expansion, and he’s asked none other than Peter Kaufman, Mattie’s sworn enemy. As the two work side by side, though, Mattie discovers not all is as it seems. With Christmas just around the corner, Mattie and Peter open their hearts for the greatest gifts of the season: forgiveness and maybe even love.
Image result for amish women cooking pictures
Cakes and Kisses by Kelly Irvin (available here)

Martha Ropp works hard at her family’s bakery, making cakes and pies in preparation not only for Christmas but the many community weddings, including her sister’s. To help during this busy season, Martha’s mother hires Ambrose Hershberger to make deliveries. Martha remembers Ambrose as a gentle giant from her school days, but soon discovers that still waters run deep. The more they work together, the more they want to spend time together outside of the bakery, but both Martha and Ambrose are too timid to make the first move. That’s when the town matchmakers step in.

Click here to get your copy. 
Bakery - pie-making.

My Thoughts

An Amish Christmas Bakery by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kelly Irvin and Kathleen Fuller contains four Amish Christmas stories filed with joy, hope, faith, and love.  I thought they were all well-written with steady pacing and relatable characters.  I enjoyed reading each of the four tales.  While the stories are cohesive (bakery theme), each novella has the authors distinctive writing voice.  Cookies and Cheer was such a sweet story with the sugar cookie nativity scene (sounds lovely).  I liked the characters and the moral of the story (the true meaning of Christmas).  It has Amy Clipston’s engaging writing which made Cookies and Cheer a pleasure to read.  Each novella has a life lesson, Christmas cheer and romance.  In Melting Hearts, we see the importance of forgiveness.  I could relate to Martha Ropp in Cakes and Kisses with her severe migraines (poor thing).  My favorite phrases came from Cakes and Kisses.  It is “We are all the same in God’s eyes.”  Wouldn’t the world be a different place if everyone viewed individual’s in this manner!  Each of these stories will have you smiling and sometimes laughing.  An Amish Christmas Bakery contains four heartwarming novellas with mouthwatering baked goods, the true meaning of Christmas, good friends, and tender romance. 
12 Amazing Gingerbread Nativities Too Beautiful to Eat

Read an Excerpt

Read an excerpt of An Amish Christmas Bakery by clicking here.  Enjoy!
The nativity, baby Jesus our savior was born. #justdarlicious #babyjesus #nativity #natavityscene #stencil #jesusisthereasonfortheseason…
Decorated Sugar Cookie
An Amish Christmas Bakery is available here* (Amazon UK).  Thank you for stopping by today.  I will return tomorrow to share my review of The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston which is the first book in the Found Things series.  On Sundays I feature books that I was unable to when they were released.  I hope that you have a day filled with sweet treats.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, December 7
The Avid Reader, December 7
Quiet Quilter, December 9
Life as Lanhams, December 10
Britt Reads Fiction, December 10
D’S QUILTS &BOOKS, December 10
Emily Yager, December 11
Texas Book-aholic, December 11
Older & Smarter?, December 13
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Bigreadersite, December 14
Batya’s Bits, December 14
For Him and My Family, December 14
Splashes of Joy, December 15
Lighthouse Academy, December 15
Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 15
EmpowerMoms, December 16
Hallie Reads, December 18
Mary Hake, December 18
A Reader’s Brain, December 20
Little Silver Tale

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