Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Happy Book Release Day!  I love the day when wonderful new book show up on my Kindle!  Scam Chowder by Maya Corrigan, A Batter of Life and Death by Ellie Alexander, The Longest Yard Sale by Sherry Harris, and All Dressed Up and No Place to Haunt by Rose Pressey are four cozy mysteries out today.  The Witch of Bourbon Street by Suzanne Palmieri, Change of Heart by Molly Jebber, and Little Girls by Ronald Malfi are some other books that were released today! 
Spellbinder by C. C. Hunter is a young adult novel about young witches.  Miranda Kane is seventeen and forced to compete in magical competitions by her mother.   Her mother offers her an incentive to do well at this latest competition.  The winner gets to go to Paris for the next competition.  If Miranda comes in first, her mother will pay for her two best friends, Kylie (fae with chameleon shifting abilities) and Della (a vampire) to go to Paris with her.

Miranda has a form of dyslexia which is why her spells go wonky (plus her mind tends to wander).  Miranda is going to try hard to win this one.  She wants to go to Paris to see Perry.  Perry was her boyfriend who went to a special school in Paris.  Miranda still cares for Perry and wants to see him.  Miranda does well in the first two parts of the competition.  The third one goes well until a fire ball goes awry.  Turns out it was not Miranda’s fault (Miranda was shocked as well as her friends).  Someone is trying to kill of the contestants.  Miranda does win the competition and heads to Paris with bodyguards.  Miranda and her friends try to figure out who is killing off the contestants before anyone else gets hurt (including themselves).  Miranda will also discover a family secret that will change her life.

I give Spellbinder 3 out of 5 stars.  It is okay, but not great.   It is evidently part of a series called Shadow Falls (did not notice this when I picked the book nor was it mentioned).  There is some teenage romance mixed in the book as Miranda has two boys that she is attracted to and can imagine kissing (her mind tends to wander to the subject frequently).  I did enjoy the plot twist with the family secret.  I wish the book had contained more magic as well as more background information (for those that have not read the other book in the series).  I think I would have understood the book better if I had read the previous books in the series.  Spellbinder is out today (June 30, 2015).

I received a complimentary copy of Spellbinder from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  The review and opinions expressed are my own.

I hope everyone had a lovely day!  Take care, drive home safely, and have a relaxing evening.  Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Longest Yard Sale

June is almost over.  The month went by so quickly.  I got behind on my reading list in March, and I am trying so hard to catch up.  I have one book left to read from March and then I can start on the April books that I have not read yet.  Compared to other people's troubles, this is very trivial!  Reading is my escape from reality.  I have always loved books and reading.  They are a way to explore other worlds and countries as well as different time periods.  I have never traveled in real life, but, thanks to books, I have been to London, Paris, Greece, Venice, Australia, Nova Scotia (Anne of Green Gables), and so many other wonderful places.  What would we do without books? 
I just finished The Longest Yard Sale by Sherry Harris.  It is the second book in the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery series (the first book is Tagged for Death which is currently $1.99--do not know how long it will be at this price).  Sarah Winston is up early for New England’s Largest Yard Sale.  She suggested the idea and Nancy Elder, the town manager, ran with it.  Sarah was in charge of organizing the event.  The police department (run by her ex-husband, C.J. Hooker) was against the idea but Nancy slowly overcame their objections.

Things are going well until Sarah hears sirens.  Someone has set four fires in various parts of the town.  The next morning Sarah is awakened by her friend, Carol Carson.  Carol drags Sarah over to her shop Paint and Wine to find Terry McQueen dead in the shop!  A painting that Carol was working on is also missing.  It was a replica of the painting Battled (a picture of the Revolutionary War done by ware hero Patrick West and hangs in the town library).  Carol and Sarah do not know who he is but find out thanks to a little eavesdropping.  C.J. is on the case and Sarah hopes to wheedle some information out of him (C.J. seems to have developed a resistance to Sarah’s charms).  Sarah sets out to prove Carol is innocent of the crime (people will not go into her shop).  The next morning Sarah hears that Battled has been stolen from the library and copy is in its place (guess who painted the copy).

Sarah really has to get to work to prove Carol is innocent and did not know that her painting would be used for nefarious means.  Terry (the dead guy) had started a new investment business with David “Bubbles” Jackson.  Sarah and C.J. know David from the Air Force.  David is getting ready to retire and needed a business venture (he has a lot of clients from the military).  David is also seeing Sarah’s landlady, Stella (who is a singer and gives lessons).  You can always tell when Stella is in a good mood at night because she bursts out in song.  Sarah is hoping David can provide some insight on Terry that will help her solve the case.  Turns out that Terry was receiving threatening notes before his death and now David is getting similar threats.  How did someone get on the base to leave the notes?  Who is behind Terry’s death? 

I enjoyed reading The Longest Yard Sale.  I liked the characters, the town, and the information about garage sales (as well as fixing up items).  The mystery was interesting, but not too complex (and was not easily solved).  I did not understand Sarah’s relationship with her ex-husband or with new beau, Seth.  She divorced her husband based on allegations (there had to be more to it) and now she is seeing Seth.  But she will not let herself enjoy her time with Seth.  Is she still in love with her ex-husband or is it comfortable/familiar?  I think this storyline needs to be wrapped up quickly.  Otherwise, a charming cozy mystery!  I give The Longest Yard Sale 4.5 out of 5 stars.  The Longest Yard Sale will be out on Tuesday, June 30, 2015!

I received a complimentary copy of The Longest Yard Sale from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  The review and opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you for stopping by! I am currently reading Uncovering Secrets by Barbara Hinske.  Have a great day and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Change of Heart

Happy Sunday!  The beginning of another week!  Time seem to fly by the older I get (when I was working it just dragged).  Anyone have any suggestions on what to do with boxes of magazines?  I have over a dozen boxes with Stampington and Company magazines (Somserset Studio, Stamper's Sampler, Take Ten, Prims).  I do not want to throw them away and it is hard for me to get them to the library (if they would even want them for the Friends of the Library Bookstore).  Is it okay to put them in the recycle bin?
Change of Heart by Molly Jebber is a sweet Christian/Amish romance novel.  It is set in 1899.  Becca Yost was left at the altar and has decided she needs a change from her community in Berlin, Ohio.  Becca is going to visit her sister, Ruth Smith in Massillon.  Ruth’s husband died after just three years of marriage.  Ruth runs a store called Ruth’s Mending Shop.  Ruth left the Amish community to marry her husband, Caleb. 

After arriving in Massillon, Becca injures her arm.  She is lucky enough to meet Matt Carrington, the local doctor.  He takes her to his office and fixes her arm.  He then escorts her to Ruth’s house.  When Matt hears that Becca is a midwife, he asks her to work as his nurse.  He has an office assistant, but Dorothy does not like dealing with blood.

Matt and Becca get to know each other and fall in love.  Matt loves her sweet innocence and Becca decides to leave the Amish faith.  However, there is a big obstacle in the way to their happiness—Eloise Carrington, Matt’s mother.  She believes her son needs a woman of good breeding and wealth.  Matt finds most of the women his mother thrusts at him nasty, bitter, and shallow.  Mrs. Carrington tries to buy off Becca without success.  She then tries to humiliate her at a dinner, insult her in public, and get others to change her mind.   After a while Becca tells Matt that she cannot see him anymore.  She does not want to come between Matt and his family.  Matt has made it known that he loves Becca and only wants her (he does not care for the opinions of his shrew of a mother).  Becca feels that if they are meant to be together, God will find a way.  Love is in the air for Becca’s sister, Ruth as well.  Someone new to town will capture her heart.  The sisters also take in a sweet little boy who desperately needs saving from his abusive and neglectful mother.

Change of Heart was a sweet book and very enjoyable to read.  I give Change of Heart 4 out of 5 stars.  Reading Change of Heart is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.  It has such a satisfying and romantic ending.  Change of Heart will be out on June 30, 2015!

I received Change of Heart from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  The review and opinions expressed are my own.

If you enjoy Change of Heart (or like Amish fiction), Molly Jebber has another book coming out in September.  It is called The Amish Christmas Sleigh.  It contains three stories written by Kelly Irvin, Amy Lillard, and Molly Jebber.  Molly Jebber's next book will be Grace's Forgiveness.  It will be out in January 2016.

I appreciate you taking the time to read my latest review.  I am currently reading Little Girls by Ronald Malfi (it is just awful).  Tonight is the series finale of Nurse Jackie.  I am curious to see what happens to Jackie Peyton.  Have a wonderful and relaxing evening!  Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader