Saturday, October 31, 2015

Passing through Perfect

Happy Halloween!  It says the quote of the day is "Home is where the haunt is".  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  It is so much fun to decorate for Halloween (for more information on the holiday click on the word Halloween).  

I just finished Passing through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby.  It the third book in The Wyattsville Series.  It is 1946 and Benjamin Church has just returned to Twin Pines from the war.  He has returned to his father’s (Otis Church) farm (they are sharecroppers) to help him out.  Since they live in Alabama, Benjamin believes he can have money producing crops all year round.  While at a local dance, Benjamin meets Delia Finch.  She is the pastor’s daughter.  They immediately fall in love and wish to marry.  Pastor Finch does not approve of Benjamin for his daughter.  Pastor Finch is a college graduate and has made sure that his daughter had a private school education despite her color.  Delia has had a good life and has been sheltered from the harshness of being a non-white in Alabama.  When Delia turns up pregnant, her father calls her a bad name and throws her out of the house.  Delia and Benjamin marry the next day.  Delia sacrifices her family for her love.

Life will not be easy for Delia, Benjamin, and Otis.  When the worst happens, Benjamin will have to make a choice.  A choice that will change life for Benjamin.  Passing through Perfect is just a lovely novel to read.  Passing through Perfect is well written and the novel flows beautifully.  I liked the characters (except Delia’s father).  It is interesting to see life from a different perspective and I was glad for the epilogue that wrapped up the novel nicely.  I give Passing through Perfect 4.25 out of 5 stars.  The only thing I did not enjoy was the periodic chapters told from the first person perspective of various characters.  I did not always feel that the enhanced the story.  While Passing through Perfect is the third book in the series, it can easily be read alone (though you will want to go back and read the other two novels).

The other two books in the Wyattsville series are Spare Change and Jubilee's Journey.  You can also purchase all three books together The Wyattsville Series.  I received a complimentary copy of Passing through Perfect from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I hope all of you have a very Happy Halloween!  May you get many sweet treats (or you sneak some good ones from your children's treat bags).  I just finished a very appropriate book for Halloween!  It is called  Fangs for the Memories by Molly Harper. It was just delightful (and I will post a full review soon).  I am off to read Cardiac Arrest by Lisa Q. Mathews.  Have a Halloween evening and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Friday, October 30, 2015

Playing with Fire

It is National Candy Corn Day and Mischief Night (click on the names for more details).  When I was growing up, this was the night (All Hallows Eve) we went trick or treating.  It was common practice in our area (Columbus, Ohio). They have since changed it and children go out on Halloween night.  

I just finished Tess Gerritsen’s latest novel Playing with FireIt is told from two different perspectives.  Julia Ansdell is in Rome, Italy.  She was playing a festival nearby (she is a violinist).  She is picking up souvenirs for her husband, Rob and her daughter, Lily (a cute, little blonde) before heading home.  Julia notices an antique store with old music and books.  Julia collects old and unusual music.  She picks up a book with gypsy music and a single sheet of music falls out.  It is handwritten with the title Incendio by L. Todesco (means fire).  The first time Julia plays the music at home while enjoying a day with her daughter, Lily.  The next thing she knows is her cat is dead and Lily is holding the garden tool that killed the cat.  A few days later Julia is playing the music again (and Lily is home) and she is stabbed in the leg with a piece of broken glass.  Lily is saying “hurt Mommy” according to Julia.  Multiple tests on run on Lily and the only thing they discover is that the music seems to be familiar to Lily (according to a test they performed).   Julia withdraws from her daughter.  The ever helpful husband believes the problem must lie with his wife. He wants her to go to a specialist (a psychiatrist that helps fathers get custody of their children).  Julia is determined to find out more about the music.

Lorenzo Todesco is an Italian-Jew in Venice, Italy in 1938.  A friend of his grandfather’s wants him to perform a duet with his granddaughter, Laura (a lovely, bubbly, strong blonde).  While rehearsing the two fall in love.  But then they are unable to perform because Lorenzo is Jewish.    Laura tries to save Lorenzo and his family, but they refuse to leave or realize how terrible it is going to get for Jews in Italy.  Lorenzo ends up in an Italian concentration camp where he is picked to be a musician.  Lorenzo plays music with other musicians to cover up the sounds of the poor souls being murdered in the camps.  Lorenzo writes a special piece of music that he titled Incendio. 

Playing with Fire is an interesting story.  I enjoyed reading this novel.  I feel that the World War II theme has been overplayed this year, but I did like Tess Gerritsen’s book.  It is different from the other novels I have read.  It is overall a very well written book.  The one thing I did not like was the abrupt ending.  The book was going along at a good pace and then someone hit the brakes (whiplash).  I enjoyed how the two perspectives tied together, but I was disappointed because it did not contain a great paranormal ending (the book felt like a paranormal book, but it really is not).  I give Playing with Fire 4 out of 5 stars (which means I liked it).

I received a complimentary copy of Playing with Fire from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to tell you about a new cozy mystery called The Calamity Cafe: A Down South Cafe Mystery by Gayle Leeson (aka Gayle Trent and Amanda Lee).  It is available for pre-order on Amazon and it will be available on June 7, 2016 (it will be here before you know it).  Have a fun mischief night and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Haunt Couture and Ghosts Galore

Do you own a cat?  Then you should know that it is National Cat Day! Make sure to give your cat (or cats) some extra love today! The cat in the book cover (above) is Wind Song.  She is a psychic cat that gives answers via tarot cards and a Ouija board.

Haunt Couture and Ghosts Galore by Rose Pressey is the third book in A Haunted Vintage Mystery series.  Cookie Chanel is providing vintage accessories to the Melanie Lee’s fashion show.  Cookie figured it would be a good opportunity to showcase the items available in her store Vintage Y’all in Sugar Creek, Georgia.  After the show Cookie is looking for Melanie.  She goes out a door and finds Melanie on the ground.  Hannah O’Neil a model is standing nearby.  Then a ghost pops up next to Cookie.  No, it is not Melanie.  Sam Sanders is a ghost from the 40’s.  He was a private investigator when he was alive.  He is attached to the grey fedora (that Cookie bought at an estate sale) that is laying near Melanie’s body (which is now in police custody).  Charlotte Meadows, the ghost that is already attached to Cookie, is thrilled to see Sam and starts flirting with him.  Now Cookie has two ghosts to contend with. 

Hannah is arrested for the murder of Melanie despite her protests that she is innocent.  Charlotte and Sam want Cookie to investigate the crime.  Sam misses using his PI skills.  So Cookie and her sidekicks set off to investigate the murder.  Will Cookie be able to figure out who murdered Melanie in time to save Hannah?  Can Cookie get back Sam’s hat so he can cross over?  Cookie will have to solve the crime in between her dates with Detective Dylan Valentine and Ken Harrison (attorney), running her shop, taking care of her cat, Wind Song (who is psychic) and acquiring new items for Vintage Y’all. 

Haunt Couture and Ghosts Galore is a humorous, paranormal mystery (and sometimes a little too silly). The book also contains Sam’s Sleuthing Tips and Cookie’s Savvy Vintage Clothing Shopping Tips.  Some phrases are repeated too often throughout the book (like it is filler).  At the end of the book, there are some unanswered questions (I wish I could tell you but they are spoilers).  After a while you really start to wonder how Cookie makes any money with her shop.  She seems to spend most of her time running around town leaving her store closed.  When Cookie does have the store open, she seems to chase away her customers with her paranoid attitude.  The author provides many possible killers, but the mystery is really very simple (and can be solved early in the book).  I give Haunt Couture and Ghosts Galore 3 out of 5 stars (maybe I am too critical or overthinking it).  We do get a preview of the next book in A Haunted Vintage Mystery series at the end of the novel.

The first two books in A Haunted Vintage Mystery series are If You've Got it, Haunt it and All Dressed Up and No Place to Haunt. You can follow Rose Pressey on AmazonFacebook, or visit her website at I received a complimentary copy of Haunt Couture and Ghosts Galore from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

It is so important to write reviews for your favorite authors.  If you want your favorite series to be published, they need love (do to changes in the publishing industry).  So please take the time to write a short review if you enjoy a book!  I hope everyone has a nice and relaxing evening. Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Counting Stars

It is Hermit Day!  If you enjoy seclusion and being by yourself, this is your day.  I have to admit this is probably a day for me!  I am not the type to entertain or enjoy crowds.  It is also said to be National Frankenstein Day (not to be confused with Frankenstein Friday which is tomorrow or August 30 which is Mary Shelley's birthday--the lady who wrote Frankenstein).  

I just finished reading Counting Stars by Kathleen Long.  Bernadette “Bernie” Murphy wants to fulfill a dream of her brother's.  Mark wanted to travel around the United States and see all the big attractions (biggest ball of twine, giant rocking horse, giant tea pot).  Mark died before he was able to see the attractions he had listed in a journal.  Bernie wants her sister-in-law, Jenny (Mark's wife), her mother, and best friend, Diane to go on a three week trip to see the sights.  It will be an interesting journey.

Bernie borrows Georgie Girl (a 35 ft. motor home) from her neighbor’s brother.  Jenny arranges supplies and organizes them.  On the day of the trip, Diane shows up with her daughter, Ashley.  Ashley is seventeen years old.  Diane wants Ashley to go in her place.  Then Aidan Kelly, neighbor and would be fiancĂ©, shows up with Bernie’s dog, Poindexter.  Aidan had agreed to watch Poindexter while Bernie was away on the trip.  He feels the need to get away by himself.  Aidan would also like Bernie to make a decision.  He proposed weeks ago and has yet to receive an answer.  Bernie has been wearing the engagement ring on a cord around her neck.  Maybe time away will help Bernie make up her mind about Aidan.

Bernie, Jenny, Anne, Ashley, and Poindexter are in for the trip of a lifetime.  They are hoping to visit twenty-eight landmarks in three weeks.  Jenny has a detailed itinerary.  It will be a journey that they will never forget.   

Counting Stars had some good moments, but overall it was just an okay book.  Would I purchase this book?  The answer would probably be no. I enjoyed the large exhibits (I had no idea there were so many different large sites in the United States), the large RV, and Ashley with the knitting looms (I love knitting looms and have dozens of them). One of my favorite parts of the book was how Ashley taught everyone how to use the knitting loom to create chemo caps.  I liked the meaning of the stars in the novel.  They would gaze up at the star at night.  The stars represent memories of the people we have lost and remind us of all the things to come in our lives.  What a lovely thought.  I was hoping that this book would be an enjoyable read, but I found myself skimming through a lot of it (I speed read through the boring sections).  The book does contain a nice ending with good results for the characters.  I just found the book lacking (boring).  I give Counting Stars 3 out of 5 stars (which means it is just medium or vanilla).

Counting Stars is available on Kindle Unlimited (which is a great affordable program).  I received a complimentary copy of Counting Stars from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am currently reading Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins.  I am off to the grocery store for a couple of items (including chocolate)!  Enjoy your day and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Look Both Ways

Happy Wednesday!  We are halfway through the week.  It is also Plush Animal Lover's Day!  I have to admit that I like this day!  I may be in my 40's but I have been collecting Raggedy Ann and Andy's since I was twelve.  My collection is quite large.  My mother has a big collection of Boyd's Bears!  Some of them are 3 feet tall!  Almost every person collects something (even if they do not realize it).  I collect books, old hats (especially from the 1940's), and Raggedy Ann and Andy's (I have lamps, mirrors, books, etc.)  What do you collect?

Look Both Ways by Carol J. Perry is the third book in Witch City Mystery series.  Lee Barrett is working on furnishing her new apartment which is on the top floor of her Aunt Ibby’s home (where she grew up).  It is summer time which means she has extra time on her hands.  Lee teaches TV Production 101 at Tabitha Trumbull Academy of the Arts (aka Tabby).  To keep herself busy, Lee has agreed to locate the props needed to the plays being performed at the school that summer. 

Lee and her Aunt Ibby (Isobel Russell) see a snippet on television about an antiques dealer, Shea Tolliver who has a dresser with hidden compartments.  The dresser is identical to one Lee had as a child that burned in a fire.  Lee rushes over to purchase the dresser.  It previously belonged to Helena Trent who was murdered over six years previously.  When Lee goes back to Tolliver's Antiques and Uniques to look for more items for her apartment, she finds Shea Tolliver dead in the store.

Lee sets out to find out who killed Shea Tolliver.  Does it have anything to do with the dresser she purchased and Helena's missing pink diamond necklace (worth a pretty penny)?  Will Lee’s newly discovered scrying talent help in solving this puzzle?

I enjoyed reading Look Both Ways.  It is a fun, paranormal mystery novel.  While this is the third book in the series, you can read it without having enjoyed the first two books (though you should read them).  I give Look Both Ways 4.25 out of 5 stars.  I like the characters in the novel as well as the town of Salem, Massachusetts (which I bet is a great town to live in during Halloween).  I am hoping that Lee will embrace her talents more fully in the next book.  One thing I did not enjoy was the addition of dream interpretation and Feng shui.  I did not feel it helped or enhanced the story.  The book already contains witchcraft, tarot reading, and scrying.  Overall, Look Both Ways is a magical book that is a delight to read!

The other books in the Witch City Mystery series are Caught Dead Handed (currently $2.51 on Amazon) and Tails, You Lose (currently $1.99 on Amazon).  I received a complimentary copy of Look Both Ways from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am off to do a little house cleaning (sweeping).  I hope you have a lovely and happy afternoon!  Make sure you do something for yourself!  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


I have hit 500 reviews on Amazon!  I started reviewing and blogging about books one year ago!  Time goes by quickly when you are doing something that you enjoy!  Some great new books came out today.  Here are just a few: Flipped for Murder by Maddie Day, Look Both Ways by Carol J. Perry, Haunt Couture and Ghosts Galore by Rose Pressey, The Scottie Barked at Midnight by Kaitlyn Dunnett, When Secrets Strike by Marta Perry, and The Single Undead Moms Club by Molly Harper.

Unspoken by C.C. Hunter is the third novel in the Shadow Falls:  After Dark series.  Della Tsang is vampire and attends Shadow Falls Academy (school for supernaturals).  In fact she is a Reborn (turned twice) and is now bonded to the infuriating and handsome Chase Tallman.  Della, though, has a lot going on in her life (besides adjusting to being a vampire).  Her father is accused of murdering his sister, Bao Yu (who is now a ghost and following Della).  His blood was found on the knife that killed her (his twin brother faked his death when he became a vampire).  Della is determined to clear her father’s name.  At the same time her elderly neighbors the Chi’s were murdered in their jewelry store.  Mrs. Chi’s ghost has come to Della for help (Della is a ghost magnet).  Della believes she saw who killed the Chi’s.  Since Della is unable to work on her father’s case (though she keeps trying), she works on solving the Chi’s murder.  She will have her work cut out for her especially when the police get an anonymous tip that leads to Della.

Chase works on getting back into Della’s good graces (she keeps pushing him away despite her attraction to him).  Chase quits his job with the Vampire Council and joins the FRU (Fallen Research Unit which is like the FBI).  Della wants to become an agent and join the FRU when she graduates from high school.  Burnett James (part owner of Shadow Falls—the school—as well as being a part of the FRU) is reluctant to accept Chase because he wants to protect Della (he is like a father to Della).   Della wants to know that being with Chase is her choice and not because of the bond they share.   Della also has not told her parents that she is a vampire.  She is trying to hide it, but her father is treating her differently.  Could her father, Chao Tsang, have figured out what Della has become?

There is a lot going on in Unspoken.  It is an interesting book (and told from Chase’s and Della’s point of view) but it was difficult to read with the foul language, teenage angst, and Della’s constantly being angry.  The book also includes teenage intimacy.  It was difficult to get into this book, but it gets more interesting in the second half of the novel.  I believe in order to understand everything that is happening in Unspoken, you need to read the first two books in the trilogy.  I give Unspoken 3 out of 5 stars.  It was an okay novel, but I did not really enjoy this book (I actually found it very frustrating).  A love triangle for teenagers seems a little hard to believe as well as teenagers doing adults work (but then they still act like teenagers with temper tantrums, crying, and disobedience).  I think the novel would have been better with adults instead of teenagers (and the teenage angst).  I love vampire, witches, and other supernatural novels, but Unspoken just did not speak to me.

The other two books in the series are Reborn and Eternal. I received a complimentary copy of Unspoken from NetGalley (and the publisher) in exchange for an honest review.

Did you purchase any books today?  Book release day is my favorite day! There are some great books coming out next week on November 3, 2015.  I will provide more details later.  Have a lovely, Tuesday evening and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Flipped for Murder

It is National Tell-a-Story Day in Scotland and United Kingdom.  It celebrates storytelling in all its forms.  In the United States we celebrate this day on April 27.  It is also Navy Day.  We celebrate the United States Navy.  My father was in the navy.  I am shocked at some of his tales.  But it is interesting to hear about the places he got to visit during his service.  He was in Panama and got to see the Panama Canal (I am fascinated by the locks on the canal).  He also went to New Orleans.  He arrived the day after Mardi Gras much to his disappointment. Do you know someone who was in the navy? Ask them about their adventures! 

Flipped for Murder by Maddie Day (aka Edith Maxwell) is the first book in the new Country Store Mystery series.  It is opening day for Pans ‘N Pancakes in South Lick, Indiana.  It is a restaurant that sells breakfast and lunch as well as having a country store that sells vintage kitchenware.   Roberta “Robbie” Jordan is excited to finally have her dream become a reality.  Robbie had been working for the Nashville Inn for the last three years (since moving to Indiana from California).  Stella Rogers, assistant to the mayor, gave her a hard time in obtaining the necessary permits to open Pans ‘N Pancakes (her son wanted the same location).  Stella has held the position in the mayor’s office since she was in her twenties (which means she knows a lot of secrets).  Her opening day is a success.  When Robbie comes back from a date with Jim Shermer, Buck Bird is waiting for her.  Buck is second in command at the police department.  Stella Rogers was found dead in her home with one of Robbie’s cheese biscuits stuffed in her mouth (Stella purchased extra biscuits to take home).  Robbie is considered a person of interest.  Someone does not want Robbie to succeed in her new venture. 

Robbie wants to stay out of jail so she starts looking into Stella’s life to see who wanted her dead.  Turns out that Stella had made a lot of enemies.  Robbie uses her crossword puzzle skills to figure out who killed Stella Rogers and is trying to frame her for the crime.  After twenty-seven years Robbie finds out the identity of her biological father.  Her mother never told her about him and now she is deceased.  Will Robbie be able to connect with him?  There is also an adorable little kitten named Birdy (his meows sound like cheeps). 

I found Flipped for Murder to be a good cozy mystery.  I enjoyed the characters (and thankfully, there are not too many and they are not too quirky), the town of South Lick (a typical small town), and the mystery (it is a medium level mystery).  The author provided some great clues the lead the reader to the killer (she also provided some information that could lead the reader down the wrong path).  I did like the side mystery of Robbie trying to find out information about her father.  It gives the reader more insight into Robbie.  I give Flipped for Murder 4 out of 5 stars.  I look forward to the next book in the Country Store Mystery series.  I would like to see the characters fleshed out a little more (we did not get many details on Robbie’s past and really no details on Jim Shermer) and a more complicated mystery (I have only been stumped once this year).  There are some nice recipes at the end of the novel (cheese biscuits included) and a preview of the next book in the series.  If you like to read cozy mysteries, you will love reading Flipped for Murder! The next book in the series is Grilled for Murder and it will be out on May 31, 2016!  It will take place just after Thanksgiving.  You can pre-order it on Amazon.

You can follow Maddie Day on Amazon and Facebook.  I received a complimentary copy of Flipped for Murder from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my review!  I am currently reading Passing through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby.  I hope everyone has a good afternoon.  It is raining in my area so I am staying inside and doing housework!  Take care if you are out and about.  Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Amish Heart of Ice Mountain

I hope everyone had a lovely and relaxing weekend.  It is National Mincemeat Day!  A day to celebrate that sweet, meat treat. Mincemeat is mixture of minced (chopped up) meats (beef usually), suet (which I am sorry I looked up--click on suet to find out what it is), and fruits (raisins, apples, pears, etc).  Alcohol is sometimes added to the mixture (brandy or rum). I am sure everyone has heard of mincemeat pie which is popular around the holidays.  

The Amish Heart of Ice Mountain by Kelly Long is the third book in the Ice Mountain series.  Sarah Mast is the new healer for Ice Mountain and she is moving into the Grossmuder May’s old cabin.  Edward King was just kicked out of his brother's (Joseph) home for his drinking.  He believes the healer's cabin is empty when he stumbles into it to find Sarah.  Edward is wet from the rain and coming down sick.  He takes off his shirt to get dry when Sarah's father and Bishop Umble enter the cabin.  Sarah’s father, Mahlon Mast insist that the two get married and the Bishop backs up the decision.  Sarah and Edward are married immediately!  Will these two be able to make the marriage work?

Sarah gets guidance from an old journal that belonged to Grossmuder May.  It provides a look into the life of May G. Miller and how she ended up on Ice Mountain.  That evening a storm comes through and a big limb falls onto the cabin breaking through the roof to the bedroom where Edward was sleeping.  Edward is airlifted to the hospital.  He loses an eye and is left scars running down one side of his face.  Edward’s drinking becomes worse making things difficult for these two newlyweds.  One night Edward decides to take the horse he is trying to train out for a ride and he ends up injuring Sarah.  Will this make Edward change his ways?  Will this accident make someone else change their ways and repent for past misdeeds?  Will Edward and Sarah ever get a happily ever after?

The Amish Heart of Ice Mountain is a lovely romance novel.  This novel contains kissing, flirting, lusting, and sex (which is not why I read an Amish fiction book).  There is also drinking, violence, and spousal abuse in The Amish Heart of Ice Mountain.  The book is nicely written, but it is very different from other Amish fiction novels.  I have read all the books in the series (this book can be read as a standalone), but this one was my least favorite (because of the things I mentioned above).  There are some good messages contained in the novel, and I did like the journal entries from Grossmudder May.  I give The Amish Heart of Ice Mountain 3.5 out of 5 stars.  The other books in the series are:  The Amish Bride of Ice Mountain (currently $2.99 on Amazon), The Amish Man of Ice Mountain (currently $1.99 on Amazon), and The Amish Christmas Sleigh (a short story).  

The Amish Heart of Ice Mountain will be released on Tuesday, October 27, 2015.  I received a complimentary copy of The Amish Heart of Ice Mountain from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am currently reading Look Both Ways by Carol Perry.  What are reading?  I am always looking for new books.  I hope all of you have a great afternoon!  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Sunday, October 25, 2015

An Endless Christmas

The beginning of the last week in October.  The month has just flown by so quickly.  According to the Holiday Insights page, it is Mother-in-Law Day!  If you love your mother-in-law (or just tolerate her), you should do something special for her today (flowers, take her out to dinner, gift certificate).  

An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti is a cute Christmas romance novel.  Katie Vale is going home with her boyfriend, Micah Binder for Christmas.  As soon as they get through the door of his grandparent’s home, Micah proposes to Katie (he really should have waited).  Katie, who had received a text on the way to the home from the airport, says no.  Now this could make for an awkward Christmas if it wasn’t the Binder family.  Why does Katie not want to get married? Did the text she receive having something to do with her answer?  I think Christmas with the Binder’s will be a life altering experience for Katie.

I found An Endless Christmas to be a delightful story.  It is a charming story with very likable characters.  The Binder family is a large, loving family.  I, personally, would go crazy with so many people in one house (and I would never consider a window seat a bed which is where Katie got to sleep during her stay).  However, it is lovely to read about such a heartwarming, Christian family.  I give An Endless Christmas 4 out of 5 stars.  You can follow Cynthia Ruchti on Amazon and on Facebook.

I received a complimentary copy of An Endless Christmas from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am currently reading Flipped for Murder by Maddie Day (aka Edith Maxwell).  I am also enjoying a Downton Abbey marathon.  I just love this show and will be sorry to see it end (the last season starts in January).  Have an enjoyable afternoon and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Q & A a Day for Creatives

Happy National Bologna Day!  I am not a fan of regular bologna.  I do like German Bologna (fried). I grew up in a little place called German Village. It was across the bridge from downtown Columbus, Ohio.  The streets were brick and so were most of the sidewalks and homes.  We had a wonderful bakery, ice cream shop, bookstore, candy shop, and a wonderful German restaurant.   I loved the brautwurst cooked on the grill. I would get to go into the candy shop and get my white chocolate coconut haystacks from Harry London Candies (they are delicious).   We lived in a wonderful brick duplex on Sycamore Lane just down the street from the elementary school.  Out of all the homes we lived in (and we moved quite a bit when I was young), this was my favorite. Today I want to share this clever journal with you.

Q & A a Day for Creatives is a four year journal for people who like to sketch and draw. The book is approximately 91/4 inches wide and 7 ½ inches tall.   It has a soft-cover Kraft color cover with a beautiful frame on it.  There is pink, blue, yellow, and green on the sides of the cover (it is pretty).  The cover lays open nicely for drawing.  The book then has four slots for each day of the year (so you can use it for the four years).  Each slot is a little over 3 inches square.  The paper would be good for charcoal, colored pencils, crayons, and pastels.  You could not use paints, markers, or felt tip pens (I would not use ball point pens either).  They would bleed through the pages.  Since the pages are double-sided, it would be difficult to use the other side if you used those type of mediums.  Each day is a different question or suggestion on what to draw/sketch each day.  For example:  Draw the shoes you are wearing, Design your perfect playground, and Doodle for thirty seconds.  This is a neat book and would make a great gift for the creative person in your life.  I give Q & A a Day for Creatives 4 out of 5 stars.  I wish the paper was thicker and I think the book would be better if it was just for a year.  Than the artist would have a bigger space to sketch with one page for each day.  This is, overall, a nice book.  Q & A a Day for Creatives can be purchased on Amazon.

I received a complimentary copy of Q & A a Day for Creatives from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my review.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader


Today is Make a Difference Day.  A day that is to be devoted to helping others in your community.  People get together to do community improvement projects.  This day was started in 1990.   Former President Jimmy Carter would devote his time on this day to work on houses (Habitat for Humanity) for those in need.

Moonlands by Steven Savile is a young adult paranormal mystery/romance novel.  Ashley Hawthorne looks like a regular 15 years old girl (almost sixteen), but she is very special.  A group of loyal people took her from the Moonlands almost sixteen years ago for her safety.  Now someone is out to kill Ashley (aka Ashkellion) before she comes of age at sixteen (and can try and claim the throne).  They need to keep her safe.

Blackwater Blaze (and his pack) are sent through the moongate to London to kill Ashley and eliminate the threat to the king.  His pack first encounters Targyn Fae (a warden who protects Ashley) and all of the pack is killed except Blackwater Blaze.  At daylight Blaze transforms back into a man (because of the sun).  He continues to watch Ashley hoping for an opportunity to kill her.  Will the wardens be able to keep her safe?  What happens when Ashley finds out her true heritage?

Moonlands was a very hard novel to get into to.  It took me four tries to read this novel.  Once I got about halfway through the book, I found it more interesting and engaging.  I think part of the problem was too many characters.  It is hard trying to keep track of all the people protecting Ashley, Ashley’s friends, and the characters in the Moonlands.  There is also the two separate worlds and the magical elements (as well as the evil forces).  There is a lot packed into one book (I just gave you a to-the-point overview). I give Moonlands 3 out of 5 stars.  I found the romantic elements a little strange considering that Ashley was only fifteen (almost sixteen).  She seems a little young for a to-die-for love (but kids grow up so fast these days).  Overall, the premise for Moonlands is very interesting, likeable characters, and interesting setting. 

I received a complimentary copy of Moonlands from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am currently reading The Silence of the Chihuahuas (A Barking Detective Mystery Book 5) by Waverly Curtis.  I am off to do some housework (while I watch the Good Witch marathon on Hallmark). The brush function on my sweeper (for cleaning carpets) has decided to quit working.  I seem to have bad luck with sweepers. This one is less than a year old. I am hoping it will be a simple fix. Have a lovely, relaxing Saturday and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Respectable Actress

Happy Television Talk Show Host Day!  It was originally created to honor Johnny Carson's birthday, but it celebrates all talk show hosts!  I have to admit I do not watch talk shows.  They are always over the top and controversial (for the most part).  I wonder they celebrate book lover day? I will have to look into it!  

A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love is a lovely historical romance/mystery novel.  India Hartley is doing an acting tour.  She is currently in Savannah just before Christmas in 1870.  India is performing at the Southern Palace Theater.  Cornelius Philbrick is the manager of the theater and he has decided to spice up the evenings performance for a critic.  He insists that India shoot (pretend) the person in the play instead of hitting him over the head.  Cornelius states the firing pin was taken from the gun.  India protests but if she does not do as he asks, then she will be replaced (and she needs the money).  India does as directed and Arthur Sterling (the actor she was to pretend to shoot) is really shot.  India is immediately arrested for the crime. 

An admirer Mrs. Sutton Mackay hires Mr. Philip Sinclair to be her lawyer.  Philip takes India off to his plantation Indigo Point on St. Simon’s Island to work on her defense (and so she does not have to stay in jail).  Philip is working to restore St. Simon’s Island and his plantation.  India discovers a mystery in the house with a closed room set up like a shrine and a missing former slave girl.  India discovers a vital clue that could solve the mystery and could lead to her freedom.  Will Philip and India be able to figure out who really killed Arthur Sterling in time to save India?

A Respectable Actress is good story.  I liked the mystery.  It contained some interesting twists and turns.  I found India to be a strong character (for the most part) and the setting is just gorgeous (I would love to visit Savannah).  I give A Respectable Actress 4 out of 5 stars.  A Respectable Actress is nicely written though a little slow.  Overall, A Respectable Actress is a good Christian historical book.  I enjoy books that have strong female main characters (especially in an historical novel).  A Respectable Actress shows how detrimental secrets can be.  You can follow Dorothy Love on Facebook.

I received a complimentary copy of A Respectable Actress from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am currently reading Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante by Susan Elia MacNeal (slow starter).  Please consider becoming a follower of my blog.  You can follow by email or through Google+ (at the right).  I hope everyone has a great Friday and a lovely weekend.  Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Another Way Home

One of my cats has decided to live in the kitchen.  Miss Penny (I did not pick the name) is fifteen years old and a beautiful, long-haired calico cat. My cats normally live in two big rooms on my side of the house (I live in the in-law suite section of my home--don't ask) and the dogs live in my parents part of the house.  Miss Penny came over this morning to eat out of the cats bowls (my mother let her in) and has made herself at home. When I tell her she has to go back to her own area, I just get one of those looks (if you have a cat you know the look).  I will humor her until I have to cook dinner and then she has to go!  I do not want cat hair in my food (I will have to give the counters a good disinfecting).  

Another Way Home by Deborah Raney is the third book in A Chicory Inn Novel series.  Danae and Dallas Brooks have been trying to have a baby for the last three years.  They have tried everything except in vitro fertilization.  It is beginning to take a toll on their marriage (and relationship with her sisters) as Danae is becoming obsessed.  Danae gave up her part-time job.  She now spends her time going to fertility treatments and redecorating their home.  Dallas is against adoption.  Danae as well as his brother, Drew have tried talking to him about it.  Dallas was adopted and there was an incident when he was eighteen that has turned him against the idea of adopting a child of his own. 

Danae knows that she needs something to occupy her time and decides to volunteer at a shelter for abused women.  Danae meets Misty and Austin.  Misty is in the shelter to get away from her abusive husband.  She left her husband after he hit Austin, her three year old son.  Danae grows close to Austin during his stay at the center.  Dallas even volunteers at the center and gets to know the young boy.  When they are asked to watch him over Thanksgiving weekend, the couple agree.  Their lives will be forever changed after Thanksgiving.  Will it be a good change for Danae and Dallas Brooks?

Another Way Home was an enjoyable book to read, but it was very predictable (no twists or surprises).  It is a lovely, Christian novel.  Another Way Home is well-written and engaging.  Another Way Home can easily be read without having enjoyed the other two books in the series (though you will probably want to read them).  Another Way Home shows how prayer and faith can affect your life in a positive way (book is not preachy).  I give Another Way Home 4.25 out of 5 stars.  There is some violence (domestic) in the book.

The other two books in Chicory Inn Novel series are:  Home to Chicory Lane and Two Roads Home.

I received a complimentary copy of Another Way Home from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am currently reading A Blossom of Bright Light by Suzanne Chazin (it was gifted to me from Kensington Books).  I will let you know how I like it. I normally do not read books with a male main character (I just prefer female main characters).  Take care, have a lovely evening, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Ghost for Sale

It is National Nut Day!  I am actually not allergic to nuts (it is a miracle) and I enjoy cashews (especially cashew brittle--homemade).  I have been taking it easy today.  Yesterday wore me out. Everyone needs a relaxing day now and then.  I got a wonderful package in the mail yesterday.  I received a copy of Writing All Wrongs by Ellery Adams.  It is the latest book in A Books by the Bay Mystery series and it will be released on November 3, 2015.  I am looking forward to reading it.  If you enjoy Ellery Adams' books, you can follow her on Amazon (and get updates).

Ghost for Sale by Sandra Cox is a humorous, paranormal romance.  Caitlin King is eighteen years old and it is the summer before her first year at Virginia Tech.  She is living with her cousin, Marcy Van Lier in her families’ guest house.  A package arrives for Marcy and it is the ghosts she purchased on eBay (who buys ghosts on eBay).  They open the box and one of the vials is broken.  Marcy opens the second vial, and Caitlin smells cinnamon and lime.  She also feels a fiery sensation on her skin.  Marcy believes she has been conned and is going to demand the return of her $6,000 ($3,000 for each ghost).  A little while later when Caitlin is alone, she hears a voice.  She turns around and there is a gentleman (he is from 1866).  Liam O’Reilly was the ghost in the unbroken vial.  For some reason only Caitlin can see and hear him. 

Liam is stuck in this world because of his twin sister, Anna.  Anna O’Reilly was the ghost in the other vial but she escaped somewhere between Virginia and Florida.  Anna was killed on her wedding day, and she is just desolate.  Anna will not move on without her fiancĂ©, William.  But some malevolent spirit is keeping the two apart.  Caitlin and Liam will work to bring Anna and William together, so the three spirits can move on.  But will Caitlin want Liam to move on?  Can they find out what the bad ghost wants to keep Anna and William apart?  You will just have to read Ghost for Sale to find out what happens.

I enjoyed reading Ghost for Sale.  I laughed my way throughout the whole book.  It is a little silly, but it is not over-the-top.  The ending will make you sigh happily.  Ghost for Sale is easy to read.  I liked the characters (especially Liam) and the writing.  I give Ghost for Sale 4 out of 5 stars.  If you are looking for a light, fun book to read, check out Ghost for Sale.  To see what other books Sandra Cox has written, check out her page on Amazon.

I received a complimentary copy of Ghost for Sale from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I am currently reading Counting Stars by Kathleen Long (it is just so-so).  Make sure you take a moment out of your day and do something for yourself.  We all live such hectic lifestyles and are always on the go.  Everyone needs some time to themselves to just relax (and be alone).  Have a good afternoon and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader