Sunday, September 30, 2018

Halloween Murder: Two Lucy Stone Halloween Mysteries

Greetings! A Seat by the Hearth by Amy Clipston will be published on November 13.  It is the latest An Amish Homestead Novel.  The Skeleton Makes a Friend by Leigh Perry will be available on November 6.  It is the fifth book in A Family Skeleton Mystery series (delightfully entertaining).  

Halloween Murder by Leslie Meier contains two previously published A Lucy Stone Halloween Mysteries.  Trick or Treat Murder takes us back to Tinker’s Cove, Maine where Lucy Stone has recently given birth to Zoe.  There have been a rash of fires around town where someone is setting fire to older homes.  The latest victim is the Hopkins Homestead owned by Monica and Roland Mayes. This time fire officials find the deceased homeowner, Monica Mayes inside the home.  The Hopkins home was Bill’s first big project after they moved to Tinker’s Cove.  Lucy and Bill became friends with Monica as she oversaw the renovations.  When not baking cupcakes for a Halloween party, working out at The Body Shop to lose the baby weight or taking care of her family, Lucy is looking for the elusive arsonist.  Lucy needs to proceed with caution or she could get singed.

Wicked Witch Murder has Lucy reluctantly visits Solstice with her friends Pam, Rachel and Sue.  It is the purple shop owned by newcomer Diana Ravenscroft.  Diana is a proclaimed witch who provides psychic readings at her shop.  Lucy is out walking Libby when she finds a burned corpse in a clearing tied to a tree.  Something sinister is at work and Ike Stoughton is not a fan of Diana or her shop.  He makes his opinions known with a letter to the editor.  Lucy is less than thrilled when she finds Sarah and Zoe along with Abby Stoughton practicing witchcraft at home.  Lucy would prefer to avoid Diana, but it is unavoidable when Diana needs a safe haven.  The victim is identified as Malcom Malebranche, the head of Diana’s coven.  With Diana at the top of the suspect list, Lucy has no choice but to investigate (or the lady will never leave her home).  Can Lucy find the killer in time?

Trick or Treat Murder and Wicked Witch Murder are the two books included in Halloween Murder.  They are not new stories to A Lucy Stone Mystery series.  They are book three and book sixteen respectively.  It has been a while since I have these two books and I enjoyed revisiting Lucy and Tinker’s Cove at a different time.  The stories contain good writing with steady pacing.  We get to see how Lucy and her family have changed over the years.  The book contains friendly characters, a charming town and two good mysteries.  I found the whodunit is Wicked Witch Murder to be more complex than that in Trick or Treat Murder.  Halloween Murder can be read as a standalone.  All the information a reader needs is provided.  Halloween Murder contains two entertaining cozy mysteries that will enthrall you.  My rating for Halloween Murder is 4 out of 5 stars.  Join Lucy and her friends in Tinker’s Cove for a wicked good time.

Thank you for joining me today.  I will be sharing my review of Glitter Bomb by Laura Childs tomorrow as part of the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.   I hope you have a calming day.   Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Delayed Justice: Hidden Justice Series

Delayed Justice
 By Cara Putman
Genre: Legal Romantic Suspense
Release date: October 16, 2018
She had long given up the desire to be loved. Now she only needed to be heard.
Jaime Nichols went to law school to find the voice she never had as a child, and her determination to protect girls and women in the path of harm drives her in ways both spoken and unspoken. As Jamie, now a criminal defense attorney, prepares to press charges against someone who wronged her long ago, she must face not only her demons but also the unimaginable forces that protect the powerful man who tore her childhood apart.
Chandler Bolton, a retired veteran, is tasked with helping a young victim who must testify in court—and along with his therapy dog, Aslan, he’s up for the task. When he first meets Jaime, all brains, beauty, and brashness, he can’t help but be intrigued. As Chandler works to break through the wall Jaime has built around herself, the two of them discover that they may have more to offer one another than they ever could have guessed—and that together, they may be able to help this endangered child.
This thrilling installment of the Hidden Justice series explores the healing power of resolution and the weight of words given voice. And as Jaime pursues delayed justice of her own, she unearths eternal truths that will change the course of her life.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Since the time she could read Nancy Drew, Cara has wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 she attended a book signing at her local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, was history. There she met a fellow Indiana writer Colleen Coble. With prompting from her husband, Cara shared her dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, Cara’s been writing award-winning books. She is currently working on book 30 and 31. Cara Putman is an active member of ACFW, and currently serves on its Executive Board. She has also been the Indiana ACFW chapter president and served as the Area Coordinator for Indiana.
Cara is also an attorney, lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband and her kids that is. She graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!) and George Mason Law School, and Krannert School of Management. You can learn more about Cara at

Guest Post from Cara

Delayed Justice was a hard story to write.  I’d known from Beyond Justice that Jaime had a hard story, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. She tried to hide from her past. She tried hard, but in the end it slowly spilled out. A young girl wounded deeply by someone who should protect her. And now as a professional young woman, Jaime is still fighting the shadows.  She believes she’s okay, or as okay as she’ll ever be.
Instead, she has to learn that there’s so much more waiting for her. Freedom from the chains of a past she didn’t choose. A love that will never end. And a God who has always loved her even when she questions His existence because of her past.
I think we’ve all lived that. There’s a place in our hearts that seems beyond His reach. For some of us, it’s a barrier to knowing Him. To others of us, it makes us question what we thought we knew about God. And for others of us, it presses us deeply into Him. Jaime’s book, Delayed Justice, explores this space. The space where some days we scream at the heavens Where are you, God? And the days we just curl into ourselves because life is too hard.
And in that space of shadow and light, God ultimately shines brightest. This is a truth that is slowly revealed through friends and The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe.

My Thoughts

Delayed Justice by Cara Putman is the third book in the Hidden Justice Series.  Jaime Nichols is a public defender in Virginia.  It has been twenty years since her uncle, Dane Nichols abused her, and Jamie has decided it is the time to press charges against him.  The next day it is announced that Dane is up for a promotion to a one star general and Dane is not going to let Jaime ruin his career.  Dane is a powerful man with considerable influence.  Jaime will have to be strong to battle this formidable foe, so she can put the past to rest. 

Chandler Bolton is a veteran who now works for the Department of Veteran Affairs helping veterans reacclimate to society.  Chandler has also had his dog, Aslan trained as a comfort dog to help abused children.  Tiffany Ange has been assaulted by her mother’s boyfriend and Aslan is just the help Tiffany needs to help tell her story to the police.  Chandler encounters Jaime in his apartment building one day and he is intrigued.  The two of them end up working together to help Tiffany testify against her abuser and recover from her horrible ordeal.  Can Chandler break through the wall Jaime has built around her heart?  Will Jaime be able to have a relationship after what she has experienced?  How will the case against Dane turn out?  Discover what happens in Delayed Justice.

The author did her research for Delayed Justice.  She captured the legal aspects of the judicial system and I like that we get to experience both sides (prosecution and defense).  It was interesting to learn about therapy/comfort dogs and how they assist victims. I found the court scenes to be realistic along with the situations with Tiffany and her mother.  Jaime is a wounded woman who has not gotten over what happened to her when she was eight years old.  She believes in the justice system and wants to help those who cannot afford a lawyer.  Jaime has been in therapy for years and feels she is now strong enough to handle the court battle.  She has the support of good friends from college who understand and are a part of the legal system.   The author did a remarkable job at handling a delicate and difficult subject. Chandler is a strong male character who is the hero of the story.  He comes across as a knight in shining armor protecting little Tiffany and Jaime.  I appreciated his Christian values and how he expressed them to Jaime.  Her journey towards Christ did not seem realistic.  It felt contrived and rushed.  The pace of Delayed Justice was slow which can be attributed to the detailed writing.  I recommend reading the Hidden Justice Series in order.  I had not read the previous two books and I felt like I was plopped into the middle of a book when I started reading Delayed Justice.  The book begins to make sense as I got further into it.  Jaime has complaints issued against her per her boss, but readers are not given any details (who issued them, what they were regarding).  The same thing happens when she receives an ethics violations (I wanted details).  Delayed Justice is a romantic suspense.  While I felt the romance, I did not feel the suspense.  I wanted to feel the scare, tension, and anxiety.  My rating for Delayed Justice is 3 out of 5 stars.  Fans of the Hidden Justice Series will not want to miss Delayed Justice to find out how Jaime's story plays out. The first two books in the Hidden Justice Series are Beyond Justice and Imperfect JusticeDelayed Justice will be out on October 16.

To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize package that includes a Courage Dear Heart bracelet, a The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe print, a copy of Delayed Justice, and a box of Turkish Delight!  Be sure to comment on the blog stops (schedule below) for nine extra entries into the giveaway. Click here to enter.  Good Luck!

Thank you for visiting The Avid Reader today.  I will be featuring Halloween Murder by Leslie Meier tomorrow.   I hope you have a peaceful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, September 29
The Avid Reader, September 29
The Power of Words, September 29
The Lit Addict, September 30
BBHfiction, September 30
Painting with Words, September 30
Real World Bible Study, September 30
Janices book reviews, September 30
cherylbbookblog, October 1
Back Porch ReadsOctober 1
Cafinated Reads, October 1
Faithfully Bookish, October 1
Lighthouse Academy, October 2
Livin Lit, October 2
Bigreadersite, October 2
All-of-a-kind Mom, October 3
The Becca Files, October 3
Blogging With CarolOctober 3
Genesis 5020, October 4
Cathe Swanson, October 4
100 Pages per Hour, October 5
Multifarious, October 5
Book by Book, October 5
Mary Hake, October 6
Godly Book Reviews, October 6
C Jane Read, October 7
Buy, Borrow, Skip, October 7
The Mimosa Blossom, October 8
Simple Harvest Reads, October 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Remebrancy, October 9
Carpe Diem, October 9
Quiet Quilter, October 10
At the Fence, October 10
By The Book, October 10
God is Love, October 11
Texas Book-aholic, October 11
Henry Happens, October 12
Have A Wonderful DayOctober 12

Friday, September 28, 2018

Silver Anniversary Murder: A Lucy Stone Mystery

Good Day!  Spirit of the Witch by Deanna Chase is the third book in the Witches of Keating Hollow series and it is now available for purchase.  Legacy of Mercy by Lynn Austin comes out on October 2 along with Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber.

Silver Anniversary Murder by Leslie Meier is the twenty-fifth A Lucy Stone Mystery.  Lucy Stone lives in Tinker’s Cove, Maine with her husband, Bill along with two of her daughters and their dog, Libby.  The town is surprised when Sylvia Bickford announces that she and her husband, Warren will renew their vows for their twenty-fifth anniversary. The nickname for the couple is the “Bickersons”.   It has been turned into a town wide events called Silver Anniversary Weekend.  Lucy thinks back on her wedding and her maid-of-honor, Beth Gerard.  She decides to give her a call and is surprised when Dante, Beth’s son answers the phone.  Lucy is shocked when Dante tells her that Beth is dead.  Beth plummeted to her death from her penthouse apartment in New York City and the police have ruled it a suicide.  Lucy does not believe her adventurous and full of life friend would commit suicide.  Lucy rents an Airnb and heads to New York to get answers.  She begins her investigation by questioning Beth’s four ex-husbands to see who had a motive.  Someone is not happy with Lucy’s questions and takes desperate measures to silence her.  Will Lucy make it home to Tinker’s Cove?

I have read every single book in A Lucy Stone Mystery series.  I discovered the series one day in my local library and quickly devoured the series.  I look forward to reading each new Lucy Stone book when they are published.  It has been a pleasure to see Lucy and her family change as the years go by.  Her children are now grown, but Sarah and Zoe are still living at home while they attend college.  Silver Anniversary Murder is easy to read with a steady pacing, but it missed the mark for me.  I can understand getting Lucy out of Tinker’s Cove (before it becomes known as murder central), but the author should have made it a girls’ weekend in the city (Lucy and her three close friends). I did enjoy learning more about Lucy’s younger years as she explored New York.  Lucy did not seem like herself in Silver Anniversary Murder.  Then there was a jealous Bill, the odd situation with the cult, an anxious Lucy, and the Bickersons.  The mystery was light, and it was rushed at the end.  The whodunit needed more work.  The way it was handled at the end made it seem like the author had reached the maximum number of pages for the book and she had to wrap it quickly.  I did not understand the addition of the cult to the story (nor what happened with Lucy (I am trying not to give away any of the plot).  I liked that Lucy was watching one of my favorite shows Call the Midwife (I wish there were more shows like this one).  My rating for Silver Anniversary Murder is 3 out of 5 stars.  Silver Anniversary Murder is a book for fans of the series only.  I suggest newcomers begin with Mistletoe Murder (on Amazon the Kindle version is currently $1.99).  While I was not enamored with Silver Anniversary Murder, it will not stop me from picking up the next A Lucy Stone Mystery.

I appreciate you joining me today.  Tomorrow I am featuring Delayed Justice by Cara C. Putman as part of the Celebrate Lit Tour.  It is the third book the Hidden Justice Series which will be published on October 16.  I hope you have a captivating day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Thursday, September 27, 2018

My Favorite Amy Clipston Novel

Do you remember the first Amy Clipston novel you read?  My first experience with her work was A Gift of Grace.  It is the first book in the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series.  I found it well-written, engaging, lovely setting, and charming characters.  I have since read every book Ms. Clipston has written.  Here is what Amy Clipston said about the making of A Gift of Grace “When I first started researching the Amish for my Kauffman Amish Bakery Series in 2007, I was fascinated by the differences between the Amish way of life, and our English (non-Amish) culture.  A “worlds collide” concept came to me, and A Gift of Grace, the first book in the series, was born.”  One of my favorite books of this author is A Plain and Simple Christmas.  It is such a heartwarming and inspiring story.  Her stories touch your heart.  If you have not read any of Amy Clipston’s books, I hope this encourages you to check them out.  For more information on Amy Clipston and her novels, visit her website.  Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Assault and Beadery: A Cora Crafts Mystery plus a Giveaway!

Assault and Beadery (A Cora Crafts Mystery)

by Mollie Cox Bryan

About the Book

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716442
ISBN-13: 978-1496716446
Digital ASIN: B078QM4V66
All of Cora Chevalier’s dreams are coming true. Since moving to Indigo Gap, North Carolina, the busy crafting maven has been blessed with a great boyfriend, a lovely home, and a booming craft retreat business. But on the eve of her first Crafty Mom’s Escape Weekend, tragedy strikes again in Indigo Gap. This time, it’s curtains for Stan Herald, the disagreeable director of the local theater group, who’s murdered on the opening night of their new production. Worse, Cora’s friend Zee is accused of the crime.

Cora is determined to prove her friend’s innocence, but Zee’s mysterious past is making that difficult. And with a list of suspects longer than a double spool of satin cording, getting a bead on the real culprit won’t be easy. With her friends Jane and Ruby at her side, Cora must string together the clues and solve Stan’s murder before the killer gives an encore performance.
Includes crafting tips!

About the Author

Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbooking mystery series and the Cora Crafts mystery series. She is also author of two cookbooks, the regional bestseller Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies and Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant Cookbook: A Lifetime of Recipes from the Shenandoah Valley. An award-winning journalist and poet, she currently blogs, cooks, and scrapbooks in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband and two daughters. Scrapbook of Secrets was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Visit her on the web at

Author Links

Purchase Links - Amazon   B&N   IndieBound   Kobo   BookBub

My Thoughts

Assault and Beadery by Mollie Cox Bryan is the fourth book in A Cora Crafts Mystery series.  Cora Chevalier and Jane Starr are touching up the sets for IndigoArts production of Fiddler on the Roof which begins that evening.  They then hurry home to make sure all preparations are complete for their Crafty Mom’s Escape Weekend which begins the next day.  Cora is surprised when she gets a call from Zee Mancini, musical director for IndigoArts, later that evening.  Stan Herald, the play’s director, was found murdered on the stage with an unconscious Zee beside him.  Cora knows that Zee did not commit the crime.  She teams up with Jane and Cora to dig into Stan’s life looking for alternate suspects.  The ladies need to string together the clues to get a bead on the killer.  It would help if Zee was not so mysterious about her past.  In between talking with their suspects, the ladies need to teach their classes and make sure their guests have a pleasant crafting weekend.  Can they wrap up the case before the killer strikes again?

Assault and Beadery may be the fourth book in the series, but it can be read alone.  The author provides the background on the main characters and how the retreat came to exist.  The current crafting retreat, Mom’s Escape Weekend, is for mother’s whose children just went back to school.  It is a chance for them to get away, relax and learn some new skills.  Beading is the focus of the weekend.  French beading, making rose beads, polymer clay beads, wet felting, knotting and artist trading cards are a few of the crafts described in the book.  Instructions for different crafts are included at the end of the book.  I like that crafting is featured in this series (many cozy mysteries used to feature crafts).  The crafty fun is described with delightful details.  If not for the pesky murder, I would love to be a guest at this retreat.  I still do not understand why they do not employ a cook for their retreats instead of using a caterer.  The retreaters could bound over delectable dinners.  Indigo Gap sounds like a charming town.  There are a variety of shops that I would enjoy browsing.  I like how the shops and streets have blue themed names.  I have still not taken a liking to Cora.  This series would have benefited from a different main character.  Cora with her anxiety issues and panic attacks make her unappealing.  It is mentioned frequently throughout the story with it becoming an issue near the end for Cora.  Panic attacks are a serious issue and the author has shown how Cora tries to cope without resorting to medication.  However, reading is supposed to be relaxing and Cora gives me anxious and uncomfortable.  Cora is not the right person to be the main character who investigates crime which puts in her situations that exacerbate her condition.  However, Ruby is a hoot.  She keeps things lively and her son, Cashiel is handsome and handy to have around since he is a lawyer.  The whodunit has a variety of suspects and misdirection to confuse the reader.  Readers will have no problem untangling the clues and identifying the killer.   It was fun to have the characters from A Cumberland Creek Mystery series visit Indigo Gap.  The pace is a little slower in Assault and Beadery and there is mild foul language along with copious amounts of alcohol (these ladies let loose while Cora was out of the house).  Join Cora, Jane and Ruby in Indigo Gap for crafts, creativity and killing.

The other novels in A Cora Crafts Mystery series are Death Among the DoiliesNo Charm Intended, and Macrame Murder.  In honor of the tour, Mollie Cox Bryan is hosting a giveaway.  You can enter here or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Please take the time to visit the other stops  on the tour (schedule below).  Thank you for joining me today.  I will be sharing my review of Silver Anniversary Murder by Leslie Meier tomorrow.  It is the 25th A Lucy Stone Mystery.  Have a fabulous day and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader


September 25 – The Power of Words = REVIEW

September 25 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

September 25 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers -SPOTLIGHT

September 26 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 26 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 27 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 27 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

September 28 – T's Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 29 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

September 29 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 30 – cherylbbookblog – REVIEW, RECIPE

September 30 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW

October 1 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 1 – Varietats – GUEST POST

October 2 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

October 3 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  

October 4 – Valerie's Musings - GUEST POST

October 4 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  

October 5 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 5 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

October 6 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

October 6 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW

October 7 – The Montana Bookaholic - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

October 8 – Here's How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

October 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT/RECIPE