Sunday, June 30, 2019

Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass by Heather Day Gilbert: Review and Giveaway!

Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass

An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery

by Heather Day Gilbert

About the Book


Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Lyrical Underground (June 25, 2019)
Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108841
ISBN-13: 978-1516108848
Digital ASIN: B07HVYQ9XZ
When exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake moves into a carriage house in tony Greenwich, Connecticut, she’s hoping to find some new clients. Instead she discovers a corpse in the garden—and a knack for solving murders . . .

Pet-sitter Belinda Blake doesn’t rattle easily, but move-in day has been eventful, to say the least. The python in her care tried to slither to freedom—just as she met Stone Carrington V, her landlords’ disarmingly handsome son. With the constrictor back in its cage, she heads out to the garden, only to discover a designer shoe poking out of the boxwood hedge—attached to a woman’s dead body.

The victim, Margo Fenton, was a Carrington family friend, and no one in their circle seems above suspicion. Between client trips to Manhattan and visits to her family in upstate New York, Belinda begins to put the pieces together. But though she’s falling for Stone’s numerous charms, Belinda wonders if she’s cozying up to a killer. And soon, daily contact with a deadly reptile might be the least dangerous part of her life . . .

About the Author

Heather Day Gilbert, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love. Like Belinda Blake, Heather plays video games, although so far she hasn't done any exotic pet-sitting or hunted any murderers. Find out more on
Find out How to Care for Ball Pythons as Pets

Author Links

Timber Garage Door Ideas and Pics of Garage Doors That Open Straight Up. #garage #garageorganization #garagedoors

My Summary

Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass by Heather Day Gilbert is the first tale in An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery series.  Belinda Blake has moved to Greenwich, Connecticut to expand her exotic pet sitting service.  She was fortunate to rent the carriage house on the Carrington estate.  Belinda moves in along with Rasputin, the ball python that is currently in her care while his owner is away for Thanksgiving.  Belinda is puttering in the garden when she spies the red sole of a shoe.  She goes to pick it up and realizes there is a body attached to the shoe.  Margo Fenton is a friend of the Carrington family and was last seen Monday evening at Stone Carrington V weekly billiards game.  Stone enlists Belinda help in solving the twisty crime.  They question those close to Margo in the hopes of getting a bead on the killer.  There is no shortage of suspects including Stone Carrington V.  Belinda finds Stone charming and handsome, but, as the evidence mounts up, she worries that she is falling for a killer.   The deadly snake in Belinda’s care is the least of her worries after she receives a series of threatening notes.  When another body turns up in her garden, Belinda knows she needs to solve this case before she ends up as garden fertilizer. 
ball pythons for sale online | ball python morphs for sale | pied | banana

My Thoughts

Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass is a lighthearted cozy mystery.  Belinda Blake earns her living minding exotic animals (no dog or cats for her) while their owners are out of town and writing video game review articles.  She wanted to expand her pet sitting business and thought Greenwich would be the perfect locale.  Belinda was looking forward to a quieter life and getting her hands dirty in the gardens surrounding her cottage.  While doing a little weeding, Belinda finds a body.  She is suddenly dashing around town with the charming Stone Carrington V.  Belinda is an introvert with a quirky wardrobe who likes to read Agatha Christie, play video games, and gardening.  I like that Belinda actively investigates Margo’s murder by questioning various suspects and searching for clues.  There are multiple suspects, pointed clues and a red herring or two.  Might even be a twist to shock you.  For those who have an aversion to slithery creatures, you might find the details regarding the Rasputin a little hard to read.  There are details on Rasputin’s food, his daily habits, giving the creature a bath, transporting him to Manhattan and back, and taking him for a walk (gives me the shivers).  There are a couple of romantic interests for Belinda including Stone V and a dairy farmer.  I felt that information on Belinda was lacking (needed more details).  It was nice to get to know her family while Belinda spent Thanksgiving at home.  The family farm is charming, and I found the mother humorous (makes me wish the book was set in Larches Corner).  I appreciated the wrap up at the end.  There is a preview of the Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (comes out October 1).  Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass is an upbeat cozy mystery with Louboutin heels, chauffeured cars, a debonair gentleman, a massive mansion, a quirky amateur sleuth, and a slithering serpent named Rasputin. 
goldheels: “shoes, high heels, sandals, stiletto, Zapatos, scarpin, sandalias, одежда, платья, обувь, sapatos, scarpe, sandali, décolleté, tacchi alti, tacco 12, 女装, 高跟鞋, 婚 鞋, 쇼핑, chaussure, escarpins, sandale, talon, パンプス, 靴, schuhe, sandalen ”
Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass is available at Amazon, Barnes & NobleKobo, iBooks, and Google Play.  To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter form below or click here.  I hope you take the time to visit the other stops on the tour (schedule below) for character interviews, guest posts, and reviews, author interviews.  Thank you for visiting today.  I will be sharing my review of Amish Covert Operation by Meghan Carver tomorrow.  I hope that you have a juliant day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Tour Participants

June 20 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST

June 21 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 21 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST

June 22 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW

June 23 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 24 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 24 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 24 – I'm All About Books – GUEST POST

June 25 – Books Direct – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 25 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 26 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT

June 26 – Sneaky the Library Cat's Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 27 – Brianne's Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

June 28 – eBook Addicts  - REVIEW

June 28 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 29 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 29 – Brooke Blogs – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 30 - The Avid Reader – REVIEW
Scott Gustafson (b. 1956), USA

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Harbor Secrets by Melody Carlson

Harbor Secrets (The Legacy of Sunset Cove Book 1) by [Carlson, Melody]
Welcome!  Melody Carlson has written over 200 books for children, teens and women.  Melody considers herself a storyteller.  Her young adult novels appeal to teenage girls around the world (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors).  Her annual Christmas novellas (The Christmas Angel Project, The Christmas Bus, Christmas at Harrington's, The Christmas Shop, The Christmas Joy Ride) become more popular each year (I just love her Christmas stories).  Ms. Carlson has won the Rita, the Gold Medallion, and RT's Career Achievement Award.  Some of her novels have been optioned for film and television.  Melody is married with two grown sons and a yellow lab.  She makes her home in the Pacific Northwest.  I especially like the novels Ms. Carlson has written for Tales from Grace Chapel Inn series.
Harbor Secrets by Melody Carlson has readers traveling to Sunset Cove, Oregon in June of 1916.  Anna McDowell is returning home after seventeen years with her daughter, Katy after learning that her father has suffered a debilitating stroke.  Anna has not been in contact with her father, Mac McDowell but she hopes it is not too late to reconcile.  While Mac is recovering, he asks Anna to take over the running of the paper.  It will not be an easy task since some men do not like taking order from a woman and that includes the assistant editor-in-chief, Wesley Kempton.  Anna and Katy settle into Sunset Cove taken in by charming town plus the beach and sea at their doorstep.  Anna soon learns, though, that there are people with secrets and danger is lurking for those who get too close.  Prohibition went into effect at the beginning of 1916 in Oregon and, with this new law, comes opportunity.  Anna has noticed that alcohol seems abundant despite the law and wonders who is behind it.  She cannot resist the opportunity to seek out answers in the hopes of breaking a big story.  But what happens when she gets too close to the danger.
Door Disguised as a Bookcase | Content in a Cottage
Harbor Secrets captured my attention right away and held it until the very end.  I liked the characters and the quaint town of Sunset Cove.  Anna McDowell is a strong, intelligent and independent female protagonist who has become a successful reporter at the Oregonian.  When she receives word of her father’s illness, Anna quits her job and heads home with her daughter, Katy.  This is Anna’s chance to end the estrangement between her father and herself.  She did not anticipate becoming editor-in-chief of the Sunset Times which was started by her grandfather.  Then Anna stumbles onto a big story, but there are those that will do anything to keep their secret.  I thought Harbor Secrets was well-written, plotted and paced.   The author crafted a novel with family drama, mystery, friendship, intrigue, danger, and a hint of romance. Melody Carlson captured the time period especially with how men (not all men) felt about women in the workplace.  Katy added lightness and humor to the story with her easy going manner.   Harbor Secrets is a jam-packed novel with rum-running, a dirty mayor, the running of the newspaper, the upcoming mayoral election, Anna’s mother returning to town, Mac’s rehabilitation and Anna’s search for answers.  The mystery was intriguing and kept me reading to find out more.  I look forward to reading the next book in The Legacy of Sunset Cove series.  Harbor Secrets has secrets, illegal hooch, family drama, handsome men, and one determined newspaperwoman.
Prohibition helped the rise of gangsters like Al Capone, who ran hooch and illegal drinking dens. Here cops inspect some of the alcohol Capone and his associates were running.
Harbor Secrets is available at Amazon. The next novel in The Legacy of Sunset Cove is Riptide Rumors.  Melody Carlson's Christmas book for 2019 is Christmas in Winter Hill which comes out September 3.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I will be sharing my review of Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass by Heather Day Gilbert.  It is the first novel in An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery series.  May you have a splendid day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
A young woman reading while enjoying a cup of tea in the sunroom by the sea - Poul Friis Nybo. Danish,1869-1929 Oil on canvas. 66 × 56 cm.

Friday, June 28, 2019

A Ghostly Suspect by Tonya Kappes

A Ghostly Suspect : A Ghostly Southern Mystery (Ghostly Southern Mysteries) by [Kappes, Tonya]
Welcome!  Amish Covert Operation by Meghan Carver comes out July 1.  Yours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham releases on July 2.  The story takes us back to Azure Springs, Iowa.  Peach Clobbered by Anna Gerard will be available on July 9.  It is the first story in A Georgia B&B Mystery series.  I wanted to share with you what I encountered in my front yard.  As I have told you, I am working to eliminate the grass and then I will plant various native plants.  There will also be a pathway.  It will take me awhile to complete because of the heat and my Fibromyalgia (I can only work for a small amount of time each day).  I went out to front with my tools and there was a black snake in front of the oak tree (I despise these slimy creatures).  It raised its head and the tail started to rattle.  I screamed (loudly) and made a beeline for the house.  Thankfully, I have not seen it since, but I know it is lurking around somewhere (probably under my front porch).  Ugh!
Hoffmann Schneider Funeral Home
A Ghostly Suspect by Tonya Kappes takes readers back to Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky.  Emma Lee Raines is the owner of Eternal Slumber which is one of two funeral homes in the town.  She is surprised when her mentor and psychic, Debbie Dually show up.  But she disappears before Emma Lee can find out what Debbie needed.  Emma Lee is visiting with Granny at the Sleepy Hollow Inn when they hear a scream and see a crowd forming at the gazebo.  They run over to find Debbie’s body on the ground, but her spirit is in front of Emma Lee.  Debbie has been murdered and she needs Emma Lee to find out who did the deed so she can cross over.  She would also like Emma Lee to help her son, David.  Unfortunately, Sheriff Trevor O’Neil has it out for Emma Lee and has placed her at the tippy top of his suspect list.  Debbie has a few suspects of her own and they include four psychics, her almost ex-husband, and the outraged husband of a client.  Emma Lee needs to work quickly if she is to stay ahead of Sheriff O’Neil and avoid the hoosegow.  It helps to have the eager assistance of the town librarian, Mazie Watkins.  Matters are further complicated with Bea Allen Burns (bless her heart) taking advantage of the scandal to steal Emma Lee’s clients. Will Emma Lee be able to track down Debbie’s killer or will she end up the next client of Eternal Slumber?
1959 Cadillac Crown Royale Landaulet Hearse by Superior - #cadillac #crown #hearse #landaulet #royale #superior
A Ghostly Suspect is an entertaining story.  Emma Lee Raines is an undertaker and a Betweener.  She can talk to those who are stick in the In Between because they have murdered and unable to move on until Emma Lee figures out who murdered them.  It has been a year since Emma Lee has seen a spirit in need.  Emma Lee’s mentor (and psychic), Debbie Dually is found dead in the gazebo with an empty glass of sweet tea from Eternal Slumber next to her.  Debbie needs Emma Lee’s assistance to cross over and Emma Lee needs to get herself off the suspect list.  If you have not read A Ghostly Southern Mystery series, you will not be lost.  The information a new reader needs is artfully woven into the story.  There are a variety of quirky characters including Emma Lee’s Granny, Zula Fae Raines Payne.  Mazie Watkins, the librarian, is an upbeat woman who loves helping Emma Lee solve crimes.  I like her cheery personality.  Tonya Kappes has an engaging writing style.  It draws the reader into the book and holds their attention until the end.  The paranormal element is intertwined into the story.  I would like to see Emma Lee’s gift evolve.  I keep hoping Granny will learn of the gift and become accepting of it (Instead of asking Emma Lee if her “funeral trauma” has returned).  I truly enjoyed the clever mystery.  The author upped her game with this whodunit.  Emma Lee actively investigated the crime and it is action packed.  There are several suspects, good clues and misdirection.  Emma Lee gets to visit a psychic convention with Mazie as part of the investigation.  Ernest Peabody, the lawyer Granny hires for Emma Lee, was a treat.  I loved how he handled Sheriff Trevor O’Neil.  Jack Henry Ross, Emma Lee’s beau, is back and he finds himself in hot water.  The ending is special and will delight fans of the series.  A Ghostly Suspect has humor, mystery, action, and a touch of romance.  I am keen to read the next A Ghostly Southern Mystery.  A Ghostly Suspect is a delight with gossipmongers, psychics, an eager beaver suitor, a relentless competitor, a helpful spirit, a merry librarian, a tedious copper and one overworked undertaker. 
"Ghost" by artist obereg. If only more ghosts were this lovely, perhaps people wouldn't be so afraid of them...
A Ghostly Suspect is available on Amazon.  You can find out more about Tonya Kappes and her books at (sign up for her newsletter too). I am looking forward to her upcoming A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery series.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will be sharing my review of Harbor Secrets by Melody Carlson tomorrow.  It is the first book in The Legacy of Sunset Cove series.  I hope that you have a magical day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ― Charles William Eliot

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Strangled Eggs and Ham by Maddie Day: Review, Excerpt and Giveaway!

Strangled Eggs and Ham

A Country Store Mystery
by Maddie Day

About the Book

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496711254
ISBN-13: 978-1496711250
Digital ASIN: B07HW1D15K
Robbie Jordan’s rustic country store is growing in popularity. But when a dead body appears, it turns out that Robbie’s home-style cooking attracts hungry customers—and murder!

While Robbie scrambles through breakfast orders for her expanding clientele at Pans ‘N Pancakes, tempers run as high as the sticky August heat in South Lick, Indiana. Real-estate developer Fiona Closs plans to build a towering luxury resort at one of the most scenic hilltops in Brown County, and not everyone can see the sunny side of the imposing proposition—including Robbie’s furious Aunt Adele, who doesn’t waste a minute concocting protests and road blockades. When tensions boil over and a vocal protester is silenced forever at the resort site, Robbie ditches the griddle to catch the killer. But if slashed tires are any indication, she’ll need to crack this case before her own aunt gets served something deadly next . . .

Includes Recipes for You to Try!

About the Author

Maddie Day is a talented amateur chef and holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha Award-nominated author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and also writes award-winning short crime fiction. She lives with her beau and three cats in Massachusetts.

As Edith Maxwell, she writes the A Local Foods Mystery series (Kensington Publishing) and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries (Midnight Ink).  You can find all Maddie’s/Edith’s identities at She blogs every weekday with the other Wicked Cozy Authors at Look for her as Edith M. Maxwell and Maddie Day on Facebook and @edithmaxwell and @maddiedayauthor on Twitter.
13 Cast Iron Cooking Mistakes You Need to Stop Making | Taste of Home

Excerpt from Strangled Eggs and Ham


I kept my voice as soft as I could, so the other diners wouldn’t overhear. “I talked to my friend Lou a few minutes ago. She found his body. He was staying upstairs in my B&B.”

Her pale eyebrows went north.  “How did you already hear he was dead?” I asked.  “Police scanner app.” She pointed to the phone.  “But the site is within South Lick town limits, so not in our jurisdiction.”

I knew the county sheriff handled homicides in unincorporated territory, as they had in June with the murders in neighboring Beanblossom.  “Jurisdiction,” I said. “Does that mean they’ve already decided it was an unnatural death?”

“Starting to look like it.” She started to say more but clamped her mouth shut, instead.  “How so?” I doubted she’d tell me, but it was worth a try.  “Not at liberty to divulge.”  Yeah. As I’d thought. “Did Buck go on the call?”

Wanda shrugged. “No idea. Probably.”  “Miss?” A diner waved from across the room. “I’m in a bit of a hurry?”  I held up my index finger in acknowledgment as I sighed. “Did you want to order?” I asked Wanda.  “Pancakes, bacon, and biscuits with gravy,” she muttered at the phone. She looked up and added, “Please.”

“You got it.” I headed over to the customer who was in a hurry, and then to the cooking area and handed Danna the order slips. Another homicide in South Lick. Another unnatural death. I was starting to feel like I lived in Cabot Cove. But this wasn’t Maine. It wasn’t a television show. I wasn’t Jessica Fletcher. This was real life, right here in Indiana . . .
Bicycle near a tree in summer forest Royalty Free Stock Photo

My Summary

Strangled Eggs and Ham by Maddie Day is the sixth A Country Store Mystery.  Robbie Jordan owns Pans ‘N Pancakes in South Lick, Indiana.  The town is currently in an uproar thanks to Fiona Closs, a developer, who wants to build an upscale resort on top of one of the most beautiful hills in the county.  Robbie’s Aunt Adele is leading the protest against the development, but not everyone is against the new project.  Geoffrey DeGraaf, a lawyer, was enticed to extend his stay by Robbie’s best friend, Lou.  He has agreed to provide legal advice to the Adele’s South Lick Anti-Resort Coalition.  The next day, Robbie gets a call from a distraught Lou who went to meet Geoffrey for a ride.  She found Geoffrey strangled at the site of the resort.  With the restaurant overwhelmed with customers and a lack of staff, Robbie is busier than a one-armed paper hanger.  But after a series of incidents intended to scare off Aunt Adele, Robbie becomes determined to find the saboteur.  So, Robbie slings aside her spatula to sift through the clues with the intent on serving up the killer to local law enforcement. 

My Thoughts

Strangled Eggs and Ham is a charming cozy mystery.  It can be read alone if you have not read the previous books in A Country Store Mystery series.  I like the setting of South Lick, Indiana and how the author captured the accents and colloquialisms of individuals who live in the Midwest.  Buck certainly has some unique phrases and I am amazed at that man’s appetite.  Robbie Jordan has her hands full running the restaurant and her B&B.  Robbie is a friendly main character and who likes to be active (bikes all over) and stay proactive.  Aunt Adele is a hoot.  Adele is spry and has no qualms about breaking the law (she actually hopes to get arrested).  She is against the proposed resort and has some plans in place that will cause quite a ruckus.  Her friend, Vera is a willing coconspirator.  The mystery provided a couple of suspects and there are good clues to aid the reader in solving Geoffrey’s death.  The reveal is suspenseful, and action packed.  There are a couple of unanswered questions at the end.  There is supposition, but I wish we had a firm resolution.  I enjoyed how the resort issue was handled by the town.  There are recipes at the end for some of the delights Robbie whipped up for guests at Pans ‘N Pancakes.  Strangled Eggs and Ham is an enticing cozy mystery with the friendly town, quirky residents, tantalizing food, good gossip, and one nosy parker out to solve a perplexing puzzler of a whodunit.

 Kentucky Blackberry Jam Cake with Caramel Icing | Spicy Southern Kitchen
Strangled Eggs and Ham is available at AmazonB&N, KoboGoogle Play, and IndieBound.  The next book in A Country Store Mystery series is Nacho Average Murder which releases March 31, 2020. To enter the giveaway, you can use the Rafflecopter form below or click here. Good Luck! Please take the time to visit the other stops on the tour (schedule below) for author interviews, character interviews, recipes, excerpts, reviews, character guest post, and guest posts.  Thank you for joining me today and I hope I have helped you find a new book to read.  I will be back tomorrow with my review of A Ghostly Suspect by Tonya Kappes.  May you have a joyful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

Tour Participants

June 24 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW, EXCERPT

June 24 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews - REVIEW

June 25 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

June 25 – Socrates Book Reviews - SPOTLIGHT

June 25 – Defining Ways - SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

June 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 26 – Celticlady's Reviews - SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

June 26 – Author Teresa Watson – CHARACTER INTERVIEW  

June 27 – The Avid Reader - REVIEW, EXCERPT

June 27 – Reading Is My SuperPower - REVIEW

June 27 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

June 28 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

June 28 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 28 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

June 29 – StoreyBook Reviews - SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

June 30 - Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

July 1 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW

July 1 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW

July 1 – I'm All About Books – GUEST POST

July 2 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 2 – Brooke Blogs - SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

July 3 – Curling up by the Fire - REVIEW

July 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW  

July 3 – The Cozy Pages - SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
Dr Liv Gibbs on Twitter: "Reading at a Café by Jane Peterson c. 1920 (Private Collection).… "

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Andrew by Jennifer Beckstrand: Review, Recipe, and Giveaway!

About the Book

Andrew, Abraham, and Austin Petersheim’s family business has earned them the nickname The Peanut Butter Brothers. But if their matchmaking younger siblings have their way, all three may soon bear another title: husband . . .
Handsome, hardworking, and godly, Andrew Petersheim has always been sure of his place in his Wisconsin Amish community. He’ll be a welcome catch for the local girl who finally captures his heart. Mary Coblenz certainly isn’t that girl. Two years after “jumping the fence” for the Englischer world, she’s returned, unmarried and pregnant. Yet instead of hiding in shame as others in the community expect, she’s working at the Honeybee Farm, ignoring the gossips—and winning over Andrew’s eight-year-old twin brothers . . .
For all Andrew’s certainty about right and wrong, it seems he has a lot to learn from Mary’s courage, grace, and resilience. She’s changing his notions about forgiveness and love, but will she in turn accept the challenge of starting over and choose to stay—with him?
Click here to grab your copy!

About the Author

Jennifer Beckstrand is the two-time RITA-nominated, #1 Amazon bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hillseries, The Honeybee Sistersseries, and The Petersheim Brothersseries for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer and Home on Huckleberry Hill were both nominated for the coveted RITA® Award from Romance Writers of America. Jennifer has written twenty-one Amish romances, a historical Western, Jessie and James, and the nonfiction book, Big Ideas. She and her husband have been married for thirty-four years, and she has six children and seven adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.
This homemade peanut butter is so easy to make and when you discover how much better it tastes - you will wish you made it sooner. No lie.  #misshomemade

More From Jennifer

If you enjoyed The Honeybee Sisters, you’re going to love The Petersheim Brothers, or the Peanut Butter Brothers as they’re known in their small Amish community of Bienenstock, Wisconsin. The Petersheim brothers work their small farm and make peanut butter. The idea for The Petersheim Brothers series came when two of my friends and I were creating The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook. My friend Alicia suggested I write a book about Peanut Butter Brothers, and the idea stuck.
One of my favorite characters in my Amish romances is Aunt Bitsy, the irrepressible, unconventional woman who raised the Honeybee Sisters, tried to chase off all their suitors, and then lit fireworks at their triple wedding. In Andrew, the first book in the Petersheim Brothers series, Aunt Bitsy takes in a girl who has jumped the fence and wants to come back to the Amish community to have her baby. Aunt Bitsy is still protecting her dandelions and her bees, still dyeing her hair all sorts of bright colors, and still praying to Gotte right out loud.
Andrew is about forgiveness, second chances, and learning to love. It will have you laughing and crying, and you might just fall in love with two of the most mischievous little boys in Wisconsin. Enjoy.
In honor of the Peanut Butter Brothers, I want to share one of our favorite family recipes. These bars are perfect for picnics, parties, and potlucks. They’re easy and delicious!
No-Bake Reese's Peanut Butter Bars Recipe ~ Says: They taste EXACTLY like a Reese’s, but something about them being homemade just makes them better.
Peanut Butter Bars

Cream together:

1 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar
 Blend In:

2 unbeaten eggs

1 tsp. baking soda

2/3 cup peanut butter

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla
Stir In:

2 cups flour

2 cups quick oats
Spread mixture in greased jelly-roll pan or large cookie sheet.  Bake: 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Do not overbake. Remove from oven.
Sprinkle on:
1 ¼ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Let stand five minutes.
For peanut butter mixture on top, combine:

½ cup sifted powdered sugar

¼ cup peanut butter

2 to 4 Tbs. evaporated milk

Mix well. The chocolate chips will melt on the bars. Spread melted chocolate evenly. Drizzle peanut butter mixture on top. Cool completely. Cut into bars.
How to Make Peanut Butter (+ 3 flavors) - Fit Foodie Finds

My Thoughts

Andrew by Jennifer Beckstrand is the beginning of The Petersheim Brothers series.  Alfie and Benji Petersheim are eight year old twins and their bedroom has been moved into the cellar.  Their grandfather suffered a stroke and is in need of extra assistance.  The twins parents gave up their room and took over the twins bedroom.  Alfie finds the cellar dark, bug ridden, inhabited by a ghost and the air mattress has popped a leak thanks to the fork Benji had in his back pocket (for a midnight snack).  They believe the solution is marrying off their three older brothers:  Andrew, Austin, and Abraham.  They were going to settle for Andrew, but then they overheard their mother say she wanted his bedroom for her sewing room.  Since none of the local woman have appealed to Andrew, Alfie suggests Mary Coblentz who jumped the fence, but who has returned to town.  The fact that she is pregnant, they feel is a bonus for Andrew (instant family).  The resourceful boys just need a few supplies to put their plan into motion. 
Each of the hives, at Indigo Acres Apiary, is hand painted with love.💚🐝🎨
Andrew is a delightful Amish romance novel.  This story had me chuckling from beginning to end.  We get to return to The Honeybee Farm owned by Bitsy Kiem Weaver who still changes the color of her hair regularly, has her shotgun at the ready and talks out loud to God.  She willingly takes in Mary Coblentz when she returns to town unwed and pregnant.  Bitsy is a wonderful character who I wished lived was my neighbor (minus the bees).  I loved it when Mary said, “Bitsy isn’t afraid to love people who don’t fit in”.  Mary is a nineteen year old who left the community and regrets her decision.  She is a brave young woman who is not going to be bullied or hide inside just so other people will be satisfied.  Andrew is taken with Mary until he sees that she is pregnant.  But, thanks to the twins, he keeps encountering Mary.  Andrew’s idea of right and wrong are going to be put to the test.  Alfie and Benji were hilarious with their antics.  I loved their simplistic outlook of situations.  There are judgmental members of the Amish community who need to learn Christian charity.  I like the Christian values and life lessons presented in Andrew (faith, forgiveness, redemption, grace, patience, second chances, honesty).  We are all sinners and make mistakes.  Everyone deserves forgiveness and a second chance.  I thought the book was well-written and it proceeded at a steady pace.  It seems like I barely began the book when I finished it (with many smiles and giggles along the way).  It was interesting to learn more about creating homemade peanut butter.  It is cute that the Petersheim brothers are called The Peanut Butter Brothers by locals.  I cannot wait to read the next two books in The Petersheim Brothers series.  If you have not read The Honeybee Sisters (though you really should), you will not be at a disadvantage.   Andrew is a heartwarming story with the colorful, shotgun toting Bitsy, yummy honey, impish twins, homemade peanut butter, and merry mishaps.
To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a grand prize of a $20 Amazon gift card.  Be sure to comment on the blog stops (schedule below) for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link here to enter.  Good Luck!  Thank you for stopping by today.  I hope you will visit tomorrow when I review Strangled Eggs and Ham by Maddie Day.  I hope you have a blessed day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


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Blog Stops
The Avid ReaderJune 26
MomentsJune 26
BigreadersiteJune 29
Genesis 5020July 1
Pause for TalesJuly 3
Mary Hake, July 5
SplashesofjoyJuly 5
Vicky SluiterJuly 5
Quiet QuilterJuly 9