Tuesday, July 14, 2020

A Walk Along the Beach by Debbie Macomber

A Walk Along the Beach
Greetings!  What You Wish For by Katherine Center and A Walk Along the Beach by Debbie Macomber are out today.  The cover on Debbie Macomber's book is so lovely (I wish I lived there).  What book are you currently reading?
Woman walking with her dog on the sandy beach. Rear view. - Stock Photo - Images
A Walk Along the Beach by Debbie Macomber has Willa Lakey owning Bean There in Oceanside, Washington.  Willa lives with her sister, Harper who she raised after their mother passed away when she was thirteen.  As a teen, Willa took care of the household chores along with her brother, sister, and father.  Their father was lost without the love of his life.  He became depressed and buried himself in alcohol.  The family suffered another tragedy when Harper was diagnosed with leukemia.  She barely survived and Willa worries that Harper will become ill again.  Their brother, Lucas lives in Seattle and has a girlfriend that they hope will become a permanent family member.   Harper is always on the go lately.  When she is not teaching yoga or helping at the cafรฉ, Harper is training to climb Mount Rainier.  Harper notices that Sean O’Malley, a frequent customer, has his eye on Willa.  Harper pushes the two together and they soon find themselves spending time with each other every day.  Unfortunately, Sean, a freelance photographer, will be leaving soon on a long assignment.  The pair find themselves falling in love despite Sean’s long assignments.  Love is not without risk.  Can their relationship withstand a major challenge?  
A Walk Along the Beach by Debbie Macomber takes readers to Oceanside, Washington.  The Lackey family has had its share of tragedies over the years and now they are all on the right track.  Willa has the bakery/cafรฉ she has dreamed of and it is popular with the locals.  I liked the strong characters the author created for this story.  Willa became the “mother” of the family after their matriarch died when she was thirteen.  She was there for her younger sister, Harper when she received her treatment for leukemia.  Willa worries that Harper will have a reoccurrence and tends to hover.  Harper is full of life and always on the move.  She is training with a group to climb Mt. Rainier at the end of the summer.  Harper pushes her sister into dating freelance photographer, Sean O’Malley.  Loving someone is a risk because you never know how it will turn out.  A Walk Along the Beach is an emotional novel.  I thought it was well-written with steady pacing.  We see a close-knit family and community that rally around each other.  I found it to be a realistic novel.  Life is never smooth sailing and that is true for our characters in this story.  The developed characters had good traits and weaknesses.  Alcoholism, illness, long distance relationship, and financial troubles are some of the problems our characters deal handle in the story.  I did feel that it was rushed at the end and I would have liked an epilogue that showed how the family was doing in a year or two.  A walk Along the Beach is a lovely story, but I do not feel it compares with some of Debbie Macomber’s other novels (especially A Blossom Street Novel series).  I did like how Willa enjoyed walking along the beach to clear her head and how it felt soothing to the soul.  I know I find looking at the Gulf of Mexico to be soothing.  A Walk Along the Beach is a poignant tale with a cute kitten, a clever canine, a preoccupied photographer, a fraught father, and a caring community.  
Silhouettes on the Sand. Silhouetted couple walking a dog on the beach , #spon, #Silhouetted, #Sand, #Silhouettes, #couple, #beach #ad
A Walk Along the Beach can be found on Amazon* plus other major bookshops.  You can find other books by Debbie Macomber here.  Her next publication is A Christmas Message which will be out on October 27. I look forward to reading this author's Christmas novel each year.  Thank you for visiting today and reading my review.  Tomorrow I am reviewing What You Wish For by Katherine Center.  I hope that you have a hopeful day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Burke, Brenda - Women Sitting on Beach, Reading, St Clothes
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Monday, July 13, 2020

The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs

The Lost and Found Bookshop: A Novel by [Susan Wiggs]
Hello!  Thank you for dropping by today.  Murder with Honey Ham Biscuits by A.L. Herbert will be out on July 28 along with Witches and Wedding Cake by Bailey Cates, Morning Star by Charlotte Hubbard, and Piece by Piece by Laura BradfordLove in Unlikely Places by Linda Byler releases August 4 and so does Piecing It All Together by Leslie Gould.  This is a great time to catch up on your reading.  
What became of the great Beatnik hangouts in San Francisco?
The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs has Natalie Harper suffering a devastating tragedy.  Natalie was expecting her mother and boyfriend at a company party celebrating her promotion and a significant deal that she completed.  Natalie soon learns that they both died in a plane crash which has her rushing to San Francisco to be by her grandfather’s side.  Her grandfather, Andrew and her mother, Blythe started the Lost and Found Bookshop after she completed college and came home pregnant with Natalie.  Her mother loved the bookshop where she had a knack for helping customers find just the right book.  Natalie is checking out the financials after her mother’s memorial and learns that there is a significant amount of debt.  With her grandfather’s failing health and mental state, Natalie wishes to sell the historic building.  She learns that the building is owned solely by her grandfather who refuses to sell.  Natalie moves into the apartment above the shop where she grew up and works with Peach Gallagher to make repairs to the building. Peach’s daughter, Dorothy is a regular customer and Grandy, as Natalie calls her grandfather, enjoys the little girl’s company.   As Peach makes repairs, he makes unusual discoveries.  Natalie begins reading her ancestor’s diaries.  They learn more about their family and the history of the building.  This helps Natalie learn to let go of worries and live more freely.  Will Natalie be able to save the bookshop and open her heart to love?
City Lights Books San Francisco @ohshootlisa via @americanbooksellers do you have a favorite bookshop? Be sure to vote for all your favorite shops in our BEST SHOP 2019 campaign | Link in Bio | @citylightsbooks is a landmark independent bookshop specializing in world literature the arts & progressive politics - and one of our favorites #bookshop #shelfie #sharingaworldofshops . . .  #citylightsbooks #bookstore #sanfrancisco #booklover #books #bookish #theshopkeepersmaps #theshopkeepersmapssanfra
The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs takes readers to San Francisco, California where the Harper family has the Lost and Found Bookshop in a historic building called the Sunrose Building.  Natalie Harper is stunned when she learns that her mother and boyfriend died in a plane crash.  She is now responsible for her mother’s beloved bookshop and her aging grandfather.  I thought contained good writing and vivid descriptions.  I enjoyed the word imagery of the bookshop, he beautiful historic building, and San Francisco.  Bookshops are a magical place.  I thought the characters were developed with my favorites being Grandy, Natalie’s grandfather, and Dorothy Gallagher, Peach’s adorable little girl.  I enjoyed the relationship Natalie had with Grandy.  He has the beginnings of dementia where he confuses Natalie with his deceased daughter, Blythe.  Grandy’s memories are slipping away which bothers him.  He wants to finish out his days in the building where he has lived his whole life.  I liked Grandy’s compassion and wisdom.  There are some great book references throughout the story.  Love, devotion, letting go, and living life to the fullest are themes in the book.  We get to see Grandy and Natalie move forward slowly after the death of Blythe.  As we got to know Blythe from Grandy and Natalie’s reminisces, she seemed a woman who was full of life.  Blythe was a happy person who thoroughly enjoyed the bookshop.  I was not a fan of the foul language in the book and repetition (I got it the first time).  I did feel that the ending felt rushed and I did not like that they had two of the characters smoking weed (it came out of nowhere).  My favorite phrase from The Lost and Found Bookshop was “You’re never alone when you’re reading a book.”  It was fascinating the items found within the walls of the shop and how the Harpers dealt with the objects.  Grandy was a good man with strong convictions and values.  I appreciated the epilogue which nicely wrapped up the book. The Lost and Found Bookshop is an easy-going story that is just the right type of book to read during the summer months.   The Lost and Found Bookshop is a charming story with financial misfortunes, uncovered objects, a hurt heart, a grieving grandfather, dementia dilemma, and beloved books.
Find the best indy bookshops in San Francisco with this local's guide. It covers 14 beautiful bookstores and suggestions for other literary things to do in San Francisco, California.Charlie's Bookstore
The Lost and Found Bookshop is available from Amazon* as well as other major booksellers.  You can find more books by Susan Wiggs here.  Thank you for reading my review today.  I will be back tomorrow with A Walk along the Beach by Debbie Macomber.  I am off to sort through a closet.  My mother and I are trying to get rid of things we no longer use.  I found parts to a sweeper we have not owned in ten years in the back of one closet.  We have one item that we cannot figure out what it is.  I hope you have a sunny day.   Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Literary Labyrinth at the International poetry festival in San francisco transmedia activism project for non profit IPLSF
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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Shamed by Linda Castillo

Shamed: A Novel of Suspense (Kate Burkholder Book 11) by [Linda Castillo]
Welcome!  I hope everyone is doing well on this Sunday!  Here are some new books that are coming out on August 18:  Death at High Tide by Hannah Dennison, Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan, The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan, and The Mersey Girls by Sheila Riley.  This Sunday, I am doing a blast from the past by featuring Shamed by Linda Castillo which came July 16, 2019. 
Empty Amish farmhouse in Eastern Ohio - Buggy on the front porch, hay and firewood on the back porch. Hay inside the house.
Empty Amish farmhouse liked Schattenbaum's
Shamed by Linda Castillo has Chief Kate Burkholder at the old Schattenbaum house where she finds a screaming little girl stating that the Da Deivel killed her grandmother and kidnapped her sister, Elsie.  Kate finds Mary Yoder dead in the farmhouse from a brutal attack.  After verifying that Elsie Helmuth is indeed missing, she calls in Agent John Tomasetti as well as help from the county sheriff’s office.  It is all hands on deck to find Elsie as quickly as possible.  Ivan and Miriam Helmuth are eager for the return of their daughter and answer Kate’s questions.  Kate begins digging and uncovers a discrepancy that could explain the reason Elsie was taken.  A long held secret puts more than Elsie’s life in danger.  Can Kate find the little girl in time?
Two young Amish boys clear snow from a pond in Walnut Creek, Ohio. Ice skating is a popular activity for many Amish youth in the winter.
Shamed by Linda Castillo is the 11th A Kate Burkholder Novel.  I thought Shamed contained good writing with a well-plotted crime.  It can be read as a standalone, though, you would know and understand the characters better if you read the series in order.  Shamed gets off to a shocking start with the death of Mary Yoder.  Kate, John, and other police personnel begin searching for clues and for the missing child.  Elise is seven years old and has Cohen syndrome.  Kate has a gut feeling about the case that does not take her in the same direction as Tomasetti.  Kate’s hunches, though, are rarely wrong.  Kate ends up in a small, isolated Amish community that calls into question everything Kate knew about the Amish.  The mystery is a tense one which ramps up the longer the little girl is missing.  The author created a multifaceted whodunit that is complex and suspenseful.  The beginning is violent and gory.  There is a significant amount of foul language in the book as well.  I enjoyed the authors vivid descriptions of Painters Mill, the people, and the other Amish town.  You will find yourself quickly turning the pages to find how Shamed plays out.  Shamed is a gripping tale with kidnapped child, a messy murder, a crazed killer, incomprehensible information, close calls, and a stupefied police chief.  
As a kid we would go to Amish country every year. I became friends with a young Amish girl who worked for the motel and in exchange, she was allowed to swim in the pool. Her bathing suit was a dress! It amazed me... She amazed me!
Shamed is available from Amazon*.  The latest A Kate Burkholder Novel is Outsider.  The series began with Sworn to Silence.  You can find the other A Kate Burkholder novels here.  Thank you for reading my review today.  Tomorrow I will be sharing my thoughts on The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs.  I hope you have a restful day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Mother daughter book and rocking chair
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Saturday, July 11, 2020

A Heartwarming Romance Collection by Wanda E. Brunstetter

A Heartwarming Romance Collection
Mt. Rainier standing watch over Tacoma, Washington. ....photographer Jeremiah Pierucci  (please be sure to give credit)
Mt. Rainier looking over Tacoma, Washington
A Heartwarming Romance Collection by Wanda E. Brunstetter contains three Christian romances. Talking for Two has Tabby Johnson enrolling in a ventriloquist class.  She enjoys entertaining the day care children with her puppet act.  She normally stutters and stumbles when speaking with people, but Tabby does not have that problem when she has a puppet in her hand.  Seth Beiler uses his ventriloquist act to share the Christian faith and values with others.  He is attracted to Tabby and hopes his dummy will be the trick to overcoming her shyness.   
what's the group noun for Ventriloquist dummies -- an abomination? a wrongness?
Clowning Around features Lois Johnson, Tabby’s sister who has changed in the last two years.  She is now a Christian and working as the church secretary at Bayview Christian Church.  Lois goes a performance of Seth and Tabby’s where Joe Richey aka Slow-Joe the Clown falls into her lap.  Lois enjoys spending time with Joe, but he does not like being serious or discussing his past.  Joe likes Lois, but she is serious and cautious.  Lois wants to find a way to bridge the gap between herself and Joe which leads her to an unusual solution. 
Clowns Serving Christ Ministry is a ministry made up of Christian Brothers ...    clownsservingchrist.org
The Neighborly Thing has Sinda Shull buying a rundown house in a new town for a fresh start.  Glen Olsen finds himself interested in Sinda who keeps herself busy with her doll hospital business she has set up in her basement.  Glen helps Sinda with repairs to her home which gives them time to get to know each other.  Sinda holds herself back, though, because of what she experienced with her father and that her mother left when she was ten.  Another hinderance in their relationship moving forward is Glen’s daughter, Tara.  She believes Sinda is up to no good and decides to investigate.
Doll Hospital, Sydney
A Heartwarming Romance Collection by Wanda E. Brunstetter contains three sweet Christian romances set in Washington.  They are well-written with characters who have strong Christian values.  They are quick and easy to read.  The characters are realistic with their strong points and their flaws.  It was interesting learning about ventriloquism and clowns as well as chalk art.  I liked how the characters used their gifts as a ministry to share their love of Christ.  We get to see how our characters overcome obstacles to find love and deepen their faith as well.   Bullying, overcoming the past, and insecurities are themes present in the stories. I was a little disappointed that the third story did not contain the theme of the first two.  I was hoping we would get Donna Hartley’s story (a chalk artist).  I just did not feel that The Neighborly Thing fit in with the other two tales.  I had not read these early works by Wanda Brunstetter, so I found it a nice treat.  This author always provides sweet, refreshing stories.  They remind us to focus on what is truly important in our lives and to rely on Him.  A Heartwarming Romance Collection are three inspiring Christian tales with a cute canine, a passionate puppeteer, a crazy clown, doll drama, an anxious adolescent, and curious Christians.
Many let their fear of the unknown keep them from learning and understanding other cultures.  Sociology helps to provide answers to help decrease this fear.
A Heartwarming Romance Collection is available from Amazon* as well as other major retailers.  You can find Wanda E. Brunstetter's other novels here.  Her next release is The Mockingbird's Song on August 1.  It is the 2nd novel in the Amish Greenhouse Mystery series.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I am doing a blast from the past with Shamed by Linda Castillo.  It is the 11th A Kate Burkholder Novel.  I hope you have a blessed day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
I carry your heart with me. I carry it in my heart
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Friday, July 10, 2020

False Conclusion by Veronica Heley

False Conclusion (A Bea Abbot mystery Book 14) by [Veronica Heley]
Welcome!  South of the Buttonwood Tree by Heather Webber is out on July 21 as well as Handbook for Homicide by Lorna BarrettThe Squawking Dead by Erin Johnson releases on July 14.  It is the 7th novel in Magic Market Mysteries.  The Last of the Moon Girls by Barbara Davis publishes on August 1.  We may not be able to enjoy restaurants or the movie theater, but there are plenty of new books to read. 
Rye, East Sussex, England
False Conclusion by Veronica Heley has Bea Abbot ready to welcome Bernice, her ward, home for the summer holidays.  They have a variety of plans for the summer.  Things get off to a bumpy start when Mrs. Trescott drives Bernice home along with her niece, Evelina.  Mrs. Trescott invites Bernice to attend Evelina’s sixteenth birthday celebration as well as spend the weekend which Bernice does not want to do.  The next day, Evelina arrives in a catatonic state sent by Mrs. Trescott who wishes the girl out of the house while the police do their thing.  Evidently, Evelina found her Uncle Constant dead in his bed distressing her.  According to Bernice, Evelina is an epileptic and the medication makes the girl sleepy.  Bea questions Evelina when she rouses, and she is not happy with what she hears.  Bea decides to learn more about the Trescott family.  She suspects foul play is afoot, but she is not sure which Trescott is responsible.  
AJ Photography ๐ŸŽž on Instagram: “Honington๐Ÿ“  Honington is an English Village Honington, Warwickshire is  in the Stratford-on-Avon District of Warwickshire #honington…”
False Conclusion by Veronica Heley is the 14th A Bea Abbot Mystery (which I wish I had known before picking up this book).  I began reading False Conclusion and it felt like I was plopped down in the middle of a British dramedy.  I would not recommend False Conclusion as a standalone.  I felt like a fish out of water in the beginning, though, it did become easier as the story progressed.  There are a variety of quirky characters from Bea Abbott to Piers, her first ex-husband.  I was not a fan of any of the characters in this story.  Bernice can be kind at times, but, for the most part, she comes across as a spoiled brat.  The mystery had a variety of suspects all from the Trescott family.  If I was Evelina, I would change my last name.  Bea and her sidekicks are clever and resourceful which is handy when investigating.  I was not surprised by the identity of the guilty party.   False Conclusion was not my type of story.  I found the details to be repetitious (the same things over and over) and Bernice’s attitude was appalling (she needed a good smack).  I really did not need to know the details of each of Bernice’s fashion choices (down the shoes).  While False Conclusion was not my cup of tea, I suggest you read a sample to see if it appeals to you.  False Conclusion is a British mystery with a terrible tragedy, a portrait painter, a troubled teen, and a shrewd schemer.
open a bottle of wine and talk to them,” he told Veranda. Too funny! I wonder if they every talk back? Haha! Let’s take a tour
False Conclusion is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other novels in A Bea Abbott Mystery series here.  You can find other novels by Veronica Heley here.  Thank you for reading my review today.  I am featuring A Heartwarming Romance Collection by Wanda E. Brunstetter tomorrow.  I hope you have a fanciful day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
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Thursday, July 9, 2020

A Million Little Lies by Bette Lee Crosby

A Million Little Lies
Good Day!  Are you looking for some new books to read?  The Girls of Victory Street by Pam Howes releases on July 27 along with From Beer to Eternity by Sherry Harris and Someone's Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass. The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne by Elsa Hart publishes on August 4 and so does Piecing it All Together by Leslie GouldMums and Mayhem by Amanda Flower is out August 11.  It is so hot this summer that it is best to relax somewhere cool with a refreshing, cold beverage and read.
Dahlonega, Georgia: Small-Town Escape - Southern Living
A Million Little Lies by Bette Lee Crosby has Suzanna Duff leaving town in the middle of the night with her young daughter, Annie.  Suzanna moved in with Earl when she was pregnant after her father tossed her out.  After what happened when Earl came home drunk, Suzanna knows she needs to get Annie out of there.  A nice man takes them as far as Cousins, Georgia where she can catch a bus.  Suzanna plans on heading to New Jersey because a friend moved there three years ago.  Unfortunately, the bus had left for the day.  Annie is hungry and Suzanna notices a flyer for the memorial lunch for William Parker.  Ida Parker, the widow, grabs Suzanna’s arm and call her Darla Jean.  Ida has mistaken Suzanna for her granddaughter whom she has not seen since she was an infant.  Ida insists that they stay with her and Suzanna figures it would not hurt for one night.  Ida is lonely since her husband passed.  With the addition of Suzanna and Annie, Ida’s home comes alive and she intends to keep it that way.  Suzanna and Annie continue to live with Ida, and they become a family.  Then one day someone from Suzanna’s past arrives in town.  Suzanna has a hard choice to make.
1895 Victorian For Sale In Jasper Alabama
A Million Little Lies by Bette Lee Crosby is a heartwarming story.  It takes readers back to 1960 in a small Georgia town. I thought A Million Little Lies was well-written with realistic characters.  The characters have their good points and their foibles.  Suzanna told her first lie when she was ten years old.  It was just a white lie, but it was the beginning.  Suzanna and her daughter, Annie were living with Earl until he went too far one night while drunk.  She wants a better life for her child and Earl was not setting a good example.  Thanks to a kindly man, the pair end up in Cousins, Georgia.  Ida Parker had taken care of her husband for the last two years while the cancer took away the man she loved.  Her husband’s son, Thomas disappeared with his wife and granddaughter when he announced he was marrying Ida.  Ida misses having family.  When she spots Suzanna at her husband’s memorial, she reminds Ida of her granddaughter, Darla Jean.  A series of circumstances have Suzanna and Annie living with Ida.  A Million Little Lies is such a cute story.  It did seem that someone was watching over these three.  I was drawn right into the tale and I just kept reading until I finished it.    There is some foul language in the book that I wish had not been present.  A Million Little Lies has Southern charm, family, and wisdom.  There are good life lessons in this story with my favorite being that there is more than one type of family.   A Million Little Lies is a feel-good story that lingers with you after you finish it.  
This illustration captures the feel of newly-built 1960s suburban elementary schools.
Elementary School 1960s
A Million Little Lies is available from Amazon*.  It is available through Kindle Unlimited.  You can find Bette Lee Crosby's other novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I appreciate it.  Tomorrow I am featuring False Conclusion by Veronica Heley.  It is the 14th A Bea Abbott Mystery.  I hope you have a serene day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Flat screen televisions are decidedly minimalist compared to their forerunners. In the 1960s a television was not just a television. Frequently, it was a piece of furniture that incorporated some other fixture or object, such as a lamp, bureau or cabinet. Taken in 1969 this image depicts a woman reading a message from her combination TV-fax machine.
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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Outsider by Linda Castillo

Outsider (Kate Burkholder #12)
Welcome!  A Walk along the Beach by Debbie Macomber will be out on July 14 along with What You Wish For by Katherine CenterA Charming Deception by Tonya Kappes releases on July 30.  It is the 13th A Magical Cures Mystery.  So many books delightful new books coming out this summer!
Inside Amish life
Outsider by Linda Castillo has Adam Lengacher enjoying a sleigh ride with his three children in Painter’s Mill, Ohio when they find an abandoned vehicle with blood nearby.  Adam searches the area and finds an unconscious woman who is bleeding.  Adam takes her back to his home where she asks for Kate Burkholder, the chief of police.  When Kate arrives, she is surprised to see the woman is Gina Colorosa.  Kate and Gina shared an apartment in Columbus as well as went to the police academy together and began their careers together with Columbus Division of Police.  Kate has not seen or spoken with Gina in ten years.  Kate learns that there is a warrant out for Gina’s arrest.  Gina reported corruption within the vice unit and now they are out to eliminate her.  They have framed her for the death of a confidential informant and raided her home in an attempt to kill her.  Kate calls John Tomasetti who is her beau as well as an agent with Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.  Tomasetti is able to get little information.  Something odd is definitely going on.  They need to keep Gina under wraps until the snowstorm blows over and they can transport her to right officials.  Unfortunately, there are people who want to make sure that Gina does not talk, and they are willing to brave the heavy snowfall to accomplish it.  Will Kate be able to keep everyone safe?
Outsider by Linda Castillo is the 12th A Kate Burkholder Novel.  It can be read on its own for those new to the series, but I recommend reading this suspenseful series in order. I thought Outsider was well-written with developed characters and it moves along at a fast pace.  Outsider starts off with a bang in the prologue with Gina Colorosa, a vice unit cop from Columbus, on the run after a no-knock warrant is executed at 3 a.m. on her home.  Gina was prepared for this action and was able to escape, but she was shot in the shoulder.  Gina knows only one person whom she can trust and that is Kate Burkholder.  Adam Lengacher, an Amish widower with three children, rescues Gina and takes her into his home.  Kate is shocked when she sees Gina because it has been ten years since they parted.  Kate would not have become a police officer if not for Gina.  Gina tells Kate about corruption within the police force in Columbus.  There is suspense, action, mystery, and intrigue in Outsider.  You wonder if Gina is disclosing all the information to Kate, who is involved in the corruption, and what will happen next.  There is graphic violence in Outsider and along with an extensive amount of foul language (fair warning).  I thought Outsider was more violent than the earlier books in A Kate Burkholder series.  I like that we get to learn more about what happened to Kate after she left home, her time at the academy, and her early years on the force in Columbus.   We also discover why Kate has not spoken to Gina in ten years.  There are some cute moments in Outsider as well.  Adam’s three kids are sweet.  Sammy was my favorite.  He is a curious boy.  There was a calf who had been spurned by his mama that needed nurturing.  I like the relationship between Kate Burkholder and John Tomasetti.  They manage to balance their work and their private life.  I liked the author’s descriptive writing which brought the scenes to life.  I enjoyed the vivid word imagery of the sleigh ride especially.  I like the glimpses of Amish life which felt authentic.  Outsider is a suspenseful novel with a cute calf, a well-proportioned widower, a friend on frightful footing, substantial snowfall, corrupt cops, an auto accident, and a barrage of bullets.
Top 12 Things To Do In Pennsylvania Amish Country - Adventure Hike Travel Take a tour of The Amish Village in Strasburg. www.TheAmishVillage.net Enter through the gift shop and sign up for a guided tour of the Amish house, and then go outside to tour the stable and see the animals. I saw a baby calf only a few days old! Finish the rest of the village on your own. There’s a covered bridge, several buggies to sit on for plenty of photo ops, a blacksmith shop, one room school house, a village store
Outsider is available from Amazon* as well as other major booksellers (Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Powell's).  You can find the other novels in A Kate Burkholder series here.  Kate Burkholder's tale began with Sworn to Silence.  Thank you for joining me today.  I am heading off to do a little cleaning.  On July 9, I am featuring A Million Little Lies by Bette Lee Crosby.  I hope you have an upbeat day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Do you recognize this scene?  Which book is it from?
Louisa May Alcott's Little Women Illustrated by Rene Cloke
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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A Springtime Heart by Marta Perry

A Springtime Heart (The Promise Glen #2)
Hello!  Thank you for joining me today.  Here are a few of the new books out today:  The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs, Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook by Celia Rees, The Amish Schoolteacher by Jerry Eicher, Steadfast Mercy by Ruth Reid, Outsider by Linda Castillo, and A Springtime Heart by Marta Perry.  Which one do you want to read first?
Amish Schoolhouse in Ohio
A Springtime Heart by Marta Perry has Dorcas Beiler teaching at Orchard Hill Amish school in Promise Glen, Pennsylvania.  Seven years ago, an incident happened that had Dorcas change her ways.  Dorcas is surprised when learns that Thomas Fisher has returned to town and intends to stay.  Dorcas worries that he will reveal the secret that has been kept hidden these past seven years.  She must be on her guard and not give the community any reason to gossip.  Thomas Fisher has returned to open his own construction company and the reunite with his family.  He would like to renew his friendship with Dorcas, but she acts skittish around him.  Thomas gets an opportunity to spend more time with Dorcas when he commits to make repairs on the schoolhouse stable.  It will allow people to see his work plus Thomas will get to spend time with Dorcas.  Can they overcome the past in order to have a happy future together?
THE AMISH COOK BY GLORIA YODER Today, we as a church had an excellent time together at what we call our “annual school picnic.” For the last five weeks the three teachers and 22 students in our little
A Springtime Heart by Marta Perry is the 2nd A Promise Glen Novel.  It can be read as a standalone if you have not read A Christmas Home.  I thought A Springtime Heart was well-written with realistic characters and a lovely setting.  I enjoyed returning to Promise Glen, Pennsylvania.  I was happy to see Sarah Yoder Raber from A Christmas Home in this story. We get a chance to see how she is doing since she married and became a mother to Noah Raber’s twin boys.  I liked the characters in this story.  I thought they were realistic with their own insecurities and foibles.  There is humor sprinkled throughout mostly from the children’s antics.  There are side stories in A Springtime Heart that add complexity and depth to the book.  Dorcas’ sister-in-law, Betsy is a new mother living with her in-laws.  She has a Martha Stewart type mother (who seems to do everything and does it well) which has caused Betsy’s insecurities.  Someone is out to shut down the Orchard Hill Amish school and Dorcas wants to find a way to stop it.  She loves teaching and does not want the community to lose its school.  Gossip is spreading fast through their community.  The latest tidbit could cost Dorcas her job and reputation.  There is also a slowly blossoming romance if only one of the parties will stay in town.  I enjoyed reading A Springtime Heart.  It is a sweet and charming Amish story.  I hope we get more books set in Promise Glen.  A Springtime Heart is a pleasant Amish tale with growing gossip, shadowy secrets, blooming blossoms, required repairs, a thorny romance, and springtime zeal.
A Springtime Heart is available from Amazon*.  The first A Promise Glen Novel is A Christmas Home.  Thank you for reading my review.  Tomorrow I am reviewing Outsider by Linda Castillo.  It is the 12th A Kate Burkholder Novel.  I hope that you have a joyful day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Blue Sofa | Linda Prater
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Monday, July 6, 2020

Promises of Tomorrow by Shelley Shepard Gray

Promises of Tomorrow (Walnut Creek Series, The) by [Shelley Shepard Gray]
Welcome!  If you are looking for new Amish novels to read this summer, then check out these upcoming releases.  The Amish Schoolteacher by Jerry Eicher and Steadfast Mercy by Ruth Reid are out tomorrow, July 7.  Morning Star by Charlotte Hubbard is out July 28 along with Romancing Nadine by Amy LillardThe Mockingbird's Song by Wanda E. Brunstetter publishes on August 1 and Peace in the Valley by Kelly Irvin is out on August 4.  
Promises of Tomorrow by Shelley Shepard Gray has the Eight which now consists of Marie, John, E.A., Katie, Harley, Kendra, Nate, Logan, and Tricia spending a weekend in December in a cabin in the woods in Ohio.  It has been two years since they lost Andy Warner.  It took months for them to arrange this weekend away and the cabin that Marie rented does not match the pictures online.  The fellows are out getting wood to start a fire and return with Elizabeth “Beth” Trainor.  Beth went for a walk and ended up lost.  With the snow rapidly falling, the group insist Beth spend the night.  They can tell that something is troubling her and get Beth to open up.  It is soon apparent that God led Beth to them for a reason.
Woman walking to a hut in the snowy woods | free image by rawpixel.com / Jack Anstey
Promises of Tomorrow by Shelley Shepard Gray is a novella that is #4.5 in The Walnut Creek Series.  I thought Promises of Tomorrow was well-written with steady pacing and developed characters.  It is best that this series be read in order otherwise you will be lost plus it will spoil the previous books for you.  The story begins with Mr. & Mrs. Warner having their annual “It’s December!” holiday party where it is Marie’s turn to share a tale about Andy.  This side story is told in small parts before each chapter.  I like how it had me laughing as it unfolded.  The Eight which has changed since the series began, all meet to share a couple’s retreat weekend before the holidays begin.  They encounter Beth Trainor who also rented a nearby cabin, but she became lost while walking.  Because of the heavy snowfall and approaching nightfall, the group gets Beth to agree to stay with them overnight.  It turns out to be what the group and Beth needed.  They get a chance to help a woman in need which in turns helps them as well.  The main themes in Promises of Tomorrow are grief and hope.  I like how the group of friends lift each other up.  There are two phrases from Promises of Tomorrow that I wanted to share.  “Everything was easier with friends” is the first one.  The second phrase was provided by Beth when she said, “That there is always, always the promise of tomorrow.” In this novella, we see that God puts us where we need to be when we need to be there.  Promises of Tomorrow is an uplifting and inspiring story.  
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Promises of Tomorrow is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other novels and novellas in The Walnut Creek Series hereTake the Lead by Shelley Shepard Gray comes out September 8.  It is the 2nd book in The Dance With Me series.  Thank you for joining me today and reading my review.  I will return tomorrow with A Springtime Heart by Marta Perry.  It is the 2nd book in The Promise Glen series.  I do hope you have a blissful day.  Take care of yourself, stay safe (wear a mask when out in public), and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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Sunday, July 5, 2020

Witch Hunt by Cate Conte: Review & Giveaway!

Witch Hunt

A Full Moon Mystery

by Cate Conte

About Witch Hunt

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496717600
ISBN-13: 978-1496717603
Digital ASIN: B083TQX2CT
Murder isn’t always crystal-clear . . . especially when the prime suspect discovers she’s a witch.

Violet Mooney owns The Full Moon crystal shop in quaint North Harbor, Connecticut. Still grieving her beloved grandmother’s recent unexpected death, she takes comfort in her fat orange cat Monty and her work. Not everyone in town is thrilled with her business, however. When disagreeable town councilwoman Carla Fernandez picks a fight over Violet’s "voodoo shop," the two have a very public confrontation. Of course, when Carla turns up dead, Violet gets little sympathy from the police as suspect #1.

But the shock of two policemen showing up at her door pales in comparison to the sudden appearance of her estranged mother Fiona and a surprise sister, Zoe. What Fiona reveals will rock her world and her sense of self—and reawaken her long-dormant mysterious power. Good thing. She’s gonna need it . . .
moonflowerspirits: “Yay today we reached 12k! Thank you so much to all my followers & customers for the continued support. ”

About Cate Conte

Cate Conte is the alter ego of Liz Mugavero. Liz is the author of A Pawsitively Organic Mystery series from Kensington Books, the first of which was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. Cate is the author of the new A Full Moon Mysteries for Kensington and writes A Cat Cafe Mystery series for Minotaur Books. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.
All About Gemstones Part VII

Author Links

Happy full moon and lunar eclipse blessings Crystals used in this grid are Celestine in the centre, Blue Kyanite, Rose Quartz, Herkimer Diamond, Tibetan Quartz, Clear Quartz, Avalonite, Rainbow Moonstone, Rodochrosite, Morganite and Kunzite ✨ #crystalgrid #crystalhealing #crystals #chakrahealing #healingcrystals #bohemian #boho

My Thoughts

Witch Hunt by Cate Conte has Violet Mooney living in North Harbor, Connecticut with her cat and she owns The Full Moon, a crystal shop.  She is picking up coffee with her best friend, Sydney when Councilwoman Carla Fernandez comes up and starts berating her about a supposed sรฉance.  After a very strange day, Violet goes home and takes a long nap.  She is awakened by two policemen pounding on her door.  Carla was found dead outside the yoga studio that Violet attends with Violet’s new scarf on the body.  Violet is taken to the police station to give her statement and she is shocked when her estranged mother, Fiona appears with her other daughter, Zoe.  Fiona reveals surprising information to Violet that she has hard time accepting as truth.  Violet avoids her mother while searching for Carla’s killer.  She does wonder if the powers her mother hinted that she has are real because they might come in handy.
Reflect. Release. Create. All while giving back.2018 is almost over + what a year. Let's celebrate the highs + the lows. The win's + the fails {they are equally as important as the wins}. Lessons learned. We will reflect on what did work, what didn't work...#heal #health #selflove
Witch Hunt is the debut of A Full Moon Mystery series.  Violet Mooney is grieving the loss of her grandmother, Abigail who died a month prior.  Violet is grateful for her friends in North Harbor now that she is without her grandmother and father.  She owns a crystal shop called The Full Moon where she provides consultations.  I have mixed feelings about Violet.  She seems awfully naรฏve for a 32 year old woman and her attitude left a lot to be desired at times. I hope we see growth in Violet’s character as the series progresses plus, she needs a new boyfriend.  As Fiona said Todd is subpar.  The mystery of who killed Carla had several suspects and a red herring.  Violet asks questions and does some snooping along with eavesdropping.  She likes to think about the case and speculate.  I did feel that the case information was repetitious.  I was able to pinpoint the killer soon after the crime, but I did not know why until much later.    I thought Witch Hunt was nicely written with steady pacing.  The magical element was interesting, and I enjoyed how Fiona left glitter everywhere.  I would like to see the magical element ramped up in the future (more witches using their power and learn more about the witchy world).  There is a lot happening in this debut novel with a murder, Violet’s boyfriend acting sketchy, Sydney acting oddly, appearance of Violet’s mom and sister, learning about new magical powers, a mysterious black cat, and a critical reporter.  Witch Hunt is a spellbinding new cozy mystery with a mystifying moggy, curative crystals, glorious glitter, a callous councilwoman, a bothersome boyfriend, a fetching friend, and mysterious magic. 
artisticlog: Where would you put something like this?
Witch Hunt can be purchased from AmazonB&N, and Kobo.  As part of the the tour, the author is hosting a giveaway.  Cate Conte is giving away five (5) ARCs (advanced reader copies) of Witch Hunt.  You can click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Leave a comment for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  Thank you for visiting today.  I hope you had a fun holiday and that you have an enchanted day.  I am featuring Promises of Tomorrow by Shelley Shepard Gray tomorrow.  It is the 7th novel in The Walnut Creek Series.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
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Tour Participants

June 29 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

June 29 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 29 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 30 - Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 30 - Thoughts in Progress – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 30 - The Book Decoder – REVIEW
✨Brewing up some magic in the studio today!✨Finishing a batch of #galaxy #crystal boxes for some pre orders and I’m happy to announce that…

July 1 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 1 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW

July 2 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

July 2 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 2 – Angel's Guilty Pleasures – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
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July 3 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

July 3 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 4 – OFF

July 5 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

July 5 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒœ ๐‘ฐ๐’๐’”๐’•๐’‚ ๐˜พ๐™ง๐™ฎ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ก๐™จ ๐ŸŒ›⭐ on Instagram: “How amazing is this room?? ๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’œ๐ŸŒ™ Tag someone who would live this!! Follow @insta.crystals .  credit: @amarisland . . . . . . . #crystal…”

July 6 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW

July 6 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

July 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

July 7 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT

Elizabeth Montgomery reading The Omni-Directional Three-Dimensional Vectoring Paper Printed Omnibus for Bewitched Analysis a.k.a. The Bewitched History Book. By David L. Pierce. "Within these pages you will learn everything about America’s favorite witch, Samantha Stephens, her dreary mortal husband, Durwood, er, Darrin, and the grand host of witches, warlocks, and marvelous mortals who accompanied them on their journey as newlyweds to the parents of a little witch and warlock of their ...
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