Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Nothing Bundt Trouble by Ellie Alexander

Nothing Bundt Trouble (A Bakeshop Mystery #11)
Leather Journal with Antique Paper Bring out your inner creativity with the NomadCraftsCo. Antique Leather Bound Writing Journal for Women and Men! The vintage paper looks and feels like a thousand years old is treat to write on. The paper is made from environmentally friendly cotton and jute canvas.
Nothing Bundt Trouble by Ellie Alexander has Jules Capshaw settling into her childhood home.  She is down in the basement sorting through boxes when she finds one holding newspaper clippings and a journal that belonged to her father, William.  That evening, Jules begins reading and learns that her father regretted getting involved in The Pastry Case with his friend, Doug (aka the Professor).  Before reading more of the journal, Jules consults with the Professor.  The Pastry Case occurred in March of 1988 on the opening night of the Cabaret.  Chuck Faraday was deliberately run down in front of the Cabaret with William and Doug as witnesses.  It bothered William that he was unable to help Doug arrest the culprit.  Jules decides to dig into the case to see if she can resolve it.  
Ashland, Oregon * A small town close to Medford (south of Portland) close to California
Downton Ashland, Oregon
Nothing Bundt Trouble by Ellie Alexander is the 11th A Bakeshop Mystery.  It can be read on its own if you are new to this culinary mystery series.  Juliet “Jules” Capshaw found her deceased father’s journal in a box in the basement.  She reads how he was conflicted about getting involved in The Pastry Case and decides to discuss it with Doug (aka Professor) who was her father’s best friend.  Ashland, Oregon is always a charming town to visit with Torte, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and its friendly residents (except Richard Lord).  I like the family feel inside Torte, among the staff, and the descriptions of the tasty treats they whip up.  Nothing Bundt Trouble is different from the other ten books in this series.  Roughly two-thirds of the book involves Doug and Jules sitting at a table in Torte reading William Capshaw’s journal.  Jules seems to go into a haze while they are reading.  She fails to notice the lively atmosphere of Torte with people coming in and out getting coffee and pastries.  The pacing is sluggish courtesy of the detailed journal entries and lack of action.  With all that William had going on in his life, I do not know how he found the time to write such lengthy, detailed entries (would you really write about the food people ate).  I missed the lightheartedness that is the norm for the books in A Bakeshop Mystery series.  When the story returns to the present Jules and Lance work to solve the case.  Chuck Faraday was not a well-liked man which provides some good suspects.  The whodunit can be solved easily before the reveal.   I did like getting to know more about William.  We also get to learn what Helen and Jules were like in 1988.  It seems that Jules was inquisitive even as a child.  The 1980s gives Jules inspiration for a fun party.  Nothing Bundt Trouble just missed the mark for me.  I look forward to reading Chilled to the Cone when it comes out later this year.  Nothing Bundt Trouble is a blast from the past cozy mystery with a discovered diary, fabulous sugar flowers, clashes at the Cabaret, decorating dilemmas, and a cold case.
AOOS CUSTOM Back to the 80s Dimmable LED Neon Light Signs For Wall Decor #fashion #home #garden #homedcor #plaquessigns (ebay link)
Nothing Bundt Trouble can be purchased from Amazon*.  You can find the other novels in A Bakeshop Mystery series here.  The next A Bakeshop Mystery is Chilled to the Cone which releases on December 29.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will be back tomorrow as a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber.  It is the debut of A Fairy Garden Mystery series.   I hope you have a joyful day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader
#wattpad #phi-tiu-thuyt "Thích em không phải do ưu điểm của em hay điều kiện của em, mà vì trong lòng có em nên mới thích toàn bộ những gì thuộc về em." {Một tòa thành đang chờ anh - Cửu Nguyệt Hi}
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Monday, June 29, 2020

His Pretend Amish Bride by Rachel J. Good: Review & Giveaway!

About the Book

Author: Rachel J. Good

Genre:  Amish Romance

Release Date: June 30, 2020

In a small Amish town like Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, one solution to an indiscretion is to get married. Or perhaps, fake a respectable engagement . . .

Priscilla Ebersol has a fulfilling life teaching special needs children—until her boyfriend’s humiliating betrayal ruins her reputation and threatens her job. Shunned for something she didn’t do, Priscilla throws herself into a project on the benefits of camel’s milk for autism. Her research leads her to a newly opened Amish camel farm, where she discovers far more than she bargained for. . .

When a pushy Englisch company shows interest in shy, handsome Gabriel Kauffman’s camel farm, he struggles to get out of a sticky negotiation. Lovely, well-spoken Priscilla appears at the perfect moment and defends Gabe’s business so well that she is mistaken for his wife, a pretense they both secretly wish could be true. But though their bond deepens, Priscilla’s heart is still wounded, and Gabe battles with a troubling secret. And when a misunderstanding comes between them, it will take faith, honesty, and trust in God to overcome the past—and to allow their partnership to blossom into something more.

Click here to get your copy!
Why are the PA Amish raising camel farms for camel milk?

About the Author
USA Today bestselling author RACHEL J. GOOD writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her Amish novels. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events.

Rachel is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – the bestselling Love & PromisesSisters & FriendsUnexpected Amish BlessingsSurprised by Love (2021), and two books in Hearts of Amish Country – as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books. In addition, she has stories in many anthologies, including Love’s Thankful Heart, Love’s Christmas Blessings, Plain Everyday HeroesLove’s Truest Hope, and the forthcoming Amish Christmas Twins (September 29, 2020) with Shelley Shepard Gray and Loree Lough. She is also the coauthor of the Prayerful Author Journey: Inspirational Yearly Planner.
Amish camel farmer in PA photographed by Gary Clark

More from Rachel

A few years ago, I passed Amish camel farm in Bird-in-Hand, PA. As an author, seeing anything new or different always piques my interest, so I went for a visit. Not only did I explore the farm and store, I bought camel’s milk to drink. I think it’s important to do in-depth research for the settings and information I include in my Amish novels.

I was fascinated to discover camels usually bond to one milker, only give a little milk each day, and are extremely expensive to buy. All of those are reasons why camel’s milk is so expensive. It costs $15 for a pint. Much pricier than cow’s milk.

And if you’re wondering how camel’s milk tastes, the best way I can think of to describe it is a slightly salty version of powdered milk. It’s more watery than cow’s milk.
The global camel milk market is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 4.01% enlarge during the forecast period, 2020−2026. Rising popularity of camel milk and dairy products is likely to attain a high market growth throughout the forecast period.
Because I grew up drinking powdered milk during my early childhood years when we lived in Africa, I’d always vowed never again to drink it once we moved back to the United States. A vow I’ve kept. That was never a problem living in Pennsylvania, where there’s plenty of farmland, cow, and Amish, of course.

The camel’s milk was enough like powdered milk to make me gag. But because I want to be sure my books are authentic, I drank it. So, readers, now you know how much a I care about you.

My concern for you also extends to more than just getting factual information correct. I pray for each and every one of you as I write my stories. I hope that they will touch your heart and bring you closer to God.
My Thoughts

His Pretend Amish Bride by Rachel J. Good has Priscilla Ebersol preparing a picnic lunch to enjoy with her beau, Matthew King.  She is surprised to find Bishop Troyer at the door, and he delivers some upsetting news that could cause Priscilla to lose a job she loves.  Needing to get out of the house, Priscilla heads to the new camel farm.  Gabe Kauffman has just moved to Bird-in-Hand with his camels.  Priscilla has done research on the benefits of camel milk for autistic children, and she wants to purchase some her for brother, Asher.  Priscilla finds that she can share with Gabe what has happened without worry that he will share with others.  When a pushy Englischer tries to bully Gabe into selling his farm, Priscilla is there to assist Gabe.  He finds it difficult to talk in front of large crowds and when faced by an angry, bullying individual.  The man assumes Priscilla is Gabe’s wife with the way she defends Gabe and his business.  This sets the tone for the rest of the story.  I enjoyed reading His Pretend Amish Bride.  It is a cute story with romance, secrets, betrayal, theft, bullying, and gossip. I liked the characters in this story.  I thought they were developed and realistic.  The book is well-written with a good flow and pacing.  I was unaware of the benefits of camel milk until I read this story.  It was interesting learning about camel farming.  I enjoyed the side stories in His Pretend Amish Bride because they added depth and interest.  There is also humor sprinkled throughout.  The Amish characters had deep faith and were wonderful examples to others.  Priscilla helps a woman find Jesus which I thought was inspiring.  I appreciated the epilogue which nicely wrapped up the book.   His Pretend Amish Bride was a delightful story, and I am eager to read the next Unexpected Amish Blessings novel (His Accidental Amish Family will be out on December 1).  My favorite line from His Pretend Amish Bride is, “Mamm says worrying isn’t trusting God.”  His Pretend Amish Bride is a charming Amish tale with an unethical Englischer, missing milk, rampant rumors, galling glossophobia, a major misunderstanding, and camel curiosity.
Feed Camels at The Farm at Walnut Creek

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of the book and $25 Amazon gift card.  Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click here to enter.  Good Luck!  His Pretend Amish Bride comes out June 30 and is available from Amazon*.  The first novel in the Unexpected Amish Blessings series is His Unexpected Amish Twins which is currently $1.99 on Amazon (please verify  price before purchase because they change suddenly on Amazon).  His Accidental Amish Family is the 3rd book in the Unexpected Amish Blessings series and it will publish on December 1.  Amish Christmas Miracles:  14 stories to touch your heart and warm your Christmas soul comes out November 10. Rachel has a novella in this collection.  Thank you for joining me today.  Tomorrow I am reviewing Nothing Bundt Trouble by Ellie Alexander.  It is the 11th A Bakeshop Mystery.  May you have a heartwarming day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader
Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, June 29
Among the Reads, June 30
What Are The Benefits Of Camel Milk + Camel Milk Nutrition
Camel milk ice cream swirl
Benefits of Camel Milk
Bigreadersite, July 9
I spotted this amazing caravan of camel milk chocolate camels at Doha International Airport. They are manufactured by Al Nassma, a joint venture between an Austrian company and the ruler of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, who owns one of the world's largest camel farms, 2,300 head and counting.
Pause for Tales, July 11
Lighthouse Academy Blog, July 11 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
Artistic Nobody, July 12 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Vicky Sluiter, July 12
WE ALL HAVE A PURPOSE IN GOD'S GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS: "Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel." ~ G.K. Chesterton
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Sunday, June 28, 2020

A Bride of Convenience by Jody Hedlund

A Bride of Convenience (The Bride Ships Book #3) by [Jody Hedlund]
Happy Sunday!  I want to share with you some books that will be out in early July.  Promises of Tomorrow by Shelley Shepard Gray releases July 6.  A Springtime Heart by Marta Perry publishes July 7 along with The Amish Schoolteacher by Jerry Eicher and Steadfast Mercy by Ruth ReidA Walk Along the Beach by Debbie Macomber publishes on July 14 and so does What You Wish For by Katherine Center.  Are any of these upcoming releases on your wish list?
size: 24x18in Giclee Print: Victoria, Vancouver Island Art Print :
Victoria, Vancouver Island
A Bride of Convenience by Jody Hedlund has Zoe Hart arriving in Victoria, Vancouver Island on a bride ship in January of 1863.  Zoe was a mill worker in London along with many of the women on the ship.  She is determined to find her brother, Zeke who left home a year ago bound for the gold fields of British Columbia.  Zoe is visiting her dying friend in the hospital when she meets Pastor Abe Merivale.  Herman Cox walks in with his infant daughter.  He is no longer able to care for Violet and wants Pastor Abe to find her home.  Zoe is instantly taken with Violet, a mixed breed child, that she wishes to keep.   The only way to do that is to take a husband right away.  Dexter Dawson, an unscrupulous man, offers to marry Zoe, but Pastor Abe cannot let that happen.  After receiving surprising news, Abe marries Zoe upsetting Abe’s superior.  Both have regrets after the ceremony, but they are determined to make this marriage of convenience work out.  There will be difficulties ahead for this newly wedded couple.  Can this convenient marriage become something more?
Victoria Harbor
Victoria Harbor
A Bride of Convenience is the 3rd novel in The Bride Ships series.  It can be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading this engaging series in order.  I thought A Bride of Convenience was well-written with developed characters.  Jody Hedlund captured the time-period and I enjoyed her descriptions of Vancouver Island.  I was especially taken with the cave with the hot spring.  In A Bride of Convenience, it is women who worked in the cotton mills who are on the bride ship.  They have been unemployed, and food was lacking at home.  Zoe Hart’s family fell apart when her mother passed.  Her father took to the bottle while her sister, Meg became addicted to laudanum.  Two things haunt Zoe.  The loss of her sister’s baby and the reason her brother, Zeke fled England.  Zoe came on the bride ship to find Zeke and set things right for him.  Pastor Abe Merivale is three years into a five-year assignment in British Columbia.  After his time there, he wishes to return to England to marry his sweetheart and get his own parish.  Abe has plans to become a bishop.  First, though, he must do well on this assignment and get the local bishop’s recommendation.    Zoe is a spunky woman who is kind, caring, and compassionate.  She has a natural affinity with children.  Abe has the same qualities.  He wants to do more than just address his parishioners’ spiritual needs.  Abe has a hands-on approach.  He wishes to make sure they have a good home life, food, and shelter.  Abe even finds ways to keep the kids occupied during the long winter months.  The Christian element is developed and integrated into the book.  I liked how all the various parts of the book worked together for one complete story. It was interesting learning about headache remedies utilized.  I could feel for Zoe and the pain she suffered.  I could tell the author did her research for this series, and I enjoyed reading the Author’s Note at the end of the book.  A Bride of Convenience has drama, suspense, family, friendship, and romance.  A Bride of Convenience is a captivating tale with a neglected newborn, a bullying bishop, an immoral man, an absent brother, and a wanton woman.
Men, women, and young children worked in the cotton mills in Lancashire, England weaving cloth from morning to night. Many died at a young age from working in these dirty, noisy, and dangerous conditions.
Cotton Mill in England
A Bride of Convenience comes out June 30 and can be pre-ordered from Amazon*.  The other two novels in The Bride Ships series are A Reluctant Bride and The Runaway Bride.  The next tale in the captivating The Bride Ships series is Almost a Bride which will be out on August 25.  It will feature Zoe's brother, Zeke Hart and Kate Millington who traveled on the ship with Zoe.  Thank you for reading my review.  I will be reviewing His Pretend Amish Bride by Rachel J. Good tomorrow.  It is the part of the Unexpected Amish Blessings series.  I hope you have a bright day. My mask making project is not gotten farther than picking out the material (the fun part). I am off to watch a video tutorial that will hopefully spur me on to the next stage. I need to get to work since my county now requires the wearing of masks when out in public. I have a feeling I will be ordering one online.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Return to Sender by Tonya Kappes

Return to Sender
The Story behind Five Postal Uniforms
Return to Sender by Tonya Kappes has Bernadette Butler trying yoga on her doctor’s recommendation.  So far Bernadette has not found the exercise that requires her to twist her limbs like a pretzel to be helpful, but she does enjoy the corpse pose at the end.  Bernie has found that yoga has increased her stress instead of reducing it.   Bernadette arrives at work one morning to find the police at the post office.  Someone broke into the post office and ransacked Bernadette’s locker as well as her mail bag.  Bernadette then goes to deliver a certified letter to Simon Little and finds him dead.  Peaches Partin becomes a prime suspect and she requests that Bernie use her skills to clear her name.  Can Bernadette with the aid of the Front Porch Ladies find Simon’s killer or will Peaches be teaching yoga at the local correctional institute?  
First  Black Female "Mail Carrier" Mary Fields  $175.00
Doll made to portray Mary Fields, First Black Female Mail Carrier  (she was one tough woman)
Return to Sender by Tonya Kappes is the 4th A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery.  Each book can be read on its own, but they are an entertaining collection.  I laughed frequently while reading Return to Sender.  I enjoy Tonya Kappes’ engaging writing style which draws the reader right in and holds them until the very end.  Bernadette Butler is a fifty-year-old widow with a married grown son, a darling granddaughter, and two fur babies.  She is enjoying her smaller house in town and Bernie loves her job as a walking mail carrier.  Bernie is having relationship regrets especially when she sees Mac Tabor with morning talk show host, Lucy Drake.  Currently Bernie’s biggest issue is menopause symptoms.  The hot flashes are so intense Bernie expects fire to shoot out the top of her head.  I could certainly relate to what Bernadette was experiencing and the scenes were amusing.  The romance was a little more prevalent in this story that in the others in the series.  We get to see Bernadette struggling with her feelings regarding Mac.  She loves him, but, after her first marriage, Bernie feels the need to go slowly.  The mystery had some interesting and clever components.  I like how it all worked together.  The Front Porch Ladies are helpful in gathering intel to help Bernie.  While I was sure I knew the identity of the killer, I enjoyed following Bernie as she solved this whodunit.  The descriptions of Bernie in the yoga class were hilarious.   Her comments about yoga clothing were spot on (especially about the pants).   Return to Sender contains good writing with realistic, developed characters set in a charming, small Southern town.  There is friendship, community, and Southern charm.  Return to Sender is a witty tale with a delightful duck, horrible hot flashes, a glaring green-eyed monster, boundless baked goods, and a messed-up murder. 

You can read the first chapter by clicking here.  Join Tonya Kappes for a release day giveaway by joining her on Facebook.
Miss Genevieve Baskfield was appointed a village carrier in Zumbrota, Minnesota, in 1919 at the age of 18. She resigned in 1924 shortly after her father, who had been the town’s postmaster, left office. Village delivery was a service similar to city delivery, offered in small towns from 1912 to about 1960.
Return to Sender is available from Amazon* and can be borrowed through Kindle Unlimited.  The other three novels in A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery series are Stamped Out, Address for Murder, and All She Wrote.  All of them can be borrowed through Kindle Unlimited.  Tonya Kappes' next book is A Charming Deception which will be out on July 30.  It is the 13th novel in A Magical Cures Mystery seriesSummer Snoops:  Down Under publishes on July 28.  It contains twelve novellas from twelve authors.  Tonya Kappes has written a story for this collection.   If you enjoy lighthearted, humorous stories, then you will enjoy Tonya Kappes' novels.  Thank you for dropping by today.  I will be back tomorrow with A Bride of Convenience by Jody Hedlund.  It is the 3rd novel in The Bride Ships series.  May you have an amusing day.  Laughter is good for the soul.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Women reading
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Friday, June 26, 2020

Game of Dog Bones by Laurien Berenson

Game of Dog Bones (A Melanie Travis Mystery Book 25)
Good Day!  I hope you have had a satisfying week.  Dog-Gone Dead by Jackie Layton is out today.  Dog-Gone Dead is the 2nd book in A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery seriesBite the Dust is the first book in that series.  Hairballs and Homicide by Ruth J. Hartman published today and it is the debut of A Kitty Beret Cafe Mystery series.  I am looking forward to reading these new cozy mysteries.
Standard poodle triumphs at the Westminster Kennel Club
Game of Dog Bones by Laurien Berenson has Melanie Travis and her aunt, Peg Turnbull heading to New York City for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden.  Aunt Peg has been invited to judge this year which is a prestigious honor.  The day before the Westminster show, the Paugussett Poodle Club sponsored a judging seminar given by Aunt Peg.  Unfortunately, Victor Durbin decided to host the Empire Poodle Club’s first specialty at the same time and at the same venue.  Victor was ousted from the Paugussett Poodle Club and has focused his angst at Aunt Peg.  Aunt Peg’s judging and television debut goes off without a hitch.  Melanie and her family watched the end of the Westminster show at home and went happily off to bed.  Early the next morning, they get a call from Aunt Peg.  Two New York City detectives showed up on Aunt Peg’s doorstep to question her in the death of Victor Durbin.  Someone pointed Aunt Peg out as Victor’s mortal enemy.  Melanie quickly gets to work so she can clear Aunt Peg of suspicion.  The suspect list is quite lengthy since Victor was known for his unscrupulous business practices and his ill treatment of people.  Melanie needs to quickly whittle down the list so she can identify Victor’s killer.  Of course, Aunt Peg wants to be kept informed.  Can Melanie catch the crafty killer?
Westminster Dog Show winner, Siba the Poodle, sports wild haircut; groomers explain | 6abc.com
Game of Dog Bones by Laurien Berenson is the 25th A Melanie Travis Mystery.  I have enjoyed following Melanie Travis as she has solved mysteries since A Pedigree to Die For.  Melanie has a happy home life with her husband, Sam and her two children, Davey and Kevin.  Their household also has five poodles and one mixed breed who wreaks more havoc than all the poodles combined.  I just love Faith, Melanie’s favorite poodle.  It is delightful the way Melanie talks to Faith and how the poodle responds.  This series contains great characters from Melanie down to little Kevin.  I like that the characters continue to develop as the series progresses. Melanie received some advice from her sister-in-law, Bertie and I hope she acts upon it.  In Melanie’s household, things are never dull which provides readers with laugh-out-louds moments.  We get to visit the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in Game of Dog Bones.  I had no clue so much went into dogs shows.  All the work that goes into preparing a poodle for the ring is fascinating.  Laurien Berenson explains the judging in an easy to understand manner which I appreciate.  Laurien Berenson has a lovely writing style that makes each book a joy to read.  Her books have a smooth flow, good dialogue, relatable and well-rounded characters, and descriptive sentences that makes the reader feel they are right there in the book.  The mystery was thought it with a just the right number of suspects and misdirection.  The clues were present, but not obvious.  The way the crime was carried out was clever.  I liked the reveal which included some unexpected action.  Crawford and Terry get married on Valentine’s Day.  Terry (who is sporting purple hair) is planning the nuptials.  I was surprised that Crawford left it up to the flamboyant Terry.   I love how the book ended.  Game of Dog Bones can be read as a standalone for those new to A Melanie Travis Mystery series.  I am looking forward to reading Howloween when it comes out.  Game of Dogs Bones is an entertaining cozy mystery with precious poodles, a wonderful wedding, dog club drama, a vile victim, a clever crime, and an autocratic aunt.
Siba, the standard poodle, poses for photographs after winning Best in Show in the 144th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in New York
Game of Dog Bones releases June 30 and can be pre-ordered from Amazon*.  You can find the other novels in A Melanie Travis Mystery series here.  The next A Melanie Travis Mystery is Howloween Murder which publishes on August 25 (I cannot wait to read it).  A Christmas Howl by Laurien Berenson is currently available through Kindle Unlimited.  I appreciate you joining me today.  Tomorrow I am featuring Return to Sender by  Tonya KappesIt is the 4th A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery.  I hope you have a blissful day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader
A Little Piece Of Quiet Reading Lawn Chair Fridge Art Magnet Mary Engelbreit Art
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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Death on Windmill Way by Carrie Doyle

Death on Windmill Way (Hamptons Murder Mysteries Book 1) by [Carrie Doyle]
Welcome!  I have been keeping busy inside since it is so hot outside.  I am thankful for the invention of air conditioning!  What is it like in your neck of the woods?
This Town in the Hamptons Is One of New York’s Best-kept Secrets | Here's how to spend a few days in Sag Harbor, one of New York State's best-kept secrets.
Death on Windmill Way by Carrie Doyle has Antonia Bingham as the new owner of East Hampton’s Windmill Inn.  She acquired the property eight months ago when the previous owner, Gordon Haslett passed.  Antonia is also a chef and has a restaurant inside which is slowly gaining in popularity.  One evening, Len and Sylvia Powers mention that the property is said to be cursed because the previous owners except one have died under suspicious circumstances.  This arouses Antonia’s curiosity, so she decides to investigate.  When the other former owner dies, Antonia sets out to solve that crime as well.  Is there a curse on the inn?  Could Antonia be the next victim?
Old colonial home, East Hampton
Death on Windmill Way by Carrie Doyle is the first novel in A Hamptons Murder Mystery series.  The cover is just lovely for this cozy mystery.  Antonia Bingham bought Windmill Inn without seeing it in person on the advice of her best friend, Genevieve.  Antonia was anxious for a new start after her divorce from her controlling ex-husband.  The main thing that sold her on the property was the large restaurant because Antonia is a chef who loves to cook.  When Antonia learns that there may be a curse attached to the inn, she decides to do a little snooping.  After all, her childhood nickname was “snoop” per Genevieve and Antonia claims to be a better detective than her former husband.  I had high hopes for Death on Windmill Way, but there were several things that kept me from enjoying this cozy mystery.  Carrie Doyle is a detail-oriented writer.  A person is described down to the color of their nail polish and a room is discussed in detail including where she obtained the fabric and the color of the lamps. Every single person is given this attention along with other properties, rooms, stores, streets, etc.  I felt it was too much detail and bogged down the story.  There was a discourse on bees that went on for several pages and included information that was interesting but not relevant.  There were also some facts in the book that were inaccurate (an example is New York does not recognize common law marriage but a character in the book kept claiming to be Gordon’s common law wife).  There were a variety of characters in Death on Windmill Way.  I liked John Fowler who lives near Antonia and eats at the restaurant each night.  Larry, though, was a piece of work.  I really wish the author had not included the obnoxious man considering how he views women and his inappropriate comments.  Antonia’s best friend, Genevieve is another unlikeable individual.  She is vain and shallow.  I am baffled why Antonia likes Genevieve who cares more about herself than her friend.  
Pricey new digs: Robert Downey Jr. has reportedly bought the historic Edward DeRose Windmill Cottage in East Hampton, New York, for $11.9 million
Windmill Cottage, East Hampton
The mystery had multiple suspects, red herrings and pointed clues.  The guilty party could easily be identified early in the story.  The reveal scene is reminiscent of Murder, She Wrote, but Jessica Fletcher got to the point much quicker than Antonia.  The reveal scene seemed to go on forever (I lost track if it was two chapters or three) and lacked concrete facts.  Unlike most cozies, this one does contain foul language.  Death on Windmill Way contains 416 pages which could have easily been edited down with the elimination of repeated case details and the overly descriptive sentences.  The author failed to develop the main character (I know it is shocking, but true).  We are given scant details on her past.  Antonia needs to be fleshed out and made more likeable.  I found Antonia to be contradictory.  She carefully furnishes each room in the inn paying close attention to every detail, but then she lets someone she does not know control the finances.  Antonia seems to be unaware that she has overspent on renovations and not bringing in enough income to pay the number of people she has employed.  I also felt the romance was too soon for Antonia after what she had been through with her husband and she seemed a little obsessed with the man (searching for him each day).  A Hamptons Murder Mysteries has potential.  It just needs editing and rewriting to help achieve it.  The food sounded delectable and the town sounded lovely.  Death on Windmill Way is a culinary cozy mystery with a curious curse, bewildering bees, a fashionista friend, bothersome bookkeeping, and a chef cooking culinary cuisine. 
Photographic Print: Old Hook Windmill, East Hampton, the Hamptons, Long Island, New York State, USA by Robert Harding : 24x18in
Old Hook Windmill, East Hampton
Death on Windmill Way releases June 30 and can be pre-ordered from Amazon*.  The other novels in A Hamptons Murder Mystery series Death on Lily Pond Lane (will be out on August 25), Death on West End Road (published on November 24, and Death on Bull Path (releases March 30, 2021).  Please remember that every reader views a book differently.  Please read a sample to see if a book appeals to you.  Thank you for dropping by today and reading my review.  Tomorrow I am sharing my thoughts on Game of Dogs Bones by Laurien Berenson.  It is the 25th A Melanie Travis Mystery.  I hope you have a mirthful day.  Take care of yourself, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader 
Mary Engelbreit
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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Texas Twin Abduction by Virginia Vaughan: Review & Giveaway!

About the Book

Book:  Texas Twin Abduction

Author: Virginia Vaughan

Genre:  Inspirational Romantic Suspense

Release Date: June 2, 2020

This twin’s past is a blank…    

And she might not have a future.

Waking up in a bullet-ridden car with a bag of cash and a deputy insisting she’s his ex-fiancée, Ashlee Taylor has no memory of what happened—or of Lawson Avery. But with her twin missing and someone hunting her down, she must trust him with her life. Can Lawson save her and her sister—even as Ashlee’s forgotten secrets become an inescapable trap?

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Fun Texas ranch gate painted to resemble the Texas flag.
About the Author

Virginia Vaughan is a multi-published author of inspirational romantic suspense. Blessed to come from a large, southern family, her fondest memories include listening to stories recounted by family and friends around the large dinner table. She was a lover of books even from a young age, devouring gothic romance novels and stories of romance, danger, and love. She soon started writing them herself. A former investigator for the State of Mississippi, Virginia utilizes her criminal justice background with her love of writing to transform words into powerful stories of romance and danger.
America's biggest ranch The Waggoner on sale for $725m in Texas
More from Virginia

Thanks for joining me for a brand new adventure. TEXAS TWIN ABDUCTION is the first book in my new Cowboy Lawmen series and it’s a departure from what I normally write. I love writing about cops and serial killers so when my editor first suggested the cowboy/western theme, I was hesitant. I’m a city girl at heart so this was so far out of my comfort zone! But I couldn’t resist for long. After all, who doesn’t love a cowboy? Thankfully, I found a way to merge what I loved—law enforcement, FBI, US Marshals—with the cowboy/family themed books my editor wanted to see by making my group of hero brothers a family of law enforcement types with ties to the family ranch. The best of both words. Score!
lawman tv show | Lawman (TV Series 1958–1962) - IMDb
Book one in this new series, TEXAS TWIN ABDUCTION, begins with my hero, little brother Lawson Avery, in a quandary. All he ever wanted out of life was to run his family’s Texas ranch, but his ex-fiancée Ashlee’s final words to him as she skipped out on their wedding was that his desire for the simple life made him unambitious and unworthy of her love. Her words broke him, sending him searching for something more meaningful to do with his life, eventually winding up as a deputy in the sheriff’s office. But, despite law enforcement being in his blood, Lawson finally realized that life wasn’t for him and made plans to return to the ranch. However, his plans are sidetracked when he finds Ashlee unconscious on the side of the road in a bullet-ridden car with no memory of him or their past together. When it becomes clear that someone wants her dead, Lawson steps in to act as her protector. But will digging into the mysteries of her past cost him the future he still longs to have with her?
Texas Holiday Hideout (Cowboy Lawmen Book 2) by [Virginia Vaughan]
I hope you enjoy this book and this brand new series! Look for the next book—older brother US Marshal Miles Avery’s story—coming in TEXAS HOLIDAY HIDEOUT this October.
Horse and cowboy approved women’s western apparel.
My Thoughts

Texas Twin Abduction by Virginia Vaughan is the first book in the Cowboy Lawmen series.  Deputy Lawson Avery is on his final shift as a lawman.  He gave law enforcement a try, but Lawson prefers working on the family ranch, Silver Star Ranch.  He responds to a call about an abandoned car and finds the back end riddled with bullet holes.  Slumped in the driver’s seat is his ex-fiancé, Ashlee Taylor.  She awakens in the car with no memories of what happened or even who she is.  Ashlee does know that she feels safe around Lawson.  She needs to trust Lawson along with his family if she is stay alive since someone is determined to kill her.  Ashlee soon learns that her twin is being held captive.  Can the Avery brothers learn who is behind the attacks and recover Ashlee’s sister? 
Woman arrives at hospital in bullet-riddled vehicle
Texas Twin Abduction is a fast-paced Christian suspense.  I thought Texas Twin Abduction was well-written with steady pacing and solid characters.  Lawson Avery is a good man who loves living and working on his families’ ranch.  Six years ago, Lawson was engaged to Ashlee Taylor who ran away right before their wedding.  She wanted to live in the city and have a career which was not going to happen in the small town where she grew up.  I liked the Avery clan.  All the brothers have jobs in law enforcement or military.  The romance is subtle which I appreciated, but it is present throughout the story.  I could tell that Lawson had his heart broken by Ashlee and has not gotten over the loss.  I thoroughly enjoyed the action-packed mystery.  There are great twists along the way.  Texas Twin Abduction is a story about forgiveness and second chances.  I look forward to Miles story in Texas Holiday HideoutTexas Twin Abduction is suspenseful tale with missing memories, troubled twins, a hardboiled hitman, a brokenhearted rancher, and distressing danger.
Ann Hanson ~ "Go Girl"  oil, 20 x 16.


To celebrate her tour, Virginia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card and a copy of Texas Twin Abduction.  Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click here to enter.  Good Luck!  Texas Twin Abduction is available in paperback and ebook*.  The next book in the Cowboy Lawmen series is Texas Holiday Hideout.  It will be available on October 1 in ebook and October 13 in paperback.  You can find more books by Virginia Vaughan here.  Thank you for visiting today.  I will return tomorrow with my review of Death on Windmill Way by Carrie Doyle.  It is the debut of Hamptons Murder Mysteries.  I hope you have a carefree day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

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Blog Stops

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