Saturday, October 31, 2020

Cold Conviction by Daryl Wood Gerber

Happy Halloween!

Book Summary

Cold Conviction by Daryl Wood Gerber has Aspen Adams getting a phone call in the middle of the night from her sister, Rosie.  She wants Aspen to investigate their parents’ deaths and finally get closure.  It has been fourteen year since their parents were murdered and it continues to haunt both sisters.  Rosie has struggled with addiction all these years.  She believes if the case is resolved, she would be able to get clean.  Aspen can tell how much this means to Rosie and agrees to investigate.  Rosie also reveals a secret that she has kept that leads Aspen to a surprising discovery in a treasured item.  The next day, Aspen along with her boyfriend, Nick Shaper head to Atherton, California where the family lived when the deaths occurred.  Aspen gets a chance to speak with retired Detective Sergeant Evers who took extensive notes and has files from the case.  She then begins speaking with the various suspects in the case along with people who knew her parents.  Aspen get s a call from one of the original suspects who has information to share.  Unfortunately, the man is murdered before he can share it.  When a second person individual related to the case is attacked, Aspen knows she is on the right trail.  Aspen will need to be careful, or she could end up the next victim.  

My Thoughts

Cold Conviction by Daryl Wood Gerber is the 3rd An Aspen Adams Novel of Suspense.  It can be read as a standalone, but I believe you will understand Aspen (and the other characters) better if you read the books in order.  Aspen Adams is a complex woman with a big heart.  Aspen is a private investigator working for her Aunt Max and raising her niece, Candace.  Candace is doing much better now that she has a stable home life, but she does not give up hope that her mother will change.  The author has created realistic, developed characters.  I thought Cold Conviction was well-written with steady pacing.  The mystery is multifaceted with the suspense ramping up as Aspen gets closer to the solution.  Aspen went about the investigation in a methodical manner.  The details are revealed a little at a time.  I enjoyed following Aspen as she worked to resolve the case making sure to leave no stone unturned. The reveal scene was action packed and I liked how everything came together.  I was, though, left with an unanswered question or two.  I was able to arrive at the resolution for this whodunit early in the book because the evidence pointed in one direction.  As more details were revealed, it confirmed what I had deduced.  I would have liked for the mystery to be more of a challenge for the reader to solve.  As Aspen was away from Lake Tahoe for most of the book, I missed the interactions between her and the other characters.  They appear now and then plus there are phone calls, but it is not quite the same.  I am a fan of Aunt Max and Candace.  Aspen’s relationship with Nick is progressing nicely.  Nick is so different from Aspen’s ex-husband, Damien who makes an appearance.  He is sleaze with a capital S.  I loved the descriptions of Grandma Patrice’s artwork especially her puzzle boxes.  Cold Conviction is my favorite book in this series.  I look forward to Aspen Adams next adventure.  Cold Conviction is a dynamic tale with a strident sister, a nasty neighbor, melancholy memories, a benign beau, storage shed mementoes, a controlled killer, and a determined daughter.  

Cold Conviction is available from Amazon* along with the other two novels in An Aspen Adams Novel of Suspense seriesDesolate Shores and Fan Mail are the titles of the first two Aspen Adams novels.  I will be back tomorrow with The Blended Quilt by Wanda E. Brunstetter & Jean Brunstetter.  I am still sorting through the items in my home.  In the future, I should do this every few years instead of every twenty.  I hope you have a frightening Halloween!  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Friday, October 30, 2020

Paws for Concern by Amy Hueston

 

Paws for Concern (A Canine Confections Mystery) by Amy Hueston

About Paws for Concern

 

Paws for Concern:  A Canine Confections Mystery

Life is good for Samantha Armstrong. She left her cheating boyfriend, settled into her cozy cottage on her Aunt Mary’s Palm Beach estate and is finally opening Canine Confections, her dream dog bakery on the ritzy Worth Avenue.

But Samantha’s happy new life goes doggone crazy when Palm Beach resident and pastry shop owner Whitney Goodwin is found dead on Canine Confections’ floor, whisking Samantha into the middle of a murder investigation. The only bright spot is that she finds herself adopting Whitney’s loveable dog Sweet Pea.

As the killer strikes again, it’s obvious that the shopkeepers on Worth Avenue are the target. Samantha’s impatience won’t let sleeping dogs lie. She takes it upon herself to move things along by padding around town with Sweet Pea and sniffing out clues to clear her name and Canine Confections’ reputation—before it is too late …

Includes a recipe from Chef Sarah Deters at the test kitchen of Three Dog Bakery, the original bakery for dogs!

About Amy Hueston

 
 Author Amy Hueston writes mini-mysteries for Woman's World when she isn't writing mysteries and suspense books. Paws for Concern is the first book in A Canine Confections Mystery series. 

Author Links






My Thoughts

Paws for Concern by Amy Hueston has Samantha Armstrong opening Canine Confections in Palm Beach, Florida.  On the day of her grand opening, Samantha arrives early to begin baking and finds Whitney Gooodwin, owner of Patisserie of Palm Beach, dead on the floor.  With it being the consensus of the local shopkeepers that Samantha is the culprit, and the police investigation is slow going, Samantha decides to do a little sleuthing of her own.  When another shop owner is attacked, Samantha decides to make a bold move to settle this case once and for all.  Paws for Concern is the first A Canine Confections Mystery.  This is a cute, lighthearted cozy mystery.  I enjoyed the author’s descriptions of Palm Beach.  She really brought the city alive for me.  Samantha is a relatable and friendly protagonist.  She whips up delicious treats that the dogs just lap up.  I also liked Samantha’s Aunt Mary who made it possible for Samantha to open the dog bakery.  Tracy, former reporter and Samantha’s new employee, is a happy-go-lucky individual who seems very na├»ve.  She provided humor throughout the story as well as providing background information on the suspects to Samantha.  Sweet Pea was the hit of the story.  The investigation into the murder of Whitney Goodwin had a handful of suspects.  Samantha questioned the various suspects and obtained background information on Whitney.  Avid cozy mystery readers will not find the mystery challenging, but it is entertaining following Samantha and Sweet Pea as they search for the guilty party. I like that the whodunit was completely resolved at the end.  It was a cute touch having Detective Trumble with a penchant for Tootsie Pops.   Paws for Concern is an upbeat cozy mystery with scrummy canine confections, an altruistic aunt, the sociable Sweet Pea, suspicious shopkeepers, a disobliging detective, and a curious canine baker.

Paws for Concern is available from Amazon and B&NPaws for Concern can be borrowed through Kindle Unlimited.  Amy Hueston's CD Download on Amazon.  Would you like to win a print copy of Paws for Concern (sorry, but open to those in the U.S. Only)?  You can click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Leave a comment on my blog for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  Thank you for visiting today.  I will return tomorrow with my thoughts on Cold Conviction by Daryl Wood Gerber.  It is the 3rd An Aspen Adams Novel of  Suspense.  I am off to a life changing appointment.  Wish me luck!  I hope that you have a creeptastic day (I love Halloween).  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!

Kris

The Avid Reader

Tour Participants


October 19 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST 

October 20 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 

October 21 - Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT 

October 21 - Christy's Cozy Corners – CHARACTER INTERVIEW 

October 22 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST 

October 23 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW 

October 24 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE 

October 25 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST 

October 26 – Sneaky the Library Cat's Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
October 27 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 

October 28 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, GUEST POST 

October 29 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW 

October 30 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW 
October 30 – Maureen's Musings – REVIEW 

October 30 – View from the Birdhouse- SPOTLIGHT 

October 31 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST 

November 1 - Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW 

November 1 - Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Candy Cane Crime by Amanda Flower

Candy Cane Crime by Amanda Flower


Book Summary

Candy Cane Crime by Amanda Flower has Charlotte agreeing to being responsible for the Harvest, Ohio’s Candy Cane Exchange.  Margot tried to rope Charlotte’s cousin, Bailey King into handling the program, but she has too much on her plate with the television show and the candy orders that have been flooding into the store. For one dollar, an individual can have a handmade candy cane along with a personal note delivered to their desired recipient on Christmas Eve.  All funds raised will buy costumes that are desperately needed for Harvest’s annual Christmas pageant.   There is a candy cane shaped mailbox in the town square where people can leave the missives and money.  Charlotte just needs to collect the items from the mailbox, make sure the money was included, and attach the candy canes to the special notes.  Charlotte heads out right away to check the mailbox and is surprised to discover that one of the notes is for her.  It appears that Charlotte has a secret admirer.  Charlotte’s curiosity gets the better of her and she must know the individual’s identity.  She decides to stake out the mailbox where she discovers someone being naughty.  Charlotte solicits Deputy Luke Little to help her put a stop to the mischief.  Charlotte just hopes that this person is not the one behind her sweet notes.  

My Thoughts

Candy Cane Crime by Amanda Flower is charming cozy mystery novella.  It is book 5.5 in An Amish Candy Shop Mystery series.  It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series, but I highly recommend this charming series.  This story is told from Charlotte’s point-of-view (Bailey King’s cousin).  I like getting to know Charlotte better and seeing things from her perspective.  Charlotte was raised Amish, but she is not sure if she wishes to become baptized or not.  I love the characters in this series.  They are just delightful.  They are developed and continue to evolve along with the series.  The mysteries in Candy Cane Crime were simple, but they suited this short novella and went with the theme of the book.  I was especially interested in learning the identity of Charlotte’s secret admirer.  The story has a sweet ending. Candy Cane Crime is a cute, lighthearted story that was enjoyable to read.  It was over far too soon.  I am looking forward to Lemon Drop DeadCandy Cane Crime is a cozy Christmas tale with secret admirer sleuthing, a proliferation of peppermint, a precocious pig, and Christmas cheer.

Candy Cane Crime is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other novels in An Amish Candy Shop Mystery series hereLemon Drop Dead will be the 6th tale in this series and it releases on April 27, 2021.  You can find Amanda Flower's other novels hereCourting Can Be Killer is the 2nd book in An Amish Matchmaker Mystery series (a spin-off from An Amish Candy Shop Mystery series) and it comes out on December 1.   Thank you for stopping by today.  I am off to a doctor's appointment. Tomorrow I am a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Paws for Concern by Amy Hueston.  It is the first A Canine Confections Mystery. I hope you have a spooktacular day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!

Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Amish Christmas Gift by Laura V. Hilton

The Amish Christmas Gift

Book Summary

The Amish Christmas Gift by Laura V. Hilton has Elsie Miller on the hunt for a job in Hidden Springs.  The problem is that everyone in town knows that she has not been successful at her last few positions.  Elsie had no way of knowing that there were certain things you could not put in a microwave (she did call the fire department) and the delivery driver bamboozled her into accepting the dill pickle ice cream.  Levi Wyse is a gifted toy maker, but he is also absentminded.  This Santa needs an elf to keep him organized during the busy holiday season and Levi’s sister, Abigail suggests Elsie.  Organization happens to be Elsie’s gift.  Unfortunately, Levi and Elsie used to date and split up after Levi left her behind at a wedding.  Despite his forgetfulness, Elsie still loves Levi.  Levi has not stopped loving Elsie, but he knows that he is unworthy of her.  He feels responsible for a tragedy that left Abigail in a wheelchair.  Working together each day makes it hard for Levi to keep his resolution that he will not marry. A snowstorm hits after a taffy pull which has Elsie stranded at the Wyse house until it blows over.  This may be the opportunity for them to resolve the past and move forward.  With a little Christmas magic, there may be a future for Levi and Elsie.  

My Thoughts

The Amish Christmas Gift by Laura V. Hilton is the 2nd novel in the Hidden Springs series.  It can be read as a standalone if you have not had a chance to read The Amish Wedding Promise.  The Amish Christmas Gift is a heartfelt story.  I thought the story contained good writing and the story moved along at a steady pace.  There are some charming characters in this story with quirky traits.  Elsie Miller is a whiz at organization, but she has trouble at other occupations.  Elsie is getting quite the reputation in town.  She can usually be seen with a candy cane in her hand.  Levi Wyse is in his mid-twenties and responsible for the care of his seventeen year old sister, Abigail who is in a wheelchair.  Levi has been working to pay off their extensive medical bills with the construction business that was started by his father plus the toys he makes in his spare time.  He would prefer to make toys fulltime, but he is not sure that would support them.  Levi makes beautiful handcrafted wood toys, but he would forget his head if it was not attached.  Absentminded does not begin to describe Levi.  Let us not forget George who is hard of hearing and makes up for it by talking at a high volume.  I laughed often while reading this humorous Amish tale.  Miscommunication and misunderstanding abound for Levi and Elsie.  I did feel there was a little too much internal dialogue and repetition of the same details.  Faith, family, love, guilt, and miscommunication are the themes in this cute story.  There are some good life lessons and I like how the author included the scripture verses that went with each one.  It was presented in an easy to understand manner that really made the point hit home for me.  The Amish Christmas Gift is a sweet and amusing Amish Christmas story with proliferation of peppermint, a toy train time limit, an absentminded Amishman, icky ice cream, a familial matchmaker, and an executive elf.  

The Amish Christmas Gift is available from Amazon*.   The first book in the Hidden Springs series is The Amish Wedding PromiseThe Amish Secret Wish is the 3rd book in series and it will release April 27, 2021.  You can find Laura V. Hilton's other novels here.  Thank you for visiting.  Tomorrow I am sharing my thoughts on Candy Cane Crime by Amanda Flower.  It is Book 5.5 in An Amish Candy Shop Mystery.  I hope that you have a marvelous day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!

Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Bending the Paw by Diane Kelly

Bending the Paw by Diane Kelly

Book Summary

Bending the Paw by Diane Kelly has Megan Luz’s Valentine’s Day date with Seth interrupted when she receives a call from Detective Audrey Jackson.  Meg and Brigit are needed at a bloody crime scene.  Shelby Olsen came home to find her kitchen full of blood and her husband missing along with his car.  With the amount of plasma in the kitchen, there is no way he could have survived.  There is little evidence and even fewer leads.  Megan’s dedication and attention to detail will come in handy on this unusual case.  A hailstorm has damaged roofs all over Fort Worth.  Megan notices a roofer with New Mexico plates signing up numerous clients.  What Megan does not see is work being done on the roofs.  She decides to do a little digging to find out more about this out of town salesman.  Can Megan catch the bad guys with Brigit's assistance (of course) and wrap up her investigations?

My Thoughts

Bending the Paw by Diane Kelly is the 9th A Paw Enforcement Novel.  It can be read as a standalone, but you will be missing out on some entertaining cozy mysteries.  I have read each book in this series and they just keep getting better. Plus, there is background information in the previous books that would enhance your understanding of the characters.    The story is told from three different points-of-view:  Megan, the antagonist (aka The Slasher), and Brigit.  I just love Brigit’s chapters.  I like getting her take on the situations plus they are amusing.  There are a variety of secondary characters that include Seth (Megan’s boyfriend), Frankie (Megan’s roommate), Blast (Seth’s bomb sniffing dog), Derek (Megan’s former partner), and Detective Audrey Jackson (Megan’s mentor and role model).  They are not as developed as our main characters, but they enhance the story.   Megan Luz is a police officer in Fort Worth, Texas who works with her K9 partner, Brigit.  Megan and Brigit make a great team (and Brigit is a step up from her last partner).  I enjoyed the two mysteries in Bending the Paw.  The death of Greg Olsen was a fun one to solve.  It is an unusual whodunit for cozy mysteries.  We get to follow Megan and Brigit as they work to solve this case.  It is a police procedural mystery with Megan reviewing security footage, talking to people, digging through emails, and checking financials.  The second mystery involving a roofer allowed Megan and Brigit a little more time on the street.  There still was time spent searching for information, but Brigit gets a chance to stretch her legs.  Megan and Seth’s romance is developing nicely.  I like the direction of their relationship.  Bending the Paw is a fun cozy mystery to read.  I cannot wait for the next A Paw Enforcement NovelBending the Paw is an amusing cozy mystery with a crafty roofer, a crime scene conundrum, a sneaky slasher, beaucoup blood, lackluster leads, and a romantic proposition.

Bending the Paw is available from Amazon.  You can find the other eight novels in A Paw Enforcement series here.  Diane Kelly also writes A House Flipper Mystery series which has Murder with a View coming out February 9, 2021.  It features Whitney Whitaker and her cat, Sawdust.  Thank you for joining me today.  Tomorrow I am reviewing The Amish Christmas Gift by Laura V. Hilton.  It is the 2nd book in Hidden Springs series.  I hope that you have a blissful day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Monday, October 26, 2020

An Amish Holiday Family by Jo Ann Brown

An Amish Holiday Family

Book Summary

An Amish Holiday Family by Jo Ann Brown has Beth Ann Overholt in Evergreen Corners, Vermont helping to repair the damage done by the last floods.  She is feeling a little lost after the loss of her job as a midwife when her boss retired and the death of her grandmother who raised her.  Beth Ann is out walking when she encounters Robert Yoder by the broken covered bridge.  It is his desire to repair the damaged bridge, but he has been met with resistance.  On her way to dinner at the community center, Beth Ann comes across a boy panhandling.  She takes him inside for a hot meal and to learn more about him.  Robert helps her to learn that Douglas has two younger siblings, and he is taking care of them on his own.  Beth Ann gets temporary guardianship of the threesome which she finds overwhelming.  She is pleased when Robert begins helping her with the kids, though, Beth Ann as well as the children notice that he holds himself back.  As time passes, Beth Ann cannot imagine her life without the three kids nor Robert in it.  Beth Ann wishes that this temporary arrangement could become permanent.  

My Thoughts

An Amish Holiday Family by Jo Ann Brown is the fourth installment in the Green Mountain Blessings series.  Each book can be read as a standalone, but they are a pleasure to read as a whole.  I thought An Amish Holiday Family was well-written with developed, realistic characters.  Beth Ann Overholt is a remarkable woman.  She is at a crossroads in her life.  Beth Ann had been a midwife helping Amish women deliver their babies under the care of a physician.  Circumstances have left her without a job and then her grandmother passed.  Beth Ann was raised by her grandmother and feels the loss heavily.  She is in Evergreen Corners to help with the reconstruction which is in the final phase.  Robert Yoder came to town to visit the sister he has not seen in twenty years.  She escaped their abusive father as soon as she was able and never returned.  Robert is carrying a heavy burden and it is not something he wishes to share.  He does, though, want to find a way to rebuild the damaged covered bridge.  Then comes along three children who need Beth Ann and Robert’s help.  They are living in squalid conditions without adult supervision.  Douglas, Crystal, and Tommy Henderson were delightful especially little Tommy.  They provided humor in the story.  There are some sections, though, that are sad (have your tissues handy).  We get to see if Beth Ann and Robert can come together to help these three children.  With a little help from God and the good people of Evergreen Corners, there might be a Christmas miracle.  There is a mystery in the story as well.  Tools and decorative items are disappearing from the job sites.  The individual is sneaky and manages to disappear quickly. I liked that the characters from the previous three books are in An Amish Holiday Family.  We get to see what is happening in their lives.  I like that Evergreen Corners is a close-knit community.  I can see why people who are visiting chose to stay.  I loved the epilogue that wrapped up the story beautifully.  An Amish Holiday Family is an emotional novel with a covered bridge conundrum, a tricky thief, a grocery gift giver, a surplus of laundry, and holiday happenings. 

An Amish Holiday Family is out in paperback on October 27 and ebook on November 1.  The other novels in Green Mountain Blessings series are An Amish Christmas Promise, An Amish Easter Wish, and An Amish Mother's Secret Past.  I hope you enjoy this book and the series as much as I did.  Thank you for stopping by today and reading my review.  I will return next time with Bending the Paw by Diane Kelly.  It is the 9th A Paw Enforcement Novel.  I finished clearing out one of the sheds on our property.  It was a harrowing experience.  I lifted an item out of the box and a slimy, scaly head popped out.  I shrieked and ran into the house.  It was just my luck that the creature decided not to leave the box right away.  I still had several items to get to the curb for trash night and the green creature was not cooperating.  My mother stood guard with a shovel while scurried by with the items for the trash (we laughed about it afterword).  The snake emerged after we were done and in the house.  I am hoping it has left the yard.  I did not have a restful night (it was over four feet long).  I am glad the rest of the shed was uneventful.  I hope you have a non-frightening day!  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!

Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Gear, Grills, and Guns by Tonya Kappes

Gear, Grills, and Guns by Tonya Kappes

Book Summary

Gear, Grills, and Guns by Tonya Kappes has Happy Trails Campground fully booked In October because a classic car show coming to Normal, Kentucky.  There is also a new trail opening in the Daniel Boone National Forest that begins near the Old Train Station Motel owned by Coke Ogden.  In the middle of the night, Mae hears rustling outside her camper.  She runs into Dottie Swaggert who also heard noises.  They see a car take off, a person disappearing into the woods, and then they hear a woman screaming.  They run to the bungalow number four to find guest Lonie Holliday holding a gun and standing over the body of her husband, Wendell.  Lonie tell Detective Hank Sharp that she did not commit the crime.  Mae and the rest of the Laundry Club ladies quickly gather to begin their investigation.  Then one of Mae’s vintage campers goes up in flames with the guest inside.  The fire brings forth unexpected memories for Mae.  The Laundry Club with aid from a newcomer to town work to quickly expose the killer before he can strike again.  

My Thoughts

Gear, Grills, and Guns by Tonya Kappes is the 13th A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading all the books in this delightful series.  Mae West owns Happy Trails Campground in Normal, Kentucky.  She has worked hard to build up the business as well as to help promote the town.  Normal is fortunate to have a special car show in town which is drawing numerous visitors.  Every place in town is booked including Happy Trails.  Mae has come a long way since she arrived in Normal.  She has a close group of friends, reconnected with her adopted mother and foster brother, turned around Happy Trails, obtained a dog, and has a boyfriend.  I enjoy the descriptions of Happy Trails with the bungalows and fixed up vintage trailers.  Mae comes up with creative themes for her the monthly party she throws for the townspeople at Happy Trails.  When one of Mae’s guests who is in town for the car show is murdered, Mae is ready to dive into the case.  Hank may not like her investigating, but Mae just loves it and so the rest of the Laundry Club ladies.  The mystery was multifaceted.  There are two murders, a fire, misdirection, and multiple suspects.  I like how it all played out, especially the reveal.  I had fun following Mae and the Laundry Cub ladies as they worked to solve the case.  One little detail was the key to me solving this whodunit.  You never know what will help a sleuth solve a case.   Fall is Mae’s favorite time of year.  I like how Dottie and Mae decorated the campground the Halloween.  Mae has certainly made Happy Trails a cozy place for people to stay.  One of the events triggers repressed memories of Mae’s.  I like how Mary Elizabeth helped her.  There is humor scattered throughout the story.  I laughed often while reading this amusing tale especially from Mary Elizabeth’s antics.  Ava, Tex, and Glenda are a great addition to the story.  I hope we see more of them in future books.  Gear, Grills, and Guns is a fun Southern cozy mystery that will provide you with a diverting afternoon with the treacherous trails, the fall foliage, classic cars, the mystifying murder, curious clues, the horrifying fire, and a concerned campground owner.  

Gear, Grills, and Guns is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other twelve novels in A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery series here.  They are all available through Kindle Unlimited. The 14th book is Eggnog, Extortion, and Evergreen and it will be out on November 26.  Ropes, Riddles, and Robberies releases December 17 and Paddlers, Promises, and Poison publishes January 21 (both books on Kindle Unlimited).  The pictures today show the Daniel Boone National Forest in the fall and a purple vintage trailer (like Mae has at Happy Trails Campground).  Thank you for joining me today.  I will return tomorrow with my review of An Amish Holiday Family by Jo Ann Brown.  It is the 4th book in Green Mountain Blessings series.  I hope you have an entertaining day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Saturday, October 24, 2020

An Amish Cookie Club Courtship by Sarah Price

An Amish Cookie Club Courtship

Book Summary

An Amish Cookie Club Courtship by Sarah Price has Edna Esh getting coerced by her friend, Wilma into hiring her twin daughters Rachel and Ella Mae.  Edna serves a mid-day meal to Englischers during the tourist season in Shipshewana, Indiana.  Edna has resisted hiring Rachel and Ella Mae in the past because the twins bicker constantly which would be a turn off to her guests and a headache for Edna.  Wilma wants to marry off her last two daughter’s and hopes they will take a shine to Edna’s unmarried sons Jeremiah and Jonas.  As predicted, the twins squabbling is getting on Edna’s nerves and she is forced to separate them.  After Edna’s son, Jonas begins hanging around the kitchen, she notices a difference.  Edna decides to help along the matchmaking efforts by finding ways for the two couples to spend time alone together.  She feels that Rachel and Jonas would be a good match and pairs Ella Mae with Jeremiah since their temperaments are similar.  What Edna is unaware of is that Rachel has taken a liking to Jeremiah and Jonas has been finding way to be with Ella Mae.  Which pairing does God have in mind?  

My Thoughts

An Amish Cookie Club Courtship by Sarah Price is the 3rd installment in The Amish Cookie Club series.  Each book can be read as a standalone, but they are entertaining to read as a whole.  I was drawn right away into this humorous Amish tale.  Edna Esh is a busy woman with her family and home to take care of plus fixing the noon meal for Englischers three days a week during the tourist season as well as baking cookies to sell at Yoder’s and MayFest fast approaching (which means more cookies).  I felt bad for Edna when her friend, Wilma Schwartz pressures her into hiring her twin daughters to assist her with the meals.  Edna can use the help, but she cannot stand the twins constant sniping at each other.  The Amish Cookie Club as the four ladies are called who bake the cookies have done a little matchmaking in the past with the latest success story being Edna’s son, John and Mary’s daughter, Bethany who are expecting their first child.  Wilma is hoping her twin daughters will take a liking to Edna’s two sons, Jonas and Jeremiah.  I laughed often while reading this story.  I felt bad for Edna having to endure the bickering going on between Rachel and Ella Mae.  I thought it was funny that the twins are not even aware that they do it.  These ladies have spent too much time at home with each other for company.  Jonas was a lively character.  He likes to tease, goad, and play pranks.  It would take the right woman to deal with Jonas.  I liked how we got to see different sides of Jonas, Jeremiah, Rachel, and Ella Mae.  That what you see in the beginning is not all there is to a person.  People have hidden depths.  An Amish Cookie Club Courtship is a wonderful escapist novel.  It was just what I needed this week.  I hope there will be another story in The Amish Cookie Club series.  An Amish Cookie Club Courtship is a diverting Amish tale with a colossal number of cookies, Mayfest madness, squabbling siblings, a bonus building, and mother’s playing matchmaker.  

An Amish Cookie Club Courtship publishes October 27 and can be pre-ordered from Amazon*.  The other two novels in The Amish Cookie Club series are The Amish Cookie Club and An Amish Cookie Club Christmas. You can find more novels by Sarah Price here. The pictures I included today show Amish women baking like the ladies in our story and the MayFest annual buggy race in Shipshewana, Indiana.  Edna is busy baking cookies with her friends for MayFest plus hosting Englischer dinners. Rachel gets a chance to experience MayFest in the story.  Thank you so much for joining me today.  Tomorrow I am showcasing Gear, Grills, and Guns by Tonya Kappes.  It is the 13th A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery.  I hope that you have a productive day.  I am still cleaning and sorting at my house.  If in doubt, throw it out has become my new mantra.  My mother is getting better at letting go of things we have not used in many, many years.  I am off to sort through yarn.  I have six totes of it in a closet (my stash).  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Friday, October 23, 2020

Nothing Short of Wondrous by Regina Scott

Nothing Short of Wondrous

Book Summary

Nothing Short of Wondrous by Regina Scott takes us back to 1886 at Yellowstone where Kate Tremaine runs the Geyser Gateway, an inn for visitors to the national park.  Kate has been widowed a year and she is raising her young son, Danny.  The Calvary has been sent in to manage the park and protect the wildlife from poachers.  Lt. William Prescott and the men under him are responsible for patrolling the section of the park that Kate leases from the government.  Kate knows the park which is knowledge that Will Prescott needs for his men to patrol the area safely.  He works out an agreement where she will be their guide in exchange for his doing much needed repairs to the inn.  Trouble is brewing in the park courtesy of a problematic poacher who wants to kill the last of the bison in Yellowstone.  When Kate’s son is kidnapped by the determined poacher, Will and Kate work together to rescue the boy and protect the bison.  What does the future hold for Kate, Will and Yellowstone?

My Thoughts

Nothing Short of Wondrous by Regina Scott is the second book in American Wonders Collection.  It can be read as a standalone if you have not read A Distance Too Grand.  I thought Nothing Short of Wondrous was well-written with developed characters.  The story moved along at a gentle pace.  The author certainly did her research for this book.  She painted such a vivid picture of Yellowstone National Park.  I could envision the park in my mind with its numerous natural wonders along with flora and fauna.  Regina Scott really made the park come alive for me.  The story was intriguing.  The Calvary were working with limited resources to protect such a large amount of property.  It was hard to believe that people were out to destroy such beautiful animals and natural wonders (like the paint pots). I learned some interesting facts about Yellowstone National Park.  This book got me curious to learn more.   I liked the action that kept the story moving forward to its delightful conclusion.  The romance was nicely done.  I liked that it did not dominate the story.  We get to see people get to know each other while enjoying each other’s company.  They learn to trust each other as well as respect each other while they fell in love.   Lt. William Prescott had an issue in his past that drives him to be a better man.  I think it enhanced the story without adding drama to the relationship.  I liked the various characters in the story.  Alberta, the cook, was one of my favorites along with Kate’s curious son, Danny.  I look forward to the next tale in the American Wonders Collection.  Nothing Short of Wondrous has friendship, mystery, suspense, romance, action, faith, and family all woven together into one interesting tale.  Nothing Short of Wondrous is a multifaceted historical novel with perilous paint pots, a curious kid, a problematic poacher, besieged bison, a chivalrous Calvary officer, and an impressive inn owner.

Nothing Short of Wondrous can be obtained from Amazon*.  The first novel in the American Wonders Collection is A Distance Too Grand.    You can find Regina Scott's other novels here.  The pictures I used today show a woman greeting visitors at one of of the hotels in the park just as Kate greeted her guests arriving by stagecoach.  The other picture shows the old officer's quarters where Captain Harris stayed at Mammoth Hot  Springs in the Nothing Short of Wondrous.  Thank you for reading my review today.  I am featuring An Amish Cookie Club Courtship by Sarah Price.  It is the third book in The Amish Cookie Club series.  I hope that you have a wonderful day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!

Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Thursday, October 22, 2020

One Charmed Christmas by Sheila Roberts

One Charmed Christmas

Book Summary

One Charmed Christmas by Sheila Roberts has Catherine Pine looking forward to Christmas with her two children and their families.  The prior Christmas was the first one without her husband, and Catherine knows that it was rough for the family especially since she could not seem to stop crying.  Catherine wants some special memories to help her in the new year when she will be undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.  Unfortunately, Catherine’s kids have made other plans leaving her high and dry.  Her best friend, Denise is taking a Rhine River Christmas Market Cruise and invites Catherine to come along with her.  Catherine and Denise meet a diverse group of people their first night on the cruise. Sophie Miles is a hypochondriac who takes extreme measures to protect her health.  When she meets Dr. Rudy Nichols, Sophie believes he is the perfect man for her.  Rudy’s daughter, Athena has no intention of letting another woman get her hooks into her dad.  The last woman was a disaster who broke Rudy’s heart.  Athena came on this cruise to keep on her outgoing and kindhearted father.  Sophie’s sister, Sierra booked the cruise as a surprise for her husband.  Only the surprise was on Sierra when hubby said he could not get the time off from work and encouraged her to go without him.  Sierra’s husband loss is Sophie’s gain.  Kurt is supervising his advanced German class on this trip and convinced his chocolatier brother, Trevor March to come along to assist him.  Trevor takes one look at Sophie and knows she is the woman for him.  Trevor is hoping his stash of chocolates will lure Sophie away from the good doctor.  A chocolate a day will keep the doctor away or at least that is what Trevor is hoping.  Rudy is drawn to the kindhearted Catherine.  Catherine likes Rudy but, after he watched his first wife die from cancer, it would not be right to encourage him considering her uncertain future.  Holiday magic is at work to make this One Charmed Christmas for our travelers.  


My Thoughts

One Charmed Christmas by Sheila Roberts is a heartwarming Christmas story.  Our main character is Catherine Pine who is a widow and has been diagnosed with cancer.  She has already had extensive surgery to remove the cancer, but Catherine will be having chemotherapy and radiation treatments in the new year.  The prior Christmas was dismal because it was the first one without her husband, so Catherine is looking forward to celebrating the holidays with her two children and their families.  Unfortunately, the bleak holiday is still fresh in her children’s mind, and they have made other plans.  Catherine’s best friend, Denise is taking a Rhine River Christmas Market cruise and she needs a bunkmate.  It will be good for Catherine to get out of the house.  Once the pair are on the cruise, they meet a diverse group of people.  I liked the different characters in the story and the fact that they are varying ages.  We get to experience the story from each person’s point-of-view (Catherine, Sophie, Athena, Rudy, Kurt, Trevor, etc.).  I liked seeing how people’s perceptions of each character changed as the story progressed.  It was hard to like Athena and Sophie in the beginning, but they grow on you. Trevor is one of my favorite characters.  I loved that he was a chocolatier who went around handing out his yummy chocolate.  One of my favorite lines was, “Chocolate cures everything.”   The other line I liked was, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”  I picked up One Charmed Christmas and was immediately drawn into the story.  I was up quite late reading because I wanted to see how each person’s story ended.  I did feel the ending was a little rushed, but it was delightful and left me smiling.  I like how the story mixes romance, friendship, family situations, health concerns, and humor into one entertaining tale.  I enjoyed the descriptions of the boat, the towns they visited, the Christmas markets, and the items they purchased.  There is some mild foul language in the book.  I enjoyed Sheila Roberts’ latest Christmas story.  It is a great escape book.  One Charmed Christmas is a charming Christmas tale with a romantic river cruise, scrumptious chocolate, present shopping, a stubborn student, spouse distress, cancer concerns, and marvelous memories.   

One Charmed Christmas is available from Amazon* along with other major booksellers.  You can find Sheila Roberts' other novels here.  My favorite Christmas book by Sheila Roberts is The Snow Globe.  It is a magical Christmas tale.  The pictures today show a Rhine River Cruise and one of the Christmas Markets that the ship visits. Thank you for stopping by today and reading my review.  I return tomorrow with Nothing Short of Wondrous by Regina Scott.  It is the second book in the American Wonders Collection.  I hope you have a calm, relaxing day today.  We all need those now and then.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!

Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.