Monday, May 31, 2021

Happy Memorial Day

 Happy Memorial Day!
I hope that you have a lovely day.  I will return tomorrow to share my thoughts on Return to the Big Valley by Wanda E. Brunstetter.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

The Preacher's Daughter by Patricia Johns

 The Preacher's Daughter

Book Summary 

With her preacher father in prison for fraud, Elizabeth Yoder's life in the community of Bounti-ful has been painfully uprooted. Mindful of wearing out her welcome with her family, she jumps at the chance to stay with elderly Bridget Lantz while the woman's daughter is away. Elizabeth has secret plans to leave for another Amish community where she might get a fresh start, but here with Bridget, she feels comfortable--until Bridget's strapping grandson, Solomon, returns from eight years with the English, and inspires feelings that shake Elizabeth's resolution...

Solomon has had his own trouble with the law, after falling in with some bad influences. He's paid the price, despite his innocence, but the Amish are even more wary of him than they are of spirited Elizabeth. With good reason, he supposes--he's not sure he's ready to commit to this way of life again, especially since the Englishers are the ones offering him solutions. The only thing that seems certain is his attraction to Elizabeth. As they strive to find their places in the community, and with each other, can they open their hearts to the blessing of love?  
My Thoughts 

The Preacher’s Daughter by Patricia Johns is the 2nd book in The Infamous Amish series.  It can be read on its own if you have not enjoyed The Preacher’s Son (You should read it though or you will be missing out on a special book).  I thought The Preacher’s Daughter was well-written with developed, realistic characters.  The story is told from Solomon’s and Elizabeth’s point-of-view.  I like that we get to see what each of them are thinking and feeling.  We get to see that the Amish have flaws.  Solomon Lantz has been released early from prison for good behavior and is returning to Bountiful.  He left the Amish several years ago and ended up with the wrong crowd.  Solomon soon discovers that he will have an uphill battle.  The Amish may forgive, may they do not forget easily.  Solomon has lost their trust and respect.  Elizabeth Yoder is staying with Solomon’s grandmother when he arrives.  Elizabeth is the daughter of a preacher who defrauded the community.  Her father’s sins have caused problems for her.  People wonder if the apple falls far from the tree.  Elizabeth is contemplating leaving Bountiful so she can get a fresh start.  Solomon must decide where he has the best chance of getting a job and living a productive life.  That may not be with the Amish.  He is also struggling with life outside of prison.  I liked that the author showed us what it was like for Solomon in prison and how hard it was to adapt to being home.  There is romance in the story (holding hands, touching, and kissing), but the focus of the tale is about healing.  Elizabeth and Solomon need to find a way to heal and move forward with their lives.  I loved Solomon’s grandmother.  She was such a sweet woman of deep faith.  Mammi prayed for her grandson.  She knew God would assist Solomon and help him find his path.  I liked seeing Solomon grow over the course of the story.  I understood why the Amish community did not welcome him with open arms, but I expected someone to give Solomon a chance.  There is some violence in the story (just letting you know).   The Preacher’s Daughter is a realistic tale that gives a different look at the Amish.  I am looking forward to reading Lovina’s story.  The Preacher’s Daughter is heartfelt tale with produce stand problems, a grateful grandma, profession privation, a cautious community, nasty nightmares, and a rare romance.  

The Preacher's Daughter is available from Amazon*.  The first novel in The Infamous Amish series is The Preacher's Son (can be borrowed through Kindle Unlimited).  You can find Patricia Johns other novels here.  Patricia Johns has Snowbound with the Amish Bachelor publishing September 28. Thank you for reading my review today.  I hope that you have a joyful and reflective Memorial Day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

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

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Organize Your Corpses by Mary Jane Maffini

Organize Your Corpses

Book Summary

Organize Your Corpses by Mary Jane Maffini has Charlotte Adams is a professional organizer in her hometown of Woodbridge, New York.  Charlotte is taking on a job for retired schoolteacher, Miss Helen “Hellfire” Henley.  She needs Charlotte to search for some important documents among all the clutter that is currently occupying Henley House as well as clean out the house.  The next morning, Charlotte arrives at Henley House to meet Miss Henley as scheduled only to find her new client dead under a pile of debris.  Unfortunately for Charlotte, the investigating detective is her former best friend, Pepper Monahan.  There are numerous suspects in Miss Henley’s death including Charlotte.  Charlotte soon finds herself the prime suspect which has her scrambling.  She needs to find the guilty party before Charlotte finds herself organizing prison cells at the local penitentiary. 

My Thoughts

Organize Your Corpses by Mary Jane Maffini is the first book in A Charlotte Adams Mystery series.  I liked the premise of this series. It has potential for many interesting scenarios.  The reality, though, was disappointing.  You must suspend all logical thoughts when reading this tale.  Some things are farfetched.  I ended up not liking any of the characters (not even the dogs).  Charlotte Adams is a “professional organizer” whose life is a mess.  She is a plucky woman, but I found her too impetuous.  Charlotte goes to a client meeting with two unruly dogs (that made no sense whatsoever).  I also wondered how she kept getting jobs when she failed to complete any of them.  The mystery was interesting.  I like solving unique mysteries.  Unfortunately, the whodunit was not the focus of the book.  Charlotte’s friends seem to do more investigating than Charlotte.  For the resolution, you must suspend your disbelief.   At the end, we are left with many unanswered questions (what happened between Pepper and Charlotte for example).  Avid cozy mystery readers only need to a couple of pieces of information to solve it.  I wondered what year this book was set in.  It did not seem to be set in the present day (not within the last three years at least).  Organize Your Corpses had too much wackiness and cliché elements for my tastes.   I did enjoy the organizing tips before each chapter.  My favorite tip was, “Keep an interesting book with you in case you find yourself in a boring place with time on your hands.”   While Organize Your Corpses was not my cup of tea, I suggest you obtain a sample to see if it suits you.  Organize Your Corpses is an offbeat cozy mystery with a disarranged dwelling, a vile victim, a dogged detective, a kindly landlord, a frenzied family, and a perplexing puzzle. 

Organize Your Corpses is available from Amazon*.  The next A Charlotte Adams Mystery is The Cluttered Corpse which publishes June 15.  The next two releases in A Charlotte Adams Mystery are Death Loves a Messy Desk which publishes July 13 and Closet Confidential which comes out August 17.  You can find Mary Jane Maffini's other novels here.  I appreciate you stopping by today.  I am reviewing The Preacher's Daughter by Patricia Johns tomorrow.  It is the 2nd book The Infamous Amish series.  I hope that you have a bright day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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

Friday, May 28, 2021

Death in Bloom by Jess Dylan

 Death in Bloom by Jess Dylan

Book Summary

Sierra Ravenswood has returned to her hometown of Aerieville, Tennessee.  She is working at the Flower House owned by Felix Maniford.  Felix takes off on a geocaching jaunt leaving Sierra to run the flower arranging workshop on her own.  The class is going well until a kerfuffle during the break which ends up with one participant covered in coffee and all the treats smashed on the floor.  Abe Ranker then clutches his stomach and collapses.  Abe is dead before help can arrive.  When the autopsy reveals Abe was poisoned, everyone at the workshop including Sierra is under suspicion.  Felix, it turns out, will be gone longer than planned and decided that Sierra can purchase the Flower House for the grand some of one dollar.  Until the murder is cleared up, though, people are avoiding the quaint flower shop.  Sierra needs to resolve the murder if she is going to keep the business.  

My Thoughts

Death in Bloom by Jess Dylan is the debut of A Flower Shop Mystery series.  Sierra Ravenswood wishes to be a country music star, but things did not go well in Nashville.  She is back in Aerieville, Tennessee where she works parttime at the Flower House.  She has two protective parents and a younger brother named Rocky.  There are some interesting characters in this story with my favorite being Sierra’s grandmother, Granny Mae.   Granny Mae is a kindly woman known for her home remedies and other special concoctions. It was nice to see Sierra change by growing stronger and more confident.  She seemed to be a person at loose ends and unsure of herself at the beginning of the story.  The author took the time to set the stage for the series by describing the town (the main residents, shop owners) and giving us Sierra’s background.  The mystery needed to be stronger.  It is a simple whodunit that can be solved quickly.  It was obvious who was going to be murdered (the mean guy) as soon as the person was introduced.  The clues needed to solve the mystery are obvious (I wish they were more subtle).  The murder happened so early in the book that we did not get a chance to know the victim or the suspects (or their motives).  I like how the language of flowers was incorporated into the story (it is fascinating).  I loved Gus, the Pembroke Welsh corgi pup that Felix owned, and Sierra took in.  He is a cutie that provided smiles and laughter.  I like the side story involving Felix and his jaunt.  I hope we find out more details in the next book.  Death in Bloom is a good start to A Flower Shop Mystery series. I am sure the author will up her game in Petals and PoisonDeath in Bloom is an upbeat cozy mystery with a poisoned powder, a cute corgi, a missing manager, a mystery renter, beautiful blooms, and a sleuthing singer.  

Death in Bloom can be obtained from Amazon*.  The next A Flower House Mystery is Petals and Poison which publishes November 30.  Thank you for reading my review today.  Tomorrow I am featuring Organize Your Corpses by Mary Jane Maffini.  It is the first book in A Charlotte Adams Professional Organizer Mystery.  I hope that you blissful day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Post Mortem by Tonya Kappes

 Post Mortem

Book Summary

Bernie Butler is on her mail route using her bicycle because her mail truck is out of commission.  She has her cat, Rowena tagging along in the basket.  Rowena jumps out and takes off into the woods.  Bernie takes off after Rowena and sees something shiny which turns out to be the cleats on a golf shoe.  Nearby is a man on the ground who is missing a shoe.  It appears that Bernie has found the missing Jeff Faulkner who disappeared the day before during the Sugar Creek High School Fundraiser at the country club.  The Front Porch Ladies share gossip that Jeff liked to gamble and owed money to a friend.  Bernie feels for Jeff’s widow and son who just won a prestigious college scholarship.  As soon as Bernie recovers from finding another body, she dives into the investigation.  Along her route, Bernie delivers the mail and collects the gossip.  Bernie believes she knows the identity of the killer, but first she needs to prove it. 

My Thoughts

Post Mortem by Tonya Kappes is the 6th A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series or if you have missed a book.    Bernie Butler loves her job, her town, friends, boyfriend, son, and daughter-in-law, and most especially her granddaughter, Clara.  Bernie is a widow with a married son, and she works as a mail carrier in Sugar Creek Gap, Kentucky.  She is dating Mac Tabor a local architect who lives near her.  Bernie has helped solve a few cases, but she is not used to finding dead bodies.  After discovering Jeff Faulkner dead in the woods, Bernie’s curiosity gets the best of her.  The Front Porch Ladies keep her up to date on the latest gossip and Bernie gets assistance from Vince, a retired FBI agent.  The mystery was straightforward and can be solved early in the story.  I wish the whodunit had been more challenging.  The killer might as well have been waving a red flag and yelling “you hoo, I did it!”  There are some great characters in A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery series.  The Front Porch Ladies, Mac, Grady, Julia, Bernie’s parents, Vince, and Monica are just a few of them.  I like the setting of Sugar Creek Gap as well.  It is a cozy town with friendly (except for a few bad apples) residents.  I enjoy going with Bernie on her mail route.  It allows us to meet the residents and visit the shops.  There is humor scattered throughout the story that will have you giggling and sometimes laughing out loud.  I like the inclusion of Bernie’s animals in the story.  The ending will delight fans of the series and leave readers smiling.  Post Mortem is a lighthearted cozy mystery with a curious cat, gone golfer, rampant rumors, a cross sheriff, and an indomitable mail carrier.  

Post Mortem is available from Amazon*.  It is available through Kindle Unlimited.  You can find the other novels in A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery series here.  The next A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery is Deadly Delivery releasing August 26.  Tonya Kappes has Outdoors, Oars, and Oath publishing on June 24.  You can find Tonya Kappes' other novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I am featuring Death in Bloom by Jess Dylan.  It is the debut of A Flower House Mystery series.  I do hope that you have a day filled with joy.  We need more happiness in our lives (keeps us young).  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

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

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Legacy by Nora Roberts

 Legacy by Nora Roberts

Book Summary

Adrian Rizzo was seven when she met her father for the first time. That was the day he nearly killed her—before her mother, Lina, stepped in.

Soon after, Adrian was dropped off at her grandparents’ house in Maryland, where she spent a long summer drinking lemonade, playing with dogs, making a new best friend—and developing the stirrings of a crush on her friend’s ten-year-old brother. Lina, meanwhile, traveled the country promoting her fitness brand and turning it into a billion-dollar business. There was no point in dwelling on the past.

A decade later, Adrian has created her own line of yoga and workout videos, following in Lina’s footsteps but intent on maintaining creative control. And she’s just as cool-headed and ambitious as her mother. They aren’t close, but they’re cordial—as long as neither crosses the other.

But while Lina dismisses the death threats that Adrian starts getting as a routine part of her daughter’s growing celebrity, Adrian can’t help but find the vicious rhymes unsettling. Year after year, they keep arriving—the postmarks changing, but the menacing tone the same. They continue after she returns to Maryland and becomes reacquainted with Raylan, her childhood crush, all grown up and as gorgeously green-eyed as ever. Sometimes it even seems like the terrifying messages are indeed routine, like nothing will come of them. Until the murders start, and the escalation begins…

My Thoughts

Legacy by Nora Roberts is a novel involving Lina and Adrian Rizzo.  When Adrian is seven years old, she meets her father for the first time when he arrives at their home angry and drunk.  He ends up injuring Adrian, Lina, and Lina’s friend, Mimi before his death.  This violence jump starts Legacy.    I thought Legacy was contained good writing with relatable characters.  I liked the mystery portion of the story.  While it is easy to identify the guilty party, it gave the story more depth and interest.  I did feel that Legacy was more women’s fiction than romantic suspense, mystery, or thriller.  The story centers around the relationship between Lina and her daughter, Adrian.  Lina is a woman lacking in maternal instinct.  She does, though, have great business acumen which propels her to create an empire.  Lina’s life and actions shape Adrian’s life (her goals and relationships).  There are some great secondary characters.  I loved Adrian’s grandparents.  They were such sweet, loving people who lived in a charming town.  I also liked Adrian’s “nerdy” friends:  Hector, Teesha, and Loren.  Adrian and her friends developed a special friendship that evolved into so much more.  I did feel the story was too long with 435 pages.  The story became bogged down in places with too many details. I enjoy descriptive writing, but I felt this went a bit overboard.  The story could have easily been edited down.  I was turned off by the foul language (there is so much of it).  Even a ten year old uses foul language.  Nora Roberts, at one time, never used this type of language in her stories.  I did feel the story lacked suspense (for a romantic suspense).  While Legacy had some good parts, I felt this story missed the mark.  This will not, though, keep from reading this author’s books especially since I have been reading them since I was a teenager. I appreciated the ending which nicely wrapped up the story.   Legacy is a interesting tale with yoga poses, ominous poems, fine friends, a motivated mother, gracious grandparents, nutritious noshes, and an alarming menace.  

Legacy can be purchased from Amazon* along with other major retailers.  Becoming by Nora Roberts releases November 23.  It is the second book in The Dragon Heart Legacy.  I am eager to read this story.  Thank you for joining me today.  I do appreciate it.  Tomorrow I am reviewing Post Mortem by Tonya Kappes.  It is the 6th A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery.  I hope that you have a relaxing day.  Take care of yourself, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

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

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Shelter in the Storm by Laurel Blount: Excerpt, Review, and Giveaway!

Shelter in the Storm JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Shelter in the Storm by Laurel Blount, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Shelter in the Storm
Author: Laurel Blount 
Publisher: Berkley Books 
Release Date: May 25, 2021 
Genre: Christian Contemporary/Amish Romance 

In this moving Amish romance, two broken hearts find hope in each other after a terrible loss.

Unspeakable tragedy strikes the Amish hamlet of Johns Mill when an unstable Englischer opens fire in the Hochstedler's General Store. In the aftermath, and under the media's spotlight, Joseph Hochstedler struggles to hold his shattered family together, drawing unexpected comfort from a faithful childhood friend. 

Born with a serious heart defect, optimist Naomi Schrock has always longed to live a life of service. She rolls up her sleeves, determined to help Joseph cope with this terrible crisis. But dare she hope that his friendship will finally deepen into love? 

As the media's obsession with the Hochstedler shooting escalates, Joseph and Naomi find themselves caught between tradition and compromise, lingering sorrows and uncertain hopes. And in the end, two people who've already lost far too much must find the courage to trust their hearts one last time.



Laurel Blount

Carol award-winning author Laurel Blount writes captivating romances full of grit and grace—with characters who’ll walk right off the page and into your heart. She lives on a farm in Georgia with her husband, their four fabulous kids, and an assortment of ridiculously spoiled animals. Connect with her at

CONNECT WITH LAUREL: Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram


“Do you like to take chances, then, Naomi?” His heart was pounding so hard now, he could barely think. All his common sense was slipping away, like reins sliding through slack fingers. Something strong deep inside him was taking control, like a horse took his head when the comfort of his barn came into view after a long ride home.

She laughed and the gentle sound tickled up the back of his neck like playful fingers. “Oh, ja, I do. I spent so long not taking any at all, you know. Mamm wouldn’t let me do anything the least bit risky while I was so frail. So I guess now I take them whenever I can to make up for lost time!”

He’d forgotten how to breathe, and he was feeling pretty light-headed, but it didn’t matter. He forged ahead. “I can think of another chance you could take, then, since you like them so much.”

She looked up at him, the metal pastry cutter motionless in her hand. “And what would that be, Joseph?”

“You could marry me.”


Shelter in the Storm by Laurel Blount is an emotional novel.  A violent act changes a families’ life forever.  We get to see how they grieve and move forward after this tragic event.  We are taken to Johns Mill, Tennessee where the Hochstedler family lives on land that has been in their family for generations.  Naomi Schrock offers to help the grieving family.  She loves feeling helpful and doing normal activities.  After a life of being ill, normalcy is welcome.  I was quickly swept into this heartbreaking tale.  I thought Shelter in the Storm was well-written with realistic characters.  I enjoyed the setting of Johns Mill.  The author’s descriptions brought the scenes alive.  I found this story to be an accurate representation.  The Hochstedler’s have suffered a terrible loss, but they are unable to grieve in private.  The media has descended on the town causing more problems.  When the family is starting to piece things back together, they are given startling news that causes them more difficulties.  Each member of the family is affected differently.  The romance between Joseph and Naomi is sweet.  I like how the story played out.  It was wonderful how the community came together to help the Hochstedler family.  I am amazed at the Amish’s ability to forgive those who have wronged them.  It is one thing to forgive, but you cannot forget.  Living each day as it comes and enjoying the beauty around us are two themes in the book.  Trusting in God’s plan is another.  I like how the author tied the title into the story.  Shelter in the Storm is a poignant Amish tale that will touch your heart.  


(1) One winner will receive an Amish Meets Amazon prize package including a silver Shelter in the Storm bookmark, a hand-knitted dishcloth, a package of Amish church mints, and a $25 Amazon gift card!

Shelter in the Storm JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight May 24, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on May 31, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway >ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

Good Luck!  Shelter in the Storm is available from Amazon*.  You can find Laurel Blount's other Love Inspired novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I hope I have helped you to find a new author and book.  Tomorrow I am featuring Legacy by Nora Roberts.  I hope that you have an uplifting day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Courting His Amish Wife by Emma Miller: Review & Excerpt

 Courting His Amish Wife
Book Summary

He offers her his hand, 

but will she ever take his heart?

When Levi Miller learns Eve Summy will be forced to marry her would-be attacker or get shunned, he marries her instead. Now husband and wife, but complete strangers, they must figure out how to live together in harmony. But with Levi’s family questioning the motives for their surprise wedding, getting to know each other—and possibly finding love along the way—is harder than they expected.

About the Author

Emma Miller lives quietly in her old farmhouse in rural Delaware amid fertile fields and lush woodlands. Fortunate enough to be born into a family of strong faith, she grew up on a dairy farm, surrounded by loving parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Emma was educated in local schools, and once taught in an Amish schoolhouse much like the one at Seven Poplars. When she's not caring for her large family, reading and writing are her favorite pastimes.

My Thoughts

Courting His Amish Wife by Emma Miller is a sweet uplifting tale. Eve’s story has a tragic beginning.  Her stern father gives her a choice of marrying a man who attacked her or be forced to leave her home (what a choice).  Eve is a woman of deep faith (also very naïve) and the last thing she wants to do is leave the Amish.  Eve feels that if she is shunned, she will lose her faith.  Levi Miller is a kind man who offers to marry her.  These two strangers marry which, of course, leads to complications.  They need to get to know each other while being surrounded by his large family in Hickory Grove, Delaware. Miscommunication, assumptions, and impatience abound.  I laughed and smiled while reading this sweet story.  I liked the faith elements in Courting His Amish Wife.  God’s will, trusting in God, and forgiveness are some of faith lessons.  I thought it was well-written with developed characters.  There are some great characters in this story with my favorite being Rosemary, Levi’s stepmother.  I look forward to reading the next novel featuring the Miller family.  Courting His Amish Wife is a heartwarming story with a hardhearted daed, an affable family, a firm faith, sudden nuptials, and a sizable secret.  


Through the trees, Eve spotted her father’s windmill and ran faster, ignoring the branches and underbrush that tore at her hair and scratched her arms and face. She took in great gulps of air, sobbing with relief as she sprinted the final distance. She had prayed to God over and over throughout the night. She had begged Him to see her home safely. Now the sun was breaking over the horizon, and she had made it the more than ten miles home in the dark.

Bursting from the edge of the woods, she hitched up her dirty and torn dress, the hem wet from the dew, and climbed over the fence. In her father’s pasture, she hurried past the horses and sheep, her gaze fixed on the white farmhouse ahead. If she could just make it to the house, her father would be there. She would be safe at last, and he would know what to do.

Trying to calm her pounding heart, Eve inhaled deeply. At last, her breath was coming more evenly. She wiped at her eyes with the torn sleeve of her favorite dress. She was safe. She was home. Her father would protect her.

At the gate into the barnyard, she let herself through and slowed to a walk as she neared the back porch. Her father’s beagle trotted toward her, barking in greeting. Through the windows, she could see into the kitchen where a light glowed from an oil lamp that hung over the table. Her father and sisters and brothers would be there waiting for her. As she climbed the steps to the porch, her wet sneakers squeaked. Hours ago, she had crossed a low spot in the woods and soaked her canvas shoes.

She had almost reached the door when it swung open.

“Dat,” she cried, throwing herself at him, bursting into tears. “Oh, Dat.”

“Dochter.” Her father grasped her by the shoulders, but instead of embracing her, he pushed her back. “Where have you been?” he demanded in Pennsylvania Deitsch. He looked her up and down, not in relief that she was safely home, but in anger. “Where is your prayer kapp?”

Eve raised her hand to her hair to find it uncovered. “Oh,” she cried. “I must have… I must have lost it in the woods somewhere.” She brushed back her brown hair that had come loose from the neat bun at the nape of her neck to fall in hanks around her face. She pulled a twig from her hair. “Dat. Something terrible happened. I—”

“Where have you been all night?” he boomed, becoming angrier with her by the second. “Who have you been with?” he shouted. “To sneak out of my house after I forbade you to go? I should beat you!”

When she looked up at him, Eve realized she had made a terrible mistake. It had taken her hours to find her way home. She had walked and run all night, choosing the long way home because she had been afraid to follow any main roads for fear Jemuel would find her. She had climbed fences, been scratched by briars and been chased by a feral dog. At one point, she had been lost and worried she had walked too far, or in the wrong direction. But she hadn’t given up because she knew that if she could make it home safely, everything would be all right.

But looking at her father’s stern face, at his long, thick gray beard and his angry eyes that stared at her from behind his wire-frame glasses, she realized she was wrong. She wasn’t safe. And perhaps she would never be so again because she knew what her father was going to say before the words came out of his mouth.

He pointed an accusing finger. “You will marry that boy!” Amon Summy shouted, spittle flying from his mouth.

Eve lowered her head, tears streaming down her cheeks as she prayed fervently to God again to help her.

Courting His Amish Wife releases July 27 and can be pre-ordered from Amazon*.  Courting His Amish Wife  is also being sold at Harlequin, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Google Play, and Kobo.  You can find Emma Miller's other novels here.   I appreciate you joining me today.  Next time I am featuring Shelter in the Storm by Laurel Blount.  There will be a giveaway!  I hope that you have enriching day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

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

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Deceased and Desist by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson

 Deceased and Desist
Book Summary

To most people, I’m a middle-aged divorced mother managing the Castleberry Historical Society.

What they don’t know is that my side job is helping ghosts solve the mysteries of their demise.

Trust me, it’s not easy, especially when the ghosts don’t like to cooperate or are just plain jerks.

When the town’s biggest high school bully of all time decides to come back and haunt Castleberry High, it’s my job to stop him. The problem is, this job is bringing up a whole lot of personal baggage and bad memories... because that bully bullied me.

The good news is, the town detective knows my secret and wants to protect me. The bad news is, the town detective knows my secret and wants to protect me.

My goal is to send this ghost back to where he came from. But he’s pushing hard for me to solve his murder. Only, I don’t believe his death was intentional, and I’m struggling to help a spirit that tortured me for two years straight.

Worse yet, school’s not even over, so now I’m pulling double duty as a school volunteer and hunting a killer. One who just might have me at the top of their kill list.

My Thoughts

Deceased and Desist by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson is the 5th novel in A Chantilly Adair Paranormal Cozy Mystery Series.  I recommend reading the series in order so that you can get to know the characters.  However, Deceased and Desist can be read as a standalone.  I did find myself a little lost in the first chapter, but then Chantilly introduced herself and her friends.  I wish I had known this was the fifth book in the series when I acquired it.  There is a cast of quirky, fun characters who live in a cozy small town.  Chantilly has good friends with whom she spends time chatting, laughing, and teasing.  She is a divorced mother with a teenage son.    Chantilly has the ability to see and speak with spirits.  An old high school bully is dead and needs Chantilly’s help.  He knows he was murdered, but the police are ruling his death accidental.  He needs Chantilly’s help in finding out who killed him and convincing Chantilly’s boyfriend that his death was a murder. Chantilly agrees to help the victim.  This was a fun whodunit.  It is a simple mystery that can be solved early in the book (it was obvious).  There was a good wrap up at the end.  I wish, though, that the mystery had been the focus of the story.  More time is devoted is chatting with friends at the café, doing her job at the Castleberry Historical Society, spending time with her son and boyfriend, and helping ghosts cross over than the whodunit.  The people in Castleberry sure do love to gossip and joke (I did not get the majority of the jokes).   I liked the sweet ending.  I especially appreciated that there was no foul language in the book.  Deceased and Desist is a lighthearted paranormal mystery with fun friends, good gossip, flavorsome food, single-minded spirits, rampant rumors, teenage troubles, and beastly bullies.

Deceased and Desist is available from Amazon*.  If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you can borrow it.  The other novels in The Chantilly Adair Paranormal Cozy Mystery series can be found here.  The next book in this series is Deja Boo which releases January 11, 2022.   You can find Carolyn Ridder Aspenson's other novels here.   She has Hunted Girl publishing June 1.   It is the second book in the Rachel Ryder series.  Thank you for reading my review today.  I am taking tomorrow off and will return on Monday with Death in Bloom by Jess Dylan.  It is the debut of A Flower House Mystery series.  I hope you have a spirited day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

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