Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The House Guests by Emilie Richards: Review & Excerpt!


The House Guests 

About the Book 

USA Today bestselling author Emilie Richards returns with a fan-favorite story.

Teenage Savannah's father passed away recently and she has been rebelling against her stepmother, Cassie, since. When she happens upon a pouch filled with cash in a parking lot with some new friends she's trying to impress, she decides to keep it in an act of defiance. When Cassie learns of her crime after Savannah has already spent the money, and learns that the money belonged to a woman, Amber, who has since been evicted along with her teenage son Will because they couldn't pay the rent after losing the pouch of money, she invites Amber and Will to move in with them. As they become involved in each other's lives, the teenagers develop a friendship while the mothers do the same. But while Cassie is trying to figure out what happened to her husband in the months before he passed away - why he was becoming distant and draining the funds in their bank accounts, leaving them destitute upon his death - Amber is clearly trying to outrun something dark in her own past.

 About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Emilie Richards has written more than seventy novels. She has appeared on national television and been quoted in Reader’s Digest, right between Oprah and Thomas Jefferson.

Born in Bethesda, Maryland, and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, Richards has been married for more than forty years to her college sweetheart. She splits her time between Florida and Western New York, where she is currently plotting her next novel.

Author Links

Author website:




My Thoughts 

The House Guests by Emilie Richards has Savannah Westmore unhappy in Tarpon Springs, Florida with her stepmother, Cassie Costas.  After the death of her father, Cassie moved Savannah and herself to Tarpon Springs for a fresh start.  Savannah lashes out at Cassie and makes bad choices.  She ends up making a decision that will have long-term effects.  I thought The House Guests was well-written and engaging.  The characters are developed and realistic especially Savannah (the rebellious, troubled teen).  I liked the secrecy surrounding Amber Blair.  It added an air of mystery to the story and wonder.  I was curious about how the secret would affect all of them.  The author captured the area and Greek American community that inhabits Tarpons Springs, especially the delectable food.   I like how everything came together and I appreciated the epilogue that nicely wrapped up the story.  There are some good life lessons in this book.  The House Guests is a story about friendship, grief, hope, trust, love, and, most importantly, family.   One of the phrases I wanted to share from The House Guests is, “My daddy always said you can’t keep a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep it from building a nest in your hair.”  The House Guests is an eventful story with a tormented teen, a purloined purse, money mayhem, a problematic party, a shocking secret, delectable epicurean delights, and a gregarious Greek family. 


Amber Blair had spent most of her thirty-four years trying not to think about luck. Her daddy had told her there were only two kinds. Either you came into the world with the luck of the early bird or the early worm. The kind he’d been born with was obvious. Nothing that had gone wrong in all his years had to do with simply hanging around the edges of life, wait­ing for something good to fall in his lap. It was all about luck.             

Her mother, tight-lipped and seething, had rarely voiced opinions. As a receptionist at the Halfway to Paradise motel, she had been too busy checking people in, and giving out room keys—and probably a little extra—to worry about luck.

Like most people, Amber had acquired something from both parents. She had inherited her father’s early worm luck, oddly coupled with her mother’s work ethic. Against tremendous odds she had scrambled to support herself and her son on her feet in restaurants, instead of on her back in cheap motels. Her mother had been remote and disinterested, but years of watching her determination to survive had helped.

“Haven’t seen you for a while.” The manager at the cash register of Things From the Springs greeted Amber with a wide smile. She was middle-aged and overweight, refreshingly unaware that spandex and sequins weren’t good choices for minimizing either. Her plastic nameplate read Ida, but Amber had never told Ida her own name, a habit she’d developed after leaving home at sixteen. Still, Ida never forgot a face.

“It has been a while,” Amber said.

“You feeling better?”

Amber wasn’t surprised that Ida remembered the day two months before when she had fainted facedown in the women’s clothing aisle, strawberry blond hair spread wide on a table stacked with shorts and T-shirts. The manager had insisted Amber go right to the hospital. Amber had thanked her, then headed to work instead. Three days later, though, she had seen a doctor after Will, her son, gazed at her in horror and announced that her green eyes were rimmed by an ominous yellow.

Of course, the news hadn’t been good. Hepatitis A had arrived with a flourish, and she had been so dehydrated that, despite all her protests, she’d been hospitalized for a day, a bill that had nearly sunk them.

Health insurance was a luxury she had never indulged in.

“Yes. Definitely better,” she said now. She didn’t add that she still tired easily or that she was struggling to regain the weight she’d lost. Jaundice, the colorful bonus, was finally gone, and she was back at work.

“You were caught up in that hepatitis thing, weren’t you? The one at that restaurant…” The manager snapped her fingers. “Electric something?”

“Dine Eclectic.”

“You closed for a while, right?”

Because two of the kitchen staff had also been infected, Dine Eclectic, the much promoted addition to restaurants in Tarpon Springs, Florida, had closed until health inspectors had given permission to reopen. Amber had been forbidden to go back to work until the jaundice and other symptoms disappeared. During most of the weeks of illness, she had been far too sick to work even if she’d wanted to. She certainly had needed to, because from an armchair in the apartment she shared with sixteen-year-old Will, she’d watched the savings she had so carefully hoarded dwindle to nothing.

“We’ve been open again for a while now,” she said. “We’ve passed all the inspections. The problem was an infected line cook. Luckily hepatitis A is almost never fatal.”

“I imagine the publicity wasn’t good for business.”

More customers arrived, and Amber headed for the rear of the store and the men’s section.

Things From the Springs was smaller than many thrift stores she’d frequented. They were loosely affiliated with a local children’s charity, and volunteers did much of the sorting and pricing.

She liked visiting Things because she could be in and out in less than an hour, often with vintage clothing she could cut and use for crafts to sell in her Etsy shop. An example was tucked securely in her purse today, a zipper pouch created from a brocade jacket and embroidered with the name of her landlord’s wife. It had turned out so well she posted a photo on her shop’s page, hoping to get orders for more.

The pouch bulged with money, mostly tips she had carefully collected to pay one of the two months of back rent she owed. Even after she’d showed her suspicious landlord a letter from the health department, he had begun eviction proceedings. She had managed to stave him off, promising to pay the first month today and the second in two weeks. She hoped the additional gift for his wife might make him feel better about his decision.

Her son had been more than patient during her months of unemployment. Will was a straight A student at the local high school and held down a part-time job stocking shelves at a local grocery store. He had taken on additional hours during her illness and brought home expired or damaged food that was destined for salvage stores or landfills. He had treated his quest like a treasure hunt and never wished out loud that his life was more like the easier ones of the other teens in his advanced placement classes.

Will wasn’t perfect. He was sometimes messy, sometimes oblivious, often determined his way was best, but they’d been a team, just the two of them, from the very beginning of his life. And Amber knew her son would do anything for her, just as she had done everything for him. Much more than Will knew.

Today if she had early bird luck, she was going to buy him a surprise. Things From the Springs had a special rack dedicated to sports teams, and there was always a good selection. She was hoping to find one with the pirate flag of Will’s favorite professional football team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For the first time, her tips from the night before had been nearly as large as pre-hepatitis days, and she was hopeful she might be digging her way out of trouble. She would be happy just to pay rent on time, put a full tank of gas in the car and buy fresh food at the grocery store now and then.

Fifteen minutes later she was on her way back to the front of the now-empty store, a paper-thin but appropriately logoed T-shirt clutched under her arm. The size and price were right, and while Will wouldn’t get much wear before it fell apart, he would be delighted.

She was starting to feel lucky. Her landlord had begrudgingly given her a little time to settle their account. After everything she still had her job, and restaurant traffic showed signs of improving. Today she had just enough extra to buy the shirt.

“You found something,” Ida said. “I saw you heading to the back.”

“It’s for my son.” Amber laid the shirt on the long counter. “He’s a Bucs fan.”

“These have been going fast. Apparently, he’s not alone.” She rang up the amount as Amber reached down to unzip her purse.

Only the purse wasn’t zipped.

She spread it wide and peered inside. Without ceremony and with more than a touch of panic, she dumped the contents on the counter. Keys fell out. A pack of tissues. Her tiny coin purse, which held the extra money she hadn’t put into the zip purse destined for the landlord and his wife. Nothing else.

“Run into a problem?”

Amber gazed at the concerned woman’s face. “I had a zipper pouch in here, dark green silk, a name embroidered across it.”

Ida read her expression correctly. “Did you open your purse here in the store? Could the pouch have fallen out?”

Amber knew she’d had the zipper pouch when she left her apartment. She’d so carefully slipped it inside the purse. Surely she’d zipped it closed. She always did. She had lived in cities with pickpockets. But by now panic had obliterated all memories of the past hour.

“I had it when I left my house.”

“We’ll look together.” As Amber scraped her belongings back into her purse, the manager walked to the door, turned the lock and flipped the Closed sign. “That will buy us some time. We’ll find it.”

Half an hour later, though, they were still empty-handed. They’d looked under tables, sorted through all the shirts in the back, followed Amber’s route through the store four separate times peering at the ground.

“I’m so sorry,” Ida said. “But I have to unlock the front door. The high school lets out about now. They’ll start banging on the glass. I just know you’re going to find it somewhere. Your house or car maybe?”

Amber knew she wasn’t. The truth was a tight knot in her stomach, all too familiar. She’d been slapped down again. The landlord wouldn’t believe her, and who could blame him? He probably didn’t need the money right away, but he would be furious she’d lied to him.

She and Will would see that eviction notice after all.

“Thank you for helping me look.” Amber cleared her throat. “I don’t think I’ll buy the shirt.

“Why don’t I just let you have it?”

“No.” Amber took a breath and softened her tone. “But thank you.”

She followed the manager to the front door as she unlocked it. “You’ll let me know when you find it?” Ida asked.

Amber managed the tiniest of smiles. But in her mind she saw the early worm being swallowed, inch by wiggling inch. And somewhere, after the meal, a fat, happy robin was looking for more just like it.

The House Guests is available from, Amazon (Print), Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Books-A-Million, Apple Books, Google Play, Kobo, and Audible.  You can find Emilie Richards other novels here.  Thank you for visiting today.  I hope you enjoyed the images of Tarpon Springs.  It is a unique town with the sponge docks and the Greek community.  That's it for June!  For July 1, I am reviewing Finding Hope by Janice Kay Johnson.  It is the 3rd A Tompkin's Mill Novel.  I hope that you have a calming 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.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

A Glimmer of a Clue by Daryl Wood Gerber


A Glimmer of a Clue

A Fairy Garden Mystery

by Daryl Wood Gerber

About A Glimmer of a Clue


A Glimmer of a Clue (A Fairy Garden Mystery) 


Courtney Kelly has a shop full of delights, a cat named Pixie, a green thumb—and a magical touch when it comes to garden design. But in Carmel-by-the-Sea, things aren’t all sweetness and fairy lights . . .

When Courtney’s friend Wanda gets into a ponytail-pulling wrestling match in public with a nasty local art critic, Courtney stops the fight with the help of a garden hose. But Lana Lamar has a talent for escalating things and creating tension, which she succeeds in doing by threatening a lawsuit, getting into yet another scuffle—in the midst of an elegant fundraiser, no less—and lobbing insults around like pickleballs.

Next thing Courtney knows, Lana is on the floor, stabbed with a decorative letter opener from one of Courtney's fairy gardens, and Wanda is standing by asking “What have I done?” But the answer may not be as obvious as it seems, since Wanda is prone to sleepwalking and appears to be in a daze. Could she have risen from her nap and committed murder while unconscious? Or is the guilty party someone else Lana’s ticked off, like her long-suffering husband? To find out, Courtney will have to dig up some dirt . . .

About Daryl Wood Gerber

Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries, the Fairy Garden Mysteries, and the French Bistro Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. In addition, Daryl writes the Aspen Adams novels of suspense as well as stand-alone suspense. Daryl loves to cook, fairy garden, and read, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle who keeps her in line!

Author Links

My Thoughts

A Glimmer of a Clue by Daryl Wood Gerber is the 2nd book in A Fairy Garden Mystery series.  It can be read as a standalone if you have not indulged in A Sprinkling of Murder.  I thought A Glimmer of a Clue was well-written with developed, engaging characters.  Courtney Kelly owns Open Your Imagination where people can create fairy gardens.  The author’s vivid word imagery allows me to envision the shop, the charming fairy gardens, the town, and the characters.  I especially enjoyed the various fairy gardens created.  I loved the different themes and the gardens created in the teacups.    It gave me some ideas for a fairy garden of my own that I am eager to try out.  The mystery was entertaining.  Wanda finds herself arrested for the murder of Lana Lamar.  Wanda has been a second mother to Courtney and her daughter, Meaghan is Courtney’s best friend.  Courtney is naturally going to investigate.  She is observant and picks up on details.  Courtney has help from her fairy, Fiona as well as Meaghan.  Other residents plus gossip help fill in gaps.  There are several good suspects since Lana was not liked (with good reason).  I wish I had not been able to pinpoint the killer so early in the book (I like more of a challenge).  It did not, though, detract from my enjoyment of this spellbinding cozy mystery.  A Glimmer of a Clue is a fun and relaxing tale to read.  There are delicious food items created throughout the book and the author kindly included recipes at the end.  I like that Courtney creates her dishes with fresh herbs she grows in her kitchen.  I loved the reference to one of my favorite cozy mystery series when Courtney mentions to Didi that she knows a bookbinder in San Francisco (Brooklyn Wainwright).  Pickleball has become a popular sport and I thought the author provided clear explanations of the game.  It is certainly a competitive game especially when Lana Lamar is playing.  I am looking forward to reading A Hint of Mischief next summer.  A Glimmer of a Clue is an enchanting cozy mystery with fairy garden fun, delectable delights, pickle ball play, aggressive arguments, and flitting fairies. 

A Glimmer of a Clue is available from AmazonBarnes and NobleKoboBookshopIndieboundMysterious GalaxyMurder by the BookTarget, and Kensington Books.  The first book in A Fairy Garden Mystery series is A Sprinkling of Murder (digital edition on sale on Amazon--sale can end without notice).  You can find Daryl Wood Gerber's other cozy mystery novels here.  As part of the tour, the author is hosting a giveaway.  You get a choice of FIRSTS (print or digital--digital only for international residents) plus a $25 bookstore gift card. You can click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Please leave a comment for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  Thank you so much for dropping by today.  I am featuring The House Guests by Emilie Richards tomorrow.  I hope that you have an enchanted day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

 June 22 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 

June 22 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST 

June 22 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW 

June 22 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT 

June 23 – Angel's Guilty Pleasures – SPOTLIGHT 
June 23 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW 

June 23 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW 

June 23 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – REVIEW 

June 24 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 

June 24 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW 
June 24 – The Book's the Thing – REVIEW 

June 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT 

June 25 – Books to the Ceiling – GUEST POST 

June 25 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 

June 25 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW 
June 26 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 


June 26 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW 

June 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 

June 27 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
June 27 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT 

June 28 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT 

June 28 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW 

June 29 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW 

June 29 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 

June 29 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW

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



Monday, June 28, 2021

Little Black Book by Kate Carlisle

Little Black Book
Book Summary

Little Black Book by Kate Carlisle has Brooklyn Wainwright and Derek Stone returning home to San Francisco where they find a package from Scotland addressed to Derek.  The package contains a signed British first edition of Rebecca.  The next day, Claire Quinn arrives asking for Derek to see if he received a package from her missing aunt.  Claire found her aunt’s home ransacked and no sign of her aunt who was expecting her.  Claire did find a copy of the postal receipt for the package.  She was hoping Derek would know where to find her missing relative. Brooklyn notices that Claire is on edge and learns that someone broke into her apartment as well.  They also made a second attempt at entry but were thwarted by a concerned neighbor.  Derek and Brooklyn offer to help Claire with her intriguing mystery.  Before they can begin, the man who broke into Claire’s apartment is found dead in the garage of their building.  When Brooklyn looks through Rebecca, she finds a clue that sends the group to Scotland where danger is afoot.  Derek will have his work cut out for him if he is to keep his new wife safe along with Claire.  Will Brooklyn, Derek, and Claire find the answers they seek in the land of the brave?

My Thoughts

Little Black Book by Kate Carlisle is the 15th A Bibliophile Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend reading each book in this delightful series.  I look forward to a new installment each year where I can go on an adventure with Derek and the feisty, intelligent Brooklyn.  Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is the featured book and I like how it ties into the story.  I thought Little Black Book was well-written with developed, engaging characters.  The characters are what keep me coming back.  I love Brooklyn Wainwright and her dashing husband, Derek.  They have good friends and a large, interesting family (especially the Stone brothers).  There is great chemistry between Derek and Brooklyn.  It is obvious how much they love each other.  Even better, though, they respect each other.  The mystery was multi-faceted and intriguing.  I enjoyed following the clues and getting to journey to Scotland.  There is plenty of action as well.  I enjoyed learning about steganography.  I like how Brooklyn’s skills play into the mystery.  If it involves a book, Brooklyn is your gal.  It is great that the author includes information on bookbinding, book restoration, and book art.  Thanks to the vivid word imagery, I could envision the mobile Brooklyn is creating. There is some mild foul language (I would rather Brooklyn use creative phrases related to books) as well as repetition of details related to the mystery.  Little Black Book became more engaging the further I got into it, and I was sad when my visit to this creative world ended.  I look forward to Brooklyn’s next adventure.  Little Black Book is a compelling whodunit with a bewildering black book, cryptic clues, a dangerous dagger, a bulky bad guy, an AWOL aunt, and a hunky hubby. 

Little Black Book publishes Tuesday, June 29 and is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other fourteen A Bibliophile Mysteries here.  Readers can find all of Kate Carlisle's book here.  Kate has Absence of Mallets coming out December 7.  It is the 9th A Fixer-Upper Mystery.  Thank you so much for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I am a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for A Glimmer of a Clue by Daryl Wood Gerber.  It is the 2nd A Fairy Garden Mystery.  I hope you have a bonnie 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.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Pup Fiction by Laurien Berenson

 Pup Fiction

Book Summary

With a new litter of Standard Poodles on the way, it’s shaping up to be a vibrant July in Greenwich, Connecticut, for Melanie Travis. Too bad there’s a killer in town who would love to drain the life out of her summer . . .
While usually protective, Melanie feels comfortable sending her sons to the Graceland School’s summer camp for two reasons: The institution is well-regarded and proprietor Emily Grace is a trusted friend. But Emily has been acting strange since three rambunctious Dalmatian puppies suddenly appeared on her doorstep. The unusual arrival marks the first of several mysterious happenings at camp, each more intense than the last. Emily’s rough streak takes a frightening turn with a discovery in the nearby woods—the body of her estranged ex-husband.
As suspicions rush in, proving that Emily didn’t murder her biggest mistake will be about as easy as raising prize-winning show dogs. Realizing she’s the only one who can prove her friend’s innocence and keep the Graceland School from shutting down, Melanie dives into an investigation on the victim’s whereabouts leading up to his demise. With a few spotty clues and Aunt Peg’s growing curiosity about the Dalmatian pups’ origins, Melanie must name the culprit before good intentions come back to bite!
My Thoughts

Pup Fiction by Laurien Berenson has Melanie Travis looking forward to quiet summer days while Kevin is attending Graceland Nursery School summer camp and Davey is working there as a junior camp counselor.  Melanie’s hopes are soon dashed when Davey tells her about the various incidents that are occurring at the camp.  Melanie talks to Emily Grace, owner of the school and Melanie’s friend, about the incidents where one of the campers could have easily been injured.  Emily hopes they will stop, but Melanie has her doubts.  Melanie is soon proven right when Emily Grace’s ex-husband is found dead in the woods behind the school.    Emily is at the top of the suspect list and asks Melanie for her assistance.  Melanie begins digging in Grace’s ex-husband’s past and turns up a passel of suspects.  Melanie will need to be careful or her good deed to come back to bite her. 

Pup Fiction by Laurien Berenson is the 27th A Melanie Travis Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone if you are new to this engaging cozy mystery series.  I could not wait to get my hands on Pup Fiction.  I enjoy following the harried Melanie Travis on her adventures.  Melanie Travis is a busy wife and mother with a summer free of work.  Melanie is hoping for a relaxing summer, but it does not take long to discover that will not be happening.  In addition to incidents happening at the school camp, Davey is busy trying to get the final points for Aunt Peg’s Standard Poodle, Coral whom he is handling.  He needs two “majors” to finish off Coral’s competition days.  I like the characters in this series which include Melanie’s kind husband Sam, Kevin, Davey, Faith (Melanie’s faithful companion), and the formidable Aunt Peg.  I wish I had a fifth of Aunt Peg’s energy.  The whodunit was crafty and thought out.  It was clever how the Dalmatians were interlaced into the mystery.  There are several suspects, subtle clues, and misdirection.  I had fun solving this whodunit.  I loved all the action which kept the story rapidly moving toward the conclusion.  The family sections are some of my favorites.  This is a character driven story with Melanie’s family at the heart of it.  There are great family interactions that include their dogs.  Faith is such a sweetheart while Bud is so mischievous.  You never know what is going to happen next in their home.  I enjoyed reading this entertaining cozy mystery and I cannot wait for the next tale.  Pup Fiction is a boisterous cozy mystery with adorable Dalmatians, pushy Aunt Peg, a faithful friend, a close competition, a towering topknot, camp chaos, and one prying parent. 

Pup Fiction publishes June 29 and is available from Amazon* (can pre-order now).  You can find the other A Melanie Travis Mysteries here.  You can follow Laurien Berenson here on Amazon.  Thank you for visiting today.  Tomorrow I am featuring Little Black Book by Kate Carlisle.  It is the 15th A Bibliophile Mystery.   I hope that you have a happy-go-lucky 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, June 26, 2021

The Amish Quiltmaker's Unruly In-Law by Jennifer Beckstrand

 The Amish Quiltmaker's Unruly In-Law

Book Summary

Opposites can make the most delightful pattern...

Filled with her trademark humor and relatable characters, award winning author Jennifer Beckstrand's second installment in the Amish Quiltmaker series finds independent-minded quilter Esther Liem's matchmaking skills put to the test in her new Colorado community.

Moving to a new Amish settlement in small-town Colorado was a brave new start for independent-minded quiltmaker Esther Liem. But helping her reckless relative will really put her special matchmaking skills to the test...

Mischievous and rebellious, young Ben Liem is making the wrong kind of name for himself throughout the town of Yoder. And even though his sister-in-law, Esther, somehow coaxes him into keeping company with sensible Linda Eicher, Ben can't see anything they have in common. Or that he could ever be good enough for someone like her. But Linda's down-to-earth nature and unexpected understanding have Ben trying his best to be better, no matter how challenging...

Linda couldn't be more surprised when Ben turns out to be caring and helpful, despite his rowdy pranks and bad-news friends. And falling in love with him suddenly seems just right. But when a heartbreaking misunderstanding comes between them, both she and Ben must risk enough to trust, stitch the pieces back together--and dare a forever precious happiness.
My Thoughts

The Amish Quiltmaker’s Unruly In-Law by Jennifer Beckstrand is an entertaining Amish novel.  It is the second book in The Amish Quiltmaker’s series.  While The Amish Quiltmaker’s Unruly In-Law can be read as a standalone, I suggest reading The Amish Quiltmaker’s Unexpected Baby first.  It will introduce you to Edith and Levi (explain their story) and provide you with hours of entertainment.   I am glad Edith and Levi plus Winnie are included in The Amish Quiltmaker’s Unruly In-Law.  I just love them, and Esther is a delight (she is still putting items behind her ear).  Ben Kiem, Levi’s younger brother, is known for his misbehavior and pranks.  He has two friends who drag him into trouble.  Ben suffers an injury and needs his new sister-in-law’s help.  Esther agrees to assist him and to not mention it to his parents, in exchange for Ben asking Linda Eicher home from the next youth gathering.  It is the last thing Ben wants to do, and he goes out of his way to ensure Linda says no.  Ben soon finds himself spending time with Linda who tries to change Ben’s errant ways.  I loved the humor in this story.  I laughed often while reading.  Linda is such an upbeat, friendly character.  Her laughter and joy are contagious.  Ben is a charmer who is also a bad boy.  You can soon see why Linda is attracted to him.  I thought The Amish Quiltmaker’s Unruly In-Law was well-written with delightful characters.  Cathy Larsen is a hoot.  I also loved Ben’s grandmother and sweet Winnie.  There are good life lessons in the story including the importance of being yourself.   I like how the point-of-view alternated between Ben and Linda.  We get to see things from each person’s perspective. I liked seeing the Amish youth do so many outdoor activities like canoeing, snowshoeing, skiing, and hiking.  I love it that the older set gets together to play pickleball.  There are two lines from the book that I wanted to share with you.  The first is, “A merry heart does gute like a medicine.”  The second one comes from Cathy who said, “Golfing is the most boring sport in the entire world, except for maybe football.  I mean, what’s the point?”.    The Amish Quiltmaker’s Unruly In-Law was over far too soon.   I knew I could count on Jennifer Beckstrand to provide a diverting Amish tale.  It was just what I needed.  Laughter is indeed the best medicine.  The Amish Quiltmaker’s Unruly In-Law is an amusing Amish tale with snowshoe sprints, melting marshmallows, the winsome Winnie, a brazen bad boy, restorative essential oils, an ornery octogenarian, and a scheming sister-in-law.

The Amish Quiltmaker's Unruly In-Law publishes June 29 and is available from Amazon*.  The first book in The Amish Quiltmaker's series is The Amish Quiltmaker's Unexpected Baby (on Kindle Unlimited).  You can find Jennifer Beckstrand's other delightful Amish novels here.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will return tomorrow to feature Pup Fiction by Laurien Beckstrand.  It is 27th A Melanie Travis Mystery.  I hope each of you have a relaxing weekend.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

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