Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Yesterday's Gone by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

Yesterday's Gone

Book Summary

Eliza Bontrager and Jesse Ebersol have fallen in love and are determined to marry, despite the belief of their Amish community and respective families that there's a hidden curse--one that only shows up when an Ebersol and Bontrager marry.

Before the ceremony on the day of the wedding, Eliza's great-aunt Rose gives her a family heirloom quilt and tells her that she may use it to change one event in the past. Eliza appreciates the woman's heart, but she dismisses the strange conversation while keeping the beautiful quilt.

Several years later, mourning the loss of their third child, Eliza discovers her inability to deliver a healthy baby is genetic. Remembering her great-aunt's strange words, she decides that if she can go back in time and reject Jesse's proposal, she can save him the heartache of a childless marriage. Her sacrifice will allow him to marry someone else and raise a family. But once she puts her plan into action, she discovers the true impact of her decision--on Jesse and so many others within their community.
My Thoughts

Yesterday’s Gone by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall is a unique Amish novel.  I thought the story was well-written with gentle pacing.  The characters are interesting and developed.  We get a chance to know the Amish in the Appalachian Mountains.  What makes this story unique is a family quilt that can change one event in a person's past.  Eliza is grief stricken at the loss of her third child.  Eliza only wanted to change one event in her past, but her decision causes a ripple effect on other events.  There are good life lessons in the story.  Yesterday’s Gone is a story that took me a little while to get into (about a quarter of the way in).  I am glad that I did not stop reading after the first couple of chapters.   Yesterday’s Gone is a thought-provoking, emotional novel that will have you staying up late to see how everything turns out.  

Yesterday's Gone is available from Amazon*.  You can find Cindy Woodsmall's other novels here.  If you follow Cindy on Amazon, they will send you an email when she has a new book release.  I appreciate you taking the time to read my book review.  I hope that you find it helpful.  I cannot believe that today is the last day of August.  The month went by so quickly.  I am featuring Five and Dime Christmas:  Four Historical Novels by Cynthia Hickey, Christina Lorenzen, Susanne Dietze, and Patty Smith Hall.  I hope that you have an enjoyable last day of August.  Hopefully, the heat will begin to recede soon (I can wish).  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

A Colorful Scheme by Krista Davis

A Colorful Scheme

Book Summary

After a wedding guest’s murder, Florrie Fox sees a picture taking shape . . .

Coloring-book creator and Washington, DC, bookstore owner Florrie Fox is attending the wedding of her wealthy boss and a famous romance author, who are taking their vows—for the second time—on the grounds of the gorgeous Maxwell mansion.  But it soon becomes clear that the soothing vibe of coloring books is very different from the stress and backstabbing in some corners of the literary world.
Arthur Bedlingham, for example, barely makes a living despite the many awards he’s won—and his chances for better sales haven’t been helped by the vicious review he just got from another guest at the party. Then there’s an ex–FBI agent whose popular thrillers are a magnet for female fans; a less-successful romance writer; and an ambitious waitress who’s intent on a career in journalism.
When Arthur’s assistant, an aspiring writer, is murdered during the festivities, Florrie realizes this is no color-by-numbers case, and she’ll have to sort out the complicated secrets among this creative crowd of suspects . . .
My Thoughts

A Colorful Scheme by Krista Davis is the fourth A Pen & Ink Mystery.  Each book can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series.  Florrie Fox is back.  I like Florrie as well as the rest of the cast in this entertaining series.  This is a very much a character driven series.  Florrie manages Color Me Read a Georgetown bookstore owned by Professor John Maxwell.  She also designs adult coloring books.  Jacquie and Professor Maxwell are getting married again.  They invited five hundred people for a party and surprised them with the wedding.  It is a lovely event with some interesting authors in attendance.  The next morning, Florrie is awakened early by screams and squeals.  Mr. DuBois, the butler, has found the body of Evan McDonald, Arthur Bedlingham’s assistant.  The police find evidence of foul play.  Professor Maxwell is worried that his bride will be a suspect and asks Florrie to don her sleuthing cap once again.  Florrie will need to watch her back because it seems that someone is following her.  

I like Krista Davis’s upbeat writing style.  It makes her stories a delight to read.   We get to meet some interesting characters at the wedding.  There are several known authors in attendance.  I enjoyed meeting Jezebel Fish (what a name).  I hope we have not seen the last of this spunky character.  The mystery was entertaining.  I enjoyed figuring out this whodunit.  There are several good suspects and a red herring or two.  I like how Florrie’s artistic skills are used to provide clues.  While I was able to discern the who early on, but I did not know the why.  I was eager to learn more which had me rapidly turning pages.  There are some great revelations (I love twists) and plenty of action.  As the story concluded, the various storylines all came together. There was a good wrap up where all questions are answered. I enjoyed the ending which has me eager for the next A Pen & Ink MysteryA Colorful Scheme has drama, mystery, touching moments, romance, and humor.  A Colorful Scheme is colorful cozy with a sprightly pig, an exasperating sister, an assassinated assistant, a frustrating sergeant, useful sketches, author antics, and a surprising secret.

A Colorful Scheme is available from Amazon*.  The other A Pen & Ink Mysteries are Color Me Murder, The Coloring Crook, and Murder Outside the Lines (all three can be read for free if you are a Kindle Unlimited member).  Krista Davis has A Good Dog's Guide to Murder publishing on September 6.  It is 8th A Paws and Claws Mystery (I just love this series). You can find Krista Davis's other novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today and reading my review.  Here are some of the other books that came out today:  Peg and Rose Solve a Murder by Laurien Berenson, Death on the Argyle by Anne Canadeo, The Florence Legacy by Lauraine Snelling, and Yesterday's Gone by Cindy Woodmsall and Erin Woodsmall.  I hope that you have a fun day.  Take care, stay cool (it is still so hot), and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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

Monday, August 29, 2022

Peg and Rose Solve a Murder by Laurien Berenson

 Peg and Rose Solve a Murder
Book Summary

Murder, She Wrote meets The Golden Girls in the award-winning author’s brand-new series! Two cantankerous septuagenarians, opposites in every way, put aside their differences to stop a killer… if they don’t throttle each other first!
Rose Donovan looks for the good in everyone. With her sister-in-law, Peg, that sometimes requires a lot of searching. Even a sixty-something former nun like Rose has her limits, and gruff Peg Turnbull sure knows how to push them. But after forty years of bickering, they’re attempting to start over, partnering up to join the local bridge club.
Peg and Rose barely have a chance to celebrate their first win before one of the club’s most accomplished players is killed in his home. As the newest members, the sisters-in-law come under scrutiny and decide to start some digging of their own. Bridge is typically seen as a wholesome pastime, yet this group of senior citizens harbors a wealth of vices, including gambling, cheating, and adultery . .
By comparison, Peg and Rose’s fractious relationship is starting to feel almost functional. But as their suspect list narrows, they’re unaware that their logic has a dangerous flaw. And they’ll have to hope that their teamwork holds steady when they’re confronted by a killer who’s through with playing games . . .

My Thoughts

Peg Turnbull and Rose Donovan are sisters-in-law who got off on the wrong foot forty years ago.  Rose decides it is time to overcome the past and invites Peg to join a local bridge club.  The morning after their second session with the group, they learn that one of the members, Stan has been murdered.  Peg is naturally curious, and Rose admits to being intrigued (she enjoyed helping Melanie Travis solve a case last winter).  Peg is not surprised when Detective Rodney Sturgill puts her on the suspect list. Rose and Peg begin digging into the bridge club members past to see who had motive to harm Stan.  The pair will need to be on their game if they are to outwit a killer.

Peg and Rose Solve a Murder by Laurien Berenson is the debut of A Senior Sleuths Mysteries.  I enjoyed reading this entertaining cozy mystery.  We get to know Peg and Rose.  We learn what caused a rift between them over forty years ago.  The author sets the stage before she begins the mystery.  The whodunit commences about a third of the way into the book.  Both women are curious about the crime.  When they learn that Detective Sturgill is asking questions about Peg, the women decide to do some sleuthing of their own.  I like that each woman has her own investigative style.  Rose is more laid back, casual, and indirect while Peg is like Sherman marching to the sea.  There are several suspects, a red herring or two, and subtle clues.  This was a fun mystery to solve.  The clues were well-done.  The mystery had an enjoyable reveal and good wrap up.  I laughed often while reading this tale.  Peg and Rose are entertaining.  They are delightful characters.  I also liked Rose’s husband, Peter.  The Standard Poodles (Hope, Coral, and Joker) are a delight.  They each have their own personality.  The ending is sweet.  I like how we received updates on Melanie and her family.  I am looking forward to Rose and Peg’s next adventure.  Peg and Rose Solve a Murder is a witty whodunit with an unpredicted phone call, bridge club blunders, delightful dog show days, a card player killed, sinful sweets, suspicious suspects, and two senior sleuths.  

Peg and Rose Solve a Murder will be out Tuesday, August 30 and it can be preordered from Amazon*.  Laurien Berenson has Killer Cupid (the latest A Melanie Travis Mystery) coming out on December 27.  You can find Laurien Berenson's other novels here.   Thank you for taking time out of your day to stop by.  I have been laid up the last few days.  I was standing at the sink (not moving) when I felt the muscles on the left side of my back knot up.  The pain was immediate and very unpleasant.  It certainly makes things difficult when you cannot bend over or walk normally.  After four days, I can walk without grimacing (or wanting to scream like the first day).  Tomorrow I will share my thoughts on A Colorful Scheme by Krista Davis.  It is the 4th A Pen & Ink Mystery.  The one good thing about being laid up is that I had plenty of time to read!  I hope that you have relaxing day.  Take care, stay cool, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Twin Murder Mix-Up by Sami A. Abrams: Book Review & Giveaway!


About the Book

Book: Twin Murder Mix-Up

Author: Sami A. Abrams

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: August 23, 2022

A case of mistaken identity…

has lethal results

After capturing a murder on her camera, photographer Amy Baker becomes the next target—but her identical twin is killed instead. Now on the run with her sister’s newborn, Amy has only one person to turn to—Detective Keith Young, her childhood crush. But when they discover Keith is the baby’s father, can he regain Amy’s trust to keep them safe…before the killer strikes again?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Sami A. Abrams lives in Northern California, but she’ll always be a Kansas girl at heart. She loves to travel and watch sports. However, most evenings, you’ll find her engrossed in a romantic suspense novel. She thinks a crime plus a little romance is the recipe for a great story.

More from Sami

#Authorproblems   That’s what the excitement around Keith Young was…a problem—Kinda. Lol!

When I started to hear request for his story, I panicked. Authors don’t want to disappoint their readers. And being new to the published scene…Well, you get the picture. 😊

After the release of Buried Cold Case Secrets, many readers told me they wanted Keith’s story. In fact, the overwhelming response puzzled me. What had I done to create such a buzz about Jason’s partner? And of course, I had to ask why?

The general answer I received…Keith’s a nice guy and the perfect partner.

I have to admit, I got a little nervous since I had already written his story. And I worried if I’d done his character justice?

However, after writing Buried Cold Case Secrets, I knew Keith had to have his own story. He’s such a great guy and needed his happily ever after. So, I dove in and asked, what would happen if he made a huge mistake? Not just a physical one, but a heart one.

By the time I finished, I loved seeing Keith and Amy move past their poor choices and hurt to find acceptance and love. The perfect ending to Keith’s struggles.

All that to say, I hope you love Keith and Amy’s story as much as I do.  #TeamKeith

My Thoughts

Twin Murder Mix-Up by Sami A. Abrams is a suspenseful tale.  I am glad that the author gave us Keith’s story.  I like Sami Abrams writing style.  I started reading Twin Murder Mix-Up and found myself quickly drawn into the book.  I wanted to keep reading to find out how the story would end and who was behind the killings (I love solving mysteries).  Keith is a new Christian with good role models.  I liked the Christian elements in the book.  I did not find them to be overdone or preachy.  I could feel the character’s emotions (Amy’s love for Carter and Amy being scared are two examples).

Twin Murder Mix-Up is a suspenseful story with the killer coming after Amy.  This person always seems to be one step ahead of them.  It was an interesting mystery to solve.  I did feel, though, that the motive was weak.  We had the opportunity to catch up with the characters from Buried Cold Case Secrets which I appreciated.  Twin Murder Mix-Up can be read as a standalone (but why would you want to?).  I liked that despite what is going on, there were special touching moments (Amy with Carter, Keith with Amy, Ian with Carter).  It is nice that the characters were flawed and had insecurities.  It made them realistic.  I am glad that there was an epilogue that nicely wrapped up the book.  I am looking forward to reading Sheriff Dennis Monroe’s story (Detecting Secrets).  Twin Murder Mix-Up is a tense tale with a departed twin, an indomitable killer, a photographer on the run, an understanding detective, a remorseful friend, a sticky situation, and a lovable baby.


To celebrate her tour, Sami is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon card and signed copy of Twin Murder Mix-Up (US only) or eBook for outside the US!!  Be sure to comment on the blog stops (list below) for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click here to enter.  Good Luck!

Twin Murder Mix-Up is available from Amazon*.  Buried Cold Case Secrets is the first book in the Deputies of Anderson County series.  The third novel in Deputies of Anderson County is Detecting Secrets which will be out on February 21, 2023 (Sheriff Dennis Monroe's story).  If you follow Sami A. Abrams on Amazon, you will receive an email when she has a new book release.    Thank you for joining me today.  I will return on Monday with my thoughts on Peg and Rose Solve a Murder by Laurien Berenson.  It is the debut of A Senior Sleuths Mysteries.  I hope that you have an enjoyable weekend.  Do not forget to enter the giveaway and leave a comment for extra entries.  Take care, stay cool, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 27

Bizwings Blog, August 27

The Avid Reader, August 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 28

Christina’s Corner, August 28

Genesis 5020, August 29

Texas Book-aholic, August 29

Inklings and notions, August 30

Through the Fire Blogs, August 30

EmpowerMoms, August 30

Betti Mace, August 31

deb’s Book Review, August 31

For Him and My Family, September 1

Pause for Tales, September 1

The Sacred Line, September 1

She Lives To Read, September 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 3

Britt Reads Fiction, September 3

For the Love of Literature, September 4

Lights in a Dark World, September 4

Paula’s Persuasion, September 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 5

Book Looks by Lisa, September 5

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 6

Vicarious Living , September 6

Mary Hake, September 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 7

Bigreadersite , September 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 8

Blogging With Carol, September 8

Simple Harvest Reads, September 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Labor Not in Vain, September 9

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

Friday, August 26, 2022

The Amish Matchmaking Dilemma by Patricia Johns

 The Amish Matchmaking Dilemma

Book Summary

They’re not compatible on paper…

But might be the perfect match.

Amish bachelor Mose Klassen knows what he needs in a wife—someone quiet and traditional, the exact opposite of Naomi Peachy. His lifelong stutter has made him reserved, but when his childhood friend volunteers as his speaking tutor, Mose can’t help but be drawn to the outgoing woman. Naomi’s progressive views mean she’ll never make his matchmaker’s list…but could an unexpected match be his perfect fit?

My Thoughts

The Amish Matchmaking Dilemma by Patricia Johns is a sweet story.  I enjoyed getting to know Mose and Naomi.  They are two people who are opposites, but they enjoy each other’s company.  They were friends as children and are getting a chance to reconnect.  Mose Klassen is in town to fill in for his uncle who takes tourists on tours of Amish businesses in a buggy.  He is also hoping that the matchmaker, Adel can find him a wife.  The only problem is that Mose stutters.  He has had the problem his whole life.  Naomi is the one person he is able to talk to without as much difficulty.  Adel is hoping Naomi can help Mose become more comfortable talking to women.  Naomi is an outspoken individual with a liberal viewpoint while Mose is quiet and conservative.  Despite their differences, they are drawn to each other.  

I thought the story moved along at a gentle pace.  The book takes place over the two weeks that Mose is in town.  The Amish Matchmaking Dilemma is the first book in the Amish Country Matches series.  I like that we get to catch up with Adel and Jake from The Amish Matchmaker’s Choice (you do not need to read this book first).  I enjoyed reading this uplifting story.  We get to see that despite a person’s “flaws” there is a match for them.  Naomi tends to speak before she thinks, has curly red hair that does not like to be tamed, has liberal views, an excellent cook, and is a full-figured woman.  Mose is a smart, quiet man who is conservative.  Mose’s stutter makes his difficult for him to voice his thoughts, but he can express them in written form. I like that the story is not rushed.   If it moved too quickly, we would not understand the couple’s differences and see the challenges that Naomi and Mose face.  There is repetition of details (like Mose’s stutter, Naomi’s red hair).  I thought the ending was sweet.  The faith element was well-done.  We see that Naomi and Mose are people of deep faith.  They believe that God will direct or guide them.  The author shows us Amish values and how their faith is shown in everything they do.  I enjoyed The Amish Matchmaking Dilemma. I am looking forward to reading the next Amish Country Matches novel.  The Amish Matchmaking Dilemma is a satisfying story with a stutter snag, a chatty Kathy, a teen trouble, delectable delights, tourist trips, and a matchmaking conundrum.  

The Amish Matchmaking Dilemma is available from Amazon*.  The Amish Matchmaker's Choice is Adel and Jake's story (Adel is the Amish matchmaker).  Patricia Johns has Her Amish Country Valentine coming out on March 28, 2023.  It is the beginning of The Butternut Amish B&B series.  You can follow Patricia Johns on Amazon and you will receive an email when she has a new book release.  Thank you for joining me today.  I mentioned yesterday that I needed to find storage space for all of my Halloween decorations.  I have them hidden (mostly under my bed and my mother's--which she is unaware of).  Then today came a batch of new boxes with more decorations (I could not resist some-well, three-of the cute Halloween inflatables).  I am trying to hide this batch under a living room chair.  At this rate, I will be able to decorate our whole street (I would love to see every house with at least one inflatable).  I hope that you have a glorious day.  Take care, stay cool, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Amish Jane Doe by Shelley Shepard Gray the

Amish Jane Doe

Book Summary

He left her without a word…

Now he needs her help to catch a killer

Escaping his Amish community as a teen was about survival, but leaving meant breaking LizBeth Troyer’s heart. Now Detective Jackson Lapp is working a cold case—and the clue to a murdered Amish girl’s identity leads him back to his hometown. Can Jackson and LizBeth rebuild their broken trust and work together to catch a killer before another young Amish woman is murdered?

My Thoughts

I found myself quickly drawn into Amish Jane Doe by Shelley Shepard Gray.  Jackson Lapp left the Amish community as a teenager when he could no longer tolerate his father’s behavior.  He left behind his sister and his close friend, LizBeth Troyer.  Twelve years later, Detective Jackson Lapp returns to solve a cold case.  Jackson reconnects with LizBeth who may be able to help him identify the victim in his cold case.  The attraction they felt as teens is still there.  Jackson gets a chance to speak with his younger sister, Marie.  Marie is a teenager who is upset that her brother left her behind to deal with their strict father.  She wishes to escape, and Marie has found someone who can help her.  Can Jackson and LizBeth work together to find the culprit before another Amish girl is lost?  Amish Jane Doe is a quick read.  I was able to finish it in a couple of hours on a rainy afternoon.  I like the author’s engaging writing style.  I thought the characters were realistic.  I enjoyed visiting Berlin, Ohio which is Jackson’s hometown.  It is a suspenseful story with an intriguing mystery. There were twists and turns along the way.  I had a good time solving the mystery.   I like the blend of Amish and English.   The ending was sweet (made me smile).   Amish Jane Doe is a story about facing the past, forgiveness, healing, family, love, and a cold case.  Amish Jane Doe is a gripping tale with a curious cold case, a troubled teen, an erstwhile friend, a recognizable clue, a determined detective, and an unidentified foe.

Amish Jane Doe is available from Amazon*.  Shelley Shepard Gray has Happily Ever After coming out on October 25.  It is the debut of The Amish of Apple Creek.  Christmas at the Amish Market publishes November 8.  On January 3, 2023, the author has Her Heart's Desire coming out.  It is the beginning of A Season in Pinecraft series.   I cannot wait to read each one of them (I like preordering the books so they will show up on my kindle on the release date).  You can find all of Shelley Shepard Gray's books here.  I will be sharing my thoughts on The Amish Matchmaking Dilemma by Patricia Johns tomorrow.  It is the debut of the Amish Country Matches series.  Thank you for dropping by today.  I hope that you have a spirited day.  Take care, stay cool (it is still in the low 90s in my area), and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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