Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Only the Brave by Danielle Steel

 Only the Brave

Book Summary

Sophia Alexander, the beautiful daughter of a famous surgeon in Berlin, has had to grow up faster than most young women. When her mother falls ill, Sophia must take charge of her younger sister, Theresa, and look after her father and the household, while also volunteering at his hospital after school. Meanwhile, Hitler’s rise to power and the violence in her very own town have Sophia concerned, but only her mother is willing to share her fears openly.
After tragedy strikes and her mother dies, Sophia becomes increasingly involved in the resistance, attending meetings of dissidents and helping however she can. Circumstances become increasingly dangerous and personal when Sophia assists her sister’s daring escape from Germany, as Theresa flees with her young husband and his family. Her father also begins to resist the regime, secretly healing those hiding from persecution, only to have his hospital burned to the ground. When he is arrested and sent to a concentration camp, Sophia is truly on her own, but more determined than ever to help.

While working as a nurse with the convent nuns, the Sisters of Mercy, Sophia continues her harrowing efforts to transport Jewish children to safety and finds herself under surveillance. As the political tensions rise and the brutal oppression continues, Sophia is undeterred, risking it all, even her own freedom, as she rises to the challenge of helping those in need—no matter the cost.

My Thoughts

Only the Brave by Danielle Steel is an emotional historical novel.  Sophia Alexander is a strong main character. I found Sophia to be inspiring and kindhearted. Her determination to help others despite the circumstances was inspiring.  Sophia’s life takes unexpected twists and turns throughout the story.  She will be tested many times throughout the war.  Sophia will need strength if she is to survive.   I can tell that the author did her research.  In the story, we get a glimpse at some of the atrocities that occurred in Germany during this time period. It is heartbreaking and unsettling that one man wreaked so much havoc on the world (baffling as to why people believed in him).  It is a reminder to not let history repeat itself.  As with all Danielle Steel books, there is repetition of details (does the author believe we will forget from one chapter to the next or, in some cases, one page to the next).  There are some sections that are unhurried (could be a tad peppier).  The story has an abrupt ending. There needed to be a better explanation for Sophia’s decision.  Only the Brave is an emotive and compelling tale that will linger with you longer after you finish it.

Only the Brave is available from Amazon* as well as other major retailers.  Danielle Steel has Resurrection releasing on June 25, Joy coming out on August 13, Triangle out on October 1 and Trial by Fire will be out on November 19 (I do not know how she does it).  On January 7, 2025, Danielle Steel has  Never Say Never.  You can follow Danielle Steel on Amazon and they will send you an email when she has a new book release.  Thank you for dropping by today.  I will return tomorrow with my thoughts on Amelia's Hope by Susan Lantz Simpson.  It is the second book in the Plain Path series.  I hope that you have cheerful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book.  I am not required to leave a review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Cold Case Tracker by Maggie K. Black

 Cold Case Tracker

Book Summary

A missing sibling. A targeted witness.

A K-9 on the case.

K-9 officer Jackson Locke’s sister has vanished—and the key to finding her lies with Amy Scout…his sister’s best friend and his old crush. But when Amy comes under attack, two things become clear: Jackson’s sister has been investigating cold cases and someone wants Amy dead. Now he must untangle the mystery between the cold cases and his sister’s disppearance while guarding Amy from an enemy willing to kill to hide the truth…

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.
My Thoughts

Cold Case Tracker by Maggie K. Black captured my attention right away.  I liked the main characters and the chemistry between them.  Sergeant Locke’s K9, Hudson is smart, protective, and a darling.  Reepi, the parrot, was another delightful addition.  I enjoyed the interactions between Hudson and Reepi. The story moved along at a good pace thanks to the action.  I enjoyed the mystery which had twists and turns.  It was a suspenseful tale.  Cold Case Tracker has romance, mystery, suspense, and faith.  I enjoyed the first book in the Unsolved Case Files series.

Cold Case Tracker is available on Amazon* and Barnes & Noble.  The next book in the Unsolved Case Files is Christmas Cold Case which  be out on November 26 and can be preordered from Amazon*.  You can find Maggie K. Black's other novels here.  Thank you for dropping by today.  I will be back on Tuesday, April 30 with Only the Brave by Danielle Steel.  I have a doctor's appointment today.  I will be getting gel injections into my knees for my arthritis. If they help, it will be worth any discomfort.  I hope that you have a relaxing weekend. Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book.  I am not required to leave a review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Yukon Wilderness Evidence by Darlene L. Turner

 Yukon Wilderness Evidence

Yukon Wilderness Evidence JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Yukon Wilderness Evidence by Darlene L. Turner, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Yukon Wilderness Evidence

Title: Yukon Wilderness Evidence
Crisis Rescue Team Series #5
Darlene L Turner
Love Inspired Suspense
Release Date:
April 23, 2024
Romantic Suspense

Solving a cold case 

could rob her of her future. 

When skeletal remains are uncovered in the Yukon forest, forensic botanist Keeley Ash is called to the crime scene—and ends up abducted. She never expects her ex, paramedic Brett Ryerson, to come to her rescue, or her gathered evidence to be linked to a cold case. And when their son—who Brett never knew existed—is kidnapped, they’ll stop at nothing to save him and outrun the hunters determined to silence Keeley.  

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.  


 Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook | Bookshop| BookBub

More Books in the Series

Fatal Forensic Investigation Explosive Christmas Showdown Mountain Abduction Rescue

About the Author

Darlene L. Turner

Darlene L. Turner is an award-winning author and lives with her husband, Jeff in Ontario, Canada. Her love of suspense began when she read her first Nancy Drew book. She’s turned that passion into her writing and believes readers will be captured by her plots, inspired by her strong characters, and moved by her inspirational message.

Connect with Darlene at darlenelturner.com, where there’s suspense beyond borders, to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.

My Thoughts

Yukon Wilderness Evidence by Darlene L. Turner is a suspenseful and engaging tale. The forest provided a mysterious and chilling setting. The author captured the Yukon Forest with her vivid descriptions.  I felt like I was transversing the forest with the characters.  I enjoyed all the action which kept things lively.   I liked the well-developed, multidimensional characters.  You could feel the chemistry between Keeley Ash and Brett Ryerson which had not dissipated with the passage of time. MJ is adorable.  He added light moments to the story.  Forensic botany was new to me.  It was interesting learning about it and how it aided police in solving crimes.  Faith was nicely woven into the story. Trust and forgiveness are two of the themes in the story.  One of the characters will need to find their way back to God if they are to have a happy ending.  Yukon Wilderness Evidence is the fifth book in Crisis Rescue Team series.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series.  The mystery had twists and turns.  I liked following the clues along with the characters (I love solving whodunits).  Yukon Wilderness Evidence is a story that will have you staying up late flipping the pages to find out how it ends.  

Tour Giveaway

(4) winners will each win a $25 Amazon egift card!

Yukon Wilderness Evidence JustRead Tours giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight April 23, 2024 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 30, 2024. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway

Yukon Wilderness Evidence is available from Amazon*.  The other books in the Crisis Rescue Team series are Fatal Forensic Investigation, Explosive Christmas Showdown, Mountain Abduction Rescue, and Buried Grave Secrets.  The sixth book in the Crisis Team Rescue series is K-9 Ranch Protection which is scheduled to be released on September 24. You can find Darlene L. Turner's other novels here.  Thank you so much for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I am featuring Cold Case Tracker by Maggie K. Black.  Do not forget to enter the giveaway before you leave.  Good Luck!  I am off to get some housework done.  I tried to teach the cats to dust, but they saw it as an opportunity to play (and zip around the house at full speed). My two girls, Dickens and Bucky, just turned fourteen.  Dickens has not slowed down, but I have noticed that Bucky is having trouble getting on the kitchen counter (which is a bonus in my books because she is not supposed to be up there).  I hope that you have a joyful day. Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book.  I am not required to leave a review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The Mysterious Amish Bachelor by Vannetta Chapman

 The Mysterious Amish Bachelor
Book Summary

He has a secret.

She’s set on discovering it.

After paying the price for a crime he committed ten years ago, Noah Beiler wants a fresh start—which means hiding where he’s been for the last decade from his Amish community. But Sarah Yoder is determined to uncover his past. As Noah and Sarah work together and grow close, Noah’s history is the only thing standing in their way. Will revealing the truth set them free, or are some secrets best kept buried?

My Thoughts

The Mysterious Amish Bachelor by Vannetta Chapman is the fourth delightful story in the Indiana Amish Market series.  I have enjoyed getting to know the quirky Yoder sisters and their father.  Sarah is the oldest of the sisters.  She helped raise her sisters and run the household after the death of her mother.  Sarah loves her family, home, and community. She is pretty much an open book.  Noah Beiler returns after ten years, and he is looking to keep his past where it belongs—behind him.   It is easy to empathize with both characters.  Sarah wants to learn more about Noah.  Noah is afraid if Sarah learns about his past, she will not want anything to do with him.  

There are great characters in this series.  Ada adds humor to the story with her unique expressions.  I bet the author had fun coming up with ways to change common phrases.  Faith is woven throughout the story (it is not preachy which I appreciate).    I like Vannetta Chapman friendly writing style.  The story is told from Sarah and Noah’s point of view, which allows readers to know what they are feeling and thinking. We get to see the importance of communication.  Patience, prayer, community, family, secrets, and love are the focus in The Mysterious Amish Bachelor.  I am looking forward to Eunice’s story.  It will take a special man to appreciate the mechanically minded Eunice.  

The Mysterious Amish Bachelor can be ordered from Amazon*.  Eunice's story is A Courtship for the Amish Spinster which will be out on October 22.  The other novels in the Indiana Amish Market series are An Amish Proposal for Christmas, Her Amish Adversary, and An Unusual Amish Winter Match.  You can find Vannetta Chapman's other books here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I featuring Yukon Wilderness Evidence by Darlene L. Turner as part of the JustRead Publicity Tours.  It is the fifth book in the Crisis Rescue Team series.  I hope that you have a stellar day!  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book.  I am not required to leave a review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Dating an Amish Flirt by Rachel

 Dating an Amish Flirt

Book Summary

Between heavenly homemade bread, irresistible desserts, and stunning crafts, Lancaster, Pennsylvania’s Green Valley Farmer’s Market provides warm-hearted community—and love’s surprising possibilities . . .

With her sweet nature and delicate beauty, Rachel Glick attracts boys like bees to a flower—despite her best attempts to discourage them. Downhearted since her beloved brother’s death, and isolated as the sole caretaker to her invalid mother, Rachel would welcome the friendship of other girls. But her unfair reputation as a flirt leaves her snubbed. Yet she’s only ever loved Josh Yoder, her childhood best friend. Why he distanced himself from her in eighth grade, she’ll never understand. And now, though he’s been a blessing doing repairs around her farm, he is courting another girl, so there is no going back . . .
Josh has been in love with Rachel since he was a boy. But he can never forgive himself for hurting her—or for the reason behind it. He can only do his best to lighten her burdens and hope others see her good heart. Still, the sight of her fills him with fresh longing, much as he tries to focus on his girlfriend and forget the past. Yet when jealousy flares, igniting trouble, they both must look to faith to do what’s right—and bring joyous futures for everyone . . .

My Thoughts

Dating an Amish Flirt by Rachel J. Good is a sweet story.  I enjoyed reading the sixth book in the Surprised by Love series.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series, but you will be missing out on Mrs. Vandenburg’s kindness and meddling.  Personally, I feel that Loving an Amish Flirt would have been a better title for this story (you will see what I mean when you read it).  I enjoyed getting to know Rachel and Josh.  I felt for Rachel who is ostracized by the girls her own age because she is pretty, and the men crowd around her like a moth to a flame (without encouragement from Rachel). I did not like the way the girls (young women) gossiped about Rachel (this may be a trigger for some readers).  I found the characters to be developed and relatable.  The story is easy to read.  

Mrs. Vandenburg is a delight (I wish she lived in my community). She is a wise woman who receives “nudges” from God. I love how she meddles in people’s lives (in a good-natured way).  No one can say no to her.  Mrs. Vandenburg provides humor throughout the story.  Faith is beautifully woven into the story.  Trusting God, relying on Him, and forgiveness are main themes in the story.  Rachel makes quillows which is an item that I had not heard of previously.  It was interesting learning about these blankets that fold into themselves and become pillows.  The pacing was a leisurely and there was some repetition of details.  Dating an Amish Flirt has an ending that left me smiling and the storylines were nicely tied up.  Dating an Amish Flirt is a tender tale with gossipy girls, an aloof friend, quilting quillows, an amusing meddler, suppressing a secret, and a gracious God.

Dating an Amish Flirt will be out on April 23 and it can be preordered from Amazon*.  The first five books in the Surprised by Love series can be found here.  The next Surprised by Love novel is Missing Her Amish Boyfriend which releases on August 20.  Rachel J. Good along with Shelley Shepard Gray and Lenora Worth have The Christmas Gathering coming out on September 24.  If you follow Rachel J. Good on Amazon, they will send you an email when she has a new book release.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will return on Tuesday, April 23 with The Mysterious Amish Bachelor by Vannetta Chapman.  It is the fourth book in the Indiana Amish Market series.  I finished putting up my Cinco de Mayo decorations outside last evening. I have searched high and low, but I have not found inflatables for Mother's or Father's Day.  I do have a stately patriotic eagle for Memorial Day.  I hope that you have a relaxing weekend.  I will be finishing Hidden Mountain Secrets by Kerry Johnson this evening.  As you can tell, I like to read a variety of genres. Plus, I have traveled the world through books.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book.  I am not required to leave a review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Four-Alarm Homicide by Diane Kelly

 Four-Alarm Homicide
Book Summary

The sixth in the delightful cozy mystery series from Diane Kelly set in Nashville, TN—where the real estate market is to die for.

Some properties are too hot to handle...

Carpenter Whitney Whitaker and her cousin Buck are hot for a historical property that has just come on the market—a fire station in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood that was built nearly a century ago.

The cousins have just begun the interior demolition work at the fire station when Joanna Hartzell, who lives in a townhouse around the corner, comes by with a plea for help. Joanna owns the right half of her building, which she proudly maintains in perfect condition, while the left side falls into disrepair: the seven adult children who inherited it years ago refuse to lift a finger on repairs. Never one to turn down a challenge, Whitney and Buck manage to acquire the rundown townhouse—though it turns out Joanna is only one of the many neighbors interested in buying the property once they’ve worked their magic.

Then Joanna shows up at the fire station confused and rambling, then collapses, never to recover. Alarm bells go off for Whitney: she suspects something—and someone—evil could be the real cause. Can she and Collin put the clues together and smoke out a killer?

My Thoughts

Four-Alarm Homicide by Diane Kelly is the sixth A House Flipper Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone for those who are new to the series or who may have missed a book along the way.  Whitney Whitaker and her cousin, Buck are remodeling an old firehouse into a single-family home and a townhouse.  Whitney and Buck need to stock up on the aspirin because these projects are going to be nothing but headaches.  I like that the story begins with an amusing scene.  Whitney and Buck are cousins, friends, and business partners (as you can imagine, they like to egg each other and compete against each other).  When working in a neighborhood, you get to meet the neighbors.  As you can imagine, there are an assortment of characters.  Whitney and Buck have their hands full.  I found the story to be easy to read.  It is an active story with two renovations, a murder, wedding planning, the engaged couple need to decide where to live, and so much more.  

The mystery was interesting.  I enjoyed joining Whitney as she searched for clues and asked questions.  I like noticing those tiny details that lead to the killer.  The method of murder was particularly unique.  Whitney’s cat, Sawdust, is cute and helpful.  The chapters from Sawdust’s point of view are cute.  You can tell that the author has been around cats. The author includes information about home renovations (the various projects that Whitney and Buck tackle), mortgages, loans, home ownership difficulties in an easy-to-understand manner.  The ending left me smiling.  The one thing I did not like is the repetition of information (a pet peeve).  I do not feel that key details need to be repeated several times.  I look forward to Whitney and Buck’s next project.  Four-Alarm Homicide is a makeover mystery with lingering neighbors, a mystifying murder, planning nuptials, kitty discoveries, mouthwatering morsels, and flipping properties.  

Four Alarm Homicide will be released on April 23 and it can be preordered from Amazon*.  You can find the other A House-Flipper Mysteries here.  Check out Diane Kelly's other cozy mysteries. Thank you for dropping by today.  Tomorrow I will be featuring Dating an Amish Flirt by Rachel J. Good.  It is the sixth novel in the Surprised by Love series.  I hope that you have a fascinating day. I am off to do some much needed cleaning in our storage shed (another space that has become disorganized). I am looking forward to break time when I can read another chapter of Mind Games by Nora Roberts and have a Mounds bar (yum).  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book.  I am not required to leave a review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A Twinkle of Trouble by Daryl Wood Gerber


A Twinkle of Trouble


About A Twinkle of Trouble


A Twinkle of Trouble (A Fairy Garden Mystery) 

5th in Series

Setting - California 

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington Cozies 

(April 23, 2024) 

Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages


Carmel-by-the-Sea garden shop owner Courtney Kelly sees things others can’t—like fairies, and hidden motives for murder . . .

Courtney is delighted when her tiny friend Fiona returns from the fairy realm, appearing at the base of a Cypress tree. When her Ragdoll cat, Pixie, emerges from her own portal—aka the cat door—the three set off for a busy day. Busier than usual, since Courtney has rented a small plot of land at the Flower Farm, where she hopes to grow her own supplies for her fairy-garden business. Plus, the annual Summer Blooms Festival is coming up, and Courtney has booked a booth . . .

But the murder of Courtney’s friend, Genevieve, casts a pall over the festival. Ever since Genevieve sold her floral business, she’d been building a career as an influencer. She was perennially opinionated—but in her new role she’d become surprisingly vicious, dissing local entrepreneurs with nasty posts and unwarranted bad reviews. That’s landed a couple of Courtney’s other friends on the suspect list—including Flower Farm owner Daphne Flores. And when a second victim is discovered, seeds of doubt about Daphne’s innocence sprout in Courtney’s mind. With only a germ of a clue, Courtney will have to overturn every rock to get the dirt on the real killer . . .

About Daryl Wood Gerber

Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling mysteries, including the Fairy Garden Mysteries and Cookbook Nook Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she penned the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. In addition, Daryl writes suspense including the well received The Son’s Secret, Girl on the Run, and the popular Aspen Adams series. Recently Daryl, who loves a challenge, published a Christmas romance, Hope for the Holidays. Fun Tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, garden, read, and walk her frisky Goldendoodle. Also she has been known to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. You can learn more on her website: https://darylwoodgerber.com

Author Links











My Thoughts

A Twinkle of Trouble by Daryl Wood Gerber is a sparkling story with a double dose of fairies and murder, beautiful blooms, and a morsel of amour.   I enjoyed catching up with Courtney, Joss, and Fiona.  I was especially curious to hear about Fiona’s trip through the portal.  The mystery was entertaining.  Courtney investigates (of course) with help from her friends and fairies.  I donned my sleuthing cap and gathered the clues along with Courtney.  It was a fun whodunit to solve.  Courtney helps her customers create lovely fairy gardens when she is not off sleuthing or enjoying time with friends (or stealing moments with Brady).  The author sets the stage with her lavish descriptions of the Carmel-by-the-Sea, the Summer Blooms Festival, the fairies, and the fairy gardens.  I like that we continue to learn new things about the fairies, and we get to meet new fairies too.  

A Twinkle of Trouble is the fifth A Fairy Garden Mystery and it can be read as a standalone for those new to the series. I like the fairy quote before each chapter.  It was amusing that Courney’s book club was reading “Mum’s the Word” by Kate Collins.  It was a cute tie in to the flower festival.  There are recipes at the end of the book for some of the mouthwatering morsel mentioned (gluten free options too).  A Twinkle of Trouble is an enchanting tale with gleeful fairies, a precious Pixie, tasty treats, murder and mayhem, an opening portal, a flower festival, and fun with friends.  

A Twinkle of Trouble is available from AmazonB&NKobo, and Bookshop.  You can find thhe other A Fairy Garden Mysteries hereYou can find the author's other creations hereDaryl Wood Gerber has Murder on the Page which is the first book in A Literary Dining Mystery publishing on October 22.  Time for the giveaway!  The giveaway prize is a $15 Bookshop.org gift card and a choice (from books 1 - 4) of A Fairy Garden Mysteries (paper or ebook)  plus swag.  Click here to enter or enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter form below.  Good Luck!  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I am featuring Four-Alarm Homicide by Diane Kelly.  It is the sixth book in A House Flipper Mysteries.  I hope that you have a sparkling day.  Do not forget to enter the giveaway and leave a comment for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

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Tour Participants

 April 15 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT

April 15 – Teatime and Books – SPOTLIGHT

April 16 – Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense – SPOTLIGHT

April 16 – Sneaky the Library Cat's Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 16 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
April 17 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

April 17 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 18 – Celticlady's Reviews – RECIPE

April 18 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT

April 18 – Angel's Book Nook – SPOTLIGHT
 April 19 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

April 19 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 20 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW


April 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 21 – Melina's Book Blog - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 21 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book.  I am not required to leave a review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.