November 24, 2020

The Amish Baker's Rival by Marie E. Bast - Review

I received this book free from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

Book details
Mass Market Paperback : 224 pages
ISBN-10 : 133548860X
ISBN-13 : 978-1335488602
Publisher : Love Inspired; Original edition (December 29, 2020)

Book description
He’s more than just her competition…

She’ll do anything to protect her bakery…

no matter the cost to her heart.

Amish baker Mary Brenneman is furious when handsome Englischer Noah Miller opens up a bakery right across from hers. Now she must win a local baking contest just to stay in business—and beat know-it-all Noah. But somewhere along the way, Noah and Mary’s kitchen wars are quickly warming into something more…

Meet the author
Marie Bast is an award-winning, Publishers Weekly bestselling author. She enjoyed a career with the federal government, but characters kept whispering her name. Marie retired and now pursues her passion. Her stories whisper words of hope and healing through complex characters and twisting plots. When not writing, Marie enjoys walking, golfing, gardening, baking and spending time with her family. Visit her on MarieBastAuthor.com and mariebast.blogspot.com.

My thoughts
I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read but at the same time held my interest all the way through. I have not read the two books that come before this but this book can easily be read as a stand alone. Although I must say that after reading this I would like to go back and read about the other characters in the other books. I loved Noah from the first time he appeared in the book and really wanted things to work out with his family.  I thought Mary was also a strong character as she knew what she wanted and even though she knew that maybe she should not feel the way she does it all worked out in the end. Worth the read. 

November 16, 2020

The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett




I received this book free.  All opinions are my own


Book details
ebook, 288 pages
Expected publication: March 9th 2021 by William Morrow (first published October 29th 2020)
Original Title
The Windsor Knot
ISBN 0063050021 (ISBN13: 9780063050020)

Book description
The first book in a highly original and delightfully clever crime series in which Queen Elizabeth II secretly solves crimes while carrying out her royal duties.

The morning after a dinner party at Windsor Castle, eighty-nine-year-old Queen Elizabeth is shocked to discover that one of her guests has been found murdered in his room, with a rope around his neck.


When the police begin to suspect her loyal servants, Her Majesty knows they are looking in the wrong place. For the Queen has been living an extraordinary double life ever since her coronation. Away from the public eye, she has a brilliant knack for solving crimes.

With her household's happiness on the line, her secret must not get out. Can the Queen and her trusted secretary Rozie catch the killer, without getting caught themselves?

The Windsor Knot is the first book in the 'Her Majesty The Queen Investigates' mystery series by SJ Bennett - for fans of The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, Agatha Christie and M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin.

Meet the author - S. J. Bennet
SJ Bennett was born in Yorkshire, England in 1966, and lives in London. An army child, she grew up travelling around the world. Her first novel was published when she was 42, after a varied career and lots of procrastination. She is the award-winning author of several books for children and teaches and podcasts about writing.

My thoughts
I tried listening to this book and I had a hard time with it.  It was not for me, I felt it was a little all over the place and did not seem to flow. 

October 27, 2020

Cold Conviction by Daryl Wood Gerber - Review


I received this book free from the author. All opinions are my own.

Book details
Paperback : 256 pages
ISBN-10 : 1950461815
ISBN-13 : 978-1950461813
Publisher : Beyond the Page Publishing (October 27, 2020)

Book description
When her parents were murdered fourteen years ago, Aspen Adams coped as best she could as a college freshman and numbly moved on when the case was never solved. Living since then with almost daily reminders of how the tragedy shaped the lives of her and her sister, she’s always known that someday she would launch an investigation of her own. And now, with her sister in crisis, she draws on all her experience as a private investigator to untangle a case that left the police baffled and her family in ruins.

Interviewing the detectives who worked the case, scouring endless pages of their notes, and even tracking down the original suspects, Aspen discovers aspects of the crime and her parents’ lives she never knew about—and ignites a menacing series of events that threaten to engulf everyone near her. Certain she’s on the trail of the killer and unwilling to be deterred, Aspen faces down her own fears about what she’ll find in her search for answers—and justice—before a killer who scarred her life can resurface to wreak havoc on her family once again . . .

Meet the author - Daryl Wood Gerber
Agatha Award–winning and nationally bestselling author Daryl Wood Gerber is the author of the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, the Fairy Garden Mysteries, the French Bistro Mysteries, the Cheese Shop Mysteries (as Avery Aames), and stand-alone suspense thrillers. Little known facts about Daryl are that she’s jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, has hitchhiked around Ireland by herself, and has appeared on an episode of Murder, She Wrote. She loves to read, cook, and golf, and has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

My thoughts
I am so glad that the author decided to take on the solving of Aspen's parent's murder.  Even though it was hard to watch one of my favorite characters struggle through this, she knew it was something she had to do.  There was something about one of the characters in this book that made me think they were the one. While I may have been a little off in thinking who actually pulled the trigger for once my gut instinct was right. I also liked that we got to see Aspen's personal life progress.  This has become one of my favorite series and I look forward to seeing what is going to happen next for Aspen and her family. 

October 9, 2020

Finding Dorothy by Elizabeht Letts - Review


Book details
Hardcover : 368 pages
ISBN-10 : 1529403448
ISBN-13 : 978-1529403442
Publisher : Quercus (April 4, 2019)

Book description
Behind the most famous movie ever made is a tale of love, magic and one incredible woman

Hollywood, 1938: As soon as she learns that M-G-M is adapting her late husband's masterpiece, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, for the screen, Maud Gage Baum sets about trying to visit the set.
Nineteen years after Frank's passing, Maud is the only person who can help the producers stay true to the spirit of the book - because she's the only one left who knows its secrets...

But the moment she hears Judy Garland rehearsing the first notes of 'Over the Rainbow', Maud recognizes the yearning that defined her own life story, from her rebellious youth as a suffragette's daughter to her coming of age as one of the first women in the Ivy League, from her blossoming romance with Frank to the hardscrabble prairie years that inspired his famous work. With the young actress under pressure from the studio as well as her ambitious stage mother, Maud resolves to protect her - the way she tried so hard to protect the real Dorothy.

Meet the author - Elizabeth Letts
If you want to know why I’m a writer, you’d have to thank Mrs. Barclay, the children’s librarian in the Malaga Cove Library in Palos Verdes, California, and my mother. who has read more books than anyone else I know, and who carted me to the library from the time I could barely walk. From the day I sounded out my first board book (Ann Likes Red), read my first poem (Block City, by Robert Louis Stevenson) and was swept up in my first long chapter book, (Little House in the Big Woods) I’ve been a passionate reader and fascinated by the lives and personalities of my favorite authors. But I was a late bloomer. I spent my twenties and thirties working as a nurse-midwife and raising four children. When I turned forty, I decided that I didn’t want to be one of those people who thought she had a book in her but never gave it a try, and I sat down to write my first novel. Now, writing is my full-time pursuit. My passions are horses and all animals, my children, singing in a choir, and long road trips through the backroads of America. I care deeply about issues that affect women and children, and especially those who are fleeing danger. But my favorite hobby is still the one that Mrs. Barclay and my mom got me started on-- reading.

www.elizabethletts.com
Twitter: @elizabethletts
Facebook: www.facebook.com/eightydollarchampion
instagram elizabethletts

My thoughts
When I first heard about this book I knew I would have to read it as I am a huge fan of The Wizard of Oz and always have been. This book was easy to read and enjoyable. I like that the story went between when the movie was being filmed and Maud’s life. I had some questions while reading the book about what was based on fact and what was what the author added, but the author answered those questions in the afterward that was included. So, I highly recommend reading that as well. I found Maud’s like to be tough in some aspects and nice in others. I did not know that her mom had such a part in women’s history. To be honest I knew nothing of Maud until reading this book. I am going to now look into reading one or more of the biographies that Elizabeth mentions in the afterward as I want to know more about Frank and Maud. I also liked how the author had Maud wanting to make sure the movie did justice to the story that Frank wrote and looked out for Judy. I did not realize how much of the story of the Wizard of Oz has snippets of Frank and Maud’s life. I highly recommend this book

September 24, 2020

One Charmed Christmas by Sheila Roberts - Review

I received this book free from the author. All opinions are my own.

Book details
Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 077836092X
ISBN-13 : 978-0778360926
Publisher : MIRA; Original Edition (September 29, 2020)

Book description
An enchanting new Christmas novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts, brimming with hope, love and humor.

Catherine Pine is hoping her Christmas is a bit more jolly than last year’s. That one was her first without her husband, and with her kids and their families absent this year, she’s worried. But things change when her good friend invites her on a Christmas cruise to lift her spirits. Suddenly every day is an adventure and she’s making a bunch of new friends, including the lovable Sophie Miles.

It’s like a gift from Santa when Sophie and Catherine meet the charming Dr. Rudy Nichols, a perfect match for hypochondriac Sophie. But he comes with a two-legged lump of coal, his guard-dog daughter. And then there’s chocolatier Trevor March, who’s also interested in the scrumptious Sophie. Can he convince her that chocolate is the perfect cure for what ails her? Who knows what Santa has in store for these holiday travelers? Anything could happen this charmed Christmas!

Meet the author - Sheila Roberts
Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her novels have been published in several languages. Her book, Angel Lane, was an Amazon Top Ten Romance pick for 2009. Her holiday perennial, On Strike for Christmas, was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network and her novel, The Nine Lives of Christmas, was made into a movie for Hallmark . You can visit Sheila on Twitter and Facebook or at her website (http://www.sheilasplace.com).

My thoughts

September 2, 2020

Matchmaking Can Be Murder by Amanda Flower - Review


Book details
ISBN-10 : 1496724011
ISBN-13 : 978-1496724014
Mass Market Paperback : 336 pages
Publisher : Kensington (December 31, 2019)

Book description
When widowed Millie Fisher moves back to her childhood home of Harvest, Ohio, she notices one thing right away—the young Amish are bungling their courtships and marrying the wrong people! A quiltmaker by trade, Millie has nevertheless stitched together a few lives in her time, with truly romantic results. Her first mission? Her own niece, widowed gardener Edith Hochstetler, recently engaged to rude, greedy Zeke Miller. Anyone can see he’s not right for such a gentle young woman—except Edith herself.

Pleased when she convinces the bride-to-be to leave her betrothed before the wedding, Millie is later panicked to find Zeke in Edith’s greenhouse—as dead as a tulip in the middle of winter. To keep her niece out of prison—and to protect her own reputation—Millie will have to piece together a patchwork of clues to find a killer, before she becomes the next name on his list . . .

Meet the author - Amanda Flower
USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning mystery author Amanda Flower started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as USA Today bestselling author Isabella Alan. Amanda is a former librarian and lives in Northeast Ohio. Readers can visit her online at www.amandaflower.com.

My thoughts
This is the first book in Amanda's new series which is a spin off from the Amish Candy Shoppe series.  I like Millie and how she kind of does things her way.  If she feels she needs to look into something she is going to.  Her goats are a hoot as well. I love how they like to greet people and are kind of security for Millie.  I felt bad for Edith and all she want through and hope her future starts to get better.  Then you have Lois, I am not sure what to think of her yet. In real like I am not sure I would like her as she is just too outgoing for me, but she fits in this series and is a good friend to Millie.  I love how both Millie and Lois can stand up to the bishop's wife as she can be a tough one.  I also love Edith's kids especially Michah (I think that was his name), I loved how he questioned things. Towards the end I thought I had the killer figured out then I was not sure when an arrest was made, but I guess I was right.  I think this series has the potential to be just as good as the candy shoppe series. I am looking forward to the next one in December. 

Marshmallow Malice by Amanda Flower - Review


Book details
Mass Market Paperback : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496722035
ISBN-13 : 978-1496722034
Publisher : Kensington (May 26, 2020)

Book description
With Juliet Brody and Reverend Brook tying the knot in Ohio’s Amish Country’s most anticipated nuptials of the year, Bailey King is determined to do everything in her power to make the event a sweet success. Except midsummer heat waves and outdoor ceremonies don’t mix, and an exasperated Bailey soon finds herself struggling to fulfill bridesmaid duties and keep her stunning marshmallow-frosted wedding cake from becoming a gooey disaster. Then much to everyone’s shock, the entire ceremony crumbles when a guest drops dead, and the cause isn’t sunstroke . . .

Turns out, the uninvited victim came equipped with lots of dirt on the devout reverend’s hidden past. As Reverend Brook tops the murder suspect list on what should have been the happiest day of his life, Bailey and her sheriff’s deputy boyfriend vow to clear his name. Can the duo boil down a series of baffling clues before Juliet considers her marriage a bad mistake—or the killer whips up another deadly surprise?

Meet the author - Amanda Flower
USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning mystery author Amanda Flower started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as USA Today bestselling author Isabella Alan. Amanda is a former librarian and lives in Northeast Ohio. Readers can visit her online at www.amandaflower.com.

My thoughts
I am now caught up with this series and am sad I have to wait for the next one.  This has quickly become one of my favorite series to read.  I love the small town feel and how you feel a part of the community as you are reading it.  I thought it was cute that Juliet and Reverend Brook are now married. They had quite the hiccup at the start but I think things will be good.  I am anxious to see what happens with Charolette in the upcoming books and what she decides to do.  Trying to solve the mystery before Bailey is always fun especially with the twists Amanda puts in there. A fun series.