Two hundred is how many books I would like to read and review in 2018. My goal this year was 120 and I surpassed that by reading a total of 199. Could I possible slip one more book in this year with two days to go? Yes, but I am going to spend the time making my game plan for 2018.
Reading has always been a passion for me. Reading has allowed me to travel to places and meet people I never would in real life. Reading has given me the quietness I need after a hard day at work or when things in life had turned upside down. I have been able to meet new friends through the love of a same book. Reading is the vehicle I need to navigate life.
I want to take this time to thank each and every one of my followers and visitors to my little book blog. Your encouragement and likes make it easier to share my thoughts on each book I read.
In 2018 expect to see reviews on children’s books I read to my classes, older books from authors that I have been reading for years and the newest books coming out. I admit I can get stuck on my two favorite genres of cozy mysteries and Amish fiction but I promise I do branch out from those very often.
I wish everyone a Happy and Safe New Year and cannot wait to connect in the new year. Happy reading!
Publisher: Pocket Books (Simon and Schuster)
Published: July 20, 2010
Smash Cut opens with the murder of Paul Wheeler, an Atlanta, Georgia millionaire. Julie, Paul’s mistress, is standing with him in the elevator when he is brutally murdered and dies in her arms. As the police investigate they start pointing fingers at Julie saying she set up the murder to get her hands on his money. Julie points fingers at Creighton, Paul’s nephew and spoiled little rich boy. Creighton’s parents hire defense attorney, Derek Mitchell, to represent Creighton but unbeknownst to them there is a conflict of interest as Derek knows Julie. Can Derek solve Paul’s murder before becoming a victim himself?
I have been on a Sandra Brown reading spree the past few weeks and this is the best so far. At times very violent and disturbing but unfortunately there are people in this world like the murderer. Several times I had to put the book down and take a breather. This book is not for the faint of heart or if you do not like reading violent scenes. Some sexual content throughout the book.
I warn against starting the book before bed as you may find yourself still reading when your wake up alarm sounds.
Published: December 26, 2017
In the eighth installment of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill we join the lovable grandparents of Anna and Felty as they once again take to finding love for one of their grandkids. Their granddaughter Elsie has traveled to Bonduel, Wisconsin to teach and Anna has decided to find Elsie’s one true love. A typical Amish teacher is soft-spoken, mild mannered and obedient to the Ordung. Elsie is a little different in that she has no trouble speaking her mind, especially when it involves one of her beloved students. Such outspokenness has gotten her in trouble in the past. When Elsie decides to push the limits of one of her students, Wally, she riles up the Wally’s older brother, Sam. As Elsie and Sam dance around each other over Wally, Anna is trying to get them together unbeknownst to each of them. The trouble is Sam has attracted his next door neighbor, Rose and Rose has become a thorn in his side. She has decided that Sam is the one for her and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Can Sam shake Rose to fall in love with Elsie or will Rose succeed in her life plan to become Sam’s bride?
This is my favorite book of the series and that says a lot as all the books are a pleasure to read. Jennifer Beckstrand writes her books with love and it shines through in her characters. Anna and Felty are the grandparents I think everyone wants. Feisty and spunky and oh so unlovable. I know when I pick up a Huckleberry Hill novel that I am for a treat and will turn the last page filled with happiness.
Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington for a copy to read in exchange for a review based on my own thoughts and opinions.
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Published: March 6, 2018
A perfect ending to a great series.
In book 3 of The Amish Bishop Mystery series, a young Amish boy is murdered during the rodeo. Bishop Henry is attending the rodeo with his fiancé and family and was outside the grandstands when the murder occurred so he did not see it take place. As he works with Sheriff Grayson he learns the deceased and many of the Amish youth were involved in betting. A huge no-no for the Amish. Will Henry still be able to use his drawing talent to help solve the crime? Can the murder be solved before more murders occur? Jon Henry and his community in this final installment to find out.
Each book in the series can be read as a stand alone but you get the maximum effect if you read in order.
Book One: What the Bishop Saw
Book Two: When the Bishop Needs an Alibi
Book Three: Who the Bishop Knows
Each book will keep you awake past your bedtime. You will be saying “just one more chapter” repeatedly. I cannot pick a favorite.
In Who the Bishop Knows you will get answers to many questions and many romances are finalized. I will miss my time with Lexi, Bishop Henry’s dog and Katie Ann. I am longing to visit the Monte Vista community.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harvest House Publishers for an advanced copy to read and review based on my own thoughts and opinions.
Publisher: Kensington/Lyrical Underground
Published: December 19, 2017
The second book in A Stitch in Time Mystery series is as great as the first. The main character, Daria, is still trying to get her sewing business that focuses on historical clothing off the ground. She has agreed to sew dresses and curtains for the owners of Compton Hall so they can appear in the TV show My House in History. As Daria goes to get the drawings of curtains from the resident professor she finds him bludgeoned to death. Once again Daria is unable to stay out of the investigation. Can Daria solve the murder before another one happens?
The sisters of Compton Hall are a trip. You have Ruth, who is a very unhappy person with just clause. Her oldest son disappeared many years ago and is feared dead, her husband died a fire that destroyed their home and she was acquitted of his murder. Her younger sister, Priscilla, who sees the happy and good in everyone. She lives her life pretty simple. They are as opposite of one another as you can get.
I cannot put my finger on why this series grips me so but it does. It may be her determination to pick up the pieces from a broken engagement and move on with her life. It takes a strong woman to rent a room to a stranger that is the lead singer of the Twisted Armpits. She takes in her brother who got off onto the path of drugs and destruction and helps him find his way again with unconditional love.
There is more romance in the second book of the series. You have Daria and McCarthy, the local newspaper photographer, who are trying to figure out what they are to each other. We also get more of the backstory between Daria and Randall, the ex-fiancé.
Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review based on my own words.
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Published: December 12, 2017
Amy has moved to Taylorsford, Virginia to be the head librarian and help her aunt who recently suffered a bad fall. By moving, it allows her time to heal from a disastrous relationship and not worry about love for a bit, or so she thinks. Her aunt’s next door neighbor, Richard, has enlisted the help of Amy, as a neighbor and the town librarian to help him uncover the truth of his family’s past. While beginning their search they discover a local resident dead in the library archives. Now Amy has found herself spending even more with Richard to solve the murder. Will sparks fly between Richard and Amy or will the murders stop it before it begins?
Book one in the Blue Ridge Library Mysteries feels more than a cozy mystery. The story has a lot of what I like to call “meat”. You can sink your teeth into this story and read for chunks of time. You have a several side mysteries within the main mystery which all are very intriguing. The characters are well rounded and full of life.
Amy is a real girl in she is a little overweight and has insecurities about it. She feels like her failed relationship is her fault and fights with that quite frequently. She is slowly gaining self-confidence back with the help of her loving Aunt Lydia.
I am curious to see how this series progresses. I am always up for series that involve libraries, bookstores, books, etc.
Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for an ARC in exchange for a review based on my own honest opinion.
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Published: November 7, 2017
The Sound of Rain is thought-provoking and comforting all at the same time. Judd Markley finds himself in South Carolina after recovering from a mining accident that took Joe, his baby brother’s, life. Joe always wanted to move to SC and Judd is trying to live the life Joe wanted. Judd starts working at the local timber company and starts spending time with the owner’s daughter, Larkin. Larkin has a mind of her own which she is just starting to show to those around her. Her dream is to move to Appalachia and help those in need. She sees the ticket to Appalachia through Joe not realizing he does not want to go back. Through many ups and downs including Hurricane Hazel Judd and Larkin find themselves falling for one another. Is Judd just a pawn for Larkin’s father and Larkin herself or can love overcome the economic difference in their lives?
I took my time reading this book as it made me think. I thought about the time period (1950s) it took place and wondered how I would have chosen to live my life. Would I have wanted to be unselfish and volunteer my time helping others or would I have lived in the moment and had fun hanging out with friends dancing and finding the right husband? Maybe having been into money the choice was easy for Larkin?
I admired Judd in basically starting a new life with barely a duffel bag full of clothing in a city and state he had never been too and working at a job that he had no experience working. I would have been terrified.
Judd talks about how he was not real religious but he knew God was there for him always. Even though he was not a church-going man he never lost his faith in God when things got trying. I found that refreshing in that a character could have faith without it being thrown at the reader every other page.
Whether you are a Christian fiction reader or not I suggest you grab a copy of this book. Sarah Loudin Thomas has outdone herself with her newest novel. This novel was clean with no sex, foul language or violence. It would make a great Christmas gift for the older teenage girl, grandma or best friend in your life.
Thank you to the author and Bethany House Publishers for a copy to read in exchange for my honest review in my own words.
, Published: November