Thursday, December 28, 2017

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): Hope Travels Through




About the Book

Name of book: Hope Travels Through  
Author: Loni Kemper Moore
Genre: Contemporary Lit

TeJae Smythe gave up on God and her hometown of Evansville, Indiana, ten years ago, but a deep personal loss requires her to return to both. Her life as a stewardess is going to be perfect. She has a plan. If only life would stick to it. 

In Hope Travels Through, TeJae finds the biggest challenge comes from the conflict within herself. Will she hold it all together? Or will she fall apart and embrace the beauty in the midst of disaster? 

Based on actual events of December 13, 1977, a date most people don’t remember, but one many living in the Ohio River Valley will never forget, the crash of the University of Evansville men’s basketball team plane.

Click here to purchase your copy.



My Thoughts

Loni Kemper Moore’s debut novel, Hope Travels Through, takes place during the year leading up to a plane crash that captured the emotions of our nation. I remember well when the chartered flight carrying the University of Evansville men’s basketball team crashed on takeoff, killing all on board. I’m not a sports fan, but this was a tragedy that everyone could relate to, and its impact is still felt today.


Weeping Basketball Memorial
University of Evansville

Hope Travels Through is an unusual book, different from what I typically read, and I enjoyed it overall. One strength is the culture of the late 1970s era, which Moore vividly conveyed. There was so much that struck a chord with me and brought back memories – airports where you could walk to the gate to meet or see someone off, the popular soft drink TaB, Elvis Presley concerts, basketball player Larry Bird, the Vietnam years with all its fallout, etc.

Flight attendant TeJae and Army Reserves Chaplain Mikel were easy to connect with as main characters. Both were realistically flawed and experienced the type of growth I like to see. I especially enjoyed Mikel’s spiritual mentoring of the young basketball player, Daniel.

The writing isn’t as tight as it could have been and the pacing is a little slow at times, but the historical relevance and theme make it well worth the read. There were some neat little twists that made me smile. The story is not only a tribute to the Evansville basketball team, but a look at loss and how we react to it. One theme that I took to heart is the reminder to always cherish family and friends – and express those feelings of appreciation – so that if they were unexpectedly taken with no opportunity to say goodbye, we would have peace.


Avoiding pain doesn’t mean I’ll never be hurt, but
somehow love is worth the pain.”
- TeJae

From beginning through uplifting conclusion, Hope Travels Through conveys a message of hope, caring and forgiving – a hope that flows steadily through grief that only God can heal.

This is a first novel for Loni Kemper Moore and I hope she continues to write and develop her skills, for I believe she has much to offer readers.

I was provided a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


About the Author

Loni Kemper Moore is a Denver-Broncos cheering, Diet-Pepsi sipping, Rocky Mountain adventure-seeking kind of girl. She’s passionate for God and wants to share His beautiful love through life’s ugliness with remarkable women around the globe. 

Her writing came alive seven years ago after she broke her ankle. The crazy time of being laid up forced her to flip through decades of diaries, which inspired the story that became Hope Travels Through. 

When she’s not writing, she’s an entertainer, technical support analyst; mom of a teenager named Adam; traveler with Robert, her dear “Hugsband,” stepmom to University of Evansville alumna Becca and her husband, Anthony; and spender of way too much time on Facebook. 

With her experiences of learning to trust God through tragedy, being employed by travel agencies and Delta Air Lines, and attending University of Evansville graduate school, she’s the best person to tell this story.


Guest Post from Loni Moore

What Made Me Write Hope Travels Through?

The weathered orthopedic surgeon shook his head and stared at the x-rays. Without making eye-contact, he said, “I usually work on Olympians and professional athletes. This doesn’t look good. She’s going to have arthritis and limp for the rest of her life.” 

I hadn’t had anything stronger than Tylenol since the entire weight of my 128 (at the time) pounds crunched my left ankle, 24 hours earlier. 

Robert, aka Dear Hugsband, had told me, so very graciously, when we arrived at Skate City, “Once you’re over 50, you shouldn’t roller skate.” But our son, Adam was 10 and I wondered how many more years he’d want me to hang out with him, so I’d strapped on the skates and joined the crowd of skaters. I avoided landing on the body of the five-year old who cut me off. Didn’t that count for something? 

However, none of that mattered at that moment. I needed drugs, and Robert agreed to whatever that surgeon said to get my prescriptions. 

One afternoon, my stomach growled on a gurney as I waited in the surgery center with IVs in my hands until a perky nurse announced, “The doctor will need to reschedule because something came up.” 

REALLY? After waiting 10 days, he no-shows? 

I’ve never loved Robert’s New York attitude more than the next day when by 7 pm that evening I was at Red Robin, post-surgery, eating a celebratory French Onion soup. Thanks to a nerve blocker the new, cute surgeon had provided after rebreaking bones and inserting pins. 

Adam was able to complete his homeschool work with little interference from my drug infested brain and I occupied my time by flipping through decades of accumulated diaries. The story of a woman surviving tough times percolated in my brain and I remembered my mother saying, “Everyone has a Great American Novel in her. You just need to take time to write it.” 

As my leg healed leaving no arthritis nor limp, I returned to the million things life demands, including a visit to our Becca at the University of Evansville, where I’d done my graduate work. As she showed us the Weeping Basketball, my protagonist informed me the story began in 1976, not 2011. The story climaxed when the university’s men’s basketball team plane crashed, but I was too busy to spend much time on it. 

Three days before Christmas that year, my younger sister passed away from Lyme complications, I could barely breathe. I’ve seen it a dozen times someone’s busy life prevents her from taking care of herself until something stops them in their tracks and they cannot move on. That happened to me. 

At the time, Dear Hugsband programmed Coca-Cola’s Freestyle machine (you’re welcome), so Adam and I joined him in Atlanta for several months. During that time without the cooking-cleaning-requirements and Adam insisting he preferred independence of his homeschool curriculum with minimal input from me, I processed my grief by putting the story that became Hope Travels Through on my computer. 

“In a weak moment, I have written a book.” Margaret Mitchell – Gone With The Wind 

Dear Hugsband loved his project with Coca-Cola and enjoyed everything about working in Atlanta except the humidity, the traffic and the commute. Typically, he worked in Georgia every other week, and was home every weekend. 

But occasionally, he’d be forced to stay in Atlanta over the weekend and tried to find something to entertain himself. One weekend, after seeing every movie running, he decided to go to the Margaret Mitchell House Museum where one of my favorite books, Gone With The Wind, was written. 

He bought me a mug with the above quote on it which he said was to encourage me in my writing, along with several commonalities between myself and the famous author.
  1. She was short—I am 5 feet tall, if I stretch;
  2. Her husband was over 6 feet tall—mine is 6’3 1/2”;
  3. She started writing her novel, after an ankle injury– I started writing after a similar injury;
  4. She used a typewriter—I use a computer;
  5. Her mother gave her the quotes she used about how to survive in an upside-down world – my mom had a Bible verse for every occasion. I think her favorite was Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind, Loni to whomever…”;
  6. It took Margaret ten years to complete her novel – I’m not far behind, at nearly eight years.
Obviously, I don’t have one commonality with Margaret, in that she died at the age of 48 in a traffic accident, but his conclusions are precious. 

I’m well aware the odds of my little novel being successful, without the industry connections Margaret had, are low, but it’s been a fun journey even if no one buys a copy!


Blog Stops

Jami’s Words, December 17
Quiet Quilter, December 18
Texas Book-aholic, December 19
Radiant Light, December 20
Carpe Diem, December 21
A Reader’s Brain, December 22
A Greater Yes, December 23
Blogging With Carol, December 23
SusanLovesBooks, December 25
Remembrancy, December 26
Mary Hake, December 26
Janices book review, December 27
The Power of Words, December 28
Just Jo’Anne, December 29


Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Loni is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon Card!!

Click on the image above or the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Review: Imperfect Justice


Imperfect Justice
By Cara Putman
Hidden Justice #2
Thomas Nelson, 2017


Summary

The police say the woman was a murderer. Emilie Wesley knows they can’t be talking about her client . . . can they?

To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. Her death shakes Emilie’s belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.

Reid Billings thought he knew his sister—right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene’s letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.

Thrown together in a race to save Kaylene’s surviving daughter, Emily and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl—and find a future for themselves in the process?

Learn more and purchase a copy.


My thoughts

Imperfect Justice is not the type of book that you pick up with the intention of just reading a few pages before going to bed because it won’t happen – either stopping at only a few pages or going to sleep. It’s that good.

I have a love/hate relationship with suspense novels because I don’t care to be scared, yet I do enjoy a story that captures me from the first sentence and holds me in its grasp until the last page is turned. Imperfect Justice uses Emilie’s stalker to create tension, but it is the legal drama that captivated me most. The hot-topic issue of domestic abuse is its central focus, and the author does an incredible job of making us care about Kaylene, a woman we only come to know through the investigation after her death.

Domestic abuse is always a difficult topic to read about, but the romance between Emilie and Reid creates some lighter moments and they make a great pairing when drawn together through Kaylene. I’ve read enough to know how hard it is for the abused person to actually leave the relationship, but my heart still can’t comprehend how this could be so – and that is something the author does a good job conveying.

The legal aspect of this novel is outstanding, with Putman obviously drawing from her law experience.  Legal, suspense, and romance elements blend together well, with no one theme being overpowering. There’s also a world of reality in the title, Imperfect Justice. Well named!

Imperfect Justice is a well-written, highly entertaining story all around, and I look forward to much more from Cara Putman.

Recommended.

I was provided a copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

http://litfusegroup.com/author/CPutman

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Cara Putman is the author of more than 25 legal thrillers, historical romances, and romantic suspense novels. She has won or been a finalist for honors including the ACFW Book of the Year and the Christian Retailing's BEST Award.

Cara graduated high school at 16, college at 20, completed her law degree at 27, and recently received her MBA. She is a practicing attorney, teaches undergraduate and graduate law courses at a Big Ten business school, and is a homeschooling mom of four. She lives with her husband and children in Indiana.

Find out more about Cara at http://caraputman.com.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Review: Seeds of Hope


Seeds of Hope
By Barbara Cameron
Harvest of Hope #1
Gilead Publishing, 2017


Summary

A heartwarming tale of discovering love right in front of you

Miriam Troyer has had a secret crush on Mark Byler since she was a teenager, but she knows they can never have a relationship: Mark is a big-city attorney and an Englischer. Her Amish community is too far removed from all he knows-and she loves her quiet way of life.

Mark has always loved his visits to his grandfather's farm, but he's convinced the Amish life isn't for him. There's so much of the world to see and experience, and the excitement of his successful law practice can't be matched by the slow pace of life found back home in the country.

But when things go wrong and his firm distances itself from him to try to save themselves, Mark finds himself back at his grandfather's farm. Could life in this simple world be worth living after all? Especially when the teenager he remembers has grown into a woman that could be his future. Suddenly, these two people whose lives seem so far apart may get a chance to really see each other for the first time.

Learn more and purchase a copy.


My thoughts

Barbara Cameron is a consistent writer, always delivering on appealing characters, realistic conflict, an emotional tug at the heart, and spiritual gems to reflect upon. Miriam and Mark’s story in Seeds of Hope is a great beginning to the new Harvest of Hope series.

Relational tension is taken to a high level in this story of no way can this end happily romance. Mark – with his defense law practice, high society (and high maintenance) fiancĂ©, and BMW – is entrenched in the English lifestyle. Miriam, who cares deeply for him, is committed to her faith and family. Amish fiction fans know that is extremely rare for someone to join the Amish faith, and even harder to remain there … but Mark is no stranger to the Amish. What makes this scenario plausible is that his father left the Amish faith, but allowed the adolescent Mark to spend his summers with his grandfather, who he dearly loved.

I loved how we see the contrast in both worlds, reflected in the romantic tension and also Mark’s faith that asked questions while seeking. Their struggles felt so very real, and the story made me even more aware of how, as Christians, we’re supposed to be in the world, but not of the world. John, Mark’s wise granddad, was a favorite of mine. He may have read the Gospel of John a lot because of sharing the same name, but that’s an excellent book to read over and over again.

There’s one spiritual nugget expressed close to the end that really jumped off the page and into my thoughts, and that’s Mark’s realization that he had been “so busy making a living that he hadn’t made a life.” Words of wisdom for all of us.

I thoroughly enjoyed Seeds of Hope and look forward to more stories to come.

Recommended.

I was provided a copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

http://litfusegroup.com/author/BCameron

_________________________


Barbara Cameron has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple joys of the Amish. She is the best-selling author of more than 40 fiction and nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Her books have been nominated for Carol Awards and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award from RWA's Faith, Hope, and Love chapter.

Barbara resides in Jacksonville, Florida.

Find out more about Barbara at http://barbaracameron.com.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Review: Not a Creature Was Purring


Not a Creature Was Purring
By Krista Davis
A Paws & Claws Mystery #5
Berkley Prime Crime, 2017


Summary

Inn owner Holly Miller finds it ruff staying cheerful over the holidays when the dead body of a beloved businessman turns up in the pet-friendly town of Wagtail, Virginia.

Inspired by her German heritage, Holly's grandmother has arranged for Wagtail to have a Christkindl Market packed with goodies and decorations for the howliday tourists. But Holly's mood takes an unseasonable turn when she learns that her old flame and childhood friend Holmes Richardson has brought his fiancee home--and she'll be staying at the Sugar Maple Inn...

A love triangle becomes the last thing on Holly's mind when her Jack Russell Trixie's nose for trouble leads her to the corpse of a pet clothing tycoon. Now Holly and her dedicated detectives--Trixie and Twinkletoes the cat--must sniff out the killer to keep Christmas from going to the dogs...

Delicious recipes for owners and pets included!


My thoughts

Not a Creature Was Purring is every bit as precious as the cover indicates. From smooth writing, to appealing series characters (including pets), to the town of Wagtail itself, this story is all that a cozy mystery should be and Krista Davis is fast becoming a go-to author for me. It's also a clean read, something I very much appreciate.

Christmas is simply magical in Wagtail, Virginia – just like in a Hallmark movie – and the setting is beautifully conveyed. Christmas lights, the Christkindl Market, the Sugar Maple Inn run by Holly and her grandmother … If I could visit this town, I’d probably never leave.

I knew I was in for a great read when the story opens with Holly and some other “elves” leaving anonymous gifts for a family in need. This story has heart, reflecting in caring about and helping others, and that makes it special. On the way home, they encounter an inflatable “Grinch” set out by a Grinch-like character, and the story takes off from there. I regret not yet having read the previous books because I’m drawn to the series regulars and eager to learn more about them.

And then there’s the guests at the inn, the dysfunctional Thackleberry family. There’s a lot of them and relationships can get a little confusing, but a character list at the beginning really helps. Let’s just say that they add a lot of color. The murder doesn’t take place until about a third of the way in, which set the stage well and greatly helped in getting to know the characters. Suspects and motives abound, and I just enjoyed going along for the ride. There’s also a gentle humor throughout and a little romance in the background, striking the right balance.

Not a Creature Was Purring is delightful in every way. Highly recommended.

I was provided a copy of this book from the author and Cozy Mystery Review Crew. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

_________________________


Krista Davis lives and writes in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She lived in Northern Virginia for many years and resided for a time in Old Town Alexandria where her Domestic Diva Mysteries take place.

Krista also writes the Paws and Claws Mysteries, which debuted with MURDER, SHE BARKED. They are set in a resort town that caters to people who want to vacation with their dogs and cats. Alas, charming Wagtail Mountain, Virginia, where dogs and cats are welcome everywhere is fictional.

She likes to cook and bake (okay, what she really likes is eating) so it was only natural for her to include recipes in her mysteries.

Her three dogs and two cats have inspired the animal characters in her books.


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Spotlight + GIVEAWAY: Cindy Vincent and "The Case of the Crafty Christmas Crooks"


       Readers, I want to introduce you to Cindy Vincent – a talented author, woman of faith, and dear friend. Cindy, who loves both cats and mysteries as much as I do, writes the inspirational Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective series.
       I first met Cindy almost four years ago when reviewing her sweet devotional, Cats Are Part of His Kingdom, Too (please click on title to see my review), a thoughtful collection of meditations that will touch any cat lover. Not long after that, I discovered her delightful Buckley & Bogey mysteries, one of my all-time favorite series. What I love about these stories is that they are fun and entertaining on one level, but they also subtly teach Christian values – like respect, teamwork, gratefulness, reaching out to people with disabilities, etc. They’re great for young readers and for the young at heart of all ages.
       I’m excited about this series, as you can surely tell – because of the enjoyment factor, but also because of all the Christian lifestyle teaching opportunities. If you haven’t already discovered Buckley and Bogey, I hope you’ll try one of these stories soon.

Here’s my review of two books from the Buckley and Bogey series:
The Case of the Jewel Covered Cat Statues
The Case of the Clever Secret Code

I’ve asked Cindy to tell us about Buckley and Bogey’s Christmas story, The Case of the Crafty Christmas Crooks. This would make a great gift for young readers or as a read-aloud family story. Now enjoy as Cindy shares about Buckley and Bogey’s Christmas story …


Q: Cindy, please tell us a little about The Case of the Crafty Christmas Crooks.

First, thank you so much, Carole, for hosting me here today!  It’s always a pleasure to be part of “The Power of Words!”


       The Case of the Crafty Christmas Crooks is the second book in my Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Capers series.  In this book, Buckley, a two-year-old Maine Coon Cat, is spending his first Christmas with his new forever family, after being adopted from the local cat shelter.  Being a naturally nervous guy, Buckley is a little scared when he first sees the Christmas tree going up in his home.  But Bogey, his older brother, takes him under his paw, hands him a couple of cat treats to calm him down, and starts to explain about Christmas.
       Minutes later, Officer Phoebe Smiley of the St. Gertrude Police Department arrives to let everyone know about a recent break-in in the neighborhood. Days later, another robbery takes place just a few houses away, and before long, the Christmas Crooks have hit homes all over town.  And since Buckley and Bogey are worried their own home and family may fall victim to these brazen burglars, the boys set out to solve the case and uncover the identity of the crooks.  Their investigation leads them all over St. Gertrude, including their mom's antique store and a local Christmas craft fair, where they meet some interesting and sometimes scary suspects — both human and feline.  Along the way, Buckley continues his quest to understand Christmas, and the boys engage all the cats in the house to help protect their family.  Their action plan is put to the test one dark night when someone starts pounding on their door . . .


Q: What was the inspiration for The Case of the Crafty Christmas Crooks?

       As you know, my own cats, Buckley and Bogey, are the inspiration behind this series. We had adopted Bogey first, and as a kitten living in a house with three much older female cats, he was pretty bored. Naturally, he wanted to play 24/7, but the older girls had no intention of playing, and we soon realized that Bogey needed a brother.  So we adopted Buckley, too, after seeing him at a Petco adoption center.  Within five minutes of meeting, the two boys became best friends and have been inseparable ever since.  And because they seemed to explore our house together every night, we joked about them "running surveillance" to make sure the place was secure.  That's when the idea hit me — Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Capers.
       But the idea of writing a Christmas book came to me after Buckley's first Christmas with us.  He was both fascinated and nervous as the tree and decorations came out of storage and went up around the house.  Bogey, who'd already been through one Christmas, seemed to take the lead and show Buckley around the trees and decorations.  It was as though he was explaining it all to his little brother and telling him not to be afraid, that Christmas was "the best."  I knew right then that I had to write a Christmas book as one of their mysteries.


Q: What are your favorite scenes in this book?

       Ha! This is a hard question to answer, since, of all the books I’ve written, Buckley and Bogey’s Christmas adventure is very near and dear to my heart. But even so, two scenes stand out to me. The first is the night when Buckley accidentally gets locked out of the house, and he cuddles up next to Baby Jesus in the Nativity scene in the front yard.  He looks up at the night sky, and tries to find the brightest star, thinking of the star that led people to where Jesus was born.
       And my second favorite scene has to do with the ending of the book.  I can’t say more, so that I don’t spoil it for anyone, but there was a part where I found myself shedding a few happy tears as I wrote the words.


Q: Is there a single character that really touched your heart and why?

The Buckley character is probably the most special to me, since he is so anxious and fearful about every new thing he encounters.  Yet he somehow manages to swallow that fear and go on to do brave and daring things.  He even ends up saving others, despite his own anxieties.  That to me is the mark of a true hero.  It's easy to be brave when you're not afraid, but much more of a stretch when you are terrified.


Q: How has this story touched your life?

       I'm always a little surprised whenever I finish writing a book.  I look back and think, now where did that come from?  I especially like the "feel good" ending on this book, which takes place right on Christmas Eve.  Not only did I have the chance to write about the true meaning and spirit of Christmas, but I got to feel it the whole time I was typing away.  And since Christmas is my favorite time of the year, this book holds a special place in my heart.  As the story talks about the joy of giving rather than receiving, I feel like this book is my Christmas present to my readers.  Though in all honesty, I’m the one who has been blessed, as writing and publishing this book has brought so many wonderful people across my path, and I am always thankful for that!
       And I’m very thankful that I met you, too, Carole, during one of our blog tours. You are such a blessing to so many!  Thank you again for hosting us.  Buckley and Bogey send hugs your way.  Here’s wishing you a very merry and blessed Christmas, and all the best in 2018!

Cindy, it has been an honor to have you visit, and your most gracious giveaway is greatly appreciated. I hope you’ll be back very soon.


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GIVEAWAY




Three winners will be awarded a copy of The Case of the Crafty Christmas Crooks plus Cindy’s new Christmas novella, Yes, Carol … It’s Christmas! To enter, please do the following:

1) Click on this link and share my Facebook post, then leave a comment here letting me know you shared;
2) Briefly tell about your favorite Christmas tradition.

BE SURE to leave your name and your email address in a safe format - [at] and [dot] - for the drawing. E-mail required for entry. Contest ends at midnight PST on Wednesday, January 3. Each winner will be contacted by e-mail.

Eligibility: US residents

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): A Murder for the Books




A Murder for the Books
By Victoria Gilbert
A Blue Ridge Library Mystery #1
Crooked Lane, 2017


Summary

Fleeing a disastrous love affair, university librarian Amy Webber moves in with her aunt in a quiet, historic mountain town in Virginia. She quickly busies herself with managing a charming public library that requires all her attention with its severe lack of funds and overabundance of eccentric patrons. The last thing she needs is a new, available neighbor whose charm lures her into trouble.

Dancer-turned-teacher and choreographer Richard Muir inherited the farmhouse next door from his great-uncle, Paul Dassin. But town folklore claims the house’s original owner was poisoned by his wife, who was an outsider. It quickly became water under the bridge, until she vanished after her sensational 1925 murder trial. Determined to clear the name of the woman his great-uncle loved, Richard implores Amy to help him investigate the case. Amy is skeptical until their research raises questions about the culpability of the town’s leading families… including her own.

When inexplicable murders plunge the quiet town into chaos, Amy and Richard must crack open the books to reveal a cruel conspiracy and lay a turbulent past to rest in A Murder for the Books, the first installment of Victoria Gilbert’s Blue Ridge Library mysteries.


My thoughts

A Murder for the Books by Victoria Gilbert is a well-crafted cozy mystery that begins a promising new series. It features several appealing elements … small-town setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, a head librarian as the protagonist, romance, star-crossed lovers, family history with secrets, and two murders to solve – a contemporary and a cold case. Everything worked together to make an enjoyable reading experience.

Characterization was interesting in this story … Amy’s work at the library paved the way for logical research, and Richard’s profession as dancer and choreographer was unusual and fascinating. Two secondary characters also added depth and I look forward to seeing more from them – Sunny, Amy’s assistant, whose name described her perfectly, and Amy’s Aunt Libby, who I fell in love with. The mystery theme, especially the historical one, captured my interest and the “reveal” was surprising, although plausible.

While I enjoyed A Murder for the Books and would like to read more in the series, a few things would have made this story better for me … The romance between Amy and Richard was sweet, but developed a little too quickly for my tastes; would rather have seen it grow over several books. And as enjoyable as the “actors” were, I would have preferred more character depth and less romance. Finally, although the story is clean, there’s some profanity scattered throughout that was entirely unnecessary and detracted from my enjoyment.

Overall, A Murder for the Books is a fun cozy read and I will enjoy seeing how these characters develop as the series progresses.

I was provided a copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


_________________________



Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director.

When not writing or reading, Victoria likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers, and is represented by Frances Black at Literary Council, NY, NY.

Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. This is her first Blue Ridge Library mystery.

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Purchase Links:
Amazon     B&N       Books-A-Million      Indie Bound



GIVEAWAY

As you enter the drawing, please help spread the word by clicking on this link and sharing my Facebook post, then leave a comment here letting me know that you shared. Thank you!