MrsK's K-8 Books Worth Reading

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MrsK Books's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (best-reads-for-k-8 shelf)

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

2021-2022 Christmas Seasoned Readers: Moments to Rekindle Joy-filled Strength

Christmas comfort... Holiday cheer...
Small moments of escape...
So many titles... Inspired... Collected!

The Wayside: Home of Authors
Margaret M Lothrop
MrsK's Goodreads Review Link: simply click the link to read the book review!

ISBN: 0200049045121
Publisher's Synopsis:
Celebrate the birth of the Savior with Thomas Kinkade. Come Let Us Adore Him will warm both your heart and home with selected passages from the New King James Version, accented by Kinkade's luminescent, full-color art.

A meaningful blend of Scripture, fireside stories, seasonal reflections, and the words of classic Christmas hymns, Come Let Us Adore Him provides a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Superbly printed and bound in juniper green bonded leather, this keepsake collection of Kinkade's beloved paintings makes a beautiful display piece for the coffee table or mantle.

"On the canvas of my mind, I see the picture clearly..."
MrsK's Review:
Holiday traditions, what inspires you to open the covers of a holiday book? Could it be that within the covers of the book you find comfort, renewal, and joy? Might it be that there are moments "just for you" that you could steal away and re-read a favored treasure?

With the beauty of Kinkade's painted heart-light, the season of our Lord will bring inspirations perfected for this season of celebration. Take a brief moment daily... to remember your Christmas' of love and years gone by.
"For unto us a Child is born..."
IS 9: 6-7
Meet the Author:
  Thomas Kinkade was known as the "Painter of Light." His works, although spurned by the secular art establishment, were very popular with Christians and many others.

ISBN: 9781451687576
Publisher's Synopsis:
As Christmas nears, John Baxter makes a bold gesture - he invites a stranger to share Christmas Eve dinner with his family. But not just any stranger. This woman is the recipient of his daughter Erin's heart. John knows the invitation will impact each of his adult kids and their families. But will they choose to embrace their guest? And how will the woman's presence affect his granddaughter - the one who feels the loss of her mother most keenly?

Kendra Bryant, John's surprising guest, has been given a second chance at life, but at great cost to the Baxter family. Maybe meeting them will instill some much-needed peace into her life. And maybe Christmas Eve dinner will even help heal Kendra's failing marriage.

Meanwhile, Maddie West's job at the local theater has her working alongside an amazing guy. But Maddie knows she has to keep him at a distance or risk exposing a secret she's hidden for years. In a moment of faith, she sends up a desperate prayer for help. What happens next leaves Maddie - and the entire Baxter family - shocked at God's perfect grace and timing.

"Heavy snow clouds hung low over Blooming, Indiana..."
MrsK's Review:
Whether you already know the Baxter family, or you are choosing to meet this faith-filled family for the first time, what you will discover is the yearly tradition of a family gathering this is treasured throughout the years. 

Gatherings can be heartbreaking... Gatherings can be filled with anticipation... Gatherings can bring the expectation of cherished love... and gatherings can bring together those who have graced your years with understanding. 

It's within the covers of this book that you will discover the treasure of your Christmas spirit, as well as the necessary strength for a season of hope... 

Meet the Author:

Karen Kingsbury, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist, is America’s favorite inspirational storyteller, with more than twenty-five million copies of her award-winning books in print. Her last dozen titles have topped bestseller lists and many of her novels are under development with Hallmark Films and as major motion pictures. Her Baxter Family books are being developed into a TV series slated for major network viewing sometime in the next year. Karen is also an adjunct professor of writing at Liberty University. In 2001 she and her husband, Don, adopted three boys from Haiti, doubling their family in a matter of months. Today the couple has joined the ranks of empty nesters, living in Tennessee near five of their adult children.

ISBN: 9781496720214
Publisher's Synopsis:
Addie's getting into the spirit for the upcoming Charity Auction—especially since she's got an 1843 copy of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol to donate. Her former colleagues at the Boston Public Library have confirmed that its worth runs toward the high five figures, which should help with the new pediatric wing. Her mood darkens, though, when a visitor from the past appears—Jonathan Hemingway, the father of her late fiancé. His presence stirs up sad memories for Addie, but also has her fuming when Jonathan, true to his womanizing ways, runs off for a lunchtime liaison with Teresa Lang, who's in charge of the auction.

Soon after, Addie heads to Teresa's office at the hospital—and finds the poor woman's dead body. What she doesn't find is her valuable first edition. What sort of Scrooge would steal from sick children and commit murder in the process? As a Nor'easter bears down and a mystery emerges about Jonathan's past, Addie must find out if she can appraise people's motives and characters as well as she can appraise rare books . . .

MrsK's Review:
Addison is creating a winter wonderland of lights in the bayed windows of her Beyond the Page book and curio shop. She is so thrilled about her discovery of Charles Dickens's first edition. The rare book could help build the new pediatric wing. The book promised to be the main "attraction" for the annual Christmas Charity Auction. Yet, now that the "ghost" of her Christmas past has arrived in town, Addie is unnerved about this season of compassion and joy.

Jonathan is once again creating havoc in Addison's life. Even though his son has passed, Addison has not forgiven him for all of the heartaches he caused his son. Why has he come to town?

With trepidation already in her heart, Addison arrived at the hospital to meet with Teresa. She is thrilled with the book's estimated value of $60,000 and is looking forward to handing in the certified document. Unfortunately, Teresa is not in her office. Have you had great news one minute and plummeted descended into a despairing moment of panic the next? Yep, Addison locates Teresa... at the bottom of the stairs... her head is in an odd direction... and she isn't breathing. Plus the book is missing! 

Learning to set aside emotions... learning to trust all of those in her life... and learning to follow the lead of her heart... Addison will have quite the not-so-happy holiday. The postponed auction, incoming snow storm, no Charles Dicken's book, could anything be worse? Absolutely... she's a person of interest in the murder of Teresa! Could it be Jonathan?

Enjoy a quick who-dun-it mystery for the holidays,

Meet the Author:


Lauren grew up devouring the entire Nancy Drew series and then graduated to Victoria Holt, Agatha Christie, Barbara Erskine, Lynn Kurland, and Michael Crichton to name a few of her favorite authors. When it came time for post-secondary education, journalism seemed like the logical choice as she had written for as long as she could remember. Soon after graduation, while working for a small publication, she discovered that reporting wasn’t what fueled her writing passions. As someone with an additionally strong background in professional theater who had the love of storytelling and captivating and holding an audience, her fiction-writing career began to take center stage.

Lauren Elliott’s new Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series promises to keep readers guessing right up until the last chapter. Plot twists and an array of colorful characters make for page-turning,, whodunit adventures filled with suspense, mystery, murder and just a touch of romance.

ISBN: 9780063252141
Publisher's Synopsis:
When the department store she works in closes for good, Carmen has perilously little cash and few options. She doesn’t want to move in with her perfect sister Sofia, in Sofia’s perfect house with her perfect children and her perfectly ordered Edinburgh life.

Frankly, Sofia doesn’t exactly want Carmen there either. Her sister has always been sarcastic and difficult. But Sofia has yet another baby on the way, a mother desperate to see her daughters get along, and a client who needs a retail assistant for his ailing bookshop, so welcoming Carmen might still have some benefits for everyone.

At Sofia’s behest, Carmen is thrown into the daily workings of old Mr. McCredie’s ancient bookshop on the streets of the old dark city. Can she use her design skills to revamp the store and bring it back to popularity in time to benefit from Christmas shopping traffic? Can she choose between bad boy literary rock star Blair and quiet Quaker student Oke? And will she heal the rift with the most important people of all: her family?

"And oh, how sweet and pleasant it is to the truly spiritual eye to see
several sorts of believers..." Isaac Penington
MrsK's Review:
Carmen has chosen many different pathways for success. Yet, once again she is low on cash and so not ready to return home for the holidays. Who would be if your sister was always the perfect daughter? Sofia has the perfect house, the grandchildren, and the station in life that completely un-nerves Carmen. Will she make it through the holidays and/or the rest of her life? She doubts it!

Sofia can't believe that her mother wants her to "help" sort out her sister's life. With three children, plus one on the way, a husband, and a case that she must finish before the baby arrives... well the last thing she needs is her "brat" of a sister under her roof!

Sometimes a door opens and there is a choice to walk through it, at least for the time being. Sofia has a client that is going to lose his family's bookshop if he doesn't turn a profit during Christmas. Carmen doesn't have a job and has always been a reader. Mr. McCredie's ancient bookshop in Edinburgh just might be a chance for both of them.

This holiday story is about finding hope in a hopeless situation. Discovering the inner joy when you begin helping others. Unveiling the calling of your personal interests as a career. Most importantly, dusting off the treasured volumes hidden within a quaint bookshop, in order, to bring life back to those treasured stories that have been awaiting a new reader.

Meet the Author:


Jenny Colgan is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including 'The Little Shop of Happy Ever After' and 'Summer at the Little Beach Street Bakery, which are also published by Sphere.' Meet Me at the Cupcake Café' won the 2012 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance and was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller, as was 'Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams, which won the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2013.

ISBN: 9780771061998
Publisher's Synopsis:
Share Anne’s delight at receiving the dress of her dreams, the joy of a young woman reunited with her long lost brother on Christmas Eve, and the surprise of a trio of sisters who inadvertently end a family feud by arriving at the wrong uncle’s house for Christmas dinner.

Featuring some well-loved characters from the Anne of Green Gables books, as well as plenty of new characters, this collection of short stories by L. M. Montgomery celebrates the joys and tribulations of Christmas and the hope of the new year. The perfect escape during the hectic holiday season and all year round.

"Christmas and New Year's is a season of celebration and reflection,
of taking stock of the months gone by...
and looking forward to the year to come."
MrsK's Review:
Family reunions, old traditions, eagerly awaited gifts, and plenty of good food... isn't that what every home wishes for? There are 16 stories from Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Windy Poplars. Short vignettes that will bring you the value of human kindness. You will shed a few tears for those in need. You will smile at Anne's unlimited hope. You will contemplate the concerns of past generations, as well as compare the concerns of today's generation.

Is there any better read for the holidays than short chapters that will melt away today's anxiety? Moments for a family read-aloud filled with hot cocoa and buttered popcorn. Reminders about the simplicity of smaller heart-full gift giving. Acknowledgment for those who are experiencing holidays that have no monetary value. In 2022, just for a moment, our families are in need of the valued treasures from those who wrote about their lives so long ago. Finding moments to discuss, moments of connections, and moments that will plant seeds of compassion. Isn't that what this season is about? The very first gift... was a child.

Meet the Author:
 Lucy Maud Montgomery was a Canadian author, best known for a series of novels beginning with Anne of Green Gables, published in 1908.
Montgomery was born at Clifton, Prince Edward Island, Nov. 30, 1874. She came to live at Leaskdale, north of Uxbridge Ontario, after her wedding with Rev. Ewen Macdonald on July 11, 1911. She had three children and wrote close to a dozen books while she was living in the Leaskdale Manse before the family moved to Norval, Ontario in 1926. She died in Toronto April 24, 1942 and was buried at Cavendish, Prince Edward Island.

ISBN: 9780736910996
Publisher's Synopsis:
Now in a compact edition, this collection of 20 paintings of cozy cottages and stately Victorian mansions glowing with the brilliant lights of Christmas by the beloved Painter of Light includes stories, quotes, poems, and carols that evoke the spirit of the season. Full color.

MrsK's Review:
Some of us travel many miles to be home for Christmas. Some have grown, and get go home. Yet, most of us remember the glow of anxious anticipation... the closer we got to our holiday home and the lights of warmth awaiting us.

Thomas Kinkade's  English cottages and Victorian homes will welcome you with his beautifully illuminated paintings. There are short passages that will create a ten-minute family moment in front of the fire. For those who are in the "grand" season of life, share your personal connections with these pages. Your insights... your memories... your story can be found within these pages. Many of us are now the guardians of today's future generations... let's gather them and share the stories of lives well lived.
"This then is Christmas..."
Alexander Smith

Saturday, November 26, 2022

MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks for Fall's 2022 Picks


When autumn arrives... it's a wonderous season for cozy reading nooks, great Holiday reads, and wonderfully delicious goodness... enjoy your discovery of these titles...

 Fall for these Reading Adventures...

ISBN: 9781496726445
Publisher's Synopsis:
While January snow falls outside in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, Nora Pennington is encouraging customers to cozy up indoors with a good book. Even though the shop and her bibliotherapy sessions keep Nora busy during the day, her nights are a little too quiet—until Deputy Andrews pulls Nora into the sci-fi section and asks her to help him plan a wedding proposal.

His bride-to-be, Hester, loves Little Women, and Nora sets to work arranging a special screening at the town’s new movie theater. But right before the deputy pops the question, Nora makes an unsettling discovery—someone has mutilated all her store’s copies of The Scarlet Letter, slicing angrily into the pages wherever Hester Prynne’s name is mentioned.

The coincidence disturbs Nora, who’s one of the few in Miracle Springs who knows that Hester gave up a baby for adoption many years ago. Her family heaped shame on her, and Hester still feels so guilty that she hasn’t even told her future husband. But when a dead man is found on a hiking trail just outside town, carrying a rare book, the members of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society unearth a connection to Hester’s past. Someone is intent on bringing the past to light, and it’s not just Hester’s relationship at stake, but her life…

"The secret lies in the reading and the writing.
You are able to read.
Every day you must read one page from some good book to your child.
Every day this must be until the child learns to read.
Then she must read every day.
I know this is the secret."
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
MrsK's Review:
Don't you love book titles that call out to you? The Vanishing Type, I wonder what would this book be about? Could it be a book in which certain codes might need your attention? Could it be, I wonder... that part of the content vanishes on the page? Opening the cover of this book invites you with that quest to make a warm cup of chocolate... a dash for your favorite quilt... and a fire's glow with calming classical music.  Now that your reading "cove" is set... it's time to snuggle down "into" this book.

Once again Nora will inspire her patrons to snuggle up with a delightful warm cup of cheer and that perfect "uniquely" chosen book. This winter, Nora will be asked to help plan a special occasion for her closest friend, a friend who cherishes and rereads "Little Women" every year. She will discover a mysterious death along her hiking trail, seriously... what would you do if you're enjoying a crisp winter jaunt in the glorious wilderness... and there it is... an unknown lifeless body. How would you react if you had just locked up your bookstore, after reading a winter extravaganza, only to discover that your friend is lying completely still in the rain?  

Reading books about books is always a delight. So many new titles to be discovered... so many wonderful bookshop adventures... and a murder mystery... is there any other way to spend an evening? Yes, there is! I spent the evening in search of book snacks that would match the wonderfully delicious scones and meals that are discussed throughout this novel. Let me tell you... nothing in my pantry came close to the delicacies in this novel! *Read this novel with a pencil and journal... I wonder... is there a limit to a "To Be Read" pile?
"May we all be people ahead of our time!"
Meet the Author:
USA Today and New York Times bestseller author Ellery Adams has written over forty novels and can’t imagine spending a day away from the keyboard. Ms. Adams, a Native New Yorker, has had a lifelong love affair with stories, food, rescue animals, and large bodies of water. When not working on her next novel, she bakes, gardens, drinks vats of coffee, spoils her three cats and searches for snacks. She lives with her husband and two children (aka the Trolls) in North Carolina. Ellery's Series Include: Secret, Book, & Scone Society (Kensington) Book Retreat Mysteries (Kensington) Books By the Bay Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime), Charmed Pie Shoppe Mysteries ((Berkley Prime Crime), Molly Appleby Antiques & Collectibles Mysteries (Beyond the Page), and Hope Street Mysteries (Beyond the Page).

ISBN: 9780310366652
Publisher's Synopsis:
Salina Petersheim runs her own booth at the Amish market, where she’s known for having the freshest and most delicious produce in the area. Her father is the bishop of her church district, and her brother is a deacon. They are a very close family, yet sometimes she tires of being compared to her older brother, Neil, who is married and has two children. She also feels the pressure of having to be the perfect daughter for her parents.

Salina has been dating Josiah for almost a year now, but he feels more like a friend than a boyfriend. Her parents approve of Josiah, who is a hardworking roofer. He’s handsome and easy to talk to, but he just doesn’t warm her heart the way she feels a boyfriend and future husband should. She secretly longs for more.

Along comes William “Will” Zimmerman, a Mennonite chef who runs a restaurant located next door to the Amish market. He wants Salina to supply the produce for his restaurant, and as they forge a business relationship, they both feel themselves falling in love. Salina especially tries to deny her feelings for Will since her father wants her to marry within the community.

MrsK's Review:
Salina is a dedicated farmer. Her farm fresh vegetables and fruits are desired at her Amish market booth. Her heart is filled to overflowing when she is tending her garden. If you have ever been a gardener... you will understand the closeness to our Lord as you tend the fruits of your labor. 

Will is a Mennonite chef who has opened his own restaurant across the street from the Amish market. In need of extra vegetables, Will ventures across the street to the market where he sees Salina's produce, he is thrilled with the discovery of fresh and local produce for his patrons. 

Both characters have their own paths... their own perspective relationships... their own independent futures. Given the ease of their interests, the agreed agreed-upon standing business connection, and the joy of a friendship. Yet, they understand the difference and boundaries of their faith. A faith that leads them to a "fork in the road," choices that require personal surrender unto the will of the Lord.

The farm stand offers inspiration, friendships, heart, and joy in a season of thanksgiving...
An Amish Marketplace Series
The Bake Shop (2019) The Farm Stand (2020)
The Coffee Corner (2020) The Jam and Jelly Nook (2021)
Meet the Author:
Hi! I'm a bestselling author of heartwarming romance and happily ever after.
My favorite young adult book is "Roadside Assistance." I consider that the book of my heart because I poured a lot of myself into the main character, Emily Curtis. My favorite Amish book is probably "The Forgotten Recipe", which will be out in December. It's the first book in my new series, The Amish Heirloom Series. I think this may be the most emotional Amish book I have written so far.

ISBN: 9781496731784
Publisher's Synopsis:
For the picturesque town of Oceanview on the Oregon Coast, May brings blossoming fruit trees and the annual UFO festival. As Aunt Eloise tries out alien costumes on their Havana brown cat Everett, Wren is off to meet with a bee wrangler, her go-to guy for local fruit tree honey.

But when she arrives, Elias Brentwood is lying on the ground amidst destroyed hives and a swarm of angry bees. The bees didn’t kill him, a blow to the head did. As blue-eyed Officer Jim Hampton investigates and the town is invaded by its own swarm of conspiracy theorists and crackpots, Wren and Aunt Eloise decide the only way to catch the bee wrangler’s killer is to set up a sting . . .

MrsK's Review:
Wren owns a delightful honey shop, "Let It Bee," in a small coastal shop. Her customers enjoy bee candles, bee treats, bee specialty gifts... and of course an inside view of a bee colony actively at work through an outside bee hive cased in a glass window honeycomb. She has spent her time making honey products and learning how to care for bees. Did you know that the Pacific NW coast has "bee wranglers?"

Unfortunately, Wren discovers her friend, Elias, on the ground with angry bees flying all around him. After calling in professional bee wranglers, Wren learns that Elias is dead. His hives have been destroyed and Wren is not going to "bee" satisfied until the killer is arrested.

With a delightful assortment of friends, Wren will find plenty to make, do, and investigate. Everett, her feline consultant, help has his own thoughts about the killer. Her Aunt Eloise will remain loyal to Wren, her shop, and to her efforts in keeping Wren out of trouble.

For a quick "Beetective" read, this enjoyable mystery not only has numerous red-herrings, community involvement, crazy outings, as well as noteworthy "honey" recipes.

Meet the Author:
USA Today Bestselling Author, Nancy J Parra AKA Nancy Coco AKA Nell Hampton is the author of over 30 published novels which include five mystery series: The Oregon Honey-comb Mystery Series (Kensington), The Candy-Coated Mysteries (Kensington), The Kensington Palace Mystery Series (Crooked Lane), The Wine Country Tours Mystery Series (Crooked Lane) The Gluten-free Baker’s Treat Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime), and The Perfect Proposal Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime). Her writing has been called witty and her protagonists plucky by reviewers around the world. Nancy is a member of Sisters in Crime, and loves to hear from readers.

ISBN: 9781464215872
Publisher's Synopsis:
The ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quiet until the tranquility is shattered by a woman's terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who'd happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation, and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer.

"Open me carefully..."
Emily Dickinson
MrsK's Review:
Absolutely, you must open the covers of this book...carefully...very carefully. You must have time to discover this unfolding mystery. Time to decipher the taunts, the deceivers, and the trail of the killer.

Hannah is the author, and Leo is a friendly editor/author reading Hannah's latest transcript. You are the audience, the reader looking into their relationship as Hannah is writing her newest mystery.

In the Boston Public Library, Freddie has gone into the Reading Room to focus her writing. She's an author stuck in what she writes about. While "people-watching," as most writers will do, she begins taking notes and wondering about those sitting around her. That is how she thought her day, her life would proceed... until that piercing scream startles everyone. And so the story begins...

Within the covers of this book, you will discover inside perspectives of a writer's mind. You will meet four strangers as they move on from an "unforgettable" library journey. Most of all, you will try to tie together the murdering threads...

Time to read... time to re-read... time to ponder... and time enough to be led astray...

Meet the Author:
Once upon a time, Sulari Gentill was a corporate lawyer serving as a director on public boards, with only a vague disquiet that there was something else she was meant to do. That feeling did not go away until she began to write. And so Sulari became the author of the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries: thus far, ten historical crime novels chronicling the life and adventures of her 1930s Australian gentleman artist, the Hero Trilogy, based on the myths and epics of the ancient world, and the Ned Kelly Award winning Crossing the Lines (published in the US as After She Wrote Hime). In 2014 she collaborated with National Gallery of Victoria to write a short story which was produced in audio to feature in the Fashion Detective Exhibition, and thereafter published by the NGV. IN 2019 Sulari was part of a 4-member delegation of Australian crime writers sponsored by the Australia Council to tour the US as ambassadors of Australian Crime Writing. Sulari lives with her husband, Michael, and their boys, Edmund and Atticus, on a small farm in Batlow where she grows French Black Truffles and refers to her writing as “work” so that no one will suggest she get a real job.

ISBN: 9780451492654
Publisher's Synopsis:
In the twelfth Cupcake Bakery Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay, the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew follows the clever crumb trail of a killer who's anything but cookie-cutter.

Life is all sugar and spice for the Fairy Tale Cupcake bakers--Melanie Cooper is engaged to the delectable Joe DeLaura, Angie Harper and her husband Tate are savoring married life, and the bakery is bustling with happy customers. Until one of their most valued cupcake connoisseurs ends up dead.

Local glass artist and cupcake lover Rene Fischer-Klein has always suffered from a wide variety of health issues. In an effort to cheer her up, her doting husband, Peter, brings her a four-pack of her favorite cupcakes every week. But when the police discover that Rene has been poisoned, there's no sugarcoating the fact that the last things she ate were the bakery's signature pumpkin spice cupcakes! With their lives and bakery at stake, it's up to Mel and Angie to find out who poisoned their artist friend and why, before their future is frosted for good.

MrsK's Review:
Melanie (Mel) is a delightful cupcake baker, a steadfast friend, and quick-witted... especially when it comes to unexpected deaths. Joe is Mel's fiancé, her childhood sweetheart, who happens to be one of Angie's brothers.  Angie is Mel's best friend, the clerk at Fairy Tale Cupcakes, and a soon-to-be mother (including 7 brothers as guardians). And then there's Uncle Stan, an inspector who happens to have been Mel's father's brother. The Uncle relationship has perks for Mel's inability to stay out of mysteries or murders. The Uncle relationship can get a bit dicey since her father's death, but Uncle Stan is now the steadfast rock for her mother.

One would think that having your own delectable cupcake bakery, a community of friends and businesses, excellent in-laws, and amazing staff would be enough to keep Mel away from her sleuthing personality. Yet, that would be a mistaken character analysis.

When Mel arrives for her meeting with Rene, a crime scene is underway. Which means that someone is hurt or dead. No matter what her intentions were for her cupcake orders, Mel just has to get into the "scene." Of course, once she finds out it's her friend Rene... well you know Mel will be involved.

Rene is a local glass artist who is consumed with her approaching exhibit, most important showing off her creations beyond her shop in the Desert Winds Gallery. She is also a big fan of Mel's cupcakes, which will be the only dessert for Rene's art gala-extravaganza. Rene's unpredictable behavior was causing concern for those around her. Could it be her lack of sleep, nourishment, stress about the exhibit, or maybe too much caffeine?

With wonderful twists, delightfully intriguing characters, and yum-inspired cupcake recipes... this book is a perfect Fall cozy read,

Meet the Author:

Jenn is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher's Weekly bestselling author of several mystery and romance series. She is also the winner of the RT Reviewer's Choice Award for romantic comedy and the Fresh Fiction award for the best cozy mystery. Her work has been translated into multiple languages in countries all over the world. A TEDx speaker, she is always happy to talk books, writing, reading, and the creative process to anyone who cares to listen. She lives in sunny Arizona in a house that is overrun with kids, pets, and her husband's guitars.

MrsK's Reading Bio

Reading is important! No questions asked, not even a blink of the eye from any student I grew up with. On the first day of the First grade, we were given our first books. Day two we all read aloud, round robin of course. Day three we were place in our first basal, now known as a lit circle group. Books were so important, publishers designed new curriculum so that every student was reading by the end of the first week. These early readers had images that looked like what we could see in the classroom, beyond the classroom, even on the big screen. Reading is important, throughout history every generation has believed that “Reading” opens up the world for endless possibilities.

I adore the 1950’s Dick and Jane books. Actually, most reading specialists and experienced (45+) educators believe that every student learned to read with Dick and Jane. Since these books are being re-issued, I have heard many parents, grandparents, and students claim that Dick and Jane stories of repetition does teach students to read.

Early influences from my mother influenced my desire to read. I would watch her read and we would go on “secret” excursions to the library. The library became my playground. I owned every book I could carry home, of course they needed to be taken back to their home after visiting with me for a week or two. My first book that I could pull off of the library shelf and read was, Father Bear Comes Home. I only saw my dad on Sundays for a few hours. I would pull this beginning reader off of the library shelf every week. Every week I would try to read the first chapter. Every week I got further in the story. My mom would let me check it out, only if I could read it myself (She didn’t like the illustrations therefore she didn’t want to take time to read it to me). One day, I pulled the book from the shelf and when mom came to get me from the children’s corner, I realized that I had read the whole story. I ran to the check out desk and the Librarian KERCHUNKED the checkout card. My mother, brother and neighbors read. My teachers read. We all read aloud all day long in school. The Priest read aloud every day at mass, even in Latin. Everybody in the Doctor’s office read. People on the bus read. Dad’s waiting in their cars as the Mom’s and children grocery shopped, read. In fact, once you could read and write, Sunset Magazine considered you a reader and sent you mail every day.

Reading is important; I’ve spent my life reading. I’ve traveled around the world and into space through books. My favorite genre is whichever book I have open at the time. Children’s Literature is my passion. Book clubbing is one of the best past times, especially if food is involved. In fact my friends of old are in a book club and we are about to embark on a beach trip to “read” and discuss our newest selection.

My “home-run” book story has helped every student find his or her own “home-run” reads. Every year, I have shared my, Father Bear Comes Home, and every year my students have brought in their “home-run” books. That’s the “diving board” into our Lit. Studies.

In “Growing Up Digital,” Tapscott’s insights into the new generations enthusiasm for the Net reminded me of my generation’s enthusiasm for reading, movies, TV, parties and our driving permits. The Net-Generation, as Tapscott describes, “are learning, playing, communicating, working, creating communities, and enforcing a social transformation.”
N-Geners are interactive “techies” who are always looking for a way to “work it” verses the TV Generation of “Baby Boomers” who started out looking for “how it works.” Reading development is tougher today, society moves too fast to invest their “non-working” free time into a book or even “home work.” Since I stepped into my own classroom, I have seen students being told to read, being forced to read, and threatened into reading. Homework is not any longer the vehicle for students to gain their future lifestyles or careers with. Yet, the Internet does create an enthusiasm for learning. Since I have been enrolled in these courses, I have used the computers in every subject. My students are using the newest technology in the classroom because I am giving them investigative sites to use as they learn from each other and books. I agree with Tapscott, in order to bridge the gap with this up and coming generation we must “live and learn with them.”

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