Book Review: Murder Comes by Mail by A.H. Gabhart


Murder Comes by Mail (The Hidden Springs Mysteries Book #2): A Hidden Springs Mystery

Doing a good deed never felt so bad

Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane doesn’t particularly enjoy being touted as the hero of Hidden Springs after pulling a suicidal man back from the edge of the Eagle River bridge in front of dozens of witnesses–a few of whom caught the breathtaking moments with their cameras. But the media hype doesn’t last long as a new story pushes its way into the public consciousness of Hidden Springs’ concerned citizens.

Photos of a dead girl arrive in the mail, and Michael becomes convinced she was murdered by the man he saved. With a killer one step ahead, things in Hidden Springs begin to unravel. Now Michael must protect the people he loves–because the killer could be targeting one of them next.



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About the Author….

A. H. Gabhart is the author of Murder at the Courthouse. As Ann H. Gabhart, she is the bestselling author of many novels, including Angel SisterSmall Town Girl, and Love Comes Home, and several popular Shaker novels such as The OutsiderThe Believer, and The Innocent. Ann grew up in a small rural town in Kentucky much like Hidden Springs. She and her husband still live on a farm near that same Kentucky town. Learn more at

My Review . . . 

The second in the Hidden Springs mystery series, this installment is even better than the first.  Most of the characters from the first novel return and feel like old friends.  For anyone who has ever lived in a small town, these people can seem very familiar.  I love the little details that make them seem so real.  The dialogue between the church ladies on their trip made me laugh out loud as I was convinced I’ve known these ladies in real life.  At one point, Michael swats at a sweat bee while talking to someone.  I don’t think I have ever seen that in a book, but growing up in the South, it’s a very real part of life.  Nice touch!

The plot was tighter this time with quite a bit more suspense.  If each installment is going to be  better than the last, I can’t wait to read the next one.

5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: The Outsider by Ann H. Gabhart


The Outsider           THE OUTSIDER

Series: The Shaker Books, Book 1

2009 ECPA Fiction Book of the Year Finalist

An unlikely love and unwanted gift threaten to destroy a quiet Shaker girl of the 1800s.


She thought she was content–until a love from the outside world turned hers upside down.

Gabrielle Hope and her mother joined the Harmony Hill Shaker community in 1807. The community promised stability and devotion that Gabrielle wholeheartedly embraced. But when a local doctor must be brought into Harmony Hill from the outside, he sets into motion a chain of events that will challenge Gabrielle’s loyalty to the Shakers.

As she falls deeper into a forbidden love for this man of the world, Gabrielle must make a choice. Can she experience true happiness in this simple and chaste community? Or will she abandon her brothers and sisters for a life of the unknown?

Soulful and filled with romance, The Outsider lets you live within a bygone time among a unique and peculiar people. This tender and thought-provoking story will stay with you long after you finish the final chapter.

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About the Author . . . 

Living just thirty miles from a restored Shaker village in Kentucky, Ann H. Gabhart has AnnHGabhartwalked the same paths that her characters might have walked in generations past. Her thorough research provides a convincing and colorful backdrop for The Outsider. Gabhart is also the author of Orchard of Hope and Summer of Joy.

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Review . . . 

As a Kentuckian, the only thing I like better than historical fiction is historical fiction set in Kentucky.  The Shakers are an interesting part of Kentucky’s history, with two villages maintained today as museums.  The author has based her fictional village on Pleasant Hill, the larger of the two.  She has spent several years studying and researching the Shakers, as evidenced in her accurate portrayal of their actions during wartime and their attitudes toward the outside world.  I especially appreciated her depiction of the military in the War of 1812.  Christian fiction writers often shy away from realism, but Ms. Gabhart shows, at least in part, the gritty realism of war in the 19th century.

One of the best things I can say for this book is that the ending was not obvious from the very beginning.  It held my interest consistently until the end. I had to know what Gabrielle’s decision would be.

5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author as a contest prize. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Slow Cooker Chicken Salsa Verde

Although I have been unable to post anything for awhile, it doesn’t mean I have quit cooking.  In fact, due to my circumstances, my slow cooker is, if possible, even more important to me than it was before.  And, seriously, I didn’t think I could love an inanimate object that much.  lol

This recipe has proven to be a lifesaver.  I have worked on it and tweaked it until I think I have it exactly the way we like it.  It can be used as a filling for soft-shell tacos, enchiladas, empanadas, and even in a salad.  If you use it as a filling for  tacos, you may want to serve with a topping of guacamole, sour cream, salsa verde, chopped onions, and chopped cilantro.

Slow Cooker Chicken Salsa Verde
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 C chicken stock
  • 2 C salsa verde (I use the Wal-Mart brand)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • ¼ C minced onion
  • ¼ C chopped cilantro
  1. Place chicken breasts in slow cooker.
  2. Pour salsa and chicken stock over chicken.
  3. Sprinkle cumin, salt, and pepper over mixture.
  4. Cook on LOW for 8 hours.
  5. At 7 hours, shred chicken with wooden spoon.
  6. Stir in onion and cilantro.
  7. Continue to cook remaining hour.


Music to Cook By . . . 

Bone Box – #Review #Giveaway



Bone Box

by Jay Amberg


On a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea in Turkey, an international team of archeologists discovers a stone box that first-century Jews used to rebury their dead. The box’s Aramaic inscription: Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. Sophia Altay, the beautiful French-Turkish archeologist who heads the team, tries to keep the discovery secret until she can authenticate the ossuary. She knows that people will kill to obtain the relics—and to suppress the box’s other contents, documents that could alter Western history.

Joseph Travers, an American sent to Turkey to evaluate the archeological dig, soon finds himself pulled into the web of betrayal, reprisal, and violence. In his journey through Istanbul’s mosques and palaces, the archeological sites around ancient Ephesus, and, ultimately, the strange and mystical terrain of Cappadocia, he comes to understand the epochal meaning of the bone box.

Genre: Archaeological Thriller/Mystery
Published by: Amika Press
Publication Date: 14 March 2015
Number of Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-1937484279
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads


Jay Amberg is the author of eleven books. He received a BA from Georgetown University and a PhD from Northwestern University. He has taught high school and college students since 1972.

His latest book, Bone Box, is now available from Amika Press. Amberg has also published Cycle, America’s Fool, Whale Song, and compiled 52 Poems for Men.

Prior to Amika Press, Amberg published thriller novels Doubloon (Forge), Blackbird Singing (Forge) and Deep Gold (Warner Books).

Among his books on teaching are School Smarts and The Study Skills Handbook, published by Good Year. Amberg wrote The Creative Writing Handbook (Good Year) with Mark Henry Larson and Verbal Review and Workbook for the SAT (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich) with Robert S Boone.

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#Spotlight & #Giveaway: A Pain in the Tuchis by Mark Reutlinger

A Pain in the Tuchis:
A Mrs. Kaplan Mystery

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Alibi (November 17, 2015)
An Imprint of Random House LLC
Publication Date: November 17, 2015




Combining the classic charms of Agatha Christie with the delightful humor of M. C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin novels, Mark Reutlinger’s Mrs. Kaplan mystery series returns as a notorious crank meets an untimely fate.

Yom Kippur is a day of reflection and soul searching. But at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors, Vera Gold misses this opportunity to atone for her many sins when she up and dies. Indeed, Vera was such a pain in the tuchis to all those around her that when her sister claims Vera was deliberately poisoned, the tough question isn’t who would want to kill her—but who wouldn’t?

Having already solved one murder with her dear friend Ida, Rose Kaplan has a sleuthing reputation that precedes her. It’s only natural that Vera’s sister turns to Mrs. K for help. So do the police, but when her conclusions conflict with theirs, they tell her to butt out! This case has more twists than a loaf of challah. And with a homicidal scoundrel on the loose, Mrs. K has to act fast—or she might be the guest of honor at the Home’s next memorial service.

About This Author

Mark Reutlinger is the author of the novels Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death and Made in China. A professor of law emeritus at Seattle University, Reutlinger was born in San Francisco, graduated from UC Berkeley, and now lives with his wife, Analee, in University Place, Washington.

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