Thursday, December 26, 2019

Review: Address For Murder

Address For Murder Address For Murder by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book in Tonya Kappes new mail carrier series. I like Bernie a lot. She is 50, a single parent to an adult son and works as a mail carrier in a small town. Her husband is deceased. He cheated on her throughout the marriage. I think that alone complicates things for Bernie. She has a male friend but it has been hard for her to move on. If your thinking this is a cozy, right? Yes, it is. But it does have a romance storyline that has been as strong, in my opinion, as the mysteries. For me, it works well. Bernie is like a lot of women who find themselves single at 50 after being a couple for many years. You are dealing with a variety of feelings while navigating your new role in life. You’re still a mom, you still feel married but neither child nor husband is in the home and well meaning friends are ready for you to date. I enjoy this part of the ongoing storyline and it is this storyline that makes me recommend starting with the first book and going in order. The mystery is interesting with several obvious suspects. The trouble is, none of them seem to be the right one. I kept changing my mind! There were also some surprises. I’m not going further with that as then you wouldn’t need to read the book.
You can read it as a stand-alone if you insist. I recommend in order with Tonya Kappes books. She tends to build worlds with interesting characters, fun pets and quaint towns. You are easily invested from the start and you don’t want to miss anything. Once you open a book, you will find yourself transported, a member of her small towns. Get comfortable and enjoy the people, gossip and mystery. There is ice tea, coffee and plenty of good food. Pet the dogs and mind the cats. Life is going to be good for a few hours.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Review: Christmas Spells: Witch Cozy Mystery

Christmas Spells: Witch Cozy Mystery Christmas Spells: Witch Cozy Mystery by Morgana Best
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Kitchen Witch Series is one of my favorite series. The books in it never fail to lift my spirits. Christmas Spells did exactly that. I have been sick for awhile with it just worsening, which at holiday time can be so depressing. Amelia, Camino and her onesies, Alder and everyone, plus a Christmas theme, was just what I needed. The book is a quick read though, maybe it’s in part that, time flies when you’re having fun. This book has a visit from a ghost of Christmas Past needing help before the scary ghost of Christmas Future catches up. Christmas Spells is one Christmas cozy you don’t want to miss!

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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Review: Snowfall at Moonglow

Snowfall at Moonglow Snowfall at Moonglow by Deborah Garner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I look forward to reading the new Moonglow Christmas book every year. This is the fifth book. Each book does have a theme to it. So while you don’t have to read them in order, or even read all of them, I highly suggest you do. The staff at Timberton Hotel is the same year to year. The guest list has regulars and new people. They feel like family, especially if you choose to read the series. It is hard to imagine a Christmas missing any of the regulars, though it has happened. In this book we are waiting for snow..just as I am waiting for snow in real life. I am wishing hard, you have no idea. The activities, the cookie exchange, the feast, Christmas morning..everything is included to give you the Christmas you dream of. I miss Christmas with my family. The last time I was able to be home for it was six years ago. I read these books each year, adding on the new one, because while I’m reading, I’m part of it. If you just want to feel Christmas, without a bunch of commercialism, get these books and be swept away to the Christmas of your dreams.
I think I forget to mention in my reviews that cookie recipes are included in each book. I’m always amazed at all the different cookies. The recipes have a range to them from easy to complicated, (but not so complicated that you can’t do them. Just a bit more difficult for non bakers). The author has also released a wonderful cookbook this year, Sweet Treats, that also has the recipes.
I don’t usually put this in a review but if you need a gift for someone who enjoys reading, Christmas and baking, a fabulous gift would be the collection along with the recipe book. I have the books on my Kindle and I would still swoon to have them all gifted in print. Give the gift to yourself or to a reading loved one. They are truly Christmas Magic.

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Monday, December 16, 2019

Review: Possession

Possession Possession by Gillian Wells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I won a copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.
Possession tells the story of a marriage gone bad. It starts out a bit slow. I was okay with that as I got to know and understand Anna, her family and her motivation. Once she meets Karl, the pace picks up but it becomes a difficult read due to the violence that is being done.
It is easy to be an armchair judge. I imagine a few who read this will do that. It can hard to believe that someone would chase after a spouse as Anna tells us Karl did. I imagine a few will think she is exaggerating or is paranoid. I’ve been in this situation. The one thing you can say about domestic violence is that it isn’t the same for everyone. Every situation is different in my experience. I’ve been in shelters and in therapy groups. No one exactly matched my story..or anyone else’s. I live an eight hour plane ride from my family. I’ve had people say oh enough time has passed or you live far enough away. I don’t answer. They won’t understand because they have their notion of what domestic violence is. I stayed until my youngest went to college. Judge me if you want. You weren’t the one who had divorce and protection orders thrown at them while a loaded gun was being shoved in the faces of their children finally being held to yours. You can’t say what Anna did or didn’t do was wrong or right. You weren’t there. You don’t know how crazy it can get. I hold a lot of what happened to us inside. The worst of it. I’m ashamed. I feel guilty. I suspect the same is true for Anna. The story for me, rang with honesty. If the author did not live it, she knows enough about it. If you are interested in domestic violence, read this book.
If you are in a domestic violence situation, plan carefully and do your best to get out. Seek assistance at thehotline.org, it has an emergency exit that will close the window quickly. The phone number in the States is 1−800−799−7233.

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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Review: Dogs n Dracula: A Road Trip Through Romania

Dogs n Dracula: A Road Trip Through Romania Dogs n Dracula: A Road Trip Through Romania by Jacqueline Lambert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was the first caravanning travel book I have read. Actually other “travel” type books I read were walking trips on mountain trails. I haven’t been to Europe and certainly not to Romania. This book made me want to go. I love the writing style Ms Lambert has. It is almost as if you are sitting, enjoying coffee, while you listen to her vacation stories. It was interesting and fun. She didn’t just tell the fun parts though. She told everything. The scary roads. The trouble finding a place to stay. Even the issue of getting decent sandals in a foreign country. You could imagine it all unfolding while you read. I would definitely recommend this book if you are planning a road trip to Romania. There are plenty of tips in it. I would also recommend it to armchair travelers like me. I think I would actually enjoy this more on audio.
*I received an ecopy of this book, through BookSprout, for review consideration. I voluntarily reviewed it.*

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Monday, December 9, 2019

Review: Sweet Treats: Recipes from the Moonglow Christmas Series

Sweet Treats: Recipes from the Moonglow Christmas Series Sweet Treats: Recipes from the Moonglow Christmas Series by Deborah Garner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This dessert cookbook if taken from the Moonglow Christmas Series. I love this series so much. I make it a part of my Christmas traditions to read this series every December. I have made some of the recipes in it. I’m not heavy on sweets but my guy is. The recipes range from easy to complicated but doable. I love that the other chose to group them with the book that they appear in. Each section opens with excepts from the books. I make the glazed cinnamon nuts often. I did make them without the cinnamon and they were very tasty glazed nuts. The Lemon Bars are a favorite. Potato chip cookies were a surprise and a hit when I made them, (super easy, too). The Dutch Sour Cream Cookies are tasty and have found there way to being Easter cookies as well. I have made many others but these stick out in my mind as being tasty and easy. There is a wide variety of cookies here. Enough to host your own cookie exchange. There are a few recipes for gluten free, a vegan recipe, fudge recipes, homemade eggnog, (so delicious!), brownies, butter rolls and candy. Disclaimer: I do have a cookie recipe included in here. I did not review it though I make them every year. All opinions expressed are based on my experience with the recipes. The review is voluntary.

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Review: The Callie's Kitchen Mysteries Cookbook

The Callie's Kitchen Mysteries Cookbook The Callie's Kitchen Mysteries Cookbook by Jenny Kales
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This cookbook is from the cozy mystery series Callie’s Kitchen Mysteries. Each book contains recipes. Those recipes and new ones are compiled in this cookbook.
I love Callie’s Kitchen Mysteries. I was hooked on it from the first book. I tried recipes from each book as I read them. I found them delicious and easy. Many have become family favorites. When the author announced this cookbook I could not contain my excitement. I had been dying for it. Now I am dying for a print version.
For the ebook there is a content list that will take you directly to the recipe. I note that because I have come across cookbooks that do not do this. I love that the author has the recipes marked with “new” or the book title. While there are a number of Greek recipes Midwest comfort food is included. The cookbook isn’t intended to be one type of food. It is food that a character in the authors series cooks, eats and serves. Callie is of Greek heritage and lives in Wisconsin. The recipes reflect that. There are excerpts from the books and some new bonus scenes that fans of the series will not want to miss.
Now on to the recipes. Most are easy. All that I have tried have been delicious. I am not Greek and had limited exposure to Greek food, (mainly from a restaurant in downtown Chicago close to DePaul University). I now live in Alaska and sorely missed spanakopita. I really got into Greek food through this series. So I’m no authority on Greek food. I am with tasty food and comfort food though. This book meets those expectations. The recipes I tried that are now made frequently are Avgolemono, (if anyone is ill, please make them this soup. They will love you for it), Lazy Spanakopita, Kota Kapama, Stifado and Rizogalo.
New recipes I made and loved are Feta Cheese Bites, (so good while reading), Tzatziki, (not going to lie, I will eat this like sandwich filling. I love this), Skordalia, (another thing to make when someone is ill. The first time I made this my other half thought I had made soup and added broth because it was thick. I had to explain to him, as I started over, insert eye roll. The extra broth just turned it into a tasty soup but it wasn’t what I was going for, haha), Spring Spanaorizo, (rice!), and Pastitsio. There are a number of dessert recipes, too. My favorite remains Melopita, it’s easy peasey and holy moley tasty.
My recommendations on this cookbook is a big, “order it now.” I’m planning on getting a print copy too. If you are new to Callie’s Kitchen Mysteries, give the series a whirl. They are cozy mysteries, meaning anyone from your teen to your granny can enjoy it.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Review: Hounds, Harvest, and Homicide : A Pooch Party Cozy Mystery

Hounds, Harvest, and Homicide : A Pooch Party Cozy Mystery Hounds, Harvest, and Homicide : A Pooch Party Cozy Mystery by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really like this new cozy mystery series from Carolyn Ridder Aspenson. In my opinion, it’s more than a cozy mystery. It has the things you associate with cozy mysteries, the good people, small town feeling, animals, (a lovely mix), and of a good mystery. But then the author goes further. The animals come from the shelter that is a huge part of the main character’s life. It’s not just background noise. You learn a lot about shelter life and the pets up for adoption. You may think it’s a distraction in a mystery. You would be mistaken. Ms. Aspenson handles well the tricky balance. It’s not the only thing the author expertly handles in this series. Missy, the main character, is grieving the loss of her husband, Sam. It has been awhile since his death, (if there is one truth in life, it is grief has no time limit and no easy path), and some feel Missy should start dating. This isn’t something Missy can move fast on. I’m happy it isn’t. The reason for it? The author is real about grief. Using Missy she tells us the things no one really talks about, which makes it feel like we are doing grief wrong. The loneliness after the “acceptable“ grief time. The shattered dreams, the pain, the bittersweet memories. The way the world keeps going when your heart stops. It might sound depressing but Ms Aspenson has a magic touch with it. She keeps it real yet she doesn’t drown us in it. Death and grief are a big part of life. She acknowledges that and allows us to see that whatever we are feeling, how ever long it takes, it is normal. We are normal. I really appreciate this message. I appreciate this honest approach to grief. It truly isn’t depressing. Missy is a functioning person. She is intelligent, funny, caring, kind, animal lover, good mother and good friend. There is even someone who may, or may not, turn into a love interest. Ms Aspenson’s willingness to bring out and deal with realistic parts of life makes this cozy mystery a unique and don’t miss series. You could read this book on its own.The mystery is complete. But I recommend starting with the first book, Pooches, Pumpkins and Poison. You are going to get attached to Missy, Hayden, (her daughter), and the shelter. Do yourself the favor and get both books. You won’t be sorry, I promise.

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Saturday, November 23, 2019

Review: Holiday Roast Mortem

Holiday Roast Mortem Holiday Roast Mortem by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been reading A Killer Coffee Mystery Series from the start. I highly recommend reading it in order.
In this book Christmas has come to Honey Springs, Kentucky. The town is decorated and Roxy has been busy with making holiday blend coffee, making special treats and planning the Christmas Day supper. That’s right. Roxy is hosting a big Christmas supper at the Bean Hive Coffee Shop. She has been busy as a bee with little time to just enjoy her husband of one year. So Roxy and Patrick go out for dinner hoping for a nice romantic night out. Unfortunately they are seated next to a couple who are loudly arguing. Driving home, they notice they are behind the arguing couple when they witness the truck cross the line, go through the trees and into the lake! Patrick dives in to rescue the couple. Unfortunately the man is dead. The sheriff is suspicious and, when his suspicions are confirmed, the wife is the number one suspect. Did she do it?
I love the town, the people and the pets in this series. I feel at home in it. One thing I especially adore about it, is the author has woven pet adoption into the series. Each book has a little background story going about it. I love that the author cares about animals enough to keep that reminder that pets need a home. I look forward to reading about the pet up for adoption in each book. Roxy, Patrick and the supporting characters are realistically written. I feel like I know them and could just step into the Bean Hive for some coffee and gossip with them. The mystery in this book wasn’t an easy one. There are a few suspects. With people not being completely honest, finding the killer could prove fatal.
*I received an ecopy of this book for review consideration. I voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts are my opinion of the book and series.*

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Friday, November 22, 2019

Review: An Amish Christmas Promise

An Amish Christmas Promise An Amish Christmas Promise by Jo Ann Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this story. Carolyn is a woman trying to protect children she loves. They lost their home and belongings in a flood. Michael comes to help rebuild the community. Carolyn was Amish but is pretending to be Mennonite for safety. Michael is an Amish man, not yet baptized, who is questioning his faith. Neither is looking for love.
I loved Carolyn and the way she cares for Kevin and Rose Anne. It touched me how she was doing the best she could to raise the children as her own. I like that the author brought out how Carolyn rationalized things in her mind and heart. I like Michael a lot. I enjoyed watching him develop a relationship with the children as well as with Carolyn. They both though are hiding parts of their background that affect their lives. Will they be able to move forward? It was a very touching story.
I received an ebook copy of this title through NetGalley for review consideration. I voluntarily chose to review it. All thoughts are mine.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Review: Cupid Claus

Cupid Claus Cupid Claus by Sarah Fischer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this story about Santa’s family. I have, since a child, wondered about Santa, Mrs Claus, the elves...were there children? Did elves marry? Have families? What did the North Pole really look like? Did Santa know the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy, St Valentine? Were the shoemaker’s elves kin to Santa’s elves? I thought about it all, dreaming about it. Am I still curious? Yes. I’m not even going to try lying. I clap for fairies and believe in Santa.
This book was perfect for me. When Mrs Claus, Carol, called on her friends..you have no idea how delighted I was! Reading about the North Pole and how Nicolas was changing it with technology fascinated me. Yes, it also saddened me. I like the elves working. But the best was in reading about Nick, Heather and Carol. I’m not going into that because it would take away the reason to read. Make no mistake, I want you to read it. I want you to feel the wonder, delight, anxiety and worry. I want you to crave chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate made special. Stop reading the review and go read the book.
I received an ecopy of this book from BookSprout for review consideration. All thoughts are based on my feelings while reading the book. My review is voluntary.

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Review: Narcissist: A Complete Guide for Dealing with Narcissism and Creating the Life You Want

Narcissist: A Complete Guide for Dealing with Narcissism and Creating the Life You Want Narcissist: A Complete Guide for Dealing with Narcissism and Creating the Life You Want by Judy Dyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am not very knowledgeable about narcissism and empaths. Until recently I hadn’t thought of empaths as being “real.” I had mostly came across the term in paranormal and fantasy books. It was actually someone who I now suspect to be a narcissist who told me to read up on empaths. My introduction to narcissist came with the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard case. Though, in hindsight, I suspect I have been in relationships with a narcissist before. This book actually gave me nice introduction to both and how empaths can be targeted by narcissistic people. I found it to be a very interesting read. It gave examples of parents, couples and the workplace. I would have liked a bit more on friendships. As a starting off place though this book is a good selection.

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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Review: Tattoos and Clues

Tattoos and Clues Tattoos and Clues by Trixie Silvertale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am loving this series. If you read my review of the first book, you know it took me a moment to warm up to Mitzy. I’m so happy that I gave her a chance! She is still snarky and a bit guarded but that is to be expected with her background. What this book has confirmed for me is that Mitzy cares very deeply for those she loves. I am, now, definitely a fan of Mitzy Moon! I love seeing her relationships grow. When she was thinking of Pyewacket and her true feelings, I can’t say how my heart soared. I am hoping soon my heart will soar with a relationship happening between Mitzy and Sheriff Harper. I must say in my desire to rush this relationship, I have appreciated the slower pace. It fits Mitzy more and is what separates him from a one night stand. I really enjoyed seeing Silas more in this book. He is such a mysterious character! Speaking of mysteries...this one was intriguing. It took a turn that surprised me and the ending wasn’t a scenario that I had ran through my mind. I am truly looking forward to the next book in this series.

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Saturday, November 2, 2019

Review: Suburban Legends: True Tales of Murder, Mayhem, and Minivans

Suburban Legends: True Tales of Murder, Mayhem, and Minivans Suburban Legends: True Tales of Murder, Mayhem, and Minivans by Sam Stall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book. It is an interesting book to have on hand when you want to read a bit but don’t have a lot of time. The tales in the book are only a few pages each making it very easy to put down and pick up later. I knew some of the tales but that did not affect my enjoyment of reading them in this book. What did was the flat voice. The tales are written in a journalistic style. There is no spooky atmosphere which I do think would have enhanced the enjoyment of each story. The stories are good and have a range from humorous to scary, but the telling fell flat for me. If you are just looking for straight, bare bones, tales, this is a good choice. If you want more flavor than you probably will enjoy a different writing style. I don’t want to discourage anyone from reading this as the stories in were interesting. Just be aware of the writing style and what you are looking for. Some of the stories are ghost stories, (which I happen to enjoy), but others are actual murders. There are a few photos included. Interesting but dry.

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Review: The 12 Cozy Mystery Carols of Christmas

The 12 Cozy Mystery Carols of Christmas The 12 Cozy Mystery Carols of Christmas by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This review will be edited as I read more books in it.
I just finished Santa’s Little Thief by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson. What a delightful story! It was whimsical and just what I needed. When the ladies are at Millie’s Cafe, a body is discovered in the freezer. Thus begins the mystery that must be solved to save Christmas for the town’s children. Lily and Belle are on it! It was a fun, quick read, perfect for after shopping or a long day baking. I have to say, I totally googled elf school.


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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Review: The Halloween Onesie Spell: Witch Cozy Mystery

The Halloween Onesie Spell: Witch Cozy Mystery The Halloween Onesie Spell: Witch Cozy Mystery by Morgana Best
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m still making my way through this series so I read this one out of order. It’s Halloween and what better time to read a Halloween story? I enjoy the characters in this series very much. They are a fun group. This book has Amelia performing the annual Halloween Spell for Marina. It’s a task that proves to be dangerous for Amelia every year. This year, though, Marina has an idea. Will it work? Meanwhile the house is playing Ghostbusters. I love this! The author even gave The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man a part! Could anything be more fun? It certainly entertained me. On the serious side, there is a murder. With loads of suspects and a variety of reasons, it’s not easy to figure out who did it. It all comes together to be a fabulous read for Halloween, (any time really but absolutely a treat at Halloween).

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Saturday, October 26, 2019

Review: Mocha and Murder

Mocha and Murder Mocha and Murder by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book in A Killer Coffee Series. This is my second time reading this. I don’t know what happened with my review so I’ll write this one.
I enjoy the character of Roxie and many of the others. The boardwalk setting in the small town of Honey Springs is well described. There is a visitor’s map included though in case you need it. I love that pet adoption is part of the story and the series. As a rescue dog owner, I am aware of how often these pets are the rescuers. I’m also aware of how many don’t find a forever home. I’m grateful for the author bringing awareness to this issue. In this book a chicken from the pet palace plays a part in the mystery. Yes, a chicken! I love it. You can find all kinds of animals at my local shelter. It’s good to know it’s a thing in other shelters, too. When the owner of Pet Palace finds a body, and is implicated in the murder, the future of the shelter is in jeopardy. Roxie does not believe her friend did it. And the shelter cannot be in danger of closing! Those animals deserve a good place to stay until they find their family. Roxie decides to investigate but then her Mama shows up and brings her own complications. Will Roxie be able to save the shelter or will her Mama distract her?
I highly recommend this book. As far as the mystery goes, you can read this book as a stand-alone. The greatest pleasure, though, will be gotten by reading it in order. You will understand the relationships between the residents so much better. The books are very entertaining and easy to read. Once you start a book you will devour it. So it won’t take long to catch up.

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Review: The Middle Sister

The Middle Sister The Middle Sister by Jesse Miles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my first book by Jesse Miles. I thought it was the first in the series. I know now it is the third. It’s impressive to me that I didn’t realize it was third in the series. I read a lot of series and they tend to give you clues that a previous book or books were written. Looking back, this one had them but they were so well written they blended in to me. I liked Jack Salvo. He does questionable, sometimes outright illegal things to get the puzzle pieces. He knows when to pick fights and when to hold his cards close, keep his head down and dance. I also found him to be intelligent, fair and compassionate yet pragmatic. It’s a good mix, and a realistic one, for a PI. I’m not going into the mystery because there would be no reason for you to read the book then. The mystery was well done, with a few suspects and convoluted enough to keep me guessing. The author knew the area the story was set in and I had no problem in mapping it in my head. The book left me interested in the other Jack Salvo books. I would say go for it.

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Review: They Are Watching You: A Horror Thriller Bundle

They Are Watching You: A Horror Thriller Bundle They Are Watching You: A Horror Thriller Bundle by Christopher Coleman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first book is a short read. It held my attention. It was scary. The second book was much longer and terrifying for me. There is a lot to think about in this story. I am interested to see where the author takes it.

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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Review: Fries and Alibis: Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Fries and Alibis: Paranormal Cozy Mystery Fries and Alibis: Paranormal Cozy Mystery by Trixie Silvertale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I will admit I wasn’t certain about this book at first. I thought Mitzy was abrasive. Okay she is but I understand it now. It took me a minute to warm up to her. She has built up a shield. Life was not easy for her. Once you realize her choices and her personality were shaped from a life of protection and a bit of fatalism, you can get past her shield. Now I’m friends with her. Not cautious friends either but fast friends. The ones you keep and protect.
Mitzy has bounced around in foster care since losing her mom. She didn’t know her dad or anyone in his family. You can imagine her shock at finding out she inherited a bookshop from the grandmother she never knew. But it was good timing so, used to adapting to where the wind blows her, she gets a bus ticket and is on her way. She finds herself in a small town. If you have ever been the outsider in a small town you know what that is like. But, below the surface, this isn’t your average small town. For one thing, instead of an old married sheriff we meet Sheriff Hottie. No explanation needed. Another thing, the grandma Mitzy never got to know is hanging around the bookshop. Mitzy can see and hear her! The guy at the diner was friendly and she has help at the bookshop. Things would be looking up if it wasn’t for the dead body and accusation of murder.
I started out wondering what the heck and ended up reading until early morning hours because I couldn’t put it down. Now I want the next book. The mystery wraps up but the backstory keeps flowing. If you wanted it could be a standalone. My advice to you would be to give this one a chance. It definitely grows on you. I ended up loving Mitzy and invested in her. I enjoyed the mystery because it kept me guessing and questioning. And tell me, who doesn’t dream of owning a bookstore?

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Review: Pooches, Pumpkins, and Poison: A Pooch Party Cozy Mystery

Pooches, Pumpkins, and Poison: A Pooch Party Cozy Mystery Pooches, Pumpkins, and Poison: A Pooch Party Cozy Mystery by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoy cozy mysteries with dogs. I also enjoy Carolyn Ridder Aspenson’s writing. I figured I was going to like Pooches, Pumpkins and Poison. It went beyond my expectations though. I am already invested in this series. I adore the main character, Missy. She is down to earth, smart and caring. The love she has for her dogs, and the shelter dogs, can be felt through the pages. I loved how much of the dogs, their care and training the author put into the story. I was never a fan of shock collars but after reading this, I understand their use and place better. I absolutely love when a book I’m reading teaches me something! I actually learned a few things while being entertained. That is the bonus with this author’s writing. She has a way of imparting knowledge that is wrapped well into the story. You don’t even realize you are being schooled while you read. The mystery was well done with several suspects and red herrings. I was surprised by the villain. There was some romance, too. Missy isn’t ready yet but there is the future, right? Her daughter has an interest, too, and as a mother of grown daughters, I was relating to Missy a lot. I think this cozy mystery may be the first that had me shedding a few happy tears. It is definitely a book that offers something in a couple of genres.
I was gifted an ARC. My review is based on my thoughts and feelings while reading and my reflection afterwards. I highly recommend this book. It is one of those books you wish you could give more than five stars to. I’m already looking forward to the next one!

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Review: Stamped Out: A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery

Stamped Out: A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery Stamped Out: A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Stamped Out is the first book in a new series by my one of my favorite cozy authors, Tonya Kappes.

For this series, we are taken to Sugar Creek Gap. I love how the town is described in the book. I easily pictured it. Our sleuth is a mail carrier! What an awesome job. You can get all sorts of clues while delivering mail. Bernie, (Bernadette), is a widow with a grown son. I love that she is an older character and one that I have a bit in common with, (I was a single mom who returned to the workforce to support my children). I was comfortable with her right away. I didn’t realize how quickly I was attached, though, until I got about halfway through the book. There is a part where Bernie is talking with her son and daughter in law and something gets said that just hurt my heart. That was the moment I knew I was securely invested. I just felt Bernie’s pain like my own. Two characters I just can’t wait to read about again are Vince and Harriette. Lord, what fascinating characters they are! Harriette just about stopped my heart in one scene! They are just a small part of engaging characters in this community. I love small towns because the community is so interesting. Everyone is so caring but, as always can be found, gossipy. There’s always a few people who have all the tea that needs to be spilled. I felt welcomed from the start and by the end, felt right at home.
The mystery was a compelling one with various characters as suspects. It took a few turns and come up with a surprise that had my mouth open wide. Just wait until you read that!
The book has a few recipes in it, including one from my younger years that I hadn’t eaten in awhile. You’re right if you guessed I made it. I had me some Pecan Bread with my coffee and, Lordy, but it was tasty! It took me right back to sitting around the table with my girlfriends working on our sewing. There was also a sneak peek at the next Killer Coffee Mystery, Holiday Roast Mortem. Y’all, we are in for another holiday treat with that! Get ready!

*I received an unedited arc for review purposes. Minor changes may happen in the final edition. The opinions expressed are my thoughts and feelings while reading this book.*

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Review: Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom

Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom by Nancy Atherton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an amazing book! I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway. Being the first Aunt Dimity book I read but the twenty third written, I was hesitant to start it. I felt certain I wouldn’t be able to enjoy as I would if I knew some about it. I set it aside with the intention of reading a couple of earlier books. Then life took over as it tends to do. I came across recently and knew I must read it without the planned earlier books and hope for the best. I’m delighted to report that I believe wherever you are when you pick up an Aunt Dimity book, it is where you can start! Twenty two books before mine and I wasn’t lost at all! I’m not even going to attempt a lie and say I don’t care about the other twenty two. I do care. I care, though, because this book thrilled me so that I must read the others! If you have never read Aunt Dimity books, whichever one you come across, read it. Immediately! Don’t be foolish as I was and wait.
For the benefit of anyone who hasn’t read any of Aunt Dimity, she is a ghost! Our main character is Lori a wife, (to Bill), and mom to three children. Lori is an American living in England. Aunt Dimity was her mom’s closest friend. Now she watches over Lori extending her friendship to the daughter of her best friend. Isn’t that amazing? What a testimony to the power of friendship. In the King’s Ransom, Lori and Bill are off on a small getaway. However things don’t go as planned. Mother Nature had plans of her own. Lori and Bill are forced to spend their getaway, apart. Lori spends hers as a guest at The King’s Ransom Inn and it is there the adventure begins.
I love the characters and the world building. I was swiftly taken from my chilly, windy and rainy Juneau home to a chilly and wet Shepney. How delighted I was that my weather matched, somewhat, the weather in the book! It made it so much easier to slip into place. I spent the most delightful time there! I do so want to tell you all of it but the fear of telling too much, and spoiling it for you, is great. You simply must read this book! Do make time to read it properly. Perhaps start it on a weekend when you’ve nothing planned or are on a long vacation ride. Once you begin, you will lose track of time as you are transported to England. As for me, I’ll be looking for the beginning of these books. I must know how Aunt Dimity and Lori came to be acquainted. I have so many questions that no doubt will answered by the beginning. Read, dear friend, whichever Aunt Dimity you have picked out but expect to be left wanting to go back to the beginning. Aunt Dimity and The King’s Ransom is a most tantalizing choice. Enjoy it!
*Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways and Penguin Books for the opportunity to become acquainted with Aunt Dimity. It has be delightful. I am not required to leave a review. I leave my thoughts because I want you to be transported as I was. I want you to enjoy a deliciously spooky yet immensely entertaining vacation in Shepney at the King’s Ransom Inn. Tell the Hancocks hello and I hope you enjoy some of Steve’s delicacies. I do hope you enjoy the Bishop’s company!

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Review: Sugared Suspect

Sugared Suspect Sugared Suspect by Stephanie Damore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book as part of a boxed set. I recommend getting the box set and reading them in order.
Sugared Suspect finds a new bakery has opened up across the street from Claire’s bakery! Not only that but there is a connection to Claire. There is a body in this, (I’m trying so hard to stay vague when I really want to tell), several suspects and surprises. One of the things that I absolutely love about this series is that all pets, and ghosts, are taken care of in real ways. The second is the love between Claire and Nick. *sigh* I have come to really love Claire, Nick, Milo and the regulars.
This book, as well as the others in the boxset, is a short, quick read. It is absolutely wonderful for those times when you want a complete story but are short on time. I’m looking forward to more.

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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Review: Spirited Sweets

Spirited Sweets Spirited Sweets by Stephanie Damore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this boxset! Mine actually contains four complete books, not three. These books revolve around Claire, a baker, and her spirited husband Nick. I have reviewed the books individually on each books page. The boxset is a super awesome way to devour all the books. I was so happy that I could keep going on to the next book without leaving the world I was in. And I did want to read each one immediately. If you are debating getting the books one at a time or getting the boxset, I highly recommend getting the boxset. These books are delightful reads. They are quick making it a wonderful addition to have on hand to read while waiting on an appointment, or if you’re like me, waiting in the car for someone to finish doing something. The saddest part is that coming to the last book means a wait for me. Book five? Yes, please.

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Review: Red Velvet Revenge

Red Velvet Revenge Red Velvet Revenge by Stephanie Damore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Red Velvet Revenge is the third book in the boxset.
It is New Years Eve and Claire is throwing a party at London Manor. She, along with Milo, has moved into the Manor. Ellen, Amelia and her son are also living there. Things are going as well as they can when Claire discovers a dead body! With Nick off chasing an interesting clue things take a surprising turn.
So far, this one is my favorite in this surprisingly excellent boxset. I enjoy boxsets but, with so many books vying for my attention it can take me awhile to complete them. I have ADD so the competition between books is a real thing. Usually I say I’m a mood reader, (while true it is somewhat a nice way of saying I get interested in a book when -oh look, a squirrel!- happens). The books in this boxset are quick reads. You might think that is why I am devouring this boxset. It is but, it isn’t. The fact that they only take an hour or so to read means I can usually get the book read and then I’m off to a new one. Which may or may not be the next in the boxset. I’m choosing to stay in the boxset, which is where my surprise comes in. I am devouring these books because they are capturing my attention. Each one draws me in, entertains me and leaves me excited for the next. So excited that I don’t look at all the shiny covers filling my Kindle screen. I’m telling you, get this boxset. If you do, let me know what you think, especially of Nick’s clue. I’m dying to begin the final book, so I’m off. Read this book either as a stand-alone or in order.


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Review: Decadent Demise

Decadent Demise Decadent Demise by Stephanie Damore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am reading the boxset. This is the second of four books in the set.
Claire and Nick are back and it’s Thanksgiving. Claire is living over the bakery, not having decided what to do with London Manor. A real estate developer is interested in buying it, along with other properties. Anyone who has ever loved a small town knows this is not good news. The developer has plans to build condos with a shopping center. The town is against this idea. The county commissioner approved his plans, though, so it looks like a possibility. The good news in this is that Claire has her baking mojo back.
I am truly enjoying this boxset. I enjoy the characters. I adore Nick. The stories are pretty fast reads. I find them just right for me at this time of the year. I’m busy with so much that sitting down time can be hard to come by. I’m loving the fact I can sit down with this series and finish the book in one night. Being in a boxset means if I have additional time, I can move right on to the next book. The books are complete though there is the life of Claire that continues from book to book. It is her life that makes me recommend reading this in order, (though absolutely not necessary). I think you will find her relationship with Nick to be interesting. I want a love like that.

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Sunday, September 29, 2019

Review: Bittersweet Betrayal

Bittersweet Betrayal Bittersweet Betrayal by Stephanie Damore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this quick cozy mystery. At 70 pages it is just the right size for taking a break out of a busy day. The fall through Christmas always seem a busy and stressful time. A quick, no stress, book is a great antidote.
With Bittersweet Betrayal you can relax and refresh. Claire and Nick, the main characters, have a love tie that goes beyond death. They make me smile and give me hope of finding a love like that. I’m excited that Milo will be appearing in future books. A surprising like, for me, was Adele. I truly enjoyed her. The mystery was good. I was interested but not stressed with keeping track of everything. Being a short, it is fast paced.
This book is available in a boxset. If you like your books longer, I would recommend getting the boxset so you can keep going. If, however, you like to keep some shorts on hand to read between errands on busy days or to refresh with, Bittersweet Betrayal will fulfill that.

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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Review: No Exit

No Exit No Exit by Taylor Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book grabbed and held my attention. It was, for me, a page turner. Was there anything annoying? Yes, a couple of things were. That was how we went to four stars. Was it true to life? No but, if I want true to life, I am educated enough to know you need to leave fiction behind and look in nonfiction or possibly true crime. I wanted to escape into a fantasy. I like to suspend reality and dive into a world where anything is possible..even bad things. If I’m going to read fiction hoping for a white knuckle thrill or hard to breathe, edge of the seat scare, then I’m leaving reality for another book.
Monsters can be scary because you recognize them right away. They are off enough for you to see it but normal enough for you to think you could be wrong. Sometimes normal hides abnormal. Sometimes people make mistakes because they believe they are incapable of making them. Sometimes people make mistakes, a bad decision or two, and it changes things. People do, say and think in different ways. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.
This book had me scared for Jay, for Darby. Heck, possibly for other characters, at one point or another. Did I like them all? Not really. But that’s the thing about being trapped with strangers. You don’t get to pick strangers you like and immediately trust. You get what you get. I love the twists that came, even when I suspected where it may go. I didn’t have it exact so I was still surprised. There was a lot of action and a fair bit of waiting. It worked for me. I was tense. I was anxious. I was glued to the book. Even when I took a breather, I was anxious to get back to the story. Don’t start this book without the time to finish it, just in case you find yourself like me.
I’d also like to thank the author for the teaching moment. I really love when I learn something new. I can’t go more into that, as it’s a twist for you to discover.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Review: Empath: Highly Sensitive Person’s Handbook for Mastering Your Gift, Setting Your Boundaries & Thriving in a Chaotic World

Empath: Highly Sensitive Person’s Handbook for Mastering Your Gift, Setting Your Boundaries & Thriving in a Chaotic World Empath: Highly Sensitive Person’s Handbook for Mastering Your Gift, Setting Your Boundaries & Thriving in a Chaotic World by Rozella Hart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t know much about empaths when I came across this book. . I selected it to see what they are and why I had been told I am one. I found this book to be easy to understand yet very informative. It tells you what empaths are, even supplying a test if you aren’t certain if it applies to you. From there it tells you the difficulty in being an empath and what to do to protect yourself. It also tells you the benefits and how to care for yourself.
I was a bit surprised to see how much of the book applies to me. I recognized some troubling aspects that definitely I was doing. I also discovered that I truly do need to be living near forests and mountains. The renewal of my soul that I always feel when walking or sitting in a forest is a very real thing. There were some very helpful tips that I believe will help me.
It is a very basic, informative book. The language is simple and clear. If you want to learn more about empaths or think you may be one, I recommend this book to start with.
I received an ebook version of this book through BookSprout. My review is voluntary and hopefully helpful.

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Monday, September 23, 2019

Review: Valleys, Vehicles & Victims

Valleys, Vehicles & Victims Valleys, Vehicles & Victims by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Valleys, Vehicles & Victims is the ninth book in the Camper & Criminals Series. While the book can be read on its own, I would strongly recommend reading them in order. The cozy mystery is completely solved in each book. It is the secondary, ongoing, story of Maybelline “Mae” West that requires the reading in order. I like Mae. I think she has a fascinating story, a little of which comes out in each book. I think you, if you are a new reader, will also become invested in Mae’s story. You’re going to want to know how things unfold. Plan on it.
In this book, a wedding is coming to Normal, Kentucky. The wedding party is staying at the Happy Trails campground. Mae is thrilled and excited to help the bride. Well, that is until she recognizes part of the wedding party from her time as a socialite. And she is not the only one who has met them before. It’s only a matter of time before things go squirrelly.
With surprises, twists and more suspects than you can shake a stick at you won’t be leaving Normal for a good bit. You may as well get some coffee, a decent snack and get comfy. Tonya Kappes tells a whopper of a story!

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Review: A Sleepy Hollow Kiss

A Sleepy Hollow Kiss A Sleepy Hollow Kiss by Vivien Mayfair
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lane is damaged from childhood trauma and is now raising her younger brother. The childhood trauma, along with trying to be a parent, affects her personality. I get that and was able to connect with her. Sarcasm, which can be sharp, is one of the ways she protects herself. It was interesting to watch her tackle her issues.
Miles is a single dad raising a daughter. He feels he needs a mother for his daughter, no matter the personal cost.
Lane and Miles are strangers thrown together to work on the same project. Sparks fly, not always in a good way. The debate between gothic and horror plays a part here and I loved it.
There are a number of characters. Some I liked right away while others I needed to warm up to. The plot peaked my interest. The book has quite a bit packed into it. More than I thought. I thought it was going to be short and sweet. I got an entrancing mix of humor, at times on the darker side, drama, romance, family love, a few frights and a lot of Halloween. I loved it.

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Review: Infected Waters: A Titanic Disaster

Infected Waters: A Titanic Disaster Infected Waters: A Titanic Disaster by Alathia Paris Morgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this take on the Titanic sinking. The author took them time to let know and care about the characters. This moved the zombie part a bit slow. Once that got going, it snowballed much in the way one expects it would. I enjoyed getting to know the characters so this worked for me.
*I received a copy of this book through BookSprout. I voluntarily read it and gave a review.*

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Review: Haunted Hooligans: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery

Haunted Hooligans: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery Haunted Hooligans: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoy the Chantilly Adair books. I love the way thing are progressing. Chantilly and her friends become more dear to me with every book. Her friend, Thelma, has captured my heart so much so that I’m worried about losing her. She is an older character whose husband has passed on. One part of me wants them happy joined together again. The other part of me wants to keep her alive. In this book someone in Chantilly’s circle needs help. Because of my growing feelings for her friends this book felt a bit personal. I’m not going farther in. This is a quick book to read so spoilers are easy to accidentally write. You can read this story by itself. I would recommend reading them in order for maximum enjoyment.

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Monday, September 9, 2019

Review: Magic and Mystery: Paranormal Cozy Mystery Bundle

Magic and Mystery: Paranormal Cozy Mystery Bundle Magic and Mystery: Paranormal Cozy Mystery Bundle by Lily Webb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The first book in this boxset, Broomsticks & Burials was my introduction to Lily Webb. I really like Zoe and Luna. Zoe is smart but currently unemployed and staying with her grandma. A job, though, isn’t the only thing Zoe has lost. She has lost her magic. She’s talking to her grandma when she receives the call that changes things. The next day she is off for Moon Grove and a new job! Pretty normal, right? Except Moon Grove is anything but normal. For starters, Luna, her gorgeous cat, can talk. Claude, the bus driver, appears to be a vampire. Her new boss is a werewolf. And how did she come to be petting a man’s bare stomach?
This book was incredibly fun to read! The snark had me rolling! Seriously, do not read this book at night laying next to someone trying to sleep. Particularly if they tend to be grouchy when woken by howling laughter. The characters are some of the most interesting I have met, the mystery was well done and I adored the surprises. I couldn’t wait to read book two, Spellbooks & Stakings. Would it be just as good? Luckily this is a boxset so I didn’t have to wait to find out. In this book Zoe goes to magic school! Very cool, right? I want to go, though I might not want to go through the mean girls thing again, with mean witches this time! We meet more interesting characters, there are plenty of surprises, a mystery to solve and the snark goes on. The answer to my question, would this book as good as the first is a resounding yes! Alchemy & Arson is the title of book three. I’m going to be vague again because I want to start talking up a storm. Spoiler free reviews mean a lot to me though. If I tell you everything there is no reason to read the books. This book finds Zoe getting turned down for having her grandma visit. Her friend, and one of the two council members to vote yes to the visit, Circe has spoken to her about running for Head Witch. Will she or won’t she? There is a Blood Moon rising and grandma is on the way, not knowing the council said no.
I love this series! The boxset is definitely what you want to get if your in the mood for cozy mysteries with a paranormal smorgasbord at a snark fest. Once you start this series, you won’t want to stop. Make sure you either have plenty of free time to read or you are super good at being sick when you find you need to call work for a reading day off or two.

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Sunday, September 8, 2019

Review: Death on the Range

Death on the Range Death on the Range by Nikki Haverstock
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fun book to listen to. I enjoyed the characters but I love snark and drama when I’m not living it. I thought the story was hilarious. I like Di and Mary but honestly, Moo steals the show. I never thought about a series location being at a range. What could go wrong at a range? An archery range at that? Murder. Murder could go wrong. The story is a fast listen and does a good job introducing the series.
The author did the narration on this. I’m not a big lover of authors narrating their books. However Nikki Haverstock did a good job. I think, because of the number of characters and the snarky drama, having a couple narrators would have been more enjoyable. But the author didn’t stumble,mumble, or bore me as others have. She was easy to listen to.
I recommend the audio version as well as the book. I had an enjoyable morning listening to it.

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Saturday, September 7, 2019

New Name Fresh Start

I have been away from posting here the way I want to. Neglecting this baby because life happens. I post my reviews from Goodreads. I’m looking to start again and have changed the blog name. It will still be primarily about books with other things tossed in. It is still Alaskan Book Cafe. I still live in Alaska. I still drink coffee. I still read...excessively. I changed the name as I’m trying to coordinate everything. Social media is a jungle. Please stay with me or join me during construction. I’ll still be posting about what I’m reading, thinking of reading, books I’m excited about, Alaska photos & life, coffee, movies, tv series, products I like, yarda, yadda, yadda. You get the picture.

I’m participating in Hooked on Books week long readathon that starts today. Some of my book selections are:



  
      Aunt Dimity.                          No Exit                    Witch Hunt
        
I am also participating in Castle Macabre’s Something Wicked Fall. The read-a-long is Dr Sleep! 


If you haven’t participated in an event on Castle Macabre or Seasons of Reading you should check them out. Michelle does a lot of fun things there. I’m excited for FightFall in October and Christmas Spirit in November. 

What are you reading? Any events you are participating in or hosting? Thanks for stopping by! 






Thursday, September 5, 2019

Review: Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology

Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology by Tegan Maher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am reviewing an arc of Time To Jump by Mona Marple. The story features Felicity from the Witch In Time Mysteries. This time we go back to 1947, New York. I enjoyed reading this story. I thought the author did a great job capturing society at that time. The mystery was excellent, surprising me at the reveal. I loved the ending. I am looking forward to reading the rest, (some of my favorite authors are in this set!), of the stories. I have already preordered it for my fall reading.
Review of an ARC of Battle of the Hexes by Morgana Best. I recently fell in love with a series, (His Ghoul Friday), by this author and now want to read everything she writes. I loved Battle of the Hexes. This story is set in Australia and our sleuth is Adeline Bloomwood. She lives in a town with other magical beings, unknown to the mundane residents. She has a familiar, who I adore, named Pudding. One thing I love is that the author includes an explanation of the different spellings and a list of Australian slang and terms, (some of these are so fun, I’m going to use them). I’m never lost when I read her books. The stories have to be short but don’t let that stop you. I had a fun time reading this mystery. The time flew by as I read. I want to tell you all about it. I’m dying to. But you won’t have any reason to read it if I do. I’m so hoping this isn’t the last we hear of Adeline, Pudding and some other interesting characters I’ll let you discover.
*This review will be edited later to include all the stories.*

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Friday, August 30, 2019

Review: Lavender & Mistletoe

Lavender & Mistletoe Lavender & Mistletoe by Donna Kauffman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I really liked Avery. I understood here. I’m not as brilliant as she is but I did identify with her in many ways. I loved her curiosity. I’m totally like that. It was exciting for me to read about a character whose mind moves along seeing everything. She isn’t so good romantically. I understand that too. It was amazing for me to read her. Ben, her love interest, was just as amazing. I love the way he understood and accepted her. It just made me sigh in bliss!
I definitely want to read more in this series.
* I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I appreciate the opportunity to read this book. The review was written honestly and voluntarily.*

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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Review: Frugal Lissa Finds a Body

Frugal Lissa Finds a Body Frugal Lissa Finds a Body by Ritter Ames
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Frugal Lissa Finds A Body and I find a new series to love. Lissa is married and raising two boys alone while her husband is working overseas. She needs to make her money stretch. She blogs her tips and makes a little money from it. I love that Lissa is a real mom, flawed but loving. I love how her boys are in the story. They don’t just get mentioned at the beginning then disappear only to return at the end. She takes care of them. They have a lab who is called Honey. Delightfully, she is a true member of the family. Dad is away but yet still in the story. Her best friend is Abby. Reading this book, to me, was like being a part of Lissa’s life. I really enjoyed that. I loved the feeling I had while reading. I was truly welcomed into Lissa’s life. The finding of the body doesn’t happen on the first page. The book first gets us comfortable with the family and neighborhood. So when the body is found we are just as shocked as the characters. I think that’s a hard thing to accomplish. After all most cozy mysteries involve a body. We are expecting it. Yet we are surprised when it happens. This was when I got the delicious chill that you get when an author has written a scene flawlessly.
I never go into the book farther than this. If I did you would have no need to read it. I had an entertaining time reading this book. If it weren’t for a family emergency, I probably would have read it in one day. There are money saving tips in the story. Recipes are at the end. Now go read the book.

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Friday, August 23, 2019

Review: Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology

Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology by Tegan Maher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am reviewing an arc of Time To Jump by Mona Marple. The story features Felicity from the Witch In Time Mysteries. This time we go back to 1947, New York. I enjoyed reading this story. I thought the author did a great job capturing society at that time. The mystery was excellent, surprising me at the reveal. I loved the ending. I am looking forward to reading the rest, (some of my favorite authors are in this set!), of the stories. I have already preordered it for my fall reading.
Review of an ARC of Battle of the Hexes by Morgana Best. I recently fell in love with a series, (His Ghoul Friday), by this author and now want to read everything she writes. I loved Battle of the Hexes. This story is set in Australia and our sleuth is Adeline Bloomwood. She lives in a town with other magical beings, unknown to the mundane residents. She has a familiar, who I adore, named Pudding. One thing I love is that the author includes an explanation of the different spellings and a list of Australian slang and terms, (some of these are so fun, I’m going to use them). I’m never lost when I read her books. The stories have to be short but don’t let that stop you. I had a fun time reading this mystery. The time flew by as I read. I want to tell you all about it. I’m dying to. But you won’t have any reason to read it if I do. I’m so hoping this isn’t the last we hear of Adeline, Pudding and some other interesting characters I’ll let you discover.
*This review will be edited later to include all the stories.*

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Review: She's Got Game

She's Got Game She's Got Game by Laura Heffernan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I came across this book on Facebook. I believe it was in the Between the Chapters Book Club and they were having a chat with the author. I’m a gamer as well as a reader so this book was jumping up and down at me. I had high expectations for it and I’m happy to say that it lived up to them. I like the characters. I loved entering the gaming convention atmosphere. The author wrote that so realistically that I felt like I was there. I now am dying to go to one. It was a fun book to read. I appreciated the slower pace on romance with the mention of swipe right dating craze. I thought it was handled very well. I think this book will especially appeal to the gaming crowd.

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Friday, August 16, 2019

Review: My Dead World

My Dead World My Dead World by Jacqueline Druga
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started this book and couldn’t get into it so I set it aside. A few days later I tried again and didn’t want to put it down. I’m a mood reader and as one I sometimes need to start a book a few times. It is rarely because of the writing. In this case it definitely was just me. Once I got into the story, I was fascinated. I loved how the virus and what was happening unfolded. I thought it was pretty realistic with reactions. There were a few hard places for me. I had my heart in my throat more than once. I also felt it break more than once. I never heard of this author before coming across the story. Now I need to find more books by her. If you enjoy apocalyptic books you should give this one a try. It is one of the most interesting books I have read lately on a pandemic crisis.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Review: Praying for Peace: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery

Praying for Peace: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery Praying for Peace: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have fallen hard for this series. So much so that I will stop other books I’m reading and make them wait while I read these. In this book Chantilly is looking into two murders. One old, the other recent. I don’t go beyond saying a bit of information on the mystery because you, the reader, should uncover everything as you read. That is how I enjoy my mysteries. I like Chantilly. She feels real to me. I was a single mom. I like her friends. Most of all I enjoy her discovering her gift of seeing and talking to the dead. The author takes us at a good pace with this. If she had stated everything in the first book, I’m not sure I would have come back. The slow adjustment is what keeps me coming back. I have time between bookstore think about how things are developing. I loved her discovery that someone else has the same kind of gift. Most things that we think are only happening to us are not that unique. I enjoyed this book, the people and the mystery. I hope you read the book and enjoy it, too.

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Monday, August 12, 2019

Review: Pineapple Upside Down Murder

Pineapple Upside Down Murder Pineapple Upside Down Murder by Jodi Rath
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I came across this series when I answered a question in a Facebook group on cooking with a cast iron skillet. I love my cast iron skillet. I make all kinds of things in it. It is older than I am. A cozy mystery that includes cast iron skillet recipe? Yes, please. I bought the book to check it out and thoroughly enjoy myself! I really like the family and friends in this small town. I don’t want to say a lot about the plot so yes a dead body is involved along with another mystery that isn’t a dead body. Are they related or separate? I did not guess the ending at all. The ending is complete but there is something that happened to Jolie that I absolutely must have the next book to see how it goes. So maybe the ending is complete but not. I don’t know. What I do know is I’m definitely getting JalapeƱo Cheddar Cornbread Murder. And this fall I’ll be on the lookout for Turkey Basted to Death, the book not dinner at my parents where my dad always says the turkey was basted to death. You know I have to get that book just for the title alone. My dad is going to crack up! I’m so looking forward to more books in The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series.

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Friday, August 9, 2019

Review: Arts and Witchcrafts

Arts and Witchcrafts Arts and Witchcrafts by Morgana Best
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the third and final book in a boxset, His Ghoul Friday.
I enjoy this series so much. Misty Friday is a witch. The author doesn’t make it all cutesy twitching nose, ( I love Bewitched but those of us old enough to have watched know it was cute), to make funny situations. She teaches me, in a very fun way, new things and speaks of things I already know. She keeps it interesting while keeping it comfortable and wraps it up in a an entertaining package. Every book I have read in the series has been fun to read. The mysteries are not too easy or hard and I am surprised by them. The books can be read on their own because each main mystery is solved but because there is a mystery that carries from book to book, (no major cliffhangers just something mysterious for Misty that we learn about as she does), it is best to read this in order. I find each book surprises me by being better than the previous one. A possible love interest is back. I’m enjoying that exploration so far. I really like the pacing of it. Cordelia and my favorite Aunty June are back. I liked seeing more of Cordelia in this book. I’m really kind of suspicious of Skinny. I just get a vibe from her. I’m ready for book four, Make Some Magic.

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Review: Yuletide at Moonglow

Yuletide at Moonglow by Deborah Garner My rating: 5 of 5 stars View all my reviews