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 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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Review: Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery

Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery by Jamie Rutland Gillespie My rating: 5 of 5 stars ...