Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Designed to Death (A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery) by Christina Freeburn #Review / #Giveaway @HeneryPress


Designed to Death (A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Henery Press; 1st Edition (September 3, 2013)
Paperback: 292 pages
ISBN-10: 1938383524
ISBN-13: 978-1938383526
Kindle ASIN: B00F1IFYJ8

Faith Hunter planned the perfect event at her grandmother’s shop, Scrap This, featuring local scrapbooker and Life Artist Diva, Belinda Watson. But the extravaganza goes up in a cloud of glitter when Belinda and her cousin, Darlene, brawl over scraplifted designs. Faith attempts to break it up, but only makes things worse. Then when Belinda turns up dead behind the Scrap This store, Faith’s involvement goes viral.

 

As accusations against her turn vicious, Faith sets out to prove her nemesis, Darlene, committed the crime, only to realize they are both innocent. Now they must team up or the murderer’s plan will come together seamlessly with the frenemies sharing a jail cell—or worse, a funeral.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Scrapbookers take their creations seriously and heaven forbid some steals someone else’s designs and submits them to a magazine. That is just what local scrapbooker and Life Artist Diva, Belinda Watson is accused of. The accusation by Belinda’s cousin Darlene happened in front of a full class at Scrap This. Faith does her best to gain control when the glitter starts to fly. But later Belinda is found dead behind the scrapbooking shop and Faith finds herself cropped into another murder investigation and working with DARLENE!

Faith Hunter is a smart protagonist that has returned home to manage her grandmother’s scrapbook store. When she receives a call from the security company about a possible break-in she tells them to call the police and she heads to her neighbor and assistant prosecutor, Steve’s home to get him to go with her to find out what is happening at the store. Her grandmothers think Faith and Steve would make the perfect couple. Homicide detective Ted Roget also has eyes for Faith but he has a murder to solve while trying to keep Faith out of his investigation. The murder could upend everything her grandmothers’ have worked so hard for that Faith just can’t back off.


The scrapbook theme is a wonderful venue for a cozy mystery series. The author uses her descriptive talents to set the scene and the projects making it easy to visualize everything.

Ms. Freeburn has created strong core characters with strong relationships for this series. They are engaging and true to life. Faith’s grandmothers, Hope and Cheryl, are just amazing. They just want Faith to be happy. Her devotion to them is heartwarming. Her love triangle with Ted and Steve is still fresh and new. Due to her past, she is taking things slow, and her actions and reactions clearly show this is a wise choice.

The mystery was very interesting. Pairing Faith with Darlene was unexpected and at times their antics had me shaking my head. Plenty of twists kept this reader on her toes.

Designed to Death has a strong family dynamic along with an entertaining mystery and a nice dose of humor.  I was late to the party for this series but hope to remedy that soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Christina Freeburn

Christina Freeburn has always loved books. There was nothing better than picking up a story and being transported to another place. The love of reading evolved into the love of writing and she’s been writing since her teenage years. Her first novel was a 2003 Library of Virginia Literary Award nominee. Her mysteries series, Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery and Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mysteries, are a mix of crafty and crime and feature heroines whose crafting time is interrupted by crime-solving.

Christina served in the US Army and has also worked as a paralegal, librarian, church secretary, and golf shop pro. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid and allergic to felines.

Author Links – Webpage     Blog     Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads 

Also by Christina Freeburn

I am giving away a Kindle Copy!
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

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Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Grounds for Remorse (A Tallie Graver Mystery) by Misty Simon #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Grounds for Remorse (A Tallie Graver Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496712234
ISBN-13: 978-1496712233
Kindle ASIN: B075C7ML55

No more cheating . . .

 

Best friends Tallie Graver and Gina Laudermilch both seem to spend a lot of time around urns. For Tallie, they’re part and parcel of the family business, Graver’s Funeral Home. Even though she’s traded ashes for dusting with her own cleaning business, she still works part-time for her folks and lives above the funeral parlor. For Gina, they’re the vessels that contain her heavenly brew at her coffee shop, Bean There, Done That. And both women are learning that owning a business can make finding time for romance challenging.

 

But when Gina’s new beau turns out to have a wife, who barges into the coffee shop to take him home, she can’t contain her bitterness and loudly threatens to poison his cup or boil him in a vat of coffee. So when Mr. Wrong turns up dead at the bottom of a staircase inside Gina’s locked home, she finds herself at the top of the police’s suspect list. Tallie needs to sweep in to save her friend. But she’ll need to watch her step, or she may go from being a funeral home employee to becoming their next client . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Gina Laudermilch is head over heels about her new boyfriend, sharing with best friend, Tallie Graver, he may be the one. Then the man’s wife shows up at her coffee shop to stake her claim and take the man home. But Mr. So Wrong doesn’t back down and still tries to see Gina even though she has threatened to “boil him in a vat of coffee”,  he actually shows up at her door with flowers Max gets caught in the crossfire. Then the next day Gina finds the man at the bottom of her staircase dead behind a locked door she also finds herself the prime suspect. Tallie is ready to do anything to clear her friend’s name even going toe to toe with those high on her suspect list and against the police’s warnings to leave the case to them.


I really enjoyed this 2nd installment to this series because there was always something happening and the book had an excellent flow. Tallie’s boyfriend has come for a visit and gets totally involved in everything Tallie does from going to help her clean houses, helping out at the family funeral home, to investigating the murder of Casanova Craig. He truly is a special man and they make a great couple.

Tallie’s family continues to make me laugh. All the recurring characters continue to develop in meaningful ways. Tallie’s father is very serious about his business and its image and her mother butts into Tallie’s life as any normal mother would, okay she does get a little much at times but you have to love her for it. I just wish they would give Tallie a little more leeway and let her come into her own. Hopefully, that will happen soon. A new relationship is blooming between two characters as well that I find delightful even though it was also a complete surprise.

Ms. Simon also introduces some interesting characters for this story and puts them into some unique situations. Turns out Craig is a chronic cheater that opened the door to a vast number of suspects. There were plenty of twists and turns and while I thought I had everything all figured out before the big reveal I was only partially right. There was one last twist I didn’t see coming.

Grounds For Remorse is a well-crafted mystery with characters that are becoming more engaging as the series continues. I am looking forward to the next book in this series, Deceased and Desist is waiting on my To-Be-Read stack.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Laughter and Love are two main components of any story I write. Laughter really is the best medicine and my heroines always figure that out at some point, though perhaps some later than others. I live in Central Pennsylvania with my family and two rambunctious dogs in a house that is about to celebrate its two hundredth birthday. You can find Misty Simon on Facebook here.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End July 3, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Murder with Cherry Tarts (A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery) by Karen Rose Smith #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @karenrosemith

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Murder with Cherry Tarts (A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Kensington (November 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723929
ISBN-13: 978-1496723925
Kindle ASIN: B07PNYFWZD

In Pennsylvania’s Amish country, Daisy Swanson has a tea shop to run, a daughter to marry off—and a murder to solve . . .

 

Daisy’s worried one of her employees at Daisy’s Tea Garden may be in a spot of trouble. Lately Karina’s been loading up on soup and second-day baked goods at the end of her shift—and while the shop’s scrumptious treats may be hard to resist, Daisy suspects there’s more going on, especially since Karina has been seen hanging out in a rundown part of Willow Creek.

 

Planning her own daughter’s wedding is enough to keep her busy, but Daisy can’t help feeling a protective maternal instinct—and an instict to investigate. It turns out Karina has been helping a down-on-his luck single dad who’s been making ends meet—barely—by selling antiques at a place called Pirated Treasures.

 

But when an employee at the antiques store is bludgeoned to death with a marble rolling pin, Karina’s new friend is suspect number one. Though the motives are muddy and steeped in intrigue, Daisy is more than determined to flush the real killer out.

 

Includes delicious recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Willow Creek when a lot is happening. A wedding, a big move, a new baby soon to be delivered, an employee behaving oddly, and a new murder. Daisy is juggling a lot of teapots in the air.

Daisy’s daughter, Violet is nervous about her wedding that is just a few days away. Will she be a good wife? A good mom? Will she be able to handle it all?

Daisy’s employee, Karina has been taking leftover food to a homeless man and Daisy just can’t help but step in to help. But when the man becomes the prime suspect in a murder will Daisy be rethinking her generosity or will she go above and beyond to prove his innocence?

_______

Again the author has piled a lot of our protagonist’s shoulders but Daisy has proved she can handle it before so I knew just to hold on tight and let her go. Daisy doesn’t disappoint. She is a wise woman with great instincts and ideas and tons of patience when needed. She has raised two terrific daughters and surrounded herself with wonderful friends. Jazzi, her adopted daughter is trying to forge a relationship with her birth mom, and Daisy is so supportive. Aunt Iris is a treasure and I love the relationship she has with Daisy while her relationship with her mother is strained. Her relationship with Jonas continues to evolve.  I really enjoyed the introduction of Keith Robert and his daughter, Mandy. The characters the author has created are what truly brings me back to this series again and again.

The mystery is very well-plotted and written. The author again blends work, home, and the murder investigation seamlessly. Daisy really gets involved in the life of the man police are focused on much to the dismay of Detective Zeke Willet. I really enjoyed the way the whole story played out. It had some really nice twists and turns.

Cherry Tarts are the focus of this book and I guarantee you will be craving them by the time you finish this book. Thankfully the recipe is included at the end.

Truly engaging characters and a curious mystery made Murder with Cherry Tarts a very delightful read. The book can be read on its own but I recommend you read the whole series in order for maximum enjoyment.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Come back next Tuesday when I will be reviewing Murder With Clotted Cream!

 

Karen Rose Smith About the Author

Karen Rose Smith likes to chat with her readers on social media.  You can find her on Facebook at KarenRoseSmithBooks and on Twitter @karenrosemith.  Find out more about her mysteries at https://www.karenrosesmithmysteries.com.

 

Also by this Author


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Murder With Cherry Tarts!
Book will be gifted from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Contest Will End June 19, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday (Saturday Edition) – Living the Vida Lola (A Lola Cruz Mystery) by Melissa Bourbon #Review / #Giveaway

 

SATURDAY EDITION

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

This week got away from me and I wasn’t able to prepare this post for yesterday. 


Living the Vida Lola (A Lola Cruz Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Henery Press (January 29, 2019)
Hardcover: 274 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114462
ISBN-13: 978-1635114461
Paperback: 274 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114438
ISBN-13: 978-1635114430
Kindle ASIN: B07K2CNDZQ

Meet Lola Cruz. After paying her dues as an intern, she’s now a full-fledged detective at Camacho and Associates. Her boss is Manny Camacho, a muy caliente former cop with a mysterious ex-wife, a Lara Croft look-alike girlfriend, and a sudden personal interest in Lola.

 

Her first big case? A missing mother who may not want to be found. And to make her already busy life even more complicated, Lola’s helping her cousin plan her quinceañera and battling her family and their old-fashioned views on women and careers. She’s also reunited with the gorgeous Jack Callaghan, her high school crush whom she shamelessly tailed years ago and photographed doing the horizontal salsa with some other lucky girl.

 

Lola takes it all in stride, but when the subject of her search ends up dead, she realizes she has a lot more to worry about. Soon she finds herself wrapped up in the possibly shady practices of a tattoo parlor, local politics, and someone with serious—maybe deadly—road rage. To top it all off, her treasured post-coital pictures of Jack are missing!

 

Still, Lola is well-equipped to handle these challenges. She’s a black-belt in kung fu, and her body isn’t her only weapon. She’s got smarts, sass, and more tenacity than her Mexican mafioso-wannabe grandfather. A few of her famous margaritas don’t hurt, either.

This book was published originally back in 2009 under the author name Misa Ramirez and has now been rereleased by Henery Press .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have been looking forward to reading this series for a long time.  I thought this would be the perfect time to dive into them but after reading this first book I find myself conflicted. I really didn’t like Lola. I was expecting her to be more like Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum but she was more like a lovesick 28-year-old stuck in the past.  She is now a true Private Investigator with her first big case but seems more concentrated on the fact that her high school crush is now interested in her. She can’t get her mind off a risque picture she took of him several years ago that she still keeps under her pillow. She finally gets her mind on the case but if I didn’t know this was a series I would have thought she would be dead by the end of the book.

Jack was also pretty full of himself, Lola’s brother can be a real jerk, Lola’s parents while over the top sure don’t want their daughter to be a private eye, and the staff at the P.I. office just felt swarmy to me. All the characters are well defined I just had trouble finding rewarding characteristics within them.

The mystery was very overshadowed by everything else going on in the book but I was determined to finish the story to see how it came together. There were off the wall twists and truly unbelievable turns but I was somewhat surprised when all was revealed.

I absolutely love Melissa Bourbon’s Magical Dressmaking Series so I am truly disappointed to find the Lola series is just not for me. I am rounding up to 3 stars.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

I do have 1 Kindle copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End May 23, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Death and Daisies: A Magic Garden Mystery by Amanda Flower #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Death and Daisies: A Magic Garden Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Scotland
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (November 13, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1683317815
ISBN-13: 978-1683317814
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (June 30, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback
ISBN-10: 1643851896
ISBN-13: 978-1643851891
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (November 13, 2018)
Kindle ASIN: B078M3K4VN

Florist Fiona Knox left behind her gloomy life for a magical garden in Scotland, but a murder on her shop’s opening day spells doom.

 

Fiona Knox thought she was pulling her life back together when she inherited her godfather’s cottage in Duncreigan, Scotland—complete with a magical walled garden. But the erstwhile Tennessee flower shop owner promptly found herself puddle boot-deep in danger when she found a dead body among the glimmering blossoms. One police investigation later (made a trifle less unpleasant by the presence of handsome Chief Inspector Neil Craig), and Fiona’s life is getting back on a steady, though bewitched, track. Her sister Isla has just moved in with her, and the grand opening of her new spellbound venture, the Climbing Rose Flower Shop in Aberdeenshire, is imminent.

 

But dark, ensorcelled clouds are gathering to douse Fiona’s newly sunny outlook. First, imperious parish minister Quaid MacCullen makes it undeniably clear that he would be happy to send Fiona back to Tennessee. Then, a horrific lightning storm, rife with terribly omen, threatens to tear apart the elderly cottage and sends Fi and Isla cowering under their beds. The storm passes, but then, Fi is called away from the Climbing Rose’s opening soiree when Kipling, the tiny village’s weak-kneed volunteer police chief, finds a dead body on the beach.

 

The body proves difficult to identify, but Kipling is certain it’s that of the parish minister. Which makes Fiona, MacCullen’s new nemesis, a suspect. And what’s worse, Isla has seemed bewitched as of late…did she do something unspeakable to protect her sister? The last thing Fiona wanted to do was play detective again. But now, the rosy future she’d envisioned is going to seed, and if she and Craig can’t clear her name, her idyllic life will wilt away in Death and Daisies, national bestselling author Amanda Flower’s second enchanting Magic Garden mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Fiona Knox is super excited to be opening her new flower shop, the Climbing Rose with her sister Isla by her side. But everyone is not happy about Fiona’s shop or her continuing to stay in the cottage she inherited from her godfather. Parish Minister Quaid MacCullen has gotten up close and personal to warn Fiona she doesn’t belong in Duncreigan, Scotland tending a garden or opening a flower shop.

The sisters face a terrible lightning storm that rocks their little cottage mightily but when the storm passes everything seems okay until they learn a dead body has been found on the beach. Kipling, the volunteer police chief believes the body is none other but the parish minister who was threatening Fiona. So again she is up to her ears in another police investigation with handsome Chief Inspector Neil Craig, But Isla is acting strange. Could she be involved in the minister’s death or know someone who is?

______

I loved the first book in this series and don’t know why it took me so long to get to this one.

I really enjoy the Scottish setting and the magical garden. This time the garden took a little bit of a backseat as Fiona worked hard to open her new flower shop. There were a couple interesting garden scenes though, I just wish there were more as Fiona continues to learn her caretaker status and all the magical mysteries the garden holds.

The character development continues with the inclusion of Fiona’s sister Isla. Typical sibling rivalry erupts as the sisters find their way as Isla plans to stay in Scotland. With the opening of her shop, the sisters meet many more residents Aberdeenshire and previous relationships continue to grow. With this character increase the suspect options expand as well. The author takes her time introducing each character too, so they are all very easy to keep straight.

The mystery was very well-plotted with twists, turns, secrets,  and misdirection. While the main mystery is wrapped up well there are several strings that carry over into the next book. One that could really turn Fiona’s life upside down.

Death and Daisies is a fine addition to this series. I was entertained the entire way. Daisies are my favorite flower and I love seeing fields of them. This story gave me a wonderful virtual view.

I am super excited to read Mums and Mayhem. It will be released on July 7, 2020. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Flowers and Foul Play here.

About This Author

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest



Also by Amanda Flower





Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

I am giving away 1 KINDLE Copy!

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Subscribe to Amanda’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End May 1, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Wonton Terror: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review / #Giveaway @StMartinsPress

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I am on a mission to get caught up on this series!

wonton terror
Wonton Terror: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (August 27, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250228344
ISBN-13: 978-1250228345
Kindle ASIN: B07NCWBQRQ

Wonton Terror, the fourth in Vivien Chien’s Noodle Shop delicious mystery series, Ho-Lee Noodle House is ready to take the Cleveland night market by storm—until a brand-new food venue literally explodes onto the scene.

 

Lana Lee is all smiles when the first evening of Cleveland’s Asian Night Market kicks off the summer. The weekly festival is always good for business, packed with locals and tourists, and this year, some stiff new food-truck competition. Wonton on Wheels, run by old friends of Lana’s parents, promises to have customers lining up for their delicately wrapped delights—until the truck blows up at evening’s end.

 

Lana’s boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau, had been planning a birthday getaway for the two of them but, lo and behold, Lana must assume the role of amateur sleuth yet again. With one proprietor of Wonton on Wheels dead, it’s beginning to look more like murder and less like an unfortunate accident. And as they begin to unwrap layers of disturbing secrets, Lana’s own family erupts into new drama. Will Lana be able to solve this crime—or has she jumped from the wok right into the fire?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It is time for the Cleveland Night Market and Lana Lee is thrilled her Ho-Lee Noodle House will be serving up its delicious Chinese food. The first night goes very well but wraps up with a huge KABOOM! A food truck belonging to some old friends of her parents explodes killing the husband Ronnie Chow and injuring the wife, Sandra.

On top of that Lana’s mother’s sister, Grace arrives in town for a visit and her boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau is planning a romantic trip for her birthday.

So there is plenty of family drama and some undercover sleuthing going on, but Lana better tread carefully or she may be the next one getting burned.


Lana continues to grow in each book and this time she really doesn’t back away from the challenge of finding who blew up that food truck. She goes back time and time again questioning suspects and anyone that may have any information. From the elderly Mahjong Matrons to reconnecting with her childhood friend, Calvin Chow, who may be her number 1 suspect, or his uncle Gene. She really came across as brave this time. She is also learning that to avoid some of the family drama is to take a pass on the family dinners once in a while, but her overbearing mother won’t let that happen often. This tight-knit family is what really sets this series apart. With all the drama you can see the love behind it all. This time grandma has some wise words for her daughters, making Lana and her sister Anna Mae have a bit of an awakening too.

Ms. Chien has served up a very twisted mystery here. It was a challenging mystery to solve, in fact, there is a huge twist at the end that turned all my theories inside out. The pace felt a lot faster this time than in the previous books, my pages were flying.

I have enjoyed every book in this series so far. Egg Drop Dead is waiting not so patiently on my Kindle and Killer Kung Pao will be released on August 25.

Wonton Terror is a wonderful addition to this series! I would encourage you to start the series from the beginning but the author does a great job at including enough background to read each story on its own.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here,  Dim Sum of All Fears here
and Murder Lo Mein here

About the Author

VIVIEN CHIEN was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she grew up in a mixed-race home, making for some very interesting cultural experiences. She found her love of books and the written word at an early age while writing short stories about her classmates in elementary school. Currently, she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier who refuses to sit anywhere else. When she’s not writing, Vivien enjoys frequenting local Asian restaurants, frolicking in the bookstore, and searching for her next donut. (From Amazon)

 

I am giving away a Kindle copy of Wonton Terror!

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You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Contest Will End April 17, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. 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.”

 

 

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Murder Lo Mein (A Noodle Shop Mystery) by Vivien Chien #Review / #Giveaway @StMartinsPress

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I am on a mission to get caught up on this series!


Murder Lo Mein (A Noodle Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (March 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250129192
ISBN-13: 978-1250129192
Kindle ASIN: B07F138TSZ

Everyone agrees that the food at Ho-Lee Noodle House is delicious—unless it happens to be deadly.

 

Lana Lee’s stake in her family’s Chinese restaurant is higher than ever now that she’s been made manager. So when she enters Ho-Lee into Cleveland’s Best Noodle Contest, Lana makes it her business to win—at all costs. But when a local food critic receives a threatening note in a fortune cookie and is later found dead, face-down in a bowl of lo mein, all bets are off. . .

 

Now, along with her sweet-and-sour boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau, Lana decides to take matters into her own hands and dig into the lives of everyone involved in the contest. But when she receives an ill-fated fortune, Lana realizes that in order to save the reputation of her restaurant, she needs to save herself first. . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

For Murder Lo Mein we are back at the Asia Village for the annual Cleveland’s Best Noodle Contest. Lana is banking on her chef Peter Huang to win the contest to show her parents they made the right choice making her manager of Ho Lee Noodle House. Winning will also bring in more customers.

Unfortunately, after the first round one of the judges in found dead, face-down in a bowl of low mein, no less. Then another judge bites the dust. Lana’s boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau begs her to leave the investigating to him but she just can’t stop herself from snooping. She knows she is getting close when she discovers something in her purse. Will she survive to see the end of the contest or will the killer get to her first?

_____

I have enjoyed these characters from the start. Lana is funny, smart and a little bit awkward, but she is excelling as manager of the family business. Her parents have returned from Taiwan with Lana’s grandmother in tow. Surprisingly her overpowering mother doesn’t try to return to running the restaurant, but she still has opinions about Lana’s life from how she dresses to her relationship with the good detective. Happily, Lana and Adam’s relationship is making progress. Grandma doesn’t speak English and Lana doesn’t speak her grandmother’s dialect but they do find a way to communicate. Lana’s best friend/roommate Megan is usually available to help Lana with her sleuthing. And they both have the lovable black pug named Kikko to come home to. If Megan isn’t available, friend Kimmy is eager to help out. With the Best Noodle Contest, there are a lot of secondary characters, some become very viable suspects, one would like to get to know Lana much better.

The mystery unfolds nicely with plenty of suspects. Again, people just open up and talk to Lana. Her friendly nature really suits her sleuthing endeavors much to Adam’s dismay at times. Adam opens up to Lana more in this story too. I have not read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War but it is cleverly brought into the mystery. Solving the mystery was not easy. The author really twists things up. I thought I was smart and had it all figured out until I was proven wrong. It was a lot of fun following the clues and being surprised at the big reveal.

I have stated in previous reviews for books in this series that Chinese food is not really my thing but in this book, we learned that Lana loves donuts and so do I. Both are fully described within these pages. Lana is worried about her waistline now that a bakery has taken over the shop next door. I worried about my waistline because those descriptions really cranked up my cravings 😆

Vivien Chien has a real hit on her hands with this series. Murder Lo Mein is an excellent addition. With engaging characters and a great mystery spiced up with the perfect amounts of humor and romance, she has served up a real treat.

The next book in this series, Wonton Terror is on my To-Be-Read shelf and I will be reading and reviewing it soon! Egg Drop Dead is being released on February 25th and Killer Kung Pao will be out on August 25th.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here and Dim Sum of All Fears here

About the Author

VIVIEN CHIEN was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she grew up in a mixed-race home, making for some very interesting cultural experiences. She found her love of books and the written word at an early age while writing short stories about her classmates in elementary school. Currently, she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier who refuses to sit anywhere else. When she’s not writing, Vivien enjoys frequenting local Asian restaurants, frolicking in the bookstore, and searching for her next donut. (From Amazon)

 

I am giving away a paperback copy of Murder Lo Mein!

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Follow St. Martin’s Press on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End March 6, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. 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.”

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2019 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Wedding Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries) by Joanne Fluke #Review

I have gotten way behind on this series.
I always try to read at least one at the end of the year when I have fewer reviewing commitments.
Hopefully, I will catch up soon.


Wedding Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
Setting – Minneapolis
Publisher: Kensington (February 23, 2016)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1617732168
ISBN-13: 978-1617732164
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1617732184
ISBN-13: 978-1617732188
Kindle ASIN: B00Y6RB46W

Everyone in Lake Eden, Minnesota, may have had their doubts, but at long last, Hannah Swensen is getting married!

Hannah is thrilled to be marrying Ross Barton, her college crush. And her excitement only grows when she learns he’ll be able to join her on her trip to New York City for the Food Channel’s dessert chef contest. They get a taste of the Big Apple before Hannah wins the Hometown Challenge and the producers bring all the contestants to Lake Eden to tape the remainder of the show. It’s nerve-wracking enough being judged by Alain Duquesne, a celebrity chef with a nasty reputation. But it’s even more chilling to find him stabbed to death in the Lake Eden Inn’s walk-in cooler—before he’s even had a chance to taste Hannah’s Butterscotch Sugar Cookies! Now Hannah has not only lost her advantage, she’ll have to solve a mystery with more layers than a five-tiered wedding cake…

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The last book in this series, Double Fudge Brownie Murder, was a little off for me, so I was a little nervous about reading this one, but I love these characters so I dove right in. Sadly, Hannah has cast both Mike and Norman aside and it really going to marry Ross. Shockingly, both her past loves vow to remain friends and even become part of the wedding party. I have always been Team Mike so I was heartbroken. Truthfully, Ross seems shady, I was hoping he was the victim or the killer.

Aside from the wedding, Hannah and Michelle are participating in the Food Channel’s Dessert Chef Contest and Ross is going along to New York to film interviews and background for the hometown station. He uses his clout to upgrade the group’s flights and hotel rooms. When Hannah wins the first round, the contest moves back to Lake Eden, a big event for the entire town. That is until one of the judges is found dead in the walk-in cooler at the Lake Eden Inn. With the other judges and contestants on the suspect list, Hannah is sleuthing out a killer, while trying to win the biggest cooking contest of her life and still be standing to take her vows.

__________

The first half of the book is introducing the chefs and the judges, prep through the first round of the contest, and Hannah’s mother and grandmother taking over the wedding planning. All Hannah had to do was pick out her dress and show up for the wedding. Of course, she did have her hands full with other things. I did enjoy several of the new characters. The judges were not as realistic as on the actual cooking shows we see on television but they fit in well with the plot as did the other contestants. The cast regulars continue to gather to go over evidence and theories, but there still seems to be a strong connection between Hannah and her former loves.

The mystery portion is well-plotted with several twists have and after this many cases, everyone knows Hannah is investigating. She does continue to leap into situations without a clear plan, which brings some tense moments. I did not sleuth out the killer myself until Hannah did, and it was kinds a surprise for both of us. 🙂

About a third of the book is yummy recipes for cookies and desserts that are featured in the story. The author includes them at the end of chapters and I sometimes feel they should all be at the end to not mess with the flow of the story but I have become accustomed after this many books to skipping them over and reviewing them when I complete the book when I can scan the ones I want to try into my recipe folder on my computer.

This series continues to be one of my faves. I am anxious to get caught up and see what Hannah gets herself mixed up in next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

JOANNE FLUKE is the New York Times bestselling author of the Hannah Swensen mysteries, which include Double Fudge Brownie Murder, Blackberry Pie MurderCinnamon Roll Murder, and the book that started it all, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. That first installment in the series premiered as Murder, She Baked:  A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. Like Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke was born and raised in a small town in rural Minnesota but now lives in Southern California. Please visit her online at www.JoanneFluke.com.
*This book was from my private collection.
Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2019 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Fiction Can Be Murder (A Mystery Writer’s Mystery) by Becky Clark #Review / #Giveaway


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Fiction Can Be Murder (A Mystery Writer’s Mystery)
Cozy Mystery/Women Sleuths
1st in Series
Setting – Colorado
Publisher: Midnight Ink (April 8, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0738753327
ISBN-13: 978-0738753324
Kindle ASIN: B0714HL2VC

Life Becomes Stranger than Fiction when Charlee’s Latest Novel Inspires a Real Murder

Mystery author Charlemagne “Charlee” Russo thinks the twisty plots and peculiar murders in her books are only the product of her imagination—until her agent is found dead exactly as described in Charlee’s new, unpublished manuscript. Suspicion now swirls around her and her critique group, making her confidence drop as severely and unexpectedly as her royalty payments.

The police care more about Charlee’s feeble alibi and financial problems than they do her panicky claims of innocence. To clear her name and revive her career, she must figure out which of her friends is a murderer. Easier said than done, even for an author who’s skilled at creating tidy endings for her mysteries. And as her sleuthing grows dangerous, Charlee’s imagination starts working overtime. Is she being targeted, too?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Fiction easily becomes murder when literary agent, Melinda Walter is killed in exactly the same way as the victim in author, Charlemagne “Charlee” Russo’s latest manuscript. Charlee had problems with the woman but never plotted to kill her. So who else had access to the manuscript? Could someone in her critique group have done the deed and used her book to frame her? Stranger than fiction she puts on her sleuthing cap to bring this murder mystery to an end. Hopefully, she’ll survive to tell the tale.

I would call this a cozy-ish mystery. Charlee Russo is a cleverly written imperfect amateur sleuth, very clutzy with a wild imagination, a good thing when you write mysteries for a living, not so much when you are on the trail of a killer. She is protective of her friends but still needs to question and verify everyone’s alibi as much for her peace of mind as to solving the case. Let’s just say her investigating techniques need a little refinement as I was a little frightened by the positions she found herself in at times.

The pacing was mixed. The story starts out briskly but slowed a bit in the middle but then the ending felt a bit rushed. With plenty of twists and a few red herrings, I was completely confused until everything was laid out for me. It was a fun tagging along with Charlee. I always enjoy a challenging mystery. The dialogue is very realistic and I liked the humor interspersed throughout. “I’d tell you to go to hell, but I never want to see you again.”

This series is off to a fine start and I am looking forward to the next book in this series. I do love the Mystery Writer’s theme. The author has left plenty of room for the secondary characters and Charlee to grow. She also left an open question in this story that I hope will be wrapped up in the next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

A highly functioning chocoholic, Becky Clark (Denver, CO) is the seventh of eight kids, which explains both her insatiable need for attention and her atrocious table manners. She likes to read funny books so it felt natural to write them, too. She published her first novel in 2001 and is a sought-after speaker. Find out more about Becky on her website – https://beckyclarkbooks.com/



I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Sign Up for Becky Clark’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End January 10, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. 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.”

Posted in E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2019 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Naughty But Nice: A Hamilton Christmas Novella by Donna Kauffman


Naughty But Nice: A Hamilton Christmas Novella
Holiday Romance
3rd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Zebra Books (November 1, 2018)
Print Length: 102 pages
Kindle ASIN: B079R3JHTH

‘Tis the season for sweet surprises . . .

Businessman Griffin’s never believed in luck . . . until sassy-sweet small-town baker Melody turns his world around. Except there’s a catch: There’s no way he’ll be able to build his empire and hold on to her. This new love could destroy all his dreams—or make this Christmas better than he ever imagined possible . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The third and final book in this series introduces bakery owner, Melody Duncastle, and businessman, Thomas Griffin Gallagher. Griffin has arrived in town to confirm he is the new heir to the Hamilton fortune and he has big plans to reenergize and update the good town of Hamilton. Melody voices her displeasure with his ideas loudly but he is determined to change her mind. He also realizes he has strong romantic feelings for her so he hopes to win her favor in more ways than one.

Of the three stories in this novella series, this was my least favorite one. I disliked Thomas Griffin Gallagher immediately. He was very pushy and had a superior air about him. He does have a backstory that formed the man he had become but I just couldn’t warm to him even after Melody shaved away some of his hard edges. Melody is such a caring individual. She came home to Hamilton to help a sick friend and it totally changed her life. Their first meeting was humorous but I think for two strangers the relationship that was quickly built just didn’t feel right to me, even with a heartwarming moment at the end.

I think as with book two, Lock, Stock, and Jingle Bells, the book was hurt by the novella length. Griffin and Melody are both very strong people with differing points of view and then suddenly they are in love. Where was the conflict? She stood up to him once and then after spending a few hours together, he gets everything he wants. I just wanted more development and some give and take, a little bit of a chase. I really enjoyed the first book in this series but after that, the books went downhill in my opinion. I do believe if the last two stories had been full-length novels it would have allowed for better character development and romantic tension to evolve I would have really enjoyed them.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Donna Kauffman is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over 70 novels, translated and sold in more than 26 countries around the world. The recipient of multiple RT Book Awards, she is also a National Readers Choice Award and PRISM Award winner and a RITA finalist. Born into the maelstrom of Washington, D.C., politics, she now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she is surrounded by a completely different kind of wildlife. A contributing blogger for USAToday.com, she is also a DIYer, a baker, a gardener and a volunteer transporter for the Wildlife Center of Virginia and Rockfish Sanctuary. Please visit her online at www.DonnaKauffman.com.

The Hamilton Christmas Novella Series

Find more books by Donna Kaufman here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. 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.”