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.

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.

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Contest Will End September 23, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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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.

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Contest Will End July 3, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
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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 Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Board Stiff (Mattie Winston Mysteries) by Annelise Ryan #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.


Board Stiff (Mattie Winston Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Kensington (March 4, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 0758272766
ISBN-13: 978-0758272768
Kindle ASIN: B00F8J6RG4

Sorenson, Wisconsin’s deputy coroner Mattie Winston is back on the job. . .in a nursing home examining the body of Bernie Chase—the now former president of the Twilight Home’s board of directors—who is covered in a powder used to turn liquids to solids. The home’s residents are certain Bernie was offing the patients who cost him too much. . .and the patient that found him can’t remember a thing.

 

Between her ongoing tug of war with Detective Hurley, fulfilling her new job requirement of seeing a shrink, and wrangling with the Twilight Home’s board of directors, Mattie’s got her scrubbed hands full. She’ll need all of her outside-the-box forensic skills to crack a case that’s turning out to be stranger—and more dangerous—than anything she’s seen before!

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The last book in this series was definitely not a fave but this time Mattie Winston is back in the coroner’s office and investigating a case at a local nursing home. The owner of the place died an unusual death and the place is full of suspects. Unfortunately, the man found with the body is dealing with dementia and can’t remember what happened.

As a condition of Mattie’s return to the job she has to meet with a shrink and she is not happy about that. She is also dealing with the demise of her relationship with Detective Hurley or is she? With them working together again are they going to be able to keep their hands off each other?

______

Okay, the author has got her groove back and it is stories like this I have have come to expect from her! Laugh out loud! Fun! Fun! Fun!

The mystery is well-plotted and full of twists. A plethora of suspects! A nursing home is a terrific setting because residents and staff all may have means, motive, and opportunity for wanting the guy in charge 6 feet under especially if the rumors floating around the place are true. The investigation was heady but handled correctly even with all the roadblocks the powers that be tried to throw up.

The characters in this series are great and the introduction of a special person in Hurley’s life adds a who adds a new element to his life and the series. Plus there is a cliffhanger that just blew me away.

I can’t wait to get started on the next book in this series as I continue my endeavor to catch up on the entire series. I love that it is set in my home state of Wisconsin and upset that it took me so long to find it.

This one was truly A Perfect Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.

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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.

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Contest Will End June 26, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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Click Here For Entry Form

*This was from my personal collection.

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.

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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 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 Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Fudge and Jury (A Bakeshop Mystery) by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway @BakeShopMystery

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.

Fudge and Jury (A Bakeshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (January 3, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250088054
ISBN-13: 978-1250088055
Kindle ASIN: B01H035XWY

Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bakery where the pastries are delicious…and, now, suspicious.

 

It’s almost spring in Ashland, Oregon, and the town is preparing for the Shakespeare and the annual Chocolate Festival. Business is cookin’ at Torte, and the store is expanding as Jules’ team whips up crèpes filled with mascarpone cheese and dark chocolate. Torte stands a chance of being this year’s confectionery belle of the ball! Life couldn’t be sweeter—unless murder taints the batter.

 

Evan Rowe, of Confections Couture, makes a chocolate fountain that would put Willy Wonka to shame, and his truffles are to die for—literally? Yes, the world-renowned chocolatier has just turned up dead…right after sampling a slice of Jules’ decadent four-layer chocolate cake. Now all eyes are on Jules as she tries to find the mysterious ingredient in her own recipe. Can she sift out the truth before another contestant bites the buttercream?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Everyone at Torte is excited for the annual Chocolate Festival as the shop will have a featured role at the event. They also are having new ovens installed and a little painting and reorganization taking place while the shop is closed for the festival. So it is all hands on deck to get everything done.

Jules and Helen are handling the festival and are getting their booth set up when chocolatier, Evan Rowe, of Confections Couture, is making the rounds of the neighboring booths. Soon after he samples a cake at the Torte booth the man keels over dead. At first, it is thought the man died due to his peanut allergy but Jules adamantly states there are no nuts in the cake and there was no cross-contamination. It wasn’t her cake so now she is out to find what killed Evan Rowe before all her plans are fudged up for good.


Each book in I become more engaged and invested in these characters. Helen Capshaw really treats her staff like family and having Jules home working side by side with her mother is so heartwarming. The people they bring in their lives like Thomas, the Professor, and Lance all bring their own personalities to the story. We are also introduced to some eclectic characters unique to this story. All the dialogue rings true and all the interactions are meaningful. Sadly Carlos has returned to his ship.

The mystery this was a puzzler with a whole festival full of suspects. Who had contact with the famous chocolatier? Did they pull off the perfect crime? I was following right along with Jules right up to the big reveal.  The whole thing was very well-plotted and written. The pages were literally flying.

There are delightful chocolate descriptions throughout the book. My mouth was watering and I was truly craving chocolate of any kind by the time I reached the end of the book. The author does include recipes in the back of the book and this time she includes a savory one too, Chicken Apple Sausage Quiche, I can’t wait to try.

Fudge and Jury is my favorite book right now in this series as I continue my quest to catch up on this series.


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley), author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

 

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving away the copy I received from Paperback Swap!
This is a used book.

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.

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 June 15, 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

*This book was from my personal collection. 

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

#FlashbackFriday – A Catered Wedding (A Mystery With Recipes) by Isis Crawford

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.


A Catered Wedding (A Mystery With Recipes)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (September 1, 2005)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0758206860
ISBN-13: 978-0758206862
Kindle ASIN: B00FN2DPCA

Bernadette and Libby Simmons have been working twelve-hour days at their store, A Taste of Heaven. And in between whipping up sweet treats and catering high school graduation parties, the sisters have to fit one more event into their busy schedule: catering a high-society wedding that takes a very low turn. . .

 

Leeza Sharp is getting ready to have the wedding of her dreams. She’s got a $25,000 dress (gorgeous and made to order), a rich Estonian fiancé (head of a multimillion dollar caviar empire) and a four-star menu (planned by none other than Bernadette and Libby Simmons). Never mind that she’s not really in love with her boring, bland groom-to-be.

 

But the dream wedding quickly turns into a nightmare. Just hours before she’s scheduled to walk down the aisle, Leeza takes an arrow to the chest–and drops dead. Now Libby and Bernadette have more on their minds than pouring Cristal and cutting up wedding cake: they’ve got an archery-inclined killer to find. . .

 

Includes 6 Delectable Recipes for You to Try!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Bernadette and Libby Simmons are given the chance to cater a huge reception for a bride getting the wedding of her dreams. Sadly, the event is tanked when the bride is killed before she can walk down the aisle. With a big assist from their retired police chief dad, the sisters try to find who shot down the bride with a crossbow on her wedding day.

______

This story is high on humor, low on facts, and sleuthing. The girls take their time calling the police and tamper with the crime scene all to find a killer that I was focused on pretty early on.

Sisters Libby and Bernadette are trying to grow their business but they keep finding dead bodies which makes their wheelchair-bound father worry so much he finally leaves his house to help them out. Their investigation was a little frustrating at times, they seemed to be going in circles and finding nothing. The ending falls together and my original theory was proven but I was surprised the sisters didn’t pick up what I was following the whole time.

I did enjoy getting to know these characters better than we did in the first book. There is plenty of room for growth and knowing there are 13 more books in the series I am sure the author capitalized on this. I also learned something when reading the book and that is always a plus.

This was a quick read for a weekend afternoon. It also includes some yummy recipes. A Catered Wedding has some issues but the characters are growing on me. I will give A Catered Christmas a try near the holidays.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

ISIS CRAWFORD was born in Egypt to parents who were in the diplomatic corps. When she was five, her family returned to the States, where her mother opened a restaurant in Upper Westchester County and her father became a university professor. Since then Isis has combined her parents’ love of food and travel by running a catering service as well as penning numerous travel-related articles about places ranging from Omsk to Paraguay. Married, with twin boys, she presently resides in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, where she is working on the next Bernie and Libby culinary mystery.



I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
The 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.

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 June 5, 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

*This was from my personal collection.

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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Read The Printed Word Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Caught Bread Handed: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway


Caught Bread Handed: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 28, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250088038
ISBN-13: 978-1250088031
Kindle ASIN: B0191K3GN2

Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the oven is heating up as high as the body count…

 

Jules Capshaw is still chewing over her husband Carlos’s return to Ashland, Oregon. Could there be too many cooks in the kitchen? Whatever is stirring between those two will have to wait. Despite the Oregon Shakespeare Festival being dark for the winter, the bakeshop is bustling, the dough is rolling, and there’s no rest for the weary…especially when murder is thrown into the mix.

 

When Mindy Nolan, the owner of a new restaurant in town, turns up dead, the batter at hand thickens. Jules knows that there was bad blood between Mindy and others in town, and tracking down the killer could prove to be an unwelcome treat. And to top it all off, there’s Carlos, who is pleading—with those delicious dark eyes and sexy Spanish accent—for Jules to take him back. Is home where the heart is or will she make a fresh start…and risk getting burned?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

There’s a new restaurant in the Shakespeare part of town and the only thing that blends this restaurant with the rest of the businesses in the area is its name ShakesBurgers. The facade of the building has been updated and is ultramodern and that has more than one of the merchant’s panties in a twist, especially Rosalind Gates, president of Ashland Downtown Association. The new owner Mindy Nolan doesn’t seem to care and has no plans to bow to their wishes even after a town meeting.

Jules notices the door of ShakesBurgers is ajar the next while she is out making her deliveries and when she steps inside she makes a ghastly discovery. Mindy dead on the floor and her partner trying to save her. Calling in her favorite police officers, Jules tries to shake off what she had seen, but can’t let it go.

Jules is also trying to make a huge decision regarding Carlos. Can they have a life together? What does that mean for her career?

______

I am really enjoying the characters in this series and the way they continue to evolve. All the relationships are captivating and interesting. The dialogue rings true. The story is very character-driven as most of the focus was on their lives at the restaurant Torte. Jules’ life is filled even before adding hubby Carlos to the mix. As in the last book, Carlos seems to fit in with everyone everywhere he goes. He is supportive and happy to do anything he can for Jules, her mom, and the restaurant. Carlos and Jules aren’t the only ones working on their relationship. Romance seems to be blooming a Torte for another couple too. And the Professor and Jules’ mom may be entering a new area of their relationship.

One of my favorite things in the book is the way the business is expanding with things like the Sunday Supper. Carlos takes the reins this time and really pulls out the stops. Torte is facing real situations, cash crunches, needing new equipment, etc. and I like that everything is not always rosy and they need to work hard every day for success.

To me the mystery this time was pretty basic. I was laser-focused on the real culprit very early in the story, I was just waiting for Jules, Thomas, and the Professor to catch up. I wish there had been a little more depth and more investigating but I was very pleased with the exciting ending.

As with all books in this series, the food described in just awesome and there are recipes at the back of the book.

Strong characters with the perfect amount of humor and romance mixes together with a satisfactory whodunit in Caught Bread Handed. I am looking forward to reading Fudge and Jury next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley), author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

 

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving away my copy!

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.

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 May 21, 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

*This book was from my personal collection. 

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

#FlashbackFriday – On Thin Icing: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review / # Giveaway @BakeShopMystery

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.


On Thin Icing: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: Minotaur Books (December 29, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250054257
ISBN-13: 978-1250054258
Kindle ASIN: B00Z637EIM

Welcome to Torte-a small-town family bakeshop where the treats are killer good.

 

It’s the dead of winter in the sleepy town of Ashland, which means no tourists-and fewer customers-for Jules Capshaw and her bakery. But when she’s asked to cater an off-season retreat for the directors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, business starts heating up…until Jules finds a dead body in the freezer.

 

Someone at the retreat has apparently iced the bartender, a well-known flirt with a legendary temper-that is, before a killer beat him to the punch. Then, from out of nowhere, Jules’s own ex-husband shows up at the shop-and soon becomes a suspect. With accusations piling up higher than the snow-and thicker than a chocolate mousse cake-Jules has to think outside the (recipe) box to find the real culprit…and make sure he gets his just desserts.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Winter in Oregon can be temperamental and the means business is a bit slow with no tourists visiting the Torte bakery. So when Jules is asked to cater a retreat by Lance, the head of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for the board of directors at a resort up in the woods she gladly accepts.

A huge snowstorm sets in soon after everyone arrives, but that does stop 1 surprise guest from arriving just a bit later. Jules is shocked when her estranged husband Carlos comes walking through the door. They have so many things to work through and she doesn’t know how they can do that with all the responsibilities she has for the retreat. Thankfully she has brought along Torte employee and aspiring chef Sterling who immediately hits it off with Carlos.

Things take a deadly turn when Jules discovers the body of the bartender that had been pushy, obnoxious, and flirtatious since the moment she arrived the next morning. He was definitely up to something underhanded too. With the snow, it is going to take time for the police to arrive but Jules calls in her favorite officers Thomas, her high school boyfriend, now deputy detective, and the Professor, her mother’s boyfriend, and lead Ashland detective, who slog through the snow to come to her aid. She is totally taken aback when they think Carlos is a prime suspect. Jules is juggling a lot but she knows there are better suspects than her husband so she is going to cut through all the clues and figure out who really iced the bartender.

______

I really got a kick out of this story and my mouth was watering too! The food created in this story was so tempting, oh to have a wood stove!

But I am getting ahead of myself.

The focus this time was really on Carlos and Jules with Sterling really striving. Sterling becomes Jules’ sounding board while twisting around the clues to the murder and her true right hand in the kitchen. They make a great team. He also gives Jules the time she needs to try to set her relationship with Carlos in a better direction.

We also meet the owner of the retreat and the maintenance man along with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival board of directors and Lance’s new assistant. All the characters are defined and most continue to develop throughout the story. I wanted to know more about one character but maybe they will show up in a future story.  The dialogue is snappy and believable.

The story had a great flow and the mystery was strong and well-plotted. My focus was pulled to three characters but I was still surprised by the big reveal.

I really enjoy the author’s writing style. It is very descriptive. She really brought everything so clear in my mind’s eye, the Lake of the Woods Resort, the weather, even the ride up to the resort, the kitchen, the food, and the people. It was so easy to escape right into this story.

The author leaves Carlos and Jules’ relationship still in flux which made me pick up book four, Caught Bread Handed almost immediately. I am very excited to get all caught up on this series!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley), author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

 

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

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.

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 15, 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

*This book was from my personal collection. 

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.”