Top 5 Multicultural Sleuths

Video Review

51dddysniml._sx303_bo1,204,203,200_A.L Herbert writes the Mahalia Watkins Soul Food Mystery

https://amzn.to/2VGtgOv

African American

Welcome to Mahalia’s Sweet Tea–the finest soul food restaurant in Prince George’s County, Maryland. In between preparing her famous cornbread and mashed potatoes so creamy “they’ll make you want to slap your Momma,” owner Halia Watkins is about to dip her spoon into a grisly mystery. . .

Halia Watkins has her hands full cooking, hosting, and keeping her boisterous young cousin, Wavonne, from getting too sassy with customers. Having fast-talking entrepreneur Marcus Rand turn up in her kitchen is annoying enough when he’s alive–but finding his dead body face-down on her ceramic tile after hours is much worse.

Marcus had his enemies, and the cast iron frying pan beside his corpse suggests that at last, his shady business deals went too far. Halia is desperate to keep Sweet Tea’s name out of the sordid spotlight but her efforts only make Wavonne a prime suspect. Now Halia will have to serve up the real villain–before the killer returns for a second helping. 

Features delicious recipes from Mahalia’s Sweet Tea, including Sour Cream CornBread and Sweet Corn Casserole!

 

51usyrrbhbl._sx331_bo1,204,203,200_V.M. Burns (Mystery Bookshop #1)

African American

https://amzn.to/2FlWvjN

The small town of North Harbor on the shores of Lake Michigan is about to have a new mystery bookstore. But before the first customer can browse its shelves, the store’s owner is suspected of her own murder plot . . .

Samantha Washington has dreamed of owning her own mystery bookstore for as long as she can remember. And as she prepares for the store’s grand opening, she’s also realizing another dream—penning a cozy mystery set in England between the wars. While Samantha hires employees and fills the shelves with the latest mysteries, quick-witted Lady Penelope Marsh, long-overshadowed by her beautiful sister Daphne, refuses to lose the besotted Victor Carlston to her sibling’s charms. When one of Daphne’s suitors is murdered in a maze, Penelope steps in to solve the labyrinthine puzzle and win Victor.

But as Samantha indulges her imagination, the unimaginable happens in real life. A shady realtor turns up dead in her backyard, and the police suspect her—after all, the owner of a mystery bookstore might know a thing or two about murder. Aided by her feisty grandmother and an enthusiastic ensemble of colorful retirees, Samantha is determined to close the case before she opens her store. But will she live to conclude her own story when the killer has a revised ending in mind for her?

 

51-nqhfhpqlAnne R. Tan (Raina Sun Mystery #1)

Raining Men and Corpses

Book 1 of the Raina Sun Murder Mystery series.

https://amzn.to/2AEp0pM

Asian

A contemporary humorous mystery set in the fictitious small college town of Gold Springs, California. Raina Sun is a typical graduate student trying to keep her head above water as the bills roll in from a lawsuit disputing an inheritance from her dysfunctional family. Then her dashing college adviser cons her out of several months of rent.

Her quest to get her money back sets into motion a streak of bad luck. First, she finds the dead body of an ex-lover and becomes the prime suspect to his murder. The only man she ever loved reappears as the lead detective to the case and wants to reignite their passion (or at least he’s sending out smoke signals).

Her life careens out of control as her best friend does whatever it takes to get the inside scoop for the town’s newspaper. And her grandma moves into Raina’s postage-stamp-sized apartment, dragging a red suitcase and trouble. The family secret Raina has been running away from is now staring at her across the dining room table every morning.

Raina must figure out how to extract herself before things get dicey. There is no place for an amateur when it comes to murder.

The eclectic cast of characters in this amateur sleuth mystery will have you scratching your head and laughing until the end.

519emabsb3l._sx303_bo1,204,203,200_Death by Dumpling

https://amzn.to/2SLAMWq

(A Noodle Shop Mystery #1)

by Vivien Chien (Goodreads Author)

Asian

Welcome to the Ho-Lee Noodle House, where the Chinese food is to die for. . .

The last place Lana Lee thought she would ever end up is back at her family’s restaurant. But after a brutal break-up and a dramatic workplace walk-out, she figures that a return to the Cleveland area to help wait tables is her best option for putting her life back together. Even if that means having to put up with her mother, who is dead-set on finding her a husband.

Lana’s love life soon becomes yesterday’s news once the restaurant’s property manager, Mr. Feng, turns up dead―after a delivery of shrimp dumplings from Ho-Lee. But how could this have happened when everyone on staff knew about Mr. Feng’s severe, life-threatening shellfish allergy? Now, with the whole restaurant under suspicion for murder and the local media in a feeding frenzy―to say nothing of the gorgeous police detective who keeps turning up for take-out―it’s up to Lana to find out who is behind Feng’s killer order. . . before her own number is up.

 

51nzr8+31klThe Christmas Carol Murders (Dickens Junction)Paperback – September 25, 2012

https://amzn.to/2M1vLq5

LGBTQ+

by Christopher Lord

It’s the holiday season in Dickens Junction, Oregon. Local bookstore owner Simon Alastair is getting ready for the community’s annual celebration of Charles Dickens’s well-known story. But when a mysterious stranger shows up in the Junction and is murdered hours later, Simon begins to suspect that his little community has been targeted for destruction by a shadowy organization. With the support of Zach, a dashing young magazine reporter, Simon decides to investigate the crime himself. When a second murder follows, Simon must confront the worst questions of all: which of his friends and business associates is a ruthless murderer? And why is everyone suddenly reading Ayn Rand?

The Christmas Carol Murders is the first of an exciting new cozy mystery series combining the atmosphere of a classic Agatha Christie puzzle, the deft touch of Charlotte MacLeod, a hint of Oscar Wilde’s humor, and the literary spirit of the great Charles Dickens.

51wrqirtyql._sx311_bo1,204,203,200_The Eagle Catcher (A Wind River Reservation Myste)Paperback – December 31, 2012

https://amzn.to/2CdXEGK

NATIVE

by Margaret Coel  (Author)

On the windswept plains of Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation, Arapahos have gathered for the Ethete powwow. It is a sacred time to reaffirm the balance and harmony in life. But these feelings of unity quickly give way to fear when tribal chairman Harvey Castle is found murdered—and every bit of evidence points to his nephew, Anthony.

There are two people who don’t believe the young man capable of murder: Father John O’Malley, history scholar and pastor of St. Francis Mission, and Vicky Holden, an attorney who has recently returned to the reservation to help her people. Their investigation draws Father John and Vicky across the high plains of the Wind River Reservation—from the intimate Arapaho community centers to a byzantine world of incalculable corruption and finally into the past. It is here, in the “Old Time,” where Father John catches a rare glimpse into the Arapaho life few outsiders ever see—and a crime fewer could imagine.

Boho Babe| January 2019

Welcome to the beginning of the new year! A time when everyone starts making resolutions about being healthy, going to the gym, or maybe starting a new hobby. The creators of Boho Babe are hot on the trail with this as well for their box for January and I love every single item inside it! Let’s get into this!

Create Your Own Vision Board
By Boho Babe
Retail: $10

I’m not going to lie. It felt as thought Boho Babe was reading my mind when I go to this in my box. I had already sketched some items and thoughts for my Vision Board for this year. I was preparing to print out pictures and get the items I needed for this project. These cards are going to look wonderful on my vision board. I can’t wait to get started!

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Lotus Hair Clip
By Boho Babe
Retail: $16

I squealed when I found this in the box and as I am typing this I am currently wearing it in my hair and I absolutely LOVE IT! It is so dainty and beautiful. I love that it is gold and I can’t help but smile when I catch its glint in the mirror.

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Lotus Intention Bracelet
By: Matilda August
Retail: $6

I love the idea of setting an intention or a goal anytime of the year. But to see that intention and goal come to fruition is something that is wonderful. This is a Lotus bracelet that when you put it on your wrist you make a goal or wish and you wear it everyday. Once the bracelet starts to fray you know that your wish is on its way.

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Californian White Sage Fire Lighters
By:The Smudge Stick Shop
Retail: $15.00

“As the new year is upon us. There is no better time to hold a new moon fire ceremony to clear the negative energy and set intentions for the new year ahead.” I love the idea of starting anew. It reminds me of the phoenix. When it sets itself afire it is not gone but born anew. Think of it that way at the beginning of the new year.

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Energy Essential Oil Inhaler
By: Joyful Aromatherapy
Retail: $6.00

This smells sooooo good! I can’t even explain to you how much better I felt after having a migraine for over a day and getting this in the mail and taking a whiff. This aroma can inspire you to take on new tasks with a fresh mind and perspective. I will be carrying this in my pencil bag that I take to work every day.

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Crystal Infused Fresh AF Deodorant Spray
By: Self Goddess
Retail: $9.99

This is a really interesting idea that I am excited to use on a day that I don’t have work. No need to be stinky at work, but you bet your bottom dollar that this weekend I am going to try this! This is an organic and natural lavender and Clary sage spray. This automatically is a win in my eyes because I love lavender. Lavender is probably my favorite essential oil and smell. I can’t wait to try this out.

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YASSS Queen Gummy Melts
By: Scents and Nonsense
Retail: $6.00

These are super neat and ADORABLE! They are sea moss, water lotus, and violet. They are made with essential oils, which I am ALL ABOUT. These are going to be perfect for my wax melter!

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Fire Agate Gemstone
By: Boho Babe
Retail: $10.00

This stone is known for increasing your passion and giving guidance to the things in your life that you crave or want to manifest in the new year. It helps you focus on your desires and really help guide you into the mindset that you need to get things done.

New Adventures Print & Fire Agate Postcard
By: Boho Babe
BONUS ITEMS

I love that they send bonus items every month. The prints that they send are perfect for a vision board as well!

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Overview of Boho Babe
January Box!

The Boho Babe Crew just keep upping their game every single month! I knew it! Boho Babe knocked it out of the park again in the beginning of the New Year. I officially feel like I am ready for the new year and everything that it has in store!


BohoBabe Mini Box- $19.99

 

XOXO

Courtny

A Date Night In| December 2018

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December’s box is one of the most gorgeous that I have seen yet. That blue with the stark white made me smile the moment I grabbed it from my mailbox. I know that they were going to give Aaron and I a cozy winter night date even though it was in the 70s when I got it here in Oklahoma.

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Just looking at the cover you can’t help but smile! Am I right?! You just want to cozy on in and get into the box. So let’s do that !

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They always have the most delicious selection of food for the date night and this month’s isn’t any different. They recommended the following:

  • Hot Toddy
  • Parmesan & Garlic Crostini
  • Pancetta & Sweet Pea Gnocchi
  • Homemade Peppermint Pudding

Something else that they ALWAYS add is #tabletalk. They always give you questions and prompts to talk about while you are eating dinner or while you are crafting. It always brings me and Aaron closer every month. I loved talking about living in the moment and expressing our stressors when it came to the holidays. We hosted everyone for about 8 days and it was exhausting. I couldn’t have done it without him.

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Of course no Date Night In Box is complete without a snack creation. This time we made a sweet treat of White Chocolate and Pretzel trees! These are so adorably cute! And the great thing is that you don’t have to make them perfect because all of natures trees are totally different!

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Another surprise was being able to create some art together. I still love the wooden tree stump that we made together in October. It is on our mantle. This is perfect to add to our Christmas decorations. I love that they give you EVERYTHING that you need to create this project as well!

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Again every month they come up with so many fun games to play and that are beautifully themed to the month’s box. I don’t know how they do it every month but they are wonderfully creative and I am living for it! This was the Handbands Game. This is so much fun! I highly recommend it!

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And last but certainly not least is the last activity of the night the “Create a Sentimental Gift”. Writing a letter to your significant other is something that seems so simple but can mean more than any high dollar item. Write down a special moment or something that you love about your partner and then give it to them when you think they need it the most!

The Date Night In Box

This box is something that I would purchase every single month. With how much dinner and a movie costs  well into $50-70 for a date night out, this box is fantastic in cost savings and brings you closer to your significant others.

Month to Month

$41.99 for each date
with free shipping*

I can’t wait to receive next month’s box. It’s makes me giddy just thinking about what the Date Night In crew is putting together for February.

 

Until next time…

XOXO
Courtny

A Date Night In| November 2018

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It is never too late to show your loved ones how thankful you are to them. I received this box in the beginning of December and I couldn’t have been more thankful. Date Night In really does take the time to help you and your favorite person have a wonderful and meaningful date night in.

They always give you a wonderful newspaper bursting with ideas from what to drink, this month it was a delicious Cranberry Spritzer, to having a wonderful dinner Turkey, Brie, and Cranberry Pesto Phyllo Wrap with some Parmesan and Thyme Mashed Potatoes. If that doesn’t get you in the comfy mood I don’t know what will! Of course they top it off with a dessert selection of Salted Caramel Cheesecake Muffin!

But not only do they give you a wonderful choice for dinner but they also give you #tabletalk suggestions to help guide the talk for the night toward the theme of the box. Some questions were:

What characteristics of our relationship are you thankful we have?
What date activity in our relationship are in thankful to remember?

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They also include somber and sobering stories that help you realize how thankful you are every day to breathe, love, and share your life with others. This is something that gave me chills as I read. This story is something that I plan on sharing as the years come. Your partner is someone who is amazing and can help you conquer anything or help hold your hand and wipe away your tears.

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I always love that they have different crafts and cooking inside their boxes. This always makes me smile! Make sure you read all of the ingredients before you get started on your date night so that you have everything that you need! This is the ice cream that we made for our caramel apple cider floats!

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As we enjoyed out Caramel Floats we turned on the custom Spotify Playlist for the night and started talking about and writing down things we were thankful for about each other. After we wrote them down we were told to hide them around the house where they would find them, just when they needed it the most.

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Another aspect of the Date Night In box that I LOVE is that they always include a game to play with your partner. This time it was Gratitude Slam! You were given cards that had letters on them and you had to make words with them. Words like, Thank, Bless, Honor, Love etc.

The Date Night In Box

This box is something that I would purchase every single month. With how much dinner and a movie costs  well into $50-70 for a date night out, this box is fantastic in cost savings and brings you closer to your significant others.

Month to Month

$41.99 for each date
with free shipping*

I can’t wait to receive next month’s box. Aaron actually had fun last night and he said that he would most definitely do it again with me. It’s makes me giddy just thinking about what the Date Night In crew is putting together for January.

 

Until next time…

XOXO
Courtny

Beat The Back List| 2019

What is Beat the Backlist?

“This reading challenge dedicated to helping you knock those backlist books off your ever-growing to read stack. Any genre, any format, any length.

What is a “backlist” book, you may ask? This is any book that has already been released. For the purposes of this challenge, this is any book published in 2018 or earlier. If you have books on your TBR from 2018 and before, then this is the challenge for you.”

I am joining in the normal Beat the Backlist as well as the Hogwarts Mini Challenge where you enter in the books you’ve read throughout the year and you get points for your house. I am most certainly Hufflepuff.

BTBIcon_Hufflepuff

Top 10

 

  1. Empire of Storms
  2. Tower of Dawn
  3. Kingdom of Ash
  4. A Gathering of Shadows
  5. A Conjuring of Light
  6. The Whole Cat and Caboodle
  7. 50% Off Murder
  8. Murder, She Knit
  9. Bran New Death
  10. Death by Dumpling

2019 Reading Goals

Notifications:

Changing Uploading Schedule: M & W

  • I put polls on Youtube, Instagram, and on Twitter. Most of the votes were for a new schedule of Monday and Wednesday!

Subscriber Goal: 3,000

  • This is a goal that I have for my youtube channel. I would love to grow my Cozy Companion group! If you know anyone that loves Cozy Mysteries, great chats, and even a little bit of cooking then share my channel with them!

Follower Goal: 1,500

  • Another one of my passions that I hope to get more practice and have more fun with is my Bookstagram account.  I would love to GROW my follower count and find more amazing accounts to follow. If you aren’t following me on Instagram you should! You’ll see stories of my reading, new book purchases before my haul videos, and I get to chat more with everyone on there!

Collaborations & Buddy Reading

  • Watch more booktubers
  • Reach out more in the community
  • Buddy Read more with others!

Reading Goals:

  • 52 Cozy Mysteries- I surpassed my 52 Cozy Goal for this year and I want to do it again!
  • 100 Books for Goodreads- I’ve almost made it to 100 books for 2018, let’s hope that I can do it again this coming year.
  • Beat the Backlist 2019- Reading Books that were published before 2019, basically going through my backlog of books on my TBR shelves.

Oceanista Winter Box| 2018

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The Oceanista Subscription Box

“Get ready to experience the excitement of receiving our signature box delivered to your door every season, and uncovering the hidden treasures that await you inside. You’ll be awash in whimsical beach inspired essentials from brands we love that are sure to compliment your beach lifestyle and wardrobe. Featured artisan pieces, luxury skin care products, mid-season surprises, and the chance to win a free gift every season guarantees our box will be one you look forward to again and again!”

This box is $81,00 a season, BUT if you use my code “Courtagonist” you’ll get 10% off your first box! How awesome is that?!?! The annual subscription is a great deal because there’s already a $30 discount going annual. So the savings is almost $60.00!!!!

Plus, the value of the box is always worth $175 or more! The winter box had a retail value of over $215 dollars! Now, let’s get into the goodies, shall we?

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JJ Sterling is probably one of the most genuine people I have had the pleasure of talking to when it comes to the creators of boxes. She is always reaching out to me asking me my sizes for clothes and shoes as well as updating me on any information that her wonderful company needs their customers to know. I love this quote that she put on this stunning spoiler card! It is those little touches that makes me a loyal customer!

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Custom Greeting Card
Retail: $4.95

If this card doesn’t give you the urge to visit the ocean this winter I don’t now what would! I love the bright and vibrant colors as well as the poem on the front. It was the first thing on top of the box when I opened it and I immediately smiled!

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Swell Made Co. Monstera Leaf| Key Tag
Retail: $8.97

This is such a beautiful and delicate tea ring. I love how light weight it is and the subtle gold coloring is just stunning. I love how dainty it is and that I will fit all of your keys and not take up too much room!

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Hotel Luxe Candle by Beach Style Collective
Retail: $35.00

There is nothing better than getting a wonderful and relaxing candle in a box. I don’t know about you but I love having candles burn in my house year round. If it isn’t candles it is my essential oils diffuser. I love the beautiful box that this came in! And as the name suggests it is very luxurious in smell and in quality of the make!

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Winter 2018 Featured Artisan
Paradise Coast Beads
Retail: $20.00

One of the MANY things that I love about this company is how they support and showcase new and upcoming artisans! I love that they really take the care in getting these items as well. They aren’t something that is just thrown together and they hope that people like them. You can tell that this box is beautifully curated in every item.

This item was created by Kat with Paradise Coast Hospitality. The beads are home decor that are intended for guest to welcome them and bless and protect their home. This is perfect as we glide into the new year!

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Oceanista Kimono in Lavender Blue with Fringe
Retail: $29.95

I love that each box comes with a wearable of some sort! Whether it is jewelry, sandals, or a  kimono! This is a wonderfully soft and light weight kimono! This is 100% viscose and it is extremely easy to wear. You can wear it as a kimono or even as a scarf. It is perfect!!

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Oceanista Bamboo Eco-Friendly Drinking Straws
Retail: $6.95

One of my goals going into 2019 is to take more care with what I am putting into the environment. Using less and using more quality items. This includes use reusable straws. This is a phenomenon that is sweeping the world in the effort of really trying to be kinder to our world. We have one world, we need to respect and love it!

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Ancient Roman Glass Hook Earrings
by The Roman Glass Company
Retail: $88.00

These are my MOST favorite item in the Winter 2018 box. I have worn these earrings every day for over a week! They are stunning. The card that came with the earrings stated:

“Your jewelry is inlaid with a fragment of ancient glass, discovered in an archaeological excavation in the Holy Land. The “patina” was created by chemical interactions with mineral-rich soil over the course of 2000 years.”

I can express enough how much I love these earrings. They are exquisitely made.

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Sun-kissed Pearls Gel Eye Liner
by Elizabeth Arden
Retail: $22.00

Last season we received a beautiful eye shadow palette and this season we are getting a beautiful pot of eyeliner that is rich in emollients and natural oils. It comes with an angled brush to help get that PERFECT cat eye effect.

This is one of my absolute favorite seasonal boxes. I love how much detail, care, and love goes into curating every inch of the box. I love that they stick to the theme and keep striving for better and more luxurious products. $79 is an amazing price for everything that you receive every season. It is like a small gift to yourself or someone you love. I can’t wait to see what Spring 2019 holds for us.

Until next time.

XOXO

Courtny