Summer Cozy Mystery Recs!

Watch the Video!

Oh Say Can You Fudge

Oh Say Can You Fudge
(A Candy-coated Mystery Book 3)
Nancy Coco
https://amzn.to/31kBgYa

Red, White, And Boom

It’s not Fourth of July on Mackinac Island without fireworks and fudge. The Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop is supplying the treats–and Allie has hired Rodney Rivers, the biggest name in aerial displays, to create an unforgettable spectacle. Unfortunately, Allie finds him dead, covered with screaming chicken fireworks, just before the entire warehouse of pyrotechnics goes up in smoke. Is it arson or is it murder? Allie and her bichonpoo, Mal, must sift through the suspects until the killer is caught and the island can enjoy a star-spangled celebration.


Murder Most FrothyMurder Most Frothy
A Coffeehouse Mystery
Book 4
https://amzn.to/2MB4XRt 

Clare Cosi’s new friend, millionaire David Mintzer, has an offer no New York barista could turn down: an all-expenses-paid summer away from the sticky city. At his Hamptons mansion, she’ll relax, soak up the sun, and, oh yes, train the staff of his new restaurant. So Clare packs up her daughter, her former mother-in-law, and her special recipe for iced coffee–for what she hopes will be one de-latte-ful summer…

Soon, Clare tends the coffee bar at her first Hamptons gala. But the festivities come to a bitter end when an employee turns up dead in David’s bathroom–a botched attempt on the millionaire’s life. Thanks to the Fourth of July fireworks no one heard any gunshots, and the police are stuck in holiday traffic. Concerned for everyone’s safety, Clare begins to investigate. What she finds will keep her up at night–and it’s not the java jitters…


Bikinis In Paradise

Bikinis In Paradise
Book 3
Kathi Daley
https://amzn.to/2WojiAk 

When the Tropical Tan Corporation descends on Maggie’s Hideaway, the lakeside resort where Tj Jensen lives, she must juggle a bikini contest, a BBQ cook-off, a missing model, and a dead chaperone while her father is out of town. 

Lead Deputy Dylan Caine is on vacation while his sister is visiting, leaving Assistant Deputy Roy Fisher in charge. When Roy asks Tj for her help, they find there may be more going on than anyone realized. 

With Kyle and Jenna’s help, they dig into the lives of those involved, only to find a mystery more complex than anything they could ever have imagined.


Lemon Meringue Pie MurderLemon Meringue Pie Murder
Book 4
Joanne Fluke
https://amzn.to/2K7IqJV 

Hannah Swensen thought she’d finally discovered the recipe for a perfect life. But her sometime beau Norman Rhodes tosses a surprise ingredient into the mix when he phones to tell her he’s just bought a house from local drugstore clerk Rhonda Scharf—which he plans to tear down in order to build the dream home he and Hannah designed. It seems the plan has been cooking for quite some time, and Hannah’s shocked. Especially since her ring finger is still very much bare. . .

The good news is that the soon-to-be-torn-down house is full of antiques—and Norman has given Hannah and her mother first dibs. They uncover some gorgeous old furniture, a patchwork quilt . . . and Rhonda Scharf’s dead body. A little more sleuthing turns up the half-eaten remains of a very special dinner for two—and one of The Cookie Jar’s famous lemon meringue pies. Now it’s up to Hannah to turn up the heat—and get busy tracking down clues. Starting in her very own kitchen. 


Independence Slay

Independence Slay
Book 3
Shelley Freydont
https://amzn.to/2WXJk1H 

With Independence Day fast approaching, Liv Montgomery is swamped coordinating one of the town’s biggest festivals. In addition to the traditional July fourth events, the town stages a spooky Revolutionary War reenactment that can’t be missed. Every year, the ghost of local war hero Henry Gallantine—played by his eccentric descendant of the same name—appears at the top of the family mansion, kicking off the night’s revelries.

But Henry’s annual cameo goes awry after the ghost signals SOS instead of his traditional cue. When Liv rushes to the rescue, she finds Henry missing and a real dead body instead of a fake haunt. Now she will have to hunt down both a murderer and a missing person quickly before unwanted political fireworks ignite and someone else winds up as local history… 


Until next time, Happy Reading!

XOXO
Courtny

Bonjour Jolie| June 2019

Bonjour Jolie

Watch the Unboxing

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There is nothing more that I love then a box that has a theme to it. Bonjour Jolie really knocked it out of the park. This month’s theme is all about the Stars, the Universe, and You!!!! This box was stunningly curated and I loved every inch of it! I love that this box has everything that I need!! Especially for when I am on my period.

“The Ultimate Subscription Box Designed Exclusively for You to Be Pampered on your Period! We take the Frustration out of Menstruation!”

Monthly Subscription

$23.50 / month

  • Each Box comes with:
  • A Unique Gift
  • Bath and Body Pampering Items
  • Specialty Teas or Drinks
  • Sweet Edible Treats
  • Up to 20 Menstrual Items
  • Hygiene Wipes and Ibuprofen

Let’s dive into this month’s box a little deeper!

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The Gift

The Hikari Cosmetics Glitter Mask Duo set was the gift in this month’s box. I love that it comes with two different masks! One of the masks in gold while the other is silver. This is going to be so much fun to do! I love the idea of pampering myself when I’m not really feeling my best. These masks are vegan free in their ingredients and are meant to purify pores and firm up the skin!

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The Pampering

This bath bomb by The Bomb Gals is just what you need to add to those fantastic glittering face masks! Put one of those on, burn a candle, and start the tub with this wonderful smelling bath bomb! You can’t go wrong!

The Edibles

Of course you can’t go wrong with the tasty treats this month! Seriously! I love the fact that they really stayed on course with the theme of the stars and the universe. All of the snacks had something to do with stars, moons, or even the milky way! I’m not going to like. I have eaten EVERYTHING except the stuffed cookies, but I’ll get to those tomorrow for a snack, you can count on it!

The teas were perfect for the summer with the peaches, raspberries, and the different levels of caffeine.

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The Bonus

I love Tiger Balm! This is a brand that I back up 100%. Their products are naturally made and really do relieve all of the stress or hurt you are feeling in a particular area! The herbal ingredients really do soak in and make you feel better. I have a feeling that I am going to be taking this patch with me to Japan this month. I just know that 12 hours on a plane is going to be painful on my back!

The Necessity

Although all of the items in this month’s box were amazing and wonderful, the real MVPs are the products we use to help us feel better throughout the struggle of Aunt Flo visiting. The tampons, the cleansing wipes, and the midol are things that every person should have during their cycle and Bonjour Jolie has fulfilled that department as well.


Overall, this has to be my favorite box that I have received from Bonjour Jolie! I can’t wait to see what next month’s theme is. I don’t know how they are going to top this months, but some how, some way, I have a feeling that they will.

Graded in Red| Chapter 3

Chapter 3

I couldn’t believe I was back home. Even after packing all of my earthly belongings, driving three in a half hours from the city, and unpacking my things into the basement apartment, I couldn’t believe it. But here I was, walking into my favorite local pub Murphy’s. Scott and Cindy were the owners and had been alive for as long as I can remember. I swear it’s the homemade brew that they make here in Broken Bow. That is what keeps them alive and kicking. 

Our town is small. Everyone knows everyone. A person’s personal business is technically not their own here with a population of 4,000 people. There are some great things about this.  For example, I grew up never knowing a stranger. However, there are downs to this as well. Every person I ran into knew about the fact that I couldn’t make it in the city, Oklahoma City. 

“Hey everyone! Look who’s back! Mags!”, squealed Cindy as she ran from around the counter to envelope me in a huge hug. 

“Hey Cindy! How’s it going?” I breathed as Cindy squeezed all of the breath out of my lungs. She smelled the same, of citrus and cigarette smoke. Not the most appealing of scents but it made the reality of being home so much more clear. They say that scent is one of the most important of the five sense, it can bring back memories a person thought was forgotten. 

“Oh you know! My back has been acting up, and Scott fractured his hand when a crate of beer fell on it! It’s never boring here! But we are fine just the same. Smithwicks for you Mags?” Cindy asked as she squeezed my shoulders one last time before heading back behind the bar. 

“Yes! You remembered! You’re the best. Have you seen Vic? She was supposed to meet me here to talk about the beginning of the school year.” I  said as I wove my way in-between the tables to get to an empty barstool table with two seats. 

“No, she hasn’t made it in yet. But grab that table and I will point her your way when she gets in. Until then here is your beer, want anything to snack on while you wait?” Cindy took out a notepad from her apron and took the pencil out from behind her messy bun. 

“Got any specials today?” My stomach was rumbling. I remembered that I hadn’t had anything to eat since this morning when I was filling up my car with gas at a QuikTrip. 

“We have some cheese fries, chili, and some broccoli soup with bread from the bakery down the street. Any of that sound good to you?” 

“I think I’ll have some broccoli cheddar soup and two pieces of the bread, thanks Cindy. You’re the best.” I smiled at her as she nodded and walked back to the kitchen. 

Looking around the pub I noticed that things hadn’t changed much. The booths still had the same green cracked leather and faux wood veneer. The lights were still dim and caked with years of dust and other things that I didn’t want to think about. But I could tell that Cindy and Scott were doing well. They had new beer mugs, new taps, and a new POS system, with a fancy touch screen. 

As I was scanning the room my eyes fell on the last person I wanted to see, Bridgett Nickel. I could tell time had not been kind to her. There were lines deeply edge in her face from years of smoking and a hard life, I assumed. Her hair was bleached to the last possible inch of its life. She looked a good ten years older than me, and yet she was still wearing clothing from what looked like our high school days. 

A tight red halter top, a size too small, a black lacy bra, not strapless, a short jean skirt with embroidered flowers on it, and  bright red stiletto heels. She was leaning down talking to a man at the bar, so she didn’t notice me staring. They looked to be having a heated discussion, he grabbed her arm, she pushed back and yanked it out of his grasp. He grabbed her waist and pulled her in, giving her a very sloppy and messy kiss. I couldn’t tell if she was enjoying it or not. As I was trying to figure it out someone came up from behind me. 

“Hey Mags, what are you staring at?” A soft voice whispered behind me. 

My heart jumped into my throat at being caught staring, but I knew that voice almost better than my own, “Victoria Star! You know it’s rude to sneak up on people unannounced!” I said as I grabbed her and forced a hug on her. 

“Ha! Says the woman who was staring down Bridgett over there. You know, if you are going to spy on people, you should at least be more secretive about it. You know, put a magazine in front of your face, and peak over it every once in a while. Haven’t you ever watch a James Bond movie? Or Harriet the Spy?” Victoria lectured as she put her Mary Poppins bag on the table and started to bring out stacks of papers, I swear that purse had no ending. 

Victoria Star had been my best friend since we were in middle school. She was into oldies music, black and white movies, and old books. Of course, in a small town like Broken Bow, where sports ran the schools, this made her an outcast. It didn’t help that she was 5’2” with bright red hair, and had a garish laugh. She might have been small, but she was fierce. As an awkward middle schooler who basically lived in the library, hit puberty way to early, and actually liked school, I wasn’t part of the ‘cool kids club’ either. Thus a wonderful friendship bloomed. 

Victoria took to her artistic way of living and got her degree in the Visual Arts at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. She tried her hand at show business, I mean, with the last name of Star, she had a lot to live up to. But she missed home too much and came back home about 5 years ago. She got a job at the local high school as the Art and Drama teacher.  

“Listen, you know Harriet the Spy was my favorite book and movie growing up. I just didn’t expect to see Bridgett here in town. I thought when we graduated she was going to make it big as a TV anchor or something like that. You hadn’t mentioned her during our weekly phone calls. I was just caught off guard.” I said defensively and I watched Cindy weave her way through the now full pub with my bread and soup. 

“Hear ya go darling. Enjoy! Anything I can get you Vic?” Cindy asked while wiping the table next to us off with a damp rag. 

“I’ll have what she’s having. A smithwicks right?” Victoria looked at me with a glint in her eye. I knew I was predictable but I liked what I liked. No sense in straying from something I knew was going to taste good. 

“Alright, it might be a little bit longer, we always get slammed around this time every day. The new school they are building brings in a lot of thirsty and hungry construction workers. See ya in a bit, I’ll bring your drink over first though.” Cindy made her way back to the bar, getting stopped every few steps to take empty glasses, pick up tabs, and orders. She made it look easy, but I knew it took a special person to be able to handle this kind of crowd. 

“I didn’t know that she was back in town. I knew that she was in and out of rehab after we graduated high school. She got knocked up, by her drug dealer, I believe, and the kid lives with her parents while she wanders around town.” Victoria look like she was going to cry. I knew that she didn’t feel bad for Bridgett, she was just as mean or more to Victoria in high school then she was to me. There had to be something else that Vic was upset about. 

“What’s wrong? Why are you so upset?” I asked

“It’s just, I know her son, Blake. He is in 3rd grade now, and is the sweetest, most talented kid I have in the Young Actors Guild that I run after school. She isn’t the kindest to him. She picked him up last week, drunk off her rocker and swearing at him. Calling him a fairy because he had stage makeup on. It was just hard to watch, and I feel so bad for him.” Victoria wiped away a tear as she started to sort the papers in front of her into piles that only made sense to her. 

“Hey Vic, I’m sorry! Just know that everything you are doing with your after school clubs and before school tutoring is amazing! You are a wonderful mother figure for these kids and you are helping them with everything that you can.  But you have to remember that you are human, you can’t do everything.” I squeezed her arm and smiled at her. 

“Oh I know! This is me being tough, you should have seen my first year teaching. I cried every day. Speaking of first year teaching, you read to tackle History for Juniors and Seniors? I brought the textbook and the most recent state standards for you to look over before school starts. You’ll be working with Mike, the 9th and 10th grade teacher on collaboration and lesson plans.” Victoria went into organization and planning mode. I knew that I wouldn’t get anything else out of her if we didn’t get everything settled and sorted out now. 

“Mike? Who’s Mike? You never mentioned that I would have to work on a team with anyone else. What was it that you said? ‘Mags, you’re basically your own boss. You won’t even have to deal with adults, besides parents. I promise this will be amazing!’, I’m pretty sure you didn’t mention working with anyone else.” I didn’t like surprises and Victoria knew that. 

“Listen, I knew that you might say no if I told you that you weren’t going to be 100% on your own. And no job lets you work all alone, you need to socialize more! Besides, it’s not like its a stranger. You know Mike.” She said while averting her eyes from my gaze. 

“I do? Who is Mike?” 

“Michael Johnson. He was a year behind us. He followed you around like a lost puppy our senior year. Asked you to prom but you decided to go with Jack instead. Which I still can’t understand.” Victoria scrunched up her face to show her displeasure in my choices ten years ago. 

“You knew from the beginning that I was going to be working with him didn’t you?!” I squeaked just a little bit too loudly, causing others in the tables near us to turn around and stare. 

I don’t know why I was so upset or why I was acting like a scared teenager. Mike never creeped me out or anything. He wasn’t a stalker by any means, but he did like to hang out with our group and try to be next to me most of the time.  He actually helped me study a time or two in the library for a history exam from Mr. Rod. His tests were always so brutal it was hard to keep up. 

“Yes Mags, I knew that you would be working with him. I didn’t think it would be a big deal. You both are mature adults, right? You can be kind and helpful to one another. Plus, he is your mentor actually, so you have to meet with him at least once a week.” Victoria said the ending sentence as quickly as she could while drinking a large gulp from her beer. I think she was hoping that I wouldn’t hear the last part. 

“EVERY WEEK?! Jeez Vic, I’m not a child. Just because this is my first teaching job outside of my internships doesn’t mean I need to be babysat. I do have a degree in American Studies, I know what I am teaching.” I could feel the vein in my forehead bulging. When I get mad or upset that traitorous vein always pops. 

“Do you know how to read IEPs? 504s? BIPs? What about the new OAS standards? There are many more acronyms that have come out since you graduated. You will need help with accommodations, talking to helicopter parents, and the flow of classroom management.” 

“Wait a minute, what is a helicopter parent? That sounds like something that would come out of a Science Fiction novel.” I laughed into my drink

“A helicopter parent, is a parent who thinks they know more about educating their child then you do. They will question every assignment, every grade, and they will pick apart every email you send them, looking for a comma splice and call you out on it.” Victoria’s voice got low and turned into a hissing whisper. It was like she was afraid a helicopter parent was going to pop up and scare her even before the school year started. 

Just as Victoria was finishing her scare tactic lecture someone bumped into my chair and sloshed their drink down my back. 

“Excuse me!” I gasped as the warm beer trailed down my back and into my shorts. 

I turned around to see none other than Bridgett Nickel, trashed. She was so wasted that her eyes were barely open. No wonder she slammed into my chair she could hardly see. 

“Whaaat?! You bumped into me witch.” Bridgett slurred, “You owe me a new drink!”

“The hell I do. You slammed into my chair, spilled your beer down by back, and you’re blaming me?” My voice was raising and people around the pub stopped their conversations to peer our way. I remembered quickly that this was an extremely small town and anything said would get around quickly. 

Bridgett narrowed her eyes as though she was trying to focus them, “ Maggie Turee! Ha! Is that you? It can’t be, your face isn’t the Grand Canon anymore and you’ve lost the baby fat. It looks like you’re still stuffing your bra though.” Bridgett hissed and looked around the bar to get people to snicker with her. She was met with silence. 

One of the many rumors that Bridgett spread around the high school was that I stuffed my bra or got breast implants. She was tall and skinny in high school and part of what my mom called the Itty Bitty Titty Committee. It was the one thing that I had that she couldn’t take from me. My genetics. 

Being heavy on top was not all it was cracked up to be. I had to buy shirts a size too big to that they would fit my chest. Bras would wear out quicker. Worst of all was the back pain that they caused. They were actually a bigger problem then they were a blessing. I had thought many times about getting a reduction, but never went through with it. 

“Wow, you really haven’t grown up have you? You still have to put others down in order to bring yourself up don’t you?” I was trying not to let her put me back into my old high school mindset. I knew who I was and what kind of person I was. I wasn’t going to sink to her level. 

“Hey Cindy! Do you think you can get Bridgett here a pot of coffee? She needs to sober up!” I called over all the people to the bar. 

Nodding Cindy started pouring a glass of coffee out for Bridgett. As I walked closer to Bridgett the smell of alcohol seeping from her pores and the acidic stench of cigarette smoke insulted my nostrils as I tried to coerce her towards the bar.

 “ Bridgett, you should go and sober up. Your son needs a mom. Someone to be there for him. You can’t continue to live life like this.” I was trying to be as kind as I could be. I was doing it for her son, not for Bridgett I told myself. 

Bridgett did not see this as a kind gesture. She yanked her arm out of my grasp and screamed as loud as she could, “DON’T TOUCH ME! You all saw! Maggie Turee assaulted me! I am going to the cops! I’m going to sue you!” She was walking towards the door as she was yelling, tripping over her own feet as she went, “This isn’t over Turee! I will get you! No one makes a fool out of Bridgett Nickel!” Her voice faded as the pub door slammed shut. 

 

Traveling TBR!| Japan

Aaron and I are leaving July 12th for Japan! We have decided that we are going to do our big honeymoon before our wedding on October 12th. It allows us to spend an entire two weeks in Japan before I have to go back to work on August 1st.

Now, while I have planned a WHOLE July TBR on my channel with the Cozyopoly, CozWeek, and more I have decided to share some books with you that will most likely be read or dived into with all of the traveling that we will be doing. The plan ride is 12 hours long, then there are the train rides, and then more plane rides inside the country! Ha! It would be pretty difficult to bring ALL of the physical books with me that are on this month’s tbr!

So without further ado, here are the books on my Kindle Paperwhite that I will have access to read.


MistbornOne of Aaron’s most favorite series is Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy. About a year ago or so, when I was on this huge High Fantasy kick Aaron bought me the Digital version of the trilogy.

I tried at that time to get into the series and I really really enjoyed it quite a bit but then a cozy or two got in the way and I put the trilogy down.

I am hoping that I might have the time to give this series a little more time and really dive into the world that Sanderson built.

 

 


Ember in the Ashes

Another purchase of mine was An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. This was only $1.99 during the Christmas season last year!

I know how much everyone loved this series. And I’m pretty sure that it is a trilogy as well. I love the idea of this series but I also don’t know too much about the series.

But I kind of like it that way. I like the idea that I am going into a world unknown. It’s sort of a thrill of the page.

 

 


 

Empire of StormsThis is the 5th book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. My best friend Bre and I were in love with this series and the Court of Thorns and Roses last summer.

We even drove to Houston to see Sarah J. Maas talk, get the last book of the series signed, and we got matching tattoos of the Night Court.

After reading the first four books in the series I had to take a little bit of a break. One because I didn’t want to get too far ahead of Bre but also because I didn’t want to burn myself out on the series which I was about to do.

Maybe this is just the time to read it!


Iron Gold

This is book four in the Red Rising series! At the beginning of 2019 I read the crap out of the first three in the series. It was so much fun to read a Science Fiction novel that was so in-depth with the world creating and the character building.

It helped that I was able to read the books and talk to a co-worker about them as well! I loved being able to do that. I’m pretty sure J is ahead of me on the series, but it would be nice to be able to go back to work and talk to him about the 4th book.

The 5th book came out this year and I think it would be cool to read it at the same time if he hasn’t already beaten me to it!

 


Agatha OddlyThis is supposed to be an adorable middle grade version of a Cozy Mystery and I am totally living for it. The young girl, I’m assuming, Agatha is flipping adorable with her quirky glasses, dark hair, and determined look on her face! I am loving everything there is about this cover.

I haven’t read too far into the synopsis but I know that this is a series. If I love the first one in the series then there is a good chance that I will purchase the rest of the series as well.

Haha! This is how I am with most series that I fall in love with.

 

 


The next five books on my Japan TBR are all from Net Galley! They all are RomComs or Romantic Comedies that I am super excited about reading. I have heard amazing things about Jen DeLuca and I have recently read Christina Lauren’s The Unhoneymooners!

Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things is just one of the most cutest covers I have ever seen. Dating By the Book looks like it is going to be fun and Well Met is something that I would totally have read in high school, but I’m not going to lie…I totally downloaded the book because of the cover. I really love her outfit! Ha!

I already started on Redesigning Happiness, but I am not sure that I am actually going to finish it. So far I don’t like the whole religious aspect of the book and the idea that someone’s opinion has any weight over how a woman thinks as a person or what they should do for the career. I feel like the main character is being a push over and needs to drop those negative been like a hot potato. Maybe I’ll finish it, but I’m not sure!


Welp, that is my Japan TBR on top of my already long TBR from earlier this month. I know for a fact that I am not going to be finishing all of these books, but at least I know that I have options! Am I right?! It is better to have too many options then no options at all!

Until next time, Happy Reading!

~Courtny

Graded in Red| Chapter 2

Chapter 2

“Hey! Do you need any help with that?!” Someone across the street yelled as I was heroically carrying three boxes from the moving truck. 

“No! I’m good! You know women’s rights and feminism and all that!” I hollered back struggling against the weight of the boxes I was carrying. Who in the sane world owns this many books? I mean seriously, ’Maggie read them once, donate them, sell them, move on!’, is what a sane person would tell herself. And yet, here I am, moving across the state, with more boxes full of books then basic materials to live. 

Hearing an exasperated sigh from behind me, I knew that I was about to get a talking to from whoever was behind me. The hair rose on the back of my neck as the person spoke. 

“Seriously I don’t mind helping, really! I promise, I will still look at you as the womanly woman that I think you are behind those boxes. You know, the kind of woman that doesn’t mind asking for help. Unless you’re cool with tripping over that next step, face planting, and then being a toothless feministic female who carries heavy boxes by herself.” 

I tried to move forward but was blocked by an unmoving object. I was pretty sure it was the frustrating  floating voice becoming a solid form and blocking my way into my parent’s basement apartment. 

I tried moving around the foreign object, moving left, and then right, but it kept impeding my advancements and I felt the load in my arms lighten and the brightness of the sun penetrate my once shadowed face as this stranger lifted one of the boxes from my arms. 

“Listen, I get it. You are a gentleman and you wanted to help the lady across the street. But I specifically said I did not need any help. Now, I have pepper spray in my pocket and I’m not afraid to use it. Put the box down and step away slowly. No one will get hurt.” I said as my eyes adjusted to the light that was forced upon them. 

I was however bluffing, after I moved back home from the city, I didn’t feel the need to carry my pepper spray and cat keyring with me 24/7. But this guy didn’t need to know that specific piece of information. I could front with the best of them. 

As my eyes focused on the person in front of me, I could not believe who I was seeing. Jake, the neighborhood terror was standing in front of me carry my box of books. The mischievous look in his eyes knew that I recognized him and showed that he was having a grand old time messing with me. 

“Margaret Turee, looks like you are still as stubborn as ever at letting people help you.” Jake said in a playful yet obnoxious way. 

“Jake Peterson, looks like you are still as pushy, overbearing, and still don’t understand the words ‘No Thank You!’. And its Maggie, its always been Maggie” I snapped as I pushed pass Jake and walked down the stairs, while not so gracefully tripping over the lifted up edge of the threshold as I entered the kitchenette and set my boxes down on the counter. 

Jake, obviously still ignoring everyone else’s wishes came down the stairs, missing the warped edge of the entryway, and set the other box of books on my counter. 

“Maggie, Mags, when are you going to get over what happened? That was 10 years ago. I came to help you out, I’m not the same person I was when I was 18. Are you?” 

I blew the hair out of my eyes and looked up at Jake. I wasn’t short for a woman at 5’7’’. I also wasn’t tiny, I liked to eat real people food. I weighed in at a solid 160lbs, and wore a size 10. 

But when I say that Jake grew into his body. I wasn’t kidding. His wide shoulders and big ears, and buck teeth became more in proportion with the rest of his body. It looked like he was growing his  chestnut colored hair out, from the military cut his dad always forced on him when he was younger. Being the son of the police chief was something that Jake had hated, growing up, but he seemed to have accepted it, as shown by the badge on his hip.  

“Of course I’m not the same person as I was when I was 18. Would you have seen me move back home?” I snapped as sweat fell down my face and threatened to fall and sting my eyes. 

The heat of Oklahoma never seemed to waver in July. Not only was the temperature hot, but the humidity was at 90% today. You got out of an air conditioned car and you were hit with a wall of wet fire. 

“Maggie my dear!” A voice hollered down the basement staircase. 

“Yes mom! What is it?” I shouted back. Jake squinted and covered his ears at my response. In my family, we don’t merely walk to the other side of the house to have a regular conversation. This is what normal people in normal families do. Nope, in my family, we scream at the top of our lungs. Even if there isn’t a thing going on in the house, we scream. It’s just the way I was raised. 

“I just made a fresh batch of sweet tea, would you like one? It is hot as a whore in church out there. I am afraid that you are going to overheat!” My mother continued screaming down the stairs. 

You see, my mom, Heather, was what you would call a special woman. She did not care about what others thought, spoke her mind, and cussed like a sailor. This to my dad was a redeeming quality, since it was exactly opposite of himself. I guess the saying opposites attract really rings true when it came to my parents. Mom is loud and boisterous and has never met a stranger. Whereas my dad, Paul, was shy, rarely spoke out, and had the best sense of humor you could possibly imagine. I found my love of puns through him. 

Walking to the end of the stairs, I could see my mom peeking out of the door at the top, “I am good mom. I don’t need anything, thank you though!” I whispered up the stairs and shooed her away with my hand. 

“Oh! You want me to leave?! Who’s down there with you? A boy!? Paul! Maggie has a boy in her room!” My mom  shrieked into the living room, where I knew my dad was sitting in his recliner watching a sports ball game of some sort. 

“I’ll come on down and see who is here!” My mom said as she waddled down the steep stairs into the apartment. “Oh! Jake! It’s so good to see you! Were you coming by to see me? I need my front yard mowed and our gutters need cleaning out!” My mom started digging through her pockets in her jeans shirt and jean shorts coming up with a wrinkled $20 bill. 

“I’m sure this will cover both of those chores, now come on up for a nice cold glass of tea. If Maggie-Poo wants to die of dehydration that is her choice, but I want to make sure you don’t keel over while tending to the yard.” Mom said as she walked away and Jake trailed after her looking helpless. 

I had a tiny urge to rescue him from my mom, but then I remembered what happened 10 years ago, and I decided that this was his punishment. My mom could make paint peel talking it to death. I love her, but you can only listen to the same story so many times before your eyes start to roll. 

It was time to start unpacking. This was the beginning of a new chapter for me. I was going to meet with Victoria this evening to talk to her about my new job at the high school and what to expect. I needed to rinse off really quick, change into some shorts and a tank top, and head on over to the pub on Main Street. 

CozWeek| July 1st-7th

Hello everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful morning! I’m doing pretty well! I can’t believe that today is the last day of June! This year is halfway over and we are getting into the hotter months, especially here in Oklahoma. It’s like Hell’s Sauna outside with the heat and humidity. Ha!

I normally have a really hard time celebrating my birthday. I don’t know why, but ever since I was about 16 I haven’t felt like really celebrating. I feel bad when people buy me gifts and I don’t know how to celebrate.

I have had quite a few people as me over the past couple of years if I would ever do a mid-year Cozy readathon. With March Mystery Madness in March and Cozmas in December, I thought that July would be a great time to have a short one week readathon.

CozWeek

It just so happens to be the week of my 29th birthday. Life keeps moving faster and faster as I grow older. I hear that life tends to do that! Ha! So, I came up with CozWeek! It is a very simple readathon with three challenges. If you’d like to watch my booktube video click here, if not I’ll explain the challenges and my TBR below!

COZWEEK CHALLENGES

As you can see there are three very easy challenges for Cozweek! I wanted something that everyone could do!

I want to preface this, you do not have to read Cozy Mysteries for every or even ANY of the challenges. I might have even changed my TBR from what I said in my video.

For the 1st challenges it is pick a book that is either a new favorite series or maybe even a new favorite author. I wanted something that would be pretty easy to do. There are just some author’s that you fall in love with and you just have to own EVERY. SINGLE. BOOK. they have written. Am I right?!

51YsmBtzo7L._AC_SY400_ For the A New Favorite Series/Author challenge I chose Buy a Whisker by Sofie Ryan.

This is the second book in the A Second Chance Cat Mystery series. I LOVE LOVE Sofie Ryan who also writes under Sofie Kelly.

I actually just finished A Tale of Two Kitties by her for the Magical Cats Mystery series. It was really cute!

This series is all about a young woman who has started her life over, adopted a stray kitty cat, and has opened up a thrift store where she refurbishes old furniture and of course solves a few mysteries at the same time!

 

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For the second challenge it is read a new book! I was graciously sent this book from the publisher Kensington Books. This is the first in the series and I am all about any cozy with fur-children!

This cover is to die for though, isn’t it?! I love all of the detail that a Cozy Mystery cover can give you! You can see the bunny over course, but then the blood on with the tomato, and then the cemetery on the salad bowl!

I am all about getting comfy on the couch and devour this book as well. I have a really good feeling about this!

 

 

cover163182-mediumFor the last challenge, a July release, I had originally chosen Penne Dreadful. But then it doesn’t come out until July 30th and I don’t have an Advanced Readers copy. So I started looking into all of the other books that I’ve gotten. Including those from Netgalley! A lo-and-behold I found this amazing nugget.

It technically doesn’t release until July 30th as well, but I have an ARC from Netgalley! So this is going to be my choice for a July Release! It still technically ticks the mark for the challenge! *self five*

This still has a cozy-ish theme to it. The main character Yvonne is getting out of a bad relationship and she feels herself getting into something new. Starting over.

“But now the once-broke single mom is Atlanta’s most sought-after interior designer—and one-half of the media’s hottest power couple. She and her celebrity fiancé, Nathan, are a perfect, practical match, on—and off—camera. And with their new home improvement reality show the object of a fierce network bidding war, there’s no limit to how far they can go . . .”


So those are my choices for #cozweek! Let me know, are you going to be joining me in the week long read of cozy reads? In the comments down below let me know what your choices are!

I’d love to add more books to my every growing TBR pile!

Until next time, Happy Reading!

XOXO
~Courtny