May 2018 Cozy Releases

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Hey hey my #cozycompanions! How are you doing on this amazing Wednesday morning?! I am doing pretty well. I have my coffee next to me, listing to calming music, and am super excited about all of these Cozy Mystery Releases for the month of May!
We only have 5 Cozy Releases that I am going to talk about this month. I am guessing that there aren’t a lot of books coming out in May or I might be missing something. These were the ones that seemed most interesting to me! So, without further ado, let’s get into this!

51LKc2PFS0LAn Abracadabra Mystery Series
Book 3
By: Sharon Pape
https://amzn.to/2HSOZfv
Releases: May 1st

November in upstate New York can be chilly, but Kailyn Wilde’s shop, Abracadabra, is a cozy respite where you can find lotions, potions, and plenty of warm, feline company. But what customers don’t know is that the proprietor has some unusual powers—and unusual friends, including the renowned magician Merlin, who’s been transported into the modern world. All of which comes in handy when there’s a murder to be solved . . .

Investigative journalist Ryan Cutler has perished in a car accident in New Camel, and his friend, Travis, suspects foul play—especially when the reporter’s notes reveal a mysterious list of dead men’s names. Kailyn wants to help, but she’s also got her hands full with the curmudgeonly Merlin, who’s not exactly maintaining a low profile. Between keeping the wizard under wraps and mixing up cold remedies that work like magic, she’ll have to tap into her many talents to figure out a killer’s fatal formula . . .

51Z1oP13iMLA Magic Garden Mystery Series
Book 1
By: Amanda Flower
https://amzn.to/2K8YHef
Releases: May 8th

Florist Fiona Knox’s life isn’t smelling so sweet these days. Her fiancé left her for their cake decorator. Then, her flower shop wilted after a chain florist opened next door. So when her godfather, Ian MacCallister, leaves her a cottage in Scotland, Fiona jumps on the next plane to Edinburgh. Ian, after all, is the one who taught her to love flowers. But when Ian’s elderly caretaker Hamish MacGregor shows her to the cottage upon her arrival, she finds the once resplendent grounds of Duncreigan in a dreadful shambles—with a dead body in the garden.

Minutes into her arrival, Fiona is already being questioned by the handsome Chief Inspector Neil Craig and getting her passport seized. But it’s Craig’s fixation on Uncle Ian’s loyal caretaker, Hamish, as a prime suspect, that really makes her worried. As Fiona strolls the town, she quickly realizes there are a whole bouquet of suspects much more likely to have killed Alastair Croft, the dead lawyer who seems to have had more enemies than friends.

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A Barkery & Biscuts Mystery Series
Book 4
By: Linda O. Johnston
https://amzn.to/2Jj4RHw
Releases: May 8th

As a technician for a local vet and the owner of the Barkery & Biscuits dog bakery, Carrie Kennersly is excited to host a rescue animal adoption event. She’s also excited to be in a relationship with veterinarian Dr. Reed Storme, despite his pleas for her to butt out of the murder cases she keeps finding herself involved with.

Yet when Reed is accused of killing his former veterinary colleague, he seems a lot more agreeable to having amateur detective Carrie butt back in. Can Carrie clear Reed, or does she care too much for a killer?

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A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery Series
Book 2
By: Karen Rose Smith
https://amzn.to/2JlkJcF
Releases: May 29th

As local merchants unite to attract tourists for a much anticipated weekend quilting event, business is sure to spill over into eateries like Daisy’s Tea Garden. Gorgeous craftwork is hanging everywhere—but among the quilts, potholders, and placemats, one gallery owner is wrapped up in some dangerous affairs . . .

Reese Masemer had been dating one of Daisy’s employees, Tessa, an artist, though their last interaction was as strained as a cup of loose leaf tea. Now Reese has been found dead near a covered bridge where Tessa’s been practicing her sketches. She’s the obvious suspect, but Daisy’s learning that there were some major secrets in Reese’s background, and several of his relationships were infused with resentment. To save Tessa, she’ll have to find out who’s tainted this quaint little town with murder . . .

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A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery Series
Book 2
By: Meg Macy
https://amzn.to/2HR6fBH
Releases: May 29th

As autumn air settles into the quaint small town of Silver Hollow, there’s nothing more popular than Sasha’s teddy bears—and murder in cold blood . . . 

Silver Bear Shop and Factory manager Sasha Silverman is cozying up to the fall season by hosting Silver Hollow’s Cranbeary Tea Party, the opening event of the village’s Oktobear Fest—a too-cute celebration themed around teddy bears. She barely has a moment to agonize over the return of her former high school rival, Holly Parker, whose new toy and bookstore in town could spell big trouble for the Silver Bear Shop and her cousin’s small bookstore . . .

But when Sasha discovers Holly’s shop assistant dead with a knife plunged in her body, the unpleasant woman suddenly looks like a real backstabber. So does Sasha’s ex-husband, rumored to have rekindled the fiery extramarital affair he once had with the victim. Now, before a gruesome homicide case takes the fun out of both the Fest and her personal life, Sasha must identify the true culprit from a daunting suspect list—or risk becoming as lifeless as one of her stuffed bears . . .

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Library 411 Tag!

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I was recently tagged by my friend Jashana on Booktube or @jashanawriter on Twitter. I love the library and everything that encompasses being able to go somewhere without going anywhere. These are some amazing questions that she created and I am so humbled that she decided to tag me! Go check her amazingness out! I promise, you will love her! I will be filming a video of this and it will come out tomorrow! 
QUESTIONS:
1. Information Desk: A book that was helpful to you, for any reason.

downloadA book that was extremely helpful to me would have to be, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**K”. This book really helped me see how I was allowing certain things to go on in my life when I needed to bring about change inside of myself before I could do anything else within my life.

I really enjoyed the overall message. It has been quite a while since I have read it and I think I need to buy it in physical form so that I can highlight and mark up my favorite pages and places.

There is something to say about a really good self-help book. I would normally not read these types of books, but I believe that Mark Manson was extremely clever in naming this book because that is what brought me into reading it. 

2. The Return Bin: What are two books you read and immediately wanted to return (bc you disliked) or a recent DNF

34806691I recently finished my Book of the Month Club book “And Then She War Gone” by Lisa Jewell. I had really thought that I was going to enjoy this book. I had it in my head that it was going to be just as wonderful of a read as “The Broken Girls” by Simone St. James. 

I couldn’t have been more far from the truth. This book was nothing that I expected nor was it a book that I enjoyed. It made me feel incredibly uncomfortable and kind of dirty reading it. I know that I will be unhauling it soon to someone else or another place. 

 

225024Another book that I will not be re-reading again would have to be “Don’t Look Down”, by Jennifer Crusie. I read this in the middle of the summer last year and I was so excited about it. Jennifer Crusie was one of my most favorite authors and I thought that I had read everything that she had written. 

So when I found this book at my local used bookstore, Gardener’s, I was so thrilled that I couldn’t wait to get home to read it. I read it in about two days and I was livid. I couldn’t believe that Crusie had written such a weak-willed female protagonist. She waited for the guy to rescue her. It actually sickened me. I was steaming. The only reason I haven’t unhauled the book is that I love having all of Jennifer Crusie’s books on my shelves, but I will not be rereading it. 

3. Holds Section: Your most anticipated release, which you can’t wait to get your hands on?

36187823A release for this June that I CANNOT wait to read would have to be Ellie Alexander’s “Till Death Do Us Tart”! I am eager for this next installment of the Bakeshop Mystery series to come out. 

They are planning the biggest and more intricate wedding in Ashland and I couldn’t be happier. To be able to see two of my most favorite people finally tying the knot is something that puts the biggest smile on my face. I am so excited about this! 

 

 

 
4. Community Classes & Study Rooms: A book you loved that was a school assignment.

download-1I would have to say the book that had my heart in my throat and one that made me fall in love with reading even more is “Fahrenheit 451”, by Ray Bradbury. The whole entire idea of a firefighter being the one to start a fire and to destroy knowledge and imaginary worlds always left me aghast. 

I recently found out that they are going to be doing a movie or a short show series on it. I think that it is going to be brilliant. To take something that is regularly quoted, read, and extremely relevant during these ‘fake news’ times. 

 
5. Computers: A modern classic you love, or favorite sci-fi.

download-2Oh goodness! A modern class OR a favorite sci-fi?! How about BOTH!? I would have to say that “Frankenstein”, by Mary Shelley would have to be one of my all time favorites. 

I had to read this book for the first time for my Science Fiction By Women course at Northeastern State. Before this course I did not know that a woman had actually been the first person to write a science fiction novel. I thought that this was a brilliant light bulb over my head. 

Though this book was harder to read because of the changes in the English language over the past century it was still just as compelling and fascinating as it was then.
6. DVD Rentals: Your most anticipated, or favorite in recent history, book-to-move or book-to-tv adaptation. OR! a book that felt cinematic or a book you wish would be adapted into a movie or TV series.

download-4Hmmm. I think that if I had to choose a series that would be put into a TV series I would have to choose Anne Bishop’s Black Jewel series. I feel like the magic system, the characters, and the feel of the series would work well with most audiences. I would also just like to see the world alive on the screen. This is one of my favorite book series that I have read. I believe that I own all of them.

“The Dark Kingdom is preparing itself for the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy–the arrival of a new Queen, a Witch who will wield more power than even the High Lord of Hell himself. But this new ruler is young, and very susceptible to influence and corruption; whoever controls her controls the Darkness. And now, three sworn enemies begin a ruthless game of politics and intrigue, magic and betrayal, and the destiny of an entire world is at stake”
7. Library Book Store/Sale: A random book you picked up (w/o knowing anything about) and really enjoyed, or show off your fave bookish merch!

31390219When I was at Comic-Con in the Summer of 2016 I was walking around the HUGE section of books, comics, graphic novels, and all of the bookish goods. I was walking around and found this colorful and vibrant booth and I was instantly brought to it. 

This is where I found Lumber Janes and The Backstagers! I originally purchased the Lumber Janes volume one (which is also my very first video and review on my booktube channel).  Right before I walked away from the book I saw The Backsttagers and I was immediately brought it. 

Ilove the colors, how playful the boys looked, and the fact that it involved the theater as well. I had to get the first issue. I was so happy that I did. Just in the first comic I was brought in with the friendships that were made, the crushes that were blooming, and the fun aspect of what was hidden in the theater. I highly recommend this series. 

8. Teen/Youth Room: Favorite YA or favorite book you read as a kid. OR: A book you can’t wait to share with your future kids/nieces/nephews

download-3.jpgA series that I can’t wait to show my nephew, Michael-Scott, would have to be the Among the Hidden series by Margaret Peterson-Haddix. This series revolves around a farming family and their secret. The world has changed. There was a drought and a shortage of food. Due to this everyone in the United States was limited to two children. Third children were illegal and were even killed if they were born. 

We follow Luke Gardner. The hidden third child. This series follows Luke’s trials and tribulations of understanding why his family hid him to understanding the this wasn’t right and all third children should be free. 

I read all seven books of this series to my 5th grades for five years. They loved it so much that I can’t wait to see if my nephew will love them as well!
9. Museum Tickets: A book that made you feel a bit more cultured upon completing it.

16299.jpgThat would have to be my very first Agatha Christie book, “And Then There Were None”. I don’t normally read a lot of classical books or books that people would consider cultured. I tend to read for fun and for relaxation. But I felt extremely good about myself after reading “And Then There Were None”. I felt as though I was apart of something more. All of those amazing people who can read classical books and enjoy it.

It helped that Agatha Christie is considered the mother of the Cozy Mystery genre. It was easier for me to get into the book. I have a vlog of when I went to New Orleans and I have live reactions to this book. It was marvelous. I couldn’t figure out the ‘whodunit’ and I loved that! 

10. Overdrive/Hoopla: An audio book you love.

9969571.jpgAn audio book that I ABSOLUTELY love would be “Ready Player One”, by Ernest Cline. Will Wheton is the one who reads the book aloud and it was brilliant. I loved having him talk about all of the things that he grew up with.

 

You could hear the humor in his voice when he was mentioned in the book. He really helped bring the book alive AND made it seem as though we were in the 80s as well as the future!

 

 

11. Request a Purchase: A lesser known book that you want more people to know about and read.

11.jpgI don’t know if you would call this a lesser known book since it has been made into a movie, but I really loved reading Douglas Adams’, “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.

I read the Ultimate Edition during my senior year in high school. It had all five books in one huge, heavy, and hard to edition. It was totally worth it. I loved the quirky characters. I loved the way everything was tied together and how crazy the plot was.

I really believe that this series should have been more than just one movie. While the movie is good and is quoted quite frequently I really feel that they did not do justice to the book. They needed to add more of the adventures and the character development to the characters for the audience to really understand everything about them. 

12. Librarians: A character who loved helping others.

18631568.jpgA character that was extremely helpful and alway giving of themselves is Aang from “Avatar the Last Airbender”. I know that technically it started out as a TV show on Nickelodeon, but I have fallen in love with the comics/graphic novels that have come out. 

Especially “The Search” when you finally find out what happened to Zuko’s mom. This show pulled at all of my heart strings and emotions. 

I love the friendship that turns into family in this series. Aang has the biggest heart out of all of them and it always warms my soul to watch and read about these characters. 
13. Sanctuary: A book that is your safety net/is like home to you/helped you through a rough time.

3.jpgThis is without a doubt a cliche answer. However, this is the only answer I really have. Harry Potter. That series got me through hell. My mom was sick for a very long time. An extremely long time. I didn’t think I would ever get my mom back from everything that the doctors put her through. 

But, this series was our saving grace. Even when she was so sick we had something to talk about when it came to books. She would keep me home when a new book came out and we would talk about it. We would go see the midnight releases when the movies or new books came out. 

I believe that the love of Harry Potter kept my family together when everything else was falling apart. So, even though this might be everyone’s answer. This is mine. 
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This or That: Modern vs. Traditional

This or That_ Modern vs. Traditional Mysteries

So I have been thinking, what is the difference between Traditional Mysteries and Modern Mysteries? What author jumps out at you for a traditional mystery writer? If you said Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Agatha Christie I would have to agree. Though they are from somewhat different timelines aren’t they?

Untitled design (3).pngI mean, Doyle started writing his first story about Sherlock Holmes in 1887. Whereas Christie wrote and published her first story about Hercules Poirot in 1920 right after World War I. That is a little over 30 years between the two.

I have read quite a bit about Sherlock Holmes! I even wrote my Junior English paper comparing Sherlock and Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer! It was a pretty awesome read if you ask me. It helped that my English teacher was a HUGE Buffy fan! I loved how eloquently Doyle wrote about the crimes, Sherlock’s personality, and even Watson.

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Though, it is not entirely relatable now is it? I mean some items stay the same when it comes to a mystery. There is always going to be the murder, the sleuth, and the red herrings along the way. But the way women are viewed in series like Sherlock Holmes and even in some of Christie’s Poirot series they are seen as almost weak in a sense. They do grow as time goes on, but there are certain stereotypes that stay within the tradition mysteries that you don’t seem much of in the modern mysteries we read now.

The main characters in Christie and Doyle’s work around surrounded by the murder, right? They aren’t growing as characters very much. We see the flaws in the characters, but for the most part even the secondary characters, besides Watson, aren’t given much thought. This is something that is extremely different from Modern Mysteries, especially Modern Cozy Mysteries that are apart of a series.

You do need to know, that this is just my thought process and I wanted to write it out. I have not read very many Agatha Christie novels, but I plan to. I have read quite a few Sherlock Holmes adventures, but it has been about 11 years since I was fully immersed in the series.  Untitled design (5).png


Now, let us fast forward to the present. When I am talking about Modern Mysteries I am mostly talking about the type that I read the most of, Cozy Mysteries. I am not an expert in any shape or form nor do I claim to be when it comes to the Mystery or Thriller Genre.

However, there is something that I have noticed in the Modern Mysteries that I read. Women are predominately the amateur sleuths in the mysteries. They are also starting their life anew after a terrible accident, divorce, or something else entirely. They are needing to be in control of things within their lives. The secondary characters are almost as important and the primary characters. Also, the mystery is part of the book, but watching the protagonist grow is more important if you ask me.

As a reader if the protagonist isn’t relatable I am not going to read it. This is quite different with my expectations with Traditional Mysteries. For some reason I am able to over look the sometime harsh and cocky nature of Sherlock and Poirot. Whereas if any of the characters in my Cozy Mystery series showed those characteristics I would push away from reading it.

There is a difference however in Agatha Christie’s writing when she started the Miss Marple series. She is what I would call the Mother of the Cozy Mystery Genre. Miss. Marple took crap from no one! She was able to use her sweet demeanor and get into the mysteries and solve them. I think she is the one character that bridged the gap between Traditional and Modern Mysteries.

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I am thinking to myself, Why? Why am I okay with the way characters were written 100 years ago, but if my modern characters had the same opinions or thoughts about certain topics I would be put off by them?

It makes me wonder to myself. Am I allowing of that “behavior” because that is just how it was in the past? Women weren’t going to be considered sleuths or viable witnesses during that time and so I am more able to understand it and forgive it? I’m not sure.

This blog post has actually turned into something that I didn’t really expect it to turn into. I was wanting to know which one was better to read. I am now questioning why I allow myself to read somethings but then have a double standard for a more modern version of it.

Do I have high expectations for Modern Authors? I think so. I think the Modern Authors should, in essence, get with the times. Be as liberal and accepting as I am. I know this isn’t something that I should put on authors but for some reason I do. I have been unconsciously judging Modern Authors on a scale to which I do not judge Traditional Authors.

What are your thoughts? Am I completely off kilter when it comes to that? Let me know in the comments down below. I really want to know what you think!

March Wrap Up!

March

Holy cow! I can’t believe it! March is BASICALLY over…seriously! How did this happen? We are a QUARTER of the way complete with 2018. This is pretty scary and fun all at the same time. I have been loving growing my channel, my blog, and my group of friends. It has been an absolute blessing and so humbling.

I thought that I would share this collage of pictures I took during March. This has been one of my favorite months. Being asked to be a host for March Mystery Madness has been super amazing and so much fun. Creating all different kinds of designs and for the Instagram Challenges and the Twitter page has been great!

I know you normally stop by my blog to read up on what I’ve read, what I suggest, and even just to get more in-depth on what I put on my Youtube channel, but I thought that I would give you a quick update on what’s going on in the world of me!

I have been loving creating templates, thumbnails, pictures, and videos so much that I have been wanting to learn more! I have applied and been accepted into a Graphic Design Certification program at a local college where I live. I am going to be starting classes this summer and I can’t wait. I am going to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, and so much more. I have always been known as a person who is addicted to school! I finished my Masters in December of 2016, so it didn’t take long for me to want to start something new!

This year has been a whirl wind of reading for me. I can’t believe how much I’ve read the past three months. This month I read 9 books! I think that is pretty amazing considering how busy this month was with March Mystery Madness, Twitter Sprints, Spring Break, and family time.

Silenced in the Surf

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So, I basically sped read through the whole entire Pacific Northwest Mystery series by Kate Dyer-Seeley aka Ellie Alexander. As most of you know, she is one of my most favorite authors.
Of course, I fell in love with this series as well. This is the third in the series and we are following Meg into another adventure. This time she is following a competition for water sports.

Justin Cruise, an extremely popular and cocky surfer, is found killed after showing off to Meg’s surfboard lesson. Of course, the person who found him was Meg, she seems to have a knack for it.

While, trying to stay away from the investigation, she is trying to figure out her relationship with Matt and helping her best friend Jill open herself to the person that she is. They have joined her on this work-cation and have even jumped on the band wagon on trying to find out what happened to Justin.

This newest book also dives deeper into the mystery of what happened to Meg’s dad. I can’t say it enough about how much I love the fact that there is a mystery within a mystery in this series.

Silenced in the Surf (1)

29429250This is the fourth installment of the Pacific Northwest Mystery series. I told you, I was having a HUGE READING BINGE for this series.This time we are running along with Meg in planning for the 5K Mud, Sweat & Beers! She has decided that she is going to get some real outdoor training for Northwest Extreme!!!! Finally, something she doesn’t have to be too scared about. And hey! She is trying to get outside of her comfort zone and take the audience of the paper with her on her fitness journey! Plus, beer. Yep. Enough said.

I love the name of the training business, Mind over Mudder. Ya get it?! Mudder?! Because it is a MUD RUN! *I’m dying*

Of course, training isn’t going to be easy. The two men that own the 5K camp are two very opposite gentlemen. One is very zen, while the other is a former drill sergeant. Meg doesn’t quite know what to make of them, but she does make a good friend in the camp who seems to be losing weight very quickly.

The macho ex drill sergeant suddenly kills over during a drill in what looks like a heart attack, but Meg doesn’t believe that was the case because of how healthy he was and how persistent he was about being good to your body. Meg decides that she is going to figure out what happened to him. This was such a fun book! I highly recommend it!
Silenced in the Surf (2)

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This was such a fun book! I read this for March Mystery Madness for the New Challenge. This was not only a new series for me but also a new author.

This series follows baker Hannah Swenson and her hectic life back at home with her business, her snotty sister, and pushy mother.
Hannah starts her day like normal. Getting up, drinking coffee, cuddling with her kitty, and getting ready for work. She starts to drive to work and sees the delivery man who normally comes to her shop every morning for rounds.
Hannah thinks that the most pertinent and pressing matter is making her mother realize that she doesn’t need a man to make her life any better. She does not want to be set up on a blind date. However, her mother is very persistent and tries to set her up with a dentist.

Hannah is in for a rude awakening when she finds the delivery man she just waved at killed in the alley at the back of her shop and is thrown into an investigation that shakes her whole entire world. Her brother-in-law is the cop on the scene and asks for her help in solving the case.

I really liked this book as a start of a series, there were somethings that I feel needed to be better in the set up. For example, Hannah and her brother-in-law’s relationship seemed kind of weird. That he asked her to help solve the case seemed unprofessional and almost unbelievable. It didn’t stop me from wanting to finish the book or keep going with the series, but I hope it becomes more believable as the series goes on.

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This book is fantastically wonderful. I chose this book for March Mystery Madness. This was for the Opposite Challenge. As you know the main sub-genre that I read in Mystery is the Cozy Mystery genre. So reading a Thriller was outside of my comfort zone, but this was a 4 Cleo Read for me. Or a 5 star on Goodreads.
As you see above, Series and Punniness are Not Applicable. This is a standalone series and it doesn’t have punniness as a rule.

This follows two different time periods in Vermont. 1950 and 2014. Technically this follows five different points of view. In 1950 it follows four girls at the Idlewild Girl’s School for troublemakers, illegitimate, and too smart for their own good girls. The school is said to haunted by Mary Hand who makes girls go a little bit crazy. In the past one of the students goes missing and is presumed a runaway.

Fast forward to 2014, you are following Fiona Sheridan a journalist who is stuck in the past of 20 years ago. Her sister was found brutally murdered in the field of the shut down and decrepit Idlewild School. Fiona is trying to get over the death of her older sister when someone purchases Idlewild and is intending to open it back up as a girls school.

Fiona starts interview people about the past 20 years ago when her sister was killed and then stumbles upon the mystery of the missing girl from 1950. She uncovers police corruption and a sleepy town’s buried secrets.

This was such an amazing book to read. I loved the characters, the mystery, and the relationships within the story. I wish there would be more in world but I love the way it ended. I actually made a reading Vlog for this book, if you want to watch it click here.

Silenced in the Surf (4)

IMG_9567This is the first in the Firefly Junction Cozy Mystery series by London Lovett. She also writes one of my absolute favorite series The Port Danby series as well.
I had really really high hopes for this series because I love Pink and all of the people in Port Danby. I am not saying that this wasn’t a great start to a series because it most definitely was!

This is series is about Sunni Taylor with her social life and writing career in tatters at the ripe old age of thirty-five, she decides to pack up her things and join her sisters, Lana and Emily, in the small town of Firefly Junction.

She has gotten a journalist job at the local newspaper for the town to keep money coming in while she renovates the rundown Cider Ridge Inn. She is wanting to turn it into a bed and breakfast for the town.

Her very first assignment is SUPER interesting, she is interview people about the High School janitor’s early retirement. This is the biggest story in the town until the janitor is found killed in the town’s park. A dull human interest piece becomes incredibly interesting to Sunni when she rushes to the crime scene. Unfortunately the newspaper’s editor takes Sunni off of the story and gives it to the inept senior journalist.
This of course does not stop Sunni from investigation.

So while investigating the murder, trying to avoid the irritating, pushy, and cocky Dectective Jackson, and wondering if her Inn is haunted, Sunni is trying to figure out who she is and what she wants out of life.

This was a good start to a new series by London Lovett. I really did enjoy it! I am looking forward to the next book in the series and seeing how the story grows.

Silenced in the Surf (5)

34488843Again, I told you that I binge read this whole entire series. This was, I believe, the finale to the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series. That is what I gathered from Kate. I think that, if it is the last, it perfectly wraps up the mystery within the mystery of what happened with Meg’s dad and the whole drug ring that was going on within Oregon.

During this adventure Meg is asked by Matt to pitch a story to Northwest Extreme to do a piece on the Bend, Oregon’s Caves and the new legislation that is being considered to allow the public into the caves and the public lands surrounding it.

Little did Meg know that she was going to be pulled into another murder of a local ranger and a drug ring happening right under the noses of politicians and police within the state.

This was such a fun and quick read. I loved watching Meg grow and mature as the books continued. Her relationship with Matt was left hanging, I want to know if she decided to move to the Bend with Matt or stay with Northwest Extreme. I could do with one more book in this world and with these characters. Even if Kate doesn’t write another one, I am perfectly content with the way it has ended!

Silenced in the Surf (6)

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This was the Cozy Mystery Bookclub book of the month for March. We actually just had the Live Stream last night, here is the link if you wanted to go watch it! Kate Carlisle herself even stopped by and said Hi! How cool is that?!?

This was one of my most favorite books that I read this morning. I loved it as a first book in the series. Getting to know the fiery Irish Contractor Shannon was so much fun! I loved her whole attitude the relationships that were being built between her and her best friend, and her and her father.

Shannon is finally ready to open herself back up to a potential relationship when one of her friends sets her up on a blind date. It was going extremely well during dinner that when Jerry, the date, asked her to walk on the beach after dinner she was more than willing. However, he decided to make a pass at her and when she denied him he went into a rage. He tore her shirt, bruised her, and tried to force himself on her all while people were watching from the pier. Shannon, not to be forced to do anything and was taught by the men on the construction crew to protect herself, got in quite a few jabs and kicks! She threatened to kill him if he came around her again.

Little did she know that she would find his body in a house that she was refurbishing. She immediately becomes a suspect and finds herself fighting to clear her name. After her date she swears off men and yet two unexpectedly fall into her lap.

This was such a marvelous beginning to a new series! I am so excited to dive more into this series to see what other adventures Shannon and her friends get into in the next book!

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Aaron and I started Ready Player One on our drive down to Texas to get on our cruise. I love that it seems to be a tradition for long road trips. We have been picking books that we want to read together. Since we both read at different speeds and this is the best was to do it via Audiobook.

Aaron and I are actually seeing the movie this weekend and I will be do a chat with The Lawn Gnome on Youtube comparing the book and the movie. I can already see many differences between both of them, but I am going to try to enjoy both of them as they are.

This book follows a kid named Wade Watts. It is the year 2045 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The world has become impoverished in many areas. People are no longer living life outside in the real world. The new world that most people live in is the Oasis.

“Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.”

Aaron and I really enjoyed this book. It was one of his favorites before I even knew about it and he was really excited that I was willing to read it. I loved all of the 80s fun facts with the movies, music, and pop culture! It was so much fun to remember all of those. Aaron and I have even been watching movies now that we are home that were talked about in the book and I have loved it! I love that a book has brought us closer when I didn’t know that we could get any closer. It was just such a fun book to read! I highly recommend it!

Cozy Mystery Review

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This is one of my favorite Cozy Mystery series that I started at the beginning of me finding this series. It is the Booktown Mystery Series by Lorna Barrett. It follows Trish and her sister Angelica and their amazing friends on the main street that is themed after different types of genres of books.

Tricia’s shop is called Haven’t Got A Clue and she sells antique mysteries as well as new releases. Angelica started a cookbook shop but also has her hands in different businesses throughout the town.

This time around the booksellers of Booktown are going on vacation, a cruise. Not just any cruise though. This is a themed cruise, a book themed cruise! Famous authors, editors, and different types of goodies are all on the cruise. This is a time where everyone can make new business contacts, get some reading in, and relax a little before the tourist season starts again!

However, the town jinx Tricia, seems to have brought the bad luck with her, or so others from Booktown believe. When a hateful and self involved thriller writer turns up dead and Tricia is the one who finds the body. Tricia has promised her sister that she will try and stay out of the investigation, but the security on board are trying to pass off her death as a suicide. Trish disagrees.

It was great to be back into the world of Booktown. I loved getting more involved with Trish and Angelica’s past. Understanding why they are the way they are. Seeing their relationship grow even more warmed my heart, which is why relationship got four Cleo’s. This was a pretty good book over all!

April Cozy Releases

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Hello everyone! I feel like it has been FOREVER since I have written a blog or filmed a video! Technically it’s only been a week or so.
I bulk filmed and wrote my blogs out ahead of schedule for Spring Break when Aaron and I went on our cruise. It was so much fun, in case you were wondering!
I read 4.5 books during the cruise, I am finishing up the 5th one for this month here at home because I was just shy of finishing it on the boat, but I had to socialize some with friends as well, you know how it goes.
Even though I would have loved nothing more than to read the whole entire time, and I brought MORE THAN enough books to do that, I needed to talk to the awesome people that we went on the cruise with. I will talk more about the cruise and what I read later this week, for now it is COZY RELEASE TIME!

51XbNkYuw6L1st in the Series  
A By The Sea Mystery Series
By: Kathleen Bridge

Releases April 3rd
https://amzn.to/2I7JgkP
The Indialantic by the Sea hotel has a hundred-year-old history on beautiful Melbourne Beach, Florida, and more than a few guests seem to have been there from the start. When Liz Holt returns home after an intense decade in New York, she’s happy to be surrounded by the eccentric clientele and loving relatives that populate her family-run inn, and doubly pleased to see the business is staying afloat thanks to its vibrant shopping emporium and a few very wealthy patrons.

But that patronage decreases by one when a filthy rich guest is discovered dead in her oceanfront suite. Maybe this is simply a jewel theft gone wrong, but maybe someone—or many people—wanted the hotel’s prosperous guest dead. Only one thing is sure: there’s a killer at the Indialantic, and if Liz lets herself be distracted—by her troubled past or the tempting man who seems eager to dredge it back up—the next reservation she’ll book could be at the cemetery . . .

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1st in the Series 
Chef-To-Go Mystery Series 
By: Denise Swanson
Releases April 3rd 
https://amzn.to/2Ia9007
Right when Dani thinks she’s hit a dead-end in her career, she unexpectedly inherits an enormous old house in a quaint college town. This gives her the perfect opportunity to pursue her true passion—cooking! So Dani opens Chef-to-Go, preparing delicious, ready-made meals for hungry students attending the nearby university, as well as providing personal chef services and catering events for the local community. To help support her new business, she opens her home to a few students, renting them rooms and becoming almost like a big sister figure in their lives.

But just as Dani is relishing her sweet new life, the friend of one of her boarders is murdered, and Dani becomes one of the primary suspects! She’ll have to scramble to clear her name and save her business before the killer reappears—perhaps to silence the new chef forever.

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1st in the Series
A Last Ditch Mystery Series
By: Catriona McPherson
Releases April 8th 
https://amzn.to/2ISrJ1n

Lexy Campbell fell in love and left her native Scotland for a golden life in California–hitched to a hunk, building her marriage counseling practice, living the dream. Six months later she’s divorced, broke, and headed home.

There’s just one last thing. Lexy’s only client–sweet little old Mrs. Bombarro–is in jail for murdering her husband with a fireworks rocket. Lexy knows the cops have got it wrong; all she needs is a few days to prove it and somewhere cheap to sleep at night. But checking into the Last Ditch Motel leads Lexy to a whole new cast of characters with troubles of their own.

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2nd in the Series
An Agnes and Effie Mystery 
By: Maia Chance
Releases April 10th 
https://amzn.to/2Gd9H8d

Agnes Blythe and her glamorous Aunt Effie must take a break from restoring their inn to rake in the clues when a local mechanic is murdered.

It’s leaf-peeping season in Naneda, New York, and Agnes Blythe has settled into helping her eccentric Great Aunt Effie restore the Stagecoach Inn. It seems nothing can shatter the golden idyll—or the ka-ching of cash registers—until a mechanic at Hatch Automotive is found bludgeoned to death with a wrench.

Sweeping into action, Agnes and Aunt Effie are on the scene, when a tourist-laden motor coach breaks down outside of town. The Stagecoach Inn isn’t exactly ready for guests, but Agnes and Effie agree to take in a group of seniors while they wait for repairs. But then, Agnes finds herself pulled into the investigation when she learns her new boyfriend, gorgeous Otis Hatch, is the Naneda Police Department’s prime suspect.

With bodies falling faster than the foliage, Agnes must leaf through the more viable suspects and clear Otis’s name of murder in Bad Neighbors, the charming second Agnes and Effie mystery from national bestselling author Maia Chance.

616TJxQ0hqL 2nd in the Series 
A Kensington Palace Chef Mystery
By: Nell Hampton
Releases April 10th 
https://amzn.to/2IUBAnc

When Carrie Ann Cole bakes a lemon meringue pie to die for that actually kills someone, she must find out who the real killer is before her time at the Kensington Palace expires.

The elegant Orangery at Kensington Palace is the perfect setting for the bridal shower of Carrie Ann Cole’s best friend’s sister. Personal chef to the royal family, Carrie Ann’s pie theme is naturally winning. But a waiter later keels over dead into the lemon meringue pie she leaves as a thank-you to the staff and Carrie Ann realizes that somebody slipped a mickey into that meringue.

Her floury fingerprints are all over that pie and the authorities suspect her distress is a cover-up for murder. Carrie Ann must set out to clear her name if she wants to stay at her dream job any longer. But all too soon, another body drops in the Orangery. This time, it’s the Orangery chef.

Murder won’t crimp her style, and as bodies pile up, Carrie Ann uncovers palace intrigue, London nightlife, and British pies scouring for the killer in Lord of the Pies, the witty follow-up to Nell Hampton’s Kale to the Queen.

51RjfjaRW5L2nd in the Series
A Mystery Bookshop Mystery
By: V.M Burns
Releases April 24th 
https://amzn.to/2IStATT

Mystery bookstore owner Samantha Washington is about to find out it’s not so easy to play Monday morning quarterback when it comes to murder. . .
 
To the town of North Harbor, Michigan, MISU quarterback Dawson Alexander is a local hero. To Samantha Washington, owner of the Market Street Mysteries Bookstore, Dawson is more than a tenant—he’s like an adopted son. But to the police, he is their prime suspect after his ex-girlfriend is found murdered. It’s more than enough real-life drama for Sam to tackle, but her role as a mystery writer also calls. Returning to the English countryside between the wars, she finds Lady Daphne Marsh in quite the quandary. Someone has tried to murder the scandalous American divorcée Wallis Simpson, for whom Edward VIII so recently abdicated his throne. It seems finding a suspect is no small challenge when most of England has a motive . . .

While Sam’s lawyer sister Jenna rushes in to build Dawson’s defense, Sam and her lively grandmother, Nana Jo, huddle up to solve the mystery and blow the whistle on the real killer. With the tenacious members of the Sleuthing Senior Book Club eager to come off the sidelines, Sam and her team just might stop a killer from completing another deadly play . . .

PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME OF THE LINKS ABOVE ARE AFFILIATE LINKS, AND AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU, I WILL EARN A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE AFTER CLICKING THROUGH THE LINK. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT I HAVE EXPERIENCED ALL OF THESE COMPANIES, AND I RECOMMEND THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE HELPFUL AND USEFUL, NOT BECAUSE OF THE SMALL COMMISSIONS I MAKE. IF YOU DECIDE TO BUY SOMETHING THROUGH MY LINKS, PLEASE DO NOT SPEND ANY MONEY ON THESE PRODUCTS UNLESS YOU FEEL YOU NEED THEM OR THAT THEY WILL HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS.

Top 10 Coffee Flavors

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Hey my Cozy Companions! I hope you are having an amazing day! Today I am bringing you something a little bit different from my normal blog post about my favorite books, releases, and wrap ups! Today I am introducing you to my 10 Favorite Coffee & Tea Drinks. I was asked to be apart of this by The Lawn Gnome and I thought that it would be a lot of fun! I hope you enjoy it!

breakfastblendMy very first and second coffee flavors that I drink EVERY SINGLE MORNING would have to be Starbuck’s Breakfast Blend. I get all of my coffee in Whole Bean form and then grind it in my personal grinder.
It is technically rated as a shade lighter than most of their offerings—more toasty than roasty—it was the result of playing with roast and taste profile together for a flavor that appealed to a wider range of palates. Perfect if you want to wake up to a less intense coffee but still want a lot of character, its lively with a citrusy tang that gives way to a clean finish.
The reason why it is my FIRST and SECOND is because I drink it with two different creamers give it TWO totally different tastes. So that totally counts!

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I recently became vegan. I knew that I still needed coffee in my life. I changed to Vanilla Almond milk coffee creamer and it is amazing. But I was talking to one of the barista’s at Starbucks and I was wanting to try a new coffee that would fit my new diet. She suggested a Cinnamon Dolce Latte (choice 3) and Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte (choice 4). Instead of using regular milk we replaced it with coconut milk and it is freaking amazing! I love it so much. Of course, this picture has it with whipped cream, but I get it without.

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My 5th & 6th choice for coffee would have to be a Caramel Macchiato or an Iced Caramel Macchiato. Totally not vegan, so I haven’t had it in a while. But this is an amazing and refreshing coffee. I feel like it is not too heavy with the coffee flavor that some people don’t like.

 

Alright choices 7-10 are actually teas, but I can’t help it. I drink coffee every morning but I don’t actually very or stray too far from what I normally drink. But I do drink a wide variety of tea. I love Teavana tea. I used to go to the store in our local mall all of the time, but unfortunately Starbucks bought and then shut them down. I’m still salty about it too.

c7e5da48b64244d21deea731fac5f1c2I love Early Grey Tea. Earl Grey tea makes me think of Captain Jean-Luc Picard! Am I right? Earl Grey Tea. Hot. But seriously, I love black tea. It has just enough caffeine to wake me up in the morning, but not too much to make me feel jittery. I also love it when they add Creme to the tea! Like with Good Earth Tea!

“The world’s favorite Earl Grey Crème tea gets a marvelously creamy makeover in this classic tea with a twist! We’ve kept the traditional bold, savory tea base with natural bergamot flavor, and mellowed it with coconut and cornflower petals. Black or with milk, it’s a delightful reimagining that will become a tea lovers’ classic in its own right.”

downloadEnglish Breakfast Tea is another tea that is amazing to drink in the morning when you are wanting to start the day off slow. It is so smooth, calming, and wakening.

“Like Earl Grey, English Breakfast is made from black tea, but a blend of Assam, Ceylon, and Kenyan teas. It has a full taste and richness that works well with hearty foods. The flavor has some light floral undertones, and when blended with milk, it produces an aroma similar to warm toast and honey. English Breakfast tea can be enjoyed with milk or lemon. It is a heartier tea than Earl Grey, but still incredibly versatile. ”

Avatar-Irohs-Tea.jpgJasmine Tea is a kind of tea that I love drinking when I need to relax. This is something that has no caffeine. This I sweeten with a little bit of rock sugar or honey. It is also perfect by itself with its amazing flavors.

Good Earth Tea says that theirs is, “Hand rolled into tea pearls in China; this light tea features the moonlit marriage of green tea with the fragrance of the beautiful white jasmine flower. Enjoy the fresh aroma and delightful, gentle flavor over ice to bring a timeless, peaceful pleasure to any time of day.” It is a lot of fun watching the pearls unfold under the heated water.

GettyImages-589916923-58e80a505f9b58ef7e6ce890Last but certainly not least is my love for Chai tea. I used to get a hot chai tea every weekend when I was studying for my Masters degree. But I have slowly moved away from buying cups of it from Starbucks, but I have loved the spicy chai tea with cinnamon! It is amazing!

So those are my 10 favorite coffees/teas/beverages. I love each and every one of these for what they give me, for the way they make me feel.
I hope that you enjoyed this blog. I know that it is a little bit different from my normal blog, but I almost always have a hot beverage to drink while I am reading. What about you? Do you have a favorite drink that you must have every time you sit down for a long night of reading? If so, let me know below!

A Cozy Rating System

I have recently revamped my Cozy Mystery Rating System. There are just some things that are required when there is a Cozy being read. I have created this Rating System, if you will. It consists of five main categories: Characters, The Whodunit, Relationships, Series, and Punniness. Each of these are rated with 1-4 Cleo The Cat’s, as shown below, and then the total is averaged!

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Why did I choose Cleo The Cat, you ask? Well, for one, I do have a cat named Cleo. She is extremely feisty, curious, and highly photogenic. It helps that A LOT of Cozies have fur children in the series. I thought that it would be fun to use Cleo as the mascot.

I mean look at how cute that kitty cat is!!! How can you not want to rate with her?! The only thing that would make her cuter is if she had a bow!

 

Characters is the first category that I rate. If the main protagonist isn’t likable I don’t care how much potential the story has, I can’t get into it. I have to feel close to the characters, like they can be my friends.

The Whodunit is the next category. Was the author actually able to fool me to a reasonable degree on who the antagonist/killer was? If they were they would get 4 Cleo’s. For how many mysteries  have read it is sometimes hard for an author to trick me or lead me astray. I love it when they can!

Relationships is the third category that I rate. This is the relationship or romance that is within the story line. I love the secondary characters just as much or sometimes more than the main character. If there are not well written and drawn out relationships within the series then it is not worth reading to me.

Series is the fourth category. There are two different ways that I rate with this. If it is the first book in the series than I would rate this as whether or not I am going to want to continue with the series. If I am in the middle of the series I will rate it to the degree in which the series is progressing. Is it getting better? Are the characters growing?

Punniness is the last category. I know, I know, Punniness technically isn’t a word. BUT it is a word to me. One of the reasons why I picked up Cozies in the first place are the amazing titles. Curiosity Thrilled the Cat?! Meet Your Baker?! A Killer Read?!? Yes, this is amazing. I am buying a book by its cover and title. You do too. Don’t tell me you don’t. I want to see how fun and funny a series is.

Look below at a visual for the Cozy Mystery Rating System!

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