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

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!

 

91lpsXpJhVL

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

Graded in Red| Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Remembering the time I once told myself and everyone around me that I was an adult and that I  would never move back home and live with my parents. I remember that I meant it. I remember thinking that I had the world in the palm of my hand. 

I was thinking about that famous saying, “The best laid plans…” ? Yeah, 18 year me didn’t believe her plans would go sour. I didn’t know that after getting my degree in Education with a minor in history that I wouldn’t be able to find a teaching position. Well not a teaching position that didn’t require me to coach, work a second job, and still have trouble making ends meet. Millennial’s  believed that the world was their oyster. I believed I was going to have it all. Unfortunately, “The Best Laid Plans”, left me wanting. 

Long story short, I graduated from a state college with a degree in education. I was hoping to touch student’s lives, make a difference, and if anything get a kid to love history as much as I do. That however, was not realistic. I got a job at a soul sucking corporate office. Upselling the next biggest thing to ever hit the world market. Or at least until the next newest, shiniest, and biggest thing hit. I could have stayed at that job. It paid the bills and even allowed me to have a vacation once or twice a year. The kicker was falling in love with my boss. 

What is the one rule in dating? NEVER. DATE. YOUR. BOSS. However, I believed that this this was true love. Even when I found out that he was married, I believed that he would choose me. That were would be together forever. Yet when push came to shove, he chose his wife. Which I couldn’t blame him for. I look back at my decisions and cringe. There are just sometimes in your life that you question who you were as a person and who you wanted to be. 

So, when I got a call from my childhood friend Victoria to come and teach with her at the high school in my hometown. I knew that was what I needed, a fresh start. Of course, if I told 18 year old Maggie that we would be back to Broken Bow, Oklahoma as well as moving in with mom and dad again, I’m pretty sure she would faint. 

New Chapters Every Friday!

 

Cozy Releases| July 2019

Why hello! Long time no blog, eh? I hope life has been treating you extremely well! I have personally been binge watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Just finished season three and am starting on season four!

However, that’s not why you stopped by is it? Ha! Nope! I have put together a list of some awesome Cozy Mysteries that are going to be released in July! My birthday month! So, without further ado let’s get into July’s releases! For the video click here!

A Thread of Darkness

A Thread of Darkness
Book 2
Sally Goldenbaum
July 2nd
https://amzn.to/2EYfhwA
As owners of the popular bistro The French Quarter, former New York City restauranteurs Picasso and Laurel St. Pierre are the toast of the town of Crestwood, Kansas. Chef Picasso’s culinary creations delight the women of the quilting club, who have embraced him as a friend. But Laurel’s anti-social behavior confuses Kate Simpson—until she spots Mrs. St. Pierre with another man in what appears to be a lover’s spat. 

 Gossip travels fast in a small town like Crestwood, and rumor has it this isn’t Laurel’s first indiscretion. She also filed a police report accusing Picasso of domestic abuse. And when Laurel’s murdered body is found Picasso is the prime suspect. To prove their friend’s innocence, Kate and the Crestwood Quilters must uncover the secrets of Laurel’s past—a patchwork history wrapped up in Kate’s own teenage years . . .

To Spell with It

To Spell with It
Book 4
Amanda M. Lee
July 2nd
https://amzn.to/2F50iRI 

Hadley Hunter thinks she’s seen everything – okay, maybe not everything but a lot of things – but she’s never seen a cupid convention.

When her good friend Booker’s fellow cupids descend on Moonstone Bay, she thinks it’s going to be fun and games. Instead, it’s mayhem and mystery when a rash of suicides and attempted suicides hit random island residents.

That means it’s off to the races to solve another mystery.

Hadley has been doing a lot of thinking about her life. She wants a career, not a job. She also wants to uncover a murderer. Even though her boyfriend Galen tries to keep her out of the case, she’s bound and determined to be in the thick of things.

Galen’s fears come to fruition when something starts calling to Hadley in her dreams and he’s convinced whatever creature convinced the others to try to kill themselves is now after Hadley.

Between egocentric cupids who are at war with each other, a big mystery regarding the origin of some of Hadley’s favorite paranormal friends, and her own determination, Hadley isn’t giving up without answers.

She’s used to having magical backup at every turn. This time, she’s going to have to fight the ultimate battle alone.

Is she up to the challenge? She’d better be. Everyone she loves is in danger and she’s the only one who can save them.

It’s time to witch up … and she’s ready.

Killer in the Carriage House

Killer in the Carriage House
Book 2
Sheila Connolly
July 9th
https://amzn.to/2WpxpFH

After fifteen years away, Kate Hamilton never expected to end up back in her hometown of Asheboro, Maryland full time. And she definitely didn’t expect to be leading the charge of recreating the town as a Victorian village and tourist attraction. But as unexpected as the circumstances are, Kate is ready to tackle them.

The town, on the other hand, is going to take some convincing. Ever since Henry Barton’s shovel factory closed down, it’s started to seem like there are more tumbleweeds than tourists rolling down Main Street. Kate’s ideas are good, but ambitious—and her friends and neighbors are worried that finding the money for them would push the town even further into debt.

Luckily, Kate and the handsome historian Joshua Wainwright are two very determined people who may have come up with a solution. The Barton mansion, meant to be the centerpiece of the Victorian village, has proven to be a veritable goldmine of documents about the town’s nineteenth-century history, and Kate is convinced the papers hide something of value. When a dead body turns up in the town library—mere hours before the documents were meant to arrive there themselves—Kate begins to worry that the papers spell danger instead of dollars. It seems that someone doesn’t want these forgotten secrets coming to light, and they’ll do whatever it takes to keep Kate quiet…

Penne Dreadful

Penne Dreadful
Book 1
Catherine Bruns
July 30th
https://amzn.to/2K9rFOG 

Local chef Tessa Esposito is struggling to get back on her feet following her husband’s fatal accident. And when the police knock on Tessa’s door, things just get worse. They’ve discovered Dylan’s death wasn’t an accident after all, and they need Tessa to start filling in the blanks. Who would want her beloved husband dead, and why?

With the investigation running cold, Tessa decides it’s time to save her sanity by reconnecting with her first love-cooking. And maybe the best way back into the kitchen is to infiltrate Dylan’s favorite local pizza parlor, which also happens to be the last place he was seen before he died. But the anchovies aren’t the only thing that stink inside the small family business, and with suspects around every corner, Tessa finds that her husband’s many secrets might land her in hot water.

Death in aa Budapest Butterfly

Death in a Budapest Butterfly
Book 1
Julia Buckley
July 30th
https://amzn.to/2Iv1L4w 

Hana Keller and her family run Maggie’s Tea House, an establishment heavily influenced by the family’s Hungarian heritage and specializing in a European-style traditional tea service. But one of the shop’s largest draws is Hana’s eccentric grandmother, Juliana, renowned for her ability to read the future in the leaves at the bottom of customers’ cups. Lately, however, her readings have become alarmingly ominous and seemingly related to old Hungarian legends…

When a guest is poisoned at a tea event, Juliana’s dire predictions appear to have come true. Things are brought to a boil when Hana’s beloved  Anna Weatherley butterfly teacup becomes the center of the murder investigation as it carried the poisoned tea. The cup is claimed as evidence by a handsome police detective, and the pretty Tea House is suddenly endangered.  Hana and her family must catch the killer to save their business and bring the beautiful Budapest Butterfly back home where it belongs.