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!

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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February Wrap Up!

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Oh my goodness guys! I have no idea how I did this! reading 11 books in one month. I feel like I am not the same person! I don’t know if I even read that many last year in one month! Whew! I just couldn’t help it! When I find a series I devour it. I read through them all. I am super excited to see what next month brings!!

If you have not picked up the Port Dandy series by London Lovett you are missing out! I read books 1-4 in about 4 or 5 days. I just ate them up! We are following Pink and her new flower shop in Port Danby. She has moved from the big city to the small town of Port Danby to start life anew after finding out that her fiance was cheating on her. She finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and finds that her inane sense of smell helps break the case right open!
36257309In the second book, Carnation & Chaos, Pink is super excited that she is going to be helping set up the Third Annual Food Fair! This is going to be bringing big business to the town. Everyone on main street is getting their shops ready when a very famous and not well liked blogger is found killed in her hotel. Pink helps Detective James Briggs (YUM!) by using her keen sense of smell to help figure out the whodunit! This was such a fun read. Lovett has me rolling when it comes to the relationship between Pink and her crow. I love it! I am also loving the relationship building between Pink and James. I am totally Team James. I also NEED to know what happened at the mansion so many years ago!
STARS: ****

 

36370494In the third book, Roses & Revenge, Pink is excited for the annual Harbor Holiday Lights Flotilla. She is excited to see how the harbor is lit up for the holidays! Hot cocoa, a good book, and cuddling with her pet crow are somethings that are on her to-do list. However, when the captain of a boat is found strangled to death on the pier, Pink sticks her nose into Detective James’ business in trying to figure out who killed the man!
This is such a fun book! I love how Pink tells her best friend whats-what. That she needs to stop being so selfish and that she needs to get over herself. She isn’t going to just sit there and not say what needs to be said!
I also love how there is a mystery inside a mystery with this series. While you’re trying to figure out the main murder, Pink is still trying to figure out what happened at the mansion!
STARS: ****

36555302There is love in the air in Port Danby! Pink has a new assistant who is taking care of the shop while she is trying to figure out what happened at the Mansion and Pink’s past is also rearing its ugly head when Georgio’s Perfume Company comes to Port Danby for a photoshoot for their newest perfume line.
This of course was the company that Pink used to work for and she is faced with running into her ex-fiance.
Who is going to be Pinks Valentine? James? Dash? Her ex? She doesn’t have time to contemplate this when a someone with the company is found killed in their trailer and Pink’s ex is the primary suspect.
Torn with helping Detective James figure out what happened and who did it and helping her friends, Pink is trying to come to the terms that someone she knows is a killer.
STARS: ****

38096237Stroke of Death is the third book in the Scarlet Cove series by Agatha Frost and Evelyn Amber. It follows retiree Liz Jones. She has moved to Scarlet Cove to live out the rest of her life painting and running her craft store.
Not only is she running her business but she is running an Art Group after hours where people from around the town can come and be taught painting, gossip, and relax after a long day.
The local gallery’s tyrannical manager Katelyn Monroe is on vacation so Liz’s best friend Nancy suggests taking their paintings to the gallery for a one night show. It is extremely popular until Katelyn shows up early unannounced, throws a hissy-fit, rips Liz’s painting, and is found murdered in her office.
Liz did not expect to find herself wrapped up in another murder. It gets a little too personal when she has to suspect her best friend and everyone in the art club. This was a fun, short, and easy cozy mystery to read. It isn’t as in depth as I would have wanted but it was a great series to read on Kindle Unlimited.
STARS: ***

17707766Lending A Paw was the Cozy Mystery Bookclub book pick for the month of February! It was a super super cute book. It is about the grand sailing of the Bookmobile for the local library in Chilson, Michigan. Librarian Minnie is super nervous and excited to start out on this amazing trip of spreading literacy to hard to reach places.
The first day went pretty well, even though Eddie, Minnie’s cat tagged along, books were checked out, people left happy, and Minnie was ready to call it a day. When Eddie decides, on the last stop, to run out of the van and into a run down house. Minnie follows and finds a man that she knows killed.
She wants to leave this crime in the hands of the professionals but when she realizes that they are not following the right clues she has to direct them to the correct suspect. This was a very cute series. I enjoyed it very much and I will be trying out the others in the series. Hopefully the series gets even better as they go on.
STARS: ***

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This was such a wonderful and refreshing read! This is the first in the Rose City Mystery series by Kate Dyer-Seeley (aka Ellie Alexander). One of my absolutely FAVORITE Cozy Mystery authors!
Britta has finally had it with her husband. She is tired of being the only one with a job. The only one that pays bills or goes grocery shopping. She realizes that she is done with this life when she comes home to find flowers on her kitchen counter. Sweet! You think. How thoughtful. Except these weren’t for her. They were from her husband. However they were for another woman.
Britta has decided to move back home to help her Aunt Elin run her amazing flower shop, Blooma. The store is expanding and Elin needs all of Britta’s help with her amazing artistic eye and way with flowers.
Britta realizes she has been away from home too long when she finds that even though she and her aunt had weekly phone calls that Elin was hiding things from her. Like a rivalry with another florist. Someone trying to buy out the shop. And finally when a body is found inside Blooma Britta realizes that she needs to find out what happened.
I truly loved this book. I love how well Kate/Elli writes her characters. They truly do feel like family. They have me laughing, cry, and getting angry with them. I adore how much the author puts herself into everyone of her series.
STARS: *****
*This was sent to me as an Advanced Reader Copy for a free review.

 

I’m not going to talk too much about these, other than the fact that they were adorable. I loved seeing the different points of view to my favorite Disney story. It was so amazing to see what the Beast thought while watching them fall in love. Or how Belle was really starting to see inside of the Beast’s heart. I just loved it. It was extremely nostalgic for me. The art is absolutely breathtaking and I even loved the little comics in between the chapters. It was wonderful. I most definitely recommend them! I rated them both 5 stars.

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This is the first in the Pacific Northwest Mystery series by Kate Dyer-Seeley/Ellie Alexander. Again, like I said before she is one of my favorite authors. Aaron actually bought me the first four in the series for Christmas and I am so excited that I finally got around to reading it. It was so worth it!
In this series we are following Meg, a new graduated Journalism major. She has had an extremely rough year. Before she graduated her father was found killed in a hit and run.
She was couch ridden for months on her best friend’s couch.
She was having trouble finding a job since newspapers are shutting down left and right. She had no idea what she was going to do with her life. Until she ran into Greg, the owner of Northwest Extreme an outdoors magazine.
Lying her butt off about being athletic Meg gets a job at the magazine. She is given her very first assignment following around the reality show that revolves around climbing the most death defying places for the chance to win a million dollars. She has no clue what she has gotten herself into. She is petrified of heights. It doesn’t help that when she fakes a fall she witnesses one of the competitors in the show falling to their death.
Journalism runs in Meg’s bones. Her dad was considered one of the best. When Meg smells that this death wasn’t an accident, she is like a dog with a bone hide. She can’t let go. She has to figure out who did it, even if she finds herself hanging on for her life.
I truly love this series. Meg is in her early twenties and has a lot to learn. Sometimes I want to smack her in the head and tell her what she should be doing but she has been growing during the series. (I am currently on the third novel).
Star: *****
22557306This book was AMAZING! This is the second book in the Pacific Northwest Mystery series. I actually did my first Cozy Vlogs while reading this book. Here is Part One and Part Two.
Meg still isn’t very athletic, but she is an amazing writer. Greg has decided that he is going to keep her. It helps that she is amazing with social media and had tripled the following for the magazine. It has been a crazy ride. Something that I truly love about this series is the fact that there is a mystery inside of a mystery. We find out that Meg’s Dad’s death might not have been an accident. So while Meg is trying to figure what’s going on there she has volunteered herself to follow some mountain men, the Ridge Rangers, who are starting a new business helping people reach the summit in Oregon.
There seems to be some fighting amongst the Ridge Rangers and the man who is funding the business. That happens sometimes, but what doesn’t happen is someone getting shot and killed outside in a winter storm. Meg knows that she needs to back away from this because of the last murder she was caught in the middle of. But when one of her friends is considered a suspect she finds herself diving into the mystery, once again.
This one had me on the edge of my seat and I have NO IDEA who the killer was. This is rare for me because I usually know. I loved this book very much!
Stars: *****

Those are the books that I read in February of 2018! Let me know if you are planning on getting any of these!!

March Mystery Madness

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March Mystery Madness Video

I started my Booktube Channel and Blog for two reasons. One: To talk about my love of reading with others who have the same love. Two: To keep a journey of my reading life alive for me to come back and see how I have changed and grown as a person and reader. I have been slowly focusing on my favorite genre as the books that I talk most about and take pictures the most of, Cozy Mysteries. I know, you’re shocked! You had no idea, right?! Ha!

In January I was asked by, LizziefayeLovesBooks to be a host for March Mystery Madness! How cool is that?! I have started to make a name for myself in the Booktube world as a Cozy Mystery reader! Yay! I have even pulled some people to the Cozy Side with Coffee/Tea, a comfy blanket, and promise of adventure. All while never leaving your couch.

March Mystery Madness was started by Lizzie and Tori. They have challenges and Mystery related videos and blogs coming out all through March! How amazing is that?! It is right up my alley!

This year the theme of the challenges are going to focus on SIX different words. The way you interpret the words are all up to you, but I will let you know how I am going to interpret them for my Month of Mystery!

March Mystery Madness

The first word is NEW,  I am taking this as buying the 1st book in a new series that I have never read before. I am normally very good at picking up new books and authors, but there have been a few that have been suggested to me so many times that I haven’t picked up. I am hoping to pick up something new in March.

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This is going to be a little harder for me to do. Normally I would just borrow a book from one of my friends, but none of them read mysteries like I do. So I am going to borrow a cozy mystery from Kindle Unlimited. You can only borrow up to 10 books at a time. I am hoping to borrow the newest London Lovett book that is coming out in March!

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There was talk about picking up a book that was first written in another language, but I think I am going to take this as read a book where the series is based in another country then your own!

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This one is probably going to be the hardest of all of the challenges. I read mostly Cozy Mystery books. I love the way they make me feel. Cozy. Warm. And like an ametur sleuth. I am going to try and go outside of my comfort zone and read something that is still a mystery but not a Cozy.

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I have bought quite a few new books recently. I can’t help it, those damned PUNNY titles and cute covers just make my heart melt. This is going to be an easy challenge for me. I am going to pick one of the books on my own Cozy Mystery shelves!

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And last, but certainly not least, we have the last challenge, HISTORICAL.  This is another challenge that shouldn’t be too hard for me! I am planning on reading an Agatha Christie book for this challenge! If that isn’t historical I don’t know what is! Plus, she is the Queen of Cozies. The person who created them!

March Mystery Madness Hosts (1)

Kady is a blogger who will be a Twitter host

 

Top 5 Cozies: Bookish Themed

Cozies for Beginners
Hey hey you guys! I hope that you are having a stupendous week! I know I am! Here in Oklahoma the weather is driving me insane! One minute it is below freezing and the next it’s almost 70°F. My allergies would SURE LOVE IT if the weather decided to make up it’s mind! How’s the weather where you are at? Let me live vicariously through you!
I don’t know about you but I am LOVING making these Top 5 Cozies blogs/videos! They are so much fun to try and find books and series that match up with the theme I have chosen. That is one of the things I love about the Cozy Mystery genre. There are so many different themes, places, animals, and elements that go into the different types of mysteries that you find within this sub-genre of Cozy Mysteries.
One of my MOST favorite themes/subjects to read about in a Cozy are books themselves. This could be a person that is a librarian as the protagonist, a book club, or even an author. I love it when the characters have the same love and passions as myself. Today I am bringing you my Top 5 Cozies that are Bookish Themed.

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One of my most favorite Cozy Mystery series would have to be A Magical Cats Mystery series By: Sofie Kelly. This series, starting with Curiosity Thrilled The Cat, gives me everything that I need when it comes to a library fix and  kitty cat needs.

Kathleen Paulson is leaving her live in Boston to help breath life back into Mayville Heights’ Library which has seen better days. You follow her on her journey of forgetting her past and living for th present. She is trying to become the happy person that she knows she can be.

She didn’t know that with this new start to her life that she would be adopting some fiesty and very humanlike cats, Hercules and Owen. She might have bitten off more than she can chew when she comes to the realization that her cats have powers that are beyond those of jumping from great heights and landing one all fours, or having nine lives.

That isn’t all murder seems to become part of her life, where in the first book she finds herself as a prime suspect. With the help of her fine felines she tries to prove her innocence.

This is such a fun series. I love watching Kathleen grow into her new home, making friends, falling in love, and seeing her make decisions that need to be made in the face of danger. I love how when she is working in the library she really does try and get everyone the book that is best for them. She is changing the way that the library is viewed and people are flocking to it. Makes my dream of owning a bookstore or being a librarian even more powerful.

She also writers under Sofie Ryan, Pam Whitty, and Karen Davidson.

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The next book series is A Black Cat Bookshop Mystery by: Ali Brandon, the first book is Double Books for Death. This series is based inside a bookshop. And AMAZING bookshop, by the way. Darla Pettistone is tired of her life in Texas, all of the southern expectations of a girl have pushed her over the edge. When her Great-Aunt Dee has past away and left her New York Bookshop to Darla she is ready to high tail it out of Texas.

As the new owner of Pettistone’s Fine Books Darla is bound and determined to show that she can run the shop and make it successful. Even when it comes to dealing with prima-donna authors who think that they are better then the average peon. However, since the author is the hottest, most popular Young Adult writer at the time Darla is willing to look past her shirtiness and have her at the shop for a signing.

It seems that karma has reared its ugly head at the affluent author when she is killed in what appears to be an accident. However, the police seem to be looking into the wrong clues. Hamlet, Darla’s Aunt Dee’s shop cat, who is more well read then most adults, finds a clue to point at the fact that the author wasn’t killed in an accident, that it was premeditated.

This is such a fun series to read. I have read the first 3 and have the 4th one in my TBR pile for this year. I will have to say that Hamlet is actually my favorite character. It is highly unlikly to like a side character more than the main character, but he is just so sassy and puts Darla in her place that it cracks me up everytime.

She writes under other names, such as, Dian A.S. Stuckart, Alexa Smart, and Anna Gerard.

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Another sub-genre of the Bookish themes that I love readng are Book Club Mysteries. One of my favorites would have to be An Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery Series by: Erike Chase. The first book in the series is A Killer Read. I love how the author mixes a mystery bookclub into a Cozy Mystery series. It is like a world within a world. I know that if I ever found myself in the middle of a murder investigation that I might act like some of the members of the book club. There are so many different types of people in the club, which I love. Teenagers, teachers, high socialites, middle class, upper class, lower class. They all join each other every meeting and talk about the book that someone from the club had chosen. I LOVE IT!

Another reason why I love this series so much is that I can relate to the main character’s occupation, Lizzie Turner is a reading specialist for her school district. As a teacher, I can relate to a lot of the things that she talks about during her work day. She also tries to tutor the students who are at risk for dropping out and not graduating. She is a girl of my own heart.

Other than the fact that I love this character as a real person. I love how the book club gets pulled into a real murder mystery during their first meeting as the Ashston Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straw Society at Molly Mathew’s Southern Mansion. A stranger shows up asking to use the telephone. Molly, and her Southern Manners, obliges. After hearing arguing on the phone, the book club pretends to be interested in other things as the stranger leaves.

Later the strangers body is found with a very interesting clue, an antique pistol that belonged to Molly’s late husband. This puts her as the prime suspect. Molly, who is like a mother to Lizzie, is questioned. Lizzie cannot allow this to happen. She can’t lose another parent…the plot thickens as Lizzie finds a manuscript in her mailbox sheding light on something in the Mathew’s past.

This is such a fun series. I have read the whole series and have loved it. Apparently Erika Chase also writes under the name Linda Wiken and writes the Dinner Club Mystery Series. 

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Another series, that I can’t put down is A Booktown Mystery series,  by: Lorna Barrett. There are 12 books in this series starting with, Murder is Binding.  Stoneham, New Hampshire is the home of the Booktown. Stoneham was hit pretty hard with resession and needed a new make over. The owner of the town’s main street decided to make Stoneham a tourist destination by having bookshops of all different genres up and down both sides of the street.

This is perfect for Tricia Miles, owner of Haven’t Got a Clue, it is a wonder place to find a great mystery to read! Tricia loves it in Stoneham. Away from the busy city and the past that she is trying to forget. She is met with welcoming faces, fun competition, and the challenge of running her very first business.

However, a fellow bookshop owner, Doris Gleason is found murdered in her own Cook Book Shop with a knife sticking out of her body. Being the newcomer, Tricia is looked at as the killer. “To clear her name, Tricia will have to take a page out of one of her own mysteries-and hunt down someone who isn’t killing by the book.”

This is such a fun series, I love all of the chararacters including Tricia’s sister Angelica. Watching their relationship grow throughout the books has been so much fun!

Lorna Barrett also writes under the pen names, L.L. Bartlett and Lorraine Bartlett.

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And last, but certainly not least is the Cozy Mystery Bookclub book of the month for February, Lending A Paw,  by Laurie Cass. This is part of A Bookmoblie Cat Mystery Series. 

I will admit, that I haven’t finished this book yet! But I am super excited about it. Has anyone else ever had the dream of opening their own book store *RAISES HAND HIGH*? My best friend, Bre, and I were talking about opening up a Bookmobile in our home town. Maybe a lending library or something along those lines. That way we can dip our feet in the book owner’s water and see what we think. I can’t wait to dive more into this book and see what that might be like!

Minnie Hamilton is our protagonist and librarian in the tourist town of Chilson, Michigan. She is starting out her maiden voyage of the bookmoblie. However, she will not be going at it alone. Try and she might Minnie can’t seem to shake her rescue cat, Eddie, from joining her. It looks like she has a copilot, whether she wants one or not!

She believes that the day is going out pretty well! People are enjoying the ease and convience of the bookmobile. Thinking that their day is over she heads to her last stop. Eddie darts out of the van and straight into a dead body. Minie believes that she is going to leave the crime stopping to the local police, but Eddie seems to turn up evidence that points to murder. “Together, they’ll work to find the killer–because a good librarian always knows when justice is overdue.”

I am super excited to finish reading this book. I just know I’ll love it, I already have the first four in the series!

Cozy Mystery Releases: February

61C7VlQe9vLCozy Mystery Releases: February Video

Series: Pen & Ink Mysger
Author: Krista Davis
Number: 1
Date Released: Feb. 27th
http://amzn.to/2Ef1HmR
By day, Florrie Fox manages Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. By night, she creates her own intricately detailed coloring books for adults, filling the pages with objects that catch her eye. There’s plenty of inspiration in her new apartment—a beautiful carriage house belonging to Professor John Maxwell, Florrie’s boss. He offers the property to Florrie rent-free with one condition—she must move in immediately to prevent his covetous sister and nephew from trying to claim it.

When the professor’s nephew, Delbert, arrives, he proves just as sketchy as Florrie feared. But the following morning, Delbert has vanished. It’s not until she visits the third floor of the store that Florrie makes a tragic discovery—there’s a trap door in the landing, and a dead Delbert inside. The esteemed Professor Maxwell is an obvious suspect, but Florrie is certain this case isn’t so black and white. Doodling clues, she begins to consider other colorful characters on the scene, all with a motive for murder. With a killer drawing closer, Florrie will need to think outside the lines . . . before death makes his mark again.

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Series: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop
Author: Vicki Delaney
Number: 3
Date Released: Feb. 13
http://amzn.to/2DHulfz
Legendary stage and movie star Sir Nigel Bellingham arrives on Cape Cod to star in a stage production of The Hound of the Baskervilles put on by the West London Theater Festival. When Sir Nigel, some of the cast, and the director visit the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop at 222 Baker Street, Gemma Doyle realizes that Sir Nigel is not at all suited to the role. He is long past his prime and an old drunk to boot. The cast, in particular the much younger actor who previously had the role, are not happy, but the show must go on.

Before the play opens, Leslie Wilson, mother of Gemma’s best friend Jayne, arranges a fundraising afternoon tea to be catered by Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. The tea is a huge success, but when it’s time to leave, Sir Nigel has gone missing—only to be found at the bottom of the rocky cliff, dead. Along with the dead body, Gemma finds evidence incriminating Leslie Wilson. When the police, in the presence of handsome detective Ryan Ashburton and suspicious detective Louise Estrada, focus their attention on Leslie despite the numerous other suspects, the game is once again afoot and it’s again up to the highly perceptive Gemma and the ever-confused but loyal Jayne to clear Jayne’s mother’s name.

 

518CyoJRrLLSeries:Amish Candy Shop
Author: Amanda Flower
Number: 2
Date Released: Feb. 27
http://amzn.to/2Bzbnpu
Harvest, Ohio, is a long way from New York City, where Bailey King left a coveted job as a head chocolatier to take over Swissmen Sweets, her Amish grandparents’ candy shop. Now, while caring for her recently widowed grandmother, she plans to honor her grandfather’s memory by entering the annual Amish Confectionery Competition. But between lavender blueberry fudge and chocolate cherry ganache truffles, Bailey may have bitten off more than she can chew when the search for a missing pot-bellied pig turns up a body suffering from sugar overload—the fatal kind . . .

A candy maker from a neighboring town who wanted Englischer Bailey disqualified for being an outsider, Josephine Weaver died from an allergy to an essential licorice ingredient. The suspects include: Josephine’s niece, a young woman going through her rumspringa, or running around time, and Bailey herself. Now it falls to Bailey, who’s sweet on the local sheriff’s deputy, to clear their names and entice a killer with a cast-iron stomach for cold-blooded murder . . .

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Series: Cat Rescue Mystery
Author: T.C. LoTempio
Number: 2
Date Released: Feb. 13
http://amzn.to/2Bz2pIT
Getting used to life back home in Deer Park, North Carolina, Sydney McCall and her right-hand tabby, Toby, are helping her sister Kat run the local animal shelter. Syd and Kat are all excited about the prospect of the shelter’s newest fundraiser: shopping channel queen Ulla Townsend. Shelter admin Maggie Shayne vehemently refuses to have anything to do with the woman, but the fundraiser ensues as planned. That is, until Ulla turns up dead in the middle of the event.

The cause of death is determined to be an allergic reaction, but Syd and Toby are sniffing out something fishy. When Syd met Ulla, it was clear she was distasteful and rude. And right before the event, Syd spotted some behind-the-scenes drama between Ulla and her manager. As they begin to investigate, they realize there is no shortage of suspects, and Maggie is at the top of the list.

Now Syd and Toby must claw their way to the truth before everything goes paws up at their animal shelter in Death by a Whisker.
51xBgKyD3qLSeries: Irish Village
Author: Carlene O’Connor
Number: 3
Date Released: Feb. 27
http://amzn.to/2nm2Elj
It’s official! Siobhán is now Garda O’Sullivan, and her five siblings couldn’t be prouder. While brother James runs Naomi’s Bistro, Siobhán is doing her part to keep the village safe. Of course, Kilbane is pretty quiet compared to a place like Dublin, where Macdara Flannery has gone to be a detective sergeant.

Then one night the local priest summons Siobhán to the church cemetery. There’s a dead man in the graveyard—aboveground. He lies shot on a blanket of freshly fallen snow, hand stretched out toward a nearby headstone. He’s a stranger, but the priest has heard talk of an American tourist in town, searching for his Irish ancestor.

A detective sergeant is dispatched from Dublin to assist with the case, and as fate would have it, it’s Macdara. After his parting, things are awkward between them, but they have to work together. They learn the victim was from Dublin—Dublin, Ohio, that is. And when his family members are located and told of his murder, the plot thickens. Siobhán begins to dig for a motive among the gnarled roots of the family tree. But as long-buried secrets are unearthed, she and Macdara will need to stay two steps ahead of the killer or end up with more than one foot in the grave.

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Series: An Auction Block Mystery
Author: Loretta Ross
Number: 4
Date Released: Feb. 8
http://amzn.to/2Eg2RP3
Next on Wren and Death’s Appraisal List:

Item #1: An Old Family Feud.

Item #2: A Missing Woman.

Item #3: A Body in the Rosebushes of their Dream House

Auctioneer Wren Morgan and her private eye fiancé Death (pronounced “Deeth”) Bogart are ready to meet each other’s parents and settle down together. But their sleuthing days are far from over. While Death and Wren are helping prepare auction items at an old supper club, a Viking reenactor nearly dies at the historical settlement next door. The cause? Seeing the ghost of his daughter, who went missing twenty years ago.

As Wren looks into what happened to the Viking’s daughter, Death is hired to investigate the theft of historical items that have high sentimental value. When their respective investigations turn out to be connected, the couple gets caught in a deadly conflict.

My Cozy Reader Manifesto

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As a lot of you know I am new to blogging. Sometimes I have a problem with words. A big problem. Like I can’t form a coherent sentence. I word vomit all over the place. A lot of the time I don’t even finish full thoughts. HA! This is a problem if you are wanting to read a well thoughtout and beautifully written review, tag, or post.
So, I was looking into different topics that I could talk about on here. As an educator there wasn’t anything better than prompts! I loved giving my students creative writing prompts in the morning to get their brains going! I stumbled on the prompt about a Reader’s Manifesto. I mean, how cool is the word manifesto?! I feel smarter just typing out the word.  So, without further ado, here is the writing prompt. Whew, 500 words or less. I’ve totes got this.
Summarize your identity as a reader, your challenges and personal missions, values, and where you see yourself in the reading world all in the space of 500 words. (1)

A manifesto is the declaring your goals and aims to yourself and your audience. I have never thought about a creating a manifesto for my reading goals. Quite a few people create reading goals on Goodreads or a TBR for the month. It is always harder for me to create a TBR then it is for an overall goal for myself. I don’t like being tied down as a reader. I am, what you might call, a ‘mood reader’. I fly by the seat of my pants.

Am I in the mood for a library themed cozy?

Yes?

I’ll read Sofie Kelly.

Am I craving some amazing baking?

Totes!

I’ll read Bailey Cates or Ellie Alexander.

Do I want to read about creative people?

YAS!

I’ll read Elizabeth Lynn Casey or Melissa Bourbon.

I don’t like promising to you all that I am going to read a specific book or series and then my mind is in the mood for the complete opposite.

That being said I still believe that you as my reader deserve to know what kind of books, goals, and missions I have set for myself here in the reading world.

I have actually created a very specific Cozy Mystery reading goal for myself this year. I plan on reading 52 Cozies in 2018! Whew. I know that is pretty intense. *puts hands over head to make a tent*….Get it? I’m in a tent…HAHAHAHA. IN TENTS?!?!  I’m funny…..

*coughs awkwardly* This is a pretty big goal. My goal last year was to read 65 books total. I managed with 68, but not all of those were Cozies.

Why Cozies you ask? Short answer? I love them.

Long answer? They are a way for me to escape the word. With the world full of sorrow and hate I need something that will leave me laughing, push my mind, and make me feel cozy. This is what this genre does for me. I love getting the feel of a small community and sleepy town.

I love getting to know all of the different characters. Their quirks. Their flaws. Their passions. They start to feel like family to me.

I love that Cozies are in series. I can grow with the characters. I want to read books that bring me joy.

I am not going to read books that are just hyped to be hyped. This year, I’m reading ALL the books that peak my interest!

My mission this year is to respect my time. Read when I can. Read when I want. Read what I want. Our time as human beings on this world is limited and valuable. I am going to make sure that I am as conscientious of my time as I can.  

This is the year of Cozy Mysteries for me. I am going to step outside of my box. I am going to read all the different themed Cozies. Cooking. Baking. Bookclubs. Witches. Magic. Southern. Western. Older Protagonists. Younger Protagonists. Male Protagonists. YES!