Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Book Review: Killer Finds

Author: Vicki Vass
Title: Killer Finds
Publisher: Cozy Cat Press
Publish Date: April 22, 2016
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
Antique hunter Anne Hillstrom’s whirlwind shopping tour to Paris comes to a dead stop, as dead as the man sitting next to her on the plane. And to make matters worse, her identity has been stolen, leaving her to face her worst nightmare. She must sell all her precious antiques with the help of her business partner and co-blogger, CC Muller. Together, they open a pop-up antique store in the quaint suburb of Glen Ellyn Illinois. Their blog fans flock to the store looking to find that perfect treasure and so does a killer. When the Sweet Shop lady next door is found caramelized, the success of the pop-up sale turns bittersweet. Anne and CC dust off the clues, unraveling a centuries-old mystery that leads them to one conclusion. They must find the killer before the killer finds them.

Review: I read the more recent Antique Hunters Mystery about a month or so ago. This series is really cute. The two antique hunters are really quite different C. C.  is more level headed whereas Anne is, well Anne is irritating.

At the beginning of the story they are arriving home after a whirlwind trip to Paris where they spent loads of money, when a man dies on the plane and Anne is left sitting next to a body for the remainder of the flight.

Soon after she discovers that her identity has been stolen and all of her money is gone. She's forced to sell her antiques to survive. She has quite a hard time putting her precious antiques for sale. And in one of her containers, she finds a cake knife that may or may not have been owned by Marie Antoinette

In the midst of creating a pop up sale, the candy lady at the neighboring store is found killed in her own candy.

I liked how there were a lot of events that were interconnected, from the death of Bernie, who was  a lot more than what he seemed, to the professor that was also a bit more than he seemed, to Ingrid, CC's cousin who is into antiques as well, and who starts up a relationship with a local fireman.

I found all the characters to be well developed. Again, Anne is a bit hard to take. Sometimes you feel sorry for her, for all the bad things that happen to her in the course of the novel, but most of the time you feel a bit irritated with her. She's spoiled and almost a hoarder when it comes to her antiques. She doesn't want to part with her things, even when she doesn't have any money.

The author does a great job of connecting several storylines together. The story behind the desk that they purchased at an Art School is truly interesting and gives what could be just another normal cozy murder mystery a new twist.

I look forward to reading some of the past books I haven't read and to see what's in CC and Anne's future.

Rating: 5 flowers

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Great Escapes Book Tours Book Review: A Composition in Murder

Cozy Mystery

6th in Series
Henery Press (November 15, 2016)
Paperback: 266 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1635111132




With a new art teaching gig at Halo House—Halo, Georgia’s posh independent living home—and Halo society scrutinizing her family and her love life, Cherry Tucker needs to stay out of trouble. However, her sleuthing skills are sought by Halo House’s most famous resident: Belvia Brakeman, the ninety-year-old, blind CEO and founder of Meemaw’s Tea. Belvia confides in Cherry that the family tea empire is in jeopardy. The CEO suspects her daughter, the COO, has been murdered and she might be next. Her offer is hard to refuse, but will have Cherry treading on Forks County Sheriff toes, namely her personal Deputy Heartache, Luke Harper.
Amid her town troubles, can Cherry put her reputation, romance, and life on the line for the final request of a sweet tea tycoon? While she juggles senior citizen shenanigans, small town politics, and corporate family scandals, Cherry finds the sweet tea business cutthroat in more ways than one.
Review: The Cherry Tucker Mystery Series is one of my absolute favorites. Cherry reminds me a bit of Stephanie Plum before 20 + books took the wind out of her sails.

This is the 6th book in the series and everything is still fresh and fun. In fact, I'd say that the books actually get better as they go on.

Cherry is working at Halo House in this book, a high class independent living facility and the CEO gives her an offer she can't refuse to solve a mystery. Enter Luke Harper who is a quasi love interest of Cherry's and Todd who is her ex-husband who is now dating her nemesis Shawna who happens to have her brother in prison for kidnapping.

The mystery involves Belvia Brakeman a woman who owns a huge tea empire. Her daughter was killed in what looks like a hit and run, but Belvia doesn't believe that and she enlists Cherry's help to find out what happened, only she ends up dead too.

The mixture of craziness in Cherry's personal life and her professional life is really hilarious at times. The fact that her personal life and the mystery get mixed up together makes things even better, especially with the Halo House residents. There's something going on with them that isn't quite right.

The subplots in this book were fantastic and it really kept you guessing. Larissa has been very good at keeping you in suspense about the killer until the very end, and this book was no different. I was totally surprised at how things worked out.

This book is a great addition to the series, I hope we have loads more Cherry Tucker adventures to look forward too.

Rating 5 flowers

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Great Escapes Book Tours Book Review: Cat Got Your Diamonds

Author:  Julie Chase
Title:Cat Got Your Diamonds: A Kitty Couture Mystery
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (November 15, 2016)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1629538426
E-Book ASIN: B01H082DOU
Grandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker’s dream come true--until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1.

Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk?

Witty and whimsical, Cat Got Your Diamonds, the first in a new cozy series by Julie Chase, will be the cat's meow for fans of Rita Mae Brown and Miranda James.

Review: Cat Got Your Diamonds is the first book in a new series. I'm always so excited when I get on board a new series with the first book. That very seldom happens to me.

This is definitely an animal lover's type of mystery. Lacy owns a boutique for pets called Furry Godmother. That is so awesome. Until someone ends up dead and Lacy becomes the prime suspect because her prints are on the murder weapon.

Lacy is a fun character and totally lovable. She has two possible love interests Jack, the hot detective and Chase, a wealthy friend of a friend. They are both good guys too, but I have to say, I'm Team Jack all the way, but I will give Chase props for getting Lacy's cat back from her sleazy ex in Virginia. I'm not a fan of love triangles in cozy mysteries, as they are over done for the most part, but since these guys are so great, I can deal with it, and I'm anxious to see who she chooses. (Team Jack, Team Jack).

I enjoyed how Jack and Lacy worked together in a round about way to get clues. Not exactly proper police procedure, but it was fun and it got Jack and Lacy together.

I have to say, I never guessed who killed Miguel, but I knew who was going to be the one going after Lacy. There was a point in the book where something happened regarding her shop and a little light went off in my head and said, "He's a bad guy."

This was a quick fun read and I adore stories with animals and this one has a focus on how pets can really become pampered little ones.

This is definitely a series I hope to contine!

Rating: 5 flowers

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Book Review: Wicked Witch Murder

Author: Leslie Meier
Title: Wicked Witch Murder
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: Sept 1, 2010
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: With planning the town's annual Halloween Party, the drought wreaking havoc on her garden, and her brood of four children, Lucy Stone's got her hands full this fall. As the air turns crisp and the trees blaze red and gold in the tiny town of Tinker's Cove, Maine, a newcomer arrives who seems to suit the Halloween season. Diana Ravenscroft has just opened Solstice, a charming little shop featuring candles, crystals, jewelry, and psychic readings. But after an unnervingly accurate reading by Diana, Lucy starts to get more than a little spooked.

Then there's the dead body Lucy finds, way up on one of the old logging roads behind her house. The deceased is identified as Malcolm Malebranche, a seemingly harmless magician who worked at children's birthday parties. When it turns out that Diana knew the murder victim, Ike Stoughton, a prominent local businessman, starts a campaign against Diana, blaming 'the witch' for everything from the unseasonal dry spell to his wife's illness and his pumpkins' lack of plumpness. But Lucy's not so sure that Ike himself is innocent. Still, as the town Halloween party approaches, Lucy's more concerned about the costume competition, pin-the-nose-on-the-pumpkin, and baking three dozen orange cupcakes and Beastly Bug cookies. But as the October moon rises, a killer plans a lethal celebration of his own and Lucy's the guest of honor.

Review: I love holiday themed books, so I around Halloween I started to read this one. Flash forward almost a month and I'm finally finishing this one.

Wicked Witch Murder, is a pretty ho hum story as far as cozy mysteries are concerned. The plot has great potential with  a new resident and witchcraft and of course a religious crazy that doesn't believe in medicine and thinks that witch craft is evil.

There could have been a good witch hunt theme going on here, but it barely got off the ground.

The murder happens early on and the victim is connected with Diana, but then the focus of the story seems to shift away from that area and more to Diana and the crazy Stoughton clan, which weaves in a lot of the witchy details. Although I have to say, I find it hilarious that small towns have all these cute little specialty stores. I mean, a witchcraft shop?

Needless to say Lucy's daughters are friends with Ike's daughter and they are also experimenting with Wicca, which causes a multitude of problems

I've read several of the Lucy Stone mysteries, and Lucy is probably one of my least favorite cozy mystery heroines. It's something about her personality that gets a little annoying. She has a condescending way about her.

There were so many things going on in this story. But the Ike Stoughton part of the story line was annoying, especially when things wrap up at the end. A person that was that religious and held those kind of convictions would not change that quickly or even try to.

This was probably my least favorite of the Lucy Stone novels. Everything was disjointed here and even with the death at the beginning didn't seem connected with the rest of the story, though it is, it just doesn't feel like it was even important at all.

Rating: 2 flowers

Friday, November 18, 2016

Tasty Book Tours Release Blast: Folly and Forever

He presents a proposal that can fix both their problems—get married. 
Will she say yes?

Omega Mu Alpha Brothers #3
Kimberly Loth
Releasing Nov 16th, 2016

Bethany McAlister loves that house more than life itself and will do anything to keep it. Even if she can’t begin to afford the taxes on it. When a notice arrives informing her that her house is about to go to auction she desperately takes on a roommate, but gets a surprise when the dead sexy Jamie Green shows up on her doorstep to take her spare room. Jamie brings not only much needed cash, but more problems than Bethany cares to take on. But then he presents a proposal that can fix both their problems—get married. Will she say yes and risk her heart or no and risk losing her home that means so much to her?


Kimberly Loth can’t decide where she wants to settle down. She’s lived in Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Utah, California, Oregon, and South Carolina.

She finally decided to make the leap and leave the U.S. behind for a few years. After living in Cairo, Egypt for 2 years, she's decided to go to the Far East and currently calls Shenzhen, China home. She loves romantic movies, chocolate, roses, and crazy adventures.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tasty Book Tours Excerpt Review: Someone Like You


A man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.

Oxford #3
Lauren Layne
Releasing Dec 6th, 2016

Lauren Layne’s bestselling Oxford Series continues with the poignant, heartwarming story of New York’s most eligible bachelor, Lincoln Mathis, a man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.
Lincoln Mathis doesn’t hide his reputation as Manhattan’s ultimate playboy. In fact, he cultivates it. But behind every flirtatious smile, each provocative quip, there’s a secret that Lincoln’s hiding from even his closest friends—a tragedy from his past that holds his heart quietly captive. Lincoln knows what he wants: someone like Daisy Sinclair, the sassy, off-limits bridesmaid he can’t take his eyes off at his best friend’s wedding. He also knows that she’s everything he can never have.
After a devastating divorce, Daisy doesn’t need anyone to warn her off the charming best man at her sister’s wedding. One look at the breathtakingly hot Lincoln Mathis and she knows that he’s exactly the type of man she should avoid. But when Daisy stumbles upon Lincoln’s secret, she realizes there’s more to the charming playboy than meets the eye. And suddenly Daisy and Lincoln find their lives helplessly entwined in a journey that will either heal their damaged souls . . . or destroy them forever.

Advance praise for Someone Like You

“Fun and flirty, sassy and steamy, with a deep emotional pull that will keep you turning the pages.”—Kelly Jamieson, author of Top Shelf

“An unsung hero with a story that touched my heart. Emotional and gripping. A top favorite of 2016 for me.”
New York Times bestselling author Melanie Moreland

Daisy took another sip of her wine, watching as wedding guests took their places on the dance floor, warding off her boredom by trying to guess how long each couple had been together based on body language. 

She was a little amused to see that Emma and all of her Stiletto friends still seemed to be in the handsy honeymoon stage with their significant others, even though she knew they’d mostly been with their respective spouses for years.

Daisy felt a little twist of her heart. Once upon a time, she’d thought that’d be her and Gary. As much in love on someone else’s wedding day as they had been on their own. At least she’d been in love on that day. She wasn’t sure someone like Gary knew what love was. 

Still, she was glad to be here. Glad to be surrounded by all of this happiness, even if it was bittersweet. Daisy wished her father could be here to see this. He’d died of a heart attack a year ago, and though their dad had wreaked plenty of havoc on Emma and Cassidy’s relationship all those years ago, Daisy wished he could have walked Emma down the aisle and had a chance at the father-daughter dance.

The way it had worked out was rather lovely, though. Cole Sharpe, yet another Oxford writer, had walked Emma down the aisle, and a whole slew of the Oxford guys had twirled a laughing Emma around the dance floor in place of the father-daughter dance.

It struck Daisy that this was Emma’s family. Sure, the twins were close, but they were orphans now, and they’d never been particularly close to the rest of their extended family. So Emma had built a family here in New York, with a network of tight-knit friendships.

And though Daisy was happy for Emma she was also . . . jealous.

“I hate to break it to you, pet, but you’re pulling off the wallflower routine a little too convincingly over here.” 

Daisy turned, somehow unsurprised to see Lincoln Mathis standing beside her, blue eyes twinkling above the pink bow tie that he pulled off with impressive masculinity.

“You cheated,” she said, by way of greeting.

He smiled, slow and flirty, as he rested one shoulder against the wall she was leaning on, looking down at her. “How’s that?”

“You made them laugh and cry in your speech. I thought we agreed that you were just going to be the funny guy.”

He smiled wider. “What can I say, I’m alluring in a multitude of ways.”

“Speaking of,” she said, nodding her chin slightly to the sultry brunette making her way towards them, “I believe your previous dance partner is wanting an encore.”

He let out the subtlest of groans, so quiet she thought she might have imagined it.

“Dance with me,” he said suddenly to Daisy, straightening and looking down at her.

She jolted in surprise, then in panic. “I can’t.”

He smiled and held out a hand. “Come on now, Wallflower. I’m very good at dancing.” 

Wallflower. Daisy had never been a wallflower in her life. Although he had a point. She did seem to be lurking in the corner a bit. She silently scolded herself. This was everything she’d been coaching herself not to do. Not to let Gary win . . .

“I don’t doubt your dancing prowess,” she replied saucily, “but—”

She broke off. What could she possibly say? I don’t like being touched?

It’s not that she couldn’t be touched. She wasn’t that broken. She didn’t freak out. She’d endured Cassidy’s hug when she’d greeted him last night; she’d danced earlier with her uncle. But those men were family.

Lincoln Mathis was . . . not family.

Dance with him, she commanded herself. Don’t be that broken woman Gary tried to make you.

She didn’t move, and slowly Lincoln’s hand dropped to his side, just as the brunette reached them.
“I love this song,” the woman said, running a possessive hand up Lincoln’s arm. “Dance?”

Lincoln held Daisy’s gaze and she shrugged before blowing him a teasing good-bye kiss. “Bye bye.”

His eyes narrowed. “Actually,” Lincoln said, turning and giving the other woman a regretful smile, “I need to step out for a moment.”

The woman’s perfectly shaped brows folded into a frown. “Step out? For what?”

“I need to show Daisy something,” he said, bending and kissing the other woman’s cheek. “Next time, love.”

Before Daisy could register that she’d been commandeered as part of Lincoln Mathis’s escape, he’d plucked the champagne flute out of her hand, setting it aside before clasping her fingers in his and pulling her toward the door.

“Wait, we’re really leaving?” she asked with a laugh as he tugged her through the throng of wedding guests. 


“I can’t,” she said. “It’s my sister’s wedding, I have family here, and . . .”

“But you want to leave,” he said, turning and facing her. 

She narrowed her gaze. “Why would I want that?”

He met her eyes. “Because you don’t like weddings any more than I do.”

Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart--cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!

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Monday, November 14, 2016

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Beauty and Attention

About Beauty and Attention

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (October 25, 2016)
The riveting story of one brave young woman’s struggle to free herself from a web of deceit.
For misfit Libby Archer, social expectations for young women in Rochester, New York, in the mid-1950s don’t work. Her father has died, leaving her without parents, and her well-meaning friends are pressuring her to do what any sensible single girl must do: marry a passionate, persistent hometown suitor with a promising future. Yet Libby boldly defies conventional wisdom and plans to delay marriage—to anyone—by departing for her uncle’s Belfast estate. In Ireland, Libby seeks not only the comfort of family but also greater opportunities than seem possible during the stifling McCarthy era at home.
Across the Atlantic, Libby finds common ground with her brilliant, invalid cousin, Lazarus, then puts her trust in a sophisticated older woman who seems to be everything she hopes to become. Fraught with betrayal and long-kept secrets, as well as sudden wealth and unexpected love, Libby’s journey toward independence takes turns she never could have predicted—and calls on courage and strength she never knew she had.
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Review: This book made me think of the Masterpiece Series on PBS.  Its a shame it wasn't a little longer because I really could see it, maybe as a one of thing.

I didn't realize that it was a retelling of Henry James' Portrait of A Lady until I had finished it. (Not that I ever would have known because I'm not a reader of the classics, no matter how much I try)

Libby is young woman in the 50's who finds herself alone after the death of her father. I'm not sure why they used the term orphaned, since Libby was an adult.

She wants to find herself, so to speak, before doing what was expected of her, though I have to say, I felt bad for Casper. I kind of felt she treated him rather poorly. However, I think had I been in her place, I would have wanted to see something of the world before settling down, and not many women in the 50s would have a chance to stay with family in Europe.

Because of the length of the novel (just a little over 200 pages) I felt that the characters could have been developed a bit more. The only character I found that had spunk was Libby's friend Henrietta.

This was a dramatic book, but the events in Libby's life got separated and seemed disconnected at times...You'd jump from one part of her life and then suddenly you'd be months ahead.

This was an enjoyable read, but I found myself wishing it were a little bit longer so that you could fill in the gaps.

Rating: 4 flowers

About Liz Rosenberg

The author of more than thirty books for adults and young readers, Liz Rosenberg has published three bestselling novels, including The Laws of Gravityand The Moonlight Palace. She has also written five books of poems, among them 2008’s Demon Love, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and After Great Grief, forthcoming from the Provincetown Arts Press. Her poems have been heard on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion. Rosenberg’s books for young readers have won numerous awards and honors and have been featured on the PBS television show Reading Rainbow. A former Fulbright Fellowship recipient, Rosenberg teaches English at the State University of New York at Binghamton, where she earned the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. She lives in Binghamton with her daughter, Lily, and a shih tzu named Sophie. Although she has homes in New York and North Chatham, Massachusetts, her heart is still in Ireland.

Tasty Book Tours Release Blast: Nic

The gentle giant slowly awakens her long-dormant passion.

Rossi Brothers #2
JM Stewart
Released Nov 14th, 2016

Single father Nic Rossi’s only desire is to raise his little girl with the same love and security his grandparents gave him and his siblings. That is, until Anna Thompson and her frightened daughter walk into his family restaurant, looking for employment, and turn his carefully ordered world upside down.

On the run from her abusive ex, Anna wants one thing: a quiet place like Angel Bay to raise her daughter. But she needs a job to pay for that dream, even if her new boss is a man whose sheer size makes her tremble. Yet Nic’s capacity for kindness leaves her feeling safe for the first time in years, and the gentle giant slowly awakens her long-dormant passion.

Then her ex-husband turns up like a bad penny, threatening not only Anna’s safe haven but Nic’s daughter in the bargain, forcing them to choose between love and family.

J.M. Stewart is a coffee and chocolate addict who lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two sons and two very spoiled dogs. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily ever after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession.

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