Monday, November 20, 2017

Black Arts, Tarts and Gypsy Carts by Erin Johnson - #review #giveaway


With the Summer Sea Carnival visiting the enchanted island of Bijou Mer, Imogen jumps at the chance to help run the royal bakery booth. It’ll get her out of the palace and allow her to continue avoiding her feelings for a certain engaged prince.

Imogen’s plans to lay low are shattered when the world-famous necromancer, Madame Zerna, is found dead, sawed in half on the dark magician’s table and Imogen’s friend Rhonda is caught red-handed. With incriminating evidence piling up against Rhonda, Zerna’s rival, Imogen promises to help clear her name by finding the real murderer.

My 2018 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge Sign-up


The Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge is hosted by the inimitable Lori at Escape With Dollycas.  Click on the button above to go to the sign-up page, where the details of this challenge are listed.

Below is my tentative list (because I think it will be easier for me to keep track of things that way).  It is not necessary to pick your books beforehand.  Links go to GoodReads for now.  When the read/review is finished, I'll change the link to where my review is - usually another post on this blog.  If 'planned for' with a date/month is after the entry, the book is also being used for the 2018 Monthly Keyword Reading Challenge.

A - Above and Beyond (To Serve & Protect #1) by Kathryn Shay (tentative for January)
B - Brownies and Betrayal by Heather Justesen (planned for November)
C - CS Lewis: A Life Inspired by Christopher Gordon (tentative for February)
D - Dark Isle: Book 2 by Shannon Mayer (tentative for March)
E - Enchantress: The Evermen Saga #1 by James Maxwell (tentative for April)
F - Fortune's Flower by Anthea Lawson (planned for May)
G - Gumbeaux by Kimberly Vargas (tentative for May) 
H - Homemade Body Scrubs by Dogwood Apps (tentative for June)
I - Ice Blue by Emma Jameson (planned for June)
J - Just Evil (Evil Secrets Trilogy #1) by Vicki McKeehan (tentative for July)
K - Kiss of Fire (Imdalind #1) by Rebecca Ethington (tenative for August)
L - Limelight by Emily Organ (planned for March)
M - The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena B. Miller (tentative for September)
N - Nailed (Ron Ketchum #1) by Joseph Flynn (tentative for October)
O - The One You Love (Emma Holden #1) by Paul Pilkington (tentative for November)
P - The Price of Innocence by Bryan Devore (tentative for December)
Q - Murder in the Latin Quarter by (Maggie Newberry #7) by Susan Kiernan-Lewis (tentative for January)
R - The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson (planned for December)
S - Sweets and a Stabbing by Harper Lin (planned for February)
T - There's Always a Catch by Stephanie Taylor (planned for September)
U - Unexpected Gifts (Castle Mountain Lodge #1) by Elena Aitken (tentative for February)
V - Vampire Catch (The Angler #2) by Annie Nicholas (NOTE: listed as such on Amazon; listed as "Catch (The Angler #2) on GR.  Hope this is ok.  It not, it's cool.  It's not like I'm lacking *vampire* for books *vampire* starting with "V" *vampire* anyway. *lol*) (tentative for March)
W - White Hell by Remington Kane (planned for January)
X - **going to have to do some searching on this one** (tentative for April)
Y - Yellow Ribbon (Devlin Haskell #1) by Mike Faricy (planned for August)
Z - The Zombie Chronicles #1 by Chrissy Peebles (tentative for May)

There.

Is that clear as mud?

Well, it's 6:10 in the morning and I'm needing a 2nd cup of coffee, so please be gentle. :O)  Escape With Dollycas & My Reader's Block are great places to find reading challenges (I know there are others, but these are the 2 that come to mind right now.  Oh, and of course, GoodReads!  If you know of sites hosting RC's, please let us know in the comments! 

You don't have to pick books before your start the challenge, I'm just hoping that my record-keeping gets a little better in 2018.  I usually get the reading done with no problem, but get behind on the link-ups and such and then wind up letting everything drop.  Trying to do better in the new year!

Friday, November 17, 2017

That Olde White Magick by Sharon Pape - #review #giveaway


It’s time to work her crime-solving magic again . . .

Kailyn Wilde enjoys running her shop, Abracadabra, in the quaint New York hamlet of New Camel, where she lives with her six cats. Her family’s been here for centuries, and she’d like to keep up the tradition. But the place may never be the same if a big hotel gets built, so she does her civic duty and attends a town meeting along with her aunt Tilly . . . and Merlin. Yes, that Merlin—though he gets introduced to folks as her “distant English cousin.” The wizard is pretty grumpy about being transported here, but there are things about the modern world he doesn’t mind—like pizza.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Murder by the Barrel by Lesley Cookman - #review #giveaway


A new title in the popular cosy crime series by bestselling author Lesley Cookman

When the sleepy village of Steeple Martin announces its first beer festival, the locals are excited. Beer, sun and music, what could possibly go wrong?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

My 2018 Monthly Keyword Reading Challenge Sign-Up


The popular Monthly Keyword Reading Challenge has a new host this year..., Bev at My Reader's Block!  Click on the banner for the sign-up details on her blog.  She also hosts a number of other reading challenges, so be sure to check them out!

Below is a chart of the possible keywords for the month.  Sorry, I tried to make it bigger, but it wasn't happening for me...the letters got so blurry it was practically unreadable.  So maybe it will have one of those 'click the image to make it larger' abilities when it posts or you can go to the challenge HQ to see a better copy:


January - A White Hell by Remington Kane  (WHITE)
February - Sweets and a Stabbing (Pink Cupcake Mysteries #1) by Harper Lin  (PINK)
March - Limelight (Penny Green #1) by Emily Organ (GREEN)
April - When the Smoke Clears by Lynette Eason (CLEAR)
May - Fortune's Flower by Anthea Lawson (FLOWER)
June - The Solemn Bell by Allyson Jeleyne (BELL)
July - Ice Blue (Lord & Lady Hethridge #1) by Emma Jameson (BLUE)
August - Yellow Ribbon (Dev Haskell #11) by Mike Faricy (YELLOW)
September - There's Always a Catch (Christmas Key #1) by Stephanie Taylor (ALWAYS)
October - When Danger Calls (Blackthorne Inc #1) by Terry O'Dell (BLACK)
November - Brownies and Betrayal (Sweet Bites #1) by Heather Justesen (BROWN)
December - The Red Door Inn (PEI #1) by Liz Johnson (RED)

Note:  Historically I have an abysmal record at reading challenges.  Not with the reading, I get plenty of that, but with the record-keeping end of things.  But hope springs eternal (someone said), so I'm trying again this year and tweaking things a little by choosing my books first (where possible).

As I finish and review the books, the Goodreads links above will switch to a link for the review.

Oh, and if you have any tips for keeping up with the dotting the i's and crossing the t's on these challenges, please leave a tip below! 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Death at the Emerald by R. J. Koreto - #review #giveaway


One-named stunning actress Helen mysteriously vanished 30 years ago. An elderly family friend is unable to bear not knowing any longer and commissions Lady Frances Ffolkes to track her down. Taking on the role of Lady Sherlock, with her loyal maid Mallow drafted as her Watson, Frances finds herself immersed in the glamorous world of Edwardian theater and London’s latest craze—motion pictures.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Fatal Collection by Mary Ellen Hughes - #review


Callie Reed makes a long overdue visit to her aunt Melodie, who lives in a fairy-tale cottage in quaint Keepsake Cove, home to a bevy of unique collectible shops on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Just as they’re beginning to reconnect, Callie discovers her aunt’s body on the floor of her music box shop. Grief-stricken, Callie finds she can’t accept Melodie’s death being called accidental. How could her strong and healthy aunt take such a fatal fall? And why was she there in the middle of the night?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Tarkington Treasure by Evelyn Cullett - #review #giveaway


“In the world of logic, it’s always our assumptions that lead us astray.”

A spooky old house, rumors of a hidden Civil War treasure, a neighbor’s murder, and an ex-fiancé falling unconscious at her feet—Charlotte Ross has her hands full when she’s invited to stay at her friend, Jane Marshall’s home while her apartment is being renovated.

Jane and her new fiancé have sold everything to move to the large estate she’d just inherited near the small town in Illinois, where she grew up. She’s always loved the house, but the cost of living in, and fixing up, a deteriorating old mansion is more than both their incomes combined. If she can’t come up with the money for the next property tax payment, she’ll be forced to give it up.

Charlotte is intent on winning back her ex, but her efforts are stymied when he’s suspected of murder.

The two couples soon discover the rambling old house holds more than one secret when they join forces to find the real killer—and the elusive, Tarkington treasure.


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MY REVIEW

Forget the Civil War-era valuables, this book is a treasure all on its own!  It's like I had a little reading angel on one shoulder and a little reading devil on the other.  The angel said, "You should get some rest."  The devil countered, "NOT until you are done.  Now get cracking!"

We've all had those 'just one more chapter' kinds of books.  The Tarkington Treasure by Evelyn Cullet pulled me in with the first word and would not let go.  And I certainly didn't want it to!

Charlotte's apartment is being renovated and her friend Jane (who happens to be engaged to Charlotte's cousin) invites her to stay with them while the construction is taking place.  Kenny (the fiance) doesn't seem to be there when Jane and Charlotte arrive.  Then Jane gets a last-minute call to meet her lawyer.   Hmmm....curious.  Both known residents not there.  Oh well, Jane tells Charlotte to go on in and they'll meet up with her later.

But Charlotte is not alone in the house.  Not only is the place reputed to be haunted by the recently-deceased former owner, but Charlotte had some flesh-and-blood company that didn't want any company for their own nefarious purposes.

Well, the house has a rumored treasure from the time of the Civil War.  And you know how people get when there is treasure about.  (How many treasure hunter reality shows are there now? *lol*)

And the love story casserole is a great extra.  Let me explain.  Charlotte used to be engaged to Brett, but they had a bad break-up.  Jane is Kenny's fiance.  Kenny is Charlotte's cousin.  Jane used to be involved with the sheriff (Todd) conducting the investigation.  Brett, former FBI, has become a PI, and has been hired to find the man who becomes the murder victim.  His former FBI partner has become his business and would like to take their merger to the next level, and she shows up.  Jane invites Todd to supper to try and fix him up with Charlotte.  When Todd arrives, he brings a 'date' (actually a woman he rescued from a flash flood).

All these relationships could end up getting very messy or 'soap-operish'.  But the author, Evelyn Cullet makes it work, and work well.  Parts of me wish I would have read the previous installment(s) to better understand the backstory between Charlotte and Brett, but the book read very well nonetheless.  In any case, I will be reading the previous Charlotte Ross Mysteries (Love, Lies and Murder, Masterpiece of Murder and Once Upon a Crime) to be followed by re-reading of this book anyway, so it's all good. 

Definitely add this one to your TBR's!

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MEET THE AUTHOR



Evelyn Cullet has been an author since high school when she wrote short stories. She began her first novel while attending college later in life and while working in the offices of a major soft drink company. Now, with early retirement, she can finally write full time. As a life-long mystery buff, she was a former member of the Agatha Christie Society, and is a current member of the National Chapter of Sisters In Crime. She writes cozy mysteries with warm romance and a little humor. When she’s not writing mysteries, reading them or reviewing them, she hosts other authors and their work on her writer’s blog. She also plays the piano, is an amateur lapidary, and an organic gardener.

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GIVEAWAY!!!


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Click on the banner above to go to the tour page, where you will find links to more reviews of this title.  You can also find out how to become a blog host for future book tours while you are there!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book tours in exchange for my honest review.)

Deadly Eclair by Daryl Wood Gerber - #review #recipe #giveaways


It’s always been Mimi Rousseau’s dream to open her own bistro, but it seems beyond her grasp since she’s been chased back home to Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley by her late husband’s tremendous debt. Until her best friend Jorianne James introduces her to entrepreneur Bryan Baker who invests in promising prospects. Now, working the bistro and inn until she’s able to pay it off and call it her own, Mimi is throwing the inn’s first wedding ever.

Monday, November 6, 2017

King Harald's Snow Job by Richard Audry - #review #giveaway


It’s early December and Andy Skyberg is itching to blow town for a weekend of holiday cheer with old friends—including a date with an attractive divorcée who thinks he’s hot.

But first, Aunt Bev needs a teensy bit of help. She’s managing the Girls’ Weekend Out event at the Beaver Tail Resort and could use some extra muscle. Andy figures he can spare a few hours before hitting the road.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Seashells, Spells & Caramels by Erin Johnson - #review


Imogen’s spent her twenties in Seattle, saving every penny and missing every party, to follow her dream of opening her own bakery.

When that dream goes up in flames, she accepts a spot in a mysterious baking contest—one she doesn’t remember entering. She travels to a bustling, medieval village off the coast of France and discovers an enchanting world of magic and mystery, and learns that she, too, possesses powers.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus - #review #giveaway


Odysseus, infamous trickster of Troy, vaunted hero of the Greeks, left behind a wake of chaos and despair during his decade long journey home to Ithaca. Lovers and enemies, witches and monsters–no one who tangled with Odysseus emerged unscathed. Some prayed for his return, others, for his destruction. These are their stories…