Saturday, January 21, 2017

Book Review/Giveaway: Assault and Beret by Jenn McKinlay


Title: Assault and Beret
 Author: Jenn McKinlay
 Series: Book 5 A Hat Shop Mystery
 Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
 Format: Paperback
 Source: Received for review from Publisher
 Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
 Reviewed by: Tina

 Book Review

 I'm not a big fan of hat making aka the millinery profession, this is a series I love for the characters and setting alone, it why I started reading it. Vivian Tremont is a hat maker, a milliner who has a hat shop in London she runs the shop along with her American cousin, Scarlet Parker.

 They are heading to Paris, the city of light and romance so Vivian can teach a hat class at the Paris School of Art and Scarlet is on a mission to find Vivian's misplaced, yes I said misplaced husband so Vivian can get an annulment after a hasty quick marriage.

 When Scarlet successfully finds Vivian's husband William Graham, an insurance investigator of priceless art, Vivian does not expect to fall back in love with him. Scarlet is also missing childhood friend and investor of Vivian's hat shop, Harrison who is back in London and is seriously considering breaking her vow of being single for a year despite her mother's dismay. William is abducted and a priceless Renoir painting goes missing.

 Scarlet makes it her mission with the help of friends from London to find William and the missing painting, with a murder of a secondhand shop owner along the way, Scarlet also needs to figure out a killer.

 Assault and Beret is the best of London and Paris in one cozy mystery. I love British Characters. Romance, Drama and delicious French food made this an excited and delectable read with a shocking, surprising twist that I didn't see coming.It made me look at Vivian's character in a whole new way, she went from a stuffy Brit to a someone who can fall in love and be vulnerable which made me like her more.

The murder didn't happen right away leaving me wondering when it would happen, happening late in the book leaving me disappointed, it almost felt like an after thought to me but a very Entertaining and suspenseful edition to the hat shop mysteries. I can't wait to review the next in the series.

 Giveaway


 Comment with your email below to win a copy of Assault and Beret by Jenn McKinlay in the comments. If you do not leave your email here on the blog or email acozygirlreads@gmail.com you will be disqualified from winning.

 If you don't want to leave your email here or not able to enter on this blog. Please send an email to acozygirlreads@gmail.com "Assault and Beret giveaway" in the subject line.

 Giveaway is open to US Residents only

 The giveaway closes Jan 22 12:00 AM EST Entries will not be counted after Jan 22 12:00 AM EST. The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook Page and notified by email (don't forget to check your SPAM FOLDER)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Writing Wednesday: Be Accountable for your Writing


Be Accountable for your Writing


 I like the “idea” of planning but when it comes down to it, I fail. I totally blame laziness. I have a note book with “Things to do Today” that I purchased with the sole mission of getting my writing and blog and reading life organized as a title that is still blank. I now have an agenda given to me by my best friend where my plan is to schedule this blog and my writing and reading goals in it, we shall see how it works.

 I don't even have a notebook full of ideas though I own many notebooks with that intention, I always keep them in my head, I won't actually write anything down until I actually start outlining and plotting out my story and keep all my ideas in my head.

 I am currently writing my first in a series cozy mystery right now, i'm close to 30,000 words at almost 21 chapters, I have been accountable for that since I started April of last year and I'm trying to be more accountable for jotting down ideas and making to-do list and agenda but i'm just not there yet. So I tried but finding it hard to be accountable in those ways but i'm still trying.

 Ways I stay accountable to writing:

 Tell someone who cares your writing goals

 1. I will tell some one, like a friend, my husband or a writer friend what your goal is say for the day or even that you want to write a book, then I feel I have to write and get something accomplished because I have a fear of disappointing them and myself mostly. If they are your friend and love and care they would care about your goal too. Even mentioning it on social media, I found I will most likely accomplish it more than if I don't, don't ask me why , maybe it's because most of my friends and followers are writes (I found this works best for me)

 Make writing a Priority

 2. Make time in your day to write, and even if its for 10 or 20 minutes sprints at various times a day your will find you will get a lot accomplished and writer. Either get up early, I wouldn't recommend going to bed late, when you get home from school or work, after dinner. My motto is any amount of words is better than no words.

 Join a writers group.

 3. I have been a part of writers groups eg, on Facebook awhile but just now due to shyness but now have become some what involved.I now am part of a Google hangout on Saturdays with a few writers, where we talk about our writing and do sprints. I will be accountable to those ladies.

 Just a little back ground on myself. I have wanted to start a writing feature on my blog since I changed the blogs name back in December. I have had a dream of writing books since I was 8 years old, I started books and short stories and poetry and songs, I was only published once one of my poems what published in anthology that you had to buy yourself, guess that don't really count.

 Writing has always been my passion and I hope you get something out of Writing Wednesday, I did mean to blog about this past Nanowrimo but that was something that didn't happen, but I be accountable to that in the future. I will love to be be able to share my tips, my process, and my writing journey, with you.

Though now I am debating between self and traditional publishing, I still have a while to go before this first book is finished and I will get published and that is something I want to be accountable for. I want to also to be accountable to not just my writing but writing reviews and blogging for writing wednesday for A Cozy Girl Reads and Writes and to you my reader.

 I am not a published writer, but I have been writing most of my life, if you have any questions you want me to address in any Writing Wednesday in the future, I would be happy to have your suggestions, just comment below.

 Thank you for reading.

 Happy Writing, Happy Reading.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Review/Giveaway: Third Time's a Crime by Diana Orgain

 Title: Third Time's A Crime
 Author: Diana Orgain
 Series: Book 3 A Love Or Money Mystery
 Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
 Format: Paperback
 Source: Received for review from Publisher
 Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
 Reviewed by: Marlene

Book Review

 Georgia finds herself once again supplementing her income with doing yet another stint on reality show. But what's a girl to do when her career in the San Francisco Police Department has been left high and dry and no where to go. Along with her boyfriend, Scott and her best friend, Becca she has landed her a spot on a show called Cold Case in the Castle. Along with nine other contestants they have been set the task of solving a fifty year old murder.

 Once on set and with the cameras rolling, Georgia and Scott are sent in a dire game of cat and mouse. Not only is the castle supposedly haunted and seeking justice but there is other sinister factors at work. It seems Georgia has been targeted in more ways then one and with more then just the end prize to lose. Along with the show Georgia will also have to face personal sacrifices and potential losses.

Although once Georgia has set her sights on solving this mystery nothing will stand in her way. Not the show, the producer, her boyfriend or the menacing individual stalking her.

 I thoroughly enjoyed this story, it is very fast paced and mixes the right amount of deceit, investigation, drama and romance. I found the characters likable and engaging. Georgia is fascinating, strong willed and human, she has her moment sof self doubt but forges on. I also enjoyed, Cheryl (she was the producer) sometimes you need a no none sense woman to head the team. And I also liked Kyle, he may have played a minor role but he was great to lightened the mood.

 Giveaway

 Comment with your email below to win a copy of Third Time's a Crime by Diana Orgain in the comments. If you do not leave your email here on the blog or email acozygirlreads@gmail.com you will be disqualified from winning.

 If you don't want to leave your email here or not able to enter on this blog. Please send an email to acozygirlreads@gmail.com "Third Time's a Crime giveaway" in the subject line.

 Giveaway is open to US Residents only

 The giveaway closes Jan 17 12:00 AM EST Entries will not be counted after Jan 17,12:00 AM EST. The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook Page and notified by email (don't forget to check your SPAM FOLDER)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Book Review/Giveaway: The Ghosts of Misty Hollow by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Title: The Ghosts of Misty Hollow
 Author: Sue Ann Jaffarian
 Series: Book 6 A Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery
 Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
 Format: Paperback
 Source: Received for review from Publisher
 Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
 Reviewed by: Tina

Book Review

 The facet of this story that interested me the most before reading was there was a writer in the story because I never go into reading a book blind, who needed help with writing a story. That's when I knew I should try and read it. Gino Costello is a famous crime writer he like I said needs help with a resaearch in writing his current book.

 Gino wants a paranormal element to the story so he enlists Emma WhiteCastle who has a paranormal T.V. show and she also sees and comminicates with spirits of the dead. Her main companion besides her fiance Phil is the ghost of her humorous great-great-great Granny Apples, nicknamed for her great apple pie recipe.

 Gino is on a vacation writing retreat and an old farmhouse with a haunted history of the family that once lived there in the 1880's. Gino invites Emma who's daughter is also Best Friends with Gino's daughter and Phil to stay at the house.

There are ghosts in the house that talk to Emma about two of the families missing children and wonder if these children have been murdered.

 At the same time there is drama in the house in the present. The ghost family member that talks to Emma wants her to help the children cross over to the other side. The Ghosts of Misty Hollow was a sometimes sad but very much a cozy mystery and most everyone in the story had some how a paranormal connection and keep me turning pages. The main reason I loved this book was wanting to find out what happened to the children of the ghosts that inhabited this home and the fact there were once very much alive.


Giveaway

 Comment with your email below to win a copy of The Ghosts of Misty Hollow by Sue Ann Jaffarian in the comments. If you do not leave your email here on the blog or email acozygirlreads@gmail.com you will be disqualified from winning.

 If you don't want to leave your email here or not able to enter on this blog. Please send an email to acozygirlreads@gmail.com "The Ghosts of Misty Hollow giveaway" in the subject line.

 Giveaway is open to US Residents only

 The giveaway closes Jan 1 12:00 AM EST Entries will not be counted after Jan 1 12:00 AM EST. The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook Page and notified by email (don't forget to check your SPAM FOLDER)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Follow us on our new Twitter

Were Gearing up for Christmas here at A Cozy Girl Reads and Writes and i'm excited to be bringing you GREAT XMAS MYSTERIES  links on Our Facebook and Twitter pages for you to click on and purchase from amazon and if your on our new twitter page and haven't followed us, please do so by clicking the link:

https://twitter.com/cozygirlreads

Happy Reading, Happy Writing from A Cozy Girl Reads and Writes

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year



Sunday, December 18, 2016

Book Review/Giveaway: Prose and Cons by Amanda Flower

 Title: Prose and Cons
 Author: Amanda Flower
 Series: Book 2 A Magical Bookshop Mystery
 Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
  Format: Paperback
 Source: Received for review from Publisher
 Rating: 4 out of 5
 Reviewed by: Marlene

Book Review

 Violet has now settled into her role as the caretaker and getting into her daily routine of minding the shop, the tree and teaching at the local college. She is also reconnecting with her old friend Lacey and trying to figure out what is to much and to little with her ex-boyfirend Nathan who is now mayor of their small village.

 If her plate weren't full enough it certainly starts to overflow when one of the fellow Red Inkers is found dead in the book shop. The Red Inkers are a close knit writing group that meets in the bookshop weekly after hours. It isn't long before the police settle in on a another Red Inker as a suspect.

 But that won't stop Violet from getting in between the handsome Chief Rainwater and her friend. She will go to great lengths to clear her name. In the meantime, Violet will also have to contemplate a series of issues in her personal life that revolve around multiple men. In the end it will leave her with more questions then answers and looking down the barrel of a gun.

 I enjoyed reading Violet's next stage in her role at the book shop and showing her strong willed character. Like all women she falters when it comes to men, but at least she is smart about it. There is a great cast of characters in this book, her Grandma Daisy, Sadie, Lanney and Chief Rainwater as well.

 It is a faced pace read, keeps your wanting to know what happens in the next chapter. Looking forward to Violet's next story.....

 Giveaway

 Comment with your email below to win a copy of Prose and Cons by Amanda Flower in the comments. If you do not leave your email here on the blog or email acozygirlreads@gmail.com you will be disqualified from winning.

 If you don't want to leave your email here or not able to enter on this blog. Please send an email to acozygirlreads@gmail.com "Prose and Cons giveaway" in the subject line.

 Giveaway is open to US Residents only

 The giveaway closes Dec 19 12:00 AM EST Entries will not be counted after Nov 19th 12:00 AM EST. The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook Page and notified by email (don't forget to check your SPAM FOLDER)

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Guest Post: Author Kate Carlisle talks DECK THE HALLWAYS & Recipe

DECK THE HALLWAYS is my twentieth book, but the first one that's set at Christmas—and I had an absolute blast writing it! Lighthouse Cove is the perfect setting for an idyllic Christmas.

 Imagine how it would feel like stepping back in time, to see those beautiful old homes decked out for Christmas. As DECK THE HALLWAYS begins, contractor Shannon Hammer is ready to take the lead on the largest project ever for the Holiday Homebuilders: they're going to convert a Victorian mansion into apartments for deserving families.

The only fly in the ointment is the irascible banker overseeing the project, a man so obnoxious that he has enemies all over town, including Shannon's dad. Dad came in closer and shoved Potter in the chest. The banker stumbled backward. “One more word against Shannon and I’ll make you sorry you were ever born.” He was as angry as I’d ever seen him and I felt a frisson of fear as I worried about his heart. “Oh, I’m so scared,” Potter whined sarcastically.

 But in typical coward style, he said it while backing toward the door. “You should be scared,” Dad said through clenched teeth. He was still carrying his sharp, new ax and he raised it up to make his point. “If I hear you talking trash about my daughter again, I’ll kill you with my bare hands.” Not long after this scene, Shannon has the bad luck to find another dead body—Potter's.

 The very man her dad threatened in front of dozens of volunteers. She planned for every contingency. . . except murder, her own father a prime suspect. Like many of us, Shannon is busier than ever during the holidays. (Though one hopes that most of us don't have to clear our father's name or track down a killer.)

 Here's a great potluck recipe for a busy person on the go. California Christmas Potatoes – aka California Thanksgiving Potatoes, if you use orange and yellow bell pepper instead of the red (The full recipe is written out at the end of the blog.)

 The ingredients:
 Preheat the oven to 350.

Peel the potatoes and cut into ½-inch chunks. Boil for 8-10 minutes, until tender. While the potatoes are boiling, cut the vegetables. From the bell pepper, cut five slices and set aside, then dice the rest of the pepper.

 From the poblano pepper, use kitchen shears to cut out ten leaves. Set the rest aside for another use. From the olives, set aside fifteen slices to use as the center of the flowers. Dice the rest of the olives, slice the green onions, and mince the cilantro. Mix together the sour cream, taco seasoning, and shredded cheese. Drain the potatoes. Stir together all ingredients except the vegetables set aside to make the flowers.
 Place the mixture in a greased 13x9-inch casserole dish. Form flowers on top. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Enjoy! California Christmas

 Potatoes Ingredients:

6 large baking potatoes
 1 red bell pepper 1 poblano pepper
 16 oz sour cream
 8 oz shredded cheese (Cheddar, Jack, or a combination)
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 small can of sliced olives 4 green onions
 ½ Cup cilantro

 Preheat the oven to 350.
 Peel the potatoes and cut into ½-inch chunks. Boil for 8-10 minutes, until tender.
While the potatoes are boiling, cut the vegetables. From the bell pepper, cut five slices and set aside, then dice the rest of the pepper.
 From the poblano pepper, use kitchen shears to cut out ten leaves. Set the rest aside for another use. From the olives, set aside fifteen slices to use as the center of the flowers.
Dice the rest of the olives, slice the green onions, and mince the cilantro. Mix together the sour cream, taco seasoning, and shredded cheese. Drain the potatoes.





 Stir together all ingredients except the vegetables set aside to make the flowers. Place the mixture in a greased 13x9-inch casserole dish. Form flowers on top. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

LEGAL

All reviews are copyrighted by Tina Diamond and Marlene Patterson. Tina Diamond's reviews also appear at Amazon.com and Goodreads.com.

Tina Diamond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Assiociates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com