Thursday, July 30, 2015

Book Review: Expedition Indigo by Stacy Allen

Title: Expedition Indigo
 Author: Stacy Allen
 Series: Riley Cooper Book 1
 Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing
 Format: PDF
 Source: Received for review from author
 Star Rating: 4 out of 5
 Reviewed by: Marlene

 Dr. Riley Cooper has finally found herself an adventure. After her dear friend and mentor is violently attacked, she is asked to take his place on an archeological expedition off the coast of Italy. Set in her ways she has to make the decision to leave the life she knows to join a team of treasure hunters scaling the bottom of the sea looking for a lost ship from the year 808.

 The Indigo was lost at sea in the year 808, at the time no one knew what had happened until now. A journal found written by one of three survivors, who feared so much they would be punished for the sinking they went their separate ways and changed their names. On board the ship was many treasures but none most important as the Crux Fidelis, a cross made especially for Charlemagne.

 As Riley arrives in Sorrento to start her adventure she finds herself in the cross-hairs of a competing team of treasure hunters and a love affair gone wrong with a married man. And if that is not enough on her plate she has to race against time to find the Crux Fidelis and return it to the Vatican before a hurricane hits.

 I enjoyed this story and how the relationships between the characters really move it along. Usually it is the pace of finding out where that is or who done it but here you know where it is and you know who is doing what. I liked that it was character driven. I love reading about adventure and archaeology and with the twist that it's all underwater personally added excitement to me. Diving is something I am sort of scared of.

 There is so many good characters in the book. I love Peter's feistiness, Howard's directness, Nikki's boyish charm and Stefano's perseverance. Then there is Riley herself. I love a strong headed lead female who won't take no or charity, who will stand on her own two feet even when she isn't sure she can. She is a great example of a woman.

FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher and/or author for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and review are our own and our reviews are honest.

Author Stacy Allen Online: http://stacyallenauthor.com/
Like Author Stacy Allen on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/AuthorStacyAllen?fref=ts


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Monday, July 27, 2015

Book Review/Book & Tee Shirt Giveaway: Caught Read-Handed by Terrie Farley Moran

Title: Caught Read- Handed
Author: Terrie Farley Moran
Series: Book 2 A Read 'Em and Eat Mystery
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Received for Review From Publisher & Author
Format: Paperback
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Rating: Four Stars
Reviewed by: Tina


This was one of those cozy mysteries that addresses a issue that is all to real . It was a heart felt and very touching edition to this series where your heart actually goes out to the murder suspect and inside your some how rooting for best friends, cafe owners of Read 'Em and Eat and ameteur sleuths  Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield to find the real killer because it's just not possible that this person could have done it but could they?, It made me wonder and wanting to see how it would turn out.

Cafe owner of Read 'Em and Eat, Sassy is donating some books to the library for their annual fundraising sale, when an argument ensues between a visitor to the library and a library volunteer Tanya Lipscome, known around Fort Myers Beach, Florida as "Tanya Trouble" you know just by that name alone she is just what the name inplies , nothing but trouble and there seems to be nothing but trouble when Tanya is found murdered in her hot tub.

The visitor to the library is soon arrested and is charged with the murder of Tanya, a man that you will undoubtedly come to love and have a hard time seeing as a murder suspect, his name is Alan Mersky he's a war vet with Postraumatic Stress Disorder, who really has no grip on reality and my heart went out to him as i'm sure yours will too. He is also the brother of Sassy's former boss and when Sassy witnesses this argument between Alan and Tanya, Sassy makes a phone call to her former boss wondering if he was indeed him or a relation.

Being married to Tanya was not a picnic, her husband wanted out of the marriage and with two step sons and practically the whole town hating her there is no shortage of suspects that wanted "Tanya Trouble" dead. Being the spirited women that they are Sassy and Bridgy are ready to risk life and limb with a few life risking adventures mixed in to help save to save Alan, a man with a haunted past destroyed by war and a all to sweet and genuine soul.

 With Heartfelt and touching characters, addressing a issue that is a terrible disorder that touches victims of the war, PTSD. This murder mystery strikes will strike a cord with your soul as it did mine and you will not forget anytime soon. Sassy and Bridgy are surely at their best being busy with Read 'Em and Eat organizing their book clubs, (witch I loved) and making sure that their customers were satisfied. Miguel the kitchen cook is one of my favorites and hope to see him more in future books in this series,he was another fun loving and very passionate character. Very eager to read the next book in this series.

FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher and/or author for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and review are our own and our reviews are honest.

Author Terrie Farley Moran Online: http://terriefarleymoran.com/
Like Author Terrie Farley Moran on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/terriefarleymoran?fref=ts


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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway: Peril in the Park by Barbara Venkataraman

  Title: Peril In The Park
  Author: Barbara Venkataraman
  Series: Book 3 A Jamie Quinn Mystery
  Publisher: Self
  Format: PDF
  Genre: Mystery
  Source: Received for review from author
  Star Rating: 5 out of 5
  Reviewed by: Marlene

 Jamie Quinn an attorney practicing family law in Hollywood Florida has it all, a home, a career (which she is her own boss), a boyfriend and a tendency to find herself in situations in which she thinks she is in over her head. Yet with the help of her best friend Grace and a private investigator named Duke she always finds her way.

    Recently her boyfriend Kip has made quite the list of enemies in the short six months he has been back to Hollywood. When Kip came back he took over a position as Parks Director for the county, which was promised to another in the department and he also made some staff changes. Little did he know that the combination of those actions would lead to continuous park vandalism, a stalker, threats to his job, and a murder.

 As Kip tries to keep as much of this away from Jamie, she launches her own investigation. Soon both of them find themselves caught between more then one criminal and it takes both of them along with Duke to get themselves out. Also, Jamie has been in contact with her long lost father and comes across some startling news that may unravel the relationship they just started.

 The plot of this story was fast paced and engaging. At times it was emotional but the author also found a way to interject humor without it overshadowing the seriousness of the subject matter. In continuation of Jamie's story we get a more in depth look at her family and her neurotic behavior (which doesn't really seem all that unusual to me but may be to others). I find myself relating to her more and more every story I read. Looking forward to reading the next story ........ Engaged In Danger.

FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher and/or author for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and review are our own and our reviews are honest.

Author Barbara Venkataraman Online  http://barbaravenkataraman.blogspot.ca/

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway Dead Men Don't Eat Cookies by Virginia Lowell

Title: Dead Men Don't Eat Cookies
Author: Victoria Lowell
Series: Book 6 A Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Received for Review from the Publisher
Format: Paperback
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Rating: Five Stars
Reviewed by: Tina

Cookie baker and owner of The Gingerbread House, Olivia 's mother, Ellie is truly a eccentric soul. She loves anything yoga and fitness and when she decides she wants to open a Arts & Crafts School, Olivia is excited by the aspect of baking in the kitchen where baking classes are to be held taught by Olivia's best friend and business partner, Maddie.

The renovations are in full swing as the workers find hidden bones within the walls of the  was once a  old boarding house along with the bones there are treasures to behold that only Olivia and Maddie could love a silver necklace with a cookie cutter charm and later discovered more antique cookie cutters and more bones. A highly emotional teenager, Alicia is sure the bones belong to her father because she had once given him the silver necklace with the charm.

The cookie cutter connection prove to be too much for Cookie bakers Olivia and Maddie and they are instantly drawn into the investigation but finding the secrets to the hidden bones means that they have to seek out a murderer that could lead to danger but antique cookie cutters and the search for the truth are far more paramount to this cookie baking duo.

Cookie cutters and murder. Author Virginia Lowell brilliantly brings them both together and I loved how it instantly drew me into the story. Food and murder always draw me in and  Dead Men Don't eat cookies was hard to put down and no exception. I love Livie and Maddie and they made an exciting crime fighting team and and their investigating and cookie baking adventures inside The Gingerbread House bakery by far my favorite moments to this mystery with baking and delicious food descriptions only a true foodie like me can love. I'm still dying to know what diner owner Pete puts in his meatloaf's secret sauce.

FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher for providing me a copy of this book for review.This did not influence my thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and review are my own and my reviews are honest.

Author Virginia Lowell Online: http://www.virginialowell.com/

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway Magic and Macaroons by Bailey Cates

Title: Magic and Macaroons
Author: Bailey Cates
Series: Book 5 A Magical Bakery Mystery
Publisher: Obsidian Mystery
Source: Received for Review From Publisher
Format: Paperback
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by: Tina





Step into Honeybee Bakery, where every delicious treat is magical and once eaten will give you a added pep in your step. Katie is a hedgewich that specializes in garden and kitchen magic and Honeybee Bakery is known for adding just a little extra to the baked goods depending on what you may need in your life. Katie runs the bakery along with her aunt who is also a witch, Lucy and uncle Ben.

The  exciting part of this bakery is the coven of witches and friends that are known as "The Spellbook Club" including Katie, Aunt Lucy, Cookie,Mimsey, Jaida, and Bianca. Another great part of Honeybee Bakery for me is the library when the witches have collected books for their customers Taylor made for them. When  a meeting of the Spellbook Club is interrupted by a young girl named Dawn who hysterically makes her way into the bakery and suddenly collapses among the witches coven.

Before Dawn collaspes she wants to relay a message to a witch she has come to see, that witch is Katie about a missing gris-gris, a voodoo talisman of magical power. She wants Katie to help find the gris-gris . When there is a connection between Dawn and murdered homicide detective, Frank. Frank's death is suspicious because he died while a voodoo ritual was preformed. Katie then asked her friend and fellow witch Cookie for help who has experience in the voodoo world and together they look for a voodoo queen that would be suitable to help them in their quest to find the lost gris-gris before evil befalls them all and to find a murderer before it's too late.

Lately I have been wanting to delve into mysteries that are out of my comfort zone. Mysteries with magical and mystical elements and themes are way out of my comfort zone because I have a hard time understanding the language and dislike fantasy and snakes, it makes me shutter just thinking about it. But I like these witches and the bakery theme had me wanting to read Magic and Macaroons just to discover what magical treats these witches would whip up.

Katie and Cookie made a great team and they definitely put me under their spell. This series is in great company with and reminds me so much of Ellery Adams Magical Pie Shop Mysteries and Heather Blake's Wishcraft Mysteries, If you love magical mysteries I highly recommend. A complex and multi layered mystery with magical treats that i'm a big fan of and so will you.

FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher for providing me a copy of this book for review.This did not influence my thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and review are my own and my reviews are honest.

Author Bailey Cates Online: http://cricketmcrae.com/
Like Author Bailey Cates on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bailey-Cates/343221605703098?fref=ts
Author Bailey Cates on Twitter: https://twitter.com/writerbailey

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Book Review/ Book Giveaway: Peaches and Scream by Susan Furlong

Title: Peaches and Scream
Author: Susan Furlong
Series: Book 1 A Georgia Peach Mystery
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Received for review from Publisher
Format: Paperback
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Rating: Five Stars
Reviewed by: Tina



Nola Mae Harper, she is a character that will tug on your heart stings before she steals your heart and she will forever hold a special place in mine. I was not expecting after reading this first in the A Georgia Peach Mysteries to come away still thinking about Nola Mae Harper and her life but that is exactly how it has been since i'm putting my fingers to the keyboard to write this review. Nola's parents are heading on a much deserved vacation and Nola returns home to her families Peach farm in Cays Mill, Georgia.

Nola will be helping to tend to the farm while her parents are away but she returns home to find that nothing is the same from broken down tractor to broken irrigation lines and with a dismal harvest and just no money but with Nola's determination and a little help from some old friends and neighbors things slowly start to come together but not without the local town gossip hotline talking about Nola's rebel teenage years, years that Nola is still trying sort through in her mind and in her heart.

When the owner of the local lumber mill is found murdered on her families farm strangled with her very pregnant sister, Ida's scarf and Ida's husband, Hollis becomes the number one suspect with a attempted arson at the lumber mill and with Nola keeping in mind her mother's Taylor made Georgia Belle Facts. To Nola, this not so typical Southern Georgia Belle family comes first but she is determined even despite her feelings toward her brother in law Nola stops at nothing to save Hollis so life on the farm will be just peachy once again.

There was a instant connection to Nola for me, she is a character you will want to keep coming back to just to see what she will do next and what secrets will emerge from her past , a past and a home that Nola was some how running from. She seems to me like a real, genuine person someone I love love to know and be friends with in real life, she has secrets and flaws and a sorted past with regrets.


I found I could relate too all too much that at times I found myself crying for Nola and for myself because both our pasts took on similar paths. A very emotionally charged and character driven mystery with Nola at the helm going to bat for her family to set things right. Perfectly written first in a series mystery and not without mentioning peaches Nola's mission to save the Harper Family Peach farm has made me want to try the Harper family peach recipes. I can't wait to see what's new for Nola in the next A Georgia Peach Mystery, Rest in Peach.

FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher for providing me a copy of this book for review.This did not influence my thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and review are my own and my reviews are honest.

 Author Susan Furlong Online: http://www.susanfurlong.com/
Like Author Susan Furlong on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanFurlongAuthor?fref=ts
Author Susan Furlong on Twitter: https://twitter.com/foulplayauthor

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway Sense of Deception by Victoria Laurie

 Title: Sense of Deception
 Author: Victoria Laurie
 Series: Book 13 A Psychic Eye Mystery
 Publisher: The Penguin Group
 Genre: Cozy Mystery
 Format: Hardcover
 Source: Received for review from Publisher
 Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
 Reviewed by: Marlene

 Abby Cooper, Psychic and private investigator has done it this time. Losing her cool in court and landing herself in county lock up for the night for being in contempt. As Abby finds herself sharing a cell with a death row inmate looking at her last appeal before being sentence to death. She is faced with the fact that the woman is innocent and needs her help. Enlisting the help of her private investigator partner Candice, friend FBI agent Oscar and lawyer Cal they will race against time to help save this woman from in a sense being murdered herself.

 Along with helping this death row inmate, Abby also has to try and redeem herself in the eyes of the FBI for blowing their case on a serial killer when she had her outburst in court. Due to the judge declaring a mistrial and she being slandered for her psychic abilities, she now has that on her conscious. Soon Abby is swamped in evidence, no where leads, sloppy police work and the heavy burden that no matter how much she pulls from the ether it may not be enough to save this woman.

 I loved this story, I truly felt for the woman on death row. To spend ten years unjustifiably held in prison and to be sentenced to death for a murder she didn't commit against a person so dear to her heart would be torture. I also liked the way it was played out with the many possible factors that an innocent person could be imprisoned, Money, sloppy police work, circumstantial evidence, etc.

 I am a big fan of Abby, she is one of my favorite female characters. I love how she just won't quit and her quirky sense of humor as well. Ms. Laurie writes her characters so well, you love the ones that are good and she makes sure you don't like the ones that are bad. Looking forward to the next installment.

Author Victoria Laurie Online: http://victorialaurie.com/
Like Author Victoria Laurie on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Laurie/284415844915083?fref=ts
Author Victoria Laurie On Twitter: https://twitter.com/victoria_laurie

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway:Butter off Dead by Leslie Budewitz

Title: Butter off Dead
Author: Leslie Budewitz
Series: Book 3 Food Lovers' Village Mystery
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Received for Review from Publisher
Format: Paperback
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Rating: Five Stars
Reviewed by:  Tina


Lights!!!Camera!!!!Action!!!! We head to Jewel Bay, Montana this time for the First Annual Food lovers'Film Festival and I was so excited, i'm not a big movie fan per say but I am a big foodie movie fan and movies like Ratatouille and Big Night were featured at the festival and movies I happen to love. The food is ready and the movie reels ordered hoping one of them will make it there on time the but movie angle in this mystery will center in on a killer. 

It's all about family for The Murphy's. Erin Murphy is the manager of "The Merc" a specialty foods market specializing in local food her mom, Fresca also works there. Erin always has her hands full and she is quite the people pleaser and she is all to pleased to assist Christine Vandeberg, a local painter and former girl friend to Erin's brother, Nick to organize the Food lovers' Film Festival. The high school film class will also be assisting and participating  in the festival. Zayda is in the class and a movie buff and looks to have a bright future in the movie industry and she is also lending a hand.

But will cameras and the film festival stop rolling when Christine is found shot at her home with Zayda found at the scene of the crime?.  Erin's Brother Nick  was also not where he said he was at the time of the murder making Erin somewhat question him but she is also convinced that he is innocent and yet again Erin is drawn in and with family comes first mantra with the Murphy's Erin must help her brother clear his name but there are also a few other suspects. Erin finds it hard to understand what someone would want Christine dead , Could it be related the the film festival or the substantial inheritance that Christine received from another local painter? Erin is determined despite her mother's wishes for her to remain running "The Merc'" to save her brother from prison but Erin must find the killer before the the director yells "cut" on the Food lovers' festival and her life.

I look forward to reading about The Murphy's life at "The Merc" with every book in  Food lovers village Mysteries. The food talk and foodie descriptions are very tempting and leave you craving  more, perfect for a self proclaimed foodie like me. This was a  exciting and entertaining edition to the series much like a favorite movie makes you feel.This is a book to enjoy while eating popcorn, sipping on some soda and munching on movie candy. Erin is a force to be reckoned with when family is concerned, you can feel this families love through the pages, with a past death of Erin's father and the suspicion over how he died Erin has a fighting spirit in wanting to help her brother . Butter off dead plays like a action packed movie with murder as the main attraction and gets five stars from this book reviewer.

FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher for providing me a copy of this book for review.This did not influence my thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and review are my own and my reviews are honest.

Author Leslie Budewitz Online: http://www.lesliebudewitz.com/
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Friday, July 10, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway: Macaroni and Freeze by Christine Wenger

Title: Macaroni and Freeze
Author: Christine Wenger
Series: Book 4 A Comfort Food Mystery
Publisher: Obsidian Mystery
Source: Received for Review from Publisher
Format: Paperback
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Rating: Five Stars
Reviewed by: Tina


I couldn't resist Macaroni and Freeze because it was about one of my favorite comfort foods...macaroni and cheese and a macaroni and cheese cook-off as a fund raiser hosted by Diner owner of the Silver Bullet.Trixie Matkowski. The roof of the library ends up collapsing after a brutal snow storm in the town of Sandy Harbor. The prim and proper, celebrity TV chef, Priscilla Finch-Smythe is a former Sandy Harbor resident a part of her past she does not want her adoring public to know is to be a final judge for the cook-off and the grand prize for the winner is an appearance on her TV cooking show to cook the winning mac and cheese recipe.

Trixie is among one of the contestants hoping to win so she can gain some exposure for her diner, the Silver Bullet. Trixie does not end up winning the contest and it does not end there when the high maintenance diva TV chef is found near frozen in the snow, strangled by her own scarf. Soon Trixie finds herself a suspect after she is heard saying she would do anything to be on TV but Trixie is not the only one, it seems that the famous TV chef, Priscilla if that in fact is her real name has many people who have hidden motives for wanting her dead.

 She has a sorted past with secrets being revealed with these suspects  like two of the  contestants in the cook-off, her hanger on stepson and her assistant and two church ladies that claim that the chef stole their recipes from their church cookbook. Trixie wants to clear her name for the sake of the Silver Bullet but in order to do that she needs to keep the hunky Police Deputy Chief,Ty at bay before Trixie finds herself deep fried.

 You will truly feel welcome at the Silver Bullet, where Trixie will serve you up some of her  competition mac and cheese and any other comfort food your heart desires Trixie and her friend flip flop and muumuu wearing in the middle of winter,  ACB  are a hilarious crime fighting duo. With a very comforting diner and great comfort food to boot and an atmosphere with a hometown feel and it wouldn't be complete with out a murder of a famous TV chef. This is the forth helping but you, like me will find that you will antisipate the fifth helping in this delicious mystery called, It's a wonderful knife.  Macaroni and Freeze is a perfect cozy mystery for a foodie with a passion for cozy murder mysteries.

FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher for providing me a copy of this book for review.This did not influence my thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and review are my own and my reviews are honest.

Author Christine Wenger Online: http://www.christinewenger.com/
Like Author Christine Wenger on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christinewengerauthor?
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Monday, July 6, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway Fatal Reservations by Lucy Burdette

Title: Fatal Reservations
Author: Lucy Burdette
Series: Book 6 Key West Food Critic Mystery
Publisher: Obsidian Mystery
Source: Received For Review From Publisher
Format: Paperback
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Rating: Five Stars
Reviewed by: Tina


It's time for me to head back on my annual trip to my favorite foodie paradise, a place called Key West for a visit with my favorite Key West Food Critic, Hayley Snow, Lorenzo, the tarot card reader, a gentle soul in Hayley's opinion. Of coarse the local police are not far behind.  There's tension in the air over a opening of a new floating restaurant, with a charming name, For Goodness Sake serving Japanese fare. A restaurant on the water. It has another restaurant owner of Bistro on the Bight on the island, up in arms in fear of a little competition.

At the city commission meeting where they debated the new floating restaurant debacle a different kind of problem was discussed and witnessed by Hayley and the whole of Key West and this problem had residents, the preformers of the Sunset Celebration are fighting to keep their  preformance space and the struggle becomes so bad that a murder of the fork juggling preformer and another Key West resident sends the people of Key West in a tail spin. When Hayley's friend the tarot card reader is arrested for the murder is nothing but misery in the cards for Lorenzo but Haley must have the power of the cards on her side when seeking justice for one of her dear friends that has been her spirit guide through life.

Hayley is one of my all time favorite characters, her passion for food, eating and reviewing it for Key Zest Magazine. You can't help but love Hayley's passion and determination. There's trouble in paradise for Hayley and the magazine owner, Wally when their relationship starts to deteriorate before Hayley's eyes. It may be time for Hayley and Wally to put their romance on the preferable back burner. But all is not lost for her when something happens that I found myself rooting for from the very beginning. Complete with delectable food descriptions, my favorite moments are always when Hayley is cooking or in a restaurant eating and reviewing.

Author Lucy Burdette's love for food and mystery shows through her writing. With a dash of murder  Hayley's life wouldn't be complete with out a little mayhem mixed in. Imagine yourself sitting down in one of your favorite restaurants and your mouth is watering as you scan the menu to find your very favorite meal, you order it and time seems to drag by while waiting for it but when it's set down in front of you, Fatal Reservations is a feast for your senses just like your very favorite meal at a restaurant . I cannot continue to come up with enough adjectives that describe how much I loved this book and this series and I can't wait for my next to trip to Key West to be with Hayley once again.

FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher for providing me a copy of this book for review.This did not influence my thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and review are my own and my reviews are honest.

Author Lucy Burdette Online: http://lucyburdette.com/
Like Author Lucy Burdette On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LucyBurdette?fref=ts


PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:

 Comment with your email below to win a copy of Fatal Reservations by Lucy Burdette in the comments.

 If you don't want to leave your email here or not able to enter on this blog, please send a email to acozygirlreads@gmail.com with "Fatal Reservations Giveaway" in the Subject line.

 The Giveaway is open to US Residents only



 The giveaway closes at 9:00am EST July 7th . Entries will not be counted after 9:00 am EST July 7th. The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook Page and notified by email (don't forget to check your (SPAM FOLDER)

 NOTE: If you do not leave your email here on the blog or email acozygirlreads@gmail.com with your entry you will be disqualified from winning

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Guest Post/Giveaway: Wound up in Murder by Betty Hechtman

Title: Wound up in Murder
Author: Betty Hechtman
Series: Book 3 A Yarn Retreat Mystery



Please welcome author Betty Hechtman to the A Cozy Girl Reads blog.   Her third book and the newest  in A Yarn retreat mysteries is Wound up in Murder. Be sure to enter our giveaway at the bottom of the page.

           Casey And the History Lesson
           by: Betty Hechtman

 Casey Feldstein has a reputation of not sticking with people, places or jobs, but in WOUND UP IN MURDER, she is still in Cadbury by the Sea, located on the tip of California’s Monterey Peninsula and is getting ready to put on her third Yarn Retreat. I think she is as surprised as everybody else that she’s still in town.

 This time she is sure she is prepared for the yarn craft in her retreat. More of a problem is the other retreat going on at the same time as her retreat at Vista Del Mar, the hotel and conference center across from her house. The retreat is called My Favorite Year 1963 and basically it is as if that group is going back in time. For the weekend, they dress in clothes from that year, eat food from that year, hear music from that year, watch movies from that year and enjoy other activities connected to 1963.

 Who could blame them for picking Vista Del Mar. The buildings are mostly over 100 years old, and the guest rooms are spartan and have no phones or TVs. The whole place has gone unplugged so there is no cell reception or WiFi. The TV has been removed from the social hall which is a gathering spot and serves as a lobby. The only way to make a call is to use one of the landline phones in a vintage phone booth. There is nothing to bust the illusion that they are in 1963.

 Casey has a deal with the management that the 1963 people can join any knitting group held in a communal area. By the same token Casey’s people are welcome to join into some of the larger activities put on by the 1963 people. I had a lot of fun looking through what went on in 1963 and what was popular. I used some of the real stuff and made up some things which I hope seem of that time. I really liked looking at the fashions. Every woman wanted to look like Jackie Kennedy with her designer suits and pill box hats. Women still wore white gloves. Looking at the old fashions I was struck by how good a lot of them still look due to their classic lines.

 It was an interesting year for food. Julia Child started her TV show “The French Chef,” Coca Cola came out wit Tab and Fruit Loops cereal was introduced. Cream cheese was a big ingredient in food, so when Casey is asked to bake something for the 1963 people, she bakes cream cheese brownies.

 There is nothing dated how delicious they are and the recipe is included in the book. 1963 was before the British Invasion and the popular songs were more pop than rock. An example of songs from the top 100 for the year were “Our Day Will Come” by Ruby and the Romantics, “Telstar” by the Tornadoes and “Walk Like a Man” by the Four Seasons. Movies ran the gamut from Hitchcock’s “The Birds” to Perky Doris Day’s “Move Over Darling.” Sean Connery was James Bond in “From Russia With Love.” Gary Grant and Audrey Hepburn lit up the screen in “Charade.” TV was black and white. Teens danced afternoons on “American Bandstand.” There were no exercise videos, but Jack LaLanne had a daily exercise show.

 You had to watch a show when it was on since there were no VCRs or On Demand. If there hadn’t been a murder, it might have been a very relaxing weekend. Bio Betty Hechtman became entranced with mysteries through Nancy Drew's amateur detecting and when she began to read Agatha Christie's books, she was hooked. She wrote her first mystery story in high school. While studying fine art at Roosevelt University in Chicago, she wrote a weekly column along with news stories for the school newspaper.

 After college she wrote scripts, magazine and newspaper pieces, along with short stories. Her first book was a young adult mystery titled Stolen Treasure. The idea for the crochet mystery series grew out of her desire to mix her love of making things with mystery. The paperback edition of the 9th book in the series, KNOT GUILTY, comes out in November. She is busy writing the 10th book right now. She is thrilled to be mixing yarn and murder again in the national bestselling Yarn Retreat Series with WOUND UP IN MURDER. All the books in both series include patterns and recipes.

  Website: http://bettyhechtman.com/
  Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/BettyHechtmanauthor?fref=ts
  Twitter: https://twitter.com/bettyhechtman





PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:

 Comment with your email below to win one copy of Wound up in Murder by Betty Hechtman in the comments.

 If you don't want to leave your email here or not able to enter on this blog, please send a email to acozygirlreads@gmail.com with "Wound up in Murder Giveaway" in the Subject line.

 The Giveaway is open US residents only

 The giveaway closes at 12:00am EST July 6 . Entries will not be counted after 12:00 am EST July 6. The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook Page and notified by email (don't forget to check your (SPAM FOLDER)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Book Review/ Book & Audiobook Giveaway: The Cake Therapist By Judith Fertig

Title: The Cake Therapist
Author: Judith Fertig
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Received for Review from Author
Format: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
Rating: Five Stars
Reviewed by: Tina


The cover of the Cake Therapist drew me in like a cupcake to a child with a sweet tooth or better yet a adult like my best friend with a sweet tooth. I read the synposis and being a fan of a book with any mention of food I really knew this book was for me. But I had no idea how unforgetable these characters were in this book that I would soon read would be and how powerful this book still is in my mind and will remain forever in my heart.

Coming home from New York to Millcreek Valley,Ohio, Claire "Neely " O'Neil is trying to escape the clutches of a failing marriage to a football star.  She is a talented pastry chef who is opening her new bakery "Rainbow Cake". Neely has a unique talent and for lack of a better way to explain it sensing who someone really is through flavor. I couldn't finish this review without mentioning this quote from the book that I think explains who Neely is and how she sees life it is one of my favorite quotes and something I believe to be true also " Flavor was the way people like me made sense of the world. We knew that there was a flavor that explained you-even to yourself A flavor whose truth you recognized when you tasted it. A flavor that answered the question you didn't know you had." 

Neely's dreams are beginning to come true as her bakery is starting to become a success but Neely is fighting her inner demons and trying to make sense of a failing marriage and a absentee father and finding a new way in life with her bakery and a possible new romance. Through taste she discovers hidden secrets and desires of others and she wants desperately wants to unlock a mystery from the past of a unlikely person in her life. Through this she could discover something that can help heal herself and she can discover like her tasty creations just how sweet life can be.


I will be honest I was frustrated while reading the first half of this book trying to understand how all these stories and people connected to each other but in the end it all made sense and the connections seemed like they were right there waiting for me to see all along but personally more frustrating to me. But I also discovered that it was the power of the author, Judith Fertig's writing. With amazing and tantalizing food descriptions that also had me craving Neely's famous "breakfast cupcakes".

I saw Neely not as not only a cake therapist but a cake whisperer or cake psychic someone who can truly connect with some one through food. That and in this book and in real life is how I feel food really feel food is, it is the bond that connects us and keeps us going and to me that's how it was reflected in this book and in real life and the Cake Therapist has become one of my favorites. Tears for sure will fall from your eyes after finishing this book and like me it will sure to become one of your favorites.

 FTC Disclosure: Thank you to the publisher for providing me a copy of this book for review.This did not influence my thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and review are my own and my reviews are honest.

 Author Judith Fertig Online: http://www.judithfertig.com/
Like Judith Fertig on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JudithFertigAuthor?fref=ts
Follow Judith Fertig on Twitter: https://twitter.com/judithfertig


PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:

 Comment with your email below to win one print copy and one audiobook copy of The Cake Therapist by Judith Fertig in the comments.There will be one audiobook winner and one print book winner.

 Please comment along with your email if you would like to win a print or audio book copy of the book in the comments If you don't want to leave your email here or not able to enter on this blog, please send a email to acozygirlreads@gmail.com with "The Cake Therapist Giveaway" in the Subject line and include if you would like to win a print or audiobook copy in the body of the email.

 The Giveaway is open US and Canada residents



 The giveaway closes at 12:00am EST July 5 . Entries will not be counted after 12:00 am EST July 5. The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook Page and notified by email (don't forget to check your (SPAM FOLDER)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

HAPPY CANADA DAY FROM A COZY GIRL READS

Because we at A Cozy Girl Reads are proud  to  be  Canadian. Happy Canada Day to all our Canadian Followers. Hope you spend your Canada Day reading a good book.


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