Monday, September 26, 2016

Book Review: After by Anna Todd

Title: After
Series: After
Author: Anna Todd
Publish Date: October 1, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Goodreads

About the Book:
Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn't the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?

Unless…could this be love?

Now newly revised and expanded, Anna Todd’s After fanfiction racked up 1 billion reads online and captivated readers across the globe. Experience the Internet’s most talked-about book for yourself!

There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER ... Life will never be the same.

My Review:
I went to the bookstore with my daughter one evening. She wanted to get her a new reading book. I was browsing the shelves and this book totally caught my eye. I had never heard for it and I had never heard of Wattpad before this. I had already picked up After You by JoJo Moyes, but quickly put it back to get this one instead. I am very glad I did. This was an amazing book!!

Just a warning that there are some sexually explicit scenes, but the story is amazing. I was amazed at the Goodreads ratings. Not sure why they were all over the place. Some would give a two or three star and then say they were sucked in and going to read the next book. People amaze me!! However, if you are looking for a college age romance book, or just a book that will hook you quickly, this book is for you.

I thought the author’s writing was very good. I quickly liked all the characters. Landon being one of my favorites, as well as Molly. There is always that girl. I didn’t find Tessa annoying, there are a lot of young individuals who go to college and find their real self or find a different self because they are now independent. What a time to be growing up and then have the influences that she did. Wow!! I just got to give the author props for such a great story. I didn’t see the twist at the end being what it was, I was waiting for it to end a different way.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Charming Spell by Tonya Kappes

Title: A Charming Spell
Series: Magical Cures Mystery #4
Author: Tonya Kappes
Publish Date: June 28, 2013
Publisher: MagiCal Press
Source: Kindle Unlimited

About the Book:
Bubble... Bubble...

There is a new store Whispering Falls, Kentucky. Ophelia Biblio, the owner of Ever After Book Shop, has a power that no one else in Whispering Falls has. She’s a witch and her shop is magical.

Cures and trouble...

June Heal is on a mission to come up with a special cure for Sheriff Oscar Park to help him regain his memory, while working hard at being the best newly elected Village President of the magical village.

Magic stirs...

Alexelrod Primrose shows up on June’s doorstep begging her to block the opening of Ever After Books, making her wonder if opening the village doors to witches is a good idea.

And troubles double...

When one of the Spiritualist turns up dead and Oscar Park is falling in love with someone else, June has her hands full trying to solve a murder and fix her love life.

My Review:
This series is quite fun. I’ve never been much for a reader of fantasy or science fiction, but the twist of fantasy in this cozy mystery makes for a perfect read. June is still trying to figure everything out with the new town. Oscar who is her best friend, and was boyfriend, has been removed as a spiritualist from the town and doesn’t understand why she wants to be there any more. She really has to rely on those new individuals in town.

I enjoyed how June was so concerned with the weird things happening in town. It made me a little more concerned and I kept reading to try and find out why it was all happening. This made for a quick read and fun read. I’m excited to see what will happen with June and Oscar in the future.

I also liked the book store and book club idea. Definitely hitting close to the likes of a reader. Most definitely a great addition to the new town. I highly recommend this cozy mystery series.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Book Blast - Dandelion Dead by Chrystle Fiedler

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Dandelion Dead by Chrystle Fiedler

Dandelion Dead: A Natural Remedies Mystery
Cozy Mystery Pocket Books (September 27, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1476748931
E-Book ASIN: 00WRBQP22


In a cozy mystery filled with natural cures and edible plants that you will love, an organic winery becomes the backdrop for murder! Fortunately, solving crimes comes naturally to charmingly unconventional amateur sleuth and holistic doctor, Willow McQuade, as she looks for clues that will reveal a killer’s true vintage.
Business is blooming at Nature’s Way Market & Café, and shop owner, holistic doctor, and amateur sleuth, Willow McQuade has never been happier. Her new medicinal herb garden is a hit, so is her new book, she’s in love with ex-cop and animal rescuer Jackson Spade, and enjoying teaching seminars about edible plants and natural remedies.
But everything changes when Willow’s old boyfriend and TV producer, Simon Lewis, winemaker David Farmer, and his wife Ivy, ask her to cater a party at Pure, their new organic vineyard, to kick off North Fork’s Uncorked! week and the competition for Wine Lovers magazine’s $200,000 prize. Pure’s entry, Falling Leaves, is the favorite to win, and the wine flows freely until after Simon’s toast when smiles give way to looks of horror. Ivy’s twin sister, Amy has been murdered! Turns out, the poison that killed her was actually meant for David. But who wants him dead? A rival vintner? Or someone closer to home? This time the truth may be a bitter vintage to swallow.


About the Author

CHRYSTLE FIEDLER is a freelance journalist specializing in natural remedies, alternative medicine and holistic health and healing, and is the author of the Natural Remedies Mysteries series. Her many consumer magazine articles have appeared in USA Today’s Green Living, Natural Health, Remedy, Mother Earth Living, Spirituality & Health, and Prevention. She is also the author/co-author of seven non-fiction health titles including the Country Almanac of Home Remedies with herbalist Brigitte Mars, and The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beauty with Vegan Beauty Review founder, Sunny Subramanian. Chrystle lives on the East End of Long Island, NY in a cozy cottage by the sea. Visit
Author Links Website link: Facebook: Twitter: @ChrystleFiedler GoodReads: Pinterest:   Purchase Links: AmazonB&N - IndieBound

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Freebie Friday: Murder, Money & Marzipan by Leighann Dobbs

Title: Murder, Money and Marzipan
Series: Lexy Baker Cozy Mystery #3
Author: Leighann Dobbs
Publish Date: March 20, 2013
Publisher: Createspace
Source: free for Kindle

About the Book:
When Lexy Baker makes it to the finale of America’s most prestigious bakery contest, Bakery Battles, she thinks her biggest dream has finally come true…

Until she stumbles across the frozen body of judge Amanda Scott-Saunders.

What starts out as a bad day for Lexy gets even worse when the police discover the judge was strangled with Lexy’s apron. Now Lexy’s sitting at the top of the suspect list with a motive, means and opportunity… but no solid alibi.

Lexy soon finds herself in a race against time to find the real killer before she ends up disqualified from the contest, or worse, in jail. But that’s no easy task. There’s a bakery competition full of suspects who all hated the victim and have a $100,000 motive for murder. And then there’s the gorgeous, smart police detective who has mysterious ties to Lexy’s boyfriend and thinks Lexy is the killer.

Luckily Lexy has a secret weapon — her iPad-toting grandmother. As long as Lexy can lure Nans away from the slot machines, she and her gang of senior citizen amateur detectives can help Lexy sift through the clues to uncover the startling truth about the real killer.

With a $100,000 grand prize at stake and the search for the killer heating up — will Lexy clear her name in time to grab the prize… or will her dream turn into a nightmare?

My Review:
I read this book on a plane ride home from vacation. It had been a while since I had read about Lexy, Jack, and Nans, but I was quickly back into this fun series. Lexy and Nans are in Vegas, as Lexy is participating in a baking contest. Stumbling upon a body while in the cooler, she is instantly a suspect. She soon finds herself meeting the homicide detective, Det. Nik Stone, Nikki, to be exactly, and later learns she is/was a friend of Jack’s. 

For those fans of Sixteen Candles, there’s a Det. Jake Ryan in town with all the looks that Det Stone hopes will help draw the information out of Lexy. Little do they know that Lexy is a practiced and successful amateur sleuth. 

This story was awesome. Thinking back to the first book of this series and not liking it a whole lot, I’m glad I continued on with the series. I also am not a fan of senior sleuths, but Nans and the gang are a lot of fun and pretty smart. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

By Cook or by Crook by Maya Corrigan

Title: By Cook or by Crook
Series: A Five Ingredient Mystery #1
Author: Maya Corrigan
Publish Date: November 4, 2014
Publisher: Kensington
Source: Library

About the Book:
Take one burned-out city girl. Add a crusty codger, a dash of romance, and a twist of humor. Stir in a generous helping of murder, and you’ve got the ingredients for one truly delicious mystery ...

Haunted by the car accident that ended her career as a cookbook publicist, Val Deniston has traded in the chaos of New York City for a quieter life near the Chesapeake Bay. Living with her curmudgeonly grandfather in the tourist town of Bayport is hardly glamorous, but she enjoys running the Cool Down Café at the local fitness club, and she finally has time to work on her long-planned cookbook. After a club patron is murdered, Val cooks up a scheme to find the killer who framed her best friend. While Val investigates five suspects and uncovers five key clues, Granddad takes up cooking, creating havoc in the kitchen even when trying recipes that have only five ingredients.

My Review:
Having read book three for a book tour, I was excited to go back and start at the first. This book definitely gave a little bit more to Val and her life prior to coming to Chesapeake Bay, but definitely had a great story about Gunner and how they met. Val’s grandpa is amazing. I don’t think there was much to get to know him in book three, so this was fun to understand their relationship a little bit better. He’s quite the ham.

The mystery was very entertaining and a little intense at the end!! Val is an excellent sleuth, especially working with her grandpa. She was very smart in her sifting through the clues and trying to figure out who did it. I didn’t guess the suspect, or really even have that suspect on my list.

With two of the three books read in this series, I will definitely be reading book two.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Death Among the Doilies by Mollie Cox Bryan

Title: Death Among the Doilies
Series: Cora Crafts Mystery #1
Author: Mollie Cox Bryan
Publish Date: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Kensington
Source: Netgalley

About the Book:
For thirty-something blogger Cora Chevalier, small-town Indigo Gap, North Carolina, seems like the perfect place to reinvent her life. Shedding a stressful past as a counselor for a women’s shelter, Cora is pouring all her talents—and most of her savings—into a craft retreat business, with help from close pal and resident potter Jane Starr. Between transforming her Victorian estate into a crafter’s paradise and babysitting Jane’s daughter, the new entrepreneur has no time for distractions. Especially rumors about the murder of a local school librarian . . .

But when Jane’s fingerprints match those found at the grisly crime scene, Cora not only worries about her friend, but her own reputation. With angry townsfolk eager for justice and both Jane’s innocence and the retreat at risk, she must rely on her creative chops to unlace the truth behind the beloved librarian’s disturbing demise. Because if the killer’s patterns aren’t pinned, Cora’s handiwork could end up in stitches . . .

My Review:
Be prepared to be quickly hooked on the story, the characters, and the small town. I like how the book is written. Very easy to read, with just enough descriptions, not so much to weigh you down. Being the first in a series, sometimes it tends to be so heavy with introductions to everything. The author has done an amazing job on explaining only what she needs to when it comes up in the story.

I also liked how the murder occurred before the story began. I’m not sure if I recall another cozy (that I’ve read) being written this way. Usually the sleuth is the one to find the body. I love the fictional history of Indigo Gap. Makes for a fun idea of the small town and its evolution through history. Very unique little town.

Romance is trying to find its way around every corner throughout the book. Lots of twists, turns, and I did find myself laughing a couple times. All in all this is an excellent read!

About The Author –

Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbooking mystery series.  She is also author of two cookbooks, the regional bestseller Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies and Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant Cookbook: A Lifetime of Recipes from the Shenandoah Valley . An award-winning journalist and poet, she currently blogs, cooks, and scrapbooks in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband and two daughters. Scrapbook of Secrets was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel.

Additional Tour Stops
September 5 – The Broke Book Bank – REVIEW
September 5 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW
September 6 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
September 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 7 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
September 7 – The Cozy Mystery Journal – REVIEW
September 8 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW
September 8 – deal sharing aunt – SPOTLIGHT
September 9 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW  
September 9 – A Date with a Book – REVIEW
September 10 – Girl Lost In a Book – REVIEW
September 11 – Ashleyz Wonderland – REVIEW
September 12 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
September 12 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 13 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
September 13 – Booth Talks Books – REVIEW
September 14 – Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
September 14 – The Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
September 15 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
September 16 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 17 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
September 17 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
September 18 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW