BLOG TOUR – Vangie Vale & the Strangled Strudel – REVIEW, GUEST POST

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Welcome to another day and another tour! I love doing these Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours! They expose me to great authors and new series. Today’s tour is for Vangie Vale and the Strangled Strudel, the third book in the The Matchbaker Mysteries by R.L. Syme. I had mixed feelings about this book, which I’ll share below the guest post that R. L. Syme generously provided me! Enjoy!

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R.L. Syme’s Guest Post

On Facebook, I have a wonderful group of Vangie’s friends who all congregate with me to talk about the books and our lives. We occasionally talk about Vangie, and as I was preparing for this book tour, I asked them if they had any topics for me to talk about in my guest posts. I borrowed some of their questions to write about. Here are some of the ones they posted.

* Why can’t Vangie and the sheriff get along…?

I wondered if this would be a popular question, among the fans of the books. Vangie and Malcolm have sort of a love/hate relationship in the first three books, but there are definitely a swath of fans who are rooting for them to get past their differences and start a romantic relationship.

And I don’t blame them one bit. Malcolm is a hottie.

But of course, so is Derek. Her current boyfriend.

But let me take a serious stab at answering this question. I want to be honest in that Malcolm’s issues are just as much at play here as Vangie’s. In fact, maybe even more so. I think Vangie is curious about her neighbor, the Sheriff, and she finds him interesting. She finally feels like they are friends. But Malcolm is not a church guy, and he specifically has issues with pastors. You’ll find out more about those issues later. For Vangie’s part, though, she’s dating Derek.

* Where did she get her quirky charm?

That is a great question. I feel like it’s a combination of using sarcasm to deal with the difficult things in her life, and her personality making her different. She has a quick mind, too, so she does find herself speaking quickly, because she’s thinking quickly. That’s probably what I would attribute it to.

* What was her relationship with her mother like?

This is a great question. She lost her mother when she was a teenager, so she did have several years with her. But she had a solid relationship with her mom. She and Priscilla were both close with their mother, and it was part of what made the girls so close as they got older. She’s not very close with Laura—the woman her father married a few years after her mother died—and she doesn’t consider Laura to really be her stepmother, since Laura didn’t really raise her. But she’s glad her dad is happy.

These were great questions. It was a lot of fun seeing what Vangie’s fans wanted to know about her.

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Thank you to R.L. Syme for providing me with the guest post for today! Here’s information about the book followed by my review!


Vangie Vale & the Strangled Strudel (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Montana
Hummingbird Books (January 4, 2018)
Print Length: 330 pages
E-Book ASIN: B077GK124B

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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You could call it the straw that broke the camel’s back but it was more like a Montana forest timber.

Just when Vangie Vale’s life was getting back to normal after a murder that rocked her little Rocky Mountain tourist town, she found herself in the middle of another murder… as the chief suspect.

Vangie stood shocked on the side of the curb as the sheriff stretched yellow crime scene tape around the front of her new bakery. Wouldn’t this make a lovely headline in next week’s paper: Local Baker Kills Parishioner With Pudding. Vangie’s road back to good graces as a part-time pastor was bumpy enough already. This would be a roadblock. Can’t have that.

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Review

4.0 out of 5 stars.

As I said above, I had mixed feelings about this book. I like Vangie as a character. I like Derek and I really love Malcolm. But Vangie’s tendency to be impulsive and not THINK when she goes to investigate drives me batty. I’ve read through all three books in this series hoping that over time she’d learn to at least stop to THINK before she rushes headfirst into danger, but so far she hasn’t.

The book is well-written and the plot line was great. I had no real ideas about who had done the crime until it was revealed at the end. Ms. Syme did a really great job with the villain. I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s not easy to write the type of villain that she had in this story and Ms. Syme did a fantastic job with it.

I haven’t decided if I’m going to continue with the series at this point. But I don’t want to dissuade my readers from it because it IS well-written and the characters are great. I just hate heroines who don’t think before rushing into danger. That’s my personal preference and has no bearing on my rating of the writing. If that type of heroine doesn’t bother you, then I recommend this series highly!

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Thanks for joining me today! If you wish to visit other sites on the tour, please click on the banner below to visit the main tour page!

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BLOG TOUR – Survival of the Fritters – REVIEW

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4 out of 5 stars.

Today, I’m hosting a spot on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Survival of the Fritters, the first in the new Deputy Donut series by Ginger Bolton. It was a pretty good book and I’ll definitely going to be reading more in the series!

Survival of the Fritters (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
by Ginger Bolton


Survival of the Fritters (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Kensington (January 30, 2018)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496711878
E-Book ASIN: B071HKMK38

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Synopsis

Emily Westhill runs the best donut shop in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, alongside her retired police chief father-in-law and her tabby Deputy Donut. But after murder claims a favorite customer, Emily can’t rely on a sidekick to solve the crime—or stay alive.

If Emily has learned anything from her past as a 911 operator, it’s to stay calm during stressful situations. But that’s a tall order when one of her regulars, Georgia Treetor, goes missing. Georgia never skips morning cappuccinos with her knitting circle. Her pals fear the worst—especially Lois, a close friend who recently moved to town. As evening creeps in, Emily and the ladies search for Georgia at home. And they find her—murdered among a scattering of stale donuts . . .

Disturbingly, Georgia’s demise coincides with the five-year anniversary of her son’s murder, a case Emily’s late detective husband failed to solve before his own sudden death. With Lois hiding secrets and an innocent man’s life at stake, Emily’s forced to revisit painful memories on her quest for answers. Though someone’s alibi is full of holes, only a sprinkling of clues have been left behind. And if Emily can’t trace them back to a killer in time, her donut shop will end up permanently closed for business . . .

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Review

*** Please forgive me but this is going to be shorter than usual. I have a pretty nasty migraine tonight and am writing this quickly before going back to bed. ***

I enjoyed this book. The characters are interesting. I enjoyed Emily, Brent, Lois, Tom and the rest.  They’re well-developed and well-written.

The plot line was good. There were enough red herrings to keep me guessing as to who the villain was. I didn’t put it together before it was revealed. It was very well done.

I’m definitely looking forward to more in the series!

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About the Author

Ginger-BoltonGinger Bolton writes the Deputy Donut mystery series–cops, crime, coffee, donuts and one curious cat. When Ginger isn’t writing or reading, she’s crocheting, knitting, sewing, walking her two rescue dogs and generally causing trouble. She’s also fond of donuts, coffee, and cafes were folks gather to enjoy those tasty treats and one another’s company.

 

Author Links

Webpage: http://gingerbolton.com/

Ginger has joined Killer Characters! http://www.killercharacters.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorGingerBolton/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ginger_bolton

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16834862.Ginger_Bolton

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Thanks for joining me today. If you wish to visit other spots on the tour, please click on the banner below to go to the main tour page!

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Ugh…

Dang it, I forgot about another post. Will be getting it up ASAP. Stay tuned…

BOOK REVIEW – Eaves of Destruction

4 out of 5 stars.

Eaves of Destruction is the fifth book in the Fixer-Upper Mystery series by Kate Carlisle. I enjoyed this book, but I think the fourth book, Deck the Hallways is still my favorite.

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Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Synopsis

At the annual Victorian Home and Garden Tour, Lighthouse Cove, California’s premier contractor, Shannon Hammer, realizes that the competition is about to turn deadly….

Shannon is in high demand among rival homeowners, who will do anything to win Best in Show. One-upmanship and even espionage break out among neighbors, construction crews, decorators, and landscapers. Thanks to several new hires, Shannon is sure she can handle the extra load–until murder throws a wrench in the works.

The small town’s corrupt building inspector is found dead on one of Shannon’s jobsites, and soon plenty of suspects are coming out of the woodwork. When another body is discovered, Shannon calls on her team of close friends and devilishly astute thriller writer Mac to help her nail down the details and build a case against the killer before the door shuts on someone else–for good.

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Review

Generally, when you think of a Home and Garden tour, murder is NOT the first thing that comes to mind, but we’ve got plenty of it in Lighthouse Cove this time around! It’ll take serious sleuthing by Shannon, Mac, and their friends to find the culprit this time around. Villains abound where you least expect them.

Well-written, interesting characters are what keep me reading a series and the characters in this series are great. I enjoy Shannon and Mac tremendously. Shannon’s crew are also great. I’m looking forward to getting to know the newest member more as well.

While I had wondered about the actual villain, I really didn’t focus on them until closer to the end. There were plenty of red herrings in this book to keep you guessing on who the villain really was. However, the book still moved along at a decent pace and wasn’t too slow, even with all those extra misleading clues.

I can’t wait for the next one in the series next year! I do recommend starting at the beginning of the series if you want to read the series. Each book can be read as a stand-alone but you’ll understand the interpersonal dynamics a little better if you read from the beginning, starting with A High-End Finish.

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All Birds Have Anxiety – REVIEW

4 out of 5 stars.

All Birds Have Anxiety is the third in a series of books that Kathy Hoopmann wrote about different types of mental illnesses and developmental disabilities. It was a good book about an important subject matter, but not my favorite in the series.

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Purchase Links: AmazonB&N

Synopsis

Life as a bird can be stressful! From worrying about airplanes, windows, and getting enough worms to eat, it is clear that birds can be anxious beings. Through a light-touch, quizzical depiction of bird behaviour, All Birds Have Anxiety uses colourful images and astute explanations to explore with gentle humour what it means to live with anxiety day-to-day, and how to begin to deal with it.

Following the style of the best-selling All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome and All Dogs Have ADHD, wonderful colour photographs express the complex and difficult ideas related to anxiety disorder in an easy-to-understand way. This simple yet profound book validates the deeper everyday experiences of anxiety, provides an empathic understanding of the many symptoms associated with anxiety, and offers compassionate suggestions for change.

The combination of understanding and gentle humour make this the ideal introduction to anxiety disorder for those diagnosed with this condition, their family and friends and those generally interested in understanding anxiety.

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Review

While the information in this book is great, there was just something about it that seemed “off”. I can’t even really put my finger on it, but I definitely didn’t like it as well as I liked the previous books, All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome and All Dogs have ADHD.

However, the information given was very well done. Simple language is used to help kids understand what anxiety is and what it might feel like in their bodies. The book discusses how to overcome anxiety as well in simple steps that are easy for any age to follow. Things like facing your fears so they don’t become even more overwhelming in your mind, controlling your breathing, etc.

The photos of the birds are beautiful and many of them seem to be experiencing anxiety when we look at them. I believe they can help children realize that they’re not the only ones feeling the way they do.  It can also help parents and other family and friends realize that this is a real issue and not something the child is doing to garner attention or get out of doing something.

All in all it’s a decent book and I do recommend it.