BLOG TOUR – That Olde White Magick – REVIEW

THAT OLDE WHITE MAGICK large banner640

4 out of 5 stars.

Greetings! Today I’m hosting a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for That Olde White Magick by Sharon Pape. This is the 2nd book in the Abracadabra Mystery series. It was a fun read and I did like it more than the first book in the series.

ThatOldeWhiteMagick

GoodReads Button

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

book_21907_sm

Synopsis

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.

Kailyn was prepared for a heated debate about the hotel, but she wasn’t expecting murder. When Tilly finds the body of a board member outside the schoolhouse, Kailyn doesn’t want any suspicion cast on the wrong person. She plans to crack this case, even if she has to talk to every living soul in town—plus a few departed ones . .

PurpleArtisticDivider

Review

As I stated above, I definitely enjoyed this book more than the first one. Ms. Pape has definitely started to find her own style of writing and I didn’t have the problem of the first book where it seemed totally disjointed for the first half of the book. This book flowed much more smoothly.

I still love our main characters, Kailyn, Tilly, and Merlin. They’re fun, developed characters and we keep learning more about them as we delve deeper into their lives. In this book, the reason why Kailyn seemed so interested in this case is a bit more logical in my thinking than it was in the first book, which is good. I’m not generally keen on heroines who butt in just for curiosity’s sake. I prefer they have a good reason.

The setting descriptions were slightly better in this book. I found myself more able to imagine Kailyn’s shop and house much better than I could in the first book of the series.

The plot line moved along at a decent pace. I was semi-surprised by the villain. He didn’t enter my mind until just before he was revealed. I did kind of wonder earlier in the book why he was playing such a big role, but it’s a small town and I just figured that yes, while he was semi-central to the case, he wasn’t that important. Boy was I wrong! It was only towards the end that I started to put it together.

I definitely would recommend this book. You don’t even have to read the first book in the series first (though I do recommend it because there is some background information in book one that will make some things easier to understand).

book_21907_sm

About the Author

sharon

Sharon describes her writing career as having two stages. Back in the dark ages, before computers were in every household, she had three paranormal books published. The first one was condensed by Redbook Magazine, the first paperback original they ever condensed. Then life brought her an unexpected challenge, by the name of breast cancer. After treatment she and her oncologist started a not-for-profit to provide information and peer support to breast cancer patients. With the organization up and running, she returned to her first love – writing. This time around she’s been writing cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist. That Olde White Magick is the second book in her Abracadabra Mysteries.

Author Links

Webpage – http://sharonpape.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sharon.pape.94

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sbpape

PurpleArtisticDivider

Thanks for joining me today for this latest blog tour! I hope you enjoyed the post. If you wish to visit other tour participants, please click on the banner below. It will take you to the main tour page where there is a list of all tour participants.

THAT OLDE WHITE MAGICK large banner184

 

BLOG TOUR – Seashells, Spells, & Caramels – REVIEW

SEASHELLS-SPELLS-CARAMELS-large-banner640

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Welcome! Today, I’m featuring a stop on the Great Escape Virtual Book Tour for Seashells, Spells, & Caramels, the first book in the Spells & Caramels series by Erin Johnson! It was an absolutely delightful read! I really enjoyed it!

seashells-Spells-Caramels

GoodReads Button

Purchase Links: Amazon

Rafflecopter Giveaway

magicwand

Synopsis

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.

Unable to so much as cast a spell, Imogen struggles to keep up with the other witches and wizards who have come from all over the magical world to the Water Kingdom’s big competition. She juggles relationships with a sweet new friend, a snarky baking fire, and a brooding, handsome baker. As Imogen falls for this bewitching world, she fears she won’t master her magic in time to win the job of Royal Head Baker, and will be forced to return to the shambles of her non magical life.

It only gets worse, when a competitor drops dead in the middle of the big white baking tent, and Imogen’s the prime suspect. Now, she’ll not only have to survive the vampire and psychic judges, but also clear her name by finding the real murderer, before they strike again.

With a killer on the loose, a missing prince, and the Summer Solstice Festival fast approaching, Imogen will have to bake like her life depends on it – because it just might.

Review

This was an absolutely delightful read! It didn’t quite have that magical touch that made it a 5-star read, but it’s a solid 4.5 in my opinion!

Imogen is a wonderful character, full of spunk and makes the best of whatever situation she’s in. She’s well-developed, complex, and full of life. I’m looking forward to getting to know some of the other characters further as we get further into the series, especially Maple, Sam, Iggy, and Hank.

The setting was great. I thought the descriptions of Bijou Mer were delightful and magical (which is only fitting). I could imagine everything pretty well but yet could still use my imagination to fill in details.

The mystery was pretty good. I did have an inkling of the culprits, but I wasn’t sure until closer to the end. It ended up that I was right, but it didn’t spoil the rest of the story for me.

All in all, this magical mystery is a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to the sequel coming out later in November!

wand

About the Author

ErinJohnson

A native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh.
In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more).

Website: www.erinjohnsonwrites.com.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/EJohnsonWrites.
Twitter:@EJohnsonWrites

 

line of baking tools - wooden spoons, measuring cups, and measuring spoons
© Cute Colors Graphics

Thanks for joining me today for this stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Seashells, Spells, & Caramels. If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, please click on the banner below. It will take you to the main tour page where you will find a list of participants!

SEASHELLS-SPELLS-CARAMELS-large-banner184

 

 

 

The Witch and the Dead – REVIEW

5 out of 5 stars.

I realized the other day when I started re-reading The Witch and the Dead, I never wrote a review for it when I read it in the fall. So I’m remedying that now!

Book Cover: The Witch and the Dead by Heather Blake - purple background on top and bottom of the cover where the text is - middle section shows an illustration of a young white lady with dark hair sitting on a tree stump under a willow tree with a black cat at her feet.

Add to Goodreads button

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Synopsis

When Darcy moved to Salem, Massachusetts, she never expected her life to change as drastically as it did. But within a short time, the Enchanted Village has become her home, its mystical residents have become her family, and As You Wish, the personal concierge business formerly run by her Aunt Ve, has become her calling. Still, the time has come for change—and for Darcy to move out of Aunt Ve’s house.

Darcy’s belongings are stashed in Aunt Ve’s garage, alongside a mess of memories, forgotten possessions, and, to both Ve and Darcy’s horror, a pile of old bones. It turns out they belong to Ve’s long missing second husband. Now Darcy must unpack old secrets to solve a cold case—and make sure her aunt isn’t looking at a spell behind bars.

Review

This is a wonderful, delightful read!

We learn so much about the villagers and their pasts in this book! It’s amazing how many connections there are between the villagers. I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised. If your Craft has been hunted for thousands of years and misunderstood as evil, it’s probably a small gene pool that exists, but nonetheless, I was surprised. 🙂 I won’t spoil it for you tho’. You’ll have to find out all the connections yourself!

The plot line in this book moves along at a steady to quick pace. The prose flows well and there wasn’t a single time where I felt pulled out of the book by the wording or description of something. That’s not easy to do and Ms. Blake does it wonderfully in the majority of her books. I wondered about the villain, but I wasn’t sure until the end when he was revealed.

I really enjoy this series. I’ve enjoyed watching the characters grow over the course of the seven (7) current books. It appears that the series will continue under a different publisher so #8 should be out in Spring 2018! 🙂

If you’re going to read the series, I highly suggest you start with the first title in the series, It Takes a Witch. This is one of those series that you really should read in order to get the full experience of it. And I highly recommend reading it!

 

 

Blog Tour – Magick & Mayhem – REVIEW

Large Banner: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents Magick & Mayhem by Sharon Pape, May 1-May 14, 2017 - includes a picture of the author and the cover of the book.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Today, I’m happy to bring you a spot in the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Magick & Mayhem, the first book in the Abracadabra Mystery series by Sharon Pape. It’s a decent start to a new series.

Book Cover: Magick & Mayhem: An Abracadabra Mystery by Sharon Pape - dark aqua background - large black cat with green eyes outlined with a city inside the body with yellow letters for the title.

Add to Goodreads button

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Synopsis

Twenty-something Kailyn Wilde has learned to embrace her unpredictable life as a descendant of small-town New Camel’s most magickal family. She just didn’t expect to inherit her mother and grandmother’s centuries-old shop, Abracadabra, so suddenly. The surprises keep coming when Kailyn goes to finalize the estate at the local attorney’s office—and stumbles over the body of her best friend Elise’s husband . . .

As a brash detective casts the blame on Elise, Kailyn summons her deepest powers to find answers and start an investigation of her own. What with running a business, perfecting ancient spells, and keeping up with an uninvited guest of fabled origins, Kailyn has her hands full. But with the help of her uncanny black cat Sashkatu and her muumuu-clad Aunt Tilly, she’s closing in on a killer—who will do anything to make sure she never tests her supernatural skills again!

Review

While this is definitely a decent start to this new series, Magick & Mayhem, almost didn’t make the cut for me. I found it to be very disjointed and confusing at the beginning. However, I enjoyed the second half of the book much more than the first half, which redeemed it a bit.

The characters are definitely interesting. Kailyn’s certainly fun and inquisitive. Aunt Tilly & Merlin add some extra spice to the group. They’re fairly well-rounded characters, though it didn’t really seem like it at first. At first, they simply seemed all over the place and not developed at all. I’m not a fan of the heroine who decides that she must poke her nose in when she really doesn’t have that much of a reason. I can see where Kailyn thinks she has a reason, but honestly, until her friend is actually arrested, it seems pretty flimsy at best.

The descriptions of the settings were okay, but not great. I had a hard time imagining many of the settings, including Kailyn’s shop and house. It would’ve helped to have a little more detail there.

The story line… thankfully it got better as the book went on. The first half of the book, I was very confused by the secondary plot and found that getting in the way of the main plot line. The longer the book went on, however, the better the two plot lines merged and successfully played off of each other. I also did not know who the villain was until it was revealed. I was off on the wrong track completely.

Normally, when I’m reading a new book, I give the book 50-100 pages to reel me in (depending on the length of the book). However, when I’m reading a book for review, I don’t do that for the most part (there has been one exception to that). In this instance, I’m glad I didn’t stop reading because it did get better the longer it went on and by the end of the book I actually found myself enjoying it!

I do recommend this book, mostly because it gives a decent introduction to the characters that we’re sure to see in the future. I do plan to give the series another try when the second book comes out in November. I’m hoping that the writing style of that book will be more like the second half of this one when everything was starting to finally gel together.

*** Thank you to the author and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own. ***

About the Author

Author Sharon Pape - Older caucasian woman with auburn hair, wide eyes with no glasses, and a smile wearing a dark grey or black jacket.

I started writing stories as soon as I learned how to put letters together to form words. From that day forward, writing has been a part of my life whether it was my first attempt at a novel in seventh grade or the little plays I wrote for my friends to perform for neighbors and family. After college, when I was busy teaching French and Spanish to high school students, I was also writing poetry — some of it in French.

After several years, I left teaching to be a full-time mom, and when my two children started school, I went back to writing. To my delight I found that the muse was still there, still waiting patiently for me to come around. My first novel, Ghostfire, was published at that time. It went on to be condensed in Redbook magazine (the first paperback original the magazine had ever condensed.) Then came The God Children and The Portal. Redbook also published my first short story, which was subsequently sold to several foreign magazines. With two great kids, a golden retriever and a loving, supportive husband (whom I’d met at the beach when I was fourteen — but that’s a story for another day), I felt like I was exactly where I was meant to be in my life. But fate had another plan for me, and it went by the name of “breast cancer.”

Looking back, I realize how fortunate I was that the cancer was discovered at such an early stage, but at the time it was all very overwhelming. Once I was back on my feet, I wanted to help other women who were newly diagnosed, worried and afraid. I became a Reach to Recovery volunteer for the American Cancer Society and went on to run the program for Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. A number of years later, with the help of my surgical oncologist and two other volunteers, I started Lean On Me, a nonprofit organization that provides peer support and information to breast cancer patients. When Lean On Me celebrated its tenth anniversary it no longer required as much of my time, and I once again found myself free to pursue my first love — writing.

Author Links

Webpage – Facebook –  Pinterest – Twitter

book_21907_sm

Thanks for joining me today on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Magick & Mayhem! Click on the banner below to go to the main tour page where you can find information about all the stops on the tour!

Medium Banner: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents: Magick & Mayhem by Sharon Pape - May 1-May 14, 2017 - includes the cover of the book

Crime & Poetry – REVIEW

4 out of 5 stars.

Crime and Poetry is the first book in the Magical Bookshop mystery series by Amanda Flower. It’s a pretty good start to the series.

Crime and Poetry: A Magical Bookshop Mystery by Amanda Flower book cover - winding staircase around a tree trunk with cat sitting on the stairs, a front counter with an old-fashioned cash register and books.

Add to Goodreads button

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NBAMKobo

Brief Synopsis

Rushing home to sit by her ailing grandmother’s bedside, Violet Waverly is shocked to find Grandma Daisy the picture of perfect health. Violet doesn’t need to read between the lines: her grandma wants Violet back home and working in her magical store, Charming Books. It’s where the perfect book tends to fly off the shelf and pick you…

Violet has every intention to hightail it back to Chicago, but then a dead man is discovered clutching a volume of Emily Dickinson’s poems from Grandma Daisy’s shop. The victim is Benedict Raisin, who recently put Grandma Daisy in his will, making her a prime suspect. Now, with the help of a tuxedo cat named Emerson, Violet will have to find a killer to keep Grandma from getting booked for good…

line of books - some stacked, some standing, some leaning - books are blue, brown, red, green, and yellow
© Graphic Garden

Review

This was a very good book and I enjoyed it after I finally got into it.

I had a little trouble getting into it at first because of the supposed location. I’m very familiar with the section of Western New York that this book is set in and it took me a while to figure out what part of the Niagara River they were based on. At first I was confused because so much of that area has the river in a gorge and the communities are several stories above, but there is an area that is similar to what was described and once I figured out that area was where the fictional town is, it was easier for me to get into the actual story. The setting descriptions were great. They were a nice balance of description versus imagination.

I enjoyed the characters in this book. While Violet has a tendency to go looking for trouble (which can be a pet peeve for me), she’s not one of the “too stupid to live” heroines that you sometimes see in cozies. Grandma Daisy is awesome and I absolutely adore her. The characters are rich and strong, complex and easy to identify with. I look forward to seeing how the various characters grow and their relationships change throughout the series.

The story line moved along at a decent pace. There was only one time that I thought it was moving a bit slowly, but that feeling didn’t last long.

All in all, I’d say that this is an excellent start to a new series and I look forward to reading more from this author!