BLOG TOUR – Etched in Tears – REVIEW

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4.5 out of 5 stars.

Welcome! Today I’m hosting another blog tour stop via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Today’s post is about Cheryl Hollon’s newest book, Etched in Tears. I really enjoyed this book. I feel like the series is just getting better and better.

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Synopsis

Celebrated glass artist Dennis Lansing is returning to St. Petersburg, Florida, for an exhibit at the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum. His unique style of embedding document images in his art is at the vanguard of contemporary glasswork. But as Savannah’s first boyfriend and a former apprentice to her father, Dennis’s return home has her reflecting on the past–a trip down memory lane that takes a dark turn when Dennis is found murdered at the museum with an old reference letter from her father in his pocket. A search through her father’s records sheds new light on Dennis’s history, but it seems his present life wasn’t so transparent either. Now, with a gallery of suspects to consider, it’s up to Savannah to figure out who fits the mold of a murderer.

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Review

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love Savannah and Edward and all the other characters in these books. They’re well-rounded, developed, complex characters who are just a lot of fun.

The plot in this one was fascinating. I wondered about the villain but I never settled on him until just before Savannah figured it out. The information about the Dali museum was interesting and added to the story line quite nicely.

I’m also happy to see Savannah and Edward’s relationship moving forward. I’m having a hard time finding words to express how much I enjoyed this book without spoilers, so I’m just going to say – read it and enjoy it too!

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BLOG TOUR – A Fatal Collection – REVIEW

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4 out of 5 stars.

Welcome! Today I’m hosting a spot on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for A Fatal Collection by Mary Ellen Hughes. This was a fun book to read and a great start to a new series. I’ve read other books by Ms. Hughes so I was excited to see a new series coming out.

A FATAL COLLECTION

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Synopsis

Callie Reed makes a long overdue visit to her aunt Melodie, who lives in a fairy-tale cottage in quaint Keepsake Cove, home to a bevy of unique collectible shops on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Just as they’re beginning to reconnect, Callie discovers her aunt’s body on the floor of her music box shop. Grief-stricken, Callie finds she can’t accept Melodie’s death being called accidental. How could her strong and healthy aunt take such a fatal fall? And why was she there in the middle of the night?

As Callie searches for the truth, signs seem to come from her late aunt through a favorite music box, urging Callie on. Or are they warnings? If Callie isn’t careful, she could meet a similar deadly fate amid Melodie’s collection.

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Review

As I stated above, this was a fun read and a great start to a new series by Mary Ellen Hughes.

I’m totally in love with the characters from Keepsake Cove. They’re well-rounded, developed characters that seem to have a complexity that we barely scratched the surface of in this book. I’m not complaining about barely scratching the surface – it leaves more to learn in later books in the series! Callie and Tabitha are my favorites, though I’m also a fan of Delia and Brian. I’m sorry we didn’t get to learn more about Aunt Mel before she died, but I have a feeling we’ll learn a little more about her throughout the series.

Keepsake Cove sounds like a wonderful place to both live and visit. I personally am not wired to be a business-woman, so I don’t think I’d be a shop owner, but perhaps another town resident might be nice. Perhaps the town librarian and/or historian. That’d be right up my alley! The setting descriptions were plenty adequate for me to imagine Callie’s/Mel’s shop and cottage as well as other places in town.

The plot line moved along at a steady pace. There was no point where I felt it was moving too slowly or too fast. I did have an inkling of who the villain was before we got to the reveal, but Ms. Hughes definitely throws in enough red herrings to make you doubt yourself before you get to the reveal at the end!

If you’re at all into cozy mysteries, I think you’ll enjoy this one. I know I’m definitely looking forward to there being more books in the series!

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About the Author

MARY ELLEN HUGHESMary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries (Penguin), the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. A Fatal Collection is her debut with Midnight Ink. A Wisconsin native, she has lived most of her adult life in Maryland, where she’s set many of her stories. Visit her at www.MaryEllenHughes.com.

Author Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MaryEllenHughesauthor

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/mehughes13/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/mehughesauthor

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Thanks for joining me today on this latest blog tour and review of Mary Ellen Hughes’s new book, A Fatal Collection. If you wish to visit more stops on the tour, please click on the banner below. It will take you to the main tour page where there is a list of tour participants and also some great quotes from other reviewers on the tour!

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BLOG TOUR – That Olde White Magick – REVIEW

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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.

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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 . .

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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).

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About the Author

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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

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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.

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REVIEW – A Deadly Eclair

4 out of 5 stars.

Today’s blog post features a book that I’ve been reading to review but not a blog tour this time around! A Deadly Eclair is the first book in the French Bistro Mystery series by Daryl Wood Gerber and it’s a great start to the series.

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Synopsis

It’s always been Mimi Rousseau’s dream to open her own bistro, but it seems beyond her grasp since she’s been chased back home to Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley by her late husband’s tremendous debt. Until her best friend Jorianne James introduces her to entrepreneur Bryan Baker who invests in promising prospects. Now, working the bistro and inn until she’s able to pay it off and call it her own, Mimi is throwing the inn’s first wedding ever.

The wedding will be the talk of the town, as famous talk show host Angelica Edmonton, daughter of Bryan’s half-brother, Edison, has chosen the inn as her perfect venue. Anxious, Mimi is sure things are going to turn south, especially when Edison gets drunk and rowdy at the out-of-towners’ dinner, but by the evening, things begin to look up again. That is until six AM rolls around, and Bryan is found dead at the bistro with an eclair stuffed in his mouth. And the fingers point at Mimi, whose entire loan is forgiven in Bryan’s will.

Now it’s up to Mimi to clear her name and get to the bottom of things before the killer turns up the heat again in A Deadly Eclair, the scrumptious series debut by Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber.

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Review

As I said above, I think this is a great start to the series and I enjoyed it. I did have a little trouble getting into it, but once it caught my attention, I couldn’t put it down.

Our main character, Mimi, is great. She’s well-rounded, complex, and fun to read about. Her sidekicks, Heather, Jo, and Raymond are all great too. In fact, I almost like Heather and Raymond more than Mimi. Almost. 🙂

The setting descriptions were great, which I’ve come to expect from this author. She usually has a good balance of details and leaving some things to the imagination. I’m totally in love with the fact that the inn and gardens are based on Monet’s house in Giverny. Visiting Giverny is on my bucket list of “someday I’ll get there”. 🙂

The plot line was well done and well-written. I didn’t know who the villain was until very close to when they revealed it, which is always great in a mystery! I like mysteries that keep me guessing. 🙂

I really enjoyed this book. It didn’t quite have enough sparkle and pizzazz to put it over the top into a 5 star book, and it did take me a bit to get into it, but it’s a solid 4 out of 5 stars and I definitely recommend it for those who love cozies and/or other books by Daryl Wood Gerber! Enjoy it!

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About the Author

Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and CHEESE SHOP MYSTERIES, which she pens as Avery Aames. She will soon debut the new French Bistro Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: DAYS OF SECRETS and GIRL ON THE RUN. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Author Links

Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Daryl’s Blog – Avery’s Blog – Mystery Lover’s Kitchen – Killer Characters –

Facebook:   Daryl      Avery 

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads:    Daryl Wood Gerber     Avery Aames

BLOG TOUR – Broken Promises – REVIEW

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4 out of 5 stars!

Welcome! Today, I’m hosting a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Broken Promises, the first in the Past Imperfect Mystery series by Anne Willow. I found this to be an easy, fun read and a good start to a new series!

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Synopsis

Julia was in a search of a way out…a way back to herself. The passing of her favorite aunt sends her to the small artist town of Grand Marais, nestled along the northern coast of Lake Superior. There she starts to weave the tattered threads of a new life, rediscovering her love of sketching, while running the antique shop, Past Imperfect. Everything is finally going right. Until a mysterious package arrives, tucked inside is an ornate Victorian silver letter opener bearing the initials E.C. along with an even more mysterious note. Julia’s natural curiosity peaked, but before she can discover who sent the letter opener, it’s found embedded in Tom Peterson’s chest. The tapestry of her new life begins to unravel as she is named a prime suspect. Now, left with few clues and a past not willing to let her go, Julia works to solve the mystery and the murder.

Infidelity through time and a curse that only she can break – once she figures out how.

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Review

As I stated above, I found this to be a fun, light read and a good start to a new series. I really enjoyed our main character, Julia.  She seemed very well-rounded, complex, and even grew a bit of a spine in this book, which is good because while I, myself, am not the greatest at standing up for myself, I like the heroines in the books I read to be strong.

While she did take some risks in this book, they were thought out and not just off-the-cuff, who cares about the risk, moments. Also a good thing because I really hate heroes or heroines who are “too stupid to live” and are reckless with their sleuthing.

The setting seemed nice. I will admit to being slightly confused at first. I missed the little detail that we were in Minnesota. Michigan (where I live) also has a Grand Marais and it’s also on the shore of Lake Superior. However, it’s nowhere near Thunder Bay like the one in Minnesota so when I read that people were passing through on their way to Thunder Bay, I knew I’d missed something. I like the town and the store. For the most part I was able to imagine the settings. A tiny bit more detail would’ve been nice, but I’d rather an author err on the side of too little detail rather than too much.

The plot line was well-written and moved along at a decent pace. I did have some idea of the villain fairly early in the book, but the rest of the story kept me intrigued, so it didn’t really spoil it to know so early.

All in all, it was a fun read and I’d recommend it to cozy mystery lovers. I’m looking forward to the next one in the series!

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About the Author

Anne has always loved the North Shore, especially Lake Superior near Grand Marais. She lives there with her husband and two children. When bringing the Past Imperfect series together, Anne couldn’t think of a better place to have Julia’s shop. If you find yourself traveling through, stop by Artist Point, you may just find her sitting on the rocks.

Author Links

Blog – https://www.annewillowauthor.wordpress.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/annewillowauthor

Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/cozymysteryanne

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17076742.Anne_Willow

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Thanks for joining me today for this stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour! If you wish to visit other stops, please click on the banner below. It will take you to the main tour page where there is a listing of all tour participants!

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