BLOG TOUR – The Discombobulated Decipherers – GUEST POST & REVIEW

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4 out of 5 stars.

Good morning!  Today’s Great Escape Virtual Book Tour stop is for The Discombobulated Decipherers, the 2nd book in Julie Seedorf’s Brilliant, Minnesota Mystery series.

I’m not quite done with the book, but should finish today. I’ll post the review portion of my post a little later. But I wanted to get the guest post up and out there for you to see! Thank you to Ms. Seedorf for providing today’s guest post!

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File Oct 11, 9 56 39 AMThank you for having me today. I love connecting with my readers and letting them know a little more about me and my books.

The Discombobulated Decipherers is the second book in the Brilliant, Minnesota Series. The Brilliant Series features a fictional community in Minnesota with a neighborhood of amateur sleuths led by Jezabelle Jingle.

It is Christmas in Brilliant and Jezabelle is busy in the Brilliant Bistro. She recently bought the bistro and brought her baking talents along with her. Cozy mysteries always have good food as one of the staples of the mystery. This is the first book where I have added some recipes.

I am not a cook or a baker. I can get by and occasionally I can fool people into thinking I am good at it. Perhaps that is why my main character is a baking whiz. Through her, I can fulfill my dreams of becoming a baker extraordinaire. Adding recipes to the back of the book was my challenge. I called on my talented thirteen-year-old granddaughter, Maggie. Maggie makes cupcakes from scratch which melt in your mouth and uses her imagination to create delicious concoctions.

Maggie and I decided to try and come up with a recipe for one of the names I gave Jezabelle’s baking temptations. Unfortunately, our time together was limited and we only one day to perfect a recipe. We tried to find another time to finish what we started but after trying to coordinate our schedules over a six month period we decided instead to give you a recipe of one of our almost successes. The flavor was good but it was too moist and it didn’t rise. In light of not having any more time, I chose to put the recipe in the book and throw it out to my readers as a challenge to perfect it. The name of the recipe is Work In Progress Cupcakes.

 Recently my high school girlfriend’s mother turned 100 years old. Gladys fed a family of fourteen children. She made everything from scratch. When I interviewed her for a newspaper article she shared a recipe with me, giving me permission to put it in my new book. Lemon Love Notes is a Gladys Johanson recipe with 100 years of love.

I do like to bake cheesecakes and I have been told they are the best cheesecakes ever. I usually use Taste of Home magazine for my cheesecakes and they gave me permission to share their Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake recipe. I love this recipe and use it often. I was elated to connect with them and to be able to put my favorite recipe of theirs in my book.

My goal for my readers is for them to come away feeling better after they have read my book. I want them to laugh, to feel the depth of my characters which develop through the series, and I want to take my readers away from reality for a short time. I hope the puzzle and the mystery in the Discombobulated Decipherers do that, but I also hope Gladys recipe and the Taste of Home recipe tweak your taste buds. I also hope you accept our challenge for our Work In Progress Cupcakes. Won’t it be fun to see the many different versions my readers create? Happy reading and happy baking.



This was an interesting book. I enjoyed a lot of it. The characters are fascinating, the plot interesting and some great puzzles besides the main mystery.

When I started the book, I wasn’t all that certain I was going to like it. I didn’t really enjoy the first one in the series, but I figured it was a new book and I’d give it a fair chance. I was happily surprised by it.

I like the characters a lot, though the overuse of alliteration with their names grates a little on my nerves. But I like Jezzy, Lizzy, Hank, and the rest. Their personalities are quirky and fun. The characters are well-rounded, complex characters as well.

The plot line moved along at a decent pace. The main mystery was interesting, but the subplot was even more interesting to me. It was fascinating. The Brilliant brothers were puzzle creators and very imaginative!

All in all it was a fun book and I do recommend it! You’ll need to start with the first book in order to understand a few things, but it’s a fascinating book and I recommend you check it out!



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Thanks for joining me today! I’ll have my review up a little later if you wish to drop back by. 🙂 If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, click on the banner below. That will take you to the main tour page with a list of other participants!

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Taming Teddy – REVIEW

5 out of 5 stars

Taming Teddy is the second book in the Made Marian series by Lucy Lennox and is even better than the first book, Borrowing Blue! In fact, I think this might just be my favorite in the series so far.

Book Cover: Taming Teddy: A Made Marian novel by Lucy Lennox; Blue background with a snowy woods scene at the bottom, two men without shirts on the top.

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Teddy: If there’s one thing I don’t do, it’s commitment. You don’t become an award-winning photographer by staying in one place. I’m always on the road, looking for the next shot, the next award, the next hot body. Which is how I end up on Dr. James Marian’s front porch in the middle-of-nowhere Alaska. He’s known as the Wildlife Whisperer, and I want to photograph him in action. He’s reluctant at first, but I can be persuasive.

Soon enough I have him in bed saying yes over and over and over again, but my ability to shoot and scoot is frozen by a Denali snowstorm.

Jamie: I always thought of myself as the marrying type. Until I got left at the altar. Now I have a new motto: never commit and never fall in love. So when a cocky nature photographer decides I’m the key to his next masterpiece, it seems like the perfect arrangement: the hotshot’s only in town for a brief assignment and then he’ll be gone. No commitment, no strings, and no chance of getting my heart broken again.

There’s just one problem: I think I’m falling in love. Now I’m afraid that maybe I’m the marrying type after all. And he definitely is not. (Source: Goodreads)

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After reading four and a half books in this series, I think this one is my favorite. Number one, I’m an amateur nature photographer so Teddy’s job spoke to me. Number two, I’m enthralled with wildlife so Jamie’s job spoke to me as well. But even more than that, the way they were together and their love story was simply wonderful. 🙂

This one actually had that little bit of pizzazz and emotional connection I need to rate it five stars. I understand holding someone at arm’s length at first only to have that ultimately fail in the end and end up falling head over heels in love. There’s nothing like it in the world, especially when that person loves you back.

The characters in this series are just wonderful. They’re well-rounded, complex, and developed. The author has thought about it enough to give them all adequate back stories and it’s a joy to read.

The descriptions of the settings are great. I never have any trouble imagining where we are and yet they’re not so descriptive that they’re boring. Ms. Lennox does an excellent job with that balance.

The plot line moves along at a steady pace. I never felt that it was dragging, but I never felt that it was going to fast either.

All in all this book is just about perfect! While it can be read as a stand-alone, I highly recommend reading the series from the beginning, starting with Borrowing BlueTry it and have fun with the Made Marian crew!