This a free Audible Original listen for the month of November. I picked it solely based on the fact that it had something to do with Thanksgiving and Family. I did not read the synopsis of the plot and went into this blind.
I adored this listen. The emotional roller coaster you take in this just over 3 hour audiobook is intense. I didn’t get out of the first 3 chapters without ugly crying and sobbing. Some ask, why would you want to read, listen, or watch something that is going to make you cry like that? I ask, what is wrong with crying? It is a healthy emotion, just like happy. I like to feel, and feel is exactly what this story made me do. It is packed with real, raw emotions that some have had to deal with in real life.
Although this story is packed with emotion, it also shows that there is life after loss and how to deal with it and in one case, how not to deal with it.
Plain and simple, this story is about love, family, loss, pain, growth, coping, and starting over. Life may not have the happy ending you planned, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be happy in the end.
I plan to look up Kelly Harms, author, as well as the narrator, Lauren Fortgang. I highly recommend.
Great way to start off this series. I will start by saying, I love books about books, mysteries, new friendships and budding romance. Yes, you guessed it, this book has it all.
Addie loved her job at the
Boston Public Library, where she did some biblio-sleuthing by tracking
down old and rare books. This was something that was in her blood as she
soon finds out.
After receiving an unexpected inheritance from a
great aunt, Addie leaves the big city and painful memories behind when
she moves to a small seaside town in New England. Moving into Greyborne
Manor, her family’s home, she finds that her aunt also left her
countless first editions and other treasures—providing an inventory to
start her own store.
When Addie’s store is broken into as well as
her home, she starts to wonder if her tragic past, aunt’s death, and
the current situations are all connected somehow. With the help of hunky
detective Marc and his sister Serena, Addie’s new bff, will they be
able to put this mystery together before its too late?
I have this book in both digital (NetGalley) and audio versions. The narrator, Karen White, does an amazing job.
I cannot say enough about this series. It is sweet with a slight romantic element, family oriented, female empowering and of course, MURDER!!
Lilly has put her past behind her and started a new life in Chattanooga. With the help of her best friend, Dixie, she is settling in well in her new surrounding. Looking to purchase a new home and doing well at her job, everything seems to be falling into place.
In this installments of the series, Lilly is helping Dixie out at Dog Show. While there, she meets the owner of Pet Haven, a posh doggie daycare and boarding facility. A last-minute opportunity arises to accompany her boss to an art auction, so Lilly decides to leave Aggie in the hands of Pet Haven. While watching the live feed of the facility to check in on Aggie, Lilly witnesses something that she surely believes is a murder in progress. Upon investigation, there is no crime scene and no body. Lilly, determined not to be deemed crazy, sets off to find out what happened and to whom.
What I love most about this series is that the protagonist, Lilly, is a middle aged woman with real life problems that we can relate to. She does her investigating but unlike many mystery protagonists, she doesn’t throw herself into extremely dangerous situations. In my opinion, these would be realistic if it was realistic for middle aged women to go around solving crimes.
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review. I highly recommend this series, and cannot wait for an announcement on book 4.
Although I have a few books by Kristin Harmel on my TBR list, I had not yet read anything by the author. I had not even heard anything about this book prior to reading it. This was a Book Club selection that I had to read regardless, so I went into it blindly. What a surprise?!?!
Like I said, I had no idea what the book was about, I didn’t even read the description. From the title and the cover, I expected a sweet, fluffy romance. As the book progressed, I understood the “forgetting” part of the title. When the reveal of the past lives came to light, I was blown away.
I love Historical Fiction. The history and research of WWII and the Holocaust in this novel were told with emotion and respect. Although this is a work of fiction, the emotion is real because the situations are real. My heart forever breaks thinking about survivors who’ve lost their entire family or worse, not even knowing what actually happened to them.
I now need to read more by Harmel. Her style of writing draws you in. Her tenderness yet rawness of the subject matter is a perfect balance of emotion. I warn you, you will need tissues while reading this story. The only reason I did not give this book 5 Stars, is because the daughter was too much. I understand sullen preteens and them coping with issues, but the overly excessive use of “whatever” and her horrible behavior to her mother was way too over the top for me.
I had the audio version of this book. The narrator, Kim McKean, did a fabulous job.
In this installment, cupcake bakers and bakery owners, Mel and Angie, are baking cupcakes and preparing for their high school reunion. However, Mel is doing so under protest. Mel did not have the best experiences in school as she was overweight and bullied terribly. Although, thinned down and successful, Mel is still terribly insecure. Mel soon finds out that time doesn’t change everyone. The night of the reunion, things are just like high school. Her bullies are still there, holding court, and ready to bully her. The plot thickens when one of her tormentors is found dead and she is the prime suspect.
Determined to clear her name, Mel works with some unlikely people from her past. Together they are determined to find the killer and uncover secrets that may unravel a lot of lives. Some people are willing to do anything to keep their secrets, even kill for them.
I wasn’t surprised really by the culprit, as I suspected them at one point throughout the story but it was still a shock at the reveal.
I love Angie and Tate as a married couple now and I really liked Mel and Joe’s relationship in this book. I was never really Team Joe, always Team Martinez. And as odd as it may be to see Uncle Stan and Mel’s mom together, it makes me happy that they are finding companionship at this time in their lives. I am not sure when book 12 is going to be released but I cannot wait for it, as there will be a lot going on from the way this one ended.
I had the audio version of this book narrated by Susan Boyce. Highly recommend.
I adore this series. The setting of a small town tea shop, the cast of characters, and the sweet and sinister plot lines have made the Daisy’s Tea Garden Mysteries one of my top series.
First and foremost, I love any book, especially a cozy, that has a middle aged (give or take a few years) protagonist. Also, when said protagonist is a single woman battling her own insecurities while trying to keep it together for her family, that’s the perfect recipe to connect emotionally with the books.
In this series, Daisy, a widow with 2 teenage daughters, returns to her small, home town to be closer to her family. In need of a fresh start, Daisy and her aunt Iris open a Tea Shop. Although the business is very successful, its seems a dark cloud has been hovering around the town, especially the tea shop. With murder and mystery popping up in town, Daisy or someone she cares about always seem to be a suspect.
In this installment of the series, a local food critic is going around town reviewing local businesses. With the extremely unfavorable reviews he is giving, it is no surprise that he meets an untimely demise. The twist, it may have been food from Daisy’s Tea Garden that did him in. With her staff being prime suspects, Daisy and her somewhat boyfriend, Jonas, are on the case. If that’s not enough, there seems to be something going on within her own family.
I had no idea who the culprit was of the murder and the why. I did have my a strong idea of what was going on with Daisy’s family. This book, although Cozy, has a strong emotional theme. The sense of strength, family, support, and love are very strong in this novel. When a book can surprise me, make me laugh out loud, and tear up with emotion, it gets a 5 Star rating.
I received an advanced digital copy of this book from NetGalley in return for my honest review.
I am highly anticipating the release of book 4, Murder with Cherry Tarts, 11/26/19.
This week, Krista Davis released The Diva Sweetens the Pie, book 12 of The Domestic Diva Mystery Series. I cannot sing the praises of this series loud enough. Book 1, The Diva Runs Out of Thyme, released in 2008. For whatever reason, I did not start reading this series until last year. If you still have not read this series, I am urging you to stop what you are doing and read it now!
The core characters of the series, Sophie, Nina, Bernie, Mars, and more, even Natasha, are so well developed that you will forget you are reading a book. You immediately become invested in this cast, you feel like you are a part of the gang. I can also add, the animals’ personalities even shine through. Every book in the series introduces several new characters but its never too much. You never lose focus or become overwhelmed. I have no idea how she does it. Every book is amazing. You would think maybe at least 1 out 12 may have just been okay, but that is not the case. I have never enjoyed a series as much as I enjoy this one. You will laugh out loud, you will be angered and disappointed, you will be surprised and you will long for the next book.
A little about the books…
The books are set in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Sophie and her semi nemesis Natasha are dueling divas with advice columns; think Ann Landers, Dear Abby, and Hints from Heloise all wrapped into one. Sophie and Natasha have been competing against each other since childhood. I would give their relationship the title of Frenemies.
In each book, Old Town Alexandria starts off just like any small southern town. There is usually a competition, festival, or holiday around the corner that everyone is gearing up and coming to town for. Coincidentally, there is always a murder to investigate as well. Sophie, along with her best friend Nina and the rest of the gang, are the sleuths that get to the bottom of it all. I like to think of them as an adult, southern Scooby Gang, yes they even have a dog!
My description of the series does not do it justice. Anyone that follows my reviews on Goodreads, knows that I am a harsh critic. So if I am telling you to read this series, read this series LOL. I give this series overall 5 Stars!!
If you have never read a Cozy Mystery, this is the series for you. If you have never tried an audio book, this is the series for you. The narrator, Hillary Huber, is phenomenal. If you are skeptical about listening to books on audio, this will change your mind.
4.5 Stars(almost 5 except the protagonist was a tad bit “too” much at times and worked my nerves) **Spoiler Free Review**
This is not a book that I would normally read, as I would have considered it “too realistic” for me. However, it was selected for our book club and I stepped out of my comfort zone. I normally don’t read books about real life problems because I have my own, I read to escape reality. After reading this book, I have a better understanding of what I already knew. You can never possibly know everything that is going on in people’s lives and minds. If you didn’t already know there were problems in your relationships, reading this book will surely tell you there are many. I actually realized I do some of the same things as Penny and sabotage things because I think are going too well. Or, I accept things the way they are because I am afraid of conflict or hurting someone. The core characters of this story experience the same things most of us have and it helps to see others struggle through it. I am not saying its good to see others struggle, it just shows you that you are not alone in the struggle.
This is a work of fiction but could easily be an
entertaining self help book. I highly recommend this to anyone (male or
female) that has ever been in a relationship (not just a romantic one),
had a stressful job, experiences the struggle with the balance of life,
experienced the loss of a loved one, or an absentee parent.
I had a digital copy as well as the audio version. The Audible narrator, Amy McFadden, was great!
Book 3, Drawn and Buttered, was just released on February 26, 2019. I fell in love with this series from chapter one, book one. What is so great about Ms. Randall’s books, you definitely feel like you are part of the story. Allie is the protagonist/sleuth. She is very likable and relatable. She isn’t pushy and while she does find herself in some compromising positions, her behavior isn’t as reckless as in some cozies. She lives with her whimsical Aunt Gully, who is quirky for sure but not obnoxious. Also, the “law” is now used to her involvement and actually trust her instincts. They aren’t over the top jerks. These books are available in all formats: print, digital, and audio. I have all 3 in digital and audio and I will tell you, the narrator Tiffany Morgan, is amazing. Below are my reviews of Books 1-3 in released order.
Wow!!! I flew through this book. First in a a series, Ms. Randall really connects you with her characters. I absolutely adored the protagonist, Allie, and her relationship with her family and friends. And who couldn’t fall in love with Aunt Gully?!?!?
A food competition/reality tv, small town, and a Murder. In the small New England town of Mystic Bay, chowder and lobster rolls are the key to life. When a lobster roll contest goes horribly wrong, it’s obvious the small town has a ton of secrets and a murderer. Allie and Aunt Gully, along with Allie’s sister Lorel and best friend Verity, are determined to get to the bottom of it but when suspicion is turned into them, the need to solve it.
With several secrets, twists and turns, this book kept me guessing until the end. There are many secrets, some more obvious than others, but I didn’t see the end coming. I was shocked.
More Praise for the Lazy Mermaids!! I love how Ms. Randall can make her novels so much fun and so very thrilling at the same time. Aunt Gully and Gully’s Gals inspire me for my golden years lol.
When Allie finds not only one, but two bodies, she has the task of figuring out if there is a connection. Not only does she have that task, she has to make sure the blame isn’t placed on her sister Lorel. With more questions than answers, Allie and her BFF Verity are determined to find them. The puzzle is definitely a doozy this go around. Everyone is suspect in this case. People are acting oddly and most are dazed by the celebrities in town.
When the connections come together and the pieces all start to fit, I was shocked. I did not see it coming. I had suspicions of the persons involved but I had no idea of the how or why.
I enjoyed seeing some characters from book one becoming more of a core character in this one.
AMAZING!! Shari Randall, you did it again, and better!! I love this series. I feel like I am part of community of Mystic Bay when I read these books. The core characters are amazing and every new character introduced is developed extremely well.
Here in book 3, its Halloween. Its Halloween in New England. Old traditions and superstitions are brought to light in reenactments. I was actually familiar with the superstition or folk lore surrounding the Parish Family ancestry. So when a body is found in the old Parish Cemetery, on Halloween night, it makes you questions if there were supernatural beings at work or a murderer.
Its up to Allie, Verity, and a others to crack the case. The shenanigans they get into are mostly comical, yet someone is now actively seeking Allie out. Can Allie crack another case?
Oh and don’t forget Lobzilla!! I am also glad we didn’t have to deal with Lorel much in this story.