Monday, March 20, 2023

The Muffin Shop Murder Review Spotlight

Welcome to Snowflake Valley, Idaho. Delilah has just moved to the town of her dreams to open up a bake shop. For years she has watched the town cameras around Snowflake Valley and absolutely fell in love with the place. As she is preparing to open her bakery in a couple of weeks, she learns some disturbing facts about where she has chosen to put down roots. Will these things drive her away from Snowflake Valley? Or will she simply buckle down and try to make the best of it?

The Muffin Shop Murder is the first book in Holly Tierney's Delilah Crumbworthy Mystery series. When you read the blurb for this book, it sounds cute, promising, and like a fun story to check out. However, this book falls more into the "non-traditional" lane when it comes to cozy mystery novels. The murder actually takes place off-page, and Delilah only learns about it being described as a "tragic accident." It sounds fairly like one, which builds the expectation that there will be another murder for the main character to solve. 

When you read the blurb, you expect to read about the downfall of the previous owners of the bakery that Delilah purchases. The fact that this doesn't happen is a touch disappointing. It would have helped to better set the stage for the novel and then build up to the failure, and then purchase by Delilah. 

As Delilah is talking to some of the characters, the way that they express things makes it sound like lots of time has passed. During her interview with Nile, he makes it sound like the bakery has been closed for YEARS. It hasn't been, so why the exaggeration? Why didn't the real estate agent disclose the death on the property to Delilah before selling it to her? Was it not deemed essential to disclose? What would possess Elinor, Nile's fiance, to disclose so much negative information to Delilah so quickly? 

It's strange, to put it mildly, that someone would just spew out so much negative information about the town and its residents to someone they barely know. You say that you want them to stay there, but then proceed to tell them a laundry list of disturbing facts. 

There are multiple points of view in this book. You get Delilah, as the main character, and then you get several other characters as well. Some of the characters contribute to the story, but others do not. So you question - what was the particular point of including it in the story? The characters who contribute to the storyline are well done. They begin to point to a key individual that the author wants you to give more of your attention. 

The mystery element of the story unfortunately tends to get lost in all the back and forth. There are little hints of drama scattered throughout. Some characters react as you would expect, while others - not so much. There will be some eyebrow-raising situations in this book, but try not to be too judgy of what you find. 

As the story draws closer to a close, the storyline will become more intriguing. You'll become more engaged in finding out how things are going to play out. The ending - it's anticlimactic. You get a chapter of what happens next for the characters. Unfortunately for that as well - things sound like they've been rushed. Delilah in the beginning was quick to be painting a "future" for herself and Nile. Until that bubble gets burst, but it seems to be a theme for the women in this book - the projecting fantasy romances. Natural development would have been fantastic and much preferred. 

As an avid reader of cozy mystery novels, I was super excited to dive into this book, but it just doesn't play out like I had expected. It's always good to find something fresh and new, but for me, this book would have benefited more from being traditional compared to going outside the box. 

- Interesting storyline
- Unpredictable
- Suspenseful

- Character development
- Unnecessary characters
- Mystery needed more focus
- Certain situations are rushed

This book rates 3.5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Cursed Memory Spotlight

Welcome to the book tour for Cursed Memory by River Ash. This beautiful novella is part one of a duet. Read on for more info!

                                                Cursed Memory (Cursed Bloodlines #1)

Publication Date: January 17th, 2023

Genre: PNR/ Vampire Romance

Length: 65 pages

I remember the club. The pounding of the beat pulsing in my veins, the way my body moved with the music.

Then — nothing.

My memories are locked away in the dark corners of my mind, replaced by an insatiable hunger nothing can fill.

Until I found him.

I felt his presence before I saw him. My blood calls for this mysterious man whose darkness matches my own. Being near him sets my body on fire, making me ache for every touch… every taste.
It’s as if my soul recognizes him, loosening my trapped memories. Each time a new one breaks free, I wonder if he holds the key to what I’ve lost, what I can’t remember. But everything comes with a price. I’m beginning to fear the cost of remembering all that I’ve done might be more than I can bear. What if the monster of this story… is me?

Available on Amazon

About the Author

River Ash is a writer of paranormal romance novels. Her stories are filled with passion and fantasy and all have HEAs. Her latest book in the Cursed Bloodline world, “Cursed Memory” is out.

Her love for reading began when she was a young girl sneaking into the school library, and grow into adulthood.

When River’s not reading, she is writing passionate fantasy with romance twist. Or else, she can be found solving sudoku puzzles. River loves traveling, is obsessed with energy drinks, and has several relationships with fictional characters.

River Ash

Book Tour Organized By:

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We Come with Vengeance Spotlight

We're celebrating the release of We Come with Vengeance by H.G. Muralee. Read on for details and enter to win a fantastic giveaway -- A copy of the map’s book, a postcard of the Felix character art, and an enamel pin for House Leigh-Van, along with a paperback.

                                                We Come with Vengeance (Kaier Chronicles)

Publication Date: March 14th, 2023

Genre: Speculative Fiction/ Steampunk Sci-Fi

The war has stretched on for twenty years, and the soldiers, civilians, and nobles are exhausted. Towns grow more desolate while war technology continues to advance, leaving the rest of Kaier behind.

Felix—heir to House Leigh-Van—harbors resentment for the war that has claimed his sister’s life and his father’s ethics. Regardless, he follows his orders and is content to remain equal among his fellow soldiers.

When a routine stop for repairs puts Felix at the epicenter of a brutal attack impacting civilians rather than soldiers, he struggles to continue separating his ethics from his duty. He’s privately ambivalent but publicly supportive of his uncle—the king—when whispers of an underground rebellion start to circulate. The rebellion is gaining traction and could soon make a serious play at ending the war.

But when even the tactics of the resistance begin claiming lives as quickly as the war itself, Felix starts to wonder who will survive to see the peace they’re fighting for.

Amazon | B & N | Book Depository

About the Author

H.G. Muralee was born and raised in North Carolina. She graduated from Western Carolina University with a degree in Criminal Justice and works as a paralegal. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading far too many books, watching The Great British Baking Show, learning her husband’s native language, and playing with her dog, Oliver.

HG Muralee | Instagram | TikTok

Book Tour Schedule

March 13th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off)

@mulberryreads (Review)

@word.addict914 (Review)

@magicalmushroombookshelf (Review)

Timeless Romance (Spotlight)

Stine Writing (Spotlight)

@plungeintobooks (Spotlight)

Book Reviews by Taylor (Spotlight)

March 14th

Wagging Tales Press (Interview)

@ofmoviesandbooks (Review)

@madies.library (Review)

@vinamkent_author (Review)

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight)

March 15th

The Faerie Review (Review)

@books.and.salt (Spotlight)

@infinite.readlist (Review)

@ dog_ read_reviews (Review) dog_ read_reviews/

@permanently_booked (Review)

@okuta.otherside (Spotlight)

March 16th

Cheryl’s Book Nook (Review)

@book_lover_danny (Review) (Review)

@dreaminginpages (Review)

Breakeven Books (Spotlight)

March 17th

@by_hckilgour (Spotlight)

Sophril Reads (Review)

@tm_ghent (Review)

Wagging Tales Press (Review)

@amber.bunch_author (Spotlight)


Click the link below to enter the giveaway (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The Rebirth Book Blitz Spotlight


Happy publication day to author V.P. Evans! To celebrate the release, The Rebirth will be ONLY $0.99 for a limited time!

                                                                        The Rebirth

Publication Date: March 16th, 2023

Genre: Suspense/ Thriller

A night where everything begins . . . and everything ends.

For the past decade, police homicide consultant Mark Gilliam has been wasting his life with corpses, drugs, and alcohol. Things weren’t always like this. Ten years ago, he was a soldier, a husband, a . . . father. But it’s what he deserves. He couldn’t protect his son from the monsters that took him away.

For the past decade, Jason Roneros has been living a reclusive life, forced to spend the rest of his days in isolation. Things weren’t always like this. Ten years ago, he was a well-respected author, a fighter, a . . . dreamer. But it’s what he deserves. He trusted these monsters.

For the past decade, Mark and Jason haven’t seen each other.
But everything is about to change . . .

A murder brings them together one night, trapping them in the streets of Chicago in search of redemption down a cryptic path that could unlock the darkest scandal in history. As the path unrolls secrets buried in great works of art and philosophical writings, the shadiest aspects of the human soul come to the surface. Soon, the two men realize that those hunting them, closing in with each passing minute, are equally dangerous as the ghosts of the past . . .

***Mature Content***

Add to Goodreads


Jason seemed so changed from the last time they’d met: his skin was yellow, as if forgotten by the coltish tickle of life. His face appeared exhausted, as if feckless to carry the striking features of the past. Two brusque lines around his mouth resembled deep snicks. Fitful creases whipped his forehead. His white, medium-length hair was combed back, just as it had been ten years ago, though a receding hairline now marked his forehead. His skeletal hands seemed incapable of keeping the watch fastened on his wrist, while his legs were so bony they seemed likely to break. Although Jason, like Oscar, was in his mid-sixties, he looked at least a decade older.

There’s no time left.”

His voice remained rich, though. It still carried the slight British accent from his days in Oxford.

A mild shaking started traversing Oscar’s body. He put his glasses on the newspaper and stood, using the desk for support. “You need to leave.” He struggled to sound calm. “They were clear, Jason. We cannot be together. The deal—”

The deal doesn’t exist anymore.” Jason scratched at his neck, above the collar of his white shirt, where an already reddened patch of eczema had become even more inflamed. “Dermot Walsh is dead.”

What? How do you know—?”

He told me himself. A few minutes ago. Texted me, pointing out his killers.”

Murdered?” Oscar soughed, terrified by the ensuing sentence.

By them,” Jason added, confirming Oscar’s dread. “The Imperatores are already after me.”

Jesus.” The Imperatores. That name. Saliva filled Oscar’s mouth, choking him. “After all these years … now? Why? We had a damned agreement!” He slammed his hands on the desk, trying in vain to expel the fear inside him. His palms burned from the hit.

To stop me,” Jason said, his words faint yet filling the huge office.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

V.P. Evans is the pen name of an average (and perhaps boring) guy who seems desperate to disappear into lands far away. You would probably find him lost in a secluded village in Estonia, wandering among the wild islands of the Azores, or backpacking across vague paths in Asia. And sometimes, as the fading lights and the thick darkness of this mysterious cosmos unfold before him, he has an idea and writes it down.

V.P. Evans

Book Blitz Organized By:

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Sisters of Castle Leod Book Tailer Spotlight

An Edwardian-era story of superstition, scandal, faith, and family,
inspired by the real lives of the remarkable Mackenzie sisters of Castle Leod

We are pleased to share the book trailer for Sisters of Castle Leod by Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard. If you enjoyed the Outlander series, you would love this!

Sisters of Castle Leod: A Novel

Publication Date: January 19th, 2023

Genre: Historical Fiction

A family tragedy, a forgotten legend, and two sisters locked in a bitter feud...

"Heartbreaking and redemptive...a thoroughly engrossing story that will have readers quickly turning the pages." –Megan Chance, bestselling author of A Splendid Ruin

Millions are fans of Diana Gabaldon's popular Outlander books and television series, but few know that Gabaldon's fictional Castle Leoch was inspired by a real Scottish castle, Castle Leod. The two sisters who lived there at the turn of the twentieth century were among the most fascinating and talked-about women of their era.

Lady Sibell Mackenzie is a spiritualist, a believer in reincarnation, and a popular author of mystical romances. Petite and proper, she values tradition and duty. Her younger sister Lady Constance, swimming champion and big game hunter, is a statuesque beauty who scandalizes British society with her public displays of Greek-style barefoot dancing. The differences between the sisters escalate into conflict after Sibell inherits their late father's vast estates and the title 3rd Countess of Cromartie. But it is the birth of Sibell's daughter that sets in motion a series of bizarre and tragic events, pitting sister against sister and propelling Sibell on a desperate mission to challenge the power of fate.

Sisters of Castle Leod, by award-winning author Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard, is the emotionally charged story of two sisters torn apart by jealousy and superstition, and the impossible leap of faith that could finally bring them together.

Amazon | Books A Million | B & N


About the Author

Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard is an award-winning author of historical fiction. Her books have been finalists for the prestigious Eric Hoffer Book Award, American Writing Awards, National Indie Excellence Awards, and Arizona Literary Contest; they have earned many 5-star ratings, including from Readers’ Favorite, Discovering Diamonds, and Book Readers Appreciation Group.

Elizabeth H Bernard | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Book Trailer Reveal Organized By:

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Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Scorched Review Spotlight

Welcome to the tour for the first novel in Cassie Swindon's new trilogy, Scorched! Read on for more details and visit one of our bookstagram hosts for a chance to win a signed copy of the book and a $20 Amazon gift card!

Scorched is a romantic fantasy novel that will absolutely swing on you in the most unexpected way and have your jaw on the floor. No, there is no way to prepare for what the author has in store. No, I will not say brace your self. You can't. LOL! 

Kyra just wants a way OUT! Out of her relationship, out of where she is at, out of where she is at in LIFE. She just wants a change. She wants to be happy, and free. Is it possible? In her current situation where you will find her? No. Unfortunately. She's in a bad one...a really bad one. She's had a hard life, and boy does it show! She is so jaded even jaded is looking at her! But wait! There's more! 

Kyra's life is about to change. For the better you're hoping. Right? see....the thing is...not exactly. LOL! She's about to get one wish granted, and it's a good thing! But...when things get a bit hairier than expected...that's when things go so far left we're coming out the other side. I'll simply say this...some things...should NEVER be said in the heat of the moment. Never. Kyra...girl, you've gone and done it now. Too bad it's going to take her a good long while before she owns it. 

Gotta take that responsibility girlfriend. This was ALLLLLLL you! Period. 

Are you looking for a new fantasy novel with a FMC who WILL drive you crazy?! Then this book is for you! Don't like FMC's who drive you crazy? Wait...what!?! Come on! Give this book a try! She'll grow on you! I promise! If nothing else, the author will have you page-turning to find out how things pan out from here! Trust me, once you know the wish that Kyra makes...oh boy! Then...when you realize EXACTLY what it means and the impact of it....hold on to your butts!!!

Trust me, your jaw is going to be on the floor. Your heart is going to break, and you're going to be thinking...this girl is one more mistake from ending the world. LOL! Don't believe me? Read the book. LOL! Of course, be prepared for an ending that will have you thinking...okay, now what happens?! You know, since this book is part of a series and all that jazz. Yeah, um...Cassie Swindon? I need to know what happens next...and soon! LOL! 

I gotta hand it to Jadox. He's been through some stuff, but he holds it together pretty well when it comes to fiery Kyra. She is more than a handful, and due to her deep seeded issues (no judgment) he actually owns up to some of his mistakes. Umm...are there more of him anywhere around here? I'd love to have one of him for myself. No? Eh. I tried. LOL! 

This book really brings the fantasy element with a touch of dystopian. You'll get what I'm talking about when you read this book. Trust me! It's really good! But be prepared for this one fact - you pick this book up? You're not going to want to put it down until you reach the last page. Secrets are being kept, both have agendas unknown to the other. Can they reach their goal and not kill each other in the process? Will Kyra allow her past to be the past and maybe just maybe give Jadox a chance? She knows she wants to...deep, deep down inside. 

I'm eagerly anticipating the next book in this series, and i know you will be, too. 

For me? This book rates 5 out of  5 stars. Normally, characters like Kyra would have me inches from pulling out my hair, but the author does an excellent job conveying Kyra's issues and why she has them. Did I agree with her behavior the entire time? No, but the fact that we get growth and development from her...makes it all worth it. 

Thanks to the author, Cassie Swindon, and R&R Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this book. 

Thank you to YOU for taking time to read my review! I hope you enjoyed and come back soon! Be sure to grab your copy of this novel and stay tuned for my next review/post coming soon! Author - I will be "stalking" you for when your next book comes out. LOL! 

                                                       Scorched (The Linked Trilogy #1)

Publication Date: March 3rd, 2023

Genre: Romantic Fantasy

Perfect for enemies to lovers fantasy fans who enjoy a tough female protagonist and a strong Magikal hero.

Kyra Kozelski

All men deserve to rot in eternal Abyss.”

Every male disappeared.
Turns out, I did that. Who knew I possessed Magik?
However, Jadox Griffin is still here- the only surviving male- a stubborn, annoying soldier who definitely does NOT have eyes to die for.
I need his help to return my nephew before it’s too late. But Jadox is hiding something, and a whispered threat is creeping closer with each passing moment.

Jadox Griffin

Kyra is bold, powerful, and a pain in my ass. Her idiotic wish turns the world of Lodesa upside down.
Lying to her is necessary to find the answers I seek. Time is running out. It’s vital to make her believe I’m her only hope left. Except I’m not.
And when she finds out the truth, I might be the next to disappear.

Add to Goodreads

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Cassie Swindon is an Indie author from Raleigh, NC. She’s never allowed to get up from her couch because of four cats claiming her lap so she has already published her first romantic suspense trilogy named The Golden Chains trilogy. The Linked Trilogy is her first fantasy trilogy.

Instead of the boring bio info, here’s some interesting tidbits about the author:

  • Tackled her father for a pair of Michael Phelps’ personal goggles

  • Cried when the Cubs won the World Series

  • Met husband freshman year of college- a blizzard & tequila may have been involved

  • Moved to Raleigh by the flip of a coin

  • Mutated into a zombie when daughter was born in 2013, then again 17 months later for son

  • Evacuated from a boat crash in the Atlantic during a whale watching tour

  • Witnessed a wild horse pack galloping through the Rockies

  • Cofounded a three-person Beanie Baby Club in the 90s, in a treehouse

  • Snorkeled in The Great Barrier Reef

Cassie Swindon

Book Tour Schedule

March 13th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off)

@justsokristin (Review)

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review)

@through_the_booking_glass (Review)

@amber.bunch_author (Review)

@belle.bookcorner (Review)

@_kellymariewrites (Spotlight)

March 14th

@adlynsreadingcorner (Review)

@word.addict914 (Review)

@margiebythebookcase (Review)

Bunny’s Reviews (Review)

@booktreasuresau (Spotlight)

@books.and.salt (Spotlight)

March 15th

@stepintothepages (Review)

@read_dog_reviews (Review)

@heartofanalpha (Review)

@takealookatmybookshelf (Review)

@_toris.thoughts_ (Review)

I Love Books & Stuff (Spotlight)

March 16th

@bouviebooks (Review)

@fathomsamidstthelines (Review)

@niveditha_preeth (Review)

@bookishlyrieka (Review) (Spotlight)

March 17

@reading_to_the_last_page (Review)

Riss Reviews (Review)

@book_lover_danny (Review) (Review)

@mulberryreads (Review)

Reads & Reels (Spotlight)

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Saturday, March 11, 2023

Bakeries and Buffoonery Review Spotlight


 Bakeries and Buffoonery by Elizabeth Pantley is the fourth installment in her Magical Mystery Book Club series, and for readers of this series – you’re not going to want to miss out on this book. Paige, Glo, and the gang are back! Along with Mollie the ghost if you forgot. It’s time for a new book club meeting, and for a new mystery novel to be chosen! When the group finds a book about the drama surrounding a cake competition, it sounds like the perfect choice! Right?! Who wouldn’t want to investigate a mystery that swirls around an annual cake competition? But! Are they prepared for the twists and surprises that are in store for them? Well, there is definitely going to be a lot of cake, so dive in to see where the crumbs will lead them!

Bakeries and Buffoonery is a deliciously delightful addition to the series. The end of book three saw the entire book club come back to “reality” together, though with one new addition – Molly, the ghost. So the question will arise – will this new adventure see someone end up staying behind? Guess you’ll have to wait and see what happens. But brace yourself for the frosting to fly! Now, let the choosing begin!

This book, as the title suggests, the characters decide on a fun cozy mystery novel called “The Great Cake Rivalry.” Sounds like a fun choice right? Well, it’s all fun and games until someone gets murdered. What’s really different about this book is that you “meet” the killer in the first few pages. Don’t get too excited, you don’t “meet them meet them.” You get to see or hear things from their perspective. What once started out as a small humble baking competition got out of hand rather quickly and someone isn’t a fan of it. So, they’ve taken things into their own hands. A little mischief here and there, but when the contest refuses to be tamed, well, bigger plans must be made. Can the group step in and find out who the perpetrator is before they do more harm? Or will they not be able to figure things out before it’s too late?

The humor element of this novel is well done. You get sprinkles of it in the right places to keep the story entertaining without going overboard. Frank, especially himself gets into a couple of “predicaments” but they are really funny. Plus, he lets slip a little secret! Will we get to find out more about this tidbit of information that he lets slip out? Guess time will only tell, but for now be prepared to wait, because answers won’t be forthcoming in this book!

Vee takes center stage with this book in key moments in this book. Since Vee is an experienced baker she’s the go-to person for the other characters when it comes to the baking competition that is the focal point of the mystery. This competition isn’t solely for the pros, there’s a part that amateurs get to participate in as well! You’re going to be drooling over the descriptions of the various cakes described in this book. The confections described in this book will be a feast for your mind and have you wishing that you could have a taste. Man, these characters are so lucky to get to sample the various confectionery works. I know I’m going to be doing some research to find recipes or something similar to create myself. LOL!

The variety of characters in this book really helps this book shine. You’re always wondering – who is the culprit that they are looking for? Why do they (the culprit/killer) hate cake so much? If they hate cake so much, why haven’t they found some other place to live? I mean, I get it – the town used to be called “Lake Pleasant.” It’s understandable that not everyone is going to be pleased with the change to “Frosting.” There are quite a few red herrings scattered throughout this book though. You have the main “danger,” and then there is someone else who has an issue with...(gasp) pies?! Now THAT is an outrage! LOL! Who doesn’t like pie?! Brace yourself for quite a few surprises in this book.

Hoping for some sparks of romance? Great news! There is some in this book! What will it mean for the book club though? Will everyone be happy with the budding romance? Well, as we all know, things typically work out in the end, and this book will be no different. You will get a little teary-eyed though, so make sure you grab a kleenex.

With the addition of new elements, the author helps to keep this series fresh and from going stale. The characters come off as realistic and quite often relatable. You won’t be able to help laughing at some of their antics, and agreeing when one tries to “direct” another in more appropriate tactics. The characters really make the story enjoyable as they are often simply trying to one-up each other with their silliness.

Vee takes the cake with this book though. She shines brightly with her baking skills and dedication to the contest overall, even though there is no “grand prize” for the amateurs. Even when things go awry she never loses her cool! There are a couple of scenes where you’re going to expect her to get upset, but she never does. Tip of the hat to you Vee. You’re awesome and way better than me. LOL!

Packed with ups and downs, new discoveries, and pleasant surprises this book is a must-read for those who have enjoyed the series to this point. New to the series? You can dive into this book if you want to, but it’s always a good choice to start the series from the beginning and dive in so that you get the full immersive experience.

I’m rating this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

My thanks to the author, Elizabeth Pantley, and the Cozy Mystery Review Crew for the opportunity to read and review this book.