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As of 28 February 2016, due to decline in my health and chronic illness

Monday, January 25, 2016

FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE by Avery Aames_Tour

For Cheddar or WorseFor Cheddar or Worse by Avery Aames
My rating: 5 of 5 stars 

Review: FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE by Avery Ames

A truly delightful crafty cozy series continues! FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE is 7th in Avery Ames' wonderful A Cheese Shop Mystery series. There is probably no food I love more than cheese, in all its ramifications, so I am delighted to discover this series, centered on "Fromagerie Bessette," the cheese-and-wine shop of Providence, Ohio. I've often explained that I enjoy Craft Cozies for the opportunity to learn about crafts. In this series, the educational factor is cheese. How delicious! 

Charlotte Bessette is the current proprietor of "Fromagerie Bessette," the shop founded by the grandparents who raised her. Her grandmother, town mayor, institutes a week-long annual Cheese Festival. When the go-to expert for cheese and wine breezes in unexpectedly, almost everybody is ecstatic. Almost--someone is not happy, and determines the expert won't be leaving town--alive. When Charlotte' s friend Erin, dairy farmer and B&B owner, is automatically suspected, Charlotte leaps to investigate.

Thursday, January 14, 2016



Second in the series that began with THE ACCIDENTAL ALCHEMIST, THE MASQUERADING MAGICIAN is an endearing cozy mystery of a special kind: a supernatural cozy. Zoe Faust by day is the twenty-six-year-old proprietress of Portland magic shop, "Elixir." In reality, she is not only shopkeeper and homeowner, but a three-hundred-forty-year-old herbalist and unintentional alchemist. Now she is searching to restore life to a living gargoyle from Paris. That's difficult enough, but murder and magic suddenly create more interference and danger for Zoe and gargoyle Dorian. THE MASQUERADING MAGICIAN is simultaneously relaxing and riveting.

The Masquerading Magician

Masquerading Magician by Gigi Pandian COVER webres(An Accidental Alchemist Mystery)
2nd in Series
Midnight Ink (January 8, 2016)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738742359
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Deciphering an ancient alchemy book is more difficult than Zoe Faust bargained for. She’d much rather be gardening and exploring her new home of Portland, Oregon—but time is running out for living gargoyle Dorian Robert-Houdin. If Zoe isn’t able to unlock the alchemy book’s secrets soon, the French gargoyle will remain awake but trapped in stone forever.

When Zoe gives herself a rare night out to attend a classic magic show that reminds her of her youth, she realizes the stage magicians are much more than they seem. A murder at the theater leads back to a string of unsolved robberies and murders in Portland’s past, and a mystery far more personal than Zoe and Dorian ever imagined.

About The Author

USA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian spent her childhood being dragged around the world by her cultural anthropologist parents, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s the author of the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mystery series (Artifact, Pirate Vishnu, and Quicksand) and the Accidental Alchemist mysteries (The Accidental Alchemist and The Masquerading Magician).

Gigi’s debut mystery was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant, the follow-up won the Left Coast Crime Rose Award, and her short fiction has been short-listed for Agatha and Macavity awards. A breast cancer diagnosis in her thirties taught her two important life lessons: healing foods can taste amazing, and life’s too short to waste a single moment. Find her online

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Gargoyle photography blog:

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A Book Excerpt

Persephone & Prometheus’s Phantasmagoria: A Classic Magic Show in the Modern World.

The giant poster was illustrated in the style of Victorian Era stage magic posters. Two figures faced each other from opposite sides of a stage, the larger one in a tuxedo and top hat, the smaller impish figure in a devilish red suit. The taller tuxedoed figure held a wand, pointed upward toward an ethereal floating figure. The devilish man held a ball of fire in his hand.

I smiled to myself as Max and I made our way through the lobby, my fingers looped through his. Some things had changed since the Victorian era. The tuxedo-clad magician in the poster was a woman. Prometheus and Persephone were a husband and wife magic act with equal billing.

Their style reminded me very much of posters of King-of-Cards Thurston and Carter the Great, both of whom used ghost and devil imagery in their posters and shows to illustrate the motif that they were magicians able to control the spirit world. The ambiance felt more like Paris in 1845, on the day Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin took to the stage at the newly-built Palais Royal theater with his ingenious mechanical inventions and masterful sleight-of-hand. But this was a small theater near Portland, Oregon’s Mt. Tabor, over 150 years later. Seeing that poster made me feel like I’d been transported back in time.

I should know. I attended Robert-Houdin’s show over a century ago.

Though I look outwardly like a woman in her late twenties with trendy dyed-white hair who’s named after her grandmother Zoe Faust, the truth is far different. Long before I bought a run-down house in Portland three months ago, I was born in Salem, Massachusetts. In 1676.

A shiver swept over me as a memory of a different time and place overtook me. Casually-dressed Oregonians with cell phones in their pockets became formally-attired members of society who would remember this performance for a lifetime.

Breathe, Zoe
I willed myself to remember it wasn’t a taut corset constricting my breathing, but my own nerves. I had thought tonight’s opening performance would be the perfect way to spend time with Max after he’d been away, but could I trust myself with him? I couldn’t tell him the truth about my past, no matter how much I wanted to.

Maybe this had been a terrible idea.

Tour Participants

January 8 – Back Porchervations – Review

January 9 – Queen of All She Reads – Review

January 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review

January 11 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – Review

January 11 – Fantastic Feathers – Spotlight

January 12 – deal sharing aunt – Spotlight

January 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Spotlight

January 13 – fuonlyknew – Review

January 14 – The Girl with Book Lungs – Spotlight

January 15 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review

January 16 – Brooke Blogs – Spotlight

January 17 – Teresa Trent Author – Review

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

MURDER ON THE GRILL by Christa Nardi_Tour

Review: MURDER AT THE GRILL by Christa Nardi (Cold Creek #3) MURDER AT THE GRILL is third in author Christa Nardi' s lovely COLD CREEK cozy mystery series. It's a warmhearted and gentle story, set in a comfortable small community. Our heroine, Sheridan, is a psychologist at the local college, and a woman who contains more curiosity than cats have lives. (She's also owned by an energetic sheltie, a former rescue dog.) Sheridan doesn't let her growing romance with a local police detective interfere with her dedication to solving a murder. (The Grill is the favored local restaurant hangout, and the victim was a waitress' s hateful ex, so she's the suspect du jour.) Readers of both cozy mysteries and romantic suspense will find MURDER AT THE GRILL very appealing.

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Murder at the Grill
by Christa Nardi

Murder at the Grill
(Cold Creek Book 3)

Cozy Mystery
Self Published
Print Length: 204 pages


An amateur sleuth, Sheridan Hendley jumps at the chance to work with the defense when a favorite waitress is arrested for the murder of her ex-husband. Determined to prove Zoe’s innocence Sheridan probes into the victim’s past and why he chose to return to Cold Creek 15 years after the divorce. Personalities clash and Zoe’s family closes ranks as Sheridan attempts to unlock the carefully kept secrets of the family that owns and operates the Grill. The closer she gets to finding the truth, the more her own life might be in danger – a situation that strains her increasingly serious relationship with Detective Brett McMann.


About The Author

Christa Nardi is and always has been an avid reader. Her favorite authors have shifted from Carolyn Keene and Earl Stanley Gardner to more contemporary mystery/crime authors over time, but mystery/crime along with romance and scifi/fantasy are her preferred choices for leisure reading. Christa also has been a long time writer from poetry and short stories to the Cold Creek series, Christa has joined many other reader/writers in writing one genre she enjoys reading – the cozy mystery. The series started with Murder at Cold Creek CollegeMurder in the Arboretum is the second in the series. Murder at the Grill is the third. Christa Nardi is a pen name for a real life professor/psychologist from the Northeast who is well published in nonfiction and technical venues.

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Tour Participants

January 13 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review

January 14 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight

January 15 – Laura’s Interests – Review

January 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – Spotlight

January 17 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review

January 18 – The Ninja Librarian – Review

January 19 – A Blue Million Books – Interview

January 20 – View from the Birdhouse – Spotlight

January 21 – MHDeanCollectibles Book Blog – Review

January 22 – THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK – Spotlight

January 23 – deal sharing aunt – Interview

January 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Spotlight

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