Monday, April 17, 2017

Review: RED VELVET CUPCAKES TO DIE FOR by Alaine Allister

Liana Campbell is the new owner of a coffee shop and bakery with a college slacker kid for an employee. You could just feel her frustration for the young Joel as he screws up again and again.  And this endears the reader to Liana, who is just trying to get her name out there and make the business a success in a such a small town.

It takes a while to get to the dead body though.  When we get to it, the characters mostly obsess over the shock of the discovery (of course, we automatically know that what they discovered was a dead body) that it takes away some of the surprise. I mean, what was going to happen. So when they say what they saw was “a body,” it wasn’t anything to me.

The gossip mill ran wild among the townspeople, which was unnerving and useless. And what’s up with the cat that kept hanging around? And why was Liana talking to it?

Of course, speculation goes that Liana might’ve had something to do with the murder since she’s the one that discovered the body. Something to do with a strange murder can’t be good for business, so she aims to solve the case and clear her name. But the thing was that she was terrible at sleuthing. Still, you commend her fumbling efforts.

There was too much time spent talking to the cat and the pace was lagging. Plus, there were no velvet cupcake.

This book just wasn’t that great.


My rating: 2 stars

Review: A TASTE OF MAGIC by Alaine Allister (Book 1)

I didn’t like the velvet cake mystery and this series is set in the same town of Sugarcomb Lake, but, hopefully, it would be better considering it’s supposed to have magic. I mean, it says so in the title for godsakes!

Clarissa is Liana’s best friend. She’s jobless and indebted to a family home that she can’t let go. Of course, this story has another cat—an annoying stray of a cat that won’t go away. Again, there’s too much cat in the story. Too much talking to it, too much of it just hanging around. Story was slow.

When the murder happens and the big shot reporter comes sniffing around, Clarissa throws herself into the investigation to prove her journalistic skills. Things get better after a lightning strike encounter and a strange girl pointing out that her “aura has a touch of magic.” Cool! Afterwards, the investigation becomes much more interesting than the cake series, especially after finding out that Clarissa is a witch. However, there was hardly no magic involved. Probably because she just barely found out and had no practice in the craft.

Overall, this was a good start to the series, but I thought it was a little slow and it could’ve used more magic. And what was up with the double title, Happiness is a Smoking Gun?


My rating: 3 stars

Review: A DROP OF MAGIC by Alaine Allister (Book 3)

Newbie witch/journalist Clarissa is back in a whole new mystery!

A college dean is found murdered on campus. Meanwhile, Clarissa is still getting the hang of her witchy abilities and, right now, she’s trying to learn how to fly on a broomstick. How cliché. But, still, how fun!

This mystery was much better and it had magic, which I loved. Clarissa is snarky, smart, and funny. I even thought the double title was inventive. Dropping out of School. Funny and clever, because the dean dropped from a building.


My rating: 4 stars

Monday, April 10, 2017

Review: DEATH COMES TO TOWN by K.J. Emrick (Book 1)

Darcy Sweet is a bookshop owner and a lover of mysteries and ghost stories. She’s highly intuitive and blessed/cursed with odd feelings and visions. So she’s some kind of psychic. Cool!

Something’s been feeling wrong lately and her feelings are usually always right. So when she finds her neighbor’s dead body, she knows she’s got her work cut out for her.

This was a very interesting mystery read! Not only did Darcy have her “sixth sense”, but she also had the help of her intuitive cat (who was more like Lassie than anything else) and her dead Aunt Millie, who still haunts the bookstore.

Could it be the new hunky detective that rolled into town? Or could it possibly be her ex-husband, who has been bugging her about some old photos? Wouldn’t that be great? Oh, no, it turns out the whole town is a suspect in this murder investigation.

A quirky mystery!

My rating: 5 stars


Mists of the Past (Book 2)
Darcy Sweet, psychic bookstore owner and mystery lover, is back!

Now, she’s dating the police detective (how cliché) and something from his past is haunting him. Well, not literally, but there was this unsolved case that prompted his move to Darcy’s town. Now, he’s getting threatening letters and he thinks the killer is in town, so the couple must work together to solve this old case.

Basically, the story involved talking to old ghosts of the past. It was slow and centered mostly on the lovey dovey couple, which was very distracting. Very anticlimactic in the end.

From the Ashes (Book 3)
Darcy is helping a young girl, who is haunted by her mother’s death. Again, not literally, but the mother supposedly died in a house fire and the daughter just wants closure. What could she have seen that day that spooked her? What really happened to the mother? Could she actually still be alive?

This one starts a lot quicker than Book 2. I enjoyed the mystery concerning the mother’s death and the fire.

The Ghost of Christmas (Book 4)
An angry ghost comes knocking on Darcy’s door, seeking justice for his murder. Apparently he was murdered on Christmas 20 years ago. And things between her and Jon are bumpy, which was good! I thought the couple was too perfect, which is dull.

Could the guy have been killed by the Santa suit? Was the suit haunted? Mmmm. This was an interesting angle, if only you didn’t have all the Christmas crap.

The Stolen Valentine (Book 5)
The Season of Love – Blah!

Too much V-Day. Again, this had a slow start. It doesn’t get interesting until Chapter 5 with the missing brother-in-law, but the mystery was just too dull to keep up.

Hiding from Death (Book 6)
Another slow one. It just seems that each book after the first just kept getting less and less supernatural. I mean, Darcy’s a psychic for godsakes!

Overall, these mysteries were not that great and did not compare to the first book, which was one I really loved.

Overall rating: 2 stars

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Review: WITCH MYTH by Alexandria Clarke (Book 0)

When Morgan Summers returns to her old town founded by her magical ancestry, she literally stumbles upon a dead body, which happens to be the result of a ritual sacrifice and she is the prime suspect. Oh no!

Her ability to see the dead enables her to work with the murdered victim to seek out her killer and put her spirit to rest. The murder then spurs a witch hunt in the small town, where most of Morgan’s witch family still resides in.

Loved the unity of Morgan with her witchy sisters and mother.

Witty, crafty, and a fun read! Recommended!


My rating: 4 stars

WITCH MYTH by Alexandria Clarke (Book 1)

Morgan Summers is back! Except now, after solving the last murder, she is a paranormal police detective.

She’s working on a new, unusual case. A former abused wife claims that she is being stalked by her dead husband. She says that he’s still trying to kill her. Is this lady really being haunted or is she just crazy?

I love the Summer witches and how they each add a biting wit to the story!

Fun and inquisitive! Witty and hilarious! I love Morgan!

The only thing that kept me from giving this 5 stars was the annoying cliffhanger in the end. But, I guess that just means I have to get the next installment in the series.


My rating: 4 stars