Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Witchy Wednesday, The Witching Hour by Silver Raven Wolf

This weeks Witchy Wednesday post has me reading and reviewing an October release from Llewellyn Books by Silver Raven Wolf called The Witching Hour. 
This is a book for those who feel a calling to magick and who are looking to enhance or learn about spell casting. I found myself  taking notes as I read through this book and while it is a Witchy Techniques book it also has some very practical advice. This is one I would love to own and have on my shelf. It comes out October 8th and is available for preorder on Amazon by clicking here.


Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a Witchy Wednesday review. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

From Ice To Ashes by Author Jessica Simon



Over the last week I read From Ice To Ashes by Jessica Simon. This book was unlike any mystery I had ever read before. 

This adventure mystery is set in the Yukon Territory of Canada near the Alaskan border, in February, during an endurance race called The Yukon Arctic Ultra , (which is a real race by the way!) . The Yukon Arctic Ultra race is a race through the arctic tundra, spanning up to 430 miles beginning in Whitehorse, Yukon . It is a multiday marathon with three disciplines, mountain bike, Cross Country Skies or on foot! This is the toughest Ultramarathon in the world and temperatures drop upto -50 and then there is the wind chill to consider.

 The book focuses on those putting the race on, the organizers and the volunteers, as much as the contestants.  The gripping story line of  a potential terrorist attack being carried out during the race coupled with the relationship between Auxiliary RCMP member Markus Fanger and his unlikely partner, young offender and juvenile delinquent Donjek Stoneman will have you turning the pages and not wanting to put this book down.  I was blown away by the way Jessica unfolded the mystery, the story and described in  glorious detail of the beauty, mystery and rugged terrain of the Yukon. I am in awe of the idea of a race such as this, throw in some very tough and strong characters and a mystery that feels ripped from the headlines and you have From Ice To Ashes.  I will say this author Jessica Simon tells a great story and is very careful to be respectful in the way she delivers the story, respectful to the people of the Yukon, those who are first nation aboriginal and to the Muslim community. She represents the  North extremely well!  This book had my heart  pumping, my feet freezing and me not wanting to put it down.  I feel like I learned about the Yukon, I learned about perseverance, endurance and personal strength in the face of adversity. This was a very impressive read.

I hope you will join us Sunday September 24th from 7-9 PM over on our Beyond The Bookmarks Page for an Adventurous Evening with Author Jessica Simon , to join us simply click this link to learn more and RSVP for this fun event. 

Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and an adventurous mystery review. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Monday, August 21, 2017

Three Amigos Summer Reading Club Week 10 Books about Bookstores and Cafes

If I had the means I would be opening my own book and tea shop, so todays theme is one I really like. I do dream of moving somewhere, opening my own place and have it be wildly successful even in the day of e-readers and unattainable real estate a girl can dream right?

 My pick for this weeks theme is a first in series by a Canadian Author I enjoy Vicki Delany. She has a new series to love and get excited about with Elementary She Read.  A fantastic first in series, with a brilliant book shop owner named Gemma, a best friend (Jayne) we all wish we had and a mysterious character who I hope will be recurring. This cozy lays the groundwork for what I hope will be a multi book series. 
  
Gemma Doyle, a transplanted English woman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop--located at 222 Baker Street--specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body. The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman's suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it's a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.

Now let's see what my Amigos have selected for their choices this week...


View Mary's pick by clicking here

See Lisa's selection by clicking here. 

We would all love to hear from you, your thoughts on the book club and on our selections. We invite you to leave us comments below our posts and look forward to them!
Thank you for joining me today for a cup of tea and my Three Amigos Summer Reading Club selection. I love to hear from you so please consider commenting below or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Cat Got Your Secrets by Julia Chase

I loved Cat Got Your Secrets. This series by Julie Chase quickly found a place in my heart with the first book in series  Cat Got Your Diamonds late last year. I was even more enchanted with Cat Got Your Cash when I got to read it in February and was anxiously awaiting Cat Got Your Secrets! I was so delighted when I was approved to read and review it on Netgalley.  This one is out September 12th and I am so excited for you to read it. Like all great trilogies the third book is even better than the first two!
Main character, Lacy is a costume designer for animals, baker and shop owner in New Orleans, from a fell known and wealthy family and yet so down to earth. She has a wonderful employee who happens to have been her Nanny, a devoted best friend who would do anything for her and a love sick younger man who is at her service, if only in the friend zone. Lacy has a great head on her shoulders, naturally curious, smart and connected to the local police detective who she can match with her wit and charm and devotion.  On top of all of this Lacy has a quirky family, community obligations and expectations,  a mild coffee addiction and the most wonderful costume wearing cat who rides the self powered vacuum cleaner  as if it was a parade float at Mardi Gras!  There is so much to love about this series and I am delighted I got to read and review it! Now that all three books are going to be out, I think it would make a great holiday gift for the cozy mystery lover in your life and for yourself. Perhaps picking them up for Buy A Friend A Book Day on August 31st! For you friend or yourself! I won't tell! Crooked Lane Books has a winner in this  Kitty Couture Mystery series and Julie Chase has everything you need in Lacy's store, even a tiara for your turtle...

Lacy Marie Crocker has settled into a comfortable groove back home in New Orleans, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, she’s busier than ever running a thriving pet boutique, helping her mother organize the upcoming National Pet Pageant, and untangling her complicated love life. But when delivering a king-sized order of dreidel-shaped doggy biscuits for a Saint Berdoodle’s bark-mitzvah, Lacy stumbles into yet another murder scene―and the last person to see the victim alive was her own father.It’s up to Lacy to clear her dad’s name from the suspect list before Detective Jack Oliver has to cage him for good. But just when she starts pawing at the truth, she receives a threatening letter from a mysterious blackmailer bent on silencing her with her own secrets. And Lacy’s not the only one with bones in her closet.

You can pre order Cat Got Your Secrets on Amazon by clicking here

Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Saturday, August 19, 2017

On My Table and In My Cup August 12th to the 19th

What a crazy week that has just passed. I continue to recover from pneumonia and though I am on the mend I am not 100%, I spent Thursday back in hospital with Pleurisy, which is a posh word for inflammation of the lungs and had it been the early 1900's possibly fatal.  Thankfully the makers of Advil are my savior this week and I am hoping that I am on the mend. As I write this I am feeling ever so slightly better. The raging forest fires this summer have added to the slowness of recovery with the air quality not being the best for recovering. I try not to complain about it as many people have been displaced and their lives ruined due to these fires and I have only been inconvenienced.
Upon arriving home Thursday a delivery from Berkley arrived, with these two books for September and I am beside myself with excitement at the chance to read and review them.  Julia Buckley has become one of my most favorite authors and who doesn't love a great magical cat mystery?
I was blessed to receive to care packages in the mail this week from my friends Lin and Sheryl! Feeling the love this week!
Earlier this week my youngest son and I made carrot soup from all the rainbow carrots he grew over the summer. This carrot and rosemary soup was extra special knowing that he was so proud to harvest his own veggies this summer.
We have been so lucky to have moved to a home with an established orchard of Figs, we have been amazed at the bounty we have received and how much we can share with our friends and neighbors. Our landlords have been kind enough to allow us to harvest and process the figs... I have the most amazing friend who shared her recipe for Fig and Balsamic Jam!  It is almost gone and such a treat to have with crackers and cheese, or a turkey sandwich!
Carole shared her D.I.Y book with the recipe in it and we all made the jam. This was the first day I had visitors in two weeks and Squirrel would not leave my side, guarding me and caring for me these past two weeks. On my table and in my cup was the English Breakfast tea my dad picked up in London, the Westminster Abby Blend.  Last remaining Walkers Shortbread on the table too. I had lovely visits with Carole,  my friend Banafshe and her daughter Rana, who baked me a lovely chocolate cake, Hey-Jung, A-hin, Hoon who joined me for tea and fig jam, cheese and crackers.

 My friend Daniela who kindly visited twice with macarons and treats to lift my spirits. My sister, nieces, dad and in laws and puppy niece too! I felt lots of love this week.
There have been books too! I read loved and pre ordered my own copy of Monica Crosson's book The Magickal Family, it comes out in October and this lovely resource guide, self help and pagan life guide was such a wonderful read I can not wait to have it in my hands to refer to often.

VIctoria Laurie, wow 15th book in the series which is out now and a great read, lucky I am to have been able to read this book and its entire series, one of the first I ever bought and still love.
Chime and Punishment by Julianne Holmes I reviewed on Sunday, this was a surprisingly great read and a series I hope will continue.
Jean Flower's book Addressed to Kill the third book in the series was wonderful also. I can relate so much to the main character and love the idea of working at the post office. As a lifelong lover of mail and admirer of those who carry the mail this is a series I just love!
I will have the review of Cat Got Your Secrets by Julie Chase tomorrow. This is a series that earned a place in my heart and favorites list late last year, book three was the best and I am thrilled to have had the chance to read it before it comes out this September.
I also finished From Ice To Ashes by fellow Sisters In Crime- Canada West Member Jessica Simon, I had 4 hours to read it mostly uninterrupted at the hospital on Thursday. Every time a nurse came to get me for a test or to take blood my nose was buried deep in this adventure mystery. I will have this review for you on Tuesday.
 While I did not have the voice to do a video on cozy mystery series this week I did manage to get one up on a favorite poetry series. I hope you will click this link to watch it. 

Thank you all who reached out this week and over the last few weeks, I am touched by your concern, generosity and friendship. Thank you all who continue to support me by visiting my blog here and the sponsors on the page.
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Friday, August 18, 2017

Fancy Friday Finds- Back To School Finds for Tea Lovers

As much as I wish I could control time, September is fast approaching, here where I live my kids are back to school the first Tuesday after the Labor Day long weekend. So this week's Fancy Friday Finds are back to school themed. Starting with these Pencils from The Carbon Crusader Etsy shop they say "My Veins Are Full of Tea & Sarcasm"  These pencils got my attention for their humor and cheekiness. Click here for shop and listing. 

Call me a Dinosaur but I am a huge fan of my mouse and I love this mouse pad by GaranceCouture  This is on my back to school list for sure! Click here for shop and listing. 

Nature's Whimsey Mystery Bath Box caught my eye, offering the relief of forms, parent teacher interviews, packing lunches and general taxi services of today's busy parents in September! Click here to learn more about this fantastic idea for back to school busy moms!


I am still at home recovering from my illness and thank you all for your patience with me as I recover, I am doing my best to read and review my list as well as write daily to share what I love.
I would also love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Addressed To Kill by Jean Flowers

Over the weekend I finished Jean Flowers Addressed to Kill, the third book in her Postmistress Series. I have now read all three books and I think this is one of the coolest series in the cozy world. Maybe it is because I identify with the author's main character and her love of the mail. As far back as I can remember getting something in the mail was such a treat. My grandfather used to write and send stories to us and my mom would read them out to us until we were old enough to read them ourselves. Postcards from their trips, holiday and birthday cards had us cheering for the postman. When I was old enough pen pals had me hanging out by our mail box and even now, it is one of the most fun parts of the day. I still love my snail mail and I feel it is such an important way to connect even now in the age of impersonal emails and more efficient means of communication.  In Addressed to Kill main character Postmistress Cassie helps to figure out who is behind the murder of a local math professor. Cassie is naturally curious, and very much inserts herself in the investigation, with a little nudging from her customers and her best friend and police chief Sunni. There is so much to love about this series and it is my hope that it will continue.
This book is out now and a series you should own!



Click here to order your own copy on Amazon.com 

Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com