Friday, July 21, 2017

Fancy Friday Finds- Inspired by my trip to Oregon...

Fancy Friday Etsy Finds Today are inspirations from items and places I saw on my trip to Oregon last weekend. Powell's Bookstore (largest and most spectacular book store I have ever been in!), The Saturday Market, tea shops and fantastic food!

First up, I know there is great debate about book plates and how they take away from the value of books, however growing up I wanted these things when they were offered at a bookfair and never had the money for them and I remember my mother always eyeing the pretty ones for her expansive collection, I just liked how these caught my eye and that you get 12 and that they are tea themed. Offered by Pear Creek Cottage this $11 listing is on my wish list for sure. Click here for shop and listing.

Portland to me is such an inspirational place, filled with great food, great people, great tea shops and these fun stickers that say "Keep Portland Weird" The colors in the tea towel I found that I would absolutely love from Gifts by Gita remind me of my trip into the Stash Tea store and the saying is one I can attest to! Click here for shop and listing. Pretty sure this one is going on my Christmas list!



 Saving the best for last here, I found the Sirens Bath Bomb Etsy shop at the Portland Market and I am wishing I filled the car, I bought 5 of there amazing bath bombs and have only one left. They had a lemon lavender one that was so amazing I wished I had bought a dozen and one called Monkey Farts that was outstanding (think Banana and Raspberry) If you are in the Portland area check them out, if not you can find them on Etsy

Spend a bit of time in their shop and you will see why I am so excited about their bath bombs! Click here for their Etsy Shop. 

I had such a lovely weekend away it is hard to believe that I have already been home for days. Thank you for joining me for this week's Fancy Friday Finds.
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Thursday, July 20, 2017

5 New Teas I found on my trip...

I was in Washington and Oregon over the weekend and I picked up 5 new to me teas. In Washington at the Cup and Kettle located at 819 Front Street Leavenworth Washington I picked up two lovely new teas, the first I have almost gone through the whole 2 ounces and that was the Cranberry Cream, tea, I am thrilled to know that this shop will ship as this is one I should have bought way more of!

You can call them at (509) 548-8327 to find out more but do if you live within driving distance stop in for sure. The second tea I picked up there was the Princess Grey which is a very floral Earl Grey that I loved the scent of.

I was thrilled on this latest trip to make it into the Stash Tea store on Mississippi. The store was beautiful and more than I had expected. I love their loose leaf tea line and picked up three new to me blends. I first selected The Portland Pride Blend. Love the new packaging and even though I don't normally like a white tea this one had a lovely scent and is a quite floral scented tea, I think it will be lovely chilled. I loved the Macaroon I got in store as well, it was the size of a hamberger...

I also picked up the Double Grey Portland Fog, though the temps were in the 90's when I was there it was hard to imagine Portland ever getting bad weather, it was the name first that caught my eye and the double dose of bergamot that sealed the deal. Thrilled to have picked this tea up which is perfect for the afternoon and to look forward to for the fall.



Their Mellow Moments Tea I also picked up in store, I have not seen this one in store locally and the name called to me. I am looking forward enjoying this one in the early evening. I feel so lucky to have been able to indulge in these shops this weekend. If you find yourself close to either of these stores do try to make it in! You won't be sorry!
Thank you for joining me here today. I look forward to sharing many cozy moments with you with my up coming reviews.  I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Rhys Bowen's On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service

Tuesday morning I finished reading Rhys Bowen's On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service and as usual with books in this Royal Spyness Mystery Series I did not wish to put it down. Each time I was forced by reality to put it down I was most eager to get back to Dacy and Lady Georgiana Rannoch! You will have to wait a little longer as I feel so honored to have had this book on my table and to read before the August 1st Publication. We are now 11 books in on this A Royal Spyness Mystery and they get even more exciting with each new book. I am in awe of how Rhys Bowen captures not only the Era but the true character of what  one assumes the sullied Mrs. Wallis was truly like. The cover is as usual perfect and accurately reflects that the picture painted by Rhys Bowen's words of the impossibility of  life for the 35th in line for the throne. In an absolutely brilliant way she ties up an impossible situation with grace, style and fantastically written characters. One of the best series and one of the best books she has written. I highly recommend this book and series!


 When Darcy runs off on another secret assignment, I am left to figure out how to travel to Italy sans maid and chaperone to help my dear friend Belinda, as she awaits the birth of her baby alone. An opportunity presents itself in a most unexpected way—my cousin the queen is in need of a spy to attend a house party in the Italian lake country. The Prince of Wales and the dreadful Mrs. Simpson have been invited, and Her Majesty is anxious to thwart a possible secret wedding.  
What luck! A chance to see Belinda and please the queen as I seek her permission to relinquish my claim to the throne so I can marry Darcy. Only that’s as far as my good fortune takes me. I soon discover that Mummy is attending the villa party and she has her own secret task for me. Then, Darcy shows up and tells me that the fate of a world on the brink of war could very well depend on what I overhear at dinner! I shouldn’t be all that surprised when one of my fellow guests is murdered and my Italian holiday becomes a nightmare...

You can find Rhys Bowen's On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service 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 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Death Plays A Party by Vivian Conroy


This weekend while I was away finished Death Plays A Part by Vivian Conroy. This British Cozy was a breath of fresh air, a fun and light. A great start to this first in the Cornish Castle Mystery Series. A main character who has accepted what some would think is a very boring job cataloging books, at a castle away from everyone and everything, however Guinevere is perfectly at peace and she and her dog look forward to the summer ahead. That ideal summer is foiled by a murder during a reenactment that sees Guinevere working to vindicate her new boss with the help of his son. This was a lovely armchair traveler read.  


With high tide comes murder…

This book is out now and a fun summer read. You can find it on amazon by clicking here. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Three Amigos Summer Reading Club Week 5

Welcome to week 5 of our Three Amigos Summer Reading Club. This week our theme is B&B or Cozy Inn themed Mystery series books. My choice for this week is Krista Davis's Murder She Barked...



Now let's see what my Amigos have chosen for their picks this week! 


We all love hearing from you so please leave us a comment when you visit us! I would love to hear what you think of the series and books we have selected so far and your picks on our weekly themes! 
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a Three Amigos Summer Reading Club Pick.
Please feel free to leave me a comment below or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com 


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Tea Musings & Greetings



Good morning, I am not at my table today I am actually away for the weekend with my husband and enjoying a bunch of new teas! Even in July when the temperature is in the 90+'s as it is here I have at least two pots of tea a day.


Last week I was surprised by my friend Anna D who brought me a new Harney & Son's tea tin of their Paris blend, a great bag (which I am using as a purse this weekend) and a fun mug!
I have actually had about 6 tea bags now from this tin and can recommend this one  it has some fruity undertones with a hint of vanilla and I very much enjoyed it.
We visited Leavenworth Washington this weekend, and what a cool place this is. Scenic and picturesque naturally and then you come into this very charming small town that you can tell is the perfect setting for a cozy mystery! I quickly found the bookstore, hat shop (note the Maddie Hatter inspired find! ) Spent way too much money at their Christmas store, got some amazing fudge, just outside of town and picked up two teas I can not wait to try and share with you at the very new tea shop that just opened. On our way home shortly and this is a great day trip to take from where we live and is stunning in the Winter with the snow and quaint as can be in the summer! I can only imagine Octoberfest in this Bavarian inspired tiny town...oh and the Schnitzel and Red Cabbage was out of this world!
Thank you for coming along with me on this Sunday on a virtual mini vacation and a great cup of tea. I look forward to sharing more with you tomorrow. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Saturday, July 15, 2017

On My Table and In My Cup July 8th to July 15th

Another week has come and gone and it is midway through July. I blink and feel like I have traveled through time at hyperspeed! I found this block at Michael's and it practically yelled to me, so I bought it and placed it on my table. " Let it Flow" it can be a battle cry or a whisper but it called to me nonetheless.  Simple beauty in this one nestled beneath the flowers of friendship that grow in my friend Jen's yard. We used to be neighbors and it broke my heart when we had to move but she still makes a point of making me feel like she is still just a few doors down.

I recently launched my new business Beyond the Bookmarks and I am thrilled my cards came this week! I am getting ready to host the Maddie Hatter party this July 26th as you may know and I have really enjoyed working with a few authors this week in finding the right items for their giveaways and book launches as well as designing their Facebook Banners and Social Media ads.
My cards for this blog came in too and just in time for me to prep for the upcoming conference I am attending in Calgary When Words Collide.
( The purple cabinet is new this week too, I just love it!)
I am currently reading a book that is out now called Death Plays A Part it is a UK cozy and I hope to share the review with you early next week.

One of my most favorite series on my table this week and a spectacular read! Carol J. Perry has book 5 out the end of August and I am tickled I got to read it early! Great series! I highly recommend, it was a complete fluke that book one was my Three Amigos' pick this week too!
Not a cozy but very honored to be asked to read K.A. Davis new book A Game of Deceit, a debut for her and a good mystery too.
Doom with a View by Kate Kingsbury was another great read I had on my table this week, 2nd in the series out later this summer and one to watch for.
I shared my review as well for Jayne Barnards Maddie Hatter and the Gilded Gauge earlier this week and I have been working on so many fun and inspired items as a result of this wonderful read.

Just arrived on Thursday and to my delight, I have a new video for you to watch you can watch it above or click here 
I hope you are enjoying your weekend and thank you for taking time out of your busy life to spend sometime with me and enjoy a cup of tea & a week in review.
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Friday, July 14, 2017

Fancy Friday Finds Inspired by Maddie Hatter and the Gilded Gauge...



As you may know by now I am very excited for the upcoming event I am co-hosting with author Jayne Barnard on my Beyond The Bookmarks Facebook Page July 26th. I am so inspired by Jayne's character Maddie that I have been looking at and creating fun Steampunk styled items for our book party and today's Fancy Friday Finds are inspired by Jayne's character Maddie Hatter's Style...

First up is this lovely leather tea wallet created and sold by Attic Raiders Etsy Shop. I personally carry a tea wallet with me wherever I go but mine is not as sophisticated ast this lovely one. with pockets for tea, sugar, stir sticks, tea ball teaspoons and more this Fancy Friday Etsy find has me rethinking my traveling tea wallet! Click here for shop and listing.



Kind Hearts Emporium has me excited with this lovely pin, I have found that I am drawn more and more to these eye catching conversation pieces. I can see this being worn at the neck as a choker just as easily as I can see on a dress coat. I love the sentiment in this one, on my wish list for sure! Click here for shop and listing. 

Echo Tee Company caught my eye with this great shirt!
Okay maybe the t-shirt is not fancy but I love the sentiment of the message on the shirt so it makes my Fancy Friday list. "be Splendid & Drink Tea. This is where I shall leave you today....

Do please join us and share this invite to our Maddie Hatter Summer Facebook party! Click here for more information on the event and join us for some summer fun from the comfort of your own home.

Thank you for joining me here today for a cup of tea and some Fancy Friday Finds!  I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Grave Errors by Carol J. Perry



There is nothing more satisfying to me than a really great cozy mystery ghost story. Carol J. Perry has a way of making a paranormal cozy feel perfectly normal and complete! Grave Errors is out August 29th and is book five in the Witch City Mysteries. I love this series, it is not at all what I expected when I picked up book number 1 and I am more surprised and enchanted with each additional book. I was blown away. Main character Lee, is very much relatable to me, actually she is one of my most favorite characters of all time in all the cozy series I read. She is someone I could completely be friends with. She is smart, takes things as they come and has about the best mental health balance of any characters out there. Despite the fact that she is widowed, orphaned, she is about as untraumatized and yet strengthened by these very things that would make most of us throw in the towel. She has a great job as a teacher in a school that is based in an old department store in Salem Massachusetts, she is a Nascar fan, has a great yellow cat, boyfriend on the police force, an Aunt who is like her own personal google search engine and she see visions in shiny objects....Seriously I could not make this up but I am so glad that Carol J. Perry did because this book was the perfect read for someone like me who loves the fall, Nascar, Witches, Cats and knows a great paranormal cozy when I read one! This one is highly recommended and I am thrilled I got to read it early!

For residents of Salem, Massachusetts, the day after Halloween brings empty candy wrappers, sagging pumpkins, and a community-wide identity crisis. That is, until Lee Barrett’s TV production class suggests extending the spooky season with the traditional Mexican celebration Dia de Los Muertos. But when the students discover not all of Salem’s dead are resting in peace, the post-October blues don’t seem so bad after all . . . As if a series of haunting graveyard visits isn’t disturbing enough, Lee and her policeman boyfriend connect the crime to an unsolved missing person case. Driven by a series of chilling psychic visions, Lee calls on her cleverest allies—including her shrewd cat, O’Ryan—to go underground and dig up the evidence needed to put a lid on a cold case forever . . . before the latest headstone in town has her name on it!


You can pre order Grave Errors by Carol J. Perry 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

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Game of Deceit by K. A. Davis

I was asked to read and review K.A. Davis' A Game Of Deceit, which is out August 1st. I will start by saying this is really not a cozy. This is a very good mystery with some cozy undertones. More of a Noir-Cozy-Thriller, if such a thing exists this book goes in that category. A very tight web of characters and a whodunnit with some sophisticated twists. I found this to be a darker and more disturbing series of crimes then I am used to reading but was unable to put it down.  I read it in one sitting and was happy to see the character grow from start to finish. A good read to be sure, just a little out of my normal cozy comfort zone.

Through August 15, 2017, 100% of the net sales from this book will be donated to rettsyndrome.org
A father’s disappearance never solved, a mother’s secret taken to the grave, a daughter deceived…Kathryn Landry thinks her life is just about perfect. She is the owner of a successful interior designer business in Newport Beach, California, and she has an attentive, supportive husband. But her world comes crashing down when her husband, Neil Landry, vanishes without a trace… in a situation almost identical to the disappearance of her father twenty years before.With her father’s disappearance still a mystery, Kathryn is skeptical that the detective assigned to her case will be able to find her husband. Determined to uncover the truth, Kathryn is plunged into a world of politics, high-priced call girls and wealth. As she begins to search for her husband, a decades-old secret her mother took to the grave threatens to destroy all she holds dear. Caught up in a web of betrayals and deceit, and not knowing who to trust, Kathryn must find a way to survive as she discovers the past has a way of repeating itself.“In A Game of Deceit author K. A. Davis offers up a taut, edge-of-your-seat suspense novel that will make you lock the doors, close the blinds, and wonder who you can truly trust. Don’t miss this great debut from Ms. Davis.” – Paige Shelton, New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers' Market, Country Cooking School, Dangerous Type, and Scottish Bookshop mysteries.“In A Game of Deceit, K. A. Davis has crafted an emotional suspense with a taut, satisfying ending that should delight any fan of Mary Higgins Clark.” – Daryl Wood Gerber, Agatha Award-winning author of the Cookbook Nook, French Bistro Mysteries, and Cheese Shop Mysteries, and the stand-alone suspense novels, GIRL ON THE RUN and DAY OF SECRETS. “Sly, sexy and spellbinding, A Game of Deceit grabs you in the first chapter and doesn’t let you go until its breathtaking finish. Debut author K. A. Davis creates a riveting tale of betrayal, family, suspense and murder.” – Jenny Kales, author of The Callie’s Kitchen Mystery series."A Game of Deceit is a marvelous read packed with action, suspense and intrigue. I couldn't put it down!" – Catherine Bruns, USA Today Best Selling Author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries.

You can find A Game of Deceit by K. A. Davis on Amazon by clicking here 
Thank you for joining me today for a cup of tea and a mystery review. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Kate Kingsbury's Doom with a View

Over the weekend I read Kate Kingsbury's Doom with a View, the second in the Merry Ghost Inn Mystery series from Crooked Lane Books. This cozy was off to a good start with book one and I was really looking forward to reading book two. I enjoyed the mystery but was pleased to get to know the main characters a little bit better. The main character Melanie is in herself a complex character you can not help but feel for, her grandmother who insists on being called by her first name is a bit quirky and the young girl working for them has me intrigued and hoping for more with their stories in addition to the murder mystery. I think that the mystery of Melanie's missing mom, the laughing mysterious ghost in the house and Melanie's tragic past  are far more interesting as a reader and then as a bonus you get a complicated mystery. All in all I think this was a good second in series and I look forward to seeing what lies ahead with the next set of guests who arrive at the Merry Ghost Inn. This book is out in September and can be ordered in advance now.

With the arrival of six senior reading group members at the Merry Ghost Inn, the long-awaited Grand Opening week has finally begun for Melanie West and her grandmother, Liza. All is well with the Oregon coast-side B&B until Melanie’s dog, Max, finds the dead body of one of their guests.Everyone at the inn immediately falls under suspicion, including the innkeepers themselves. Melanie and Liza are not sure who they can trust, and the idea of cohabitating with a murderer is enough to send chills down anyone’s spine. To make matters worse, the curmudgeonly town detective wants them to steer clear of the investigation, but doesn’t seem too inspired to solve the case in a timely fashion himself. To clear their own names and to avoid the blight on the inn’s reputation that yet another dead body will bring, Melanie and Liza dive headlong into the murder investigation.With a little help from their chuckling ghost, Melanie and Liza dodge the detective, tip-toe around their suspicious guests, and still serve up delicious Bed & Breakfast meals on time in Kate Kingsbury’s delightful second Merry Ghost Inn mystery, Doom with a View.

To learn more about this book and to pre order on Amazon please click here.
Thank you for joining me here 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

Monday, July 10, 2017

Three Amigos Summer Reading Club Week 4

Week 4 of our Three Amigos Summer Reading Series and I am thrilled and excited to announce my pick for a Road Trip or Book About A Car.


 Mine is Caught Dead Handed by Carol J Perry. I love this series! It is a paranormal series but has some great ties to witchcraft and a whole lot of fun with the main character Lee is a widowed NASCAR Drivers wife who starts life over with her aunt in Salem Massachusetts, I don't want to give too much away but she ends up with a pretty sweet ride!  I love this series and I hope you will give it a try!  It is so much better then the amazon write up shared below!
Most folks associate the city of Salem, Massachusetts with witches, but for Lee Barrett, it's home. This October she's returned to her hometown--where her beloved Aunt Ibby still lives--to interview for a job as a reporter at WICH-TV. But the only opening is for a call-in psychic to host the late night horror movies. It seems the previous host, Ariel Constellation, never saw her own murder coming. Lee reluctantly takes the job, but when she starts seeing real events in the obsidian ball she's using as a prop, she wonders if she might really have psychic abilities. To make things even spookier, it's starting to look like Ariel may have been an actual practicing witch--especially when O'Ryan, the cat Lee and Aunt Ibby inherited from her, exhibits some strange powers of his own. With Halloween fast approaching, Lee must focus on unmasking a killer--or her career as a psychic may be very short lived. . .


You can find it on Amazon.com by clicking here.
You can find it here with free world wide shipping from The Book Depository by clicking here

You know I love a good car when I see one! 
So let's see what my Amigos have for their picks! 



Check out Lisa's Pick by clicking here.

Please leave us each a comment as you visit our page, we love hearing from you and what you think of our books! If you have thoughts or a series you like on this theme, do let us know in the comments below.
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a Three Amigos Summer Reading Club Selection I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com