Thursday, November 30, 2017

My Nanowrimo Report...


Today is the last day of Nanowrimo and I actively participated for about the first week. I did not make the required word count, nor did I finish a novel, this month but I did however learn quite a bit about myself and my writing. For those of you who do not know Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month.

One of the things I have learned that unless something huge happens and I develope the ability to magically control time, the time I have for writing has to be made. Not magically found,  and as I can not seem to get a hold of controlling time, the writing I do most is my blogs, and that is okay.

I learned that each word does count because it is one more word closer to me improving my writing which is really a huge struggle for me. I am improving, daily. Except for punctuation, run on sentences, compound words and the ADHD nature of writing the way I think and speak. But hey that is what editors are for.


I learned that I have many stories to tell, great ideas and that if I think of it just before falling asleep even though I know that won't remember it, I still can convince myself I will and I will wake up and the amazing thought, story idea or plot twist is now gone.



In all seriousness this month through my own writing I have found great support from my sisters in crime chapter SinC-Canada West. All month long, save for one day where I forgot to hit publish I posted a quote and image of encouragement for my 19 fellow siblings who also participated. Through these posts I found great advice and strength.

 Above is my favorite. You see I choose to cold write each time and I have learned that while this helps me get the ideas out, it doesn't always lead anywhere and I think I really am starting to realize where I am going wrong. Maybe wrong is not the right word but where my story derails...

This month however, in addition to writing and not writing a novel, I have read more, organized more authors in November and set up Events for the entire month of December. Published daily on two blogs, two instagram accounts, 4 facebook pages and monitored each of said places I wrote. I have attended meetings, helped to organize a hockey team pub night, advocated for the needs of my children at school and in the community, helped other parents in the community do the same for theirs, made 5 batches or 102 Indoor S'mores for the  cookie party I hosted and held for 20 of my closest friends and that on November 30th I am tired but proud even though I did not finish writing a novel, I still loved Nanowrimo 2017. Maybe next year I will meet all my marks, write that novel.

 Thankfully December starts tomorrow and all that hard work in November will make the blessedly stressed November all that more worthwhile.
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a look back at my lack of progress or my amazing progress of Nanowrimo 2017. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Jenn McKinlay Death In The Stacks


I could not help it I tried to savor it but I could not put it down. Death in the Stacks by Jenn McKinlay was one of those books you simply must settle in and read cover to cover. I loved it. I don't know how Jenn did it but I quickly became agitated enough with the character that ends up murdered is found, I thought to myself finally and had a hard time finding sympathy for the victim. I really enjoyed the banter between Lindsay and Robbie and their amature sluething. I also loved how the progression of Sully and Lindsay's relationship and Sully and Emma's relationships change over the story. I was so excited with the ending of this book it is taking all my strength to not tell you and write this while biting my tongue! This was one of those reads you just want to champion! 
In the latest Library Lover’s Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Better Late Than Never, the library’s big fund-raiser leaves director Lindsey Norris booked for trouble . . . Lindsey Norris and her staff are gearing up for the Briar Creek Library’s annual Dinner in the Stacks fund-raiser. The night of dinner and dancing is not only a booklover’s dream—it’s the library’s biggest moneymaker of the year. But instead of raising funds, the new library board president is busy raising a stink and making the staff miserable.Although Olive Boyle acts like a storybook villain, Lindsey is determined to work with her and make the event a success. But when Olive publicly threatens the library’s newest hire, Paula, Lindsey cracks like an old book spine and throws Olive out of the library.The night of the fund-raiser, Lindsey dreads another altercation with Olive—but instead finds Paula crouched over Olive’s dead body. Paula may have secrets, but Lindsey and the rest of the crafternooners know she’s not the one who took Olive out of circulation. As the plot thickens, Lindsey must catch the real killer before the book closes on Paula’s future . . .

Death in the Stacks is out now and you can find it on Amazon by clicking 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

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Better Late Than Never by Jenn McKinlay

Monday morning I finished Jenn McKinlay's Better Late Than Never and I loved it. I loved it because of how the story unfolded and the clues were laid out. The idea that an overdue library book would be the catalyst to solving a murder is pretty darn cool and I love the idea of amnesty free day at the Library. My mother was always owing the library, it always made me laugh and fear bells and whistles going off when we would go.  This book I felt involved in, felt very real to me. While I have read a few in this series, and liked them, I did not enjoy them as much as I did this one and I am anxious to read the next one. A joy to have had this to read over the weekend and one I can highly recommend. 
In this Library Lover’s Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Likely Story, a decades-overdue book puts library director Lindsey Norris hot on the trail of a cold case…
 When the Briar Creek Public Library holds its first overdue book amnesty day—no fines for late returns—the volume of incoming materials is more than Lindsey and her staff can handle. But one tardy tome catches her attention—a copy of J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, twenty years past due.When Lindsey looks up the borrower, she’s shocked to discover it was a murdered teacher named Candice Whitley, whose killer was never found. Candice checked out the novel on the day she died. Now Lindsey wonders if it could provide a clue to the decades-old cold case. No one noticed who brought the book back in, but could it be Candice’s killer? Lindsey is determined to catch the culprit one way or another, because justice for Candice Whitley is long overdue...

Better Late Than Never is out now and you can find it on Amazon by clicking here. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday Musings From My Table To Yours...

Saturday night I held my annual Cookie Exchange party and it was a huge success. I am exhausted and yet full of sugar. This year I had to cap the amount of friends who could participate and I hated leaving people out but 17 people means 17 bags of cookies and we did 6 cookies or bars each. Above is a look at some of the treats made and shared.

The table kept filling up too and really not sure we could have fit more on this table.
We were treated too....
Carol's Shortbread, Kirsten's Snowballs, Zenia's Peanut Butter Cookies, My Sister Pumpy's Chocolate Chip Cookies, Jodie's Chocolate Chip Pecan, Anna Lee's Cranberry Christmas Cake, Jen's Salted Caramel Cookies, Kelley's Molasses cookies stuffed with white chocolate, My sister in law Sarah's Oreo cookie bars, Laura and Sadie's Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, Janie's Cranberry White Chocolate Shortbread, Jo's Chocolate Orange Scrumptions, Jo E's Chocolate Turtle Cookies, Anna D's Russian Tea Cakes, Ria's Sugar Cookies and I made Indoor S'mores....
Here I am with all the cookies just before we all swapped them!
A huge thank you to all who came brought food and treats to share and I am already looking forward to next year's party!
Thank you for joining me here for a look back at my cookie exchange party, I should get back to reading now, once the sugar crash happens that is.
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Tastes Like Murder by Catherine Bruns


A true treat to have read Tastes Like Murder, a book and author recommended to me by my dear friend Lisa of Lisa K's book reviews. Such a good read and a really fun one! Best friends running a new small town bakery, what could go wrong? Loved the premise, the Italian Grandmothers, and love triangle. This book took turns and twists I did not expect and in ways I would not have imagined I loved it. Great way to end the book too, I can not wait to read the next one! Perfect twist ending. 

Taste Like Murder is out now and you can find it on Amazon by clicking 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

Saturday, November 25, 2017

On My Table and In My Cup November 18-25th

A month to Christmas day how can this even be? Hoping your Saturday is off to a good start, I have Jenn McKinlay's book Better Late Than Never on my table to read this weekend.
I am also delighted to have The Healing Powers of Tea on my table this is a book for the new year I can already tell I need to own a copy of not just an ARC.
Right in line with my own hobby and beliefs and a lovely treat to read early!
Thursday I finished Tastes Like Murder by Catherine Bruns and I will review it Sunday, the cover fits the cozy perfectly and matched my teacup and saucer too, always a good indication of a great book!
Assault and Buttery was a fantastic read this week as well and such a highlight of my week.
Escape Claws is another book you are going to want to preorder for yourself so it downloads for December 26th! A Cat Lady Mystery, now you know you need to read it!
"Cookie Cutters and Holiday Hearts, That's the way the Season Starts" 
Tonight is my annual cookie exchange and I can not wait, it gets bigger and more complicated every year, I feel like I should be doing it over two nights with two groups of friends, had to cap it at 18 people this year and every year I have to leave people out... More on how it goes to follow later in the week.
This time of year especially take heart to share love, in all its forms. We all need more of it, kindness, love, joy. We all know someone going through struggles and battles and we all have a heightened sense of stress especially this time of year.  My thoughts, prayers and love go out to so many I know who desperately need it more today than any day. Share love, pay it forward, go out of your way to create a chain of love wherever you go.
Thank you for joining me for  a cup of tea and 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, November 24, 2017

Fancy Friday Finds Holiday Items For Book Lovers...

Black Friday, which is now an international shopping day is upon us and today I am sharing some Etsy shop favorites which may or may not be on sale when this posts but they do give the book lover or those shopping for the book lover some great ideas for the holidays. Last year I had a bunch of these done up and everyone loved them, each with a different saying but I wanted to share this one with you today from the If The Sock Fitz Etsy Shop, click here for shop and listing. 


Oh the Paper Peach Shop has something on my list! I love the idea of this stamp! I dream of stamping my books so when I lend them up they find their way back to me! Click here to see this listing, I think I would get the purple stamp pad to go with it... 

I also fell in love with this infinity scarf! Check out this one from Dream Express Etsy Shop, you can find it by clicking here. 

I hope you enjoyed these three Fancy Friday Finds and I look forward to sharing more ideas, book reviews and more with you again soon.
Thank you for taking time to stop by for a cup of tea and this weeks 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, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Thursday! Happy Reading!


Happy Thanksgiving to all of you wonderful readers celebrating in the USA today. Happy Thursday to those of you like me are having a pretty much regular day!

I am taking today's post to invite you all to the upcoming event on my Beyond The Bookmark page, for the entire month of December! I have been posting there daily already I am a bit excited. It is not everyday that I get this excited, but more than 40 of my favorite cozy mystery authors are going to be joining us over the entire event and I am very busy behind the scenes doing what I can to put together a 24/7 event for the entire month!
There are even more authors and books to share then I could fit on this calendar and I cannot tell you how excited I am for this event and to share it with you my wonderful readers!
So if you know anyone who loves cozies, wants to learn about great books, share in recipes, giveaways, crafts, activities and help us build a strong community of reading friends this holiday season invite them to be Booked For The Holidays! 
You can find the event by clicking here.

Have a safe and happy rest of the day and remember to take and make time for just you!
Thank you for joining me here. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Assault and Buttery by Kristi Abbot


I was sent Assault and Buttery to read and review and I loved it. It was brilliant. Not at all what I had expected having read the last two books and this one was innovative and I found it very exciting to read. The twists from the start roped me in and kept me grounded! A fun and exciting 3rd book in a great cozy mystery series! Loved it!

This one is out now and you can find it on Amazon.com by clicking here.
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Krista Davis, Not A Creature Was Purring

I loved Not a Creature Was Purring, this was a great holiday read from a much loved and treasured series I read by Krista Davis. This mystery had all the things you love about the holidays and everything you love and hate about family gatherings. It was warm, felt genuine and still over the top enough to keep you engaged and entertained. I would love to spend time in Wagtail year round, but Christmas time seems just that much more special, and cozy even with the recent mysterious deaths. From the author descriptions of the Sugar Maple in, to the decorated golf carts, Christkindl Market in the square and holiday pet clothes, it is easy to fall in love with and feel like you belong in Wagtail. I love this series and I loved this book. If ever Hallmark should make a cozy mystery into a holiday special it is this book and this series! I read it in one sitting not wanting it to end. A Great Read and a Great series to gift someone this holiday season. 
You can find it with free shipping worldwide from The Book Depository by clicking here. 
Santa Claws is coming to town and checking his list for a murderer—as the New York Times bestselling Paws & Claws Mysteries continue…Inn owner Holly Miller finds it ruff staying cheerful over the holidays when the dead body of a beloved businessman turns up in the pet-friendly town of Wagtail, Virginia. Inspired by her German heritage, Holly’s grandmother has arranged for Wagtail to have a Christkindl Market packed with goodies and decorations for the howliday tourists. But Holly’s mood takes an unseasonable turn when she learns that her old flame and childhood friend Holmes Richardson has brought his fiancĂ©e home—and she’ll be staying at the Sugar Maple Inn… A love triangle becomes the last thing on Holly’s mind when her Jack Russell Trixie’s nose for trouble leads her to the corpse of a pet clothing tycoon. Now Holly and her dedicated detectives—Trixie and Twinkletoes the cat—must sniff out the killer to keep Christmas from going to the dogs…

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

Monday, November 20, 2017

Death of a Toy Soldier by Barbara Early

I finished Death of a Toy Soldier by Barbara Early at 9:30 pm last night.  I have my friend Doward to thank for the wonderful gift of this book through our Halloween Book Exchange, he  kindly ordered it for me and I delighted in devouring it. The cover I would like to start with first and tell you it is one of my favorites for its simplicity and perfectly cozy and yet mysterious look. Its whimsical and fun and still spooky, quite like the book. I do love it when the book cover works so well with the story. Then there is the story, and it is a good one. I love the relationship and complicated history of a Police Chief who has had to retire after being injured in the line of duty, and he opens a store filled with vintage toys. I myself am a huge fan of dolls and toys vintage or just well loved and I have been known to rescue dolls, ponies and so much more from yard sales, and thrift stores alike, only in my world the My Little Ponies I loved don't seem to multiply as they do in this series (okay that line is from book two which I read earlier this year and loved!) There are some great lines in this book. I laughed out loud more than once and I did not want to put the book down. I was thinking about it when I was not reading it and anxious to get back to it, more to learn about Liz and her Dad, and just more about the store as well. The mysteries I also enjoyed and yet had not figured out before the reveal. As much as I wanted to find out who did it, I was enjoying the book so much that I did not want to know, because then it would end. But when I got to that part I was thrilled the book had a few more chapters to go and I finished the book feeling like I had been part of the community and maybe even a minor staff member at the store. 
This was a great read and I am so thankful to Doward for ordering this one for me. Put this on your holiday to be read list for sure! 


Liz McCall grew up in a playful winter wonderland but it was never her dream to manage her father's vintage toyshop. However, after he sank his entire police pension into the business, someone needed to help him turn his dreams into reality―and keep him from sneaking off to patrol the not-so-mean streets of East Aurora, NY.The mood goes from nice to naughty when a nervous man, who was trying to have his antique toys appraised, is found in the shop with a lawn dart through his chest. Suddenly, Liz's business plan is plunged into deep freeze, while she and her father find themselves toying with a cold-blooded killer who's playing for keeps.Now, it looks like Christmas might be cancelled for the neighborhood kids if Liz can't wrap up the case in Barbara Early's delightful debut Death of a Toy Soldier.

You can find Death of a Toy Soldier by Barbara Early on Amazon by clicking here. 
Thank you so much for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Linda Reilly's Escape Claws...

Friday night I finished Escape Claws, Linda Reilly's first in the new A Cat Lady Mystery Series and it was so good! I very much enjoyed this start to what I hope will be a series with lots of books to come. I found that I was not only able to relate as a cat lover but as a cozy mystery lover as well.  The mysteries are good in this the minor mystery pulls at your heartstrings for sure, the major mystery and murderer I did not figure out until the reveal and the teaser about the Aunt and niece relationship history makes you want to read further! I am very excited for other cozy lovers and cat lovers to pick this book up December 26th and see what I am talking about.
Here, killer, killer, killer . . .

Escape Claws is available for pre order from Amazon by clicking 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

Saturday, November 18, 2017

On My Table and In My Cup November 11-18th

A week of surprises for sure and a wonderful assortment of reading on my table this week. My partner from the Halloween Swap kindly sent me Barbara Early's Death of A Toy Soldier which I have had on my wish list for quite sometime I am so looking forward to reading and reviewing this one!
On that same day I also received an order from Berkeley with three December titles I am very excited to add to my TBR list.
I have just finished Escape Claws and am thrilled and excited to share my review of this first in series that is coming out on December 26th! I am also very excited that I am hosting the release day party on my Beyond The Bookmarks Page during our Booked For The Holidays Event.
Find the Booked for the Holidays Event Page by clicking here.
The month long event I have planned is going to be one I hope is a highlight of your holiday plans. Spend some time each day with us, more than 35+ authors, recipes, games, tips, crafts and so much more. Come make new friends, find exciting reads and be able to honestly tell people you are "booked for the holidays" Click here to RSVP to the event,  also I have already started to post daily teasers, I hope you will check in and join us.
This week I read and very much enjoyed A Late Frost, its plot twist and characters make it easy to understand why this is such a much loved series. It is out now and a very good read.
Rhys Bowen, wowed me with The Ghost of Christmas Past, this is the first I have read in the series and book 17. I loved it could not put it down and read well past my bedtime. Perfect holiday mystery!
I publish daily as you know and it weighs heavy on me somedays when I think I am going to be very behind, however somehow I managed to publish twice on Thursday! I only released this last night. I also reviewed Potions and Pastries, the same day as The Ghost of Christmas Past, here I was worried I would have nothing for Thursday and I ended up double posting. Sorry if this caused any confusion and no one let me know!
I bought and loved and still love flipping through this book from the Irish Countrywomen's association Book Of Christmas. Great recipes, stories and more.
  
Sunday I reviewed A Murder for the Books. All and all a very busy week of reading and writing. 
I hope you have had a wonderful week. Thank you for joining me for this weeks look back at what was on my table and in my cup!
I would love hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com