≡ Menu

Review – Scheduled to Death by Mary Feliz

Review – Scheduled to Death by Mary FelizScheduled to Death (A Maggie McDonald Mystery, #2) by Mary Feliz
Published by Penguin Random House on January 17, 2017
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 238
Source: Netgalley

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Professional organizer Maggie McDonald has a knack for cleaning up other people’s messes. So when the fiancée of her latest client turns up dead, it’s up to her to sort through the untidy list of suspects and identify the real killer.  Maggie McDonald is hoping to raise the profile of her new Orchard View organizing business via her first high-profile client. Professor Lincoln Sinclair may be up for a Nobel Prize, but he’s hopeless when it comes to organizing anything other than his thoughts. For an academic, he’s also amassed more than his share of enemies. When Sinclair’s fiancée is found dead on the floor of his home laboratory — electrocuted in a puddle of water—Maggie takes on the added task of finding the woman’s murderer. To do so, she’ll have to outmaneuver the suspicious, obnoxious police investigator she’s nicknamed “Detective Awful” before a shadowy figure can check off the first item on their personal to-do list — Kill Maggie McDonald.

Maggie Mcdonald is back with her organizing ways. Having settled into her new town she has started her organization business. Her client is Professor Lincoln Sinclair. Everything is going as planned until they find the body of the Professor’s fiance. As Maggie tries to figure out what happened she is entangled with people who don’t want her involved. Will she find the killer before anybody else gets hurt?

In an Oyster Shell – Another great installment in this Cozy Mystery series.

The Pearls – I said this in the first book and I’ll say it again. The concept of Maggie being an organizer is still unique to me. I like that she now has reestablished her business. It’ll make for a great story for books to come.

The Mystery was multi-faceted. There was not a dull moment in this book. There were several storylines going on at once, without being confusing.

The quirky characters are back and better than ever. The friends that Maggie has made in this town add a fun element to the story. With some new faces, the cast of characters were really entertaining.

The Sand – It was a good book.

4 Pearls!

4 Stars

About Mary Feliz

Mary Feliz has lived in five states and two countries but calls Silicon Valley home. Traveling to other areas of the United States, she’s frequently reminded that what seems normal in the high-tech heartland can seem decidedly odd to the rest of the country.

A big fan of irony, serendipity, diversity, and quirky intelligence tempered with gentle humor, she strives to bring these elements into her writing, although her characters tend to take these elements to a whole new level.

She’s a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the Authors Guild where she feels at home among those plot to kill. She’s also a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers who seem less blood-thirsty and more interested in the skeletons in the closet.


Review – Address to Die For by Mary Feliz

Review – Address to Die For by Mary FelizAddress to Die For by Mary Feliz
Published by Lyrical Underground on July 19th 2016
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 320
Source: Author

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


For professional organizer Maggie McDonald, moving her family into a new home should be the perfect organizational challenge. But murder was definitely not on the to-do list . . .   Maggie McDonald has a penchant for order that isn’t confined to her clients’ closets, kitchens, and sock drawers. As she lays out her plan to transfer her family to the hundred-year-old house her husband, Max, has inherited in the hills above Silicon Valley, she has every expectation for their new life to fall neatly into place. But as the family bounces up the driveway of their new home, she’s shocked to discover the house’s dilapidated condition. When her husband finds the caretaker face-down in their new basement, it’s the detectives who end up moving in. What a mess! While the investigation unravels and the family camps out in a barn, a killer remains at large—exactly the sort of loose end Maggie can’t help but clean up . . .

Maggie Mcdonald is ready to move into her house. Super organized as a professional organizer she’s ready to move in. There is a problem when her husband finds a body in the basement. Maggie is left with a mess with loose ends. She works hard to settle into the new town while investigating the murder. Not everyone welcomes her into the community. Maggie finds it hard to get the information she needs. Others are really helpful and she makes this town her new home. Will she be able to find out who murdered the man in her basement?

In an Oyster Shell –  This was a well executed cozy mystery that was unique.

The Pearls – This was a unique cozy mystery. Most cozies I know are centered around food. This one was centered on organization. Throughout the story, there were helpful tips on how Maggie stays organized that you could use in your personal life.

The town that Maggie was settling into made for an interesting setting. The community had some quirky characters. Some characters proved to be really helpful to Maggie. Others were hindering. Maggie had a hard time figuring out who to trust. It made for an interesting story.

The conflict that Maggie endured through the story made for an intriguing read. The problems Maggie faced seemed insurmountable at times. Yet, Maggie persevered through. Maggie was a great character and the challenges she faced made her even better.

The Sand – It was a good story.

4 Pearls!

4 Stars

About Mary Feliz

Mary Feliz has lived in five states and two countries but calls Silicon Valley home. Traveling to other areas of the United States, she’s frequently reminded that what seems normal in the high-tech heartland can seem decidedly odd to the rest of the country.

A big fan of irony, serendipity, diversity, and quirky intelligence tempered with gentle humor, she strives to bring these elements into her writing, although her characters tend to take these elements to a whole new level.

She’s a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the Authors Guild where she feels at home among those plot to kill. She’s also a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers who seem less blood-thirsty and more interested in the skeletons in the closet.


Let’s Get Cozy!

What makes a mystery a cozy? Is it cozy because you read it in front of a roaring fire dressed in your PJs, a cup of cocoa in one hand, a book in the other? Although that is the best way to read, that’s not what defines a cozy. Then what does? Cozy mysteries share some common characteristics in that the protagonist is usually female, she is not a detective or police officer but an amateur sleuth who has helpers, and the setting is often a small town. There is romance, but no sex, and the violence is off screen. And don’t forget the punny names, like “Cookies & Scream”, “Dead & Berried”, or “Chili Con Carnage”. The most important quality for cozy mystery lovers is that these books are written as a series–sometimes as many as three dozen books featuring the same characters. Readers love to keep up with their favorites and revisit them like old friends. For that reason, the characters in a cozy mystery are generally likable and some are eccentric or quirky to keep things interesting. The protagonist is intelligent with some skillset that helps her solve the mysteries.
Because cozies are so popular, authors have had to stretch their imaginations to come up with new twists, especially when it comes to the protagonist’s line of work or the setting. There are so many culinary, food-based series that I’ve lost track. There are donut shops, coffeehouses, bakeries (and magical bakeries) (and Amish bakeries), chocolate shops, cupcake stores, tearooms, pizzerias, pie shops, popcorn shops, spice shops, pasta shops, food trucks, winemakers, and caterers. There is a micro-brewery, a maple syrup farm, a diner, a Greek restaurant, a country cooking school, and a deli. Some books also include recipes. There are inns, B & Bs–there is even a White House chef, and a vampire chef!
The settings also vary widely and include: a cruise ship, a hair salon, an animal shelter, a bookstore, a quilt shop (an Amish quit shop), a secondhand store, a costume shop, a cleaning business, a yarn store, a craft store, a garden club, a book club, a bookmobile, a library, a flower shop, and a pet store. The protagonists may have an unusual job like: jewelry designer, home renovator, actress, bounty hunter (Stephanie Plum!), a wedding planner, an attorney (like my Jamie Quinn series) or even undercover poison taster. One series is based on dead end jobs. Cozies often include a pet and cats are the fave by far, followed by dogs, horses, birds, and even a ghost cat. That segues into the paranormal cozies, which may include a witch, a ghost, a vampire or a werewolf.
So, now that you have the gist of it, what makes for an enjoyable cozy? In my opinion, a good cozy has snappy dialogue, fleshed out characters (not caricatures), and doesn’t waste a lot of time describing the curtains or what people are wearing. The plot is believable in the sense that it is logical and there aren’t crazy coincidences or tons of eavesdropping in order to gather clues. Most importantly is the mystery itself. Are the clues subtle enough that I don’t guess who done it halfway through? Are they clear enough so I don’t get to the end of the book and wonder what just happened? Do I close the book when it’s over with a smile on my face, knowing that I’ve been outsmarted once again by a clever author having loved every minute of it? That’s how I know it was a good cozy mystery. Time for a cup of hot cocoa!


Review – The Body on the Barstool by Lolli Powell

Review – The Body on the Barstool by Lolli PowellThe Body on the Barstool (A Top Shelf Mystery) by Lolli Powell
Published by Smashwords Edition on November 29th 2016
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 240
Source: Author

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


New Yorker Erica "Ricki" Fontaine's n'er-do-well uncle has dropped dead and left her a dive bar in a small Ohio River town. With a lousy apartment, less-than-promising job prospects, and even worse romantic ones, the inheritance comes at just the right time. Ricki packs up her cat and heads for the Buckeye State.
Now she's trying to change the Top Shelf from a bar known for its Friday night fights into the kind of drinking establishment where you can bring your granny. But finding her ex-husband dead on a barstool at opening time one morning just might put a kink in those plans.

Erica “Ricki” Fontaine has picked up everything from New York and moved to Ohio. She has inherited a bar from her Uncle who passed away. She is working hard to turn the once shady bar into something more respectable. A wrench gets thrown in her plans when she finds a body in her bar. It ends up being the body of her ex-husband. The police are suspicious of her involvement and Ricki wants to clear her name. As she digs into what happen she finds herself in a mystery that involves her uncle. Will Ricki be able to solve the murder before anybody else gets hurt?

In an Oyster Shell – It was a really intriguing mystery that will leave you wanting more.

The Pearls – The mystery was really satisfying. It was multi-layered and unexpected. It was an imaginative mystery that was well executed.

Ricki was a really strong character that had determination and perseverance. Though she could be gritty at times she had a caring heart. Her empathy helped her help others through the story. It was a great facet to the story.

The romance was delightful in the story. It ends up being a love triangle with two men trying for Ricki’s attention. It makes for delightful tension that adds another mystery to the story. Who will Ricki end up with?

The Sand – Though Ricki was a really outstanding character in many ways, she could be off-putting.

4.5 Pearls!

4.5 Stars

About Lolli Powell

write contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and will soon be releasing my first cozy mystery as Lolli Powell. I also write grittier mysteries and thrillers as Laurel Heidtman (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show…).

From Ohio originally, I now live with my husband, four dogs, and two cats on private land inside Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky.

Goodreads wouldn’t let me add my blog feed because I’d already added it to my Laurel Heidtman profile, but if you’d like to read my posts, it’s at: www.ridgewriter.com.

ARC Review – A Cast of Vultures by Judith FlandersA Cast of Vultures: A Mystery (Sam Clair) by Judith Flanders
Published by Minotaur Books on February 21, 2017
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 321
Source: Netgalley

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


There was every possibility that I was dead, and my brain hadn’t got the memo. Or maybe it was that I wished I were dead. On reflection, that was more likely.

Usually clear-headed editor Samantha Clair stumbles through her post-book-party morning with the hangover to end all hangovers. But before the ibuprofen has even kicked in, she finds herself entangled in an elaborate saga of missing neighbors, suspected arson, and strange men offering free tattoos.

By the time the grisly news breaks that the fire has claimed a victim, Sam is already in pursuit. Never has comedy been so deadly as she faces down a pair from Thugs ’R’ Us, aided by nothing more than a Scotland Yard boyfriend, a stalwart Goth assistant, and an unnerving knowledge of London’s best farmer’s markets.

From the acclaimed bestselling author Judith Flanders, A Cast of Vultures continues the sharp-witted series starring book editor and amateur sleuth Samantha Clair.

Sam Clair is back in this second book and finds herself wrapped up in another murder mystery. When her friends neighbor goes missing she is asked to go in his apartment to see if he is there. A few days later he ends up in a burning building dead. It points to Arson and drug dealing. As Sam tries to put the pieces together the obvious conclusion just doesn’t fit. She starts asking questions and this puts her life in danger. Will she get to the truth before someone gets her to her grave?

In an Oyster Shell – A little bit dry at times but in the end an interesting mystery.

The Pearls – The setting was interesting to me. It is set in London British novels are coming more popular I think. It works. It makes it interesting for me because it transports me to another place that is unfamiliar to me. The author did a good job making London come alive for me.

This book is Character driven for the most part. There are a lot of characters that make for an interesting story. It’s really interesting the role each character plays in the end. It takes talent to have so many characters and keep them distinguishable.

The mystery was slow coming but when it got going it was really good. The end result of the mystery, I didn’t see coming. I like when a mystery is unpredictable.

The Sand –  The book was really really slow in the beginning it wasn’t until the last quarter of the book did the action get really interesting. When the action came it was non-stop and made up for the slow beginning.

3.5 Pearls

3.5 Stars

About Judith Flanders

Judith Flanders was born in London, England, in 1959. She moved to Montreal, Canada, when she was two, and spent her childhood there, apart from a year in Israel in 1972, where she signally failed to master Hebrew.

After university, Judith returned to London and began working as an editor for various publishing houses. After this 17-year misstep, she began to write and in 2001 her first book, A Circle of Sisters, the biography of four Victorian sisters, was published to great acclaim, and nominated for the Guardian First Book Award. In 2003, The Victorian House (2004 in the USA, as Inside the Victorian Home) received widespread praise, and was shortlisted for the British Book Awards History Book of the Year. In 2006 Consuming Passions, was published. Her most recent book, The Invention of Murder, was published in 2011.

Judith also contributes articles, features and reviews for a number of newspapers and magazines.

Review – The Mystery of Shadow Hills by Carrie CrossThe Mystery of Shadow Hills (Skylar Robbins #1) by Carrie Cross
Series: Skylar Robbins #1
Published by Ward Design LLC DBA Teen Mystery Press on July 30th 2013
Genres: Middle Grade, Mystery
Pages: 260
Source: Author

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Thirteen-year-old sleuth Skylar Robbins is horrified to learn that she'll be stuck at her bullying cousin Gwendolyn's creepy mansion for the summer. She has no idea how much excitement and danger awaits her in Malibu’s Shadow Hills.
As soon as Skylar arrives at the estate, unexplainable events begin to happen. She discovers a hidden garden in the huge back yard, and her new friend Kat pronounces it the perfect place to perform spells. Practical Skylar is skeptical, until the magic appears to start working.
Is Kat a real middle school witch and a true friend, or is she just interested in the cute stable boy? Did she use magic to control Skylar’s body, or was it all part of a complicated hoax? Who or what is making those terrifying noises up in Shadow Hills at night?
Rumors are flying and the locals are afraid. Kat challenges Skylar to take increasingly dangerous risks while she tries to solve the mystery. Armed with her detective tools, brains, and a huge dose of courage, Skylar will face her deepest fears to find the truth.

Skylar Robbins is not looking forward to spending the summer at her bullying cousin’s house. Feeling abandon by her parents she does the best to make due with her summer by sleuthing. Skylar’s goal is to be a detective like her grandfather was. Skylar’s detecting skills brings her into the mystery of shadow hills. There is something nefarious that happens after dark, especially on full moons. Will Skylar get to the bottom of this mystery?

In an Oyster Shell – A fun middle grade read that will have you following Skylar on all of her curious adventures.

The Pearls – It was an interesting concept to have a middle-grade aspiring sleuth. Skylar’s curiosity makes for some exciting adventures.

The setting of the old mansion where Skylar spends the summer makes for endless fodder for the imagination. There were lots of places for Skylar to explore. It made a great place for a mystery.

Skylar was a really fun character. She was curious and determined. The other characters were not as appealing but made for a great story with the conflict they created.

The Sand – In this book I didn’t like the occult references but it resolves itself in the end.

3.5 Pearls!

3.5 Stars

About Carrie Cross

Carrie Cross is an avid reader who fell in love with books as a little girl after reading Goodnight Moon. She wrote her first “book” at age four: Blackie the Little Black Dog and the Flying Washing Machine. Carrie discovered her love of mysteries reading Nancy Drew books and The Happy Hollisters series, and after writing THE MYSTERY OF SHADOW HILLS, she continues to look for clues in unexpected places to this day.

Carrie Cross’s influences include Judy Blume, Deb Caletti, Sarah Dessen, and Lee Child. In addition to writing Skylar Robbins mysteries and reading, Carrie loves to cook, hike at the beach, go boating, and travel.

During a recent interview she was asked, “Where do you get your inspiration?”

“When I was six years old, my parents decided we needed to buy a bigger house. We looked at a creepy two-story in Santa Monica Canyon, and I played hide-and-seek with the little girl who lived there. There were closets and secret hiding places with doors that opened into other rooms. Later, I wondered, “What if there was a clue hidden in one of those closets?” And the idea for the Skylar Robbins mystery series was born.

Skylar’s adventures continue in THE MYSTERY OF THE HIDDEN JEWELS. After she solves her second big case, the Skylar Robbins Detective Agency tackles the MYSTERY OF THE MISSING HEIRESS. Carrie Cross is currently at work on her fourth Skylar Robbins novel, THE CURSE OF KOMA ISLAND.


ARC Review – Piper’s Price by Audrey Greathouse

ARC Review – Piper’s Price by  Audrey GreathouseThe Piper's Price by Audrey Greathouse
Published by Clean Teen Publishing on February 21st 2017
Genres: YA
Pages: 300
Source: Author

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Peter is plotting his retaliation against the latest bombing. Neverland needs an army, and Peter Pan is certain children will join him once they know what is at stake. The lost boys and girls are planning an invasion in suburbia to recruit, but in order to deliver their message, they will need the help of an old and dangerous associate—the infamous Pied Piper.Hunting him down will require a spy in in the real world, and Gwen soon finds herself in charge of locating the Piper and cutting an uncertain deal with him. She isn't sure if Peter trusts her that much, or if he's just trying to keep her away from him in Neverland. Are they friends, or just allies? But Peter might not even matter now that she's nearly home and meeting with Jay again.The Piper isn't the only one hiding from the adults' war on magic though, and when Gwen goes back to reality, she'll have to confront one of Peter's oldest friends… and one of his earliest enemies.

Gwen is back in Neverland with her sister Rosemary. They are preparing to help Peter build an army to fight the adults who want to take over Neverland. To do this Peter needs Gwen’s help to find the Piper. Gwen goes back to reality to do the task she is given by Peter. With much at stake, they try to stay under the radar always in danger of being caught by the Black suits. Sacrifices are made will it be enough to stop the adults from taking over Neverland?

In an Oyster Shell – A stellar second installment in the Neverland Wars.

The Pearls – The retelling is still really good in this second book. I would dare to say even better. I feel like this second book is more established. It feels like the author really found her rhythm in this book. I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the contrast between Neverland and the characters who are forced to live in reality.

The characters are what make this story. Gwen being a teenager is a huge cornerstone to this story. Being older than the kids she has some maturity that helps. It also is interesting that her maturity also can hinder her and the missions at times. Sometimes her younger sister Rosemary takes on the “big” sister role. It’s an interesting twist. Peter is one of the best-developed characters I’ve come across. There are attributes that you expect from Peter Pan and others that you would not. He is a complicated and interesting character that keeps you turning the pages.

The settings in this story are interesting because you have two contrasting settings. You have Neverland, and than the real world. The author does a great job distinguishing the two. I feel the way she did this best was having characters who were from Neverland, who were forced to be established in reality. It made for a great marriage of the two settings. It even raises urgency for the reader to see Neverland saved.

The Sand – The ending was a little less than satisfying, but there is another book to look forward to, so it wasn’t a big deal.

5 Pearls!

5 Stars

About Audrey Greathouse

Audrey Greathouse is a Seattle-based author of science-fiction and fantasy. Raised in the suburbs, she became a writer after being introduced to NaNoWriMo during her sophmore year of high school. Since then, she has drafted more than a dozen books, 100 sonnets, and 800 other poems, and a handful of short stories and one-act plays.

After dropping out of her university and beginning training as a circus performer on the aerial silks, she returned to school to study at Southern New Hampshire University College of Online and Continuing Education to earn her B.A. in English Language and Literature, with a minor in Computer Information Technologies.

Audrey Greathouse is a die-hard punk cabaret fan, and pianist of fourteen years. She’s usually somewhere along the west coast, and she is always writing.


Review – Cream Puff Murder by Sandi Scott

Review – Cream Puff Murder by Sandi ScottCream Puff Murder: A Seagrass Sweets Cozy Mystery (Book 1) by Sandi Scott
Series: Seagrass Sweets Cozy Mystery #1
Published by Gratice Press on October 21, 2016
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 156
Source: Author

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Ashley Adams is settling back into her life in Seagrass, TX after leaving a broken heart and criminal ex-boyfriend in Paris, France. Her French sweets catering company has finally landed a major job, making Ashley grateful for all that is going right – her business, her work partnership, and reconnecting with an old friend Ryan.

All that changes when Ashley overhears one of the guests arguing with a strange man in the bathroom. Things get worse when the woman is found dead the next day, poisoned by one of Ashley’s cream puffs.

Ashley must solve the mystery to save the reputation of her nascent business. She is thrust into the lives of people from her past who all have something to hide. Is the murderer a jealous lover? An out-of-towner with business interests? A local hero turned criminal? Teaming up with her old friend Ryan and her loyal dog Dizzy, Ashley sets out to solve the crime.

Will she be able to solve the murder before her business reputation is completely ruined?

Ashley Adams has come back to Seagrass Texas. With her friend, she starts a catering business. She has gotten her first big break when there is a murder implicating her cream puff. To clear her name and save her business Ashley tries to get to the bottom of the murder. The mystery brings her to lots of interesting tidbits to her hometown. Will she be able to figure out who the murderer was before she loses her business?

In an Oyster Shell – A tasty mystery.

The Pearls – The mystery was well developed. I couldn’t figure out who did it. It was a perfect mystery that kept me guessing.

The cuisine mentioned in the story was delectable. It added an interesting element to the story that I liked.

The relationships between characters were really good. Ashley interacted with a lot of supporting characters and it made for a good read.

The Sand – The story lacked humor which I find essential in a cozy mystery.

3 Pearls!

3 Stars

About Sandi Scott

am a cozy mystery reader and writer who is finally living my dream of being able to write what I love. I fell in love with mystery books when I first started reading Agatha Christie eons ago.


If you love sweet romances (PG-rating), look no further than Rachelle Ayala’s Have a Hart series. The Harts are a family of San Francisco firefighters. Their family motto is: Heart comes first.

Former fireman Larry Davison covers his burn scars well, by working at an elementary school as a custodian where he finds a lost hound dog behind the dumpster.

Fashion designer Jenna Hart is in town to do a charity fashion show when she loses her top model, Little Treat. When Larry turns up with the puppy, she asks him to be in the show and bachelor auction.

Larry’s not sure he belongs in a fashion show and balks at being her good deed. Can Jenna convince Larry beauty is never skin deep and love’s arrow strikes not only the beautiful, but the bold?

The Hart family will delight you with clean and wholesome love stories, filled with family, friends [both people and animals].

Valentine Hound Dog is Book #2 of the Have A Hart Romance Series. It can be read standalone, although characters from the previous books appear here in supporting roles.

Book 1: Melisa & Rob, Christmas Lovebirds
Book 2: Jenna & Larry, Valentine Hound Dog
Book 3: Connor & Nadine, Spring Fling Kitty
Book 4: Cait & Brian, Blue Chow Christmas (releasing 7th February)
Book 5: Valentine Wedding Hound (releasing 14th February)

Available to buy from…

“Valentine Hound Dog is an extraordinarily beautiful and tremendously poignant story that serves as a gentle reminder that no one should settle for less than who they are and what they want.” – Amber McCallister” review

“A beautiful heartwarming modern Beauty and the Beast love story.”  – Marie Smith Fowler

“Beauty is only skin deep, what matters most is the pureness of your heart.” -Jessica Cassidy
Above reviews from Amazon.com
Review – 
Jenna Hart is in town to do a fashion show that could make or break her career. She tries to bribe her brother Conner into letting his firemen be in the show. She gets him a dog which she promptly loses. It is found by Conner’s best friend Larry Davison. Larry is covered in burns from a fire rescue gone wrong. He is skeptical when Jenna seems interested in him. Will Larry let his guard down and let Jenna show him love is more than skin deep?
In an Oyster Shell – A really sweet romance that will have you wanting to read the whole series.
The Pearls – The characters were center stage in this clean and beautiful romance. There was a great contrast between the two main characters. A fashion designer who is not afraid of the spotlight and a fireman who wants nothing to do with it. Finding them coming to a happy middle was a worthy journey.
The concept of this series is really good and seems to be well executed. Following the Hart family, they all have their place and play their role. I like how they take care of one another and look forward to seeing this family in other books.
I liked the fashion sense of Jenna. She is a fashion designer after all. I like getting a glimpse into the fashion world. I liked seeing it from Larry’s perspective as he struggled to have a relationship with her and let her do what she does best.
The Sand – It was nearly perfect!
4.5 Pearls
Also Available
Christmas Lovebirds (Have a Hart #1)
Melisa Hart has a soft spot for her brother Connor’s ex-best buddy, Rob Reed. Unfortunately, Rob slept with Connor’s girlfriend and is no longer welcome with any of the Harts.Melisa lends her pet lovebird for a Christmas Toy Drive, but a mix-up brings her face to face with Rob and his lovebird. Melisa is drawn into a whirlwind romance with Rob and discovers he hasn’t told her the entire story.Can two little lovebirds and Christmas cheer open Melisa’s heart to giving Rob another chance?

Christmas Lovebirds is Book #1 of the Have A Hart Romance Series. It can be read standalone, although characters from the previous books appear here in supporting roles.

Available to buy from…

Spring Fling Kitty (Have a Hart #3)

Heartbreaker Connor Hart, one of the youngest fire chiefs in the country, is planning on marrying Dr. Elaine Woo, a woman who pretended to cheat on him with his best friend many years ago. She bought him a Dalmatian puppy, he gave her a ring—and the women of San Francisco are about to lose their most eligible bachelor.
Artist and poet Nadine Woo is down on her luck. The cast-off half-sister of Dr. Elaine Woo, she doesn’t measure up, according to her strict and distant father. When Nadine and her mother are about to be evicted from their apartment, she gets an interesting offer from her sister. Seems she’s in need of a little help concerning her relationship with Fire Chief Connor Hart.
As soon as Nadine meets Connor, she knows she’s in for a rough ride. Connor is the fireman who rescued her and her little gray kitten, and she’s never forgotten how safe she felt in his arms.
When Nadine takes her sister’s place at a spring fling weekend with Connor, love ignites, and there’s no going back.
Can a spunky little kitty show Connor and Nadine that doing the wrong thing is sometimes right, especially when it comes to love?
Spring Fling Kitty is Book #3 of the Have A Hart Romance Series. It can be read standalone, although characters from the previous books appear here in supporting roles.
Available to buy from…

**NEW RELEASE (7th February)**
Blue Chow Christmas (Have a Hart #4)

Cait Hart has been married to Brian Wonder for twelve years, but does she really know him? The redheaded firefighter is dependable, loyal, and kind to others, but he’s never let her probe his feelings.Brian Wonder’s life is blown open when his former high school teacher and wife of a senator dies in a car crash. When a pair of blue chow dogs show up at his mountain cabin, he is forced to tell Cait his secret–the real owner of the dogs is a boy he believes is his son.

Cait and Brian are tested on the true meaning of love when the boy goes missing and authorities suspect Brian of wrongdoing. Can two lost chow dogs save this fragile and vulnerable family?

Spring Fling Kitty is Book #3 of the Have A Hart Romance Series. It can be read standalone, although characters from the previous books appear here in supporting roles.
Available to buy from…


Releasing February 14th….
Valentine Wedding Hound 
(sequel to Valentine Hound Dog)

Fashion designer Jenna Hart’s wedding turns into a media circus when her wedding planner signs her up for a reality show. Each week, the producers challenge her to keep her wedding on track while performing an unpleasant task or working with difficult people. Firefighter Larry Davison wants Jenna to be happy, so he goes along with the reality show despite hating to be on camera. When the show digs too deep into his past, he has second thoughts about both the wedding and Jenna’s celebrity lifestyle. Will their ring bearer, Harley the basset hound, bring Jenna and Larry together to tie the knot in the season finale?

Available to pre-order for only 0.99 on Amazon 


About the author

Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling author of dramatic romantic suspense and humorous, sexy contemporary romances. Her heroines are feisty and her heroes hot. She writes emotionally challenging stories but believes in the power of love and hope.

Rachelle is an active member of the California Writer’s Club, Fremont Chapter, and a volunteer for the World Literary Cafe. She is a very happy woman and lives in California with her husband. She has three children and has taught violin and made mountain dulcimers.

Sign up for her NEWSLETTER to get a FREE surprise book and her latest book news HERE!

Visit her Reader’s Guide HERE

Find the author on the following sites…


I received this book through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.
Win $25 Amazon.com Giftcard/Paypal Cash
(winners choice)
Ending on Sunday 19th February at 11.59pm EST


Enter Below and Good Luck !!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Are you a book reviewer or book blogger? Join our book tours reviewers team – Apply Here x
Current book tours open for sign ups HERE

Review – Elemental Secrets by Elle Middaugh

Review – Elemental Secrets by  Elle MiddaughElemental Secrets by Elle Middaugh
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on April 21, 2016
Genres: YA, Paranormal
Pages: 432

I received this book for free from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Navy brat, Valerie, makes friends at a high school in the secluded mountains of Pennsylvania, only to discover that they have supernatural Elemental Powers, in this YA Fantasy Romance.
“This book is “Avatar: The Last Airbender” meets “X-Men” in a high school.” – Hey, It Was Free!
“If you like elemental persons, if you like SYFY, if you like YA, this book is for you. If you don’t like any of those, then you are missing out!” – Kelly’s Nerdy Obsession
Valerie Moore is a beautiful, headstrong girl with below-average social skills and above-average anxiety (including a flair for overanalyzing). With her mother long deceased and her father recently deployed, she is sent to live with her eccentric aunt in a tiny town nestled in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Being a Navy brat has made her into a bit of a loner, and making friends certainly isn’t her strongest suit—as if the life of a typical teen isn’t hard enough. Torn between the conflicted heartbreaker next door, the persistent jock at the top, and the rugged college bad boy, Valerie finds it almost impossible to choose just one guy. Her love life isn’t her only problem, though. She soon discovers she’s not a typical teenager—not by a long shot.Secrets are revealed about her family, her newfound friends and relationships, and her whole world… The biggest secret of all is unveiled when Valerie discovers she has Elemental powers, unleashing a rapid chain of irreversible events.

Valerie is the new girl again at a school she attended years ago. Not one to make friends she sets to not stand out, at first. She realizes that’s coming off the wrong way so she tries being friendly and makes more friends than she was bargaining for. When she is with these friends strange things start to happen and she realizes they are keeping secrets from her. What she comes to find is a political pull between two kinds of people and she is stuck in the middle. Learning her friend’s secrets can be dangerous for her health.

In an Oyster Shell – An interesting Paranormal YA that has a less than satisfying ending.

The Pearls – The characters were well developed and easy to follow. There was a great variety and every character was very distinctive. The main character Valerie is interesting though a bit naive at times. Though you see major growth in her through out the story.

The conflict in this story was palpable and kept me turning the pages. There were layers and layers of conflict. Though the conflict had paranormal implications it was relative to political conflicts we encounter in everyday life. The battle of ideas and pride.

The romance in this story was really fun and made me giddy. There are multiple love interests. Its a little bit stressful having so many choices but it made the story interesting.

The Sand – I wasn’t happy with how it ended. One minute it’s this light-hearted YA romantic paranormal than it turns into a political nightmare. It was a little disjointed. This is not going to stop me from reading the next book.

3.5 Pearls!

3.5 Stars

About Elle Middaugh

Elle Middaugh lives in the Allegheny Mountains outside of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, with her wonderful husband and three beautiful children. Most of her time is spent raising kids, writing stories, playing video games, reading, and attempting to keep a clean house.

She’s a proud Navy wife, a frazzle-brained mother, a fan of health and fitness, a lover of hot tea and iced tea, and a believer in happily ever afters.