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Digging in the Stars
Katherine Blakeney
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: March 28th 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

A lost ancient civilization and the tomb of a legendary king lie buried beneath centuries of ash on the volcanic planet Thror, but that’s not the only reason sixteen-year-old Carter has tricked her Archaeology of Outer Space class into coming here. Her best friend Conrad has just disappeared on a trip to Thror, leaving behind little more than a broken vintage camera. The strange and disturbing photographs she manages to extract make her suspect Conrad’s disappearance is somehow connected to the hidden tomb of the last king of Thror.

Unfortunately, the ludicrously over-friendly ‘Furry Giants’ who have taken over the planet’s barren surface would rather offer her cheap souvenirs than answers, and the local officials insist they have no record of Conrad’s existence. Inspired by fear for Conrad’s life and the chance to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, Carter and her friends follow Conrad’s footsteps deep into the mountains of Thror’s forbidden Black Zone and launch an illicit excavation.

Coded messages, stunning ancient ruins, and clues left by Conrad himself begin to surface as the young archaeologists fall victim to an alarming series of accidents staged by the increasingly hostile Furry Giants. Piecing together a history of dictatorship, terrorism and disguise, Carter glimpses the horrors beyond Thror’s flamboyant façade and startling revelations about the friend she thought she knew. The masks of Thror hide devastating secrets, and the golden tomb buried deep in the frozen core may claim the lives of everyone she loves.

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“Please remain seated as we begin our descent into Thror. Welcome, and enjoy your stay.”
The time for action was at hand, and she still didn’t feel ready. The flight felt much shorter than she’d expected.
The girls exchanged bewildered looks across the aisles. Stunned silence. They couldn’t have missed that final announcement. Avoiding Professor P’s gaze, Carter still felt the look of shock the professor shot across the cabin. Once, Carter had seen herself arriving on Thror as a great explorer. Instead, she would be remembered as a half-baked deceiver and kidnapper. The Throrians would have called her a scent-changer.

* * *

Carter had been so close to her goal. She saw that crack with her own eyes, a portal into a lost ancient world, chambers filed with carvings, images that had never been recorded or reproduced. The greatest discovery of this or any other century, waiting less than twenty feet away. Waiting for her. And Conrad had been there first. The moment she thought it, she felt guilty. She was allowing herself to get carried away by archaeological fervor, mentally competing with Conrad, when he might have paid a terrible price for his discovery.


Author Bio:

I am an author and independent filmmaker/stop motion animator with a BFA in Stop Motion Animation from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK). My thesis focuses on silent film adaptations of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Gothic novels, with a special emphasis on psychological and aesthetic representations of the Monster figure. My debut novel, a YA Sci-Fi adventure called Digging in the Stars, is forthcoming with Blaze Publishing on March 28, 2017.

Raised by an Egyptologist mother, I grew up among museums and excavation sites, where I developed an unhealthy fascination with ancient art and mythology. I divide my time between bringing 12”-tall people to life in my studio in Edinburgh, excavating ancient tombs in the Egyptian desert, and researching Gothic literary monsters in silent film. I have worked for more than 10 years as photographer and videographer for the South Asasif Conservation Project, an archaeological expedition in Egypt and I have published numerous articles on film and archaeology.

I write, direct, design, and animate short films and commissioned projects in my studio in Edinburgh, Scotland and have been employed as an animator, screenwriter, modelmaker and art director for studios in Edinburgh, South Korea and Qatar. I have produced commissioned projects for IdeasTap in London, the Arts Trust Scotland and the British Library. My shorts have won competitions and screened at various international festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe. In 2015, my short film The Burglar With the Yellow Hand was nominated for an Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) Research in Film Award.

You can find out more about all aspects of my work on my website, http://yorwickcastle.com
My new blog http://KatherineBlakeneyStardigger.blogspot.com is all about Digging in the Stars and my references and inspirations as a writer.

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ARC Review – The Bad Boy Next Door by Jody HolfordThe Bad Boy Next Door by Jody Holford
Published by Entangled Publishing on March 20th 2017
Pages: 250
Source: Publisher

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


Shay Matthews moved to Boston for a fresh start...new apartment, new job, new routine. After too many years being coddled by her overbearing older brothers, Shay’s ready for some freedom and maybe a nice, easygoing guy. She wasn’t expecting to literally run into the scowling, brooding, (and unfairly smoking hot) guy next door.
Fresh off a haunting undercover assignment, detective Wyatt Daniels is jaded about life, relationships, and especially happily-ever-after. But there’s something about the independent and beautiful Shay that makes him want to dig deeper. Or stay away, which is definitely the smarter option of the two.
But the more Shay tries to convince herself that her sweet building manager, Brady, is the guy for her, the more Mr. Completely Wrong-for-Her Wyatt invades her mind and her heart.

Shay has just moved in looking for a fresh start independent of her family. Being the baby of the family she wants a chance to stand on her own. She meets the new people in her building but is taken with moody Wyatt. Wyatt is a detective coming off of an undercover assignment. He’s jaded with life with the things he had to see and do on his assignment. His walls are high but Shay is taking them down much to his surprise.

In an Oyster Shell – A romance that will make you giddy and excited to keep going through the book.

The Pearls – This was a great fairly light-hearted romance. The romance was quick but not totally instantaneous. The friction between the characters was palpable off of the pages. It was exciting. They both were pretty stubborn but fell into romance easily when they stopped fighting their fears.

This book is part of a series but reads great as a standalone. I am interested in keeping up with this series because the characters were so easy to love. It’s a great concept to have romances budding in the same apartment complex. I can’t wait to see what the next one is. I have my guesses.

The characters were easy to follow easy to want to root for. Shay was fiercely independent. Being the baby of the family she felt like she needed to be more independent. Wyatt was moody but had a great moral backbone. The supporting characters played a significant role in the story which is the reason I want to continue on with this series.

This story had a great sub-plot of a mystery. There is some suspicious activities happening around the building. Wyatt being the detective wouldn’t stop until the mystery was solved. It was a small part of the story but it gave great depth to the story.

The romance insinuated intimate scenes but it was behind closed doors mostly so I really appreciated that it was a fairly clean novel.

The Sand – There were some scene changes that didn’t flow as nicely as they could have.

4 Pearls!

4 Stars

About Jody Holford

a wife* a mom* a reader and a writer* a friend* a daughter* a teacher* a sister* a blogger and follower* a worrier and word twister* a gemini*


Forbidden Dance
Deanna Roy
(Lover’s Dance, #1)
Publication date: March 28th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

She was hidden from the world. Then he arrived.
An emotional new novel from six-time USA Today bestselling author Deanna Roy

For four years, I’ve lived in almost total seclusion. Homeschooled, forbidden from social media, seeing no one other than the dancers at Dreamcatcher Academy, where I teach ballet to little girls in wheelchairs.

Then Blitz arrives.

He’s the disgraced host of Dance Blitz, a bawdy reality show where Blitz sleeps with as many dancers as possible while looking for his perfect partner.

At least he was. A few weeks ago, he got kicked off his own show.

He’s at my academy for a publicity stunt, and my wheelchair ballerinas are his ticket back into the public’s good graces.

I intend to hate him and stay as far away as possible. But when he looks at me, I can’t resist. Before I realize what’s happened, we’re sneaking into back rooms, dancing, kissing, planning dates away from the cameras and the wrath of my family.

But I’m afraid. I have a secret at the academy, a small, wonderful, terrible secret, and if I stay with Blitz, the world will find out.
Forbidden Dance is a full-length standalone HEA, although fans who fall in love with Blitz and Livia can continue the series to follow more of their love story

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Review – 

In an Oyster Shell – A steamy romance that will leave you feeling exhilarated.

The Pearls – I liked that there was the theme of dancing. Dancing is what is the background to the whole love story. The author really seems to know what she’s talking about with all of the names of the moves and processes of dancing. I liked that she brought two people together that come from different disciplines of dancing it added a nice complexity to the story.

The romance was hot. Livia is an innocent who is shut away from the world most of the time except for dance. Blitz was ashamed reality star looking to fall back into the good graces of the public. They made an unlikely couple because of Livia’s situation. She had a controlling father who didn’t want such a relationship to happen. They defy all odds and find each other despite the limitations. It was nice though a bit nerve-wracking at times because Livia had to sneak around and you never knew if she was going to get caught.

The characters were distinctive and well-developed. Livia really came into her own in this story. She learned to stand up to her family and go after what she really wanted. Blitz was an unexpected character. His public persona is a playboy douche but he’s really a sweet guy at least Livia brings that out in him.

I  liked the book there were some provocative scenes, not my favorite but they don’t overpower the story. They have their place.

The Sand – The controlling father made me uncomfortable but was necessary for this story.

4 Pearls!


Author Bio:

Deanna Roy is the six-time USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction.

She is a passionate advocate for women who have lost babies. She has several books on the subject, including her bestseller FOREVER INNOCENT, a romance about a couple whose baby is taken off life support at seven days old.

She has run the website PregnancyLoss.Info for fifteen years, including many large spin-off support groups both online and in person.

To learn about new releases, sign up for her subscriber list at http://deannaroy.com/news. She has regular giveaways in conjunction with major pregnancy loss events.

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Sunday Post March 26th


I just had a birthday! It was a great one at the beach. I started reviewing for Online Book Club it’s a place where you can do reviews and earn your way into paid reviews. It’s a pretty sweet deal!

This Week in Review – Click Image to see review

cover-for-whom-the-bread-rolls cover-statistically-improbable cover-investment-in-love

On Tour 

Operation Prom Date (Tactics in Flirting, #1) by

I have two reviews on online book club For the Love of Suzanne and Wrong Turn, Right Guy. I’d appreciate it if you check them out and left some replies. It really helps me out!

Question of the week – What’s your favorite part of spring? Mine is all the fresh blooms from the cherry blossoms.

Blog Tour With Review – Operation Prom Date by Cindi MadsenOperation Prom Date by Cindi Madsen
Series: , #1
Published by Entangled: Crush on March 13th 2017
Genres: YA, Romance
Pages: 230
Source: Chapter by Chapter, Netgalley

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


Kate ships tons of fictional couples, but IRL her OTP is her and Mick, the hot quarterback she’s crushed on since, like, forever. With only one semester left of senior year, it’s now or never if she wants to land him in time for prom. Since she’s flirtationally challenged, she enlists Cooper Callihan, the guy who turned popular seemingly overnight but who used to be a good friend.
Cooper lives and breathes rowing, but his partner just broke his wrist. When he remembers Kate’s good with a set of oars, he strikes a deal: help him train, and he’ll make sure her crush notices her. Only he didn’t know how addicting spending time with her would be. Or how the more successful the Operation is, the more jealousy he experiences.
The mission has been set. The troops have their marching orders. But what if the target is the wrong guy all along?
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains stargazing, accidental swimming, and poker swindling. This kissing practice will melt your ereader…and give you a new couple to ship.

Kate has a crush on the quarterback and dreams of him taking her to prom. Cooper is out a rowing partner and comes across Kate who he knows can row. Kate and Cooper strike a deal she rows with him and he helps her get noticed by Mick. Thus is born Operation Prom Date. Everything is going to plan Kate is getting the attention she wants. What is not going to plan is Cooper is getting jealous the more successful their mission gets. Can Cooper convince Kate that maybe he should be the one to take her to prom?

In an Oyster Shell –  I loved, loved, loved this book! It was sweet and romantic with a really great ending.

The Pearls – Operation Prom Date was interesting in concept. You knew it was doomed to fail because one guy helping a girl get another guy? That’s not going to work out, but the process of how the narrative played out was still enjoyable though a little bit predictable. Sometimes being predictable is nice. I enjoyed it! The story itself was just great and sweet.

What made this story so great was the characters. You have Kate who is a bit whimsical in her quirkiness and Cooper who is serious about rowing. They make a great compliment to each other. The supporting characters helped the chemistry between Cooper and Kate. From Cooper’s mom to Mick all the characters have a play in the ultimate goal which is Cooper getting closer to Kate.

The ending was Sixteen Candles good. Sixteen Candles being one of my ultimate favorite chic-flick this is high praise. The ending couldn’t have been any more perfect. It left me swooning! Which ultimately led me to loving this book.

The Sand – This book couldn’t be more perfect!

5 Pearls!



Follow the Tour – 

March 13, 2017 – Stuck In Books – Excerpt

March 13, 2017 – The Avid Book Collector – Excerpt

March 13, 2017 – Books,Dreams,Life – Interview

March 13, 2017 – Book Briefs – Review 

March 14, 2017 – Zerina Blossom’s Books – Interview

March 14, 2017 – WS Momma Readers Nook – Excerpt

March 14, 2017 – Forever Fictional – Review

March 14, 2017 – BITTERSWEET ENCHANTMENT – Excerpt

March 15, 2017 – Twirling Book Princess – Excerpt

March 15, 2017 – The Avid Reader – Excerpt

March 16, 2017 – Hike2Forty and beyond – Excerpt

March 16, 2017 – Shirley Cuypers – Review

March 16, 2017 – BooksChatter – Interview

March 16, 2017 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review

March 17, 2017 – I Read Indie – Excerpt

March 17, 2017 – Book Plus Heart – Review

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About Cindi Madsen

Cindi Madsen is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

Review – Statistically Improbable by Jennifer PeelStatistically Improbable by Jennifer Peel
Published by Jennifer Peel on March 10,2017
Pages: 252
Source: Kindle Unlimited

Two professional matchmakers. One fake relationship. He's a playboy. She's a good girl. What could possibly go wrong?
According to Binary Search's matchmaking service, Meg and Zander's odds of ever having a successful relationship are statistically improbable. Meg has run the numbers and knows the probability, but for some reason she can't quit thinking about her coworker, Zander--the self-proclaimed eternal bachelor.
To make matters more interesting, Zander approaches her with an unusual proposition. He's in need of a pretend girlfriend. Meg thinks this could be the answer to get him out of her system, and maybe knock the arrogant man down a few notches in the process. But what she doesn't realize is there is more to this man, something he carefully hides behind his arrogant exterior. And when her feelings begin to be anything but pretend, she knows the odds of getting hurt are more than probable.
Will they let the odds over come them, or will they find that all the reasons they are wrong for each other are exactly what make them a perfect fit?

Binary Search matchmaking uses numbers to calculate the probability of success rate between two people. Meg has run the numbers and her and Zander are statistically improbable. She still can’t stop thinking about him. It gets harder not to when he asks her to be his fake girlfriend. Zander is a relationship phobe playboy who’s not looking for anything serious. Her feelings start to grow despite the improbability. Will Zander reform his playboy ways and meet megs feelings? What are the odds that meg will come out of this unscathed?

In an Oyster Shell –  Another stellar romance from Peel.

The Pearls – I love this dating by design series. It’s imaginative yet realistic at the same time. This is the second book in the series and I liked it even better than the first one. The first one was phenomenal as well. I liked this one a little more because the odds were a factor. The whole point of Binary search is to find who you are statistically compatible, Meg and Zander have the odds against them. It was a refreshing premise.

Meg was a refreshing heroine. She stayed true to who she was despite what she wanted. She could have easily compromised for less than what she really wanted and she never did. Zander was a bad boy playboy just the idea that Meg could be the one to tame him made me turn page after page.

This story sat well in the series, you could read it as a stand-alone but you would be missing out. These books work best if read in order. The characters from the previous book play a part in the next book. I am looking forward to the third book which will feature previous characters but also highlight some new ones. In my opinion, this is an ingenious series.

It’s humorous. This book was so good I was up until 3 reading it. I would get to a funny part and I’d have to chuckle quietly though I almost burst up laughing waking up my husband. Peel has an amazing sense of humor which has me reading just about everything she has coming out.

The Sand – It was a great book

5 Pearls!

5 Stars

About Jennifer Peel

Jennifer Peel is the mother of three amazing kiddos. Wife to her one and only for the past twenty-one years. Lover of late night talks, beach vacations, mountains, pink bubble gum ice cream, tours of model homes, and southern living. She can frequently be found with her laptop on, fingers typing away, indulging in chocolate milk, and writing out the stories that are constantly swirling through her head.


Review – Investment in Love by Emily Walters

Review – Investment in Love by Emily WaltersInvestment in Love (Contemporary Romance) by Emily Walters
on July 17, 2016
Pages: 129
Source: Kindle Unlimited

Calvin Barnard is a hard-working New York stockbroker, focused entirely on his job. His life is simple until the day he gets a call from the lawyer of his late Great-Aunt Loretta. The great-aunt he barely knew has left him $10 million and a house in the tiny backwoods Oregon town of Carterville—but there's one condition. Before Calvin can get the money, he has three months to marry a girl from that same rural town. Suddenly, everything is complicated, as Calvin tries to figure out how his reclusive great-aunt had millions of dollars, what he’s going to do with her old dusty mansion, and which small-town girl will be willing to marry him on short notice. Interior designer Ellie Parker looks like the perfect solution to his problems: She’s beautiful, single, and available to fix up the old house. But when Calvin starts to feel more than sympathy for sweet Ellie, he’ll have to decide between the inheritance of a lifetime or the love of the most enchanting woman he’s ever met.

In an Oyster Shell – A short and sweet satisfying romance.

The Pearls – The concept of the book was fun. An inheritance with a catch. A marital catch at that is really fun. Calvin having to marry someone in 3 months time to inherit money is really fun. It reminds me of one of my favorite movies Brewster’s millions. Though the concept of marriage is not in the movie having a clause to a major inheritance is the same.

The romance was sweet and unexpected for the characters. Calvin thinks he’s going to find a get rich quick marriage. He doesn’t expect to fall in love. It was a fun twist and a main component to the book.

The theme of not waiting until you lose out in love is appropriate for Calvin. Learning from his aunt’s story he is able to make better choices. It’s a great theme.

The Sand – It was really short, could have been filled out a little more.

3.5 Pearls!

3.5 Stars

About Emily Walters

Emily Walters lives in California with her beloved husband, three daughters, and two dogs. She began writing after high school, but it took her ten long years of writing for newspapers and magazines until she realized that fiction is her real passion.

Emily likes to create a mental movie in her reader’s mind about charismatic characters, their passionate relationships and interesting adventures.

When she isn’t writing romantic stories, she can be found reading a fiction book, jogging, or traveling with her family. She loves Starbucks, Matt Damon and Argentinian tango.


For Whom The Bread Rolls by Sarah Fox

For Whom The Bread Rolls by Sarah FoxFor Whom the Bread Rolls by Sarah Fox
Series: A Pancake House Mystery #2
Published by Penguin Random House on March 14th 2017
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 247
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.


From the author of The Crêpes of Wrath comes another decadent cozy mystery. This time, pancake house owner Marley McKinney is tangling with a salty troublemaker . . . and a ravenous killer.
Bonus content: includes original recipes inspired by the Flip Side Pancake House menu!
Tourist season’s in full swing in the small seaside town of Wildwood Cove, and Marley McKinney couldn’t be happier. Since taking over the Flip Side restaurant, she’s made a few close friends, adopted a cat named Flapjack, and started dating her childhood crush. The only cloud on the horizon is local nuisance Ida Winkler, who blames Marley for landing her nephew in prison. Trying to get a rise out of Marley, Ida’s been making crank calls and even vandalizing the pancake house.
The police can’t do much about the pranks, so Marley sets out to bury the hatchet once and for all. But someone’s beat her to it—in the most shocking way possible. After stumbling across Ida’s dead body, Marley’s suddenly the number-one suspect in her murder. Clearing her good name is going to be a tall order, but Marley’s not about to let Ida keep ruining her life—especially from beyond the grave.

Marley McKinney is living in Wildwood Cove after the death of her cousin Jimmy. Everything is going well she is running the pancake house, living in the house left to her, dating her childhood crush. Marley is happy until she has to deal with Ida an old disgruntled employee and the aunt of the guy who killed her uncle. Ida is causing trouble for the pancake house and Marley goes to talk to her to end it once and for all. When she gets to Ida’s house she finds her dead and winds up being the suspect in the murder. Marley must work hard to clear her own name.

In an Oyster Shell –  Another great installment of the Pancake house mysteries.

The Pearls – The small town setting is idyllic. It’s a great place to set a book. I love small town settings because you get familiar with all the characters in town. You get a feel for small town life. The author makes it feel like you are right there enjoying the festivities of the town.

The characters in this series are marvelous. Marley is a great heroine backed by some great supporting characters. There is Ivan her surly cook who is really a softy at heart and would do anything to make sure Marley is safe. There is the cat flapjack though not a human character a character all the same. This is just a small sample of the great characters this series has to offer.

The mystery is just as exciting and multi-faceted as the last book. The author has a knack for writing complicated yet entertaining plots. I like a mystery that surprises me and this one did.

The romance is sweet and kicked up a notch. It makes me look forward to future books because I can’t wait to see what happens between Marley and her Beau.

The Sand –It’s a great book!

4 Stars

About Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox, writer of cozy mysteries, was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she developed a love for mysteries at a young age. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer she is often reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel.

Sarah is the author of the Music Lover’s Mysteries and The Pancake House Mysteries.


Review – Crepes of Wrath by Sarah Fox

Review – Crepes of Wrath by Sarah FoxThe Crêpes of Wrath by Sarah Fox
Series: A Pancake House Mystery #1
Published by Alibi on August 16th 2016
Pages: 240
Source: Purchased Amazon

In the debut of a delightful cozy mystery series, Sarah Fox introduces a charming new heroine who finds herself in a sticky situation: stacking pancakes, pouring coffee, and investigating murder.
When Marley McKinney’s aging cousin, Jimmy, is hospitalized with pneumonia, she agrees to help run his pancake house while he recovers. With its rustic interior and syrupy scent, the Flip Side Pancake House is just as she pictured it—and the surly chef is a wizard with crêpes. Marley expects to spend a leisurely week or two in Wildwood Cove, the quaint, coastal community where she used to spend her summers, but then Cousin Jimmy is found murdered, sprawled on the rocks beneath a nearby cliff.
After she stumbles across evidence of stolen goods in Jimmy’s workshop, Marley is determined to find out what’s really going on in the not-so-quiet town of Wildwood Cove. With help from her childhood crush and her adopted cat, Flapjack, Marley sinks her teeth into the investigation. But if she’s not careful, she’s going to get burned by a killer who’s only interested in serving up trouble.

Marley McKinney’s cousin Jimmy is in the hospital and she’s in town to help out with his pancake house. She only plans to stay until he’s back on his feet until he turns up dead. Marley is devastated by the loss and even more devastated that it is murder. When one of the employees of the pancake house is implicated she sets out to find the truth. All the meanwhile struggling to make the decision to stay in town or go back to Seattle.

In an Oyster Shell – A well-done Cozy mystery.

The Pearls –  The setting is what I am most excited about. Set in the Puget sound area. I get to experience some of the towns that I am familiar with because my mom lives in that area.

The mystery was mult-faceted and fulfilling. It wasn’t easy to figure out what was going on. Marley found herself deep into the mystery before it was solved. It was classic cozy.

The romance was nice though Marley found herself conflicted. She was left everything the house and the restaurant in her cousin’s passing but that does not mean she is staying. Her romance is conflicted while she figures out what she wants. It was a nice twist to the story.

The Sand –  No complaints.

4 Pearls!

4 Stars

About Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox, writer of cozy mysteries, was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she developed a love for mysteries at a young age. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer she is often reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel.

Sarah is the author of the Music Lover’s Mysteries and The Pancake House Mysteries.

Blog Tour with Review – Bel of the Brawl by Maggie McConnonBel of the Brawl by Maggie McConnon
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on March 7th 2017
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 320
Source: Publicist

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


Bel McGrath loves her work as a wedding chef. But with her latest event set to take place at Shamrock Manor, she just can't seem to catch a break. The Casey wedding has left her with ten thousand greenbacks in the hole, a missing staff member, and a dead groom. Now, in between Guinness beers and pub brawls, Bel must find a way to crack the case--even though what she should be cracking are eggs into the batter of the wedding cake. A good Irish girl's work is never done. . .
What begins as local town fodder for an episode of "Wedding Gone Wild" is turning into "Gangsters with Guns." With the Casey family spiraling out of control, and billable McGrath hours being lost by the minute, Bel is definitely in too deep. With all these shenanigans, she barely has time to obsess over her new boyfriend and her own unsolved mystery from years ago! Time is running out on getting the next couple down the aisle before the so-called luck of the Irish takes a deadly turn... Bel of the Brawl will keep Maggie McConnon's fans, new and old, guessing.

Bel McGrath is working as a wedding chef at her family’s Shamrock Manor. Bel is working hard to getting the wedding venue in shape so it’s more profitable. It’s hard to do when you have a death at the venue. This is the second one. What looks harmless ends up looking more like murder and poison seems the likely culprit. Bel is accused of it being her food so she must get to the bottom of what happened before her reputation is ruined. Will she find out what happens before they lose more business or worse, someone else gets hurt?

In an Oyster Shell – It was an okay cozy mystery.

The Pearls – I love cozy mysteries so this book had that going for it. The mystery was a surprise and the end was even more surprising. I like when the author outsmarts me as the reader and I can’t guess the ending. Its an added bonus that there where two mysteries going on at once. The over-arching series mystery and the book mystery. I’m super curious about the series mystery of her best friend’s disappearance, that alone will be enough to have me continue the series.

Having the main character being a chef at a wedding venue was interesting. I love cozies that feature chefs and food is a main component. I wouldn’t suggest reading this book hungry. It won’t work out well for you if you do. The descriptions of the food were scrumptious.

The book read great as a stand-alone. I have not read the previous book and I did not feel lost at all. This book does a great job of summarizing the previous book without giving too much away. So you could go back and read the other book if you wanted.

The Sand –  There wasn’t enough humor in it for my taste. The romance was a little off-kilter.

3.5 Pearls!

3.5 Stars