Tag Archives: scrapbooking

Blog Tour and Book Review: “A Crafty Christmas” by Mollie Cox Bryan (Cumberland Creek Mystery #4)

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Title:  A Crafty Christmas

Author:  Mollie Cox Bryan

Series:  Cumberland Creek Mystery #4

Synopsis (from amazon.com):  Christmas is just around the corner, and the ladies of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbook Crop are thrilled when Sheila wins the first place prize in a scrapbooking design contest: a ten-day scrapbook-themed cruise in the Caribbean. Vera and Paige decide to tag along, which should pose the perfect opportunity to learn some new techniques, mingle with fellow croppers, and get in some rest and relaxation before the chaos of Christmas. But when Sheila finds a famous crafter dead, and investigators determine she was poisoned, the luxury cruise veers toward disaster as Sheila becomes the number one suspect – or was she really the intended victim? Just as the croppers begin un-wrapping the truth, a storm strands them at sea, and they’ll find it’s harder than ever to survive the holidays with a killer on deck…

 

My thoughts:  My second visit to the wonderful ladies of Cumberland Creek, and I’m glad I got the chance to go back.  I was lucky enough to get the chance to be on the blog tour and provide a review for #3 in this series, “Death of an Irish Diva” so jumped on the chance to be a part of this tour as well.  Thank you and yay!

I will be honest, this book started out a bit slow for me . . . but I believe part of it was because it had been a while since I had been into this series and needed to take some time to reacquaint myself with each of the characters.  It took me a few chapters to get into the whole realization that some of the characters were on the scrapping cruise, while others (Annie, Bea) were back home just doing their things (this really should have been an easy concept, maybe I am just tired lately 🙂

After I was reacquainted and fully back in Cumberland Creek, I truly enjoyed this book.  The characters continue to be their wonderful, unique, quirky selves.  The location of a scrapbooking cruise was great I thought – I mean who wouldn’t dream of this experience.  As someone who has never been on such an experience, I personally and selfishly wish the author would have spend a bit more time describing the specifics of the cruise, the crops, and let’s face it all the scrapbooking stuff that we love to read these cozies for!   I know the point of the book is to tell the story not outline a scrapbooking cruise . . . but I want to live vicariously through  my books 🙂

For a cozy mystery, I appreciate how the author really did a good job of having the characters experience seemingly realistic feelings and emotions to some pretty scary, traumatic events they encountered rather than simply blowing it off and being cheesy about it.

The last paragraph of the book provides a great, intriguing twist which of course will keep me on the lookout for book #5!  I’m ready, bring it on!!!

Overall, a great book in a great cozy mystery series.  If you are a scrapbooker or a cardmaker (like myself) you will not be disappointed.

Thanks for including me on this blog tour.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Filed under Blog Tour, Book Reviews, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Fiction

Book Review – “Cropped to Death” by Christina Freeburn (Faith Hunter Scrap This #1)

croppedtodeath  Title:  Cropped to Death

Author:  Christina Freeburn

Series:  Faith Hunter Scrap This #1

Publisher:  Henery Press

 

Synopsis (from bn.com):  Former US Army JAG specialist, Faith Hunter, returns to her West Virginia home to work in her grandmothers’ scrapbooking store determined to lead an unassuming life after her adventure abroad turned disaster. But her quiet life unravels when her friend is charged with murder – and Faith inadvertently supplied the evidence.

So Faith decides to cut through the scrap and piece together what really happened. With a sexy prosecutor, a determined homicide detective, a handful of sticky suspects and a crop contest gone bad, Faith quickly realizes if she’s not careful, she’ll be the next one cropped.

 

My thoughts:  Happy Saturday!!  Wooooo, I love weekends!!!!!  Ok, anyway back to the review.  If you follow and read my blog at all you will see that I recently was part of blog tour and review for the 2nd book in this series, Designed to Death.  Well I hate reading my cozies or any series books for that matter out of order, so I hopped on Amazon to see if I could get the first book in this series as I was feeling that I was getting too much information and hints in the 2nd book that would ruin it for me.  I was lucky and somehow got the book on special for Kindle for $0.99 (who doesn’t love that!!), but if you are interested it is on Kindle and Nook now for $2.99 – a great deal!!!!

I really am enjoying this series.  The characters overall are fun, interesting, and leave me wanting more.  I for one love that there is another scrapbooking/papercrafting cozy series on the market as I just started making homemade cards in May and am now all into it!

The only issue I had with this book is that I still don’t feel like I know Faith’s backstory working with JAG as much as I want to.  That is part of the reason that I picked up this first book is to find out the story and in my opinion it was really glossed over.  I know it is a simple, cozy mystery but I think this info helps develop Faith’s character more and informs us readers as to the person she is.  I sincerely hope the author plans on really digging deeper into why she left.  Yes, it is laid out why and you get the story, but it just seems to me to be an afterthought . . . hmmmm.  Tell me more!

I suggest these books to cozy lovers, and particularly cozy lovers that enjoy scrapbooking and papercrafting!  The price for the ebooks is fantastic, you can’t go wrong!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Book Review – “Picture, Perfect Corpse” by Joanna Campbell Slan

pictureperfectcorpse   Title:  Picture Perfect Corpse

Author:  Joanna Campbell Slan

Series:  Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-N-Craft Mystery #6

ISBN:  9780738735382

 

Synopsis (from bn.com):  Police detective Chad Detweiler is overjoyed to learn he’s having a baby with Kiki Lowenstein. But when his estranged wife, Brenda, is found shot to death with bullets from his revolver, the proud papa-to-be finds himself up the creek without a lawyer. Meanwhile, Kiki and Dodie Goldfader are in for a surprise when an unidentified young woman bursts into their craft store claiming to have killed Dodie’s son. Embarking on a memorial scrapbook project as a ruse to unravel the facts, Kiki can’t stop herself from wondering if the man she loves is tangled up in murder.

My thoughts:  Oh man, I really, really want to say that I enjoyed this book, but I just can’t.  To me, somehow this series has lost it’s edge as it continues.  What I absolutely loved about the first couple of books in this series is that the main character, Kiki, was absolutely hilarious.  The books were light hearted and were focused on the Time in a Bottle, scrapbook store, which after all is what the theme of the book is.

I know that Kiki is going through some very stressful times in the last couple of books, but wow it really has changed the whole tenor of the series in a bad way for me at least.  I feel like I don’t even know who Kiki is anymore.

To me, this book felt like it was a little pieced together for me.  There was the main murder mystery, with Brenda Detweiler, and then there were a couple other subplots which were mentioned in the beginning and then all of a sudden came up in the end to be solved – i.e., solving what happened to Dodie Goldfader’s son and the storyline involving Anya’s friend, Nicci).  These 2 subplots felt completely random to begin with, fell away for most of the book, and then came back to be solved real quick at the end – completely random.

The last page of the book of course introduced a twist of course to intrique you for the next book, but again to me it felt random and pushed like the author needed to come up with something to bring us back to the next book.

And please, please I am hoping that the next book takes us back into the scrapbooking store at least a little bit.  This book had almost nothing focused on the store or scrapbooking at all.

I am very, very hopeful that the next book will bring back some of what I loved when this series started.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Fiction