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#NetGalley #BookReview A Fatal Booking (A Booklover’s B&B Mystery #3) by Victoria Gilbert #Cozy #Mystery

A Fatal Booking

A Booklover’s B&B Mystery #3

Victoria Gilbert 

Release date: June 7th, 2022  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of A Fatal Booking (A Booklover’s B&B Mystery #3) by Victoria Gilbert from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

… a fast-paced mystery, replete with an abundance of twists and turns, quirky characters. …  

In this third entry in the Book lover’s B & B mystery series, Charlotte, the owner, and operator of the inherited Chapters B&B in North Carolina is hosting an old friend’s book club retreat featuring fairy tales and classic children’s literature. What should have been a fun time turns tragic when one of the members is murdered. Long held grudges and the questionable business practices of the victim provides an abundance of suspects. True to form Charlotte and her neighbor Ellen, a former spy both decide to offer the police some inside help since the suspects are asked to stay in town, most harboring at Chapters. When Charlotte’s attic is broken into it becomes obvious that there is more to the story, more that connects the history of Chapters throwing Charlotte and her friend into the path of a killer. Gavin makes a reappearance in this entry and the three endure a nail-biting adventure. 

I enjoy the series, each book is better than the previous, however, this entry felt like a finale of sorts which I truly hope is not the case. A Fatal Booking is a fast-paced mystery, replete with an abundance of twists and turns, quirky characters. It is a fantastic and fun cozy mystery read which I definitely recommend.  

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#NetGalley #Book #Review Peril at Pennington Manor (Avery Ayers Antique Mystery series #2) by Tracy Gardner #Cozy #Mystery

Review

Peril at Pennington Manor

Peril at Pennington Manor

Avery Ayers Antique Mystery series #2

by Tracy Gardner

Release date: June 7th, 2022

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Peril at Pennington Manor (Avery Ayers Antique Mystery series #2) by Tracy Gardner from Net Galley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.
…Murder, mayhem, antiquities, and quirky characters make up this fast paced and fun cozy…
Author Tracy Gardner does it again with her second entry in Avery Ayers Antique Mystery series. Peril at Pennington Manor was another fast-paced fun cozy mystery filled with family drama, murder, and stolen antiquities. Having read and reviewed the first in the series, Ruby Red Herring, this entry did not disappoint. Protagonist Avery Ayres works at her family’s business, Ayers Antiquities and Artifacts Appraisers. Aunt Midge asked Avery and her father to do an appraisal for her dear friend Duke Nicholas, who is ready to put his estate Pennington Manor up for sale. As he gives Avery and her father, William, a tour of the manor, they discover that some of the artifacts have been replaced by fakes and a rare antique pocket watch has been stolen. When the manor’s housekeeper, Suzanne Vicks, is pushed off the roof and falls to her death. Avery believes the thefts and the murder are connected and former flame and police detective Art Smith joins the appraisal team in an undercover capacity, to keep his eyes open while the team works through the manor room by room. When another murder happens at the manor the hunt is on but not before a blackout makes the situation more perilous, leaving both Avery and Art fighting for their lives. Murder, mayhem, antiquities, and quirky characters make up this fast paced and fun cozy. Tracy Gardener has once again crafted a clever fast-paced mystery that is intriguing, highly entertaining and I can’t wait to read more in this series.
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#NetGalley #BookReview A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong #Mystery #Historical #TimeTravel

A Rip Through Time

by Kelley Armstrong

Release date: May 31st, 2022  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press /Minotaur Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

Intriguing, well-written and filled with an incredible cast of captivating characters….

Being a fan of Kelley Armstrong I was thrilled to be given the honour of reading and reviewing the debut of her newest series, A Rip Through Time, and I definitely was not disappointed.  

 In 2019 Canadian police detective, Mallory Atkinson, is in Scotland to be at the beside of her dying grandmother. While going for a jog she hears a woman’s cries coming from an alley and is shocked to see a faint image of a woman with blond hair in a blue dress. While she runs to assist the woman, she is attacked and strangled to the point of unconsciousness, when she awakens, she finds herself in the body of Catriona Mitchell a housemaid in 1869 Edinburgh.  

While recuperating in her employer Mr. Duncan Gray, an undertaker and medical examiner’s home where he resides with his sister Isla and other staff, begins to learn that Catriona is not well liked, has a felonious past and has betrayed everyone she has crossed paths with.  

As Mallory tries to navigate her new life as an amnesic Catriona claiming that she has been given a second chance after her brush with death and desperately tries earning the trust from her boss and co-workers. When Dr. Gray loses his assistant, Catriona begins to impress her boss with her understanding of forensics, especially since the real Catriona was illiterate before her attack. When two more people are murdered and there is another attempt on Catriona’s life, the hunt is on to capture the killer before the body count goes up.  

 Intriguing, well-written and filled with an incredible cast of captivating characters, A Rip Through Time is a page-turning historical mystery with a supernatural touch that I highly recommend. I am looking forward to reading more in this new and exciting series. 

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#NetGalley #BookReview Death by Beach Read (Lighthouse Library Mystery # 9) by Eva Gates #Cozy #Mystery #CrookedLaneBooks

Death by Beach Read 

Lighthouse Library Mystery # 9

Eva Gates 

Release date: June 7th, 2022  

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(4.5 Rounded up)


I received a complimentary ARC copy of Death by Beach Read (Lighthouse Library Mystery # 9) by Eva Gates from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

… a fun, intriguing, cozy mystery replete with a cleverly crafted plot, great atmosphere as well as a brilliant and quirky cast of characters…  

A fan of The Lighthouse Library Mysteries, this ninth entry, Death by Beach Read was another wonderful addition to the series.

We open with Lucy and Connor settling into their new home and in the process of planning their wedding, life for them is good although so much work is still to be done. Since their home had stood abandoned for years and with the legend that had surrounded scaring people away, the house had fallen into a neglected state. When Connor is on a business trip and Lucy is woken up in the middle of the night by Charles the cat alerting her to the sound of footsteps in the house, a whirlwind of events begins. From a ghostly legend, family secrets, the return of a troublesome character and a body in their kitchen, Lucy is on the case trying to put the pieces together in order to preserve her sanity…and her life.

This was a fun, intriguing, cozy mystery replete with a cleverly crafted plot, great atmosphere as well as a brilliant and quirky cast of characters. Although I miss Lucy living in the lighthouse, I feel the character is growing along with the changes, making the series feel fresh, in my opinion. My one criticism and not to give spoilers, it felt there were loose ends that were not really addressed which left the reader hanging just a bit. Overall, I love this series and I thoroughly enjoyed Death by Beach Read, I would highly recommend it!

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Welcome

Hello, I’m Belinda (McGrath) Witzenhausen and in a nutshell; I am a Writer, Creativity Coach, Artist, Student, Bookworm, History Geek, Armchair Archaeologist, Amateur Photographer, Coffee Connoisseur & Hubby’s Grossly Under-Paid Bass Roadie. 😁

Profile Picture of Belinda Witzenhausen

I have always enjoyed helping others, as well as actively expressing my creativity. Both my education and work history have revolved around social services, counselling, visual arts, art therapy, coaching and channeling my creativity through writing, art, or photography.

Over the years I have been blessed to cross paths with many interesting and creative people who have been such an incredible source of inspiration.

To sum it up, I love life and try to make sure that each of my days is touched by the creative process. I make it my mission to help others heal by igniting their creativity and by challenging them to make their creative dreams a reality. Other passions of mine include anthropology, archaeology, paleography, animal welfare as well as acting as an advocate for young adults with special needs and learning challenges.

Currently, I am working on novels inspired by my love of archaeology and mythology scheduled to be released in 2022/23. I am also a contributing writer for various mainstream websites, main writer/creator of BelindaWitzenhausen.com, WriterzBlox.net, a partner at Professor Owl’s Book Corner, main book reviewer at Boho & Bookish and Urban Word Nerd as well as Creativity Coach at IgniteYourCreativity.ca.


*Updates*

Due to courses and writing I will be taking a brief hiatus.  Please be advised I am fully booked (pardon the pun) and unavailable to accept further book review requests until Autumn 2022.


© Belinda Witzenhausen, 2009-2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Belinda Witzenhausen with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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#NetGalley #BookReview The Secret of Karabakh by Fidan Bagirova #Thriller #LiteraryFiction #History

The Secret of Karabakh

by Fidan Bagirova

Release date: April 14th, 2022  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Secret of Karabakh by Fidan Bagirova from Net GalleyLume Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

a brilliantly intricate blend of mystery, thriller and historical fiction that takes you on a journey

Alana Fulton, has it all, the only child of a self-made, jet-setting, wealthy couple, she is a well-respected student finishing her PhD in Archaeology at the illustrious Cambridge University and is in a relationship with a movie star…she is living the Dream. Her reality is shifted when out of the blue she is chased by a strange man, her dorm room is viciously ransacked, and it becomes clear she was the intended target of a terrorist attack at her dorm. During the investigation it becomes clear that both her and her movie star boyfriend are prime suspects in the case. After a mysterious encounter with a hooded figure a note is pressed in her hand that reads…

“You are not who you think you are.

Your future is not what you think it will be.

You are in danger…”

When the accumulated events become surreal, and fractured memories begin to surface, Alana’s dream life begins to become a nightmare. Alana becomes driven to stay alive and protect those she loves while unravelling the mystery of who she really is.

The Secret of Karabakh by Fidan Bagirova is a brilliantly intricate blend of mystery, thriller and historical fiction that takes you on a journey from London, to Cambridge, to Switzerland and finally to Azerbaijan. Rich with detail the author seamlessly blends the challenging history and rich culture of Azerbaijan with the page-turning plot keeps the reader reading into the wee hours of the morning. Filled with multifaceted, authentic characters including a refreshingly portrayed female protagonist who is intelligent, driven, strong and resilient. All in all, this book was a wonderfully original and engaging read, that I highly recommend.

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#NetGalley #BookReview The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare by Kimberly Brock #Historical #Fiction #Generational


Review

The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare

by Kimberly Brock

Release date: April 12th, 2022

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare by Kimberly Brock from Net Galley and Harpers Muse.

so beautifully written that I was completely drawn in. For me it was a beautiful statement of resilience, in facing trials and tribulations and growing through the process…

The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare by Kimberly Brock is an interictally woven multi-generational tale with, genuinely crafted characters, atmospheric setting, and captivating plots: it is a brilliant and complex tapestry of reality, fiction, love, family, grief, joy, regret, forgiveness, discovery, resilience, and healing.  

It is the story of Alice, her daughter Penn, and the women who came before them right down to Roanoke survivor Eleanor Dare. Jumping timelines from WWII Savannah, Georgia with war widow Alice and her daughter Penn to Eleanor Dare in 1590 Roanoke.  

After losing her father to a stroke, Alice and Penn go to their ancestorial family estate “Evertell” in Savannah to see about parceling some of the land and selling it to pay for Penn’s education. Although still a working farm and mill run by a long-time employee, they had left Evertell after her mother’s death and the secrets that surrounded it. Coming back Alice fights to forget the past, help her daughter heal and repair the house so it can be sold. The more time they spend in Evertell the more the past comes to the forefront, especially when they find the commonplace book of Eleanor Dare. Penn, a curious teenager, wants to make her mark and learn where she came from despite her mother’s need to forget. Both work on uncovering their truths with the help of each other as well as friends, new and old. 

This book is not a fast placed, thrill a minute read but it is a heartfelt, mysterious, and spellbinding tale which unravels keeping the reader engaged right to the very end. It is unlike anything I have read and to be honest hard to describe but it was so beautifully written that I was completely drawn in. For me it was a beautiful statement of resilience, in facing trials and tribulations and growing through the process as well as finding family not through blood, but friendship. Although it touches on Roanoke it doesn’t delve too deeply other than discussing the legacy of the stones.

I believe this is a book you will either love or you won’t, as reading is very subjective; I personally loved this memorable book and highly recommend it. 

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#NetGalley #BookReview The Burning Pages (Scottish Bookshop Mystery #7) by Paige Shelton #Cozy #Mystery

The Burning Pages

(Scottish Bookshop Mystery #7)

by Paige Shelton

Release date: April 5th, 2022  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Burning Pages (Scottish Bookshop Mystery #7) by Paige Shelton from Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press /Minotaur Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

Filled with intrigue, red herrings and incredible characters, The Burning Pages is a classic cozy that will keep you guessing in the end...

I am a fan of Paige Shelton, I have read her Dangerous Type, Alaska Wild and this, the Scottish Bookstore Series, and to be honest she has never disappointed me. The Burning Pages, the seventh book in the Scottish Bookshop Mystery is no exception, it is definitely one of my favorites in the series to date.

When Protagonist Delaney Nichols, a bookseller at the Cracked Spine Bookshop, is invited to attend a Burns night dinner held annually in honour of poet Robert Burns. Not a fan herself, Delaney asks her co-worker and Burns fan Hamlet to join her. Hosted at the “Burns House” by a close-knit trio of Burns devotees. Delaney suspects ulterior motives at play when she gets the feeling there is more than meets the eye with her hosts. Hamlet begins to act strange when meeting Neil, one of the members, although according to appearances the two had never met. It soon becomes clear that Delaney had been conned into attending the dinner in a misguided attempt to repair a long-held feud between Malcolm, one of the members. and her boss Edwin. Malcolm has been accusing Edwin of burning down his bookshop for twenty years. Once upon a time Malcolm and Edwin had been best mates, however when an argument between the two had been followed by a deliberately set fire that destroyed Malcolm’s livelihood, the suspicious fire sealed a grudge. Malcolm carried that grudge for years to the point of Edwin needing a restraining order against him. A disgusted Delaney and Hamlet leave the dinner, and later learn that the Burns House had been deliberately burned down and Neil’s body had been found. When the police confirm it was foul play and a witness gives a description of the perpetrator, Hamlet becomes prime suspect, and Delaney is determined to clear his name but in doing so learns more than she bargained for about Hamlet’s past. The further Delaney digs the more she catches the killer’s attention evident in the fact that fires seem to follow Delaney as she follows the clues. 

Filled with intrigue, red herrings and incredible characters, The Burning Pages is a classic cozy that will keep you guessing in the end. I loved the inclusion of Wyatt, Delaney’s brother in this installment, he adds the “Big Lug” component to the cast of characters. This was a wonderfully enjoyable installment in the series, and I cannot wait to read more of Delaney’s adventures. I highly recommend.

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#NetGalley #BookReview The Art of the Decoy (Scandal Mountain Antiques #1) by Trish Esden

The Art of the Decoy

Scandal Mountain Antiques #1

by Trish Esden

Release date: April 5th, 2022  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Art of the Decoy (Scandal Mountain Antiques #1) by Trish Esden from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

A brilliant series debut! The Art of Decoy is a fun read with a clever, intriguing, suspenseful plot, as well as a cast of quirky interesting and dynamic characters, which made this an entertaining read

When art and antiquities appraiser Edie Brown returns to her hometown of Scandal Mountain in Northern Vermont to help her uncle with the family business while her mother is imprisoned for art forgery. Her mother’s incarceration further tarnishing the family name after Edie had been caught up in an illegal deal as a juvie. Edie recovered having had her record expunged but not before the damage was done to her and her family’s reputation. She left behind her family, Shane, her old parole officer and old flame opting to leave town and branch out on her own. She went to school and landed a position at the prestigious Christie’s Auction house. 

Once back in Scandal Mountain she does not plan to stay too long, just long enough to salvage what is left of the family business. Joining her Uncle Tuck along with an intern appraiser/computer expert Kala they try to get the family’s Antique shop back on its feet. While at an event, Edie is approached by recent divorcee, Nina, with a folk-art waterfowl decoy that belongs to her father-in-law Claude who she and her daughter are currently living with. Edie recognizes the decoy as being a piece of work from a famous Quebec folk artist whose works are displayed in Canadian Museums. Edie sees a huge opportunity to earn some cash when Nina asks her to evaluate her father-in-law’s enormous collection. After a series of suspicious circumstances leads to the collection mysteriously vanishing, it looks like the past will come back to haunt Edie. When Nina points the finger at Edie, she gives her the ultimatum to find the collection in five days or she will go to the police and Edie and her mother could be cellmates. While tracking down the stolen collection Edie gets more than she bargained for, connections to murder, a museum robbery and vengeance put Edie deeper than she expected and under the microscope of the FBI Art Crime Team. As they collect more and more clues Kala uncovers disturbing news on the Darknet that makes Edie doubt all that she knows.  
 A brilliant series debut! The Art of Decoy is a fun read with a clever, intriguing, suspenseful plot, as well as a cast of quirky interesting and dynamic characters, which made this an entertaining read. Another perk is it acts as a great primer into the world of appraising antiquities. Overall, I enjoyed the book, I did feel it dragged a bit in parts, but the author more than makes up for it with a suspenseful and satisfying conclusion. I cannot wait to read more in this series, I highly recommend it.  

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A Hug and a Goodbye…for now…#WATWB

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Welcome to the “We are the World Blogfest” (#WATWB). The #WATWB was inspired by a simple conversation about how all the negativity on social media had been weighing on us. Wanting to make a difference, we decided to try to do our part to infuse social media with all the good stories that are out there.

We hoped to share stories that showed kindness, compassion, hope, overcoming challenges and in general, the impressive resilience of the human spirit. For every dark, negative story out there, we knew there was a positive, heartwarming story that would add some light and lift the human spirit thus the inception of #WATWB in 2017. Our mission was simply to flood the web with positive uplifting stories to inspire, give hope and motivate others.

As I mentioned last month, sadly, this will be our last #WATWB post. It marks our fifth anniversary and our fifty-fifth post which feels like a satisfying place to bid adieu. I can’t say enough how grateful I am to all co-hosts and bloggers who have been here month after month spreading light during some particularly challenging times on both personal and global levels. I want to especially thank Damyanti Biswas for co-founding this adventure with me and Ashlynn Waterstone who month after month gave it her all, promoting positivity by running our FB page and making sure our positive messages reached the masses.

A heartfelt THANK YOU to all who have participated over the years. I feel truly blessed to have read some beautiful uplifting posts and crossed paths with some incredibly talented bloggers on my journey. For me #WATWB changed the way I navigated the world wide web. Instead of being bogged down by the negativity online I was instead inspired, constantly on the lookout for positive stories to share, even during challenging times. It seemed like a small shift, but I would like to think it changed me for the better and I hope it was as positive for all who participated. As all good things must come to an end for our last share, the two co-hosts, this month will be Sylvia McGrath and myself, Belinda Witzenhausen.


If you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.”. ~ Wayne Dyer

 Now onto my post…

I am a hugger, there I admit it, and like most huggers COVID was hard on me, it definitely curtailed my natural tendency to issue hugs on a whim. One thing I kept reminding myself is that Covid would eventually end and hopefully, life would return to normal. Imagine the thought though of never being able to hug your loved ones again. Well, that was the reality Kevin Eubanks lived with when eight years ago a stroke paralyzed one arm rendering it difficult for Kevin to even hug his family. Kevin was heartbroken that due to his limitations he would never be able to hug his grandchildren…but that all changed. When Eubank’s daughter Emily Sisco, occupational therapy assistant and adjunct professor at Arkansas State University, challenged her students to come up with a solution that would assist him, that is exactly what they did. Her students created “The Hugger aka “HugAgain”, a strap that can be used to help raise the arm, in order to give, and get hugs. This story hit home as I had a loved one in a similar situation, sadly they passed but I know that this would have made his life a bit brighter. The video below shows Kevin’s reaction on his first try…(warning keep tissues handy). *sniffles*🤗🤗🤗

Another Link: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/embed/video/2615759.html

For more…. https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/family/story/grandfather-recalls-hugging-grandkids-1st-time-years-stroke-83387514

Their page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHugger2022/


👉To add some positivity in your life check out some of the wonderful sites listed in this article…. https://www.joincake.com/blog/positive-websites/👈

In closing, I will continue to share posts that carry with them the spirit that was so beautifully seen in #WATWB and I hope you too will continue to be a light in the darkness! If you post something that you feel would be perfect for #WATWB please feel free to share using the hashtag (#WATWB) post the link on our Facebook Page Wall (@watwbcommunity) or drop us a mention on twitter @WATWB.

✨A huge THANK YOU again! Be well and keep shining…. ✨

“Even a single lamp dispels the deepest darkness. ~”Mahatma Gandhi