For What It's Worth

Friday, August 23, 2019

Review: Cruel Candy (Cozy Mysteries #1) by Mildred Abbott

Estes Park, Colorado: picturesque mountains, charming shops, delightful bakeries, a cozy bookstore… and murder.

Winifred Page and her corgi, Watson, move to Estes Park to hit the reset button on life. Fred is about to open her dream bookshop, and the only challenges she anticipates are adjusting to small town life, tourists, and living close to her loveable mother, Phyllis, and hippy stepfather, Barry.
When Fred steps into her soon-to-be-bookshop for the first time, she expects dust bunnies and spiders… not the dead body in the upstairs kitchen. The local police have an easy suspect—Barry.

Determined to prove quirky Barry innocent of murder, Fred puts on her detective hat, and with Watson by her side, she explores her new town and gets acquainted with her fellow shopkeepers. Could one of her friendly neighbors be the real culprit? And what would be the motive for killing the owner of the Sinful Bites candy store? The secrets Fred discover put her at odds with the local police sergeant and threaten her cozy future in Estes.

With snow falling outside, all Fred wants to do is curl up by the fire with a good book and Watson snuggled at her feet. But before she can begin her new life and put her plans for her bookshop into action, Fred and Watson have a mystery to solve… ~

Source: Kindle Unlimited (recommended by Anna from Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Read for: Dog Days of Summer

I read Cruel Candy for La La in the Library & Jo’s Book Blog Dog Days of Summer celebration.

People!!! Do you realize how hard it is to find a HAPPY dog book???? This was cozy mystery featuring a grumpy pup named Watson. It was also on KU - so free was good lol

I haven’t read a cozy mystery since my earliest days of blogging. They can get quite repetitive and easy to solve but this series has a few things going for it.

It has a modern sensibility. Most cozy mysteries take place in small towns and feel like they’re stuck in time. While the Cozy Corgi Mysteries has the requisite nosy neighbors, small town cop and close proximity family – it also has a bit more diversity, including a same sex couple, and a pot smoking step dad and a legal marijuana dispensary as it's backdrop. Winifred’s (Fred) family is a bit wacky but not overly intrusive and Fred is a divorcee, a successful business woman and 38 years old. It was refreshing to see things updated while keeping it’s comforting charm.

Fred moves to Estes Park to open a bookstore after a fallout with her publishing business partner. Her mom and stepdad own several local buildings and offer her the spot where the local taxidermist was. And of course…he was MURDERED.

While Fred and her clue & treat sniffing Corgi, Watson, are exploring the new place she finds another body. That of the baker next door. Her stepdad, Barry, is arrested for the crime after evidence point sin his direction.

So Fred does what any self respecting cozy mystery heroine does and starts investigating to clear his name - with Watson in tow. To be honest, I figured it out immediately but the journey was still fun.

Fred’s dad was a detective (killed in the line of duty) so her knowledge of investigations and crimes makes sense, the residents are all complex enough that they come off as both friendly and suspects shaking the plot up a bit.

Not every single thing was wrapped up so that’s kind of fun. One crime was resolved and another is kind of brushed off but I get the feeling it will come back into play in the future.

There’s also a bit of set up for a love triangle. NOOOOOOOOO!!! But really, it wasn’t the focus so I didn’t care but she did get stupid around both men and that was a tad annoying.

This series is on book #13 so there are plenty of adventures ahead but they’re short, so they just take a few hours to read. And there’s a yummy recipe at the end of each book!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Indie Love Read-a-Thon Details/Goals & sign ups!

I mentioned this the other day but Tracey from Cornerfolds blog has the official link-up for her Indie Love Read-a-Thon posted. I will be a participating blogger & host a giveaway so here’s the official post explaining things in more detail and me laying out what I hope to be reading/posting about.

Indie Love Read-a-Thon is a blogging event, hosted by Cornerfolds, to celebrate indie books – meaning anything self pub’d or published outside of the Big 5 publishing houses.

From our lovely host - Cornerfolds…

*This read-a-thon will run from Sunday, September 1st at 12:00 am (your time zone) through Tuesday, September 10th at 11:59 pm (your time zone).
*Link up below. (here)
*Create a goals post on your blog, Bookstagram, Booktube, Goodreads account (a shelf in this case), etc. and link back to this post.
*Read as many indie books as you can! (An indie book is a book that is self published or published outside of the Big 5 publishing houses and their imprints.)
*Books must be at least 100 pages to count and can be physical copies, ebooks, or audiobooks.
*Post a review to Goodreads, your blog, etc. and link it in the Rafflecopter for an entry. (Short reviews of a paragraph or so are fine.)
*Complete the scavenger hunt for extra entries.
*Join the Twitter party on Saturday, September 7th at 3:00 pm (EST) to meet bloggers and authors, talk about what you've been reading, and win prizes.
*Tweet your progress using #IndieLoveRAT
*Challenge schedule and grand prize rafflecopter will be posted on September 1st at 12:00 am EST.
Rafflecopter will remain open for entries until September 2nd at 11:59 pm EST.

There are several indie authors participating (see below) and providing providing prizes. I hope to read one or two of these myself for the read-a-thon. (but you can read ANY indie book you want!)

S Usher Evans – The City of Veils, Spells and Sorcery (YA fantasy) | website
Joanne Macgregor – The Law of Tall Girls, The First Time I Died (YA contemporary, Kindle Unlimited) | website
Cyn Balog – That Night, Alone (YA mystery/YA horror) | website
Erin Rylie – Hating to Love You, Needing to Love You (adult romance, Kindle Unlimited) | website
Briana Morgan – Blood & Water (YA dystopian/horror, Kindle Unlimited) | website
E.J. Fisch – Dakiti (Adult sci-fi) | website

My *official* list so far is to read The Angelfall Trilogy by Susan Ee. This series has been on my TBR shelf for so long and it’s  the perfect motivation to get it read.

I’ve already read book one and will be reviewing it during the read-a-thon, while reading the other two during. I’ll also have a post of my favorite indie authors and hopefully another about the indie books that have come highly recommended and are sitting on my Kindle – and hopefully read during that week *fingers crossed*

This is a super flexible event – you can read what you want, review where you want, so there’s no pressure – plus fun events & prizes so please join in even if you think you can only read one book!

Sign up HERE!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Tell Me Something Tuesday

Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

Question: Have you found a way to cut back significantly on your TBR pile?

Answer: Yes! I have to be honest though - there's no magic (easy) formula you have to read more books than you take in. Period.

Here' is my TBR pile in 2017 when I decided to seriously tackle the beast.

There were @ 148 books. I tried and failed to do this many, MANY times. I only counted my physical TBR pile - I don't keep a Goodreads TBR shelf. And this does not include the Kindle - although that's down to under 50 books - after tackling that a few years prior.

Current TBR pile....drum-roll please - UNDER 50!!!

It took years to do and I'm sure I could fall off the wagon at any moment but here are a few of my strategies.


~ Netgalley - I only allow myself 2 books at a time on there. Once I read and give my feedback, I can request something else. To be perfectly honest, I don't spend a lot of time there or over request. To me, requesting a book there means obligations, deadlines and a bad feedback ratio if I don't read/review. I don't want that so it's easy for me to keep in check.

~ Resist the one-click. This was BY FAR one of my biggest weaknesses. Every time I saw a twitter frenzy about a book sale - especially - freebies, .99-$2.99 - I clicked. It seemed so cheap and worth trying at that price point but I couldn't read it all and a lot of it was crap so I read reviews first now and end up passing on most of them.

~ Book conferences (which I didn't attend this year) I started doing my research beforehand instead of grabbing things based on cover or hype. I had brought home soooooo many books that I didn't want to read once I took a closer look.

~ I'm a big library fan right now. At least 80% of my books come from there. I think this is the BEST method to avoiding book hype (If it's an option available to you). It's a great way to try authors/genres before buying and I can just hit return if it isn't working for me.

~ Avoid the hype!!! If something doesn't work for you - fantasy, mystery, contemporary, romance - chances are it won't. I'm all for trying new genres and authors but I used to feel out of the loop when everyone was raving over a book - then I hated it when I tried it. The only thing worse than being the only one not reading a popular book is being the only one that hated it. lol

The Purge!

~ When I sat with that giant pile in the first picture - I got real. Do I still like this genre/author? Do I even remember this book? I spent several days on Goodreads with my stack, pouring through reviews to see if any of these were worth keeping. My reading tastes have changed dramatically. A good 20-30 were eliminated that way.

~ Is there someone (blogger/reader/library/group/schools) that could use this book more than me? If I knew I couldn't get to a book for a long time but thought it could get better attention or find the right reader - I passed it on. It wasn't doing anyone any good getting lost in that pile. Especially arc's. Another 20-30 books off to happier homes.

~ Then I just read. I always have one or two library books going, I'll buy maybe one or two books per month, request one or two and then read a few from my TBR pile. It's so small now that I'm comfortable with it.

Under 50 seems perfect. High enough to have a selection to read from but small enough to feel doable - no pressure.

I don't want ZERO books. I'm not a monster!!! lol

Do you have any TBR tackling strategies? Or are you happy being smothered in a sea of books? (Which is also ok if it makes you happy!!!)