My Anticipated August Reads

Hello again book lovers! I know two instead of one post today to be honest I wanted to combine my July reading wrap up with the books I am looking forward to reading this month but after I finished my July books I felt the post would have been just too long and so a second post was necessary.

I am so excited for all the new cozy mysteries that are coming out this month and for a complete list let me direct you to www.bookfrolic.com blog. She has every cozy mystery that is being released this month broken down by week.

With that being said there are two books I am really looking forward to adding to my TBR but they will not be out until the end of the month and a few new to me authors I just discovered through Book Tube and on book frolic.

Two Parts Murder, One Part Sugar (Baker Street Myster #1) by Valerie Burns

NEW SERIES

I am so excited and can’t wait to get this first book in Valerie Burn’s new Baker Street mystery series. I am a big fan of this author who also has two other mystery series under V.M. Burns! This book is already getting a lot of great reviews.

About the book:

When Maddy Montgomery’s groom is a no-show to their livestream wedding, it’s a disaster that no amount of filtering can fix. But a surprise inheritance offers a chance to regroup and rebrand — as long as Maddy is willing to live in her late, great-aunt Octavia’s house in New Bison, Michigan, for a year, running her bakery and caring for a 250-pound English mastiff named Baby.

Maddy doesn’t bake, and her Louboutins aren’t made for walking giant dogs around Lake Michigan, but the locals are friendly and the scenery is beautiful. With help from her aunt’s loyal friends, aka the Baker Street Irregulars, Maddy feels ready to tackle any challenge, including Octavia’s award-winning cake recipes. That is, until New Bison’s mayor is fatally stabbed, and Maddy’s fingerprints are found on the knife . . .

Something strange is going on in New Bison. It seems Aunt Octavia had her suspicions, too. But Maddy’s going to need a whole lot more than a trending hashtag to save her reputation — and her life.

Peg and Rose Solve a Murder (Senior Sleuths Mystery #1) by Laurien Berenson

NEW SERIES

This new series is a spin off of Laurien Berenson’s Melanie Travis mystery series. If you’ve never read that series I highly recommend diving into that series. Peg is a major character in that series and her sister-in-law Rose who is a former nun married to a former priest makes a brief appearance in book 4 I think. The last Melanie Travis mystery Show Me the Bunny kind of lays the foundation for this spin off and I can’t wait to read it!

About the book:

Rose Donovan looks for the good in everyone. With her sister-in-law, Peg, that sometimes requires a lot of searching. Even a sixty-something former nun like Rose has her limits, and gruff Peg Turnbull sure knows how to push them. But after forty years of bickering, they’re attempting to start over, partnering up to join the local bridge club.

Peg and Rose barely have a chance to celebrate their first win before one of the club’s most accomplished players is killed in his home. As the newest members, the sisters-in-law come under scrutiny and decide to start some digging of their own. Bridge is typically seen as a wholesome pastime, yet this group of senior citizens harbors a wealth of vices, including gambling, cheating, and adultery . . .

By comparison, Peg and Rose’s fractious relationship is starting to feel almost functional. But as their suspect list narrows, they’re unaware that their logic has a dangerous flaw. And they’ll have to hope that their teamwork holds steady when they’re confronted by a killer who’s through with playing games . . .

Bagels and Bible Study (A Connie Cafe Mystery #10) by Maisy Marple

New to me series

I have never heard of this series and I have Tiffany of the Beachbumbookworm on YouTube to thank for this as you can see this is book 10 and it is only in ebook form. If you have Kindle Unlimited it is free but I see that the first few books in the series come in print also. I plan to get the first book in this series Coffee and Corpses plus this will be my first Christian cozy mystery so double points!

About the book:

Connie and the ladies decide to make Connie’s Cafe the scene for some late night treats and bible study.
But someone in town isn’t thrilled with the plan!

Well that’s it! I hope all your reads are great reads!

Book Review of Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-off by Darci Hannah

5 STARS!

Happy Friday book lovers! I usually don’t do independent book reviews because I do a mini review on my Wednesday Reads posts but of the books I’ve read that week. But this second book in Beacon Bakeshop cozy mystery series by Darci Hannah deserves its own review. I was introduced to this author last year and I added her first book Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop to my TBR but I didn’t read it until this month because as I’m sure you all understand the TBR list never shrinks and takes on a life of its own. Once I read the first book which I enjoyed so much (clink on link below for that review) that I immediately ordered the second book in this series.

Wednesday Reads

Happy Wednesday book lovers! We’re half way through the week and getting ready for the weekend! Since last week I’ve…

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As I’ve stated before I am not a fan of Christmas in July because I like to celebrated each holiday in its season and I can only do one holiday at time and Christmas is a lot! But I knew I was going to break that rule this year because I just couldn’t wait until Christmas to read Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-offDarci Hannah is such an amazing author and she doesn’t disappoint in this second book in the series (yes I have book 3). So as soon as I read my book club picks for July I immediately dived into Christmas cookie bake-off.

It’s Christmas in Beacon Harbor, MI and Lindsey Bakewell has visions of sugarplums and the perfect Christmas a la Hallmark dancing in her head. The bakeshop is doing great, her romance with Rory Campbell is going great, she has more staff to help her out, and the holiday orders are rolling in! The only problem is Lindsay has been through 3 baking assistants and when the self proclaimed Christmas expert Felicity Stewart owner of the towns year round Christmas Shoppe springs a Christmas cookie bake-off competition a week before the Christmas festival titled (kid you not) The Great Beacon Harbor Christmas Cookie Bake-off in which every one must introduce a signature cookie and the top 4 will be in a live baking competition at the Christmas festival that will be judged by the famous Chicago food critic Chevy Chambers of the show Windy City Eats well Lindsay is ready to throw in the towel! How is she going to do this on top of all the baking and filling orders without a baking assistant she needs a Christmas miracle!

Chevy Chambers turns out to be a truly loathsome person creating chaos and making enemies. He is hitting on the women in the competition and making promises to each one in exchange for “favors” but Lindsey sees through the slimy Mr. Chambers and doesn’t take him up on any offers

Then during the actual live competition Chevy is murdered and everything points to Felicity will Lindsay along with Rory, her best friend Kennedy, her parents who have flown in for Christmas and the resident lighthouse ghost Captain Willy be able to find the real killer or will Lindsay’s perfect Hallmark Christmas get cancelled permanently?

I loved this book! You can see the growth in every character and from the first sentence I was hooked and just couldn’t put the book down. There were plenty of red herrings but the one thing I appreciate about the author is she never introduces anyone or anything that doesn’t move the plot along. Also there are never like a hundred suspects or a lot of subplots that can take away from the actual mystery. I was fully engaged in the plot and again the killer was not the person I thought it was but there is one scene in the story that had me dying with laughter that involves Lindsey, Kennedy and her mother Ellie. I also loved her temporary baking assistant Mrs. Nichols who is Lindsey’s Christmas miracle.

It is hard for me to find anything I didn’t like about Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-off but if I have too:

  1. I was not a fan of the whole cookie napping thing because the only person who could identify them was Mrs. Nichols it worked on some level but I could have done without it
  2. I was well into the book before the murder actually happened but this is a matter of personal preference for me. I tend to like for the murder to happen at the beginning of the book again nit picking.
  3. The Great Beacon Harbor Christmas Cookie Bake-off I know it was a play on The Great British Bake-off but oh my goodness what a long title and I know I’m being super nit picky but I felt this title was just too much.

Until next time book lovers!

Dealing with Rejection

rejection: 1. the dismissing or refusing of a proposal, idea, etc. 2. the spurning of a person’s affections.

Hi Southernistas I always like for my post to be uplifting, encouraging, and full of fashion so I try to avoid dark and heavy topics that may be triggering for some of you but I feel the need to talk about rejection. In this thing called life we are going to face rejection and quite frankly it sucks! We face it on our jobs when that presentation we worked so hard on or that great idea gets rejected by the boss or client, job searches, in our dating life (for those of you who have one), in familial situations, even with our friends we can face rejection I mean you want to try the new Asian fusion restaurant and everyone else wants to hang out at the same old same old.

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No one likes to be dismissed or spurned and I like to think of myself as an expert in this field. In school I was the one who was always picked last for EVERYTHING, I sat alone at lunch. Even in college I had a wide circle of friends but whenever we went out all of my friends were approached and I was just…there and I was like “hello over here.” I was always the wallflower! After college the number of thank you but no thank you letters I received in my job search really made me think “did my mom just waste thousands of dollars on my expensive college education for nothing?” Why aren’t companies breaking down my door to hire me?

As a Christian many times my well meaning brothers and sisters in Christ will say “they rejected Jesus and His apostles so expect the same” and while I know they mean well this is not always what I want or wanted to hear. I know they are trying to be encouraging but there are times I reject this because I don’t need a “cliché” I need more than a tried and true saying. I am always so much more appreciative when I can talk with a fellow believer and they don’t start with they rejected Jesus but they really pour into me with words of encouragement and when needed correction to help me deal with the rejection. They give me a Jesus perspective on the rejection that I can’t see at the time because I am so wounded by the rejection.

Inspiring Quotes

As I got older I found myself slowly withdrawing from any situation that would lead to me being rejected or saying yes to everything so I wouldn’t be rejected because a person can only take so much! Rejection hurts no matter how gently someone tells you no although there are those who take pleasure in rejecting people. When we start to fear being rejected we find ourselves in a position of always saying yes which leads to over commitment and being taking advantage of by some truly awful people who feel no guilt at using you. This fear of rejection to the point of closing yourself off from people or either saying yes to everything is called rejection sensitive dysphoria which is defined as People who have an emotional reaction to negative judgments, exclusion, or criticism beyond what most people feel. While this is not a medical or a recognized mental health issue it is a serious and real thing that can hinder your growth as a person.

So here are some of my suggestions for dealing with rejection:

  1. Know that rejection is a part of life and there is nothing you can do to avoid rejection. You are going to be rejected its how you deal with the rejection that’s important.
  2. Some of the most famous people have suffered a lot of rejection but it didn’t stop them you have to be persistent. Remember that no can lead to a greater yes in a greater career. J.K. Rowling was not an overnight success.
  3. Look at the rejection as a blessing in disguise. Sure that guy/girl turned you down but then you meet “the one” and realize you had a lucky escape. That so called dream job or promotion you didn’t get? Then you discover it was more or a nightmare than a dream…whew!
  4. You are allowed to feel and be hurt when you are rejected but not wallow in self pity. The worse advice I’ve ever received was to suck it up and move on like it never happened. NO! Give yourself permission and a time limit (I give myself 24–48 hours) to be hurt, sad, angry, or whatever you’re feeling then move on. I’m not saying when the time limit is up the feeling just disappear they don’t but you’re able to function better and have perspective. If it requires therapy seek help but don’t act like it didn’t affect you! Hear speaks the voice of experience.
  5. Reach out to your tribe! When you’ve been rejected there is nothing like having those who know you and love you best surround you with love, prayer, encouragement, and guidance! Lord knows where I’d be without my Mom, daughter, church, and besties Lisa & Laura!
  6. Be open to rejection and dare I say embrace it! Yes I said it be open to rejection be willing to approach that person, apply for that job, pitch that idea to your boss do whatever it is knowing there is a chance you will be rejected but you’ll walking away knowing you tried and that is half the battle!
  7. Turn the rejection into a positive! Some of the richest people in the world started their business because they were rejected so they struck out on their own and the rest is Microsoft history!
  8. Use that rejection to work on you and better yourself. Sometimes rejection can reveal something about you that needs improvement.
  9. I can’t say it enough and I know I’ve already said it in #4 but find a qualified and good therapist that can help you deal with rejection. They can give you the tools you need to help you deal with rejection and if you suffer with rejection sensitive dysphoria.

Last but not least try not to take every rejection so personally. It took me years to learn how to deal with rejection and see the pluses and not see it as God punishing me. I can honestly look back over my 51 years of life and see that many of the rejections I received was the best thing that ever happened to me. If I had got that job, stayed with that guy just to be in a relationship, maintained that friendship, and so many other things that were harmful to me I wouldn’t be where I am now and who I am. I don’t think I would be here. There is no doubt Jesus is infinitely more wise than I will ever be and knows what is best for me!

So just know rejection is a part of life but it doesn’t have to define your life or cause you to miss out on what’s to come!

Until next time Southernistas!

Wednesday Reads

Hello again book lovers! Today I want to share with y’all what I’ve read, what I’m currently reading, and what is up next in my cozy mystery reading adventures. July has been for me a month of non stop reading and yet my TBR pile doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller.

With it being so hot and know for some you the temps have been in the 100s this is the perfect time to stay inside and read a good book:).

What good books are you reading?

Finished Reading

Murder Is No Picnic (Cape Cod Foodie Mystery) by Amy Pershing

This is the third book in the Cape Cod foodie mystery series and I highly suggest you read the 2nd book An Eggnog to Die For before you read this book as there are references to the second book that for me at least was a slight distraction from the actual plot of this book.

Samantha Barnes the Cape Cod foodie is really excited for her 4th of July clambake she’s planning and has discovered the perfect blueberry buckle to serve. When she gets the chance to meet famed celebrity chef Clara Foster and learn how to make the blueberry buckle for her blog is beyond excited. The day was great and Sam had so much fun with Clara so she is shocked to discover the next day Clara has died in a house fire. When carelessness is believed to be the reason for the fire Sam knows that Clara was too a good a chef to leave a frying pan on a stove unattended and is determined to prove that Clara was murdered.

I found myself steadily engrossed in the plot. I definitely see growth in Samantha and all of the additional characters in this book. I never found myself getting bored with the storyline and there were not too many red herrings.

I give Murder Is No Picnic 4 stars

Murder, She Knit (A Knit & Nibbles Mystery) by Peggy Ehrhart

This was the July Cozy Mystery Book Club pick and I was looking forward to discovering a new (to me) series and author. There are nine books in this series with book 10 in the works so it is a very popular series.

Five years after Pamela Paterson became a widow she is settling into her life and career as an editor for a craft magazine and an empty nester. She runs into an old friend Amy who has moved to Arborville, NJ to teach at the local college. Pamela invites Amy to her knitting group known as knit and nibble but Amy never shows up and when everyone in the group leaves Pamela finds Amy’s body in her yard stabbed with a knitting needle when she goes looking for her cat.

This book was not for me and when the killer was revealed I just couldn’t see how the person who was the killer could have been the killer. I mean everything pointed to 1 of 2 people and it wasn’t the killer. How could everyone enter and left Pamela’s house and not see Amy’s body or hear the murder? I was also disappointed that there were knitting patterns included in the book. I never really fully connected with Pamela.

I give this book 2.5 stars

Currently Reading

Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-off (A Beacon Bakeshop Mystery) by Darci Hannah

I am hooked on this series! I read the first book in this series Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop quickly because I just couldn’t put the book down. Then I immediately bought the second book in the series which just so happens to be Christmas themed and I just couldn’t wait until December to read it!

Darci Hannah does not disappoint with her second book in this series and I am trying to pace myself but if work didn’t interfere with my reading I would be home right now curled up with a cup of coffee reading this book but I will be reading on my lunch break!

Next Up

Death by Bubble Tea (Night Market Mystery Series) by Jennifer J. Chow

I am very excited to read this first book in this series by Jennifer J. Chow who is also the author of The Sassy Cat series and Winston Wong series. This will be my first time reading anything by this author but I am really looking forward to reading this book especially since it takes place in Los Angeles and not in a small town. If the reviews I’ve been seeing on Instagram by bookstagrammers are anything to go by this is going to be a treat!

1st Book in a New Cozy Series

Book Blurb:

When Yale Yee discovers her cousin Celine is visiting from Hong Kong, she is obliged to play tour guide to a relative she hasn’t seen in twenty years. Not only that, but her father thinks it’s a wonderful idea for them to bond by running a food stall together at the Eastwood Village Night Market. Yale hasn’t cooked in years, and she hardly considers Celine’s career as a social media influencer as adequate experience, but because she’s just lost her job at her local bookstore, she feels she has no choice.

Yale and Celine serve small dishes and refreshing drinks, and while business is slow, it eventually picks up thanks to Celine’s surprisingly useful marketing ideas. They’re quite shocked that their bubble tea, in particular, is a hit — literally — when one of their customers turns up dead. Yale and Celine are prime suspects due to the gold flakes that Celine added to the sweet drink as a garnish. Though the two cousins are polar opposites in every way, they must work together to find out what really happened to the victim or the only thing they’ll be serving is time.

New Release Tuesdays!

Hello book lovers! I know a post from me on a Tuesday?! I’ve been thinking about jumping on this train for awhile. Every Tuesday new books by new and established authors make their debut and I see quite a few book worms share the latest releases and what they’re looking forward to adding to their TBR pile so like a lemming I am following the others.

For those of you who follow me know that my favorite genre is mystery and within the mystery genre I love cozy mysteries now I am not going to mention all 17 new cozy mysteries that came out today but here are few and hopefully they will cause you to read your first cozy, revisit an series, or introduce you to a new series. If you’d like to see all the new releases check out www.bookfrolic.com or www.cozy-mystery.com.

I do not receive any type of compensation if you click on these links from Bookshop.org I just want to support independent bookstores.

  1. No Parm No Foul (Grilled Cheese Mystery) by Linda Reilly
Book 2

Every since I read the first book in this series Up to No Gouda I have been waiting for this 2nd book in the Grilled Cheese mystery series and it is finally here. This is a Halloween/Fall theme cozy so if you’re tired of the heat and ready for fall this is a great cozy to get you in that fall mood.

Book Blurb

After a long hot summer in Balsam Dell, Carly Hale is ready for crisp Vermont weather and gourmet grilled cheeses at her Grilled Cheese Eatery. And the upcoming Halloween food competition is the perfect way to impress the locals.

But Ferris Menard, the owner of Sub-a-Dub-Sub, is nursing a serious grudge against Carly. Two days before the competition, one of Carly’s employees quit his part-time gig at Menard’s sub shop, sending Menard into a serious snit. In a confrontation at the Eatery, Menard accused Carly of sabotage and vowed to bring her down.

That’s when Menard’s body is found in his kitchen the morning after the competition, a steak knife sticking out of his heart. But Menard had a slew of enemies, and if Carly doesn’t figure out which one is the culprit, she might find herself — or someone she cares about — serving grilled cheese sandwiches under lock and brie!

2. Mint Chocolate Murder (Ice Cream Shop mystery) by Meri Allen

Book 2

Second book in the Ice Cream Shop series and a great addition to your summer reading list. This is another fall theme cozy mystery and I am looking forward to reading this second book in the series. I must admit I was a fan of the first book only because I just didn’t buy the amateur sleuth Riley Rhodes as a former CIA Liberian other than that it was a solid read. I the first book 3 stars

Book Blurb

Riley Rhodes returns in the second delicious cozy set in a New England ice cream shop, Meri Allen’s Mint Chocolate Murder!

When Udderly Delightful Ice Cream shop manager Riley Rhodes is summoned to Penniman’s Moy Mull Castle, it’s the cherry on top of a successful summer season. The gothic pile built by an eccentric New England Gilded Age millionaire has been transformed into a premiere arts colony by Maud Monaco, a reclusive former supermodel. As part of Moy Mull’s Fall Arts Festival, Maud is throwing a fantasy ice cream social and hires Riley to whip up unique treats to celebrate the opening of an exhibit by Adam Blasco, a photographer as obnoxious as he is talented.

As Penniman fills up with Maud’s art-world friends arriving for the festival, gossip swirls around Blasco, who has a dark history of obsession with his models. Riley’s curiosity and instincts for sleuthing — she was a CIA librarian — are piqued, and she wonders at the hold the cold-hearted photographer has over the mistress of Moy Mull.

But when Adam is found dead behind the locked door of Moy Mull’s dungeon, Riley realizes there’s more than one suspect who’d wanted to put the malicious photographer on ice.

3. Murder Spills the Tea (Tea by the Sea Mystery) by Vicki Delany

Book 3

First I love Vicki Delany! I have a fan of her Year Round Christmas series, and her Lighthouse mystery series which she writes under the name Eva Gates. She is also the author of several other series under her name and other pseudonyms so you can’t go wrong with anything she writes. Vicki is one of the authors that I always pre-order her books. Plus this is another book set in Cape Cod and I am here for it!

Book Blurb:

The country’s hottest TV cooking show is coming to Cape Cod. And against her better judgment, Lily Roberts is entering America Bakes! with her charming tearoom, Tea by the Sea. Filming is already proving disruptive, closing the tearoom during Lily’s busiest season. But tensions really bubble over when infamous bad-boy chef and celebrity judge, Tommy Greene, loses his temper with Lily’s staff, resulting in an on-camera blowup with Cheryl Wainwright. Just as Lily thinks the competition can’t get more bitter, Tommy is found dead in Tea by the Sea’s kitchen . . . murdered with Lily’s rolling pin.

Suspicion immediately falls on Cheryl, but the temperamental star has racked up plenty of culinary clashes in the past, both on- and off-screen. And nearly anyone associated with Tommy or the show could be the killer: be it one of Lily’s fierce competitors, a member of the beleaguered film crew, or even one of Tommy’s fellow judges — struggling cookbook maven, Claudia D’Angelo or beauty contest winner, Scarlet McIntosh. Now, while she’s baking up a storm for the show, Lily must also whip up an impromptu investigation . . . before the murderer rolls someone else away.

4. The Paper Caper (A Bibliophile Mystery) by Kate Carlisle

Book 16

This is the 16th book in Kate Carlisle’s very popular Bibliophile mystery series. Kate is also the author of the very popular Fixer Upper Series and there are 10 books in this series with no signs of ending anytime soon. I love both these series even if I am behind in my series reading.

Brooklyn is excited to be included in the Covington Library’s first annual Mark Twain Festival. She’ll rebind a rare first edition of The Prince and the Pauper before an enthusiastic audience of book nerds — her favorite people. The festival is the passion project of wealthy media mogul, book lover, and newspaper owner Joseph Cabot, who considers himself Twain’s biggest fan. Brooklyn’s hunky husband, Derek, and his security team once rescued Joseph from a corporate kidnapping attempt. Now Derek and his agents are charged with keeping Joseph and his beautiful young wife safe during the festivities taking place all over town.

The centerpiece of the festival is a citywide contest based on The Prince and the Pauper one lucky look-alike will trade places with Joseph for a few days — with access to all the money and power that Joseph commands. Brooklyn and Derek worry that the contest might be generating some dangerous attention. And when someone is mysteriously poisoned right before Brooklyn’s eyes, she’s not convinced that the victim was the intended target. Now she and Derek must frantically chase clues and suspects through the streets of San Francisco before another murder becomes front-page news.

5. Death of an Ice Cream Scooper (Hayley Powell Food & Cocktails Mystery) by Lee Hollis

Book 15

The 15th book in the Hayley Powell series which is written by a brother & sister team which I think is so neat. I’ve read the 1st book in this series and found it so so thus I haven’t added the other books in the series to my TBR but I plan to get book 2 in this series and give it another try.

Book Blurb:

Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell doesn’t know what to believe when Lydia Partridge, the put-together owner of gourmet Bar Harbor Ice Cream, suddenly reveals fears that her husband may be having an affair. There’s no other way to explain why Jamie, a respected professor, was spotted in a remote part of town with a much younger woman. But instead of learning the truth about the secret meeting, Lydia opens her freezer truck to find another surprise — the dead body of a summer employee…

The shock continues as photographic evidence proves Jamie was spending time off campus with the victim, one of his students. Now, Lydia desperately needs Hayley to discover if Jamie really is a cheater — and, worse, a ruthless killer. With her own complicated family issues to address, can Hayley make sense of a popular college girl’s love life and out the true culprit before the case, or another person, goes cold?

6. Death a Sketch (A Paint and Shine Mystery) by Cheryl Hollon

Book 3

This is the third book in this series that has been on my to buy list forever but as I’m sure you can relate so many books so little time but I definitely plan to grab the first book in the series Still Knife Painting. This series is set in Kentucky with good reviews.

Book Blurb:

Miranda’s business — combining Appalachian adventure tours with art and a bit of moonshine — is the perfect place for an outdoor sporting goods company to hold an employee retreat. It’ll be a challenge, but the money they’re paying will definitely help with building her new distillery.

Miranda has lots of teamwork-fostering activities planned, from sketching classes to Southern cooking, but the executive running things prefers a more competitive spirit. In fact, after the workers are split into teams, they’re told that only the winners will keep their jobs, and tensions begin to spike. Even after a participant is found dead, the contest continues — while Miranda starts drawing her own conclusions about the ambitious attendees. Now she just has to find the proof . . .

7. Murder at the Blueberry Festival (A Beacon Bakeshop Mystery) by Darci Hannah

Book 3

I saved the best for last! I love this series….LOVE! How much do I love this series you may ask? I am reading the 2nd book in this series Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-off now and I am not a Christmas in July girl at all! I wait until Christmas to read all holiday theme cozies but the first book was so good I read it in one sitting that once I read my book club picks for this month I grabbed the second book ready to go back to Beacon Harbor, MI!

Book blurb:

After a career on Wall Street, Lindsey Bakewell is making a different kind of dough in a pretty lakeside village, and the upcoming blueberry festival — including the pie-eating contest her bakery is hosting — is the highlight of the summer. But soon Beacon Harbor runs into a patch of trouble.

A local real estate agent gets pranked. A parade float gets pelted with water balloons. It’s all laughed off until the stunts start escalating — and looking more like sabotage. As the event turns into a debacle complete with rampaging goats, Lindsey’s sweetheart, a former SEAL, starts investigating. But the juicy mystery takes a bitter turn when a man — dressed up as a Viking — is found dead in a boat, and it’s no longer mischief but murder…

Until next time!

Just Add Color

Happy Thursday Southernistas! Wow I can’t believe this month is almost over! Next week is the last week of July and August is just around the corner alas I can hear the groans of millions of children and the cries of joy from said children parents. My very own offspring will be starting Pharmacy School next month at my alma mater so yes I am a very proud mama! Can’t wait to attend her coat ceremony next month.

As I was thinking about what I wanted to talk to y’all about I gained inspiration from what I wore yesterday. For those of you who’ve been following me from day one then you know I love color and I love bold and bright colors. If I’m wearing black or another dark color then I must add a pop of color to my look. It is rare that I will do a head to toe monochrome look unless it is red or another color.

Now I can already hear you lovers of black saying “black is a color and it goes with everything!” Look I am all for black in fact I recently did a whole post about a LBD (little black dress) I recently got and loved but hear me out: color is your friend!

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I’m going to repeat myself: you can still wear black but just…add…color! A cut yellow (or whatever color) top with those pants or skirt will take your look to another level. Or a cute pair of shoes in another color or colorful print works also or if you carry a bag of any type let be a color.

For so many years we as plus size women have been told to wear all black because it makes you look smaller but you know what that’s not true if you wear all black you’ll be a plus size woman wearing all black so throw out those stupid rules and wear your favorite color or that color you’ve always wanted to wear but was afraid to because of “advice” friends, family and total strangers feel the need to offer you.

Wear that bold color, for me its red, or that cute pastel color you’ve been eyeing longingly but afraid to wear. There is no such thing as a color you can’t wear because every color comes in varying shades of that color red is not just red there are various shades of red. You feel like yellow washes you out and makes you shallow or pale try wearing gold which is a shade of yellow.

I have for years avoided wearing the color pink even though I do love the color (no as much as red) but I always felt like it just didn’t look good on me but I finally decided I’m going to wear pink. Now I haven’t invested in a full head to toe look but I have a pink hounds tooth skirt and another skirt in a shade of pink. I am slowly working my up to a full head to toe look but my point is start with something and own the look!

This Orange dress from Eloquii is still available

Color is a huge mood lifter too! During the winter months I suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and nothing gives me a big boost during those cold gray days then to wear a lot of color. If you want to get that guy to notice you go for a little red dress instead of a little black dress and va va voom!

January 2022

So I want to encourage you to take a good long look at your closet and Just…Add…Color!

Until next time Southernistas!

This teal skirt from Ashley Stewart!

Wednesday Reads

Happy Wednesday book lovers! We’re half way through the week and getting ready for the weekend! Since last week I’ve added to my TBR (to be read) list with some more great mysteries which I did a book haul on my Instagram .

Here is what I’m reading and upcoming reads.

Finished reading:

Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop (A Beacon Bakeshop Mystery #1) by Darci Hannah

This is a MUST read!

OMG y’all I was not expecting this book to be so good so I was beyond happy in fact so happy I ordered the second book in the series and pre-ordered the third book in the series! I loved the fact that Lindsey Bakewell was a highly successful and financially independent woman in her own right who trades in her high powered Wall Street job to open a bakery in Beacon Harbor, MI. It’s not random either her father grew up in Traverse City, MI where Lindsey spent her childhood summers in her grandparents bakeshop where she learned and developed a love of baking. They would take her to Beacon Harbor for a day trip on the weekends so it is only natural she would find herself back in a place that is like a second home to her after catching her fiancé with the pastry chef.

Lindsey works hard to get her bakeshop ready for its Memorial Day weekend opening. Everything is going well the shop is full and everything is selling fast until her cheating ex and the “tart” of a pastry chef Mia show up to ruin her opening along with the local lighthouse preservation society protesters. Things go from bad to worse when in all the chaos (there’s a food fight) Mia drops dead and Lindsey as the scorned woman is the prime suspect. Now Lindsey finds herself trying to find the killer and save her bakery or should she just pack up and go back to New York?

I loved Lindsey Bakewell, the residents of Beacon Harbor especially the new man in her life Rory, and her fashionable best friend who comes to visit and help with PR. I thought I had it figured out who the killer was but was I ever wrong. There was a twist thrown in and then when the killer was revealed I was just blown away! Everything worked for me even the haunted lighthouse angle.

5 Stars!

Currently reading:

Murder Is No Picnic (Cape Cod Foodie Mystery #3) by Amy Pershing

I know in last week’s post I said this was the second book in the series but this is actually the third book in the Cape Cod foodie series. I am really enjoying this cozy mystery series and it’s July 4th theme which makes me wish I’d read it at the beginning of this month but since this is my Facebook book club July read I always read my book club picks closer to the date we will be discussing the book.

Next read:

Murder, She Knit (A Knit & Nibbles Mystery #1) by Peggy Ehrhart

Cozy Mystery Book Club July Pick

Investing in Quality

Hello Southernistas! I hope y’all have had an amazing week and are ready for rest & relaxation in whatever form it takes for you this weekend. There is a a lot of discussion today about the affect fashion fashion is having on the environment. First let me say this is not me putting fast fashion down at all! Fast fashion is perfect when you’re starting out as a young person in the work force and you don’t have the funds to shop at brands with higher price points or if you are on a tight budget then fast fashion brands are perfect.

Having said that I want to encourage you to not totally dismiss Torrid, Eloquii, Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewart, independent designers such as Jibri and Zellie for She, and local boutiques (you’ll be helping your local economy too) which I know are expensive but the quality you will get is well worth your money. The material is quality and these are pieces that will last you for years. I know for many, myself included, we live on a budget and I would suggest to think making these purchases every quarter or seasonally when you’re looking to update/refresh your wardrobe and cleaning out your closet. Also check out mid-season sales that usually happen in July when retailers are trying to clear their summer inventory to make way for their fall collections. Check out your local consignment shops, thrift stores, and online thrifting sites like Thred Up and Poshmark.

This dress I am wearing I bought from Eloquii 5 years ago and it looks like I just bought it yesterday. It was worth and still is worth every penny I paid for it along with several other dresses in my closet that I’ve had for several years now.

Until next time Southernistas!

Wednesday’s OOTD

The Shoe File

Happy Thursday Southernistas and shoe lovers! In case I haven’t stated this before I have a serious love of shoes some would call it a obsession but I prefer to call it an appreciation. Shoes are the ultimate accessory and a perfect way to try a trend or a print if you don’t want to wear that print “why yes I will buy those animal print/polka dot/striped heel.” I often build a whole outfit around a pair of shoes. My shoe goal is to own a pair of (cue the harps and spotlight) Louboutins one day but my bank account tells me to keep working towards that goal.

Weather you love heels like I do, flats or you’re a sneakerhead shoes in my humble opinion shoes completes your whole look. There is nothing like finding that perfect shoe. There are many pieces in my closet I purchased based on a pair of shoes and a specific look I was going for and of course when you want to elevate your look. If you work in an office with a specific dress code you can express your personality with your shoes. I’ve lost number of the amount of times I’ve been complimented on just my shoes and not the whole outfit.

So today I want to share with y’all some of my recent shoe purchases and they are all still available and some of these go up to a size 10.

Until next time Southernistas!

Blue by Betsy Johnson from Zappos
Steve Madden Mules from Zappos
Just Fab Adele Throwback Pump (few sizes left in black and red)
Just Fab Khloy Classis Pump (comes in several colors and prints)
Just Fab Lorelai Block Heel (comes in several colors and wide width)
Just Fab Tweed Mule (no longer available)

The Shoe File

Happy Thursday Southernistas and shoe lovers! In case I haven’t stated this before I have a serious love of shoes some would call it a obsession but I prefer to call it an appreciation. Shoes are the ultimate accessory and a perfect way to try a trend or a print if you don’t want to wear that print “why yes I will buy those animal print/polka dot/striped heel.” I often build a whole outfit around a pair of shoes. My shoe goal is to own a pair of (cue the harps and spotlight) Louboutins one day but my bank account tells me to keep working towards that goal.

Weather you love heels like I do, flats or you’re a sneakerhead shoes in my humble opinion shoes completes your whole look. There is nothing like finding that perfect shoe. There are many pieces in my closet I purchased based on a pair of shoes and a specific look I was going for and of course when you want to elevate your look. If you work in an office with a specific dress code you can express your personality with your shoes. I’ve lost number of the amount of times I’ve been complimented on just my shoes and not the whole outfit.

So today I want to share with y’all some of my recent shoe purchases and they are all still available and some of these go up to a size 10.

Until next time Southernistas!

Blue by Betsy Johnson from Zappos
Steve Madden Mules from Zappos
Just Fab Adele Throwback Pump (few sizes left in black and red)
Just Fab Khloy Classis Pump (comes in several colors and prints)
Just Fab Lorelai Block Heel (comes in several colors and wide width)
Just Fab Tweed Mule (no longer available)