Tag Archive | Joyce Lavene

Putting On The Witch by Joyce and Jim Lavene

Putting On The Witch by Joyce and Jim Lavene

A Personal Note:

This particular tour is bittersweet. Is that term overused? Maybe. Defined, it means “producing or expressing a mixture of pleasure and pain.” I was so excited to be able to read this amazing book and review it but I knew I would not be able to rattle on about it to either author for they had both passed on. And there we have that bitter and painful part.

When I first got into reading cozies, Joyce was the third author I came in contact with thanks again to my Canadian sister-friend, Karen. I got onto the Joyce and Jim page and quickly started conversing with Joyce on a daily basis. I honestly didn’t know a person could have so much passion for purple!  Her morning greetings were warm and welcoming, nothing like I was seeing on the rest of the Internet. What a breathe of fresh air. Then, I got to slowing know of her husband as well. They were both so unlike others I was used to chatting with.

The news of their separate passings-on was devastating, but I am just glad to have gotten the pleasure and privilege of knowing them; even if it was only virtually. What a legacy they leave behind not only in their writings, but also in their beautiful personalities. I will never forget them.

jo-potw3Review:

So, you’re a witch who’s been hidden in the mortal world who recently found out you were a witch and your dad was one of the most powerful and dark witches ever. He’s now standing in front of you and your mom, who happens to now be a ghost, is not happy. What an opening! Putting On The Witch grabbed me from the beginning with some crazy stuff thrown right in my face and I loved it.

Having read some of the other books of Joyce and Jim’s I was going out of my mind with the “easter eggs” they kept throwing in throughout the book. If you are a reader of theirs, it’s a fun little gift. I know I was all giddy when things were mentioned and certain people showed up from other books of theirs. I won’t ruin it though.

My thought about witches is that they can’t be killed like mortals, but apparently if the right person gets ahold of them, they can. All of this and more takes place when Molly, Elsie, Dorothy and a few surprise guests attend their newest coven member, Brian’s’ birthday bash at the Witches Ball.

The party is elaborate, the preparation is elaborate and the location is unsearchable. Someone had to work pretty hard to get into this party in order to take out one of the powerful members of the Grand Council of Witches.

I love the contrast in the rich and powerful witches and what I call the “normal” witches, or those who are making an honest living just like the non-magical people. You can see the power struggles amongst these two groups which have been going on for ages.

Brian is the center of the party since it is his birthday. Although he was raised wealthy, he doesn’t have the same need to please, have money or be noticed like his grandfather. He is drawn to Dorothy who never new about her magic until recently. They both have a lot in common and I think that is why they are drawn together. In a way, they are both just starting.

Many things were denied to Brian because it wasn’t “proper” and Dorothy had nothing since she was raised without magic due to being hidden from her father. I enjoy the interaction between these two and how although they came from two complete upbringings, they are so much alike and therefore help each other out.

The friendship between Molly, Elsie and Olivia is heartwarming. These “retired witches” as they had hoped to be are only becoming stronger. Their friendship and encouragement of each others differences are what keeps their friendships so amazing. Molly is embracing her true heritage, Elsie is becoming appreciative that it’s okay to love no matter what society says and Olivia is learning to work with what life has dealt her…death. Through the changes in life and death, these friends and life-long coven members are growing themselves into better witches every day.

Putting On The Witch is about acceptance, breaking down the barriers of stereotypes and learning to accept yourself for who you are and just going with it. How in the world can a fiction book do that? I find that the Lavenes always have a message hidden in their books and this one is no exception. We all go through life, unsure of what the future holds. Some of us are unsure of our past and most of us are unsure of our future. One thing is for sure though. If we can find a small group of faithful friends who help to encourage our best selves, we are unstoppable.

 About The Authors:

joyce-and-jimJoyce and Jim Lavene wrote award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They had written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. Joyce passed away October 20, 2015 and Jim passed on May 5, 2016. They are missed by family, friends and their many fans.

Giveaway:

 Putting On The Witch Great Escapes Tour Giveaway

 

Author Links:

 www.joyceandjimlavene.com

www.facebook.com/joyceandjimlavene

Please join these other bloggers as they celebrate Joyce and Jim the rest of October!

October 13 – Booth Talks Books

October 13 – The Cozy Mystery Journal

October 14 – Brooke Blogs

October 15 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews

October 16 – Bibliophile Reviews 

October 16 – Island Confidential

October 17 – LibriAmoriMiei

October 17 – MysteriesEtc

October 18 – Kathy Loves 2 Read

October 19 – ChristyMystery

October 20 – My Interdimensional Chaos

October 21 – Murder, Mystery & More…

October 22 – centraleast2

October 23 – Lori’s Reading Corner

October 24 – The Girl with Book Lungs

October 24 – Polished Nails and Puppy Dog Tales

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Murder Fir Christmas by Joyce and Jim Lavene

6595_214181595580970_1652527665401568809_n.jpgLeave it to the Lavenes to catch your attention from the very beginning. Bonnie Tuttle reluctantly returns to her hometown of Christmas Tree Valley after being gone ten years. Strange things start occurring immediately. While driving into Sweet Pepper, she is stopped by an older Cherokee man standing in the road who says he’s been expecting her. What an unusual welcome, right? Well, it doesn’t let up from that point as Bonnie moves home to take care of her ailing mom and assumes the job as Sweet Pepper’s new Wild Life Agent.

No time is wasted on meeting the heads of the town as she is involved in helping to solve the mystery of a fire set at Sweet Pepper Lake where two men are found shot dead. After rescuing an injured wolf pup, Matthew Brown Elk, a Cherokee resident of Christmas Tree Valley, offers to help her in healing it. A bond not only starts to form between her and the wolf pup, but also between her and Matthew. As more visions come to her via the strange Cherokee man, she soon learns why she has always been able to communicate with animals so well.

I love the different elements in this book from the visions, to a woman’s coming home to face her past and accepting her new future. It’s beautifully written as a story of hope and purpose. We all wonder through life asking why we are here. Bonnie was doing the same for so long and left her childhood home looking for the answers. Sometimes the answer was right in front of us.

I hope the story of Bonnie Tuttle will continue in a future book because I really loved reading about her and all she had gone though. Murder Fir Christmas was full of dynamic, strong and one of a kind characters. What a great book for the holidays!

 

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Be My Banshee by Jim and Joyce Lavene

The Purple Door Detective Agency exists to help witches, shape-shifters, vampires and other magical creatures and beings that humans only think of as “fairy tales” and fictitious to solve mysteries. That’s right. Their magic and insight can’t solve 11986415_169921730006957_6121372026258166365_neverything. It is run by a purple-clad witch who drives a purple convertible who loves the color purple by the name of Sunshine Merryweather. After her boyfriend, a werewolf, is torn to pieces by an unknown killer, others begin being killed in the same manner.

Enter Aine, an ancient Irish Beane Sidehe of Ulster who comes to the agency in need of help finding the last of the family she serves after having been put under a sleeping spell (unwillingly) for the last two hundred years. Reluctantly at first, Sunshine takes on Aine’s case and also adds her to the agency as an employee after another employee, the mysterious “Mr. Bad”, instructs her to do so. With Aine’s help, Sunshine and Jane, the shape shifting mouse-lady, not only help find the last O’Neill but get closer to discovering the reason behind the unusual shredded remains.

Aine of Ulster finds the police officer, Sean O’Neill, and pledges to stay with him and serve as his Beane Sidehe, warning him of his death and then taking him to the underworld when the time comes as she has for his ancestors before him. Unlike the other times she served the O’Neill family however, Aine feels differently toward him. Could a corpse fall for the living and vice versa?

With O’Neill’s help, Sunshine, Aine and Jane discover the truth about the murders through magic and modern technology. They also find out several truths about themselves and others around them. A big reveal is made toward the end that comes as a shock to many as Sunshine and Aine become the most unlikely friends. Their banter back and forth is humorous throughout the book as Aine learns about the new, modern world and Sunshine learns to open her eyes to the ancient world she didn’t know still existed.

This book was both well written and entertaining. There was never boring moment. The Lavene’s brought to the forefront, a story to the modern world 11949285_10102259033790382_3005941873370689705_nabout an ancient fairytale that those of us who are of Irish decent have always heard about. I loved how they kept her true to the folklore and expressed her different personalities. With my family (O’Hagan) having hailed from Ulster and having served under the O’Neill family themselves, this book was a true treasure. I have been to the castle ruins and could imagine Aine there as my family is buried just down the hill from the remaining circle of stones and trees. I feel great affection for the character of Aine, the Beane Sidehe. This might be, by far, my favorite book. Well done. Thank you for introducing Aine to the world. The next in this series cannot come soon enough. 11913903_10102259033700562_708242581417728635_n

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