Tag Archive | summer prescott

REVIEW: The Wicked Waffle by Carolyn Q. Hunter

51E-zY3z49L._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_What do you do when your dreams of becoming a writer have dried up in the big city? You go back home and mingle with ghosts of the past and present of course!

Sonja Reed returns to her hometown of Haunted Falls Colorado after a failed attempt of becoming a published author and reunites with her best friends, Alison. One of the things Sonja looked forward to on the trip back, was heading to the diner Alison worked at and eating the amazing meals that she remembered her hometown for. New York food just wasn’t cutting it

Reality check for Sonja! The diner is all but closed up and she encounters a most frightening site that chills her to the bone. Alerting Alison to the issue, they discover a body of the most unlikable town lady, dead in the freezer. Welcome home Ms. Reed. Sheesh! No time like the present for Alison to give the diner to her. Congrats Sonja, you now have your own business formally inhabited by a dead lady that everyone hated. In addition, let’s stick the frozen food you need and that you’re going to serve in that exact freezer. Thinking of that still weird me out.

To add to the craziness that is seeing strange unexplained things and finding a dead body, Sonja’s estranged father comes back on the scene and is then swept away once again as the number one suspect of the frozen and very dead Ronda Smith, heiress of the Smith mansion and estate.

When no one seems fazed by Ms. Smith’s death, Sonja goes on a rampage to clear her father of the murder and pin it on someone else. Why; I don’t know. I would still be over-the-top upset and wondering if he came into town to do just that; commit murder. She jumps to his defense a little too quickly for my taste, but then again, no one asked me. Who could benefit from Ronda’s death though? Let’s start there.

Now that all of that’s over, Sonja shakes it off and prepares to get all the items back into the diner that were formally there. They so happen to be stored at the local church ran by Pastor Williams. Alison, her family, some local boys and Pastor Williams all pitch in to help. Nothing like a little normalcy and a blessing by the prieWafflesst to make all the crazy that happened go away. Oh no; wrong!

Sonja heads to the mansion to visit the stepdaughter, Belinda Smith, who she used to attend school with and who is a little off her rocker with talk of being able to see spirits. Great idea Sonja! Her visit turns into a séance and it just gets really freaky after that. I won’t say what happens, but I would read this part in a well-lit room.

Needless to say, there is a lot that goes on in a very short time span in The Wicked Waffle. From failing author to owner of a new waffle diner and a surprise ending that makes me want to know when book two will be out, Carolyn did a great joy catching my attention. I wished that there had been more time to develop the characters however. A little more background on the Reed family would have been welcomed. I like the character and I want to love her. I, however, fell for a secondary character instead. Belinda was the one who intrigued me the most. I want to go and hang out with her. She is my kind of fun!

Great first in series book and I wait with baited breathe for the next. This was a fun paracozy indeed.

Buy THE WICKED WAFFLE

by Carolyn Q. Hunter

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Second-Hand Murder by Blair Merrin; Interview and Review

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Booth Talks Books: What inspired you to make your first book, Second-Hand Murder, a paranormal cozy? Would you define it as a paranormal cozy?

Blair Merrin: I don’t actually define it as a paranormal cozy, but I think it definitely has a foot in both worlds (pun fully intended, lol). Cozy readers will probably enjoy the tight-knit relationships and positive/funny interactions between characters. Bandit Hills has some decidedly different folks in town, and they all try to accept each others differences without making a fuss over them. Paranormal readers will hopefully appreciate the strange and creepy things that happen in Bandit Hills. If someone is strictly a paranormal/occult/horror reader, this book probably won’t scare them a bit, but Cozy readers can get a kick out of it, without having to double check the locks on the doors and windows.

I like to think outside of the box, and I think this flexible interpretation of the genre will illustrate that pretty well. If I had to invent a name for the genre that I think it falls into, it’d probably be “Creepy Cozies.”

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BTB: What kind of research did you need to do for your first book?

BM: I happen to love ghost stories, and have always been fascinated by voodoo and other creepy or mysterious things, so, much of what came out in the book, I already knew. I did research some of the specifics regarding witches and voodoo dolls, though, as well as looking into the topography and climate in Tennessee – I’ve been through that beautiful state, but have never lived there.

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BTB: What inspired the town of Bandit Hills? To most people it seems like a creepy place but the residents seem to be pretty cool with it.

BM: My mind wanders sometimes (occupational hazard, lol), and one day, I just started thinking…”What if I took a bunch of interesting people, some of whom had unusual habits and abilities, and put them in a secluded town, where weird was normal?” Yes, this is exactly the kind of thing that keeps me awake at night…and Bandit Hills was born.

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BTB: Have you ever personally been to New Orleans? What did you like most about it if you have?

BM: I love N’awlins! The beignets and coffee, crawfish etouffee, and the voodoo shops like Marie Laveau’s. I admire the magnificent architecture, priceless antiques – the colorful creativity of the French Quarter of course, and the Laissez Les Bons Temps Roulez attitude of this “laid-back, anything goes” city.

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BTB: Which character was the most challenging to write about? Do you have a favorite?

BM: Actually, these folks are so fun, that it’s an absolute blast creating their world! I think it’ll probably be a bit more challenging in Book 3, because there will be some complicated relationships that are dealt with (teaser!).

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BTB: Will we be able to visit Bandit Hills again in the future? If so, is there anything fun you can bate us with about book two?

BM: Oh goodness yes, I’m already working on book tow, and loving every minute of it! I think that there will be several ladies swooning about a particular character in the second book.

 

 

Review of Second-Hand Murder

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If you like paranormal stories like I do, then you’ve often thought if would be pretty cool if there was a place you could visit that was almost like a para-vacation location. You know, where you could go and actually see real stuff going on, hear actual voices and interact with the spirits and it’s completely normal. No judgment from anyone and people actually believe you without that weird look after you tell them that you hear voices in your attic. Well, Blair Merrin has created that place, Bandit Hills, Tennessee. When something strange happens in Bandit Hills, they have a saying, “ That’s Bandit Hills for ya!”

We meet Cassie and her mom in their antique shop, Miss Miscellanea, which sells other people’s castaway treasures. Some items are junk but others are down right fascinating. On this particular day, one of the most interesting finds of all shows up in a box. In an unmarked box, sitting along with other boxes full of uninteresting items, is a small, roughly made burlap doll with button eyes and yellow hair and a photo of a recently deceased woman. Cue creepy music, right? For this town however, just another Tuesday. Well, things are about to change.

Cassie begins to wonder why someone would place a photo of a recently deceased woman with a voodoo doll and more than that, who the woman was. So, she begins looking into it out of pure curiosity. She then calls her old high-school friend turned investigator, Dash to see if he could help find out more about who she now knows is Stephanie Marshall after a quick look at recent obits on the internet. The woman has been dead all of a week.

Their investigation uncovers a lot; too much in fact. They discover an ominous note, speak to a spirit from beyond the grave, break into this deceased Stephanie’s home, find a photo of her with a mystery man which leads Cassie to take a trip to New Orleans in search of said mystery man and there, encounter evil magic beyond her imagination. Let’s just say she comes home with a doll that looks like her.  I will leave it at that.  The ending is heart stopping and leads one with more questions than answers. Glad to know book two is in the works.

Second-Hand Murder is an amazing premier paranormal book for author, Blair Merrin. She has hit upon several aspects that some authors have not yet explored. I love the theme, the characters and the constant action throughout the book. This is a town I would not only love to visit, but live in. I could see me visiting this little shop every week and being perfectly content with the crazy things that happen there on a regular basis, saying right along with the town folk, “That’s Bandit Hills for ya!”

 

Buy Second-Hand Murder

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Irish Crème Killer by Summer Prescott-Review

Summer sends her characters off on a vacation, away from the sweets shop in Calgon owned by Missy and her husband, detective Chas Beckett to upstate New York. With their close friends, they open up their world to them, a side of the family that most don’t see and that Chas has tried to remove himself from, a life of luxury and over obsessive wealth were money and fast cars are the norm.

Upon arriving, the Becketts, their Marine friend Spencer, and couple friend Kel and Echo 51epUej6PuL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_take in the grandeur that was the life of Chas at one time. They meet his siblings who embraced the life of leisure and luxury instead of having working class jobs. We find out that even though he was far from his father during his (father) illness, Chas made the trip to see his father when his siblings who lived close did not. This endured me as a reader to the character of Chas.

After showing off the car collection his father left to him, letting his friends drive their choice of the pricey vehicles and Kel nearly having a fatal crash (oh those guys and their cars), they decide to enter into an upcoming car race. Meanwhile, the ladies get chatted up by one of Chas’s former childhood tennis acquaintances, Muffy. She seems mysterious since she was eavesdropping.

A horrible accident occurs on race day that is pinned on Chas due to a past squabble with the now deceased judge. Someone starts planting evidence and tries a little too hard to frame him for the murder and a detective Wallace is all over Chas with questions and an unhealthy hate. Luckily, being a detective and having friends who have your back (even in secret) always helps. And…what exactly is Spencer up to anyway with all that sneaking around?

This was an easy read; quick and witty with a weaving of several plots going at once to keep you interest held. The language between the couples is as sweet as the treats Missy makes back in Calgon; lots of gooey goodness. So, you have to love a book with “cuddle wording” as I call it. I was able to understand the characters for the most part not having read the past books, but it would help knowing their background if you have time to go back and play catch-up. These are lovely characters that I look forward to following!

BUY Irish Creme Killer Here

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Interview with Summer Prescott and Day 4 of Booth Talks Books Giveaway!

Summer Prescott has joined us today to talk about her books, characters and herself!  If you haven’t read her books, you need to.  I have enjoyed her Key West series so much.  It has even prompted me to make way too many pies.

Murder By Lime

Murder By Lime

BTB: How long have you been writing cozy mysteries?
SP: My first cozy was released on February 5th of this year.

BTB: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?
SP: I like to draw largely from life experiences. I really enjoy writing about places that I’ve been and basing characters around people whom I’ve encountered.

BTB: Okay, I have to ask…WHY Key Lime? Tell us all about this revelation to write around a Key Lime shop in the Keys.
SP: I think maybe it’s indicative of my intense longing for a vacation! Just kidding. 😉 I love the beach, and Key West has so much to offer in the way of imagery, activities and more. I really wanted the readers to be able to smell the salty air and hear the whispers of the swaying palms. Books are a great escape, and I wanted to make this series, in particular, a mini-getaway for the readers.

BTB: Have you thought about putting out recipes to go with you books?

A Lime To Kill

A Lime To Kill

SP: Actually there are plans in the works to put out a Summer Prescott cookbook that will have recipes from all three series – I’m so excited about that!

BTB: Who is your favorite character in your Key Lime series? I know who mine is, but I will talk of that later.
SP: As sappy as it sounds, I’m going to have to say Detective Cortland, because there’s so much more to him than meets the eye. He’s a really good guy with some depth to him…which will show more and more in book 7. And he’s handsome too…that doesn’t hurt. Creepy Tim is running a close second though.

BTB: Is Tim based on someone you know in real life? Will there be more of him? I am a HUGE fan of the super-creepy neighbor.
SP: Tim is actually based on the blending of a couple of people, one who actually is a mortician, and the other who is quite an oddball. He’s featured pretty prominently in book 7 as well.

BTB: Are there any other Lime books in the works?

SP: I’m currently writing book 7 right now, and there is a book 8 in the works as well. Beyond that…we’ll have to see. I’m considering doing spin-offs of all three series.

BTB: What are the different series you write?
SP: The Key West series, of course, the Rocky Cove series, which features a New England clambake caterer, and the Frosted Love series, which revolves around a cupcake shop owner in Louisiana.

BTB: Do you have a certain series that is your favorite or close to your heart? 51892mhgyzl__sx311_bo1204203200_
SP: They’re all special to me. The Rocky Cove series was inspired by my relatives, who all hail from the East Coast; the Frosted Love series literally takes place in a town in Louisiana in which I lived, but I changed the name, and the Key West series takes me to paradise – it doesn’t get any better than that.

BTB: Thank you Summer for helping Booth Talks Books celebrate reaching 100 subscribers!
SP: Thank you! It was my pleasure

——>Enter Booth Talks Books Giveaway!<—–

Review: Murder By Lime by Summer Prescott

26208771We return to Key West in Murder By Lime, the fourth installment of Summer Prescott‘s Key West Culinary series.  We find the mother, Marilyn Hayes already fretting about her daughter being late for work at her small Key Lime pie shop.

When daughter, Tiara, arrives we find out her yoga class running late.  Marilyn then goes into the typical “he’s too old for you” mom talk when she finds out that Tiara has been hanging around the yoga instructor.  They banter back and forth about Drew’s merits, setting him up to be a major player in the story.

A lime shortage hits the country and the small shop in a big way, making them look into other options for their fruit supply.  Tiara informs Marilyn that Drew is into shipping and importing as a second job aside from teaching yoga.  Reluctantly, Marilyn agrees to let her check to see if Drew could find a supplier of limes to keep the small sweet shop afloat. He succeeds.

A new supplier is found at a cheaper rate and all seems well.  Tiara and Drew start to hang out more and going on frequent rides in his boat. The happiness is short-lived, however, as Pedro is found dead days later on Drew’s sunken boat and Tiara is arrested for the crime by Detective Bernard Cortland.

Marilyn’s creepy neighbor, Tim Eckels sees things he shouldn’t, Carlos the old supplier of limes seems happy that Pedro is dead since his business is flourishing and Drew is hiding a secret.  Who killed Pedro? Will Tiara’s name be cleared or is it doors closed for Sublime Sweets?

This is the second book I have read in the series and I can tell you that you do not have to read these in order to enjoy them. I was looking for mention of the crimes in the prior book, but it was never mentioned. So, the reader is not going to feel11988459_10102268920237862_362473221879797504_n like they are missing out on anything. There is nothing worse than grabbing a book that you want to enjoy then being lost because you’re missing out on something. This won’t happen in this series it seems. I could easily see this being a weekly mystery series on TV.

I love the realistic relationship between Marilyn and Tiara. The way they interact and face obstacles together is nice. Each of them are living their own lives, trying to find their own way but at the same time still being there for each other through their love of the pie shop. The shop, in a way, is symbolic of their connection, constantly changing, but anchored with the same main ingredient. Yes, I am equating the lime to love. Call me mushy but you’ll see what I mean when you read it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this light, yet action packed cozy.

Review: The Lime and the Dead, A Key West Culinary Cozy by Summer Prescott

26133164The Lime and the Dead by Summer Prescott is set in a small cottage in Key West. The main character, Marilyn Hayes, is the owner of a sweets shop called Sublime Sweets that specializing in her signature Lime Pie. Her only daughter, Tiara, helps her run the shop.

The third installment of the Key West Culinary series starts as Marilyn is losing her favorite neighbor and sweet friend, Madge Prentiss while gaining a creepy, borderline stalker by the name of Tim Eckels.  While looking for a qualified baker, Tim starts showing up in more and more unusual places after not being hired for the position. Marilyn starts to get worried as she digs up background information on him and finds out about his past run-ins with the law.

After hiring new baker, Kelcie Williams, Tiara brings news that a realty show want to film a segment in Sublime Sweets. Hoping this brings more business, Marilyn agrees and things start to take a turn for the worse when one of the stars sneers at her beloved pie. After Tiara and reality star, Bella Fontaine, have words in the shop, Bella goes missing.  The producer, Sabra Remington,  asks Tiara to replace her temporarily. Then the worst happens.  Bella is found dead in Marilyn’s back yard by Tim Eckels.

The ending is a true surprise. Who killed Bella?  Is it Marilyn, Tim the new neighbor, Sabra, the show’s producer, Tiara or someone else associated with the show or shop?

This book had everything I look for in a book without having to read a11951203_172829803049483_4010633302415893775_nll the books before it. I felt like I knew the characters through their actions. Summer didn’t tell me, she showed me and I like that. I loved the interaction between the characters weather they were being happy over being dramatic. I got the gist of who they were.

The action happened at the beginning of the book in the second chapter. I don’t like waiting and I didn’t have to in this book. Creepy Tim came to the rescue and made me start wondering about him. I also like that someone went missing pretty early so I had time to try and solve the murder with the characters. Then of course, I was surprised by who the murderer was. Ya, I didn’t see that coming and I love when that happens. I had two people on my list and neither one had anything to do with it.

The Lime and the Dead is a fairly short and fun read at 161 pages. And like I said earlier, you don’t need to have a previous relationship with these characters to enjoy it because I loved it and this third installment was the first of the series I have read. Good news though; I do plan to go back and read the other.

Now, if you’ll excuse me…I need to go eat some Lime Pie.

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