Gin and Ghost by Megan Marple Review and Recipe

Gin & Ghosts (Tell-Tale Tavern Mysteries Book 1) by [Marple, Megan]

Title-Gin and Ghost

Author- Megan Marple

Genre- Cozy Mystery

Purchase Link-

A psychic raven, meddling ghosts, and a few odd locals serve up trouble on the island of Capers Cove!

Bartender Edie Allan might be a little odd, she can talk to ghosts and her pet raven, Poe, but she turns sleuth when a body shows up in the sand, and she discovers the cute new tavern owner might just be a murderer! Edie and her best friend, Officer Jessica Cho, begin an impossible search for clues in a case where almost all of the townspeople in Capers Cove have a motive. Can she serve burgers, mix cocktails, and deal with her suspicious new boss while there’s a killer on the loose?

Or will the search for the murderer leave her job – and her life – in jeopardy?

Reviewed by Crystal H.

Edie Alan has a dream to someday be able to buy her family’s business the Tell-Tale Var back, Sadly the bar is sold to a new comer with out her knowledge making her dream seem very impossible. The bar is in her blood and no one can run it better then her so she will just have to settle for working there, for now any ways.

The new owner is a bit of a jerk and thinks Edie is a kook, in fact the whole town thinks she is off her rocker. That may be because Edie can hear ghost and has a pet raven named Poe and may or may not be a descendant of the well known Edgar Allan Poe… yea let’s just say as crazy as Edie’s life seems now it is nothing compare to the craziness that murder will bring!

The Sweet-

When I was in high school I devoured anything and every thing by Edgar Allan Poe and was thrilled about the premise of this story! A descendant of Mr. Poe who can speak to ghost? Brilliant! I am happy to say the author did not disappoint with both Edie and the plot of Gin and Ghost.

I found Edie to be a no frills kind of girl who doesn’t take anyone’s guff and I thoroughly enjoyed her pet Poe the black Raven (I know!) and the dynamic their very special bond brought to the table. I do wish the author played it up a bit more because it brought such a fun dynamic to the story line!

All in all I enjoyed this fun cozy that borders the line of a paranormal cozy and was truly surprised with the ending! I did not see it coming! I would recommend this book to any one who shares my love of cozies and of the amazing Edgar Allan Poe!

Rating- 4.5 Cupcakes out of 5 Cupcakes!

The whole time I was reading this cozy drink recipes kept running through my head like crazy! I decided on a play of the title as well as the bar’s name! That is when I create the Tale of Poe! I wanted the drink to be dark yet sweet and include gin and still taste goo Let;s be honest gin isn’t for everyone!

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Ingredients needed-

Your brand of Gin- everyone has their preferences

Blue Curacao Liqueur

Maraschino Cherries and the syrup they come in.

Black Cherry Soda

Directions

  • Start off with a glass of ice and pour a 2 count of your Curacao.
  • Follow that up with a 6 count of Gin,
  • Next add some syrup from your cherries 0 if you are like me and love everything sickenly sweet don’t be shy with the juice!!
  • Shake that bad boy up! (you are almost there)
  • Last you want to add a splash of your cherry soda and garnish your drink with cherries
  • Enjoy!

 

Twice Baked Murder by Daphne DeWitt Review

Twice Baked Murder: A Cozy Mystery (The Rita Reincarnated Cozies Book 1) by [DeWitt, Daphne]

Title- Twice Baked Murder

Author- Daphne Dewitt

Genre- Cozy Mystery

Purchase Link- Amazon

Rita never thought much about how she was going to die.
…turns out that might have been a problem.

Two months prior to her wedding, pie maker extraordinaire and sheriff’s daughter Rita Clarke is rudely pushed down a flight of stairs by an unseen man with a burly voice and meaty hands. And that was the last thing that ever happened to her.

Until now.

Two years after her untimely demise, Rita returns to her small town of Second Springs with a brand new body, a dusty red pickup truck, a guardian angel named Charlie, an aloof Irish setter that used to be the mayor, and a mission to solve a string of murders (including her own) before she can move on.

But things in Second Springs aren’t what they used to be. Rita’s fiancé is now engaged to her former best friend, her father has been outed as town sheriff, and his replacement is irritatingly cocky and sure that Rita is hiding something.

When a young man is murdered on Rita’s first night back, she finds a wrench at the scene of the crime; the same thing she saw before her own murder.

Now Rita must try to work through the craziness of her new life, coexist with her ex friend and fiancé, and dodge the ever encroaching eye of the new sheriff if she’s going to stand a chance of catching the person responsible and moving on.

And you thought death was the end of all the fun!

Reviewed by Crystal H.

Rita has her life all figured out- She is marrying her best friend Aiden and has just started a business with her other best friend Peggy! The business is doing well despite being in it’s infancy. She couldn’t be happier.

Everything comes to a boil when while delivering a pie to one of her favorite customers Mrs Hoover, Rita comes across a gruesome discovery.  Mrs. Hoover has been murdered and whats more is the murderer is still in the house. Rita finds herself is the wrong place at the wrong time and pays for it with her life.

However that is not the end for Rita- if it was than this would be a very short story- before she knows it she is being thrust back into life in a new body because of her “unfinished business”.

The Sweet-

I love the the plot of this book and found the concept really original having never read a cosy like it before. I found Rita to be quite the character, she’s feisty and intelligent and has quite the sense of humor.

The emotions the author was able to seamlessly weave into the story- making the reader feel for each of the characters  Making the reader more invested and willing to be ucked up by thet story.

I also enjoyed the story when it comes to the mystery aspect- the author really got me with the plot twist at the end. I did not see it coming and was genuinely surprised! The plot and all of its twist are masterly woven by the author and I quite enjoyed every bit of it!

I highly recommend this book for any one looking for a well written cozy mystery!

A strong 5 out of 5 cupcakes for this one!

 

Malicious Mocha Murder by JR Pearson Review and Drink Recipe

Malicious Mocha Murder (A Sophia Rivera Paranormal Mystery Book 1) by [Pearson, J R]

Title- Malicious Mocha Murder

Author- JR Pearson

Genre- Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Purchase link- Amazon

Sophia Rivera is used to playing it safe and living simple in the chaotic city of West Emily. Working as a barista by day, and playing online fantasy games by night, Sophia’s life is pretty normal.

That is if you discount her ability to see ghosts.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Lucky for me, the only apparitions that hang around these days are of my casino-hopping, grandmother and Rufus, the one-eyed ferret.

Yeah, never a dull moment at my place.

Unexpectedly, things take a wild turn when the spirit of a woman shows up–mind you, in the creepiest way possible– claiming to have been murdered and needs me to guide her to Tranquility. Essentially, where ghosts go to regain peace.

Sounds simple?

Well, it’s not!

Throw in a fifty year old historic catastrophe that somehow connects with spirit lady, Dark Entities, sexy twins who light parts of me on fire, and a raging war between Rufus and my cat, Mr. Murphy—-obviously, it’s going to be one hell of a week.

Take it from me, stuffing your face with chocolate danishes and fudge brownies, do NOT make life threatening problems go away.

No matter how good they taste…

Sophia Rivera isn’t what some would call a social butterfly or a risk taker. By day she serves up yummy coffee drinks and pastries at her job as a Barista during the day and at night her wild side comes out… playing her favorite fantasy computer game. Her life isn’t anything exciting, well except for the fact that she can see and communicate with ghost that is.

Sophia chooses to ignore the dead, all except her deceased grand mother and her childhood pet ferret Rufus. After all she never asked for this “gift” nor does she know what good it would do to converse with dead people. That is until one particular ghost doesn’t give her the choice. She needs Sophia’s help and won’t take no for an answer. It’s time for Sophia to put on her big girl panties and face her gift. With some help from her casino hopping grand ma and her best friend maybe she can help solve this ghost’s murder and keep her wits about her in the process.

The Sweet-

Sophia is a self proclaimed gamer nerd girl and would rather be home with her cat playing than adulting- if you were to trade gaming with books than me and Sophia could be twins! I was utterly enchanted with Sophia and could easily see becoming besties with her if she were real.

Though this is more of a paranormal mystery than a cozy it still all the charming characteristics of a cozy just with a little more umph to it and I couldn’t be happier! I found the plot both hilarious and spooky all at the same time and I loved that about this book.

The author’s writing skills shined so brightly in the book! I found the story so entertaining and well written it felt as though in my minds eye I was in the story- a noisy bystander drinking in the antics of Sophia and her rag tag “Scooby Gang”. Throw in a possible love triangle and some almost naughty moments here and there and in my opinion this book is a winner!

One of my favorite if not my favorite aspects of this book is all the yummy desserts and coffee concoctions that were so well described my mouth watered many times whilst reading and my mind was going a mile a minute trying to create a yummy recipe to include with this review!

The Sour-

As with any book I hate when the main female character puts herself down- there wasn’t much of this in the book but there were moments of self doubt and Sophia thinking that she didn’t deserve attention from a hot guy. It didn’t ruin the book or Sophia’s story for me but it did bum me out a little bit.

Rating- 4.5 Cupcakes from me!

Since I now live in the sweltering heat of Florida- I thought I would put together a fun spiked icey coffee drink together to battle the heat- Also no one will know you are drinking vodka laced coffee at 10 a.m. on a Monday morning! You can thank me later! I should also point out that this book comes with it’s own fun recipes as well!

What you will need to make this yummy Mocha Drink! (You will also need a blender)

  • Frangelico Liquor (or any hazelnut liquor)
  • Cream De Cacao Liquor
  • Godiva Liquor
  • 1 cup espresso or strong black coffee
  • 1 Cup Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 Cup Ice
  • Whipped Cream and chocolate shavings to top
  • Optional- if you really enjoy a chocolate kick to your mocha you can add some chocolate syrup to the blender)

Directions

Okay so before we get into directions let us go over what a count is to make it easier to follow said directions. A count is a second of a pour of liquor so you would count to three for a three count while pouring.

  • Set up your blender.
  • Next pour a 4 count of each liquor into blender.
  • Next Add your Vanilla Ice Cream (Sub Chocolate for an extra Mocha Boost)
  • Add espresso (Making sure that it is completely cooled)
  • Lastly add Ice and Blend till your prefer consistency!
  • Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings and enjoy!

 

 

J R Pearson lives with her crazy but loving family in southern Maryland. She enjoys weekend excursions, Saturday night movies, and warm home-cooked meals. For years, J R Pearson has loved reading–especially cozy mysteries,and was inspired to write her own. Introducing funny characters, yummy foods, cozy small town life, and a feisty female protagonist.

 

The Witches of Enchanted Bay by Amelia Morgan Review

The Witches Of Enchanted Bay (Witches Of Enchanted Bay Cozy Mystery Book 1) by [Morgan, Amelia]

Title- The Witches of Enchanted Bay

Author- Amelia Morgan

Genre- Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Purchase Link- Amazon

“A bewitching mix of wit, pastries, a charming setting, and a feisty, donut-loving sleuth”

“This cozy mystery put a spell on me”

Welcome to Enchanted Bay, a picture-perfect small town on the coast of Northern California.
Meg Walton comes from a long line of witches. It’s a secret her family has been keeping for generations. The Waltons have been living a quiet existence, running the local donut shop in town. All that changes when a murder occurs.
Enter Connor Smith, Meg’s former crush, who left for San Francisco ten years before, and who has now returned to town as the new detective with the Enchanted Bay police department. If Meg’s feelings were mixed enough over having Connor back in town, the detective wrongfully suspects one of Meg’s good friends for murder.
To prove her friend’s innocence, Meg has to find the real killer herself–with the help of a few good spells.

Reviewed by Crystal H.

Meg Walton lives a pretty normal life- for a witch that is! She runs Enchanted Donuts in the small town of Enchanted Bay. Her business is successful and  her life seems to be where she wants it to be.

That is until her best friend Lisa is accused of murdering her sleazy personal trainer boyfriend Jack.

The Sweet-

Anyone who knows me knows I am a sucker for a good donut! The fact that Meg owns her own donut shop where she bakes enchanted calorie free donuts I mean come on!!!

The author set the story and whodunnit up really well and I really enjoyed figuring out things along side with Meg- who by the way was filled with sass and snark and I loved every minute of it! What I enjoyed most was the loyalty that Meg had for her best friend- risking everything for her and to prove her innocence.

I also really enjoyed the character of Meg’s Grandmother Penelope who is sassy and a bit of a smart ass not to mention… a cat! I really loved that part of the story as it was original and so fun!

Overall I found the story to be cute, sweet and enjoyable and suggest it to any one who loves a good cozy!

Rating- 4.5 cupcakes out of 5 cupcakes

Amelia Morgan loves hearing from her fans. Feel free to drop her a line at witchcozyauthor@gmail.com.

Sign up for her mailing list for free books, exciting announcements, and periodic contests right here: http://eepurl.com/bGT-c1

Murder’s a Witch by Danielle Garrett Review and Recipe

Murder's a Witch: A Beechwood Harbor Magic Mystery (Beechwood Harbor Magic Mysteries Book 1) by [Garrett, Danielle]

Title- Murder’s a Witch

Author- Danielle Garrett

Genre-Cozy Mystery

Purchase Link- Amazon KU

Holly Boldt has a secret

Well, technically, she has lots of them. After a scandal uproots her entire life, she is forced to relocate to a halfway house for displaced paranormals. It’s her last shot for a fresh start. But keeping secrets isn’t easy in a town that goes through gossip faster than tissue paper, even for a powerful witch.

When a grisly murder rocks the small town of Beechwood Harbor, Holly finds herself unwillingly entangled in the investigation. With everyone watching, Holly must solve the case before she’s forced to abandon her new-found home. But with a paranormal investigator tailing her every move, a civil war brewing between her vampire and shifter roommates, and her ghostly landlord on the edge of a breakdown, she can barely think in complete sentences. How is she supposed to track down a murderer?

Holly has to make it work, or risk losing everything … again.

Holly Boldt is a witch that is no longer welcome in the witch world as a matter of fact- she has been banished from the Seattle Haven. She now resides in a sort of half way house for paranormal creatures. Though she misses her home and the witch world she has managed to create a life for herself in the small town of Beechwood Harbor a non magical human community.

She has a job she enjoys and friends and of course her cute tabby Boots. She may not be exactly where she wants to be but she is happy that is until her boss Peg Holloway who owns Siren;s Song where Holly works is found dead.

Not only is she found dead but all clues lead to murder and Holly’s coworker and friend Cassie is the number one suspect. Holly must find the actual killer before sweet gentle Cassie is sent to jail for a crime Holly knows she did not commit.

The Sweet-

I loved the way the story and characters were set up. the idea of a supernatural half way made this reader super happy!

I thought that our main character Holly was beautifully written and quickly grew on me.I found myself cheering her on as well as smiling constantly while reading this cozy. Holly had quickly become one of my favorite witches along side with Stacey Justice and Rachel Morgan. Holly is a perfect combo of the both – snarky and a bad ass!

I found the plot and the whodunnit original but not over worked- sometimes the answer is right in front of our eyes and the author works so hard sometimes to hard to trick us in to thinking we are wrong. This was not one of the times. The plot twist were far from a desperate attempt to get the reader not to see the obvious.

If you are a fan of witchy paranormal cozy that make you lake I strongly recommend this book!

Rating-

A strong and Solid 5 out of 5 cupcakes!

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Lemon Cloud Cupcakes

At one point the main character eats a magical lemon pastry that she describes as a cloud filled with lemon- When I think cloud I think marshmallows!!  You can use maybe a a cream cheese frosting but honestly I thought the sweet of the marshmallow fluff frosting went well with the tart of the Lemon cake. As always you can go sans liquor to make kid friendly or non boozy

Ingredients for cupcakes and soak

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup Lemon Liquor ( I used limoncello yum!)
  • 1/2- 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • The Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of one lemon

Okay start off by preheating your oven to 350. This is an important step your cakes wont rise properly if you skip this step! If you are baking in a tin ) I use the silicone molds lined with cupcake liners) be sure to grease with your choice of either butter, cooking spray or coconut oil.

In a mixing bowl cream *fancy way of saying mix people) your sugar, eggs and butter. Once these ingredients are properly mixed add your extracts (vanilla and Lemon) as well as 1/2 cup of your lemon liquor- set this bowl aside-

Next in a separate bowl sift your dry ingredients- flour, salt  and baking powder.

Nest slowly incorporate flour and milk into your first bowl (sugar egg mixture) until batter is smooth being careful not to over mix. Over mixing will allow your gluten in your flour to toughen making these bread instead of cupcakes.

Next ladle (I find using a ladle makes it so easy not to make a huge mess) batter in to cupcake liners or pan. Place into the center of oven rack and bake for 18-22 minutes. Use a fork or toothpick to check centers- should come out clean when cake is ready.

Now here is the tricky part- if you rather not have these be boozy then move onto your frosting (recipe below) and you are done! However if like me and you enjoy your desserts boozy ( then can we be best friends pleeeeeeaasssse) you are going to over bake these just a teenie bit keeping in mind you are going to soak these bad boys in boozy yumminess!

Soak Recipe

Take the rest of your lemon liquor and mix it with 1/2 of your confectioners sugar until there are no lumps- then you are going to add the juice and zest of one lemon. If want it to be a bit sweeter slowly add more sugar till you get the taste you prefer.

With cakes still warm add 1-2 teaspoons on to each cakes top and let them soak till completely cooled.

Marshmallow Frosting

Ingredients you will need for frosting

  • 1 jar of marshmellow fluff
  • 2 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Rum Extract
  • 2 cups softened butter

Cream (mix) your butter in a mixing bowl until butter is soft and fluffy (who doesn’t love soft and fluffy butter?!)

Slowly begin to add in your confectioners sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time; next add in your rum extract.

Next you want to gently (super gently or you will lose any air achieved and nor more fluffy for you) fold the marshmallow fluff into the frosting until thoroughly incorporated. If you want to be super fancy fance you can add some lemon zest or like me torch the tops of these bad boys- so it was a super hot and rainy day in south florida when I made these which did not help with photos- but I promise they are so yummy!

From a young age, Danielle Garrett was obsessed with fantastic places and the stories set in them. As a lifelong bookworm, she’s gone on hundreds of adventures through the eyes of wizards, princesses, elves, and some rather wonderful everyday people as well.

Danielle lives in Oregon, and while she travels as often as possible, she wouldn’t call anywhere else home. She shares her life with her husband and their house full of animals, and when not writing, spends her time being a dedicated servant for three extremely spoiled cats.

For more about Danielle and her work, please visit her at http://www.daniellegarrettbooks.com or at http://www.facebook.com/daniellegarrettbooks