Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Ghostly Mortality Review

Tonya Kappes is definitely one of my favorite mystery authors. Her characters are humorous, her stories are easy to read and engaging. She has a way of weaving a tale that makes you want to come back for more.

That's why I was excited to read this book. Emma Lee Raines is a "Betweener," she can see the ghosts of murder victims. She needs to help solve the murders so the ghost can cross over. Fun premise, right? I thought so too. In this particular book, Emma Lee's client is her sister, Charlotte. *tear*

I wanted to like this book. I did. And I really tried to like it. But in the end, I was glad it was over. Not a lot of investigating was done by Emma. Also, the biggest clue did not even happen in this book, it happened in the last book. It appeared in this book as a flashback. There was so much potential in this book that was never used, so many plot components that were never expanded upon.

I'm not one that likes it when the killer is pulled out of left field. This was done here. The killer didn't even have a name for the longest time. I understand crafting the story so your readers are guessing until the end. But the killer should at least be a character in the story, not someone that was barely mentioned twice.

I will continue to read any books in the series that Mrs. Kappes continues to write, because I've grown attached to the citizens of Sleepy Hollow, KY. And because I am a fan of her work. But I did not care for this particular novel. And that's ok. It's not possible to please everyone all the time. Even Agatha Christie annoyed me with the ending of Murder on the Orient Express. And that's supposed to be one of her best ever. I disagree. And that's ok.

*Note: if you choose to read this book, please know that the ghost is Emma's sister, so it's a bit of a tearjerker at the end. Have tissues ready.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Selah Bible Study Review

Shelley Noonan from Pumpkin Seed Press has created a new bible study she calls Selah. I've seen this word in scripture before, but I never really understood what it meant.

Selah means pause and listen. And that is exactly what you do with this bible study. Each week, you are given a new section of scripture to study. After you read the passage, you begin to fill in the study journal. There are sections for listing the people in the passage, for looking up words you don't know, and for noting any questions you might have.

There's also a section for recording how God revealed an attribute (or more) of his character. She includes samples of this in the back to help you.

And there are sections to write your observations of the passage, and sections to write how you can apply what you learned to your own life. There's a spot to jot down a verse or 2 that maybe jumped out, the main theme of the scripture. And, of course, a section for prayer.

If this all sounds daunting, have no fear. There are instructions in the beginning. I was a little overwhelmed when I first started this study, thinking I had no idea how to do it, or if I was going to get anything out of it.

But, I must say, it's one of the better bible studies I've ever done.

There's so much to think about, but in the end, it's all about pausing and listening to what God is really trying to say to you. There's no need to do a big, complicated bible study. There's no need to rush through it at a chapter or two (or three!) a day. Everything God wants us to know is right there in his word. All we have to do is listen to him.

Another great thing about this study, is you read the same passage every day for a week. I don't know about you, but I can read the same scripture several times and get something different out of it each time. That's the purpose in this study. Read it again and again and again to make sure you understand what God meant for you when he inspired it.

I really enjoyed this bible study. If you'd like to read more about it, you can go to the Selah website. This study (it's on the book of Ruth) will be available at the end of April. And, trust me, you'll want to grab a copy when it's available.

I received a free copy of this study in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Kneaded to Death Review & Giveaway

Kneaded to Death. I requested to review this book because I liked the name. And the series name. Bread Shop Mystery. So cute and homey.

Anyways, Kneaded to Death is about a woman names Ivy Culpepper. She returned home after the tragic death of her mother. While there, she decided to take a breadmaking class, hoping to find inspiration for her photography blog. When one of the students in the class turns up poisoned, Ivy sets out to catch "whodunit."

The pros: The descriptions of the people and the scenes are so vivid you can almost see them. Ms. Archer has a wonderful gift for setting a scene. Also, the characters are extremely likeable. I had no problem curling up under a blanket and delving into their lives. It was quite enjoyable. As for the story, it definitely kept my interest until the end. Ms. Archer gives you clues as to who the killer is so you can figure it out, unlike some authors that keep an important detail or two hidden until the end when the protagonist reveals the killer. I don't like that. I feel cheated. I, however, didn't pick up on some of the clues so the murderer was a complete shock to me. Then, afterwards, I was all, "OH! So that's why..." or "That's what that meant!" lol!

The cons: Ivy's obsession with her high school sweetheart, Miguel, is a little schmaltzy and over the top at times. I believe that could've been toned down a bit. 

All in all, it's a really good book. It didn't take too long to read and was quite enjoyable. I can't wait for the next book in the series.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher hosted giveaway:
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