A Caffeine Conundrum, #1The CafFUNated Mysteries by Angela Ruth Strong

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About the Book:

Title: A Caffeine Conundrum,

#1 The CafFUNated Mysteries

Kindle Edition, 227 pages
Expected publication: September 1st,2018 by Mountain Brook Ink
ASIN
B07FRXWSVM
Solving a murder mystery is harder when you don’t trust your partner…or their taste in beverages.

Sassy city girl Tandy Brandt moves to the small town of Grace Springs to start a coffee shop, never imagining she’ll be competing with local beauty queen Marissa Alexander and her dream of running a tea house. Unfortunately, the current store owner dies before selling the location to either of them, and they both become murder suspects.

The unlikely pair team up in an attempt to discover the real killer, though with the secrets in Tandy’s past and Marissa’s infamous clumsiness, they could be their own worst enemies. Despite their differences, they follow clues to question a sweet, apple pie baking antique store owner, a GQ Santa in the retirement center, and a hipster millionaire with no social skills. Will they be able to figure out whodunit and prove their innocence before one of them goes to jail…or worse?

MY REVIEW:

Warning: laughter will come easily as you read this Christmas-themed cozy by Angela Ruth Strong. When paired with coffee or tea, there may be some liquid spouting or spewing as you work to hold the mirth in.

Indeed, the trouble begins with both coffee and tea. Marissa, a bumbling, almost-beauty queen who loves tea, can’t decide whether Tandy, a grunge-wearing, toy dog lover and coffee aficionado should be her enemy or her friend.

This novel is more than just a barrel of laughs, however. While I laughed my way through the whole thing, howling out loud at the ridiculousness of the characters’ situations, they also presented with very real problems: jumping to conclusions prematurely, taking others for granted, and needing to put up façades of perfection.

I love Angela Ruth Strong’s humor, her word pictures(ex: “blizzard of thoughts”), similes(ex:”as subtle as a snow scraper”), and references to pop culture. But most of all, she points to the answer that every soul needs-grace in Christ.

Quotables:

“She needed to work on being kind rather than being nice.”

“We all need grace. Even if it’s for harm caused accidentally.”

“If people could change, then it was ok to make mistakes and grow from them. It was ok not to be perfect.”

“By accepting that she needed grace, her shame had been wiped away.”

I gratefully received an e-copy of this book from the author. This in no way affects my opinions, for which I am solely responsible. I was not required to leave a positive review.

About the Author:

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Angela Ruth Strong
Angela sold her first story to a national magazine while still in high school and went on to study journalism at the University of Oregon. Her debut novel LOVE FINDS YOU IN SUN VALLEY, IDAHO released in 2010 to a four-star review from Romantic Times. Angela loves connecting with fans and mentoring aspiring authors, which led her to start IDAhope Writers. She currently lives in Boise with her husband and three kids.

 

 

Stalking Willow by Fay Lamb

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About the Book:

Title: Stalking Willow, #1 Amazing Grace Series

Intense, Clean, Romantic Suspense

paperback   978-1-938092-36-7 $13.99; 5.5 x 8.5; 300 pages

e-book $3.99

August 2013 by Write Integrity Press

Bitterness, stalking, and a neighbor to die for.

What’s a girl to do?

Trailed by a stalker in New York City, Willow Thomas, a young

ad executive, scurries back to her small North Carolina

hometown and the lake house where ten years earlier a scandal

revealed her entire life had been a lie, and a seed of bitterness

took root in her soul. The cocoon of safety Willow feels upon

her arrival home soon unravels when she meets opposition from

her family, faces the man she left behind, and the stalker reveals

he is close on her heels. Can Willow learn to trust God to tear

out her roots of resentment, reunite her family, ferret out a

deadly stalker, and to rekindle the love she left behind?

MY REVIEW:

Great books start with a first sentence that is irresistible. Stalking Willow, by Fay Lamb, definitely does. “In the growing darkness, a maniac waited for Willow Thomas.” Yikes! I’m in!!

Mystery characters, missing treasures, MIA parents, and a stalker who cannot wait to enact his heinous plan. All make for a very fast-paced romantic suspense novel that will have you turning the pages as fast as possible. The downside is, the book has an ending. I hope to read more by Fay Lamb.

Willow Thomas flees the big city and her job in advertising to get away from a stalker. Returning to the North Carolina home she shared with her grandmother, she finds old friends and enemies who stir up her painful past. If that is not bad enough, the stalker moves with her and becomes more and more of a threat. Will Willow lose her sanity before she loses her life?

The characters are very three-dimensional. I was happy to see that several persons had changed since high school. Several found strength through Christ, without being preachy, to alter the trajectory of their lives.

I loved the great love Willow’s grandmother had for both her granddaughters as evidenced by what Willow finds upon returning home. She is the grandparent everyone wants to have or be.

Quotables:

“I’ve learned beauty blooms on the inside. I’m pouring in the water and the fertilizer, but I’m not there yet.”

“Then I realized I was never the one in control. God was. And still is.”

I gratefully received a complimentary copy if the book from the author and Celebrate Lit. This in no way affected my opinions, for which I am solely responsible. I was not required to leave a positive review.

 

About the Author:StalkingWillowauthor.jpeg

Fay Lamb

Fay Lamb has always taken joy in forming words that tell stories that will enrich the lives of others. She tackles issues that she has had to face. She isn’t afraid of the hard issues and takes delight in weaving humor into the lives of her characters, even in the direst of circumstances.

Fay and her husband, Marc, reside in Titusville, Florida,where multi-generations of their families have lived. The legacy continues with their two married sons and six grandchildren.

For more information or to schedule an interview or a workshop, contact Fay Lamb at Faywrites@cfl.rr.com.