Category: Cosy Mystery

#PubDay Book Review | “Chai Another Day” (Book Four: The Spice Shop Mysteries) by Leslie Budewitz a cosy mystery series by one of my favourite crime publishers Seventh Street Books!

Posted Tuesday, 11 June, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Books By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction.

However, their imprints Seventh Street Books & Pyr were merged into Start Publishing in [2019] – wherein I had the pleasure of being approached by their new publicity team via Kaye Publicity this Spring wherein I was first introduced to the Spice Shop Mysteries as I was told about a forthcoming release this June – “Chai Another Day” for which I am receiving for review consideration. I decided to back-read the series as this marks the fourth in an on-going series. Uniquely enough, the first three were published by Berkley Prime Crime and the fourth installment is being published by Seventh Street Books.

I borrowed the first three novels in the Spice Shop Mysteries “Assault and Pepper”, “Guilty as Cinnamon” and “Killing Thyme” in paperback from my local library via inter-library loan through the consortium of libraries within my state. I was not obligated to post a review as I am doing so for my own edification as a reader who loves to share her readerly life. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

I received a complimentary copy of “Chai Another Day” direct from Seventh Street Books in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

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on why i was drawn into the spice shop mysteries:

You could say it felt like a homage to what I personally loved about being in the Pacific Northwest when I was eighteen – I had the chance to visit Seattle and Pike’s Place Market – it was a trip which left quite the impression on me. For starters, my aversion to sunshine was no longer an issue and my entire spirit soared without the oppressively volcanic presence of the Sun. The glare was gone being that I traded regions to where even sunlight filtered through clouds at a different angle than what I had become accustomed too. The whole setting in the West is uniquely different from other parts of the States – yet, it was the vibe of Pike’s Place which left the strongest impression.

Thereby, when I first learnt of the Spice Shop Mysteries – my heart hungered to read them, as any excuse to re-visit my memories spent walking through the marketplace would be a lovely excursion to take as it marked a moment in my life where I loved being in a walkable downtown which was vibrantly alive with merchants and artisans who were both approachable and hilarious to speak too.

Yes, I even saw the infamous fishmongers happily throwing their fish and trying to get everyone to celebrate the spontaneous joy in our lives. It was the blueberry vendors who struck a chord with my foodie heart – from their oils to their wines and how the magic shoppe and the Hollywood memorabilia shoppe left strong impressions due to the beauty of conversing with people with like-minded interests. The market itself had everything you needed for your basket and then some, replete with fresh cut flowers and other knicks or knacks you might not expect to find. Always a kind smile, a hearty laugh and loads of healthy sampling to see what your palette might appreciate eating.

I could see how a spice shop would thrive here – the downtown corridor in and round the marketplace itself had heaps of hills and it was definitely walkable as the traffic wasn’t (at the time) like other cities where pedestrians might struggle against the heavy flow and constant shifting of cars. After reading the author’s notes on behalf of the market today compared to the market I once knew myself – my memories are as old as Sleepless in Seattle as Pike’s Place then was most comparable to the one I saw IRL. I’m certain that the lay of the land now is quite uniquely different – from what she mentioned of the change in structures and buildings – not to mention the relocation of a highway! Laughs. I still remember how lovely it was to just be in a place where independent businesses were thriving and where it was possible to have personable conversations with the growers of the local produce, fruit, flowers, cheese and artisan goods. The concept is much more transparent nowadays across large and small cities alike but back then it was quite the extraordinary concept!

Now, if only spice shoppes and markets had caught-on in the slow food movement and were readily accessible as health food stores, now that would be progress I’d appreciate seeing come full circle into our everyday lives!

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Mostly though – what intrigued me the most is the publisher I know for publishing wicked good dramatic Crime Fiction was now enticing me to try their Cosy side of the ledger! I will also say, as the publisher changed hands – when the book arrived I wasn’t sure if there would be a change in style and format for the finished copies, as previously I had mostly received their (print) ARCs with a few finished copies here or there for Seventh Street Books.

Chai Another Day was happily a wider trade paperback edition – where you could easily open the pages, see the layout and even the font was easier on the eyes – if you directly compared this fourth installment to the previous three when the series was with Berkley. However, in regards to previous Seventh Street Books releases – the format was refreshingly new as they were the more standard version of the trade paperback than this particular one where it felt more akin to a 5×7 size than the regular versions your used to holding in your hands. I honestly preferred it for this Cosy as it made reading it quite the ease and after so many migraines plaguing me recently, ease of reading a story was priority one!

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#PubDay Book Review | “Chai Another Day” (Book Four: The Spice Shop Mysteries) by Leslie Budewitz a cosy mystery series by one of my favourite crime publishers Seventh Street Books!Assault and Pepper
Subtitle: A Spice Shop Mystery
by Leslie Budewitz
Source: Borrowed from local library (ILL)

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780425271780

Genres: Cosy Mystery, Amateur Detective, Crime Fiction


Setting: Pike's Place Market, Seattle Washington


Published by Berkley Prime Crime, Seventh Street Books

on 3rd March, 2015

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Pages: 289

Published By: Berkley Prime Crime (@BerkleyMystery)

imprint of Berkley Publishing (@BerkleyPub)

via Penguin Random House (@penguinrandom)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Initially, I had planned to read the first *three!* novels in this series, however, after five migraines this past May, I decided to simply focus on “Assault & Pepper” as I couldn’t listen to the audiobooks either due to time constraints and the after effects of my migraines. As you will see, the first novel in the series held my interest at first but that interest waned a bit once I was settled inside it. I decided to forego the first novel, as I had a proper sense of the setting & the way in which Ms Budewitz wanted us to feel a part of this world to where I moved directly into “Chai Another Day”. I think you might be pleasantly surprised by what I found inside the fourth novel,..

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my review of assault and pepper:

I could immediately relate to two things: temperatures below seventy-five and smelling Autumn through a palette of spices and herbs! There is something to be said for calmer climes and the foods which speak to our souls during the different seasons of the year. For me, I could skip over a volcanic Summer and a nausating Spring full of allergens in exchange for a calmer cloudy and grey environment wherein the air is crisper, the produce is healthier and your sense of season was a gentler influence than an abrasive and blundering thundercloud of insanity. Already, as soon as I started reading Assault and Pepper, I was clued into how much angst I have living where I do.

The irony of course, is they are lamenting about the uses of spice for fish and meat; something which would never interest me (save the odd scallops here or there) as I’m a veghead vegan in the making! I’d rather know how you could grill, roast, saute and otherwise dress your veg and fruits than know about the dry rubs you need for a carnivore. Despite that – the aromas and aromatics they are inviting into my sensory memories reflects my own spicy life as a home cook as I have the tendency of appreciating the warmer spices throughout the year. It isn’t that I don’t like lighter foods but my wheelhouse always includes the posher spices of India or the flavourings of the Mediterranean. You can do loads with those spices – they indulge your creativity – especially once you master Garam Marsala and Turmeric!

The specialty tea blends, ah, now your talking! I love loose teas but I have to be careful with them as sometimes I opt instead for the bags as the loose varieties can be a bit strong even if your a careful steeper! The interesting bit is that I’ve learnt recently how you can cook or bake with tea blends – something I hadn’t realised in the past and I’m keen to explore it in the future.

I could definitely relate to Reed – I have a penchant for finding new ways to incorporate curry (the spice) into a lot of what I’m choosing to cook. By the time they were contemplating what to do with roasted squash and how to spice up their oatmeal, I had heard enough to know I wished this shoppe was a viable one in our own reality! Definitely keen on how I’m not the sole home cook who likes to switch things up in her saute pan, too! I also had a mad hankering for their tea samplers as although I prefer the warmer teas (full-on spices) there are a few floral teas I don’t mind though nothing overtly fruity as that’s just wrong.

Pepper’s ex-husband reminds me of why I enjoy the Coffeehouse Mysteries – these two series share that in common; where the ex-wives have moved forward with their lives but their exes haven’t quite caught on to the fact that some woman really do not want to reconcile the marriage they’ve divorced. Tag seemed to be the kind of bloke who liked to flirt no matter what his ex felt about him; almost as if it was its own inside tongue-and-cheek game between them – even if of course, from Pepper’s perspective it wasn’t likely to progress past the playful exchanges. On her end of it though, I sensed she liked her independence and enjoyed being single – or maybe, I was picking up on the fact she was thankful she was no longer married to Tag. It could swing either way – still too early-on to know what drew them apart to begin with and what led to the divorce. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 11 June, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Amateur Detective, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Detective Fiction, Lady Detective Fiction, Modern Day, Pike's Place Market, Seattle, Washington, West Coast USA

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of the Magical Midway Series [book three] “Unbearable Magic” by Leanne Leeds

Posted Friday, 17 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Earlier this Spring, I participated in an event uniting book bloggers and Indie Authors called #ReviewPit. One of the authors I discovered during this event was Leanne Leeds – of whom has penned a rather interesting Cosy Mystery series – wherein her lead character is a witch and the whole series is rooted out of her love of carnivals and her past experience of them. What intrigued me the most is how this is a Paranormal Fantasy Cosy series and I was thinking it would make a perfect series to curl up inside during #WyrdAndWonder!!

I was seeking stories during #ReviewPit which caught my eye for their uniqueness but also what was quite lovely is how most of the stories which intrigued me to read were actually within the realms of Fantasy! I found this wicked interesting and it is why I was thankful during #WyrdAndWonder Year 2 I could continue to celebrate my love of Indie Authors & Indie Publishers and Press!

I received a complimentary copy of “Unbearable Magic” direct from the author Leanne Leeds in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: I didn’t realise until I was working on releasing the rest of my Magical Midway reviews (belatedly due to my four migraines this month and the aftermath that wrecked on me) that I somehow missed the fact the author’s name was not spelt correctly in the title of my first review nor in the url; having promoted the link on Twitter several times, I decided to let it stand in the url but I’ve corrected the title error. I didn’t realise this as like I said, I had four migraines this May and my recovery from them has been rather difficult. I simply didn’t catch it. My apologies to the author and my readers for that error as I always strive to catch my copy editing mistakes before I promote my posts. Sadly this one snuck past me.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Why I am *loving!* my discovery
of the Magical Midway serires:

I was dearly looking forward to my return visit to the Magical Midway – I liked the world Leeds was building for me to re-explore and deepen my appreciation for the discovery of how a circus and carnival full of paranormals (of the animal variety) would take me on their next adventure! I almost felt Charlotte would go through a period of growth in my absence – as she’s a gifted (herein I refer to the fact she was given an incredible power boost!) witch who inherited the Midway from her Uncle. Clearly I was overly ambitious for her as when I started to re-visit with her, I noticed Gunther (the sweet bloke whose father runs the competition to hers: the Makepeace Circus) was losing his temper with her just a bit as magic comes easy to him but to Charlotte, everything is a new experience; with a steep learning curve!

Honestly… it did not surprise me Uncle Phil was trying to takeover Charlotte’s role at the Midway, either! He had a rather larger than life personality to begin with and his sense of duty to the Midway is bar none to others sense of obligation. The fact he still wants to remain an active part of the Midway and therefore inflicting a bit of unease in Charlotte as she’s unfortunately finding her role less than stellar at this point – felt a bit fitting. The series overall is about facing your challenges head-on, finding that the greatest courage is the belief you have in your own abilities and aligning yourself with positive friends who become as close to you as your own family. The series has a lot of heart inside it and I couldn’t wait to see how Charlotte would thrive through this next challenging circumstance she was about to meet mere months after she solved her first murder!

As we re-align into her life, we are met with some of the parafriends of hers feeling as if she’s disowned her own inheritance and also, that she’s in danger of becoming an elitist. At least by witchy standards as she is in the one group of paratalented individuals who had the upper hand in their world for quite a long while now. It was the witches who overruled everyone else and that lent itself to becoming a problem to her closest friends. Each of them a different species and/or talented in a way which showcased the diversity of the Magical Midway itself. Yet, despite their openness to welcoming Charlotte into their group, these new friends proved the point about how if you grow up offworld from the Midway, you really have a huge gap in your education in regards to what paranormals go through and how they must endure the obstacles put in front of them.

You know, I really disliked those terrible three witches in the first meeting we had with them but this second meeting!? They really do take the cake! Mina, Mercy and Mabel are the kind of witches who make your skin crawl because they don’t have an ounce of warmth in their heart; cold-hearted the whole lot of them! I was as outraged as Charlotte hearing their ridiculous claims against two of the performers at the Midway; then again, when exactly were they enthralled with anything Charlotte did or said or even defended?

Gunter and Charlotte are now arriving in that awkward stage in their relationship between trusting each other and keeping a healthy dose of distrust alive instead. It would be helpful to them both if his father wasn’t quite as harsh as it is but in another way of looking at it, Gunter could do himself a favour by confiding in Charlotte. That would strike a better balance than Charlotte constantly feeling as if Gunter was purposefully keeping her a step removed from anything remotely connected to her or the Magical Midway.

It never fails to surprise me the layers of authority within the Midway – even though Charlotte has the most authoritative control over the circus itself, what she can’t overrule are the individual hierarchies within the circus per each species represented. This becomes a bit of a sticking point each time something arises which needs to be addressed as Charlotte can only intervene ‘so far’ before she is naturally overruled or reminded that it isn’t her place to make that kind of judgement. In this instance, it is the werelions and their pride which rankles you a bit because although the girls’ in the pride are more friendly towards their fellow paranormals, its their leader Leo who could use with a douse of reality in regards to ‘how not to behave badly’.

What is almost at the crucial breaking point is Charlotte’s relationship with Samson, her familiar (the cat) – between his snarky remarks whenever she is confused about something integral to the circus itself or the ways in which he believes he’s helping to influence her mind about an immediate threat; he rubs her the wrong way for how his self-inflated ego doesn’t allow him to come down from the rafters very often to relate to her on equal ground. He definitely still believes she’s the wrong choice for the job and his impatience with her is actively on display. He simply loves to put her in place and make her feel as if she doesn’t have the upper hand at her own circus!

I felt like cheering for Charlotte! She broached such a strong point about complacency and how rules which were never challenged could become your undoing. She was becoming a voice of reason, logical intervention and a person who saw the benefit in not subscribing to the past as a direct indication of how the future needed to necessarily play out. In other words, Charlotte was starting to shake things up quite a heap in the paranormals world at the Midway for her out-of-the-box thinking, her forward visions of how life could be lived and how she refused to accept that just because something was an ancient rule didn’t necessarily mean everyone had to continue to blindly adhere to it now. This felt like she was not just finding her wings as a ringmaster for the Midway but she was benefiting from being raised on Earth.

-quoted from my review of Life on the Lion

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of the Magical Midway Series [book three] “Unbearable Magic” by Leanne LeedsUnbearable Magic
Subtitle: Magical Midway Cozy Paranormal Mysteries Book Three
by Leanne Leeds
Source: #ReviewPit Author, Direct from Author

A grizzly discovery.
A false accusation.
Can the most powerful witch on earth make the truth appear – before she disappears?

When the Magical Midway takes a week off to attend the Werebear Jamboree, Charlotte is grateful for a relaxing vacation away from the Witches’ Council attacks and all the problems they seem determined to bring. But when the werebear leader is murdered during the festival, all eyes turn suspiciously toward the most powerful witch in their midst.

With accusations coming from every corner and a conspiracy closing in around her, Charlotte and her friends realize that someone is determined to make her take the fall for the ghastly crime. But who? Can she unmask the real villain before she’s handed over to the Witches’ Council, punished for a crime she didn’t commit?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781717839657

Also by this author: Witchiest Circus on Earth, Life on the Lion

Also in this series: Witchiest Circus on Earth, Life on the Lion


Genres: Cosy Mystery, Fantasy Fiction, Paranormal Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy


Published by Badchen Publishing

on 19th July, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 286

Published by: Badchen Publishing

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #MagicalMidway + #Paranormal #Fantasy

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Magical Midway series:

The Magical Midway series is a paranormal cozy mystery series with eccentric characters, show-stopping magic, sweet romance subplots, and twisty mysteries. If you like eccentric characters, show-stopping magic, and twisty mysteries, then you’ll love this paranormal cozy mystery.

Be sure to visit the Synopsis for these stories on the author’s site!

Charlotte & Aidan (prequel short) | Synopsis

The Witchest Circus on Earth (book one) | see also review

Life on the Lion (book two) | see also review

Unbearable Magic (book three) | Synopsis

Go for the Juggler (book four) | Synopsis

Irrelephant Omens (book five) | Synopsis

→ A Call to Charms (book six) *forthcoming 2019 | Synopsis

About Leanne Leeds

Leanne Leeds

Leanne Leeds writes sweet, fun, often romantic but always fast-paced paranormal mysteries, fantasies, and romances. She lives in rural Texas with her husband, daughter, and a house full of cats that would sound like Samson if they could talk.

----

Letter to Readers

Thanks for visiting this book blogger whose reading my stories during #WyrdAndWonder! (be sure to follow the tag in the twitterverse for her updates!) I guess you want to know a bit more than the standard blurb above, hmm?

Well, okay then.

I wrote my first book when I was eight years old – it was, essentially, Trixie Belden fan fiction. Written in pencil and stapled together with a sketch on the front, I was quite proud of my ragged chapbook of a mystery. The desire to write books followed me all the way to The College of Staten Island, where I majored in English with an option in Writing…

…until I dropped out to join the circus. Because, like, why not?

Okay, well, not the circus. I was a production assistant for a stage hypnotist as well as a carnie worker in a variety of food joints touring the Eastern seaboard fair circuit. The experience was relatively short but incredibly impactful on my worldview. Though I went limping back to my apartment in New York broke and had to get a “real job”, I maintained a lifelong fascination with eccentric, alternative and extraordinary lifestyles.

This came in handy in my forties when I was laid off from a large publicly traded company in the middle of mass-layoffs that massacred the careers of nearly everyone I knew—at least for a short time. It was a frustrating end to a 20+ year career in an industry I had once loved but which I now… didn’t. That experience made me realize that I was ready to leave my twenty plus years in management and tech and do something different.

I returned to my childhood dreams of being an eccentric storyteller and living my best weird life. The Magical Midway series was written as a nod to my experience with the showman of the east coast, and their incredible influence on me. I have plans for more paranormal-themed cozies, fantasies, and romances as time goes on, and I tend to produce one book every 2-3 months. These have minimal sexual content (in case that’s important to you).

For dedicated fans, there will always be at least a week-long 99¢ pre-order phase on new books as a thank you. These are announced on the newsletter only, so if you’re interested in getting every future ebook under a buck, sign up!

Thanks for going on this journey with me, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 17 May, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Mystery, Familiars, Fantasy Fiction, Shapeshifters, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Witches and Warlocks

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of the Magical Midway Series [book two] “Life on the Lion” by Leanne Leeds

Posted Friday, 10 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Earlier this Spring, I participated in an event uniting book bloggers and Indie Authors called #ReviewPit. One of the authors I discovered during this event was Leanne Leeds – of whom has penned a rather interesting Cosy Mystery series – wherein her lead character is a witch and the whole series is rooted out of her love of carnivals and her past experience of them. What intrigued me the most is how this is a Paranormal Fantasy Cosy series and I was thinking it would make a perfect series to curl up inside during #WyrdAndWonder!!

I was seeking stories during #ReviewPit which caught my eye for their uniqueness but also what was quite lovely is how most of the stories which intrigued me to read were actually within the realms of Fantasy! I found this wicked interesting and it is why I was thankful during #WyrdAndWonder Year 2 I could continue to celebrate my love of Indie Authors & Indie Publishers and Press!

I received a complimentary copy of “Life on the Lion” direct from the author Leanne Leeds in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: I didn’t realise until I was working on releasing the rest of my Magical Midway reviews (belatedly due to my four migraines this month and the aftermath that wrecked on me) that I somehow missed the fact the author’s name was not spelt correctly in the title of my first review nor in the url; having promoted the link on Twitter several times, I decided to let it stand in the url but I’ve corrected the title error. I didn’t realise this as like I said, I had four migraines this May and my recovery from them has been rather difficult. I simply didn’t catch it. My apologies to the author and my readers for that error as I always strive to catch my copy editing mistakes before I promote my posts. Sadly this one snuck past me.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Why I am *loving!* my discovery
of the Magical Midway serires:

I love how Leeds inserts her humour straight-off the bat – from how she first describes Charlotte arriving at the Midway and then, how she counters her reflective mirror on Charlotte a full week into the carnival life – wherein, you note how the lifestyle can take a toll on the person living it. It is raw honesty about the long hours and the taxing way the life can make a person feel exhausted in their bones and spirit but also, the humour can be added to cut the seriousness of it as well.

Knowing there is a story involving a lion in the series, I was curious if Uncle Phil mentioning Charlotte should tame them might be a foreshadow of events yet to come. If so, I love how the continuity of the series is immediately visual on the page – especially considering I hadn’t even finished reading the first chapter! Series which own their own world-building and have a proper development ahead of being written speak well of themselves. They make you feel as if the world your first stepping into is not just fully realised but it has already owned its own identity by which you simply have to make the transition as you move inside it. This spoke well of Leeds being able to pull us through her vision and to adjust our impression of how she wanted us to interact with her characters.’

There is a heap of plausible theoretic insight into how Leeds is shaping her world within the Magical Midway – from how there is a division between the humans and the paranormals (as she prefers to call the magical folk and creatures who inhabit her world) to how lifestyles which were once cherished and treasured are now amongst the least understood. It is a fitting augmentation of our own world – where those who lived a more unconventional and transient life in the world of carnivals and circuses suddenly found their centuries old profession to be viewed under a microscope of criticism.

When it came to the Cosy aspects of the story-line, I liked how we took a bit of a naive entrance into the Midway and the Witches Council because it added layers of intrigue into how little Charlotte understood of this world. It was a credit to the foundation of how Charlotte was raised ‘away’ from her heritage and how much she needed to learn on the job if she were going to make any headway at all at understanding what had happened. Traditionally cosy, we hug close to Charlotte as she attempts to unearth the clues she needs to put together a reasonable understanding of the crime which was committed seemingly without anyone observing any wrong doing – this puts us front and centre at the Midway but also lends a new perspective of the Midway to Charlotte.

Although this is a Paranormal Fantasy Cosy Mystery – the world has attributes of recognition from our own modern realm. This includes a lot of hot topics of the hour – from currently used buzz words such as being ‘woke’ about Women’s Rights to the right to proper Equality between genders and a movement towards a future without the adversities of the past. There are keen moments of insight about how the constructs of this world are not a mirror per se of our world but they are influenced by our world or rather, each world in of itself is struggling with the same issues found in each others’ realms. Which means to say, there is still quite a bit to be understood in the Midway world which is countered against Charlotte’s upbringing in ours.

There are certain unique moments within the story where we can see the humour of Leeds shining through – especially considering how often a rainbow of colours is fused to a particular magical moment. The magic in this series is bright, vibrant and colourful – though not always benign, it has a way of presenting itself rather spectacularly! This was a lovely light read within a paranormal world which is letting you see past the veil of how it exists. I liked the cosy atmosphere of how Leeds paced the story-line and even though I had a suspicion of whom was the guilty party, she turnt the tables on me in regards to what the plausible motive would have been! Overall, I learnt I want to re-visit this circus and dig a bit deeper into how the world behind the Magical Midway works – as the truer mystery is how the witches and paranormals co-exist at the circus when no one truly understands the finer points of their own living histories. That, for me, is what caused me to cheer for a sequel – as I had a feeling – the closer Charlotte evolves towards a more confident ringmaster, the closer we’ll become towards understanding the hidden truths of her world.

-quoted from my review of The Witchiest Circus on Earth

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of the Magical Midway Series [book two] “Life on the Lion” by Leanne LeedsLife on the Lion
Subtitle: Magical Midway Cozy Paranormal Mysteries Book Two
by Leanne Leeds
Source: #ReviewPit Author, Direct from Author

A missing mentalist.
A magical ultimatum.
To save the family business, one witch must pull something spectacular out of her hat.

For newly-minted witch Charlotte, moving from the human realm to life in the magical circus is still a tightrope walk. But when the crooked Witches’ Council passes a law that gives her a week to hand over two of her friends, she wonders if she’s in for a big fall. To make matters worse, one of the humans in question goes missing before she can even think up a plan.

As she sorts through the clues, she fights off her feelings for the kind and handsome Gunther. With time running out, she can’t ignore the possibility that her crush could somehow be involved in the plot against her family. To protect her business and her life, she’ll have to find the carny, guard her heart, and hold off the Council before it’s far too late.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781983063817

Also by this author: Witchiest Circus on Earth, Unbearable Magic

Also in this series: Witchiest Circus on Earth, Unbearable Magic


Genres: Cosy Mystery, Fantasy Fiction, Paranormal Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy


Published by Badchen Publishing

on 2nd June, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 232

Published by: Badchen Publishing

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #MagicalMidway + #Paranormal #Fantasy

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Magical Midway series:

The Magical Midway series is a paranormal cozy mystery series with eccentric characters, show-stopping magic, sweet romance subplots, and twisty mysteries. If you like eccentric characters, show-stopping magic, and twisty mysteries, then you’ll love this paranormal cozy mystery.

Be sure to visit the Synopsis for these stories on the author’s site!

Charlotte & Aidan (prequel short) | Synopsis

The Witchest Circus on Earth (book one) | see also review

Life on the Lion (book two) | Synopsis

Unbearable Magic (book three) | Synopsis

Go for the Juggler (book four) | Synopsis

Irrelephant Omens (book five) | Synopsis

→ A Call to Charms (book six) *forthcoming 2019 | Synopsis

About Leanne Leeds

Leanne Leeds

Leanne Leeds writes sweet, fun, often romantic but always fast-paced paranormal mysteries, fantasies, and romances. She lives in rural Texas with her husband, daughter, and a house full of cats that would sound like Samson if they could talk.

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Letter to Readers

Thanks for visiting this book blogger whose reading my stories during #WyrdAndWonder! (be sure to follow the tag in the twitterverse for her updates!) I guess you want to know a bit more than the standard blurb above, hmm?

Well, okay then.

I wrote my first book when I was eight years old – it was, essentially, Trixie Belden fan fiction. Written in pencil and stapled together with a sketch on the front, I was quite proud of my ragged chapbook of a mystery. The desire to write books followed me all the way to The College of Staten Island, where I majored in English with an option in Writing…

…until I dropped out to join the circus. Because, like, why not?

Okay, well, not the circus. I was a production assistant for a stage hypnotist as well as a carnie worker in a variety of food joints touring the Eastern seaboard fair circuit. The experience was relatively short but incredibly impactful on my worldview. Though I went limping back to my apartment in New York broke and had to get a “real job”, I maintained a lifelong fascination with eccentric, alternative and extraordinary lifestyles.

This came in handy in my forties when I was laid off from a large publicly traded company in the middle of mass-layoffs that massacred the careers of nearly everyone I knew—at least for a short time. It was a frustrating end to a 20+ year career in an industry I had once loved but which I now… didn’t. That experience made me realize that I was ready to leave my twenty plus years in management and tech and do something different.

I returned to my childhood dreams of being an eccentric storyteller and living my best weird life. The Magical Midway series was written as a nod to my experience with the showman of the east coast, and their incredible influence on me. I have plans for more paranormal-themed cozies, fantasies, and romances as time goes on, and I tend to produce one book every 2-3 months. These have minimal sexual content (in case that’s important to you).

For dedicated fans, there will always be at least a week-long 99¢ pre-order phase on new books as a thank you. These are announced on the newsletter only, so if you’re interested in getting every future ebook under a buck, sign up!

Thanks for going on this journey with me, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 10 May, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Mystery, Familiars, Fantasy Fiction, Shapeshifters, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Witches and Warlocks

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of the Magical Midway Series [book one] “The Witchiest Circus on Earth” by Leanne Leeds

Posted Friday, 3 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Earlier this Spring, I participated in an event uniting book bloggers and Indie Authors called #ReviewPit. One of the authors I discovered during this event was Leanne Leeds – of whom has penned a rather interesting Cosy Mystery series – wherein her lead character is a witch and the whole series is rooted out of her love of carnivals and her past experience of them. What intrigued me the most is how this is a Paranormal Fantasy Cosy series and I was thinking it would make a perfect series to curl up inside during #WyrdAndWonder!!

I was seeking stories during #ReviewPit which caught my eye for their uniqueness but also what was quite lovely is how most of the stories which intrigued me to read were actually within the realms of Fantasy! I found this wicked interesting and it is why I was thankful during #WyrdAndWonder Year 2 I could continue to celebrate my love of Indie Authors & Indie Publishers and Press!

I received a complimentary copy of “Witchiest Circus on Earth” direct from the author Leanne Leeds in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Something wicked came this way during #ReviewPit:

When I first learnt of the #bookishTwitter event #ReviewPit, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect – I keep a watchful eye on twitterverse events where writers are seeking betareaders or where authors are seeking publication (ie. #PitchWars, etc) as I generally find #newtomeauthors this way and I do like to champion the writers who are on their path towards becoming published as this is something I can personally relate to as I’m a writer whose currently moonlighting as a book blogger and joyful tweeter! It is lovely to reach out into the Indie community on Twitter and continue to seek out the stories I desire to be reading. Ever since I first started blogging here at Jorie Loves A Story, I’ve had an eye out for Indie Press, Publishers and the writers who are seeking alternative publication – either through the Indie side of publishing directly through established publishers and press; or through Small Trade publishers or taking the full-Indie route into Self-Publishing or Hybrid publishing options.

This is what made #ReviewPit such a keen event for me – I decided to just jump into it and see what I would find. It is run similar to other events where you get a pitch about a story and you are given a clue of a nod towards its genre of interest. I quite literally had such a wicked joy just scrolling through all the lovelies being offered, I wasn’t entirely sure how many would be available to receive as print editions for review but I decided to give myself the chance to just seek out the authors first and request which ones were available lateron.

Turnt out – one of the authors who drew my eye towards her quirky series called the Magical Midway was Leanne Leeds! Here was an author penning Cosy Mysteries (love, love, LOVE those dearly!) with a quirk of a twist – she sets them at a circus with a full bevy of characters you’d expect to find at a circus whilst having this full backdrop of paranormal characters rounding out the cast!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of the Magical Midway Series [book one] “The Witchiest Circus on Earth” by Leanne LeedsWitchiest Circus on Earth
Subtitle: Magical Midway Cozy Paranormal Mysteries Book One
by Leanne Leeds
Source: #ReviewPit Author, Direct from Author

Magic under the big top.
Murder under investigation.
Can a non-practicing witch save the family business and live to see the encore?

Charlotte never had the choice to follow in her family’s magical footsteps. Her parents decided decades ago to live amongst the humans and leave the mystical circus far behind. But when her ringmaster uncle is murdered and wills her the family’s magical business, she feels the pull to step back under the big top. As she harnesses the awesome powers of the enchanted performance, she vows to bring her uncle’s killer to justice.

In the midst of juggling her investigation, running the show, and navigating rival groups of carnies, the human-phobic Witches Council schemes to replace her faster than a flying trapeze. With threats coming from both sides of the tent, Charlotte must unmask her uncle’s murderer before the legendary circus takes its final bow.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1950505012

Also by this author: Life on the Lion, Unbearable Magic

Also in this series: Life on the Lion, Unbearable Magic


Genres: Cosy Mystery, Fantasy Fiction, Paranormal Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy


Published by Badchen Publishing

on 5th April, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 280

Published by: Badchen Publishing

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

The Magical Midway series:

The Magical Midway series is a paranormal cozy mystery series with eccentric characters, show-stopping magic, sweet romance subplots, and twisty mysteries. If you like eccentric characters, show-stopping magic, and twisty mysteries, then you’ll love this paranormal cozy mystery.

Be sure to visit the Synopsis for these stories on the author’s site!

Charlotte & Aidan (prequel short) | Synopsis

The Witchest Circus on Earth (book one) | Synopsis

Life on the Lion (book two) | Synopsis

Unbearable Magic (book three) | Synopsis

Go for the Juggler (book four) | Synopsis

Irrelephant Omens (book five) | Synopsis

→ A Call to Charms (book six) *forthcoming 2019 | Synopsis

About Leanne Leeds

Leanne Leeds

Leanne Leeds writes sweet, fun, often romantic but always fast-paced paranormal mysteries, fantasies, and romances. She lives in rural Texas with her husband, daughter, and a house full of cats that would sound like Samson if they could talk.

----

Letter to Readers

Thanks for visiting this book blogger whose reading my stories during #WyrdAndWonder! (be sure to follow the tag in the twitterverse for her updates!) I guess you want to know a bit more than the standard blurb above, hmm?

Well, okay then.

I wrote my first book when I was eight years old – it was, essentially, Trixie Belden fan fiction. Written in pencil and stapled together with a sketch on the front, I was quite proud of my ragged chapbook of a mystery. The desire to write books followed me all the way to The College of Staten Island, where I majored in English with an option in Writing…

…until I dropped out to join the circus. Because, like, why not?

Okay, well, not the circus. I was a production assistant for a stage hypnotist as well as a carnie worker in a variety of food joints touring the Eastern seaboard fair circuit. The experience was relatively short but incredibly impactful on my worldview. Though I went limping back to my apartment in New York broke and had to get a “real job”, I maintained a lifelong fascination with eccentric, alternative and extraordinary lifestyles.

This came in handy in my forties when I was laid off from a large publicly traded company in the middle of mass-layoffs that massacred the careers of nearly everyone I knew—at least for a short time. It was a frustrating end to a 20+ year career in an industry I had once loved but which I now… didn’t. That experience made me realize that I was ready to leave my twenty plus years in management and tech and do something different.

I returned to my childhood dreams of being an eccentric storyteller and living my best weird life. The Magical Midway series was written as a nod to my experience with the showman of the east coast, and their incredible influence on me. I have plans for more paranormal-themed cozies, fantasies, and romances as time goes on, and I tend to produce one book every 2-3 months. These have minimal sexual content (in case that’s important to you).

For dedicated fans, there will always be at least a week-long 99¢ pre-order phase on new books as a thank you. These are announced on the newsletter only, so if you’re interested in getting every future ebook under a buck, sign up!

Thanks for going on this journey with me, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Divider

Posted Friday, 3 May, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Mystery, Fantasy Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Witches and Warlocks