Monday, April 27, 2015

Assault And Pepper by Leslie Budewitz

Are my readers ready for a brand new, just started, cozy series? I hope so because I have a fabulous one to tell you about. Assault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz is a lovely start to what promises to be a great series.

From the cover:
Pepper Reece, owner of the Seattle Spice Shop, thinks she can handle any kind of salty customer—until a murderer ends up in the mix…

After leaving a dicey marriage and losing a beloved job in a corporate crash, Pepper Reece has found a new zest for life running a busy spice and tea shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Her aromatic creations are the talk of the town, and everyone stops by for a cup of her refreshing spice tea, even other shopkeepers and Market regulars.

But when a panhandler named Doc shows up dead on her doorstep, with a Seattle Spice Shop cup in his hand, the local gossip gets too hot for Pepper to handle—especially after the police arrest Tory Finch, one of Pepper’s staffers, for murder.

Tory seems to know why she’s a suspect, but she refuses to do anything to curry favor with the cops. Convinced her reticent employee is innocent, Pepper takes it on herself to sniff out some clues. Only, if she’s not careful, Pepper’s nosy ways might make her next on the killer’s list…

My Thoughts:
There are a few things that really made this stand out. The first was that there are little fun tidbits at the start of each chapter. Some are about the area and some are about something related to the chapter. I thought that was a nice extra touch. The second was attention to detail in the creation of the setting. I have never been to Seattle, nowhere even remotely close, yet I was able to easily slip into this town and feel like I had grown up there. When the setting feels so real it makes the story more real and all the more enjoyable.

This lovely setting was filled with fun characters that I enjoyed getting to know and look forward to getting to know better in future parts. Pepper was of course the main focus and she was a joy to follow along. I was happy to see she made choices that anyone would make and she felt very genuine for that. The supporting cast was also fun and I really look forward to seeing if future books in the series will flesh them out more as well.

Overall, you won't be disappointed! This has a great setting, lovely characters, and a fun mystery that moves along at a great pace.

Take some time to browse the other great mysteries available from Berkley Prime Crime. While you are there, you can sign up for the newsletter so you never miss a new release. I must warn you though, after browsing my wish list is longer than I could probably read. You can also connect with them on Twitter where can happen across a fun giveaway as well. 

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Buy A Whisker by Sofie Ryan

Hello Cozy fans! I have just finished reading Sofie Ryan's lovely follow-up to The Whole Cat and Caboodle in the New York Times bestselling Second Chance Cat Mystery series and I loved this just as much as the first part.

From The Cover:
Things have been quiet in the coastal town of North Harbor, Maine, since Sarah Grayson and her rescue cat, Elvis, solved their first murder. Sarah is happy running Second Chance, the shop where she sells lovingly refurbished and repurposed items. But then she gets dragged into a controversy over developing the waterfront. Most of the residents—including Sarah—are for it, but there is one holdout: baker Lily Carter.

So when Lily is found murdered in her bakery, it looks like somebody wanted to remove the only obstacle to the development. But Sarah soon discovers that nothing is as simple as it seems. Now, with the help of her cat’s uncanny ability to detect a lie, Sarah is narrowing down the suspects. But can she collar the culprit before the ruthless killer pounces again?

My Thoughts:
I really love Elvis the cat! You all know I am a cat lover but this is seriously one smart cat. In fact, the whole cast is lovable and quirky. The elderly ladies, and gent, that do the detecting, aka the angels, always give me a laugh. They are absolutely charming! Speaking of charming, there are two rather interesting men slowly coming in the picture too!! I am personally rooting to see more of Mac but I certainly wouldn't be opposed to Nick... that's a great job when even readers can't decide who they'd like to see more of.

I thought they mystery was well done and paced well also, especially found the end to be a pins and needles page turner. I am totally looking forward to my next visit to North Harbor, Maine.

Take some time to browse the other great mysteries available from Berkley Prime Crime. While you are there, you can sign up for the newsletter so you never miss a new release. I must warn you though, after browsing my wish list is longer than I could probably read. You can also connect with them on Twitter where can happen across a fun giveaway as well. 

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Grace Women's Leather Adjustable Sandal from Therafit shoes!

Who is ready for Spring? I know I am and so are my feet! They long for the days of open sandals and no socks! Of course, sometimes that means giving up the extra support of sneakers and boots, which for my feet can get trying after a long day. Fear not sandal lovers! Therafit, makers of all of my most worn/favorite shoes, has some new styles just in time for the warmer weather and designed to make sure your feet feel just as supported as they do in sneakers! 

While I wanted to try every single new pair, I finally narrowed it down to the Grace Women's Leather Adjustable Sandal. One, because it was too adorable and two because it is Therafit and you just can't go wrong there. The Grace has soft leather uppers with a cushioned lining for additional comfort. Plus, they have the Patented Comfort System with 3 removable PCS comfort adapters in the heel of the shoe for personalized adjustment. This is the same great support system I have been raving about in all of their shoes that allows you to have as much or as little support as you like. 

It has a Contoured Footbed that hugs the natural curves of your foot and an Aegis Microbe Shield treatment on the lining material to help prevent mold and bacteria. This footbed is so soft and luxurious feeling against my feet too! I noticed instantly it has the shock absorbing midsoles which have arch support and deep heel-cups for stability and comfort. It has a rubber outsole which is accredited by the National Posture Institute Approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association. It seriously felt like putting on a sneaker but still getting to enjoy the open air of a sandal.

Now let's talk cute! Therafit’s Grace leather sandal has the timeless classic look with a padded collar and adjustable straps. It has the cutest little button features on those straps at both the toe and ankle yet they are adjusted by Velcro so you can get a totally perfect fit. Even the insoles have a super cute design. Everything about the Grace screams... well... Grace! 

Now that you know why they feel so good, take a peek on the Therafit site at how good they look! I am so excited about all of the new styles. If you haven’t looked in a while you will want to take a peek because they have added some gorgeous styles. I mean, really, a girl can’t have too many shoes, especially when they are this comfy! See TheraFit's full line of shoes on their website. Also follow them on Facebook and Twitter to never miss any news!

Come on back though because it is giveaway time! One lucky reader will win their very own pair of Grace Women's Leather Adjustable Sandal from Therafit shoes! Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Open to US residents, 18 years and older. Winner has 48 hours to respond before another is drawn.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers. My Empty Nest is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Celebrate National Jelly Bean Day with Surf Sweets

I have always had a sweet tooth and my children seemed to have inherited it from me, as well. I try to make good decisions when picking out sweet treats for myself and my children, but there just aren't that many out there! That being said, Surf Sweets is changing all of that. Their candy is free of artificial colors, flavors, corn syrup, dairy, casein, gluten and are also non-GMO, allergy friendly, and made with organic fruit juice and sweeteners. In each serving, there is also 100% of your recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C.


Today is National Jelly Bean Day and I am sure you want to celebrate with some delicious jelly beans! Well, instead of your normal brand, you should totally opt for Surf Sweets jelly beans. Not only are they better for you, but they are so much better than any jelly beans I have ever tried before. The flavors taste so much more real and unprocessed. They actually taste like the fruit they are supposed to, not like an artificial replica. They are absolutely delicious!


Surf Sweets offers much more than jelly beans. My boyfriend is a gummy bear man and he swore up and down that no gummy bear could beat out his favorite brand. Well, Surf Sweets' Fruity Bears proved him wrong. He said not only were they better, they were a lot better. I have to agree with him as well. Yet again, the fruit flavors taste more like actual fruit and less like artificial copies. I happened to like the texture better as well. The were a little softer and didn't get stuck in your teeth like other gummy candies can.


The last two products that we tried from Surf Sweets were their Peach Rings and Watermelon Rings. I love gummy candies and these were both great! I favored the Peach Rings, which tasted just like biting into a juicy peach. The watermelon rings are sweet and slightly sour and really awesome as well. My children were fans of everything we tried and I love that I can give them a nice, sweet treat while also knowing that the ingredients are natural!

Be sure to check out the Surf Sweets website to see all of the products that they offer. Also, follow them on Facebook and Twitter to never miss any news!


Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pretty Summer Fashion From Leisure Arts

It's starting to get warm outside! Too warm to be starting any more winter projects. I haven't been crocheting very long and I have never really made anything summerish so I decided to find some light pretty patterns that would be seasonal. 

I found Pretty Summer Fashion at Leisure Arts. This fabulous book has four wonderful, delicate summer fashions designed by Kathryn Clark. They use size 10 thread which is so much fun to work with and really makes these light enough for summer wear. 

You will find a zigzag top with a keyhole neckline, an openwork hoodie vest, a Cleopatra yoked sleeveless shirt and a three-tone pineapple skirt that rests at hip or waist. They all look simply fabulous and I can't wait to dive in! These are intermediate patterns and very easy to follow. 

Have you worked with thread before to make wearables? I would love to hear about your results. 

Take some time to browse Leisure Arts' great selection and make sure you also connect with Leisure Arts on Facebook and Twitter so that you never miss a special or new pattern! Also, if you sign up for their knitting or crochet newsletters, you get a free pattern on Fridays!

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander

Welcome back my mystery lovers! I have a great new series to tell you about that is filled with all of the mystery you crave and even some really fabulous recipes for your other cravings as well.  

From the back of the book: 
Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the treats are so good that, sometimes, it’s criminal…

After graduating from culinary school, Juliet Capshaw returns to her quaint hometown of Ashland, Oregon, to heal a broken heart and help her mom at the family bakery. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is bringing in lots of tourists looking for some crumpets to go with their heroic couplets. But when one of Torte’s customers turns up dead, there’s much ado about murder…

The victim is Nancy Hudson, the festival’s newest board member. A modern-day Lady Macbeth, Nancy has given more than a few actors and artists enough reasons to kill her…but still. The silver lining? Jules’s high school sweetheart, Thomas, is the investigator on the case. His flirtations are as delicious as ever, and Jules can’t help but want to have her cake and eat it too. But will she have her just desserts? Murder might be bad for business, but love is the sweetest treat of all…

My thoughts:
Every little thing about this series is so charming to me. I was instantly drawn in because I am a huge fan of Shakespeare so the setting couldn't have been more perfect for me, even the main character Juliet and the witty references in the dialogue fed right into my love of the bard. Within this idyllic setting you will find a fun assortment of likable characters. Juliet/Jules while struggling to find her footing after her marriage hits a low and gets caught up in more than she bargained for and I found myself routing for her to find some inner peace, as well as solve the mystery. 

The pace is fun and I found myself pulling an all nighter just to see what would happen next... you know that promise you make yourself just one more chapter... you'll be hard pressed to keep that promise here. I loved that is was solved realistically, tying up in a tidy way and yet there was enough left between that characters to give me something to look forward to. And I am really looking forward to the next installment, A Batter of Life and Death, which you can pre-order now for the June release!      

And seriously don't forget to check the back of the book, there are a lot of really awesome recipes there. I mean really awesome. You can keep up with this series on the website or on Facebook so you never miss a tasty release. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Knitter's Pride Nova Cubics Platina Interchangeable Deluxe Set

I just know my knitters are going to be so happy to hear I have found another fabulous set of needles to tell you about! Plus.... there will be a giveaway so hang out until the end. I do hope you recall we just chatted about Knitter's Pride and the fabulous Nova Platina Single Pointed Needle Set. Now I want to tell you about another fabulous Nova set, this one is the Cubics Platina Interchangeable Deluxe Set!


As with the last set, the first thing I want to talk about is the beautiful functional case. It is a pretty gray case with a clear panel so you can see exactly what you looking for. It has elastic places for each set of tips, so that they are always held together neatly just waiting for your next project. 

When you flip the needle part back you find a little pocket that holds your end caps, cords, cord keys and cord connectors. I also found that it has enough room to put in the current patterns I am working on; that way I always have my needles and patterns. If you are like me, trying to remember to grab everything before leaving the house can be challenging, so it is nice to have it all in one place.

Now let's talk about the set itself. I love that you get everything you need. There are seven sets of tips in US sizes 6,7,8,9,10,10.5, and 11. There are also 4 cords in lengths of 24", 32" (there are two in this size) and 40". Plus, if you need bigger sizes, there is also a set of cord connectors. You will also find 8 end caps which I love because I am always swapping out projects as I can never have just one, and four cord keys which make changing things out a breeze. 

Now let's talk about what makes these needles stand out above the rest. They are made from hollow brass pipes and then plated with chrome. The chrome is such a smooth surface and your yarn just glides easily over it with no snags or dragging. The cuboid shape gradually turns into a nice long perfectly tapered brass needle tip. 

Speaking of the tip, look how pointy it is! It is perfect for picking up stitches. I found these very comfy in my hands and was able to knit in perfect comfort without any hand aches.  

Have you browsed Knitters Pride lately too see what's new? You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with new products and for fun blogs posts and giveaways. 



Now I know you are thinking about that giveaway I mentioned! I am seriously excited that I will be giving one of you your very own set, exactly like the set I reviewed! Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Open to US residents, 18 years and older. Winner has 48 to respond before another is drawn. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers. My Empty Nest is not responsible for lost or misdirected mail.