The Begonia Bribe – Alyse Carlson

Book 2 in the Garden Society Mystery series.

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This was a great follow-up to The Azalea Assault. Cam (Camellia) Harris is now tasked with managing the Little Miss Begonia Pageant being held in one of Roanoke’s nicest parks. Cam runs into one of her least favorite people from high school, Mindy, and Cam’s best friend Annie likes her even less. Cam never expected she would get so wrapped up into Mindy’s personal life, but there she is, right in the middle.

Cam once again gets her reporter boyfriend Rob, as well as Annie, caught up in a murder investigation. Annie’s boyfriend, and Rob’s best friend Jake, Police officer in Roanoke, keeps trying his best to get Cam to mind her own business. Cam just seems to always be one step ahead of him.

There are many characters intertwined in this story, from past and present, and again you do not see it coming. The storyline is great, and the characters are well rounded and you really feel for them. Can Cam figure out who the murderer is before more lives are ruined?

I am looking for some new cozy series to read while Michigan is officially closed, so let me know your favorites!

The Azalea Assault – Alyse Carlson

This is the first of three cozy mysteries in the Garden Society Mystery series. As the 3rd one was written in 2014, I do not expect there to be others. Truly a shame ☹

the azalea assault cover image

Cam Harris is the PR person for the Roanoke Garden Society, and gardening has never been more dangerous. When the nationally celebrated Garden Delights magazine agrees to come to Roanoke to feature Roanoke’s best gardens, Cam is tasked with making sure everything goes off without a hitch.

With the help of her best friend Annie, and her boyfriend Rob, she soon finds herself in the middle of a bunch of suspects who had motive to kill the star photographer. Now she not only needs to find another photographer, she also needs to keep her sister Petunia and brother-in-law Nick on the right side of the law, as they soon become the main suspects.

There are a lot of characters wrapped up in this book, but they all have their place in the story, and it flows smoothly from one chapter to the next. If you have read many cozies (such as I have), you sometimes can see what is coming next. This story keeps you guessing to the end.

There are descriptions of many different plants, but not much on the side of actual gardening tips (which I wasn’t expecting).

Here in Michigan right now we are wrapped in the middle of a polar vortex, and literally the whole state is shut down. Which means I took tomorrow off from work, so I have plenty of time to finish book three, write review number two, and do some writing for my own cozy mystery book number 1!

You can learn more about Alyse here: Alyse Carlson – Penguin Random House

Are you trapped inside too? What are you reading to get you by?

That One Perfect Picture

Once in awhile, I get a photograph that even leaves me speechless, and I am my own worse critic!

PM Beach Sunset 2
Pere Marquette Beach, October 17, 2018: property of booksandopinions, LLC

This was my first attempt at using a lens ball for photos, and I was really happy with the results. I am hoping it won’t be my last time using it, as it rolled off those jagged rocks it was propped on and I know there are two spots that are now scuffed. Hopefully they are exactly opposite of each other, and I can keep them to the sides and use this ball again.

I took a lot of photos, which I will be adding here and on one of my other blogs. If you are in the mood for some teen angst as well, you can always check out my blog Parenthood and Other Horror Stories . I have about a week’s worth of teenage drama that is about to get aired out, as well as some other things going on in my life right now.

I promise I’ll be back to the books on here soon!

And The Day Has Arrived!

Well, tomorrow that is. Today is 11 weeks since I broke my ankle in 3 places, and I get to go back to work tomorrow. Definitely grateful for how fast I have healed, although I am definitely no where near 100% yet. I can walk/hobble/limp, whatever you want to call it, and can drive.

So of course, being Michigan, there is snow, snow, snow with accumulation since last night 😦 Are you flipping kidding me??? It is supposed to stop this afternoon and not start again, and I am praying that is the case. Now I get to be a basket-case about slipping and falling getting to my car and getting into work…

My panic and anxiety has been fairly much under control, but once in a while I get smacked upside the head, completely out-of-the-blue, with a major panic attack. I hope as I get back into my “normal” daily routine, those random attacks will ease up as well.

I cannot bend my leg very far, which is hard to explain except that I cannot go up or down stairs facing forward, because it won’t bend far enough in that direction. I go back to the surgeon on Monday, and am hoping he can let me know for sure that it will indeed loosen up and get better as time passes and I continue walking, or if there is a chance some or all of this hardware may need to come out. I certainly hope that isn’t the case, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Thank you to all of you who have sent me books, words of encouragement, and book suggestions. Unfortunately I did not get as many books read as I would have liked, but I had some very, very dark days of not being able to do anything besides get myself to my bathroom. Those books will be read, and will be reviewed, and for that I thank you!

Now if Mother Nature could just get her head out of her flipping ass I would be feeling pretty excited about getting back to work tomorrow and seeing all of my co-workers!

In case if you forgot how horrible it actually was……….. I will never as long as I live forget the experience I have been through, and would not wish it on anyone. God is truly good, and I know I have been Blessed with the healing I have had! Counting on God to keep me on two feet and upright until this snow finally goes away and we can have the Spring we have all been waiting for!

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Hoping for a Library Trip…

… well, hoping my oldest runs to the library for me while she is spending the weekend with me. I wonder if there is a limit on how many books can be checked out? I’ve been continuing the Nancy Drew series and I can literally read 4 or 5 of those a day if that is all I was reading. But I do have other things to read as well 😊

As far as I know my surgery went well. The surgeon didn’t come and see me at all yesterday after I got back to my room. I have been here all alone as well so I don’t even know how long the surgery took. They had to put a metal plate and screws in as I broke 3 different ankle bones. I definitely have a long and painful road ahead of me.

My oldest daughter will be picking me up today and spending the weekend with me, so I’m a happy girl about that.

Trying to not stress about the fact that I have no idea what I am going to do Monday when she is back home and my 13 year old has school all morning and afternoon.