Die, Die Birdie by J.R.Ripley

Die, Die Birdie by J.R. Ripley

The first book in the Bird Lover’s Mysteries finds Amy Simms getting ready to open her store, Birds & Bees, on the ground level of an old Victorian house that has seen better days.

With her mother and best friend, Kim, helping her finance this new adventure, Amy has a cantankerous tenant on the second floor, along with an empty apartment and she and her mother have taken over the third floor.

But when the old lady upstairs finds Amy in the dark of night standing over a dead man holding a bloody bird feeder hook,things get bad fast.

It seems like everyone in the town of Ruby Lake is up to something. Strange noises, secret meetings and now Amy and her best friend are on the suspect list.

Will Amy be able to open her store or will she be the next victim?

A very well written cozy mystery. It had a good plot, the pace was just right and the characters were well developed and engaging.

I look forward to more of this series!

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

About the Author

Glenn Meganck is the author of more than 20 novels. He currently pens 3 mystery series. As J.R. Ripley, he writes the Maggie Miller Mysteries including Buried In Beignets and Beignets, Brides and Bodies. As Marie Celine, he authors the Gourmet Pet Chef Mysteries including Dishing Up Death, Lights, Camera, Murder! and Pet In Peril. And, as J.R. Ripley, he pens the Bird Lover’s Mystery Series including Die Die Birdie, Towhee Get Your Gun and The Woodpecker Always Pecks Twice. Visit www.glennmeganck.com


The Old Bakery Tearoom

The Old Bakery Tearoom is owned by Alan and Jackie Slough and they do it all themselves, specializing in those little extra touches that have made them very popular.

Image result for the old bakery tearooms

Their ingredients are locally sourced and everything is made to order. There may be a slight delay during busy periods but the wait is definitely worth it.

I don’t think I have ever seen so many 5* reviews for a tea room. If it’s a place that people will drive long distances to get to and not mind a bit, then it is a really good place.

Image result for the old bakery tearooms                                         Image result for the old bakery tearooms


They recently won The Good Food Award from Tripadvisor and have also recently remodeled the shop and it looks so nice.They are located at: 4 Fountain Court | Digbeth Street, Stow-on-the-Wold GL54 1BN, England


Opening Times:-10.00 am until 4.00pm weekdays, open until 5pm on Saturdays.              CLOSED on Thursdays and Sundays                                                                                  

 We do get very busy at times! We welcome bookings either in person – an hours notice is helpful – or please telephone 01451 832172 or mobile 07884 014 136

You can visit their website at  http://www.theoldbakerytearoom.co.uk/  as well as their Facebook page at The Old Bakery Tearoom.

Our wish is that you will feel welcome in The Old Bakery Tearooms.

Twinings Tea Review

The Twinings story began in 1706, when Thomas Twining opened the House of Twinings in the old Tom’s Coffee House on London’s Strand. By 1717, Thomas’ shop evolved into London’s very first exclusive tea shop, then called The Golden Lyon. In an age where coffee shops were prevalent, Thomas worked tirelessly to bring his love of tea to the people of London. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

More than 300 years later, the vision of one man – to sell only the finest teas, herbs and infusions available – remains. We still sell tea from Thomas’ original shop, but now tea drinkers in more than 115 countries around the world enjoy 200 varieties of Twinings tea. Available in flavoured and traditional Blacks, spicy Chais, refreshing Greens, flavorful Herbals, delicate Whites and savoury Oolongs – the choices are nearly endless.

I have always enjoyed the selection that Twinings offer. Earl Grey

This Earl Grey is one of my favorites. It has just the right amount of bergamot blended with black tea. It is a lighter strength of tea, as you can see on the box they give you a Leaf rating for strength and this one is spot on for me. I also like their Lady Grey Tea.   Image result for twinings tea

You can purchase Twinings Teas in loose leaf form as well as the teabags. The smell of orange was perfectly balanced with the black tea. I let it steep for 3 minutes and the aroma was really nice and the taste, always consistently smooth.
Great for the afternoon break!   and since it is just a beautiful day…here’s a treat too!


Tea Shops Around The World #2

The Boulder Dushanbe TeaHouse,  is set against the Rocky Mountain Foothills in Boulder Colorado. Sitting alongside Boulder Creek in Central Park, the Teahouse is considered one of Boulder’s most attractive and popular tourist attractions, as well as being a local favorite for great food, tea, and atmosphere.

Completely built by hand without the use of any power tools, the Teahouse was constructed in Dushanbe, Tajikistan as a gift to their sister city, Boulder. It was disassembled, crated up, and sent halfway around the world to be rebuilt in Boulder as a symbol of friendship and cultural exploration. The elaborate and creative teahouse now sits as a reminder to the citizens of Boulder to value cultural diversity, global cooperation, and international friendship.


The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is proud to serve an elegant Afternoon Tea.They serve a traditional afternoon tea, complete with a lovely table dressed with English style white linens and tea time accoutrements. A beautiful three tiered tower of sweet and savory pastries, scones, artichoke purses, and cucumber sandwiches, sweet cakes and the chef’s daily special creation all baked fresh for you on the day of your tea and is presented with, of course, a pot of our premium tea. Afternoon tea is traditionally served from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

The refined custom of afternoon tea is a wonderful way to take a respite from the hectic pace of today’s busy world. Afternoon Tea is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with a cherished friend, or beloved child or parent. Special events will seem even more special when celebrated with this long standing ritual of sharing friendship, love, and delicious tea and pastries.

Cost is $22 per person ($14.00 children under 9). Reservations are required 24 hours in advance because we will be baking fresh for you the morning of your tea. We welcome parties of all sizes! We also offer a premium Children’s Afternoon Tea perfect for birthday parties – please call us for details.

Please call the restaurant for more information and reservations at 303-442-4993.



Breakfast: 8am – 10:30
Lunch: 11am – 3pm
Tea Time: 3pm – 5pm
(select light fare menu offered)
Dinner: 5pm – 9pm


Brunch: 8am – 3pm
Tea Time: 3pm – 5pm
(select light fare menu offered)
Dinner: 5pm – 9pm

Fairytale Dreams  Fairytale Dreams is a blend of organic peppermint, chamomile, linden and lemon balm with a hint of sweet stevia to relax your little ones.  Tea Sampler Gift Set They also have an on-line store which sells one of the nicest selection of loose teas I’ve ever seen. They even have a line of Teas for your Dog!

If you are planning a trip to Colorado, this is one place you have to stop!

National Iced Tea Day

Today is National Iced Tea Day. Who knew iced tea had it’s own day. Make Your Own Ice Tea Syrup Concentrate- have fast, fresh ice tea without wasting fridge space!:

As a Deep South Georgia/Mississippi girl, I find it hard to believe people need a recipe for Sweet Tea. I just can’t wrap my head around that. It’s no mystery. For those people who only make cold Sweet Tea every once in a while, maybe, but in my house we go through a gallon a day, so I’m making tea every morning or my boys have full blown panic attacks and threaten to bring Red Diamond Sweet Tea home. Red Diamond is the only pre-made sweet tea any respectable person would drink if they were hard up.

I have been making cold sweet tea since I could be trusted with hot water.
So let me tell you how we do it.  Get yourself a gallon sized pitcher. You’ll need a gallon sized tea bag also. If you can’t find them where you live,use enough of the quart size to equal a gallon. I fill my pitcher half full of hot water, then fill it up with water I have boiled in the tea kettle. Toss in the teabags and 1 cup of sugar and stir. Let the tea steep until it’s the strength you prefer. Remove the bag. Let tea come to room temperature and then put it in the refrigerator. Ta-Da…Tea!  Just fill a big glass with ice and pour and enjoy!Perfect Sweet Tea ~ Says: There IS a small "secret" ingredient in this Tea. It removes all bitterness and creates a smooth, clear amazing Tea!:   We love our iced tea in Mason Jars…

Some things you may not know:

Sugar doesn’t dissolve in cold beverages. It just sits on the bottom of your glass.

Tea can go “sour“. OU Boy asks everywhere we go  ” Is your tea fresh?” In Oklahoma they look at him like What?? But tea sitting in a large urn all day will go sour and taste bad. I have actually seen him send tea back and tell them it was sour.

If you are not a sweet tea drinker, and I am not, I don’t eat sugar(Not to say I wouldn’t if I could, but I can’t),  when I make iced tea, whether it is black tea, green tea or herbals, I usually make Sun Tea. Water and tea bags in a covered pitcher set in the sun for a few hours. In the summer I drink a lot of green sun tea to which I add sliced lemons, oranges and mint. So good!Recipe: Iced Green Tea with Mint & Ginger by thekitchn #Iced_Green_Tea #Mint #Ginger:


Enjoy some Iced Tea today and enjoy a taste of Summer!

The Tea Planter’s Bride (India Tea Series Book 2)


The Tea Planter's Bride (The India Tea Series Book 2)

The second book in The India Tea Series gives us more of the delightful characters from the first book as well as introducing some new characters. From India to Britain and back to India again, it is a story of strong and determined women dealing with some extremely difficult situations

Sophie Logan’s last memory of her home in India and her mother happens when she is just six years old. It is her birthday and instead of the party she hoped for, odd things are happening inside and outside. When her mother tells her to go hide, she does. When she is finally found the next day, it is only to find her parents are dead, supposedly of the fever, and Sophie is being shipped to Edinburgh to live with her mother’s sister, Amy. Another strong, independent woman.

In the year 1922, Sophie is of age and living a fine life. Working, riding her motorcycle and dancing whenever she can. And maybe even falling in love.

The Robson and the Bellhaven families are back as well. When Sophie’s cousin, Tilly marries and prepares to leave for India to live as a tea planter’s wife, she is nervous, scared and then thrilled to hear she may have a travelling companion after all!

As they begin their adventure to India, they not only have to cope with a wild climate, but mysteries, murder and secrets.

Will Sophie make the same mistakes her mother did? Will she find love?

Set against the backdrop of India during a time of political upheaval and class systems, this was the perfect second book. Everything meshed so well. Now we just have to wait for the third book!

I received this book from Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The release date is set for June 21, 2016.


British author Janet MacLeod Trotter has had 20 novels published, 13 of them historical family sagas set in the 20th Century. Her first, THE HUNGRY HILLS, was nominated for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, while THE TEA PLANTER’S DAUGHTER (the first in the INDIA TEA SERIES set in Britain and India) was long-listed for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year and was an Amazon top ten best seller. It has gone on to be a best-seller in Russian and French too.

She has written for teenagers and numerous short stories for women’s magazines, some of which are published in an ebook anthology ICE CREAM SUMMER. She has been a columnist and reviewer for The Newcastle Journal and editor of The Clan MacLeod Magazine. Her childhood memoirs of Durham and Skye in the 1960’s, BEATLES & CHIEFS, was featured on BBC Radio 4’s Home Truths.

Janet’s second novel in THE INDIA TEA SERIES, THE TEA PLANTER’S BRIDE (sequel to THE TEA PLANTER’S DAUGHTER) is set in 1920’s Scotland, North East England and India. It was inspired by diaries and letters that recently came to light, belonging to Janet’s grandparents who married in Lahore and lived and worked in the Punjab for nearly 30 years.

The third novel in the series, GIRL FROM THE TEA GARDEN, will be published at the end of 2016.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Find out more about Janet and her novels at http://www.janetmacleodtrotter.com

A Birthday Tale of Two Births

barbaraann  Today is my Mother’s Birthday. Happy Birthday Momma!

She is off to the city with my sister Susi today for a girls fun day. Hopefully there will be some fun drinks to go with the cake. Today is really special because her first grandchild was born on her birthday. My son, Brad. Which makes him “special”. If this was a Game of Thrones life, he would be King of the 7 Kingdoms. Of course my Momma loves all of her grandchildren, but there is something special about having your first as a birthday gift!

So I decided I would share my favorite story with y’all about one of our adventures that my sister Mary Jane and I had when we were at Momma and Daddy’s house. You will see what I mean about how funny she is. Happy Birthday Momma!

Momma and the China

The last time we were at Momma’s house, I was putting a cup in the dishwasher and noticed there was a Chinet, styrofoam paper plate in there. ” Momma,” I said, ” Why is there a paper plate in the dishwasher?” ” That’s our china,” said Momma. “Huh?”, I say. ” Well, it’s perfectly good and they wash up just fine, so there is no sense throwing it away.” Again, I say, “Huh?” I check up in the cupboard and sure enough there is a tidy little stack of “china” right on top of the regular stoneware dishes. Now I thought the draw of a paper plate was that you can toss that sucker in the trash, thereby saving yourself the trouble of washing, drying and putting it away. Doesn’t that just defeat the purpose? What is the point of buying them then? That was one of those times when I realized that my Momma is getting funnier the older she gets. Things she would never, ever, in a million years allow in her home, are now just perfectly acceptable. Like the M & M situation. I was talking to Vicki on the phone and had to sidestep some M & M’s on the bedroom floor. ” Hold on, I say, there are M & M’s all over the floor from Baleigh”. “Oh Lord, says Vicki, I bet that’s driving Momma nuts”. ” Actually, I say, it was her idea.” So I am thinking the older you get the less things bother you. Why bother keeping up appearances now? Who gives a rat’s hiney if there is candy on the bedroom floor when the only person seeing the bedroom is you?! Maybe we shouldn’t have children until we are in our 50’s or such. By that time you pretty much know that a dirty house is NOT the worst thing that can happen. Nope, not even close. And she also knows way more than I do about current pop stars. Here we sat watching the Grammy’s or some show like that. I ask her ” Who is that group singing?” ” Oh, I don’t know, she says, I don’t listen to country music.” ” What??!!”, I say. I am shocked as shit, cause growing up the Grand Ol’ Opry was on the radio every Saturday and I swear my Momma looked just like Tammy Wynette! This next part just blew me right out of the water. ” Oh, look, she says, there’s JayZ and Beyonce'” I don’t think I know this person at all! Is this what cable has done to us? Why in the world does my Momma know who JayZ is? It must be all this American Idol mess. No matter, she is way up on current events! You go Momma!

Tea Shops Around the World #1


Bettys Stonegate

With its quaint and traditional interior, Bettys Stonegate is a charming place to take a break from shopping or sightseeing in the famous city of York.

Situated in a listed building on medieval Stonegate, just a stone’s throw from York Minster, you’ll be greeted by a characterful shop with antique dressers and cabinets, stocked with an extensive range of teas and coffees, cakes and gifts.

Up a flight of winding stairs there’s a cosy café with wooden beams, and roaring fires in the winter. Just as our cakes and breads celebrate the best of traditional craft skills, so too do our interiors.

At Bettys Stonegate be sure to look out for fixtures and fittings by the ‘Mouseman of Kilburn’, whose oak carvings all carry a trademark ‘signature’ mouse. Bettys Stonegate is also home to a large collection of prints, advertisements and paraphernalia, which tell the story of the tea trade.

Betty's Teashop in Harrogate, Yorkshire - so charming, so lovely, so delicious!!:

What does your Afternoon Tea consist of and how much is it?

Bettys Traditional Afternoon Tea is served all day in our café tea rooms at a cost of £18.95 per person. This includes a pot of Tea Room Blend tea, the following sandwich selection: Scottish smoked salmon and cream cheese, roast Yorkshire ham, roast free-range chicken breast and egg mayonnaise & cress; a sultana scone with strawberry preserve and Yorkshire clotted cream and a selection of hand-crafted miniature cakes. Add a glass of Champagne to your Afternoon Tea for £26.85.

Alternatively, you can reserve a table for Lady Betty Afternoon Tea in the Imperial Room, Harrogate and the Belmont Room, York at the price of £32.95 per person. It features a delightful selection of sandwiches made with breads from our award-winning Craft Bakery, delicious savouries, two types of freshly baked scones and an exquisite range of miniature cakes with your selection of tea from our extensive menu. You can also experience our Lady Betty Afternoon Tea with Champagne for £39.95 per person.

Bettys Single Estate Darjeeling Lingia Bettys Lemongrass and Ginger Tisane Jasmine Blossom Green Tea

They also sell a wide selection of teas, both loose leaf and bagged.

One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you very much to the Feisty Froggy over at Dewey Hop for this nomination! You should really go check out what our Froggy is reading!

Guidelines for the “One Lovely Blog Award”:
•Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
•Add the “One Lovely Blog Award” logo to your post and/or blog.
•Share 7 facts/or things about yourself.
•Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog.

7 Random Facts & Things in no Particular Order:

  1. I just spent 4 hours in the bathtub because I couldn’t get to a good stopping point in my book.  Normally I just spend 2 hours in there.
  2. I love horses and chickens.
  3. I eat a strict plant based diet. No sugar, no dairy, no meat, no flour except quinoa.
  4. I have a wicked, sarcastic sense of humor. Totally inappropriate.
  5. If I believe in you I will always support you
  6. I love my feet more than you probably should
  7. I don’t even own a microwave or toaster or crockpot

 My Nominations for the “One Lovely Blog Award” are:

1.Heartstring Eulogies

2. akinderway

3. pinkiebag

And any and all of the rest of the lovely people who stop by! I love that bloggers support each others goals and writing. It only takes a minute to read and share someone’s posts, and I try to at least Twitter everyone’s posts so everyone can enjoy them as much as I do!