We Can Dream Together and Have a Cup of Tea….and Cupcakes!

It’s Monday. Again. I am in desperate need of some sunshine so I made my own. I’m enjoying my cup of Paris Tea this morning.

It’s that time of year when Holiday party invitations along with Save The Date cards are pouring in. My go to Hostess gift is usually wine. It’s lazy, I know. So I’m determined to be better this year. In my mission to turn everyone I meet into a tea lover, I decided to order the Harney & Sons  gift boxes. They are lovely little black boxes filled with 20 individual sachets of several of their teas. At $7.95, plus a code it was an excellent buy. Plus they always have free shipping and are very prompt on delivery.

For closer friends and family I’m doing all things tea as well, but with a Fleur de Lis tea strainer, a small pot of honey, a tea-spoon with tea stamped on it that I purchased at Beau-Coup and six different packets of teas, and a lovely cup. And Walker Shortbread comes in a small packet with two shortbreads in it so that will go in as well. Some fancy ribbon skills and we are done.

All I needed was something to put on the tea shaped cards and I found this:

I really miss your presence 
I like to hear your views 
I wish that we could visit 
And catch up on the news. 

Since we can’t do that often 
The one thing that I can see is 
We can dream together 
And have a cup of tea. 

Cute!   Most places that you order tea from also offer samples. Individual sachets of any tea. Some are free, some are a couple of dollars, but you get to try it before you buy a larger quantity. Now, if you order from Harney, they always toss a few samples in your box.

Since for some reason I can never toss containers I have ended up with multiple glass containers used for centerpieces for weddings. They are perfect to stuff full of good tea stuff, but so is a nice fat cup from the Dollar Tree!

xx Patricia   Have a peaceful Monday.

Life is hard when you’re pretty…*sigh*

chickenhalloweenfairy

While all the other girls have put away their Halloween costumes, Babs here has decided to keep the look going.

Red and General Disarray came by to pay their respects and she isn’t having it. She’s just sitting in the rocking chair showing off. None of the other girls will talk to her. As my Momma would say, ” She’s putting on airs.” If you’re Southern you know what that means. Thinking she’s better than the other hens, which she is not. She poops out an egg every morning just like the rest of them, and trust me it isn’t any cleaner than the rest.

Babs has always thought she was the favorite. Especially after Vicki committed suicide by standing in the middle of the road when the trucks came to pave. And now that she knows they make sparkly clothes for pretty little chicks like her she has gotten quite uppity.

She keeps pecking at the mudroom window wanting to chat, but I’m sorry, you need to go apologize to the others for thinking you were all that and a bag of grit! Pretty is as pretty does and all that shit, so you might want to get down and eat a little crow.  And OU Boy needs to stop feeding her ego telling her how pretty she is and how big her eggs are.

Enabling. Tsk,Tsk…..

xx Patricia

And Just Like That *poof* It’s October!

I’m always surprised when October shows up. September seems too short. And if you’re going by the weather, well, we’re still in shorts here. But then this morning I brewed a nice pot of Lapsang Souchong and that wonderful aroma of wood fires and bundling up out doors put me right in the Fall mood! Thank you very much Harney&Sons!

Things have been downright odd around here! I don’t mean the normal oddities either. I have killed 3 bees inside my house. Now before anyone gets their panties in a twist about bees being endangered, I am highly allergic. This is my house. How the heck did they get in here? They aren’t like a little beetle you can just shoo back out. No, they are tiny little killing machines and I’m thinking they came with the farm honey.

OU Boy has been spending a suspicious amount of time out in the country with his BFF doing God only knows what but coming home dirty. Yesterday he was smart enough to preface his “I’m going out to the country tonight”, with “I got you a present! I hope you like it!” See what he’s doing there? So when he came in the door with the exact thing I wanted there wasn’t a whole lot I could say!  It was a new massage table. With all the bells and whistles. I set it up yesterday and am pretty pleased with it. He’s already called today and said he’s headed out to the country after work. But it’s Sunday and football is on so I don’t mind.

Things came to a head next door. The arguing couple stopped arguing. I do not know what he did (had an affair) but yesterday I came out to find her tossing his stuff in the yard and mumbling something about where he could put it. Well obviously he wasn’t thrilled to come home to his drawers hanging on the shrubbery so the police came over. By this time I’m in my office listening at the window. They explained to the errant husband that he should just collect his things and go. That this was a civil matter ( Ha! ). The conversation between the police went….”I’m not going to the door!” ” Why do I always have to deal with the crazy women?” So the smaller of the two went to the door to let this woman know things were cool and you know what she said?? ” Go F*** yourself!” and slammed the door. The extra policeman was laughing so hard and the poor door knocking policeman was not amused.  I think I like this woman!

So how’s your October shaping up? Stocked up on all that pumpkin spice goodness? I’m not quite there yet. Maybe when the weather changes and I have to wear shoes I’ll feel different. In the mean time, try to have a good day and maybe share it with someone who isn’t having such a good day!

xx Patricia

 

CHICKADEE CHICKADEE BANG BANG:A Bird Lover’s Mystery by J.R.Ripley

Chickadee Chickadee Bang Bang (A Bird Lover's Mystery #5)

Ruby Lake, North Carolina, might be the perfect place to go birdwatching during autumn, but it’s also a habitat for murder . . .

Ruby Lake, North Carolina, might be the perfect place to go birdwatching during autumn, but it’s also a habitat for murder . . .

As Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms guides a half-hearted birding group around Ruby Lake, rumors soon start flying about the annual Fall Festival’s classic car and tractor show. Local eccentric Chick Sherman—boasting the hottest ride in town—has ruffled feathers by mysteriously entering the contest, and curious Amy hatches a plan to sneak a glimpse at the phantom automobile before the big event kicks off . . .

But competition turns deadly when Amy finally spots the sleek ’56 El Morocco—and it’s on top of Chick’s very dead body. With her neighbor and business partner framed as the murderer and priceless Audubon prints suddenly missing from Chick’s home, only Amy can identify the telltale markings of a killer before another hapless victim is plucked from the flock . . .

I am seriously considering moving to Ruby Lake! They have more fun events than any small town I have ever lived in!

It’s time for the annual Fall Festival with the Tractor and Car Show being one of the most popular and competitive events.

As our Amy is leading a group of birdwatchers in the park most of the group is looking at a Chickadee in the tree. Karl and Floyd however have spotted something white and teal that definitely is not a bird, but a ’57 Chevy Bel Air going down the street.

Karl and Floyd soon have Amy taking them to find their own oldie but goodie so for once they can be part of the parade of cars. Even Amy’s sweetie and her neighbor Paul have caught the car fever.

When Amy decides to sneak a peek at this mysterious El Morroco that Chick supposedly has the first person she runs into is Chick. Plan fouled. But when she returns to find her cell phone she finds Chick dead under the coveted car.

By now even the police chief is used to Amy snooping around crime scenes, so at least she isn’t being kept out of the loop, but there are always some shady folks hanging around this tiny town and the suspect list even includes some locals. But don’t worry because our girl Amy will peck around like a bird after a worm until she finds the truth!

We are in book 5 in this series now and the characters are developing nicely and I learned about another lovely bird.

Job well done Mr. Ripley!

Netgalley/Kensington/Lyrical Underground    Release Date is September 12, 2017

TO KILL A HUMMINGBIRD BY J.R.RIPLEY (A Bird Lover’s Mystery)

Released on July 11th.

Continuing on with the Bird Lover’s Mystery Series, we find our Amy all a twitter over her old professor coming to town. He has a new book about hummingbirds out and is coming to Ruby Lake for a book signing.

From the moment he pulls up in his tiny bird house home on wheels, something is off. And when Amy finds him after the book signing dead and the bookshop owner calmly admitting she did it, something isn’t sitting right with Amy.

Of course our girl can’t sit back and wait to find out what is going on and soon she’s flitting all over town, looking for answers. And there is no lack of shady characters for her to focus on.

I’ve never been a bird person, until this series!  I love a story that entertains and teaches me something new. I never knew there where so many types of hummingbirds! And they are adorable. The characters in this series are quickly becoming like family and I think that’s a pretty good sign of a well written series!

Well done, once again Mr. Ripley!

This deserves some lovely tea and a sweet!
xx Patricia    That is Paris Tea from Harney&Sons with a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter buttercream frosting…..drool worthy!

Today’s Cosy Author is J.R.Ripley

Continuing on with the themed cosy mystery genre, today I’m introducing you to another favorite of mine.

Product Details Product Details Product Details

This is the Bird Lover’s Mystery Series. Book 4 will be out July 11th and you will see that review soon. Amy and her merry band of friends run Birds & Bees in Ruby Lake, North Carolina. I love the characters in this series. They range in age from teens to retirees. And I wasn’t that much of a bird person before, but I’m turning into one!

Product Details Product Details

Welcome to Table Rock, Arizona, the place where folks who aren’t too keen on the ‘mainstream’ move to. Maggie Miller has come here to forget about her dead husband. OK, so he isn’t really dead. That’s just what she tells everybody. Recently divorced, Maggie flees Phoenix and the sight of her husband and his new wife and moves to Table Rock to be closer to her own family. She’s also planning on opening her own beignet and coffee business, Maggie’s Beignet Café. The Maggie Miller Mystery Series is just funny. The characters in this town are outrageous, but in a good way!

Product Details  Product Details

Pet chef Kitty serves gourmet meals to pampered canines, cats, birds, snakes (ugh), Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs and most any other pet belonging to her wealthy and quirky L.A. clientele. This is a town where pets have their own psychologists, psychics and masseuses, so why shouldn’t they have their own chefs, right? A Kitty Karlyle Mystery!

J. R. Ripley

J.R. Ripley is the critically acclaimed author of multiple series and currently pens A Bird Lover’s Mystery Series, the Maggie Miller Mysteries and the Kitty Karlyle gourmet pet chef mysteries. J.R. is a member of the American Birding Association, the American Bird Conservancy, and is an Audubon Ambassador with the National Audubon Society. Before becoming a full-time author, J.R. worked at a multitude of jobs including: archaeologist, cook, factory worker, copywriter, technical writer, editor, musician, entrepreneur and window washer. You may visit jrripley.net for more information or visit JR on Facebook at facebook.com/jrripley.

Although written under different pen names, they all come from the mind of this genius of a man who is passionate about birds, writing and the planet in general. I always know  I’m going to get a good read with one of his books.

So we have, Birds, Dogs/Cats, and Beignets in the desert. Give him a try! And if you are a Netgalley  member, check it out on the site. You may get the latest copy of one of these! Thank you to Lyrical Underground, Penguin Random House, Severn House for keeping me stocked!

Cozy Mysteries and a Cup of Tea

Once in a while I will take a break from all of the books I am required to read and just have a nice little mystery with a cup of tea. Today it’s English Breakfast.

Wedding Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen) by [Fluke, Joanne] Everyone in Lake Eden, Minnesota, may have had their doubts, but at long last, Hannah Swensen is getting married!

Hannah is thrilled to be marrying Ross Barton, her college crush. And her excitement only grows when she learns he’ll be able to join her on her trip to New York City for the Food Channel’s dessert chef contest. They get a taste of the Big Apple before Hannah wins the Hometown Challenge and the producers bring all the contestants to Lake Eden to tape the remainder of the show. It’s nerve-wracking enough being judged by Alain Duquesne, a celebrity chef with a nasty reputation. But it’s even more chilling to find him stabbed to death in the Lake Eden Inn’s walk-in cooler—before he’s even had a chance to taste Hannah’s Butterscotch Sugar Cookies! Now Hannah has not only lost her advantage, she’ll have to solve a mystery with more layers than a five-tiered wedding cake…

All of Joanne’s books have lots of yummy recipes!

Grace Sees Red (A Manor House Mystery) by [Hyzy, Julie] The New York Times bestselling author of the Manor House Mysteries and the White House Chef Mysteries is back with another nail-biting murder mystery for curator Grace Wheaton.

Grace Wheaton, curator and manager of Marshfield Manor, and her benefactor, Bennett Marshfield, are discussing how to help her roommates Bruce and Scott with their wine shop troubles when Grace’s trusted—if testy—assistant, Frances, calls, saying she needs some assistance of her own. Arriving at the address Frances has given them, they find a coroner’s van and police cars parked outside an upscale assisted-living facility called Indwell.

One of the elderly residents has been found dead under suspicious circumstances, and Frances, seen arguing with the man earlier that day, is now a person of interest. It’s up to Grace to clear her assistant’s name and find the real killer—before another Indwell resident checks out early…

Devonshire Scream (Tea Shop Mysteries Book 17) by [Childs, Laura] The New York Times bestselling author of Ming Tea Murder serves up heists, homicides, and herbal blends in the latest in the Tea Shop mysteries.
 
Catering a high-class trunk show at Heart’s Desire Jewelry is a shining achievement for Theodosia and the Indigo Tea Shop. After all, a slew of jewelers, museum curators, and private collectors will be there to showcase their wares and sip some of Theo’s best blends. But just as Theo settles in to enjoy the fruits of her labor, the party is crashed by a gang of masked muggers who steal the precious gems and jewels on display. The thieves disappear almost as quickly as they arrived, leaving shattered glass, scattered gemstones, and a dead body in their wake.

Although the last thing Theo wants is to get involved, she can’t help but intercede when her dear friend Brooke, aunt of the victim and owner of Heart’s Desire, begs for help in figuring out who committed the brutal burglary. Though the FBI believes this daring “smash and grab” is the work of an international gang of jewel thieves, Theo is convinced that the felon is someone much closer to home…

INCLUDES RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

Die, Die Birdie (A Bird Lover's Mystery) by [Ripley, J.R.]

For Amy Simms, hatching a birding shop in her hometown of Ruby Lake, North Carolina, hasn’t exactly been a breeze. But could a deadly discovery clip her wings for good?

It’s just days before Amy plans to open Birds & Bees on the first floor of her creaky Victorian house, but delayed seed shipments have prevented the fledging owner from stocking her shelves. And it doesn’t help that Amy’s best friend and business partner is out of town indefinitely. With locals skeptical about the niche shop taking flight, the last thing Amy needs now is a dead man in her storeroom—or for a crotchety tenant to catch her holding a bloody birdfeeder hook over his body . . .

Pigeonholed as a leading murder suspect by police and lacking a solid alibi, Amy’s delving into the victim’s ugly past and buzzing around Ruby Lake for clues on his killer . . . before she ends up like so many of her beloved feathery friends—trapped behind bars!

These were mine for July and I thoroughly enjoyed each one!

Have a great first day of August!  xxP

 

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