A Caffeine Conundrum (The CafFUNated Mysteries Book 1) by Angela Ruth Strong Reviewed

Saturday, September 22, 2018





Title: A Caffeine Conundrum
Author: Angela Ruth Strong
Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink

Solving a murder mystery is harder when you don't trust your partner...or their taste in beverages.
Sassy city girl Tandy Brandt moves to the small town of Grace Springs to start a coffee shop, never imagining she'll be competing with local beauty queen Marissa Alexander and her dream of running a tea house. Unfortunately, the current store owner dies before selling the location to either of them, and they both become murder suspects.
The unlikely pair team up in an attempt to discover the real killer, though with the secrets in Tandy's past and Marissa's infamous clumsiness, they could be their own worst enemies. Despite their differences, they follow clues to question a sweet, apple pie baking antique store owner, a GQ Santa in the retirement center, and a hipster millionaire with no social skills. Will they be able to figure out whodunit and prove their innocence before one of them goes to jail...or worse?


About Angela Ruth Strong:

Angela sold her first story to a national magazine while still in high school and went on to study journalism at the University of Oregon. Her debut novel LOVE FINDS YOU IN SUN VALLEY, IDAHO released in 2010 to a four-star review from Romantic Times. Angela loves connecting with fans and mentoring aspiring authors, which led her to start IDAhope Writers. She currently lives in Boise with her husband and three kids.



My Thoughts:

A Caffeine Conundrum is a quirky, humorous, cozy mystery with characters that are snarky, and sassy. 

Sleuthing partners Marissa and Tandy couldn't be more different from each other which makes their sleuthing teamwork all the more entertaining. Marissa loves tea and Tandy loves coffee. That is just the beginning of their differences. 

I adored all of the clumsy antics Ms. Strong placed Marissa in, probably because I could identify with them. Marissa's sense of family and family history clouds her ability to look at the murder objectively.

Tandy, bless her heart, she is just a city girl mess. She really just needed to take a deep breath or two. Her ability to look at the murder objectively brings a logical side to solving the case.

In this first book of the series, Ms. Strong tells the story from both Marissa and Tandy's point of view.

Usually in cozy mystery's I can figure out the culprit, uh, nope, Ms. Strong had me guessing until the end. 

This book is full of caffeinated fun, with lots of sweet Christmas references. 

My Bottom Line:

A Caffeine Conundrum is a fun cozy mystery with lots of snark and sass. The mystery is well done. With today being the first day of fall what better way to celebrate it than falling into a good cozy mystery with Christmas fun. I highly recommend this book!


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Apology and Not Victimizing the Victim

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Last week I posted a blog post response to the PW article about sexual assault and harassment within the Christian publishing community, which I have since removed.

My initial response was one of wanting to literally strangle these men. It changed because of things I was told hence why I wrote the blog post and I now wish I never would have said a word!

Overall my heart cry is for there to be healing for the women affected, and the families of these men. I had a brief conversation with one of the men accused via messenger on Facebook and his response confirmed my original position.

In the last week two blog posts have been written by people who definitely know more than I do and they say it better than I ever could. The links are below.

I do want to apologize to not only my readers but the women who have suffered at the hands of these men for my former post. I am deeply sorry to have taken that position. I jumped way too soon and I am so sorry! Please accept my deepest apology if my original post victimized you again!

NOTHING makes their behavior okay. I don't care if the women were walking down the hall naked there is no reason for assault of any kind! A flippant apology because something was mentioned to you is not true repentance and makes it worse.

When we applaud a pre-emptive apology we victimize the victim all over again and I refuse to be apart of that!

I know personally what it's like to be the victim of such horror. I've written about it many times on this blog. I've seen the horror in the eyes of one of my daughter's so I would never want to victimize the victim again!
I want the women to heal, feel safe and not afraid. I definitely don't want them to be fearful of losing their career for standing up to the men who hurt them, as well as calling them out.

This is not an easy topic and we all bring our own background to the topic. I definitely did.

Besides referencing the posts below, I wanted to apologize to all those my post from last week offended!





Books & Such


Mary DeMuth



The Christy Awards Blog Blitz and Giveaway

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

the Christy Awards blitz

If there were a Christian fiction version of the Oscars, The Christy Awards would be it. And we are teaming up with The Christy Awards to help you read good fiction!

Some of the best of the best, in fact. Last year's 2017 Christy Award winners included The Lady & The Lionheart (Joanne Bischof), A Note Yet Unsung (Tamera Alexander), Her One and Only (Becky Wade), The Mark of the King (Jocelyn Green), The Silent Songbird (Melanie Dickerson), The Long Journey to Jake Palmer (James Rubart), and more!

2017 Christy Awards
Image Source: The Christy Awards
The 2018 Christy Award Celebration Gala is coming up on November 7, 2018 but first the finalists will be announced on September 19th!! And you don't want to miss it! Make sure you're following along with their social media accounts so you don't miss the big announcement!


Christys invite

The Christy Award team invites you to two events that celebrate fiction, both held on November 7, 2018 at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN!

First, from 1-5:30pm, is the Art of Writing Conference - a focused conference for writers, storytellers, and publishing curators. This is a half day of intensive seminars that celebrate the creative life, provide practical tips for overcoming challenges in a rapidly-changing industry, and answer questions authors are asking. Head here for a full list of speakers, including Carla Laureano, Joanne Bischof, Donald Miller, and Charles Martin.

Then, starting at 7:00pm, The Christy Award Dinner Gala will celebrate the art of Christian fiction, announce the 2018 winners of The Christy Award, and honor the power of Story, the legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, and the year's best in Christian fiction.

Wanna know which authors will be at The Christy Awards gala? How about Charles Martin, Carla Laureano, Francine Rivers, Sarah Arthur, and Cynthia Ruchti, for starters? Many of the finalists will be there too so make sure you follow The Christy Award on social media for the big announcement on the 19th!

christy awards gift card giveaway

On behalf of the ECPA, JustRead is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card (US only) to help you read good fiction!

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight September 15, 2018 and last through 11:59pm September 21, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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My Fall TBR List

Monday, September 17, 2018



Today on Top Ten Tuesday it is Fall TBR. It seems as though my Summer and Winter TBR grows by leaps and bounds but my Fall TBR is smaller. I have no idea why, it just seems to work that way. I can pretty much guarantee my Fall TBR will grow before Christmas gets here.

































What's on your Fall TBR? Do we have any of the same ones?



Indie Releases For September and October

Thursday, September 13, 2018













Both of these releases are by the same author, Valerie Comer. I am unfamiliar with her writing, but I'm interested in reading her Cowboy series since I'm married to one.

This book releases today. Just click the book cover to purchase it.



Author: Valerie Comer
Series: Urban Farm Fresh Romance, Book 5
Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Romance
ASIN: B07H6SB9Y7
ISBN: 9781988068350

God’s love is the gold
mending broken hearts and dreams
As her friends pair off, Kassidy North thinks happily-ever-after has passed her by, but she’s too busy running a busy bistro and once-a-month cooking club to be bothered by it. Much. Until a single dad moves into the neighborhood and threatens to invade her dreams and well-ordered life.
Metal sculptor Wesley Ferguson is a cynic when it comes to romance, but something in Kass makes him want to believe again. He’s not so sure he agrees when she insists forever love begins with God. What has God ever done for him?
Unable to avoid one another in the close-knit community of Bridgeview, Kass and Wesley develop the beginnings of a friendship. But when relationships break around them, can they see God as the glue capable of holding broken pieces together… forever?



A Christmas to Remember is in a boxed set and is up for pre-order. Just click the cover to order from Amazon.


Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Romance


Laugh, cry, and fall in love as you savor these brand-new Christmas romances from some of your favorite authors. Together as a set on Amazon only for the fall of 2018.

Only available on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited!
October 2 – December 31, 2018, only!

Laugh, cry, and fall in love as you savor these brand-new Christmas romances from some of your favorite authors. Pair with a peppermint chai, hot chocolate, or your favorite wintry flavors, then snuggle down in front of the fireplace with a quilt over your lap… and maybe a purring cat!


Eight authors have joined together in this Christian romance collection that will leave you celebrating the gift of Christmas.

Until I Met You by award-winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson
After a difficult breakup, Brandi Prescott is taking a hiatus from men and focusing on her career, the Lord, and getting to know herself. Everything is going according to plan until one fateful, rainy morning in Seattle when a passing car drenches her and everything changes.

The Cowboy’s Christmas Reunion by USA Today bestselling author Valerie Comer
The Cowboy Santa program is supposed to be a chance to help his neighbors. When Kade Delgado’s ex-fiancĂ©e, now a single mom, shows up on his list, neither of them are thrilled. Is there any hope for a second chance at love?

Hope for Christmas by Elizabeth Maddrey
When he arrived at the ranch, he wasn’t sure what he was looking for. She wasn’t looking for anything beyond stability for her son. Christmas might be a season of hope, but do they dare risk everything for love?

Can’t Live without You by Ginger Solomon
Clarissa Harding’s fiancĂ©’s betrayal doesn’t hurt as much as learning her best friend, Sawyer Chasin, knew his brother’s secret and didn’t tell her. The marriage would have been fake, but her feelings for Sawyer aren’t.

Beautiful Heart of His by Lindi Peterson
Two wrongs don’t make a right has never been more true. Will Mason’s past wrongs push Scarlett away or help her fall in love with him?

Restoring Christmas by Julie Arduini
Filled with grief and regret, Holly Christmas returns to Geneseo Valley and the family business, The Christmas Mansion. Can Kevin Holt restore her love for the season and the memories she left behind?

The Cowgirl’s Christmas Gift by Publishers Weekly bestselling author Deb Kastner
Cowgirl Maisey Gray knows horses, not six-year-olds. But when her socially-awkward, VR glasses-wearing neighbor needs help creating the perfect Christmas for his nephews, it’s up to Maisey to make sure Cam and the boys have a Christmas they’ll never forget.

Falling for Grace by Janet W. Ferguson
Grace Logan needs a place to pick herself up now that her ex is marrying her former best friend. Grief drives Seth Gibbs to his family’s vacation home, and three years later, he has no plans to leave. Until Grace falls into his life.





Books That Play Hide and Seek

Monday, September 10, 2018



Come out, come out wherever you are!

Like the cat in the picture these books are amazing hidden gems.  I thought I'd have to really search to find books that weren't getting enough notice, but I really didn't.


Each cover will lead you to my review and a link to purchase.




































I hope you've found a hidden gem to add to your ever growing TBR.



Can't Wait For - December

Friday, September 7, 2018



Weirdly, I only found two books for release in December. Kinda strange. I've searched all over and haven't found any others from the major Christian publishers.






I found out some Indie authors who are releasing in September and October.







 Dan Walsh is re-releasing to of his favored Christmas books. They come out on September 25th.

You can pre-order them at these links.

Remembering Christmas Here.

Keeping Christmas Here.



In October Sarah Monzon is releasing her new novella, Literarily for Keeps. If you've not read her other bookish novella, Bookishly Ever After, you need to! It is delightfully charming and full of bookish love!





















The book covers will take you to Amazon to pre-order. Except for Literarily for Keeps that will take you to Sarah Monzon's website.



I can't believe I forgot about this one on Wednesday, and I'm on the launch team for it. Definite epilepsy brain forgetfulness.

It's scheduled to release on October 16th.



















My favorite covers are these two.



























 
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