Friday, July 20, 2018

Four Funerals and Maybe A Wedding by Rhys Bowen

A delight and a must read! Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding from author Rhys Bowen is a spectacular read. I have loved this series since book one and they truly just blow my mind with each new book. This one is well thought out and full of twists and turns as well as that perfect cozy happy ending. Main Character Lady Georgiana is very easy to relate too, very much the unsuspecting sleuth, and all around amazing lady. In this book she is about to marry, still pretty much penniless and very much an important behind the scenes royal. I love her storyline, her best friend, mother and grandfather. As a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and cousin of the King, Lady Georgiana does a great job of leading by example and being incredibly lucky. Her bridesmaids sure gave me a smile! I think this is such a great series and I hope you will love it too. This one is out August 7th. I love this cover.

In the days leading up to her wedding to Darcy O'Mara, Lady Georgiana Rannoch takes on the responsibilities of a grand estate, but proving she can run a household just may be the death of her in the new Royal Spyness Mystery from the New York Timesbestselling author of On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service.If only Darcy and I had eloped! What I thought would be a simple wedding has been transformed into a grand affair, thanks to the attendance of the queen, who has offered up the princesses as bridesmaids. Silly me! I thought that withdrawing from the royal line of succession would simplify my life. But before Darcy and I tie the knot in front of queen and country, we have to find a place to live as man and wife...House hunting turns out to be a pretty grim affair. Just as we start to lose hope, my globetrotting godfather offers us his fully staffed country estate. Mistress of Eynsleigh I shall be! With Darcy off in parts unknown, I head to Eynsleigh alone, only to have my hopes dashed. The grounds are in disarray and the small staff is suspiciously incompetent. Not to mention the gas tap leak in my bedroom, which I can only imagine was an attempt on my life. Something rotten is afoot--and bringing the place up to snuff may put me six feet under before I even get a chance to walk down the aisle...

You can Four Funerals and Maybe A Wedding on Amazon by clicking here.
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Guest Post from The Cat and Dog Cozy Mystery Tour...



GIVEAWAY details are farther down.

Hello from the cat and dog cozy mystery series authors, and thank you, Karen, for inviting us to join you today! Today we're turning the floor over to the starring animals in our series to find out their answers to the question "How would you describe yourself?"

Paige Sleuth's Matty
Matty the tortoiseshell, head cat in Paige Sleuth's Cozy Cat Caper Mystery series: My name is Matty, and I'm adorable. With yellow-and-brown markings, a white chin, bright green eyes, and a gray-striped tail, I'm irresistible to humans. That might sound smug, but it's true. Ask anyone. I'm also extremely intelligent. I've even helped to solve a few local crimes. I'm much smarter than my brother Tom, who wastes a lot of his time trying to get people to pet him and rub his belly. He doesn't seem to understand that humans will come to you if you wait long enough. Tom also isn't nearly as pretty as I am, but then again, who is?

Hamish the Maine Coon, head cat in Alannah Rogers's Beatrice Young Cozy Cat Mysteries: Hi, I'm Hamish—a Maine Coon cat with golden eyes. I was here first and now somehow I've ended up with 3 cat siblings. We all get along okay, though I'm my owner Beatrice's #1. Helping her solve crimes is a lot of fun but my top priority is always to protect her. She is always ending up in scrapes and it's up to me to prevent tigers from eating her, bad guys from poisoning her, and a million other things! Protecting Beatrice is a full-time job but she's my best friend, I would never in a million years wish for anything different. Except for when she dresses me up in costumes; I could really do without that.

Tammy L. Grace's Gus
Gus the golden retriever, head dog in Tammy L. Grace's Cooper Harrington Detective novels: I'm an excellent listener, fit and strong, but very gentle. I've got soft brown eyes, and my fur is on the redder side of gold. I enjoy long walks and runs in the park and all sorts of food, especially the treats at the dog-friendly bakery. Coop says I'm a chowhound, but I try not to beg. I love spending time with my humans, riding in Coop's Jeep, and working our cases.

Sandra Baublitz's Paw
Paw the Saint Bernard, head dog in Sandra Baublitz's Dog Detective series: I'm large, lovable, and intelligent. Brave too. (Just don't mention Pomeranians. They're scary.) I am protective of my owner and a good-will ambassador, greeting new friends, and slurping old ones. Some say I am mischievous, but I don't think so. Garden dug up? I was doing my job searching for clues because I am a mystery-loving pooch.

Snickerdoodle the corgi, head dog in Meredith Potts's Daley Buzz series: I am a stumpy little bundle of fun. You need someone to fetch a ball for you? I'm your guy. Feel like taking a walk? I'm so there. Just want to chill out and relax? I'm up for a nap.

Alison Golden's Biscuit
Biscuit the ginger tabby, head cat in Alison Golden's Reverend Annabelle Dixon Cozy Mystery series: My name is Biscuit and I am a church cat, a ginger tabby. I am six years old, sturdy, and fearless. I tear around the house every evening at 9pm. It's when I get my exercise which I do to assuage my penchant for cupcakes. I was born in the village of Upton St. Mary and my job is to find the sunniest places in the village to sleep. I will admit I'm a bit of a diva and mercurial. Loyalty is not my best quality. I don't like loud commotion or change. Humans often don't notice me or think I'm paying attention but I am. I am the perfect sidekick. I hide in plain sight. My human is a little needy but a good owner. She feeds me regularly which is the main thing.

Dizzy the Labrador hound mix, head dog in Sandi Scott's Seagrass Sweets Cozy Mysteries: I'm a fun-loving, silly, high-energy dog whose accidental discoveries always seem to help my human. I love spending time running at the park and going for a dip in the gulf coast. My human, Ashley, gets nervous about the crocodiles hiding in the tall Seagrass, but I know I could outrun any of them.

Charli the Siamese, head cat in Claire Kane's Siamese Sleuth Mystery series: I'm often underestimated, since I'm no scaredy putty tat. I'll face danger head on, claws out. I maintain my sleek cream-colored fur and dark leggings with proper washings. At night you might see my jewel-like blue eyes reflecting the stars, as I watch you from my balcony. If you're up to no good, I will find out, and bring you to justice. Other than this, I get along with anybody, including dogs, especially the Scottish terrier next door who likes to think he's from Scotland.

Kathi Daley's Tilly
Tilly the golden retriever, head dog in Kathi Daley's Tess and Tilly Cozy Mystery series: I am a kick back sort of gal. Loyal to a fault. I am always happy to do anything my human asks, which more often than not, involves playing nursemaid to the strays that find their way into our home. Tess and I go everywhere together, which is a good thing, since she has a tendency to get caught up in dangerous situations. As her sleuthing sidekick, I am always on hand to help out.

Colleen Mooney's Meaux
Meaux the Schnauzer, head dog in Colleen Mooney's New Orleans Go Cup Chronicles: I'm a very handsome, all black Schnauzer with a solid, muscular build. I'm very smart and know exactly what needs to be done to guard our house. I am Chief of Security. I have nice neck scarves, sweaters, and winter coats I wear when we go for walks and costumes for the parades we are always going to in New Orleans. I've heard Moonpie refer to me as His Meaux-ness when we are all ready to go to a Yappy Hour or a parade. Here I am in my beer wagon for Oktoberfest!


Readers, how would you describe your animals, or how do you think they would describe themselves? If you don't have any animals, tell us about a past pet or an animal in your extended family. GIVEAWAY: Each author is giving away one ebook during the blog tour, and every blog you comment on earns you another chance to win (only one comment per person per blog will be counted for giveaway purposes). Ten ebooks = ten different winners! Please include your email address with your comment so we can reach you if you win.

Learn more about us, our books, and our characters by visiting all of our blog tour stops. If you've missed any stops along the way, feel free to go back now and catch up. And remember, each tour post you comment on by July 27, 2018 earns you another chance to win one of our ebooks.

July 5, 2018: Bibliophile Reviews
July 6, 2018: Chicks on the Case
July 9, 2018: Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries, and Meows
July 12, 2018: Dru's Book Musings
July 14, 2018: Lisa Ks Book Reviews
July 16, 2018: Brooke Blogs
July 18, 2018: A Cup of Tea and a Cozy Mystery
July 20, 2018: MJB Reviewers
July 23, 2018: Thoughts in Progress
July 25, 2018: Escape With Dollycas


About the Authors

Paige Sleuth writes the Cozy Cat Caper Mystery series. She plots murder during the day and fights for mattress space with her two rescue cats at night. When not attending to her cats' demands, she writes.

Alannah Rogers writes the Beatrice Young Cozy Cat Mysteries. The heroine of her stories is Beatrice Young, a 64-year-old amateur sleuth and Cozy Cat Cafe owner who lives in the small town of Ashbrook, New Hampshire with her 4 cats: Hamish, Lucky, Petunia, and Simon. The first book in her series is only 99 cents, and fans can stay connected through her Readers Group.

Tammy L. Grace is the award-winning author of the Cooper Harrington Detective Novels and the Hometown Harbor Series. Join Tammy's exclusive reader group, and she'll send you a fun interview with the dogs from her books as a FREE thank-you gift.

Sandra Baublitz loves writing mysteries with furry detective crime-solvers. Her first Dog Detective short story, The Mystery of the Blue Dolphins, featuring Paw and Clarissa, is always free to download.

Meredith Potts writes the Daley Buzz Cozy Mystery series. She loves corgis, cozies, and cupcakes. Sign up for her mailing list and be the first to know about her new books.

Alison Golden is a writer, blogger and mother of two. To get a free copy of Death at the Café, the prequel to the Reverend Annabelle Dixon cozy mystery series featuring Biscuit, the church cat, plus two more books, updates about new releases, exclusive promotions, and other insider information, please sign up for the Cozy Mysteries Insider mailing list.

Sandi Scott spent a lifetime reading cozy mysteries before finding the courage to write them. She writes about the women she wants to be and the pets she wants to meet! To get the first book in both of her series free, join the readers' group Sandi's Sleuths.

Claire Kane is a connoisseur of classic fashion statements, craves a good rootbeer float, and always chews with her mouth closed. Of course, she also has a weak spot for murder mysteries.

Kathi Daley is the USA Today bestselling author of eight mystery series, including the Tj Jensen Paradise Lake Mystery series and the Tess and Tilly Cozy Mystery series. She writes cozy mysteries that warm your heart and feed your soul.

Colleen Mooney writes the New Orleans Go Cup Chronicles humorous mysteries and loves to travel. An avid animal lover, she also directs and manages a New Orleans Schnauzer rescue.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Burglars & Blintzes by Morgan C. Talbot

 I just finished the most wonderful cozy mystery by Morgan C. Talbot. Her  2nd in series Burglars & Blintzes was released today and this is a spectacular follow up. This amazing read takes place on the West Coast of the USA in a wonderful Seaside town. The plot, subplot and mysteries are so well woven. The characters and the food mentioned in this book are drool worthy. Main character Pippa is well rounded, curious, serious and vulnerable and determined. Did I mention her actual job is running a B&B that caters only to authors? I love her uncle and sister in this series as well as her love interest and his ex, who just happens to be in charge of the police department...Burglars & Blintzes is a wonderful summer read.
Moorehaven is swarming with guests during summer’s last hurrah, and Pippa has her hands full at the mystery-author B&B. When her gossip-group connections inform her that a local construction project has unearthed a skeleton with a pocketful of Spanish gold, the news spreads, and treasure hunters flood the beaches. But the skeleton has a more recent connection to the area than anyone suspected, unearthing a shameful secret that hits far too close to home.A marine salvage team rolls into town, seeking the rest of the treasure. When they hire Pippa’s boyfriend, Lake, to be their pilot, the team’s pretty spelunker quickly stakes a claim, rousing Pippa’s jealousy. But Pippa’s been playing tug-of-war over Lake ever since his ex-wife, Mallory Tavish, became the new acting chief of police.When a killer’s strike brings tragedy to Moorehaven’s door, Pippa must rally her friends, family, and mystery-writing guests to catch the murderer before she loses someone she can’t live without and all the warmth of summer dies with one last gasp.

I am not an Amazon Affiliate but you can find this on Amazon by clicking here. 

Thank you for joining me here for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Saturday, July 7, 2018

A Dark and Twisting Path by Julia Buckley.

I loved Julia Buckley's A Dark and Twisting Path. A read with all the feels, great suspense, mystery and ending. A favorite series for sure! Loved everything about it cover, title, characters and more.The idea of the writers apprentice series, really appealed to me from book one. From the first page of the first book to the last page of A Dark and Twisting Path, Julia captures the main character Lena perfectly, she is relatable, loveable, curious and calm. She is smart, creative and loyal. Through the three books the store arc really ebbs and flows and the books are a joy to read. A Dark and Twisting Path comes out  July 31st and it is a great summer read!
Writer's apprentice Lena London is happily working on a new collaboration with her idol and bestselling suspense novelist and friend Camilla Graham, but her joy is short-lived when a dark cloud descends upon the quaint town of Blue Lake, Indiana...

Lena's best friend, Allison, is in a panic. On a walk in the woods by her home, Allison discovers the body of her mail carrier, an argumentative man who recently had a falling out with Allison's husband. Lena quickly realizes that Allison has nothing to worry about as the murder weapon points to a different suspect altogether: Lena's embattled boyfriend, Sam West. 

Sam was cleared of his wife's murder when she was found alive, and now someone is trying to make him look guilty again. Surveillance video of a break-in at his house shows a shadowy figure trying to incriminate him by stealing the weapon from his desk. Lena and Camilla work on a suspect list, but a threatening note and a violent intrusion at Graham House prove that the devious killer has decided to write them into the plot.


You can pre order on Amazon (I am not an affiliate) by clicking here.

Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Scandal Above Stairs by Jennifer Ashley


I had a chance to look over and review Scandal Above Stairs this weekend.
This book came out July 3rd and is the second in the Below Stairs Mystery Series by Jennifer Ashley. If you love period mysteries then this is a series for you. The setting and characters are so easy to picture and the mystery keeps you guessing. Pick this one up for a great weekend or cottage read. 
From the New York Times bestselling author of Death Below Stairs

A mystery of stolen antiquities has Kat Holloway setting aside her apron once again for the intrigues of the upper echelons of Victorian London


Priceless artwork has gone missing from the home of a wealthy baronet, and his wife stands to take the blame. When Kat's employer asks for help in clearing her friend's name, Kat trades her kitchen for the homes of Mayfair's wealthiest families. Soon antiques are disappearing not only from the extravagant households of connoisseurs and collectors, but from the illustrious British Museum.

As the thefts increase in frequency, Kat calls upon her friend Daniel McAdam, who has already set himself up in a pawnshop on the Strand as a seedy receiver of stolen goods. When a man is murdered in the shop, Kat must use all of her wits to see that the thieves are caught and justice is done.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Italian Iced by Kylie Logan

Over the last week I read Italian Iced by Kylie Logan, this is the third book in the Ethnic Eats Series which came out June 26th. I love the main character in this book, a former foster child who now runs a Ethnic themed eatery whos menu changes each month. Her former employer ends up dead and it is almost impossible to not find someone with a motive for her death. A touch of wonderful romance, a great cozy mystery and wonderful food. This one is a great series to beach read.



Hot pasta and a cold corpse make for quite a combination in the latest book in the Ethnic Eats mystery series.When Laurel Inwood features Italian cuisine on the Terminal at the Tracks menu, she knows she'll need to stock the shelves, the fridge, and the freezer with plenty of wonderful delicacies. She just never expected one of them to be her former employer, Hollywood superstar Meghan Cohan.And one day, when Laurel is at the restaurant early to get ready for the regular rush of customers, that's exactly what she finds--Meghan dead in the Terminal freezer.What's a Hollywood A-lister doing in Hubbard, Ohio? For Laurel, that's the real question, because the first question she'd ask in any other murder investigation--who would want the victim dead?--seems pretty much a no-brainer in this case.Who would want Meghan dead?Just about anybody who had ever met her.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Maggie Sefton's Dyeing Up Loose Ends

I finished Dyeing Up Loose Ends by Maggie Sefton , this is the 16th book in the series and it is a great read. Out July 3rd this book walks you through all the past murder mysteries and it also goes through main Character Kelly's current life, her relationship with her friends and her growing little boy. The murder mystery tied in nicely with what felt like a visit with old friends. As usual a great read and a wonderful series.
Kelly Flynn has been enjoying motherhood and avoiding murder, but when a friend's life is cut short, she enlists the Lambspun knitters to catch a heartless killer in the last Knitting Mystery novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Only Skein Deep. Kelly is happily busy with her son, Jack, now a rambunctious four-year-old preschooler. Jack keeps his mom on her toes and drinking all the coffee she can handle at Pete's Porch Café. Kelly's friendly waitress Julie is hoping to become an accountant. She makes sure she keeps Kelly caffeinated and up-to-date on her career progress.Kelly splits her free time between Pete's and Lambspun, where her fellow knitters love hearing all about Jack's latest exploits. They've also been taking a trip down memory lane, reminiscing about crimes that Kelly had a hand in solving over the years. But the Lambspun crew is horrified when a very present-day murder occurs in their midst--and Julie is the victim. With her sleuthing instincts on full alert, Kelly starts asking questions. The well-liked waitress may have had enemies no one knew about, or she could have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Kelly and her friends at Lambspun soon learn that the answers are knottier and more shocking than they ever dreamed..
It was a delight to have this book on my table and to read. Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Karen's Almond Meal Vanilla Scones...

For the last few weeks I have been doing something for me I have not done in years and that is believing in the fact I can and will make better choices in my eating. While I was with my sister in Montreal, she and her husband have been exploring a low carb, low sugar lifestyle and at first I thought there is no way I can do that. I love my chocolate (hourly) and my cookies (by the sleeve) and there is my favorite all time thing to make scones.

I am thrilled to say this was a great way to learn about myself and my eating habits and that I have not had Chocolate, or cookies in more than 11 days. I actually have not even missed them, but I did miss scones. Honestly though I feel so much better, I am less tired, my clothing is fitting much looser and I don't have heartburn anymore that I was constantly plagued with. I am amazed at just how much more energy I have and how much calmer I feel.

That being said,  Fridays I like to have friends over in the morning for tea and scones, yesterday I tried a recipe that I found online but I made it my own.


Karen's Almond Meal Vanilla Scones. *

2 cups of Almond Flour (also known as Almond Meal, Ground Almonds)
1/4 cup of cold butter (cut in small squares or chopped finely)
1/4 cup of Steeva
1 tsp Vanilla
1 egg
2 tsp Baking Powder


In a medium bowl measure out your Almond Flour but do not pack it down, add your butter and cut the butter into the almond with your pastry blender. Try not to pack the dough you want to get as much air into it as possible. If you over mix it you will end up with a tough dough. Add your Steeva, and vanilla. crack the egg into the mixture and combine. Add the baking powder. Place the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.


Next use a medium sized ice cream scoop to form your scones. You can pack them if you want but I did loose scoops. I placed them on a piece of parchment on my cookie sheet and baked them at 400 until the edges were golden brown.
I picked some early raspberries from the yard and enjoyed a few with my scones and butter. I also delighted in sharing them with friends.

Thank you for joining me here today for a cup of tea and a recipe. Let me know if you make them and how you like them.

*The original recipe I found had more almond meal and milk, however I found that I did not need to add the milk as my mixture was already soft enough.

I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Lorna Barrett's Poisoned Pages

I have been a huge fan of Lorna Barrett's Book Town Mystery Series since I first spun the rack at my library and her book fell into my hands. I have bought and read every single one and I am so thrilled to have been approved to read an ARC of Poisoned Pages.  This one like so many in this series are more about the relationships and the community feeling, rather than the mystery, but boy are the mysteries and twists in this story spectacular. What is revealed will pleasantly shock and amaze long time fans of the series and leave you with the most cozy of feelings. I love this book, this series and this author. Poisoned Pages was fantastic. This one is out July 10th and is not to miss.

Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, throws a housewarming cocktail party in her new apartment and has cooked all the food by herself--quite a feat for someone who previously couldn't boil water. Then one of her guests is poisoned and dies. Tricia's left to wonder if her cooking is to blame or if there's something much more sinister at play. Either way, Tricia's once again in hot water with her ex-lover, Chief Baker.Meanwhile the charming town of Stoneham is being disrupted by a vandalism crime wave. It's the hot topic in the race for Chamber of Commerce president which sees Tricia pitted against two bitter rivals. With all that's going on can she find the killer before she's the next item on the menu?

Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Monday, June 18, 2018

Death Comes To Dogwood Manor by Sandra Bretting

Death Comes to Dogwood Manor by Sandra Bretting was a great southern fun mystery. I loved the main character Missy and the unbelievable things she goes through in this book is while unbelievable at first it all falls into place and out of place and the ending is not to miss. This one is out now and was kindly sent to me as an ARC. 

Making Southern brides beautiful is top priority for hat designer Missy DuBois, but sometimes her Louisiana studio moonlights as a crime-solving headquarters . . . While driving to her hat shop, Crowning Glory, Missy accidentally sideswipes a car parked in front of Dogwood Manor, an antebellum mansion being converted into a high-end hotel by the much-reviled property developer Herbert Solomon. Of course, the car is his Rolls Royce. But Solomon is too busy berating his contractor and interior designer to worry about a little fender bender. When Missy returns to check out the mansion’s chapel where her latest client will be married, she finds the developer dead on his property. After an autopsy finds poison in his body, Missy’s shop is then flooded right before it’s supposed to be featured in an article about wedding-veil trends. Now before everything becomes sheer disaster, she’ll have to train her sights on finding a killer . . .

Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Home...

"Just keep coming home to yourself, you are the one who you’ve been waiting for”-Byron Katie
(2 hour sleep pre spa day)
I am back, what an unbelievable week and experience I had visiting my sister in Montreal. I went 3000 miles away to visit my sister and her family, thanks to her generous nature and somehow found something that had been missing for longer than I would like to admit. Caught up in the day to day life as a busy mom and stuck in a series of personal plot twists that have been more difficult this year than most,  the trip was that much needed rest I was not really aware I was in such need of.  The past week there has been more in the news about mental health and the normalization of that, which I think is very important, and there is the truth that more needs to be done on a personal level for everyone's well being and state of mind.  For me I felt like I have been stuck in a tunnel, on a train going faster than it should, so fast that I don't have time to make out the images to the sides of me. I can only keep my eyes fixed straight ahead and hope that the train slows down at a station soon. I was so busy waiting for the train to stop, I forgot I was the one driving the train.
(Two hours later...)
About 8 years ago my mother died and well, I can say with certainty that I have never quite been the same again, but I was a youngish, busy mom of three, two with special needs and really I was just getting up each day putting my big girl panties on and going through the motions. 
About two months in, I did not want to get out of bed, shower, eat, move etc, but I did. I could not cry, I was numb. My hands were not busy, never a good thing when you are someone who has ADHD, too much time in one's head without a project for me is never a very good thing. I felt very heavy, and lost. I forced myself to take on a project that would be soothing and that was learning to sew (nothing soothing about teaching yourself to sew as I found out but I was committed to seeing it through). About the sametime I was thinking does it even matter if I get out of bed or do any of this?  I still managed to drag myself out of bed each day, make sure the kids were ready to go to school, therapy and I would sit there sewing doll clothing day after day. 
Sleep was not my friend. 
(Trip morning day 3) 
Laying in bed, wishing myself to sleep unsuccessfully, I found myself getting out of bed, heading to the kitchen, putting on water for tea and instead of grabbing a mug I went to my china cabinet and took out a cup and saucer. While the water boiled and darkness surrounding me, I set myself a place at the head of the table, looking out into the early morning hours and listening to the sound of my children's light snoring. I sat in the dark until the water boiled. Got up and made tea. I brought the pot to the table and not wanting to wake the house with turning on a light, I instead lit a candle.  I sat there, staring out the window, sipping tea, and watching the sunrise.  For the first time in what felt like a really long time I felt somewhat at peace. I am a very visual person and I wanted to capture the moment for myself, to hold myself accountable for what became my "Me Moments" and to prove to myself that I could still create a beautiful and calm place to sit and sip and just be. That is when I started taking my morning tea photos. That became my morning routine and I would make sure that I got up before my family each morning after that, repeat my self care routine and photograph it every day following.
(Time Square later day 3)
Fast forward to about a year ago and something changed for me. I got very, very sick with bacterial pneumonia . I was in and out of the hospital for August and due to my illness, I could not for the first time take that me moment. I missed it and it was awful. During this time my husband, began getting up at the hour I normally did and he would be up and moving about when I was used to having time to myself. As I got better it became harder to capture that magic of the moment first thing in the morning and I somehow flipped to being a night owl instead. I still did my morning photos but the time of day was more rushed. 
(pretty much sums up the size of the break I really needed)
I again got caught up in the putting on of my big girl panties and just dealing with things as best I could. Still sipping and enjoying the cup but not feeling the quiet calm I had before last August. 
(on the plane home)
I tell you that story to tell you this one. Last week I ran away from home and it was the best thing I could have done. I did so with my families blessing and encouragement and I found out more about myself , did things I never imagined I would do and took chances I never would have believed.  I guess I got lost to find myself. 
(my sister and I day 2)
While I knew the process was happening it wasn't until I got home and looked at the photos I took and posted that I could see the progression of finding that me moment again. 
Forgive the narcissistic nature of the photos I am posting today. Somehow last year I lost the thing I created that grounded me, anchored me if you will and I did not realize it was drifting away quite so much. 
(seriously this happened!) 
I did not actually write or read anything while I was away. I completely exited my comfort zone on more than one occasion and somehow a weekend trip from my hometown of Montreal to New York, that should have been an "Antiquing trip in the Adirondack Mountains" of upstate New York, became something so much more...seriously about as far away from that as one can. I unexpectedly got a tattoo during Americade, a very large Bike Rally, in Lake George, with my sister beside me, she got one and our baby sister in Vancouver got one to match at the same time in Vancouver. 
(matching Big, Middle, Little Sister Tattoos, never had one before, always said never would...)
 We then drove into New York City and saw a show on Broadway, ate, laughed and had so much fun. Cupcakes were to die for!

I returned to Montreal, spending quality time with each of my nieces and nephews there,we drove to Ontario and visited family I had not seen in years.
(My Aunt's have the most wonderful tea tents! Seriously I am jealous!)
 I was surprised to be gifted my grandmother and great grandmother's china teacups and saucers, as well as a few teapots. (Look for them in the photos coming up in the near future.) But most of all I was gifted the opportunity and the ability to find myself again, to laugh, cry and to just really enjoy life spend quality time with my sister, her family and my aunts. I found that I remembered who I was and a little bit about who I am supposed to be.

 What else did I learn in New York and Montreal? That self care is important, and so is asking for help. Bigger lesson, sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself...
(My Aunties and my sister) 
I have tired to hold on to that trip feeling as best I could, I stayed detached from my computer, reading and mail even after coming home on Tuesday,  but I promise that I will be back on again soon with more reviews and more cups of tea. If you think you need help finding yourself, find someone you trust or just tell someone, things will start to get better, and make sure you make yourself a cup of tea or build a routine in around your own "me moment" It is amazing how much and how far that act of kindness to yourself will go. 
(Last morning in New York morning tea)
Thank you for taking time to join me today for a cup of tea and a look back at my trip. It is good to be back. 
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Have China Will Travel....

I was so excited to find these at a yard sale, $2 for all. I have actually been looking for these zippered slightly padded cases for years now and finding them just before I take off tomorrow has me very excited.
The bags hold dinner plates, side plates, teacups and saucers. I have the odd one out on the bottom left as the one I will travel with. Now I just have to pick the one I am taking with me...
Lots of lovely mail on my table this morning. My aunty Margo made me a Mug rug! I love it. A special craft from a friend and my tea swap. Also a new cozy mystery to read, all arrived and safely on my table.
Busy day ahead of me getting last minute things in place. I hope you have a wonderful day and thank you for stopping by for a cup of tea and a quick visit today. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Week Ahead- Travel with a chance of Wifi

Monday of what is going to be a crazy week. I am doing something that scares and excites me a bit this week. I am going away without my family. I am not usually one for change in routine. Yet I have had at least a year of constant change and unexpected events,  you think I would get used to it by now. I am slowly learning that real life is the plot twist that happens when you are making other plans. This week is going to be very busy. I will do everything I can to post and share daily. I will be away from my table and likely without wifi for a large part of the next week so if you do not hear from me daily here know that I am traveling and will do my best to write and share as soon as I can.
While the next two days will be full of last minute planning and packing I will try to sneak some reading and reviewing in. I am trying to find and pack my courage this week.
I am going to go adventuring with my sister. Hoping to grown through the week, rest and revive...
I have been saving these quotes seen above for the last little while hoping that when I read them I will gain the courage and conviction to live upto each one. They all grabbed me and spoke to me so I saved them to my desktop, thinking I would put them in a journal, or vision board. As they are still on my desktop I will put them here.
While I hit the pavement running this week, I will do my best to check in and give you updates. I will be taking my books, tea, teacups and even a teapot and kettle with me on my travels, this week. Thank you for taking time to join me for a cup of tea and my week of travel with a chance of Wifi...
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Widow's Wreath by Cynthia Riggs

I was granted an ARC from Net Galley for Cynthia Riggs book Widow's Wreath. This was actually another mystery I chose by the cover first. I love lighthouses and love mysteries where they are set near a lighthouse or in a lighthouse so this was right up my alley. This was a mystery I was not prepared for. It was not cut and dry nor was it easy to figure out. I was so impressed with how complex it was. The story was impossible to put down and compelling. Not overly cozy but complex in a goodway and makes for an excellent read. 
This book is out now from Crooked Lane Books. 


It’s a case of cold feet—and cold-blooded murder—as 92-year-old poet/sleuth Victoria Trumbull gets more than she bargained for after hosting an ill-fated wedding.

A wedding on picturesque Martha’s Vineyard promises to be the affair of the season when Penny Arbuthnot asks her cousin, feisty 92-year-old poet Victoria Trumbull, if she can use her property for the reception. Victoria agrees—but she has no idea what’s in store for the hapless couple. 

For one, Penny is seriously in debt and desperate to marry money. She thinks she’s on the road to riches when she hooks Rocco Bufano, whose father is a multi-billionaire. But unbeknownst to Penny, Rocco’s been disowned by dad. He’s also in hock up to his ears, and thinks he’s bagged the catch of a lifetime in a wealthy Vineyard native. He also knows that someone is out to kill him. In fact, several guests have a reason to off Rocco, among them an autistic savant with a prodigious knowledge of murder weapons. 

Victoria has assumed the reception will be a modest lemonade-and-gingersnap affair—but when a body is found in her cellar, it may be a happily-never-after in Widow’s Wreath, the fourteenth engaging installment in Cynthia Riggs’s beloved Martha’s Vineyard mysteries.


Thank you for joining me here for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com