Thursday, May 31, 2018

Personalize Your Tea Ball...

Today I am showing you a simple way to take an inexpensive tea ball and personalize it for yourself or someone you love with charms and jump rings from the craft store. This is so easy to do you won't believe it.

To make your own you will need:
-A metal tea ball with a chain
-Charms (order on Etsy, Ebay or find at your craft store)
-Jump rings (order on Etsy, Ebay or find at your craft store)
-Needle nose pliers

Step one - Assemble all your supplies.
Step two- Use your pliers to open the jump rings wide enough to slide the ring through one of the chains of the tea ball.
Step three- Slide your charm onto the jump ring and close with your needle nose pliers.
Step four- Repeat with as many charms as you would like to use.
* I chose a teapot with tea cup and a book, as it best represents my blog.
Fill your tea ball with 1 tsp of your favorite loose leaf tea...
Or package your newly embellished tea ball with some loose leaf tea, and some of your favorite cookies as a gift for a tea lover you know.

Thank you for joining me for today's Tea Time Craft. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

As The Christmas Cookie Crumbles by Leslie Budewitz

As The Christmas Cookie Crumbles by Leslie Budewitz was a treat to read! This Midnight Ink Cozy Mystery comes out June 8th and is a great read. I was thrilled Net Galley approved my request to review it and even though I am anxious for summer to start, I really felt Christmas Spirit in late may with this one. A complicated mystery, with twists and turns I had not expected. I found it both disturbing and delightful, and ends with a Christmas Eve wedding, a perfect balance. A very good read and a lovely way for you to spend the summer holidays, be sure to check this one out.



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 emailing me at karenmowen@gmail.com 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Picked Off by Linda Lovely

I was asked to review Linda Lovely's second in the Brie Hooker Mystery series Picked Off and was excited to download my ARC from Netgalley. I loved the first one and the second one did not disappoint. This one had a bunch of great storylines and I enjoy the wannabe love triangle between main character Brie and best friends Andy and Paint. I also love that Brie is a vegan, which is such an odd part of the plot and yet comes together beautifully. Lots of animals, dogs and mayhem at their farm. The mystery in this one I very much enjoyed, the political twist was not what I expected and read really well not a predictable run of the mill plot line. I really enjoyed it. I could not put it down and I read it in one night. This one is out June 5th and well worth the read. A fine Henery Press book!  *Not sure why but Amazon has the cover below. I liked both covers but this is what it looks like if you go looking for it.
It’s been seven months since Brie Hooker, a vegan, moved to Udderly Kidding Dairy to live with her feisty Aunt Eva, a confirmed carnivore. But tonight there’ll be no family feud over dinner entrees. Udderly’s hosting a campaign fundraiser for Eva’s best friend, who hopes to be South Carolina’s next governor. The candidate’s son, a pro quarterback, is flying home for the wingding. And Brie’s eager to get a close-up view of the cute tush she’s admired on TV, even though she’s reluctantly sworn off even more tempting local beefcake. The campaign fundraiser promises to be a huge success until a pitchfork attack turns the goat farm into a crime scene—again. To protect her friends, Brie puts her sleuthing skills to work. Will she live long enough to find out who’s behind a vicious assault, a kidnapping, blackmail, and murder? 

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

Monday, May 28, 2018

Beaches, Bungalows & Burglaries

I bought Beaches, Bungalows & Burglaries by Tonya Kappes, actually I pre ordered it from Amazon.ca and I was so excited for it to show up on my ipad to read this past weekend.  A great first in what I am excitedly anticipating being a long running series. Based in Normal, Kentucky with a wonderful bunch of down to earth characters and a setting that was not seemingly to cozy to begin with but then as the story transforms so does the setting. I loved the grit, the comedy, the personalities and the predicaments that main character Mae West, finds herself in throughout this mystery and story. Loved everything about this one and especially the cover!  I have even preorder the next one from Amazon.ca!


Welcome to Normal, Kentucky~ where nothing is normal. A Campers and Criminal Mystery Series is another brainchild of USA Today Bestselling Author Tonya Kappes. If you love her quirky southern characters and small town charm with a mystery to solve, you're going to love her new cozy mystery series! 

Mae West, a far cry from the Hollywood actress, has been thrown for a loop. Her plush lifestyle in the big city of New York comes to a screeching halt after the FBI raids her mansion and arrests her husband, Paul West, for a Ponzi scheme that rips people out of millions of dollars.

Mae finds herself homeless, friendless, and penniless. All hope isn't lost. . .the only thing Mae got to keep that the government didn't seize is a tourist camp ground, Happy Trails, in Normal, Kentucky and an RV to live in. One problem, Mae's idea of camping has room service. 

By the look of the brochure, Happy Trails has plush Kentucky Bluegrass, a crystal clear lake, a beach chair with her name on it and thoughts of how much money it could bring her after she sells it. Mae figures she'll take a couple weeks vacation with her toes dipped in the lake. Things aren't always as they appear. The Kentucky Bluegrass is nothing but dirt and the crystal clue lake is murky with green slime on top.

Mae quickly find out that Happy Trails and the citizens of Normal were also victims of Paul's schemes, making her lower than tha lake scum in the residents' eyes. Mae doesn't think things could get much worse, but as luck would have it, Paul West has escaped from prison and is found dead, murdered, floating in the Happy Trails mucky green lake. 

Mae is the number one suspect on Detective Hank Sharp's short list. After all, Mae has the perfect motive as a kept wife who has been scorned to ashes, embarrassed to death, and seeking revenge. 

Time is running out for Mae to prove that she's innocent and nothing like her husband. If only she could get someone to believe her and talk Detective Sharp into looking at other residents who've lost all their savings to Paul's Ponzie scheme before the curtain is closed on this Hollywood namesake.


This one is out now and you can find it 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@gmial.com

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Rockets Dead Glare by Lynn Cahoon

Always a pleasure to get approved to read a Lynn Cahoon book. Netgalley gave me a sneak peak at Rockets Dead Glare and I loved it. Actually I think this might just be my new favorite. Lynn makes the Tourist Trap Mysteries fun and I felt like it was a weekend away visiting this California town of South Cove and catching up with old friends. Always drama going on in town and this particular mystery and town event made for a great setting and a complex mystery. Lynn did a great job with Rockets Dead Glare and I hope that you will love this Lyrical June 5th release as much as I did.
South Cove’s local businesses are up in arms after volunteer fire chief Barry Gleason threatens to shut down anyone who doesn’t comply with the fire code. But when Barry schedules a training burn in an old abandoned barn, he is the only one who doesn't come out alive. Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—smells murder in the ashes. She’ll have to work quickly to nab a killer with a short fuse—or else everyone’s holiday will end with a fizzle . . .  
You can find Rockets Dead Glare by Lynn Cahoon on Amazon.com 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

Saturday, May 26, 2018

On my table and in my cup May 19-26th

Greetings from my table to yours this week. While I have had some wonderful books on my table this week I have also had some amazing people around my table and in my tea tent. Simple pleasure of being outside and in the comfort of friends has lifted my spirit this week and filled my bucket for sure. 
“Whenever you are lonely just look at the spaces between your fingers and remember that’s where my fingers perfectly fit”- author unknown. I found this driftwood on the beach his week when I was taking to my sister on the phone. It looked so much like a pair of hands. It is simple a beautiful reminder that we are not alone.
I will start with what has been in my cup this week. While my normal standby is the Vanilla Black tea I drink most often from Murchies, we have been enjoying the Wedding blend, Orange Pekoe and Murchies afternoon blend in the tea tent this week.  The Murchies Afternoon blend is a delightful tea that was once called Empress Afternoon Tea and was served at the Empress hotel in Victoria for years. It is a favorite of mine and my guests. 
 I ordered and am reading through Beaches, Bungalows & Burglaries by Tonya Kappes right now.  I ordered this book and already can tell I am going to love this series.  
 I read Murder at the Mansion by Sheila Connolly, a very good read and first in a new series.
I also read Rockets Dead Glare by Lynn Cahoon this week, review coming up tomorrow. Love the Tourist Trap Mystery Series and this one was a favorite! 
This was a very busy and fun week, from the Royal wedding last week to spending Victoria Day with my nieces and friends at the Victoria Day celebrations to enjoying time in the tea tent with friends, both photographed and not, a bunch of great thrift store finds, a new bear and great reads. I feel truly blessed. 
Thank you for taking time to join me for a cup of tea and a week in review. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Friday, May 25, 2018

Fancy Friday Finds- Ties, Bow Ties and Gloves


If you read yesterday's post then you saw that I have a new bear whom I am looking for a few bow ties for, which lead me to Etsy and today's post. While I have not found the right patterned fabric yet for Earl's bow tie, I did find and fall in love with some on etsy. Only my 10 year old likes bow ties, but I could not resist sharing these for the tea tent season.
Love and Dapper has a fun shop and they offer a variety of sizes in bow ties, what caught my eye was the lovely check pattern in this shop, I also liked the different styles offered, if I had it all to do over again I think bow ties would have been in more photos on my boys for sure. Click here for shop and listing. 

The Wedding Tie Shoppe has a tie I love, not that I could see any of my boys wearing it but I love the idea, I am a fan of the cabbage rose patterns and if you are going to a summer tea wedding or perhaps you know someone bold enough I loved this listing! Click here to see these in shop. 
A friend of mine mentioned this week about having tea at one of the queen's garden parties and how to get invited, she mentioned that there is a dress code and that while gloves were optional they were suggested. I have not thought of gloves for tea time but love the idea! I am not one who likes to have paint on my nails so gloves is a pretty neat way to dress up my hands. I was looking on Etsy for some vintage ones and found this listing in the Once and Future Etsy shop. I loved the little bowtie on these. I am not really a fan of the lace ones nor the sheer ones but these caught my eye and made my favorite list. Who knows maybe if I buy them I might just get an invite to one of the Queen's garden parties. Dear universe I am just putting it out there. You can find these and other lovely treasures by clicking here.

Thank you so much for joining me here for a cup of tea and a look at this weeks Fancy Friday Finds. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Thursday, May 24, 2018

This weeks Treasures...

This week one of the charity shops I frequent had a half off everything sale. I picked up some treasures this week, some new pillow covers for the tea tent in a lovely floral pattern and this lovely little bear, whom I have named Earl Grey, he needs a bow tie though, maybe several, the hunt for those is on. Two pillow covers and the bear, $3.
Another couple of dollars spent on some tea cups, only one is a true match but I have fun matching up with different saucers, and you never know I might yet find the matching one!
I am completely thrilled with my new tea tent mascot, but I think he needs a bow tie, I have begun to look for small tea themed printed fabric so I can make him a few bow ties, I think he will need some for each holiday as well! What a fun project I have created for myself. If you happen to know where I might find some tea themed fabric let me know!
This years tea tent just keeps getting better and better, I now have a much more functional table then teh stools in the tea tent thanks to the power of our FB recycling page in our city. I am very much enjoying my little escape.
Thank you for taking time to drop by for tea. I look forward to sharing more with you tomorrow.
I would love to hear from you so please leave us a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Murder at the Mansion by Sheila Connolly

When I saw that Netgalley was offering a new mystery by Sheila Connolly I jumped at the change to request it. Murder at the Mansion is coming out June 26th and is published by Minotaur Books.  I get very excited when I get the chance to read a first in series by authors whose work I already love. I had no idea what to expect with Murder at the Mansion and it truly felt like Sheila took a typical failing american small town, reached down to the ground and picked up the dirt and dust surrounding it, threw it up in the air and magically turned it to fairy dust. The story transforms itself from page one and rolls out in true cozy spirit, endearing it to me with each chapter. This was not at all what I had expected, but exactly what a great first in series should be, this cozy has great bones, a cool story line, mystery you can get behind, justice served and a great deal of fun history to unearth. Look for this one for sure this June!


Thank you so much for taking time to join 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, May 22, 2018

Victoria Day At The Burnaby Heritage Museum

Yesterday was Victoria Day here in Canada and where I live it is a long weekend that happens it seems the weekend before the Memorial Day one in the USA. It is to celebrate Queen Victoria who's birthday is actually the 24th of May. If you don't know this long reigning monarch the simplest way to explain her importance is that she is single handedly responsible for and the great grandmother of our currant queen HRH Queen Elizabeth. She is also the Great Grandmother of Prince Philip, and many other Royal houses of Europe. Queen Victoria and her beloved husband Albert (who was also her first cousin) had 9 children, all whom married into Royal Families and houses of Europe.

Fast forward to yesterday and for the first time ever, I took my youngest son, two of my nieces and my young BFF (and her mother) and we went to the Burnaby Heritage Museum where they had a special event in honor of the Queen's birthday. I could not remember ever going to this Museum even though it is only about 20 minutes from my house, my father said I went when I was about 4 but no photos from that day, I did take more than 100 today though, including this one of the Queen's processional. Doesn't she look wonderful?
It was a great deal of fun and the idea of the day was carried throughout the museum. I rode on a 106 year old horse in the carousel and I got to tour business and homes from the 1900's.
 My niece LB and I even got to have tea on one of the porches of the older homes on the property. They even dressed us up in shawls and hats.

 It was such a lovely set up and a great memory for us to make.
They also had a modern vendor on site, I had not heard of Iron Dog Books before this book shop on wheels had my attention, it was a bonus highlight of my day. I got two books there and lots of inspiration. I would love for this bookshop to come park outside my place!
My youngest loved "driving" the bookshop on wheels and this was one of his highlights of the day, one of mine as well.
Niece TB was holding on for dear life, this carousel went so fast!
Angela and I goofing around for the camera!
This was a truly memorable way to spend our holiday Monday and I think I would love to visit this Museum as well. Click here if you would like to take a look at the Museum's Website. 

My friends tell me that this is a wonderful spot at Christmas time as well. I cannot wait to go then.
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy holiday report. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Monday, May 21, 2018

To Catch a WItch by Heather Blake

I am so thrilled to start the week off with a review of Heather Blake's To Catch A Witch. This one is out in August and thrilled me to no end! I love everything about this series and am indebted to Crooked Lane Books for continuing this wonderful long running series. From page one I was enchanted and transported back to the Village in the middle of winter, back with Darcy and her family. Concern and anxiety griped me surrounding the relationship with her sister in only a way that Heather could right. That "big sister" relationship is so well written and Darcy treats her sister the way I would mine. A sad and complexing murder in the village during a race that Darcy is helping with complicates things in the village while there is a undercurrent of dark magic and a nefarious plot for taking over power of the village too. There was so much to love in this book and I was so sad and yet excited, when I finished it, knowing I will have to wait so long now to find out just what will happen next!

  Wishcrafter Darcy Merriweather might be a witch with the ability to grant wishes for others, but wishing isn’t going to help her catch a killer…
When wishcrafter Darcy Merriweather’s personal concierge company is hired by elite runner Abby Stillwell to organize the Wicked Mad Dash, a competition that takes place in the Enchanted Village, Darcy is more than willing to help her friend. As blizzard conditions rage on the morning of the race, Darcy’s main concern is the terrible weather—until Abby goes missing…and is later found dead, buried in the snow.As Darcy investigates her friend’s untimely death, she learns that she didn’t really know Abby well at all. And those closest to the woman—her secret fiancĂ©, her roommate, her ex-boyfriend, and her co-workers at Balefire Sports—seem to have plenty to hide too. As Darcy digs deeper, she uncovers complicated relationships, a possible embezzlement scheme, and allegations of cheating against a top athlete. Just when Darcy is convinced she’s hit a dead end in the case, a startling burglary and the hunt for Abby’s elusive ex send Darcy down a dark, dangerous trail. It will take the help from friends, family, and a little bit of magic for Darcy to stop a stone-cold killer from striking again.


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

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Till Death Do Us Tart by Ellie Alexander

It has been a weekend of weddings here. I finished Death Do Us Tart on Friday, perfect book to read just before the royal wedding. I love Ellie Alexander's series based in Ashland Oregon and her bakery Crew from Torte. This was a great read. So much more than a book just about a wedding. There was the  beautiful wedding of The Professor and Jules mom, but also great twists with in twists of story lines. Lance, Carlos, Thomas, not to mention the staff and changes happening at Torte, Even the nasty Richard Lord in the mix. I loved this book, I love this series and I know you are going to as well! This one is out June 26th and is published by St. Martin's Press.

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, May 19, 2018

On My Table and In My Cup May 12th-19th

Greetings from the tea ten celebration this morning. We were up watching the wedding and celebrating today the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. What a joy to witness and what a wonderful, fun and upbeat wedding the young Royals just had. I loved it.
This was the perfect occasion to break out the Fortnum and Mason Lemon Curd my sister kindly sent me from London and I bought Devonshire cream! Murchie's Tea had the most wonderful royal collection of tea and a Wedding blend we are so enjoying! Scones are my go to and favorite so this early morning wedding was a perfect combination.
 Also the perfect time to break out the wedding photos, the decor and the fascinators I made!
Tea time with friends a wonderful excuse to get together.
Even Henry got in the act wearing my Wedding Tiara!
A photo of the Happy Couple and their first kiss on my table as well this morning.
In addition to wedding prep and tea this week I also had some spectacular reads from some of my top favorite authors! Till Death Do Us Tart by Ellie Alexander was the perfect read to finish just before the Royal Wedding!
Linda Reilly's second in her Cat Lady Series was divine! Such a good read and great feels in this one.
The Spook in the Stacks by Eva Gates was a brilliant surprise when I learned this series was going to be picked up! This story doesn't disappoint either!

This has been one of my most favorite weeks of reading and truly one of the best tea drinking weeks as well! Sampling and celebrating my way through Murchie's Royal Blends and my most favorited of the Murchie's black teas Vanilla. I hope you have a wonderful day and I am so thankful you have chosen to stop by for a cup of tea and a week in review. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com