Friday, September 20, 2019

Review of Movies, Moonlight, and Magic by January Bain

Welcome to the blurb blitz tour for Movies, Moonlight, and Magic, the second book in the Manitoba Tea & Tarot Mysteries series by January Bain. Enjoy an excerpt and my thoughts on the book, and then follow the tour for even more. Be sure to leave your questions and comments for the author along the way!

Movies, Moonlight, and Magic

Book two in the Manitoba Tea & Tarot Mysteries series

Charm McCall can solve a small-town murder, but can she figure out how to stop a man-stealing interloper?

A movie production company has come to town…and so has an old family friend of the town’s sexy new Mountie, Ace Collins. His “old pal” turns out to be a scheming long-legged blonde who throws Charm right off her game. Even Auntie T.J. playing the bagpipes down Main Street to drive the trespasser away doesn’t work.

Between catering for the world’s hungriest film crew, trying to solve the murder of the unit accountant who hired her and dealing with her new magical gifts, Charm’s a tad busy. But too bad, because she’s soon facing off against a bigger threat when more people become ill with suspected poisoning—and her own sister’s in the crosshairs. Charm’s left wondering if even Agatha Christie could have seen this one coming.

But with so much working against them—including the whole town being dead set against them consummating their relationship—do Charm and Ace stand a chance?

Read an excerpt:
“I’ve got it, Charm!” Star flew into the Tea & Tarot caf├ę, the ever-present star-pendant swinging wildly about her neck and a piece of paper clutched in her hand. The angel chimes holding court over the doorway accompanied her arrival, singing with enough enthusiasm to awaken the dead. Before I could move, she pulled me into a crushing hug, doing a spectacular impression of one of the black bears that our part of the world is renowned for.

“Slow down, sis. What’s going on?” I pulled away to pick up the faded tea towel I’d dropped in the brouhaha.

“I got the part! You know, the movie? Witches and Wolves! Get with the program, sis. See? I got confirmation right here.” She waved the crumpled piece of paper about as if it was a stock certificate. Maybe it was, for her. I had absolutely no interest in being in a movie, now or ever.

“What kind of part? Witch or wolf?” Tulip asked, shutting the lid of her laptop for once and joining us in the huddle. She and Star were gorgeous. Both blessed with blonde hair and tan-able skin while I looked like Snow White, only lacking the seven dwarfs, summer or winter. Go figure, and us triplets.

“Duh! Witch, of course. And it’s a period piece, too, so we get to wear awesome costumes.” Star gave a faux-waltz step, obviously in love with the idea. As the town’s resident country and western singer and songwriter to boot, she was into looking good. Sometimes a bit too into it—she attracted more than her fair share of jealous stabs.

“What’s it about?” I asked, squinting through the window at a couple who had just appeared walking down the street. They were looking rather chummy, if body language didn’t lie. Is that Constable Ace Collins? With a female? I slipped on a pair of polar ray sunglasses to sharpen the image.

“A company coming to town to develop a tourist mecca by selling the outside world on the natural hot springs in the area having magical properties.”

Hot springs laced with minerals we had for some weird reason, even though Snowy Lake perched on the Canadian Shield. Add in Skull Cave for the wolf clans, and the choice of location was now making a whole lot of sense. I shuddered. Caves gave me the willies. A nightmare left over from childhood.

But the sheriff—as I liked to call the constable—and an unknown female? Who was she? Tall and slender with her golden-brown hair tied up in a ponytail, she had the best tan. She also made it easy for the males of the species to appreciate those long, bronzed legs, in her short shorts. Maybe it was time to try the spray tan special that Susie was offering at the Clip Joint this month? My blue-white legs could use some help. Desperately.

Star, of course, kept droning on while I sidestepped to the front picture window for the best surveillance. “And it’s the werewolves’ territorial land, while the witches are upset they’ll be exposed, so they have to build an alliance to fight the conglomerate. But not everyone’s ready for a truce and all kinds of problems develop. It even features the use of arsenic by a suspected serial killer. They’ve got a poison expert on the set too, the daughter of the actress with the lead role—you know, Mimi Blake. Her daughter knows all about its uses. I forget her name. Oh, they need more billets for some of the extras. Can you think of people who might help with that?”

The pair vanished into Snowy Lake Hardware, with Ace holding the door open with a flourish for Miss Perfect Tan. They shared some comment that made her smile, and possibly giggle—I was too far away to be certain. The hackles on my neck prickled. A light fixture blew out over the first booth in a cascade of exploding sparks. I sighed. Now I’d have to scout the street to find the ladder to change the bulb. Seemed someone was always borrowing the handy-dandy climbing device.

“Sorry, what did you say about a serial killer and arsenic?” I focused on the part of Star’s intel that intrigued me.

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**My thoughts**
I love cozy mysteries, especially at this time of year. There's just something, well, cozy about curling up with one as the nights are starting to cool off. It has been a really long time, though, since I read a paranormal cozy mystery. 

This is the second book in the series, but the first one I have read. So I am new to meeting the McCall triplets. I love all three of them and their interactions with each other. Charm is the one who tells the story, so she has the main focus. They also have some other quirky family members. And of course, because it is a small town cozy mystery, you have a town filled with plenty of quirky other people. And we have a bit of a romance going on between Charm and the relatively new Mountie in town with some added tension when an old friend, another woman, shows up in town.

Charm also seems to be coming into her own with her powers, which she harnesses to try to help solve yet another murder in her small town. Her powers give her a different kind of advantage over the traditional methods of solving whodunits. I think that's something I really liked in this book, a paranormal twist to the story to add to the twists and turns in the plot.

I did alright with this book, even though it was the second one. But now I definitely want to read the first one to get more of the start of their story. And I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more to come!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About January Bain

January Bain has wished on every falling star, every blown-out birthday candle, and every coin thrown in a fountain to be a storyteller. To share the tales of high adventure, mysteries, and full blown thrillers she has dreamed of all her life. The story you now have in your hands is the compilation of a lot of things manifesting itself for this special series. Hundreds of hours spent researching the unusual and the mundane have come together to create books that features strong women who live life to the fullest, wild adventures full of twists and unforeseen turns, and hot complicated men who aren’t afraid to take risks. She can only hope her stories will capture your imagination.

If you are looking for January Bain, you can find her hard at work every morning without fail in her office with her furry baby, Ling Ling. And, of course, she’s married to the most romantic man! Who once famously remarked to her inquiry about buying fresh flowers for their home every week, “Give me one good reason why not?” Leaving her speechless and knocking her head against the proverbial wall for being so darn foolish. She loves flowers.

If you wish to connect in the virtual world she is easily found on Facebook. Oh, and she loves to talk books…

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January Bain will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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  1. Thank you for hosting my blog tour! And thank you kindly for the lovely review! You really get the small town atmosphere and understand the story so well that I wrote. I do hope you get to read the first book, it explains how the triplets came to be in Granny Toogood's care and its quite the tale, at least according to other readers! Wishing you and your readers a great day! Hugs, January

  2. Happy Friday, thanks for sharing your awesome review :)

  3. looks like so much fun and i enjoyed your review. it's always good when one book makes me want to read another
    sherry @ fundinmental

  4. This sounds really good. Thank you for sharing your review

  5. Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write?


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