Death By Pumpkin Spice (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 3) By Alex Erickson [Book Review]

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Book Review: Death By Pumpkin Spice by Alex Erickson | Cozy Mystery | Fiction | Book Blogger | Reading | RachelPoli.com

I bought it at Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

Bookstore café owner Krissy Hancock would rather spend Halloween serving pumpkin goodies than wearing costumes with Pine Hills’ wealthiest at Yarborough mansion, especially when the soiree shapes up to be more trick than treat . . .

As if a run-in with an old flame and a failed marriage proposal weren’t enough to horrify Krissy for one night, a woman is found strangled to death in a room filled with ominous jack-o’-lanterns. All signs suggest a crime of passion—but when the hostess’s jewelry disappears, malevolent intentions seem way more likely . . .

With the estate on lockdown and a killer roaming the halls, Krissy must help Officer Paul Dalton investigate each nook, cranny, and guest for answers—while also confronting a few demons of her own. Someone has lots of skeletons in the closet, and Krissy better tread lightly to expose them . . .

My Review:

Plot | RachelPoli.comKrissy finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. However, this time, it’s not due to her cafe or the coffee she makes. This book has a Clue feel to it and I enjoyed it. A murder happens at a part and the entire mansion goes into lock-down as they discover who it is. I thought it was a good choice for a setting, even though it’s a bit over-done for a cozy mystery. I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Characters | RachelPoli.comAll the characters are still the same. Krissy is sticking her nose into everyone’s business, though she tries not to. She’s also torn in her love life between Detective Paul and her rich date. I’m still not a fan of Krissy as a character, but I enjoy everyone else in the book, especially her friend and co-owner of the cafe.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This book, like the rest of the series, is an easy read. It’s not long at about 300 pages and the mystery is easy enough to follow along and try to figure it out yourself.

Overall | RachelPoli.comDeath by Pumpkin Spice was a good read. I would have enjoyed it more if I could get along with Krissy, but she did get a little better in this one. Still, I plan on reading the rest of the series.

Death by Pumpkin Spice (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 3) by Alex Erickson gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Buy the book:

Amazon

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Warriors: The Raging Storm (A Vision Of Shadows 6) By Erin Hunter [Book Review]

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Book Review: Warriors: The Raging Storm (A Vision of Shadows 6) by Erin Hunter | Reading | Book Blogger | Middle Grade | Books | Fantasy | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

I got a hardcover copy for my birthday.

Summary:

ShadowClan has returned under the leadership of a new Tigerstar, but their renewed strength has brought the tensions around the lake to an explosive breaking point. SkyClan’s place among the Clans is about to be decided once and for all.

My Review:

Plot | RachelPoli.comAll the Clans are back to normal – for the most part. ShadowClan is under new leadership in Tigerstar and as they try to rebuild, all the Clans try to get used to being one of five instead of one in four. SkyClan has it harder as they battle with ShadowClan over territory and eventually they decide to leave the lake as they feel unwelcome.

StarClan prophecizes that all five Clans must remain by the lake and they all aid one another or else a great storm will come. Of course, that’s what happens, except the storm doesn’t really begin until about the last third of the book. I felt it took a while for it to get to that point and, when it did, the rest of the plot went by quickly.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The Raging Storm is about the same length as the rest of the books in the A Vision of Shadows series. It’s an easy, quick read. The writing is simple, the characters are awesome, and the dialogue and description are great. Of course, I’m this point, I’m well emersed in the world.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis was a strange series in the Warriors books. I absolutely loved the arc with Darktail and the rogues in books one through three, but books four through six felt a bit out of place. They were good and I enjoyed them, but it was odd to see basically two plots in six books instead of one. Granted, they had SkyClan in common, but the first three books were so intense and the ending of book three was fabulous. Book six had a happy ending and was satisfying, but not so much compared to the high stakes from early on in the series.

Warriors: The Raging Storm (A Vision of Shadows 6) by Erin Hunter gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“She was following her Clan away from the two cats she loved best.” -Erin Hunter, Warriors: The Raging Storm (A Vision of Shadows 6)

Buy the book:

Amazon

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Would You Rather Book Edition

I haven’t done a Would You Rather game in a while. I figured, why not do another one?

Would You Rather Book Tag | Creative Writing | Reading | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Would You Rather Have The Ability To Buy Unlimited eBooks Or Have a $10,000 Gift Card To Any Bookstore?

Give me that money! I enjoy both physical books and my Kindle, but I love being able to hold the actual book in my hand. Books may not be cheap, but I could still buy a ton with $10,000. My only issue would be that the Barnes & Noble near me also sells puzzles, board games, and Pokemon cards… I could buy a lot of Pokemon cards with $10,000.

Would You Rather Attend Hogwarts Or Live In The Shire?

I mean, this is a super tough one. I would love to go to Hogwarts and be a wizard but also the Shire calls to me. Hobbits sing the song of my people. They eat all day, they live in peace and harmony, and they look like me… minus all the hair. So, I think I would have to go with the Shire.

Would You Rather Write The World’s Number One Best-Seller Or Live Inside Your Favorite Book?

Even though most books have a happy ending and my favorites do, I think I would like to write a best seller. If I lived in my favorite book I’d go on one adventure. But if I could write many books – even if only one is a best seller – I could go on many adventures.

What are your answers to these questions? Let me know in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Battle Scars By Jordan Corley [Book Review]

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Book Review: Battle Scars by Jordan Corley | Poetry | Memoir | Book Blogger | Book Reviewer | RachelPoli.com

I received an eARC from the author.

Summary:

battle scars is a tribute to the pain and suffering that happens beneath the surface of a smile. A smile we so cautiously adorn to mask the truth, but sometimes life just isn’t going the way you want it to, sometimes life is hard. This collection of poetry explores life through Jordan’s eyes, with the hope that someone, somewhere, might be able to relate to the meaning of her words and find solace in the comfort of knowing that they are not alone.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comThe cover is simple enough. It’s dark, rightfully so given the poetry inside. The triangles feel as though they’re out of place, but I like that symbolism.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comPoetry isn’t something I read too often, but I do enjoy it. When I author asked if I was interested in giving this a read, I was more than happy to.

Plot | RachelPoli.comAs the summary says, this book is a collection of poetry through the author’s eyes as she goes through some tough times in life. The messages were well done and received. I think there are many people out there who can relate to the author’s words.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This book is as described – a collection of poetry. Each poem is written well with deep thoughts. I didn’t resonate with all of them though there were some words that stuck out in my mind. Some of the poems were bland. One poem repeated “sorry” over and over again which seemed to drag on for me. However, most of the poems are beautifully crafted and worded well.

Overall | RachelPoli.comBeing poetry, this is a quick read and worth the time if you’re interested in memoirs and poetry.

Battle Scars by Jordan Corley gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“i do not want to run anymore / i want to stop / and feel the breeze / breathe in the scents of / grass and dirt / and just be / in the moment / for / a / second.” -Jordan Corley, Battle Scars

Buy the book:

Amazon

About Jordan Corley:

Jordan Corley | Author | Poet | Battle Scars | Book Review | RachelPoli.comJordan released her debut poetry collection, battle scars, at age 19 after maintaining a WordPress poetry blog for a year. She currently attends Penn State University where she is attempting a degree in Biomedical and Mechanical engineering and writes for their school newspaper. Her biggest writing accomplishment would undeniably have to be her piece on Jesse McCartney because it has (hopefully) set her one step closer to meeting Justin Bieber.

Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Goals [April 2019]

Goals April 2019 | Creative Writing | Reading | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I plan on reading four books this month:

1. Battle Scars by Jordan Corley
2. Warriors: The Raging Storm (A Vision of Shadows 6) by Erin Hunter
3. Crookedstar’s Promise by Erin Hunter
4. Death By Pumpkin Spice (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 3) by Alex Erickson

If I can read an extra book or two in addition to those, that’d be great.

Writing

It’s Camp NaNoWriMo time! I’ll be working on two different projects aiming for 50,000 words total. I’m also hoping to get a few other things written as well just for fun.

Also, Sunday Morning is finally being released this month! I know, I’ve been promising it for a while, but it’s finally here. There will be more details on that soon.

Blogging

Once I finish my April posts, which I’m almost done with, I’ll be working on admin stuff all the while trying to get a headstart on May – Mystery Month!

Overall

April is going to be a busy month, but I’m ready!

What are your goals for the month? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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March 2019 [Wrap Up]

Wrap Up March 2019 | Creative Writing | Blogging | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Reading

This was kind of a slow reading month for me. I read what I wanted to and what I had planned to, but I didn’t read a little bit each day. Most of the books I read within a day or two right before the end of the week. Still, I enjoyed most of what I read and haven’t gotten behind in my reading goal.

Writing

Slow and steady wins the race, right? I’ve been writing, I’ve been prepping and outlining. I planned out my writing for April and am in good shape for Sunday Morning and the other projects I’ll be working on. Aside from making progress on Sunday Morning, I outlined my next Wattpad novella and worked out some timeline stuff for my mystery series. Overall, it was a decent writing month. Not in terms of words but I still made progress.

Blogging

Blogging is still going strong. I’ve been slowly writing blog posts for 2019. Most of my features (with the exception of the wrap-ups and contests and such) I’m able to write in bulk. So, that’s what I’ve been doing. This will save me so much time as the months go by and I only have to worry about writing the day to day content, which I usually write at the beginning of the month. Once I’m done with all of this, I’ll be able to spend more time gabbing on social media as well as writing!

Overall

March was busy. Aside from work, I picked up some extra babysitting jobs and got a new nephew! It was a good month and I’m looking forward to April.

Posts To Remember

1. March & April 2019 Writing Submissions
2. My Diagnosis Story [Mental Health Monday]
3. How Many Drafts Does It Take?

How did March treat you? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Warriors: River Of Fire (A Vision Of Shadows 5) By Erin Hunter [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Warriors: River of Fire (A Vision of Shadows 5) by Erin Hunter | Fantasy | Fiction | Book Blogger | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

I got a hardcover for my birthday.

Summary:

A shadow has fallen across the warrior Clans.

The return of the long-lost SkyClan has ushered in a time of unprecedented change and upheaval, and one of the proudest warrior Clans is no more. ShadowClan has given up its territory. Its remaining warriors have joined SkyClan, and its former leader, Rowanclaw, has abandoned the name StarClan once gave him.

Some cats are content to accept this fragile new peace. But StarClan warns of a storm building on the horizon . . . and Alderheart, Violetshine, and Twigpaw must fight for not only their Clanmates and kin, but all five warrior Clans.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comThough dark, this cover is vivid at the same time. I think it’s eye catching and the cats look majestic in a way.

Plot | RachelPoli.comShadowClan is now one with SkyClan, though not for long. All the Clans are struggling as they try to get back on their feet. This was an interesting plot especially whereas they just got all five Clans back together only for ShadowClan to disband and become one with SkyClan. Overall, the plot was well done.

Characters | RachelPoli.comFollowing Violetshine, Twigpaw, and Alderheart some more, they’re all adjusting to the new Clan life in their respective Clans. They’re finding their place all the while trying to figure out what’s right for all the Clans. They work well together even though some of them aren’t supposed to be seeing each other.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is another easy to read, page turning book. Not too much seemed to have happen in the beginning of the book, but the ending got really good and I shed a few tears at the words.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis was another great read for the Warriors series and I’m looking forward to seeing how A Vision of Shadows ends in the next book.

Warriors: River of Fire (A Vision of Shadows 5) by Erin Hunter gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Hey, Larksong! I killed the leaf!” – Erin Hunter, Warriors: River of Fire (A Vision of Shadows 5)

Buy the book:

Amazon

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Warriors: Darkest Night (A Vision Of Shadows 4) By Erin Hunter [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Warriors: Darkest Night (A Vision of Shadows 4) by Erin Hunter | Fantasy | Middle School | Fiction | Book Blogger | Creative Writing | Reading | RachelPoli.com

I got a hardcover copy for my birthday.

Summary:

SkyClan has returned to its rightful place among the other four warrior Clans, hoping to find a new territory to call home. But not every cat is convinced that this is where SkyClan belongs—and the fate of all five warrior Clans remains uncertain.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comAs always, the cover is very pretty. I love seeing the vivid colors, even though this one is on the darker side. But hey, it matches the title.

Plot | RachelPoli.comThis book has a lot of build up in it. SkyClan is back, but some cats don’t necessarily know where they belong. ShadowClan is also going through a rough time as well. There are five Clans again, but it might not be for long.

While this was a good read, I felt like this book was a lot of build up for bigger things to come. The Clans are trying to rebuild after the events of the previous book and it’s almost like they’re starting over.

Characters | RachelPoli.comNormally, we follow one or two cats as the “main characters.” This particular series, however, have been following a couple. Normally they’re in the same Clan too, but not this time. There are a lot of cats to keep track of, but I like it. I like seeing how other Clans work and checking out which cats are where as they figure out where they belong.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is another easy read and while it’s wasn’t much a page-turner until the end, I still read it fairly quick. The story is easy to follow, the dialogue and cat terms are fun, and the characters are great.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis was another great read and I’m looking forward to book five.

Warriors: Darkest Night (A Vision of Shadows 4) by Erin Hunter gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Rowanstar doesn’t have enough cats to cause a storm. He barely has enough to cause a mild breeze.” -Erin Hunter, Warriors: Darkest Night (A Vision of Shadows 4)

Buy the book:

Amazon

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Death By Tea (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 2) By Alex Erickson [Book Review]

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Book Review: Death By Tea (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 2) by Alex Erickson | Creative Writing | Cozy Mystery | Fiction | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

A bought a paperback copy at Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

Mystery lovers have descended on Pine Hills for this year’s book club competition, to be held at Krissy Hancock’s bookstore cafe. But the killer in their midst seems determined to outwit all the armchair sleuths and send Krissy to the remainder bin forever. Just before two dueling book clubs are set to square off at Death by Coffee, one of the competitors turns up dead bludgeoned with the silver teapot that was to serve as the prize. Suspicion immediately falls on Krissy, who was seen skulking around town in dark clothes on the night of the murder. To clear her name and find the real killer, Krissy turns to an old flame, Officer Paul Dalton. But even Paul can’t ignore the trail of evidence that seems to point in her direction. And with Krissy’s personal nemesis, Officer John Buchannan, working overtime to pin the murder on her, it will take an amazing feat of detective work to close the book for good on an elusive killer. . .

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comThe cover is similar to the rest of the series. Trouble, the cat, is present as is the silver teapot, which connects closely to the plot as well as the title.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comI enjoyed the first book of the series, so I went out and bought this one.

Plot | RachelPoli.comKrissy’s bookstore cafe, Death By Coffee, has picked up quite a bit to the point where she and her friend/co-owner can hire two new people to work at the store with them. That doesn’t mean their work hours are any shorter though… still, they don’t have to been there all day long.

I enjoyed the plot of this book a lot better than I did the first book. A man is killed with a silver teapot in Death By Coffee. Krissy is the main suspect. The plot itself held a lot of stakes and tensions were high, which made it great.

Characters | RachelPoli.comKrissy, on the other hand, did not make it great. I always enjoy cozy mysteries to have the main character be a suspect in the murder mystery at some point. It’s cliche, but fun to read about nonetheless. Krissy just kind of ruined it though. She was annoying in the first book, but I was able to tolerate her. Despite her being a murder suspect, she was ten times more annoying. She was trying to clear her name, of course, but she stole evidence, lied and told people she worked with the police, made a fool of herself and everyone around her… it just didn’t end with her. She got arrested a couple of times, but I don’t know why they let her out in the first place… she should still be in jail for tampering with a police murder investigation.

Another person who should be in jail is one of the officers, John. He harassed Krissy to no end. He either should have been locked up himself or at least taken off the case. I understand it’s a cozy mystery, it’s fiction. But there were too many unrealistic things going on in this one.

The supporting characters were great, especially the two new hires for Death By Coffee. I only wish we got to know them a little more.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

Death By Tea is an easy and quick read at about 300 pages. Despite the annoyances, it is a page-turner. The mystery was a twister. I was able to guess who the culprit was before it was revealed, but it did take a while to get there.

Overall | RachelPoli.comDeath By Tea was just an okay read to me. If the characters were a little more developed and had more common sense, it would have been more enjoyable.

Death By Tea (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 2) by Alex Erickson gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“My vocabulary suddenly took a break and left me sitting there like a dope, mouth opening and closing while I thought of something to say.” – Alex Erickson, Death By Tea (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 2)

Buy the book:

AMAZON

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Goals [March 2019]

Goals March 2019 | Creative Writing | Reading | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I’m going to do my best to start ahead with my reading this month. Books I’ll be reviewing will be:

  • Warriors: Shattered Sky (A Vision of Shadows 3) by Erin Hunter
  • Death By Tea (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 2) by Alex Erickson
  • Warriors: Darkest Night (A Vision of Shadows 4) by Erin Hunter
  • Mann Cakes by Mysti Parker
  • Warriors: River of Fire (A Vision of Shadows 5) by Erin Hunter

Books I’ll be reading this month are:

  • Battle Scars by Jordan Corley
  • Warriors: The Raging Storm (A Vision of Shadows 6) by Erin Hunter
  • Death by Pumpkin Spice (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 3) by Alex Erickson
  • Crookedstar’s Promise by Erin Hunter

As a reminder, my Book Review Policy is only taking requests until the end of the month. If you’d like me to read and review book, you can read the policy and send me an email by March 31.

Writing

As usual, I’ll be working on a bunch of different projects. I’m going to continue (or I guess finally start) the 85K90 Writing Challenge, which is still in the writing stage. With that said, I’ll be writing the first draft of one project and rewriting a new draft for another project.

I’ll also be prepping for Camp NaNoWriMo in April by outlining a third project, which will be a novella for Wattpad.

Blogging

I want to get some blog maintenance done. I’m just about done with March’s blog posts and I was also able to get ahead with certain features that I was able to write well in advance, which means the rest of the year is pretty much 25% done for every month. So, aside from writing some blog posts here and there and keeping ahead on that, I’d like to organize the categories on this blog as well as go through and update some older posts.

Overall

March is going to be an interesting month. It’s going to be long. There are no school vacations which means I’ll be babysitting a lot and I’m also getting another nephew any day now. (He’s not due to come until March 14, but I have a gut feeling he’ll come early.) So, lots of work but I know there will be plenty of family time as well. I’m looking forward to it.

What are your goals for the month? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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