Lost Coast Literary by Ellie Alexander – #BookReview – #booktour

Lost Coast Literary by Ellie Alexander

Digital Reads Media blog tour

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for Lost Coast Literary by Ellie Alexander, just released. 

“Does every book need a happy ending? No, but every book needs resolution.”

Book Blurb:

When an editing pen has the power not only to change stories but also to change lives.

Book editor Emily Bryant finds herself unexpectedly in the charming town of Cascata on California’s Lost Coast, holding the keys to her grandmother’s rambling Victorian mansion. While sorting through her grandmother’s things, Emily learns that she must edit old manuscripts to inherit the estate. It’s a strange request from a family member who was basically a stranger.

Emily quickly realizes that there’s something different about these manuscripts. Any changes she makes come true. At first, she embraces the gift. She has a chance to help characters find true love or chart a new course for their future. But then things go terribly wrong. Her edits have the opposite effect. The sweet and funky seaside community of Cascata is reeling from the chaos Emily has created. Everything she thought she believed about her family and her past is in jeopardy, and no amount of editing can fix the damage she’s done.

Then she finds one last manuscript. If Emily can get this edit right, maybe she’ll have a chance to create a new narrative for herself and everyone around her.

My Review:

Protagonist Emily Bryant moved to New York to finally start her new career as an editor and she’s about to pitch her first book when she is informed her grandmother died and left her The Ballad, a mansion in Cascata. How rude!

She would love to just sell the thing, but no, Emily must edit a pile of “Forsaken” manuscripts and cannot legally do anything with it until she has, but sharing the news with her father, his advice is to dump it and proceed with her new job. Her father and his extended family have been estranged since the death of her mother. She felt abandoned by them but has nagging questions she’d like answered—and her father won’t.

A stretch of the Lost Coast Highway.
A stretch of the Lost Coast Highway.

 First, the Lost Coast of California is intense and volatile and a sunny warm day can turn quickly. Except for Highway 1 (which doesn’t extend the length of the Lost Coast), the area is isolated and stretches from Humboldt to Mendocino Counties. The weather is unpredictable, but…it’s the coast. The Victorian mansion is not only tied to her grandmother’s will demands but to regulations for registered Victorians. She’ll have to go to Cascata.

A Queen Anne Victorian mansion--this one in Eureka, CA.
An example of a Queen Anne Victorian mansion–this one in Eureka, CA.

Grandma Gertrude apparently had a business as an editor working out of a room of the mansion, something that surprised Emily, who had grown up with a deep-seated love of books. It was her theory, fostered by her grandmother, that if she didn’t like an end to one of the classics she was reading as a child, she could rewrite a better one. A fun thing that took flight with her imagination and she took to rewriting conclusions often and has since.

So after the enthusiastic greeting of most of the family, she is more intrigued than ever at what might have created the rift between her grandmother and her father.

After discovering and rewriting the ending of the first “Forsaken” manuscript, she is astounded later to watch it play out in real life. She continues to wrestle with herself over the conundrum of the family that appears to be happy she’s back with the picture painted by her father.

Lost Coast Literary by Ellie AlexanderWorking on the manuscripts and discovering the power she wields, however, she is cautioned to exact careful study of the possible repercussions her pen may cause.

In the meantime, the reader is introduced to the charming atmospheric little coastal town and its inhabitants, the redwoods and palms (which really threw me as I didn’t remember palm trees around Ft Bragg and Westport where we camped for years when hubby was still diving for abalone).

Emily’s constant angst juxtaposing her New York position with that of her ability in Cascata got a bit taxing, as well as her still unanswered feelings of abandonment, but these were offset by getting to know the amazing characters, including her cousin Shay, who totally understood what was happening to Emily with her rewrites. So many authors noted, classics, books I’ve read, including the more recent The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel (Pie) Society by Anne Barrows (also a beautiful Netflix movie).

A heartfelt and thoughtful novel of family, grief, redemption, friendship, and connection.

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour. My thanks to the author and to Shalini at Digital Reads Media for the complimentary review copy and the opportunity to read and review this delightful new release. Immersive and entertaining. These are my unbiased thoughts and heartily recommended.

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Book Details:

Genre: Magical Realism, #Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Sweet Lemon Press LLC
ASIN: B09PKS8H5K
Print Length: 298 pages
Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Source: Author and Digital Reads Media 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble Kobo

 

Ellie Alexander - authorThe Author: ELLIE ALEXANDER is a Pacific Northwest native, a voracious storyteller, and a lover of words and all things bookish. She believes that stories have the ability to transport and transform us. With over twenty-six published novels and counting, her goal is to tell stories that provide points of connection, escape, and understanding.

She loves inhabiting someone else’s skin through the pages of a book and is passionate about helping writers find their unique storytelling lens. As a writing teacher and coach, she guides writers in crafting the story they’ve always wanted to tell while navigating the path to publication that’s right for them.

Find out more about Ellie, her books, and writing courses by visiting her online:

Website: https://www.elliealexander.co/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellie_alexander

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/elliealexanderauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elliealexanderauthor

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@elliealexanderauthor

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ellielovesbooks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/elliealexanderauthor

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint Publishing

The Cure for What Ales You: A Sloan Krause Mystery (Book 5) by Ellie Alexander –#BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie AlexanderAfter a long cold winter, spring is beginning to bloom in the alpine village of Leavenworth, Washington, where craft brewer Sloan Krause and her partner in crime Garrett Strong are putting the finishing touches on their bright and refreshing Lemon Kiss ale. They’ll be debuting their new line at the Maifest celebration, which will bring visitors from near and far to dance around the Maipole and shop at the outdoor flower markets.

Despite the festive spirit in the air, Sloan is brewing over her past. She’s spent months following leads that have turned into dead ends. But when she spots a woman who strongly resembles Marianne—a long lost contact who may be her only connection to piecing together her story—she hopes that things might be taking a turn in her favor. That hope is quickly smashed when Marianne is involved in the murder of a local housekeeper. To make matters worse, Marianne issues a dire warning that Sloan and her entire family are in danger. If Sloan can’t figure out who the killer is and what happened in her past, she won’t find any hoppy endings.

My Review:

The fifth in the Sloan Krause Mystery series, I’ve been captivated by the characters, the little town of Leavenworth WA, the incredible story of craft beers and I’ve greatly enjoyed them all.

The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie AlexanderSloan Krause is a partner in a start-up craft brewery with partner Garrett. They are excited to introduce their new spring time release, Lemon Kiss, just in time for the annual Maifest parade and the onslaught of the tourists who enjoy the quaint Bavarian-esque village in the heart of the Northern Cascades. Besides people, there will be tons of flowers, lights, German foods, music, and craft beers. Nitro’s biggest competition is Der Keller in which she also owns a small share—with the family of her soon to be ex.

Sloan is a foster child and has only had glimpses of her birth background, but in this entry to the series, an aunt makes herself known with the plea that Sloan and her extended family may be in grave danger and need to flee. A sub-plot occurs in which the body of a maid turns up that either may or may not be related to the unknown dangerous person.

The mystery curls around the development of the festival, the costumes, sights and sounds of such a picturesque village that the reader feels the need to visit in person. I’m not a beer person, but some of the recipes even sound good to me.

The series, however, fully revolves around the characters who have grown so real they are developing a need to stay in touch. Sloan has grown but is beginning to have feelings for her business partner. I’m still loving the Krause family, the mom and pop who envelope her as their own daughter, Hans (the brother-in-law), and even the soon to be ex—rooting for he and Sloan to get back together. The characters are amazing.

In the meantime, Sloan is working on who killed the hotel housekeeper, thinking there might be a link while trying to keep her son and the others safe. The aunt comes off as being a bit touched—or maybe Sloan really IS in all that danger? We are finally getting the low-down on Sloan’s background and I was having a tough time swallowing it for most of the narrative. (Still am.)

The conclusion wraps up the whodunits and once the can of worms is opened spills a lot of secrets and history. Okay. But…love the series, just not thrilled with the wrap up of this one.

I’ve read this series as well as a couple in the Bakeshop Mystery series, but keep coming back to this series, including Without a Brew, Beyond a Reasonable Stout, and The Pint of No Return. Sloan has come a long way and the prose is sweet. I suppose you could read as a standalone, but then you might wonder how she got to this point in her life and you’d be missing the build-up. Wanna take an armchair vacation? I recommend this series, currently on pre-order.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Culinary Mystery, Cozy Culinary Mysteries, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ISBN: ‎ 1250781450
ASIN: B08R2KKS1Z
Print Length: 280 pages
Publication Date:  October 5, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Ellie Alexander - authorThe Author: ELLIE ALEXANDER is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses and breweries nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails of Southern Oregon and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research. She is the author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series and the Sloan Krause Mysteries. Follow her on social media to learn more about her books, see her recipe videos, and participate in fun giveaways!

Find out more about Ellie and her books by visiting her here:

Website: https://www.elliealexander.co/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellie_alexander

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/elliealexanderauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elliealexanderauthor

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@elliealexanderauthor

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ellielovesbooks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/elliealexanderauthor

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Without a Brew: A Sloan Krause Mystery Book 4) by Ellie Alexander – a #BookReview #cozymystery

“Life is what happens between coffee and beer.”

Book Blurb:

Amateur sleuth Sloan Krause delves into a murderous winter wonderland in another delightful mystery from cozy writer Ellie Alexander, Without a Brew.

It’s winter in the Bavarian village of Leavenworth, Washington, which for local brewmaster Sloan Krause means lots of layers, pine and citrus-flavored craft beers, and getting the new guest rooms at Nitro into pristine condition before visitors flood in for IceFest—a local tradition filled with fireworks, ice carving, and winter games of all varieties. But Sloan and her boss Garrett quickly learn that being brewkeepers turned innkeepers may not be as idyllic as it sounded.

While one couple staying with them seems completely smitten, a flashy group arrives in the evening demanding rooms. Sloan and Garrett are less than impressed, but agree to rent to them anyway. The night takes a turn when brewery patron Liv Paxton finishes her frothy pint and, with no previous plan for an overnight stay in Leavenworth, eagerly takes Sloan up on the offer of sanctuary from the snow—until she has a strange run in with some locals and the other guests. Sloan could be imagining things, but when Liv’s room is found trashed the next morning, a hateful message painted on her car, and Liv herself is nowhere to be found, Sloan is convinced another mystery is brewing. With many of the potential suspects hunkering down under Nitro’s roof, she knows her co-workers and friends won’t be safe until she serves up the killer a hoppy pint of justice.

My Review:

I really enjoying tearing into this series as soon as the next book is available. Not a beer drinker, but this series is written so well I’m almost ready to try–it’s right there with soliloquies about wine. Such an art—I’ll bet you never knew!

“The beer thief, or sample thief, as they were sometimes called, was a long plastic device with a gravity valve on the base.” Hmmm…okay.

Sloan Krause is the product of the foster care system, but has found a strong family and idyllic home in Leavenworth, Washington, where she has joined Garrett in crafting unusual beers made from specialty hops and crops unique to the area and the season. They’ve gradually added more services, light snacks and soups and are now looking forward to opening rooms above Nitro as a limited B&B. Her ex is from a strong German family where she honed the knowledge of her craft and learned to love the family she never had. She also has a teenage son, Alex.

In this episode, they are gearing up for IceFest and testing their B&B quarters which has resulted in an eclectic group of guests—opposites on the social pole with one group downright obnoxious, as well as a couple celebrating an anniversary, and a single woman stranded for the night.

So many strong layers here to enjoy: the description of the delightful Bavarian style town nestled in the high mountains of Washington state and the citizens, the information regarding the art of brewing, the equipment, the nuances, ingredients and recipes, Sloan’s mysterious background coming to the fore and its possible connection to her (soon-to-be ex) in-laws, and the mystery itself expertly woven smoothly together. It’s okay that it’s Book 4, the author easily adds bits of pertinent data (no info dump), although these are fun enough to go back and start with Book 1.

The protagonist herself, Sloan, is not an in-your-face amateur sleuth. She doesn’t generally put herself at risk. She is good with people, quietly putting them at ease, and usually gets the clues she’s looking for without their being any the wiser. Also, she works well with local police Chief Meyers, herself an intelligent woman, effective, exchanging hints.

The mystery rides the tide with Sloan’s personal life growth and that of the service industry and occasionally slips in a quick recipe explanation or two. The mystery is not without twists or red herrings. Not like you won’t get a sense of the perp (although once again, not one I wanted it to be). The author builds her characters so three-dimensionally, the reader becomes engaged and except for the rude and crude one, not easy to assign guilt.

Fully invested and rolling in all the layers, the conclusion comes whether or not you’re ready. The storyline has resolved several issues, set up for the next book, and fully cemented you in the series. The only issue I had was of “the sharp edge of the shovel.” Just not sure that’s one you’d walk away from.

I missed the first, but have read and thoroughly enjoyed Books 2 and 3. You should check out this atmospheric and character-driven series. On pre-order now, this one releases in November.  

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. These are my unbiased thoughts.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five of Five Stars

4 1/2 stars

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Culinary Mystery, Amateur Sleuths

Publisher: Minotaur Books

ASIN : B084M1SDGK

Print Length: 304 pages

Publication Date: November 10, 2020

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

About The Author:

ELLIE ALEXANDER is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses and breweries nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails of Southern Oregon and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research. She is the author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series and the Sloan Krause Mysteries. Follow her on social media to learn more about her books, see her recipe videos, and participate in fun giveaways!

Find out more about Ellie and her books by visiting her here:
Website: https://www.elliealexander.co/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellie_alexander
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/elliealexanderauthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elliealexanderauthor
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/BakeshopMystery
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/elliealexander

(C) 2020 V Williams

V Williams
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