Tag Archives: Yasmine Galenorn

One Hex of a Wedding by Yasmine Galenorn

I read the last (book 5) of the Chintz ‘n China cozy mystery series by YasmineĀ Galenorn, One Hex of a Wedding, last weekend in a reading marathon while I was trying to avoid other commitments. šŸ™‚ This finale to the series focuses, as the title might suggest, on everything that could and does go wrong leading up to Emerald and Joe’s wedding.

If you have read any of this series, you know that Emerald owns a tea and china shop, but most of the books focus on her relationships with her friends and family. This one is no different. The product description reads, “Wedding bells turn to sour notes for Emerald O’Brien. Her fiance is wounded by gunfire, her ex-husband becomes the prime suspect, and her maid of honor is being stalked. Now it’s up to Emerald to divine if the incidents are related. Includes a charm recipe.”

Emerald is off of work to plan and pull off her wedding to Joe, her younger fiance. During this short time period, Em’s ex-husband shows up and ruins her engagement party, the groom-to-be gets shot, her best friend is being stalked, her intended wedding gown is ruined, and she receives a hexed necklace to wear at her wedding. There is not much more that could go wrong.

Since I have mentioned these things in my earlier blogs about books in this series, I will point out that again there is no tarot in a book about a tarot reader, and there is little of the shop (the Chintz ‘n China from the series title). This book, actually, could be one in a coffee series as much time as Emerald spends stoppingĀ to get and or drinking some coffee combo drink or another. There was also a bit less sex / sexual innuendo this time around, but the “f” word was used very often, which may put off some readers of cozies. However, it was enjoyable to read about daughter Miranda’s first love and the family dynamics of Emerald’s birth family since we have seen so little of them previously. I missed Harlow’s baby and the neighbors who played prominent roles in previous books, though.

Nonetheless, Emerald weathers the storm, and solves the mystery (who is the stalker?), and gets married. The marriage is of course a fabulous way to end the series.

I enjoyed these characters, and I think I will miss them! To read another review of this series finale, visit Kate Austin (one of the witchychicks). Happy Reading.

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Yasmine Galenorn’s Harvest of Bones

Book 4 in the Chintz ‘n China cozy mystery series is A Harvest of Bones. I have been reading this series as part of the Cozy Mystery Challenge sponsored by Kris Meyer at her Not Enough Books blog. Like the first and third of the series, this book has a few characteristics that cozy readers might not expect, a sex scene and some language, but I think the author does it on purpose. I’m totally guessing, but I’d imagine from what I have read about her that Galenorn doesn’t want to be classified or have her books classified, so she purposely includes just enough of the unexpected to defy exact categorization. I may be projecting, though. šŸ™‚

The product description reads, Tea shop owner and psychic Emerald O’Brien has stumbled onto the ruins of a 50-year-old house rife with supernatural bounty, including a ghost and whispering plants. Now it’s up to Em and her friends to delve into the past and lay the secrets of the dead to rest.

Since I have talked about it in my other posts about this series, I will start with the fact that there is absolutely no tarot in this book at all. With the description above, it certainly doesn’t need to be, but earlier books were marketed with Emerald being a tarot reader (as opposed to psychic). So, again, I missed it. In addition, Emerald was on vacation in this book so her shop, the Chintz ‘n China part, was again not really much of the story, though Em did stop by and check on it every once in a while. And, she had several conversations with an employee about her (ex)boyfriend, though that part of the story wasn’t resolved. And, Harlow’s new baby was conveniently absent.

Having said that, though, the mystery of this book was all-encompassing, and the characters were engaging. The mystery surrounded a ghost, her bones, and her cat along with her aged and mentally unstable lover and his twin sister, a society matron. The running social commentary about class status was interesting, and the connection to such ideas was made relevant at the end of the book in a clever way. We weren’t left thinking that social class was an issue of the past and that time had changed society’s views. We saw a contemporary example as a character made a real connection to her life.

Much of the side plot of this novel, though very much connected to the main mystery, was surrounding a missing pet, momma cat Samantha. A note at the beginning of the novel suggests that Galenorn had lost a pet for a period of two weeks and experienced the emotions and the tribulations of her hero in trying to find that pet. The book ends with a “Charm to Call a Lost Pet Home” and some practical advice for doing so.

I missed some of the characters from the earlier books, specifically the feisty neighbors, but I did appreciate seeing White Deer again. I do look forward to the last book in the series One Hex of a Wedding with a bit of sadness. I am glad to have reached it so I can see the story, but I am sad to see the series end.

Happy Reading!

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Murder Under a Mystic Moon by Yasmine Galenorn

The third in Galenorn’s Chintz ‘n China cozy mystery series is Murder Under a Mystic Moon. The product description reads: After psychic medium Emerald O’Brien literally stumbles across the body of her friend’s best buddy, the police blame the death on a cougar attack. But Emerald senses something else wandering the forest–a killer of a more human kind. The back cover reads:

With her teenaged daughter’s birthday on the horizon and the town’s autumn festival in full swing, Emerald has her hands full with party preparations and teashopĀ specials. But a request from her friend JimboĀ has her using her abilities to look into the disappearance of his friend. In the woods surrounding the KlickavailĀ Valley enclave, Emerald senses a strange energy manifesting itself-before literally stumbling across the body of Jimbo’sĀ friend. While the police are willing to blame the death on a cougar attack, Emerald knows there’s something else wandering the forest-something that resembles the Klakatat monster of legend, but may actually be a monster of a more human kind.

I have enjoyed reading this series (which I have bought and downloaded from the Sony eReader Bookstore), and this book was not a disappointment. The characters continue to develop, relationships continue to grow, and murders continue to be solved. And, so far, it’s not boring. This book does lack some of the suspense of the first two, but it is replaced with an ethereal focus on the mythical (or not) creatures of the Earth. That focus, and its conclusion, is more mystical and appealing in many ways. It allows the reader to contemplate the land and our connections to it in unique ways.

Like the first in this series, the book does include a sex scene that is kind of unexpected for a “cozy,” but it was not very graphic or very long, so I hope that won’t keep you from reading it. Also, like the others in the series, the shop (the chintz and china) was really an after thought. And, although used a bit more in this book than the previous two, the tarot was still not very present. Emerald did consult the cards at key times in this book, though, which made the tarot more important to her (and thus more important to the reader).

There were several things left hanging / unexplained in this book (which is, I assume, because it was planning for the next installment), like why did a customer give Em a crystal ball and what destroyed Jimbo’s carrots? They weren’t major plot details, though, so certainly I am not anxiously awaiting the answers.

The book ends with a “recipe” (a charm) for “Mystic Moon Dreaming Pillows” which sounds, well, dreamy! I wish I add all of the ingredients. I could use a good night’s sleep.

Happy Reading & Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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Yasmine Galenorn’s Legend of the Jade Dragon

The second in the Chintz ‘n China Series, Legend of the Jade Dragon, is a fun cozy mystery read with a paranormal twist.Ā 

Back Cover:
Delicious Blends of Tea aren’t the only draw at the Chintz ‘n China Tea Room–Emerald O’Brien, owner and medium, also offers her customers a tarot reading. But Emerald, a single mother of two, never saw herself as a sleuth–which proves that even seers make mistakes.

Legend of the Jade Dragon

Tarot cards never lie. So when they predict chaos and bad luck for her last client of the day, Emerald gets more than a little worried. For her trouble, he leaves Em a charming jade statue of a dragon–and dies in a hit-and-run accident outside of her shop. When other terrible things begin to plague Em and her family, the only explanation is the jade dragon. To thwart its evil spell, she’ll have to follow a trail of heartache all the way back to China’s Ming dynasty–and its ancient mysteries. . .

My thoughts . . . I liked this second in the series even more than the first! There was less “back story” for us to get to know the characters so the action moved much quicker. Again, though, like theĀ first book, there was little tarot; in fact, the only tarot in this book was in the opening scene. There was also little tea, though that was imperative to the story line this time around. There was some new magic in that Emerald spends much of the story trying to figure out how to break a Chinese curse. The history / research was interesting.

IĀ liked the characters this time around. A character from the first book that I didn’t like much was absent from much of this one. Instead, we got to explore several characters in greater detail (the neighbor Horvald, for instance) and a new character, biker Jimbo who turns out much differently than anticipated. I like the continuing development of the children’s characters, as well–at least Miranda. Now that I think about it, we don’t see Kip develop much, and we see nothing of his magical abilities in this book despite their prominent role in book one.

I do think Emerald is a bit melodramatic, so when she is accused of such by her best friend, I felt for the friend. I think that the criticism was dead on, so I hope that it develops in the next book (some attention to her friend’s needs, maybe). However, who knows how I would react if my family was under a curse, and I was in a race against time to break that curse and save my family from the dire consequences. I’d probably be fairly dramatic myself. No, I definitely would. I am anyway!

Like book one in the series, this book also has nice twists and turns so that the mystery(ies) are not too easily solvable. I don’t spend anytime thinking to myself “Duh! Why hasn’t she figured it out?”Ā And, there is a neat charm at the end to cleanse your spaces.

Again, I got this book at the Sony eReader library. I read it for the Cozy Mystery Challenge, and I will read the next book in the series.

Happy Reading.

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Ghost of a Chance by Yasmine Galenorn

I firstĀ “found” YasmineĀ Galenorn on the Witchy Chicks blog, but I thought from the books listed there that she was the author of fantasy and vampire books (I’m more into psychics and witches). However, when I was looking on the Cozy Mystery Blog, I discovered that she also has a cozy mystery series (themed paranormal) called The Chintz ‘n China Mystery series. I couldn’t wait to begin this series and to add another book to my cozy mystery challenge list. I found it at the Sony eReader story.

The first book in the series is Ghost of a Chance. The product description is as follows.
Emerald O’Brien is the owner of the Chintz ‘n China Tea Room where guests are served the perfect blend of tea and tarot reading. She never set out to be a detective, but once word gets out that she can communicate with the dead, there’s no turning back…

When the ghost of Susan Mitchell asks for Emerald’s help in convicting her own murderer, Emerald can’t refuse. Along with her friends-an ex-supermodel and a cop-and her new love interest, Emerald must search for clues to put the killer behind bars-and this tortured soul to rest.

I liked this book, and I liked Emerald O’Brien. So, first the negative: IĀ did expect more tarot reading, since the description included the notion that guests were served tarot readings, and in fact, no guests were in this book (maybe inĀ future series books?). I have learned some about Tarot, so I was very interested in seeing it included and it really wasn’t. Ā In fact, much of her work was passed off to employees so that she could be free to solve the mystery.

The positives. First, it was a good mystery, and the suspense was uncanny. In fact, while I was readingĀ a scene in which items are flying around Emerald’s house, a magazine slid off a table near me, and I jumped out of my seat! I have not had a cozy mystery ever do that for me. It was a nice moment. In addition, the mystery was not too easy to solve. In fact, I had the wrong person pegged for 90% of my read, which actually made it creepier.

Second, Emerald is a single mom, and not a young lady starting out on her own as many of the series I have read lately have featured. I enjoyed a more mature hero, and I liked reading about her dealing with her sometimes petulant children. I think that I will enjoy watching the children grow and develop in future books as much as I will like following Emerald. I do wish that she had not shipped her kids off during the tense moments, but since she checked in with them often and visited and thought about them all of the time (as a real mom would), it was okay.

Third, Emerald has friends that are pretty screwed up. Sometimes, witchy women characters are too perfect and have too perfect friends (everyone is beautiful and sexy and kicks butt). Emerald has a friend with very real problems and issues (that I won’t tell you about!) that makes her intriguing and real.

Again, I liked this book. I think if you like Annette Blair, Madelyn Alt, Juliet Blackwell, Candace Havens, etc., this is right up your alley. I will say, though,Ā that I was surprised by the sex scenes, since they aren’t the norm for cozies. I didn’t mind them; I just didn’t expect them. I have heard coziesĀ with minor sex scenes are often called “sophisticated cozies.” I don’t know if it applies here or not, but reader beware. They are two heavy making out scenes. šŸ™‚ I will be reading the next one in the series–soon.

Happy Reading.

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