BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, August 7, 2017

Review, Character Guest Post, & Giveaway: Iced by Avery Daniels

Series: Resort to Murder Mystery #1
Publisher: Blazing Sword Publishing Ltd
Source: PR firm in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: May 24th, 2017
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Julienne has her ideal job as an event planner at a prestigious resort. During a luncheon event she coordinated, a renowned celebrity pastor is killed next to the buffet. All eyes turn to her as the suspect. If she wants to stay out of jail or even keep her job, Julienne needs all the help she can get to solve the crime.

She has her work cut out for her with a vengeful high school rival now reporter, the public demanding she be fired, plus family who knows what's best for her, and a boyfriend who doesn't understand her. She turns to friends and a new ally to uncover who wanted to put the pastor on ice.

Julienne goes undercover and investigates a local swingers group as she follows the trail of clues before they go cold. Can she gather enough suspects and motives to convince the police to widen their investigation? Can she do it before the killer sets his murderous sights on her? Will her personal life ever be as simple as unveiling a murderer?

My Thoughts:

The setting for this story, a resort in Colorado, was appealing and the main reason I requested the book. I don't know much about resorts but Colorado is a beautiful state and resorts aren't a common setting for cozies so I hoped it would be interesting and it was.

Julienne is passionate about her work and her career but her father and her boyfriend are not. Both want her to settle down, get married, and be a stay-at-home mother. While she's fending them off, she's also dealing with a murder at her work. She was the last person to see the victim, a well-known pastor, alive. When a newspaper article singles her out as the only suspect and the police keep coming around, she takes matters into her own hands and begins to research the victim and other viable suspects. She hopes to develop a list that she can turn over to the police to take the spotlight off of her.

Daniels kept my interest in the story; I basically read it in one sitting. The murder had lots of possible motives and suspects. Julienne used her work skills to conduct her investigation and she did a decent job. She also wasn't too proud to ask for help. Daniels created memorable characters who provide a great support system for Julienne. I liked her neighbors Nathan, Delores, and Beverly, and her family. I do wish Daniels had spent a little less time on Julienne's family life and social life as at times they overtook the mystery. At the same time it was good to see that Julienne had a life outside of her work and outside of solving crime.

The new neighbor and potential new boyfriend, Mason, however, was too good to be true. He cooks, loves dogs, is a retired Marine, is a photographer, beloved by everyone, is handsome, kind funny, etc etc. I liked him but he needed some flaws and some realism. Julienne had flaws; she had commitment and abandonment issues; was averse to taking risks (which some people in her life considered a flaw), and so on. I'm hoping that we'll see more depth and development in Mason in the next book, which I'm looking forward to reading. I liked Julienne and the others and I liked the writing. It kept me engaged and interested.

Well, most of the time. I had to keep checking my copy to verify that it was a finished copy and not an ARC as it had so many errors: wrong words, missing words, missing commas, wandering apostrophes. and the spacing between sentences!   Sometimes there were 3 spaces between sentences.    Sometimes there 4 spaces.  Other times there were 2 and occasionally there was 1 space. It made reading visually challenging. Some of the wrong words included 'tenants' instead of 'tenets', 'site' instead of 'sight' and 'your's' instead of 'yours'. Time and again I was pulled out of the story. That really is my biggest gripe with the story. Character development can happen over time but the constant errors were distracting and unnecessary. ETA 9/4/17: The author posted in the comments that she has re-edited the book. I have not yet seen the revised version.

Still, if you can overlook all of the misused words, incorrect punctuation, and the odd formatting, then you'll have a story full of memorable characters, en engaging story line, and clever plotting. 

Hello, I'm Julienne.  First I want to thank you for having me here today.  You have a great blog. (Thanks! ~ Bea)

I am the lead character in the new cozy book series, Resort to Murder, with the first novel – ICED.  I’m not used to all of the attention, especially since Pastor Tom Drake was killed. He was shoved on the spear end of a swordfish ice sculpture within a few minutes of getting grabby and I kneed him…hard. Since it was a short time from our “altercation,” I was the first choice as suspect number one. I don’t like that kind of attention. It put me on the brink of being jailed and convicted for a crime I absolutely didn’t commit. Even if I weren’t arrested, I was in jeopardy of loosing my job. 

I love my job and have fought my father and even my boyfriend for my job. It is my ticket to not only seeing the world, but getting to manage luxury resorts around the world. I feel very fortunate to be in the management-training program at a five-star resort in Colorado Springs. I share a bit about the exquisite resort setting in the book, as well as my gregarious family and quirky neighbors. I am very fortunate indeed. 

Even though it sounds like my life is pretty perfect…except for that whole Pastor Tom murder ordeal. But, don’t be fooled. I have plenty of issues going on in addition to being under suspicion of murder.  My boyfriend has our future detailed out with some very glaring omission to my dreams, my father wants me to hurry up and get married to provide grandchildren, and my neighbors are trying to fix me up with the new guy who moved in across from me, Mason.  I call him Bond Jr. for reasons that are clear when you read the book, and I keep telling myself I’m not a Bond girl anyway. 

Well I’m done talking about myself. Since I work in luxury surroundings, maybe you can share your favorite luxury you like to indulge in. A deluxe spa treatment, favorite or special vacation spot, or maybe its satin sheets or pajamas? Come on…confess.

About the Author:

Avery Daniels was born and raised in Colorado, graduated from college with a degree in business administration and has worked in fortune 500 companies and Department of Defense her entire life. Her most eventful job was apartment management for 352 units (plenty of fodder for stories there!). She still resides in Colorado with two brother black cats as her loving companions. She volunteers for a cat shelter, enjoys scrapbooking and card making, photography, and painting in watercolor and acrylic. She inherited a love for reading from her mother and grandmother and grew up talking about books and history at the dinner table. Her first try at writing a fully developed story was as a teen was a tale of a girl trying to nurse a fawn back to health and then release it into the wild again. She is plotting her next Resort to Murder novel and struggling over which Colorado resort should be her setting.

Find Avery Online:

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  1. I think the book sounds so good and sometimes the errors in a book isn;t the authors fault I always just overlook things like that and read the story for the story.

  2. Working in management in resorts can definitely lead to coming in contact with quirky characters.

  3. Thank you ptclyaton and Jana Leah B for your interest. Thank you Bea for the review. The strange spacing is NOT in the published copies at all. That was the converter to provide copies for reviewers - my apologies.

    I did use two editors - but I am following up on the issues you mentioned in your review - like a blood hound.

  4. I really like the resort setting of the book. Sounds like a great start to a new series.

  5. Bea,
    I have gone through a third editing and put out the newly edited version in ebook and print. I would like to offer you a kindle edition (from Amazon and not a free conversion service I used which contributed to the spacing issues.) If you would like to receive a cleaned up version as an apology, just let me know the email address to send your Amazon gift to. Thank you and again my sincere apologies.

    1. I'd like that, thank you. You can use my blog email,


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