Day: January 9, 2018

Book Review: Mermaid Fins, Winds & Rolling Pins by Erin Johnson

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After I read the first book in this series by Erin Johnson, I had to download the second and third, Mermaid Fins, Winds & Rolling Pins. I read both in the last week so I could stay current on a few series, as there are so many I want to catch up on; however, when it’s about cooking, witches, pirates and set in cozy Europe, who can resist!


Cozy readers have so many options today… every possible setting, background, character, locations (okay, not everything, but a large breadth of choices). I’ve always enjoyed the ones with a unique setting and something to do with baking. In this release, Imogen visits the mermaid and pirate kingdoms to bake for a wedding. When she arrives, it’s no royal palace! As she gets to know the ins-and-outs of the very young queen, her aging grandmother and the staff supporting them, something is fishy among the fins. By embracing her magic skills, dancing the night away in an underground club, and learning about secret monsters and liquor/drugs, she’s fully embroiled in quite a little mystery and unfamiliar environment.

The tone of the book took a slight turn in this book — it got a little more saucy than usual. I liked it, no complaints here — lighthearted, humorous and tasteful. The story was good, but it wasn’t as strong in the middle as I was expecting (needed more understanding of the mermaid world, how the whole place fits together with each kingdom, how many people lived there, et al); however, by the end, it came full circle, added in a few surprises and balanced out the book well.

I finally learned more about Imogen’s biological family, as well as her connection to witchcraft in the past. For those reasons, I definitely gave this one 4 stars — the drama and intrigue have been set. Most kick-off events in cozy mystery novels occur around the 17% to 20% mark, allowing just enough time to get to know the characters, then BOOM – a murder. In these books, it’s happening around the 40% mark. In some ways, it makes the mystery a tad too light for me, but in others, it builds a world with a bunch of side stories that keep your interest. The author balances the main story with everything else quite adeptly.

I’m looking forward to seeing where this series goes as there is a lot of potential within the world being created. It’s holding my interest and I will download/buy the 4th book this month as it’s just been published. Hope you enjoy the new series if you take it on.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
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365 Challenge: Day 303 – TBR

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TBR: To Be Read, as in the next few books on my list of reads


I’ve spent the last 6 months feeling highly disorganized with my reading and book purchasing. I have favorite authors, books people have bought for me as gifts, books I want to read, and requests for reading & reviewing other people’s work. My TBR shelf grew to over 1200 in 2017, which prompted me to create the Book Bucket List, where you can vote each month to select a book from my top 12 that I want to read. I thought that would help, but it’s not as streamlined as I need it to be.

I promised myself I could no longer buy or download any books in 2018 until I finished everything I already owned — 31 currently either via Kindle or on my physical library shelf. So… I have 31 books to read in the next 2+ months before I will accept any book review requests or buy new books. I’ve created custom shelves on Goodreads to show what I’ll be reading in January, February and March. I’ve listed only January and February in this post, which will be my new guide for reading until things are back in control. I’ll post this update once per month with a rolling two-month period showing my planned reads.

I’ll still have the monthly Book Bucket List, which will have some of these, plus ones from my future TBR that I haven’t yet purchased. This new approach will hold be accountable while I get through a balance of books I chose and ones I agreed to read for other people, including my fellow published Creativia authors. The list within each month below is not in reading order, but they will all be read that month. Let’s see what’s on my list to read the next few months!

January 2018

The Forgetting
*Randomly received as a gift last year (Young Adult)
Prayer for the Dead
*Received from the publisher in lieu of a review (Thriller)
The Resurrection of Joan Ashby
*Received from the publisher in lieu of a review (Contemporary Fiction)
Outside In
*Friend of a mutual friend who gave me some writing advice (Contemporary Fiction)
No One Can Know
*Received from the publisher in lieu of a review (Mystery) — READING NOW
Still Me
*Won Goodreads Giveaway (Contemporary Fiction)
Mermaid Fins, Winds & Rolling Pins
*I enjoy the series and received a free copy (Cozy Mystery) — READING NOW
Funeral Platter: Stories
*Received from the publisher in lieu of a review (Short Stories)
Down to the Needle
*Fellow Creativia (my publisher) author I’d like to read (Mystery)

Share book reviews and ratings with James, and even join a book club on Goodreads.


Plum Pudding Murder
*Fun series I enjoy (Cozy Mystery)
Apple Turnover Murder
*Fun series I enjoy (Cozy Mystery)
*Final book in a trilogy I enjoyed (Historical Fiction)
W is for Wasted
*In honor of her recent death (Mystery)
A Column of Fire
*One of my favorite authors to read (Historical Fiction)
*One of my favorite authors to read (Thriller)
Sea, Sky & Skeleton
*Fun series I enjoy (Cozy Mystery)
Time, Tide, and Trouble
*Fun series I enjoy (Cozy Mystery)
Alicia and the Light Bulb People in Star Factory 13
*Fellow Creativia (my publisher) author I’d like to read (Children’s)
What Happened In Vienna, Jack?
*Fellow Creativia (my publisher) author I’d like to read (Historical Mystery)
Erin Bailey is a Time Lord
*Fellow Creativia (my publisher) author I’d like to read (Fantasy & SciFi)


About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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