ghastly glass

Cozy Mystery Readathon – Renaissance Faire Series (Week 2 – Ghastly Glass)

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Our second book begins this week with Ghastly Glass. For general background and links to reviews on this readathon, you can find them here. Each week I’ll update the list of blogs who will be reading and providing reviews. Feel free to leave comments on the page, too! I read the book early as I have a few other ARCs coming up this month to finish over the next few days. I’m excited to hear from everyone!

Also, I’ve been out of town and offline for a few days.  I’m trying to find any reviews to link for the readathon for the first book (or this one). I might miss them since I can’t catch up on everything… please send your links so I can update the readathon page. Thanks!


The voters have spoken… our winning book series to read in November 2018 is the Renaissance Faire cozy mysteries by Joyce and Jim Lavene. Many thanks to everyone who participated in the last month to choose the category for the readathon, the authors and books series to vote on, and the suggestions to make this as fun as it will be. Since there are 8 books in the series, we cannot easily read them all in one month. We probably could, but there are many of us with other ARCs or pre-scheduled reads, so I think we should do 50%… essentially the first 4 books. Below is our schedule and the books:


In order, they are:

  1. Wicked Weaves
  2. Ghastly Glass
  3. Deadly Daggers
  4. Harrowing Hats

Given how busy everyone is, let’s just focus on getting them all read and reviewed in the month of November 2018. Read 1, 2, 3, or 4 books — however much time you have available. Our tentative schedule to post each review is:

  1. Wicked Weaves – Due 11/9
  2. Ghastly Glass – Due 11/16
  3.  Deadly Daggers – Due 11/23
  4. Harrowing Hats – Due 11/30

I’ll create the new pages and links throughout the next couple of weeks. For now, buy them or order them from your local library. If you have them already – awesome. I can’t wait to get started!


Based on last month’s poll, you voted to combine two of the options into a single approach for our November 2018 Readathon. The winner is: “Cozy Mystery Series.” Many thanks to all the voters and promoters for the readathon. I’m very excited to choose a series with 4 or 5 books that we can read all throughout November and post our reviews. Some of the suggestions may have more than 5, but we will only read the first 5. A few have less than 5, so we will just read 3 or 4 depending on what wins. I’ve also chosen authors I’ve never read before but have on my TBR.

November 2018 - Choose 4 Books to Read & Review (1)

You can choose your top 3 series to read.  The poll is open today through 10/12 (one full week). On 10/13, I’ll announce the book series with the most votes. We’ll have three weeks to buy or borrow the books and set the reading and review schedule. Links to the Goodreads description of the fist book are below the poll to help you choose.

Descriptions of Books

Cindy Blackburn – Cue Ball

Betty Hechtman – Yarn Retreat

Nancy Atherton – Aunt Dimity

Ellery Adams – Book Retreat

Julia Buckley – A Writer’s Apprentice

Avery Ames – A Cheese Shop

Nancy Martin – Blackbird Sisters

Kate Carlisle – Fixer-Upper

Bailey Cates – Magical Bakery

Alice Kimberly – Haunted Bookshop

Heather Blake – Wishcraft

Jim & Joyce Lavene – Renaissance Faire

Lorna Barrett – Booktown

Jana DeLeon – Miss Fortune

Lea Wait – Mainely Needlepoint

Laura Childs – A Tea Shop

Krista Davis – Domestic Diva

Daryl Wood Gerber – Cookbook Nook

Eva Gates – Lighthouse Library

Betty Webb – Gunn Zoo

Leslie Budewitz – A Spice Shop

Kelly Lane – Olive Grove

Laura Childs – Scrapbooking


Book Review: Ghastly Glass by Joyce and Jim Lavene

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Ghastly Glass (A Renaissance Faire Mystery, #2)Ghastly Glass by Joyce Lavene

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

November is the Renaissance Faire cozy mystery readathon on my blog @ This Is My Truth Now. We’re in our second week with the second book in the series by Joyce and Jim Lavene with Ghastly Glass. Anyone is welcome to join…. we’re reading the first 4 books in the series and posting our reviews each Friday. I link them together on my blog’s dedicated page so we can all review and comment. You can read any number of books you want in the series, too. Let’s get on to my review of Ghastly Glass.

Last week, I mentioned that I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book, Wicked Weaves. It had some good elements, but it was disconnected and repetitive in parts. While much of the repetition seems to be gone (not all), the disconnected parts are still present in Ghastly Glass. Part of me wonders if it might just be the duo’s writing style as it’s very blunt when it happens. The narrator comments on all the happenings around the Renaissance Faire; for instance, we could be ending a scene where the main character, Jessie, is doing something and she runs into people along the way. We hear one-liners about various performers and apprentices, Renaissance-Faire settings, et al. It’s good knowledge, but it’s just dropped in, in a way where I can’t tell if it’s part of the plot or background. And it will name drop so much that I can’t keep track of who is who. While it’s awesome for building the whole world in the books, it can be a tad frustrating for someone trying to also focus on the mystery.

In some parts, even the writing is stilted and awkward when these disconnections happen. Random lines (I’m paraphrasing) like “Death just walked by on stilts. Were they real? He looked taller.” The character of ‘Death’ wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the immediate pages before nor in the pages afterward. Just a random drop in. Okay, I’ve vented enough… while it can be jarring, it isn’t enough to say I wouldn’t want to read more in the series. If I hadn’t committed to it for the blog, I probably wouldn’t read another one, but since I agreed to 4, I will read them all and put on a positive spin wherever I can.

For instance, they do have a really fun and cool setting. I love hearing about all of the different side acts in the Renaissance Faire, meeting the performers and learning their history, watching the relationships develop between characters, etc. I also liked the mystery in this one as it was definitely a shocker. I wonder if I re-read it, would I notice the hints along the way? That’s always a good way to feel at the end of the book… so kudos to the authors for building that connection for us readers. In this caper, the actor playing Death is killed, then Jessie’s boss where she’s apprenticing, Roger, is attacked. We met him in the first book, so I felt closer to him than any newbies. Chase is back which provides a cute love story for Jessie.

Next up is the third in the series, Deadly Daggers… we read and review week of 11/17… come join us!

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and 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 –and multiple Readathons. 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. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.