Thursday, January 15, 2015

Blog Tour/Review: Cranberry Bluff by Deborah Garner

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Cranberry Bluff, by Deborah Garner
2014, 240p, Clean Cozy Mystery
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy for an honest review

Molly Elliott’s quiet life in Tallahassee, Florida, is disrupted when routine errands land her in the wrong place at the wrong time: the middle of a bank robbery. Accused and cleared of the crime, she flees both media attention and mysterious, threatening notes, to move across the country to Cranberry Cove, where she has inherited her Aunt Maggie’s bed and breakfast on the Northern California coast. Her new beginning is peaceful – that is, until five guests show up at the inn for a weekend, each with a hidden agenda.

Mix together one blushing honeymoon couple, one flamboyant boutique owner, a deadpan traveling salesman, and a charmingly handsome novelist, and there’s more than scones cooking at Cranberry Cottage Bed and Breakfast. As true motives become apparent, will Molly’s past come back to haunt her or will she finally be able to leave it behind?

I didn't quite know what to expect with this book. It starts with guests arriving at a cozy bed and breakfast in northern California. Once they've arrived and we've briefly met them, we start learning true identities and interior motives. None of the guests are who they originally appear to be.

I enjoyed getting to know each of them. Some were more sinister than others. Some of them know each other from previous interactions but they have their reasons for not letting on that they know each other. There's one that's quite elusive and we actually don't find out his motive until close to the end.

I loved Molly! She lived in Tallahassee, Florida and worked for an ad agency. One day when she took the deposit to the bank, she wound up right in the middle of a bank robbery. Unfortunately, she looked similar to the robber so she was a suspect for a time. She was cleared and moved to northern California when her Aunt Maggie died to run her bed and breakfast (see excerpt below). Her plan is to start over but someone isn't willing to let that happen. Molly is oblivious to what's going on for a while, but hunky guest Bryce Winslow is about to change her world in multiple ways.

 I loved guessing what was going on and what would happen in the end. It took some twists and turns and I didn't figure it out, so I really enjoyed the ending. I loved that it moved quickly and that made it hard for me to put down. Aunt Maggie would always give her guests a cookbook when they left so a nice bonus at the end was a copy of "Aunt Maggie's Cranberry Cottage Cookbook" with fourteen cranberry recipes--yum!! If you like a good, clean mystery with fun characters, you'll want to read this one!!                                                                                         


Molly dried the last of the breakfast dishes and put them away before sitting down to look over the inn’s schedule. No new arrivals were due that evening, or the next. But she had to do some shuffling to accommodate Bryce Winslow’s longer stay. She still couldn’t believe she hadn’t written down his departure date. That wasn’t like her. She always kept on top of the details in her reservation book. Had their phone conversation thrown her off-balance that much? Apparently it had.

She didn’t like feeling scattered, the way she’d felt when she left Tallahassee. Taking over Aunt Maggie’s bed and breakfast in Cranberry Cove had been a chance for her to reorganize her life, to start over. It was one of the main reasons she was there.

Molly shuddered, thinking about Florida. Her life there had been peaceful for so many years. She’d loved her job as an administrative assistant at a small advertising agency. Long work hours during the week were rewarded with free weekends. She didn’t have to put in the extra hours that the ad execs did. Saturdays and Sundays often found her enjoying the warm waters on a Gulf Coast beach or adventuring through swamp areas. She’d landed some impressive alligator pictures on one of those trips.

Her duties at the ad agency were basic, which suited her just fine. She handled incoming phone calls, made coffee, kept appointment calendars updated and ran errands when needed. Aside from the lack of romance in her life, it was a perfect existence. Until that day.

She hadn’t realized at the time that she’d walked into a bad situation. It was an ordinary morning. She’d stopped at FedEx to send out an overnight package, chatting about sports with the clerk, a college student. He was a Gators fan; she was a Seminoles fan. They had a long history of jovial teasing whenever she dropped off shipments.

From the FedEx office she’d stopped at a favorite coffee house, grabbing a decaf macchiato to go. Her next stop was a quick drive-through at the post office, where she dropped a batch of metered mailings in the driveway box. And then she went to the bank.

For the three years she’d worked for the ad agency, she’d taken a daily deposit to the bank. She was a stickler for accuracy, and the execs appreciated her efficient loyalty. She never thought twice about her quick jaunts in and out of the bank building. It was an errand, just like any other errand she had to run. At least it was, until the day a woman at the teller’s window next to her pulled out a gun. One minute Molly was thanking the teller for the ad agency’s deposit receipt. The next, she was sprawled out on the floor, like everyone else who had the misfortune to be in the bank at that moment.

It had all happened so quickly, though it didn’t seem like that at the time. The news reports later would say the robber was gone within six minutes. To Molly, face pressed against the bank’s cold, marble floor, it felt like hours.

That should have been the end of it. The whole episode should have gone down as a terrifying close call. She could have gone on with her life as it had been if not for a wild twist of fate. The robber had the same build, hair length and hair color as Molly, who had walked away quickly after the incident even before police arrived. She was shaken, but assumed the experience was over. Little did she know what was about to unfold.

Author Deborah Garner

Deborah Garner is an accomplished travel writer with a passion for back roads and secret hideaways. Born and raised in California, she studied in France before returning to the U.S. to attend UCLA. After stints in graduate school and teaching, she attempted to clone herself for decades by founding and running a dance and performing arts center, designing and manufacturing clothing and accessories, and tackling both spreadsheets and display racks for corporate retail management. Her passions include photography, hiking and animal rescue. She speaks five languages, some substantially better than others. She now divides her time between California and Wyoming, dragging one human and two canines along whenever possible.

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 1/19/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing and for the opportunity!!!

Deborah Garner said...

Thank you so much for the lovely review! So glad you enjoyed it :)

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