Guest Post: How I Pick a Book to Read by Elizabeth Pantley

How I Pick a Book to Read

I love to read cozy mysteries, and there are about a gazillion choices out there! How do you pick? You may have your own method, but this is how I choose which ones to add to my Kindle.

The Cover

Yes, you can judge a book by its cover! A professionally designed cover tells me this author is serious about their career and works hard to give you their best presentation. Likely they’ve worked just as hard—or harder—on their manuscript. 

The Title

As an author, I know it’s actually harder to pick a great title than it is to write the whole book! How on earth do you summarize 300 pages in a few words? The individual book title and the series title are both important, and they play a big part in my decision making. They should tell me in a few words exactly what to expect inside. Most do, and those that don’t often end up in my Did Not Finish pile.

The Blurb

The second hardest thing to write (after the title!) is that short summary. Sadly, many authors aren’t salespeople so they have a hard time summarizing their entire book into a paragraph or two. I’ve come to be a little more forgiving on this part! However, I look for the things that I enjoy most in a book and avoid topics that don’t interest me. Even a poorly written blurb usually provides enough information to tell me if it’s my cup of tea. 

The Reviews

Reviews are super important to my decision making. I look for patterns in the reviews – if lots of people repeat the same sentiment, that’s a sign it’s something to believe. I avoid the outlying reviews – one person who didn’t like the book because they don’t like cats won’t deter me from choosing a book! 

The Series

Once I get to know a setting and a group of characters, I love to stay with them for a while. I’ll rarely choose a book with less than five books in the series. Five or more books give me a great reading experience. The other thing I like to see is that it’s an ongoing series. If the newest book is just released, or about to be released it’s a good sign I’m in for a longer read. (If the series is old, but well-loved I’ll still dive in!)

Well, there you have it! That’s how I pick a new book to read. Hope it helps you to select your next new reading experience!

An enchanted island. Talking cats. A knight delivering the mail? Welcome back to Destiny Falls, enjoy the experience. 

While Hayden and her brother are exploring their new roles on Destiny Falls, all of its residents are mysteriously invited to a Medieval Festival on The Forbidden Island. Given the opportunity to maybe visit her parents (and seriously doesn’t it sound like fun) Hayden jumps at the chance to go, of course, along the way she discovers a dead body with plenty of suspects with plenty of reasons to want to see him dead. 

The author has once again pulled the reader into a fantasy world where old-world magic and modern sensibilities go hand in hand. Part adventure, part murder mystery, all fun.  Nothing is straightforward and misdirection is everywhere and with new villains to confront and new information about the island’s past revealed, you won’t know what to expect once you dive into the story. Be warned, in a series where every book leaves the reader excited for the revelations in the next book, the ending of this book ups the anticipation factor greatly.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I received an advance review copy for free from the author, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

About The Book

Jousting and Justice: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic

An invitation to a medieval festival. A ferry ride to a mysterious island. A scheming, inept witch. An office break-in, an unidentified body, and a string of suspects. Can Hayden, her brave, sassy cat, Latifa, and the people of Destiny Falls solve the mystery and enjoy the festival?

Jousting and Justice follows the series format of combining two stories that blend into one. A murder mystery and the island mystery.

The Island Mystery: Hayden and all her friends get an invitation to a medieval festival – but it’s on “the forbidden island.” It’s too enticing to pass up. Of course, strange things will happen once they get there! . . . You’ll also learn the truth about the witch’s sister!

The Murder Mystery: A dead body shows up in the most shocking place. First, they need to figure out who this dead guy is. Then, who killed him and why. There are so many twists and turns on the way to the answers! But we know that Hayden, Latifa, and their family and friends will figure it out and justice will be served.

Hayden’s many adventures in Destiny Falls will keep you guessing with each book in this intriguing series.

Purchase Link – Amazon 

Read More about Destiny Falls

Series Spotlight: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic by Elizabeth Pantley

Falling into Magic : Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series Book 1 An accidental journey through a magic mirror. A portal to an enchanted land. A mysterious family she never knew she had. Hayden’s life is upended with the wonder of Destiny Falls. But it is tainted by the danger that brought her here and…

A Conversation with Princess Latifa of Destiny Falls

Hello Princess Latifa, welcome to IRWYW. It is no secret that cats enjoy sleeping the afternoon away in the warm sunshine. We appreciate you taking time from your catnap to talk with us. I know our readers are looking forward to getting to know you better. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and…

Guest Post: Watching My Husband Read My Book by Elizabeth Pantley

Watching My Husband Read My Book For the past twenty years I’ve written parenting books as we raised our four children. My husband rarely read my books because he lived them. I’d pop in when the youngest was dawdling when getting ready for bed and suggest that Daddy offer him a choice, “What do you…

Book Review: The Disappearance of Emily by Elizabeth Pantley

The Disappearance of Emily is the second book in the Destiny Falls & Magic Series. Elizabeth Pantley has done a remarkable job of building a wondrous magic world with a modern touch that will appeal to not just Cozy readers. In this book, Hayden is getting comfortable in her new life in Destiny Falls. She…

Guest Post: The Beauty of Sisterhood by Elizabeth Pantley

The Beauty of Sisterhood Hayden Caldwell, the main character in the Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series, grew up as an only child. She often wished for siblings to share her life with, but since she was raised by her grandmother and great-grandmother that wasn’t meant to be. That all changed when Hayden was transported…

About the Author

Elizabeth Pantley says that writing the Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic book series is the most fun she’s ever had at work. Fans of the series say her joy is evident through the stories she tells. Elizabeth is also the internationally bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and twelve other books for parents. Her books have been published in over twenty languages. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the beautiful inspiration for the enchanted Destiny Falls world.

Author Links


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February 15 – eBook Addicts – CHARACTER GUEST POST


February 16 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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February 26 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

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February 28 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  

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