Thursday, January 19, 2023

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway: Snuffed Out (The Magic Candle Shop Mysteries, #1) by Valona Jones

Snuffed Out
(Magic Candle Shop Mystery)
Valona Jones

Paranormal Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Savannah, GA
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: January 10, 2023
Page count: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1639102051 / ISBN-13: 978-1639102051
Digital ASIN: B09XM5PKP7


About Snuffed Out: 

Twin sisters Tabby and Sage co-own a candle shop, but will it all go up in flames in Valona Jones’ series debut, perfect for fans of Amanda Flower and Bailey Cates.

30-year-old fraternal twins Tabby and Sage Winslow own The Book and Candle Shop in Savannah. Sage is hot-headed and impulsive while Tabby is calm and collected, making them the perfect partnership. When one of their customers is found murdered, from a blow to the head, that partnership is put to the test.

Blithe McAdam had been seen in a heated argument with shop clerk Gerard, which immediately makes him suspect number one. The twins are convinced of Gerard’s innocence and start digging into Blithe’s past. But no one is cooperating. The neighbor who found the body isn’t talking, medical examiner Quig won’t give any details about the autopsy, and nasty rumors begin surfacing about the drowning of Blithe’s father years earlier—evidence that could seal Gerard’s fate.

Tabby and Sage dig desperately for the truth. But it’s not only their friend who’s in peril. With the clock ticking, the twins find themselves in the grip of an unseen and deadly energy that has seeped into their midst—and in the sights of a ruthless killer.

4 stars!

When a good friend is wrongly accused of murder, the Winslow sisters desperately search for the real killer.

Snuffed Out is a fun and unique new cozy mystery by Valona Jones and kicks off her new series, the Magic Candle Shop Mysteries. The magical element is provided by the two sisters, who are “energetics” and have the ability to absorb and manipulate energy. One twin, Sage, is comfortable and confident in her skills. However, due to a traumatic event in her past, Tabby is not. She blocks her abilities and refuses to tap into her special gift, and this causes some tension between the two sisters.

The story is told from Tabby’s point of view. Her hesitancy to accept her energetic talents stems from an incident several years earlier, which almost resulted in her killing someone with her power. That incident is never fully explained; only bits and pieces are revealed as the current story unfolds. In fact, there are a couple of backstories hinted at but left unexplained, which had me feeling so strongly that I had missed a previous book that I quit reading to research whether that was true or not. Perhaps, these stories will come to light in future books. 

Sage Winslow is a complicated character with hidden secrets or worries left untold at the end of the book. Early on, she’s very moody: one minute, a loving sister, and the next, an almost evil thing. She and their store clerk, Gerard, have a romantic history that continues to cause her some heartache.
The murder investigation was compelling, with many friends and acquaintances of the Winslow sisters involved. There is even a missing chihuahua to consider. I enjoyed the candle shop business, the descriptions of candlemaking, and the various other items the girls stocked in the store. The story also focuses on the subplots of the sisters’ budding romances, both with young men they have known since childhood. There are adult situations with discussions about their hookups, but it was still sweet watching Tabby navigate the change in her relationship with Quig from childhood friend to grown-up man and friend with benefits.
Central to this story is the lovely and historic Savannah setting. The Book and Candle Shop is in the heart of downtown’s historic district, a great draw for tourists. I like the mention of the various other businesses with their living spaces above that are neighbors to the Winslow’s shop.
With its unlikable murder victim and tense push-pull sibling relationship, I recommend SNUFFED OUT to cozy mystery readers who like candle or bookshop-related settings or stories set in the southern US, specifically Savannah, Georgia.


About Valona Jones:
Valona Jones writes paranormal cozy mysteries set in Southern locales. Her work blends mystery and the unexplained, along with a sprinkle of romance. A former scientist, she’s drawn to the study of personal energy. She sharpened her people-watching skills as a lifelong introvert and thankfully had a bank vault full of personal observations when she began to write fiction. Her forthcoming release, Snuffed Out, A Magic Candle Shop Mystery, is slated for January 10, 2023, release. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She lives in coastal Georgia, where time and tide wait for no one. Visit her at 


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1 comment:

Maggie Toussaint said...

Thank you for the wonderful review! I am thankful to the Great Escapes Tour and to Guatemala Paula Reads for this opportunity to connect with readers. Thank you also for your hospitality! Maggie Toussaint aka Valona Jones