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Seashells, Spells & Caramels

(Spells & Caramels #1)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  896 ratings  ·  215 reviews
Imogen’s spent her twenties in Seattle, saving every penny and missing every party, to follow her dream of opening her own bakery.

When that dream goes up in flames, she accepts a spot in a mysterious baking contest—one she doesn’t remember entering. She travels to a bustling, medieval village off the coast of France and discovers an enchanting world of magic and mystery, a
Paperback, 286 pages
Published October 29th 2017 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  896 ratings  ·  215 reviews

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4 out of 5 stars to Seashells, Spells & Caramels, the first in a cozy mystery series set to be published on October 29th, 2017 and written by Erin Johnson.

Why This Book
My reading interests are fairly diverse; I often need a balance an intense thriller with a lighthearted cozy mystery, or a direct and clear biography with a lyrical historical fiction book. My head has its limits. When the author reached out to me offering an opportunity to read her novel, I said 'yes' for two reasons: (1)
Imogen’s sacrifices over the past seven years to save every cent toward owning her own bakery were suddenly worthless when fire destroyed everything. The strange invitation to the baking contest felt like her saving grace and she was thrilled but surprised to be accepted as a contestant. When she arrived at the small village in coastal France and headed for the island where the baking competition and Summer Solstice Festival were to be held, Imogen was enchanted.

But it was the shock of discoveri
An author's writing style can be compared to a band's musical style. There are bands that have great rhythm but terrible lyrics and vise versa. The same is true for authors and books.

The writing style in this book isn't for me, but may work for you. I couldn't connect with any of the characters and about a quarter of the way into the story gave up. I would have loved to have given it a better review and thank the author so much for sending me a free copy of the book. I love friendly authors and
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeanne Adamek
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was especially hard for me to rate. Because it was so far out of my comfort zone (I really have a problem with fantasy with few exceptions--this being one) I cannot quite bring myself to give it 4.5 or 5 stars (unfortunately there were times I was knocked out of the story with the feeling of "really?"). But because the story was excellently written, humorous, wonderfully descriptive, fantastic characters and the finest qualities of a great cozy mystery I really think that I can get ove ...more
Charles Ray
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imogen Banks has scrimped and saved to amass enough money to open her own bakery. Just when she’s reached her monetary goal, her dreams go up in flames. But, she has somehow managed to become a contestant in a mysterious baking contest at an island off the coast of France. With nothing to lose—literally, as everything burned up in when her apartment went up in flames—she buys a ticket to France.
Once at the mysterious island, she encounters something she’s never believed in before, magic. Her ski
Una Tiers
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had a strong message about following your dreams and never giving up. That with clear writing made it a five. The story was fine until the main character made it to the fantasy land.
I won't be finishing it, but enjoy as much as I read.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first heard of this book I knew I had to read it. It just sounded like exactly the type of read I would enjoy. I actually bought the first 3 books in the series before I even picked up book 1 as I was that sure I would enjoy this series. Now that I read the first book I am happy I already have book 2 and 3 waiting for me to read them.

This book was so much fun! I really enjoyed the book and I just wanted to keep reading. It is well written and the pacing worked well. The blend between par
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, cozy-mysteries
Seashells, Spells and Caramels by Erin Johnson is the first book in the Spells and Caramels series. Imogen has almost enough money saved to open the bakery she has been dreaming of for years. Catering her difficult boss’s rehearsal dinner will give her the last bit of funds needed. At the party she is given a flyer for a baking contest to become the next Royal Head Baker. After a fire destroys her apartment and wipes out her savings, Imogen finds out she has been accepted into the contest. She t ...more
Erin Burns
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: author-arc
I received an ARC of this book from the author, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review.

I'll admit, while I was intrigued by the blurb, the very shallow reason I took the author up on it was because we share a first name. And I was more than repaid in spades with a very funny and lighthearted story. When you find yourself giggling out loud in the first chapters, then you know you are in for a treat.

Alexander's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day ain't got n
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindleunlimited
Well, cozy mystery with witches tend to be light, often silly and cozies are generally slower than action packed novels. This luckily, didn’t hit the inane silly button, but the adult characters do come across as middle schoolers as far as their friendships, mean girl and romantic ponderings. Not exactly what I like to read, but pleasant enough for folks who don’t mind the immaturity. Not exactly a cliff hanger, so I didn’t take a point off, but close enough to debate.
Sabrina Kirby
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So cute!!! It’s the Great British Baking Show (but in France) sprinkled with magic and a touch of murder mystery. A D O R A B L E!! Totally young adult appropriate. It’s probably a YA novel, I just didn’t notice when I got it free on Amazon. I can’t believe it’s a series! I’ve already started book 2...such a light, fun October read. ❤ 🧙♂ ...more
Carla Johnson-Hicks
4.5 Stars: I have been seeing great reviews for this series over the last year, but when I read the synopsis, I thought this really is not my cup of tea, but those positive comments kept coming. I finally decided to take the plunge. This story was totally unexpected and thoroughly enjoyed. It is a cozy mystery but has aspects of a Harry Potter type story. We have a witch that had no idea she was a witch, a magical land (an island off the coast of France), fantastical creatures, talking flames an ...more
Jessica Robbins
For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs...
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
I really enjoyed this first book in a new series. It is whimsical and intriguing at the same time. Plus it didn't hurt that it was a easy and fast read. I didn't want to put it down at night!

I can't imagine going through life being adopted but not feeling really connected to anyone. That is the position Imogen is in...and then she meets some interesting people that convince her to enter a baking contest. Doesn't matter that she has never heard of the country, she creates a delectable dessert and
Angela James
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 Sweet and Magically Delicious Stars! This was a new to me author and she knocked it out the park! It was cute, sweet, mysterious, suspenseful, original, and magical. Imogen is the perfect mixture of sweet, sassy, and strong with all that life has recently thrown her way and I love her character! The story definitely held my interest and I can't wait for the next book in the series to come out! I'll definitely be reading more books by this author.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This well written cozy mystery is a great start to what looks to be a fun series. I enjoyed getting to know the characters in this book as I followed them on this whirlwind adventure. They were all relateable and real, I laughed, teared, and squealed along side Imogen. The twists and turns were on point, and foreshadowed well. I can't wait to read her next adventure.
DelAnne Frazee
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Title: Seashell, Spells and Caramels, Cozy Witch Mystery - Spells and Caramels Volume 1
Author: Erin Johnson
Publisher: Erin Johnson
Published: 10-1-2017
Pages: 286
Genre: Science Fiction
Sub-Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Shifters Witchcraft, Magic, Culinary Mystery, Murder, Witches, Vampires, Psychics
ISBN: 9781976214823
Reviewed For Erin Johnson
Reviewer: DelAnne
Rating: 4.75 Stars

Okay, first a word of warning. Make sure your schedule is cleared for a while, because once you start, you will not be moving
My grandson lost his first two teeth and immediately asked his mother if the tooth fairy was real. Her answer? "If you believe in magic, she is." He was temporarily satisfied with that explanation and off he went to deposit his offering for the Tooth Fairy. To be young and believe in mystical powers! Isn't that why we read? To escape reality and explore magical realms and far off places, made up of folks we would never encounter here in the real world. To me, reading IS magic. When I'm lost in a ...more
I am going to base my review on how I have been reviewing the two witchy cozy mysteries I have been reading lately; Juliet Blackwell's A Witchcraft Mystery series and Heather Blake's A Wishcraft Mystery series, and it's not quite as refined as those two series.
I did enjoy it, and I see the potential for this series by author, Erin Johnson, but it's not quite there compared to the other two. Although, I always leave quite a bit of room for leaps of faith, and for literary licence, there's j
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars (review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

I absolutely adore watching cooking competition shows so reading a story where competitors are magical, paranormal beings sounded too good to pass up.  Much like  Master Chef and Top Chef, in Seashells, Spells and Caramels, readers will be treated to theme challenges where contestants will be voted off until a winner is crowned. As with the other popular shows, there are baking mishaps, rivalries and tears.

However, Seashel
Diane ~Firefly~
What a fun surprise - a great start to a new series. Imogen just lost her dream of opening a bakery after accidentally burning her apartment down and takes a chance on a bakery contest in France, which opens her eyes to all sort of new things.

What I enjoyed:
* I really like Imogen. She was truly out of her depths but managed to make a lot of friends (loved Maple) and accidently save people
* Iggy! He starts off so gruff and eventually is won over
* The setting - the magical world was interesting wi
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like the GBB but with magic

I really enjoyed this magical baking adventure! All the bakers under one tent, becoming friends and helping each other (mostly) it reminded me of watching, “The Great British Baking Show.” Add in a splash of mystery, a dash of romance, and lots of magic and you’ve got a winning recipe for a fun book!
Pam Crozier Myers

The entire premise of an adopted aspiring baker finding out she really has magic and is talented beyond her wildest dreams was wonderful! Definitely going to keep following this series! The characters are real and relatable, and the whole world is primed and ready for more exploration through the eyes of a happy, kind, honest protagonist!
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fun and fast read!

I absolutely loved this book, the characters and the storyline. It has been awhile since I have flown through a book this quickly. I cannot wait to go on to the second book in the series! Seashells, Spells & Caramels was full of humor, twists and turns and a hint of romance. I loved it and highly recommend it!
Neil Plakcy
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
A bit of a slow start, but once Imogen gets to Bijou Mer it takes off. A fun read for anyone who's a fan of baking competitions or books with gentle magic.
Shannon Binegar-Foster
I positively loved this series. I was such a great story. I can't wait to see what it next in book 2.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely sweet book, I'm not usually a fan of murder mysteries but I find the characters (and descriptions of lovely baking) endearing!
Sadie Forsythe
Jun 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf, a2r-done
DNF 70%

This was just too ridiculous to continue with. It was beyond predictable and if the character wasn't supposed to be 28-years-old I'd not call this Young Adult, but freaking Middle Grade fiction. The writing is mechanically fine, but the story doesn't hold together AT ALL if you expect not to spend the WHOLE book going, "that could never happen, even with magic involved."
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow wow wow

This was a fabulous book, I read it in one sitting. I think the author has done a marvellous job. I loved Imogene and Maple so much.
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A native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh.

In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more).

Other books in the series

Spells & Caramels (8 books)
  • Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts (Spells & Caramels, #2)
  • Mermaid Fins, Winds & Rolling Pins (Spells & Caramels, #3)
  • Cookie Dough, Snow & Wands Aglow (Spells & Caramels, #4)
  • Full Moons, Dunes & Macaroons: A Cozy Witch Mystery (Spells & Caramels Book 5)
  • Airships, Crypts & Chocolate Chips (Spells & Caramels #6)
  • Due East, Beasts & Campfire Feasts (Spells & Caramels, #7)
  • Grimoires, Spas & Chocolate Straws (Spells & Caramels, #8)