Great Escapes Tour: The Final Tap by Amanda Flower: Review and Guest Post

20 May

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FTC Disclosure:  I received a free Netgalley of the books from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


It is my great pleasure to welcome Amanda Flowers to the blog today.

Uses for Maple Syrup

By Amanda Flower

The Final Tap, the second mystery in my Living History Museum Mystery Series, is set during a maple sugaring festival on Barton Farm, a fictional living history museum in Northeastern Ohio. As part of my research for the novel, I learned all about the maple sugaring and maple syrup, and I also learned some interesting uses for maple syrup along the way.

Here are some my favorites

  1. Making candy. By boiling maple syrup and pouring it into molds you can make sweet candy treats that melt in your mouth.
  2. Sweeten your tea or coffee. Instead of reaching for the sugar bowl, try a dollop of pure maple syrup to sweeten your favorite drink.
  3. Make snow candies. When it’s really cold out and you have a lot snow, drizzle maple syrup into clean snow. It will harden and make glasslike maple syrup candies. This is especially fun to do with kids.
  4. Create a yummy side dish. Boil baby carrots with maple syrup and butter for a dish that just might make your children eat their veggies.
  5. Make a facial scrub. Some research shows maple syrup can combat acne and other minor skin issues. Use only pure maple syrup and mix with other organic ingredients like oatmeal and yogurt to make your own facial scrub.
  6. Sweeten breakfast outside of pancakes. Drizzle maple syrup on Greek yogurt and granola for a great start to your day.
  7. Bake with maple syrup. Substitute maple syrup for white sugar. The ratio is ¾ cup of maple syrup to 1 cup of white sugar.
  8. Make maple butter. Mix with butter for a sweet addition to your morning toast or English muffin.
  9. Use as ice cream topping. Take your ice cream sundae in a new direction with maple syrup as topping instead of hot fudge or caramel.


This is just the tip of the iceberg of what can be done with this versatile sweetener. So remember, next time you reach for the sugar consider giving maple syrup a try, and if you want to know how maple syrup can be used in a mystery novel, check out The Final Tap.



Amanda Flower, a three time Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Amanda is a librarian in Northeast Ohio. She also writes as USA Today Bestselling Author Isabella Alan. THE FINAL TAP is the second novel in her Living History Museum Mystery Series.

Thank you Amanda. I never knew there were so many uses for maple syrup. I hope I remember about the snow candy the next time is snows here in Colorado.


The Final Tap
by Amanda Flower

The Final Tap has characters to love and hate, an interesting setting, and historical flavor to go along with a juicy, twisty, murder mystery.
~Sissy, Bubble Bath Books

Characters that continue to evolve, a fabulous setting, and a top notch mystery. I recommend this one highly.
~Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

Author Amanda Flower taps into the perfect combination of history and modernity, as well as personal drama and professional character. I enjoy the escape her writing provides.
~The Girl with Book Lungs

I want to live on Barton Farm. That’s it. Ms. Flower’s descriptions take me back to my childhood.
~Back Porchervations

Well, I’ve found yet another cozy mystery series to add to my must-buy list! I really enjoyed the setting – a working historical farm…
~The Book’s the Thing

This historical whodunit is a sure hit and will have you on the edge of your seat guessing who the killer is until the very end.
~Shelley’s Book Case

Flower combines powerful characterization and strong family values with a puzzling mystery amidst a unique background.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

This is a well written book that kept my attention from the very beginning. If you like history and you love a good cozy mystery, then this is the series for you.
~Melina’s Book Blog

I have enjoyed this series so far, from the historical aspect, to the education side, and even how I am always surprised at who the killer turns out to be, it is never anyone I have least not yet.
~Storeybook Reviews

Author Flower’s writing continues to grow more amazing with every book she writes. If you haven’t read one of her books, you’re missing out on incredible storytelling.
~Lisa K’s Book Reviews

…this book showcased superb writing, a very unique story line, a new twist on the typical cozy setting and characters you want to love and hate!
~Classy Cheapskate

The Final Tap
(A Living History Museum Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Midnight Ink (May 8, 2016)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738745138


March on Barton Farm can only mean one thing: maple sugar season. To combat the winter slump, resilient director Kelsey Cambridge organizes a Maple Sugar Festival, complete with school visits, pancake breakfasts, and tree tapping classes. Kelsey hires curmudgeonly maple sugar expert Dr. Conrad Beeson to teach the classes, despite misgivings over his unpleasant demeanor. It’s a decision she ends up regretting when, before the first tree can be tapped for sap, Dr. Beeson turns up dead.

The maple sugar expert’s death threatens to shut down not only the Maple Sugar Festival, but also Barton Farm itself. Kelsey must solve Dr. Beeson’s murder to escape the increasingly sticky situation.


About This Author

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling  author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Author Links:


Pen Name Website:





Purchase Links

Amazon –  B&N

My thoughts:  I’m a big fan of historical fiction and living history sites. Amand Flowers’ Living History Museum series gives us not only a great mystery but some insight into what it take to keep such an organization up and running.  

It was interesting to read the Civil War history that Flowers sprinkles throughout the book. That combined with all the wonderful things (not county murder) that happen on Barton Farm, gave me a craving to visit Barton Farm itself or at least some place like it.

They mystery is well developed, engaging the reader from the beginning. I have to admit the reveal caught me by surprise.

In addition to a well-crafted mystery, we get some more insight into Kelsey’s personal life, including her love life. Kelsey is a wonderful character and I’m looking forward to reading more about her.

The Final Tap is the second in the series, but works well as a stand-alone. There are some references to the first book, The Final Reveille, but they are not distracting. If you haven’t read the first book, I do recommend that you grab a copy because it is as an enjoyable a read as The Final Tap.

Overall, this is a good cozy mystery read and I highly recommend that you add it to your list of must-reads.

Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour and don’t forget to visit the tour page for a chance to win a print copy of The Final Tap.

Tour Participants

May 9 – Bubble Bath Books – REVIEW

May 10 – The Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

May 11 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

May 12 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

May 13 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

May 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

May 14 – Off

May 15 – Melina’s Book Blog –  REVIEW, GUEST POST

May 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

May 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

May 18 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW

May 19 – Queen of All She Reads –  REVIEW

May 20 – Book Babble – REVIEW

May 21 – Booklady’s Booknotes – REVIEW, GUEST POST

May 22- LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

May 22- Island Confidential – INTERVIEW


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Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Uncategorized


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