Jun 242016
 

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On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

a study in death

A Study in Death (A Lady Darby Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery/Historical Romance
4th in Series
Setting – Scotland
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Larry Rosant
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277522
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages – (July 5, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0425281246
E-Book ASIN: B00OQSF8OU
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Scotland, 1831. After a tumultuous courtship complicated by three deadly inquiries, Lady Kiera Darby is thrilled to have found both an investigative partner and a fiancé in Sebastian Gage. But with her well-meaning—and very pregnant—sister planning on making their wedding the event of the season, Kiera could use a respite from the impending madness.

Commissioned to paint the portrait of Lady Drummond, Kiera is saddened when she recognizes the pain in the baroness’s eyes. Lord Drummond is a brute, and his brusque treatment of his wife forces Kiera to think of the torment caused by her own late husband.

Kiera isn’t sure how to help, but when she finds Lady Drummond prostrate on the floor, things take a fatal turn. The physician called to the house and Lord Drummond appear satisfied to rule her death natural, but Kiera is convinced that poison is the real culprit.

Now, armed only with her knowledge of the macabre and her convictions, Kiera intends to discover the truth behind the baroness’s death—no matter what, or who, stands in her way…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lady Darby has left the planning of her upcoming nuptials to her sister who needs something to keep her mind on during her confinement waiting for her baby to be born. With no pending inquires with husband to be Sebastian Gage, Kiera takes a commission from Lord Drummond to paint a portrait of his wife.  Sadly Lord Drummond is much like most men in this era and view their wives as property and are abusive. This strikes very close to home for Kiera. Before she can help Lady Drummond the woman is dead. Cause of death, Apoplexy. Back in this time period many peoples cause of death was Apoplexy or what is now called a stroke. The term was used widely when when doctors didn’t know the cause. Without an autopsy it truly couldn’t be challenged but Kiera knows the woman was murdered so she convinces Gage to start an inquiry, much to the dismay of many.

This is definitely a series that needs to be read in order as each new book builds from the last. Gage and Kiera’s relationship had a rocky start that has changed and evolved in each book always surrounded by a top-notch mystery.  Kiera still needs to build a feeling of trust with Gage. She was treated horribly my her first husband. Meeting his father in this installment shakes the security they had built, especially when she know Gage is keeping parts of his past a secret.

I enjoyed the subplot of Kiera’s sister Alana and her husband Phillip. Her pregnancy wasn’t an easy one and Phillip could be a typical man of this time period or could be the wonderful husband he seemed to be in past books.

As for the mystery, Gage and Kiera are interviewing everyone that had contact with Lady Drummond, including her husband, the staff, and her friends. The investigation also takes they to the dark and dangerous streets of the city as they try to determine what caused her death. Kiera is strong and independent and doesn’t appreciate being told she can’t go or do something. Gage tries to protect her but sometimes he even needs help from a certain unsavory character.

Anna Lee Huber continues to impress me with her storytelling.  As a reader I am engaged almost even before I start reading because I know what to expect from this author. She has never disappointed me.  I love the imagery of Scotland her words create. Her depiction of characters across all social classes is exceptional. Her plot lines are tight and the dialogue is excellent.

My reading schedule was messed up last year which made this book stay on my To-Be-Read shelf for far too long. That will not be the case with A Death Draws Near out July 5.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.

GIVEAWAYI am giving my hardcover review copy away!

The  publisher is giving away 1 paperback copy! 

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End July 8, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jun 242016
 

oliver twisted large banner640

Oliver Twisted by Cindy Brown

 

OLIVER TWISTED

Oliver Twisted
(An Ivy Meadows Mystery Book 3)

Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (June 21, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1635110418
E-Book ASIN: B01DAPK14Q
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Synopsis

Orphans. Thieves. Murder. And an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet!

When Ivy Meadows lands a gig with the book-themed cruise line Get Lit!, she thinks she’s died and gone to Broadway. Not only has she snagged a starring role in a musical production of Oliver Twist, she’s making bank helping her PI uncle investigate a string of onboard thefts, all while sailing to Hawaii on the S.S. David Copperfield.

But Ivy is cruising for disaster. Her acting contract somehow skipped the part about aerial dancing forty feet above the stage, her uncle Bob is seriously sidetracked by a suspicious blonde, and—oh yeah—there’s a corpse in her closet.

Forget catching crooks. Ivy’s going to have a Dickens of a time just surviving.

Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), amateur sleuth books, book club recommendations, humorous murder mysteries, private investigator mystery series.

Books in the Ivy Meadows Humorous Mystery Series:

MACDEATH (#1)
THE SOUND OF MURDER (#2)
OLIVER TWISTED (#3)

Praise for Oliver Twisted

I really enjoyed this book! It’s been a while since I had a book grab me by the face and insist I read right through, but this one did it…
~The Ninja Librarian

“Oliver Twisted” is delightfully funny, thoroughly entertaining, and will keep you guessing until the thrilling conclusion.
~My Funny View of Life

…talk about a ‘twisted’ mystery. Usually in a mystery, the characters may not be as they appear. In this book, the actors are dressed in period costumes, so you know darn well that they aren’t as they appear…
~Back Porchervations

I enjoyed the glimpse into cruise life and the behind-the-scenes life of the crew, especially the cast of the on-ship musical production.
~Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes

The pace of the story is good and the antics of the orphans and Oliver as well as the adult characters make this an enjoyable read.
~Christa Reads and Writes

BROWN-pic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Cindy Brown has been a theater geek (musician, actor, director, producer, and playwright) since her first professional gig at age 14. Now a full-time writer, she’s lucky enough to have garnered several awards (including 3rd place in the 2013 international Words With Jam First Page Competition, judged by Sue Grafton!) and is an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. Though Cindy and her husband now live in Portland, Oregon, she made her home in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.

 

Author Links

Website & Blog    Facebook 

Twitter handle: @friendlybrown

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June 20 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW
June 20 – My Funny View of Life – REVIEW
June 21 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
June 21 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
June 22 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – REVIEW
June 23 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
June 24 – Bill’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 24 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW 
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Jun 232016
 

secret lives large banner640

secret lives private eyes cover

Secret Lives and Private Eyes
Mystery/Suspense
Setting – Virginia
Paperback
Publisher: Koehler Books (June 20, 2016)
Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1633932562
E-Book – ASIN: B01FGRFI1C
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Synopsis

Business has been slow for Private Investigator Delanie Fitzgerald, but her luck seems to change when a tell-all author hires her to find rock star Johnny Velvet. Could the singer—whose career purportedly ended in a fiery crash almost thirty years ago—still be alive?

As if sifting through dead ends in a cold case isn’t bad enough, Delanie is hired by loud-mouth strip club owner Chaz Wellington Smith, III, to uncover information about the mayor’s secret life. When the mayor is murdered, Chaz becomes the key suspect, and Delanie must clear his name. She also has to figure out why a landscaper keeps popping up in her other investigation. Can the private investigator find the connection between the two cases before another murder—possibly her own—takes place?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Private Investigator Delanie Fitzgerald goes to great lengths to get her clients what they need. She puts herself out there even wearing several different disguises, changing her voice as needed. Her partner, Duncan Reynolds handles any needed computer research. He is quite an internet master. Duncan’s bulldog, Margaret, is the office mascot/rug, unless treats are involved. Delanie’s current cases involve a strip club owner and a rock star that supposedly died years ago.  For one case she jumps in with her whole heart and the other investigation could end up costing her her life.

I loved this story. Delanie is a fabulous protagonist. She reminded me a little bit of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, but even better. A fiery redhead focused on her cases.  She is smart but she puts herself in harm’s way to get the answers she needs. She was awfully lucky on several occasions.  Duncan reminded me of my son. He is into video games and even has game nights. Delanie knows she must be in dire straits to interrupt one of those. Unlike my son at least that I know of, Duncan is also quite the internet hacker and can usually find things to move their cases forward. Which may be the reason he disappears when the police show up.

Our Private Eye really digs into many Secret Lives making the entire story is very fast paced. We travel around with Delanie as she follows clues to several cases at the same time. We meet several interesting characters in addition to the strip club owner and the man that may be Johnny Velvet. The mayor, a bouncer, a landscaper, Delanie’s brothers, 2 alpacas, assorted dogs and more.   Woven within this suspenseful story in plenty of humor and the expected Southern charm too.

This was a story I started and just couldn’t put down. I tried the just one more chapter thing several times, but ended up reading it all in one sitting.

A strong plot with impressive characters set in Richmond, Virginia. I call this one a perfect escape!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

heather

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather’s short stories appear in Virginia is for Mysteries and Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II. Her debut novel, Secret Lives and Private Eyes, will be published on June 20, 2016.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She currently lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers. She is a member of Sisters in Crime International, Guppies, and Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia. She is currently President of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia.

 

Author Links

Website & Blog

Twitter     Facebook      Pinterest     Instagram     Google+ 

 

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N

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June 16 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
June 16 – Author Spotlight – SPOTLIGHT
June 17 – My Funny View of Life – REVIEW
June 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
June 19 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
June 20 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST
June 21 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
June 22 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST
June 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 24 – Omnimystery News – INTERVIEW
June 24 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 25 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jun 222016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to Stephanie Blackmoore here today! 

AuthorPhotoBlackmooreHi Everyone,

I love going to weddings. They are filled with good tidings and lively celebration. They provide a chance to see old friends and meet up with far-flung family, eat great food, dance the night away, and wish a newly married couple well. Whether they’re simple affairs at the courthouse or large bashes with hundreds of guests, most weddings involve many hours of planning and fretting that occur behind the scenes. Invitees are treated to a seamless ceremony and party with each detail lovingly attended to, but behind all of the tulle and flowers and cake, tensions run high and emotions are at the forefront of most wedding days. I’ve been a bridesmaid several times and witnessed the behind the curtain melee at my own wedding. There have been missing flowers, AWOL wedding party members, ripped dresses, late and lost ministers, misplaced vows, and feuding families. I wanted to create an atmosphere of high tension and family drama for my cozy series, and weddings seem like a perfect fit!

engaged in deathBut what happens when the wedding doesn’t go off without a hitch? Is there any way for a bride to make lemon meringue pie out of sour lemons? For my first cozy I wanted to explore what happens after a bride pours her heart and soul into making her big day perfect, but gets cold feet and has to jettison her wedding at the last second. What happens when a bride cancels the wedding? What does a bride do when the invitations have gone out, the vendors are ready to go, and she can’t get her deposit back? The dissolution of a wedding can be more complicated than planning a wedding that goes off. I wanted to see what happens when a bride not only calls off her wedding, but also finds out she’s stuck with it. In Engaged in Death, the bride and sleuth, Mallory Shepard, is shocked to realize she’s planning her wedding to appease her future mother-in-law rather than for her fiancé and herself. She lets the wedding get away from her until it resembles an out-of-control carnival, with her soon-to-be monster-in-law at the helm. Before the bloated pageant of her wedding can go on, she cancels and breaks off her engagement. Since she can’t get her deposit back, she goes on a mission to find a new bride in need of a wedding. I hope you enjoy reading Engaged in Death as much as I enjoyed writing it!

~Stephanie

engaged in death

Engaged in Death (A Wedding Planner Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
BRAND NEW SERIES
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (June 28, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496704788
E-Book ASIN: B0165HUWCC
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All appears peaceful in sleepy Port Quincy, Pennsylvania–but in this small town, old grudges die hard. . .

After dumping her cheating fiancé and cancelling the wedding, Mallory Shepard can’t bear another disaster. So when the former bride-to-be unexpectedly inherits Thistle Park, a ramshackle mansion in her ex’s hometown of Port Quincy, it’s a problem she can’t afford–literally. Abound with stray cats, peeling wallpaper, and nosy neighbors, Mallory is dying to sell it off–once she finally fixes up both the place and her messy life. . .

Turns out, Thistle Park has its charms. But the honeymoon phase is abruptly cut short when an unwanted visitor is found dead on the front lawn. Enlisting the help of her sister Rachel, Mallory vows to unveil the killer before she herself becomes married to the suspect list. . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I read the above synopsis for this book I knew I had to read it as soon as possible. Thank you Kensington for the early copy!

Mallory had no idea who she was engaged to, but his overbearing mother was pushing her over the edge. Finding out the guy was cheating on her was just icing on the cake. Then in a weird twist of fate she inherits Thistle Park, a mansion in need of loads of tender loving care. Mallory is faced with putting it up for sale but to that she is going to need to make some improvements. Finding a dead body in the front yard was not the renovation she had planned. The wedding was cancelled but her sister’s arrives to help in anyway she can. Never knowing she would be helping Mallory catch a killer.

So much happens in this story that intrigued me in addition to the murder. The house that Mallory inherited could be amazing in the hands of the right person. My imagination was running wild with ideas. Then what do you do when your wedding is cancelled and the venue refuses to return your huge deposit? You will have to read the story to find out.

As far as the murder, the man wronged so many people, meaning there are so many that could want him dead. Her ex-future mother-in-law could even be involved. Surely she wouldn’t kill someone, or would she? The clues seem to lead in circles at times but that just added to my reading pleasure.

Mallory starts out as a “goes with the flow” type of woman, but scorned she is a force to be reckoned with. She is a lawyer who is smart and organized and definitely doesn’t need a man making decisions for her. I was so impressed with her transformation just in this first book. I can’t wait to see what she takes on in the next story.

Her sister, Rachel, has yet to find her niche. She has tried several things but doesn’t really stick with anything long. She tends to find herself living with her mom and step-dad or having them bail her out of situations. Mallory is the responsible one, timid about trying new things. They each need to rub a little off an each other and they will make a fantastic team.

I enjoy the way Ms. Blackmoore writes, it is so descriptive. I could picture everything so clearly. She also unfolds the story at a brisk pace.

Even the secondary characters are fleshed out, real and believable. Keith, the ex and his mother Helene, are excellent characters to dislike. I am not going to lie, I would not have shed a tear if one of them was the body in the front yard, but they turned the story on its ear in their own way. The neighbors are interesting and the Chief of Police just happens to live in the house behind Thistle Park, with his son and granddaughter.

This is a fabulous debut! A great start to what I hope will become a long running series!

I see the next book in the series, Murder Wears White, will be out January 31, 2017 and is available for pre-order.  I am looking forward to it already!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

A native Pittsburgher, Stephanie Blackmoore now lives in Missouri, with her husband, son and two spirited cats. She was an attorney in Pittsburgh and a librarian in Florida before becoming a writer. Stephanie is a fan of everything black-and- yellow. She is hard at work on her next Wedding Planner mystery. Connect with Stephanie at the links below.

Social Media Links:  Website    Facebook    Twitter


Click on cover to purchase from Amazon.

B&N
Coming January 31, 2017
GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Stephanie for 5 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End July 6, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jun 212016
 

special guest blue

I am so happy to welcome Janet Finsilver to Escape With Dollycas today! 

Janet Finsilver

Hi Everyone,
I am sharing an excerpt from my new book, Murder at the Mansion today!

 

I could almost hear my red hair beginning to curl in the foggy air as I walked outside. I got in the middle bench seat and placed the hors d’oeuvres on my lap.

Redwood Heights was only a short distance from the Redwood Cove Bed-and-Breakfast. A block from the inn, we took a left turn down a hill and went around a corner, and there it was.

I gasped. The building sat nestled among giant redwoods. It was two stories with row after row of windows interspersed with French doors leading to balconies protected by black wrought-iron railings. A master craftsman had twisted them into intricate twirls and patterns, same as the ones encircling the top of the building. The mansion reminded me of a majestic English queen, the towering trees her staff-in-waiting, her billowing skirts the outcropping of buildings spreading to either side, her crown the widow’s walk on top.

murder at the mansionUSA TODAY_ebookThis answered one question—what Daniel and Helen had meant when they said this property was different. It definitely wasn’t like any other Resorts International properties I knew. The ones I’d experienced and the ones I’d read about had a more casual air to them.

We pulled into the back and unloaded. Helen busied herself in the kitchen, heating the appetizers.

“I get them ready, then the staff minds them and adds as necessary to the hot trays in the parlor,” she explained.

“The guest area is this way.” Daniel pointed to a hallway.

We walked into a room filled with guests and over to the sideboard holding the evening’s offerings.

Large crystal chandeliers lit the room. Tables were covered with white brocade tablecloths. A stack of fine china plates sat next to an array of artisan cheeses and several wine choices.

I looked around the room. Lustrous pearls rested on cashmere sweaters. The diamond on one woman’s hand competed in size with the crystal finial hanging from the center of the chandelier. The gentle orchestral strains of “Moon River” accompanied the conversation in the room.

These weren’t the fleece-and-denim Redwood Cove visitors I had gotten to know. I straightened my jacket and ran my hand through my fog-frizzed hair.

A young woman offered some of Helen’s appetizers to a guest. As she reached for one, a shrill scream ripped through the room, shattering the tranquil moment.

~Janet

murder at the mansionUSA TODAY_ebook

Murder at the Mansion
(A Kelly Jackson Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
Lyrical Underground (June 7, 2016)
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1616509323
E-Book ASIN: B015MA6EDO
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Fortunes, fineries, and foul play . . .

It’s whale-watching season in Redwood Cove, and B&B manager Kelly Jackson’s battening down the hatches for the tourist rush at Redwood Heights—a Victorian-style estate owned by her boss. And due to recent jewelry thefts, her duties include keeping track of the many dust-covered artifacts spread throughout the property. But when Kelly finds Sylvia Porter’s lifeless body, menial tasks don’t seem so terrible. Enlisting the help of a ragtag group of brainy retirees, aka the “Silver Sentinels,” Kelly’s on the hunt for clues hidden behind the mansion’s glamorous façade. . .and for a killer who may want to make history of her next!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kelly Jackson is the new manager at the Redwood Cove B&B and while some renovations are being made she is helping out another Resorts International estate, Redwood Heights. The manager there is a little prickly about Kelly taking an inventory of the place but Kelly is making the best of the situation. When she finds one of the guests Sylvia Porter, dead the inventory goes on hold. She knows she will need the Silver Sentinels help to find the killer.

I reviewed the first book in the series, Murder at Redwood Cove, last Friday. It was such a joy to read these stories back to back.

The staff at the Redwood Cove B&B were all helping out at Redwood Heights for the Whale Frolic event. The Silver Sentinels, Ivan, Rudy, Gertie, Mary, and the Professor used the conference room at Redwood Cove as their meeting place.  Scott Thompson, another employee of Resort International also makes a return. So all the characters I liked in the first book were back. New characters were introduced and unfortunately most of them became suspects. I was happy to see Scott return and enjoyed the romantic tingles between him and Kelly. I almost forgot the mention 2 more dogs, beagles, Jack and Jill, join the cast. They have a very interesting talent.

There are 2 mysteries in the story. Along with the murder guests at Redwood Heights have reported pieces of jewelry missing. Both take several twists. One is filled with a little espionage, a bit of intriguing history, family secrets and a deep hatred is revealed. The senior citizens are like dogs with bones trying to figure who would want Sylvia Porter dead and why. Kelly makes some interesting discoveries that again put her in harm’s way. It was a lot of fun following right along with all the clues. The other mystery has a very clever conclusion.

Again, these characters just shined.  The author has really fleshed them out and made them real and vital.

I am really excited about this series. I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment!

.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author

Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY best-selling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs—Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. Murder at Redwood Cove, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Her second book, Murder at the Mansion, is now out.

Website    Blog     Facebook Author Fan Page      Twitter    Pinterest    Goodreads 


Click on covers to order from Amazon.

Murder at the Mansion – Barnes & Noble Nook      Google Play        Kobo        Apple iTunes       Kensington Publishing

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jun 202016
 

Midsummers-Hop 2014

Midsummer’s Eve Giveaway Hop!

Giveaway Escape #1

MSW DESIGN FOR MURDER

Murder, She Wrote: Design For Murder


Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: NAL (April 5, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0451477811

In the newest in the USA Today bestselling mystery series, Jessica Fletcher visits New York City during fashion week, only to discover someone has rather fatal designs…

Jessica is in Manhattan to attend the debut of a new designer. Formerly Sandy Black of Cabot Cove, the young man has reinvented himself as Xandr Ebon, and is introducing his evening wear collection to the public and—more important—to the industry’s powers-that-be: the stylists, the magazine editors, the buyers, and the wealthy clientele who can make or break him. At the show, the glitz and glamour are dazzling until a young model—a novice, taking her first walk down the runway—shockingly collapses and dies. Natural causes? Perhaps. But when another model is found dead, a famous cover girl and darling of the paparazzi, the fashion world gets nervous.

Two models. Two deaths. Their only connection? Xandr Ebon. Jessica’s crime-solving instincts are put to the test as she sorts through the egos, the conflicts of interest, the spiteful accusations, and the secrets, all the while keeping an amorous detective at arm’s length. But she’ll have to dig deep to uncover a killer. A designer’s career is on the line. And another model could perish in a New York minute.

Giveaway Escape #2
multiple listings

Multiple Listings
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books (March 8, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1476785523

What would you do if your ex-con father suddenly came to visit…indefinitely? Family drama ensues when Nicki’s dad unexpectedly wants to move in with her, her son, and her boyfriend in this comedic novel from successful TV writer Tracy McMillan.

Nicki Daniels owns a home appraisal business, but real estate is her true passion: she lives for open houses and really knows her way around a floor plan. And especially at this juncture of her life, real estate has come to signify the stability she is trying to build with her teenage son, Cody, and her much younger boyfriend, Jake. She’s finally ready to find the perfect house for the three of them and work on a new business venture with Jake that she thinks will jump-start their lives together.

Meanwhile, Ronnie, a longtime inmate at a nearby correctional facility, is getting some good news for once—there was a mistake in his sentencing, and he’s eligible to get out of prison. Ronnie decides his best option to avoid homelessness is to move in with his estranged daughter: Nicki. Even though they haven’t spoken in years, her door is always open to him, right?

Imbued with wit and profound insight into relationships, Multiple Listings speaks poignantly—and often hilariously—about the ties that bind families of all types together.

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Jun 202016
 

Will be released tomorrow! since she went away

Since She Went Away
Suspense/ Thriller
Setting – Kentucky
New American Library (June 21, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Trade Paperback: 432 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451474216
E-Book ASIN: B0167WQUU8
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From David Bell—bestselling author of Somebody I Used to Know and Cemetery Girl—comes a chilling novel of guilt, regret, and a past which refuses to die…

Three months earlier, Jenna Barton was supposed to meet her lifelong best friend Celia. But when Jenna arrived late, she found that Celia had disappeared—and hasn’t been seen again. Jenna has blamed herself for her friend’s disappearance every single day since then.

The only piece of evidence is a lone diamond earring found where Celia and Jenna were planning to meet, leading the national media to dub Celia “The Diamond Mom.” And even though Jenna has obsessively surfed message boards devoted to missing persons cases, she is no closer to finding any answers—or easing her guilt.

But when her son’s new girlfriend—who suddenly arrived in town without a past—disappears, a stricken Jenna begins to unwind the tangled truth behind Celia’s tragedy. And as long-buried secrets finally come to light, she discovers how completely lives can be shattered by a few simple lies.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jenna Barton is tormented by her friend Celia’s disappearance. If only she had been on time for the meeting….could she have been able to change what happened? She can’t give up, she is determined to find her friend even as she knows she may only find her body.

David Bell grabs the reader from the start. Jenna Barton has been called to an old barn because a body has been found. The press alerted her…  not the police. The way the press handles this story rings so true to me. I didn’t like it, but they dig and dig and report and release things to inform the public forgetting that people are struggling or grieving. I know the press has helped solve missing person cases so it is something the family and friends have to bear, but these journalists treated Jenna so awful it broke my heart.

The author introduces a second plot or subplot of Jenna’s son, Jared and his girlfriend, mostly told from Jared’s perspective. Teenagers, first love, only this time there are some twists that add to the main plot. Jenna, a single mom, works hard to provide for her son and tries to keep the lines of communication open with her son. This isn’t always easy with a 15 year old. Jared seems a little more mature in some ways but a little behind in others. Both story-lines are important and so well written.  I liked these characters very much. Their actions were sometimes impulsive and put them in danger but understandable in the realm of the entire story.

The pacing was perfect for me. It started out really strong. Then real life continued in everyone’s life but the mystery was always in the forefront and there were some suspenseful moments. Then as the story was approaching the reveal the suspense rose to a high level again. When it ended I felt a bunch of different emotions.

I have read and reviewed all of David Bell’s books. His is a brilliant storyteller. I look forward to each new book he writes and when the book arrives I have to read it right away.  My favorite is still The Forgotten Girl, but they have all been powerful reads.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about David, his book and read a free excerpt of Since She Went Away on his webpage here


GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my review copy!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

 

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End July 4, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jun 202016
 

come bitter poison large banner640

Come, Bitter Poison
by Monica Knightley

COME BITTER POISON

Come, Bitter Poison:
A Stratford Upon Avondale Mystery

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Print Length: 177 pages
ASIN: B01E0R0KXA
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Synopsis

Sexy film star. Long-held secrets. Murder by poison.

When international stage and film star Miles Elliot comes to Stratford Upon Avondale to play Macbeth, Maggie O’Flynn is thrilled. He’s been her actor crush for years. But when Miles ends up at the center of a murder investigation Maggie finds herself slipping back into the role of amateur sleuth. Before long many of her friends become suspects in not just one murder, but two. Maggie must discover who’s poisoning people associated with the Shakespeare Festival before one of her friends gets slapped with a murder charge. And she must do so while dodging paparazzi that are stalking her due to a supposed love affair she’s having with Miles Elliot.

With a bit of Shakespeare, copious amounts of tea, and a faux-English setting to rival anything the real England has to offer, COME, BITTER POISON is the second book in THE STRATFORD UPON AVONDALE mystery series. Though part of a series, COME, BITTER POISON can be read and enjoyed as a standalone. Lovers of cozy mysteries will find a cozy home in Stratford Upon Avondale.

 

monica

About The Author –

Monica Knightley began creating compelling characters and stories at the age of three, when she had a plethora of imaginary friends, all with complete backstories. Today any characters that come knocking on the door of her imagination find themselves in one of her mysteries, young adult novels, or paranormal romances.

When not fueling her reading addiction or writing her next book, Monica loves to travel with her husband—especially to England. A bit of England seems to make its way into most of her books. Must haves include a perfectly steeped cup of tea, and a good, bold red wine. She lives in Portland, Oregon where the frequent rainy weather is perfect for curling up with a good book and a cup of tea.

Author Links:

Website Facebook   Twitter

Purchase Links

Amazon
Also by this Author

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I also have 1 e-copy to give away!

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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something you like here and become a follower.

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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

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June 20 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
June 20 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
June 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
June 21 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
June 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 22 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 22 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
June 23 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 23 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
June 24 – Books Direct – GUEST POST
June 24 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 25 – Community Bookstop – INTERVIEW
June 25 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
June 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW
June 26 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT

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Jun 202016
 

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Hosted by Book Date

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

Happy Monday Everyone!!

I hope you had a great weekend!

Are you ready to Escape into some Good Books?

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

FINISHED


Murder at Redwood Cove
Release Date – October 13, 2015
My Review
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Murder at the Mansion
Release Date – June 7, 2016
Janet will be my Special Guest Tuesday!
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Engaged in Death (A Wedding Planner Mystery)
Stephanie will be my guest this week for Cozy Wednesday!
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Secret Lives and Private Eyes
The Great Escapes Tour stops her this Thursday!
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ON DECK THIS WEEK

A Study in Death (A Lady Darby Mystery)
Release Date – July 7, 2015
My Flashback Friday Book!
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Once Upon a Wine
Release Date – July 26, 2015
For Review
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Last Ride to Graceland
Release Date May 24, 2016
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Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jun 192016
 

6a00d8341c93ee53ef00e54fcc4de18834-800wi

The Sunday Salon used to be a meme but was getting so huge it became unmanageable, so it is now a Facebook group that has become an informal week in review
gathering place for bloggers.

It is also a place to share our thoughts about things of a bookish nature.

SUNDAY POSTThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
~ It’s a chance to share news~
A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

Happy SUNDAY Everyone!

Happy Father’s Day to the fathers out there!

Yesterday I finally met my newest little nephew Dawson. His mom and her parents were in Wisconsin for a yearly religious event and we spent the afternoon with them. We had a nice relaxing time.

dawson

Uncle Jeff and Dawson

weekly rewind credited235

Weekly Rewind June 13 – 18, 2016

Monday – #Spotlight / #Giveaway – The Cursed Canoe by Frankie Bow – Great Escapes Book Tour

Plus – It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2016 Week #24

And – Spotlight – Maggie Dove by Susan Breen – Great Escapes Book Tours

Tuesday – #Review / #Giveaway – Fixin’ to Die by Tonya Kappes – Great Escapes Book Tour

Wednesday – Cozy Wednesday with Elaine Orr – Author of From Newsprint to Footprints – #Giveaway

Thursday – #Review / #Giveaway – Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction By Amy Metz

Friday – Flashback Friday – #Review / #Giveaway – Murder at Redwood Cove by Janet Finsilver

Saturday – #Review / #Giveaway – A Premonition of Murder by Mary Kennedy

Plus – #Spotlight – Murder at Morningside by Sandra Bretting

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drseuss597903

Have a great week!! 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jun 182016
 

murder at morningside 2

Murder at Morningside
(A Missy DuBois Mystery)
First in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Louisiana
Kensington Books (May 24, 2016)
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1601837141
E-Book
Lyrical Underground (May 24, 2016)
ASIN: B014NWMHEW
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Hat designer Missy DuBois opened her shop, Crowning Glory, along Louisiana’s Great River Road to cater to the sophisticated Southern bride. But bless her heart, who knew creating stylish wedding veils would lead to murder?

Hired to craft a veil for a socialite getting married at Morningside Plantation means Missy can bask in the height of antebellum atmosphere. But when the bride is found dead in a women’s bathroom, Missy the milliner finds herself entangled in one unfashionable murder. With the list of suspects thicker than the sweltering Louisiana heat, including a gaggle of bridesmaids shedding nary a tear and a family with no shortage of enemies, it seems anyone at the mansion may have done away with the bride-to-be. While Missy has Southern charm to spare, she’s going to need more than manners and a manicure to put a hat pin on this murderous affair . . .

About The Author
Sandra Bretting was born in Southern California but now calls Houston home. She graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1985 and spent a decade in healthcare public relations and advertising before turning to writing full-time. She’s worked as a freelance feature writer for the Houston Chronicle since 1996 and also wrote for the L.A. Times. In addition to penning two hardcover books (UNHOLY LIES and BLESS THE DYING), she launched the MISSY DUBOIS MYSTERY series with MURDER AT MORNINGSIDE, which debuted in May 2016.

Find out more about Sandra and her books on her webpage here.

Something Foul at Sweetwater (A Missy DuBois Mystery) will be released December 20, 2016.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jun 182016
 
premonition of murder
A Premonition of Murder
(A Dream Club Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Georgia
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (June 7, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Ransom House LLC
Cover Illustration by Bill Bruning
Cover Design by Leslie Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425268070
E-Book ASIN: B016JPTLNQ
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An elderly Southern heiress’s nightmare becomes a real case of murder in the latest Dream Club Mystery from the national bestselling author of Dream a Little Scream.

When Abigail Marchand, Savannah’s famously reclusive heiress, invites the Dream Club ladies to lunch at her Beaux Reeves mansion, Taylor and Ali hope for an invitation to join the distinguished Magnolia Society. But Abigail has a more pressing concern: a recent dream that seems to foretell her death.

Taylor reassures Abigail that there are many ways to interpret a dream, but at the next meeting of the Dream Club, their discussion is cut short by a call from Detective Sam Stiles. She’s at Abigail’s mansion, where the elderly woman appears to have been pushed to her death down a flight of stairs. Now Taylor, Ali, and the Dream Club need to catch a killer before someone else is laid to rest.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Mary Kennedy keeps topping herself with each subsequent installment to this series.

This time she takes us Beaux Reeves mansion, a wondrous place that not many of the residents of Savannah have been invited. Well they may have been invited to an event in the garden but never inside. Ali and Taylor are so excited to have been invited along with the other Dream Club members for lunch at the estate, but they are totally wrong about why they were asked.  Abigail Marchand,  a recluse and heiress, has asked them to come to interpret a dream. A dream that she believes indicates her death. The club members do their best to ease her fears. But then just a short time later, during a Dream Club, meeting they learn that the woman has died, and evidence says she was murdered. Can the Dream Club help shed light on killer?

I love these characters. Their group is so interesting. Unique in that their dreams can actually help solve a murder. I am not sure if there are really people out there that can do this but this author has grabbed my attention in all three of these books and made me think it may be possible. If not, it makes for a really good story.

In addition to the Dream Club meetings Ali and Taylor drawn in even farther just interpreting dream and a little investigating. There are several suspects, more than you would think for a woman that never left her home.  TheY are put in a place where their observations can help them solve the case. I enjoyed that everyone really had to think and had different theories as it pertained to the murder. It sure wasn’t cut and dried. It was very entertaining to read.

I also enjoyed the little snippets of time at Oldies but Goodies. Thankfully Taylor and Ali have a great employee that can handle the store while are out chasing down suspects and trying to catch the killer.

This is a series that should be read in order. To enjoy it fully you need to meet the characters from the start and learn about their idiosyncrasies and the way the Dream Club works.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about Mary Kennedy and her books on her webpage here.

More by Mary Kennedy


Includes
Dead Air and 9 other 1st in the Series Mysteries.

Just click on the book covers for more information or to order from Amazon.

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End July 9, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jun 172016
 

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

murder at redwood cave
Murder at Redwood Cove
(A Kelly Jackson Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Lyrical Press (October 13, 2015)
Paperback: 198 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1616509309
E-Book Print Length: 200 pages
ASIN: B00TNBLYD4
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Bed, breakfast…and a body!

If it weren’t for the fact that she’s replacing a dead man, Kelly Jackson would love her new job managing the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast on the coast of Northern California. But Bob Phillips did plunge off the cliff to his death…and Kelly’s starting to think it may not have been an accident. Bob’s retired friends—The “Silver Sentinels”—are also on the case, especially when Kelly is attacked…and another body turns up. Kelly has her hands full with overseeing the B&B’s annual Taste of Chocolate and Wine Festival, but she’s also closing in on the killer…who’s ready to send Kelly on her own permanent vacation…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kelly Jackson is an executive administrator of Resorts International. That means when needed she travels to a resort property to troubleshoot the problem and fill in where necessary.  She is sent to the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast in Northern California when the manager is found dead at the bottom of a cliff. The police have determined that it was an accident but The “Silver Sentinels” do not agree. This group of senior citizens think their friend Bob was murdered. They draw Kelly into their confidence and she wonders if they are right. When she is attacked, she knows that wasn’t an accident, so maybe Bob’s fall wasn’t either. So in addition to stepping into Bob’s shoes at the B&B she finds herself nosing around to find his killer.

Kelly Jackson is a very engaging character. Her boss believes all the employees at all their resorts are family. That is just how Kelly treats everyone she meets at Redwood Cove B&B. From Helen, the cook, and her son Tommy, that leave in a small guest house on the property, to Daniel, the handyman along with his daughter Allie, and all the wonderful “Silver Sentinels”, she treats them all as genuine friends. I liked them all too!

I loved Fred, Tommy’s adorable basset hound. There is a heartwarming back story on how they came together.

The setting is absolutely gorgeous and Kelly has a wonderful view from her room. Even the morning fog sounds absolutely delightful.

It seems that Bob Phillips was an extraordinary man with a big heart. He was very eco-conscious and believed in protecting all parts of the environment. Could this have gotten him killed? The story takes several twists as Kelly tries to eliminate suspects. This twists were very well written. The ending was full of suspense and a complete surprise.

The characters are what really stand out to me in this story. From youngsters to oldsters they are an amazing group. I want to pack my bags and head for the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast and meet up with them today. There should be any more trouble there right?? Well, I will be starting the next book in the series right away. I will keep you posted!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Janet Finsilver and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away 1 e-book copy of Murder at Redwood Cove
Book will be sent direct from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End July 1, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jun 162016
 

rogues rascals large banner640

ROGUES & RASCALS IN GOOSE PIMPLE JUNCTION
By AMY METZ

GPJ4Cover

Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction
(Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries Book 4)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Publisher: Southern Ink Press, A Division of Blue Productions (May 15, 2016)
Paperback: 244 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0989714082
E-Book ASIN: B01EGOZKSW
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Like any good Southern belle, Caledonia Culpepper was raised by her mama to be gracious, charming, witty, and above all, a devoted mother and loving wife, so she’s baffled when her marriage falls apart.

Wynona Baxter is a master of disguise but is often a ditzy airhead. A hit woman wannabe, when she’s hired for her first job in Goose Pimple Junction and things don’t go as planned, she’s forced to resort to Plan B. She’ll also need Plan C and D.

Crooked lawyers, restless husbands, a teenaged hoodlum – it seems there are rogues and rascals everywhere you look in Goose Pimple Junction.

When Caledonia and Wynona’s paths cross, they prove there isn’t a rogue or a rascal who can keep a good woman down. Mama always said there would be days like this . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Goose Pimple Junction where there never is a dull moment. You will be laughing out loud at times and on the edge of your seat at others.

Caledonia Culpepper thinks she is doing everything right in her marriage but her husband has completely lost interest in her.

Wynona Baxter has come to Goose Pimple Junction for a job. A job to kill someone!

Plus the town seems to be overflowing with Rogues and Rascals.

Amy Metz takes us on hilarious and sometimes dangerous adventure.  Nothing seems to go as planned for either Wynona or Caledonia, but Caledonia isn’t taking her lumps lying down. She decides to get the upper hand with a little help from her friends. Wynona is in over her head and things just keep going wrong, but she just keeps plowing ahead trying to do the job she was hired to do.

There is a wonderful cast of characters throughout the whole book. The are a eclectic bunch full of Southern charm, at least that is how they try to appear. Some of them are lower than low and as shifty as can be. Some of them you would want to be friends with if they could jump off the page and into the real world.

The story flows at a perfect pace with several unexpected twists.

I love the way each chapter starts with a quote from Mama:

Mama always said – …  “Beware, some people will sell you a dream and deliver a nightmare.”

Mama always said – …. “If it’s got tires or testicles, you’re gonna have trouble. . .”

Mama always said – … “Age is like underwear, it creeps up on you.”

This was such a fun read I really hated for it to end and just FYI it has one heck of an ending.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Here’s an excerpt to get you started!

From Chapter 1
A Unicorn And A Hit Woman

Early June, Atlanta, Georgia

Sipping sweet tea and browsing Facebook on her iPhone, Wynona Baxter sat with her partner, Zeke, at a table outside a coffee shop. With her toned and tanned bare legs crossed, her left foot—clad in Jimmy Choo black four-inch-heeled sandals—bobbed up and down to a silent beat known only to her.

“Here he comes.” Zeke adjusted his sunglasses and inclined his head toward the street.

There he was—their mark—right on time, wearing his JC Penny ugly tan blazer and brown polyester pants set right underneath his paunch. He ran a hand through his thinning red hair, but demonstrating the man’s definite need for a haircut, a long patch in the front dropped right back down over his right eye.

Wynona muttered, “Get a haircut.” Then to her partner, she said, “His confidence has to be ill-gotten.

Zeke harrumphed. “Just like everything he has in life.”

Over the rim of her glass of sweet tea, she casually watched as he crossed the street, speaking to a few people along the way. His gut preceded the rest of him by a good ten inches. Why on earth a man with no outwardly redeeming qualities—and from what she’d heard inwardly too—could strut like a rooster was beyond her.

Wynona put her glass down and ran her finger along the condensation. “I’ll tell you one thing. It’s obvious from the way he carries himself that there isn’t any conceit in his family: he got it all.
Zeke sat back and propped a leg over a knee. “Yeah, but brains are another question.”

“You reckon he has any of those?” Wynona’s foot continued to bob up and down.

The duo had been watching him, and after a week, they knew his routine. Wynona looked at her iPhone. “He’s right on time and headed for the Dizzy Duck as usual.”

Zeke nodded. “If he hadn’t made someone very angry, this wouldn’t have to be his last visit there.”

“Okay. So he’ll spend thirty to forty minutes in the bar and then head for home.” Wynona put the phone in her purse.

Zeke stood. “Where we’ll be waiting for him.”

She took one more gulp of tea, shook the ice in the glass, and set it down hard on the table, shooting a look that would put frost on a snowman to the guy a few tables away who’d been leering at her for the better part of an hour. Leisurely standing, she smoothed the front of her short linen skirt. As she left the coffee shop, she was aware of the eyes on her . . . well, she could only guess which body part his eyes were on. Wynona preferred to be unobtrusive, but that was nearly impossible with her looks. But no matter, by tomorrow she’d appear totally different anyway. She thought she might enjoy being a redhead next.

The hot Atlanta sun beat down on them as Wynona and Zeke walked across the street in the opposite direction from the person they’d tailed for almost a week: Mr. Sleazy, as she’d come to think of him. They had been sitting at the outdoor table for over an hour waiting for their mark to leave his office building. Feeling like she was melting, bored half out of her skull, and glad to be on the move again, she got into their rented Lexus ES300 and turned the ignition key. She set the air conditioning to full blast and leaned her head against the headrest. The cool air blew across her face, which glowed with perspiration.

She glanced at the dashboard and groaned. “Is it really 104 degrees out there?”

Zeke adjusted the vents. “Considering the humidity is at least in the eighty percent range, it feels more like 150.”

Taking a lace hankie from her purse on the passenger seat, she blotted her face so as not to ruin her makeup. She fluffed the bangs of her brown wig and slipped on her oversized sunglasses before adjusting the air conditioning vents to point straight at her. After putting the car into drive, she eased out onto the road and secretly offered Mr. Googly Eyes an unladylike hand signal.

Wynona maneuvered the Lexus down the curvy shade-dappled country lane while singing along to Garth Brooks’s “Friends in Low Places” on the radio. She pulled off to the side of the road, stopping just in front of a black mailbox with white lettering that spelled “Reid.” The box stood to the right of a long driveway leading to a large colonial two-story house. This wasn’t Mr. Sleazy’s house but one just down the road from his ticky-tacky run-of-the-mill ranch house. After a few minutes, she was impatient. “Come on, you know this road has hardly any traffic. We’ve only seen a handful of cars in the six days we’ve been tailing Polyster Man.

Zeke cracked the car door, waited, and listened. The only sound was the rat-a-tat of a woodpecker. Convinced no cars were near, he hurried to the rear of the car as she popped the trunk. He pulled out a duffle bag and slid back into the car, laying the bag on the floor in front of the passenger seat.

“Now watch, Wynona. You might need to know how to do this some day. Pay attention.” Reaching under the clothing inside the bag, he pulled out the pieces of a Glock .40 caliber semi-automatic. Grabbing the slide, he took the barrel and slid it in, put in the guide rod and spring, keeping his thumb over it. With the weapon in his other hand, he said, “Make sure there are no obstructions, match the male/female grooves, slide it on, lock it to the rear, and put down the takedown lever at three o’clock.” He quickly snapped the pieces into place and screwed the silencer on.

Wynona recoiled a little when he opened his bag of tricks, as he liked to call his knife set. Her mind went over the different ways she’d seen him use each one in the past. A slow and torturous death was his specialty and why people asked for him.

Wynona glanced at the time on the dashboard. “I reckon we’ve spent five minutes cooling off after leaving the coffee shop and fifteen driving here. It should also take Sleazy fifteen minutes to get here—after his usual thirty minutes in the bar.” Wy reached in the bag, pulled out a CD, and popped it into the player. “If I Had Shot You When I Wanted To, I’d Be Out By Now” came over the speakers, and she tapped her fingers on the steering wheel as she sang along.

Zeke watched and said, “I love a girl with a sense of humor in this line of work.”

Twenty-five minutes later, she turned off the engine. They got out of the car, and he raised the hood. Zeke crouched in front of the car, while she leaned against the Lexus to wait.
She heard it before she saw it. “Showtime,” Wynona said.

“Do your stuff, Wy.” Zeke shifted slightly in the gravel.

She leaned in under the hood from the side of the Lexus that faced the oncoming car so that her long thoroughbred legs would have a chance to work their full magic. She heard the pop of gravel and an engine slowing as he eased his car to the side of the road.

“What’s the problem?” Mr. Sleazy asked as he approached her.

Holding the gun in his right hand, Zeke rose to his full height, walked past her, and pointed the weapon at Sleazy.

“Honey, you’re the problem.“ Wynona cocked her head. “But we’ve got the solution.” She noticed his Adam’s apple bob up and down; hers did too.

Walking toward him with the gun aimed at his chest, Zeke said, “You’ve made someone awfully mad with your low quantity of moral fiber. You pretended to be someone you’re not. You took advantage of people. You stole money from them. They said to make it a . . .” he stretched out his words, “. . . slow, painful end to your time here on earth.”

Zeke’s smile reflected his intentions.

Amy Metz

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not actively engaged in writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Facebook or Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jun 152016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

I am so pleased to welcome Elaine Orr to Escape With Dollycas today.

Orr, Elaine head small

 

Author Interests and Cozy Mysteries

by Elaine L. Orr

Mysteries can have plots as complex as a Terence Faherty’s Owen Keane novels or feature places as exotic as the Inspector Singh Asian locales. Cozy mysteries are complex, but they differ in that small-town setting and the ‘ordinary’ milieu are often as important as the crime itself.

Rarely do cozies take place on what a noir mystery might call the mean streets of New York (or Los Angeles or Chicago).

Readers enjoy a particular set of cozy mystery characters because of their profession, hobbies, or pets – something that garners interest besides the how the murderer got in and out of a locked room without being seen. I enjoy Sparke Abbey’s Pampered Pet series because I like pet antics, and Meg Muldoon’s Christmas River series because I appreciate that town and its varied shops and characters.

It’s dangerous to name favorite series – I like so many of them and there are many yet to discover.

I developed the Jolie Gentil cozy mystery series with a set of friends from diverse walks of life at the Jersey shore. Some have oddball senses of humor, and several volunteer with hometown causes from time to time (think food pantry fundraisers). Why the shore? Because I love Atlantic coast beaches.

I also like professions that give characters wide-ranging ways to get in trouble. In the Jolie series, she’s a real estate appraiser who is in a lot of vacant (or at least empty) houses. She has ties to the business community, which is what keeps small towns going.

As I created a second series, I knew I wanted a small Iowa town with a focus on rural life. And humorous perspectives, of course. Again, I migrated toward water, creating the fictional town of River’s Edge along the Des Moines River in Southeast Iowa.

Farmington 2 0n 6 May 29 2016

The River’s Edge series features Melanie Perkins, a landscaper who sometimes digs up more than she bargains for.

Newsprint-to-Footprints 4 by 6Though I hadn’t anticipated writing two series set near water, I should have. I once owned a house in Maryland with an A-frame living room/dining room combo. I probably had fifteen photos on that huge wall.

After a year, I realized all had water in them. Is that weird, or what? Not bizarre to have such a sprinkling, so to speak, but to have done it without planning.

Writers create settings or professions that are very different from their lives. I think we can also be drawn to those that, at their core, represent what we like. Or perhaps wish our lives were similar to.

That’s not to say I want to spend all my own time in small towns. I’ve traveled widely for work and pleasure, and many of the people I’ve met along the way have been fodder for characters (or at least their behavior) in my books.

However, there is a special camaraderie in smaller communities. Those near water can have distinct challenges. The Des Moines River has left its banks too often, especially during the 1993 and 2008 flood seasons. Who thought flooding was a season? The Jersey shore does not have as many hurricanes as North Carolina or Florida, but when they make it up the Atlantic they may bring catastrophe.

A decent plot is essential for a good mystery, but why not learn about a hobby or part of the country at the same time?

How? At a bookselling site, use the search box to type in “cozy mysteries with.” You’ll be surprised at what pops up without further prompting (ghosts, cats, dogs, and more). Even more varied is typing “cozy mysteries in small towns.”

With more than 100,000 books published a day on Amazon, many books correspond to your interests. If you like water, tranquil or not, I hope you enjoy the Jolie Gentil or Rivers Edge series.

~Elaine

____________________________________________________________________

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From Newsprint to Footprints:
A River’s Edge Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Self Published
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1519381286
E-Book ASIN: B017VN6DNQ
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“You’re fired!” Grouchy news publisher Hal Morris sends reporter Melanie Perkins packing for taking too many photos of flowers.

Panicked at being unemployed, she lands a job as a landscaper, but an ugly surprise greets her on her first day. A pile of mulch, a tangerine, and a stolen hoe cast suspicion on Melanie.

Melanie’s efforts to find a murderer instead put a target on her back. Some of the aim is coming from law enforcement, but they aren’t the ones who want to silence her permanently. Life along the Des Moines River in Iowa can be peaceful, but a murderer has no problem disturbing her tranquility.

In this, the first novel in beloved cozy mystery writer Elaine Orr’s new River’s Edge series, the author once again offers humor, believable characters and tight prose as she carries the reader to an exciting climax. Those who follow her Jolie Gentil series will find themselves right at home.

About The Author

Elaine L. Orr is the Amazon bestselling author of the Jolie Gentil cozy mystery series, set at the Jersey shore. Behind the Walls was a finalist for the 2014 Chanticleer Mystery and Mayhem Awards. The first book in Elaine’s River’s Edge cozy mystery series, From Newsprint to Footprints, debuted in late fall 2015. The second will follow in fall 2016. Elaine also writes plays and novellas. She also conducts presentations on electronic publishing and other writing-related topics. A member of Sisters in Crime, Elaine grew up in Maryland and moved to the Midwest in 1994. Learn more about her at www.elaineorr.com

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