Sep 172014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to welcome Janis Thornton to Escape With Dollycas today!
Her book Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies (An Elmwood Confidential Cozy Mystery)
will be released on October 15 and she will be touring with
Great Escapes Book Tours October 15 – 30!!

Janis author photo2Find Your Great Escape and Zen Happens

There are those who contend that pinning thoughts to paper (or computer screen!) is a lonely job requiring solitude and serenity, without distractions or outside pressures. When it’s just you, your thoughts, and your writing tools, Zen happens.

Or does it?

When I’m by myself at home with noise-producing devices turned off, my muse tends to go AWOL and random thoughts start running amok. Should I make my bed? How about the stack of dishes in the kitchen sink? Have I checked Facebook in the last hour?

DustBunniesDeadBodies4Needless to say, little writing gets done.

For me, Zen tends to happen under circumstances that are counter to prevailing beliefs. I have found no better escape for writing than being in the middle of unbridled activity, and nothing has helped me hone the ability to tune out distractions and focus on the writing more than my years as a newspaper reporter and editor. Thanks to that experience, I’m at my creative and productive best when I’m:

• Beside a persistently ringing telephone
• On deadline
• In a crowded newsroom
• Against all odds
• Under the scrutiny of an impatient boss
• Over a warm Coke
• Amid a chorus of cursing co-workers

I’ve always drawn energy and inspiration from crowds. As an anonymous spectator with no ties to the activities swirling around me, I am free to withdraw deep into my own head, where I can explore notions, ideas, plots, and funny little paths that reveal themselves under no other circumstances.

As contemporary author/activist Cory Doctorow once said, “Write even when the world is chaotic. You don’t need a cigarette, silence, music, a comfortable chair or inner peace to write. You just need ten minutes and a writing implement.”

When you find your ideal great escape, I urge you to relish it, make it work for you, and go there whenever you must. Conversely, don’t lose sight that your great escape has absolutely nothing to do with what surrounds you.

It’s all about what lies within.


Crystal Cropper, the protagonist for my mystery, Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies (due out October 15 from Cup of Tea Books), has a background much like mine. Crystal is the Baby Boomer-age newspaper editor for the Elmwood Gazette. She loves her job and refuses to buckle under the pressure of the chaos that constantly swirls around her. Nor does she let it stop the power of her mighty pen to expose the perpetrators of corruption that percolates inches below the surface of Elmwood’s Arcadian veneer.

Crystal has a nose for news and a penchant for sticking it into places that smell like the leftovers in the back of her fridge. Fortunately for her, what her nose doesn’t sniff out, her best confidential informant — 80-year-old cleaning lady Gertie Tyroo — sweeps her way. Too bad Gertie’s latest hot tip has landed her in a coma, courtesy of an unknown assailant.

Now Crystal must follow the trail of dirt and gossip right to the doorsteps of several prominent local families to solve a decades-old murder and the disappearance of a young boy . . .

About This Author
Janis Thornton is a freelance writer, personal historian, and award-winning journalist. She is the author of two local history books, Images of America: Tipton County and Images of America: Frankfort. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Indiana Writers Center, Association of Personal Historians, and the Midwest Writers Workshop Planning Committee. She lives in a small, Indiana town not unlike Elmwood. Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies is her debut novel.

Author Links
Website: www.janis-thornton.com
Blog: www.janis-thornton.com/blog
Facebook: www.facebook.com/janis.thornton.96
Twitter: www.twitter.com/JanisThornton
Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/-/e/B00E5UTSFY

DustBunniesDeadBodies4Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies
(An Elmwood Confidential Cozy Mystery)

New Cozy Series
Published by Cup of Tea Books
An Imprint of PageSpring Publishing (October 15, 2014)
E-Book File Size: 3659 KB
Print Length: 286 pages
ASIN: B00N34T6XM
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When it comes to murder, forget the butler . . . it’s the housekeeper who knows where the bodies are buried.

Small-town newspaper editor Crystal Cropper never takes “no” for an answer, hates to be called a “senior citizen,” and uses the power of her pen to expose corruption in her small town.

Cleaning lady Gertie has a knack for sweeping skeletons out of closets—which makes her one of Crystal’s best informants. But Gertie’s latest hot tip has landed her in a coma, courtesy of an unknown assailant.

Now Crystal must follow the trail of dirt and gossip right to the doorsteps of several prominent local families to solve a decade-old murder and the disappearance of a young boy . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this debut novel Janis Thornton hits all the cozy mystery marks:

  • Small town – Elmwood, Indiana
  • Engaging characters – Crystal Cropper is a strong protagonist with a nose for news and the ability to stick that nose where it doesn’t belong to solve matters that should be left to the police.
  • Quirky characters – Gertie is both quirky and engaging.  She may work as a cleaning lady but she has a whole slew of secrets. Virl, the local law, and Bud owner of Bud’s Roadside Diner also fit the bill.
  • Plenty of suspects –  You bet, this story has quite a few.
  • A plot with twists and turns – This mystery is full of surprises and a couple of shocking moments.
  • A bit of humor – The dialogue and interactions between Crystal and  Virl and with Gertie and other characters is wonderful and full of humor. Crystal is a woman who speaks her mind and her mouth doesn’t have much of a filter.
  • No gory violence or foul language – this story pushes the envelope with this as there is a bit of swearing and the violence gets close but I didn’t think crossed the line. The ending was absolutely thrilling.

This story was so much fun to read. I can’t believe it is Janis Thornton’s debut novel. I am excited ti see where she takes these characters next!

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

I have one Kindle e-copy to give away!

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 Commnt For Janis 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 October 1, 2014 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.”

Sep 162014
 

OF MURDER AND MERLOTOf Merlot & Murder
(A Tangled Vines Mystery)

2nd Book in Series
MIDNIGHT INK (September 8, 2014)
An Imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.
Trade Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738740768
E-Book File Size: 2380 KB
ASIN: B00MMMCR4G
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Foul play at the festival

When her family’s winery becomes one of the sponsors at the Lost Pines Food and Wine Festival, Elise Beckett’s spirits soar at the chance to help with their booth. But as the festival gets underway, her cheerful mood turns sour when rival vintner Divia Larson is found dead.

With all clues pointing to her grandmother as the prime suspect, Elise and her deputy sheriff boyfriend team up to clear her name. But Divia’s murder is as complex as a fine wine, with a strong bouquet of suspicion, bitter notes of betrayal, and more than a hint of danger. Will Elise and Jackson be able to untangle the mess before another victim is corked?

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Thank goodness Elise and Jax are a couple because any other law enforcement officer would lock her up for her investigating. Sometimes she crosses the line by a mile and it usually ends up with her needing him to come to her rescue. But it does make a great story for us readers to enjoy.

Elise Beckett is a very independent woman with a serious shoe shopping problem but with her grandmother at the top of the suspect list she is not going to sit idly by. She gets into trouble when she gets her family and friends involved in her inquires and they are not a subtle bunch plus they don’t have enough sense to realize the killer could come after them. I love the way they all band together to help but let’s face it they don’t know what they are doing. The dialogue is priceless and sometimes full of a humor but the predicaments they find themselves in may not end up being too funny.

Folger has created a wonderful cast full of great people readers will love and plenty of suspects who they will love to hate. I love the setting of the food and wine festival, it really uncorks a bottle full of people who could have reasons to want the woman dead. Divia did not have many friends but she had plenty of enemies. There is quite a tangled web of clues, secrets revealed and lies uncovered.

The author has blended a fine mystery that I really enjoyed. Like wine this series continues to get better with age. I liked book two even more than more one. I can’t wait to decant the next story in this series.

a perfect escape
5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Joni Folger and her books visit her webpage here.

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.”

Sep 152014
 

FOR EVERYTHING A SEASONFor Everything A Season
Self Published
Paranormal Romance
E-Book File Size: 458 KB
Print Length: 231 pages
ASIN: B00LBL7T9W
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Not all the witch trials took place in Salem. And there are people in nearby Rachael Crossing who believe the abandoned old house in their midst has roots going back to those awful times.

Determined not to be spooked by vague rumors, Deborah Colby leases that house for the summer and when she meets Ethan Burke, she’s certain she’s made the right decision – certain her whole life has been leading her there to him.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was introduced to Sharon Pape through her cozy mysteries and was very excited to hear she was re-releasing her 1983 novel Ghostfire that she updated a bit and turned it into For Everything A Season.

I haven’t read a Gothic Romancel in a very long time and I escaped right into this one. What a fantastic story.

Deborah Colby was looking for a little escape herself.  She thought spending the summer away from her overbearing sister would be a good idea so she decided to work as a camp counselor in a place called Rachel’s Crossing. Her sister was very disappointed, they always spent their summers together and she was bound and determined to find Deborah the perfect man to marry.  When they traveled to Rachel’s Crossing to find a place for Deborah to rent for the summer her sister was so happy to hear there wasn’t really any place available. She thought he sister would cancel her plans but Deborah was determined. The real estate agent said there was one place but it needed a lot of work. Deborah thought the place was acceptable if some basic work was done before she returned for the summer and signed the lease.

Deborah never realized that when she signed on the dotted line how much her life was about to change. The house not only needed maintenance, the house had secrets and everyone in town thought it was haunted.  Deborah didn’t believe it, and shortly after moving in she met Ethan Burke. She was immediately drawn to him and was so happy so came to Rachel’s Crossing.

I started reading this story and couldn’t put it down. The story starts out in 1692, the time of the Salem witch trials and then the chapters go back and forth between 1692 and 1982. I was drawn right in. The story was full of intrigue and mystery and a very interesting romance. At the end it jumps into the future a bit with a twist the still gives me an eerie feeling. I wanted to know more.

If this was one of Sharon Pape’s first stories all I can say is Wow! It sure shows me her not so cozy side and I absolutely loved it.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 Find out more about Sharon Pape and her books on her webpage here.

*Amazon Purchase

Sep 142014
 

This great meme is hosted by Sheila at
Book Journey”.
It’s a great way to start the week and
find out what other bloggers are reading.
My To-Be-Read pile has grown to an
unbelievable number thanks to this meme.

I am so not ready for the cool fall weather. Summer entered late and left way too soon and I keep seeing reports about how much colder and how much more snow this winter is supposed to bring. There are already posts up on Facebook counting down to Christmas. I just want the world to slow down for a few days and give me and my body a chance to catch up. How about you, are you ready for the cold, frigid temps that are creeping closer everyday?? Have you started Christmas shopping?

Here’s my recap of last week’s reading and what I am planning this week.
*All books are linked to Amazon

FINISHED

Of Merlot & Murder (A Tangled Vines Mystery)

  Review will be up tomorrow!
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Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies (An Elmwood Confidential Cozy Mystery Book 1)

Janis will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week!
Release Date: October 15
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Lost Legacy (A Zoe Chambers Mystery) (Volume 2)

The Great Escapes tour stops here on September 19
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Nightmares Can Be Murder (A Dream Club Mystery)

Review will be up on Thursday!
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ON DECK THIS WEEK

The Skeleton Takes a Bow (A Family Skeleton Mystery)

For Review
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Wouldn’t It Be Deadly: An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery

D.E. Iredland will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week!
Release Date: September 23, 2014
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Gone Girl

My daughters have both read this book.
It has been on my To-Be-Read since it came out.

Now with the movie about to debut and
everyone but me has read it I need to read it now!

It is my Just For Fun Read for September!
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escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Sep 142014
 

The Sunday Salon.com

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.

I recently read Etta Mae’s Worst Bad-Luck Day by Ann B. Ross. Last Sunday was officially my Worst Bad Luck Day in quite awhile. I have been writing the past couple of weeks about my email woes. Last weekend my husband decided he was going to fix my computer once and for all. He backed up absolutely everything to not just one but 2 external hard drives. I backed up blog and tour info on a jump drive just in case the computer was not ready to go on Monday.

bad daySunday afternoon my husband was pretty pleased with himself. He had taken the computer back to factory defaults and reinstalled Microsoft Office 2013 and everything was working great. My documents and spreadsheets opened perfectly. I was so excited.

Then I opened up the Outlook email program and asked were are all my folders? (I had a folder for each book tour, past, present and future. Every email regarding the tours was in those folders.) I started to hyperventilate and my husband said, calm down, I must have forgot to restore those. I went back to my book and he went back to work on my computer.

It wasn’t long and I hear him swearing and saying “you are going to kill me”. I went back out by the computer and he said, “I can’t restore your emails, there is a corrupt file”. It is probably the reason my email kept crashing before but I totally lost it.  Not only did I lose thousands of emails I had read but anything that came in late Friday afternoon until Sunday when we got things back up were lost. Plus emails I had flagged to answer on Monday. Then came another rude awakening. My contact list and calendar were gone too!

Whenever we tried to restore any part of Outlook 2013 we received the error message that the “task could not be completed due to a corrupted file”. I thought Great Escapes Book Tours was done and was ready  to pull my hair out. After several minutes spent going a little nuts I realized I had my spreadsheets, word documents, my blog and a file cabinet full of information. I may not be able to recover everything the way I had it but I could use what I had to keep things going.  I put a notice up on my blog asking anyone that sent me things recently to resend. I emailed publicists and authors and asked for help. I know some emails may have fell through through the cracks but am hopeful they will contact me again. By about 4 a.m. Monday morning I headed to bed having recreated everything I could and hoped on Monday I would receive the rest of  the information I was missing.

And I did, publicists, author, bloggers, friends all came through for me.  I will never recover the thousands of emails I lost but I am up and running. I am also saving everything in folders on my hard drive instead just in the email program and I am saving my calendars and contacts to the hard drive as well. My external backup drive still backs things up daily but I have learned a huge lesson. I am more careful but I also realize my life didn’t end because of this computer crash. Where there is a will there is a way.

I missed a few hours sleep and Sunday was a Worst Very Bad Luck Day but Monday was pretty awesome. A huge thank you to everyone that sent things I needed, sent words of encouragement and to my wonderful husband. No, I didn’t kill him :) He fixed my computer and made it work better and saved me again from myself by talking me through fixing the problem and not giving up.

weekly rewind credited235September 7 – 13, 2014
Monday – It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Tuesday - Review/Giveaway – Rebel Without A Cake by Jacklyn Brady

Wednesday - Cozy Wednesday with Sheila Webster Boneham – Author of Catwalk – Giveaway too!

Thursday - Spotlight/Giveaway – Deep in Death by Colleen Helme – Great Escapes Book Tour

Friday - Review/Giveaways – Murder and Marinara by Rosie Genova

Saturday -Let’s Chat with Rosie Genova – Author of The Wedding Soup Murder (Review and Giveaways too!)

mail call314

I hope you have the Best Good Luck Week Ever!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Sep 132014
 

special guest blueRosie just wrapped up the stops of her official Great Escapes Book Tour and I decided to tag myself on to the end. Yesterday I reviewed the first Italian Kitchen Mystery, Murder and Marinara and today you can find my review of The Wedding Soup Murder below my interview with Rosie. The Tour Rafflecopter Giveaway ends tomorrow night at midnight. My giveaways of my review copies will run the usual 2 weeks.

Now without further ado Let’s Chat with Rosie!

Genova head and shoulders high resHi Rosie!

Hi Lori!

Let’s start with the basics – Where are you from?

I grew up in a small town with a big name–Kenilworth. It’s in central New Jersey, and my parents still live there.

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember–stories and songs when I was little, and lots of bad poetry when I was in high school. A big part of the reason I started writing has to do with my mom, who encouraged me from the time I was very young. She now serves as my first draft reader.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I suppose I have always considered myself a writer, but didn’t feel entitled to say it out loud until I finished my first manuscript, which was about ten years ago.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book, which is unpublished, is a romantic comedy, an update of Much Ado about Nothing set at the Jersey shore. But my first published book, Murder and Marinara, was inspired by a number of things: the Golden Age mysteries of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, as well as my deep love for good Italian cooking and the Jersey shore.

Do you have a specific writing style?
That is an interesting question. Well, I aim to give readers some laughs while they are puzzling out the mystery, so I would hope my style is humorous. (Reviewers have described it as “breezy,” which I hope is not code for “lacks seriousness.”)


Tell us about your new book.

My new release, The Wedding Soup Murder, Book 2 in the Italian Kitchen Mysteries. In it, my main character Victoria is put in charge of catering the soup course at a fancy country club wedding. But when there’s a murder after the reception, Vic once again has to put her sleuthing skills to work.
How did you come up with the title?
My titles usually carry some reference to food or a specific Italian dish. I generally work with my agent and editor and we brainstorm ideas.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The story in The Wedding Soup Murder is driven by the theme of family, but that’s as much as I can say without spoilers!

How much of the book is realistic?
I would say that the setting is realistic and that the characters themselves are realistic, and I like to think that their dialogue sounds natural. Some of the situations in which they find themselves, however, owe an awful lot to my writer’s imagination.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
To a certain extent, the characters in the Italian Kitchen Mysteries are inspired by people I know, but they are composites of various character traits. Nonna, for example, is an amalgam of my two Italian grandmothers. In terms of setting, I have spent every summer of my life visiting the Jersey shore, and it’s a milieu I know very well. I also worked in Italian restaurants when I was in college. Like Victoria, when I was a thirty-ish woman I felt the pull between family and work, so here and there my own experiences do sneak through.

What books have most influenced your life most?
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf changed my life, or at the very least my thinking about what it means to be a writer. We all need a room of our own!

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I look at how certain writers have reached out to those starting out–particularly Kristan Higgins and Stephanie Evanovich, both of whom have been kind and supportive to me–and I try to model that behavior myself. Writing and publishing is not for the faint of heart, and we need all the support we can get.

What book are you reading now?
I recently read Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling and hope to get my hands on Silkworm soon.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Well, Galbraith is certainly not a new author–the whole world knows “he” is really J.K. Rowling, but her work as a mystery writer is new to me, and somewhat of a revelation. Her books as Galbraith remind me of one of my favorites, P.D. James.

What would you like my readers to know?
That I love hearing from them! My website is www.rosiegenova.com and I am also on Facebook and Goodreads.

Thank you so much Rosie for taking the time to visit with us.

About Rosie Genova

A Jersey girl born and bred, national bestselling author Rosie Genova left her heart at the shore, which serves as the setting for much of her work. Her new series, the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, is informed by her appreciation for good food, her pride in her heritage, and her love of classic mysteries from Nancy Drew to Miss Marple. Her debut novel, Murder and Marinara, was named a 2013 Best Cozy by Suspense Magazine and is a finalist for a 2014 Daphne Award. An English teacher by day and novelist by night, Rosie also writes women’s fiction as Rosemary DiBattista. She still lives in her home state with her husband and the youngest of her three Jersey boys.

Find Rosie on the internet:

Website: www.rosiegenova.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RosieGenova

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6462450.Rosie_Genova

Wedding Soup Murder fullThe Wedding Soup Murder: An Italian Kitchen Mystery
Series: An Italian Kitchen Mystery (Book 2)
Obsidian(September 2, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415158
E-Book File Size: 1886 KB
ASIN: B00IOE4JOW
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Victoria Rienzi came home to the Jersey Shore to write a new book, learn the family restaurant business, and practice the fine art of Italian cooking. But when delicious dishes are paired with murder, Vic has a little too much on her plate…

When Vic asked her nonna for more responsibility in the kitchen, she didn’t mean making a thousand tiny meatballs by hand for the family’s famous wedding soup. The dish is to be served at the reception for a close family friend at the exclusive Belmont Country Club. And once there Vic has to deal with a demanding bridezilla and clashes in the kitchen—between the staff and servers, between two egocentric head chefs, and between the country club president and…well…everyone.

The wedding comes off without a hitch—until the body of the club’s president is found on the beach below a high seawall. Now Vic will need to use her noodle to find out who pushed whom too far…before she’s the one who lands in the soup!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another  winner from this author.  I was spoiled by being to read both books in this series back to back.

I have fallen hard for the whole Rienzi family.  They are all back.  The romantic triangle/tension continues to evolve between Vic, her old boyfriend Tim and carpenter Cal. Nonna is still keeping her family in check and strongly guiding them to her way of thinking. All the characters are growing as we get to know them better.

In  this installment we meet the chefs at the Belmont Country Club  and let’s just say I would rather spend time with chef Gordon Ramsey:) These chefs are extremely temperamental and are not happy having outsiders in their kitchen.  When the Club President is found dead there are plenty of suspects including the chefs and the father of the bride.

I was very impressed with the way Genova weaves the mystery into the Rienzi family subplots. It is seamless. Having a mystery writer as the protagonist just blends everything together deliciously, like a masterful piece of Italian lasagna, with plenty of layers. This breathes life into the characters and makes the jump off the pages.

As with the first story the descriptions and talk of the food made me so hungry. Again I appreciate the recipes included in the back of the book.

The only part I don;t like it that now I have to wait for a whole year to visit this wonderful Italian family. Ciao Rienzi Family! I can’t wait until we meet again!!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.

Leave A Comment for Rosie 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 September 27, 2014 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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.”

Sep 122014
 

When this book was touring with Great Escapes last year I just couldn’t squeeze it into my schedule. I added it here because the next book, The Wedding Soup Murder was released this month and I will be reviewing it tomorrow!!!

Murder and MarinaraMurder and Marinara:
An Italian Kitchen Mystery

First Book in Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (October 1, 2013)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415141
E-Book File Size: 2177 KB
ASIN: B00BC255Y6

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Hit whodunit writer Victoria Rienzi is getting back to her roots by working at her family’s Italian restaurant. But now in between plating pasta and pouring vino, she’ll have to find the secret ingredient in a murder….

When Victoria takes a break from penning her popular mystery series and moves back to the Jersey shore, she imagines sun, sand, and scents of fresh basil and simmering marinara sauce at the family restaurant, the Casa Lido. But her nonna’s recipes aren’t the only things getting stirred up in this Italian kitchen.

Their small town is up in arms over plans to film a new reality TV show, and when Victoria serves the show’s pushy producer his last meal, the Casa Lido staff finds itself embroiled in a murder investigation. Victoria wants to find the real killer, but there are as many suspects as tomatoes in her nonna’s garden. Now she’ll have to heat up her sleuthing skills quickly…before someone else gets a plateful of murder.

RECIPES INCLUDED!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Rosie Genova writes what she knows, she is a Jersey Girl, an author, and she loves good food! Wonder if these characters are based on her family…

Victoria did the unexpected when she left the family business behind, moved to New York and became a very successful mystery author. Now she is back to do a little research to write a non-fiction book about her heritage but she is barely unpacked before she is wrapped up in a murder investigation. Everyone thinks because she writes mysteries she can solve this one. The man died in her family’s restaurant so she feels obligated to do what she can but putting herself in danger was never on the menu.

Victoria is a strong protagonist and with her sister-in-law (SIL) as her sidekick what could go wrong….

The entire family dynamic is what makes me love this story. Her Nonna is quite a woman and she is not letting Victoria off easy when she returns. Victoria wants to learn to cook the family recipes and she finds herself planting tomatoes and working as a waitress. Her parents are involved with the restaurant but leave all the decisions to Nonna. Victoria’s brother, Danny, does not work at the restaurant either, but he is a police officer and Nonna finds that a reputable profession unlike that of being an author. I think she hates her family being separated more than anything.

In addition to the family there is sous chef Tim who just happens to be Victoria’s old boyfriend and is an honorary family member. Victoria thinks her Nonna loves him more than her own grandchildren. :) And there is Cal, a carpenter doing work at Casa Lido. He is not from Jersey and he is very secretive about his past but there is nothing secret about his feelings for Victoria.

Genova takes this characters and places them on the beautiful Jersey shore and stirs them all together in a very tasty story. The mystery is complex and keeps the reader engaged with each twist and turn. But I can’t forget the food. I swear I could smell the marinara sauce emanating from the pages and I was so hungry by the time I finished. Thankfully she includes recipes!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

A Jersey girl born and bred, national bestselling author Rosie Genova left her heart at the shore, which serves as the setting for much of her work. Her new series, the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, is informed by her appreciation for good food, her pride in her heritage, and her love of classic mysteries from Nancy Drew to Miss Marple. Her debut novel, Murder and Marinara, was named a 2013 Best Cozy by Suspense Magazine and is a finalist for a 2014 Daphne Award.  An English teacher by day and novelist by night, Rosie also writes women’s fiction as Rosemary DiBattista. She still lives in her home state with her husband and the youngest of her three Jersey boys.

Author Links

Website: www.rosiegenova.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RosieGenova

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6462450.Rosie_Gen

 

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 5 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Contest Will End September 26, 2014 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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.”

Sep 112014
 
My turn today on the deep in death Great Escapes Book Tour!!!

deep in death large banner640

deep in death
by Colleen Helme

I couldn’t put this book down. The story lines and plot twist were so captivating that I didn’t want to miss a single word.
~Shelley’s Book Case

I love reading Shelby Nichols Adventure(s).
~readalot

Fast-paced with emotional twists, turns, and bit paranormal, and some light humor. Another good read by Helme!
~Darla King Series

Loved it. Could not put it down.
~rantin, ravin and reading

I love the ability this author has of throwing Shelby into all sorts of trouble and watching Shelby weasel her way out of it. And this book was no different then her other troubling situations. This one was full of action, adventure, mystery and so much emotion it was literally a roller coaster ride!
~Community Bookstop

Deep In Death_01
Deep In Death:
A Shelby Nichols Adventure (Volume 6)

Cozy Mystery
Series: A Shelby Nichols Adventure
6th in Series
Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (July 16, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1500367220
E-Book File Size: 820 KB
ASIN: B00LZ5MBSI
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Synopsis:

Running “errands” for her mob-boss employer, Joey “The Knife” Manetto, often ends with Shelby in trouble, making her cautious about continuing her association with him. Instead, she focuses on a new client who hires Shelby to find her missing mother. What seems like a routine case turns into something more sinister and deadly than she ever imagined.

In the meantime, Uncle Joey has summoned Shelby to his office, where she runs into her former nemesis. Shelby inadvertently hears something that makes her fear for the lives of Uncle Joey and his hit-man, Ramos. This time, Uncle Joey is not sure he wants to involve Shelby in something he knows could get her killed. Keeping Shelby’s involvement to a minimum has disastrous results, sending Shelby on a dangerous path. As her investigation unfolds, Shelby finds death at every turn, and soon realizes she is in over her head. Can she escape from danger in time? Or will she find herself deep in death?

colleen_helme_small

 

About This Author

As the author of the Shelby Nichols Adventure Series, Colleen is often asked if Shelby Nichols is her alter-ego. “Definitely,” she says. “Shelby is the epitome of everything I wish I dared to be.” Known for her laugh since she was a kid, Colleen has always tried to find the humor in every situation and continues to enjoy writing about Shelby’s adventures. “I love getting Shelby into trouble…I just don’t always know how to get her out of it!” Colleen lives in the Rocky Mountains with her family. Besides writing, she loves a good book, biking, hiking, and playing board and card games with family and friends. She loves to connect with readers and admits that fans of the series keep her writing.

Author Links:

http://www.colleenhelme.com
https://www.facebook.com/ColleenHelmeAuthor
http://www.shelbynicholsconsulting.com
https://twitter.com/ColleenHelme
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/105805.Colleen_Helme
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22676443-deep-in-death

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon B&N

Tour Participants

September 1 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
September 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
September 3 – readalot – Review
September 4 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
September 5 – Darla King Series – Review
September 6 – Brooke Blogs -Interview
September 7 – off
September 8 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review
September 9 – Community Bookstop – Review
September 10 – Books-n-Kisses – Review
September 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Spotlight
September 12 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Interview
September 13 – off
September 14 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review
September 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sep 102014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

I am so excited to welcome Sheila Webster Boneham back to Escape With Dollycas!!

When we originally set up this date the book was set to be released this month.
The new release date is October 8, 2014.

SheilaJayKiss200

Writing Serious Issues in Fun(ny) Mysteries

In my mysteries, dogs and cats and other animals are vital characters. After all, the series isn’t called Animals in Focus for nothing. Each book in the series finds 50-something animal photographer Janet MacPhail participating in a different “animal activity”—a type of competitive event, or noncompetitive sport, or non-sporting activity such as pet-assisted therapy–and each mystery hinges on an issue that just might inspire murder and mayhem.malcombface

I’ve spent many years deep in the world of animals. Purebred, mixed breed, rescued, responsibly bred—I love them all. And honestly, I like the vast majority of people involved with dogs and cats in all those arenas. If I’ve learned anything, it is that no serious issue is simple, and that there are good, responsible people involved in all parts of the “animal world.” There are also some of the others.

Just as they do in real life, serious issues can create major problems for cozy writers in a genre that discourages “nittygrittyness.” So one of the challenges I face is balance: how do I balance some really tough realities with the conventions of the cozy?

In the first book, Drop Dead on Recall (2012) we meet Janet and her Australian Shepherd Jay at a canine obedience trial. When a nationally ranked l competitor keels over, Janet, Jay, and their very important feline family member Leo find themselves embroiled in a series of murders that seem to be linked to breeder ethics (or lack thereof) and cut-throat competitiveness.

In The Money Bird (2013) Janet has her lens focused on retrievers training for AKC retrieving tests, especially the handsome Drake and his almost-as-handsome person, Tom Saunders. When Drake retrieves something unexpected at a practice session, Janet quickly finds herself face-to-face with illegal trafficking in endangered tropical birds, a very nasty business that is all to common and lucrative in the real world.

Catwalk, available now for pre-order, takes Janet and Leo to their first competitive event—feline agility! Janet competes with her dog, Jay, in the canine version, and figures fair is fair. Besides, Leo loves “playing” agility, so why not? The book also drops Janet into the controversial and emotional politics of feral cat colonies and trap-neuter-release programs, and environmentally destructive land development.

So what are the challenges of writing “issues” into entertainment? First, readers of “cozies” have certain expectations:

1. Murder and allusions to sex are fine; graphic details are not.
2. Adult humans may be killed; children and animals may be threatened, but can’t be harmed. (And why would I want to?)
3. Serious issues may be presented and may underlie motives, but they shouldn’t be the main focus.

Knowing these “rules” is helpful in some ways, restrictive in others. After all, I’m writing about creatures and issues that stir intense emotions in me as well as in my readers, and it isn’t always easy to stifle myself. Many authors face this problem in fiction, where characters and story (plot, if you prefer) are the real focus. So how do we strike a balance? Not all of us do – I’m sure we’ve all read books in which the author’s passion for a cause overshadowed everything else. If you’re like me, you may have quit reading, especially when I pick up a book mostly for entertainment and escape. I do read serious books, but I go into them knowing what to expect. Most of us don’t like to be bludgeoned when we’re reading for fun.

On the other hand, I do like to learn new things and want to live consciously. More than one novel has teased me into digging deeper into an issue that I didn’t know much about. I hope I’m striking that balance in my own fiction.

 

I would love to hear what you think. In fact, if you leave a comment, I will put your name in the hopper to win one of my mysteries—winner’s choice.
 
 

Would you like a chance to name one of the new animals? Check out my Catwalk pre-order contest to name a kitten or puppy at http://writersandotheranimals.blogspot.com/2014/09/help-name-mystery-kitten-and-puppy.html
~Sheila

About This Author

Sheila Webster Boneham writes the Animals in Focus mystery series. Drop Dead on Recall, the first book in the series, won the 2013 Maxwell Award for Fiction from the Dog Writers Association of America and was an NBC Petside Best Ten Dog Book of 2012. Sheila is also the author of 17 nonfiction books, six of which have won major awards from the Dog Writers Association of America and the Cat Writers Association.

For the past two decades Boneham has been showing her Australian Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers in various canine sports. She has bred top-winning Aussies, and founded rescue groups for Aussies and Labs. Boneham holds a doctorate in folklore from Indiana University, an MFA Stonecoast/University of Southern Maine, and resides in Wilmington, N.C. Sheila writes literary nonfiction and poetry as well, and teaches writing. You can keep up with Sheila’s latest news at www.sheilaboneham.com and www.facebook.com/sheilawrites, learn more about animal-oriented writing—with some of your favorite authors!—at her Writers & Other Animals blog at www.writersandotheraniamls.blogspot.com.

Catwalk_NewCatwalk
(An Animals in Focus Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Published by MIDNIGHT INK (October 8, 2014)
Trade Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738734880
E-Book Link will be up soon!
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Agility can be murder for cats, dogs, and people!

Animal photographer Janet MacPhail is training for her cat Leo’s first feline agility trial when she gets a frantic call about a “kidnapping.” When Janet and her Australian Shepherd Jay set out to track down the missing party, they quickly find themselves drawn into the volatile politics of feral cat colonies and endangered wetlands.

Janet is crazy busy trying to keep up with her mom’s nursing-home romance, her own relationship with Tom, and upcoming agility trials with Jay and Leo. But the discovery of a body on the canine competition course stops the participants dead in their tracks—and sets Janet on the trail of a killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Again Sheila Webster Boneham has crafted a wonderful story with a great whodunit. She also includes just the right amount of humor and romance. The mystery is so well plotted and will keep you guessing right up until the end.

This time kitties join the puppies in the adventure!! Leo is quite a cat. He is training just like the dogs do for agility trials and I am very impressed with his talents. Our cats were very agile when traveling as high as possible around the house but the only time they rushed anywhere was to the kitchen when they heard the can opener.

Jay is quite a dog as well with a very good sniffer. He comes in very handy when trying to find lost kittens or to track down a killer.

I like Janet MacPhail more with each story. I enjoy the pace that her relationship with Tom is progressing. They are an older couple who are used to being on their own and their lifestyles are starting to mesh together perfectly. Janet’s mother also plays a key role in this story and that really put a smile on my face.  The realistic characters are what makes these stories really shine.

The other thing I look forward to in these stories is that we learn something too. This time is was about a capture, neuter, release program for feral cats. We also learned a bit about conservation and areas that need to be preserved for birds and wild animals to thrive and survive.

If you love animals, and who wouldn’t, you have to read this series.  They can all be read as stand alones  but treat yourself to all three captivating mysteries. You will be glad you did.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Leave a Comment For Sheila.
You could win a book!!

 

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.”

Sep 092014
 

Rebel without a cakeRebel Without a Cake
(A Piece of Cake Mystery)

5th in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (September 2, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Chris Lyons
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425258279
E-Book File Size: 1575 KB
ASIN: B00IOE3PPQ
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In the still of the night…

Halloween is approaching, and the co-owners of Zydeco Cakes, Rita Lucero and her former mother-in-law, Miss Frankie, have scored a sweet treat—a fantastic catering opportunity that could lead to a rich future for their bakery. But their good news is quickly rattled by a bump in the night when Miss Frankie’s neighbor, Bernice, barrels into her kitchen toting a Bible and a gun, and serves up a story about a ghost at her window.

Bernice swears she just saw the ghost of her moonshiner uncle who disappeared in the swamp fifteen years ago. And when her cousin soon goes missing in the same swamp, Bernice is certain someone’s playing a nasty trick, and convinces Rita and Miss Frankie to help her investigate. They’ll just need to watch their steps, as these ladies are liable to get mired in a very swampy mystery…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Miss Frankie sure can get Rita into a lot of trouble and she does it up in spades in Rebel Without a Cake.  First she makes plans for Christmas without even asking Rita or thinking Rita may want to go home to visit her family for the holidays.

Then she sets her up with an appointment to cater a huge event, something Zydeco Cakes has never done before and they have less than 3 months to pull everything together and the woman in charge of the event is not making it easy.

On top of that Miss Frankie and her neighbor Bernice has Rita traveling back and forth from New Orleans to the swamp where Bernice’s family lives and they show up just in time to find a dead body.

Oh and how can I forget, things at Zydeco Cakes is crazy with Halloween orders and Edie is due to have her baby at any minute. She is definitely causing a bit of drama with all the employees.

That is a lot happening in one book so hold on tight and get ready for a wild ride!

I have come to love all these characters and all the baggage they bring with their lives. There can be disagreements, personal issues, time constraints and tons of pressure to produce awesome cakes that will make your mouth water, but through thick and thin there are there for each other no matter what.

We meet some new characters this time like Ox’s psychic aunt and all of Bernice’s family. All very interesting and some a little rude and some a little scary. Jacklyn Brady creates wonderful people to fill her stories. Very unique and some a little crazy but all of them come together in a fantastic story.

In  this installment we are not only dealing with the current mystery but the author is setting us up for the next book in this series. Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year are right around the corner.

The current mystery takes us deep into the bayou – gators can be anywhere and the pace is a little slower. Rita trusts the local law enforcement to catch the killer but she just can’t help but do a little investigating herself to try to hurry things along. I thought I had things figured out more than once and was cringing every time Rita was sticking her nose into things.  Of course Rita kept digging and she proved me wrong again. I loved it!

This is a series I recommend you read in order not only to get to know that cast of characters but also because the stories are so darn good. This is one of my favorite series for that very reason. There are fantastic subplots that continue through each book and each book is even better than the last. The tough part for me is waiting until next year to see what happens next!!

a perfect escape
5 STARFISH
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Jacklyn Brady is the national bestselling author of the Piece of Cake mystery series. You can find her online on her Website on Facebook and on Twitter

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies 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.

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

Contest Will End September 23, 2014 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.”

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