Aug 282014
 

sacrificeSacrifice
Follow up to Executive Pink
Suspense (Satire)
Self Published (July 24, 2013)
Paperback: 246 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1491061275
E-Book File Size: 457 KB
ASIN: B00AAHLBYW
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In a secret underground lab near Washington, D.C., Pink Pinkerton concocts a drug that can save humanity from itself. Intended as a better erectile dysfunction remedy, one that enlarges our imagination along with everything else, Pink’s formula also tames our lizard brain, quieting the baneful appetites and fears that make millionaires of clever salesmen who make billionaires of their sociopathic clients, who understandably want Pink dead and his formula uninvented. Satire? Absolutely.. Yet, so plausible, with characters so believable the narrative pulses with mystery and suspense.

Pink figures powerful corporations believe his miracle potion will ruin the world economy by making people so happy and enlightened they’ll quit starting wars and spending money on things they don’t need.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I love featuring Wisconsin authors. This book was written by a man from my home town. We never met, I have heard he graduated from high school the year before I was born. :) A friend recommended this book to me and I am glad she did. I just wish she would have told me about  the book he wrote before it. Truthfully I didn’t know it existed until I started writing this review so you know not reading it first did not deter me from enjoying this story.

Wouldn’t it be great if there really was a pill we could take to make people happy and enlightened? A pill that would make people matter more than the almighty dollar? It sounds wonderful but as the characters in this book found out it sure isn’t easy and it does have a BIG side effect.

The author takes on some heavy topics but writes in such a way that twists them so they keep their importance but feel much lighter. The character is conversing with the reader his through blog entries, narrating the action, sharing his personal thoughts, with a good bit of sarcasm.

 Alfred (Al) Pierce Geddies III takes us quite an adventure from prison to “The Cottage” and out into a dark woods. He goes from being the Former White House Chief of Staff to Special Congressional Prosecutor to Penitentiary Inmate #76490263478 to lab rat and how it happened will keep you glued to these pages.

Sometimes the timelines blurred a bit for me as in places. I don’t want to give any of the story away but at one point Geddies states something took “nearly 3 weeks” and then later he states they had been missing “almost a week”.  In an operation such as the one that takes place I believe the shorter time span to be correct and that maybe it was a typo and the author meant 3 days not 3 weeks.  This mistake is not relevant enough to downgrade my review. I found the story quite riveting.

If you are looking for a truly different kind of read, this is it. This story was not what I expected at all, but I truly escaped right into it. I have Matt Paust to thank for my recent book hangover.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Mathew Paust and his books here on his webpage.

*This book was from my personal collection.

Aug 272014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today I am super excited to welcome Penny Pike!

Her new Food Festival Mystery debuted this month with Death of a Crabby Cook.

Photograph (Jim Stevens/Bay Area News Group)

Photograph (Jim Stevens/Bay Area News Group)

DEATH OF A CRABBY COOK
by Penny Pike Warner

Do you munch while you read mysteries? How could you not, when reading one of the many wonderful food-related series on the market today, everything from cupcakes and pies to bacon and fries. I think the reason these culinary mysteries are so popular is simple: they make you hungry, you eat while you read, and they come with recipes.

I got the idea for writing a food truck mystery a couple of years ago before the “meals on wheels” phenomenon swept the country. I was in Napa, CA, doing research for another book (AKA drinking a lot of wine), and spotted a circle of colorful trucks offering intriguing specialties. I decided to try some plein air dining and ordered a little of everything from trucks Kung Fu Tacos, Happy Dumplings, The Boneyard, Fins on the Hoof, Me So Hungry, and Naked Chorizo. Yum. I was hooked.

crabbycookREVISECombining my love of both food and fiction, I began writing the first book in the food truck/food festival series, Death of a Crabby Cook. I created Darcy Burnett, a total foodie who loves to eat, but barely knows how to heat a frozen dinner in the microwave. To complicate things, I made her a restaurant reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle, suddenly downsized, and desperately in need of a job. While eating a therapeutic Caramel Espresso Cream Puff whipped up by Jake Miller from the Dream Puff Truck—and recognizing a hot food trend when she sees one—she’s inspired to write a cookbook full of food truck recipes.

Her first source is the upcoming San Francisco Seafood Festival. Darcy plans to use her journalistic skills to gather recipes for everything from Crab Mac and Cheese from her aunt’s Big Yellow School Bus food truck, to Hangtown Oyster Omelets from the Bacon is the New Black truck.

But her plans are interrupted by a loud commotion in the Ft. Mason food truck area. Chef Oliver Jameson is arguing with a petite woman wielding a large knife. The woman happens to be Darcy’s sixty-something Aunt Abby, a former school cafeteria cook who now owns her own tricked-out school bus and serves comfort food to hungry diners. Abby accuses Jameson of harassing the food truckers in the area—competition for his brick-and-mortar Bones ‘n’ Brew restaurant—which he denies. Did he really plant a rat in her bus to get her in trouble with the Health Department?

When the chef is suddenly poisoned by his own crab bisque—and Aunt Abby becomes a suspect—Darcy smells a rat. Together with Aunt Abby’s hacker son Dillon and dream puff Jake Miller, she discovers something rotten in the food truck world. But it’s not the recipes…they’re to die for!

I just finished DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER, and I have to admit, the research was more fun than the writing. I think I’ll include a warning label inside the book: Read with chocolate. And there will be plenty of recipes to help.

~Penny

About Penny Warner/Penny Pike

Penny Warner has published over 60 books for both adults and children. Her first mystery series, beginning with DEAD BODY LANGUAGE, features Connor Westphal, a deaf reporter living in the California Gold Country. The book won a Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, and was nominated for an Agatha and an Anthony Award.

Her second mystery series, beginning with How to Host a Killer Party, features event planner, Presley Parker, and is set in the San Francisco Bay Area. Presley solves mysteries on Alcatraz, at the de Young Museum, at the Winchester Mystery House, in Colma, the City of Souls, and in the Napa wine country.

Her newest series, Death of a Crabby Cook, features Darcy Burnett, a former restaurant critic who now works in her Aunt Abby’s food truck and lives in an Airstream RV. The book is set among food trucks and food festivals in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Seafood Festival. DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER, set at the Chocolate Festival, will be out next year, followed by DEATH OF AN APPLE FEST PEST.

Her middle-grade mystery series, The Code Busters Club, won the Agatha Award for Best Children’s Mystery, and has been nominated for the World Mystery Anthony Award for Best Children’s Mystery. The series features four kids who solve mysteries by cracking codes in each chapter. The books are set in Berkeley, on Alcatraz, at the Carmel Mission, at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, and the International Spy Museum in Washington DC. Her non-fiction book, The Official Nancy Drew Handbook,was nominated for an Agatha Award.

She writes a column for the local newspaper on family life in the Valley, creates fund-raising murder mystery events for libraries across the country, and teaches child development at Diablo Valley College. She can be reached at http://www.pennywarner.com or pennywarnerink@yahoo.com.

crabbycookREVISEDeath of a Crabby Cook:
A Food Festival Mystery

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (August 5, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451467812
E-Book File Size: 1307 KB
ASIN: B00HZ1E3OQ
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At the San Francisco Seafood Festival, someone is steamed enough to kill a cook….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I absolutely loved Penny’s Party Planning Mysteries so I am so glad she has returned with this Death of a Crabby Cook: – A Food Festival Mystery Series.

We meet Darcy Burnett who wrote restaurant reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle, I use the past tense because she was laid off as the story began. She quickly starts helping her Aunt Abby with her food truck with hopes of writing a cookbook based on recipes from food fests in the Bay Area.

Penny Pike has written quite a mystery and for most of the book I thought I knew whodunit and happily was so wrong. She had twisted me into quite a pretzel. No pretzel food truck in the story though but there is The Coffee Witch, Dream Puffs, The Yankee Doodle Noodle Truck, Road Grill, The Big Yellow School Bus and more.

Darcy’s aunt worked in a school cafeteria until she retired and opened The Big Yellow School Bus where she serves comfort food like Crabby Cheerleader Mac and Cheese and Science Experiment Spaghetti.

There is a local chef, Oliver Jameson, who owns a restaurant adjacent to where the food trucks park daily and he is sure they are the reason his restaurant is going broke.  He has had very public arguments with most of the food truck owners but he had a huge one today with Aunt Abby. So when his dead body is found she is the number one suspect.

Darcy knows her aunt would never hurt a soul, she may yell at someone but kill them, no way!! All the clues keep pointing to Abby so Darcy knows she is being framed. With a little help from her techie cousin Dillon, Darcy is going to catch the killer one way or another.

All these mobile restaurant owners are truly unique and most have some kind of secret. I was really surprised at how much we found out about these characters in this first book. My mother ran a restaurant/cafe for years in our small town. Aunt Abby reminds me a lot of my mom. She cooked comfort food too. She was also very independent just like Aunt Abby. Darcy is a little like I was back then, I couldn’t cook worth a darn and sometimes was a little too nosy for my own good. Thankfully my life was never in danger.

This story is a lot like the food Aunt Abby served, comfortable with a few surprises to keep those pages turning at a pretty speedy pace.  My only problem with the story is that it didn’t come with food samples. I know there are recipes included but I sure could go for a Dreamy Cream Puff or 2 or 3, any flavor drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with powdered sugar right now and the whole time I was reading this story!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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.

Leave a comment for Penny 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 10, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners 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.”

Aug 262014
 

etta maeEtta Mae’s Worst Bad-Luck Day
Spin-Off Stand Alone from the Miss Julia Series
Humor/Women’s Fiction
Viking (August 19, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0670024377
E-Book File Size: 1181 KB
ASIN: B00INIXI1E
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Bestselling author Ann B. Ross is back with another lively adventure set in the town of Abbotsville. For the first time, though, she writes from the perspective of another resident: the hardscrabble, heart-of-gold Etta Mae Wiggins.

Etta Mae is frustrated with her trailer-park life and her no-good family, and she has big dreams for something better. Working as the home nurse for the elderly but wealthy Howard Connard, Senior, she finally sees her chance—with her sexy curves and infectious charm, Etta Mae is determined to become his wife. Unfortunately, Connard’s scheming, money-hungry son and stuck-up daughter-in-law are equally determined to make sure she doesn’t.

To make matters worse, Etta Mae’s ex-husband Skip (her first ex, that is) has shown up with a winning lottery ticket in his hand and local thugs hot on his heels. Plus, her dreamy former flame, officer Bobby Lee, keeps popping up to remind her that she’s not over him yet. In the middle of all this mayhem, Etta Mae has to get that marriage license—before it’s too late!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

If you are a fan of the Miss Julia books you have already been introduced to Etta Mae Wiggins. If you have not had the pleasure this is a great book to start with. After that you will want to start from the beginning with Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind.

Ann B. Ross writes in a way that engages you into this crazy story right away. Etta Mae sure get herself into zany predicaments. Her heart is in the right place but nothing for her is ever easy. Her dilemmas will have you chuckling and some will tug at your heart. Etta Mae is a strong sassy woman and I absolutely love her!!!

The entire series is absolutely charming and full of wonderful characters. There is always a bit of mystery, a dash of romance, and a barrel full of humor. The dialogue has a true southern feel and the settings from the trailer court to high class homes of the upper crust of  Abbotsville are delightfully described.

I need to catch up with Miss Julia in Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble and Miss Julia’s Marvelous Makeover and I will be doing that very soon.

It is never a Worst Bad-Luck Day when you travel to Abbotsville courtesy of Ann B. Ross!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Ann B. Ross and Miss Julia at http://www.missjulia.com/

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.

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

Contest Will End September 9, 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.”

Aug 242014
 

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.

IMG_2147
I absolutely love sunflowers. My son and his girlfriend gave me a bright yellow pot with some sunflower seeds as part of my Mother’s Day gift. We planned them in the Spring and 3 plants sprouted. They have since been transplanted to larger pots plus thanks to the birds knocking the birdseed out of the feeders I also have one crawling up the stake of the feeders. The big sunny face always makes me smile.

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

FINISHED

The Corpse with the Emerald Thumb (A Cait Morgan Mystery)

I have been wanting to read this for so long so it is my Just For Fun read this month.
My Review

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Undertaking Irene (Jane Delaney Mysteries Book 1)

My Review
It also fills the “U” spot on my A-Z Challenge!
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Etta Mae’s Worst Bad-Luck Day

Review will be up tomorrow! goodreads-badge-add-plus

Death of a Crabby Cook: A Food Festival Mystery

Penny will be my guest this week for Cozy Wednesday!
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ON DECK THIS WEEK

Sacrifice

For Review – Wisconsin Author
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Paws For Murder: A Pet Boutique Mystery

For Review
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Groomed For Murder: A Pet Boutique Mystery

Annie Know will be my guest next week for Cozy Wednesday!
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escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Aug 242014
 
undertaking irene large banner 640Today I am thrilled to host the stop for Undertaking Irene on
the Great Escapes Book Tour!

undertaking-ireneUndertaking Irene
(Jane Delaney Mysteries Book 1)

Cozy Mystery
Self Published
E-Book File Size: 821 KB
Print Length: 260 pages
ASIN: B00MD5VDNS
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Jane Delaney does things her paying customers can’t do, don’t want to do, don’t want to be seen doing, can’t bring themselves to do, and/or don’t want it to be known they’d paid someone to do. To dead people.

Life gets complicated for Jane and her Death Diva business when she’s hired to liberate a gaudy mermaid brooch from the corpse during a wake. Well, a girl’s got to make a living, and this assignment pays better than scattering ashes, placing flowers on graves, or bawling her eyes out as a hired mourner.

Unfortunately for Jane, someone else is just as eager to get his hands on that brooch, and he’s even sneakier than she is. Just when she thinks her biggest problem is grand theft mermaid, things take a murderous turn.

But hey, when you’ve teamed up with a neurotic seven-pound poodle named Sexy Beast, how can you go wrong?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There are so many things I liked about this book. Quirky characters, an intriguing mystery, and snappy dialogue all drew me in to this story.

Jane Delaney is quite a character and she has a very interesting job. She is a Death Diva. I had heard of hiring mourners to cry at funerals but never a Death Diva. She has quite a vast array of services that she offers, like stealing a brooch off of a dead lady during the wake. She has one client that keeps her quite busy or has in the past. If you think these are unusual characters there are more, a “priest” who is very easy on the eyes, a concierge doctor named Jonah, Patrick O’Rourke, son of the deceased who happens to have a huge secret, his daughter, his wife and let’s not forget Sexy Beast, a tiny apricot poodle who needs a trip to a groomer and soon.

The mystery starts when Jane finds a dead body that is ruled as a death from natural causes, but Jane just can’t accept that and decides if the police are not going to investigate she will. The plot is full of twists and diversions. At times I wasn’t sure if  it was really a murder or not, but Jane kept digging and then the chase was on to figure out just which suspect was guilty.

This was a quick read, told from Jane’s point of view, and I enjoyed very much! The author has laid a firm foundation for the series to unfold. I look forward to the next  job Jane undertakes!

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

pam-burford

About This Author

Pamela Burford is the best-selling author of 15 works of mystery, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. She has received four RITA and Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award nominations and is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences and workshops. Her books have sold millions of copies, received outstanding reviews, and been translated into more than a dozen languages. Pamela is the founder and past president of Long Island Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America. Fun fact: her twin sister Patricia Ryan, a.k.a. P.B. Ryan, is also a published novelist

Author Links

http://www.pamelaburford.com

http://www.facebook.com/pamelaburford

https://twitter.com/PamelaBurford

https://www.goodreads.com/PamelaBurford

http://pinterest.com/pamelaburford

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!!
Tour Participants

August 18 – readalot blog - Review
August 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy - Interview
August 20 – Queen of All She Reads - Review
August 21 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
August 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
August 23 – Mystery Playground – Interview
August 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
August 25 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – Interview
August 26 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
August 27 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review
August 28 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Interview
August 29 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Interview
August 30 – deal sharing aunt – Spotlight
August 31 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review

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.”

Aug 242014
 

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.

A couple of weeks agoI told you about going to my mother-in-laws to have family pictures taken. The photographer has been giving us sneak peeks this week on Facebook. All I know is that I am going to need more frames!!! Huge thank you to Samara Mae Photographics!!!

We had a huge group of 36 people and all the pictures turned out fantastic and were very reasonably priced. She not only did the huge group shot but did mini-sessions with most of the families like the pictures of my kids below. 3 of the children were under the age of two, the rest  of the kids ranged from 2 -6. It is hard to get everyone looking at the camera and smiling all at the same time. She was so patient and never frazzled. Samara went above and beyond my expectations.

She photographs everything – newborns, families, senior portraits, weddings and more. She lives in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Check out her Webpage here. I have referral cards if you are interested. I will be sharing a very special picture she made for Kaden hopefully next week!! I will also be adding new family pictures to my About Me page soon.

https://www.facebook.com/Mae.Photographics

Mae Photographics
My son and his family.

https://www.facebook.com/Mae.Photographics

My daughter and her boys.
Mae Photographics

 

weekly rewind credited235
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Weekly Rewind – August 18 – 23, 2014

Monday - It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Tuesday - Review/Giveaway – If Catfish Had Nine Lives by Paige Shelton

plusClear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop!!! August 2014Continues until the 27th.

Wednesday - Cozy Wednesday with Kate Parker – Author of The Counterfeit Lady (Giveaway too!)

Thursday - Review – Death by Devil’s Breath by Kylie Logan

Friday - Ellery Adams Month Continues – Welcome to Storyton!! Contest!!! How would you spend your visit to Storyton?

Saturday - My Just For Fun August Read – The Corpse with the Emerald Thumb by Cathy Ace

mail call314

Thank you to Kathi and Christina!!!

Stay Cool This Week!! It’s gonna be a hot one!!!!

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Aug 232014
 

just for fun 2014This is a challenge to help us get some of those books on out To-Be Read stacks read without the pressure of a review (unless we want to) or meeting any other challenge. These books are read totally Just For Fun.  I have given just a brief review because I read the book JUST FOR FUN!!

I needed this challenge so bad this month. So many books are screaming from my shelves and this one has been on the top of my Kindle List for too long. It kept getting passed over for review deadlines. Last Sunday I decided it was a “ME” day and I was going to read what I wanted to read, review reading could let me let me have this one day!!!

THE CORPSE WITH THE EMERALD THUMB jpegThe Corpse with the Emerald Thumb
(A Cait Morgan Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: TouchWood Editions (April 22, 2014)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1771510639
E-Book File Size: 797 KB
ASIN: B00HUBWC5S
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A dream vacation at a Mexican beach resort swiftly dissolves into a nightmare for criminologist and foodie Cait Morgan when her significant other, Bud Anderson, is wrongly arrested for the murder of the local florist, a gifted plantswoman.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Again Cathy Ace channels Agatha Christie to bring us another fantastic mystery.

In this 3rd Cait Morgan Mystery, Bud and Cate head to Mexico for a vacation to take their relationship to the next level. A simple trip for some snacks lands Bud in jail accused for murder before they even unpack their bags. Cait is in a place where she doesn’t know a soul. Not knowing who she can trust Cait has to keep her relationship with Bud a secret, and she soon discovers she’s not the only one with something to hide. Worried about Bud she follows where the clues lead putting herself in danger. She knows time is not her friend as the Federales can show up at any minute to take Bud away. It is up to her to save him and herself too!!

Cait and Bud make a great team but this time Cait shows she can solve a mystery on her own, well almost. Her eidetic memory and wakeful dreaming technique are her best resources even if she doesn’t understand how all the parts of the puzzle fit together at first.

I love following the clues along with Cait but never figure it out who the killer is until she gathers all the suspects for her big reveal. Then everything makes perfect sense.  That in addition to the fleshed out characters make these stories so much fun to read.

The location was a small tourist town in Mexico and I really enjoy learning about how tequila is made and the different versions. All I knew before this story was tequila was the main ingredient in my margaritas :)

I have enjoyed all 3 books in this series. The Corpse with the Platinum Hair is coming out soon, I can’t wait.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent



Cathy Ace’s The Corpse with the Platinum Hair (A Cait Morgan Mystery) Great Escapes Book Tour starts September 1.

Aug 222014
 

ellery adams monthWelcome to Storyton!
We are thrilled you have stopped by for a visit!

Storyton-map_smThere are plenty of places to visit in the village -

Run For Cover Bookshop
Cheshire Cat Pub
The Canvas Creamery
La Grande Dame Clothing Boutique
Tresses Hair Salon
The Pickled Pig Market
Geppetto’s Toy Shop
The Potter’s Shed
and more but we know you want get checked in at Storyton Hall.

 

Your journey to Storyton Hall begins at the train station. The moment you alight from the train car, a man dressed in impeccable blue and gold livery will raise a placard bearing your name. After collecting your luggage, your chauffeur will lead you to one of Storyton’s fleet of vintage Rolls Royce sedans. It looks like you’ll be spending the forty-five minute drive to the resort in the luxurious comfort of a Silver Shadow. While you gaze out the windows at the tree-covered hills and the endless blue sky, your driver will remind you of Storyton Hall’s technology restrictions. Because the resort caters to readers, we don’t want anything to disturb the tranquility of the public areas, so you may only use cell phones, tablets, ereaders, or computers in the privacy of your room. At first, this might cause you some anxiety, but you’ll soon find that it’s a boon to be able leave the cares of your busy life behind for a spell.

Ah, here comes your first glimpse of Storyton Hall now. Do you see how magnificent it is? How its central clock tower reaches toward the hills and its two long wings seem to reach out and out like a pair of arms opening to embrace you?

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Jane Steward, the resort manager and single mother to twin boys, Fitzgerald and Hemingway (Fitz and Hem for short). It’s my honor to invite you to stay in this manor that was once the Steward’s ancestral home. I come from a long line of readers, which is why most of the rooms in this great, sprawling mansion are named after famous authors.

Great Gatsby Ballroom
Madame Bovary Dining Room
Isak Dinesen Safari Room
Daphne Du Maurier Morning Room
Jane Austen Parlor
Shakespeare’s Theater
Kipling Cafe
Milton’s Gardens
Lewis Carroll Croquet Lawn
Beatrix Potter Playroom
William Faulker Conference Room
Henry James Library
Ian Fleming Lounge
Robin Hood Archery Range
Green Gables Gazebo
Jules Verne Pool

Now before you begin your tour please enjoy a glass of champagne and let me introduce you to the staff.

Our Butler, Mr. Butterworth, who is serving you right now.

Our Head Librarian, Mr. Sinclair.  Be sure to talk to him if you are looking for something special to read, a classic or a new bestseller..

Our Head Chauffeur, Mr. Sterling. He arranged your travel to Storyton Hall today and can help you if you would like to spend some time in the village.

Our Head of Recreation, Mr. Gavin.  He has all kinds of ideas for you to make the most of your stay here.

Our Head of Housekeeping, Mrs. Pimpernel. If you need anything for your room or forgot something you need at home she will be on hand to help you out.

And finally Our Head Chef, Mrs. Hubbard. An extraordinary chef. Believe me, you don’t want to pass up Mrs. Hubbard’s Victoria sponge, scones with homemade jam and clotted cream, or her delicious tea sandwiches.

It is Murder and Mayhem Week her at Storyton Hall. It starts tonight with a costume ball. I hope you’re prepared to come dressed as your favorite detective. Of course, I won’t be able to tell who’s who tonight. With all the Miss Marples, Hercule Poirots, and Tommy and Tuppences, a guest could get away with murder and I’d never know it!

************************************************************

Now the stage is set. The rest is up to you!

This week’s contest is easy and fun!

You get a chance to write the story!

The story of your stay at Storyton Hall!

***

Will you travel through the shops in Storyton?

How will you do without your cell phone and e-readers?

Did you bring some friends along on your trip?

Swim in the Jules Verne Pool?

Have lunch in the Kipling Cafe?

Stop by the Ian Fleming Lounge for a cocktail?

Find something interesting in one of Mrs. Hubbard’s Cupboards?

Have Mr. Sinclair find a special book for you in the library?

Who will you dress up as for the Murder and Mayhem Costume Ball?

Will you find a dead body or solve a murder?

It is all up to you!!

It can be as short as one paragraph or as long as a
typical guest post, 500- 800 words, or anywhere in between.

Be silly, be crazy, be scary, be adventurous,  just be sure to have fun!!

To keep your stories a surprise – DO NOT POST THEM IN THE COMMENTS!!

Please email them to me at lori (at) escapewithdollycas (dot) com.
by next Thursday at 10 p.m.
Be sure to put the word Storyton Contest in your subject line.

Nest Friday morning I will post my 3 favorites (keeping the writer’s name secret) and
you will be able to vote for the winner!!

I will announce the winner on September 2, as we wrap up Ellery Adams Month!

The Winner will be able to choose 2 Mass Market Paperbacks from Amazon and I will send them to you.
Maybe one of your choices would be Ellery’s new Books by the Bay Mystery coming out in November.

The other two favorites will win an autographed copy of

Now don’t stress out over this. I know you are not authors. This is meant to be fun!! You can write about just one day in Storyton or as many as you want. I wish this was a real place so that we could all visit, without a dead body, of course, unless is was all a bit of acting, put on just for our enjoyment.

Remember send them to the email above.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Aug 212014
 

death by devil Death by Devil’s Breath
(A Chili Cook-Off Mystery)

2nd Book in Series
Cozy MYSTERY
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 5, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Miles Hyman
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425262429
E-Book File Size: 2093 KB
ASIN: B00I3N5Q9Q
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Cold-blooded murder can be hot as hell…

In Las Vegas, the stakes are high—and so is the Scoville scale. Maxie Pierce and the Chili Showdown are in town for a very heated contest devoted to judging the legendary and notorious-for-being-self-combustible Devil’s Breath chili. The guest judges are casino performers with a taste for chili and an eye for publicity.

Maxie is already going mad organizing the event, dealing with her snide half sister, Sylvia, and trying to figure out her hothead of security, Nick. But when a local hack comedian drops dead in the middle of the Showdown, it isn’t the spicy dish—it’s poison. And Maxie is going to have to shuffle through a full deck of suspects to pick out the culprit.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas but this Chili Showdown almost gave Maxie more than even she could handle. She even gets a blast from her past!

Maxie is a smart protag with just the right amount of spice.  She and her half sister Sylvia are supposed to be running their dad’s business, Jack Pierce’s Hot-Cha Chili Seasoning Palace, together since he has disappeared without a trace, but it is not going well. The Showdown has been assigned to the Deadeye, a Western town set up in a section in the hotel/casino. Their booth assignment happens to be the bordello, well it is the “biggest” and “nicest” place in Deadeye but Sylvia is not amused at all.  She is also not happy by all the things keeping Maxie from working at the booth. Besides trying to find a killer she keep having costume issues and the Chili Chick is not doing much dancing.

Logan has not only taken us to Las Vegas she has introduced us to some of the performing “headliners” at the Casino. Sadly one of them dies and the mystery begins. These people are not all who they appear to be and have some secrets needed in a story like this. They are all vying to assist in breaking a world’s record as Reverend Linda Love officiates the largest mass wedding ever to be performed on a Sunday afternoon in Nevada at a Western themed hotel.

Kylie Logan writes such great stories. I am excited every time I hear about a new one coming out. Death by Devil’s Breath is just so funny. Don’t get me wrong, the mystery is very well plotted and the characters and settings are fantastic, but I have some pictures in my head of Maxie in the Chili Chick costume that will be with me forever. I have not laughed this much while reading a book in a long time.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about Kylie and her book here on her webpage and her alter ego Casey Daniels 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.”

Aug 202014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

I am excited to welcome Kate Parker today!

I stayed up late into the night finishing The Counterfeit Lady!

Summertime Heat
By Kate Parker

The_Counterfeit_LadyIn The Counterfeit Lady, my heroine, Georgia Fenchurch, experiences a summertime heat wave. She lives in late Victorian London, before air conditioning, electrically run refrigerators, and swimming pools. Cooking or lighting a fire is going to give off lots of heat. What is Georgia going to do?

_DSF0008Open windows. Stay out of the sun. Enjoy summer fruits, including those brought from the Mediterranean countries on refrigerated steam ships that made a favorite summertime drink, lemonade, possible. Anyone who could afford it would travel out of London to the seaside or the countryside, looking for relief everywhere from the Isle of Wight to Scotland. This era began beach vacations in England with the arrival of inexpensive train tickets and the building of summer resorts along the coast.

Georgia is a bookshop owner. She expects to continue to suffer through the London heat wave selling books and magazines to people too hot to do anything but read. She and her assistant Emma are busy in the shop, leaving the front and back doors open to catch any breeze. She isn’t about to lay a fire or have Phyllida cook anything but the lightest meals. And since this story is told about late-Victorian times, all three women are working in the heat while wearing corsets!

Then the Duke of Blackford returns to Georgia’s life, asking her to help him with a case of murder and espionage. A set of blueprints for Britain’s revolutionary new warship have been stolen from the study of the ship’s designer and his wife has been murdered. The designer’s wife was a cousin of Lady Phyllida, and when Phyllida learns of the killing, she wants Georgia to find the person responsible.

The duke also wants Georgia’s help because Scotland Yard believes the designer killed his wife and burned the blueprints to give himself an alibi. Why else have a fire in the fireplace on the hottest day of the year?

Georgia has another theory. The windows to the study were wide open and the killer could have left that way with the ship drawings. But why did the dead woman order the fire?

The duke believes the theft was engineered by the spies of a nation embroiled with Britain in the naval arms race of the 1890s. And no one had a better spy network or had invested more in the warship-building race than the Germans. The duke believes a German diplomat is their master spy and is waiting for receipt of the ship plans.

First Book in this Series

The Archivist Society, the organization of sleuths that Georgia belongs to, is called in to help locate the plans and the killer. Georgia is assigned the task of entering aristocratic society as a newly-arrived widow from the British Empire. With the help of Lady Phyllida who enters the upper-crust society she’s been hiding from for many years, Georgia begins the role of the duke’s paramour. Emma serves as their lady’s maid while passing messages to the Archivist Society and questioning the servants.

Now Georgia learns how the other half beat the heat. Sleep during the day and attend soirees at night with all the windows open, or travel away from London to country house parties. But there’s no rest for Georgia, who works in her bookshop while society women sleep and plays her roll tracking the spy through high society in the cool of the evening.

My interest in how people beat the heat in Georgia’s time comes from stories I’ve heard. When I was young, an elderly relative told me about a heat wave in the city she lived in. People brought out blankets each night and slept under the stars in the city parks. The police had to increase their patrols to prevent burglaries in all these empty households. And this was from a very proper relative who never went camping!

DIGITAL CAMERAIf you were in late-Victorian London, how would you have survived a summer heat wave?

~Kate
The first books Kate Parker read as a child were Nancy Drew mysteries and her mother’s Agatha Christie novels, and now she can’t write a story without someone dropping dead by chapter five. After years living in the Nation’s Capital, Kate moved to the South and began crafting historical mysteries. The first of the Victorian Bookshop mysteries, The Vanishing Thief, came out in December 2013 with the next, The Counterfeit Lady, arrived this August.

Visit her at www.KateParkerbooks.com or www.Facebook.com/Author.Kate.Parker.

 

The_Counterfeit_Lady
The Counterfeit Lady
(A Victorian Bookshop Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 5, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Teresa Fasolino
Cover Design by George Long
Trade Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425266618
E-Book File Size: 1466 KB
ASIN: B00G3L16G2
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Who would suspect antiquarian bookseller Georgia Fenchurch of leading a double life—as a private investigator for the clandestine Archivist Society in Victorian London? When England’s national security is compromised, Georgia must pose as a titled lady to root out a spy…

Georgia, Lady Phyllida Monthalf and Emma return in this second Victorian Bookshop Mystery, as do the members of the Archivist Society and The Duke of Blackford. This time of Lady Monthalf’s cousin Clara has been killed and a set of very important blueprints stolen.  Clara’s husband has been arrested for treason and his wife’s murder. The Duke of Blackford enlists Georgia, Emma and Lady Phyllida’s help to catch the real killer. The fun begins when Georgia learns she will be playing the part of the duke’s new paramour, as if she doesn’t already get nervous enough around him. Georgia, a middle class bookshop owner posing as a titled Lady, what could go wrong? Well as we have learned with Georgia anything and everything.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Georgia is an extraordinary character and she is doing double duty trying to keep her bookshop afloat with a little help from her Archivist Society members while dashing off to party after party on the arm of the Duke, all in an effort to find the missing plans and the person responsible for a very brutal murder. She is a very intelligent woman but at times the clues take both her and the reader in circles. Plus she finds herself more and more drawn to the Duke of Blackford. Her mind knows a relationship between classes is highly unlikely but her heart is full of hope.

I thought the story had a real Cinderella vibe. From the moment the plan was put together both Georgia and Emma, who is acting at “Lady Georgina’s” maid, are treated to new clothes and all the accessories. Georgia attends fancy balls and dinners with the Duke arriving in the most beautiful carriages.

The mystery was quite good too as it appears that only Clara and her husband Kenneth were in a locked room when the robbery and murder took place. There are several suspects but placing them in that room is tough. Remember this story is set in Victorian times, no CSI techs checking for fingerprints and DNA.

I started reading this book on a beach during our recent Family Fun Day and I quickly noticed this was a book that needed my full attention, so I put it away and picked it back up as soon as I could the next evening and finished it at 2:14 a.m. the next morning. Once I started reading I just could not stop.

Parker takes us back in time and keeps us on our toes with very interesting characters, history and mystery. She adds a nice balance of humor and romance too. The dialogues were very entertaining. Anxious for book #3.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.

Leave a comment for Kate 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 3, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners 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.”