Dec 212014
 

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.

Hard to believe the big day is almost here!
Are you done with your Christmas Shopping???

christmas
 weekly rewind credited235Weekly Rewind December 15 – 20, 2014
MondayIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

TuesdaySpecial Guests Joyce and Jim Lavene – Authors of Spelled Booked – Giveaway too!

WednesdayCozy Wednesday with Helen Smith – Author of Beyond Belief and Real Elves (Giveaway too!)

ThursdaySpecial Guest Krista Davis – Author of The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer (Giveaway too!)

FridaySpecial Guest Isabella Alan – Author of Murder Served Simply (Giveaway too!)

SaturdayA Few More Reading Challenges!!

Plus – The Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop  – Just scroll to the post below.
mail call314

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday spent with family and friends!

redtrans

Dec 202014
 
2013-Midwinters-Eve-HopMidwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Bookhounds
December 21st to 31st

Click here to find all the giveaways!!

I am getting read for my Big Blogoversary Blowout that will go up December 31!
Be sure to come back for the HUGE Giveaway!!

My Midwinter’s Eve Escape

Murder, She Wrote: Death of a Blue Blood

In the newest mystery in the USA Today bestselling series, Jessica Fletcher is invited to ring in the New Year with British aristocracy. Too bad someone’s about to end the life of the party….

Jessica Fletcher and her friend Scotland Yard detective inspector George Sutherland are invited to attend a New Year’s Eve Ball at Castorbrook Castle, thanks to her British publisher. Shortly after arriving in the idyllic English countryside, Jessica discovers the body of a lady’s maid in the garden.

While their host, Lord Norrance, his snobbish third wife, other members of the household, and party guests squabble over the tragic death in tight-lipped, perfectly mannered, thoroughly British style, family relations are strained as old wounds are reopened and cutting remarks are freely handed out. And that’s only during teatime!

As midnight beckons at the ball the next night, the earl offers a toast, complete with fireworks. But the merriment crashes to a halt when he falls ill and dies, apparently poisoned—and the number of suspects with a grudge against the lord of the manor sprouts like English ivy.

Now it’s up to Jessica and George to find the killer—or killers—before another corpse welcomes in the New Year….

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 hardcover 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.

1 Mandatory Entry and Only 5 Bonus Entries Allowed – Hop Rules

Contest Will End December 31, 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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Dec 202014
 

Watch for the Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Coming Later Today!

challengesFinalizing my plans on a few more reading challenges.

where are you readingThis challenge is host by Sheila at Book Journey.

You can find all the details here.

My Books by State Tab at the top of the page leads you to tabs for each state.
It is definitely a work in progress and I still need to add most of my books from 2014 but I hope to get those added over the next couple of weeks and try to stay on top of them better in 2015. That is a challenge in itself. The maps I have created going back to 2011 can be found on the main tab here. The 2015 map will be there too and also on the Challenges Page.

______

chatting coziesThis is hosted by Linda on her Chatting About Cozies Facebook Fan Page.
Like the Page and look in the Events in the Sidebar to join.
My goal is 100 cozies for right now.
I will keep track on my Challenges Page.
___

literary road trip 2014I am also going to do my personal challenge of reading at least 10 Books
written by Wisconsin Authors or set in Wisconsin.

I am hoping to add an E-Book Challenge but haven’t seen one yet.

I will be adding the GoodReads Challenge too as soon as it is up.

As you can see I am cutting back on my challenges. I will still read and review as many books. They just won’t be tied to challenges.

If you are looking for more challenges A Novel Challenge has a wonderful list that is continually updated.
A Novel Challenge

If you know of any other challenges I may like please
leave a comment and let me know!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Dec 192014
 

special guest blue

It has been a busy week!
Today I am excited to have Isabella Alan,
also known as Amanda Flower drop by for a visit!

Amanda Flower photo

An Amish Christmas

By Isabella Alan

 

I love Christmastime. I love the twinkle lights wrapped around bushes and trees outside, the hubbub of shopping for that perfect gift, and the time spent with family friends near and far. So when it came to write the third novel in the Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series, I knew it had to be a Christmas book.

The Amish don’t celebrate many holidays, but they do celebrate Christmas. Just like us English (non-Amish) folks the Amish have Christmas traditions. Their traditions vary from family to family and Amish district to Amish district, but here are some quick facts about an Amish Christmases I’ve learned.

• The Amish don’t have Christmas trees, but they do decorate their homes with pine and greens from the garden.

• The Amish do exchange small gifts at Christmas. Many of these are handmade, but store bought gifts are becoming popular too.

• A favorite Amish Christmas treat is flavored popcorn. Caramel corn is the far and away most popular flavor.

• The day after Christmas, December 26th, is a holiday for some Amish districts and is called “Second Christmas.”

• The one-room schoolhouses will traditionally have a Christmas program for the children’s parents.

• There is no Santa Claus in the Amish world. The focus of Christmas is on the birth of Christ.

Check out Murder, Served Simply to find out how I incorporate these Amish Christmas traditions in the novel while a murderer is on the loose in my tranquil Amish town of Rolling Brook, Ohio.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Isabella

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

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

Order Murder, Served Simply

Amazon http://tinyurl.com/kvjljcc
B&N http://tinyurl.com/kcy6h68
CBD http://tinyurl.com/lqygkku

Follow Isabella on Facebook Twitter Pinterest


Murder, Served Simply:
An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (December 2, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451413659
E-Book File Size: 1517 KB
ASIN: B00JJXUZM2
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Amish quilt shop owner Angie Braddock has a lot on her plate this Christmas. But things only get worse after someone develops a taste for murder…

Angie’s parents are visiting Rolling Brook for Christmas—but unfortunately, her ex is joining them. Luckily, Angie has no time to dwell on her romantic troubles as she prepares her store, Running Stitch, for the town’s traditional progressive dinner, featuring a sleigh ride stopping at each shop for a different course of the meal.

The meal ends with an Amish-themed Christmas play at the Swiss Valley Hotel and Barn. But the performance is cut short when an actress falls from the scaffolding to her death. After the sheriff suspects foul play, tensions between the Amish and Englisch heat up, as do rivalries among the acting troupe. Now Angie and her quilting circle must stitch together clues before they’re the ones running for cover…

INCLUDES QUILTING TIPS!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I love this series more with each new story.

Angie’s parents arriving to spend the holidays was great even though they brought her ex with them and that her mother still expected them to patch things up and have Angie move back to Texas.  But Angie has gotten stronger and made a home and friends in Ohio. One very special friend but will their new relationship be tested by Ryan’s arrival?

Several years ago I was part of a progressive dinner so I loved that part of the story. Sadly were didn’t travel to each stop by sleigh, that would have been so awesome.  In the story it was a great way for Angie’s parents  and Ryan to meet the people of Rolling Brook.

The Amish-themed Christmas play was the catalyst in this story because the actress in the leading role had been Amish and left for the Englisch way of life to follow her dream in New York only to return to star in this play. Could someone from her Amish life have something to do with her death or was it someone from the troupe? Alan takes us down some cold and slippery slopes as we follow the clues with Angie.

The characters a very fleshed out. You can tell the author has taking a lot of time researching and developing them and their personalities. Amish people generally keep to themselves and their orders. We only get to meet them if we visit their shops and farms. Isabella Alan shares their way of life with us in a very identifiable and engaging way. She only brings the Englisch folks to life in a way that the interactions between themselves and with the Amish feel very real and true. Angie goes between both worlds and because of her aunt’s influence she seems very comfortable doing so.

The story had a more serious tone than Murder, Simply Stitched but it was such a fantastic read.  I had a very hard time putting it down even to eat dinner. Trying to relate to a mother whose child leaves a way of life behind. A way of life that basically demands that child be forgotten. Then to have them be so close only to have them die before any chance of communication was possible just ripped my heart apart. It made me want to hug my kids and call them just to tell them I loved them.

There are lighter moments like the way the pets play with each other. The Christmas theme runs throughout the entire story. Angie’s mother takes on the project of decorating Angie’s house for the holidays. You won’t believe what she does but that entire part of the story will have you giggling. There is also a major announcement that sets the readers up for the next installment to this wonderful series.

I am so looking forward to my next visit to Holmes County!

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.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Isabella  for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End January 2, 2015 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.”

Dec 182014
 

special guest blueI am thrilled to have Krista Davis visit today!

Both her Paws & Claws Mystery Series and
her Domestic Diva Mystery Series are wonderful!

Krista Davis author pic

Training Cats By Krista

There are people who believe that cats cannot be trained. Those of us who love cats tend to believe otherwise. The sad truth is that while we might think we’re training our cats, they’re really training us. It’s true. If you are owned by a cat, or two, or more, you might recognize some of these lessons straight from the Feline Manual of Proper Decorum.

1. Cats should be fed first. Should your person have forgotten to feed you, jump on the table and a) look indignant, or b) eat from your person’s plate. They will soon learn not to eat unless you have been served.

9780425262566_medium_The_Ghost_and_Mrs._Mewer2. When the house is too cold, one of the following maneuvers usually conveys your displeasure with the setting of the thermostat. When your person has nestled down to sleep, drape yourself over the person’s neck. Be sure to purr loudly. An alternative position is on the chest as close to the chin as possible. You will know you are in the correct position when you are raised and lowered each time your person breathes. If said person does not respond quickly, try a few gentle nips on the chin.

3. Closing the bathroom door is a most irritating human habit, and one that is hard to break. Try to open the door by inserting an upside-down paw under the door, extending claws, and pulling. If this technique fails, yowl at the top of your lungs. If that fails, practice shooting ahead of the person when you see him or her heading for the bathroom. Sit quietly to teach your person not to be afraid. With time, he or she may leave the door open a bit for you.

cat54. Getting your person’s attention. By far the easiest method is the sit and stare. In a matter of minutes, your person should take note that you want something. If this fails and the person has any papers in front of him or her, sprawl across the papers. If the person is typing in front of a screen, walk across the keyboard or sit on it. This generally rouses people from their concentration on unimportant matters.

5. Keep your people in shape. Darting around their feet when they walk, especially when they walk down stairs, will keep your people nimble and able to continue to do your bidding.

 

~Krista

About Krista Davis

New York Times Bestselling author Krista Davis writes the Paws & Claws Mysteries for animal lovers that debuted in December with Murder, She Barked. The sequel, The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer, will be in bookstores on December 2nd. She also writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries. Her 8th Domestic Diva Mystery is The Diva Wraps It Up, a Christmas mystery in bookstores now. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and sweets. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs and two cats.

Author Links:
kristadavis.com
www.facebook.com/KristaDavisAuthor
pinterest.com/kristadavisbook
mysteryloverskitchen.com
twitter.com/kristadavis
killercharacters.com

9780425262566_medium_The_Ghost_and_Mrs._MewerThe Ghost and Mrs. Mewer
(A Paws and Claws Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 2, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425262566
E-Book File Size: 2633 KB
ASIN: B00JJXHKZM
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Wagtail, Virginia, the top pet-friendly getaway in the United States, is gearing up for a howling good Halloween—until a spooky murder shakes the town to its core . . .

Holly Miller doesn’t believe in spirits, but the Sugar Maple Inn is filled with guests who do. The TV series in development, Apparition Apprehenders, has descended on Wagtail’s annual Halloween festivities to investigate supernatural local legends, and Holly has her hands full showing the ghost hunters a scary-fun time.

But the frights turn real when Holly’s Jack Russell, Trixie, and kitten, Twinkletoes, find a young woman drowned in the Wagtail Springs Hotel’s bathhouse—the spot of the town’s most infamous haunting. The crime scene is eerily similar to the creepy legend, convincing Holly that the death wasn’t just accidental. Now she’ll have to race to catch a flesh-and-blood killer—before someone else in town gives up the ghost . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

“Howloween” in Wagtail, so much fun especially with Apparition Apprehenders tracking ghosts all about the town from the old hotel to Holly’s Aunt Birdie’s house. The town has a legend going way back to a murder mystery at the hotel and is a known site for paranormal activity. The haunting at Birdie’s house may be figments of her imagination, wishful thinking or just a way to get a bit of attention.

Holly has her hands full with Aunt Birdie’s antics while trying to take on a more active role at the Sugar Maple Inn so he grandmother can relax a bit. While out after answering one of Birdie’s calls she finds a a dead woman floating in about 2 feet of water. She doesn’t believe it was an accidental drowning for a minute. So now she has to add finding a murderer to her to-do-list and she has to do it quick before another spirit starts haunting Wagtail.

Wagtail is a fabulous, pet friendly destination and I would love to live there. The Sugar Maple Inn has a cat wing and a dog wing and all the rooms have names of things pets love to do like “Hike” and “Swim”. Holly’s own pets Trixie and Twinkletoes are like pet ambassadors for the 4 legged friends staying at the inn. Twinkletoes gets into a bit of mischief and Trixie tries to eat the other dogs food but they are still in training.

The human characters are fun too, even a guest who shows up very unexpectedly and catches Holly off guard. Birdie is something else but does remind of one of my own aunts so I could sympathize with Holly and everyone else that has to deal with the lady. I love Oma, Holly’s grandmother. She had a fantastic idea for her inn and I am thrilled that Holly is there to help her see it through now with its new addition.

There are some strange happenings at the inn and around Wagtail that all tie into the mystery plot. Some are pretty eerie and even gave me a shiver or two. The web the author spun was very interesting and entertaining to follow.

Last but not least I loved the title. I can remember watching The Ghost and Mrs. Muir late nights with my mother back when our television only received 3 or 4 channels. Brought back a nice memory.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

GIVEAWAY

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.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Krista for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End January 1, 2015  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.”

Dec 172014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to have a new to me author stop by today!
Please help me give Helen Smith a warm welcome!

helen smith

Guest Post from Helen Smith
——————-

It’s getting cold in London, with snow forecast again this year. Thank goodness for my electric blanket and my log fire! Every year, about this time, as the nights get longer and the days get colder, I promise myself that I will try to escape the worst of it somehow, by going away somewhere warm and returning to London in the spring, just as the daffodils are coming out. It never happens, of course…

Then last year, just after Christmas, I got the chance to do it! My neighbor down the road needed to rent somewhere for her family to live for three months while they had some building work done on their house. She wanted to be close to the children’s school and near enough to her home to keep an eye on the work going on there. She sent an email round to the people in our street. She knew it was a long-shot, but did anyone know of anywhere she could rent in January, February and March… the coldest, most miserable months of the year. Well, as it happened, I did!

IMG_11792So we came to an arrangement: she swapped her house for mine, and I swapped my house for a cruise ship! When she first contacted me, I spent hours – literally – deliberating over where I should go for those three months. I had thought I would rent a little apartment somewhere by the sea in the off season, take my computer with me and write. But little places by the sea are rather expensive when you’re renting them by yourself. I did some calculations and decided it would cost about the same to stay in a single cabin on a ship, heading for California, where I had been invited to appear on a couple of panels at a crime writing convention called Left Coast Crime in Monterey.

IMG_11762In January 2014 I left Southampton en route for San Diego via Jordan, Burma, Hong Kong, Hawaii and several points in between. What an adventure! I had found a ship that would get me to California the day before Left Coast Crime began so, again, it seemed as if it was “meant to be.” Instead of taking a day to fly there, I would arrive, free from jet-lag, after taking the long way round. And I would have plenty to talk about when I got there!

Beyond Belief 978-1477849729My most recent Emily Castles mystery, Beyond Belief, was published while I was on board the ship – we had just passed through the Suez Canal. I celebrated by giving a reading for some of the passengers. When we were at sea, I spent my days at my desk in my cabin, writing. When we stopped at a port, I got out and explored. In total we had twenty-two stops on our itinerary, many of them at places I had never visited before, although I also had the chance to meet up with some old friends along the way. And I made some new friends – that was one of the things I hadn’t anticipated before I set off. But one of the nicest things about my trip was the people I met on board the ship. I would definitely like to travel that way again, if I get the opportunity.

IMG_08312And this year? This year I will be staying at home, writing. You can probably guess what I will be writing about, can’t you? Yes! My next Emily Castles mystery will be set on a cruise ship. So although I will be here in London, tucked up in my house with the log fire blazing, I will get the chance to go traveling again in my imagination. And when the book is published, I hope my readers will have the chance to share in my adventures when they open the book.

~Helen

***
Real Elves by Helen SmithHelen Smith has a short Christmas mystery called Real Elves available in the Kindle store and as a paperback. It features her amateur sleuth, Emily Castles, and can be read as a standalone story. The books can be read in any order, but readers wanting to start at the beginning should start with the novella-length Three Sisters.

Helen Smith’s blog: http://www.emperorsclothes.co.uk
Helen Smith’s website: http://helensmithbooks.com
Helen Smith on Twitter: http://twitter.com/emperorsclothes
Helen Smith’s books on Amazon: http://smarturl.it/helensmithbooks

There is some bonus material, including fantasy casting and locations for my books, over at Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/emperorsclothes

The author is giving away a copy of

Winner’s choice of format!

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

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Helen for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End Devember 31, 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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Dec 162014
 

special guest blueTwo of my favorite authors on this planet are Joyce and Jim Lavene. I have loved their books and organized book tours for them and rarely ever steal a spot for myself. When their publicist offered me a chance at a guest post for this book I jumped at it. I am so excited to have Joyce drop by today!

joyce and jimWriting about witches
By Joyce Lavene

When my husband and I first thought about writing the Retired Witches Mysteries we considered what kind of witches we wanted our ladies to be. Obviously they each needed a distinct personality and lifestyle.

We knew they would be good witches, of course, but a big question was that of magic. What kind of magic would they have? Were we thinking Bewitched or something a little more realistic?

We decided we didn’t want nose-twitching or magic that appeared too stereotypically on TV and in movies. We wanted to stay within certain bounds of witches who took their power from the elements—earth, fire, air and water. Olivia, Elsie, Dorothy, and Molly get their abilities from a natural side of them. They know their magic comes from inside and is then expressed outwardly.

They don’t pop in and out of rooms or snap their fingers to create magic. There are some witches who can do that in these books, but not these ladies. Their spells come from their thoughts and emotions. Dorothy is a little on the emotional side and sometimes indulges in magic that gets out of hand. Elsie’s magic is spontaneous with sometimes laughable ineffectiveness.

Molly is our storyteller through the books. Her voice is the one you hear. She is down-to-earth, careful, and modest. Her magic is the same. She is a water witch in a small area nestled between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean so her magic is stronger than her friends’ magic. She is influenced by her family and her lifelong friends as well as by the water. The closer she is to water, the stronger she is.

It’s the same with Olivia, an air witch, Dorothy, an earth witch, and Elsie, a fire witch. Each is strongest in their element with the magic tool they possess. Molly’s magic tool is the cauldron. She wears a small replica of one around her neck and has a large cauldron in the basement of their shop, Smuggler’s Arcane.

Olivia’s tool is a runed staff. Elsie’s tool is a sword, and Dorothy’s is an emerald cull. Each tool represents the forces at work in them that they use for good in their lives.

Our witches have had some difficulty getting their magic to work in recent years. As they’ve aged, their magic has too. Sometimes they’re hesitant to use magic at all for fear of what will happen. They are women who lead normal lives with jobs and obligations to their community. They just have a little something extra that has always been there for them since they were born.

It was fun writing this series that begins with Spell Booked. We look forward to writing about our witches in the future!

~Joyce

About Joyce and Jim Lavene

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

Fina Joyce and Jim around the internet:

www.joyceandjimlavene.com 

www.facebook.com/joyceandjimlavene 

http://amazon.com/author/jlavene 

https://twitter.com/AuthorJLavene

sb_final.inddSpell Booked
(Retired Witches Mysteries)

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 2, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Art by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425268254
E-Book File Size: 2640 KB
ASIN: B00JJXV1AM
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Once upon a time in Wilmington, North Carolina, three witches ran a curio shop named Smuggler’s Arcane. But as the years passed, their magical powers started to fade—leaving them no choice but to conjure up a retirement package…  

Before they could blink their eyes or twitch their noses, Molly, Elsie, and Olivia somehow became eligible for AARP. But they can’t fly off to Boca Raton just yet. First they must give up their magic, recruit and train three new witches, and pass on their cherished spellbook.

They’ve barely begun to consider potential practitioners when Olivia winds up dead and their spellbook is stolen. To honor their friend and reclaim their spells, Molly and Elsie are about to go wand-to-wand with a dangerous young witch more powerful than the trio was in their prime. And this time they’re going to need more than magic up their sleeves…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jim and Joyce Lavene have magnificent imaginations! They continue to surprise me. With those imaginations they bring us extraordinary characters and their words paint vivid images in my mind.

In this case the characters are a group of witches whose magic is waning and all they want to do is retire to Boca. Before they can do that the Grand Council of Witches tells them they need to find replacements and to pass along their spell book, since no one in their families has the gift of magic. They barely start their search and one of them is brutality killed and the spell book is stolen. So now  they are not only looking for replacement witches they are hunting down a murderer, a murderer than could be a very powerful witch.

We meet Molly, Elise and Olivia and their first recruit Dorothy, plus Molly’s husband, Joe, a police detective.  Joe has no idea Molly is a witch. We also meet 4 feline characters that are all extra special. These characters are all engaging and fascinating in their own ways. I don’t want to over share and spoil any of their enchanting ways for anyone.

The story takes place in North Carolina and the ladies run a shop, Smuggler’s Arcane, that sells supplies to other witches and those interested in witchcraft. It is quite an amazing place and has some secrets all its own. The town has another group of paranormal residents that I am usually not to fond of but the Lavene’s have written them in a fun and not too scary way that I didn’t mind their presence.

This cozy mystery has everything a good cozy requires and more. The plot really has a spark and I was totally caught off guard as to how the whole mystery played out. That final twist was a doozy!

Spell Booked will keep you Spellbound!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

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.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Joyce for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 30, 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.”

Dec 142014
 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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.

Well this week my cold really affected my reading time. My late night reading was plagued with headaches as this bug continues to hang on tight. Was feeling much better by Friday and was able to attend my nieces pinning ceremony as she graduated from nursing school but Saturday the sore throat returned along with that achy feeling. I am hoping this week is better.

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

FINISHED

Dirty Deeds: #9 (Savannah Martin Mysteries)

My Review
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Spell Booked (Retired Witches Mysteries)

Joyce Lavene will be my Special Guest tomorrow!!
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The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer (A Paws and Claws Mystery)

Krista will be my Special Guest on December 18!!
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CURRENTLY READING

Murder, Served Simply: An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery

Isabella will be my Special Guest on December 19!!
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ON DECK THIS WEEK

Meow If It’s Murder (Nick and Nora Mysteries)

Toni LoTempio will be my guest December 23!
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THREE STRIKES AND YOU’RE DEAD

For Review
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Naked Addiction

For Review
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Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Dec 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.

IMG_20141212_191330688_HDR~2
So the big event last week was attending my niece’s pinning ceremony. After 2 years of rigorous schooling and hands an training she is now an RN. We are all so proud of her.

nick
My nephew also completed his Air Force Basic Training!

weekly rewind credited235

Weekly Rewind December 8 – 13, 2014

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

Plus - Review/Giveaway – Once Upon A Grind by Cleo Coyle

And - Special Guest Cleo Coyle – Author of Once Upon A Grind – Great Escapes Book Tour

Tuesday - Review/Giveaway – Shadow of Doubt by Nancy Cole Silverman – Great Escapes Book Tour

Wednesday - Cozy Wednesday with Duffy Brown – Author of Geared For The Grave (Giveaway too!)

Thursday - Review/Giveaway – Scorched Eggs by Laura Childs

Friday - Review – Dirty Deeds by Jenna Bennett

Saturday - Spotlight/Giveaway – Suspicion at Seven by Ann Purser

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I Wish You All A Wonderful Week!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Dec 132014
 

suspicion at seven
Suspicion at Seven:
A Lois Meade Mystery

7th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 2, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425261781
E-Book File Size: 1606 KB
ASIN: B00INIXHXS
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Lois Meade has done enough buffing and polishing over the years with her cleaning business, New Brooms, to know that all that glitters is not gold. So when a bag of costume jewellery is the main clue in a murder, she has a strong suspicion that appearances may be deceiving…

After a woman is discovered in the Mill House Hotel, strangled with a silver necklace beside a bag filled with faux silver, gold and pearls, costume jewelry dealer Donald Black seems like the obvious suspect. But Lois knows Donald’s wife, who runs a baker’s shop near the hotel, and can’t believe her husband could be a killer. Plus, Donald has an airtight alibi.

Nevertheless, Donald is no angel. It appears he’s running a pyramid scheme, and Lois’s mother is getting sucked in. Could the murder have anything to do with his unscrupulous business practices?

As Inspector Cowgill and Lois hope the bling may shine a light on the killer, the discovery of a second body on the old waterwheel in the hotel may be grist for the mill in solving the murder—if they can manage to catch the culprit without getting the runaround.

Find out more about author Ann Purser and her books on her webpage here.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 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