Apr 192015
 

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.

nana kaden

My big adventure this week was to attend my grandson’s Spring Concert. It was held at the high school, the high school I attended 35+ years ago. The gym seems so small now but it was filled to the brim with kids, their parents, grandparents and other friends and family. This was just Kindergarten through 3rd grade. The music was great and I always have fun with my boys.

weekly rewind credited235Weekly Rewind April 13 – April 18, 2015
MondayIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

TuesdayBridges Burned by Annette Dashofy Great Escapes Book Tour – Review – Giveaway

WednesdayCozy Wednesday with Christine DeSmet – Author of Five Alarm Fudge – Giveaway too!

ThursdayReview/Giveaway – Dark Chocolate Demise by Jenn McKinlay

FridaySpotlight/Giveaway – Bittersweet by Susan Wittig Albert

SaturdaySpotlight/Giveaway – Dead Girl Blues by Joyce and Jim Lavene

mail call314

Until next week – Happy Reading!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Apr 182015
 

dead girl blues spotlightOkay, I admit the undead really aren’t my thing. But I love Joyce and Jim Lavene and if anyone could get me to read a book featuring Life Extended People (LEPs – a nice term for zombies) it would be them. Plus this book and the one before it are getting excellent reviews. So while I am thinking about diving into this world I thought I would share these books with you.

The Series starts with
Broken Hearted Ghoul
(Taxi for the Dead Paranormal Mysteries Book 1)

It’s been two years since Skye Mertz agreed to drive Abe’s Taxi for the Dead, transporting his zombie workers back to the man who gave them an additional twenty years of life. She’s raising her daughter, with the help of her ghostly mother-in-law, and keeps looking for what killed her husband the night she died.

Now she has a partner—a housewife working off her zombie husband’s service—and she’s met a sorcerer with amnesia. It shouldn’t be surprising that a broken hearted ghoul, bent on getting revenge, should show up too. After all, there’s no rest for the dead.
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Then the new book in the series –
Dead Girl Blues
(Taxi for the Dead Book 2)

When Nashville cop Skye Mertz, and her husband, Jacob, are killed in a wreck, Skye is given the opportunity to come back for twenty years to raise her five-year-old daughter, Kate. With her ghostly mother-in-law’s help, Skye hopes to be there until Kate is old enough to take care of herself.

But three years into her twenty-year service to Abraham Lincoln Jones, the man who gave her the extra time, Skye is beginning to think life might have been easier before she died.

Abe asks her to investigate the murder of his sorcerer, Harold the Great, a man who was a victim of too many snakes. And the Life Extended People ( LEPs – a nice term for zombies) who work for Abe have begun turning into ghosts and disappearing. Only Lucas, the possibly evil, amnesiac sorcerer who lives with Skye and her family, can save her from being the next victim of the deadly curse.

To make matters more complicated, Skye has found a lead in solving the riddle of her husband’s death. She has never believed Jacob died as a result of the crash, but hasn’t been able to prove it. Many other people have lost their lives in the same lonely stretch of highway that he did three years before. Skye goes against Abe’s express wishes to discover the truth with a crazy man bent on vengeance.

Life was simpler when she could just take out a gun and shoot someone.
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joycejimAbout The Authors

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.

 

Author Links

www.joyceandjimlavene.com

www.facebook.com/joyceandjimlavene

http://amazon.com/author/jlavene

https://twitter.com/AuthorJLavene

If Zombies aren’t your thing check out the many other stories my Joyce and Jim.

Joyce and Jim are touring Deal Girl Blues right now with Great Escapes Book Tours and there is still time to get in on the giveaway!!

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Apr 172015
 

bittersweet spotlightBittersweet
(China Bayles Mystery Series)

23rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Texas
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Company (April 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425255629
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGLZJ6
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New from the author of Death Come Quickly and Widow’s Tears
This Thanksgiving, be grateful for China Bayles—who teams up with an old friend to solve a complex case of theft and murder in a South Texas ranching community…

It’s Thanksgiving in Pecan Springs, and China is planning to visit her mother, Leatha, and her mother’s husband, Sam, who are enthusiastically embarking on a new enterprise—turning their former game ranch into a vacation retreat for birders. She’s also looking forward to catching up with her friend, game warden Mackenzie “Mack” Chambers, who was recently transferred to the area. But Leatha calls with bad news: Sam has had a heart attack.

How will Leatha manage if Sam can’t carry his share? She does have a helper, Sue Ellen Krause. But China discovers that Sue Ellen, who is in the process of leaving her marriage to the assistant foreman at a large trophy game ranch, is in some serious trouble. Before Sue Ellen can tell China the full story, her car veers off a deserted road and she is killed.

Meanwhile, when a local veterinarian is shot in what appears to be a burglary at his clinic, Mack Chambers believes his murder could be related to fawns stolen from a nearby ranch. As Mack follows the trail, China begins to wonder if Sue Ellen’s death may not have been an accident, and if there’s a connection to the stolen animals. But their search for the truth may put their own lives in danger…

Find out more about Susan Wittig Albert and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY

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.

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

Contest Will End May 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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Apr 162015
 

dark chocolate demiseDark Chocolate Demise
(Cupcake Bakery Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Arizona
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 7, 2015)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425258934
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGK69G
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The New York Times bestselling Cupcake Bakery Mysteries bake up sweet surprises, but as the series continues, Mel and Angie are in for a fresh batch of trouble…

Scottsdale, Arizona, may not be the liveliest place on earth, but it’s never been as dead as this. Hundreds of fans have gathered together for the first annual Old Town Zombie Walk, and Mel, Angie, and the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew are donning their best undead attire to sell some horror-themed desserts to the hungry hordes.

But the fun turns to fright when Mel finds a real dead body in a prop casket outside of the bakery’s truck—and the corpse looks alarmingly like a zombie of their own. Knowing that Joe, Angie’s brother and Mel’s former flame, has been working on a dangerous mob case, Mel worries that the murder is a hit gone wrong and that someone near and dear was the real target. To keep any of her friends from winding up six feet under, Mel will do whatever it takes to find a killer—no matter how scary things get…

INCLUDES RECIPES

Dollycas’s Thoughts

If you have read my reviews you know zombies are not my thing but A Zombie Walk with Mel, Angie, Tate, Oz and Marty, I will be there in New York Minute. These characters are a blast and wherever they go you know there is going to be CUPCAKES!! and probably a murder, but CUPCAKES!! How can you not want to go along on their wild ride?

Joe is working a big case and for the moment he and Mel are on the outs, but that is just because he wants to keep her safe. The gang from Fairy Tale Cupcakes tries to keep her mind off him by trying to sell cupcakes at the First Annual Zombie Walk. They are even all dressed up as undead and have added a casket to their display for some unique selfie pics. All is going well until someone very much dead is found in the casket and their death may be connected to Joe’s big case. Everyone thinks the murder may have been a mob hit and someone very, very, close to Joe was the real target.  All the DeLaura brothers go on high alert to keep Mel and Angie safe but Mel is determined to dig up the clues needed to catch the killer before anyone else ends up in a casket buried six feet under.

Jenn McKinlay has baked us up a scrumptious mystery that I had me from the first page until the last. First she scared the frosting right out me when the body was discovered and I wasn’t the only one. This one hits a little too close for comfort and several characters are deeply affected. We learn cupcakes and movie quotes don’t lighten anyone’s mood this time or at least not too much. This case needed to be solved as fast as possible.

Don’t get me wrong though there was plenty of humor and romantic tension. Even Manny, the hunky detective, caused some fun moments that had Mel feeling the heat. :)

I was surprised by how fast I read this book. My reading speed has been too fast the last few weeks but before I knew it I was at the end. The story is excellent and I was sad to see it wrap up because then I realized I have to wait a year to get to the next chapter and cure my cupcake craving with the Mel and Angie.

This series makes the bestseller’s list for several reasons. These are fabulous stories with fabulous characters and readers have a fabulous time reading them. I encourage you to take a huge bite out of Dark Chocolate Demise. You will thank me and definitely want more!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Jenn McKinlay and her books on her webpage here.

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.

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 April 30, 2015 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.”

Apr 152015
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

I am so excited to welcome Wisconsin Author Christine DeSmet
to Escape With Dollycas today!!

Christine DeSmet author pic

The Cape Cod of the Midwest is this cozy’s setting

With author Christine DeSmet, the Fudge Shop Mystery Series

Ava Oosterling and her Grandpa Gil operate Oosterlings’ Live Bait, Bobbers & Belgian Fudge & Beer on a harbor in Door County, Wisconsin, known as the “Cape Cod of the Midwest.” They’re the sleuths in the Fudge Shop Mystery Series (New American Library/Obsidian books).

Their county is that real thumb of land jutting into Lake Michigan and forming the bay of Green Bay. Door County is about a three-hour drive north from Chicago.

The quaint county has 11 lighthouses, beautiful shoreline parks, and winding two-lane roads canopied by maples. The upper half of the peninsular county is a vacationer’s paradise with its spas, wineries, art, golfing, and boating and many miles of shoreline. It has only 2-lane roads, and stoplights are rare.

The lower half of the county has a different landscape—one rich in dairy farms and a history connected to the thousands of Belgian immigrants who settled there.

Ava and her family are Belgians, and Ava grew up on a farm near Brussels (real name) in Door County in the southern half of the county. Her fudge shop is in the northern touristy part in a fictional town called Fishers’ Harbor. I like to tell people she’s the first Belgian sleuth since Poirot hit the scene in 1920.

In Five-Alarm Fudge, Book 3 of the Fudge Shop Mystery series, Ava and her Grandpa Gil are again mixed up in a fun fudge felony—this time involving romance, royal relatives, and revenge.

When a visiting European prince asks Ava Oosterling to unearth a priceless, 1800s divinity fudge recipe, the request fans the flames of foul play, with murder marring Ava’s Cinderella dreams.

Prior to the story, Grandpa took it upon himself to invite the prince of Belgium to visit. Grandpa insists the prince is a shirt-tail relation but far enough removed by ancestors to qualify as marriage material for Ava.

Ava is beside herself with Grandpa. She’s in the midst of a rekindled romance with her ex, Dillon Rivers, who is refurbishing the Blue Heron Inn in order for Ava to take it over. In the meantime, Ava lives in a rundown rental cabin with an ever-present field mouse.

Grandpa has also promised the prince that Ava will find a long, lost divinity fudge recipe supposedly hidden in a local historical church by a Belgian nun during an 1871 fire.

Five-Alarm_FudgefrontcoverI used a lot of the real history of Door County for the background in the new Five-Alarm Fudge.

The irony of being surrounded by miles and miles of water in this peninsular county is that on October 8, 1871 the very real Great Fire happened—taking an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 lives in this region. This event occurred the same days as the famous Chicago fire that took about 300 lives.

This novel also delves into the real history of Sister Adele Brise, who hid in a wood church southwest of Namur, Wisconsin, that fateful day when the fires swept the territory. It’s considered a miracle that the wood church was spared.

For travelers, a fun fact to know is that before she became a nun, the young Adele Brise reported that she was visited at least twice by Mary, the mother of Jesus. The site of this visitation is the only Catholic bishop-sanctioned Marian sighting in the entire United States.

LighthouseNoFenceDSCN2208Today, you can visit the church, shrine, and gravesite of Sister Adele in a little town called Champion, Wis., which is on your way to Door County. It’s a peaceful place on a country road. A quick search online will give you dozens of articles about Sister Adele and maps to the area.

Just north of there, in Namur, Wis., a little church once known as St. Mary’s of the Snows features prominently in my mystery. Grandpa Gil feels sure that the traveling, teaching nun must have hidden an early version of a divinity fudge recipe in the brick church, thus protecting the special recipe from fires.

Ava scours the local church for the recipe, but instead finds a dead body, a fire, and the start of a game of hide-and-seek with an arsonist out to do in Ava.

Many people bypass little towns like Namur in their travels, and that’s a great loss. The small-town festivals are where we often find the heart of a region’s culture and history.

Every fall on a September Sunday, Namur has a kermiss—a Belgian harvest festival. (It’s also spelled “kermis.”) The celebration features a dozen kind of pies because Belgians are known for pies. Their pie tins from the old country are 12 inches wide! None of the puny 8-inch or 9-inch stuff for a Belgian. Of course chocolate abounds at a kermiss in the form of cookies, bars, fudge and other confections. And you get some excellent Belgian beer! (In Wisconsin, everything ends with beer.)

You also want to try the Belgian booyah when traveling in Door County. Namur is having a big booyah fest on Sunday, April 26, 2015.

Booyah is a tomato-based chicken stew made outside in a big stainless steel barrel over an open fire. Like the story about making stone soup, neighbors will often bring vegetables to put in the pot. A recipe for booyah is in Book 2 of my series, Hot Fudge Frame-Up.

photo 83PinkFudgeOnCrystalPlateFor dessert? Try Ava’s signature “Cinderella Pink Fudge,” a cherry-vanilla flavor. Door County is a leading producer of cherries in the U.S.

Other regular characters in my series include Ava’s best friend Pauline, who’s a kindergarten teacher, and Laura, who’s having twins and waiting for her husband to come home from a special mission in the Middle East. There’s also a smart gaggle of church ladies who often cause Ava no end of trouble when they volunteer at the fudge shop. And Dillon Rivers’ American water spaniel, Lucky Harbor, finds his nose in all kinds of trouble in every fudge mystery.

My series presents a warm-hearted view of a real place popular for vacations—Door County. I hope readers have a chance to look it up online to explore and then visit sometime.

~Christine

About The Author
Christine DeSmet writes the Fudge Shop Mystery Series (Penguin Random House/NAL/Obsidian). She’s also an award-winning scriptwriter and teaches writing at University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies where she directs the annual June Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat. You can write to her at UW-Madison, cdesmet@dcs.wisc.edu or find her on Facebook or at her website, www.ChristineDeSmet.com.

I really had the best intentions to get the 2nd and 3rd book of these series read before Christine’s visit but that did happen :( So today I am going to review Hot Fudge Frame Up with a promise to review Five Alarm Fudge in the very near future because I am really enjoying this series!

hot fudgeHot Fudge Frame-Up:
A Fudge Shop Mystery

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Wisconsin
An Obsidian Mystery (June 3, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451416483
E-Book ASIN: B00GS9XGX0
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Candy shop owner Ava Oosterling mixes it up with a fudge judge with a grudge—who loses his life before he can pick a winner….

Ava is gearing up for the First Annual Arts Festival—a huge celebration that could draw national attention to her old-fashioned fudge shop in Door County, Wisconsin. She’s invited two celebrity chefs to go head-to-head with her in a fudge contest. Everyone is having a tasty time…until a judge for the festival is found dead.

To her shock, he’d been complaining around town that her Fairy Tale fudge flavors were…well, fudged. Now the sheriff is wondering if Ava fits the mold for a murder suspect. As Ava tries to square her reputation and find the real killer, she’s in for a whole batch of trouble….

Includes Delicious Recipes and Fudge-Making Tips!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Our family loves to travel to Door County for day trips or family vacations so I feel right at home visiting Oosterling’s Live Bait, Bobbers, Belgian Fudge & Beer.  I love all the local references.

In this second book of the series Ava is competing with two celebrity chefs, one of them has some crazy ideas for her fudge ingredients, in a fudge contest. Local leaders have been lined up as judges. As Ava works on her new fudge flavors, the other chefs can’t be in the same room together without feet and food flying. The event is being filmed for television so Ava tries to just stay out of the line of fire. But when one of the judges is found dead, the fights become the least of her worries. Especially when the sheriff starts to treat Ava as a suspect. Lloyd, the now deceased judge, was Ava’s grandfather’s best friend and owned quite a bit of local property. Ava quickly puts together a list of other suspects, now she just needs to figure out which one has fudged up her life this time.

The author has given us quite a mystery to chew on. A lot happens within these 352 pages. The story is much more complicated than it first appears and I was totally taken aback with the way things played out. Wow, I sure didn’t expect that ending.

We learn a lot about the history of Fisher’s Harbor, and some people’s plans to change the town and take away its charm. Ava is very concerned about those plans but also how they will affect her family, especially her grandparents.

I really enjoy the way the residents come together in times of distress and also in times of celebration. In this story we not only have a festival with a prom-like dance but a funeral. People always bring food to the family after a death and most funeral luncheons are potluck. Very familiar to me after the past few weeks. The dance was for the young and old alike and there were even bets placed on who Ava’s date would be. Her date was also quite a surprise and absolutely perfect.

The book not only has a beautiful setting, an awesome mystery, and terrific characters, it is also full of humor and a bit of romance. I highly recommend this book and if you can, take a real trip to Door County to take in all it has to offer from fudge, cherries, beer, cheese…oh and lighthouses, beautiful beaches and more. It is called The Cape Cod of the Midwest for good reason!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

FIRST DEGREE FUDGEhot fudgeFive-Alarm_Fudgefrontcover

Today I have my review copies of First Degree Fudge and Hot Fudge Frame Up plus a brand new copy of
Five Alarm Fudge from the publisher.
There will be 3 Winners!

 

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 Christine  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 April 29, 2015 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.”

Apr 142015
 

BRIDGES BURNED large banner640

Bridges Burned
by Annette Dashofy

It the last day for this tour and I have the pleasure of wrapping things up!
I love this series!

BRIDGES BURNED frontBridges Burned
Mystery
Setting – Rural Pennsylvania
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (April 7, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1941962398
E-Book ASIN: B00RY9ZW94
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Synopsis
Paramedic Zoe Chambers is used to saving lives, but when she stops a man from running into a raging inferno in a futile attempt to rescue his wife, Zoe finds herself drawn to him, and even more so to his ten-year-old daughter. She invites them both to live at the farm while the grieving widower picks up the pieces of his life.

Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams, of course, is not happy with this setup, especially when he finds evidence implicating Zoe’s new houseguest in murder times two. When Zoe ignores Pete’s dire warnings, she runs the very real chance of burning one too many bridges, losing everything—and everyone—she holds dear.


Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is the third book in this series and it really kept me on my toes.

Zoe and Pete are trying to take their relationship to the next level but keep facing roadblock after roadblock. One major roadblock occurs when Zoe decides to help a man and his daughter after his wife dies in a tragic fire. Pete just doesn’t trust the guy and Zoe is following her gut instinct. When the evidence starts to point to the man Pete turns up the heat to keep him away from Zoe but she douses the flames by basically telling Pete to back off. Is her gut wrong? Is she the one that is going to get burned?

Annette Dashofy has pumped up this story with a huge bucket of suspense. I actually felt like I was watching a movie instead of reading a book. Almost wanting to cover my eyes when I knew Zoe was going to take a huge dangerous step, or try to keep someone from barreling into a hazardous situation.

Zoe is such a strong woman and the author has written her so beautifully that we get to see her vulnerable side too. Her life could be in for some major changes but she continues to push ahead. Pete is strong as well and that is why they sometimes clash, he also cares deeply for Zoe but needs to learn to trust her. We see a bit of jealously rear its ugly head.

The supporting cast are also so well written. Zoe lives in a divided farmhouse where she also boards her horse. She helps out her landlord’s, the Kroll’s, by giving riding lessons and mucking out the stalls. The Kroll’s are facing hard times due to Mr. Kroll’s hospitalization and Mrs. Kroll is more worried about her husband than the bills that are stacking up. Mrs. Kroll becomes a key character in this story. We also meet Holt and Maddie Farabee. Maddie turns out to be a very wise 10 year old.

Dashofy is such a fantastic storyteller. The plot is full of twists and those anxious moments when the pages just can’t seem to fly fast enough. There was more than one point where I would feel my heart racing and my mind trying to read faster to see how things were going to play out.

I gave Lost Legacy, the second book in this series a Paradise Rating and this one has to get the same. Annette Dashofy has set the bar high. I cannot wait to see what she has planned for Zoe, Pete, and the rest Vance Township next.

paradise5 STARFISH5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Annette Dashofy-small fileAbout This Author

Today best selling author Annette Dashofy is a Pennsylvania farm gal born and bred. After high school, she spent five years as an EMT for the local ambulance service. Since then, she’s worked a variety of jobs, giving her plenty of fodder for her lifelong passion for writing. She, her husband, and their two spoiled cats live on property that was once part of her grandfather’s dairy.

Author Links:

Website: www.annettedashofy.com,

Writing, etc. blog: annettedashofy.blogspot.com,

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/annette.dashofy,

Twitter: @Annette_Dashofy
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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
March 31 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
April 1 – Jane Reads – Review
April 2 – Tea and A Book – Review, Interview
April 3 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Guest Post
April 4 – deal sharing aunt – Interview
April 5 – Christa Reads and Writes – Guest Post
April 6 – A Chick Who Reads – Review
April 7 – readalot – Review
April 8 – Marie’s Cozy Corner – Guest Post
April 9 – Community Bookstop – Review
April 10 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview
April 11 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Guest Post
April 12 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
April 13 – MysteriesEtc – Review
April 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – 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.”

Apr 132015
 

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.

My reading speed is still a bit slow so I am having to keep revising my review schedule. Hopefully I will get back on track soon!

Here’s my recap of reading for last week and what I am planning this week.

FINISHED

The Glassblower’s Wife

Release Date: March 20, 2015
This Great Escapes Tour stops here on Friday!
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Ladle to the Grave (A Soup Lover’s Mystery)

Release Date: March 3, 2015
Connie will be my Special Guest on Saturday!
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Bridges Burned (A Zoe Chambers Mystery) (Volume 3)

This Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow!
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Hot Fudge Frame-Up: A Fudge Shop Mystery

My April Just For Fun Book!
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Christine DeSmet will be my guest this week for Cozy Wednesday.
I still need to read her newest book Five-Alarm Fudge but won’t get it read before Wednesday :(

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ON DECK THIS WEEK

Dark Chocolate Demise (Cupcake Bakery Mystery)

Release Date: April 7, 2015
I will be reviewing later this week!
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The Denim Blue Sea

Release Date: March 3, 2015
I will be reviewing this next week!
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Seven Threadly Sins (A Threadville Mystery)

Release Date: May 5, 2015
Janet will be my Cozy Wednesday guest next week!
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I hope you all have a fantastic week!

escape

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Apr 122015
 

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.

_______________________

The last time I posted a Sunday Salon/Sunday Post piece was on the day of my son’s death, March 15, a post I had written the day before.  Today, 28 days later I return.

These have been the hardest days of my life, even harder than recovering from my accident that happened to occur March 14, 2001. That accident left my right side paralyzed, my son’s death is incomparable. Is the date a coincidence? I will never know.

nat444Losing a loved one is always hard, losing a child is heartbreaking, losing a child to suicide is excruciating. There are days I still believe I am still in shock. There are days the tears just flow. Most days I feel as if I am just going through the motions. There are times I feel guilt, could I have done more? what? what were the right words I didn’t say? who was the right person to contact? There are times I feel angry at both God and my son. I never should have survived my accident, several people called it a miracle. Why was I saved and my child not? I thought I had lived because God had plan for me, but I can’t believe I was saved to endure the pain of losing my first born. Then I get mad at my son, why wasn’t his daughter enough to change his choice? There are just so many questions!

I have been doing a lot of reading, pamphlets, flyers, newsletters, online articles, books. Right now there are more questions than answers. We will be joining a support group to help us through this but right now at this point in time acceptance is a long way off. I realize most of my questions won’t ever get answered. Only Kris could answer the most important ones. I understand the pain he was suffering was many times worse than the pain of those he left behind.

I am thankful for the comforting words, the prayers, the gifts to the memorial fund. I draw strength for the words and prayers each day. It really makes me wonder how moms like me got through times like this before the internet. With my disability it is hard for me to get out of the house and I am always dependent on others to get me where I want to go. Again this computer and the people I meet, new friends and old, have become my lifeline. If I am having a bad day, I post about it on Facebook and within seconds people are sending messages to pick me up or give me comfort. I can share pictures of Kris and share memories with friends and family. I can post on this blog and receive wonderful comments. This blog also gives me a reason to get my butt out of bed everyday and share books with you and meet commitments I have made.

There is nothing anyone can do to bring Kris back and I will never fully understand why he did what did but I do know he wouldn’t want the rest of us to just stop living because he did. People who have been where I am tell me the pain never fully goes away but the days do get easier, that I will be able to sleep through the night again and that my concentration will improve. They tell me I will go hours at a time without missing my son but it will take time. Hard to believe right now, but hope it is true.

I appreciate the time you have all given me so far and that you allow me to share my personal feelings in this very public place. I am already back writing reviews and while my reading speed has slowed dramatically I will do my best to meet my obligations and continue to bring guest posts, reviews, book tours and giveaways.

My post next Sunday will be back to regular format.

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Apr 112015
 

special guest blue
My apologies to Connie Archer. I missed the day she was originally supposed to be here. I am thrilled to welcome here today!

Connie.Archer.2

Ladle to the Grave

When a local woman is poisoned at a pagan ritual in the woods, Lucky Jamieson’s grandfather, Jack, who provided the herbs for the gathering, is suspected of making a terrible mistake. The following day, a dead man is found floating in a creek just outside of town, his face unrecognizable. Is he a stranger or Lucky’s best friend’s estranged brother? Lucky is certain both deaths are murder. Can she find the connection and clear her grandfather’s name before more victims fall prey to a killer?

Crime fiction comes in many different packages – hard-boiled, noir, police procedural, thriller, cozy, even humorous. And fans of crime fiction are truly devoted fans who enjoy nothing else. I include myself in this category. I couldn’t imagine reading a book without one or more bodies. Oh, I admit I occasionally pick up a non-fiction book, but generally it’s crime-related non-fiction.

I’ve been asked a few times if I write anything else. I never know what to say because if that anything else means a story that doesn’t involve suspense, mystery, thrills and dead bodies – the answer is no. I’ve never even given it a thought. But that got me to thinking . . . why is that? Do I (and other crime fiction authors) have darkly suspicious minds that perceive something nefarious in the most innocent of situations? That could be. Yes, I’ll admit to that. Is it the puzzle of unraveling clues that fascinates us? Or the curiosity of following a police investigation and finally watching light dawn (figuratively) in the detective’s eyes. Yes, there’s that too.

LadleOr is it a desire for justice? Possibly. Maybe. Although I have noticed in reading foreign (non-U.S.) authors the same imperative to tie up every story in a nice neat bow doesn’t exist quite as much. Perhaps, I’ve thought, it’s only Americans who want everything nicely nailed down at the end.

Years ago, I read what the Italians call a gialli. So named, because giallo, the word for yellow, is the color publishers use for popular crime fiction. The Thursdays of Senora Giulia (I Giovedi della Senora Julia) is a crime story in which the fictional Senora Giulia disappears. I struggled with the advanced vocabulary but couldn’t wait to finish the story. I reached the final chapters only to discover the murderer was not only not brought to justice, but was not even revealed. I was extremely upset. I asked my teacher WHY???? Why write the book and not solve the crime? He said, “Allora, (I’m translating here) Who do you think killed her?” (I’ll spare you, dear reader, the following discussion about past participles having to agree with the gender of the victim). I was convinced Senora Giulia was killed by her ne’er do well son-in-law, but of course I wasn’t allowed to investigate. And I imagine my teacher’s comment implied that the end result was not as important as the exploration of possibilities. It was very frustrating! So, no, I can’t even say unequivocally that the fascination with crime fiction is a desire for justice or for order in our chaotic andviolent world.

Now, I’m not such a great fan of serial killer stories. I enjoy reading about the investigation, I enjoy the attempt to infiltrate the mind of the killer, but after all, serial killers are just plain bonkers. Maybe there’s a reason for their behavior, but it’s not nearly as interesting as the psychological underpinnings of the average person who is driven to commit that most heinous of crimes. The kind of person who’s spoken of (after the act) by neighbors and friends as “Such a nice man . . . who would have thought?”

What neuronal or emotional pathways have become twisted in the mind of a killer provoking him or her to that final desperate act? And what is the connection between the victim and the killer? As any cop will tell you, an investigation starts with the victim – because therein lies the solution.

So, no, I have to admit. Literary fiction isn’t nearly as interesting — not if there aren’t any bodies when all is said and done. Whether it’s the puzzle of a cozy, the hunt for a serial killer, or a desire for order in a chaotic world, I have no answers. I just know I love to read it and I love to write it.

~Connie

About This Author

Connie Archer is the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime.

A Spoonful of Murder, A Broth of Betrayal, A Roux of Revenge, and Ladle to the Grave,  are set in the imaginary village of Snowflake, Vermont.

Links:

Website: www.conniearchermysteries.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/ConnieArcherMysteries

Twitter: @SnowflakeVT

LadleLadle to the Grave
(A Soup Lover’s Mystery)

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Vermont
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (March 3, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Cathy Gendron
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425273111
E-Book ISBN-13: 978-0425273111
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By the Spoonful is Snowflake, Vermont’s most popular soup shop, but owner Lucky Jamieson doesn’t have any time to enjoy her success—she’s too busy trying to keep a lid on false accusations against her loved ones…

It’s almost May, and some of the local ladies have organized a pagan celebration in the woods to welcome spring. But the evening goes terribly wrong when one of the attendees winds up dead, apparently poisoned by an herbal concoction prepared by Lucky’s grandfather, Jack.

Lucky’s sure her grandfather could not have made such a tragic mistake. But before she can clear him of suspicion, her best friend, Sophie, is diverted from planning her wedding to By the Spoonful chef Sage DuBois when she finds a dead man floating in the creek on her property. Now it’s up to Lucky to get both Sophie and Jack out of hot water before a killer stirs up more trouble…

Recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another tasty mystery from Connie Archer.

Snowflake Vermont is a small town where everyone knows everyone and most likely everybody knows your business too.

First Sage and Sophie are trying to plan a small wedding but the whole town seems to plan on attending, well not everyone, but definitely more than the couple had originally planned. Then we end up with not just one body but two. A group of ladies decide to welcome Spring in a whole new way. The fun quickly comes to a halt when one of the women falls over dead after drinking some special brew. The concoction was enhanced by herbs Lucky’s grandfather, Jack, had gathered, which lands him in the soup. Then the next body is found in some chilly water. Sophie finds a man in a bubbling brook on the property where she grew up. She also learns that property may hold other secrets as the neighboring Ski Resort wants to pay big bucks to buy it.

This was one of those stories that once you started reading you just couldn’t stop. I really felt bad for Jack. He was really questioning himself. Did he make a mistake and pick something that killed someone? I liked the large part Sage and Sophie played in this story. It was great to get to know more about each of them and their relationship. As always I love checking in on the the recurring characters that drop in at By The Spoonful.

Archer has given us two mysteries to solve and she weaves them together throughout the entire story. Readers follow the clues right along with Lucky, a spoonful at a time. The characters remind me so much of the people that used to drop by my mother’s restaurant. I have a picture of each of them in my mind.

Same time, next year, Connie. My next trip to Snowflake is all planned.

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 Connie 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 April 25, 2015 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.”

Apr 102015
 

GLASSBLOWERS WIFE  large banner 640

THE GLASSBLOWER’S WIFE
by Joanna Campbell Slan

I am so thrilled so share this story with you today!!

GlassblowersWife_Final_LightenedTHE GLASSBLOWER’S WIFE
by JOANNA CAMPBELL SLAN
Historical Mystery – short story
Publisher: Spot On Publishing (March 20, 2015)
Print Length: 42 pages
ASIN: B00UI4UTJ0
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When Jewish glassmakers and their families flee the powerful Doge of Venice, the cost of their freedom is three hundred and fifty-seven mirrors—the creation of the magnificent Hall of Mirrors in Versailles. But the Doge sends assassins to pick off the artists, one by one. Can Ruth Telfin, the mute widow of the head glassmaker, save her people?

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This is an exquisite story. The Glassblower’s Wife, Ruth just grabbed hold of by heart and held on tight and wouldn’t let go.

I remember learning a bit about Versailles in a college class (always wanted to travel there and see for myself) and while I remember learning of the beauty of the building I had forgotten the story of the glassblowers until reading this story. The French convinced a number of Venetian artisans to defect and come to make the mirrors for the great hall. In response, the Venetian government ordered the assassination of the these artists to keep the secrets of how to make mirrors a secret from the French.

Joanna Campbell Slan uses her vivid imagination to give us a story the brings this part of history to life. Saul Telfin, was the head glassblower and Ruth was his wife. Due to her disability she was able to blend into the shadows and hear things. She remembered those things with great detail…very important things.

This really is a must read and as only 42 pages you will fly right through it. It will stick with you for much longer as you think of the sacrifices made and the way the story comes together at the end. I was truly moved.

paradise5 STARFISH5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

More Praise for The Glassblower’s Wife

There are three reasons I enjoyed this book: the setting of Venice, the glassblowers and the historical element. I love the art of glassblowing and I never realized that this fascinating back-story existed before. The Glassblower’s Wife is also well written and is a very interesting story.
~MysteriesEtc.

This is a short story that draws you right into the drama. I liked it and the only problem with the story was it was short story. I liked the characters and I wanted more of them.
~readalot

Joanna Campbell Slan weaves an intriguing short story around this little known nugget of history. Although the story is short, the she still manages to give us richly developed characters.
~Cozy Up With Kathy​

I was very impressed with the whole story being wrapped up in such a short format…If you like historical fiction and strong female characters, I strongly recommend you read this enchanting story.
~Booklady’s Booknotes

This is a short story about Jewish glassblowers who were being hunted and killed by the Doge in Venice. What is interesting is the back story about Saul’s wife, Ruth. She is really the key in all of this…
~Storeybook Reviews

This short story does a nice job of weaving historical fact with historical fiction and really presents the mystery nicely…
~Brooke Blogs

The story is beautifully told by Joanna Campbell Slan. It reminded me a bit of the fairytale-like stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer.
~View From The Birdhouse

joanna campbell slanAbout This Author

Joanna Campbell Slan is the award-winning author of the Kiki Lowenstein Mysteries (an Agatha Award Finalist) and two other mystery series. Her stories in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series has been read and loved by millions. Her books reviving the classic heroine Jane Eyre have won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award. In her past life, Joanna was a television talk show host, an adjunct professor of public relations, a sought-after motivational speaker, and a corporate speechwriter. She is married to David Slan, CEO of Steinway Piano Gallery-DC. The Slans make their home on Jupiter Island, Florida.

Author Links:

Website http://www.joannaslan.com

Blog http://www.joannaslan.blogspot.com

Facebook http://www.Facebook.com/joannacampbellslan

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/joannaslan

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/joannacampbellslan

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/joannaslan

 

 

GIVEAWAY
I have 1 e-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.

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

Contest Will End April 17, 2015 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

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Tour Participants

April 3 – Musings and Ramblings – Guest Post, E-Book Giveaway

April 3 – MysteriesEtc – Review, E-Book Giveaway

April 4 – Babs Book Bistro – Guest Post, E-Book Giveaway

April 4 – readalot – Review

April 4 – The Gal in the Blue Mask – Review, Interview

April 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Interview

April 5 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Guest Post, E-Book Giveaway

April 6 – Michelle’s Romantic Tangle – Guest Post, E-Book Giveaway

April 6 – Brooke Blogs – Review, E-Book Giveaway

April 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review

April 7 – Frankie Bow – Interview

April 8 – View from the Birdhouse – Review, E-Book Giveaway

April 9 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review, E-Book Giveaway

April 10 – Tea and A Book – Review, Interview

April 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, E-Book Giveaway

April 11 – Laura’s Interests – Review, E-Book Giveaway

April 11 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Spotlight, E-Book Giveaway

Please, remember that every eBook received for review from Great Escapes Book Tours is given in exchange for an honest review. The eBooks are the sole property (copyrighted) of the author and should not be sold, distributed, transferred, or exchanged with or to other people, nor should they be listed on file sharing sites. Failure to comply with this disclaimer, will result in removal from all future tours.