Mar 052015
 

murder with chicken and wafflesMurder with Fried Chicken and Waffles
(Mahalia Watkins Soul Food Mystery)

New Cozy Series
Setting: Maryland
Kensington Books (February 24, 2015)
Trade Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617731747
E-Book ASIN: B00M4ASSJ4
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Welcome to Mahalia’s Sweet Tea–the finest soul food restaurant in Prince George’s County, Maryland. In between preparing her famous cornbread and mashed potatoes so creamy “they’ll make you want to slap your Momma,” owner Halia Watkins is about to dip her spoon into a grisly mystery. . .

Halia Watkins has her hands full cooking, hosting, and keeping her boisterous young cousin, Wavonne, from getting too sassy with customers. Having fast-talking entrepreneur Marcus Rand turn up in her kitchen is annoying enough when he’s alive–but finding his dead body face-down on her ceramic tile after hours is much worse.

Marcus had his enemies, and the cast iron frying pan beside his corpse suggests that at last, his shady business deals went too far. Halia is desperate to keep Sweet Tea’s name out of the sordid spotlight but her efforts only make Wavonne a prime suspect. Now Halia will have to serve up the real villain–before the killer returns for a second helping. . .

Features delicious recipes from Mahalia’s Sweet Tea, including Sour Cream Corn Bread and Sweet Corn Casserole!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Haila and Wavonne are absolutely laugh out loud funny. Wavonne reminded me of Lula from Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series but she is even funnier.

These two are in a fine mess when they find Marcus Rand, Haila’s silent partner, dead in Mahalia’s Sweet Tea. He is even more silent now. It looks like he has been hit upside the head with a cast iron frying pan. Haila panics when she thinks finding a dead body in her kitchen will mean the end of the Sweet Tea, so she decides to move the body. Wavonne is talked into helping her but she does something that soon will have her listed as the police’s prime suspect. Haila decides to find the real killer before her cousin ends up in the slammer and hilarity and drama ensues.

I was grabbed by the title of  this book and was completely drawn in to the story. The characters are full of humor, the mystery is great and the recipes and food sound delicious! Mahalia’s Sweet Tea sounds like a perfect place to visit for some fine fresh home-made food the will warm your soul. Haila has great business sense that she puts to good use and she tries figure out who relieved the world of Marcus’ misery. Turns out there are plenty of suspects. Wavonne is a gem who doesn’t have a lot of ambition but heart is in the right place.

I can’t find out anything about this author but they are off to a fantastic start with this series. Set in a place near plenty of action I can’t wait to see what kind of mess Haila and Wavonne get into next.

just you and a friend4.5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

I am giving my review copy 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 March 19, 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.”

Mar 042015
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy that Laura Bradford is visiting today. Shunned and Dangerous made my Best Reads of 2014 list, Hearse and Buggy won the Best New Cozy Series Ribbon in 2012, and I gave Assaulted Pretzel 5 Starfish too! I love this series!!

buggy1 - laura

The Chill That Started It All
By Laura Bradford

Nineteen years ago, Sadie Lehman simply up and disappeared during her Rumspringa in the Amish community of Heavenly, Pennsylvania. Led to believe her daughter had gotten caught up in the English world by the girl’s peers, Waneta clung to hope that one day Sadie would come back.

Yet while Waneta prayed for a reunion, Sadie’s friends hoped for something very different—that Sadie’s body would never be discovered.

It’s funny how an entire story can grow from just one thought, but that’s exactly how the plot for Suspendered Sentence (the 4th book in my Amish Mysteries) was born—on that very premise I just shared with you.

And from that one thought, came consternation (how could Sadie’s friends say nothing for nineteen long years?), anger (Waneta was left to hope for something that would never be!), a quest for answers (how did Sadie die?), and a desire for justice (for Sadie, for Waneta, and for…well, I’ll let you read the book to find that out).

I love it when a plot line fires me up the way this one did. I love the way my research of the law for this particular crime left me stunned. And I love the way those two emotions came together into a story that ends up affecting the lives of so many people in Heavenly. In fact, it’s safe to say, that some lives in this quiet, picturesque community will never be the same.

Because of a secret…

A secret that didn’t need to be kept…

A secret that ultimately cost someone their life, and another person their wife

Honestly, I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about this story all over again. So if you’ve been waiting to try one of my Amish Mysteries, I hope you give Suspendered Sentence a try.  If you’re already a fan of the series, then fasten your cozy seatbelt and enjoy the ride!

~Laura

 About This Author

Laura Bradford is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries. The fourth book in the series, Suspendered Sentence, just released. You can learn more about Laura and her books by visiting her website: www.laurabradford.com.  Laura is also on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/laurabradfordauthor, and occasionally tweets @bradfordauthor.

cover suspendered sentence
Suspendered Sentence
(An Amish Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Pensylvania
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (March 3, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425273029
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGK6L4
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The national bestselling author of Shunned and Dangerous returns to the Amish community of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, where shop owner Claire Weatherly has come to appreciate a simpler, more peaceful way of life. But dark secrets are about to complicate things—and lead to murder…

After the Stoltzfus barn catches fire, Claire is awed by the response of the community. Hundreds of Amish men gather together to raise a new barn for the family in a matter of days. But in the midst of the work, a human skeleton is unearthed. Found with the remains is half of a friendship bracelet last seen on Sadie Lehman, an Amish teen long believed to have left her strict upbringing for the allure of English ways.

Now Detective Jakob Fisher—once a member of the Amish community himself—is determined to solve the young woman’s murder. With Claire’s help, he must dig into the past and bring to light long-buried secrets—secrets that someone is willing to kill to protect…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Laura Bradford continues top herself again and again.

In this story Clare is awed by the Amish community as the all turn out to replace a barn in just a few days. I am in awe of the way Bradford makes these characters so real, so genuine, so inspiring and heartwarming. The Amish community is rocked when a the remains of a girl are found. You can’t help grieving for her parents. Claire and Jakob try so hard to figure out what happened and it takes them right into the heart of the community that has shunned Jakob.

The author continues to go delve into a culture most people don’t know much about and she does it in almost a loving way. Like her character Claire she is looking in from the outside and her fascination shines through each and every page.

Like all of her stories the mystery is thought out and well plotted. The reader almost hangs on every word. The twists this time are take a very troubling path and to me were heart wrenching. My emotions ran the gambit. That to me that is the true determination of a great story.  I was moved by this story and it will stick with me.

In addition to the main plot there is also a subplot where Jakob and Claire are exploring or starting more of a romantic relationship. I was delighted by this.

Suspendered Sentence can be read as a stand alone by why deprive yourself from the reading this fantastic series from the start. This one will be on my Best Reads of 2015 list like Shunned and Dangerous was a Best Read last year. Every book in this series is outstanding!

 paradise5 STARFISH5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAYBecause Mary is the Fan of the Month she gets a copy of this book!

I have my review copy yet to giveaway!

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 Laura 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 March 18, 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.”

Mar 032015
 

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY 2014

New Release Tuesday – February 2015

These wonderful books are available today
wherever fine books are sold.
Click on the book covers below to order from Amazon.com

Suspendered Sentence (An Amish Mystery)

Laura Bradford will be here tomorrow for Cozy Wednesday!
She is also touring with Great Escapes!

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Dying For a Cupcake: A Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery

Denise will be my Special Guest March 13!
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Denise also had a Romance Novel come out yesterday!
Good Girl Overboard

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A First Date with Death (A Love or Money Mystery)

Diana Orgain will Be my guest for Cozy Wednesday on March 18!
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Ladle to the Grave (A Soup Lover’s Mystery)

Connie Archer will be my Special Guest on March 20!
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How to Catch a Cat (Cats and Curios Mystery)

Rebecca M. Hale will be my Cozy Wednesday guest on March 25!
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More Books Out Today!

Out March 10 and touring with Great Escapes Book Tours!
Quicksand (A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery) (Volume 3)

The Icing on the Corpse (A Pawsitively Organic Mystery)

Release Date – March 31
Great Escapes Tour starts March 9!!

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Out Later This Month!

I am an Amazon Associate so purchases made at Amazon.com originating from my
blog earn me a small commission which I use for giveaway prizes.

HAPPY READING EVERYONE!!

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Mar 022015
 

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.

Happy Monday Everyone!

I can’t believe it is March already and tomorrow is New Release Tuesday! My February reading was a bit slow, hopefully this month will be better.

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

First I had to adjust my plan for last week by moving a book to next month and adding one in just arrived in the mail.

FINISHED

An Early Wake (A County Cork Mystery)

Release Date: February 3, 2015
Sheila Connolly was my Special Guest on Friday!
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Suspendered Sentence (An Amish Mystery)

Release Date: March 3, 2015
Laura Bradford will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week!
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Murder with Fried Chicken and Waffles (Mahalia Watkins Soul Food Mystery)

Release Date: February 24, 2015
Review Coming Soon!
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ON DECK THIS WEEK

Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities (A Happy Hoofers Mystery Book 2)

Release Date: February 24, 2015
The Flamencos, Flan and Fatalities Great Escapes Book Tour stops here on Friday!
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Flash and Dazzle

Release Date: November 5, 2013
For Review
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Deadlines: A Written to Death Mystery (Written to Death Mysteries Book 1)

Release Date: October 31, 2014
E. Hepner will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week!
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The Mad Catter (Whales and Tails Mystery Book 2)

Release Date: February 1, 2015
For Review
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escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Mar 012015
 

fan of the month

This is the 3rd month in the Year of the Reader!

If you are a fan of my blog I know you are a READER!

So this year I will be randomly choosing a

Fan of the Month!

Not only will this help me get to know you better but it will help the readers get to know each other better. You may find someone that likes the same authors, books, genres you do. You may “meet” someone that enjoys the same hobbies or is in a similar line of work. They may be someone you want to follow on Social Media.

I am excited to introduce of March Fan of the Month!

mary march 2015
Mary

She seems to be spending her winter evenings the same way I do,
snuggled under blankets and escaping into a good book :)

Tell us a little bit about yourself –

I am retired from my job that I worked at for 35 years. I have always loved to read even as a child. I am married, have one standard poodle and live outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Enjoy going to the city library to walk through the aisles to browse for a book.

Where is your favorite place to curl up and Escape Into A Good Book?

My favorite place to read is the chair that I am sitting on in the photo. All bundled up in that photo on one of the coldest nights of this Winter.

Do you have a favorite author, book or series?

The genre of books I read most are drama, mystery, literary fiction, women’s fiction and psychological thrillers. My favorite series is the cozy mysteries Melanie Travis Series by Laurien Berenson.

I don’t have any favorite author or book there are too many to list that I love. Right now I’m reading The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. I’ll be checking out one her other four novels. It would be interesting to meet the character Cecilia in The Husband’s Secret to see how she manages day by day with the secret.

How long have you been a Fan of Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book?

I have been a fan of Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book for at least three years.

What is your favorite part of Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book’s blog?

I have three parts of the blog that I like: of course the giveaways, if I see a book to enter in the contest, the book reviews and your It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? I look through to see if there are books to add to my Want to Read list in Goodreads.

Hang on Mary, Spring should be coming to Wisconsin soon and you and I can rejoice!

Mary will be receiving a copy of Laura Bradford’s Suspendered Sentence
and a $5 Amazon Gift Card.

Thank you Mary for being March’s Fan of the Month!!

Would you like to be a Fan of the Month? You can sign up here. Fans are randomly chosen from names generated from this form.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Mar 012015
 

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.

Happy SUNDAY Everyone!

february month in review
Time has gotten sway from me this week so I am just giving a short quick February Recap.

I only read 14 books this month which is really low for me.
That brings my yearly total to date to 34 Books and 4202 Pages.
I made a little progress on my challenges.

weekly rewind credited235Weekly Rewind February 23 – 28, 2015

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

Tuesday – The Deep End by Julie Mulhern Great Escapes Book Tour – Review & Giveaway

Wednesday – Cozy Wednesday with Mary Ellen Hughes – Author of Licensed to Dill – Giveaway too!

Thursday – Review – Dang Near Dead by Nancy G. West – Great Escapes Book Tour

Friday – Special Guest – Sheila Connolly – Author of An Early Wake – Review/Giveaway

Saturday – Spotlight/Giveaway – Murder Ties The Knot by Christy Fifield

mail call314

~I hope you all have a great week~

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Feb 282015
 

murder ties the knot
Murder Ties the Knot
(Haunted Souvenir Shop)

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Florida
Release Date – March 3, 2015
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425279243
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGLYGA
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A Haunted Souvenir Shop Mystery from the author of Murder Sends a Postcard–featuring Down-Home Dinner Menus.

It’s winter in Keyhole Bay, Florida, and while the tourist trade is slow, souvenir shop owner Glory Martine is busy with her best friend’s wedding. But between managing preparations, the bride’s in-laws, and a haunted parrot named Bluebeard, Glory makes plans to catch a killer.

As her friends Karen and Riley approach their wedding day, Glory could use a break from the nuptial madness. She takes a peaceful drive to Alabama’s piney woods to pick up the wedding quilt she ordered from a supplier. But the supplier, Beth, has disappeared along with the quilt and her husband, Everett.

Glory learns that two men were found murdered near Beth and Everett’s home and that the couple is wanted for questioning. Believing they are innocent, Glory convinces them to cooperate with authorities. But when they’re thrown in jail, Glory vows to catch the real killer before one happy couple walks down the aisle and another gets sent up the river.

About this Author

Christy Fifield is pseudonym for Christy Evans.

Christy Evans is a mystery pseudonym used by northwest writer Christina F. York.

Chris/Christy also writes under other names, including her own and Christy Fifield, depending on the genre and series. Chris has never met a genre she doesn’t like, and has published mystery, romance, adventure, fantasy and science fiction.

Mystery has always been her favorite though, since her great uncle introduced her to the “Perry Mason” books when she was a child. She read each new book as he finished with it and passed it on. The die was cast, she either had to become a lawyer, or a mystery writer. As fate would have it, mystery writer won.

Chris lives on Oregon’s Pacific shore with her writer-husband J. Steven York and two cats, Oz, and “Bad Agent” Sydney T. Cat.

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 March 14, 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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Feb 272015
 

special guest blueI am thrilled to welcome Sheila Connolly to Escape With Dollycas today!
The 3rd County Cork Mystery came out this month and
I was so ready to visit Maura and her Irish Pub!

sheila connolly

I’m amazed to find that I’ve been writing for 14 years now, although I didn’t have a published book to hold until 2008. I had no idea what I was doing when I started writing—I just jumped in. But I always knew I wanted to write about Ireland.

The second book I ever completed was a sweet romance set in West Cork. I hadn’t even dabbled in mystery at that point, but it was the setting that came first: a small pub in a small town on the coast in a far corner of the country. The real place was called Connolly’s. It must have been fate, right?

I found it by accident the first time my family and I traveled to Ireland, mainly looking for where my father’s family had come from. We allowed all of one week for that trip, and part of that was spent in Dublin, so we moved fast. I had done enough research to know that my father’s father’s family had come from someplace north of a village called Leap (which it’s pronounced “lep”—it got its name from O’Donovan’s Leap, where one of the head men of the village escaped pursuing Englishmen by urging his horse to leap over a small river there. He and his horse survived, and the village got its name.)

buried in a bog

We rented a car and pulled into the village (one street, population 210) in the pouring rain, late in the afternoon. We hadn’t made reservations, but we found a B&B with a room, and ate dinner at the local hotel. And when we made our way to the main road the next (sunny!) morning, there was the pub, across the road. Of course we went over and introduced ourselves, and I’ve been going back ever since.

In Buried In a Bog, the first book in the County Cork series, I used the setting of the pub and the town, and then dipped into all the genealogy I’d done on my own family. Then I threw in a body. Where better to solve mysteries than in a pub, where everyone stops in to talk at one time or another? But there’s one problem with writing murder mysteries set in Ireland: there are very few murders. Worse, for most of those that happen, the local police (or gardai in Irish) have a pretty good idea who did the deed. Not a lot of detective work needed!

ScandalActually, Buried In a Bog involves two murders: one that took place a long ago, and a mugging gone wrong in the present—but they’re connected. The second book, Scandal in Skibbereen, brings an American curator to the corner of the country hunting for a lost painting she isn’t even sure exists, and someone dies. Related? It’s not clear, but it was events in the past that led to the truth about the present death.

AN EARLY WAKEThe third book, An Early Wake, is about music in the pub. When most people say “music” and “Ireland” in the same breath, they’re thinking about the traditional style, the Clancy Brothers and the like, with tin whistles and fiddles. But there’s more to it than that—think about U2 or the Cranberries or more recently, Glen Hansard (who wrote the Academy Award winning song Falling Slowly from Once). Irish music lives on in the modern world—and in West Cork, a lot of it happened at Connolly’s (and, yes, Glen Hansard played there). It’s hard to believe when you look at the place, which has all of two rooms that hold (legally) only 200 people, but it was a major attraction up until the last decade, and people still remember.

And that’s what I wanted to capture in An Early Wake. How did that happen, at that time and in that place? How did the word get out, before the Internet? My protagonist Maura Donovan is struggling to figure out a way to keep the pub she’s inherited in the black, so she lets herself be persuaded to try a night of music bringing together some of the players who’d performed there in the past, because local people who remember the old glory days promise her it can happen again. Unfortunately, one of the former performers dies. And once again, the police have to look at the past and the present to understand the death.

There is always a temptation to write about Ireland as though it is all about men in tweed caps with a foaming pint of Guinness in one hand, spinning stories for friends and tourists alike with a charming brogue, with rainbows overhead and sheep frolicking in the very green meadows. I won’t say that’s not true—now and then. But Ireland is both a modern country (with very real modern problems) and a place with long memories of a less than happy past. I try to weave these together in a way that makes the place come alive, in more than one dimension. So I go and I sit in pubs and I listen, and I talk to strangers, and stories drop into my lap. There’s a bit of magic there.

That’s what I fell in love with, the first time I saw Ireland. That’s why I keep going back, and why I write this series.

~Sheila

Find out all about Sheila and her books on her webpage here.

AN EARLY WAKEAn Early Wake
(A County Cork Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Ireland
Release Date: February 3, 2015
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Daniel Craig
Cover Design by Judith Lagerman
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252536
E- Book ASIN: B00LMGK6LY
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Pub owner Maura Donovan may have Irish kin, but she doesn’t seem to have the luck of the Irish. Who could have foreseen that bringing live music back to Sullivan’s Pub would lead to a dead musician?

Summer is ending in County Cork, Ireland, and with it the tourist season. Expat Maura Donovan is determined to keep Sullivan’s Pub in the black as the days grow shorter—but how? When she hears that the place was once a hot spot for Irish musicians who’d come play in the back room, she wonders if bringing back live music might be Sullivan’s salvation.

As word gets out, legendary musicians begin to appear at the pub, and the first impromptu jam session brings in scores of music lovers. But things hit a sour note when Maura finds a dead musician in the back room the next morning. With a slew of potential suspects, it’s going to take more than a pint and a good think to force a murderer to face the music.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

With this 3rd installment Maura realizes she has just been going through the motions of owning her pub. She doesn’t know if she is going to be able to keep it open now that the tourists are gone. She voices her concerns to her friend Bridget who assures her things will work out. When a college student comes around telling her the pub was a place musicians used to come just to “jam” she is totally taken by surprise. But Billy, resident historian and storyteller confirms it to be true and even gets word out that musicians are again welcome and they really start to show up she realizes Bridget was right. Then one of the musicians dead in the back room. Maura realizes the music may have died with him.

The author took a different approach to this mystery. There was so much discussion and build up of the music and musicians from years gone by that I suddenly realized that I was 100 pages into the story and we didn’t have a murder yet. I was caught up in the history so that wasn’t a bad thing, just unusual for a cozy mystery. In fact I was prepared for the murder to be more of a subplot which I feel it turned out to be. Maura’s journey was the main plot, life running the pub she inherited, her relationships with Billy, Mick, Rose, Bridget, Jimmy and Sean. Is there more romance ahead? and with who?, and realizing she is starting to finally be accepted by the people of Leap. I enjoyed this.

There was the drama of the dead musician and finding out why he died and excitement as things played out but to me it wrapped up pretty quickly.

I do love these characters and was quite surprised by the direction the author is taking some of them. I am sad that I have to wait a year to find out what happens. She teases us nicely at the end so wait we will, until out next trip to County Cork.

just you and a friend4 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 Sheila 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 March 13, 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.”

Feb 262015
 

dang near dead large banner640It’s my turn today on the Dang Near Dead tour!

DANG NEAR DEAD
Dang Near Dead
Series: An Aggie Mundeen Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press (September 30, 2014)
Hardcover: 238 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1941962169
Paperback: 280 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940976402
E-Book ASIN: B00N12RJLC
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Aggie vacations with Sam and Meredith at a Texas Hill Country dude ranch with plans to advise her column readers how to stay young and fresh in summer. Except for wranglers, dudes, heat, snakes and poison ivy, what could go wrong?

When an expert rider is thrown from a horse and lies in a coma, Aggie is convinced somebody caused the fall. Despite Sam’s warnings, Aggie is determined to expose the assailant. She concocts ingenious sleuthing methods that strain their dicey relationship as she probes secrets of the ranch and its inhabitants. After she scatters a hornet’s nest of cowboys, she discovers more than one hombre in the bunch would like to slit her throat.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Aggie, Meredith and Sam arrive at the BVS Dude Ranch and are immediately underwhelmed by the place but after meeting the owners and other visitors they decide to stick it out and try to enjoy themselves. When one of the employees of the ranch is thrown from her horse Aggie’s itchy feet tell her something is not right. When she learns the previous owners of the ranch died of unusual circumstances and their will contained some strange contingencies Aggie gets even more curious.

Unlike the first story of this series, Fit To Be Dead Aggie listens to Sam and they work together to piece together the evidence and clues to try to find out what really happened. Being a detective he can get information Aggie could never get on her own. They are also working on their relationship although she still has a big secret. To get the most out of this story you need to have read the first book in this series to understand Aggie and Sam’s relationship. This book builds from the foundation set up there and continues.

The mystery is pretty complex as it ties to the past history of the dude ranch and the lengths some people will go to get something they want. There are a variety of suspects and the setting itself adds to the adventure. 1800 acres is a lot of ground to cover and it is full of trails that can divert from the truth or lead you to it.

Being from Wisconsin I enjoyed the references to my state and was surprised how many of the characters moved from here or close by.

Nancy G. West has taken us to a fun place for this installment and while there is plenty of drama there is also plenty of humor. I really enjoyed Dang Near Dead and can’t wait to see where Aggie and her friends go next.

 

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

6442929

About This Author

I’ve been writing since age seven: poems back and forth with my mom. I had a real poem published in the Library Journal, Pegasus, at age fifteen. At eighteen, I wanted to study journalism and English literature, but friends who chose that college route were making minimum wage or selling lingerie. Being practical, I earned a business degree. After marriage and two children, I decided I HAD to study literature and write. I wrote non-fiction articles, a biography, and a suspense novel in 2004. That’s when whimsical Aggie Mundeen cut through the suspense, popped into my head and demanded her own series. The Aggie Mundeen mystery capers were born. Aggie must have been right: FIT TO BE DEAD is a LEFTY FINALIST 2013 for best humorous mystery, nominated by Left Coast Crime.

Links:

Chat with Aggie and Nancy on their blog: www.stayyoungwithaggie.wordress.com.

Author’s Webpage: http://www.nancygwest.com/

Author Page at Henery Press: http://henerypress.com/authors-humorous-mystery-series-authors/nancy-g-west/

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6442929.Nancy_G_West

Purchase – | B&N Nook | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play | B&N Paperback

Tour Participants – Check out all the stops!

February 18 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – Review
February 19 – Omnimystery News – Interview
February 20 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
February 23 – Babs Book Bistro – Interview
February 24 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
February 25 – deal sharing aunt – Guest Post
February 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
February 27 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
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.”

Feb 252015
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to have former Wisconsinite Mary Ellen Hughes drop by for a visit!

Mary Ellen Hughes author pic

My Ten Favorite Things about Writing License to Dill

Starting a new series is always exciting, but it’s also plenty of hard, intensive work. There’s so many decisions to make, such as where to set it, who your characters will be, their relationships, and so on, which is what I went through with The Pickled Piper, book #1 of my Pickled and Preserved mystery series. After careful thought, I chose upstate New York as my setting and named my fictional town Cloverdale. I sent my twenty-nine year old principal character, Piper Lamb, there from Albany after she ended her going-nowhere engagement. And I put Piper’s Aunt Judy and Uncle Frank on a nearby farm, gave Piper a great assistant for her pickling shop, and introduced Piper to Will, a handsome Christmas tree farmer. So all the important decisions were made with book #1.

Book #2, License to Dill, by comparison, turned out to be a breeze. Everything was set up and ready to go! All I needed to do was write the mystery (“all” she added, laughingly). But having already done the ground work, I could now relax and focus on the plot, which became the first of my…

Ten Favorite Things About Writing License to Dill :
1. My characters, after a couple of weeks of rest, were super-eager for action. They practically snatched the pages from me to get back to work.

2. Piper and her new boyfriend, Will, had progressed beyond the awkward getting-to-know-you stage and were pretty happy and comfortable with each other.

3. Of course, I couldn’t let that continue, so I brought Piper’s ex-fiancé, Scott, back from his travels, and he decided to settle in Cloverdale. (Uh-oh.)

4. I imported an entire soccer team of handsome young men from Italy to challenge Cloverdale’s All-Stars, which meant writing exciting soccer scenes. I now understand the game much better!

5. The Italian team’s coach and manager occasionally spoke Italian. With the help of a Italian-born friend, I learned several useful Italian phrases and sometimes found myself writing with an Italian accent!

6. Since a dill field figures importantly in the murder, I learned—and shared in the book—quite a bit about growing and using fresh dill. I could practically smell that wonderful weed as I typed.

7. Since Piper makes all the pickles and preserves for her shop herself (with the help of her assistant, Amy), I kept various pickles on hand, because writing pickling scenes was sure to bring on a craving.

8. Piper spends plenty of time with her Aunt Judy and Uncle Frank at their farm. Whenever Piper drove up, Jack, their mixed-breed dog went crazy with excitement. I, unfortunately, am allergic to dogs, but I could enjoy petting Jack vicariously through Piper—with no sneezes!

9. While looking into the murder, Piper meets several people in the Cloverdale area with new-to-me occupations. I particularly loved writing about the chainsaw sculptor and will have to seriously consider bringing him back some day.

10. After spending months with Piper and all the people of Cloverdale in The Pickled Piper, I became pretty fond of them. (Well, most of them. There was, after all, a murderer in the mix.) But writing License to Dill was like going to a reunion—lots of fun getting reacquainted with everyone. But I do hope they’ve forgiven me by now for what I’ve put them through…

~Mary Ellen

About The Author

Mary Ellen Hughes is the author of the Craft Corner mystery series – WREATH OF DECEPTION, STRING OF LIES, and PAPER-THIN ALIBI – as well as the Maggie Olenski mysteries – RESORT TO MURDER and A TASTE OF DEATH.

She has also authored several short stories, including THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN, and short mysteries included in the Chesapeake Crimes and Tales from the Backlist anthologies.

A transplanted Wisconsinite, Mary Ellen now lives in Maryland where she is excited to be working on her new Pickled and Preserved mystery series beginning with THE PICKLED PIPER.

license to dillLicense to Dill
(Pickled and Preserved Mystery)

2nd Book in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
Release Date: February 3, 2015
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Chris O’Leary
Cover Design by Karen Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425262467
E-Book ASIN: B00NUMIDHC
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Piper Lamb knows how to make fruits and vegetables keep for months. Unfortunately, it’s the people around her who are expiring too soon…

After her fiancé left her, Piper came to Cloverdale to rebuild her life and open up her shop, Piper’s Picklings, to sell pickles and preserves. When her ex decides to drop in for a visit—just as things are heating up between her and a local Christmas tree farmer—Piper finds herself in a jam.

But there are other visitors to worry about…

An Italian soccer team is set to play the Cloverdale All-Stars in an exhibition game. Their manager, Raffaele Conti, was a bitter rival of Piper’s dill supplier, local farmer Gerald Standley. After Conti is found dead in Standley’s field, Piper must work to clear Gerald’s name and find out who relished killing Raffaele before the town is soured by another death.

INCLUDES RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I knew that darn Scott was going to be trouble when he appeared in Cloverdale at the end of The Pickled Piper and he is sticking around too, renting an office just down the street from Piper’s store. Piper does her best to fully explain to him their relationship is over, but Scott does not give up. Thankfully Will is a patient man but Scott just keeps popping up everywhere, even at the exhibition soccer game where he wedges himself into the seat closest to Piper. When the manager of the Italian team is killed he even tries to help Piper catch the killer. Piper truly has herself in a pickle as she tries to clear her friend’s name and make it clear to Scott she has moved on.

I love Piper, she is really making herself at home in Cloverdale. She still visits her Uncle Frank and Aunt Judy often but is branching out making new friends and her relationship with Will was moving at a nice pace. She made me laugh out loud several times and caused me to worry about her too as she finds herself in more than a bit of trouble.

Mary Ellen Hughes has given readers a nice treat by adding a few hunky Italian soccer players to the story. The way she tied this into the whole plot is very interesting and gives us a barrel full of suspects.

The story has a wonderful mystery, fun characters, a nice romantic subplot and the perfect amount of humor. I am already looking forward to my next visit to Cloverdale!!

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 Mary Ellen 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 March 11, 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.”