Apr 162014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

I am super excited to Welcome Cozy Author Beverly Allen
to Escape With Dollycas Today!!

Barbara Early1

 

It’s time to shake off the doldrums of a long winter and escape to a leisurely stroll in a flower garden. Just for your visit, we’ve even removed the bees. Our guide through the garden is Audrey Bloom.

bloom and doomWhat? Never heard of her? Maybe it’s because she’s a new kid on the block. Bloom and Doom, the first book in the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries, just released April 1st.

Audrey Bloom has a gift, it seems. Yes, she’s a talented florist who designs and creates gorgeous bridal bouquets, most based on the language of flowers. But at the beginning of Bloom and Doom, she learns that all of the brides who have carried one of her bouquets down the aisle are still happily together with their spouses.

Foxglove_insincerity

Foxglove ~Insincerity

That’s quite a record. And the book begins as a local reporter wants to learn the secret of her marriage success rate.

“Marriage success rate?” Audrey says. “Ha!”

Lily of the Valley ~Return of Happiness

Lily of the Valley ~Return of Happiness

Parts of the book grew naturally out of my own life. Audrey grew up spending summers with her beloved Grandma Mae and her cousin Liv. (I have a Grandma Bea–she just turned 90– and a cousin Lisa.) Audrey has had more than one career: dropping out of nursing school to become a florist. I went to school for engineering, but travelled a circuitous route to become a writer.

But other parts of the book took research. I’m a crafty person, but flower arranging was one of the few crafts that was never on my radar, due to some rather severe allergies. Even though I scouted out some wonderful “flower people” to help me with Audrey’s arrangements, I decided that I needed some hands-on training. So I enrolled in a course with a local florist.

Marigolds - Grief and Pain

Marigolds – Grief and Pain

Eyes burning and nose running, I wore gloves to protect my skin from the sap and managed to muddle through enough to be able to write the scenes at the florist shop. But it also gave me an idea for a character. The highly allergic Kane Bixby, police chief of Ramble, Virginia, gets more than a little touchy when all his crime scenes are suddenly filled with flowers!

Variegated Tulip ~ Beautiful Eyes

Variegated Tulip ~ Beautiful Eyes

Audrey’s arrangements have an interesting twist. She’s not just concerned about the color, size, and shape of flowers, but also their meaning in the old Victorian language of flowers. Determining flower meanings can be difficult, since modern florists have assigned positive meanings to all the flowers–something the Victorians never did. Probably because they want to sell flowers! But I was able to come upon a lovely reprint which I use extensively. In her attempt to find flowers with the perfect meaning for a given arrangement, Audrey on occasion will use flowers that many modern florists might not. Good thing they have a great local supplier.

Peony ~Anger --~Bashfulness or Shame

Peony ~Anger –~Bashfulness or Shame

Wisteria ~Welcome Fair Stranger

Wisteria ~Welcome Fair Stranger

All the wedding research went double-duty. At the same time I’ve planned at least one wedding for each book in this series, we’ve also been planning for a wedding in our family: our daughter will be married this June. Together, we’ve scoured through Pinterest and watched hours of reality shows from Four Weddings to Bridezillas to Say Yes to the Dress (and more), gleaning ideas of what to do–and in many cases, what not to do. The difference is that she’s having a lovely, tasteful wedding, while Audrey’s brides seem to plan over-the-top events where things could go awry.

And I love giving it that little push.

My daughter doesn’t want to use any of Audrey’s bouquets, though. Maybe it’s because someone keeps showing up dead?

~Beverly

To find out more about Beverly Allen visit her webpage here.

 

bloom and doomBloom and Doom
(A Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery)

Brand New Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (April 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Ben Perini
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425264973
E-Book File Size: 2818 KB
ASIN: B00F9F0SXU
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As the co-owner of The Rose in Bloom, Audrey Bloom creates magnificent flower arrangements for brides to be. Though helping to plan a wedding can be stressful, it’s nothing compared to the groom turning up dead.

Audrey’s creations are inspired by the language of flowers – their Victorian meanings.  She is stunned to realize that every couple married with her flowers is still happily married, not one divorce in the bunch.

Unfortunately her childhood friend Jenny Whitney may break that record. She is set to marry the most eligible bacjelor in town but before she can even walk down the aisle with what Audrey calls a “floral disaster” (a blend of anemone, scabious, and pussy willow) the groom is found dead and Jenny is the prime suspect. Audrey decides to do a little digging on her own hoping her co-workers won’t be making floral arrangements for her funeral next.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

“Marriages and murder…flowers and felonies…cake and catastrophe”…what FUN!!!

Audrey is a treasure as is her cousin Olivia. The rest of the supporting cast is great too. I especially like Kane Bixby, police chief of Ramble, who like me is allergic to flowers, although I must say as I have aged my allergy has lessened so maybe there is hope for Kane. It was quite comical that he had to be surrounded by flowers for the entire investigation. Audrey’s interest in the Victorian meanings of the flowers was very appealing and added that little extra touch to the story.

Throughout the story The Rose in Bloom staff works extra hard to make the many flower arrangements for the funeral of groom who comes from a very important family and  another high profile wedding. They even had to call in some extra reinforcements to help get everything done and delivered on time. It was crazy and I loved it!!

Allen also developed a strong mystery with plenty of suspects and twists that kept me guessing right up to the end.

Beverly Allen has found her cozy voice and this story is blooming awesome!! She has laid a great foundation for the series going forward.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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.

Leave a comment for Beverly for 5 Bonus Entries !

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

Contest Will End April 30, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Apr 152014
 

guidebook
Guidebook to Murder
A Tourist Trap Mystery
New Cozy Series!
Published by Kensington Trade (April 17, 2014)
Paperback: 226 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1601833044
E-Book File Size: 1128 KB
ASIN: B00FY54N72
B&N ISBN-13: 9781601832382
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South Cove California is a tourist stop along the coast. Jill Gardner owns Coffee, Books, and More  and she just wants to make enough to keep the business open. She is relatively new to the town. It was meeting Miss Emily one day that convinced her to move to South Cove. Miss Emily is an elderly woman who has had a bunch of businesses crop up around her home. Her house needs a lot of work but when she receives a letter telling her the town council is going to condemn her home or force he to sell to a big developer she calls Jill in a panic. Jill calms her down and tells her they will work things out. But before that can happen Miss Emily passes away very unexpectedly. She leaves her home and all its problems to Jill, but Jill thinks Miss Emily was murdered and sets out to prove it even as the killer tries to puts Jill out of business permanently.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I knew I was going to love this book and I sure did. Jill Gardner is a great character. She is down to earth and her confidence while shaky at the start continues to grow throughout the story. She also likes food and she features some tasty treats in her shop. There will be even more if Aunt Jackie has her way.

Aunt Jackie is a lot like my mom was, do things now and get permission for them later. Jill asks Aunt Jackie to help her with the store as she deals with Miss Emily’s house and all that entails and Jackie took “help” to a whole new level. I was laughing out loud.

I was sad that Miss Emily became the murder victim. She was quite a woman and she has a few secrets. I would have loved to spend more time with her.

South Cove is also home to Detective Greg King. A handsome guy that just keeps running into Jill. The sexual tension is thick enough to cut with a knife. It is going to be fun watching this relationship progress.

The mystery is great too, I just wish I had Jill’s energy, not only does she find out what happened to Miss Emily and why, she also makes substantial repairs to Miss Emily house. Of course she has outside contractors to help but just pulling everything together while painting and decorating was miraculous and a joy to read.

There is a lot going on in this book. The pages just flew. I have been trapped by this Tourist Trap mystery and can’t wait to be trapped again by Mission to Murder coming July 31, 2014.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Lynn Cahoon on her webpage here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Apr 132014
 

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.

This past Saturday thunderstorms rolled through our area all day. My daughter brought her boys up to visit and we spent the afternoon playing and watching the movie Frozen. They had watched it several times and thought it was time Nana and Papa watched it too. I really enjoyed it and was very surprised by the twist near the end. She also brought us Kaden’s school picture and pictures from Remington’s recent trip to the photographer.

REMINGTON 001 338

This one is just too cute. He doesn’t go anywhere with his “wubby” (blanket).

Kaden - Kindergarten 2014 001 235

Kaden – Kindergarten

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

FINISHED

Guidebook to Murder

Review Will Be Up Tomorrow

Bloom and Doom (A Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery)

Beverly will be here for Cozy Wednesday this week!!

Never Come Back

Review Will Be Up On Thursday with a Giveaway!

Marriage Can Be Murder, Every Wife Has A Story

Review Will Be Up Friday!!

Murder in the Dog Park: Bad Girl. Good Cop. Bad Dog.

Dog Spelled Backwards: An Unholy Mystery

Jill’s Great Escapes Book Tour Starts Today and will be stopping here on Saturday!!

ON DECK THIS WEEK

Sugar and Iced (Cupcake Bakery Mystery)

For Review

A Roux of Revenge (A Soup Lover’s Mystery)

Connie Will Be Here For Cozy Wednesday Next Week!!

The Whole Cat and Caboodle: Second Chance Cat Mystery

For Review and my A-Z Challenge.

escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Apr 132014
 

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.

Spring is coming to Wisconsin and sadly with that comes grass fires. This was the scene just outside of town on Friday. The fire was started by someone burning trash or leaves and the wind picked up and the fire was quickly out of control.  The fire covered 600 acres, luckily no one was injured and no homes were damaged. Smoke closed down a highway and that and the flames could be seen for miles. My dad was a fireman and I grew up with him telling stories how small little fires can because huge fires in seconds and him explaining to people why he would not issue burning permits on days like Friday. While watching the news last night I learned that there were 9 similar fires throughout southern Wisconsin on Friday.  You can watch the TMJ Video here.

10259102_10152125743198757_990292254203930382_o

weekly rewind credited235Weekly Rewind April 7 – 12, 2014

MondayIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

TuesdayCrAzY cOzY gIvEaWaY
WednesdayCozy Wednesday with Author of Small Town Spin – LynDee Walker

ThursdayReview: True Blend by Joanne DeMaio
FridayReview/Giveaway: Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well by Nancy Atherton
SaturdaySpotlight/Giveaway: Ghost of a Gamble by Sue Ann Jaffarian
mail call314

 

I hope you all have a wonderful week!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Apr 122014
 

ghost of a gamble
Ghost of a Gamble
(Ghost of Granny Apples)

4th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (April 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Robert Crawford
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425262177
E-Book File Size: 1916 KB
ASIN: B00G3L1DWE
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Spiritual medium Emma Whitecastle knows a good ghost when she feels one—like her own sweet Granny Apples, long gone but still as famous for her apple pies as she is for helping her great-great-great-granddaughter get to the core of the most baffling mysteries…

When Emma gets word of a sticky spirit problem in Las Vegas, she and the ghost of Granny Apples hit the road for Sin City. The spooked one is Dolly, a former showgirl. Dolly is haunted by Lenny, a dead Vegas hood worried about an aging mobster named Nemo coming after the leggy old bombshell. Dolly’s playing dumb, but Emma’s making a blind bet that she knows more about Nemo than she admits.

When Nemo is found dead, Dolly goes missing—and lands herself on a short list of suspects. Emma, Granny, and their pals comb Las Vegas to find her, only to discover the truth behind a casino heist gone bad, a hidden stash of stolen loot, and a missing wise guy who’s not letting death come between him and setting things straight. And Emma and Granny Apples aren’t about to fold until they save Dolly’s neck and put her past to rest.


About the Author

Sue Ann Jaffarian is the critically acclaimed author of three mystery series: the Ghost of Granny Apples Mysteries, the Odelia Grey Mysteries, and the Madison Rose Vampire Mysteries. In addition to being a writer, Sue Ann is a full-time paralegal for a Los Angeles law firm and a sought-after motivational speaker. Find out more on her webpage here.

 

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.

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

Contest Will End April 26, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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Apr 112014
 

AUNT DIMITY AND THE WISHING WELLAunt Dimity and the Wishing Well
19th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Viking (April 17, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0670026692
E-Book File Size: 1179 KB
Amazon ASIN: B00DMCVXJA
B&N ISBN-13: 9780698151512
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Welcome to Finch. A small Cotswold Village in England. Lori Shepherd moved from the U.S. when she inherited a sizable estate–after she discovered the secret hidden in a treasure trove of letters in Dimity’s English country cottage. She now lives there with her husband Jack and their two sons. She now communicates with her “Aunt Dimity” in a very special way.

In this 19th installment Australian Jack MacBride comes to Finch to settle his uncle’s estate. When he arrives he find his uncle’s property in need of attention. Lori volunteers to help him. While clearing the garden they find a hidden well. Lori laughingly tosses a coin into the garden’s old well and makes a wish, she is baffled to find that the wish seems to have come true. Word travels fast in this little town and soon Jack has several visitors wanting to make wishes of their own. More and more wishes start to come true and with Aunt Dimity’s help Lori tries to find out what is really going on. What she discovers is that the truth is even more marvelous than a magical wishing well.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a breathe of fresh air!! This book is the perfect Springtime read. It is a true English mystery without any dead bodies or murderers running about. Just a mystery of a wishing well and a stranger in town. This author’s work has been called “adult fairy tales” and that describes them perfectly.

Who wouldn’t love a wishing well that actually granted wishes? The problem is one person’s wish can really mess up another person’s wish or their life. Some of the wishes of the residents of Finch are really causing trouble. Thankfully Lori is on the case. She needs to solve the mystery before there is an actual murder in this quaint little village.

I haven’t read an Aunt Dimity story in years and when I was asked to review this one I jumped right back in and was so happy I said “YES!”. This story reads well as a stand alone too. I wasn’t lost at all. Aunt Dimity was a friend of Lori’s mother and her ghost lives on in her home and has an interesting way to communicate with Lori. That’s all you need to know to enjoy these wonderful stories.

Whether this is your first Aunt Dimity story or you have read them all or like me you fall somewhere in between, you will love this story.  This series is a cozy lover’s favorite for a very good reason. I think we all wish we had an Aunt Dimity.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Nancy Atherton is the bestselling author of eighteen other Aunt Dimity mysteries. The first book in the series, Aunt Dimity’s Death, was voted “One of the Century’s 100 Favorite Mysteries” by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Find out more about Nancy and Mrs. Dimity’s World here. Be sure to sign the guestbook!!

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 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.

Sign the Guestbook at Aunt Dimity’s World for 5 Bonus Entries!!!

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

Contest Will End April 25, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.


CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Apr 102014
 

TRUE BLENDTrue Blend
Contemporary Fiction
Self Published (March 4, 2014)
Paperback: 394 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1494762094
E-Book File Size: 664 KB
Amazon ASIN: B00ISVHLUU
BN ID: 2940149480340
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New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio returns to small-town New England in this compelling love story where truth is veiled by secrets.

Vintage bridal shop owner Amy Trewist thinks she’ll never recover her quiet life at her beloved farmhouse on an old country road. Not after her two-year-old daughter Grace is kidnapped in an elaborate crime. On one clear morning, in mere minutes, Grace is gone and Amy’s world spins into a heartbreaking new place.

George Carbone often spends easy time with his brother. Whether at a ballgame or taking a day trip, it’s how they connect. Until one sunny day when the trip is to a bank parking lot and George is drawn into something he never sees coming.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Again I think the synopsis provided to me and posted online gives away too much of the story. I like to discover the characters and their connections as I read the story.

Joanne DeMaio really surprised me with this story.  It starts out with a lot of suspense and then delves into the lives of the two main characters. Their lives were turned upside down in less than a minute and for both George and Amy this is the second time their lives have taken a drastic turn. Amy is still grieving her husband’s death and George is running a butcher shop instead of playing baseball. George could not be more different from his brother Nate. George is the responsible, steadfast brother and Nate has his head in the clouds. George took over the family business when his father died and is an upstanding member of the community. His brother is always looking for the way to make easy money and change his and George’s lives so they don’t have to work and would be able to follow their dreams. He thinks he finally has a fool proof plan and he drags George right into his scheme never thinking of the consequences. Now George is trying to figure out how to right this massive wrong and Amy is suffering from flashbacks and PTSD.

DeMaio always creates fascinating characters and this time she really puts them in an extraordinary situation, then she adds twists that were so unexpected. I love mysteries and this story read just like a mystery, when secrets were revealed I was stunned.

Like DeMaio’s Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans this story took me on an emotional roller coaster. I really didn’t know how this story would end and I didn’t have a clear feeling on how I wanted it to end. She truly did blend together an outstanding story. This like all the rest of her books is a must read!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Joanne DeMaio is the award-winning author of Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans and the bestselling novel Whole Latte Life, which won First Place in the 2012 Discovery Awards and was named a Kirkus Reviews Critics’ Pick. It has also been featured in USA Today, The Huffington Post and other outlets. Blue Jeans and Coffee Beansis her second novel. Both books explore the intricate relationships between mothers and daughters, sisters and friends. Her third novel Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes is an enchanting novel about love, family, and the delicate power of snowflake.

In addition, her music essays have appeared in literary journals, celebrating her passion for song. Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut and is currently at work on her next book.

Find out more at her webpage here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Apr 092014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640I am excited to Welcome LynDee Walker and her
Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour here today!

LynDee headshot

Mickey, Magic, and Malice—a fairy tale vacation

by LynDee Walker

I am a total Disney nerd.

Yep. There, I said it (typed it, anyway).

1660443_10152212257684827_1128681450_nThe movies, the parks—I love it all. We have several pieces of framed Disney artwork in our home, all of which have been here since way before we had children.

It goes back as far as I can remember: the movies were a big part of my childhood. My mom loved them almost as much as I did. But as a single mom with a career and a lot of responsibility, vacations were scarce. I didn’t visit Disney World for the first time until I was married.

My sweet hubby took me for our first anniversary, and I had more fun than any ten children. We’ve been back every 12-24 months since, and it’s still my favorite place in the whole world.

We’ve marked a milestone there with each of our three little ones: they all get a Disney trip for their third birthday. This year, it was my baby girl’s turn to “go to Mickey’s house.”

It turned out to be a dream vacation in just about every way I can imagine—and a few I wouldn’t have dared to.

We got off to an iffy start with a nine-hour flight delay that ate up our first day in the park. But my children—even the three-year-old—were such good babies that day. No less than a dozen other women made a point to tell me so at some point before we finally made it out of Orlando International Airport. Any mom who’s ever had a rough day knows how proud I was of them.

1780668_10152212241829827_1971031158_nWe salvaged the evening and made it to Magic Kingdom for our must-do rides, then rushed to Chef Mickey’s for the baby’s birthday dinner with her favorite mouse.

1511025_10152139073634827_1823945735_nThe next morning kicked off clear and perfect, with sunshine and breakfast with Winnie the Pooh. We rode roller coasters (my little daredevils love anything the height restrictions allow them on) and played and walked off all the amazing food. They hugged their favorite characters. We took photos and made wonderful memories.

And then on Tuesday, a little extra touch made this the Disney trip to top all Disney trips (for me, anyway). A phone call came, in the most perfect time and place, and added the perfect sprinkle of magic.

small town spinLet’s back up a bit: y’all, I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I can remember. For most of my life, that dream was pretty Lois-Lane-shaped. I loved being a journalist. I was conscious of the fact that people trusted me with their stories, and I worked hard to tell them right.

But when I became a mom, everything changed. Reporting means long, unpredictable hours. Not super-conducive to family life. I’ve never regretted my decision to leave the newsroom, but boy, I missed writing. Then Nichelle and her friends took up residence in my head, and I discovered I could have it both ways. I am a girl blessed.

I can say without reservation that the past year has topped every dream I had about being an author. I am so thankful for each reader who has had fun with Nichelle, and those of you who’ve taken time to let me know that have made my days brighter.

Back to Disney: I never expected this call. Didn’t even dare to dream of such a thing, because so many writers who are far wiser than me, who have been generous enough to give me advice, said it’s easier when you don’t.

FRONT PAGE FATALITYYet there she was, the Agatha Awards committee chair, shouting over the din of the crowded restaurant where I stood that my debut novel had been nominated for best first novel of 2013.

Holy. Cow.

I asked her about 10 times if she was sure she was reading her list correctly. I thanked her. I hung up. And then I burst into tears. After I managed to tell my family that nobody died, we celebrated. With cupcakes (the grey stuff one really is delicious).

1926764_10152212246089827_745451299_nSeriously, y’all—on vacation at my favorite place in the world, surrounded by the people I love most. Standing in the dining room in Belle’s castle—because where is more perfect to receive such news than in the palace of Disney’s bookworm princess? I couldn’t have written it better.

My own personal fairy tale.

I think that’s why I’m such a Disney geek: I am a sucker for a happily ever after.

As a journalist, I saw some of the most horrifying things human beings can do to one another and watched people survive the worst days of their lives. As a mom of three, I have the daily honor of guiding these wonderful little people through the big scary world. I want for them what every mom wants for her little ones: happiness.

I know that’s what my mom wanted most for me, too, and let me assure you: I was pretty darned happy that January Tuesday, riding a roller coaster with my oldest (she’s nine going on 29) and watching her grin when she turned to me and said “that award thing is seriously cool, mommy. I’m so proud of you.”

Heart. Melted.

Thank you all so much for being part of this fabulous year. I’m so, so excited about the launch of the third Headlines in High Heels novel, Small Town Spin, and I hope you have fun following Nichelle to the beach.

Now y’all tell me: what’s your most magical vacation memory?

 ~LynDee

1654395_10152143829159827_678895878_nAbout LynDee Walker

LynDee Walker’s award-winning journalistic work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the nation. After nearly a decade covering crime, courts, and local politics, she left full-time reporting for motherhood with a side of freelancing and fiction writing. Small Town Spin is the third in her bestselling Headlines in High Heels Mystery series. The fourth arrives January 2015.

LynDee adores her family, her readers, and enchiladas. She often works out tricky plot points while walking off the enchiladas. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is either playing with her children or working on her next novel (but probably not cleaning her house).

Author Links

www.lyndeewalker.com

www.facebook.com/lyndeewalkerbooks

Twitter @LynDeeWalker

small town spin
Small Town Spin
(A Headlines in High Heels Mystery)
(Volume 3)

Cozy Mystery
Published by Henery Press (April 8, 2014)
Paperback: 280 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940976037
E-Book File Size: 584 KB
ASIN: B00JH2RAFA
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When a superstar athlete’s son turns up dead in a tiny town on the Virginia coast, crime reporter Nichelle Clarke gets the inside scoop. But she quickly spies a gaping hole her inner Lois Lane cannot ignore.

Determined to unravel the mystery, Nichelle fights off paparazzi cameras and an unexpected rival. She uncovers an illegal moonshine operation, a string of copycat suicides, and a slew of closets stacked with more skeletons than slingbacks. Chasing a killer who’s a breath from getting away with murder, Nichelle realizes too late the culprit has her number—and it might be up.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

LynDee Walker is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors and Nichelle Clarke one of my favorite protagonists. I started this story and just couldn’t put it down.

Even when she is sick Nichelle keeps going. Those darn allergies have to take a back seat when her co-worker asks her to check out a story. His friend’s son is dead and the cops say it’s suicide. The boy’s parents just don’t believe it and want Nichelle to investigate and find out what really happened. Let me say Nichelle works better sick than most of us work healthy. She puts on Manolos, channels her inner Lois Lane, and starts digging and following clues. She is bound  and determined to get her exclusive story and leave TV reporter Charlie in the dust. She also wants to give the boy’s parents some kind of closure.

Walker has written quite a mystery with some corkscrew turns and twists and fabulous characters. She also adds the perfect amount of romance and humor. I really love “bad guy” Joey. He has it Nicey bad and he is always there just when he needs her most.  But Kyle is still fighting to have her give their relationship another chance. Stay tuned I think things will heat up even more in the next installment.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

LynDee is giving away a Super Prize!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tour Participants

April 8 – Mystery Playground – Interview
April 9 – readalot blog – Review
April 9 – Escape With Dollycas – Cozy Wednesday
April 10 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
April 12 – deal sharing aunt – Interview
April 14 – Community Bookstop – Review
April 15 – Beth’s Book Reviews – Guest Post
April 16 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review
April 17 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview
April 18 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review
April 19 – Books-n-Kisses – Review
April 20 – Brooke Blogs – Interview
April 21 – Queen of All She Reads – Review – Guest Post
April 22 – A Chick Who Reads – 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.”

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Apr 082014
 

 

crazy cozy giveawayI had to double up on reviews last Wednesday so that means
it is time for another Crazy Cozy Giveaway!!!

The Book Covers Are Linked To Amazon.


All 4 Books Will Go To One Winner!!

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 22, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

 

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Apr 062014
 

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.

It was heartbreaking Saturday night to watch the Wisconsin Badgers lose by 1 point in the final seconds. It is quite a feat to make it to the NCAA Final 4. With only 1 Senior Starter graduating this year I wouldn’t be surprised if they make it further next year.

After that we spent Sunday doing our taxes. Nothing like waiting until the last minute :) And of course I got some reading time in while watching the CMA’s.

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

FINISHED

Death on Eat Street (Biscuit Bowl Food Truck)

My Review

Small Town Spin (A Headlines in High Heels Mystery) (Volume 3)

LynDee will be my guest this week for Cozy Wednesday!!
Her Great Escapes Book Tour Starts April 8!!

True Blend

Review Will Be Up Thursday!

Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well

Release Date: April 17, 2014
Review Coming Soon!

ON DECK THIS WEEK

Guidebook to Murder

For Review

Bloom and Doom (A Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery)

Beverly will be here for Cozy Wednesday next week!!

Never Come Back

This book has been screaming from by TBR shelf for too long!

escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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