Jul 302014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

Today I am super excited to welcome Cleo Coyle to Escape With Dollycas!!

A Cozy Cup of Coffee by Cleo Coyle

Alice-Alfonsi-and-Marc-Cerasini-Cleo-Coyle-Central-Park-NYCLike my husband (and partner in crime-writing), I grew up in a small Western Pennsylvania town among a family of food-loving Italian Americans. Although Marc and I were raised in the same region, we didn’t meet until we finished college and moved to New York City. Here is where we fell in love and made our home.

Because we grew up outside NYC, we have a special relationship with the city. In some ways we’re tourists who never left. So when we want to get away from our daily grind, we do what 50 million other tourists do each year: We escape to New York!

Not only do we roam our resident city for fun, we explore it for research. Our readers may recognize many of our Coffeehouse Mystery settings below. So come with us now on our little tour of the Big Apple. We’ll start with…

Greenwich-Village-courtesy-Wiki-Commons.jpg

Greenwich-Village-courtesy-Wiki-Commons.jpg

GREENWICH VILLAGE

The winding lanes, secluded gardens, quaint cafés, and historically preserved townhouses make this neighborhood one of the most picturesque in the entire city, which is why we chose to give our amateur sleuth, Clare Cosi, a home here, above a century-old coffeehouse called the Village Blend.

As we all know, a cozy mystery series is typically set in a little village—and, in many ways, Greenwich Village is exactly that. Marc and I know first-hand what it’s like to live in the real NYC, among families and hard-working folks. Like residents of small towns, we New Yorkers become quite attached to our neighborhoods. We join community boards, walk our dogs, and throw block parties and street fairs. We also become friendly with—even depend upon—the people who run our local stores, restaurants, and libraries (again, just like residents in small towns).
What else makes our series cozy? The characters. In every book, our characters show love and support for each other. From our coffeehouse manager to her quirky band of baristas, the goodness of our cast is the light that shines through the darkest New York night.

Bryant Park Carousel courtesy Wiki Commons

Bryant Park Carousel courtesy Wiki Commons

BRYANT PARK

Of course, we can’t argue the fact that New York has seen many dark nights (and days), but nothing symbolizes its rebirth more than Bryant Park, a gorgeous public space located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, right behind the main branch of the majestic New York Public Library (a worthy destination in itself).
With its rows of London plane trees, Bryant Park is an urban paradise. Don’t miss the lovely hand-painted carousel. We used this very merry-go-round as a setting for murder in our 12th Coffeehouse Mystery, Holiday Buzz. And yes, we confess to staging a little mayhem at this location in our 3rd series entry, Latte Trouble.

Rock Center Photo courtesy Wiki Commons

Rock Center Photo courtesy Wiki Commons

ROCKEFELLER CENTER

Clare Cosi and her ex-husband, coffee hunter Matteo Allegro, taught their daughter to ice skate under the famous Golden Prometheus statue at Rockefeller Center. In Murder by Mocha, Clare discovers a crime victim at the Rock Center’s Loft and Garden, an incredible open, rooftop space high above Fifth Avenue, which features a spectacular view of the spires of St. Patrick’s Cathedral right next door.

Statue of Liberty Photo by Cleo Coyle

Statue of Liberty Photo by Cleo Coyle

THE STATUE OF LIBERTY

Lady Liberty is an awe-inspiring sight, whether you’re gazing at her grand visage from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, the deck of the Staten Island Ferry—or the icy waters of New York Bay! When Clare Cosi is thrown into those frigid waters in Holiday Grind, she uses Miss Liberty as a mental lifeline. Lucky for Clare, a New York Fire Department boat comes to her rescue, which leads to complications in Roast Mortem, the book that follows.

 

High Line courtesy Wiki Commons

High Line courtesy Wiki Commons

THE HIGH LINE

The entire city is excited about the High Line. Once an eyesore, it began as an elevated railroad bridge abandoned to rust and graffiti. Now this mile-long walkway is a lovely green space on Manhattan’s West Side. Marc and I used it as a setting in our latest Coffeehouse Mystery, Billionaire Blend. The elevated park has even spurred a real estate boom around it, despite the fact that park goers can easily peer through nearby apartment windows. (Hmm…that gives us another idea. Remember Rear Window?)

Belvedere Castle by Alice Alfonsi (Cleo Coyle)

Belvedere Castle by Alice Alfonsi (Cleo Coyle)

BELVEDERE CASTLE, CENTRAL PARK

The Central Park Zoo, Shakespeare in the Park, and Strawberry Fields are famous. But lesser known attractions are just as charming. The Alice in Wonderland Statue, for example, is a whimsical delight; and Belvedere Castle, a fairy tale folly, crowns one of the highest points in Central Park. Below the castle you’ll find The Ramble, a tangled stretch of wild woodlands and twisty paths dotted with rustic stone arches, mossy tunnels, and ornate bridges. Part forest, part fairyland, the Ramble is an easy place to get happily lost, or set a crime scene, which is precisely what we do in our forthcoming Coffeehouse Mystery, Once Upon a Grind (December, 2014).

 And that concludes our tour!

Coffeehouse-Mystery-Checklist-PDF-CoverThank you all for coming and thanks especially to Dollycas for being such a kind travel agent.

SOUVENIR? If you’d like a memento of your New York tour, Marc and I have a free title checklist for you of all 13 of our Coffeehouse Mysteries in order, including brief story summaries. To download the free PDF, click here.

Friend Cleo on Facebook:www.Facebook.com/CleoCoyle

Cleo’s Newsletter: To sign up, simply write an email that says “sign me up” and send it to CoffeehouseMystery(at)gmail(dot)com. You’ll get a reply with a few past newsletters than include free recipes.

Visit Cleo online:www.coffeehousemystery.com

About This Author

CLEO COYLE is the pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Their latest Coffeehouse Mystery, Billionaire Blend, newly released in its paperback edition, earned a starred review from Kirkus and a “Top Pick” honor from RT Book Reviews. Their next Coffeehouse Mystery, Once Upon a Grind, will be released by Penguin in December 2014. When not haunting coffeehouses, hunting ghosts, or rescuing stray cats, Alice and Marc are New York Times bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for NBC, Lucasfilm, Disney, Fox, Imagine, Marvel, and MGM. They not only write the bestselling Coffeehouse Mysteries but also the popular Haunted Bookshop Mysteries.

COFFEEHOUSE MYSTERY SERIES OFFICIAL BOOK TRAILER

Cleo Coyle’s Prize Package

Cleo-prize_GimmeCoffee_LatteCup(1) A personally inscribed copy of the brand new mass market edition of Billionaire Blend (cover included in the blog post e-mail).

(2) A set of glossy recipe cards with illustrated bonus recipes from Cleo.

Cleo-prize_LaughingMan_gourmet_coffee(3) A 16-ounce Gimme Coffee Latte Cup (made in Italy) and also great for enjoying soups and cereal.

(4) A freshly roasted package of gourmet coffee from the Laughing Man Coffee Company, co-founded by actor Hugh Jackman to help coffee farmers in the developing world (all profits to charity).

This wonderful company has a storefront not far from our very own fictional Village Blend. If anyone would like to learn more about Mr. Jackman’s coffee company, they can click this link: http://cleocoylebooks.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/travel-to-an-african-coffee-farm-with-wolverine/ -

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 302014
 

billionaire-blend-cover
Billionaire Blend
(A Coffeehouse Mystery)

13th in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 5, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425255513
E-Book File Size: 1728 KB
ASIN: B009VMCDV2
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One of the best cozy mystery series continues with Billionaire Blend.

Has Clare met her match in this coffee loving millionaire, Eric Thorner? He has tested all her barista’s coffee knowledge and driven them crazy with his crazy coffee requests. As he was sparing with Clare about unusual coffee concoctions a car bomb explodes right in front of the coffeehouse nearly killing the coffee quiz master and injuring several others. With her shop out of commission Clare’s world turns upside down as Thorner takes her and her ex on a whirlwind tour to find the best coffee beans so she can make the most expensive coffee in the world. All the while Clare is wondering – Is this charming young CEO truly marked for termination? Or is he the one making a killing?

Her hunky detective boyfriend, Mike Quinn is not happy she is spending so much time with the techy CEO, but his assignment is Washington is keeping him away from New York right now. He knows she is going to get right in the middle of this investigation and there is nothing he can do about or can he??? He is going to make sure his friends on the NYPD do everything they can to keep Clare safe.

Includes a wealth of delicious recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was a very entertaining read.

Coyle has a great crew of regular characters that readers have come to love more with each new story. In this installment she adds Eric Thorner, his sister, his business associates and his rival.

Clare and Matt get caught up in all the drama of Thorn Enterprises and realize that are also putting themselves in great danger. The author has brewed a very tight plot line that really captivated this reader.

The dialogue is smart and full of humor.

I love the way the city of New York is described especially the fancy restaurant Eric took Clare to for dinner. I felt like I was across the room taking in the whole experience. I also enjoyed a surprise destination Eric arranges for Clare too!

Yes, this is the 13th book in the series and I must admit I need to catch up on a couple of the ones I have missed but the author writes these stories in such a way that they can be read as stand alone. So if this is a new series to you or you have missed a book or two don’t fret, you will be engaged in this story very quickly. But then I just know you are going to want to read them all.

Oh and did I mention the recipes!!! They will grab you too!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Contest Will End August 13, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

Jul 292014
 

The Great Escapes Book Tour for this book starts July 31.

I loved Guidebook to Murder and couldn’t wait to read this one.

Be sure to check out the tour and enter the giveaways!!

Mission To Murder (eBook)
Mission to Murder
A Tourist Trap Mystery
2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Kensington Trade (July 1, 2014)
Paperback: 238 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1601833051
E-Book File Size: 1196 KB
Publisher: eKensington (July 31, 2014)
ASIN: B00IO3QR98
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In the California coastal town of South Cove, history is one of its many tourist attractions, until it becomes deadly. Jill Gardner, proprietor of Coffee, Books, and More, has discovered that the old stone wall on her property might be a centuries-old mission worthy of being declared a landmark. But Craig Thomas, the obnoxious owner of South Cove’s most popular tourist spot, The Castle, makes it his business to contest her claim. When Thomas is found murdered at The Castle shortly after a heated argument with Jill, even her detective boyfriend has to ask her for an alibi. Jill decides she must find the real murderer to clear her name.

But when the killer comes for her, she’ll need to jump from historic preservation to self-preservation.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jill is a fabulous character. And yes, she let Craig Thomas have it, but it was with words, no foul play here. But she doesn’t have an alibi and she and the mayor do not see eye to eye, in fact he would like to see her in jail. Thankfully she is now dating Detective Greg King and he knows she didn’t do it. Now if he could just figure out to keep Jill from investigating on her own and let him catch the killer. But us fans of cozy mysteries know that is just not going to happen.

Lynn Cahoon has given us another wonderful story. The owner of the antique store next to Coffee, Books and More, Josh and junk dealer Ray are the quirky and creepy characters respectively. I love Aunt Jackie and even Esmeralda with her “woo-woo” predictions.  But my favorite character in this story was cop/barista Toby. He works for both Jill and Greg and is a great friend to both of them. The customers like him and  so do I.

The setting is also special. South Cove sounds like a wonderful place to visit and The Castle sounds like a fantastic tourist attraction.

Cahoon takes the characters in this town and creates a story full of mystery, romance and humor. This is a perfect book to add to your Summer Reading list. Fun and entertaining with just a few hold your breath moments.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

To find out more about Lynn Cahoon and her books visit her blog 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.”

Jul 282014
 

I am thrilled to spotlight Gold Diggers, Gamblers and Guns
today at part of the Great Escapes Book Tour!

golddiggers gamblers and guns large banner640

Gold Diggers, Gamblers and Guns
by Ellen Mansoor Collier

Lots of drama, choosing sides, action, and romance as they try to figure out who is trying to kill Burton and frame him for murder.
~readalot

“Gold-Diggers, Gamblers and Guns” is, in itself, a wonderful romp through another time and another place that you can take right from the comfort of your own home.
~Back Porchervations

You will step back into the 20′s with this classy novel of suspense and mystery you will get hooked from the start and read till the very end!
~Shelley’s Book Case

I love this series so much fun going back to Prohibition era and seeing these crazy friends as they go off to solve another murder.
~Community Bookstop

22174442Gold-Diggers, Gamblers and Guns: A Jazz Age Mystery #3
Cozy Mystery
File Size: 790 KB
Print Length: 268 pages
Publisher: DecoDame Press; 1 edition (May 18, 2014)
ASIN: B00KF3TJCM

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Synopsis

During Prohibition, Galveston Island was called the “Free State of Galveston” due to its lax laws and laissez-faire attitude toward gambling, gals and bootlegging. Young society reporter Jasmine (Jazz) Cross longs to cover hard news, but she’s stuck between two clashing cultures: the world of gossip and glamour vs. gangsters and gamblers.

After Downtown Gang leader Johnny Jack Nounes is released from jail, all hell breaks loose: Prohibition Agent James Burton’s life is threatened and he must go into hiding for his own safety. But when he’s framed for murder, he and Jazz work together to prove his innocence. Johnny Jack blames her half-brother Sammy Cook, owner of the Oasis speakeasy, for his arrest and forces him to work overtime in a variety of dangerous mob jobs as punishment.

When a bookie is murdered, Jazz looks for clues linking the two murders and delves deeper into the underworld of gambling: poker games, slot machines and horse-racing. Meanwhile, Jazz tries to keep both Burton and her brother safe, and alive, while they face off against each other, as well as a common enemy. A soft-boiled mystery inspired by actual events.

Check out this special excerpt from Gamblers, Gold-Diggers and Guns:

At the Rusty Bucket, I followed close behind, pretending I was a real crime reporter, looking straight ahead so the police and newshounds wouldn’t try to shut me out.

Sure enough, a couple of cops tried to block my way but I simply replied, “I’m with the Gazette,” as if that explained everything. When we entered the bar, I noticed obvious signs of a struggle: tables and chairs knocked over, broken glasses, papers strewn about. Right by the front door, in all its gleaming glory, sat a brand-new nickel slot machine, a one-armed bandit displaying diamonds, spades, hearts, horseshoes and a cracked Liberty bell.

A huddle of newshawks stared at the floor and I could see the figure of a man, lying by the new machine, arms at odd angles, but I was too far away to determine his cause of death.

“Coming through,” Nathan said, forcing his way into the circle . Edging closer, I could barely make out the victim’s face—a plain man in his mid-forties, sandy hair, freckled skin.

As I changed positions, I saw a huge gaping hole in his skull, hair caked with blood and bone. My stomach lurched and I covered my mouth with both hands, trying not to upchuck.

By the man’s side lay a bloodied baseball bat—the weapon of choice for thugs and cowards and enforcers who liked to use threats and intimidation to make their point. Why would the killers leave the bloody baseball bat in plain sight, next to the victim?

Across the room, Mack stared at me, stone-faced, with an “I told you so” glare. Feeling dizzy, I made my way across the room and sat down at a small table by the piano. No one seemed to notice as I went behind the counter, searching the ice-box for water. I gulped it down, then pressed the frosty glass against my perspiring face, enjoying the cool sensation.

Still shaky, I sat down at the table, observing the crime scene from a safe distance: the reporters taking notes, badgering the sheriff for information, an M.E. squatting by the body, taking samples of hair and blood. That’s when I saw it, half-hidden under the player piano bench: An almost-new Stetson, slightly scuffed, with a clean bullet hole in the crown.

Was I hallucinating or was that Agent Burton’s Stetson under the player piano? And what in hell was it doing at this murder scene?

Ellen picture deco croppedAbout The Author

Ellen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance magazine writer and editor whose articles and essays have been published in a variety of national magazines. Several of her short stories have appeared in Woman’s World. During college summers, she worked as a reporter for a Houston community newspaper and as a cocktail waitress, both jobs providing background experience for her Jazz Age mysteries.

A flapper at heart, she’s worked as a magazine editor/writer, and in advertising and public relations (plus endured a hectic semester as a substitute teacher). She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism and served on UTmost, the college magazine and as president of WICI (Women in Communications).

FLAPPERS, FLASKS AND FOUL PLAY is her first novel, published in 2012, followed by the sequel, BATHING BEAUTIES, BOOZE AND BULLETS, released in May 2013. She lives in Houston with her husband and Chow mutts, and visits Galveston whenever possible.

“When you grow up in Houston, Galveston becomes like a second home. I had no idea this sleepy beach town had such a wild and colorful past until I began doing research, and became fascinated by the legends and stories of the 1920s. Finally I had to stop researching and start writing, trying to imagine a flapper’s life in Galveston during Prohibition.”

Author Links:

Website: http://www.flapperfinds.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ellen.mansoorcollier?fref=ts

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Diggers-Gamblers-Guns-Jazz-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00KF3TJCM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401823006&sr=1-1&keywords=ellen+mansoor+collier

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6452242.Ellen_Mansoor_Collier

Purchase Link:
AMAZON B&N Smashwords

Click on the Book Covers to purchase the earlier book in this series.

Tour Participants

July 16 – Michele Lynn Seigfried, Author – Guest Post
July 17 – Chloe Gets A Clue - Interview
July 18 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Guest Post
July 19 – readalot blog – Review
July 20 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
July 21 – Back Porchervations – Review
July 22 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
July 23 – Cicero’s Children – Interview
July 24 – Community Bookstop – Review
July 25 – Lori’s READING CORNER – Guest Post
July 26 – off
July 27 – Omnimystery News – Interview
July 28 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Spotlight
July 29 – Book-n-Kisses – Guest Post

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 272014
 

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.

Why is July flying by so dang fast??

Granddaughter Natalie is growing fast too.

Natalie and her daddy having fun at Ella's Deli

Natalie and her daddy having fun at Ella’s Deli

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

FINISHED

Mission to Murder

The Mission to Murder Great Escapes Tour starts July 31.
Review will be up tomorrow!
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Billionaire Blend (A Coffeehouse Mystery)

Cleo Coyle will be here this week for Cozy Wednesday!!
Paperback Release Date – August 5, 2014
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Fit To Be Dead (An Aggie Mundeen Mystery) (Volume 1)

Review Here
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CURRENTLY READING
Murder in the Mystery Suite (A Book Retreat Mystery)

Release Date August 5, 2014
The whole month of August will be Ellery Adams Month!!
Details will be announced August 1 when I post my review!
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ON DECK THIS WEEK

Fast Track

For Review
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Taken In (Southern Sewing Circle Mystery)

Release Date: August 5, 2014
Elizabeth Lynn Casey will be my guest next week for Cozy Wednesday!
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The Cat, the Vagabond and the Victim: A Cats in Trouble Mystery

Release Date: August 5, 2014
Leann will be my Special Guest next Thursday!
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escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 272014
 

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.

My big adventure this week was a trip to the DMV. I needed to get an ID with my new address on it so I can register to vote. Plus the picture on my old ID was way before my accident. I had to replace my ID back then but because I was in a body brace they were nice enough to use the picture from my old driver’s license and it didn’t look anything like this old lady does today. I have to wait to receive the actual ID in the mail but it looks closer to this …
 
 

meweekly rewind credited235

Weekly Rewind – July 21-26, 2014

MondayIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Tuesday -Review/Giveaway – A Grave Matter by Anna Lee Huber This story was so good it earned a Paradise Rating from me.

Wednesday -Cozy Wednesday with Leslie Budewitz – Author of Crime Rib (Giveaway too!)

ThursdayReview – Deadly Assets by Wendy Tyson

Friday -Review – Fit To Be Dead by Nancy G. West

SaturdaySpotlight/Giveaway – A Little Night Murder by Nancy Martin

mail call314

Happy Reading Everyone!!

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 262014
 

A LITTLE NIGHT MURDER SPOTLIGHT
A Little Night Murder:
A Blackbird Sisters Mystery

10th Book in Series
Cozy Mystery
Obsidian
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
RELEASE DATE – AUGUST 5, 2014
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415271
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Murder under the stars…

Nora Blackbird—pregnant at last!—is spending summer afternoons wallowing in the Bucks County pool of her best friend, Lexie Paine, who has just been released from prison. At night, Nora is covering Philadelphia’s high-society events for the local newspaper. And this time she doesn’t have to look far for a good story.

Next door, a Broadway show is in rehearsal at the estate of Toodles Tuttle, the long-deceased but ever-legendary composer. Reigning over the estate is Toodles’s diva widow, Boom Boom. The demanding old broad still rules with an iron fist, and considering the chorus line of enemies she’s racked up over the years, her death has been a hotly anticipated event. So imagine everyone’s dismay when it’s her beloved daughter, Jenny, who drops dead—from a cause that is anything but natural—just as the lights are set to go on for the lucrative new Toodles musical.

Yet murder is only an overture to the drama to come….

Nora’s sister Libby, a soon-to-be-grandmother, has gotten herself into a sticky situation, wooed by both a lowly bug exterminator and a cheesecake-loving Broadway impresario. Edgy sister Emma has a dangerous new boyfriend who may jeopardize her show-jumping exploits. And the love of Nora’s life, Mick Abruzzo, has been desperate to prevent Nora from meeting the most notorious member of his mobbed-up family—his mother.

Now Nora has to deal with the bump-and-grind of her personal life, and also bring the curtain down on a daring killer—before he forces her to exit stage left, permanently.

To find out more about Nancy Martin and her books check out her blog 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 August 9, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.”

Jul 252014
 

FIT-TO-BE-DEAD-set-webFit To Be Dead by Nancy G. West
(An Aggie Mundeen Mystery) (Volume 1)

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
Published by Henery Press (July 29, 2014)
Paperback: 280 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940976372
E-Book will be available July 29
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Aggie Mundeen, single and pushing forty, fears nothing but middle age. When she moves from Chicago to San Antonio, she decides she better shape up before anybody discovers she writes the column, “Stay Young with Aggie.” She takes Aspects of Aging at University of the Holy Trinity and plunges into exercise at Fit and Firm.

Rusty at flirting and mechanically inept, she irritates a slew of male exercisers, then stumbles into murder. She’d like to impress the attractive detective with her sleuthing skills. But when the killer comes after her, the health club evacuates semi-clad patrons, and the detective has to stall his investigation to save Aggie’s derriere.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This story takes place in 1997 as Angie has left behind the stressful banking life in Chicago and has moved to San Antonio. She has enrolled in Graduate School and writes the Staying Fit With Angie column. Sam Vanderhoven has also moved from Chicago to San Antonio where he is a detective with the SAPD. He moved there about a year before Angie after losing his wife and child in a terrible accident.

Angie Mundeen is a very engaging character who has had some heartache in her life and she has a secret. A secret that is trying to desperately keep from her friend Sam, who could become more than just a friend.

Angie is well past the age of 30 and her body is out of shape, not a good thing for someone writing about keeping fit. She decides to join a gym to lose some weight and gain some muscle tone and life just gets crazy from there. Within moments of entering the gym she finds an unconscious woman floating in the pool.

From there the author pens an entertaining mystery. Nancy G. West has a great sense of humor, this book is really funny. Angie’s interactions with the people at gym are hilarious as she learns to use the equipment at the gym. Blended with the humor are fantastic clues that help solve the mystery with some very interesting twists.

My only negative critique would be that more groundwork needs to be laid regarding Angie’s column. Readers see her receive the letters and write her advice but we need to know where and how they are published.

West has laid a foundation with these characters that can lead to a very enjoyable cozy mystery series. I hope she meets Mr. Pilates in the next installment.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Nancy G. West on her webpage here.

Watch for DANG NEAR DEAD (Aggie Mundeen #2) September 30, 2014

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.”

Jul 242014
 

deadly assetsDeadly Assets
(An Allison Campbell Mystery)
(Volume 2)

Mystery
Henery Press (July 22, 2014)
Paperback: 296 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940976211
E-Book File Size: 595 KB
ASIN: B00LWFWYGU
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An eccentric Italian heiress from the Finger Lakes. An eighteen-year-old pop star from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Allison Campbell’s latest clients seem worlds apart in every respect, except one: Both women disappear on the same day. And Allison’s colleague Vaughn is the last to have seen each.

Allison’s search for a connection uncovers an intricate web of family secrets, corporate transgressions and an age-old rivalry that crosses continents. The closer Allison gets to the truth, the deadlier her quest becomes. All paths lead back to a sinister Finger Lakes estate and the suicide of a woman thirty years earlier. Allison soon realizes the lives of her clients and the safety of those closest to her aren’t the only things at stake.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Oh this one is so good!!!

Allison’s clients couldn’t be more different. When they both disappear on the same day and their only connection seems to be her company Allison jumps in with both feet to get to the truth.

Francesca hasn’t left her home in years but when her brother falls ill she has to take over the family business. She needs Allison’s help so that she can show the family and their shareholders she is up to the task.

Tammy has been chosen to be on a television singing show. She has a beautiful voice but Allison is hired by her “manager” to help with her social skills and in the fashion/hair makeover departments.

Allison knew she had her work cut out for her with both women but never thought they would just disappear without a trace.

Both of these women have families that go way beyond the normal eclectic/quirky levels. Wendy Tyson has created some of the best characters I have read lately. She has allowed Allison, Vaughn, Jason and Mia to grow since Killer Image, the first story in this series.

Tyson puts her characters in some very unexpected situations with some masterful twists. Allison does not let her fear of her own physical safety hold her back and at times I was so scared for her! You will not believe who she is taking on in her quest to find the truth!

This is one of those books where you sit down to read and hold on tight because you will stay up late reading until you reach the very end.

DYING BRAND, the 3rd book in this series comes out May 2015 and I can’t wait!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out Wendy’s webpage here to find out more about her and her books.

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.”

Jul 232014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Leslie Budewitz is my guest today!
Just one warning her stories will make you HUNGRY!!!!

Leslie-WEB-Color

The Last Best Place to Die

The Last Best Place. That’s the newest slogan for my home state of Montana, also dubbed the Big Sky State for our magnificent views, and the Treasure State for our gems and minerals.

What a marvelous place to set a mystery—and not just because of its beauty. For me, Montana’s big draw as a setting lies in the surprising contrasts we locals often take for granted. As my protagonist Erin Murphy says in Death Al Dente, the first in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries:

“Jewel Bay is not what people expect in a Montana town. Cutting-edge art and lip-smacking restaurants instead of cow pies and shoot-outs on dirt streets. But we have our belly-up bar, and plenty of cowboys, with farms and ranches nearby. And even a real live dude ranch, giving guests from around the world a taste of the old Montana and the new.”

DEATH AL DENTE

All that makes Montana a great vacation escape—for a few days, a week or two, or all summer long. Winter, too, even if your idea of winter sports isn’t skiing or snowshoeing but curling up in front of a crackling fire with a double mug of hot cocoa.

Turns out Montana is also a pretty good place to escape the past. More than one Jewel Bay resident came here in search of a fresh start. A new job, maybe a new name. A new life in a place where people don’t ask questions.

But when murder intrudes on village life, questions pop up like morel mushrooms on the forest floor. And the sheriff’s deputies aren’t the only ones digging up dirt. Erin Murphy returned to her hometown to take over the Merc, her family’s struggling shop in the century-old sandstone building her great-grandfather built as the town’s first grocery. When people she loves are killed—or accused—she can’t help poking around. Her own past gives her ample reason to not trust the resident sheriff’s detective as much as she’d like to—but she’s working on that.

Ever the business owner, Erin uses her Spreadsheet of Suspicion to plot her questions and track the answers. And sometimes, those trusty cells and columns lead her places where others would rather she did not go.

CrimeRib_CV.inddIn Crime Rib, second in the series, the TV show Food Preneurs comes to town to film the 35th Annual Jewel Bay Summer Art and Food Festival and the annual steak grill-off. Erin’s content to help from the sidelines, freeing her to focus on the Merc, and to scout the festival vendors for new products.

When the show’s producer is killed in a hit-and-run, Festival organizers beg her to step in and help out, to give Jewel Bay a shot at national publicity. How could a local girl say no? But when the host shows her a less than camera-ready side of himself, and a contestant is attacked and killed, Erin worries that the town’s reputation as a family-friendly, food-loving, vacation village will go up in flames. And when the sheriff runs out of leads, it’s up to her to smoke out the truth.

But just as in real life, some folks would do nearly anything to keep their secrets to themselves. To make sure the past stays behind, by making the Last Best Place Erin’s final resting place.

I hope you’ll make the trip with me, on the page, to see how Erin makes her own escape—and brings justice to her corner of the Big Sky.

 

About The Author
Leslie Budewitz is the national best-selling author of Death al Dente, first in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries set in northwest Montana, and winner of the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Crime Rib, the second in the series, came out July 1, 2014, from Berkley Prime Crime. Her Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries will debut in March 2015.

Also a lawyer, Leslie won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction for Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure (Quill Driver Books), making her the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction.

For more tales of life in the wilds of northwest Montana, and bonus recipes, visit her website and subscribe to her newsletter.

Website: www.LeslieBudewitz.com

Find her on Facebook: LeslieBudewitz Author

CrimeRib_CV.inddCrime Rib
(Food Lovers’ Village)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Design by Ben Perini
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425259559
E-Book File Size: File Size: 1974 KB
ASIN: B00HDMMJH0
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Gourmet food market owner Erin Murphy is determined to get Jewel Bay, Montana’s, scrumptious local fare some national attention. But her scheme for culinary celebrity goes up in flames when the town’s big break is interrupted by murder . . .

Food Preneurs, one of the hottest cooking shows on TV, has decided to feature Jewel Bay in an upcoming episode, and everyone in town is preparing for their close-ups, including the crew at the Glacier Mercantile, aka the Merc. Not only is Erin busy remodeling her courtyard into a relaxing dining area, she’s organizing a steak-cooking competition between three of Jewel Bay’s hottest chefs to be featured on the program.

But Erin’s plans get scorched when one of the contending cooks is found dead. With all the drama going on behind the scenes, it’s hard to figure out who didn’t have a motive to off the saucy contestant. Now, to keep the town’s reputation from crashing and burning on national television, Erin will have to grill some suspects to smoke out the killer . . .

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Erin is one busy lady before adding murder to the mix but that doesn’t mean she is going to stay at the Merc and miss all the action.  Having one of the hottest foodie programs, Food Preneurs, come to town to cover the grill-off is an awesome opportunity for “The Food Lover’s Village”. Erin is not going to let one dead chef and a suspicious accident ruin a weekend of publicity for the town, but she is going to make sure it is the right kind of publicity. She is also going to track down the killer/s.

Budewitz has given us some fantastic characters to follow in this story. In addition to the murder mystery there is a little family disagreement about remodeling the courtyard and some secrets. Romance may be on the horizon for Erin with 2 eligible bachelors vying for her attention. One shopkeeper is a little cranky about all the foodie fuss. Of course there needs to be an obnoxious character and  the TV Host for Food Preneurs fills that spot  nicely.

She also gives a couple of interesting mysteries to solve. Plenty of viable suspects with motive, but who had the means and opportunity? I love the way Erin uses a spreadsheet to keep track of the clues.

Part of the pleasure of this series is the way the author describes all he food. She had my tummy growling several times. Thankfully she gives recipes because I definitely want S’more of the S’MORE SANDWICH COOKIES, and the CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CUPS and the GRILLED FLANK STEAK and everything  else that was featured in the pages of this book.

This story has a well plotted mystery, a bit of comedy, yummy food and engaging characters. To be that is recipe for a marvelous cozy mystery.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Leslie 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 August 6, 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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