May 112017
 

Jeopardy in July: A Jamie Quinn Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Florida
Self Published
Print Length: 220 pages
ASIN: B06XWJK9TP

 

 

Old people were dying at an alarming rate at La Vida Boca, a posh assisted living facility in Boca Raton, Florida. With its sterling reputation, dedicated staff, and top-notch medical care, none of the deaths are considered suspicious, but when members of the poker club start to die under strange circumstances, attorney Jamie Quinn finds herself once again embroiled in a mystery. With help from her new friend, Jessie Sandler, and her favorite P.I., Duke Broussard, Jamie uncovers a crime that took place forty years earlier. Can she stop the killer in time? Or is she in danger of becoming the next victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Attorney Jamie Quinn is getting burnt out practicing family law and thinking of changing the focus of her law office. The last thing she needs is to be involved in another murder investigation but that is exactly what she finds at La Vida Boca. The elderly are dropping like flies at the ritzy assisted living center. All of the men had one thing in common, they were members of a poker playing club at the facility. Jamie knows there has to be more to the story. She brings in Private Investigator Duke Broussard to help her solve the case. Hew new friend, Jessie Sandler assists as well. They need to figure things out quickly before all of the card sharks are 6 feet under. Maybe family law isn’t so boring after all.

This time she introduced a wonderful batch secondary characters, the residents and staff at the La Vida Boca. The card players reminded me of several older men I have met throughout my life both when my parents ran a small town tavern and later at their nursing homes. Except then the game was euchre but that was secondary to the friendships that are created as was true in this story. Jamie with her soft heart quickly becomes invested in their lives.

Barbara Venkataraman knows how to pack a great mystery into 220 pages. She wraps these characters in a intriguing story. People are being poisoned and the reason may lead to a crime committed 40 years ago. The plot is has a few twists but as we follow Jamie through the story a picture of means, motive and opportunity clearly evolves. I enjoy the way Duke and Jamie work together. Duke brings humor to the situation. In fact there is quite a bit of humor from the first page to the last.

Jamie’s romance with Kip still gives me pause. I do like that she has reconnected with her father too, even if they are just Skyping each other. I absolutely loved the ending. I am anxious for book #6 to continue those subplots.

This is a quick read. A story well balanced with mystery and real life occurrences. Jamie has come a long way from Death by Didgeridoo

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

barbara new pic

About The Author

Award-winning author, Barbara Venkataraman is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law and debt collection.

She is the author of “Teatime with Mrs. Grammar Person”; “The Fight for Magicallus,” a children’s fantasy; a humorous short story entitled, “If You’d Just Listened to Me in the First Place”; and two books of humorous essays: “I’m Not Talking about You, Of Course” and “A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities,” which are part of the “Quirky Essays for Quirky People” series. Both books of humorous essays won the “Indie Book of the Day” award.

 Author Links
Blog    GoodReads   Amazon

Purchase from Amazon


Find More Books by Barbara Venkataraman here.

GIVEAWAY
The Author is giving away 3 e-copies of Jeopardy in July!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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 May 25, 2017 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.”

May 042017
 

This book is available for pre-order. Release Date – May 30, 2017


About a Dog ( A Bluff Point Romance)
Women’s Fiction/Romance
1st in Series
Setting – Maine
Berkley Sensation (May 30, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399584718
Kindle ASIN: B01LX3H0Q5

 

 

Fall in love with a little help from man’s best friend in New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay’s contemporary romance debut.

Mackenzie “Mac” Harris fled her hometown of Bluff Point, Maine, after being left at the altar—and seeking solace in the arms of her best friend’s off-limits brother. Now, seven years later, she’s back to attend her best friend’s wedding—safe, or so she thinks, from the mistakes of her youth.

But Gavin Tolliver has never forgotten the woman who has always held his heart. And when Mac rescues a stray puppy named Tulip, only Gavin, the town’s veterinarian, can help. With a little assistance from Tulip, Gavin vows to make Mac realize that their feelings are more than just puppy love…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Back in 2011 I found some romance novels written by Jennifer McKinlay written for Harlequin. I am not sure when they were originally released but they were re released as e-books in 2014. I really enjoyed them so I was very excited when I heard she was starting a new romantic comedy series. I was over the moon to receive an early copy of the first book to review.

We meet Mackenzie “Mac” Harris as she returns to Bluff Point after leaving seven years prior when her groom left her standing at the altar. She returns to be her best friend, Emma’s maid of honor and hopes her past won’t rise up to smack her in the face.  Gavin Tolliver, Emma’s little brother, was there for her when her wedding fell apart and has never gotten over the feelings he had for her. They reconnect because of the wedding but also because of Tulip, a stray puppy Mac rescues. It’s all About A Dog until suddenly it isn’t.

I loved, Loved, LOVED this story!

Mac and Gavin along with all their family and friends are wonderfully written. The friendships both new and old come together so naturally. Mac’s aunts were my favorite characters next to Mac and Gavin. These senior citizens are going through their second phase of being teenagers. Their antics will have you smiling ear to ear.

Being a dog lover I was taken by Tulip the moment Mac found her. As you may imagine by the title she is a key character to the entire story. She is just so darn lovable. If I didn’t have two dogs already I would rush right out to adopt one just like her.

Gavin and Mac have a secret. Something she has tried to forget and one Gavin wants her to remember very clearly. Emma has not had much luck in her relationships and tries to fight her feelings for Gavin but sparks just seem to fly whenever they are near each other. She even enlists her friends to be buffers and help her to never be alone with him. She is only in town for two weeks, there is no way they can be any more than friends. Yeah, right.

Jenn McKinlay has penned quite a romance with several twists. Lighthearted, funny and romantic. A totally entertaining story of life, love, and friendship.  This series is out to a fabulous start.  I can’t wait for Barking Up the Wrong Tree when it releases on September 26 and then Every Dog Has His Day comes out January 2, 2018. 

I highly recommend an escape to Bluff Point soon and often.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*Adult language and situations as expected for this genre. 

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

Apr 282017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I discovered this series last year when looking for a “Z” book for my
Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge.

This book, the 2nd in the series was released in 1995 by Avon Books.
It was released as an e-book in 2010. My copy is an original that I found on PaperbackSwap so it the cover does not match the one shown below.

Miss Zukas and the Island Murders (Miss Zukas Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington State / San Juan Islands
Originally published by Avon/HarperCollins in 1995
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0380770311
E-Book ASIN: B003AYF3NC

 

 

The ever-conscientious Miss Helma Zukas of Bellehaven, Washington, is not one to renege on a promise—even one made hastily . . . and too long ago to possibly remember! So when an anonymous note in the morning mail reminds her of her vow to bring her high school classmates together for a twenty-year reunion, Miss Zukas hops to and begins organizing the perfect celebration . . . despite some vague and mysterious warnings about dire consequences.

But when a secret saboteur disrupts her well-planned reunion—stranding Helma and her old classmates on a fogbound island with a murderer in their midst—the intrepid librarian-sleuth takes charge once again. With a dubious assist from her raffish friend Ruth, Miss Zukas is determined to close the books on crimes both current and overdue for solution . . . before the killer takes the alumni out of circulation permanently.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Twenty years ago Helma agreed to organize her high school classmate 20th reunion. She had completely forgotten about it until a strange anonymous note arrives to remind her of that commitment. With her friend Ruth’s help they decide to invite everyone to Washington to celebrate. She does receive another anonymous warning to cancel but they decide to push ahead with their plans. Their guests start to arrive but when they get off the ferry to go to the resort on one of the San Juan Islands they find someone had cancelled their reservation. This added to the warning has both Helma and Ruth a little more than worried. They are able to continue with the party but a death in the past may be connected to the problems they are having today. The ladies commit to do everything they can to just get through the weekend but one of their guests may have a deadlier plan.

Miss Helma Zukas is a bit of a trial to those around her but she was more approachable in this story. She does like to have things done her own way and in her time frame but when there may be a murderer in her midst things are beyond her control. Her critical thinking, keen observations and sense of order do make her an excellent sleuth. With Ruth by her side they do get in some crazy predicaments. Polar opposites they are the perfect team.

I enjoyed this story very much. There were several unique twists. Tying a death in high school that was thought to be an accident to another death and threats 20 years later made for an interesting plot. Like any class reunion, especially one as small as this, there are some secrets to be revealed. From jobs not as exactly as glorious as they seem to people who have completely changed. There are also those who remain exactly the same and would be recognized anywhere. I did enjoy meeting everyone and loved that even a few teachers joined in on the fun.

This book was originally released in 1995 so cell phones are new and very rare. No internet and no social media to find out what people are up to. Being stuck on a foggy island with no police or ambulance service can make a weekend stay like this very interesting.

A nice mystery with bits of humor and very interesting characters. I look forward to the next installment.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

I am giving my used copy of the 1995 mass market paperback edition away.

My copy has this cover.

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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 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 May 12, 2017 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

*This book was from my personal collection. 

Apr 142017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I Spotlighted this book back in February.
It finally reached the top of my To-Be-Read stack.

Up North Murder: Up North Michigan Mystery
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Michigan
CT Communications (October 2, 2016)
Paperback: 226 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0998212203
Kindle ASIN: B01LY1XJ42

 
 
 
 
 

A phone call can change your life forever…

Abigail Williams gets that phone call. Gordon Dorsey, Abby’s uncle and last living relative has drowned in the lake on his property, and Abby is his sole heir.

There are a few complications, however.

Abby’s inheritance is a trout farm in Michigan, but she’s a city girl from Phoenix, Arizona. In addition, Abby doesn’t believe the official story of her uncle’s death.

And the biggest complication… the four-legged furry owner of the farm who seems to have her own ideas about how things should be run.

Culture shock is the least of her worries.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abigail Williams leaves Arizona for Upper Michigan after she receives word that her uncle, Gordon Dorsey, has passed away. She doesn’t get many details, just that her last living relative has drowned. A terrible accident. They had mainly remained in contact by cards and letters and she knows he retired to a farm but she didn’t realize it was a TROUT FARM complete with a young caretaker and a very special canine. Not long after she arrives she starts to think her uncle’s death may not have been an accident. Now she just has to prove it!

I was drawn in by Abigail Williams immediately. She jumped right into her inheritance with both feet, willing to learn everything she could about the farm and the business her uncle had created. Her uncle left her the place not just because she was his only surviving relative but because he believed she was a country girl at heart. Could he be right? Could she be happy in a place with spotty cell service, no Starbucks, miles to a store of any kind? She had time to figure that out but first she needs to know if her uncle really was murdered and who would have killed him. I enjoyed the way she did her investigation. She jumped right into that as well.

The author does an excellent job of setting the scene. It was super easy to picture the lake, the house, the barn, and the land in my mind. I was traipsing right along with Abigail for every step. I learned a bit about trout farming too.

The story was very well written, the characters well drawn and authentic. The dialogue was genuine. The story had a slow build as Abby came up with several suspects and motives. As she worked to eliminate them the pace picked up. While the actual killer was one of my top suspects the climatic ending was surprising and scary.

I am so excited to know this is going to be a series. I just wish the next story was already available because the ending of this book had me rushing to Amazon to see if it was available. I would have purchased it right away.

This is a great start for this series.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 About The Author

Cheryl Taylor was raised in northeastern Michigan and pursued a degree in agriculture communications from Michigan State University. In 1986, Taylor moved to Arizona where she worked in publishing and advertising in the livestock industry, then eventually moving into teaching in 1998 after receiving a masters in education from Northern Arizona University.

Gone to Ground” is Taylor’s first book and explores how an apocalyptic event might look in the Arizona ranch land. “Breaking Free,” a sequel to “Gone to Ground” is currently in the works.

In addition, Taylor is working on several cozy mystery series, including the Up North Michigan series, which takes place on a trout farm in the northeastern part of the state where she was raised, and the Rock Shop mystery series, which takes place in northern Arizona.

Taylor currently resides in northern Arizona with her family of horses, cattle, dogs and birds.


I am giving away 1 e-copy that will be gifted from Amazon!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 28, 2017 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.”

 

Apr 042017
 

Tightening the Threads (A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (March 28, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496706287
Kindle ASIN: B01HWKM6CU

 

 

In the coastal town of Haven Harbor, blood runs thicker than water—and just as freely . . .

Antique dealer Sarah Byrne has never unspooled the truth about her past to anyone—not even friend and fellow Mainely Needlepointer Angie Curtis. But the enigmatic Aussie finally has the one thing she’s searched for all her life—family. And now she and long-lost half-brother, Ted Lawrence, a wealthy old artist and gallery owner in town, are ready to reveal their secret connection . . .

Ted’s adult children are suspicious of their newfound aunt Sarah—especially after Ted, in declining health, announces plans to leave her his museum-worthy heirloom paintings. So when Ted is poisoned to death during a lobster bake, everyone assumes she’s guilty. If Sarah and Angie can’t track down the real murderer in time, Sarah’s bound to learn how delicate—and deadly—family dynamics can truly be . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This fifth installment of the series brings us the story of Angie’s friend Sarah. Sarah is an Aussie that moved to Haven Harbor. She has her antiques business and works with the Mainely Needlepointers but has remained pretty well stitched up about her past and her family. She has grown close to Ted Lawrence, a wealthy man, who runs an art gallery. His father was a famous artist. Ted’s is an artist too but never reached the acclaim of his father. She finally reveals to Angie that she and Ted are related and explains the history is complicated. Ted wants to celebrate his birthday with his children that he rarely sees and introduce them to their Sarah. Things do not go as planned when Ted dies during a family lobster bake. The entire family makes up the suspect list with most the family’s fingers pointing at Sarah. She, Angie, and their friend Patrick start tightening the clues together and following the threads to catch the real killer…but can they find the truth in time…

Lea Wait never disappoints and this time she draws in a piece of history I knew absolutely nothing about. There was a time when number of foster children in Britain was more than the system could handle and children were sent to Australia. Sarah’s search for her family takes her from Australia to Britain and then on to Maine. That doesn’t quite bring all the family dynamics to light but as the story continues and the mystery plays out more secrets are revealed.  The author explains this child migration and the aftermath in such interesting detail all while not taking away from the coziness of the mystery. I love learning something new when reading just for fun.

The new characters she created, Ted’s children, are an eclectic group. His daughter and her husband live in the northern part of the state and have an organic farm. One son has a high pressure job in New York and the other is a frustrated poet and perpetual student. The family hasn’t gotten together for years. There was already plenty of family drama even before their father’s murder. Ted also has an assistant that has helped him in the gallery for years. Together they all bring their own excitement to the story.

As this is Sarah’s story the other Mainely Needlepointers are absent or just have cameo appearances. I was fine with this as Sarah and Ted’s story is a pretty powerful one that I really enjoyed.

This is another solid addition to this series. It flows well, has several twists, diverse characters, and kept me guessing from start to finish.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Click on cover to order from Amazon.

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US 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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 18, 2017 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.”

Mar 022017
 

No Way Home
by Annette Dashofy

No Way Home (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania/New Mexico
Henery Press (March 14, 2017)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635111774
Kindle 9781635111798

 
 
 
 
 

Synopsis

A relaxing trail ride turns tragic when Paramedic and Deputy Coroner Zoe Chambers discovers the body of a popular county commissioner in her Pennsylvania woods. Inconsistencies surround the horrible accident, but before she can investigate further, she’s pried away by a plea for help from her best friend whose son has been deemed a person of interest in a homicide over a thousand miles away. When he vanishes without a trace, his mother begs Zoe to help clear him and bring him safely home. The task takes Zoe out of her comfort zone in a frantic trip to the desolate canyons and bluffs of New Mexico where she joins forces with the missing boy’s sister and a mysterious young Navajo.

Back at home, Vance Township’s Chief of Police Pete Adams must deal not only with the commissioner’s homicide, but with an influx of meth and a subsequent rash of drug overdoses in his rural community. Bodies keep turning up while suspects keep disappearing. However little else matters when he learns that half a continent away, a brutal killer has Zoe in his sights.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

First,  Paramedic and Deputy Coroner Zoe Chambers finds a dead body near her home in Pennsylvania. Before she even has time to get in  the middle of the investigation she is on a plane to New Mexico to find the son of her best friend. He isn’t answering his cell phone and his girlfriend body has been found near a canyon outside of Aztec. She has left Chief of Police and her boyfriend, Pete Adams,  to handle the death at home as she gets in way over her head in New Mexico.

I am a huge fan of this series. This author continues to amaze me with each story topping the last. Every time I reach the end I find myself saying “WOW”.

In this installment the pace is quick, a lot is packed into 256 pages. There are two mysteries to solve 1000 miles apart from each other. Zoe and Pete stay connected with daily phone calls until Zoe stops answering her phone and definitely not by her choice. Ms. Dashofy edges right up to the cozy/thriller line that will have her readers glued to the page. This makes for a very exciting read.

Zoe is a strong intelligent woman and she needs both if she is going to survive the trouble she has landed smack in the middle of. She and Pete usually have each other’s back. Where Zoe is more impulsive, he is more measured. They both have the determination for justice to prevail. Separated this time they are dependent on others. But Pete is working with other professionals and Zoe is working with the sister of the guy she is trying to find and one of her friends. So many things could go wrong and do.

Dashofy’s No Way Home is off the charts fantastic! Fantastic characters, fantastic mysteries, fantastic book!! Get your copy and hold on tight, it is going to be a bumpy ride as you find out if everyone make their way home.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Books in the Zoe Chambers Mystery Series:

CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE (#1)
LOST LEGACY (#2)
BRIDGES BURNED (#3)
WITH A VENGEANCE (#4)
NO WAY HOME (#5)

Dashofy-1559 (534x800)About The Author –

Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE, published by Henery Press, was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and for the David Award for Best Mystery of 2014. LOST LEGACY, was released in September 2014 followed in April 2015 by BRIDGES BURNED, which has been nominated for the Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel. WITH A VENGEANCE, the fourth in the series, was released May 3, 2016.

Author Links

Website— Blog— Facebook— Twitter– @Annette_Dashofy 

Purchase Links

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

March 1 – Lori’s Reading Corner – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 3 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW
March 4 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW
March 4 – Becky’s Bookcase – REVIEW
March 4 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
March 5 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
March 5 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW
March 6 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW
March 7 – My Journey Back – REVIEW
March 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
March 9 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
March 10 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST
March 11 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
March 12 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW  
March 13 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
March 14 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW

 

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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 172017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Clearing a book by Janice Peacock from my Kindle shelf today!

High Strung (Glass Bead Mystery Series)
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Washington
Vetrai Press (June 3, 2016)
Paperback: 222 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0990570547
Kindle ASIN: B01GIBQTFY

 

 

After inheriting a house in Seattle, Jax O’Connell is living the life of her dreams as a glass beadmaker and jewelry designer. When she gets an offer to display her work during a bead shop’s opening festivities, it’s an opportunity Jax can’t resist—even though the store’s owner is the surliest person Jax has ever met.

The weekend’s events become a tangled mess when a young beadmaker is found dead nearby and several oddball bead enthusiasts are suspects. Jax must string together the clues to clear her friend Tessa’s name—and do it before the killer strikes again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jax O’Connell gets the chance to follow her dreams when she inherits a house and a bit of money from her aunt. She packs as much as much as her new VW Bug can hold including her cat and leaves Florida behind and heads for Seattle.  The house has been converted into a duplex but needs a little TLC. Jax fixes up a few things so she can work on her beads and jewelry from home and makes some friends in the bead-making world. She is excited when she is invited teach a class and show her work at a bead-making event. The store’s owner is not the nicest person on the planet but Jax knows she can work with her. When the owner is injured during the event and another young beadmaker is found dead in a dumpster the next day things get a little heated. Especially when the police are convinced one of Jax’s friends is the killer. Jax knows she must work fast stringing together the clues to not only clear her friend but catch the killer before anyone else is strung up.

This was a fun read. You know right away that Janice Peacock is a beading enthusiast. She describes that processes of bead making and making jewelry with those beads so well that it is very easy to picture. The beads sound just beautiful and making them sounds so unique. I have heard about glass blowing, but glass bead making is brand new to me. I have seen them everywhere but never thought much about how they were actually made. Her enthusiasm is also apparent in most of the book’s characters.

High Strung is populated with eclectic group of characters you expect to find in a cozy mystery. Jax is a strong woman, on her own after leaving her less than stellar boyfriend in Florida. Her tenant and friend Val is a hairdresser, aspiring baker and quite the spitfire.  Her best friend since kindergarten, Tessa, has her own studio, where she gives classes. Rosie, the owner of Aztec Beads, where the event is taking place, is pretty cantankerous and a little odd. Marta is a fellow beader that Jax met at a beadmakers’ conference. She is staying with Jax so she can take part in the weekend event. She also brought her “animal companion”, Stanley, along without even asking Jax if that was o.k. Gumdrop is Jax’s kitty, addicted to catnip, maybe a little physic, and definitely not a Stanley fan. The are also a couple of young bead makers that sell their wares on the street. We also meet Jax’s other friends and of course the local police, Detective Grant.

As is the case with most books that are the first of a series the mystery starts to happen several chapters in to give readers time to get to know the players. But when it starts the pace picks right up and continues on to the end. There are really 2 mysteries to solve because we don’t know if the cases are connected. In fact, the police believe one was either self inflicted or just an accident. Jax has other ideas.

At just 222 pages this cozy is a bit shorter than normal but they are jam packed with detail, deception and more than a few twists and surprises. The characters are very believable and their dialogue is very well written. I also enjoyed a few laugh out loud moments.

A fast read for a cozy afternoon. I have moved the next book in this series to the top of my To-Be-Read list on my Kindle.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Janice Peacock decided to write her first mystery novel after working in a glass studio full of colorful artists who didn’t always get along. They reminded her of the odd, and often humorous, characters in the murder mystery books she loved to read. Inspired by that experience, she combined her two passions and wrote High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery, launching a new cozy mystery series featuring glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell.

When Janice isn’t writing about glass artists-turned-amateur-detectives, she makes glass beads using a torch, designs one-of-a-kind jewelry, and makes sculptures using hot glass. An award-winning artist, her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, the Glass Museum of Tacoma, WA, and in private collections worldwide.

Janice lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two cats, and twelve chickens. She has a studio full of beads…lots and lots of beads.

Author Links

Webpage – Facebook – GoodReads 

I am giving away 1 e-copy of High Strung.
It will be sent directly to your email from Amazon.

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 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 3, 2017 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.”

Feb 152017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I apologize that there is not a guest post this week, but let me tell you about Paige Shelton’s latest release. 

Bookman Dead Style (A Dangerous Type Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Utah
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (February 7, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277263
Kindle ASIN: B01E4WAFNG
Shop Indie Bookstores

A movie star is typecast as a killer in the second Dangerous Type Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of To Helvetica and Back.
 
It’s January, and the Star City Film Festival has taken the Utah ski resort town by storm. Movie stars are everywhere, carving fresh powder on the slopes and crossing the thresholds of Bygone Alley’s charming boutique shops—including The Rescued Word, where Clare Henry and her grandfather restore old typewriters and beloved books. When cinema’s hottest superhero, Matt Bane, enters their store to buy some personalized note cards, it’s hard not to be starstruck.

But when Clare sees the police leading Matt out of The Fountain hotel in handcuffs only a few hours later, she can’t believe her eyes. The affable actor is accused of killing his sister, but Clare’s convinced he’s wrong for that role. Now it’s open call for suspects as Clare tries to reel in the killer before another victim fades to black…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Back to Star City, Utah for the second book in the Dangerous Type Mysteries. Stars from Hollywood have come for the Annual Film Festival and to enjoy some time on the slopes. They also descend on Bygone Alley and into The Rescued Word. Matt Bane, the current heartthrob, is in town to promote his superhero movie and visits the  shop for some personalized note cards. Just a short time later Clare witnesses the police leading the actor from his hotel in handcuffs.  She quickly learns a young actress, Matt’s sister, has been murdered and he was found over her body covered in blood. Clare just can’t believe it, he just doesn’t seem the “type” or maybe he is such a good actor he has her fooled. She delves right into her own investigation to seek out the real character but all the “stars” are in “the show must go on” frame of mind so it isn’t going to be easy to catch this killer.

Ms. Shelton has typed us up a marvelous mystery. You know, the kind that pulls you in right away and holds you tight until the very end with so many twists and a plethora of suspects.

Bringing so many people to this small town, stars and tourists, gives a wide variety of people to question. Clare pares them down quickly to a manageable number but any one could be the killer. With her best friend on the police force she tries to get some inside information and Jodie does help her to get in to see Matt while he is in jail to get his take on the case. Clare’s ex/police chief, Creighton, is not quite as helpful but that was to be expected. Clare and her grandfather also have another mystery on their hands that brings another element to the story and solving that one isn’t easy either. Shelton sets a brisk pace and has given us a story that is almost impossible to put down.

The core characters and their continued development really drives this story. They have big hearts and really care about each other and all the people they meet. Clare and Jodie reconnect with one of their old classmates and she has an interesting story too. I hope she pops up in future stories. The romance between Seth and Clare is so perfectly paced as it her grandfather’s relationship with his lady friend. Clare’s niece Marion is growing up and has such a bright future, she is going to be a very interesting character to watch as this series continues.

This has quickly become a favorite series of mine and I have to give it my Paradise Rating. I really love playing sleuth right along with Clare and I completely escaped right into this book.. I can’t wait for the next Dangerous Type Mystery. The little snippet from Comic Sans Murder has me ready another trip to The Rescued Word as soon as possible.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Paige Shelton is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.com


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.

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 1, 2017 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.”

Feb 102017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review when they were first released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


A Wee Dose of Death (A ScotShop Mystery Book)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Vermont
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (January 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270325
Kindle ASIN: B00W2ZKSLC

While business is booming at the ScotShop in Hamelin, Vermont, proprietor Peggy Winn doesn’t have time to toast her good fortune thanks to her hot-tempered, fourteenth-century Scottish companion. Being thrust into the modern world hasn’t been easy for Dirk, but Peggy is at her wit’s end trying to keep the ghostie galoot in line.

But when the local police chief finds the body of Peggy’s friend Karaline’s college professor in a deserted mountain cabin, everyone is thrown for a loop. It seems the secretive professor may have been killed over his ecological work, an idea that’s only reinforced when Karaline herself is shot. Now Peggy and Dirk must set aside their differences to put the cold-blooded killer under loch and key…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Peggy and Dirk are back and have their hands full, well as much as a ghost can have his hands full.  If you haven’t read the previous story you need to know that Dirk came home to Vermont after a trip Peggy took to England. She purchased a shawl and never knew it came with a ghost as a bonus item.

Cross country skiing is a big thing in Hamelin, Vermont, even the chief of police straps on his skis and grabs his poles every once in a while. His first trip of the season goes horribly wrong when he falls and breaks his leg. With no way to call for help and no one around, he uses his ski to splint his leg and crawls to a nearby cabin. He never expected to find a dead body there. Sadly the guy isn’t missed right away but when he is found he tries to wrap the case before he has all the information. Peggy and her friend Karaline along with a certain cranky 14th century Scotsman try to find out what really happened. When Karaline gets shot things get more than a wee bit serious but Peggy isn’t giving up.

I love that Dirk and Peggy are at odds through most of the story. It has to be hard having him around all the time and answering all his questions. The author keeps the Dirk’s way of speaking genuine to his time period and his reactions to modern day things may me laugh out loud several times.  When he gets on her nerves Peggy just folds up the shawl and he disappears. We don’t know where he goes but he doesn’t appreciate being dismissed in that way at all, but it gives Peggy a bit of a breather.

The rest of the characters are fleshed out well and each holds their own in a twisted mystery that will keep the readers on their toes. We also meet a wonderful Scottish terrier named Scamp who seems to make himself right at home in the ScotShop. We are provided with plenty of suspects and several red herrings. I was kept guessing the whole way and figured it all out right along with Peggy.

Fran Stewart has given us a captivating cozy, with witty characters and top notch mystery. I look forward to the next installment,  A Wee Homicide in the Hotel was released this month and I will be reading it soon. 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Fran Stewart and her books on her webpage here

I am giving away my review copy! 
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.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 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 February 24, 2017 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.”

Feb 032017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review when they were first released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I am not going to lie, what is happening in our country scares me. I will not get all political but it did cause me to choose a different type of book for this week’s Flashback Friday. A book with no mystery to solve, a book about just every day life that I could comfortably “escape” into for a few hours and forget about what is really happening in the real world. I hope you won’t mind that I slipped away from the mystery genre this week.


Everyone Is Beautiful: A Novel
Domestic Life/Humor/Fiction
Setting – Massachsetts
Ballantine Books (February 17, 2009)
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1400066438
Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-0749909307
Kindle ASIN: B001NLL2TS

 

 

Lanie Coates’s life is spinning out of control. She’s piled everything she owns into a U-Haul and driven with her husband, Peter, and their three little boys from their cozy Texas home to a multiflight walkup in the Northeast. She’s left behind family, friends, and a comfortable life–all so her husband can realize his dream of becoming a professional musician. But somewhere in the eye of her personal hurricane, it hits Lanie that she once had dreams too. If only she could remember what they were.

These days, Lanie always seems to rank herself dead last–and when another mom accidentally criticizes her appearance, it’s the final straw. Fifteen years, three babies, and more pounds than she’s willing to count since the day she said “I do,” Lanie longs desperately to feel like her old self again. It’s time to rise up, fish her moxie out of the diaper pail, and find the woman she was before motherhood capsized her entire existence.

Lanie sets change in motion–joining a gym, signing up for photography classes, and finding a new best friend. But she also creates waves that come to threaten her whole life. In the end, Lanie must figure out once and for all how to find herself without losing everything else in the process.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I needed to read something different and funny and this book fit the bill.

Lanie’s life takes an abrupt turn when her husband’s new job uproots her family from their Texas home and into a 3rd floor 2 bedroom apartment in Massachusetts. She is with her kids, three under the age of 4,  24/7. While visiting a nearby park one day she reconnects with a classmate from high school and this gives her at least one adult to share things with and keep her sane. Her husband is wrapped up in his work and their relationship has reached the phase where you just go through the days without any real firm connection beyond being parents. At the end of her rope she joins a gym and realizes she has dreams as well. She just needs to figure out what they are and then find space to place them in her life. But can her marriage survive her putting herself first even just for part of the day or week without losing everything else so important to her.

As a mother of four I could relate to Lanie’s story quite easily. Mom’s always put themselves last. Those days when the children are small and it is a triumph to just get a shower or go to the bathroom by yourself. Unlike Lanie, I worked full time when my children were growing up, so I was around adults for a least 8 hours of the day. Lanie heads to the gym for her “me time”. I used to escape to my sewing room, where I made the lion’s share of the clothes for my family, and let my creative juices flow.

The author gives us an entertaining and in places really funny look at family life. You know the day to day stuff most of our lives are filled with. It’s not rocket science but sometimes getting through days with toddlers it seems like rocket science would be easier. Three little boys can be tough, especially 3 boys under four years old. I did want to jump in the book a few times to tell her to put the youngest one down. He was almost a year old and not crawling or walking yet and I think that was because she carried him everywhere. He was like her security blanket. Funny, after some lifestyle adjustments near the end of the book the little guy starts walking and crawling all in one day

This was just the book I needed to read at this time. It brought back some fond memories, but even it, a book like this, my new trigger word appeared, “suicide”. It seems I just can’t escape that in anything I read these days. Thankfully it was only a mention and was followed by a moment that made me laugh. This book was recommended to me several years ago, long before my son took his life. It has been buried in my To-Be-Read stacks since then. Waiting for me to find the perfect time to read it. Well last Sunday was the perfect time. If you need a light read, this may be the one.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


I am giving away my hardcover copy!

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.

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

Contest Will End February 17, 2017 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

*This book was from my personal collection.

Silence of the Jams (A Down South Café Mystery) by Gayle LeesonBUY TODAY
%d bloggers like this: