Dec 202016
 

Frosty the Dead Man
(A Snow Globe Shop Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Minnesota
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (December 6, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270820
E-Book ASIN: B01CZCW46I

 

 

A snow globe becomes a murder weapon in the latest cozy mystery from the national bestselling author of Snow Way Out and The Iced Princess.

Mayor Lewis Frost has always been known as Frosty to his friends—not that he has many these days. Controversies swirling around the city council have members wondering if Frosty is trying to snow them. After one councilman storms off in a huff, the mayor turns to curio shop manager Camryn Brooks and asks her to consider taking a seat on the council.

Later, when Cami goes to his office to discuss the proposal, her blood runs cold. She finds Frosty dead, and the very snow globe she sold him earlier that day lies in sparkling shards on his carpet—along with a large diamond. Does the snow globe—which features a peculiar tableau of an armed man and three menacing bears—hold a clue to Frosty’s demise? One way or another, it’s up to Cami to shake things up before the killer’s trail goes cold…

Snow globe-making projects and tips included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Things are a bit frosty in town and not just the weather. Mayor Frost is not seeing eye to eye with the city council. Several approached him right in the Brew Ha Ha Coffee Shop to voice their displeasure. At least he wasn’t too upset to walk into Curio Finds to purchase an unusual snow globe and tell Cami to stop by his office later. When she gets there she is horrified to find him dead with his new snow globe the apparent murder weapon.

I love so many things about this series, the setting is so unique and every time I read one I want to buy everyone on my Christmas list a snow globe, but can never find ones as special at those in Curio Finds.

The characters continue to evolve in each story and I truly enjoyed this time as the circle of the 3 girlfriends is growing to be a circle of 6 friends. They are all fun and very engaging and realistically written. The author also keeps the series fresh by introducing new people that expand the suspect pool. A diverse group of tourists, local townspeople and one that is surrounded in mystery.

This time I figured out early why the mayor was killed but there were so many twists and turns I was completed stumped as to who the actual killer could be. I felt a little smart that I was ahead of Cami in one aspect and felt a cozy rush as I tried to sleuth out the guilty party before she did, but I ended up being right there with her at the end. It was a complete surprise but still made absolute sense.

Frosty The Dead Man is definitely by favorite book in the series. It is a wonderful winter read, set right before Christmas. Cozy lovers are sure to pleased!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Christine Husom on her webpage here

Thanks to the publisher 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.

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 January 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

 

Nov 302016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am over the moon excited to have Vicki Delany visit today! 

vicki-delany

Is There a Grinch in Christmas Town?

By Vicki Delany

(Post provided by publicist.)

If I were to describe the cozy mysteries I write in one word it would be fun.

I have a lot of fun writing them, and I hope readers have a lot of fun reading them.

I particularly enjoyed creating the town of Rudolph, New York, self-described as America’s Christmas Town.  The town of Rudolph is all about Christmas, 365 days of the year. And thus, so are the inhabitants of the town.  Non-Christmas lovers don’t last long in Rudolph.

Rudolph sits on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, not far from Rochester.  The perfect location for a winter-wonderland atmosphere.

we-wish-you-a-murderous-christmasNow that I had my town, so I had to fill it with something.  Mrs. Claus’s Treasures sells everything you need for decorating your home, as well as toys and jewelry, and many of the goods are locally made.  Victoria’s Bake Shoppe is famous for its gingerbread.  There’s Candy Cane Sweets, the North Pole Ice Cream Parlour, The Elves Lunchbox, Cranberries Coffee Bar, Touch of Holly Restaurant, The Yuletide Inn, the Carolers Motel. The possibilities are endless.  (Looking at this list it seems as though the residents and visitors to Rudolph like to eat a lot.)

Then we need people.  Merry Wilkinson is the owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures.  Merry’s father, Noel, is the town’s Santa Claus. Merry knows her dad isn’t really Santa, but sometimes she does wonder how he knows what people want before they so much as say so.  Merry’s best friend, Vicky, owns the bakery.

As the second book in the series, We Wish You A Murderous Christmas, begins Christmas Town itself might be in danger. The owner of the popular Yuletide Inn has suffered a heart attack and his son Gord has arrived to take over the business. Before long the townsfolk start noticing men in construction boots studying blueprints at the Inn’s famous gardens, and other men in ties and business suits browsing binders stuffed full of legal documents over lunch.

And, to make matters worse, Gord discontinues Vicky Casey and Victoria’s Bake Shoppe as his bread and dessert supplier!  He is, he tells her, “implementing efficiencies.”

The whole town is in an uproar and things are looking bad. But they are get a lot worse when Gord is  murdered and the police’s chief suspect is none other than the town’s official Santa Claus, Noel Wilkinson.

Can Merry Wilkinson and the residents of Rudolph solve the murder and save the reputation of their town as the place to find that real Christmas magic?

~Vicki

we-wish-you-a-murderous-christmas
We Wish You a Murderous Christmas
(A Year-Round Christmas Mystery)

Cozy Mystery

2nd in Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Julia Green
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280812
E-Book ASIN: B01BK0WS8U
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A Grinch is spoiling the holiday cheer and causing fear in the latest from the author of Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen

It’s Christmastime three hundred sixty-five days a year in Rudolph, New York, and as Christmas Day approaches, shop owner Merry Wilkinson is enjoying a rare evening off at the Yuletide Inn when she runs into owners Grace and Jack Olsen. With Jack’s health failing, Merry is relieved to hear that his son Gord will be taking over the day-to-day running of the Inn.

But then Gord reveals that his new plans have no room for Christmas at the Inn, and Merry and the other shopkeepers start to fret about the effect a bland franchise hotel could have on their livelihoods.

When Gord is found stabbed to death, there’s an entire town of potential suspects—and it’s up to Merry to find whoever brought homicide home for the holidays…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Again the wonderful cover drew me right into this book and the story held me tight.

Merry Wilkinson, owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, and the rest of the town of Rudolph is getting ready for Christmas. The Yuletide Inn is a popular place to gather and Merry’s parents are best friends with  the owners, Grace and Jack Olsen. After having dinner together Jack is rushed to the hospital for what looks to be a heart attack. With Jack out of commission for awhile and it being the busiest time of year, his son Gord and his wife come to Rudolph to help. But Gord is not happy just running the hotel. He has big plans that will not only change things at the inn but could change things for all of Rudolph. When Gord it found dead, there are plenty of suspects, even Santa Claus. Merry wants Christmas to shine without a murder overshadowing everyone’s festivities so sets out to catch this Grinch herself.

I love this town and I love these characters.

I want to visit Rudolph right now. What a special place to celebrate the holidays.

Vicki Delany’s characters are so well developed they leap right off the pages and into your heart. Her dad, former mayor, and resident Santa Claus leads the town in a special way. Everyone loves him and wants to work with him to keep the town a happy place even when there is a murderer on the loose. I should say everyone, but the current mayor. She does get her nose out of joint when people defer to him instead of her. With daughter’s named Merry, Eve, and Carol, there is no doubting Noel Wilkerson loves Christmas. Guess when his birthday is?  One of the characters, Jackie, Merry’s employee, is a bit Scrooge-ish, in the way she treats Merry, but Merry does leave her on her own quite a bit as she sleuths out the killer.

Delany balances the Christmas theme with a magnificent mystery. With pretzel like twists and turns the reader is really kept on their stocking footed toes.  I was so surprised at who the culprit actually was, I had no inkling at all. Love, love, love when that happens.

The author also adds just the right amount of romantic and humorous elements to the story.

This story checks all my cozy boxes and having it set at Christmas time in a wondrous Christmas village/town puts it over the top from A Perfect Escape to Paradise. Thank you Vicki Delaney, you have kicked started my Christmas Season in a grand way!

paradise 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most varied and prolific crime writers. Most recently, she is the author of the Year Round Christmas cozy mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime and (writing under the pen name of Eva Gates) the Lighthouse Library mysteries also from Berkley. Find out more about Vicki Delany on her webpage here


New Series Coming in March from Crooked Lane Books


Written as Eva Gates

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher 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.

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

Leave a comment for Vicki 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 December 14, 2016 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.”

Nov 292016
 

cat-diamonds-large-banner640

Cat Got Your Diamonds
by Julie Chase

cat-got-your-diamonds-rgb
Cat Got Your Diamonds: A Kitty Couture Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (November 15, 2016)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1629538426
E-Book ASIN: B01H082DOU
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Synopsis

Grandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker’s dream come true–until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1.

Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I saw the cover for this story I knew I had to read this book!

Lacy Marie Crocker owner of The Furry Godmother and she is ready to make couture garments to make your pet feel special and/or make any other pet lover green with envy. She bakes up tasty treats for pets too. She has the purrfect opportunity to show off her talents at the Animal Elegance Gala, but before that happens one of the tools of her trade connects with a man’s head. The man had broke into her shop but she didn’t deliver the deadly blow. Now she just has to prove it as she is Detective Jack Oliver prime suspect. Is the murder tied to a bunch of jewelry thefts in the Garden District? Lacy needs to find the real killer and try to figure out why she ended up in the middle of this crime spree. That puts her right in the cross-hairs of the killer.

The story takes place in New Orleans and pets of all types, dogs, cats, turtles and even llama seem to be pretty popular in the area. Not just normal curl up and pet animals either, several can perform,  and Lacy creates their costumes.

I love Lacy and the way she harnesses her creativity in her pet apparel. With a vet as a father she grew up around animals, but this is not the career he parents originally envisioned. I must say it seems to suit her to a tee even though her wealthy partner pulls his funding until she is cleared of the murder. 

Detective Jack Oliver is a real pain when the story starts but by the end I was seeing him in a different light. We also meet Chase, a man from Lacy’s past, easy on the eyes and very interested in Lacy. I love a good romantic triangle. We meet several other characters in this first installment and many make good suspects. The dialogue between the characters is funny and realistic.

The story moves right along at a great pace. The author’s writing not only tells this cat – ivating mystery, her words create some vivid imagery too.  She also sets up a fantastic twist that caught me totally by surprise.

This is a wonderful start for this series. Do you pamper your pets? This is a cozy for you. Heck, if you like your cozies with an animal or two or more, you will love this story. I am already looking forward to book #2.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

 

Early Praise:

“In all that New Orleans heat and glitter, there’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A fun read.”

Rita Mae Brown, New York Times bestselling author of the Sneaky Pie mystery series

“Everyone needs a Furry Godmother! A delightful new series steeped in the flavor of New Orleans and its old families. Julie Chase’s clever characters are guaranteed to make you smile.”

Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author of the Paws & Claws mysteries

“A stunning debut… Julie Chase’s new series is a cross between Laura Childs’ Scrapbooking series and Ali Brandon’s Black Cat Bookshop. A fantastic start to what looks like a promising cozy series. Even if you are not a cat/dog lover, you will love this one!”

T. C. LoTempio, author of the national bestselling Nick and Nora mystery series.

More Praise for Cat Got Your Diamonds:

I keep starting and stopping as I write this review. I’m trying to figure out how to adequately express just how much I enjoyed Cat Got Your Diamonds. I’m tempted to gush and run on and on about it, but I also want my words to come across as sincere because this Kitty Couture mystery is outstanding.
~The Girl with Book Lungs

Wow. I really enjoyed this book a lot. The cover on this book is absolutely beautiful and I knew I just had to read it. I am also a animal lover so any good cozy with animals is a my kind of story.
~Books, Dreams, Life

This first in series will have you engaged in the story from the start. The characters bring the charm and wit that will leaving you wanting more.I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next one.
~Shelley’s Book Case

I think I found a new favorite author! This was a really enjoyable book and fast paced.
~Kaisy Daisy’s Corner

With a great sense of humor and an interesting supporting cast, animal lovers, cozy lovers, and just about anyone else should love this book.
~The Book’s the Thing

…you never can tell you which books will draw you in. I would have never guessed that a cozy mystery series about a Kitty Couture shop would be so enjoyable, but Julie made a fan out of me. I’ll be anxiously awaiting next April and more adventures from Lacy!
~Grace. Gratitude. Life.

The writing of this story is superb and the setting and characters are so believable.
~Melina’s Book Blog

Cat Got Your Diamonds is an entertaining, well-written cozy mystery that’s full of southern charm.
~The Power of Words . . .

This novel is a great example of what I look for in a cozy mystery – a great case that keeps me guessing, a dash of romance, and splashes of humor. Both Lacy and Jack are well-developed and very likable characters with fantastic chemistry between them…
~Reading is my SuperPower

Chase created an interesting cast of characters and a delightful setting with the pet boutique. She also made good use of the New Orleans setting, showing us a New Orleans beyond the touristy stuff and the stereotypes.
~Bea’s Book Nook

Cat Got Your Diamonds is a captivating and fast-paced cozy whodunit tale that has enough quirky characters, witty banter and humor, drama, danger, and intriguing twists and turns that will keep you guessing the identity of the killer cat burglar.
~Jersey Girl Book Reviews

I’ve been looking forward to this book since I first saw it listed on Amazon. A new cat cozy taking place at a couture pet shop in New Orleans…how fast can I get there???
~Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries & Meows

This was a really good start to a new cozy mystery series and I enjoyed it a lot.
~Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!

The path to solving the murder was paved with several potential candidates that had means and motive. There is also a twist to the story that I never saw coming. Bravo, Julie Chase, bravo!!
~Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

What’s not to love about this story? You get the fabulous setting of New Orleans, with all its culture and history, plus a main character who runs a pet boutique and bakery. Then you get a murder mystery on top of that.
~Book Babble

This book was fun, dangerous and the surprising ending has a real twist.
~Laura’s Interests

Cat Got Your Diamonds was the purrfect mystery that was filled with humor, charming characters and a delightful storyline…
~Moonlight Rendezvous

Filled with humor and fun CAT GOT YOUR DIAMONDS provides an intriguing mystery and great start to a new series.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

julieAbout The Author

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey.

Facebook     Twitter     Website    Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon     BAM!       IndieBound

Written as Julie Anne Lindsey


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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.”

Nov 252016
 

9WbGnJTR
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 major organizing feat unearthed this book from my To-Be-Read shelf.
It also reminded me of how many books I want to read
and it doesn’t included what is on my Kindle.
So I hope you have enjoyed Flashback Friday because I will be continuing it in 2017.

one-hot-murder
One Hot Murder (Victoria Square Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (February 5, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425251904
Digital Ebook – ASIN: B0095ZMRA2
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Where there’s smoke…

Katie Bonner, the reluctant manager of Artisans Alley in the quaint shopping district of Victoria Square, is no stranger to ambivalence. Things have been going hot and heavy with pizza maker Andy Rust—so much so that Katie has moved in over his pizza parlor. But now that summer’s ushered in a heat wave, an apartment above pizza ovens without an air conditioner is making Katie hot and bothered.

At the height of the heat wave, a tragic fire strikes Victoria Square. Wood U, a small store selling wooden gifts and small furniture, is destroyed. But the fire may just be a smoke screen—for murder. A body is found among the charred wreckage, and the victim didn’t die from smoke inhalation. He was shot. Now—despite making Detective Ray Davenport hot under the collar—Katie is determined to smoke out a coldhearted killer…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As the temperatures around here were dropping the temperatures at the Artisans Alley were heating up. It’s summertime at the Victoria Square and the air conditioning at the Artisans Alley can’t cool off the entire building. Katie also doesn’t have air conditioning in her apartment above the pizza place either. With only open windows and a fan to help her cool off she is shocked to notice a fire out her window at Victoria Square. She calls 911 and rushes over there to find Wood U totally engulfed and when the fire in extinguished the firefighters find a dead body. Everyone is distraught that the owner of the shop has died but then they find out, the person was killed before not during the fire. Because of the status of the body they know he was murdered by they can’t make conclusive identification. Detective Ray Davenport is on the case but that doesn’t mean Katie isn’t hotfooting it all over town to find the killer.

This is a hot, Hot, HOT! murder mystery. I sat down on Sunday afternoon to read and read it all in one sitting.

This is the 3rd book in the series and it has been awhile since I had read book 2, The Walled Flower, but Ms. Bartlett creates very memorable characters so I was all caught up by the end of Chapter 1. Katie Bonner inherited ownership of the Alley and she has been working hard to make it work for all her crafters and turn a profit for herself so she can invest in some upgrades like a new air conditioning system.  Her tenants are an eclectic bunch, some pitch in to help all the time, some need to be reminded and one is there all the time and is getting on Katie’s last nerve. Detective Ray Davenport is retiring from the force and this murder investigation is his last. Andy and Katie are still working opposite hours but are trying so hard to spend more time together.

These wonderful characters are surrounded by quite a mystery. Until the body is properly identified Katie and Ray are assuming they know who it is and proceeding in their investigations accordingly, but the clues they uncover twists things in a way that just don’t fit together. Plus there are a few subplots that tie in to the main mystery in several ways.

One of the subplots deals with Katie’s dream of purchasing a big Victorian home to turn it into a B&B. Her money is all tied up in the Alley and the inventory she has been stashing away for when her dream becomes a reality. Her dream goes up in smoke when she learns someone else has purchased the home. It was how she handled this situation that I as a reader could see how much this character has evolved from the first book in this series. I found it very refreshing to read. I am still unsure about her relationship with Andy so I am looking forward to seeing how this is addressed in the next book. Yes, the next book! It has been awhile but Dead, Bath, and Beyond is being released next month.

To me this author is one of the best at writing cozies mysteries. You can’t go wrong with anything she writes!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 About The Author

The immensely popular Booktown Mystery series is what put Lorraine Bartlett‘s pen name Lorna Barrett on the New York Times Bestseller list, but it’s her talent — whether writing as Lorna, or L.L. Bartlett, or Lorraine Bartlett — that keeps her there. This multi-published, Agatha-nominated author pens the exciting Jeff Resnick Mysteries as well as the acclaimed Victoria Square Mystery series and has many short stories and novellas to her name(s). Check out the links to all her works here: http://www.lorrainebartlett.com

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my 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.

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 December 9, 2016 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.”

Oct 282016
 

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

This book has been on my shelf waiting all year.
In fact the paperback edition comes out next week.

a-likely-story

A Likely Story (A Library Lover’s Mystery)
6th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Connecticut
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 3, 2015)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425260746
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages – (November 1, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1101986837
E-Book ASIN: B00SI026IS
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

NOT HIS BROTHER’S KEEPER

Delivering books to the housebound residents of the Thumb Islands, just a short boat ride from the town of Briar Creek, library director Lindsey Norris has befriended two elderly brothers, Stewart and Peter Rosen. She enjoys visiting them in their treasure-filled, ramshackle Victorian on Star Island until she discovers that Peter has been killed and Stewart is missing. Now she’s determined to solve a murder and find Stewart before he suffers his brother’s fate.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

An excellent story.

This time Jenn McKinlay takes us to a little island off the coast to meet 2 elderly brothers, one like me spends his days in a wheelchair. Sully takes Lindsey there in his water taxi to deliver books. Stewart, the older brother, always meets them on the dock. She has never ventured beyond there to the house until now. She and Sully approach the old house carefully because they have been warned the place is booby-trapped to keep away unwanted visitors. They immediately know something is wrong when they reach the porch and Stewart has still not appeared. What they find into addition to the traps deterring their entrance is a house full of everything you can think of, the brothers are major hoarders. They make their way through the small open paths to find Peter, the younger brother dead. Stewart is nowhere to be found. They call the police but Lindsey knows she needs to find Stewart and find the killer.

This was a bendy twisty mystery that could have gone several ways and included more suspects than I at first imagined. It was very well plotted and written and kept this reader very engaged.

In addition to the mystery we have the love triangle of Lindsey, Sully and Robbie. I was feeling this was going the way I wanted and would be wrapping up, but then, on the last page of the story, just one word through a monkey wrench into the saga which will now continue on.

I did enjoy children’s librarian Beth stepping beyond her comfort zone and meeting someone new. I also enjoyed Ms. Cole’s relationship with town historian Milton Duffy as well. It had a few tense moments. Stewart Rosen is also a very interesting character. His family, one of the first in the area, gave some history to the story. Of course, the crafternooners were back sticking their noses into everything.

Jenn McKinlay is an expert of blending a suspenseful mystery with the proper amounts of humor and romance. She always leaves us wanting more, ready to jump into the next Library Lover’s Mystery. She didn’t make us wait long this time as there is a short story, A Unlikely Meeting, at the end of this book. No, the romantic cliffhanger was not addressed but she does introduce us to a new Briar Creek resident and the lovable Heathcliff plays a major role.

Because I was late reading this installment, my wait to read the next is quite short.  Better Late Than Never comes out November 1! 

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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

Library Lover’s Mysteries

Cupcake Bakery Mysteries


Hat Shop Mysteries

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my hardcover review copy and
the publisher is giving away 1 paperback 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.

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 November 11, 2016 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.”

Oct 062016
 

putting on the witch extra large banner
Putting on the Witch
by Joyce and Jim Lavene

I have been awaiting this book with a little trepidation. These were some of the last words written by these amazing authors. We lost Joyce almost a year ago and then Jim back in May, but a single day does not pass that I don’t think of them. At first I was unsure about these paranormal stories they were writing. Ghosts and zombies were just not my thing, but Joyce convinced to give her Ren Faire Mysteries a try and I loved them. Soon she had me head over heels for a ghostly fire chief in the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries, and she almost had me convinced to try their Purple Door Detective Agency books, which I will probably still do because I have loved everything they have written.  I am so thankful that we have all these fantastic stories to read because that way they will always live on and when I need my Lavene book fix they will always be nearby. Also with all these paranormal things I am thinking maybe there are a couple of ghostly mystery writers floating among us with just a little mischief in their eyes. 

PUTTING ON THE WITCHPutting on the Witch (Retired Witches Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Berkley (October 4, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425268278
E-Book – ASIN: B01AHKXHTS
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Synopsis

With their coven’s spell book still missing, Molly and Elsie—along with their ghostly friend Olivia, her daughter Dorothy, and her boyfriend Brian—are all on edge, especially now that Dorothy’s infamously wicked father is back in the picture. So when they receive an invitation to an exclusive Witches Ball, the ladies jump at the chance to dress up and have some fun.

The castle locale is spectacular and the party is hopping, but the festivities come to a swift end when a member of the Grand Council of Witches is murdered. With the whole place on lock down, the coven is determined to find the cunning killer, even with an angry council and a real Spanish Inquisitor breathing down their necks…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Joyce and Jim Lavene had imaginations that were truly out of this world and it was in full force in this 3rd installment of the Retired Witch Mysteries.

Molly, Elsie, Dorothy, Brian and Olivia are all back and we meet Drago, Dorothy’s father. The coven is invited to Brian’s birthday party, a party even Brian doesn’t usually attend but the other witches all convince him to go. They all need a little fun especially with the wicked Drago lurking around. The event is at a very special castle and the whole Grand Council of Witches are in attendance. In fact, one of the council ends up dead and it gets crazy…

This was a book I truly escaped right into, a world of make believe had me leave reality in the dust within seconds after opening the cover.

The castle setting was both enchanting and eerie – an immense space where stairs and hallways appear and disappear, filled with hidden rooms and spaces, a wonderful library and more. The drinks were flowing and there was fine food to eat. The place was packed with witches of all kinds, water witches, fire witches, air and earth witches. It would have been a fabulous party if that darn murder hadn’t occurred.

I have loved the main characters from the moment we met, just 3 witches wanting to retire and hand their spellbook off to a new set of witches and since then so much has happened. Retiring is always a huge change but for these witches it is no simple feat and we were allowed to travel with them all along the way.

This story is so much more than a cozy mystery. It is about friendship and family and all the dedication and devotion that goes along with that. Each character is unique. Every place from their shop, Smuggler’s Arcane, to the enormous castle is vividly described.  The plots and subplots are more than well written, they are MAGICAL times infinity.

I believe Jim finished this story on his own, something he hadn’t done since they started writing together. He dedicates the book to Joyce and you can tell he worked hard to get everything just right. I could feel his heart beating in these words, he may have had a little spiritual assistance too, but I know it was probably one of the hardest things to do after she passed away. The cozy community was truly blessed by their presence and they will always live on through their stories. I hope they are looking down upon us and see the joy their writing has brought to so many.

paradise 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

I just love this picture of Joyce and Jim

I just love this picture of Joyce and Jim

 

About The Authors

Joyce and Jim Lavene wrote award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They had written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. Joyce passed away October 20, 2015 and Jim passed on May 5, 2016. They are missed by family, friends and their many fans.

 


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Tour Participants

October 3 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
October 3 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT
October 3 – Blogger Nicole – SPOTLIGHT
October 4 – Sleuth Cafe – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
October 4 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 4 – The Angry Grey Cat Reads – REVIEW
October 5 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
October 5 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW (Interview)
October 6 – Book Babble – REVIEW
October 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT
October 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
October 7 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
October 7 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 8 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
October 8 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
October 9 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW
October 9 – fuonlyknew – REVIEW
October 10 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 10 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – REVIEW
October 10 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – SPOTLIGHT
October 11 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
October 11 – Deal Sharing Aunt – REVIEW
October 12 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
October 12 – A Blue Million Books – SPOTLIGHT
October 13 – Booth Talks Books – REVIEW
October 13 – The Cozy Mystery Journal – REVIEW
October 14 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
October 15 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 16 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
October 16 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
October 17 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
October 17 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW
October 18 – Kathy Loves 2 Read – REVIEW
October 19 – ChristyMystery – REVIEW
October 20 – My Interdimensional Chaos – REVIEW
October 21 – Murder, Mystery & More… – REVIEW
October 22 – centraleast2 – REVIEW
October 23 – Lori’s Reading Corner – SPOTLIGHT
October 24 – The Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT
October 24 – Polished Nails and Puppy Dog Tales – REVIEW

Joining us with Reviews/Spotlights
Nicole G.
Linda L.
Kendrea P.
Robin C.
Daniele K.
Lisa C.
Stacie A.
Karen K.
Brittany A.
Kathy D.

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.”

Oct 052016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!! 

I am so excited to welcome Joyce back to Escape With Dollycas! 

JOYCE TREMEL

 

THE TOP FIVE THINGS I’VE LEARNED WRITING A COZY SERIES

5. It’s not as easy as it looks. Believe it or not, there are readers out there who think that cozy mysteries are inferior to other mysteries. Obviously, they’ve never tried to write one. I’ve found it takes quite a bit of skill to kill someone and not gross out the reader. The cozy writer has to get the horror of the murder across without showing much in the way of blood, guts, and the like. You have to describe what happened without actually describing what happened. This also applies to any sexy scenes. I’m perfectly content with not having to write those kinds of scenes. Banter, innuendo, and an occasional kiss that leaves the character’s knees weak is enough for me. I like to leave the rest up to imagination.

TANGLED UP IN BREW4. It’s sometimes hard to find adequate substitutes for swear words. I worked as a police secretary for ten years. Believe me, cops swear. I learned a whole new vocabulary when I worked for the police department. When you have officers talking in a cozy, you can’t very well have them use what must be their favorite word in the whole world because they say it three times in every sentence. And you can’t have them say gosh, darn, or golly either. Andy Griffith could get away with it, but that’s about it. My protagonist’s dad is a homicide detective and in one scene I have Max say something like, “My dad rarely swore but I could tell he held back a string of words that would have turned the air blue.” I do throw in an occasional damn and have used the letters S.O.B. Sometimes I’ll interrupt the dialogue just before the swear word would be uttered. So far, it works. I think.

3. There’s a fine line between educating the reader on the character’s craft or occupation and boring them to death. No one wants to read page after page of how your character does something. My protagonist Max is a craft brewer and there’s a lot of chemistry involved in brewing beer. If I started rambling on about how to calculate the specific gravity of a certain brew in order to calculate the alcohol by volume, I don’ t think readers would be too happy. In the best case scenario, they’d skip those pages; in the worst case, they’d throw the book against the wall. It’s a mystery novel, not a textbook. Information like that must be sprinkled in lightly.

to brew or not to brew

2. Recipes are hard to come up with. I’m usually thinking more about the plot and what the characters are doing than about what they’re eating or cooking. I’ve had to train myself to actually stop and describe certain foods and then search for a recipe to include. That’s probably why the first book, To Brew or Not to Brew only had two recipes. I did a little better with books two and three. Tangled Up in Brew has four, and next year’s A Room With a Brew will have five.

1. Write everything down. When I was about halfway through writing the first book, I realized I was NOT going to remember which character had blue eyes, who had brown eyes, how tall a certain someone was, etc. I started what we call a Character Bible. I jotted down each character, what they looked like, and anything else I thought might be important. I did the same with each shop and location in the series. I even drew a little map so I’d remember which store/shop/restaurant was where. And thank goodness I did. I refer to it constantly. Between that and the style sheet (which has even more detailed info on it) from my copy editor, I’ve saved hours that would have been spent searching through previous manuscripts for one tiny tidbit of information. All because I couldn’t remember something I thought I would.

These are the top five things I’ve learned writing a cozy series. Readers, what have you learned reading one?

~Joyce

About The Author

Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. She is a native Pittsburgher and lives in a suburb of the city with her husband and a spoiled cat.

Her debut mystery, To Brew Or Not To Brew has been nominated for the 2015 Reviewers’ Choice award for best amateur sleuth by RT Book Reviews. The second book in the series, Tangled Up In Brew has just been released.

Author Links

Webpage Facebook Twitter GoodReads 

TANGLED UP IN BREWTangled Up in Brew (A Brewing Trouble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Berkley (October 4, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277706
E-Book ASIN: B01AHKXIAQ
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Synopsis

Another intoxicating mystery featuring brew pub owner Maxine “Max” O’Hara—from the author of To Brew or Not to Brew.

BEER TODAY, GONE TOMORROW…

Brew pub owner Maxine “Max” O’Hara and her chef/boyfriend, Jake Lambert, are excited to be participating in the Three Rivers Brews and Burgers Festival. Max hopes to win the coveted Golden Stein for best craft beer—but even if she doesn’t, the festival will be great publicity for her Allegheny Brew House.

Or will it? When notoriously nasty food and beverage critic Reginald Mobley is drafted as a last-minute replacement judge, Max dreads a punishing review. Her fears are confirmed when Mobley literally spits out her beer, but things get even worse when the cranky critic drops dead right after trying one of Jake’s burgers. Now an ambitious new police detective is determined to pin Mobley’s murder on Max and Jake, who must pore over the clues to protect their freedom and reputations—and to find the self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Belly up to the bar and try one of Max’s new brews.

Brew pub owner Maxine “Max” O’Hara and her chef/boyfriend, Jake Lambert, are 2 awesome characters. Working with your significant other can be tough but these two compliment each other nicely and each have their own strengths. Max knows beer and Jake knows food and the Three Rivers Brews and Burgers Festival is the perfect place so show everyone their talents. But cranky critic Reginald Mobley is not a fan of the Allegheny Brew House fare and delvers a scathing review. It puts them in the police’s cross hairs when he dies in front of a crowd of people while eating Jake’s burger. Max’s dad is also on the case but his partner has his mind made up. It may be time to call on a higher being, Max’s brother is a priest so he will be praying but Max is determined to save Jake, herself, and their pub any way she can.

The characters in this series are very interesting. Setting the story at a festival draws an eclectic group of people too. They are also very well crafted. The lead characters are both strong and independent, equals and very supportive of each other. They lean on each other but are not dependent on each other. They have known each other most of their lives and that gave them a strong bond before they even started dating.

The author also gives us a very strong plot with plenty twists. Reading the first book in this series, I figured out the culprit before Max, this time I was right there with her and figured it out at the same time. My early suspicions were totally wrong. She also gives us enough depth into the world of micro-brews with overwhelming the reader. I love learning new things.

I enjoyed the setting of the festival and could easily picture the booths and their layout. Ms. Tremel’s descriptions were so rich I could almost taste the beer and those burgers,

This is a fantastic addition to this series and I am really looking forward to the next installment, A Room With A Brew.  Now if I could just have a glass or two of Max’s citrus ale to hold me over until then…

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher 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.

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

Leave a comment for Joyce 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 October 19, 2016 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.”

Sep 222016
 

I wasn’t ready to read this when it arrived in February as the holidays had been hard. Then I learned the the series had been cancelled by the publisher and felt horrible that I didn’t do as much promotion as I could have. After reading it this past weekend I feel the publisher made a huge mistake publishing it in February. A December or even January release could have changed the sales for this book immensely and could have saved this series from the chopping block.  

its-a-wonderful-knife

It’s a Wonderful Knife (Comfort Food)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – New York
An Obsidian Mystery (February 2, 2016)
New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451474094
E-Book – ASIN: B00X59360Y
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Comfort food and murder are on the holiday menu in the latest mystery from the national bestselling author of Macaroni and Freeze . . .

All Trixie Matkowski wants for Christmas is a break—just not the broken leg she got after slipping on some ice. With Sandy Harbor alive in the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s the busiest time of the year at Trixie’s Silver Bullet Diner. There are millions of things to do, including cater the town’s annual Christmas pageant and community dinner with some delicious holiday comfort food.

But the festivities turn into a bit of a turkey after Liz Fellows, the director of the pageant, is found with Trixie’s butcher knife in her back. Now Trixie must help the police arrest the scary gentleman—or lady—guilty of the crime if she hopes to get herself off the naughty list.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This book is set at Christmas time in Sandy Harbor, but I read this book at the perfect time for me. I needed to laugh and laugh hard and Christine Wenger delivered just the right package to allow me to do just that.

Trixie Matkowski loves Christmas, the decorating, the food and the traditions. She has rituals she follows every year. This year just as she is getting read to start her decorating routine. she falls and falls hard on the ice. Instead of hanging all the bright and shiny holiday things, she is in the blinding light of the emergency room getting a huge cast on her leg.

Her friends Antoinette Chloe Brown (ACB) and Deputy Ty Brisco call in reinforcements to not only handle the decorating but Trixie’s Silver Bullet Diner and all the catering jobs she has scheduled. Everything seems to be under control until Christmas Pageant Director Liz Fellows is found in the church kitchen with Trixie’s knife in her back. At least the fine deputy doesn’t suspect Trixie but he knows a pair of crutches isn’t going to keep her from meddling in his investigation.

Hilarity ensues in this fantastic addition to this series. I found myself reading out loud several passages to anyone that would listen. When Trixie and ACB make up their mind to do something, snow, wind, or a measly broken leg will not stop them from doing exactly what Ty told them not to do.

This story is my favorite one in this series. The plot was not only full of surprising mystery twists it brings us many surprising characters. It also brings a moment that I have been waiting  for since book one!

I loved, loved, LOVED! this story! I cannot believe the publisher pulled the plug on this series. The characters are fabulous, the mysteries are fun and well developed. Sandy Harbor is the perfect small town. Please Christine, don’t leave us hanging! I hope you have the option to self publish more in this series or find a new publisher to see what a treasure they are.

You can read Christmas stories any time of year, winter, summer, spring or fall. And you will fall hard for the characters and want to read all 5 of these books. Then you will be with me hoping and praying for book #6!!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Christine and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
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.

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 October 6, 2016 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.”

Sep 142016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
So excited to welcome Nancy Haddock back to Escape With Dollycas!

Nancy Haddock Low Res 2015

 

Out of the (Supply) Closet

(Post received from publicist)

Hello. My name is Nancy Haddock, and I have an office supply problem.

What’s that got to do with writing, you ask? Read on, dear hearts.

I’d like to trace my addiction to my children’s school days. Yes, folks, there was a time when open-all-night stores did not exist. Once too often, my children informed me they needed a particular kind of folder, poster board, or pen at 11 pm. When every retailer had closed.

While I managed not to go “Mommy Dearest” on my munchkins, I did retaliate by binge shopping school supply sales. I had four or more folders in every color. With and without pockets, with and without brads. I had lined paper, plain paper, graph paper, and yes, even carbon paper for those pesky tracing projects.

paint-the-town-deadI bought spiral notebooks in every conceivable color, some with pockets, some 3- and 5- subject thick. I mastered the art of stacking 3-ring binders, again in multiple colors, and naturally in multiple thicknesses from ½ inch to 3 inches.

Need poster board in any color of the rainbow? Crayons? Art pencils? Black, blue, red, or green ink pens? I’m telling you, I had all that and more. Tape, liquid and stick glue, display boards, sticky notes, and the ever popular rulers. It got to the point where other mothers would call me in a panic for a supply fix. While I refrained from meeting them under a bridge to pass off the goods, I had to keep mum so their children would believe their parents were magical.

I’m getting to the writing part.

So there I am with a walk-in closet, a wall of floor to ceiling built-in shelves, all dedicated to school supplies. But wait. I can use some of these dandy items! The folders work just as well for my works-in-progress notes as they do for my kiddo’s school papers. The pens, pencils, binders are, of course, useful for my writing needs. If the children can’t use the yuck-yellow poster board, I’ll overlook the color and use it for a visualization board.

And don’t get me started on the sticky notes and index cards! There’s a whole sticky note story I’m almost embarrassed to share.

basket case

Fast forward to the kids being in college. So maybe I’m not hoarding poster board any longer, but the habit of buying—and over-buying—school supplies is established. Except now I call them office supplies.

I mean, really. Can a writer have too many notebooks? The multi-subject kind are great for notetaking at local conferences. They keep the topics nicely separated, don’t you know. Then there are the single-subject spirals so useful for travel because they are lighter and less bulky. Naturally, we can’t forget the small notebooks, suitable for tucking into one’s purse and keeping in the car.

Then there is printer paper. Come on. Office supply stores run sales on cases every week. They need me to have oodles. And who can pick up plain white paper without adding at least a few packages of color paper—and hanging folders to color code one’s files. I my favorite shades and add them to the pile in the closet. With the coordinating file tabs, thank you very much.

Now we fast forward again. I’m moving from Texas to Florida, and I have to pack everything in about two months. Yikes! Sure we were having a giant garage/ estate sale to unload a huge amount of stuff, but my writer friends come to the rescue. They get first dibs on my treasures. Some took the books I could part with (yes, I had to be sedated for that), and they also had first shot at the office supplies.

The first friend who showed up still had young children at home. I donated bags of school supplies to her. The second friend who came by shook her head and I swear she was ready to call the men in white coats on me. But, hey, everything went to a good home.

Okay, I kept a lot of the sticky notes. I kept so many that years later my daughter called for a favor. She had begun landing art department jobs in the TV and film industry, and she needed inspiration for a writer’s office. She asked me to take photos of my writing space. Which was pretty much papered with sticky notes. And it still is.

So I have a problem. At least I don’t need a whole closet for my stash anymore. Just a few dozen drawers.

Thanks for your kind attention and understanding. I have to dash off now. It’s school supply sales time again!

~Nancy

paint-the-town-dead

Paint the Town Dead (A Silver Six Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Arkansas
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (September 6, 2016)
Cover Illustration by Ann Wertheim
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425275733
E-Book ASIN: B015DLUR2G
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From the national bestselling author of Basket Case comes the second mystery starring the crafty and cantankerous Silver Six.
 
Leslee Stanton Nix—aka “Nixy”—thought moving to small-town Lilyvale, Arkansas, would be about as thrilling as watching paint dry. But keeping up with her retired Aunt Sherry and her troublemaking housemates—collectively known as the Silver Six—has proven to be as exciting as it is exasperating.

To kick off the grand opening of their craft shop, the Handcraft Emporium, Nixy and the Silver Six invite Doralee Gordon to teach a gourd painting class. Doralee’s spirit gets squashed when her ex-husband crashes the class with his new fiancée, but things really get messy when the bride-to-be later turns up dead. Now it’s up to Nixy and the Silver Six to use their melons to find the killer—before someone else gets painted out of the picture…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Handcraft Emporium is all ready to open and The Silver Six, Ms. Sherry, Dwight Aloysius Baxter, Maisie Holcomb and her sister Aster Parsons, Eleanor Wainwright and Fred Fishner. With Nixy’s help have several classes planned to draw in the customers. The first class is a gourd painting class and they invite Doralee Gordon to show off her talents. Things get a little heated when Doralee’s ex shows up with his sister and fiancée, to take the class and try to make Doralee very uncomfortable.  When the fiancée is found dead the next day and Doralee becomes a suspect The Silver Six are all excited to solve another crime. This may not be good for Nixy’s new relationship with Detective Eric Shoar, but the man seems to have the patience of a saint.

Nancy Haddock has written a wonderful mystery the immediately draws the reader in. I was surprised by the title change. The teaser chapter in the last book, Basket Case, said it was to be GOODBYE GOURDEOUS, while Paint the Town Dead works, I liked the first title better. The cover is GOURDEOUS and the mystery is delightful. Several twists and moments that had me giggle and a couple that has me laughing out loud. This story was a real treat.

I enjoy every one of these characters, they continue to surprise and make us see age is just a number. They are continually on the go.  I wish I had half their energy. They do get their noses out of joint when they think Nixy and Eric are investigating without them. But the things are quickly back in place.

As for the new characters, Kim, the fiancée, is a greedy little witch trying to reel in husband #3. The perfect victim and the deeper the Six dug the more suspects they found. I almost felt sorry for Ernie, the ex, almost!. We also have T.C. and Amber, a dog and a cat, that were found in the alley behind the emporium. They quickly worm their way into everyone’s hearts, including mine.

This story checks all the cozy boxes, unique small town, colorful characters, an intriguing mystery to solve, a bit of romance and a bunch of humor.

As the temps get cooler, snuggle up in a blanket and get comfy with this cozy.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Nancy Haddock is an award-winning and national bestselling cozy mystery author. Basket Case is her first book in the Silver Six Crafting Mystery series with Berkley Prime Crime, and the second book, Paint the Town Dead, is a Sept. 2016 release. Nancy draws on historic wealth, southern culture, and the plain old quirkiness of places and people for her books. She lives with her husband and rescue dog Baron.

Visit Nancy on her Webpage, Facebook and GoodReads.

GIVEAWAYThanks to the publisher 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.

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

Leave a comment for Nancy 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 September 28, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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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.”

Aug 262016
 

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

the quilt ripper
The Quilt Ripper (Miranda Hathaway Adventures)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
devlinsbooks (December 31, 2015)
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0692616611
E-Book ASIN: B01A2BL8AM
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Miranda Hathaway is the town librarian and a member of Cutler Quilt Guild Number One. She likes to read mysteries, especially Sherlock Holmes. When someone breaks into the house of another guild member, rips apart an heirloom quilted skirt, and leaves the torn pieces behind, everyone in Cutler, Pennsylvania thinks Miranda can solve the mystery!

Gabe Downing, a retired FBI agent from Boston, has recently joined the quilt guild as its first and only male member.Coincidence? Miranda doubts it but she finds herself attracted to this new man in town. He asks her to dinner and she’s flattered at first, but then her suspicious mind wanders.

Does he know more about the break-in than he’s saying? Is he trying to find out what information she might have? Well, two can play that game!
Can Miranda and Gabe find the “Quilt Ripper” before another vintage piece is destroyed? Gabe may have experience on his side but she has her own secret weapon. The ladies of Quilt Guild Number One are on the case!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I snapped up this book when is was free on Amazon because I knew I would need a “Q” book for my Alphabet Soup Challenge.

The story starts with a letter being written in 1759 as a wife, Hannah, who is sending a trunk of her belongings ahead to her husband in the new world across the ocean. Then moves to present time with Miranda Hathaway’s story and the members of her quilt guild. A mystery arises when one of a member’s house is broken into and the only thing she can find wrong is an heirloom skirt has been ripped apart. Miranda notices that it has been carefully ripped, using a seam ripper and determines the damage was done by someone who knows how to sew. One member of the guild, the only male member, is hiding something, is he involved in this ripping situation?

I don’t know if I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind or if the constant changes in the points of view just confused me but this story and I were just not a good fit. Before I hit schedule on this post I checked out some other reviews and there are several good ones so I am going to assume it was me.

I liked the idea of something from the past making it so far into the future without being discovered but also thought this item had been passed down from generation to generation and probably should have been in a museum. It was so well kept and in fantastic shape that no one ever had an appraisal or an expert look at it. No, just stored in a box on the top shelf of a closet.

The characters were engaging but some were not that realistic. I did enjoy meeting “Queenie”, the quilt shop owner and president of the Cutler Quilt Guild Number One. Her shop sounds delightful and I do love that the guild devotes 1 meeting per month making things for charity. Gabe to me seemed all over the place, a private investigator with a couple of cases.  I would have loved more about Hannah’s story, I was drawn in my her letter immediately.

The mystery itself just didn’t hold my interest. I found myself putting the book down several times, only picking it up again because I knew I had to finish it for this review.  The reader knows who the “ripper” is pretty early in the story. I like mysteries that keep us guessing right up until the end. The ending itself did nothing for me.

I am wavering between 2 and 3 stars for this book. According to My Rating Chart with 2 being “A Dreadful Detour” and 3 being “A Satisfactory Excursion”. I will have to go with the 3 stars because I did finish the book and it wasn’t dreadful. It just wasn’t my Blue Hawaii (cup of tea).

satisfactory 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*Book was from my private collection.

 

 

 

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