May 262017
 


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 can’t believe I missed my trip to Montana last year courtesy of author Keith McCafferty.
So glad I was able to catch up before the next adventure with Sean Stranahan and Martha Ettinger.

Cold Hearted River will be released in July.

Buffalo Jump Blues: A Sean Stranahan Mystery
Mystery/Western/Crime
5th in Series
Setting – Montana
Viking (June 28, 2016)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525429593
Paperback: 336 pages (June 6, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0525429593
Kindle ASIN: B018RVBUHK

 

 

In the wake of Fourth of July fireworks in Montana’s Madison Valley, Hyalite County sheriff Martha Ettinger and Deputy Sheriff Harold Little Feather investigate a horrific scene at the Palisades cliffs, where a herd of bison have fallen to their deaths. Victims of blind panic caused by the pyrotechnics, or a ritualistic hunting practice dating back thousands of years? The person who would know is beyond asking, an Indian man found dead among the bison, his leg pierced by an arrow.

Farther up the valley, fly fisherman, painter, and sometime private detective Sean Stranahan has been hired by the beautiful Ida Evening Star, a Chippewa Cree woman who moonlights as a mermaid at the Trout Tails Bar & Grill, to find her old flame, John Running Boy. The cases seem unrelated—until Sean’s search leads him right to the brink of the buffalo jump.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Our visit to Montana starts right after the Independence Day celebration. Sheriff Martha Ettinger and Deputy Sheriff Harold Little Feather are called in to investigate a murder and massacre. A herd of buffalo have plummeted off the edge of a cliff and a man is found dead nearby. When they notice the man has an arrow in his leg they have to assume it wasn’t the fireworks that started the stampede.

We find Sean Stranahan taking it easy painting and finishing until he is approached to help Ida Evening Star find a man she hasn’t seen in years. While performing as a mermaid in the local tavern she noticed him watching her. Could it really have been her old boyfriend, John Running Boy? Sean agrees to help her and it isn’t long before his investigation runs right into Martha’s. They have parted ways but he is hoping they can still work together.

I have been a fan of Keith McCafferty since I read the first book in this series. I just love the way he writes. The main character, Sean Stranahan, is so genuine, laid back, calm, and easy going in almost everything he does. That is the way the author writes. He includes very graphic details of people, time and place. As with all the other books in this series I was hooked from page 1.

That is not to say the book is not full of suspense because it is. There are surprises around every turn of this complex mystery. Sean has his way of investigating and Martha has hers. Harold Little Feather helps out when they need to involve and talk to the people on the reservation. They do make a good team even though there is romantic tension now that Martha is no longer with Sean and seeing Harold. The modes of investigation are credible and the dialogue is stellar. The characters themselves and their relationships continue to evolve and remain engaging. The mystery ebbs and flows. The final twist was absolutely fantastic.

I did not know much about these “buffalo jumps” prior to reading this story. The author weaves the history of such feats into the story to give a reader like me plenty of background and understanding about the American buffalo and their dwindling numbers. The political spin and the public/private land quandary was very topical and interesting.  McCafferty takes on a serious issue in a fictional way that can create and raise awareness. I applaud him for doing this.

Mr. McCafferty is a true storyteller. I can picture a group of us all around a campfire and him telling us this story of Sean, Martha, the Native Americans, the law, and the buffalo. Escape west and enjoy. I truly did.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Keith McCafferty is the Survival and Outdoor Skills Editor of Field & Stream. He has written articles for publications as diverse as Fly Fisherman Magazine, Mother Earth News, Gray’s Sporting Journal and the Chicago Tribune, and on subjects ranging from mosquitoes to wolves to mercenaries and exorcism. Based in Montana and working on assignment around the globe–he recently spent a month in India trekking the Himalayas, fishing for golden mahseer and studying tigers–Keith has won numerous awards, including the Robert Traver Award for angling literature. He has twice been a finalist for a National Magazine Award. Find out more about Keith and his books on his webpage here.


And Coming July 4, 2017


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 paperback 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.

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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End June 9, 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 232017
 

The Simplicity of Cider: A Novel
Women’s Fiction
Setting – Wisconsin
Gallery Books (May 16, 2017)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1501179723
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1501154928
Kindle ASIN: B01HMXRVKO

 

 

Fall in love with The Simplicity of Cider, the charming new novel about a prickly but gifted cider-maker whose quiet life is interrupted by the arrival of a handsome man and his young son at her family’s careworn orchard by the author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and Luck, Love & Lemon Pie.

Focused and unassuming fifth generation cider-maker Sanna Lund has one desire: to live a simple, quiet life on her family’s apple orchard in Door County, Wisconsin. Although her business is struggling, Sanna remains fiercely devoted to the orchard, despite her brother’s attempts to convince their aging father to sell the land.

Single dad Isaac Banks has spent years trying to shield his son Sebastian from his troubled mother. Fleeing heartbreak at home, Isaac packed up their lives and the two headed out on an adventure, driving across the country. Chance—or fate—led them straight to Sanna’s orchard.

Isaac’s helping hands are much appreciated at the apple farm, even more when Sanna’s father is injured in an accident. As Sanna’s formerly simple life becomes increasingly complicated, she finds solace in unexpected places—friendship with young Sebastian and something more deliciously complex with Isaac—until an outside threat infiltrates the farm.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

After read Luck, Love & Lemon Pie last year I knew this was an author I would keep me eye on. When I heard about this new book I couldn’t wait to read it.

Isaac Banks and his son Bass, short for Sebastian, are on a cross country adventure. Isaac is trying to protect his son from the realities at home. They soon find themselves in Wisconsin’s Door County. A beautiful place full of cherries, a restaurant where goats graze on the roof, Green Bay (not the town where the Packers play), lighthouses and apple orchards. Isaac and Bass soon find themselves at Idun’s, an apple orchard that has been owned by the Lund family for five generations. Sanna Lund and her father now run the place and Sanna has a special talent for making cider. Her father has mortgaged the farm to purchase all the equipment she needs to produce on a large scale. Her brother has nothing to do with the orchard anymore but thinks it needs to be sold to take care of the debt because they have received a huge offer.

Issac and Bass agree to help with the chores. It is like fate brought them to this place. Sanna really doesn’t like kids but after a couple of days that changes as Bass finds a way into her heart. She and Isaac also feel a connection neither of them understand. When someone’s actions threaten Sanna’s precious trees and the entire orchard things get complicated.

This is such a beautiful story and so well written. The author has a way of writing that pictures of people, time, and place just come alive with such detailed imagery. Maybe it is because I have traveled to Door County several times that I had a crystal clear picture of everything she described but I truly believe it was her words that took me right along with Sanna, Issac and Bass.

She gives us a story of family, love, loss, and a little touch of something that “just is” and can only be explained by the belief that love carries through the generations and appears in unexpected ways.

These are such special characters. Their hearts are heavy with secrets and vulnerability that ebbs and flows through the entire series, even after some trust has been earned. The relationships built are so unique.

The Simplicity of Cider flows at a nice and easy pace. It was a relaxing read. I usually read a book like this in one or two nights but I didn’t want the story to end. I took time to savor every page and word. This book will make my list of Best Reads for 2017.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Amy and her books 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 JUNE 6, 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 162017
 



The Final Vow (A Living History Museum Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Midnight Ink (May 8, 2017)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738745923
E-Book ASIN: B01LWKJTY7

 

Synopsis

Summer weddings in Barton Farm’s picturesque church are standard procedure for museum director Kelsey Cambridge. At least they were until the Cherry Foundation, which supports the museum, orders Kelsey to host her ex-husband’s wedding on Farm grounds.

Ambitious wedding planner Vianna Pine is determined to make the bride’s Civil War-themed wedding perfect. But each time Vianna’s vision threatens the integrity and safety of the Farm, Kelsey has to intervene.

When Kelsey finds Vianna’s dead body at the foot of the church steps, everyone’s plans fall apart. With both the wedding and Barton Farm at risk of being permanently shut down, Kelsey has to work hard to save her own happily ever after.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Barton Farm’s picturesque church is the perfect place for a summer wedding but the next wedding on the calendar is not one Kelsey Cambridge is looking forward to. The wedding planner Vianna Pine is a perfectionist but Kelsey can handle that, it the bridezilla she can do without. Krissie Pumpernickel, her ex’s fiancee is driving both Kelsey and Vianna crazy with her demands. Going so far as to ask the the flowers be removed from the gardens because they draw insects and have lights strung up the steeple. Vianna is bending over backwards to please her client but Kelsey has to think of safety and the farm’s credibility first, no matter what sort of tantrum Krissey throws.

When Kelsey is notified that there is a dead body by the church she hustles over to find it is Vianna. This sends the wedding, the wedding couple, and the bride’s family into a tailspin. They are more concerned about their special day than the dead wedding planner. Her death could mean that Barton Farm could be shutdown. Everyone including the board of trustees turns to Kelsey to solve their problems. They expect her to pick up where Vianna left off with the wedding, save the farm and find the killer since the police seem to think Krissey makes a pretty good suspect. Will the church bells be ringing or will the bride be behind bars??

Amanda Flower brings on the drama in this 3rd  Living History Museum Mystery.

Kelsey Cambridge has the patience of a Saint. Single mom, manager of Barton Farm, Eddie’s ex, meaning she has to stay on his and Krissey’s good side because they are rumbling about changing the custody arrangement, friend, daughter, girlfriend, amateur sleuth. She is juggling all these balls in the air and now we add wedding planner. When does this woman sleep? She also does all this with a smile on her face 99% of the time.

The characters in this series are so well crafted. They do leap off the page. The staff at the farm has each other’s back. They work well together and try to protect each other. At least most of them. We saw a different side of Eddie, he truly loves the woman he is marrying. Krissie, while not my favorite character by a mile brought so much to this story. She was almost beyond the term bridezilla. It is a diverse cast of characters and they are all very interesting and truly entertaining. I loved the addition of the Abraham Lincoln reenactor, played by a man who is a little to fond of alcohol. Krissie loved him too. It was a small part but he and Krissie’s reactions made me giggle.

As I said the story is full of drama including a terrifying twist at the end. There were so many turns throughout the story that as the story reached its peak I was totally surprised. The plot was very strong. In addition to the murder mystery some artifacts have gone missing from the museum’s storage. This means law enforcement spends a lot of time there. The pace of the story was very steady until the reveal, then my heart was beating rapidly and invisible steam was coming out of Kindle as I was quickly flipping pages.

For me this book was another Perfect Escape. Each story tops the one before. I can’t wait for the next installment.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About This Author

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling  author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Praise for The Final Vow
by Amanda Flower

 

As we go through the lists of suspects you will be changing your mind and I was really surprised as to whom the culprit was.
~Maureen’s Musings

The Final Vow was a beautiful mystery, yes I did say beautiful.
~Bibliophile Reviews

…you’re turning the pages to find out the answers just to find more twists and surprises you aren’t expecting. Until the end when it all comes to together and leaves you with your mouth wide open in shock.
~Rainy Day Reviews

This is one story that gives readers wonderful characters and a mystery that was hard for me to solve. I was very , very surprised when the killer was revealed.
~Texas Book-aholic

If you enjoy a good mystery, full of romance, humor, and wit, than The Final Vow is one for you!
~A Cozy Experience

I loved the characters they are all likable. The plot is well done and the reader will be kept guessing and shocked to find out who the real killer is.
~Babs Book Bistro

 

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest

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Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

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May 8 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW
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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.”

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 092017
 

A Perfect Manhattan Murder (A Nic & Nigel Mystery)
by Tracy Kiely

A Perfect Manhattan Murder (A Nic & Nigel Mystery) by Tracy Kiely
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Midnight Ink (May 8, 2017)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738745244
E-Book ASIN: B01LXJQVDI

The play’s the thing, but it’s the star-studded after-party that sends sparks flying

Thrilled that their friend’s Broadway debut was a rousing success, Nic and Nigel Martini, along with Nic’s college pal Harper, are trying to enjoy the exclusive after-party. Unfortunately, all the champagne and repartee in the world aren’t enough to overlook the churlish behavior of Harper’s husband, Dan. Nic is shocked the next morning when she learns that Dan’s been murdered. Nigel thinks the world may be a better place without him.

Still, Harper’s their friend and they’re intent on helping her any way they can. The Martinis will stop at nothing—with the possible exception of cocktails and walks with their bull mastiff Skippy—to see that the killer ends up behind bars.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is one of my all-time favorite series!

I was so excited to get this book. Nic, Nigel, and Skippy are so much fun to be around. The characters are loosely based on the characters from The Thin Man Series by Dashiell Hammett but you don’t need to read the books or watch the movies to enjoy these stories although fans will love the similarities.

This time they are in New York for a Broadway debut. After a critic gives a scathing review he is found dead. The critic happens to be married to Nic’s friend Harper. Nigel is not too sorry the man is dead but he joins Nic to help find the killer and support her friend any way they can.

This story is a really quick read. The pace is fast, the dialogue is snappy, and humor runs profusely throughout.

If you are new to this series you need to know that Skippy is not a small dog. He is a bull mastiff and he goes almost everywhere with Nigel and Nic. When people see him for the first time there is usually quite a reaction.

As we approached, her gaze dropped to Skippy: seconds later, her jaw followed suit. “Dear God, is that a dog?” she asked.

Nigel put his fingers over his lips. “Yes,” he said in a hushed voice, “but we haven’t told him yet. We’re waiting until he is older.”

I really enjoy the way Tracy Kiely writes. I feel like I am right with the “in crowd” tagging along with the Martinis. I can picture everything so clearly from the setting to the drinks to what everyone is wearing. She also gives us a fine mystery with plenty of suspects. The plot is lighthearted and has a breezy feel. You know like the movies from the days before I was born that remain some of my favorites today. I easily read it in an evening and found it absolutely entertaining.

A Perfect Manhattan Murder is the perfect spring/summer read, including recipes for some perfect cocktails. I highly recommend the entire series!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author –

Tracy Kiely is a self-proclaimed Anglophile (a fact which distresses certain members of her Irish Catholic family). She grew up reading Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and watching Hitchcock movies. She fell in love with Austen’s wit, Christie’s clever plots, and Hitchcock’s recurrent theme of “the average man caught in extraordinary circumstances.”

After spending years of trying to find a proper job that would enable her to use her skills garnered as an English major, she decided to write a book. It would, of course, have to be a mystery; it would have to be funny; and it would have to feature an average person caught up in extraordinary circumstances. She began to wonder how the characters in Pride and Prejudice might fit into a mystery. What, if after years of living with unbearably rude and condescending behavior, old Mrs. Jenkins up and strangled Lady Catherine? What if Charlotte snapped one day and poisoned Mr. Collins’ toast and jam? Skip ahead several years, and several different plot ideas, and you have her first mystery Murder at Longbourn.

While she does not claim to be Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, or Hitchcock (one big reason being that they’re all dead), she has tried to combine the elements of all three in her books.

 

Author Links:    Webpage      Facebook       Twitter    Blog

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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.”

May 052017
 


This Flashback Friday needs a bit of a clarification.
The author first released this book back in 2015,
but it was released it with a new cover in March 2017 preceding the release of Written in Stone, the 3rd book in the series. I added the book to my wish list last year when the 2nd book in the series tour with Great Escapes.

A Stone’s Throw
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Solstice Publishing (March 8, 2017)
Paperback: 322 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1625265463
Kindle ASIN: B06XGNXQCS

 
 
 

 

Widowed librarian Alicia Fairmont needs answers…

After her husband is killed in a hit and run accident, Alicia travels upstate to his hometown of Cobble Cove, New York, hoping to locate his estranged family and shed light on his mysterious past. Anticipating staying only a weekend, her visit is extended when she accepts a job at the town’s library.

Secrets stretch decades into the past…

Assisted by handsome newspaper publisher and aspiring novelist, John McKinney, Alicia discovers a connection between her absent in-laws and a secret John’s father has kept for over sixty years. But her investigation is interrupted when she receives word her house has burned and arson is suspected, sending her rushing back to Long Island, accompanied by John.

Back in Cobble Cove, cryptic clues are uncovered…

When Alicia returns, she finds a strange diary, confiscated letters, and a digital audio device containing a recording made the day her husband was killed. Anonymous notes warn Alicia to leave town, but she can’t turn her back on the mystery—or her attraction to John. As the pieces begin to fall into place, evidence points to John’s involvement in her husband’s accident. The past and present threaten to collide, and Alicia confronts her fears…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Alicia Fairmont is struggling to move on after her husband’s death. She didn’t know much about his family and they didn’t show up for the funeral. She thinks that if she connects with them it will bring her the peace she needs to get on with her life. She knows he considered Cobble Cove his home she she hopes to find some answers there.

Soon after arriving she meets John McKinney, publisher of the local newspaper and he agrees to help her find out her husband’s mother and his sister. She also meets his father and the library director. The director hears that Alicia is a librarian and quickly offers her a job. While considering the offer she receives a call from home that her home has been burned to the ground. John accompanies her back to deal with all the aftermath. But her mind is still back in Cobble Cove. She wraps up what she can and returns back there to try to get the answers she needs.

Instead of a simple meeting of her in-laws she uncovers secrets, clues and evidence that turn the whole thing into quite a mystery. Many things are not what they seem and everything she learns takes her in a new direction until the last clue puts everything in order.

This is a complex mystery that is very well written. I had a couple of issues about how quickly certain events take place but as I delved further into the story those became minor glitches.

Cobble Cove is an unusual town and not typical for a cozy mystery. It felt very dark to me at times. The town is full of cottages with whimsical street names but there was just a pallor over the town. People are hiding something from Alicia and the story was getting a more suspenseful feel, but never truly veered into the thriller genre.

I liked Alicia but my verdict on John was out until almost the very end of the story. In fact I wasn’t trusting of anyone in Cobble Cove until the final pages. There is a wide variety in the personalities of all the characters, the bubbly townspeople that are on every committee, the shut-ins who have books from the library delivered to them, the detective that was downright rude, Dora,who runs the only place to stay in town, and of course John, his father and Sheila, the director of the library.

De Louise is an excellent storyteller. Her descriptions of time and place took me right into the pages. She includes many twists and turns to keep us as readers motivated to keep those pages turning. Everything wraps up nicely by the end of the story. If I didn’t know this was the first book in the series I would have thought it was a stand alone novel.

This story was different and so much more than I expected when I started reading. It is a very entertaining mystery coupled with a unlikely romance. I will definitely be checking out the next two installments.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

debbie

About The Author

Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her published novels include Cloudy RainbowA Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and Written in Stone. Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Cobble Cove Mystery #2) has been on the Amazon bestseller list for cozy mysteries. Debbie has also written articles and short stories for several anthologies of various genres and a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace. She is currently seeking agent representation for her psychological thriller, Sea Scope. Debbie lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

Author Links:   

Facebook     Twitter   Goodreads    

Amazon Author Page    Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up

 

betweenarockandahardplacesolsticecover
Between A Rock and a Hard Place by Debbie De Louise

Publisher: Solstice Publishing (October 12, 2016)
Paperback: 316 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1625264534
E-Book ASIN: B01M59PPBY
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Synopsis – Book 2

Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her…

Two years ago, Alicia discovered both a terrible truth and lasting love with John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Now a busy mother of twin babies and co-author of a mystery series, Alicia couldn’t be happier.

Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged…

Walking home alone from the library, Alicia senses someone following her, and on more than one occasion, she believes she is being watched. Does she have a stalker? When the local gift shop is burglarized, the troubling event causes unrest among Alicia and the residents of the quiet town.
John and Alicia receive an offer they can’t refuse…

When John’s sister offers to babysit while she and John take a much-needed vacation in New York City, Alicia is reluctant to leave her children because of the disturbances in Cobble Cove. John assures her the town is safe in the hands of Sheriff-elect Ramsay. Although Alicia’s experience with and dislike of the former Long Island detective don’t alleviate her concern, she and John take their trip.

Alicia faces her worst nightmare…

The McKinneys’ vacation is cut short when they learn their babies have been kidnapped and John’s sister shot. Alicia and John’s situation puts them between a rock and a hard place when the main suspect is found dead before the ransom is paid. In order to save their children, the McKinneys race against the clock to solve a mystery more puzzling than those found in their own books. Can they do it before time runs out?

Written in Stone
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Solstice Publishing (April 3, 2017)
Print Length: 215 pages
ASIN: B06Y1JTHJ8


Alicia McKinney is confused . . . .

Was the strange email her husband received from the fictional detective in their mystery series a threat? Did the killer mistake the woman shot in the library for Alicia or the victim’s twin sister?

Cat vs. Dog . . .

After Sneaky goes missing from the library, will he turn up before a young girl becomes ill with worry over his disappearance? And will he return in time to outsmart Fido by being first to find the perpetrator’s smoking gun?

Alicia is worried . . .

While waiting for the killer’s next move, Alicia has other concerns. An old flame of John’s is in town and her friend, Gilly, has adopted the role of Miss Marple to aid her sheriff boyfriend in his investigation.

When all clues point to one of her co-workers, Alicia joins Gilly in searching for the answers to the mystery.

Will they survive . . . .

or is their ending written in stone?

 

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May 5 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT
May 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
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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.”

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.”

May 032017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Sharon Pape is busy touring her new book Magick & Mayhem with
Great Escapes Book Tours

so lead character Kailyn Wilde is dropping by for a visit!

 

Hi there! I’m Kailyn Wilde, proprietor of Abracadabra, the magick shop that’s been run by my family for centuries. By centuries I mean before this country was even a twinkle in the eyes of its creators. My ancestors left England seeking freedom from persecution as so many others have over the years. They settled in the wilderness of upstate New York in what eventually became the little tourist town of New Camel.

No one ever told me how hard dating can be when you’re a sorcerer and you work in the family business  As you might imagine, a magick shop attracts a lot more women than men, so I figure the odds of meeting Mr. Right through my business are fairly low. I dated a number of guys when I was away in college, but the relationships all fizzled before I ever told them about my lineage. I wound up with a great education though, and a degree in botany. Sounds highfalutin, I know, but I use a lot of what I learned to create better products for my shop. In spite of what you may have heard, we don’t really use bats’ wings and newts’ eyes. Yuck!  Those are just fanciful names for plants, names intentionally meant to sound arcane and awful to lay-people. You’ll never find a newt’s eye or a bat’s wing in my shop.

A nosy customer once asked me why I didn’t just conjure up the man of my dreams.  Well, magick doesn’t work that way— at least not white magick. Although members of my family, including yours truly, may have tiptoed over the line into grayish magick a time or two, black magick has never been an option for us. So I’ll just have to wait and see what fate has in store for me.

Lately I’ve had something far more important than dating on my mind anyway. Murder has come to New Camel for the first time in its history. The police are on the case, but so am I. I’m determined to catch the killer before my best friend is arrested for the crime and before frightened tourists decide to pass us by for other quaint towns without our sudden notoriety. Between you and me, I jumped at the chance to investigate the case. I’ve been drawn to mysteries ever since I read my first Nancy Drew book. Drove my mom and grandmother crazy. While other kids dreamed of having magickal powers, I dreamed of solving mysteries and bringing killers to justice.

Oh by the way, now that I have too much else on my plate to think about dating, I’ve met a guy who might just be a keeper! Fate can be a perverse little rascal!

~Kailyn


Magick & Mayhem (An Abracadabra Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (May 2, 2017)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516100569

Kindle ASIN: B01JWDZSQQ

 

What’s in a murderer’s bag of tricks?

Twenty-something Kailyn Wilde has learned to embrace her unpredictable life as a descendant of small-town New Camel’s most magickal family. She just didn’t expect to inherit her mother and grandmother’s centuries-old shop, Abracadabra, so suddenly. The surprises keep coming when Kailyn goes to finalize the estate at the local attorney’s office—and stumbles over the body of her best friend Elise’s husband . . .

As a brash detective casts the blame on Elise, Kailyn summons her deepest powers to find answers and start an investigation of her own. What with running a business, perfecting ancient spells, and keeping up with an uninvited guest of fabled origins, Kailyn has her hands full. But with the help of her uncanny black cat Sashkatu and her muumuu-clad Aunt Tilly, she’s closing in on a killer—who will do anything to make sure she never tests her supernatural skills again!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This new series from Sharon Pape is off to a magickal start!

We meet Kailyn Wilde who has inherited the family business due to the unexpected passing of her mother and grandmother. Her Aunt Tilly operates the attached tea room and does readings by appointment. When they arrive at their lawyer’s office to tie up a few loose ends they are shocked to find the man has been murdered very recently. Kaitlyn and the attorney’s wife Elise are best friends and she can’t imagine what she will do without her husband. Then Kailyn realizes the detective on the case thinks Elise is his prime suspect. With Aunt Tilly’s help and a little assistance from Sashkatu, a very special black cat, Kailyn is on a mission to catch the real killer before you can say Abracadabra!

What an enchanting read. I liked Kailyn and Tilly from the beginning and when they are joined by a very special guest the story got even better. Kailyn also has some visits from her dearly departed grandmother and mother that were so funny. All the characters are cleverly written. They reminded me of characters created by the late Joyce and Jim Lavene‘s in their Renaissance series. Fun, quirky, unique and a pleasure to follow around.

The story is full of twists, turns, mystery, and comedy. When magick goes awry you need to be prepared for surprises and the author delivers plenty of those.  The final reveal was dramatic and unexpected. As a fan of this author I expected no less. I have been entertained by every story of hers that I have read.

If you are looking for a lighthearted cozy mystery, you need look no further than Magick & Mayhem. For me the visit to New Camel ended much too soon. I can’t wait to go back again for That Olde White Magick coming this November.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About The Author

I started writing stories as soon as I learned how to put letters together to form words. From that day forward, writing has been a part of my life whether it was my first attempt at a novel in seventh grade or the little plays I wrote for my friends to perform for neighbors and family. After college, when I was busy teaching French and Spanish to high school students, I was also writing poetry — some of it in French.

After several years, I left teaching to be a full time mom, and when my two children started school, I went back to writing. To my delight I found that the muse was still there, still waiting patiently for me to come around. My first novel, Ghostfire, was published at that time. It went on to be condensed in Redbook magazine (the first paperback original the magazine had ever condensed.) Then came The God Children and The Portal. Redbook also published my first short story, which was subsequently sold to several foreign magazines. With two great kids, a golden retriever and a loving, supportive husband (whom I’d met at the beach when I was fourteen — but that’s a story for another day), I felt like I was exactly where I was meant to be in my life. But fate had another plan for me, and it went by the name of “breast cancer.”

Looking back, I realize how fortunate I was that the cancer was discovered at such an early stage, but at the time it was all very overwhelming. Once I was back on my feet, I wanted to help other women who were newly diagnosed, worried and afraid. I became a Reach to Recovery volunteer for the American Cancer Society and went on to run the program for Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. A number of years later, with the help of my surgical oncologist and two other volunteers, I started Lean On Me, a nonprofit organization that provides peer support and information to breast cancer patients. When Lean On Me celebrated its tenth anniversary it no longer required as much of my time, and I once again found myself free to pursue my first love — writing.

Author Links

Webpage – Facebook –  Pinterest – Twitter



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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.”

Apr 252017
 


Beach Breeze
Women’s Fiction
Continuing Series
Setting – Connecticut
Self Published (March 8, 2017)
Paperback: 346 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1543115277
Kindle ASIN: B06WD4QFZ2

 
 
 
 
 

After a heartbreaking summer on the Connecticut shore, a group of beach friends is as adrift as an unmoored rowboat. When a dismayed Jason Barlow drives as far away from the sea as he can, leaving behind his wife, Maris, as well as their stately cottage on the bluff, that news hits like a sudden wave. Gathering over an intimate meal in a coastal diner, the friends make a solemn pact to lean on each other and not make any more rash decisions.

Which is all well and good, until each friend wavers–testing relationships, commitments, and especially love in the little beach community of Stony Point. But can the magic of the weathered boardwalk, whispering lagoon grasses, and sweet salt air cure what ails them?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have loved this series, in fact I have loved all Joanne’s books. I knew this book would pick up right where the last one left off from the synopsis but I never imagined how difficult it was going for me to read. As Beach Blues ends Sal DeLuca had just died and left the gang at Stony Point reeling. Elsa lost her son, Celia lost her true love, Jason lost a man that he had grown as close to as a brother and the rest lost their friend.

I clearly identified with Elsa, she has just lost her son. I know that raw pain and her grief brought mine careening back. I was shaken and found myself sobbing. At first I thought I need to just put the book away, I just wasn’t ready to read something so vivid that was making my responses so raw. But I kept on thinking just maybe Elsa would help me see a way through my own pain. We didn’t make it there yet but maybe as her story continues we will both continue to heal.

I was also moved by how each character dealt with their grief differently, just like in real life. My husband, my children, his child, his nephews, our extended family, and my son’s friends. Everyone of us is still grieving all in our own ways. By dealing with this close death so recently I can say the author has written this story so truthfully. People try to move forward, some making huge decisions that shouldn’t be made quickly or at a stressful time like this. Others want to just hide away and be alone, they is where I started my journey too. Others seem perfectly fine until something triggers a memory that can take you right back to the beginning all over again. These characters show how necessary it is to be there to support each other. It doesn’t have to be a major undertaking, sometimes a hug, a little joke that can bring a smile. You may not always get it right but it is important to keep trying.

Joanne DeMaio has taken us on a journey with these characters that is far from complete. She takes us through the good times, this group has had many good times. But she also takes us through the bad. They have had their share of those too. This is the first book though that was dealing with a really bad time for the entire book. Yes, there is just a little bit of uplifting at the end. Like real life though the death of someone special sticks with you forever. You hear all about the stages of grief but I now know they do not stay true to any order and you do not work through them and get over it. I know this author will remember that as the series moves forward.

A moving, heartfelt story. Have the tissues ready.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

joanne demaio

About The Author

Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love and choices, while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Currently at work on her next book, Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

To learn more about the author, visit Joannedemaio.com. She also enjoys hearing from readers on her Facebook Page.

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 242017
 
Day of Secrets
Suspense/Thriller
Setting – California
Self Published
Release Date – May 5, 2017
Kindle ASIN: B06ZYP2WJC

 

 

A mother he thought he’d lost. A father he never knew. An enemy that wants them dead.

At the age of five, Chase Day became an orphan. For thirty-one years, after a rebellious youth, he did his best to turn his life around and build a normal life—first as a Naval officer and then as a history professor at a boutique Bay Area college. Now, all that changes when he finds his mother, whom he thought had perished in a fire, dying from a gunshot wound. In her last breath, she urges him to find and protect the father he never knew. Where has his father been? Why has he never made contact? Can Chase discover why his family is a target before an unknown enemy destroys him?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Daryl Wood Gerber brings us her 2nd suspense filled story following Girl on the Run.

I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of this book.

Chase Day gets a terrifying phone call from a woman he had thought was dead. He knows that voice, his mother’s, without thinking twice he rushes to her aid. He finds her dying of a gunshot wound. In her last breath, she begs him to save his father. A man he has never met. Using his naval officer’s training and experience he tries to find his father and find out why his family is being hunted.

Wood takes us on a heart pumping adventure that will have you glued to your seat from the first page until the last. I read the entire book all in one sitting.

Chase Day is such an interesting character. His mother left him at the age of 5, he never knew his father. He is raised by his grandmother. He joined the Navy after graduation and now works as a college history professor. He has real trust issues. He has suffered from PTSD and works with a group helping those that are suffering. With some help from his friends and borrowing several of their vehicles he is trying to uncover the secrets that have put his family and those close to him in the sights of a killer.

We follow Day on a corkscrew of twists and turns as he makes contact with the people in his mother’s past. All of them seem to be hiding something. He even bumps into his old high school girlfriend and thinks she seems may be in on the plan to eliminate his family. Day doesn’t even know if he can trust the police. Is he being paranoid? Who can he really rely on?

This is a captivating story of physical and emotional pain, deception, and revelation. Day’s story is thrilling and heartbreaking.  It is a story that will stick with well beyond the final page. Daryl Wood Gerber has proven again to be a gifted storyteller and one to watch in this genre. An absolute must-read!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Agatha Award-winning and nationally bestselling author DARYL WOOD GERBER ventures into the world of suspense again with her second novel, DAY OF SECRETS. Daryl writes the bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and will soon debut the new French Bistro Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she pens the bestselling Cheese Shop Mysteries. Fun tidbit: asan actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to read and cook,and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Visit Daryl or Avery atwww.darylwoodgerber.com.

Daryl’s Blog Avery’s Blog Mystery Lover’s Kitchen Killer Characters

Facebook:   Daryl      Avery 

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads:    Daryl Wood Gerber     Avery Aames


Click on covers to view details on Amazon.

No Giveaway today,
but you can pre-order Day of Secrets for just 99¢
and have it delivered to your device on May 5.

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.”

Silence of the Jams (A Down South Café Mystery) by Gayle LeesonBUY TODAY
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