Dec 062014
 

challengesI told you about the Alphabet Soup Challenge a couple of weeks ago. You can sign up for that one any time during the year.  I have also decided to host the Just For Fun Reading Challenge for the 5th year in a row, but that one is open open for signn ups until January 31, 2015.

just for fun 2015This challenge is set up as a group over at GoodReads!

As bloggers we are all on timetables to read books, get reviews posted, host giveaways, etc

.
But we also travel around to other blogs and see books we would just like to read because of their recommendation or the cover or title catches our interest. The Meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” adds more books to my Wish List and To-Be-Read pile every week.

As readers  of blogs you get our recommendations, win books from us, pick up books at the library or buy them at a store.
But our lives are so busy these books sometimes sit in our To-Be-Read piles for months or even years.

This is the 5th year I am hosting this challenge to
encourage you to read some of those books.
12 books in 12 months.

Just 1 book a month read Just For Fun!

You can find all the details and how to sign up here.

__________________________________________

More Challenges I will be participating in

2015RC HowManyBooks-hostingHosted by Book Dragon’s Lair

Rules

  • Read, read, read!
  • There are several levels to choose from
    Level 1: 100 minimum
    Level 2: 150
    Level 3: 200
    Level 4: 250 or more
  • You may move up a level but not down
  • You don’t need a blog to participate. As long as wherever you link to is public so we can check out your books read.
  • Reviews are not necessary but a list of books read is.  There will be a post in January so you can link up if you review (I may do quarterly)
  • No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.
  • Books allowed: Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Manga, Graphic Novels, Library books, Novellas, Young Reader, picture books, Nonfiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased/borrowed as such, the book counts.
  • Individual short stories in a collection or individual books in the Bible do not count
  • Crossovers from other reading challenges count – they’d have too!
  • Challenge begins January 1st, 2015 thru December 31, 2015. Books started before the 1st do not count. You can join at anytime.
  • YOU CAN SIGN UP HERE.

I am signing up at the 150 Book Level and will have a shelf on GoodReads to keep track. I will also be updating in my sidebar.

ANIMAL READING CHALLENGEHosted by Socrates Book Reviews

The rules are really simple…

  1. Read at least 6 books that have any of the following requirements:

a. there is an animal in the title of the book
b. there is an animal on the cover of the book
c. an animal plays a major role in the book
d. a main character is (or turns into) an animal (define that however you’d like).

Level 1 – Read at least 6 books

Level 2 – Read 7-12

Level 3 – Read 13 or more

  1. The animal can be any type of animal (real or fictitious)–dog, cat, monkey, wolf, snake, insect, hedgehog, aardvark…dragon, mermaid, centaur, vampire, werewolf…you get the idea…
  2. Challenge runs from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. That’s a full year to read at least 6 books.

  3. Books can be fiction or nonfiction.

  4. You may make a list of books at the beginning of the challenge or you can just list them as you find them.

  5. Book titles may be swapped out at anytime (assuming you made a list to begin with).

  6. Crossovers with other challenges are permitted and encouraged.

8. You don’t have to have a blog or write a review, but you can if you want to.
 If you don’t have a blog, just post in the comment section at Socrates Book Reviews that you’d like to join. You can post your books in there. Or you can sign up by joining my group on Goodreads for this challenge by clicking here.

  1. Books can be in any format of your choice (print, audio, ebooks)

I am signing up for Level 3 – 13 or more books and I will be keeping track on my Challenges Page and have also joined the group on GoodReads.

CruisinHosted by Socrates Book Reviews

To find out exactly what a cozy mystery is, check out Cozy-Mystery.com. This site is dedicated to cozy mysteries and does a great job of defining them as well as giving a list of cozy mysteries. This challenge is NOT restricted to what is on their list, it’s just to be used as a guideline in case you need some hints on what to read.

So, here are the rules…

  1. Choose the level you wish to participate:

Level 1 – Snoop – Read at least 6 books

Level 2 – Investigator – Read 7-12 books

Level 3 – Super Sleuth – Read 13 or more books

Level 4 – Sleuth Extraordinaire – Read 20 or more

  1. The challenge runs from January 1, 2015 and ends December 31, 2015.
  2. You don’t have to choose your books in advance. If you do, you can change your list at any time during the year. Books can overlap with other challenges.

  3. Books can be in any format – paper, audio, ebooks…it all counts!

  4. You don’t have to post a review, but I’m sure others would love to know about the books you are reading and may even want to add it to their reading lists.

NOTE: If you don’t have a blog and want to participate, that’s fine. You don’t have to have a blog, just post in the comments section of Socrates Book Reviews as you finish books. If you belong to a site like Goodreads and review the books there, that’s fine too. Just leave us the link.  I also have a group for this challenge on Goodreads and you can sign up by clicking here.

  1. If you do have a blog, take the button above, put it on your blog and post about the challenge. Then add your name to Mr. Linky at Socrates Book Review. Please use the link of your challenge post, not the link to your home page.
  • She will have one link for signing up, one link for completed reviews and one link for your wrap up posts. She won’t be having a monthly link, just one for all reviews read for this challenge.

  • I am signing up at Level 4 – Sleuth Extraordinaire – Read 20 or more and will keep track on my Challenges Page.

    Finishing the SeriesHosted by Socrates Book Reviews

    Here are the rules guidelines.

    1) All books that are part of a continuing series qualify (i.e. Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove, Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, James Patterson’s Alex Cross, etc. etc.)

    2) It doesn’t matter if you have 1 or 10 books in a series to complete it, it qualifies (i.e. if you only need to read one more Sookie Stackhouse book to complete the goal, that’s fine) The goal is to complete a series from wherever you are up to until the last published book.

    3) The qualification period is January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. Books must be read during this time frame to count.

    4) Take the button above and post about it on your blog. Use the Mr. Linky at Socrates Book Reviews to sign up and make sure you link it directly to your post about this challenge not to the home page of your blog.

    5) If you don’t have a blog, that’s fine. Just leave a comment to sign up at Socrates Book Reviews and tell us which series you are reading. Or you can join my Goodreads group for this challenge by clicking here.

    6) Any format of book counts – print, audio, ebook, etc.

    7) You should choose the series you want to finish before the challenge begins, but it isn’t necessary. It’s fine to change series during the year – as long as you complete whichever series it is.

    8) Choose a level….

    Level 1 (Novice series reader) – Complete 1 series.
    Level 2 (Testing the waters) – Complete 2 series.
    Level 3 (Experienced) – Complete 3 series.
    Level 4 (Expert series reader) – Complete 4 or more series.

    I am signing up at Level 2 again and hope to make it to Level 3. I will keep track on my Challenges Page.

    Well that is a start. I am considering a few more and hope to participate in all the Challenges I did last year. I will be posting more soon.

    Dollycas

    Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

    Mar 122014
     

    cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

    Duffy Brown is my guest today!
    Her new book Pearls and Poison is one crazy cozy you will all love!!

    duffy brown

    Sleuthing and the BFF…
    By Duffy Brown

    It’s that dark and stormy night we hear so much about, your car just broke down in the middle of nowhere and you forgot to recharge your cell phone. In the moonlight you see an old dilapidated farmhouse off in the distance.

    The question is… Who’s walking to that farmhouse with you?

    P&PSherlock has Watson with him, Perot  has Captain Hastings, Nancy Drew has  boyfriend Ned, Stephanie Plum has Lula. Some sleuths even have a cat or dog. Sometimes they even talk. I wish my cats talked. Actually I wished they did the laundry and vacuumed but I digress.

    Every sleuth has a BFF to chat with, get into trouble with, drink with.

    On TV Beckett has Rick Castle. The SCI people have each other kicking around and Lizbeth has tea-drinking Patrick Jane in the Mentalist.

    It’s not just solving the crimes together that makes them BFFs, but sharing their personal lives. IMO it’s this personal touch that’s the most interesting part of the show or book. Don’t you love when Sherlock does something nice for Watson or Perot and Hastings travel and take on the chase together or when Becket and Castle turn to each other and say I know who the killer is!

    That LuLa is a once-upon-a-time hooker makes for a great character, that Patrick Jane is hunting for Red John keeps us riveted, that Rick Castle is has a grown daughter and a boyfriend who is nothing like Rick and has his mother is living with him gives a human touch to finding killers and tripping over dead bodies.

    In my book the Consignment Shop Mysteries protagonist Reagan has BFF Auntie KiKi. KiKi was once a roadie for Cher and spouts Cher-isms when giving sage advice like A girl can wait for the right man to come along but in the meantime she can have a darn good time with all the wrong ones.  When KiKi was born the angels chanted cha-cha-cha over her crib and turned her into Savannah’s resident dancing teacher, when Reagan’s mom was born she was wrapped in a blanket with pink elephants resulting in Reagan being named Reagan.

    In Pearls and Poison, Reagan’s mom is running for city council and her opponent winds up dead…that’s one way to win an election. Daughter Reagan and Auntie KiKi run to the rescue to find the real killer discussing suspects over martinis.

    Back to our dark and stormy night. We know who our sleuths have at their sides when going into that creepy old house. So who would you have tagging along. Who is at one person that when you show up at their house with a dead body grabs a shovel and doesn’t ask questions.

    When life goes right to hell in a hand-basket, who do what at your side?

    ~Duffy

     About This Author

    Duffy Brown loves anything with a mystery. While others girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She has two cats, Spooky and Dr. Watson, her license plate is Sherlock and she conjures up who-done-it stories of her very own for Berkley Prime Crime. Duffy’s national bestselling Consignment Shop Mystery series is set in Savannah and the Cyclepath Mysteries are set on Mackinac Island. Duffy writes romance as Dianne Castell and is a USA Today bestselling author.

    www.DuffyBrown.com

    DuffyBrown@DuffyBrown.com

    Facebook.com/authorduffybrown

    P&P

    Pearls and Poison
    (A Consignment Shop Mystery)

    3rd in Series
    Cozy Mystery
    A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
    The Berkley Publishing Group (March 4, 2014)
    Published by The Penguin Group
    Cover Illustration by Julia Green
    Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
    Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
    ISBN-13: 978-0425252482
    E-Book File Size: 1534 KB
    ASIN: B00EOARZMS
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    It’s election time in Savannah, Georgia, and Judge Guillotine Gloria—aka Reagan Summerside’s mom—is neck and neck in the polls with Kip “Scummy” Seymour. But the already dirty campaign is about to get downright filthy—with one candidate getting buried six feet under…

    With her strong opinions and knack for getting into trouble, Reagan is not an ideal volunteer for her mother’s alderman campaign. Plus, she’d rather be running her consignment shop, the Prissy Fox, and eating doughnuts with her dog, Bruce Willis. But when her mother’s opponent, Kip, is found poisoned and her mother is pegged as a suspect, Reagan nominates herself as lead murder investigator.

    Reagan is intent on finding Kip’s killer and clearing her mother’s good name, but she soon finds herself on the bad side of Kip’s enemies-turned-suspects. This time, no amount of costumes and makeup can keep her inconspicuous and out of danger. Because the closer Reagan gets to the truth, the hotter things get…

    Dollycas’s Thoughts

    Another winner from Duffy Brown!!

    These are some of the best cozy characters out there today. Reagan and Aunt Kiki are pure treasures.  Boone continues to grow on me and he is starting to grow on Reagan as well. Judge Gloria was a little more mellow this time but then she was the prime murder suspect so she was “watching her  p’s and q’s”, except she was “helping” at the Consignment Shop. Reagan exercised extreme patience with her mother.  I don’t know how she did it :)

    While this story is full of Southern charm it is the dialogue that makes this story stand out. When these characters communicate the reader can almost hear the words like they are right there in the Prissy Fox or running around with Reagan chasing down clues and ducking danger.

    The political plot worked really well except I wouldn’t ever expect a judge to want to be an alderperson, but maybe that is the way things work in Georgia. Dirty politics is always a great jump off for mysteries and this one had plenty of twists to keep us guessing.

    Great characters, wonderful setting, a believable plot, southern charm, sassy dialogue and humor all add up to make this one fine cozy.

    a perfect escape

    5 STARFISH

    Dollycas

    Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

    Plus the author is giving away 2 Pearl and Poison Tote Bags!!

    That’s 4 winners!!

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

    Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

    Leave a comment for Duffy for 5 Bonus Entries !

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

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

    CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

    great escape tour banner large pearls and poison large banner640

     

    Check out the rest of the tour!

    Tour Participants

    March 4 – A Date with a Book – Review, Guest Post
    March 5 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview – Blog is having server issues – She should be back up soon.
    March 6 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Interview, Giveaway
    March 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Guest Post
    March 7 – Thoughts in Progress – Review – Giveaway
    March 8 – A Year of Jubilee Reviews – Review, Giveaway
    March 9 – Psychotic State Book Reviews – Review – Giveaway
    March 10 – Book Lady’s Booknotes – Review, Guest Post
    March 10 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Guest Post, Giveaway
    March 11 – My Recent Favorite books – Review, Giveaway
    March 12 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – Interview, Giveaway
    March 12— Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Cozy Wednesday (Guest Post)
    March 13 – Deal Sharing Aunt – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
    March 14 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
    March 15 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Giveaway

    Giveaway at each stop!

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

    Mar 012014
     

    great escape tour banner large sinister sitcom caper large banner 640Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00070]

    The Sinister Sitcom Caper
    (Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mysteries)

    Cozy Mystery
    2nd in Series
    Cozy Cat Press (October 4, 2013)
    Paperback: 252 pages
    ISBN-13: 978-1939816238
    E-Book File Size: 571 KB
    ASIN: B00H3KTDVM
    goodreads-badge-add-plus

     

    Sandy Fairfax, former teen idol and star of the ‘70s hit TV show “Buddy Brave, Boy Sleuth,” is now a middle-aged recovering alcoholic who realizes that making a comeback can be murder. He’s the guest star on “Off-Kelter,” a corny family situation comedy, and the lowest rated TV show of the 1993 fall season. Before rehearsals barely begin one of the actors drops dead at Sandy’s feet. He investigates, enlisting the aid of two of his new cast mates: a dwarf and an animal actor. During his snooping, we meet Sandy’s ex, his parents and his teenage son, all with their own “situations” going on. During rehearsals Sandy also encounters a beautiful choreographer—could this be love? Will Sandy solve the murder before the Friday night taping of “Off-Kelter” or will the elusive killer cancel our hero before the final credits? This book was inspired by the author’s experience working as a tour guide/page at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood.

    Dollycas’s Thoughts

    Sally Carpenter has penned quite a mystery. This story is full of humor from start to finish.

    Those of us of a certain age remember the posters of those teen idols hanging on our walls and anxiously awaiting the next issue of Tiger Beat.  We still swoon when the much older Shawn Cassidy appears on one of talk shows. This story brings back all those memories including some of the crazy sitcoms that have appeared on our televisions over the years.

    Sandy Fairfax is quite a character trying to get his life together and stay sober so his ex-wife will allow him to spend time with his kids. His parents had a much different plan for him and he strives to raise himself just a little bit in their eyes.  He hopes this guest appearance will lead to more work but before the show is even taped one of the actors drops dead right in front of him. What is even worse he seems to the only concerned that a person died. The show continues to go on and the cops hardly even investigate.  He becomes consumed with the need to find out what happened and why. He gets help from 2 very unlikely places.  An actor from the show who happens to be a little person and a dog that is also on the show.

    Very interesting characters is a unusual setting. There are twists, turns, fire and rain to add to the excitement.  This is the first book I have read by Sally Carpenter but I know it won’t be the last.

    just you and a friend4 STARFISH

    Dollycas

    Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

    About The Author
    Sally Carpenter is native Hoosier now living in Moorpark, Calif.

    She has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. While in school her plays “Star Collector” and “Common Ground” were finalists in the American College Theater Festival One-Act Playwrighting Competition. “Common Ground” also earned a college creative writing award and “Star Collector” was produced in New York City.

    Carpenter also has a master’s degree in theology and a black belt in tae kwon do.

    She’s worked as an actress, freelance writer, college writing instructor, theater critic, jail chaplain, and tour guide/page for a major movie studio. She’s now employed at a community newspaper.

    She blogs at http://sandyfairfaxauthor.com.

    She’s a member of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles chapter. Contact her at Facebook or scwriter@earthlink.net.

    Links: (blog) http://sandyfairfaxauthor.com

    (Facebook) https://www.facebook.com/sally.carpenter.54

    (Goodreads) https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19140606-the-sinister-sitcom-caper?from_search=true

    great escape tour banner large sinister sitcom caper large banner338

    Check out the rest of the tour!!

    TOUR PARTICIPANTS

    February 17 – Chloe Gets a Clue – Interview
    February 17 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
    February 18 –StoreyBook Reviews - Review
    February 19 – Kelly P’s Blog - Interview
    February 20 –Queen of All She Reads – Review – Guest Post – Giveaway
    February 21 –rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review – Guest Post
    February 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
    February 24 – Books-n-Kisses - Review
    February 25 – Omnimystery News - Interview
    February 26 – readalot blog – Review
    February 27 – Community Bookstop – Review – Giveaway
    February 28 – Read Your Writes – Spotlight
    March 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
    March 2 –off
    March 3 –Brooke Blogs – Review

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

    Feb 152014
     

    moving can be murder
    Moving Can Be Murder — Every Wife Has A Story
    Publisher: Baby Boomer Mysteries Press (May 1, 2011)
    Trade Paperback: 247 pages
    ISBN-13: 978-0615458069
    E-Book File Size: 516 KB
    ASIN: B0052ENWRW

    goodreads-badge-add-plus

     

    Empty nester Carol Andrews would prefer leaving her beautiful antique home feet first to selling it and moving on. But her Beloved Husband Jim convinces her that a nearby active adult community is the best fit for them at this time in life. The house sells, and Carol returns alone the night before the closing for a pity party farewell tour. And finds the dead body of the buyer in her living room. Wow. Talk about seller’s remorse!

    Dollycas’s Thoughts

    Another great read from Susan Santangelo!

    I am still not fond of Carol’s “Beloved” but by the end of this one he was starting to be redeemed a bit in my eyes. I really love Carol, she has a heart as big as all outdoors and really just wants her house to herself for a few hours a day and her husband out from underfoot as much as possible. These two had be shaking my head at times and laughing out loud in others. My husband and I could be at the same place in our lives soon and like Carol and Jim we have two dogs that are a very important part of our lives so their needs and comfort will need to be addressed as well. The author includes a Moving Quiz in the back of the book that may be quite helpful to others entering retirement and thinking of downsizing.

    The story does go a little deeper than a normal cozy mystery. We meet Sister Rose, a nun who taught Carol in school and even all these years later still strikes a bit a fear in her former students whenever she is around. Now Sister Rose is working with a group that helps victims of domestic abuse. This is a topic that hits home for me. A few months ago I wouldn’t have been able to finish this book and definitely would have not been laughing. Two of my children were entrenched in very physically and emotionally abusive situations and they are slowly making progress to get their lives on the right path and dealing with all they have been through. . Santangelo hits the nail straight on the head with her presentation of this issue. I found myself scarily identifying with one character. It really hit me how much our kids need their parents whether they are 5 or 25 or older. It is so important to stay tuned in  and listen not only to what they are saying but to what they are NOT saying. That being said this is a thread that runs throughout the story but the author never comes cross as preachy or heavy handed with this topic.

    I started reading this book in the afternoon and didn’t put it down until the final page. I will say I read this book at a perfect time for me. I identified with the characters and was enlightened by the subject matter but I also truly enjoyed the mystery and was surprised at the ending. I am looking  forward to Marriage Can Be Murder.

    a perfect escape5 STARFISH

    Dollycas

    Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

    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.

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

    Contest Will End March 1, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
    Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
    Winner Will Be Notified By Email
    and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

    CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

    Feb 132014
     

    TALE OF 2 BIDDIES
    A Tale of Two Biddies
    (League of Literary Ladies)

    2nd in Series
    Cozy Mystery
    A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
    The Berkley Publishing Group (February 4, 2014)
    Published by The Penguin Group
    Cover Art by Dan Craig
    Cover Design by George Long
    Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
    ISBN-13: 978-0425257760
    E-Book File Size: 1252 KB
    ASIN: B00DYX9KJ2
    goodreads-badge-add-plus

     

    When it comes to solving mysteries, these ladies are in a league of their own…

    Summer can be the best of times or the worst of times for the resort town of Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie. For Bea Cartwright, business is booming as guests storm her B and B for the Bastille Day celebration. In honor of the holiday, the League of Literary Ladies is reading the Charles Dickens’ classic, A Tale of Two Cities. It would be hard to make a more apropos selection—especially when they have their very own Defarge sisters, elderly twins Margaret and Alice, who run the local knitting shop.

    On Bastille Day, the head-banging rock band Guillotine shows their chops for the tourists—but the celebration is soon cut short. With something needling the Defarge dowagers and secrets that lead to murder, solving this mystery will be a far, far better thing than the Literary Ladies have done before. They’ll just have to make sure to keep their heads while they try to stop a killer’s reign of terror…

    Dollycas’s Thoughts

    Kylie Logan creates such vibrant characters. These Literary Ladies started out as sworn enemies and quickly became friends when forced to spend time together in a book club. They don’t see eye to eye on everything but are learning to accept each other quirks or in Chandra’s case, her cats annoying behavior. They are spending more and more time together and again they find themselves right in the middle of another police investigation.

    It has been quite a few years since I had read A Tale of Two Cities but Chandra’s brief little synopsis brought back my memory quickly. It will also help those who have never read the Dicken’s tale.

    The Bastille Day celebration was quite an event that bought a very interesting group of characters to town. From a group of Charles Dickens impersonators to an old rock band and their groupies. A rock band with their own guillotine no less.

    Logan again has written a captivating mystery with plenty of suspects and diversions. There are nods to Dicken’s original story and the perfect balance of humor. Bea is still hiding something that is holding her back from a romantic relationship with Levi. He says he knows she is isn’t telling the truth about why she came to town and opened the Bea & Bee. Every time I though we were going to get another piece to her past they were always interrupted.  I am looking forward to this whole subplot playing out over the series.

    I wonder what classic the League of Literary Ladies will choose for their next book blub read.

    a perfect escape5 STARFISH

    Dollycas

    Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

    About This Author
    You can find out all about Kylie Logan,her book and alter ego on her new webpage


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

     

    Feb 122014
     

    cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

    I am super excited today to Welcome Miranda James here today
    or should I say her alter ego Dean James :)

    This book debuted at #8 on the New York Times Bestseller List!

    miranda dean

     

    I blame Nancy Drew for my life of crime. Reading it and writing it, that is.

    I was ten when I borrowed The Secret of Shadow Ranch from a cousin. It was the first mystery I ever read, and I was hooked. Then, to my delight, I discovered this was only one of a long series of adventures in which Nancy solved mystery after mystery. Just as exciting, I soon found other amateur mystery-solvers: the Hardy Boys, the Dana Girls, Judy Bolton, Trixie Belden, and many more. By the time I began reading adult mysteries, my love of the amateur detective was completely entrenched.

    silence of the library jan 2014When I decided I wanted to write a mystery myself, I knew my main character would be an amateur. After all, I’m not a policeman, or a lawyer, or a private detective. But I do have a healthy dose of curiosity about the world around me and the people in it. Charlie Harris, the sleuth in my “Cat in the Stacks” series, is just like me in that respect. He’s also about my age (fiftyish, if you must know), he’s a librarian, he grew up in Mississippi, and he has a Maine coon cat. That’s as far as it goes, however. (I have two cats, by the way, neither of which is a Maine coon. Also, Diesel is much better behaved than my two.)

     I wanted to incorporate my knowledge of, and love for, these juvenile series books into one of my own books, and in the new book, The Silence of the Library , I have done so. I created a series character in the mold of Nancy Drew and the other girl detectives and
    called her Veronica Thane. The author of the series, Electra Barnes Cartwright, was inspired by Mildred Wirt Benson (the first writer, aka “Carolyn Keene”, of the Nancy Drew series, Margaret Sutton, author of the Judy Bolton series, and Julie Campbell Tatham, the original author of Trixie Belden. In fact the book is dedicated to their memories.

    The most fun part of writing this book for me was the “excerpts” from the first Veronica Thane book. I reread some of my favorite girl detective stories from the 1930s to get a sense of the style in my head, and off I went. I hope readers will get a kick out of this aspect of the story. Of course, The Silence of the Library includes murder – a subject that usually didn’t come up in the classic juvenile series books. But when you get a number of rabid book collectors together, with hints of a rare and highly collectible volume, something deadly is sure to happen.

    ~Miranda/Dean

    You can find out more about Miranda/Dean and Diesel too on their webpage here.
    They are on Facebook too here.

    silence of the library jan 2014
    The Silence of the Library
    (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)

    5th in the Series
    Cozy Mystery
    A Berkley Prime Mystery (January 28, 2014)
    The Berkley Publishing Group
    Published by The Penguin Group
    Cover Illustration by Dan Craig
    Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
    Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
    ISBN-13: 978-0425257289
    E-Book File Size: 2081 KB
    ASIN: B00DGZKZKG
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    Everyone in Athena, Mississippi, knows Charlie Harris, the librarian with a rescued Maine coon cat named Diesel. He’s returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books, but a celebrated author’s visit draws an unruly swarm of fanatic mystery buffs…and one devious killer.

    To celebrate National Library Week the Athena Public Library plans to feature amateur sleuths we loved as kids, Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and Veronica Thane. It was quite a surprise to find out the author of the Veronica Thane mysteries was about to celebrate her 100th birthday and was living very close to Athena.   When the author agrees to make a special appearance at the library the news goes viral.  Fans start to flock to town, many with copies of her books to sign and a few with hundreds, some of them very rare editions. There is even a rumor that there are several stories still unpublished. How far would a fan go to get their hands on these manuscripts? Would they commit murder??

    Dollycas’s Thoughts

    I absolutely love this series! Diesel stole my heart the first time I saw him on the cover of the first book. I also appreciate a story with a male protagonist. Charlie is a true gentleman with very clever insight and a different perspective than the cozy readers are used to.  His relationship with Diesel just warms my heart. I can easily see them walking down the streets of Athena, Diesel in his halter and Charlie stopping to visit with everyone he meets. Diesel is very intuitive himself. He senses when people need a little chin bob or just a paw on their knee. He also understands the words “treat” and “chicken” very clearly.

    James outdid herself in this book because she wrote not just one story but two. She created a new young sleuth named Veronica Thane and wrote a mystery for her. It is the story Charlie is reading as the library will be featuring the author.  The book was one his favorite childhood mysteries.  As Charlie reads it leads him to think about the current crime trying to be solved in Athena. It helps all the pieces of the puzzle come together.

    The author has written a wonderful story with true to life characters including a very special feline.  It makes me really miss my feline companion that looks and acts a lot like Diesel. He is now living with my son and it my granddaughter’s buddy.  There are plenty of plot twists and secrets revealed. Charlie works hard to keep Chief Deputy Kanesha Berry apprised of each new development he uncovers because he knows what will happen if he doesn’t. Charlie, Diesel and Kanesha make an excellent investigative team.  She is not a lady to mess with.

    The book is dedicated to those authors like  Mildred Wirt Benson,  Margaret Sutton, and Julie Campbell Tatham who wrote the first mysteries most of us read. I had a bookshelf full of them way back when.  James plans to have The Mystery at Spellwood Mansion, in its entirety up on the website soon.

    Another fun and entertaining read from this author. A perfect way to take a step back in time to the “girl detective” stories of our past. You may be ready  to reread a few Nancy Drew or Judy Bolton mysteries when you finish this one.

    a perfect escape

    5 STARFISH

    Dollycas

    Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

     

     

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

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

    Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

    Leave a comment for Miranda for 5 Bonus Entries !

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

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

    CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

                      

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

    Feb 112014
     

    beewitched
    Beewitched
    (A Queen Bee Mystery)

    5th in Series
    Cozy Mystery
    A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
    The Berkley Publishing Group (February 4, 2014)
    Published by The Penguin Group
    Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
    ISBN-13: 978-0425261613
    E-Book File Size: 2048 KB
    ASIN: B00DYX9KHY
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    Welcome to Moraine, Wisconsin. Home of Story Fischer’s market, The Wild Clover, and the Country Delight Farm. Tourists flock to the area for apple cider, caramel apples, Story’s honey products and the Country Delight Farm’s corn maze.

    There is also a new resident moving to town. Dyanna Crane has moved in next door to Story and Hunter. She seems nice enough but when the neighbors find out she is a witch and the rest of her coven arrives to work their magic to protect Dyanna’s new home from evil spirits things start to spiral out of control. Police Chief Johnny Jay shows up to shut the ritual down and send the witches on their way not knowing they just happen to be camping out at the Country Delight Farm. In the morning one of the witches is found dead in the corn maze. Evil is definitely lurking and Story is ready to comb through all the clues to catch the killer.

    Dollycas’s Thoughts

    I was totally Beewitched by this story.

    There was so much going on. In addition to the witch invasion Story’s mom is getting married and is a total Bridezilla. She has kept Story out of any of the planning. Her other daughter, Holly, is her wedding planner and Story’s only job is show up at the wedding and wear the hideous dress her mother has picked out for the bridesmaids. While this truly has hurt Story’s feeling she has enough on her plate to keep her busy. Business at the store has been good. Her mother has been to busy with wedding plans to create her usual havoc there. Then there all these witches in town. Even one named Tabitha. Both Hunter and Johnny Jay tell Story to keep her nose out of the investigation but she just can’t and she does have a way of getting information out of people.

    Hannah Reed has written a wonderful story. The fact that this fictional town is almost in my backyard just sweetens the mystery. References to actual places always makes me smile. The characters could be my neighbors. Even P.P. Patty. Oh my word, she was so over the top in this story. My stomach hurt from laughing so hard. You will not believe what she does!!

    Reasons to read Hannah Reed Mysteries:

    • Awesome characters
    • Wonderful setting
    • Smart and witty dialogue
    • Captivating mystery
    • Fantastic humor
    • Fun and entertaining

    You cannot go wrong with any of her stories. She is the Queen Bee of Cozy Mysteries!!!!

    a perfect escape5 STARFISH

    Dollycas

    Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

    Find out all about Hannah Reed on her webpage here.

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

    Feb 072014
     

    special guest blue

    I am so happy to welcome Lucy Burdette here today.

    “One cat just leads to another. . . . The place is so damned big it doesn’t really seem as though there were many cats until you see them all moving like a mass migration at feeding time. . . .” Ernest Hemingway

    LucyBMileZeroI’m so pleased to be invited to post today on Dollycas’s blog in celebration of Murder With Ganache--the fourth book in my Key West foodie mystery series. Following along with the theme of “escapes,” I thought I’d chat about my idea of a perfect escape on this island.

    murder with ganacheKey West, where I live most of the year and where my food critic series takes place, is a busy, lively town, chock full of tourists, and artists, and homeless folks, and people yearning to dodge a dreary winter. Oh yes, it can be crowded and noisy. But there are several spots visit when I need a little peace to unwind.

    Hemingways+studioOne of these special places is the estate where Ernest Hemingway lived from 1931-1939. It’s a gorgeous, private piece of land, including a wonderful old home, the attached studio that housed Hemingway’s office, and an amazing pool with tropical gardens. One of the most-loved features of the property is the colony of cats who live on the premises, allegedly descendants of Hemingway’s felines.

    When I met a woman who worked as one of the cat caretakers at the Hemingway House and began to learn more about the cats, I knew I’d want to use this place in my next book. Here’s how my main character Hayley describes it in Murder With Ganache:

    Rudy+ValentinoIt’s almost impossible to enter the grounds inside the wall surrounding Hemingway’s house without feeling your blood pressure drop a few points. The house is gorgeous–a two story white structure with tall arched windows flanked by lemon-colored shutters and porches that wrap all the way around both floors. And the landscape is green and tropical, a haven for the fifty plus glossy, polydactyl felines that make their home here. My favorite vacillated between Rudy Valentino, a yellow tiger, and Duke Ellington, a gray striper who spent his afternoons stretched along a railing near the entrance so visitors could admire him. Evinrude hated it when I came home smelling of Hemingway cats, turning his nose and whiskers up at my feeble explanations.

    DukeGanacheIf you look carefully at this photo of the new book (shown here with one of Hayley’s favorite cats, Duke Ellington), you’ll see that the Hemingway House made the cover! In Murder With Ganache, Hayley’s best friend Connie is getting married and all of Hayley’s family has come to help her celebrate. That includes her father, stepmother, mother, mother’s boyfriend, and her grumpy teenage stepbrother. Juggling the personalities and making sure everyone gets enough of what they need–let’s just say Hayley’s got a very full plate.

    This book may be about Hemingway cats, and cupcakes, and wedding angst, and a murder mystery, but in the end, it’s also about finding and embracing family in whatever form they come. I hope you’ll settle in and enjoy a few hours of tropical escape–but fix yourself a snack first–you’re going to need it!

    ~Lucy

    About This Author

    Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) is the author of 12 mysteries, including the latest in the Key West series featuring food critic Hayley Snow. Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s a past president of Sisters in Crime.

    facebook: www.facebook.com/lucyburdette

    twitter: www.twitter.com/lucyburdette

    pinterest: www.pinterest.com/robertaisleib

    website: www.lucyburdette.com

    murder with ganache
    Murder With Ganache:
    A Key West Food Critic Mystery

    Cozy Mystery
    4th in Series
    An Obsidian Mystery (February 4, 2014)
    Published by The Penguin Group
    Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
    ISBN-13: 978-0451465894
    E-Book File Size: 1598 KB
    ASIN: B00DYX9NLC
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    Hayley Snow, the food critic for Key Zest magazine, has her plate heaped high with restaurant reviews, doughnut and sticky bun tastings, and an article on the Hemingway cats. But this week she’s also in charge of her best friend’s wedding. And then someone adds a side of murder…

    Connie and Ray are getting married. Connie’s family is Hayley’s family since her mom passed away and she hasn’t seen her father in years. So Hayley’s parents and their significant others have arrived in Key West for the wedding and brought all the family drama with them. That includes  Hayley’s teenage stepbrother Rory. The last thing a teenage boy want to do is attend a bridal shower or go sightseeing with his mother and stepfather. He convinces his mother to let him go off my himself for just a couple of hours but of course he misses his curfew. In fact he still has arrived back my morning. This sets off a search for him and leads to all kinds of trouble. Will Hayley be able to get Rory out of the hot water he has gotten himself or will be extending his stay in a Florida jail cell.

    Dollycas’s Thoughts

    Oh I would love to be in Key West right now instead freezing here in Wisconsin. Thanks to Lucy Burdette I was able to have a mini escape there. She really has outdone herself with this installment.

    Hayley is a super strong character that just jumps off the page but really struck me with this story was the interaction between her mom and step-mom. The usual angst was there of her mom being jealous of the relationship Hayley has with her step-mom but the way a tragedy brings these women together just warmed my heart. In this day and age it is sometimes hard for divorced couples to put their children first whether the children are 2, 15, or 30. I was really happy to see the two sides of the family come together.

    The story had a wonderful mystery and plenty of twists in both the main plot and the subplot. There were a lot of characters in this story but it was very easy to follow. I missed the tarot card reader that was prevalent in the previous books. We had a glimpse of him but not the usual Hayley visits.

    Lucy Burdette is a great cozy author. I look forward to my visits to Key West. I can’t wait for my next trip.

    a perfect escape5 STARFISH

    Dollycas

    Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

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

    Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

    Leave a comment for Lucy for 5 Bonus Entries !

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

    Contest Will End February 21, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
    Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
    Winner Will Be Notified By Email
    and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

    CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

    Feb 062014
     

    throw in the trowel
    Throw in the Trowel:
    A Flower Shop Mystery

    Cozy Mystery
    15th in Series
    An Obsidian Mystery (February 4, 2014)
    Published by The Penguin Group
    Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
    ISBN-13: 978-0451415509
    E-Book File Size: 1018 KB
    ASIN: B00DYX9KEC
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    I’m used to buried bulbs, not buried bodies…

    The couple that sleuths together…

    Abby Knight Salvare and her husband Marco have just returned from their honeymoon. Things went well at the flower shop while they were gone except for some minor adjustments that can be fixed with just a little time.  Marco’s Down The Hatch bar was not so lucky. A clogged drain led to the basement floor being torn up and a very interesting discovery. A skeleton.  It may be from a man who went missing back in the 1970’s. With the local police wrapped up in a current case Abby and Marco decide to solve the cold case themselves. But the deeper the dig the realize the murderer is still in the area and is desperate enough to bury them right where he did the first body.

    Dollycas’s Thoughts
    I just can’t believe this is the 15th book in this series. I look forward to each and every one. They are always fresh and entertaining but comfortable like a pair of slippers. It is like visiting old friends.

    I love the characters. While Abby is definitely my favorite character, Marco’s mom Francesca is runner up because she reminds me so much of my own mother. Grace and Lottie are wonderful. Marco makes my heart beat a little faster. Maureen “Mad Mo” Knight and her craft projects continue to make me laugh out loud. Jillian is in dire need of a psych evaluation. And I can’t forget Seedy, the dog Abby rescued from the pound. He has become the new flower shop mascot.

    Kate Collins has created quite a mystery this time. It had me guessing right up until the end and I was on the edge of my seat as it all came together. Wow, that was close!!!

    If you are a cozy lover you probably are already a fan of Kate Collins’ work. If you are new to Kate this is a perfect book to start with but I guarantee you are going to want to read all the others.

    a perfect escape5 STARFISH

    Dollycas

    Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

    About Kate Collins

    Kate Collins is the author of the national best-selling Flower Shop Mystery series. Her books have made the New York Times Extended Bestseller List, Barnes & Noble best-seller lists, the Independent Booksellers lists, as well as lists in Australia and England. All of Kate’s mysteries are available in print, digital, and large-print editions both in the U.S. and in the UK. Kate’s historical romances are also available in digital format at Amazon, B&N, and other e-book sellers. For more information visit Kate at: www.katecollinsbooks.com. Kate loves for fans to visit her on her Facebook page, too.

    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.”

    Jan 302014
     

    Pecan Pies
    Pecan Pies and Homicides
    (A Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery)

    Cozy Mystery
    3rd in Series
    A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
    The Berkley Publishing Group (January 7, 2014)
    Published by The Penguin Group
    Cover Illustration by Julia Green
    Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
    Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
    ISBN-13: 978-0425252413
    E-Book File Size: 2004 KB
    ASIN: B00D7Z4GIC
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    Her Charmed Pie Shoppe is open for business, but baker Ella Mae LeFaye is about to discover solving a murder is not as easy as pie…

    Ella Mae LeFaye owns the Charmed Pie Shoppe in Havenwood, Georgia. Most of the residents there don’t know that she can add her own special magical enchantment to her pies or that there are several magical residents in town. Ella Mae lost her mom in the last book in a very unusual way and her difficulty to accept her being gone has left her not feeling very enchanted.

    Then she learns of a party being held by Loralyn and her family to welcome other gifted people to Havenwood because their enchanted grove was burned to the ground by an arsonist.  Ella Mae quickly realizes that they could be welcoming an arsonist or worst to their community.  When one of the new residents is found dead Ella Mae knows she needs to use her own gift to catch the arsonist and a killer.

    Dollycas’s Thoughts
    Ellery has mixed together the genres of cozy mystery and fantasy masterfully. They are perfectly balanced for her cozy readers and may open her stories up to those who like their fantasy on the light side.

    I want to first tell you that this is not the last book in this series. I don’t feel that is a spoiler but I found myself quite worried about that through a good part of this story. I am nowhere near ready to let go of these characters. I am sharing this so you can enjoy the story without any extra anxiety.

    A lot happens in these 300 pages. Creatures appear, secrets are revealed and some wonderful new characters join a cast that was already excellent. There was one plot twist that was so unexpected I almost gave myself whiplash.

    Unlike some series stories you can pick up any of them and get caught up. That is not the case with this series. You need to read these books in order. Start with Pies and Prejudice, then Peach Pies and Alibis, and then this one, Pecan Pies and Homicides. Pecan Pies and Homicides made my Best Reads of 2013 and I think Ellery has topped herself with this one.

    You just can’t go wrong with a story by Ellery Adams or any of her alter egos.

    a perfect escape
    5 STARFISH

    Dollycas

    Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

    To Find out more about Ellery and her books visit her webpage here.
    Find her on Facebook      Twitter     GoodReads

    You can also find her over at The Cozy Chicks and find The Cozy Chicks on Facebook and Twitter.

    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.”