Feb 262014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!
I am excited to have Carol here today! Technically her books are not cozies as India is an agent of Her Majesty’s Government but these mysteries are full of humor, romantic tension and fantastic characters. If you like your cozies that take you back in time or across the pond you will love India Black.

Carol GB

KEEPING IT FRESH
by Carol K. Carr

            I’m four novels into the India Black series, and I’m not tired of her yet. Or of Lachlan French, Vincent, the Marchioness or any other of the series characters I’ve introduced. That may seem like an odd thing to say, but authors do grow weary of their creations. Arthur Conan Doyle famously killed off Sherlock Holmes only to bring him back several years later, in part because Doyle got tired of being harassed about Sherlock’s untimely demise by fans of the detective.india black and the gentleman thief

            But just because I say I’m not tired of India doesn’t mean that I think she should never change. We all grow and develop, even as adults, and while India would declare that she is perfect just as she is, she must also stretch her wings a little or we’ll all get bored.

            So, how to keep India interesting? Some things are easy. I’ll send her off to South Africa with French, posing as missionaries. The very idea tickles me. The comedic possibilities boggle the mind. My mind, anyway. Because what could be more amusing than a, ahem, brothel owner masquerading as a daughter of the church?

            I can also put India in circumstances that make her uncomfortable. She’s my character, after all, and I can do what I like. India claims she doesn’t possess the emotions typically sported by the average human, so why not put that premise to the test? Will she admit to a growing fondness for the Marchioness, or mistake that unsettling feeling for indigestion?

            And then there’s the painful, even tortured, relationship India shares with French. That has to move along soon. I don’t want the readers to get restless. Has the tease gone on long enough? Probably. But don’t anticipate a future of white picket fences and (shudder) children for the two of them. India wouldn’t be India if she meekly accepted the role of Victorian wife. I almost feel sorry for poor French.

Well, there are a few ideas for keeping India fresh. I hope you’ll all be around for future installments.

Thank you, Lori, for the opportunity to appear as a guest on your blog.

You can read all about India, French and the gang at www.carolkcarr.com

~Carol

Thank you Carol for visiting today!! I hope you will visit again soon!!

india black and the gentleman thief
India Black and the Gentleman Thief
(A Madam of Espionage Mystery)

4th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (February 4, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Alan Ayers
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Trade Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425262481
E-Book File Size: 1262 KB
ASIN: B00DMCV1PQ
goodreads-badge-add-plus

India Black’s double life operating a high-class brothel and running high-stakes espionage for Her Majesty’s government can take its toll. But there’s no rest for the weary—particularly when an international conspiracy comes knocking…

India Black is one of Victorian London’s most respected madams—not a bloody postmistress. So when Colonel Francis Mayhew forwards a seemingly innocuous shipping bill to her address, she’s puzzled. And when three thugs bust down her door, steal the envelope, and rough up both her and fellow agent French…well, that’s enough to make India Black see red.

The veteran spies soon discover that Mayhew has been butchered in his own bedroom. An impromptu investigation leads them to London’s docks, where India makes a startling discovery she can’t bear to tell the rakish French—she has a history with their chief suspect, the gentleman thief who once stole her heart…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Each story is better than the last and Carr’s writing and her characters continue to evolve. India is the madam of Lotus House, a London brothel, where gentleman of of very high rank in government and military are welcomed daily.  She has grown from just a madam to work as an agent for Her Majesty’s Government with full approval of the prime minister while maintaining the brothel. It makes a great cover.  I have loved India Black since the start but the India in this story starts to let her guard down just a bit. The tension both romantic and in general between India and French is reaching a peak. We also learn more about India’s past and French’s too. Having the Marchioness of Tullibardine and her entourage underfoot at Lotus House gives the story a whole new dimension and even makes Vincent shine.

The  story is full of action as India, French and Vincent travel from the War Office to the dirty, gritty docks and around the English countryside trying to catch a killer and stop a international smuggling ring.  They find themselves in some quite precarious situations.

What I love about these stories is these fantastic characters are all unique and even facing serious danger their personalities continue shine through. India is a very stubborn woman, French puts up with her and does his best to keep her safe. Their dialogue is full of sarcasm and wit and at times had me laughing out loud.

We met the marchioness in India Black and the Widow of Windsor and the gentleman thief connects to the short story India Black and the Rajah’s Ruby,which is a prequel to the series. The stories take place in pretty quick succession. We are given just a hint as to what India and French will be up to in the next installment as this story ends. To truly enjoy this series it should be read in order.

A truly great series I recommend highly.

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 Erika 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 12, 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.”

Share
Jan 232014
 

zero degree murder
Zero-Degree Murder
(A Search and Rescue Mystery)

Mystery/Suspense
A Brand New Series!
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (January 7, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425263662
E-Book File Size: 1796 KB
ASIN: B00COOFQOA
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Search and rescue expert Gracie Kinkaid risks her life on a daily basis to save strangers. But going up against a coldhearted murderer is one kind of danger she’s not prepared for…

Gracie Kinkaid is the only female member of her Search and Rescue squad. When they are called out on Thanksgiving to find some missing hikers she is not surprised when she is not named the leader of the 2 person team, but she thinks it will be a routine mission so she doesn’t push the fact that she has more experience.

Things go quickly awry when an early season blizzard hits the search area. They find one hiker who is hurt and he thinks someone tried to kill him and Gracie believes him. Her partner heads back to a place where their radio has reception to call for backup. This lives Gracie and the hiker alone on the mountain. She needs to use all of her knowledge to keep them safe all the while wondering if a killer it trying to find them and permanently cover his tracks.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

An excellent start to what is going to be a great series.

Grace is between regular jobs but she volunteers with the Timber Creek Search and Rescue. She has the talents and training to excel at this but can’t settle down to an occupation that pays a salary. I think this sells the character a little short. It gives her time to go out on the rescues but she is clearly a very strong, smart woman that can handle herself. Maybe after this rescue her confidence will build. I know in stories like this the protagonist has to be an amateur but Grace could probably have quite a career in any of the emergency services. I can really see this character growing as the series continues.

The suspense starts in this story from page one. Hiking in the mountains has many dangers from getting lost to slips or falls that could be deadly to animals looking for a human snack. Adding a killer to the trail amps everything up to a high level or terror. The author uses the short chapter format that also adds to the feeling that you just can’t put the book down. She also describes the scene and the scenery vividly making it very easy to picture in your mind. I have learned the author was part of a search and rescue team herself and her knowledge and experience shine through in this story.

I highly recommend this one. The only drawback was that I read this during the frigid “polar vortex” and it takes place during a blizzard in zero degree weather so it truly gave me the shivers. :)

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

How far would you go to save the life of a stranger? Dangle on a rope over the edge of a cliff? Sleep outside in the winter with only a sleeping bag? Jump out of a helicopter into four feet of snow on the side of a mountain?

M.L. Rowland has done all of these things and more, all in the line of service as a mountain Search and Rescue volunteer.

Born, raised and, except for one year of high school in Hawaii, schooled kindergarten through college in the midwest, Rowland comes by her adventurous spirit honestly. Her mother pioneered for women’s rights in the early 1960’s. Her father—a neurosurgeon and marine scientist—was a world traveler and member of The Explorer’s Club. After college, Rowland lived and worked in Florida, Missouri, Connecticut and New York City, finally settling in the mountains of southern California where she joined the local Search and Rescue (SAR) team.

During her almost twelve years on Search and Rescue, Rowland participated in hundreds of search and rescue missions and trainings, including technical ropes rescues, helicopter insertions and evacuations, and searches for lost children, hikers, snowboarders, mountain bikers and criminal evidence, in mountain, desert and urban environments. She served as the team’s Training Officer and participated in community events and public speaking engagements. Trained in land navigation, and desert and winter survival, including avalanche awareness and self-arrest, she holds a certification in tracking from the State of California.

Rowland is an avid political activist, naturalist and environmentalist. She is an accomplished painter and loves to snorkel. She has traveled to all fifty United States and throughout the world, including a rustic camping safari in Kenya. As often as possible, she hikes and explores the slot canyons of Utah.

Rowland lives with her husband and their chocolate lab at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in south-central Colorado.*

*From Berkley Prime Crime

Find out more about M.L. Rowland here.

Are you taking part in my Alphabet Soup Challenge?
Here is your “Z” Book!!!

I am giving my Review Copy away!!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

5 Bonus Entries for those taking part in the Alphabet Soup Challenge!!

Contest Will End February 6, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

alphabet 2014 300challenge_2014whatsinaname2

Share
Jan 052014
 

The Sunday Salon.com

The Sunday Salon used to be a meme but was getting so huge it became unmanageable, so it is now a Facebook group that has become an informal week in review
gathering place for bloggers.

It is also a place to share our thoughts about things of a bookish nature.

SUNDAY POSTThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
~ It’s a chance to share news~
A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

Welcome to 2014!!
And the Coldest January in Decades!!
Schools decided on Friday to close tomorrow due to the frigid temps. The grocery store where my youngest daughter works will be closing early and several businesses will not even open their doors tomorrow. People are told to stay home and stay warm. 

I will be right here at my computer or snuggled up reading a cozy mystery.

My daughter and grandson are ready for the weather.

My daughter and grandson are ready for the weather.

weekly rewind credited235
Weekly Rewind December 30, 2013 – January 4, 2014
This week marked the start of my 5th year blogging!
MondayIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

TuesdayReview: Spider Web by Earlene Fowler

Wednesday – Best Reads of 2013

ThursdayReview: Heartache Motel: Three Interconnected Mystery Novellas by Terri L. Austin, Larissa Reinhart, and LynDee Walker

FridayReview: Rosemary and Crime by Gail Oust

SaturdayClear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop!!! – My Blogoversary!!!

December Recap
Books Read

December Totals
16 Books – 4458 Pages – 8420 KB
2013 Totals
200 Books – 57131 Pages – 34038 KB

2013 CHALLENGE WRAP UP!
I did it, by the skin of my teeth, I reached by goal of Reading 200 Books!
badge1This means I completed the GoodReads Challenge!!

Earlier in the year I completed the Read-A-Latte Challenge, the E-Book Challenge, the Crusin’ Thru The Cozies Challenge, the Finish The Series Challenge, the What An Animal Challenge, the Mystery/Crime Reading Challenge, My Wisconsin Challenge and the First in A Series Challenge.

In December I completed the A-Z Challenge, the Off The Shelf Challenge, the What’s In A Name Challenge, and the Just For Fun Challenge.

a-z challenge 2013largeoff-the-shelf-2013-badgeWIN6just for fun 2013

 
 
 
 
 
 

This means I completed 13 out of 17 Challenges.
I did pretty well in the Where Are You Reading Challenge – 38 out of 51 States and 10 Countries. Fell 6 titles short on the A-Z Cozy Challenge, but was unable to even read 1 book in the Woman’s Murder Club Challenge or the Outdo Yourself Challenge.

I am cutting back just a little on Challenges this year. I may add a Mystery/Thriller Challenge but that is it.  Be sure to check out my Alphabet Soup Challenge and my Just For Fun Challenge.

Happy Reading!! Stay Warm!!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Share
Dec 282013
 

 

challengesYou can view Part 1 of my 2013 Challenges here.

I am hosting the 2014 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge and the
Just For Fun Reading Challenge 2014

animal4This is another challenge hosted by Yvonne at 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).

***** AMENDED:

Level 1 – Read up to 6 books

Level 2 – Read 7-12

Level 3 – Read 13 or more

2. 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…

3. Challenge runs from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. That’s a full year to read at least 6 books (you can read more if you’d like).

4. Books can be fiction or nonfiction.

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

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

7. 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 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.

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

10. Click here to go to Yvonne’s blog to sign up.

I am signing up at Level 2 – Read 7-12

************

FTSRCThis one is also hosted by Yvonne at Socrates Book Reviews.

This is a challenge for all those series books you started at some point and haven’t finished. I know I’ll start a series and read the first book, then get distracted with other books and never get back to the series. Before I know it, the series has 10 books – I get overwhelmed and don’t go back to it. Now, I want to finish a couple.

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, 2014 to December 31, 2014. Books must be read during this time frame to count.

4) Take the button above and post about it. Use the Mr. Linky below to sign up and make sure you link it directly to your post about this challenge.

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

IF YOU WANT TO LINK UP YOUR REVIEWS OR, FOR THOSE WITHOUT A BLOG, LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW.

6) Any format of book counts – 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 – Complete 1 series.
Level 2 – Complete 2 series.
Level 3 – Complete 3 or more series.

To sign up and more details click here.

I am signing up at Level 2.

I have several series I want to complete so I am not choosing quite yet.

***************

2014 WHERE ARE YOU READINGThis Challenge is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

In 2012 I completed this challenge.

In 2013 my reading took me to 38 states and 10 places abroad.

I have created my 2014 map here.

Challenge begins January 1, 2014 and ends December 31, 2014

How do you decide what state a book is categorized under?

1.  In a fiction read it would be the State or Country that the book spends the most time in.  (Ie. If your main character is from Wisconsin but the book is all about his/her time in college in California – the books should categorize under California….)

2.  Non fiction reads categorize  in whatever State or Country it is about (Ie…. a book about fly fishing in Colorado is a Colorado point, and a book about women in Afghanistan is an Afghanistan point.

3.  If the book goes from one state to another… go with the state that most of the time is spent.

How to get started

Set up a map under Google Maps (optional).  It is easy to do!  Every time you read a book in 2014, upload a cover picture to Picasa Web Albums (there may be other sites to use, feel free to use what works best for you).

Grab the challenge button (above) here for your posts and sidebar.

For more details and to sign up just click here.

**************

challenge_2014whatsinaname2This is the 7th Annual What’s In A Name Challenge and it has a new host,
Charlie at The Worm Hole.

The basics:

The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories (examples of books you could choose are in brackets):

A reference to time:  (Eleven Minutes, Before Ever After)
A position of royalty: (The People’s Queen, The Last Empress, The Curse Of The Pharaoh)
A number written in letters: (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, A Tale Of Two Cities)
A forename or names: (Rebecca, Eleanor & Park, The Unfinished Work Of Elizabeth D.)
A type or element of weather: (Gone With The Wind, Red Earth Pouring Rain)

Remember the titles given here are only examples, you can by all means use them if you want to – some are classics after all – but it’s not necessary. There are plenty of other books that will fit the categories and you may have some in mind already or even some on your shelves you can read.

Extra information
  • Books can be any format (print, audio, ebook).
  • It’s preferred that the books don’t overlap with other challenges, but not a requirement at all.
  • Books cannot overlap categories (for instance my first example, Eleven Minutes, could be used for category 1 or 3 but not both).
  • Creativity for matching the categories is not only allowed, it’s encouraged!
  • You don’t have to make your list of books beforehand, you can choose them as you go.
  • You don’t have to read your chosen books in any particular order.

For More Details and to Sign Up Click Here.

**************************

I will again Challenge myself to read books
set in Wisconsin or written by Wisconsin authors.

literary road trip 2014This is a personal challenge.

Challenge yourself by doing the same for your state.

************

I am still debating about a general mystery/suspense/thriller challenge.
I do read a lot of that genre. I have found one (My Kind Of Mystery Challenge), but that runs February 1, 2014 – February 28, 2015 and that just messes me up :)

That is it for me right now. I will continue to watch for challenges that interest me.
A NOVEL CHALLENGE is a great resource for all types of reading challenges.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Share
Dec 152013
 

The Sunday Salon.com

The Sunday Salon used to be a meme but was getting so huge it became unmanageable, so it is now a Facebook group that has become an informal week in review
gathering place for bloggers.

It is also a place to share our thoughts about things of a bookish nature.

SUNDAY POSTThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
~ It’s a chance to share news~
A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

I am Christmas Shopping and doing other fun things this weekend.
I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday!

 
 
 
 
 

weekly rewind credited235
December 9 – December 14, 2013
Monday - It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Tuesday -Spotlight/Giveaway – Mulled Murder by Kate Kingsbury

WednesdayCozy Wednesday with Laurie Cass – the Author of Lending A Paw

ThursdayReview: Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes by Joanne Demaio

FridayReview & Giveaway – The Vanishing Thief by Kate Parker This book helped me complete the What’s In A Name Challenge.

PLUSSpotlight – Heartache Motel: Three Interconnected Mystery Novellas by Terri L. Austin, Larissa Reinhart, and LynDee Walker

SaturdayReview: The Edwin Drood Murders by Christopher Lord

mail call314

Stay warm this week and snuggle up with a good book!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Share
Dec 132013
 

vanishng thief
The Vanishing Thief
(A Victorian Bookshop Mystery)

Brand New Cozy Series
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 3, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Teresa Fasolino
Cover Design by George Long
Trade Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425266601
E-Book File Size: 1592 KB
ASIN: B00BDQ39I0
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Georgia Fenchurch appears to be an unassuming antiquarian bookseller in Victorian London, but the life she leads is as exciting as any adventure novel. For Georgia is a member of the Archivist Society, a secret association of private investigators led by the mysterious Sir Broderick.

When a frantic woman comes to Georgia claiming that her neighbor, Nicholas Drake, has been abducted by the notorious Duke of Blackford, Georgia and the Archivist Society agree to take the case. But Drake is no innocent—he is a thief who has been blackmailing many of the leading members of London society. To find Drake and discover who is behind his abduction, Georgia and her beautiful assistant, Emma, will have to leave the cozy confines of their bookshop and infiltrate the inner circles of the upper crust—with the help of the dashing but dubious Duke of Blackford himself.

But the missing thief and his abductor are not the only ones to elude Georgia Fenchurch. When she spies the man who killed her parents years ago, she vows to bring him to justice once and for all…at any cost.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There is a lot happening in this debut. A man is missing, a cold case (the murder of our protag’s parents) is brought to the forefront when the killer may have been spotted out and about in London and a death of a young woman is being questioned.

There are also a slew of characters from Georgia Fenchurch, to her employee and best friend Emma, Phyllida, their “aunt”, who all live together.  The members of the Archivist Society including Sir Broderick, Lady Westover and her grandson Inspector Grantham. Add to that Drake, the missing man, the frantic woman searching for him and all the members of the upper crust who could be responsible for his disappearance including the Duke of Blackford. There are many more supporting characters too.

At first all of this was a little hard to follow but then the story hits a rhythm where all 3 stories and all the characters come together.

I really like several characters. The dialogue at a formal dinner party between Georgia and her table mates was quite humorous. The Duke and Georgia are quite suitable despite of their different classes. Seeing her rub shoulders with the Lords and Ladies shows she is very intelligent  and resourceful and not just a woman who inherited a bookshop. 

The story has more than the expected number of twists and turns for a book of this type, keeping the reader on their toes.

I enjoyed this trip back to Victorian times. A time before phones, cars, and many things we take for granted. When a trip to the country took days and to call the authorities you had to send a person with a message or find a bobbie on the street.

This is my first Kate Parker novel but according to her website she started out writing Romantic Suspense.  She has made a fine transition to cozy mysteries by combining all her strengths  – history, suspense, humor and romance. The Vanishing Thief is a nice blend of all four. I anxiously await the next Victorian Bookshop Mystery.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Kate Parker check out her webpage here.
Like her on Facebook here.
Become her Fan on GoodReads here.

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 1 copy to give away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Contest Will End December 27, 2013 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.”

WIN6

Share
Mar 302013
 

death drops

Death Drops:
A Natural Remedies Mystery

1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Gallery Books (February 21, 2012)
A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Trade Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1451643602
E-Book File Size: 891 KB
ASIN: B005GG0N6E

Death Drops (A Natural Remedies Mystery #1)

Nature’s Way Market and Café sells healthy foods and natural cures for what ails you. But there is no cure for murder. . . .

Naturopathic doctor Willow McQuade has come to Long Island’s North Fork to visit her Aunt Claire. Aunt Claire owns the Nature’s Way Market and Cafe and is the reason Willow became a Naturopathic Doctor. They have always been close while she is more estranged from her own mother and sister because they were unhappy with Willow’s career choice.

She has only been visiting a few days when her life is shattered. She returns from a walk and finds her Aunt Claire’s lifeless body on the market floor and a bottle of Mimulus lying nearby. Mimulus is taken to calm fears of misfortune and it clearly didn’t work.

Willow knows her death was no accident, her aunt was murdered! But why would anyone kill the wonderful woman? The cops look quickly to Willow as she is Clare’s heir. Willow teams up with former police officer Jackson Spade to try to prove that she is innocent and catch the killer before anyone else receives a fatal dose.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This is like a new genre, an educational cozy mystery. The author has taken her knowledge of natural remedies and blended it with a clever mystery.

I was sad when Willow’s aunt died so early in the story. She was a character I really would have enjoyed knowing but she has passed on her knowledge and caring nature to Willow, making this protagonist a very interesting woman with tons of potential. She has an expert’s understanding of these natural substances that the police do not have or want making her interactions with detectives very entertaining.

Chrystle Fiedler has created an excellent foundation with this debut. She has given us a wonderful setting and dynamic characters.  Starting each chapter with a Ask Dr. McQuade letter not only informs the reader but sets up the next chapter.  All that should keep this series blooming for a long time

A very quick read. I can’t wait for the next installment!
just you and a friend
4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Want to find out more about this author? Come back on Wednesday when Chrystle Fiedler will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday. I will be giving away my review copy of this book and Scent to Kill: A Natural Remedies Mystery, the second book in the series. The author will be giving an additional copy of Scent to Kill. So be sure to stop by.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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.”

death dropsmystery challengereadalattechallenge_zps01d248d0WIN61st in a series

Share
Mar 272013
 

cozy wednesdayWelcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today I am pleased to welcome new author J.J. Cook to tell us about their new series.
Cozy fans will be pleased to know that while this is a new name
this author team is very familiar to us.

Jim and Joyce Lavene have written several fantastic mysteries and other genres as well.

One half of J.J. Cook is here today!
Hi Joyce!!

Hi Everyone!

Stella Griffin and the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries

clip_image001Our main character in the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries is Fire Chief Stella Griffin. Stella is part of a strong Irish family that has served the fire department in Chicago, Illinois for many years. She understands the rigors of the life, but when it came time for her to make her choice of career, she knew it was what she wanted.

404367_452465988129034_528250595_n (1)Firefighters are a strange breed of men, my grandfather used to tell me. They run into the fire instead of away from it. My grandfather, Henry Koch, was a firefighter. He was part of the team that fought the Our Lady of the Angel’s Fire, one of the most devastating because it killed so many children in a Catholic school. That was one fire he wouldn’t talk or joke about.

fire badge croppedMy great-grandfather, Michael Sebastian, was also with the CFD. In the late 1800s, he drove a team of white horses that hauled the fire wagon. The job was even harder when he was a firefighter because they had no special equipment, no protection.

My husband and my father have both been volunteer firefighters. Basically, this means they get all the danger and the hard work without getting paid. Volunteers have to train for hours every week, as much as the professional firefighters. They have to go out at all hours of the day and night, in every kind of weather, never knowing what’s waiting for them. They do it for their communities.

I wanted to be a firefighter when I was 14. I thought it was the noblest profession in the world. Everyone laughed because GIRLS weren’t firefighters. I cried for days. That’s changed now, for the better of the firefighting community, and probably the food!

Smoky MountainsNow, I’ve found a way of honoring the people in my family who have fought fires, lost some, and grieved over victims. Stella is the chief of a volunteer fire brigade in the Smoky Mountains. She is who I imagined I could be, at one time. She’s strong and brave, loyal to her volunteers, concerned about people.

She came to life for me in Sweet Pepper. In the first book, That Old Flame of Mine, she goes to the small town in Tennessee after a bad break-up with her boyfriend and an injury that has put her off the job. She doesn’t realize how raw her recruits are or how different being a volunteer firefighter is, but she learns.

She always plans on going back to Chicago, but Sweet Pepper, and the resident ghost in her log cabin there, may change her mind.

I hope this book will be something that would’ve made my family of firefighters proud.

~Joyce

About This Author
Joyce Lavene, and her husband/partner, Jim, write the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries as J.J. Cook. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family. Visit them at www.joyceandjimlavene.com or www.jjcook.net plus on

25 (2)badge1twitter

404367_452465988129034_528250595_n (1)

That Old Flame of Mine
(A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade)

Brand New Series
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by George Long
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252048
E-Book File Size: 738 KB
ASIN: B0099D4B3Q

That Old Flame of Mine
NO MATCH FOR MURDER

After knocking the lights out of her boyfriend when she catches him cheating on her, Chicago fire fighter Stella Griffin hops on her Harley and heads for Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, where she ends up becoming the small town’s fire chief. When her dear friend Tory Lambert dies after her gingerbread-style house is set ablaze, Stella suspects arson and foul play.

As Stella investigates, she gets help from a most unlikely source—the ghost of Eric Gamlyn, Sweet Pepper’s old fire chief. And if that isn’t enough to rattle her, attractive police officer John Trump seems to have taken an interest in her. But Stella’s got to stay focused if she hopes to smoke out a killer before her own life is extinguished.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
As the daughter of a firefighter I was thrilled with this book. My dad passed away 25 years ago and it still seems like yesterday. I wish he would haunt his old firehouse, maybe he does? He did not die on “a scene” but he was a chief too just like Eric Gamlyn and I so wanted to be a firefighter and work side by side with him. At that time female firefighters were few and far between. Ladies were on the auxiliary and handled bake sales and delivered food and drink to the big fires. I would have loved Stella’s life even with the crummy boyfriend.

The story is so well written and full of wonderful real characters. The drill/practice sessions ring true to me as someone who has observed many. Chief Eric’s haunts struck my heart. Another firefighter lost too soon with so many plans and dedication. Stella has a lot on her plate in Sweet Pepper and with a bit of “help” she comes out on top. A sassy, smart, sleuth that this reader plans to enjoy tagging along with for a very long time.

J.J. Cook has written an extraordinary debut. This book will be burning up bookstore shelves next Tuesday.  It’s hotter than a 5 alarm fire!! Respond and extricate your copy as soon as possible.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Would you like to win a copy of this wonderful book?

Thanks to the people at Berkley Prime Crime
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
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 J.J. Cook 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 April 10, 2013 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.”

404367_452465988129034_528250595_n (1)readalattechallenge_zps01d248d0mystery challengeWIN62013where are you readingcozymysterybooktours

Share
Mar 212013
 

cozy wednesdayThere were just not enough Wednesdays this month for all the authors to visit so…
Welcome to this Special Thursday Edition of Cozy Wednesday!
I am thrilled to welcome Victoria Hamilton back to Escape With Dollycas.

Victoria
Vintage Finds Inspire Cozy Mysteries
By: Victoria Hamilton

When I set out to plan a mystery series, I quickly decided to center it around my collection of vintage kitchen bowls and utensils. I don’t have the largest collection—I just don’t have the space—but I’m always on the lookout for interesting pieces, and I love reading about the history of kitchen implements, so it was a natural fit.

I especially love bowls. I don’t know why! I suppose that they unite the best in beauty, utility and color… all of the things that make an item not only collectible, but perfect for display. When it comes to bowls, I have a full set of vintage Pyrex Primary Colors bowls, and a few random pieces from the seventies. DepressionGlassBowl2But then a friend gave me a fascinating vintage Depression glass bowl; it’s big and clear with an odd, heavy square bottom and grooved indentations down from the curled lip to the base. She didn’t know anything about it, so I looked it up. The square base intrigued me; had it been used as a stand mixer bowl, perhaps?

I found out that not only was the square bottom not for any utilitarian purposes, I had stumbled upon another bowl set obsession! These bowls were sold in graduated sets from the size of mine (I think my clear one is an example of the largest) to a teeny cutie of a bowl! Now I am determined to get one in every size, and… wait for it… in every color. Yes, they come in colored glass and I love colored glass.

IM000459.JPGThis is how I first figured that out; I was haunting a thrift shop, as I often do, and I saw a small green one very similar, though the square base has a different shape. Well, you know I had to buy it. It’s adorable! Now I learn that they come in many colors: pink, amber, amethyst and the brilliant green of my new acquisition.

But how did I get from the receipt of a lovely bowl from a friend to picturing it as a murder weapon? Well, there isn’t much that I haven’t tried to imagine used as an instrument of death, as bad as that makes me sound. I’m a mystery writer. It’s my job to see things differently, I guess, so as I hefted that weighty bowl in my hand, I thought, ‘That is one sturdy bowl. It could do some serious damage. In fact… it could kill someone!’

bowled overAnd so the bowl shows up in Bowled Over as the murder weapon, provided unwittingly by poor Jaymie.

Wait until you see what I use as a murder weapon in the next Vintage Kitchen Mystery, Freezer I’ll Shoot, coming out in November of this year. Here’s a hint: though a kitchen utensil, it is a well known and oft used tool that is still considered a lethal weapon by police departments everywhere!

So next time you peruse the kitchen utensil aisle imagine me, looking up and down that row and wondering, ‘Now, what could I use to kill my next victim?’ Potato masher? Electric Mixer? Corkscrew?? The choices are endless.

~Victoria::~

About This Author

Victoria Hamilton is the pseudonym for author Donna Lea Simpson. As Victoria she writes the bestselling Vintage Kitchen Mystery series (Book 1 – A Deadly Grind– May 2012) –  (Book 3 Freezer I’ll Shoot - November 2013) and the upcoming Merry Muffin Mysteries, also from Berkley (Book 1 – Bran New Death – September 3rd, 2013)  Victoria loves cooking and collecting vintage kitchen utensils, as well as reading and writing mysteries.

Check out her webpage for all the latest: http://www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com

Find her on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaHamilton

bowled over

Bowled Over
(Vintage Kitchen Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (March 5, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Robert Crawford
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425251928
E-book File Size: 561 KB
ASIN: B0099CUTGK

Bowled Over

Stirring up trouble…

Vintage kitchenware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton and her high school friend Kathy Cooper have been at odds for years but Jaymie has no idea why. She decides it is time to find out what she did that makes Kathy hate her so much. She needs to confront her so they can put whatever happened behind them.

But when she finds Kathy dead after the 4th of July fireworks along with her Depression era glass bowl she realizes there will not be any reconciliation. With her fingerprints all over the bowl and their rocky past she is not surprised to be the prime suspect of her murder.

Did the killer frame her on purpose? If so, she is ready to mix it up, because solving crimes is vintage Jaymie Leighton…

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I was “Bowled Over” by this marvelous mystery. This story had so many twists I almost got whiplash. So many secrets, so many suspects. I Loved It!

Jaymie has a huge heart and that always leads her right in the center of trouble. She needs to clear her name.  With her many odd jobs she comes into contact with almost everyone in town. She has Valetta for backup, who knows the skinny on just about everyone in the area. Even Anna has info to help Jaymie find the killer. Jaymie just has to put all the clues together.

There’s also a bit of romance in this story but unfortunately Jaymie’s romantic path is a bit cloudy. Her sister Becca’s path is pretty clear yet again.  Jaymie has given herself a six month deadline to decide how she feels about the men in her life. The next book should be very interesting!

Victoria Hamilton has dished up another fun and entertaining winner! 

Freezer I’ll Shoot (A Vintage Kitchen Mystery) will be released November 5th and I want it today!!!

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 giveaway!!

PLUS Victoria is giving away
one (1) copy of Bowled Over,
as well as a Vintage Kitchen Mysteries pen, notepad and magnetic calendar.

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
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 Victoria for 5 Bonus Entries!!

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

The first name chosen that
has left a comment will win Victoria’s prize!!!!

Contest Will End April 4, 2013 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.”

readalattechallenge_zps01d248d0mystery challenge2013where are you readingWIN6

Share
Feb 192013
 

town in a pumpkin bash

Town in a Pumpkin Bash (CANDY HOLLIDAY MYSTERY)
4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (February 5, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Teresa Fasolino
Cover Design by Diane Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425251881
E-Book File Size: 576 KB
ASIN: B009NY412C

Town in a Pumpkin Bash

In the quaint seaside village of Cape Willington, Maine, Candy Holliday has a mostly idyllic life, tending to the Blueberry Acres farm she runs with her father and occasionally stepping in to solve a murder or two…

Autumn in Cape Willington means the annual Pumpkin Bash. Candy Holliday and Maggie Tremont decide to make a little extra money from their farm stand by adding a haunted hayride through a pumpkin patch. When they discover a real dead body among the fake tombstones Candy’s side job becomes a full time investigation. But in her effort to catch the killer she may unearth some long buried secrets. Maybe all those skeletons in the residents closets are not all Halloween decorations.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
These stories are all unique has they all take place during a Cape Willington event like the Annual Pumpkin Bash. The whole town is transformed by the festivities. Carved pumpkins line the street, costume parties, a biggest pumpkin contest, and even a bus tour of the local cemeteries. 

Candy’s birthday also falls on Halloween and everyone pulls together to try to surprise her. The day will end up having more than it’s share of surprises.

Candy Holliday is smart and super observant, the perfect amateur sleuth. Her newspaper skills and resources help unearth some crucial information to tie things together. She ends up visiting a few cemeteries herself as she tracks down clues. 

Every sleuth needs a sidekick and Maggie fits the bill perfectly. Candy also has her dad and his friends to help out in a pinch. 

What I really love about this series is that each installment connects with the last. There is a lot more to the story of the history between Pruitt’s and the Porter-Sykes families and each book gives up another piece to that evolving puzzle. For that reason I recommend reading the books in order.

Town in a Pumpkin Bash is a wonderful entertaining mystery I highly recommend. It’s the perfect time for you to visit Cape Willington. 

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

B.B. Haywood has a fantastic webpage. Be sure to check it out 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.”

readalattechallenge_zps01d248d0mystery challenge

What's In A Name 6 Challenge

Share
%d bloggers like this: