Jul 262017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Today I am featuring the latest Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery!


Lions and Tigers and Murder, Oh My (Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Missouri
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (July 4, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451477774
Kindle ASIN: B01M22OKS0

 

 

Opening up a dime store in her hometown of Shadow Bend, Missouri, Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair thought she’d left the wilds of city life behind her. But she’s about to discover that even rural life can be beastly. . . 

Handsome private investigator Jake Del Vecchio has rented the office space on the second floor above Devereaux’s dime store, and Dev now finds herself embroiled in his first case, which involves Gabriella Winston, the missing wife of wealthy philanthropist Elliot Winston.

Elliot is determined to open a wildlife park on the edge of town but is facing all sorts of angry opposition—including Gabriella. After the Winstons have a bitter fight, Gabriella disappears, and their house is ransacked. The authorities are quick to claim Elliot killed his wife, but Dev’s not so sure. One thing is certain: Claws are out in Shadow Bend. . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jake Del Vecchio has rented space above Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair’s store for his private eye business. He has even encouraged her to get her P.I. license because they work so well together. They also get along very well every other time they are together too and Jake hopes she will make up her mind soon on whether she wants to be with him or Dr. Noah Underwood. Jake plans to spend as much time as possible with Dev.

When Sheriff Kincade send him his first case he asks Dev to help with investigation. It is an interesting case, Elliot Winston has reported his wife missing but he seems ore concerned about his new wildlife park project. The police think he probably killed his wife or she just took off to get away from her husband because she opposed him spending money on such a pipe dream, Dev and Jake think there is more to the story.

Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair is a wonderful protagonist. A woman with “curves”, beautiful inside and out. She and her father are getting closer every day. I love that he works for her at the dime store and that he is getting more comfortable since his release from prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Her mother is off again trying to find yet another husband but Dev just wants to be sure to choose the right man this time. Is she ready to give her heart again?

Growing up in a small town with a dime store and a drug store with a soda fountain makes it super easy for me to picture Devereaux’s Dime Store and Gift Baskets. The author’s descriptions fill in all the blanks. I enjoy hearing about her gift baskets and laughed out load at her “Naughty” and “Nice” Halloween displays. My mouth waters when she describes all the treats Dev serves including the ones she brings in for the special group meetings. She has turned her store into a fantastic community gathering place, a place where she can listen and ask questions to help her learn interesting things about her current case.

The current case has many twists. I changed my mind more than twice on how I thought the story was going to play out and was not disappointed, it was one bizarre ending.  I absolutely love it.

The mystery and the romance get equal time in the story and blend together perfectly. This is my favorite book in the series!!

Mystery, romance, drama and humor abroad within in these pages. Don’t miss out on the fun.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author
Denise Swanson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Scumble River Mysteries, including Murder of a Cranky Catnapper and Murder of an Open Book, and the Devereaux’s Dime Store Mysteries, including Between a Book and a Hard Place and Dying for a Cupcake. Dead in the Water (Welcome Back to Scumble River Book 1) will be released September 5,2016.

She worked as a school psychologist for twenty-two years before quitting to write full-time. She lives in Illinois with her husband, classical music composer David Stybr, and their cool black cat, Boomerang.


Coming September 5!

Find all of Denise’s books on Amazon here.


Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End August 9, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Jul 122017
 


I love it when Peg Cochran drops by for a visit!

The Mysteries of the Writing Process
By Peg Cochran

(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

Readers have expressed an interest in the “writing process.” Each writer’s process is probably as unique as his or her fingerprints, but this is mine.

For my mystery series, I already have some characters in place—protagonist, detective and other regular cast members. But what I need is a victim and a murderer! I start with the victim—the person can seem like the last person anyone would want to murder or they can be very unlikeable. But whichever way I go, I need to surround them with characters who have specific reasons for wanting them dead.

To come up with the victim, motive and suspects, I usually “think out loud” on paper. On the computer—writing longhand always ends up making my shoulder hurt because I tend to grip the pen too tightly! Always have.

I write down all my thoughts just as they occur to me—no censoring my thoughts or backspacing to erase them. Here is an example from my notes—some plot musings that never made it into the book…or at least not that book!

He’s receiving stolen goods—saffron or caviar or something. Why would he be a victim? Maybe this isn’t the real reason he’s killed. Just another red herring. Maybe the goods are meant to be passed to someone else and he double crosses them. He’s a partner with somebody. Or someone paid him to move the goods and he steals them instead. Has to be someone local.

It’s probably hard to believe, but those ramblings eventually coalesce into a plot!

I try to outline…I want to outline…but often I am so excited to get started on the story that I don’t. I don’t sail off blindly though, I have to have my “plot points” – what happens at the end of the first act, at the midpoint (big dramatic happening that changes everything), end of second act, black moment (all is lost!) and the ending.

At some point, I end up with a completed book! And it seems like a miracle each time!

~Peg

About The Author

Mystery writing lets Peg indulge her curiosity under the guise of “work” (aka research). As a kid, she read the entire set of children’s encyclopedias her parents gave her and has been known to read the dictionary. She put pen to paper at age seven when she wrote plays and forced her cousins to perform them at Christmas dinner. She switched to mysteries when she discovered the perfect hiding place for a body down the street from her house.

When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, cooking, spoiling her granddaughter and checking her book’s stats on Amazon.

A former Jersey girl, Peg now resides in Michigan with her husband and Westhighland white terrier, Reg. She is the author of the Sweet Nothings Lingerie series (written as Meg London), the Gourmet De-Lite series, the Lucille series and now the Cranberry Cove series. Her newest series, the Farmer’s Daughter, debuted with No Farm, No Foul in September 2016. Sowed to Death is available now.





Written as Meg London

Just Click on Covers to order from Amazon. 


Sowed to Death (Farmer’s Daughter Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
Setting – Michigan
Berkley (July 4, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282038
Kindle ASIN: B01M22OR6W

 

 

The county fair is the highlight of the year for the small town of Lovett, Michigan—especially for food-and-lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald, who writes as the Farmer’s Daughter. She’s submitting jams and jellies she’s created from the produce she grows at Love Blossom Farm in hopes of harvesting a blue ribbon.

But the townspeople get more than just the excitement of hayrides, tractor pulls, and cotton candy when Shelby’s neighbor and volunteer fireman, Jake Taylor, extricates the body of Zeke Barnstable instead of a dummy during a demonstration of the Jaws of Life. The fact that Jake and Zeke were known to be at odds plants suspicion in the minds of the police. As evidence against Jake grows, Shelby knows she has to plow through the clues to weed out the true killer and save her friend.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

You just can’t go wrong with a book by Peg Cochran. I have read almost all of them and doing my best to catch up on those I have missed.

In Sowed to Death  farmer/blogger Shelby McDonald is getting ready for the county fair. She is entering her jams and jellies and her son is participating in the an horse riding event. Both are hoping to come home with blue ribbons. The firemen are also demonstrating the Jaws of Life, something I am very familiar with as it was that device the extracted me from my van after my accident.  Their demonstration takes a foul turn when it is discovered that there is a real body in the car, not the dummy the firefighters had placed there. The body turns out to be Zeke Barnstable. Because Shelby’s neighbor, Jake, is a fireman and he and Zeke had a disagreement the police decide he is the prime suspect. Shelby knows she is going to dig up every suspect she can to prove her friend’s innocence even if that puts her in the line of fire.

This was a delightful read. These characters are people I would be friends with in real life. Shelby is a single mom raising 2 children but she has help from her deceased husband’s brother and several other friends, including fireman Jake. Two men that what to be as close to Shelby as possible but understand she is still getting over her husband’s death. I also love that she is a blogger and the way the author includes her posts right along with the story allowing Shelby to communicate directly with us, her “readers”.

The story really flows well and Shelby’s children, Billy and Amelia, play crucial roles in the mystery. One makes a dreadful discovery and one is danger as the story climaxes. As a mom, I would have totally freaked out and Shelby does but she turns into one hell of a fighter.

I enjoy the way Ms. Cochran writes. She is very descriptive making the story easy to visualize without going to far. She lets her characters continue to evolve naturally and realistically.  The mystery is filled plenty of twists and has not only drama/action but humor and a bit of romance too. Everything I love about cozy mysteries is found within these pages. A Must Read!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 26, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Jul 072017
 


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

This is a series I have wanted to start for a long time.

Murder on the Rocks
(Mack’s Bar Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (August 6, 2013)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758280152
Kindle ASIN: B00BPYGR0M

 

 

Mack’s Bar is one of those nice, friendly places where everybody knows your name. That’s great when someone’s buying you a round, but not so hot when you find yourself atop a list of murder suspects–with your fingerprints on the bloody knife!

Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton is a Milwaukee bar owner with a nose for trouble–literally. A neurological glitch has left her with extra perceptive senses. So when she stumbles upon a dead body in the alley behind the bar–the same spot where her own father was shot eight months earlier–she can tell right away there’s something fishy in the air. The lead detective thinks there’s a link between the two deaths, and he’ll need Mack’s help to sniff out the murderer amid the crowd of eccentric regulars. But when all the evidence points to her as the most likely culprit, it could be an early last call for Mack–and celebratory cocktails for a killer.

Includes drink recipes

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Growing up in Wisconsin my parents owned and operated a tavern, much like Mack’s Bar. Drinks, food, pool table, dart boards, regular patrons and visitors from out of town. Thankfully we never found a dead body in the back alley.

Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton has taken over her father’s bar after he was murdered. That case is still open but without any real clues as to the killer. When Mack finds another body in almost the exact same place and she is one of the suspects she tries to stay calm and cool. She knows she didn’t kill anyone. But since the murder weapon did belong to the bar the suspects could be anyone of her staff or customers. When she explains to the lead detective about a neurological issue she was born with he actually doesn’t think she is crazy. He thinks maybe her hyper senses may aid in the capture of the killer. A killer that he thinks took her dad’s life as well. When he wants to go undercover and work at the bar she just can’t say no.

These characters are so likable. Mack loves what she does and in a business like hers you have to. Days are quickly consumed by the work it takes to keep the place up and running. She does have a boyfriend who is a paramedic, but they don’t have much time to spend together. Detective Duncan Albright seems more Mack’s type and they do have chemistry. In fact, when they are together is sends quite a rush to Mack’s senses. Most of the regulars remind me of customers who became friends with my parents over the years. All their reactions and actions rang true to life. Even the part where they gathered together trying to solve the crime themselves with the facts available to the public.

Learning about Mack’s Synaesthesia was very engrossing. When Mack explains the condition to Duncan the author is explaining it to the readers as well. It is a rare  and complicated condition that at first thought must be awful but Mack has adjusted to it so well, it absolutely amazed me.

I really enjoyed that the author brought some Milwaukee history to the story. Yes, Al Capone once owned a bar in Milwaukee complete with some interesting basement activity. It is not much of a stretch of the imagination to think Mack’s Bar just might be the place. To spin the mystery to include part of this history was a fun plot line to follow with a twist that brings the whole story together.  A little different from a normal cozy, Mack works hand in hand with the police and they appreciate her input. The police also love the coffee she serves so they were stopping by often, even ones not involved in the case.

This is a well written story with characters I want to know more about. Murder with a Twist has moved way up on my To-Be-Read stack. I am excited about this series. 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Allyson K. Abbott is a pseudonym used by suspense writer Beth Amos. Beth has enjoyed a varied writing career that included a stint as a book reviewer and several years of nonfiction freelancing. Now she writes only fiction, and in stark contrast to her “day job” as an ER nurse, where she gets to save lives, the one common factor in her fiction, no matter what name it’s written under, is that someone always dies. Allyson K. Abbott is my little insider joke at having to pick yet another pseudonym. It’s not coincidence the initials are what they are.  Check out her webpage here and on Facebook here.

My review copy is a retired library copy.
If the winner would rather have an e-copy of the book that is o.k. with me.

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address for the print copy.
International if you choose an e-copy.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive

5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End July 21, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

This book was from my private collection.

Jul 052017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am happy to welcome Paige Sleuth to Escape With Dollycas today!

 

Cat Rescue and “Buy in July”

 

Like many cozy mystery writers and readers, I’m a huge animal lover. My two cats came to me five years ago now, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Anna Belle and Molly not only engage in daily antics to inspire some of the scenes in my Cozy Cat Caper Mystery series, but they’re also the books’ cover models. This is one of my favorite pictures of Anna Belle (left) and Molly. I think you’ll agree they’re both cuties!

 

 

Anna Belle and Molly celebrated their birthday/adoption anniversary last week. They were both rescue cats, and now that they have their own series they like to give back during the month of July. So, this month, $1 from every Paige Sleuth book purchase (for books priced above $0.99) will be donated to the Community Cat Coalition of Clark County (C5) as part of Paige Sleuth’s second annual “Buy in July” event. C5 is a volunteer-powered organization that seeks to reduce the number of cats euthanized every year by trapping and spay/neutering feral cats in the Las Vegas area before releasing them back into their communities. Have you ever seen a cat with a tipped ear, where the top sliver of one ear has been surgically removed? That’s an indication the cat has been fixed, and he or she probably is or was a stray at some point. If you look closely at the Cozy Cat Caper Mystery book covers, you might be able to tell that both Anna Belle and Molly have tipped ears.

If you’re eager to support your own local animal rescue, there are many ways to help. Of course, the biggest thing you can do is adopt your next furry friend from one of these rescues or a local shelter. Besides dogs and cats, many shelters have other small animals looking for homes—rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, you name it! If you’re not ready to make a lifelong commitment but enjoy the company of animals, foster parents are always in demand, especially around this time of year, which is sometimes known as “kitten season.” Foster programs differ by organization, but in most cases you simply have to provide the space, love, and basic needs of the animal until they find their forever home. Anna Belle and Molly actually started off as foster cats, but you know how cats are. After a few days they demanded I adopt them permanently. If fostering isn’t an option, you can still help! Many rescues have wishlists for items in need, so before you throw out those old towels and bedsheets, check to see if your local shelter or rescue can put them to good use. Even just spending some time with the homeless animals is appreciated, and it can benefit you as much as them.

Anna Belle, Molly, and I would love to hear about your own four-legged family members, past or present, and whether you’re involved with animal rescue in your own community. Leave us a comment below. Then we hope you’ll enter our July giveaway for a chance to win one Paige Sleuth book plus a surprise mystery book as selected by Anna Belle (Molly lost the coin toss on that one). And, if you haven’t already, you can check out the Cozy Cat Caper Mystery series for free right now. Details for downloading your free copy of book one, Murder in Cherry Hills, are in the Rafflecopter below. Good luck, and may your July be filled with happiness and love!

 

~Marla (aka Paige)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About The Author

Paige Sleuth is a pseudonym for mystery author Marla Bradeen. She plots murder during the day and fights for mattress space with her two rescue cats at night. When not attending to her cats’ demands, she writes. She loves to hear from readers, and welcomes emails at paige.sleuth@yahoo.com.

Website     Cozy Cat Caper Mystery books     Goodreads      Amazon author page

Murder in Cherry Hills (Cozy Cat Caper Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Washington
Self Published (August 8, 2015)
Paperback: 130 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1518798207
E-Book ASIN: B013M8PMG8

 

 

 

Kat Harper has only just returned to her small hometown of Cherry Hills, Washington when she discovers the dead body of her neighbor, Mrs. Tinsdale. Matilda, Mrs. Tinsdale’s orphaned rescue cat, just might be the only eyewitness to the murder. But how do you convince a cat to reveal “whodunit”?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We meet Kat Harper just when she notices Matilda in the hallway. Her neighbor’s door is ajar so that explains how the cat got out. When Kat goes to return the cat, she find her neighbor has been murdered. Kat soon realizes Matilda witnessed her person’s death. Now how can Kat get the cat to help her find the killer?

This series is off to a great start. We just scratch the surface on our lead characters, Kat and Matilda. I would have liked a little more depth and a little more drawn out plot but this is just the first story in a series where there are now 16 books so I am sure as the series continues the characters are more fleshed out.

This was a fun, light cozy that I enjoyed very much. A fast read too. I will be returning to Cherry Hills soon to visit with Kat and Matilda again.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.”

Jun 282017
 


I am so excited to welcome the husband and wife writing team J. C. Eaton
to Escape With Dollycas!
Their book was just released yesterday.

 

Hey HGTV, Find J.C. Eaton a Dream Writer’s Escape

We just finished watching an episode of “House Hunters International” (HGTV) where a lady sold her home in the United States and bought a dream house in Costa Rica, overlooking the beach, so she could have the perfect place to write her first novel. Well, we hate to admit it but we’re jealous. We’d love the perfect place to write our novels, too.

Don’t get us wrong. We love hearing the sound of the garbage trucks as they careen down our block and clang the metal cans. Or the windows shaking when the trains roll by. And nothing rivals our neighbor’s voice yelling to her mother, “You left your teeth on the counter again.”

 If we were safely ensconced on some Caribbean island, we’d be listening to the sound of ocean waves and tropical birds and who knows what kind of masterpieces we’d be able to produce living in virtual paradise.

We wouldn’t simply be writing novels, we’d be living them. With that in mind, we decided to get serious about our dream locales. In a flash, we traded the island life for what we’d like to call “Country Gentry Living.”

We’d write from our charming cottage in a small village outside of London, complete with a housekeeper who makes splendid breakfasts and provides tea and scones for us in the late afternoon. The cottage, that we’d affectionately name “The Good Life,” would be walking distance to a quaint little town with a bakery shop, candy store and small produce market. We’d write lovely Romance novels while enjoying the view of our impeccable garden.

It would be glorious except for one teeny weenie snafu- we don’t write romance.

So, we’d uproot our splendid garden and trade gentrification for snazzy city dwelling. Our new abode, a fabulously re-modeled condo overlooking the main plaza in Madrid, would allow us to slip downstairs to enjoy early evening tapas and drinks with the locals, engaging in conversation and speculation. Anything from painting to politics. We’d dine in different restaurants each night and eat churros every morning. Our complex crime novels would reflect the soul of an international city.

Compelling, yes, but apparently we’d forgotten a minor detail – we don’t write crime novels.

Fine, we’d leave our classy condo and move to a lovely Victorian house situated across from a quiet bay in Cape Cod where we could walk barefoot on the beach and open our windows at night to let in all the soft ocean breezes. A local cook would arrive early in the morning to prepare our meals and clean the house, leaving us all the free time in the world to write our delightful children’s books.

OH NO! We don’t write children’s books. Neither of us can draw, either.

We’d be forced to shutter the Victorian dream house and trade it for an Adirondack lodge that overlooked Lake Champlain. With an abundant kitchen staff and a pantry that held enough fortification for a decade, we could hike the woods in autumn, cross-country ski in winter and kayak in the spring and summer. When not indulging in nature’s own retreat, we’d be writing our mystery-suspense–adventures.

Unfortunately, that’s not our genre.

Good-bye Adirondacks and lake living. Reykjavik, Iceland awaits. We’d ride past the volcanoes on Icelandic horses and immerse ourselves in geothermic geyser pools. We’d drink coffee at the Kringlan Mall and do all sorts of people watching from our quiet little table at the Café Bleu. At home in our ultramodern apartment overlooking the cityscape, we’d plot our espionage thrillers.

Too bad we don’t write espionage thrillers, although Jim is totally addicted to them!

Farewell Iceland! It would be on to the Riviera and our gracious hotel apartment on the Cote d’Azur. With a full time wait staff and more amenities than we could imagine, we’d be writing our historical fiction in opulence and style.

 Historical fiction? Oh dear, that’s not us either.

We’d toss the beach towels on the sand and head off to Scotland. A moody landscape, an old castle and a relentless chill in the air. We’d be warming ourselves in front of the giant fireplace at a restored castle north of Edinburgh. Our housekeeper and our cook would ensure we had toasty blankets for our bed and savory roasts for our meals. With our faithful Scottish wolfhounds at our side, we’d hardly notice the fierce winds as we sat down to write our gothic horror novels.

Gothic horror? We may read it, (especially Ann ) but we don’t write it.

We had to face it, our quirky Southwest community was the perfect place to pen our cozy mysteries. Where else could anyone get excited over Bingo night or two dollar movies? We had our bake shops, bagel places and taco stands where we picked up more gossip for plotlines than fleas in a dog park.

And while we don’t have a housekeeper or a cook, we do have a new vacuum cleaner and cell phones with our favorite take-out places on speed dial. Our computer/office/pile of books and scrap paper, overlooks our giant AC unit and our neighbor’s cactus garden. If that’s not inspiration, we don’t know what is.

We absolutely love crafting humorous cozies with nosy neighbors, reluctant sleuths and enough twists and turns to keep everyone guessing, including us. That HGTV lady may have her Costa Rican dream house but we’ve got five cantankerous cats and one neurotic dog. True, no ocean views but hey, there’s nothing quite like the sound of pottery crashing on the tile floor when the dog decides he’s had enough of the cats’ shenanigans.

~J.C. Eaton

Thank you both so much for stopping by today!

 


Booked 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Arizona
Kensington (June 27, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496708557
Kindle ASIN: B01LYPJE1G

 

 

Never judge a book by its cover…

Sophie “Phee” Kimball is not a cop. She’s a divorced, middle-aged mom who works as an account clerk for the police department in a small city in Minnesota. But her retired mother, Harriet Plunkett, is convinced Phee is the only one who can solve the mystery of a cursed book. According to Harriet, four members of her book club have already succumbed to the deadly curse. Harriet insists Phee catch the next plane to her retirement community in Sun City West, Arizona, to investigate.

Is her mother just bored and lonely? She does have a new pet—a long-haired chiweenie (half Chihuahua, half Dachshund)—for company and a host of pals (although that number is admittedly dwindling). Phee is certain that their book club selection isn’t cursed, but is somebody really knocking off the ladies? As Phee starts to uncover dark secrets hidden in plain sight under the blazing Arizona sun, she’ll need to read between the lines before it’s someone else’s final chapter….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Oh my word! This is a wonderful debut!

Sophie “Phee” Kimball works for the police department in Minnesota in the office. The only detecting she does is hunting down receipts for expense reports but her dear mother assumes that she can kill the curse that is killing members of her book club. She begs her daughter to come to Sun City West, Arizona before another member ends up dead. Phee tries to calm her mother and put her off until the holidays but Harriet demands her presence immediately. After to talking to one of the local detectives she decides to head to Arizona, knowing he will be able to sort out any details she does find. Hopefully she can close the book on this mystery and get back to her own life in the “star of the north”.

I liked Phee right away but it took a bit for Harriet to grow on me. The way she expected her daughter to drop everything to do something she had no experience in was a little off putting but truthfully there are many moms in the world that expect their children to do the same, maybe not solve murders but handle many other issues. After the first couple of chapters some of Harriet’s requests were pretty funny. But that woman is PUSHY and extremely demanding.

Sun City West, Arizona is a retirement community and made for a very interesting setting. The early dinners, bingo games, clubs, and movies all ring true to the lives of the some senior citizens I know. It also gave Phee places to meet the suspects on her growing list as she tried to disprove all her mother’s theories. I found it delightful that she came up with her own version of a “murder board” to keep tracks of everyone and how they were connected as she tried to figure out what was really going on.

The story was very well written with a plethora of red herrings. I figured out a tiny part of the mystery early on but I uncovered the rest right along with Phee. I appreciated the fact that she knew she needed help to tie all the loose ends together and reached out to the detective and his techy friend back home. Even long distance the three of them made a great team. This story took several different tangents in the route to the big reveal and it truly was a very big public reveal.

The authors have laid a great foundation for this series. Plenty of room for the main characters to become more fully defined. The setting also gives the possibility of many supporting characters and mysteries.

A fine mystery filled with captivating characters and just enough humor to tickle your funny bone. I am very excited for the next installment, Ditched 4 Murder  will be out November 28, 2017.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Authors

Ann I. Goldfarb

            New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington) set for release in June 2017. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit the websites at: www.jceatonauthor.com and www.timetravelmysteries.com

James E. Clapp

            When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. His first novel, Booked 4 Murder (Kensington) is set for release in June 2017. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching. Visit the website at www.jceatonauthor.com



Thanks to the publisher 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.

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 12, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

Jun 212017
 


This is a series I need/want/have to catch up on as soon as I can!
I have thrilled to have Kate drop by today!

Kate Carlisle: How to Reward Readers

(Guest Post provided by publicist.)

Kate Carlisle is the bestselling author of the Bibliophile Mysteries and the Fixer-Upper Mysteries (as seen on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries). Her latest Bibliophile Mystery—Once upon a Spine—is a must-read for mystery readers who love books about books. RT Book Reviews calls Once upon a Spine “Truly laugh-out-loud hysterical… a great tale of who didn’t do it!” Read Chapters 1 and 2 free at KateCarlisle.com.

I am so very grateful to the readers who buy my books that I’m always looking for ways to reward them. Like many authors, I hold lots of giveaways for members of my mailing list, but the problem with giveaways is that only a limited number of readers win. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great, and I’ll continue to hold them. (Right now, I’m holding 30 days of giveaways, with one winner every day winning a limited edition deck of ONCE UPON A SPINE playing cards. Every face card is holding a murder weapon! How fun is that? You can enter in the Secret Room at KateCarlisle.com.)

But I want to do more. I want to reward every reader who loves my books, not just a few lucky winners. Here are a few of the ways I do just that:

FREE BOOKMARKS, BOOKPLATES, AND MAPS OF MY FICTIONAL TOWNS

Every member of my mailing list gets access to the Secret Room at KateCarlisle.com, where you’ll find details on how to send in for a free bookmark, autographed bookplate, or full-color map of the fictional towns in my books. The map of Dharma, the California commune where bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright was raised, is really charming.

 

PUZZLES

Mystery readers and puzzles just go together! So for every Bibliophile Mystery, my team creates a 12 Changes puzzle—can you find 12 changes in the cover of ONCE UPON A SPINE? (If this image is too small for you to see, you can download a PDF in the Secret Room at KateCarlisle.com. You’ll also find word search puzzles there, if you prefer word games.)

 

 

RECIPES

As a gift to every reader who buys ONCE UPON A SPINE, I’ve included some fun naughty appetizer recipes in the book, with names like Perky Breast Nibbles and Hot Buttered Rump Bites. They come directly from a scene in the book that made me giggle like a schoolgirl. Brooklyn’s mom is incorrigible, and this time, she has an accomplice!

I’d like to hear from you. What are some of your favorite rewards from authors you follow? What goodies get you excited as a reader?

~Kate


Once Upon a Spine (Bibliophile Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
11th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (June 6, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451477729
Kindle ASIN: B01LZRPHHK

 

 

San Francisco bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright stumbles through the looking glass in a tale of murder, rare books, and a quest for the perfect pie…

Brooklyn’s oh-so-proper future in-laws are traveling from England to meet her, and if that’s not enough to set her on edge, rumors abound that the charming Courtyard Shops across the street may be replaced by high-rise apartments. Their trendy neighborhood will be ruined unless Brooklyn and her fiancé Derek Stone can persuade the shopkeepers not to sell.

But with a rare edition of Alice in Wonderland causing bad blood at the Brothers Bookshop and a string of petty vandalism making everyone nervous, Brooklyn and Derek feel like they’re attempting six impossible things before breakfast. Then the owner of The Rabbit Hole juice bar is felled by his own heavy shelves, and the local cobbler lies dead beside him. An accident . . . or something more sinister? Things get curiouser and curiouser when a second priceless copy of Alice is discovered. Will it stir up more trouble within the close-knit community?

As the Brits descend, Brooklyn learns they’re not so stuffy, after all. Derek’s dad is won over with chocolate cream pie, and his psychic mum would kill to help Brooklyn solve this murder—before another victim takes a tumble.

Read more about Kate and her mysteries at www.KateCarlisle.com!

Also by Kate Carlisle

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

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 5, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jun 142017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Elizabeth Lynn Casey joins us today!
Her new Sewing Circle Mystery was released last week!

When a “Small Fix” is Anything But
By Elizabeth Lynn Casey
Author of PATTERNED AFTER DEATH
(Guest Post provided by publicist)

Have you ever had one seemingly tiny thing go wrong only to have it kick off an almost domino-effect across other aspects of your life?

I know I have.

And, in Patterned After Death (12th book in my Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries), so too, does my main character, Tori Sinclair.

When the story opens, Tori’s car isn’t working. Her husband, Milo, thinks it’ll be a quick fix.

Ahhh, yes, famous last words…

Not only is the issue with the car harder to figure out than Milo thought, it also ends up being the least of Tori’s worries. Because by the end of the day, she’s found a dead body and hit her head on a concrete floor.

And that’s just the beginning. In a matter of day or two, she’s trying to clear a friend’s son of murder charges, help another deal with decreasing health, and convince another that she’s not a traitor.

Suddenly that broken car doesn’t seem like such a big deal, huh?

***

You can read more about Tori Sinclair in Patterned After Death, the 12th book in the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries by Elizabeth Lynn Casey:

***

~Elizabeth


Patterned After Death (Southern Sewing Circle Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
12th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (June 6, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282571
Kindle ASIN: B01M3RBSBS

Everyone in Sweet Briar, South Carolina, knows former high school football stars Jake Davis and Noah Madden. The two were fierce rivals once and now, twenty years later, the dueling quarterbacks haven’t lost their luster. So townsfolk are surprised when Jake and Noah team up for a business venture. And there’s only one suspect when Noah turns up murdered.

Margaret Louise, Jake’s mother and one of the founding members of the sewing circle, isn’t about to take the attack on her son’s reputation lying down. In fact, she’s in full mama-bear mode. And Tori and the rest of the Sweet Briar gang are more than willing to help her sharpen her claws to catch a killer.

PATTERN AND SEWING TIPS INCLUDED 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tori’s day gets off to a bad start with her car making a funny noise but things get a whole lot worse when she finds a body at the Jake’s repair shop. Jake seems to be a shocked as Tori and Milo but because he and the dead man have a history that dates back 20 years he becomes the #1 suspect. His mom, Margaret Louise is one of Tori’s best friends as is his wife, Melissa, mother of his 8 children. Tori knows he is innocent, she just has to prove it. The Sewing Circle members all pitch in any way the can to get this mystery stitched up as quickly as possible.

I love this series! I love these characters!

The Sewing Circle  is made up of a fabulous group of ladies, 1 gentleman and 1 rabbit 🙂 The group has its share of spats between the members but this time there is a major divide and feelings are hurt. Of course, there is an explanation but communication lines between 2 members are completely shut down causing even more stress and urgency to find the real killer. The characters introduced in the first story have become so real over the years that when they hurt it flutters right off the pages and into my heart. They are truly as close as family and I absolutely love the way they take care of each other. This is a true sign of the author’s excellence, she keeps the characters real and vital. If they actually were real I would move to South Carolina just to join this group.

Now as for the mystery, that is top drawer as well. More suspects than I had originally imagined. The way the whole town was involved – Team Jake – Team Noah pulled me even deeper into the action in Sweet Briar. You may think a book set in the South would have a slow build but this story moves at a speedy pace. In addition to the murder there is some very emotional stuff going on. After the murderer is revealed the story has a final delightful, wonderful, heartwarming twist. I loved the ending.  I am going to have an especially  hard time waiting for the next installment 🙂

I have been asked before if these books can be read as stand alone and they definitely can but you will probably want to go back to the beginning to see how Tori’s life in Sweet Briar started.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author:

Elizabeth Lynn Casey (of the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries) is a pen name for Laura Bradford, the national bestselling author of several mystery series, including the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, the Amish Mysteries, the Tobi Tobias Mysteries, and the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries. Laura is a former Agatha Award nominee, and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, and being an advocate for those living with Multiple Sclerosis.

For more information, visit: www.elizabethlynncasey.com or www.laurabradford.com .

Facebook

Twitter: @bradfordauthor and @ElizabethLCasey


Click on covers to order order or to see more information about each book.

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away! 
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
 Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End June 28, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Jun 072017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

It is always a pleasure to have Leslie drop by for a visit.
I am so happy that her Food Lover’s Mystery Series have found a new home at Midnight Ink!

Escape to a Music Festival, with Leslie Budewitz,
author of Treble at the Jam Fest, #4 in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries.

Music is a big part of life here at Sanctuary Woods, the name Mr. Right long ago gave our sweet little hideaway in the northern Rockies, not far from Glacier National Park. I once studied the classical guitar, and he’s a singer-songwriter who put himself through nursing school playing and singing in bars. (Including a strip club, between acts!) From Bach to the Beatles, from Adele to Neil Young, you can hear just about any music you like at our house.

So a few years ago, when a group of locals started the Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival and Workshop, http://crownguitarfest.org/ we jumped right in. For a week, the sound of music fills the valley. (By  coincidence, the Von Trapp Family Singers, a delightful quartet of young adult siblings who are the Captain and Maria’s great-grandchildren, live in our valley. They were students one year and gave an impromptu concert outside. And yes, it sparkled.) Imagine the setting, a ninety-year-old log lodge on the shores of a magnificent mountain lake, surrounded by guest cabins and horse barns, log chairs to sit in and views to die for. It’s a real place, the model for Caldwell’s Eagle Lake Guest Lodge in my Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries. The lodge and environs show up in several books, but are featured most prominently in the second installment, Crime Rib.

I wish I could take you there at about seven of a summer evening, when the horses parade up a hillside trail to their evening pasture. Paints and pintos, chestnuts and bays, a sorel or two, and a big Appaloosa. Even if you don’t ride, the sight and sound will make you pause with wonder.

Every day, 100 students from across the globe, including quite a few locals, gather at the lodge and in charming spots around the village to study. Classes focus on a range of guitar styles—jazz, rock, blues, classical—or a songwriting class, and guest artists drop in. Mr. Right has attended for several years, and that week is hard work and bliss.

Every evening, the teachers, many internationally renowned artists themselves, and artists in residence put on concerts for the community in a giant tent on the lodge grounds. Pat Metheny, Alex De Grassi, Lee Ritenour, John Oates, Jim Messina, Patti Larkin, the LA Guitar Quartet—I could go on, but you can hear the music, can’t you?

It’s such a treat, for students, faculty, and locals. When I lived in Seattle, I loved the multi-stage festivals at Seattle Center—Folklife in early summer, Bumbershoot over Labor Day—and adored my treks north to the Vancouver Folk Festival. The small-town version is just as much fun, sprinkled with our mountain magic dust.

And it’s an economic boon, too, something every village craves. Visitors eat, stay, and shop local. They buy jewelry and pottery, fun kitchenware, kids’ clothes and toys. They hike and sail. Some buy real estate and become part of the community.

And to my delight, many buy books, too!

But what if something went wrong? What if one of those famed guest artists wasn’t so charming? What if an up-and-comer—an emerging artist, in the modern term—had an inflated sense of her talent? What if an organizer had another agenda, or a sponsor was playing a different tune? What if an old tension burst under new pressure, and the dischord led to murder?

I’ve changed the festival, of course. Made the focus jazz, set it over Memorial Day, moved most of the concerts into the village of Jewel Bay, with its historic Playhouse and outside amphitheater. Erin is busy getting the Merc ready for summer—she’s in desperate need of a new sales clerk, and juggling all the details of running a business in a tourist community.

And because no family is always harmonious, and the course of true love never did run smooth, Erin must deal with drama in the Murphy clan and a bit of a surprise in her own romance.

But along with a passion for pasta and a talent for retail, Erin’s discovered that her business skills also make her a good investigator. So when tragedy strikes, she steps in to help protect the community and keep the music playing.

I hope you’ll make the time to enjoy a little music yourself this summer, along with a good mystery!

~Leslie

Thank you Leslie for visiting today! 

 


Treble at the Jam Fest (A Food Lovers’ Village Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Midnight Ink (June 8, 2017)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738752402
E-Book ASIN: B01M1FC4OK

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident—or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Jewel Bay just in time for the Jazz Festival. To kick off the event a few of the musicians featured put on a mini preview concert in the event area behind Erin Murphy’s store The Merc. Tempers seem to flare between a few of the artists but Erin thinks the night went pretty well. When headliner Gerry Martin is found dead the next morning Erin finds herself smack dab in the middle of another murder investigation. She is trying to save the festival but she may end up getting herself all jammed up. Can she catch a killer before the last note is played?

All of our favorite characters return and many new ones arrive on the scene. Jewel Bay is a small town and the Merc is right in the center of all the actions. Erin’s mom is cooking up a storm in the Merc’s kitchen and she also takes a big step, Tracy helps Erin with the store and has her area full of chocolate and demand is growing, and Erin has hired Lou Mary to help at the store too. She is just training but I feel she will fit right in. Adam and Erin’s relationship is going strong. His friend Tanner has come to town with some news that could change that though. Also new in this story are the musicians and a new deputy sheriff. The cast is diverse and with those we love, those with secrets, and those that just rub everyone the wrong way. Very representative of life in a small town.

The story moves right along with many things that twist and connect leading up to the surprising reveal. The imagery created by the author’s words gives a clear picture of Jewel Bay and all its special places. The dialogue was real and flowed naturally.

I am so excited that this series is continuing. I have enjoyed every visit and can’t wait to return. I have become very invested in these characters.

If this series is new to you don’t worry. The author provides a cast list at the beginning of the book. I think after reading this one you will want to go back and read the series from the start.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author
Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Purchase Links

Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 21, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

May 312017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to have Meg Macy here today for a visit!!

 

Escape with Meg Macy and Her Teddy Bears

 

One would think Meg Macy has loved teddy bears since childhood. Not so! She slept with Jerry the Mouse (of Tom and Jerry) every night. Her love of teddy bears was born as an adult, when Meg visited England. On a visit to Harrods’s, she picked up a Paddington Bear toy and read the tag – “Please look after this bear”. Paddy looked ready for a new adventure to the States, so she tucked him into her suitcase. From there, the bears began to multiply (like rabbits) until she had a houseful. While Meg’s daughter had fun playing with all the bears (and bunnies), she now serves as a beta reader for Mom’s ‘Shamelessly Adorable’ Teddy Bear cozy mysteries for Kensington.

Meg and her daughter often escape every year on a trip around Michigan. (Meg’s husband often tags along, too, depending on his schedule.) Mackinac Island is a favorite for overnight stays at various bed-and-breakfasts – check out the Haan and Metevier Inn websites. Meg and her family love walking along Main Street or renting bikes to ride around the island. The downtown souvenir shops are always fun, as are visiting the Butterfly House, seeing the Grand Hotel, watching the ferries come and go. Meg will even take a day trip to the island if they can’t spend the night. And she’s often found adorable teddy bears, artwork, and teacups in boutiques there for her collections.

Other favorite spots to escape are Ann Arbor’s Tea Haus, Sweet Afton’s tea room in Plymouth, Saugatuck’s Ida Red’s (for breakfast) and Pumpernickel’s (for lunch) plus the art galleries and unique shops. Meg loves Point Betsie and other lighthouse along the Lake Michigan coastline. All of these places serve as inspiration for her writing. She loves studying maps when she can’t escape the house.

For Silver Hollow, the setting of her new series, Meg took bits of one small town and blended in a few others in Southeastern Michigan. Pinterest is another escape – she loves to trawl for new photos to pin to her ‘Rare Teddy Bears’ board, along with what the Silver Bear Shop & Factory interior might look like.

Details, details – for Meg, that’s what makes any book fun to read!

One more escape – springtime means the Malice Domestic author and reader convention. Meg enjoys the author panels, meeting readers, and sharing stories about writing with other authors. Meg is also one-half of the D.E. Ireland team (along with Sharon Farrow) writing the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mysteries, and they have been thrilled to be a finalist (twice!) in the Best Historical category.

Meg is thrilled to see how readers enjoy Bearly Departed and will be hosting a book launch event at her local library on June 6th, plus signing books around the area through the summer. She also plans on attending Bouchercon in Toronto later this year – yet another escape, and out of the country to Canada! She recently found a maple leaf bear when visiting Agawa Canyon. And one day, Meg plans to return to England for a Palace Guard teddy bear to keep Paddy company back home in Michigan.

After all, “it’s nice having a bear about the house.” (Michael Bond, A Bear Called Paddington) The more, the merrier!

~Meg

Thank you Meg for stopping by today! 


Bearly Departed (A Teddy Bear Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (May 30, 2017)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496709639
E-Book ASIN: B01LJKQI7I

The Silver Bear Shop and Factory might be the cutest place around, but there’s nothing warm and fuzzy about murder . . .

As manager of the family teddy bear shop and factory, thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life. Well, except for the part about being a single divorcée with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow. And that’s just kid’s stuff compared to Will Taylor, the sales rep who’s set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch—with or without Sasha’s approval . . .

But before Will digs his claws in, someone pulls the stuffing out of his plan . . . and leaves his dead body inside the factory. Reeling from shock, Sasha’s hit with more bad news—police suspect her hot-tempered Uncle Ross may have murdered him. Sasha knows her uncle would never do such a thing, and she’s launching her own little investigation to expose the truth. As she tracks Will’s biggest rivals and enemies for clues, Sasha can’t get too comfy—or she’ll become the next plaything for a killer . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Things at The Silver Bear Shop and Factory are not “beary” delightful. After the sales manager Will Taylor announces manufacturing of the teddies will be moving overseas the staff is in uproar. Especially Sasha, Maddie and their Uncle Ross. The girl’s parents started this business and have basically retired and have left the shop and factory in their hands. Their parents/brother never would do something so major without talking to them first.

Before they can even contact their father Sasha and Maddie find Will’s dead body next to the stuffing machine. To make matters worse the police have pegged Uncle Ross as the prime suspect. Seems his threats to Will were taken seriously by some people. The factory and store are shut down, the upcoming teddy bear parade may have to be cancelled, her uncle may soon be behind bars and her parents are not returning their calls. Sasha just can’t bear any more drama so she starts investigating on her own not realizing she may be the next “bearly departed”.

This was a fabulous read.

The Silver Bear Shop and Factory sounds like such a fun place. I know there is a national chain that allows you to stuff you own teddies and other creatures but The Silver Bear Shops sells a very unique bear. Also Maddie and Sasha make a great team, creative to think of all sorts of events to coordinate with the seasons and holidays drawing visitors to Silver Hollow.

Macy has created a charming cast of characters. Sasha is divorced but her ex has moved back to Silver Hollow bringing a bit of added drama. She is a very determined woman and very loyal to her family and their business. Maddie takes care of the office work, paying bills, working with vendors, and the financial reports. She also has a very creative side. Uncle Ross runs the factory and can be a little prickly but like his brother, the girl’s father, he is a real teddy bear behind all the bluster. Their mother is a little tougher and ready for life to slow down. We also meet their employees and other shopkeepers like Will’s wife. Being the first book in the series the author has left plenty of room for the characters grown in future installments.

The author has written a tale with a number of twists. The clue that seemed to be missed by the police was one I grabbed onto and was pleasantly surprised that I was right about its relevance.  I was still surprised by the way the story played out.

Meg Macy has penned a wonderful debut for this series. It checks all my boxes for an absolutely perfect escape. I can “bearly” wait for my next visit to Silver Hollow. Bear Witness to Murder will be released in 2018.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter — the area she chose for the setting of her new “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mystery series for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery series; two books have been named Agatha Award finalists. Meg’s first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. She’s a graduate of Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. Meg loves reading mysteries, historicals, and other genre fiction, and also enjoys gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.

Author Links:      www.megmacy.com      Meg Macy – Teddy Bear Cozy Mysteries      Meg Macy on Twitter


Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

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Click Here For Entry Form

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

May 242017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to have Kathleen Bridge back to Escape With Dollycas!

 

 

The Seeds Planted before a Book Blooms
by Kathleen Bridge

(Guest post provided by publicist.)

As a mystery writer, I’m always ripping out newspaper or magazine articles and copying/pasting links that might someday become an inspiration for a future book. The premise for the first book in my Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery series came from a magazine article I read about writer Sally Quinn purchasing the falling-in-ruin Grey Gardens in East Hampton, New York. In the article, Ms. Quinn talked about the items she’d discovered in the mansion’s attic and how she restored the interior of the house, based on old photographs, to its original splendor. I tore out the article and filed it under, “Story Ideas.” A few years later, I went to my file and found the article. As an antiques dealer and fixer-upper, the thought of treasure in an old attic at an estate where the rich and famous live and die, gave me the idea for Better Homes and Corpses.

The inspiration for my second Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery came from a newspaper article I read in Dan’s Hamptons about Andy Warhol’s estate in Montauk selling for fifty million dollars. I added the article to my file. Voila! A year later it gave me the idea for Hearse and Gardens, whose main storyline is about a wealthy Pop Art broker’s murdered son and a missing Andy Warhol painting of a can of Aqua Net Hairspray.

 

Years ago, I was sitting in my backyard reading a story in The New York Times about F. Scott Fitzgerald, “A Fleeting Era’s Timeless Chronicle” by Patrick J. Lyons. The first sentence in the article had me hooked. “Few places that F. Scott Fitzgerald inhabited over a short and shallow-rooted life infused his writing the way Long Island did.” The article went on to tell how Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby from his rented home in Great Neck, Long Island, a short distance away from where I sat. Also mentioned in The New York Times piece was a short story Fitzgerald wrote that takes place in Montauk, called, “The Unspeakable Egg.” In the file, it went.

As you’ve probably guessed, the article became the inspiration for my third book about what would happen if an unpublished F. Scott Fitzgerald novel surfaced in the Hamptons, and shortly after, the manuscript’s authenticator was found dead. Soon, I was off on a journey that would lead my protagonist, Meg Barrett, to the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast in the old whaling village of Sag Harbor, rich with history and the home of many famous American authors. The seed was sown and eventually budded into Ghostal Living.

Well, it’s time to write my next book. I’m sure somewhere in my files there’s a seed ready for germination. Right now, what might bloom is a mystery…

~Kathleen

Thank you so much Kathleen for dropping by today! 


Ghostal Living (Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (May 2, 2017)
The Berkley Publishing Group
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425276600
Kindle ASIN: B01KUCY83W

 

 

The first Sag Harbor Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Fair is right around the corner, and interior designer Meg Barrett has her hands full decorating rooms at the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast for wealthy rare book collector Franklin Hollingsworth. Rumor has it Hollingsworth is in possession of an unpublished manuscript written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. When the Fitzgerald manuscript’s authenticator is found dead at the bottom of a cliff, Meg suspects a killer is on the loose.

Rare books start disappearing from the B & B and Meg sees a connection between the stolen books and the deceased authenticator. With the fair looming, she finds herself caught up in catching a killer and thief before another victim is booked for death.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast. Meg Barrett has been working hard to complete all the rooms before the first Sag Harbor Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Fair. Rare book collector Franklin Hollingsworth and owner of the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast is going to present an unpublished manuscript written by F. Scott Fitzgerald at the fair. Before he can do that the man that authenticated the work is found dead. Also, other rare books have gone missing from the B&B. Meg believes the death and the thefts are connected. She finds herself wrapped right in the middle of another investigation.

Each of the rooms at Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast is decorated around classic authors. Rooms dedicated to Emily Dickinson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, John Steinbeck, Louisa May Alcott, and Edith Wharton. All the furnishings, books and knick knacks are described in detail to give you a clear picture of all the rooms. I really enjoyed the way the authors were mentioned throughout the book.

The author also describes the grounds and people in vivid detail. Even the hurricane that blows through can be almost felt through the pages thanks to her writing style.

Meg is a unique character, strong and doesn’t let her hearing disability hold her back. In fact, because of it she can read lips which comes in quite handy when trying to catch a killer. Her romantic life is a bit of a mess but that doesn’t take over the mystery.

We are given several viable suspects with many twists. Greed, lies and secrets lead us to an eventful ending.

Take a little trip to the Hamptons and enjoy some time with Meg and her friends.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Kathleen Bridge started her writing career working at the Michigan State University News in East Lansing, Michigan. She is the author and photographer of an antique reference guide,  Lithographed Paper Toys, Books, and Games, and the author of Revenge of the Sports Widows—How to Cope with a Sports Fanatic. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and has taught creative writing classes at the William Cullen Bryant Library in Roslyn, New York. Kathleen is also an antiques dealer in Long Island, New York, and has contributed to Country Living magazine.

Find out more on her webpage here.


Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 7, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Drawing Conclusions (A Sketch in Crime Mystery) by Deirdre VerneBUY TODAY
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