Sep 202017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Julie Chase is touring with Great Escapes so while I am not hosting a guest post today you will find several guests posts, interviews, and more reviews on her tour.
You can find all the stops at the bottom of this post.

Cat Got Your Secrets: A Kitty Couture Mystery
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Louisiana
3rd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (September 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683312833
E-Book ASIN: B06XVWR8Q9

 

 

Lacy Marie Crocker has settled into a comfortable groove back home in New Orleans, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, she’s busier than ever running a thriving pet boutique, helping her mother organize the upcoming National Pet Pageant, and untangling her complicated love life. But when delivering a king-sized order of dreidel-shaped doggy biscuits for a Saint Berdoodle’s bark-mitzvah, Lacy stumbles into yet another murder scene—and the last person to see the victim alive was her own father.

It’s up to Lacy to clear her dad’s name from the suspect list before Detective Jack Oliver has to cage him for good. But just when she starts pawing at the truth, she receives a threatening letter from a mysterious blackmailer bent on silencing her with her own secrets. And Lacy’s not the only one with bones in her closet.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

An absolutely delightful new cozy from Julie Chase! Doesn’t that grab you right away?

Lacy’s back and this time her father has been accused of murdering his best friend. Her dad goes into slump, her mother is in denial and worried more about upcoming National Pet Pageant, Lacy  goes into overdrive to find proof so that Detective Jack Oliver will leave her dad alone and find the real killer. The tables turn on Lacy when she receives an envelope and finds herself in the cross hairs of a blackmailer. To Jack’s dismay Lacy acts again without thinking things through and puts herself in danger.

I love Lacy Crocker. She is creative and smart and devoted to her dad. When she learns he was with his friend so close to the time of his death she knows exactly what Jack is going to do. She tries to warn her mother but she doesn’t think it is a big deal until they take her husband to the station for questioning. Then she expects Lacy to fix everything.

Lacy’s mother is very demanding without her husband in the hot seat. This time she not only expects Lacy to clear her father but she also puts her on the Pet Pageant committee, a committee that she chairs. She has declared that all committee members to dress in pastels for an entire month. Remember Lacy is also running a business, a business where sales should increase when the pageant takes place. She also has several special orders. All this before she even tries to have any private life. So murder, blackmail, a new wardrobe, her business, a pageant, and normal life. Lacy’s plate is more than overflowing. This mother/daughter relationship ebbs and flows. Lacy doesn’t ever want to hurt her mom’s feelings but it is hard work. As the story continues the relationship starts to brighten but I feel for Lacy so much under all that weight.

The private life I mentioned includes attorney Chase Hawthorne and Detective Jack Oliver. They each have their pluses and minuses.  I remain on Team Jack!

The focus of the story lets us get to know some of the supporting characters. Imogene, Lacy’s former nanny takes on the heavy load of The Furry Grandmother while Lacy does her investigating and Scarlet helps Lacy with the case as she taps into the gossip train around town. But it is Penelope and Spot that always make me smile and laugh.

The mystery is well written and keeps a steady pace from beginning to end. The subplots and main plot flow together nicely. Secrets, secrets and more secrets drive this story. The plot takes an interesting twist that brings many more suspects to the forefront. The drama escalates when Lacy finds herself in more than a little danger. My pages were turning briskly.

The story takes place around Valentine’s day and it was fun to see people shopping for their pets.

I adore this series. Fun characters and themes and entertaining mysteries. I do suggest you read them in order to get to know the characters from the start. They are all perfect escapes!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime. She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. Learn more about Julie Anne Lindsey here.

Facebook     Twitter     Website    Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon     B&N     BAM!    IndieBound
Written as Julie Anne Lindsey


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Praise for Cat Got Your Secrets: A Kitty Couture Mystery
by Julie Chase

The characters are charming. Lacy and her family and close friends pull you in and you’ll want to become their new ‘bestie’. I was!
~My Reading Journeys

Julie Chase has done it again. Another fun and entertaining installment of an enjoyable series.
~A Cozy Experience

I feel a little thrill of excitement whenever I see a new title in the series; I know I’m in for a great story, filled with humor, drama, action, and Julie Chase’s signature quirky yet lovable heroine.
~The Girl with Book Lungs

This is a fabulous addition to this series!
~A Chick Who Reads

CAT GOT YOUR SECRETS is a cute cozy filled with ever evolving characters, a great location, and an in-depth mystery.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Southern fiction meets cozy mystery in this fun series set in the heart of New Orleans.
~Reading Is My SuperPower

So we have murder, family relationships, hunky eligible men, and adorable animals in costumes plus some secrets are revealed. What is not to love?
~Laura’s Interests

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

September 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 12 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW
September 12 – Community Bookstop – INTERVIEW
September 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
September 13 – Books Direct – GUEST POST
September 14 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW
September 14 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
September 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 16 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
September 16 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
September 17 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
September 18 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
September 18 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
September 19 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
September 19 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
September 19 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
September 20 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
September 20 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
September 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY
September 21 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
September 21 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – INTERVIEW
September 22 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 22 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 23 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 23 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
September 24 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
September 24 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
September 25 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW
September 25 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

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

Sep 132017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to have Dorothy St. James stop by for a visit to tell us about her new series!

The Making of a Chocolate Murder
by Dorothy St. James

When I was writing Flowerbed of State (the first book in the White House Gardener Mystery Series) way, way back in 2010, the idea for a mystery series set in a chocolate shop started dancing around in the back of my mind. Why? Because I luuuv chocolate and, you know, you can’t write a book without research!

I knew there were already several popular bakeshop and chocolate shop mystery novels being published, so I wanted to make sure mine was a new and different twist on the theme. So I did some research—yummy research.

Did you know that if a chocolate bar doesn’t state the percent chocolate it contains, it’s not really considered chocolate? Did you also know that there are three main varieties of chocolate beans being commercially grown, but the most flavorful bean is hard to grow and even harder to find in the stores? And did you know even though the cacao bean originates in South America, most of the world’s chocolate production occurs in Africa under some questionable labor practices?

I didn’t know any of that until I started my yummy research. And those facts gave me an idea. My fictional chocolate shop wouldn’t simply create truffles and bonbons. It would be what is called a bean-to-bar chocolate shop. And it would use the most flavorful and rarest cacao bean in the world to create a chocolate that few in the world have ever tasted. Think of it this way. The chocolate you can buy in the stores could be compared with the perfectly round, watery tomatoes grown on large farms. The rare chocolates sold in the Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery Series are like heirloom tomatoes that are bursting with so many flavors it makes your tongue happy.

Now that I knew what kind of chocolate I wanted in my mystery series, I needed to decide where to put this special chocolate shop of my imagination. After thinking it over, there was really only one place the Chocolate Box could be—Folly Beach, South Carolina. That’s the quirky seaside town where I’ve lived for the past twenty years. Folly Beach is perhaps too quirky, so I decided invent a toned-down fictional town for the mystery series. Camilla Beach is a beach town that hasn’t yet been redeveloped into a tourist town. The residents who live on the small island treat each other like family. (Sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes that’s not.)

And there had to be a dog. I based Stella, the feisty papillon in the book, on Iona my best girl and a dog I miss with all my heart. I was so, so pleased when my publisher (Crooked Lane Books) used a photograph of my Iona to create the drawing of Stella on the cover of the book.

Finally, I had to come up with a murder. Of course the method of the murder in this first book had to involve some kind of chocolate. But that part was easy. And the rest…? Well, you’ll have to read the book to know how it turns out.

And that’s how a new series was born. I hope you enjoy this special book.

Are you hungry yet? I’m running a contest on my website (http://www.dorothystjames.com/contest.html) where I’m giving away a chocolate bar made using one of the rarest cacao beans in the world. The contest is open until September 30, 2017.
Good luck!

~Dorothy

Thank you Dorothy for visiting today!! 


Asking for Truffle: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
Brand New Series
Setting – South Carolina
Crooked Lane Books (September 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683312918
Kindle ASIN: B06XW8GW16

 

 

When Charity Penn receives a letter saying she won a trip to Camellia Beach, South Carolina complete with free cooking lessons at the town’s seaside chocolate shop, The Chocolate Box, she’s immediately skeptical. She never entered any contest. Her former prep school friend offers to look into the phony prize―only to end up drowned in a vat of chocolate.

Struck with guilt, Penn heads to the southern beach town to investigate why he was killed. But as wary as she is of the locals, she finds herself lured into their eccentric vibe, letting her defenses melt away and even learning the art of crafting delicious chocolates. That is, until delight turns bittersweet as she steps straight into the midst of a deadly plot to destroy the seaside town. Now, only Penn’s quick thinking and a mysterious cask of rare chocolate can save the town she’s learning to love.

Includes Recipes

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I saw this cover pop up on Facebook I knew I needed to read this book! Look at those truffles and the cute puppy.

Ms. St. James starts us out just up the highway from where I am sitting here in Wisconsin, when Charity Penn (Penn) learns she has won a trip to Camellia Beach, South Carolina and The Chocolate Box. Thinking is has to be some kind of scam she doesn’t get too excited. Then a friend, Skinny McGee, says he is going to be in South Carolina area and tells her he will check the place out. After a phone call from Skinny gets cut off and she learns he was found later dead in vat of chocolate, she has no choice but to venture south to find out what happened. She is not welcomed with opened arms by everyone but the ladies at The Chocolate Box are sure happy to see her. But there is something very wrong in Camellia Beach, in addition to the death of her friend, and Penn is not heading back to Madison until she gets to the bottom of it.

I really enjoyed this story. Penn reminds me a little bit of myself, we both have the “waiting for the other shoe to drop” mentality. She has kind of closed herself off due to her upbringing making her very independent but hard for people to get to know. She is clearly an individual that has a deep hurt that has affected her for a long time.  Still she hops on a plane to a place unknown to her to find out why her friend was killed. Everyone in the town was sketchy from police chief, to the local lawyer, and even the ladies at the chocolate shop were hiding something. Her skeptical nature serves her well in this town.  I appreciated the character development throughout the story while still allowing room for the characters to continue to grow over the course of the series.

The plot itself has several twists giving several viable suspects but I was on the right track early on. I always say, first books in a cozy mystery series are a heavy lift because the author not only has to introduce the main character and the people around them but give us a mystery that clicks with the readers and engages them to come back for future books. The author did that here with an extra twist in the plot away for the murder/s. Something that the reader is unsure about until almost the very end of the story. While the murder was solved she left other questions I need answered. I am definitely excited for the next installment.

Learning about the cacao beans, where they come from and how to work with them was super interesting too. The candy descriptions had be drooling and craving chocolate.

Oh and just a little heads up –  that cute little puppy on the cover is a feisty little creature known to bite even her owner. 🙂  She also has to deal with another animal in this story and when it was introduced I could have fallen out my chair laughing.

This series is off to a great start and I am excited to see what happens next.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was born in New York but raised in South Carolina. For the past 20+ years, she made her home on an artsy island community in South Carolina with her husband. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn’t as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.

* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including: Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: “amazing”, “perfect”, “filled with emotion”, and “lined with danger.”

~From Amazon

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


I am giving away my signed Advance Review Copy!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End September 27, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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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.”

Sep 062017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to have my friend Sally Goldenbaum drop by for a visit today!
Her new book Murder Wears Mittens was released last Tuesday by Kensington!

One of my favorite things about the excitement that surrounds a book release is the chance to spend time right here in Dollycas’s cozy corner. Thank you for inviting me back. I love spending time with you.

A Sense of Place

One of the things I enjoy most about writing is the challenge of creating a sense of place. Helping readers step into a world in which they can feel and taste and hear and see everything that surrounds the characters. At least that’s my goal.

This August I spent many hours walking the shores of Cape Ann, where the fictitious town of Sea Harbor is now so firmly rooted in my imagination that I see it at every turn. But as I walked around, I realized I was taking more credit than I deserved for creating the town. It isn’t my imagination alone that has helped me achieve that sense of place that I covet. It’s the place itself.

It’s Cape Ann and its small towns—Essex, Manchester-by-the-sea, Rockport—and the city of Gloucester. Some of you have visited the area, and even spotted places you’ve read about in the mysteries. Which gave me the idea of a tour—checking out places that have inspired me while writing the seaside mystery books. I hope you fall in love with the place, just as I have.

First, for some basics: Izzy’s yarn shop, Harry’s Deli, The Book Store and Ocean’s Edge Restaurant—oh, and Jake’s Gull Tavern. They are all on Harbor Road, Sea Harbor’s active main street inspired by those of Cape Ann’s towns.  (Well, Gloucester’s main street doesn’t look exactly like the photo on the right anymore, but I loved the 1875 photo of it. I’m sure some of the original buildings are still there, but like Izzy’s yarn shop, spruced up a bit. The photo on the left is a main street in Manchester by the Sea, which has the same corner park and big tree as does Sea Harbor.)

In Murder Wears Mittens, a Laundromat on Harbor Road becomes important when Cass finds children’s clothing mixed up with her own. The next day she summons Izzy, Nell and Birdie to meet at their favorite brunch place to talk about the young boy she saw fleeing with only half his laundry load.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This restaurant, Annabelle’s Sweet Petunia, was inspired by Sugar Magnolias, located on Gloucester’s Main Street. You can see why the knitters like it so much, right? The omelets definitely provide brainpower, or so Cass claims.

The boy’s left-behind clothes lead the knitters to two children and to a missing mom, and from there they become deeply involved in the mysterious death of a reclusive Sea Harbor woman somehow tied to this familya—a family they quickly become attached to. Birdie’s enormous home, built on a bluff overlooking the town harbor, becomes a quiet place for them to meet and gather clues.  (I often walk by this East Gloucester home—I hope the owners don’t mind me claiming it for Birdie.)

Another spot that I/the knitters love to visit is the Ocean’s Edge Restaurant. It’s where they often meet with friends and where many clues have fallen into place. The restaurant is inspired by a Gloucester hotel, the Beauport, a beautiful place on the edge of the harbor with a firepit-warmed deck where one can watch the sun set.  And sometimes (at the Ocean’s Edge Restaurant), observant diners spot suspicious exchanges between staff and visitors, words and actions that linger dangerously and may help move an investigation along.

There are so many more real places that feature in the lives of Nell, Izzy, Cass, and Birdie. The Canary Cove Art Colony, for one, is the baby sister, inspired by Gloucester’s Rocky Neck Art Colony, one of the oldest continuing working art colonies in the United States. There’s Nell’s neighborhood and the yacht club, the beaches the women walk as they try to figure out life—and death.

And, of course, there’s Izzy’s Yarn Shop, a place that centers the seaside knitters’ spirits and minds and souls. A place that is the result of dozens of wonderful shops I’ve visited everywhere we travel. A place the knitters call home.

Hopefully, this small glance at the seaside knitters’ environs will look familiar, and you will paint them even more brightly with your own imaginations.

Thank you for stopping by. And I hope you enjoy Murder Wears Mittens. I’d love to hear from you.
Happy reading,
Sally

Thank you Sally for being here today!! 

Murder Wears Mittens (Seaside Knitters Society)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (August 29, 2017)
Hardcover: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496711021
E-Book ASIN: B01MSVCTH9

 

 

As autumn washes over coastal Sea Harbor, Massachusetts, the Seaside Knitters anticipate a relaxing off-season. But when murder shatters the peace, the craftiest bunch in town must unravel a killer’s deadly scheme . . .

After retrieving fresh lobster nets from a local Laundromat, Cass Halloran rushes to attend a last-minute gathering with her knitting circle. But Cass can’t stop worrying about the lonely boy seen hanging around the dryers, and the school uniform he left behind in a hurry. When the ladies return the lost clothing the next day, they find the child and his younger sister alone, seemingly abandoned by their mother . . .

The knitters intend to facilitate a family reunion, not investigate a crime. But the death of Dolores Cardozo, a recluse from the edge of town, throws the group for a loop. Especially when the missing mother and one of their own become tied to the victim’s hidden fortune—and her murder . . .

Before scandalous secrets break bonds and rumors tear Sea Harbor apart, the Seaside Knitters need to string together the truth about Dolores—while preventing a greedy murderer from making another move!

  • Includes a knitting pattern *
Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is one of my very favorite series. Now it has been reborn as Seaside Knitters Society Series by Kensington Publishing. For fans of this series it picks up right where Murder at Lambswool Farm (Seaside Knitters Mystery) leaves off.  For those just discovering this fabulous group of characters there is a cast list at the beginning of the book, don’t panic by the long list, the author gives plenty of detail throughout the story so you can get to know the characters easily.

If I could I would pack my bags today and move to Sea Harbor, Massachusetts. The residents are smart and fun and generous. They are always willing to give a helping hand, a little advice, a warm hug and a full belly. Their dinners on the deck will make you swoon. They will also be sure you have all the sweaters, scarves and mittens you need.

Case in point;  Cass Halloran is at the laundromat when she finds some unusual items in her dryer. She is surprised when a young boy hurries in, pulls some things out of her dryer and quickly rides off on his bicycle. She tries to catch up but can’t. Then she finds a school uniform just like she used to wear that the boy had left behind. She just can’t get the child out of her mind,  with a little help she finds out his name and where he lives. She along with her friends Izzy, Nell, and Birdie go to return the uniform only to find the boy and his sister alone, no sign of their mother. While trying to track down the woman they also find themselves investigating another death. A recluse, Dolores Cardozo, is found dead in her home and the children’s mother could be involved. So now in addition to knitting mittens for charity they are going to have to knit together all the clues to solve this murder.

The Seaside Knitters, Izzy, Nell, Cass and Birdie, along with their spouses, significant others, kids and friends are some of the best characters right now in cozy literature. Over the years the group has grown because as a whole and they are all so welcoming. Knitting may have brought them together in the beginning but it is their friendships that have stood the test of time. They are realistic, engaging, with hearts as big as all outdoors. Such a fine group of people. With each book I feel as I am returning to visit old lifelong friends.

These character’s lives would make a great women’s fiction story on their own but Ms. Goldenbaum knits and purls them right into a fantastic mystery. Dolores Cardozo mostly kept to herself. Few people knew her by name, they would see her walking on the beach but didn’t really know much about her. Now that she has gone and named Birdie executor of her will, plus the news that she may have been murdered by the mother of the children that Cass has become attached to sends this story in a very interesting direction. The plot is thought out and so well written. I was invested in the new characters just as much as those that have warmed my heart in 11 previous books. I needed to know how things would turn out. The ending was surprising and so satisfying.

This is a story of friendship first and foremost but the mystery is top-notch. I try to slow down and savor my visits to Sea Harbor but find that impossible because I need to solve the crime right along with the Seaside Knitters. I have enjoyed every story but hate to say good-bye after the final page. Same time, next year…..can’t wait.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Sally Goldenbaum was born on the shores of Lake Michigan, in Manitowoc, WI, to a homemaker mother and a ship-building father. Although she now lives in landlocked Prairie Village, KS, her longing for lakes and the sea is satisfied in part by writing the USA Today bestselling Seaside Knitters Mystery series, set on Cape Ann, MA. She is a sometime philosophy teacher, a knitter, and an editor, and the author of more than thirty novels. Her fictional knitting friends are teaching her the intricacies of women’s friendship, the mysteries of small-town living, and the very best way to pick up dropped stitches on a lacy knit shawl. Murder Wears Mittens is the first book in the Seaside Knitters Society series. A continuation of the Seaside Knitters Mystery Series.

Follow Sally

Webpage

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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.

Leave a comment for the Sally for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End September 20, 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.”

Aug 302017
 

I am so happy to have Sadie drop my for a visit today! 

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A Moment with Sadie Hartwell

Thanks for helping me celebrate the release of A KNIT BEFORE DYING. In this book, Josie gets to solve two mysteries—one cold case and one right next door to Miss Marple Knits. But she doesn’t do it alone. She needs the help of her sidekicks Lorna, Helen, Evelyn, and Mitch. Even her crusty old great-uncle Eb and his canine companion Jethro play a part in bringing a killer—or killers—to justice this time.

Just like Josie needs some assistance, writers do too. I think there’s a perception that writers work in a solitary attic room somewhere, slaving away over their computers (or parchments, if you want to be even more fanciful) while adoring servants bring them trays of food, then emerge blinking, haggard, and in need of a shower only when the manuscript is completed. It’s true that writing can be a solitary business. After all, I’m the only one who can actually write Josie’s stories the way I write them and I’m the only who can put words on the page (or into the computer).

But for me, and for every other writer I know, writing is also a collaborative process. I am beyond blessed to have a large, supportive group of writer friends whom I trust without reservation. We write in different genres (women’s fiction, romance, young adult) but are always available to each other to brainstorm, work out plot problems, lift each other’s spirits when we get discouraged, and celebrate our victories, no matter the size. A few times a year, we go away on retreat together (one of us—not me, unfortunately—has a beautiful ski house that she is generous enough to let us use). We collaborate, commiserate, and work. And every one of us would agree that our friendship/partnership makes us better writers and better people.

I hope each of your has a tribe—whether it’s a big group like mine or a single friend you can always count on. If you’re so inclined, pop over to my author page and tell me about your people. And if you get the chance to read A KNIT BEFORE DYING, I’d love to hear what you think about that too! Hugs, and thanks for stopping by.

~Sadie


A Knit before Dying (A Tangled Web Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (August 29, 2017)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617737206
E-Book ASIN: B01CMGW66U

A new business might add some much-needed charm to downtown Dorset Falls—and draw tourists to Josie’s yarn shop. But when someone gets murdered, a close-knit community could come undone . . .

Shop owner Josie Blair is finally settling into the pace of living in Dorset Falls, Connecticut. Between running Miss Marple Knits, jumpstarting a blog, and handcrafting items with the help of her knitting pals, Josie’s too preoccupied to worry about her past in New York. And thanks to Lyndon and Harry, the owners of the brand-new antique shop next door, she has another project in her midst—repurposing a box of vintage crocheted doilies adorned with the most curious needlework . . .

But before Josie can formally welcome her neighbors, she discovers Lyndon on the floor of his shop stabbed to death by a rusty old pair of sheep shears. Police have pinned Harry as the killer, but Josie isn’t so sure. Now, she’s lacing up for another homicide investigation—and no eyelet or stitch can go unexamined, lest she herself becomes ensnared in the criminal’s deadly design . . .

INCLUDES ORIGINAL KNITTING PATTERNS!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have been anxiously awaiting the release of this book.

This second installment takes us back to Dorset Falls where Josie is getting more comfortable running Miss Marple Knits even though she still has knot learned how to knit a stitch. She and Uncle Eb are also getting used to living together, him creating his “thingamajigs” and she making sure he eats and taking care of the house. She also has new tenants in the store next to hers. Lyndon Bailey is opening an antique store. His partner Harry Oglethorpe will be on the road searching for more items to sell.

While welcoming Lyndon she notices a box of vintage doilies. She doesn’t know what she’ll do with them yet but she can’t resist especially at the price Lyndon is asking.

But before any other customers can gaze at his treasures Josie finds Lyndon dead the next day. A pair of sheep shears protruding from his chest. His partner, Harry, has arrived in town just in time to become the police’s prime suspect. Josie disagrees and quickly finds herself tangled up in another murder investigation.

The characters I loved are all back in this one. Josie, a smart and determined woman is an wonderful leading lady. Her Uncle Eb plays a major prank on his neighbor Roy, and Mitch is there to help Josie get to the bottom of it. Their relationship also takes a small step in the right direction in a surprising and absolutely perfect way.

The author has added some interesting new characters as well. Harry trying to prove his innocence. Lyndon’s niece, Taylor arrives in town with a television producer claiming to be her uncle’s heir.  We also learn about Bea Ryder, the woman who made the doilies. She disappeared from town many years ago and the case is still open.

Ms. Hartwell blends a old mystery with a new one and cleverly draws the reader into both. I was so impressed with how she connected everything together while giving us so many delightful twists. Life around Dorset Falls in knit right into the mysteries too. I found this book very hard to put down and would have read it all in one night had I not needed to get a little sleep.

The story contains enough of a backstory and would read well all on its own, but I recommend reading Yarned and Dangerous too!

I totally enjoyed my return trip to Dorset Falls. The characters are so engaging and the mysteries were quite a test to solve.  Maybe by the next visit Josie may have learned to knit and maybe even purl. I hope we don’t have to wait too long.

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author –

Sadie Hartwell grew up near the Canadian border in northern New York State, where it’s cold, dark, and snowy almost half the year—a perfect environment for nurturing a simultaneous love of mystery fiction and needlework. She attended St. Lawrence University, graduating with a degree in history, and has worked as a waitress, handbag designer/manufacturer, paralegal, and copy editor before turning to writing full time. Now she gets to play with yarn and make up stories whenever she wants, and wishes everyone had a job as much fun as hers.

Webpage     Twitter – @SadieHartwell    Facebook

Purchase Links

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Sadie also writes the Greek to Me Mysteries as Susannah Hardy.

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

August 28 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – INTERVIEW
August 29 – Becky’s Bookcase – REVIEW
August 30 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY
August 31 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
August 31 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
September 1 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
September 2 – Community Bookstop – SPOTLIGHT
September 3 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT  
September 4 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
September 4 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 5 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
September 6 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST
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September 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
September 8 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
September 8 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
September 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
September 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST

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

Aug 232017
 


I am so happy to welcome Jean Flowers aka Camille Minichino to Escape With Dollycas today!!
Her new book was released on July 25!

Reading in Order, or Not
(Guest Post provided by publicist.)
 

My newest series, the Postmistress Mysteries, debuted in November 2015 with DEATH TAKES PRIORITY, followed by CANCELLED BY MURDER. The third in the series, ADDRESSED TO KILL is now out (July 2017).

Here’s a question I know I’ll be getting at bookstores and other events: Can I read this one without reading the first and second?

I’ve never understood why some think reading in order is important in a series. I imagine these readers at a party, being introduced to someone new, discussing shared experiences, really hitting it off.

“Let’s be friends,” the new person says.

“Sorry,” says the in-order reader. “We can’t be friends because I didn’t know you as an infant. I don’t know your full life story, your parents, et cetera.”

The way it usually works in real-life friendship is that you can start it at any age, with people of any age. As the relationship grows, each person’s backstory is revealed, not necessarily in chronological order.

It’s the same for me with characters in a book. If I happen upon book four of a series and it looks interesting, I’ll read it, then decide if I want to know more about the protagonist—what brought her to this point, what other adventures she’s had, what she’s learned from them. I’ll then pick up either earlier or later books, depending on what’s available.

Of course, it’s different for a trilogy or other format where the story is deliberately set up in a certain order and the last line in book one connects to the first line in book two. Even then, a “prequel” might be introduced to reveal pre-prehistory.

It’s also sometimes different for tv shows, where it’s hard to understand an episode unless you’ve seen the “previously on”s.

But each book in a mystery series should stand on its own, with relatable characters and a story that has a satisfying conclusion. If you’ve started with book five of a series and have no idea about the motivation of a character, or if you feel you’re missing something, it’s the author’s fault. Every book should be a standalone.

Many people, especially writers, read the ending of a book before they finish, wanting to know how the author leads up to the denouement. Talk about reading out of order!

As a more or less reasonable segue: I once received a nasty email from a reader, railing at me for a casual remark in one of my books, that revealed the ending to “Murder on the Orient Express.” The person called me “thoughtless,” and guilty of “ruining the experience” of reading the 75-year-old Agatha Christie classic.

At what point does it become okay to discuss an ending? Or to tell a reader of the second book in a series what happens in the fourth?

Do high school students not know ahead of time that Romeo and Juliet die at the end (oops, spoiler)? Do adult film fans not know that Anthony Hopkins’s mother’s corpse is in the house on the hill? That Ilse chooses her husband over Rick?

I’d better close before I get another nasty SPOILER! email.

~Jean (Camille)

Thank you Camille for visiting today!!


Addressed to Kill (A Postmistress Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Release Date – July 25, 2017
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425279120
Kindle ASIN: B01M8PU7NR

Love is in the air for postmaster Cassie Miller and the residents of North Ashcot, Massachusetts. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and the town is gearing up for a special dinner dance at the senior center. With the local musical group performing at the dance displaced from their regular practice location, Cassie is all too happy to host them during off-hours at the post office.

But not everything is coming up roses. When one of the musicians, Dennis Somerville, is found shot in his home, rumors swirl over who might have wanted him dead. Cassie must determine if there is a link between a string of recent break-ins and Dennis’s murder before another victim winds up with more than a broken heart.

About the Author

Camille received her Ph.D. in physics from Fordham University, New York City. She is currently on the faculty of Golden Gate University, San Francisco and teaches writing throughout the Bay Area. Camille is Past President and a member of NorCal Mystery Writers of America, NorCal Sisters in Crime, and the California Writers Club.

Camille has published over 20 novels and many short stories and nonfiction articles.

As Camille Minichino, she’s published Periodic Table Mysteries, featuring retired physicist GLORIA LAMERINO.

As Margaret Grace, she writes the Miniature Mysteries, featuring miniaturist GERALDINE PORTER and her 11-year-old granddaughter, Maddie. The 9th in the series, MATRIMONY IN MINIATURE was released in September 2016.

As Ada Madison, she’s published the Professor Sophie Knowles Mysteries, featuring college professor SOPHIE KNOWLES.

As Jean Flowers, Camille writes The Postmistress Mysteries. The third in the series, ADDRESSED TO KILL, will be released in July 2017.

A stand-alone, KILLER IN THE CLOISTER, is available on Kindle and CreateSpace.

The nonfiction book, HOW TO LIVE WITH AN ENGINEER, is available on Kindle and Createspace. Contact: camille@minichino.com


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.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End September 6, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Aug 162017
 


I am so happy to have Victoria stop by for a visit today!
Muffin to Fear was released July 25, 2017!

Do You Believe in Ghosts?
By: Victoria Hamilton
(Guest Post provided by publicist.)

There has been, lately, a proliferation of ghost, paranormal and haunting shows on TV, shows like Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Ghost Brothers, Paranormal Survivor and many more. It’s a sub-genre of reality programming that can be summed up by saying the crews go looking for proof of haunting at a home, inn or public building and generally find ‘unexplained’ noises, voices and shadows.

I’m fascinated by the TV shows. I’m open minded to the supernatural; my feeling is that we know so little of what is actually possible with energy, the human spirit and the natural world. Who knows if the energy in our bodies is released by death and allowed to inhabit the world? On these shows they often sort the paranormal guests into categories like ‘residual haunting’, where the activity is just like a psychic imprint of things that happened in the past, ‘intelligent haunting’, which is spirits that are still among the living, and ‘poltergeist activity’, that is, commotion that occurs because of energy built up by human activity. It’s all very interesting.

But Muffin to Fear is not really about ghost hunting. As always, what interests me is human interaction among the living. So that was the premise of my novel and what started me on this plot line; these ghost hunting reality TV crews, like any work group, must have their share of tensions and infighting, cliques and quarrels.

Merry’s best male friend, Pish Lincoln, invites the Haunt Hunt crew to check out Merry’s Wynter Castle, much to Merry’s chagrin. She comes back from her honeymoon to find the castle infested with TV folk. But there is more infighting and intrigue going on than hunting for haunts, and, inevitably, there is murder.

Full disclosure; I think that most ‘hauntings’ likely have logical explanations, but in truth, I don’t know for sure. So… I had a lot of fun writing about fake mediums and hunting ghosts with EMF readers and DVR cameras, but I still wonder, how many people believe in ghosts? And if you believe in them, what do you think they are?

~Victoria

Muffin to Fear
(A Merry Muffin Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (July 25, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282595
Kindle ASIN: B01MXHV4KT

In the latest from the national bestselling author of Much Ado About Muffin, newlywed baker Merry Wynter has some unwanted guests looking for ghosts at Wynter Castle…

While Merry is distracted by her quickly planned marriage to Virgil Grace and a blissful honeymoon in New York, her friend Pish invites the ghost-hunting crew from the TV show Haunt Hunt to investigate Merry’s home, Wynter Castle. Merry soon discovers that not only is the crew out of sync, there are so many feuds and squabbles, it’s a miracle they get a show produced at all.

It all goes from bad to worse when the show’s psychics claim to have contact with people murdered on Merry’s property. When two cast members are found dead, Merry and Virgil must figure out who’s picking off the Haunt Hunt team before their hard-earned happily ever after is cut short.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!

About Victoria Hamilton:

Victoria Hamilton is the national bestselling author of two bestselling series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries. She is also the bestselling author of Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson.

Victoria loves to cook and collects vintage kitchen paraphernalia, teacups and teapots, and almost anything that catches her fancy! She loves to read, especially mystery novels, and enjoys good tea and cheap wine, the company of friends, and has a newfound appreciation for opera. She enjoys crocheting and beading, but a good book can tempt her away from almost anything… except writing!

Website    Facebook         Merry Muffin Mysteries Facebook Page           Pinterest        Twitter


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.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Aug 092017
 


I always get excited when Julianne stops by for a visit!
Her new book Chime and Punishment was released last week!

FOR THE LOVE OF CLOCKS
by Julianne Holmes
(Guest Post provided by publicist.)

Whenever I explain the premise of my clock shop series—that Ruth Clagan is part of a clock making family who owns a shop in the Berkshires—most people smile, and then they tell me about a clock in their family. Everyone has a clock in their family, I’ve discovered.

For me, it is a mantle clock. I inherited it from my grandmother—a Telechron electric clock that looks a bit like a Seth Thomas. It likely dates from the 50’s, isn’t worth a fortune, but means the world to me. Of course, given the work I’ve done on these books, I am looking for a traditional clock that I must wind.

For some people, longcase clocks are passed down from generation to generation. Keeping them running can be a challenge, especially if they haven’t been moved carefully or maintained over time. Clockmakers will come in and do a house call to determine what the best course of treatment is for the clock. Now, folks trusted in the craft are few, and I’ve heard stories of people inviting clockmakers to travel or traveling to them for a consult.

Over the course of writing these books, I have fallen a bit in love with Banjo clocks. Simon Willard invented these here in Massachusetts, and patented them in 1802. They continue to be made today. The clock is shaped like a banjo, with a square case on the bottom that can be clear, or can be painted decoratively. Then there are the Seth Thomas miniatures. I spent a day in the American Clock and Watch museum, and these beauties stopped me in my tracks. Made of different types of wood, different shapes. I can easily see becoming obsessed with them.

I’m sure that there are family banjo clocks, or mantel clocks, or miniatures, or carriage clocks, or others that have been passed on from generation to generation. Do they still work? Hopefully yes, though many could use a good cleaning. While doing my research, and talking to Dave Roberts of the Clockfolk of New England, I’ve come to realize a few things about clock repair. First, that it is a craft that takes years to learn. Second, repair means different things to different people. For some folks, to hold value, that means painstaking authentic repair. For others, it means doing what it takes to get the clock working. The repair may cost more than the value of the clock, but that’s the third thing I’ve learned. Clocks own a place in people’s hearts, and that is priceless.

Do you have a family clock that has been passed down? Does a clock have a place in your memories?

~Julianne


Chime and Punishment (A Clock Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
A Berkley Prime Mystery (August 1, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425275542
Kindle ASIN: B01MRK5HU7

 

 

Expert clockmaker Ruth Clagan has another murder on her hands in the third Clock Shop Mystery from the author of Clock and Dagger.

Years ago, the serenity of picturesque Orchard, Massachusetts, was shattered by a fire that destroyed the town’s beloved clock tower. Ruth inherited the dream of repairing it from her late grandfather. Now that she’s returned home to run his clock shop, the Cog & Sprocket, she’s determined to make it happen, despite wrenches that are being thrown into the works by her least favorite person, town manager Kim Gray.

A crowd of residents and visitors are excited to see the progress of the tower at a fund-raiser for the campaign, until Kim is found crushed under the tower’s bell, putting an end to all the fun. The list of suspects is so long it could be read around the clock, and it includes some of Ruth’s nearest and dearest.

Time’s a-wastin’ as Ruth tries to solve another murder in her beloved Orchard while keeping the gears clicking on her dream project.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series started with Ruth Clagan coming home to run her late grandfather’s clock shop and grew into her wanting to fulfill his dream of repairing the town’s clock tower. In Chime and Punishment his dream is so close to coming true. Her friends and the residents of Orchard, Massachusetts are attending a fundraiser to complete the task but the gears get all mucked up when the town manager gets her bell rung permanently. Ruth knows to make her grandfather’s and now her dream come true she has to find the killer. Time is of the essence, she doesn’t want anyone else getting clocked.

This is another top notch mystery for Julianne Holmes. I was excited to find out Kim was the victim this time, she has been a real pain in the backsides of almost every in Orchard and that means plenty of suspects. The story kept a nice pace as the clues were dropped and Ruth’s investigation continued. The twists had me all over the place when is came to who actually did the deed. I was surprised when the killer was revealed.

I have grown to love these characters over these three books. The business owners and those that work at the clock shop are very well written and have grown since out first meeting. I have more than one favorite.

The location, both the Cog & Sprocket and the town of Orchard was clearly envisioned in my mind. The clock tower and it’s building remind me of a place in my home town very much. I was thrilled by the whole premise of this series. People working to restore a piece of history was very heartwarming, aside from the murders, of course.

A captivating addition to this series. I think I like this one best of all.

If you haven’t clocked time with this series yet, start at the beginning and enjoy.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author
Julianne Holmes writes the Clock Shop Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. The first in the series, the Agatha nominated Just Killing Time, debuted in October 2015. Clock and Dagger was released in August 2016, and Chime and Punishment was released August 1, 2017. As J.A. Hennrikus, her Theater Cop series will debut in the fall of 2017 with A Christmas Peril. She has short stories in three Level Best anthologies, Thin Ice, Dead Calm and Blood Moon. She is on the board of Sisters in Crime, and is a member of MWA and Sisters in Crime New England. She is on Twitter (@JulieHennrikus), Instagram (@jahenn), Pinterest, and Facebook. She blogs with the Wicked Cozy AuthorsLive to Write/Write to Live, and is on Killer Characters on the 20th of each month. You can find out more about Julianne Holmes on her webpage here.

Coming Soon From This Author


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.

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Contest Will End August 23, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
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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.”

Aug 022017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Cate is touring with Great Escapes, check out her tour for guest posts, interviews and more reviews!


Cat About Town
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Massachusetts

Minotaur Books (August 1, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250072061
E-Book ASIN: B01N0Z4ZDP

 

 

The first novel in a frisky new mystery series set in a small New England town, where an unlikely citizen is called in to solve the purrfect crime. . .

Maddie James has arrived in Daybreak Island, just off the coast of Massachusetts, eager to settle down and start her own business—and maybe even fall in love. When a stray orange tabby pounces into her life, she’s inspired to open a cat café. But little does Maddie know that she’s in for something a lot more catastrophic when her new furry companion finds the dead body of the town bully. Now all eyes are on Maddie: Who is this crazy cat-whisperer lady who’s come to town? If pet-hair-maintenance and crime-fighting weren’t keeping her busy enough, Maddie now has not one but two eligible bachelors who think she’s the cat’s pajamas . . . and will do anything to win her heart. But how can she even think about happily-ever-after while a killer remains on the loose—and on her path?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Maddie James comes to town for her grandmother’s funeral and to spend some time with her grandfather as they both grieve.  The funeral has one surprise guest, a cute tabby cat that attached itself right to Maddie. Things go great until her new furry friend finds a dead body. Maddie finds herself reacquainting herself with the people of Daybreak Island and getting to know the new residents as she tries to find the person who was driven to kill the man that wanted to change everything about the Island. Turns out there are plenty of suspects.

Cate Conte has brought some truly lovable characters to this series. The relationship between Maddie and her Grandpa Joe is so heartwarming.  She will go to great lenths to protect him and he her. As a cat lover I was taken in by the way Maddie accepted orange feline into her life complete with a leash to take him with her everywhere. It reminded me of the relationship between Charlie Harris and his cat, Diesel, in Miranda James Cat in the Stacks mystery series, one of my favorite series.

Daybreak Island is a wonderful setting. It is filled with history in the shops and the homes. You need to take a ferry to reach it and while it does have a tourist season most residents live there year round. I could easily picture everything thanks to the author’s terrific descriptions.

The mystery was top notch. A variety of suspects with means, motive and opportunity drew me deeper and deeper into the story.

The “cat cafe” has not come to fruition yet but this first installment gives us the backstory that has started to put the cafe in motion.

This series is off to a fantastic start! I can’t wait for my next escape to Daybreak Island. My virtual bags are already packed.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Cate Conte is the alter ego of Liz Mugavero. Liz is the author of the Pawsitively Organic Mystery series from Kensington Books, the first of which was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.

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July 26 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
July 26 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
July 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – INTERVIEW
July 27 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
July 27 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 27 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW
July 28 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
July 28 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW
July 28 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 29 – Jane Reads – REVIEW
July 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 29 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
July 30 – Mystery Playground – GUEST POST
July 30 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
July 30 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
July 31 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 31 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
August 1 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
August 1 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
August 1 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
August 2 – Socrates’ Book Review – REVIEW
August 2 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
August 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
August 3 – Book Babble – REVIEW
August 3 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
August 4 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 4 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
August 4 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

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

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.”

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