Mar 222017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to welcome Laura Bradford back to Escape With Dollycas today!

Dessert: The Best Therapist of All
By Laura Bradford
Author of The Silence of the Flans

(Guest Post provided by publicist.)

I love treats.

In fact, with the lone exception of a really odd period during my early childhood when I didn’t like (*gasp*) candy, I can say edible treats have been my go-to during all sorts of moments in my life. It’s become such a given that I actually equate certain treats with specific needs/issues/moods, ala Pavlov’s Dog.

On days when snow cancels school in our district, I like warm, fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies. With a big glass of milk…

When I’m in the final throes of a deadline, I reach for a bowl of candy corn and a box of Milk Duds. Not the healthiest thing, I know, but it gets me through…

When I’m low energy (whether physically or mentally), I have a hankering for brownies…

If I’m under the weather, I like hot chocolate and a piece of chocolate…

The moment the Christmas tree comes out, I’m envisioning white chocolate mousse pastry puffs and fudge…

Yeah, yeah, I know dessert isn’t the healthiest part of the day, but smiling is pretty important, right?

So, when I’m asked how I came up with the idea for the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, it was really just right there in front of me the whole time. Because, when you think about it, sometimes when you’re blue or tired or stressed or heartbroken or low on motivation or angrier than you’ve ever been in your life, the quickest way to turn things around is with a treat. Does the treat fix those things on its own? Probably not. But, at least for me, it puts that all important smile on my face that does, invariably, lead to things turning around. And that’s the ultimate goal, isn’t it?

I have no doubt that if Winnie Johnson (my main character) and her Emergency Dessert Squad were here in my town, I’d be a loyal (read: reward card carrying) customer and she’d be on my speed dial.

I might even be willing to help her solve a murder or two.

~Laura
Thank you Laura for visiting today!

The Silence of the Flans
(An Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Ohio
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Release Date – March 7, 2017
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280904
E-Book ASIN: B01H17UCGG

 

 

Baker Winnie Johnson does her best work when the heat is on. As owner of the Emergency Dessert Squad, she has a deft touch in the kitchen and a soft spot for lost causes. So when her business professor beau, Jay Morgan, expresses misgivings over having to fail one of his fourth-year students, Winnie cooks up a sweet solution.

She’ll offer an extra credit opportunity in exchange for a little help with her growing business. But when her protégé’s first dessert delivery poisons a student journalist, the publicity threatens to burn Winnie’s business to a crisp. Now the entrepreneur-turned-detective must uncover the ingredients behind a recipe for murder before she crumbles under pressure…

RECIPES INCLUDED

About The Author

Laura is the national bestselling author of several mystery series, including the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, and the brand new Tobi Tobias Mysteries. She 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.

To learn more, visit her website: www.laurabradford.com, or hang out with her on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/laurabradfordauthor/?fref=ts. She can also be found occasionally tweeting at: @Bradfordauthor.

 

Also by Laura Bradford

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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.

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Mar 152017
 


I am delighted to have Janet stop by today!
Her new book Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table was released yesterday!

 

Kelly Jackson Mystery Series

by Janet Finsilver

 

When I read, not only do I look for a good story, I like to learn something new along the way. As a result of that, I’ve tried to put interesting facts into each of my books. I’ve researched some of the unique aspects of Mendocino, California, which my fictitious town of Redwood Cove is based on. Antique silver objects, Greek fortune telling, and sinker logs are a few of the areas I’ve sprinkled into my books. Dogs with special abilities are part of the series. I’d like to share some of this information with you in this post.

Years ago I read an article about a standard poodle trained to detect cancer in people. I found it fascinating. Since then numerous studies have been done. Dogs can find a variety of cancers. Their rate of success varies among the reports. Some research has shown up to 98% accuracy. This led to Fred, the basset hound in Murder at Redwood Cove.

My awareness for anything unusual regarding dogs was raised. I began seeing articles on a multitude of abilities. In Murder at the Mansion I introduced Jack and Jill, two canines trained to find bed bugs and termites. They extend their abilities to dry rot by the end of the book. Dogs are great for these tasks. Their acute sense of smell can lead them to hard-to-find bedbugs and prevent places being torn apart unnecessarily when searching for termites and dry rot. They are being used in England in many of the old mansions.

Princess, a tan Chihuahua, debuted in Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table. She’s a feisty retired hearing assistance dog that sports jeweled collars. Princess began to be a little hard of hearing and was replaced by a black Chihuahua named Sergeant. It was fun learning about the different ways they help their owners.

That book also has a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder dog. You will often see them being referred to as PTSD dogs. I chose a Bernese Mountain Dog for that role. This was one of the most unusual areas I researched. They are trained to do whatever their owner needs which varies from person to person. They might circle around the person to keep crowds at a distance or go into a home to be sure no one is hiding in the building. There’s even a dog phone they can be taught to use in certain situations. It sits on the floor, has a large button for the dog to hit, and dials a number that has been programmed into it.

I mentioned earlier that Mendocino itself has interesting aspects to it. The town and surrounding land has been designated as the Mendocino and Headlands Historic District. Many of the buildings are from the 1800s. The Mendocino Presbyterian Church dedicated on July 5, 1868, is still in use. There are strict rules that need to be adhered to when building or remodeling so the town keeps its “Old West” charm.

I’m currently working on my fourth book tentatively titled Murder at the Mushroom Festival. Mushroom hunting is big in the Mendocino region. I’ve taken two classes and now know more about fungi than I thought would ever happen in my lifetime!

Sinker logs are unique to the area and are also part of the fourth book. These are old-growth redwood logs cut down in the 1800s that remained in the river bed. People began harvesting them when they realized how valuable they were because of their grain and colors. A halt was put to collecting them when authorities became concerned about damaging the habitat.

Learning about antique silver objects led me to learn about apostle spoons. In Murder at the Mansion, my protagonist finds twelve well-crafted silver spoons with intricate designs. They were used as christening presents, and the spoon represented the baby’s apostle. She also finds an object to resembling a fish, with fins on one side and a split tail. It’s a knitting sheath. A needle was put in it, allowing the woman’s right hand to be free to handle the yarn. It helped her to work more quickly and efficiently, especially when walking.

Greek fortune telling in Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table involves reading the patterns in the grounds of Turkish coffee to predict the future. It’s a very ancient practice. Some people call it tasseography. A special copper pot with a long, triangular-shaped handle called a briki is used to prepare the coffee. There are a number of steps performed for the reading including putting the saucer on the cup, swirling the coffee in it three times, and flipping it over.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse at pieces of my Kelly Jackson mystery series!

~Janet


Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table
(A Kelly Jackson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington Publishing Corporation/Lyrical Underground (March 14, 2017)
Paperback 190 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1616509347
Kindle ASIN: B01HA435CI

 
 
 
 

Poisons, prophecies—and a peculiar past . . .

When a local woman begins searching for a couple she hasn’t seen since the 1960s, Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast manager Kelly Jackson and the crime-solving group, the “Silver Sentinels,” are quick to help out. They’re also quick to guess that they’re in over their heads after the woman is found dead beside the body of a Greek fortune teller—and a fellow Sentinel gets attacked. As Kelly juggles work and her responsibilities at a food and wine festival in town, she and her sleuthing posse must confront a killer obsessed with old secrets . . . and solve a murder mystery more than fifty years in the making . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have been looking forward to this book since finishing up the last one. This time Kelly and the Silver Sentinels start out tracking down a couple people that were in the area back in the 60’s but when their “client” is found dead along with a local fortune teller they are quickly involved to prove the two woman have been murdered. It puts their sleuthing skills to the test and a couple of them in danger too.

This ensemble cast led but Kelly Jackson, manager of the Redwood Cove B&B, is just fabulous. Their canine companions are icing the cake. Diverse and genuine they all mesh together using their strengths to their advantage to not only solve mysteries but to keep each other safe. I like that they stay in touch and work together with the local police. Their past experience shows they can trust each other and it is a little twist to the normal cozy where the protags investigate without the consent of the authorities. The new characters are very interesting too.

This plot is complicated because there are a lot of suspects and everyone seems to be hiding something. A multitude of twists and a surprising ending had me positively glued to the pages.

Ms. Finsilver adds a touch of romance to this story, is Kelly headed for a new relationship?

I have enjoyed all three stories in this series and I am excited for number four. All can be read on their own but I suggest starting at the beginning.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY best-selling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs–Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Her second book, MURDER AT THE MANSION, was released on June 7, 2016.

Author Links

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Find out more about Janet Finsilver and her books on her webpage here.

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The author is giving away 1 e-book copy of Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table!

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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.”

Mar 082017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday.
I am thrilled to welcome back Laura Childs today!
Fetch yourself a cup of tea and enjoy her post.

 

Lori, I am thrilled to be visiting you and all your mystery-minded friends. Pekoe Most Poison, the eighteenth book in the Tea Shop Mystery series was finally released yesterday and I can’t wait for everyone to read it.

Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop along with her tea sommelier and dear friend, Drayton, have been invited to what promises to be one of the highlights of the social season.

Socially prominent Doreen “Dolly” Briggs is a generous supporter of the Heritage Society, a combination of museum and historical society that is very close to Drayton’s heart. So he is delighted when he and Theodosia are invited to Dolly’s “rat tea” a re-enactment of the teas society matrons held decades ago to enhance the awareness of the overwhelming need to rid Charleston of pesky vermin.

When Theodosia and Drayton arrive, the door is opened by someone dressed quite formally in blue velvet waistcoat and shiny black boots, a delightful look except that the outfit is topped with a white velvet rat head. In spite of the lovely table décor of flowers and candlelight, the fact that all the servers are wearing rat heads above their fancy dress outfits takes a bit of getting used to for the guests, but soon the party is in full swing.

Before Dolly introduces her husband Beau to say a few words she requests a fresh pot of Beaus’s favorite Orange Pekoe tea and directs the server, a white headed rat wearing pink livery, to place the teapot on a warmer. As the server reaches in, his arm brushes against a tapered candle which sways and falls, setting a centerpiece ablaze. Fortunately the always quick-witted Theodosia grabs the nearest pot of tea and tosses it, dousing the flames.

The crowd settles down and Beau begins to speak when suddenly he stammers and collapses to the floor. Within a few moments he dies right before everyone’s eyes. And speaking of eyes, even in the midst of calamity, Theodosia notices that the new detective on the case, Pete Riley, has charming blue eyes and a personality to match.

Dolly Briggs is determined to find out exactly what happened to her husband and she has decided that Theodosia, with her fabled reputation for amateur sleuthing, can get the job done. And with Dolly’s donations to Drayton’s beloved Heritage Society at stake, Theodosia agrees to investigate, although Detective Riley may decide she is more of a distraction than a help.

Pekoe Most Poison is a captivating guilty pleasure with a plot that moves at a thriller pace and crescendos to a swift and satisfying finale.

 Much love,

Laura Childs

Thank you Laura for stopping by for a visit today! 

Pekoe Most Poison (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
18th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (March 7, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281680
Kindle – ASIN: B01KGZVXTK

Synopsis

In the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs, Theodosia Browning attends a “Rat Tea,” where the mice will play…at murder.

When Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is invited by Doreen Briggs, one of Charleston’s most prominent hostesses, to a “Rat Tea,” she is understandably intrigued. As servers dressed in rodent costumes and wearing white gloves offer elegant finger sandwiches and fine teas, Theo learns these parties date back to early twentieth-century Charleston, where the cream of society would sponsor so-called rat teas to promote city rodent control and better public health.

But this party goes from odd to chaotic when a fire starts at one of the tables and Doreen’s entrepreneur husband suddenly goes into convulsions and drops dead. Has his favorite orange pekoe tea been poisoned? Theo smells a rat.

The distraught Doreen soon engages Theo to pursue a discreet inquiry into who might have murdered her husband. As Theo and her tea sommelier review the guest list for suspects, they soon find themselves drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse…

INCLUDES RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS

About The Author

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:  Webpage – Facebook 

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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Leave a comment for Laura for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End March 22, 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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Mar 012017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to welcome Fran back to Escape with Dollycas!

 

Playing with Words by Fran Stewart 
Guest Post Provided By Publicist

What do I do and where do I go when I want to escape any sort of humdrum? Not that my life is humdrum at all. I can always find something to intrigue me, amuse me, or inspire me. But there are those times when I want to veg out, and I find myself playing with words. Writers do that sort of thing. A lot. At least, this writer does.

Several years ago, for instance, I meant to type the word centimeter, but it came out sentimeter. That made me think about sentiment, sensation, sensible, and so on. At the time I was planning to drive 150 miles to pick up my first beehive.

But anyway, sent words led to scent words, which led to the following list, which I put together later while I sat outside one morning on the back deck next to my two hives, sipping tea, and listening to the songs of my 42,000 tiny yellow and brown-striped girlfriends. Talk about escaping somewhere? I was in heaven, even while I gleefully misspelled each one of these key words:

Scentence: the bedrock of a writer, the way odors are the bedrock of a beehive;

Scentient: really, really smart about figuring things out by paying attention to what they smell like;

Scentillate: the action of making bees curious by wearing a particular perfume;

Scentiment: the warm feeling I get when I recall my dad’s Old Spice aftershave, hoping the bees would have liked it if they could have met him;

Scentimeter: what a worker bee uses to distinguish her hive mates from outsiders;

Scentinal: the guard bee who uses that scentimeter to decide whether or not an incoming bee can be admitted to the hive;

Scentry: another name for the guard bee I just mentioned;

Scentsation: the excitement in the hive when an incoming forager proclaims a new abundant source of nectar and pollen;

Scentsibility: what inspired Jane Austen to write as she sat among the beehives in her family’s garden;

Scententious: what bees and writers shouldn’t “bee.”

Two Scents Worth: what I enjoy putting into conversations and enjoy hearing from others as well. Feel free to put your two scents’ worth into a comment below!

Then I went onto other bee-related words and came up with:

Nectar-grination: flying all around the place to find some flowers that have enough nectar to be interesting.

Queenification: the process of eliminating a weak queen and producing a new one.

Beebreadify: To bring bee bread (a rich mixture of pollen and various liquids) down from the storage cells and feed it to the baby bees.

Cleansi-depoopifi-dumpification: Taking the queen’s waste products away from her and depositing them outside the hive.

Scrubba-dubba-da-deck: What Frannie will have to do next summer after a lot of cleansidepoopifidumpification has been going on.

I ended up using some of the words in both of these lists in the beekeeping blog I wrote for a couple of years, so if you’ve seen them before, please understand I thought they were too good not to be recycled. In the meantime, I continue to play with words every chance I get.

~Fran

Thank you Fran for dropping by today! 

 

A Wee Homicide in the Hotel
(A ScotShop Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Vermont
A Berkley Prime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Release Date – February 7, 2017
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270332
ASIN: B01E4WAGIU
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The national bestselling author of A Wee Dose of Death returns to Hamelin, Vermont, where Peggy Winn, owner of a Scottish-themed shop, is spectator to caber tossing, sword dancing, and just a spot of murder…
 
Hamelin is overflowing with tourists enjoying the Scottish-themed games—and most of them are donning tartans from Peggy Winn’s ScotShop. And her fourteenth-century ghostly companion, Dirk, has been indispensable, keeping an eye out for shoplifters and matching customers’ family names to their clan plaid.

Adding to the chaos is Big Willie, a longtime champion of the games, but not everyone is happy to have him in town. So when he misses the first event of the weekend, Peggy senses something is awry. After Willie is discovered dead in his hotel room, the victim of a bagpipe-related crime, Peggy decides it’s up to her and Dirk to suss out a murderer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Nothing puts a damper on a festival quicker that a murder especially when  it is a long time champion of the Hamelin Highland Festival that is found dead in his hotel room. Peggy was just getting to know the man and finding his body was so traumatic. She starts her own investigation with her handsome ghost’s assistance. To add to the excitement the town in crawling  with Secret Service. It appears the President wants drop in for a visit.

This story has a slow build as we get to know some new characters, especially Big Willie, the former champion who is killed and his Scottie Silla. Big Willie’s body is found about halfway into the story and the pace picks up considerably. There are two plots that converge along with another subplot to keep us turning those pages.

Ms. Stewart brings humor to this story with Peggy still explaining current time expressions and things to Dirk as he struggles with the ways of modern times. She does trust him more to go off by himself and they are learning to work together. She keeps his speech and its patterns true to his Scottish 14th century time. This was a bit frustrating for me in the first book but now it is natural for me to read. I can even hear the lilt in his voice. The author also tells a bit of the story from Scottie Silla’s point of view. Touched my heart as a pet mourned the lost of her companion.

As always the majority of the story takes place in or close by to out protag’s ScotShop. I can picture the store very clearly in my mind. Peggy also has a tent selling ties and scarves at the festival. I need to give a little shout out to Jessie Reisch for the amazing cover art for this book. Those two adorable Scotties with the festival grounds take me right into the story.

These characters have warmed my heart. Cozy lovers will love Peggy and Dirk. I suggest reading the series in order though so you don’t miss a minute.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Fran is the author of fourteen books, including the Biscuit McKee mystery series and the ScotShop mysteries, as well as A SLAYING SONG TONIGHT and FROM THE TIP OF MY PEN: a workbook for writers. When she isn’t writing or otherwise playing/working with words, she loves to read, sing, knit, garden, put jigsaw puzzles together, and volunteer in her grandchildren’s school library. She lives and writes quietly beside a creek on the other side of Hog Mountain, Georgia, after having moved repeatedly from her birth through her fourth decade. The small fictional towns she writes about embody the hometown she always wanted—except for the murders.

To find out more about Fran Stewart and her books 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.

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

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Contest Will End March 15, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Feb 222017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to have Krista Davis drop by today!
Her new book Mission Impawsible was released February 7!

Dating with Pets

(Post provided by publicist)

Let’s face it, dating is tough. I know I’m not the queen of bad dates, but I have had my share.

Like the guy who took me to a fast food place, paid with coupons, and stared at my tray like there was something he coveted. My coupon! I have no problem with saving money. But when he told me how he was avoiding payment of his personal property taxes, I was appalled. He took being frugal to an illegal level! Definitely not the guy for me.

A matchmaking event is going on in MISSION IMPAWSIBLE. It’s a little different because people are invited to bring their furry friends with them to help them make matches. Believe it or not, there’s a certain logic to that. How many times have you struck up a conversation with a total stranger because of his or her dog or cat? Animals help break the ice and give us something to talk about.

As I was writing, I began to wonder what attracts us to our mates. It turns out that it’s quite complex. The second we meet someone, all kinds of things start happening in our brains. Not only are we consciously assessing them, but our brains are taking in all kinds of information of which we’re not aware. For instance, we’re smelling them! The scents of potential mates are being processed by our brains.

Animal lovers have additional hurdles to cross. In a survey by Rover.com, 61% of respondents said they would end a relationship because of a pet. There’s no way I would give up one of my furry friends, so I understand that completely. A guy who didn’t love dogs and cats would be out of contention immediately!

And it gets worse. 45% of people spend more money on their pets than on their partners! We cat and dog people are truly devoted. But that’s not news to us, is it?

So maybe having a matchmaking event with dogs and cats isn’t such a bad idea. Not only can Fluffy and Fido assess potential partners (a few well placed hisses and growls, perhaps?) but their people would know they were meeting others who share their passion for their pets.
~Krista

 


Mission Impawsible
(A Paws & Claws Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Virginia
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Release Date – (February 7, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101988565
Kindle ASIN: B01FEY5DQC
Shop Indie Bookstores

 

From the New York Times bestselling author of Murder Most Howl comes the fourth Paws & Claws mystery…

In the pet-friendly town of Wagtail, Virginia, there’s no love lost when Holly Miller meets her match in a murderer…
 
Holly and her grandmother, Oma, are working their tails off to prepare the Sugar Maple Inn for an upcoming matchmaking event for pet owners. While Holly has no interest in pairing up, Oma plans on playing Cupid and finding someone to warm her reluctant granddaughter’s heart.

Unfortunately, one man Holly does meet is cold—dead cold—and he has a personal letter from Oma in his pocket. As suspicion is cast over the inn’s guests, Holly—with the help of her furry friends, Trixie the Jack Russell and Twinkletoes the cat—must fetch the real killer, or she may soon have a date in court.

Delicious recipes for owners and pets included!  

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Sugar Maple Inn is hosting a matchmaking event – Animals Attraction, for pet owners. They have brought in their own matchmaker to pair up couples based on a very pet based questionnaire.

 Where you cat or dog sleeps says much about you and who your mate should be.

As if running the event isn’t enough to keep Holly on her toes, her grandmother has secretly filled out a form for her. Her ex surprises her by showing up too. No, they were not matched together. 🙂 But while out walking with her match Trixie, her Jack Russell terrier, sniffs out another body. A man that just happens to have a personal letter in his pocket a letter from her grandmother. So while Wagtail is overflowing with cats, dogs, and the people who love them trying to find Mr. or Ms. Right, there is also a murderer on the loose. Hopefully the police with Holly’s “help” will catch them soon so some of the couples can begin their happily ever afters.

I want to move to Wagtail as soon as possible. Yes, they have had a little crime wave of late but it sounds like the purrfect place to me. Restaurants, stores, hotels all allow pets to come right in with their people. The restaurants even have special pet menus. Krista Davis has created a wonderful place.

There are several new characters introduced as The Sugar Maple Inn’s guests arrive and each of them is accompanied by their pet or one loaned to them by the local, If The Dog Fits program. Not everyone is there to be matched up though, there are 2 moms spying on their daughters to make sure they make good matches. This makes for some funny moments until their daughters find out. The pets also bring their own type of humor to the story. Whether human, canine, or feline, the characters are so well written and unique. It was a pleasure to meet or revisit each and every one.

As for the mystery, I was drawn in immediately and it was pretty complicated too. I was totally in the dark until the final reveal. I had theories but they were all debunked as new clues were uncovered. This is how I love my cozies, the ones that keep you guessing from start to finish. Ms. Davis is a wonderful storyteller.

Love and murder is in the air in Wagtail, Virginia and I recommend you read all about it as soon as possible!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author 

New York Times Bestselling author Krista Davis writes the Paws and Claws Mysteries set on fictional Wagtail Mountain, a resort where people vacation with their pets. Her 4th Paws and Claws Mystery is MISSION IMPAWSIBLE, which releases on February 7th. Krista also writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and sweets. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs and two cats.

Webpage  Facebook   Pinterest

Mystery Lovers Kitchen    Twitter    Killer Characters

Not a Creature Was Purring (A Paws & Claws Mystery)
Coming November 7, 2017.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Krista for 5 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 March 8, 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.”

Feb 152017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I apologize that there is not a guest post this week, but let me tell you about Paige Shelton’s latest release. 

Bookman Dead Style (A Dangerous Type Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Utah
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (February 7, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277263
Kindle ASIN: B01E4WAFNG
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A movie star is typecast as a killer in the second Dangerous Type Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of To Helvetica and Back.
 
It’s January, and the Star City Film Festival has taken the Utah ski resort town by storm. Movie stars are everywhere, carving fresh powder on the slopes and crossing the thresholds of Bygone Alley’s charming boutique shops—including The Rescued Word, where Clare Henry and her grandfather restore old typewriters and beloved books. When cinema’s hottest superhero, Matt Bane, enters their store to buy some personalized note cards, it’s hard not to be starstruck.

But when Clare sees the police leading Matt out of The Fountain hotel in handcuffs only a few hours later, she can’t believe her eyes. The affable actor is accused of killing his sister, but Clare’s convinced he’s wrong for that role. Now it’s open call for suspects as Clare tries to reel in the killer before another victim fades to black…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Back to Star City, Utah for the second book in the Dangerous Type Mysteries. Stars from Hollywood have come for the Annual Film Festival and to enjoy some time on the slopes. They also descend on Bygone Alley and into The Rescued Word. Matt Bane, the current heartthrob, is in town to promote his superhero movie and visits the  shop for some personalized note cards. Just a short time later Clare witnesses the police leading the actor from his hotel in handcuffs.  She quickly learns a young actress, Matt’s sister, has been murdered and he was found over her body covered in blood. Clare just can’t believe it, he just doesn’t seem the “type” or maybe he is such a good actor he has her fooled. She delves right into her own investigation to seek out the real character but all the “stars” are in “the show must go on” frame of mind so it isn’t going to be easy to catch this killer.

Ms. Shelton has typed us up a marvelous mystery. You know, the kind that pulls you in right away and holds you tight until the very end with so many twists and a plethora of suspects.

Bringing so many people to this small town, stars and tourists, gives a wide variety of people to question. Clare pares them down quickly to a manageable number but any one could be the killer. With her best friend on the police force she tries to get some inside information and Jodie does help her to get in to see Matt while he is in jail to get his take on the case. Clare’s ex/police chief, Creighton, is not quite as helpful but that was to be expected. Clare and her grandfather also have another mystery on their hands that brings another element to the story and solving that one isn’t easy either. Shelton sets a brisk pace and has given us a story that is almost impossible to put down.

The core characters and their continued development really drives this story. They have big hearts and really care about each other and all the people they meet. Clare and Jodie reconnect with one of their old classmates and she has an interesting story too. I hope she pops up in future stories. The romance between Seth and Clare is so perfectly paced as it her grandfather’s relationship with his lady friend. Clare’s niece Marion is growing up and has such a bright future, she is going to be a very interesting character to watch as this series continues.

This has quickly become a favorite series of mine and I have to give it my Paradise Rating. I really love playing sleuth right along with Clare and I completely escaped right into this book.. I can’t wait for the next Dangerous Type Mystery. The little snippet from Comic Sans Murder has me ready another trip to The Rescued Word as soon as possible.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Paige Shelton is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.com


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 March 1, 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.”

Feb 082017
 


I am so happy to welcome Loretta Ross to Escape With Dollycas!
Her new book was just released today!

The first thing I’d like to say is thank you, to Lori Caswell, for inviting me to write a guest post for her blog.

Last September, a little over a month after my fiftieth birthday, I did something I’d never done before and, indeed, something I had never imagined I’d ever do.

I rode on an airplane.

I’m a wild woman, I know.

As mystery readers, you may be aware of Bouchercon, also known as the World Mystery Convention. It’s held in a different city every autumn. In 2015 I attended my first ever B-Con (as it’s affectionately known) in Raleigh, North Carolina. To get there, I drove by myself for two days. On the way down I had to pass through the Great Smoky Mountains, which are absolutely gorgeous and scared the ever-loving hell out of me.

I love mountains when they’re on a jigsaw puzzle or a picture postcard. When they’re climbing under the wheels of my car, at sixty-five miles an hour, with a mini-van crowding me  to my left, tractor-trailers boxing me in, and fiery death  a few feet off the right shoulder and several hundred yards straight down–not so much. It turns out that, under certain circumstances, I’m moderately afraid of heights.

I’m also moderately claustrophobic, which made it a really unpleasant surprise when I finally came down out of the mountains and there were tunnels. And then more mountains. And then more tunnels.

On my way back I was determined to miss the whole “oh-my-God-I’m-going-to-fall-off-the-mountain-oh-my-God-the-mountain’s-going-to-fall-on-me” experience.

It turns out Google maps isn’t so hot at showing elevation. Also, not all those roads are as clearly marked as you’d expect them to be. I wound up lost in the Appalachians.

And there was a tunnel, too. Under Tennessee.

So this year, I was determined not to drive, even though I still wanted to go.

When I was a girl, growing up in the middle of nowhere and spending most of my summers alone with my imaginary literary friends, I used to lie in the field beside my house and look up at the sky. I’d watch the planes going over and wonder about the people in them, but it had never seemed possible that that privileged class of adventurers could someday include me.

My initial plan was to take the train to NOLA. I’ve never been on a train either and it seemed romantic and less likely to fall out of the sky. Unfortunately, from where I live in west-central Missouri, the most direct train route to New Orleans goes through Chicago, takes almost an entire 24-hour day, and involves a 4AM bus transfer in St. Louis. So I womanned up and booked plane tickets both ways.

The first thing people told me about flying was to be early. Be really early. Figure out what early is, and then get there well before that. Expect long lines and delays and hassles at security. So naturally, I planned carefully and then procrastinated so much that I was still packing at midnight the night before I was supposed to leave.

The time on my boarding pass said 10:05 AM and I live a good two-and-a-half hours from the airport so I set my alarm for 4 AM and finally went to sleep.

For a given value of sleep. I tossed. I turned. I worried and fretted and I didn’t actually fall asleep until about 3:45. When the alarm went off, I was so exhausted I couldn’t keep my eyes open and convinced myself I could sleep for just another half hour and I’d be fine.

By the time I finally got up it was almost six. I kissed the cats, made sure they had plenty of food and water, and headed out. I made it as far as Clinton, the town nearest me, before I got light-headed. I’d been so fixated on the coming trip that I’d forgotten to eat the day before.

So, I stopped for a quick breakfast, then topped off the gas tank, and then finally hit the highway. By this point it was nearly seven.

Yeah, I wasn’t at all freaking out by this point. (I might be lying.) Also, did I mention the rain? And the fog?

By the time I got to Kansas City, it was pouring rain, fog was rising off the pavement, and I had managed to land right in the middle of the morning rush hour. And then I took the wrong exit. And then I got caught in a construction zone. And then I couldn’t find the place I’d reserved parking.

At a quarter to ten I was driving around in circles in front of the terminal, lost and frantic and practically hysterical. At 9:57 I stumbled across economy parking.

A shuttle appeared as if by magic, I was the last passenger they picked up, and they took me directly to my terminal. There was no line at security and I had time to buy a bottle of water and sit down before they called my flight.

And I flew. I climbed in a big, metal box with a bunch of strangers, packed in like pomegranate seeds, and the ground dropped away beneath us and we sailed off through the sky to New Orleans. And, perhaps it’s silly, but I looked out the window at the countryside passing by and I thought of a little girl in a field.

And I cried a little.

~Loretta

What a great story!! I am so glad you made it right on time! Thank you so much for visiting today! 

Death & the Gravedigger’s Angel
(An Auction Block Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Missouri
Midnight Ink (February 8, 2017)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738750415
Kindle ASIN: B01FOR0YXQ
Shop Indie Bookstores

 

Death & Wren Bid on Answers to the Mysteries of Love and War

When former army medic Tony Dozier is accused of killing a member of the hate group that disrupted his wife’s funeral, the prosecution charges premeditated murder and the defense claims temporary insanity. Former marine Death Bogart and auctioneer Wren Morgan think there’s more to the story.

They’re both led to the long-abandoned Hadleigh House, where Wren begins preparing the contents for auction but ends up ap- praising the story behind an antique sketchbook. As Wren uncovers the century-old tale of a World War I soldier and his angel, Death finds a set of truths that will change…or end…their lives.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I love this series! Morgan is working at Hadleigh House, an old abandoned mansion, to inventory the furnishings and other contents for auction. She finds an old sketchbook that is truly a treasure. It seems to tell a story from World War I about a soldier and his angel. Meanwhile Tony Dozier, an army vet is arrested for killing a man that was protesting his wife’s funeral. Wren and Death (Dee-th) “it’s a family name” Bogart meet the man and know right away he didn’t kill anyone. Death also has PTSD and knows that is what the vet is dealing with. Maybe the sketchbook can help explain the vet’s confusion and lead them to the real killer.

Three books and we are still peeling back the layers on these characters. They continue to grow closer and deal with each other’s battles. They are falling in love but still have barriers up so as to not cause each other pain, both physically and emotionally. The author seems to understand that their healing is a process, not something that can be fleshed out in a hurry but revealed over time. For me as a reader that draws me to these characters in a major way.

The setting this time was quite interesting. A big old house, a cemetery, and a camp for wounded veterans are all located close together but getting to the house is difficult because there is only a walking path until a bridge car be rebuilt for vehicles. The picture on the cover depicts things very well.

The theme of the story is very current, there is a group, the Church of the Army of Christ (CAC), a militant hate group, they protest around the area. This group disrupted the Dozier funeral because Tony’s wife was a Muslim. She and Tony were the only survivors of an attack in Afghanistan only to get back to the states and have her killed by a drunk driver. Tony dealing with the tragedy he witnessed overseas as a medic combined with his wife’s tragic death has left him just a shell of a man. The author wrote this book long before the current administration was sworn in but she clearly saw the degree of hatred during the election and she tackled that and the plight of veterans so well in this story.

As for the mystery, it wasn’t exactly complex but it wasn’t straight forward either. I knew who didn’t do it, just as Morgan and Death did, so I was really tuned in to all the others I viewed as suspects. I just had a feeling and surprisingly I turned out to be right, but it played out in a really scary, edge of your seat way.

The topics may seem heavy for a cozy mystery but Ms. Ross adds the humor, romance and character building in a way to keep it all balanced. I was very happy with the last chapter set up to take us into the next Death and Morgan story. It is going to be hard to wait a year to have it in my hands.

If this is a new series for you I really recommend you start with Death & the Redheaded Woman, then Death & the Brewmaster’s Widow, before you read this story. These are rich characters you will enjoy more if you meet them from the beginning. 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

LORETTA

About The Author

Loretta Ross is a writer and historian who lives and works in rural Missouri. She is an alumna of Cottey College and holds a BA in archaeology from the University of Missouri – Columbia. She has loved mysteries since she first learned to read. Death and the Redheaded Woman will be her first published novel.

Website         Blog           Facebook
GoodReads         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 Loretta 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 February 22, 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.”

Feb 012017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to welcome Cheryl F. Taylor to Escape With Dollycas!

Several years ago we took a family a vacation in Canada where we spent a day in an Amethyst Mine and brought home several nice rough pieces. Not sure where all the kids pieces ended up but my piece is still on my dresser today. Since Amethyst is the official stone of Wednesday it seems fitting to have Cheryl here today to tell us about herself and Stone’s Gem and Murder featuring her main character, Amethyst Stone.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time the last week or so, considering my escape habits in preparation for writing this blog post, and I have come to the realization that I’m a mental escape artist. Like so many, when I delve into a book, I can become so totally immersed that when I stop reading, I may find myself looking around, trying to figure out why what I’m seeing or hearing isn’t what I expect. A recent case in point came about when I was reading an apocalyptic book involving an EMP (an electromagnetic pulse for those uninitiated). When I took a break from reading, I’d find myself wandering around the house wondering why the lights were turning on. Hadn’t all the electricity been knocked out? You see, totally buried in my reading.

Unfortunately for me (or maybe fortunately, you be the judge) my escapism has taken on a whole new dimension since I became an author. When I started writing my first book, Gone to Ground (which I like to call a ‘cozy apocalpyse’), I had entered a period in my life where I was frustrated with all the people moving into my rural community, throwing litter along the trails, breaking glass all over the ground, and running me off the road while I was riding my horses. I started mentally telling myself a story where there weren’t as many people. Why weren’t there as many people? My mind had to come up with a reason, and soon that reason got written down and I had a book. In the meantime I found myself riding my horses farther afield, and looking toward the mountains, wondering when (not even if, but when) I should pack up and head out. I had to fight the urge to stockpile food and supplies and wondered if I should head for the middle of the Bradshaw Mountains, or over west of Prescott, Arizona where most of the book takes place. Luckily for me, after that book was finished my brain started returning gradually to normal (or what passes for normal for me.) I have to admit, however, that I left part of myself in that world, and my saddle is still ready.

Noticing this tendency, I started to wonder where a story starts, and does it start in the same place for everyone. Does someone have to have to have inclinations in a certain direction for the book to be able to take them the rest of the way, or are some books able to kidnap a person’s mind whether they want to go or not. Both scenarios are likely true.

For several years ago I was determined to return to Michigan where I grew up, and to start a trout farm. I thought maybe I’d retire from the traditional “rat race.” I started looking into the possibility but it just wasn’t feasible, and I eventually realized that I liked being able to ride my horses year round. The trout farm daydream eventually faded, and I contented myself to living in Arizona. The next thing I know, I find myself writing Up North Murder and the main character inherits a trout farm located on a lake very similar to one I’ve always wanted. Old daydreams came to life in those words, and even though I’d decided I’d remain in Arizona, I suddenly found myself back on the internet, searching for trout farms for sale in northern Michigan. There was a spiral: the daydream inspired the book which inspired the daydream. I’m hoping that this spiral continues, carrying me through the next books in the series. I still think I’d like a trout farm.

The problem as I see it is that at times these urges become so strong it’s hard to resist them. My mental escapes decide to kidnap my body. When I wrote Stone’s Gems and Murder I was initially inspired by a rock shop in my area. It’s one of my favorite places to escape to physically, if I have limited time and can’t go hiking or riding.

However, when mines entered the picture, problems arose. I’ve always liked abandoned mines, although I’ve been pretty careful around them. Most in my area are vertical shafts and I can’t reasonably explore them, so I’ve contented myself with wishful thinking. With the writing of the Rock Shop Mysteries, however, that desire took on a life of its own (and yes, I’ve been on the internet looking for abandoned mines for sale and if I found one I could afford, I’d probably pack up the horses and head out.) I can’t describe how badly I want to be underground in a mine… or how many new rocks I’ve added to my collection as I’ve worked on this series. See, my imagination has kidnapped my body (and my bank account). I’m even on the waiting list to go to an amethyst mine in April, and a secret turquoise mine as soon as possible… and when I go, I’m sure those trips will inspire new daydreams, which will then result in more books… and adventures, both mental and physical.

I readily admit I’ve had many of these same urges while reading, but they are not as intense and don’t last as long… at least for most of the books. I’ve wondered if that’s because it starts as someone else’s dream, or just because reading a book is quicker than writing one. Of course, there was the time that reading a book on adventure kayaking inspired a solo trip down the Verde River, which nearly resulted in my drowning, but that’s for a future book. I’d better get out my drybags and life preserver.

Now, if only I could find a trout farm with a secret abandoned turquoise mine, out in the middle of the Arizona rangeland with no neighbors for twenty miles around life would be perfect.

~Cheryl

Thank you Cheryl for visiting today. I am excited to share your book with my readers! 

Stone’s Gems and Murder:
A Rock Shop Cozy Mystery

1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Arizona
CT Communications (December 7, 2016)
Paperback: 238 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0998212210
Kindle ASIN: B01MXX7RWK

 

 

Amethyst Stone has come home to take care of her father’s rock shop, Stone’s Gems and Minerals, while her father, Nick, recovers from a broken leg. It’s not long, however, before things go awry, as the her father’s assistant is murdered, and Amy is suspect number one.

Amy and her new assistant, Jackson Wolf, have to unravel the tangled clues to find out who killed Carl, and why, as well as protect the shop itself from the Copper Springs town council which would like to see it condemned.

As Amy and Jackson dig deeper, they realize that there is a lot more going on than it appears on the surface, and multiple people have a reason to want Carl out of the way. They just have to figure out who actually did it before they become the killer’s next victims.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Nick Stone runs Stone’s Gems and Minerals, (a rock shop). One day he takes a tumble off a ladder leaving him unable to run his shop. His daughter, Amethyst (Amy), has come home to fill in while he recovers and goes through some rehab. She is a little nervous about her father’s assistant at the store, she doesn’t really know much about him, but when the man is found murdered, in her dad’s store, she becomes prime suspect. Something is going on that has to connect these two occurrences and Amy and her new friend/employee Jackson Wolf are going to dig for the details to figure out what that is become someone else is hurt or killed.

What a fantastic start for this series! Ms. Taylor sets the scene by describing the rock shop in vivid detail. I could easily picture the organized chaos Nick Stone had created. He is the only one that understands his system and could lay his hands on a specific pieces in an instant. As the story goes on those descriptions continue to bring the rest of this very interesting building to life.

The author has also created characters that the reader wants to get to know better, Nick, his wife Crystal, Amy, who also has a brother named Jasper Onyx Stone and a sister named Opal Jewel Stone Amethyst’s middle name is Gem. We also meet Jackson Wolf and he is a man both Amy and I want to know better. Amy is a smart main character and teaming up with Jackson makes her even stronger. Their easy banter in very entertaining. She tries to keep some of the drama from her dad as he recovers and it was so mice to see that he totally trusted his daughter to handle things with the exception of selling anything from a certain area without his okay. 🙂 He has some pieces he just doesn’t want to sell at any price.

As Amy and Jackson sift through the clues and untangle the twists a jewel of a mystery evolves. I thought I had it all figured out but the ending caught me by surprise and the way it all came together was unique.

Cheryl Taylor just happened to find me online and reached out to tell me about her books. Being self published it is sometimes hard to get the word out about your books. I am so glad she found me and after reading this one I can’t wait to read more of her stories.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Note – I will be spotlighting another one of Cheryl’s books on Saturday. After reading this one I have to squeeze it into my reading schedule some time soon. 

 About The Author

Cheryl Taylor was raised in northeastern Michigan and pursued a degree in agriculture communications from Michigan State University. In 1986, Taylor moved to Arizona where she worked in publishing and advertising in the livestock industry, then eventually moving into teaching in 1998 after receiving a masters in education from Northern Arizona University.

Gone to Ground” is Taylor’s first book and explores how an apocalyptic event might look in the Arizona ranch land. “Breaking Free,” a sequel to “Gone to Ground” is currently in the works.

In addition, Taylor is working on several cozy mystery series, including the Up North Michigan series, which takes place on a trout farm in the northeastern part of the state where she was raised, and the Rock Shop mystery series, which takes place in northern Arizona.

Taylor currently resides in northern Arizona with her family of horses, cattle, dogs and birds.


Thanks to the author I have 1 signed copy of the book
along with a special gift.

(not the exact ones, but representative)

 

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old with a 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 Cheryl 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 February 15, 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.”

Jan 252017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to have Kristi Abbott visit with us today!

kristi abbott from FBGuest Post by Kristi Abbott
(Post provided by publicist)

There was a time in my life when I had a terrific memory. I mean, seriously terrific. I could quote poems, rattle off telephone numbers, remember what day I was supposed to go to the dentist, and was never at a loss for a name to go with a face.

I don’t remember precisely when it changed (ha!). Some time in my thirties, I think. That was when I started carrying a purse-sized calendar into which I’d write notes, clip party invites for the kids, and jot down flight information. Now of course all that is on my phone and/or my computer calendar. None of this, however, prepared me for writing a series.

There’s so much to keep track of! Names, places, relationships, hair colors, town history, streets, ages, cars! It’s hard enough for me to keep track of all of them in a stand alone book, but to remember them over the course of several books? As Tony Soprano would say, “Fuhgeddaboudit.” I know other people have more complicated series than I do. Heck. I’ve had a more complicated series than this one where I had to keep up with whatever rules I was making up for a paranormal world on top of all those names and places and appearances. Still, it’s been a challenge!

I’ve heard other authors talk about keeping a “series bible.” I really like the idea. First of all, it makes it all sound so important. I mean, a bible! Wow! Second, it would be nice to have something to flip through when I needed to remember one of those little details that are so easy to forget. What street is her friend’s house on? Did that guy have brown hair or gray? When was the lighthouse constructed?

That would require me to actually keep track of those details and, this might sound nuts in the middle of a blog post about how I can’t remember anything anymore, I always think what I’m writing is important enough that I’ll remember it. I seem to have forgotten that I won’t . . .

Enter the copywriter. In case you aren’t familiar, sometime after the revisions are finished and the line edits are done but before publication, we authors receive our copy-edited manuscripts. Someone else, not the editor who plucked you from the slush pile or from the bouquet of manuscripts presented by your agent, goes through the manuscript with a fine-tooth comb looking for grammatical errors, continuity problems, and plain old logic goofs. That is that person’s job. That human being is paid to go through the pages you’ve been slaving over and point out every tiny error you’ve made.

It’s not my favorite phase. Of all the phases of a manuscript’s production, it’s the one most likely to send me crawling back into bed with a box of tissues and the cat. It requires greater ego strength than I possess on even a good day, and yet it must be endured. One very good thing comes with the copyedited manuscript, though. Generally, there’s a list attached. A long beautiful list of all the names and places with a few little details added in.

Ta da! A bible. Or at least the basis for one. Those lists — and the copywriters who create them — have saved my life and sanity more than once. So with the marked up manuscript that is going to make me feel like an idiot comes my salvation.

Funny how life works, isn’t it?

~Kristi

Pop Goes the Murder
(A Popcorn Shop Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Ohio
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (January 3, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280928
Kindle ASIN: B01E4WAGEO

 

 

Despite Rebecca Anderson’s best efforts to distance herself from her ex-husband, the guy keeps popping up. When Antoine offers to feature her breakfast bars and popcorn fudge on his popular cooking show, she suspects he’s once again trying to butter her up—but the TV exposure for her gourmet popcorn shop, POPS, is too good to turn down.

Things take a shocking turn when the crew comes to Grand Lake to film in her shop, and Rebecca discovers Antoine’s assistant electrocuted in a hotel bathtub. Now the police want Antoine to come clean. Her ex may be a pain, but he’s no killer. So Rebecca decides to bag the real culprit. If she isn’t careful, however, she may be the next one getting burned.

INCLUDES POPCORN RELATED RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this second installment of this fun series Rebecca’s ex-husband is in town to film a piece for his television show featuring her shop, POPS. She knows she needs publicity to grow her customer base but being summoned to go over details again with his assistant has her a little fired up. But when she arrives and finds the assistant dead she is shocked  – which also happens to be the victim’s cause of death. Just as shocking is that the police think her ex is the killer. He has his faults but there is no way he would have killed anyone. Rebecca pops herself right into the middle of the investigate to prove his innocence. This makes her brother-in-law, Sheriff Dan Cooper, a little hot under the collar.

Rebecca Anderson is a strong protagonist but for me her pregnant sister stole her thunder just a little bit this time. She is due very soon and anyone that has been pregnant or around someone pregnant knows those last couple weeks are stressful and an emotional time for the mom to be. She expects her sister and husband to be at her beck and call even when someone has just been murdered. She wants her sister to leave the investigation to the police/her husband and to stay away from her ex-husband. She wants her husband to do his job but remember his family could increase at any moment. It is all very humorous and something easy to identify with. Great one liners, loved it.

Rebecca also has a very lovable canine companion, a very smart one. She has a great friendship with her brother-in-law, trying at times, but a strong bond. She seems to be getting more comfortable with her decision to buy her shop and her life in Ohio. I hope she continues to move forward and we see less of her ex.

The plot has a nice flow. I did figure out the real killer early in the story, but the book had other things happening that held my interest to the very last page.

This story popped for me in several ways. A strong addition to this series. I am excited for the next book.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about Kristi on her webpage here. Like her on Facebook.  Follow her on Twitter.  Contact her here with recipes ?

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.

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Contest Will End February 8, 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.”

 

 

 

Jan 182017
 

It is my absolute pleasure to Welcome Cleo Coyle back to Escape With Dollycas today!

DEAD COLD BREW AND NEWS FROM CLEO COYLE

Marc and I are excited to be visiting with you today. Special thanks to Dollycas for giving us this chance to tell you about our new Coffeehouse Mystery—and what we’re working on for the future.

It’s official. After 15 books, our amateur sleuth, coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi, finally becomes engaged to her boyfriend, NYPD Detective Mike Quinn. Our readers have been waiting for this moment for years. In Dead Cold Brew, it happens at last.

Unfortunately, the vintage coffee diamonds Mike slips on Clare’s finger open a Pandora’s box to a cold case murder that occurred sixty years before.

This chilling homicide took place in a stateroom of the SS Andrea Doria, a luxurious Italian ocean liner that tragically sank off the coast of Nantucket in 1956.

On board that ship was a gifted Italian artisan named Gus Campana, the jewelry designer who created Clare’s engagement ring. When Clare finds Gus poisoned behind his West Village workshop, she won’t rest until she uncovers who may have done it and why. Her search uncovers a decades-old family scandal, a charming jewel thief, a shocking inheritance, and a deadly adversary.

Best of all, Dead Cold Brew is embedded with twists, turns, and wonderful secrets about New York City that we’ve discovered over the years—from an exclusive room in the legendary 21 Club, to the underbelly of the city’s Diamond District, to a hidden train platform beneath the Waldorf-Astoria.

 

THE RECIPES!

Food is always a fun part of our Coffeehouse Mysteries, and we’ve included some of our favorite recipes in the appendix of Dead Cold Brew. A few were even inspired by Clare’s visit to New York’s famous 21 Club, a Prohibition-era restaurant that still serves movie stars and presidents. See descriptions and photos of these recipes and many more in our Free Recipe Guide. Print it out, and you have an instant, illustrated recipe section for your book.

Click here for our Free Recipe Guide.

 

If you are new to our Coffeehouse Mystery series, don’t hesitate to pick up Dead Cold Brew. Marc and I always strive to give new readers enough background to enjoy every book in our series as a stand-alone. And if you like it, you have 15 more in the series to enjoy.

Click here for a Free Checklist of all 16 Coffeehouse Mystery titles.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR CLEO COYLE?

For those of you wondering what’s next for Clare (and Cleo), we’re pleased to announce that we’ve already begun development on our 17th Coffeehouse Mystery with our longtime publisher, Berkley of Penguin Random House.

We’re also finishing up a new entry in our Haunted Bookshop Mystery series with Berkley, and we’ll be releasing fun, little excerpts from the book in our coming newsletters. The truth is we haven’t published a new Haunted Bookshop Mystery for several years—frankly, the reasons were personal (deaths in our families and health issues). Life happens, as they say, and it happens for writers too. We sincerely thank our readers and our publisher for their patience with us.

We assure you all, however, the “spirit” was always with us—and still is! We love Jack Shepard, our PI Ghost, and the young New England widow who runs the bookshop he haunts (both of whom we created way back in 2003) and we look forward to getting the unlikely duo back to work on perplexing criminal cases. The 6th title in the series, The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller, is scheduled for release next year. To learn more about our second mystery series, originally published under the name Alice Kimberly, visit the Haunted Bookshop page of our website by clicking here.

For a Free Checklist of Haunted Bookshop Mystery titles, click here.

Until we see you again, we hope you enjoy the books we’ve published thus far. We hope you’ll support our ongoing work by buying Dead Cold Brew—or borrowing it from your local library. We also hope you’ll stay in touch because we love to share new recipes, fun info, and videos on our website, Facebook page, and in our newsletters. May you always read with joy!

To keep in touch with us…

Visit our website: www.CoffeehouseMystery.com

Friend us on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/CleoCoyle

Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/CleoCoyle

Sign up for our newsletter here.

ARE YOU READY?

Watch Our New Coffeehouse Video!

About This Author

CLEO COYLE is the pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini.  CLEO COYLE grew up in a small town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After earning scholarships to study writing at Carnegie Mellon and American Universities, she began her career as a cub reporter for The New York Times. Now an author of popular fiction and New York Times bestselling media tie-in writer, Cleo lives and works in New York, where she collaborates with her husband (also a bestselling author) to pen the Coffeehouse Mysteries for Penguin Random House. Together Cleo and her husband also write the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, originally published under the name Alice Kimberly. When not haunting coffeehouses, hunting ghosts, or rescuing stray cats, Cleo and Marc are bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for NBC, Lucasfilm, Disney, Fox, Imagine, and MGM. In their spare time they cook like crazy and drink a lot of java. You can learn more about Cleo, her husband, and the books they write by visiting www.CoffeehouseMystery.com.

dead-cold-brew-large-banner640

 

dead-cold-brew
Dead Cold Brew
(A Coffeehouse Mystery)
16th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
Publisher: Berkley (January 10, 2017)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425276112
E-Book ASIN: B01CZCW3BO
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

Synopsis

From Cleo Coyle, the New York Times bestselling author of Dead to the Last Drop, comes a gripping new entry in the “highly satisfying”* Coffeehouse Mystery series. (*Publishers Weekly)

THE PERFECT PROPOSAL LEADS TO A CHILLING COLD CASE…

Coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi sheds tears of joy when her NYPD detective boyfriend surprises her with an engagement ring. But her bridal bliss is put on hold when a chilling mystery brings a wave of deadly danger to those she holds dear…

After everything Clare and Mike have been through, they deserve a little bit of happily ever after. So when Mike decides to put a ring on Clare’s finger, Clare’s eccentric octogenarian employer is there to help. She donates the perfect coffee-colored diamonds to include in the setting and the name of a world-famous jeweler who happens to be an old family friend. But while the engagement is steeped in perfection, the celebration is not long lived.

First, a grim-faced attorney interrupts their party with a mysterious letter bequeathing a strange, hidden treasure to Clare’s daughter. Next, the renowned jeweler who designed Clare’s ring is found poisoned in his shop. Both events appear to be connected to a cold case murder involving a sunken ship, an Italian curse, a suspiciously charming jewel thief, and a shocking family secret. With deadly trouble brewing, Clare must track down clues in some of New York’s most secret places before an old vendetta starts producing fresh corpses.

With recipes to die for, including how to make cold-brew coffee at home!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series just keeps getting better and better!

In this installment the authors take us back in time to connect a present mystery to a very old mystery.  A jeweler is found unconscious and a letter is delivered that brings family secrets to light. What does a sunken ship and a precious jewel that supposedly went down with it have to do with the happenings today? All this just as Mike finally pops to question to Clare.  Congratulations are definitely in order but first Clare is on the trail trying to determine what it all means before more people end up dead.

Dead Cold Brew is the 16th installment in this long running series and it is still brewing at a fevered pitch. These characters are so strong, current and real. The drama starts with  an event that could be ripped from real life headlines. There is a sniper gunning down cops, thankfully only wounding them, but Mike’s unit is one of the group’s being targeted. Clare is also working with her ex Matt find on who targeted his godfather after he is found poisoned in his home. Clare fears the cases may be related.

The story is very fast paced, so many things are happening but these authors are pros, the drama does not overwhelm the reader.  We are drawn in a clues are solved and twists take us in different directions. I loved the way the history of Matt’s family is integral the the story. Clare is so close to her ex mother in law and the woman has been so generous to Clare it was wonderful to get some of her back story. There is also part of the story the reminds me of my son and that made the book extra special for me. All this together makes this an extremely hard book to put down.

I now have a new book that is my favorite in this series.

The special thing is that the authors give us plenty of details so no matter whether you have read this series from the start, or missed a couple in the middle or if this is your first time visiting with Clare and her friends you won’t be lost or feel like you have missed something. I can’t promise that you won’t want to go back and read this series from the start after reading this one. In fact I am almost positive you will. I think you will love these characters and want to read everything that you can about them.

Oh and don’t forget the recipes. The fantastic recipes.

Brew yourself a nice cup of coffee and sit back and enjoy Dead Cold Brew!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

My first Paradise Rating of 2017!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PLUS

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 Hardcover 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 Cleo 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 February 1, 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.”

Facials Can Be Fatal (A Bad Hair Day Mystery) by Nancy J. CohenBuy Now
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