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
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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
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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.

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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
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Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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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.”

 

 

 

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
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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!

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

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Contest Will End February 1, 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 112017
 

I am so excited to Welcome Gail back to Escape With Dollycas today! 

 

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS

Or, maybe for whom the clock ticks, would be more appropriate when discussing the dreaded “D” word.   Every writer dreams of having a book contract, but with every contract comes a deadline.  I tend to believe that the “dead” part of deadline is significant.  Deadlines are sneaky devils.  They lull you into a false sense of complacency when they’re six, nine, or twelve months away.  You think you have all the time in the world to whip your story into submission.  While in this state of bliss, you take occasional days off to have a little fun, entertain out of town guests, or just goof off.  You might agree to speaking engagements, attend a writers conference or two, or even volunteer to moderate a panel.  No worry, you tell yourself, you have plenty of time.  You have everything under control.

Bam!  Then it hits you.  A closer look at the calendar reveals the deadline you thought tame is about to pounce and bite your head off.  Your focus narrows so all you can see is the darn computer screen and the stupid cursor with its incessant blinking.  You transform into a frantic Captain Hook chased by the crocodile who swallowed a ticking clock.  No more play dates with friends.  You wonder if they’ll forget your name but not for long because you have plot points to ponder.  Meals become haphazard and you’re grateful your husband likes egg sandwiches and gas station pizza.  You desperately need a hair cut but your hairdresser tends to be chatty and you can’t spare the time.  A manicure is on the horizon, too, but that only occurs when your long fingernails keep hitting keys you never intended.  There are chapters to write; pages to polish.  Your world dwindles until there is only “The Book.”   Then, miraculously, its finished.  You hit the SEND button, and your manuscript flies through cyberspace to land on the desk of your editor in publisherville.

Now it’s time to celebrate, time to toast your success, get caught up on sleep, renew acquaintances, and cook elaborate meals.  And, strange as it may sound, it’s time to wish for another deadline.

~Gail

Curried Away: A Spice Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Georgia

Minotaur Books (December 13, 2016)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250081254
E-Book ASIN: B01G1J80H8
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Synopsis

Piper Prescott, proprietor of Spice It Up!, has persuaded Doug Winters, the mild-mannered vet she’s been dating, to demonstrate Indian cuisine at her shop. But before Doug’s presentation of classic chicken curry is completed, Ned Feeney, local handyman, bursts in with news of a murder.

Sandy Granger, the director of a local production of Steel Magnolias, was found strangled in the third-floor balcony of the Brandywine Creek Opera House. Sandy, it seems, had not endeared herself to cast or crew. Complaints about her ran the gamut from her management style to her lack of people skills. Everyone connected with the production falls under suspicion, including Piper Prescott’s BFF, Reba Mae Johnson, who made it well known how unhappy she is that she was cut from the cast.

When the spotlight for the dastardly deed shines on Reba Mae, Piper rushes to her friend’s defense. Who among Sandy’s detractors was angry enough to wrap a silk scarf around her neck—and pull tight? Will Piper succeed in solving the case before she becomes the killer’s encore performance? And will she ever learn just how to prepare the perfect curry?

Dollycas Thoughts

This 4th installment of Gail Oust’s Spice Shop Mysteries finds the town in rehearsals for a production of Steel Magnolias. The director, Sandy Grainger, is pretty demanding and most of the cast and crew is ready to quit. When she tells them they will be rehearsing over the Thanksgiving weekend everyone was upset. But when she cut Reba Mae Johnson from the cast Reba Mae doesn’t hold back and really tells Sandy off in front of everyone. So when the overbearing director is found dead, Reba Mae is the prime suspect. Piper quickly goes into sleuth mode to prove her friend’s innocence and catch the real killer.

I have enjoyed this series from the start. All my favorite characters are back and there is plenty of drama over and above the murder mystery. Several characters are evolving in new and unexpected directions. One was very expected but I am so happy with the way the author is handling the whole situation.

As for the murder, there are so many suspects, we find Piper and Chief McBride get a pretty testy with each other. The town is also up in arms when the killer is not caught immediately. The sales of pepper spray increase and several woman demand Piper to convince the chief to hold a self-defense class. He has the investigation to conduct and tries to get out of holding the class by scheduling it at a time when thinks no one will show up. He was in for a big surprise. Guess who becomes his demonstration partner?

As always this author cooks us up a tasty mystery that I am pleased to recommend highly. I am not a big fan of curry, but I really loved this story.

There is some information about curry in the back of the book along with recipes for Spicy Chicken Curry, Cranberry Nut Mini Muffins and Gingerbread.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

gail

About The Author

Friends often accuse Gail Oust of flunking retirement.  While working as a nurse/vascular technologist, Gail penned nine historical romances under the pseudonym Elizabeth Turner for Avon, Pocket, Berkley, and Kensington.  It wasn’t until she and her husband retired to South Carolina that inspiration struck for a mystery.  Hearing the words, “maybe it’s a dead body,” while golfing with friends fired her imagination for the Bunco Babe Mystery series originally published by NAL.  In conjunction with Beyond the Page Publishing, the Bunco Babe series has  been republished in digital format as the Kate McCall Mysteries complete with new titles and a whole new look.  Gail is currently writing the Spice Shop Mysteries for Minotaur/St. Martin’s.  When she isn’t reading, writing, or sleeping, she can usually be found on the golf course or hanging out with friends.

Author Links
Links:  Webpage – www.gailoust.comGail Oust Author on Facebook, and Goodreads.

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N  Google Play

Amazon   B&N

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

January 6 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

January 6 – Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT

January 7 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

January 8 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

January 9 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

January 10 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &,Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

January 10 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

January 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY

January 12 – Readeropolis – REVIEW

January 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 13 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST

January 14 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

January 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 15 – Bibliophile Reviews – 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.”

Dec 282016
 

2016 was another fantastic year for Cozy Mysteries especially amid all the changes in the cozy publishing world. We saw several of our favorite series ending way too soon.

By the end of the year I will have read 200 books with over 100 earning 5 stars. All of the books listed below received my Paradise Rating which means I wanted to give them more than 5 stars.


Foreign Éclairs: A White House Chef Mystery
9th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Washington D.C.
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425262405
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKN2G
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

This was one of the series that ended
but is unique because the author knew it was that last book
and was able to end it in a way the readers could appreciate.

My Review Here

____________________


Drawing Blood
(A Sketch in Crime Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
Publisher: Midnight Ink (February 8, 2016)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738742281
E-Book ASIN: B019KKTX0I
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie BookstoresMy Review Here
This series is continuing but with a different publisher. The Drawing Game was released December 20.

_____________

Delivering the Truth
(A Quaker Midwife Mystery)

New Series
Historical Cozy Mystery
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Midnight Ink (April 8, 2016)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738747521
E-Book ASIN: B019KKTWX6
goodreads-badge-add-plusMy Review Here
Book 2 in this series,
Called to Justice, will be released in April.
_____________


An Unhappy Medium
(A Family Fortune Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Michigan
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Daniel Craig
Cover Design by Judith Lagerman
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282809
E-Book – ASIN: B011IUSQXI
goodreads-badge-add-plusMy Review Here
I do not see a new book listed on Amazon for this series.

___________


With A Vengeance (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Pennsylvania
4th in Series
Henery Press (May 3, 2016)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635110173
E-Book ASIN: B01BGZOFSU
goodreads-badge-add-plusMy Review Here
I do not see a new book for this series yet on Amazon.
____________________

Killer Cocktail
(A Nic & Nigel Mystery)
2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – California
Publisher: Midnight Ink (May 8, 2016)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738745237
E-Book ASIN: B01A5OGVRGgoodreads-badge-add-plusMy Review Here
Book 3 in this series, A Perfect Manhattan Murder will be released May 8.
___________


The Book of Beloved
(Pluto’s Snitch)

Paranormal Historical Suspense Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Alabama
Thomas & Mercer (August 9, 2016)
Paperback: 330 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1503938069
E-Book ASIN: B01BXSFGDS
goodreads-badge-add-plusMy Review Here
Book 2 in this series, The House of Memory, should be released in June.
________________


Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Berkley (October 4, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425268278
E-Book – ASIN: B01AHKXHTS
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores
My Review Here.
This one was hard, losing Joyce in 2015 and Jim in 2016 and their amazing storytelling was a jolt.
_____________


We Wish You a Murderous Christmas
(A Year-Round Christmas Mystery)

Cozy Mystery

2nd in Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280812
E-Book ASIN: B01BK0WS8Ugoodreads-badge-add-plus
My Review Here
I am looking forward to the next installment in November 2017!

______________


Better Late Than Never (A Library Lover’s Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399583735
E-Book ASIN: B01BK0SQ90
goodreads-badge-add-plus
My Review Here
I sure hope there are more stories coming in this series!

_____________

What were your favorite books this year? Please share them in the comment section below so we can all see them and add them to our wish lists!

Looking ahead to 2017 I see so many wonderful books in our future. Cozy Mysteries give me so much joy and the authors continue to impress me with their talents and imagination. Some publishers may be cutting back on this genre but the authors are finding new homes and new ways to bring us their stories. I will do my best to keep you informed about authors that have moved to new publishing houses or self publishing. For some that may mean e-books only.

I did upgrade my kindle for Christmas last year and I do love it, although there is nothing I like better than holding a print book in my hands. If you haven’t treated yourself to a Kindle yet, the one I purchased last year, a Kindle Fire for  $149 has been updated and is now just $89.99. You can also get it with extra memory for just $119.00 and you can break it down into as many as 5 payments to fit your budget.  I like mine because I can not only read books but I can check in on my blog, Facebook, Twitter and email when I am away from my desktop computer because I do not have a cell phone. The only thing I can’t do is make a phone call  😀

In addition to the the cozies I will continue to sprinkle in traditional mysteries, thriller, suspense and even some romance to change things up from time to time. 

I hope you have enjoyed my reviews, recommendations, and giveaways. It has been a pleasure to be your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent this year. I am excited for the new year as I start my 8th year blogging! I hope to book many more literary escapes for you all to enjoy!

Be sure to stop back tomorrow when I tell you about a few non-cozy books that earned my Paradise Rating. My BLOGOVERSARY Giveaways will also start tomorrow!! 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

Dec 212016
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

Today we have 2 authors visiting!! 

Welcome Barbara Ross and Liz Mugavero! 

Talk of the Town

Liz Mugavero and Barbara Ross both have books coming out December 27. For Liz, it’s Custom Baked Murder, the fifth book in her Pawsitively Organic Pet Food Mystery series. For Barb, it’s Iced Under, the fifth book in her Maine Clambake Mystery series. Recently, they got together to talk cozy towns.

Barb: Hi Liz. If I know you as well as I think I do, you, like me have been watching the new season of The Gilmore Girls. As I watched, I realized one of reasons for the series’ success, along with the snappy dialog and endearing characters, is the town of Stars Hollow. Like the towns we write about, Frog’s Ledge, Connecticut and Busman’s Harbor, Maine, Stars Hollow is a classic New England town with a green and a band shell and a grab bag of eccentric characters.

What do you think attracts readers and viewers to these places?

Liz: Hi Barb! Yes, you do know me as well as you think…although I have a dilemma. I made a pact with myself that I’d watch all the original Gilmore Girls before watching the new season. I started over the summer and convinced myself that I’d be done way before November 25th! Alas, life got in the way and I’m only on season four – so no spoilers for the new ones!

Now, to your question. I have a confession. I watched Gilmore Girls before I moved to Connecticut. And I think one of the reasons I ended up here was because I was convinced every town was like Stars Hollow! Unfortunately it wasn’t true, but I became obsessed with the idea that I would find a little town to love that would love me back. A town with the perfect bookstore, the perfect grocer, the perfect people. And, the perfect coffee, of course. But it’s that sense of security I got from watching the show that drew me in. The idea that the people around you had your back, even though they weren’t traditional family. It’s that idea that you make your own family, right?

So let’s talk about that. How did you come up with the people with whom you populated your town? Based on real people, or totally made up?

Barb: What a great question. Of all my characters, Gus is the only one based on a real Maine person. There really was a guy who owned an old restaurant near us in Maine with a gorgeous view of a place called, believe it or not, Cozy Harbor. The restaurant looked like an Edward Hopper painting with an old-fashioned gas pump on the outside and a candle-pin bowling lane on the inside. And, just like in the books, Gus only served food to people he knew, or people who knew someone he knew. No one else is based on a real person, though I know people in the real Boothbay Harbor like to guess who’s who!

So my town is kind of, sort of, based on a real town, highly fictionalized. What about you? Is there a real basis for Frog Ledge? How is it similar and different physically and otherwise?

Liz: My fictional town started with a real thing. The town next to me has a really cool town green with a walking path, and I started bringing the dogs there. It’s about a mile around, and there are houses on both sides as well as a bunch of historical buildings, the library, and a museum. And there are always activities happening on the green, from farmers’ markets to 4th of July fireworks to summer concerts. It’s a cool place, and there’s a lovely little Victorian house on one side. I was there one day and thought, wow, this is the place. The place where people in my books can go for all the gossip. The place where Stan should live and spend a lot of her time. The true center of town, you know? And then from there I beefed up the rest of the town with some fictional places like Izzy’s coffee and chocolate shop, the flower shop, the pub. I pulled elements of neighboring towns so it became sort of a hybrid of real places with some fiction thrown in.

It works for me. What about you? Is there something different you wish you’d done relating to how you set up your town? Or is it perfect the way it is?

Barb: Five books in, Busman’s Harbor is still growing. I’ve added shops along Main Street as I’ve needed them—a hardware store for Clammed Up, a frame shop for Fogged Inn, and a jewelry store for Iced Under. It’s kind of like an old map, some places are well understood and finely drawn, while others are completely blank “Here be dragons.” One thing I wish I’d done. I wish I’d called my main road “Maine Street” with an e. So obvious, and yet I missed it.

Of course the most important thing in a cozy mystery, wherever it is set, is a sense of community, of people pulling together, and then potentially pulling apart due to murder. Our sleuths need to set things to rights again, and that means Stan Connor and Julia Snowden have their work cut out for them.

We have our work cut out for us, too, since both of us are on deadlines for book six. Good luck with it, Liz. Let’s talk soon!

Liz: Good luck, Barb.

About The Authors

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries, including the Agatha-nominated Best Contemporary Novel Clammed Up, as well as Boiled Over, Musseled Out, Fogged Inn, and Iced Under. Her story “Nogged Off” appears in the holiday novella collection Eggnog Murder along with stories by Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis. Barbara blogs with the Wicked Cozy Authors and Maine Crime Writers. In the summer, she writes on her big front porch overlooking the water in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. You can visit her website at http://www.maineclambakemysteries.com

Liz Mugavero is the author of the Agatha Award-nominated Pawsitively Organic Mysteries Kneading to Die, A Biscuit, A Casket, The Icing on the Corpse and Murder Most Finicky. Custom-Baked Murder, the fifth in the series, will be released in December 2016. 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.


Iced Under (A Maine Clambake Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Maine/Massachusetts
Kensington (December 27, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496700391
E-Book ASIN: B01DRXCGEE

 

 

The snow is deep in Maine’s Busman’s Harbor and the mighty rivers are covered in ice. Snowden Family Clambake Company proprietor Julia Snowden and her mother, Jacqueline, are hunkered down for the winter when a mysterious package arrives—heating up February with an unexpected case of murder . . .

Inside the mystery package is an enormous black diamond necklace that once belonged to Julia’s great-grandmother and disappeared in the 1920s. Who could have sent it—and why? Julia’s search for clues takes her on a perilous journey through her mother’s troubled family history, from a squabble over the family fortune in “frozen water” to the recent unexplained death of Jacqueline’s long-lost cousin Hugh—who’d been missing and presumed drowned for more than forty years. To protect her mother’s inheritance, Julia must fend off a small army of feuding relatives, solve the mystery surrounding Hugh’s demise, and get back home before the next blizzard buries them all . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It may be winter in Busman’s Harbor but Julia still has a mystery to solve. Her mom received a package containing a wonderful family heirloom, one the disappeared back in the 1920’s. The problem is they have no idea who sent the package. Julia’s investigation leads her to connect with family she didn’t know she had and she arrives at their door just in time to find out the person she hoped to meet died recently. Shortly after her arrival the family learns that the death was not from natural causes, it was MURDER!

I really love these stories. So much happens in addition to the main mystery. In a subplot Julia’s sister, Livvie, is due to give birth any day and the snow coming could make getting to the hospital an adventure. This mirrors my daughter’s experience almost exactly 4 years ago. Her dad drove her to the hospital in the middle of a blizzard following a snow plow all the way. Babies seem to want to make appearances in reality and fiction at the most inopportune times.

In the main mystery plot the author introduces many new characters enabling Julia to meet and learn about family members she and her mom didn’t even know existed. She also learns the truth about an event in the past that happened very differently than her mother thought. I enjoyed the history research and the stories told by these family members almost more than the mystery and it is a great mystery full of twists and surprises.

The author provides enough background to allow this book to be read without reading the previous stories but I encourage you to read them all in order. The characters really grow and become more distinct throughout the series and each includes a stellar mystery.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Custom Baked Murder
(A Pawsitively Organic Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (December 27, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496700193
E-Book ASIN: B01DRXCGD0

 

 

Kristan “Stan” Connor gladly turned tail on her high-flying job and moved to a quaint New England town to sell organic pet treats. But with her nose for solving murders, there’s no such thing as a quiet life…

Summer is winding down in Frog Ledge, Connecticut, but Stan’s love life and career are both heating up nicely. In between planning her new pet patisserie and café, Stan is settling into living-in-bliss with sexy pub owner Jake McGee. Love’s on the menu for Stan’s mom, Patricia, too, who’s engaged to Frog Ledge’s mayor, Tony Falco.

Mayor Falco’s dogged ambition isn’t popular among locals, but it’s his executive coach, Eleanor Chang, who’s inspired a dangerous grudge. When Eleanor is found dead, there’s a whole pack of suspects to choose from. Stan has first-hand experience of Eleanor’s unsavory business tactics. But finding out who forced her to take a fatal plunge off the corporate ladder means unearthing some shady secrets…and a killer who’s too close for comfort.

Includes Gourmet Pet Food Recipes!

This is a series I really need to get caught up on. I did receive a note from a friend warning me that this story may have parts that would be hard for me to read after the death of my son so I will hold off reading it for now. 

Thanks to the authors I have 1 copy of each book 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.

Leave a comment for Barbara or Liz for 5 Bonus Entries.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.
.
Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End January 4, 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.”

Dec 142016
 

I am so happy to welcome Paty Jager back
to Escape With Dollycas!

Her latest mystery, Yuletide Slaying was released on October 31. Set at Christmas time, you can put this mystery on your holiday reading list.

 

My name is Sheba, I’m a Newfoundland, border collie, and no one seems to know what else, not even my veterinarian. But my owner, Shandra Higheagle, loves me even when I drool and knock over things due to my large size and clumsiness.

Her boyfriend, Detective Greer, thinks it’s funny that a dog my size is scared of loud noises and greets everyone by rolling on to my back and showing my belly. I think he shouldn’t be judging me when he appears to be afraid of Crazy Lil, the woman who works for my owner and takes care of me when Shandra is away. I like Lil, even if she does carry that worthless cat around her neck.

Shandra has had dreams since her Nez Perce grandmother died. Mostly they are clues to the murders that have been happening around her lately. I’m there to keep her company when she has these dreams. My large furry body seems to be her favorite thing to hug when she wakes from the dreams. Unless Ryan is there. Then I don’t get invited up on the bed. If he didn’t make Shandra so happy, I’d be chewing up his shoes and burying his boots in the snow.

I was excited when Shandra volunteered me to pull a sleigh full of presents for foster kids in the county Christmas parade in Huckleberry. I looked good in the red harness and pulling the red sleigh. Ryan’s nieces and nephews gave me lots of attention as I waited for Santa to arrive and lead me.

The old car in front of me made a sound like a gun, and I bolted down the street. I couldn’t move fast enough to get away from that noise. I was panting so loud I didn’t hear anything and blindly ran down the streets and through alleys. One alley had two men fighting. The smell of blood stopped me, and one man fell into the sleigh. The other man stabbed at me. I heard Shandra call my name and ran as fast as I could toward her.

I’m as good at telling stories as my creator. To find out what happens to me and who the body is, you’ll have to pick up Paty Jager’s latest book, Yuletide Slaying.  I’m on the cover and have a bigger role in this book than any of the other in the series.

Yuletide Slaying (Shandra Higheagle Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Windtree Press (October 31, 2016)
Paperback: 242 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1944973254
E-Book ASIN: B01M9HPI7F

Family, Revenge, Murder

When Shandra Higheagle’s dog brings her a dead body in a sleigh full of presents, her world is turned upside down. The man is a John Doe and within twenty-four hours another body is found.

Detective Ryan Greer receives a call that has them both looking over their shoulders. A vengeful brother of a gang member who died in a gang war is out for Ryan’s blood. Shandra’s dreams and Ryan’s fellow officers may not be enough to keep them alive to share Christmas.

Buy Links:  Amazon / Nook / Apple / KoboWindtree Press

 

About The  Author

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 25+ novels and over a dozen novellas and short stories of murder mystery, western romance, and action adventure.  This is what Mysteries Etc says about her Shandra Higheagle mystery series: “Mystery, romance, small town, and Native American heritage combine to make a compelling read.”

All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

blog / websiteFacebook / Paty’s Posse / Goodreads / Twitter / Pinterest

Find more of Paty’s books on Amazon here.
DOUBLE DUPLICITY is FREE at Amazon!

Thanks to the author I am giving away an e-copy of Yuletide Slaying!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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 Paty for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End December 28, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Dec 072016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to have Laura Childs drop by today! 

laura childs from facebookHi Everyone,

I am delighted to be spending Cozy Wednesday here at Escape with Dollycas. EGG DROP DEAD is book seven of my New York Times best-selling Cackleberry Club mysteries set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. Have you already met Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, owners of the Cackleberry Club, a farm-to-table café? If so, you know eggs are the morning specialty and the cozy cafe offers a Book Nook, loaded with interesting reads, and a Knitting Nest filled with colorful skeins of yarn along with piles of quilt squares.  If the yarn beckons, all are welcome to join Petra’s Hooked on Knitting class to learn how to create soft and warm shawls, afghans and the like.  It is a homey place but trouble sometimes has a way of finding the ladies, even as they plan their gala Halloween celebration.

egg-drop-deadAfter picking up her elegant witch costume made of smooth black silk and scalloped black lace, Suzanne was looking forward to a nice visit with her dairy supplier, mild-mannered Mike Mullen. His quiet farm is always a nice break from the hectic kitchen at the Cackleberry Club. But when Suzanne arrived at the dairy farm to pick up wheels of cheese, she heard urgent moaning coming from the barn. With barely a foot inside the door, she instantly realizes that, late as it is, the cows are moaning because they haven’t been milked. Then she discovers the reason why. Mike’s mangled body is lying dead on the barn floor.

As word of the murder spreads through Kindred, Petra and Toni urge Suzanne to try to find out who killed poor Mike, known to everyone as a kind and well-liked man. And as Petra reminds Suzanne, “Next to Sheriff  Doogie, you’re the one with all the smarts in this town.” And Toni chimes in, “… she means investigational smarts.”

With business booming at the Cackleberry Club, investigating Mike’s murder might lead to more trouble than Suzanne can handle. In a brief space of time, she is juggling multiple suspects, a busy restaurant, tea parties, and a raucous Halloween celebration. All the while Suzanne maintains her good humor and manages to keep her romance with the town doctor sizzling.  With so much going on, it’s loads of fun to hang around the Cackleberry Club. And when you reach the end of the story, I promise that you will want to make the recipes in the back of EGG DROP DEAD again and again.

~Laura

egg-drop-dead
Egg Drop Dead (A Cackleberry Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Midwest (Minnesota)
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (December 6, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281703
E-Book ASIN: B01CZCW4MW
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

In Laura Childs’s New York Times bestselling mystery series, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni—co-owners of the Cackleberry Club café—are back to track down another bad egg…
 
Maintaining good personal relationships with their suppliers is one of the secrets of the Cackleberry Club café’s success, so Suzanne doesn’t mind going out to Mike Mullen’s dairy farm to pick up some wheels of cheese. She’s looking forward to a nice visit with the mild-mannered farmer before heading back to their hectic kitchen.

But when she arrives, Mike’s nowhere to be found. The moaning of his cows leads her to look in the barn, where she discovers a bloodcurdling sight—the farmer’s dead body. Apparently not everyone was as fond of Mike Mullen as the Cackleberry Club.

Churning with grief and outrage, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni vow to find the farmer’s murderer—but as they get closer to the truth, the desperate killer gets whipped into a frenzy and plans to put the squeeze on them…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

“Welcome to Kindred and The Cackleberry Club. You hosts are Suzanne, Petra and Toni. Pull up a stool, check out today’s specials, feel free to visit the Book Nook and the Knitting Nest. We hope you enjoy your visit.” That’s the friendly greeting I would expect to receive from these three fantastic characters. Business partners, friends, family. These ladies are part of a tight knit community. It is almost Halloween when the town is shocked by another murder. Suzanne finds dairy farmer Mike Mullen killed in a very brutal way and she is not going to rest until she finds the killer. The sheriff tries to keep her from butting in but he knows she is going to do it anyway. Oh and I can’t forget to mention, she is supposed to be planning her wedding…

I love this series. I love these characters. I love this town. Laura Childs has created such a treat for cozy readers. This is the 7th book in the series and each time I start one it feels like I am visiting a bunch of good friends. It really has the small town feeling that I am very familiar with. Everyone seems to genuinely care about their friends and neighbors, making it very difficult to pinpoint the suspects and the guilty party. With her signature twists, that I know now to expect, she scrambled my theories more than once. The main plot is clever and creative. All the subplots blend in nicely. There are moments of uncertainty and anticipation tempered by some humor and romance.

Junior’s wild ideas always make me chuckle but I feel bad for Toni at the same time. She loves the guy but no matter how old he is, he is never going to be the strong, dependable man she is looking for. Petra continues to amaze me with her kitchen creations and how she keeps up with everything going on around her. Sam is ready for his big wedding day but Suzanne has way too much going on around her to concentrate on any plans. She always seems to be going a mile a minute in different directions. He loves her for the way she is and is happy for any time they get to spend together.

This is a truly entertaining read. It’s not too late for anyone to “drop” in on this series. Start with this one, the first one or any in between. They are all egg-cellent cozies! And yes, there are recipes!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of  the Tea Shop Mysteries, the Scrapbooking Mysteries, and 7 Cackleberry Club Mysteries. On July 5 she released Little Girl Gone, the first book in her Afton Tangler Thriller Series written as Gerry Schmitt. In her previous life she was CEO of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, enjoys travel, and has two Shar-Pei dogs.

Find Laura’s Tea Shop and Scrapbooking Mysteries on Amazon too!

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Leave a comment for Laura 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 December 21, 2016 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.

 

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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