Jul 182017
 

I am filling in for another blogger today but hoe to read and review this book soon.

Too Many Women in the Room
by Joanne Guidoccio

Too Many Women in the Room (A Gilda Greco Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
The Wild Rose Press, Inc (May 19, 2017)
252 Pages
E-Book ASIN: B06XXNPRXS

When Gilda Greco invites her closest friends to a VIP dinner, she plans to share David Korba’s signature dishes and launch their joint venture—Xenia, an innovative Greek restaurant near Sudbury, Ontario.

Unknown to Gilda, David has also invited Michael Taylor, a lecherous photographer who has throughout the past three decades managed to annoy all the women in the room. One woman follows Michael to a deserted field for his midnight run and stabs him in the jugular.

Gilda’s life is awash with complications as she wrestles with a certain detective’s commitment issues and growing doubts about her risky investment in Xenia. Frustrated, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers decades-old secrets and resentments that have festered until they explode into untimely death. Can Gilda outwit a killer bent on killing again?

In Praise of Handwriting

For decades, I eschewed cursive handwriting in favor of keyboarding and printing. That’s right—printing. After several students had complained about my illegible board work, I switched to printing on the blackboard and inputted almost everything else onto digital devices. I did sign report cards, checks, and other legal documents, taking extra care with my penmanship.

Since retiring, I’ve rediscovered the benefits of expressing my ideas the old-fashioned way. I have Julia Cameron to thank for that epiphany. A fan of Julia’s books, among them The Artist’s Way and The Prosperous Heart, I found myself incorporating Morning Pages into my daily regimen. At first skeptical, it didn’t take me long to realize the wisdom of her logic: “When we write by hand, we go slowly enough to record out thoughts with accuracy. On a computer, we whiz along, dashing our thoughts to the page.”

Other benefits of handwriting include…

Better Cognitive Skills

Writing longhand stimulates the Reticular Activating System (RAS) in our brains. The RAS acts as a filter, giving more importance to the information being processed. Also, writing in cursive script enables us to use both parts of our brain. Writing in small letters boosts left brain (analytical) activity that improves attention to detail. Large writing and sweeping doodles stimulate the creative right brain and also provide stress-busting benefits.

Fewer Distractions

Unless we are super-disciplined, it’s almost impossible not to succumb to the many distractions that exist on the World Wide Web: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, video games…Each year, the list gets longer. Sitting with pen and paper allows us to write with more laser precision. It may appear slower, but we are able to identify more relationships between ideas and come up with creative solutions.

Improved Writing

 Many famous writers prefer to write by hand. Novelist Truman Capote refused to use a typewriter while writing his first draft. In an interview, he commented: “I write my first version in longhand (pencil).Then I do a complete revision, also in longhand.

Susan Sontag, American writer, film-maker, teacher, and political activist, also preferred the analog method. In a 1995 interview with the Paris Review, she said: “I write with a felt-tip pen, or sometimes a pencil, on yellow or white legal pads, that fetish of American writers. I like the slowness of writing by hand.

A 2009 study from the University of Washington supported these preferences for longhand writing: “Elementary school students who wrote essays with a pen not only wrote more than their keyboard-tapping peers, but they also wrote faster and in more complete sentences.”

About The Author

In 2008, Joanne took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Where to find Joanne…

Website          Twitter          Facebook           LinkedIn           Pinterest    Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon (US) Amazon (Canada):  
Kobo   Indigo:   
The Wild Rose Press   Barnes & Noble

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July 23 – Valerie’s Musings – INTERVIEW

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Jul 162017
 

I am filling in for another blogger today but I hope to read and review this story very soon!

Engaged in Trouble
by Jenny B. Jones

Funny and fast-fast paced, this is a great cozy.
~The Book’s the Thing

Engaged in Trouble was a super fun and quirky cozy mystery!
The story/plot fast paced full of twists and turns and surprises that kept this reader captivated from the very beginning.
~My Reading Journeys

This book is a combo of chick lit and cozy mystery. Humor is spread throughout the book with mystery and a touch of romance. It’s a quick read with “laugh-out-loud” fun.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

Sylvie and Frannie might be two of my favorite characters ever.
~Bubby at Bubble Bath Books

Paisley was really funny, down to earth, and relate-able. Beau was a great character also. I enjoyed his sense of humor and he brought a level of mystery to the book in addition to the murder mystery.
~Bookworm Cafe

A perfect combination of chick lit rom-com (with enough heat) and cozy mystery, perfect for all small town genre readers.
~Laura’s Interests

Engaged in Trouble … smart, Southern, and sassy. I’ve found a new favorite author in Jenny B. Jones, one who captivates me with her storytelling, characterization, and lyrical writing.
~The Power of Words

Engaged in Trouble (An Enchanted Events Mystery Book 1)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Sweet Pea Productions (March 30, 2017)
Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0998109800
E-Book ASIN: B06XX5VT7J

When a washed-up pop star inherits a wedding planning business, it’s all bouquets and bliss until a bride turns up dead.

Paisley Sutton shot to stardom as a teenage rock sensation, but ten years later that star has fizzled out, just like her bank account. When she unexpectedly inherits her aunt’s wedding planning business, Paisley leaves the glamour of Los Angeles for a charming small town in Arkansas. Thinking she’ll arrive in Sugar Creek and liquidate the moldly property, Paisley’s shocked to find Enchanted Events has experienced a major makeover and is now the place for brides. She’s got two months to keep Enchanted Events afloat if she wants to sell and rekindle her music career with the profits.

Paisley’s tossed into a world of vows and venues, but her most difficult challenge comes in the form of one demanding bride. When this Bridezilla’s found facedown in her cake, all fingers point to Paisley as the prime murder suspect. And she does not look good in prison orange.

This former pop princess will need the help of her gun-toting, ex-CIA grandmother and her handsome neighbor, Beau Hudson, to unravel the mystery and clear her good name. As she and her unruly posse dig into Bridezilla’s life, she discovers the woman had a long list of enemies. The closer Paisley gets to the truth, the more her own life is in danger.

Love is in the air this wedding season, but before Paisley can help the ladies of Sugar Creek say, “I do,” she’s got to unveil a killer. Or find herself the next target.

Engaged in Trouble is the first book in the long-awaited Enchanted Events cozy mystery series by award-winning author Jenny B. Jones. If you like laugh-out-loud adventures, small-town romance, unforgettable, sassy characters, and a mystery to keep you guessing, then you’ll love this new page-turning series.

 

I’m Paisley Sutton, former pop star of the hit girl band Electric Femmes and now star of the drama that’s become my life. Let me catch you up to date really quickly. I’m broke. I had to temporarily leave my beloved Los Angeles to move back to Sugar Creek, Arkansas, and my new neighbor? My old nemesis Beau Hudson. Let’s take a peek at when I first see Beau again—after many years of some blessed time apart.

I pulled up to a darkened house and briefly rested my head on the steering wheel in the quiet of the night.

Six weeks.

I had to stay in this town six weeks.

There had to be a way around that. To get what I wanted and return to L.A. before my beloved city had forgotten me. But the terms of the will, something I’d read at least twenty times, stated that I had to keep my great-aunt’s business afloat for two months, then I was welcome to sell. The business itself wouldn’t be worth a dime, but the old building in the growing downtown area would bring in some much-needed cash.

Yanking a suitcase from the backseat, I slammed the car door shut and heaved the best of my belongings toward a gray two-story with black shutters and enough Victorian charm to have personality, but not intimidate. Sylvie owned a handful of rent houses in Sugar Creek, and this one boasted two side-by-side front doors. I tried the key I’d finally gotten in both doors, but to no avail. Seriously? I just wanted a bed, to slip beneath cool sheets and let my worry-ridden head drift into a fluffy pillow.

Leaving my bags, I walked around the back of the house, using my phone for a flashlight. Crickets chattered and mosquitoes rudely buzzed their welcome in my ear. I tripped on a step to the back deck, but climbed on up, only to be faced, yet again, with two doors. The key refused to fit in one door, but the weathered door on the left opened with no effort at all. I could practically feel the cool, crisp sheets already.

My flashlight illuminated a small kitchen with granite countertops, white cabinets, and a dining set tucked into a nook. The hardwood floor beneath my feet creaked as I stepped into the room and—

A large shadow flickered a millisecond before five hundred pounds of solid bulk slammed into my body and threw me to the ground.

Lightning exploded in my head as it hit the floor, and my scream pierced the air. I kicked and struggled, desperate to get this intruder off me, while panic overrode any rational thought. I’d taken a self-defense class years ago, but I couldn’t recall a single move. Still screaming, I kicked wildly and tried to use my nails to claw this person’s face, but he took my hands captive.

“Get off me!” I yelled. “My husband’s in the car! He has a gun!”

The intruder stilled. With one large hand still wrapped around both my wrists, he reached for my dropped phone and shined the light right in my face. My galloping heartbeat couldn’t drown out the loud sigh from the person hovering over me.

“Husband, huh?” A deep voice said. “Maybe we should wait for him.”

Oh, geez.

I was pretty sure I knew that voice.

My attacker released my hands and rolled to his feet, the light revealing one familiar face.

“Beau Hudson.” My volume escalated with each word.  “What in the name of all that’s holy are you doing in my house?”

“You’re in my house, Paisley Sutton.” He flicked on the light, illuminating a tableau I would forever call The Time I Faced Death and Didn’t Wet Myself.

“This is my grandmother’s home, and I have the keys to it.” I pulled myself to a seated position, my skull throbbing.

This interloper was my childhood best friend’s brother.  His hair was the color of toffee, and those eyes, blue as sea glass. Back in the day, just to look upon him made a girl want to write poetry and compromise every moral she had. None of that had changed. He’d been the hero of the Sugar Creek football team years ago, before picking up his high school diploma and heading off to the Army. He was tall and trim, his body contoured with muscles he clearly still maintained since his military days. I only spoke to his sister about once a year, but she always gave me a Beau update. I knew he’d come back to Sugar Creek within the last few years, lucky to be alive, yet as his sister put it, “Not quite the same.”

Beau had been the older, mature fourteen to my twelve. After sharing a plate of macaroni and fried chicken, he’d kissed me at a church social, then ran back to school to tell everyone it had been a slobbery disaster.

He took a knee beside me, and I scooted away.

“Let me see your head.” His voice was as gruff as the scraggly beard on his face. I’d just been attacked by a lumberjack. “Quit squirming.” He reached out a hand and traced it over my cheek, my temple, his eyes intense on my face. “I could’ve hurt you.”

My skin tingled beneath his touch. “You did hurt me.”

His hand began an inspective crawl into my hairline. “I mean I could’ve killed you.”

I rubbed my aching shoulder. “I was two seconds from ruining your life with a well-placed knee to your squishy parts, so I don’t think so.” Though my pulse had yet to return to normal. I tried to shrug out of Beau’s grip, but he wasn’t having it. “I’m okay.”

Those blue eyes still on mine, Beau’s fingers slowly slid through my hair to the back of my head. “Does this hurt?”

“I. . .I think I’ll live.”

His gaze darkened. “You want to tell me what you’re doing in my house?”

“It’s my grandmother’s house, and I’m living here for a few months.” Good heavens, his fingers were magic. “So I think I’m the one who should be asking the questions.”

He gave that gusty sigh again. “So you’re the new neighbor Sylvie was so cagey about.”

I frowned, certain I had the right address. “Neighbor?”

“The house is two units. The back door you came in? It’s mine. I assume you’re living in the other half.”  

I slapped away his hands and attempted to stand.

“Easy.” One strong arm curled around my waist. “We should probably get you to the E.R. Have someone look at your head.”

I was related to Sylvie. We were used to people suggesting we have our head’s examined. “I’m fine. I just want to get to my side and sleep. Apparently Sylvie gave me the wrong keys.” Probably on purpose.

“I can get you in there.”

“Is this going to involve brute force as well?”

Brow furrowed, Beau gave my form another assessing look before walking away, a slight limp marring his gait. He returned shortly holding a silver key. “Let’s get your bags.”

A few minutes later I stood behind him as he opened the door, carrying three bags like they were no heavier than my purse.

He took a few steps inside. “Welcome home.”

I stood in the doorway, my feet unable to carry me any further.

Welcome home.

This town had been home. Before I got plucked from a high school choir competition to round out a girls’ band. Before I traveled the world and lived large. Before life said, “Never mind!” and kicked me off the train of success.

“I hope you’re not waiting for me to carry you over the threshold,” Beau said, interrupting my maudlin thoughts.

“You’d do anything to cop a feel.” I mustered up a smile.

“Paisley?”

“Yes?”

“It’sgoing to be okay.”

About The Author

Award-winning, best-selling author Jenny B. Jones writes romance, cozies, and YA with sass and Southern charm. Since she has very little free time, Jenny believes in spending her spare hours in meaningful, intellectual pursuits, such as eating ice cream, watching puppy videos, and reading celebrity gossip. She lives in the beautiful state of Arkansas and has worked in public education for half of forever.  She loves bluegrass, a good laugh, and strong tea. She adores hearing from readers.

Author sites and social media:

Webpage: www.JennyBJones.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jennybjones/
Twitter: @jenbjones

Instagram: @JennyBJonesAuthor
Good Reads: www.goodreads.com/JennyBJones

Buy Links for Engaged in Trouble:

Amazon kobo  ibooks nook

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

July 10 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 10 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
July 11 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 11 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 12 – Bubble Bath Books – REVIEW
July 12 – Readsalot – GUEST POST
July 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 13 – Bookworm Cafe –  REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 14 – Valerie’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
July 15 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
July 16 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
July 18 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 18 – Carole’s Book Corner – GUEST POST
July 19 – The Montana Bookaholic  – REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 19 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 20 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – REVIEW
July 21 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 22 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 23 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW, GUEST POST

 

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 122017
 


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

The Mysteries of the Writing Process
By Peg Cochran

(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Peg

About The Author

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

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

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





Written as Meg London

Just Click on Covers to order from Amazon. 


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

 

 

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

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

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
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Click Here For Entry Form

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

Jul 052017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

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

 

Cat Rescue and “Buy in July”

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

~Marla (aka Paige)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About The Author

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

Website     Cozy Cat Caper Mystery books     Goodreads      Amazon author page

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

 

 

 

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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

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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Jun 282017
 


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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unfortunately, that’s not our genre.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~J.C. Eaton

Thank you both so much for stopping by today!

 


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

 

 

Never judge a book by its cover…

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Oh my word! This is a wonderful debut!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Authors

Ann I. Goldfarb

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

James E. Clapp

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



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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

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

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Jun 242017
 


I am so please to welcome Janis to Escape With Dollycas today!
Her Great Escapes Tour runs through July 2.

Spinning Characters from Strands of You, You, You and … You!

Who hasn’t seen that amusing T-shirt with “Be careful or you’ll end up in my novel” stamped across its front?

The playful warning sparks one of the questions I hear most as an author: “Where do you get ideas for your characters?”

I must admit that, for years, I was preparing for the day I could populate a novel with characters spun from the best parts of all the people I’d known. While they were passing through my life, unwittingly shedding bits and pieces of themselves, I was discreetly following with my broom and dustpan, sweeping their priceless fallout into my author’s bag of tricks.

But … now that I’ve come clean about where my characters came from, please don’t ask me which of their parts came from whom. Any mystery author worth her weight in red herrings and cliffhangers never tells. Or rather, she doesn’t unless she’s writing a blog about crafting fictional characters. In that case, she has no choice but to throw those red herrings off a cliff.

To be honest, when it comes to some of my jaunty supporting characters, I am not above borrowing traits from some of my closest friends. For example, Crystal’s buddy, Judge Auggie Stillwater, bears a striking resemblance to my judge friend, Kathy. And the best part about that is, Kathy doesn’t mind! She calls friends “buddy,” and is often heard uttering “cool beans.” Auggie has adopted both expressions, and Kathy hasn’t made a federal case of it.

Another friend of mine, Lu — a feisty, diminutive octogenarian with no shortage of pluck — holds a private investigator’s license AND she’s a clown. I doubt I could have dreamed up a quirkier, more likable character. With her blessing, I infused a couple of my characters with some of her life experience, the result being Gertie Tyroo and Patti Jones. Thanks, Lu!

Another recurring character I’m especially fond of is Bud, the colorful, greasy spoon restaurateur — cigarette dangling off his lower lip, grouchy disposition, scruffy five o’clock shadow. Typically, I wouldn’t transfuse so much of a friend’s personality into a fictional character. However, in this case, the real-life Bud had been an actor, who guest starred on numerous, popular TV dramas. So I’m certain if he were still living, he’d be totally onboard with guest starring in the Elmwood Confidential series. In fact, he probably would be giving me tips.

Not everyone is so eager to be depicted as a cozy mystery story prop. That’s why a legal statement is routinely inserted into the front of novels. This one appears in both of mine:

“This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincident

Regardless of the disclaimer, it’s my policy not to model an unsavory character in the image of a person I know. Nor would I borrow their flaws or less-than-admirable idiosyncrasies. However, there is one real-life individual I’ve excluded from this policy.

Me.

It’s no secret that in developing characters, authors have a penchant for infusing their protagonists with some of their own personality traits, preferences, and prejudices. Likewise, their antagonists often harbor various aspects of the author’s dark side.

Why? Why, it’s fun!

It’s particularly been fun writing my protagonist, Crystal Cropper. She is fond of wisecracks, vanilla milkshakes, and frozen entrees — just like me. On the flip side, she is impatient, snarky, and stays up much too late. Also like me. Nevertheless, Crystal is her own, unique woman. She possesses an abundance of traits that are hers alone, which she revealed to me as we progressed first through “Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies” and then “Dead Air & Double Dares.” For instance, when she boasted about her fling with Mr. Burt Reynolds in Book 1, frankly, I was jealous. And when, in Book 2, she found out she was a grandmother, I was as astonished as she was.

So there it is — some insight to where my characters come from. They lurk everywhere — in the house next door, sitting across the kitchen table, at the office, on the TV screen, sitting on a park bench. And they come in fragments or fully formed, at a turning point moment or with an entire backstory.

No one is immune from ending up in my novel. So be careful, or it might be you.

~Janis

 

Now let me tell about Janis’ new book! 

Dead Air and Double Dares by Janis Thornton
Cup of Tea Books, an imprint of PageSpring Publishing (June 18, 2017)
Number of Pages 241
E-BOOK ASIN: B071L28F34

Crystal Cropper, editor of the Elmwood Gazette, has added incentive in finding out who killed Horace Q. Ogilvie, owner of the local radio station and the most reviled man in town. Horace turns up dead minutes before he is supposed to broadcast his next malicious editorial, designed to destroy yet another Elmwood luminary. Fortunately for the police department, Horace’s list of future targets provides an abundant pool of suspects. Unfortunately for Crystal, her name is at the top!

 

About This Author

Janis Thornton is a freelance writer, personal historian, and award-winning journalist. She is the author of two local history books, Images of America: Tipton County and Images of America: Frankfort. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Indiana Writers Center, Association of Personal Historians, and the Midwest Writers Workshop Planning Committee. She lives in a small Indiana town not unlike Elmwood.

 

Webpage – Facebook  GoodReads 

Purchase Link – Amazon

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Tour Participants

June 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 20 – My Journey Back – REVIEW
June 21 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
June 22 – Author Annette Drake’s blog– INTERVIEW
June 23 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
June 24 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST
June 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST
June 25 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 26 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
June 27 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 27 – Blogger Nicole Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 28 – Celebrating Authors – SPOTLIGHT
June 29 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
June 30 – Teresa Trent Author Site – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 2 – deal sharing aunt – INTERVIEW
July 2 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW

 

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jun 212017
 


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

Kate Carlisle: How to Reward Readers

(Guest Post provided by publicist.)

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

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

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

FREE BOOKMARKS, BOOKPLATES, AND MAPS OF MY FICTIONAL TOWNS

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

 

PUZZLES

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

 

 

RECIPES

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

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

~Kate


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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Also by Kate Carlisle

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

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

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

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jun 142017
 


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

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

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

I know I have.

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

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

Ahhh, yes, famous last words…

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

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

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

***

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

***

~Elizabeth


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

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

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

PATTERN AND SEWING TIPS INCLUDED 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

I love this series! I love these characters!

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

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

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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author:

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

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

Facebook

Twitter: @bradfordauthor and @ElizabethLCasey


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

GIVEAWAY

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Jun 082017
 


I just love it when Edith Maxwell drops by for a visit!
Her latest Local Foods Mystery was just released on May 30th!

Welcome Edith!! 

Writing Cozy

 

I’m delighted to be a guest here again. Thanks for inviting me, Lori!. Mulch Ado About Murder, my fifth Local Foods Mystery, came out on May 30 and I’ll give away a signed hardcover to one commenter here today.

Here’s the cover text:

It’s been a hot, dry spring in Westbury, Massachusetts. As organic farmer Cam Flaherty waits for much-needed rain, storm clouds of mystery begin to gather. Once again, it’s time to put away her sun hat and put on her sleuthing cap when a fellow farmer is found dead in a vat of hydroponic slurry—clutching a set of rosary beads. Showers may be scarce this spring, but there’s no shortage of suspects, including the dead woman’s embittered ex-husband, the Other Man whose affair ruined their marriage, and Cam’s own visiting mother. Lucky for Cam, her nerdy academic father turns out to have a knack for sleuthing. Will he and Cam be able to clear Mom’s name before the killer strikes again?

This is the first cozy mystery series I wrote. I am often asked why I write in the genre I do, and my answer is that I love reading cozies. Real life is scary enough. I don’t need my down time to be filled with car chases and international thrillers, or with depressing noir and male detectives always commenting on women’s legs and other “assets.”

When I started writing the first book more than twenty years ago, I had a small certified organic farm, so I figured, hey, write what you know. I didn’t finish the book until 2012, after I landed the contract with Kensingon Publishing, but I loved the world I had set up all those years earlier so I kept it. It’s a classic cozy setup: an outsider returns to a small town, a cast of recurring characters support her amateur sleuthing, and justice is restored in the end.

In the case of the Local Foods Mysteries, Cam Flaherty is the outsider. She’s a former software engineer who takes over her great-uncle Albert’s farm at his request when he can’t do the work anymore. The cast of regulars are members of the Locavore Club, a group of locals who believe strongly in eating food grown close to where they live. And justice is restored by the end of every book.

Throughout the series, Cam has been referring to her peripatetic academic parents, to whom she isn’t particularly close, but we’ve never met them – until this book. Right away Cam’s mother Deb gets involved in a public protest against a new hydroponic farmer, and she was seen going into the farmer’s greenhouse. So when Nicole turns up dead, you know the police want to talk to Deb.

The series is set in a town modeled on West Newbury, in the northeast corner of Massachusetts, where I had my farm. One of the annual spectacles is the Memorial Day parade, with all the quirks and color only a small town can present. I knew I wanted to include it in a book, and I love that book came out exactly at the time it is set (as did the first book in the series. A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die).

I love writing this series and immersing myself in the farming life again without having to do all the hard work. Lots of readers have written me saying how much they learned about small-scale farming. I hope you like it, too.

Readers: What’s your favorite quirky Memorial Day parade? How about the small farm where you like to buy produce? I’ll give away a signed hardcover copy of the book to one commenter.

~Edith

About Edith Maxwell

2017 double Agatha-nominated and national best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Local Foods Mysteries and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries; as Maddie Day she writes the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. Her award-winning short crime fiction has appeared in many juried anthologies and journals, and she serves as President of Sisters in Crime New England.

A fourth-generation Californian and former tech writer, farmer, and doula, Maxwell now writes, cooks, gardens (and wastes time as a Facebook addict) north of Boston with her beau and three cats. She blogs at WickedCozyAuthors.com, Killer Characters, and with the Midnight Ink authors. Find her on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and at www.edithmaxwell.com.



As Tace Baker

As Maddie Day


Mulch Ado about Murder (Local Foods Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (May 30, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496700292
Kindle ASIN: B01LJKQGES

 

 

It’s been a hot, dry spring in Westbury, Massachusetts. As organic farmer Cam Flaherty waits for much-needed rain, storm clouds of mystery begin to gather. Once again, it’s time to put away her sun hat and put on her sleuthing cap . . .

May has been anything but merry for Cam so far. Her parents have arrived unexpectedly and her crops are in danger of withering away. But all of that’s nothing compared to the grim fate that lies in store for one of her neighbors. Nicole Kingsbury is the proud owner of the town’s new hydroponic greenhouse. She claims the process will be 100% organic, but she uses chemicals to feed her crops. To Cam’s surprise, her mother embarrasses her by organizing a series of loud public protests against Nicole’s operation.

When Nicole is found dead in a vat of hydroponic slurry—clutching another set of rosary beads—Detective Pete Pappas has a new murder to solve. Showers may be scarce this spring, but there’s no shortage of suspects, including the dead woman’s embittered ex‑husband, the Other Man whose affair ruined their marriage, and Cam’s own mother. Lucky for Cam, her father turns out to have a knack for sleuthing—not to mention dealing with chickens. Will he and Cam be able to clear Mrs. Flaherty’s name before the killer strikes again?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Spring is such a busy time for a farmer. The last thing Cam needs is a surprise visit from her parents. O.K. that’s not the last thing she needs, the last thing she needs is to get wrapped up in another murder. But that is just what she does. When she arrives at the new hydroponic greenhouse to drop off some seedlings she finds the owner Nicole Kingsbury dead in a vat of slurry. Because of the group protesting outside the greenhouse she has plenty of witnesses to provide an alibi for the time she arrives. Unfortunately that doesn’t work for her mom, who happens to be one of the protesters.  There are plenty of other suspects too but her mom is hiding something. To keep her mom out of jail she is going to be assisting the local police including her boyfriend Detective Pete Pappas.

What I really like about these stories is that Cam does the her sleuthing but she quickly tells the police anything she finds even if they don’t always appreciate her help. This time her dad even lends a hand.

Edith Maxwell has created such a vibrant cast of characters. Cam has really grown into her role as a farmer. I love that she has a group of volunteers that help with the chores and receive produce for their labors. They span all ages from teenagers to senior citizens.

Of course, I have heard of organic farming but hydroponic farming is brand new to me. The author educates the reader in the course of the story. I found the process very interesting.

The story is well written with important seeds sprinkled throughout getting us closer and closer to finding the killer. The family dynamic that grows between Cam and her parents was just as engaging as the murder mystery. The author gives us suspense and drama peppered with humor and also gives us several heartwarming moments too. Cam and Pete’s relationship has to take a little break because of the investigation but its strength shines in the way they handle the separation.

This is a strong addition for this series. A perfect summer read. And there are recipes in the back of the book too. Yes, it can be read as a stand alone. PICK yours up today!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Readers: What’s your favorite quirky Memorial Day parade? How about the small farm where you like to buy produce? Tell me in the comments below. I’ll give away a signed hardcover copy of the book to one commenter. 

Winner will be chosen Tuesday Morning – June 13

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

Jun 032017
 


I am so pleased to welcome Jane Tesh to Escape With Dollycas today!

Worth the Wait

 

            It’s been a long trip for me to get published, and I want to encourage everyone out there who’s wondering if it will ever happen to keep trying!  So escape with me back to the Sixties B.C. — Before Computer—to see how it happened for me.

           I’ve been writing all my life and started sending out manuscripts when I was 18. Here’s what you had to do. You typed your novel, made a copy at the local copy shop, found a box the manuscript would fit in, and mailed it to New York City.  Then you waited for months and months, and when it came back, if it looked okay, you sent it to the next publisher or agent on your list.  Self publishing was very expensive, and the product did not look as good as it does today, so that was not an option for me, plus I wanted to be traditionally published.

            Wow, was I happy when computers arrived!  Now I could cut and paste and delete!  It was like magic!  No more re-typing pages or using correcting tape or white out goo.  Now I could send my queries by email, save tons of money on postage, and have a rejection in weeks instead of months.  And still I persisted.  Finally, I got an agent!  I was on my way!  Money!  Fame!

            Roadblock.

             My agent was certain she could sell my book if I changed my hero to a woman.  Women detectives had become a hot trend, so I understood where she was coming from.  However, my entire Grace Street Mystery series, twelve books, all written, all ready to go, involve a private investigator, David Randall, dealing with the death of his little daughter; his best friend, a reluctant psychic named Camden who owns a boarding house at 302 Grace Street in the fictional city of Parkland, North Carolina where all the characters live, including many colorful Southern types who move in and out; Randall’s love interest, Kary Ingram, a young woman unable to have children due to a disastrous teen pregnancy; and Camden’s girlfriend, high-powered career woman, Ellin Belton, head of the Psychic Service Network.  I think you can see the relationship problems I’d need to solve if Randall suddenly became a woman.  So I wrote another book with a female detective, ex beauty queen Madeline “Mac” Maclin and her con man boyfriend, Jerry Fairweather. I set this book in a small fictional North Carolina town much like my town of Mt. Airy.  Besides having trouble being taken seriously as a detective, Mac had to deal with Jerry’s sketchy friends who often showed up to complicate her investigations.

           I think you can guess what happened. My agent didn’t like it. So I had long hard talks with myself.  Did I want to change Randall to a woman?  Change his relationship with his best friend, his love interest, his entire world?  Did I want compromise that much to get published?  The hardest decision I’ve ever had to make was telling the agent no, thanks, and we parted ways.  Back to square one.  Back to the endless lists and emails.

        That’s when I found Poisoned Pen Press.  I didn’t need an agent to submit to them.  After the manuscript went through several readers and revisions, it was accepted.  I got the contract two months after I had retired from thirty years as a media specialist at Jones Elementary School.  I was 55.

        Since then, PPP has published ten of my mystery novels, five in the Grace Street series (male PI), and five in the Madeline Maclin series (female PI).  I’ve also had three fantasy novels published by Silver Leaf Books.  Both companies are great to work for and exactly what I had hoped to find.

          Would I have liked to have been published at 18?  Of course.  But I’m a better writer now than I was then, and wise enough to know that some things are deal breakers, and you have to be true to your characters and the world they live in.

        So to all the writers out there who are hoping to get published, you will!  There are so many opportunities available now.  I’ve learned how to manage a web page, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube—things that weren’t around when I was younger, things that reach more people than I can imagine.  These days, writers can afford to self publish, write ebooks, record their own audio books, or even start their own online publishing companies.

            Speaking as someone who decided to never give up, whatever route you choose or however long it may take, I assure you it will be worth the wait.

 ~Jane

Jane’s latest book was just released in April.

Baby, Take a Bow (Grace Street Mysteries Book 5)
Poisoned Pen Press (April 4, 2017)
Hardcover: 238 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1464207969
Paperback: 238 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1464207983
Kindle ASIN: B01N3COR8U

Camden’s friend Rufus Jackson receives a letter from his ex-wife, Bobbi, and he’s surprised to learn he’s the father of a baby. When Bobbi is found murdered in her home and her baby stolen, Rufus becomes suspect number one. PI David Randall immediately takes the case.

But Randall is almost sidetracked from the case by a series of what appears to be never-ending favors. When he takes his friend Cam to the Carlyle House to sing for a concert, Cam encounters Delores Carlyle, a troubled spirit trapped inside a huge mirror, who wants to see her daughter, Beverly, one last time. Beverly Carlyle will come to the house on one condition: that Randall find a home for her surly teenage son, Kit, and a band for her obnoxious daughter, Frieda. Kit is welcome at 302 Grace, but to secure a spot for Frieda, Randall has to get a local girl group a gig at a local nightclub. The owner agrees, if Cam will pose as a teenager and spy on a rival club. Cam agrees if Randall will take him to Green Valley to answer some questions about his past. And another ghost is haunting the hot dog restaurant, refusing to talk to Cam.

In addition to the tangle of deals, Randall has to contend with Rufus being hell-bent on revenge, the return of Cam’s telekinesis, and growing concern that if the baby-a girl named Mary Rose, as it turns out-is found, Rufus, might not want to keep her.

But where is Mary Rose?

About The Author

Jane Tesh, a retired media specialist, lives in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, Andy Griffith’s hometown, the real Mayberry.  She is the author of the Madeline Maclin Mystery series featuring former beauty queen, Madeline “Mac” Maclin and her con man husband, Jerry Fairweather, as well as the Grace Street series, featuring struggling PI David Randall, his friend Camden, a reluctant psychic, and an ever-changing assortment of tenants who move in and out of Cam’s boarding house on Grace Street. Her mysteries are set in fictional North Carolina towns and are on the light side with a little humor and romance.  They are published by Poisoned Pen Press. She is also the author of three fantasy novels, Butterfly Waltz, A Small Holiday, and The Monsters of Spiders’ Rest, published by Silver Leaf Books.  When she isn’t writing, Jane enjoys playing the piano and conducting the orchestra for productions at the Andy Griffith Playhouse.

Jane’s website is www.janetesh.com

The Facebook page for the series is www.facebook.com/GraceStreetMysterySeries

Jane’s Amazon author page is www.amazon.com/author/janetesh

Jane’s blog can be found at www.janetesh.wordpress.com

I don’t tweet often, but when I do I tweet at www.twitter.com/janetesh

Follow Pearl, my spokesdog’s adventures on Instagram at tesh.jane

Watch trailers for Jane’s books on her YouTube channel Jane Tesh



The author is giving one signed paperback copy of Baby, Take a Bow away!

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Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Death on West End Road (Hamptons Murder Mysteries) by Carrie DoyleBUY TODAY
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