Apr 192017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to have Jenn McKinlay stop by today.
Her latest Cupcake Bakery Mystery was released April 4!!

 

Where do your characters come from? Are they really you?
by Jenn McKinlay
(Post Provided by Publicist)

 

I get this question a lot. I mean a lot. Here’s the short answer – No, they aren’t me. I mean, I don’t think they’re me. Maybe just parts of me? When I step back and look at the characters in the cupcake bakery mystery series, I see glimmers of myself in all of them. So, I suppose it’s sort of like your children, you know, when you don’t see yourself in them but people keep telling you that the toddler — usually, when he’s screaming his head off — looks just like you. Um…thanks?

Melanie Cooper the chief baker of Fairy Tale Cupcakes is tall, okay, that’s me, blond, nope, not me, and very self-conscious, ha, totally not me. Her partner in baked goods, Angie DeLaura, is short, nope, not me, Italian, sadly, not me, and has a wicked temper as is evidenced if you mess with the people she cares about, okay, there I am! And then there’s Tate Harper, their male counterpart. Tate is brilliant in business, laughably no, not me. He’s level-headed and reasonable, okay, sometimes I can pull that off with three days warning and lots of practice. And he’s a dude, nope, not me.

Moving on to the entourage of side characters in the cupcake bakery series, there’s octogenarian Marty, who is a cranky curmudgeon. I am working my way there in another forty years or so. Marty is my hero! And there’s Oz, a young Hispanic skater dude and wannabe chef. We do share a love of the Ramones, skateboards, and baked goods, so while Oz is not me, he clearly is my people.

Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret. The bad people and the victims in my books are usually loosely based on people I do not like. They may be the jerk who cheated on my friend, the woman who slept through the green arrow when I was in a hurry, the boss I did not enjoy working for back when I had a real job, or the news story that caught my attention about a reprehensible human who was cruel to an animal who I desperately want to slap until my arm gives out…ahem. So, that’s the birth place of the bad people.

And lastly, how do I come up with what my characters look like? Magazines. Mel and Angie in particular came off the cover of Prevention Magazine back when I was working as a librarian at the Scottsdale Hospital and cobbling together the very first proposal for Sprinkle with Murder. I was doing some reference work for a doctor on bone spurs and my mind wandered — it happens — and I started thinking about what those two cupcake bakers would look like when I glanced down at Prevention Magazine and there they were on the cover. Yes, sometimes it is just that easy.

So, that’s the long answer to the question of whether my characters are me. I guess I have to change my original answer. In a way, they are all me but they are also all of the people in my life, good and bad. The shenanigans my people get up to are frequently turned into something the characters in the books would do. And sometimes when I meet a particularly interesting person, I take their whole backstory and use it for a character or two or three. I believe the moral of this tale is be careful what you say and do around a writer because you just might find yourself in a book. Pro tip: You don’t want to be the dead guy.

And now, here’s a brief description of the next cupcake bakery mystery Caramel Crush so you see what the crazy crew is up to this time. Who knows? You may see someone you know it there!

When a breakup via cupcake threatens to crumble their friend’s life for good, Mel and Angie race to solve the murder as this New York Times bestselling series continues…

Love is in the air at Fairy Tale Cupcakes as bridezilla Angie prepares for her wedding, but co-owner, Mel, is preparing for a breakup. Her old friend, Diane Earnest, is dumping her fiancé after discovering he’s only marrying her for her money. She wants Mel to personally deliver a batch of caramel breakup cupcakes to the louse and give her a play-by-play of his reaction.

When Mel finally tracks the man down, the look on his face isn’t the reaction she was expecting: he’s dead. After the police arrive and see the incriminating cupcakes, Diane becomes their prime suspect. If she hopes to taste freedom again, Mel and Angie must make sure the real killer gets their just desserts…

Thanks for letting me visit! Happy Reading!

~Jenn

Thank you Jenn for visiting today.  Caramel Cupcakes for everyone!! Well virtual ones anyway! Enjoy!! 

 

Caramel Crush
(Cupcake Bakery Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Arizona
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 4, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399583810
Kindle ASIN: B01J2STXDU

 

 

When a breakup via cupcake threatens to crumble their friend’s life for good, Mel and Angie race to solve the murder as this New York Times bestselling series continues…
 
Love is in the air at Fairy Tale Cupcakes as Angie prepares for her wedding, but co-owner, Mel, is preparing for a breakup. Her old friend, Diane Earnest, is dumping her fiancé after discovering he’s only marrying her for her money. She wants Mel to personally deliver a batch of caramel breakup cupcakes to the louse and give her a play-by-play of his reaction.

When Mel finally tracks the man down, the look on his face isn’t the reaction she was expecting: he’s dead. After the police arrive and see the incriminating cupcakes, Diane becomes their prime suspect. If she hopes to taste freedom again, Mel and Angie must make sure the real killer gets their just desserts…

INCLUDES SCRUMPTIOUS RECIPES

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jenn McKinlay absolutely crushed this mystery! It just became my favorite in this series!

Angie is planning the “perfect” wedding and Mel, Tate, Marty and Oz are paying the price as she turns into a classic bridezilla, complete with breakdowns and blowups. Can they survive 3 more months? To add to the drama a college friend of Mel’s would like her to make a special cupcake delivery. Diane Earnest, has had enough of her fiancé and she is breaking up with him by sending him cupcakes and has asked Mel to use her phone to catch his reaction. Sadly his reaction time is pretty slow because when she finds him he is dead. Again, Mel is in the wrong place at the wrong time and becomes a suspect. She starts investigating to get herself out of this sticky situation all the while being the best maid of honor possible.

These characters always make me smile. The dialogue cracks me up because they all talk just the way I talk to my friends, sarcastic, blunt, zany, but always caring when they need to be. This is a group that would be fun to be part of. I love the different stages of romance. Angie and Tate, but mostly Angie, planning their wedding. “Dear Joe” and Mel’s relationship is moving in the right direction. Even Marty and Olivia trying to live together. There is never a dull moment.

Mel’s old roommate, Diane, is holding something from the past over Mel’s head, telling Mel she “owes her”. Diane is one pushy woman and because of the way Mel reacted to her constant requests I knew it had to be something major. Diane was that character that you really don’t like but she needs to be there to make the story work and push it forward. You know, the character you love to hate. She does help us learn about Mel’s past.

The story has a few very suspense filled moments but they are tempered with humor. I was laughing out loud numerous times. The pace was very quick and I think this was the fastest I have read a book in a long time. I was engaged and excited to see how it all played out.

Then in Jenn McKinlay style she wraps up one mystery and teases us with just enough for the next book to really whet our appetite. With a little taste (an excerpt) of what is to come and a title like Wedding Cake Crumble, I can only imagine what she has in store for these wonderful characters.  I know we will probably have to wait until next April to find out but I know it will be worth the wait!

Every book in this series is a must read.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out all about Jenn McKinlay and her books on her webpage here.

Cupcake Bakery Mysteries


Library Lover’s Mysteries

Check Out Her New Romance Series

Click on covers to order from Amazon.
Click here to see more books by Jenn McKinlay.

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.

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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.”

Apr 152017
 


It is my pleasure to welcome Terry Ambrose back to Escape With Dollycas!
His new book Maui Magic was released March 30.

How does Hawaii sound for an escape? When I heard Left Coast Crime was going to be in Honolulu for 2017, I knew I had to be there for two reasons. First, that’s where my Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mysteries are set. Second, I was suffering from Hawaii withdrawal.

For this trip, Kathy and I had a little friend tagging along. Her name is Ariel Afuera, and she wanted to go everywhere with us. That was actually easy to accomplish because Ariel stands about two inches tall and fits in a pocket. Oh yeah, my kind of traveling companion.

We were staying in Waikīkī for nine days. Four of those were dedicated to Left Coast Crime, the rest were either travel or sightseeing days. We only rented a car once for our driving trip. If you’re going to Honolulu and staying in Waikīkī, consider options other than a rental car. It costs about $25 to park a car overnight and between the public transportation, the taxis, and Uber, you can get anywhere for less cost and with no hassle.

We began our driving tour with a stop for breakfast at the Koko Head Cafe. The only problem with this stop was we couldn’t find it! We easily found the address on 12th Ave., but the cafe was nowhere to be seen. It was time for a phone call. One of the staff was kind enough to stand in front of the cafe and wave his hands in the air as I walked around the block. It turns out their address is on 12th, but the front door is on a tiny street one block over. I wasn’t particularly surprised. This was, after all, Hawai’i. By the way, breakfast was worth the hassle. They had great food.

Our first stop on the actual tour was Halona Blowhole. If you’re not familiar with the term, a blowhole is a place where the ocean rushes through a lava rock tube and shoots vertically into the air. One of the best is Spouting Horn on Kaua’i, so we were disappointed when the blowhole was a bust. We visited during low tide so the tidal action was weak and the results far from impressive.

Although the Halona Blowhole was disappointing, the stop was still worthwhile. To the northeast, lava rock gives way to soft sand and the kind of beach Hawai’i is famous for. This is rightfully called Sandy Beach and whether you’re a shell seeker, a surfer, or just a virtual visitor, beaches like this are what everyone visualizes when they think of Hawai‘i. The really nice thing was Sandy Beach Park is only about a 15-minute drive and it has decent restrooms. Plus, the Halona Blowhole is easily visible, so we had a double bonus.

Our next stop was supposed to be Makapu‘u Lookout. Unfortunately, we got a little overzealous and though we might visit the Makapu‘u Lighthouse itself. The problem there was parking. Lots of spaces, but they were all filled. The second problem was the lighthouse is at the end of a long uphill hike. We took a vote and Ariel lost. She wanted to go to the lighthouse, the big people said no way, we’re moving on to the next stop on our travel guide, Makapu‘u Lookout.

Ariel was very pleased at the lookout. She still got to see the lighthouse and was able to have her photo taken with it in the background. We told her our next stop was my one “must see” on the trip, the Byodo-In Temple. She was strapped in and ready to go in no time.

The Byodo-In Temple is one of those incredible places where serenity seems to hang in the air. This is a privately owned temple, but is open to the public. The entrance fee is modest and helps to support the maintenance of the grounds. We were surprised to learn that they were in the middle of a major renovation while we were there. The workers had scaffolding all along the front of the building.

We spent a long time walking around the outside, then went inside to enjoy the quiet. This is a magnificent place and I’d recommend a visit if you even get to O’ahu. The grounds are perfectly manicured and despite all of the other visitors, remains on my must-see list of recommendations.

Even if you can’t make it to Hawai’i, you can enjoy its beauty. I post one of my Hawaii photos every Friday at terryambrose.com. I hope you’ll stop by to enjoy the view!

~Terry

Terry, thank you so much for sharing your trip with us. I have always wanted to travel to Hawaii and this just makes me wish harder for the actual experience.


Maui Magic: A McKenna Mystery (Trouble in Paradise)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Hawaii
Self Published – March 30, 2017
Print Length: 262 pages
ASIN: B06WGYZYJR

Whatever happened to easy? McKenna had the perfect cover for his plan to propose marriage. He and his girlfriend Benni would help his elderly tenant, Mrs. Nakamura, fly to Maui for a visit with her pregnant granddaughter. Then, he’d take Benni for a walk on the beach. He had a ring, but did he have the courage to pop the question?

The minute they land, McKenna’s perfect plan hits a snag. Mrs. Nakamura’s grandson-in-law is being accused of murder—and she wants her amateur sleuth landlord to investigate. Reluctantly, McKenna agrees to take the case with his friend Chance. They dive into an investigation that starts in a seedy hospitality club and goes straight downhill. Before they know it, the battle for Maui’s water is raging around the amateur sleuths and they have too many questions to answer.

Why was the murder victim living under a fake identity? Why is their client claiming he committed the crime? And, who is the mystery man stalking them?

About The Author

Once upon a time, in a life he’d rather forget, Terry Ambrose tracked down deadbeats for a living. He also hired big guys with tow trucks to steal cars—but only when negotiations failed. Those years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons such as—always keep your car in the garage.

Today, Terry likes fast, funny mysteries and cool photography.  He writes the Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mysteries and organized an anthology to benefit Read Aloud America. He fondly likens his efforts to those of a blind man herding cats. Find him at terryambrose.com.

Terry’s Books



Just click on the book cover for more infomation or to purchase from Amazon.

The author is giving 1 e-copy of Maui Magic away! 

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Apr 122017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Edith Maxwell drops by today for 20 QUICK QUESTIONS!

Favorite Color –  Turquoise, with purple a close second

Favorite Candy –  Dove Dark minis – a must-have on my desk at all times

Favorite Snack –  I’d like to say a freshly plucked sun-warmed strawberry. But honestly, it’s Cape Cod potato chips.

 

Favorite Soft Drink –  Cold Dr. Pepper, but I only have one per decade (I don’t touch the stuff otherwise)

Favorite Hard Drink –  A nice bourbon. Tiny splash of water, no rocks

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor –  Double dark chocolate fudge, or something similar

Favorite Movie –  Dr. Zhivago. Or Bridges of Madison County. And I don’t care what you think that says about me.

Favorite TV Show – Call the Midwife, of course!

Favorite Book – What? That’s like picking a favorite child.

Favorite Fictional Character –  Again: I have to pick one? Okay, Clare Fergusson from Julia Spencer-Fleming’s fabulous series. Can you beat a female Episcopal priest and former Navy helicopter pilot who falls in love with a married man and solves crimes, too?

Favorite Super Hero –  AuthorWoman!

Favorite Singer/Group/BandIris Dement, but she’s not writing new stuff anymore. Cheryl Wheeler, then. Love her voice, her lyrics, her concerts.

Favorite Carnival Ride – Merry go round. Rides that that hang me upside down? Can. Not. Do.

Favorite Spring Activity –  Planting my garden!

Favorite Summer Activity –  Harvesting in my garden and THEN deciding what’s for dinner. Going to the beach afterwards for a sunset walk.

Favorite Fall Activity –  Picking apples and making my world-famous apple pies.

Favorite Winter Activity –  Cross country skiing – quiet gliding aerobic exercise in clear crisp air, and for free? It’s the best.

Favorite Place to Read –  On the couch with a cat or two snoozing nearby

Favorite Place to Write –  In my lovely upstairs office, where I make stuff up and also keep track of what’s going on in my neighborhood (yes, all fiction writers are voyeurs)

Dream Vacation Destination –  A sunny beach, a big umbrella, fabulous local seafood, a few bottles of chilled white wine, and a huge stack of books. Geographic destination doesn’t much matter as long as I have those ingredients.

Thank you Edith for playing 20 Quick Questions today!!


Called to Justice (A Quaker Midwife Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Midnight Ink (April 8, 2017)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738750323
Kindle ASIN: B01FOR0YRW

 
 
 
 
 

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is enjoying the 1888 Independence Day evening fireworks with her beau when a teenaged Quaker mill girl is found shot dead. After a former slave and fellow Quaker is accused of the murder, Rose delves into the crime, convinced of the man’s innocence. An ill-mannered mill manager, an Irish immigrant, and the victim’s young boyfriend come under suspicion even as Rose’s future with her handsome doctor suitor becomes unsure. Rose continues to deliver babies and listen to secrets, finally figuring out one criminal – only to be threatened by the murderer, with three lives at stake. Can she rescue herself, a baby, and her elderly midwifery teacher in time?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In her follow up to Delivering the Truth Edith Maxwell takes us back to Amesbury, Massachusetts in 1888 just in time for the Independence Day celebration. Rose Carroll is enjoying the fireworks with her beau David Dodge when gunshots ring out and a young woman in found dead. A former slave and Friend becomes the prime suspect leading Rose to delve into the investigation herself. She finds her life in danger the closer she gets to learning the truth. Just when she needs him most her relationship with Doctor Dodge gets rocky and Rose tries to remain strong. There are several lives in danger as this midwife strives to keep everyone safe.

Rose has become a very comfortable character for me. She is smart, caring and kind to everyone she meets. She carries a calmness about her, something that is very important in her work as a midwife. She also keeps her wits about her when things get out of control. She is true to herself and her beliefs. The author captures the history of the time very well. She draws on her Quaker roots to give us real sense of Quaker lifestyle.

The characters Ms. Maxwell surrounds Rose with are quite varied. From very wealthy to factory workers and even a former slave. All are very fleshed out and believable. As Rose connects with them we become aware of their true colors. Some we can quickly eliminate as suspects and others need further scrutiny.

The plot entwines the characters together in many ways making the mystery a tough one to solve. The story gives us a complex mystery with a perfect flow that builds to an exciting climax. Suspense was ratcheted up quite high as the ending played out. I absolutely loved this story.

A wonderful mystery you can get lost in. Travel back with Rose and the people of Amesbury. A  perfect escape!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Agatha-nominated and Amazon best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries and the Local Foods Mysteries, the Country Store Mysteries (as Maddie Day), and the Lauren Rousseau Mysteries (as Tace Baker), as well as award-winning short crime fiction. Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats, and blogs with the other Wicked Cozy Authors. You can find her on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, and at www.edithmaxwell.com.

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and at www.edithmaxwell.com.



As Tace Baker

As Maddie Day

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

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 Edith for 5 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End April 25, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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Click Here For Entry Form

 

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

 

Apr 052017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to welcome Morgan C. Talbot to Escape With Dollycas today.
Her book Smugglers & Scones is available until April 8 for just 99¢ on
Amazon, kobo and B&N.

 

The Oregon Coast

The Oregon Coast might not seem like an intuitive choice for a getaway—whether romantic, adventurous, or what-have-you. But you’d be surprised what lies shrouded in its often-foggy vistas.

On a geological level (which isn’t actually level very often, thanks to the Juan de Fuca Plate diving under North America), the Oregon Coast has a lot of basalt, which makes for excellent craggy headlands and all those mysterious rocks you see rising majestically out of the surf—such as Haystack Rock. All the coolest lighthouses—and we have a lot of those—sit on basalt outcrops, high above the foaming sea. And under the right conditions, boy can it foam! In between our dark and brooding cliffs, the shore spreads wide and smooth with long stretches of golden-gray sand. In some places, the sands are strewn with shells. Other beaches bear antique glass remnants, roughly polished to a smooth gleam, and long kelp strands that would make Indiana Jones jealous on behalf of his whip. And yes, you can absolutely ride horses through the foamy surf at sunset!

Historically, the coast has only been occupied by settlers from back East for a short while—less than two hundred years. Native tribes would trade with trappers, settlers, and sailors hunting for the Northwest Passage. Even the odd Spanish Galleon got blown off course to the Oregon Coast during the heyday of trade between the Philippines and Mexico. Many of the place names along the coast reflect a myriad of local tribes, and museums dot the coastal highway, preserving vital information about those who lived along the coast before us. We even have a few buried treasure mysteries just lying around, all unsolved and everything. What are you waiting for?

The left edge of the North American Continent is a uniquely beautiful spot, especially on the Oregon Coast. You can watch sea lions from shore and whale migrations from viewpoints and boats. Sprawling aquariums showcase creatures from the Giant Pacific Octopus to seals, otters, seabirds, and fish. Hiking, kayaking, boating, camping, fishing, nature photography—it’s all here where the land meets the sea. Oregon’s outdoors is truly great.

A quirk of the Pacific Ocean brings cooler currents in summer and warmer ones in winter, so the average temperature has even less variance than many coastal locations. Weather is delightfully unpredictable, though. I once drove through a rare and honestly scary thunderstorm on my way out for a research trip. Twenty minutes later I reached the coastline, where I basked in sunny, 65-degree temperatures—in November. That was a glorious weekend!

Whether you enjoy wildlife, untamed nature, the endless stretch of the Pacific’s horizon, a good dip into history, or just tooling along to see what catches your eye next, you can’t go wrong visiting the Oregon Coast. Just remember to bring both an umbrella and the sunscreen.

Smugglers & Scones
(Moorehaven Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Oregon
Red Adept Publishing (January 17, 2017)
Paperback: 222 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940215877
Kindle ASIN: B01N32N46H

 

 

Pippa Winterbourne runs Moorehaven, the Oregon Coast’s quirkiest bed-and-breakfast and former home of world-famous mystery writer A. Raymond Moore. Guests come there to write their own crime novels. When a real-life murder takes a local’s life and washes a handsome boat pilot into her arms, Pippa is yanked into a deadly plot of her own. A tangle of secrets crashes past into present, and Pippa must uncover clues dating back to Seacrest’s Prohibition days, including a secret Moore himself hid from the world.

Juggling her book-writing guests, small-town intrigues, secret club agendas, and a possibly fatal attraction, Pippa must sort fact from fiction to know who to trust before a desperate killer claims a final revenge nearly a century in the making.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to Moorehaven. Former home of mystery author A. Raymond Moore. It is now a B&B run by Pippa Winterbourne that caters only to authors who need to get away to write or complete a their books. Pippa needs to bend the rules when a boat capsizes off her shore and she rescues a man. Lake Ivens needs a place to stay while he recovers. Pippa is surprised to learn there was another man aboard who didn’t survive. The police are calling his death a homicide and Pippa’s new guest is their prime suspect. She has found herself quite drawn to Lake and knows he is innocent. With the help of the other authors staying at the B&B, she sets a course to catch the real killer.

This story has an interesting element in that the home’s original owner, who has been dead for years, becomes a very important part of the story. There is a library at the B & B that is much like a museum, containing his books, his notes and other papers. It is through these things several clues are answered and help move Pippa’s investigation along. We learn a lot about the area especially in the time of prohibition, hence the smugglers part of the title. I was really taken by A. Raymond Moore’s presence throughout the story.

The author introduces us to Pippa and how she came to be running her establishment and its unique rules. We also get to know her uncle and Lake very well. The remaining cast was not as fully developed but I hope this means we will see them again and get to know them better in future installments. There is a lot of room for all of them to grow. I can’t forget to mention the furry feline residents at the B&B too, Svetlana and Rex who won my heart easily.

The plot is full of twists and starts with Pippa’s amazing feat of rescuing Lake. Reading that part was chilling for me. That Pippa is one brave woman. After that the pace stays steady until clues start to come together and again becomes chilling.

This series is off to a wonderful start. I want to see where the author takes these characters and what other secrets Moorehaven may hold.  I am excited about this series’ future.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Morgan is an outdoorsy girl with a deep and abiding love for the natural sciences. Her degrees involve English and jujitsu. She enjoys hiking, camping, and wandering in the woods looking for the trail to the car, but there isn’t enough chocolate on the planet to bribe her into rock climbing. When she’s not writing, she can be found making puzzles, getting lost on the way to geocaches, reading stories to her children, or taking far too many pictures of the same tree or rock. She lives in Eastern Washington with her family.
Follow Morgan on Twitter.  Like her on Facebook  

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

Mar 292017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so excited to have Kylie Logan drop in for a visit!

“Gone with the Twins”
(Post provided by publicist.)

Each new mystery I write is an adventure.  Some books start with the germ of an idea planted by something I read about or see on TV.  Other books comes to life thanks to an interesting person I meet, a snatch of conversation I overhear, or some nugget of history or legend that niggles at my brain, demanding its own story.

But when it comes to my League of Literary Ladies mysteries, the creative process works a little differently.  That’s because of the basic concept of the series–four warring neighbors on an island in Lake Erie keep taking each other to court and the magistrate gets tired of dealing with their petty problems.  He tells them that if only they’d talk to each other, maybe they’d learn to get along, and to get them to do that, he sentences them to be a book discussion group.  That was Square One when it came to the Literary Ladies.  Square Two?  I decided each of their adventures would be based on the classic book they’re reading.

What that means, of course, is that I can’t depend on things like an overheard conversation or an interesting news article to start the creative juices flowing.  For each book, I have to start with classic books, and I have to find books with plots that I can twist and turn to turn into the elements of each mystery.

The next step in the process, though is seems easier, is really the kicker–not only do I need classic plots, I need recognizable titles that can be tweaked–just a tad–to make them appropriate for the mystery genre.

So far, the two elements have meshed pretty well.  Book #1 was “Mayhem at the Orient Express.”  It was followed by “A Tale of Two Biddies,” “The Legend of Sleepy Harlow,” and “And Then There Were Nuns.”  When I had a chance to write a fifth book in series, I had to get back to work with a snappy title in mind.

I can’t remember the titles I thought of and rejected.  I do know that when I came up with  “Gone With the Twins,” I knew I’d hit paydirt.  The title is instantly familiar, and there’s enough fodder in the Margaret Mitchell classic that it allowed me to let my imagination go wild.

I kept my South Bass Island setting, of course, because the Ladies of the League wouldn’t be the same if they weren’t dealing with the joys and frustrations of island life.  Then I allowed myself to play with Mitchell’s elements:

We’ve got two warring bed and breakfast inns, one on the north side of the island and one on the south.

We’ve got a Civil War gala, a Lady of the League who’s gone ga-ga over the antebellum south, and of course, the Twins, children of a Hollywood superstar who were once kidnapped and became household names because of their miraculous escape and are now turning the island on its head.

Add to that local vixen Vivien Frisk, the object of every guys’ affection who can fiddle-dee-dee and bat her eyelashes with the best of them, and you can see where this is going.

For the League’s leading Lady, Bea Cartwright, it’s headed straight for trouble.  Especially when Vivien is found dead and Bea discovers that everybody’s favorite island belle had more enemies than you can shake a stick at.

Frankly, my dear, I hope you join me on South Bass Island for the latest adventure of the League of Literary Ladies!

~Kylie

Gone with the Twins (League of Literary Ladies)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Ohio
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (March 7, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282960
Kindle – ASIN: B01J2STXBM

 

 

The League of Literary Ladies is currently enjoying Margaret Mitchell’s saga of the South, Gone with the Wind. But there’s one situation on South Bass Island that they wish would simply blow over.

Kidnapped as teenagers, the children of a famous movie star are now media darlings after a miraculous escape. What’s next for the celebrity twins? They’re opening an over-the-top B and B called Tara on South Bass Island, and frankly, they don’t give a damn about the competition—including Bea Cartwright’s own beloved inn.

The other members of the League—Chandra, Kate, and Luella—are turning scarlet. But when local realtor Vivian Frisk is found murdered, and the suspects include Chandra, who lost her beau to the frisky Vivian, the Ladies rally to her defense. They may have to skim a few chapters of the Civil War soap opera and focus on bringing justice to the island they call home…

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Riva and Quentin Champion were kidnapped as teenagers and now that they have escaped they decide to start over by opening a Gone with the Wind themed B&B that just might force Bea out of business.  Chandra also chooses that The League of Literary Ladies read Gone with the Wind as their next book club selection. So as the town get ready to celebrate the B & B’s opening with a Civil War gala, Bea is more concerned with getting customers for her own establishment. Until a local realtor is murdered and Chandra doesn’t have an alibi. She did have a bumpy history with the home seller. She also isn’t helping her case by talking to her friends about where she was and what she was doing at the time of the murder. Bea decides to put her problems aside to try and help prove her friend’s innocence.

These ladies have come a long way since the judge ordered them to start their book club. They now really have each other’s backs. Yes, they still have some minor skirmishes but really have grown to care about each other.

In this story the twins, Riva and Quentin Champion, are building their lives off the fame they have received since they escaped their kidnapper. In addition to the B & B. They are meeting with a producer about a movie. They also will do anything to get what they want, whether it comes to customers, furnishings for the inn, and even taking over town committees.  Chandra is hiding something from the other ladies and that is putting her in the hot seat. Bea and Levi are still sorting out their relationship.  Kate and Luella are available to their friends for anything the need but take a less prominent role this time.

Kylie Logan brings this set of eclectic characters together is a very fast paced story. I read the whole book in an afternoon. I just couldn’t put it down. The mystery was not as complex as previous installments but had plenty of twists and surprises. Another death plays into the main plot but this death takes place before the story begins. I don’t think this character was mentioned in previous books so we really didn’t get to meet her before her death but this is a minor point. While I had an inkling about the murderer I needed to follow behind Bea right to the end to answer all my questions.

I did enjoy the Gone with the Wind theme for this story. In fact, I love that each story ties into a literary classic.

This author always gives the reader an entertaining story to escape into. Mayhem and mystery, with humor and romance. I found this story to be a very enjoyable getaway. I wonder what she has dreamed up for The League of Literary Ladies next.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Kylie Logan and her books on her webpage here.
Be sure to Click the AKA Tab at the top right hand side of the page.


GIVEAWAY

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

Mar 222017
 


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

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

(Guest Post provided by publicist.)

I love treats.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Laura
Thank you Laura for visiting today!

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

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

 

 

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

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

RECIPES INCLUDED

About The Author

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

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

 

Also by Laura Bradford

Click here for more books by Laura Bradford.

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Mar 182017
 

I am so happy to welcome Kelly Lane to Escape With Dollycas today!
Her latest Olive Grove Mystery was released March 7!

Favorite Scenes from COLD PRESSED MURDER
By Kelly Lane
(Post provided by publicist.)

 

I’ve been asked several times to name my favorite scene in the cozy mystery COLD PRESSED MURDER, book two in Berkley Prime Crime’s OLIVE GROVE MYSTERY series. The story is based around scandal-ridden PR maven Eva Knox and her family at their Georgia olive plantation. And as many times as I’ve been asked to name just one favorite scene, I’ve not yet been able to answer.

I suppose, that’s because naming my favorite scene would be like choosing one of my children over all the others. I can’t do that! Truth be told, there are many scenes in the book that I could call “favorite.”

Fun Smack Talk

For example, I’m always a sucker for any scene with Eva’s nemesis, real estate agent Debi Dicer … she’s just so smug and nasty! Given that Debi loves to talk smack, rubbing Eva’s nose in the fact that Debi’s now seriously dating Eva’s ex-fiancé, Sheriff Buck Tanner, it’s fun to hear in my head what Debi has to say. And I always look forward to Eva’s comebacks. The scenes practically write themselves.

Sister Cross-talk Leads to Drama

When we were looking for ways to lower my word count for the book (I was mere 30,000 words over my limit … ha!) my wonderful editor, Bethany Blair, suggested that I cut the Palatable Pecan restaurant scenes featuring Eva, her two sisters, and friend Precious Darling. However, one of those scenes is a favorite of mine, and in the end, I saved the entire restaurant segment and elected to cut another thread instead.

The restaurant scene with the four women seated at the table is important to the storyline, offering both backstory and set-up for important events to come. Moreover, my favorite part about the scene is the way the women interact with one another as they cross-talk at the dinner table while unexpected drama unfolds. The play between lofty Daphne and flippant Pep was especially fun to write. Pep always cracks me up.

Suspenseful Roadside Scene

Another favorite scene occurs after Eva’s altercation with the sheriff at the Palatable Pecan restaurant. She huffs out of the restaurant and stomps toward home along a deserted country road, in the dark and danger of night.

Because I wrote the story in the first person, there aren’t many opportunities for suspense. However, this scene offered that opportunity. And I took it. Interestingly, it was one of the easiest and quickest scenes to write in the book. And we used it in bookseller promotions.

Heartthrob’s Wit and Humor Offers Contrast

Then there’s the scene with Eva and heartthrob Ian Collier in his HUMMER. Seductive Ian always seems so composed and controlled. And he has a keen Scottish wit and dry humor—an interesting contrast with Eva, who is always in some sort of emotional dither when she finds herself with Ian. And what woman wouldn’t be, with Ian’s killer good looks and mysterious demeanor!
Short Scene Was Last-minute Addition

Likewise, there’s an intriguing night scene with Ian in Eva’s cottage. And it’s obvious that Ian and Eva have some sort of powerful “thing” for one another. Of course, when Ian shows up in the middle of the night at her bedside, Eva is surprised and totally smitten with her hunky neighbor, along with being just a bit mortified by her own appearance. Of course, Ian doesn’t disappoint!

Like Eva’s roadside episode, this was another scene that took relatively no time at all to write. And interestingly, it was a late addition to the story after my editor said she missed Ian in this book after I cut his storyline to accommodate my word count issues (no worries, Ian’s dropped thread is all back in book three)! Anyway, after the big cut, I wrote this short scene to give editor Bethany her Ian fix. And as it turns out, it gives the whole story a lift. I’m so glad Bethany mentioned missing Ian, and that I thought to add the short scene in the very last editing round! There’s a kind of dreamy, fantastical quality about many of Ian’s scenes. This is definitely one of my favorites.

Characters Act Like Magnets

Okay, so if you twisted my arm, and I really had to tell you my very favorite scene, it would most likely be the scene when Buck, Eva and Eva’s dog Dolly are in the backseat of Buck’s SUV, deep in the woods off an old logging trail. For both Buck and Eva, this scene is all about how complicated their lives suddenly have become after rediscovering one another just months earlier, without ever having found “closure” to their ruined relationship eighteen years earlier.

As the two grapple with issues of the past, struggle to define new ground, and unravel secrets, they can’t seem to stop switching back and forth between thinking with their heads and acting with their hearts … or maybe it’s not their hearts at all. Maybe it’s just remembering and reliving the way they once were together, long ago, before life got so complicated. Such a confusing mix of old and new emotions!

When I wrote this scene, I could almost feel Buck’s rugged and warm presence next to me. Remembering some awkward, confused, intimate moments from my own past—trust me, it happened all too often, the awkward, confused moments, that is <eye roll>—I tried to infuse those feelings into Eva’s narrative.

And like so many moments between Eva and Buck, throughout the scene, they’ve got that magnet thing going on … first the magnets are turned so that they oppose one another. Then in a spit second, they’re turned to attract one another. Then they turn again …

And that’s all I’m going to say about that!

~Kelly

Thank you Kelly so much for visiting today. I will be reading and reviewing Cold Pressed Murder soon. 

Cold Pressed Murder (An Olive Grove Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Georgia
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (March 7, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277232
Kindle ASIN: B01CZCW4CW

Eva Knox and her quirky Southern family are back in the second in the “intriguing”* culinary mystery series.
 
It’s the pits for the attendees of the annual Farm Family Fare in Abundance, Georgia, when olive oil farmer Eva Knox finds herself in the middle of a murder case…
 
Eva and the residents of Knox Plantation are oozing with excitement over the activities planned for the Farm Family Fare. The weekend event consists of two days of tours, exhibitions, music, tastings, and, most important, cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs from the Chow Network. The enthusiasm, however, begins to dribble away after one of the star chefs goes missing—and is later found dead in the back of a refrigerated truck.

The scandal gets messier after the police discover that Eva’s sister Daphne spent the night with the victim right before he died, making her the prime suspect for his murder. It’s up to Eva, with the help of her other sister, Pep, and her best friend, Precious, to track down the real killer before Daphne finds herself squeezed into handcuffs…

INCLUDES RECIPES!

About The Author

Kelly Lane lives on a farm near Charlottesville, Virginia. In addition to her work as editor and “slush pile reader” for a prominent literary agent, she has penned as a copywriter, journalist, and worked as a business writer, editor, and public relations consultant for Fortune 500 companies. Set on an olive plantation in Southern Georgia, ONE FOOT IN THE GROVE and COLD PRESSED MURDER are the first two books in Kelly Lane’s OLIVE GROVE MYSTERY series published by Berkley Prime Crime. Each book includes original recipes inspired by dishes in the story.

Find out more about Kelly Lane at her webpage here


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Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Mar 112017
 


I am so happy to have Linda here for a visit today!

I love this picture of Linda!

 

Roux the Day
By Linda Wiken

(Post provided by publicist.)

Ask me how much fun it is to kill people and to eat fab food! But believe me, it is not for the feint of heart. We can all handle the murder part because what’s a cozy mystery without some (off screen) bloodshed?  But writing a culinary mystery adds another ingredient – food stress. Believe me.

It’s great fun plotting a new book. By the time I started this second one in the Dinner Club Mysteries, Roux the Day, the characters were my old friends. The task is finding ways to make sure readers feel that way too, while knowing these characters must face challenges that will in some way change them or the way they look at the world. Without losing the friendship of readers.

The setting, Half Moon Bay, a quaint village-like community in Burlington, VT remains the same for each book. Although this time the body is found at a fundraising Casino Boat event, miles from shore, cruising on Champlain Lake. The victim is TV personality Miranda Myers and her co-emcee, Connor Mac, shares a past and an argument with her. Now he’s disappeared and tops the suspect list, with J.J. a close second. It’s up to J.J. and fellow foodies, the Culinary Capers Dinner Club, to find him, and the real killer.

Nothing goes better with a mystery than a touch of romance and I find that Private Investigator Ty Devine is just the guy to provide it.  The friction between Ty and J.J. is as much attraction as contrariness. Of course, other characters need some of this, too…so stay tuned.

Now, back to that other ingredient. Unless the writer of culinary mysteries possesses a high metabolism, weight gain is assured. How could it not be, with all those tempting cookbooks filled with enticing photos; those recipes that need to be tested and which appear at the end of each book; and, don’t forget the occasional snacking while thinking up food descriptions. Yum.

For an added treat, the cookbook chosen by the Culinary Capers Dinner Club in Roux the Day is the Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. And, three of the recipes – from Sara Paretsky, Lisa King, and Cathy Pickens — are reprinted, with permission, at the back of Roux the Day.

So, grab your favorite comfort food and curl up with Roux the Day. Food and a mystery – an unbeatable recipe for pleasure.

~Linda

Thank you Linda for stopping by today!


Roux the Day (A Dinner Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Vermont
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Release Date – March 7, 2017
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425278222
Kindle ASIN: B01KGZVQK6

In the latest mystery from the author of Toasting Up Trouble, the Culinary Capers dinner club is back in business when a charity casino event makes a real killing…

Event planner Jennifer “J.J.” Tanner is planning a cruise ship casino night—and she’s really going overboard. She even arranged for radio DJ Connor Mac and TV personality Miranda Myers to help the good times roll. But the party comes to a screeching halt when Miranda is found dead on the main deck…

With a boatload of suspects, the police focus in on J.J., who, though recently linked with Connor, never knew he was once engaged—to Miranda. With Half Moon Bay’s gossip mill running full tilt, J.J. turns to her fellow dinner club members to help fish for clues and keep herself out of hot water…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES

I will be reviewing this one soon! 

About The Author

Linda Wiken is a former mystery bookstore owner and a short story writer. The first in her new Dinner Club Mystery series, TOASTING UP TROUBLE, debuts in July, 2016. In a parallel life writes the Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries, as Erika Chase. She is a member of those dangerous dames, The Ladies’ Killing Circle. She has been short-listed for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel, and an Arthur Ellis Award, Best Short Story, from Crime Writers of Canada. She admits to a passion for choral singing, chocolate and Siamese cats!

Written  as Erika Chase


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.

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Mar 092017
 

Purr M For Murder
by T.C. LoTempio

Starting Out as a Writer – Five Things You Should Know
by Toni LoTempio

One thing I hear a lot from new writers is what to expect, particularly if they are lucky enough to land an agent and even luckier to get offered a publishing contract.  Here are some points every writer should know:

#1: Writing is a job, like anything else, and requires commitment.  Whether you’re lucky enough to do it full time, or juggle it with a day job, you’re going to be at that computer at odd hours,on weekends,holidays, etc,  what with deadlines, edits, etc.  Your family and friends won’t understand deadlines or edits or why you seem to be glued to that chair and can’t make Aunt Louise’s 45th wedding anniversary party, but if you want to be successful, it’s vital you invest the time to make it so.  Sadly, the books don’t write themselves – they require time, patience and commitment.

#2: Whether you are traditionally or self-published, I can’t stress enough the importance of online presence.  In order for people to want to buy your book, they’ve got to know who you are and what you have to offer.  Get on Facebook, Twitter,Pinterest, LinkedIn, anywhere you can. Start a blog and begin to grow an audience.  Establish yourself as a writer/author with a good, solid fanbase.  Sales are the bottom line in publishing, and the only way to get sales is to entrench yourself with a solid fanbase. (Kind of like Kirstie Alley on Dancing with the Stars) J

#3:   Also in conjunction with #2 – Promotion is a dirty word, but it’s got to be done.  There’s a fine line between promotion and overkill, so be careful.   Grow your presence, don’t use Facebook, Twitter or your blog solely to self-promote your books.  Make Promotion a part of your online presence, rather than the focal point, or you may lose followers. Readers want to know something about you – your likes,dislikes, etc. It makes you “real” to them.  Out of these online “friendships” grow loyal followers!

#4:   Think before you post. You have opinions, sure, but don’t post anything on any social network about topics that are sure to anger someone. You don’t want to lose readers because you support a different Presidential candidate or on opposite sides of a timely issue, like birth control.  It’s just simpler to keep your views out of the public eye and keep a low profile.

#5:  If you haven’t already, grow a thick skin.  When you put your work out there, it’s only natural some will love it and others will hate it,and still others wont’ care one way or the other.  You’ll get glowing reviews and you’ll get others so bad you’ll want to crawl in a hole and pull it in after you.  Just remember – you can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of them all the time. Different tastes are what make up a world – just live and let live and get concentrating on your next book!

~Toni

Purr M for Murder: A Cat Rescue Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Crooked Lane Books (March 14, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683310921
Kindle ASIN: B01N6P3WYP

Sydney McCall left behind an ex-fiancé and a New York advertising job to return home to Deer Park, North Carolina and help her sister, Kat, run the local animal shelter, Friendly Paws. Determined to save the shelter from financial trouble, Sydney and Kat organize a cat café fundraising event at a local coffee shop. Things are looking up until their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery to make peace, she finds Kat–along with Littleton’s dead body.

Local homicide detective Will Worthington–who just happens to be Sydney’s old high school crush–is highly suspicious of the sisters’ involvement. Desperate to clear their names from the suspect list, Sydney pounces on the investigation. With the help of one of the shelter cats, a savvy orange tabby named Toby, Sydney begins poking her nose into other local businesses whose owners may have benefited from Littleton’s death–until the killer notices she’s pawing a little too closely at the truth.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Purr M for Murder is a marvelous start for this new series!

Sydney McCall has come back to Deer Park to help her sister Kat do some major fundraising and promotion for the local animal shelter. Almost everyone is happy about their first scheduled fundraising event. Trowbridge Littleton is making a major fuss and wants the whole thing shutdown. You would think since he is their landlord he would be supportive. The girls make a plan to meet with him and try to convince him the project is a great idea. When Syd arrives at his gallery the next morning she finds Kat already there. She also finds their landlord dead.

Syd gets another surprise when the police show up. One of the detectives is Will Worthington, is her old high school crush. She is not sure if this is a good or a bad thing because his partner clearly thinks the sisters, specifically Kat, is the prime suspect. So with a little assistance of that darling cat on the cover Sydney is pawing around trying to find plenty of alternative suspects and save her sister but she is also putting herself in danger.

I loved everything about this story.  Friendly Paws Animal Shelter , a no-kill shelter, not only has friendly animals but friendly owners and volunteers. Their idea of bringing adoptable cats to a friend’s coffee shop for a pop up event sounds like so much fun. The entire town with the exception of Trowbridge Littleton seems to embrace the idea. But we find he is not a favorite with the community. There are many that are not too upset or surprised that the man is dead. The author gives us an abundance of suspects including his wife, his business partner and all of his tenants. Each character is unique and very enjoyable. They are all believable and the dialogue is spot on.

Now let me tell you about Toby. A handsome orange tabby who is a bit of a wanderer. Kat believes he is searching for his purrfect human companion and she thinks that may be Sydney. His wandering is a bit mysterious as he shows up in some unusual places. By the end of the story we see what a truly fantastic feline he is and if he does find his furr-ever home.

The pace of this book is quick. The mystery is well written and has several surprising twists taking us to a very exciting ending. There are some romantic sparks and funny scenes too. Add in the frisky felines and cuddly canines and you have a cozy mystery the will have you meowing for more. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author…..

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM.   #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, was released in December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.net and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

Where to find them:

ROCCO’s blog      Website     Facebook 

Twitter: @RoccoBlogger

Purchase Link:

Amazon  B&N 
Also by T C. LoTempio

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

Mar 082017
 


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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Much love,

Laura Childs

Thank you Laura for stopping by for a visit today! 

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

Synopsis

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

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

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

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

INCLUDES RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS

About The Author

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

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

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

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

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

Laura’s Links:  Webpage – Facebook 

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Dollycas

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