Aug 242017
 

Deadly Choices
by Karen Randau

Deadly Choices (Rim Country Mysteries)
3rd in Series
Setting – Arizona
Suspense Thriller
3rd in Series
Short on Time Books (July 17, 2017)
Kindle – ASIN: B074187YT7

 

An elderly woman with an arrow in her chest. A murdered journalist. A decades-old cover-up. In Deadly Choices (Rim Country Mysteries Volume 3), Rita and Cliff Avery team up again to solve a spate of murders in their picturesque Arizona mountain town of Rim Vista. Rita’s mother Willow delivers gun-wrenching news while falling for the man who could be responsible for four deaths. And Rita must escape a string of life-threatening predicaments thrown at her by an assailant willing to do anything to scare Cliff off the case.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Karen Rabdau is a new author to me but with stories like this one we are going to become fast friends. I was skeptical about jumping into this series with book three but by the end of the first chapter I was totally tuned in and reading at a rapid pace. The mentions of things that happened in previous books only made me realize that I needed to add both books to my wish list right away.

Deadly Choices starts out with Rita and Cliff camping with her mother, Willow, a woman Rita has not seen for 25 years, when they hear a shot and soon after a woman they had met earlier stumbles into their campsite with an arrow in her chest. She was teaching a student and he is missing. Had he been shot? Rita and her detective husband Cliff are quickly brought into the case. As more deaths occur, a man they have known for years becomes a prime suspect. As they investigate surprising things are uncovered tying back into the past.

This story is a wild adventure for Cliff and Rita. There were so many edge of the seat moments I lost count. Explosions, kidnapping, and twists and turns galore.

Ms. Randau is a wonderful storyteller. She packs as much punch into these pages as humanly possible and makes it impossible to put this book down. I love the way she describes a scene. I felt like I was right there whether it be a dangerous situation or if she was just describing the beauty of Rim County.  The dialogue was on point and I was totally invested in these characters. The plot was complex and so well written.

Drama, danger, mystery and suspense with well crafted characters, this story has them all. I am excited for the next adventure.

The story deserves more than 5 stars! Paradise Rating.

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Karen Randau is the author of the Rim Country Mystery series. Her fast-paced novels include Deadly Deceit, Deadly Inheritance, and Deadly Choices, each with intricate plots and lots of action and told from the point of view of protagonist Rita Avery.

 

Author Links

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Purchase Link – Amazon

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Aug 042017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Peril by Ponytail (A Bad Hair Day Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
12th in Series
Setting – Arizona
Five Star Publishing (September 16, 2015)
Hardcover: 285 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1432830984
Kindle ASIN: B015ESSHV6

 

 

Hoping for a romantic honeymoon at an Arizona dude ranch, hairstylist Marla Vail and her husband Dalton arrive to find a series of mishaps plaguing the resort. A nearby ghost town is suffering similar problems. Is it mere coincidence that Dalton’s Uncle Raymond owns both properties? When Raymond asks for their help in finding the culprit, Marla and Dalton eagerly accept. Then news of a local forest ranger’s death raises the stakes. With sleuthing more natural to Marla than horseback riding, she delves into the investigation. But as she digs deeper, she discovers skeletons in the family closet. Someone means to drive Raymond out of business, and the reason may be linked to his past misdeeds. Raymond isn’t the only one with secrets. The trail leads Marla from an environmental activist group to saguaro poachers to water rights proponents to an abandoned copper mine beneath the ghost town. She’d better saddle up, rein in the clues, and find the killer before she becomes the next spirit inhabiting the haunted hillside.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Finding time in their busy lives for a honeymoon wasn’t easy but Marla and Dalton head to an Arizona dude ranch when his cousin asks for help promising them a wonderful honeymoon getaway. They arrive to learn the ranch and a nearby ghost town renovation have had a run of bad luck, at least that is what everyone hopes. Both properties are owned by Dalton’s Uncle Raymond. Just as Marla and Dalton arrive they learn a local forest ranger’s body has been found just off a trail he was very familiar with. Accident, maybe but added to all the other mishaps Marla and Dalton start to investigate and decide to follow wherever the trail may lead, even underground if necessary.

Experiencing this trip to a dude ranch with Marla and Dalton was a lot of fun. I am glad it was a virtual trip or I would have been completely exhausted 🙂 The dude ranch has plenty of things to do including horseback riding and hiking trails. The distance from the main lodge to the cabins is also a good walk. Plus they followed leads to the ghost town and several other places like Scottsdale. It would have made a great honeymoon sans the dead bodies, the explosion and the fire. Maybe not as good as the tropical vacation  Marla would have liked by maybe next time.

These are characters I have grown to love, this being the 12th book in the series. They have sure come a long way since Permed to Death. Newly married they are still figuring things out like Dalton not talking to Marla about honeymooning in Arizona until after he told his cousin they would be delighted to come. They both enjoyed getting to know these long lost family members better and I did too. 

The mystery was tricky but I did figure out the guilty parties a bit before Marla and Dalton. I still enjoyed following along to find out if I was right and to get all the details straight. I lost count of all the twists and turns that tried to divert my attention. The ending was very suspenseful. Learning some of the history of the area and copper mines was a great bonus.

If you are new to this series, this book can be read on it’s own. The author provides a cast of characters at the beginning of the book.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list and been selected by Suspense Magazineas best cozy mystery. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.

 Author Links:

Website  Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads Pinterest Linked In  Booklover’s Bench Newsletter Sign-Up


I am giving away my review copy!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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something you like here and become a follower.

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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.”

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.”

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.

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.

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

Contest Will End May 3, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Feb 012017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Cheryl

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

 About The Author

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

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

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

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


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

(not the exact ones, but representative)

 

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

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

Jul 192016
 

murder on the mother road large banner640

Murder on the Mother Road
by Glenn Nilson

 

Murder on the Mother Road Cover

Murder on the Mother Road:
A Bobby Navarro Mystery

Male Sleuth Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Creekside Publishing (March 15, 2016)
Paperback: 318 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997234916
ASIN: B01CQ4SUHM
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Bobby Navarro rides his Harley into another adventure when he discovers the body of a young woman in the trunk of a parked car in Williams, Arizona, on old Route 66.

Who would leave a car, with a body in it, parked on the main street of town? And, who told the police Bobby had been the driver of the car, because they soon take him to the police station to conduct an “interview”.

Then, to make matters worse, Bobby realizes one of the police officers is a woman he had a crush on in high school. And, that’s just his first night in town. Next morning, Bobby has breakfast at a local diner, where everyone is talking about the murder and the arrest of one of the diner’s cooks. The staff don’t think the suspect is guilty of the crime, and one of the locals, Daryl King, lets slip to Bobby that he knows who the guilty party really is. Trouble is, Daryl won’t tell the police whatever it is he knows. In fact, Daryl has trouble talking with anyone. The fact that he made an exception in Bobby’s case, leads to Bobby agreeing to work with the police to find out if Daryl does know who the killer is. Bobby’s part in the investigation takes him to the Holiness Pentecostal Church of the Brethren, a church run by an ex-biker and two of his former gang members. There, he discovers a host of suspects, leaving Bobby to wonder whether he will have to “get religion” in order to help solve this Murder on the Mother Road.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

When I was approached about this book I was told it was “a man’s cozy” I was a little skeptical but the synopsis sounded intriguing so I signed up to review. Well I can tell you this woman started reading and stayed up late into the early morning to finish it. I just couldn’t put it down.

Main character, Bobby Navarro, rolls into town and sees a hit and run in progress and can’t get the hitter to do the right thing. When the driver takes off Bobby noticed something about the car that was hit. He ends up opening the trunk and finding a body. He quickly becomes a suspect. After a little interrogation they let him off the hook and one of the officers asks him for a little help. Well him takes that invitation farther than intended and takes us readers on quite a journey.

I really love Bobby Navarro. He is believable, real, and so engaging. His heart is in the right place and he really just needs to help solve this murder. Seeing that body had a definite effect on him.

All the other characters are very developed as well. They all added to the story. The dialogues were so well written. I enjoyed that Bobby knew one of the officers from high school. I would love to see more of a relationship between the two of them in the future.

The mystery starts right away and drew me in immediately. There are plenty of suspects and I was totally surprised with the way the story all came together.

This isn’t your typical cozy, it has a little bit of an edge, and a not so common male protagonist, but I can say men and woman alike will enjoy this story. 🙂

I am so glad Glenn Nilson reached out to me about this book. It is a fantastic story. I may have woke up with a book hangover, but this story was worth it. I plan to read the first Bobby Navarro story, Murder on Route 66, as soon as I can squeeze it into my reading schedule. The author took a huge break between the 2 books so I am interested to see how Bobby started out. 

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Author Photo

About The Author –

Glenn grew up on a farm in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California, hiking, hunting, even panning for gold.  After college, he served as an officer in the Navy, then earned a doctorate in sociology and taught at a branch of the State University in Connecticut. There, he developed, directed and taught a criminal justice program. Upon retirement, the West drew him back, this time to New Mexico, the setting for his first novel, Murder on Route 66. Currently, Glenn divides his time between living in rural Florida and up-state New York, writing and refurbishing an 1870’s-era, creek-side cottage.  Whenever possible, he enjoys cooking, riding his own motorcycle and camping.

Author Links

Webpage – Blog 

Purchase Links


Click on covers to order from Amazon 

 

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Tour Participants – Be sure to check out all the stops. 

July 14 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
July 15 – Booklady’s Booknotes – REVIEW
July 16 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
July 17 – My Funny View of Life – REVIEW
July 18 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST
July 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 20 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
July 21 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
July 22 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST
July 23 – Back Porchervations – SPOTLIGHT
July 24 – deal sharing aunt – SPOTLIGHT
July 25 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
July 26 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW – BOOK 1
July 27 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW – BOOK 2 – INTERVIEW

 

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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.”

Nov 062015
 

then no one can have herThen No One Can Have Her
Pinnacle (October 27, 2015)
Published by Kensington Publishing Corp.
True Crime
Setting – Arizona
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0786032570
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She thought she had married her soulmate. But when Carol Kennedy could no longer tolerate her husband’s reckless womanizing and out-of-control spending, the artist, therapist and mother of two had to let him go. Just weeks after their divorce, Carol was found in her Arizona ranch home–bludgeoned to death with a golf club. Her ex, Steven DeMocker, was the prime suspect. Yet it took the authorities months to arrest him–and years to convict. . .

Packed with twists and turns, this powerful real-life account reveals every bizarre detail of this compelling case. Bestselling author and award-winning journalist Caitlin Rother presents an unforgettable story of love turned to obsession, and a family torn apart forever.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Caitlin Rother is a great true crime storyteller. I have read and reviewed Naked AddictionI’ll Take Care of YouLost Girls and Dead Reckoning. Each of those stories blew my away. I can’t say the same for this story.  Steven DeMocker was sentenced to life in prison back in early 2014 for killing his ex-wife in 2008. Rother takes us through the case that depended heavily on circumstantial evidence.

Unlike the previous books I was familiar with this case having seen in covered on 48 hours last year. I think my prior knowledge limited my enjoyment of this story. I disliked Steven DeMocker from the moment I saw his face on the news and then seeing in again in the CBS program.

Rother does take us step by step and it almost as if we are right in the investigators back pockets. It does take them an awfully long time to charge and convict this man and so many mistakes are made. I think reading all these steps just aggravated more and more. I feel so sorry that a wife finally trying to break free out of an awful marriage was killed before even having a chance to start over. It was so hard for her to finally put herself first. Steven was unfaithful to her from the start and whenever she tried to leave him he pulled her back in. Money was his motivation and he was unethical there too.  The games he played after her death over the life insurance money just made me sick. This family was truly destroyed.

The story didn’t blow me away, it made me angry. The author did stir up my emotions all over again so in that way this story is well told. My opinion of Steven DeMocker was set before I even started reading and nothing I read changed my mind.  So for me there was no new real information to take away here but it is well written and well researched. If you are not familiar with this case Ms. Rother fills this book with details that could make it a compelling read for you.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Links to my reviews for:

Dead Reckoning

Lost Girls

I’ll Take Care Of You

Naked Addiction

To find out more about Caitlin Rother and her books visit her webpage here.

 

 

Blog Tour Schedule for Then No One Can Have Her

October 28 – Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
October 29 – Maureen’s Musings
October 30 –  The Woman Condemned
November 2 – Just a Girl, Living, Reading, Watching and Writing 
November 3 –  As I Turn the Pages
November 4 – Colloquium
November 5 – Destiny’s Book Reviews
November 6 –  Escape With Dollycas
November 9 –  Jersey Girl Book Reviews
November 10 – Ellen Wallace
November 11 –  Wild Blue Press
November 12 –  Educated Reader

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.”

Oct 142015
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am pleased to welcome Sharon Arthur Moore to Escape With Dollycas today! 

sharon arthur mooreTwo Roads Converged in a Yellow Desert
(with apologies to Robert Frost)

 

While preparing this post on my personal journey to being a culinary mystery writer, I was curious about the word journey. I knew from my past word studies that journey carried a sense of time. “Soup du jour”, for example. According to my New Oxford American Dictionary, the word journey derived from Old French via Latin. A jornee meant “day, a day’s travel, a day’s work.”

These days that definition is broadened to mean travel of longer times and distances. Thus it has been for me. Becoming a culinary mystery writer was not a journey of a day.

While preparing, I thought of Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken”. However, instead of two roads diverging in the woods, my journey to culinary mystery writing was two roads converging.

My earliest memories are of standing on a chair before my mother’s gas burner stove stirring eggs. I had to be very young because of where we lived at the time. We moved a lot, so I can date many of my experiences by recalling our “house du jour.”

I was the one in our family of five who loved cooking. My mother, a serviceable cook, had little passion for it. It was her responsibility. My sister, likewise, showed little interest and did what she had to do, but she wasn’t curious about cooking or experimental. I, on the other hand, took over responsibility for much of the dinner cooking whenever I could. And I became a serviceable cook, too.

At Christmas, when I was about twelve, my favorite aunt gave me a 12-bottle rack of spices. My mother turned to her when I opened it and gasped, “What have you done?” You see, my mother’s seasonings consisted of salt, pepper, cinnamon, and chili powder. This rack had exotic spices like tarragon, oregano, and basil! I was enthralled and eager to try them out. My mother knew that and dreaded what I might produce.

Fast forward to today, and I am an intrepid cook. I write a food column, “The Quick Cook”, for a small town paper in Arizona. I create recipes. I play with food. And most of the time it is quite edible!

The second, and simultaneous, path of my journey was that of being an early reader and writer. Nancy Drew enthralled me. In the 1950s there were not so many models of young women who wanted to make the world a better place. Young women who dared to do brave and scary things. Young women who competed with males for brainpower and pluck. Little did I realize that while absorbing all that subtle feminism, I was also getting hooked on mysteries.

mission impastableI loved thinking along with mysteries that Nancy Drew introduced me to. It was in those, and other mysteries (Cherry Ames, Student Nurse; The Hardy Boys; Trixie Belden, and their ilk) that I internalized the components of a compelling mystery: the hook, the multiple suspects, the embedded clues, the logical resolution of the crime.

It was also in those mysteries, and other fiction I devoured, that I learned by immersion about the elements of any story. Compelling stories in any genre had to have engaging characters who learned or changed over the story, a plot arc presented ups and downs in the problem to be solved, and the ways settings were used. Sometimes it seemed that the setting was another character in the tale as in Edgar Allan Poe stories. Setting, I learned, could be a powerful force impelling the story forward.

And then, as an adult, I read Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson. It was my first culinary mystery. She wasn’t the first author of the subgenre culinary mystery, but she is arguably the best known. With punny titles (a characteristic of most culinary mysteries) and clever plot lines, I was hooked and read every one of her mysteries. How could I resist titles like Chopping Spree, Sticks and Scones, The Cereal Murders, and The Whole Enchilada?

It seems odd to me now that I never realized that I could put my two passions together: mysteries plus food! It was a big “Duh” moment for me when my two roads converged.

I had been writing fiction for decades, going back to my youth. I had written mysteries, even. But to put a mystery together with embedded recipes, well, my world rocked on its axis.

I wrote my first culinary mystery in the mid-1990s. It was pretty lame. Over many iterations I kept plugging away at learning the subtleties of culinary mysteries. And in 2013 Mission Impastable was accepted by Oak Tree Press, a small publisher specializing in mysteries.

In my culinary mysteries, Alli, my heroine, and her childhood friend, Gina, start a personal chef business. Their first client, Gina’s nasty boss at her day job, dies of food poisoning. Oops! Not an auspicious beginning for the struggling women.

I’m happy to say, now that I am firmly on my path, that books two and three came much more easily and will be published next year. Prime Rib and Punishment has my cooks teaching in a cooking school and Potluck has them wrestling with medical marijuana in food products. I am doing the guts of book four where they are demo cooks on a cruise ship, Ancient Grease, during National Novel Writing Month this November.

All of my books include recipes I created. Since I typically just throw ingredients together, it has been challenging to produce actual recipes! It helps that I devote Februarys in my blog, “Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time”, to daily recipes for the month in some category. That’s practice!

I began the last paragraph with the phrase “all of my books”, but that’s not exactly true. I also write erotic romances (under a pseudonym) that are 180 degrees from culinary mysteries. But the journey to erotic romance writing is for another post.

 

mission impastableMission Impastable
(Dinner is Served) (Volume 1)

Cozy Mystery
Setting – Arizona
Dark Oak Mysteries (January 23, 2014)
Trade Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1610090971
ASIN: B00ILYHP14
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How can it get any worse for a personal chef business than your first client dying of food poisoning? Alli and Gina scramble to make “Dinner is Served” a success, but those pesky police questions into their role in the death of Gina’s hospital boss force Alli to take the investigation into her own hands. The dreaded “Dragon Lady” at the hospital spawned a number of killer-candidates whose lives would be easier with her out of the way. Alli just has to find out which one while clearing their own names.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Alli and Gina already have an online presence with a blog and selling cooking mixes but they want to take things to the next level. Alli takes care of most of the current business but Gina wants to quit her job too. They decide to become personal chefs creating meals for several customers each and every week in the hopes of making enough money for the both of them. They are surprised and thrilled when Gina’s boss, Clarice Franklin aka “The Dragon Lady”, becomes their first customer.  Before they first meal is even served strange things happen in their client’s home. The chefs try to do everything to keep their customer happy but when the Dragon Lady is found dead and it looks like she was killed by something she ate the girls are in hot water and their business may go up in flames.. Alli is determined to prove their innocence and keep them cooking.

Lifelong friends, Gina and Alli are as close as sisters. They are also total opposites. Gina is the planner and follows the rules. Alli is more of a “by the seat of her pants” kind of girl. Add in Gina’s mother with her lengthy opinions and prophecies and you have the start of a very entertaining cast. They try to stick together through all the drama but they are tested more than once as the killer remains at large.

There are also plenty of suspects in addition to the Dinner is Served twosome, several people were not too broken up my Ms. Franklin’s demise. From her family to the people at work, heck even the hired help were not mourning her loss much at all. Alli had her work cut out for her as she tried to catch the killer. I was right there with her as each suspect was eliminated. This was a well-plotted mystery.

I really enjoyed this story. I also loved all the description of food throughout the book and was happy several recipes were included.  Sharon Arthur Moore is a new author for me and she is off to a great start for this series. I can’t wait to see what she serves up next.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Sharon Arthur Moore lives in the desert Southwest with her husband (“a hunk”) and yellow lab. Their children live far away in cities she likes to visit. They don’t come home often enough, but that is probably due to them being gainfully employed.

She enjoys travel, reading, word games, and all manner of company. She fancies herself a cook, but not a chef, and loves feeding family and friends original recipes that sometimes turn out to be quite tasty. She is addicted to cookbook reading and TV cooking shows.

Sharon is thrilled to have three fiction books in print with more to come. She writes in a wide range of genre, thus never really mastering any one of them. You can find her mysteries under Sharon Arthur Moore, her romances under Angelica French, and some unpubbed-as-yet paranormal fiction under River Glynn.

She takes writing classes on-line and in real life, and buys books on writing like she is the sole support of the writing education community. As a “frequent buyer” of books at Amazon.com, she is negotiating with them for freebies.

A teacher at heart, she “transitioned” (“retired” is such an old person word) after 39 years as an educator to full-time writing. She is in various writing critique groups and loves sharing with others what she is learning.

Find out more about Sharon and her books on her webpage here. Be sure to visit her blog,  Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time, too!

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the author 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 Sharon for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End October 28, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

 

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

Aug 072015
 
Yes, it has been a busy week. Today I am kicking off another
Great Escapes Book Tour!
Fool Me Once by Steve Hockensmith with Lisa Falco will be released tomorrow from Midnight Ink!

FOOL ME ONCE large banner640

Fool Me Once
by Steve Hockensmith with Lisa Falco

fool me onceFool Me Once
(A Tarot Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
Setting – Arizona

2nd in Series
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Midnight Ink (August 8, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0738742236
E-Book ASIN: B011J5Y6NG
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Synopsis

After taking over the White Magic Five & Dime, Alanis McLachlan is trying to make up for her mother’s con jobs by tracking down old customers and making amends. When Martha, one of the most loyal clients, comes looking for a way out of her abusive marriage, Alanis does everything she can to help.

But helping Martha leads to unforeseen consequences . . . including murder. When Martha’s husband is found dead, the police show up at Alanis’s door. And things only get more complicated as she tries to clear her name from the top of the suspect list. With her growing mastery of the tarot and the Fool card to guide her, can Alanis find her way to the truth before the killer gets to her first?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We return the The White Magic Five and Dime in this 2nd Tarot Mystery. Alanis‘ Tarot Card reading skills are improving but her main concern is helping people her mother conned out of their hard earned cash. Martha comes to Alanis to escape her abusive husband but when the husband is found dead she becomes the prime suspect and they think Alanis could be an accomplice. Thankfully she has a good lawyer for Martha, a friend not afraid to do a little breaking and entering, a sister with an internet hacker connection,  and a keen sense to track down the real killer.

This story is so easy to easy to get caught up in. You know Alanis’ heart is in the right place and she does go to great lengths to right her mother’s wrongs. She is also quite savvy and doesn’t get tripped up but those trying to con her or take advantage of her. She has grown quite a bit over the course of these books. The secondary characters are very interesting as well and the author brings them all together with an extraordinary plot with plenty of red herrings.

Each chapter starts with a excerpt from Alanis’ mother’s book, Miss Chance, Infinite Roads in Knowing. that Alanis is reading and to give us a little insight into the Tarot Cards. These are quite humorous.

The author did something I just hate 🙂 he leaves is with a hook for the next book in this series! I hate that because we have to wait a year to get the rest of the story!!

For now this is a terrific mystery. While it can be read as a stand alone I truly recommend you start with The White Magic Five and Dime, you can read my review here. Then we can wait for the next installment together.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

steve hockingsmithAbout The Author

Steve Hockensmith’s first novel, Holmes on the Range, was a finalist for the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony and Dilys awards. He went on to write four sequels as well as a pair of bestselling follow-ups to the international publishing sensation Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. More recently, he wrote (with collaborator “Science Bob” Pflugfelder) the middle-grade mysteries Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab and Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage.

Author Links:
Website – http://www.stevehockensmith.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/steve.hockensmith.7
Twitter – https://twitter.com/MrHockensmith
GoodReads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/146628.Steve_Hockensmith


GIVEAWAY

The author is giving away 1 Print Copy of
Fool Me Once

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page
will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End August 21, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form


Be sure to check out the rest of the tour~

Tour Participants

August 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
August 8 – Lori’s Reading Corner – Guest Post
August 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
August 10 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – Review, Interview, Giveaway
August 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – Spotlight
August 12 – Omnimystery News – Guest post
August 13 – Kelly P’s Blog– Spotlight
August 14 – Nadaness In Motion – Guest Post, Giveaway
August 15 – Brooke Blogs – Spotlight
August 16 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
August 17 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review
August 18 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
August 19 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Spotlight
August 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review

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 162015
 

dark chocolate demiseDark Chocolate Demise
(Cupcake Bakery Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Arizona
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 7, 2015)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425258934
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGK69G
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

The New York Times bestselling Cupcake Bakery Mysteries bake up sweet surprises, but as the series continues, Mel and Angie are in for a fresh batch of trouble…

Scottsdale, Arizona, may not be the liveliest place on earth, but it’s never been as dead as this. Hundreds of fans have gathered together for the first annual Old Town Zombie Walk, and Mel, Angie, and the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew are donning their best undead attire to sell some horror-themed desserts to the hungry hordes.

But the fun turns to fright when Mel finds a real dead body in a prop casket outside of the bakery’s truck—and the corpse looks alarmingly like a zombie of their own. Knowing that Joe, Angie’s brother and Mel’s former flame, has been working on a dangerous mob case, Mel worries that the murder is a hit gone wrong and that someone near and dear was the real target. To keep any of her friends from winding up six feet under, Mel will do whatever it takes to find a killer—no matter how scary things get…

INCLUDES RECIPES

Dollycas’s Thoughts

If you have read my reviews you know zombies are not my thing but A Zombie Walk with Mel, Angie, Tate, Oz and Marty, I will be there in New York Minute. These characters are a blast and wherever they go you know there is going to be CUPCAKES!! and probably a murder, but CUPCAKES!! How can you not want to go along on their wild ride?

Joe is working a big case and for the moment he and Mel are on the outs, but that is just because he wants to keep her safe. The gang from Fairy Tale Cupcakes tries to keep her mind off him by trying to sell cupcakes at the First Annual Zombie Walk. They are even all dressed up as undead and have added a casket to their display for some unique selfie pics. All is going well until someone very much dead is found in the casket and their death may be connected to Joe’s big case. Everyone thinks the murder may have been a mob hit and someone very, very, close to Joe was the real target.  All the DeLaura brothers go on high alert to keep Mel and Angie safe but Mel is determined to dig up the clues needed to catch the killer before anyone else ends up in a casket buried six feet under.

Jenn McKinlay has baked us up a scrumptious mystery that I had me from the first page until the last. First she scared the frosting right out me when the body was discovered and I wasn’t the only one. This one hits a little too close for comfort and several characters are deeply affected. We learn cupcakes and movie quotes don’t lighten anyone’s mood this time or at least not too much. This case needed to be solved as fast as possible.

Don’t get me wrong though there was plenty of humor and romantic tension. Even Manny, the hunky detective, caused some fun moments that had Mel feeling the heat. 🙂

I was surprised by how fast I read this book. My reading speed has been too fast the last few weeks but before I knew it I was at the end. The story is excellent and I was sad to see it wrap up because then I realized I have to wait a year to get to the next chapter and cure my cupcake craving with the Mel and Angie.

This series makes the bestseller’s list for several reasons. These are fabulous stories with fabulous characters and readers have a fabulous time reading them. I encourage you to take a huge bite out of Dark Chocolate Demise. You will thank me and definitely want more!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page
will earn you 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 April 30, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners 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.”

A Cajun Christmas Killing: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron Get Your Copy Today!
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