Jan 232017
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

I hope you had a wonderful week of reading!
Leave a comment below telling me what you are reading right now.
I will randomly chose 1 person next Monday to receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card!

Here’s what I read and what
I have planned for this week.

Books Completed

Knit to Be Tied (A Knitting Mystery)
Release Date – June 6, 2016
Setting – Colorado
My Review

A Pinch of Poison (A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mystery)
Release Date – December 27, 2016
Setting – England
Review will be up tomorrow. 

Pop Goes the Murder (A Popcorn Shop Mystery)
Release Date – January 3, 2017
Setting – Ohio
Kristi Abbott will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week!


Whale of a Crime (Gray Whale Inn Mysteries)
Release Date – January 13, 2017
Setting – Maine
For Review

Books Scheduled

Need to choose my Flashback Friday Book for this week.


15 Minutes: Maizie Albright Star Detective
Release Date – January 24, 2017
Setting – Georgia
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here next Tuesday!


Stone’s Gems and Murder: A Rock Shop Cozy Mystery
Release Date – December 7, 2016
Setting – ??
Cheryl Taylor will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week!


Murder Wears White (A Wedding Planner Mystery)
Release Date – January 31, 2017
Setting – Pennsylvania
For Review

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 202017
 


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.

Knit to Be Tied (A Knitting Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
14th in Series
Setting – Colorado
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (June 7, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282502
Kindle ASIN: B016JPTMSU

 

In Fort Connor, Colorado, the friends at the House of Lambspun knitting shop are welcoming a new face into the fold. Shy, sweet, and pregnant Nancy Marsted would like to knit a baby hat, and the Lambspun ladies are more than happy to show her the ropes. They share their own pregnancy yarns and soon learn the father of Nancy’s baby isn’t quite the man she dreamed he was. He’s a cad.

Then one dark night a speeding car fatally mows down the dad-to-be and strikes a cyclist, spinning the town into a frenzy. Everyone worries that a crazed killer is on the loose. Now it’s up to Kelly and the gang to put down their needles and cut to the chase before the culprit is driven to kill again . . .

Dollycas’s  Thoughts

I have  enjoyed this series from the start. Each trip to Fort Connor is like going off to visit friends. Kelly spends much of her days at the House of Lambspun, working on her accounts or knitting on the garden patio or at the large gathering table inside the shop. She meets her friends there and then plan get togethers and touch base on what each of them are dealing with. Sometimes it’s work or kids or baseball games. This time one of her friends is a victim of a hit and run while on his bicycle. He is terribly injured and facing weeks of rehab, and they have no idea who was driving the car. But Kelly with some assistance from Burt is knitting together the clues pretty rapidly.

I found Knit to Be Tied as more of a character driven story. The mystery was more of a subplot with only a couple of suspects and readers will figure it out pretty easily. That being said I did enjoy this story because of the investment I have put into these characters for 14 books. I want to know what they are doing, what is happening in their lives. There are some big things happening  for this group of friends. They have grown so much over the years. And the author gives us awesome news at the end of the story that has me very excited for book 15.

This was a story that catches us up on the Lambspun gang and sets us up for the next one. Sometimes long running series need books like this one.

A comfortable read, cozy mystery lite 🙂

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

MAGGIE SEFTON is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Berkley Prime Crime Knitting Mysteries. UNRAVELED, 9th in the series, made the New York Times Bestselling Hardcover Fiction List after its June 2011 release. All of the mysteries in the successful series have also been Barnes & Noble Top Ten Bestselling Mysteries. Maggie was first published in historical fiction in 1995 with ABILENE GAMBLE under the pen name Margaret Conlan. She wrote over a million words of historical romance fiction before she ever wrote the first mystery. DYING TO SELL, with real estate agent sleuth Kate Doyle, was published by Five Star/Tekno Mysteries in 2005. Maggie has been a CPA and a real estate agent in the Rocky Mountain West, but finds nothing can match creating worlds on paper.

She was born and raised in northern Virginia, where she received her bachelor’s degree in English literature and journalism. Maggie has worked in several careers over the years, from a CPA to a real estate broker in the Rocky Mountain West. However, none of those endeavors could compare with the satisfaction and challenge of creating worlds on paper. She is the mother of four grown daughters, currently scattered around the globe. Author of the nationally bestselling Knitting Mysteries, she resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with two very demanding dogs.

Check out her website here.


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.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 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.”

Jan 182017
 

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

DEAD COLD BREW AND NEWS FROM CLEO COYLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

THE RECIPES!

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

Click here for our Free Recipe Guide.

 

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

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

WHAT’S NEXT FOR CLEO COYLE?

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

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

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

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

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

To keep in touch with us…

Visit our website: www.CoffeehouseMystery.com

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

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

Sign up for our newsletter here.

ARE YOU READY?

Watch Our New Coffeehouse Video!

About This Author

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

dead-cold-brew-large-banner640

 

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

Synopsis

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

THE PERFECT PROPOSAL LEADS TO A CHILLING COLD CASE…

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

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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series just keeps getting better and better!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

My first Paradise Rating of 2017!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PLUS

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 Hardcover copy to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Leave a comment for Cleo for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 1, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Jan 162017
 

 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!
Here’s what I read and what
I have planned for this week. 

Books Completed

A Fatal Twist (A Downward Dog Mystery)
Release Date – January 8, 2017
Setting – Washington
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow.


Dead Cold Brew (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
Release Date – January 10, 2017
Setting – New York
Cleo will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week!

River City Dead (An Aggie Mundeen Mystery)
Release Date – January 17, 2017
Setting – Texas
The Great Escapes Tour stops here Thursday.

Books Scheduled

Knit to Be Tied (A Knitting Mystery)
Release Date – June 6, 2016
Setting – Colorado
My Flashback Friday Book

A Pinch of Poison (A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mystery)
Release Date – December 27, 2016
Setting – England
For Review

Pop Goes the Murder (A Popcorn Shop Mystery)
Release Date – January 3, 2017
Setting – Ohio
Kristi Abbott will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week!

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 132017
 


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.


Rest in Peach
(A Georgia Peach Mystery)

by Susan Furlong
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Georgia
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425278567
Kindle ASIN: B011IVWSEA
Shop Indie Bookstores

 

Rest in Peach by Susan Furlong – The annual Peach Cotillion, Cays Mill, Georgia’s biggest event, is fast approaching and Nola Mae Harper is just as excited as the rest of the town—even though she’s busy juggling both the cotillion dinner and the grand opening of her new shop, Peachy Keen. But she never expected that plans for the cotillion would end up in the pits because of the cutthroat competition between local debutantes.

When Vivien Crenshaw, insufferable church organist and despised mother of the town’s spoiled-rotten Peach Queen, is stabbed to death, the police turn to Nola’s friend Ginny as prime suspect. Apparently the two had fought over a one-of-a-kind cotillion gown. As Nola steps in to prove Ginny’s innocence she soon finds herself picking through a bushel of suspects, twice as many motives, and at the mercy of a killer all too keen on killing again.

INCLUDES RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am not from the south and have never attended a cotillion, but from everything I have seen and read I know the debs and especially their mothers can be pretty cutthroat. So when one of the mothers was found dead, stabbed in the throat with a sewing shears, I must say I wasn’t surprised. Beyond that this story was full of surprises.

Our victim, Vivien Crenshaw, mother of debutante Tara, gets into a spat with Nola’s friend Ginny over a dress. Seems the owner of the dress shop made a huge mistake and Ginny’s daughter, Emily and spoiled brat Tara ordered the same dress. Vivien feels the dress belongs to her daughter and that Emily can choose a new dress. Ginny is not backing down but Emily and Nola convince her to just let it go. The argument happened in front of a store full of people and Ginny did threaten Vivian so when she is found dead Ginny is targeted as the prime suspect faster than you can slice a peach. Nola has her new shop, Peachy Keen opening soon and has so much left to do but she has to set this half baked idea that her friend is a murderer to rest as quickly as possible even if it means putting herself in danger.

Susan Furlong has written another strong story. She has captured the craziness that surrounds a cotillion from the dresses to the dinners and the dances in such a fun way. Each chapter even starts with a debutante rule.

Debutante Rule #032: Like a magnolia tree, a debutante’s outward beauty reflects her strong inner  roots…and that’s why we never leave the house without makeup on. 

Debutante Rule #067: A debutante is like a tea bag. Ya never know how strong she is until she is sitting in hot water.

Main character, Nola Mae Harper, continues to grow and evolve. She has decided to stay in Cays Mill and help her family’s peach business grow by opening up her own little store to sell products made with peaches from their orchard. She already has an online presence and some local customers. She is hoping the tourists will become more than just one time buyers. While she does have a plan for the business her own personal life is not so smooth. I love some romantic drama.

The murder mystery was top shelf. So many suspects and a few secrets make this a mystery I could really sink my teeth into. I was right there to the end with Nola trying to figure out whodunit.

The entire book is full of Southern charm and laced with humor. It was a “perfectly peachy” read. I am excited for book #3, War and Peach, set for delivery February 7.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About Susan Furlong

During her writing career, Susan has worked as an academic writer, freelance writer and novelist. Currently she’s busy working on The Georgia Peach Mysteries. (Berkley Prime Crime/July 2015) She also writes under the pen name Lucy Arlington. To learn more about her writing, visit her website at www.susanfurlong.com


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.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End January 27, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Jan 102017
 

Welcome to New Release Tuesday – January 8-10, 2017!

These wonderful books are available this week!

A Fatal Twist (A Downward Dog Mystery) by Tracy Weber

Dead and Breakfast: A Merry Ghost Inn Mystery by Kate Kingsbury

She Stopped for Death: A Little Library Mystery by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli

The Elusive Elixir (An Accidental Alchemist Mystery) by Gigi Pandian

Dead Cold Brew (A Coffeehouse Mystery) by Cleo Coyle

A Perilous Undertaking (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery) by Deanna Raybourn

Want to see all the mysteries – cozy to thriller
being released in January.
Just click here.

Can’t afford to buy or pre-order all the books you want to at this time.
Bookmark this page in your browser so you can reference it at any time!

HAPPY READING EVERYONE!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 092017
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!
Here’s what I read and what
I have planned for this week. 

Books Completed


Curried Away: A Spice Shop Mystery
Release Date – December 27, 2016
Setting – Georgia
Gail will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week.
She will also be touring with Great Escapes Book Tours.

She Stopped for Death: A Little Library Mystery
Release Date – January 10, 2017
Setting – Michigan
For Review


Rest in Peach (A Georgia Peach Mystery)
Release Date – April 5, 2016
Setting – Georgia
My Flashback Friday Book

Books Scheduled

A Fatal Twist (A Downward Dog Mystery)
Release Date – January 8, 2017
Setting – Washington
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday.


Dead Cold Brew (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
Release Date – January 10, 2017
Setting – New York
Cleo will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week!

River City Dead (An Aggie Mundeen Mystery)
Release Date – January 17, 2017
Setting – Texas
The Great Escapes Tour stops her next Thursday.

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 072017
 

Assault and Beret (A Hat Shop Mystery)
by Jenn McKinlay
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
A Berkley Prime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425279595
Kindle ASIN: B01E4WAFF4
Shop Indie Bookstores

Assault and Beret by Jenn McKinlay – London milliner Vivian Tremont and her American cousin and partner, Scarlett Parker, tip their caps to their beloved shop on Portobello Road in Notting Hill and set off for Paris, where Viv can’t wait to teach a hat-making class. But she has another reason to travel to the City of Light: to find the man she impulsively eloped with years ago and have their marriage annulled.

William Graham is not only handsome and charming, but he also has a glamorous job as an insurance investigator who works with priceless pieces of art, most recently a small Renoir that has been discovered in a junk shop. But when both Will and the masterpiece suddenly disappear, it’s up to the ladies from London to follow the trail of clues. They’ll need to hold on to their chapeaux, however, because someone is a master in the art of deception…

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

Hat Shop Mysteries

Library Lover’s Mysteries

Cupcake Bakery Mysteries


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

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End January 21, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Jan 052017
 

I love it when Sofie drops by for a visit!
She is also starting her Great Escapes Book Tour today.
You can find the schedule in the sidebar. 

Angelic Banana Bread
by Sofie Ryan

 

In the Second Chance Cat mysteries you can always count on three things when it comes to those senior sleuths known as the Angels. One, they’re actually pretty good detectives. Two, they drink gallons of tea. And three, a cup of tea tastes better with a little something sweet on the side—at least according to Rose Jackson. Rose is often the source of those sweet treats, anything from oatmeal cookies to cinnamon coffeecake to her popular banana bread.

Ingredients:

1 cup of mashed bananas

⅓ cup butter or margarine

⅔ cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 ¾ cups flour

1 ¼ teaspoons cream of tartar

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions:

Grease a loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cream the butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Add alternately with the mashed bananas to the creamed ingredients. Mix well.

Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in the pan then remove and cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy!
~Sofie

Sounds Yummy!


Telling Tails (Second Chance Cat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Maine
Publisher: Berkley (January 3, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101991206
E-Book ASIN: B01E4WAHRA
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Synopsis

The New York Times bestselling author of A Whisker of Trouble returns as secondhand shop owner Sarah Grayson and her rescue cat, Elvis, get caught up in a case of she said, she said….

When Sarah Grayson opened a secondhand shop in the quaint town of North Harbor, Maine, she was expecting peace and quiet. Then she was adopted by a rescue cat named Elvis and a kooky trio of senior sleuths known as Charlotte’s Angels. Now she has nine lives worth of excitement…

Sarah’s friend and employee Rose is delivering a customer’s purchase when the quick errand becomes a deadly escapade. Rose arrives just in time to see the customer murdered by his wife, but before she can call the police, she is knocked out cold. When she wakes up, no one believes her, especially after the woman claims her husband is very much alive and has left her for someone else—and has a text message and empty bank account to prove it.

Despite her convincing story, Sarah is sure something is fishy—and it’s not Elvis’s kitty treats. Sarah, Elvis, and the Angels are determined to unravel this mysterious yarn, before the feral killer pounces again…

About The Author

Sofie Ryan/Sofie Kelly is the pseudonym of author and mixed-media artist, Darlene Ryan. Sofie/Darlene lives on the east coast with her husband and daughter. In her spare time she practices Wu style tai chi and likes to prowl around thrift stores. And she admits to having a small crush on Matt Lauer.

Webpage


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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Jan 042017
 

 

Welcome to the first Cozy Wednesday of 2017! 
I am excited to Welcome Diana Orgain
to Escape With Dollycas today!

 

Researching a Haunted Castle for Third Time’s a Crime.

By Diana Orgain

It began like most things begin today – with a google search. I was hunting for the perfect location to set my next mystery Third Time’s a Crime. The mystery is the third book in my reality TV series where I’d concocted an unsolved murder at a haunted castle. I needed an eerie location as a starting point for my story.

When I found the Preston Castle in Ione, California I knew I had it! From the Preston Castle website: “Experiences at the castle have included EVP, humming, whispers, touching, channeling, and seeing and recording orbs and apparitions. There have been no harmful events and no one has been hurt during these overnight events.”

You see this is no ordinary castle – it was the home of Preston School of Industry, one of the oldest and best-know reform schools in the United States. It is said to have been the sight of many mysterious tragic episodes, violent encounters and even unsolved murders. The accounts of visitors are that the castle is rife with ghost sightings. The fact that the castle sponsors overnight ghost tours seemed like just the ticket for my research.

I dialed my dear friend and paranormal mystery author, Kirsten Weiss.

“Want to go on a haunted castle flashlight tour with me?” I asked.

Kirsten laughed a response.

“Why are you laughing?” I asked, fearful that my request was too over the edge even for a paranormal mystery author.

“I can’t believe how lucky I am to be invited on a haunted castle tour,” Kirsten said. After I explained the details to her, Kirsten added. “Can we stop at a winery I like in Lodi?”

Now I couldn’t believe my luck. We were going to explore a historic site in California and include wine tasting?

Awesome.

We arrived at The Preston Castle as the sun was setting. It was wintertime and the light didn’t hover for very long. Before we knew it, our view of the Castle turned from breathtaking to downright eerie. The docent handed us flashlights and ushered into the vast foyer. The castle is 46,000 square feet, has 77 rooms and no fewer than 43 fireplaces and 257 windows!

We were cold beyond belief; every window in the place was broken, cracked or gone. We were only allowed to tour the first few floors and the basement. The third and fourth floor were closed due to the condition of the roof (I believe there’s a hole in it and those floors are beyond repair).

The first stop on the tour was the “prayer” room. It was set up like a small chapel, but instead of praying we watched an intro video that included the history of the construction of the castle and famous inmates (among them, my favorite country singer of all time Merle Haggard!)

Most of the public rooms on the main floor – like the dining room and hall – were enormous, while the private bedrooms on the second floor were tiny. Of note, on the second floor one side of the hallway had rooms with a sink, while the other side had rooms with a fireplace.

The dining room fascinated me. “Where the kitchen?” I asked the docent.

“Downstairs,” she told me. “It’s where they found the body of the head housekeeper, Anna Corban.”

A chill danced across my spine. Poor Anna.

“Can we see the kitchen?” I asked.

The docent took us down a narrow staircase and showed a small cupboard where Anna’s body had been hidden. The cupboard was so small it seemed impossible that anyone would fit in it.

It turned out the kitchen was small too. All the food was prepared there and then transported through a dumbwaiter up to the dining room.

The cupboard, along with the kitchen and especially the dumbwaiter sparked an idea for me, and shortly after Third Time’s a Crime was written! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

~Diana

Plus an Excerpt –

One

The raven swept down upon us in a terrifying plunge, talons outstretched, screeching at an ear-shattering pitch. Instinctively, I jumped out of the way and reached for my gun, only remembering too late that I hadn’t carried one in eighteen months, since I’d been let go from the San Francisco Police Department.

The bird’s massive wings flapped so close to me that the breeze lifted my hair and I fought the urge to strike out at it. Suddenly, the bird arched up and flew to the top point of the castle, perching itself overhead.

The woman next to me gasped. “A raven? That’s a bad omen.”

Cheryl Dennison, our executive producer, yelled, “Did you all catch that?”

“I got it,” one of the cameramen shouted excitedly. “I got a great shot.”

“Good,” Cheryl said, a self-satisfied smile playing on her face. “We’ll want to use that in the promos.”

“Cheryl probably shipped that bird in from Hollywood,” I said under my breath to the woman next to me. “Just to capture that shot.”

The woman, a former FBI profiler, made a face. As if she disapproved of Hollywood histrionics.

We were on location at the Golden Castle, said to be haunted and the scene of an unsolved murder. During its heyday, it’d doubled as a reform school. It stood nestled on the hill overlooking the charming old mining town of Golden, California. But the castle was far from charming. It was so large it blotted out the sun and the windows were dark and murky. The exterior bricks had been built in San Quentin Prison and they projected a feeling of doom and gloom. Overall, the castle had such an ominous presence that it screamed “horror film,” or in our case, “bad reality TV.”

My best friend and the assistant producer, Becca, had begged me for weeks to accept the casting offer. She knew I wasn’t too keen on the paranormal aspect of the show. I wasn’t exactly a “believer” but now, despite myself, looking at the castle sent a shiver up my spine. I squeezed Scott’s hand as we hiked up the gravel driveway toward it.

“All right!” Scott said, barely able to keep the excitement out of his voice. “It’s downright menacing.”

I giggled. I knew that, being a horror writer, this haunted castle was right up his alley.

“Remind me again why I’m doing this?” I asked.

“To solve the crime,” he said.

“The fact that this is my third stint on reality TV is the crime,” I said.

Scott flashed me his winning smile, reminding me again why I always felt so warm and happy in his presence.

We’d met and fallen in love on the first show, and won the cash prize to boot. However, the money hadn’t stretched as far as we’d hoped and we’d signed up for the whole rodeo again. But the second time, I hadn’t won the money, and after starring on reality TV, my chances of ever landing a job again as a police officer were between slim and none.

I figured I better take the opportunity to solve a case while I could. Who knew, maybe I’d be able to salvage a shred of my reputation.

Besides us, the famous forensic archaeologist from the Hunting Bones reality show chuckled. “You know you love it,” he said.

I turned to him. “Love what? Solving a crime?”

He glanced over at Scott and was seemingly deciding if he should say what was really on his mind. When he noticed that Scott was mesmerized by the castle looming over us, he said, “The limelight.”

“You don’t seem to mind it yourself,” I said, trying my best not to bristle.

He was tall with piercing blue eyes and a confidence that made him handsome. He had the type of square jaw and prominent nose that was extremely photogenic. I knew without a doubt his looks were the reason that Hunting Bones had been such a smashing success.

“All right, listen up, folks,” Cheryl said. “As you know, we need to get some final images for the intro montage, so please line up over here where the light is best and let’s get some usable footage before we get on to filming the first episode.”

A rumble of excitement worked its way through the cast and crew. We were quite a crowd. On location, there were ten of us contestants, the show’s host, Harris Carlson, several cameramen, lighting techs, sound techs, the hair and makeup folks, along with the production team.

The cast took turns lining up against the awful red bricks; preening, primping, and pirouetting on Cheryl’s request.

We were five teams of two players. Scott and I made up one team. Dr. Arch, the forensic archaeologist, and his sometimes cohost, the FBI profiler Karen Kenley, made up the second team. There was a historian from an Ivy League college paired with her brother, a priest. Then a professed ghost hunter partnered with a psychic. And finally two young women, the castle docent and the unsolved murder victim’s great niece.

Our mission was to solve the murder of Jane Reiner. According to the limited information we’d been given, the historical accounts about Jane’s murder all differed. Some said she’d been hung in the kitchen, other accounts claimed she’d been stabbed in the basement and still others said she’d been shot in the supply room.

All accounts seemed to believe that Jane haunted the castle and would continue to do so until her murder could be solved. Rumor had it that she appeared from time to time to visitors either hanging in the kitchen or bleeding in the basement or supply rooms.

None of the information squared, so in Cheryl’s infinite wisdom, she’d pitched to a Hollywood Studio the idea that a team of misfits might be able to solve the historic murder on national television.

Needless to say, it was such a bad idea that Hollywood loved it.

Once inside the castle, the creep factor only escalated. The inside of the building was a like a maze with steps and hallways spinning in every direction, vertically and horizontally. The stairs were worn and creaked as the cast and crew climbed them to what was known as the prayer room.

A strange smell filled the room, like sulfur mixed with stale kerosene that someone had attempted to mask with a flowery perfume.

“Whoa! Do you smell that?” the psychic asked. “It’s a presence! Most certainly a presence!”

The man claiming to be a psychic was the least likely person I would have expected. I figured Cheryl would have a cast a pretty blond young lady, but instead the man before us was as large as a lumberjack complete with a burly red beard. I’d liked him immediately, even though, of course, I couldn’t believe a word he uttered.

I wrinkled my nose. “I think the room’s probably been closed up a long time.”

“No, no,” the docent disagreed. She worked at the Golden Castle as one of the tour guides. “We air it out every day, but the smell always returns.”

Fingers tickled the back of my neck and I involuntarily jumped as Scott leaned in close to me, his lips touching my ear. “Oooh,” he whispered. “Creeeeeppppy.”

“I thought you were here to protect me, not freak me out,” I said.

He pressed his forehead to mine, looking into my eyes. “You certainly don’t need my protection, but you have it babe, always.”

As Scott leaned in to kiss me, Cheryl’s screechy voice interrupted our romantic moment. “People! Listen up. The team is going to need a few minutes here to set up the cameras, lights, and mikes. We’ll kick off the show here. Harris will give the introduction. The camera will pan on each of you as Harris introduces you. Then we’ll go ahead and start the castle tour for the viewers. You’ll all need to make sure your hair and makeup are set. Please don’t wander off and get lost.”

Scott rubbed at his shaved head. “I’d better see to getting my hair fixed.”

“It is kind of messy,” I joked. Suddenly, I had the strange sensation of being watched. Which one would think I’d be used to after two tours of reality TV, nevertheless I still found the feeling mildly disconcerting. I turned to find Dr. Arch staring at Scott and me.

“You two don’t seem to be taking this very seriously,” he said.

Scott hid his amusement. “You believe in all the hocus-pocus going on here, doctor? Spirits trapped in the in between.”

The priest, who’d been meditating in front of a candle, snapped to attention. “Oh, I do think there is evil here. With much prayer, we can send the spirits on.”

Cheryl strode between us. “Now, now, father. We had this discussion, didn’t we? Save it for the cameras.” The priest shook his head and seemed ready to argue, but Cheryl was already on to the next group, calling out, “Five minutes, people. Ready in five.”

“Anyway, what I meant was,” Dr. Arch continued, “is that you have to take this one seriously. It’s viewer determined, you know. If you don’t get the votes, you’ll be sent packing. Even though I’m betting against myself here for a moment, I think you two probably have the best chance of solving the mystery.”

Dr. Arch’s partner, Karen Kenley, sidled up to him. “That’s some vote of confidence, Arch.”

The doctor looked chagrinned. “I didn’t mean anything against you, honey.”

Karen Kenley, the FBI profiler, looked like the type of woman who never accepted any excuse, either from a man or much less from a woman. Her straight black hair hung like a curtain around her face. She had the type of sharp features that let you know right away if you messed with her, you’d get cut.

Cheryl clapped her hands again. “Okay, people,” she shouted. “Places please. Cast, line up here.” She indicated a row of blue painter’s tape the crew had laid down for us. “Harris, you’ll stand here—” A large thump against one of the windows startled Cheryl. She put a hand over her heart. “What was that?”

“A bird, I think,” Scott said. He rushed to the window, but the glass was so hazy it was impossible to see through.

The lumberjack psychic next to me moaned and pressed his fingers to his temple.

His partner, the ghost hunter, fiddled with a device strapped to his belt and asked, “Can we go outside and take a look? I have to investigate, my EMF is going crazy.”

“What’s that?” Scott asked.

“It measures fluctuations in the electromagnetic fields,” he said.

Cheryl collected herself. “Let’s not get distracted here, folks. We have to start filming.” She put on a headset and made a beeline to the back of the set and motioned for cameras to start rolling.

Harris took center stage and said directly into the camera, “Welcome, America, to Cold Case in the Castle!” Harris’s voice boomed in his made-for-TV persona. “We’re coming to you from Golden, California, where the town has had a dark and tragic unsolved mystery haunting them since 1960. You see, back in the early 1900s this castle was a reform school, a home for the state’s most delinquent wards. However good-intentioned the state may have been in wishing to rehabilitate the wards, horrors came to pass: abuses, escape attempts, violent encounters, inhumane punishments, and, yes, ladies and gentlemen, even murder.”

Harris gave a dramatic pause, then continued. “There were five murders that took place on these grounds. All were solved.” Harris held up his index finger and gave a flourish as he said, “Except for one.”

“The disturbing and brutal murder of Jane Reiner. Jane had been an innocent and lovely youth, working as a librarian in training, when she mysteriously disappeared. Her body was later discovered heinously murdered on the premises of the reform school.”

The cast made the appropriate gasps and tsking sounds.

Harris launched into a brief recap of the facts we’d been given, then said, “And that’s where you, dear viewer, come in.” Harris continued, “Join us, as we travel back in time and solve Jane’s murder. We’ve assembled a cast that we believe can help us do just that.”

One by one, he motioned toward us and introduced the cast. When he finally landed on the last contestant, the lumberjack psychic suddenly moaned as if in pain and fell to his knees. He screamed out, “Oh, no!”

“Oh, brother,” I mumbled to Scott, but before he could respond there was a deafening and repetitive pounding on the windows. We all jumped and turned toward them only to see a massive onslaught of small black birds flying directly into the glass.

Karen and Dr. Arch gasped, the ghost hunter rushed toward the glass with his EMF device in hand and the historian from Harvard fainted.

A loud splintering sound echoed through the room as the ancient glass shattered against the assault. Then Cheryl called in a cheerful voice, “Cut!”

 

Third Time’s a Crime (A Love or Money Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (January 3, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425271704
Kindle – ASIN: B01E4WAFHW

 

 

POOL YOUR RESOURCES…

After two hit reality TV shows brought ex-detective Georgia Thornton into America’s living rooms, audiences can’t get enough of her quest for love and justice. Now producers have come up with an all-new show set in a haunted castle in Golden, California. Georgia and nine other contestants will need to solve the mystery of a young woman who disappeared at the castle in 1960.

Except there’s one rather substantial problem waiting for everyone when they arrive: a groundskeeper is found drowned at the bottom of the castle’s empty pool. Now Georgia and the other contestants will need to work together, because there’s a different sort of game afoot—and it’s not one they can afford to lose…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Georgia and Scott are appearing on their 3rd reality show, Cold Case in the Castle, where the task is to solve an old murder in a creepy, old, dilapidated castle. Each day a couple is eliminated and hopefully at the end the winning couple solves the cold case. Of course the producers never imagined some new murders would take over the show and place the contestants in danger. Georgia finds herself trying to solve them all.

Fans of realty shows will be delighted with this series.  In the first book, A First Date with Death, it was like The Bachelorette. The second, A Second Chance at Murder, was like The Amazing Race, this time it is like the short lived series, Whodunnit?, with a little bit of Ghost Hunters thrown in.

Diana Orgain has given cozy readers another fun story. At first I was a little tentative about the setting but this mansion/castle with its interesting and at times dangerous floors, rooms, and hiding spaces turned out to be a perfect place. The grounds also added some interesting areas.

She has brought back Becca, Cheryl, Kyle, and Georgia’s father, Gordon, and introduced a variety of new characters in the cast and crew. We also meet the head of the historical society who is not happy to have all these people traipsing around “her” property. Each person’s personality comes through clearly and realistically.

In addition to the murder mysteries to solve, Scott and Georgia are having a bit of trouble in their relationship, Becca meets someone new, and Cheryl and Gordon are still an item.

I really enjoy the way Ms. Orgain writes. All these books in this series have a brisk pace and there is always something happening. This one was a little bit shorter but readers are not shortchanged. She has packed these pages full. She takes us behind the scenes of reality television and beyond in a refreshing way.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author
Diana Orgain is the author of the Maternal Instincts Mysteries and coauthor of Gilt Trip with Laura Childs in the New York Times bestselling Scrapbooking Mysteries. She holds a B.A and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University with a minor in acting. Diana has acted professionally both on stage and in national commercials. She’s written several plays, which were produced at San Francisco State University, GreenHouse Productions, and PlayGround. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and three children. Visit her atwww.dianaorgain.com.

 

GIVEAWAY

 

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry. 

Leave a comment for Diana 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 January 18, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

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