Feb 032016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Sheila Connolly is back for a visit!  Let’s give her a warm welcome! 

sheila connolly

Hi Everyone, and thank you Lori for hosting me today.

When I started writing about murders in Ireland, everybody told me I had to meet Sergeant Tony. Sergeant Tony is a garda (that’s policeman in Irish, and the national police force is An Garda Síochána, or The Guardian of the Peace). It wasn’t easy to track him down, because the local garda station is small and its officers are often busy, but I kept trying. And I’m very glad I did.

a turn for the badYou see, there’s not a lot of crime in Ireland. Well, maybe in Dublin or Cork or Limerick, but get outside of the cities it’s a very peaceful place. This is both good and bad for me, since I’m trying to write about crimes in Ireland—not Ireland in general, but in one of the safest parts of Ireland, West Cork. There aren’t a lot of murders there (I’ve read the statistics), and I feel guilty about increasing the murder rate by a couple of hundred percent by now, in my books (no, I haven’t killed anyone personally). But that’s why it was important to talk to someone who knows, so I could get the details right.

Sergeant Tony was a gift from the heavens (or if there’s a patron saint of writers, from him or her). He’s had postings all over Ireland, including Northern Ireland, but he’s come back to Cork, where his wife’s family came from. Apart from police procedures, this is an important point: in Ireland, family matters.

He has told me lots of great stories, which I’m going to hoard until I can use some of them in a book. In any case, it’s great to have someone who can answer my stupid questions like, “What time do pubs really close?” Anyone can look up the official times online these days, but what’s the reality? Or, “How do you arrest someone?” In fact, it has to go through the Dublin office, to get a warrant. And more recently, I’ve asked him, “How do you reopen a closed case, or one that’s been dormant for a long time?” That’s for the next book.

A Turn for the Bad grew out of one of the stories Sergeant Tony told me. He was referring to a case from several years ago (long since solved), but I discovered other related cases when I looked it up. It involves smuggling, a time-honored tradition in an area with a lot of coves and beaches that nobody is watching. But in the modern world, it’s hard to turn a blind eye when there are millions of euros worth of illegal drugs arriving on Ireland’s shores (on their way to Europe, not for local consumption!). Still, people might look the other way—until one of their own gets entangled, through no fault of his own.

And that’s where Maura Donovan comes in, helping to put the pieces together to make a daring rescue, with the help of some unlikely friends. Because that’s what people do in Ireland.

~Sheila

Thank you Sheila for visiting today. I hope you come back soon! 

a turn for the badA Turn for the Bad:
A County Cork Mystery

4th in Serie
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Ireland
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (February 2, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Daniel Craig
Cover Design by Judith Lagerman
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425273425
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

The New York Times bestselling author of An Early Wake returns to Ireland where Sullivan’s Pub owner Maura Donovan gets mixed up with smugglers.

After calling Ireland home for six months, Boston expat Maura Donovan still has a lot to learn about Irish ways—and Sullivan’s Pub is her classroom. Maura didn’t only inherit a business, she inherited a tight-knit community. And when a tragedy strikes, it’s the talk of the pub. A local farmer, out for a stroll on the beach with his young son, has mysteriously disappeared. Did he drown? Kill himself? The child can say only that he saw a boat.

Everyone from the local gardai to the Coast Guard is scouring the Cork coast, but when a body is finally brought ashore, it’s the wrong man. An accidental drowning or something more sinister? Trusting the words of the boy and listening to the suspicions of her employee Mick that the missing farmer might have run afoul of smugglers, Maura decides to investigate the deserted coves and isolated inlets for herself. But this time she may be getting in over her head…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I couldn’t wait to return to Ireland and Sullivan’s Pub. In this 4th book, Maura just blooms. People are coming to the pub to await news about a local farmer that has gone missing. He was walking on the beach with his 4 year old son when he disappeared. All the little boy can offer is that he saw a boat. The sea has taken many men, did it take this man too?

As the days go by and she listens to the people around her, including the farmer’s brother, she starts to realize what may have happened. She decides to do a bit of investigating to see if what she is thinking could have happened, and if it did, is there any way to save the man and bring him back from his family.

Like An Early Wake, this story has a slow build to draw us in and lets us get to know these very appealing characters. Gillian who usually summers in the area is back due do some upheaval in her life and she moves in with Maura and they become very close. They are also great sounding boards for each other. Maura meets several new people too and learns all about true Irish Whiskey. It is these new people that help her test her theory of what happened to the farmer. There is just a bit of romance too. Both Maura and Gillian are trying to sort out their hearts.

About midway through the book the suspense ratchets up as a plan starts to come together. At this point the book became glued to my hands and the pages turned much faster.  Again we see that crime can be anywhere, even in County Cork. The area around Leap seems to be a prime area for an unsavory time-honored tradition and we find out about it right along with Maura.

This is my favorite book is the series so far. I loved the suspense and the way the author set the groundwork. I loved the humor as Maura learns more about the area, the pub and even her home. I especially enjoy the community feel of Sullivan’s Pub, the way people gather in good times and when things taken A Turn For The Bad. This was an absolutely wonderful read. I want to book my next escape to Ireland today!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Sheila is the author of many fantastic reads. She not only writes County Cork Mysteries, but the Orchard Mysteries and the Museum Mysteries too. Visit Sheila’s webpage to find out more about her and her books.

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.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Miranda 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 February 17, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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 022016
 

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY 2014

Welcome to New Release Tuesday!

January went by so fast,
I can’t believe it is February already!

I am so excited about all the new books!

These wonderful books are available today
wherever fine books are sold.
Click on the book covers below to order from Amazon.com


For Cheddar or Worse: A Cheese Shop Mystery
We had a bit of a heart start.
Avery was here last week for Cozy Wednesday!
goodreads-badge-add-plus


A Turn for the Bad: A County Cork Mystery
Sheila will be here for Cozy Wednesday tomorrow!
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

 



The Flood Girls
I will be reviewing this one on Thursday!
goodreads-badge-add-plus



Darned if You Do: A Needlecraft Mystery
Monica will be visiting on Saturday.
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

 



A Disguise to Die For: A Costume Shop Mystery
Diane will be her for Cozy Wednesday on February 10!
goodreads-badge-add-plus


Scene of the Brine: Pickled and Preserved Mystery
Mary Ellen will be my Special Guest on February 16!
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

 

A Familiar Tail: A Witch’s Cat Mystery
Delia will be my guest on February 17 for Cozy Wednesday!
goodreads-badge-add-plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Books Also Being Released Today

Coming on February 8


Coming February 23

Another month of awesome reading ahead!
HAPPY READING EVERYONE!!

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Note: I am an Amazon Associate. If you click on most book covers and links on the blog and make a purchase I will receive a small commission on that purchase. These commissions are used to purchase prizes that I then giveaway here.

Feb 012016
 

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Hosted by Book Date

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

Happy Monday Everyone!! 

I spent the weekend working on my daughters’ taxes, still have to do my sons’. I haven’t received a W-2 for Kris yet so that means some phone calls. Mr. Dollycas does our return, only fair since I do the other four. Last year was the first year Kris did his own taxes, telling me “I am almost 30 year’s old, I should be able to do this.” I hate that is was also last year doing his taxes. So many firsts, so many lasts. It has been 10 1/2 months since he died and I still wait for him to call or come walking through the door. I have come to understand he will never be out of my thoughts. This is my new normal. There are less tears every day, but missing him will be a constant part of my life until I take my last breath.

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

FINISHED

A Turn for the Bad: A County Cork Mystery

Release Date – February 2, 2016
Sheila will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week!
goodreads-badge-add-plus

The Flood Girls

Release Date – February 2, 2016
Review will be up Thursday! 
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Toured to Death (An Amy’s Travel Mystery)

My Flashback Friday Read for this week! 
Release Date January 27, 2015
goodreads-badge-add-plus

CURRENTLY READING

Death & the Brewmaster’s Widow (An Auction Block Mystery)

Release Date – February 8, 2016
Loretta Ross is touring her book with Great Escapes February 8 – 17.
goodreads-badge-add-plus

ON DECK THIS WEEK

A Disguise to Die For: A Costume Shop Mystery

Release Date – February 2, 2016
Diane will be my guest nest week for Cozy Wednesday.
She is also touring with Great Escapes February 2 – 11.
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Drawing Blood (A Sketch in Crime Mystery)

Release Date – February 8, 2016
For Review
Deirdre is touring with Great Escapes February 8 -18.

escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 302016
 

DARLING DAHLIA TEXAS STAR

With all the snow and cold outside this book looked to me like A Perfect Escape! 

The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star
Series: Darling Dahlias (Book 4)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley (September 3, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-0425260586
goodreads-badge-add-plus

National bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert returns to the small town of Darling, Alabama, in the 1930s—where the Darling Dahlias, the colorful ladies of a garden club, are anything but shrinking violets when it comes to rooting out criminals…

The Texas Star herself—Miss Lily Dare, the “fastest woman in the world”—is bringing her Dare Devils Flying Circus to Darling. Unfortunately, she’s also bringing a whole lot of trouble. As the Dahlias prepare for the annual Watermelon Festival—where they will present the famous female aviatrix with her own Texas Star hibiscus—rumors are flying.

Dahlias president Liz Lacy learns from newspaperman Charlie Dickens that Miss Dare has been threatened and her plane sabotaged. Apparently the bold and beautiful barnstormer has made plenty of enemies. And is it possible she may even be involved with the husband of one of Darling’s local ladies?

And speaking of wings, the new cook at Myra May’s Darling Diner can fry a chicken and whip up a sweet potato meringue pie like nobody’s business. But why is she keeping her past such a mystery?

As the Texas Star barnstorms into town, Liz and Verna Tidwell offer to help bring down a saboteur who may be propelled by revenge. Before it’s all over, there will be plenty of black eyes and dark secrets revealed…

Includes Southern-Style Depression-Era Recipes!

Find out about Susan Wittig Albert and all her book on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 1 Hardcover 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.

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 13, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 282016
 

special guest blue

I am absolutely delighted to welcome Jacklyn Brady to Escape With Dollycas today!

Jacklyn Brady 01

Thanks so much for inviting me to visit your blog today. I’m thrilled to be here.

One of the most frequent questions I get as a writer is where ideas for a book come from. There’s no one answer, of course. Sometimes an idea comes in a flash. I might see a character in my imagination or overhear a snippet of conversation, and my creative muse is off and running. Those times are great, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love when that happens.

cakes of monte cristoThere are other times, however, when the idea is more elusive, the thread of a plot harder to find, the characters more difficult to discover. Most writers like to talk about those flash-of-inspiration moments because they’re interesting and exciting. I think readers like to hear about them, too. I know I do. But I’m afraid that finding the plot and the characters for The Cakes of Monte Cristo wasn’t one of those lovely experiences.

I had the idea for signing Rita up to cater the Belle Lune Ball while writing Rebel Without a Cake. It seemed like a great idea, a chance for Rita and the crew to stretch and grow. Besides, the title for The Cakes of Monte Cristo had come to me in a flash, and I loved it. But when I sat down to write the book, that’s all I had–an obligation for Rita established in the previous novel and a title I adored. Nothing else.

Milk Explosion PubDomainI’d already created the Monte Cristo Hotel in Rebel so that locked me into holding the Belle Lune Ball there, but I didn’t worry. I was so excited about the title, I expected the ideas to pour forth like … well, like something wonderful and fluid.

Dried Mud Pub DomainInstead, the ideas were hidden under layers of thick, dried mud.

It took a while and a lot of brainstorming with my editor at the time to excavate the plot and find the treasure that had been hidden at Zydeco Cakes this whole time. I think we were both as surprised to find it as Rita is. It took a while longer to discover the characters. Rita hired no less than six assistants to fill in for Edie while she’s on maternity leave before Estelle finally suggested her niece, Zoey. But once Zoey showed up, I knew we had our gal.

As difficult as the story was to chip out of the rock, I grew to love it and the characters involved as I wrote. Every day brought something new and unexpected. Every conversation between Rita and her friends, family and co-workers was a revelation. Characters did and said things I wasn’t expecting, and I had no idea how the book was going to end until Rita and I got there together.

I don’t know about other writers, but for me, a hard-won book earns a very special place in my heart. The Cakes of Monte Cristo is going on that shelf, for sure. To make it even more special, the art department at Berkley Prime Crime did a terrific job with the cover. I love the dress cakes!

Thanks so much for having me. I hope you and your readers enjoy the book.

~Jacklyn

Thank you so much for visiting us today Jacklyn! 

cakes of monte cristoThe Cakes of Monte Cristo:
A Piece of Cake Mystery

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Louisiana
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by Penguin Random House, LLC.
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425258286
E-Book ASIN: B01071RFUY
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

In the fresh new Piece of Cake Mystery from the national bestselling author of Rebel Without a Cake, a pastry chef becomes embroiled in a suspicious death as a mysterious curse casts a pall over an annual New Orleans ball.

Rita Lucero, co-owner of New Orleans’s Zydeco Cakes, is thrilled to be catering an annual ball held at the Monte Cristo Hotel. Designing the high-end desserts is her priority—until she stumbles upon a mystery long-buried at her shop. It’s an ornate ruby necklace, hidden underneath her staircase and rumored to be cursed.

After the gem’s appraiser suddenly drops dead and Rita herself is targeted by a menacing stranger, she’s no longer laughing at local superstition. Now with five cakes on order and an investigation into the necklace’s past revealing layers of unsettling clues, Rita has reason to keep looking over her shoulder while she’s frosting. Because any way you slice it, the next victim of the legendary curse could be her.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so glad we finally return to New Orleans and Zydeco Cakes. The author set us up in Rebel Without A Cake for The Cakes of Monte Cristo and Rita and her staff are taking on their biggest job ever, the Belle Lune Ball.  They needed to bake 5 gorgeous dress form cakes complete with the accessories and they are catering the affair too. When the Monte Cristo Hotel ballroom is flooded just days before the event Rita has to settle for a smaller venue, but at least it is still in the same hotel. As if she doesn’t have enough on her plate, Zydeco is short staffed because Edie is out on maternity leave and the temps to replace her have been nightmares. Rita finally hires Estelle’s niece, Zoey. Rita vows to make it work even after a freak accident that destroys part of the beautiful old home that houses the business. Especially when a very interesting discovery is made. A discovery that leaves one woman dead and Rita extra cautious as she tries to piece together all the clues before she gets herself frosted.

I love this series! These characters are some of the best ones around. They work together from early morning until sometimes late at night. They go out for drinks together and have fun. They are as close as family and genuinely care about each other. Like family they have their little spats too. They also bake the most amazing cakes! The cover is nice but the picture I have in my head from the descriptions is nothing like on the cover. Rita makes so many peacock like feathers out of fondant and paints them all to look so real. The image is crystal clear in my mind along with all the other beautiful dress creations that were made. Thank you Jacklyn for the amazing imagery brought forth from your words.

The author not only paints us beautiful pictures with her words, she crafts quite a plot as well. She gives us plenty of twists, surprises, and a few tense moments before we reach the end. She introduces some new characters and one quickly got on Rita’s nerves and mine too, well frankly everyone around her. No, she wasn’t killed but I would not have been surprised. There is always the next book. :)

I do hope there is a next book, or two or three and we don’t have to wait too long for a return. Each of these characters “slice” of life has been delightful. If you haven’t taken a bite out of this series yet, start at the beginning and enjoy! You can thank me later.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Jacklyn Brady lives on the Gulf Coast and writes the Piece of Cake Mystery series which is set in New Orleans and features cake artist and trained pastry chef, Rita Lucero. The Cakes of Monte Cristo, 6th in the Piece of Cake Mystery Series, is available at your favorite bookseller now!

Jacklyn loves to hear from readers. Connect with her on the web: Website   – Facebook   – Twitter       

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin 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.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Jacklyn 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 February 11, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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 272016
 
cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am always excited when Avery Aames stops by for a visit!

Daryl Wood Gerber 0218 100dpi

I adore Mac ‘n Cheese
By Avery Aames aka Daryl Wood Gerber

My author pal Krista Davis tells me that everything tastes better with bacon. I believe her. I believe everything Krista says.

When I’m writing, I need mental support. And mac ‘n cheese is, quite simply, comfort food to the MAX. Each bite packs a punch. Each bite melts in your mouth. Add bacon and wow!

By the way, according to Wikipedia, which happens to be my go-to source for absolutely truthful information (LOL), I discovered the following.

Did you know that pasta and cheese casseroles have been recorded in cookbooks as early as the Liber de Coquina (which is one of the oldest medieval cookbooks)? Also, a pasta and cheese casserole known as makerouns was recorded in an English cookbook in the 14th century. The casserole was made with hand-cut pasta and sandwiched between a mixture of melted butter and cheese. Oh, yum!!! AND it was considered an upper class meal in Italy until around the 18th century.

So there. Raise a pinky and eat mac and cheese!

What’s your favorite guilty-pleasure food?

Mac & Bacon & Cheddar Cheese
(Gluten-free or regular)

4Ingredients:

2 cups dried macaroni, cooked to tender (about 4-5 cups cooked) (gluten-free or regular macaroni – I like the Bionatura brand of gluten-free elbow pasta)
4 tablespoons butter [1/2 cube]
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons rice or potato flour (for regular, you may use regular white flour)
1 cup milk
1 cup grated cheese (equal parts white and orange Cheddar)
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and broken into bites
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
Paprika (for garnish)

Directions:

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside. This may be made a day ahead. NOTE: Do not forget to drain and set aside. You do not want the pasta to be “wet.”

In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic salt & pepper and cook about 2 minutes. Add flour (gluten-free, if necessary) and stir. Cook 1 minute more, letting boil. It will thicken into a roux. Stir constantly.

Add milk, stir and let boil to thicken. About 1 minute.

Remove from heat and add white and orange Cheddars. Add bacon. Stir.

Pour sauce over drained macaroni. Toss well. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Dash with paprika.

cheddar or worse
For Cheddar or Worse:
A Cheese Shop Mystery

7th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Ohio
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley (February 2, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0425273326
E-Book ASIN: B00X593CK8
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

In the new Cheese Shop Mystery from the Agatha Award-winning author of As Gouda as Dead, an extra-sharp tongued cheese critic is cut down during a summer cheese festival.

It’s time for the annual Cheese Festival in Providence, Ohio, and Charlotte Bessette’s cheese shop is packed with homemade specialties. Meanwhile, her friend Erin is prepping her dairy farm and inn for cheese makers, marketers, journalists, and one surprise guest—Lara Berry, pretentious cheese whiz, pompous bestselling author, and pungent critic whose extra sharp tongue can crumble a reputation.

Even though any love for Lara by her friends curdled long ago, Charlotte is surprised when the foodie is smothered to death in her room at Erin’s inn. Accusations start flying, but the one laying blame on Erin strikes Charlotte as a crock. Now, to clear her friend’s name, Charlotte has to sift through Lara’s ex-lovers, former business partners, and unforgiving enemies to find a killer before Lara’s past casts a tainted pall on the festival’s future.

RECIPES INCLUDED

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Say Cheese for one last time. Seriously, I had tears in my eyes when I learned that this would be our last visit to Fromagerie Bessette. I absolutely love these characters and I will miss them dearly. Avery Aames pulls out all the stops and gives us a fabulous mystery to bring the series to a close.

Providence, Ohio is hosting their annual cheese festival. Food, music, plays and a “brain trust” for cheese makers, distributors, and journalists. The “brain trust” is being held at the Emerald Pastures Farm owned by Erin Emerald. She also has an inn where several of the participants are staying. One special surprise guest has been added to the group, Lara Berry, best selling author and food critic. She is not well liked by those who know her, her reviews have done damage throughout the industry. When she is found murdered there is no shortage of suspects but the prime one is Charlotte’s friend, Erin Emerald. Charlotte butts right into the investigation to prove her friend’s innocence.

All our favorite characters are back.  Charlotte and Jordan are settling in to their married life and doing their best to mesh their very busy schedules. Charlotte’s grandmother, the mayor, is involved in almost every aspect of the festival. Her grandfather is helping out at the cheese shop while Charlotte attends the brain trust with her new hubby. Matthew and Meredith are expecting and she has been put on complete bed rest.  Not an easy task for an active woman with 2 young girls in the house or the man trying to keep everything as normal as possible. Delilah and the police chief, Urso, have rekindled their relationship.  And then we have all the crazy characters in town for the festival and the brain trust.

A fantastic plot full of surprises carries these characters through the pages. Interspersed between the main plots and subplots there is plenty of cheese, both tasting and food created with cheese. You will find yourself drooling. I found myself so entranced by the story I felt like I was searching out clues along with Charlotte and could almost taste the delectable treats sprinkled throughout the entire story.

I didn’t want the story to end. I slowed down my reading and tried to savor each and every interaction and step the characters took.  I knew when I reached the final page there would be no more. No more Charlotte and Rebecca working together at the shop, no more Matthew picking out the perfect wine, no more Pépère sneaking pieces of cheese, no more Grand-mère and her magnificent plans for the city or the playhouse, no more Charlotte trying to get Urso to tell her things he shouldn’t, no more cheese and those amazing recipes, no more of so many things I am going to miss. I am greedy. I wanted more! The only good thing is that I will still be able to read what Avery Aames writes because she does have another series written as herself, Daryl Wood Gerber. The Cookbook Nook Mysteries are fun and fabulous too! So if like me and are saying good-bye to Charlotte and her family and friends, I hope you are saying hello to Jenna and everyone in Crystal Cove. Of course, if both series are new to you I highly recommend them all.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Avery Aames is the Agatha Award–winning author of The Long Quiche Goodbye and six other titles in the Cheese Shop Mystery series. As Daryl Wood Gerber, she is the nationally bestselling author of  the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, including Fudging the Books, Stirring the Plot, Inherit the Word, and Final Sentence. Like her protagonist, Avery is an admitted foodie. Prior to writing, Avery (aka Daryl) acted on stage and television, including on Murder, She Wrote. Don’t forget to sign up for her fan club so you can be entered in all her contests! You’ll find that fan club on her website! Visit her website at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Author Links

Blog: www.mysteryloverskitchen.com (Blog Wednesdays)

www.facebook.com/darylwoodgerber     www.pinterest/darylwoodgerber

www.twitter.com/darylwoodgerber     www.twitter.com/averyaames

www.goodreads/darylwoodgerber     www.goodreads/averyaames



GIVEAWAY

Penguin is giving away a copy of For Cheddar or Worse
and Avery is giving away copy of winner’s choice of CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY!!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Avery 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 February 10, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Avery is also touring with
Great Escapes Book Tours this week!
Visit every stop for more reviews, recipes and giveaways

for cheddar or worse large banner640

Tour Participants
January 25 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Giveaway
January 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
January 27 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
January 28 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review
January 29 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – Review, Giveaway
January 30 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
January 31 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway

Including this Great Grand Prize!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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 262016
 

sweet peppet heroSweet Pepper Hero: A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Tennessee
4th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by Penguin Random House, LLC.
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425279236
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKNZ8
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Old rivalries heat up in the fourth Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade mystery from the national bestselling author of In Hot Water.

Fire chief Stella Griffin has been put in charge of judging the annual recipe contest, but Eric—her resident ghost and true culinary genius—has vanished. Before she can track down his latest haunt, she’s called in to investigate a local moonshine distillery that was set ablaze, making her realize there’s more than pies and cakes cooking in Sweet Pepper.

As rumors of a revived whiskey war ignite, Stella turns to the town’s elders to help her find answers. The past might have some clues as to what has sparked the present fires. But when following a lead lands her in buried rubble, Stella realizes she must extinguish this case fast or she might be going down in flames.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Is that a beautiful cover or what? Kudos to Mary Ann Lasher and George Long!

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. The authors left us with a cliffhanger at the end of In Hot Water and these characters are some of my all-time favorites. Chief Eric or his ghost is near and dear to my heart because he reminds me so much of my dad. The cliffhanger was resolved but not in a way I ever expected. Pretty dramatic but it had me laughing too.

Aside from the cliffhanger, in this installment, the police have orders from the ATF to investigate stills in the area. It seems that even today people are brewing moonshine illegally. When a still explodes and a man dies it is time for Stella to step in. Then when another still starts on fire along with the house it is hidden in, Stella starts to think it is not a coincidence so she starts her on investigation. But before she can even sort through the evidence she finds herself in peril.

I love the way Stella and Eric work together to solve the mystery. This story is filled with fires, explosions, whiskey wars and other drama. We also meet a few more ghosts that are nothing like Chief Eric. They have their own issues. More members of the community are joining the fire department and the fires and training sessions are quite interesting as all the personnel kinks are worked out.  But in my opinion fire dog Hero, lives up to his name and is the star of the story as the title implies. He is such a smart dog. with keen instincts. The people of Sweet Pepper are fortunate to have him as part of the brigade.

These authors continue to give us absolutely awesome stories time and time again. They can have us on the edge of our seat one moment, laughing out loud the next and even occasionally reaching for a tissue. So much happens in these pages that it truly boggles my mind and everything just flows right together perfectly. The ending was a real surprise and the teaser for the next book has me so anxious that waiting a year is just plain mean :)

Sweet Pepper, Tennessee is know for its peppers so of course there are recipes in the back of the book.

This is a great addition to this wonderful series! Start a fire (in your fireplace) and curl up with it as soon as you can.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Authors

J. J. Cook is a pseudonym for a married couple who writes mysteries, mostly set in the South, with a touch of paranormal and romance.

Author Links:

Webpage       Facebook      Twitter

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Penguin 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.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

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 9, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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 252016
 

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Hosted by Book Date

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

Happy Monday Everyone!! 

Did you see Amazon is merging Shelfari with GoodReads? I was on Shelfari before GoodReads but am so glad they are merging. When Amazon upgraded Shelfari a few years ago they tied it to our Amazon accounts and because I had used 2 different email addresses they never really synced up correctly. They have given us the option to import our books from Shelfari to GoodReads. I thought this was great and was happy to add the older books to my account. Take my advice – DON’T DO IT!! After I imported I noticed I suddenly had hundreds of shelves added to me GoodReads account. It seems every “tag” I had used on Shefari, like cozy mystery, fiction, or the state it took place, now had it’s own shelf and to remove them you have to click on each one individually and the confirm you really want to delete that shelf. I spent my morning yesterday deleting shelves. Time I could have spent reading! :)

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

FINISHED

Sweet Pepper Hero: A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade

Release Date – January 5, 2016
Review will be up tomorrow! 
goodreads-badge-add-plus

For Cheddar or Worse: A Cheese Shop Mystery

Release Date – February 2, 2016
Avery will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week!
goodreads-badge-add-plus

The Cakes of Monte Cristo: A Piece of Cake Mystery

Jacklyn will be my Special Guest on Thursday!
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Death: A Comfort Food Mystery

My Flashback Friday Read!
Release Date: January 6, 2015
goodreads-badge-add-plus

ON DECK THIS WEEK

A Turn for the Bad: A County Cork Mystery

Release Date – February 2, 2016
Sheila will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week!
goodreads-badge-add-plus

The Flood Girls

Release Date – February 2, 2016
For Review
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Toured to Death (An Amy’s Travel Mystery)

My Flashback Friday Read
Release Date January 27, 2015
goodreads-badge-add-plus

escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 182016
 

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Hosted by Book Date

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

Happy Monday Everyone!! 

Wasn’t last week a great week to curl up with a good book? It looks like another chilly week coming here in Wisconsin so I am hoping for another week of good books!
Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

FINISHED

Gunfight at Grace Gulch (Christian Cozy Mystery) (A Dressed For Death Mystery Book 1)

Release Date – February 28, 2015
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow!
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Daisies For Innocence: An Enchanted Garden Mystery

Release Date – January 5, 2016
Bailey Cattrell will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week.
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Death of a Brooklyn Landlord: A Lorraine McDuffy Mystery

Release Date – December 23, 2015
The Great Escapes Tour stops here Thursday.
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Driving Sideways: A Novel

Release Date – May 20, 2008
My Flashback Friday Book plus she is a Wisconsin Author.
goodreads-badge-add-plus

ON DECK THIS WEEK

Sweet Pepper Hero: A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade

Release Date – January 5, 2016
For Review
goodreads-badge-add-plus

For Cheddar or Worse: A Cheese Shop Mystery

Release Date – February 2, 2016
Avery will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week!
goodreads-badge-add-plus

The Cakes of Monte Cristo: A Piece of Cake Mystery

Jacklyn will be my Special Guest on January 28!
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Plus I’ll grab a book of my shelf for Flashback Friday!

escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 152016
 

2016

Dreaming of Books Giveaway

Hosted by BookHounds

Click Here For Many More Giveaways

Dream Escape #1

From #1 New York Times bestselling authors Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer, OFF THE PAGE is a tender and appealing YA novel filled with romance, humor, and adventure.

Delilah and Oliver shouldn’t be together. But they are together. And just as they’re getting used to the possibility that happily ever after may really, truly be theirs, the universe sends them a message they can’t ignore: they won’t be allowed to rewrite their story.

Delilah and Oliver must decide how much they’re willing to risk for love and what it takes to have a happy ending in a world where the greatest adventures happen off the page.

Off the Page is just so sweet and magical. In high school, I would have given ANYTHING to crawl inside one of my favorite books to escape the real world. I wish!”
—SARAH DESSEN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Saint Anything

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dream Escape #2

Medium M. J. Holliday battles demons in the tenth Ghost Hunter Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of No Ghouls Allowed.

M.J., Heath, and Gilley, are back home in Boston, where their new film is sure to be a monster hit! To promote the film, the studio is sponsoring a special exhibit of supernatural artifacts at a local museum. Unfortunately, Gilley—whose mind is engaged with wedding plans—gets talked into donating to the exhibit the very dagger that keeps the dangerous ghost Oruç and his pet demon locked down in the lower realms. Before M.J. can recover the bewitched blade, there’s a murder and a heist at the museum, and the dagger is stolen.

Now Oruç is coming for M.J. and her crew, and he’s bringing with him some fiendish friends from M.J.’s haunted past. She, Gilley, and Heath are certain to be in for a devil of a time. M.J. may even need to recruit a certain skeptical Boston detective to help stop the paranormal party crashers from turning Gilley’s wedding bells to funeral knells. .

PLUS
5-amazon-gift-card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter one of both!
Must be 18 to Enter
U.S. and CANADA Addresses Only

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 142016
 

special guest blue

Today I am so excited to welcome Jane Jensen to Escape With Dollycas! 

JANE JENSEN

HOME AGAIN: BACK TO LANCASTER COUNTY

By Jane Jensen

 

My new release, “Kingdom Come”, is a murder mystery set in the Amish community in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Detective Elizabeth Harris is the protagonist and, in many ways, her story is my story.

In the book, Elizabeth grew up in Quarryville Pennsylvania, a small town in Lancaster County. As a teen, she wanted desperately to leave her small town life, and she succeeded. She went to college in New York City and stayed there. She became a New York cop, got her Criminal Justice degree, and finally ended up a detective. But that’s all before the novel begins. At the start of “Kingdom Come”, Elizabeth is a new transplant back to Lancaster County. Like me.

I grew up in small town Pennsylvania and moved to California for my first job right out of college. I lived on the West Coast for the next twenty-odd years, both in California and Seattle. In 2010 my husband and I bought a farm in Lancaster County and moved back. My feelings about this place, and the transition home, form the bedrock of “Kingdom Come”.

Can you go home again? And is the simple life of the past really as idyllic as you imagine?

kingdom comeThese are some of the themes of the book. Elizabeth is burnt out as a New York cop, sick of the violence, and suffering from PTSD. She also had a horrendous personal loss when her husband was murdered in a random shooting. She dreams that by moving back to Lancaster County, she will find a place without the senseless violence of the city, a place where she can remember the good in the world, in people. She craves peace and quiet. But as a new detective for the Lancaster Bureau of Police, she’s about to encounter one of the most disturbing cases of her career—and learn that there can be snakes in the grass even in paradise.

My own experience of moving back to Lancaster County has been equally fraught with good and bad (though not as dramatically or fatally as Elizabeth’s). This is a place where my childhood memories walk out of my head and into real life. For example, I remember my mother and aunts wearing silky polyester dresses, often in floral patterns, and having short permed hair. This is not something you’d ever see on the West Coast, but here at the local farmer’s markets, you will see older women still in that same mode—and that’s not even the Amish women. The Amish and Mennonites are heavily populated in this area and they harken back even further, to the 1800’s. I carry my smart phone and check my messages next to a lady in a bonnet selling homemade canned peaches. Time seems to have stopped here, and, honestly, I love that. It’s like being a time traveler in a way.

I have always been drawn to old things—old barns, antique furniture, old cobblestone roads. One of my favorite places to travel is the British countryside, where you can still walk through sheep herds on the hills and sit in a stone-walled pub that’s three hundred years old. This part of me adores Lancaster County, where I ride over covered bridges and see men plowing fields with horses on the bike ride loop I take from my own home. Hell, parts of the farmhouse we live in dates from 1732.

But. But. The past has its own problems, doesn’t it? Dark secrets can lurk there, as Elizabeth finds out.  For myself, I’ve had to make peace with the fact that most of my neighbors have religious and political beliefs far more conservative than my own, that women’s rights and animal rights are in rather prehistoric states in many places here, and that I can face more dismissal and sexism as a female than I ever did on the West Coast.

There are many little incidents and encounters that we’ve experienced since returning that have ended up in “Kingdom Come”. And the descriptions of the barns, fields, farmhouses, and streams in the story are based on our farm too. Will Elizabeth come to regret her decision to return, or will the good out-weigh the bad in the end?

I’ll give you a hint: We have no plans to move.

I’ve included some photos from our own Lancaster odyssey.

The old bank barn on our farm, the interior of which provides the setting for several key scenes in the book.

The old bank barn on our farm, the interior of which provides the setting for several key scenes in the book.

Our fieldstone farmhouse, which dates from 1732.

Our fieldstone farmhouse, which dates from 1732.

 

The author (Jane Jensen) helping to install a new kitchen garden on the farm.

The author (Jane Jensen) helping to install a new kitchen garden on the farm.

The kitchen garden months later with our bulldog, Lola.

The kitchen garden months later with our bulldog, Lola.

Our barn’s free stall is open to the pasture and stream just like the ones in the book. This wintery scene is very much like the day Elizabeth is called in to investigate the body found in an Amish barn.

Our barn’s free stall is open to the pasture and stream just like the ones in the book. This wintery scene is very much like the day Elizabeth is called in to investigate the body found in an Amish barn.

5

The author’s husband in the pasture with our cow, Trueheart, and her new calf, Bessy.

The stream on our farm is the basis for the stream in “Kingdom Come”

The stream on our farm is the basis for the stream in “Kingdom Come”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Jane Jensen

kingdom comeKingdom Come:
An Elizabeth Harris Mystery

1st in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (January 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Ransom House LLC
Mystery/Amish & Mennonite Fiction/Women Sleuths
Setting – Pennsylvania
Trade Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282892
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKVUK
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Amish country in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, has always been a place of quiet beauty—until a shocking murder shatters the peace, and leaves a troubled detective picking up the pieces…

After her husband is murdered, Detective Elizabeth Harris turns in her NYPD badge and moves back home, hoping that a quiet life in remote Pennsylvania Dutch country will help her overcome the dark memories of her ten years in New York. But when a beautiful, scantily clad “English” girl is found dead in the barn of a prominent Amish family, Elizabeth knows that she’s uncovered an evil that could shake the community to its core.

Elizabeth’s boss is convinced this was the work of an “English,” as outsiders are called in Lancaster County. But Elizabeth isn’t so sure. All she’s missing is an actual lead—until another body is found: this time, a missing Amish girl. Now Elizabeth must track down a killer with deep ties to a community that always protects its own—no matter how deadly the cost…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Detective Elizabeth Harris comes home from New York after her husband was murdered. She needs a quieter life to start over. But life at home isn’t at all what she expected. A body is found in a barn in the heart of the Amish community. The young girl is “English”, and her body had clearly been moved. Why would she be here were violence is condemned and life is  “simple”? As the most experienced officer Elizabeth is assigned to the case, she thinks the killer is nearby while others believe it has to be an English outsider.

This is the type of story that I would expect to see on an episode of Criminal Minds. They definitely needed help coming up with a profile for the killer, but I don’t know if even Shemar Moore’s Derek Morgan could figure this one out.

Elizabeth Harris is a very strong, intelligent woman. She is not afraid to go anywhere or do anything to get justice for this girl and for a girl that had gone missing months ago. The disappearance of the first girl was never reported by her parents because she was Amish and everyone thought she had just run off. Well Elizabeth doesn’t think that is the case. When the police handle the Amish with kid gloves she becomes very frustrated.

The author tells us before the story even begins that nothing like this has even happened in an Amish community but she sure writes a believable story. The characters come alive in the pages as does the town, the woods, the fields, and especially the river. The imagery was absolutely fantastic.

We meet Ezra Beiler, a Amish man who lost her his wife an child at a very young age. He is unhappy living in the Amish community and there is almost an immediate spark between him and Elizabeth. Their budding romance and flirtation plays throughout the story. The romance ebbs and flows and sometimes collides with the intense drama.

This story is very well written but some parts were a bit predictable. I could tell from one of the girl’s behavior an underlying cause quite early, but was totally surprised by the way the story peaked.

I am happy to see the author plans on a series with these characters because I truly want to know them better. I feel their story is just beginning. This story has set the series off to a fine start.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Jane Jensen is a novelist and game designer. Best known for her computer game series, Gabriel Knight, and her novel, Dante’s Equation, Jensen has published seventeen games and four thriller novels. She also publishes romance as Eli Easton. She lives with her husband, Robert Holmes, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

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.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Jane 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 January 28, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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 132016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome To Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to have Julie Hyzy as my guest today, but it is a sad day as well. Read her post and my review and you will see why.

julie hyzy 

White House Chef Mystery Trivia!

To celebrate the ninth installment in the White House Chef Mystery series, I’ve come up with nine all-new trivia questions. Test your knowledge about Ollie and the gang for fun and bragging rights (answers below).

 

 

 


In State of the Onion, the First Lady must decide who to name as executive chef when Henry retires. There’s no doubt that Henry prefers Ollie succeed him, but who else is in the running for the top job?

a. Martha Stewart

b. Laurel Anne Braun

c. Julia Child

d. Buckminster (Bucky) Reed


2. Hail to the Chef is the second book in the White House Chef series, but many readers pick it up mistakenly believing it to be the first in the series (meaning: they haven’t read State of the Onion). What is the number one comment/complaint I’ve received via email from this group of readers?

a. New readers don’t believe that an underground bunker exists in the White House

b. New readers think that Marcel’s gingerbread White House is too big

c. New readers have an issue with (fictional) President Campbell

d. New readers don’t immediately realize that Ollie is female


3. Which members of Ollie’s family do we meet for the first time in Eggsecutive Orders?

a. her brother and father

b. her mother and nana

c. her sister and cousin

d. her twin nephews

 


4. There is an “oops” moment in Buffalo West Wing that occurs near the end of the book. While there is a logical explanation for the reappearance of a formerly lost item, that explanation isn’t provided on the page. What is the item in question?

a. Ollie’s cell phone

b. Ollie’s diary

c. Ollie’s house keys

d. Bucky’s favorite knife

 

5. Peter Everett Sargeant despises Ollie, yet he’s required to work closely with her in Affairs of Steak. Someone close to the persnickety fellow plays a key role in the story. What’s the character’s name and how is he related to Sargeant?

a. Doug, Sargeant’s cousin

b. Ferdinand, Sargeant’s dog

c. Milton, Sargeant’s nephew

d. Frank, Sargeant’s son

 


6. What about the story line made Fonduing Fathers unique?

a. Ollie investigated a personal matter

b. The story opened in Chicago

c. Ollie took some vacation time

d. All of the above

 


7. What’s unique about the cover of Home of the Braised?

a. It’s the first book of mine to feature the words “New York Times Bestselling Author”

b. It’s mostly red

c. There are four words in the title

d. It’s a different size

 


8. What absolutely awful title was suggested for Book #8 before Berkley settled on All the President’s Menus?

a. Plate of the Union

b. War and Peas

c. Need to know Basil

d. Star Spangled Banana

 


9. Speaking of titles, although I really like Foreign Eclairs, I’d originally suggested something else entirely – a title I thought fit the storyline nicely. Berkley disagreed. What was my suggestion?

a. White House Dressing

b. A Bombe in Nation

c. Bread of State

d. A Salt on Freedom

 

ANSWERS:

  • b – Laurel Anne Braun is Ollie’s nasty (and sometimes comical) nemesis in this first book
  • d – I had quite a few people write to let me know that they believed Ollie to be male for the first chapter or so of the book
  • b – Ollie’s mom and nana make their first appearance in Eggsecutive Orders
  • a – Ollie’s cell phone gets flushed but then later, she (miraculously) receives a text. What actually happened (though not explained in the book) is that the White House quickly replaced her lost cell. Oops!
  • c – We meet Milton in Affairs of Steak. He’s Sargeant’s adult ne’er-do-well nephew.
  • d – All of the above. I loved this storyline because we got to know more about Ollie’s family and especially her deceased father. Most readers seemed to love it, too, though there were a handful who voiced their disappointment that Ollie didn’t spend more time at the White House during this installment.
  • a – Yay!!
  • d – The original title for this book could have been (ugh!!) Star Spangled Banana. Doesn’t that sound silly and slapstick? I despised the idea so much, I begged Berkley to drop it. Fortunately, they did. Whew!
  • b – As much as I lobbied for A Salt On Freedom for several other installments (including Book #8), I believed A Bombe in Nation would have made an ideal title for :::ahem::: explosive Book #9. Berkley disagreed, but that’s okay. Foreign Eclairs is a great title, too.

Thank you so much for your interest in Ollie and the gang! I truly appreciate all your wonderful support over the years.

As you may know by now, Foreign Eclairs, the ninth White House Chef Mystery, will be the last one in the series that I write. Whether the series continues without me is anyone’s guess, but if you’re curious as to why I’m stepping away, I invite you to visit my blog http://juliehyzy.blogspot.com/2015/12/all-good-things.html

Best always,

Julie

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

White House executive chef Ollie Paras has served plenty of meals to foreign dignitaries from around the world. But someone is ready to serve her an ice-cold dish of revenge. . .

Things are about to really heat up for Ollie. News of a bombing and attempted breakout at a federal prison reveals that the brother of a terrorist she helped defeat is back with a vengeance. And after she gets mugged on her way home from work, the Secret Service won’t leave her side, fearing that she is now a target.

When a White House staff member is murdered, officials rush into action over a possible security breach. It may be time for Ollie to trade in her apron for a bullet-proof vest as she becomes part of a bold strategy to make sure this terrorist gets his just desserts. . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Most times we don’t know that a book series is ending or has come to an end. The author is informed and sometimes they have the option of continuing the series on their own, but most of the time the reader is left in the dark. Social media has changed that some, in that the authors can stay in touch with their readers and give us a heads up. Even when we get a heads up the characters/authors are usually left without a chance to wrap up their stories.

Julie Hyzy blogged back in December that Foreign Eclairs would be the last book in this series and explained why. This is one of my very favorite series so I was sad, but after reading her post I am thankful for the nine adventures we did have with Ollie.

Hyzy does not have Ollie leave us quietly either. This cozy crept right into the suspense/thriller genre and when I reached the final word all I could say was WOW!!!

The story started with a bomb explosion in Wisconsin so I was immediately on high alert. From there I just held on tight.

In D.C. Ollie and head usher, Peter Everett Sargeant, are holding interviews for a new chef, first son, Josh isn’t visiting the kitchen as much, and Gav is off on assignment. Then Ollie is attacked on her way home, she is okay, but her purse was stolen. Then a White House staffer is found dead after she was clearly tortured.  Agent Neville Walker, the new head of the Secret Service, thinks the two events may be connected. Another bombing solidifies his thinking. After a little investigating it is determined the Armustanian terrorists are to blame and Ollie may be the target. Ollie doesn’t have much time for cooking this time as she is trying to save her life and maybe others. She also needs to figure out what is going on with Josh. Definitely not a woman with time on her hands.

The story starts with a slow build but soon we are going at breakneck speed just hoping our protagonist is alive at the end. I started this story in the evening. Thankfully I found the perfect stopping point so I could sleep. Good thing too, because when I picked it up the next day there was no putting it down. Things got really intense and the pages just flew. There were the normal things we come to expect in this mystery series, Bucky and Ollie in the White House kitchen planning meals, Ollie butting heads with Sargeant over the way the kitchen should be run, and Ollie and Gav still adjusting to married life and him being gone so much. But this being the last installment written by Hyzy, she had to tie things up but still leave the door open a crack just in case someone else is hired to continue the series. She did it in an amazing way and true fans will understand. I hope this is that last we see of Ollie as I don’t think anyone else could do this character justice.

So we say good bye to our behind the scenes access to the White House and I say thank you to Julie Hyzy for giving us so many wonderful stories and some truly memorable characters.

This book gets my first Paradise Rating of 2016!

paradise 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Julie Hyzy is the New York Times bestselling author of the White House Chef Mysteries and the Manor House Mysteries. She’s won the Anthony, Barry, Derringer, and Lovey Awards for her novels and short stories. Her first Manor House Mystery, Grace Under Pressure, earned a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly.




GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Penguin 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.

Leave a comment for Julie 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 January 27, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

 

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 112016
 

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Hosted by Book Date

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

Happy Monday Everyone!! 

I spent most of yesterday with an internet that kept going down. It look me until almost 3 p.m. to get all my book tours promoted. So aggravating, it has been doing this for weeks. Every time I see a CHARTER commercial on television I just want to scream. Sadly that is about our only option here. Well time to start complaining and get this post done before it goes down again.

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

FINISHED

Death Goes to the County Fair (An Ogallala Mystery)

Release Date – October 15, 2015
My Review
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Karma’s a Killer (A Downward Dog Mystery)

Release Date – January 8, 2016
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tommorrow!
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Foreign Éclairs: A White House Chef Mystery

Release Date – January 5, 2016
Julie Hyzy is my guest this week for Cozy Wednesday!
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Kingdom Come: An Elizabeth Harris Mystery

Release Date – January 5, 2016
Jane Jensen will be my Special Guest this Thursday!
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Killer Run (Tourist Trap Mysteries)

Release Date – August 18, 2015
My Flashback Friday book for this week.
goodreads-badge-add-plus

ON DECK THIS WEEK

Gunfight at Grace Gulch (Christian Cozy Mystery) (A Dressed For Death Mystery Book 1)

Release Date – February 28, 2015
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday!
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Daisies For Innocence: An Enchanted Garden Mystery

Release Date – January 5, 2016
Bailey Cattrell will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week.
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Death of a Brooklyn Landlord: A Lorraine McDuffy Mystery

Release Date – December 23, 2015
The Great Escapes Tour stops here January 25.
goodreads-badge-add-plus

escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Scroll Down for the Blogoversary Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 062016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to the 1st Cozy Wednesday of 2016!

Today is also the last day to enter the Blogoversary Giveaways!

Blogoversary – Giveaway #1

Blogoversary – Giveaway #2 from PageSpring Publishing

Blogoversary – Giveaway #3

Blogoversary – Giveaway #4 – Big Box of Books!

I am so happy to welcome Paige Shelton back to Escape With Dollycas. She has a new cozy series. The first Dangerous Type Mystery, To Helvetica and Back, was released yesterday. This series is off to a great start. Read my review after Paige’s guest post. 

paige

Potato Stamps by Paige Shelton

 

In my new Dangerous Type Mystery Series, Clare Henry and her grandfather, Chester, run The Rescued Word, a shop that specializes in rescuing all sorts of words. They offer services like typewriter repair and book repair. They also sell every type of pen and paper under the sun. It’s a pretty amazing place.

to helvitica and backAs I was writing the first book, TO HELVETICA AND BACK, and things like fonts and typefaces were being discussed by the characters, I had a flashback to something I’d done when I was a kid. I remembered it being a fun project and a pretty simple way to personalize paper or notecards. I had to try it again.

My memory was correct; it was simple, and pretty fun too. Potato stamps.

Start with the supplies: Potatoes of course, a knife to cut the potatoes in half, an X-acto knife, and some clay tools if you happen to have them handy. My son likes to sculpt so I borrowed a couple of his scooping tools. You’ll need something to stamp on – I used a couple of notecards. And, finally, some paint – I had some bottles of cheap acrylic.

PIC 1A

First of all, write down the words you want to carve. Either write them backwards or on something see-though that you can turn over. You’ll need to carve everything backwards.
PIC2

Commence carving. Take your time, but don’t worry too much about being even. This is fun and it’s supposed to look handmade. Nothing wrong with uneven letters or spaces. It’s a little tedious, but doesn’t take a bunch of time.

 

PIC 1Once you’re carved, ink the potatoes and print. Really easy and fun. And I think the end result is unique and gives a nice touch to simple, plain paper.

 

PIC 4PIC 5It’s not quite printing press quality, but sometimes it’s the personal touch that matters.

Thanks for letting me post today, and see you all in the bookstores.

~Paige

I remember this from my childhood, going to try it with my grandchildren :)

to helvitica and backTo Helvetica and Back:
A Dangerous Type Mystery

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Utah
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Sarah Oberrender
Cover Design by Anne Wertheim
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277256
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKMB8
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

The New York Times bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries introduces readers to Star City, Utah, and a little shop called the Rescued Word…

Star City is known for its slopes and its powder. But nestled in the valley of this ski resort town is a side street full of shops that specialize in the simple charms of earlier eras. One of those shops is the Rescued Word, where Chester Henry and his adult granddaughter Clare lovingly repair old typewriters and restore old books. Who ever thought their quaint store would hold the key to some modern-day trouble?

When a stranger to town demands they turn over an antique Underwood typewriter they’re repairing for a customer, Clare fears she may need to be rescued. A call to the police scares the man off, but later Clare finds his dead body in the back alley. What about a dusty old typewriter could possibly be worth killing for?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This theme is a really unique twist for a cozy series. Chester Henry owns The Rescued Word and his granddaughter Clare has been truly learning at his knee her entire life. Today they fix old typewriters, restore old books, and sell every kind of paper and pen imaginable. Set in an area of Star City, Utah, called Bygone Alley, The Rescued Word and other shops bring back the days of yesteryear. The Rescued Word also has a resident cat named Baskerville. He is a pretty temperamental feline who watches from a shelf high above the wares for sale. If he likes you he may hop down to say “hello”.

The alley is popular with both the locals and the tourists in town to hit the slopes. We meet Clare’s best friend, Jodie Wentworth, and her brother, Clare’s ex, CJ. Both are Star City police officers. We also meet local residents, Homer Mayfield, former newspaper editor and Mirabelle, typewriter owner and author. James Cassidy, who hales from my neck of the woods, is a geologist  and new to Star City. He wants to get to know Clare a lot better.

This story has a stranger rush into The Rescued Word where he makes quite a scene as he insists he must have a particular typewriter, not one like it but that exact one. Clare is shaken but calling the police sends the stranger on his way. Clare is relieved until she sees something suspicious outside the back door and discovers the stranger dead as a door-nail. Did someone kill him because she failed to give him the typewriter? The story of his life came to an abrupt end, Clare is going to find out why…

These characters virtually pulled me right into this story. They are so real and fleshed out. I was engaged immediately. Everyone was so nice, I felt right at home. Chester has a secret but it is a sweet secret. Clare takes so much pride in the shop and her work and she gets excited about each new project. I love the way her romance with James is just beginning. With friends in the police department things can get sticky or helpful depending on the situation. Clare and Jodie are still finding their way.

The setting drew me in as well. I had been to Utah a couple of times several years ago. The descriptions in the book brought back memories of how beautiful things are there. Imagine living so close to the slopes that you can watch skiers from your windows or just ski from your backyeard. It would be wonderful to wake up to that day after day.

Now, the mystery was excellent, just what I expect from this author. She lays out a great base and then clues are dropped like snowflakes, you just have to catch them. Tracking down this killer is no easy task and the final reveal had me on the edge of my virtual lift chair.  An epic read!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Paige Shelton is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.com


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following
so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be
awarded by following me on Twitter.
@dollycas

Leave a comment for Paige 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 January 20, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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 052016
 

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY 2014

It the first New Release Tuesday of 2016!
I am so excited about all the new books!

These wonderful books are available today
wherever fine books are sold.
Click on the book covers below to order from Amazon.com

To Helvetica and Back: A Dangerous Type Mystery
Paige Shelton will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday tomorrow.
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Foreign Éclairs: A White House Chef Mystery
Julie Hyzy will be my guest next week for Cozy Wednesday.
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 


Kingdom Come: An Elizabeth Harris Mystery
Jane Jensen will be my Special Guest on January 14.
goodreads-badge-add-plus


Daisies For Innocence: An Enchanted Garden Mystery
Bailey Cattrell will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday January 20.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Sweet Pepper Hero: A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade
I’ll be reviewing for sure this month!
goodreads-badge-add-plus

The Cakes of Monte Cristo: A Piece of Cake Mystery

Jacklyn Brady will be my guest on January 28.
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Books Also Being Released Today

Coming January 8

Coming January 12

Coming January 19

Coming January 26

Another month of fantastic reads!
HAPPY READING EVERYONE!!

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Note: I am an Amazon Associate. If you click on most book covers and links on the blog and make a purchase I will receive a small commission on that purchase. These commissions are used to purchase prizes that I then giveaway here.

%d bloggers like this: