Jul 142017
 


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.

This author contacted me about her series and is was new to me so I asked her if I could start at the beginning. She happily sent me a copy and it seemed like a perfect fit for Flashback Friday because it debuted in 2005.


Unzipped (Chrissy McMullen Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery/Chick Lit – Adult Situations
1st in Series
Setting – California
Dell (May 31, 2005)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0440242628
Kindle ASIN: B000FCK5S0

 

 

ANALYZE THIS.…

Chrissy McMullen has made a career leap, all the way from slinging drinks at Chicago’s most notorious nightclub to dispensing psychotherapy from her sleek new practice in L.A. Even if she can’t quite shed her too-loud, too-curvy alter ego–or the brawling family that insists on claiming kinship. So when her most famous client, buff football star “Bomber” Bomstad, starts chasing her around her desk and getting, well…unzipped…Christina gets just a little miffed–until Bomber has the bad manners to drop dead at her feet.

Enter Jack Rivera, a no-nonsense detective with a grim attitude and a great butt, who’s determined to prove this cocktail-waitress-turned-shrink was engaging in some very unethical behavior. Persuading Rivera that she’s not a murderer isn’t going to be easy. Plunging headfirst into a city full of people in need of some serious therapy, Chrissy will have to use all her street smarts, a good deal of sex appeal, and a little love to clear her name–and cancel an appointment with a killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

When I started reading this book I immediately thought of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum. She and Chrissy both have the worst luck. Imagine being a psychologist treating a football hunk for a certain dysfunction and have him say he is cured and gives you very private visual evidence as he chases you around the office. Yup, that happened to Chrissy, and then the guy keels over dead at her feet.  A quick 911 call should bring help but instead brings Detective Jack Rivera, also a hunk, but he think Chrissy murdered her patient and nothing she says seems to change his mind. She is on her own to prove she did not kill her almost rapist.

While classified as a cozy type mystery it has a strong chick lit feel with adult scenes and language.

It is a zany story, Chrissy is a hilarious protagonist. Cocktail waitress turned psychologist, with a mother that just wants her to come back home, gets herself into some dicey and comical predicaments. Her friend and assistant Laney tries to keep her friend out of trouble. She also has a geeky friend Solberg, he can hack anything and has a high tech job that allows him to drive one sweet ride. Chrissy also checks in regularly with her mentor Dr. David, more now with the dead body in her office. The relationship with Detective Rutabaga, I mean Rivera, Chrissy never uses his real name, was the most enjoyable part of this book.

While the plot is far fetched it was an entertaining read. The investigation by the police wasn’t too intense and there was no real evidence. Chrissy was trying to clear her name rather than find the actual killer. Her queries did make the murderer worry she was actually going to figure out the truth and that did put her in imminent danger. I was surprised totally by the reveal as was Chrissy.  I wish there had been more clues throughout the story rather than the explanation at the end.

As the first book in this series it is a good start. I am not completely sold on these characters yet but being the first book there is plenty of room for development. The dialogue between characters was good and the quotes the begin each chapter were quite humorous and gives us just a peek at others in Chrissy’s life. I definitely want to see where the author takes these characters as the series continues.

A lighthearted read for a lazy afternoon.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out all about Lois Grieman on her webpage here.

There are 9 books in this series.

WINNER’S CHOICE
1 Kindle Copy of any book in this series
Book will be sent directly from Amazon

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 28, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

 

Jun 242017
 

A Ghostly Light (Haunted Home Renovation)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (June 27, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101989357
Kindle ASIN: B01CZCW50S

 

Dangerous tides ahead…
 
When her friend Alicia hires Turner Construction to renovate a historic lighthouse in the San Francisco Bay, Mel Turner can’t wait to get her hands dirty. Alicia plans to transform the island property into a welcoming inn, and while Mel has never attempted a project so ambitious—or so tall—before, she’s definitely up for the challenge.

But trouble soon arises when Alicia’s abusive ex-husband shows up to threaten both her and Mel, and later turns up dead at the base of the lighthouse stairs. With no other suspects in sight, things start looking choppy for Alicia. Now, if Mel wants to clear her friend’s name, she’ll need the help of the lighthouse’s resident ghosts to shine a light on the real culprit…

Find out more about Juliet Blackwell on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 8, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jun 212017
 


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

Kate Carlisle: How to Reward Readers

(Guest Post provided by publicist.)

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

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

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

FREE BOOKMARKS, BOOKPLATES, AND MAPS OF MY FICTIONAL TOWNS

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

 

PUZZLES

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

 

 

RECIPES

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

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

~Kate


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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Also by Kate Carlisle

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

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

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

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jun 032017
 


Marriage Is Pure Murder (A Blossom Valley Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Kensington (May 30, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758294920
E-Book ASIN: B01LJKQFH6

Wedding bells are ringing at the O’Connell Organic Farm and Spa in California’s postcard-perfect Blossom Valley. The entire staff is pitching in to send one of their own down the aisle. But no one knew the nuptials could turn up so many secrets—or that marriage and murder could go hand in hand . . .

Dana Lewis is marrying Jason Forrester, a talented reporter and the love of her life. She couldn’t dream of a better venue than the farm where she works, and her friends are determined to give her the wedding of her dreams. Even her florist, Bethany Lancaster, is making sure she has just the right flowers. But Dana’s happiness wilts when she finds Bethany shot dead—and discovers her friend was a busybody with a blackmail list longer than a cathedral veil. With so many enemies, finding Bethany’s killer seems all but impossible. And when Dana herself is eyed as a suspect, she’ll have to chase down the culprit faster than she can say, “I do”—or she’ll be trading in her wedding dress for prison stripes . .

Praise for Marriage Is Pure Murder
by Staci McLaughlin

This is a well thought out cozy murder mystery … I enjoyed the supporting cast and family who, against their better judgement, help Dana discover clues.
~Laura’s Interests

This book had the perfect mix of suspense, mystery, and humor. I had a hard time putting the book down so I could get other things done.
~Bookworm Cafe


About The Author

Staci McLaughlin graduated from the California State University, East Bay before becoming a technical writer for a number of years. Now she is a stay-at-home mom and a cozy mystery writer in my spare time (Ha!). Once she can wrangle the kids into bed, my husband and I enjoy watching scary movies and playing both board games and video games. 

She is currently a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, as well as a contributor to the LadyKillers blog at http://www.theladykillers.typepad.com/. She lives with my family in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Author Links:

Webpage – Facebook  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

May 30 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
May 31 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
June 1 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW  
June 1 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT
June 2 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
June 2 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
June 3- Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
June 3- Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
June 4 – Teresa Trent Author Site – SPOTLIGHT
June 5 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
June 6 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
June 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
June 7 – My Journey Back – REVIEW
June 8 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
June 9 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
June 9 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 10 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
June 10 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
June 11 – Varietats – REVIEW
June 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW
June 12 – Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

May 182017
 

Nightshade for Warning (An Enchanted Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451476890
Kindle ASIN: B01K1ATYJ6

 

 

Elliana Allbright’s custom-made perfume shop and the Enchanted Garden behind it are garnering all sorts of attention, but a dead body could bury her in bad publicity. . . .

Ellie’s business and personal life have been flourishing in her hometown of Poppyville, California, since she opened Scents & Nonsense. She uses her very special skills to craft perfumes that almost magically ease heartache, inspire change, and bring joy—and her customers love to relax in the beautiful garden behind her shop with her corgi, Dash, and her cat, Nabokov. She even lives right next to the garden, in a compact “tiny house”—and she’s excited to hear that a journalist is going to write a feature about her home and garden for a national magazine.

But then the journalist is found dead, and suspicion falls on the last person to see him—who just happens to be Ellie’s brother’s girlfriend. So before everything goes to seed, Ellie must rely on her powers—observational and otherwise—to pick out the real killer from an ever-expanding bouquet of culprits. . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Isn’t that a gorgeous cover? As soon as I saw it and felt the springtime temps here is Wisconsin I knew I had to escape right into this book.

Elliana Allbright is the owner of Scents & Nonsense where she sells items made with special oils she distills from plants in her own garden. The Enchanted Garden is right next to shop and abuts right up to her tiny house. The garden is a relaxing place with spots for people to sit and wind down from the stress in their lives. Ellie may be able to whip up the perfect perfume to ease whatever malady they may be feeling. Ellie’s dog, Dash and shop cat, Nabokov have free rein of the area so they may dish out their own kind of comfort too.

In this installment, Ellie’s tiny home, formerly a garden shed, has gathered some acclaim and a national magazine is sending a reporter and photographer to include her home in an article about the tiny house craze. Ellie bumps into the journalist while she is out having dinner with her brother and his girlfriend. She wasn’t that impressed with the man but tried to be friendly so that his story about her wouldn’t do more harm than good. When she learns the next day he was found dead in his hotel room and that her brother’s girlfriend is the prime suspect she knows she has to dig up the real killer and fast. She has witnessed how the lead detective investigates, in that he doesn’t. She hopes she can persuade his partner and her friend, Detective Lupe Garcia, to work together to solve this case and clear up the whole bloomin’ mess.

The way this author sets the scene is absolutely magical. You can practically smell the flowers blooming in the Ellie’s garden, feel enveloped by a fog that rolls in, and pick a book off the shelf curl up in the chair in Ellie’s living space. It is a place I would love to visit. I have even given serious thought about living in a tiny house myself. That would be fine until the kids and the grandkids want to visit 🙂 then I don’t know what I would do.

We meet some very interesting characters this time and we travel to a very intriguing place. The reporter that was killed has ties to Poppyville and Ellie is going to shake that family tree to see what seeds drop out. This leads her down a very surprising path of twists and secrets. Readers will feel like they are on her shoulder as she does her best to distill the real criminal. It was not an easy task and at first there were many more questions than answers.

This story is so well written and the characters are very engaging. The themes are current and relevant. There is just a hint of magic and humor pops up in all the right places. Bailey Cattrell has treated us all to an enchanting mystery.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Writing as Bailey Cates


Writing as Cricket McRae


GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 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.”

Early Review – Day of Secrets by Daryl Wood Gerber

 2017 Reviews, E-Book Challenge, You Read How Many Books Challenge  Comments Off on Early Review – Day of Secrets by Daryl Wood Gerber
Apr 242017
 
Day of Secrets
Suspense/Thriller
Setting – California
Self Published
Release Date – May 5, 2017
Kindle ASIN: B06ZYP2WJC

 

 

A mother he thought he’d lost. A father he never knew. An enemy that wants them dead.

At the age of five, Chase Day became an orphan. For thirty-one years, after a rebellious youth, he did his best to turn his life around and build a normal life—first as a Naval officer and then as a history professor at a boutique Bay Area college. Now, all that changes when he finds his mother, whom he thought had perished in a fire, dying from a gunshot wound. In her last breath, she urges him to find and protect the father he never knew. Where has his father been? Why has he never made contact? Can Chase discover why his family is a target before an unknown enemy destroys him?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Daryl Wood Gerber brings us her 2nd suspense filled story following Girl on the Run.

I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of this book.

Chase Day gets a terrifying phone call from a woman he had thought was dead. He knows that voice, his mother’s, without thinking twice he rushes to her aid. He finds her dying of a gunshot wound. In her last breath, she begs him to save his father. A man he has never met. Using his naval officer’s training and experience he tries to find his father and find out why his family is being hunted.

Wood takes us on a heart pumping adventure that will have you glued to your seat from the first page until the last. I read the entire book all in one sitting.

Chase Day is such an interesting character. His mother left him at the age of 5, he never knew his father. He is raised by his grandmother. He joined the Navy after graduation and now works as a college history professor. He has real trust issues. He has suffered from PTSD and works with a group helping those that are suffering. With some help from his friends and borrowing several of their vehicles he is trying to uncover the secrets that have put his family and those close to him in the sights of a killer.

We follow Day on a corkscrew of twists and turns as he makes contact with the people in his mother’s past. All of them seem to be hiding something. He even bumps into his old high school girlfriend and thinks she seems may be in on the plan to eliminate his family. Day doesn’t even know if he can trust the police. Is he being paranoid? Who can he really rely on?

This is a captivating story of physical and emotional pain, deception, and revelation. Day’s story is thrilling and heartbreaking.  It is a story that will stick with well beyond the final page. Daryl Wood Gerber has proven again to be a gifted storyteller and one to watch in this genre. An absolute must-read!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Agatha Award-winning and nationally bestselling author DARYL WOOD GERBER ventures into the world of suspense again with her second novel, DAY OF SECRETS. Daryl writes the bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and will soon debut the new French Bistro Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she pens the bestselling Cheese Shop Mysteries. Fun tidbit: asan actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to read and cook,and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Visit Daryl or Avery atwww.darylwoodgerber.com.

Daryl’s Blog Avery’s Blog Mystery Lover’s Kitchen Killer Characters

Facebook:   Daryl      Avery 

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads:    Daryl Wood Gerber     Avery Aames


Click on covers to view details on Amazon.

No Giveaway today,
but you can pre-order Day of Secrets for just 99¢
and have it delivered to your device on May 5.

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

Apr 082017
 

Dying on the Vine: A Mystery (Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries)
Series: Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries (Book 2)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California

Publisher: Minotaur Books (April 4, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250072559
E-Book ASIN: B01L7BD9VM

 
 
 
 
 

Synopsis

When wedding planner Kelsey McKenna goes to the Wine Country Wedding Faire, the last thing she expects to do is take on new clients. After all, she’s just there to help out her friend Brody and maybe score some free cupcakes. But when a young couple in a pinch asks for her help, she just can’t say no.

There’s only one problem: they’d been working with Babs Norton, the self-proclaimed Queen of Wine Country Weddings—and things did not end well. Kelsey wants to make sure there are no hard feelings, but unfortunately she never gets the chance. When she goes to Babs’ office, she finds the wedding planner dead on the floor.

Babs’ high-strung assistant Stefan knows exactly who killed Babs: Kelsey. At least, that’s what he very publicly accuses her of at Babs’ funeral. When Kelsey decides to do a little sleuthing to clear her name, she uncovers a myriad of secrets and lies. And when a second wedding planner is attacked, Kelsey begins to wonder if she might be next.

Set against the stunning backdrop of California wine country, Marla Cooper’s Dying on the Vine is a mystery brimming with gossip, wine, and, of course…murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We find wedding planner Kelsey McKenna helping out her photographer friend Brody at the Wine Country Wedding Faire.  She is surprised when a young couple approaches her about helping them with their wedding. It seems the father of the bride fired their wedding planner and their wedding is only a couple of weeks away. She has stepped in before for a one day commitment before and has room in her schedule so she quickly accepts. Then she learns the couple’s previous planner was none other than Babs Norton, the Queen of Wine Country Weddings.  Kelsey calls Babs and is amazed when Babs asks her to just stop by her office and pick up their file. But she is thunderstruck when she arrives to find Babs dead. Things get worse for Kelsey when Babs’ assistant points his finger at her as the killer. She needs to clear her name fast. She is worried she may be the killer’s next victim.

The setting for this book sounds absolutely outstanding. In the California wine country many vineyards have places to host events like weddings. The new couple Kelsey is working with has booked one of the most popular and posh of them. They even have special caves that can be booked for smaller gatherings. Kelsey is also working with the the owner of a more rustic site to start hosting events.

While the core characters of Kelsey, Brody, Laurel return from book one, Terror in Taffeta, the rest of the characters are new. The wedding party, Babs and her assistant, and the staff at the venues all bring their personalities to the story. They are introduced well and very developed. Laurel also takes on a greater role in this story. She, Kelsey and Brody make a great team. Laurel pushes Kelsey in all the right ways and Brody tries the best he can to reel her in when she starts to go too far. Notice I said “tries”. There are also a lot of funny moments with these three, such great dialogue, very true to life. 

The author gives us plenty of suspects to ponder. Brody even brings Kelsey a big dry erase board to create her “murder board” to keep everyone straight. She chases down several false leads and has many theories but when all the clues fall into place and she realizes the truth it makes perfect sense.

I loved the ending of the story but I didn’t want this story to end. These have become some of my favorite cozy literary characters. I am excited to see where the next wedding takes them.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

marla cooper

About The Author

As a freelance writer, MARLA COOPER has written all sorts of things, from advertising copy to travel guidebooks to the occasional haiku. But it was while ghostwriting a nonfiction guide to destination weddings that she found inspiration for her current series starring destination wedding planner Kelsey McKenna. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and her polydactyl tuxedo cat.

Author Links

Webpage   Blog  Facebook     Twitter

Purchase Links 

Amazon  B&N

Praise for Dying on the Vine
by Marla Cooper

Characters are great and glad to see them again in book 2.
~Babs Book Bistro

I really enjoyed the story and thought the author did an amazing job of developing her characters.
~Texas Book-aholic

I think she blew the cozy world away with this series.
~Bibliophile Reviews

The mystery is well plotted and quite complex; there’s no way I could have figured out the murderer’s identity.
~The Power of Words

This was a fun read over spring break – enough action, quick pace, yet light and easy to follow.
~Christa Reads and Writes

…all the elements were blended together with a hand worthy of the tastiest Napa vintage. So add this one to your wine cellar – and your bookshelf.
~Back Porchervations

This is a quick easy read, and the wine country setting was great fun to read about.
~Book Babble

I read book one and liked it very much. I have to say book 2 is even better then book 1…
~T’s Stuff

You won’t want to stop reading once you start. Add this one to your reading list, you will love it.
~Shelley’s Book Case

This is a refreshing read, to disconnect and enjoy a good time while the wedding of your dreams is prepared and guessing who could be the killer.
~Varietats

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

March 28 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW
March 28 – Valerie’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
March 29 – Blogger Nicole Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 29 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
March 30 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
March 30 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT
March 31 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
March 31 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
April 1 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
April 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST  
April 2 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
April 2 – Mystery Playground – GUEST POST
April 3 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 3 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
April 4 – Book Babble – REVIEW
April 4 – T’s Stuff – REVIEW
April 5 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW
April 5 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
April 6 – Varietats – REVIEW
April 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
April 7 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW  
April 7 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 8 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW
April 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
April 10 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
April 10 – My Journey Back – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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

Mar 212017
 


Kneaded to Death
(A Bread Shop Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – California
Kensington (February 28, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496707727
Kindle ASIN: B01GBAG7KO

 
 
 
 

Everyone swears by Yeast of Eden, the Mexican bread shop in town. But tonight, the only thing on the menu is la muerte . . .

Struggling photographer Ivy Culpepper has lots of soul-searching to do since returning to seaside Santa Sofia, California. That is, until the thirty-six-year-old enters a bread making class at Yeast of Eden. Whether it’s the aroma of fresh conchas in the oven, or her instant connection with owner Olaya Solis, Ivy just knows the missing ingredients in her life are hidden among the secrets of Olaya’s bakery . . .

But Ivy’s spirits crumble when a missing classmate is suddenly discovered dead in her car. Even more devastating, the prime suspect is Olaya Solis herself. Doubting the woman could commit such a crime, Ivy embarks on a murder investigation of her own to prove her innocence and seize the real killer. As she follows a deadly trail of crumbs around town, Ivy must trust her gut like never before—or someone else could be toast!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series is off to a wonderful start.

Ivy Culpepper has returned to Santa Sofia following her mother’s death to be closer to her father and brother and to deal with her own grief. I myself am dealing with the grief of losing my son so I clearly identified with Ivy’s grief. We all grieve differently and Ivy find herself taking a bread making class at Yeast of Eden, the Mexican bread shop in town. Before they even finish the first lesson one of the students in murdered just outside of the shop. When she learns the owner of the shop is the police’s prime suspect, Ivy starts to poke her nose into the investigation. The bread crumbs she is following lead her somewhere very unexpected. Can her theories really be true or is this just a half baked idea she has come up with to deal with her pain? She rises to the occasion as she tries to catch the real killer.

For me there was much more to this story than a cozy mystery. I was very interested to see how Ivy dealt with her grief. I was happy to see her find a support group in the woman in her bread making class. I have learned how important it is to surround yourself by individuals that have your back and are there for you whenever you need them. For me it has been family, friends and surprisingly an online support group. The theme of this story, the making, kneading and baking the bread was a great way to facilitate just what Ivy needed. Of course, a murder to solve is a great diversion that works in books, not so much in reality. 🙂

The characters in this story are all very well developed. I love the smattering of Spanish within the dialogue. Surprising how much of high school Spanish I remember. Don’t worry everything is translated in a very natural way the does not obstruct but adds to the conversations.

The mystery itself takes some really nice twists to get us to the final reveal. Secrets and surprises drive the plot to a very captivating conclusion.

Ivy grows so much within these pages. Her life is really at a crossroads. I was so happy with the way the story ended.

I am so excited for the next installment of this series. I really want to visit these characters again soon and get to know them even better.

I was nervous about reading this story last week as we hit the two year mark of my son’s death, but in a way I can’t really explain it gave me “food for thought”. Support can be found in so many places. We just need to have the courage to reach out or step into places and circumstances that may be uncomfortable at first but beneficial in the long run. I am not sure if the author’s mission was to give this type of a lesson, but I sure appreciated this story.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

The indefatigable Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day, and a writer by night. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in an inspiring century old house in North Texas and loves being surrounded by real-life history. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.
Visit Winnie online:
WinnieArcher.com

Winnie Archer is the pseudonym for national bestselling author Melissa Bourbon. Learn more at http://melissabourbon.com.
Twitter @MelissaBourbon


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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 April 4, 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.”

Mar 152017
 


I am delighted to have Janet stop by today!
Her new book Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table was released yesterday!

 

Kelly Jackson Mystery Series

by Janet Finsilver

 

When I read, not only do I look for a good story, I like to learn something new along the way. As a result of that, I’ve tried to put interesting facts into each of my books. I’ve researched some of the unique aspects of Mendocino, California, which my fictitious town of Redwood Cove is based on. Antique silver objects, Greek fortune telling, and sinker logs are a few of the areas I’ve sprinkled into my books. Dogs with special abilities are part of the series. I’d like to share some of this information with you in this post.

Years ago I read an article about a standard poodle trained to detect cancer in people. I found it fascinating. Since then numerous studies have been done. Dogs can find a variety of cancers. Their rate of success varies among the reports. Some research has shown up to 98% accuracy. This led to Fred, the basset hound in Murder at Redwood Cove.

My awareness for anything unusual regarding dogs was raised. I began seeing articles on a multitude of abilities. In Murder at the Mansion I introduced Jack and Jill, two canines trained to find bed bugs and termites. They extend their abilities to dry rot by the end of the book. Dogs are great for these tasks. Their acute sense of smell can lead them to hard-to-find bedbugs and prevent places being torn apart unnecessarily when searching for termites and dry rot. They are being used in England in many of the old mansions.

Princess, a tan Chihuahua, debuted in Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table. She’s a feisty retired hearing assistance dog that sports jeweled collars. Princess began to be a little hard of hearing and was replaced by a black Chihuahua named Sergeant. It was fun learning about the different ways they help their owners.

That book also has a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder dog. You will often see them being referred to as PTSD dogs. I chose a Bernese Mountain Dog for that role. This was one of the most unusual areas I researched. They are trained to do whatever their owner needs which varies from person to person. They might circle around the person to keep crowds at a distance or go into a home to be sure no one is hiding in the building. There’s even a dog phone they can be taught to use in certain situations. It sits on the floor, has a large button for the dog to hit, and dials a number that has been programmed into it.

I mentioned earlier that Mendocino itself has interesting aspects to it. The town and surrounding land has been designated as the Mendocino and Headlands Historic District. Many of the buildings are from the 1800s. The Mendocino Presbyterian Church dedicated on July 5, 1868, is still in use. There are strict rules that need to be adhered to when building or remodeling so the town keeps its “Old West” charm.

I’m currently working on my fourth book tentatively titled Murder at the Mushroom Festival. Mushroom hunting is big in the Mendocino region. I’ve taken two classes and now know more about fungi than I thought would ever happen in my lifetime!

Sinker logs are unique to the area and are also part of the fourth book. These are old-growth redwood logs cut down in the 1800s that remained in the river bed. People began harvesting them when they realized how valuable they were because of their grain and colors. A halt was put to collecting them when authorities became concerned about damaging the habitat.

Learning about antique silver objects led me to learn about apostle spoons. In Murder at the Mansion, my protagonist finds twelve well-crafted silver spoons with intricate designs. They were used as christening presents, and the spoon represented the baby’s apostle. She also finds an object to resembling a fish, with fins on one side and a split tail. It’s a knitting sheath. A needle was put in it, allowing the woman’s right hand to be free to handle the yarn. It helped her to work more quickly and efficiently, especially when walking.

Greek fortune telling in Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table involves reading the patterns in the grounds of Turkish coffee to predict the future. It’s a very ancient practice. Some people call it tasseography. A special copper pot with a long, triangular-shaped handle called a briki is used to prepare the coffee. There are a number of steps performed for the reading including putting the saucer on the cup, swirling the coffee in it three times, and flipping it over.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse at pieces of my Kelly Jackson mystery series!

~Janet


Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table
(A Kelly Jackson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington Publishing Corporation/Lyrical Underground (March 14, 2017)
Paperback 190 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1616509347
Kindle ASIN: B01HA435CI

 
 
 
 

Poisons, prophecies—and a peculiar past . . .

When a local woman begins searching for a couple she hasn’t seen since the 1960s, Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast manager Kelly Jackson and the crime-solving group, the “Silver Sentinels,” are quick to help out. They’re also quick to guess that they’re in over their heads after the woman is found dead beside the body of a Greek fortune teller—and a fellow Sentinel gets attacked. As Kelly juggles work and her responsibilities at a food and wine festival in town, she and her sleuthing posse must confront a killer obsessed with old secrets . . . and solve a murder mystery more than fifty years in the making . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have been looking forward to this book since finishing up the last one. This time Kelly and the Silver Sentinels start out tracking down a couple people that were in the area back in the 60’s but when their “client” is found dead along with a local fortune teller they are quickly involved to prove the two woman have been murdered. It puts their sleuthing skills to the test and a couple of them in danger too.

This ensemble cast led but Kelly Jackson, manager of the Redwood Cove B&B, is just fabulous. Their canine companions are icing the cake. Diverse and genuine they all mesh together using their strengths to their advantage to not only solve mysteries but to keep each other safe. I like that they stay in touch and work together with the local police. Their past experience shows they can trust each other and it is a little twist to the normal cozy where the protags investigate without the consent of the authorities. The new characters are very interesting too.

This plot is complicated because there are a lot of suspects and everyone seems to be hiding something. A multitude of twists and a surprising ending had me positively glued to the pages.

Ms. Finsilver adds a touch of romance to this story, is Kelly headed for a new relationship?

I have enjoyed all three stories in this series and I am excited for number four. All can be read on their own but I suggest starting at the beginning.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY best-selling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs–Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Her second book, MURDER AT THE MANSION, was released on June 7, 2016.

Author Links

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Web

Find out more about Janet Finsilver and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
The author is giving away 1 e-book copy of Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table!

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 Janet 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 March 29, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Feb 092017
 

I am wrapping this tour up today!
palette-for-murder-large-banner640

Sybil Johnson

Favorite Color –  Blue

Favorite Candy –  Frango mint chocolates

Favorite Snack –  Popcorn

Favorite Soft Drink –  diet Coke with Lime

Favorite Hard Drink –  Toss up between Pinot Grigio and Maker’s Mark Bourbon


Favorite Ice Cream Flavor – Mint chocolate chip

Favorite Movie –  Gone With The Wind

Favorite TV Show – Good Witch

Favorite Book – And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Favorite Fictional Character – Miss Marple

Favorite Super Hero –  Batman

Favorite Singer/Group/Band – I don’t really have a favorite group or singer. I listen to a lot of different kinds of music, old and new. Currently, I’ve been listening to The Carpenters. Karen Carpenter had a wonderful voice.

Favorite Carnival Ride – Ferris Wheel

Favorite Spring Activity –  I have a spring birthday so I enjoy making myself a birthday cheesecake. I love to experiment with new recipes. Peppermint Bark and Oreo cookie are my current favorites.

Favorite Summer Activity – Sitting out on our deck and reading or working on a story.

Favorite Fall Activity –  Disneyland! I love the Halloween decorations and how they change the Haunted Mansion every year.

Favorite Winter Activity –  Walking down to the beach. There are fewer people around and it’s cooler though not cold. Very soothing.

Favorite Place to Read – Any place in my house that is quiet and sunny.

Favorite Place to Write –  Same as above. Any place in my house that is quiet and sunny.

Dream Vacation Destination –  Australia/New Zealand (taking a cruise ship to get there and get back)

Thanks Sybil for playing 20 Quick Questions!

SybilJohnson_2_cropped

About The Author –

Sybil Johnson’s love affair with reading began in kindergarten with “The Three Little Pigs.” Visits to the library introduced her to Encyclopedia Brown, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a host of other characters. Fast forward to college where she continued reading while studying Computer Science. After a rewarding career in the computer industry, Sybil decided to try her hand at writing mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E and Spinetingler Magazine, among others. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Southern California where she enjoys tole painting, studying ancient languages and spending time with friends and family.

Author Links

Website       Facebook Author page       Twitter
GoodReads       Publisher

 

a-palette-for-murder-front

A Palette for Murder (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Henery Press (January 31, 2017)
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635111415
E-Book ASIN: B01M74ZIL3
goodreads-badge-add-plus

A killer heat wave settles over Seagull Lane…

Summer’s sizzling in Vista Beach, the home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The abnormally high temperatures are hard on everyone in the quiet Los Angeles county beach community, especially the city’s homeless population. Residents are doing everything they can to stay cool, including leaving windows open to catch the faintest breeze. Not the best idea when a string of burglaries is plaguing nearby towns.

Still, Rory doesn’t expect to find her neighbor’s body just a few doors down. When suspicion falls on a friend and fellow painter, Rory must discover the truth before the police paint the wrong picture and send her friend away permanently.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Book 3 in this series takes us  to California is heat of summer and some thieves are taking advantage of residents leaving their windows open to catch an ocean breeze. Sadly one robbery leaves behind a body. Rory finds her neighbor dead of an apparent attack. Police quickly focus in Rory’s friend Dawn so Rory does a little investigating on her own but she may be painting herself into a corner.

What a perfect read while it is winter in Wisconsin. The heat seeped right out of  the book and made me feel the warmth and enjoy the breeze. I could almost smell the ocean and hear the waves as Rory chased down clues both in the murder and trying to find out who hurt a homeless man. A man who Rory has sort of taken under her wing.

The author really shined with this mystery. Willow, the woman who died, had secrets and quite a past. We keep learning more and more as the story continues and there are some surprising twists that paint quite a picture of who Willow really was. Ms. Johnson set a nice quick pace to this mystery. One that made the book very hard to put down, I did read it all in one sitting. One part even made me shed a tear or two.

I really enjoy the characters she has created. Close friends Rory and Liz, not quite Thelma and Louise, but they have a special bond. Rory’s romantic life is still in flux but I do enjoy the way the author is not rushing it, leaving it to evolve naturally and in a very believable way. Of course, there are always those bumps in the road that twist things up a bit. I think I know where she is headed and it is fun to watch it all play out.

Each story in this series is better than the last. I hate to think I have to wait a year for my next visit. Thank you Sybil for another perfect escape.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

More Praise for A Palette for Murder
by Sybil Johnson

This is an enjoyable read with interesting characters and plot turns… Readers of cozy mysteries will enjoy this one.
~ Christa Reads and Writes

With the help of friends and friends of friends, this neighborhood mystery reveals itself at a comfortable, steady pace.
~Laura’s Interests

The author does a great job creating a world that grabs the reader and pulls them in, keeping them engaged from start to finish.
~Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

I really liked this book, the story is interesting, the mystery keeps you guessing all the book and the characters are lovely and friendly.
~Varietats

Purchase Links
Amazon    B&N     iTunes     KOBO

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!
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.”

 

Death on West End Road (Hamptons Murder Mysteries) by Carrie DoyleBUY TODAY
%d bloggers like this: