May 052016
 

house hanging jade large banner new640

House of the Hanging Jade
by Amy Reade

House of the Hanging Jade cover with USA Today
House of the Hanging Jade
Contemporary Fiction/Suspense
Setting – Hawaii
Lyrical Underground (April 26, 2016)
ASIN: B0138NHCMO
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Synopsis

A dark presence had invaded the Jorgensens’ house. On a spectacular bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, something evil is watching and waiting . . .

Tired of the cold winters in Washington, D.C. and disturbed by her increasingly obsessive boyfriend, Kailani Kanaka savors her move back to her native Big Island of Hawaii. She also finds a new job as personal chef for the Jorgensen family. The gentle caress of the Hawaiian trade winds, the soft sigh of the swaying palm trees, and the stunning blue waters of the Pacific lull her into a sense of calm at the House of Hanging Jade–an idyll that quickly fades as it becomes apparent that dark secrets lurk within her new home. Furtive whispers in the night, a terrifying shark attack, and the discovery of a dead body leave Kailani shaken and afraid. But it’s the unexpected appearance of her ex-boyfriend, tracking her every move and demanding she return to him, that has her fearing for her life . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is the first book by Amy Reade that I have read but it definitely will not be the last.

Kailani Kanaka has had enough of the harsh winters in Washington D.C. so she decides to return home to Hawaii. She quickly finds a job working as a personal chef for the Jorgensens. Barbie Jorgensen wants her family to eat more healthy foods, while her husband Lars, and the kids, Marcus and Justine, love things like chips, hamburgers and pot roast. She grows close to the children as she teaches them about more healthy treats and teaches them a little cooking as well. She is so happy and feels at home.

But things are a little more cloudy in the household. Mom seems to be having an affair with a doctor living in the guest house, and Dad seems to know but Kailani tries to remain neutral and putsthe kids needs first. Then the man is founds dead in the pool and Kailani wonders if Lars got rid of his competition. As if there is not enough drama, her ex, Geoffrey, from Washington, shows up and is determined to win her back. She had no serious feelings for him when she left but apparently he did. She becomes unnerved when she finds him stalking her and demanding they get back together.

First of all the Hawaiian setting and the Jogensen’s home sounds absolutely fabulous. I hope someday to see the surf and sand myself. I don’t understand how anyone could ever leave the islands to live somewhere like D.C.

The characters Amy Reade brings to life in the pages are vibrant, complex, and real.  Kailani has a good soul and tries to see the best in everyone. Her boyfriend goes from quirky to crazy in a hurry. Barbi Jorgensen seems to be into every man except for her husband. Lars is a good man, in a tough spot. The oldest son Marcus is having trouble adjusting to life in Hawaii. The family has recently moved from California. Justine is at a tender age so Kalani feels very protective of her. We also meet Kailani’s family and her friend, Liko, who becomes the children’s tutor.

The Jorgensen home is a house full of secrets and Kailani seems to be caught in the middle.

There are more than a few suspenseful moments in this book. One where Kailani gets up close and personal with a shark. I think I held my breathe the whole time I was reading about that adventure. But it was the final twist that had me almost hyperventilating. So good, so, so good!

This is a excellent piece of suspense fiction. I could easily see it made into a movie of the week.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

2013 1548 Amy Reade
About The Author

Amy M. Reade grew up in northern New York. After graduating from college and law school, she practiced law in New York City before moving to southern New Jersey, where she lives now with her husband, three children, dog, two cats, and a fish. She writes full time and is the author of Secrets of Hallstead House, a novel of romantic suspense set in the Thousand Islands region of New York, and The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, a novel in the same genre set outside Charleston, South Carolina. Her third novel, House of Hanging Jade, is set in Hawaii and will be released in April, 2016. She is currently working on the first book of a series set in the United Kingdom (expected release date in early 2017). She loves cooking, reading, and traveling.

Author Links 

Website     Blog     Facebook 
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Purchase Links:

Amazon      B&N 

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Contest Will End May 12, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
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Tour Participants

April 25 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

April 26 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

April 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

April 28 – Musings and Ramblings – INTERVIEW

April 29 – Melina’s Book Blog –  REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

April 30 – dru’s book musings – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

May 1 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

May 2 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

May 3 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – GUEST POST

May 4 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

May 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

May 6 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

May 7 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

May 8 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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 022016
 

the ones who matter most

The Ones Who Matter Most
by Rachael Herron
Release Date – – April 5, 2016
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Paperback: 432 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451476760
E-Book ASIN: B011IVPBPI
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From the acclaimed author of Splinters of Light and Pack Up the Moon comes a beautiful novel about two very different women who are about to get a second chance at creating a family…

After her husband dies unexpectedly, Abby Roberts comes across something startling: wedding photographs of him with another woman, along with pictures of a baby boy. Shocked, Abby does something utterly impulsive: She embarks on a journey to discover the family her husband apparently left behind.

Money has always been tight for single mom Fern Reyes, and never tighter than now. But this month, in place of a child-support check, her ex’s pretty, privileged wife appears on her doorstep with far too many questions. Unfortunately, her young son is so taken with Abby that Fern doesn’t have the heart to send her away.

What begins as one woman’s search for truth becomes a deep bond forged between the unlikeliest of people, and the discovery that there are many ways to make a family—as long as you take care…

CONVERSATION GUIDE INCLUDED

rachael herron from amazon
About The Author

Rachael Herron is the bestselling author of the novels Splinters of Light and Pack Up the Moon (both from Penguin), the five-book Cypress Hollow series, and the memoir, A Life in Stitches. She also writes under the pen name Lila Ashe. She received her MFA in writing from Mills College, Oakland. She’s a New Zealand citizen as well as an American, and she is a proud member of the NaNoWriMo Writers Board. This semester, she’s teaching writing extension workshops at both UC Berkeley and Stanford. Visit her at www.rachaelherron.com or find her where she lives: on Twitter @rachaelherron on Facebook, on Pinterest too.


Find more books by Rachael Herron here.

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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.
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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Mar 212016
 

multiple listingsMultiple Listings
Contemporary Fiction/Family Life
Setting – Oregon
Gallery Books (March 8, 2016)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1476785523
E-Book ASIN: B00P42WZG6
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What would you do if your ex-con father suddenly came to visit…indefinitely? Family drama ensues when Nicki’s dad unexpectedly wants to move in with her, her son, and her boyfriend in this comedic novel from successful TV writer Tracy McMillan.

Nicki Daniels owns a home appraisal business, but real estate is her true passion: she lives for open houses and really knows her way around a floor plan. And especially at this juncture of her life, real estate has come to signify the stability she is trying to build with her teenage son, Cody, and her much younger boyfriend, Jake. She’s finally ready to find the perfect house for the three of them and work on a new business venture with Jake that she thinks will jump-start their lives together.

Meanwhile, Ronnie, a longtime inmate at a nearby correctional facility, is getting some good news for once—there was a mistake in his sentencing, and he’s eligible to get out of prison. Ronnie decides his best option to avoid homelessness is to move in with his estranged daughter: Nicki. Even though they haven’t spoken in years, her door is always open to him, right?

Imbued with wit and profound insight into relationships, Multiple Listings speaks poignantly—and often hilariously—about the ties that bind families of all types together.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I escaped right into this novel.

First we meet Nicki, a real estate appraiser with a 16 year old son, Cody, and a boyfriend, Jake, that is 11 years her junior. Things seem to be on track. They are looking for a new house and are opening a restaurant together.

Then we meet Ronnie, Nicki’s father who has been incarcerated most of her life. He is being released from prison and needs to have a place to live and a job or he will violate his parole and be sent back.  He wants to reconnect with his daughter and meet his grandson. He just hopes she will let him live with her.

The chapters alternate narrators between Nicki and Ronnie and I really liked that. Their own point of views to the situations made them easy to identify with. We were able to see each character develop separately and together and their relationship struggle and grow.

I knew very early in the story what the ending would be because the story followed a very natural progression. There were a few surprises along the way, like Ronnie’s parole officer. That woman was in the wrong job and needs some counseling of her own. We also have Peaches, Nicki’s very outspoken best friend. She brings some humor and drama to the story.

When I was asked to review this book I thought it was going to be a light read full of humor. It does have a humorous side but the book has so much more. Nicki’s family was clearly dysfunctional but she turned her life around and is very successful in her own right. Yes, she does have relationship issues with men but she was clearly getting grips on that as the story continued. Her son, Cody, also matured before our eyes as he and Ronnie got to know each other and built their relationship. Ronnie is a very smart man, both from all the books he read in prison and through his life lessons.  It was a joy to watch him interact with both Cody and Nicki and become the person he hoped to be with all the bumps along the way.

I loved this story. Definitely one for my keeper shelf. I am a sucker for a book with flawed characters and a happy ending.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Tracy is a TV writer, essayist, and memoirist who has written for the acclaimed TV series Mad Men and The United States of Tara. Tracy’s 2011 essay for The Huffington Post, “Why You’re Not Married” went viral when it first published, and it’s now among the most-viewed articles on The Huffington Post ever. Her experience as a relationship-writer has infused her novel with profound insights in complex family dynamics. She also discussed this topic in a TED Talk in 2014. She has appeared as a relationship expert on shows like Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday and The Today Show.

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 042016
 

the flood girlsThe Flood Girls
Contemporary Fiction
Setting – Montana
Gallery Books (February 2, 2016)
A Division of Simon & Schuster
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1476797380
E-Book ASIN: B010MH9ZO2
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Welcome to Quinn, Montana, population: 956. A town where nearly all of the volunteer firemen are named Jim, where The Dirty Shame—the only bar in town—refuses to serve mixed drinks (too much work), where the locals hate the newcomers (then again, they hate the locals, too), and where the town softball team has never even come close to having a winning season. Until now.

Rachel Flood has snuck back into town after leaving behind a trail of chaos nine years prior. She’s here to make amends, but nobody wants to hear it, especially her mother, Laverna. But with the help of a local boy named Jake and a little soul-searching, she just might make things right.

In the spirit of Empire Falls and A League of Their Own, with the caustic wit of Where’d You Go, Bernadette thrown in for good measure, Richard Fifield’s hilarious and heartwarming debut will have you laughing through tears.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Needing a little change from the mysteries I usually read I jumped at the opportunity to review this book and am I glad I did.

Growing up in a small town, my family owned and operated a tavern and we even sponsored a baseball team so I felt right at home in Quinn and The Dirty Shame. We meet Rachel who has come home to make amends to the people she wronged in her past. Yes, she’s in Alcoholics Anonymous. Since letters didn’t work she has decided to do them in person. She is not welcomed with open arms but a spot on the baseball team and meeting a boy named Jake may help her to complete this very important step.  She also attends a local AA meeting and receives support from some surprising people.

Rachel left a bit of chaos when she left town. She slept with a lot of guys, single and married. I know growing up in a tavern environment can be difficult, thankfully I had strong, loving parents guiding my way but I gave them some gray hairs too. Rachel’s life was nowhere close to mine. Her mother worked a lot and was emotionally unavailable and Rachel took an unsurprising path. She gets a second chance. The people of Quinn are a tight knit group. Will they accept Rachel’s apologies?

Richard Fifield has hit a home run with this debut. All of these characters, and there are many, are so well developed they positively leap off the pages. At first I had a little trouble keeping everyone straight but soon the vast personalities grew and it became easy. From the main characters to the bar patrons, the ladies on the baseball team, the firemen and everyone Rachel came in connect with, they were all believable characters. They are a pretty rough and tumble bunch. Their lives have not been easy and some tough times take place within the pages. The young man Rachel befriends has been struggling with his identity mostly because of his home life. His step father just can’t accept that he is gay and things take a huge and and very unexpected, at least by me, dark turn. I was afraid something was going to happen and when it did, it stopped me cold.

Fifield also knows to set the scene, the bar, the baseball fields, the trailer parks, his descriptions were fantastic.  His pacing was perfect. The dialogue was great too, whether a phrase filled with sarcasm or a heart warming talk, or anywhere in between.

I enjoy reading stories that make me feel an abundance of emotions and this story truly did that. I can’t say I laughed out loud or say it “hilarious”, but there were some funny moments. There were some uplifting moments as well. It is the heartbreaking ones that are going to stick with me. I have a picture in my head that will be in there a long time. I think this story would be an outstanding choice for a book club. I know there would be some great discussions. I wish I belonged to one because I would love to talk about this book with others.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Richard Fifield earned his MFA from Sarah Lawrence College in upstate New York. For the past twenty years he has worked as a social worker for adults with intellectual disabilities, while volunteering as a creative writing teacher in Missoula, Montana. Find out more on his webpage here.

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 092016
 

My January Reading Schedule was full when I was invited to review this book but I hope I can squeeze it in somewhere soon.

the view from prince street
The View from Prince Street:
(Alexandria Series)

2nd in Series
Contemporary Woman’s Fiction
The Berkley Publishing Group (January 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425278260
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKJWA
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The author of The Union Street Bakery and At the Corner of King Street returns to Alexandria, Virginia, with a heartfelt tale of reconnection.

Rae McDonald was fifteen when a car accident took her sister’s life and threw her own into reckless turmoil. When she got pregnant a year later, she found a loving couple to adopt the child. Since then, she’s buried her grief and guilt under a heart of stone.

Lisa Smyth survived the fateful crash, but never told the truth about what happened. And when a family obligation draws her back to Alexandria, the weight of Lisa’s guilt grows heavier by the day.
As both women confront a past refusing to be forgotten, long-buried artifacts are discovered by the Shire Architectural Salvage Company that point to a shared history between families. Now, Rae and Lisa must finally ask themselves if denying the past is worth sacrificing the future.

“Taylor’s complex tale spans three families over two centuries and includes a dose of ancient magic, but the story remains grounded in fascinating history and emotional turmoil that is intense yet subtle. An intelligent, heartwarming exploration of the powers of forgiveness, compassion, and new beginnings.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The second book in Taylor’s Alexandria series completes the story started in the first novel, and everything wraps up beautifully. Continuing characters from the Union Street Bakery series provides richer depth to the narrative. Themes of family, letting go of the past, and owning up to mistakes breathes life and emotion into the tale.”—RT Book Reviews

Image and bio from Amazon

Image and Bio from Amazon

About The Author

A southerner by birth, Mary Ellen Taylor’s love of her home state, Virginia, and its history is evident in the first of her contemporary women’s fiction, The Union Street Bakery. Its protagonists, the McCrae family, own the establishment, part of Alexandria’s Old Town for more than 150 years. They returned in Sweet Expectations. In both instances their stories intertwine with those of the city and the nation and with mysteries rooted in the past. While the McCraes are not the focus of Mary Ellen’s latest books, The View from Prince Street and At the Corner of King Street, she once again pulls past events into the present, sharing their impact on her characters and their lives.

Mary Ellen was born in Richmond and has spent most of her life there, but also lived in Alexandria for four years, which is when she fell in love with Old Town,the setting for all four of her novels. She grew up in a family that embraces stories of all kinds, from a well-told anecdote to a good yarn or a tall tale. It may have been inevitable that Mary Ellen would embrace her storytelling heritage, walk away from her job and challenge herself to become a published author.

In addition to writing, cooking and baking are important creative outlets for Mary Ellen and she’s been known to name recipes in honor of her characters. She recently earned her Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate at the University of Richmond’s Culinary Arts Program. Her two passions –writing and baking–merged for the first time in The Union Street Bakery.

Another interest–issues related to adoption–also informs Mary Ellen’s work. Her daughter and grandmother are both adopted, and the families in all four of her books are touched in some way by the rewards, joys, challenges and questions accompanying the dynamics of being or having adopted a child.


Just click on book covers to order from Amazon.

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The Publisher is allowing me to give away 1 Print Copy!!

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.

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.

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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Dec 292015
 

almost alwaysAlmost Always
PageSpring Publishing (January 12, 2013)
Contemporary Woman’s Fiction
Setting – Ohio
Trade Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1939403032
E-Book ASIN: B00AR93X1C
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Here’s the way Eva sees it: if John is so concerned about her butting into strangers’ lives, he shouldn’t leave her sitting at a table in Bob Evans with nothing to occupy her time . . . Enter Cecelia—a pregnant teenager who needs a family for her baby. Fate has placed her at the table behind Eva and John. Now Eva has a chance—a chance to give her daughter, Shelly, the one thing Shelly desperately wants. But nothing is ever as easy as it seems. Because sometimes daughters are not born to us—they are gifted by desperate teenagers—or seated behind us at Bob Evans . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I will admit I picked this book up because I thought it going to be more of a Christmas story looking at the cover. A gingerbread house does play a part in the story but this more of a year round story.

I would find it difficult to be Eva’s child and hope I am never a mom like her. I know it is a in mother’s nature to always want to fix things, but sometimes Eva just goes too far. She does have a huge heart and thinks she is doing the right things and that her way is the best way but they way she butts her way in to certain situations drove me a little nuts.  Eva happens to overhear a conversation in a restaurant, a pregnant teenager talking to her friend. She immediately decides it is fate and this girl is going to give her baby up to Eva’s daughter who has been trying to adopt a child. We follow on Eva on her journey to make that happen.

It is a very heartwarming story in places and aggravating in others but a very compelling read none the less. Eva is a complicated character with many layers. While I didn’t like her overbearing qualities she was very real. There are many moms in this world just like her. She has a good heart, helps her friends and neighbors, but could have been more supportive of her husband and a little more understanding of her daughter’s wishes. She does open her heart and home to Cecelia and they become very close. Things do “Almost Always” work out the way Eva wishes but the key word is “almost”.

Husband John is retired and is interested in gingerbread houses. In fact, he is planning to make one to enter into a contest held in North Carolina. Eva wishes he had a more “manly hobby” and thinks he is wasting his time in his endeavor to enter the contest.

Daughter Shelly and her husband have been unable to have a child and their attempts in adoption have failed when the birth mothers have backed out. They have decided to just take a breather from all the treatments and filings to regroup when Eva informs them of her plan. They are not sure what to do or say but they are just not ready for another disappointment.

Cecelia comes from a single parent home with a mother than is basically absent. She is following in her mother’s and sister’s footprints by having a child way too soon and is completely overwhelmed by the prospect of being a mother.

This story is very well written with many twists. The characters are very developed and realistic . They continue to evolve as the story continues.  Eva was over the top but redeems herself a little bit in the end.

I enjoyed this story.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away my review copy!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 12, 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.”

Dec 102015
 

dorothy parker drank hereDorothy Parker Drank Here
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Setting – New York
The Berkley Publishing Group – December 1, 2015
An Imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC
Trade Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425278093
E-Book – ASIN: B00L9AXSUE
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The acid-tongued Dorothy Parker is back and haunting the halls of the Algonquin with her piercing wit, audacious voice, and unexpectedly tender wisdom.

Heavenly peace? No, thank you. Dorothy Parker would rather wander the famous halls of the Algonquin Hotel, drink in hand, searching for someone, anyone, who will keep her company on this side of eternity.

After forty years she thinks she’s found the perfect candidate in Ted Shriver, a brilliant literary voice of the 1970s, silenced early in a promising career by a devastating plagiarism scandal. Now a prickly recluse, he hides away in the old hotel slowly dying of cancer, which he refuses to treat. If she can just convince him to sign the infamous guestbook of Percy Coates, Dorothy Parker might be able to persuade the jaded writer to spurn the white light with her. Ted, however, might be the only person living or dead who’s more stubborn than Parker, and he rejects her proposal outright.

When a young, ambitious TV producer, Norah Wolfe, enters the hotel in search of Ted Shriver, Parker sees another opportunity to get what she wants. Instead, she and Norah manage to uncover such startling secrets about Ted’s past that the future changes for all of them.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

All of Dorothy Parker’s friends and enemies see the white light and follow it quite quickly to the great beyond. Not Dorothy, she plans to stick around as long as she can but she does get lonely. Enter Ted Shriver who has come to the Algonquin Hotel to meet his maker. His writing career ended years ago when he was accused of plagiarism. He has nobody to stick around for, he just wants to be left alone to die, but Dorothy has other ideas.

This is the second book Ellen Meister has wrote featuring the one of a kind Dorothy Parker. Each book stands on its own and are fantastic reads. She has captured the woman to a tee and throw in plenty of Dorothy’s zingers that I just loved.

Dorothy Parker was a formidable woman in her time and the perfect leading lady/ghost. If you happen tosee her across the room or walking down the street you would never know she was a spirit. Her clothes have come around and are back in style. She does have a few limits as to where she can go and when but you have to read the book to find out those details.

As in the first book, Dorothy’s appearance does alter the world around her and the people she meets. Meister fills the story with twists, turns, humor and a lot of heart.  Parker’s fearlessness shines in these pages. The secondary character of Ted Shriver and TV producer, Norah Wolfe are both strong characters too. Dorothy brings everyone together as only she can. Things are not easy but Dorothy doesn’t give up.

Caution – have a tissue handy for the ending.

This was a really quick read for me. I was totally engaged the whole entire way.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out all about Ellen and her books on her webpage here.

Find More Ellen Meister books here.

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have Paperback 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.

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 December 25, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Sep 082015
 

I am really excited to be part of this tour!!
girl meets class large banner 640

Girl Meets Class
by Karin Gillespie

GIRL-MEETS-CLASS-by-Karin-GillespieGirl Meets Class
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Setting – Georgia
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (September 8, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1941962855
E-Book ASIN: B00ZD1VIXO
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Synopsis:
The unspooling of Toni Lee Wells’ Tiffany and Wild Turkey lifestyle begins with a trip to the Luckett County Jail drunk tank. An earlier wrist injury sidelined her pro tennis career, and now she’s trading her tennis whites for wild nights roaming the streets of Rose Hill, Georgia.

Her wealthy family finally gets fed up with her shenanigans. They cut off her monthly allowance but also make her a sweetheart deal: Get a job, keep it for a year, and you’ll receive an early inheritance. Act the fool or get fired, and you’ll lose it for good.

Toni Lee signs up for a fast-track Teacher Corps program. She hopes for an easy teaching gig, but what she gets is an assignment to Harriet Hall, a high school that churns out more thugs than scholars.

What’s a spoiled Southern belle to do when confronted with a bunch of street smart students who are determined to make her life as difficult as possible? Luckily, Carl, a handsome colleague, is willing to help her negotiate the rough teaching waters and keep her bed warm at night. But when Toni Lee gets involved with some dark dealings in the school system, she fears she might lose her new beau as well as her inheritance.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is my first Karen Gillespie read but it sure won’t me my last! If was good to stray from the mystery genre for this fantastic story!

Toni Lee Wells is what I would call an adult spoiled brat at the beginning of this story. Her pro tennis career is over due to an injury and her family is rich so she has no worries. Life is easy and free and fun until she gets arrested one to many times for her father and especially her Aunt Cornelia who controls the purse strings. She cuts Toni Lee off without a cent and gives her an ultimatum – get a job, keep it for a year, follow all my other rules and I will give you 5 million dollars. Fail and you are your own.

Toni Lee does have a college degree but no job experience so she hooks up with a Teacher Corps program. She is excited thinking teaching is such an easy job until she arrives for her first day at a school that is underfunded and full of underprivileged kids. The kids are more street smart than book smart and her first days are not easy. But she meets Carl, a teacher with plenty of experience and pretty easy on the eyes. Her life is not smooth sailing though. Being new Toni Lee finds herself in the middle of some shady dealings at the school and not everyone is thrilled as her relationship with Carl escalates. Then there is Aunt Cornelia’s rules hanging over her head.

I have to say I didn’t really like Toni Lee at the start of the story. She really had no concerns, she could do almost anything and her family would bail her out. She was helping a friend pay some bills but I thought she was pretty self centered. I applauded her aunt cutting off but leaving the 5 million dangling didn’t sit well with me. Then the teacher twist happened and Toni started to evolve and I began to like her and wanted to see her succeed.

The part of the story that really grabbed me though was the school and the corruption. In Wisconsin, right now we have a Governor that is a war with teachers and public education. School budgets are cut to the bone and nationwide there is a shortage of teachers. Wisconsin has taken things beyond the Teacher Corps in the story by deregulating teacher licensing standards. So if you think things that happened in this school are far fetched I can tell you they are not. In fact they are worse.

Gillespie also features an interracial couple in Girl Meets Class. This adds a whole under layer to the story. The words of a few characters made my skin crawl but this is still a hot topic in America which is just infuriating.

This is a very fast read with some heavy themes but Gillespie has a way of writing that keeps the importance of the topics but they have a lighter feel while enlightening the reader. She adds  Southern charm and humor in exactly the right amounts and places. I love that most of the characters grown throughout the whole story.

A very smart novel. I highly recommend.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

20150618_153113 (1)About The Author –

Karin Gillespie is national bestselling author of five novels and a humor columnist for Augusta Magazine. Her nonfiction writing had been in the New York Times, The Writer Magazine and Romantic Times. She maintains a website and blog at Karingillespie.net. Sign up for her newsletter on her website, follow her on Twitter or connect with her on Facebook.

 

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away 1 e-copy of Girl Meets Class!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Leave a comment for Karin 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 September 22, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

The tour continues….
Tour Participants

September 7 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
September 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Giveaway
September 9 – Musings and Ramblings – Review, Giveaway
September 10 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight, Giveaway
September 11 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
September 12- A Chick Who Reads – Review
September 13 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Guest Post, Giveaway
September 14 – View from the Birdhouse – Review, Giveaway
September 15 – Kelly P’s Blog – Spotlight
September 16 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
September 16 – Book Babble – Review
September 17 – Girl with Book Lungs – Review
September 18 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post
September 19 – Laura’s Interests – Review, Giveaway
September 20 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review, Giveaway
September 21 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
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 262015
 

This is a little different from what I usually review but Michael Perry is a Wisconsin author that writes about life in Wisconsin in a very fun way. This is his debut into fiction waters and I just had to share it with you.

JESUS COWThe Jesus Cow: A Novel
Fiction – Humor – Satire
Setting – Wisconsin
Harper Collins (May 19, 2015)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ASIN: B00N0W4ZT2
E-Book ASIN: B00N0W4ZT2
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Life is suddenly full of drama for low-key Harley Jackson: A woman in a big red pickup has stolen his bachelor’s heart, a Hummer-driving predatory developer is threatening to pave the last vestiges of his family farm, and inside his barn is a calf bearing the image of Jesus Christ. His best friend, Billy, a giant of a man who shares his trailer house with a herd of cats and tries to pass off country music lyrics as philosophy, urges him to avoid the woman, fight the developer, and get rich off the calf. But Harley takes the opposite tack, hoping to avoid what his devout, dearly departed mother would have called “a scene.”

Then the secret gets out—right through the barn door, and Harley’s “miracle” goes viral. Within hours pilgrims, grifters, and the media have descended on his quiet patch of Swivel, Wisconsin, looking for a glimpse (and a percentage) of the calf. Does Harley hide the famous, possibly holy calf and risk a riot, or give the people what they want—and raise enough money to keep his land—and, just possibly, win the woman and her big red pickup truck?

Harley goes all in, cutting a deal with a major Hollywood agent that transforms his little farm into an international spiritual theme park—think Lourdes, only with cheese curds and t-shirts. Soon, Harley has lots of money . . . and more trouble than he ever dreamed.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was a wonderful read. I love stories set in my own state. Michael Perry dips his unique writing style into the fiction well and I loved it.

In The Jesus Cow we visit Swivel, Wisconsin on Christmas Eve as Harley Jackson’s cow gives birth to a very special calf. Harley is unsure what to do until Hollywood comes to town and turns his life and the town of Swivel upside down.

Farming, religion, politics, housing recession, ecological concerns, romance, neighborly feuds, and even a bit of scandal come together in the very satirical portrait of small town life.  The people of Swivel are those you could find in any small town. They all have their causes and quirky behaviors. Harley Jackson hasn’t had much luck in the finding true love. He is happy working his job, tending his “beefers” and being part of the volunteer fire department.  I like Harley, he is different. He is introverted and was brought up in a very religious home but has lost his faith. When his calf is born with a clear picture of Jesus Christ on its side he truly wonders if it’s a sign. He remembers the teachings pf his mother. Good Christians do not draw attention. When his secret gets out he is really in a quandary about what to do.

Michael Perry is an incredible storyteller. He has created interesting characters and a town for them to come together and be observed in a way only he can. The story in funny and touching and does have a message.  Those that already loved Perry’s non-fiction works will love this. If he is a new author to you this is a great place to start.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Michael Perry and his work on his webpage here.

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away my review copy!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 10, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Jun 182015
 

summer's listSummer’s List
Contemporary Christian Fiction
Setting – Texas
Publisher: River North (June 1, 2015)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0802412324
E-Book ASIN: B00PI111LS
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A dying wish alters the course of a young woman’s life.

Life hadn’t been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness-caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother’s bookstore-she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love… didn’t turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something-or someone.

Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer’s past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is a little different from what I have been reading lately but when I was offered a copy to review I jumped at it.

Summer has put everyone else first and she made some poor choices in the romance department. She breaks off her latest relationship and goes to visit her grandmother to give her the news but her grandmother has news of her own. She is very sick and has just a few months to live. As a woman who is very strong in her faith she is not really scared or upset about the news but Summer is devastated and doesn’t want to accept that her grandmother is dying. Her grandmother has a perfect solution to help Summer.  She gives her a list, sort of a bucket list, but more a list of things Summer missed out on while she was taking care of others. The top item on the list was finding her childhood friend and even includes taking a hot air balloon ride. Summer was hesitant but finally agrees.

This a wonderful story. I loved the characters and really appreciated the many messages sent throughout the story. The characters are all flawed and dealing with different things in their lives. A few are angry at God and believe me I am in the place several times each day. One of the supporting characters had suicidal thoughts, just like my son, and I thought I was not going to be able to finish. I don’t think this is too much of a spoiler, but the outcome in the story was different than in my life, and I was happy for that.

I have not read anything by this author before but hope to read more of her books in the future. She is a great storyteller and weaves the religious parts in excellently and doesn’t come off as preachy at all.  The romance parts are just what you would expect for this type of novel.

If Christian fiction is a genre you enjoy I highly recommend this story.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Anita Higman and her books visit her webpage here and Like her on Facebook here.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving my review copy away!!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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 July 2, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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