Apr 152014
 

guidebook
Guidebook to Murder
A Tourist Trap Mystery
New Cozy Series!
Published by Kensington Trade (April 17, 2014)
Paperback: 226 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1601833044
E-Book File Size: 1128 KB
ASIN: B00FY54N72
B&N ISBN-13: 9781601832382
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South Cove California is a tourist stop along the coast. Jill Gardner owns Coffee, Books, and More  and she just wants to make enough to keep the business open. She is relatively new to the town. It was meeting Miss Emily one day that convinced her to move to South Cove. Miss Emily is an elderly woman who has had a bunch of businesses crop up around her home. Her house needs a lot of work but when she receives a letter telling her the town council is going to condemn her home or force he to sell to a big developer she calls Jill in a panic. Jill calms her down and tells her they will work things out. But before that can happen Miss Emily passes away very unexpectedly. She leaves her home and all its problems to Jill, but Jill thinks Miss Emily was murdered and sets out to prove it even as the killer tries to puts Jill out of business permanently.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I knew I was going to love this book and I sure did. Jill Gardner is a great character. She is down to earth and her confidence while shaky at the start continues to grow throughout the story. She also likes food and she features some tasty treats in her shop. There will be even more if Aunt Jackie has her way.

Aunt Jackie is a lot like my mom was, do things now and get permission for them later. Jill asks Aunt Jackie to help her with the store as she deals with Miss Emily’s house and all that entails and Jackie took “help” to a whole new level. I was laughing out loud.

I was sad that Miss Emily became the murder victim. She was quite a woman and she has a few secrets. I would have loved to spend more time with her.

South Cove is also home to Detective Greg King. A handsome guy that just keeps running into Jill. The sexual tension is thick enough to cut with a knife. It is going to be fun watching this relationship progress.

The mystery is great too, I just wish I had Jill’s energy, not only does she find out what happened to Miss Emily and why, she also makes substantial repairs to Miss Emily house. Of course she has outside contractors to help but just pulling everything together while painting and decorating was miraculous and a joy to read.

There is a lot going on in this book. The pages just flew. I have been trapped by this Tourist Trap mystery and can’t wait to be trapped again by Mission to Murder coming July 31, 2014.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Lynn Cahoon on her 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.”

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Apr 092014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640I am excited to Welcome LynDee Walker and her
Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour here today!

LynDee headshot

Mickey, Magic, and Malice—a fairy tale vacation

by LynDee Walker

I am a total Disney nerd.

Yep. There, I said it (typed it, anyway).

1660443_10152212257684827_1128681450_nThe movies, the parks—I love it all. We have several pieces of framed Disney artwork in our home, all of which have been here since way before we had children.

It goes back as far as I can remember: the movies were a big part of my childhood. My mom loved them almost as much as I did. But as a single mom with a career and a lot of responsibility, vacations were scarce. I didn’t visit Disney World for the first time until I was married.

My sweet hubby took me for our first anniversary, and I had more fun than any ten children. We’ve been back every 12-24 months since, and it’s still my favorite place in the whole world.

We’ve marked a milestone there with each of our three little ones: they all get a Disney trip for their third birthday. This year, it was my baby girl’s turn to “go to Mickey’s house.”

It turned out to be a dream vacation in just about every way I can imagine—and a few I wouldn’t have dared to.

We got off to an iffy start with a nine-hour flight delay that ate up our first day in the park. But my children—even the three-year-old—were such good babies that day. No less than a dozen other women made a point to tell me so at some point before we finally made it out of Orlando International Airport. Any mom who’s ever had a rough day knows how proud I was of them.

1780668_10152212241829827_1971031158_nWe salvaged the evening and made it to Magic Kingdom for our must-do rides, then rushed to Chef Mickey’s for the baby’s birthday dinner with her favorite mouse.

1511025_10152139073634827_1823945735_nThe next morning kicked off clear and perfect, with sunshine and breakfast with Winnie the Pooh. We rode roller coasters (my little daredevils love anything the height restrictions allow them on) and played and walked off all the amazing food. They hugged their favorite characters. We took photos and made wonderful memories.

And then on Tuesday, a little extra touch made this the Disney trip to top all Disney trips (for me, anyway). A phone call came, in the most perfect time and place, and added the perfect sprinkle of magic.

small town spinLet’s back up a bit: y’all, I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I can remember. For most of my life, that dream was pretty Lois-Lane-shaped. I loved being a journalist. I was conscious of the fact that people trusted me with their stories, and I worked hard to tell them right.

But when I became a mom, everything changed. Reporting means long, unpredictable hours. Not super-conducive to family life. I’ve never regretted my decision to leave the newsroom, but boy, I missed writing. Then Nichelle and her friends took up residence in my head, and I discovered I could have it both ways. I am a girl blessed.

I can say without reservation that the past year has topped every dream I had about being an author. I am so thankful for each reader who has had fun with Nichelle, and those of you who’ve taken time to let me know that have made my days brighter.

Back to Disney: I never expected this call. Didn’t even dare to dream of such a thing, because so many writers who are far wiser than me, who have been generous enough to give me advice, said it’s easier when you don’t.

FRONT PAGE FATALITYYet there she was, the Agatha Awards committee chair, shouting over the din of the crowded restaurant where I stood that my debut novel had been nominated for best first novel of 2013.

Holy. Cow.

I asked her about 10 times if she was sure she was reading her list correctly. I thanked her. I hung up. And then I burst into tears. After I managed to tell my family that nobody died, we celebrated. With cupcakes (the grey stuff one really is delicious).

1926764_10152212246089827_745451299_nSeriously, y’all—on vacation at my favorite place in the world, surrounded by the people I love most. Standing in the dining room in Belle’s castle—because where is more perfect to receive such news than in the palace of Disney’s bookworm princess? I couldn’t have written it better.

My own personal fairy tale.

I think that’s why I’m such a Disney geek: I am a sucker for a happily ever after.

As a journalist, I saw some of the most horrifying things human beings can do to one another and watched people survive the worst days of their lives. As a mom of three, I have the daily honor of guiding these wonderful little people through the big scary world. I want for them what every mom wants for her little ones: happiness.

I know that’s what my mom wanted most for me, too, and let me assure you: I was pretty darned happy that January Tuesday, riding a roller coaster with my oldest (she’s nine going on 29) and watching her grin when she turned to me and said “that award thing is seriously cool, mommy. I’m so proud of you.”

Heart. Melted.

Thank you all so much for being part of this fabulous year. I’m so, so excited about the launch of the third Headlines in High Heels novel, Small Town Spin, and I hope you have fun following Nichelle to the beach.

Now y’all tell me: what’s your most magical vacation memory?

 ~LynDee

1654395_10152143829159827_678895878_nAbout LynDee Walker

LynDee Walker’s award-winning journalistic work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the nation. After nearly a decade covering crime, courts, and local politics, she left full-time reporting for motherhood with a side of freelancing and fiction writing. Small Town Spin is the third in her bestselling Headlines in High Heels Mystery series. The fourth arrives January 2015.

LynDee adores her family, her readers, and enchiladas. She often works out tricky plot points while walking off the enchiladas. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is either playing with her children or working on her next novel (but probably not cleaning her house).

Author Links

www.lyndeewalker.com

www.facebook.com/lyndeewalkerbooks

Twitter @LynDeeWalker

small town spin
Small Town Spin
(A Headlines in High Heels Mystery)
(Volume 3)

Cozy Mystery
Published by Henery Press (April 8, 2014)
Paperback: 280 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940976037
E-Book File Size: 584 KB
ASIN: B00JH2RAFA
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When a superstar athlete’s son turns up dead in a tiny town on the Virginia coast, crime reporter Nichelle Clarke gets the inside scoop. But she quickly spies a gaping hole her inner Lois Lane cannot ignore.

Determined to unravel the mystery, Nichelle fights off paparazzi cameras and an unexpected rival. She uncovers an illegal moonshine operation, a string of copycat suicides, and a slew of closets stacked with more skeletons than slingbacks. Chasing a killer who’s a breath from getting away with murder, Nichelle realizes too late the culprit has her number—and it might be up.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

LynDee Walker is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors and Nichelle Clarke one of my favorite protagonists. I started this story and just couldn’t put it down.

Even when she is sick Nichelle keeps going. Those darn allergies have to take a back seat when her co-worker asks her to check out a story. His friend’s son is dead and the cops say it’s suicide. The boy’s parents just don’t believe it and want Nichelle to investigate and find out what really happened. Let me say Nichelle works better sick than most of us work healthy. She puts on Manolos, channels her inner Lois Lane, and starts digging and following clues. She is bound  and determined to get her exclusive story and leave TV reporter Charlie in the dust. She also wants to give the boy’s parents some kind of closure.

Walker has written quite a mystery with some corkscrew turns and twists and fabulous characters. She also adds the perfect amount of romance and humor. I really love “bad guy” Joey. He has it Nicey bad and he is always there just when he needs her most.  But Kyle is still fighting to have her give their relationship another chance. Stay tuned I think things will heat up even more in the next installment.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

LynDee is giving away a Super Prize!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

great escape tour banner large SMALL TOWN SPIN large banner640

Tour Participants

April 8 – Mystery Playground – Interview
April 9 – readalot blog – Review
April 9 – Escape With Dollycas – Cozy Wednesday
April 10 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
April 12 – deal sharing aunt – Interview
April 14 – Community Bookstop – Review
April 15 – Beth’s Book Reviews – Guest Post
April 16 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review
April 17 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview
April 18 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review
April 19 – Books-n-Kisses – Review
April 20 – Brooke Blogs – Interview
April 21 – Queen of All She Reads – Review – Guest Post
April 22 – A Chick Who Reads – Review

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

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Apr 032014
 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00001]Organized for Murder:
Organized Mysteries book #1 (Volume 1)

New Cozy Mystery Series
Gemma Halliday Publishing (February 23, 2014)
Paperback: 254 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1495379956
File Size: 1728 KB
Amazon – ASIN: B00ILBRNXC
BN ID: 2940148290353
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Organization expert Kate McKenzie is on track to make her new business, STACKED IN YOUR FAVOR, a hit in small-town Vermont. But when her first client, the wealthy Amelia Nethercutt, is found dead, the job takes a decidedly sinister turn.

Kate thought she and her family were making a fresh start in her husband’s hometown, but she quickly learns that small towns can hold big secrets. When her first client is poisoned just after Kate leaves her mansion, she knows she’s gotten off to a bad start. But things only get worse when the police find Kate’s fingerprints on the murder weapon, suddenly putting her in the position of suspect number one. The stopwatch is ticking for Kate to prove she had nothing to do with the murder, and the odds are further stacked against her when items stolen from the Nethercutt mansion start showing up in the McKenzie home. Now, Kate must trust her methodical skills and expert eye to sort out who is trying to frame her and to find the real killer before she’s organized right into a jail cell.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A nice start for this new series!

Kate is a very likeable protagonist. Her first organization job turns out to be huge and she needs to bring in her friend Eve and her nemesis Valerie as well to help her inventory the vast collections at the Nethercutt mansion. I enjoyed Eve and Kate friendly relationship and the way they dealt with Valerie, who was really there as a spy for Sophia, Amelia Nethercutt’s stepdaughter. The entire Nethercutt family are all very interesting characters. They all made viable suspects.

The plot was well paced and I enjoyed the way Kate followed the clues in a very organized fashion. The author added some great twists, I was surprised by the actual murderer.

I enjoyed all the organizational tips that started each chapter. They could easily be spun off into another book. Several will be introduced into my own household.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author

Ritter Ames lives in a small town in the middle of America, but spends each day globe trotting the art world from her laptop, with her cat riding shotgun and Pandora blasting from the speakers. COUNTERFEIT CONSPIRACIES is her first full-length fiction. A second cozy mystery series, starting with ORGANIZED FOR MURDER will be released by Gemma Halliday Publishing in January 2014. She tries to blog regularly at http://ritterames.wordpress.com/ and uses her Pinterest boards at http://www.pinterest.com/ritterames/ to capture great places and ideas she wants to use in both series. Follow her blog and boards to learn more about Ritter and her upcoming books.

Author Links:

Web page: http://ritterames.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ritter.ames

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RitterAmes

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/ritterames/

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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Apr 022014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

I am so happy to welcome Melissa here today! When her last book A Custom-Fit Crime back in July she was busy with a huge home remodel and couldn’t drop by. This time she is not only here for Cozy Wednesday she is also touring with Great Escapes Book Tours. You can check out the tour here.

Welcome Melissa!

Melissa-Bourbon-Ramirez-_2The Beauty of a Snow Flake

 

My two book series take place in hot states. The Lola Cruz mysteries take place in Sacramento, California, and A Magical Dressmaking mystery series takes place in the fictional town of Bliss, Texas. Both are cities where you can fry an egg on the sidewalk in the summer and freeze your toes off in the winter.

When we moved to Texas from the Sacramento valley nearly six years ago, we’d been here six months and it snowed!  On Christmas Eve, no less.  It was magical. We’d never lived where it snowed, and while North Texas isn’t known for its snow, we’ve gotten a good dusting almost every year. This year, we’ve had four or five snow days (some of them ice days) and we still love every single one of them.

killing_notionThat first Christmas Eve, we were awestruck by the storm, the falling snow, the breathtaking beauty of it all.  It was fabulous to see, and we fully appreciated the beauty of each snowflake that fell.

Recently, on a snow day and when I was procrastinating, I ended up looking up quotes about snow. “To appreciate the beauty of a snow flake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.”  I have no idea who said this, or what inspired it.  At first glance I agreed with the statement. Yes, absolutely, you have to be outside catching snowflakes to really see their beauty.

 

But then I remembered a children’s book I have (a Caldecott winner) called Snowflake Bentley.  It is the true story of a man who spent his life photographing snowflakes.  It’s a fabulous book and one we read every holiday season (even now that my kids are older).

If I tried to turn this quote about snow into one about writing, it would read something like: To appreciate the beauty of a book, it is necessary to go through the (sometimes excruciating) process with the writer.

But I don’t agree with that at all!  As a reader, I can absolutely appreciate the beauty of a book without having personally struggled with the plot, the revisions, the character development, or any of the other myriad challenges faced in the book-writing process.  In fact, the best bsnowflakes-908726-mooks are like a gentle snow where the words and plot and characters flow together so seamlessly that before long the whole landscape is dusted in white and fairly sparkles.  I can curl up and enjoy a book like this, getting lost in the magic that an author created.  That’s an amazingly beautiful experience.

Isn’t it the same with a snowstorm?  Do I really have to stand out in the cold to know that no snowflake is identical, to realize that snowflakes are C.O.L.D., to take in the beauty of a flurry of snowflakes?  No!  I can stand at my window and know the truth about snowflakes, and appreciate their beauty (while staying warm).

Now, if I choose to go outside in the snow, my experience will be different (as it was when we all bundled up and went out to build tiny snow people and tried to sled that first year in North Texas–it wasn’t that much snow!).  I’d find a different kind of beauty.  It’s like being Snowflake Bentley and wanting MORE than the beauty of the storm.  He wanted to take the storm apart and look at the pieces.  That’s what writers do when they craft their books. We take one snowflake at a time and piece them together into a sparkling landscape of white.  Our hope is that readers will appreciate the beauty of the flurry and not be able to pick apart the plot, or see it as only pieces of a whole.  It’s my hope with every book I write that I’ve created a landscape that a reader can and will get lost in.

So, what do you think?  Do you have to be outside in the cold to really appreciate a snowflake?

~ Melissa

About Melissa Bourbon

Melissa Bourbon, who sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name Misa Ramirez, gave up teaching middle and high school kids in Northern California to write full-time amidst horses and Longhorns in North Texas.  She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with yoga and chocolate, is devoted to her family, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.

She is the Marketing Director with Entangled Publishing, is the author of the Lola Cruz Mystery series with St. Martin’s Minotaur and Entangled Publishing, and A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series with NAL. She also has written two romantic suspense novels, a light paranormal romance, and is the co-author of The Tricked-out Toolbox, a practical marketing guide for authors.

Connect with Melissa

Website: MelissaBourbon.com

Facebook: Author Misa Ramirez/Melissa Bourbon

Twitter: @MelissaBourbon

Goodreads: Misa Ramirez / Melissa Bourbon

killing_notionA Killing Notion:
A Magical Dressmaking Mystery (Magical Dressmaking Mysteries)

5th in Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (April 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451417206
E-Book File Size: 1819 KB
Amazon ASIN: B00F9EZBXS
B&N ISBN-13: 9781101602744
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It’s homecoming time in Bliss, Texas and the girls are working on their mums. Like everything in Texas these mums are big!! Harlow Jane Cassidy, owner of Buttons & Bows, is not only helping with the mums, she is making several homecoming dresses. Gracie has decided to make her own dress. Then when Gracie’s date for the dance is accused of murder Harlow realizes Gracie is going need much more than help with her dress. Harlow needs to patch together the clues and clear the boys name before the whole homecoming celebration is ruined.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

First things first I had to do a little investigating into the Texas size mums, we don’t have anything like it to my knowledge here in Wisconsin. I found some pictures of them on The Style Sisters blog. Why these girls would want to cover up these beautiful dresses or wear this kind of thing around their neck all day is beyond me but it seems to be quite the tradition.

Now Melissa has crafted quite a mystery while her characters were crafting their mums. Gracie has grown up so fast and this story really zones in on her character. Her boyfriend is not only struggling with his father’s death, he is also the cops prime suspect.

This story has a very interesting twist that I started to put together just a bit ahead of Harlow and then another huge twist at the end that took me completely by surprise.

This is one of my favorite series as I too come from a background full of seamstresses and before my accident sewing and crafting were the way I spent all of my free time. I love all the characters and the way all their charms work. MeeMaw continues to make her presence known and she just tickles my heart.

As soon as I finish a Melissa Bourbon story I always want more. These are characters I truly hate to leave behind as I wait for my next trip to Bliss. This is a wonderful series, start at the beginning and sit back and curl up with some great cozy mysteries.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PLUS

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Melissa for 5 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 16, 2014 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.”

 

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Apr 022014
 

great escape tour banner large death on eat street large banner640

Death On Eat Street
by J.J. Cook

death on eat street

Death on Eat Street
(Biscuit Bowl Food Truck)

A Brand New Cozy Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (April 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425263457
E-Book File Size: 1949 KB
ASIN: B00F9EZAUW
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Zoe Chase always wanted to own her own restaurant—but first, she’ll have to serve up a heaping helping of meals on wheels, with a side of mystery…

When she’s once again passed over for a promotion at work, Zoe decides to take the big leap and go for her dream. She quits, gives up her fancy digs, and buys a fixer-upper diner in a shady part of town. To keep above water during the renovation, she buys a used food truck to serve the downtown and waterfront of Mobile, Alabama.

Zoe starts to dish out classic Southern food—but her specialty is her deep-fried biscuit bowls that blow traditional bread bowls away.

After a promising start, things start to go downhill faster than a food truck without brakes. First, someone tries to rob the cash register. Next, Zoe is threatened by the owner of a competing food truck for taking their spot. And when the owner ends up dead inside Zoe’s rolling restaurant, Zoe and her sole employee, Ollie, find themselves hopping out of the frying pan into the fryer. They need to find the real killer, before both of them get burned.

(Recipes Included)

Dollycas’s Thoughts

For a great cozy series to be a success you have to have great characters that readers can get comfortable with and invest themselves in. J.J. Cook has introduced us to some truly wonderful characters in this new series.

Zoe is a leading character readers will fall for quickly. Passed over time and time again for jobs that went to men, men she had trained, she chucks the easy paycheck and goes after her dream. She wants to open a restaurant and to make enough money for that she starts out with a food truck selling some awesome biscuit bowls with delicious fillings.

Her parents, who are divorced, think she has lost her mind. Her mom is a bit over the top but her dad seems to understand but won’t stand up to his ex-wife. This couple plus her Uncle Saul  brings  much of the comedy to this story.

Then there is Zoe’s boyfriend that soon becomes her ex-boyfriend who may be banking smart but is relationship stupid.

Her friend Ollie has her back and helps out with the food truck. He is a homeless man she met at a shelter where she donates any food not sold at the end of the day. There is much more to his story and we just scratch the surface in this installment.

To top things off there is Miguel, the lawyer that comes to Zoe’s rescue more than once and makes her heart rate increase. I can’t wait to see how this relationship progresses.

And I mustn’t forget Crème Brûlée, Zoe’s fabulous feline. He plays a key role!

Added to this characters is a fantastic mystery. As the body count rises Zoe does her best to try to sort out the clues and find the real killer.

J.J. Cook has cooked up a real winner with this series debut. I read it all in one serving, I mean sitting. I could not put it down!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About J.J. Cook

J.J. Cook writes award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, Joyce and Jim Lavene, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family. Visit them at www.jjcook.net.

 Author Links

www.tellingstoriesthrupictures.blogspot.com

www.jjcook.net

@authorjlavene

https://www.facebook.com/BiscuitBowlFoodTruckMysteries

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18492486-death-on-eat-street

I have 2 copies to give away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for J.J. Cook for 5 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 16, 2014 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.”

 

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Mar 282014
 

The Alpine YeomanThe Alpine Yeoman:
An Emma Lord Mystery

25th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Published by Ballantine Books (March 25, 2014)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0345535337
E-Book File Size: 1382 KB
    Amazon ASIN: B00FIMZ08C
    B&N ISBN-13: 9780345549877
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Alpine Washington 2005

This series continues as newlyweds Emma Lord and Milo Dodge are remodeling and adding on to her log cabin to make room for both of them. Emma is the publisher of the Alpine Advocate and Milo is the town Sheriff.  When a dead body is found is found near the local fish hatchery they each need to get back to work and do their jobs even if it means irritating the other one. Emma has deadlines to meet and wants information. Milo has a killer to catch and has to hold things back from her. But together they make a wonderful team.

Dollycas Thoughts

I have loved this series from the beginning and truthfully to fully enjoy this story you really should start at the beginning. It is hard to get to know these characters and all they have been through if you try to read this story as a stand alone.

I do really think Mary Daheim tops herself with each and every book. She packs a lot into 350 pages.  There are teenage girls missing, a dead body that nobody knows (meaning he isn’t from Alpine and the residents aren’t really interested), and then a deputy takes some time off and basically falls off the map. She has written a fantastic mystery with a twist that brings to light a secret that had been buried a long time.

What I also love about these stories are the subplots,

  • Vida and her grandson – he is in big trouble this time.
  • Mitch and Brenda are still dealing with their son in prison.
  • Amanda’s baby is due soon.
  • Ed has come up with another stupid idea.
  • Milo’s daughter Tanya is getting better, closer to Emma, and has even started dating.
  • and more!!

The story is full of humor too, from Milo and Emma crazy newlywed behavior, to the meals she tries to get him to eat, to him forgetting to tell her things she needs to know, like there are walls of the house coming down.  I think it is cute the way they try to relax together with a drink at the end of each day but Milo wanting Emma to sit on his lap (and you know where that leads) was a little over the top for me.

Again this author has written an intelligent mystery with wonderful characters in a beautiful setting. The “Z” story should be very interesting. Be sure to check out her Bed and Breakfast series too!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find Out More About Mary Visit Her Website 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.”

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Mar 272014
 

inherit the wordInherit the Word
(A Cookbook Nook Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (March 4, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Teresa Fasolino
Cover Design by Jason Gill
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425258071
File Size: 1416 KB
ASIN: B00EOARZMI
B&N: ISBN-13: 9780698137967
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Jenna Hart moved back to Crystal Cove, California, to recapture her joie de vivre and to help her aunt Vera run the local culinary bookshop and café. But it’s hard to follow a simple recipe for relaxation when murder gets thrown in the mix…

The Cookbook Nook and Cafe has been asked to host this year’s Grill Fest. The theme is GRILLED CHEESE!! Eight local chefs plan to win the judges favor with their sandwich creations. This is not a friendly battle, it is a grudge match and tempers are as hot as the stoves they are cooking on. A break is taken before Round 1 and it proves deadly. The 8 time Grill Fest Champ is found dead in the alley behind the Nook. It doesn’t take long for one of the other competitors to be named the prime suspect.  Jenna know the woman wouldn’t hurt a fly and she is bound and determined to find the real killer before they get away with another murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The second Cookbook Nook Mystery is even better than the first. I don’t know why but it took be awhile to get in touch with Jenna in Final Sentence, the first book in this series. This time she had be from page one. She jumped right in to prove her friend’s mother was innocent and sort through a ton of clues to catch the killer. I also was happy that more about Jenna’s husband death came out but I think there is more to that story.

My favorite character again was Aunt Vera, she is so funny and takes everything in stride. She can also give you a tarot card reading on the spur of the moment.  There are plenty of the required quirky characters in this cozy and level headed ones as well. Jenna’s dad is a former FBI analyst, and Rhett Jackson, former chef and now owner of a sporting goods store, both are easy on the eyes.

The mystery was extremely well plotted and kept me guessing until the very end. I had a twist in my head that didn’t play out at all. I will say the final twist Gerber threw at us did really throw me for a loop.

I also like the bookstore setting and the wide range of books and other products they carry, including a kids corner.  Much more than cookbooks, culinary mysteries too. It is fun to see some of my favorite cozies are on the shelves at The Cookbook Nook.  Another plus is the Nook Cafe. I would love a few cooking lessons from Katie myself.

This is a fun and entertaining story. It will have your mouth watering in no time. Good thing the author includes some recipes!! Stirring the Plot, the next book in this series hits stores September 30.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Daryl Wood Gerber 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.”

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Mar 222014
 

dead ballDead Ball
(The Lainie Lovett Still Kicking Mysteries)
Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
Bell Bridge Books (January 31, 2014)
Paperback: 248 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1611944112
E-Book File Size: 617 KB
ASIN: B00I9GYO8G
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Lainie Lovett teach fourth grade in the very rich and very historic Massachusetts town of Rockford and plays soccer in a women’s soccer league.  When she finds out her teammate’s husband, a home construction tycoon,  had been killed at one of his job sites she just couldn’t believe it. She drives by the site on the way home and sees the crime scene tape all around the home. She also is questioned by the police about her reasons for being there.  Who knew checking out where someone was killed would land you at the top of the suspect list?

So, who pulled the trigger of the nail gun that killed construction tycoon Arthur Cavanagh? His widow, who’d sworn to kill him if he ever cheated on her? His hostile teenage son, who felt neglected by his father? His foreman, who’d regularly fought with his boss? The angry environmentalists, protesting his latest development? Or the blond mystery woman who’d been seen with him the night of his death? Lainie has to find out to get her life back. Her students and her team need her!!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a wonderful start to a new cozy series.

Lainie is a terrific main character. She is easy to like and care about. We know she is a dedicated teacher that really cares about her students and will go the extra mile to help them strive. I am a bit jealous of her athletic ability but her regimen really impressed me. She also has a way of getting to the bottom of things and following clues even if it means putting herself in danger. She also has a vulnerable side as she takes steps reentering the dating game after her husband passing away a couple of years ago.

There are also several supporting characters like Lainie’s daughter, Karen, who has moved home after college and is having some dating issues herself.  Peter, one her husband’s law partners, who comes to Lainie’s rescue when the cops start to really believe she was in on the murder. Bill Stavic, who dropped into Lainie’s life just in time to bring her a lot of grief and a bit of pleasure. Plus there are Lainie’s soccer teammates who know the gossip and the truth and most of them are her friends.  There is so much room for all of them to grown in future installments.

Arnold also crafted a great whodunit that kept me guessing to the very end.  I really enjoyed this story and am looking forward to see what kind of trouble Lainie gets herself into next.

I do caution there is strong, adult language in this book so it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about Judith Arnold and her books 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.”

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Mar 152014
 

In my continuing quest to pare down by ever growing To Be Read Shelf
I am giving up another book.

road to cardinal spotlightThis is the Hardcover Edition

The Road to Cardinal Valley
Berkley Hardcover (December 31, 2012)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0425252841
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages (January 7, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-0425253823
E-Book File Size: 480 KB
ASIN: B0095ZMGC6
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In this heartwarming follow-up to Earlene Fowler’s national bestseller, The Saddlemaker’s Wife, Ruby McGavin returns to the small town of Cardinal, California, where a year ago she brought her husband’s ashes back to his family’s ranch, and discovered safety, peace, and love…

Back in Cardinal, Ruby is hoping the place and people who gave her so much can give her brother, Nash—who’s been drowning in drink in Nashville—the fresh start he so desperately needs.

Saddlemaker Lucas McGavin is thrilled that Ruby is back. He hasn’t given up on his love for her, despite the awkward fact that she’s his brother’s widow—and that this may be his last chance to win Ruby’s heart.

When Nash starts drinking again and has a devastating accident, Ruby seeks out their estranged mother to help with an intervention, not realizing that Etta Walker harbors a horrible secret that keeps her from reconnecting with the children she deserted so many years ago.

As Ruby, Lucas, and Etta struggle with the present and confront the past, they each learn the power of forgiveness…and reach for a new future filled with hope, grace, and love.

To find out more about Earlene Fowler and her books visit her webpage here.

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 1 copy to give away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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, 2014 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

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Mar 142014
 

keeping mum
Keeping Mum
(A Garden Society Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (March 4, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Catherine Deeter
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252062
E-Book File Size: 1539 KB
ASIN: B00EOARZ46
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Roanoke, Virginia, is home to some of the country’s most exquisite gardens, and it’s Camellia Harris’s job to promote them. But when a political fundraiser turns deadly, everyone’s a candidate for murder…

Camilla has been asked to help plan a gala for a candidate running for Senate. With Annie’s help they come up with the perfect plan.  A murder mystery themed silent auction where the guests bid on who will be the night’s “victim.” What could  go wrong? Well when the first body is found and he was not the “designated victim” and he is really dead you know things are not going well.

Turns out not too many people are sad that local financial tycoon Derrick Windermere is dead.  This leads to plenty of suspects and as police start to sort things out one of those suspects has disappeared. Annie’s dad, a former state senator is missing.   Cam quickly finds herself trying not only to find Annie’s dad but a killer. These two things just have to be connected.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is the 3rd book in this series and all my favorite characters are back. Cam, Rob, Annie, Jake, Petunia and Nick, plus more. There are a lot of characters in these stories. This time the Garden Society wasn’t the host of the event so some of those members were replaced by some politicians and other very interesting people. Sometimes it was a little hard to keep everyone straight but as the very intriguing plot played out things came together nicely.

Alyse Carlson has created a very current story using the political arena for her theme.  Nothing good seems to happen when a group of politicians with opposing views get together, even if they are surrounded but acres of beautiful flowers. I am surprised there aren’t more mysterious deaths as people are very passionate about their politics.

Cam, Annie and Rob dig right in to solve both mysteries with just a bit of help their favorite officer, Jake. With Annie’s father missing this personal for all of them.  The secrets they uncover that may help catch Windermere’s killer are just an added bonus until they see where those secrets are leading them and then they can’t let go even if it means putting themselves in danger.

Carlson has a very descriptive way of writing that not only brings her characters to life but the settings as well. From the beautiful bountiful gardens or the deep dark woods or the sailboats in the marina, the are all in vivid color in our minds. She includes those little details that help us “see” the story.

I was sad to see the alphabet series end after The Azalea Assault and The Begonia Bribe, but no matter what they are titled I am a fan of Alyse Carlson captivating cozies. Chrysanthemum may have just been too long for a title :)

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author
Alyse Carlson is the pen name for the author some of you may know as Hart Johnson. She writes books from her bathtub and when she isn’t writing, does research for a large, midwest University or leads the Naked World Domination Movement (your choice).

Check out Alyse’s blog: Confessions of a Watery Tart.

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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