Jul 312015
 

special guest blueI am really excited! Daryl Wood Gerber’s Fudging The Books comes out on Tuesday! She is here today telling us about some of her research and I will tell you about the book and give my review. Then stay tuned because her Great Escapes Book Tour starts tomorrow and runs through August 6. Each stop will not only be reviewing the book but will also be sharing a yummy recipe and hosting a giveaway!! Please help me welcome Daryl to Escape With Dollycas! 

Daryl Wood Gerber 0218 100dpi

FUDGING THE BOOKSWhile doing research for Fudging the Books, the 4th Cookbook Nook Mystery, I had to do a whole lot of chocolate tasting. Poor me. I tried different cocoas. I tried different high-end chocolate bars. I came up with a number of new recipes for the book, including of all things, cocoa croutons for salads and oranges dipped in chocolate.

Now, I can’t share any of the recipes from the book with you before its publication date, but if you didn’t know, I’ve had recipes in other books, and today’s is one of my all-time favorites.

From Stirring the Plot, the 3rd Cookbook Nook Mystery, which featured Halloween food, I also included French Silk Fudge Cake. It’s the cake served at the Winsome Witches luncheon. Jenna adored it and begged Chef Katie to recreate it. The coffee makes the difference!

Isn’t it fun when my fictional characters can make my life that much tastier?!!

What chocolate do you like?

Savor the Mystery!

Daryl Wood Gerber
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous

blog_silkfudge_cakeFRENCH SILK FUDGE CAKE
From Stirring the Plot

Ingredients:

1 (3.5 to 4 ounce) bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped
1 ½ squares (1 ounce) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons coffee
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flour (*may use gluten-free flour plus 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum)
1/2 of a 3.5 to 4 ounce bittersweet chocolate bar broken into ½-inch pieces
If desired: whipped cream or frosting.

Note: I used Ghirardelli 72% dark chocolate instead of bittersweet chocolate.

stirring the plot

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 4 mini-bundt cake cups.

Please 1 chopped bar of bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Place bowl in microwave and cook on low power until the butter has melted and the chocolate is soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir often to avoid burning the mixture.

In a mixing bowl, whisk cinnamon, coffee, eggs, egg yolk, sugar, and salt until combined. Stir in the flour. Mix in the chocolate mixture. Stir until smooth. Add the ½ bar of bittersweet chocolate that has been broken into ½-inch pieces. Spoon the batter in the prepared bundt cake cups. Fill about ¾ full.

Bake for about 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out wit “streaks’ of thick batter. The tops of the cakes will be nearly firm. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 -10 minutes. Serve warm…or wait 20 minutes and serve at room temperature with whipped cream squirted into the center of the bundt shape.

Note: If you want to frost this cake, consider baking it in cupcakes tins or in a 9-inch springform pan lined with parchment paper. Cook about 30-35 minutes.

About Daryl Wood Gerber

Agatha Award-winning and nationally bestselling author DARYL WOOD GERBER writes the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, set in the fictional coastal town of Crystal Cove, California.  As Avery Aames, she also writes the Cheese Shop Mysteries, set in quaint Providence, Ohio. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote”. She is married, loves to cook, and has a darling, frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky. Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.  Connect with her on Twitter, and Facebook, and don’t forget to sign up for her Keepin’ it Cozy newsletter.

FUDGING THE BOOKSFudging the Books
(A Cookbook Nook Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – California
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 4, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Teresa Fasolino
Cover Design by Jason Gill
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425279403
E-Book ASIN: B00QH8320E
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The Agatha Award–winning author of Stirring the Plot returns to the Cookbook Nook in Crystal Cove, California, where February brings Pirate Week, National Chocolate Month—and bitter murder…

Pirate Week is sweeping through Crystal Cove and keeping Jenna Hart and her bookstore, the Cookbook Nook, plenty busy. But she’s not too swamped to also host the local Chocolate Cookbook Club’s meeting—especially because the guest of honor is her friend, candy maker and cookbook author Coco Chastain.

Jenna whips up a delicious event amidst the rowdy festivities, but the mood is soon broken by robberies, simmering tempers, and a dead body—Coco’s editor, Alison. The suspects turn out to be more plentiful than a pot full of gold doubloons, so to prove Coco isn’t responsible for the dastardly deed, Jenna will have to stir up some clues and figure out who’s the real sticky-fingered killer…

INCLUDES RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

February in Crystal Cove is busier than you may think. First they celebrate Pirate Week and then it is Valentine’s Day. At The Cookbook Nook there are also the book clubs that meet. This month the Chocolate Cookbook Club welcomes Jenna’s friend, Coco Chastain, author and candy maker extraordinaire. She brings her whole crew to the meeting and things get just a little tense. Her publisher, Allison, seems to be working on books for several of Crystal Cove’s residents. When she is found dead Coco becomes the prime suspect but Jenna knows that is more to the story. She starts to stir things up as she tries to find the real killer. She is also is trying to find the pirate’s booty that someone made off with. Can this be connected to the murder…

When I pick up a book by Daryl/Avery I know I am in for a fantastic treat and should plan accordingly. She delivers her best story yet in Fudging the Books.

Crystal Cove seemed to be a quiet little place until Jenna came to town but she has plenty of friends to support and know all these murders are not her fault. Aunt Vera does her best to keep Jenna in line and readers giggling. She is one special lady. Jenna’s relationship with Rhett is also evolving nicely. Vera’s romance has hit a little bump in the road though. Bailey has a new pet thanks to her beau, Tito, and she is having problems getting him to like her.

The mystery is so well thought out and presented. The perfect amount of twists to keep us guessing. The author strikes a nice balance with the right amount of romance and humor. The characters are fun and very appealing. You want to know them better and care about their lives. All this but don’t forget the food, this time there is chocolate, and lots of it thanks to Chef Katie.

The setting is wonderful too. Crystal Cove sounds like a great place to visit and I would drop a bundle of cash at The Cookbook Nook. The shop is not only full of cookbooks but cozy mysteries that feature food. Several of my favorite author grace the shelves.

This book is quite a treasure, with pirates, murder, romance, humor and food! (Recipes included.) I am already excited for my next visit!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 3 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.

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

Leave a comment for Daryl 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 August 14, 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.”

Jul 282015
 

I have been taking less books for review lately when authors or publicists contact me out of the blue because I am so fortunate to be on automatic mailing lists for some awesome publishers. But when this author contacted me and I read the book synopsis I quickly said “yes”!! King Harald was a dog I wanted to know more about! If you follow this blog you also know I am finicky about reading series books in order so I told him I needed to read both books. He was wonderful and sent them right out. He will be my guest tomorrow for Cozy Wednesday but I have to share the first book with you today.

karma of king haraldThe Karma of King Harald
First Book In The Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Fictional Minnesota
Published by Conger Road Press (November 30, 2012)
Trade Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0985019624
E-Book ASIN: B00A55F62C
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When springtime arrives in picturesque New Bergen, so do the tourists and antiquers. This year, though, there are some unwelcome visitors. Extortion. Arson. And murder.

After his business tanks and his wife leaves him for a Pilates coach, Andy Skyberg flees the big city for the peace and quiet of his hometown. All he wants is a decent job, a steady girlfriend, a plasma screen TV with a hundred-plus channels, and one loyal dog. But fate has something else in store for Andy, when his big mutt King Harald starts sniffing out crime.

It’s clear that someone has it in for the town’s New Age retailer, Trudi Bock. And it’s also clear that Trudi wants to rekindle the steamy romance she and Andy enjoyed back in college. Andy has to fend her off, while placating his fiery girlfriend, Deputy Sheriff Cass Conlin.

Meanwhile, Harald keeps digging up more mayhem. And it falls to Andy to channel his inner sleuth and make sense of it all.

Throw into this mix one legendary (but lost) ebelskiver recipe…a gimlet-eyed church lady…a van full of federal agents…a crusty socialist…a beloved iguana…and an overabundance of rosemaling…

And you have all the makings for The Karma of King Harald.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

King Herald, “part Chesapeake and part moose” is an adorable character and famous for making some interesting discoveries. He climbs over his fence and rambles around town and has found a dead body of an iguana! His “boss” Andy Skyberg wishes he would stick to chasing squirrels. Andy has come back to New Bergen after his divorce. He spends his days working at his sister’s restaurant and trying to kick his artistic painting abilities into something he can live off of. He is dating Deputy Sheriff Cass Conlin but his old girlfriend Trudi would like to take her place. We also meet Andy’s Aunt Bev and she is quite a character herself. That is just in the first few chapters…there is so much more!

King Harald has stolen my heart. I especially like the chapters told from, his point of view. His supporting characters are pretty eccentric which is perfect for a cozy mystery. They are so unique and wonderfully written.

We are never really told where New Bergen is located but residents travel to “the cities” and Wisconsin, ebelskiver and rosemaling are a big thing there, so Minnesota is my assumption :) It sounds like quite a place and no one gets too excited about a big burly dog traveling about town by himself. Everyone knows where he belongs and many just send him or take him home. Sounds like a nice relaxed place aside from a murder or two.

Richard Audry drew me right into Andy and Harald’s story and it was a very entertaining read. A very captivating canine cozy with a just the right amount of humor and plenty of intricate shifts that keeps us readers on our toes. The story flows well. I do hope we get to know Andy a little bit better in book 2. It seems like his failure in past relationships has him in a bit of a rut and he is living in his sister’s shadow. He needs to bloom a little more.

All in all a nice debut for this series! Moving on to King Harald’s Heist.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Be sure to come back tomorrow to meet Richard Audry and read my review of King Harald’s Heist.  I will also be giving away both of my review copies and the author is giving away a set too!

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.”

Jul 252015
 

death of a cupcake queen 1
Death of a Cupcake Queen
(Hayley Powell Mystery)

Series: Hayley Powell Mystery (Book 6)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Kensington (May 26, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0758294531
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As the food and cocktails columnist for the Island Times, Hayley Powell attends a lot of events—but this one will be murder…

On the eve of her high school reunion, Hayley dreads seeing the trio of mean girls who used to torment her: Sabrina Merryweather, Nykki Temple, and former prom queen Ivy Foster. These days Ivy wears a different crown as the cupcake queen—and flaunting her success is just the icing on the cake.

But maybe the prom queen should have been voted Most Likely to Die. At the reunion, Ivy is found murdered, cupcakes scattered around her. Is a killer out to teach the mean girls a lesson? As Hayley tries to get the scoop, she’ll have to be careful…or someone may be writing this columnist’s obituary next.

Includes seven delectable recipes from Hayley’s kitchen!

To find out more about Lee Hollis check out the webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
My loss is your gain!
I am so behind in my reading so I thought I would share this ARC copy with one of you.
All I ask is that if you win you will post a review on GoodReads or Amazon or both after you read it!

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.

Contest Will End August 8, 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

Remember Advance Reader Copies can never be sold!

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 242015
 

trawling trouble large banner640

Trawling For Trouble
by Shelley Freydont

TRAWLINGTrawling for Trouble:
A Celebration Bay Mystery Novella

Cozy Mystery
Publisher: InterMix (July 21, 2015)
ASIN: B00NMPJ6XW
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Synopsis:

 

The author of Independence Slay is back as intrepid event planner Liv Montgomery discovers something fishy going on beneath Celebration Bay’s deceptively calm surface.

Liv Montgomery knew that asking Celebration Bay’s newspaper owner-slash-ne’er-do-well Chaz Bristow to teach her how to fish meant angling for more than a lesson in sinkers and chum. Like asking him to spearhead the fund raiser that’ll benefit the town’s community center. And there are worse ways to spend the afternoon than out on the town’s picturesque lake.

But it’s not long before Liv reels in a huge catch—already quite dead. It’s the body of an unknown man, and it was no accidental drowning. This floater was murdered. While local authorities investigate, it’s Liv and Chaz who stumble upon a shocking motive, and become live bait for a ruthless killer determined to keep his secrets down in the deep.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Liv is taking a little break between celebrations and Chaz has decided to teach her how to fish. Well wouldn’t you know the only thing she catches is the pocket of a pair of jeans. A pocket still connected to the pants and still being worn by a very dead man.

Hold on tight because this mystery is very fast paced and pretty exciting. Chaz and Liv are chasing down clues as fast as they can and trying to protect the ones that they love at the same time. Whiskey does his best to help them both out. The author has packed these pages full with drama and action.

Freydont has given us a nice quick novella as we anxiously await the release of Trick or Deceit out September 1. She also includes preview of that and a preview of A Gilded Grave that will be out August 4.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

ShelleyNoble FinalV3 copyAbout the Author

 

Shelley Freydont is the author of the Liv Montgomery Celebration Bay Mysteries, Foul Play at the Fair, Silent Knife, Independence Slay as well as the Kate MacDonald Sudoku Mysteries and the Lindy Haggerty dance company mysteries, and the upcoming Newport Gilded Age Mysteries, beginning with A Gilded Grave (6/15)

As Shelley Noble, she is the NYTimes Best selling author of women’s fiction (Beach Colors, Stargazey Point, Breakwater Bay, and Whisper Beach as well as several novellas. A former professional dancer and choreographer, Shelley lives at the Jersey shore and loves puzzles, light houses and antique carousels. She also loves to hear from readers.

A former professional dancer and choreographer, she most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. Shelley is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and Liberty States Fiction Writers.

For more about Shelley, please visit her website www.shelleyfreydont.com.

* Author Links

Website www.shelleyfreydont.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ShelleyFreydont

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/Shelley-Freydont/e/B001HCUVP4

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ShelleyFreydont

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July 25 – Brooke Blogs – Review

 

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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.”

Jul 232015
 

just for fun 2015This month I pulled a book from the shelf that I have wanting to read for months. The day I picked it up to read the author emailed me to ask if she could visit the blog. She will be stopping by on September 3. That means I have the perfect reason to read the next book in the series that I couldn’t squeeze in last month :)

death is like a box of chocolatesDeath Is Like a Box of Chocolates
(A Chocolate Covered Mystery)

1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Maryland
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (September 2, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by George Long
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425267233
E-Book ASIN: B00IOE4K5U
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Whether it’s to satisfy a craving for chocolate or pick up the hottest new bestseller, the locals in charming West Riverdale, Maryland, are heading to Chocolates and Chapters, where everything sold is to die for…

Best friends Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell are celebrating the sweet rewards of their combined bookstore and chocolate shop by hosting the Great Fudge Cook-off during the town’s Memorial Day weekend Arts Festival. But success turns bittersweet when Main Street’s portrait photographer is found dead in their store, poisoned by Michelle’s signature truffles.

As suspicion mounts against Michelle, her sales begin to crumble and her career seems whipped. With Erica by her side, Michelle must pick through an assortment of suspects before the future of their dream store melts away…

Includes Scrumptious Chocolate-Making Recipes!

The rules for Just For Fun Reads say no review necessary but I really liked this one and want to tell you about it.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Note – Make sure you have chocolate handy while reading!

This series blend two of my most favorite things – BOOKS! and CHOCOLATE!! Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell have opened Chocolates and Chapters combining a bookstore with a chocolate shoppe. What could be better?

West Riverdale, Maryland is the place to be for Memorial Day Weekend. The town is hosting an Arts Festival and a Fudge Cook-off. Michelle and Erica have been basically volunteered by the mayor to run the entire cook-off and they are on the general planning committee for the Arts Festival as well. Their friend Denise, a photographer, is also involved. She is waiting for her big break. She hopes to have a gallery showing of her work in D.C. soon.

Her dreams turn to dust when she is found dead, apparently poisoned by Michelle’s chocolate truffles. Michelle is obviously the first suspect but the evidence quickly starts to point to Erica’s brother-in-law. Faced with having their store shutdown until the killer is found Michelle and Erica start their own investigation not just to save their shop but to save the Memorial Day celebration too.

Kathy Aarons does a great job introducing us to all the characters for this new series. There are quite a few and fleshing them out enough for the reader to become engaged is not an easy task. There is plenty of room for them to evolve is future installments.

She has also whipped up quite a mystery sprinkled with plenty of diversions to keep us readers guessing. I was speechless as I reached the end.

I am truly looking forward to getting to know these characters much better. The next book in this series, Truffled to Death, is screaming at me from the shelf so I will be reading it very soon!

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

*This book was from my private collection.

Jul 222015
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

So Excited!
Terrie Farley Moran is my guest today fresh off her Caught Read-Handed
Great Escapes Book Tour!

terrie new

As soon as they finished reading Well Read, Then Dead, cozy readers began bombarding me with one question. “Now that the story is over, you’re not going to send Aunt Ophie back to Pinetta, are you?” Yeah right, as if I, or anyone else, could make Ophie do anything she doesn’t want to do. I mean, really?

So I wasn’t the least bit surprised when in the very first paragraph of Caught Read-Handed there was Ophie tapping her well-manicured fingernails and making demands. I may not have invited her back to the Read ’Em and Eat Café and Bookstore in idyllic Fort Myers Beach Florida, but I surely didn’t have the nerve to tell her she had to leave.

ftmyersbeachfort-myers-beach-sunset

CaughtReadHanded_newcomp.inddIn this second book of the Read ’Em and Eat series, Miguel Guerra is back in the kitchen whipping up tasty treats like Green Eggs and Ham, Harper Lee Hush Puppies and Miss Marple’s Orange Iced Scones. (The scone recipe was developed by Karen Owen and can be found in the back of Caught Read-Handed. TsconesMMo whet your appetite the finished product is pictured here.). And the food is still served on tables named for favorite authors, with bits and pieces of the authors work and a picture or two laminated on the table top. Care to have a seat at Robert Louis Stevenson, or is Dashiell Hammett more to your liking?

Ophie, complete with her trademark strappy high heeled sandals, has become a full time resident of the island community with a thriving consignment shop and a small bungalow of her own.

Sassy and Bridgy were thrilled to have their routine slip back to normal. But on a trip to the local library to donate books for a fundraiser, Sassy witnesses an argument between a loud, flashy woman and an uncommunicative man. He pushes his way out the door and right past Sassy to avoid confrontation. What was that about? She might have forgotten the entire episode, except that the man reminded her of an old friend. Within the next day or so, the woman is found murdered in her own hot tub and Sassy discovers that the wary man at the library is the brother of her old friend and has become the prime suspect in the murder. Seems to me the Read ’Em and Eat crowd is going to have to wait a while longer for normal.

If that is not enough chaos, Miguel is having difficulty focusing on his meticulous and delicious kitchen creations because he fears that his beloved Maine Coon cat, Bow, is in danger from the giant Anaconda snake that has made its way north from the Everglades and has been spotted swimming in Estero Bay. The community is of two minds as to what to do about the Anaconda. Some want it killed, others want it captured. It is a big clash for such a tiny island community.

So before I say goodbye, here are a couple of fun hints about what you can expect in Caught Read-Handed: 1. get ready for a change of Ophie’s foot gear when you least expect. 2. After this adventure, Sassy and Bridgy could easily call themselves the High in the Sky Detectives, still they prefer to remain the proprietors of the Read ’Em and Eat Café and Bookstore.

It is so great to talk to you all for a while. Now I am off to find a glass of sweet tea and a Miss Marple Orange Iced Scone. Happy reading.

About Terrie

Short-listed twice for The Best American Mystery Stories, Terrie Farley Moran is delighted to introduce mystery fans to the Read ’Em and Eat café and bookstore, which debuted with Well Read, Then Dead. The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is playing games and reading stories with any or all of her grandchildren.

Author Links:
Webpage     Facebook      Blog     Goodreads

CaughtReadHanded_newcomp.inddCaught Read-Handed
(Read Em and Eat Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Florida
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by S. Miroque
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270295
E-Book ASIN: B00Q5DLWXA
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From the national bestselling author of Well Read, Then Dead comes the second mystery featuring Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield, who bring Fort Myers Beach, Florida, residents plenty of sinful treats and killer reads at their bookstore café, Read ’Em and Eat.

Happy to help her fellow bibliophiles, Sassy visits the local library with book donations for their annual fundraising sale. Unfortunately, the welcoming readers’ haven is in turmoil as an argument erupts between an ornery patron and new staff member, Tanya Lipscombe—also known as “Tanya Trouble.” She may lack people skills, but everyone is shocked when she’s later found murdered in her own hot tub.

The man last seen arguing with Tanya is soon arrested. But Alan Mersky, a veteran with PTSD, happens to be the brother of Sassy’s former boss—and he’s no murderer. Now it’s up to Sassy and Bridgy to clear Alan’s name and make sure the real killer gets booked.

Includes a recipe for Miss Marple scones!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

So excited to return to the Read ‘Em and Eat Café! Sassy, Bridgy, Ophie and Miguel are back! This time a library volunteer is killed and we quickly see she was not a very nice person so there should be plenty of suspects but the police quickly hone in on a homeless veteran with PTSD, a man that looks very much like Sassy’s old boss, George Mersky.  Sassy contacts the man and finds out his brother, Alan is living in Florida. Sassy agrees to help the vet until his brother can get there to help. She enlists Bridgy to help her prove his innocence and find out who really killed “Tanya Trouble”.

Being back in Fort Myers Beach is like visiting old friends. Mary Sassafrass (“Sassy”) Cabot and Bridget (Bridgy) Mayfield are fabulous characters. They are girls after my own heart who love to read and eat and solve a mystery or two.  Ophie is a hoot and now has her own consignment shop. Miguel is back where he belongs, in the kitchen creating such wonderful delights. Jocelyn Randall is the pastor’s wife is always putting her foot in her mouth and only on her best behavior when the dear pastor is nearby. Through Pastor John we meet a fantastic group of veterans that rally to help their friend who has been wrongly accused. There is also a huge character that truly gave me pause. It seems there is an anaconda on the loose and poor Miguel is terrified his beautiful cat Bow will become its lunch.

Terrie Farley Moran has written a fantastic story. The characters are engaging. I especially like the wide variety of interesting people from the vets, to the ones that make up the book groups to tourists and residents that just stop by for a book or a meal. She a created a wonderful place for them to gather and enveloped them in a mystery that is very entertaining and just pure fun to read.

As I stated in my review of Well Read, Then Dead, the Read ‘Em and Eat sounds like a perfect escape if you ask me. If it were a real place I would pack my bags and leave today!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.

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

Leave a comment for Terrie 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 August 5, 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.”

Jul 212015
 

jamie quinn large banner640

The Jamie Quinn Mysteries
by Barbara Venkataraman

51newvUFzlL._UY250_Death by Didgeridoo
(Jamie Quinn Mystery Book 1)

Self Published
Setting – Florida
Print Length: 111 pages
ASIN: B00GVJ4WOY
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Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, still reeling from the death of her mother, is pulled into a game of deception, jealousy, and vengeance when her cousin, Adam, is wrongfully accused of murder. It’s up to Jamie to find the real murderer before it’s too late. It doesn’t help that the victim is a former rock star with more enemies than friends, or that Adam confessed to a murder he didn’t commit.

 

41t5kxOzGbL._UY250_The Case of the Killer Divorce
(Jamie Quinn Mystery Book 2)

Self Published
Setting – Florida
Print Length: 109 pages
ASIN: B00HJE3UES
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Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, has returned to her family law practice after a hiatus due to the death of her mother. It’s business as usual until a bitter divorce case turns into a murder investigation, and Jamie’s client becomes the prime suspect. When she can’t untangle truth from lies, Jamie enlists the help of Duke Broussard, her favorite private investigator, to try to clear her client’s name. And she’s hoping that, in his spare time, he can help her find her long-lost father…

 

416l3TXtSxL._UY250_Peril in the Park
(Jamie Quinn Mystery Book 3)

Self Published
Setting – Florida
Print Length: 140 pages
ASIN: B00KRQ0E1M
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There’s big trouble in the park system. Someone is making life difficult for Jamie Quinn’s boyfriend, Kip Simons, the new director of Broward County parks. Was it the angry supervisor passed over for promotion? The disgruntled employee Kip recently fired? Or someone with a bigger ax to grind? If Jamie can’t figure it out soon, she may be looking for a new boyfriend because there’s a dead guy in the park and Kip has gone missing! With the help of her favorite P.I., Duke Broussard, Jamie must race the clock to find Kip before it’s too late.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

If Barbara Venkataraman had not contacted me about doing a Great Escapes Book Tour I would have missed these books and that would definitely been my loss.

Jaime Quinn is a wonderful protagonist.  We meet her as she is trying to recover after her mother’s death. She doesn’t feel like going to the office at all. She has a Family Law practice dealing mainly with couples getting divorced and she just can’t deal with that right now.  Then she received a frantic phone call from her aunt. Her cousin has been arrested for murder. Well that would shake the cobwebs out of anyone’s brain but Jaime’s cousin has Asperger Syndrome and Jaime knows there is no way he killed anyone.  She hooks up with an old client,  a P.I. named Duke and together they are going to find the real killer and make sure her cousin is kept safe.

Then in The Case of the Killer Divorce, one of Jamie’s clients becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation. In Peril in the Park, Jamie’s boyfriend Kip needs her help and before she can get to the bottom of his problem he goes missing.

In all three stories she teams up with P. I. Duke to solve the case before the police can. There is also a subplot running through all 3 books of Jaime trying to find her father. Her friend Grace has the right contacts in the right places that moves this along very quickly.

These stories are short, the 3 together are just 338 pages so they are a very fast read but they are not short on details. The characters and plot-lines are fully developed and very well written.  With each story we get to know Jamie, Duke, and Kip better. The supporting characters are fleshed out as well.

The author takes on some issues too, Aspergers, political corruption, mental illness. She does this all without being heavy handed or preachy. Jamie is always fighting for wrongs to be righted. I really enjoy this character.

While these stories have a bit of suspense they are balanced well with humor and romance. Duke is quite a character and can always make Jamie laugh.

These stories ended much too soon. I am thrilled to learn Engaged in Danger will be released soon.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Authorbarbara new pic
Award-winning author, Barbara Venkataraman is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law and debt collection.

She is the author of “Teatime with Mrs. Grammar Person”; “The Fight for Magicallus,” a children’s fantasy; a humorous short story entitled, “If You’d Just Listened to Me in the First Place”; and two books of humorous essays: “I’m Not Talking about You, Of Course” and “A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities,” which are part of the “Quirky Essays for Quirky People” series. Both books of humorous essays won the “Indie Book of the Day” award.

Her latest works are “Death by Didgeridoo,” first in the Jamie Quinn series, “The Case of the Killer Divorce,” the second Jamie Quinn mystery, and, just out, “Peril in the Park,” the latest in the popular Jamie Quinn series. Coming soon, “Engaged in Danger“–the next Jamie Quinn mystery!

Author Links

GIVEAWAY

The author is giving away 1 copy wither E-Book or Audio!
Winner’s Choice!

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 Barbara 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 August 4, 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.”

Jul 182015
 

death by tiara
Death by Tiara
(A Jaine Austen Mystery)
(Book 13)

Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2015)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758285065
E-Book ASIN: B00ONTR4JO
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Freelance writer Jaine Austen thought she knew what she was getting herself into when she landed a gig working behind the scenes at a teen beauty pageant. But between the vicious stage moms, exacting judges, and trash-talking teens, she’s not sure she’s the woman for the job—especially when the catfights turn deadly…

Jaine has been hired by über-pushy stage mom Heather Van Sant to write lyrics for her daughter Taylor’s song in the talent competition for the Miss Teen Queen America pageant. It’s different from anything Jaine has done before, but if nothing else, she’s looking forward to a free weekend in a swanky hotel and a chance to see what really goes on backstage at a beauty pageant. But the hotel is a dump, the cattiness is out of control, and Candace—the perfectly-coiffed, whip-cracking pageant director—is making even Jaine’s life miserable.

When Candace’s assistant Amy is found bludgeoned to death with a silver tiara, there are more suspects than sequins on a pageant gown—and Heather is first on the list. Taylor begs Jaine to help clear her mom’s name, but the search for the killer hits a dead end as Jaine quickly realizes that finding the culprit is going to be trickier than walking the stage in stilettos…

Find out more about Laura Levine and her books on her webpage here.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Tell me your Favorite way to follow Escapes With Dollycas!
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page
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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End August 1, 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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 172015
 

hooked on eweHooked on Ewe
(A Scottish Highlands Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Scotland
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425265833
E-Book ASIN: B00Q5DLXD4
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In national bestselling author Hannah Reed’s latest Scottish Highlands mystery, aspiring romance novelist Eden Elliott discovers the landscape isn’t the only thing that’s dramatic when a local woman is done in…

It’s early September in Glenkillen, Scotland, when American expat (and budding romance novelist) Eden Elliott is recruited by the local inspector to act as a special constable. Fortunately it’s in name only, since not much happens in Glenkillen.

For now Eden has her hands full with other things: preparing for the sheepdog trial on the MacBride farm—a fundraiser for the local hospice—and helping her friend Vicki with her first yarn club skein-of-the-month deliveries. Everything seems to be coming together—until the head of the welcoming committee is found strangled to death with a club member’s yarn.

Now Eden feels compelled to honor her commitment as constable and herd together the clues, figure out which ones are dogs, and which ones will lead to a ruthless killer…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Author Eden Elliott is settling in on her Scottish adventure.  She is helping her friend Vicki with her yarn club and she is also volunteering at the local fundraiser to benefit a hospice facility. She is totally surprised when Inspector Jamieson asks her to become a special constable. Sure she helped solve the murder of the sheep shearer that put Glenkillen “Off Kilter” but that type of thing doesn’t happen too often around here. But before her warrant card even gets a crease the cantankerous head of the fundraiser welcoming committee is found strangled with some of her friend Vicki’s yarn. Well she is now authorized to snoop and snoop she does.

Hannah Reed has penned quite an escape. I have never been anywhere near the Scottish Highlands but her words transport me there in an instant. Whether the sun is shining or storms are rumbling through  I could “see and feel” exactly what Eden was, the descriptions are sensational.

She has also created characters that are unique. Some are aggravating and others are endearing,  and Eden does her best to be friendly with them all. She also uses a few of them for inspiration for her romance novels. Book 1 is complete and she starting to plan the 2nd as she is about halfway though her time in Scotland. The romantic relationship between Eden and a certain fishing guide is just starting to get interesting. I am excited to see how that develops.

The mystery itself was very well plotted with some nice twists. It is nice to see the protag working in tandem with local law enforcement. Eden makes a much better constable that dear misguided Sean.

You can tell the author has done her research to bring this story to life. I was totally captivating from the moment I started to the last word.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 For more information about Hannah and her books, visit her webpage at hannahreedbooks.com


GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 31, 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.”

Jul 162015
 

special guest blueIt is just so peachy to have Susan Furlong drop by for a visit today!

Peaches and Scream came out on July 7, the first book in the Georgia Peach Mystery Series!

Pour yourself a glass of sweet tea and let’s enjoy our visit!

SweetTeasusan furlongWho would be so wicked as to take a bucolic, friendly village, full of charm and quaint shops, and throw in one senseless murder after another? (Think Norman Rockwell meets Ted Bundy.) Well, that’s exactly what cozy mystery writers do. They create an idyllic setting—perhaps a quaint English hamlet, or a southern town nestled in the Appalachian hills—introduce you to a whole host of friendly, likeable town folk and then start killing them off, one by one.

Seems a little demented, huh? Well, not really. First, I’m a small town girl, so setting a mystery in a small town comes naturally to me. And before you jump to all sorts of conclusions about personal vendettas I might be plotting against my own neighbors, let me explain several reasons why a small town makes the perfect setting for a cozy mystery:

• For starters, everyone knows everyone. This makes for plethora of unique dynamics—vicious gossip and hidden secrets—and a lot of fun, familiar interaction between characters.

• Familiarity between characters also creates plenty of personal motivations for murder—greed, jealousy, love affairs gone bad … the possibilities are endless.
• Furthermore, a small town lends itself to a tightly plotted mystery. With limited suspects and a somewhat isolated setting, the reader can easily follow along as the sleuth tracks down the killer.

• And what could be more fun than roaming along with the protagonist through tree-lined streets, in and out of quaint shops, bookstores, lively pubs, flower shops, and restaurants serving delectable local foods… all while tension builds as both reader and sleuth strive to restore justice to a once quiet, peaceful setting.

With my peaches and screamown small town background, I understand the limitations as well as the wonderful possibilities of such a setting. Which is why I injected all sorts of those emotions and characteristics in my latest cozy mystery, Peaches and Scream, where the fictional town of Cays Mill, Georgia, is home to a wide cast of vivid, quirky and endearing characters. People who share not only a past checkered with family feuds and sinister secrets, but a sense of community pride and a commitment to neighbors. That’s why when a murderer strikes in Cays Mill, the stakes are high. Because in a small town, chances are, a friend or neighbor you think you know all-too-well is either the victim … or the murderer.

About Susan Furlong

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

peaches and screamPeaches and Scream
(A Georgia Peach Mystery)

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Georgia
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Erica LeBarre
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425278383
E-Book ASIN: B00Q5DLWSU
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In the first Georgia Peach Mystery, when murder threatens her family’s orchard, Nola Harper is ready to pick out the killer and preserve the farm’s reputation…

To help run the family peach farm during her parents’ absence, Nola Harper returns to her childhood home of Cays Mill, Georgia, and soon discovers that things back at the farm aren’t exactly peachy. A poor harvest and rising costs are threatening to ruin the Harper’s livelihood, and small-town gossip is spreading like blight thanks to Nola’s juicy reputation as a wild teenager way back when. But Nola really finds herself in the pits when she stumbles upon a local businessman murdered among the peach trees.

With suspicions and family tensions heating up faster than a cobbler in the oven, this sweet Georgia peach will have to prune through a list of murder suspects—before she too becomes ripe for the killer’s picking…

INCLUDES RECIPES

Dollycas’s Thoughts
We meet the Harper Family in this first Georgia Peach Mystery. Nola Harper left town several years ago and has a very rewarding job helping people in underdeveloped countries. She doesn’t return home very often but her parents have won an exciting trip and have asked her to come home and watch over the family business while they are away. Her brother Ray is a successful lawyer and just doesn’t have the time and her sister is due to have her 3rd child very soon and can’t take care of things on the farm. When she finds out that her parents have been hiding their financial troubles she decides to figure out a way to save the family’s legacy.

As if things weren’t bad enough the morning after Nola’s parents leave she finds the body of a local business man in the orchard. Things are definitely not peachy at the Harper’s homestead. When she finds out her brother-in-law is the main suspect Nola knows she has her hands full. Can she solve a murder and get the farm moving in the right direction before her parents get back? She has to try!

This is an awesome debut. This bushel of characters is diverse and interesting. Seeing Nola reconnect with all the people from her past was fun to read. I truly enjoyed that her best friends in high school quickly become her best friends again. One may like to be a little more than friends but we will have to wait and see. I also enjoyed the way Nola didn’t just barge into the investigation. The sheriff is more than happy to let her brother-in-law rot in jail so Nola just does a little poking around and keeps her ears open. She is new to sleuthing so she does take some things a bit too far but somebody has to find the real killer.

In addiction to this fine mystery each chapter starts with a Georgia Belle Fact – “#027 – In the South, we greet one another with bits of juicy gossip, not some ol’ boring Yankee salutation.” There are yummy recipes too!

Susan is off to a delicious start with this series! Cozy lovers you will love this story and all its Southern charm!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Leave a comment for Susan 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 30, 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.”

Jul 142015
 

Fatal Fairies large banner640

FATAL FAIRIES
by Joyce and Jim Lavene

 

FATAL FAIRIESFatal Fairies
(Renaissance Faire Mystery Book 8)

Cozy Mystery
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Print Length: 181 pages
ASIN: B00X8DUQ3W
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Synopsis:
When a fairy named Apple Blossom is found dead in the Good Luck Fountain at Renaissance Faire Village, Jessie Morton makes a wish she lives to regret–that her husband, Chase Manhattan, is no longer the Village Bailiff. She doesn’t want him to look for the fairy’s killer and ruin their plans to go away for their first wedding anniversary.

Trapped in a timeless ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ experience, Jessie is transported to a different Village to face the consequences of her wish where Chase isn’t the Bailiff, and he’s not married to her.

Jessie’s fairy godmother who granted the wish tells her that she must find a way to make Chase fall in love with her again, and they must discover who killed Apple Blossom, if she ever wants to go back to the life she knew.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A fairy tale at the Renaissance Faire complete with a fairy godmother! Be careful what you wish for!

Jessie and Chase are getting ready to take a honeymoon when a fairy is killed and throws a kink into their plans. Jessie wished Chase was not the Bailiff at the Renaissance Faire Village and her wish was granted. Sadly that one wish had very adverse effects even erasing their whole relationship their marriage. The fairy that granted wish, Jessie’s fairy godmother, quickly explains that she has to make Chase fall in love with her again and solve the murder of the fairy to have things go back to the way they were.

Another fabulous story from Jim and Joyce Lavene. I must admit I started out being a little mad at this twist at first. I love Jessie and Chase together and I really hate the things that keep them apart. But I really became intrigued by parts of the new village Jessie was in.  Some characters that had died were brought back and at the same time had some of the new shops and characters from the last story. It really was a village in limbo that let us see a different side to some of the characters we are familiar with from previous installments and how their lives would have changed had they not met Jessie. The authors label it as an It’s a Wonderful Life experience and it is very easy to see their inspiration play out on the pages.

The Laveve’s have written a charming story that is so much fun to read.  Great characters, wonderful mystery, idyllic setting, with humor, romance, and a bit of make believe too.

The entire series is absolutely delightful. Start at the beginning or start with this one. You are going to want to read them all.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

joycejimAbout These Authors

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, 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.

 

Author Links

www.joyceandjimlavene.com
www.facebook.com/joyceandjimlavene
http://amazon.com/author/jlavene
https://twitter.com/AuthorJLavene

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Tour Participants

July 7- Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
July 8 – fuonlyknew – Review
July 9 – Books-n-Kisses – Review
July 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post
July 11 – dru’s book musings – Guest Post
July 11 – Community Bookstop – Review
July 12 – deal sharing aunt – Interview
July 13 – A Chick Who Reads – Review
July 14 – Escape With Dollycas – Review

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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.”

Jul 102015
 

special guest blueI am so excited to Welcome Leslie her today for a visit!
The latest Food Lover’s Village Mystery, Butter Off Dead, came out on Tuesday and I gobbled it right up!

Leslie-WEB-Color

KILLING CHRISTINE
By Leslie Budewitz

Days before my first mystery, DEATH AL DENTE, came out, I walked into my favorite local art gallery to chat about the details for my book launch party. (I cannot believe that was nearly two years ago!) Christine, the co-owner, started bouncing up and down, the long red hair piled on top of her head waving precariously. “Will you kill me? Will you kill me?” Her business partner—and former husband—stood behind her and mouthed “I have ideas.” (In truth, they’re very good friends, and have one of the best divorces I know.)

I agreed, of course. How often does a victim simply volunteer? And she’s such a character—as you can tell—that I knew she’d be a lot of fun on the page.

Even dead.

CrimeRib_CV.inddThe second book in the series, CRIME RIB, was in progress and already had a victim. I slipped Christine in as a minor character so I could flesh her out in the third book,
BUTTER OFF DEAD, just out from Berkley Prime Crime.

I borrowed a handful of details from the real woman. Both live and fictional Christine are red-headed painters who work in bright acrylics, were raised in Vermont, and wear glasses of many colors. Everything else, I made up. I felt no restrictions on what I could do, helped by knowing that both she and her former husband are great readers who came up with the idea to hold my launch parties in their gallery. (The real town, alas, is bereft of a bookstore, a lack I remedied on the page.)

The real Christine’s effusive, quirky personality gave me free rein to weave her in and out of the fabric of Jewel Bay, Montana, a fictional lakeside resort community on the road to Glacier National Park clearly influenced by our own vibrant village. Although she dies early in the book, Christine remains very much a part of the story, as Erin Murphy, my main character, attempts to unravel the mystery and free her brother Nick from suspicion.

The woman on the page repeatedly surprised me. She drinks beer. She plays pool. She has a cat. She lives and paints in an old church—something I’ve always wanted to do. (Creating characters can be a blissful bit of wish fulfillment.) She has a painful past, and more than a few secrets.Butter Off Dead (final)

It was great fun to use a real person as a starting point for play. Might it have been more difficult had I known her better? I don’t think so. Another character, the beloved elderly artist Iggy, was inspired by my late mother-in-law, and it gave me great pleasure to think of her back among us. Three characters in BUTTER draw their names from local folk who bought naming rights at charity auctions; while one appears as herself, a local couple lent their name to a burly young bartender, and a supporter of a women’s shelter became a teenage boy again. (Whether that’s wish fulfillment or a nightmare, I don’t know!)

My only regret is that the real-life Christine moved back to Vermont last year and couldn’t be here to share the fun of celebrating BUTTER OFF DEAD. That only proves that made-up people are like the real thing in yet another way: on and off the page, characters are full of surprises.

~Leslie
***
About The Author
Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, on Facebook, , or on Twitter.

Butter Off Dead (final)Butter Off Dead
(Food Lovers’ Village Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Montana
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Ben Perini
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425259566
E-Book ASIN: B00Q5DLWYY
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As the national bestselling Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries continue, the merchants of Jewel Bay, Montana, try to heat up chilly winter business with a new film festival. But their plans are sent reeling when a dangerous killer dims the lights on a local vendor…

In an attempt to woo tourists to Jewel Bay and cheer up the townies, Erin Murphy, manager of the specialty local foods market known as the Merc, is organizing the First Annual Food Lovers’ Film Festival, filled with classic foodie flicks and local twists on favorite movie treats. But when her partner in planning, painter Christine Vandeberg, is found dead only days before the curtain rises, Erin suspects someone is attempting to stop the films from rolling.

To make matters worse, Nick—Erin’s brother and Christine’s beau—has top billing on the suspect list. Convinced her brother is innocent and determined that the show must go on, Erin has to find who’s really to blame before Nick gets arrested or the festival gets shut down. But the closer she gets to the killer, the more likely it becomes that she’ll be the next person cut from the program…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this third installment Jewel Bay is hosting another event. This time a Food Lovers’ Film Festival, showing movies like Chocolat and Ratatouille. Sounds like a lot of fun until one of the organizers ends up dead.

The author knows the key to a great mystery series is having characters that continue to grown and evolve and story-lines that put them in precarious situations. She dishes up perfection in Butter Off Dead. Erin’s brother, Nick is hiding something and it is making him look mighty guilty. Erin has to prove his innocence and find out who the heck he is protecting and that puts her right in the killer’s sights. We also meet some high school students who have volunteered to help with festival. They are also hiding something.

This story is so well written. It kept me captivated from the first page until the very last. It was filled with many clever twists that left me guessing whodunit until the final reveal. Erin ran her butt off in this story while running the Merc, running the festival,  and keeping community and family members in check, all while trying to figure out who killed her friend. She was always off doing something making the story pretty fast paced.

I know some of the residents of Jewel Bay are not pleased with all the festivals and events but I can’t wait to return to this food loving town for the next one.  I also look forward to shopping again soon at the Merc and trying more of those tasty recipes.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Leave a comment for Leslie 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 24, 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.”

Jul 092015
 
special guest blueI am thrilled to welcome Julie Hyzy back to Escape With Dollycas.
Grace Cries Uncle was released this week!

julie hyzy

Grace Cries Uncle
Julie Hyzy

The time has come. Finally.

For those who have followed the Manor House series from the first book, Grace Under Pressure, you know that there’s a very big question that hasn’t been answered yet: Is Grace, the young woman who came to work at Marshfield Manor a few years ago, truly related to billionaire Bennett Marshfield? Could Bennett actually be Grace’s half-uncle? And if so, could this new information inspire Bennett to change his Will?

There are two things in Grace Cries Uncle that I guarantee. One is that the above questions will be answered, and two is that there’s much more to the story than results from a DNA test can offer.

Readers who met Grace in Book #1 know that her younger sister, Liza, is trouble. When she shows up in this new adventure, Liza is down on her luck (again) and eager to enlist Grace’s help. Grace knows better than to trust her, but because an FBI agent recently came looking for Liza’s estranged husband Eric, and because that FBI agent turned up dead, Grace believes she has no choice but to offer her conniving sister a safe place to stay.

Is this a mistake? Or an incredibly shrewd move on Grace’s part? And what does all this have to do with Bennett? Because—as it becomes clear—Eric may be more involved in Bennett’s business than anyone realizes. A prestigious antique collectors’ convention has descended on Emberstowne just as Bennett reveals he’s hoping to acquire a specific, unnamed antique. Could Liza’s lowlife husband know something about the item’s whereabouts?

Grace Cries Uncle is my favorite book in my Manor House series thus far because we get to meet the troublesome Liza and her unsavory husband, Eric. We also begin to understand why Grace longs to be part of a real family—Bennett’s family. I hope you enjoy reading this latest installment as much as I enjoyed writing it!

~Julie

About Julie Hyzy

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

grace uncleGrace Cries Uncle
(A Manor House Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Kimberly Schamber
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425259689
E-Book ASIN: B00Q5DLVYA
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The New York Times bestselling author of the Manor House Mysteries and the White House Chef Mysteries shows how a blast from the past can spell trouble for Grace Wheaton…

When Grace’s estranged sister Liza shows up on her doorstep, the timing couldn’t be worse. Grace’s beloved boss and benefactor, Bennett Marshfield, has finally gotten her to agree to a DNA test to establish if he is, in fact, her uncle. If so, Grace would move from being the trusted curator and manager of Marshfield Manor to Bennett’s heir. And her duplicitous sister would be right behind her in the line of inheritance.

Liza is not the only mysterious visitor to arrive in town. A man claiming to be an FBI agent has shown up, and a swarm of avaricious antique collectors have descended on Emberstowne for a prestigious convention. When Bennett reveals he’s in mind to acquire a secret antique and the FBI agent turns up dead, the plot thickens. And Grace can’t help but wonder if Liza is at the center of it all…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Julie Hyzy continues to amaze me. Each new story tops the last an then some.

This time we split our time between Marshfield Manor and Grace’s Painted Lady. Grace’s sister, Liza, makes a return appearance and she has trouble preceding her too. The part I was most excited for was something readers of this series have been waiting so long to find out. Are Grace and the wonderful Bennett Marshfield truly related? Liza’s visit may throw a wrench into that whole situation. As always Frances, Grace’s assistant, is on hand to help and give her own unique spin to all the antics.

Hyzy has created a group of wonderful and quirky characters. They all jump right off the page and into our hearts. I truly wish I had a Bennett Marshfield in my life and not because of his money. He is a true gentleman and will love Grace whether or not the tests show she is his niece. He cares about all the people around him and treats his employees very well. Grace worries about him and loves him no matter what the future holds. It is very refreshing to see a wonderful friendship like theirs.

Their story is joined by one heck of mystery that not only brings Liza back to town but Grace’s ex, and Liza’s husband, Eric, too with the FBI hot on their tail. Emberstowne is hosting a convention that brings a bunch of lofty antique collectors to town as well. It seems everyone is talking about a very precious artifact and some would actually kill to have it in their collection. Be prepared for whiplash as the twists and turns to this mystery will send you reeling.

I love this series! I love the characters! I love the setting! I hated for this story to end. I am sad that I have to wait until next summer to visit Marshfield Manor and Emberstowne again. It is a place I would love to spend much more of my time :)

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Leave a comment for Julie for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 23, 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.”

Jul 082015
 
cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Lucy Burdette is my Special Guest today!
Her new book, Fatal Reservations was released yesterday!
Courtesy Carol Tedesco

Courtesy Carol Tedesco

 

LUCY BURDETTE: Pop quiz cozy readers! What’s the most important question for a writer to ask when she starts a new book?

I’ll pause for a minute while you mull things over…

Okay, time’s up. If you said: Why is that nutty amateur sleuth involved in yet one more murder investigation?…you get an A+ for the day! Anyway, that’s where I usually begin. Hayley Snow, the food critic character in the Key West mysteries, has no earthly reason to be solving crimes. Unless of course someone she cares about deeply is involved. And unless they beg for her help…or demonstrate how deeply mired they are in trouble so that good-hearted Hayley can’t help but step up.

Lorenzo with Trimmings

Lorenzo with Trimmings

As I began to write Fatal Reservations, that’s exactly the question I asked. And the answer came from a character who’s appeared in each book and who has become more and more important to Hayley, Lorenzo the tarot card reader. Lorenzo made his debut in the Key West series with AN APPETITE FOR MURDER. While writing that first book, I’d seen a tarot card reader on Mallory Square among the throng of street performers, and knew he belonged in the story. I imagined my protagonist Hayley Snow taking her mother’s lead, preferring a reading to a psychotherapy session. I had no idea how important Lorenzo would become. And how he’d also become a friend, and a muse.

Fatal ReservationsIn FATAL RESERVATIONS, he moves from being a sidekick to the main focus of the mystery. Usually mild-mannered and calm, in the way of a man who can see into the future, Lorenzo is attacked in a City Commission meeting and later accused of murder when one of the other street performers from the Mallory Square sunset celebration is found dead. Rather than stay and face the music, he disappears, leaving Hayley to take care of his new kitten and save him from a future of reading cards in the Florida State Penitentiary.

About FATAL RESERVATIONS: Food critic Hayley Snow sets aside her knife and fork when her dear friend Lorenzo the tarot card reader is accused of murdering his flaming-fork-juggling nemesis. If Lorenzo could read his own cards, he might draw The Hanged Man. He can only hope that Hayley draws Justice as she tries to clear him of murder.

“This strong series continues a unique blend of island mayhem and sparkling characters surrounding a layered mystery.”— Booklist

About Lucy: Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) is the author of 14 mysteries, including FATAL RESERVATIONS the sixth in the Key West series featuring food critic Hayley Snow. Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s a past president of Sisters in Crime. Like her food critic character in the Key West series, she is passionate about food.

You can read more about the books on Lucy’s website, www.lucyburdette.com. Follow her on Facebook, or Twitter @LucyBurdette, or Pinterest, or Instagram.

Fatal ReservationsFatal Reservations:
A Key West Food Critic Mystery

Cozy Mystery
6th Book in Series
Setting – Florida
An Obsidian Mystery
An Imprint of New American Library (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451474827
E-Book ASIN: B00PT4IYYG
Shop Indie Bookstores
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In the latest Key West Food Critic mystery, Hayley Snow’s beat is reviewing restaurants for Key Zest magazine. But she sets aside her knife and fork when a dear friend is accused of murder…

Hayley Snow looks forward to reviewing For Goodness Sake, a new floating restaurant that promises a fresh take on Japanese delicacies like flambéed grouper with locally sourced seaweed. But nearby land-based restaurateurs would rather see their buoyant competition sink.Sent to a City Commission meeting to cover the controversy, Hayley witnesses another uproar. The quirky performers of the daily Sunset Celebration are struggling to hold onto their performance space. The fight for Mallory Square has renewed old rivalries between Hayley’s Tarot-card reading friend Lorenzo and a flaming-fork-juggling nemesis, Bart Frontgate—but things take a deadly turn when Bart is found murdered.

If Lorenzo could read his own cards, he might draw The Hanged Man. He can only hope that Hayley draws Justice as she tries to clear him of murder…

INCLUDES RECIPES

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Hayley, Miss Gloria, Lorenzo and all the other characters we have grown to love are back in this 6th installment of the Key West Food Critic Mysteries.

This time Lorenzo lands in the soup when one of the performers from the Sunset Celebration is murdered. Seems they were not the best of friends. There is also a bit of a shake up at Key Zest as Palamina tries to put her own touches into both the office and the e-zine. Miss Gloria becomes a tour guide at the cemetery, there is a thief police are trying to catch and a new floating restaurant has many locals all in a tizzy. There is so much packed into 320 pages and it all flows together perfectly.

Lucy Burdette writes a story that not only includes a mystery or two but shines a beautiful light on Key West and its delicious food. The author’s passion for food is clear with all the yummy descriptions sprinkled throughout the book. Yes, she does include recipes too.

Friendship also is a key theme. Hayley will do anything for her friends. She does her best to keep them safe and puts herself in peril to find the truth when one of them is wrongly accused. Her romantic life has been a little rocky but this time the author took the step in that department I was hoping and praying she would take.

What more can I say, I loved this story. Burdette has served up another delightful feast of mayhem and mystery for us readers to enjoy. I really can’t wait for my next escape to Key West with Hayley and all her friends.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAYBrooke as Fan of the Month will receive a copy of Fatal Reservations
so I have 1 more 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.

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

Leave a comment for Lucy 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 22, 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.”

Jul 042015
 

spellcasting in silk
Spellcasting in Silk:
A Witchcraft Mystery

7th in Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Release Date – July 7, 2015
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451465788
E-Book ASIN: B00PT4IVM6
Shop Indie Bookstores
goodreads-badge-add-plus

From the New York Times bestselling author of A Vision in Velvet comes more spooky sleuthing with Lily Ivory, vintage boutique owner and gifted witch…

Lily would like nothing better than to relax, enjoy her friends, and take care of business at her store, which is booming thanks to San Francisco’s upcoming Summer of Love Festival. But as the unofficial witchy consultant to the SFPD, she is pulled into yet another case.

A woman has jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, and her apparent suicide may be connected to a suspicious botanica in the Mission District. When the police investigate the shop, they ask Lily to look into its mysterious owner, whose granddaughter also appears to be missing. As Lily searches for the truth, she finds herself confronted with a confounding mystery and some very powerful magic…

Find out more about Juliet Blackwell and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 18, 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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent