Aug 012014
 

ellery adams month
JBStanley ellery adamsEllery Adams is a fantastic author and when she emailed me that there was going to be a very special dedication in this book I was so excited. When the book arrived and saw this I was completely speechless. For those of you that know me you know that happens pretty rarely.
MURDER IN THE MYSTERY SUITEI was trying to think of a way to say “thank you” to her and I woke up in the middle of the night and thought Ellery Adams Month!! My mind was spinning with ideas. Frankly I am still working out some details but every Friday this month starting today will be Ellery Adams Day!!! There may also be some surprise posts on other days too!! All I know it this is going to be a lot of fun and there will be prizes too!!

Today we start with a review to introduce you to this book!

murder in the mystery suiteMurder in the Mystery Suite
(A Book Retreat Mystery)

New Cozy Mystery Series
Release Date: AUGUST 5, 2014
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Shane Rebenshied
Cover Illustration by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425265598
E-Book File Size: 1456 KB
ASIN: B00I3N5QT6
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Synopsis

WHO WOULD RESORT TO MURDER?

Tucked away in the rolling hills of rural western Virginia is the storybook resort of Storyton Hall, catering to book lovers who want to get away from it all. To increase her number of bookings, resort manager Jane Steward has decided to host a Murder and Mayhem week so that fans of the mystery genre can gather together for some role-playing and fantasy crime solving.

But when the winner of the scavenger hunt, Felix Hampden, is found dead in the Mystery Suite, and the valuable book he won as his prize is missing, Jane realizes one of her guests is an actual murderer. Amid a resort full of fake detectives, Jane is bound and determined to find a real-life killer. There’s no room for error as Jane tries to unlock this mystery before another vacancy opens up…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to Storyton and Storyton Hall. Book lovers are going to come for a visit and never want to leave.

Imagine a place with a library that has any book you can imagine, classics, bestsellers, children’s books, mysteries from cozy to thriller, romance from mild to wild, literary works from any author you can think of and Head Librarian, Mr. Sinclair, who can find your request in mere minutes.

Resort Manager, Jane Steward, is your host along with her Great Aunt Octavia and Great Uncle Aloysius. There is staff to meet your every need.

The Hall needs some work and Jane hopes to bring in some funds by holding a Murder and Mayhem week. The response was phenomenal and the whole place is booked for a week a fun activities. Everything is great until one of the guests is killed and then the real life mystery begins.

I was blown by this story.  Ellery Adams has taken inspiration from all the great mystery heroes we love from Nancy Drew to Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie and wrapped those feelings into one fabulous story. In fact she has a party and invites all the guests to dress as characters from their favorite mystery novels. Some of the guests even go to great lengths to stay in character their whole visit.

The rooms are even named the Ian Fleming Lounge, the Jane Austen Parlor, the Daphne du Maurier Morning Room, the Beatrix Potter Playroom and more. I was completely enchanted with the place.

Adams has given us readers truly engaging characters. From the Stewart Family to their employees and those running the shops in Storyton,  I couldn’t pick a favorite if I tried. They are all special in their own way and are integral to this story and those coming in the future.  She also gave us a eclectic group of people visiting the Hall for this special week. Jane has her hands full with all of them.

The main plot and the subplots are interwoven with precision. It was so much fun following the clues and puzzling through the possibilities. There is also a  truly surprising twist that I can’t tell you about. No Spoilers Here!

I loved this book and I know you will too!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

I am giving my review copy away!!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Contest Will End August 7, 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

 

Be sure to watch for more Special Events! Ellery Adams month has just begun!!

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 302014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

Today I am super excited to welcome Cleo Coyle to Escape With Dollycas!!

A Cozy Cup of Coffee by Cleo Coyle

Alice-Alfonsi-and-Marc-Cerasini-Cleo-Coyle-Central-Park-NYCLike my husband (and partner in crime-writing), I grew up in a small Western Pennsylvania town among a family of food-loving Italian Americans. Although Marc and I were raised in the same region, we didn’t meet until we finished college and moved to New York City. Here is where we fell in love and made our home.

Because we grew up outside NYC, we have a special relationship with the city. In some ways we’re tourists who never left. So when we want to get away from our daily grind, we do what 50 million other tourists do each year: We escape to New York!

Not only do we roam our resident city for fun, we explore it for research. Our readers may recognize many of our Coffeehouse Mystery settings below. So come with us now on our little tour of the Big Apple. We’ll start with…

Greenwich-Village-courtesy-Wiki-Commons.jpg

Greenwich-Village-courtesy-Wiki-Commons.jpg

GREENWICH VILLAGE

The winding lanes, secluded gardens, quaint cafés, and historically preserved townhouses make this neighborhood one of the most picturesque in the entire city, which is why we chose to give our amateur sleuth, Clare Cosi, a home here, above a century-old coffeehouse called the Village Blend.

As we all know, a cozy mystery series is typically set in a little village—and, in many ways, Greenwich Village is exactly that. Marc and I know first-hand what it’s like to live in the real NYC, among families and hard-working folks. Like residents of small towns, we New Yorkers become quite attached to our neighborhoods. We join community boards, walk our dogs, and throw block parties and street fairs. We also become friendly with—even depend upon—the people who run our local stores, restaurants, and libraries (again, just like residents in small towns).
What else makes our series cozy? The characters. In every book, our characters show love and support for each other. From our coffeehouse manager to her quirky band of baristas, the goodness of our cast is the light that shines through the darkest New York night.

Bryant Park Carousel courtesy Wiki Commons

Bryant Park Carousel courtesy Wiki Commons

BRYANT PARK

Of course, we can’t argue the fact that New York has seen many dark nights (and days), but nothing symbolizes its rebirth more than Bryant Park, a gorgeous public space located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, right behind the main branch of the majestic New York Public Library (a worthy destination in itself).
With its rows of London plane trees, Bryant Park is an urban paradise. Don’t miss the lovely hand-painted carousel. We used this very merry-go-round as a setting for murder in our 12th Coffeehouse Mystery, Holiday Buzz. And yes, we confess to staging a little mayhem at this location in our 3rd series entry, Latte Trouble.

Rock Center Photo courtesy Wiki Commons

Rock Center Photo courtesy Wiki Commons

ROCKEFELLER CENTER

Clare Cosi and her ex-husband, coffee hunter Matteo Allegro, taught their daughter to ice skate under the famous Golden Prometheus statue at Rockefeller Center. In Murder by Mocha, Clare discovers a crime victim at the Rock Center’s Loft and Garden, an incredible open, rooftop space high above Fifth Avenue, which features a spectacular view of the spires of St. Patrick’s Cathedral right next door.

Statue of Liberty Photo by Cleo Coyle

Statue of Liberty Photo by Cleo Coyle

THE STATUE OF LIBERTY

Lady Liberty is an awe-inspiring sight, whether you’re gazing at her grand visage from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, the deck of the Staten Island Ferry—or the icy waters of New York Bay! When Clare Cosi is thrown into those frigid waters in Holiday Grind, she uses Miss Liberty as a mental lifeline. Lucky for Clare, a New York Fire Department boat comes to her rescue, which leads to complications in Roast Mortem, the book that follows.

 

High Line courtesy Wiki Commons

High Line courtesy Wiki Commons

THE HIGH LINE

The entire city is excited about the High Line. Once an eyesore, it began as an elevated railroad bridge abandoned to rust and graffiti. Now this mile-long walkway is a lovely green space on Manhattan’s West Side. Marc and I used it as a setting in our latest Coffeehouse Mystery, Billionaire Blend. The elevated park has even spurred a real estate boom around it, despite the fact that park goers can easily peer through nearby apartment windows. (Hmm…that gives us another idea. Remember Rear Window?)

Belvedere Castle by Alice Alfonsi (Cleo Coyle)

Belvedere Castle by Alice Alfonsi (Cleo Coyle)

BELVEDERE CASTLE, CENTRAL PARK

The Central Park Zoo, Shakespeare in the Park, and Strawberry Fields are famous. But lesser known attractions are just as charming. The Alice in Wonderland Statue, for example, is a whimsical delight; and Belvedere Castle, a fairy tale folly, crowns one of the highest points in Central Park. Below the castle you’ll find The Ramble, a tangled stretch of wild woodlands and twisty paths dotted with rustic stone arches, mossy tunnels, and ornate bridges. Part forest, part fairyland, the Ramble is an easy place to get happily lost, or set a crime scene, which is precisely what we do in our forthcoming Coffeehouse Mystery, Once Upon a Grind (December, 2014).

 And that concludes our tour!

Coffeehouse-Mystery-Checklist-PDF-CoverThank you all for coming and thanks especially to Dollycas for being such a kind travel agent.

SOUVENIR? If you’d like a memento of your New York tour, Marc and I have a free title checklist for you of all 13 of our Coffeehouse Mysteries in order, including brief story summaries. To download the free PDF, click here.

Friend Cleo on Facebook:www.Facebook.com/CleoCoyle

Cleo’s Newsletter: To sign up, simply write an email that says “sign me up” and send it to CoffeehouseMystery(at)gmail(dot)com. You’ll get a reply with a few past newsletters than include free recipes.

Visit Cleo online:www.coffeehousemystery.com

About This Author

CLEO COYLE is the pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Their latest Coffeehouse Mystery, Billionaire Blend, newly released in its paperback edition, earned a starred review from Kirkus and a “Top Pick” honor from RT Book Reviews. Their next Coffeehouse Mystery, Once Upon a Grind, will be released by Penguin in December 2014. When not haunting coffeehouses, hunting ghosts, or rescuing stray cats, Alice and Marc are New York Times bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for NBC, Lucasfilm, Disney, Fox, Imagine, Marvel, and MGM. They not only write the bestselling Coffeehouse Mysteries but also the popular Haunted Bookshop Mysteries.

COFFEEHOUSE MYSTERY SERIES OFFICIAL BOOK TRAILER

Cleo Coyle’s Prize Package

Cleo-prize_GimmeCoffee_LatteCup(1) A personally inscribed copy of the brand new mass market edition of Billionaire Blend (cover included in the blog post e-mail).

(2) A set of glossy recipe cards with illustrated bonus recipes from Cleo.

Cleo-prize_LaughingMan_gourmet_coffee(3) A 16-ounce Gimme Coffee Latte Cup (made in Italy) and also great for enjoying soups and cereal.

(4) A freshly roasted package of gourmet coffee from the Laughing Man Coffee Company, co-founded by actor Hugh Jackman to help coffee farmers in the developing world (all profits to charity).

This wonderful company has a storefront not far from our very own fictional Village Blend. If anyone would like to learn more about Mr. Jackman’s coffee company, they can click this link: http://cleocoylebooks.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/travel-to-an-african-coffee-farm-with-wolverine/ -

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 302014
 

billionaire-blend-cover
Billionaire Blend
(A Coffeehouse Mystery)

13th in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 5, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425255513
E-Book File Size: 1728 KB
ASIN: B009VMCDV2
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One of the best cozy mystery series continues with Billionaire Blend.

Has Clare met her match in this coffee loving millionaire, Eric Thorner? He has tested all her barista’s coffee knowledge and driven them crazy with his crazy coffee requests. As he was sparing with Clare about unusual coffee concoctions a car bomb explodes right in front of the coffeehouse nearly killing the coffee quiz master and injuring several others. With her shop out of commission Clare’s world turns upside down as Thorner takes her and her ex on a whirlwind tour to find the best coffee beans so she can make the most expensive coffee in the world. All the while Clare is wondering – Is this charming young CEO truly marked for termination? Or is he the one making a killing?

Her hunky detective boyfriend, Mike Quinn is not happy she is spending so much time with the techy CEO, but his assignment is Washington is keeping him away from New York right now. He knows she is going to get right in the middle of this investigation and there is nothing he can do about or can he??? He is going to make sure his friends on the NYPD do everything they can to keep Clare safe.

Includes a wealth of delicious recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was a very entertaining read.

Coyle has a great crew of regular characters that readers have come to love more with each new story. In this installment she adds Eric Thorner, his sister, his business associates and his rival.

Clare and Matt get caught up in all the drama of Thorn Enterprises and realize that are also putting themselves in great danger. The author has brewed a very tight plot line that really captivated this reader.

The dialogue is smart and full of humor.

I love the way the city of New York is described especially the fancy restaurant Eric took Clare to for dinner. I felt like I was across the room taking in the whole experience. I also enjoyed a surprise destination Eric arranges for Clare too!

Yes, this is the 13th book in the series and I must admit I need to catch up on a couple of the ones I have missed but the author writes these stories in such a way that they can be read as stand alone. So if this is a new series to you or you have missed a book or two don’t fret, you will be engaged in this story very quickly. But then I just know you are going to want to read them all.

Oh and did I mention the recipes!!! They will grab you too!!

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.

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

Contest Will End August 13, 2014 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 292014
 

The Great Escapes Book Tour for this book starts July 31.

I loved Guidebook to Murder and couldn’t wait to read this one.

Be sure to check out the tour and enter the giveaways!!

Mission To Murder (eBook)
Mission to Murder
A Tourist Trap Mystery
2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Kensington Trade (July 1, 2014)
Paperback: 238 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1601833051
E-Book File Size: 1196 KB
Publisher: eKensington (July 31, 2014)
ASIN: B00IO3QR98
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In the California coastal town of South Cove, history is one of its many tourist attractions, until it becomes deadly. Jill Gardner, proprietor of Coffee, Books, and More, has discovered that the old stone wall on her property might be a centuries-old mission worthy of being declared a landmark. But Craig Thomas, the obnoxious owner of South Cove’s most popular tourist spot, The Castle, makes it his business to contest her claim. When Thomas is found murdered at The Castle shortly after a heated argument with Jill, even her detective boyfriend has to ask her for an alibi. Jill decides she must find the real murderer to clear her name.

But when the killer comes for her, she’ll need to jump from historic preservation to self-preservation.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jill is a fabulous character. And yes, she let Craig Thomas have it, but it was with words, no foul play here. But she doesn’t have an alibi and she and the mayor do not see eye to eye, in fact he would like to see her in jail. Thankfully she is now dating Detective Greg King and he knows she didn’t do it. Now if he could just figure out to keep Jill from investigating on her own and let him catch the killer. But us fans of cozy mysteries know that is just not going to happen.

Lynn Cahoon has given us another wonderful story. The owner of the antique store next to Coffee, Books and More, Josh and junk dealer Ray are the quirky and creepy characters respectively. I love Aunt Jackie and even Esmeralda with her “woo-woo” predictions.  But my favorite character in this story was cop/barista Toby. He works for both Jill and Greg and is a great friend to both of them. The customers like him and  so do I.

The setting is also special. South Cove sounds like a wonderful place to visit and The Castle sounds like a fantastic tourist attraction.

Cahoon takes the characters in this town and creates a story full of mystery, romance and humor. This is a perfect book to add to your Summer Reading list. Fun and entertaining with just a few hold your breath moments.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

To find out more about Lynn Cahoon and her books visit her blog 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.”

Jul 282014
 

I am thrilled to spotlight Gold Diggers, Gamblers and Guns
today at part of the Great Escapes Book Tour!

golddiggers gamblers and guns large banner640

Gold Diggers, Gamblers and Guns
by Ellen Mansoor Collier

Lots of drama, choosing sides, action, and romance as they try to figure out who is trying to kill Burton and frame him for murder.
~readalot

“Gold-Diggers, Gamblers and Guns” is, in itself, a wonderful romp through another time and another place that you can take right from the comfort of your own home.
~Back Porchervations

You will step back into the 20′s with this classy novel of suspense and mystery you will get hooked from the start and read till the very end!
~Shelley’s Book Case

I love this series so much fun going back to Prohibition era and seeing these crazy friends as they go off to solve another murder.
~Community Bookstop

22174442Gold-Diggers, Gamblers and Guns: A Jazz Age Mystery #3
Cozy Mystery
File Size: 790 KB
Print Length: 268 pages
Publisher: DecoDame Press; 1 edition (May 18, 2014)
ASIN: B00KF3TJCM

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Synopsis

During Prohibition, Galveston Island was called the “Free State of Galveston” due to its lax laws and laissez-faire attitude toward gambling, gals and bootlegging. Young society reporter Jasmine (Jazz) Cross longs to cover hard news, but she’s stuck between two clashing cultures: the world of gossip and glamour vs. gangsters and gamblers.

After Downtown Gang leader Johnny Jack Nounes is released from jail, all hell breaks loose: Prohibition Agent James Burton’s life is threatened and he must go into hiding for his own safety. But when he’s framed for murder, he and Jazz work together to prove his innocence. Johnny Jack blames her half-brother Sammy Cook, owner of the Oasis speakeasy, for his arrest and forces him to work overtime in a variety of dangerous mob jobs as punishment.

When a bookie is murdered, Jazz looks for clues linking the two murders and delves deeper into the underworld of gambling: poker games, slot machines and horse-racing. Meanwhile, Jazz tries to keep both Burton and her brother safe, and alive, while they face off against each other, as well as a common enemy. A soft-boiled mystery inspired by actual events.

Check out this special excerpt from Gamblers, Gold-Diggers and Guns:

At the Rusty Bucket, I followed close behind, pretending I was a real crime reporter, looking straight ahead so the police and newshounds wouldn’t try to shut me out.

Sure enough, a couple of cops tried to block my way but I simply replied, “I’m with the Gazette,” as if that explained everything. When we entered the bar, I noticed obvious signs of a struggle: tables and chairs knocked over, broken glasses, papers strewn about. Right by the front door, in all its gleaming glory, sat a brand-new nickel slot machine, a one-armed bandit displaying diamonds, spades, hearts, horseshoes and a cracked Liberty bell.

A huddle of newshawks stared at the floor and I could see the figure of a man, lying by the new machine, arms at odd angles, but I was too far away to determine his cause of death.

“Coming through,” Nathan said, forcing his way into the circle . Edging closer, I could barely make out the victim’s face—a plain man in his mid-forties, sandy hair, freckled skin.

As I changed positions, I saw a huge gaping hole in his skull, hair caked with blood and bone. My stomach lurched and I covered my mouth with both hands, trying not to upchuck.

By the man’s side lay a bloodied baseball bat—the weapon of choice for thugs and cowards and enforcers who liked to use threats and intimidation to make their point. Why would the killers leave the bloody baseball bat in plain sight, next to the victim?

Across the room, Mack stared at me, stone-faced, with an “I told you so” glare. Feeling dizzy, I made my way across the room and sat down at a small table by the piano. No one seemed to notice as I went behind the counter, searching the ice-box for water. I gulped it down, then pressed the frosty glass against my perspiring face, enjoying the cool sensation.

Still shaky, I sat down at the table, observing the crime scene from a safe distance: the reporters taking notes, badgering the sheriff for information, an M.E. squatting by the body, taking samples of hair and blood. That’s when I saw it, half-hidden under the player piano bench: An almost-new Stetson, slightly scuffed, with a clean bullet hole in the crown.

Was I hallucinating or was that Agent Burton’s Stetson under the player piano? And what in hell was it doing at this murder scene?

Ellen picture deco croppedAbout The Author

Ellen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance magazine writer and editor whose articles and essays have been published in a variety of national magazines. Several of her short stories have appeared in Woman’s World. During college summers, she worked as a reporter for a Houston community newspaper and as a cocktail waitress, both jobs providing background experience for her Jazz Age mysteries.

A flapper at heart, she’s worked as a magazine editor/writer, and in advertising and public relations (plus endured a hectic semester as a substitute teacher). She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism and served on UTmost, the college magazine and as president of WICI (Women in Communications).

FLAPPERS, FLASKS AND FOUL PLAY is her first novel, published in 2012, followed by the sequel, BATHING BEAUTIES, BOOZE AND BULLETS, released in May 2013. She lives in Houston with her husband and Chow mutts, and visits Galveston whenever possible.

“When you grow up in Houston, Galveston becomes like a second home. I had no idea this sleepy beach town had such a wild and colorful past until I began doing research, and became fascinated by the legends and stories of the 1920s. Finally I had to stop researching and start writing, trying to imagine a flapper’s life in Galveston during Prohibition.”

Author Links:

Website: http://www.flapperfinds.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ellen.mansoorcollier?fref=ts

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Diggers-Gamblers-Guns-Jazz-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00KF3TJCM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401823006&sr=1-1&keywords=ellen+mansoor+collier

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6452242.Ellen_Mansoor_Collier

Purchase Link:
AMAZON B&N Smashwords

Click on the Book Covers to purchase the earlier book in this series.

Tour Participants

July 16 – Michele Lynn Seigfried, Author – Guest Post
July 17 – Chloe Gets A Clue - Interview
July 18 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Guest Post
July 19 – readalot blog – Review
July 20 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
July 21 – Back Porchervations – Review
July 22 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
July 23 – Cicero’s Children – Interview
July 24 – Community Bookstop – Review
July 25 – Lori’s READING CORNER – Guest Post
July 26 – off
July 27 – Omnimystery News – Interview
July 28 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Spotlight
July 29 – Book-n-Kisses – Guest Post

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 252014
 

FIT-TO-BE-DEAD-set-webFit To Be Dead by Nancy G. West
(An Aggie Mundeen Mystery) (Volume 1)

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
Published by Henery Press (July 29, 2014)
Paperback: 280 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940976372
E-Book will be available July 29
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Aggie Mundeen, single and pushing forty, fears nothing but middle age. When she moves from Chicago to San Antonio, she decides she better shape up before anybody discovers she writes the column, “Stay Young with Aggie.” She takes Aspects of Aging at University of the Holy Trinity and plunges into exercise at Fit and Firm.

Rusty at flirting and mechanically inept, she irritates a slew of male exercisers, then stumbles into murder. She’d like to impress the attractive detective with her sleuthing skills. But when the killer comes after her, the health club evacuates semi-clad patrons, and the detective has to stall his investigation to save Aggie’s derriere.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This story takes place in 1997 as Angie has left behind the stressful banking life in Chicago and has moved to San Antonio. She has enrolled in Graduate School and writes the Staying Fit With Angie column. Sam Vanderhoven has also moved from Chicago to San Antonio where he is a detective with the SAPD. He moved there about a year before Angie after losing his wife and child in a terrible accident.

Angie Mundeen is a very engaging character who has had some heartache in her life and she has a secret. A secret that is trying to desperately keep from her friend Sam, who could become more than just a friend.

Angie is well past the age of 30 and her body is out of shape, not a good thing for someone writing about keeping fit. She decides to join a gym to lose some weight and gain some muscle tone and life just gets crazy from there. Within moments of entering the gym she finds an unconscious woman floating in the pool.

From there the author pens an entertaining mystery. Nancy G. West has a great sense of humor, this book is really funny. Angie’s interactions with the people at gym are hilarious as she learns to use the equipment at the gym. Blended with the humor are fantastic clues that help solve the mystery with some very interesting twists.

My only negative critique would be that more groundwork needs to be laid regarding Angie’s column. Readers see her receive the letters and write her advice but we need to know where and how they are published.

West has laid a foundation with these characters that can lead to a very enjoyable cozy mystery series. I hope she meets Mr. Pilates in the next installment.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Nancy G. West on her webpage here.

Watch for DANG NEAR DEAD (Aggie Mundeen #2) September 30, 2014

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 232014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Leslie Budewitz is my guest today!
Just one warning her stories will make you HUNGRY!!!!

Leslie-WEB-Color

The Last Best Place to Die

The Last Best Place. That’s the newest slogan for my home state of Montana, also dubbed the Big Sky State for our magnificent views, and the Treasure State for our gems and minerals.

What a marvelous place to set a mystery—and not just because of its beauty. For me, Montana’s big draw as a setting lies in the surprising contrasts we locals often take for granted. As my protagonist Erin Murphy says in Death Al Dente, the first in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries:

“Jewel Bay is not what people expect in a Montana town. Cutting-edge art and lip-smacking restaurants instead of cow pies and shoot-outs on dirt streets. But we have our belly-up bar, and plenty of cowboys, with farms and ranches nearby. And even a real live dude ranch, giving guests from around the world a taste of the old Montana and the new.”

DEATH AL DENTE

All that makes Montana a great vacation escape—for a few days, a week or two, or all summer long. Winter, too, even if your idea of winter sports isn’t skiing or snowshoeing but curling up in front of a crackling fire with a double mug of hot cocoa.

Turns out Montana is also a pretty good place to escape the past. More than one Jewel Bay resident came here in search of a fresh start. A new job, maybe a new name. A new life in a place where people don’t ask questions.

But when murder intrudes on village life, questions pop up like morel mushrooms on the forest floor. And the sheriff’s deputies aren’t the only ones digging up dirt. Erin Murphy returned to her hometown to take over the Merc, her family’s struggling shop in the century-old sandstone building her great-grandfather built as the town’s first grocery. When people she loves are killed—or accused—she can’t help poking around. Her own past gives her ample reason to not trust the resident sheriff’s detective as much as she’d like to—but she’s working on that.

Ever the business owner, Erin uses her Spreadsheet of Suspicion to plot her questions and track the answers. And sometimes, those trusty cells and columns lead her places where others would rather she did not go.

CrimeRib_CV.inddIn Crime Rib, second in the series, the TV show Food Preneurs comes to town to film the 35th Annual Jewel Bay Summer Art and Food Festival and the annual steak grill-off. Erin’s content to help from the sidelines, freeing her to focus on the Merc, and to scout the festival vendors for new products.

When the show’s producer is killed in a hit-and-run, Festival organizers beg her to step in and help out, to give Jewel Bay a shot at national publicity. How could a local girl say no? But when the host shows her a less than camera-ready side of himself, and a contestant is attacked and killed, Erin worries that the town’s reputation as a family-friendly, food-loving, vacation village will go up in flames. And when the sheriff runs out of leads, it’s up to her to smoke out the truth.

But just as in real life, some folks would do nearly anything to keep their secrets to themselves. To make sure the past stays behind, by making the Last Best Place Erin’s final resting place.

I hope you’ll make the trip with me, on the page, to see how Erin makes her own escape—and brings justice to her corner of the Big Sky.

 

About The Author
Leslie Budewitz is the national best-selling author of Death al Dente, first in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries set in northwest Montana, and winner of the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Crime Rib, the second in the series, came out July 1, 2014, from Berkley Prime Crime. Her Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries will debut in March 2015.

Also a lawyer, Leslie won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction for Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure (Quill Driver Books), making her the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction.

For more tales of life in the wilds of northwest Montana, and bonus recipes, visit her website and subscribe to her newsletter.

Website: www.LeslieBudewitz.com

Find her on Facebook: LeslieBudewitz Author

CrimeRib_CV.inddCrime Rib
(Food Lovers’ Village)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Design by Ben Perini
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425259559
E-Book File Size: File Size: 1974 KB
ASIN: B00HDMMJH0
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Gourmet food market owner Erin Murphy is determined to get Jewel Bay, Montana’s, scrumptious local fare some national attention. But her scheme for culinary celebrity goes up in flames when the town’s big break is interrupted by murder . . .

Food Preneurs, one of the hottest cooking shows on TV, has decided to feature Jewel Bay in an upcoming episode, and everyone in town is preparing for their close-ups, including the crew at the Glacier Mercantile, aka the Merc. Not only is Erin busy remodeling her courtyard into a relaxing dining area, she’s organizing a steak-cooking competition between three of Jewel Bay’s hottest chefs to be featured on the program.

But Erin’s plans get scorched when one of the contending cooks is found dead. With all the drama going on behind the scenes, it’s hard to figure out who didn’t have a motive to off the saucy contestant. Now, to keep the town’s reputation from crashing and burning on national television, Erin will have to grill some suspects to smoke out the killer . . .

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Erin is one busy lady before adding murder to the mix but that doesn’t mean she is going to stay at the Merc and miss all the action.  Having one of the hottest foodie programs, Food Preneurs, come to town to cover the grill-off is an awesome opportunity for “The Food Lover’s Village”. Erin is not going to let one dead chef and a suspicious accident ruin a weekend of publicity for the town, but she is going to make sure it is the right kind of publicity. She is also going to track down the killer/s.

Budewitz has given us some fantastic characters to follow in this story. In addition to the murder mystery there is a little family disagreement about remodeling the courtyard and some secrets. Romance may be on the horizon for Erin with 2 eligible bachelors vying for her attention. One shopkeeper is a little cranky about all the foodie fuss. Of course there needs to be an obnoxious character and  the TV Host for Food Preneurs fills that spot  nicely.

She also gives a couple of interesting mysteries to solve. Plenty of viable suspects with motive, but who had the means and opportunity? I love the way Erin uses a spreadsheet to keep track of the clues.

Part of the pleasure of this series is the way the author describes all he food. She had my tummy growling several times. Thankfully she gives recipes because I definitely want S’more of the S’MORE SANDWICH COOKIES, and the CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CUPS and the GRILLED FLANK STEAK and everything  else that was featured in the pages of this book.

This story has a well plotted mystery, a bit of comedy, yummy food and engaging characters. To be that is recipe for a marvelous cozy mystery.

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.

Leave a comment for Leslie 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 August 6, 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.”

Jul 192014
 

from fear to eternity spotlight
From Fear to Eternity:
An Immortality Bites Mystery

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (July 1, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451466136
E-Book File Size: 1221 KB
ASIN: B00HDMLWIW
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Newlywed vampires Sarah and Thierry de Bennicoeur have their whole undead lives ahead of them. And with Thierry’s job as a consultant for the Ring sending them across the globe to solve one vampire crisis after another, eternity may never have a dull moment.

Sarah was hoping the honeymoon would literally last forever, but when Thierry receives a mysterious invitation to an auction held in an old Beverly Hills mansion, it’s clearly time to get back to work. Thierry hopes to win a powerful amulet containing a wish-granting djinn that has eluded him for centuries. Unfortunately, Atticus Kincade, head of the vampire council, also has his eye on the item.

When the auction’s host reveals his unpleasant history with Thierry, and Sarah discovers a talking head in the freezer, things get even weirder than usual. But when the amulet goes missing, and everyone is suddenly trapped inside the mansion, the undead guests find themselves in mortal danger—and Sarah had better be careful what she wishes for.

Visit Michelle webpage here for more info about her and her books.

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 August 2, 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

Jul 182014
 

 

just for fun 2014This is a challenge to help us get some of those books on out To-Be Read stacks read without the pressure of a review (unless we want to) or meeting any other challenge. These books are read totally Just For Fun.  I have given just a brief review because I read the book JUST FOR FUN!!

TrudyMadly_Cover_HiRes_RBG-01
Trudy, Madly, Deeply
(Working Stiffs Mystery Series)

1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Corvallis Press (July 27, 2013)
File Size: 633 KB
Print Length: 302 pages
ASIN: B00E7FN0LU
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After human lie detector Charmaine Digby returns home to Port Merritt and scores a job as the County Coroner’s new investigative assistant, the unthinkable happens—a doctor reports the suspicious death of Trudy, a family friend and one of several elderly patients at the hospital whose heart mysteriously stopped.

With no physical evidence of foul play, Char’s on the case, much to the irritation of Detective Steve Sixkiller, who doesn’t want her to stick her pretty nose for trouble in his investigation. But she’s a woman on a mission to uncover the truth, and she’d better keep her eyes open or the next body on the way to the morgue could be hers.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Wouldn’t you love to be able tell when someone is lying to you? Charmaine Digby has that gift and it comes in handy as she sticks her nose right into the middle of something Detective Steve Sixkiller wants her stay away from. He isn’t even sure if foul play is involved at first and doesn’t need any help from her for his investigation.

This was a very entertaining story.  Char doesn’t spend much time in her office as she knows where she can keep up on all the gossip, Duke’s Café, her uncle’s diner. It’s the place where she may hear something that could help her solve these senseless killings. Char is spitfire and very funny.  She is also a woman with curves and is dealing with it and a certain detective has taken notice.

I was really surprised to learn the author saw a story on 60 minutes that gave her the premise for this story and she gave it her own cozy twist. I am looking forward to more of Char’s adventures! Sex, Lies, and Snickerdoodles comes out next month!

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*This book was from my private collection.

Jul 162014
 

 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

I am thrilled to welcome Betty Hechtman here today!!

BETTY HECHTMAN

Cool Off With Casey
By
Betty Hechtman

There’s nothing better on a sweltering summer day than to escape into Casey Feldstein’s world on California’s Monterey peninsula. The weather is cool year round with white skies and creeping fingers of fog. It makes you want to grab a fleece jacket and go for a bracing walk on the silky sand beach across the road from Vista Del Mar, the moody hotel and conference center where Casey puts on her yarn retreats.

If you want to get away from it all, there isn’t a better place than Vista Del Mar. The Arts and Crafts style buildings are over 100 years old and built with lots of dark wood and local stone. The buildings are sprinkled over 100 acres of sloping grounds dotted with tall, narrow Monterey pines and Monterey cypress trees shaped by the wind. You won’t find any manicured lawns here. The grounds have been allowed to grow wild. If a tree falls, it is left to decompose naturally. Rumor has it that it is the same if an animal dies. Maybe a body, too, who knows? Situated on a small peninsula jutting into the Pacific ocean, it literally is the end of the earth.

What a perfect place to hold a yarn retreat. A group of people with a common interest gather there to spend time on their craft and learn something new. There is always the smell of wood smoke in the air. All the guest room buildings have living room-like lobbies furnished with overstuffed chairs that surround a glowing fireplace. Just the place to gather with some friends, take out your knitting and talk about murder.

19486435In Silence of the Lamb’s Wool Casey has arranged for a retreat that starts with the shearing of some sheep and ends with the knitting of a shawlette, making for a very busy weekend. It only gets more complicated when a key player in the retreat turns up dead and leaves Casey in the lurch.

Lucky for Casey some of her first time retreaters have come back. Her best friend and boss, Lucinda Thornkill is there to help, even if the manager of Vista Del Mar is still trying to give Casey a hard time.

Even with all that is going on, Casey manages to continue her nightly baking of desserts at the Blue Door Restaurant and keeps the coffee spots in the town of Cadbury by the Sea supplied with her delicious freshly made muffins, though she is shocked when one of the muffins turns out to be a clue.

And the two men in her life – will her ex, Dr. Sammy win her back with his bagful of tricks, or will Dane, the adorable cop down the street, ever get to first base with her?

Want to truly feel apart of the story? There is a pattern for the shawlette and recipes for some of Casey’s specialties included.

Enjoy!

~Betty

About The Author

Silence of the Lamb’s Wool is the second book in the national bestselling Yarn Retreat series that features dessert chef Casey Feldstein who puts on yarn retreats at a slightly sinister hotel and conference center on California’s Monterey peninsula. Betty Hechtman also writes the national bestselling Crochet mystery series. All books in both series include patterns and recipes. She says it is like a dream come true to be able mix her love of mystery with her love of making things. She grew up in Chicago and has a degree in Fine Art. In addition she has studied everything from improv comedy to magic. She has written newspaper and magazine pieces, short stories and scripts. She lives in Southern California and Chicago and has yarn stashes in both cities.

For more information check out BettyHechtman.com, Facebook and her Friday blog for Killerhobbies.blogspot.com

silence of the lamb's woolSilence of the Lamb’s Wool
(A Yarn Retreat Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Patricia Casteleo
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252581
E-Book File Size: 1476 KB
ASIN: B00HDMMF56
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Dessert chef Casey Feldstein has learned one end of a knitting needle from the other after inheriting her aunt’s yarn retreat business, but a murder threatens to unravel her latest event . . .

Casey’s running a new retreat called “From Sheep to Shawl” at a resort on the atmospheric Monterey Peninsula. Participants will learn about sheepshearing, fixing up the fleece, and spinning, and will eventually knit a lovely shawl.

Nicole Welton has been hired to teach the fleece-to-fiber portion of the retreat. She’s an expert spinner, and her small shop in Cadbury by the Sea houses a beautiful assortment of spinning wheels and drop spindles. But when the new teacher fails to show up for class and is found lying dead on the boardwalk, it leaves everyone’s nerves frayed.

Now Casey has to knit together clues faster than she can count stitches before someone else at the retreat gets dropped . . .

Includes a knitting pattern and a recipe!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Casey’s retreat sounds like a lot of fun. Seeing the sheep getting sheared, cleaning and combing the fleece and spinning and then knitting with wool we made ourselves would be a blast. Too bad she had to face one roadblock after another including the death of the woman that was supposed to lead the whole retreat. Casey channels her aunt and does what she would have done and handled each problem head on, even chasing down a killer.

I really love these characters. Casey has landed on her feet pretty well and following in her aunt’s footsteps continuing the yarn retreats while challenging definitely keeps her busy. Even though her mother still thinks she needs to get a “real job”.  What I really enjoyed was the friendships she continues to make. Three retreaters from the last retreat return in this story and they really step up and help Casey with this retreat. Her best friend Lucinda and her husband Tag are back too as is her ex. Dr. Sammy has moved to town and has found an unusual way to stay close to Casey.

Betty Hechtman has spun a fine mystery too. Was it suicide or murder? If it was murder who did it? She keeps trying to get her handsome neighbor who happens to be a cop to see things her way but she leaves each meeting with him either hot and bothered or furious that he is not taking her seriously.

If you are knitter you will want to grab your needles, if you are not you will wish you were. This is a captivating page turner and I  thoroughly enjoyed it!!

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.

Leave a comment for Betty 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 July 30, 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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